Dr. C.H. Craig in his office at 711 W. Broadway.

Ancestors, Legends & Time

Early doctors in Webb City treated
patients in their home offices

Jeanne Newby

Over the 142 years that Webb City has been established, this town has seen many doctors come and go. I don’t have all the doctors listed that have been in practice in Webb City, but I do have quite a few.

Doctor C.H. Craig graduated from Medical school in 1887. He moved to Webb City on August 19, 1890. He had an office in his home at 711 W. Joplin (now Broadway) St. He even had an extra outside entrance that went into his office. In those days, the doctors made house calls, which included the middle of the night. Some patients just came in the night and pounded on the door. The doctor was always available. For awhile, Dr. Craig had his office at 124 N. Webb St., eventually going back to having his office in his home.

Doctor B.A. Dumbald was from a family of doctors. His father was W.A. Dumbald, who practiced his business in Carterville. They lived at 203 W. Main St. His uncle, D.F. Dumbald, had a practice in Sarcoxie until 1913, when he moved to Carl Junction. B.A. graduated from medical school in 1905 and went into business with his dad in 1905, but within a year saw a need in Webb City so he started his own practice. Dr. Dumbald continued his education with several post graduate courses in New York and at the Mayo Clinic. He also served as a captain in the first World War. His nephew, Richard Newkirk, continued the family tradition and went on to become a doctor. Dr. Dumbald had an office at 108 ½ N. Main St. and at 124 N. Webb St. He lived at 323 S. Liberty St. in 1919 and at 702 W. Daugherty St. in 1928.

Dr. Paul Pritchett came to Webb City with his bride Thannie in 1908. They lived at 927 W. Second St. He practiced at his home, he had an office over the Humphrey Store (200 block of N. Main St. in 1928 and one at 101 ½ W. Daugherty St. (above the drug store). This young couple didn’t have much money but they had plenty of work. They labored side by side when medicine was a struggling ministry. One time, Dr. Pritchett was at the hospital when Thannie received word that a lady was in labor. She didn’t hesitate to go to the aid of this young lady. She said she had watched the doctor deliver enough babies and was confident that she would manage it just fine and she did. She said one time, when they went to help deliver a baby, there was a bed with bare slats covered with corn shucks. Nothing to wrap the baby in… Thannie went back home, tore up a sheet and took it back to wrap that baby. Dr. Pritchett died in 1952, but Thannie lived to be 104 years old…1991. At the time, she was listed as the oldest member of the Central United Methodist Church. Her advice: “If you want to keep going, you’ve got to keep your mind on something besides yourself. Think of others!”

Other doctor names in Webb City throughout the years 1919, 1928, and 1949 include: Dr. Owen Selinger, 32 S. Pennsylvania, office at 101 ½ W. Daugherty; Dr. J. O’Brien, 411 North Pennsylvania, office at 101 ½ N. Main; Dr. George Sanz, office at the Unity Building 1928; Dr. Stormont, 10 S. Roane, and the northwest corner of First and Webb streets, which he opened a hospital, office in the O’Neill Bldg. and 114 N. Webb; Dr. W.W. Waggoner, 116 N. Roane, office above the Webb City Bank; Dr. George W. Cox, 1215 W. Daugherty, office above the Webb City Bank; Dr. James L. Craig, 502 S. Madison and 1215 West Broadway, office in the O’Neill bldg. and 108 W. Broadway; Dr. Dummil Manford, Seventh and Ball, office at 101 N. Allen (Main); Dr. J.R. Kuhn, 408 N. Pennsylvania.

1949 doctors were: Dr. Robert M. Ferguson, 432 N. Roane, office in the Elks Bldg, 102-106 N. Webb; Dr. Orval T. Needels, 24 S. Roane, office in the Elks Bldg.; Dr. George W. Wright, 906 W. Broadway, office at 105 W. Broadway, above the Webb City Bank; Dr. Cecil Gregory, 1006 S. Madison, office at 604 W. Broadway; Dr. William Forbes, office at 210 N. Madison; Dr. Melville Slaughter, 815 W. Fourth and 208 N. College, office in his home, the O’Neill Bldg. and 205 W. Broadway; Dr. P. Byrd Munson, 917 W. First, office at 205 W. Broadway, in later years, he lived on North Pennsylvania and had his office in his home.

Now, I know there have been other doctors after 1949 who I have not listed, but I did not have the information on them. However, this list gives you an idea of the doctors who have helped the sick, delivered babies and mended many a broken bone in the town of Webb City. We salute them everyone, for the many hours they dedicated to citizens of our town.

Jeanne Newby

A lot of us appreciate the Bradbury Bishop Fountain, but Jeanne actually worked behind the counter making sodas while she was in high school. She knows everything about Webb City and is a member of the Webb City R-7 School Board.

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