Dr. J. E. Eckles, Glendale’s efficient health officer, was born November 27, 1876, at Mawuokita, Jackson County, Iowa, a son of Joseph C. and Ida (Edwards) Eckles. The Eckles family, in America, dates back to 1760, and is of Irish descent. Many of the Eckles family have been professional men. Dr. Eckles’ grandfather, James W. Eckles, was a pioneer physician of Iowa. Early in the Civil War he recruited a regiment of soldiers, at the close of which he was a Lieutenant Colonel. After the war he practiced medicine for a number of years, until failing health compelled him to retire. He was a prominent Democrat of Jackson County. Dr. Eckles’ father was a native of Pennsylvania, and was for many years Justice of the Peace and a member of the Board of Education at Stromsburg, Nebraska. He is now living retired at Polk, Nebraska.
Dr. Eckles was the oldest of three children. His sister Mirna, and his brother Charles, are residents of Polk, Nebraska. He was educated in the public schools of Polk, Nebraska; his parents having moved there when he was three years old. Later he graduated from Bryant Normal University, Stromsburg, Nebraska. He taught school for ten years and then became a postal clerk at York, Nebraska, where he remained for eight years, during which time he was appointed examiner for the district. In 1912, he came to California and studied medicine at the College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, and later graduated from the Pacific Medical College at Los Angeles. Coming to Casa Verdugo he maintained an office until 1918, since which time he has had his office in the Paters Building, Glendale.
Dr. Eckles has been health officer since 1919. He is a member of the Physicians’ Club, of Glendale, the Los Angeles County, California State and Western Osteopathic Associations, and the Chamber of Commerce. Fraternally, he is a Master Mason and an Elk. He is a stockholder in the Glendale Press.
Dr. Eckles was married at Arborville, Nebraska, in 1896, to Jennie W. Dorsey of that city. They had a family of five children. The first born, Merle J., died November 5, 1919, from the effects of inoculations given him while in the service. These caused infection after he had been out of the service nearly a year, and death came suddenly. He enlisted in April 1917 in the National Guards, was transferred to Battery A., 1st California Artillery, in the Motor Mechanics Regiment. He went to France and was attached to the air service. He had qualified as a pilot and was about to be commissioned when armistice was signed. He returned home in July 1919, and was a student in the Glendale Union High School at the time of his death. The other children are Mable, Marguerite, Ralph, and Gilbert. Mrs. Eckles is a member of the Lester Meyer Chapter of War Mothers, and of Glen Eyrie Chapter, Order Eastern Star. The family home is at 328 North Orange Street.
From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. p. 393-394.