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The early doctors, like the circuit riders, covered a
large territory and their monetary reward was small.
Unfortunately the names of most of these faithful men are lost.
The first doctor in this county was Benjamin Brown who came in 1805
and lived at Brownsville where he died in 1848. Dr. Brown had
an extensive practice which extended as far up as the forks of Sandy
and on both sides of the Ohio River. In fact, the territory
that he covered was larger than two or three of the present
The next doctors in order of time were Henry Hampton who came from
Fauquier County, Virginia, about the same time that Dr. Brown came,
and lived on he farm which included the land on which Marshall
College is now located, and William Paine, son of the school
teacher, who in 1817 bought the farm just east of 24th Street.
Dr. Patrick Talbott is mentioned as early as 1833 and Dr. John
Seashols who lived in Barboursville was named jail physician in
1836. He afterwards married the widow Lucretia Creth Love.
Dr. Henry B. Maupin, uncle of our townsman, Albert B. Maupin, was a
graduate from a medical school in Philadelphia in the early 1840's
and in 1846 was a surgeon in the militia. He served in the
General Assembly and had an apothecary ship at Barboursville during
the Civil War. He met an accidental death in 1865 when he was
caught between a steamboat and the wharfboat at Guyandotte.
Dr. P. H. McCullough, a graduate of Jefferson Medical College came
to the county in 1840 and engaged in active practice. He moved
to the present site of Huntington in 1862 and after the war served
in the Legislature. He retired from active practice in 1888
and died in 1892.
Dr. Alexander M. MacCorkle, a second cousin of Governor W. A.
MacCorkle, came from Rockbridge County, Virginia in the early
1840's. He practiced for many years in Guyandotte and owned
the MacCorkle House in that village. This hotel was burned in
1861 and he doctor moved in the county and lived in the neighborhood
of Barboursville. His second wife was the widow Hanley and
they are both buried in the Yates Graveyard near Ona.
Dr. William A. Jenkins graduated in the early 1850's from Jefferson
Medical College and practiced medicine in St. Louis in 1852-54, and
then returned to Greenbottom. At the outbreak of the war he
became a surgeon in the Confederate Army.
Dr. Girard C. Ricketts a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, who
died in 1859, a comparatively young man, lived at Guyandotte and was
for some twenty years an outstanding physician in the community.
Drs. Thomas J. and John N. Buffington lived in the neighborhood of
Guyandotte and practiced medicine prior to the war but Dr. J. N.
Buffington moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana at an early date.
Dr. J. H. Rouse came to Guyandotte just before the Civil War and
practiced medicine there until 1862 when he joined the Federal Army.
For a time he was in the drug business under the firm name of Rouse
Dr. J. H. Hoof practiced medicine in the county during the period
of the Civil War.
Dr. Bennett Clay Vinson, who was born in Tennessee but was educated
in the Medical College at St. Louis, moved to this county and
settled at Mud River Bridge, now Milton, and lived there more than a
quarter of a century. He married Mary Simmons who still
lives in the city of Huntington now past ninety years of age.
Dr. Vinson was elected to the first Legislature under the
Constitution of 1872.
It is interesting to note that four doctors were enlisted men in
the Border Rangers, viz: James Hereford, William Jenkins, A. B.
McGinnis, and Robert Timms.
Dr. David W. Dabney located in Guyandotte where he died in 1903.
He practiced medicine in that community for a quarter of a century
and was an outstanding and respectable citizen. In the last
year of his life there was a smallpox epidemic and Dr. Dabney worked
night and day in combating the dread disease. He made a long
horseback trip to see a patient, contracted pneumonia and died.
Dr. John W. Brown came to Guyandotte in 1880 from North Carolina
and was engaged in practice there some twenty years. He was a
gentleman of the old school and had many friends.
At the close of the civil War Dr. A. B. McGinnis who had been in
the Confederate service began the practice of medicine in the county
and Dr. Frank Murphy, father of James Murphy of Guyandotte, Drs. C.
D. and Randolph Moss, and W. H. Bowles, who was a Confederate
veteran, came to the county. They were followed a little later
by Dr. A. J. Beardsley, a Union soldier who came in 1870.
After the city of Huntington was incorporated the business in the
community began to center there and among the first doctors in the
new city were J. O. Wall, George Rowland, Thomas Welsh, E. T.
Saunders, M. L. Mayo, D. D. Wetzel, and E. S. Buffington and John D.
Myers, the last two being Confederate veterans.
In the group which followed these gentlemen were Drs. C. R. Enslow,
Thomas J. Prichard, W. D. Rowe, R. E. Vickers, C. C. Hogg, R. H.
Pepper, J. L. Stump, Thos. F. Stuart, A. C. Burns, H. A. Brandebury,
J. E. Rader and E. V. Grover, and following these came the men who
are still active.
Among the later doctors who had a county practice were H. V. Sands
who lived in Union District, J. W. Holstein who lived at
Barboursville, A. Herrenkohl of Union Ridge, P. H. Swann of
Barboursville, and more recently L. C. Morrison at Milton.
|CABELL COUNTY ANNALS AND FAMILIES by George Selden
MCMXXXV GARRETT & MASSIE, PUBLISHERS, RICHMOND
©, 1935 by Frances G. Wallace