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

Hamilton, Richard Bertram

(born: 1874  -  died: 1919) 

Richard Bertram Hamilton was one of the early African American dentists in Danville, KY, and one of the earliest African American college-trained dentists in Kentucky. He was an 1898 graduate of the University of Michigan College of Dental Surgery (now University of Michigan School of Dentistry). In 1918, his dental office was located at 122 E. Main Street in Danville, KY, according to his World War I Draft Registration Card (Ancestry).

Hamilton had been a practicing dentist in Danville since at least 1900 when he was listed in the U.S. Census. He was single and a lodger at the home of William Perkins on Main Street in Danville. On April 16, 1902, he married Ophelia Catherine Tibbs (1881-1907), to whom he was married for five  years. On Ophelia Hamilton's tombstone in the Hilldale Cemetery is their daughter's name, "Mary Esther Hamilton"; there is no birth or death date for the child. After Ophelia's death, Richard B. Hamilton continued living on Walnut Street with his mother-in-law, Mary R. Tibbs (1844-1910).  

[Sources: University of Michigan Catalogue of Graduates, Non-Graduates, Officers, and Members of the Faculties, 1837-1921, p. 661 (Ancestry); 1900 U.S. Census; "Boyle County Kentucky Declarations of Marriage, Books 1-C through 14-C, and 19-W," a .pdf document at RootsWeb; Ophelia Tibbs Hamilton at Find A Grave; "Ophelia Hamilton" in the Kentucky Advocate, 3/4/1907, p. 3; and the 1910 U.S. Census.]

Richard Hamilton is listed as secretary of the Danville Colored Fair in the July 4, 1908 issue of The Billboard on p. 46. The fair was held August 19-21, 1908. He married Leota Linne Nichols May 16, 1911 in Danville, his second marriage. Leota was a graduate of Wayman Institute and Wilberforce University, the daughter of Rev. Pleasant A. Nichols and Dovie Candaea Haddox. She is listed as Richard's spouse on his World War I draft card, signed September 12, 1918. The couple lived in Danville at 127 E. Walnut Street.

Richard B. Hamilton was sick with tuberculosis and appendicitis. During the latter months of 1918 he returned to his hometown of Lima, OH, where he died January 10, 1919. On November 10 of that year, his widow, Leota married Harry M. Lackey in Wayne County, IN.

Richard Bertram Hamilton was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima. He was the son of Levi J. Hamilton and Esther Howard Hamilton, both   from West Virginia.

Sources: Centennial Encyclopedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, vol. I, pp. 171-172; Indiana Marriages (Ancestry); and Indiana Death Certificate File No. 84, Registered No. 24 (available at FamilySearch).

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Boyle County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Danville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hamilton, Richard Bertram,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 22, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-12-05 19:29:28