Dr. Chism, the first dentist in Graham, was appointed to the first Texas board of dental examiners and recognized by the Texas Dental Association for his
Dr. Chism, the first dentist in Graham, was appointed to the first Texas board of dental examiners and recognized by the Texas Dental Association for his 58-year career in this community. ((Photo courtesy of Sharon Brazeal))
The oak box from the past looks ordinary.

But the owner of the box, Dr. Matthew Chism, proved to be an extraordinary Graham pioneer. The photos of Chism and his wife, Mary Kirk Brown, can be seen in “Young County Pictorial History.”
Chism was Graham's first dentist, a highly educated and accomplished man at 28 when he moved to Graham in 1882.

The 28-year-old began not just a dental business, but also opened this town's first photography studio.
Currently, the tools of his trade are displayed in as part of an exhibit at the Old Post Office Museum and Art Center.

When the first law was passed to regulate the practice of dentistry, Dr. Chism was appointed on the first board of dental examiners of the 30th District. Toward the end of his career, the Texas Dental Association recognized him.

When Chism retired in 1940, he spent the rest of his days in Huntsville with his daughter. After Chism died at the age of 97, his funeral and burial were held in Huntsville. There was also a memorial service in Graham which Brazeal remembers attending with her family.

One of Graham's most remarkable citizens was not forgotten.

Advertisement