The years following the change from Tri-State Sanitarium to Tri-State Hospital in 1929 were filled with challenges and opportunities for Drs. Willis and Knighton along with other Tri-State physicians and surgeons. First came the Great Depression of the 1930 and then the War Years of the 1940s. Many younger doctors served in the military while the older ones were fighting the battle on the home front. Their biographies are the history of their Time and Willis-Knighton Health Systems very earliest years.

Dr. James C. Willis, Jr.


Dr. James C. Willis, Jr., the son of the founder of Tri-State Hospital, followed his father’s footsteps not only into the medical profession, but Tri-State Hospital and later Willis-Knighton Memorial as well.  This younger Dr. Willis was born in Homer, Louisiana in 1891, and educated in Shreveport where his family had moved shortly after the turn of the 20th Century.

Shreveport was a growing community and a hub for medicine in Northwest Louisiana.  He went to the Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans graduating in 1916.  Dr. Willis, jr. would serve as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War I.  After the war, he became a surgeon operating at the Tri-State Hospital.   He chose to specialize in general surgery and later became a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Besides his active medical practice, he was President of the Tri-State Hospital until his death in 1958.  He was affectionately known as “Dr. Clint” by doctors, nurses and friends.

This photo dates from the 1940s and was published in the Shreveport Medical Society’s Centennial History in 1951.

Location in Museum

Talbot Museum Digital Archive


Mid-20th Century

100 Years