Historic Bramwell Pioneer
Percy John McElrath, MD
Doctor Percy J. McElrath, SR., (1870 - 1930) lived in Bramwell, WV and practiced dentistry. Dr. Percy McElrath was the first dentist and pharmacist in Bramwell, WV. Dr. McElrath came to Bramwell in 1895 vears ago, as a dentist.
Dr. McElrath and wife, Elizabeth McElrath had two sons: Percy John McElrath, Jr. and James A. McElrath. They also had a daughter: Mary J. McElrath.
Percy John "PJ" McElrath, Jr., MD, son of Mrs. Percy McElrath and the late Dr. Percy J. McElrath, Sr. of Bramwell,WV graduated from the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA. "PJ" (as Percy was known) married Idell Marshall in Richmond, VA on March 9, 1942. He served in WWII. His wife, Idell died in Warrenton, VA on June 29, 2012 at the age of 92.
Dr. Percy John “PJ” McElrath, Jr.
The below writing is by Jennifer Dawn McGuinnis :
The McElrath House - Built ca. 1898:
This house is a 2-Story brick dwelling with steep roof and cross gable, asymmetrical plan. It has a small porch topped by a pediment supported by decorative wooden posts. A decorative iron fence surrounds the property. It sits on Main Street (Brick Street) in downtown Bramwell on Lot No. 108.
This home belonged to one of Bramwell’s 1st Dentist & Pharmacist, Dr. Percy John McElrath.
Dr. Percy John McElrath & his wife, Elizabeth moved to Bramwell in 1895 and had this house built sometime within the next 3 years. Dr. McElrath practiced dentistry for some time, then continued his studies of medicine and became a physician. For almost 30 years he practiced medicine in area.
Dr. McElrath attended school at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, University of Maryland and the Medical College of Virginia.
Percy John's oldest son, Paul Richard, was a pharmacist. Percy John McElrath, Jr. also became a physician in Raleigh NC. His grandson (daughter, Margaret’s son) Percy Paul Pharr became an OB-GYN doctor.
In 1911, Percy John McElrath wrote a published a book called "The key to sex control; or The cellular determination of sex and the physiological laws which govern its control ". Also found a medical review about his theory in how the sex of a baby is determined during conception.
Dr. Percy John McElrath's health began failing in January of 1929 and his health continued to decline steadily from Heart Disease.
Dr. Percy John McElrath passed away in 1930 at the age of 60 on a Monday night at 11:20pm on September 22nd, 1930. Dr. Percy John McElrath's funeral was held here in his home at 2pm on September 24th. Services were conducted by the Rev B.T. Sells, pastor of the Bramwell Methodist church, and assisted by the Rev. Foard, of the Bramwell Presbyterian church.
Dr. Percy John McElrath was buried at Monte Vista Park Cemetery in nearby Bluefield WV.
Dr. John Benjamin Perry was an active pallbearer and Jarius Collins was an honorary pallbearer.
Dr. Percy John McElrath was a Shriner member of all Masonic bodies, a member of the Bramwell Presbyterian church and the Mercer County Medical society.
Dr. Percy John McElrath also owned capital 13 shares of Capital stock in the Pocahontas Coal Company.
Bramwell's Historic Dr. Percy McElrath House
These three Historic Bramwell houses are located on the Town of Bramwell's Brick Street. The house on the left was constructed in 1892 and was the first office of the successor of The Flat Top Coal Land Association. The house in the center is known as the McElrath House. The house on the right is often referred to as the Biggs House. It has also been previously owned by the Richardsons, and Smiths. The Waller family also owned and lived in this house for about 10 years between the ownership of the Richardsons and Smith. This house was built in 1903 by coal baron Jairus Collins. He built a house on South River Street in 1911.
( Photo - W. Petty 9/13/99 )
BRAMWELL'S HISTORIC HOUSES INDEX.