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Biography of Dr. Charles Crawford Carter

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No vocation in life offers opportunity for greater genuine service to mankind than that of doctor of medicine, and the physician who fully appreciates his responsibilities and conscientiously responds to every call made upon him is a public benefactor in the highest sense of the term. There can be no question as to the reward that will be his in the after life.

Such a man was Charles Crawford Carter, one of the best known and most generally beloved medical practitioners who ever ministered to the ills of the people of Rock Island County. Purity of mind, lofty ideals, and unselfish devotion to the welfare of others were manifested strikingly throughout the quarter of a century he practiced his profession in Rock Island and surrounding country, and in return he was esteemed and loved by all with whom he came in contact. Characteristic disregard of his own physical welfare where the needs of others were involved was manifested in the last act of his life, when he contracted septic pneumonia, which quickly claimed him, while ministering to a patient.

Dr. Carter was born in San Francisco December 20, 1852, and died April 2, 1904, after an illness of one week. His parents were Elijah and Ann Maria Whitney Carter, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Massachusetts, and of puritan ancestry. The father was among those who braved the terrors of Cape Horn in ’49 to seek the golden harvest of the Pacific slope, returning a few years later to make his permanent home in Rock Island. He was prominently identified with the business life of the young city on the banks of the Mississippi. He served a term as mayor, was later superintendent of the Rock Island Glass Works, and for a number of years held the office of guager. His marriage to Ann Maria Whitney took place in 1851. He died January 14, 1887, and his wife followed March 14, 1888.

After receiving a common school and academic training at Rock Island, the son, in 1873, went to Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where he began the study of medicine under Dr. James Orne Whitney, a physician who stood high in his profession. In the year 1876 Dr. Carter graduated with high honors from Bellevue Medical College, of New York. Ten years later he took a post-graduate course in the metropolis. At the time of his demise he had practiced twenty-eight years in Rock Island. At first he was associated with the late Dr. Calvin Truesdale. Then, for a time, he practiced alone. Eventually he formed a business alliance with Dr. C. Bernhardi and Dr. G. G. Craig, Sr., which held until his death.

Dr. Carter was a member of the American Medical Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, Illinois State Medical Society, Illinois Association of Military Surgeons, Illinois and Iowa Central District Medical Society, and of the Rock Island County Medical Society, being vice-preident of the last named at the time of his death.

He had many times served as delegate to the State and National bodies to which he belonged. He had for twenty years been surgeon for the Illinois National Guard, attaining the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, with ranked as Assistant Surgeon General of Illinois. He was also a member of the medical and surgical staff of St. Anthony’s hospital.

Aside from his profession Dr. Carter was a faithful member of Trinity Episcopal Church, serving at one time as vestryman; he was elected to membership in the board of education; was a charter member and director of the Rock Island Club, and was affiliated with a number of fraternal organizations.

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