JAMISON, GARLING URIAH, SR.
JAMISON, GARLING URIAH, SR. (1876?–1951). Garling Uriah Jamison, Sr., African-American physician and surgeon and community leader, was born in Smithville, Mississippi, to Uriah and Celia A. Jamison on November 28, probably in 1876, though some sources say 1878 and others 1880. Jamison attended his hometown’s namesake high school before entering Mississippi State Normal School for his undergraduate degree and then attaining an M.D. from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine, in 1902. He then attended the Institute of Surgery in Chicago.
Upon graduation, Jamison moved to Texas, where he married native Texan Mayme (often misspelled Mamie) L. Bagh in Clarksville (Red River County) in 1905. The couple had two children—son Garling Jr. (born June 18, 1908) and daughter Mamie Hortense (born September 15, 1915). In 1906 Jamison moved his family to Texarkana where he began his medical practice. He eventually opened the Jamison Sanitarium in that city and served there as the chief surgeon.
Jamison was active in his local community and served as president of the Texarkana Negro Business League. Founded in September 1910, the organization’s stated objective was “unity, service and stimulation of the desire to help (not hinder) the forwardness of our community life and well-being.” To promote this end, the Jamison building—originally called the Jamison-Thompson-Weatherford building for Dr. W. T. Thompson and A. W. Weatherford—was built in 1930 to serve as an office complex for African Americans in Texarkana. It was the first building for black professionals in the region. A. Maceo Smith served as master of ceremonies of the public opening on June 20. The two-story structure included five suites and five separate offices on the top floor, six office spaces on the first floor, and a 200-seat auditorium for community meetings, concerts, and other gatherings. At its peak, the establishment housed three doctors, three dentists, two insurance agencies and two notaries, a realtor (such as Maceo Smith), bonding company, beauty parlor, county agent, public stenographer, drug store, and barber shop, among other businesses.
Jamison was also active in the National Medical Association and served on several committees at national meetings and as a state vice president of Texas. He was vice president of Woodmen of Union Clinic and a regular attendant of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. G. U. Jamison died on September 11, 1951, twenty-five years before the death of his wife Mamie on October 15, 1976. The husband and wife are buried next to each other in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Texarkana, Miller County, Arkansas. The Jamison building became a Texas Historic Landmark in 1983. G. U. Jamison Elementary School in Texarkana is named for the doctor.
Historical Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission Library, Austin (Jamison Building). Carl Stephens, ed., The Alumni Record of the University of Illinois, Chicago Departments: Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Pharmacy (Chicago: University of Illinois, 1921).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, David Park, "Jamison, Garling Uriah, Sr. ," accessed March 25, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fja55.
Uploaded on June 18, 2013. Modified on August 16, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.