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Robert T. Dott Biography

This biography appears on pages 1321-1322 in "History of South Dakota" by Doane Robinson, Vol. II (1904)

ROBERT T. DOTT, M. D., who is successfully engaged in the practice of his profession in Salem, McCook county, was born in Jones county, Iowa, on the 26th of October, 1859, and is a son of Robert and Sarah J. (Peters) Dott, of whose three children he was the second in order of birth. His elder brother, Richard M. is a resident of Sioux City, Iowa, and is a prominent member of the bar of the state; and George M. is a successful dental practitioner in Salem, South Dakota. The father of the Doctor was born in Cupar, Fifeshire, Scotland, on the 10th of September, 1824, and there was reared and educated, learning the trade of tailor in his youth. In 1843, at the age of nineteen years, he came to America, and after residing about five years in Illinois he removed thence to Anamosa, Iowa, where he engaged in business, also serving as justice of the peace for several years, while for three terms he held the office of auditor of Jones county. In 1883 he came to what is now the state of South Dakota and took up his residence in Sanborn county, where he had taken up a tract of government land the preceding year. He gave his attention to the improvement and cultivation of his farm for about four years and then removed to the village of Alexandria, where he has since maintained his home, being at the present time county judge of Hanson county, in which office he has served several terms, being one of the influential and highly honored citizens of the county. In politics he is a staunch Republican, and his religious faith is that of the Prebyterian church, of which he and his wife are devoted and active members. He was a member of the territorial legislature just prior to the admission of South Dakota to the Union. Fraternally he is identified with the lodge, chapter and commandery of the Masonic order. Judge Dott manifested his loyalty to his adopted country at the time of the war of the Rebellion, having enlisted in Company H, Fourteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and being made commissary sergeant of his regiment. In the battle of Shiloh his zeal led him into the thick of the fray. He borrowed a musket from one of his comrades and made his way to the front with his regiment, which was captured by the enemy, resulting in his being imprisoned at Macon, Georgia, for several months. 

Dr. Robert T. Dott secured his early education in the public schools of Anamosa, Iowa, completing the high-school course, after which he served under his father as deputy county auditor for four years. Within this time he took up the study of medicine, having as his preceptor Dr. E. W. Gawley, of Anamosa, and in the autumn of 1881 he entered that celebrated institution, Rush Medical College, in Chicago, where he completed a thorough course in medicine and surgery and was graduated on the 20th of February, 1883, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. He then rejoined his parents in South Dakota, passing the summer on the homestead farm and also "holding down" a claim which he had entered in Aurora county. During the ensuing winter he was engaged in the practice of his profession in Shelby county, Iowa, and in the fall of 1884 he went to New York City and entered the Bellevue Hospital Medical College, of whose unexcelled advantages he availed himself by taking a post-graduate course, being graduated in this institution in the spring of 1885. He then took up his residence in Alexandria, South Dakota, where he was successfully engaged in the practice of his profession until the fall of 1888, when he removed to Mount Vernon, where he was established in practice two years, then returning to Alexandria. In 1897 the Doctor located in Sioux Falls, where he was in practice one year, coming thence to Salem in the latter part of October, 1898, and having since established in a large and remunerative practice in the community, where his friends are in number as his acquaintances, his genial personality and high professional attainments having gained to him unqualified confidence and esteem. In politics Mr. Dott gives a staunch allegiance to the Republican party, and he served as coroner of Hanson county two terms, and as superintendent of the county board of health for four years. While a resident of Alexandria he served as village clerk and alderman, occupying the respective offices one year each. He is secretary of the board of pension examiners of McCook county, and is at the present time superintendent of both county and city boards of health. The Doctor is affiliated with Fortitude Lodge, No. 73, Free and Accepted Masons, in which he was elected and installed worshipful master to serve during the year 1904; and is also identified with Pythias Lodge, No. 60, Knights of Pythias; the Modern Woodmen of America; the Modern Brotherhood of America and the Union Veterans' Union. He is examining physician for several of the leading life-insurance companies, and professionally is one of the valued and appreciative members of the South Dakota Medical Society. 

On the 12th of April, 1885, Dr. Dott was united in marriage to Miss Olive Booth, of Sanborn county, this state, and they, became the parents of one child, Bertram T. On the 13th of December, 1892, the Doctor consummated a second marriage, being then united to Miss Maud E. Foote, of Hanson county, this state, and they are the parents of two children, Delia M. and Robert O.



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