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Hartselle Enquirer

A look back at doctors

Today is National Doctors Day. During the time that Hartselle has been in existence, she has been blessed to have many devoted doctors who gave countless hours to efforts to make their patients well again. This column will highlight a few of these “beloved physicians” from the city’s earliest years.

Feb. 5, 1896--Dr. W. A. Barclift paid Birmingham a business trip today.

Feb. 13, 1903–Dr. Bracken, of Flint Station, seven miles south of here on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, has just undergone a painful operation for having a large wind obstruction removed from his back near the spinal column. The operation was performed by Drs. Wilson, Kitchens and Barclift, and it proved to be a most successful operation.  Dr. Bracken is doing nicely. Dr. Bracken is one of the oldest, most successful and best known physicians in the county.

Jan. 3, 1908–Dr. H. C. McRee of Hartselle is the new vice president of the Morgan County Medical society.  Dr. S. L. Rountree, father of the Enquirer founding editor Asa Rountree, is the county health officer. Dr. T. B. Brindley, also of Hartselle is county poor house physician. Dr. McRee serves as Hartselle town physician as well.

Jan. 7, 1909--A large and enthusiastic meeting of the Morgan County Medical society was held today in Hartselle in the offices of Dr. R. L. Penn. Dr. Penn was elected vice president of the society. (This physician was the father of the much beloved MCHS teacher Lizzie Reed Penn.)

Feb. 14, 1911–The little son of Dr. and Mrs. William Booth, who has been very ill, was carried to Nashville today and put under the treatment of Dr. Wilson, who is a specialist in children’s diseases.

Feb. 16, 1911–Dr. G. T. McWhorter has just been in this area looking for a suitable location for the establishment of a tuberculosis sanitarium for the state and also a state epileptic sanitarium.  He was much impressed with the high altitude of Morgan County, saying that this portion of the state should be free from consumption and kindred lung trouble. As a matter of record but very few cases of consumption originate in this part of the state.

Feb. 17, 1915–In the opinion of Dr. T. J. Russell of Valhermosa Springs the typhoid fever in Morgan County at this time is directly traceable to Huntsville. Dr. Russell says that the first case of typhoid fever at Valhermosa was last July and the case was that of a man who had visited Huntsville, where there were a number of cases of typhoid at that time. Physicians are of the opinion that the water of the Tennessee River became infected from the Valhermosa country during recent overflows. Dr. R. B. Dodson of the Eva precinct has just reported to Dr. J. L. Gunter, the county health officer, that there are 30 or more cases of typhoid fever in his precinct. Everyone in the Decaturs is boiling water. The school children are taking with them to school bottles of boiled water by the direction of the school boards. The water supply at the public schools was cut off several days ago.

Jan. 28, 1921–The presence of three cases of small pox in Morgan County today drew from Dr. B. F. Austin, county health officer, a warning that all persons should be vaccinated immediately. The three affected with the disease contracted it in other localities.

Feb. 14, 1924—Dr. H. C. McRee of Hartselle, The Morgan County health officer, and Ella Dale, health nurse, report that on their return from a visit to Johnson Chapel their automobile was disabled in the attempt to drive back home and it was necessary for a mule to haul their automobile out of the mud. The roads are in an extremely bad condition.

 

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