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Luther Randolph Stinson

Luther Randolph Stinson

Name:  Luther Randolph Stinson

Date:  1941

Image Number:  MJR02cdMJR01


Luther Randolph Stinson was born on August 25, 1879, in Buckingham County, VA; he was the son of Thomas Henry Stinson and Eveline Elizabeth Baber.  Luther spent most of his early life in Buckingham County where he attended Axtel Academy in Glenmore.  In 1900, Dr. Stinson graduated from the University College of Medicine in Richmond - now the Medical College of Virginia - and was a member of the last class to take the three-year course of medicine.  Desiring to learn more of medical techniques, he enrolled for an eight-month course at the Polytechnic Clinic Medical School and Hospital in New York City in 1903 and completed it.

On May 31, 1904, Dr. Stinson came to Scottsville and entered general practice there.  Wishing to succeed, Dr. Stinson asked Sam Gault, Scottsville's postmaster, "Sam, how can I show'em I'm a good doctor?   It's not easy getting started."  Sam pondered.  "Buy a horse and a saddle," he advised, "and ride out of town lickety-split, stay awhile, and come back.  Then a little later ride out on another road, lickety-split, stay awhile, and come back.  Then lickety-split again--- ." Dr. Stinson recalled that having no money he gave a note for a year and bought a horse for $10.  He also borrowed a bridle and harness and, with the pouch he already had, started to make his rounds.  Shortly thereafter a buggy was added to the doctor's mode of transportation. 

Because of limited transportation facilities in those days, the nearest hospital - in Charlottesville - was four hours away.  It was therefore necessary for the young doctor to know how to attend to practically every medical need.  His practice included everything from the treatment of simple cuts and bruises and the common cold to the amputation of arms and legs.  Many of Scottsville's long-time residents recall having "Doc" Stinson as their family doctor.Nannie Daniel (Scruggs) Stinson, 1941

Dr. Stinson's first Scottsville residence and office was over Jackson Beal's Store at 380-398 Valley Street in the heart of Scottsville.  Dr. Stinson married Nannie Daniel Scruggs (b. 1879, d. 1946) on July 24, 1905, in Albemarle County; see Nannie Stinson's 1941 photo at right .  The Stinsons built their own Scottsville home in 1914 at 550 Valley Street, and reportedly Luther's brother, Robert Joseph Stinson, built it for him; see photo below.   

Dr. Stinson Home on Valley Street, ca. 1920
Dr. Stinson's home on Valley Street, ca. 1920

Dr. Stinson served on Scottsville's Town Council from 1915 - 1949 and was a past member of the Charlottesville and Albemarle Chamber of Commerce.  He was a member of Taylor Masonic Lodge in Buckingham since 1903 and was also granted honorary membership in both the Medical Society of Virginia and the James River Medical Society.

Nannie (Scruggs) Stinson passed away in 1946 and is buried at Scottsville Cemetery.   Dr. Stinson retired in 1950, and on March 24, 1950, he married his second wife, Arleen Foushee Boyce, in the District of Columbia.  Dr. Stinson enjoyed his retirement years very much, and it is from the porch on his Scottsville home that he spent many happy hours viewing the hustle of Scottsville in the 1950's.  It was difficult for town folk to realize that "Doc" Stinson was no longer practicing, and for several years some continued to beat a path to his door asking him to cast his keen diagnostic eyes at them.

Dr. Luther Randolph Stinson passed away on June 3, 1970, at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, VA.    He is buried beside his second wife, Arleen Boyce Stinson (1917-2005) and near the gravestone of his first wife, Nannie Daniel Stinson (1879-1946) in Scottsville Cemetery.

Obituary: Dr. L. R. Stinson Dies; Town Councilman, 90
The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, VA, June 1970

Dr. Luther R. Stinson, a member of the Scottsville Town Council for 34 years, died Wednesday in a Charlottesville hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was 90.

Born August 25, 1879, he was the son of the late Thomas Henry Stinson and Eveline Elizabeth Baber Stinson.

He graduated from Axtel Academy in Buckingham County and from the Medical College of Virginia in the class of 1900.  He graduated from the New York Polyclinic Medical School in 1904 and entered general practice in Scottsville on May 30, 1904.  He retired from practice in 1950.

He served on the Scottsville Town Council from 1915 to 1949.

Copyright © 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Top Image of Luther Randolph Stinson Located On:  Capturing Our Heritage, CDMJR01

Second Image of Luther Randolph Stinson on Horseback Located On:  Capturing Our Heritage, CDB17

Third Image of Nannie Daniel Stinson Located On:  Capturing Our Heritage, CDB44

Fourth Image of Dr. Stinson's Home Located On:, arlebee

Fifth Image of Gravestone of Luther Randolph Stinson and Arlene Boyce Stinson Located on:  Scottsville Cemetery

Sixth Image of Gravestone of Nannie D. Stinson located on:   Scottsville Cemetery 456StinsonNannieD.tif



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