Mack Chase, Artesia, NM
Dr. Jim Camp was born in Tennessee and attended the University of Tennessee’s College of Medicine. He moved to Pecos, Texas in 1900 during the advent of the oil boom. He made house calls and, when his buggy couldn’t make a long trip, he took the Texas & Pacific Railway to visit his patients. Out of necessity, Camp learned and perfected the fine art of improvisation, often using chloroform, fence staves, and fence wire to set broken bones and using wood stoves as sterilizers. Later, as oil was discovered in nearby Toyah and the area flooded with geologists, speculators, and oil scouts, the new arrivals made Pecos their headquarters and turned to Camp for medical service. Later, Camp and his son, who was also a physician, recognized the need for adequate medical facilities to treat the growing population. To address the problem, they built a hospital with their own personal finances. Camp also helped create the modern Pecos school system while serving on the school board.