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John Henry Jordan
*John Henry Jordan was born on this date in 1870. He was a Black doctor and philanthropist.
He was born in Hogansville, Georgia, and was the second son of Berry and Isabella Jordan, both former slaves. His mother died when he was two. Jordan was educated at Clark College in Atlanta before relocating to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend Meharry Medical College. However, this decision was against his father’s wishes. His father would not support him and thought his son’s desire to become a doctor was foolish. Therefore, Jordan was forced to drop out of Meharry to make money to pay his tuition. He returned to school a year later and graduated in 1896 as valedictorian of his class.
In 1898, Dr. Jordan moved back to his hometown before relocating to Coweta County and married Mollie Emma Ramsey. Ramsey was also a native of Hogansville and a daughter of Dr. Edward B. Ramsey, the first Black doctor in Troup County, Georgia. She also attended Clark College, earning a certificate in music. Jordan and his wife had two sons, Johnny Clementine and Edward Porter. Johnny Clementine died in infancy. Jordan built the first hospital for Blacks in Newnan in Coweta County and started a medical aid organization to teach his patients about health and hygiene.
He was a skilled surgeon, and white families also sought his expertise. He also gave generously to causes important to him and helped other Black families gain independence by assisting them in buying land. Dr. Jordan’s career was cut short when he was on his way to a house call and stepped out of the car to check the car's gas tank. A bystander struck a match, causing an explosion, and Jordan, the first Black doctor in Coweta County, Georgia, near Atlanta, died on Sept. 14, 1912. The city of Newnan honored him after his death by naming its first low-income housing development Jordan Homes. A mural in downtown Newnan also bears his likeness.