Medical Care in Travelers Rest over the Decades

by Dr. Stanley I. Coleman, Jr.

Our guest speaker, Dr. Coleman, Jr., graduated from the Citadel in 1971 and entered the Army as a Medical Services Officer. After completing his military obligation, he entered Clemson University receiving a Master of Microbiology degree in 1976 , Master’s in Anatomy and M.D. in 1984 from the Medical University of South Carolina. He graduated from the Family Practice Residence program of the Greenville Hospital System and later joined the Travelers Rest Family Medicine Practice.

These notes were used by Dr. Coleman as he discussed this topic on November 17, 2015 at the Travelers Rest Historical Society meeting. Dr. Coleman made references to books written by local authors: Mildred Goodlett, Mann Batson, and Marian Bryan as he talked about medical care over the decades in our area.

Early on members of the community had to provide their own medical care – especially on the fringe of Indian Territory.

Formally trained people simply were not available, and even if they were, there were limitations to what could be done.

Midwives/Herbalists/Indian resources…even a local blacksmith –

Lafayette Davis in Gowensville-sewed up lacerations/set broken bones etc…using (sinew/horsehair)

Dyar Carter – whose home was across from Ingles on U.S. 276 pulled teeth. He also invented a “perpetual motion machine” which he unveiled to only a few lucky people (my father being one as a boy.

Standards of sanitation were poor. Microbes were not known. Viruses/bacteria could not be seen… “vapors”, etc. were suspected.

Drugs were rudimentary; mainly herbs and poultices.

Some of the first drugs for illnesses were – mercury which was toxic and used for gonorrhea/topical urethral (Lewis and Clark).

Peruvian Cinchona Bark – quinine use for malaria. The first antibiotics were Sulfa drugs discovered in the late 1930’s. Penicillin was discovered around WWII.

Early on doctors supplemented their incomes by other businesses – farms/grist mills, etc.

Mr. Mann Batson covered early medical care in S.C. in A History of the Upper Part of Greenville County, South Carolina.

  1. Dr. J.P. Hillhouse went to The Medical College of Georgia in Augusta in 1877, was also a pharmacist and had a house of entertainment on Paris Mtn.

  2. Dr. B.F. Few graduated from the Medical College of S.C. in Charleston. He came to the Marietta, SC area after the Civil War and eventually migrated to the Sandy Flat/Greer area. He died in 1923. He had several children and one son became president of Duke University.

  3. Another anecdotal episode involved Dr. Wilburn Barton who went to Texas, returned and organized a large wagon train, then went back to Texas in 1854.

I will now step a generation or two forward – not completely inclusive so forgive any omissions – these were not on purpose.

  1. Dr. B.F. Goodlett, born in 1855 – Graduated form the Medical College of SC in Charleston in 1879. He was a horse and buggy physician and made house calls. He married Fannie McCullough Anderson. He had several children one of which was Claude Barnard Goodlett who married Mildred Wilson Goodlett – author of “ The History of Travelers Rest”.

The absence of Dr. Goodlett directly affected our family in July of 1914. Grace Virginia Coleman, my father’s sister, was 14 years old and had appendicitis. The only doctor available was a mail order doctor who road a bicycle as Dr. Goodlett was out of town at the time on a rare vacation. Since this was the only option my granddaddy went by train to Greenville to get Dr. Black who came back and operated on her in the kitchen on a door, using lanterns and mirrors to improve the lighting. Despite this their sister died and because of this incident my dad Stanley, who was 8 at the time and Uncle T.E. who was 12, decided to become doctors.

Doctor Goodlett also served the jail and the poor house as a doctor. Dr. Goodlett’s house was located in Travelers Rest at the intersection of Hwy 276 and S.Poinsett Hwy. where the new T.R. Dialysis Center currently operates.

  1. Dr. E.C. Stroud born in the Locust Hill Community in 1874 Attended and graduated from the Vanderbilt College (now University) in Nashville, Tennessee.

He was another horse and buggy doctor and had the first car in Marietta. It was brought up on the train in 1909 and partially assembled by blacksmith who accompanied Dr. Stroud to the platform.

Dr. Stroud’s small office was (as you face the present home) to the right side of the house and was destroyed by a large oak tree in the 1960’s.

He died October 2, 1946.

When Stroud Memorial was constructed it was named in his honor.

  1. Dr. M.L. West resided in Marietta after returning from service in the Civil War. He was a man of many interests and our family has been involved with him directly and indirectly for nearly 145 years.

My Great grandfather Joseph Holbert Coleman (born in 1819) was a builder/sawmiller. He built covered bridges (The rock foundations are still visible on Dacausville Rd. where the concrete bridge crosses South Saluda River looking downstream), houses/even small mill structures in the Asheville area.

The area where we live now needed a doctor and land was deeded by Mr. Madison Watson to build a home for a doctor. The community donated time and labor and my great grandfather agreed to provide lumber and construct the home and outbuildings. There were actually twin homes built on what is now Hwy 276. The first built was Squire West’s home and it was completed before the Civil War. The 2nd was Dr. M.L. West’s home which was started before the Civil War-fell in during the war-and then restarted and completed in 1872 after the Civil War.

Dr. West was very active in politics and was Secretary of the Democratic Executive Committee/ Worshipful Master of the Marietta Lodge of the Masons/ Secretary/Treasurer of Ebenezer Church and advocated in 1891 for our area to be provided a school which was named North Greenville Academy. This school later became North Greenville Junior College/College and now is North Greenville University.

He married Ms. Mary West (daughter of Squire West) and on her death married her sister Carrie.

His health failed several years before his death and he moved to McBee Ave. in Greenville having suffered a paralyzing stroke. He died in 1901 and is buried in Ebenezer Church Yard near N.W. Middle School and Heritage Elementary off of 276.

  1. An interesting side. Dr. John Wytenbaugh was in this area and was from Switzerland. He was a private physician to German Royal families and came to Asheville, then to our area. What he actually did here or why he moved here is unclear to me, but he died in 1894 and is buried in the Eubank family cemetery off Old White Horse Rd.

  2. Dr. J.R. Gaston “Stobo” Born */1900 in Reidville, S.C. near Spartanburg. Served in the U.S. Navy 4 years/went to Wofford 2 years, then finished at the College of Charleston. He graduated from the Medical College of S.C. in 1927. He began practice in July 1927 with Dr. Goodlett; approximately 6 months later moved to a building previously occupied by Dr. Benson, In 1930 he bought this office and the house next door.

In 1939, he added on an addition and then in 1951 built the brick building that stands today across from the Whistle Stop Café (originally Juniors American Café). After several years if declining health he died in 1957 in his own hospital.

  1. The doctors Coleman

Thomas Edward Coleman, Jr. 1902

Stanley Irvin Coleman Sr. 1/29/1906

They attended Ebenezer School (Bates Old Field School) now closed.

My maternal grandfather Thomas V. Farrow taught them several summers. Kids went to school around planting and harvest times

They attended North Greenville Academy for high school.

T.E. (“T”) attended USC for 2 years and then received early acceptance into the Medical College of S.C. – He graduated in 1928 and interned at Emma Moss Booth (Salvation Army) St. Francis Xavier Hospital – Greenville, S.C. 1929 returned to Travelers Rest area – He was offered an office and house and was plant doctor for Renfrew Bleachery (Abney Mills) as well as being able to see private patients.

S.I Sr. (“Punch”)-Attended Ebenezer School/North Greenville Academy /Blake Langford attained a Masonic Scholarship for him. Graduated from USC in 1929 and The Medical College of S.C. 1934. Interned at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, N.C. and served with the U.S. Army Reserve in the Chemical Warfare Corp @ Ft. McClellan, Alabama from 1929-34. He also practiced in Alabama during those years near, Anniston, Alabama, passing the Alabama State Boards.

In 1940 the brothers built Coleman Hospital and operated as a full service hospital from 1940-47. They enlisted the services of Dr. T.B. Reeves (the 1st surgeon in the area to be trained at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota). Prior to his training at Mayo Dr. Reeves taught anatomy at the University of Virginia. Dr Reeves set up the operating and OB/delivery room, set up the instruments and trained my Dad (S.I.) and uncle (T.E.) to perform appendectomies/tonsillectomies and assist in other procedures and also to administer ether anesthesia. In

1947-water sprinkler requirements for buildings with 2 or more stories were put in force and caused them to close the hospital and maintain offices only on the 1st floor. By that time Greenville General was in full operation, expanded transportation and communication was much improved and it therefore made their facility unnecessary.

They continued their private practice at a smaller location almost up until their deaths.

Dr’s. Holliday, McCarrell and Barnett.

Dr. L.I. McCarrell Sr. was born in the Ebenezer Community on August 29, 1918 and after attending local schools received his BS from Furman University in 1930. He worked for Armour & Co. in Miami, Florida until he was drafted in 1941. He attended OTS and commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the Coast Artillary. After stateside duty he was sent to the European Theater of Operations, where he saw extensive action as an anti-aircraft and artillery officer. On his return he graduated from the Medical College of S.C. in 1950 and interned at Jefferson-Hillman Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. He joined Dr. John Holliday in 1951 to form Travelers Rest Family Practice.

Dr. John Holliday was born November 5, 1918 in Belton, S.C. He entered Furman University but WWII interrupted his college career. He served as a 1st Lt. in the European Theatre with the 771st Tank BN and the 84th Infantry Division. Upon return, he re-entered Furman graduating in 1946, then went to the Medical College of S.C. graduating in 1950. He interned at Roper Hospital in Charleston and then joined Dr. McCarrell Sr. in 1951 in Travelers Rest.

Dr. J.E. Barnett Sr. was born November 2, 1926 in Marietta, S.C. , graduated from Slater-Marietta High School in 1943, then entered Clemson College, but WWII interrupted his career and he served in the Pacific Theatre of Operation in Japan. Upon return, he finished Clemson in 1949. He finished AOA from the Medical College of S.C. in 1954 and interned at Greenville General Hospital. He joined Dr’s. Holliday and McCarrell in 1955.

Dr. Fitzwilliam King presently at Gateway Family Medicine, graduated from Penn State University and the Milton S. Hershey Medical School. He was the Medical Director of the Alcohol Treatment Facility that was located at North Greenville Hospital for a number of years and following that has dedicated the remainder of his time to private practice.

He is joined there by:

Dr. James P. Mac Millan graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1988.

Dr. Kristi L. Cabiao, who graduated from the A.T. Still University of Health Sciences/ Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011.

Caroline Coates PA has recently joined their practice.

In August of 1987 Dr. Landrum I. McCarrell Jr. and Dr. Stanley I. Coleman Jr. Joined Travelers Rest Family Practice at their S. Poinsett Hwy Office and which subsequently relocated to McElhaney Rd. in the early 2000’s.

Dr. McCarrell graduated from Furman University and later from the Medical University of SC in 1981. After graduating from the Greenville Hospital System residency program and finishing a Public Health Service obligation in Cumming,Ga. Her returned to Travelers Rest.

Dr. Stanley I Coleman Jr. graduated from The Citadel in 1971 and entered the U.S. Army as a Medical Services Officer. After fulfilling his active duty obligation he entered Clemson University receiving his Master of Microbiology degree in 1976, then moved to The Medical University of S.C. receiving a Masters in Anatomy in 1979 and his M.D. degree in 1984. He graduated from the Family Practice Residency program of the Greenville Hospital System in 1987. He then joined Travelers Rest Family Medicine where he has remained except for a brief hiatus in 2015 returning in February of 2016. He retired from the Medical Corp, U.S. Army Reserve in 1986.

Dr. James Gettys graduated from Wofford College and then from the Medical University of SC in 2000. He then graduated from the Greenville Hospital System Family Medicine program and has been a member of Travelers Rest Family Medicine for over 15 years.

Dr. James Hudson graduated from Wofford University, then MUSC and The Spartanburg Family Medicine Residency Program. He worked at TRFM for over 10 years and is now affiliated with Bon Secours St. Francis.

Dr. Antoinette Rhynes graduated from Furman University, MUSC in 2006, and the ANMED Family Medicine program. She worked with TRFM for a number of years before moving to Columbia and is now affiliated with Palmetto Health Baptist.

The most recent addition to TRFM is Dr. Tullious Stoudemayer, Jr. who returned from the mission field to join TRFM is 2015.

Ms. Ali Whitten, PA joined TRFM in 2014.

Dr. Scott Weikle works at Travelers Rest Internal Medicine and is a solo Practitioner.

Dr. Daniel Caddell is a solo Family Medicine practitioner and has practiced in Travelers Rest since 1987.