DAVID WALLACE HOLMES, M. D. The profession of medicine at Bellevue is represented by the able and thorough practitioner of the Eclectic school, Dr. D. W. Holmes, introduced as the subject of this personal review. Time has burdened him with but the age of middle life and experience has endowed him with a wide range of professional equipment, which is an assurance to his community of a normal pathological condition and a freedom from professional embarrassment on account of the physical infirmities of age.
While a settler of Texas of comparatively recent date, Dr. Holmes’s tenure here warrants the claim that he is a Texan indeed, and his entry into the spirit of the common affairs of his town and community marks the permanence and sincerity of his citizenship. His advent to Clay county dates from October, 1892, at which time he opened his office in Bellevue and since which time he has had his ear to the public heartbeat. He had been a member of the profession but a year when Bellevue first knew him, and his former home, and the place of his origin and bringing-up, was in Carroll county, Tennessee.
He was born at Lavinia, October 27, 1863, and his father’s farm marked the place of his childhood and youthful endeavor. His was one of the ancient families of the commonwealth of Tennessee and it was founded in Carroll county by John Holmes, of Virginia. The latter was the great-grandfather of Dr. Holmes and his record was that of one of the early farmers of his county. He died about 1860, and among his several children was John Holmes, grandfather of the subject of our review. The latter was born in 1815, followed the calling of his pioneer father and passed away in Carroll, his native county, in 1888. He married Eliza McAlexander, and reared a family of three sons and five daughters. Of this family Lysander was the oldest and he was born in 1840.
Lysander Holmes resided at Lavinia, Tennessee, with the companion of his life, nee Helen McDougal, and, like his worthy ancestors, has been a tiller of the soil. During the Civil war he fought on the Confederate side, and while he has essayed no political ambition, or special enthusiasm, Democratic principles have always received his endorsement and his modest support. Helen McDougal, his wife, was a daughter of John and Mollie (Hickman) McDougal, who can be termed “old-timers” of Carroll county, and of their nine children Helen was the seventh.
Seven children constituted the issue of Lysander and Helen McDougal and David W., our subject, was the first born. The others were: Mollie, wife of Jesse Alexander; Belle, wife of Ira Cunningham; Eliza, now Mrs. Lee Taylor; J. Roscoe; Maggie, widow of Frank Noe; and William. All, save the doctor, are residents of their native county.
Dr. Holmes had access to the public schools of his home county only for his literary training. He chose medicine for his life work when he attained his majority and began preparation for his profession in the office of an uncle, Dr. W. N. Holmes, of Milan, Tennessee. When qualified for college he entered the Eclectic Medical Institute at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he graduated in 1891 and inaugurated his career as a physician by a year’s practice in the city of Jackson, in his native state. Soon after his arrival in Bellevue he formed a partnership with Dr. J. J. L. Ball, whose removal from Bellevue in July, 1893, caused a dissolution of the firm, and since then Dr. Holmes has pursued his profession alone.
In his practice the doctor has had no specialties, devoting himself solely to the ills common to the country and to the treatment of injuries the result of accidents such as occur in the course of years in the best regulated communities. In his capacity as an examiner he represents the New York Life Insurance Company, the Mutual and the Equitable Life, the Penn Mutual, of Philadelphia, and the Security Mutual, of Binghampton, New York, and the Manhattan Life, of New York, and Prudential, of Newark, New Jersey.
February 3, 1892, Dr. Holmes was united in marriage, in Marshall county, Tennessee, with Dovie, a daughter of James and Amanda (Erwin) Anderson. Two children have blessed their union, the first born, a daughter, Helen A., born December 30, 1896, died May 16, 1898, and the second, a son, David, Jr., was born October 9, 1900.
In the matter of fraternities, Dr. Holmes has had all the honors conferred by the order of Odd Fellowship, having the subordinates and encampment degrees and having been a member of the Texas Grand Lodge.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 63-64.