Morris Weiss Research Collection on Black Medical History in Louisville, 1891-2022

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator: Weiss, Morris, 1933-

Title: Morris Weiss Research Collection on Black Medical History in Louisville, 1891-2022

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Collections Department.

Size of Collection:  0.19 cubic feet

Location Number: Mss. A W431

Biographical Note

Morris Milton Weiss was born in 1933 at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. His father Morris Weiss, Sr. (1901-1963) was a cardiologist at Jewish Hospital. Dr. Morris Weiss, Sr., came to Louisville in 1921 and married Evalyn Brown (1905-2001) from Mobile, Alabama. Evalyn’s uncle, Leon Solomon (1871-1959), was a physician who married Alma Brown (1875-1921) from Mobile, Alabama, and helped found Louisville’s Jewish Hospital.

Morris Weiss graduated from Male High School in 1951, the University of Michigan in 1954, and the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 1958. He completed his cardiology residency at Hospital University of Pennsylvania in 1960 and started practicing cardiology in Louisville in 1962. He retired in 2022. During those sixty years of cardiology practice, Dr. Weiss also went on archeological digs abroad and was an active member of many organizations, including the Innominate Society (a medical historical society in Louisville), the Jefferson County Medical Society, the Kentucky Medical Association, Friends of Kornhauser Medical Library, the Temple, B’nai B’rith, and the Jewish Community Center.


“Morris Weiss, M.D.” personal website,

Interview with Morris Weiss, by Carol Ely, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, 1 August 2016.


Scope and Content Note

These research files consist of materials collected and created by Morris Weiss, M.D., primarily documenting Black physicians connected either to the National Medical College or to Red Cross Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Folders 1-3 hold copies of articles dating from 1891-2022 about Dr. Henry Fitzbutler (1842-1901) and Fitzbutler family members. Dr. Fitzbutler was born in Ontario, Canada, and graduated from the medical school at the University of Michigan in 1872. That same year, he moved to Louisville. In 1888, he and two other physicians opened National Medical College and its associated hospital so that Black medical professionals could obtain medical training and treat Black patients. Copies of newspaper articles document these parts of Dr. Fitzbutler’s life, as well as his arrest for the murder of a white woman from Indiana for whom Dr. Fitzbutler allegedly performed a surgical abortion (the case was eventually dismissed for lack of evidence). Of note is a copy of the only known surviving issue, from 11 July 1891, of the Ohio Falls Express, a weekly newspaper published by Dr. Fitzbutler. Also included are articles and obituaries about Dr. Fitzbutler’s wife Dr. Sarah Helen McCurdy Fitzbutler (1847-1923), their daughter Dr. Mary Fitzbutler Waring (1869-1958), and their son Dr. James H. Fitzbutler (1875-1948).

Folder 4 holds copies of articles about Dr. Artesia (Arteshia) Gilbert Wilkerson (1868-1904) and Dr. Roscoe C. Bryant (ca. 1922-2005), a paper photographic image of the Red Cross Hospital historical marker, and a copy of a 2013 thesis by Angela Calloway on “The evolution of healthcare for Louisville’s African American community,” marked up by Dr. Weiss.

Folders 5-6 hold information about and modern-day photographs of the gravesites of the following Black medical professionals associated either with the National Medical College or with the Red Cross Hospital: Dr. Henry and Sarah Fitzbutler, Greenwood Cemetery; Dr. Woodson T. Merchant (1860-1932), Louisville Cemetery; Dr. Ellis D. Whedbee (1862-1940), Louisville Cemetery; Dr. Solomon Stone (1853-1932), Eastern Cemetery; Dr. Ellis S. Porter (1854-1914), Eastern Cemetery; Dr. William H. Perry, Sr. (1860-1946), Louisville Cemetery; Dr. Robert Byrd Scott (1871-1941), Louisville Cemetery; and Mary E. Merritt (1881-1953), whose gravestone Dr. Weiss could not find at Eastern Cemetery. Dr. Peter Hasselbacher assisted Dr. Weiss with this research.

Related Collections:

Scott Lux, Red Cross Hospital scrapbook, 1898-1988, 2 vols [Mss. SB R312 1-2].

Morris M. Weiss, History of the Louisville National Medical College and the Red Cross Hospital: African American Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky, 1872-1976 [Pamphlet 362.11 W431].


Folder List

Box 1

Folder 1: Copies of articles about Dr. Henry Fitzbutler and National Medical College, 1891-2022

Folder 2: Copies of Ohio Falls Express, 11 July 1891

Folder 3: Copies of articles and information about Fitzbutler family members, 1948-2022

Folder 4: Copies of articles and thesis about Black physicians and medical care, 1948-2022

Folder 5: Information about gravesites of Black medical professionals, 2022

Folder 6: Photographs of gravestones of Black medical professionals, 2022


Subject Headings

Abortion – Kentucky – Louisville.

African American medical colleges – Kentucky – Louisville.

African American newspapers – Kentucky – Louisville.

African American physicians – Kentucky – Louisville.

African Americans – Hospitals – Kentucky – Louisville.

African Americans – Medicine – Kentucky – Louisville.

Bryant, Roscoe C., ca. 1922-2005.

Cemeteries – Kentucky – Louisville.

Eastern Cemetery (Louisville, Ky.)

Fitzbutler, Henry, 1842-1901.

Fitzbutler, James H., 1875-1948.

Fitzbutler, Sarah Helen McCurdy, 1847-1923.

Gravestones – Kentucky – Louisville.

Greenwood Cemetery (Louisville, Ky.)

Hospitals – Kentucky – Louisville.

Louisville Cemetery (Ky.)

Medical colleges – Kentucky – Louisville.

Merchant, Woodson T., 1860-1932.

Merritt, Mary E., 1881-1953.

National Medical School (Louisville, Ky.)

Newspapers – Kentucky – Louisville.

Nurses – Kentucky – Louisville.

Perry, William H., Sr., 1860-1946.

Physicians – Kentucky – Louisville.

Porter, Ellis S., 1854-1914.

Red Cross Hospital (Louisville, Ky.)

Scott, Robert Byrd, 1871-1941.

Stone, Solomon, 1853-1932.

Waring, Mary Fitzbutler, 1869-1958.

Whedbee, Ellis D., 1862-1940.

Wilkerson, Artesia (Arteshia) Gilbert, 1868-1904.