Dedicated Country Doctor & Physician


Dr. James Ball Naylor graduated from Starling Medical College in Columbus, Ohio, on March 28, 1886, second in a class of 81.  After marrying Myrta Gibson, of Stockport, Ohio, he started a practice there. 

"After graduation" he said, "I hung out my shingle in Babylon [Stockport], and practiced there one fleeting year—spending most of my working hours in a wet saddle. The good people of the community bore with me—and charitably excused my woeful inexperience." Unfortunately, his young bride died of consumption (pneumonia) a year after they were married.

Two years later he remarried and moved to Pennsville where he established himself as a country doctor among the people he knew growing up. In 1891 he moved his growing family eight miles north to Malta, where he spent the rest of his life. He continued to make house calls to his scattered clientele in the hill country of Morgan County as his practice in town grew.

As a physician, Naylor was widely respected. A tribute to him cited his skill as a diagnostician. “As a physician he possessed all the qualifications to have made his name famous in the medical world. He is exceptionally gifted as a diagnostician and his knowledge and wide range of reading have kept him abreast with every advanced step in the profession.”

In his lifetime Naylor achieved a measure of greatness that was recognized well beyond the state of Ohio. His legacy is more than the myriad of published material that he left behind; it is a testament to his indomitable spirit and to the moral principles and integrity that defined him. Although he welcomed the acclaim he received, what ultimately mattered most to him were the people he loved and the joy and comfort he brought to others in his role as a physician.