Word came to us from Mrs. Lucille Brannen DeLoach that Dr. Leila Daughtry Denmark, age 108, would be flying out to Colorado with her daughter, Mrs. Mary D. Hutcherson, to visit Mary’s son’s family including grandchildren (Dr. Leila’s great-grandchildren).
Dr. Leila Denmark is a life member of the Bulloch County Historical Society as was her late husband, J.E. (Eustace) Denmark, Mrs. Lucille DeLoach’s first cousin. This explains why the Denmarks, then residents of Alpharetta, Ga., and former residents of Atlanta and originally Portal natives, were at the dedication of the Brannen Genealogy Room at the Statesboro Regional Library several years ago. Mr. Eustace Denmark was related to a host of Brannen cousins!
Dr. Leila Denmark is a wonder. She drinks only water — no coffee, no tea, no sodas and no alcoholic beverages. And no sugar!
Leila Daughtry boarded at the First District A & M School (now GSU) where she was graduated from high school. Then she went to Bessie Tiff College at Forsyth and finally to the Medical College where she was the only female member of her class and only the third female to be graduated from the Medical College at that time.
In her practice as a pediatrician in Atlanta, she saw the tragedies caused by the childhood disease of whooping cough. I had whooping cough as a child. For me it was worse than measles or mumps.
In cooperation with the Eli Lilly Company, she developed a serum which became widely used to prevent that dreaded childhood disease.
In the late 1940s, I moved to Atlanta to finish my senior year at Georgia Tech. I moved my church membership from Marietta First Baptist to Druid Hills where Dr. Louie D. Newton was in his prime. (See my story in “Stories to Warm the Heart, Part 2.”)
I won the Young People’s Better Speaking Tournament. I suppose because of this I was invited to give the opening devotional at the Ladies Sunday School Class. I later learned that Dr. Leila Denmark was a member of that class. Also, I remember Mr. Denmark telling me that Dr. Louie Newton baptized him. “Dr. Newton never turned away anyone who came to him in need,” Mr. Denmark told me.
In her later years, the Denmarks lived in Alpharetta then a small town north of Roswell, Ga. They had an old house (perhaps over 100 years old) on their property which Dr. Denmark used as her office to which mothers took their sick babies. There was no nurse, simply a room with a table and a sheet of paper on the table where mothers signed up to see the doctor! I have heard that her charges for an office visit were quite small.
Although Mr. Denmark had a law degree, he was vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank.
Dr. Leila Daughtry Denmark is a wonder. Only a few years ago, Dorothy Roebuck of Brooklet was visiting with husband George Roebuck and his relatives who live around the corner in Alpharetta. Dot Roebuck went over to see Dr. Denmark and they stood at the door, talking for about 25 minutes. Dot was invited to come back to see her when they could have a long talk! She said she was not tired of standing!
Mary Denmark Hutcherson, her daughter, was married to Grady Hutcherson (now deceased), brother of Stewart Hutcherson whose family was our next door neighbor when we lived in Gray, Ga., in the early 1960s. We knew nothing of the connections to Portal or Bulloch County!
Dr. Leila Daughtry Denmark is a wonder! She has lived in three centuries: the 19th, the 20th and the 21st.
New Day Dawns
According to Dr. Dan Good, editor of “Rambling through Bulloch,” the Bulloch County Historical Society will meet Monday, Oct. 16, at R.J.’s for a Dutch Luncheon. Go through the line at 11:30 a.m. Program, arranged by Dr. Brent Tharp, begins at noon.
“Dawn of a New Day” will open with presentation of a 1953 film entitled “Dawn of a New Day.” Presented by Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Blitch, the film was produced to celebrate the role of county agricultural agents and their importance in introducing new and advanced farming techniques in the mid 20th century. The film focuses on the legendary Bulloch County Agent Byron Dyer and on the Blitch family farms. The public is invited.
On Oct. 9 and 10, the GSU Center for Irish Studies will again sponsor Harry O’Donoghue in folk music performances at 7 and 9 p.m. at the French Quarter Cafe, Savannah Avenue, in Statesboro.
Harry, always a Statesboro favorite, was a frequent performer of Irish music at Archibald’s until that restaurant closed.
Dr. Howard Keeley, director of the GSU Center for Irish Studies, has announced the Oct. 9 and 10 performances as “Irish and Celtic Folk Music Nights.”