M Street High School Tour: Iona Rollin Whipper Home and Office

The home and office of one of the only African American female physicians at the time.

Dr. Iona Rollin Whipper (1872-1953), graduate of M Street High School, was a skilled physician specializing in obstetrics. One of the only African American female physicians of her time, Dr. Whipper not only practiced medicine, but was a passionate advocate and teacher of public health.

When Dr. Whipper set up her private practice at 511 Florida Avenue NW, she accepted only women patients. When Dr. Whipper joined the Maternity Ward staff of Freedman’s Hospital, she was moved by the plights of numerous unwed teenagers she assisted there, so she began to mentor girls in need. There were no facilities in the area serving Black women and girls. Thus, Dr. Whipper began to take individual girls under her wing in her own home and office on Florida Avenue. She eventually opened the Iona R. Whipper Home for Unwed Mothers in Northeast Washington.

Within the LeDroit Park Historic District



511 Florida Avenue NW