Dr. Edwin Darling is the oldest practicing physician of Crawford county, having been identified with the medical fraternity here for more than four decades. His birth occurred in Franklin county, Vermont, on the 18th of March, 1838, his parents being Benjamin Franklin and Cynthia (Blake) Darling, who were likewise natives of the Green Mountain state. Coming to Iowa in 1848, they purchased and located on a farm in Jackson county, where they spent the remainder of their lives. Their children were five in number, namely: Edwin, of this review; Emily, who is deceased; Viola, the wife of George Leslie, of Oklahoma; Jeanette, who is the wife of George L. Wright and now resides in Denver, Colorado; and Edson, who has also passed away.
Edwin Darling began earning his own livelihood at the early age of fourteen years, securing employment as clerk in a drug store at Maquoketa, Iowa, where he remained until the outbreak of the Civil war. In 1861 he offered his services in defense of the Union, joining the Ninth Iowa Infantry and remaining with that command until the 1st of August, 1865. He participated in the battles of Pea Ridge, Arkansas Post, Vicksburg, Lookout Mountain, Atlanta, Georgia, and several other hotly contested engagements and also went with Sherman to the sea. During the entire period of his connection with the army he acted as hospital steward and fortunately escaped injury of any kind. He was mustered out at Clinton in 1865 and then returned to Jackson county, where he again entered the drug store in which he had been formerly employed. Having determined upon the practice of medicine as a life work, he pursued a course of study in the medical college at Cincinnati, Ohio, and was graduated from that institution in 1867. He first followed his profession at Maquoketa, Iowa, for two years and in March, 1870, came to Crawford county, locating for practice in Deloit, where he remained for seven years. On the expiration of that period he came to Vail and has here since enjoyed an extensive and lucrative practice. That his diagnosis is correct and careful, his judgement sound and his application of remedial agencies effective is shown in the excellent results which have attended his efforts. He is now the oldest practicing physician in Crawford county and has kept in close touch with the onward march of the profession, continually broadening his knowledge and promoting his efficiency by reading and investigation.
In 1867 Dr. Darling was united in marriage to Miss Adaline Stevens, who was born in Ohio on the 19th of November, 1848, her parents being John and Mary Jane Stevens. They are both deceased, the mother passing away April 7, 191 1, at the age of eighty-eight years, at the home of our subject. They reared a family of six children.
In politics Dr. Darling is a republican and his fellow townsmen, recognizing his worth and ability, have called him to several positions of public trust. He has held both town and township offices and acted as mayor of Vail for several terms, while during President Harrison’s administration he served as post-master. Fraternally he is identified with the Masons, belonging to Lodge No. 422, which he helped to organize and in which he has filled all of the chairs. He is likewise a member of Chapter No. 89 at Dunlap and also belongs to the Eastern Star. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church, with which his wife is also affiliated. His life in all of its phases has commanded the respect and confidence of his fellowmen and he now ranks high among the prominent and valued citizens of Vail and Crawford county.