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Dr. Ralph Harbison Boulware (d. 1987) Lynchburg Physician

Dr. Ralph Boulware, educated at Johnson C. Smith University and Howard University Medical School, began practicing medicine in Lynchburg in 1949, taking over the practice of Dr. R. Walter Johnson. Dr. Boulware’s office was on Fifth Street and then on Park Avenue. He also held a nighttime clinic every week at the Lynchburg Health Department.

Medical and Surgical License, 1949 Dr. Ralph H. Boulware

Dr. Ralph Boulware charged $2 for an office appointment, $3 for a house call, and $50 to deliver a baby. Babies were delivered at home, and the large fee helped to make up for the office time lost while waiting for the baby to come. When he retired in 1982, Dr. Boulware joked that “There are some patients I see today who I delivered and I tell them, ‘You know you still haven’t been paid for.’”

Loaned by Ricky Boulware

Letter, 1961 Dr. Ralph Boulware to Mary Edith Bentley

When six local college students went to jail for a civil rights sit-in at a downtown lunch counter, Dr. Ralph Boulware, like many other African Americans, wrote the students to give them moral support. Dr. Boulware was the first African American appointed to the board of directors of the Virginia Academy of Family Practice.

Loaned by Randolph-Macon Woman’s College

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