Arthur Bunyan Caldwell.

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

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the needs of the rural communities, and founded co-opera-
tive societies for the purpose of helping his people in busi-
ness. Of course such a very able man turned loose in a
county like his must needs have built up great strength as
a general leader of his people, and became a great power
in politics. But he has never been a politician, and has
steadfastly refused to accept any sort of political position.
He has been a statesman and not a politician, but his influ-
ence has been so great that at one time when the colored
man acting as postmaster had the entire county against
him, Dr. Brown alone exerted influence enough at Washing-
ton to have him retained in position.

For more than a score of years, in fact, from the very
organization, he has been President of the Lott Carey For-
eign Mission Society, a body which was organized to over-
come the hostile attitude of many negro preachers toward
white people North and South, and at the same time to do
foreign mission work in Africa. The body has had won-
derful success in carrying out the objects for which it was
organized through the able leadership of Dr. Brown and

While Dr. Brown lives in a country town, he has trav-
eled very extensively in this country and in Europe, but
never has seen any place that he liked better than Winton,
because his heart is in that work. In Europe he wrote
back home wonderful articles narrating his observations
abroad, showing that he kept his eyes open and his head
working. In fact he made such an impression by his ob-
servations that his services were later on secured to
chaperon a company of his people in Europe, and he did
that work well as usual. He has also visited once or twice
the Island of Hayti, in the interest of Missions.

As a secret society man it may be that he wields an


even greater influence than in any other capacity. He
practically belongs to all of the leading orders, and has
been grand secretary of the Masons for thirteen years,
grand auditor of the Odd Fellows, a member of the finance
Committee of the Pythians, and in these positions he has
aimed to serve rather than to be benefited personally.

By politics Dr. Brown is a Republican, because of the
fact that it was this party that has lifted his people out
of slavery, and because of its liberal attitude toward his
people. His idea is that the best thing to do for the
Negro is to apply the law to him exactly like it applies to
all other American people, and do not discriminate against
him nor for him. As an educator he believs both in in-
dustrial and also college education for leaders of the people.
But the very best indication of what Dr. Brown stands for
as a leader and educator is to be found in the fact that he
lives in the country most of his time and loves the work
there, and the people white and colored love him. Another
indication of the kind of man he is is found in the fact that
he has not accumulated wealth for himself. He has not
thought of himself but only of others. If it had not been
for the fact that his wife inherited some money, which was
wisely invested in Winton, he would die a poor man, but he
perhaps will be able to live comfortably the rest of his life.

Dr. Brown was converted at the age of sixteen and al-
most immediately felt called to preach the Gospel. He was
licensed to preach by the Dixonville Baptist Church and
was ordained to the full work of the ministry in 1885.

He has been popular and successful as a pastor and has
served the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church for more than thirty
years. During that time a new house of worship has been
erected. He has pastored the New Hope Baptist Church
for thirty-five years, where the growth of the congregation
has necessitated building twice during his pastorate. A
new house of worship has also been erected at the Philippi
Baptist Church which he has served for more than thirty-
two years.

Dr. Brown's school work at Winton, wihich was begun


in 1886, has grown to large proportions. He has a plant
consisting of seven buildings worth at least $40,000.00, em-
ploys a faculty of nine and has an enrollment of between
300 and 400 pupils.

Dorman James Avery

There is scarcely a more enegetie man in the Baptist
denomination in Western North Carolina than Rev. Dorman
James Avery, D. D., pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church of
Gastonia. He has a thorough working knowledge of North
Carolina and an extensive acquaintance throughout the
State. He was born in the historic old county of Wake,
near Raleigh, on April 8, 1868. His father, Lewis Avery,
was a son of Toby Avery and Millie Poole. His mother's
name was Martha Avery. She was a daughter of Lewis
and Margaret Haywood.

The subject of our biography was married on April 10,
1901, to Lucy C. Burwell, of Kittrell, N. C, who was a
daughter of Rev. T. H. Burwell of that place. She taught
school before her marriage to Dr. Avery. They have two
children: James T. and Martha Avery, both of whom are
being educated in the best schools.

Young Avery laid the foundation of his education in
the public schools of Wake Co. and passed from there to
the Franklinton Training School. It was necessary for
him to make his own way in school after leaving the pub-
lic school. After reaching the point where he could secure
a teacher's license, he began teaching and then found the
way easier. He was converted and came into the work
of the church at the age of twelve. While still in his teens
he felt called to preach the Gospel and was licensed by the
Springfield Baptist Church when only eighteen. He took a
course in Theology at Shaw University from which he had
the B. Th. dgeree in 1900. In 1913 Friendship College of
Rock Hill, S. C, in recognition of his attainments conferred



on him the D. D. degree. He was ordained to the full
work o fthe ministry by his home church on April 17, 1892,
and has been actively in the ministry for nearly thirty
years. His first pastorate was Earp's Chapel in Johnson
Co., where he preached one year. He served Providence in
Wake Co. five years and repaired the house of worship ; Kit-
trell Baptist Church six years, and repaired the church, and
Graham four years, and remodeled the building. He was
then made Missionary for the State Convention (Co-opera-
tive) which held him for nearly four years. He resigned
that work to accept the call of the First Baptist Church,
Reidsville, N. C, which he pastored for nine years. The
church was repaired and every department of the work

From Reidsville he went to the Tupper Memorial
Church at Raleigh for two years and in 1916 accepted the
call to his present pastorate at St. Paul, Gastonia. A new
and modern pastor's home has been erected since his com-
ing to this work. Dr. Avery has also made his mark as an
educator. In addition to considerable work in the public
schools, he founded the Thomson Institute at Lumberton,
and presided over it for two years. During the same period
he also patsored the church at Piney Grove. He taught
four years in Rockingham Co. and has taught one year
since coming to Gastonia.

He is a clear thinking, progressive man whose work
has been marked by steady growth and development along
both financial and spiritual lines. He has baptized at
least two thousands 'persons and has had a fruitful ministry.

As he looks back over his life he reckons the influence
of one of his teachers, Prof. W. R. Hall, as one of the most
powerful factors affecting his career. Also Dr. D. A. Lane,
now of Washington, D. C, exerted a strong influence.

Dr. Avery is a Mason. He is a member of the Execu-
tive Board of his local association, a member of the Board
of Managers of the State Convention. He is also on the
Board of the Lott Carey Foreign Missionary Convention.
His favorite reading consists, after the Bible, of History


and the Classics. He believes the greatest single need of
the race is the right sort of education. Feeling the need
of a strong man as head of the work the Board of Trustees
of the Brinkley Academy, Brinkley, Ark., through the rec-
ommendation of Drs. T. O. Fuller, Memphis, Tenn., and S. N.
Vass, Raleigh, N. C, secured the services of Dr. Avery as
Principal of the School. He assumed the leadership of this
great school, in one of the most thriving and prosperous
sections of Arkansas, Oct. 13, 1919. With such thorough-
going and strong men backing this school, the most cordial
relation and kindly feelings between the races, the school
bids fair to be one among the best schools of its kind in
the State. Dr. Avery is assisted by a strong corps of
teachers and has bright prospects of being able to do a
work which will be an honor to him and reflect credit on
the race.

Reuben Ralph Cartwright

Among the Baptist sof Northeastern North Carolina,
there is no more forceful or popular minister than Reuben
Ralph Cartwright, who resides at Belcross, Camden Co.
The Rev. Dr. Cartwright has back of him years of success-
ful work as a pastor and leader. He is one of the most
highly respected citizens in Camden Co. He was born at
Belcross on August 27, 1888. His father, Miles Cartwright,
was a man of high standing, a blacksmith by trade, and his
mother, before her marriage, was Ann L. Jarvis. His pa-
ternal grandfather was a slave by the nme of David Calley.
On his mother's side, his grandparents were Reuben and
Matilda Relph, both slaves.

Beginning as a boy in the public schools, young Cart-
wright spent years in preparation for his work as a min-
ister. He passed from the public schools to Plymouth State
Normal and later attended the Roanoke Collegiate Institute
and finally the Afro- American Institute of Washington, D. C.



He was graduated from the Roanoke Institute in 1893 with
the degree of B. Th. The D. D; degree was conferred
upon him in 1912 by the Afro-American Institute. The
late Bishop Johnson was president of the institution at that

Dr. Cartwright grew up on the farm in Camden Co.,
near where he now resides. When about fourteen years of
age he joined the Baptist Church but it was in 1894, after
he had grown to manhood before he definitely determined to
enter the ministry. He was ordained to the full work of
the ministry by the Sawyer's Creek Baptist Church of Bel-
cross in 1895.

On June 8, 1898, Rev. Cartwright was married to Char-
ity L. Lilly, a daughter of Nancy and Thomas Lilly. To
this union were born five children, three boys and two girls.
The following survive: C. W. D., W. H. C, Marion A. and
Nola B. Cartwright.

Their mother (Charity) passed to her reward on June
29, 1908. These four children are being given the advan-
tage of high school and college education, and it is needless
to add that they are being given advantages which he lacked
in his youth.

On Dec. 28, 1910, Dr. Cartwright was married to Sarah
C. Martin of .Poplar Branch, N. C. She is the youngest
daughter of Joseph and Lydia Martin.

To this union have been born four children, three boys
and one girl. They are J. F. G., M. W. D., R. R. and
Annie L. Cartwright

Our subject had the misfortune to lose his father when
he was only ten years old, and being the youngest child of
the family, the other children married and scattered, and
he was left at home to care for his mother. Naturally,
this interfered with his schooling and yet he had the cour-
age and ambition to go ahead and equip himself for his
work in life. Even at that early age he was prompted by a
fervent desire to be of some service to his race and people.
All his life he has been a hard worker. Notwithstanding
the fact that he has been a busy man, he has traveled over


America from Maine to Mexico. Next after the Bible, he
finds the biographies of great men of special value in his

His first pastorate was the First Baptist Church of
Rich Square. In 1897 he was elected to fill a vacancy in the
faculty of Plymouth State Normal, where he remained as a
teacher for five years. He resigned this professorship to
accept a position as General Missionary of his denomina-
tion for the State of North Carolina, under the direction of
the Publication Board of the National Baptist Convention.

In 1901 he was called to the pastorate of Oak Grove at
Hickory, Virginia, which he served continuously for eigh-
teen years. He resigned this church in 1919 to accept the
pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Roper, N. C. In
the meantime, he has served a number of country churches
and was for fifteen years Moderator of the Northeast Bound
Union Meeting of Eastern North Carolina. When, in 1917,
he was selected Moderator of the Roanoke Baptist Associa-
tion he resigned the former position. The Roanoke Associ-
ation is the largest in the State. This body is composed of
74 churches, and has a membership of over 20,000.

Dr. Cartwright is a very capable leader. He is recog-
nized as one of the very best preachers and leaders of the
Baptist denomination in the State. The work of the As-
sociation has shown steady growth under his administra-

He is a Republican in politics. Among the secret or-
ders he belongs to the Masons and Odd Fellows. He owns
and has operated a farm near Belcross, and another near
St. Bride, Va. He lives at Belcross, where 'he has sur-
rounded himself with the comforts of life. He believes
the best interests of the race are to be promoted by a fair,
untrammeled opportunity, a square deal in governmental
affairs, and justice in the courts, as well as equal educa-
tional advantages with those of any other race.

William Gaston Pearson

Many of the most successful business and professional
men were blind to the opportunities that lay right around
them in their youth. So they went away to neighboring
States or distant cities to discover opportunities. Occasion-
ally one finds a wise man who could see the opportunities
at his door and who had the courage to mine his own dia-
monds. Such a man is Prof. William Gaston Pearson of
Durham, educator, organizer and banker. He is more than
that, he is a sort of institution in Durham. Perhaps the
best and simplest thing that can be said about his career
is that it has been carved out in Durham among the people
who know and understand him best and that at sixty he
has more friends than at any previous period in his life.

Prof. Pearson was born at Durham on April 11, 1859.
His parents were Geo. B. Pearson and Cynthia Ann Barbee.
Coming of school age just after the close of the War, the
boy went to the public school of Durham. He passed from
the public school to Shaw University from which he gradu-
ated with the A. B. degree after six years. That was in
1886. Prior to that time he had taught during two sum-
mer vacations. On completing his course at Shaw, he was
offered a place in the Durham schools which he accepted.
He has been identified with the schools of Durham continu-
ously since 1886 and is now Principal and Supervisor of
city high schools. Received degree A. M. in course at Shaw
University, Ph. D. Kitrell College, and A. M. 1919, Wilber-
force University. In every part of the State and in other
States are to be found successful men and women who went
to school to Prof. Pearson. He has long been a prominent
figure in the educational life of the State. He, has done,
perhaps, more Institute and Summer school work than
any other man of the race in the State. He was for two
years President of the State Teachers Association and for
many years its Treasurer.



Prof. Pearson has been quite as successful as a busi-
ness man as teacher. When he began teaching he managed
to link up some country school work in connection with his
city school so that when one stopped the other began. In
this way he taught continuously for twenty-four months.
His outlay for clothing amounted to five dollars. He in-
vested his earnings in real estate and built a house on one
lot for $320.00. After that, he would build a house every
year. Later still he reached a point where he could build
several a year. As this property enhanced much of it was
sold at a handsome profit and the proceeds re-invested. He
is a careful trader and a good judge of values.

He is Supreme Scribe of the Royal Knights of King
David, a Benevolent and Fraternal order with a membership
of twenty-two thousand. He has been identified with the
order for thirty years and may be said to be its organizer
in its present form. In this connection he publishes the
Royal Knight Herald, the official organ of the order. He is
also identified with the Masons and Pythians. He organ-
ized the Mechanics & Farmers Bank and was the first

On the death of the late John Merrick, Prof. Pearson
was made President of the Mechanics and Farmers Bank,
which position he resigned in 1920. In the summer of
1920 he organized the Fraternal Bank and Trust Co. of
Durham, with a capital stock of $125,000.00. He is the
President of this growing institution. The bank occupies
its own building on Fayetteville Street, erected at a cost
of $50,000.00. With years of business experience to guide
him and backed by ample capital, the institution should
have a great field.

Prof. Pearson is an active member of the A. M. E.
Church in which he is a trustee. He was for a long time
Superintendent of the Sunday School. He is a Republican
in National politics and has attended several Republican
National Conventions. In State politics he is independent.
He was a visitor to the 1920 General Conference of the
A. M. E. Church, which sat in St. Louis, Mo.


On June 6, 1893, Prof. Pearson was married to Minnie
R. Sumner of Charlotte. She was educated at Livingstone
College and was also an accomplished teacher for many

Such in a word is the story of one who began life un-
der the most adverse conditions but who by faithful effort
and persevering endeavor has made his life count in a large
way both for himself and the race.

Samuel Alexander Reid

The subject of this biography was for thirty years a
soldier in the United States army and during that period he
not only obtained a position which reflected credit on him-
self and on his race, but imbibed progressive and enlarged
views of subjects of public interest.

Samuel Alexander Reid. was born April 11, 1873, in
Township No. 12, Cabarrus Co., North Carolina. He still
makes his home in this county, his postoffice being Con-
cord. He was the son of James S. Reid, a farmer, and
Maggie Victoria (Boger) Reid. His further knowledge of
his ancestry is confined to the fact that his father was
freeborn and that his mother was a slave.

His education was obtained in the public schools of
Cabarrus Co. In 1893 he enlisted in the army in Chicago,
Illinois. Beginning as a private he served in all the enlisted
grades and for over twenty years held the position of 1st
Sergeant. The breaking out of the great world war gave
him his opportunity for advancement. But previous to this
time he traveled over the world. He had a desire to go to
College, but his ambition was thwarted by the poverty of
his parents. When he entered the army it had been with
the hope that later he might enter College. While this
wish was never realized, the thirst for learning which it
indicated led him to profit by the opportunities for culture
which travel gave him. In the course of his military career



he first saw service in Cuba during the Spanish-American
war, following- which he went to the Philippines for three
years on the first occasion and again, in 1907, spent two
years there. As opportunity offered he visited Hawaii,
Japan and China. His eager and inquisitive mind readily
absorbed the stores of instruction which travel in these
countries opened to him. At the same time he was drink-
ing at the fountain of inspiration opened by the world's
great books. The two great Puritan writers, John Bun-
yan and John Milton, through those great works "Pilgrim's
Progress," "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Regained," in-
troduced him to the realms of imaginative literature. His
love of military glory was stimulated by a study of the life
of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the needs of another side of
his nature were met by the life of the great negro leader,
Booker T. Washington.

At Fort Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 15, 1917, he was
commissioned a Captain and was assigned to the 317th Am-
munition train of the 92d Division. This Division reached
France in June, 1918, when the world war was at a critical
stage and was actively engaged in the Meuse sector of the
gigantic battle field from then on until victory crowned
the Allied Armies. At the close of the war, Captain Reid
retired from the service.

On April 11, 1911, Captain Reid married Bessie Louise
Moore, a daughter of James M. and Laura Moore, of Con-
cord. She was educated at the Emanuel Lutheran College
of Greensboro and was before her marriage a teacher. They
have no children of their own, but have one adopted son,
Buford L. Reid, who is now about six years old.

He is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He also
belongs to the United Spanish War Veterans and to the Mili-
tary Order of the Serpent. During the time of his military
career he was an officer in each of these organizations, but
has not held office in either of them since his retirement.

Captain Reid is intensely interested n the progress of
his own race. His early ambition for a college education, his.


observation and study during the travel incident to his mili-
tary career and his study of the lives of great leaders have
combined to impress him with the importance of education.
Next to this he stresses the importance for the Negro of
saving money and owning his own home, and in this respect
he has himself set a worthy example. He has also been
impressed with the importance of more progressive meth-
ods of work on the part of both the preachers and the teach-
ers of his race. He is Physical Instructor at Lutheran

Floyd Joseph Anderson

Among the strong men of the Presbyterian Church in
North Carolina coming from Virginia is Rev. Floyd Joseph
Anderson, D. D., who now (1919), has the chair of Mental
and Moral Philosophy at Biddle University.

He is a native of Jetersville, Va., where he was born
April 19, 1870. His father, Robert Anderson, was a farmer.
He was the son of John and Lucinda Anderson. His mother,
Mary J. Anderson, was a daughter of Catherine Alford.

Young Anderson went to the local public school.
When it came to securing a college education the boy
was confronted with the necesisty of making his own way.
He did not allow this to discourage him, however. He en-
tered the Preparatory Department of Biddle University and
was graduated from that institution as Valedictorian of his
class in 1897. He has from Biddle the degrees of A. M.
and D. D. He spent several vacations at the North, at
hotel work, in order that he might continue his course at
college without a break.

Early in life he chose that good part of which the Mas-
ter spoke and decided to enter upon the work of the Gos-
pel ministry. His first pastorate was at Charleston, S. C,
in 1900. He also preached for a while at Camden, S. C.
Following this he was Sabbath School Missionary for some



months during- which time he was located at Jackson, Miss.,
In the fall of 1902 he was called to return to his Alma Ma-
ter as Professor of Latin. He held that position for five
years, when he was transferred to the chair of Mental and
Moral Philosophy, where he remained for a dozen years.
In the meantime he has done special work in Latin at How-
ard University.

On June 19, 1901, Dr. Anderson was married to Emma
Richie, a daughter of Win. J. and Clara F. Richie of Abbe-
ville, S. C. She was educated at Scotia Seminary and was
before her marriage, an accomplished teacher in Charlotte
City Schools. They have four children: Floyd J., Jr.,
Robert R., James W. and Clara N. Anderson.

Dr. Anderson was licensed to preach by the Presbytery
of Southern Virginia in 1899 and ordained the following
year. He is a prominent figure in denominational gather-
ings. He has served as Moderator of the Presbytery of
Catawba and Moderator of the Synod of Catawba and was a
Commssioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian

Online LibraryArthur Bunyan CaldwellHistory of the American Negro and his institutions; (Volume 4) → online text (page 18 of 48)