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Dr. Samuel Overton
Pioneer Doctor of Old Canton, Texas
Vintage Medical Ledgers Perused©

By Joel Patrick Childress, GG Grandson

Honour a physician with the honour due unto him for the uses which ye may have of him: for the Lord hath created him. For of the most High cometh healing, and ye shall receive honour of the king. The skill of the physician shall lift up his head: and in the sight of great men he shall be in admiration.
Ecclesiasticus 38:1-3


Dr. Samuel Overton was one brother in a group of five siblings who moved to Smith County, Texas in the early 1850's. Led by the oldest brother, Colonel John Franklin Overton, Samuel, Abdon, Jesse and Caroline followed his lead, bringing their mother, Susannah Alexander Overton, and entire families. All contributed to the taming of the Smith County, Texas wilderness in the decade after Texas was admitted to the Union in 1845. Dr. Samuel Overton practiced medicine almost the entire last half of the nineteenth century in Old Canton (later named Omen), and left a legacy of medical journals covering the majority of his years in practice. This article is based on the transcription of the journals, supplemented by research undertaken by family members and genealogists from this east Texas area. My thanks to the Smith County TXGenWeb Project and Mary Love Berryman for inclusion of this material in their wealth of information and to the Smith County Historical Society Archives for permission to copy and transcribe the three medical ledgers in their possession. Also, thanks to the "Chronicles of Smith County, Texas" published by the Smith County Historical Society, Tyler, Texas, for permission to use the materials included herein.

J.P. Childress, September, 2000  

Table of Contents

  1. Dr. Samuel Overton's Birth Family
  2. The Overton/Alexander Ancestry
  3. Samuel Egbert Overton, Early Omen Citizen
  4. The Dr. Samuel Overton Medical Ledgers
  5. A Compendium of Entries 
  6. Charitable Actions/Loans
  7. Veterinary Practice
  8. The Physician and the Court System
  9. Dealing with Relations
  10. Collection Problems
  11. Various Treatments and Frequencies of Use
  12. Dr. Overton, the Obstetrician
  13. Date of Death
  14. Sarah Cleveland Weaver Overton, Widow
  15. Summary of Historical Overton Letters

Additional information on the Overton Family
World Connect - Childress/Mathis Family Tree

Medical Records - Dr. Samuel Overton treated hundreds of citizens living in and around the pioneer community of Omen, Texas during the last half of the nineteenth century. For a full listing of all patients, go to the above link. African American patients are identified in the "Status" column by "f" (indicating freedman or freedwoman) or "c" (indicating colored).

Note: ©This work is the property of the East Texas Genealogical Society and J.P. Childress, collectively. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

These files are submitted by volunteers just like you! I make it a habit that anytime I work with records, whether for myself or to share with others, I submit them to the USGenWeb/TXGenWeb project. It doesn't take much extra effort and it really can help many people. I'm very grateful to the many volunteers for all the great info provided.
If you agree, please email, Scott Fitzgerald with your submission.

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