Education

Mark Benjamin Sharpe.

“Mr. Mark Benjamin Sharpe, 98, of Wilson, N.C. died at Sunrise Assisted Living Center on April 8, 2009 in Charlotte.

“Former N.C. Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. honored Mark, a successful farmer, civil rights activist, and patriarch, with the ‘Order of the Long Leaf Pine,’ the state’s highest civilian award, for his unselfish accomplishments.

“Memorials may be made to the Mark B. Sharpe Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 608, Matthews, N.C., 28105.”

——-

In the 1920 census of Lower Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: on the public road from Tarboro to Stantonsburg, farm laborer Allen Sharpe, 43; wife Mary A., 38; children Carrie, 17, John, 14, Nettie, 12, Beatrice, 10, Peter, 9, Mark, 8, Bertha, 5, Ethel Branch, 3, and niece Dora, 19,

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Allen Sharpe, 56; wife Mary A., 47; children Carrie, 25, Nettie, 22, Peter, 19, Mark, 17, Bertha, 15, Blanche, 13,  Senie, 11, and Odell Sharp, 8; plus grandchildren Roosivilt, 7, and Minnie Howard, 4.

In 1940, Mark Benjamen Sharpe registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he resided R.F.D. 1, Macclesfield, Wilson County; was born 26 February 1912 in Wilson; was married to Clara Farmer Sharpe; and worked for U.H. Cozart, Wilson.

On June 25, 1951, Mark Benjamin Sharpe, 38, of Macclesfield, Wilson County, son of Allen and Mary Barron Sharpe, married Mary Fleming, 28, of Elm City. Primitive Baptist elder Luther Hyman performed the ceremony in his home in the presence of Dora Hyman, Doris Lee Hyman and Lester Gray Smith.

——

In the late 1940s, Mark Sharpe led a group of African-American parents in Gardners township whose persistent, and creative, demands that Wilson County meet its obligation to educate their children resulted in the building of Speight High School, near the town of Saratoga.  For a full account of their triumphant struggle, see Charles W. McKinney’s Greater Freedom: The Evolution of the Civil Rights Struggle in Wilson, North Carolina.

Obituary printed in www.qcitymetro.com, 20 April 2009.

Teachers at Sam Vick.

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Teachers at Samuel H. Vick Elementary School, 1949-50.

Front row

Back row

  • John Maxwell Miller Jr. — J.M. Miller (1910-1995), a native of Chesterfield, South Caroline, was principal of Sam Vick Elementary from 1944 to 1968.
  • Irene Wallace
  • Carrie Herndon — Carrie Lee Herndon (1915-1986) was probably a Nash County native.
  • Classie Jones Jarman — Classie Jones Jarman (1925-1993) was a native of Tarboro, North Carolina.
  • Ann Bostic — Annie Watson Bostic (1915-1959), a native of Johnston County, apparently lived in Wilson only briefly.
  • Etta Givens — Etta Daisy Wynn Givens (1921-2002) was a native of Mount Olive, Wayne County.
  • Hattie Dixon Nemo
  • Alvis Hines — Alvis Ashley Hines (1918-1981) was the son of Ashley and Mattie Barnes Hines. (His mother was a daughter of Ned and Louisa Gay Barnes.)

This photograph, contributed by Jennie P. Kerbo, is reprinted from 23 February 1999 edition of the Wilson Daily Times.

Darden High School, in retrospect.

In the spring of 1974, Ruth Hart Harris ’52 and Hattie Henderson Ellis ’53 published a brief history of the first fifty years of Charles H. Darden High School’s history. Here, with annotations, is the memorial booklet in its entirety:

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  • Christine Armstrong — Ethel Christine McDaniel Venters Smith Armstrong (1912-1999) was the daughter of George and Minnie Hicks McDaniel.
  • Mary D. Bass — Mary Della Wilkins Bass.
  • B.T. Barnes — Beatrice Taylor Barnes.
  • Connie Banks — Connie Freeman Banks (1915-??) was the daughter of O. Nestus and Willie Hendley Freeman.
  • Odell Barnes — Odelle Whitehead Barnes.
  • E.M. Barnes — Edward Morrison Barnes.
  • Hartford Bess — Hartford Eugene Bess.
  • Hattie Ricks — Hattie Mae Henderson Ricks.
  • Martha Barnes
  • Norma Darden — Norma Duncan Darden.
  • Maria Delaney — Maria Richburg Delaney (1901-1982) was a native of Clarendon County, South Carolina. She and husband George A. Delaney (1893-1957) migrate to Wilson prior to 1930.
  • Cora Farmer — Cora Lee Rountree Farmer (1900-1990) was the daughter of Jack and Lucille Bergeron Rountree. She married Paul F. Farmer.
  • Minnie Ellis — Minnie Virginia Woodard Ellis (1903-1986) was the daughter of James and Jennie Farmer Woodard. She married James Cornell Ellis in Wilson in 1928.
  • Pauline Harris — Pauline Artis Harris.
  • C.W. Hines — Carl Wendell Hines.
  • William Hines
  • Lula Hayes — Lula Mae Sutton Hayes.
  • Robert Locus — Robert Locus (1912-1986) was the son of Luther and Eula Alston Locus.
  • Mattie Randolph — Mattie Burnett Randolph (1899-1998) was a native of South Carolina.
  • Sarah Shade — Sarah Luvenia Shade (1910-1992) was the daughter of Isaac and Estelle Lane Shade, see below.
  • S.J. Satchell — Spencer Jordan Satchell.
  • Willie Smith — Willie Hargrove Smith (1896-1983) was the daughter of Lawrence Hargrove.
  • Walter Whitted, Sr. — Walter Craig Whitted (1890-1975) was the son of James A. and Tempie Jordan Whitted. He was married to Helen Beckwith Whitted, below.
  • Cora Fitch — Cora Whitted Fitch (1918-1987) was the daughter of Walter and Helen Beckwith Whitted.

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  • I.W. St. Clair — Irvin Webster St. Clair.
  • Lucille St. Clair — Lucille Weaver St. Clair.
  • Alvin Pryor
  • Ruby Collins — Ruby F. Collins is listed in the 1925 Wilson city directory as a teacher at Wilson Colored High School. She resided at 111 North Pender Street.
  • Virginia Edmunds — Virginia L. Edmunds is listed in the 1925 Wilson city directory as a teacher at Wilson Colored High School. She resided at 602 East Green Street.
  • Estelle Shade — Estelle Lane Shade (1880-1961) was a native of Pocomoke City, Maryland. She and husband Isaac Shade, a pharmacist, settled in Wilson before 1920.
  • Annie Dupree — Anna Mae Parker Dupree (1905-1999) was the daughter Silas and Mahalia Parker Parker.
  • Alice Jones — probably, Alice Albright Jones (ca. 1892-1957), who was born in Lexington, North Carolina. In the 1930 census of Wilson, she is listed as a boarder in the household of Rosa Carter at 8808 East Vance Street.
  • Helen Whitted — Helen Delzelle Beckwith Whitted.
  • Mattie Baker
  • Artelia Barnes — Leo Artelia Barnes Jones Davis.
  • Thelma Barnes — Thelma Barnes Byers.
  • Louise Cherry — Louise Cherry Sherrod.
  • Nancy Dupree  — Nancy Dupree Nicholson.
  • Julia Hicks
  • Susan Peacock — Susan Peacock Prince.
  • Bessie Speight
  • Marie Thomas
  • Cora Bryant
  • Frank Hicks
  • Ruby Peacock — Ruby Peacock Sherrod (1906-1975) was the sister of Levi and Hannah Pike Peacock. She married Clarence Sherrod.
  • Della Whitehead — Della Whitehead Murrain.

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  • Freddie Blue — Frederick Blue is listed in the 1930 Wilson city directory as a student living at 1220 Carolina Street. He was the son of Joseph and Ella Blue.
  • Delvell Chapman — Delzell Chapman is listed in the 1928 Wilson City directory as a school teacher residing at 201 Stantonsburg Street. In the 1940 census of Kinston, North Carolina: farmhand Delzell McNeil, 35, widow, with her mother Hattie Chapman, 67, widow, at 203 Springhill. Both reported living in Wilson in 1935.
  • Elaine DuBissette
  • George Grogan — George Grogan is listed as a student residing at 719 East Green in the 1925, 1928 and 1930 Wilson city directories.
  • Catherine Hines
  • Martha Parker — Probably the Martha Parker, born about 1909, who was the daughter of Allison and Mary Hilliard Parker.
  • Magdeline Parker
  • Ruth Strong
  • Addie Speight — Addie M. Speight is listed in the 1928 Wilson city directory as a school teacher living at 700 East Green Street.
  • Mildred Taylor — Mildred Taylor (1909-??) was the daughter of James and Mamie Spicer Taylor.
  • Ester Battle — This may have been Esther Battle, born about 1905, who was the daughter of William and Nonie Battle.
  • Mary Barnes
  • George Brodie — George Edward Brodie (1907-1985), a Johnston County native, was the son of George and Gertrude Brodie.
  • Mary Dawson
  • Beatrice Faulkland — Beatrice Faulkland Kanakanaka Williams (1907-2007) was the daughter of Willie and Pearl Barnes Faulkland.
  • Milton Fisher — Milton Wallace Fisher.
  • Mary Haskins
  • Walter Patterson— Walter Patterson (1905-1957), a Robeson County native, was the son of Silas and Zelphia Covington Patterson.)
  • Sarah Shade — see above.

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Funeral programs: Ruth J. Brown.

The funeral of Ruth Jones Brown (1904-1970), daughter of Charles T. and Gertrude Johnson Jones, took place 27 September 1970 at Saint John’s A.M.E. Zion Church.

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In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 667 Nash Street,  minister Charlie Jones, 41; wife Gertrude, 39; children Ruth, 16, Charlie, 14, Elwood, 12, Louise, 10, and Sudie, 4; plus mother-in-law Louisa Johnson, 65.

On 24 December 1926, Simon Plater, 30, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, son of Simon and Birdie Plater, married Ruth Jones, 22, daughter of Charles and Gertrude Jones of Wilson. The bride’s father, a Missionary Baptist minister, performed the service in the presence of Gertrude Jones, Louisa Johnson, and W.E. [William Elwood] Jones.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, WIlson County: at 412 Viola, owned and valued at $2000; Charles Jones, 61, janitor at Vick School; wife Gertrude, 59, a tobacco factory stemmer; daughter Ruth Plater, 35, divorced, teacher; grandsons Torrey S., 12, and Charles S. Plater, 11; son-in-law Ruel Bullock, 35; daughter Louise, 30; grandsons Jacobia, 7, Robert, 6, Harold, 4, and Rudolph, 7 months; and granddaughter Barbara Jones, 6.

 

Vick and Melton, Albion Academy trustees.

“The Albion Academy was designed to prepare young men and women to be teachers in schools intended for the instruction of colored people in the Southern States.

“It was organized by the late Rev. Moses A. Hopkins, its first principal, and aided by his Presbyterian friends North and South.

“Like all schools, at its commencement, it had many obstacles to fight. But by prayer, and the indefatigable energy and push of its founder, it grew gradually until it attracted the public in such a way, that the State of North Carolina, feeling the need of having intelligent, warmhearted citizens who will exercise their right of suffrage intelligently, and for the good of their country, the elevation of the race, and the glory of God, established six Normals, and located one at Franklinton, in connection with the Albion Academy.”

Albion Academy’s 1892-93 catalog listed 58 students by name in the Academic program and claimed another 189 in the preparatory and primary programs. Though Samuel H. Vick and Rev. Leavy J. Melton (and Clarence Dillard) served on the school’s board of trustees, no children from Wilson matriculated at Albion that year.

Excerpts from catalog found at http://www.ancestraltrackers.net/nc/franklin/catalogue-albion-academy-1892.pdf

Early 20th-century colored schools.

Rosenwald schools
Evansdale School, near Black Creek
Holden School, Holden’s Crossroads
Jones Hill School, near Wilson
Kirby’s Crossing School, near Kenly
Lucama School, near Lucama
New Vester School, near Sims
Rocky Branch School, near Buckhorn Crossroads
Saratoga School, near Saratoga
Sims School, Sims (partially standing)
Stantonsburg School, Stantonsburg
Williamson School, near Lucama
Wilson Colored High School (later known as C.H. Darden High), Wilson
Yelverton School, near Fountain (partially standing)

Non-Rosenwald Schools
Bynum School, near Driver’s Store
Calvin Level School, near Lucama
Elm City Colored Graded School, Elm City
Farmer School, near Cliftonville
Mitchell School, near Dunn’s Crossroads
Turner School, near Elm City
Wilbanks School, near Bridgersville
Wilson Colored Graded School (later known as the Sally Barbour School), Wilson

List adapted from “Survey File Materials Received from Volunteer Surveyors of Rosenwald Schools Since September 2002,” http://www.hpo.ncdcr.gov/rosenwald/rosen-volun.htm.

Teacher training at A&T.

From the roster of teachers receiving training listed in  he 1922-23 Annual Catalog of the Negro Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina —

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  • Lurean Barnes  Lurean Barnes Zachary died 30 April 1963 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 28 February 1899 in Wilson to Sam Barnes and Ida Hinton; was married to Joe K. Zachary; and worked as a teacher.
  • Mary E. Isler — Mary Isler was the stepdaughter of Owen L.W. Smith. In the 1900 census of Swift Creek township, Pitt County, North Carolina, she is listed as a one month-old in the household of her parents Turney and Cynthia Isler. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County, minister Owen W. Smith, 58, wife Lucy A., 45, son Jessy A. Smith, 27, daughter Carry E. Smith, 10, and step-children John H. Isler, 12, and Mary A. Isler, 10. In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 129 Pender Street, Owen L. Smith, 68; wife Cynthia, 55; stepchild Mary E. Isler, 20, a teacher; roomer John H. Isler, 21; Claud L. Burgen, 29, wife Annie L., 24, and son Claud L., Jr., 1; and five roomers, all tobacco factory workers, John Davis, 33, Major Lewis, 25, Edgar Jones, 25, Walter Walker, 25, and Paul Barnes, 21. On 2 June 1922, Mary E. Isler, 22, foster daughter of O.L.W. and Anna A. Smith, married Clarence L. King, 24, of Wayne County, son of James and Sarah King, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister B.P. Coward performed the ceremony in the presence of J.D. Reid, C.S. Thomas, and W.T. Darden. By 1940, the Kings were living in the Bronx with daughter Grace, born about 1923. Mary E. King died in New York in April 1981.
  • Fannie F. Ricks — in the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: railroad track laborer Samuel Ford, 25, wife Mattie, 21, and daughter Fannie, 1. In the 1910 census of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Wilson Street, railroad foreman Samuel T. Ford, 34; wife Mattie, 30; and children Fannie, 11, Maurice, 9, Willie, 4, and Thomas, 1. On 27 July 1919, Fannie Fort, 21, of Toisnot township, married Wiley Ricks, 21, of Toisnot township. Presbyterian minister A.E. Sephas performed the ceremony in the presence of John Gaston, Saml. T. Ford, and T.H. Nicholson. Fannie Ford Ricks died 9 March 1924 in Elm City, Toisnot township, WIlson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 January 1899 in Wilson County to Sam Ford of Halifax County and Mattie Williams of Wilson County. She was married to Wiley Ricks.