Posted on 07/20/2008

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Women's History Women's History


Chillicothe-Ross County Women's Hall of Fame
Ross County
Waco Texas
Northwestern University School of Medicine
Frankfurt Kentucky
Emma Ann Reynolds
Wilberforce University
Nursing School
African American
Provident Hospital

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Emma Ann Reynolds

Emma Ann Reynolds
Emma Ann Reynolds (1862 - 1917), was born near Frankfort, Ohio. She desired to attend nursing school in Chicago but was refused because of her race. She enrolled in Wilberforce University instead. Upon graduation, she moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where four of her brothers lived, and where she taught in the public schools for seven years. Agitated by the poor health conditions of African Americans during this era, Reynolds convinced one of her brothers, the pastor of an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Chicago, to join her in seeking social reforms to address these pressing needs. Her brother contacted Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, a prominent African American physician and surgeon. In 1890, Williams organized the first interracial hospital, Provident Hospital in Chicago, and opened a school of nursing. Reynolds was one of the first two graduates to complete the eighteen‑month nursing program in 1892.

Reynolds went on to further training at the Northwestern University School of Medicine and became the first African American woman to receive an M.D. from that program. For the next seven years, she was a physician in Waco, Texas, and New Orleans, Louisiana, before returning to Ohio in 1902 because of ill health. After her recovery, Reynolds began practicing medicine in Ross County. She provided much needed services to the rural residents of this area until her death in 1917.

For her achievements, Reynolds was inducted into the Chillicothe‑Ross County Women’s Hall of Fame in the field of medicine in 1991.

'Profiles of Ohio Women 1803-2003' by Jacqueline Jones Royster