C.H. Darden High School

Are you ready for some football?

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.

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  • #60 Joe Williams
  • #61 Clarence Hoskins (1924-2010, son of Lonnie and Gertrude Simms Hoskins)
  • #63 Marvin Jones (1923-??)
  • #64 William Criss Taylor
  • #65 Dolly Octavous Brown Jr., Class of ’41 (1922-1993, son of Dolly and Mabel Brown)
  • #67 Hubert Odell Speight, ’44 (1922-2009, son of Gray Edmundson and Christine Speight)
  • #68 Charles E. Branford Jr. ,’41 (1923-2008, son of Charles and Annie McIntyre Branford)
  • #69 Samuel Price Geralds, ’41 (1920-2008, son of Boyd and Viola Geralds)
  • #70 David M. Barnes (1921-2006, son of Littleton and Elnora James Barnes)
  • #71 Troy Lee Chatman (1922-??, son of George and Daisy Chatman)
  • #72 William Edward Brown, ’41 (1922-1993, son of Ellis and Margaret Scarborough Brown)
  • #73 Ellis Brown Jr., ’41 (1921-1989, son of Ellis and Margaret Scarborough Brown)
  • #75 Jesse Frank Barnes, ’42 (son of Harry and Rena Barnes)
  • #76 Allen McCrimmon (1923-1973, son of Alexander and Mary Watson McCrimmon)
  • #77 Daniel Scott Brown, ’41 (1922-2009, son of Booster and Louisa Brown)
  • #79 Joe Parker
  • #80 Edgar Gerald (1922-??, son of Morant and Lizzie Gerald)
  • #81 Joe Pittman
  • #82 Joseph Rountree (1923-2001, son of Wiley and Mary Barnes Rountree)
  • #83 James W. Ellis, ’41
  • Coach B. Miller
  • Coach Roberson

Class of ’44.

From the Darden Alumni Center, a graduation photo of the 1944 class:

  • Adelaide Lee Barnes Brown (1924-1983, daughter of Leonard and Adelaide White Barnes)
  • Dicy Cora Lee Becton (1924-??, daughter of Zanger and Louisa Broadhurst Becton)
  • David Renaldo Blue (1924-1964, son of Joseph and Lula McNeill Blue)
  • Frank Junious Brake (1925-2009, son of Willie and Elizabeth Smith Brake)
  • Virginia Branch
  • Grace LaNelle Coley Hansen (1926-??, daughter of David and Cora Speight Coley)
  • Eunice Delores Cooke Fleming (1926-1992, daughter of Jerry and Clara Godette Cooke)
  • Dora E. Dickerson (1924, daughter of Fred and Almeta Edmundson Dickerson)
  • Inez Dickerson Bell (1926, daughter of Fred and Almeta Edmundson Dickerson)
  • Pauline Elizabeth Farmer Jones White (1925-2016, daughter of Paul and Cora Rountree Farmer)
  • Ernestine Elizabeth Floyd Goode (1925-1988, daughter of Ambrose and Mattie Moye Floyd)
  • Marjorie Foster Moore (1926-??)
  • Charles Eugene Freeman (1926-1960, son of Julius Jr. and Pattie Hagans Freeman)
  • Lula Mae Holiday Hill (1924-??, daughter of Wesley and Rosa Brown Holiday)
  • DeVeria Ann Jackson Turner Wing (1924-??, daughter of Benjamin and Annie Lee Farmer Jackson)
  • Classie Lillie Jones Jarman (1925-1993, daughter of Wash and Jessie Norfleet Staton)
  • Elbernice Jones
  • Annie Doris Joyner Kornegay Best (1925-??, daughter of Eddie and Annie Pearl Wynn Joyner)
  • Almeta Latham Farmer ( -2017, daughter of James and Lillie Jones Latham)
  • Susie Gray Moody James (1925-1957, daughter of Charlie and Martha Jones Moody)
  • Hattie E. Morris
  • Emma Lee Moye (1925-1960, daughter of Fred and Fannie Bone Moye)
  • Margaret McNeil (1925-1976)
  • William Margolus Reid (1923-2001, son of Willie and Mary Galley Reid)
  • Olivia Deborah Roberson (1927-1990, daughter of Albert and Lela Worsley Roberson)
  • Coach Vernon Rogers (1925-1997, son of Millard and Maggie Williams Rogers)
  • Annie Doris Rountree Williams (1925-??, Wiley and Mary Barnes Rountree)
  • Erastus Speight
  • Hubert Odell Speight (1922-2009, son of Gray Edmundson and Christine Speight)
  • Mary Lou Spivey (1926-??, daughter of Henry and Mary Spivey)
  • Dorothy Elinor Stokes Whitehead (1925-2001, daughter of James and Viola Reese Stokes)
  • Clara B. Taylor (1924-??, daughter of Willie and Eva Taylor)
  • Mary Joyce Taylor Stokes Crisp (1926-2008, daughter of Roderick and Mary J. Pender Taylor)
  • Allen Williams
  • Argie Williams Boykin (1925-1974)
  • Callie Mae Williams Rountree
  • Augustine Wynn

 

Class of ’48.

From the Darden Alumni Center:

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First row: Elizabeth C. Edwards (1929-??, daughter of Rosa L. Edwards); Lenore McCoy; Annie Doris Battle; Merline Hussey Brooks; Trumiller Beatrice Wimberly; Henrietta Hines McIntosh (1927-??, daughter of Charlie and Eva Hines); Doris Vivian Smith; Pauline Lorine Coley Ellis (1928-??, daughter of Alonzo and Pauline McQueen Coley); Christine Margaret Snow.

Second row: James Douglass George (1926-??, son of Walter D. and Eunice George); Helen Grey Woodard Travis (1931-1999, John and Emilie Woodard); Doris Simms; Jean Orlmiller Gilchrist (daughter of Cannon and Ruth Norfleet Gilchrist); Mamie Ruth Ellis (1930-??, Oscar and Mamie Bynum Ellis); Daisy Hilda Winstead Hinnant Brooks (1928-1979, daughter of Sam and Mattie Pope Winstead); Mary Magdalene Knight; Grace Emily Hodges Dunlap (1930-2008, daughter of Nathaniel and Bessie Sutton Hodges); Mary Frances Diggs Hargis (1930-1971, daughter of Edgar and Mary Grant Diggs); Agnes Marie Hoskins (1929-??, daughter of Lonnie and Gertrude Simms Hoskins); Ozie Lee Pender Hobbs (1928-2010, daughter of Albert and Mary Pender); Winford Lee Morgan (1931-2000, son of James and Addie Fisher Morgan).

Third row: Charles Seville Plater (1929, son of Simon T. and Ruth Jones Plater); Commillus Woodard (1928-1994, son of James and Geneva Powell Woodard); Charles Edward Hines (1929-??, son of Wesley and Lucy Ellis Hines); Freddy Blue (1927-??, son of Joe and Lula McNeal Blue); Willie Jones; James Melvin Barnes; William Taft Williams Jr.; Annie Miller Stokes (1930-??, daughter of James and Viola Reese Stokes).

Fourth row: Edwin Dawson; Wade Nicholas Lassiter (1928-??, son of Jesse C. and Lessie Dew Lassiter); Edward Kerphew Harris (1930-2007, son of Benjamin and Pauline Artis Harris); James Henry Spivey (1930-??, son of Henry and Mary Clarks Spivey); Beatrice Wendella McNeil Hines (1928-2007, daughter of Matthew and Ola Belle Jiggette McNeil); Jesse Adam Henderson (1929-2003, son of Hattie M. Henderson Ricks); Ralph Cornell Gay (1928-1992, son of Albert and Annie Bell Jacobs Gay); James Nicholson Jr.; Leotis Reid (1926-2011, son of Oscar and Nora Artis Reid); Richard Lee Barnes; Walter Harold Canady; Nathaniel Webster Mewborn.

Darden High School’s Class of 1948 was the first to produce a yearbook. Here’s the senior section:

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Class of ’40.

Another Darden Alumni Center gem — the Class of 1940:

First row: Mildred Artis; Millicent Monroe Harvey; Larnetta Pauline Howell Braxton (1922-1997, daughter of Harry and Annie Thompson Howell); Vanilla Powell Beane (1919, daughter of James and Martha Hagans Powell); Gertrude Ennis Whitehead (1924-1992, daughter of John H. and Victoria Ennis Whitehead); Bertie Romaine Hagans (1924-??, daughter of Oscar and Bertie Ward Hagans); Lillian Verrill Black (1922-??,  daughter of Grover and Martha Melvin Black); Ruby Jane Lassiter (1923-1943, daughter of Jesse C. and Lessie Dew Lassiter); Hattie Lee Dixon Nimo; Johnnie Mae Everette; Colonius Junius Best (1919-2007, son of Junius and Mary Smith Best); Weldon Williams; Louis Delaney (son of George and Maria Richburg Delaney); Magdelene McNair.

Second row: William Potts; Willie Jones; Elizabeth Pauleze Coley (1923-??, David H. and Eva Speight Coley); Beatrice Chambliss Gay (1920-??, daughter of John and Bertha Chambliss); Mary Etta Coley Frink (1920-1995, daughter of Alonzo and Pauline McQueen Coley); Sarah Toney; Minnie Beatrice Battle Lassiter Williams (1919-2006, daughter of Norman and Ellen Lucas Battle); Magdelene Hargrove; Charles Elva Kittrell (1918-1990, son of Solomon and Lettie Roberts Kittrell); John D. Murphy (1921-1960, Raymond and Eula Floyd Murphy); Frances Lela Bowens Hansome (1923-2007, Jacob C. and Flossie Cobbs Bowens); Mary C. Barnes Moore; Harold Elmer Gay (1920-1979, son of Albert and Annie Bell Jacobs Gay); Donald Gordon Tabron (1922-2007, son of T. Henry and Mattie Smith Tabron).

Third row: Willia B. Jones Turner (1923, daughter of Wesley and Martha Taylor Jones); Ella Godette; Marion Vernon Jones (1919-1975, son of Wesley and Martha Taylor Jones); William Allen Sheridan (1921-1984, son of Robert H. and Fannie McCollum Sheridan); Jerry Lee Cooke Jr. (1924-1963, son of Jerry and Clara Godette Cooke); Clarence Edward Woodard (1925-1968); Quentin Alston Farmer (1921-1975); John Henry Mincey (1919-1982, son of Benjamin and Mattie Barnes Mincey); Levi Simmons (son of Junius and Clara Simmons).

Class of ’45.

More from the walls of the Darden Alumni Center, a graduation photo of the C.H. Darden High School Class of 1945:

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The photograph is not labeled, but below is a list of members of the class:

  • Mary E. Anderson Bynum
  • Mattie B. Bynum Jones (1926-??, daughter of Irene Bynum)
  • Lunia M. Cannady Farmer Amy (1927-1992, Albert M. and Sylvan Andrews Cannady)
  • Jasper Allison Coley Jr. (1927-1986, Jasper and Lydia Meeks Coley)
  • Gladys M. Darden Farmer
  • Gladys Cordelia Ellis
  • Dorothy M. Farmer
  • Elizabeth Farmer
  • Mattie I. Ford (1925-??, daughter of Evander and Chellie Ford)
  • Virginia Dare Ford Bynum (1926-??, daughter of William and Lillie Gauss Ford)
  • Mary Louise Gilchrist Leazer (1926-2014,  daughter of Cannon and Ruth Norfleet Gilchrist)
  • Gloria Anetta Hagans Bethea (1926-??, daughter of Isaac and Essie Mae Farmer Hagans)
  • Helen J. Harrison Coburn (1927-2015, daughter of Eli W. and Rosa Harrison)
  • Doris Haskins (probably, Doris Lee Haskins, 1926-??, daughter of Moses and Minnie Eva Woodard Haskins)
  • Roland Esmon Hayes (1926-1978, son of James and Lula Sutton Hayes)
  • Herman Wesley Hines (1926-2014, son of Wesley and Lucy Hines)
  • Alva Montee Hodge Wilson (1927-??, daughter of Ben H. and Rogene Barnes Hodge)
  • James Thomas Jones (1927-2011, son of Wesley and Martha Taylor Jones)
  • Odessa Mae Jones Simms (1927-1977, daughter of Winford and Mary Edwards Jones)
  • Clara Mae Knight Cromartie (1925-2007, daughter of Willie H. and Florence Jones Knight)
  • Gretchen Gray Marshall Reid (1928-1992, daughter of John and Annie Perrington Marshall)
  • Lois McCall (1924-??, daughter of Oscar and Florence McEachin McCall)
  • Mary Etta McCoy Henderson (1927-1989, daughter of Russell and Ometa Smith McCoy)
  • John J. Melton Jr. (1926-1988, son of John and Cora M. Barnes Melton)
  • Mary R. Moore (1925-??, daughter of Lewis and Maude Moore)
  • Evangeline Vonzell Royall Darity (1926-1994, daughter of Dock and Ossie Mae Jenkins Royall)
  • Gladys Ruffin
  • Robert Elton Speight (1926-??, son of Theodore E. and Marie Thomas Speight)
  • Thelma Percel Speight (1924-2000), daughter of Christine V. Speight)
  • McCartie Watson
  • Marquerette White
  • Victoria Whitehead McCray (1927-2017, daughter of John H. and Victoria Ennis Whitehead)
  • Nancy Gray Wilkins King (1927-1981, daughter of Washington and Nancy Adams Wilkins)
  • Lindbergh Wilson (1927-??)
  • Alma G. Woodard (1927-??, daughter of Sylvester and Blossie Woodard)

Ninth graders.

This 1938 photograph of ninth grade students and their teacher also hangs in the back hall of Darden Alumni Center. Though it is unlabeled, the following list of members of the Class of 1942 may provide clues:

  • Jesse F. Barnes (son of Harry and Rena Jones Barnes)
  • Gladys Adell Best (1924-1969, daughter of Charlie and Addie Braswell Best)
  • Elaine Clark (1926-2004, daughter of William and Katie Elliott Clark)
  • Lovie Elizabeth Dancey Tabron (1921-2009, daughter of Johnnie C. and Penny Mills Dancey) 
  • Lois L. Debose (1924-1948, daughter of James and Lillie Hines Debose)
  • Raymond Edwards (1924-1942, son of McKinley and Maggie Thomas Edwards)
  • Xzymena Farmer; Harvey Gray Ford (1921-1942, son of Curtis and Mamie Battle Ford)
  • Maurice Branch Hayes (1925-2005, son of James and Lula Sutton Hayes)
  • Annie Jones
  • Noel Bunch Jones III (1923-??, son of Noel and Mattie Bunch Jones)
  • Hattie Marshall (1922-1989, daughter of Luke and Myrtie Taylor Marshall)
  • Virginia B. Melton (1924-1993)
  • Cora Lee Mewborn Purefoy (1925-??, daughter of Albert L. and Helen Hines Mewborn)
  • Lethia Mewborn
  • James Mincey Jr. (1924-??, son of James and Lucinda Mincey)
  • Jual Devetta Peacock Anderson (1925-1978, daughter of Levi H. and Eloise Reavis Peacock)
  • Lucy Gray Pittman Parker (1922-2003, daughter of Aaron and Lucy Graham Pittman)
  • Anne Parthenia Robinson Burrell (1925-1996, Goldwyn and Bertie Parks Robinson)
  • Retha Mae Robinson Jones (daughter of David and Katie Williams Robinson)
  • Otto Eugene Sanders Jr. (1925-1969, son of Otto and Annie Goins Sanders)
  • Estelle Stephens (1920-2007, daughter of James H. and Permilla Jackson Stephens)
  • Jessie Gray Swinson Barnes Steverson (1924-1996, daughter of Calvin and Alice Jones Swinson)
  • Elmer Thompson
  • Elnora Tillery (1922-1989, daughter of John H. and Geneva Barnes Tillery)
  • Christine Townsend Jackson (1922-2004, daughter of Andrew and Lula McCoy Townsend)
  • Mable Frances Whitehead Parks (1926-2000, daughter of John H. and Victoria Ennis Whitehead)
  • Annie Margaret Winley (1923-??, daughter of Charlie and Martha Barefoot Winley)
  • Mary Frances Winley Brown (1925-2000, daughter of Charlie and Martha Barefoot Winley)

[Update, 14 August 2017: Freshmen in ’38 would have graduated as seniors in the Class of 1941, not ’42. More importantly, Darden High School graduated students from the 11th grade until 1943-’44, when a twelfth year was added. Thus, the ninth graders in this photo would have been in the Class of ’40. Karole Turner Campbell immediately recognized her mother, Willia B. Jones Turner, ’40, on the first row, third from right, but also her cousin Jessie Gray Swinson Steverson, ’42, on the second row, third from left. The label, then, may not be strictly accurate. — LYH]

Class of ’37.

This photograph of Wilson Colored High School’s Class of 1937 also hangs in the hallway of the Darden Alumni Center.

A label listing the students’ names has been augmented where possible with birth and death dates and parents’ names, below.

  1. Charles Darden James (1914-1994, Randall R. and Elizabeth Darden James)
  2. Howard Monroe Fitts Jr. (1921, Howard M. and Elizabeth Plummer Fitts)
  3. Doris Louise Crooms Caldwell Robinson (1920-1992, Lloyd and Maggie Jones Crooms)
  4. Herman Oliver Marshall (1918-??, John and Annie Marshall)
  5. Delores Robbins Coleman (1920-2003, James D. and Louise Davis Robbins)
  6. Alice McCoy (1915-1983, Russell and Ometa Smith McCoy)
  7. Lucy Dawson Artice Moss (1922-1989, Jesse A. and Sophia Dawson Artice)
  8. Hennie Ennis Campbell (1919-??, Samuel and Maggie Taylor Ennis)
  9. Hattie E. Ross McKeithan (1918-2008)
  10. Estelle Dew McNair (1917-2005, Ross and Ivory Taylor Dew)
  11. Catherine Joyner Foster
  12. Williard Jordan
  13. Primrose Carter (1914-1972, Willie E. and Henrietta Cooper Carter)
  14. Montez Colesse Hooker Boatman (1922-1990, Gray F. and Bettie Caddell Hooker)
  15. Celeste Hardy McClain
  16. William Nelson Knight (1916-2011, James H. and Ada Green Knight)
  17. Virginia Walden Wilson (Albert L. and Annie Moore Walden)
  18. Ernest D. Lassiter (1918-??, Jesse C. and Lessie Dew Lassiter)
  19. Jesse Fitzhugh Reid (1920-??)
  20. William Harry Howell (1921-2004, Harry B. and Annie Mae Thompson Howell)
  21. Evelyn Johnson Stone
  22. Alvis Ashley Hines (1918-1981, Ashley and Mattie Barnes Hines)
  23. Charles Futrell
  24. Henry Venson Whitehead (1918-2004, William and Nettie Bivins Whitehead)
  25. Arthur Lee Battle (1917-2007, William and Nora Williams Battle)
  26. Earl E. Ennis (1917-1964, Samuel and Maggie Taylor Ennis)

Photograph courtesy of Darden Alumni Center, Wilson.

Class of ’38.

The Class of 1938 was the first to graduate from the newly rechristened Charles H. Darden High School. Camillus L. Darden, after donating books to stock the school library, won the right to rename Wilson Colored High School after his father.

A label listing the students’ names has been augmented where possible with birth and death dates and parents’ names, below.

First row: Kester Congress Mitchell (1919-??, Kester R. and Martha Taylor Miller); William Aaron Best (1921-??, Aaron and Estell Best); Clarence Herman Best (1918-1994, Clarence and Best); Milton Jasper King (1920-??); Walter M. McMillon (1919-1994, Tommie and Willie McMillon); Herbert Vendrick Whitehead (1920-2007, Henry and Victoria Ennis Whitehead); James F. Coley.

Second row: Ida Doretha Parks Hinnant (1917-2007, John and Emmeline Bobbitt Parks); Lillian Boykin Kent (1917-2006, William and Sarah Williamson Boykin); Helen Elveta Reid Worsley (1921-1981, Willie C. and Mary Galley Reid); unknown; Carlotta Bernice GeraldClyde Joan Dickerson Faison (1921-1997, Fred and Almeter Edmundson Dickerson); Bessie Mae Joyner Redden (Eddie L. and Annie Joyner)Doris P. Freeman James (1920-2003), Julius and Pattie Hagans Freeman); Yvonne Taylor; Edna Gray Taylor Desvigne (1921-2011, Roderick and Mary John Pender Taylor; Doretha Hunter Farmer (1912-1992, Will and Mary Whitehead Hunter); Annie Elizabeth Cooke Dickens (1921-??, Jerry L. and Clara Godette Cooke); Annie Frances Crawford (1921-??, Clarence and Maggie Barnes Crawford); unknown; Lusynthia Page Johnson Marshall (1922-??, Theodore R. and Rachel Bynum Johnson); Mary A. Barnes; unknown.

Third row: Katie Powell; Virginia Ann Mitchell Williams (1918-2002, George and Rose Lipscomb Mitchell); Sallie Baldwin Howard (1916, Marcellus Simms and Narcissa Baldwin); Mary MooreAurelia Janet Lucas Hagood (1920-1997, Henry and Mamie Battle LucasMary Tena Melton (1920-1992, John and Cora Barnes Melton); Margaret PowellBeulah Sutton Legrand (1915-1975, George and Henrietta Sutton); Lena Cherry Goodman (1920-1988, John and Mable Langley Cherry); Mary J. BarnesHelen L. Potter; Estelle Ellis Coble Newsome (1919-1994, Oscar and Mamie Bynum Ellis); Cora Bynum Boney; Margaret Powell [one of these women is mislabeled; there was only one Margaret Powell in this class]; Nora Allen Jones MitchellRosa Lee Hart (1920-1943, Grover and Mamie Taylor Hart); Addie Pearl Farmer Vailes (1917-??, John D. and Rosetta Simms Farmer).

Photograph courtesy of Darden Alumni Center, Wilson.

A short resume of E.M. Barnes’ life.

A SHORT RESUME OF MY LIFE

By Edward M. Barnes

I hasten to state that the use of this statement should be in the third person. To me, it is not important enough to be presented on my own.

I was born in Wilson, N.C. what seems to me now a short time ago – to poor, humble and devoted parents: Elizabeth and Lemon Barnes. Their educational background was minimal but they worked hard and were determined that their children would receive the best of life that was available to them at the time.

Times were difficult, to say the least, because it was the beginning of the “Great Depression.” For those parents born since the inauguration of President Roosevelt, it is hard to understand the meaning of “difficult times.”

The experience I had during my growing years were many. If time and space permitted my telling about them, I am sure you would get a good laugh out of some of them and you would feel sorry for me in many others. I am, however, so happy to have come this far and I have so much for which to thank God, my parents and a multitude of teachers and friends.

The Act That Mobilized a Community!

Much of my early education took place in the midst of turmoil that developed when the “white” superintendent of schools slapped a black teacher in the presence of our “black” principal. To say that all hell broke loose would be putting it mildly.

An Independent School Is Born

Our only public school was emptied of all the students and a private one was formed and operated for many years on the few pennies that parents were able to find to pay for teachers and others in the school’s operation. Standards of good education were necessarily diminished but, in spite of that, many of those students became leaders in activities of national importance.

The Independent School was housed in one of Mr. Sam Vick‘s houses on E. Vance St.

Miss Georgia Burke

Miss Georgia Burke was one of the teachers at the Graded School when the slapping incident happened. With her outstanding musical abilities, she became one of the chief fund raisers to keep the school operating.

She put on lavish concerts in the old Vick Globe Theater. She held two-day commencement exercises in warehouses in order to raise funds to keep the school operating for about 8 or 10 years. The school operated until well after the Wilson Colored High School was built in 1923.

Miss Burke went on to became a famous musical star on New York’s Broadway stage.

A “Poor Soul” Goes To College And Becomes A Principal

This poor soul, at the insistence of Rev. A.H. George, went to Livingstone College without ever having been accepted as a student nor even having made application.

Through sheer determination and with very little money, I was able to stay there eight years, graduating from both its high school and college. Upon graduation, in 1931, I came directly to the Wilson Colored High School which later became C.H. Darden High School.

At that time, the principal was having some difficulty with the people of the community. It seemed to stem from his refusal to hire high school teachers from Wilson. I came as teh first high school teacher from Wilson. I taught classes in French and English for one year and part of the second year. During my second year, the principal died in his office on the day we were to close for the Christmas holidays. After his death, the superintendent asked me to take over the supervision of the school until he could find a replacement. I waited 38 years until John W. Jones became the replacement in 1969 — upon my retirement!

During the first five years of my retirement, I served part-time in the office of the superintendent. Time will not permit me to tell of the many pleasant experiences that I had during my tenure as principal. There are many teachers, staff members and other workers who helped me; without them, I would have had no measure of success. Perhaps my greatest pleasure and indeed success — if I had any — came from the many students who were under my supervision. I see so many every day who tell me of the help that I gave them and of the role model that I represented to them. Believe me, those kinds of comments mean more to me than any other things that they could do or say. I must say, however, that pleasures and good times were not all of my experiences. My share of headaches and heartaches cannot be over-looked for there were many of them.

In addition to my school work, I also have a degree of pride in the community service that I undertook during my working years and after retirement.

It was my pleasure to work for 10 years on the Wilson County Library Board, serving during the time of the renovation of the public library. I value the appearance of my name on the corner stone of the new addition to that building.

Before becoming a member of the Wilson County Housing Authority, I served on a city appointed Commission that began the improvements of the blighted areas of our city. The Commission had the responsibility of cleaning up those areas. It took ten years and many legal and other problems to clear before the work on that project could be completed. After that time, I — along with some of the others who had worked on the Commission — were merged with the Wilson Housing Authority. During the ten years that I worked with this group, (serving two terms as chairman) many projects were completed, including Tasman Towers. I shall always be grateful to the Authority and to the City of Wilson for naming a project after me — The E.M. Barnes Manor. I hope that such action is not a prelude to my death.

I am very proud of the part that I played in the organization of our local unit of the Retired Teachers Association. Its history is more complete in its file. However, at the time we had no association in Wilson that was connected with the State organization. I was asked to head a group with a responsibility to organize one. I took that responsibility. I visited personally many persons, pleading for their membership. Some accepted; many refused. We were very fortunate to get Mrs Sallie Lanier to serve as the first president. Many of our first contacts ware still with us. It is delightful to know that our local association is nor one of the largest and most active in the state.

Over the years, I had the honor of serving on many committees and working with many groups. We worked with the group that organized a Community Human Relations Commission. For many years it made a Commendable contribution to our community. For some reasons, it has now lost its effectiveness.

I am proud, also, to have had a part in organizing our Men’s Civic Club, composed of a group of Black men with similar interests. It was never intended to be a representative of the City; we wanted a social group but with equal community interests. We may now be the only continuously operated organization in the city of Wilson. We have met at least once a month for 50 years.

There are many other community organizations with which I have served, but my promised brief statement does not permit me to mention them by name. I tried to perform well in them all.

I cannot close without mentioning at least two more, however, that are second to none. I joined and attended the Presbyterian church when I was a child — too young to go alone. I have always thought of myself as a Christian, but it was not until after my retirement that being a Christian means more than just words. It includes action and lots of it. I learned my church after my retirement. Before that, Darden High School was my only real interest. Since retirement I have learned much and done much to promote a viable church. For many years I have been closely connected with my church on the local, regional and national levels. Our national church was split over one hundred years ago over the existence of slavery.

We are now in the process of coming together again. I have had the honor of serving on the local and regional levels of two very important committees. We had the responsibility of doing the “leg work” on both. I am happy to state the configuration that was recommended by the committee that I chaired has been accepted by the total group and we are now in the process of operating as a new national church beginning January 1, 1989.

The second and final statement concerns my family. Odelle [Whitehead Barnes] and I have been married for 51 years. We are now trying to determine which of us should have the medal, but we will never agree on that question. I can only say that they have been for me, 51 happy years. Odelle, Carolyn [Barnes Kent] (our daughter) and the boys (grandchildren): Howard (Howie) and Edward (Eddie) — are my life.

I refuse to say more.                     Wilson, N.C. 1988

This memoir by Edward Morrison Barnes (1905-2002) appears to have been published by the C.H. Darden High School Alumni Association circa 1988. Photograph courtesy of 1950 edition of The Trojan, the yearbook of C.H. Darden High School.