Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Historical marker tells of old Mobile physician and doctor's office

'Henry S. LeVert Office' historical marker.
This week’s featured historical marker is the “OFFICE OF DR. HENRY S. LeVERT” marker in Mobile County, Ala. This marker is located near the entrance to the present-day Mobile Bar Association building at 153 Government St. in Mobile, Ala.

This marker was erected in May 1979 by the Historic Mobile Preservation Society. There’s text on both sides of the marker, but both sides are identical. What follows in the complete text from the marker:

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“OFFICE OF DR. HENRY S. LeVERT, 1804-1864: Mobile Physician, 1829-1864. Son of Dr. Claudeus LeVert, who came to Virginia as fleet surgeon under General Rochambeau. This Italianate style building served as a doctor’s office for one hundred years, 1858-1954. Preserved by the action of the Mobile County Commission May 1971.”

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Dr. Henry Strachey LeVert was born on Dec. 26, 1804 in King William County, Virginia to Dr. Samuel Claudeus (Claudius) LeVert and Ann Lea Metcalfe LeVert. Sources say that he graduated from a medical school in Philadelphia and moved to Mobile in 1825. Dr. Henry LeVert passed away in Mobile at the age of 59 on March 15, 1864. Along with many other famous and prominent Mobile residents, Dr. Henry LeVert was buried in Mobile’s Magnolia Cemetery.

While Dr. Henry S. LeVert was a prominent Mobilian, his wife, Octavia Walton LeVert, was arguably more famous. A native of Augusta, Ga., Octavia LeVert, she moved to Mobile with her parents in 1835 and married Dr. Henry LeVert in 1836. She spoke English, French and Spanish, traveled widely and many heads of state, including U.S. Presidents and Queen Victoria. She passed away on March 12, 1877 in Augusta, Ga. and is buried in the Walker Family Cemetery in Richmond County, Ga.

The General Rochambeau referred to on the marker is Marshal Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau. According to Wikipedia, Rochambeau “was a French nobleman and general who played a major role in helping America win independence during the American Revolution. During this time, he served as commander-in-chief of the French Expeditionary Force which embarked from France in order to help the American Continental Army fight against British forces.”

I recently encountered the historical marker described above while taking a historical walking tour of downtown Mobile. This marker is located a short walk from a number of other historical markers and historical sites. Those sites include the History Museum of Mobile, Spanish Plaza, the Church Street Cemetery and the Mobile Carnival Museum.

In fact, if you’re so inclined, you can actually walk from this historical marker to Magnolia Cemetery to see Dr. Henry S. LeVert’s grave. It’s about 2.2 miles and is about a 40-minute walk. I’m not exactly sure where within Magnolia Cemetery Dr. Henry S. LeVert is buried, but the staff at the cemetery office should be able to give you directions.

In the end, visit this site next Wednesday to learn about another historical marker. I’m also taking suggestions from the reading audience, so if you know of an interesting historical marker that you’d like me to feature, let me know in the comments section below. 

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