Dr. Blailock was raised in Mississippi and graduated from Tulane Medical School in 1875. He moved to McLennan County in 1882, and chose to practice medicine in the newly incorporated town of McGregor (named after a Waco doctor) until 1904. He was a leader and president of the Central Texas Medical Association, and later vice-president of the Texas State Medical Association. While he was a leader in organized medicine, his greater interest was in the science side of medicine.
He was known to be a life-long student of medicine, taking many post-graduate training periods in New York City. Known as the leading surgeon of Central Texas, in 1892, he traveled to New York to study under Dr. Charles McBurney (whose article 7 years later would be the basis for McBurney’s point in appendicitis) to learn thoroughly a new surgery, then returned to McLennan County. Shortly after he returned, he performed the first appendectomy in McLennan County. The patient had a ruptured appendix, but the surgery was successful, and the patient lived a long life. This was not a simple thing, as there was no hospital, and the surgery was done in a private home.
This information was taken from a remembrance by Dr. H. F. Connally
Lewis Richard Kannwischer, M.D.
Last year, Dick and Gale invited my wife and I over to their home. Before dinner, Dick and I headed to the living room where he sat down at the piano and began to play. We sang hymns with gusto until dinner was ready, and had a delightful evening with a brilliant, gracious couple.
Dick graduated from Princeton in 1964, went on to Baylor for medical school, then Internal Medicine internship at Methodist Hospital in Houston. He then took a break from school when he served for two years as a general medical officer at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisons in Springfield, Missouri from 1969 to 1971. From there, he did his Ophthalmology residency at Baylor College of Medicine, graduating in 1974. At that time, Dr. Scruggs and Dr. Dow recruited him to join their Ophthalmology practice in Waco, where he had a fulfilling medical practice for 38 years, known for his superb care combined with compassion.
Now that he has retired, he enjoys playing the piano, golfing, teaching a Bible study class, and singing in the choir at First Presbyterian Church. He is writing a book on “The Art of Bible Study,” illustrated by works of the great artists such as Rembrandt. He continues to stay up to date with CME, but is loving spending more time with and traveling with Gale, and their children and grandchildren.
How do you feel things are in Waco medicine today?
The remarkable consolidation and networking of hospital and physician’s medical practices in Waco has been breathtaking. My hope for medical care in Waco is to encourage physicians to attend and support the McLennan County Medical Society. The goals and functions of the Society and those dedicated to its historic yet active service are worthy of our thanks and praise.
If there is one message you’d give to today’s physician, what would it be?
I would encourage physicians to establish personal friendships and relationships so the community of physicians would be bonded together as a family devoted to the highest goals of medical service.