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I. H. Hand

I. H. HAND, physician, Milford, Baker County, Georgia, son of Henry Harrison and Charity (Thompson) Hand, was born in Burke County, Georgia, in 1822. The family descended from one of two brothers who emigrated from Holland to America and settled first in New York. Afterward the descendants of one of the brothers scattered from New York eastwardly, and westwardly, and the descendants of the other scattered from Maryland and Virginia southward.

Mr. Hand’s grandfather, Rev. Henry Hand, was born in Virginia, where he migrated to South Carolina, and thence to Georgia. He settled first in Columbia County, but later moved to Talbot County, where he died in 1835 or 1836, aged eighty-two years. He was ordained a minister of the Baptist church when a young man, and was an earnest and zealous worker in the Master’s vineyard until within a few years of his death, when the infirmities of old age compelled him to retire. He was very active in his efforts to prevent a division of the Baptist church on missionary work. He was a man of more than ordinary ability, self-educated and self-made; and a man of large influence. He was the father of ten children, seven of whom were sons: William, John, Henry Harrison, James, Rev. Thomas, Joel and Rev. Joseph.

Mr. Hand’s father was born in Columbia County, but was raised principally in Burke County, Georgia, where he married and lived until he had quite a family. From Burke he moved to Houston County, Georgia, where he lived about twenty years, when he moved to Sumter county, where he died some years later, aged seventy-eight years. He was a farmer and blacksmith, was what is known as a “good liver,” made plenty to meet every want, but unambitious as to the acquisition of property. In the last war with Great Britain, 1812-14, he served as lieutenant, and afterward was a captain of the militia, when it was a local distinction. He was physically a very strong and active man and earnest and zealous in whatever he undertook. In politics he was an “old-line whig," and, his mother being a Harrison, and a reputed relative of Gen. W. H. Harrison, he took a very active part in the presidential campaign of 1840. His first wife was a Miss Owens, by whom he had one child—-Sarah, now deceased-—who married a Mr. William Iverson. By his second marriage—to Miss Thompson, our subject’s mother—he had five children: Joseph, who died in Taylor County, Georgia; Elizabeth, now Mrs. Raiford, Americus, Georgia; I. H., the subject of this sketch; Columbia W.; Camilla, wife of Dr. David Bagley, Sumter County, Georgia. His wife died in Houston County in 1848 or 1849, aged fifty-four years.

Dr. Hand was raised in Houston County, his father having moved there when he was about five years old. He attended the common schools of the county, but may claim to have educated himself, as he studied assiduously at night after his day’s work in the field was done. He studied medicine under Dr. William Fisher, of Wilkinson County, Georgia, and afterward attended lectures at Forsyth, Georgia, at the institution since removed and established in Atlanta as the Georgia College of Eclectic Medicine and Surgery, at which he has subsequently lectured himself. He has also lectured in the medical department of the University of Florida. After his graduation he located in Houston County, where he practiced until December, 1851—six years—when he removed to his present location, where he has since lived, where he established a large and remunerative practice, and where, also, he is engaged very extensively in farming.

During the late civil war he was elected by the justices of the inferior court to remain at home and give medical attention to the families of the soldiers. After the war he was elected a delegate to the constitutional convention of 1865, and afterward elected to the general assembly and served during the sessions of 1865-66. He was also elected a delegate to the constitutional convention of 1877, and in 1886 was elected to represent his senatorial district in the general assembly. In 1890 he was again elected. In each case he was elected without any solicitation on his part—as he never sought office.

In 1892 he was nominated for congress by the populists, but was defeated. The nomination was unanimous and unsought. Dr. Hand’s writings on medical subjects have attracted much attention throughout the country and his contributions on the political questions of the day have brought him many letters of congratulation.

Dr. Hand was married twice. His first wife was Miss Laura Elizabeth, daughter of Isaac Bower, Milledgeville, Georgia, to whom were born: Fannie H., educator; Joseph H., physician, Blakeley, Georgia; Mary S., wife of B. H. Askew, Milford; Miranda, wife of Dr. R. T. Hillman, Senoia, Coweta County; A. L., physician, Faceville, Decatur County, Georgia; Isaac Henry, deceased in infancy; Galen, deceased at five years; Clifford, deceased at eleven years, and Lillie, deceased at thirteen years.

For his second wife he married Mrs. Ella S. Bull, Tallahassee, Florida, daughter of Chief Justice Baltzell, whose children by her first marriage were: W. S. Bull, conductor, Brunswick & Western Railway; Ella, wife of John Farrant, and Misses Bessie P. and Hattie B., at home.

The doctor is pleasantly situated, comfortable in every way, surrounded by an intelligent, accomplished family and dispenses “old-time southern hospitality.”

Source: Memoirs of Georgia, Containing historical accounts of the states civil, military, industrial and professional interests and personal sketches of many of it’s people, Volume I, The Southern Historical Association, Atlanta, Georgia, 1895.

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