Caroline Still Wiley Anderson: Prominent Educator and Physician

Written by Jae Jones

Dr. Caroline Still Wiley Anderson was an educator and physician. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to William and Letitia Still. Her father supported the family through coal mining investments and a stove store and later became a prominent antebellum abolitionist.

As a young girl, she attended Mrs. Henry Gordon’s Private School, The Friends Raspberry Alley School, and the Institute for Colored Youth. At the age of 16, she attended Oberlin College, graduating as the only black woman in her class. After graduating from Oberlin College’s Literary Course in 1868, she moved back to Philadelphia to teach. In 1869, she married Edward A. Wiley, a former Alabama slave, who she met at Oberlin College.

She later moved to Washington, D. C., where she was hired to teach music, drawing and elocution. Caroline attended Howard University Medical School for one term and then transferred to the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1876. She graduated in the spring of 1878 and did her internship at Boston’s New England Hospital for Women and Children. Caroline returned to Philadelphia where she became one of the state’s first black female doctors.

In 1880, Caroline remarried Matthew Anderson, a Doctor of Divinity and founder of Philadelphia’s Berean Presbyterian Church. In addition to her private medical practice, Caroline worked with her husband to serve Philadelphia’s poor women and children. She ran the Berean Dispensary and the Berean Cottage on the New Jersey coast. She also helped found the Berean Manual Training and Industrial School, where she also acted as its assistant principal and teacher of elocution, physiology, and hygiene. Caroline remained active in her practice and work throughout the community until her death.



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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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