Dr. Joseph H. Ward, circa World War I. Photo credit unknown.
In September 1926, Dr. Joseph H. Ward sent a note of thanks to Daily Times editor John D. Gold for a complimentary article the paper had published a few weeks before. The New York World had picked up and reprinted the piece, which had caught Dr. Ward’s attention.
Dr. Ward noted the “generosity and goodwill” of Wilson’s citizens and proclaimed that he was “proud to have been touched by the benign influence of the men who laid the foundation of the Wilson of today — the Messrs. Barnes, Woodards, Ruffins, Rountrees, Golds, Daniels, Conners, Davises, Vicks and Prices, and their illustrious compatriots.”
By populating his roll call with surnames only, Dr. Ward was able to place on an equal footing the African-American men who had positively impacted his youth — Samuel H. Vick and Joseph C. Price (and possibly, Rev. Fred M. Davis.) Notably, he did not name the family of his biological father, Dr. David G.W. Ward.
Wilson Daily Times, 3 September 1926.
I have not been able to find the August 19 article.
Many thanks to J. Robert Boykin III for the clipping.
In the 1880 census of Salisbury, Rowan County: tanner Robert Lord, 48; wife Rosetta, 40; and children Robert, 19, tobacco factory worker, Nora, 15, Irene, 12, Alonzo, 8, and Elizabeth, 21.
In the 1900 census of Statesville, Iredell County: on Garfield Street, Alonzo Lord, 28, physician; wife Lula, 24; and sister Nora B., 31.
Alonzo Richardson Lord was born 26 April 1904 in Cabarrus County, N.C., to Lula Hart and Alonzo David Lord.
In the 1930 census of Statesville, Iredell County: A. Loid, 54, physician, and wife Lula, 52.
In the 1930 census of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, N.C.: Alonzo Hart, 25, teacher, lodger in the household of W.F.G. Moore.
Alonzo D. Lord died 15 April 1934 in Statesville, Iredell County. Per his death certificate, he was born 24 October 1874 in Salisbury to Robert and Rosetta Lord; was married to Lula Lord; and was a physician.
In the 1938 Hill’s Rocky Mount, N.C., city directory: Lord Alonzo R (c) prin Booker T Washington Sch h 232 Atlantic av
In the 1940 census of Statesville, Iredell County: on Adams Road, Lula Lord, 63, widow, and Henrietta Thomas, 49, widow, private nurse.
In the 1940 census of Rocky Mount, Edgecombe County, N.C.: Alonzo Hart, 35, principal and teacher, lodger in the household of Marion Hood, 35.
In 1942, Alonzo Richardson Lord registered for the World War II draft in Edgecombe County. Per his registration card, he was born 26 April 1904 in Concord, N.C.; lived 232 Atlantic Avenue, Rocky Mount, N.C.; his contact was Lula H. Lord; and he worked for Rocky Mount City Schools at Booker T. Washington High School.
On 1 October 1943, Alonzo R. Lord, 39, of Statesville, N.C., son of Alonzo and Lula Hart, married Mae McKoy, 36, of Mebane, N.C., daughter of David and Alice Murray, in Wilson. Dr. B.O. Barnes applied for the license, and Presbyterian minister J.W. Barnette performed the ceremony. [Per Beverly A. Henderson, Dr. Barnes and Alonzo Lord were close friends from their college days at Johnson C. Smith University.]
The 1962 Elizabeth City State College Catalogue lists A.R. Lord as principal and M.M. Lord as a teacher at Fourth Street Elementary School, Plymouth, N.C.
Alonzo R. Lord died 3 June 1986 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Alonzo R. Lord, Bertha Hart, a Murphy (first name not known), Minnie McNeely, Ardeanur Smith, Statesville, N.C., mid-1920s.
Photo in collection of Lisa Y. Henderson.
Thus ends the week. Who will pick up the blogging mantle to create a one-place study chronicling the lives and history of Iredell County African-Americans?
Of course, we knew the story here and here and here and here and here, but for more about the project that lead to the erection of an historic marker to commemorate the life of Dr. Joseph H. Ward, see the February 2020 edition of The American Legion magazine.
Indiana History Blog published Nicole Poletika’s detailed look at Dr. Joseph H. Ward‘s role in challenging segregation as the head of Tuskegee, Alabama’s Veterans Hospital No. 91 in the 1920s and ’30s.
Dr. Ward is on the front row, center (next to the nurse) in this 1933 photograph of Veterans Hospital staff. Photo courtesy of VA History Highlights, “First African American Hospital Director in VA History,” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
For more on Dr. Ward, who was born in Wilson about 1869, see here and here and here and here and here.
[Sidenote: Dr. Ward was not born to “impoverished parents” per the article, though it is possible that he himself gave this gloss on his early life. Rather, his father was Napoleon Hagans, a prosperous freeborn farmer in nearby Wayne County, and his mother was Mittie Ward, a young freedwoman whose family moved into town after Emancipation from the plantation of Dr. David G.W. Ward near Stantonsburg.]
Hat tip to Zella Palmer for pointing me to this article. She is Dr. Ward’s great-granddaughter, and they are my cousins.