yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee


Dr. W. F. Huntsman

January 6, 1939
Lexington Progress

Dr. W.F. Huntsman Dies Suddenly

In the death of Dr. W. F. Huntsman, which occurred suddenly at 11 o'clock, Friday, December 23, Lexington and Henderson County have sustained the loss of an upright citizen, a physician of unquestioned ability, utterly devoted to his profession. Quiet and unassuming, he was possessed of unusual firmness of character, with a core of kindness, never expansive, yet always present in all that he did and said.

 Willis Franklin Huntsman was born in Scottsville, Ky., on February 9th, 1867; took his medical degree from the University of Tennessee; and very soon afterwards settled at Juno, where he practiced his profession for several years before moving to Lexington.

During the Juno period Dr. Huntsman bought the first automobile ever owned in Henderson County.

He married Miss Virginia Diffee and established a reputation as a painstaking and successful physician. Upon coming to Lexington, he was associated for a time with the late Dr. W. T. Watson and eventually bought his equipment and succeeded to his practice. Through them the first work of electrical therapy was brought into this county and has continued as one of his chief interests. In the field of obstetrics, Dr. Huntsman has been singularly successful, and on the night before his death had delivered two babies.

Death came as he would have desired it, perhaps--in his office, surrounded by duties, accomplishments--and attended by his daughter, Dr. Cornelia Huntsman, who for several years has been associated with him in the office.

Surviving in the immediate family are Mrs. Huntsman, and the two children, Dr. Cornelia and Robert, his only son, who now lives in Memphis.

He was a member of the M. E. Church, and liberally contributed to the various causes of that organization; the Masonic order, and a staunch believer in the principles of the Republican party.

He is also survived by three brothers, H. C. and E. W. Huntsman, of Scottsville, Ky., and Robert Huntsman, of Maysville, Ky., and three sisters, Misses Maude and Ona Huntsman, and Mrs. Julia Wade, all of Kentucky.

Funeral services were conducted at the M. E. Church, South, with the pastor, Rev. R.R. Blankenship, conducting the services, assisted by George E. Bolen, a near neighbor of the Doctor and Rev. E.W. Crump. Interment in Lexington Cemetery.

January 6, 1939
Lexington Progress

My Column (excerpt) By W. V. Barry)

At a little past 12 p.m., Thursday, December 22, (last month), my friend, Lem Jones, stepped into my office in the courthouse and told me as sad a piece of news as I have ever heard, outside the loss of members of my own family--that Dr. W.F.Huntsman had died suddenly in his office, on the second floor of the Watson Drug Company, and soon the wires carried the sad message to almost every family in Lexington or was passed from person to person, for even outside of his own practice, Dr. Huntsman was both respected and loved.

For years Dr. Huntsman had been our family physician, in which capacity we valued him highly and as a friend who had stood by us a time of need and dire distress. He was our friend and we loved him.

During all the years that I met him in our home, in his office and on the street, I never heard him speak harshly of another or utter even a byword, and in all truth a clean Christian--honest because honesty is right and not because honesty is the best policy.

His death is a calamity and his place in the world cannot be filled.

Dr. Huntsman's car…

…on Monroe Street in 1913

The photographs are from the collection of Jessie Oakley Fisher, who wrote on the back "Dr. Huntsman Doctor who brought me into the world August 9, 1905."

For more about Dr. Huntsman, read the biographical sketch of his daughter, Dr. Cornelia Huntsman, by Doris Jarrett.

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