State Historical Marker “Augustus N. Lushington, VMD” to be Dedicated in Lynchburg

Published April 7, 2021
Contact: Randy Jones, DHR, Randy.jones@dhr.virginia.gov, 540-578-3031

Lushington was among one of the first Black men in the U.S. to earn a degree as a doctor of veterinary medicine; he practiced in the Lynchburg area during first half of the 20th century

The marker text reproduced below

RICHMOND – A state historical marker issued by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources will be dedicated this month that highlights the life of former Lynchburg resident Augustus Nathaniel Lushington, one of the first Black men to earn a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine in the United States. The marker will be dedicated during a ceremony beginning at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 17, at Fifth Street Baptist Church, 1007 Fifth Street, in Lynchburg. The ceremony is open to the public and attendees must observe state mandates for covid pandemic protocols for wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Event speakers will include the Rev. R. Stuart Jones, pastor of Fifth Street Baptist Church; Dr. Samuel H. Baum, DVM; Dr. Sterling Wilder, of the Lynchburg City Council; Gloria Caldwell, a Lushington family friend; Ted Delaney, director of the Lynchburg Museum System; Jane Baber White, a Lynchburg resident; and S. Allen Chambers Jr., past president of the Virginia Historic Review Board. Dr. Augustus Lushington was born around 1861 in Trinidad. He attended Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvanian, where he earned his degree in veterinary medicine in 1897. By 1900, Lushington had moved to Lynchburg, where he opened his practice as a large-animal veterinary surgeon, primarily caring for horses and cattle on nearby farms, according to the historical marker. Lushington practiced in Lynchburg for nearly four decades. He served as well as a probation officer and as president of the Lynchburg Negro Business League. He resided at 1005 5th Street, where the sign is located. The Lushington marker was approved for manufacture and installation in December 2020 by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources, which has authority to designate new state historical markers. The multiple sponsors contributed to the Lynchburg City Schools Education Foundation to cover the costs of manufacturing the marker. Virginia’s historical highway marker program, which began in 1927 with the installation of the first historical markers along U.S. Route 1, is considered the oldest such program in the nation. Currently there are more than 2,600 official state markers, most maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation, and by local partners in jurisdictions outside of VDOT’s authority such as Lynchburg. [PLEASE NOTE: DHR markers are erected not to “honor” their subjects but rather to educate and inform the public about a person, place, or event of regional, state, or national importance. In this regard, markers are not memorials.] Text of marker: Augustus Nathaniel Lushington, VMD (ca. 1861 – 1939) Dr. Augustus Lushington, veterinarian, practiced in Lynchburg for nearly four decades. A native of Trinidad, he attended Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania, where in 1897 he became one of the first Black men in the U.S. to earn a degree as a doctor of veterinary medicine. By 1900 he had moved to Lynchburg and opened his practice as a large-animal veterinary surgeon, primarily caring for horses and cattle on nearby farms. He served as a statistical reporter to the federal Bureau of Animal Industry, charged with combating disease in livestock. He also worked as a probation officer and was president of the Lynchburg Negro Business League. Lushington lived here at 1005 5th St.
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