Olden days

Former trustee discovers photographic treasure

Dr. Gilbert Carley, M06, never got a high school diploma. He was one of seven children in the family, the son of an Irish immigrant baker named Thomas Carley, who landed in Boston at a tender age and spent most of his life in Tewksbury, Mass. Gilbert left school after eighth grade to help support the family. One day, working as a lumberman in the woods of New Hampshire, he cut his foot with an ax and became interested in what the doctor treating him was up to. He decided then to study medicine.
old photo of students in a classroom

After two years of taking courses at a college in Rhode Island, he applied to medical school at Tufts and was accepted as a special student. Money was always tight. During part of his medical school training, Carley drove an ambulance for Massachusetts General Hospital and slept on the second floor of the stable over the horses. He subsequently became a general practitioner in North Attleboro, Mass., and died in 1931 at age 53.

Warren Carley, A32, Gilbert’s son and a Tufts trustee from 1964 to 1981, recently unearthed this photograph from among his father’s possessions. It shows well-groomed members of the Class of 1906 gathered in a pathology lab on the Huntington Avenue campus, where the medical school lived from 1901 to 1950, preceding its pivotal move to Chinatown. Gilbert Carley is the fifth man from the right along the windows.