J. W. Breedlove-1906

Submitted by Deborah Musgrove

Dr. Breedlove, Wife Die 1906
By Jennifer Gill
Monday, December 11, 2006

A longtime city physician and surgeon, Dr. J.W. Breedlove, died at age 80 on Aug. 16, 1906.

His death came just two months after the death of his wife of 48 years, Emma Rawlings Breedlove, at age 71.

Dr. James Winchester Breedlove was born in New Orleans in 1827, educated at the University of Nashville and Louisville University (now Tulane University), and he had lived in Sebastian County for 45 years, according to the Fort Smith News Record.

He was a charter member and former president of the Sebastian County Medical Society.

According to a Sept. 9, 1906, reprint of a tribute by the Masonic Belle Point Lodge No. 20, of which Breedlove was a member, Breedlove was the youngest of seven children. His father, James Waller Breedlove, “attained prominence, and wealth, at one time filling the important position of Collector of Port (of New Orleans), by appointment from his warm personal and political friend, President Andrew Jackson.”

When Dr. Breedlove graduated from the University of Nashville, the tribute noted, former president Jackson signed his class’ diplomas.

According to “The History of New Orleans” by John Smith Kendall, the elder Breedlove was president of Atchafalaya Bank and a leader of the state’s Democratic Party who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in the 1850s.

Breedlove’s mother was Maria E. Winchester Breedlove, the daughter of Gen. James Winchester, an early pioneer of Tennessee and a War of 1812 veteran, according to the Masonic tribute.

As a child, Dr. Breedlove attended a boys’ school in New Orleans, becoming fluent in French. “He spoke and wrote this polite tongue with the ease and correctness of the best-educated Parisian,” the tribute stated.

According to “Goodspeed’s Histories of Arkansas,” Breedlove was house surgeon of the U.S. Marine Hospital of New Orleans for 12 years before the Civil War. He served with the Confederate forces during the Civil War, first as a surgeon of the Third Louisiana and ending his service at the Battle of Shiloh as chief surgeon of the troops of General Breckenridge of Kentucky, according to his obituary in the News Record.

“His courtesy, and grace and kindness of heart knew no distinction between poverty and wealth,” the tribute stated. “He was dignified, and easy in the presence of the most distinguished, as he was considerate and courteous to the most lowly.”

The lengthy tribute was signed by H.B. Armistead, Geo. W. Moss and W.A. Falconer.

According to Mrs. Breedlove’s June 12, 1906, obituary, she had suffered with paralysis for a number of years “and it was this disease which caused her death.” Emma Rawlings was born in Louisville, Ky., but reared in Virginia, according to the News Record. She and Dr. Breedlove first moved to Indian Territory, then resided near Sugar Loaf Mountain until they moved to Greenwood for 16 years, and then into Fort Smith.

The Breedloves had four children, but all preceded them in death. Three died within one week of scarlet fever, the News Record reported, and their son, Charles Breedlove, died in St. Louis in 1896.

Mrs. Breedlove “was a most estimable woman and leaves many friends who mourn her death,” reported the June 12, 1906, News Record.

“She was a devout member of the Episcopal church and was very charitable.”

According to the News Record, Mrs. Breedlove assisted her husband in caring for his practice, “especially among the poor.”

According to “Goodspeed’s Histories of Arkansas,” in 1889 Dr. Breedlove had been a “co-partner with Dr. (J.D.) Southard for two years.” Prior to that, he had a medical practice in Greenwood.

The News Record also reported when Dr. Breedlove’s will was probated, on Aug. 28, 1906, noting that he left his library to Dr. Southard and a small bequest for Col. T.P. Winchester, Dr. G.F. Hynes and Southard. The balance of his estate was to go to his brother, Maj. Napoleon Breedlove of Tahlequah, Indian Territory.