North Carolina’s 1st Female Physician Statue Unveiled Along Charlotte’s Trail Of History

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A statue recognizing Dr. Annie Alexander was unveiled Saturday along Little Sugar Creek Greenway as part of the Trail of History.

The Trail of History is described as a collection of funded sculptures dedicated in memorial to those who shaped and defined the rich history of Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

Officials say Dr. Annie Lowrie Alexander (1864-1929) was the first licensed female physician to practice in North Carolina.

Born in Mecklenburg County, Dr. Alexander was encouraged by her father, Dr. John Brevard Alexander, to pursue a medical career after the death of female patient who refused treatment by a male doctor.

Officials say Dr. Alexander  graduated from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1884 and returned to Charlotte in 1887.

From her home and office at 410 Tryon Street, Dr. Alexander went around the county by horse and buggy to provide healthcare.

She combated epidemics, wrote papers about medical issues for women and attempted to improve public health.

“We’re honored to be a part of the impactful legacy that Dr. Annie made within the medical community, Charlotte and especially at Novant Health,” said Jesse Cureton, executive vice president and chief consumer officer, Novant Health. “Her statute will be a constant reminder of the humanitarian she was and her dedication to providing remarkable care to everyone, no matter their identity.”

Officials say Dr. Alexander was a leader in the community.

She was a founding member of the Mecklenburg County Medical Society, served as a physician at the Presbyterian College for Women, now Queens University of Charlotte, and had medical privileges at Presbyterian Hospital and St. Peter’s Hospital.

Dr. Alexander’s statue joins the Thompson Orphanage “On the Banks of Little Sugar Creek” statue as the second by Colorado-based artist sculptor Jane Dedecker.

“It has been an honor to work on Dr. Annie Alexander’s statue as part of Charlotte’s Trail of History,” said Jane Dedecker, acclaimed sculptor. “Statues of women in Dr. Annie’s era have often been depicted as floating on their skirts, but I wanted Dr. Annie grounded with her foot forward to symbolize the importance of female leadership and future progress.”

USA Today recently named DeDecker as Colorado’s Woman of the Year, a recognition of women across the country who have made a significant impact.

The Dr. Alexander statue is located northwest of the Captain Jack statue on the Little Sugar Creek Greenway close to the intersection of Elizabeth and Kings Drive.

“Dr. Annie will be our 10th project along the urban section of the Little Sugar Creek Greenway,” said Dr. Tony Zeiss, Chairman of the Trail of History. “She was a pioneer in medicine and the community loved her. I believe she had one of the largest funeral services in Charlotte’s history.”