Human Interest Stories
Delaware County
Submitted by: James Rutledge



Copied from a newspaper article about Dr. O. A. Tucker, Muncie Star 1959

DALEVILLE - Dr. O A.Tucker a patient and hard working man, who has served in his community as a medical doctor for 50 years, will receive special recognition for his outstanding work from Indiana Univerity on Wednseday Oct 7,1959.   Dr. Tucker never missed a day of school, In fact, one winter he walked through water which had been frozen and still had big slabs of ice in it. He carried his clothes over his head as he walked through the water that came up to his neck.
  He was graduated from a grade school near Chesterfield in 1901. His class was composed of three girls and himself, all of whom are living. In 1905, Dr. Tucker was graduated from Anderson High School.
  He attended Indiana University, During his school days, Dr. Tucker worked for 50 cents a night as a "Greek warrior" in a stage play. He said there is nothing like the confusion backstage durig a stage play. He made the mistake of walking into a ladies make-up room, once. It seems he came out faster than he went in.
  IN June of this year Dr. and Mrs. Tucker celebrated their 50th wedding aniversary. They have one daughter, Mrs. Jean Rutledge and one grandson, Jim Rutledge, 16 who make their home with the Tuckers. Dr. Tucker met Mrs. Tucker on a hayride. In fact she was with another boy and the doctor just "stole" her. At that time, Mrs Tucker was working as a telephone operator in Anderson. She now is a corespondent for the Bulletin.
  The Tuckers live on St. Rd. 32 north of Daleville on the Nioio Farm. The physician has two riding horses and some Hereford cattle. After hearing the "groans and moans" at the office, Dr. Tucker says it's relaxing to return to his farm.
  Don Jones, 16 a friend of Jim, is a member of the Tucker household, too. Dr. Tucker said he likes to have kids in his home. There seems to be a lot of activity at the Tucker home-just recently a cross country track meet was held on his farm. Dr. Tucker has been trying to retire for the last ten years, He said the bestway to do so "is to leave the country and change your name.. because there isn't a place to stop here."
  One of Dr. Tuckers's pet peeves is for a patient to"lie" to him when he asked a question. "no two people are alike,"said Dr. Tucker, but to know something about patients helps in treating them.
  Another one of Dr. Tucker's pet peeves is for someone to make an "emergency" call when it is not a emergency. Once like, this came when the office was full of waiting patients and several calls to homes were to be made. Dr. Tucker teated his office patients and hurried to the home where the"emergency" was to find his patient watching a Western on TV.
  "Meals don't worry me," and sleep doesn't worry me," said Dr. Tucker. He said he has enjoyed the "experience and "meeting people that his job has brought to him. He has had one 4th of July and one Christmas when he didn't have a patient.
  Dr.Tuckers mother was an invalid, and he started his practrice in Dalevile to be near her. He also said he "doesn't like big towns."
  Dr. Tucker's office had been located at the corner of St. Rd 32 and Walnut St., until the last five years when a new office was built on Walnut St. He has called on his patient by horse and buggy, horseback and even on a tractor.
  Once when Dr. Tucker was called upon to verify a birth in a group of gypsies for a goverment report he had to go east of Daleville and under a tree to do so. The way the gypsies tell whether their young are alive or not, Dr Tucker said, "is by filling a tub with water and putting the baby in it... If the baby floats it's alive, if it sinks, it's dead.
  One Christmas Eve a man entered the doctor's office and wanted Dr. Tucker to give his wife a shot, Dr. Tucker said the man went back to the car and brought in his wife, She refused to take off her coat so that she could be administered to.
  Dr. Tucker thought to himself, "I've been around long enough to know what women were,"so he got a long needle and walked behind her to give her a shot in the hip. "Pop"- the woman was wearing a plastic girdle which Dr. Tucker wasn't counting on.
  A few days later the same lady came back to Dr. Tucker's office and appologized for the way she had acted and received another shot without any trouble.
  World War 1 began on April 6, 1917 and on april 8 Dr. Tucker entered the Army Medical Corps.
  In his training camp there was a fellow, whom everybody called "Sword Swallower," because he ate his peas with a knife. "When the men were ready to be transferred to their duties, "Sword Swallower" was the first to leave.
  Dr. Tucker was one of six left at the camp when he found he was to be an instructor, He was for three days.
  While working in one Army hospital, Dr. Tucker could find his way out of the building but couldn"t find the right rooms in side. So an office girl would take him to the rooms that he wanted to go to "That I didn't mind," said Dr. Tucker.
  One night the doctor asked the office girl if she would like to see a movie with him On the return from the show to the hospital,they saw a man carrying a pan in front of him; The story is that the man had been cut across the abdomen and the pan was holding his intestines and after 37 stiches were taken to close the wound, the man recovered.
  A Frenchman who was one of Dr. Tucker's assistants during the war was killed after the war had ended. He was standing on a corner and a car ran up on the sidewalk and hit him. "It's a sad thing to go through the war.. Then be killled at home," the physican observes.
  Dr. Tucker said he holds the "worlds record for giving shots."I gave 1,608 shots in on hour.
  He won a $100 bet once when someone didn't believe he could give so many in so short a time. Dr. Tucker divided the $100 among his co-workers.
  He would give the men a shot in the arms they walked by him one by one. One man receved three shots, before he moved and he just took three steps and fell. The next time Dr. Tucker said the man made sure he moved after one shot.
  There were many men in th Army who didn't want any part of the war. One fat gentleman squeezed behind a hot water heater and the side of the building and died. Dr. Tucker said"they had to tear out the side of the building "in order to get the fat man loose."
  Another man let a switch engine run over his legs, cutting them off just to get out of the Army, said Dr. Tucker.
  In Dr. Tucker's outfit there seemed to be some men who refused to take a bath. One man who was from Indianapolis would play sick to keep out of the tub. Dr. Tucker gave him some medicine which he was to take every two hours for ten days and during this time he wasn't to have any food. After the sixth day of this treatment he didn't play sick anymore.
  Dr. Tucker said that one man was to be given a military bath and that two others were to give it to him. Dr. Tucker was called when the man who was to receive the bath passed out when Dr. Tucker arrived the man was dead, Evidently from"fright,"says Dr. Tucker.
  Dr. Tucker was attending the stage play, "Ben Hur," in Muncie and his attention was drawn to the announcer of the play the first time he appeared Dr. Tucker noticed him standing sideways. The next time the doctor noticed that one ear was bigger than the other. After the play was over Dr. Tucker went backstage to see the announcer with the big ear. It turned out that Dr. Tucker and another Doctor, while administering to the wounded on the front lines, received a patient who had one ear shot off. An ear from a man who was dying was put on to replace the ear that was shot off. The announcer was the patient who received that ear. The announcer asked Dr. Tucker "Why didn't you get one to fit."

Extra from Obit:
Dr. Tucker had practiced medicine in Daleville for 54 years. He was a lifelong resident of Daleville and had been Chief of The Salem Township Fire Dept at Daleville for several years.

A graduate of Indiana University Medical School, Dr. Tucker was a member of the staff of the Ball Hospital and a member of the Delaware-Blackford, IAMA.

Dr. Tucker was a Captain in the Medical Corp WW1. He belonged to the Daleville Lodge 730 F&A M, Scottish Rite and Murat Shrine and Daleville American Legion

Copied and edited by Jim Rutledge 08-21-1999


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