by Jae Jones
Dr. Matilda Evans was an African-American obstetrician, surgeon, and gynecologist. During the early 1900’s she operated her practice out of her home, until she could establish the Taylor Lane Hospital. The hospital was one of the first #Black hospitals in the state of South Carolina. Another one of her accomplishments was the establishment of the Negro Health Medical Journal of S.C.
Evans was born in Aiken, Ohio where she first attended the local Schofield Normal and Industrial School. It was there were she received encouragement to pursue higher education. Through the help and guidance of the founder of the school, Martha Schofield, Evans enrolled at Oberlin College in Ohio in 1893. She took a break from school to teach in Georgia and South Carolina, and later enrolled in the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, according to the National Library of Medicine.
After graduating from the college, she returned to Columbia where she became the first African-American woman licensed to practice medicine in the state. She carried a big responsibility as an obstetrician, surgeon, and gynecologist. Evans didn’t discriminate she care for Whites and Black women in her home. However, once she established the first Black hospital she worked with the Black patients mostly.
Evans devoted her time to other works such as public health, which included a survey of black students’ health that helped become the ground basis to implement a program for permanent public school programs. She was also able to help build the foundation for the Columbia Clinic Association and later the Negro Health Association of South Carolina to provide health services and education.
She was devoted to distributing charity, compassion, and a love to children. Although her services were high in demand she always charged only a nominal fee. She rode bicycles, horses and buggies to visit the sick if the patients were not able to get to her. She provided for school physical examinations and immunizations, which in turn saved the lives of countless young children. She also operated a free clinic 1930 for African-American children who needed medical treatment and vaccinations. Evans also found the time to raise 11 children who needed a home. Evans served as president of the Palmetto State Medical Society and vice president of the National Medical Association. She died in 1935 at the age of 63, she never married.