The Health Sciences Library is open to UAHS affiliates with an active CatCard.
Please review all guidelines here before visiting the library.


Odermatt, Francis A.

Master pnID: 
History of Arizona medicine; collections of Orville Harry Brown, M.D. [AHSL Special Collections WZ 70 AA7 H673]: 
volume 5, page(s) 101
Born June 17, 1848 in Canton Unterwalden, Switzerland. Early Arizona dentist; arrived in Tucson about 1894. (See Cosulich, Bernice. Arizona Dentistry at the Turn of the Century. Arizona Dental Journal. 1967 Apr 15;13(4):20-3.)

See History of Arizona medicine; collections of Orville Harry Brown, M.D. [AHSL Special Collections WZ 70 AA7 H673].

A historical and biographical record of the Territory of Arizona. Chicago : McFarland & Poole, 1896: Prominent among Tucson's professional men and one who has been long identified with the moral and material advancement of the city, is F.A. Odermatt, the leading dentist, whose offices are located in the handsome post office block. Mr. Odermatt was born in Buochs, in Canton Unterwalden, Switzerland, June 17, 1848, and lived with his parents there until about four years old. In February 1852, his father and family emigrated to the new world and arrived in New Orleans where they remained but a short time. From there they went to St. Louis and thence to Springfield, Illinois but only remained in the latter place a short time, when they returned to St. Louis. Mr. Odermatt, Sr. was engaged in the mercantile business, and prior to the war enjoyed a successful business career in the cities named, but California seemed to offer greater opportunities and so in 1863 he took his family to San Francisco. It was in this city that our subject resumed his education, began in St. Louis and Springfield and he entered St. Ignatius' College. After a period of study there he entered St. Thomas' Theological Seminary at the old Mission Dolores in 1865 where he devoted his time to Latin and Greek up to 1867. In February, 1867 accompanying Archbishop Allmany of San Francisco, he sailed for Europe to finish his education, and in May of the same year entered the College of Einsidlen, an old and famous institution of learning of Switzerland. He remained there nearly two years, when he became so seriously ill that the college physician advised him to give up his studies and return home as soon as his condition would permit undertaking the long voyage. He returned to San Francisco in the early part of May 1869 and after a few months rest he recovered from his illness and decided to take up the study of dentistry. Having chosen his profession, he entered the service of the late Dr. C.C. Knowles, a leading dentist of the Pacific Coast and remained there a period of ten years after which he began practice for himself, opening a dental laboratory on the corner of Post and Kearney streets. During a period of three years he enjoyed a lucrative business and executed work for the leading men of the profession at that time. His success in this line elicited a large number of press testimonials to his skill. In October 1882 he decided to make the Territory of Arizona his home and arrived in this city during that month. He has been here ever since, has led all others in his profession, is married and is happy in the possession of a bright son and daughter and a charming wife. Mrs. Odermatt, nee Senorita Carlota Flores, is a granddaughter on the mother's side of the late Don Carlos Yorba of San Juan, who once owned large tracts of land and immense herds of cattle, horses and sheep, and almost the entire Santa Anna Valley of southern California. On her father's Senor Jesto Flores, side she is closely connected with the famous Godoy family of Santiago, Chili, the grandmother being a sister to Senor Miguel Godoy, once Balmeceda's Ambassador to France. Mr. Odermatt's residence is one of the most elegantly appointed homes in the city. Of an artistic turn, Mr. Odermatt devotes his leisure hours to sculpturing, his superior work eliciting praise from the press and public. The "Daily Star" has said, "Dr. F.A. Odermatt of this city is a sculptor of no mean abilities. He recently carved out of wood a most beautiful model of the old San Xavier Church and the same will be placed on exhibition in Dr. Martin's drug store for a few days." The "Arizona Enterprise" of Tucson, dated July 7, 1892 was no less enthusiastic in the following article, "Dr. F.A. Odermatt, besides being one of the most skillful dentist west of the Rocky Mountains, possesses a high order of merit as a sculptor. He has recently devoted his spare time to an artistic design in plaster that would do credit to any experienced professional, and he has succeeded in giving the most realistic expression to human physiognomy appropriate to the character his design represents. Had his talents been directed toward this branch of the arts, he would surely have achieved a world-wide fame. Dr. Odermatt is the most expert 'filigree' wood worker in this city." The grandfather of Dr. Odermatt, Zumbuehl (his mother's father) was a noted sculptor of Canton Underwalden, Switzerland, his works being mostly in alabaster.

See also: Portrait and biographical record of Arizona. Commemorating the achievements of citizens who have contributed to the progress of Arizona and the development of its resources. Chicago: Chapman Publishing Company, 1901, pages 414-415.
Last updated Jun 25, 2014 by memcinto