Dr. Charles T. Brown was a native of Gillsville, Georgia, in Banks and Hall counties and the son of a Baptist Minister. He graduated from Cumming High School in Forsyth County, Georgia and completed his pre-med education at Emory University. He received his M. D. Magna cum laude from Emory in July of 1929. Dr. Brown completed a one year internship as a Lieutenant Junior grade in Norfolk Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia and a surgerical residency at McLeod Infirmary in Florence, South Carolina. He came to Guyton in 1931 after his surgical residency.
He married Miss Catherine Carolina Cubbege, a Guyton native, while he was a medical student and she was a dietician at Emory. They had four children: C. Truman Brown III, Bartimus W. C. Brown, Barbara A. Brown and Jean Brown.
Dr. Brown chuckled and said, “I came to Guyton with a wife, one baby, a $4000 debt, six Navy uniforms and a second hand Plymouth that was actually a four cylinder Maxwell.”
When he opened his practice in Guyton, the town was a thriving community. He was the first fire chief, was an active civic leader and served as Mayor of Guyton for several terms, served as an alderman several times and held several offices in his church through the years.
Recounting hardships and extreme circumstances in his early years of practice, he said that it rained so much in 1947 that the Savannah and Ogeechee Rivers overflowed and met. During that time he made house calls in a jeep. On one occasion, to prevent getting wet, he stood inside a barrel in a one horse wagon while the wagon was pulled through a creek.
In 1944 he opened a 10 bed hospital known as Brown’s Clinic with rates of $3.00 in the ward and $4.00 a day for a private room. The venture netted him a profit of $42.00 the first year. The clinic was open until 1958 when strenuous state and federal regulations became too rigid to comply.
When he closed his hospital he joined the staff of the Georgia Department of Health serving as Medical Director for Candler, Evans, Bulloch, Bryan and Effingham Counties. In 1967 he received a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina. He then returned home to his beloved Guyton to once again practice medicine.
He was a member of the Medical Association of Georgia, American Medical Association, First District Medical Society and Georgia Medical Society.
In 1969, Dr. Brown and Dr. Ray Webb were the staff physicians who had worked for several years to open Effingham Hospital. They devoted countless hours of time in the planning of the new facility. His title was Vice Chief of Medicine and Chairman of Surgical Services on Monday August 25, 1969 when the doors of the hospital opened.
The Effingham County Hospital Authority held “Dr. Brown Appreciation Day” on December 9, 1973 in the Nursing Home Lobby. Over 500 attended to honor him for his 37 years of service to the residents of Effingham County.
L. W. Bonds, Guyton Town Clerk began the program with a resolution of appreciation by the Mayor and Council of Guyton. Chairman of the Effingham County Hospital Authority, Frank Arnsdorff expressed appreciation for his devotion and medical care rendered to the county citizens. Highlight of the event was the unveiling of handsome picture of Dr. Brown which was later placed in the lobby of the hospital in his honor. A bit shaken the man of the hour rose to the occasion as he expressed a deep appreciation for the honor. He recounted the quote of coming to Guyton with a wife, a baby, $4000 debt, an old car and some Navy uniforms. Mrs. Susie Sowell had approached him for a job and he hired her unsure of being able to pay her the $3.00 a week. He mentioned good rapport with the other physicians and expounded on their merits. To quell the rumor of retirement he announced, “I will retire the day after my funeral.”
In 1973, Ina Mosley and daughter in law Faye Brown assisted him at his Guyton office where he continued to see patients.
In 1978 he retired to spend time with his large family including 4 children, 14 grandchildren and one great grandchild.
He delivered over 2,000 babies and saw more medical cures and changes than one could dream possible.
A quote from Springfield Herald sums it up, “For a man who wanted to be a railroad engineer (and always did) he was one fine doctor and Effingham County is a better place because he came our way.”
He died at the age of 79 on September 26, 1982, after more than 50 years of serving the medical needs of those in Effingham County.
This was compiled by Susan Exley from Historic Effingham Society using “The History of Medicine in Effingham County” written by Betty Renfro for Effingham Hospital on its 40th Anniversary. If you have photos or historical information to share contact her at 912-754-6681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org