Saint Augustine dentist Dr. Julius Fields was a community leader in the 1960s

Wayne Fields embraces his wife, Linda Bean, and his two sons Gerald and Tander Fields during a presentation by the St. Augustine City Commission in honor of Wayne Fields' father, the late Dr. Julius Gazelle Fields, in honor of National Dentist Day in February.  Standing alongside the fields is Dr. Fields' cousin Derek Hankerson and Deputy Mayor Nancy Sykes-Klein.  Dr. Fields was a community leader and practicing dentist in the city from 1951 until his death in 1967.

Wayne Gazelle Fields is proud of his late father, Dr. Julius Gazelle Fields. Dr. Fields was a black man and the original son of Saint Augustine, born in 1921 to parents Robin Homer Fields and Annie Mae Hankerson. Raised in the African American community of Lincolnville, he attended West Augustine Segregated Elementary School #6 and Excelsior High School, and graduated from Florida Memorial College, which was located in West Augustine.

“My father was a kid in the secluded area of ​​St. Augustine, where people of color at the time were not expected to achieve much,” Wayne Fields said in a phone interview from his home in Gainesville. “But my parents proved them wrong.”

After graduating from Florida Memorial, Fields was commissioned as an officer in the US Army, where he served in the Philippines in World War II and was wounded. He earned the Purple Heart, was discharged as a captain, came home and enrolled at Fisk University in Nashville and then Mahari Medical College to study dentistry.

Dr..  Julius Ghazal Fields

After medical school, Dr. Fields returned home in St. Augustine to set up his practice in the grand Victorian home of his mother, Annie Fields, at 82 Bridge Street in the city’s Lincolnville in 1951.

The house was sold to the city after Mrs. Fields’ death and was demolished to build a parking lot.

According to local historian David Nolan, the intersection of Bridge Street and Oneida Street was the medical and dental center of Lincolnville during the first two thirds of the 20th century, with the offices of many dentists and physicians.