York County’s Yeagley family produced multiple generations of physicians. Their community service earned them a spot in “Builders and Heroes,” a publication coming out of York County’s 250th Anniversary. Background posts: The Cassimatises and Wolf would join long list of Yorkers to gain political posts.
Making house calls might have cost Dr. John Dibert Yeagley his life.
But that wasn’t the first time he took such a risk. He was the leading public health authority dealing with York County’s polio epidemic of 1941….
The Yeagleys are among 150 individuals and families included in “Heroes and Builders,” part of the three-volume “250th Chronicles.”
Here’s a condensed version of a profile in the book, available throughout the York County Library System:
All in the family: Esther Yeagley recalled that November night in 1960 when she did not want her husband to go on a house call. He had been looking worn out lately, visibly beaten down by the long hours and the pressure. Most of his contemporaries weren’t making house calls anymore. Dr. John Dibert Yeagley would hear none of it. A soft-spoken man by nature, he offered a one-sentence argument that negated all of his wife’s protests: “Father would have gone.” A few days later, he died of a heart attack at the age of 58, ending a prominent local career but carrying on a bittersweet family tradition of service to the end.
Family tradition: John D. Yeagley often talked about how his father, John Henry Yeagley, died within days of a horse and buggy ride through a blizzard to a patient’s house back in 1912. John H. took after his own father, Dr. Henry Yeagley, who started practicing medicine in 1848 and raised two of his sons to be doctors.
John D. Yeagley achieves: Director of York City Health Department during polio epidemic in 1941. Served U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1942 to 1946. After his return, Yeagley specialized in internal medicine and eventually took up practice at York Hospital. Yet he never stopped making house calls.
From Esther Yeagley: “I was very lucky. I married into a lovely family.”
Other York County families listed in “Builders and Heroes” as family builders: