Joseph Thomas PYLES, Sr. is my first cousin, thrice removed. He was the son of Richard Thomas PYLES(1832-1889) and Frances Ellen HAWKINS PYLES (1847-1919). He was born 13 April 1874 in Montgomery County, Maryland. His father was a successful merchant in Montgomery County who I wrote about earlier in the year: Richard T. Pyles
College and career and family
Joseph’s father sent Joseph to the University of Maryland for dental school. Joseph graduated in 1898 at 24 years of age. He opened a dental practice in Frederick, Maryland soon after.
In 1903, he married Charlotte Elizabeth BOWERS (1884-?). Their son, Joseph Thomas Jr. (called Thomas) was born in 1906; their daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1911.
Successful dentist and community member
Joseph was financial successful in short order. In the 1910 census, he owned his home free and clear. The address was 126 E. Third Street, Frederick. It’s the pink house on the right side of the duplex in the screen capture below. Click on the photo to get a better view of it.
In 1918, Joseph registered for the WW1 draft. He was 44 years old. According to his draft registration, Joseph was of medium height and build, and had brown eyes and black hair.
Joseph became the treasurer of the Frederick County Dental Society when the organization began in 1918. He would hold that position until his death.
He also joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) along with King David Lodge and Palestine Encampment, the second and third of these being masonic organizations. Perhaps he used his dental skills to help those in need.
The 1920’s and 1930’s
Through the 1920’s and 1930’s Joseph and family continued living on Third Street. They were not hurting during the depression as both children attended the University of Maryland, Thomas becoming a college professor and Elizabeth becoming a public school teacher. Charlotte was an accomplished vocalist and performed regularly for society events, and more, in Frederick.
Joseph passes away
A big bash took place in April 1934 for Joseph’s sixtieth birthday. A few weeks later, Joseph complained of not feeling well. On 1 May 1934 a patient of Joseph’s came to his dental office and found him ‘lying huddled in the floor beside his chair as if he had fallen from it. In his hand was a newspaper which he had been reading.’
Dr. William Meredith SMITH, who had an office nearby, was called to attend to Joseph. Joseph had been dead only a short time, and the doctor concluded he’d had a heart attack. ‘Word of his death was received with regret and great shock’ per The News.
Joseph’s took place at his home on Third Street and was conducted by the rector from All Saints Church where Joseph and family were members. According to The News, ‘the funeral was largely attended and the floral emblems were unusually numerous and beautiful’. Joseph was buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland.
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