Arthur Bunyan Caldwell.

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

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Sanders) and Parthia Warner. Their mother went to her
reward in 1908. On July 6, 1910, the Bishop was married


to Annie Weddington of Charlotte, who was a teacher at
Hampton Institute. They have one child, Lovette Warner.

When asked how in his estimation the best interests
of the race are to be promoted Bishop Warner replied:
"Get a home, stay at it. Raise children right and educate
them. Save money, pay taxes."

On May 31, 1920, Bishop Warner was called from his
earthly labors and was laid to rest at Charlotte. Impres-
sive services were held at Big Zion Church, with Bishop
G. C. Clements master of ceremonies, assisted by Bishops
Caldwell, Clinton and Blackwell and many other high digni-
taries of the Church. A large concourse of people were
present to do honor to one whom the denomination will long
miss and mourn.

John Francis Lee

Rev. John Francis Lee, A. M., S. T. D., the present Edi-
tor-in-Chief of the Sunday School literature of the A. M. E.
Zion Church, is a native of the "Old Dominion." He was
born at Alexandria, Va., on May 8, 1872. His father, John
Henry Lee, a stone mason by trade, still .survives (1919).
His mother was Frances (Jackson) Lee. Dr. Lee's pater-
nal grandparents were Charles Henry and Maria Lee. The
maternal grandfather was James Henry Jacksdh.

Dr. Lee says his father looked after his early education,
until, at nine years of age, the boy went to live with his
grandfather, who sent him to school for four years. Be-
tween terms he worked' at a brick yard. Being ambitious,
he made the most of his opportunities. He did his high
school work at Philadelphia.

At the age of seventeen he was converted and the fol-
lowing year was licensed to preach. With his conversion
and call to the ministry came the realization that leader-
ship called for equipment. Accordingly he matriculated at
Livingstone College and remained to win his Bachelor's de-



gree in 1899. His Theological course was begun at Gam-
mon Theological Seminary and completed at Boston Uni-
versity. From his student days Dr. Lee has shown a versa-
tility which has won for him a large place in the life of the
denomination. Not content with the conventional courses
which he had already completed he has done extensive post
graduate and correspondence work. He spent two years on
a Law course, and holds a diploma from the Jacksonian
Optical College He seems never to tire of taking up and
mastering new subjects. He also holds a diploma from
Home Correspondence School of Springfield, Mass.

In 1894 he joined the Conference under the late Bishop
Hood. His first assignment in the A. M. E. Zion Church
was to the Franklin, Virginia, Circuit, which he served one
year. He preached at the Mt. Pleasant Circuit two years
and' was on the Columbus Circuit one year. He was then
sent to Greensboro for two years, where a troublesome debt,
was cancelled and the membership doubled. He spent one
year at Marysville, Tenn., saving the church there at the
same time. Returning to South Carolina he pastored the
church at Lancaster, S. C, and later at Rock Hill, S. C. He
was then transferred to New England and served the Wor-
cester Church two years, after which he preached at Nor-
folk, Va., four years. While at Gammon Seminary he
served the Zion Church on Boulevard, and while at Boston
University the Rush Zion Church at Cambridge.

On completion of his course at Boston, after one year
at Waterbury, Connecticut, he was appointed to the impor-
tant station at Harrisburg, Pa. This he considers to have
seen the best work of his life so far considering the condi-
tions under which it was undertaken, and the marvelous
results achieved. The church was moved to a new site
making possible a handsome church building and parsonage.
The land alone cost $9,000.00 and the improvements, of
$100,000 value, easily make this property the finest pos-
sessed by the colored population in central Pennsylvania.
However, this was not all. It paved the way for opening
up a splendid residence section for colored people in the


vicinity and a sister denomination was quick to take advan-
tage of this desirable condition and itself erected another
handsome church worth $60,000. Needless to say that this
uplifting influence, material, social and spiritual, were felt
profoundly for good in the entire city of Harrisburg and ra-
diated such widespread benefits as to be revolutionary in
the right sense of racial progress.

From Harrisburg, Dr. Lee was sent to Wilmington,
where the church was remodeled at an expense of $3,000.00,
and the life of the church built up ; unfortunately, however,,
failing health made it necessary for him to put aside the
work for nearly a year.

Dr. Lee has for years been doing more or less literary
work. Numerous contributions to the press, poems some-
times in dialect, or a splendid poem like his "Ode to the
Memory of Bishop Walters." Among the more popular of
his published works may be mentioned: "What You
G'wine Do Wif Ham?" "Discords and Harmony," "Songs of
the Fireside," and the "Prince in Ebony."

In 1916 he was made Editor of the Sunday School Lit-
erature of the A. M. E. Zion Church, a position for which
his literary ability, his splendid education and broad gen-
eral experience admirably fit him. In this position he edits
five separate periodicals, cover the whole field of the Sun-
day School literature of the denomination. This gives him
the largest audience of any man in the denomination.

On Sept. 24, 1896 Dr. Lee was married to Miss Lillian
B. Davis, of Salisbury. She was educated at Livingstone
College, and was a teacher before her marriage. They have
two children, Robet H. C. and John F. Lee, Jr.

Charles Henry Shute

The story of Rev. Charles Henry Shute A. B., A. M.,
D. D., begins on a farm in Mecklenburg Co. and leads up
through years of struggle and patient study to a place of
prominence and power in his church and in the leading edu-



cational institution of his denomination in the South. His
parents were Charles and Luvenia (Crockett) Shute. His
maternal grandmother, Rebecca Crockett, was before her
marriage a McDowell.

Dr. Shute was married on Nov. 15, 1899, to Annie L.
Foster of Charlotte. She was educated at Scotia Seminary,
Concord, and was herself a teacher before her marriage.
They have a large and interesting family of eight children.
They are Vivian B., Ionia L., Chas. H., Jr., Raymond A.,
Marlow F., Esther L., Matthew A. and Mary E. Shute.

As a boy young Shute divided his time between the
farm and the rural school. He was an apt student.

At an early age his mind turned toward religion and
he was brought to a decision when about sixteen years of
age. Two years later he had definitely decided to take up
the work of the ministry. As he looks back over these
years of his boyhood and youth he feels that his mother and
a teacher were the most influential factors in his life,
though he also recalls with gratitude the helpful attitude
of his white friends.

He did his preparatory and college work in the Arts
and Sciences at Biddle, where he won his A. B. degree in
1894. He also took Theology at Biddle, leading to the S.
T. B. degree. The same Institution has since conferred on
him the A. M. and D. D. degrees.

On completing his work at Biddle Dr. Shute was called
to the church at Gastonia, which he pastored for ten years.
A new house of worship was built during his administration
and the congregation greatly strengthened. While in Gas-
tonia he also had charge of the local school work. Such
was the character of his service at Gastonia both as a
teacher and a preacher that in 1907 he was called back to
his Alma Mater to take the chair of advanced Latin and
Greek in the High School Department. This position, to-
gether with that of Librarian, he held with distinction until
1918, when he was selected for the chair of English Bible,
Biddle University being one of many institutions of higher
education which recognizes the growing importance of Bi-


ble knowledge in modern culture and a demand for a highly
cultured, trained ministry able to meet the most learned
upon their own ground.

While of course Dr. Shute can no longer serve a regu-
lar pastorate, he still is called upon for many a sermon and

Dr. Shute made a brilliant record as a student. Among
other things he won the Hebrew Medal, also the Alumni
Medal for Oratory. He is a forceful and attractive speaker.
His favorite reading after the Bible is History. He has not
been active in politics nor is he identified with the secret
orders. He was a commissioner to the General Assembly
in 1900 at St. Louis. He owns an attractive home near
Biddle. Out of his observation and experience he is con-
vinced that the real progress of the race must rest on edu-
cation and religion.

Charles Webster Foushee

There are no more useful members of society than
those men who devote years of study to preparation and
then sonsecrate their lives to the important work of teach-
ing. It is work which makes itself felt in the life of the
community, of the church and the State. No democra:y
is safe without schools.

One of the recognized leaders in the educational life
of the race in North Carolina is Prof. Charles Webster
Foushee, Principal of the Graded School of Statesville.
Prof. Foushee was born in Moore Co., on May 28, 1872.
He grew up on the farm and went to the rural schools dur-
ing the short terms they ran. Later on he attended Dayton
Academy at Carthage. He was an apt student and when
ready for college went to Livingstone at Salisbury and en-
tered the Normal Department.

His mother, Susan Foushee, always encouraged him
to strive for the best things but until he began teaching in-



sisted on his returning home each summer and spending-
his vacations on the farm rather than indoor work at the

This was doubtless a wise arrangement and good for
the young man's health. He spent three years in the Nor-
mal Department and four in the Classical Department com-
pleting his course with the A. B. degree in 19C2. Since then
he has done considerable summer school work and in 1919
spent some weeks on special work at Columbia University.
In this way he keeps up with the best thought of his pro-

On completion of his course he was elected Principal
of the Sanford Graded School, which position he held for
three years. He came to Statesville in 1905 when the school
had an enrollment of about a hundred. The enrollment is
now about three hundred. Then three teachers handled
the work. There are now five, though this number is
inadequate. When the new brick building is completed, so
as to provide the necessary accommodations, the faculty
will be increased to eight or more. While this growth is
not sensational, it is solid and shows a steady, healthy
progress in both enrollment and teaching force. Prof.
Foushee has done his work in such a way as to commend
himself to the best people of both races.

He is a member of the A. M. E. Zion Church and is
active in his local church. He is Superintendent of the
Sunday School and a member of the Trustee Board. He is
the local representative of the N. C. Mutual Life Insurance
Company and among the secret orders is identified with the
Pythians, being Deputy of his District. He owns an at-
tractive home and other property at Statesville.

On Aug. 19, 1919, he was married to Alma J. Carter,
a native of Reidsville. She was educated at the A. N. T.
College and was a teacher in Prof. Foushee's school prior
to their marriage.

Edgar John Hayes

The simple, straightforward record of the enterprising,
successful men of the race like Prof. Edgar John Hayes
of New Bern is one of the greatest assets of the race. Such
- show what the boys and youth of the race can do
when they have the patience and the pertinacity to equip
themselves for the real work of life. Youth is impatient
and is frequently tempted to break away from instruction
in order to make money. The result is low grade teachers,
inefficient business men and leaders but poorly equipped
for their task.

Prof. Hayes is a native of the sister State of South
Carolina, having been born at Chester on Dec. 20, 1881.
His father, Rev. P. R. Hayes, married Rebecca Hope. Rev.
Hayes was the son of Preston and Mary Hayes. The ma-
ternal gran* of Prof. Hayes were Aaron and Mary

Our subject was united in matrimony to Augusta Leona
Spruill on April 24, 1907. She was a daughter of Edward
and Estella Spruill.

Prof. Hayes attended school in both South Carolina
and North Carolina. He laid the foundation of his educa-
tion iii the public schools of South Carolina from which he
passed to the Lancaster N. & I. Institute, where he spent
two years. He then matriculated at Clinton College, Rock
Hill, from which he was graduated in 1902 as Salutatorian
of his class. At that time the family was living at Ker-
shaw and his church and Sunday School elected him a dele-
gate to the Young People's Congress held in Atlanta, Ga.,
the middle of that summer. He participated freely in
the deliberations of that great gathering. In the fall of the
same year he entered Livingstone College at Salisbury and
remained at that Institution until his graduation.

During his school days and since he has been prompted
and inspired by a desire to be a man of service in the



world. It was this, perhaps, which led to his taking up
the teaching profession in which he has made an enviable
record. His first school was at Plymouth, N. C, where for
three years he was Principal of the Eastern N. C. Indus-
trial High School. As a teacher he was successful from
the beginning. Indeed, while studying at Livingstone he
was often selected to take charge of classes in the lower
grades when the regular professors had to be absent, they
recognizing his aptitude for maintaining discipline and im-
parting instruction.

He went from Plymouth to Irmo, S. C, where in connec-
tion with the South Carolina Industrial School he had
charge of the development of 600 acres of land. He became
through this an active supporter, and a stock-holder, in the
South Carolina Colored Fair.

From Irmo he was called back to his Alma Mater, Clin-
ton College, as Principal of the Normal Department. Here,
too, he had charge of the Department of Publication and
edited the Clinton-Palmetto News. He remained at Clin-
ton for two years and resigned against the wishes of his
friends and officers of the school to accept the Principalship
of the Eastern N. C. Academy at New Bern. After two
years with this institution, where his work was such as
to make his going a source of regret to the Board and to his
friends, he accepted work in the city schools of New Bern
and since 1913 has been identified with the West Street
Graded School as head of the High School Department.
This school now (1920) has an enrollment of nearly eleven
hundred and is recognized as one of the largest and best col-
ored public schools in the State. Prof. Hayes has done his
part in making it so.

Prof. Hayes is an active member of the A. M. E. Zion
Church. He is a Mason and is Director of the Community
Forum, a civic organization. He believes that the con-
tinued progress of the race may be maintained by co-opera-
tion and education. His property interests are at New
Bern and Kershaw, S. C.

In 1916 Prof. Hayes was appointed, together with Pro-


fessors R. J. Crockett, R. J. Boulware and C. T. Hinton, to
the Educational Convocation of the South Carolina A. M. E.
.Zion Conference and their work not only brought money to
the denominational schools, but gave moral impetus to the
educational work in the State.

In 1917 Prof. Hayes served on a committee of citizens
which met a Senatorial Committee in Washington and ap-
pealed for a refund of the Freedmen's allowance to the older
people of the race.

In addition to his term teaching, Professor Hayes has
for the past several years been employed as an instructor
in the summer school work in the State.

Robert P. Wyche

It's a fine thing to live so that one comes to be an inte-
gral part of the social, educational and religious life of the
•community in which he resides. It is one of the onduring
satisfactions of such a life to watch the sown seed spring
up and come to fruitage. Such has been the experience of
Rev. Robert P. Wyche, A. B., A. M., D. D., the venerable
pastor of the Seventh Street Presbyterian Church of Char-
lotte, where he has preached for nearly forty years. This
is, in fact, his first and only pastorate. The good doctor
has lived to see many of the boys and girls who early
came into the church under his ministry grow up to man-
hood and womanhood, rear families who have in turn helped
to strengthen the work. In some instances he has had the
pleasure of baptizing the grandchildren.

Dr. Wyche was born near the old town of Oxford on
July 13, 1854. So it will be seen that he was a boy nearly
■eleven years of age when freed by the close of the war.

His father, Norwich Wyche, Jr., was a carpenter, and
was the son of Norwich Wyche, Sr. His mother, who be-
fore her marriage was Lucinda Bridges, was a daughter of
Henry Bridges, a public spirited man whose counsel was
.sought by those who knew him.



Dr. Wyche has been married twice. His first marriage
was to Isabella Butler, of Salem. Mrs. Wyche was one of
the most distinguished educators of the race and for nine-
teen years was principal of the Myers Street School, of
Charlotte, one of the largest public schools in the State.
She passed to her reward on August 13, 1906. On January
14, 1914, Dr. Wyche was united in matrimony to Sarah E.
Long, a daughter of George and Susan Long. They have
two children: Robert P., Jr., and Thomas Henry Wyche.

After the war young Wyche attended a private school
at Henderson. He did his preparatory work at what was
then Biddle Institute. For a time he worked in the day
and attended school at night. When he completed the pre-
paratory course, he secured a teacher's license and helped
himself through College by teaching. He won his A. B. de-
gree in 1877. He worked during the next year and then
look up his Theological course, which he completed in 1881.
Since that time both the A. M. and the D. D. degrees have
conferred on him by Biddle Univerity. He was converted
and came into, the work of the Presbyterian Church when
about 15 years of age. He early decided to devote his
life to the work of the ministry and for years been one of
the prominent figures of his denomination. A book could
and should be written about his work in Charlotte where
he has labored so long. The Church of which he is pastor
is the Mother of Biddle University. During his pastorate
many notable things have been accomplished. The old
chun-h was several times repaired. Finally it was torn
away and a modern brick house of worship erected at a cost
of twenty thousand dollars, but now worth more. As an
indication of the growth of the church it may be said that
both the congregation and the Sunday School are more
than five times as large as they were at the beginning of
the pastorate. The church has sent two Missionaries to
Africa and ministers and teachers to nearly every part of
America. Many of the leading educators of the race are
members of Dr. Wyche's church. He is a vigorous worker
•and devotes his whole time to the pastorate. Next aftei


the Bible his favorite reading consists of books of Travel
and the standard works on Poetry.

Dr. Wyche has traveled extensively both in this coun-
try and abroad. In 1910, he toured Palestine and parts of
Africa. Three years later he attended the Presbyterian
Alliance of the World at Aberdeen and World's Sunday
School Convention at Zurich. This gave him the oppor-
tunity of seeing much of Continental Europe as well as Eng-
land and Scotland. He has been Stated Clerk of the Ca-
tawbe Presbytery for thirty-three years and has been
Stated Clerk of the Synod of Catawbe for twelve years.
For eighteen years he has been Chairman of the Board of
Trustees of Biddle University. He is an ardent advocate
of better educational facilities for the youth.

Such, in brief, is the story of a man who though be-
ginning life as a slave, has found the largest freedom in a
life of service for others.

John Sinclair Perry

Most men in both business and professional lines enter
upon their work and then follow the routine of the beaten
path. A few, however, dare blaze new trails and become
pioneers. Among the young men of the latter class should
be mentioned Dr. John Sinclair Perry, Supt. and Treasurer
of the Mercy Hospital for colored people at Hamlet.

Dr. Perry has back of him some generations of suc-
cessful ancestors and has himself won distinction in more
lines than one, for in addition to his medcal work, he is
also an accomplished violinist who has been heard with
pleasure in concert work in many parts of the country. He
was born at Fayetteville, Sept. 9, 1885. His father, Dallas
Perry, was a successful architect and contractor of Fayette-
ville. He (Dallas Perry) was a close student of the Bible:
and one of the most devout men of the age. On his mother's;
side Dr. Perry has much to be proud of, his mother before

'*3I ^^ P^


her marriage was Mary Elizabeth Leary. She was a
daughter of Mathew N. Leary, a noted Abolitionist and
financier, and his wife Colostic (Willard) Leary, who was
of French descent. Dr. Perry's uncle, the late Louis S.
Leary, was one of the twenty-one men with John Brown at
Harper's Ferry, and another uncle, John S. Leary, was the
pioneer colored lawyer of North Carolina. Dr. Perry's
mother was a notable woman of fine Christian character
and a musician of more than local reputation. She was for
years director of music as well as organist at the Episcopal
Church in Fayetteville. At her death both races united in
mourning her and in paying the tributes due her.

Dr. Perry inherited his mother's talent for music and
after taking instructions from her also studied at the New
England Conservatory, Boston. As a boy he attended the
local schools, including the State Normal at Fayetteville,
completing the course there in 1904. He did his prepara-
tory work at Shaw Unversity and passed from that to the
College department, winning his A. B. in 1910. He began
his medical course at Leonard Medical College, but com-
pleted it at the University of West Tenn., Memphis, where
he won his M. D. degree in 1915. His summer vacations
were spent in the North at work. He also made his con-
cert work help out in the manner of expenses. Looking
back over the years of his boyhood and youth he regards
the influence of his mother and sister and rigid discipline
of his father as the most potent factors of his life. On com-
pletion of his medical course he located at Hamlet, where
he has since resided. He soon saw that Hamlet was stra-
tegically located for a hospital and set about its organiza-
tion. Associated with him are a number of leading physi-
cians and surgeons of the section, including specialists of
both races. Dr. Perry is Supt. and Treasurer and also as-
sistant surgeon of Mercy Hospital, which was established
in 1917.

On Nov. 4, 1916, Dr. Perry was married to Elizabeth
C. Christmas, a daughter of Lieut. H. S. and Lula (Huyler)
Christmas. They have one child, John S. Perry, Jr.


Dr. Perry is a member of the State and National Medi-
cal Associations and was active during the Influenza epi-
demic as well as prominent during the later war activities.
He is a member of the Episcopal church and belongs to the
Pythians. He believes the best interests of the race are
to be promoted "By placing within the reach of every one a
fair chance to obtain an education, by preaching righteous-
ness in every transaction, and by appealing first to the
white man's conscience and then demanding our rights."

John William Blacknall

Rev. John William Blacknall, a succesful Baptist pas-
tor, who lives on the outskirts of the little town of Garys-
burg, is also a good farmer. He is a native of Franklin Co.,
where he was born Dec. 5, 1870. His father, Starlin Black-
nall, was a farmer. His mother, before her marriage, was

Online LibraryArthur Bunyan CaldwellHistory of the American Negro and his institutions; (Volume 4) → online text (page 13 of 48)