The History of Taylor County Chapter Three Hundred-Twenty


Dr. Peck Opens Office

In September 1905, Dr. Dorsey C. Peck, a young graduate of medicine, swung his shingle above the door of his office on West Main Street to inform all and sundry his services were available to those in distress and suffering from the ailments which afflict humanity. Soon the doors of his office began to swing inward by those suffering bodily ills and soon his fame as a healer attracted the attention of many who came to him for easement of their troubles from his skillful hands. 

In time, his skill as a surgeon became widely known and his success in surgery brought people from all surrounding territory to him for treatment of their afflictions and some of the cures performed by him border on the miraculous. Impressive looking, kind hand, warm hearted, sympathetic and most generous, he occupied the highest place in the hearts of those whom he has alleviated and in the hearts of his fellow citizens among whom he has resided for the past 35 years and too, he is held in the highest esteem by the medical fraternity, not only in the town of his adoption but throughout the entire state of West Virginia. 

In fraternal circles, he is one of the outstanding members of the Masonic body serving as Grand Junior Warden, Deputy Grand Master and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia indicates the high opinion held by the Masonic fraternity of West Virginia of this prominent and skilled citizen of Grafton. 

He is a past president of the Grafton Rotary Club and during his incumbency as president of that service body the membership stood high among the clubs in the 24th Rotary district in attendance and the good accomplished. He stressed the need of a county health officer to look after health conditions in all parts of the county and asked the members to get behind the movement to have the county court lay a levy for this purpose and his efforts were crowned with success when the court appointed Dr. C.C. Hedges, health officer for Taylor County. 

Dr. Peck was behind many movements for the betterment of the community and perhaps his greatest efforts were for a new and modern hospital in which to care for patients not possible in the flimsy and dangerous old Grafton hospital which was converted from a school house into a hospital in 1904 and purchased by the town of Grafton in 1916 at the price of $9,000 and insufficient as it was and lacking in the art of healing yet its fame was recognized among the hospitals of the nation for the excellence of treatment and cures performed between its wooden walls and due to the skill of the local members of the medical profession, who went about their work with that earnestness of purpose with what they had, insufficient as it was, performing cures in a manner equal to the greatest and most famed men in the profession, and in which Dr. Peck had perhaps the largest part.  

It would be interesting to know the number of cases that were admitted to the institution, the number discharged as cured, the number of infants that opened their tiny eyes for the first time on this aged world, what happened to them in the passing years would prove interesting reading in following their careers. With the completion of the new modern hospital in its commanding position on Finnegan’s Rock, for which the town of Grafton is in the larger measure indebted to Dr. Peck for his efforts to make this dream come true and, while not as pretentious as many of the great hospital in the more populous center it is of sufficient size to care for people in the surrounding territory. 

It is doubtful f there is a single resident in Grafton now living who can recall the old United States General hospital erected the federal government in Grafton in 1863 at the corner of Beech and Walnut streets to provide hospitalization of the wounded of the Civil War. This old frame structure covered practically all of the land from Graham to Walnut streets and had accommodations for perhaps 500 patients who were brought from all battlefields to train and wagon to the hospital for treatment and recall Surgeon General R.W. Hazlett who was in charge. Only the old brick dwelling recently purchased by C. Bee on the opposite corner of Beech and Walnut streets is all that remains to remind the present population that Grafton is the most historic town from a Civil War standpoint in all West Virginia. Here the men in grey first rendezvoused to hold this section of Virginia loyal to the customs and traditions of the south and, he too, the first man to give his for the preservation of the Union which he as a firm believer came forward in this gravest crisis that ever confronted the nation and a martyr defending his beliefs. Among the patients recuperating in the government hospital was private, Charles W. Pickett a member of Grafton’s own Company B grievously wounded by a shell from the Battle of White Sulphur and who had recovered sufficiently in company with a few other patients decided to wave in the coming waters to the Tygart Valley river in June 1863 and here this man who had fought in all the engagements for his company staged for the two years duration since the reopening of hostilities sunk beneath the waters in sight of his companions who were unable to go to his aid. It seemed the very irony of fate was destined to hind a grave in the waters of the historic old Tygart Valley River. 

The announcement that the New York Club of the National league and the Philadelphia Athletic’s club of the American league would play a serious of five games to begin the baseball classic now known as the World’s Championship, the first game of the series to be staged at Philadelphia October 9, 1905. This announcement created a desire among the followers of the great American sport to journey to Philadelphia and witness the opening game and see the great Mathewson oppose Eddie Plank in action. Just how many made the journey is unknown, but they witnessed probably the most unique series, each game won by a shutout score. Giants winning four and the Athletics one. The personnel of the baseball teams have undergone a complete change since 1905, all of the men composing the teams in that year were of German and Irish nationalities easy to pronounce and so unlike personnel of the present-day teams whose names are utterly unpronounceable to the average reader of the sporting page of the daily papers. Among the members of the Athletic club was the aborigine, Charles Albert Bender, an Indian and perhaps the greatest pitcher in the game in his day who has the distinction of winning the only game for his club when he shut out the Giants by the score of 8 to 0 and limited his opponents to 4 hits.    

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