Daisy Zachary McGuire (1880-1980)
DDS 1908 Southern Dental College
Although Daisy McGuire’s dental classmates gave her the nickname Doll-Baby, they admired her skills and her pluck. “I was the smartest one in the class. What the other students were just learning, I’d been doing for the past five years.” She grew up helping her dentist father with patients, pulling her first tooth at age six.
A Kick in the Pants
When the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners told McGuire she must go to school or quit dentistry, she went to Southern Dental College in Atlanta, graduating with honors in 1908. McGuire was the only woman in her class of 64 students.
Practicing Dentistry Outside
Before getting her degree, McGuire travelled by horse and buggy, staying in homes while treating the families. She vulcanized dentures on the stove or fireplace. After graduation, McGuire moved to Sylva, North Carolina at the town’s request. McGuires are still providing dental care there more than 100 years later.
Separate and Equal
McGuire convinced her husband Wayne, a carpenter, to become a dentist as she needed help in her office. He also went to Southern Dental College, graduating in 1913. Daisy and Wayne McGuire practiced in the same room their entire professional lives, but they kept separate patients.
All in the Family
All three of the McGuire’s children became dentists. Two daughters married dentists, and the third married a dental lab technician. They all worked together in the same office. Grandchildren followed in their footsteps. Of the entire family (pictured), only one took another path and became a teacher.