Dr. Harvey Coe Hullinger  (1824-1925)

Dr. Harvey Coe Hullinger (1824-1925)


A short history of Dr. Hullinger and his family. This is copied from a typed two page written history of him which is in the possession of some of his descendents.

    Dr. Hullinger was born December 2, 1824 in Mad River Township, Champaign County, Ohio, the third child of John and Olive Coe Hullinger.  His father was a native of Ohio, and his mother was a native of Conneticut.

    The parents of Dr. Hullinger were married in 1820, in Columbus Ohio, and soon after their marriage moved to Champaign County, most of that country being densely a timbered domain.

    To this union was born four sons and five daughters, all of whom have passed away, Dr. Hullinger being the last. The sons all lived more than eighty-six years; three of the daughters died young, but one lived to the age of seventy-six years.

    Dr. Hullinger's grandfather, Daniel Hullinger, was born in Lancashire County, Pennsylvania in 1757, and fought in the Revolutionary War.

    In 1833 the family of Dr. Hullinger migrated to Illinois, where the father engaged in farming until his death in 1836.  The mother died in 1840. After this, Dr. Hullinger took up the study of medicine, and received his diploma as a physician in 1852 from a college in Columbus, Ohio.  He at once began the practice of medicine and continued it until his death (1925), a period of time spanning three-fourths of a century.

    In 1852 he returned to Illinois and in the following year moved to Clinton County, Iowa, where he remained until the spring of 1859.

    In May of that year, he and his family went to Omaha, Nebraska and joined a party of emigrants who were about to leave for Utah in a train consisting of fifty-nine wagons. This wagon train started the same month and arrived in Salt Lake, then a struggling town.  On September 7, the same year, during the journey across the plains, hundreds of Indian bands, large and small, were encountered but no trouble of any importance occured. Before the train started from Omaha, orders were issued that every wagon was to carry an extra allotment of one hundred pounds of flour and a supply of sugar, bacon and beans for the red men of the plains.  During the journey these supplies were doled out in restricted rations whenever the Indians were accosted, and as a result, practically no molestations by Indians hampered the orderly progress of the caravan.

    Dr. Hullinger, in 1842, before he was eighteen years old, embraced the Mormon faith and has remained a member of that church uninteruptedly for eighty-three years.  Charles C. Rich, grandfather of Dr. Homer E. Rich of Vernal, Utah, baptized the new convert into the Mormon church at Ottowa, Illinois. The ceremony took place September 14, 1842 and Dr. Hullinger is without a doubt the oldest member of his church in point of years of membership (at the time of this writing), and there are but few members who exceed his years in life.

    Dr. Hullinger saw and conversed with Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, having met him while residing in Nauvoo, Illinois. In 1845, he was well acquainted with President Brigham Young, having first met him in 1842.  Dr. Hullinger was living near Carthage at the time of the death of Joseph and Hirum Smith. He located to Mill Creek in Salt Lake Valley when he came to Utah.

    In 1862 he served as a good soldier and many thrilling experiences have been related of the Civil War he had enlisted in. He was commissioned a Lieutenant.  After the war, he returned to his home at Mill Creek and resumed his practice of medicine.

    He later went to St. George, Utah, where he lived for a short time.  Then he went back to the Salt Lake Valley and filed a track of land located two and one-half miles northwest of Big Cottonwood Canyon.

    In October 1883, he came to Uintah County, Utah.  He first settled in Jensen and did much to relieve the suffering of the sick as a physician, going any distance in any kind of weather to aid the sick with his services.  He rode as far as sixty-five miles to attend patients.

    Being acquainted with the language of the Indians, Dr. Hullinger did much to make peace between the redskin and the whites.  At times he intervened when nothing but bloodshed would have resulted had it not been for him.  He became a friend of the Indians and was known as their medicine man.

    In 1891 the pioneer physician moved to Vernal, Utah, where he has made his home until his death.  He served as county physician and for many years was the only doctor in the basin.  He also was County Commissioner for two terms.  During the influenza epidemic in 1917-1918, he worked in conjunction with the other physicians of the county to relieve the afflicted.

    He was thrice married and four children blessed these unions; two sons and two daughters.  His first wife died in 1857, in Ohio.  Thle second wife died in 1880, in Salt Lake Valley, and the third wife in Vernal, in 1906.

    Dr. Hullinger has been a resident of the state of Utah since 1859 and a resident of Uintah County since 1883.  He was the oldest practicing physician in the United States, the oldest member of the Grand Army of the Republic in the state of Utah, the oldest member of the Latter-Day Saint Church (in point of continous membership), and the second oldest Civil War Veteran in the nation. The 100th birthday of the pioneer was celebrated December 2, 1924, when nearly 900 people gathered to listen to the words of this great man and to enjoy the program and lunch.

    In his address that day, Dr. Hullinger said that Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independance, and the third president of the United States, lived two years after he was born, and Abraham Lincoln was fifteen years old.  He said, "You cannot do anything in life that is more worth while than being honorable and full of integrity.  Take care of your health, learn to work, be a good citizen of this great and glorious country that we live in, honor and obey it's laws, be kind and gentle and do good to other people, and if you do this, I promise you that God will bless you and fill your lives with happiness as long as you live".

    His youngest son Adelbert, died in Vernal in 1915 at the age of sixty-five years and the older son Winfield Scott, died in Vernal in 1917, at the age of sixty-nine years.  The two daughters, Mrs. Rhonda Ann Lee and Mrs. Sarah Christiana Perry, reside at Lapoint, Utah and Vernal, Utah, respectively.

    Truly a patriarch, Dr. Hullinger had at his death, one hundred and thirty-seven living decendants, two daughters, twenty-three grandchildren, and thirty great grandchildren.  The variation in the span of life of the patriarch and that of his youngest direct decendant was more than one hundred years.  He died in Vernal, Utah, January 29, 1925.  He was 101 years old.

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