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date: 30 March 2020

Stewart, Ella Nora Phillips locked

(6 Mar. 1893–27 Nov. 1987),
  • Kristal Brent Zook

Extract

pioneering pharmacist, entrepreneur, and clubwoman, was born near Berryville, Virginia. Her parents, Eliza and Hamp Phillips, were sharecroppers, but the family's lack of financial resources did not stand in the way of their daughter's academic success. Phillips was an outstanding student who won five scholarships at Storer College in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, where she enrolled at age twelve. After graduation, at age seventeen, she married her classmate Charles Myers, and soon gave birth to a daughter, who died at the age of two.

The couple divorced following the death of their child, and Ella Phillips went to work as a bookkeeper in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, drugstore. Although some of her friends discouraged her, saying it had never been done by a black woman, she dreamed of attending pharmacy school. She was encouraged by a local physician who befriended her, and in 1916 she ...

A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.

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