On this day in 1844, pioneer Texas physician Abbe Alzu Ledbetter was born in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. He served in the Confederate Army and after the war studied medicine at Tulane University. In the fall of 1869 he settled at Vienna, Lavaca County, Texas, where he practiced medicine until 1887. He moved to Hallettsville that year, continued to practice medicine, and operated a drugstore. Ledbetter, who died in 1919, thus practiced during a period of transition in health care in Texas. While traditional methods still predominated, new aspects of medicine were developing: more custodial care for those with chronic conditions, organized efforts to improve sanitation and public health, more successful outcomes from more surgical operations, more hospitals with greater acceptance by the public, more organizations of doctors and others involved in health care, and the establishment of schools to educate the professionals needed by the citizens of an ever-expanding state.
On this day in 1849, C. F. Carl (Charles) Steinhagen, early Texas cabinetmaker and German emigrant, arrived in Galveston from Bremen aboard the Galliott Flora. He was a wheelwright by trade who made furniture for his family as a hobby. Steinhagen settled in Anderson, where he died in 1893. Ima Hogg, who collected many of his fine pieces of household furniture for the University of Texas Winedale Properties at Roundtop, described Steinhagen as "one of the most outstanding-if not the finest-cabinetmaker who came to early Texas."
On this day in 1930, ten physical therapists organized the Texas Physical Therapy Association as a state chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association. Physical therapists, practitioners of a specialized health-care service performed for the rehabilitation of those disabled by pain or loss of motor function, had been active in Texas since the 1920s. Because Texas was such a large state, the new association soon divided into two districts, the northern and the southern. In 2003 Texas had thirteen districts with a total membership of about 3,600.