Robert Edmund Donnell(as signing physician)
Jefferson County Record Hillsboro, Mo
February 15, 1917
Another fire occurred shortly afterward in the ZORN building where the new bank is to be located. A family moved into the upstairs rooms and built a fire in the fire place, which it seems was not seriously intended for a fire place for it promptly set the walls on fire and some few hundred dollars damage was done by fire and water. Dr. R. E. DONNELL’sdrug store was slightly damaged by the water.
In 1903 Robert was practicing medicine in Bloomsdale, MO. He was a member of the Ben Hur lodge. In a letter to his cousin Stella, speaking of playing cards and drinking beer "I don’t take any part in either." This letter was dated August 14, 1903. At the time of this letter, Robert was recovering from a slight case of malaria and had been treating himself.
In a paper written by Robert regarding a patient of his: He was asked to come to the home of some people with a young, unmarried daughter complaining of belly pain. The girl was in labor and delivered a stillborn conjoined twin. The child had one body and two heads. Robert took the infant as payment of delivery. He did an autopsy at Washington University in St. Louis, MO and wrote a paper of his findings.
Note: I do not know if the following story is the above mentioned baby, as a few of the statements don’t match. But, there are enough similarities to assume that it could be.
TWO-HEADED BABY PUZZLES DOCTORS.
Child at Josephine Hospital Has One Normal Body and One Neck, Four Eyes And Four Ears
Mother of Prodigy, Lola Williams, 18 years Old, of DeSoto, Mo.
With two perfectly formed heads rising from a single neck and normal body, a 3-days-old child is engaging the scientific attention of physicians at Josephine Hospital, Grand and Henrietta Avenues. It is declared that nowhere in medical annals has a similar prodigy been reported.
The marvelous child is the daughter of Lola Williams, 18 years old, of
DeSoto, Mo. She was sent to St. Louis by a Jefferson County physicians
Saturday and placed in charge of Dr. F. J. Lutz, head of the Josephine
Details of the prodigy were hard to obtain, owing to the reluctance of
physicians from ethical reasons to discuss the case. Both heads of the child are normally formed it was learned. There are two complete sets of eyes and ears, two distinct noses and mouths. Last night it was reported that the child was living and taking nourishment. The mother was also doing well.
While twins have been born, like the famous Siamese pair, bound together by skin and ligaments, never before, it is claimed, have two bodies been merged into one as completely as in the case of the Williams child.
Physicians yesterday studied the child, under an X-ray, in an effort to
solve the mystery of the duo-headed infant. A report is being prepared
that will be published shortly in a medical journal.
Vital Records: Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929
Journal of the American Medical Asociation citation: 82:226
Cause of demise: appendicitis; (M)
(He died of acute appendicitis on the train on the way to St. Lukes Hospital in St. Louis)
A note on the death certificate of Joseph John McBride (cert. #30441) states, “Dr. R.E. Donnell was the attending physician, was taken to hospital the day after the death of this infant, but died in St. Louis and he could not sign this certificate.”
Death Certificate #31531 Missouri State Archives
Jefferson County Record, July 15, 1917
Mrs. R.E. DONNELL was the guest of Mrs. DIETRICH last Friday when her husband, Dr. DONNELL was in town attending to duties on the Exemption Board.