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"The Hamilton Herald News"      April 8, 1976

Hamilton has lost one of its most widely loved and illustrious citizens. Dr. Charles C. Cleveland, 81, died at 3:20 a.m. Sunday, April 4, in the Hamilton County General Hospital following a prolonged final illness.

Thus ended the life and career of a man who exemplified the traditional virtues of the old-fashioned country doctor.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Monday in The First United Methodist Church of Hamilton, of which Dr. Cleveland was a lifelong member.  Dr. B. Thomas Tribble, the pastor of the Church, officiated.  Burial was in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Troy Dutton, Weldon Groves, Hogue Williams, Robert Williams, Rowland Willeford, Bert Schrank, Bob Riley, and Ovid Dill.

One daughter, Tink Cleveland of Hamilton, is the sole survivor in Dr. Cleveland's immediate family, but he is survived by a host of other relatives and is mourned by a host of friends.

Charles C. Cleveland was born in Hamilton, August 16, 1894, the son of pioneer parents, J. J. Cleveland and Irene Perry Cleveland.  He grew up in Hamilton and graduated from Hamilton High School in 1911.  He attended Meridian Junior College, the old Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and Baylor University Medical College, also in Dallas, receiving his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1916.

Dr. Cleveland interned at St. Paul's Hospital in Dallas for a year.  On June 9, 1917,he married Vesta Pearl Cade, a Registered Nurse on the staff of St. Paul's and a wife who was to become his constant companion for many years before preceding him in death.  They were the parents of one daughter "Tink" (Vesta Irene) Cleveland, who ran the family household and replaced her mother as Dr. Cleveland's closest companion in his declining years.

Dr. Cleveland served 18 months in the Army Medical Corps in World War I, doing duty in France before Armistice Day and with the Army of Occupation in Germany after the war.

Following his discharge he practiced medicine for about a year each in Stephenville, Lipan and Pottsville.  In 1922 he moved back to Hamilton and formed a medical partnership with Dr. D. B. Beach and Dr. C. E. Chandler, both now deceased.  They erected the Hamilton Sanitarium [4-story building on East Main] , which is now being used as the Senior Citizens Center in Hamilton.

In 1936, Dr. Cleveland and Dr. Robert A. Kooken, also now deceased, formed a partnership and opened a clinic, first on the Hamilton square and then on North Rice Avenue.

During World War II when Dr. Kooken was in the military service, Dr. Cleveland was the only practicing physician in Hamilton County, and he nearly wore himself out physically.  He delivered 600 babies in four years, worked 16 to 18 hours a day, made house calls to all parts of the county, and did everything humanly possible to look after all the health problems of Hamilton County residents.

After the War, Dr. Cleveland continued to practice medicine in Hamilton County, even when his own health was declining  in his later years.

In 1966, a plaque honoring him for 100 years of medical service--50 years of days and 50 years of nights--was hung in the waiting room of the Hamilton County General Hospital.

In 1970, Dr. Cleveland was named Hamilton's Outstanding Citizen" and received a plaque from his dear friend, Mayor T. D. Craddock, at the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet.

Just recently, Dr. Cleveland was awarded an honorary lifetime membership in Lions International and received a plaque in appreciation.  He was a charter member of the Hamilton Lions Club.

He joined the Methodist Church when he was eight years of age and was a devout Christian the rest of his life.

He was a 50-year member of the Texas Medical Association and the American Medical Association.  He also held a 50-year membership award from the Rock House Masonic Lodge which eh joined when he was 21.  He was a Shriner and Merciful Master of Rock House Lodge.

Dr. Cleveland was a 50-year member of Cunningham Post 222 of the American Legion, was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He served 15 years as vice president of Perry National Bank, 20 years as an alderman on the Hamilton City Council,  and was a director on the first board of the Hamilton County General Hospital.  He also was an honorary member of the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Company.

Mostly, though, Dr. Cleveland will be remembered for the untiring medical service he provided the community, for his excellence as a diagnostician, and for his role as a family doctor willing to go anywhere in any kind of weather to render aid to those who needed it.

When he was named Hamilton's outstanding citizen, Dr. Cleveland said, The only point to my life is to relieve suffering.  If I can do that, life will be rewarding enough to me."

Hosts of friends attest to the success in Dr. Cleveland's endeavors to relieve suffering.

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People and Places: Gazetteer of Hamilton County, TX
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Copyright March, 1998
by Elreeta Crain Weathers, B.A., M.Ed.,  
(also Mrs.,  Mom, and Ph. T.)

A Work In Progress