Obituary - Margaret Wythe - Class of 1878

Margaret Wythe
Class of 1878 and Teacher

© Published in "California and Californians", 1926

Margaret Wythe

Margaret WytheDr. Margaret Wythe (1858-1946), as educator and medical director, rendered a noteworthy service in the Oakland schools for upwards of half a century. She was a daughter of Doctor Joseph Henry Wythe and was born at Port Carbon, Pennsylvania, coming to California by way of Panama and reaching San Francisco in January, 1862. Her home for a few years was in the parsonage of the Powell Street Church, where her father was pastor. In 1865 the family moved to Oregon, where her father became president of Willamette University, and she lived at Salem and attended the Portland academy. In 1869 the family returned to California, living for a time at Sacramento, and then at Santa Clara, where she was a student in the University of the Pacific.

Margaret Wythe became a resident of Oakland in 1875 and graduated from Oakland High School in 1878. In 1879 she was elected to teach for the Oakland schools. In 1889 she became an assistant in the science department of the Oakland High School, and for many years successfully taught the subjects of botany, zoology, physiology, hygiene and physical geography. She continued teaching at OHS until 1910.

During the weeks following the great earthquake and fire of 1906, Margaret Wythe's time and energies were fully taken up with organization and relief work. Margaret Wythe, 1899 Later, she spent months in Los Angeles, and there took up the study of medicine. She graduated from the Oakland College of Medicine in 1915 and attained her license to practice medicine. She was then elected by the Oakland Board of Education to the position of assistant director of the health development department. Doctor Wythe also participated in relief work during the great influenza epidemic. At that time she acted as liaison officer with the Board of Health of Oakland and directed the work of nurses and volunteer workers, assisted the Red Cross and handled scores of cases that were assigned to hospitals or to district nurses.