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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

Brown-Anderson, Marilyn G.
Birth Year : 1953
Death Year : 2013
Dr. Marilyn G. Brown-Anderson was one of the few African American female dentists in Kentucky when she passed away in 2013. In her obituary in the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper, Dr. Brown-Anderson is referred to as a "renowned local dentist," she was also a recognized pianist, a certified aqua fitness instructor and pool side attendant, and a gratis faculty member at the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky [source: see Marilyn Brown-Anderson in the Louisville Courier-Journal, Obituaries section, 04/07/2013]. Dr. Brown-Anderson opened and maintained her dental business at 1300 West Broadway for 22 years in Louisville, KY. She closed the business in 2005 and became a dentist with the Park DuValle Community Center, and a part-time dentist with the Department of Corrections, both in Louisville, KY [source: Obituary program - "A Celebration of Life for Dr. Marilyn G. Brown-Anderson," service Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at the First Virginia Missionary Baptist Church, Louisville, KY]. In her music career, Dr. Brown-Anderson began piano lessons at the age of four, and ten years later she was hired as the church pianist for Greater Good Hope Baptist Church in Louisville. She was the musician for a number of churches, inculding having served as music director at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church for 30 years, and she was the Minister of Music for the First Virginia Missionary Baptist Church for 30 years. Dr. Brown-Anderson had also served as the musician for the Young Adult Choir of the Consolidated Baptist Church in Lexington, KY, while living in Lexington and attending dental school. She also had a singing group, Keepers of the Dream [source: within the Dr. Leon D. French obituary in the Louisville Courier-Journal, 05/05/2013]. Dr. Marilyn G. Brown-Anderson was a graduate of Atherton High School and earned a B.A. in biology at the University of Louisville, and a D.M.D. at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. She was the daughter of Thomas and Irene Brown, the wife of Kevin D. Anderson, and the sister of Dr. Beatrice S. Brown. This entry and all sources were submitted by Juanita L. White.
Subjects: Medical Field, Health Care, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Dentists
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

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

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

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

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
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

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

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

Nero, Benjamin W.
Birth Year : 1937
Dr. Benjamin W. Nero, born in Greenwood, MS, was the first African American to graduate from the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Dentistry in 1967. He is an orthodontist. Prior to attending UK, Benjamin Nero attended Kentucky State College (now Kentucky State University) and was the starting quarterback on the football team.  He had also been the quarterback and captain on the Broad Street High School football team in Mississippi, where Nero led the team to a Northern Division Championship in 1955. After high school, Negro attended Tougaloo College, but decided to transfer to Kentucky State College where there was a stronger football program. He graduated from Kentucky State College with a bachelor's degree in biology, and was drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in 1960 (now the San Diego Chargers). The year 1960 was the team's first season, as well as the first season for the original eight teams that made up the 3rd version of the American Football League (history at  Benjamin Nero attended the Los Angeles Chargers' training camp and was told that he could not play the quarterback position because he was a Negro. Benjamin Nero decided not to play professional football. He next looked to continue his education and was accepted into the second class at the UK College of Dentistry in 1963. After graduation, he began a rotating internship at Albert Einstein Hospital in Philadelphia (now Einstein Healthcare Network). Nero was enrolled in the hospital's three year residency in orthodontics. Upon completing the internship, Dr. Nero became the first African American graduate of the residency program. In 1971, Dr. Nero took over the practice of Dr. Knowlton Atterbeary in Philadelphia; at the time, Dr. Knowlton Atterbeary was the first and only African American orthodontist in Philadelphia. Dr. Nero's practice was a success and he opened two more practices in Philadelphia. Dr. Nero would also have a practice in New Jersey. Back in Kentucky, in 2010 a scholarship at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry was named in honor of Dr. Benjamin W. Nero, and Dr. Robert H. Biggerstaff, the first African American faculty member at the college. For more see Dr. Benjamin Nero, a UK Alumni Association website; see Dr. Benjamin Nero in E. Arvedlund's article, "Memoirs by seniors offer lessons worth sharing," online at, also in the Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/04/2015, Advance edition, Business section, p.E01; and T. Kuykendall, "Nero praised as 'the Tiger Woods of orthodontics'," The Greenwood Commonwealth, 02/01/2010, News section [Note Writer Error: "He began looking into other schools across the nation and found a connection to the University of Kentucky [should be Kentucky State College] through his high school football coach."  See more about Dr. Knowlton Atterbeary and his family within the Richaleen Atterbeary online obituary at, also in The Times Leader (Wilkes-Barre), 11/12/2008, News section, p.A8.


  See photo image of Dr. Benjamin W. Nero at UK Alumni Association website.

Subjects: Football, Medical Field, Health Care, Migration North, Dentists
Geographic Region: Greenwood, Mississippi / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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

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


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