Biographical Sketch of Dr. Abram L. Carter
September 18, 1886 – November 1, 1969
Abram L. Carter was born September 18, 1886 in Missouri and moved with his family to Carroll County Arkansas County in which he made his home and served his people the rest of his life. He is the son of Thomas and Margaret Carter. Young Abram grew to manhood on a small farm near Oak Grove. He taught school for three years, then decided to enter medical school. He chose the Medical Dept. of the University of Tennessee in Memphis and graduated in 1921 at the age of 35.
He married Edna L. Smith when he 39 (March 23, 1926). After a divorce in 1938 he married Janie Fulton Williamson, the daughter of a local drug store owner. No children are listed.
After medical school Dr. Carter returned to Berryville in Carroll County to set up his practice. His first office was over the Ozark Hardware Store where his patients walked up squeaking stairs to get to see him. His practice grew rapidly. Dr. Carter made frequent house calls and would travel as far as 40 mile on rough roads to make a call. Once he was asked to go to Neosho, Missouri to be with a man who had began hemorrhaging during a trip to Oklahoma. He accompanied the sick man back to his home in Carroll County successfully and the grateful man survived. Dr. Carter became well-known as a baby doctor. He delivered more than 5000 babies in his many years of practice. At one time he was known to have delivered 95 percent of the babies in Carroll County. In haste to get to a delivery on time he wrecked three cars but kept going.
“Dr. Carter was Known for his Kindness”, as an article by David Motherwell was entitled. The author wrote, “there was compassion and tenderness in his words of encouragement to the ill.” He was friendly and many times did not charge for his services. In the 1930’s and 1940’s he gave poor children who had many boils, free vitamins and told them to eat them to be healthy. After the 1942 devastating tornado in Berryville he went house to house looking for injured to give aid if necessarily. He had said he wanted to be doctor so he could help people – and he did.
In 1941 Dr. Carter opened the first hospital in Berryville. It was a 2 story building of 7 rooms. Downstairs rooms were for heavier patient. The lighter weight patients were carried upstairs. He larter moved to a second larger house with more room and no stairs to climb. The hospital lasted 28 years until 1969 when Carroll County General Hospital was built. Dr. Carter was honored to cut the ribbon when the new facility opened.
Giving of his professional services, Dr. Carter served as County Health Officer. Remembering his teaching days he also gave generously to schools in the area.
On November 1,1969 Dr. Carter died. He was 83 years of age. He had served Carroll County since graduation from Medical School in 1921. For 52 years, he gave loving, continuous care to the community he loved. Burial is at Berryville Memorial Cemetery.
* “Dr. Carter was Known for his Kindness, by Daniel Motherwell, Carroll County Historical Quarterly. June 2006
Betty Battenfield July 2020