herbal medicine

Dr. Woodard, root doctor.


Raleigh News & Observer, 22 June 1913.

Benjamin Woodard was possibly the “negro quack” who created such an uproar among members of the Wilson County Medical Society in 1889. Though his credentials were questioned, and even mocked, in this news brief, in the 1896 edition of Branson’s North Carolina Business Directory, Ben Woodard is listed as the only African-American physician in Wilson County:

Ben Woodard BBD


In the 1870 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farm laborer Benj’n Woodard, 32, wife Harriet, 31, and children Edna, 13, Frederick, 9, and Venah, 6.

In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer, Benjamin Woodard, 42, wife Harriet, 39, children Frederick, 18, Maggie, 15, and Ruth, 10, plus a servant with neuralgia named Merrit Joyner, 23.

In the 1900 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: “physician (herbal)” Benjamin Woodard, 63, and wife Harriet, 56.

In the 1910 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson County: on Moore Street, living alone, 73 year-old widower Ben Woodard, employed at odd jobs.

Benjamin Woodard died 14 December 1917 in Gardners township, Wilson County. His death certificate notes that he was born in June 1836 to Mary Woodard and Solomon Anders and that he worked as an herb doctor.