Dr. John Franklin Lacewell (June 7, 1857 - August 19, 1937) was a horse-and-buggy doctor who never owned an automobile. He graduated from Atlanta Medical College (now Emory University) in 1887 and returned to Whitfield County. He answered house calls at any hour of the day or night and in any weather with his leather doctor's bag and a 32-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver for protection. He would often be gone from home for several days, attending the sick and return home to be greeted by waiting patients. Waiting folks never lacked for a good meal, as both his wife Maggie and daughter Rayma would prepare huge mouth-watering meals for everyone there.
A review of some of Doctor John's old account ledgers from the 1920s reveals that he was often paid of r his service with hams, eggs, hay, and sometimes cash. No sick patient was ever refused no matter what the financial situation might be. During this period, house calls were in the $.50 to $1.50 range, depending on the time spend and the drugs furnished to the patient. Birthing a baby cost $5.00 and may have required a day or more to be spent with the laboring mother and new baby. Many children were named for John, evidence of the respect and love that his patients had for him. Dr. John served Whitfield County for years as the doctor for the county work farm prisoners.
John practiced medicine from a small 7' by 9' white clapboard, unheated doctor's office in the front yard of the family home place. To keep this bit of history alive for future generations to see, his great-grand-children donated Dr. John's office to the Prater's Mill Foundation.