Miles Vanderhorst Lynk

Physician, journalist, and educator Myles Lynk was born in Brownsville on June 3, 1871, the son of former slaves. His father was killed when Lynk was only six years old, and he was running the farm by the time he was eleven. His mother insisted that he attend school five months a year, and Lynk supplemented his education by reading at home in what he later called “Pine Knot College.” He began teaching in Fayette County when he was seventeen, saving his money for further education. Lynk graduated from Meharry Medical College in 1891.

Lynk became the first black physician in Jackson and founded the first medical journal published by an African American, The Medical and Surgical Observer, published monthly from 1892 to 1894. He also published a literary magazine from 1898 to 1900. Lynk was a cofounder of the National Medical Association for African American Physicians in 1895.

In 1900 Lynk founded the University of West Tennessee, with departments of medicine, law, dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing. In 1907 the school moved to Memphis. Dr. Fanny Kneeland, one of the first women to practice medicine in Memphis, was a member of the faculty. The Jane Terrell Baptist Hospital provided clinical training. When the school closed in 1924, it had issued 216 medical degrees.

Lynk was also a founder of the Bluff City Medical Society and an active member of Collins Chapel CME Church. He wrote several books and numerous articles.

In 1893 Lynk married Beebe Stephen, a Lane College graduate who taught chemistry and medical Latin. They were married for fifty-five years. After her death in 1948, he married Ola Herin Moore. Lynk died on December 29, 1956.

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  • Article Title Miles Vanderhorst Lynk
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  • Website Name Tennessee Encyclopedia
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  • Access Date July 14, 2024
  • Publisher Tennessee Historical Society
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 1, 2018