Wilson Elliott Driver (1870-1951)

By Cilisa Irvin

Wilson Elliot Driver (1870-1951)

Wilson Elliot Driver was born on October 16th, 1870 in the Nansemond area of Suffolk Virginia to Jefferson and Mary Ann Driver. As part of the prominent and wealthy families in the community, he was well educated, first in public school and then at Hargrove Academy where he was provided private tutors. Upon completion, he attended Eastman’s Business College in Poughkeepsie, New York and medical college at the University of Maryland. In 1892, he completed his medical degree.  After receiving his degree, he worked as an intern at the University of Maryland he stayed for numerous years and then went into practice with Dr. Chisholm in the city of Baltimore, Maryland for two years. After being in practice for a few years he decided to further develop his skills in the specialty of ears, nose, and throat back in Norfolk, Virginia. As he increased his skills he became a prominent specialist in this field and provided services to the Norfolk community. Wilson Driver was a staple of his community and demonstrated that by being a member of the Triple Island Gun Club, the Norfolk Board of Trade and Fellow of the College of American Surgeons.

On November 5th, 1896 Wilson Driver married Lucy W. Bailey and later had three children: Virginia, born on May 2nd, 1898; Wilson E. Driver Jr., born on February 5th, 1900; and Robert, born on September 11th, 1903. As one of the prominent physicians in the community he offered his medical services on August 29th, 1917 to the United States Military.

Wilson E. Driver enlisted in Norfolk, Virginia and received the rank of a Captain for the Medical Corp division in the Regular Army. He received training at Fort Oglethorpe, GA from October 20th, 1917 to December 30th, 1917. During his time in Georgia he was promoted from Captain to Major after completion of training he was then transferred for additional training at Rockefeller Institute where he received a brief training from January 1, 1918 through January 15th in New York and finally he transferred to Fort McHenry and trained from January 16th, 1918 until February 11th, 1918. Later he was transferred again to division command (COMD) and again on April 29th, 1918 for the 22nd engineers Camp Sheridan in Montgomery, Alabama. Finally, after months of training, he received an assignment to sail from New York to Brest, France. Upon arrival on September 15th, 1918 he traveled to Sorcey, France arriving October 5th, 1918 where he served until an injury occurred. He obtained medical care from Base Hospital 116 in Bazoilles, Franc from January 1st, 1919 until January 15th he was not permanently injured and returned to service until his discharge on August 18th, 1919 in Washington D.C.

After arriving back home to Norfolk, Virginia he continued his career as a specialist. In 1928 his wife passed away from a long-term illness, he did not remarry following her death. Eventually, he retired as a medical physician and remained in the city of Norfolk. On October 14th, 1951 he passed away as well from coronary artery insufficiency and was buried at Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia.


United States Census, 1880-1940

Encyclopedia Virginia Biography Vol 4-27, pg.263

World War I history Commission Questionnaire “ Wilson Elliott Driver”

Findagrave.com/memorial/80731392/Wilson-elliott-driver. Accessed 7/13/2018