Walter S. Link

WOOD COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA – BIOS: LINK, Walter S. (published 1923)
Submitted by
Valerie Crook
September 12, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 226
Wood County

WALTER S. LINK, M. D., who died in the City of Parkers-
burg on the 6th of March, 1921, justified in able and faith-
ful service his choice of vocation, and by his sterling char-
acter and marked technical skill honored the profession in
which he achieved high standing and unequivocal success.
He built up a large and representative general practice in
the City of Parkersburg, and held rank as one of the leading
physicians and surgeons of Wood County at the time of his
death, in the very prime of his strong and useful life.

Dr. Walter Scott Link was born in Jefferson County,
West Virginia, on the 13th of July, 1870, and was a son of
Thomas and Elizabeth Jane (Melvin) Link. The lineage
of the Link family traces back to German origin, seven
brothers of the name having come from Germany and
settled in America prior to the war of the Revolution, and
from these founders descend the representatives of the
name now found in various states of the Union. Members
of the family were gallant soldiers of the Continental Line
in the War of the Revolution, and the War of 1812 like-
wise gained loyal soldiers from this family of American
patriots. Virtually every war in which this country has
been involved has claimed members of the Link family as
soldiers. Adam Link, an ancestor of the subject of this
memoir, was a patriot soldier in the Revolution, and in a
cemetery in Jefferson County, West Virginia, are the graves
of soldiers of the Link family who served in all other wars
of the nation in their day and generation. Thomas Link
was a gallant soldier of the Confederacy in the War be-
tween the States, took part in various battles and was
severely wounded while participating in an engagement
near Winchester. After the war he continued his activities
as one of the representative fanners of Jefferson County,
and there both he and his wife passed the remainder of
their lives, secure in the high esteem of all who knew them.
They became the parents of the following children: John
A., Edward M., Thomas O., Jacob Albert, Adam G. (a
minister of the gospel), Davis Beauregard, Charles W. and
Walter S.

Dr. Walter S. Link found the period of his childhood
and early youth compassed by the invigorating influences
of the home farm, and in the meanwhile he made good
use of the advantages offered by the public schools of his
native county. After his graduation in the high school at
Shenandoah he entered the University of West Virginia,
in which he was in due time graduated, with the degree
of Bachelor of Arts. In preparation for his chosen pro-
fession he was matriculated in the Baltimore Medical Col-
lege at Baltimore, Maryland, and in this institution he
was graduated as a member of the class of 1897. After
thus_ receiving his degree of Doctor of Medicine he further
fortified himself by an effective post-graduate course in
the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, in which great
institution he served three years as house surgeon. About
1900 Doctor Link established his residence at Parkersburg,
and while his practice was of general order in its earlier
stages, it was as a specialist in the diagnosis and treat-
ment of diseases of the ear, nose and throat that he gained
his major success and reputation. In this special field of
practice his fame far transcended local limitations, and
he gained authoritative status as a specialist along these

In 1902 Doctor Link showed his high sense of profes-
sional stewardship and his civic progressiveness by estab-
lishing a private hospital in his home city, and to this
institution came patients from the most diverse sections of
the Union to avail themselves of its advantages and of the
able service of Doctor Link.

As was to be anticipated in connection with a person
of so great patriotism and high ideals as those of Doctor
Link, he was among the first to tender his aid to the Gov-
ernment when it became apparent that the United States
must become actively involved in the great World war.
In December, 1917, he enlisted in the medical corps of the
United States Army, was commissioned lieutenant and
later promoted to a captaincy, and his arduous and un-
remitting work in connection with the development of the
nation’s medical department for war service was the pre-
disposing cause of his untimely death. He continued his
service in the medical corps until his impaired health made
necessary his retirement, and in the loved city of his home
he passed the closing days of his earnest and noble life,
loved for his kindliness and abiding human sympathy, and
admired for the splendid service which he had given in
his exacting profession. The Doctor was an appreciative
and valued member of the Wood County Medical Society,
and likewise was actively identified with the West Vir-
ginia State Medical Society and the American Medical
Association, as well as the Southern Medical Society. Doc-
tor Link was an exceptional Bible student and was a zeal-
ous member of the Presbyterian Church. His widow is
a member of the Catholic Church. He was a member of
the Parkersburg Chamber of Commerce, the local Kiwanis
Club, and the Parkersburg Lodge of the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks. In the Masonic fraternity he
received the thirty-second degree of the Ancient Accepted
Scottish Rite, his maximum York Rite affiliation being with
the Parkersburg Commandery of Knights Templars, and
his Masonic activities having further been extended by his
identification with the Mystic Shrine.

On the 22d of July, 1902, was solemnized the marriage
of Doctor Link and Miss Mary Eleanor Prendergast,
daughter of Thomas and Julliette Burea (Cummings) Pren-
dergast. Mrs. Link was born in the city of Brooklyn,
New York, was graduated in Chestnut Hill Convent and
the New York Polyclinic Hospital as a trained nurse. Her
career, as was that of her husband, has been one of dis-
tinct consecration to high effort in the relieving of human
suffering, and she has seen much of hospital service, be-
sides rendering aid to those in distress wherever and when-
ever her efficient service was required. She proved a
devoted and helpful coadjutor of her husband in the main-
tenance of his hospital, and was his counselor in all de-
partments of his work. In continued service she finds the
greatest mode of consolation now that her loved companion
has passed to the life eternal. Dr. and Mrs. Link became
the parents of one daughter, Julliette Elizabeth, and the
pleasant home in Parkersburg is known for its gracious