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Dr. Watson still at work at age 100

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At age 100, Dr. W.G. "Curly" Watson, of University Hospital, might not be The Chronicle's oldest subscriber, but he certainly keeps the newspaper's Birth Announcement section busy.

Dr. W.G. "Curly" Watson paused for a photo on his 90th birthday, but is still practicing medicine after his 100th birthday. Watson delivered an estimated 15,000 babies.   File/Staff
File/Staff
Dr. W.G. "Curly" Watson paused for a photo on his 90th birthday, but is still practicing medicine after his 100th birthday. Watson delivered an estimated 15,000 babies.

The hospital estimates he delivered 15,000 babies before he finally stopped in 1996 but he kept scrubbing in for surgery until a few years ago.

He has delivered several branches of the family tree for many Augusta families.

He still goes to work with the energy and enthusiasm of doctors 70 years younger.

Watson has practiced at University Hospital since 1947.

He is believed to be the oldest physician in the country still practicing. He is also the oldest living graduate of The Citadel, where he was top of his class in 1931.

"People think it is hard today," Watson told The Chronicle in an interview before his 100th birthday in February. "It doesn't compare with '31."

His class had been promised that its top two graduates would get jobs with a chemical company but the jobs never materialized and Watson found himself back on the farm in Edgefield working for 45 or 50 cents a day.

"All day long," he said. "From sun up to sun down."

He plowed barefoot behind a mule, saving his shoes for Sunday school.

A year later, when the football coach at Edgefield High School left, the former end for the Citadel team became its new coach and principal.

Football is still a passion for Watson, who rarely misses a North Augusta High School game.

"It's a different game," Watson said. "It's still a great game on Friday night."

He saved up enough in seven years at Edgefield High to enroll in medical school at Medical College of Georgia in 1939.

He did his residency at University and after a stint in the service ended in 1947, has never left.

Joy Willis said last February that between her mother, her, and her four siblings, and some in-laws, Watson delivered at least 17 of them. She and her mother, Sabra Allen, 7r both still go to see him as patients.

He insists he is not even thinking about retirement, waving off questions about it with a simple, "No."


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