Friday, October 18, 2013

Two Irvington Icons from the 20th Century

Family physician, Dr. Walter Kelly (on the left) and local dentist, Dr. Silas Carr, Jr. (on the right) sat on the steps of the Kelly home at 6845 East Pleasant Run Parkway South Drive north of Irvington sometime in the early 1950s.  The two men had been best friends for years and both were well-respected pillars in the community.  Dr. Kelly operated out of several offices in the area including in a previous home at 237-39 South Audubon Road. On November 13, 1912, the physician would be one of the first medics to the scene of a terrible train crash on South Arlington Avenue and the Baltimore & Ohio railroad. Dr. Kelly worked through the night to try to save as many of the injured as he could although several died that cold night.  Flurries had just started to fall.  Dr. Carr operated a prosperous dentistry office along East Washington Street.  He also had a knack for business and he built a large two-story commercial building in the 5400 block of East Washington Street to house an auto showroom and offices.  Dr. Carr dwelled at 76 N. Whittier Place in a home designed by his brother, Marrett Carr, and later in an even grander home at 520 North Audubon Road.  It would be without question that nearly every Irvington resident from 1910 to 1960 would know one or both of these men.  Both were admired and both men practiced well past retirement age.  What might they have been talking about on that beautiful day when this photo was taken?  Dr. Carr is pointing at something?  A beautiful bird?  An airplane?  A tree?  Had they been reminiscing about their careers?  Certainly, Dr. Kelly might have been noting all of the babies he brought into this world while Dr. Carr could point out the number of folks who could smile because of him.  Their names continuously emerge in the oral histories of the people who have called this neighborhood "home."

Drs. Walter Kelly and Dr. Silas Carr c1950
The historic image and information for this post was courtesy of Laura Hildreth and Lydia Talbot.

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