There are many stories circulating about this tomato. I have done a lot research on this one, including reading old circus articles and the real story is very interesting. Apparently, Dr. Wyche, a dentist who was Cherokee, was the part owner of the Kelly Miller Circus that wintered in Hugo, OK, where he lived. Dr. Wyche, after retiring, became an avid gardener and then heirloom seed collector.
He used elephant manure in his garden and also used lion and tiger droppings to help keep away rabbit and deer from the garden. He is credited with saving and sharing many old Cherokee seed varieties and was one of the early members of Seed Savers Exchange. I found a fascinating post about him here from his daughter.
Apparently there is some confusion as to who first shared the seeds with SSE. No matter who shared it first, we are glad someone did and it is here for us all to enjoy. It makes me sad to think of how many varieties have been lost through the years. So glad for seed savers!
From Tatiana’s TOMATObase:
A family heirloom from the United States.
The connection to John Wyche is not clear. The variety was sent to Craig LeHoullier by John D. Green (of Cherokee Purple fame) in 1992 - Craig was the first to grow it out and list it in the SSE yearbook. John Green claimed that Dr. Wyche sent him the variety just before he passed away (1985), and Dr. Wyche actually called it 'Hot Yellow'. This is one of the varieties described in Carolyn J. Male's book "100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden".