Mon Valley Biographies - Dr. Robert Grant Furlong

Mon Valley Biographies

 Dr. Robert Grant Furlong of Donora

By Earle Forrest, 1926   Page 230

Surnames: Furlong, Grant, Coulson, Stockdale, Wickerham, Fichthorne, Hoffman
There is no profession or line of business which calls for greater self-sacrifice or more devoted attention than the medical profession and the most successful physician is he who through love of his fellowmen gives his time and earnest attention to the relief of human suffering.  The universal brotherhood is now more widely recognized than ever before, as is also the truth that he serves God best who serves humanity most. Therefore the successful physician earns, and usually receives, the respect and good will of all who know him. Among the most popular and highly esteemed residents of Donora is Dr. Robert Grant Furlong, who stands in the front rank of the medical profession in Washington county.
He was born at Roscoe, Washington county, on the 4th of January, 1886, and is the son of William Allen and Ethel A. (Grant) Furlong, long residents 6f Roscoe, where his parents for many years conducted a drug store, though in his early life the father was a river steamboat captain. He is now retired and is still living in Roscoe. He is a democrat politically, served as a school director for sixteen years, was postmaster for the same length of time and has been a member of the council for the past six years. He has the honor of being the oldest member of the Masonic order at Fayette City, Pennsylvania. He has long been an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church at Roscoe, having served as a trustee. He is the son of Edward Coulson and Amy Ann (Stockdale) Furlong, the former of whom was born in Charles county, Maryland, in 1824, and died at Roscoe in 1910. He was a prominent and extensive coal operator, and one of his frequent operations was to build boats which he filled with coal and floated them to New Orleans, where he sold both boats and coal. He was in the south during the Civil war. Politically he was a democrat and served as a school director in Allen township.  He was a member and trustee of the Methodist Episcopal church and was prominent in the Masonic order.  His wife, who was born and reared in Hagerstown, Maryland, was a typical Quaker lady, who later transferred her membership to the Methodist Episcopal church, in which she was long an active and effective worker. She died at Roscoe.

Ethel A. (Grant) Furlong was born on the old Grant homestead at Horse Shoe Bend, Carroll township, Washington county, and is now living in Roscoe, where she is proprietress of the oldest drug store in Washington county. She is the daughter of Noah and Eliza Jane (Wickerham) Grant, the former of whom was born in a log cabin at Horse Shoe Bend, Carroll township, and was reared to the life of a farmer, which vocation he followed through life. He was a republican and a member and trustee of the Baptist church at Horse Shoe Bend, which was the first Baptist church west of the Allegheny mountains, his ancestors being among the founders of the society. His widow, who was born in Carroll township, is still living, at the advanced age of ninety years.  Noah Grant was the son of Robert Grant, who was the son of Captain George Grant, who was a soldier of the war of the Revolution. He was made a captain on May 3, 1777, and served eight years.  He and General U. S. Grant's grandfathers were brothers.  The American progenitor of the Grant family was Matthew Grant, who came to this country from Inverness, Scotland, on the ship "Mary and John," landing in Massachusetts, May 3, 1630.  In 1633 he migrated to Connecticut, and from there came to Pennsylvania. He held a commission in the French and Indian wars, in which several of his descendants took part.  In 1756 and 1770 members of the family came to Washington county.
 Robert Grant Furlong received his elementary education in the public schools of Roscoe, and then entered the Southwestern Normal School, at California, where he was graduated in 1904.  After teaching school for one year, he matriculated in Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, where he was graduated in 1909, with the degree o~ Doctor of Medicine. He then served as intern for one year in St. Johnís Hospital, in Boston, Massachusetts, and on August 1, 1910, he came to Donora and engaged in the active practice of his profession, in which he has been successful to a very gratifying degree.  He is a member of the Washington County Medical Society, the Pennsylvania State Medical Society, the American Medical Association, American Legion, and Forty and Eight.  Doctor Furlong has devoted himself indefatigably to his profession and has gained an enviable reputation as an accurate diagnostician and skilled practitioner. He is a close and studious reader of the best medical literature, keeping in touch with the latest advances in the healing art, and stands in the front rank of his profession in this county.

Politically Dr. Furlong has been a lifelong supporter of the democratic party and has long taken a deep and active interest in public affairs.  He was his party's nominee for congress in 1924 but was defeated by his republican opponent, Dr. Henry W. Temple. He has served as burgess of Donora borough for the past four years.  His religious affiliation is with the Presbyterian church, of which he is a generous supporter.  He is a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and belongs to the Monongahela Valley Country Club. During the World war Dr. Furlong offered his services to the government and served as first lieutenant in the Two Hundred and Eightieth Ambulance Company, Twentieth Division, under Colonel Baxter Hunter.  He is a brother of Commander W. Rea Furlong, U. S. N., who is aide to the chief of operations in the United States navy and is located in Washington, D. C., while another brother, John L. Furlong, is burgess of Roscoe.

Dr. Furlong was married April 16, 1908, at Wilmington, Delaware, to Miss Joyce M. Hoffman, who was born October 18, 1889, the daughter of George and Ella M. (Fichthorne) Hoffman. Her father was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and is now living in Philadelphia, a retired banker.  He is a republican and a member of the Lutheran church. Through the paternal line of ancestry, Mrs. Furlong is a direct descendant of Revolutionary stock. She was educated in the public schools of Lebanon and Pottstown, Pennsylvania, being graduated from the high school in the latter city.  She is an active member of the Evangelical Lutheran church of Donora, and also belongs to the Unity Club of Donora and the Amalgamated Clubs of America. To Dr. and Mrs. Furlong have been born two children: Robert Grant, born November 15, 1913; and Addison Keen, born September 19, 1920.

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