Dr. Thomas Malcolm Blake
Thomas Malcolm Blake was born July 18, 1917, in the old Blake house in Double Springs, and he was the son of Thomas Morgan Blake, M.D. of Cleburne County and Docia Hill of Winston County. He attended Winston County Elementary and Winston County High School, where he was an outstanding End and Right Halfback for the Yellow Jacket Football Team. Upon graduation in 1935 from Winston County High School, Dr. Blake attended Jacksonville State Teachers College in Jacksonville, Alabama, and then attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now known as Auburn University) in Auburn, Alabama.
In 1939, he taught Health, Science, and History at Lynn High School in Winston County. He was also an assistant coach for several sports.
He graduated from the University of Tennessee Medical School, served his internship at Norwood Hospital now known as Caraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. Blake started his medical practice in Double Springs on July 1, 1943, in the medical office building that had been used by his father.
Dr. Blake married Sarah Jayne Weldon of West Point, Georgia, on May 1, 1943. They had one daughter, Frances Ann Blake Murphy and three granddaughters. Jayne Blake, a Registered Nurse in his Double Springs practice for many years, died August 2, 1969. After the death of Jayne, Dr. Blake married Iveen Berry Callahan of Haleyville, Alabama on June 1, 1974.
Dr. Blake was honored by the town of Double Springs as "Man of the Year" for 1952. The Winston County Alumni Association honored him as Outstanding Alumnus of 1962. The Winston County High School yearbook, the Winsaga, was dedicated to him. In 1981, the Winston County High School Football Stadium was officially named Malcolm Blake Stadium in honor of him. Dr. Blake also served the town of Double Springs as a councilman. In July 1997, Dr. Blake was inducted into the Winston County Sports Hall of Fame.
Dr. Blake was an old fashioned "country doctor." He traveled all over Winston County making house calls. During his medical career, Dr. Blake had patients from all over Winston, Cullman, Walker, and Marion Counties. In an article written about him in the Northwest Alabamian in 1981, he was reported at that time to have helped deliver more than 7,000 babies. Dr. Blake also served as the team doctor for the WCHS Yellow Jacket Football Team for 44 years.
Dr. Blake served the people of Double Springs and surrounding counties until he died of cancer on August 26, 1989.
In 1994, a permanent black granite monument honoring him was erected and dedicated in front of his birthplace in Double Springs. The inscription reads:
"This monument stands in front of the birthplace of Dr. Thomas Malcolm Blake (1917 - 1989). And near the site of his office where for forty-seven years, he devoted his life to helping others. Dr. Blake's birthplace was formerly the residence of the Founder of Double Springs, Andrew Jackson Ingle. Dr. Malcolm Blake was a perfect model for the legendary country doctor. Day or night, in fair or foul weather, he spent his entire adult life providing medical care for the citizens of this area. This memorial is dedicated to Dr. Blake's life and work."
The Winston Herald, July 20, 1917:
Local Notes. Born – to Dr. and Mrs. T.M. Blake, Wednesday [July 18], a son. Congratulations.
The Advertiser-Journal, January 2, 1936:
Dr. T.M. Blake Passes Away at Jasper. Dr. Thomas M. Blake, 63, prominent physician of Double Springs, died at Walker County Hospital, early Sunday morning after a short illness. Dr. Blake was prominent in both church and political circles. He was a former county superintendent of education of this county. He is survived by his wife, one daughter, Helen, and two sons, Robert and Malcolm. He was survived also by several brothers and was a brother-in-law of Dr. R.L. Hill of Haleyville. Interment was in Fairview Cemetery, two miles east of Double Springs, Tuesday. Rev. Carlos Radford of Double Springs conducted the service before a host of friends and relatives. Many beautiful flowers, tokens of his many friends, added a beautiful touch to the impression service.
The Winston Herald, June 12, 1942:
Malcolm Blake to Get M.D. Degree. Thomas Malcolm Blake, son of Mrs. T.M. Blake of Double Springs, will receive his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee at Memphis June 15th. Dr. Malcolm Blake is a brother to Dr. Bob Blake of Haleyville and was a member of the committee on arrangements for the graduating class. He will intern at Norwood Hospital in Birmingham.
The Winston Herald, August 20, 1943:
Malcolm Blake Locates Here. Following the custom "Like father like son," the people of Winston County will be glad to know that Dr. Thomas Malcolm Blake has returned to Double Springs, Ala., to practice medicine. Dr. Thomas M. Blake, Sr., Dr. Robert Blake, and Dr. Malcolm Blake are all graduates of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. Dr. Thomas Malcolm Blake is a graduate of Winston County High School, graduate of Jacksonville State Teachers College, attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute at Auburn and graduated at the University of Tennessee in June 1942. After his graduation he interned at Norwood Hospital and completed his internship there July 1, 1943. Additional space has been added to the old office building of Dr. Thomas M. Blake Sr. and modern equipment has been bought. Dr. Blake has X-ray machine, Fluoroscope, and expects to operate a modern clinic. Additional equipment is being added from time to time.
The Haleyville Advertiser, January 6, 1953:
Dr. Malcolm Blake "Man of the Year." Dr. T.M. Blake has been selected "Man of the Year" in Double Springs, where he has been a physician since 1943. Honoring the 34-year-old doctor were people from every walk of life in the Double Springs area. Dr. Blake is the only local physician and is on call 24 hours daily by people in the town and communities in a several mile radius. Five clubs in Double Springs selected candidates to sponsor in the recent "Man of the Year" contest. Dr. Malcolm Blake graduated from the University of Tennessee Medical School in 1942, and in July of 1943, he started practicing in Double Springs. His father, Dr. T.M. Blake, Sr., was Double Springs’ only doctor until his death in 1935. Both of his sons, Dr. Malcolm and Dr. R.F. Blake of Haleyville, took up the medical profession, following in the footsteps of their father. Mrs. Docia Blake, widow of the elder Dr. Blake, still lives in Double Springs. Dr. Malcolm Blake was honored with the "Man of the Year" title for several reasons. He never refuses to make a call, friends say, and most of the time, night and day, very few hours pass but what he is called out to see an ill person. In the city election held last fall, Dr. Blake received more votes for city councilman than any other candidate. He is also acting Health Officer for Winston County. The young doctor is interested in all civil and sporting events and educational enterprises. He treats injured high school athletes without charge. Mrs. Jane Blake, wife of Dr. Blake, is a registered nurse. They have one daughter, Frances Ann, 9. The American Legion Post sponsored Dr. Blake in the "Man of the Year" contest during the holidays.
The Advertiser, August 30, 1955:
Dr. T.M. Blake Heads Heart Assn. Council. Dr. T.M. Blake of Double Springs, Alabama has accepted Chairmanship of the Alabama Heart Association Heart Council for Winston County, it was announced today by Dr. William J. Atkinson, Jr., Association President. The Winston County Heart Council will direct activities for the Alabama Heart Association in this county and will assist the state Heart Association in conducting its annual February Heart Fund drive. Dr. Blake said that Dr. John E. Wood, Haleyville, Alabama will be his Co-Chairman of Program and that the countywide organization will be completed during the next month. "I am highly pleased to be working with the Alabama Heart Association here in Winston County," Dr. Blake said. "Alabama Heart is the state affiliate of the American Heart Association – the only voluntary health agency devoted exclusively to the reduction of premature death and disability caused by the many forms of heart and blood vessel disease. As the representative of Alabama Heart in Winston County, our Heart Council will join them in a year round program of research, education, and community service in the heart disease field." Dr. Blake pointed out that 12,313 deaths in Alabama last year were caused by the heart and blood vessel diseases. This was 48 percent of all deaths in the state.