Dr. T.E. Ross came to Hattiesburg in 1892 and set up an office on Main Street. In this 1975 oral history interview, his son, Dr. T.E. Ross, Junior, recalls his father’s decision to move their family from Neshoba county.
Before vaccines and antibiotics, the only way to stop infectious diseases was through quarantine. Dr. Ross recounts how his father was blocked from returning home during a yellow fever outbreak.
Dr. Ross graduated from Tulane Medical School in 1918. He remembers the circumstances that led him to set up his practice in Hattiesburg like his father.
PODCAST EXTRA: W.S.F. Tatum was a successful Hattiesburg timber magnate who served as mayor in the 1920s and 30s. Dr. Ross describes the soft-spoken businessman as a frugal, yet good and generous man, who disliked ostentatious displays of wealth.
After graduating from medical school in 1947, Dr. Tom Mayer took a temporary job with the Mississippi State Department of Health while waiting to begin his internship. In this episode, he remembers trying to vaccinate school children in Walthall County. Later, he returned to McComb to set up a medical practice at the urging of a friend.
In the mid-1950s, Mayer was hired by the Illinois Central Railroad to be the company doctor. He discusses the advantages and disadvantages of being a railroad physician. At that time, penicillin had only recently been discovered. He recalls the limited number of available drugs and one old doctor’s story of a fifty-cent price limit.
Working around trains has always been a dangerous job and as a railroad doctor, Mayer has seen it all. He recounts some of his more memorable cases and reflects on the many friendships he collected during his career.
(contains a bit of graphic description of a patient's injuries)
Since it's founding in 1963, the Hattiesburg Clinic has grown in size and reputation. Dr. Geoffrey Hartwig discusses how they have been able to attract so many physicians to Hattiesburg and what it has meant to South Mississippi. It's an interesting story made even more so in this extended version. Enjoy!