While he is really filling the place of a modest business and professional man. Dr. Randolph Franklin White, the Negro Pharmacist, of Owensboro, Kentucky, has so happily mixed business, education, work and travel, that he may be almost called a globe trotter. His travels, which all the time had in them the purpose of business, have taken him into the leading cities of America, into Canada, into Hawaii, into Japan, and into the Philippine Islands. Few men have made the profession of pharmacy serve them such triple service provide travel, gain experience and supply a livelihood.
Dr. White was born in Warrentown, Florida, June 25th, 1870. He spent his early school days in his native State, and early made up his mind to become a pharmacist. To this end he entered Howard University, from which he graduated in 1897. But Dr. White cannot be said to have begun or to have completed his course at any one time. As he mixed travel with business, so he mixed school education and practical education. Thus while he was attending Howard University, pursuing a course in Pharmacy, he was at the same time gaining practical experience in Pharmacy, working for the Plumnur Pharmacy, in Washington, D. C.
His graduation in 1897 was therefore more attaining freedom and license for he was already ripe in his calling, ready to take charge and manage rather than serve the usual apprenticeship. He found no trouble under the circumstances with securing good responsible posts at the very outset. His first position was in Louisville, Kentucky. Here he took charge of the Peoples’ Drug Store, and ran it, giving satisfaction to its stockholders. From Louisville he went to Lexington and for a time joined forces with Dr. Ballard. He was already well known as a pharmacist. The United States Government, needing a Hospital Steward, Dr. White was appointed to the post, and commissioned to serve in the Philippines. Here he worked for two years, from 1899 to 1901. Hence it was that he got his trip to the Orient, and other countries while he was away from the United States.
Having completed his travels and finished his services with the Government, he returned to Kentucky, to begin business for himself. In 1901 he opened a drug store in Owensboro. Dr. White had some difficulty in securing a place to begin business. He therefore bought the store which he was to use and which he still uses. His business prospered from the outset, as he had had wide experience in handling drugs and in handling people. He owns his home and his store in Owensboro and owns three rent houses in Lexington.
Dr. White is a good churchman and a member of several fraternal bodies. He is an Episcopalian, a Mason, an Odd Fellow, U. B. F., and a Knight of Pythias. In the Masonic order he is Deputy Grand Master of the State.
Dr. White was married in Lexington, July 23, 1901, to Miss Fannie Hathaway.
Almost every city has some one individual or business which holds a unique position because of some marked and distinctive feature or characteristic.
Thus in Owensboro, Kentucky. Dr. Randolph Franklin White is known as the Pharmacist.
He has won this distinction from his remarkable success in business, which is universally recognized, but not from this alone, his valued services to the Government during his travels abroad make their contribution to the enviable reputation he enjoys.
His thorough knowledge of his business is evidenced in the great success he has achieved in it and this with his courteous manner and elevated bearing commands the respect of all who deal with him.
Source: National Cyclopedia of the Colored Race, Editor-in-Chief, Clement Richardson, National Publishing Company, Inc., Montgomery, Alabama, 1919