The Patton House has a special connection to the history of medicine at Ft. Clark because, as the residences for the second and third senior ranking officers, the Patton House often housed the post surgeon. Ft. Clark was duty station for some very important doctors, for example William Gorgas, later the Surgeon General and famous for working to eradicate yellow fever and malaria, and Edgar Mearns, also a noted naturalist and founder of the American Ornithologists’ Union. Later Mearns accompanied Teddy Roosevelt on a year long African safari. In the 1850′s, Ft. Clark was home to Basil Norris, later physician to three presidents, A. Johnson, Grant and Garfield.
During WWI Ft. Clark was home to several ambulance companies (both motorized and mule drawn) in which medics were trained for combat in France. A very detailed daily account survives of Sgt. McKinnon’s training in Amb. Co. No. 7 from July 1917-March 1918.
The post’s significant hospital, built in the 19th Century, survives today.