Dr. John Taylor Williams
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.