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Robert Fulton Boyd Home: Important Doctor and Financier

Updated: Mar 2

Dr. Robert Fulton Boyd (1855-1912) purchased a large 3 story home on 417 Cedar St. (Charlotte Ave.) near downtown where his family resided from 1900-1903. It was reportedly the largest home purchase of an African-American in Tennessee up to that time. They had moved from N. Cherry in 1893. The site is now near St. Mary's Catholic Church and Nashville WeGo Central station.

Dr. Boyd had started a teaching career in Williamson County in 1875, and then attended and graduated from Central Tennessee College in 1882. Dr. Boyd also studied dentistry at Central as well and became a dentist in 1886. His office was on North Cherry St. in Nashville. Later, Dr. Boyd joined the faculty at Meharry Medical School as adjunct professor of chemistry. He served in multiple capacities at Meharry Medical College. In 1900, he was so appalled by the lack of quality medical care of the poor in Nashville that he helped organize Mercy Hospital at 811 South Cherry St.

Because of his leadership in many civic and business areas, in 1909, when People's Savings Bank & Trust opened, he was elected president. It was Nashville's second largest African-American bank. Dr. Boyd and several other Black doctors founded the Society of Colored Physicians and Surgeons which became the National Medical Association - the first organization of Black physicians in America. In 1910, he relocated to 811 4th Ave. South. Dr.

At his death, the mourners were so numerous that the service was held at the Ryman Auditorium.

Home locations from Nashville City Directories at TSLA

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