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<Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents>

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Anderson, John James [AKA James S. Anderson] [Anderson's Administrator v. Darland]
Birth Year : 1872
Death Year : 1919
Known as James S. Anderson in Kentucky, Dr. Anderson was a doctor of herbal medicine. He was described by his daughter, Irene Anderson Elder, as part black and part Choctaw Indian. Dr. Anderson came to Somerset, KY, from Kingston, TN; he had also had a practice in Chattanooga, where he met Irene's mother, a nurse named Mary Bowman, who was white. Mary gave birth to Irene in 1914 in a home for unwed mothers in Chattanooga. Irene was reared by her maternal grandmother in Lenoir City, TN; she was Irene's protector. Several years later her grandmother died, and Irene went to live with a foster family. Her father, James Anderson, had moved to Somerset, KY, not too long after Irene was born. In Kentucky, he was sometimes regarded as a Negro and at other times as a Choctaw Indian. Anderson established a tuberculosis treatment clinic, Unity Hill Sanatorium, a three story structure with over 100 beds, 65 rooms, a parlor with a piano, and a grocery store in the basement. He came to be considered a wealthy man with $100,000 in the Somerset bank. When Mary Bowman came down with tuberculosis, she came to Somerset to be a patient at Unity Hill for six months. She was still alive when Dr. James S. Anderson died of hypostatic pneumonia or was murdered November 19, 1919; it is still unclear exactly how he died, though pneumonia is given as the cause on his death certificate. After his death, M. L. Jarvis was appointed curator of Anderson's estate. Unity Hill Sanatorium was sold to a group of businessmen who changed the operation to Watnon (or Watson) Sanatorium, a cancer treatment clinic with separate buildings for Negro patients. In 1924, the clinic had closed and the campus became the new location for the Somerset School of Business. Irene Anderson Elder never benefited from her father's wealth. This entry was submitted by Yvonne Giles. For more information see L. A. Kochtik, "Irene's journey: a good life and a bad life," Appalachian Life Magazine, issue 51 (February), pp. 6-8; "Cancer Sanatorium opened at Somerset, Ky.," The Somerset Journal, 01/30/1920, p. 8; and Anderson's Administrator v. Darland, Court of Appeals of Kentucky, 192 Ky. 624; 234 S.W. 205; 1921 Ky.

Additional information: James S. Anderson's birth name was John James Anderson, he was born in Reidville, SC, February 12, 1872 [source: 1880 U.S. Federal Census; and Kentucky Death Certificate Registered #142]. He was the son of Henry and Dorcas Drummond Anderson. Dr. Anderson was the husband of Ann Mary Crumly; the couple married in 1897, filed for divorce in 1915, and the divorce was final in 1918 [source: Hart and Dudek Family Tree; and Kentucky Death Certificate Registered #142]. Dr. Anderson is buried in Maple Grove Cemetery in Harrodsburg, KY.
Subjects: Fathers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Court Cases, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Reidville, South Carolina / Kingston, Lenoir, and Chattanooga, Tennessee / Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky / Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky

Arthur, William R. B. [People's Auxiliary Hospital (St.Louis, MO)]
Birth Year : 1868
Arthur, a surgeon and physician, was born in Kentucky; he received his M.D. from Howard University Medical College in 1890. He returned to Kentucky to practice medicine in Louisville, to teach at the Louisville National Medical College, and to serve as a surgeon at the Auxiliary Hospital. Arthur left Louisville and moved to St. Louis, MO, where he founded the People's Auxiliary Hospital and Training School in 1898. The three-story hospital building, which had 12 rooms for up to 15 patients, was located at 1001 N. Jefferson Avenue. For more see the William R. B. Arthur entry in A Historical, Biographical and Statistical Souvenir, by Howard University Medical Department [available full-text at Google Book Search]; "Hospital for Colored Patients," Medical Review, vol. 39 (Jan. 7 - July 1, 1899) [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and Glimpses of the Ages, vol. 1, by T. E. S. Scholes [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

Atkins, Calvin Rupert and Dora G. Graham Atkins
Calvin R. Atkins (1870-1923) was born in Hadensville, KY. He was the husband of Dora G. Graham Atkins (1875-1923), who was born in Pembroke, KY. In 1895, Calvin Atkins became a certified teacher for the Todd County Colored School District [see his copy of certification, IHS]. Dora Atkins was also a certified teacher in Todd County [copy of certification, IHS]. In 1900 the family had moved to Anderson, IN, according to the U.S. Census. Dr. Atkins practiced medicine there for a few years, and in 1904, the family moved to Indianapolis. Dr. Atkins received his license to practice in Indianapolis on August 2, 1905; he was an 1895 graduate of Howard University Medical School [now Howard University College of Medicine], according to the 16th Annual Report of the Indiana State Board of Medical Registration and Examination [full view at Google Book Search]. Dr. Atkins was a physician for the Flanner House, which was founded in 1898 to provide health, social, and educational assistance to African American families migrating from the South to Indianapolis [archival information, IHS]. His dedication to the Flanner House is mentioned in a speech given by Aldridge Lewis around 1918 [digital copy of speech, IHS]. He was one of the promoters and vice president of Lincoln Hospital, a hospital for African Americans founded in 1909 in Indianapolis on North Senate Avenue. The hospital had both doctors and dentists, and there were 12 rooms that could hold up to 17 patients. The hospital also had a nurses training program. Dr. Atkins was involved in establishing a similar hospital in Marion, IN. Dr. Atkins was a prominent member of the city of Indianapolis for 19 years before he was murdered in June of 1923. For more see "Calvin R. and Dora G. Atkins" entry in Who's Who in Colored America 1927; Indiana Blacks in the Twentieth Century, by Thornbrough and Ruegamer; the Papers of Calvin R. Atkins and the Dora Atkins Blackburn Papers, some items available online in the digital collections at the Indiana Historical Society; "Suspected slayer who shot himself soon after murder dies," The Indianapolis Star, 06/18/1923, p. 16.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Hadensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Pembroke, Christian County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Austin, Helen C.
Birth Year : 1925
Helen Cloud Austin, from Harlan, KY, was the second African American student to attend the University of Louisville School of Social Work, from which she graduated in 1953. With the help of Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, she became the first African American professional hired at the San Antonio State Hospital, a mental health facility in Texas. In 1983, Austin was the San Antonio Social Worker of the Year and the Texas State Social Worker of the Year. She was inducted into the San Antonio Hall of Fame in 1985. Austin retired from the hospital in 1987. Two years later, she was included in the booklet titled Salute to Black Women Who Make Things Happen by the National Council of Negro Women. After her retirement, Austin continued to be active with several organizations, including serving as president of the Board of Directors for the San Antonio Halfway House, Inc., she started the Senior Citizen Ministry at St. Paul United Methodist Church, and she continued her work with Crosspoint, a nonprofit that provides reentry residential services for ex-offenders, an organization that Austin co-founded in 1963. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta. The Helen Cloud Austin Papers are at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Information about Crosspoint and other updates were provided by Joan Cheever.

See photo image and additional information about Helen C. Austin at the NASW Foundation website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Corrections and Police, Religion & Church Work, Social Workers, Women's Groups and Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Care of the Elderly
Geographic Region: Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / San Antonio, Texas

Barrens, Esther Maxwell
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1954
Barrens was born in Pulaski, Tennessee and is buried in Nashville, Tennessee. She was the daughter of Fannie and Washington Maxwell, and the wife of Kentucky native Charles Barrens. Esther graduated in the first Nurse Training Class of Meharry Medical College in 1906. She came to Louisville in 1907 and took the job of Head Nurse Supervisor of the Negro Division of Waverly Hills Sanatorium, a tuberculosis hospital. Due to the shortage of nurses in the Negro Division, Barrens was often the only nurse on duty; therefore, she began training nurses to work in the hospital. She also pushed for Negro children in the hospital to also receive education and to be included in activities. Barrens worked with the Sunday school groups and the Sunshine Center Tuberculosis Clinic, established in 1927. She was a member of the Executive Board of the Meharry Alumni Association and served on the Kentucky State Board of the Parent-Teacher Association. Barrens was employed at Waverly for 28 years. She had married Charles Barrens in 1908, and by 1910 her parents and one other family member had moved to Louisville, KY, and according to the U.S. Federal Census, they all shared a home. Information submitted by Mr. Shirley J. Foley (Ms. Barrens' nephew). For more information on Esther Barrens' employment at the Waverly Hills Sanatorium, contact the University of Louisville Archives and Records Center.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Religion & Church Work, Sunday School, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Pulaski, Tennessee / Nashville, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Bell, Jesse B.
Birth Year : 1904
Death Year : 1998
Jesse Bell was the fist African American doctor at Jewish Hospital [now Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's Healthcare] in Louisville, KY; he began in 1958, followed by Dr. William M. Moses in 1959. In 1980 Bell became the first African American president of the Jewish Hospital medical staff. In 1965 he was the first African American to be named to the University of Louisville (U of L) Board of Overseers. Bell, born in Tallulah, Louisiana, was the son of Ella and John Bell. He completed high school at Alcorn College [now Alcorn State University] and was a graduate of Morehouse College and Meharry Medical College. He had had a private practice in Frankfort, KY, and later was employed at Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville before opening a private practice. Dr. Bell also served as director of the Louisville Red Cross Hospital from 1941-1946. For more see A Legendary Vision: the history of Jewish Hospital, by B. Zingman and B. L. Anster; "First Negro on University of Louisville Board," Jet, vol. 29, issue 4 (11/04/1965), p. 26; and Jesse Burnett Bell at the U of L Magazine website.

Access Interview The Jesse B. Bell oral history recordings and transcript are available online at the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Archives.
 
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Tallulah, Louisiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Berry, T. L.
Birth Year : 1892
Dr. T. L. Berry was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Louis and Josephine Berry. He was a physician in Murray, KY, according to his World War I Registration Card, and was born October 17, 1892. Berry was also the Surgeon in Chief at Winnie Scott Hospital in Frankfort. From 1915-1959, the hospital primarily served African Americans. Dr. Berry left Kentucky in 1924 to join the staff of Mercy Hospital in Cincinnati, and he was a member of the Cincinnati Medical Association. Berry was a 1910 graduate of Male and Female College, where he earned his A.B., and a 1915 graduate of Meharry Medical College. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Birth Control Movement and African American Women in Kentucky
Start Year : 1933
End Year : 1943
The Kentucky Birth Control League (KBCL) in Louisville began the birth control movement in Kentucky. The organization was founded by Jean Brandies Tachau, who was also the first president. The KBCL was affiliated with the American Birth Control League, which focused on women and family planning. The first clinic opened in Louisville, KY, in 1933; Norton's Infirmary provided services for "whites only." Therefore, arrangements were made with Dr. John Hammons to see African American women in his office until there was a regular clinic. Hammons had been director of the Venereal Clinic, was on the staff of the Red Cross Hospital, and was a member of the NAACP and the Urban League. When the second clinic opened at 624 Floyd Street, it served both African American and white women, but each on separate days of the week. In 1936, the African American birth control clinic, known as Adler Mothers Clinic, opened in the parish house of the Church of Our Merciful Savior. Doctors Hammons, Laine, and Ballard, social worker Robert B. Scott, and nurse Louise Simms made up the staff. In Lexington, the Maternal Health Clinic, the city's first birth control clinic, opened in 1936 at Good Samaritan Hospital, and services were provided to both white and African American women. During the 1930s, there were also clinics in Berea and at Pine Mountain Settlement School. Birth control was not new to the women of Kentucky, but prior to the 1930s it had not been as accessible through public health services. There was opposition from several fronts, and a number of theories are discussed in the literature as to why birth control was being provided to women of particular classes and races. One other note of importance is that during the early 1930s and the Depression, birth control became one of the most profitable new industries through advertising and marketing to women consumers. Hundreds of birth control ads were placed in both white and African American media for a variety of mail order products in spite of federal and state interstate distribution laws; the items were sold as feminine hygiene products. By 1938 annual sales for birth control totaled more than $250,000,000 and continued to increase. For more information on the Birth Control Movement in Kentucky, see J. G. Myers, A Socio-historical Analysis of the Kentucky Birth Control Movement, 1933-1943 (dissertation), University of Kentucky, 2005; D. McRaven, Birth Control Women: Controlling Reproduction in the South, 1933-1973 (dissertation), University of Kentucky, 2006; and see the website Planned Parenthood of Kentucky: a history. For more on marketing during the Birth Control Movement, see Women and Health in America, by J. W. Leavitt.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Women's Groups and Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Pine Mountain, Harlan County, Kentucky

Brooks, Phillip C.
Birth Year : 1901
Death Year : 1982
Phillip C. Brooks was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Henry and Carrie Brooks. Brooks, a physician and surgeon, acquired his pre-med and medical education at Howard University. He later returned to Hopkinsville, where he owned and operated Brooks Memorial Hospital, beginning in 1944. In 1958, Clinton Reynolds, a white race car driver was treated by Dr. Brooks at the Brooks Memorial Hospital. Complaints were filed with the Kentucky Medical Association asserting that Reynolds had waited for more than an hour to see a white doctor at Jennie Stuart Hospital, before being treated at Brooks Memorial Hospital [Jet article online at Google Book Search, 09/18/1958, p.26]. Dr. Brooks was the brother of Garland H. Brooks. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Brown, Viola Davis
Birth Year : 1936
Viola D. Brown was born in Lexington, KY. In 1955, she was the first African American admitted to a nursing school in Lexington. Brown attended the Nazareth School of Nursing, which was affiliated with St. Joseph Hospital, where Brown would be promoted to hospital supervisor in 1960. Her promotion was another first for African Americans in Lexington. In 1972, Brown and Lizzie Conner were the first two African American RNs to receive advanced practice as Nurse Practitioners in Lexington. In 1980, Gov. John Y. Brown, Jr. appointed Viola Brown to the position of Executive Director of the State Office of Public Health Nursing; she held the post for 19 years. Viola Brown was inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Public Health Hall of Fame in 2004. For more see L. Blackford, "Her essay won a prize, but she couldn't go to ceremony," Lexington Herald Leader, 09/09/04, Main News section, p. A1; and V. D. Brown and J. Marfall, "Swinging bridges of opportunity and challenges: memoirs of an African American nurse practitioner pioneer on providing primary care for the underserved," Journal of Cultural Diversity, vol. 12, issue 3 (Fall 2005), pp. 107-15.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Nurses, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Bryant, Roscoe C., Jr.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2005
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Bryant was the son of Dr. Roscoe C. Bryant, Sr. and Curlie Marshall Bryant. Bryant, Jr. had been on the staff of the Red Cross Hospital in Louisville, KY, for one year when, in 1948, he and two other doctors applied for membership to the segregated Jefferson County Medical Society. Bryant and his colleagues were accepted. Bryant would also become the first African American physician on the Louisville/Jefferson County Board of Health. He was a graduate of Fisk University and Meharry Medical College. Bryant practiced medicine for almost 50 years in Louisville before his retirement in 1994. He was the father of Louisville Council Member Cheri Bryant Hamilton. For more see P. Burba, "Physician Roscoe Bryant Jr., 83 dies," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 07/13/2005, p. 06B.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration East, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Fort Worth, Texas / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Citizen's Auxiliary Hospital (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1895
End Year : 1911
The Citizen's Auxiliary Hospital was built by the faculty of the Louisville National Medical College. The two story, brick, building cost $50,000, and was built on Green Street a few blocks from the college. The hospital was built to enhance the clinical training of those enrolled in the college, and was viewed as a benefit to the poor in need of medical attention and medication. All services were free and the hospital could treat up to 40 patients at one time. Mr. McCurdy was the hospital steward and Dr. Sarah H. Fitzbutler was the matron. The college closed in 1912 and the hospital closed in 1911, the hospital facility was used for the Simmons College Nursing Department. For more see the "Auxiliary Hospital" entry in Weeden's History of the Colored People of Louisville by H. C. Weeden; History of Higher Education in Kentucky by A. F. Lewis [available full view at Google Book Search]; and T. L. Savitt, "Four African-American proprietary medical colleges: 1888-1923," Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, vol.55, July 2000, pp.203-255.
Subjects: Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Coleman, Frederick Douglass, Jr.
Birth Year : 1921
Coleman was one of the early African American surgeons in the U.S. Army. He was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Frederick Douglass Coleman, Sr. and Jamye Harris Coleman, and the brother of Jamye Coleman Williams. Coleman, Jr., a physician and a minister, graduated from Fisk University and earned his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in 1944 and his D. D. from Monrovia College (Liberia) in 1955. He served as captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1953-1955 and was Commanding Officer of the 765th Medical Detachment. He was Chief Physical Examiner with the U.S. Army Hospital in Fort Campbell, KY and Battalion Surgeon of the 47th Armored Medical Bn 1st Armored Division. Coleman was a member of the integrated Montgomery County Medical Society in Clarksville, TN, and in addition to serving as pastor of a number of churches, he was a representative on the A.M.E. Church Medical Missions Board National Council of Churches. He was licensed to preach in 1939. For more see "Frederick Douglass Coleman, Jr." in Biographical Directory of Negro Ministers by E. L. Williams. For more about the Coleman family and the AME Church see The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Clarksville, Tennessee

Dowe, Jessica
Birth Year : 1956
From 2003-2005, Dr. Dowe practiced medicine in Munfordville, KY, the first African American to do so; she practiced with Dr. James Middleton at the Family Medicine Clinic of Hart County. Dr. Dowe is also one of the original board members of the Munfordville YMCA. She is also a speaker with the American Medical Association (AMA) Minority Affairs Consortium, "Doctors Back to School," a program that encourages elementary children to consider medicine as a career. Dr. Dowe has a number of publications and many years experience as a pharmaceutical and toxicology researcher, and she serves as an investigator in clinical pharmacology research for a number of companies. She has also served as Medical Services Director at the Jefferson County Department of Corrections. Dr. Dowe presently practices medicine in Elizabethtown, KY, and is a clinical instructor in Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville. She is also a charter member for the first Faith-based Recovery Program for Addiction in Elizabethtown; the program is associated with the First Baptist Church, which is led by Reverend B. T. Bishop. Dr. Dowe was born in Alabama and is the daughter of Jessie and Janie Dowe. She graduated in 1978 from Dillard University with a degree in chemistry, earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology at Howard University, and attended the University of Louisville, where she earned her MD in 1996. This information is taken from, with permission, the curriculum vita of Dr. Jessica Dowe. Contact Dr. Dowe at Xavier Healthcare in Elizabethtown, KY, for more information.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Researchers, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association)
Geographic Region: Munfordville, Hart County, Kentucky / Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky / Alabama

Duncan, Laval T.
Birth Year : 1907
Death Year : 1979
Duncan was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Henry, a shoemaker, and Cora Duncan. In 1934 he joined the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company in Louisville and by 1950 had become its vice president and treasurer. He was also on the board of the Louisville Red Cross Hospital. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; the Laval T. Duncan Papers at the University of Louisville Archives and Records Center; and Laval T. Duncan in the Community Hospital Records finding aid in the Kentucky Digital Library.
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Ellis, Cassius M. C., III
Birth Year : 1936
Death Year : 1997
Cassius M. C. Ellis III was born in Frankfort, KY, the son of Anna Shannon Ellis. He was a surgeon at North Memorial Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN, where he was director of the residency program. He was the first assistant dean for minority students at the University of Minnesota Medical School, where the Cassius Ellis Award is named in his honor. He had been the chief of staff at Mount Sinai Hospital in Minneapolis. Ellis was a member of a number of medical-related organizations, and he also belonged to the NAACP. He served as president of the Minnesota State Board of Medical Examiners in 1990 and was appointed to the board for a four year term by Minnesota Governor Ruby Perpich. Ellis graduated from Mayo-Underwood High School in 1954 and from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1958, both in Frankfort, KY, and from Meharry Medical College in 1962. Ellis was a captain in the U.S. Army. He was the husband of Phyllis Hannah Ellis, with whom he had four children. For more see P. Miller, "Dr. Cassius Ellis, minority mentor, dies at age 60," Star Tribune, 05/18/1997, p. 11B; "Cassius M. C. Ellis III, M.D., F.A.C.S." on pp. 918-919 in A Century of Black Surgeons, by C. H. Organ and M. M. Kosiba; and "Dr. Cassius Ellis" in Jet, 04/01/1985, p. 24.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Military & Veterans, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Minneapolis, Minnesota

Freedmen's Bureau Medical Care and Hospital in Kentucky
Start Year : 1865
End Year : 1870
According to author Alan Raphael, the Freedmen's Bureau Hospital in Kentucky was located in Louisville from 1866-1868. The hospital was part of the medical outreach the Bureau provided to the newly freed African Americans. There were also five outdoor dispensary stations. The Negro orphanages in Lexington and Louisville also received patients. The operations provided limited medical care but were practically all that was available due to the lack of income among the newly freed population. Those who happened to live near the medical facilities received the most benefit from the services. The Freedmen's Bureau medical division in Kentucky employed white doctors. The division head was Dr. Robert A. Bell, who lived in Louisville and had been born in 1825 in Pennsylvania. Dr. Erasmus O. Brown was head of the Bureau hospital in Louisville. Other employees were Dr. J. G. Temple (b. 1822) in Covington, Dr. Richard B. Gilbert (1842-1921) in Owensboro, Dr. John A. Octerlong in Louisville, Dr. A. T. Tuggle in Mt. Sterling, and Dr. Ben P. Drake. Dr. Fred Hassig of Paducah provided free medical care to indigents. In spite of the doctors' dedication and their fight to continue the services, the overall medical services provided by the Freedmen's Bureau were short lived and not nearly enough for all who needed the services. For more information see A. Raphael, "Health and Social Welfare of Kentucky Black People, 1865-1870," Societas (Spring 1972), pp. 143-157; and The Healers, by J. Duffy.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Kentucky

General Hospital School of Nursing, Integrated (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1954
In January 1954, the registered nurses training program at the General Hospital School of Nursing in Louisville, KY, was integrated. The last issue to be resolved was housing; the incoming Negro students had been encouraged to live at home rather than move into the student nurses home. The integration had come about with the election of Mayor Andrew Broaddus (1900-1972), a Democrat, who was mayor from 1953-1957. Broaddus had pledged to integrate the program if he were elected mayor. Louisville General Hospital was the teaching and research hospital for the University of Louisville Medical School. Dr. Maurice F. Rabb, Sr. had been added to the hospital staff in 1948 as a part-time resident for advanced work in anesthesiology; Rabb had been practicing medicine in Kentucky for 15 years. He was not allowed to eat in the cafeteria of General Hospital. In 1950, the first Negro student had been accepted into a practical-nurses training class. But prior to 1954, Negro applicants to the registered nursing program had been encouraged to go elsewhere. Once it was mandated the school accept Negro students for this program, the City-County Board of Health declared that Negro students could live in the student nurses home as well. The first three students were Lillian Delores Foxhill, who would be living at home; Latach Mae Scott, who would also be living at home; and Flora M. Ponder, who would be living in the nurses home. For more information see "Louisville policy unsettled on race," New York Times, 02/04/1949, p. 26; "City Hospital will train Negro nurses," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 12/10/1953; "3 Negro student nurses begin school at General," Courier-Journal (Louisville), 02/06/1954; and the Louisville General Hospital Records, which are available at the University of Louisville Libraries Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Godfrey, Linda R.
Birth Year : 1947
Linda R. Godfrey, born in Lexington, KY, has been a leader on several fronts since graduating in 1965 from old Henry Clay High School [on Main Street], where she was a member of the second integrated class to graduate from the school. Godfrey, a nurse, has worked at several locations in Lexington and is presently a case manager and diabetes nurse specialist at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital off Cooper Drive, providing outreach and care coordination for returning combat veterans. She is a retired Army Nurse, having served (1985-2000) with the 475th MASH hospital unit out of Frankfort, KY. Godfrey also taught health education classes at multiple military hospitals throughout the U.S. and in Japan, Ecuador, and Barbados. She also served as an Army nurse in Saudi Arabia and Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. She received an Army commendation medal and has received a number of awards for her work with veterans, including the Federal Woman of the Year in 2000. In Lexington, Godfrey was a board member of Hospice when the program was being developed in 1977, coordinating the volunteers. For 13 years she taught pediatric nursing and basic medical surgical nursing at Kentucky State University and today is a part-time lecturer for the clinical labs and nursing programs. Godfrey also teaches health education and diabetes classes throughout the year at local churches. She has served two terms as president of the Northside Neighborhood Association, one of the oldest and largest neighborhood associations in Lexington. Godfrey, one of the original members, is past chairperson of the Historic Preservation Commission of the Fayette-Urban County Government and is completing her second term as vice-chair of the Fayette-Urban County Planning Commission. Linda Godfrey is a graduate of Appalachian School of Practical Nursing [which was on Warren Court in Lexington, KY], where she earned her LPN degree in 1968. In 1972, she earned her RN degree from Lexington Community College [now Bluegrass Community and Technical College] and in 1980 graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. She is a charter member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Delta Psi Chapter. Godfrey, who grew up in Kinkeadtown, attends the Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Pricetown, founded by her great grandfather, Matthew Garner. Pricetown is one of the Negro hamlets founded at the end of slavery. This entry was submitted by William Anthony Goatley with detailed information from Linda Godfrey.

 

Access InterviewLisen to the online interview with Lind R. Godfrey (Part 1 and Part 2), interviewed by Mike Jones, 07/27/2002, at the Kentucky Historical Society website.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Communities, Education and Educators, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Women's Groups and Organizations, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Kinkeadtown, Pricetown, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Iraq / Japan / Ecuador / Barbados

Gowens, Henry Lytle, Jr.
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1953
Born in Lexington, KY, Henry L. Gowens, Jr. became an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon at the Mercy-Douglass Hospital in Philadelphia and served as president of the Pennsylvania Medical, Dental, and Pharmacy Association. He published several articles, including "Eserin in ophthalmology," Journal of Ophthalmology, Otology and Laryngology, vol. 20, 1914. He was among the first ten African Americans to become a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He was the husband of Beulah E. Gowens (b.1890) from Philadelphia, PN. The couple bought a home in what had been an all white neighborhood and a suit was filed by a former owner of the home. Judge Curtis Bok of the Common Pleas Court dismissed the suit. Dr. Gowens was the son of Henry L. Gowens, Sr. Prior to his marriage, Dr. Gowens was head of his family, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. The family lived on 13th Street N. in Philadelphia, PN. Henry Gowens, Sr. was a school professor; Dr. Gowens had a private medical practice; his sisters Modina and Virginia were school teachers; and his brother Willard was an artist. All of the family members were born in Kentucky. In 1920, Henry Sr. was a clerk with the U.S. Government, and he, his wife Florence, and daughter Modina were living in Washington, D.C. In 1930, Williard Gowens was also living with the family in D.C. Henry L. Gowens, Jr. was a graduate of Howard University and received his medical degree in 1908 from Hahnemann Medical College [now Drexel University College of Medicine]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; see pp.310-311 in Anyplace But Here by A. W. Bontemps and J. Conroy; and "Dr. Henry L. Gowens, Jr.," New York Times, 01/04/1953, p.78.

See photo image of Dr. Henry L. Gowens, Jr. at the "Images from the History of Medicine a the National Library of Medicine.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Court Cases, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hammons, James W.
Birth Year : 1927
Death Year : 2006
Dr. James W. Hammons was the first African American physician to practice medicine at Central Baptist Hospital, in Lexington, KY, and he was the first African American member of the Kentucky Medical Association. There were many firsts in the medical field for Dr. Hammons. He was also a school teacher in Hopkinsville, KY. He was vice-president of the Lexington Committee on Open Housing and he was a member of the Human Rights Commission. His educational career included West Virginia State where he played football and was injured, forcing him to return to Louisville. Though he was born Kentucky, Hammons' mother had moved back to Tennessee when his father died around 1932. He returned to Louisville a little later to live with his uncle, Dr. John M. Hammons. After graduating from high school, he left Louisville to attend college. When James W. Hammons returned to Louisville after his football injury at West Virginia State, he next attended and graduated in 1950 from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] where he was manager of the football team. He also attended the University of Kentucky where he earned his master's degree in 1954; Hammons was the first African American admitted to the medical department [public health bacteriology]. Hammons also graduated from the Chicago School of Osteopathy in 1959 [now the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University]. He returned to Lexington and had a private practice on East Third Street and also took on patients of Dr. Bush Hunter who had become ill. Dr. James W. Hammons treated patients of all races. He was the first osteopathic doctor in the country to belong to a medical association in 1969. Gaining membership had been a challenge that became a success with the assistance of many of his comrades in the Fayette County Medical Society. Dr. James W. Hammons was the nephew of Dr. John Matthew Hammons who was the director of the Vernereal Clinic and head of the first Birth Control Clinic for African American women in Louisville, KY. Dr. James W. Hammons' ancestors included both African American slaves and slave owners. For more listen to the James W. Hammons oral history interviews at the University of Kentucky Special Collections, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History; see J. Ogawa, "Physician James Hammons dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/12/2006, p.B4; J. Warren, "One patient at a time - Lexington osteopath has broken barriers for years," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/10/2002, p.B1; and D. Burdette, "36-years later, doctor still makes house calls for one special patient," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/03/1995, p.B1.

 

Access Interview Listen to the recording and read about the James W. Hammons oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.       

 

 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Hampton v. O'Rear (Montgomery County, KY)
Start Year : 1948
In 1944, Montgomery County resident L. E. Griggs left a charitable trust for the building of a hospital for African Americans as either an adjoined facility to the Mary Chiles Hospital or on the grounds of the hospital. When Mary Chiles Hospital refused to act as a trustee for the structure, and it seemed the trust would be discontinued, a lawsuit was filed asking that the trust be continued with new trustees and that the hospital be built at some other location. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and the defendants appealed. The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the defendants with Judge Simms dissenting. "...[I]t is clear that a mere substantial compliance with the conditions imposed would not serve the purposes for which the trust was created. That being true, the cy pres doctrine may not be applied; and, because the devisee duly disclaimed its rights under the conditions imposed, we have no alternative but to declare the purposes of the trust to have failed, and that neither the corpus of the estate nor the income therefrom may be used to establish a hospital for persons of Negro blood on any other property in the hospitalization area of Mt. Sterling." For more see Hampton et al. v. O'Rear et al. 309 Ky. 1; 215 S.W.2d 539; 1948 Ky.; and Cases on the Law of Trusts, by G. G. Bogert and D. H. Oaks. [Quotation from the opinion of Judge Van Sant.]
Subjects: Court Cases, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Mount Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Handy, Elizabeth P.
Birth Year : 1876
Death Year : 1937
Elizabeth Virginia Price Handy was born in Henderson, KY, the daughter of Jim and Betty Price. She wrote poetry but was never published. She was the first wife of blues composer and musician William C. (W. C.) Handy (1873-1958), with whom she had six children: Lucille, William Jr., Katherine, Florence, Elizabeth, and Wyer. Elizabeth Handy died in New York City. Hours before her death, she had been taken by ambulance to the Knickerbocker Hospital on March 11, 1937; she was suffering from a brain hemorrhage. Because she was African American, she had to wait outside in the ambulance for 55 minutes, while her husband W. C. Handy, and her physician, Dr. Farrow R. Allen, tried to get her admitted. The admitting clerk had informed them that Negroes were not admitted to the private ward. W. C. Handy had to pay $63 before Elizabeth was admitted [the usual charge was $6 per day]. Elizabeth Handy died two hours after she was admitted to the hospital. The New York NAACP, led by Roy Wilkins, assistant secretary, requested that New York Mayor LaGuardia investigate the Knickerbocker Hospital policies concerning Negro patients. Walter Mezger, superintendent of the hospital, told the media that the hospital did not discriminate toward Colored patients; the discrimination that had taken place was that of the admitting clerk, a long time employee who had used bad judgment and had since been transferred from the hospital. For more see The Annals and Scandals of Henderson County, by M. Arnett; and "Hospital accused by Negro society," The New York Times, 03/27/1937, p.30.
Subjects: Migration North, Mothers, Poets, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / New York, New York

Harris, Albert B.
Birth Year : 1925
Harris was the first African American gynecologist licensed in Kentucky; he was also the first to serve at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and on the State Council on Higher Education. In the 1970s, President Lyndon Johnson appointed him to investigate how the Hill-Burton hospitals in Louisville were being integrated. For more see A Legendary Vision: the history of Jewish Hospital, by B. Zingman and B. L. Anster.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Herndon, James "Sweet Evening Breeze"
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1983
James Herndon, also known as "Sweet Evening Breeze," "Sweets," or "Breeze," is considered by some to be the originator of the Lexington drag scene, dressing in women's clothes in the 1940s and 50s when cross-dressing in public was very rare. He was generally well liked in the Lexington community and would participate in random acts of kindness, like baking cakes for people or giving poorer families shoes. Originally from Scott County, Herndon moved to Lexington as a child and then was abandoned at Good Samaritan Hospital by his uncle after he suffered an eye injury. After growing up in the hospital, he worked as an orderly for over forty years. He went to church regularly and loved church music. He enjoyed playing the piano, dressing up in women's clothes and makeup, and entertaining at his house on Prall Street, which he shared with his uncle Andrew Smith in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. The last years of his life were spent at Homestead Nursing Center, and he is buried at Lexington Cemetery. James Herndon will be discussed in the documentary The Last of the Pagan Babies, a work-in-progress by Jean Donohue. For more see the 6 articles from 1983-2009 in the Lexington Herald-Leader and the 2001 thesis Hidden histories, proud communities: multiple narratives in the queer geographies of Lexington, Kentucky, 1930-1999 by Jeffrey Alan Jones. This entry was submitted by Marcia Rapchak.

 

 
Subjects: Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Cross Dressing, Dress in Drag
Geographic Region: Scott County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Hinton, Clarence David
Birth Year : 1916
Death Year : 2008
Clarence D. Hinton was born in Sharpsburg, KY, the son of Davis and Elsie Trumbo Hinton. The family lived on Back Street in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census, and later moved to Peoria, IL, where Hinton was an outstanding student and star athlete. He was a graduate of Northwestern University, where he also played football and was later inducted into the school's athletes' hall of fame. He was a member of the football team that won the 1936 Big Ten Conference Championship. Clarence Hinton would become a physician in otolaryngology (ears, nose, throat, head and neck surgery), he was clinical assistant at Howard University Medical School [now Howard University College of Medicine], 1945-1950, where he had received his M.D. in 1942. The Otolaryngology Clinic was relatively new to Howard University. Hinton would became a resident physician at Philadelphia General Hospital in 1950. He was later chair of the otolaryngology division at Howard University Hospital from 1963-1979, and chair of the otolaryngology department at Children's National Medical Center from 1978-1980. He was the first African American to chair the Washington D. C. Medical Society Otolaryngology Section. Hinton retired in 1990 but was still active in medicine at Howard University Hospital. Hinton was a WWII Army veteran, he had served as a medical doctor. He was the husband of ViCurtis Gray Hinton. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and "Ear, nose, throat Doctor Clarence David Hinton, 91," The Washington Post, 10/04/2008, Metro section, p.B6. 
 
See photo image of Clarence D. Hinton at the Peoria County Home Page website.
Subjects: Football, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Sharpsburg, Bath County, Kentucky / Peoria, Illinois / Washington, D.C.

Hospitals and Nurse Training Schools for Negroes in KY, 1921-22
The names of the hospitals and nurse training schools for Negroes in Kentucky are listed on p. 371 of the 1921-22 Negro Year Book [available at Google Book Search]. Three facilities were listed in the 1916 Negro Year Book [available at Google Book Search], and that number had increased to six by 1921. [The Concord Colored Hospital was in operation in Hopkinsville, KY, in 1904 during a smallpox epidemic in the city. See "Fifty more cases ready to release," Hopkinsville Kentuckian, 12/10/1904, p. 2. The article is available online at Kentucky Digital Library.]

  • Anderson Sanitarium in Somerset, KY. The facility, a tuberculosis treatment clinic, was owned by James S. Anderson, a doctor of herbal medicine. The three story structure was referred to as Unity Hill Sanitarium. For more see the NKAA entry for James S. Anderson.
  • King's Daughters Hospital in Shelbyville, KY.
  • Citizen's National Hospital in Louisville, KY. The two story brick building, which was located on Green Street, was built by the faculty of the Louisville National Medical College. For more see the NKAA entries for Citizen's Auxiliary Hospital and Louisville National Medical College.
  • Red Cross Sanitarium in Louisville, KY. For more information see the Red Cross Hospital entry in NKAA.
  • Colored Annex Mercy Memorial Hospital in Paris, KY. The hospital's name was actually Massie Hospital; it was located on Massie Avenue in Paris, KY.
  • Booker T. Washington Hospital in Middlesboro, KY.

Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky

Howard, Theodore R. M.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 1977
Howard, born in Murray, KY, was a graduate of the College of Medical Evangelists [now Loma Linda University] in Los Angeles, CA. He was medical director of the Riverside Sanitarium in California (1937-1939), then left to become surgeon-in-chief at Taborian Hospital in Mound Bayou, MS, (1942-1947), which would become the largest hospital in the state for African Americans. He was also founder and chairman of the United Order of Friendship of America in Bayou. In 1947 he became surgeon-in-chief and chief medical examiner of the Friendship Clinic in Bayou. Dr. Howard was an outspoken civil rights advocate in Mississippi. He delivered the eulogy at Medgar Evers' funeral. Howard left Mississippi in 1956 to become medical director of Fuller Products Co. in Chicago, and he was also named president of the National Medical Association. His decision to come north was made exactly one year after the death of Emmett Till; Howard had been lecturing throughout Mississippi about the killing, and his life had been threatened. The White Citizens Council had place a $1,000 hit on Howard, who had become quite wealthy with hundreds of acres of farmland and an entire block of homes. Howard felt that he did not know whom to trust anymore, white or black. His clinic was sold to members of the United Order of Friendship, and Dr. Howard broke all ties with the Democratic Party. Dr. Howard was the son of Arthur Howard (b.1890 in TN) and Mary Chandler Howard (b.1892 in KY). In 1910, both parents worked as laborers in a tobacco factory, according to the U.S. Federal Census. Their second son, Willie Mason Howard, died of pneumonia in 1914, he was 15 months old according to his death certificate. By 1920, Mary had married Maurice Palmer (b.1888 in TN) and they had two children. Maurice Palmer was a laborer in a tobacco factory, and the family, including Theodore Howard, lived in Pool Town in Murray, KY. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; D. Wright, "His life in danger, medic quits Dixie to fire salvos from North," Jet, vol. X, issue 16 (1956), pp. 12-15; Blacks in Science and Medicine, by V. O. Sammons; Medgar Evers, by J. Brown; and Black Maverick by D. T. Beito and L. R. Beito. Listen to the tribute to Dr. T. R. M. Howard, by Jacque Day at WKMS at Murray State University.
Access Interview
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California / Mound Bayou, Mississippi / Chicago, Illinois

Hummons, Henry L., Sr.
Birth Year : 1873
Death Year : 1956
Henry Lytle Hummons was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Mary Ellen and Thomas Hummons. He graduated from the Indianapolis Medical School in 1902 and opened his practice the following year. He founded and was a clinical physician at the Tuberculosis Clinic, Flanner House, in Indianapolis from 1919-1931. It was the first free tuberculosis clinic in the city. Hummons also founded the Senate Avenue Y.M.C.A. in Indianapolis. He was among the first African American professionals to buy homes on California Street in Indianapolis in the 1920s. The area was excavated by the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Archaeology Field School. For more see H. L. (Henry Lytle) Hummons Papers at the Indiana Historical Society; Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; and IUPUI Archaeology Field School.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

Hunter, John E. [Hunter Foundation (Lexington, KY)]
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1956
John E. Hunter, from Virginia, was the first African American surgeon at Lexington, KY's St. Joseph Hospital. He also helped found Lexington's Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Hunter was a graduate of Western Reserve [now Case Western Reserve]. He and Dr. Perry D. Robinson had a practice together. Hunter retired in 1952, after practicing medicine for 63 years; he died in Dayton, OH, in 1956. John Edward Hunter was the father of Bush A. Hunter. The Hunter Foundation for Health Care was a non-profit organization named to honor the 113 years of medical service in Lexington provided by John and Bush Hunter. The organization, founded in the early 1970s, was later renamed Healthcare of the Bluegrass. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia (2000); and "John E. Hunter" in the Lexington Herald, 11/16/1956, p. 1. See also the Hunter Foundation for Health Care records in Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

See photo image of Dr. John E. Hunter and an image of his home in The Negro in Medicine by J. A. Kenney, online at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Jackson, Earl, Jr.
Birth Year : 1938
Born in Paris, KY, the son of Earl, Sr. and Margaret Elizabeth Cummins Jackson, Earl Jackson, Jr. is a microbiologist who retired in 1995 from Massachusetts General Hospital. A 1960 graduate of Kentucky State University, he was named to its Hall of Fame Distinguished Alumni in 1988. Jackson has received a number of recognitions, including being named in Who's Who in the World, 1998, 2000, 2002, & 2006; Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare 1998-2007; and Who's Who in Science and Engineering, 1992-2007. Jackson resides in Texas. For more see Who's Who in America, 1997-2003.
Subjects: Biologists, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / San Antonio, Texas

King, Norris Curtis
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1960
Dr. Norris Curtis King was the founder of Curtis King Hospital in Newnan, GA, and in 1941, the Rose Netta Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. King was born in Princeton, KY, the son of Dee and Nettie Metcalf King. The family of four moved to Cairo, IL, and lived on Poplar Street, according to the 1900 U.S. Census. Norris King completed high school in Cairo, and by 1910, his father had died and the family of three was living in Louisville, KY, on W. Chestnut Street [source: U.S. Federal Census]. Norris was employed as a presser in a tailor shop, and his brother Cassius was a roller in an iron foundry. By 1920, Norris and his mother lived in Nashville, TN, where Norris King was a student at Roger Williams University [source: U.S. Federal Census]. He continued his education and was a 1924 graduate of Meharry Medical School [now Meharry Medical College]. Norris King moved to Newnan, GA, where he opened his medical practice and later founded the Curtis King Hospital. His specialty was the prevention and cure of venereal diseases. While in Newnan, GA, Norris King met and married Rosa Mae Webb, who was a nurse. The couple had a daughter, and in 1929 the family moved to, Los Angeles, CA, where Dr. King founded the Rose Netta Hospital. It was said to be an interracial hospital because the employees were Negroes, Mexicans, Japanese and White assistants. While in California, Dr. King was also head of the Los Angeles Venereal Clinic and several other clinics. The first interracial blood bank was was established at the Rose Netta Hospital by the Red Cross in 1942. Dr. Norris C. King was the sponsor of the "Craftsman of Black Wings," a Negro aviator and student group seeking to become licensed pilots. Dr. King also owned and bred palomino horses on his ranch in Elsinore, CA. He was a member of the Palomino Horse Association and several other organizations, and he was a 33rd Degree Mason. He was a WWI veteran, and received a certificate of merit and selective service medal for outstanding work during WWII. Dr. Norris Curtis King died December 29, 1960 in Riverside, CA [source: California Death Index]. For more see Norris Curtis King on p.32 in Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition; "Dr. Norris Curtis King," Jet, 01/19/1961, p.17; "Dr. Norris Curtis King," J.A.M.A., 05/20/1961, p.143; and “Rose-Netta Hospital, L.A.,” Opportunity, 08/20/1942, p.429.
Subjects: Businesses, Jockeys, Horsemen, Horse Breeders, Trainers, & The Derby, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Migration South, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky / Cairo, Illinois / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / Newnan, Georgia / Los Angeles, California

Kisner, Robert G.
Birth Year : 1940
Death Year : 2004
Robert G. Kisner, an obstetrician-gynecologist, was born in Lexington, KY, son of Robert O. and Thelma Jackson Kisner. The family moved to Pittsburgh, PA, where R. G. Kisner attended grade school and graduated from Schenley High School in 1959. He went on to earn his BS at Morgan State University and his MD at Meharry Medical College in 1969. Kisner returned to Pittsburgh where he was a staff member of the Magee Women's Hospital for 31 years. After completing his internship, Kisner opened his practice in 1973 in the East Liberty section of the city; he was the second African American obstetrician in private practice in Pittsburgh. Kisner was one of the first African American doctors in many areas of medical practice in Pittsburgh, including serving as the medical director of the Family Planning Council of Western Pennsylvania. For more see "Dr. Robert Garland Kisner," 04/01/04, a Post-Gazette website; "Robert Garland Kisner - doctor who promoted family planning," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 04/01/2004, Obituary section, p. C-17; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1977-2004.


Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Women's Groups and Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Laine, Joseph Fields, Sr.
Birth Year : 1879
Death Year : 1967
Joseph Laine, from Winchester, KY, founded the Laine Medical Clinic. He practiced in both Lexington and Louisville. Laine was a graduate of Berea College and Meharry Medical College. He was the husband of Mattie R. Laine. According to Laine's WWI Draft Registration Card, he was born in 1879. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000 [electronic version available on UK campus].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Louisville National Medical College
Start Year : 1888
End Year : 1912
Dr. Henry Fitzbutler, who came to Kentucky from Michigan, led the push for a medical college to train African American doctors. He was assisted in the endeavor by Rufus Conrad, W. A. Burney, of New Albany, Indiana, and W. O. Vance from Louisville, KY. The college was initially located in the United Brothers of Friendship Hall at Ninth and and Magazine Streets in Louisville and was later moved to Green Street. The first graduate was a woman. The training hospital was added in 1896. In total, 150 doctors graduated from the college before it was forced to close due to financial difficulties. The medical college had merged with Simmons University (Louisville) in 1907, and after it closed in 1912, the training hospital became the Simmons Nursing Department. For more see the "Louisville National Medical College" entry by J. Hardin in the Encyclopedia of Louisville; see the Louisville National Medical College records at the University of Louisville Libraries; and 1888 Sessions Law, Chapter 1234, Acts Passed at the...Session of the General Assembly for the Commonwealth [available full-text at Google Book Search]. For more on the training hospital, see the Citizen's Auxiliary Hospital entry in NKAA.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Higher Education Before Desegregation, Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

McClain, Richard Pollard
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1965
Born in Nicholasville, KY, to Meredith and Ellen McClain, Richard P. McClain attended school in Cincinnati and received his medical degree from Howard University in 1913. In 1934 he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives and served 1935-1937, and was later elected to the Cincinnati City Council, serving from 1937 to 1939. McClain was director and secretary of the Model Drug Corp., manager of Mercy Hospital, and president of the Buckeye Medical Association chapter in Cincinnati. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Elks, and Alpha Phi Alpha. Richard P. McClain was the husband of Alice Martin. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; and The Negro in Ohio, 1914-1939, by W. W. Griffin (Thesis 1968).
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Legislators (Outside Kentucky), Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Militant Church Movement (Louisville, KY)
The Militant Church Movement or MCM was a post-WWII Civil Rights organization established by Rev. J. C. Olden, father of Sylvia Olden Lee. MCM began in Louisville as a small but vocal church-based organization, and became a coalition of African American churches in Kentucky. In 1951, the group led in the boycott of a baseball game that was to have taken place in Louisville between white major league players led by Gill Hodges, and an African American team lead by Roy Campanella. The protest was in response to the plans to segregate the audience. The game was cancelled. In 1953, MCM, led by Rev. Olden and Rev. M. M. D. Perdue, was successful in leading the Interracial Hospital Movement campaign that brought the beginning of the end to racial restrictions in all Kentucky hospitals. That same year, MCM launched a mass petition drive to urge the lawmakers of Kentucky to integrated the state's schools. The group also launched protests against GE for it hiring practices. What is know about the MCM exists because of those who remember the group's efforts; MCM did not have a formal membership list and they did not keep records. For more see "All-Star ball game dropped: Jim Crow protest effective," Honolulu Record, 11/01/1951, p.6; Subversive Southerner by C. Fosl and A. Y. Davis; and Civil Rights in the Gateway to the South by T. E. K'Meyer.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Baseball, Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Religion & Church Work, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Morris, Horace
Birth Year : 1835
Born a freeman in Louisville, KY, Morris assisted slaves in the underground railroad. He was the only African American cashier in the Freeman's Savings and Trust Bank of Louisville. Morris was the first African American steward at Louisville's Marine Hospital and an early newspaper publisher. He was editor of the Kentuckian; was one of the editors of the Colored Citizen (Louisville, KY) newspaper beginning in 1866; and was editor of the Bulletin newspaper that was established by J. Q. Adams in 1879. Morris was a daguerreotype artist in Cincinnati, OH, during the 1850s when he was employed at the gallery of James P. and Thomas C. Ball. He also lived in Xenia, OH, before returning to Kentucky. In 1890, he was co-editor of The Champion newspaper with G. W. Hatton [source: "We have noticed...," The Progress, 03/22/1890, p.2, top of 2nd column]. Horace Morris was the son of Shelton Morris. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, his birth date is given as about 1832, and his race is given as white. His exact death date is not known, but occurred between 1880, when he was last listed in the U.S. Census, and 1900, when his wife Wilhelmina was listed as a widow. For more see Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright; see the Horace Morris entry in The Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber; and Horace Morris in Artists in Ohio, 1787-1900 by M. S. Haverstock et. al.
Subjects: Artists, Fine Arts, Bankers, Banks, Finance, Financial Advisors, Civic Leaders, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Medical Field, Health Care, Underground Railroad: Conductors, Escapes, Organizations, Research, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cincinnati and Xenia, Ohio

Morrison, E. D.
A 1906 graduate of the Louisville National Medical College, Morrison specialized in gynecology and surgery and was the owner and founder of Morrison Sanitarium and Taft Drug Co. in Taft, Oklahoma. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Taft, Oklahoma

Nichols, Pleasant A.
Birth Year : 1863
Born near Leesburg, KY, Nichols was the son of William and Pliny Nichols. He taught for 14 years in Kentucky schools and was principal of Newport City Schools. In 1885 he became a preacher. Nichols contributed articles to many magazines and newspapers and owned and published The Negro Citizen, a weekly newspaper, in Paducah, KY. His editorials helped secure jobs for African Americans in the local hospital. He was married to Dovie Candaca Haddox, of Beattyville, KY, in 1887, and in 1916 became secretary at Wilberforce University. For more see Centennial Encyclopedia of the American Methodist Episcopal Church..., by Richard Allen and others (Philadelphia: 1816) [available online at the UNC Documenting the American South website].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Religion & Church Work, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Leesburg, Harrison County, Kentucky / Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Beattyville, Lee County, Kentucky

Olden, James Clarence "J.C."
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1967
James C. Olden was a Baptist minister and a civil rights leader in Louisville, KY. He was born in Murfreesboro, TN, the son of George Olden who had been a slave in Oldham County, KY, before running away to join the Union Army during the Civil War. Rev. J. C. Olden came to Kentucky around 1949 and developed the Militant Church Movement (MCM) in Louisville. MCM was a civil rights organization that led in many protest campaigns, including the Interracial Hospital Movement that initiated the desegregation of Kentucky hospitals in 1953. Rev. Olden also led in the 1953 effort to bring Everett Lee, Jr. [Sylvia Olden Lee's husband] to Louisville, where he become the first African American to direct a white orchestra, and the first orchestra director to perform before an integrated audience in Louisville. Rev. Olden had been a civil rights activist prior to coming to Kentucky; in 1948, while a visiting minister at Salem Methodist Church in Harlem, NY, he led a national campaign against segregation in transportation. J. C. Olden was a graduate of Fisk University, where he sung in a quartet with Roland Hayes, Lem Foster, and Charles Wesley. He was a second tenor in Hayes' Apollo Quartet in 1910. In 1913, Olden married Sylvia Alice Ward (b.1889 in New Orleans, LA), a pianist and vocalist; they had met while students at Fisk. Sylvia Ward had turned down a singing position with the Metropolitan Opera in 1913, because the job came with the stipulation that she not tell anyone that she was Colored. Many years later, the first African American with the New York Metropolitan Opera would be Sylvia Olden Lee (1917-2004), musician, vocalist, and vocalist coach; the daughter of Sylvia and Rev. J. C. Olden. Sylvia O. Lee grew up in Washington, D.C. where her father was pastor of the Plymouth Colored Congregational Church. The Oldens were also international travelers. In 1926, Rev. Olden and his wife returned to the U.S. from Southampton, England, aboard the ship Majestic, according to the New York Passenger Lists. For more see To Stand and Fight by M. Biondi; and "Schiller Institute Dialogue with Sylvia Olden Lee, Pianist and Vocal Coach" 02/07/1998, [reprinted from Fidelio Magazine, vol. 7, issue 1 (Spring 1998)].

See photo image of James C. Olden and his then son-in-law, Everett Lee, at the Courier-Journal.com "Black History Month | 1953 Everett Lee," 02/01/2010.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Religion & Church Work, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Murfreesboro, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Oldham County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Payne, Clarence H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1892
Death Year : 1965
Dr. Clarence H. Payne was one of two African Americans appointed to the Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium in 1937. He served on the medical staff for more than 20 years. He had practiced medicine in Chicago for about 15 years and specialized in chest diseases. Prior to his appointment at the sanitarium, Dr. Payne had served in the U.S. Army and was among the first African Americans to attend the Negro Officer's Training School in Des Moines, Iowa. He was commissioned a First Lieutenant and served with the 365th Infantry during WWI. When WWII began, Dr. Payne and Dr. Roscoe Conklin were summoned to the White House by President Franklin D. Roosevelt for a conference on integrating the U.S. Armed Forces. Dr. Payne was twice elected the Illinois Surgeon General of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, he was the first African American elected to that post. Dr. Clarence H. Payne was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Nora L. and Aaron H. Payne II. He attended school in Louisville, KY, and was a 1911 graduate of Fisk University and a 1921 graduate of Rush Medical College of the University of Chicago [now part of Rush University]. For more see "Clarence H. Payne" on page 7 of the Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book edited by E. R. Rather.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Perry, William H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1860
Death Year : 1946
William H. Perry, Sr. was born in Indiana. After the death of his father, he and his mother moved to Louisville, KY. He was a graduate of Louisville Central High School, becoming a teacher at the school following his graduation in 1877. He was also a graduate of the Illinois Medical College. In 1908 Perry became the first African American physician to receive his license by passing the Kentucky State Board of Medical Examiners. He was also one of the co-founders of the Louisville Red Cross Hospital. The Perry School in Louisville was named in his honor posthumously in 1952; Perry had been head principal of the school, 1891-1927. The school was later merged with the Roosevelt School, and the name was changed to the Roosevelt-Perry Elementary School. William H. Perry, Sr. was the husband of Ana Ridley, from Nashville, a concert pianist and vocalist. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and "Professor William H. Perry, Sr. passes," KNEA Journal, vol. 18, issue 1 (1946), pp. 12-13. Mark Shepard provided additional information from the Personal Papers of William H. Perry, part of the grass-roots collection at the Lost Creek Historical Society.

See photo image of William H. Perry, Sr. at Wabash Valley Visions & Voices website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Migration South, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Indiana / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Polk, John Knox
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1936
John K. Polk was a physician who ran his own hospital in Lexington, KY. Dr. Polk opened his medical practice at 148 Deweese Street, maintaining it on his own from 1921 to 1931, and was later joined by Dr. J. R. Dalton. The Polk-Dalton Pharmacy was also located within the same building as the hospital, which is still standing -- Kentucky Historical Marker #1928 notes the importance of the operations. Dr. Polk was the husband of Annie Chandler Polk. He was from Versailles, KY, where he attended the colored common school, and he went on to graduate from medical school at Howard University. Dr. Polk died in Lakeland, FL, where he had moved due to his health. Dr. Polk was the son of James and Carrie Polk, and according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, the family of eight lived on Lexington Street in Versailles, KY. [His father, James Polk, was a preacher.] For more see "Dr. John Polk Dies," Woodford Sun, 03/19/1936; "Markers celebrate Deweese Street history," Lexington Herald-Leader, section B, 09/13/04; "Clinic named for 2 black doctors," Lexington Herald-Leader, City/Region section, 03/05/2008, p.B2; and Who's Who in Colored America, 1927. Additional information and sources provided by Brenda Jackson.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Lakeland, Florida

Ponder, Flora B.
Birth Year : 1930
Born in Elkton, KY, Ponder was head nurse of Recovery and the Intensive Care area at Louisville (KY) General Hospital from 1957-1959 and head nurse at the Louisville and Jefferson County Health Department from 1959-1965. She was director of nurses at Park-Duvalle Community Health Center. Ponder also assisted in establishing health services in western Louisville. In 1955, Ponder was one of the first African American registered nursing students at Louisville General Hospital, and was the first to live in the student nurses home. She is the wife of Raymond Ponder. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton; and the NKAA Database entry for Louisville General Hospital School of Nursing, Integrated.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Elkton, Todd County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Porter, Benjamin F.
Birth Year : 1845
Death Year : 1911
Dr. B. F. Porter was 3rd Assistant Physician at the Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum in Louisville, KY, in 1896; he was the first African American doctor at the facility. Porter was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the husband of Elizabeth Porter (1843-1910, born in CT) and the father of Wiley Porter (b. 1877 in KY). Dr. Porter received his medical degree in 1878 and was an 1899 graduate of the College of Hypnotism. The family had lived in Columbia, SC, where Dr. Porter was a minister before coming to Kentucky, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census. The Porter's employed two African American servants who worked at their home. While Dr. Porter was employed at the asylum, he and his family lived in the housing provided by the institution. The Central Kentucky Lunatic Asylum had been established in 1874 as a state house for "feeble minded children." A third of the appropriations for the facility were to be used for the Colored inmates, who were to be kept in a separate ward from the white inmates. The facility had formerly been the State House of Reform for Juveniles. Dr. Porter's appointment to the institution by Kentucky Governor William O. Bradley caused a bit of alarm throughout the state when it was reported that Dr. Porter would be treating both Colored and white children. An article by the asylum superintendent, H. F. McNary, was published in The Medical News, reassuring all that Dr. Porter would only be treating the more than 200 Colored patients. With McNary's published letter, The Medical News editor gave the journal's approval to the hiring of Dr. Porter. In addition to his medical duties, Dr. Porter was also pastor of the African Methodist Church in Louisville, KY. By 1910, the Porter Family had left Kentucky for Carbondale, IL, where Dr. Porter practiced medicine, was minister of the Bethel A.M.E. Church, and was a member of the Knights and Daughters of Tabor. The family employed one African American servant. Dr. Porter was also a veteran; he was a barber when he enlisted in the Union Army on February 10, 1864, and served with the 5th Massachusetts Colored Calvary, according to his military service records. For more see "Colored Medical Doctors as Attendants in Insane Asylums," The Medical News, vol. 68, January-June 1896, p. 622 [available full-text at Google Book Search]; "Rev. B. F. Porter," The Daily Free Press, 12/22/1911, p. 5; and Marie Porter Wheeler Papers at the University of Illinois at Springfield. For more about the Asylum see Acts Passed at the ... Session of the General Assembly for the Commonwealth, Regular Session, December 1873, Chapter 287, pp. 29-30 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Barbers, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Migration South, Fraternal Organizations, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Williamstown, Massachusetts / Columbia, South Carolina / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Carbondale, Illinois

Potter, Mary E.
Birth Year : 1888
Potter was born in Bowling Green, KY. A physician, she was a faculty member of the Louisville National Medical College. Potter organized the Fraternal Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1922 and founded and organized the Women's Business, Civic and Political Club in 1925, which met in Louisville and published the Women's Business, Civic and Political Journal. She was the wife of Joseph U. Potter, an automobile mechanic who was born 1891 in KY. In 1920, the couple was renting a home on Walnut Street in Louisville, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Women's Groups and Organizations, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Randolph, James E.
Birth Year : 1888
Death Year : 1981
James E. Randolph was a doctor who came to Covington, KY, in 1922, the first African American on the staff of St. Elizabeth Hospital. He delivered most of the African American babies born in Covington between 1922 and 1958. Dr. Randolph received many awards for service to the community; the Eastside Neighborhood Park is named in his honor. Dr. Randolph was born in Frankford, Missouri, the oldest child of Frank and Lizzie Randolph [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. He was a graduate of Lincoln University at Jefferson City and Meharry Medical College in Tennessee. In 1997, Dr. Randolph was posthumously inducted into the Northern Kentucky Leadership Hall of Fame. For more see Dr. James E. Randolph in the Genealogy and Kentucky History: Covington Biographies section of the Kenton County Public Library website.


Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Parks, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Ransom, Riley Andrew
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1951
Dr. Riley Andrew Ransom was born in Columbus, KY. He was one of the first African American doctors in Fort Worth, Texas. Ransom was a cousin to Bishop Isaac Lane, founder of Lane College in Tennessee. Ransom initially attended Lane College but soon transferred to Southern Illinois State Normal University [now Southern Illinois University at Carbondale] where he earned his undergraduate degree. In 1908 he graduated from the Louisville National Medical College [the school closed in 1912] as valedictorian of his class. Ransom took his state board of medicine in Oklahoma City and later settled in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was the first African American surgeon in Tarrant County. He also helped establish the first hospital for African Americans, the Booker T. Washington Sanitarium. Dr. Ransom is buried in the New Trinity Cemetery in Fort Worth; in 1986 the cemetery was declared a historical site. Markers at the site pay honor to the 100-year-old cemetery and the contributions of Dr. Ransom. For more see B. R. Sanders, “Doctor left record of early struggles” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 09/19/2003, METRO section, p. 1B; and “Black History Month” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 02/15/1994, METRO section, p. 11.

See photo image of Dr. R. A. Ransom at The Portal to Texas History website.

See historical marker with additional information on Dr. Riley Andrew Ransom at waymarking.com.
 
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Columbus, Hickman County, Kentucky / Oklahoma City, Oklahoma / Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas

Red Cross Hospital and Nurse Training Department (Louisville, KY)
Start Year : 1899
End Year : 1975
Founded in 1899, the Red Cross Hospital and Nurse Training Department in Louisville, KY, was not affiliated with the American Red Cross. The founders were Dr. Ellis D. Whedbee (husband of Bertha Whedbee), Dr. W. T. Merchant, Dr. Solomon Stone, Dr. E. S. Porter, and Dr. William H. Perry. The operation was located in a rented two story house on 6th Street. A larger facility was purchased in 1905 at 1436 S. Shelby Street, housing the only nurse training program for African Americans in Kentucky. The training program was discontinued in 1937 due to a lack of funds and the program lost its accreditation. It was re-established in 1948, which was the same year that the hospital was authorized to operate as a small cancer clinic by the American Cancer Society. The hospital name changed to Community Hospital in 1972, then closed in 1975; the building was purchased by Volunteers of America in 1978. For more and a photo of the hospital see A History of Blacks in Kentucky, by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; Life Behind a Veil, by G. C. Wright; and the Red Cross entry in the Encyclopedia of Louisville, ed. by J. E. Kleber. The Red Cross Hospital records are available at the University of Louisville Libraries, Special Collections and Archives.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Richardson, Henry Reedie
Birth Year : 1922
Death Year : 2008
Henry R. Richardson was the first African American teacher at Campbellsville High School and Campbellsville University, both located in Campbellsville, KY, Richardson's home town. He was the son of Reedie R. and Fisher Richardson, and the husband of Beulah Rice Richardson. He was a science graduate of Kentucky State University and earned his Master of Science degree in animal husbandry from Michigan State University. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, Richardson enlisted December 18, 1942 in Louisville, KY, according to his Army Enlistment Record. He was a staff sergeant and platoon leader with the 364 Quartermaster Truck Company. He was a biology teacher in the Campbellsville School System for 32 years, 11 years at a segregated school. Richardson was also a community leader, he was one of the first board members of the Taylor Regional Hospital and was also on the Campbellsville Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. In recognition of his community service, Richardson was awarded the Campbellsville Citizen of the Year Award, the Campbellsville-Taylor County Chamber of Commerce Award, and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award. He was appointed to the Western Kentucky University Board of Regents by Governor John Y. Brown. For more see the Henry Reedie Richardson entry in the "Obituaries & Memorials," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/27/2008, p.B4.

  See photo image of Henry R. Richardson on p.62 in the book Campbellsville by J. Y. DeSpain et. al.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Education and Educators, Housing Authority, The Projects, Military & Veterans, Appointments by Kentucky Governors, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky

Saffell, Daisy M. and George William Saffell
In 1912, Daisy Saffell (1875-1918), an "expert" embalmer in Shelbyville, KY, spoke on behalf of the National Negro Funeral Directors' Association during the 13th Annual Convention of the National Negro Business League in Chicago. Saffell estimated that there were 1,100 Colored undertakers and embalmers in the United States. [*Saffell is listed as a mulatto from Shelbyville, TN, in The Mulatto in the United States by E. B. Reuter, p.303* available full view at Google Book Search]. Saffell's death certificate lists Kentucky as both her birth and death location. She was born in Louisville, KY, where she attended school. She attended Roger Williams University and was later a graduate of Fisk University. Daisy Saffell taught for 15 years in Frankfort, KY, then left to become principal of the Lawrenceburg Colored School. She left teaching and enrolled in Clark's College of Embalming in Cincinnati, OH. With the completion of the program, Saffell became the second African American woman who was a licensed embalmer in Kentucky [Minnie Watson was first]. Daisy Saffell, who was an accomplished pianist, was editor of the Kentucky Club Woman, secretary of the District Household of Ruth of Kentucky, secretary of the Colored Funeral Director's Association of Kentucky, and treasurer of the National Association of Colored Funeral Directors. Named in her honor, the Daisy M. Saffell Colored Hospital was located in Martinsville, a community in Shelbyville, KY. Daisy Saffell was the daughter of Lizzie Travis, and in 1897 became the wife of undertaker George William Saffell (1876-1953). Daisy's funeral arrangements were handled by Thomas K. Robb, and Robb's funeral arrangements were handled by George W. Saffell. George was born in Kentucky, the son of Addie Weisger Saffell and George Saffell, according to his death certificate. In 1900, he had been a barber teacher and Daisy was a school teacher, they lived in Frankfort, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. By 1910, the couple had moved to Shelbyville, KY, where George was an undertaker and Daisy was a school teacher until she too became an undertaker. George Saffell was owner of the Calvary Cemetery, and he also had an ambulance service; the hearse was used as an ambulance. After Daisy's death, George Saffell married Mildred Stone in 1939. She would become a partner in the business after completing the Melton Mortuary School in Louisville, KY. George Saffell died in 1953. and Mildred continued managing the businesses. For more see "National Negro Funeral Directors' Association," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 13th Annual Convention, Chicago, Illinois, August 21-23, 1912, reel 2, frames 575-576; "Mrs. Daisy Saffell" on p.291 in Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky; "Race progress in Kentucky: broad achievements of Mrs. Daisy M. Saffell," Baltimore Afro-American, 05/22/1913, p.2; and "Saffell Funeral Home" by G. Graham on pp.170-171 in The New History of Shelby County Kentucky.

See photo image of Daisy Saffel[l] at the bottom of the left hand column on p.42 in the Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky, at the NYPL Digital Gallery.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Education and Educators, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Women's Groups and Organizations, Negro Business League, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Shelbyville, Shelby County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, Kentucky

Sales, Mary E. A.
Birth Year : 1892
Born in Lexington, KY, Sales was head nurse of the Indianapolis Sisters of Charity Hospital from 1918-1920, then did private nursing before becoming a school nurse in Indianapolis, beginning in 1924. Sales was also a teacher of home nursing with the American Red Cross and attended the international Congress of Nurses in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1949. She was president of the local Colored Graduate Nurses Club and chair of the health committee at the Phillis Wheatly Y.W.C.A., and held a number of other posts within nursing and health organizations. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Women's Groups and Organizations, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana / Stockholm, Sweden

Saulsberry, Guy Otha
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1978
Saulsberry, born in Muhlenberg County, KY, was the youngest son of David Houston and Frances Gish Saulsberry. He was a graduate of Attucks High School in Hopkinsville, KY, and went own to graduate from Kentucky Normal School [now Kentucky State University] and was accepted to Howard University Medical School, where he graduated in 1927. Dr. Saulsberry opened his practice in Detroit, Michigan. When he was not admitted to the staff of Woman's Hospital, he founded the Kirkwood General Hospital (1943-1974), located at 301 East Kirby. The facility was later moved to W. Davison and Petosky; the city wanted the original hospital site for the building of the Detroit Center of Creative Studies. Kirkwood was the last Black hospital to close in Detroit. Guy O. Saulsberry was named "Physician of the Year" in 1968, and "General Practitioner of the Year" in 1973. For more see Guy O. Saulsberry, archival file at the University of Michigan; and p. 99 of Searching for the roots, grafting the branches: the Saulsbury [sic] family of Kentucky, a black history of roots lost in slavery, by C. S. Johnson.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Muhlenberg County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Spears, Jewell A. King
Birth Year : 1933
Spears was the first African American director of nursing at the Reid Hospital in Richmond, IN. She was promoted to the position in 1977, later becoming vice president of the hospital before retiring in 1995. In 1974, she was chosen by Indiana Governor Otis Bowen as the only registered nurse on the Emergency Medical Services Commission; Spears became president of the commission in 1977. She was also president of the Wayne County Welfare Board. Jewell Spears was born in Hazard, KY, the daughter of Janie and Saul King (1902-1968). The family moved to Richmond, IN, in the 1940s. Jewell Spears is a graduate of Earlham College. She was married to Glen A. Spears (1928-2007). For more see "Earlham grad becomes Reid's director of nursing," Palladium-Item, 02/27/2008, Region section, p. 3A; the Jewell A. Spears entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project, by D. C. Hine, et al.; and "Glen A. Spears," Palladium-Item, 10/14/2007, Obituary section, p. 3C.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky / Richmond, Indiana

Walls, John H.
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1983
Dr. Johh H. Walls, born in Tennessee, established well-baby clinics in Louisville African American neighborhoods. Walls was on the governing board of the Louisville Red Cross Hospital. He was the husband of Murray B. Atkins Walls; they were both involved in the civil rights efforts in Louisville. The Walls Family Papers are available at the University of Louisville Libraries.

Access InterviewThe Dr. John and Murray B. Atkins Walls oral history recordings and transcript are available online at the University of Louisville Libraries Digital Archives.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wendell, Thomas T.
Birth Year : 1877
Death Year : 1953
Dr. Thomas T. Wendell was born in Nashville, TN, the son of Alfred and Clare Wendell. He was a physician in Lexington, KY, for half a century, and was a full time doctor for Negro patients at Eastern State Hospital until his retirement in the spring of 1952. When Eastern State completed the new hospital building for Negro patients in 1953, it was named the Wendell Building in honor of Dr. Thomas Wendell. The facility was to be a fully functioning hospital with the capacity to house 350 patients and housing for 30 live-in employees. In addition to being a doctor, Wendell was also a pharmacist, he had received both degrees from Meharry Medical College. He also led the effort to build the old Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School in 1922. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000; "Negro building at Eastern to be named for Dr. Wendell," Lexington Leader, 03/05/1953, p.24; and the Thomas T. Wendell Collection at the Kentucky Historical Society Library.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Nashville, Tennessee / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Whittaker, Richard Salinthus
Birth Year : 1881
Death Year : 1977
Kentucky native Dr. Richard S. Whittaker, a physician and surgeon, was founder of the Dunbar Hospital in Los Angeles, CA, in 1924. The facility was managed by Dr. Richard S. Whittaker, his brother Dr. J. T. [James Thomas] Whittaker (1876-1934), and Dr. Charles S. Diggs (1875 -1938) who was born in Mississippi. The hospital served the African American community in Los Angeles for 14 years; it was closed after the death of Dr. Diggs in 1938. Dr. Richard S. Whittaker then returned to his private practice and he was on the staff of Angeles Hospital and the Rose-Netta Hospital that was founded by Kentucky native Dr. N. Curtis King. Dr. Whittaker was born in Carrollton, KY, the son of Scott and Cecelia Whittaker. He was the husband of Esther King Whittaker and the father of James Salinthus Whittaker (1912 -1938) who was a mortician. Dr. Whittaker's education began in a colored school in Carroll County, KY, and he was a 1904 graduate of a college in Louisville (probably Simmons University) where he earned an A.D. degree, and he earned his M.D. at the Louisville National Medical College. He completed three months of post-graduate studies at Howard University. His first practice was in Kansas where several members of the Whittaker family had moved. His brother Dr. J. T. Whittaker is listed in the 1905 Kansas State Census for the town of Coffeyville. His parents, Scott and Cecelia Whittaker, and sister Mary, are listed in the 1915 Kansas State Census for Coffeyville. All of the family members were born in Kentucky, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census when the family of seven was living in Owen County, KY, [Richard Whittaker's first name is given as "Robert"]. Dr. Richard S. Whittaker and his wife Esther were living in Coffeyville in 1910, according to the U.S. Federal Census [Dr. Whittaker's first name is again listed as "Robert]. The couple is also listed in the 1915 Kansas State Census along with their 3 year old son (b.1912). Both Esther and the child were born in Kansas. In 1922, Dr. Whittaker moved his practice and family to Pasadena, CA, then on to Los Angeles, CA, in 1923. Dr. Richard S. Whittaker was a member of several organizations including Sigma Pi Phi, Knights of Pythias, National Medical Association, and the NAACP. He died in Los Angeles on February 15, 1977. For more information see Dr. Richard Salinthus Whittaker on p.31 of Negro Who's Who in California, 1948 edition.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Fraternal Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky / Coffeyville, Kansas / Pasadena and Los Angeles, California

Wilkerson, Artishia Garcia Gilbert
Birth Year : 1868
Death Year : 1904
Artishia Garcia Gilbert was the first African American woman to pass the medical boards and become a doctor in Kentucky. She was an 1889 graduate of State University [later Simmons College, KY] and also taught at the school. She was an 1893 graduate of the Louisville National Medical College and an 1897 graduate of Howard University Medical School. She returned to Kentucky and taught obstetrics at the Louisville National Medical College and was superintendent of the Red Cross Sanitarium in Louisville. She was a member of the Green Street Baptist Church and of the board of directors of the Colored Orphan Home in Louisville. She was also an active member of the Baptist Women's Educational Convention. She was president of the Baptist Women's Missionary Convention when she died. Artishia Wilkerson was also a club woman who belonged to several organizations including the Woman's Industrial Club, Woman's Improvement Club, and Sons and Daughters of the Morning. She was born in Manchester, KY, the daughter of William and Amanda Gilbert. She was the wife of attorney B. O. Wilkerson, whom she married in 1896; the couple had three children: B. O. Jr., Artishia Garcia, and a baby boy. An incorrect death date for Artishia Wilkerson is given as December 31, 1929 in the Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929, edited by A. W. Hafner, et al. Wilkerson died in 1904. For more see Black Women in America, 2nd ed., vol. 2; Women Doctors in Gilded-Age Washington: race, gender, and professionalization, by G. Moldow; the Artishia Garcia Gilbert entry in A Historical, Biographical and Statistical Souvenir by Howard University Medical Department [available full view at Google Book Search]; and "In Memoriam: Mrs. Artishia Gilbert Wilkerson, A.B., A.M., M.D.," American Baptist, 04/08/1904, p. 3.


Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Women's Groups and Organizations, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Manchester, Clay County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wilkes, Gracie Rice
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 1998
Gracie Rice was born in Kentucky and grew up in Lexington. In 1930, she was one of the three African American women admitted to the City Hospital nurses' training program in Cleveland, OH, according to "MetroHealth celebrates Black History month by remembering its history," Call & Post, 02/20/2008, p. 2. The article goes on to say that Gracie Rice learned about the program through the black newspaper, Dayton Forum. The three nursing students graduated in 1933 and were hired by City Hospital: Gracie Rice, Dorothea Davis, and Edna Wooley. According to Gracie Rice Wilkes's entry in the Ohio Death Index, she had more than five years of college and was a registered nurse. Prior to the late 1920s, African Americans in Cleveland had not been admitted to hospital internship programs or nurses training programs. The integration of the nursing program at City Hospital came as a result of the political power gained by Blacks at the end of the 1920s; during their election, three city council members had promised that, if elected, they would fight to end the discrimination at City Hospital. The editor of the Cleveland Gazette claimed the fight was led by the newspaper, and the move was opposed by the "Blossom Triplets": city councilmen Clayborne George, Roy Bundy, and Larry Payne. For more see Cleveland: a metropolitan reader, by W. D. Keating, N. Krumholz and D. C. Perry; "Read! Read!! The rounder on what's doing," Cleveland Gazette, 10/15/1938, p. 2; A Ghetto Takes Shape: Black Cleveland, 1870-1930, by K. L. Kusmer; and Making a Place for Ourselves: the Black Hospital Movement, 1920-1945, by V. N. Gamble.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Nurses, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Cleveland, Ohio

Williams, Earl
Birth Year : 1885
Williams was born in Cynthiana, KY. A physician and surgeon, he was also the president of the Board of Education in Lovejoy, Illinois. He was the force behind two new schools being built and an increase from four to 17 in the number of teachers in the school system. Williams was employed on the staff of St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Granite City, Illinois. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Board of Education, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky / Lovejoy and Granite City, Illinois

Willis, Floyd W.
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1951
Born in Crestwood, KY, Willis became a physician who did x-ray and radium work in Mercy Hospital, Cook County, IL. He was a visiting lecturer in x-ray at Meharry Medical College Clinics, 1920-1921, and a roentgenologist at Fort Dearborn Hospital. Floyd Willis was the son of Lavenia and Lee A. Willis, and according to the U.S. Federal Census, the family was living in Chicago in 1910, and Floyd was an artist and landscaper. In 1920, he was a doctor and the husband of Kentucky native Mable Gordon Willis. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; and Blacks in Science and Medicine by V. O. Sammons. A picture of Dr. Willis is available online at NYPL Digital Gallery.

Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Hospitals and Clinics: Employment, Founders, Ownership, Incidents
Geographic Region: Crestwood, Oldham County, Kentucky / Chicago, Cook County, Illilnois / Nashville, Tennessee

 

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