Watts (William M.) Papers

Doctor Watts and three nurses stand in front of the Dr. W. M. Watts Private HotelWatts
Dr. William Watts and three nurses standing in front of W.M. Watts' Private Hospital, Oakland, California, circa 1920s, William M. Watts papers, MS 37, African American Museum and Library at Oakland, Oakland Public Library.

William M. Watts (1885-1980) was born on February 15, 1885 in Lodi, Texas to Perry and Jane Watts. After earning a medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, Watts practiced medicine at hospitals in Houston, Texas and Fresno, California before opening W.M. Watt's Private Hospital, the first hospital for African Americans in Oakland, California in 1926 at 3437 Harlan Street in North Oakland. While in Oakland, Watts contributed to Western American, a local African American newspaper, the medical advice column How to Keep Well. The hospital closed due to financial troubles in 1927, and Watts returned to Marshall, Texas to operate the Sheppard-Watts Hospital following the death of his brother. Watts continued to practice as a physician until his retirement in the late 1960s.

The William M. Watts papers include photographs, patient and account ledger, license applications, newspapers clippings, funeral program, and one edition of the Jackson County Medical Journal.

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Dates: circa 1910s-1980
Collection number: MS 37
Creator: Watts, William M., Dr.
Collection Size: .5 linear feet (2 boxes)

Guide to the William M. Watts Papers

Available at the African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO)

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