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Early County Doctors Page

Van Zandt County Genealogical Society

These are a few brief biographies of the early Van Zandt County physicians who practiced medicine in the "good old days" where often they traveled to their patients by horse and buggy, through all kinds of weather. They were highly respected in their respective communities and throughout the county. These biographies were extracted by Mable Cook from the minutes of the Van Zandt County Medical Society. If anyone has more information on these doctors, please let us know by contacting Sibyl and we will be happy to add the information and thank you for sharing.

Dr. George Bonner Marsh

Dr. George Bonner Marsh Jr. was the son of Mary Lee and George Bonner Marsh Sr.. He was born April 5, 1916 in San Marcos. Both his father and grandfather aspired to become doctors but George Jr. realized a goal his father and grandfather never attained. His grandfather became a missionary to the Philippines and later became the first Protestant missionary to Mexico. His father obtained a Ph. D in romance languages and became an authority on Spanish translations. George B. Marsh Jr. was a 1838 graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, and a 1942 graduate from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

He interned at St. Louis City Hospital and then served in the military during World War II. He volunteered and was trained as a Marine parachutist in the only parachute regiment in the Marine Corps at that time, at Guadalcanal. He was one of 26 doctors trained in that capacity. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 21st Marines, and was attached to the assault force headed for Guam. After Guam, he was assigned to Co. A, First Medical Battalion. Destination Iwo Jima. Dr. Marsh was on Iwo Jima from 16 Feb 1945 to 26 Mar 1945. He was then shipped home to Gulfport, Mississippi. Dr. Marsh came to Grand Saline in 1948 after spending a short time in private practice at Richland Springs, TX and Burnet, TX. Dr. Raymond Cozby found Dr. Marsh and persuaded him to come to Grand Saline.

Dr. Marsh has received nation wide recognition as an allergist. His wife needed allergy treatments and Dr. Marsh went to consult with Dr. Carleton Lee, a doctor at St. Louis, MO, and learned the techniques himself. Patients came to Dr. Marsh from throughout the county for allergy treatments. When Dr. Marsh came to Grand Saline in 1948, most of the country roads were dirt and he got stuck many times. When a doctor made a house call in those days, he would sit down and have a cup of coffee, treat the patient, and talk about crops. It was a social occasion.

More on Dr. George Bonner March's Ancestry

Submitted by Daniel Norton

I don't believe that the statement that George Bonner Marsh's grandfather was the first protestant missionary in Mexico is accurate. He didn't arrive until a few decades later, in 1889, when he became the first president of the Laurens Institute, in Monterrey, Mexico. (It's still there.) I've attached his bio from The National Cyclopædia of American Biography, Vol II, 1892, p.384-385. (This was written during his tenure at the Laurens Institute, which he left in 1902.)

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This page last updated 22 January 2010

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