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John Darst, M. D., has been in practice in Oklahoma for the past ten years. He is a graduate of Rush Medical College of Chicago, from which he acquired his M. D. degree with the class of 1903. During that year he was an interne in the Monroe Street Hospital and St. Mary’s of Nazareth Hospital in Chicago. During 1913 Dr. Darst interrupted his private practice in order to take post-graduate work in diagnosis at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
As a physician he did his first regular practice in Hardin County, Texas, for one year, as local surgeon for the Kirby Lumber Co., and in May, 1905, he removed to Indian Territory and was located at Paoli until 1908, in which year he removed to Wynnewood. Here his offices are in the First National Bank Building, and he enjoys a lucrative practice. He is examining physician for a number of old line insurance companies, also examining physician for Wynnewood Camp No. 539, Woodmen of the World. He is a member in good standing of the County and State Medical societies and the American Medical Association.
There is some interesting ancestral history connected with Dr. Darst. His paternal great-grandfather was a native of Germany, where his name was spelled Durst. He was a member of a substantial family in that country, but incurred hostility of the ruling classes and was impressed into the army, where it was contemplated that he would be killed. In the meantime his estate was confiscated, and when he returned alive and tried it get it back he was granted twenty-four hours in which to leave the country. He escaped to Holland, and soon afterward bound himself and wife out to the captain of a trading vessel in order to pay their passage across the ocean. They located at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, and worked for several years in order to release themselves from the voluntary bondage they had undertaken in order to reach America. The great-grandfather thenceforward hated Germany with such fervor that he would not permit his four sons to speak the language, and he changed his own name from Durst to Darst. All members of the Darst family in America have this origin. A brother back in Germany was prominent as Professor Durst of Heidelberg University, who continued his scholastic position and lived to be a very old man.
John Darst, the grandfather of Dr. John, was born in Virginia, in 1826, became a farmer and stockman, and died at Eureka, Illinois, in 1893. Frank Darst, his son, and the father of Dr. Darst, was born in Woodford County, Illinois, in 1852. He was married there in 1877 to Janet Elizabeth Murray. She was born in Yarmouth, England, in 1851, and three years later, in 1854, her parents came to America and settled in Woodford County, Illinois. It was at Eureka, Woodford County, Illinois, that Dr. John Darst was born July 16, 1878. He was the oldest of four children, the others being: Wilmer Marion, a farmer at Barney, Iowa; James Murray, an electrical engineer at Cleveland, Ohio; and Margaret Martha, who is a missionary in China.
Dr. John Darst acquired his early education in Eureka and Galesburg, Illinois, having attended Knox College at Galesburg for one year. In 1898 he graduated B. S. and Ph. B. from Valparaiso University at Valparaiso, Indiana, and then spent four years in Rush Medical College at Chicago. Fraternally he is affiliated with Bethel Lodge No. 109, Knights of Pythias, at Wynnewood, of which he is past chancellor commander, and also with the local camp of the Woodmen of the World. In 1904 at Mason City, Iowa, Dr. Darst married Miss Julia Holmlund. She was born in Sweden, and came from that country when about eighteen years of age, locating at Mason City, Iowa. She became a trained nurse and was thus employed in the Monroe Street Hospital at Chicago when she met her husband. Dr. and Mrs. Darst are the parents of three children: Mario Maud, born May 23, 1905; Helen Jeannette, born August 23, 1911; and John, Jr., born September 26, 1915.