Arthur Bunyan Caldwell.

History of the American Negro and his institutions; (Volume 5) online

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of insurance companies. Looking back over the days of his
youth. Dr. Smith recognizes the potent influence for good
on his life, of his parents. He was also inspired by Mr.
D. P. Lane, a Raleigh lawyer.

Dr. Smith has studied not only natural and physical con-
ditions among his people, but knows their intellectual capac-
ity as well. He believes that progress awaits better school


Professor Edgar Allan Long, Principal of the Christians-
burg Industrial Institute, Cambria, Va., is what old Thomas
Carlyle would have called a "heaven born teacher." Prof.
Long is one of Booker Washington's "boys" and is reflecting
great credit on that remarkable man who was not only his
teacher but also most largely furnished the inspiration
which has been the principal factor in shaping his life.
His influence in educational and social welfare work in Vir-
ginia has been of great value. He reorganized the State


Teachers' Association and was for six years its president;
he is a charter member and Secretary of the Negro Organi-
zation Society, which has done more than any single move-
ment in the State to stimulate interest in better health,
better homes, better schools and better farms among his

Prof. Long was born at Tuskegee, Ala., Oct. 8, 1871. He
is a son of Orange and Lila (Howard) Long. His father
was a hotel cook by occupation.

Growing up at Tuskegee, the location of Washington's
great school, he went through the public schools and later
entered the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. En-
tering the night school he worked until he had earned
enough to pay his way through the day school. While at
Tuskegee, in addition to the academic courses, he learned
the printing trade, which has been most useful to him
through his life. Graduating from Tuskegee in 1895, he
went immediately to the Penny Savings Bank at Birming-
ham as bookkeeper, at the same time acting as manager for
the Alabama Publishing Co., which concern published "Bap-
tists of Alabama," by C. 0. Boothe, "Divinity in Wedlock,"
by W. R. Pittiford, and other publications.

In 1897 he entered the teaching field as Treasurer of the
Ohristiansburg Industrial Institute and later became prin-
cipal. This was an old school founded in 1866 by Captain
Charles S. Schaeffer, a Civil War Veteran and a lover of
humanity, who gave the remainder of his life to the work
of aiding the Freedmen of that section.

An organization composed of members of the Society of
Friends, known as the Friends' Freedmens' Association be-
gan helping the school in 1869 with an appropriation of two
hundred dollars, and in 1873 began yearly appropriations.
From that time to the present that Society has been stead-
fast in the school's support and the present Board of Man-
agers is composed of prominent Friends of Philadelphia and

Notwithstanding conscientious and faithful effort and
much good vrork the school did not grow rapidly and when


Prof. Long came to it in 1897 its equipment consisted of one
building, a substantial brick, midway between Christians-
burg and Cambria, with about one acre of land. This build-
ing, situated on a hill top, is known as the "Hill School"
and remains a part of the plant.

Believing that the best future for the Negro ra<:e lie^
chiefly along agricultural lines. Prof. Long promptly ac-
quired a farm of 185 acres to which was moved in 1900
everything but the primary department. Here was erected
the Bailey-Morris Hall used as Girl's Dormitory, Dining
Room, Administration Building, and Library; the Boys'
Dormitory, the Old Mansion refitted and used as a school
building. Trades Building, substantial barn and teachers'

Farming occupies first place with the boys, in addition to
which they are taught carpentry, blacksmithing, wheel-
wrighting and printing. Always the best of work is put
in teaching them book knowledge.

For the giris there are special courses in cooking, laun-
dering, sewing, millinery and always domestic economy,
which we call housekeeping.

Situated in a rich country, the farm with its orchards
and gardens, is a delight to the eye with its orderly neat-
ness, thorough work and fat crops. Nearly one-half of the
boarding supplies are raised on the farm, largely by stu-
dent labor. Under Prof. Long, the plant has grown from
one building with one acre of ground to eleven buildings
and 185 acres of a total value of one hundred and fifty thou-
sand dollars and an endowment of seventy thousand dollars.
His first years expenses were $1,875.00. In 1919 this had
grown to $23,500.00. Of the endowment fund the sum of
$50,000.00 was raised in one year, 1916.

Teaching only the primary grades twenty years ago,
there is now a full high school course of four years with
normal course for teachers. A largely attended and most
successful summer normal is a feature of the work. The
teaching force has grown from five to eighteen.


The concrete results are visible and the spiritual results
are being felt over a large area.

The relations between the races have always been most
friendly in this section and the county contributes a part
of the funds for maintaining the primary department.
For the community hospital situated on the school grounds
the white people contributed $2,500.00, and a local board of
white and colored people operate it for colored people of
the section.

Prof. Long was married Dec. 23, 1897 to Miss Anne Lee
Patterson, daughter of Edward and Anna Patterson of
^Montgomery. Mrs. Long was educated at Tuskegee and is
also an accomplished teacher.

They have five children, Edgar Allan, Jr., Gertrude Irene,
Nerissa Lila, Audrey Lee, and Natalie Mildred Long.

Prof. Long holds the degree of Master of Pedagogy, con-
ferred by Biddle University. It was honestly won.

He is a rather wide reader, loving biography, fiction,
poetry, being especially partial to Bryant, Pope and Poe.
He has written some poems of merit. A letter from the
late Booker T. Washington stated : "The poem by you pub-
lished in the Tuskegee Student, does you a great deal of
credit, and shows you have talent in that direction." He
is an Independent Republican in politics and a member of
the Methodist Episcopal Church.

A capable business man, he has managed after caring
for a large family, to accumulate a substantial property.
He considers, "Education, ownership of property, and sub-
stantial Christian character as the things necessary for
permanent progress."


The successful conduct of a secondary denominational
school requires a man of unusual ability. He must be a
teacher, he must have executive ability, for many of his
problems are business problems ; he must also be an at-



tractive speaker in order that the interests of the institu-
tion may not suffer before associations and conventions. It
is not strange that so many of the small denominational
schools either fail to prosper or have to be discontinued.

The Bluestone Harmony Academic and Industrial School
at Keysville is fortunate in having at the head of it a man
who combines the qualities referred to above. That man is
Rev. Marcellus Carlye Rux,

He is a native of Meherrin, where he was born on Jan.
8, 1882. His father, David Rux, was a farmer. His mother,
before her marriage, was Miss Bettie Ann Cheatham, a
daughter of Green and Pattie Cheatham.

During his boyhood and youth, young Rux divided his
time between the country public schools and work on his
father's farm. When nine years of age he was converted
and has been all his life active in the work of the church.
Almost from childhood he was impressed with the feeling
that he must preach.

In 1902 he was licensed to preach by the Rehobeth Bap-
tist Church and in 1906 was ordained to the full work of
the ministry by the same church. He realized early in life
that the need of adequate preparation for his life work was
imperative. According'ly he went to the Petersburg Normal
and Industrial School, where he completed his course in
1904. He passed from there to Virginia Union University,
taking his theological course in advance of his literary work.
He won his B. D. degree in 1907. In 1910 he finished his
academic work and completed the college course with the
A. B. degree in 1912.

Dr. Rux has been active both as a pastor and as an edu-
cator. He preached at the Springfield Baptist Church, Me-
herrin, five years; Middlesex one. Union at Keysville five
years, Mt. Zion at Clarksville five years, and Siloam at
Chase City five years. He is now (1921) pastoring Mt.
Olive at South Boston and Mt. Ellis at Keysville. He has
had a fruitful ministry, and was for five years Moderator
of the Harmony Association. He is Statistical Secretary of
the General Baptist Association of Virginia, he is a mem-


ber of the Foreign Mission Board, the Publication Board,
and the Educational Board of the same body.

Mr. Rux has been identified with the Keysville School
for eight years. For the first five years he was a teacher
in the institution. Such was the record he made that he
was promoted to the principalship in 1917. Under his ad-
ministration the school has reached its highest enrollment
and had its greatest period of prosperity. Buildings are
being erected or improved and the faculty has been'
strengthened. One of the buildings being erected is a home
for girls, which will cost $15,000.00.

On Sept. 30, 1913, Mr. Rux was married to Miss Mattie
E. Smith, a daughter of J. H. and Kate Smith of Meherrin,
Mrs. Rux was educated at the Petersburg Normal and was,
before her marriage, a teacher. They have one son, Marcel-
lus C. Rux, Jr.

Mr. Rux asks nothing for himself or his race which
he is not willing to grant to every other man and every
other race. He believes in equality of opportunity and sim-
ply wants his dollar to buy as much as any other man's


A history of the professional and vocational life of the
race since Emancipation reveals some interesting facts.
The profession which first attracted large numbers of the
race was that of the ministry. In the early days of free-,
dom, it must be said that it required but little intelligence
to be a preacher. With the passing of the years, however,'
this condition has improved and today some of the strongast
men of the race are to be found in the pulpit. Next in im-
portance and in numbers, perhaps, came the teaching pro-
fession. This required slightly better equipment, and yet
it was comparatively an easy matter to become a teacher
in the backwoods schools. Fortunately, this condition has
also improved. Later still, there was a tendency on the



part of some of the young colored men to go into the
law. This profession has long been so closely allied to poli-
tics that with the passing of the Negro from Southern poli-
tics, many of the old time lawyers had to find some other
occupation. As the colleges and universities began to turn
out men who were really equipped for the work of life, the
medical and dental professions began to attract some of the
best and brightest young men of the race. Banking was
a still later development. It has appealed not only to men
of intelligence and equipment, but men of executive and
organizing ability and men of means. There is at Norfolk
and Portsmouth a remarkable group of these young men,
engaged in banking and other commercial lines.

Among them must be mentioned George William Clement
Brown. He is a native of Richmond, where he was born
Sept. 23, 1894. His father is Rev. E. W. Brown, a story
of whose life and work appears elsewhere in this volume.
His mother, before her marriage, was Miss Nanette Ruffin

After attending the local public schools, young Brown
went to Wayland Academy and passed from there to Vir-
ginia Union University, from which he was graduated with
the A. B. degree in 1917. He found the influence of college
and fraternity life most helpful. He took an active inter-
est in college athletics while in school and was athletic press
reporter for his institution. His favorite reading is applied
psychology and philosophy. Naturally this tends much to
modern business literature.

On November 29, 1919, Mr. Brown was happily married
to Miss Elaine Hucles, a daughter of Henry B. and Ruth
L. Hucles. They have one child, Yvette Elaine Brown.

On completion of his course at Richmond, Mr. Brown ac-
cepted a position as Assistant Secretary of the Corey
Memorial Institute, that was in 1917. The following year
he worked as a bookkeeper at the Mutual Savings Bank of
Portsmouth. On June 9, 1919, he assumed the duties of
Assistant Secretary of the Tidewater Bank & Trust Com-
pany of Norfolk, which he held till Marcl-^l, 1921. He is


Treasurer of the Consolidated Coal & Ice Company of Nor-
folk, is a director in the Commercial Bank & Trust Company
of Richmond, and of the Twin City Amusement Corpora-
tion of Norfolk. In the spring- of 1921, Mr. Brown was
made Secy .-Treasurer of the Sea Board Finance Corpora-
tion. About the same time he was elected Secretary of the
Hampton Roads Building and Loan Asso., with offices in
Norfolk, Portsmouth and Newport News, Va.

In politics Mr. Brown is a Republican and is treasurer
of the local organization. Like his father, he is a member
of the Baptist Church. Among the secret and benevolent
societies he is identified with the Pythians, Elks and Masons.
He is president of the Zeta-Lambda chapter of the Alpha
Phi Alpha Greek letter fraternity.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown enter heartily into the social life of
the city. When asked his opinion as to how the best inter-
ests of the race may be promoted, Mr. Brown replied: "In-
tensive thrift campaigns must be vigorously propagated in
every community. Every Negro, at the same time must be
forced, if necessary, to use the ballot."


Dr. Eugene Jeremiah Bass, a successful druggist and
business man of the prosperous city of Portsmouth, was
born barely a year after the war, on April 14, 1866. His
father was Southall Bass, a junk dealer of Portsmouth,
who was a son of Willis and Sarah Bass. The mother of
our subject, before her marriage, was Miss Mary 0. Elliott,
a daughter of Josiah and Jemima Elliott. There is a strain
of white blood inherited from one side and a strain of Indian
blood coming down from both sides, so that Dr. Bass repre-
sents a sort of trinity of races.

He was born at Portsmouth and has resided in that city
all his life with the exception of the time he has been away
at school.



He attended the Portsmouth public schools and passed
from there to Shaw University for his professional course,
winning from Leonard School of Pharmacy the Ph. G. de-
gree in 1896. He had considerable practical experience in
the drug business before going to college, having been in
the Navy Yard Dispensary at Portsmouth for a number of

With the growing spirit of co-operation and with the in-
creased purchasing power of the Negro, nothing is thought
of the establishment of a drug store or of any other
enterprise; but twenty-five years ago, when Dr. Bass began
business in Portsmouth, it took a man of faith and of vision
to launch a new business and stay by it through the starv-
ing time. That he was able to start and conduct a success-
ful drug business at that early date in his home town is a
compliment at once to his character and to his capacity. He
is running the business under the name of the Eugene J.
Bass Drug Store, of which he is the proprietor and man-

On November 1, 1906, Dr. Bass was marired to Miss
Lizzie Small, of Holland, Virginia. They have three chil-
dren, Eugene J., Jr., Ann E., and Rebecca 0. Bass.

Dr. Bass has a younger brother also in the dug brusiness,
whose story appears elsewhere in this volume.

When asked how, in his opinion, the best interests of the
race may be promoted. Dr. Bass replied that the thing most
needed is Christian education.

Dr. Bass is a Republican in politics and is an active mem-
ber of the A. M. E. Church, of which he is a trustee. Among
the secret orders he is identified with the Pythians and
other local organizations.

Being a sort of pioneer in the business life of his people
in Portsmouth, he has naturally become interested in a
number of other enterprises apart from his drug business.
His wide acquaintance and his business experience have
made him a valuable man in the starting and carrying on
of new enterprises such as banks, stores, etc. He is a di-
rector in the Standard Building & Loan Association of


Portsmouth, a stockholder in the Mutual Savings Bank of
the same city, he is also a stockholder in the Tidewater
Bank & Trust Company of Norfolk, of the Twin City Amuse-
ment Corporation and the Progressive Shoe Store of Nor-
folk, and is financially interested in the Tidewater Building
& Loan Association of Portsmouth. Dr. Bass is known as
a safe and conservative busines man and is regarded as a
good citizen by the best people of both races.

He has the distinction of being the second man of his race
to pass the Virginia Pharmaceutical Board,


A prominent minister of the Baptist Church in Virginia is
the Rev. Arthur Leonard James, at this time (1920) pas-
tor of the First Baptist Church at Roanoke. Though yet a
comparatively young man Mr. James has to his credit a
ministerial career of approximately twenty-five years which
has been one of constantly growing reputation and increas-
ing influence.

Arthur Leonard James was born at Madison, Fla., Aug. 1,
1877, son of Howard E. and Lula Wyche James. His father,
Howard E. James, was a teacher. His maternal grandpar-
ents were Jacob and Edith Wyche.

After attending public schools at Madison and Live Oak,
he entered the Florida Memorial College at Live Oak,
where he graduated in 1897. After completing his course
there, he extended his training at the University of Chi-

His father had died when he was only five years old and
hence he had to work his own way, which he did promptly
and effectively.

Converted at fifteen and feeling the call to preach almost
immediately, he began at sixteen to shape his studies with
a view to the ministry.

He was licensed to precah by the African Baptist Church
of Live Oak at such an early age that he was known as the



"Boy Preacher" and at twenty-one was ordained to the full
ministry by the church at Madison.

His first pastorate was with the Damascus Baptist Church
at Madison, his home town, where he remained two and
one-half years, then he was called to the work of the Sun-
day School and State Misisonary Board and as organizer
of the B. Y. P. U. under the auspices of the National Bap-
tist Publishing Board.

After one year at that work he was called to the Bethel
Baptist Church of Daytona, Fla., where he remained eight
years. During his term there he remodeled the church,
built and paid for a parsonage and trebled the membership.
He was then called to St. Luke's Church at Jacksonville,
where he remained for nine months. He accepted a call to
the New Zion Baptist Church, Fernandina, Fla., where in
two years and nine months he reduced a heavy debt on the
church to a very small sum. From there he went to Ocala,
where he remained five years during which he paid for a
parsonage and extinguished the church debt. While in
Ocala he founded and edited The Florida Messenger, a news-
paper of wide circulationd and influence. February, 1918,
found him in France engaged in war work, and he remained
there one year. Returning to Florida he was with the War
Work Council as State Secretary for Colored Y. M. C. A.
work a few months, when he was called to the First Baptist
Church at Roanoke, Va. He entered upon his services there
October 1, 1919. He has a large membership of one thou-
sand, and excellent congregations.

Dr. James has indulged in authorship in a modest way,
having written two little books, entitled, "Why Germany
Lost the War," and "Race Gleanings from a New Field."

Dr. James has had wide travel and personal experience.
Everyone who comes in contact with him at once recognizes
the forcefulness of the man. In looking back over his life
he recalls with grateful appreciation the kindly helpfulness
of the Rev. George P. McKinney of Live Oak, which was of
great encouragement to the struggling youth. As might be


expected of one who is a traveler and thinker he is a lover
of history.

He holds membership in the Odd Fellows and Knights of
Pythias. He served as Moderator of the East Coast Asso-
ciation, was a trustee of the Florida Memorial College,
when he pastored in Florida, and President of the State
B. Y. P. U. Convention.

For his race he craves a "Better Leadership," as the one
thing that will most eifectually promote the interest of the

Dr. James has been three times married. First, on De-
cember 22, 1898, to Josie L. Wilson of Tampa, Fla. The
four children of this marriage are Lula, Arthur, Jr., Ever-
ett, and Robert James. Their mother died June 19, 1908,
leaving the husband with four little ones. The second mar-
riage was contracted September 16, 1909, witli Carrie N.
Steward of Springfield, Mass. Of this marriage there were
two children, Isabel and Caroline. December 17, 1912, Mrs.
James died. On June 30, 1915, he married Ada Austin, of
Martel, Fla., and of this marriage there is but one child,
Josef C. James.


Rev. Charles Henry Morton, A. B., A. M., S. T. B., of East-
ville, is one of the leading lights of the Baptist denomina-
tion of the Eastern Shore. He was born at Staunton, in the
beautiful Shenandoah Valley, in 1870. His father, Richard
Morton, was a farmer and his mother, before her marriage,
was Miss Betsy Ross.

Dr. Morton resided at Staunton till he was eighteen years
of age and attended the public schools. His father having
died when the boy was only five years old, it was necessary
for him to work from childhood. In this way he assisted
in the support of his mother and, of course, had to make
his own way in school. Inspired by the example of others
who had gone away to school, he determined to secure a


^ ■■ I M Il W



higher education and in 1889 entered the preparatory de-
partment of Lincoln University. He says that on reaching
that institution, he had only $3.75 in money with no outside
help in sight. He trusted to God and to his own efforts
and was given work which enabled him to earn the expenses
of the course, which included not only tuition, but board as
well. At the close of school, he would go to work on the
farm and later entered the hotel service which he found
more remunerative. Working along in this way from year
to year, he finished the college course with the A. B, de-
gree in 1894 and three years later completed the course in
theology leading to the S. T. B. degree. For special work
done in Aramaic the same institution conferred on him the
A. M. degree. While always a hard worker and pressed
for time while in school, he still found opportunity for exer-
cise and was interested in college athletics, playing on both
the baseball and the football teams at times.

Dr. Morton was converted at the early age of fourteen,
but even before then had felt called to the work of the minis-
try. As a matter of fact, he was not licensed to preach un-
til the year of his graduation, in 1897, and was in that sam.e
year ordained to the full work of the ministry by the Mount
Zion Baptist Church, Staunton, Va.

In the fall of 1897 he accepted a position as Professor of
Sciences, English and Latin in Spiller Academy at Hampton,
Va. His first pastorate was the First Baptist Church at
Amburg, which he served for two years and completed a
house of worship which had been begun by a former pastor.

Dr. Morton went from Amburg to Grafton, where he
preached for nine years and remodeled the church. His
next work included both Ebenezer and Antioch Baptist
Churches, in Matthews County, which he served for three
years and remodeled the latter church.

About this time he was called to the principalship of the
Corey Normal Institute, a Baptist school at Portsmouth,

Online LibraryArthur Bunyan CaldwellHistory of the American Negro and his institutions; (Volume 5) → online text (page 16 of 37)