C.H. Darden High School

Darden band performs at mass X-ray survey.

Wilson Daily Times, 18 November 1950.

“Hundreds of Wilson county residents yesterday turned out for the opening of the mass x-ray survey which will last until December 23. Part of the crown which attended the opening in front of the county court house can be seen in the top photo. The Charles L. Coon High school band also is shown in the above picture. Colored citizens staged their own opening program at Nash and Pender streets. The Darden High school band can be seen in the bottom photo getting the mass x-ray started in that section of town. …”

Friday night social.

Wilson Daily Times, 6 November 1950.

Bill Elliott supervised the Darden High School’s Teen Age Club, which held social events at Reid Street Community Center under the joint sponsorship of Darden’s Parent-Teacher Association and Wilson’s Department of Recreation and Parks.

Trojan players ready for Homecoming game.

Wilson Daily Times, 26 October 1950.

  • David Smith — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: redrying plant laborer Bertha Smith, 36, widow, and son David, 8.
  • Leo Dancy — in the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: John Dancy, 44; wife Pennie, 39; children Evangline, 20; Lovie, 18; R.J., 15; Olie, 11; and Mildred, 8; and [grandson] Leo, 5.
  • Harold Darden — in the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: John H. Darden, 44, hotel bellhop; wife Estelle N., 43, laundry presser; and children William M., 20, cook and butler, Mildred, 18, receptionist at photography studio, and Harold C., 16.
  • Henry Simms
  • Eddie Best — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 406 Walnut, rented for $12/month, Aaron Best, 39; wife Estelle, 39; and children Rudolph, 14, Royce, 10, Harper and Gerald, 8, Eddie, 7, and Nannie Jean, 5.

Cheers to the Class of ’52, part 2.

Wilson Daily Times, 3 June 2022.

These are my father’s beloved classmates. Marking their 70th anniversary, Darden High School Class of 1952 raised $8700 — more than a quarter of the donations contributed this year to Darden Alumni Association’s scholarship and building funds.

Marian Sewell Farmer.

Jean Wynn Jones.

James Edward Farmer Jr.

Herman McNeil.

Leonard P. Sherrod Jr.

Eloise Ward.

Doris Ward Heath.

Rederick Caswell Henderson.

Senior class photos courtesy of The Trojan (1952), the yearbook of Charles H. Darden High School.

Cheers to the Class of 1952!

My father loved some Darden High School and Darden High School Alumni Association and kept a stack of these in his trunk for whomever he encountered that might have wanted one. It’s a list of every known graduate of Darden from 1924 until it closed its doors as a high school in 1970. 

I didn’t attend Darden, but I grew up in the glow of its glory. Memorial Day weekend is synonymous with Darden Alumni Reunion. My father was a founder and an early president of the Association, and his class celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. Jean Wynn Jones lovingly spoke on their behalf at his funeral, and several of his classmates helped carry flowers from the church.  

 As I continue to celebrate and honor my father’s legacy, I raise a toast to the Class of 1952! 

Class of 1952 Darden High School

Rosenwald Day.

Wilson Daily Times, 5 March 1932.


Wilson Colored High School (later Darden High School) observed a day honoring Julius Rosenwald, whose charitable foundation funded the school’s construction.

  • O.N. Freeman Jr. — Oliver N. Freeman Jr.
  • Lillian Whitfield
  • Zelma Arrington 
  • Alice Thigpen
  • Alma Lucas — in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 208 Jones Street, South Carolina-born drayman Henry Lucas, 35; wife Mamie, 35; and children James, 16, Leroy, 14, Milton, 12, Lucille, 10, Alma, 5, Margret, 6, and Charles, 2.
  • Alcestia Langley — in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: grocery store merchant Jarrette J. Langley, 51; wife Mary, 49; and children Mary, 21, Esmond, 18, grocery store delivery boy, Ruttena, 16, Alcesta, 14, and Eunice, 8.
  • Mildred Jones
  • Mabel Williams –probably, in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: James Williams, 55; wife Mary C., 58; and children William, 25, Mable, 16, Sarah J., 17, and James Jr., 18.
  • Principal W.H.A. Howard


School closings and reopenings.

Wilson Daily Times, 2 December 1936.

For a brief period in November-December 1936, all three of Wilson’s Black schools were closed down. The Stantonsburg Street School (formerly known as Colored Graded and later as Sallie Barbour) shut down for repair of a burst boiler. The Colored High School (later known as Darden) was closed indefinitely due to a serious fire, and Sam Vick Elementary’s grand opening had been delayed by late furniture arrivals.