September 20, 2012

Dr. Donelson to Celebrate Golden Anniversary in Dentistry

Celebrating 50 years together is often called the Golden Anniversary. Seems fitting for Dr. Harlo Donelson, who has installed a gold tooth or two in his half-century of work in the Scotland County Community.

A special 50-year celebration is being planned at the dentist office on the west side of the Memphis square to celebrate Harlo's 50 years in business. An open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, September 24th.

Fortunately the event is being held in Memphis, not Canton, which was to be Donelson's new home back in 1962, when he and his late wife, Joyce, were looking to start the new practice following Harlo's graduation from the Kansas City School of Dentistry.

The couple, who hailed from Palmyra, were looking to return to northeast Missouri, and had settled on Canton because of Culver-Stockton College, and Harlo's desire to be close to a sporting events as well as fine arts opportunities often associated with higher education programs.

There was just one hitch, the couple planned to stop in Memphis to personally inform representatives of the community, that they had picked Canton.

That little detour proved permanent, as on three separate occasions, the couple simply could not bring themselves to break the bad news to the groups of people gathered to help continue their recruitment to Memphis.

"We just couldn't bring ourselves to tell them we had chosen Canton over Memphis," Harlo said. "We made three more trips to town to tell them we had picked Canton but needless to say we never got the message delivered."

Canton's loss has obviously been Memphis's gain, as well as the University of Missouri, as Donelson went on to be a huge booster for Mizzou.

Not only has Doc Donelson been fixing teeth in the community for 50 years, he has been a pillar in the community.

A founding member of the Memphis Community Players, Harlo played an integral role in the establishment of the Memphis Theatre.

Donelson continues to serve as head of the Scotland County Economic Development Committee and works tirelessly to try to attract new business and commerce to the community, just as he was recruited a half century ago.

Eventually he may even be looking for his own replacement, but not in the near future.

"I don't have any plans of quitting, but that is up to the Man upstairs," Harlo said. "As long as my head thinks clearly and my hands are steady, I plan on continuing to do what I do."

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