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DYER, JOSEPH OSTERMAN (1856–1925). Joseph Osterman Dyer, physician, author, and historian, the son of Major and Mrs. Leon Dyer, was born in what is now Germany-in Mainz, Dessau, or Alzey-in 1856. In 1876 he moved to Galveston, Texas. He took a medical course in Louisville, Kentucky, and returned to Galveston in 1881 to start his medical practice. He wrote for the Galveston News and other papers, and his columns were read throughout the Southwest. They are preserved in "The Dyer Scrapbook" in the Rosenberg Library, Galveston. In New Orleans he met Gershom Kursheedt, who in 1835 had interviewed Jao de la Porta, a buccaneer from the Texas coast. After this contact Dyer wrote tales of surviving members of Jean Laffite's commune on Galveston Island. He also wrote about Indians, especially the coastal Karankawas. He died of a heart ailment in Galveston at the home of his brother Alex on October 2, 1925. He also had a sister and a brother, John M. Dyer, who was a professor in England.


Galveston News, October 3, 1925. Natalie Ornish, Pioneer Jewish Texans (Dallas: Texas Heritage, 1989).

Natalie Ornish

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Natalie Ornish, "DYER, JOSEPH OSTERMAN," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.