From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Louisville National Medical College

(start date: 1888  -  end date: 1912) 

Dr. Henry Fitzbutler, who came to Kentucky from Michigan, led the push for a medical college to train African American doctors in Louisville. He was assisted in the endeavor by Rufus Conrad; W. A. Burney, of New Albany, IN; 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, later moving to Green Street.

The first graduate was a woman. A training hospital was added in 1896. In total, 150 doctors graduated from the college before it was forced to close because of financial difficulties.

The medical college had merged with Simmons University (Louisville) in 1907; after Simmons 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; 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 Books]. For more on the training hospital, see the Citizen's Auxiliary Hospital entry in NKAA.

See also "Louisville National Medical College, by Morris M. Weiss, MD, in "History of Louisville National Medical College and the Red Cross Hospital: African American Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky - 1872 to 1976, Part 3" Louisville Medicine, April 2013, pp. 14-16. The reference and copies of the article were provided by Allan Weiss.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Louisville National Medical College,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-11-18 17:43:12