There Was A Need

Image courtesy of Microsoft Office Images

This past week was truly special since it involved connecting with another cousin. This cousin is linked to my Jones family line. As I started to go over records for this branch of the family again, I became increasingly impressed with their connection with helping those in their community. Several of my Jones ancestors went into the medical field. My great grandmother's sister, Lovie Jones Watson, became a nurse who worked and resided in Morehead City, NC.  On my post Wordless Wednesday: Dr. Oscar Dunn Jones, I featured a picture of my 1st cousin 3x removed.  Oscar Dunn Jones Sr. was a well respected dentist who resided in Baltimore Maryland.  His brother Caeser N. Jones was a dentist as well. Proof of this I found on his World War II Draft Registration Card.

Source Information: U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.  Source Citation: The National Archives Southeast Region; Atlanta, GA; Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group: RG 147; Class: RG147, North Carolina World War II Draft Registration Cards; Box Number: 196.

Also, I found this on the the University of North Carolina's online resource Documenting The American South. The bulletin is called "The Negro Population of North Carolina: Social and Economic:" [1944] Electronic Edition.

Page 64
State Board of Health
Dr. Walter J. Hughes, Medical Adviser to Negro Schools
Miss Jennie L. Douglass, Health Education Adviser to Negro Schools
H. I. Fontellio-Nanton, Information Specialist, Venereal Disease Institute
Division of Dentistry
Dr. J. H. Barnhill
Dr. Robert M. Bell
Dr. P. M. Brandon
Dr. L. C. Holliday
Dr. C. N. Jones
Dr. E. W. Swepson
Source Description: 
(series) Special Bulletin [North Carolina State Board of Charities and Public Welfare] no. 23 
(title) The Negro Population of North Carolina: Social and Economic. Larkins, John R. (John Rodman) 79 p. Raleigh, N.C.
North Carolina State Board of Charities and Public Welfare [1944]
Call number Cp 326 L32n c. 3 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Then there was William Thomas Jones, Caeser and Oscar's brother. He was studying to become a doctor before his life was cut short by illness in 1918.

The cause of death for William was influenza. It is interesting to note that a contributing factor in his demise was the condition "Hemorrhagic gingivitis"  Could this have been the reason why Caeser and Oscar became dentists?

Here's a picture that another Jones cousin was so gracious to share with me about a year ago. It shows the young William Thomas Jones performing some sort of autoposy. 

William Thomas Jones
medical student

Back of picture
"Dr. W. T. Jones"

I believe this excerpt from the above mentioned bulletin best describes how there was a tremendous need for trained medical professionals from the black community in 1944.

14. There is a lack of adequate hospitals for both white and colored persons. In 1940, there was one white physician to every 1,127 white persons compared with one Negro physician for every 6,499 persons. There was one white dentist to every 2,965 white persons, and one Negro dentist to every 13,629 colored persons. However, this does not mean that Negroes must go without the services of competent and efficient physicians because in many areas of the State, white physicians have a large percentage of Negro patients; this is also true of the dentists.


  1. The medical profession is a noble calling, I'm convinced, whether doctor or dentist. You must be very proud of your relatives' pursuits, and your evidence seems really solid.

    When I see the the "contributory" cause of death as hemorrhagic gingivitis, that seems such a strange phenomenon in a young student that I start wondering if William may have died of the Spanish flu that was raging in 1917-18. I think it caused many symptoms, as described in John M. Barry's book, "The Great Influenza."

    I like your interpretation, too, that maybe it was a motivation for Caeser and Oscar to go into dentistry.

    1. I am very proud Mariann. It amazes me the amount drive that folks in this branch of my family tree had. Thanks for your tip about the Spanish flu. I will check into that.


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