John Sedgwick (Sed) Boorem was the third child of John and his second wife Emma Bond. He was born on his father's farm in Mountainhome on 18 June 1883. All of Sedgwick's children were young when he died, so little family tradition about his early days in Pennsylvania has survived.
By the time he was eighteen years old Sedgwick had moved from his father's farm to Kushequa in McKean County Pennsylvania. The census of 1900 shows that he was living at the home of his half-brother Hooker Boorem and his family. There he was part of a large Boorem-Christman extended family, whose members worked in either the lumber business or at the local cloths pin factory. In the 1900 census, Sedgwick is simply listed as a laborer.
Around this time family tradition says that Sedgwick took part in a cross-country auto race. Although the outcome of the race is not known, the result was that Sedgwick ended up in California where he remained for several years. There he enrolled at the Eclectic College of Chiropractic in Los Angeles to pursue a medical degree. He graduated from that institution on 5 June 1920, receiving a degree as a "Doctor of Chiropractic." On 10 September of that same year he received another degree as a "Doctor of Naturopathy" and remained an alumni in good standing for many years after.
Sedgwick eventually went to Chicago where his brother Ord lived, and practiced medicine for many years at the Chicago Austiopathic Hospital. He was considered a great doctor and is still well remembered at that institution. Among other things, it was said that Sedgwick Boorem could ease the symptoms of Epilepsy by adjusting a sufferer's vertebrae. Chicago, at various times, was also the home of Sedgwick's brother Alex, and his half sisters Agnes and Laura.
In the 1920s Sedgwick and his brother Ord Boorem purchased 250 acres of farmland - lakefront property in Fremont Michigan, hoping to be able to set up a farm and lakefront cottages. Older brother Alex Boorem and family were given the opportunity to run the farm, however Alex abandoned the property less than two years later. Afterwards Sedgwick and Ord tried to make a go of things, but the task proved too difficult and the property was eventually sold at a loss.
Sedgwick married Mavis F. Putman on 15 November 1943, in Marianna, Arkansas. They had a total of five children, John, Susan, Judy, Benjamin, and Elizabeth. Four of his five children were born in Arkansas where Sedgwick spent his final years. Census records indicate that this was not the first time Sedgwick had been married, and that he had at least one son, Stanley born circa 1919, from a pervious marriage.
John Sedgwick Boorem died in Little Rock Arkansas on 5 October 1960, at 78 years of age, and was buried in Marshall Arkansas. He married Mavis late in life and all of their children were under the age of 16 at the time of his death.
We have seen how Boorem family members were devoted to church, family and country, and with Sedgwick Boorem we add the field of medicine to the list of family accomplishments.
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Text and photographs copyright © 2003 by Jeffrey L. Thomas, with all rights reserved