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Dr. Stephen Arnold Malloy (1872-1944)

Dr. Stephen Arnold Malloy
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  • Born 1872 Rockingham County, N.C.
  • Caswell County Doctor for 46 Years
  • Died 1944
  • Buried Yanceyville First Baptist Church

Biographical Sketch

Stephen Arnold ("Steve") Malloy was born October 26, 1872, to Confederate Colonel David Morton Malloy and Elizabeth Frances Massey near Wentworth, Rockingham County, North Carolina. After attending a community school taught by his sister, he was educated at Guilford College (from which he graduated), the University of Maryland, and the University of Louisville School of Medicine, from which he obtained his medical degree. It is of interest that the first professor at the Louisville Medical Institute was another Caswell County notable, Dr. Charles Caldwell. The Louisville Medical Institute became the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

Encouraged to do so by Yanceyville lawyer Julius Johnston (also from Rockingham County) and by Dr. W. O. Spencer (the only physician in Yanceyville at the time), Dr. Malloy began his practice in Yanceyville on June 1, 1897. His first office was on the second floor of Mr. Louis Neal's department store, which eventually was converted into the Caswell Theater. Subsequent offices were over Florance's Store and on the second floor of the Bank of Yanceyville building.

During the first two decades of the twentieth century, Dr. Malloy was the only physician in Yanceyville. Dr. Spencer had moved to Winston-Salem, and Dr. Houston L. Gwynn did not join the practice until the 1920's. Thus, "Doc" Malloy was the last true horse-and-buggy doctor in Yanceyville. He saw the impact of the automobile as it replaced the horse and buggy. He also practiced medicine during two world wars. Based upon his own records, Dr. Malloy delivered 3810 babies in Caswell County. Early in his practice he charged $1 for an office visit, $2 for a house call, and $10 to deliver a child.

On May 14, 1914, Dr. Malloy married Nannie Emma Kerr, daughter of John Hosea McNeill Kerr and Eliza Katharine Yancey. The couple had one daughter, Katharine Yancey Malloy (who married James I. Pritchett III of Danville, Virginia).

The Stephen A. in Dr. Malloy's name honors Stephen A. Douglass who was defeated for the United States presidency by Abraham Lincoln. Dr. Malloy was of Irish descent, a Democrat (county chairman for twenty years), Presbyterian (43 three years an elder), Mason, and Rotarian (charter member of the Yanceyville club). During both world wars, he assisted Caswell County in meeting its obligations to provide men for the armed forces, often having to make decisions on men he had brought into the world. From 1898 until his death in 1944 he was Caswell County Physician, so appointed by the Caswell County Board of Commissioners. He also was one of the incorporators of the Caswell Development Company, the efforts of which resulted in the construction of an industrial building that housed the Caswell Knitting Mill. The mill began operation in 1939 and employed 150 people. He also served as physician for the County Home, for the prison camp, as the county coroner, and was a member of the Yanceyville school board.

In 1941 fellow physicians from Caswell and surrounding North Carolina and Virginia counties gathered in Yanceyville to honor Dr. Malloy. Dr. Julian M. Robinson, eminent Danville doctor, who had known Dr. Malloy longer than any other person present made the following observations:

For a man to have come into this county miles from any medical center, with necessarily limited facilities, and to have set up his workshop and to have done his work so well that truly a beaten path has been made to his door, is an accomplishment of which any man should be proud.

Dr. Houston L. Gwynn, Dr. Malloy's medical practice partner, provided the following:

No man can truly measure the great heart of the man and properly judge the skill of him as a physician but one like I who have watched that tender heart moved to tears and seen that skill reach its loftiest endeavors around bedsides when death hovered near and human agencies seemed unavailing.

Yanceyville businessman and writer Tom Henderson had known Dr. Malloy for over four decades when he provided the following:

. . . . The friendship stretches back over a period of nearly 45 years, to that time when the writer of this, as the publisher of a little sheet and the youngest editor in the United States of a weekly newspaper regularly entered in the mails, announced his arrival in Yanceyville, to fling his professional shingle to the breezes. Much water has passed over the dam in the interim, but I have known and loved him through the long years as he has ministered to my afflictions and the ills of my loved ones, brought my babies into the world, held my hand in his and mingled his tears with mine around the bedside of death in my home, and otherwise blessed my life with his warm and genial friendship.

In 1943, the Yanceyville Rotary Club awarded Dr. Malloy the club's first annual Citizenship Award.

After a short illness, Dr. Stephen A. Malloy died at Memorial Hospital in Danville, Virginia, on March 31, 1944. Services were held at the Yanceyville Presbyterian Church and he was buried in Kerr family plot at the Yanceyville First Baptist Church Cemetery. All Yanceyville businesses were closed for the services, and a huge crowd assembled to pay their last respects. Beside him rests his wife, who died October 20, 1978. Although he was a Presbyterian, his wife was a Kerr, and the Kerr family traditionally was Baptist. "Doc" Malloy was a much loved and respected country doctor.


(Click on Photograph Itself for Larger Image)

Dr. S. A. Malloy

Dr. S. A. Malloy

Dr. S. A. Malloy

Dr. S. A. Malloy

Dr. Stephen Arnold Malloy M. D. House Yanceyville home of Dr. Stephen Arnold Malloy, M. D.



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Last Revised: 01 December 2007