Dr. Herman Dismuke Leaving Grady Watson’s House

Carl Mydans/Library of Congress. (June 1936)

Dr. Dismuke was a well-known local physician for many years, and as a young doctor got some of his best training at Irwinville. Through a special arrangement, he treated all the families on the project. If you have any memories of Dr. Dismuke, please share them here!

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8 Comments

Filed under FSA Photographer Carl Mydans, Irwinville People

8 responses to “Dr. Herman Dismuke Leaving Grady Watson’s House

  1. Dr Gabe Willis and his nephew Herman Dismuke practiced together, Dr Willis is my Great-Grandfather. I have worked in home health for the past 30 years traveling Irwin, Ben Hill, Dodge, Wilcox, and Telfair counties. Heard thru the years that Herman was one of the best surgeons in Ga during his time. Have heard about re-attachment of limbs, c-sections when they were almost unheard of by both of these Physicians. Majority of the time esp 30’s-40’s payment to them was in trade of meats, eggs, vegetables that grown by the patient or patient’s family.

  2. Paul Alan Pierce

    Dr Herman Dismuke, father of Alicia Dismuke who later became Alicia Ryals and mother of one of my best friends Stephen Clay Ryals. I have memories of going to Ocilla and spending time on Dr Dismuke’s farm. Fishing in his pond with Clay and taking his truck out to drive when no one was looking. In that little black bag was a 410 shot gun pistol the first I had ever seen. Doc would practice shooting at kill Dees birds that flew in very erratic flight, as Clay and I fished. I have to admit I was a little concerned about Doc shooting one of us! I never saw him hit one but he shot hundreds of shells attempting to do so. Clay can be reached and if you give me a call I will give you his contact information as well as his wife Karen. Although Clay and I have remained friends since kindergarten we left McRae for college in 1977 and ended up both living in Atlanta. Clay is a very private person (most GA TECH engineers are). Alicia loved her mother and father and no daughter ever honored their parents more by caring for them both in their later years. Alicia was a second mom to me and this was a good thing if you grew up in McRae as no one in McRae at that time wanted to be on her bad side! Alicia treated me as if I were her own and I shall always hold fond memories of her and strive to make a difference in others life as she did in mine. Two last Doctor Dismuke stories while living in Atlanta Clay and I went to a gun show. I was haggling with a gun shop owner over price of a gun I wanted to buy; I asked if he ever knew Dr. Dismuke as his gun shop was located in Ocilla. Well it seems the gun dealer’s father needed gall bladder surgery and traveled to Macon. Told the Hospital he wanted the best damn surgeon in Georgia to perform removing his gall bladder. As Doctor Dismuke walked in the morning of the surgery he commented “Henry we could have taken care of this in Ocilla instead of traveling all the way to Macon”. Clay still has a leather bag hand made in his gun safe with a note to his grandfather stating “Doc here is all the money I could save and I greatly appreciate you delivering our child if I owe you more please let me know as I am truly indebted to you for caring for my wife and child”, The bag is still full of silver dimes. I regret my fear of Dr Dismuke he was an intimidating man not in a bad way just back in that day doctors were treated like Gods and I was a small boy and he was a large man I never went anywhere with him that he did not have that little black bag he was always on the job.

  3. Beverly Batts Schang

    Dr. Herman, as we called him when I was growing up in Ocilla, was a boyhood friend of my dads’ . He delivered me at my grandmother’s house and delivered my brother in the new small hospital in Ocilla. My mother had a difficult birth with my brother and it was touch and go with both of them. But Dr. Herman would not give up on her and finally pulled them both thru. He also took out our tonsils and cared for us thru measles and pink eye and anything else that came up. We were very thankful for him while I was growing up in the 1940s. I loved seeing this picture of him.

  4. Kenny Fletcher

    Dr Dismuke ate a lot of my grandmothers cooking. She would put crackling cornbread and apple tarts in his car while it was parked at Coleys Service Station. Dr SAMs was about to remove my appendix whe Dr Dismukes told them to wait till he got to the hospital. They both took it out. I was 12 years old.

  5. Emma Dixon Hines

    I suppose Dr. Herman Dismuke is the doctor that assisted my mother during my birth. I was born in November 1951 in Ocilla Hospital that later became Ocilla motel. I don’t know if it is still there. It has been a long time since driving through Ocilla. I read in Kenny Fletcher’s comment, he mentions Dr. Sams. I recall my father saying Dr. Sams saved my life. I do not know anything else about these two doctors. No doubt they performed highly valued service to the community. May they rest in peace.

  6. MY FAMILY LIVED ON JESSE BUSBINS FARM IN 1958/59, I WAS ABOUT 12 YEARS OLD AND I REMEMBER THE TALK ABOUT DR SAMS,MY DAD WAS WILLIE OSBORNE,HIS BROTHER HERBERT MONROE OSBORNE LIVED ON THE DAVIS FARM FOR MANY YEARS,I PLAYED WITH AND RODE CUSHMAN SCOOTERS WITH JIMMY DAVIS THE ONE WHO GOT KILLED IN THE CROP DUSTER,WE LIVED A GOOD LIFE DOWN THERE AND HAD LOTS OF FUN, I REMEMBER THE CULPEPPERS, THE CLEGHORNS, LETTIE THAT IS,THE HAMPTIONS THE THOMPSONS, MISS BLACK OUR SCHOOL TEACHER ,ROSA BROWN

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