Biographical Sketch of Dr. Joel Edward Luther

January 20, 1867 – July 27, 1938


Joel Edward Luther was born January 20, 1867 in Arkansas to the farming family of James Madison and Lucinda Luther. At the time of his birth, Joel was welcomed into the family by three brothers and two sisters. Information in indicates Joel was followed by another sister only eleven months after his birth. Joel’s father died when Joel was three and his mother died when he was seven. Little is known of Joel’s life until his marriage to Dessie Jones on November 15, 1888 in Searcy County Arkansas.

Joel attended the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Campus in Little Rock, graduating in 1897. In the 1900 U. S. Census Joel was practicing medicine in Big Flat, Baxter County and he and Dessie were the parents of two daughters, Gencora and Ethel and a son, Therlow. In the 1906 and 1909 issues of the American Medical Directory Joel was practicing in Stone County. In the 1910 census Joel and Dessie were living in Blue Mountain, Stone County. Joel was serving as Stone County Health Officer in a 1916 newspaper clipping, treating his patients due to a smallpox outbreak.

Dessie died in 1923 and in the 1930 census Joel is widowed and his daughter Ethel and granddaughter Neva are in the household.

On September 9, 1931 Joel and Emma Clark are married in Stone County.

Quoting from Joel’s obituary: “Dr. Luther for many years was the only physician in Stone county and his work was so heavy that he used three saddle horses, frequently returning home only to change horses and obtain medicines. He once said that he had slept many hours on the back of a faithful horse while going from one point to another.”1

Dr. J. E. Luther died at his home on July 27, 1938 and is buried in the Historic Cemetery of Mountain View, Mountain View, Stone County, Arkansas.


1      The Baxter Bulletin (Mountain Home, Arkansas)



John T. Mitchell, BBA

September 10, 2022