Dr. Charles W. Anderson, Sr.

Dr. Charles W. Anderson, Sr. (1865-1931) was born in KY. We could not find much on his parents. Around the age of 13, he was in Louisville working as a bell boy. Charles continued working odd jobs. On October 26, 1886, he married Millie E. Saunders (1864-1894), and together they had two daughters: Ada R. and Florence G. Millie died from tuberculosis in 1894 and was buried in Louisville Cemetery. On March 2, 1897, Charles married Tabitha Lee Murphy (1873-1942), and together they had one son, Charles W. Anderson, Jr. (Please see our biography of him). Around 1910, the family moved to Frankfort where Charles began working as a physician. At this time, he was one of three African American doctors working at the segregated Winnie A. Scott Hospital. He was also a founder of the People’s Pharmacy, which operated in the Odd Fellows Hall in the Bottoms. He was an active member of the Grand Fountain of the United Order of True Reformers, the Knights of Pythias, and the Frankfort Tuberculosis League. Charles died on August 25, 1931. He was buried in Section B, Row 9, Grave 10 of Eastern Cemetery.

Tabitha was a native of MO who moved to Louisville and attended Simmons University and Hampton Institute. She was a teacher and the first State Supervisor of Negro Schools in KY. She was also a cofounder of the Kentucky Federation of Colored Women’s clubs. Tabitha died on March 25, 1942 and was buried in Eastern Cemetery. Ada Anderson married Ernest Diggs, and after his death married James B. Cowherd. Ada died in Dayton, OH where she was living with her daughter Mary Ellen (Diggs) Jones. Florence Anderson married James W. Muir, Jr., a professor, and together they had three children. Florence worked as a teacher and was the first African American to be appointed State Supervisor of Colored Rural Schools in KY. She died on June 16, 1932 and was buried in Eastern Cemetery. She shares a headstone with her parents. The photo of People’s Pharmacy: Charles in middle with Harvey C. Russell left and Dr. E.E. Underwood far right. Photo of Tabitha and Charles Jr. is from Ancestry user hfleming.