Dr. Forrest J. Pinkerton (1892-1974) was born on the family farm at what is now 205th Ave. in West Creek Township, near the pioneer cemetery deeded to the township by his great grandfather William Sanders, who came from Erie County, Ohio, in 1841 to pioneer in southern Lake County.
Forrest Pinkerton, son of Cassius D. Pinkerton (1867-1939) and Minnie (Trump) Pinkerton (1871-1950), worked on the family farm; studied at a one-room school house, Pine Grove School, located near his home; and was in the class of 1909 at Lowell High School (the school building still standing on Main Street in Lowell).
He went to Valparaiso University and the Chicago College of Medicine and Surgery (later merged with Loyola University), from which he received his M.D. degree in 1914. Dr. Pinkerton did postgraduate work in New York, Boston, New Orleans and Vienna. He opened his first office at Wanatah. In 1916 Dr. Pinkerton was a patient for several days at the LaPorte Hospital, due to an infection during an operation. Soon after his recovery, he was notified by the U.S. Army that he was one of six of a class of 76 who passed an examination for admission to the Army Medical Service. He was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the Medical Section Officers Reserve Corp in April 1917 and was soon on a ship bound for Hawaii.
He wrote to his folks on June 12, 1917: "Well, we are in Hawaii, and I am glad the trip is over. Still, everything had been so wonderful and different that it seems like one long dream, and when I go to bed at night I waken in the a.m. wondering what garden or whose it is, that I am in. With the ability of an artist, you can not imagine how beautiful a place this is.
"We bought a few supplies and then took a train for the [Schofield] barracks, the largest training camp for soldiers in the world. Here is one entire division of the U.S. Army [25th]. It is so much more beautiful than Honolulu. On the way here I rode on my first narrow gauge railway."
The Old Timer rode that same narrow gauge railroad in 1943 when he came down the mountain from Schofield Barracks on his way to Honolulu Harbor to board a ship for a task force to the Phoenix Islands, and when he returned a year later was stationed at the barracks until the spring of 1945. While visiting Major Abbot Dinwiddie, a well-known Lowell dentist, at his quarters at Schofield Barracks, the Old Timer was introduced to Dr. Ogden Pinkerton, brother of Forrest, who also was an officer there and later joined his brother in practice in Honolulu.
Dr. Forrest Pinkerton resigned his commission as a medical officer in the Army in 1919, and in 1920 opened an office in Honolulu, where he specialized in eye, ear, nose and throat care.
On July 11, 1918, Dr. Pinkerton had married Marion Chapin in Honolulu Their children were Marion Joy (Mrs. Grant Oliver), Robert C., James P. (missing in action in World War II) and David C. Following his divorce, on Sept. 14, 1945, Forrest married Florence Helmick Macaulay.
The list of his many accomplishments is long -- he was on the staff of Queen's Hospital from 1920 until his retirement in 1964, a life member of the Queen's Corporation, and on the Board of Directors for many years. He served as chief of staff for leper patients at Kalaupapa and Kaliki from 1920 to 1950 and was chief of the EENT service at Leahi Hospital from 1923 to 1956.
He served many years as consultant at Tripler Army Hospital and in 1970 was named consultant emeritus to the Surgeon General's Department of the Army. He served both the Territorial and State Department of Health, and was on the attending staff of Kauikeolani Children's Hospital, a director from 1923-1965.
Dr. Pinkerton was certified with the American Boards of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology and was a member of the Broncho-Esophagologyical Association and the Bronschoscopic Society. He co-organized the Pan- Pacific Surgical Association, served as secretary from 1928 to 1948 and president in 1948, and continued as a board member and director-general from 1951-1963.
Before the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, Dr. Pinkerton founded Hawaii's Blood Bank, the first in the nation, and immediately following the attack was appointed director of blood banking operations under the office of Civil Defense, and served as president until his death.
He was a member of the Oahu Health Council, serving as director from 1937 to 1952, and chair from 1946-1951. He served as a director of Maunalani Hospital from 1944 to 1953 and was a member of a long list of other medical organizations.
In addition to all his work, Dr. Pinkerton found time to be an active Shriner. He was a member of Hawaiian Lodge No. 21 F and AM and the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, 33rd degree. He was Potentate and chair of the Shrine Athletic Committee from 1937 to 1964 and was largely responsible for the development of the Aloha Shrine Football game. He was also a member of several other clubs and organizations.
Among the most outstanding honors bestowed on this busy physician were personal citations from Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. In 1965 he received the coveted Order of the Splintered Paddle from the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce, as well as many other awards and citations for his service to his community from associations and organizations.
Shortly after his retirement from practice in 1964, Hawaii doctors established the Forrest J. Pinkerton Research Fund to be used to encourage blood and tissue research in Hawaii in recognition of his long service to blood banking. When he was 82, the Blood Bank Building was named the Forrest J. Pinkerton Building at a special ceremony.
"Pink," as he was known to his many associates, was an outspoken man of many interests and took part in many controversial issues, from veterans service disabilities during the Korean War to water fluoridation, which he strongly opposed.
Though he mellowed in his later years, wore an eye patch and was forced to use a wheel chair, Dr. Pinkerton never lost interest in the community to which he contributed so much.
The Lowell area farm boy who found fame in Hawaii died on December 29, 1974, age 82, at the Arcadia Retirement Home in Honolulu, Oahu.
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