John Thomas Harrington, M.D. 1858-1947


Dr. Harrington was born in Mississippi, and went to Louisville Medical College in 1879, and also the Medical School of St. Louis and the New York Polyclinic Medical College, with special training in Obstetrics.

He moved to Texas and practiced in El Paso (where he was president of the board of health), Abilene (where he helped found what would become Hardin-Simmons University in 1891), in Bremond and in Sweetwater before he came to Waco in 1897. He lived and practiced (in the Amicable Building and his home) in Waco the next 50 years. During this time, he served as city physician and helped organize the transition of the Waco Medical Association to the McLennan County Medical Society.

Going through his papers in the Texas Collection, one finds his suggested diet for patients: coffee in the morning, wheat bread with butter 3 times daily, lean meat once daily, 1 baked apple and 1 whole orange, a moderate portion of buttermilk, weak tea with lemon, clear soup, and plenty of various vegetables. In his personal medical notebook of how to treat ailments from early in his Ob/Gyn practice, his treatment for an STD included morphine 3 times daily, bismuth, sulfur, and fluid hydration. He had an entire folder for his controlled substance licenses to dispense morphine, cocaine (before illegal in 1914) and marijuana (before marijuana was outlawed in the 1930s).

Dr. Harrington served for many years on the Board of Trustees for Baylor University, and was chairman from 1932 to 1947), was pivotal in the founding in Dallas, and later moving to Houston, of Baylor Medical College. He also had other business interests, including president of Chemical Oil Company. Dr. Harrington’s home on Eighth Street across from Collins Residence Hall, was eventually sold to Baylor, and was the faculty center and guesthouse for 35 years until 2011, when it was converted to a drawing facility and gallery space for Baylor’s Department of Art.

Sean DeLue M.D.

Sean is the immediate past president of the McLennan County Medical Society (2015) and was a big part of planning many of the 150th anniversary accomplishments this year. He came here in 2009 from Clifton, and is the Family Medicine Director of the Baylor Scott and White Waco Clinic. He was born in Framingham, Massachusetts and grew up mostly in the Houston and Dallas areas.

Sean attended Baylor, then UT Medical School in Houston and did his residency at Brazos Family Medicine Residency. He came to the Waco area after residency to join the group in Clifton practicing at Goodall-Witcher Hospital, doing full scope Family Medicine, and serving as President of the Clifton Physicians Group before leaving to come to Waco.

Sean and his wife have great joy raising their daughters, he leads the 11:00 guest ministries for Antioch Community Church, and he and his wife lead a Life Group for Antioch. He just returned a few weeks ago to Texas from an overseas mission to Greece to provide aid to the Syrian refugees.

What do you hope to see happen in Waco’s medical future?

The medical environment can be tricky to navigate given current federal and state government and insurance decisions, but I know our medical community will prevail. We need to continue to work hard to maintain our diversity of primary and specialty care as well as protect the various styles of practice from the one-man operation to the large corporate groups.

If there were one message you could give to today’s physician, what would it be?

Never forget why you became a physician. Though the long days and nights and even longer hours of paperwork may not bring you joy, your ability to help another in their time of need should.

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