football

Russell L. Darden.

“Russell Darden — front row, second from left, in his class at Biddle, now Johnson C. Smith.”

“… [O]ne of the first funerals under [Camillus and Arthur Darden‘s] direction was that of their younger brother, Russell, who was in his last year at Howard University Law School. Russell had gone to New York City to look for adventure during the Christmas vacation. While there, he caught pneumonia and died at Harlem Hospital before any of the family could reach him. Russell had been a daring, fun-loving, robust, athletic young man known for his prowess on the football field. [His brother Walter T. Darden remembered] that the last time he saw Russell play football was at Livingston[e] College. The score was Livingston[e] 3, Biddle 3. The ball was snapped and thrown to Russell. He was running hard. The opposition tried for the tackle but missed and tore off the seat of his pants instead. Oblivious to the cheers and laughter of the crowd, Russell kept running and won the game 9-3 with his rear end showing. He had an aggressive spirit and was the pride and joy of his family. His death left an aching gap in the family circle.”

N.J. and C. Darden, Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine (1978).

——

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: wheelwright Charles Dardin, 44; wife Dianna, 40, sewing; and children Annie, 21, sewing; Comilous, 15, tobacco stemmer; Arthor, 12; Artelia, 10; Russell, 5; and Walter, 4.

In the 1908 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Darden, Russell, carpenter, h 110 Pender. [At age 15?]

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: blacksmith Charlie Darden, 55; wife Dianah, 48; and children Cermillus, 24, bicycle shop owner; Arthur, 22, teacher; Artelia, 18, teacher; Russel, 16; and Walter, 14.

In the 1912 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Darden, Russell, porter, h 110 Pender.

In the 1913 Charlotte, N.C., city directory: Darden, Russell, bds [boards] Seversville.

In 1917, Russell Lenoir Darden registered for the World War I draft in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he was born 9 June 1893 in Wilson, N.C.; resided at 940 Westminster Street, Washington, D.C.; was a student; was single; and was stout and of medium height.

Russell Darden died 26 January 1918 in Manhattan, New York, New York.

A brief mention in the New York Age suggests that C.L. and Arthur could not, after all, bring themselves to bury their brother and called in Calvin E. Lightner of Raleigh to assist.

New York Age, 9 February 1918.

 

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.

darden trojans football

  • #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