History of the ALVMA
Dr. Charles Allen Cary must be considered the true father of veterinary medicine in the southern United States.
Born November 28, 1861, Dr. Cary graduated from Iowa Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1885. After his graduation in veterinary medicine and surgery, he practiced two years in Iowa at the same time acting as assistant state veterinarian. Following this, he was professor of veterinary science for three years in the South Dakota Agricultural Mechanical College.
In January 1892, he came to the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University). When he first came to Alabama there were no veterinary schools, no state associations, and only a few graduate veterinarians. He conducted free clinics, fought to eradicate tick fever, and established a veterinary science department. He worked diligently to create a state practice act and establish a school of veterinary medicine.
Dr. Cary never served as president of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association, but as secretary-treasurer he was the founding and continuing force during the first twenty-eight years of its existence. At the same time he served as dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, state veterinarian of Alabama, and Alabama state representative to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). In 1919 he served as president of the AVMA and earlier served as president of the Southeastern States Veterinary Medical Association and president of the Alabama Livestock Association.
Few men have made such an impact on a state and region, and all who are associated with veterinary medicine in the South have benefited from his vision and hard work.
Cary Drive in Auburn and Cary Hall at Auburn University are named in Dr. Cary’s honor.