Doctor Raymond Galloway

Doctor Raymond Galloway -- Wilton Physician
By Richard Putnam

Anyone who lived in Wilton in the mid-twentieth century probably would have a story about Doctor Raymond Galloway, or “Doc”, as he was better known. 

RaymondDoc Galloway Prentiss Galloway, known affectionately by his family as “Penn” and by the rest of us as “Doc”, came to Wilton in 1945 after serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II.   He grew up in Walpole New Hampshire and graduated from Tufts Medical School in 1937.  Still recovering from the ravages of malaria, he nevertheless was full of energy and carried on as the consummate “country doctor”, on duty 24 hours a day, making house calls as well as keeping office hours at his home on the corner of Prince and Maple Street.

In the early fifties, he moved his practice to the newly remodeled Boston and Main Railroad station on Main Street where he enjoyed a suite of offices and a completely equipped surgical room.  I would proceed down the hallway from the waiting room to his corner office in the back of the building.  He would be seated at his desk, twirling a cigarette in his lips and would greet me with a hearty “Hello” and “What’s going on today?”  After this quick interview, a trip to the exam room just back up the hall or to the surgical theatre would follow and before I knew it, whatever I had was treated and I was sent on my way. 

House calls were common as well.  I suffered from frequent bouts of tonsillitis as a young boy.  Doc would show up, bag in hand.  A quick exam and then “BAM!” a shot of penicillin in my hind end (oh it hurt) and he was off to his next patient.

Importantly though, whether in the office or at home his smile was huge and genuine, and his caring always showed through. His son recalled Doc saying once he would never charge a patient that had been bitten by a neighbor’s dog because it would likely cause ill feelings between the neighbors. One patient recalled,  after having had his annual physical exam, he went into the office where he found Doc, cigarette dangling from his lips, another burning in the ash tray, sizable paunch hanging out over his trousers.  Doc said to him,” you’re really in pretty good shape, but I’d recommend you quit smoking and lose a little weight”.

Not only did Doc keep office hours and make house calls, he had privileges at all the local hospitals where he delivered babies to dozens of local women.  In 1952, three ladies on Dale Street (my Mom included) became pregnant and delivered daughters all within three days of each other.  My Dad recalled Doc saying, “We’ve got a damn baby epidemic up here on the hill.”

Raymond and Nellie Galloway 1969Doc and his wife Nellie, sons Harvey and Andrew and daughters Nancy and Lucy moved to the former George Proctor home on Dale Street in 1953, becoming our next-door neighbors in addition to his being the family doctor. There were always chickens in the yard and summer was scented by the two or three pigs in the pen in the back end of the barn.  It was obvious that Doc truly enjoyed his little farm; whenever we would encounter him out working around, his grin was unstoppable.

There are more stories out there, I’m sure, but just remembering the care our family received, from my tonsils and various bumps and scrapes to the birth of my sister, to my Dad’s broken ribs and his case of the mumps at which Doc howled with laughter, to being there when my Grandmother breathed her last fill my heart with gratitude that were so lucky to have him as our Doc.     

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