Biographical Sketch of Dr. Thomas G. Brewer
October 7, 1851 – February 25, 1924
Thomas G. Brewer was the youngest of fourteen children born to Samuel C. and Mary A. (Pritchett) Brewer of Aberdeen, Mississippi. Samuel C., whose occupation was listed as brick mason in 1860, became a very prominent contractor for the erection of buildings. Four of Thomas’ brothers were to enter the Confederate army, one of them being killed at Gettysburg, one dying in prison at Rock Island, having been captured at the battle of Chickamauga, and the other two serving through the entire period of the war.
His father’s financial ruin soon after the war caused Thomas to abandon his plans of following in his father’s footsteps. Instead he joined his brother in the study of medicine in Lamar, Miss. After a year of study at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, he won a scholarship at a competitive examination held in the Louisville Medical College, graduating in February, 1874. He then returned to Lamar and began practicing his profession. On June 16, 1876 he and Mollie C. Hudson were wed in Marshall, Mississippi. “It was during the yellow fever epidemic of 1878, that the Doctor displayed his heroism, and the courage to face death, where thousands were panic-stricken and fleeing in all directions to escape the scourge. He remained at his post, and with his brother’s assistance attended case after case with a nerve that was magnificent, and won the admiration of thousands.”1
In 1879 he removed to Monroe, Phillips County, Ark. He was there two years, appearing in the 1880 census as a physician in Marvell, Phillips County, and then for health reasons, returned to Lamar. After one year’s residence there he improved, and then came to Mississippi County, Ark. to practice his profession. A son, Norman, was born to Mollie and Thomas in 1885. In 1890 Norman was one of several young boys to fall victim to a deadly diphtheria epidemic. In 1895 Mollie passed away. On January 7, 1897 Dr. Brewer and Sallie Lee
Baines were wed in Osceola, Ark. To them were born two daughters, Marie and Aline.
“Dr. Brewer was always known as Osceola’s baby doctor. It was said he gave enough pink baby medicine to sink the stacker Lee. He boasted of two things – never sending out professional bills and having a million dollars on his books.”2
Dr. Brewer died on February 25, 1924 at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, having practiced medicine for 50 years. “Dr. H. C. Dunavant, who had known and worked with Dr. Brewer in the same line of work for 40 years, says: “That he had always found him upright, honorable and ethical.” He stated that “Dr. Brewer is one ethical man that I have known in Mississippi county.” Dr. Dunavant also made the statement, “If Diogones had gone out with his lantern to find an honest physician, I think he would have taken Dr. Brewer, had he met up with him.
The funeral services were held at the Christian church Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock by Rev. Guy Murphy, pastor of the Methodist church, assisted by Rev. T. L. Young, pastor of the Christian church. After which interment was had in Violet cemetery.”3
1 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi County, Arkansas,
Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1889
2 Horse and Buggy Doctors in Mississippi County, Arkansas, 1993, p. 41
3 The Osceola Times (Osceola, Arkansas), February 29, 1924, p. 1
John T. Mitchell, BBA
September 14, 2019