Ida Gray Nelson Rollins: First African-American Woman Dentist

1 Posted by - June 25, 2018 - Black First, BLACK WOMEN, Blacks In Medicine, FEATURED, LATEST POSTS

Ida Gray Nelson Rollins was the first African-American woman dentist. Rollins was born in Clarksville, Tennessee on March 4, 1867. At a very young age, she became an orphan when her mother, Jennie Gray, died in her teen years. Rollins’ father was white but no other information is known about him. After the death of her mother, Rollins was left to be raised by her aunt, Caroline Gray. Gray was uneducated and was raising her own three children at the time. Gray worked as a seamstress and fostered other young children.

Rollins later worked as a seamstress, dressmaker, and worked in a dental office assisting Jonathan and William Taft. She later graduated high school in 1887 at the age of 20-years-old. Working in the dental office sparked Rollins’ desire to become a dentist. Jonathan Taft was the dean of the Ohio College of Dentistry. In 1875, he became the first dean of the Dental College at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As dean, he was a staunch supporter of admitting women to dental school and subsequently five years later, in 1875, the first woman was enrolled.

The mentoring which Rollins had received helped set the foundation for her to become the first black woman to graduate dental school. She had no problem passing the entrance exam for the University of Michigan because she had received the proper experience and training in the dental profession. Gray enrolled in October 1887 and, three years later, she became the first African-American woman to graduate with a Doctorate of Dental Surgery in the United States.

After graduation in 1890, Gray returned to Cincinnati, Ohio and opened a private dental practice. She later married Sanford Nelson, a Spanish-American war veteran. The couple moved to Chicago, Illinois where she practiced dentistry on people of all races. She soon became the first African-American, male or female, to practice dentistry in Chicago. After the death of her first husband, she married William Rollins, a waiter.  Rollins died on May 3, 1953, in Chicago, Illinois. She was 86 years old.

13 Comments

  • gamefly free trial May 2, 2019 - 7:36 am Reply

    Hello would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re using?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must say this
    blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a reasonable price?
    Kudos, I appreciate it!

  • gamefly free trial May 5, 2019 - 9:12 am Reply

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and
    now each time a comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from
    that service? Thanks a lot!

  • minecraft pc download May 10, 2019 - 5:03 am Reply

    I simply could not depart your website prior to suggesting that
    I actually enjoyed the usual info an individual provide on your guests?
    Is gonna be back steadily in order to check out new posts

  • g May 10, 2019 - 12:21 pm Reply

    I am not sure where you’re getting your information,
    but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning
    more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  • g May 11, 2019 - 2:33 am Reply

    If some one wishes to be updated with newest technologies after that he must be pay a visit this site and be up to date daily.

  • download minecraft free May 16, 2019 - 8:57 am Reply

    Excellent article. Keep posting such kind of information on your page.
    Im really impressed by it.
    Hey there, You’ve performed a great job. I will certainly digg
    it and individually suggest to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this website.

  • sims 4 seasons free code May 30, 2019 - 1:10 am Reply

    You really make it seem so easy along with your presentation but I to find this matter to be really one thing that I think I might by no means understand. It sort of feels too complicated and extremely extensive for me. I’m having a look ahead on your next put up, I will try to get the grasp of it!

  • gamefly free trial May 31, 2019 - 8:08 am Reply

    That is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Short but very accurate info… Many thanks for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

  • Rebsoli June 1, 2019 - 2:55 pm Reply

    Cephalexin Treatments No Prescription Sildenafil Citrate Propecia Diabetes Medication cialis vs viagra Discount Levitra On Line Acheter Cialis Site Fiable

  • gamefly free trial June 1, 2019 - 7:22 pm Reply

    Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

  • gamefly free trial June 2, 2019 - 7:55 am Reply

    Hi friends, pleasant post and fastidious urging commented here,
    I am genuinely enjoying by these.

  • Rebsoli June 13, 2019 - 1:55 am Reply

    Viagra Generico Acquista Non Prescription Colchicine viagra Canadian Pharm Meds Cheap Mexican Pharmacy Neurontin

  • protosmasher download June 17, 2019 - 6:46 am Reply

    Just wanna input on few general things, The website layout is perfect, the articles is very superb : D.

  • Leave a reply