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<Medical Field, Health Care>

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African American Physicians in Kentucky
Start Year : 1800
End Year : 1920
The names of more than 100 African American physicians in and from Kentucky are listed in the 2011 edition of the Biographical Dictionary of American Physicians of African Ancestry, 1800-1920, by G. R. Beckford. Regarding Kentucky, the physicians were either born here, attended the Louisville National Medical College or practiced medicine in one of the 32 Kentucky cities listed in the geographical index. Listed within the dictionary are persons such as Dr. Charles William Bibb (1884-1959), from Allensville, KY, who graduated from Meharry Medical School [now Meharry Medical College] and was a gynecologist and staff surgeon at Chicago Hospital. Bibb had a medical practice in Allensville before he moved to Chicago, where he had a medical practice for almost 45 years [source: "Dr. Charles W. Bibb," Jet, 10/29/1959, p. 16]. Also included in the dictionary is Dr. Simon James Watkins (1861-1948), from Courtland, AL, an 1891 Meharry Medical School graduate who was the first African American physician in Covington, KY,; he practiced medicine in Covington from 1891-1946 and was a dentist, physician, and surgeon [source: T. H. H. Harris, " Watkins, Simon J." on p. 940 in the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, by Tenkotte and Claypool]. One other physician listed in the dictionary is Dr. Mary Irene Browne, born in 1886 in Washington, D.C., a 1910 graduate of Meharry Medical School who practiced medicine in Williamsburg and Kensee, KY. While in Kentucky, Dr. Browne lived in Depot with her sister, Jane Alice Browne Bond, who was a school teacher and the wife of James M. Bond [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Courtland, Alabama / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C. / Williamsburg, Kensee, and Depot, Whitley County, Kentucky

Alexander, Joseph L.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2002
Joseph L. Alexander was a senior at Fisk University in 1951 when it was announced that he would become the first African American admitted to the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Alexander was born in Oneonta, AL, and grew up in Anchorage, Kentucky. He received a four-year scholastic scholarship to attend Fisk. The University of Louisville trustees had decided during the summer of 1950 to admit Negroes to the school's graduate and professional schools. Alexander would go on to accomplish many firsts during his career. He was a military surgeon and performed the Army's first kidney transplant. He was the first Chief of Surgery at the Martin Luther King Jr. General Community Hospital, and during the same period he was a professor at the Charles R. Drew Post Graduate Medical School; both institutions are in Los Angeles, CA. Alexander wrote many medical articles, including "The King-Drew Trauma Center," published in the Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 68, no. 5 (1976), pp. 384-386. He became the first African American member of the California Club in Los Angeles in 1988 after the city passed an ordinance that banned membership discrimination by private organizations. Joseph L. Alexander was the son of Hattie Hughes. The Joseph L. Alexander Fund was established at the University of Louisville. For more see "A Fisk University senior, Joseph L. Alexander...," on page 257, and "Joseph L. Alexander" on page 284 -- both articles are in The Crisis, vol. 58, no. 4 (April 1951), and the same article can be found on pp. 204-205 of the Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 43, no. 3 (May 1951); under the heading "Died:" "Joseph L. Alexander...," Jet, May 27, 2002, p. 54; "Watts finally gets a hospital," Ebony, December 1974, pp. 124-128, 130, 132, and 134; "Joseph L. Alexander, M.D." in A Century of Black Surgeons: pt. 1 institutional and organizational contributions, by C. H. Organ and M. M. Kosiba; and "Alexander, 72, pioneer as scholar, physician," The Los Angeles Times, 05/14/2002, News section, p. B9.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Oneonta, Alabama / Anchorage, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Nashville, Tennessee / Los Angeles, California

Alleyne, Delores Gordon
Birth Year : 1932
Delores Gordon Alleyne was the first African American woman admitted to the University of Louisville Medical School; she graduated in 1957. Dr. Alleyne was born in Pulaski, TN, and her family later moved to Louisville. She attended Louisville Municipal College for Negroes; when the school was closed, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Louisville. Dr. Alleyne has taught at several medical schools; she retired in 1999 as a pediatrician with the Los Angeles County Health Department. For more see "Celebration of Change," Medicine Magazine (Fall/Winter 2004), by the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West
Geographic Region: Pulaski, Tennessee / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Los Angeles, California

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

Ballard, William H., Sr.
Birth Year : 1862
Death Year : 1954
William Henry Ballard, born in Franklin County, KY, was one of the first African Americans to open a drug store in the state: Ballard's Pharmacy was established in Lexington, KY, in 1893. Ballard was also a historian; he is the author of History of Prince Hall Freemasonry in Kentucky, published in 1950. He came to Lexington when he was 17 years old, having previously lived in Louisville where he graduated from a public school. He was also a graduate of Roger Williams University [in TN]. Ballard was a school teacher in Tennessee and in Kentucky. He earned his B.S. in Pharm., D. in 1892 in Evanston, IL. In addition to owning his own drug store, Ballard was also director of Domestic Realty Company, and president of Greenwood Cemetery Company, both in Lexington. He served as president of the Emancipation and Civic League, and was a delegate to the National Republican Convention in 1898. He was the son of Matilda Bartlett Ballard and Dowan Ballard, Sr. He was married to Bessie H. Brady Ballard, and the couple had six children. Their oldest son, William H. Ballard, Jr. was a pharmacist in Chicago, and two of their sons were physicians. William H. Ballard is buried in the Cove Haven Cemetery in Lexington, KY [photo]. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; W. H. Ballard, "Drugs and druggists," Records of the National Negro Business League, Part 1 Annual Conference Proceedings and Organizational Records, 1900-1919, 10th Annual Convention, Louisville, KY, August 18-20, 1909, reel 2, frames 186-189; and Dr. William Henry Ballard, Sr. in The Encyclopaedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church compiled by Bishop R. R. Wright.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Education and Educators, Historians, Medical Field, Health Care, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Fraternal Organizations, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Negro Business League, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Franklin County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Bardstown Slaves: Amputation and Louisiana Sugar Plantations
Start Year : 1806
Dr. Walter Brashear, from Kentucky by way of Maryland, was owner of four sugar plantations in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Brashear was a Kentucky slave owner who had grown up in Bullitt County, KY, practiced medicine in Nelson County, KY, and served one term in the Kentucky Legislature in 1808. He performed the world's first successful amputation at the hip joint in 1806. The procedure was done on a 17 year old mulatto slave of the St. Joseph monks in Bardstown, KY; the boy had a badly fractured leg. In spite of the medical notoriety Brashear received, he found that practicing medicine did not generate the profit he wanted. By 1822, Brashear had left medicine and moved his wife, Margaret Barr, their family, and most of their slaves to Louisiana, where Brashear developed sugar plantations. Eli, a brickmaker and distiller, was one of the 25 or so slaves who had arrived in advance of the Brashear family. Three of the slaves were sold shortly after they arrived in Louisiana; Brashear was short of money. The youngest and most skilled of his slaves in Nelson County had been taken to Louisiana, and added to the group were slaves he bought or bartered from family members and his Nelson County neighbors. The first group of slaves were transported by steamboat, and the remainder arrived by flatboat. Brashear would eventually become a wealthy man, but not before the death of his wife, most of his children, and some of the slaves, who died of fevers and cholera. For more see Sweet Chariot, by A. P. Malone; Brashear and Florence Family Papers at the Library of UNC at Chapel Hill; and a discussion of the hip joint surgery on page 646 of The Medical News, vol. LXIII (July-December 1893) [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South
Geographic Region: Bullitt County, Kentucky / Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky / St. Mary Parish, Louisiana

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

Beam, Augustus G.
Birth Year : 1891
Death Year : 1935
Beam was a physician and surgeon. He was born in Nelson County, KY, the son of Hines, Sr. (b. 1844) and Mariah E. Porter Beam (b. 1845), both Kentucky natives. Dr. Beam's practice was located in Henderson, KY, in 1915, and in 1919 moved to Covington, KY, where Beam died in 1935. He had practiced with his brother, U.S. Beam, in Lima, Ohio in 1906; their business was named Beam & Beam. He practiced in Springfield, KY, from 1907-1914. Beam was a graduate of Curry's College, Louisville Normal School, and both he and his brother received their M.D.s from Louisville National Medical College, Augustus graduating in 1906. Beam was the husband of Ida Grace Reed Beam (b. 1882 in Ohio). The family lived on East 11th Street in Covington. For more see the Augustus Godfrey Beam entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race, by F. L. Mather [full-text at Google Book Search]; and Cincinnati's Colored Citizens by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Nelson County, Kentucky / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Lima, Ohio / Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky

Beam, Ulysses S. and John W. Beam
Dr. U. S. Beam (1868-1942) was the first African American physician to practice in Lima, OH. Born in Kentucky, he was an older brother of Dr. Augustus G. Beam. Both were graduates of the Louisville National Medical College and maintained a medical practice together in Lima, OH, for a brief period in 1906. Dr. U. S. Beam had previously practiced in Muncie, IN, moving to Lima in 1892. He was a wealthy doctor in Lima, where he spent the remainder of his life except for a brief period when he was forced to returned to Kentucky in 1909. Dr. Beam left Lima after his brother, John W. Beam (born in KY -d.1909), a lawyer and real estate agent, was arrested for the murder of widow Estella Maude Diltz, who was white. There were rumors of a lynching party being formed, and Dr. Beam, whose wife was white, feared there would be retaliation towards him. Also, the U.S. Marshall had a subpoena for Dr. Beam pertaining to another matter. Dr. Beam closed his medical practice and fled to Kentucky with his father, Hines Beam, who had come to Lima to secure an attorney for his son, John. In November 1909, John W. Beam was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in the Ohio Penitentiary; it was reported that he committed suicide while in prison, December 1909. Dr. Ulysses Beam returned to his practice in Lima, where he is listed in the U.S. Federal Census for 1910, 1920, and 1930. He died at his home in 1942 and was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima, OH. For more see "Dr. Beam Gone," Lima Times Democrat (05/26/1909), p. 8; and "Dr. Beam dies in home after long illness," The Lima News (10/12/1942), p. 4. For more on John W. Beam's case, see "Suicide faked by slayer to avoid possible lynching," Chicago Tribune (05/25/1909), p. 2; "Declare Beam sane in every single particular," The Lima Daily News (10/25/1909), p. 1; "Beam sentenced by Judge Bailey," The Lima Daily news (11/05/1909), p. 5; and "Thomas Dillion helped Beam pave way to eternity," The Lima Daily News (12/14/1909), p. 1.
Subjects: Lawyers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments, Court Cases, Suicide
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Muncie, Indiana / Lima, Ohio

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, Joyce Hamilton
Birth Year : 1938
Dr. Joyce Hamilton Berry, a psychologist, was the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky. She was born in Lexington, KY, the daughter of Lucille and Sam Hamilton. Her father owned his own business, Sterling Barber Shop, at 181 Deweese Street. Her father was also one of the investors of the African American Hustlers baseball team in Lexington, KY. Dr. Joyce Berry attended (old) Dunbar elementary and high schools. She started school when she was five years old and finished high school in three years, graduating at the age of 15. She started college when she was 16 years old at Hampton Institute [now Hampton University], where she majored in English and minored in physical education. For her master's degree, Dr. Berry attended the University of Kentucky, starting in 1962 and completing her master's degree in 1964. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology in 1970. She now has a private practice in Washington, D.C. For more information about Dr. Joyce Hamilton Berry, request the oral history recording [info] at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. Dr. Berry is listed in the title Fifty years of the University of Kentucky African-American Legacy, 1949-1999, by the University of Kentucky. There are a number of articles in Ebony that include advice and commentary from Dr. Berry.

Access Interview Joyce Hamilton Berry, read the transcript and listen to the oral history recording at the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project.


Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.

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

Berryman, John Leroy
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1940
Dr. J. L. Berryman was a dentist in Lexington, KY, and was prominent in the African American community. He and Dr. W. T. Dinwiddie were two of the earliest African American dentists in Lexington. Dr. Berryman was born in Jessamine County, KY, attended school in Lexington, and was a graduate of Meharry Medical and Dental School [now Meharry Medical College, School of Dentistry]. He was a member of the Bluegrass Medical Association. Dr. Berryman opened his dental office in Lexington in 1906 and continued his practice until his death in 1940. He was the husband of Edith Berryman, and the father of Grace, Elanor, and Carolyn Berryman, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Dr. Berryman was a Sunday School teacher at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, a member of the Progressive Club and the IBPOE of W, and treasurer of Lexington Lodge #27. For more see "Dr. Berryman passes; veteran Negro dentist," Lexington Leader, 04/04/1940, p. 20.

**[IBPOE of W = Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the World]

**[Progressive Club = social organization that assisted in addressing community problems and needs.]
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Fraternal Organizations, Sunday School, Dentists
Geographic Region: Jessamine County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Biggerstaff, Thomas B.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1969
Biggerstaff was born in Richmond, KY, the son of Ellen and James Biggerstaff. He began his successful dental career in 1943, practicing in the Kentucky communities of Pikeville, Richmond, Frankfort, Danville, and Lexington. His office was located in Lexington in 1950. For more see Supplement to Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Dentists
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Pikeville, Pike County, Kentucky / Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Bond, Leslie Fee, Sr.
Birth Year : 1928
Leslie Fee Bond, Sr., born in Louisville, KY, moved with his family to Galesburg, IL, when he was 10-years-old. Like his father, Leslie F. Bond, Sr. is a family practitioner and also a surgeon. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana and Meharry Medical College. After finishing medical school, Bond opened his practice in St. Louis, MO, where he is also an outspoken community leader. He served on the Physicians-Pharmacists Advisory Committee to Medicaid for 20 years. He was selected by Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan to serve on the St. Louis Police Board. In 2007, Bond received the Salute to Excellence in Health Care Award from the St. Louis American Foundation. His son, Leslie F. Bond, Jr., was the first African American chairman of the St. Louis Election Board in 1993. For more see Lift Every Voice and Sing: St. Louis African Americans in the Twentieth Century, by D. Wesley, W. Price, and A. Morris; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996/97; and M. Schlinkmann, "First Black will head election board," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 02/23/1993, News section, p. 4A.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Fathers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Galesburg, Illinois / Saint Louis, Missouri

Britton, Mary E.
Birth Year : 1855
Death Year : 1925
Mary E. Britton was born in Lexington, KY. She was an activist and a journalist who wrote many articles against segregation laws. Britton was also a schoolteacher. She would later become the first African American woman physician in Lexington and a founder of the Colored Orphan Industrial Home. Britton was a graduate of Berea College. She is buried in the Cove Haven Cemetery in Lexington. She was a sister of Julia B. Hooks. For more see Mary Britton at womeninky.com; and E. Applegate, "The Noble Sole of Mary E. Britton," in Berea College Magazine [online]. 

See photo image of Dr. Mary E. Britton at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Medical Field, Health Care, Orphans and Orphanages in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Brooks, Edward Benjamin
Birth Year : 1886
Death Year : 1953
Edward Brooks was born in Paducah, KY. He was a physician who practiced in Shawnee, Oklahoma, for 15 years, then moved to Oklahoma City. Brooks was the first African American physician in Oklahoma City to hold a commission from the U.S. Employees Compensation Commission. He and his wife, Ruth (b.1895 in Arkansas) were living in Shawnee in 1920, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Who's Who in Colored America,1928-1929.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Shawnee and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Brooks, Garland H.
Birth Year : 1912
Death Year : 1984
Garland H. Brooks was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Carrie and Henry Brooks. He became a pharmacist after attending Attucks High School in Hopkinsville and receiving his Ph.D. from Howard University School of Pharmacy in 1934. He returned to Hopkinsville, where he became proprietor of Brooks Pharmacy. He was a brother of Phillip C. Brooks. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian 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, Jesse E. "Doc"
Birth Year : 1856
Jesse E. Brown, a doctor in Louisville, KY, was the city's first African American businessman and insurance agent. For more see Kentucky's Black Heritage, by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson 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

Brown, William W.
Birth Year : 1814
Death Year : 1884
William Wells Brown was born in Lexington, KY. His mother, Elizabeth, was a slave; his father, George Higgins, was white. Since his mother was a slave, Brown too was a slave. He eventually escaped and made his way north, where he participated in abolitionist activities. He wrote a play, poems, songs, and books, including Clotel, the first novel published by an African American. Brown was also a historian and practiced medicine. For more see From Slave to Abolitionist by W. W. Brown and L. S. Warner; and Narrative of William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave. Written by Himself [full-text at UNC University Library Documenting the American South].

See image of William Wells Brown from frontispiece of the title Narrative of William W. Brown, a fugitive slave, at Documenting the American South website.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Freedom, Historians, Medical Field, Health Care
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

Buckner, George Washington
Birth Year : 1855
Death Year : 1943
George W. Buckner was born a slave in Green County, KY; after being freed, he went on to become a physician. Buckner taught school in Kentucky and Indiana for 17 years before moving to Monrovia, Liberia, where he was the U.S. Minister to Liberia from 1913 to 1915. He was the first African American diplomat appointed to a foreign country. For more see The Political GraveyardWho's Who of the Colored Race, 1915; and Who Was Who in America: A component volume of Who's Who in American History, vol. 4, 1961-1968. See also The Diplomat and the Librarian in Little Known Black Librarian Facts (blog).

See photo image of G. W. Buckner at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Liberia, Liberian Presidents & Diplomats, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada
Geographic Region: Green County, Kentucky / Monrovia, Liberia, Africa

Burdett, Samuel "Sam" and Carol
Samuel (b. 1849) and his wife Carol (b. 1848) were both Kentucky natives, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. They married in 1872, then left Kentucky and settled in Seattle, WA. Samuel, a Civil War veteran, made his living as a veterinarian surgeon. In 1900, he was elected the King County wreckmaster. He co-founded the Cornerstone Grand Lodge of the York Masons, and helped organize the International Council of the World, an anti-lynching organization. He was author of A Test of Lynch Law, a 100-page book published in 1901 that fictionalized the lynching of Henry Smith in Paris, Texas. Sam Burdett died June 28, 1905 in Kilckitat, WA [source: Register of Deaths in Klickitat County, Washington]. For more see Samuel Burnett at the BlackPast.org website; Seattle's Black Victorians, 1852-1901, by E. H. Mumford; and A Spectacular Secret, by J. D. Goldsby.
Subjects: Authors, Lynchings, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Seattle, Washington

Burton, Thomas W.
Birth Year : 1860
Death Year : 1930
Born near Tates Creek (Madison County), KY, to slave parents, Burton was the youngest of 15 children. He attended Berea College and later received his medical degree in Indiana in 1892. He and Dr. H. R. Hawkins established the Ohio Mutual Medical Association. For more see Ohio Authors and Their Books. Biographical data and selective bibliographies for Ohio authors, native and resident, 1796-1950, ed. by W. Coyle; and What Experience has taught me: an autobiography of Thomas William Burton, by T. W. Burton [available online at the UNC Library, Documenting the American South website].
Subjects: Authors, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Tates Creek, Madison County, Kentucky / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky / Indiana

Cabell Brothers (Pharmacists)
Atwood Cabell, born 1897 in Tennessee, was the first African American pharmacist in Henderson, KY. His brothers Roger W. (1893-1972) and Delmo also became pharmacists. Delmo Boutell Cabell (1895-1977), born in Madisonville, KY, was the first African American pharmacist in Providence, KY, beginning around 1917. Roger died in Henderson, KY, and Delmo died in Detroit, MI. The Cabell Brothers are related to George and Aaron Cabell. For more on Delmo Cabell, see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37. For more on the Cabell Family, visit the Henderson County Public Library Genealogy and Family Files.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Providence, Webster County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Carson, Letitia
Birth Year : 1814
Death Year : 1888
Letitia Carson was a free African American woman who was born in Kentucky. She was one of the early African Americans to be listed in the U.S. Federal Census as living in Oregon. Letitia's husband was an Irishman named David Carson (1800-1854). The pioneering couple and their two children lived in Benton, Oregon Territory, according to the 1850 U.S. Federal Census. The couple had come to Oregon in 1844, and their daughter Martha was born around 1845, their son Adam around 1853. When David Carson died, Letitia and her children were left out of his estate settlement, and Letitia filed suit against the estate for her children's benefit. She won the lawsuit and settled on land she had purchased near South Myrtle Creek, today known as Letitia Creek. She is buried on the property. Letitia Carson was a well known mid-wife in the county. The Letitia Carson Pioneer Apple Tree was named in her honor; it is thought that Letitia planted the tree, and researchers named the tree while completing a cultural resource inventory of the property owned by Oregon State University. For more see R. Casebeer, "African American widow demonstrates spirit," Jefferson Public Radio, 08/20/2009. 
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Benton County, Oregon

Charity (Negro Woman)
Birth Year : 1803
Death Year : 1824
Charity, from Versailles, KY, was the first person admitted to the newly opened Kentucky Eastern Lunatic Asylum in Lexington, KY, on May 1, 1824. She was 21 years old and described as a mulatto or Negro who could not walk, talk, or eat solid food. Charity died within a year of being placed in the asylum. She may have been free (not a slave), and it is not known why she was the first patient in the mental facility that was originally named Fayette Hospital. The campaign for erecting the facility began in 1816, led by an early settler named Andrew McCalla. The facility, known today as Eastern State Hospital, was built on the Sinking Spring property and was completed in 1822. When the building committee ran into financial difficulties, the facility was purchased by the state in 1823. Kentucky Eastern Lunatic Asylum was the second state asylum built in the United States; the first was built in Williamsburg, VA, in 1773. For more see History of Lexington, Kentucky: its early annals and recent progress by G. W. Ranck [full view available at Google Book Search]; and Eastern State Hospital at rootsweb.com.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Williamsburg, Virginia

Chenault, Hortenius
Birth Year : 1910
Death Year : 1990
Hortenius Chenault was born in Richmond, KY, his family later moved to Ohio. He was a graduate of Morehouse College in Georgia and a 1939 graduate from Howard University Dental School. Dr. Chenault passed the New York State dental exam with the highest score to date. From 1939-1987, his dental practice was located in Hempstead, Long Island, in New York. He was the husband of Anne Quick and the father of four, including Kenneth I. Chenault, who was named president and chief operating officer of the American Express Company in 1997. For more see the Kenneth Chenault entry in Current Biography (1988); "Hortenius Chenault, Dentist, 80" in The New York Times, 12/20/1990; and A. Bianco, "Ken Chenault: the rise of a star" (Cover Story), BusinessWeek, 12/21/1998.
Subjects: Fathers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Dentists
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Ohio / Hempstead, Long Island, New York

Christian County's First Elected Negro Officials
Start Year : 1885
The large African American population in Christian County, along with the strength of the Republican Party in the county, made it possible for some of the state's earlier political elections to be won by African American candidates in Hopkinsville, KY. Edward Glass was elected to the City Council in 1885 and re-elected continuously until 1907. By 1898, the following were also elected to office: James L. Allensworth, County Coroner; Kinney Tyler, Deputy Jailer; John W. Knight, Constable; and J. C. Lyte, Pension Examiner. In 1916, T. H. Moore was re-elected for the third time as Magistrate of the 1st District of Christian County. The elections of African Americans was not always welcomed: there were beatings and objections. One such case is the election of William Leveritt for County Physician in 1898; his appointment was approved by the county judge, which enraged many whites because Leveritt would be examining white family members, in particular white women. For more see Violence in the Black Patch of Kentucky and Tennessee, by S. Marshall; p. 35 of the Negro Year Book, by M. N. Work [full-text at Google Book Search]; and "The people of Christian County...," p. 95 of American Medico-surgical Bulletin, vol. 12, 1898 [full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Corrections and Police, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Cocaine and Negroes in Kentucky, 1898-1914
Start Year : 1898
End Year : 1914
Cocaine was an accepted and easily accessible drug prior to 1914, it was also used in whiskey shots, syrups, tonics, cigars, nasal sprays, and many many other products. When it became illegal in 1914, classified as a hard narcotic, there was a very racist side to the prohibition. Dr. Christopher Koch from Pennsylvania warned, "Most of the attacks upon white women of the South are the direct result of the cocaine-crazed Negro brain." The fear of a crazy, super strong Black man on cocaine existed long before cocaine became illegal, the fear had intensified during the period of enforced segregation, challenges to voting laws, the push for Negro political, social, and civil rights, and increased lynchings in the South. During the last decade of the 1800s, crimes attributed to Negroes were often assumed to be linked to drug use. Police departments in the South began requesting larger caliber guns that could stop the so-called cocaine-crazed Negro. In Kentucky, July 1907, the State Board of Pharmacy began a crusade against druggist who sold cocaine to Negroes, it was an effort to stem the crime of supposed violence committed by Negroes in Kentucky and other Southern states. Warrants had been issued against druggists A. F. Solbrig and H. F. Cohn, Jr., both from Louisville. In 1903, The Cincinnati Lancet-Clinic, a journal, suggested that it was the Negro and prostitutes (the lower class persons) who were most likely to have a cocaine habit, and Negroes with habits were most likely to commit crimes. But rather than hang the Negro, the article stated that it was the white druggist who should be hanged for selling cocaine to Negroes. It was also said that the states of Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana, were thought to have many of the "medico-pharmaceutical rascals," and supposedly, things had gotten so bad in Kentucky that the once loyal Colored servants could no longer be trusted. In 1898, the Bulletin of Pharmacy warned that there was a cocaine-craze among Negroes taking place in Louisville, Lexington, and Shelby County. For more see the video recording titled Hooked: illegal drugs and how they got that way by the History Channel et. al.; Dr. E. H. Williams, "Negro cocaine fiends are a new Southern menace," The New York Times, 02/08/1914, p.SM12; Snowblind: a brief career in the cocaine trade by R. Sabbag; White Mischief: a cultural history of cocaine by T. Madge; "Anti-cocaine crusade," The Pharmaceutical Era, 1907, vol.38, p.116 [available online at Google Book Search]; "The Cocaine Curse and the Negro," The Cincinnati Lancet-Clinic, 1903, vol.89, pp.599-602 [available online at Google Book Search]; and "Horrible," Bulletin of Pharmacy, 1898, vol.12, p.139 [available online at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Corrections and Police, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: 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

Coleman, Gertrude W.
Birth Year : 1934
Death Year : 2007
Dr. Gertrude W. Coleman was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2007 in recognition of her activism during Louisville school busing when she insisted that African American children be treated fairly. Coleman was also president of the Black Women of Political Action, and was on the board of the Park DuVall Health Center and fought for funding for health care. In 1992, the Black Women of Political Action joined with other civic organizations to encourage African Americans in Louisville to get out and vote; a symbolic chain of human voters stretched from downtown Louisville into the African American neighborhood in West End. For more see "Dr. Gertrude W. Coleman" at the 2007 Hall of Fame, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website; and "Louisville voters reach out to encourage Black turnout," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/02/1992, City/State section, p. B2.

 
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Medical Field, Health Care, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Colored Clinics (Bowling Green, KY)
The Warren County Colored Health Clinic is listed in Caron's Bowling Green (Kentucky) City Directory for 1937-38. The clinic was located at the State Street School at 204 State Street. G. M. Wells was director and Sophia Smith was the nurse. Few cities in Kentucky had a separate clinic facility for African Americans, before and after the 1930s. Listed in the 1941-1949 directories is the State Street Baptist Church Child Health Conference for Colored Children at 350 State Street, it is listed as an association and as a welfare organization. In 1941, Dr. Lewis Fine was listed as being in charge of the conference. State Street Baptist Church was led by Rev. R. H. Johnson in 1941. The Colored Welfare and Community Center was located at 229 State Street.
Subjects: Welfare (Social Services) Organizations, Kentucky African American Churches, Medical Field, Health Care, Community Centers and Cultural Centers
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Colored Skating Rink (Paris, KY)
The City Board of Health closed the Paris Colored skating rink temporarily in 1908. Mayor James M. O'Brien issued a notice to the chief of police for the rink to be closed until further notice. The rink drew its nightly attendance from Bourbon County, which, along with several surrounding counties, had cases of smallpox. Closing the skating rink was a precaution that would hopefully prevent the spread of the disease to the entire community. For more see the articles "Vaccination in order" and "Colored skating rink closed" in The Bourbon News, 03/13/1908, p. 5.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Skating Rinks
Geographic Region: Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

Curd, Kirksey L.
Birth Year : 1888
Death Year : 1967
Born in Fulton, KY, Kirksey L. Curd became a physician, earning his medical degrees from Cornell University in 1912 and Pennsylvania University in 1917, then practicing in Philadelphia, PA, where he would spend the rest of his life. He was the first African American to receive the D. V. M. degree from Cornell University. Curd was also president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and a World War I veteran. He was the son of Curtis and Ida Curd. The family, along with extended family members, all moved from Kentucky to Perry, OK, when Kirksey Curd was a child. They are listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1930-32.

See photo image of Dr. Kirksey L. Curd at ChronicleOnline, article by J. K. Morrissey, "Cornell perspectives: CU played key role in educating first black veterinarians," 02/18/2011, a Cornell University website.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Fulton, Fulton County, Kentucky / Perry, Oklahoma / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Davis, DeWayne Frank
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1969
Born in Covington, KY, DeWayne F. Davis became the assistant health commissioner in Charleston, West Virginia, and a physician at West Virginia State College [now West Virginia State University], where he had received his undergraduate degree. Davis received his M.D. from Meharry Medical College. He was the son of Ella May Holmes Davis and Henry Davis, according to the State of Texas Certificate of Death #03158 for DeWayne F. Davis, who died in Houston on January 20, 1969. Dr. Davis had been in Houston for six years. He was a veteran of WWI, and was buried in the Paradise South Cemetery in Houston. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Migration East, Migration South
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Charleston, West Virginia / Houston, Texas

Davis, William Henry
Birth Year : 1872
Born in Louisville, KY, William H. Davis graduated from Louisville Colored High School in 1888 [later known as Louisville Central High School]. He taught himself shorthand and typewriting, then was employed by the law firm Cary & Spindle. He was also a private secretary for Louisville Mayor Todd and owned a thriving shoe store in Louisville. He taught typewriting and shorthand in the Colored schools because African Americans were excluded from the classes taught in Louisville. In 1899 he moved his family to Washington, D.C., and in 1902 was awarded a Doctorate of Pharmacology from Howard University. Dr. Davis went on to hold many posts with the federal government and opened the Mott Night Business High School. For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings at the Documenting the American South website; and Dr. William H. Davis in the John P. Davis Collection.


Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Shoes: Finishers, Makers, Repairers, Shiners, Stores
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D.C.

Dehaven, Burrell B.
Birth Year : 1882
Death Year : 1941
Born in Hardinsburg, KY, Dehaven became a dentist. He was founder and president of the Capitol City Medical, Dental, and Pharmacy Association (Ohio). He was the only African American dentist from Columbus to serve in the Dental Corp during World War I. For more see Who's Who in Colored American, 1933-37; and African American Dental Surgeons and the U.S. Army Dental Corps: A Struggle for Acceptance, 1901-1919, by John M. Hyson, Jr.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Dentists
Geographic Region: Hardinsburg, Breckinridge County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio

Dinwiddie, William Thomas
Birth Year : 1865
William T. Dinwiddie was born in Lincoln County, KY and he grew up in Danville, KY. After his graduation from the Danville Colored school, he completed a two year course at Knoxville College and later graduated from Meharry Medical and Dental School [now Meharry Medical College, School of Dentistry] in Nashville. Following his graduation, Dr. Dinwiddie became Chair of Prosthetic Dentistry at Meharry. He left Meharry to become a dentist in Lexington, KY. Dr. Dinwiddie had a large practice located in the medical building at 118 North Broadway. He was one of the first African American dentist in Kentucky. Dr. Dinwiddie was also a carpenter and master mechanic. In 1898 he married Addie B. Dinwiddie (b.1871 in Kentucky), his first wife, and in 1905 married Georgia McLaughin Dinwiddie (born 1875 in Danville, KY). For more see Evidences of Progress Among Colored People, by G. F. Richings at the Documenting the American South website; and Biographical Sketches of Prominent Negro Men and Women of Kentucky, by W. D. Johnson.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South, Carpenters, Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering, Dentists
Geographic Region: Lincoln County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / Knoxville and Nashville, Tennessee / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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, Alzona John
Birth Year : 1871
Death Year : 1950
Duncan was one of the very few African American pharmacists in Kentucky in the early 1900s. He was born in Bowling Green, KY, in 1871. In 1900, he was managing a drug store in Columbus, OH, while a boarder at a home on N. Champion Avenue, according to the U.S. Census. He was the husband of Julia Jones Duncan (1884-1953), who was born in Ohio. In 1910, the family of six was living in Covington, KY, on W. Tenth Street; Alzona Duncan was owner of a drug store. By 1916, the Duncan family was living in Louisville, KY, where their youngest daughter, Lucie L. Duncan, was born on August 8, according to the Kentucky Birth Index [see the Lucie Lennora Duncan Beverly entry in The Black Women in the Middle West Project by D. C. Hine, et al.]. The family lived in Little Africa, where Alzona Duncan owned and operated a drugstore. He was also recognized as mayor of the community and was president of the Parkland Improvement Club. Little Africa was located in Louisville, KY. Alzona Duncan is listed in the 1939 and 1940 volumes of Caron's Louisville City Directory as living at 3621 Virginia Avenue and working as a pharmacist at Central Drug Company. The company had been established in 1932 by African Americans Frank L. Moorman and Dr. J. C. McDonald [see Moorman information on the University of Louisville Library website]. For more on Duncan in Little Africa see J. C. Pillow, "Parkland: Homestead was rise of Little Africa" at courier-journal.com, originally published in 1989.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio / Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

Dunham, Norman Earle
Birth Year : 1890
Death Year : 1951
Norman E. Dunham was a physician and surgeon in Covington, KY; he served on the staff of Mercy Hospital in Cincinnati, OH. Dunham was one of a few African American doctors from Kentucky who were on the hospital staff [including, T. L. Berry and Richard P. McClain]. His wife, Sadie Lyerson Dunham, from Tennessee, was a school teacher in Cincinnati. The couple lived in Covington on Russell Street [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. They later moved to E. 611 W. Court Street in Cincinnati and moved again to E. 813 Mound Street [source: 1940-1951 volumes of Williams' Cincinnati (Hamilton County, Ohio) City Directory and Williams' Cincinnati (Ohio) City Directory]. Norman Dunham was a member of the executive committee of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and a member of the Tri-City Medical Association. He was a mason and served as the medical examiner for the United Brothers of Friendship. Norman E. Dunham was born in Scott County, KY, according to his draft registration card, and he grew up in Lexington, KY. He was the son of Levi and Lula Dunham. He attended a colored school in Lexington and was a graduate of the academy at Clark University [now Clark Atlanta University]. Dunham completed his pre-med course at Fisk College [now Fisk University], 1914-1917. He returned to Kentucky, where he was a partner in a farming operation in Louisville, KY, in 1917 when he completed his draft registration card. Dunham left farming and went into the military and served as a private in the Student Army Training Corps (SATC) [source: Mary E. Smith Cemetery record]. The SATC was a new program that replaced ROTC during World War I. SATC was a nationwide military program started by the Committee on Education and Special Training of the War Department. The program trained commissioned and non-commissioned officers on 157 college and trade school campuses that were under contract with the War Department. The men in the program were college students as well as men from the general population. [For more about African Americans entrance in the SATC see "Where the Color Line was Drawn" in chapter 23 of Scott's Official History of the American Negro in the World War, by E. J. Scott.] After his time in the military, Dunham attended Meharry Medical College and graduated in 1921 with an M.D. Norman E. Dunham died August 7, 1951 and is buried in the Mary E. Smith Cemetery in Elsmere, KY [source: "Mary E. Smith African American Cemetery, 1950-1967," a one page .pdf document found online within the Northern Kentucky Genealogy Database at the Kenton County Public Library website]. For more information about Norman E. Dunham see his entry in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Scott County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Covington and Elsmere, Kenton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio

Dyer, Deborah L. and Jacqueline Smith (1956-2005)
In 1991 Deborah Dyer and Jacqueline Smith started Central Kentucky Research Associates, Inc. (CKRA) with a $500 investment. The first independent medical research company in Kentucky, CKRA today has offices in Lexington, Richmond, and Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. The company, which conducts drug studies for pharmaceutical companies, is one of the few owned by women (or African American women) who are not doctors. In 1999 the company was named a Small Business of the Year Finalist, and the owners were named finalists for Working Woman Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards in 2000. Smith was awarded an Outstanding Alumna Award in 2002 from Eastern Kentucky University. She died in 2005 from a massive stroke while attending a meeting in Florida. Smith was a graduate of Madison Central High School and Eastern Kentucky University, both in Richmond, Kentucky. In 2008, the Jacqueline Yvonne Miller Smith Visiting Professorship was established in the Center for Advancement of Women's Health at the University of Kentucky. For more see V. H. Spears, "A Rock for all those who knew her, Jacqueline Smith: 1956-2005," Lexington Herald Leader, 11/15/2005, City&Region section, p. B1; and "Spotlight on philanthropy" in Advancing Women's Health, issue 6, fall 2008.

See photo image of Deborah Dyer and Jacqueline Smith at the CKRA website.
Subjects: Businesses, Medical Field, Health Care, Researchers, Nurses
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Elliott, Noah
Birth Year : 1826
Death Year : 1918
Elliott, born in Greenup County, KY, was the first African American doctor to practice in Athens County, Ohio. His physician's training was by way of an apprenticeship. He had been a hospital steward in the 26th U.S. Colored Infantry during the Civil War. Elliott's second wife was Mary A. Davidson, sister of Olivia Davidson, the wife of Booker T. Washington. The Washingtons were married in Elliott's home in 1886. For more see Noah Elliott at cordingleyneurology.com; and chapter 9 of Stories of Medicine in Athens County, Ohio, by G. E. Cordingly.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans
Geographic Region: Greenup County, Kentucky / Athens County, Ohio

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

Ewing, Thomas H.
Birth Year : 1856
Death Year : 1930
Reverend Ewing was born in Kentucky just prior to the Civil War. He left Paducah, KY, and walked to Kansas City, MO, then moved on to Nebraska, where he earned his medical degree, graduating with honors. Ewing had a private medical practice and later returned to Kansas City in 1887 to become pastor of the Vine Street Baptist Church. The church had a small, poor, divided congregation, and the church property was indebted. Ewing helped get the church back in good standing and built a larger building. He directed his congregation toward savings plans; he organized an economics club and financial clubs to help members get their own homes and to invest in real estate. Vine Street Baptist Church became one of the largest African American Baptist churches in Kansas City, and more than 100 members owned their own homes. Ewing had also followed his own advice: he owned farms and other properties in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. He was the husband of Fannie Ewing, born 1857 in Kentucky, according to the 1855 Kansas State Census Collection, when the couple was living in Leavenworth with their 3 year old son. T. H. Ewing was referred to as the wealthiest Colored Baptist minister in the entire West. For more see Take Up the Black Man's Burden, by C. E. Coulter; and "T. H. Ewing" in Who's Who Among the Colored Baptists of the United States by S. W. Bacote.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Religion & Church Work, Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Real Estate Investments
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Kansas City, Missouri

Fitzbutler, Henry
Birth Year : 1837
Death Year : 1901
Henry Fitzbutler, born in Maiden, Ontario, Canada, attended medical school in Detroit, enrolling in the Detroit Medical School in 1871 at the age of 29. He practiced medicine with his wife, Sarah, in Louisville, KY, where he pushed for a medical school for African Americans: the Louisville National Medical College opened without race restrictions. Fitzbutler also published the African American newspaper, Ohio Falls Express. Only the July 11, 1891 issue is still available, on microfilm, at the University of Louisville Archives and Record Center. Henry Fitzbutler was the father of Mary Fitzbutler Waring. For more see Kentucky Encyclopedia 2000; see Henry Fitzbutler at Find a Grave; and the Henry Fitzbutler entry in The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography by J. T. White [available full-text at Google Book Search].

See photo image of Henry Fitzbutler at Find A Grave website.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South
Geographic Region: Maiden, Ontario, Canada / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Fitzbutler, Sarah Helen M.
Birth Year : 1848
Death Year : 1923
Dr. Fitzbutler graduated from the Louisville National Medical College in 1892. She was the first woman of color to earn a medical degree in Kentucky; she went on to practice medicine in Louisville with her husband, Dr. Henry Fitzbutler. Sarah was born in Pennsylvania, according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, and after marrying Henry, the Fitzbutler family lived in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada before moving to the U.S. Sarah died in Chicago in 1923, according to her death certificate. She was the mother of Dr. Mary Fitzbutler Waring and several other children. For more see "Henry Fitzbutler: Detroit's First Black Medical Student," by L. L. Hanawalt, Detroit in Perspective: a Journal of Regional History (Winter 1973), pp. 126-140; and In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., edited by M. M. Spradling.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Mothers, Migration South
Geographic Region: Pennsylvania / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Frazer, Patterson Tilford, Jr.
Birth Year : 1889
Death Year : 1947
Frazer was born in Allensville, KY, the son of Henry and Sarah Frazer, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Patterson Frazer came to Hopkinsville, KY, at the age of 12 to attend Hopkinsville Male and Female College, according to authors W. T. Turner and D. K. Stone. His uncle, P.T. Frazer, Sr. was principal of the school. Patterson Frazer would continue his education at Meharry Medical College where he earned his M.D. He opened a medical practice in Cadiz, KY, and would leave the practice to serve in the U.S. Army during WWI. He was a lieutenant in the Colored M.R.C. (Medical Reserve Corp). At the end of his military service, Frazer opened a medical practice in Hopkinsville, KY. He would remain in the city for the remainder of his life. He is remembered for his successful medical career, and for Frazer's Natatorium. A natatorium is a swimming pool in its own building. It was a rare thing to have such a facility for African Americans in the 1930s. For more see "P. T. Frazer, Jr. M.D." in Hopkinsville by W. T. Turner and D. K. Stone; and The Meharry News, vol 14, issue 3, p.7 [available online .pdf].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Swimmers, Swimming, Swimming Facilities
Geographic Region: Allensville, Todd County, Kentucky / Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky

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

George, S. H.
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1936
S. H. George was considered a wealthy physician, politician, and business man in Paducah, KY. He was born in Kentucky. His mother died when he was three years old, and S. H. George was forced to earn his way at an early age. He was a school teacher for several years, and later graduated from Walden University (TN) and Meharry Medical College. He returned to Paducah and opened his medical practice, and is listed in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. He was the husband of Nettie McClaine (1889-1935), who was born in Decatur County, TN. Nettie was a trained nurse. The couple shared their home with Nettie's mother Susan Jobe Hoskin, according to the 1930 U.S. Federal Census. Dr. George was involved in several businesses, including a skating rink. August 1909, during the Emancipation Day celebration, Dr. George charged Daniel Hopwood with trying to pass a bad dollar at the Paducah Colored Skating Rink, located at 10th and Broadway; the rink was in financial trouble in 1909. The counterfeiting case against Hopwood was dismissed from the Paducah courts due to insufficient evidence. Several years later, Dr. George was a Kentucky delegate to the Republican National Convention. His first term was in 1920; the Kentucky Republican State Convention had been undecided as to which African American would be a delegate-at-large, and after a four hour discussion, Dr. George was selected. Also in 1920, Dr. George was co-owner of the newly incorporated Home Drug Company in Paducah. The other two owners were John W. Egester and C. M. Bolden. That same year, Dr. George was owner and manager of the Hiawatha Theater, a picture house at 432 S. 7th Street in Paducah. He paid $10,000 for the business. In 1927, in Washington D.C., Dr. S. H. George was re-elected Grand Esteemed Leading Knight of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order Of Elks of the World (IBPOEW); he was a Mason, an Odd Fellow, a Pythian, a member of the Court of Calanthe, and vice president of the Pythian Mutual Industrial Association of Kentucky. In 1928, he was again a Republican National Convention delegate. Dr. S. H. George died June 23, 1936, his death notice is on p.155 in An Economic Detour by M. S. Stuart. Dr. George was a founding member, a stockholder, and a 21-year elected member of the board of directors of the Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Company. For more see "Pick Kentucky delegates," New York Times, 03/04/1920, p.17; "No conviction in counterfeiting cases," The Paducah Evening Sun, 08/17/1909, p.3; see "S. H. George..." on p.16 in NARD Journal, v.30, 1920; African American Theater Buildings by E. L. Smith; "J. F. Wilson re-elected head of Negro Elks," The New York Times, 08/26/1927, p.14; and see S. H. George in The National Cyclopedia of the Colored Race edited by C. Richardson [available online at Internet Archive].
Subjects: Businesses, Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Fraternal Organizations, Pharmacists, Pharmacies, Skating Rinks, Theater: Companies, Education, Exhibitions, Performers, and Performances in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Glass, James G.
Birth Year : 1884
Death Year : 1962
Dr. Glass was one of the longest practicing physicians in Henderson, KY, where he practiced for 50 years. Glass was a physician and surgeon. He was born in Hopkinsville, KY, the son of Edward W. and Sallie E. McReynolds Glass. He graduated from Clark Embalming School, Walden University, and received his M.D. from Meharry Medical College in 1906. Prior to opening his practice, Glass was in the undertaking business with his father, Edward Glass. He practiced medicine for a year in Hopkinsville, 1908-1909, then moved his business to Henderson, KY. He was the husband of Ora H. Kennedy Glass, a community leader in Henderson, KY. For more see the James Garfield Glass entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race by F. L. Mather [available full view at Google Book Search]; and Dr. James G. Glass on p.84 of Journal of the National Medical Association, vol.55, issue 1, January 1963 [available online].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Hopkinsville, Christian 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

Guthrie, Robert V.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2005
A few weeks after Robert V. Guthrie and his twin brother were born, the family moved to Richmond, KY, then to Lexington, KY. His father, P. L. Guthrie, was a former principal of old Dunbar High School. Robert V. Guthrie was a veteran of the Korean War. He earned his undergraduate degree at Florida A&M and then enrolled at the University of Kentucky in 1955, where he received his master's degree in psychology. He earned his doctorate at International University in 1970. He would go on to become one of the most influential African American scholars. Guthrie was the first African American psychologist to place his papers in the National Archives of American Psychology. He is author of numerous books, including Even the Rat Was White; a Historical View of Psychology. Guthrie was the first African American faculty member at San Diego Mesa College. Decades later, he returned to live in San Diego, where he is buried. For more see An 'American psychologist'; and J. Williams, "Robert V. Guthrie, 75; noted psychology educator," San Diego Union-Tribune, 11/12/2005, Obituaries column, p. B6.

See the photo image of Dr. Robert Val Guthrie at the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minorities website.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / San Diego, California

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

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

Hicks, Madeline Maupin
Birth Year : 1948
Madeline Maupin Hicks was the first African American female to attend the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, she is a 1975 graduate. She earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Indiana University in 1970. Dr. Hicks teaches dentistry courses at the University of Louisville Dentistry School, she has also had a private dental practice. She is the daughter of Madeline Taylor Maupin and Milburn T. Maupin . For more see Not Without Struggle by J. B. Horton; and Dr. Madeline Hicks in Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, p.112.

  See photo image of Dr. Madeline Maupin Hicks at the University of Louisville, School of Dentistry website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Dentists
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson 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

Howell-Young, Joyce
Birth Year : 1934
The Louisville physician was appointed to the city's board of education in 1971, the first African American woman to serve on the board. She led in the integration of the patients' rooms in the Louisville St. Joseph Hospital in the 1960s. Dr. Howell-Young is president of the Falls City Medical Society. She is agraduate of Fisk University, where she earned a B.A. in Zoology, and Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. She completed her intern training at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, OH. Dr. Young-Howell had a private practice in Louisville, 1961-1967. She has had a number of posts including that of medical director of the Park DuValle Neighborhood Health Center, 1974-1976. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and many other organizations. Dr. Howell-Young was born in Cincinnati, OH, the daughter of Lloyd M.  Howell and Addie Belle Foster Howell. For more see "36 city officials include mayor, police court judge," in Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials [1972], by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 17; "Doctor says interns don't make living wage," Jet, 03/29/1962, p.27 [available online]; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996-2009; and Joyce Howell-Young, M.D. in Who's Who in Black Louisville, Inaugural Edition, p.112.
Subjects: First City Employees & Officials (1960s Civil Rights Campaign), Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations, Board of Education
Geographic Region: Cincninati, Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky

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, Bush A. [Hunter Foundation (Lexington, KY)]
Start Year : 1894
End Year : 1983
Dr. Bush Hunter was born in Lexington, KY, the son of Mary B. and Dr. John E. Hunter, Sr. Bush Hunter was a graduate of Hampton Institute [now Hampton University], Oberlin College, and Howard Medical School [now Howard University College of Medicine], where he specialized in internal medicine. He started his medical practice in Lexington in 1926, sharing an office with his father on Upper Street. He later practiced at the Public Health Clinic on Upper and Mechanic Streets in Lexington. Bush Hunter retired from medicine in 1976. He was the first African American member of the Fayette County Medical Society [now the Lexington Medical Society], founded in 1799. He was named Kentucky's Outstanding General Practitioner of the Year and also named Kentucky's Selective Service Father of the Year in 1965, after serving as a medical adviser for the Selective Service System. In addition to his medical practice, Bush Hunter was a tenor singer and piano player. He was a World War I veteran of the U.S. Army. The Hunter Foundation for Health Care was a non-profit organization named to honor the 113 years of medical service in Lexington provided by Drs. John and Bush Hunter. The organization, founded in the early 1970s, was later renamed Healthcare of the Bluegrass. For more information see J. Hewlett, "Physician Bush Hunter dies at 89," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/02/1983, p. B1. See also the Hunter Foundation for Health Care records, accession number 1997MS244, in Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

 

Access Interview Read about the Bush Hunter oral history interviews available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item records in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Jackson, John J., Jr.
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 2004
John J. Jackson, Jr. was the first African American licensed to practice as an optometrist in Louisville, KY, in 1954. He was a graduate of the Chicago College of Optometry. Jackson was born in Harlan, KY, the son of John Sr. and Dusker Jackson. In 1930 the family of five lived on Clover Street in Harlan, KY, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see "First Negro optometrist opens Louisville office," Jet, 06/24/1954, p. 27; and "Dr. John J. Jackson, Jr.," Lexington Herald-Leader, 04/18/2004, City&Region section, p. B4.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Harlan, Harlan County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

James, Grace Marilynn
Birth Year : 1923
Death Year : 1989
A pediatrician, Grace M. James was the first African American woman member of the Jefferson County Medical Society and the first African American woman admitted to the University of Louisville School of Medicine. She founded the West Louisville Medical Center. The Grace M. James Papers are housed at the University of Louisville Archives and Records Center. Grace M. James was born in Charleston, WV, the daughter of Edward L. and Stella G. Shaw James. For more see Who's Who Among Black Americans, 1st-6th ed.; and Dr. Grace Marilyn James by David James at the Find a Grave website.

See photo images and additional information about Dr. Grace Marilyn James in the article "Governor honors extraordinary Kentucky women," at Examiner website.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West
Geographic Region: Charleston, West Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jewish Hospital (Louisville, KY)
Jewish Hospital was one of the first hospitals in Louisville to be integrated. Dr. Joan E. Thomas, a medical student in the 1960s who later practiced on the West End of Louisville, recalled that the Jewish Hospital was one of the first white hospitals in Louisville willing to take Black patients. For more see A Legendary Vision: the history of Jewish Hospital, by B. Zingman and B. L. Anster.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Jo (slave)
Birth Year : 1807
Jo, a slave, had been born in Kentucky and moved to Missouri with his owner, referred to as Mr. B. Jo was considered a rare medical oddity in the early 1800s when at the age of twelve his skin and hair began to turn white, starting with a patch at the edge of his hairline. He also lost his sense of smell. It took about ten years for his body to lose all skin pigmentation. Brown spots began to appear on his face and hands when he was about 22 years old. Jo had had rubeola (measles) and pertussis (whooping cough) when he was a child and had both illnesses again after his skin began to change, along with chronic rheumatism and scarletina (scarlet fever). In spite of these illnesses, Jo was considered to be in very good health. For more about this case see Joseph C. Hutchinson, M.D. (of Marshall, Salmie County, MO), "A Remarkable Case of Change of Complexion, with Loss of the Sense of Smell," American Journal of the Medical Sciences, vol. 45 (January 1852), pp. 146-148.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Missouri

Johnson, Gregory A.
Birth Year : 1966
In 1985, Greg Johnson became the first African American valedictorian graduate of Paducah Tilghman High School, located in Paducah, KY. Johnson had maintained a perfect 4.0 during his entire four years of high school. He and 140 other Presidential Scholars, including Lafayette High School graduate Jill Conway, were recognized by President Reagan during a ceremony held in the White House Rose Garden. The scholars spent a week in Washington, D.C. and also received $1,000 from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Greg Johnson was accepted at Brown University and graduated in 1989 with an AB in history and in 1993 with an MD. He earned an MPH in 1998 from Boston University. Johnson has been a medical doctor at Boston University and at Harvard University. Born in Paducah, KY, Greg is the son of Rochelle Johnson. For more see "Reagan recognizes two Kentucky scholars," Lexington Herald-Leader, 06/22/1985, City/State section, p. B2; "Gregory A. Johnson" at the Presidential Scholars Foundation website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Jones, Abel Bedford and Albert Thomas
Birth Year : 1810
The following information on the Jones brothers comes from Dr. Michael F. Murphy, Historian of Education at the University of Western Ontario; Dr. Murphy is working on a book about the schooling of colored and mulatto children in London, Ontario, Canada between 1826 and 1865. The Jones brothers played a major role in the schooling of these children. The brothers had been slaves in Madison County, KY. Abel was a field-hand and Albert worked for a millwright who owned a large merchant mill. Albert earned enough money to buy his freedom in 1833; he was 23 years old. He also purchased the freedom of Abel and a younger brother. The brothers immigrated to London, Upper Canada (now Ontario). Albert became a barber and merchant, and Abel was a barber and an herbal dentist. The brothers did quite well with their businesses. Abel may have been involved with the African American resettlement program. The brothers were interviewed by Samuel Ringgold Ward, S.G. Howe, and Benjamin Drew when these commentators reported on the condition of fugitive slaves in Canada. Abel's whereabouts are unknown after the mid 1850s. In 1866, Albert, often referred to as Dr. Jones, and his large family left London. Perhaps they returned to Kentucky. The Jones children were Betsy, Paul, Elizabeth, George B., A.O., Frances A., Victoria S?, Torreza O?, Albion, and Princess A. If you have more information or would like more information about Abel and Albert Jones, please contact Dr. Michael F. Murphy at murfy@sympatico.ca.
Subjects: Barbers, Businesses, Education and Educators, Fathers, Freedom, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Dentists
Geographic Region: Madison County, Kentucky / London, (Upper Canada) Ontario, Canada

Jones, Benjamin Franklin, Sr.
Birth Year : 1859
Death Year : 1939
Benjamin F. Jones, Sr., a physician, was a former slave born in Sussex County, Virginia. He was a graduate of Normal and Agriculture Institute [now Hampton University] and completed his M.D. in 1890 at Howard University Medical College. Jones moved to Kentucky where he practiced medicine in Paris and Danville. He was named the physician for the Colored children at the Danville Deaf and Dumb Institute in 1898. Benjamin Jones was the husband of Matilda W. Jones (b. 1864 in Virginia), with whom he had five children, all born in Kentucky. The family lived on East Walnut Street in Danville, according to the 1910, 1920, and 1930 U.S. Federal Census. For more see the Benjamin Franklin Jones entry in A Historical, Biographical and Statistical Souvenir, by Howard University Medical Department [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration East, Deaf and Hearing Impaired
Geographic Region: Sussex County, Virginia / Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Jones, Daisy
Daisy Jones was the first African American nurse in Colorado. She and her family had escaped from slavery in Kentucky and made their way to Canada, where Jones received her nurse training. She moved to Denver, CO, in 1904. Jones was also one of the organizers of the NAACP in Colorado. Her forceps and medicine bag are on display at the Black American West Museum in Denver. For more see "Black Women in Colorado: two early portraits," Frontiers: a Journal of Women Studies," vol. 7, issue 3 -- Women on the Western Frontier (1984), p. 21; and photo image of Daisy Jones on p.18 in African Americans of Denver by R. J. Stephens, L. M. Larson, and The Black American West Museum.


Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration West, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Nurses
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Denver, Colorado

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

Lee, Johnson Camden
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1993
Born in Versailles, KY, Dr. Johnson C. Lee was a dentist in Lexington, KY. He was the husband of Gladys Lee. In 1960 Dr. Lee became the first African American member of the Kentucky Dental Association. In 1983 he was the second African American dentist in Kentucky to receive the Kentucky Dental Association's award for having practiced dentistry for 50 years. Dr. Lee's office was located in the old Masonic Building on North Broadway. He was a graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Lee was also a World War II veteran of the African American 93 Infantry Division. He also owned a semi-pro baseball team. For more see "Dentist considers slowing down after 50 years: dentist starts to slow down after 50 years in practice," Lexington Herald-Leader, 09/26/1983, p. B1; and Johnson C. Lee in E. Duncan, "Obituaries," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/05/1993, p. C2.

 

Access InterviewRead about the Johnson Camden Lee oral history interview available at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Baseball, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Dentists
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette 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

Malone, Beverley L.
Birth Year : 1948
Beverley L. Malone was born in Hardin County, KY. She is a past chief executive officer of the National League of Nursing. Her prior employment includes the position of General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing in Great Britain (2001-2006), the world's largest nursing union, with over 300,000 members. The organization was founded in 1916 and the headquarters is located in London. Malone was the first "foreign" person to head the organization. In her prior post, she had been appointed deputy assistant secretary for Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration. She was president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), 1996-2000, the second African American to head the organization. She was a dean, vice chancellor, and professor at North Carolina A&T State University. Malone is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati (BS and Ph.D.) and Rutgers University (MS), For more see "New CEO of National League for Nursing has a real passion for nursing education..." in AORN Connections, vol. 5, issue 5 (2007 May), pp. 12-13; C. Parish, "Beverly Malone leaves with a rallying cry: Keep on fighting," Nursing Standard, vol. 21, issue 14-16 (12/13/2006), pp. 14-16; and Beverly Malone at nursingwiki.org.

See photo image and additional information about Beverley L. Malone at the National League of Nursing website.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration Outside the U.S. and Canada, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Union Organizations, Nurses
Geographic Region: Hardin County, Kentucky / England, Europe

Marble, Harriett Beecher Stowe
Birth Year : 1885
Death Year : 1966
Marble was the first African American woman pharmacist in Lexington, KY. She was born in Yazoo City, MS, the daughter of Solomon [or Saul] and Leah Ann Molette Marble. Harriett came to Lexington, KY, in 1921. Her pharmacy was located at 118 North Broadway, along with doctors' offices and an apartment on the third floor where Marble lived. Marble owned the building, which she had had renovated; the previous owners were Henry Ross and Jacob Speer, who owned the building when it had contained the People's Pharmacy, which opened in 1910. Today there is a KY Historical Marker at the building site. Several of Marble's family members also resided in Lexington: her sister Priscilla Marble Ford (1886-1924) died in Lexington, and her sister Lillie Marble Ray (b. 1883) owned a home at 170 Old Georgetown Street. Lillie deeded the home to Harriett in 1953. Harriett Marble was a graduate of Meharry Medical College. She made the top score on the test administered by the Mississippi State Board of Examiners in 1908 when she qualified for her pharmacy license. She was a pharmacist in Mississippi, Oklahoma, and at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute [now Tuskegee University] in Alabama, prior to coming to Kentucky. Marble and several family members are buried in the Cove Haven Cemetery in Lexington. This entry was submitted by Yvonne Giles. For more see M. Davis, "First female black pharmacist no longer forgotten," Lexington Herald-Leader, 02/08/2009; and the Harriett Beecher Stowe Marble entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race 1915.
Subjects: Businesses, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Yazoo City, Mississippi / Lexington, Fayette 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

McCoy, Alexander Francis
Birth Year : 1884
Alexander Francis McCoy was born in Centerville, KY, the son of Jacob H. and Mattie Sparks McCoy. Dr. McCoy was a general practice physician from 1911-1920, with an office in Nicholasville, KY. Alexander F. McCoy was the husband of Tina McCoy, the couple lived in Columbus, OH [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census], and they were living at 871 E. Long Street in Columbus when Alexander F. McCoy completed his WWII Registration card. He became an ENT (ears, nose, and throat) Specialist in 1920. Specialty training was a rarity for African Americans at that time. The American Board of Ophthalmology was founded in 1917 and incorporated in 1924. For more see Who's Who in Colored America 1950, and American Academy of Otolaryngology - African American Education.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Centerville, Bourbon County, Kentucky / Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky / Columbus, Ohio

McLeod, John C.
Birth Year : 1877
Death Year : 1962
Dr. John C. McLeod is said to have been the first Colored veterinarian in Cincinnati, OH, and he was one of the early colored inspectors in the U.S. Stock Bureau. McLeod was a graduate of Hughes High School in Cincinnati. He earned his veterinary surgery degree at Cincinnati Veterinary College. He was a U.S. Veterinary Inspector in the Bureau of Animal Industry and an inspector in Cincinnati and later at the Chicago stock yards. John C. McLeod was the husband of Elvira Cox McLeod, and his immediate and extended family members lived on Chapel Street in Cincinnati [source: 1910 U.S. Federal Census]. By 1930, the family was living in Malden, MA [source: U.S. Federal Census], then moved again to New Rochelle, NY. John C. McLeod was born in Covington, KY, the son of John S. and Anna McLeod. He was a 32nd Degree Mason, a Shriner, and a Past Master of St. John's Lodge. For more see John C. McLeod in Cincinnati's Colored Citizens, by W. P. Dabney; and p. 606 in the Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, by P. A. Tenkotte and J. C. Claypool.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Chicago, Illinois / Malden, Massachuesetts / New Rochelle, New York

Merchant, Jesse, Sr.
Birth Year : 1878
Death Year : 1959
Born in Winchester, KY, Merchant was employed as a pharmacist at the U. S. Food Laboratory in Chicago in 1909 and later moved to the Department of Agriculture. He was also a civilian postmaster for the 10th U.S. Vol. Infantry in Lexington, KY, and Macon, GA, during the Spanish-American War. He was the son of Alpheus and Georgia A. Williams Merchant, and had attend high school in Lexington, KY. Merchant was a graduate of the Pharmacy College in Louisville, KY. He served as vice president of the Omaha Branch of the NAACP. Merchant was also a poet and is credited with composing "Back to My Old Kentucky Home" in 1906. He was the husband of Gladys Merchant and the couple had four children. The family lived on Wabash Street in Chicago, IL, according to the 1930 U.S. Federeal Census. Jesse Merchant, Sr. retired in 1950 from the federal alcohol tax unit, according to his obituary in the Chicago Daily Tribune, 05/08/1959. For more see the Jesse Merchant entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915 by F. L. Mather [available full view at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Poets, Postal Service, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Merritt, Mary Eliza
Birth Year : 1881
Death Year : 1953
Born in Berea, KY, the daughter of Thomas and Josie Merritt. Mary Merritt was the first African American nurse licensed in Kentucky. She had received her nurses training at Freedman's Hospital in Washington, D.C. She received the Mary Mahoney award for distinguished service in 1949 and was awarded a certificate of merit by President Wilson. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Appointments by U.S. Presidents/Services for U.S. Presidents, Nurses
Geographic Region: Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Morgan, Benjamin J.
Birth Year : 1861
Morgan was born in Kentucky to Thomas and Amanda Grayson; he used his stepfather's last name. Morgan worked at a real estate firm in Cincinnati and later studied chiropody. He then moved to Indianapolis, where he opened a successful practice and was in great demand; one of his patients was Indiana Governor Claude Matthews. Morgan was also prominent in the African American community in Indianapolis. For more see Slave and Freeman: the autobiography of George L. Knox, by G. L. Knox.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Cincinnati, Ohio / Indianapolis, Indiana

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. 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

Morrow, Dorothy
In 1977 Morrow was the only African American woman in Kentucky holding a city council post. She was a head nurse at Lynch Medical Center and the first African American woman on the Lynch City Council. Morrow had been appointed to fill a vacancy in 1974, then was elected in 1977. For more see "Mayor, 45 councilmen are black city officials," in 1978 Kentucky Directory of Black Elected Officials, Fifth Report by the Commission on Human Rights, p. 20; and African American Miners and Migrants: the Eastern Kentucky Social Club, by P. J. Obermiller.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Nurses
Geographic Region: Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky

Morton, Andrew W.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2009
Born in Madisonville, KY, Andrew W. Morton graduated from Louisville Central High School, Louisville Municipal College, and Meharry Medical College. He was an instructor at Meharry Dental School before establishing his dental practice in Paducah, KY, in 1946. Morton was also a captain in the U.S. Army Dental Corp from 1943-1945 and again from 1949-1951. After serving in the army, he returned to his private dental practice in Paducah and retired in 1995. He was a member of the Board of Regents at Kentucky State University for eight years and was the first African American in Paducah to run for the board of education. For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Board of Education, Dentists
Geographic Region: Madisonville, Hopkins County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Moxley, Frank O.
Birth Year : 1908
Death Year : 2004
Frank O. Moxley was the first African American graduate and the first African American to earn a master's degree in psychology from Western Kentucky University (WKU). He earned his bachelor degree from Wilberforce University in 1926. Moxley created the position of guidance counselor in Kentucky schools and was the first African American guidance counselor in the school system. He was active in the Bowling Green NAACP and helped establish Cumberland Trace Legal Services. He earned a doctorate in psychology at East Coast University/National University in Florida. Frank Otha Moxley was born in Bowling Green, KY, the son of James and Hester Moxley. For more see Bowling Green Daily News, 08/11/2004; WKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni; and Dr. F. O. Moxley: Trailblazer [oral history] by Brendan David Bush (FA421), at Western Kentucky University, Manscripts and Folklife Archives.


See photo image and additional information on Frank O. Moxley at the Great Black Kentuckians website by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.

 

 Access Interview Listen to the audios and read the transcripts to Dr. Frank Moxley oral history interviews in the Kentucky Historical Society, Civil Rights Movement In Kentucky Oral History Project.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN)
Start Year : 1908
End Year : 1949
The National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses (NACGN) was founded in 1908 by Martha M. Franklin, and the first annual meeting was held in Boston in 1909. Members were nurses who had graduated from a training program. In 1918, the U.S. Secretary of War authorized a call to Colored nurses to come into national service. Nurses registered with the American Red Cross Society were allowed to render service to Colored Army enlistees. Colored nurses were assigned to six base hospitals, including Camp Taylor in Louisville, KY. By 1940, there were 94 professional Colored nurses in Kentucky (graduates and students): 91 women and three men. In 1949, Mrs. Alida C. Daily was president of NACGN when the national conference was held in Louisville, KY. It was during that meeting that NACGN accepted the suggestions presented by the American Nurse's Association (ANA) that it assume responsibility of NACGN and that the association be integrated. The NACGN archives were placed in the New York Public Library. For more see p. 378 of Scott's Official History of the American Negro in the World War, by E. J. Scott [available full-text on Google Book Search]; M. K. Staupers, "Story of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses," The American Journal of Nursing, vol. 51, issue 4 (Apr., 1951), pp. 222-223; E. M. Osborne, "Status and contribution of the Negro nurse," The Journal of Negro Education, vol. 18, issue 3 (Summer 1949), pp. 364-369; "New York Library receives NACGN documents," The American Journal of Nursing, vol. 54, issue 5 (May 1954), pp. 546-554; and No Time for Prejudice, by M. K. Staupers.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Nurses
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Nurse, John Robert
Birth Year : 1899
Death Year : 1964
Born in Louisville, KY, Nurse was the physician-in-charge of infant welfare at Central Louisville Health Center from 1919-1935, a time when infant mortality was beginning to decline. Nurse was also medical director of the Mammoth Life Insurance Company in Louisville, beginning in 1946. He was the son of Robert L. and Pattie Nurse. In 1900 the family of four lived on Oak Street in Louisville, according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Insurance Companies, Insurance Sales, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Nwangwa, Shirley A. Bacon
Birth Year : 1944
Death Year : 1996
Born Shirley Bacon in Christian County, KY, she received her B.A. in elementary education from Lane College in 1966 and her M.S. in public health and community organization from the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill in 1970. She was employed by the Halifax County Health Department and worked in the area of teenage pregnancy. Nwangwa was the executive producer of the film, The Eye Can Story, a 30-minute documentary created to promote the self-esteem of teenagers and to deter early sexual involvement. For more see Contemporary Black American Playwrights and Their Plays, by G. L. Peterson, Jr.
Subjects: Authors, Medical Field, Health Care, Poets, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Christian County, Kentucky / Halifax County, North Carolina

Oliver, Joel Peter, Jr. and Wilma
Start Year : 1939
In January of 1939, Dr. Joel P. Oliver, Jr. (1903-1958) and a woman named Wilma, who was white, were arrested in Louisville, KY, for violating the Kentucky statute that prohibited interracial marriage. The couple may not have known that there was an anti-miscegenation law in Kentucky. The more they explained why they were in Kentucky, the more their story changed. With a reminder about the law, the couple told the police that they had not gotten married in Kentucky, but rather, they had married in New Mexico two years earlier. Both Dr. Oliver and Wilma were taken into custody from the Negro hotel where they were guests. Since the mid-1800s, Kentucky laws prohibited whites from marrying Negroes within the state [the statute was repealed in 1967]. The law did not apply to those who had married outside Kentucky. The couple explained that they were not from Kentucky, but that they were just passing through the state; they were driving from Lubbock, TX, to Chicago, and had stopped to rest in Kentucky. Dr. Oliver, who practiced medicine in Texas, told authorities that he had just passed the Illinois medical examination and was moving to Chicago to establish his new practice. Nonetheless, both he and Wilma were put in jail, each under a $5,000 bond, and there would be additional charges. Louisville authorities contacted the Lubbock authorities for background information on the couple. It was found that they each owned the car that they had driven to Kentucky. Dr. Oliver's car, however, bore a license plate that came from another car that he owned. When police searched the cars, they found weapons, drugs, and a large sum of money. It was also found that Wilma was not Dr. Oliver's wife [her last name was not printed in the newspaper articles]. Dr. Oliver was born in Texas, and had practiced medicine in New Orleans before moving to Texas with his actual wife, Frances Mouton Oliver, a beautician who was the youngest sister of Jelly Roll Morton. Dr. Oliver had a medical practice and a sanatorium in Lubbock, TX. His wife Frances (1900-1982) had owned a beauty parlor, and the couple lived at 2112 E. Avenue B, according to the 1936 Lubbock City Directory. The news of the arrest of 35 year old Dr. Oliver and 27 year old Wilma had spread quickly in Louisville; Dr. Oliver knew a few people in the city. When the couple appeared in police court, the room was packed with Negro supporters. To the spectators' surprise, the couple was cleared of four misdemeanor counts: violating Kentucky's prohibition against interracial marriage; adultery; carrying concealed weapons; and disorderly conduct. There were no further questions about the money since Dr. Oliver was a respected physician who treated both Negroes and whites in Lubbock. The crowd cheered in response to all the good news. However, Dr. Oliver and Wilma remained under a $5,000 bond for violating the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914 and were to appear in court on February 7, 1939. Dr. Oliver returned to his wife and home in Texas. He died in 1958, according to the Texas death index, and after his death, his wife Frances moved back to New Orleans. For more see "Negro doctor and white wife held in Kentucky," The Coshocton Tribune, 01/27/1939, p. 12; "Negro doctor, companion held," Lubbock Morning Avalanche, 01/27/1939, p. 2; and "Negro doctor, white wife cleared of misdemeanors," The Coshocton Tribune, 01/31/1939, p. 1. For more on Francis Oliver see P. Hanley, "Jelly Roll Morton: an essay in genealogy."
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Court Cases, Interracial Marriage and State Laws
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / New Orleans, Louisiana / Lubbock,Texas

Palmer, Zirl A.
Birth Year : 1920
Death Year : 1982
Zirl A. Palmer was the first African American to own a Rexall franchise in the United States. The store, located on Main Street in Lexington, KY, was bombed on September 4, 1968. Palmer was also the first African American pharmacist in Lexington and the first African American to become a member of the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, named to the board by Governor Wendell Ford. Palmer was a graduate of Bluefield State College and Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy. For more hear the Zirl Palmer interview (info.) in the Blacks in Lexington Oral History Project at the University of Kentucky Special Collections; and "University of Kentucky. Board of Trustees," Lexington Leader, 08/24/1972, p. 1.

See photo image of Zirl Palmer in the Kentucky Digital Library Image Collections.

Access Interview Read about the Zirl A. Palmer oral history interview available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

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

Peters, Percy R., "P. R."
Birth Year : 1865
Death Year : 1933
P. R. Peters was a prominent citizen in the African American community in Louisville, KY. He was editor and publisher of the Columbian Herald, a weekly newspaper in Louisville, KY, with offices at 1104 Green Street. He was also editor of the Columbian newspaper [also know as the Louisville Columbian]. He had been a physician until his license was revoked in 1916 for charges of unlawfully prescribing cocaine, morphine, and opium; there was a new movement throughout the U.S. to stop the illegal distribution of habit-forming drugs. Dr. Peters was also fined $250. Around 1908, Dr. Peters served as a school medical inspector and a neighborhood sanitation inspector, both for African Americans in Louisville. He was second vice president of the National Negro Press Association in 1910 [source: "The Louisville Columbian...," Freeman, 04/30/1910, p.2]. Percy R. Peters was born in Mississippi and he was the husband of Priscilla Peters (b.1873 in MS), the couple was married in 1893 according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Dr. Peters would regain his physician's license and he is listed as a general practitioner in the 1930 Census when the family of four was living on Jefferson Street in Louisville. Dr. Percy R. Peters died November 19, 1933 [source: KY Death Certificate #26359]. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1927; the Dr. P. R. Peters entry in the Kentucky Medical Journal, vol. 14 (January 1916-December 1916), p. 93 [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and p. 11 of the Biennial Report of the State Board of Health of Kentucky, 1906-1907 [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: 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

Polk, Syree Luther
Birth Year : 1896
Death Year : 1967
In 1889, when William Leveritt was elected the Colored City Physician of Paducah, KY, the position was segregated. [See NKAA entry Christian County's First Elected Negro Officials.] In 1939 it was still segregated when Dr. S. L. Polk became the Colored City Physician. During the late 1930s, he was the only African American among the Paducah City Officials listed in the Paducah Kentucky Consurvey City Directory. Dr. Polk shared the title of City Physician with Dr. Robert C. Overby, the physician for whites. In the early 1940s, Dr. Polk is listed as a physician and city health officer in Caron's Paducah KY City Directory. Dr. Polk was born in Tennessee, and had a medical practice in Hickman, KY, in 1930, according to the U.S. Federal Census. His wife Jennie M. Polk (1903-1969), also a native of Tennessee, was a school teacher in Hickman. The couple lived on Moulton Street. Dr. Polk's first name has been spelled Sywre, Syre, and Syree. When the couple moved to Paducah, they lived at 900 Tennessee Street. According to the Kentucky Death Index, the Polks died in Paducah, KY.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections
Geographic Region: Tennessee / Hickman, Fulton County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

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

Porter, Ora F.
Birth Year : 1880
Death Year : 1970
Ora F. Porter was born in Sugar Grove, KY. In 1916 she became the first registered nurse in Bowling Green, KY. She received her nursing degree from Tuskegee University School of Nursing [now Tuskegee University, School of Nursing and Allied Health]. She was the daughter of Sarah J. Porter. For more see Kentucky Women, by E. K. Potter; Women in Kentucky; and the oral history interview by Robert J. Gates (FA168) with Oral F. Porer's nieces, Alice Ruth and Shella Proctor, the file and recordings are available at Wesern Kentucky University, Manuscripts and Folklife Archives.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Nurses
Geographic Region: Sugar Grove and Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Porter, Otho Dandrith
Birth Year : 1864
Death Year : 1936
Porter was born in Logan County, KY, the son of Robert Henry and Amanda Poston Porter. During his college years at Fisk University, he roomed with W. E. B. DuBois. Porter was an 1895 graduate of Meharry Medical College. He established his medical practice in Bowling Green, KY. Porter was president of the People's Grocery Co., and from 1900-1901 he was president of the National Medical Association. He also helped organize the Kentucky Medical Society of Negro Physicians and Dentists. Otho D. Porter was the husband of Carrie Donna Bridges from Mississippi. According to Porter's death certificate, the couple lived at 439 State Street in Bowling Green, KY. For more see Who's Who of the Colored Race, 1915.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Dentists
Geographic Region: Logan County, Kentucky / Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky / Mississippi

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

Public Health Reports, Kentucky Colored Persons
Start Year : 1896
End Year : 1970
The following information is a sample of what is available in Public Health Reports (1896-1970) concerning African Americans.

Birth statistics and infant mortality: 1920, vol. 36, no. 43 (Oct. 28, 1921), pp. 2680-2686.

  • 1920 - 4,141  births  572 deaths
  • 1919 - 4,079  births
Malaria in the United States: its prevalence and geographic distribution, vol. 30, no. 22, (May 28, 1915), pp. 1603-1624.
  • 1914 - 1,287 cases (July-December) (by county)
Mortality from cancer: 1920, vol. 27, no. 1 (Jan. 6, 1922), pp.1-2
  • 1920 - 142  deaths
  • 1919 - 146  deaths
  • 1918 - 130  deaths

Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Kentucky

R. E. Hathway Post No. 3593 (Lexington, KY)
Start Year : 1938
In December of 1938, the R. E. Hathway Post No. 3593 was organized for Colored veterans of foreign wars. Officers were to be elected the following January. The post was under the Hugh McKee Post No.677. The McKee post was believed to be the oldest in Kentucky. The initial members of Hathway Post No. 3593 were a rather elite group of African American men.

  • Rev. John N. Christopher, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church, husband of Mary E. Christopher, lived at 274 E. 5th Street.
  • Rev. Clarence Galloway, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, husband of Mary B. Galloway, lived at 233 Roosevelt Blvd.
  • Rev. John C. Newman, served in the Philippines in 1899, husband of Ella B. Newman, lived at 301 E. 6th Street.
  • Rev. John A. Jackson, who was blind, lived at 623 N. Upper Street.
  • Rev. James W. Wood, husband of Estella Wood, managing editor of Inter-State County News, notary public, lived at 519 E. 3rd Street.
  • Dr. Charles C. Buford Sr., husband of Roberta Buford, office at 269 E. Second Street, lived at 423 N. Upper Street.
  • Dr. Bush A. Hunter, office at 439 N. Upper Street, lived at 437 N. Upper Street.
  • John W. Rowe, the only Colored lawyer in Lexington in 1938, husband of Hattie H. Rowe (director of Douglas Park in 1939), office at 180 Deweese, lived at 860 Georgetown Street.
For more see the printed announcement on the letterhead "Hugh McKee Post No. 677, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Lexington, Kentucky," dated December 29, 1938, found in the 'Negroes' file of the Milward Collection (vertical file), Box - Moss Family-Newspapers, University of Kentucky Special Collections; for home addresses and other information see Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, Ky.) City Directory 1937-1939.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Lawyers, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Religion & Church Work, Fraternal Organizations, Notary Public
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Rabb, Maurice F., Jr.
Birth Year : 1932
Death Year : 2005
Maurice F. Rabb, Jr. was born in Shelby County, KY, the son of Jewel Miller Rabb and Maurice Rabb, Sr. An ophthalmologist, Rabb Jr. is internationally known for his work with cornea and retinal vascular diseases. He was one of the first African American students to enroll at the University of Louisville, graduating in 1958. His residency work was completed at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, where he was the first African American chief resident; he later opened a practice in Chicago. Each year the Rabb-Venable Ophthalmology Award for Outstanding Research is awarded to an outstanding Ophthalmology student. For more see Dr. Maurice Rabb Biography in The HistoryMakers.

See photo image of Maurice F. Rabb, Jr. and additional information also at The HistoryMakers.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Shelby County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Rabb, Maurice F., Sr.
Birth Year : 1902
Death Year : 1982
Maurice F. Rabb, Sr. was born in Columbus, Mississippi. A graduate of Fisk University and Meharry Medical College, he practiced medicine in Louisville, KY, where he was also a civil rights activist. He was one of the first African American doctors to be admitted to the Jefferson County Medical Society. He was the father of Maurice F. Rabb, Jr. The Maurice F. and Jewell Rabb Collection, 1954-1983, is available at the University of Louisville Archives and Record Center. See also the online article "Maurice F. Rabb, M.D." in The Crisis, May 1980, vol.87, no.5, p.190.


Access Interview The Maurice Rabb oral history interview and transcript are available online in the University of Louisville Libraries' Digital Collections.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Columbus, Mississippi / 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

Rice, Richard A.
Birth Year : 1887
Born in Russellville, KY, Richard A. Rice was a lawyer and pharmacist. He was the acting attorney for the Jersey Central Porters who were connected with the Jersey Central Railroad. His law office was located in Jersey City in 1920, and he was a boarder with the Dowers Family [source: U.S. Federal Census]. In 1942, Rice was living in Hackensack, NJ, and his law practice was operated from his home at 277 First Street [source: Rice's WWII Draft Registration Card]. Rice was the son of Calvin and Julia Bearing Rice. He was a graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Lawyers, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Pullman Porters, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky / Jersey City and Hackensack, New Jersey

Robinson, Adam M., Jr.
Birth Year : 1950
In 2007, Adam M. Robinson, Jr. is the 36th Surgeon General of the U.S. Navy and was named Chief of the Navy's Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, both confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Robinson was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Hilda Brown Robinson and Dr. Adam Robinson, Sr. Their son, Adam, Jr., is a 1968 graduate of Louisville Dupont Male High School. Robinson came from a musical family that integrated the local symphony orchestra in Louisville: his mother, sister, and brother played violin, and Adam Robinson, Jr. played the French horn. After high school, Robinson earned his undergraduate degree in 1972 and Doctor of Medicine degree in 1976, both from Indiana University. He later earned a masters in business administration at the University of South Florida. Robinson has been in the Navy since his enlistment in 1977, and he has an extensive record of accomplishments, including having been the ship's surgeon on the USS Midway, head of the Colon and Rectal Surgery Division at the National Naval Medical Center in Maryland, and head of the General Surgery Department and director of the Residency Program at the Naval Medical Center in Virginia. In 2005, Robinson became the commander of the Navy Medicine National Capital Area Region. His accomplishments also include decorations such as the Distinguished Service Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and the Joint Service Achievement Medal. Dr. Robinson is a member of numerous organizations, including the Black Academic Surgeons; he is an associate professor of surgery at the National Health Sciences School of Medicine. This entry was submitted by Charlene Genton Mattingly. For more see Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr. at the United States Navy Biography website; and G. A. Dawson, "Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr., MD", Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 100, issue 2 (February 2008), pp. 168-170. Watch the video of Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr. MC, USN on YouTube.


Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson 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

Sansbury, Louis
Birth Year : 1806
Death Year : 1861
Sansbury was a 27 year old slave in Springfield, KY, when the cholera epidemic hit the city in 1833. George Sansbury, Louis' owner, fled the city along with many others. Prior to his leaving, George gave Louis the keys to his hotel and told him to take care of the business. Louis and Matilda Sims, a cook, took care of the hotel and several of the other businesses that owners left unattended when they tried to flee the cholera epidemic. Those who took flight were carrying the disease to their destinations. Though they were enslaved, Louis Sansbury and Matilda Simms did not try to escape, staying in town to treat the sick, bury the dead, and keep an eye on the town's abandoned businesses. Neither Louis nor Matilda became sick during the 1833 epidemic. In time the city rebounded, and when George Sansbury died in 1845, the city of Springfield purchased Louis's freedom in retribution for his dedication and care during the epidemic, and he was provided with a blacksmith shop. When another cholera epidemic hit in 1854, Louis Sansbury did as he had done before, taking care of the sick and burying the dead. Louis died in 1861 and is buried in an unmarked grave. In 2004, the city of Springfield recognized his heroic deeds by dedicating the first annual African American Heritage Week in his honor. For more see "Asiatic Cholera finds a hero" in It Happened in Kentucky, by M. O'Malley.
Subjects: Freedom, Medical Field, Health Care, Blacksmiths
Geographic Region: Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

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

Simpson, James Edward
Birth Year : 1854
Death Year : 1956
Simpson was born in Brownville, PA, and moved to Louisville, KY, where he taught Latin at Louisville Colored High School [later Louisville Central High School]. He was also a graduate of Louisville National Medical College, but never practiced medicine. Simpson was a member of the committee that established the retirement and pension for the City of Louisville, and he was the first teacher to retire under the new system. He was the husband of Lida Simpson, and they were the parents of three children, all born in Louisville, KY, two of whom were Abram L. Simpson and Jane Simpson Williams. James E. Simpson died in Washington, D.C. For more see "James Edward Simpson" on page 440 in The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians by A. A. Dunnigan.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South
Geographic Region: Brownville, Pennsylvania / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Washington, D. C.

Simpson, Ophelia
According to John Jacob Niles, Ophelia Simpson was the first "shouter" in the Ohio Valley to be accepted and paid. Niles credited shouters' singing as a style of ancient origin, calling it "coon-shouting." It had two distinct styles: sacred shouting and the shouted moaning in blues and ballads. The singing technique had voice-breaks, slides, and high, rasping wails. Ophelia Simpson's shouting was new and novel and most effective when she sang the blues in Dr. Parker's Medicine Show. She was also the cook and helped prepare Parker's tapeworm eradicator. Ophelia Simpson was married to Henry (Dead Dog) Simpson, who worked at the fertilizer factory near Louisville, KY. In the winter of 1898 the Simpsons had a disagreement, and Ophelia killed Henry. While in jail, she wrote the long remembered ballad, Black Alfalfa's Jail-House Shouting Blues. After her release from jail, the name Ophelia Simpson was lost in time. For more see J. J. Niles, "Shout, Coon, Shout!" Musical Quarterly, vol. 16 (1930), pp. 516-521.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Medical Field, Health Care, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Corrections and Police
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Slave Deaths due to Cholera, 1850 U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedule
Start Year : 1850
The federal mortality schedules, for which data were first collected in 1849, included the cholera deaths of slaves, many listed by name. Prior to 1870, it had been the free African Americans who were listed in the U.S. Federal Census by name, while slaves were listed in the Slave Schedules by sex and age under the names of their owners. The mortality schedules were published 1850-1880, and the number of overall deaths in the U.S. were under reported in the data collection. There were hundreds of deaths in Kentucky due to cholera before, after, and during the year 1850. Cholera is an infection of the small intestine caused by the consumption of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae (more info at MedlinePlus). In 1850, as the U.S. was striving for better public health measures, doctors were still searching for the exact cause of the disease, how it was transferred and how it could be treated and prevented. A nationwide cholera epidemic had taken place in 1848-49. Former U.S. President James K. Polk died of cholera in 1849 after a visit to Louisiana. His presidency was followed by that of 12th U.S. President Zachary Taylor, who died of cholera in 1850. [He was born in Virginia and grew up in Kentucky.] Mary A. Fillmore, daughter of the 13th U.S. President, Millard Fillmore, died of cholera in 1854. Lucy Ware Webb Hayes (whitehouse.gov), the wife of 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, lost her father to cholera in 1833 when he came to his hometown, Lexington, KY, to free the slaves that he had recently inherited. In addition to Dr. James Webb, his mother, father, and brother also died of cholera. After the 1830s cholera epidemic, there were publications written for southerns on the medical treatment of cholera in slaves. With the second epidemic in the late 1840s, there was a request for a publication on what was considered an effective treatment by Dr. C. B. New. In 1850 he published Cholera: observations on the management of cholera on plantations, and method of treating the disease [available online]. Included in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedule are 71 black slaves in Kentucky who died of cholera, most from Scott, Warren, and Woodford Counties; the schedule also lists the death of seven Kelly slaves in Warren County, in June 1850. There were also 16 mulatto slave deaths in Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Union and Warren Counties. S. M. Young, a free mulatto woman from Scott County, also died of cholera in 1850. For more see The Health of Slaves on Southern Plantations, by W. D. Postell; Observations on the epidemic now prevailing in the City of New-York, by C. C. Yates [available full-text at Google Book Search]; Cholera; its pathology, diagnosis, and treatment, by William Story [available full-text at Google Book Search]; T. L. Savitt's Medicine and Slavery; and Finding Answers in U.S. Census Records, by L. D. Szucs and M. Wright. See also the list of Cholera deaths in Lexington, KY, [Whites and Blacks] for the year 1833, a rootsweb site, and for the year 1849.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Inheritance
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Slavery and Medical Care in Kentucky
Currently, no work is dedicated solely to the medical care of slaves in Kentucky. Medical care, health, nutrition, diseases, medicine, and the medical use of Negro corpses are discussed within the written histories of slavery and Kentucky in general. Descriptions of individual cases and experiences may be found within the slave narratives, family papers and archives, medical journals, court cases, and Kentucky government publications. The cases described range from insignificant to exceptional, including some world-renowned cases, such as the first successful amputation at the hip joint that took place in Bardstown, KY. According to Todd L. Savitt, "slaves had a fairly significant role in medical education and in experimental and radical medical and surgical practice of the Antebellum South." Dr. Ephraim McDowell of Danville, KY, who performed the first successful ovariotomy (removal of an ovary) on a white woman, Mrs. Jane Todd Crawford, in 1809, perfected his technique while performing ovariotomies on African American women in Kentucky. When the Louisville (KY) Medical Institute was established in 1837, it was in part located in that particular city due to the large population of slaves, freemen, and transient whites who made up the population most available for clinical teaching. During the Civil War, African American recruits from Kentucky were said to be the healthiest and stoutest the Union Army medical examiners had seen, which was often equated with the assumption that slavery was less harsh in Kentucky than other border and southern states. For more see A History of Blacks in Kentucky, by M. B. Lucas; Birthing a Slave, by M. J. Schwartz; and T. L. Savitt, "The Use of Blacks for Medical Experimentation and Demonstration in the Old South," The Journal of Southern History, vol. 48, issue 3 (August 1982), pp. 331-348 [quotation from p. 331].
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Kentucky

Sleet, Anne
Birth Year : 1932
In 2007, Anne Sleet became the first African American woman mayor of Perryville, KY. A former nurse and caterer, Sleet had also been a member of the city council prior to becoming mayor, succeeding her late husband, Raymond Sleet, who had been elected to the council four times. Anne Sleet was re-elected to the council for three consecutive terms and was unopposed when she ran for mayor. For more see G. Kocher, "Perryville's next mayor - Anne Sleet adds new chapter to family's proud history in Boyle County," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/27/2006, Main News section, p. A1.  See also the Sleettown entry.

    See Anne Sleet interview [#210] at "Connections with Renee Shaw," 02/10/2007, a KET (Kentucky Educational Television) website.
Subjects: Bakers, Cooks and Chefs, Medical Field, Health Care, Politicians, Politics, Appointments & Elections, Mayors, Nurses
Geographic Region: Perryville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Smith-Hyatt, Mary E.
Born in Estill County, KY, Smith-Hyatt practiced medicine in Indianapolis, IN, specializing in women's and children's diseases. She was also a dressmaker and milliner as well as a voice and piano teacher. She wrote medical articles published in newspapers and journals and published a book of poetry and a book on health. Smith-Hyatt composed the words and music of My Little Hoosier Song and Consecration. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1933-37.
Subjects: Authors, Businesses, Medical Field, Health Care, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets
Geographic Region: Estill County, Kentucky / Indianapolis, Indiana

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

St. Joseph Hospital (Lexington, KY)
The hospital was in operation in 1877, when the five Sisters of Charity arrived in October of that year. Though the hospital was segregated, there was a separate building for African Americans, and "a few women of disreputable character were also housed in a separate area." Sister Euphrasia Stafford was the administrator of the hospital for the first 40 years. She was a great supporter of Dr. John E. Hunter, the first African American physician in Lexington. Hunter, who was from Virginia, was a surgeon at the hospital for 63 years, arriving in 1889. For more see A story of Saint Joseph Hospital Lexington, Kentucky: the first 120 years, 1877-1997, by F. Krumpelman.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Women's Groups and Organizations
Geographic Region: Virginia / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Stephens, H. A. and Kathryn S.
Dr. Herman. A. Stephens (1905-1987) was born in Yazoo City, MS. His wife, Kathryn Smith Stephens, was born in 1935 in Lexington, KY. Kathryn Stephens was a sister of the late John T. Smith. She was also the first African American in Kentucky to be a licensed nursing home administrator. Stephens Nursing Home was located at 909 Georgetown Street in Lexington, where it was in operation for almost 30 years. Dr. Stephens, who assisted with the management of the nursing home, had a private practice on Georgetown Street. He was a graduate of the University of Detroit and Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. Dr. Stephens had practiced medicine in a number of cities, practicing for a while with his brother, Dr. William B. Stephens. Before African Americans were allowed to deliver their babies at Lexington hospitals, Dr. H. A. Stephens delivered them at his home. According to Stephen's daughter, Nelda Jackson, things changed in Lexington when Dr. Stephens insisted on using a delivery room at St. Joseph Hospital. For more see A. Jester, "Kathryn S. Stephens: it all starts with the individual," Lexington Herald Leader, 02/27/05; and J. Hewlett, "H. A. Stephens dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/31/1987, Obituaries section, p. B11. Additional information submitted by Nelda Stephens Jackson.

Access Interview Read about the Herman A. Stephens oral history interview available in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, item record in the SPOKE Database.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Yazoo City, Mississippi / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Sweeney, Pruitt Owsley, Sr.
Birth Year : 1893
Death Year : 1960
Born in Boyle County, KY, P. O. Sweeney became a dentist and later president of the Louisville, KY, Dental Association. He was also president of the Louisville NAACP branch and the Teachers' Equalization Committee. In 1947 he filed a lawsuit against the city of Louisville for operating a segregated public golf course. The suit was settled in 1952 when the city-owned golf course was opened to all citizens. Sweeney, a Kentucky native who was born in Junction City, KY, was the son of Edgar and Florence Sweeney. For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. Dunnigan; and Who's Who in Colored America 1927. For more general information see African American golfers during the Jim Crow Era by M. P. Dawkins and G. C. Kinloch; and Forbidden Fairways: African Americans and the game of golf, by C. H. Sinnette.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Golf and Golfers, Medical Field, Health Care, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Dentists, Court Cases
Geographic Region: Junction City, Boyle County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Taylor, Vertner L.
Birth Year : 1938
Vertner Taylor, born in Lexington, KY, was the first African American graduate of the University of Kentucky pharmacy program in 1960. He is also a graduate of old Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY, and earned his undergraduate degree at Xavier University. In 1961, Taylor was the first African American pharmaceutical sales representative for E. R. Squibb and Sons in Chicago, the company was founded in 1892. Taylor was also the associate director of pharmacy at the University of Chicago. He returned to Kentucky where he helped establish the Hunter Foundation for Health Care, and was director of health services for the Kentucky Corrections Cabinet. Today he is the Corrections Commissioner of Kentucky, a position he has held since 2001. For more see M. Davis, "Psychiatrist carries rich legacy from Lexington - Taylors cherish promise of education," Lexington Herald-Leader, 03/21/2010, City Region section, p.B1; E. A. Jasmin and A. Etmans, "Black UK graduates to honor school's 'Waymakers' of '60s," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/01/1993, City/State section, p.B3; and the online article "Chicago drug firm hires 1st Negro salesman," Jet, 11/02/1961, p.51.

  See photo image and bio of Vertner Taylor (about mid-page) at the Biographies: Justice Cabinet Executive Staff website.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Corrections and Police, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Thompson, Lucia E.
Birth Year : 1897
Thompson was born in Paducah, KY. An optometrist, she received her O.D. from Monroe College of Optometry in Chicago in 1947. Thompson was an instructor at West Kentucky College [now West Kentucky Community and Technical College] for ten years and taught at a private adult school for five years before she opened her optometry business in Chicago. For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois

Tinsley, Henry Clay
Birth Year : 1869
Tinsley was born in London, KY, the son of Preston and Caroline Severe Tinsley. In 1880 the family was still living in Laurel County, KY, according to the U.S. Census, and Henry, at the age of 10, was listed as a laborer. Later in life, he would become a teacher, physician, and surgeon. Tinsley completed his undergraduate work at Berea College in 1900; he had started grammar school at the age of 20 and completed the B.L. degree at the age of 31. He received his M.D. from Meharry Medical College in 1903, then started his practice in Georgetown, KY. Tinsley was also vice-president of Georgetown Mercantile Stock Company. He would leave Georgetown, and by 1920 he was widowed and practicing medicine in St. Louis, MO, according to the Federal Census. Tinsley was still living in St. Louis in 1930. For more see the Henry Clay Tinsley entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race, by F. L. Mather [available full-text at Google Book Search]; and A Utopian Experiment in Kentucky, by R. D. Sears.
Subjects: Businesses, Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West
Geographic Region: London, Laurel County, Kentucky / Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky / St. Louis, Missouri

Tools, Robert
Birth Year : 1942
Death Year : 2001
Robert Tools was born in Mobile, AL, and lived in Franklin, KY, the last five years of his life. Tools was the first human to receive the fully contained, two pound artificial heart, AbioCor, developed by Abiomed in Massachusetts. Tools suffered from renal failure and diabetes, which made him ineligible for a heart transplant; he was given only a couple of months to live. He received his artificial heart on July 2, 2001, at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, KY. Tools survived for 151 days with his new heart. The published accounts of Tools's new heart were voted Top Story of the Year in Kentucky. For more see the CNN story, "Heart patient had to take chance," 08/22/2001; The Implantable Artificial Heart Project site by Jewish Hospital, University of Louisville Health Sciences Center and Abiomed; and "It was great...Absolutely great," Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/24/2001, p. B1.


Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Mobile, Alabama / Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Towles, Jeffrey
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 2004
According to his death notice by the Associated Press and newspaper sources, Jeffrey Towles was born and raised in Kentucky. He was the surgeon who helped save the life of Vernon Jordan in 1980. Jordan, then president of the Urban League, had been shot in the back by a sniper. Jordan had been standing in a hotel parking lot in Fort Wayne, IN, when he was shot. Towles led the surgery team that operated on Jordan. Towles was also active in the Fort Wayne community and served on the school board before becoming the first African American president of the school board in 1987. He was a veteran of the Korean War and a graduate of West Virginia State College [now West Virginia State University] and the University of Louisville Medical School. For more see "Towles, surgeon and Fort Wayne community leader, dies at age 74," The Associated Press; and J. Creek, "Black leader, surgeon for Vernon Jordan dies," The Journal Gazette, 01/26/2004, p. 1A.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Board of Education, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Fort Wayne, Indiana

Tuberculosis Movement (Louisville, KY)
In the late 1880s the mortality rate among African Americans due to tuberculosis (or consumption) was three times higher than that for whites, especially in the South. It soon became evident that tuberculosis was an overall health problem not restricted to any one race, and though the Tuberculosis Movement remained segregated, there were more joint efforts between the races. In Louisville prior to 1909, the Anti-Tuberculosis Association established the Committee on Conference and Prevention of Tuberculosis among the Colored People. A visiting nurse was hired and her duties included educating African Americans in Louisville about tuberculosis. The visiting nurse was seen as a self-help answer, an idea that grew to become a major part of the nationwide Tuberculosis Movement for Negroes. In 1914 a training program for visiting nurses was established at the Negro Mercy Hospital in Philadelphia. In 1928 the Julius Rosenwald Fund sponsored a training program for 200 African American nurses to serve in the rural South. For more see M. M. Torchia, "The Tuberculosis Movement and the Race Question, 1890-1950," Bulletin of the History of Medicine, vol. 49, issue 2 (Summer 1975), pp. 152-168; and The Tuberculosis Movement: a public health campaign in the progressive era, by M. E. Teller.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Nurses, Tuberculosis: Care and Deaths
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Turner, Samuel
Death Year : 1901
Dr. Turner's death in 1901 was the first suicide on record for an African American in Kentucky. It was thought that he hanged himself due to the shame of being indited for vending lottery tickets. His half nude body was found in the early morning, in the highest tree, 50 feet above ground, in Flora Park in Louisville, KY. The park was located at South and Ormsby Streets. Turner's death was also reported as a lynching. For more see "Suicide: of Dr. Samuel Turner this morning," Newark Daily Advocate, 06/29/1901, p. 1; "He hanged himself high," The Atlanta Constitution, 06/30/1901, p.2.
Subjects: Lynchings, Medical Field, Health Care, Parks, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Gambling, Lottery, Suicide
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Unnatural Causes: is inequality making us sick?
Start Year : 2008
Unnatural Causes is a PBS documentary that looks at socio-economics and racial inequalities in health. The four hour series has seven segments set in different racial/ethnic communities. The first hour-long segment focuses on Louisville, KY, with Dr. Adewale Troutman, Director of Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness. Dr. Troutman is also the founder of the Center for Health Equity in Louisville, the first center of its kind in the United States. The remaining six segments of the documentary run 30 minutes each. The documentary is available at the UK Libraries Audiovisual Services Department (call number AV-D6980) and at several other academic libraries in Kentucky. After the broadcast of the documentary, a town hall meeting was held in Louisville, KY, March 20, 2008, to discuss issues that the documentary raised. The Kentucky Educational Television (KET) produced a recording of the meeting, Unnatural Causes: a Louisville town hall meeting; it is available online. A discussion of the issues on a PBS local companion program, a special edition of Connections With Renee Shaw, Program #313, is also available online; it focuses on Louisville, Hazard and Perry County, and eastern and western Kentucky. For more see the KET website, Unnatural Causes.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky / Eastern Kentucky / Western Kentucky

Vital Statistics: Emancipation, Medical Field, & Race Extinction
Following the Civil War, it was again predicted that the effects of emancipating slaves in the United States would result in the extinction of the race. A report was given at the State Medical Society of Kentucky in 1869 on the reproductive capacity of women and how physical labor increased reproduction. Statistics from the southern states compared the number of African American children born during slavery to the decreased rate after slavery. It was also suggested that there was an infant mortality rate of 50% within the first year of all live births among African Americans. Immorality was thought to be the cause of the decreased birth rate and sterility. The matter was such a serious concern that it was one of the reasons the State Medical Society of Kentucky presented a petition to the Kentucky Legislature to re-enact the law requiring the registration of births, marriages, and deaths. For more see "The probable effect of emancipation in producing the ultimate extinction of the black race in America is foreshadowed ...," Weekly Georgia Telegraph, 10/22/1869, issue 15, col E; "Vital Statistics," Medical and Surgical Reporter, 1869, vol. 20, p. 194 [available full-text at Google Book Search]; R. R. Hogan's Kentucky Ancestry; and An American Health Dilemma, by W. M. Byrd and L. A. Clayton.
Subjects: Freedom, Genealogy, History, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Kentucky

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

Waring, Mary R. Fitzbutler
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1958
Mary R. Fitzbutler Waring was said to have been born in Louisville, KY, but according to the 1880 U.S. Census, she was born in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of doctors Henry and Sarah Fitzbutler. The family moved to the U.S. in 1875, and was living in Louisville in 1880. Waring would become a teacher at the Western Colored School, according to the 1890 Louisville City Directory. She was a 1894 graduate of the Louisville National Medical College. She married Frank B. Waring, her second husband, in 1901. According to the 1930 U.S. Census, the Warings were living in Chicago, where Mary was a physician, having graduated from the Chicago Medical College, and she was also a school teacher. She was the 1915 commissioner of the Chicago Exposition, showing progress of Colored People in Chicago, and she was the appointed representative of the National Council of Women of America. She served as president of the National Association of Colored Women, and she attended the International Council of Women in Norway in 1920. For more seeWho's Who in Colored America, 1928-29; Blacks in Science and Medicine by V. O. Sammons; and Notable Black American Women,Book II by J. C. Smith.

See photo image of Mary Fitzbutler Waring at New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

See 1898 graduation photo image of Mary Fitzbutler at Explore UK.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Colored Fairs & Black Expos, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada / Chicago, Illinois / Norway

Watkins, Jerry
Birth Year : 1950
Jerry Watkins was born in Hopkinsville, KY. His family moved to Central Islip, New York, in 1965. He graduated from Ottawa University in 1975 with degrees in biology and education. In 1995 he was one of the 24 educators chosen to study DNA and molecular genetics; he now works with the schools to develop DNA science curricula. For more see African Americans of Western Long Island, by J. Domatob.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / Central Islip, New York

Watson, Carl
Dr. Carl Watson was the first African American admitted to the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He completed his residency and graduated in 1964. His obstetrics and gynecology practice is in California. Watson is also a graduate of the old Dunbar High School in Lexington, KY. Sources: Kenutcky Alumni, fall 2010, v81, issue 3, p.15; and E. A. Jasmin and A. Etmans, "Black UK graduates to honor school's 'Waymakers' of '60s," Lexington Herald-Leader, 10/01/1993, City/State section, p.B3.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration West
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette 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

Weston, Alice Victoria Henry and William Julius Sr.
In 1948, Alice Weston was buried in Paducah, KY. She was born in 1882 in Perry, NY, the daughter of Henry and Clara E. Henry Thomas. Her father had been an escaped slave from Mississippi, and her mother was the sister of distinguished Judge Edward W. Henry (1871-1946) in Philadelphia. Alice Weston was married to Dr. William Julius Weston (1875-1936) from Henderson, KY; they met while students at Howard University. The couple moved to Kentucky, where Dr. Weston practiced medicine at Hickman, Henderson, and Paducah. Victoria Weston completed her college degree at Kentucky State University and taught at Lincoln High School in Paducah for 20 years. She was one of the most influential teachers in the city and the state. Weston, who taught history, was the first teacher in Kentucky to develop and teach a formal course in African American history that was required of all students at Lincoln High. She served in several leadership positions within her church and led general church activities held in Paducah. She was an active member of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association and served as president of the Kentucky State Association of Colored Women, which was established in 1903. Victoria and William Weston had three children, all born in Kentucky: Clara Elizabeth (b. 1904), Alice Victoria (b. 1915), and William Julius, Jr. (1906-1945); William was a police officer in Washington, D.C., who was killed in the line of duty. For more see C. G. Woodson, "Alice Victoria Weston and her family," Negro History Bulletin, vol. 11, issue 9, pp. 195-198; William Julius Weston in A Historical, Biographical and Statistical Souvenir, by D. S. Lamb [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Historians, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South, Women's Groups and Organizations, Association of Colored Women's Clubs
Geographic Region: Perry, New York / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky / Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Wheeler, John N.
Birth Year : 1869
Death Year : 1940
Dr. John N. Wheeler was born in Kentucky, the son of Sarah and Robert Wheeler. According to the U.S. Federal Census, in 1870 the family of 13 lived in Feliciana, KY, and by 1880 Sarah Wheeler had died, and Robert and four of the children lived in Mayfield, KY. The family moved to Vienna, IL, where John Wheeler completed school and went on to graduate from Meharry Medical College in 1903. He was the husband of Dr. Emma Rochelle Wheeler (1882-1957), and they had a medical practice together in Chattanooga, TN. In 1915, Dr. Emma Wheeler was founder and owner of Walden Hospital in Chattanooga, it was the first African American hospital in the city, and it closed in 1953. Dr. Emma Wheeler also founded a school for training nurses, and she and her husband taught at the school. For more see the John N. Wheeler entry in African Americans of Chattanooga by R. L. Hubbard.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration South
Geographic Region: Feliciana and Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky / Chattanooga, Tennessee

White, Randolf Franklin
Birth Year : 1870
Death Year : 1943
Dr. Randolf F. White was a prominent pharmacist in Owensboro, KY, serving both white and African American customers. He was one of the first African American pharmacists in Daviess County. Dr. White was born in Warrington, Florida, the son of Moses and Massie White. His wife, Fannie H. White, was born in Kentucky. Dr. White and his wife are listed in both the 1920 Daviess County Census and the 1920 U.S. Federal Census. In 1913, Dr. White was named president of the Pharmaceutical Section of the National Medical Association. He had been a druggist in Lexington, KY, and came to Owensboro in 1901, where he operated his drug store for 24 years. White's Drug Store was located at 812 West 5th Street. As a young man, John T. Clark, of the Urban League, had been a pharmacist during the summers at White's Drug Store. In 1925, Dr. White sold his pharmacy to Miley R. Coffield. By 1930, Dr. White and his wife lived in Louisville, KY, at 2504 W. Madison Street. Dr. White owned a drugstore and his wife Fannie was a school teacher [source: 1930 U.S. Federal Census]. Dr. Randolf F. White died on January 1, 1943 [source: Kentucky Death Certificate]. Arrangements were handled by the J. B. Cooper Funeral Home, and Dr. White was buried in the Zachery Taylor National Cemetery. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War. For more see "The Pharmacy conducted by Dr. R. F. White ...," The Savannah Tribune, 02/07/1914, p. 4; Dr. R. F. White in "Enterprising Owensboro" in Freeman, 06/30/1906, p. 6; Dr. R. F. White on p. 347 under the heading "Pharmaceutical Section" in the Journal of the National Medical Association, 1914, vol. 5, no. 4; "Southern States," The Pharmaceutical Era, 1925, vol. 60, p. 379; and the paragraph at the bottom of column 1 and the top of column 2 of the article "Past Week at Louisville," Freeman, 10/07/1911, p. 1.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Warrington, Florida / Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky / Louisville, Jefferson 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

Williams, Pauline L.
Birth Year : 1911
Death Year : 2005
Pauline L. Williams was born in Trenton, KY. She moved to Chicago in 1927 and later became the first African American woman to serve on the Evanston Plan Commission. Williams was also president of the Woman's Auxiliary at the Community Hospital and later became president of the board of directors at the hospital. She was also president of the board of directors of the Evanston Historical Society and creator of the African American exhibits, "The Sick Can't Wait" and "Your Presence is Requested." For more see J. Bourke, "Pauline Williams," Evanston Review, 09/08/2005, News section, p. 151.
Subjects: Civic Leaders, Historians, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North
Geographic Region: Trenton, Todd County, Kentucky / Chicago and Evanston, 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

Wilson, William H.
Birth Year : 1879
Wilson, born in Murray, KY, was a school teacher, a pharmacist, and a physician. He was the son of Lina Beauraguard. Wilson was a graduate of State Normal School in Frankfort, KY; a 1903 graduate of Berea College; and received his M.D. from the University of Illinois, College of Medicine in 1910. He taught public school for 12 years, then was a pharmacist in Chicago before moving back to Kentucky to practice medicine, first in Clayton, then in Henderson. For more see the William H. Wilson entry in Who's Who of the Colored Race, by F. L. Mather [available full-text at Google Book Search].
Subjects: Education and Educators, Medical Field, Health Care, Pharmacists, Pharmacies
Geographic Region: Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky / Chicago, Illinois / Clayton, Kentucky / Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Young, Coleman Milton, III
Birth Year : 1930
Dr. C. Milton Young, III was the first African American to enroll at the University of Louisville in 1950. He went on to earn his medical degree at Meharry Medical College, and was the first African American intern at Louisville General Hospital, 1961-62. In addition to having a private medical practice, Young was the founder and director of the Louisville Methadone Treatment Program, 1968-72. He was the editor of the journal Louisville Medicine, founded the Louisville Black Pages, and founded and edited the Black Scene Magazine. Young is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha. He was born in Louisville, KY, the son of Hortense Houston Young and Colman Milton Young, Jr. For more see C. Milton Young, III, M.D. in Who's Who of Black Louisville, 3rd ed., p.169; and Who's Who Among African Americans, 1996-2009.
Subjects: Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Medical Field, Health Care, Military & Veterans, Fraternal Organizations
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

 

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