Sunday, July 7, 2019

Dr G. Herbert Sembly

Although Delmar had a couple of doctors in the 1930s, they were white and if you were black and wanted a black doctor in the 1930s and 1940s you had to go to Salisbury.  There, Dr Arthur D Browne, Dr E Alexander Purnell, and Dr George Herbert Sembly practiced. 

Dr G. Herbert Sembly (1898-1987) was born near Lutherville, Maryland in the Riderwood area.  Riderwood was part of the 150-acre farm the Edward Rider family had in the early 1800s.  The area had an equal part white citizen and black slave population.  Dr Sembly was born to Edward and Frances Sembly.  His father was a day laborer and before becoming a Doctor, George Sembly was also.  George Sembly found the money to go to Howard University and once he had a degree he taught school before returning to Howard to obtain a Medical degree.  He did his internship in Tuskegee, Ala. In 1927 he came to Salisbury to practice medicine.  Shortly after his arrival in Salisbury,  he married a teacher named Mae Jones from Princess Anne.  She was the daughter of Horatio William and Addie Gayle Jones.   

He was a well respected Doctor in the Salisbury community and took an active interest in the community.  He was a member of the all black Delmarva Medical Society which was made up of black doctors from Cape Charles to Dover. 

For years Dr Sembly had his office and home at the corner of RT13 and East Church Street.  The house was well known to Blacks and whites because of the white ceramic cat with three kittens on the roof of his house.    

The Semblys had a foster child named Jean W. Julian.  Dr Sembly is buried in Green Acres Memorial Park. 

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