Horton family celebrates alumnus during ATSU Founder’s Day

Robert L. Horton, D.O., '41

Robert L. Horton, D.O., '41

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. –  Robert L. Horton, D.O., a 1941 graduate of the Kirksville College of Osteopathy & Surgery (KCOS), now A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM), will always be remembered as a compassionate osteopathic physician, faithful husband, and loving father. His loved ones continue to honor his legacy with memorial gifts that can be found on ATSU’s Kirksville, Mo., campus.

Celebrating his legacy

On October 17, during ATSU’s Founder’s Day week, members of the Horton family gathered on campus to remember Dr. Horton, who died in December 1942. The reunion was a long time dream of Dr. Horton’s wife, Nellie (Horton) McCoy, age 90, a resident of Twin Pines nursing home. Her son, born in 1942, Robert L. Horton, Ph.D., travelled from Oregon and his son, Robert A. Horton, Ph.D., travelled from Wisconsin for the gathering.

While on campus, the family visited the Medicinal Garden at the Still National Osteopathic Museum to view a tree that the family donated in Dr. Horton’s memory and also spent time in Centennial Park admiring a newly engraved granite capstone dedicated in Dr. Horton’s honor.

About Dr. Horton

Dr. Horton left his home state of Ohio to follow a dream of becoming a doctor, seeking a professional career as his family before him had, dating back to the 1830s and continuing to this day through the Horton descendants. That dream brought him to medical school in Kirksville where he would meet his wife, Nellie Robertson of nearby Brashear, Mo. While attending KCOS he became a personal assistant to Charles Still, D.O., son of the college’s founder, Andrew Taylor Still, M.D., D.O.

Upon graduation from KCOS, the Horton’s made their way to Climax Springs in the Ozarks of Missouri. With no other doctor for many miles, Dr. Horton established a clinic in his home and relied on Nellie to provide nursing support. Dr. Horton planned to establish a much needed local hospital before his untimely death just one year following his graduation from medical school.


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