Dr. James Lanier Darwin


Born:July 8, 1859, Meridianville, AL
Died:March 3, 1916, Memphis, TN
Buried:Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, AL
Residence:450 McClung Avenue SE - The Darwins purchased the house in 1911. Prior to that they lived in a house on Bank Row.
Grandfather of:James Lanier Darwin, III
Husband of:Martha Lee Patton Darwin


•  Son of Sidney Sledge and Mary Ann Dickson (Lanier) Darwin; natives of Madison County; Sidney was a Confederate soldier and a pioneer in the mercantile business in Huntsville's Cotton Row in the late 1800s; grandson of George and Belinda (Humphrey) Darwin, and of William Dixon and Lucy Ann (Caldwell) Lanier, all of whom resided near Huntsville. - Editor's Note

•  Dr. Darwin was educated in the public and private schools of Madison County and spent two years at the Agricultural and Mechanical College, now Alabama Polytechnic Institute, Auburn, Alabama. Ill health caused him to withdraw. He became a student at Bellevue hospital medical college, New York, graduating in 1888. - Alabama Biography

•  "He was head resident surgeon at Bellevue for five years and was also on the staff of Harlem Hospital until resigning to accept a position on the resident staff of the New York Cancer Hospital, with which he was connected one year. He returned to Huntsville and established himself in practice of his profession, which he continued until his death." - Medicine Bags and Bumpy Roads

•  "Physicians who knew Dr. Darwin said he was one of the best diagnosticians in the South." - Medicine Bags and Bumpy Roads

•  "He served as president of the Madison County Medical Society in 1909 and was jail physician in 1912." - Medicine Bags and Bumpy Roads

•  In the book "Medicine Bags and Bumpy Roads", we find several stories of Dr. Darwin's commitments and competencies. This is an example: "Dr. Darwin was called to attend a woman who was experiencing a difficult birth. The woman was one of the group of gypsies camped at the Big Spring area. Dr. Darwin delivered the baby in the middle of the chilly night. Being a concerned physician, he returned to the camp the next morning to check on the new mother and baby. To his surprise, he found the mother leaning over the cold Big Spring water, washing clothes." - Medicine Bags and Bumpy Roads

•  He served on the city council with an eye of the health of the community. - Medicine Bags and Bumpy Roads

•  Dr. Darwin's office was located at 101-1/2 North Side Square. - Medicine Bags and Bumpy Roads

•  He was a Democrat; Knight of Pythias; and an Episcopalian. - Alabama Biography

•  "Married: May 22, 1902, at Christ Episcopal Church in Nashville, TN, to Martha Lee Patton, 'Mattie' (1876-1966), daughter of Oliver Beirne and Bettie (White) Patton of Huntsville; granddaughter of Dr. Charles H. and Susan (Beirne) Patton and of Gen. Addison and Sarah (Irvine) White, the latter a granddaughter of Dr. Ephraim McDowell of Kentucky, whose wife was a daughter of Gov. Isaac and Suanna (Hart) Shelby, of that state." - Alabama Biography

•  Father of: 1. Martha E. (born 1903); 2. Mary Beirne (born 1909); 3. James Lanier, Jr. (1913 - 1957). All three children were born in Madison County, Alabama. - Alabama Biography

•  "His daughter, Martha, married William Murray Thompson Jr., 1927. He was known as W. M. or William Murray when he worked for Raytheon Co. in Waltham, MA as a Vice President." - Darwin

•  "His daughter, Mary B.D. Cook was a kindergarten teacher in the late 1930s and early 1940s" - Medicine Bags and Bumpy Roads

Related Links:

•  Alabama Biography - History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, Volume 3, by Thomas McAdory Owen, Marie Bankhead, © 1921, p. 455.

•  Darwin - Genealogical information by Larry E. Washam, © 1999-2006 (Originally found at http://www.darwin.larrywasham.com/william_washington_darwin.htm.)

•  Find a Grave - Page created by Natalie Maynor, Oct 21, 2005

•  Medicine Bags and Bumpy Roads - Medicine Bags and Bumpy Roads, by Jewell Shelton Goldsmith and Helen Davis Fulton, © 1985, p.185-6.

The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  450 McClung Avenue SE
•  Alabama Biography
•  James Lanier Darwin, III
•  Martha Lee Patton Darwin