Manton Marble Carrick, physician and author, the son of White L. and Cammie Rozina (Thompson) Carrick, was born near Keatchie, Louisiana, on August 17, 1879. He spent most of his childhood in Waxahachie, Texas, where his family moved when he was a boy. After graduating from Dallas Academy in 1897 he began his medical career as assistant house surgeon in the Texas and Pacific Railroad Company Hospital in Marshall in 1899. The next year he was the house physician at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. While there, he studied medicine at Fort Worth University and graduated in 1901.
Carrick began his twenty-six-year career in public health in 1903 as a medical officer in the Texas National Guard, a post he held until 1905. The following year he was the state quarantine officer. In 1910 he was assistant superintendent of the State Epileptic Colony in Abilene (see ABILENE STATE SCHOOL) and two years later was appointed superintendent of the Texas State Leper Colony. In 1914 Carrick became professor of preventive medicine at Baylor University. Although he enjoyed teaching and was a popular instructor, he left Baylor in 1917 to enlist as a captain in the Medical Corps of the American Expeditionary Forces. He served four years in the army, rose to the rank of major, and received a commission as surgeon in the United States Public Health Service. While in the army, however, he contracted diabetes mellitus, and he received a disability retirement in 1921. The following year Governor Pat M. Neff appointed Carrick state health officer.
During the 1920s Carrick conducted sanitary surveys of many cities and towns in the United States and, through a series of articles in scholarly journals and popular magazines, publicized methods of health preservation for the general public. Publications in the Journal of the Southern Medical Association, Pictorial Review, and Ladies Home Journal attracted the interest of public-health officials throughout the country. One result of Carrick's writings was an invitation to study at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. In 1925 and 1926 Carrick also received two scholarships in general medicine and children's diseases from New York Graduate Medical School and Hospital.
In 1927 he was appointed director of public health and welfare for the city of Dallas by Mayor R. E. Burt. While director, Carrick implemented many of the measures he advocated in his publications. For example, by campaigning against the use of common drinking cups he forced the substitution of paper cups in many public places. His efforts did not go unnoticed. One newspaper editor commented that Carrick "did more for the cause of public health in Texas than anyone else ever did." Unfortunately, his work was cut short by diabetes. From 1929 until 1932 Carrick's failing health confined him to bed. He was nursed by his wife, Mai Connor (Gordon), whom he had married in 1926. Shortly before his death the Dallas County Medical Society elected Carrick an honorary member. He was also a member of the State Medical Association of Texas (now the Texas Medical Association), the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Medical Authors Association, and the American Legion. He was an Episcopalian, a Mason, and a Democrat. He died on September 17, 1932, and was buried in an Episcopalian cemetery in Waxahachie.
Is history important to you?
We need your support because we are a non-profit organization that relies upon contributions from our community in order to record and preserve the history of our state. Every penny helps.
Please make your contribution today.
Dallas Morning News, September 18, 1932. Texas State Journal of Medicine, November 1932.
School Principals and Superintendents
Health and Medicine
Physicians and Surgeons
Public Health Physicians
Texas in the 1920s
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Carrick, Manton Marble,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 20, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
September 11, 2019
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: