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Halsell, John T. (1874–1941)

Carolyn Hyman Biography

John T. Halsell, surgeon and soldier, son of John E. and Carrie (Porter) Halsell, was born on November 1, 1874, at Bowling Green, Kentucky. The family shortly moved to Texas. After his graduation from Trinity University in 1894, Halsell became one of the first students at Fort Worth University, where he graduated with honors in 1898. He was appointed assistant surgeon in the Fourth Texas Volunteer Infantry and served in the Sixth United States Infantry in the Philippine Islands and in China with the Sixth Cavalry. He returned to Texas in 1902 and was ordered to Fort McIntosh at Laredo, where he remained to become city physician of Laredo and surgeon for the National Railroad of Mexico and the Texas Mexican railroad companies. During World War I he entered service as a captain in the medical corps and was promoted to lieutenant colonel and assistant division surgeon; he served overseas from July 1918 until April 1919. He was a Presbyterian and a Mason. Halsell married Emilie Sielski in 1903, and they had two children. He died on March 16, 1941.

Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Texas State Journal of Medicine, May 1941. A Twentieth Century History of Southwest Texas (2 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1907).


  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Surgeons

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Carolyn Hyman, “Halsell, John T.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 01, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.