Dr. James Henry Duke, Jr. was more likely known to most of us as the charismatic Dr. “Red” Duke. He was born in Ennis, Ellis County, Texas to James Henry (Sr.) and Helen Marion Donegan Duke. He graduated from high school in Hillsboro, Hill County, and then received a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in 1950. In connection with his degree at A&M, he did a two year tour of duty in the Army where he served as a tank officer in the 67th Medium Tank Battalion of 2nd Armored Division, spending some time in Germany. Dr. Duke then earned a divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. While at Southwestern Seminary, he read a book by the pioneer physician Albert Schweitzer that changed his life’s focus and inspired him to pursue a career in academic medicine. He then earned an M. D. from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1960 and served as an surgical intern in Dallas at Parkland Hospital until 1965.
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John William Fritz was born on June 15, 1896 to Blake and Ada Hamilton Fritz in Dublin, Erath County, Texas. Will was the oldest of four boys. In 1900, Blake was a farmer in Erath County. By 1910, the family had moved to Chaves County, New Mexico in or near a small community by the name of Lake Arthur where Blake was trying to make a living as a horse and mule rancher. Lake Arthur was small back then. Even now, it is only about ten streets north to south and east to west. By all accounts, Will had a normal childhood for the son of a rancher and grew up around the ranch, acquiring cowboy skills from Blake and other workers.