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DeCoursey, Elbert, 1902-1994

  • LCNAF no2010089866
  • Person
  • 1902-1944

Major General Elbert "Frenchy" DeCoursey, M.D., was born in Ludlow, Kentucky, on April 12, 1902. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky in 1924 and an MD degree at Johns Hopkins in 1928. He interned at Brooke Army Hospital at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio and was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the Army Medical Corps in 1929.

A pathologist, DeCoursey held various positions in the United States Army. He was the Director of the Army Group Joint Commission for the Investigation of Effects of the Atomic Bomb in Nagasaki, Japan; consultant for the Division of Biology and Medicine for the Atomic Energy Commission; commandant of the Army Medical Service Research and Graduate School (now Walter Reed Institute of Research); Director of Armed Forces Institute of Pathology; and Chancellor of Army Medical Service School at Ft. Sam Houston (now US Army Academy of Health Sciences). DeCoursey rose through the ranks of commissioned officers, and was named a Major General in 1954.

In 1959 DeCoursey retired from military service and became the Director of Scientific Research at Trinity University. He also lectured regularly at the National Institute of Health, the University of Texas Health Science Center, and Baylor University. DeCoursey was the Director of the National Board of Medical Examiners from 1948-1955, Director of the Texas Heart Association, and a trustee of the Southeast Texas Methodist Hospital.

DeCoursey was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1945, was a Diplomat of the American Board of Pathology, and a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists. He was also awarded the Caldwell Award in pathology in 1960 and the Bronze Medal from the American Association of Pathologists and Bacteriologists in 1962. DeCoursey was also a ruling elder of the First Presbyterian Church in San Antonio. DeCoursey was married to Esther F. DeCoursey, who was involved in various San Antonio charities. Dr. DeCoursey passed away on December 4, 1994.

Kelly, William M., 1874-1957

  • Person
  • 1874-1957

William M. Kelly was born October 14, 1874 in Carrollton, Missouri, one of eight children. Kelly attended Trinity University in Tehuacana, Texas from 1891 through 1897. While at Trinity, Kelly was involved in the Timotheans society. He graduated from medical school at the University of Nashville in 1899, and was ordained a minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church on May 9, 1899. Rev. Kelly departed for China as a medical missionary on September 19, 1899, working under the auspices of the Cumberland Presbyterian China Mission. He married Carrie Goodrich, a missionary associated with the Foreign Christian Missionary Society, on August 22, 1900 in Shanghai. Mrs. Kelly passed away in December 1901. He again married in 1903, to Grace Miller Hill, a Methodist missionary born in Northern Ireland. Grace and William had five children; one passed away in childhood. Grace returned to the United States with their surviving children around 1922, and passed away in 1972. Rev. Kelly married his third wife, Mu Yi Chi, sometime in the 1930s. They moved to Inner Mongolia and had three children. During World War II, Rev. Kelly and his family were interned by the Japanese in Wihsien from 1943-1945. Two of Kelly's children were sent to the United States in 1948 to be raised by foster families. Despite pressure from Communist leaders, Rev. Kelly remained in Beijing, distributing bibles and operating an "underground church" until his death on June 22, 1957. He is buried at the Seven Trees Foreign Cemetery. His youngest child, Daniel Kelly, was then 16 years of age and attempted to flee China. He was stopped by border guards and was forced to serve twenty-one years in forced labor camps because he refused to renounce his American citizenship. Authorities allowed him to leave China in 1978; he arrived in America in 1979.