February 2, 2021 – Ella Nora Phillips, pharmacist

Ella Nora Phillips
BGSU University Library

Today, we raise are glass of praise and thanks to Ella P. Stewart of Toledo OH

Ella Nora Phillips was born in Springtown, West Virginia in 1893. She was the nation’s first female African American Pharmacist earning her degree and licensing in 1916. Her motto was “fight for human dignity and world peace.” She and her husband, also a pharmacist, ran Stewart Pharmacy 1922-1945 in Toledo Ohio. They lived above the shop at 566 Indiana in Toledo, now the location of Warren A.M.E.

Since they had a “comfortable 8 rooms”, Ella and William became early B&B operators as blacks were not allowed to stay in Toledo hotels. They hosted Mary McLoed Bethune, W.E.B Dubois, Marian Anderson and Carter Woodson along with practically all the great entertainers not allowed to stay in Toledo hotels. She was a LEGEND in her outreach and support of women and blacks in Toledo with a school bearing her name: Ella P. Stewart Academy for Girls.

She was known for her work with the following organizations:

  • League of women voters
  • Red Cross
  • Toledo Board of Community Relations,
  • YWCA
  • NACW (National Association of colored Women) leadership where she received international attention
  • Women’ Advisory Committee of Defense Manpower of the US Department of Labor
  • Delegate to the International Conference of Women of the World
  • International Education Exchange Service
  • United Nations Educational Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)




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