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    The Jubilee Singers. (1875). Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.
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Dr. Lloyd C. Elam

 Today, the president of Meharry Medical College informed the community  of the death of Dr. Lloyd C. Elam yesterday.  Dr. Elam was the 6th  president of Meharry, having become president at 39 years old on June 6, 1968.  The presidency was just one of many of the roles Dr. Elam served the college  throughout his 25 years there. Dr. Elam had many accomplishments, was  very active in the community, and received numerous rewards and  accolades for his contributions. 

 The picture is from a biography page about Dr. Elam at http://tinyurl.com/4h8v5o


Dr. Elam was born in 1929 to Harry P. (Apr 1899 – Sep 1975) & Ruth Elam (c. 1903 – ?) in Little Rock, Arkansas.  From the family’s 1930 census record, I see that Dr. Elam had at lease two siblings, Margaret & Theodore.  At the time, Lloyd was 1 year and 5 months old. 

Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Little Rock, Pulaski, Arkansas; Roll: 92; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 37; Image: 317.0. Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2002. 

When I located Lloyd’s father’s WWI Draft Registration Card, Iearned that his father’s name was William P. Elam.  William was born in Louisiana, and with wife Hattie whom he married about 1887, would have at least 6 children, one of whom died before 1900.  The children I could find at this point for William & Hattie are Erastus H. (b. Nov 1887), Wiley V. (b. Sep 1894), Harry P. (b. Apr 1899), Floyd (b. abt. 1902) and Cyrus (b. abt. 1905). [see the family in 1900 and 1910 census records]

Reading about Dr. Elam’s life as I’ve been doing over the past few hours has been educational and I know that he will be dearly missed by all his family, friends and colleagues.   Rest in peace Dr. Elam. 





A Nashville Boy’s Good Record

Nashville Globe
1 Mar 1907

As the closing days of the Meharry Medical College draw nigh, and as the senior class begin to make preparations to bid adieu to old friends and familiar scenes, one begins to look around to see the personalities of the class.  Many familiar faces are seen therein.  Some of the young men have spent seven and eight years attending school in Nashville, but as a rule they come from distant cities.  It is often the case that the home boys go elsewhere to finish because of the old maxim, “A Prophet is not without honor save in his own country.”  This however, has not been the case with Richard Cheatham Hunter, the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. James L. Hunter of 1309 Hynes street, who finishes with the class of 1907, Meharry.

Young Mr. Hunter has spent all of his life in this city, having been born corner Fifth avenue and Broadway just twenty-five years ago.  He finished his grammar school education in the city schools of Nashville, then entered Fisk and finished the college department with the class of 1903.  While looking around to see what profession he would like to take, he was absent from Nashville only about two years, then returned and decided to take a medical course.  He entered Meharry and from the beginning has shown remarkable ability as a pupil.  He has studied hard in order to get all there was to be had out of his studies.  He has been recently offered a position as one of the interns at the Freedman’s Hospital,  Washington, D.C. and will probably leave this week to accept.  This will give him a wonderful opporutnity to further fit himself for the profession.  But, in accepting the intern, he must reject the recent honor thrust upon him by the class in making him their salutatorian.  But in the face of the advantages to be derived from the stay in the hospital at Washington, and because he must go at once, if he expects to accept the offer, the class decided that they could allow him to go with their best wishes.  Hence they unanimously agreed.  Just who will be elected to succeed Mr. Hunter as the salutatorian has not been learned.  All of Nashville will no doubt feel proud to send forth into the medical profession such a promising young man, who was so singularly honored by such a large class.  He stands well not only in his class and at school, but with the people of the city, many of whom have known him since boyhood.  Just where he will locate after leaving the Freedman Hospital is not known.

One of the beautiful characteristics of his career has been that he has been one of the few self-supporting young men, notwithstanding his long college career at the two schools, he has managed to make his own way.  His future will be watched with the deepest interest by his friends and acquaintances at home.


Additional Information

  • See Richard in the 1912 Fisk Catalogue. By 1912, he was living in Chicago, Illinois.
  • See Richard in the 1912 Meharry Catalogue (go to page 43 of 80).  Here, he is listed as being in Edwington, Alberta, Canada.

Famous Firsts

InfoPlease has a list of Famous Firsts by African-Americans. No one from Tennessee on the list but it is short list. There are so many firsts here! Tennessee’s own Wilma Rudolph for one – but not only was she the first black woman to win three medals during track & field at a singe Olympics, but she as the first woman from the United States to do so. Go Wilma!

In case you didn’t know, Wilma’s mother sought care for Wilma’s childhood polio here at Meharry Medical College.

Marriages from the Meharry News – 1902

Marriages as announced in the 1902 Meharry News. See the Mehary Library Archives page for more information.

  • Dr. Cato H. Wilson & Mattie E. Warren married in Americus, Georgia
  • Minnie Lee Gibson to Dr. J. Lucian Carwins
  • Violet Black & Dr. E.W.D. Alexander married in Austin, Texas
  • Indianna Cobb and Mr. J.M. Robinson
  • Dr. A.M. Townsend & Willie Hadley
  • Dr. A.J. Davis & Nannie Pegram
  • Dr. A.J. Jordan & Ida Pegram
  • Dr. Charles R. Cooper & Eunice Lois Chesterfield
  • Dr. E.G. Overby & Docia Claggett
  • Wm. Sevier & Annie Spikes
  • Dr. J. Ballard Hughes & J. Olivia Ratcliff – Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • Gabriella E. Mays & S. Means Plair – Jacksonville, Florida
  • Dr. Jesse B. Covington & Jennie B. Murphy

One name in this list that I recognized was that of Dr. A.M. Townsend. His name has appeared in several articles I’ve transcribed from the Nashville Globe and shared on this blog. I also have one article up so far that mentions his wife, though her name was printed as Willa instead of Willie.

The Nashville Public Library has an index of marriages in Nashville between 1864-1905 and Townsend & Hadley do not appear there, despite the fact that got married here in Nashville at the Spruce Street Church. It goes to show you have to rely on multiple sources!

Meharry Medical College Catalogs & News

The Meharry Medical Library has on its website, PDF files of Meharry catalogs from 1881-1912 (some gaps in the years) for anyone with ancestors who went to or taught at Meharry, this is a great resource to have online! Just recently, the library added PDF files for 1902-1904 editions of Meharry News. The Meharry News publications include information such as marriages, deaths, and happenings for various alumni.

I decided to do some quick looking and found that Henry A. Napier, brother of one of my favorite persons lately, James Carroll Napier, graduated class of 1880 and it is noted that at the time of this publication in 1883 he was deceased. I already know from my research that he died before this time.

Since the catalogs and News cannot be searched as one large collection, you will need to search within each PDF file. What a great resource!

Fisk 1898 Catalogue

While doing some searching on the Merrys, I found that Google had digitized the 1898 catalogue of Fisk University. In it, I was able to find a little bit of new information about a couple of members of the Merry family, in addition to reading that Ida Napier, sister of J.C. Napier, graduated in the class of 1877.

The catalogues of Meharry Medical College are also going online- currently, various catalogues from 1881-1902 are available.

News from Nashville – October 28, 1916

As published in the Chicago Defender

  • R.J. Johnston Jr., A.B., of M.M.C., Junior Med., has returned to Meharry from Panama.  C.A. Wm. C. Lowery and J. Fred Wells, junior meds, are back. W.O. Terrell, junior int., who reports a pleasant summer at Detroit, Mich., is back to Meharry with his “old pals.”
  • E.T. Buford, A.B., Fisk class of ’16, is president of the freshman medical class at Meharry.
  • Dr. J.H. Hale shows the Meharry men some deep points in surgery.   The inauguration of Dr. Hubbard was one of the most historical events of the city of Nashville.  Hon. J.C. Napier presented Dr. Hubbard the keys of Meharry, and announced him president of the institution.  Dr. Hubbard is a graduate of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn, class of 1876, and has been laboring at Meharry since that time.  He delivered a fine address.
  • Isaac Fisher addressed the YMCA at Lincoln Theater last Sunday at 4pm.
  • Fisk met Walden on the football field last Saturday. 66 to 0 in favor of Fisk. Fisk will play West Virginia Oct 28 on Fisk campus. Coach Welker says that the boys are ready.
  • Mack T. William, Memphis sophmore, has returned to Roger Williams for study.  Mr. Williams is a licensed preacher and one of the best young orators of our race.
  • Miss Annie E. Stapler, South Pittsburg, Tenn., is back at Roger Williams for study. Eugent Tyler, Latin fiend, is back also.
  • The Nashville people enjoyed a heavy frost last Saturday night.
  • R.W. Brooks, Memphis, a graduate of Fisk ’16, is studying theology at Chicago University.
  • Miss Ethel Mayberry, Ruston, La., sophomore, is back to Roger Williams for study.

News of Nashville – November 10, 1917

    From the Chicago Defender November 10, 1917

  • President G.W. Hubbard of Meharry Medical College has returned to the city after a visit to New York, where he attended the meeting of the National Association of Dental Faculties
  • “The Model Home” was the subject of Rev. W. S. Ellington’s discourse last Sunday morning.
  • An attendance of seventy-five was reported for the Meharry Bible class at St. Paul’s A.M.E. church Sunday
  • E.L. Dunnings, A.B., senior medic, Meharry Medical College, was the guest of F.J. Myles, the Defender reporter, at 3528 West End avenue, Saturday.
  • Capt. M.V. Boutte and Lieut. H.A. Cameron left the city for Rockford, Ill. Tuesday night. They will be stationed at Camp Grant and will assist in training the Race men at that place.
  • The various educational institutions were visited during the week by Secretary Fabius of the YMCA international committee, together with two assistants, Belchaer and Evans, in the interest of the student friendship war fund. Fisk, Walden, Roger Williams universities, Meharry Medical College and the A & I State Normal were all visited and several hundred dollars in cash was tendered by the student of each institution.
  • L.E. Brown, the K. of P. secretary of Tennessee, whose home is in Memphis, was in the city this week.
  • Monroe Jordan of Pulaski, Tenn., is a popular junior dentist at Meharry Dental College.
  • Last week 150 men left the city for Camp Meade, Md. Some of Nashville’s best young men answered the country’s call.
  • Miss Hattie S. Hendly, 111 36th avenue South, was a visitor in North Nashville Sunday.
  • Mrs. Nelson G. Merry, wife of the late Rev. Nelson G. Merry, is dead.
  • The Chauffers’ Instructive association will hold a stag on Nov. 15 at the German-American hall.
  • Pearl High School had a dance last Saturday night at the German-American hall.
  • Miss Bertha Stevens and Ethel Mayberry, Louisiana, have returned for study at Roger Williams university.
  • Leonard Jones and Miss Gordon Officer were guests of Roger Williams university in a big cadillac.

Meharry Graudating Class of 1907

Calls For An Explanation
Nashville Globe – – January 25, 1907
Pg. 4

If the reports, being circulated around the city are true, the young men of the graduating class from Meharry deserve the commendation of every race-loving person in the city. Likewise the members of the faculty, almost all of whom are colored, are placed in an unfavorable light. It is asserted that the members of the class voted to have the class photographs made at an establishment conducted by a local photographer of our race, and that the Dean of the College, a white man, was willing but the faculty objected.

In the first place, as to where the class photographs should be made ought not to be influenced by the members of the faculty. As we understand it, the class is paying for the photographs and it should have the right to say who should do the work.

We hope the faculty has not been guilty of discriminating against the photographers of our race. For these professors, like the photographers, make their living almost exclusively from our people, and it should be their desire to encourage by their patronage the enterprises conducted by men of our race. If the reports be true, the class of 1907 has made a step in the right direction.

Franklin Notes

Franklin Notes
January 18, 1907
Pg. 8

  • Miss Hazel Doyle has returned to her school in South Franklin.
  • Mr. Hugh Nevils is a little indisposed
  • Mr. Samuel McLemore passed through here Monday on his way to Spring Hill, Tenn.
  • Dr. Y.E. Redmond, Dr. O. G. McKensley, Messrs. E. H. Doyle and Fred D. Williams were in Nashville last week.
  • Miss Lucy Patterson, of High street, Nashville, was the guest of Mrs. R. ? Washington, House avenue, last week.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Howard Mills, of Nashville, were here a few days ago.
  • Mr. Parish Williams was in Nashville Sunday.
  • Mrs. J. P. Campbell is visiting her mother in Nashville.
  • Mrs. Tom Doyle is visiting her daughter, Mrs. Wm. Britt, 140 Thomas street, Nashville.
  • Dr. Wallace, of Meharry Medical College, was the guest of Miss Hazel Doyle a few days ago.
  • Mrs. W. B. Redmond is visiting Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Williams, of East Franklin.
  • Dr. R. S. Washington was the guest of friends last Sunday at Leipers Fork, Tenn.
  • Elder Jackson preached at Leipers Fork Sunday.
  • Miss Mary L. Dobinson, of South Franklin, was in Saturday
  • [there is at least one more item that is cut off in my copy]