Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Dr. Frank J. Erwin, country doctor and entrepreneur
Dr. Frank J.
Erwin was a country doctor of the late nineteenth and early twentieth
It has been
somewhat difficult to trace his history, but several facts are known
about him and the contributions he made to
The 1880 census
Dr. J. M.
Nicholson, writing of Dr. Erwin in his column "Yesterday and Today,"
which was published in the 1960's, states that Dr. Erwin had "several
brothers and sisters, or perhaps half-brothers and sisters." Noting the
date of marriage of James C. (Calvin) Erwin to Rosetta Hughes, recorded
in Union County Marriages as occurring
The Erwin family evidently wanted the best for their children, as was typical of concerned parents. The eldest, Frank, made a doctor, and two of the sons made ministers.
Rosetta Hughes Erwin was a sister of the Rev. Thomas Coke Hughes. This stalwart Methodist minister had a strong influence on Rosetta and James Calvin Erwin's children.
Two of their sons, George and John, became Methodist Ministers with significant charges in the North Georgia Conference.
married Alice England on
Dr. Frank Erwin
came back to
As an entrepreneur, he established a drug store in Blairsville. He hired his sister-in-law, Bonnie England Jones, to manage the store. His doctor's office was in the rear of the store, and there, around the pot-bellied stove that gave heat in the cold winter months, he saw patients. We are told that it was also a favorite gathering place for men of the town who often just dropped in to have a chat with the friendly doctor and talk about the state of affairs in the county, state, nation and world. Parts of their discussions, no doubt, were on the gathering war clouds that preceded World War I.
He was a "house call" doctor and rode his buggy or faithful horse into the country to see patients. His means of diagnosis was listening carefully to symptoms his patients told him. No x-rays or scans pinpointed problems in his days of doctoring. If records were available of babies born while he was the attending physician, we might be surprised at the number.
It is said that
through prudent management, Dr. Erwin acquired much property in
The graves of
Dr. Frank J. Erwin and his wife, Alice M. England Erwin, may be seen in
the new Blairsville cemetery. Birth and death dates for him read
daughter married Sidney Chandler and they lived in
The last name
Erwin is spelled in various ways: Erwin, as most Union County Erwins spell it; Ervin, and Irvin or
c2008 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published
Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian.
She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;
phone 478-453-8751; or mail