Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Vauxes in the News -- Dr. C.J. Vaux (1874-1927) Dies in 1927 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

It's time for another edition of "Vauxes in the News" - a weekly feature from the historical newspapers about persons with the surname Vaux (my 2nd great-grandmother's maiden surname) that are interesting, useful, mysterious, fun, macabre, or add information to my family tree database.

This week's entry is from the Pittsburgh [Penn.] Post-Gazette newspaper dated 16 April 1927:

The transcription of the article is:

City, County and State Officials to Attend Funeral Tomorrow
Pallbearers Named

"The medical nation, and thousands of personal and official friends, were slowly recovering last night from the shock of the unexpected death yesterday of Dr. Carey Judson Vaux, director of the City Department of Health and one of the country's most noted authorities on preventive medicine.

"Plans for the funeral went forward under the direction of Dr. David W. Vaux, a cousin, and Dr. A.H. Colwell, a personal and professional friend.  The widow, near collapse, received only a few close friends in the home, 536 Larimer avenue.

"The funeral, which will be attended by city, county and state officials, in addition to members of Dr. Vaux's profession from various parts of the country, will be held at 4 p.m. tomorrow from the funeral home of Thomas Moreland at Highland avenue and Rippey street.

"Active pallbearers for the funeral were announced last night.  There will be 11, all doctors of medicine.  They are H.E. McQuire, D.W. Vaux, R.G. Burns, E.R. Walters, Harold O. Miller, Robert L. Anderson, "Ralph L. Hill, Walter L. Donaldson, W.H. Mayer, E.B. Heckel, and A.H. Colwell.

"Dr. Vaux died at 1:02 p.m. in St. Francis Hospital from peritonitis which set in following an abdominal operation a week ago.  He was aged 51.  He was considered as recovering until Wednesday night.

"Wife at Bedside

"At the bedside when death came were his wife, Mrs. Grace Vaux; his daughter, Mary Isabel, age 8; Dr. and Mrs. David W. Vaux, and Dr. Colwell.

"Dr. Vaux, who served with distinction in the Army Medical corps for two and a half years during the World War, attained national fame a year ago when, as Pittsburgh Public Health director, he instituted the practice of quarantine for pneumonia patients.  Whereas the year before deaths in Pittsburgh from pneumonia had totaled 2,047, the year following the quarantine restrictions showed a total of slightly more than 1,000 deaths from this cause.

"When former Mayor William A. Magee assumed office he appointed Dr. Vaux as director of the Department of Health.  On January 1, 1926, Mayor Kline appointed him to a four year term.  Previous to Mayor Kline's election Dr. Vaux had been mentioned as a candidate but refused to allow his name used, preferring to spend his time and energy in improving sanitation and reducing the prevalency of contagious disease.

"Lecturer at Pitt

"For the last five years Dr. Vaux had lectured on preventive medicine at the University of Pitts burgh School of Medicine, from which he was graduated in 1901.  It then was the Western University of Pennsylvania.

"All afternoon and far into last night a continual procession of friends and public officials called at the home to extend their condolences to the bereaved family.  At twilight the hallway, living room and dining room were banked in floral tributes from those who knew and admired the unassuming health director.  Telegraphic messages of condolence began pouring in as soon as news service wires carried the news of his death to all parts of the nation.

"Dr. Vaux was a native Pittsburgher, his grandfathers on both sides having been pioneer settlers here.  His grandfather Vaux for many years ran a ferry from Ferry street to the South Side.  His mother's father, the Rev. James Smith, was a noted Baptist minister in the frontier region west of the Allegheny mountains, serving in pastorates for 63 years.

"Mr. Vaux was born November 21, 1876.  He had one sister, Mrs. Edna Stewart of Cleveland.  He attended the Humboldt Public School and the Central High School before beginning the study of medicine.

"Served Overseas.

"For 16 years he conducted a general practice in medicine in the vicinity of his home, 526 Larimer avenue.  On June 1, 1917, he entered the Medical Corps of the Army as a first lieutenant.  On March 20, 1918, he went overseas, where he remained until June 12, 1919.  While in France he saw active service from June 1 to August 31 at Vosges.  He was in the Toul sector at St. Mihiel  from September 10 to 19 in 1918.  On October 9, 1918, he followed the American troops in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, remaining in the Verdun region until the armistice.  After the armistice he was made commanding surgeon of the Fifth Division and went with it as part of the army of occupation.  He was cited for conspicuous service by Maj. Gen. Hanson E. Ely, commanding the Fifth.

"Dr. Vaux was a member of the American, Pennsylvania State and Allegheny County medical associations.  For many years he was secretary of the county organization and served one term as president.  He also was a member of Crescent Lodge No. 576, F. and A.M., Pittsburgh Consistory and Syria Temple A.A.O.N.M.S.  He belonged to the First Baptist Church.

"Early in 1917 Dr. Vaux married Miss Grace McKay of Pittsburgh.  Only one child was born to them.

"Dr. Vaux returned from France with the rank of colonel, which he held in the Army Reserve Medical corps.  He was an active worker in the American Legion and Medical Veterans of Foreign Wars."

The source citation is:

"Dr. C.J. Vaux/s Death Blow To Profession and Friends," Pittsburgh [Penn.] Post-Gazette newspaper, Saturday, 16 April 1927, page 1, column 6, Dr. Carey Judson Vaux  obituary;   Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com : accessed 18 April 2022). 

Carey Judson Vaux (1874-1927) was born 21 November 1874 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Albert Rendall and Electa H. (Smith) Vaux of Pittsburgh.  He married in about 1913 to Grace Jane McCrea (1883-1954) in Pittsburgh.  They had one child:

*  Mary Isabel Vaux (1916-1996), married 26 December 1945 to Charles Lawson Shook (1913-2006).

I am a second cousin three times removed to Carey Judson Vaux (1874-1927), with common ancestors of James Vaux (1787-1839) and Mary Palmer (1790-1845), who migrated from South Petherton, Somerset, England to Erie County, New York in the early 1830s.

There are hundreds of Vaux "stories" in my family tree - and this was one of them. Life happens, accidentally and intentionally, and sometimes a person becomes a doctor and a soldier, and serves their community. I am glad that I can honor Dr. Carey Judson Vaux today.

You never know when a descendant, relative or friend will find this blog post and learn something about their ancestors or relatives, or will provide more information about them to me.


Disclosure: I have a complimentary subscription to Newspapers.com and have used it extensively to find articles about my ancestral and one-name families.

Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

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