Sunday, April 7, 2013

1878 - A Brave man Gives Up His Life for Others

The SENTINEL of yesterday reported that Dr. Gorrell, of Maples, in this county, was ill with yellow fever at Memphis, and that his condition was very critical.  A telegram received this morning by Mayor Zollinger announces that the doctor died last night.

About three weeks ago Dr. Gorrell volunteered his services to go to Memphis and attend the sick.  He had served in the army, spent several years in the south, and in 1862 had charge of a hospital in Memphis.  At that time he attended yellow fever patients, and was himself attacked with the terrible disease, from which he recovered.  For these reasons he believed that he would live through the epidemic, and his offer was therefore accepted.

The doctor reached Memphis about two weeks ago, and was assigned to duty at the Printer's Hospital.  He labored night and day with his patients and met with splendid success until last Sunday, when he was taken ill.  The Gazette this morning publishes a letter from him, dated the 14th, in which he gives a thrilling account of the terrible scenes he was passing through.  He declared that his army experience was comparatively nothing.  On the 14th he visited seventy-eight patients and climbed more than three thousand steps.

The doctor was one of the world's  heroes.  It is accounted the height of nobleness to give one's life for a brother or friend; but Dr. Gorrell laid his life down cheerfully, manfully, bravely for strangers for people of whom he had never seen nor heard.  Loftier heroism never was exhibited; truer bravery was never show.  

Dr. Gorrell was a brave soldier, a skillful physician and a kind husband and father.  He leaves a wife and five small children in maples, whose means of support are thus taken from them.
~Posted in the Fort Wayne Daily Sentinel, September 21, 1878.

His full name was Jesse Oliver Goldsmith Gorrell.  His parents were the Rev. Jesse B. Gorrell and Sophia May Forney.  His wife was Jennie Cash.  Although Dr. Gorrell was not a Memphian his service to the city and his unselfish actions surely give him resident status!  He is interred at Elmwood Cemetery.

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