Life history of Doctor P. P. Salter of Eufaula, Alabama

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Doctor P. P. Salter

343 Eufaula Street


Gertha Conric (or Corric)

Eufaula, Alabama

April 26, 1939

He calls no hour of day or night his own,
Through heat or cold he goes his rounds alone;
Here, to bring some mortal into being,
There, to ease some soul that must be fleeing.
He listens earnestly to tales of grief,
Forgets himself that he may give relief
To bodies suffering, or tortured minds;
In service to all men his pleasure finds.
May God forever bless him with His grace,
For when he goes,oh, who will take his place”?

A veteran of the World War and a man that has been equally patriotic in times of peace, a man that is beloved by all who know him, a man of irrisistable (sic)charm, and a friend to man.

Eufaula’s oldest physician. He located in Eufaula in 1921, coming as associate with Dr. W. S. Britt Infirmary. He has spent his life of supreme affection, unwearied zeal and arduous labors as physician of Eufaula. He is one of the most outstanding doctors of Alabama, and has done much to conserve the health of his city through his unusual ability as a surgeon, and general practitioner with untiring service, not only in Eufaula but in the surrounding country, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, day and night, in fair weather or stormy weather.

Garden in the rear of the home of Dr. P.P. Salter at 343 Eufaula Street in Eufaula, Alabama

He is active in all affairs of the growth and progress of Eufaula and takes a leading part in the civic and social life of the city. He is one of Alabama’s most successful, beloved and popular physicans.

“I was born at Evergreen, Alabama. My father was Mitchell B. Salter, prominent planter and owner of a large plantation in that community. I attended Southwest Ala. Agricultural College, Evergreen, graduating in 1907. I was an academic student at the University of Alabama, receiving my Bachelor of Science degree in 1911, and Masters Degree in 1912. My medical education was obtained at Tulane University, New Orleans, La.; graduating in 1916. Was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and Phi Kappa Psi Med. Frat., the Alpha Omega Alpha, an honorary Medical Greek letter fraternity and Phi Beta Kappa. From 1914 until 1916 I was instructor in Physiology and Anatomy at Tulane, served my internship at Charity Hospital, New Orleans.”
For eight months, after leaving school, Dr. Salter was Field Director for the State Board of Health and when the World War was declared, he volunteered. He was instructor at the Army Medical School at Washington, and after the war was director of the Alabama State Laboratory and Pasteur Institute. He took a post-graduate course at New York at Rockfeller (sic) Institute, specializing in surgery at Charity Hospital, New Orleans, and came to Eufaula in 1920. In 1922, he established his own hospital, which is a beautiful institution and solely owned by Dr. Salter.

The fame of “Salter Hospital” is known over Alabama, Georgia and Fla.

It is one of the most modern and best equipped in the State. It affords the people of Eufaula and vicinity as fine hospital facilities as can be had anywhere. It is an outstanding institution of its kind. Formerly a brick residence, work on this splendid hospital was begun in 1922, the house being made over entirely and a modern and up-to-date hospital constructed. It was completed and opened March 20, 1923. When it was first established it only had a capacity of twenty beds, but in 1926 an annex was added, with thirty beds, making a total of fifty beds, its capacity today.

Salter Hospital Riverside Drive Eufaula, Ala (Alabama Department of Archives and History)

Located on Riverside Drive, Salter Hospital is a beautiful, two-story, brick structure, with beautiful lawns and flowers. It is modernly equipped with sterilizers, an up-to-date laboratory and operating room, X-ray equipment, oxygen tent, etc.

Although the Salter Hospital is owned by Dr. Salter, all registered physicians of the community are invited to use the institution and bring their patients there.


The Britt Infirmary and the Salter Hospital were awarded honor recognition for high standards of proficiency among the hospitals in the United States, by the National Hospital Council. This was indeed a splendid compliment to these hospitals and Eufaula was listed among the 300 honored, which was chosen from 6,532 hospitals in the United States. These honors were awarded at the annual meeting in Baltimore.

Dr. Salter said: “ I am deeply interested in Eufaula and I have taken active interest in civic affairs since coming to this city to make my home. I was one of the three founders of the local Rotary Club and have served as its President twice. I am a Democrat, a member of the Methodist Church South and a steward in that Church. In fraternal circles, I am a member of the Masonic Order, the A. F. and A. M., the R. A. M., the Commandery K. O., Alcazar Shrine Temple, Montgomery, a member of the Alabama State Medical Society, Southern Surgical, Southeastern Surgical Congress, the Barbour County Medical Society, Chattahoochee Valley surgeon, twice president of the Southern Medical Association and a Fellow of the American Medical Association. I have served as president of the Barbour County Board of Health, President of Eufaula Chamber of Commerce, So. Surg. Assn; Southwestern Surg. Assn.; A. M. A. Ala., State Med. Assn.: First Lt. M. C. Reg. Army stationed at Army Med. School and Walter Reed Hospital, Washington until discharged Nov. 1918. I am a member of the country club. I like fishing, golf, hunting, football, etc.”

“I was married to Grace Pulliam of Tuscaloosa, daughter of one of the best known professors at the University of Alabama. Three children came from this union. Louise (now Mrs. Hugh C. Sparks, Jr.) They have one little daughter, Joan. Lenore (now at Gulf Port College, Gulf Port, Miss., and Paul, Jr. in high school at Eufaula. Mrs. Salter died several years ago. April 25, 1936, I married the beautiful Eva Haigler, one of Alabama’s beauties and she also noted for her charm. She is a great help mate to me in all of my work and my children adore her.”

Author (M. S. Thesis) “Ketones” 1912, “The Acute Abdomen”, 1931. “Evaluation of Blood Pressure Readings in Surgical Cases, 1918. “The Value of the Laboratory to a Small Hospital”, 1926. “Acute Abdominal Symptoms in Pregnancy and Puerperium”, 1932. “A Clinical Study of Intestinal Abstruction” 1936. “Appendicitis in Pregnancy”, 1935. “The Acute Abdomen”, 1926. “The Use of Sulfamilamide in Acute and Chronic Gonorrhea”, 1937. Taken from “Who’s Who Physicians and Surgeons” vol. 1. 1938.”


I asked Dr. Salter could he tell me some of the work done in the Eufaula District and other agencies. He said:

“During the past twelve months, 140 prenatals (cases) have been admitted to the nursing service. Literature was marked and given to each case. Newspapers were furnished by the nurse and delivery pads (minimum of 3) were made and covered with the nurse assisting each mother. To these 140 cases 585 home visits were made (an average of four or more to the case); 81 cases were admitted to post-partum service with 193 visits to these mothers.”

“One hundred infants (from the time of birth to 1 year of age) were admitted to the nursing service during the past year. Within the city of Eufaula 8 complete layettes were given to indigent cases through the Christ Child Circle while two more were furnished by the department of public welfare; 580 visits were given to these admitted cases; 106 infants were given toxoid (diphtheria) by the nurse; literature was left in the homes; 80 were schick tested for immunity.”

“One hundred and eighteen pre-school (from 1 year to six years of age) children were admitted to nursing service during that year of 1938 while 807 home visits were made in the interest of the health of these little ones. To the mothers of this group literature was given; 164 pre-school children were given the diphtheria toxoid; 150 children were schick tested 3 months following toxoid to see if the choldren received immunity.

Eleven new cases of tuberculosis were admitted to the nursing home service while 326 visits of such word have been made into these homes; 2 chest clinics (May 28th and Nov. 23) were promoted and supervised by the nurse: 64 cases were x-rayed; 1 case was immediately placed under the care of her family physician while 4 cases throughout the year were hospitalized.”

“Nine public talks have been given by the nurse to various clubs, P.T.A.’s, etc”

“Sixteen crippled children were carefully supervised while two clinics for such cases (Nov. 20th and Oct. 28th) were promoted by the nurse. For both clinics we had 100 per cent attendance of said cases; 87 home visits were made in the interest of such work. Several major operations were performed on some of these children while braces were fitted and adjusted for others. All of this was done directly under the supervision of the local health department.”

“Twenty-six midwives were strictly supervised while 48 meetings (4 meetings held monthly) were conducted by the nurse: 109 home visits were made into such home for personal supervision, check-up on births, etc. All mid-wives had their complete equipment throughout the year.”

“Throughout the schools in this area over 14, 466 personal inspections were made by the nurse to the children. Much was accomplished by having the children bring in dental correction slips, reporting to family physician for any skin rash or other abnormal symptom appearing on body of child. Personal hygiene was stressed throughout each inspection. The nutrition class sponsored by the Christ Child Circle in Eufaula was closely supervised by the nurse in connection with the Christ Child Committee. All these children were tested for hookworms. It was also arranged by the nurse for a baking company to donate to this group of 56 children(indigent) fresh bread daily to go with their food. Through the aid of the PTA, the nurse secured a maid to give close supervision to the smaller girls in the Eufaula elementary school and the maid also cared for the rest-rooms.”

“Three home hygiene and care of the sick classes were promoted and taught by the local nurse. The Mother’s Club (20 enrolled) had 8 to receive certificates, the Eufaula home economics class (16 enrolled) had ten to receive certificates, while the Baker Hill home economics class (16 enrolled) had 16 to receive certificates. Interesting projects of various kinds such as: screening homes of class members, community cleaning-up campaigns, building of medicine cabinets, etc., were realized before the classes were completed.”

“For the four major communities in this area ‘health centers’ were started and two complete obstetrical packs having kotex and basis furnished by clubs from the communities were included within these packs which were furnished by the department of public welfare. For the Eufaula district the Christ Child Circle donated an incubator (which can be used with electricity or otherwise) to be used in connection with premature or underweight infants born in this area. Baker Hill vocational class has begun on one for that section.”


“Three hundred and sixty-two infants, pre-school and school children, (indigent) have been given medical supervision through the aid of the Christ Child Circle, the nurse cooperates with the club by making follow-up visits, assisting at the clinic, and promoting cases who need such care to attend the clinic. Through the aid of the Circle children, who are in need of food, clothes, medical supervision, codliver oil, etc. are given this care.”

“Under the supervision of Mrs. Cleveland Adams, through WPA projects, the aid project was started. To this group of 16 white women and 8 colored women the nurse taught nursing methods of home care of the sick, proper bed-making, infant feeding, etc.; so that the aids would be better prepared to assist in the various indigent homes where they would be placed. At regular intervals the nurse makes it a point to contact the supervisor of this project and report cases who are in need of such aids.”

“One thousand sixty-five children were closely examined for defective teeth with the nurse assisting the local dentists. Several dental pictures were flashed on the screen for the benefit of the children toward better teeth.”


I asked Dr. Salter if he would tell me something of his background.

He said: “The Salter family originated in Scotland from whence it’s representative came to the Carolinas before the American Revolution. Since which time they have been connected with constructive citizenship in whatever locality they have been fit to locate.”
“My father lived on a large plantation with a hundred slaves, and was one of the first to offer his services in the Confederate Army. After a devoted service, he lost his right arm in the Battle of Gettysburg.”

“I had a happy childhood and when I was a lad, I always said that I wanted to be a doctor; even had my little medicine chest and would tie up the family’s stumped toes and cuts. It was my sole ambition.”

“A doctor’s life is the hardest of all lives, but it is not hard to me. I go sometimes three or four days with only a few hours sleep.”

“A city doctor’s life is the most strenous (sic) proffession (sic); its morning, noon and night. You cannot call your soul your own. And of course owning my hospital makes it even more so. I have performed as many as twelve operations in one day, one right after the other. A country doctor doesn’t have that to contend with. Of course my internes (sic) are a great help; have had some splendid ones since opening my hospital.”

“My hospital is my heart. I keep it up-to-date with any hospital in the United States. I thank God for all the wonderful things science has done for our profession. Sulphurnilmide and Sulphurparidine; last week I carried a woman sixty-eight years old to my hospital with double pneumonia, fever 106. She is well today; sulphurpiridine. A doctor even has more contact with the dying than a preacher. I will never get hardened to it. When I lose a patient, no one but God knows my grief.”

Alabama Footprints Volumes V-VIII: Four Books in One

Interesting History retold as real life. Many pioneers traveled to what would become the State of Alabama at an early day and pushed out the Native Americans who were living there. Over the years, the personal stories and events that took place during this time, have often been lost and/or forgotten. This book (four-books-in-one) reveals the circumstances, events and why and how the Native-Americans were forced to leave the “Alabama soil of their birth” forever. Treaties, legal acts, news clippings, and other documentation have been included with the stories.



  1. There was a dr Salter in Talladega in 1950s

    1. Dr. Paul P Salter is my maternal great grandfather. This is a photo of his hospital on the bluff in Eufaula, Alabama. My mother was born there.

      1. My brother and I were brn in Dr Salters hosp. He was our family doctor. Send me info on how to join your club so I can get his hosp pictures. I always vist where it once stood when I come home to Eufaula. I live in the Nashville area. I also visit his grave along with my family graves. Im 77 now my brother is 75 in the atlanta area. Forgive my talking so much. I have alot of good memories. Bill

      2. Hi Gail. We just bought Dr. Salter’s house in Eufaula. 343 N. Eufaula Av. I am trying to find out who owned the house before the Salter family. Would you have any idea?

        Chris Jenkins

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