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356 BIOGRAPHICAL AND PORTRAIT CYCLOPEDIA

first school, remaining in the profession four years.
    Having decided on the medical profession as his field for usefulness, at the age of eighteen he began the study of medicine in the office and under the direction of Dr. Daniel S. Rice, of Hastings, this county. He completed his thorough preparation for his chosen work by an extended course in the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery, where he matriculated as a student in 1886, and from which well-known institution he graduated in 1888. Upon graduating, he immediately located in Chest Springs, where he has established an extensive and remunerative practice. He has been eminently successful in his chosen profession. This success is largely due to the deep interest he manifests in everything pertaining to progress in medical science. He is a close student, and keeps in touch with the spirit of advancement. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Medical society, and takes a prominent part in the Cambria County Medical association.
    In politics he is identified with the Democratic Party, and although not a candidate for office, his friends presented his name before the Ebensburg convention for nomination for member of assembly, and he received a strong vote.
    Mr. Somerville, having been reared on a farm, has not forgotten early associations, and is still interested in agricultural pursuits. In 1894 he purchased a farm of thirty-five acres in Allegheny township, which he keeps in a good state of cultivation. Here, too, will be found a fine poultry yard—in fact, the finest in the county, as he has been awarded the first premium in the poultry shows, recently held in Cleveland, Ohio; Washington, and Buffalo, New York.
    He is largely interested in real estate, in Patton, this county, where, besides a one-half interest in the Central hotel, he owns considerable property.


THOMAS HOOVER, ex-steward of the Cambria county almshouse, an ex-teacher of that county, and who is a prosperous and well-to-do farmer and general business man, is a son of Peter and Catharine (Strittmatter) Hoover, and was born in Cambria township, Cambria county, Pennsylvania, March 27, 1842.
    His paternal grandfather, Jacob Hoover, was a native of the German empire, born at Bonn, near Cologne—the chief city of the Rhine provinces. Here upon the banks of the majestic Rhine, amidst the most beautiful and picturesque scenery of the world, Jacob Hoover grew to manhood, married, and spent the greater part of his life. He was a weaver and farmer, which combined occupations he followed all his active life. He was a consistent member of the Roman Catholic church, and took a deep interest in all religious and philanthropic work.
    After the dissolution of the German empire, and the formation of the Rhenish Confederation under the French protectorate in 1806, he had the honor of serving as a soldier under the command of Napoleon I. Mr. Hoover's marriage resulted in the birth of eight sons and one daughter.
    One of these sons, Peter Hoover, was born on the river Rhine, March 6, 1818, and at the early age of eighteen years, in 1836, left his kindred and native land to seek a home in the New World. He located in Cambria township, and took up one hundred acres of land. At that time the sum total of his cash capital was eleven cents; but he set to work with that push and determination which are characteristic of the German race, clearing and cultivating his


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