William W. Jenkins, M.D.

From the book
Portrait and Biographical Record
of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania
Chapman Publishing Co., New York, 1897

No country has afforded greater opportunities to the poor boy than our own. Here one who is frugal and industrious, has a chance to work his way upward, and while some fail to do so, the energetic and persevering in most cases secure success. In his youth, the subject of this sketch was poor, obliged to work when most boys were gaining an education. His first money was earned as a slate picker in the breaker, and from that humble beginning he worked his way to his present position as a physician of Scranton.

In the city of Merthyr-Tydvil, Wales, Dr. Jenkins was born May 24, 1859, a son of William and Eleanor (Evans) Jenkins, also natives of that place. His grandfather, William Jenkins, who engaged in farming there until his death, had two sons in the English army, the older of whom was killed in the Crimean War. The maternal grandfather, Morgan Evans, was an iron ore miner and spent his entire life in Wales. Our subject's father, who was a coal miner in Wales, brought his family to America in 1869 and settled in Hazelton, Pa., but shortly afterward removed to Mahanoy City, thence to Ashton (now Lansford), Carbon County, and from there to Plymouth, Luzerne County, where he died in 1886 at the age of fifty years. His wife, who is still living, resides in Taylorville, Lackawanna County. Of their children two sons are living, Dr. William W., and Morgan E., a business man of New York, who makes his home in Palisades Park, N.J.

At the time the family came to the United States, out subject was a boy of ten years, and afterwards he accompanied his parents on their various removals. At the age of fourteen he was promoted from the position of slate picker and made door-boy inside the mines. From Lansford he moved to Mauch Chunk, where he worked in the mines for eight months, In 1877 he went to Plymouth, Luzerne County, where he continued to work as a miner for two years. It had, however, for years been his hope to gain a good education, and with that object in view he saved his earnings from month to month. In 1879 he entered Wyoming Seminary and for three years conducted his studies in that institution, after which he began to read medicine under Dr. D. E. Evans of Plymouth. In the fall of 1881 he entered the Eclectic Medical College of New York City, and there he took the regular course of studies, graduating in 1884, with the degree of M. D. Returning to Plymouth, he remained there until January, 1885, when he came to Scranton, and here for a few years he carried on a drug business, first in Hyde Park, then in Providence. His increasing medical practice, however, caused him to at last retire from the drug trade and he therefore closed out his store, since which time he has devoted himself entirely to his practice, at No. 1824 Wayne Avenue.

In this city Dr. Jenkins married Miss Hannah, daughter of Lewis Harris, both natives of Wales, but for years residents of Scranton, where Mr. Harris was formerly engaged in the mercantile business. Three children bless this union, Lillian, Willie and Lewis. In his political opinions Dr. Jenkins is an independent, voting in local elections for the men who he deems best qualified to represent the people, but in national elections usually votes the Republican ticket, his preference being in that direction. Possessing a culture, refined taste, with the soul of a true poet, he has written for his own pleasure, rather than for publication, a number of poems that evince a high grade of scholarship and possess genuine merit.

Return to the Prominent Welshmen of Scranton page
Read more about the connection between Scranton and Brynmawr, Wales
Read more about the history of Hyde Park
Return to the main page at the Thomas family website

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