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

Gowens, Henry Lytle, Jr.

(born: 1884  -  died: 1953) 

Born in Lexington, KY, Henry L. Gowens, Jr. became an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon at the Mercy-Douglass Hospital in Philadelphia and served as president of the Pennsylvania Medical, Dental, and Pharmacy Association. He published several articles, including "Eserin in ophthalmology," Journal of Ophthalmology, Otology and Laryngology, vol. 20, 1914. He was among the first ten African Americans to become a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Henry L. Gowens, Jr. was the husband of Beulah E. Gowens (b.1890) from Philadelphia, PA. The couple bought a home in what had been an all white neighborhood and a suit was filed by a former owner of the home. Judge Curtis Bok of the Common Pleas Court dismissed the suit.

Dr. Gowens was the son of Henry L. Gowens, Sr. Prior to his marriage, Dr. Gowens was head of his family, according to the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. The family lived on 13th Street N. in Philadelphia, PA. Henry Gowens, Sr. was a school professor. Dr. Gowens had a private medical practice, and his sisters Modina and Virginia were school teachers.  His brother Willard was an artist. All of the family members were born in Kentucky. In 1920, Henry Sr. was a clerk with the U.S. Government, and he, his wife Florence, and daughter Modina were living in Washington, D.C. In 1930, Williard Gowens was also living with the family in D.C.

Henry L. Gowens, Jr. was a graduate of Howard University and received his medical degree in 1908 from Hahnemann Medical College [now Drexel University College of Medicine].

For more see Who's Who in Colored America, 1950; see pp.310-311 in Anyplace But Here by A. W. Bontemps and J. Conroy; and "Dr. Henry L. Gowens, Jr.," New York Times, 01/04/1953, p.78.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Journal of ophthalmology, otology and laryngology (periodical)
NKAA Source: Who's who in colored America: an illustrated biographical directory of notable living persons of African descent in the United States (1950)
NKAA Source: Anyplace but here
NKAA Source: The New York times (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Gowens, Henry Lytle, Jr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 26, 2022,

Last modified: 2018-07-24 13:43:55