The first in a series of posts highlighting the schools that educated African-American children outside the town of Wilson in the first half of the twentieth century. The posts will be updated; additional information, including photographs, is welcome.
New Vester School
New Vester School was built in the early 1920s with money from the community and the Julius Rosenwald Fund.
Location: Demolished. The school was on the north side of New Vester Missionary Baptist Church, now the site of the church’s front parking lot. As set forth in Mortgage Book 622, Page 410, the metes and bounds were: “Beginning at the Northwest corner of New Vester Missionary Baptist Church lot, a point in the middle of the road, thence with the middle of the road North 3 degrees 15′ East 67 feet to the center of the road to Wilson, thence with the middle of said road North 77 degrees 30′ East 351 feet; cornering; thence South 350.2 feet to the New Vester Church Cemetery line; cornering; thence with said cemetery line 253.5 feet to the New Vester Missionary Baptist Church corner; cornering; runs thence North 6 degrees 30′ East 210 feet; cornering; runs thence West 105 feet to the point of beginning; and being known as New Vester Colored School lot. …”
Descriptions: per The Report on Schools in Wilson County, North Carolina 1925-26, “This is a building of the two-teacher type provided with cloak rooms and industrial room. The windows in this building are too close to the floor and there is no lattice between the brick piers. There was but little equipment in the New Vester school and modern desks should be supplied. A further criticism of this building is that the piers under the center girders were very crude. Good piers should be provided as early as possible for if the building once sags it will be almost impossible to ever get it in good condition again.”
Rosenwald two-teacher community school plan.
Known faculty: principal Cora Sherrod Wilson; teachers Lucille Clement, Hazel Marie Davis.
Notes: New Vester closed at the end of the 1950-’51 school year, and its children, of all grades, were sent to the new Springfield High School. The Wilson County Board of Education offered this school and lot at public auction on 19 November 1951 with eighteen other “colored” schools.
Aerial view per Google Maps.
Ms. Lucille Clement was a family friend. Great to read about her legacy in Black Wide Awake.