Stanly County’s First Doctor
Photography by Ashley Fetner
A legendary figure in the history of Stanly County, Dr. Francis J. Kron was born in Trier, Prussia, in 1798. In 1823, while in Paris, he married Mary Catherine Delamothe, and they came to the home of her uncle, Henry Delamothe, in Montgomery County. For a brief time, Francis taught French at the university in Chapel Hill and later studied medicine in Philadelphia.
In 1834, Francis and Mary purchased a house on 294 acres in what is now Morrow Mountain State Park. At one time the family owned more than 7,000 acres and ran a self-sufficient farm with slaves. Dr. Kron's home, medical office and greenhouse were reconstructed in the 1960s on their original sites in the state park, just as they appeared in 1870. Dr. Kron was as famous for his flowers and vegetables as he was for his medical practice. He died in 1883.
He traveled miles in horse and wagon to treat patients. His office served as an exam room, pharmacy and infirmary where patients stayed overnight when necessary. The office was furnished with three or four beds, a desk and shelves for medical supplies and books. Dr. Kron used a mortar and pestle to compound his own drugs. He would place a few drops of turpentine on a lump of brown sugar to treat different illnesses. He set broken bones, birthed babies, pulled teeth and performed amputations. His journals included prices: