Friday, April 6, 2012

The Traveling Dentist - Part 1

Allow me to introduce you to my great-grandfather, Watson Emory Webster, aka Frederick Emory Webster.  He was born in Coolville, Athens County, Ohio in 1864.  He was the son of Ebenezer Perry Carlisle Webster and Cynthia Maria Waterman.  His siblings were Mary Alice Webster, Lura Elizabeth Webster, Frank Summers Webster, Lillian Dell Webster, and Rollin Waterman Webster.

Watson changed his name to Frederick sometime during his lifetime, so that's what we'll call him from this point on.

I never knew Frederick, but my mom remembers him as being a good grandpa to her in Brazil.  Brazil you ask?  Well yes, Frederick was, after all, our family's "traveling dentist."

In this old photo we see Frederick's Dental Boat docked next to his Optical Boat at Natchez, Mississippi.  Oh ya, I didn't yet mention that he apparently expanded his profession from Dentist to include Optician as well.

I love how in this photo we see Frederick's sign on the Optical Boat that reads "Eyes Tested Free."

And did I mention that Frederick also was a Photographer?  Yes, that's his Photo Boat docked next to his Dental Boat.  This time he's at Lake Charles, Louisiana, circa 1890-1902.

More about Frederick Webster's life in my next blog post.  See you then!

Thanks for reading!

Copyright © Jana Last 2012


  1. I'm so glad you started this blog!!!! I have wanted to get to known your family history better and this is the better way to do it.

  2. Jana - This is very interesting, I would have never considered such a thing as a traveling dental boat, but your great-grandfather provided a very valuable service to those who could not get to a dentist.

    In regards to my post about traveling phtographers on railroad cars check here if you are interested:

    Best, Teresa

    1. Hi Teresa,

      Yes, he must have been able to help out those who couldn't get to a dentist, which is a very good thing.

      I find it interesting that he also had an optical boat and photo boat as well.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!




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