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Dr. John Taylor Williams
(1859-1924)

John Taylor Williams, the man who would become an educator, physician, businessman and diplomat, was born in Cumberland County, N.C., the son of free blacks during the time of slavery.

In 1880, he graduated at the top of his class at the State Normal School, now Fayetteville University. He taught at Myers Street School, the first school for black children in Charlotte.

J. T. Williams earned a medical license in 1886 from Leonard Medical School in Raleigh. He was one of the first blacks licensed to practice medicine and became a surgeon at Charlotte's Good Samaritan Hospital. Williams was also president of the Queen City Drug Company, a member of the Mecklenburg Board of Health, and a founding member of Grace AME Zion Church. His first wife, May E. Killian, died in 1887. He married Jennie E. Harris in 1890. They had one daughter.

In 1897, President William McKinley appointed Williams consul (a diplomat) to the African nation of Sierra Leone.

For his remarkable accomplishments, J. T. Williams is remembered as an important leader of Charlotte's black community.

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