Wilson Mirror, 12 October 1892.
- Hood Phillips
- Jim Artis
Wilson Mirror, 12 October 1892.
From In Retrospect: “In 1933, the first [Darden High School] football team was formed under the leadership of Robert Kornegay. The Trojan Mascot was selected as a result of a contest held in the fall of ’33. The colors ‘Blue & White’ were also formally selected at that time.”
Here is the earliest known photograph of a Trojans gridiron team. The date is somewhat ambiguous, but the photo was taken no later than 1941, when several of the players graduated.
Pittsburgh Courier, 17 February 1940.
This 1945 photograph of Winston-Salem Teachers College’s pep squad depicts, front: senior Carl Hargraves, president of squad, Winston-Salem, N.C. and freshman William Stevenson, Winston-Salem; back: senior Ethel Ellerbe, Morven, N.C.; senior Joy Mae Hairston, Winston-Salem; sophomore Effie Dunston, Warrenton, N.C.; junior Marie Darden, Washington, D.C.; sophomore Hattie Russell, Manson, N.C.; and sophomore Dora Dickerson, Wilson, N.C.
Photograph courtesy of http://www.digitalforsyth.org/photos/7388.
Pittsburgh Courier, 21 September 1925.
Charles “Pop-Eye” Leonard is not well-known, but his brother Walter F. Leonard — better known by the nickname Charles gave him, “Buck” — was a legend. The Leonards were natives of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, 18 miles north of Wilson. I have not been able to discover much about Charles, but a bio brief about Buck in Jason T. Powers’ Bringin’ Gas and Dialin’ 9: A Seven Score Addition to the National Pastime, volume 1, describes the brothers’ relationship, and Buck’s attempts to steer his brother away from baseball.
The Wilson Braves, presumably, were affiliated with an African-American minor league.
Today is opening day of Major League Baseball’s 2016 season. In keeping:
Wilson Mirror, 20 July 1892.
Wilson Mirror, 8 August 1894.
Wilson Times, 19 June 1896.
Wilmington Morning Star, 8 May 1904.
Raleigh News & Observer, 30 April 1910.
Wilson Times, 3 May 1910.
Wilson Times, 6 May 1910.
Wilson Times, 2 May 1911.
The 1922 Wilson city directory listed three African-American doctors — Michael E. Dubissette, Matthew S. Gilliam, and William A. Mitchner.
Unlike Gilliam (more about him later) and Mitchner, Dr. DuBissette spent only a few years of practice in Wilson. Born in 1885 in Grenada, West Indies, Michael Edmund DuBissette immigrated to the United States about 1912. He attended Saint Augustine’s College and Shaw University in Raleigh (where he likely met his wife, Betty Alford of Smithfield, Johnston County) and obtained a medical degree from Howard University. He was a resident of New York (and a British citizen) in June 1917 when he registered for the World War I draft. In March 1918, he married Alford in Wake County.
Wilmington Morning Star, 15 May 1915. (Note Eustace DuBissette, who was likely a younger brother. Born in Grenada in 1890, he opened a dental practice in Wilmington, North Carolina.)
By 1922, the DuBissettes had set up in Wilson, living at 911 East Green Street while Dr. DuBissette saw patients at 550 East Nash. (Not Hicks, as the directory shows.) In his idle hours, he managed to maintain competitive tennis rankings.
New York Age, 12 February 1927.
He remained in Wilson as late as 1928, when DuBissette last appears in a city directory. By 1929, however, he had moved on to Enfield, Halifax County, North Carolina. From there he filed in the Eastern District of the North Carolina, United States District Court, a declaration of his intention to seek American citizenship. Wife Bettie and children Bettie Agnes (born 1919) and Michael DuBissette Jr. (born 1921) were still in Wilson.
In February 1930, Dr. DuBissette resettled in New York City and threw himself into the city’s Negro professional life, giving lectures, fundraising, and gaining hospital credentials.
New York Age, 27 February 1932.
New York Age, 3 March 1934.
In 1936, Dr. DuBissette petitioned for naturalization in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York. Bettie Alford Dubissette had died two years prior, but his children continued to reside with him at 460 West 147th Street in Harlem.
By the early 1940s, however, Dr. DuBissette had returned to North Carolina. He married his second wife, Louise Goodson, in 1943 in Goldsboro and established a long-lasting practice there. Michael E. DuBissette died in New York City in 1963.
Washington Afro-American, 31 December 1963.
Petitions for Naturalization from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1897-1944, National Archives and Records Administration, available online at ancestry.com.
Pittsburgh Courier, 3 December 1938.
Jack Benjamin Sherrod was born in Speed, Edgecombe County, North Carolina, in 1912. Less than two years after this brief article posted, he registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. He listed his mother as Lucy E. Sherrod of 807 E. Nash and his place of employment as the Cherry Hotel.
Pittsburgh Courier, 13 April 1935.
The Homestead Grays were a storied professional baseball team that played in the short-lived American Negro League and then the National Negro League. The team was formed in 1912 by Cumberland Posey (who wrote this article) and remained in continuous operation for 38 seasons. The team was originally based in Homestead, Pennsylvania, crossed the Monongahela River to play all home games in Pittsburgh in the 1920s. Later, they also played home games in Washington DC.
First baseman and future National Baseball Hall-of-Famer Walter F. “Buck” Leonard (1907-1997) was a Rocky Mount native. Other players mentioned in the article include Tom Parker, Tommy Dukes, Jimmy, Binder, George Scales, Norman Jackson, Matthew Carlisle, Vic Harris, Buddy Burbage and Ray Brown. For 1935 season stats, see here.