The medical fraternity of this country comprises one of the most useful and continuously active classes of its people. Not only do its practitioners go about among their fellows alleviating pain and averting disaster in a physical sense, but they are disseminators of the best public opinion, guides and directors of public thought and action, conservative forces in every community for the preservation of its most vital interests and the prevention of many forms of wrong through hasty and ill-considered activity. To this class belongs Dr. Leroy C. Hedges, one of the prominent and highly esteemed professional men of Mesa county, living at Grand Junction, and, with that place as a center, rendering beneficent service to his kind throughout a wide extent of country and exerting a wholesome and productive influence on the common thought and impulse of the people, although not himself active in a political way or desirous of public station of any kind. He was born in Fremont county, Iowa, on August 6, 1859, and is the son of William H. and Maria C. (Clarke) Hedges, the former a native of New York and the latter of Canada, both of English ancestry, the Hedges family coming to this country in 1632. The Doctor’s father, a noted civil engineer, made the first topographical and trigonometrical survey of the city of Chicago, where he is still living and holding an important position, the duties of which he discharges with great diligence and ability although he is now nearly seventy-one years old. His wife also still brightens the home with her presence at an advanced age. Their offspring numbered six, three of whom are living. The Doctor moved with the family to Chicago when he was six years of age, and there grew to the age of nineteen, receiving a public and high school education. When fourteen years old he went into the office of an uncle, and from then until he was nineteen studied much along the lines of the medical profession. At the age last named he came west with his father, and during the next ten years was engaged in ranching and mercantile business in Dakota, also teaching school and publishing a newspaper for a time. Returning to Chicago, he resumed the study of medicine, and was graduated from the Chicago Medical College in 1891. He practiced in Chicago seven years, at Janesville, Wisconsin, three and at Onalaska, in the same state, two. He then came to this state and located at Grand Junction, where he has since resided. He stands high in professional circles and in the general estimation of the people, being an active and forceful man in local public affairs without regard to politics, and meeting the obligations of citizenship in a commendable and fruitful way. He is physician to the smelter at Grand Junction and has the confidence of all who are connected with it. In the organizations of the profession formed for the concentration and enlargement of its best thought and influences he takes an earnest and intelligent interest, being an active and contributing member of the American Institute of Homeopathy and the Wisconsin and Chicago Homeopathic Medical societies; and during two years he lectured on anatomy in the National Medical College of Chicago. Fraternally he is connected with the Odd Fellows and the Royal League. In politics he is a socialist in theory, but generally votes the Republican ticket. He was married in Dakota in 1885 to Miss Fannie S. Howe, a native of Wisconsin, and they had two children, Ernest H. and Clarke. She died in 1889, and two years later he married a second wife, Miss Ida E. Ellis, a native of Canada. They have three children, Leroy E., William S. and Albert R.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.