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Daniel Hale Williams

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Daniel Hale Williams was born on January 18, 1856 in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania to Daniel and Sarah Williams. Daniel was the fifth out of eight children. His father was a barber, who later died when Daniel was nine. His mother was unable to manage and provide for all the children on her own, so she sent some relatives in Baltimore, Maryland. Daniel was apprenticed to a shoemaker in Baltimore, which he done for three years while he was still a young child. He later ran away to join his mother, who moved to Rockford, Illinois. As a teenager, he learned to cut hair and became a barber. With his skills and techniques he later joined his sister Edgerton, Wisconsin and opened his own shop. After moving to nearby Janesville, Daniel began attending high school and graduated from Hare's Classical Academy in 1877. While working as a barber, Daniel became fascinated with a local physician and decided to began work as an apprentice for the physician Dr. Henry Palmer

For two years Daniel worked for Dr. Henry Palmers where he got skills and resources that impressed to made Dr. Palmer take Daniel on as a medical apprentice. Palmer helped Daniel and two other apprentices apply for admission to a top medical school, the Chicago Medical School, which was affiliated with Northwestern University. All three of them were accepted and began their studies in 1880. Dr Daniel Hale Williams graduated in 1883 with his medical degree. Dr. Williams's early medical practices began with him treating patients at home and performing occasional surgeries on kitchen tables. He soon was appointed to practice medicine and surgery at the South Side Dispensary, while at the same time held a position at Northwest University, as an instructor of anatomy. Jobs began to pour in as Daniel worked as a medical doctor for the City Railway Company and for the Protestant Orphan Asylum. Around this time Dr. Williams practice began to grow, as did his reputation as a skilled surgeon

In 1883, he was one of the only four African American doctors in the Chicago area, yet he gained so much respect within the medical community, six years later, in 1889, he was appointed to the Illinois Board of Health. On January 23, 1891Daniel Hale Williams establish the Provident Hospital and Training School Association, a one story building which held 12 beds and served members of the community as a whole. One day Dr. Williams meet this young black woman by the name of Emma Reynolds, who had been refused admission by nursing school in the area. Around this time opportunities for most black physicians were extremely limited, and it was difficult for African Americans to gain admission to medical and nursing schools because of institutionalized racism. At the Provident Hospital, Dr. Williams also opened up the first nursing school for African Americans, where Emma Reynolds and six other made up the first graduating class. He began employing African Americans and white doctors at his hospital, emphasizing the need to provide the best

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