Carl Rogers Darnall

Carl Rogers Darnall

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Brigadier General
Brigadier general (United States)
A brigadier general in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, is a one-star general officer, with the pay grade of O-7. Brigadier general ranks above a colonel and below major general. Brigadier general is equivalent to the rank of rear admiral in the other uniformed...

 Carl Rogers Darnall (December 25, 1867, Weston, Texas
Weston, Texas
Weston is a city in Collin County, Texas, United States. The population was 635 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Weston is located at .According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , all of it land.-Demographics:...

United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 - January 18, 1941, Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

) was a United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

A chemist is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its properties such as density and acidity. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study in terms of quantities, with detail on the level of molecules and their component atoms...

 and surgeon
In medicine, a surgeon is a specialist in surgery. Surgery is a broad category of invasive medical treatment that involves the cutting of a body, whether human or animal, for a specific reason such as the removal of diseased tissue or to repair a tear or breakage...

 credited with originating the technique of liquid chlorination
Chlorination is the process of adding the element chlorine to water as a method of water purification to make it fit for human consumption as drinking water...

 of drinking water. It has been plausibly asserted that more lives have been saved and more disease prevented by this contribution to sanitation than by any other single achievement in medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 or public health
Public health
Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals" . It is concerned with threats to health based on population health...


Youth and education

Darnall was born on his father’s farm in the Cottage Hill community near McKinney
McKinney, Texas
McKinney is a city in and the county seat of Collin County, Texas, United States, and the second in population to Plano. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city's 2010 population was 131,117 The Census Bureau listed McKinney as the nation's fastest growing city from 2000 to 2003 and again in...

, in Collin County, Texas
Collin County, Texas
As of the census of 2000, there were 491,675 people, 181,970 households, and 132,292 families residing in the county. The population density was 580 people per square mile . There were 194,892 housing units at an average density of 230 per square mile...

. He was the eldest of the seven children of Reverend Joseph Rogers Darnall, minister of the Christian Church
Christian Church
The Christian Church is the assembly or association of followers of Jesus Christ. The Greek term ἐκκλησία that in its appearances in the New Testament is usually translated as "church" basically means "assembly"...

, and Mary Ellen (Thomas) Darnall.

He studied at Carlton College, Bonham, Texas
Bonham, Texas
Bonham is a city in Fannin County, Texas, United States. The population was 10,127 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Fannin County. James Bonham sought the aid of James Fannin at the Battle of the Alamo....

, and Transylvania University
Transylvania University
Transylvania University is a private, undergraduate liberal arts college in Lexington, Kentucky, United States, affiliated with the Christian Church . The school was founded in 1780. It offers 38 majors, and pre-professional degrees in engineering and accounting...

, Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the "Thoroughbred City" and the "Horse Capital of the World", it is located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass region...

 and received a MD
Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine is a doctoral degree for physicians. The degree is granted by medical schools...

 degree from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia (1890). In 1892 he married Annie Estella Major of Erwinna, Pennsylvania
Erwinna, Pennsylvania
Erwinna is an unincorporated community in Tinicum Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States, with a zip code of 18920. It is located approximately 40 miles north of Center City Philadelphia and has an area code of 610 It is named after Colonel Arthur Erwin , who was a leader in the Bucks...

. In 1896, after a few years of private practice, he was commissioned a first lieutenant and assistant surgeon in the U.S. Army. He graduated from the Army Medical School
Army Medical School
Founded by U.S. Army Brigadier General George Miller Sternberg, MD in 1893, the Army Medical School was by some reckonings the world's first school of public health and preventive medicine...

 in Washington the following year.

Early career

Darnall’s first assignments were to stations in Texas – Fort Clark
Fort Clark
Fort Clark can refer to:*Fort Clark Trading Post State Historic Site - one of the largest Mandan Villages where George Catlin and Karl Bodmer visited*Fort Clark, Illinois near Peoria, Illinois...

 at Brackettville
Brackettville, Texas
Brackettville is a city in Kinney County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,876 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Kinney County...

, and Fort McIntosh
Fort McIntosh
Fort McIntosh is the name of several former military installations in the United States:* Fort McIntosh * Fort McIntosh, Texas* Fort McIntosh...

 at Laredo
Laredo, Texas
Laredo is the county seat of Webb County, Texas, United States, located on the north bank of the Rio Grande in South Texas, across from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. According to the 2010 census, the city population was 236,091 making it the 3rd largest on the United States-Mexican border,...

. During the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 (1898), Darnall served in Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

. Later, he served as an operating surgeon and pathologist aboard the hospital ship USS Relief
USS Relief (1896)
The second USS Relief was a hospital ship in the United States Navy. She was later named Repose.-Construction and design:Relief was built for the Maine Steamship Company in 1895-96 by the Delaware River Iron Ship Building and Engine Works of Chester, Pennsylvania as the passenger ship John Englis...

 in the Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and commanded the hospital at Iloilo
Iloilo City
The City of Iloilo is a highly urbanized city in the Philippines and the capital city of Iloilo province. It is the regional center of the Western Visayas, as well as the center of the Iloilo-Guimaras Metropolitan Area...

. He was one of the few medical officers that accompanied the Allied Forces during the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was a proto-nationalist movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" , or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" , in China between...

 in China.


In 1902, Darnall returned to Washington, D.C., and served as secretary of the faculty and instructor for sanitary chemistry and operative surgery at the Army Medical School. It was while a major
Major (United States)
In the United States Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, major is a field grade military officer rank just above the rank of captain and just below the rank of lieutenant colonel...

 and a professor of chemistry there that he discovered the value of anhydrous
As a general term, a substance is said to be anhydrous if it contains no water. The way of achieving the anhydrous form differs from one substance to another...

, liquefied chlorine in purifying water for use by troops in the field. His 1910 invention, the mechanical liquid chlorine purifier (known as a "chlorinator"), was the prototype of the technology that is now applied to municipal water supplies throughout the world. Darnall also devised and patented a water filter that was used by the Army for many years. Major William Lyster further adapted the process of water chlorination to field use by inventing a method to apply sodium hypochlorite in a cloth bag (the “Lyster bag”).

Later career

Darnall was promoted to Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 in 1917. During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Darnall’s talents for business and organization were recognized and he was assigned to the Finance and Supply Division in the Office of The Surgeon General (OTSG). After the war, he served as department surgeon in Hawaii. In 1925, he returned to the OTSG as executive officer
Executive officer
An executive officer is generally a person responsible for running an organization, although the exact nature of the role varies depending on the organization.-Administrative law:...

. In November (or December 5?), 1929, he was promoted to brigadier general and became the Commanding General of the Army Medical Center, a post he held until he retired on December 31, 1931.

Darnall died on 18 January 1941 at Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

. Six days earlier, his wife had died at the family home in Washington. They left three sons, Joseph Rogers (1894–1976), William Major (b. 1895), and Carl Robert (b. 1904), all of whom served in some capacity in the Army. He is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, is a military cemetery in the United States of America, established during the American Civil War on the grounds of Arlington House, formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's wife Mary Anna Lee, a great...

 in Arlington, Virginia.

Awards and honors

Darnall was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons
American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is an educational association of surgeons created in 1913 to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice.-Membership:...

, a member of the American Medical Association
American Medical Association
The American Medical Association , founded in 1847 and incorporated in 1897, is the largest association of medical doctors and medical students in the United States.-Scope and operations:...

 and Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. He was a veteran of the Military Order of the Carabao
Military Order of the Carabao
The Military Order of the Carabao is a social club consisting of members of the U.S. military. Criteria for membership are shown on the organization's web site at

, member of the Army and Navy Club of Washington, and Founder Member of the Army and Navy Country Club. Darnall received the Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Service Medal (United States)
The Distinguished Service Medal is the highest non-valorous military and civilian decoration of the United States military which is issued for exceptionally meritorious service to the government of the United States in either a senior government service position or as a senior officer of the United...

 for his organizing, developing and administering medical supplies during World War I.


  • The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center
    Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center
    Darnall Army Community Hospital opened in 1965, replacing the World War II era Fort Hood Hospital, a long group of one-story buildings connected with covered walkways.Darnall was the first of three permanent Army hospitals of the 200-300 bed size to open...

     at Fort Hood, Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

    (established as the Darnall Army Community Hospital in 1965) is named in honor of Darnall.

External links