Tensas Parish has never produced a greater physician and teacher than the subject of this sketch. His parents were Mr. Daniel and Mrs. Virginia Washington. Dr. Washington was born on a farm in 1865.
On reaching school age he found himself unable to enter and remain in school. His parents for no fault of their own were without means, but they had blessed him by borning in him the spirit of honest endeavor which enabled him by God's help to fight the scholastic battle singly and alone. After catching up what he could here and there, he entered Coleman College, Gibsland, La., and there under adverse circumstances surmounted every difficulty incident to the struggling student's school life, and graduated with honors from the Normal Course.
After being happily converted he was baptized into the membership of the Palestine Baptist Church, Gibsland, La., by Bishop P. P. Mellon, B. Th., in 1896. Dr. Washington reached a decision as to his life work, after he had taught a considerable time with marked success.
He chose the humane work of healing and comforting the sick. With the tenacity of the noted physician, James Y. Simpson, who discovered the anaesthetical properties of chloroform, he seized upon the almost invisible opportunity to study for the M. D. degree. I say invisible because in connection with paddling his own canoe he had to support and care for a dependent mother. This he did by the Lord's help and graduated at the head of a class of Medicoes at Flint Medical College, New Orleans, La., 1905.
At Lake Charles, La., Minden, La., and El Dorado, Ark., he has proved himself by his curative power to be among the leading practitioners of his race. His record should inspire the young man who reads these lines with increasing desire to become a doctor, because "what man has done man can do."
This son of Hippocrates (the father of medicine) made his way through the school of medicine by working at saw mills, picking cotton, teaching school and railroading during vacations. He is today climbing the medical ladder with wonderful rapidity.
He was married to Miss Hattie Scott, of Arcadia, La., by the writer. His wife has proved herself a help-meet indeed. At this writing two children have blessed their union. Dr. Washington's thorough work guarantees for him future success.
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