Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 238 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
was somewhat divided in medical ranks in Texas
and great care and discretion were necessary in
dealing with this question, to avoid alienating certain
members, and thus disrupting the cherished
organization. Dr. Becton took a bold stand
for ever preserving the purity and integrity
of honorable, rational medicine, uncontaminated
by affiliation with those who would break down
all barriers and throw to the dogs the code of
medical ethics, the "bulwark and palladium of
the profession;" and yet the meeting was conducted
to a peaceful termination and all elements
were harmonized. In the course of his speech he
said, among other things: " We are in the midst of
the battle, and it is a grand sight to see the old
regulars presenting a solid front, standing like a
'stone-wall' against those who would break our
ranks. * * '* Doubtless there are some good
and true men who honor the American Medical
Association and live up to the code, who question
the expediency of the action taken by the association
at its meeting in New Orleans last year; but,
because of this, they are not willing to see it dismembered.
With these we have no quarrel, but
are willing to meet them in a fraternal spirit, with
the view to an honorable and amicable adjustment
of the pending difficulty. But there are those who,
tired of salutary and needful restraint, seize upon
this as a pretext for destroying the association and
trampling under their feet the Code of Ethics,
thereby removing the last barrier between themselves
and medical quackery. * * * The Texas
State Medical Association occupies a proud position
before the medical world on this question. It has
firmly planted itself upon the eternal principles of
truth and justice and, strong in the consciousness
of its own rectitude, fears not the consequences.
It has flung its banner to the breeze, and upon its
glittering folds is inscribed in letters of living light:
'The perpetuity of the American Medical Association;
the honor, dignity, purity of American
medicine; for these we live, for these we
labor.' * * * These must and, with the blessing
of God, shall be preserved. Then let us continue
to stand together; let us give our hearts and
hands to this great work, encircling the good and true
of the profession in that chain of sympathy that binds
us together as one common brotherhood. Trusting
to the justness of our cause and the sanction of a just
God, let us have the courage to do our whole duty.
,' Courage, the highest gift, that scorns to bend
To mean device for sordid end.
Courage! An independent spark from heaven's bright
By which the soul stands raised, triumphant, high,
As an drator, Dr. Becton stands deservedly high
and his voice is in frequent request, both in and
out of the medical meetings.
December 12, 1889, on the occasion of the
burial of Jefferson Davis, when memorial services
were held throughout the South, he was chosen by
his fellow-citizens of Hopkins County to deliver
the oration at the meeting held by them at Sulphur
Springs, and this he did in a thrillingly eloquent and
At the twenty-fourth annual session of the Texas
Medical Association held at Tyler, April 26th, 27th,
and 28th, 1892, he was called upon suddenly to deliver
the closing address at the memorial services
held in honor of deceased members. Although he
had no adequate time for preparation, his oration
was pronounced a masterpiece, his references to
the tragic death of Dr. Reeves calling tears to every
eye. Dr. Reeves had been superintendent of the
State Insane Asylum at Austin and, without a
moment's warning, had been shot down by an insane
assassin. Dr. Becton's beloved wife had been
recently removed from his side by the hand of
death. In the early part of his remarks he took
occasion to say : "To me this is a solemn hour;
the afflictive hand of Providence has rested heavily
upon me ; I know what sorrow is ; I know how to
sympathize with those who are in trouble. One
year ago four of our fellow-members were with us
in the enjoyment of health, of happiness and of the
privileges and pleasures that we this day enjoy.
Now, they sweetly sleep beneath the shade of the
trees on the other side of the river. Life's duty
done, they have no more to do with the things of
earth;" and then followed the address -one of
the finest tributes ever paid before the association
to departed worth.
As a writer Dr. Becton is polished and forcible.
He has made several contributions to current medical
He was united in marriage to Miss Mary Eliza
Dickson, November 17th, 1857. She died in 1866
leaving three children: Mrs. L. J. Wortham, Mrs.
J. J. Nunnally and Dr. Joseph Becton. In 1867
he married Mrs. Olivia L. Smith, widow of Dr.
P. L. Smith. She died at Sulphur Springs in 1891,
leaving three children: Mrs. Mary A. Chandler,
since deceased, Mrs. Ellie Y. McDanell, of Sulphur
Springs, and E. B. Becton, Jr. She left by her
former marriage two children, viz.: Mrs. Kate
W. Garrett, wife of Dr. Garrett, of Sulphur Springs,
and Mrs. Fannie Laura Sterling, wife of Dr. Stirling,
of Sulphur Springs.
Dr. Becton is a Presbyterian, a Mason and a
member of the I. 0. 0. F.; also a K. of P. In
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/238/: accessed February 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .