DR. JAMES R. TEMPLE, physician and surgeon of Memphis, Texas, is an old and exceedingly able practitioner, and has, during a period when the science of healing and its kindred branches have been progressing by leaps and bounds, kept entirely abreast of all this advancement, and is today as thoroughly equipped and modern in his methods as he was when he began practice a third of a century ago. Dr. Temple is a broad-gauged and experienced man of the world and affairs, having, in the course of a lifetime of sixty-five years, come in close contact with many phases of life, and himself having been during his earliest years a teacher and soldier before entering upon the professional career which has since brought him so much honor and proved such a useful field for the application of his labors.
Born at Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 1839, he was at an early age deprived by death of the care and protecting guidance of his parents, J. Clark and Fannie (Brashear) Temple. His father, a native of Kentucky and a nephew of the famous George Rogers Clark of Northwest Territory fame, was a prominent and successful farmer, and died at Auburn, Logan county, Kentucky, in 1852. J. Clark Temple’s father came to Louisville, Kentucky, from Virginia in 1801. Dr. Temple’s mother was born in Beaufort, South Carolina, and died in 1849.
Thus orphaned at an early age he was, when eleven years old, taken to Marshall county, Mississippi, to be educated. He prepared for a teaching career, and after several years’ schooling in Mississippi he returned to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where, as also at other places, he taught school. When the war broke out in 1861 he enlisted in the Federal army, Company J, Fifty-ninth Ohio Infantry, becoming first lieutenant of his company. During his three years’ enlistment he was successively under Buell, Rosecrans and Grant, and among the numerous battles in which he participated were those at Shiloh, at Corinth, Stone River, Mill Spring. At the conclusion of his service he went to southern Indiana, in Spencer county, where he resumed his profession of teaching during 1864-1866. He then entered the medical department of the University of Kentucky at Louisville, from which he graduated in 1870. His first practice was in Warrick county, Indiana, near the Spencer county line, and his field work was in both counties. During a part of his practice at this point he was also superintendent of schools, for he kept up his interest and connection with educational affairs a number of years after entering the medical ranks. In 1881 he moved to Brooksville, Hernando county, Florida, where he did an extensive practice, and where, likewise, he was superintendent of public instruction. From Florida he came to his present location at Memphis, Hall county, in 1897.
At Memphis and in the surrounding country Dr. Temple has acquired a very large and profitable practice, for the people have become very much attached to him on account of his good qualities, both professionally and socially. As mentioned before, he has constantly kept pace with the march of progress in medicine and surgery, and as an indication of his ambition in this line he took, in 1901, a general post-graduate course in Chicago and a course in the Illinois College of Electrical Therapeutics. Of late years he has extensively studied and applied the science of electro-therapy, and has attained recognition as a specialist in this line of treatment. He has invested a large amount of money in an X-ray machine and other electrical apparatus for his office at Memphis. He has been peculiarly successful in the treatment of rheumatism, sprains and stiff joints by use of dry hot air, and in treating nervous affections and diseases of women by static and galvanic electricity, and cancer by the X-ray. Dr. Temple is a member of the Panhandle and the Texas State Medical associations.
In the course of his school teaching days he taught hundreds of young men and women at Bowling Green and other places, and many of these pupils have since achieved prominence in their respective walks of life, and many of them are residents of Texas, delighting to honor, whenever opportunity occurs, their old-time preceptor and their fellow Texan. Dr. Temple is a Methodist in church relations, and fraternally is a Royal Arch Mason.
He was married in Spencer county, Indiana, to Miss Mary McCoy, member of a very prominent family of that name in southern Indiana. They have five children: Mrs. Fannie Branch, Robert E., Charles B., Max G. and Mrs. Blanche Palmer.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 35-36.