Mary E. Merritt (1881 - 1953) was the first black nurse to be licensed in
Kentucky and a recipient of the Mary Mahoney Medal for distinguished service in
nursing from the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses. Born in Berea,
Kentucky. Attended Berea College until 1903 when the Day Law forced segregation
of the college. Completed nurses training at Freedman's Hospital in Washington,
D.C. She was Superintendent of nursing at Red Cross Hospital in Louisville,
Kentucky (1914 - 1945). Awarded a certificate of merit by President Wilson for
Red Cross camp work during World War I. The Merritt Building at Central State
Hospital is named in her honor.
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