HOMER BROWNING LUTTRELL
Coal and Coke Company Family Doctor (1923 - 1944)
( 1894 - 1992 )
Homer Browning Luttrell ( 8 Nov 1894 -
2 Jul 1992 ) came
to Bramwell, WV, fresh out of Medical School with the
intention of spending his summer assisting the resident
physician, Dr. E.M. Tanner. Before the summer ended Dr.
Tanner announced that he was moving to Bluefield, WV and
was turning the practice over to Dr. Luttrell, in lieu of
pay he had coming. Thus, Dr. Luttrell became the Company
Doctor for Buckeye Coal and Coke Company, Booth-Bowen
Coal Company and Caswell Creek ( Poca Fuel ), and anyone
else who needed his medical services. He became the Town
of Bramwell's physician in 1923. He remained the only
doctor in Bramwell and the area until his departure in
1944. Luttrell was 29 years old when he came to Bramwell,
having gotten a late start on his medical education. Many
of us remember the office of Dr. Luttrell in Freeman that
was located just behind the Caswell Creek Company Store.
The house in which he had his office still stands in this
location. It has been renovated over the years. It is
also featured on this site and linked to this page.
He was born in Maxwell, California on Nov. 8, 1894 and started grade school while living there. He finished grade school in Amissville, Virginia and worked two years on his father's farm because there was no high school there at that time. While waiting for the local high school to be built, Homer worked on the family farm and played baseball in Amissville. Having finished high school in 1914 at the age of twenty he entertained thoughts of trying out for Major League Baseball.
After graduating from high school at the age of twenty, he entered Richmond College (now Richmond Univ.), completed three years in pre-med. and enlisted in the Navy at the beginning of World War I. He was assigned to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Newport, Rhode Island. After the war ended he obtained an early release in order to continue his education at the Med. College of Virginia, receiving his medical degree in 1923. He practiced medicine for 53 years. Of those 53 years, 21 years were spent in Bramwell as a family physician.
Dr. Luttrell's days as a bachelor ended in 1929, when met one of Bramwell School's young teachers. He married Virginia Regland Painter. She was from Draper Valley in Virginia's Pulaski County. The marriage took place on 6 July 1929. Dr Lutrell and his new bride lived on Main Street in Bramwell in a house (See Photograph below), which later be came the Town Police Chief McKinley Stacey's house. The house is now owned by Athaline Nicewander. Fire did considerable damage to the house in 1943; while Dr. Luttrell and Virginia were attending a school play at Bramwell High School. The incident led Dr. Luttrell to make a decision to leave Bramwell; a decision he had been thinking about since coming to Bramwell. The "Company Doctor" was expected to provide 24-hour service at no extra charge with only 80-cents deducted from a miner's pay to cover the Doctor's cost. That was later raised to a dollar but the number of miners began to dwindle. It became hard for Dr. Luttrell to make a living. Additionally, since he was the only doctor in the area he could not leave town without providing another doctor and this was very difficult to do. Dr. Luttrell had delivered over 2000 babies during his 21 year stay in Historic Bramwell. Dr. Luttrell left Bramwell in late 1943 or early 1944 to become a farmer on his parents farm in Amissville, VA.
With his career as a 'Company Doctor' behind, Dr. Luttrell tried his hand at farming. But in 1945 he decided that he was too young to retire so he opened up offices in the Wallace Building in downtown Pulaski, Virginia. Over the next thirty two years he served that community as a family physician: delivering at least another 1000 babies. He always cautioned parents against naming their babies after him, saying," Homer is a terrible name to inflict on a baby". Dr. Luttrell also became a pillar in his church and finally retired from his medical practice in 1976 at the age of 82. His wife, Virginia Painter Luttrell died in 1971 and he subsequently remarried in 1978 to Jane Oglesby Owen. Dr. Luttrell died on July 2, 1992 at the age of 97. He was buried in the Draper's Valley Presbyterian Church beside his first wife, Virginia.
LUTTRELL, Jane Allison Oglesby Owen, 82, of the Richfield Retirement Community in Salem and formerly of Pulaski died Sunday evening March 18, 2001. She was the second wife of Dr. Homer B. Luttrell.
Luttrell, Homer Browning, 11/08/1894 - 7/2/1992 - Draper Presbyterian Cemetery
-Luttrell, Virginia Painter, 05/11/1902- 12/12/1971 - Draper Presbyterian Cemetery- ( Dr. Homer B. Luttrell's first wife. )
-Luttrell, Jane Allison Owen, 02/16/1919 - 03/18/2001 Oglesby Cemetery - ( Dr. Homer B. Luttrell's second wife. )
(Some Material from the "Bramwell Aristocrat" - Aug. 1993. Information updated by Dr. Luttrell's son, Richard Luttrell in 2003.)
The Luttrell House - Located on Main Street in Historic Bramwell. This house was later owned by Bramwell's Police Chief, McKinley Stacey and wife, Bessie Robinson Stacey.
Dateline: Pulaski, VA July 3, 1992:
Dr. Homer Browning Luttrell, age 97 of 907 Prospect Ave., Pulaski, VA, died Thursday, July 2, 1992 at his home. He was born Nov. 8,1894 in Maxwell, California, a son of the late Richard E. and Ada Browning Luttrell. Dr. Luttrell graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in 1923, and practiced medicine 53 years, 21 years in Bramwell, W. Va. and 32 years in Pulaski, retiring in 1976.
He was a World War I veteran and was stationed two years at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Newport, R.I. He was a member and Elder Emeritus of the First Presbyterian Church. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Virginia Painter Luttrell and five brothers. He is survived by his wife, Jane Oglesby Owen Luttrell; two sons, Warren B. Luttrell, Pulaski, VA; one stepson, Clark Owens, Jr., Salem, VA; one stepdaughter, Mrs. Howard (Su Su) Sadler, Pulaski, VA; six granddaughters; one grandson; six great-grandchildren; three step-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held on Saturday at 11 a.m. from the First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Richard Bethune and the Rev. Preston "Sartelle officiating. Interment followed in the Drapers Valley Presbyterian Church Cemetery. Visiting family received friends from 7-9 p.m. at Thomas M. Seagle and Sons Funeral Home.
OFFICE OF DR. HOMER LUTTRELL
DR. HOMER LUTTRELL CHILDHOOD FAMILY HOME IN AMISSVILLE, VA