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Woodson Andrew Tyree
(August 18, 1837 - April 12, 1893)
The text of four original documents ...
Below is the text of four original documents relating to Woodson Andrew Tyree. Elinor Tyree [TexasET@aol.com] has commented that the apparent indication (in Document #2) that Woodson A. Tyree had served as a Baptist minister may be in error. In fact, the material presented in document #2 is prefaced by a lengthy caveat which explains that much of the information contained therein was collected many years after the fact, in an effort to fill in the blanks. Although it is not an impossibility that Woodson A. Tyree was a Baptist minister prior to his 1866 medical school matriculation, this is the only reference to such an occupation of which Elinor is aware -- and we have William F. Tyree's ample account of his father's life. We do know that Woodson A. Tyree served in the Civil War which ended in 1865, just one year earlier; however admittedly his chest wound removed him from active service before the war ended and he was already 24 years old when the war began. This may have left some time for the practice of a previous profession. Certainly the sentiments expressed in the second letter (Document #4) demonstrate the personal qualities which one would expect to find in a minister.
Remarkable to me is that he appears to have earned his medical degree in a single academic year!
- Robert F. Tyree, MD
[Hand-written] Register of Students 43rd Session 1866-67 I subscribe myself a student of the University of Virginia; I enter the Institution with a sincere desire to reap the benefits of its instruction and with a determined resolution to conform to its laws. -- In testimony whereof I hereunto subscribe my name.
Date of Matriculation: October 4
Name of Student: [signed] Woodson A. Tyree
Date of Birth: 18 Aug. 1837
Name of parent or guardian: Wm. L. C. Tyree
Address of parent or guardian: Mountain Cove, W. Va.
Elsewhere recorded in a catalog of "Students of the University of Virginia" ...
TYREE, WOODSON ANDREW Fayette Co., W. Va. 66
[Thanks to Clara Virginia Tyree for this document. It is the first part of a hand-written letter presumed, from its contents, to be from Woodson Andrew Tyree; however the page with the signature is missing.]
University of Va.
My dear father
It is Sunday night - & I have just returned from Church. But as I will not have time to write tomorrow, I thought I would acknowledge the receipt of your letter. Also Ma's. When your letter was handed me, I was in the lecture room over head and ears in an examination on Chemistry and Pharmacy. We have stood five of our final examinations & I think I have been successful so far. But we have two yet and the most difficult one too at that. I am very fearful I may fall short in there. They are on Materia Medica & Practice of Medicine. My greatest fear is on Materia Medica. So I hope you will not think I have been idle if I should return home without the much desired diploma. I spent the evening with Col. Peters and family yesterday eve. I have found him a very pleasant gentleman and very kind. He seemed very anxious for my success and always advises me to strive to the very last and not become discouraged. His house is very close to my room. I consequently see him very often. He asks me something about you every few days. I had a little laugh over your letter with him last night with regard to the red envelope indicative of having bled you for the amount it contained. He was very much amused at it. I suppose you never met with his lady. If you did it will be unnecessary for me to say that she is one of the best ladies I ever saw & very pretty. I have no news of interest to give you. I expect you are better posted with regard to R. Road news than I am, as I never read a newspaper, except the Greenbrier Independent which I have been taking ever since I came here.
As to your request concerning Dr. Rodgers I wrote to Col. Carpenter about a week ago & asked him to see Rogers & Biggs both. I thought as the R. Road works were going on there, they would be likely to get some money. I expect to hear from him in a day or two. Ma's letter put me rather in the notion of going by Fincastle on my return. I don't know whether I will go yet or not. If I graduate I may go, if not I think I shall go straight home.
[Thanks to Clara Virginia Tyree for this document, another hand-written letter.]
My dear father,
Well what has become of you, Ma, and the balance of the family this long time. Sister seems to have all the writing to do for all of you. Yet I must say I feel very grateful to you for the few letters even with which you have favored us since we came down here and if you could look through my desk tonight you would find every letter you ever wrote me in your life with but one or two exceptions, and I hope to add many more yet to the lot before you depart from this world of sorrow, trouble, and disappointment to that of Joy and endless delight where Jesus our blessed Savior has gone to prepare a place for us in that beautiful house of many mansions and for all those love Him. [Sic.] Father I often think of the Savior's words of consolation to His disciples on that occasion and find myself wondering whether we will all get there at last as a family & whether we will know each other and the very words of Jesus assure me to look forward to that blessed event. For He said to them "that I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am ye may be also." & of course that certainly means recognition. And it seems that as we have gotten so far apart on earth and so situated that it is impossible for us to see each other very often here. That we only have to be patient a little while, trust in the Blessed Jesus - do our duty faithfully & leave all to Him and finally go up and enter into that rest prepared for the people of God - May God bless you father that you may be able to await his coming patiently & be prepared to lay down your weary life here to take it up in eternal youth in the Blest Paradise of God. I sit down to write you tonight with my dear little family all around me, enjoying pretty good health. Wife andWillie have some trouble with chills this summer, but are both up and around now and saucy. The balance of us have had pretty fair health so far and now for some time past I have been very busy in my profession, have only lost one patient this summer. I have been remarkably successful in that way through God's blessing and have succeeded in establishing a good reputation as a physician and pray God continually to bless my labors to the good of all my patients. So far however we have had but little very serious sickness in this section. God in his mercy has shielded us from an attack of yellow fever. We are having nice comfortable weather a little too warm and dry. Business is pretty brisk in our usual line (lumber and logs) & a demand for all the mills can manufacture. Miles Alexander & family are well. You would be very pleased to see what a good man Willie is making of himself, very quiet and dignified, & you might say the same of his sister Bettie, but she looks delicate being very slender in form, yet she is quite healthy and strong. Sallie is very large, in fact VERY LARGE weight about 250 lbs. They have been very kind to us indeed and we have appreciated it. Jeff Chaison (Dr. Baldwin's son-in-law) is kind enough but it only extends just as far as it is his interest to be so (in money). I must close now with my best love to Ma & all the friends. Give my regards to Uncle Billy McClung if you see him. I do wish I could see you all this winter but there is no use wishing. I told our editor to send you our paper. Has he done so? I see by my book that I have done $164.50 in work this month up to tonight. $16.50 per day nearly all good - Good night.
Your affectionate son, Woodson A. Tyree
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