Traces the regional development of medicine from the end of the Civil War to the dawn of the twentieth century. Can you imagine sewing up a surgical incision with horsehair? Can you imagine the doctor coming to you for a house call when you are not feeling well? Highlights exhibit include a restored ca. 1890s doctor’s buggy, an extensive collection patent medicine bottles, vintage instruments and puzzling medical devices of years long since passed.

Dr. Sirporah S. Turner Biography and Photos


Dr. Sirporah S. Turner is the first female doctor to practice in Shreveport and one of the first African-American physicians.  Dr. Turner arrived in northwest Louisiana shortly after graduating with honors from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee in 1907.

Less than one year later, the new doctor opened the Turner Infirmary in the 1000 block of Texas Avenue in the heart of Shreveport’s African-American community.  The clinic specialized in women’s health and maternity care.  In addition to tending to her patients,  Dr. Turner oversaw the training of student nurses along with her mother, Delilah Robinson, who was nurse.

In 1915, Dr. Turner was profiled in an African-American newspaper and held up as a role model for not only African American women, but all women. In 1920 Dr. Turner left Shreveport to move with her family to Los Angeles. California.  She practiced medicine there until her untimely death in 1936.  She was only 47 years old.

Location in Museum

Medicine in the New South Exhibit


Early 20th Century

100 Years