Monday, July 24, 2017

Dr. Walter Reed House Murfreesboro NC

This is Dr. Walter Reed's home in Murfreesboro, NC.  We are all familiar with this name, what with the famous Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the Washington DC area. How many of us know why he is famous?
Dr. Reed researched yellow fever, once a terrible scourge with periodic epidemics in the United States. His painstaking investigation both in the US and Cuba (the part of the US), confirmed the cause of the disease. He was a pioneering biomedical researcher using strict scientific methods and studies to confirm his theories.

Dr. Reed received his medical degree at 17 from the University of Virginia, the youngest person ever to do so.

Dr. Reed's wife, Emilie Lawrence, was born in Murfreesboro, as was Dr. Reed's mother.  His father was a circuit preacher. Walter lived in this home during his father's preaching tours and also later as an adult. 

Yellow fever hit warm locations, as it is spread by mosquitoes. Can you imagine Dr. Reed's fatigue in working with no relief from the temperature with no certainty whether he would survive exposure to it?  In 1855, ten percent of my local population died from this infectious disease. Yellow Fever

Walter Reed died in 1902 from a ruptured appendix. Medicine had not yet advanced to the point that this was a routine illness.
I thought the porch with its interesting railings and cornice decorations was lovely in the late afternoon light.

I've known about Walter Reed my entire life, what with a father who was also an Army physician.  However, I never knew that he had a distinct presence here so close to home. 

It seems so odd to have run across his house, as I just finished this book regarding Yellow Fever.  American Plague by Molly Caldwell Crosby was mesmerizing.

No comments:

Post a Comment