WYATT, JAMES ODIS
WYATT, JAMES ODIS (1906–1958). James Odis Wyatt, physician and community leader, was born on November 30, 1906, in Victoria. He attended Temple and Dunbar school at San Angelo and graduated from Samuel Huston College (now Huston-Tillotson College) in Austin, where he was a student instructor of chemistry and physics. After graduating from Meharry Medical College at Nashville, Tennessee, in 1931, he completed an internship at Kansas City General Hospital Number Two. This hospital made him an instructor of surgery at its nursing school. In 1932 Wyatt returned to Texas, where he practiced at San Angelo for five years and then Kerrville for two years. He moved to Amarillo in 1939. Later he did postgraduate work at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Cook County Graduate School in Chicago, Illinois. He held membership in several professional groups, including the Potter County Medical Society, the Texas Medical Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Association of Railway Surgeons. He served on the committee on hospitals for the Lone Star State Medical Association and was an area vice president for the National Medical Association. In addition to these professional affiliations Wyatt was director of the Amarillo Community Chest, director of the Amarillo Negro Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Methodist Church, the Lobo Club, the Masons, the Elks, the Knights of Pythias, and Phi Beta Sigma. He also was chief commander of the John W. McKinney Consistory. In 1955 Dr. Wyatt became the first black man to seek elective office in Amarillo when he ran unsuccessfully for membership on the board of trustees of the Amarillo Independent School District. He made the race because he believed a black person should be involved in the implementation of school desegregation. His candidacy provoked a cross-burning in his front yard, an incident that he ignored. Wyatt married LaVernia Lott on June 11, 1936. They had two sons and two daughters. He died of heart disease on June 3, 1958.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, John S. Gray III, "Wyatt, James Odis," accessed May 26, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwy06.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles