IHS Class of 1936
Theodore Robert Carney, M. D.
Local Physician and School Doctor
1936 Yearbook - Theodore Carney
On August 24, 1909, James Edward Carney was rescued from Oneida Lake by Edward Hubbard of Cleveland. After clinging all night to an over-turned sailboat and shouting for help during 19 hours of helpless drifting, Edward Carney of Ilion and John Smith of Galveston, Texas, were rescued from Oneida Lake. Fate thus allowed Edward (James normally was called by his middle name) to go on and live a long life. If not for the rescue, this story would never have been told by yours truly, Aileen Carney Sweeney, daughter of Theodore Carney. On August 27, 1917, James Edward Carney married Helen Ducette at the Church of the Annunciation in Ilion. They made their home at 22 West River Street, Ilion, NY.
Theodore Robert Carney was born on May 11, 1919, in Ilion. He was the eldest son of Edward and Helen (Ducette) Carney. He was joined by his only sibling, younger brother Stephen Carney, who was born in 1922. Tragically, Stephen Carney was struck and killed by a train, in Ilion, when Stephen was only 11 years old. The accident occurred on May 4, 1933.
At some point in Theodore's elementary education, he skipped a grade level. In high school, he participated in drama and debate clubs. He was elected president of the Dramatic Society the Church of Annunciation in Ilion in 1936. He graduated from Ilion High School with the Class of 1936. He had just turned 17 years old. For the next four years, he worked as a clerk at the Remington Arms company while saving money to go to college.
In September 1940, he entered Syracuse University. In May 1941, he was drafted into the US Army and continued his medical studies courtesy of Uncle Sam. Pfc. Theodore Carney was transferred from Camp Pickett, Va., to the Army Medical school at Syracuse University. He married Crouse-Irving nursing student, Miss Margaret McArdell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George E. McArdell, Syracuse, on February 23, 1946, in Syracuse. He graduated from Syracuse Medical School in June 1946 and interned at St. Mary's Hospital, Rochester, NY. At the same time, he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Army Reserves. He had previously served 2 1/2 years with the Army Medical Corps, serving at Camp Pickett, VA. He served with the Army Medical Corps at Murphy General Hospital, Boston, and Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, before returning to Ilion to practice.
Dr. Carney First Offices - Morgan Street and West Street
In December 1949, Dr. Carney opened his first medical practice office at 94 Morgan Street in Ilion. His dad was so proud of him that Edward Carney would spend hours sitting in the waiting room talking to Dr. Carney's patients. Ted Carney moved his family to a home at 12 High Street, in Ilion, in 1950. In October of 1954, he moved his practice to 42 West Street in a building housing Dr. Donald Davidson's office. Dr. Carney served as school physician from 1952 to 1954. He was President of the Ilion Hospital Board in 1956 and served on that Board for many years. In 1962, he served as acting County Coroner.
Newspaper Articles featuring Dr. Carney
Sadly, for me, my father died when I was only eleven years old. Therefore, I never really had the chance to ask him about his life in Ilion. Luckily, with the help of fultonhistory.com, I have been able to uncover newspaper stories that covered many of his medical patients. Mind you, this was before the days of HIPPA regulations. Below are some of the articles that highlighted life as a small-town doctor in Ilion, NY.
1951 - Carnival Worker Attempted Suicide by Snake Bite
On July 20, 1951, the Utica Daily Press reported on one of the stranger patients that Dr. Carney treated in the course of his medical career. Treating Morgan were Dr. Theodore Carney, Dr. Donald R. Davidson, Dr. L. P. Jones and Dr. Y. L. Powers.
The Sutton show is one of the attractions in the O. C. Buck Shows Carnival playing at the Typewriter Park in Ilion. Fellow carnival workers said Morgan had gone into a cage containing the snakes. They said he removed a 30-inch diamondback from a glass case and put the snake's head into his mouth. Doctors said Morgan had been bitten just behind the tongue in a spot from which the venom could immediately enter the blood stream. Sutton, a veteran of 30 years as snake show operator drove Morgan to the hospital. The desperate search for anti-venom serum then began in Utica, Syracuse, and finally Albany.
Morgan's snake bite was under the tongue, "...where the location of many blood vessels and nearness to the brain made his condition appear hopeless. No tourniquet could be applied, but Dr. Carney performed a tracheotomy inserting an air pipe in Morgan's throat to permit breathing."
A frantic search was held to locate anti-venom that would save George Morgan's life. With the assistance of the Utica Daily Press, local druggists, Utica and Ilion police, a serum was located and transported to Ilion. Dr. Davidson called Miss Laura Loring, Utica, district supervisor of public health nurses. She called the state laboratory which had the required serum.
Meanwhile, Police Chief Sitts called Capt. John P. Ronan, commander of Sate Police Troop D in Oneida. Ronan alerted Cpl. John Miller, who was on duty in Oneida Barracks. Miller made arrangements to have State Police in Albany pick up the serum there and start in on its trip to Ilion. Earlier, Chief Sitts had picked up the serum supplied the Utica drug firm from the Press reporters near the Utica city line. Sitts made the trip to Ilion Hospital from there in seven minutes. - The Utica Daily Press July 20, 1951
Race Against Death
A patrol car from Troop G at Troy was dispatched to Albany picked up the anti-venom, and Trooper Alfred Bruni of the East Herkimer sub-station rushed toward Albany in a relay race against death. Bruni met the Albany car about 10 miles East of Fonda and delivered the anti-venom to Ilion hospital authorities at 3:04. However, the shipment was only a normal dose (15 cc's), while Morgan's condition required at least four more does of the anti-venom. Another relay was set up and Bruni brought several more dosed from Albany at 5:45. "Whitey" Sutton, owner of the snake exhibit and Morgan's employer, reported that Morgan been extremely despondent yesterday. He had just received word that his brother, [James P. Morgan] who had been killed in Korea, was buried last week. - The Herkimer Evening Telegram July 20, 1951
At first it was believed that Morgan put the rattlesnake into his mouth in a suicide attempt. Later, Morgan said that mouthing the snake was part of the nightly routine, and that he had allowed himself to become careless. George Morgan survived his snakebite. In August 1951, he convalesced at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Max Schuyler, 427 Margaret St., Herkimer. He was a World War II veteran, and it was reported that he was a survivor of the Bataan Death March. That August, he was taken to the New Veterans Hospital in Albany for observation. Morgan said he was giving up carnival work and would resume university studies for a master's degree leading to a teaching career. Col. E, G. Hamlin, Herkimer County Civil Defense Director, started a fund for Morgan when he learned of the snake lecturer's war record. Morgan returned to carnival work in September 1951 to pay off his debts but was not employed as a snake handler. In August 1952, Morgan escaped death a second time when he was rescued from Canadarago Lake. At the time, he was employed in Little Falls and had made his home with E. Max Schuyler, 427 Margaret St., since his recovery from the snakebite. No other information has been uncovered about the fate of George Morgan.
1954 - Gary DeCarr Six-Year Old Boy Struck By Dr. Carney's Car
It was no April Fool's Joke, on April 1, 1954 when Dr. Carney ran into the Ilion hospital carrying a bloody young boy. Minutes earlier, about 11:30 AM, on Second Street by West Hill School, his car struck six-year old Gary DeCarr. Gary was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis DeCarr, 14 S. Fourth Ave, Ilion. He was later transferred to St. Elizabeth's hospital in Utica when it was determined his condition was critical.
DeCarr Boy Pronounced Out of Danger
The Ilion Sentinel reported one week later, on April 6, 1954, that the boy was recovering and out of danger.
ILION ... The prayers of an entire community are in the act of being answered this glad day.
Utica doctors, in attendance on six year-old Gary DeCarr, told the Sentinel Newspapers last night that the lad was "progressing satisfactorily" and was "out of danger."
The sympathy of the whole village went out to Mr. and Mrs. Francis DeCarr, 14 South Fourth Avenue, last Thursday afternoon when their little boy was brought to the Ilion Hospital.
His life hung by a thread so tiny that at first the doctors and hospital nurses working over the boy thought it had been broken. But they didn't give up the faith of his mother and father — and the prayers of everyone who knew about the accident — was answered and the boy lived, recovered strength slowly and today is in St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Utica with a good chance of complete recovery.
The accident in which the DeCarr boy was struck by an auto driven by Dr. Theodore Carney, popular and respected Ilion physician, occurred near the West Hill School
Dr. Carney, father of a family of girls and known for his love of children, rushed the boy to the Hospital only a few short blocks away. Near collapse himself because of the accident, Dr. Carney stayed on at the Hospital and helped in the fight that three other doctors were waging.
Only the fact that the Hospital was as close by and that everyone there pitched in to work like Trojans brought the boy through, it was learned later, Ilion can be proud of its Hospital --- and proud of its medical and nursing staff. A Staff that measured up this emergency like it measures up to all emergencies --- as if it were just part of the job. - The Ilion Sentinel April 6, 1954
The accident led the Village of Ilion "...to reorganize the old Ilion Traffic Committee with a view to studying the entire problem of traffic in Ilion." It was discussed that mothers may be asked to volunteer to guard children at busy school intersections. Eventually, the problem was addressed when the village hired crossing guards for each of the elementary schools. This safety coverage exists to this day.
1958 - Little Girl Drowns in Private Pool
The Carney house at 12 High Street backed up to the Benedict Avenue house owned by Jack Stephenson, the founder of Swan Pool. Stephenson's swimming pool was one of the first private pools constructed in Ilion. While it was being built, tragedy struck when a little neighborhood girl wandered into his back yard. Dr. Carney discovered little Marilyn Heafey in the deep end of the swimming pool. After that happened, my mother never wanted us to have our own private swimming pool. The Utica Observer Dispatch was just one of the newspapers that reported on the accident on June 28, 1958.
Ilion Girl Drowns in Pool
Marilyn Joyce Heafey, 3 1/2, was drowned yesterday in a partially empty swimming pool.
Her body was found in three feet of water in a private pool across the street from her home by a neighbor, who saw her clothing on the ground. Officials said the tot, "who lived at 54 Benedict Ave., walked unnoticed into the yard of Jack Stephenson at 55 Benedict, slipped from her clothing and either "tried to go wading or toppled into the pool.
About an hour "passed before" Dr. Theodore Carney, who lives nearby, noted the clothing. The child was face down in the water and resuscitation efforts failed. Dr. C. C. Whittemore, coroner, gave a verdict of accidental drowning. He said he planned no inquest.
Sgt. Roland Yardley and Patrolman Jack Manion investigated.
The child was born Oct. 30, 1954, a daughter of Mrs. Alice Heafey.
Besides her mother she leaves one brother, Michael, 5, and a sister. Grace, and her maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Heafey, Pine Grove Rd., East Herkimer.
The funeral will be at 2 Monday from the Holleran Funeral Home, 220 N. Washington St., Herkimer, with the Rev. Fred Thorne, pastor of the Little Falls Baptist Church officiating. - The Utica Observer Dispatch June 28, 1958
1959 - High School Senior Leo Golicki Dies
Dr. Carney's medical office was adjacent to Annunciation Catholic Church on West Street. The Evening Telegram reported on the sad day when Dr. Carney was called from his office to attend to 17-year-old Leo Golicki in the Annunciation School gym.
Ilion Youth Dies in Gym
A 17-year-old Ilion youth, Leo Golicki, last night collapsed while playing basketball in the Annunciation School Hall gymnasium, dying in a few moments.
Golicki, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Golicki, 11 Hall St, was playing in a pick-up game with a group of Ilion youths and gave no indication of feeling bad, according to spectators.
Dr. Theodore Carney and Dr. C. C. Whittemore, Herkimer County coroner, were called when artificial respiration failed. Dr. Whittemore will perform an autopsy today.
Cy Deyle, long been Interested in basketball for boys in the Ilion area, was in the gym when the youth, who had just tossed the hall in the basket, slumped to the floor.
The youth seemed to recover quickly, and when Deyle suggested someone run outside and get some snow to help revive him, Golicki told him, "I'm all right".
A moment later he slumped over again and lost consciousness those present said. A priest and doctor were called. Leo was born on Oct. 3. 1941, in Herkimer, a son of Leo and Isabelle Sikorowicz Golicki. The family moved to Ilion four years ago.
A senior at Ilion Central High School, Leo was a member of the school's varsity football team, a member of the Quill Staff, the school newspaper, and the yearbook. He had a leading role in an operetta planned by the school Orpheus Choir. He was a communicant of Church of Annunciation where he was an Altar Boy.
1964 - Child Burned by Drano
"Linda Conroy, 2, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Conroy, 6 W. River St., was reported in "good" condition in Mohawk Valley General Hospital today with burns of the mouth, leg and body from handling a container of Drano. Hospital authorities said none of the substance had been swallowed. The child was rushed to the hospital at about 3:15 p.m. yesterday by Patrolman Lloyd A. Wadsworth in a patrol car, along with her small sister, Debbie, who did not require medical treatment. Their mother called police on finding Linda with a partially - empty container of the drain cleaner. The child was treated at the hospital by Dr. Theodore Carney." - The Evening Telegram August 1964
Carney Family in the 1960s
Dr. and Mrs. Theodore Carney sold their home at 12 High St., Ilion, to Mr. and Mrs. John Bucala, Utica in 1959. On January 1, 1960, the Carney family moved to their new home at 12 Crescent Street, Ilion. John LeFlair was the contractor who built the home. At the time, the family consisted of the parents; Margaret and Dr. Ted, eight children; Bridget, Kathleen, Mary, Patrick, Roberta, Aileen, Erin and Shawn and the family dog; Clancie, a collie. They were joined by Theodore Robert Carney II born in 1963.
1963-1966 - Plans for New Office and Ade Street Office
In April 1963, Dr. Carney, represented by attorney George Getman, requested permission from the Zoning Board of Appeals to erect a residential type building to be used for professional purposes at the corner of Newton St. and Barringer Road. Permission was denied by the Zoning Board. The only way such permission could be granted would be by an amendment to the ordinance which would have to be made by the Village Board. Dr. Carney had presented petitions signed by more than 400 residents supporting his request for such an amendment. By May 1963, the Village Board turned down the request for the amendment.
The following year, he purchased a ranch home at 1 Ade Street and opened his medical practice in that building. Unfortunately, the use did not meet the zoning restrictions. Neighbors filed complaints about the traffic and Dr. Carney lost the case to keep his office in that location. He sold the building in August 1966 due to his cancer diagnosis in June of 1966.
Death Claims Dr. Carney, Ilion Native
February 2, 1967 Ilion - Dr. Theodore R. Carney, 47, of 12 Crescent St., a prominent Ilion doctor, died yesterday in his home after a long illness.
He was born in Ilion, son of James Edward and Helen Ducette Carney. He was graduated from Ilion High School in 1936 and was a clerk in Remington Arms until entering Syracuse University in 1940.
He received his medical degree in 1946. At the same time, he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Army Reserves. He had previously served 2 1/2 years with the Army Medical Corps, serving at Camp Pickett, Va.
Dr. Carney interned at St. Mary's Hospital, Rochester, returning to Ilion in 1949 to open an office for general practice.
He married the former Margaret M. McArdell of Clay in 1946.
He was a member of Nu Sigma Nu Medical Fraternity, the Church of the Annunciation, Tri-County Medical Society, Knights of Columbus, Holy Name Society, Ilion BPO Elks, and the Cedar Lake Club.
The funeral will be at 9 Saturday from the Applegate Funeral Home and at 9:30 from the Church of the Annunciation with a solemn requiem Mass. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.
Calling hours are from 7 to 9 tonight and 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 tomorrow. The Ilion K. of C. and Holy Name Society will recite the Rosary at 7:30 tomorrow night, Elks services will be at 8 tomorrow night.
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