Black Sheep Sunday; Dr. Similis F. Wilklow

wilklow-similisBlack sheep is the genealogy term for those people that sometimes we would sometimes like to forget that they are related to us. Dr. Similis Fowler Wilklow is my first cousin, three times removed so he is not a real close relative. But you may ask; what could be unsavory about Dr. Wilklow? It appears that he never had any medical training.

Similis was born in 1840 in Willoughby, Ohio. He was named after his mother’s father, Similis Fowler. He married Maronette A. Carroll in 1864 in East Cleveland. They must have moved west shortly thereafter as all of their children (4 girls & 1 boy) were all born in Minnesota between 1865 and 1878.

Similis and his family show up in the 1880 census in Owatonna, Minnesota. He was running a billiard parlor.

Similis later became a insurance salesman and traveled a lot. He left his family on 15 April 1889 but didn’t return until 1891. He was in the company of a girl he introduced to his wife as his cousin, Ida Byers. Similis and Ida left after a few days and never returned after that.

Soon after he left, Similis began calling himself a Doctor. He had been in the Civil War and had a small pension. His Civil War pension file shows his residences after that. He traveled around mostly in Missouri, Kansas and Texas. Sometimes he would only stay in town for a few months and other times for up to a year.

Ida married Dr. Willis H. Hall in 1897 in Blue Township, Missouri. The marriage certificate says that Ida’s maiden name was Wilklow. She would later claim that she was the illegitimate daughter of Similis. It isn’t possible. She was born in 1871 in Louisville, KY. At that time Similis was living in Minnesota.

As you can see from the newspaper ad, both Similis and Ida were specializing in women’s diseases.

Similis kept moving around, probably accompanied by Ida and her husband. He died on 4 Aug. 1902 in Los Angeles, CA and was buried in Rosedale Cemetery.

Ida and her husband Willis Hall moved to Seattle, WA where they are both practicing medicine. Willis died in 1930 and Ida in 1938, both in Seattle.

Did any of these people have any medical training? It seems very doubtful.