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June 2005

Release date: June 23, 2005

Local Physicians, Hospitals Subject of West Texas Collection Exhibit at ASU

San Angelo's medical heritage, ranging from the frontier medicine of the 19 th century to the high tech health care of today, will be highlighted in the West Texas Collection exhibit "Early Hospitals and Doctors in San Angelo," opening Thursday, June 30, at Angelo State University.

The exhibit of photographs, documents and artifacts will debut with a public reception 4-7 p.m. Thursday, June 30, in the West Texas Collection on the second floor of ASU's Houston Harte University Center. The reception is open free to the public.

From 1868 when the U.S. Army stationed a medical officer at Fort Concho until today, the local medical community has played a major role in the health, well-being and development of the Concho Valley.

The display includes a historical timeline of significant events in the city's medical history, ranging from St. Angela's first doctor being run off by "lawless characters" to the establishment of the first tuberculosis colony to the founding of the county's first hospitals.

Highlights of the exhibit include materials from Dr. S.L.S. Smith, an Army physician who settled in San Angelo after retiring from the military at Fort Concho. Through the 1890s Smith served as the "town doctor," operated a local drug store and managed Pickwick Hall, a center of community activities for a decade prior to the turn of the 20 th century.

Other notable physicians in the display include Dr. A. Q. Shirley, San Angelo's first black doctor who opened his practice in 1918. Featured medical facilities include St. John's Sanitarium, Texas Tuberculosis Colony No. 1, Baptist Memorials, San Angelo Hospital and its successor Shannon Medical Center, and Clinic Hospital and its successor San Angelo Community Medical Center.

The display, sponsored jointly by the West Texas Collection and the Friends of the Porter Henderson Library and West Texas Collection, will run through July. It will be open for viewing during regular West Texas Collection summer hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

For more information, contact the West Texas Collection at 942-2164.