Research Horizons


Research History Moment: Benjamin Knox Rachford

With the announcement of Tina L. Cheng, MD, MPH, as the ninth B.K. Rachford Memorial Chair of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s, it’s timely to note that the Rachford chair was created in 1920 through a $250,000 donation from Cincinnati philanthropist, Mary Emery (1844-1927).

Named in honor of Cincinnati Children’s first pediatric chair, Benjamin Knox Rachford (1857-1929), the Rachford chair was a breakthrough, creating a new organizational structure for the hospital as well as aligning Children’s with the University of Cincinnati’s Medical College.

Born in Alexandria, Kentucky, Benjamin Rachford was the first physician in the Cincinnati area to restrict his practice to children. Noted for his statement that “a child is not a little man,” Rachford directed the first Cincinnati clinic for children at General Hospital before coming to Children’s Hospital from 1901-1920.

Here are the eight previous Rachford chairs:

  • Kenneth Blackfan (1922-1923)
  • A. Graeme Mitchell (1924-1941)
  • A. Ashley Weech (1942-1963)
  • Edward L. Pratt (1963-1979)
  • William Schubert (1979-1993)
  • Thomas Boat (1993-2007)
  • Arnold Strauss (2007-2014)
  • Margaret Hostetter (2014-2020)

Information and documents for this article came from the Cincinnati Children’s Archives. Founded in 1980 and housed in the historic Mitchell-Nelson Library, the Archives’ mission is to support, chronicle, and promote the ongoing mission and heritage of Cincinnati Children’s.


Research By

Kevin Proffitt