Dr. Federick A. Lobb is fondly remembered by his former patients as a highly respected, small town physician. The doctor, who was born and raised in Hawley, Pa., first practiced medicine in his hometown but spent most of his career with an office in Honesdale. He was located right across from the old hospital on 9th Street, a short walk from the park.

HAWLEY - Dr. Federick A. Lobb is fondly remembered by his former patients as a highly respected, small town physician. The doctor, who was born and raised in Hawley, Pa., first practiced medicine in his hometown but spent most of his career with an office in Honesdale. He was located right across from the old hospital on 9th Street, a short walk from the park.

Frederick Anthony Lobb was born in Hawley, April 22, 1988 to Anthony James Lobb and Helen (Atkinson) Lobb. The elder Mr. Lobb was born in Cornwall, England, and emigrated in 1853 with his father and brother. Anthony’s father, William T. Lobb, served as a captain in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Anthony Lobb worked as foreman of the Collingswood Lumber Company at Wilsonville.
They raised four sons, William A., born in 1879; George W., in 1881; Harry J., about 1886 and Frederick A.,1888.

The Lobb family moved to Hawley, where Anthony Lobb became employed by Joseph Atkinson at the Atkinson Box and Lumber Company. They resided in the “Snufftown” section of town near the Bellemonte Silk Mill (today, Hawley Silk Mill). The house is still standing along Bellemonte Avenue (Route 6).

Graduating from Hawley High School in 1906, Frederick went to the University of Maryland in Baltimore. He completed his studies there four years later, with a doctorate of medicine. He passed his state medical examination in 1910.

Dr. Lobb interned at the Hospital for Ruptured and Crippled Children and also at the Lying in Hospital, both in New York City. Following another internship at the Harrisburg Hospital, Dr. Lobb returned to Hawley in August 1911, to set up practice.

His office and home were at 409 Keystone Street, close to Main Avenue (directly behind where Hawley Bank (PNC, today) was built. In 1927, after Dr. Lobb moved to Honesdale, Dr. Earl V. Cross and his family moved in, where Dr. Cross practiced dentistry.

At first, Dr. Lobb got about with a horse. A news brief in The Citizen in May 1913, stated that Frank Stephenson bought Dr. Lobb’s “horse, wagon, robes and entire outfit.” The brief added, “The doctor has a new Ford runabout, and didn’t care to maintain two equipments.”

In August of that year, he and his parents and another woman “motored to Connecticut” for a few days to visit relatives and friends.

Medical practice

Local newspapers supplied some details about his medical work.

August 1911, Dr. Lobb was on the scene of an accident on what is now Route 6, just above the Bellemonte (Hawley) Silk Mill. Three occupants had been thrown from a carriage or wagon, when an automobile had scared the horse. The animal broke loose and stampeded down the hill, where it was caught on Penn Avenue. Two of the occupants were badly bruised and unconscious. Also that month, Dr. Lobb was treating a local farmer who severely injured a hand in a mowing machine. In October 1911, Dr. Lobb was an important witness in a murder case heard in Dauphin County Court, in Harrisburg. The doctor had treated the injured man, a hotel owner who had fired the waiter accused of shooting him, only hours before. Dr. Lobb assisted in an appendix operation at a hospital in Scranton, in September 1912. The patient was from Hawley. He left for Mifflinburg, Pa. in October 1912, to treat a woman who was formerly from White Mills and had a dangerous condition. We also learn that Dr. Lobb was active with the Wayne County Medical Society, where he was listed as Secretary in 1912. What would be highly unusual today, the Hawley Times went into considerable detail describing a skin graft Dr. Lobb helped perform, in May 1913. He and Dr. Arno Voigt, also of Hawley, rendered aid to a 10-year old girl from Knob, Pike County, who was burned by a brush fire. Her brother and sister donated more than 300 square inches of skin to be grafted on their sister’s extensive wounds. Anesthetic was used. The operation was declared a success. In June of 1913, Dr. Lobb was summoned to cauterize a wound, where a man in Hawley had stepped on a rusty nail,  going down into his dark cellar to retrieve a barrel. The man was “doing as well at this writing as could be expected,” The Citizen’s Hawley columnist added. On June 28, 1913, Dr. Lobb was summoned to Hawley’s ball park on the north end of what is now Bingham Park, for a catcher with a sprained ankle. The injury occurred as the catcher was trying to get a runner out at home plate. Dr. Lobb took him to his office for surgery.

Officer in World War

During the first World War, Dr. Lobb enlisted in the Army. He was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in May 1917, and rose to the rank of Major. He served as a transport surgeon for four years. He was honorably discharged on October 1, 1920.

It was on one of these troop transports on the Atlantic Ocean, where Dr. Lobb met a certain Army nurse, Edith Head. Love would blossom, and on June 8, 1921, they were married. Edith was from Petersburg, West Virginia. Unto them were born two daughters, Betty Faith and Virginia Rose.
Dr. Lobb resumed his medical practice in Hawley.

Located in Honesdale

The Lobb family moved to Honesdale, where on January 1, 1927, Dr. Lobb opened a medical office. He was first located at 924 Church Street, opposite the park, where the family also lived.
Sometime by 1935, the Lobbs took up residence on Golf Hill Road, above Honesdale. He moved his practice to 304-9th Street, second from the corner with Court and 9th. (Dr. William J. Perkins had his office at the corner, next door, at 302-9th Street.)

They were directly across from the first location of what was then known as Wayne County Memorial Hospital.

The hospital opened in the former Dimmick mansion next to the courthouse in 1920, and was located there until the present hospital on Park Street was opened in 1951.

When he established his office in Honesdale, he limited his practice to ear, nose, eye and throat, with a speciality in X-ray.

His father went to live with he and his family on Golf Hill Road. The elder Mr. Lobb died in 1933 in his 80th year.

In 1955 he was appointed to the staff at Farview State Hospital at Waymart. At that time he closed his practice in Honesdale.

Dr. Lobb recalled

His granddaughter Molly was 11 when he passed away.
Molly Mattson- DiCecca, who now resides in the Boston area, recalled that she and her brother Monte spent their summers on their farm on Golf Hill Road. Being next to the golf course, errant golf balls would come their way. “We had a lemonade stand,” Molly said, “…We would sell the golf balls back for 25 cents.”

She described her grandparents as “quite formal,” especially her grandmother Edith Lobb. She would read poetry to the grandchildren, seated across the room while the grandchildren had to be attentive, seated in chairs. Meals were always in the dining room.

Her grandfather was a “gentleman farmer,” she said. She recalled having raw eggs for breakfast. They would of course enjoy fresh eggs and fresh milk from the farm.

Grandfather Lobb would carry the pungent aroma of ether, when he came home from his work. Ether was used as an anesthetic. Molly recalled that her grandfather would do surgery on the patients at Farview, as well as at his office or in homes. While serving at Farview, he always had a guard present, Molly said.

He also would be called out to deliver babies.

She said her grandfather would sometimes take payment in chickens, eggs, or even jewelry, if his patients could not afford the cash.

Horse racing was his hobby. Dr. Lobb had his own drivers and trainer, but would exercise the horses at the Wayne County Fairgrounds. They would travel to Saratoga to race, but Molly said she and her brother couldn’t go in because of the gambling. They would enjoy a picnic in the car.

Albert G. Rutherford, esq., who as a youth lived with his family nearby on Golf Hill Road, recalled that Dr. Lobb owned standardbred horses, both trotters and pacers.  “I think one was named ‘Hobby Lobby’,” he said.

“I remember Dr. and Mrs. Lobb very well—they lived just north of the golf club on a long driveway that went west off Golf Hill Road,” said Rutherford.

He continued, “They kept a flock of sheep for a long time, and poor shots off No. 8 tee sometimes went into the sheep pasture. Since both my brother and I were caddies in our youth, we would often hunt for lost golf balls in Lobb’s sheep lot. They also had a pump next to their house where the caddies were welcome to get a drink if the day was hot—they were very nice folks.” 

A few of his former patients recalled Dr. Lobb, as well as his family.

“I was very young - must have been in the early '40’s-  and I got a severe chest cold with a sore throat,” recalled Dale Gregory, who now lives in Limerick, Pa. “I will never forget the image of Dr Lobb standing over me in my mother's bedroom and giving me a shot of penicillin which did the trick. Of course it hurt as any shot would for a kid. My mom asked him how much (especially since in those days, doctors came to your house), and he said, "Five dollars." I can still hear him say that matter-of-factly. I have always had great respect for Dr. Lobb.”

Dusty Loring recalled that that Dr. and Mrs. Lobb were “wonderful people.” She said they had a large Saint Bernard dog, by the name of Bonnie.  Loring has a certificate of vaccination from Dr. Lobb. She added that Mrs. Lobb was a “lovely lady too” and “so humble.”

Dr. Lobb’s World War II registration card states that he was 5’2” and weighed 158 pounds. No photographs have been located of the doctor or his immediate family.

He attended the First Presbyterian Church of Honesdale, and had memberships in the Major David McKelvy Peterson Post 254, American Legion; U.S. Trotting Association and American Medical Society.

Dr. Frederick A. Lobb died on December 28, 1960, at Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton. He was 72. The doctor was laid to rest in the cemetery at Bethany. His wife Edith died in about 1966, granddaughter Molly recalled.

Their children

Their daughter Betty was wed to David Horace Mattson. They lived in southern California. They both died in 1997, Betty on September 13th.

Daughter Virginia was wed in 1971 to Phillip Gentile. Molly said that Judge James Rutherford presided. Her Aunt Ginny, as she was known, and Ginny’s husband, resided at Golf Hill. She worked 34 years for The Dime Bank, rising to Executive Vice-President. “Virginia was an excellent golfer and won several women’s championships at the Honesdale Golf Club,” Rutherford recalled. In 1994, she was listed among the original class of honorees for the annual Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame. Virginia died, March 13, 2009, at the age of 84.

Main sources:
Historical accounts by the late Graham Roger Lobb, nephew of Dr. Lobb, published in The Wayne Independent, courtesy Art Glantz.
Census records, etc., found at Ancestry.com
Newspaper records found at Fultonhistory.com
Wayne County Historical Society