Dr. Penrose Herr "Penn" SHELLEY
Dr. Penrose Herr Shelley was the son of Amos Warren and Anna H. (Herr) Shelley. He was born 24 Sept 1885 and died 11 Apr 1959. He was first married to Mabel Pickering and later to Laentena "Teenie" Esther McCahan. Dr. Shelley served as Port Royal's family doctor for most of his adult life.
The following tribute to Dr. Shelley appeared in the Port Royal Times.
COUNTRY DOCTOR REMEMBERED
Once again it is the time of year when the doors and windows can be opened for some fresh air, and walking along the street on a nice, warm day you can hear the beautiful notes of the carillon playing twice a day. This carillon was put in the United Presbyterian Church in memory of three members of the Shelley family. I would like to share a few remembrances I have of Dr. Penrose H. Shelley.
One of my first memories of "Dr. Penn," as everyone in town called him, was getting a vaccination to enter the first grade of school. He carefully scratched your arm in a small round spot, and when he was done, he put a "bird cage" on it. The bird cage was a bandaid affair, which stood up in the middle, so as not to touch the spot which was vaccinated. Later my arm got terrible sore and inflamed around the spot, and a large black scab formed on it. I remember my grandmother tracing her finger round the spot for hours, which felt good, until she stopped.
The other memories of "Dr. Penn" came intermittently during the next years of growing up for a number of different sicknesses: sore throat, measles, chicken pox, mumps, scarlet tina, and pleurisy, among many. Dr. Penn would come to the house (can you imagine 'house calls') and come into the sickroom and take your temperature, pulse, and examine you, then he and your mother would go into the kitchen and talk, discussing your treatment, medication, etc. He would leave either some powder or in later years, pills, for you to take". You didn't have to run three miles to the pharmacy for a prescription to be filled.
Many times you would go to the doctor's office for treatment of cuts, a shot or something when you weren't awfully sick. You would enter the front door of the big white house, (Mrs. Shelley still resides there) and turn left into the waiting room, in which were wooden chairs, a long wooden bench, a library table, with magazines, and almost always other patients. You were always escorted to the waiting room from the front door by their dog "Madge," an English bulldog, who wanted you to throw her rubber dog bone and play. The Shelley's had "Madge" for a long time, and when she died, they got another bulldog and named her "Madge" also.
After waiting your turn, you entered the doctor's office and sat opposite Dr. Penn and would tell him your ailment. His office had rows of large and small jars, bottles, and all were filled with pills, or liquids of some sort. These always held a certain fascination for small children. After his diagnosis, he would give you your medication,.
"Dr. Penn" and "Mom" Shelley, as he affectionately used to call Mrs. Shelley, worshipped in the Presbyterian Church on Sundays, and even today, Mrs. Shelley enjoys singing in the choir. They had one son Purcell, who is now a doctor in New Jersey, and one Halloween party held in that church impressed me. Everyone had on their costumes, and at last were guessed, except one very nicely dressed "young lady" with a white dress, large picture hat and white gloves, who kept her head lowered and stayed quiet, not giving the guessers any clue at all. After a long period of guessing, they gave up, and the "young lady" turned out to be Purcell Shelley.
Baseball was one of the loves of "Dr. Penn," and he would attend all the games he could. We used to have a pretty good team of young men who played in the Perry-Juniata League. There was always a good number of fans who would turn out at the Fairgrounds in the early evenings and on Saturday afternoons for the games. If anyone wanted the doctor for a patient or some happening, they would look for him at the Fairground, watching the game from the bleachers or the old grandstand. One word, and Dr. Shelley would leave to tend to his patients. I often wondered if he ever saw a whole game from start to finish.
An incident happened when I was a good bit older. I had an accident at home, and could not get the doctor. My grandmother was there at the time, and she called Dr. Shelley's office, and told him the situation, and he sent "Mom" Shelley over in the car for me, and returned me to my home after he had treated me.
These are just a few of the memories I have of Dr. Penn. I'm sure there are many people in town and the neighboring community who have many such memories, when he was more than a doctor, but a neighbor, friend, confidant, and often someone to talk things out with. Many are the nights he was called out, in all kinds of weather to tend the sick, deliver a baby, comfort the dying, and much more. Dr. Shelley lived, worshipped, and died in this small town of Port Royal, and we all have remembrances of this fine, country doctor we knew.
(from Port Royal Times - August 30, 2006)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/13/20 - Image Year: 1955
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