Poindexter, Alfred Nelson, Jr. (1921–2006)

By: Kimberly M. Gay

Type: Biography

Published: August 28, 2013

Updated: September 29, 2020

Alfred Nelson Poindexter, Jr., veterinarian and educator, son of Alfred Nelson Poindexter, Sr., and Willa (Williams) Poindexter, was born on July 22, 1921, in Kansas City, Missouri. He attended Kansas State Teachers College at Pittsburg, Kansas, for two years and in 1945 received his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Kansas State University in Manhattan where he was the only African American in his class. He served in the Army Specialized Training Program during World War II while earning his degree.

After graduation he joined Prairie View University (now Prairie View A&M University) and began a career as professor and veterinarian. He provided leadership for students in developing, implementing, evaluating, and interpreting educational programs in agriculture and animal husbandry. Poindexter taught classes in physiology and anatomy, diseases and sanitation, animal breeding and reproductive physiology, and animal health in addition to providing veterinary services to the community and the surrounding area within 150 miles.

In 1947, based on his outstanding reputation in animal husbandry, Poindexter had the distinction of being named one of the first two African American members to the Texas Veterinary Medical Association. He garnered numerous honors later in his career. In 1992 he was chosen by the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture as one of the four most outstanding Black agriculturalists in Texas. That same year the Texas A&M University board of regents renamed Prairie View A&M’s veterinary hospital in honor of Poindexter. Prairie View A&M University established a scholarship fund in his name in 1995. Tuskegee University bestowed upon him the George Washington Carver Award for Public Service in 1996, and that same year Poindexter was inducted into the Texas State Fair’s Texas Heritage Hall of Honor. He also received the Humanitarian Award from Banneker Honors College and a Gold Card Membership into the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Poindexter held the positions of professor in the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences and university veterinarian at Prairie View A&M for almost sixty years until his retirement in August 2004. He was a cofounder of the Prairie View Trail Riders, worked with the Houston Live Stock Show, and served as scoutmaster of Prairie View’s Boy Scout Troop 141, where he received a medal for outstanding service by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Poindexter was a charter member of the Epsilon Tau Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Alfred N. Poindexter died of natural causes at the age of eighty-five in a Houston retirement home on August19, 2006. He was survived by Rachael Tillmon Poindexter, his wife of sixty-five years; sons Dr. Alfred N. Poindexter and Bruce Allan Poindexter; and daughters Betti Poindexter-Blackshear, Paula Poindexter, and Dr. Yvette Poindexter. He was buried in Prairie View Cemetery.

Anterria Brown, “Dr. Alfred Poindexter, PV faculty member for 59 years,” The Panther, Official Student Newspaper of Prairie View A&M University, September 7, 2006 (http://www.pvpanther.com/dr-alfred-poindexter-pv-faculty-member-for-59-years-1.2474007), accessed May 21, 2012. Houston Chronicle, August 22, 2006. “Dr. Alfred Nelson Poindexter Jr. Receives 2005 Alumni Recognition Award,” Kansas State University: College of Veterinary Medicine—Recognition Awards (http://www.vet.k-state.edu/depts/alumni/awards/poindexter.htm), accessed May 21, 2012.

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Education
  • Educators
  • Health and Medicine
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Peoples
  • African Americans

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Kimberly M. Gay, “Poindexter, Alfred Nelson, Jr.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 13, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/poindexter-alfred-nelson-jr.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 28, 2013
September 29, 2020

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