Biographical Sketch of Dr. Hugh Albert Nutt
June 6, 1943 – July 30, 2021
Hugh Albert Nutt was born June 16, 1943, in Dr. E. E. Estes’s clinic in Fordyce, Dallas County, Arkansas, a son of Hugh Harrison and Kitty Corrine Robertson Nutt. Hugh Albert was a graduate of Fordyce High School and the University of Arkansas Medical School. He did his residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas, and served as a flight surgeon in the US Navy. He came back to his hometown to practice medicine in 1974.
“I made up my mind in the ninth grade to be a doctor,” Nutt said. “My granddad mostly inspired me. Dr. [Albert Blackerby] Robertson [1882-1966] was my mother’s father. He practiced in Rison until 1960. I remember him quite well. He was one of tho old-time family doctors. He still used the horse and buggy long after automobiles became popular because he said the horse knew the way home and he could sleep on the ride. His old office has been moved and is now part of the pioneer village there.”
Nutt played high school football as a quarterback under renowned coach Jimmy “Red” Parker in Fordyce during some of the Redbugs’ undefeated heydays from 1958-60. His high school career led to a full athletic scholarship at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, where he attended from 1961-64. After that, he went to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences from 1964-68. “The Berry plan was in place back then and dictated that every doctor went to the military for a time,” Nutt said. “You had some latitude whether you went after internship or after residency. I went in after one year of residency and attended flight surgery school. I completed residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Ft. Worth. It’s one of the most sought-after residencies in the country. It’s a city/county charity hospital and we did unbelievable amounts of surgery. Their motto was, ‘See one, do one, teach one.’ I was at Pensacola NAS for nine months then went to Chase Naval Air Station in Beeville, Texas, 50 miles north of Corpus Christi.” Nutt spent time on an aircraft carrier out of Corpus Christi before leaving the Navy as a lieutenant commander.
In civilian life, he first set up shop in Harrison, Arkansas, for the better part of a year before returning to Fordyce in 1974 and entering into practice with Drs. Jack Dobson and Don Howard.
Nutt was chief of staff at Dallas County Medical Center for over 20 years before handing the reins over to his daughter, Dr. Lindsey Walley. Like his grandfather, Nutt served as an inspiration to his daughter who returned to Fordyce to set up a partnership practice with her father after completing her education. Dr. Hugh Albert Nutt was an integral part of Dallas County and the local health scene since 1974.
Nutt died July 30, 2021, at his home in Fordyce and was buried in Stoney Point Cemetery in Dallas County. Nutt’s obituary reads, “Fordyce lost a legend on Friday July 30, 2021 when Dr. Hugh Albert Nutt passed away at his home. Dr. Nutt was always there for you, not just his friends but his patients as well. He worked hard and gave his life to Fordyce. He loved and he laughed. He tried to practice medicine to the very last, even when he didn’t feel like it. He would pat his chest over his heart and say, ‘It’s in here’. He practiced medicine for over 50 years, mostly in Fordyce and will be remembered and thought of fondly for many, many years.”
(Source: Ledbetter, Richard – Fordyce doctor leaves a legacy, Pine Bluff Commercial, August 8, 2021)