Leonard Medical School

Leonard Medical School students.

James Arthur Cotton appears in Leonard Medical School‘s 1888-’89 catalog with a notation that he done his collegiate studies at Saint Augustine’s College. (Perhaps he did not finish, as the Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929 lists him as a 1897 graduate of Chicago’s Harvey Medical College.

Lincoln University graduate Charles Hudson Bynum appears in the 1892-’93 Leonard Medical School catalog.

Dr. James A. Battle.

For a town whose population did not hit 10,000 until 1920 (and of which only half  were black), Wilson produced an astounding number of African-American physicians in the first few decades of the twentieth century. To the ranks of Drs. Joseph H. WardCharles H. Bynum, William H. BryantJohn W. Darden, James T. Suggs and Walter T. Darden, add James Alexander Battle.

Born in 1885 to Parker and Ella Daniel Battle, Battle graduated Leonard Medical School at Shaw University in Raleigh and soon established a practice in Greenville, North Carolina. In 1914, he married Della Mae Plummer of Warren County. They had one child, daughter Ella Elizabeth. Dr. Battle is credited as the first African-American physician to gain practicing privileges at Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

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Greenville News, 23 February 1918.

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Death certificate of Ella Lea Battle, Dr. Battle’s mother. Dr. Battle served as informant for the document, and Dr. Michael E. DuBissette, of Afro-Caribbean descent, certified it. 

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Pittsburgh Courier, 27 June 1953.

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Journal of the Old North State Medical Society, volume 3, number 1 (October 1953).

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Dr. J.A. Battle’s home at 1208 West 4th Street, Greenville. Photo courtesy of B. Forbes and published here.

 

Dr. William Arthur Mitchner.

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WA Mitchner

A.B. Caldwell, ed., History of the American Negro and His Institutions, North Carolina Edition (1921).

Dr. William A. Mitchner apparently moved to Wilson very shortly after graduating Leonard Medical School. In June 1910, he married Mattie Louise Maultsby, daughter of Daniel L. and Smithey C. Maultsby (who seem to have been natives of Pitt County.) Camillus L. Darden applied for the license on their behalf, and they were married at Saint John A.M.E. Zion church.

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In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County, at 534 E. Nash Street: Wm. A Mitchner, 40, son Wm. M., 8, mother Lucy, 60, and nephew Hubert Mitchner, 23, a barber.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County, at 604 E. Green Street: Dr. W. A. Mitchner, 53, born Johnston County; wife Marie, 40, born Wake County; and mother Lucy Mitchner, 80, born in Johnston County.

The East Wilson Historic District Nomination Report describes 604 E. Green, built circa 1913, as an “L-plan Queen Anne structure with cutaway front-facing bay.” The house has since been demolished.

Dr. Mitchner died 5 November 1941.

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Wilson Daily Times, 20 October 1911.

Will Jenkins, in fact, survived his wounds. In 1917, he registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. He noted that he was born in 1893 in Edgecombe County, that he was married and lived at 672 Viola Street, and that he was a lumber yard laborer.

A very worthy and highly respected colored man.

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Wilson Mirror, 19 November 1890.

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A.B. Caldwell, ed., History of the American Negro and His Institutions, North Carolina Edition (1921).

In the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Amos Bynum, 42, wife William Ann, 35, and children Charley, 14, Lulu, 4, George W., 3, Turner, 1, and Jonas, 17.

Though the article above avers that C.H. moved to Kinston in 1899, he married Janie Booth in Wilson in April of that year.

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She apparently died soon after, as she does not appear with the Bynum family in the 1900 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson County. (Charles Bynum is described as married, rather than widowed or divorced, however.)

1900 Wilson CH Bynum

In any case, he married Helen B. Wooten in 1904, and they are listed in Kinston, Lenoir County, in the 1910 census. The 1912 Kinston city directory shows Charles well established.

Kinston 1912

Charles H. Bynum died in 1938.