George and Florence Meehan


Howard Litton “Portrait of a City”

In 1937 Doctors George and Florence Meehan started a practice at 220 Main but about 1940 moved to 130 Main St. for additional space. They eventually located at 109 N. Mill St.  They were graduates of the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. George Meehan died in 1977 and Dr. Florence Meehan continued the medical practice with sympathetic and compassionate care for all her patients and this earned her the respect and admiration of the people of Festus. In honor of her many years off service as an Osteopathic Physician, the City of Festus declared December 4th, 1983 as “Dr. Florence Meehan Day.” Howard Litton, Festus Historian, said it could not have happened to a nicer person. Best of all, she was able to enjoy the well earned accolades. At the time of her death in 1984 Dr. Florence had been practicing medicine for 53 years. A few days before her fatal heart attack she had seen 57 patients in one day. She was always available and anyone could walk in without an appointment. Patients would go to her home even on her day off, weekends and after hours. To quote Litton, “There are giants in the land and one of them was this tiny little woman.”


Courier Journal - October 17, 1984

Florence Meehan, an osteopath who had served the Twin City area since 1937, died at 2 a.m. Monday. She was 79. An osteopath for 53 years, Dr. Meehan often told friends and patients she decided to take up the field after an osteopathic medicine helped bring her sick baby sister to health. Dr. Meehan steadfastly refused to retire.


"I am so happy practicing," she said in an interview (last year.) "As long as I am able, I may as well practice. I can't believe that I'm getting that close to 80. It's so hard to realize."


Friends and patients praised Dr. Meehan for her drive and dedication. "She was the only doctor I know that you could count on for immediate medical attention without an appointment," said Denise Bequette.


Her dedication was demonstrated last week before she suffered a heart attack. "She had a coronary Friday at work. There was so much damage that her body couldn't counteract it," her son Ralph said Tuesday. She was on a controlled diet for diabetes, according to family members. "Monday of the week she had the attack she saw 57 patients in one day. She overworked herself the whole time. Was just so run down she couldn't take it," he said. According to the family her patients would come to the house if they needed her on her day off, weekends, or after hours. "They knew if they would catch her home she would take care of them. She always made herself available to take care of people," he said.


She and her late husband, George, moved to Festus after she earned a degree at the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Meehan is survived by her sons, Dale A. of Excelsior Springs, and Ralph E. of Dittmer. She had one brother, Conrad Monroe, of Pennsylvania, and two sisters, Mildred Hartel of Minnesota and Dorothy Carrol of Florida. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Vinyard Funeral Home in Festus. She will be buried at Parkview Cemetery in Farmington. Respects can be paid at the Second Baptist Church in Festus from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday. Services are scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m.