Trueheart, Charles William (1837–1914)

By: Chester R. Burns

Type: Biography

Published: July 1, 1995

Updated: February 24, 2017

Charles William Trueheart, physician, was born in Louisa County, Virginia, on February 27, 1837, the son of John Overton and Ann Tompkins (Minor) Trueheart. He abandoned his medical studies when the Civil War began to become an assistant surgeon for the Confederacy. After the war ended he assisted Samuel Hurlbut, a physician at City Hospital in Galveston, completed medical studies at the Virginia Medical College (Richmond), and acquired additional hospital training in New York City and Germany. After returning in 1871 Trueheart practiced in Galveston for more than forty years. He was an active member of the Galveston County Medical Society and the Texas Medical Association. He was a professor at Galveston Medical College (1866), a member of the Galveston County Board of Medical Examiners (1876), vice president of the trustees of the Texas Medical College and Hospital (1887), a member of the John Sealy Hospital Board of Managers (1901–02), and city health physician (1901–13). Trueheart encouraged Rebecca and George Sealy to establish the John Sealy Hospital and exerted considerable influence to bring the University of Texas Medical Branch to Galveston. He participated in extensive efforts to improve the water and sewerage systems of Galveston, and he assisted with plans for constructing a seawall and raising the city's grade after the Galveston hurricane of 1900. In 1866 Trueheart married Mary Bryan, who died a year later. In 1872 he married Ella Street of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They had four daughters and one son. Trueheart died in San Antonio on December 14, 1914.

North San Antonio Times, March 11, 1982. San Antonio Express, December 14, 1915. Texas State Journal of Medicine, February 1915. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston: A Seventy-five Year History (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967).

  • Health and Medicine
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • General Practitioners

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Chester R. Burns, “Trueheart, Charles William,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995
February 24, 2017

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