Arthur Bunyan Caldwell.

History of the American Negro and his institutions; (Volume 4) online

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Francis Lane, a daughter of Frederick and Josephine Lane,
of Norwich, Conn. She was educated at Howard and
teaches music at Lumberton.

They have (1919) one child, Helen Josephine Quick.

Mr. Quick is Medical Examiner for the N. C. Mutual and
the Standard Life Insurance Companies.



Sidney Douglas Morton



A number of the most effective religious and educa-
tional leaders in North Carolina have come to the State
from Virginia, or have ancestors who lived in Virginia. As
a rule they are a choice lot of men and reflect credit on the
Old Dominion as well as their present localities. Among
the younger men of the Baptist denomination born in Vir-
ginia and now making a place for himself in the Old North
State must be mentioned Rev. Sidney Douglas Morton of
the old town of Washington. He was born at Darlington
Heights, Va., on March 2, 1891, so it will be seen that he is
still on the sunny side of thirty. His father, Henry Mor-
ton, was a farmer and his mother, before her marriage, was
Miss Kate Baker. His paternal grandfather was also Sid-
ney Morton and his maternal grandfather was John Baker.
Beyond this he knows little of his ancestry on account of
lack of written records.

Mr. Morton has attended some of the best schools of the
race in the South and is well equipped intellectually. As a
boy he went to the Blue Field Collegiate Institute at Blue
Field, W. Va., and later attended the Mary Potter School
at Oxford, N. C. He began his Theological course at the
Virginia Theological Seminary at Lynchburg, Va., and
completed it in 1916 at Shaw Universiay, where he won his
B. Th. degree. Young Morton had the misfortune to lose
his father the second year he was in school. After that it
was not only necessary for him to support himself, but he
also had to help take care of his widowed mother. When
about ten years of age, he chose that good part which could
not be taken away from him, and began preaching in his
early twenties. He was ordained to the full work of the
ministry by the St. James Baptist church of Welch, W. Va.,
in 1914. His first pastorate was at Iaeger, W. Va. This
held him, however, for only a short time, when he was called
to the pastorate of the First Baptist Church at Washington,




SIDNEY DOUGLAS MORTON



NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 549

1ST. C. He came to this work in 1916 and during the three
years he has been at the head of that congregation, it has
had substantial growth both in numbers and in power. He
has already made for himself a prominent place in the reli-
gious and social life of Washington and is regarded as a
young man with real ability and the qualities of leadership.
On May 10, 1916, Dr. Morton was married to Miss Hat-
tie Williams, a daughter of Augustus and Edith Williams of
Raleigh. They have three children, Mary Lillian, Ruth
Douglas and S. D. Morton, Jr. Dr. Morton's investments
are in Virginia.

He has had, of course, opportunity to study conditions
at close range and believes that the thing most needed today
is a spirit of co-operation, first among his own people, and
then between the two ra:es. Given this, he sees no reason
why steady progress should not be made.

Though devoting himself entirely to the work of the
ministry, he has had some experience in teaching. In his
reading he gives first place to the Bible and books on The-
ology. After that he likes scientific books. Among the
secret orders he is identified with the Pythians.



Arthur Fletcher Elmes



The Congregational Church in North Carolina is not
numerically as strong as some of the other denominations,
"but is second to none in the quality and equipment of its
leaders. Among the strong young ministers of the denomi-
nation must be mentioned Rev. Arthur Fletcher Elmes of
Wilmington. Mr. Elmes is a native of the British West
Indies, having been born on the Island of Antigua, which is
•one of the Lesser Antilles, on March 30, ,1890. His father
Frederick Elmes was a carpenter and his mother, before
her marriage, was Miss Matilda Joseph. Young Elmes at-
tended the government schools of his native island and when
ready for college, matriculated at Mico College, Kingston,




ARTHUR FLETCHER ELMES



NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 551

Jamaica, for his classical course, which he completed in
1908 at the age of nineteen. The following year he was
made Principal of the school at Bethesda, Antigua, and later
at Gracehill, in the same island. He taught in the West
Indies five years before coming to the States. In the
meantime he had definitely decided to take up the work
of the ministry. In 1914, he came to the United States and
entered upon his theological course in the School of Religion
of Howard University, Washington, D. C. In 1917 he com-
pleted the course with the B. D. degree. In the fall of the
same year he was called to the First Congregational Church
at Wilmington, N. C, where he has since labored. Mr.
Elmes is a man of pleasing address and genial manner and
enters heartily into the activities of his people. He is Pres-
ident of the local branch of the N. A. A. C. P. and a Trustee
and Director of the Colored Branch of the Y. M. C. A.

Mr. Elmes keeps himself well informed through the
current literature of the day, but his favorite reading is
along theological and sociological lines.



Louis Napoleon Neal



Prof. Louis Napoleon Neal, now (1920) head of the
Northampton Co. Training School at Garysburg, has back
of him a record of accomplishment as a teacher in eastern
North Carolina which places him in the front rank as an
educator among the colored people of the Old North State.
He was born in Franklin Co., March 5, 1867. His father,
James Neal, was a farmer and the boy spent the early years
of his life on the farm and has always been interested in
agricultural affairs. His mother, before her marrige, was
Miss Angeline Mann. On the paternal side, Prof. Neal's
grandparents were Louis and Mary Neal, who were reared
in Tennessee. His mother's parents were James Jackson and
Maria Stokes, who were natives of North Carolina.

Professor Neal was married on September 19, 1894, to








LOUIS NAPOLEON NEAL



NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 553

Miss Nannie D. Carson, a daughter of Wood and Fanny
Carson. They had three children, Hugh C, Fannie W. and
Warren D. Hugh C. and Warren D. passed away while
babies. In 1897 Mrs. Neal passed away and subsequently
Prof. Neal married Miss Lizzie Baptist, a daughter of Wm.
and Sarah Baptist. He has two children by the second wife.
They are Ruth and Louis N. Neal, Jr.

The subject of our biography attended the public schools
of his native county at Louisburg and after passing through
the High School at that point, matriculated at Shaw Uni-
versity where he won his bachelor's degree in 1894. For-
tunately for young Neal, his father appreciated the value of
education and helped the boy to make the money on the
farm to meet the necessary expenses of his course. By hard
work and steady persistence he was able to complete the
course and for more than twenty-five years has been act-
ively engaged in educational work in the eastern part of the
State. For fourteen years he was instructor and assistant
principal of the Normal School at Franklinton. He was
principal of the high school at Marion, S. C, for a year,
after which he returned to his own State and was for seven
years principal of the graded school at Elizabeth City. The
next four years were spent at Clinton, where he was at the
head of the Sampson Co. Training School. From that work
he came to his present position at Garysburg and is at this
time giving special attention to vocational and agricultural
work among his people. This work is supervisory and
brings him in touch with the progressive people of his sec-
tion.

Prof. Neal has traveled rather extensively, not only in
this country but in South America, the West Indies and
England as well. Next after his pedagogical books his taste
in reading runs to psychology and theological books.

He is a member of the Baptist Church with which he
has been identified for a number of years. On July 19, 1919,
he was ordained to the ministry by the Western Union As-
sociation, but has not taken up the active work of the pas-
torate. Among the secret orders, he belongs to the Masons,



554 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO

Odd Fellows, Pythians, Knights of Gideon and the Elks, in
all of which he has from time to time been prominent offi-
cially.

Prof. Neal is a man of pleasing address and good ability.
While he has not sought primarily to make money, but has
devoted himself to a line of endeavor which has never been
considered remunerative, still he has by wise investment and
proper management accumulated desirable property and is
considered one of the conserative business men of the race
in his part of the State. Some years ago he became inter-
ested in detective work, and took a school course through an
institution at Kansas City, Mo., which be completed in 1912.
It is, however, as a trainer of the youth of the race that he
is best known ; and many of the boys and girls who attended
his schools when he began teaching twenty-five years ago
have grown up to take their places in the professional and
business life of the race. Prof. Neal has done a great deal
of summer school and institute work and is President of the
Summer School and Vocational-Agricultural Congress of
America, headquarters Hampton Institute, and a member
of the National Educational Association. He believes the
best interests of the race are to be promoted by cultivating
more friendly relations between the two races, by improving
economic conditions, by better educational facilities and by
trusting God for the results.



Judge Bustee Davis



A representative of the medical profession who holds a
high position in the esteem of both races and who is in the
enjoyment of a lucrative and constantly increasing practice
is Dr. Judge Bustee Davis, the subject of this sketch. His
home is in Louisburg, Franklin Co., N. C.

Dr. Davis was born at Montgomery, Ala., Feb. 1, 1885.
His father was William Davis, a farmer, and his mother's
maiden name was Miss Clara Gary. His maternal grandpar-



NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 555

ents were John and Charity Gary. They were farmers re-
siding at Robinson Springs, Ala., on a farm of 168 acres
which they owned. They were prosperous people, who lived
well. His grandparents on the father's side were Seaborn
and Elizabeth Davis, also good farmers and good livers.

In his early reading in the biographies of great men
he was inspired with the ambition to become himself a
scholar and a leader. But as has been the lot of so many,
there were difficulties in the way of obtaining an education.
During the period in which he was seeking a college educa-
tion he worked in various ways to meet his expenses. Dur-
ing the earlier years he worked in hotels during vacations
and in spare hours during school terms.

After passing through the Normal School at Pensa-
cola, Fla., and the preparatory school of Shaw University,
Raleigh, N. C, he entered the college department of Shaw
University, from which he graduated with the degree of
A. B. in 1911. He then entered Meharry Medical College,
Nashville. During the four years of his medical course, he
worked in vacations as Pullman car porter and thus met his
expenses. During part of this period he was also a reporter
on a newspaper.

In 1915 he completed his medical course, receiving the
degree of M. D. from Meharry Medical College. From 1915
to 1916 he was an interne of St. Agnes Hospital, Raleigh,
N. C.

On Oct. 15, 1916, he began the practice of his profession
at Louisburg, N. C. During the short period that has
elapsed since then he has built up an extensive and lucrative
practice among both races. He is the largest stockholder in
a drug business, operates automobiles for hire and owns con-
siderable real estate. He is a hard worker and a persistent
student and to these factors he attributes the success which
in constantly increasing measure is crowning his efforts.

Dr. Davis has taken much interest in fraternal and
benevolent orders. He is local medical examiner for the
Knights of Gideon, for the Standard Life Insurance Com-
pany of Atlanta, Ga., and for the N. C. Mutual Life Insur-



556 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO

ance Company of Durham, N. C. He carries a large amount
of insurance in the companies mentioned and in the Metro-
politan Life Insurance Co. of New York.

He is a believer in thorough preparation for the tasks
of life and believes that as a race is prepared to traverse
larger avenues of activity and experience, the doors will
open to them. By travel in the United States and Canada
and by extensive reading in the best literature of the day he
has qualified himself to be a wise leader and broad-minded
counsellor for his race. He is but in the beginning of his
career, and great possibilities for success and usefulness
are ahead of him.

Dr. Davis belongs to the State Medical Asso. and is on
the board of managers. He is also a member of the Na-
tional Medical Society. He belongs to the Baptist church
and is first vice president of the State B. Y. P. U. and a
member of the board of managers of the state S. S. Asso.



James William Croom



This has been called the day of the young man. It is
true of the ministry, as of any other calling, that many of
its most forceful men are on the sunny side of forty. One
of the young men of the Baptist denomination who has
made a place for himself in the Old North State is Rev.
James William Croom of Reidsville.

Mr. Croom was born at LaGrange in Lenoir Co., on
July 30, 1886. His father, Rev. E. Croom, is also a minis-
ter, and lives at the old home in Lenoir Co. His mother
Nancy (Waters) Croom is a daughter of Bryant and Rachel
Waters.

Young Croom went to the LaGrange public schools and
between terms worked about the stores and in the homes of
the LaGrange people. When ready for college he entered
the celebrated Brick School near Enfield. He remained at
that institution eight years and while there learned carpen-




JAMES WILLIAM CROOM



558 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO

try. He won his diploma in 1910. His desire to fit himself
for the real work of life may be measured by the fact that
he had no help while in school and so worked his way
through the whole course. He pursued his Theological
studies at Va. Union University, Richmond, where he re-
mained for two years.

Mr. Croom came into the work of the church at an
early age. He gave his heart to God before he was fifteen.
While in college, he felt called to preach the Gospel and was
licensed by his home church in LaGrange. He was ordained
by the Bear Creek Association in 1908. His first pastorate
was Union Temple, Salisbury, where he preached four years.
From there he went to the First Baptist Church at Bur-
lington where he preached for two years and repaired the
house of worship. He resigned that work to accept the
pastorate of Zion Baptist Church at Reidsville to which he
went in 1914. Here as elsewhere he has done constructive
work. He is a fluent speaker and is popular as a pastor.
His standing in the denomination has been recognized by
his election to membership on the executive board of the
Rowan Baptist Association. He owns property at Reids-
ville and at LaGrange, and is a member of the board of
directors of the "Progressive Building and Loan Association
of Reidsville, N. C.



James Robert Hawkins



Dr. James Robert Hawkins of Lexington though still in
his early thirties is well established in the general practice
of medicine. He is the only colored physician in his city.

Dr. Hawkins, whose father was J. M. Hawkins, is a na-
tive of Winston-Salem, where he was born on March 20,
1885. His mother's maiden name was Catherine Mebane.
His paternal grandparents were M. D. and Sarah Hawkins,
who were natives of Mecklenburg Co., Va.

On Sept. 4, 1911, Dr. Hawkins was happily married




JAMES ROBERT HAWKINS



560 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO

to Miss Cora V. Marable of Oxford. Mrs. Hawkins is an
accomplished woman. She was educated at Mary Potter
School, Oxford, and at Scotia Seminary. They have (1919)
one child, Sarah Catherine Hawkins.

When he came of school age young Hawkins attended
the local schools at Winston-Salem. He did his academic
work at Shaw University and took his Medical course at
Leonard Medical College, where he won his M. D. degree in
1911. During his college years, he spent his summers at the
North in hotel and steamboat work and in this way earned
enough to continue his studies without a break. As he
looks back over the years of his boyhood and youth he at-
tributes no small part of his success to the inspiration given
him by a white friend, Dr. Hays of Oxford.

On the completion of his professional course Dr. Haw-
kins practiced for a few months in Durham and went from
there to Warrenton for about a year. After that he was
in his home town for a while and in 1913 located at Lexing-
ton, where he has since resided.

He is a Mason and belongs to the Presbyterian Church.
Speaking from an intimate knowledge of conditions, he says
that the greatest need of the race today is a better under-
standing between the races, an understanding which will
harmonize the best elements of the two races. Of course,
he finds it necessary to keep up with the literature of his
profession. After that his reading is of a general nature.



Edward Moseley Towns



Some of the most successful men in the business and
professional life of North Carolina have been attracted to
her borders from the Old Dominion. Among these must be
mentioned Edward Moseley Towns, head of the Interna-
tional Mutual Life Insurance Company of Reidsville.

Mr. Towns was born in Mecklenberg Co., Va., in June,
1867. His father, Granville Towns, divided his time be-




EDWARD MOSELEY TOWNS



562 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO

tween the farm and public work. He was a son of Matilda
Towns. The mother of our subject was Maria (Macklin)
Towns.

Mr. Towns first attended the Borden public schools.
Later the family moved to Danville and he then went to
the city graded schools. As he grew to young manhood
he found work in the local factories and later went into
business for himself. He followed merchandising for
twenty years.

On Sept. 12, 1895, Mr. Towns and Miss Mary Johnson
of Reidsville were happily married. She was a daughter
of Prince and Martha Johnson and was, before her marriage,
engaged in teaching. They have two children, Edward and
Willett Towns.

Some years after his marriage Mr. Towns closed his
interests at Danville and moved to Reidsville. He saw in
the insurance field a good opening for business and asso-
ciating with himself Messrs. Miller and Owens they organ-
ized in 1908 the International Mutual Life Insurance Com-
pany, which has steadily grown in assets and in popularity.
They now (1920) have nearly a quarter of a million dollars
insurance in force.

Mr. Towns is prominent in the work of the secret or-
ders and benevolent societies. He belongs to the Pythians,
Elks and Court of Calanthe. He has been a delegate to the
Supreme Lodge of Pythians three times and is Exalted Ruler
of the Elks. He is a member of the M. E. church and is
chairman of. the trustees and a member of the board of
stewards. His home and his investments are at Reidsville.
He believes that the economic and intellectual progress of
the race depend on thrift and education.



Andrew Brown Vincent



Rev. Andrew Brown Vincent, A. B., A. M., D. D., of
Raleigh, who for almost a generation has been identified




ANDREW BROWN VINCENT



564 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO

with religious and educational work of the Baptist denomi-
nation in North Carolina, was born in Caswell Co. in Febru-
ary, 1858. His mother's name was Nellie Vincent. It is not
easy to write the story of a man like Dr. Vincent without
indulging in superlatives. While he is a forward looking
man who believes in progress along all lines, he is still con-
servative in racial matters and is looked upon by the sane
leaders of both races in North Carolina as a counsellor whose
advice is to be sought and followed.

Coming of school age soon after the time of emancipa-
tion he entered the public school and later attended the
Yadkin Academy at the old town of Mebane or Alebane,
Still later he matriculated at Shaw University, 1876, with
which he has been connected more or less closely ever since
in one capacity or another. He was graduated from that
institution with the A. B. degree in 1885. While working
his way through Shaw he was converted, being then about
twenty-three years old and has since been a factor in the
Baptist denominational work in the State.

His vacations while at school were spent either in hotel
work or on the farm. He remembers a time when he
worked on a farm for twenty cents a day and a whole year
for which he received only $65.00 and a blanket. It is not
strange that a young man who was willing to struggle for
an education under such difficulties should succeed in the
end. Soon after his conversion he felt called to the work
of the ministry and while he has done many things since
finishing college he is primarily a preacher of the Gospel.
He has gained in power and has always been ready to learn
from the best folks of both races. In his writings and by
personal contact, he has sought to invest his life in such a
way as to yield the largest returns for Him whom he serves.
Dr. Vincent has had the rather unusual experience of hav-
ing been invited at times to preach in white churches. For
nine years he has edited the Searchlight, a paper recognized
as of the highest merit. The Searchlight has attracted fa-
vorable comment and has a wide reading. Bound volumes
of this paper have been placed in the State library at Ral-



NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 565

eigh, a distinction perhaps not before accorded to any other
Negro publication. Dr. Vincent taught for eleven years at
Shaw University and did denominational field work for
twenty years. This brought him into personal and inti-
mate contact with denominational leaders of both races, in
every part of the State. For a number of years he was
engaged in evangelistic and Sunday School work and num-
bers his friends by the hundreds and even the thousands.
He has sought to do constructive work. He is not an agi-
tator except along constructive lines. He is not blind to the
wrongs or the evils of the day but he believes that more
is to be gained in the struggle of his people to equip them-
selves for important places in life than can be had by noisy
contention without the equipment. Dr. Vincent believes
and preaches an evangelistic Gospel. He is more concerned
about right living and the fundamental things of character
than he is about the demands of certain so-called race lead-
ers. The progress of the race, he believes, is a matter of
individual endeavor. Hence he believes in education, the
right sort of education, an education which is first of all
Christian and which is in the end honestly and helpfully
and serviceably productive. Accordingly he takes his
place in every movement looking to the betterment of
conditions and there is a hearty and cordial co-operation
between him and the white leaders by whom he is fre-
quently consulted, in all matters relating to the race. He
is not visionary. He says that religion should be made a
practical matter and should be worked out in the every-day
life. He stands for better homes and a better atmosphere
in them, and his own family life is a striking illustration
of these principles.

On June 26, 1884, he was married to Miss Cora Pearl
Exum of Freemont, a graduate of Shaw and a very accom-
plished woman. Of the eleven children born to them,
seven are living. The eldest, Mabel, who passed away was
almost from childhood a musician of skill and ability. She
studied at Spellman and later at Syracuse University and
before her death was composing music which attracted at-



566 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO

tention. She excelled on the piano. The eldest son, Dr.
U. C. Vincent, is now (1919) an interne in the Bellevue
Hospital, New York City, and is the first colored man to
hold such position. He is a graduate of the University of
Pennsylvania and is a specialist in neurology holding a
salaried place there. The younger children are Pearl Ruth
(Mrs. Dixon), Alfred B., Reba G., Bernice and Hebda Vin-
cent. All of these are being given superior educational ad-
vantages.

Notwithstanding his activities along the lines of lit-
erary, field and other work, Dr. Vincent has held a number
of pastorates including the First Baptist Church at Oxford,