Charles Braxton McKinnon, M.D.

Among the more distinguished physicians and surgeons of Walton County, who have established a reputation for ability and integrity, none are more worthy of attention than Dr. Charles B. McKinnon, of DeFuniak Springs. He has not only achieved honorable success in his profession, but has gained distinction in public and military affairs, and his progressive spirit is evident in many ways.

Doctor McKinnon was born in Walton County, Florida, a son of Neil J. and Belle Ann (Mc Kinnon) McKinnon, natives of South Carolina and Florida, respectively, who, although having the same name, were of different families, and are both now deceased. The McKinnon family originated in the Isle of Skye, Scotland, whence the early members of the families bearing this name immigrated to America, settling in the Carolinas for the most part and then moving on to the old Scotch settlement in Walton County, so frequently referred to in the history of the early days of West Florida, particularly in McKinnon’s History, written by a member of this family, which contains much interesting matter pertaining to the part taken by the early Scots in the settlement of the state and in the Indian, Civil, and other wars. The paternal grandfather of Doctor McKinnon was Charles McKinnon who was born in Scotland and immigrated to North Carolina. He married Mary Johnson. His maternal grandparents were John and Catherine (Douglass) McKinnon. of Scotland. The former was Col. John L. McKinnon, who served during the War between the States, commanding a regiment of Florida troops in the Confederate Army.

Neil J. McKinnon was born in South Carolina, and about 1850 came to Florida, settling in the old Scotch settlement in Walton County. He was engaged in agricultural pursuits for some years, and when the War between the States came on joined the Confederate Army, enlisting in a Florida Volunteer Company, in which he rose to the rank of first lieutenant. He fought all through the great struggle, at the close of which he became a merchant at Freeport, and later at Eucheeanna, and also became a leader in all matters of public interest in the county. He was a member of the State Legislature three times and served on the county school board and as county surveyor and a member of the Board of County Commissioners.

After attending the public schools of Walton County, Charles B. McKinnon entered the State University at Lake City, Florida, where he pursued an academic and literary course and graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Following this, he taught school for a short time, and then, taking up the study of medicine, went to Tulane University of Medicine, at New Orleans, from which he was graduated in 1902 with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Doctor McKinnon began the practice of his profession at Pensacola, Escambia County, but after a short time joined the United States Army Hospital at Fort Monroe, Florida, and continued as a member of its staff for five years, during which time his experiences were varied, instructive and interesting. After five years his health failed and he was obliged to resign from the service and go to Hot Springs, Arkansas, for treatment, then returning . to DeFuniak Springs, where he has since been engaged in the general practice of his calling. Ever since he entered practice. Doctor McKinnon has engaged in post-graduate work every two or three years, having attended lectures and clinics at such well-known institutions as Rush Medical College, Chicago, and the New York Post-Graduate Hospital, as well as others. He keeps fully abreast with the advancements constantly being made in his calling, in which he has attained a deservedly high reputation, and is a valued member of the various organizations of his calling. Doctor McKinnon is a Knights Templar Mason, and his religious faith is that of the Presbyterian Church.

On January 7, 1903, at DeFuniak Springs, Doctor McKinnon was united in marriage with Miss Carrie Campbell, daughter of Daniel and Emma (Bowers) Campbell, natives of Florida, the former deceased. Mr. Campbell was a member of the State Legislature three terms, and served as county judge and county commissioner for several years. He was also a Confederate veteran of the War between the States and a prominent lawyer. Doctor and Mrs. McKinnon have had five children: Charles B., Jr., Emma Belle, Carolyn, deceased, Edith Gwendolyn and Gerald Campbell.

Cutler, H. G., ed. History of Florida: Past and Present, Volume II. Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1923, pp. 137-138.

Burial: Magnolia Cemetery, DeFuniak Springs

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