Paul Adams

CRIMMINS, MARTIN LALOR (1876–1955). Martin Lalor Crimmins, army officer, herpetologist, and military historian, was born on April 4, 1876, in New York City, the son of John D. and Lily (Lalor) Crimmins. From September 1891 to October 1895 he attended Georgetown College, Washington, D.C., after which he studied at the University of Virginia Medical School from November 1895 to May 1898. Shortly before graduation he joined the Rough Riders (see FIRST UNITED STATES VOLUNTEER CAVALRY) in San Antonio with the help of Theodore Roosevelt, a family friend. Crimmins was commissioned second lieutenant, Sixty-ninth Volunteer Infantry, on August 29, 1898. The following month he was commissioned second lieutenant, United States Army, and assigned to the Eighteenth Infantry regiment at Cavite, Luzon, Philippines. Thereafter, promotions continued until he reached his final rank of colonel on April 23, 1921. In 1926 he was retired for physical disability in the line of duty and moved to San Antonio, Texas. During his military service he traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and Alaska.

As a herpetologist Crimmins did pioneer work in the field of snake-bite treatment, a subject on which he assisted medical experts in many experiments and lectured throughout the United States. He inoculated himself with serum until he became immune and then gave blood transfusions to snake-bite victims. In April 1953 he received the Walter Reed Award "in recognition of courageous service to mankind." He devoted his later years to writing, mostly on historical subjects. More than 200 of his articles appeared, in publications that included the West Texas Historical Association Year Book, Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Frontier Times,qqv New Mexico Historical Review, Journal of the American Military Institute, U.S. Infantry Journal, Military Surgeon, Army & Navy Courier, Military Engineer, Southern Medical Journal, and Texas State Journal of Medicine. He was active in various scientific and historical associations in Texas. On January 16, 1901, Crimmins married Margaret Custis Cole. On May 19, 1918, he married Josephine Yost. He died in San Antonio on February 5, 1955.

Chris Emmett, In the Path of Events with Colonel Martin Lalor Crimmins, Soldier, Naturalist, Historian (Waco: Jones and Morrison, 1959). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Paul Adams, "CRIMMINS, MARTIN LALOR," accessed June 17, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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