1. Dr. L.E. Rutledge: Biography.
2.
A Country Doctor Comes To Daingerfield, Texas.
3.
And He Let Me Live Anyway......
4.
In The Living Years.

Lowell Rutledge
A Tribute to My Father

Lowell Edison Rutledge

Doctor of Medicine

1920-1988

 

 

 Biography:

Dr. Lowell Edison Rutledge, MD, was born December 17, 1920 in Upshur County, Gilmer, Texas. His parents were Harry Rutledge, a rural mail carrier, and Lillie Rutledge, a housewife. He had a younger brother Ralph. He graduated from Gilmer High School in 1937 and attended Rice University and graduated from Baylor University College of Medicine in 1944. After an internship at Hermann Hospital in Houston, Dr. Lowell Rutledge served as a captain in the US Army during World War II.

Dr. Lowell Edison Rutledge, 1947. ..1947

Captain Lowell Edison Rutledge

He moved to Daingerfield in 1948, where he practiced medicine until May, 1987 with plans to return to medicine after he'd recovered from the surgery to remove his left leg. In 1985, he was awarded Citizen of the Year by the Daingerfield Chamber of Commerce for all the wonderful contributions he'd made to the town. It was noted that he had touched everyone's life in some way.

Lowell Rutledge was a devout believer in God. He believed that God was the healer, he was merely an assistant using the knowledge God had loaned him to save however many lives he could. He was also a compassionate man. When a patient was in serious condition, he stayed by that patient's side until his condition was finally stable. He found great joy in delivering babies, and whenever the parents failed to pay their obstetrics bill, which was quite often, he did not attempt to pressure them into paying. He preferred the bills go unpaid than have babies born in unsanitary environments. When he died, he had it in his will that all outstanding debts were to be forgiven upon his death. The way he saw it, if they'd had the money to pay him, they'd have done so.

He was also a family man. When he wasn't working at his clinic in Daingerfield or on call at the hospital in Lone Star, he was with his wife and two children. He never became very interested in golf or hunting because those sports took time away from his family. Instead, he chose short vacations (both recreational and educational), camping, and fishing to pass the time, because those activities allowed his family to participate. He was also an avid reader and because he was such an avid reader, his daughter also became an avid reader, and eventually became a bestselling author. He encouraged her liberally in her writing, proud to see her accomplish that which she wanted most. But even though he was always proud of his own children and whatever accomplishments they achieved, he was proudest of his grandsons. In them, he found a carefree sort of happiness--an exchange of unconditional love that can only be had between grandsons and their grandfather.

Lowell Rutledge was also an optimist. Even after the loss of his leg, and the many relapses in his year-long recovery, he managed to return to a bright outlook on life. He eventually was fitted for a prosthesis, and was just learning how to hobble around on crutches when suddenly he had a massive heart attack and died.

Oddly enough, death came while he was in his own doctor's office awaiting a routine examination. His wife of forty-six years was by his side. Knowing it had always been his wish, God granted him a quick and painless death. If only God would have been so kind with those he left behind.

The sorrow at times is overwhelming.

 

We Miss Him.

 

back to top of page

 History of Coming To Daingerfield, Texas

LOWELL EDISON RUTLEDGE, M.D.

General Practice, Daingerfield: May 1, 1948--May 1 1987.

Dr. Lowell Edison Rutledge and his wife, Christine Sobey Rutledge, first came to the small but thriving East Texas town of Daingerfield, Texas, in March of 1948. Dr. Rutledge had been discharged from the U.S. Army in early February and was eagerly searching a suitable location for his medical practice. At that time, there were four other doctors in Daingerfield: Drs. D. J. Jenkins, C. S. Truitt, D. R. Baber, and a Dr. Wheat. The closest hospital was in Pittsburg, Texas and was filled to capacity; but the new David Granberry Hospital was already nearing completion in nearby Naples. Dr. Rutledge was assured that if he chose the Daingerfield area for the practice of general medicine, he could have staff privileges at the new David Granberry Hospital just as soon as it opened.

The people of Daingerfield were friendly and optimistic about the future of their town and it was that obvious enthusiasm and friendliness that encouraged Lowell and Christine Rutledge to choose Daingerfield over the other towns being considered. In 1948, all of the downtown buildings were filled and the businesses appeared to be doing very well. Lone Star Steel was enlarging all the time and the many auxiliary businesses of truck and pipe companies were constantly expanding. The Convair facility had earned a good reputation and the T & N Railroad was rolling along at high speed. To Lowell and Christine Rutledge, this seemed the perfect place to establish their new home and the decision was made.

Problems arose almost immediately. The town was thriving so well there was no office space available nor were there any houses for rent. Eventually, they discovered that part of the second floor of the W.T. Connor Building where a lodge had formerly met was presently vacant. The building had several drawbacks, but it was centrally located: close to the court house with the law office of Aubrey Robison in between. Arrangements were made with the owner for the space to be divided into rooms suitable for a doctor's office and the work began.

One of the main drawbacks the building had was the fact there were no inside stairs to the area where Dr. Rutledge would be establishing his office. His office space was accessible only by a set of narrow wooden steps attached to the outside. This was not only a handicap for the patients, but also for the delivery of equipment. When the heavy X-ray equipment was delivered, lumber had to be borrowed from William's Lumber Company to bolster the underpinnings. Meanwhile, a room for the young couple was found in the home of Mrs. Bessie Newsom. After later renting a small house for awhile, the couple eventually built a home of their own on Webb Street.

Later Dr. Rutledge was joined by Dr. James Lee and in 1955, the two moved into a new medical building out on Linda Drive where Dr. Rutledge continued to practice medicine until May, 1987.

Lowell and Christine Rutledge, 1955.
Dr. Rutledge was born on December 17, 1920 in Gilmer, Texas. His parents were Harry Rutledge, a rural mail carrier and volunteer fireman, and Lillie Rutledge, a housewife. Lowell graduated the valedictorian of Gilmer High School in 1937 then went on to Rice University for his premedical training. In 1944, he graduated from the prestigious Baylor Medical College of Medicine then interned at Hermann Hospital and completed a one year residency in surgery at Memorial Hospital, all in Houston, Texas. He was called to active duty as a Captain in the U.S. Army for two years, most of which was spent in surgery at Balboa General Hospital in Panama. His wife, Christine, was the daughter of John and Iris Sobey of West Mountain. She graduated from Union Grove High School in 1936 then attended Draughon Business College after which she worked for Sun Oil while helping her husband work his way through medical school.

The couple nurtured two children: Steven Lee Rutledge and Rosalyn Rutledge (later Rosalyn Rutledge Alsobrook). Through Rosalyn they were given two grandsons: Andrew Edward (Andy) Alsobrook and Anthony Alan (Tony) Alsobrook. At present there is one great-grandchild: Christina Nicole (Crissy) Alsobrook. Crissy came too late to know this great man.

Other businesses in the W. T. Connor building at the time of the Rutledge's arrival in Daingerfield include George French and Mr. Perkison, attorneys with offices on the second floor. On the ground floor there was an abstract office, the post office, and Dr. Truitt's office. Attached to the same building was the office of Boyett Stevens, attorney. William's Lumber Company was on the same street. W. A. Connor's Farm Supply was across the street to the east. North of that, on Jefferson Street, was the Blue Moon Cafe.

Across the railroad tracks and the depot, on Webb Street, was Pearson's Drug Store where Lowell and Christine stopped their first day in Daingerfield for a ice cold Coca Cola. It was then they had their first taste of what residents curled their noses and referred to as their "iron ore" water, which had an odd color but was harmless to drink. Also on Webb Street were E. G. McMillan's Grocery and Dr. D. J. Jenkins' office. On the corner, Leslie Johnston had a chili and hamburger place. The First Baptist Church was next. On the north side of Webb Street was another drug store (this one owned by Lawrence Jenkins), the John T. Key General Merchandise and the Morris Theater. A little farther west was the Nail Funeral Home.

On Coffey Street was located The National Bank of Daingerfield, a small cafe, Perkison's Jewelry Store, Knieff's Clothing, Partin's Barber and Beauty Shop, Irvin Hardware, the ice house, Leo Connor's City Cleaners, Dr. Edward Mack's Dental office, Max McCain's Cleaning Shop, a service station, what became known as Leslie's Farm Supply, the city cemetery, and the Church of Christ where Dr. and Christine Rutledge attended services.

The Old's Service station, Dr. Wheat's office, and the Cadenhead Variety Store were on Lamar Street. Schools were segregated. The white school at that time was a large rock building north of the present courthouse. The "colored" school as it was referred to in 1948, was in the east part of town.

Dr. L. E. Rutledge

December 17, 1920--March 30, 1988

 

--Written September, 1991.

 To the Rutledge Photo Album
(on a different web site so use the back button to return here)
And He Let Me Live Anyway.....

By Rosalyn Alsobrook

Every writer knows how important it is to verify details when writing. Even the tiniest facts must be correct. That's why in 1979, while writing THE THORN BUSH BLOOMS, my very first novel, when I came to a scene in chapter ten or so during which the hero was unexpectedly snake bitten, I headed for the telephone to find out exactly what a snake bite would look like and how, if untreated, it would affect a person.

Now, let me back up a moment and explain, at this point in my writing career no one knew I'd decided to try my hand at a book except my husband. My two sons were too young at the time to care and I didn't want anyone else aware, in case I failed to finish the blasted thing. I was so unsure of this massive project, I hadn't even told my loving parents. That's why when I called my medical doctor father, and casually asked what a snake bite looks like and what it would happen to a person if left untreated, my father went ballistic.

"Which boy was bitten?" he demanded to know. Then without waiting for my response, ordered me to rush whichever boy to the hospital. If I was too upset to drive, I should hang up and call for an ambulance. "Stat!" He would meet me at the hospital.

Fortunately, before he could take off for a town that was nearly an hour drive from him, I was finally able to edge a word in and sheepishly explained that the boys were okay. I was writing an historical romance and it was my hero who'd gotten snake bitten. Not either of the boys. I, er, well, I wanted the information so I could portray the scene accurately.

There was a long, unearthly pause, then in a shaky voice, he said, "Maybe first I should describe what a big knot would look like your head." He drew in another unsteady breath. "And maybe it would be a good idea to hang up and call that ambulance after all. Give them this address. Tell them your father just had a coronary."

Then, after another long pause, he calmly gave me the information I wanted.

 Rest In Peace, Dad!

You certainly earned it!

 

back to top of page

In The Living Years

By Andrew Alsobrook

Throughout a person's life, there are many songs that hold various special meanings. There are songs that will remind one of fun parties, unique friendships, or very special love relationships. Some songs will be reminders of truly exceptional or extremely traumatic moments in one's life. Such is the case when I hear "In The Living Years" by Mike and the Mechanics. This 1988 release holds a very distinctive meaning for me.

Four years ago <1988>, my brother and I decided to spend the first part of our spring break with my grandparents in Daingerfield, Texas. It was the first time we had been able to stay with them in almost a year because my grandfather had been forced to have his right leg amputated ten months earlier and, being a diabetic, he had been slow to heal. Having just gotten my Mustang, I was the one driving that weekend. That gave me the option of leaving whenever I wanted. Tuesday morning, I decided to return to Gilmer so I could visit my girlfriend before having to go into work that night. Since my grandfather had a doctor's appointment the following morning and would be gone most of the day, I did not make plans to return to Daingerfield until that Wednesday afternoon. On my way home that day, I realized that in my haste to get on the road in my brand new car, I had neglected to pause long enough to tell my grandfather, "I love you." That was something I always did. The thought of having forgotten upset me considerably. Later, it was really to upset me.

The following morning, after I had returned home from working an all-nighter at the skating rink, I was awakened by a telephone call from my mother. "Andy, I want you and Tony to go to Pittsburg and stay with your Grandmother Ruby for the day," she told me in a very solemn tone. She did not mention why, only that she would be gone all day and did not want us staying at the house alone. I thought this was peculiar because Mom was supposed to be home in her office writing on her latest novel that day, but she had left the house while my brother and I were still asleep. It was several hours after I arrived at my other grandmother's that I was finally told, "Your grandfather passed away early this morning while he was in Longview at the doctor's office." This really hit me hard because my grandfather was my hero, my inspiration, and my favorite and most trusted friend.

A week later, while I was still trying to sort through my many feelings, I heard the new song by Mike and the Mechanics. The song expressed exactly what I felt. I was hurting because I had not told my grandfather how I felt toward him that last time I saw him. I had not told him how very much I love him. I realize he knew that I loved him and I remember having told him so many times in the not so distant past; but that very last time I was ever to see him, I had forgotten to tell him.

Every time I hear that song, I relive that painful day and try to understand why it is I forgot to express my love to him that one last time. I have since visited his grave many times, hoping that somehow I can be near enough to him, he can hear my apologies and hear me tell him how very much I did love him. I just wish I would have told him in his living years.

Written: April 1, 1992

Return To Rosalyn's Biography Return to Roz's Biography

back to top of page

to the home page

to the Rutledge Photo Album (on a different web site so use the back button to return here)

 

This page designed by
RA Designs

RA Designs owned by Rosalyn Alsobrook
(e-mail for
free estimate)