Dr. Ella N. Prescott, the first black female doctor in Louisiana

Ella N. Prescott was born in 1876 in Eola, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana. She was an active lay member of the Louisiana Methodist Conference. She entered the Flint Medical College of New Orleans University, from whence she graduated in 1904. She was a member of the fifteenth graduating class from the Medical College.  Dr. Prescott practiced in Franklinton, Washington Parish, Louisiana for nearly twenty years before her death on 21 May 1925 due to acute nephritis. Dr. Ella N. Prescott was the first black woman to practice medicine in Louisiana. She was succeeded by Dr. Thelma Coffey Boutte, the first black woman to practice medicine in New Orleans. They were both preceded by Dr. Emma Wakefield Paillet, a native of New Iberia, who earned her doctorate in medicine but never practiced. She married Joseph Oscar Paillet and moved to San Francisco, where she died in 1946.

The picture above shows the 1904 graduates of the Flint Medical College of New Orleans University. The other graduates besides Dr. Prescott were: Dr. W. H. Dorsey; Dr. J. R. Sheppard; Dr. Francis M. Nelson; and Dr. Joseph A. Hardin. The graduate in Pharmacy was Dr. Henry W. Taylor.

Of course, Dr. Prescott is pictured at center. Dr. Francis M. Nelson is pictured standing at left; Dr. Joseph A. Hardin is pictured seated at the right.

J.C.L.H.

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