Dr. James Oliver Conklin was born in Paris, Illinois, but spent most of his years in Terre Haute, Indiana. Before World War II began, he had graduated from medical school. After enlisting in the army, he became a colonel and stayed a year longer after the war ended to be a commanding medical officer in France. During the war is when he found his love, Clarabelle, whom he would later marry. Clarabelle was a homemaker and also worked in Dr. Conklin’s medical office. Upon returning to the Wabash Valley, Conklin would become partners with Dr. Jung, where he specialized in thyroid disease and surgical operations.
Dr. Conklin is remembered as being someone who genuinely cared about all of his patients and anyone he came in contact with. A family friend and colleague of Dr. Conklin’s, Dr. Benny Ko had this to say of his friend, “His generosity is legendary, and he treated people as people, regardless of race, religion, or creed. In that regard, he was truly a man who was ahead of his time… a model to inspire us for a long time to come.”
The Dr. and Mrs. James O. Conklin Scholarship Fund was established by Clarabelle in 1995. Both James and Clarabelle have passed since the fund was created. The purpose of the Dr. and Mrs. James O. Conklin Scholarship Fund is to provide scholarships for the students who are pursuing a degree in medical education with the intention to become a doctor and/or those pursuing a musical education with their primary specialization in piano.
Eligibility requires that:
- You are a Vigo County resident.