Monday, July 22, 2013

Dr. Charles Gore and Sanitary Conditions in the City

A History of Lawrence County Physicians and a Review of Medicine as Practiced 100 years ago.
By  Tom Kirkwood  and notes from H. V. Lewis MD. 
Published by LCHS from a Series of Articles published in the Daily record in the 1970’s. 

  Dr Charles Gore
Dr. Charles Philip Gore was born in Vincennes on March 11, 1880. By the time he was six years old both of his parents passed away and was living with different relatives. He was unhappy with his life and being passed around, so when 12 years old, he ran away. He came to Lawrenceville and stopped at the home of J.N. Stansfield and asked for work and something to eat: he found both. Mr. Stansfield found that he could depend on young Gore, so he was asked to live with the family and attend school. Mrs. Stansfield described the future doctor’s reaction to the sight of blood. When chickens were killed, he fainted. Dr. Gore lived with the Stansfields while attending school and graduated from Lawrenceville High School in the class of 1896.

Dr. Gore later taught school at Crossroads for five years; meanwhile attended several terms at the State Normal University at Normal, Illinois. He married Miss Cora Maxwell, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Maxwell. Young Gore attended medical school in Chicago and graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the University of Illinois in 1905. He purchased a microscope for $100 and with a set of medical instruments and supplies costing $114.15, he returned to Lawrenceville to practice medicine.

For many years his office was in a building which stood on the site of the former Texaco filling station at 11th and State streets. Dr. Gore was vitally interested in the water supply for the city. In the 1920s there was a high incidence of typhoid fever and pollution of the water supplies. The water intake was near a sewer outlet in the Embarras River. The increase in the use of water during times when the river was low caused it to almost run dry. The intake was moved upstream, but during a dry summer small ditches had to be dug in order to conduct enough water to the intake. Dead fish were often found in these ditches. One was also likely to find small dead fish in his bathtub. There was a boom in the sale of bottled water, and water wells around town were in use again. Dr. Gore did much to correct the situation of the city's water supply.

Several months prior to Dr. Gore's death he injured his leg on the running board of his car while making a call. This injury refused to heal and on examination disclosed that the doctor had leukemia. He was treated at various hospitals and given blood transfusions. The transfusions only gave temporary relief. This condition was constantly becoming worse and he died and October, 1927 when only 47 years old. Dr. Gore is buried in Lawrenceville City Cemetery.

Dr. Gore was an outstanding member of the profession and was highly regarded in Lawrence County.