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

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 became a certified teacher for the Todd County Colored School District [see his Indiana Historical Society, copy of certificate]. Dora was also a certified teacher in Todd County [Indiana Historical Society, copy of certification].

In 1900 the family had moved to Anderson, IN, according to the U.S. Census. Dr. Atkins practiced medicine there for a few years, then 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 Books].

Dr. Atkins was a physician for the Flanner House, founded in 1898 to provide health, social, and educational assistance to African American families migrating from the South to Indianapolis [Indiana Historical Society, archival information]. His dedication to the Flanner House is mentioned in a speech given by Aldridge Lewis around 1918 [Indiana Historical Society digital copy of speech]. 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 the "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; and "Suspected slayer who shot himself soon after murder dies," The Indianapolis Star, 6/18/1923, p. 16.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Todd County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Christian County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Hadensville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Pembroke, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Atkins, Calvin Rupert and Dora G. Graham Atkins,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 23, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-09-16 17:26:08