Union Cemetery

Union Cemetery
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Friday, November 23, 2007

Memories of Dr. Pipes

I received this wonderful email from Mary Lou Frye last week. I cannot respond to her ( see my entry about AT&T email below) so I thought you all might enjoy reading it and maybe she will see it here too. Read the rest of the story at the bottom.

"I read your article in the Danville paper online as I live in Florida. I am curious to know if you are related to the Dr. Pipes who practiced in Moreland, whose wife was named Betty and they had a son, James? This was many years ago and they were good friends of my maternal grandparents, George Pruitt and Mary Jane "Mame" King Pruitt. People always laughed that the town doctor and the owner of the funeral home were close friends. I have many childhood memories of Dr. Pipes and Miss Betty as they were a part of my daily life as a child (I am now 73). They were frequent guests for meals and when I recall the dining table and the people around it, they are always present. I think in today’s world I would have been labeled hyperactive, however, times were very different and the adults in your life worked around it. Dr. Pipes would allow me to come to his little two-room office building at the side of his house each morning to watch him mix medications with a mortar and pestle if I sat still and did not talk. I was fascinated and I knew he meant what he said. He was much loved by the citizens of Moreland and Lincoln County and delivered just about all the babies around there. His standard fee was a dollar but I think a lot of his fees were paid in food and services. Every morning you would see baskets of fruit, vegetables and other wares of the citizens of this rural community. Miss Betty and my grandparents predeceased him and the town and my family worried about him because he was so lonely for them. He would go by to see my uncle, who now had my grandfather’s funeral home, and express how much he missed him. Quite tragically, Dr. Pipes was driving across the railroad tracks on his way to a house call and did not hear the train coming and I remember crying along with everyone else at this terrible loss. I remember the funeral - everyone attended, but I do not recall the burial so he may or may not be your relative, but he was truly a hero. "
Sincerely - Mary Lou Frye

Dr. Mastin Lee Pipes was a son of George Washington Pipes and Mariah Edwards Pipes who are buried in Old Union. They lived in the farm house just east of the cemetery and raised a large family there. Here is a picture of Dr. Pipes when he was in Medical School I think. Here is a picture of his parents and family. If you know Boyle County, you will recognize the names of his siblings.
Dr Pipes died in a tragic accident with a train and did indeed leave a son named James Lee Pipes. James Lee was also a Doctor and an officer in WWII. He had a son also named James Lee Pipes who was the only Pipes killed in Viet Nam during combat. His name is engraved on the Viet Nam memorial wall in Washington D.C.

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