Dr. Harry Overton Pope was born on the 29th of July, 1892 in Latham, Illinois, U.S.A. His parents William Greenleaf Eliot Pope and the former Ida Rose Richards, had been married in Bothwell the year before he was born. Dr. Harry Pope’s parents returned to Bothwell after young Harry was born. Dr. Pope’s sister Audrey “Lenore” was born in Bothwell on February 10th, 1897. Dr. Pope’s mother died on the 3rd of August, 1898 at the age of 26. She was buried at the West Bothwell Cemetery. After his mother died, Harry and his sister Lenore lived with his grandparents, Dr. Francis and Mary Pope. His father William married Bertie May Elwood on the 27th of September, 1901 in Bothwell and they had 4 more children, all born in Bothwell; Lizzie Ardath Pope born in 1902, William Greenleaf Eliot Pope born in 1907, Ida Rose Pope born on the 24th of April, 1910 (and died on the 17th of February 1911 of Bronchitis) and Edna Gwendolyn Pope born in 1915.
Dr. Harry Pope attended medical school in Michigan and graduated M.D.,C.M. in 1915. Dr. Pope graduated M.D. from the University of Western Ontario in London in May of 1916 and he practiced medicine in the community of Bothwell. He joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 15th of June, 1916.
Dr. Pope married Fern Allison Beshears in 1917. She was born on the 18th of November, 1893 in Pana, Illinois, the only child of James D. Beshear and the former Ina Myrtle Allison. In 1920 she was a student at Illinois State University.
Dr. and Mrs. Pope had a daughter Harriett born in Latham on the 16th of November, 1929.
In May of 1918, Dr. Pope enlisted in WWI. At the time of his enlistment Dr. Pope was residing in Latham, Illinois. During his absence his uncle, Dr. George Pope travelled from Bothwell to Latham to look after the medical practice of his nephew while he was serving overseas. Dr. George Pope stayed and cared for the residents of Latham for about one year. Dr. Harry Overton Pope served with the United States Army and he was stationed at Brest and then Nazaire with the Motor Hospital 44 near La Baule, France. In the April 30th, 1919 edition of the Chatham Daily News, an article appeared with the following information, “Wm. Pope has received word that his son Lieut. H.O. Pope has been promoted to Captain. Capt. Pope is in charge of a hospital in France having 160 beds to look after daily”. Dr. Harry O. Pope arrived back in Latham, Illinois on the 5th of August, 1919.
Dr. Pope practiced medicine in Latham and Niantic, Illinois. According to the 1930 census, Dr. and Mrs. Pope resided at 34 Joint Street in Latham, Illinois.
Dr. Pope also served during World War II with the United States Armed Services. At the time of his registration, he was 49 years old and living in Niantic, Illinois.
Dr. Pope was a 32nd Degree Mason and he was a life member of the Masonic Lodge. He was also a member of the Rotary Club. Dr. Pope was a life member of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Dr. and Mrs. Fern Pope separated in June of 1945 and later divorced.
Dr. Pope married Geneva (Bauer) Youngblood. Mrs. Geneva Pope was born on the 3rd of May, 1904 in Illinois. She was the 5th of 7 children born to Frank Bauer and the former Sarah Downing. Her parents were farmers and her siblings were; Nellie, Francis, Sidney, Martha, Mary and Roy. Mrs. Pope’s first husband, Jesse Amos Youngblood died on the 15th of February, 1936 at the age of 36. He was buried at Harristown Cemetery in Harristown, Illinois. Geneva and Jesse Youngblood had a daughter that was born and died on the 23rd of December, 1926 and she was also buried at the Harristown Cemetery.
Mrs. Geneva Pope was a beautician who owned her own shop called Gene-Marr, which was located at 1303 W. Wood Street in Decatur, Illinois. Mrs. Pope appeared in Decatur City Directories from 1938 to 1947. After their marriage, Dr. Pope and Mrs. Geneva Pope moved to California. In 1952, they resided at 400 Poplar St in Laguna Beach. Geneva Pope died in Laguna Beach, on the 10th of January, 1953. She was buried at Westminster Memorial Park in Westminster, California.
Fern Pope died in Mount Pulaski, Illinois on the 26th of September 1982. She was buried at Graceland Cemetery in Decatur, Macon County, Illinois.
Dr. Pope died at Decatur Memorial Hospital on the 23rd of March, 1988 in Decatur, Illinois. At the time of his death, he had 3 grandsons and 4 great grandchildren. Dr. Pope was buried at Lake Bank Cemetery in Mount Pulaski, Illinois.
Photo: Captain Harry Pope, U.S. Army Medical Corps. This photo was taken in 1918 and was graciously provided by the Pope Family.
*Dr. Pope is also featured on the ‘Gathering Our Heroes’ website.
*His daughter Harriett Pope married Harold Burgett on the 25th of February, 1950 in Decatur Illinois. Mrs. Burgett died in Mount Pulaski, Illinois on the 11th of October, 2020. She was survived by her 3 sons, 6 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Burgett are buried at the Graceland Cemetery in Decatur, Illinois. Mr. Burgett served with the U.S. Army during WWII.
**His grandfather, Dr. Francis Henry Pope is also featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.