Clara C. Frye worked for 20 years as a nurse in Tampa, Florida. She later established the Clara Frye Hospital so that African American patients could be treated.
Frye was born in 1872, and moved to the Tampa, Florida area around 1901. Not much is known about her early life.
In 1908, Frye was approached by a physician who told her of a local black patient who was in need of surgery and the local white hospitals were not an option. After hearing this, Frye decided to open up her home for blacks needing surgery. Her dining room table was used as the operating table. During the surgery for the first black patient, a large tumor was removed and the patient used her bed to recover. Frye’s home from that point on became a clinic to the black community until she opened the Clara Frye Negro Hospital in 1923.
After the death of Frye in 1936, the city of Tampa built the Clara Frye Memorial Hospital in her honor.