Carl Rogers Darnall

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Carl Rogers Darnall
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Brig. Gen. Carl Rogers Darnall
BornDecember 25, 1867 (1867-12-25)
Weston, Texas
DiedJanuary 18, 1941 (1941-01-19) (aged 73)
Washington, D.C.
Place of burial
AllegianceFlag of the United States.svg  United States of America
Service/branchFlag of the United States Army (official proportions).svg  United States Army
Years of service1896–1931
Rank US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General
Commands heldArmy Medical Center
Wars Boxer Rebellion
World War I
Awards Distinguished Service Medal

Brigadier General Carl Rogers Darnall (December 25, 1867 in Weston, Texas January 18, 1941 in Washington, D.C.) was a United States Army chemist and surgeon credited with originating the technique of liquid chlorination of drinking water. [1] Chlorination has been an exceedingly important innovation in public health, saving innumerable lives.

Weston, Texas City in Texas, United States

Weston is a city in Collin County, Texas, United States. The population was 563 at the 2010 census.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.



Youth and education

Darnall was born on his father’s farm in the Cottage Hill community near McKinney, in Collin County, Texas. He was the eldest of the seven children of Reverend Joseph Rogers Darnall, minister of the Christian Church, and Mary Ellen (Thomas) Darnall.

McKinney, Texas City in Texas

McKinney is a city in and the county seat of Collin County, Texas, United States. It is Collin County's second-largest city, after Plano. Part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, McKinney is about 32 miles (51 km) north of Dallas.

Collin County, Texas County in the United States

Collin County is a county in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 United States Census, the county's population was 782,341, making it the seventh-most populous county in Texas and the 63rd-largest county by population in the United States. The 2017 Census Bureau estimate for Collin County's population is 969,603. Its county seat is McKinney.

Christian Church term used to refer to the whole worldwide group of people belonging to the Christian religious tradition

"Christian Church" is an ecclesiological term generally used by Protestants to refer to the whole group of people belonging to Christianity throughout the history of Christianity. In this understanding, "Christian Church" does not refer to a particular Christian denomination but to the body of all believers. Some Christian traditions, however, believe that the term "Christian Church" or "Church" applies only to a specific historic Christian body or institution. The Four Marks of the Church first expressed in the Nicene Creed are that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic.

He studied at Carlton College, Bonham, Texas, and Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky and received a MD degree from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia (1890). In 1892 he married Annie Estella Major of Erwinna, Pennsylvania. In 1896, after a few years of private practice, he was commissioned a first lieutenant and assistant surgeon in the U.S. Army. He graduated from the Army Medical School in Washington the following year.

Bonham, Texas City in Texas, United States

Bonham is a city in Fannin County, Texas, United States. The population was 10,127 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Fannin County. James Bonham sought the aid of James Fannin at the Battle of the Alamo.

Transylvania University Private University in Lexington, KY, USA

Transylvania University is a private university in Lexington, Kentucky, United States. Transylvania was founded in 1780, making it the first university in Kentucky. It offers 36 major programs, as well as dual-degree engineering programs, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Transylvania's name, meaning "across the woods" in Latin, stems from the university's founding in the heavily forested region of western Virginia known as the Transylvania Colony, which became most of Kentucky in 1792. Transylvania is the alma mater of two U.S. vice presidents, two U.S. Supreme Court justices, 50 U.S. senators, 101 U.S. representatives, 36 U.S. governors, the one Confederate President, and 34 U.S. ambassadors, making it a large producer of U.S. statesmen. Its medical program graduated 8,000 physicians by 1859. Its enduring footprint, both in national and Southern academia, makes it among the most prolific cultural establishments and the most storied institutions in the South.

Lexington, Kentucky Consolidated city-county in Kentucky, United States

Lexington, consolidated with Fayette County and often denoted as Lexington-Fayette, is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 60th-largest city in the United States. By land area, Lexington is the 28th largest city in the United States. Known as the "Horse Capital of the World," it is the heart of the state's Bluegrass region. It has a nonpartisan mayor-council form of government, with 12 council districts and three members elected at large, with the highest vote-getter designated vice mayor. In the 2017 U.S. Census Estimate, the city's population was 321,959, anchoring a metropolitan area of 512,650 people and a combined statistical area of 856,849 people.

Early career

Darnall’s first assignments were to stations in Texas – Fort Clark at Brackettville, and Fort McIntosh at Laredo. During the Spanish–American War (1898), Darnall served in Cuba. Later, he served as an operating surgeon and pathologist aboard the hospital ship USS Relief in the Philippines and commanded the hospital at Iloilo. He was one of the few medical officers that accompanied the Allied Forces during the Boxer Rebellion in China. [2]

Fort Clark, Texas

Fort Clark was a frontier fort located just off U.S. Route 90 near Brackettville, in the county of Kinney, in the U.S. state of Texas. It later became the headquarters for the 2nd Cavalry Division. The Fort Clark Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 6, 1979. The Commanding Officer's Quarters at Fort Clark was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1988. The Fort Clark Guardhouse became a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1962. The Fort Clark Officers' Row Quarters was designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1991.

Brackettville, Texas City in Texas, United States

Brackettville is a city in Kinney County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,876 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Kinney County. Brackettville claims it is the drive-in movie capital of Texas.

Fort McIntosh, Texas

Fort McIntosh was a U.S. Army base in Laredo, Webb County, Texas, that existed from 1849 to 1946.


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In 1902, Darnall returned to Washington, D.C., and served as secretary of the faculty and instructor for sanitary chemistry and operative surgery at the Army Medical School. It was while a major and a professor of chemistry there that he demonstrated the value of anhydrous, liquefied chlorine in purifying water. His 1910 invention, the mechanical liquid chlorine purifier (known as a "chlorinator"), was the prototype of the technology that is now applied to municipal water supplies throughout the world. Darnall also devised and patented a water filter that was used by the Army for many years. Major William Lyster further adapted the process of water chlorination to field use by inventing a method to apply sodium hypochlorite in a cloth bag, known as a Lyster bag.

Major (United States) rank in the United States uniformed services, O-4

In the United States Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force, major is a field grade military officer rank above the rank of captain and below the rank of lieutenant colonel. It is equivalent to the naval rank of lieutenant commander in the other uniformed services. Although lieutenant commanders are considered junior officers by their respective services, the rank of major is considered field grade in the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps.

A substance is anhydrous if it contains no water. Many processes in chemistry can be impeded by the presence of water, therefore, it is important that water-free reagents and techniques are used. In practice, however, it is very difficult to achieve perfect dryness; anhydrous compounds gradually absorb water from the atmosphere so they must be stored carefully.

Sodium hypochlorite chemical compound

Sodium hypochlorite is a chemical compound with the formula NaOCl or NaClO, comprising a sodium cation and a hypochlorite anion. It may also be viewed as the sodium salt of hypochlorous acid. The anhydrous compound is unstable and may decompose explosively. It can be crystallized as a pentahydrate NaOCl·5H
, a pale greenish-yellow solid which is not explosive and is stable if kept refrigerated.

Later career

Darnall was promoted to Colonel in 1917. During World War I, Darnall’s talents for business and organization were recognized and he was assigned to the Finance and Supply Division in the Office of The Surgeon General (OTSG). After the war, he served as department surgeon in Hawaii. In 1925, he returned to the OTSG as executive officer. In November (or December 5?), 1929, he was promoted to brigadier general and became the Commanding General of the Army Medical Center, a post he held until he retired on December 31, 1931.

Colonel is a senior military officer rank below the brigadier and general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

An executive officer (CCE) is generally a person responsible for running an organization, although the exact nature of the role varies depending on the organization. In many militaries, an executive officer, or "XO," is the second-in-command, reporting to the commanding officer. The XO is typically responsible for the management of day-to-day activities, freeing the commander to concentrate on strategy and planning the unit's next move.

Darnall died on 18 January 1941 at Walter Reed General Hospital, Washington, D.C.. Six days earlier, his wife had died at the family home in Washington. They left three sons, Joseph Rogers (1894–1976), William Major (b. 1895), and Carl Robert (b. 1904), all of whom served in some capacity in the Army. He is buried in the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Awards and honors

Darnall was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a member of the American Medical Association and Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. He was a veteran of the Military Order of the Carabao, member of the Army and Navy Club of Washington, and Founder Member of the Army and Navy Country Club. Darnall received the Distinguished Service Medal for his organizing, developing and administering medical supplies during World War I.


See also

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  1. Darnall CR (November 1911). "The purification of water by anhydrous chlorine". Am J Public Health . 1 (11): 783–97. doi:10.2105/ajph.1.11.783. PMC   2218881 . PMID   19599675.
  2. Harold W. Jones. "Carl Rodgers Darnall Brigadier General U. S. Army, Retired (25 December 1867-18 January 1941)". U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of Medical History. Retrieved 21 September 2010. reprinted from The Army Medical Bulletin Number 56 (1941)