James Maxie Ponder
Physician
1888-1958

As a young physician in World War I, James Ponder put his new skills to work in the medical corps. At the end of the war, he received a Presidential Citation for "meritorious service in the field of epidemic medicine." This prepared him for an almost single-handed fight against a smallpox epidemic in south St. Petersburg during the late 1920s.

Dr. Ponder was appointed city physician in 1926 for the African American community. He spearheaded creation of Mercy Hospital and a prenatal clinic to serve the city's African American residents. Among his community activities, he was Chairman of Trustees for Black Schools in Pinellas County.


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1998-99 Design: Rochelle Lewis Lavin, St. Petersburg, FL. All rights reserved.