Biographical Sketch of Dr. William Green Hodges
October 22, 1878 – March 22, 1947
William Green Hodges, the son of John Robert and Mollie Green Hodges was born in Hot Springs County Arkansas in the small town of Antioch about 15 mile from Malvern, Arkansas. He was the oldest of the family’s 4 boys and 4 girls. The family owned a small farm. As was the custom, children helped with the farming operation.
A one room school provided young William’s formative education, though he graduated from High school in the town of Friendship. He taught school for about 5 years saving the money he earned for his medical education. First he attended the University of Arkansas Medical School for 4 years (1906-1910 including an internship). At this time he registered with the State of Arkansas to practice medicine. He continued his academic medical education in Saint Louis and on June 17, 1912 he graduated from Barnes Medical College at the age of 24. Thus he began his medical practice in 1913 in Magnet Cove, Arkansas.
On December 23, 1915 married Nannie M. Goza. The couple had one child, a daughter named Nancy Carolyn, born February 17, 1926.
Dr. Hodges moved to Malvern after a brief sojourn in Magnet Cove and continued his practice or a total of 35 years. During this period of time he continued to increase his skills by enrolling in post-graduate work at in Chicago and attending clinics at Mayo Brothers in Rochester, Minnesota. He also took a post-graduate course in surgery at the St. Louis clinic.
In the early 1920s Malvern needed a hospital to replace the doctor’s office sick-bays and minor surgery rooms. Dr. Hodges and 2 other doctors spearheaded efforts to bring a modern 10 bed unit and operating suite to the city. In 1923 this successful venture brought the first hospital to Malvern.
Dr. Hodges was always active in Medical Associations: President and Secretary for Hot Spring Medical Society, Member of the American Association, the Tri State Association, the Southern Association. Additionally he was a President of the State Board of Health, and was physician for several local companies.
Throughout all his years he continued to “earn the esteem and admiration of his fellow-men .—-There is scarcely a worthy cause that fails to enlist his sympathy and support, and he is connected actively with many promotion(s) of prosperity and human welfare—-(He) was never happier than when in the service of the public.” This is apparent in his numerous memberships in service organizations: the Methodist Church, the Rotary Club, Master of the Masonic Lodge, the Odd fellows and the Woodmen of the World.
Dr Hodges died on March 22, 1947 at the age of 69 after a brief illness. He had lived and served his fellow men in Hot Springs County, Arkansas for 35 years as their beloved doctor. Burial is in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Malvern Arkansas.
* Gerald W. Williams, The Heritage, Hot Springs County, Arkansas Historical Society. Most of the information herein came from the writings of Gerald W. Williams of the Hot Springs County Historical Society.
Betty L. Battenfield February 2020