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Dr. David Wellington Byrd

Calvary Cemetery
Section 11, Block 11, Lot 156, Space SW
(November 1886-July 1945)

Dr. Byrd was born in Ashland, Ohio to James T. Byrd and Mary Anna Byrd. Upon completing his public school education in Ashland, he enrolled in Baldwin-Wallace University, where he completed his undergraduate education. He earned his M.D from Meharry Medical College and completed further post-graduate studies at Harvard University Medical College. He then embarked on a two year stint as a Latin and Greek teacher in his home town of Ashland. Next, Dr. Byrd spent four years as an instructor in these languages at Rust University in Holly Springs, Mississippi. He spent an additional ten years teaching at Walden University.

His teaching years behind him, Dr. Byrd moved to Norfolk. In Norfolk, he practiced medicine for 41 years. As a doctor, he distinguished himself as a foremost expert in the field of venereal diseases. Dr. Byrd established the first venereal disease clinic in Norfolk, on Bute Street.  The United States Public Health Service used Dr. Byrd’s clinic as a model for setting up similar facilities across the country, and Dr. Byrd served as a special consultant to the Surgeon-General. In 1895, Dr. Byrd was a founding member of the National Medical Association, the oldest and largest group representing African-American physicians. In 1916, he was elected president of this group.

In addition to his medical career, Dr. Byrd played a prominent and active role in the Norfolk community. Among the most significant of his philanthropic activities was his role as an early advocate and financial benefactor of the Norfolk Unit of Virginia State College, and contributed generously to foster its growth. After his death, this institution evolved into the present-day Norfolk State University. He was held in high esteem by white and black community leaders alike.
Dr. Byrd was married to Wilhelmina Mitchell Byrd. They had two daughters, Wilhelmina Byrd Brown, and Florence Byrd. Wilhelmina and Florence are interred with him at Calvary Cemetery.

Dr. David Wellington Byrd
New Journal and Guide (1921-2003); Jul 14, 1945;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers Norfolk Journal and Guide (1921-2003)
pg. B10

Hundreds Pay Tribute At Rites For Dr. D. W. Byrd
New Journal and Guide (1921-2003); Jul 14, 1945;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers Norfolk Journal and Guide (1921-2003)
pg. B1

Biographical information provided by Norfolk Bureau of Cemeteries.

Visitor Information

Visitor Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Office hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Free parking inside cemetery.

Admission Cost: Free

Address: 1600 St. Julian Ave., Norfolk, VA 23504

Official web site for more information:

Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation Web Site: