James Lewis Early, M.D.

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James Lewis Early, M.D.

Submitted by Judy Hoover, Marion Virginia, February 19, 2003

"James Louis Early, M.D. Both as a physician and surgeon and as the vice president of the First National Bank of Saltville, Dr. James Louis Early is one of the well-known men of Smyth County, and no man is more highly esteemed in this neighborhood than he. Doctor Early was born at Woodlawn, Carroll County, Virginia, September 14, 1876, a son of William Kenny Early, and grandson of James W. Early, who was born in Wythe County, Virginia in 1806, and died near Hillsville, Carroll County, Virginia, in 1889, having been both a farmer and merchant in Wythe and Carroll counties, operating upon a most extensive scale in both callings. He was married first to a Miss Kenny, the grandmother of Doctor Early, and a native of Carroll County, who died near Hillsville. As his second wife James W. Early married a Miss Stras, a native of Pulaski County, who died near Hillsville. The Earlys are of English-Scotch extraction, and came to Virginia in Colonial days.

"William Kenny Early was born in Carroll County, Virginia, in 1847, and he is now a resident of Galax, Virginia. When only sixteen years old he enlisted in the Confederate army from Carroll County, and served until the close of the war in the cavalry. After the close of the war he attended Roanoke College, at Salem, Virginia, and was graduated therefrom, after which he became a farmer of Carroll County, and continued to live within its confines until 1908, when he embarked in the manufacture of lumber at Galax, and is still active engaged in this business. In politics he is a democrat. The Presbyterian Church has long held his membership and he is now an elder. He married Mary Louise Belo, who was born at Salem, Virginia, in 1853, and they became the parents of the following children: George B., who resides at Galax, is now associated with his father in the lumber business, but for twenty years prior to 1908 was with the Newport News Ship Building & Dry Dock Company; Doctor Early, who was the second child: Charles William, who is a commander in the United States Navy, served in this branch of the service during the World war, and is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland; and Harry Edward, who is an electrical engineer in the employ of the Appalachian Power Company at Galax.

"Doctor Early attended both private and public schools of Carrol County, and the Woodlawn Normal Institute, from which he was graduated in 1895. For one year he remained at home, and then took up his medcial studies at the University College of Medicine, Richmond, from which he was graduated in 1901, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, and began the practice of his profession at Woodlawn, Virginia. His practice also included Galax, and he remained in that locality for two years, when he was appointed surgeon for the Carolina, Clinchfield & Ohio Railroad at Erwin, Tennessee, and held that position during the eighteen months the road was in process of construction through that territory. In 1905 he came to Saltville, and has since remained, building up a wide and lucrative practice. He is head physician and surgeon for the Mathieson Alkali Works at Saltville; is local surgeon for the Norfold & Western Railroad Company; is a member of the Town Council of Saltville and vice mayor. He belongs to the Rich Valley District Board of Health; is vice president and a director of the First National Bank of Saltville; is a director in the Mountain Trust Bank of Roanoke; and is otherwise interested in local enterprises. Well known in Masonry, he belongs to William King Lodge No 227, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of which he is a past master; is district deputy gand master of District No. 44 of Virginia; a member of Marion Chapter No. 54, Royal Arch Masons; Lynn Commandery No. 9, Knights Templar, of Marion, Virginia; and Acca Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Richmond. He also is a member of Holston Lodge No. 111, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Saltville; Roanoke Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; the Southwest Virginia Medical Society; the Smyth County Medical Society, of which he is president, the Medical Society of Virginia; the Southern Medical Association, the American Medical Association, and the Association of the Norfolk & Western Railway Surgeons. A Presbyterian, he is now serving the Saltville Presbyterian Church as an elder. During the World war he was chairman of the examining board of Smyth and Grayson counties, and devoted an immense amount of time to the duties of his office.

"On June 29, 1910, Doctor Early married Miss Melita Rorer Wilson, a daughter of Dr. William A. and Mary (Miller) Wilson, residents of Radford, Virginia, where he is a practicing physician. Mrs. Early attended the Virginia State Normal School at Farmville. Doctor and Mrs. Early have no children."