Education

The Colored High School on display.

darden

This photograph of Wilson Colored High School was displayed in Philadelphia’s Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition of 1926. It was one of several dozen featured in an exhibit staged by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Division of Negro Education. The caption: Cost of Building $65,000.00 — Total Value Colored School Property $96,250.00 — Total Population of the City 14,000 — Total Colored Population of City 6,650.

From Sesquicentennial International Exposition Photographs, Division of Negro Education, Department of Public Instruction, North Carolina State Archives.

Farm life, school life.

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Wilson Daily Times, 3 December 1936.

In 1936, African-American children at Rocky Branch, Williamson, Kirby’s, New Vester and Calvin’s Level schools — all in the rural southwest quadrant of Wilson County — responded to a survey about education and farm life. To the surprise of the writer of this article, most children indicated that would like to live on a farm (in the future?)

New Negro school opened.

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Wilson Daily Times, 11 December 1936.

When Samuel H. Vick Elementary School opened in December 1936, about 600 children were transferred from the aging and seriously over-crowded Stantonsburg Street School to a brand-new building at 801 North Reid Street. (The older school was soon after renamed Sallie Barbour School and continued to serve children south of Nash or Hines Streets.)

A resolution in honor of John W. Jones.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2005

RATIFIED BILL  

RESOLUTION 2005-47

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 197 

A JOINT RESOLUTION HONORING THE LIFE AND MEMORY OF JOHN WESLEY JONES, FORMER EDUCATOR AND INFLUENTIAL LEADER.

Whereas, John Wesley Jones grew up in the City of Wilson; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones graduated from Charles H. Darden High School in 1941 at the age of 15; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones spent a year helping to construct a new addition to Charles H. Darden High School before attending North Carolina A & T State University; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones’s college education was interrupted by World War II when he was drafted into the United States Navy; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones returned to North Carolina A & T State University after serving in the United States Navy, earning a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1948 and later receiving a masters degree in mathematics; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones was a schoolteacher in Greene and Wilson Counties from 1948 to 1968 and served as an assistant principal and principal in the Wilson County public schools from 1968 to 1988; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones served the education community proudly as a member of State and national organizations, including the North Carolina Teachers Association, Inc., the North Carolina Association of Educators, Inc., and the National Education Association; and

Whereas, after his retirement as a principal, John Wesley Jones continued to be an advocate for education by becoming a member of the Wilson County Board of Education, serving as a member from 1988 to 2004 and as the Chair for one term; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones rendered distinguished service to his community by helping to establish the Charles H. Darden High School Alumni Association, Inc., in 1971, a national, nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to promote the educational, cultural, and social level of the community; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones’s success in establishing the Alumni Association has allowed former students of Charles H. Darden High School, who now live in other parts of the country, to communicate and stay in touch with each other, resulting in an annual reunion held in the City of Wilson and reunions held in other states; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones served as the Alumni Association’s first president and later as executive secretary to the board of directors; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones’s vision to build a community center came true in 1991 when the Charles H. Darden Alumni Center opened, providing a location for a tutorial program and community activities; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones was a member of the National North Carolina A & T State University Alumni Scholarship Committee, which provided four-year scholarships to deserving high school graduates and helped students achieve their dreams of attending college; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones was active in the American Legion Post #17, NAACP, Men’s Civic Club, served as treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Hattie Daniels Day Care Center, and was a charter member and past president of the Beta Beta Beta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones was a devoted member of the Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church, serving on the Board of Trustees, Finance Committee, and as Chair of the Construction Committee for the Education Building; and

Whereas, John Wesley Jones died on April 3, 2004; Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:

SECTION 1.  The General Assembly honors the life and memory of John Wesley Jones for the service he rendered to his community, State, and nation.

SECTION 2.  The General Assembly extends its deepest sympathy to the family of John Wesley Jones for the loss of a beloved family member.

SECTION 3.  The Secretary of State shall transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the family of John Wesley Jones.

SECTION 4.  This resolution is effective upon ratification.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 9th day of August, 2005.

From The Trojan (1964), the yearbook of Charles H. Darden High School.

A little paint does not help a situation like that.

Richard A.G. Foster made the most of his brief time as pastor of Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church, as chronicled here and here. In the letter to the editor below, he called to task Wilson County Commissioners for failing to heed the pleas of African-American residents for adequate schooling, including serious repairs for the Stantonsburg Street School (also known as Sallie Barbour School).

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Wilson Daily Times, 3 August 1938.

The Schoolyard.

After years of complaints about deteriorating conditions at the Sallie Barbour School, Wilson’s Board of Education finally constructed a new elementary school for African-American children in southeast Wilson. The opening of Elvie Street School left Sallie Barbour School obsolete, and the city made plans to sell off the property.

The first plat shows a survey of the property as it existed in January 1951 — the frame school building (which dated from the 1890s) with its distinctive five-sided porch , a small frame lunch room off to one side, and a brick toilet building in the rear.

The second plat shows, superimposed over an outline of the buildings, the proposed division of the land — known to this day as “The Schoolyard” — into 28 lots.

The Schoolyard today. About 1955, a developer built a row of double-shotgun houses on the Manchester Street side of the property. The Black Creek Road (formerly Stantonsburg Street) side is now home to a small supermarket and a series of apartment buildings.

Plat Book 5, pages 32 and 34, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County courthouse; photo courtesy of Google Maps.

Headed to college.

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Wilson Daily Times, 15 September 1948.

Howard University

  • Doris V. Smith
  • Mary Frances Diggs (1930-1971), daughter of Edgar and Mary Grant Diggs
  • Charles Seville Plater (1929), son of Simon T. and Ruth Jones Plater
  • Thomas Levi Peacock(1928), son of Levi and Eloise Reavis Peacock
  • Norma Adelaide Carter Murphy (1931-), daughter of Luke and Eunice Godette Carter
  • Hoover Curtis Bowens (1928-2007), son of Jacob and Flossie Cobb Bowens

A&T College

  • Edward Kerphew Harris (1930-2007), son of Benjamin and Pauline Artis Harris
  • Winford Lee Morgan (1931-2000), son of James and Addie Fisher Morgan
  • Wade Nicholas Lassiter (1928-??) and Harvey Green Lassiter (1926-1998), sons of Jesse C.K. and Lessie Dew Lassiter
  • Harold Cannady
  • Leonard Elroy Barnes Jr. (1929-1967), son of Leonard E. and Beatrice Taylor Barnes
  • Walter Rufus Stephens (1926-2014), son of James H. and Parnella Jackson Stephens
  • James Thomas Jones (1927-2011) and John Wesley Jones (1925-2004), sons of Wesley and Martha Taylor Jones

From the 1951 edition of The Ayantee, the yearbook of North Carolina State A.&T. University.

N.C. College [now N.C. Central University]

  • Helen Woodard
  • Ralph Cornell Gay (1928-1992), son of Albert and Annie Bell Jacobs Gay
  • James Henry Spivey Jr. (1930-??) and Glenda Vermell Spivey Middleton (1927-2006), children of James H. and Mary Clark Spivey
  • Eva Elnora Coley Jarrett Oxendine (1929-), daughter of David H. and Eva Speight Coley
  • Preston Walter Diggs (1928-), son of Edgar and Mary Grant Diggs
  • Hattie Moye Floyd (1929-1985), daughter of Ambrose and Mattie Moye Floyd
  • Thomas Dawson
  • Laura Mae Murphy Baker (1925-1988), daughter of Clarence and Mittie Wilkes Murphy
  • Victoria Whitehead McCray (1928-2017), daughter of John H. and Victoria Ennis Whitehead

Shaw University

  • James L. Nicholson Jr. (1929-2018), son of James and Celestia Nicholson
  • Donnie L. Joyner Freeman (1928-), daughter of Eddie and Annie Wynn Joyner
  • Eva L. Carter (1928-2017), daughter of Willam and Eva Overton Carter
  • Doug Melton 
  • Nathaniel Gray Hodges (1929-), son of Nathaniel and Bessie Sutton Hodges
  • Helen Harris
  • R.J. Dancy

J.C. Smith

  • Mamie Ruth Ellis (1930-2004), daughter of Oscar and Mamie Bynum Ellis
  • Roderick Taylor Jr. (1928), son of Roderick and Mary J. Pender Taylor
  • Ellis Brown Jr. (1921-1989), son of Ellis and Margaret Scarborough Brown

Barber-Scotia

  • Ann Battle
  • Van Royall
  • Doris Joyner
  • Pauline Deloris Harris (1927-), daughter of Benjamin A. and Pauline Artis Harris

Virginia State

  • Annie Miller Stokes (1930-), daughter of James and Viola Reese Stokes
  • Frances Williams 

West Virginia State

Saint Augustine

  • Mary Knight
  • Richard Barnes
  • Virginia Ward
  • Margaret Evangeline Speight Williams (1929-1998), daughter of Theodore and Marie Thomas Speight
  • Marian Anderson 

Livingstone College

  • Trumiller Wimberly
  • Christine Snow

Temple University

  • Katheryn Spells (1927-2004), daughter of Neros and Nancy Taylor Spells

Cortez Peters Business School

  • Beatrice McNeil (1928-2007), daughter of Matthew and Ola Belle Jiggette McNeil
  • Ozie L. Pender (1928-2010), daughter of Albert and Mary Pender

Winston-Salem Teachers College

  • Agnes Hoskins (1929-), daughter of Lonnie and Gertrude Simms Hoskins
  • Charity Wells (1930-1978), daughter of Willie and Mamie Holland Wells
  • Bertha Cobb

Darden expansion.

This 1940 plat map shows the boundaries of additional land proposed to expand the campus of Charles H. Darden High School, referred to here as a “school site for colored people.”

(Note that the property was purchased in part from Louise Fike and Hadley Blake, whose names were memorialized in nearby streets laid out in the 1950s — Fikewood and Blakewood.)

Plat Book 2, page 152, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.

Elaine A. DuBissette, Howard ’30.

1930

From The Bison, the yearbook of Howard University, 1930.

Elaine A. Du Bissette graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1930 with a degree in education. Per her yearbook entry, she was a native of Grenada, British West Indies, and graduated Wilson High School [sic] in Wilson. As shown here, she received her high school diploma in 1926.

Du Bissette was clearly a close relative of Dr. Michael E. Dubissette, but their exact relationship is not clear. Was she his niece? Younger sister? Child from a previous marriage? (This seems unlikely, as he did not declare on his naturalization application.)

Hat tip to S.A. Stevens for pointing out this yearbook entry.

The only colored school with a domestic science class.

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Wilson Daily Times, 8 April 1921.

  • Elm City Colored Graded School
  • Prof. J.D. Reid — Reid was principal of the Wilson Colored Graded School.
  • Prof. W.S. Washington
  • Mary Howard — in the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on the Elm City and Wilson Road, farmer Junius Rosser, 59, wife Lizzie, 46, children Daniel, 14, Annie, 12, Bennie, 10, and Lizzie, 8, and boarder Mary Howard, 19, a teacher.