HULDA MARGARET LYTTLE-FRAZIER (1889-1983)
Hulda Margaret Lyttle-Frazier, a native Nashvillian, was born
in 1889 to David and Rebecca Lyttle. After receiving her primary education,
in September of 1910 Hulda entered the first class of George W. Hubbard
Hospital's Training School for Nurses. She gained recognition as an astute
scholar and as one willing to render care when needed. Lyttle became proficient
in operating room techniques, and attending physicians rewarded her diligence
and efficaciousness by requesting Lyttle's help in the operating room.
Three years after entering the Training School for Nurses, Lyttle, Lula
Woolfolk, and Rhonda A. Pugh became the school's first graduates.
Lyttle then entered Lincoln Hospital's School of Nursing in New York. Upon completion of her studies at Lincoln Hospital's School of Nursing, Lyttle was asked by her former teacher, Charmian C. Hunt, to stand in for her as an instructor at Southern University's School of Nursing, until her contract with George W. Hubbard Hospital's Training School for Nurses terminated. Lyttle returned to Nashville after her three-month tenure at Southern University's School of Nursing ended. She was recommended for head nurse at Hubbard Hospital by Dr. George W. Hubbard, president of Meharry Medical College, and Dr. Josie Wells, superintendent of George W. Hubbard Hospital, and director and dean of Meharry Medical College's School of Nursing. Lyttle was directly responsible for enhancing the nursing education program and indirectly responsible for improvements made in the general administration of the hospital.
After leaving Meharry Medical College, Hulda M. Lyttle worked in various health care positions around the country. For almost a year, she gave services and expertise to the newly formed (1941) United Service Organizations (USO) in North Carolina. She later moved to Houston, Texas, where she was to manage a recently inaugurated school of nursing. However, because the school's organizational and operational standards were inadequate to meet the academic needs of prospective student nurses, Lyttle closed the school with help from the state board. She moved to Califomia and for a while worked as a private-duty nurse. In 1948, Lyttle accepted a position with the University of California as administrator of School Health Programs. She later accepted the position of superintendent of the National Baptist Bath House Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas. There she met Dr. S. M. Frazier, to whom she seas married in May of 1954. They later moved to Miami, Florida.
A proponent of continuing education, Lyttle had completed summer extension courses at the University of Colorado and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. In 1938, she received the B. S. degree from Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College and two years later took advanced courses at the University of Toronto's School of Nursing. Additionally, she held teaching certificates in Florida and Tennessee.
Lyttle served as first vice president, then president of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses. She was a member of the Miami Chapter of Links, Inc., and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
On June 23, 1946, Meharry Medical College's officials named the student nurses' residence hall in honor of Hulda M. Lyttle-Frazier. She became the first woman Meharrian so honored by the school and the hospital. At the age of 94, on Sunday, August 7, 1983, at Cedars of Lebanon Medical Center in Miami, Florida, Hulda Margaret Lyttle-Frazier died. She was funeralized on August 10 at the Church of the Open Door and was interred in Lincoln Memorial Park.
Linda T. Wynn