HENDERSON — A bridge will be dedicated to two familiar names to many people in Mason County.
The dedication of the U.S. 35 bridge over W.Va. 2 in Henderson, as a memorial for Dr. Roy and Marian Eshenaur, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 10 a.m. The service will be held at Main Street Baptist Church, 1100 Main Street, Point Pleasant. Some motorists may’ve already noticed the sign placed along the roadway.
The Eshenaurs came to Point Pleasant in June of 1929 after Dr. Roy graduated from Kirksville Osteopathic College in Missouri. They established Point Clinic on the second floor of a building at 512 ½ Main Street in downtown Point Pleasant. Mason County had no hospital and sparse medical facilities at that time. The towns in the area were small communities with few paved streets and even fewer paved roads in the countryside. This presented a great challenge for the doctor when making house calls, especially in the winter time. Dr. Roy was aided by farmers with a horse to take him “the rest of the way” where no car could go, or a farmer with a team of horses to pull his car out of the mud where it was stuck.
The first 1,000 babies he delivered were all home deliveries. During his 50 years of practice he delivered over 5,200 babies.
As the practice grew, Point Clinic was remodeled and enlarged to include four patient exam rooms, a nursery, kitchen and nine patient beds. Point Clinic and Hospital had the first surgery unit, first x-ray machine and the first use of penicillin in Mason County which was administered by Dr. Eshenaur.
Besides an acute general practice and obstetrics, it appeared that Dr. Roy enjoyed orthopedics and general surgery the most. He could easily place a displaced bone back in its socket and prided himself in re-setting broken bones and replacing hips. He was very meticulous in his surgery work.
It was always a dream of Dr. Roy’s to have a new hospital built in Point Pleasant. In 1941, he became a member of the West Virginia State Board of Health and continued to serve until his death in 1979. This position gave him the opportunity to promote this dream. Through the support of many local people, the State Board of Health and funds obtained through the Federal Hill Burton Act, Pleasant Valley Hospital became a reality in 1959. Dr. Roy was an active staff member and surgeon at PVH for 20 years during which time he contributed much toward the success of the hospital.
Roy and Marian had seven children, five boys and two girls. Both Roy and Marian were active members in many civic organizations. Dr. Roy received many local and state awards. In November of 1967 at the American College of General Practitioners in Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, held in San Francisco, Calif., he was awarded the national plaque as Osteopathic General Practitioner of the Year.
Ann Rawson, a long time employee of PVH, recalls how involved Dr. Roy was in providing health care for her family and relatives along with thousands of his other patients and families during his fifty years of service.
The Eshenaur family would like to thank Ann and her husband, George for initiating the application to name a West Virginia bridge in honor of their parents. Also, a warm thank you goes to Delegate Jim Butler and the West Virginia Legislature for accepting the application and allowing Dr. Roy and Marian to receive this honor.
The public is invited to the dedication program and the reception following.
Article submitted on behalf of the Eshenaur family by Janet Eshenaur Carr.