James Sidney Tarwater, M.D., 1897-1974

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James Sidney Tarwater, M.D., 1897-1974


Alabama State Hospitals
Bryce Hospital (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Partlow State School and Hospital


James Sidney Tarwater was widely recognized as an outstanding authority on mental Illness.

He joined the staff at Bryce Hospital as staff physician in 1924. In 1945, he was appointed assistant superintendent where he served until 1950 when he was appointed Superintendent of Alabama State Hospitals and Partlow State Schools.

Tarwater was a native of Alabama, born in Walker County (AL) in 1897, the son of James Vandiver Tarwater and Emma Newton. Tarwater married Eloise Jenkins and the couple had one son, Thomas Sidney Tarwater, who became a dentist in Tuscaloosa.
Tarwater attended public schools in Walker County and earned a B.S. degree at the University of Alabama before attending medical school at the University of Tennessee, receiving his M.D. degree in 1923.

Tarwater followed superintendents, Dr. Peter Bryce, 1861 – 1892; Dr. T.J. Searcy, 1892-1919; and Dr. W.D. Parlow, 1919-1950, as superintendent of Alabama State Hospitals and Partlow State School.

Dr. James Sidney Tarwater retired in 1970. He died in 1974.

A copy of his book. "The Alabama State Hospitals and the Partlow State School and Hospital: A brief history," published in 1964, is available at Hoole Special Collections Library on the University of Alabama campus.


Bryce Hospital


Betty Slowe (Description)






Tuscaloosa (AL)

Original Format

Photograph of Painting