Telford / Terrell / Thomson / Todd


Van Q. Telford, MD (1983)

Dr. Van Quincy Telford was born on October 6, 1934 and grew up in Basset, Texas, which is a small community near the Sulfur River and the town of Naples. His father farmed and raised cattle and his mother was a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse. The family moved when Dr. Telford’s father decided to become deputy sheriff of Bowie County and the jailer at the county seat of Boston, Texas. Dr. Telford graduated high school in DeKalb, Texas in 1952. He had been active in sports and in Boy Scouts, achieving Eagle Scout by the time he was sixteen.

Dr. Telford married Jane Ellis on December 17, 1960 in Denton, Texas after his tour in Taiwan. They had two sons, Ellis and Brad.

Medical Education & Practice

Dr. Telford graduated with a doctor of veterinary medicine from Texas A&M University in 1958, after which he was commissioned into the Air Force as a veterinarian serving a tour of duty in Taiwan. His duties were primarily food and facility inspection, caring for any pets of military personnel, and other public health matters. During this tour he cared for the pets of the first family of the Republic of China, President and Madame Chiang Kai-Shek. He completed his tour with the rank of captain.

Dr. Telford’s experience with the military led him to medical school. He received his MD degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1965 and was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha. He was mentored by Drs. Vernie Stembridge and Bruce Fallis and completed his residency in pathology at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

After his residency, Dr. Telford spent a brief time working with Dr. Maynard Hart in El Paso, Texas. He eventually moved to Dallas where he spent the rest of his career. He worked at Presbyterian Hospital, Richardson Medical Center, and Dallas Pathology Associates. He was also a professor of clinical pathology in the Department of Pathology at UT Southwestern.

Among his work in organized medicine, Dr. Telford was active in the Texas Medical Association where he was chairman of the Council on Health Facilities and a member of the TMA House of Delegates. He also served as a member of the College of American Pathologists House of Delegates.

Dr. Telford retired on October 1, 1997. During retirement Dr. and Mrs. Telford have served as members of the Chancellor’s Advisory Council for the University of Texas system and of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University. As a result of their interests in education, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine established the Van and Jane Telford Student Scholarship.

Texas Society of Pathologists

Dr. Telford served as president of the TSP in 1983. During this time, the TSP adopted the delegate system of representation and governance.

Notable Publication(s)

Shadduck, J. A., Ubelaker, J., & Telford, V. Q. (1979). Micronema deletrix meningoencephalitis in an adult man. American journal of clinical pathology, 72(4), 640-643.
Brame, J. B., Hendler, A., & Telford, V. Q. (1986). Doctor/hospital issues examined. Texas hospitals, 41(8), 18.

Truman C. Terrell, MD (1932, 1936, 1938, 1941, 1942)

Dr. Truman C. Terrell was born in 1891 in Ranger, Texas to Charles Edwin Terrell and Emma Riddel Terrell. He married Anna Helen Jones in 1913. They had a daughter and a son, who died serving in World War II.

Dr. Terrell died on June 9, 1971 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Medical Education & Practice

Dr. Terrell received his MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1911 after spending three years at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston before transferring to Pennsylvania. Dr. Terrell did an internship at Kansas City General Hospital and Medical Center in Missouri and an internship at the Philadelphia Hospital for Contagious Diseases. He completed his residency in pathology at Philadelphia General Hospital and did post-graduate work at Harvard University Medical School in Boston.

From 1913 until 1914, Dr. Terrell practiced in Ranger, Texas before moving to Fort Worth where he would spend the rest of his career except for his military service. Dr. Terrell worked for Harris Hospital in Fort Worth and established one of the earliest private laboratories in Texas, Terrell’s Laboratories, in 1915. Terrell’s Laboratories served a large portion of northwest Texas for many years. Additionally, Dr. Terrell taught clinical pathology, bacteriology, and tropical medicine at the Fort Worth School of Medicine.

In May 1918, Dr. Terrell entered the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant. He was discharged in 1919 and returned to Fort Worth to continue directing operations at Terrell’s Laboratories. Dr. Terrell was known for his abilities in business and leadership as much as for his work as a pathologist. Outside of medicine, he had started two oil companies that became very successful. He recruited several talented pathologists to Texas.

In 1932 Dr. Terrell was named director of Harris Hospital, Methodist Hospital at the time. He was approached by the Board of Trustees of All Saints Episcopal Hospital in hopes that Dr. Terrell could help them keep the struggling hospital open. Dr. Terrell assumed managing directorship of the hospital and for fifteen years was its only benefactor. He also ended up owning all of the bonds for All Saints Hospital. After his death, All Saints Health Foundation, now part of Baylor Health, established the Truman C. Terrell Award given annually to a physician “who has demonstrated exemplary dedication and commitment to the practice of medicine, patients, and the community.”

During World War II blood was in short supply. Dr. Terrell became a technical advisor for the American Red Cross Blood Processing Center in Fort Worth. Additionally, in 1942 Terrell’s Laboratories established a School of Medical Technology. Dr. Terrell would serve as its director until 1971.

Among his work in other organizations, in 1921 Dr. Terrell served as president of the Tarrant County Medical Society and as president of the Texas Medical Association in 1952. He had served on the TMA Board of Trustees for several years. Dr. Terrell also served as a delegate to the American Medical Association and was on the Texas State Board of Health.

In 1962, Dr. Terrell received the Gold-Headed Cane Award from the Tarrant County Medical Society, and in 1965 he became the first medical examiner in Tarrant County

Texas Society of Pathologists

Dr. Terrell was one of the charter members of the TSP, then the State Pathological Society of Texas, and was at the Oriental Hotel on May 9, 1921 to establish a society after the State Medical Association abolished its section on pathology. He would serve as president of the TSP for five terms, in 1934, 1936, 1938, 1941, and 1942, and was credited for bringing the society together when it was fragmented or struggling.

In 1934 Dr. Terrell was among the members of a temporary committee to re-organize the State Pathological Society of Texas. At this meeting he presented a paper, “The Future of the Clinical Pathologist.” During this same meeting, he was appointed by Dr. Black to the first awards committee.

In 1938, Dr. Terrell pushed for a mid-winter meeting of the TSP to cover business issues and to study tumors. Also during this year, Dr. Terrell would serve on a committee that represented private and public clinical laboratories, the supervisors, and employees in Texas and helped oversee ethical practices and standards in the laboratory. This committee became known as the Texas Board for Standardization of Clinical Laboratories.

Dr. Terrell’s presidency in 1941 and 1942 intersected with the wartime efforts and cost cuts. Also during these years, he was elected as delegate to the national meeting of the American Society of Clinical Pathology.

Dr. Terrell received the George T. Caldwell, MD Award in 1962 for his many contributions to pathology in Texas.

Notable Publication(s)

Dr. Terrell has several articles in the Texas State Journal of Medicine, and he published a pamphlet entitled Rabies and Its Treatment in 1940.
Terrell, T. (1930). Real Western Entertainment at Fort Worth Convention. American Journal of Public Health and the Nations Health, 20(10), 1128.
TERRELL, T. C., & BEARD, H. H. (January 01, 1955). A biochemical test for chorionic gonadotrophin in the urine and its value as an aid in the diagnosis of pregnancy and malignancy. Southern Medical Journal, 48, 12, 1352-60.

Wilber F. Thomson, MD (1923)

Dr. Wilber Fisk Thomson was born in Tidioute, Pennsylvania on May 6, 1873 to E.T.F Thomson and Margaret J. Thomson and grew up on Central Kansas. He married Margaret A. Higgins on August 20, 1902. They had a son, Wilber Fisk Thomson, Jr., who became a doctor, and two daughters, Mrs. Kenneth E. Sutton and Mrs. Leon Howell.

Dr. Thomson died in Beaumont, Texas on February 22, 1932 at the age of 58 from a heart attack.

Medical Education & Practice

Dr. Thomson received his MD degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans in 1906. In 1907, Dr. Thomson began practicing in Tyler, Texas but eventually moved to Beaumont where he established one of the earliest private laboratories in Texas. He served as pathologist for the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Beaumont and St. Mary’s Hospital in Port Arthur. Notably, when the American Medical Association first published its list of approved laboratories in the American Medical Directory in 1929, Dr. Thomson’s laboratory was among them. He maintained a laboratory in Beaumont from 1908 until his death in 1932. For many years he served as the city’s bacteriologist until his health required him to resign.

Because he served in both World War I and the Spanish-American War, Dr. Thomson became a member of the American Legion. During the Spanish-American War, Dr. Thomson served in the Medical Department of the U.S. Navy. During World War I, he served as captain in the Medical Corps for the U.S. Army. He spent twelve months overseas during the War.

Dr. Thomson was among one of the founding members of the American Society of Clinical Pathology, an organization that emerged from state organizations that came together to form a national pathology organization. Dr. Caldwell of Dallas and Dr. Thomson were among the participants in the opening discussion during the first ASCP meeting, and Dr. Thomson was among the three physicians appointed to select permanent officers.

Among his other memberships and affiliations, Dr. Thomson served as president of the Jefferson County Medical Society and was a member of the State Medical Association, American Medical Association, South Texas District Medical Society, and Southern Medical Association. He was secretary of the Section on Pathology for State Medical Association. At the time of his death, he had been working on the details for their program at the Waco Annual Session.

Texas Society of Pathologists

Dr. Thomson is a charter member of the TSP. He was among the members at the Oriental Hotel who established the State Pathological Society of Texas in 1921 and was appointed temporary chairman at the time. In 1922 he served as secretary-treasurer and served as president of the TSP in 1923.

Notable Publication(s)

Dr. Thomson was the author of several articles on clinical pathology medical journals. He was a noted for his abilities as a writer and served as chairman of the Committee on Newspaper Publicity of the State Medical Association for several years.

David A. Todd, MD (1947)

Dr. David Alfred Todd was born on July 24, 1903 in Austin, Texas to J.D. Todd and Minnie Lucy Renick. He went to school in Corpus Christie but returned to Austin to get a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Texas. He married Helen Beissner in Galveston on November 5, 1931. They had two daughters, Jean and Laura.

Dr. Todd died on September 3, 1960 in Rochester, Minnesota following abdominal surgery for regional enteritis and chronic pancreatitis.

Medical Education & Practice

Dr. Todd received his MD degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1930. From 1930 to 1931 he served as a volunteer fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota. Then, in 1931, Dr. Todd moved to San Antonio where he worked as pathologist for Robert B. Green Memorial Hospital.  He was also a professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio (“UT postgrad school of medicine in San Antonio”)

Dr. Todd entered the U.S. Army Medical Corps in March 1943. He served as chief of laboratory services and chief of pathology to the Fifty-Sixth General Hospital and as laboratory consultant to the Eight Hundred Eighteenth General Hospital Center at Leige, Belgium.

He returned to the U.S. in 1945 and continued his work in pathology in San Antonio. He served as a consultant to the MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Clinic in Houston, Texas. He continued his work as associate professor of pathology at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

He served as president of the International Medical Assembly of Southwest Texas in 1942. He was also a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathology, the Texas Medical Association, the Bexar County Medical Society, the Southern Medical Association, the Nix Tumor Clinic, the Inter-Society Cytology Council, the Pan-American Cancer Cytology Society, and the Association of Military Surgeons. Additionally, at the time of his death, he was president of the Texas Division of the American Cancer Society

Texas Society of Pathologists

Dr. Todd was among the charter members of the TSP when the State Pathological Society re-organized in San Antonio on May 16, 1934.

While Dr. Todd was serving overseas during WWII, the TSP sent him a letter acknowledging that if times were normal, Dr. Todd would assume office as president-elect in 1944. He eventually became president of the TSP in 1947.

Notable Publication(s)

Stout, B. F., & Todd, D. A. (1932). Report of a case of primary adenocarcinoma of the pancreas in a 4-year-old child. Texas J Med, 28, 464-467.
Jackson, D., & Todd, D. A. (1934). Sugar Tolerance in Cancer With Reference to Degree of Malignancy, Texas J. Med, 30, 197.
Jackson, D., Todd, D. A., & Gorsuch, P. L. (1951). Study of breast secretion for detection of intramammary pathologic change and of silent papilloma. The Journal of the International College of Surgeons, 15(5), 552-568.