Undoubtedly more serious attention is being paid to the proper care and
preservation of the teeth to-day than ever before; and whereas the science
of dental surgery as practiced a few years ago was extremely crude and
inadequate, it is making rapid strides towards perfection, and great things
are already accomplished by it. The successful dentist must be an
indefatigable student, keeping posted upon the methods of treatment used by
the great specialists in the profession, and sparing himself no work or
research which may redound to the good of his patients.
Dr. John J. Larkin, who is specially qualified in the art of modern dentistry and is now engaged in practice in LaSalle, is a native of Streator, his birth having occurred May 27, 1870. His grandfathers were both natives of Ireland. His father's father, Edward Larkin, came to America many years ago, and his last years were spent in the vicinity of Streator, on his son's farm. He reared a number of children, and lived to attain the extreme age of ninety years. Jeffrey Conness, the maternal grandfather of the Doctor, was an early settler in the neighborhood of Streator, and was occupied in farming until his death, when about seventy-five years old. Some thirty-five or forty years ago the father of our subject, Thomas Larkin, came to the United States from his birthplace in the Emerald Isle, and made a permanent location near Streator. He occupied various township offices and has been justly respected among his neighbors and acquaintances. He and his faithful wife are members of the Catholic church, and in that faith reared their children. The mother, whose maiden name was Delia Conness, is a native of Illinois. Of their six sons and four daughters, seven are now living, namely: Mrs. E. L. Cavanaugh, of Chicago; Edwin J., of San Antonio; Thomas W., of Chicago; Mrs. T. P. Halligan, of Chicago; Dr. John J., of LaSalle; Delia L. and Robert E., of Streator.
The usual routine of work and play which falls to the lot of the farmer's boy was the experience of Dr. Larkin in his early years. The foundations of his education were gained in the district, common and high schools, supplemented by a course at St. Bede College. In 1896 he was graduated in the Northwestern University, of Evanston and Chicago. Illinois, where he had spent three years in the study of dentistry. (The dental department is conducted in the city of Chicago.) Coming to LaSalle, he opened an office and has since been successfully engaged in practice. When about twenty years of age he took a course in bookkeeping, which knowledge is not to be wasted, as he is thereby fitted to keep his accounts and transact business in a systematic manner. His office, situated at the corner of First and Gooding streets, is centrally located, and is equipped with all of the necessary appliances of modern dentistry.
On the 5th of November, 1898, Dr. Larkin married Miss Isabella M. Duncan, daughter of Hon. and Mrs. James Walter Duncan, whose home is chiefly in Chicago. Mr. Duncan at one time was a member of the Illinois senate. On November 1st, 1899, a son, Walter Duncan Larkin, was born.
In the fraternities, the Doctor belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America, the Mystic Workers of the World and the Catholic Order of Foresters. Politically he is affiliated with the Democratic party. Both himself and wife are identified with the Catholic church. They have a pretty home at the corner of Third and Joliet streets, in a pleasant residence section of the city.
Extracted 22 Dec 2017 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois, published in 1900, volume 2, pages 535-536.