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Tuesday, September 5, 2023

"Samuel Fulton Stephenson"

"Dr. Samuel Fulton Stephenson is one of Clinton County's most dependable and well loved physicians and one of our most loyal and respected members of the medical profession," wrote the New Era in 1950. He was born in Clinton County on March 16, 1876. During his early childhood, the family moved into town, where Samuel acquired his early education before attending the Kentucky School of Medicine, now a part of the University of Louisville, from which he graduated in 1898 at the age of 22. He took a post graduate course in ophthalmology and while he enjoyed a large general practice through his professional career. At the same time, he devoted special attention to testing eyes and fitting glasses.

At the time of his death, Dr. Stephenson was Clinton County's oldest practicing physician. He started out practicing at Byrdstown and Albany his first five years. In 1903, he moved his office and residence to Albany. During the first 15 years he did most of his traveling by horseback. By 1914 he had become one of the few people in Clinton County to own an automobile. Very few people in Clinton County owned an automobile until the late 1920's.

Dr. Stephenson practiced medicine for 52 years. He was known by every­one throughout Clinton County and was well known in adjoining counties. In 1948, the university he had attended presented him with the Golden Anniversary Certificate, issued-to graduates who have practiced their profession for 50 years. It was written that he was a 'clean christian doctor' devoted to his profession and to the people whom he served. In addition, he was always interested in the welfare of his people, his town and always took an active part in Church work.

Samuel Stephenson was 74 when he died of a heart attack at his home just south of the square on Nov. 22, 1950. His funeral service was held three days later before a large and sorrowing congregation at Albany First Baptist Church, where he had been a devoted member most of his life. Burial was at Albany Cemetery under the direction of Sewell Funeral Home. Albany's four remaining physicians: Drs. Samuel Bristow, Ernest Barnes, Floyd Hay and Raymond Faulkner, along with Byrdstown physician Malcolm Clark, were honorary pallbearers.

Dr. Stephenson was a member of the large Stephenson family of Russell, Clinton and Cumberland Counties, which consisted of such notables as Dr. Tom Stephenson, who was a prominent dentist in Columbia, and Dr. J. M. Stephenson, the well-known dentist in Burkesville. He was the 10th of thirteen children of Thomas Stephenson, the once prominent Albany merchant, and Esther Dalton Stephenson. His wife was Burcie Mulllinix Stephenson. While they didn't have any children there were 24 nephews and nieces and numerous descendants.

Clinton County took pride in our Dr. Stephenson, not only as a successful professional man, but also as one of her finest and most useful public-spirited citizens.

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