Dentists I Have Not Known: John Willis White Lyle

Occasionally I have the good fortune to find a photograph that is so well-identified that I can trace something of the history of the sitter.

On the back of this Richard Walzl cabinet card photograph is written “Uncle Jno. Willie White Lyle-Picture made first year in Baltimore Dental College, Baltimore, Md., 1893.”

Several family historians on Ancestry.com have traced this gentleman’s roots and descendants in census and other records.

John W. W. Lyle (1869-1948) was born in Scott County, Mississippi to wealthy Georgia-born farmer Matthew Lyle (1818-1890) who had served in the Confederate Army with the 5th Mississippi Infantry.

John Lyle received his DDS from the storied Baltimore College of Dental Surgery in March 1895.

After dental training in Baltimore, John returned to his home state and settled in the town of Good Hope, and then Lena, Leake County, with his wife, Ouda White Lyle, to practice dentistry and to farm on Cash Road. They had three children: John Matthew Lyle, Maggie, and Gilbert G. Lyle  (1904-1999).

John W. W. Lyle is buried in Cash Cemetery, Scott County, Mississippi, along with several other family members.

The photographer has improved upon the old style of vignetted busts by using  a soft, cloud-like background that adds texture without distracting from the subject.

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