Local Nashville Family Dentist Celebrates 175 Year Anniversary

November 26th, 2012
Local Nashville Family Dentist Celebrates 175 Year Anniversary

The Meharry family of Nashville, Tennessee has been living in the city for the past 200 years. However they are also a family with a long tradition.

It seems, as well as being dentists they were instrumental in abolishing slavery in the area. This appeared to stem from a kindness by a local Tennessee family of freed slaves who took Samuel Meharry into their home after he succumbed to an accident.

Samuel was a salt trader at that time in 1826, and his cart slipped off the road falling into a swamp. It is reported that Samuel told his guests that he had no money to give the family but promised to help them and their fellow slaves.

He kept his promise.

Two hundred years on, the great, great nephew of Samuel, Dr. Ron Meharry celebrated his family’s heritage at a ceremony in the local dentist school which his family has financially supported.

The Meharry family effectively started the local medical college by investing money in 1876 along with the local Episcopal Church. Since then the Meharry Medical & Dental School has grown in strength, becoming chartered in 1915, as the first medical and dental college for African-Americans.

Today it is the largest health care educational institution of its type.

Ron Meharry who was pleased to be asked to attend the College convocation told reporters: “They really get a kick out of having somebody from the family generations later to be there,”

The State of Tennessee along with other southern states nearly left the USA during the Civil War period. The federal government wanted to abolish slavery but this was resisted by those in the south of the country.

However there were people such as the Meharry’s who didn’t agree and helped to change things in states like Tennessee.


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