May 5, 2016 Minutes
Submitted by Tommy Fulton, Contributing Editor
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by President Robby McClure. Bill Kinnaird gave the invocation, followed by Larry Sindel, who led us in song, accompanied by Les Greer at the piano. Tom Martenstein introduced our guests along with visiting Rotarians.
Student Guest: Garrett Williamson presented the 2016-2017 Rotary Scholarship Award Winners, William Tyler Lott from Alma Bryant and Elizabeth Morrissette from St. Paul’s.
Program: John Dukes introduced the speaker, Tom McGehee, who spoke on the topic “Mobile County Health Department: 200 Years of Local Leaders”.
Mr. McGuire’s opened his remarks by stating, “To many people, the Health Department is mosquito spraying, restaurant ratings and legal records.” Also, when most people think of the Health Department, they think of our own Bert Eichold. However, our speaker focused on three leaders, George Ketchum, Paul Acker and Charles Mohr.
Dr. Ketchum was accepted at Princeton as a 15 year-old scholar, but had to decline because he couldn’t afford to attend. He attained his M.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania and moved to Mobile, where he became Dean of Faculty at the Medical College of Alabama. He was very effective in fighting yellow fever through the use of quinine. In 1885, he helped establish our first Water Works. The Ketchum fountain in Bienville Square was erected in his honor and is still present.
Dr. Paul Acker was Chief of staff at City Hospital in Mobile for 27 years. He also served at the Marine Hospital and on the Board of Health. He moved his place of residence to the location now occupied by the new Courthouse next to Bankhead Tunnel. He died in 1953 at the age of 82.
Charles Mohr was the son of German immigrants. In 1879, as a noted botanist, he published “Alabama Forests and Their Products.” Mohr pushed for infant inoculations and screened windows as a means to fight disease, especially insect-borne maladies. He died in 1901 at the age of 76.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 pm.
May 5, 2016 Minutes