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Sun, 12.25.1870

Henry M. Minton, Pharmacist born

Henry M. Minton

Henry Minton was born on this date in 1870. He was a Black pharmacist and physician.

Henry Minton was from Columbia, South Carolina, the son of Sawyer Theophilus and Jennie McKee Minton. He attended the Academy at Howard University and Phillips Exeter Academy, a college preparatory institution in New Hampshire, where he was an athlete, debater, and editor.  Minton graduated from Phillips Exeter in 1891. Then after briefly attending the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Minton enrolled in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and graduated with a degree in pharmaceutical studies in 1895. That same year he joined the staff at Frederick Douglass Hospital as the hospital's first pharmacist.

He operated the first Black-owned drug store in Philadelphia until 1902, when he enrolled in Jefferson Medical College.  He earned an M.D. degree in 1906 as the first Black to graduate from that institution.   In 1907 Minton helped found Mercy Hospital (merged into Mercy-Douglass Hospital in 1948) in Philadelphia with Dr. Eugene Hinson. Dr. Algernon B. Jackson became the hospital's first superintendent and remained in that post until 1920, when he left to teach at the Howard University Medical School faculty.  Minton was appointed his successor, and over the next 24 years as superintendent at Mercy Hospital, he organized a Social Services Department, helped train over 200 interns, and in 1930 raised the standards for the Nursing School while leading the construction of a nursing building.

Dr. Minton may be best known as one of the founders of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. Minton, his friend and colleague Dr. Algernon B. Jackson, Dr. Edwin C. Howard and Dr. Richard J. Warrick create a fraternity specifically for African American men of high achievement.

From 1915 until his death, Minton was also on the staff of the University of Pennsylvania's Henry Phipps Institute, where he was a nationally recognized expert in the treatment of tuberculosis. Dr. Henry McKee Minton retired from Mercy Hospital in 1944 and died two years later in Philadelphia.

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