Lacoochee – Doctor Walters



Doctor Walters


My parents had a daughter, Evelyn Juanita Hunnicutt, who was born February 2, 1936 and died two weeks later from pneumonia. My mother always believed Evelyn would have lived if her doctor had been more attentive.

Later that year my mother was pregnant with me. One afternoon when my dad was walking home from the planing mill (probably Spring of 1937) he met Dr. Walters, who had just come to Lacoochee to serve as doctor for the Cummer Mill workers and the community. Dr. Walters was unloading his office equipment and my dad offered to help.

During the moving process my dad told Dr. Walters his wife was pregnant and sick. He said he would like to bring her in when the office was set up. Dr. Walters said he would drive my dad home after they finished unloading and would check on my mother.

They got to the house and Dr. Walters examined Mother and said she needed a medication he did not have in his inventory. He drove to a pharmacy in Dade City and brought it back that evening. From that day forward, in my parents’ eyes, Dr. Walters walked on water.

On May 14, 1937 Dr. Walters brought me into the world at my great grandmother’s house in Lacoochee. He slapped my bottom and I breathed my first breath of Lacoochee air.

I have always been told I was the first baby Dr. Walters delivered after he came to Lacoochee. I have no proof of this but I will claim the honor until someone comes up with a valid rebuttal.

After we moved to Dade City our house was a few blocks east of Jackson Memorial Hospital on Howard Avenue. When my parents were sick Dr. Walters would stop by the house to check on them on his way to or from hospital rounds.

William Haywood Walters III, MD was born in LaGrange, NC December 31, 1905 and grew up in Oxford, NC. After graduating from Oxford High School and the University of North Carolina he then attended Tulane University of Medicine where he graduated in 1932. He worked in Jefferson Hospital in Roanoke, VA, Riverside Hospital, Jacksonville, FL, and Woodward Herring Hospital & Clinic in Wilson, NC. On February 9, 1937 he came to Lacoochee. He retired in April 1976.

Picture courtesy of J. W. Hunnicutt

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