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June 10, 2021 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County Crimes: The Murder of Meade Hanes, Part XXII

Dr. Albert S. Priddy, 1912.

Need to catch up?

Click here to begin the series: Buckingham County Crimes: The Murder of Meade Hanes, Part I

The Alienists

Mott Glover was examined by at least three psychiatric doctors, all highly regarded in their field.

Dr. William Francis Drewry

Dr. William Francis Drewry (1860-1934) was educated at Randolph-Macon College and the Medical College of Virginia. From 1896-1924, he served as the Superintendent for the Central State Hospital for the insane in Petersburg, Virginia. This institution was exclusively for African Americans and became a model state institution in the South.

His obituary in The American Journal of Insanity (January 1935) called him “a man of the kindliest heart and his actions were activated by human sympathies and deep understanding. He possessed an unhurried logical mind, reaching his conclusions by one firm step after another. He was almost free from prejudices; he was judicial and merciful. When, however, he reached a conclusion he was still courteous, still kindly but unshakable.”

Albert S. Priddy

In 1910-1911, Dr. Albert Priddy became the first superintendent of the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded in Lynchburg, Virginia. Along with Dr. Joseph Spencer DeJarnette, the long-time director of Western State Hospital in Staunton, Virginia, and attorney Aubrey Strode, Priddy was a proponent of the sterilization of the mentally handicapped, a policy later challenged in the Supreme Court case, Buck v. Bell. Dr. Priddy died in 1926, before the case was heard. Dr. John Bell followed him as superintendent of the Virginia Colony.

For the full story of Buck v. Bell, consult Paul A. Lombardo, Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court, and Buck v. Bell (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008).

Dr. Beverly R. Tucker

Dr. Beverly Tucker, mentioned in early reports, is likely Dr. Beverly R. Tucker of Richmond who wrote a paper, “Pituitary Disturbance in Relation to the Psychoses of Adolescence” (Journal of the American Medical Association, 1918) and other articles concerning mental illness. He was the head of “The Tucker Sanatorium, Inc.”, located at 102 and 104 East Grace Street in Richmond, Virginia, which later moved within the city to Madison and Franklin streets.

In 1916, Dr. Tucker was described as “well and favorably known to the medical profession, a gentleman of most pleasing personality, a strong and forceful speaker and skilled debater in medical meetings, a teacher of ability, and withal a man largely endowed with that splendid combination of attributes that go to make up the skilled alienist.” (New Charlotte Medical Journal, Vol 71, p. 16)

Coming Next: Buckingham County Crimes: The Murder of Meade Hanes, Part XXIII

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