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HISTORY



OF THE



AMERICAN NEGRO



NORTH CAROLINA EDITION



EDITED BY
A. B. CALDWELL



ORIGINAL EDITION
ILLUSTRATED



VOLUME IV

1921



A. B. CALDWELL PUBLISHING CO.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA



aasaa^



Copyright 1921
A. B. CALDWELL PUBLISHING CO.



PREFACE



Every scholar and every observant reader recognizes
the fact that biography occupies an important place in lit-
erature, and is absolutely essential to the completeness of
history. More than any other study it discloses the far-
reaching effects of the human element in events. The his-
tory of a race is epitomized in the stories of its leaders.

This collection of biographies of race leaders in North
Carolina is Volume IV of the Biographical History of the
America Negro. It does not include all the Negro men and
women of importance in the Old North State, but it does
include many of the greatest and best. As men come and
go, rise and fall, it is not possible to make a work dealing
with contemporary men exhaustive. We have sought to
make it representative. Accordingly, biographies of men
and women from every honorable profession and line of
work will be found in its pages. Every part of the Slate
is represented.

The Editor and Publisher is grateful for the cordial
spirit of co-operation shown by the hundreds who were
interviewed and dares to hope that the present generation
may find inspiration and encouragement in these stories,
and that the future historian may find in them a true reflec-
tion of the lives and times with which they deal.

THE PUBLISHER.



CONTENTS



Page
104

ALLEN, OSCAR JAMES " 197

ALLEN. RICHARD .-__ " 671

ALEXANDER, ZECHARIAH -_ 317

ANDERSON, FLOYD JOSEPH - 383

ANDERSON, JAMES HARVEY JR. -" 492

ANDERSON, LAURIE WttUBa " 91

ANDERSON. WALTER GUTHRIE __ 42

ASKEW. CORNELIUS EDWARD 167

ATKINS. SIMON GREEN ~-~ " ~ _'_ 195

AVANT, FRANK W. _____ - " 675

AVANT WILLIAM GEORGE 486

AVERY.' ASYRIA DICKERSON _ ~_ 305

AVERY, DORMAN JAMES - 24

AVERY. JOHN MOSES 797

BARBER. JOHN THOMAS I_I______ 495

BASS. GARLAND BRYANT - - - - ~ 497

BASKERVILLE, PRESLEY LOUIS - 490

BAXTER, JAMES ASBURY 353

BAXTER, JOHN EARLE ' '_ 389

BEEBE, WILLIAM THOMAS - " 291

BENNETT. JUNIA NEWTON 664

BIAS JOHN HENRY - '_ 192

BILLIPS. GEORGE WALTER 679

BLACK. JOHN WILTON __ - - - 234

BLACKNALL. JOHN WILLIAM "_ 499

BLAIR. CLARENCE WALKER 55

BLAKE. JOHN WESLEY A. __ 333

BLUME. JOHN ANDREW 126

BONNER. JAMES ALEXANDER 269

BOONE, PHILIP LEMUEL — -— :~ 451

BOOHER. WILLIAM JOHN H. 331

BOWEN McDUFFIE 249

BOYER CHARLES HENRY : 70

nnvKTN TOHN ELLIS : 470

BrIwLEY EDWARD MACKNIGHT „ " 6 81

BRODIE. FURMAN LAWRENCE - l.'.'S."- 299

RPOWN CALVIN SCOTT 633

BROWN CHARLOTTE HAWKINS - ^IZ"" 502

BROWN, JAMES SAMUEL - ""ZZ7-.Z f*

BRUCE, ROBERT BLAIR 684

rtCttpF WILLIAM HENRY •» 479

RRY ANT WILLIAM HENRY, REV. - 265

BRYANT WILLIAM HENRY, DR. - ~~ 686

BULLOCH OSCAR SIDNEY — ""Mi |80

BURNETT PETER WILLIAM _- = ~ „ 505

BUP.WELL. THOMAS H.—— - 409

hvfrs ERNEST CASWELL ol»

BYNUM CHARLES HUDSON — 624

CALDWELL DOCTOR EDWARD __ 689

PAT DWEI GILBERT HAVEN - 645

HsOTSKi S&SSS8S; :: ::::::: f»

CHRISTIAN JOHN ROBERT T. 695



pt ARK' DANIEL FRANKLIN

CI ELAND WILLIAM CALVIN .. - 517

CLEMENT; JOHN HENRY



-ELAND, laSffiSS-™

CLINTON. OEOBGE_WYL1E "TSSS-'-'-l- ,!I



COLES WILLIAM ROBERT

8go? Y Ek M ^, c ,l.AM N |KTHffR-::

SSSoeTnoreWckson-:: :: ffl

OT J S&SV9Sff?L: ::



CURTRIGHT, EDWARD EUSEBIA 40

DAVIS, CHARLES GASTON 667

DAVIS, ERNEST LEONARD I Z__ I 702

DAVIS, GEORGE EDWARD 52

DAVIS, JUDGE BUSTEE 554

DAVIS. NICHOLAS VOLIVER 704

DeBERRY, PERFECT ROBERT 415

DeBERRY, WILLIAM CALEB 237

DELANY, HENRY BEARD __ 145

DELLINGER, JAMES ELMER 360

DENT, EPHRIAM NITRE __ _ _. 446

DENT, WILLIE EDWARD _ _ "• 468

DIGGS, JEFFERSON DAVIS ' __!_ I I_ 708

DILLARD, CLARENCE _ 32

DOCKERY, ZANDER ADAM ._ Ib4

DODSON, JESSE ALLEN 712

DOUGLASS, ROBERT LANGHAM 210

DUDLEY, JAMES BENSON 120

EATON, JAMES YOUMAN 129

EATON, PLUMMER PETER 799

EDMONDSON, HENRY MELVIN 567

EDWARD, GASTON ALONZO 417

ELLERBEE, WILLIAM 367

ELMES, ARTHUR FLETCHER 549

ELLIS, JAMES BOYD 321

EVANS, FRANK ALSTON 140

EVANS, WALTER PARSLEY 802

FAIRLEY. LEONARD EDWARD 587

FALKNER, HENRY HALL 805

FAULK, JACOB WILLIAM 428

FISHER, EDWIN WALLACE 595

FLYNN. DALLAS JOSEPH 530

FOSTER, WALTER SCOTT 243

FOUNTAIN, JOHN ARTHUR - 80s

FOUSHEE, CHARLES WEBSTER 223

FRANCIS. CHARLES WARWICK 460

FRANCIS, JAMES BUTLER 714

FREDERICK. ROBERT JAMES 568

GERRAN, GARLAND ALONZO 72

GOODSON. ISAIAH DANIEL C. W

GOORE, PERRY R. D. 412

GORDON, JACOB DUCKERY , 717

GORDON, OWEN RICHARDSON 454

GRAVES, CHARLES FRANCIS 514

GRASTY. ERNEST REGINALD 594

GREEN, JOHN RICHARD 94

GRIFFIN. ALFRED JAMES 113

GULLINS. WILLIAM RICHARD 404

HAIRSTON, JOHN THOMAS 720

HAIRSTON, JOHN WINSTON 626

HARRIS. ROBERT DAVID 373

HARVEY. MATHEW CURTIS 723

HAWKINS. HORACE ROBERT 854

HAWKINS. JAMES ROBERT 558

HAWKINS, SAMUEL THOMAS - 725

HAYDEN. SYLVESTER JACKSON 533

HAYES, EDGAR JOHN _ 226

HAYES, WILLIAM HENRY 810

HAYLEY, WALTER EUGENE 729

HAYSWOOD. JOHN HENRY 606

HENDERSON. JAMES MONROE 732

HILL, JAMES SAMUEL 435

HOGAN, BENJAMIN HARRISON 592

HOLT. KINCHEN CHARLEY 736

HOLLOWAY. THOMAS BERKELEY 39^

HOLLCWELL, JAMES LESLIE 67

HORNE. WOODY LEMUEL 456

HORTON, WILLIAM HAYWOOD 2 465

HOWIE, SAMUEL JOSEPH 1 398

HUNTER. ROBERT THOMAS 512

INBORDEN, THOMAS SEWELL 48

JACKSON, HENRY HARRISON 597

JACKSON. NATHANIEL EDWARD _• 482

JAMES, JAMES EDWARD .. 813

JONES, JOHN WISE 739

JONES. YORKE 254

JORDAN, WILLIAM JULIUS 1 661

KENNEDY, HENRY PEARSON 1 600

KING, CHARLES HENRY 88



Pag«

KING, MAX CANSTUART 742

KNUCKLES. WILLIAM HENRY 142

LANGFORD. ROBERT OWENS 420

LANKFORD, HENRY PHILBERT 483

LANIER, JAMES SANDERS 160

LAUGHLIN, JAMES AMOS 745

LAWRENCE. WILLIAM WARWICK 110

LEE, CLEON OSCAR 342

LEE, JOHN FRANCIS 217

LEEPER, GEORGE SADLER 519

LEWIS. JOHN ADDISON 182

LEWIS, PETER SIMON 747

LIGON, JOHN WILLIAM 96

LISTON, HARDY 339

LLOYD. JEREMIAH MANTIUS 99

LOGAN, FRANK THOMAS 189

LONG, THOMAS ALEXANDER 462

MABRY. HENRY CLAY 327

MARSH, THOMAS SETTLES 643

MARTIN, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN 185

MARTIN, JAMES DANIEL 336

MARTIN. JOHN HENRY 440

MARTIN, JOHN THOMAS 857

MASON, BRACHELOR KELLY 630

MASON, FISHER ROBERT 815

MELTON. LEAVY JAMES — 641

MERRICK. EDWARD RICHARD - *«

MERRICK- JOHN • 1*

MILLER. HECTOR CHARLES 750

MILLER, JOSEPH SAMUEL 753

MILLS, JOSEPH NAPOLEON , 448

MITCHELL, GEORGE HENRY 281

MITCHNER, WILLIAM ARTHUR 83

MOORE, AARON McDUFFIE 18

MOORE, GEORGE WASHINGTON 756

MOORE, PETER WEDDICK 151

MOORE. WILLIAM HENRY 137

MORRIS, JOHN PAYTON 860

MORRISEY, ALEXANDER 401

MORTON, JAMES MANGUM 8«

MORTON. SIDNEY DOUGLAS 547

McCORKLE. PINCKNEY ARMSTRONG 759

McCOY, THOMAS LEDYARD 570

McCROREY, HENRY LAWRENCE 619

McCROREY, MARY JACKSON 621

McDUFFIE. EMANUEL MONTEE 179

McIVER. ERNEST THOMAS

Mcknight, joseph nathan »i»

McLEAN, WILLIAM HENRY 297

MrNAIR. WALTER LEWIS 4 " 4

McRARY, ROBERT BAXTER 655

NEAL, LOUIS NAPOLEON 551

NELSON. JACOB ROBERT 6*0

NEWSOME. ALEXANDER HAMPTON : 35

NEWSOME. MARCELLUS NOLLE 603

NORMAN, HARRY HOWARD 369

ODEN, REDMOND STANLEY 80

O'HARA, RAPHAEL 1°7

O'KELLY, CADD GRANT 762

O'NEIL. EDWARD DUFFY 765

PARHAM, SAMUEL LEVENUS 132

PARKER. FRANCIS HENRY 610

PARTEE. WILLIAM EUGENE - 357

PASCHAL, JOHN HENRY >•-

PEACE, SAMUEL F. B. - - %]%

PEARSON. WILLIAM GASTON '\\%

PEELE. JESSE WILLIS 472

PERRY. JOHN SINCLAIR — ***

PEGUES, ALBERT WITHERSPOON

PERSON. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

PHILLIPS, WILLIAM HAYWOOD 39

PITCHKORD. CHARLES PERCY 768

PORK, HAMMOND GLASGOW J>48



POPE, WILLIAM CALVIN ___
POWELL, LATTA HILLIARD
PRICE. AUPHEY THOMAS



:■, is



QUICK, FREDERICK DOUGLAS §22

QUICK, HARRISON INGRAM *|5

QUICK, JOHN DOWARD &44



QUICK, WILLIAM HARVEY 773

RAMSAY, JOHN KENNETH 777

RANKIN, WILLIAM JONES 431

RASBURY, LEVI EDGAR 375

REDDING, WYATT COLUMBUS 779

REID, COMMODORE M. 287

REID, SAMUEL ALEXANDER 314

RHYNE, ROBERT BENJAMIN 735

ROBINSON, ARTHUR LEE 387

ROBINSON, CARROUS WILLIAM 694

ROBINSON, JOSEPH HARRISON 123

ROGERS, ANDREW JACKSON 782

ROLLINS. EDWARD FRANKLIN 294

ROLLINS, JOSEPH ANDREW 458

RUSSELL, PINKNEY WARREN 524

SAMPSON, JOHN HENRY 354

SAMUELS, JOHN EDWARDS 240

SANDERS, JOHN T. 391

SANDERS, OTTO EUGENE 822

SAVAGE, JOHN ANTHONY 45

SAVOID, ROBERT CLEBERT 117

SCALES, IRVIN ALFRED 784

SCARLETT. JAMES JONAS 262

SHARP, WILLIAM BRADSHAW 67j4

SHAW, GEORGE CLAYTON 825

SHAW, WESLEY HENRY ..___ 536

SHEPARD, JAMES EDWARD 423

SHUTE. CHARLES HENRY 220

SIMPSON. JOHN F. K. 34S

SMITH, ALLEN ABRAHAM 175

SMITH, CHARLES LOFTIN W. 652

SMITH. EDWARD WALTER 477

SMITH, EZEKIEL EZRA ?K*

SMITH. MICHAEL DAVID 828

SPARROW, HENRY CLAIN 831

SPAULDING. CHARLES CLINTON • 21

SPILLER. RICHARD 279

STANLY. JUDSON PICKETT 700

STARKEY. WILLIAM HENRY 541

STFWART. CHARLES CONSTANTINE 466

SUGGS. DANIEL CATO 272

SUTTON. WILLIAM 862

TAYLOR. ROBERT I 787

TAYLOR. THOMAS THADDEUS 172

THOMAS. DAN^L LEVY 1 I " 528

THOMAS. JUNTUS HERCULES 29

THOMPSON, ELI BENJAMIN 58

THORNTON. MANSFTFT n F^NKLIN 613

TOWNS. EDWARD MOSELEY 560

TURNER. WILLIAM SHERMAN 319

UNDERWOOD, CHARLES THOMAS 1M

UNDERWOOD, RUFUS WALTER 834

VASS. SAMUEL NATHANIEL 162

VICK. SAMUEL HYNES 851

VINCENT. ANDREW BROWN 562

WALLACE, WILLIAM HENRY 426

WALKER, JOHN WILLIAM 836

WARNER, ANDREW JACKSON 213

WATKINS, FREDERICK HENRY 839

WATKINS, GEORGE W. 149

WATKINS. JAMES WASHINGTON 629

WATKINS. SIDNEY DANIEL 589

WEEKS, ALFRED LEONARD E. 203

WENTZ. SAMUEL FORMER 841

WHITE. GEORGE L. 617

WHITE. JOHN LEE 102

WILLIAMS, FRANKLIN WALTER 845

WILLIAMS. MOSES WINSTON • »4S

WILLIAMS. WILLIAM HENRY 407

WILLIAMSON, CHARLES HENDRICK 789

WITHERSPOON, SIDNEY HOUSTON 266

WITHERSPOON. WILLIAM FRANKLIN 363 ,

WOOD. JAMES WILLIAMS 794

WYCHE, ROBERT P. 2i9



,^r>






• %*





<Jy^n/c^^t£^



^>^ y



George Wylie Clinton



Some one has said that ''Christian life is action. It is
not speculating, it is not debating, but is doing. One thing,
and only one in the world has Eternity stamped upon it.
Feelings pass, lives and emotions pass, opinions change.
What you have done lasts. It lasts in youth, through life,
through Eternity. What you have done for Christ, that,
and only that, you are."

Had this quotation been written about Bishop George
Wylie Clinton, the distinguished senior Bishop of the A.
M. E. Zion Church himself, it could not have been more
fitting. For he is a man of action. True, he stands high
as a churchman and as a man of tint intellectual attain-
ments ; but he is best known and will be longest remembered
for the things he has done.

In order that his life may be seen in the proper per-
spective, it will be necessary to take a glance at his origin.
He was born March 28, 1859, and is a son of Jonathan Clin-
ton and Rachel Patterson. His mother was a slave, and
according to the law the condition of the son followed that
of the mother. Her parents were Louis and Melvina Pat-
terson. Speaking of his childhood, youth and education,
Bishop Clinton says: "I was born a slave in Cedar Creek
township, Lancaster County, South Carolina, March 28,
1859. I attended a private school taught by a colored
preacher when between six and seven years of age. After
reaching seven I attended the public school taught by a
white man. My second teacher was a brother of my fa-
ther's master. I was prepared for college under the tutor-
ship of a West Indian Colored man of fine education by
the name of J. H. Stewart. When I started to school I had
an old Webster's blue-back speller and a Second Reader.
With the exception of an Arithmetic these were the only
books I had of my own until I was ready for the fourth
year. My lessons were prepared from the books of other



10 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO

pupils during recess, or by looking over their shoulders
while they were studying, or from borrowed books. I also
went to a private night school a mile away from my home,
with a dog as my companion. During three months of my
student life in the public schools, I >had to walk seven miles
to school each day." When ready for college young Clinton
matriculated at the University of South Carolina, but was
compelled to leave when that Institution was closed to col-
ored people on the return of the Democratic party to power
in that State. Undaunted, however, the young man con-
tinued his studied in the S. C. L. A. Brainard Institute,
Chester, and at Livingstone College, Salisbury.

By dint of hard work and close economy he continued
his studies and was graduated from Livingstone College
Theological school in 1895. He has the A. M. degree from
that Institution and the D. D. and LL.D from Wilberforce
University, Zenia, Ohio. He was popular as a student and
was active in such college athletics as baseball and foot
races. Looking back over the years of his boyhood and
youth he attributes his success in life to the influence of a
godly mother who was ambitious for her son and anxious
for him to become a useful man. He also mentions the en-
couragement he received from the late Bishop I. C. Clinton,
and from boyhood has had the earnest desire to be useful
and efficient. He has also been greatly stimulated by read-
ing biographies of great Americans' and other notable char-
acters.

Bishop Clinton did not begin nor pursue his education
with the idea of taking up religious work. He had chosen
the law as his life work and was preparing himself for it
when he had to read the Bible by a sentence in Blackstone's
Commentaries which says, "He who would become a success-
ful practitioner of the law should become conversant with
the Divine law as set forth in the Bible, especially the first
five books of the Bible, known as the Pentateuch, written
by Moses." He had not as yet made profession of religion,
but this formed a sort of turning point with the young man
and as he felt almost from that time forth that he was
called to preach the gospel. In November, 1878, he was



NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 11

converted and on February 14th of the following year was
licensed to preach. He began preaching before he was
twenty years of age and at twenty-two he join 2d the confer-
ence and became a regular pastor. His first charge was
Pleasant View consisting of three churches near Chester,
S. C, which he served for two years with success.

Bishop Clinton was the founder and first editor of the
A. M. E. Zion Quarterly Review at the age of twenty-nine.
This publication has exerted a powerful influence on the
denomination. Later he became editor of the Star of Zion,
the chief organ of his denomination and was a power in the
promotion of the movement which resulted in the estab-
lishment of the first publishing house under the auspices of
the A. M. E. Zion Church. He was the first manager of that
institution which has come to occupy so large a place in the
life of the denomination and has been chairman of the
Board of Management for fifteen years.

As a young man and even after entering, the ministry,
he taught school for a number of years and for eight years
served as President of Atkinson College, Madisonville, Ky.
The present ground and the buildings, 'with one exception,
of that institution, were secured during this term of office
as President.

After editing the Star of Zion for four years he had
come to be one of the recognized leaders of the denomination
and at the General Conference of 1896 at the age of thirty-
six was elevated to the Bishopric. His first appointment
was the Seventh Episcopal District, embracing the Missouri,
the Tennessee, The West Tenenssee and Mississippi and
California Conferences, the diocese, over which he presided
for eight years. Since then his administration has included
the Sixth Episcopal District, embracing the Philadelphia and
Baltimore, the Kentucky, and two Alabama Conferences.
The Second Episcopal District embracing the New Jersey,
Western North Carolina, the Blue Ridge and East Tennes-
see and Virginia Conferences over which he is now presiding
with increasing success. Each of these Conferences has



12 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO

made marked improvement along all lines under the super-
vision of our subject, and ministers have made substantial
progress in their intellectual development.

Bishop Clinton is a man of fine physique, cordial address
and is a pleasing and forceful speaker. There is no other
man of his age in Zion Methodism who is more widely and
favorably known. His voice has been heard in almost every
nook and corner of the country, not only as a preacher, but
as a race leader. He is conservative, but fearless. He be-
lieves in the square deal both for himself and the other
fellow.

For twenty-five years Bishop Clinton has been a lec-
turer at the Tuskegee Bible School, Tuskegee, Ala., and has
there been brought in touch with many young men whom
he has inspired to higher endeavor and whom he has helped
to equip for their work in life. In fact as his ability to
help has increased, he has remembered the days of his
own early struggles and has assisted many a young man
and woman to an education so that it is not uncommon to
hear church workers of the denomination attribute their
success to the assistance received from Bishop Clinton.

On February sixth, 1901, while President of Atkinson
College and serving the Fourth Episcopal District, at
Huntsville, Ala., Bishop Clinton was married to Miss Mary
Louise Clay, a daughter of Alfred and Eliza Clay, of Hunts-
ville, Ala.

Mrs. Clinton was educated at home in the public
schools and later graduated from Clark University. The
Bishop has one son, George William Clinton, by a former
wife, Mrs. Annie Kimball Clinton. In connection with this
biography, a word about the great church with which he is
identified will not be amiss. The A. M. E. Zion Church in
North Carolina was established by Bishop J. J. Clinton, D. D.,
of Philadelphia, in 1864. Associated with him were such
then great race leaders and remarkable preachers as the late
lamented Bishop J. W. Hood, of Fayetteville, who passed
into his reward at the ripe old age of eighty-eight in 1918,
also the late Rev. W. J. Moore and others. In North Caro-
lina the church was started at Newbern and is now flourish-



NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 13

ing in every one of the 100 counties of the State and leads
all other Negro Methodist bodies there.

At this time (1919) there are 578 churches and 126,000
members. Its chief educational institution of higher learn-
ing is Livingstone College at Salisbury, N. C. The denomi-
nation also owns the Eastern North Carolina Academy at
Newbern and the Edenton Industrial Academy at Edenton,
N. C. The publishing interests, valued at $100,000, are
mostly at Charlotte, where the plant includes a quarter of
a block of valuable property on South Brevard and Second
Streets, with a trifling indebtedness.

Six of the Bishops and many of the general officials
of the A. M. E. Zion Church were born in N. C. It is grati-
fying to know that the affairs have been managed in such
a manner that the church has always been able to command
the good-will and encouragement of the leading citizens of
both races.

Through his wide travel, close study and personal con-
tact not only with the leaders, but with the rank-and-file
of the people all over the country, Bishop Clinton concludes
that the best interests of the race are to be promoted by
the formation of business concerns directed by responsible
men and women of the race; by joint action of white and
black for peace, uplift and community welfare; by the best
possible training and higher education in industrial and
technological schools and by the investment and conserva-
tion of race means in enterprises that will furnish employ-
ment to the youth of the race.

Bishop Clinton is a man of good business judgment
and executive ability and would have succeeded in life in
almost any other line he might have adopted.

In addition to his work as churchman and educator in
his own denomination he has three times represented the
A. M. E. Church in the Ecumenical Conference at Washing-
ton, D. C, 1891; London, England, 1901, and Montreal,
Canada, 1911. He has been officially connected with the
International and Interdenominational Sunday School As-
sociation, was once Vice-President and the only Negro that
-even enjoyed that honor. He is now a life member, hav-



14 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO

ing been so honored through the generous gift of $1,000
by Mr. W. N. Hartshorn, of Boston, and is now a member
of the Executive Committee of said Association.

He was also a member of the Convention on Arbitration
presided over by the late Ex-Sec. of State, Hon. John W.
Foster, of Ind., is a member of the Ex. Com. of the Federal
Council of Churches and the General Committee of the Inter-
church World Movement.



John Merrick



If we did not have the record of so many successful
men who were born in slavery and who rose to places of
prominence in business and professional life, it would be
hard to believe these stories. Among the men whose ambi-
tion, enterprise and executive ability have made history for
the race in North Carolina, must be mentioned John Merrick,
who was born September 7, 1859, and who died August 6,
1919.

Mr. Merrick was a native of the old town of Clintin, in
Samson county. His mother's name was Margaret Jones.
He did not know his father.

When John was twelve years old, he went to work in
the brick yard at Chapel Hill. In this way he and his
brother, Richard, supported their mother. He never went
to school. After six years of service in the br.ck yard,
the family moved, in a steer cart, to Raleigh. Here he
became a hod carrier and from that advanced to the more
profitable work of a brick mason. In this capacity he
worked on the erection of the first building at Shaw Uni-
versity. Later he became a boot-black in a barber shop,
and while thus engaged learned the barber's trade. He
must have been capable and faithful as a fellow barber,
who decided to open up a shop in Durham, persuaded Mr.
Merrick to go with him to that place. The firm of Wright
& Merrick was established and, after a few years, was sold




JOHN MERRICK



16 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO

to Mr. Merrick. He remained the sole owner arid with
the growth of Durham he increased his business and
established new shops, becoming the owner of three for
white and two for colored people. As his earnings in-
creased, he bought a home and began to accumulate other
property. He was frank and courteous, and always gave
his customers the best possible service. In his contact with
the white people of Durham, especially, the Duke family
for whom he was the family barber, led to the development
of his most valuable characteristic. He could always com-
mand the support of white people and their co-operation in
any of his undertakings.

As his business grew, he developed his great talent for
organization and between 1883 and 1916 organized, or
helped to establish, a number of business concerns and insti-
tutions which have become powerful both in Durham and
North Carolina and, in fact, over the South. Among these
are to be mentioned the Royal Knights of King David; the
North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company; the Lin-
coln Hospital ; the Mechanics & Farmers Bank ; the Bull City
Drug Company; the Merrick-Moore-Spaulding Real Estate
Company; the Durham Textile Mills and the Durham Col-
ored Library.

At the time of his death, Mr. Merrick was Supreme
Grand Treasurer of the Royal Knights, President of the
North Carolina Mutual and the Lincoln Hospital, of the
Mechanics & Farmers Bank and of the Merrick-Moore-
Spaulding Real Estate Company.

He was an active member of St. Joseph's A. M. E.
Church, of which he was a trustee and with which he had
been identified for a number of years.

Mr. Merrick was a wise investor and a splendid judge
of real estate values. He handled all investments for the
insurance company of which he was President and had the
remarkable record of not having lost a penny in any of
his transactions. It was characteristic of the man that <he
continued to work at the barber's trade and would often
hold meetings of the directors of the insurance company
in the rear of his barber shop. He lived to see the little



NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 17

company he organized in 1899 with a debit of only $29.40



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