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.
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
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
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
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of Coming To Daingerfield, Texas
LOWELL EDISON RUTLEDGE,
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,
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
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
Dr. L. E.
December 17, 1920--March
the Rutledge Photo Album
(on a different web site so use the back
button to return here)
He Let Me Live Anyway.....
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
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
"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
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
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
In Peace, Dad!
You certainly earned
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