Project SummaryDr. Francis Joseph "F.J." Halcomb, Jr. (May 19, 1918-May 16, 2013) was born in Franklin, Kentucky and grew up on a farm in Simpson County, Kentucky. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1939 and earned his MD from the University of Louisville in 1943. He served in the U.S. Army's 5th Auxiliary Surgical Group of the European Theater until the German surrender in 1945. He, with wife Mariola Shrewsbury, returned to Kentucky and took an offer from Bowling Green's Dr. G.Y. Graves to practice medicine at Graves' previous clinic in Allen County. With Fraternity Brother and med school classmate Dr. Earl Oliver, Halcomb started his private practice in the Graves Building on the square of Scottsville, Allen County, Kentucky in January 1946. He remained in private practice for the next 40 years then became a part-time physician at the nearby GE Plant until its closure in 2004.
Halcomb was also active in the community. He served on the Allen County School Board of Education for 24 years, 18 years as chairman; the Scottsville City Council for 20 years; the Jaycees and served as state vice president; he was also a Mason, Shriner and Rotarian – and one of the founding members of the Scottsville-Allen County Recreational Association. He served as a director of the Kentucky State Bank and was a charter member of White Plains Baptist Church. Dr. Halcomb was also a charter member of the Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians, and was selected Kentucky Citizen Doctor of the Year in 1970. He served as president of the Kentucky Academy in 1975-76; a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and served as a legislative representative for the national organization, and received the President’s Award from the American Academy in 2006.
Dr. and Mrs. Halcomb bought a small farmstead in White Plains, Kentucky just outside Scottsville when he began his practice in 1946. The 1900 log structure was the family home until Dr. Halcomb's death in 2013, but it often served as a makeshift clinic. Dr. Halcomb was a true country doctor making house calls and seeing patients in his house at all hours. As a general family physician, he provided care for everything from OB and pediatrics to internal medicine and geriatrics. Dr. Halcomb's devotion to the community, his expertise to the field of Family Practice medicine, and the family home structure are all unique. The F.J. Halcomb House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018.
This series of interviews explores Dr. Halcomb's impact on the community, the house, and how it preserves the uniquely American history of the country doctor.