Biography of Charles H. Blemer, D. V. S.

Dr. Charles H. Blemer, who is holding the position of state veterinarian in California, has through the exercise of his official prerogatives done a work that has been of great value to the state and will be of lasting benefit in its enduring influences. Skilled in his profession, he has brought his knowledge to bear upon the conditions existing in stock-raising circles of California and his labors have been very effective in eradicating disease. He is yet a young man, but has already attained a success that is indeed enviable and ranks him with the foremost representatives of his calling on the Pacific coast.

Dr. Blemer was born in Marion, Grant county, Indiana, on the 6th of October 1872. His father, J. P. Blemer, was a native of Germany and when a young man came to America. He became well known as a railroad contractor, and in this capacity has been identified with the construction of the Panhandle, Clover Leaf, Mobile & Ohio and other railroads. He now makes his home in Los Angeles, California. He belonged to a prominent old family of the fatherland, while his wife, who bore the maiden name of Nancy Robinson, is of Scotch-Irish descent. Her ancestors, however, came to the new world during the colonial epoch in our country’s history and the family was represented in the patriot army in the war of the Revolution. Mrs. Blemer was born in Kentucky and now resides with her husband in Los Angeles. Two sons of the family are yet living: Charles H. and L. W., the latter also a resident of Los Angeles.

Dr. Blemer acquired his education in the public schools of Indiana and Virginia, attended a high school of the latter state and also a private school. He concluded his studies at the age of seventeen years and when a young man of twenty began preparation for his chosen profession, matriculating in the Ontario Veterinary College at Toronto, Canada. There he spent one term and afterward entered the National Veterinary College at Washington, D.C., being graduated in 1894 with the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Surgery. In 1895 he became connected with the United States department of agriculture as an inspector of the bureau of animal industry and remained in that service in different parts of the country. He was stationed at Kansas City, having charge of the division of southern cattle transportation, his duty being to inspect cattle and live-stock west of the Mississippi river in order to eradicate contagious diseases. He came to California in that capacity in 1898, and in June, 1899, he accepted the position of state veterinarian of California, being appointed by Governor Gage. He has since continued in this office, which is an important one, having direct bearing upon the prosperity of a large division of the citizenship of the state. Such a work as he introduced was new in California when he entered upon his duties here, he being the first state veterinarian. At that time the entire state was under quarantine, established by the federal authorities, which prevented the movement of any stock to other states. During the time that he has occupied the office Mr. Blemer through his practical efforts in removing the cause for such a measure has succeeded in relieving all the quarantine area with the exception of a district covering eight or nine counties. It is his aim and purpose to eradicate the infections in the state and undoubtedly he will accomplish his purpose to eradicate the infections in the state and undoubtedly he will accomplish his purpose. California has had more trouble in this respect than all the other states and territories together, but Dr. Blemer, through his knowledge concerning the diseases which infect animals and the best methods of treating such, has largely checked the ravages made upon live stock, and his labor has therefore been of vast benefit to the agricultural class.

Dr. Blemer has become identified with many stock-raising associations that have been recently formed in the counties and state of California. He has labored untiringly in his office and has accomplished a great work in addition to having promoted the new Live Stock & Dairy Journal, which is published in this state with headquarters at Fresno. This was begun in June, 1903, and has already met with splendid success. The farmers recognizing the necessity of such a journal–a paper which will bring to them many practical ideas–have given to it their support and in return they derive great assistance from the paper.

On the 5th of June, 1899, occurred the marriage of Dr. Blemer and Miss Mabel Whitney, the wedding being celebrated in Sacramento. She was born in California and is a daughter of James Whitney, who owns extensive landed holdings in this state and in New Mexico. the Whitney family is of English lineage, but was planted on American soil at an early period in the growth of civilization on this side the Atlantic and was represented in the Revolutionary army. To the Doctor and his wife has been born one son, John Whitney Blemer. In his fraternal affiliations Dr. Blemer is an Elk, and politically he is a Republican who keeps well informed on the issues and questions of the day, but has never sought or desired the honors or emoluments of public office outside the line of his profession. His persistence of purpose, his careful and thorough preparation and the continued advance which he is making have gained him the prestige in his chosen calling that places him in the foremost ranks among the veterinarians of the west.

Source: Leigh H. Irvine; A History of the New California Its Resources and People, 2 Volumes; New York and Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1903.

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