churches have prospered and grown under his care. Ar-
rangements are now (1919) being made for the erection of
a modern brick church at Thomasville. For the last six
years Mr. Boykin has served as moderator of the High Point
Educational Missionary Baptist Association, and under his
leadership the work has gone forward.
Among the secret orders he belongs to the Masons, the
Odd Fellows, the Eastern Star, and the Knights. of Pythias.
When asked for some opinion as to how the best inter-
est of the race might be promoted, he replied :
"By a united effort in aim. It might be well to ask
the Government to give us a territory that we might prac-
tice self government."
Garland Alonzo Gerran
Dr. Garland Alphonzo Gerran, of High Point, is a man
who justifies that fundamental faith in the worth-whileness
of humanity without which all effort at bettering the world
would be abandoned. Like hundreds of thousands of other
people, he had good ancestry. Unlike far too many of them,
he does not spurn this inestimable blessing and did not sit
down on the highway of life refusing to take a step forward
74 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO
because no elegant vehicle in the way of material advantages
was at his service. Dr. Gerran had "no chance" if by that
one means that a boy handicapped by poverty, by racial
disadvantage is doomed to failure. More than that, he had
""no chance" if by that one also means that to succeed for
himself a man must be freed, or deliberately free himself,
from the obligation to provide for others and to give those
others loving care and personal attention.
Dr. Gerran's story is one of simple facts and dates.
To realize it means to put between the lines what it must
have mean for a born born into chaotic conditions just after
the Civil War to have supported and educated himself, espe-
cially in the arduous study of medicine; to have married in
early manhood and to have reared a large family and to have
so lived all the while as to be known in every relation as "a
good man." A good man medically, a good man financially,
a good man in every respect, faithful to every small duty,
measuring squarely up to the big demands of the hour.
He was born July 25, 1868, at Greensboro, to Matthew
Gerran. a mechanic and his wife Milly (Scott) Gerran. His
paternal grandparents were Wilson and Isabella Gerran.
On his mother's side they were Jackson and Eliza Scott.
He was educated at the city public school and prepared for
college at the Friends' Normal. His father began training
the boy while still very young at the carpenter's trade, so
that he was a productive, helpful lad even while going to
school. His memory lingers with reverent appreciation
upon the influence of his Christian, industrious parents and
of the Christian teachers, white and black, who guided his
feet into the right path. His college course was taken at
Bennett College, Greensboro, from which he was graduated
in 1888, and his medical degree was bestowed by Leonard
Medical College of Raleigh, in 1897. Upon completing the
normal course at Friends' he was able to teach in the public
schools and thus earn the money necessary to carry himself
through the higher institutions of learning, spending some
eight or ten years as a successful public school teacher. Be-
fore graduating in medicine he was active in doing consider-
able clinical work. He began the regular practice of medi-
NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 75
cine at Greensboro but after several years established him-
self at High Point, where for the past twenty-three years
he has resided, owns property and has won not only the
confidence of his own people in his conscientiousness and
skill, but that of the entire commonwealth. During an epi-
demic of smallpox he was given charge of public health -
measures in both Guilford Co. and High Point. Of course,
Dr. Gerran was past the age for actual military service dur-
ing the war, but took charge of the local Red Cross activities
among his race and entered unselfishly into the unpaid but
very beneficial work of the Volunteer Medical Corps, which
was a strong arm of the service. Our country, by the way,
has seen from the experience of other nations the disaster
of allowing all the doctors to leave home, thus leaving the
masses of the people almost without medical aid and deplet-
ing the faculties of the colleges of too many of the most
experienced, capable instructors.
Dr. Gerran is fully identified with the professional
societies not only medical, but dental and pharmaceutical,
and is connected in a business way with the Ramsey Drug
Store. He is now President of his County Medical Associa-
tion, and has served as Secretary of the State Association.
He is affiliated with and has received high honors in the
orders of Masonry, the Odd Fellows and Knights of Pythias,
and for twenty-three years has been Grand Medical Direc-
tor of the Courts of Calanthe. He is resident physician
and lecturer in Hygiene and Physiology at the High Point
Normal and Industrial Institute.
Dr. Gerran is a member of the A. M. E. Church and a
Republican in politics, but has never been active in the latter
respect. He often lectures in the public schools on appro-
priate subjects of public health, sanitation, etc.
Dr. Gerran believes in promoting the spirit of kindly co-
operation through the regular patriotic meetings of both
races for the discussion and peaceful solution of problems
affecting the interest and welfare of both. He stands for
individual industry and economy as "first aids" in bringing
about improvements. His own life exemplifies what it
means to a boy to be willing to do, and to know how to do,
76 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO
a first-class job of necessary work and to use his skill as a
basis for advancement, and it may be remarked that the
young hands which could carpenter successfully can now do
an equally first-class surgical operation successfully.
On July 26, 1893, Dr. Gerran was married to Miss Marie
â€¢M. Manley, a daughter of T. S. and Corina Manly. They
have had seven children, five of whom are now living,
namely, Garland Alphonzo, Jr., Frank Elmer, Earnest Waldo,
Wilbur Samuel, and Lewin Meserve Gerran.
Daniel Franklin Clark
Many of the most successful men of America belong to
that large class known as "self-made men." These are men
who, without the advantages of money or college education,
have taken up some practical line of work, devoting them-
selves to it with fidelity and enthusiasm, winning success
and pointing the way for the ambitious young men of the
race. Such a type is Daniel Franklin Clark, a prosperous
and respected merchant of Goldsboro. Another thing
worthy of note in connection with Mr. Clark is that he has
not found it necessary to go among strange people, or to a
large city, in order to succeed. Right at home, among the
folks who know him best, he has established a reputation for
being a man of his word and a man with real business
He was born at Goldsboro, March 28, 1884. His father,
John Clark, was a carpenter and his mother was Mary
Mr. Clark was married on December 10, 1907, to Miss
Mary Yelverton, a daughter of John and Laura Yelverton.
Of the six children born to them four are living. They are
John Franklin, Robert L., Laura E., and Christine Clark.
Mr. Clark dug out such education as he has, which is
sufficient for his purposes as a merchant, and has been a
hard worker all his life. He began working for the local
firm of Royal & Borden. Later, without a cnnt of money,
NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 77
he bought a small stock of merchandise for $75.00 and han-
dled the business in such a way as to win the confidence
of the wholesale dealers in the town so that he is now in
position to buy what he wants at any time. He recalls
with appreciation the one wholesale house in the city which
trusted him from the beginning and helped make possible
his splendid success in later years. His growth as a mer-
chant has been steady and rapid. In the early years as a
merchant he still held his position while his wife kept store.
Later, he devided to devote his whole time to his store, and
having really determined on his business bought a lot and
and erected a new building sufficient for the large stock
of goods which he now carries. From the day when he be-
gan his mercantile career with another concern to the pres-
ent, when he has the leading mercantile establishment in
Goldsboro, he has always maintained the respect and confi-
dence not only of his own people, but of his white neigh-
bors as well.
Among the secret orders he is identified with the Odd
Fellows. He did his part during the war in the way of
stamps and bond campaigns and is a good citizen from every
point of view. He is of the opinion that the Negro press
has too much to say that is antagonistic to the white people
and believes his race would get more consideration if the
press assumed a different attitude.
He has observed that all the colored people who are
doing the right thing' seem to be doing well. He says : "I
really think if we would pay our honest dnbts and appreci-
ate what the white people did for us, we would get along
better." He illustrates his points by reference to the Jews
who came to this country and are scarcely recognized by the
best class of folks. They go to work, however, build a
business, get money, something which everybody wants,
and are readily taken up. He thinks that this might be
quite possibly the way with the colored people if they
would seek to co-operate with the white people and cease so
In addition to this store and other investments Mr.
Clark owns an attractive home on John Street in Goldsboro.
ISAIAH DANIEL CURTIS GOODSON
Isaiah Daniel Curtis Goodson
The Christian denomination among the colored people of
North Carolina is not so numerous as some of the other
denominations, but it is second to none in the quality and
character of its leadership. One of the effective ministers
of the church is Rev. Isaiah Daniel Curtis Goodson, of
Clayton. He was born in the neighboring county of Wake,
at Eagle Rock, on March 26, 1878. His father, Henry R.
Goodson, was a farmer and the subject of this sketch grew
up on the farm and even to this good day farms in a small
way in connection with his pastoral work. His mother, be-
fore her marriage, was Miss Sarah Frances Hall, a daugh-
ter of Isaiah and Narcissa Hall.
Mr. Goodson was married on Feb. 6th, 1901, to Miss
Carcillia Annie Whitley.
He attended first the public schools, and did his prepar-
atory work at Clayton. For his college work he went to
Shaw University. Having married at an early age, he
found it difficult to fit himself for the work of the ministry,
but having made up his mind to succeed, he would not turn
He was ordained to the work of the ministry in 1910
and since that time has done excellent work in Johnson and
adjacent counties. During the first year of his ministry he
organized a church at Greensboro known as Bishop's Tem-
ple Christian Church. He has also served the churches at
Eagle Rock, Poplar Springs, Pleasant Grove, Hank's Chapel,
and the Christian Church at the old towns of Pittsboro.
For four years he was general Superintendent of Sun-
day Schools for his denomination and spent the time largely
in field work. At this time he is Vice-President of his Con-
Among the secret orders he is identified with the Ma-
sons in which he has taken an active interest.
80 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO
He believes that his people are to be delivered, as were
the Israelites of old, by serving God and fearing Him and
keeping His commandments.
He has trained himself in the practice of truth and
honesty and as he looked back over the struggles of his boy-
hoo dand youth, he recognizes the fact that his early deter-
mination to succeed, and the large place which prayer has
had in his life, have been prominent factors in his success.
Redmond Stanley Oden
The A. M. E. Zion Church has developed a number of
strong educational and religious leaders with the growth
of the denomination in North Carolina. Among the strong
young pastors of the church must be mentioned Rev. Red-
mon Stanley Oden now (1919) stationed at Kinston. He
was born at the old town of Beaufort on April 1, 1878. His
father, William C. Oden, was by trade a shoemaker. He
married Martha A. Barner, who became the mother of our
subject. Both parents were slaves before Emancipation.
As a boy young Oden attended the local public school and
later went to the American Missionary School. Growing up
in a port city, it was not unnatural that he should take to
the sea. He followed steamboating and sail boating for
five or six years and in this way earnÂ£d some of the money
used in his education. He was also in the mercantile busi-
ness for a while at Beaufort with his brother.
When about nineteen years of age he was happily con-
verted. From earliest boyhood he had felt that his real
work in life must ultimately be that of the ministry. Now,
with the matter more definitely confronting him, he felt as
he had not felt before, the need of adequate preparation.
Accordingly he went to school in New Haven, Conn., for
three years and after that matriculated at Livingston Col-
lege, where he won his A. B. degree in 1908. Prior to this,
in 1907, he had joined the Conference at Charlotte under
REDMON STANLEY ODEN
82 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO
Bishop G. W. Clinton. Subsequently he took a Theological
course by correspondence from Howard University.
His first appointment under the Conference was the
Newport Circuit, which he served for three years and where
he built one new church and repaired two, besides adding
many new members. His next pastorate was the Holt's
Chapel station in Pamlico county, where the church was re-
modelled and a new parsonage built. He remained on that
work two years and had a splendid growth in membership.
After that he went to Morehead City for nearly three years,
where his work was marked by the usual progress. In 1916
he was assigned to the important work at Kinston, which
has taken on new life under his administration. Not only
has the spiritual side of the work and the membership
grown, but improvements to the amount ot six thousand.
dollars have been made on the church property.
In November of this year (1919) he celebrated the
fiftieth anniversary and jubilee of the St. Augustine A. M. E.
Zion church and the 56th session of the North Carolina Con-
ference presided over by the Rev. A. J. Warner, D. D.
Other denominational leaders from both North and South
were present and took part in the celebration. Rev. Oden
was a delegate to the 1916 General Conference and has also
been elected a delegate to the 1920 General Confrence to
meet in Knoxville, Tenn.
The secret of Rev. Oden's success is perhaps to be found
in a sincere desire to help members of his race to become
better citizens. He is Secretary of the Board of Education
of the North Carolina Conference and assistant Secretary
of the Conference. In his reading his first attention has
been given to sacred literature. After that he enjoys his-
tory, biography and the English classics.
On June 2, 1908, Rev. Oden was married to Ethel E.
Kincaid, a daughter of Rev. George W. Kincaid, a distin-
guished minister of Pittsburgh, Penn. They have five
children Georgia E., :Bertha B., Ethel R., Redmon S., Jr.,
and Milton L. Oden.
In December, 1917, he was chosen as one of seven min-
isters in the A. M. Zion Church from which three should be
NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 83
selected as the connection's quota for chaplains of the U. S.
Army. On Feb. 14, 1918, he received a letter from Adjutant
General Gregory ordering him to Fort Monroe, Va., for
service as his application had been accepted, but because
of the death of his mother a few days before he was com-
pelled to decline the appointment.
Rev. Oden believes that a better understanding between
the best elements of the two races would go far toward
helping present conditions and promoting progress.
William Arthur Mitchner
It is refreshing to find a professional man of the type of
Dr. William Arthur Mitchner, of Wilson. He carries into
his work all the energy and enthusiasm of youth, but he
has not permitted the increasing duties of his professional
life to crowd out the other things which make life worth
while. It is not unusual for a man who takes up medicine
to neglect or ignore his church work and the social side of
affairs. Not so with Dr. Mitchner. He fs still active in his
lodge work as a Mason and Odd Fellow, and is a good mem-
ber of the A. M. E. Zion Church, in which he is superin-
tendent of the Sunday School and secretary of the Board of
Dr. Mitchner was born on May 22, 1882, at Clayton, in
Johnston county. His parents were Junius and Lucy Mitch-
ner. His mother, who is still living, was a daughter of
Frances Sanders. She also still survives (1919) at a ripe
On June 29, 1910, Dr. Mitchner was married to Mattie
Maltsby, the accomplished daughter of Rev. D. R. Maltsby.
She was educated at Ingleside, Virginia, and was a promi-
nent teacher before her marriage. They have one child,
William L. Mitchner.
Growing up in Raleigh, Dr. Mitchner had rather supe-
rior educational advantages, as a boy, compared with his
country cousins. After passing through the graded schools,
WILLIAM ARTHUR MITCHNER
NORTH CAROLINA EDITION 85
he went to the Henderson Normal and Industrial Institute
at Henderson, from which he graduated in 1904. He re-
turned to his home for his medical course, matriculating at
Leonard Medical College, from which he won his M. D. de-
gree in 1908.
By working at the North in summer hotels, he was
able to earn sufficient money during his vacations to com-
plete his medical course without a break, although he helped
to support his mother while doing so. The family had
moved away from Johnston county when the boy was only
about six years of age. While his mother was poor and
uneducated, still she was ambitious for her son. This, to-
gether with the encouragement which he received from his
teachers, was a constant spur to endeavor and enabled him
to complete his education and enter upon his professional
career by the time he was twenty-six years old. After
looking over the field, he decided to locate at Wilson and
has not regretted his choice. He has built up a lucrative
general practice and has become fully identified with the
business and social life of his people in that city. As al-
ready mentioned, he is active in the work of the A. M. E.
Zion Church and is medical examiner for the local lodges
and insurance companies. He is a member of both the
State and national medical societies and is president of
the Methodist Sunday School Convention of the Cape Fear
District. He owns an attractive home in Wilson, where he
has surrounded himself with the comforts of life and
where his friends are always made to feel at home. As he
has observed the growing intelligence of his people and
their increasing wealth he believes that the chief bar to
the progress of the race is lack of a better understanding
between the races. Given this, he sees no reason why
both races should not live together in peace and harmony.
James Mangum Morton
Rev. James Mangum Morton, A. B., A. M., S. T. B., who
now (1919) in the prime of manhood is serving the Church
Street Presbyterian Church of Salisbury, is a native of
Granville Co., having been born near Oxford on Jan. 21,
1872. His father, William Morton, was a farmer, and the
son worked on the farm during his boyhood and youth.
William Morton was a son of York and Rhoda (Daniel)
Morton, and Rhoda Daniel was the daughter of Billy and
Lydia Daniel. The mother of our subject was, before her
marriage, Margaret Taylor, a daughter of Alfred and Ara-
bella Taylor. Arabella was a daughter of Margaret Gooch,
who lived to the ripe old age of a hundred and two years.
It is rare that such a long line of ancestors can be traced.
Rev. Morton was married on April 16, 1905, to Emma L.
Cundiff, of Yadkin Co. They have five children, William
A., Miles L., Edward E., James C. and Cora Lee Morton.
The last two mentioned are twins.
Young Morton first attended the public school of Gran-
ville Co., where he laid the foundations of his education,
working on the farm between terms. Later he went to
Mary Potter School at Oxford, for his preparatory work.
He was converted and came into the work of the
church when about nineteen, and soon after that decided
to devote his life to the ministry. For his college work,
he matriculated at Lincoln University, where he remained
for seven years, completing first the classical and later the
Theological course. He won his A. B. in 1904. The A. M.
degree is from the same institution for special work. Be-
fore going to Lincoln he taught in Granville Co. He
has also taught some in Livingstone College since moving
His first pastorate included the churches at Mocksville
and Booneville, where he preached for five years with
good success. In 1909 he was called to the pastorate of
JAMES MANGUM MORTON
88 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO
the Church Street Presbyterian Congregation at Salisbury.
His work here has been marked by healthy growth and
steady progress. The membership has more than doubled
and plans are made for the erection of a new house of
Dr. Morton is a prominent figure in denominational
gatherings. He was Moderator of the Yadkin Presbytery
in 1912, is a member of the ordination committee of that
body, and was a Commissioner to the 1913 General Assem-
bly. He belongs to the Masons and the Odd Fellows. His
favorite reading is History-
Dr. Morton's parents both died when the boy was young
so he was under the necessity of making his own way in
school. His vacations were not times for rest or amuse-
ment ,but were filled with the hardest sort of work. After
going to Lincoln, his vacations were usually spent at the
North. These early experiences developed self reliance and
character, which have characterized his work as a minister.
He owns a comfortable home in Salisbury and is an
ardent advocate of home owning among the members of
He was a leader among his people in the various phases
of war work.
Charles Henry King
Several things stand out prominently in the life and
work of Rev. Charles Henry King, D. D., who is one of the
strong men of the A. M. E. Connection in North Carolina.
The first thing to note is the fruitfulness of his ministry
and the uniform success of his work. He has never fa-led
to make good on a single appointment to which his Bishop
has assigned him. Another striking feature of his work,
wherever he has gone, has been the cordial relationship he
has maintained with the other denominations of his own
race and with the best element of the white race. Still
CHARLES HENRY KING
90 HISTORY AMERICAN NEGRO
another item to his credit is his business ability. He was a.
successful builder and contractor before entering- the min-
istry and has brought over and applied to the work of the
Master the same methods which brought success in his
Rev. King is a native of Georgia, having been born in
Houston Co. on Oct. 14, 1857. So it will be seen he was
a boy about eight years of age at the close of the war. As
may be imagined, he had a hard struggle for his education,
but he managed first through the public schools and later
by private study and instruction to equip himself for the
serious work of life. His mother was Clarissa King.
Young King's boyhood days were spent on the farm. As
he grew to young manhood he learned the carpenter's trade
and thus became a builder and contractor in Atlanta, the
capital city of his native stats.
While still on the Houston Co. farm he was converted
and joined the A. M. E. church. About five years later he
was licensed to preach and in 1884 joined the Conference
at Nashville, Tenn. There was a difficult situation at
Knoxville, and Bishop Turner picked the young preacher
from Georgia to establish the work on a firm basis. He
did it. A lot was bought, King's Chapel was built and what
was more important was filled with folk. This was accom-
plished in two years. The character of his work may be
judged from the fact that he was promoted to the pre-
siding eldership, transferred to North Carolina and presided
over the Wilmington District for three years and the
Raleigh District four years. He then went to Bethel Sta-