From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Merchant, Henry Alpheus

(born: May 7, 1887  -  died: November 4, 1950) Dr. Henry A. Merchant was born in Carlisle, KY, and lived most of his life in Lexington, KY. In 1918, he was an elevator operator at the First City National Bank in Lexington, KY. He was deaf in his right ear. Henry A. Merchant was a 1924 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He is not included in the class picture (online) in the CARLI Digital Collections. Dr. Merchant is thought to have been the only African American graduate in the class. Starting in 1925, Dr. Henry A. Merchant was a practicing physician in Lexington, KY. During WWII, Dr. Merchant was a physician at the Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis, MO (1941). After the war, in 1943, he had returned to Lexington and continued his practice. Dr. Merchant and his wife Nellie lived with his mother at 128 Deweese Street. Dr. Merchant continued living at the home until his death in 1950. He is buried with other family members in the Cove Haven Cemetery in Lexington, KY. Dr. Henry A. Merchant's estate was estimated at $28,5000 and was to provide a college education in the north for two of his cousins. Dr. Henry A. Merchant was the son of Rev. Alpheus and Elizabeth B. Merchant. He was a brother to Jesse Merchant, Sr., both the sons of Rev. Alpheus Merchant.

Sources: Henry Alpheus Merchant's WWI and WWII Draft Registration Cards (Ancestry); Kentucky Death Index (Ancestry); 1943 Lexington city directories; "Dr. Merchant's estate valued at $55,000," Leader, 11/09/1950, p.6; "Doctor's will directs funds for education of cousins," Leader, 11/17/1950, p.17; and Alpheus Merchant, probated will, October 12, 1892 in Lexington, KY (Ancestry).

*This entry was suggested with supporting information from Delphine Ridgeway, church archivist and historian.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Nicholas County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Carlisle, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Merchant, Jesse, Sr.
NKAA Source: Ancestry (online)
NKAA Source: Lexington leader (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Polk's Lexington (Fayette County, KY.) city directory (annual)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Merchant, Henry Alpheus,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed January 24, 2022,

Last modified: 2020-12-19 02:23:09