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Dr. William Breathwit

Dr. William Breathwit, physician and surgeon of Pine Bluff, was born at Rowell, Cleveland county, Arkansas in1871, a son of William and Laura (Tucker) Breathwit, the former a native of Belfast, Ireland, while the latter was born in Mississippi.

The father came to America with his parents, Alexander and Jane (Greenlees) Breathwit, the family home being established in Alabama. He and his brothers, Hugh and James, served in the Confederate army during the Civil war, the first named being an officer. The brother, James, was wounded at Corinth and died from the effects of the injuries there sustained.

The Breathwits all  removed from Alabama to Arkansas, settling in Lonoke county, and there the grandfather, Alexander Breathwit, died. The Greenlees were an old family of Mississippi, the parents of Mrs. Alexander Breathwit being Mr. And Mrs. Daniel Greenlees. The Breathwits became prominently connected with agricultural interests in this state, purchasing three thousand acres of land near Rowell in 1847, and this remained in possession of the family until 1889. Mr. and Mrs. William Breathwit resided thereon until 1890 and then removed to Kingsland, Arkansas.

They reared a family of seven children: John L.; James R.; Jane Elizabeth, the wife of John T. Nivens; Hannah, the wife of E.R. Buster; Alexander, a physician who has departed this life; Hugh also deceased; and William. The last named was educated in Hendrix College and in the Central university of Kentucky, in which he completed his ore specifically literary course. He later studied medicine in the Louisville Medical College and was graduated therefrom with the class of 1894.

He afterward located for practice in Kingsland, where he remained for eleven years and then went to New York City, where he studied the eye, ear, nose and throat. On his return to Arkansas he opened an office in Pine Bluff, where he has since engaged in practice, confining his attention largely to his specialty, and as an oculist, aorist and laryngologist he has won success and prominence.

At the time of the world war Dr. Breathwit served as chairman of the appeal board for four counties and he was likewise a member of the medical advisory board. He asked for a commission in the army and was called to service, being commissioned a captain but the armistice was signed before he had opportunity to get overseas or do active work in the army camps on this side.

In 1896 Dr. Breathwit was united in marriage to Miss Osa Burnham, a daughter of Robert Burnham, and they have become parents of two children: Ellice, a teacher of expression in Galloway College; and Alexander. The family is prominently known in Pine Bluff and their social position, like the professional rank of Dr. Breathwit, is one of prominence.