Biographical Sketch of Dr. William Patrick George

January 26, 1846 – October 13, 1915

William Patrick George was born in Cassville, Barry County, Missouri on January 26, 1846 to David O. and Sarah Smith George, the first boy of 8 children (four boys and four girls). David George fought for the South during the Civil War with his 3 oldest sons, which included William, (age 16 years). David George, his father owned slaves. William remained proud of his Civil War service all his life. He attended the United Conferral Reunions for several years and rode a prancing steed to display his pride.

When the war was over William began studying medicine with Dr. John Ray in Cassville and after 2 years he got a license to practice medicine. He heard that a doctor was needed in Berryville, Arkansas and so William at age 22 moved to Berryville in Carroll County, Arkansas in 1868.

On January 17, 1871 Dr. George married Mary (Mollie) Burton. He was 25 years old. Mollie was 22. They built a large house and he lived on it the rest of his life. The couple had 4 children, a girl who died at 6 years of measles, and 3 boys who lived to manhood, one who became a doctor and joined his father in practice.

(Part 2 of this booklet).

In 1869 he established a drug store to supplement the income from his practice of medicine. He decided he wanted more education in medicine so he attended St. Louis Medical College graduating in 1875. When Arkansas first required registration to practice medicine in 1903 he received an Arkansas license under the category of Allopath. Eventually he established his office above the drug store. It was a pleasant place with a waiting room with huge framed pictures of Shakespeare’s plays He enjoyed talking about the great poet. On a table he had a stereopticon and unusual pictures of foreign lands for waiting patients and their families. When his son Dr. Charles A. George joined his practice they renovated the office to accommodate both doctors and added an operating room.

Dr. George was a jolly man of good nature. In his early years he would be gone on horseback 2 or 3 days on sick calls seeing more than the one patient for which he was called. He was known as the friend of the friendless. On his pony he swam the river even in floods to an area in Missouri which he considered to be his though well beyond Carroll County. He would often stay overnight with a family when the patient was critically ill. For many baby deliveries he was never paid and never asked for payment. An article in the Star Progress many years later said that “from the beginning he commanded a wide practice covering almost every neighborhood in Carroll County and reaching several miles in Missouri to the north”.* With minimum medical equipment he did his first amputation with a Disston saw, the patient recovered. Dr. George held the position of county examiner for 4 years and supported his profession as a member of the County Medical Society.

Dr. George was also a good business man. He established the First National Bank, bought farms and employed local people to work them. He supported local industries and became Chairman of the Board to more than one of them. He felt a Civic duty to his city. He was an incorporator of the town. He served several terms on the school board.

When one of his sons died at the age of 38 he took the young widow and her 2 children under his loving care attending daily to their needs.

In August of 1915 Dr. George had a stroke but still went into town in an invalid chair daily as weather permitted. Two months later he suffered a massive second stroke and died October 13, 1915 at age 68. He had lived a full life and given abundantly to the health care as well as to the civic care, in Carroll County. His practice of medicine lasted about 45 years. Burial is at Berryville Memorial Cemetery.

*Star-Progress. A newspaper: Date unknown


Betty L. Battenfield   August 2020