Arthur Bunyan Caldwell.

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

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Church of the U. S. A., which met at Atlantic City.

Dr. Anderson believes that the greatest present need
of the race is equal opportunity along educational and in-
dustrial lines. His, favorite reading is Biography. His
property interests are at Charlotte, where he owns an at-
tractive home.

Although giving his talents to teaching, Dr. Anderson
frequently supplies the pulpit, to which he brings the dis-
tinction of scholarly eloquence.

William Sherman Turner

Prof. William Sherman Tinner, A. M., who may be put
down as one of the progressive and efficient young men of
the Baptist denomination in the State, is making his mark
both as a minster and as an educator. He was born in
Stokes Co. on Sept. 1. I! and obscurity


struggled up to his present place of large usefulness. The
way was not easy, especially in the early days of his life
when the school term lasted no more than three months
and the school house was a one room log cabin.

Sometime and somewhere during those days there grew
in the mind of the boy a steadiness and devotion to purpose
and a belief in the ultimate triumph of its right which,
while not formulated at the time, accounts for his success.
So it came to pass that the boy who plugged away in the
one room log school house after a while went to the Univer-
sity of Chicago, and he who struggled manufully with the
simple elementary studies, caught a world vision and was
prepared for leadership in the troublous times now upon us.
His parents were William A. and Mary Jane (Hughes)

Passing from the public school, Rev. Turner spent a
part of a year at the A. & M. College, Greensboro, N. C, and
later attended the Slater State Normal at Winston-Salem
and then taught for nine years in Stokes Co. before going to
college. He matriculated at Shaw University where he won
his A. B. degree in 1910. He has the B. Th. from the same
institution. After the completion of his course at Shaw he
entered the University of Chicago, where he won his A. M.
degree in 1913. Thus equipped he was called back to his
Alma Mater and since 1913 has taught in that institution.
He has the chair of Social and Religious Sciences.

When about twenty years of age, young Turner was
converted and joined the Baptist Church. Soon after he
felt called to preach and in 1908 was ordained to the full
work of the ministry. His first pastorate was at Graham
during his student days which lasted two years. He
was in the Y. M. C. A. work at Knoxville one year. Since
then he has been in the active ministry supplying churches
in various parts of the State. His favorite reading includes
books of History, Philosophy and Theology. In politics he
is an Independent.

On Aug. 31, 1916, he was married to Dora D. Barber,


who was also educated at Shaw, and who was before her
marriage a teacher.

Rev. Turner is of the opinion that "education in citizen-
ship and religion, and the full guarantee of civil and politi-
cal rights," are essential to the permanent progress of the

James Boyd Ellis

It has been noted many times that the Negro preachers
have as a rule laid emphasis in their preaching on the Scrip-
tures. Some of the white preachers might wander off
into preaching politics, sociology, ethics, or literary criti-
cism, but the Negro preacher is generally found standing
by the old Book.

A worthy representative of this type is Rev. James
Boyd Ellis, of Burlington, Alamance Co., N. C. He was
born Oct. 13, 1877, the son of John Ellis and Fannie
(Thompson) Ellis. The place of his birth being Leesburg,
N. C. As his father was a minister of the Gospel, he
stands worthily in the line of apostolic succession.

He was married September 25, 1901, to Doskie Graves,
daughter of James and Susan Graves. This union has been
blessed by one son, James Ellis, Jr.

James B. Ellis received his education in the prepara-
tory school at Leesburg, N. C. He was converted when
about seventeen. In early manhood he felt called to preach
the Gospel. In 1899, he was ordained to the full work of
the ministry by the New Light Baptist Church at Greens-
boro ,and has since been actively engaged in preaching the
Gospel. Great success has crowned his efforts in the min-
istry. Churches have grown in number, and converts by
the hundred have been gathered into their fellowship.

The first church to which Mr. Ellis was called as pas-
tor was the New Light Baptist Church at Greensboro,
which he has continued to serve to the present time (1920).



At that time the church had twenty members, now it has
more than five hundred, and a new house of worship has
been built. He served the church at Haw River eleven
years and remodeled that church. He has pastored the
Baptist Church at Gibsonville for seven years and erected
a new church edifice.

During his ministry, he has led over six hundred con-
verts into the baptismal waters. Mr. Ellis, by visiting-
some of the principal cities of the country, has broadened
his knowledge of men and affairs and has ever been an ob-
servant student of his times. He is profoundly convinced
that the greatest need of the black race, as of the white,
is that the members of the race shall put into their conduct,
in every station of life, a reverence for God's holiness and
obedience to His commands. He is fond of applying to the
problems of our time the ,fme old Bible sentiment,
"Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to
any people." He believes that when white and black do
the will of God and apply the principles of Christianity to
their relations with one another, prosperity will attend their

His home is at Burlington, N. C, and he is pastor of
the churches at Gibsonville and Greensboro. He has a
stake in the prosperity of the country since he has accumu-
lated property of considerable va 1 . and is recognized as
one of the substantial and self-respecting citizens of his
community. He is leading his people in the pursuit of those
things which will contribute to their highest and most per-
manent well being.

Rev. Ellis is Vice-Moderator of the High Point Associa-
tion and was active in all the drives and campaigns during
the war. Next after the Bible, his favorite reading is His-
tory. As he looks back over the days of his boyhood, he is
of the opinion that the influence of his father was the most
potent in shaping his character.

Andrew Jackson Corde

Rev. Andrew Jackson Corde now (1920) presiding over
the Morganton District, resides at Hickory, and is one of
the most substantial men of the A. M. E. connection in the
Old North State. Though he has for a long time been iden-
tified with North Carolina, he is a native of Fairfield Co.,
S. C, where he was born August 1, 1860, just before the
outbreak of the war. His father, Frank Corde, was a shoe-
maker and his mother, before her marriage, was Rebecca
Gilliard and was all her life a laundress. His paternal
grandparents were Frank and Lucy Corde.

Our subject grew up in the old town of Winnsboro,
and coming to school age just after the close of the war,
attended the Fairfield Normal Institute. He remained till
graduation in 1880. After entering upon the work of the
ministry, he attended Morris Brown University at Atlanta,
from which he was graduated in 1906, his work there being
in the Theological department. Some idea of how eager he
was for an education may be gained from the fact that
while attending the Normal at Winnsboro it was necessary
for him to make his own way, which he did by working in
a brick yard and doing other manual labor during his vaca-
tions. When he was able to secure a teacher's license, in
1877, he began work as a teacher, a profession which he
followed for a number of years. His first school was in
Fairfield Co. Later he taught in Union and Laurens Coun-
ties, South Carolina.

While in school, he read the life stories of some of the
great men of history and was led by their example and ex-
perience to undertake great things for himself. He was
converted when sixteen years of age and joined the A. M. E.
Church. He was convinced of the splendid field for service
in the ministry, and consecrated himself to that work in
1884. He joined the Conference at Columbia under Bishop
Shorter and has since forged steadily ahead in the ministry



of the Gospel. His first appointment was to the Blythe-
wood Circuit which he served for two years. A new house
of worship was erected at Piney Grove. He went from
there to the Bethlehem Circuit for two years and built
Walnut Grove Church, after which he went to Pleasant
Grove Circuit for two years. His next appointment was to
the Coldwell Circuit, which he served for two years, and
while there repaired the church at Coldwell and built a new
one at Macedonia.

In 1904, he was transferred to the North Carolina Con-
ference and served the Nashville Circuit one year, organiz-
ing a new A. M. E. Church at Rocky Mount and erecting a
new house of worship. After that he served Goldsboro
Circuit two years and went from there to Kittrell College
.as college pastor. In 1908 the degree of D. D. was con-
ferred on him by that institution. From Kittrell he went
to the Milton Circuit, and while there was Principal of the
Graded School. He preached for two years on the Pleas-
ant Garden Circuit and remodeled three churches.

He was then promoted to station work and sent to
Reidsville where he preached for two years, and from there-
went to the Liberty Circuit from which he was sent to the
Hickory Station. He went from Hickory to Efland Circuit
and from there to Chapel Hill, where he had previously-
preached while stationed at Kittrell. After that he
preached on the Guilford College Circuit and the Hillsboro
Circuit. It was while at the latter place that he was ap-
pointed by Gov. Kitchen a representative to the Third Na-
tional Educational Conference at St. Paul, Minn., where he
spoke on Negro Opportunities. He also interested himself
in a local school while at Hillsboro and saw the Hillsboro^
High School established and in operation before he left

On leaving Hillsboro, he went to the old town of Pitts-
boro, and from there to Graham, where he preached for
two years and remodeled the church. He passed from there?
to the Rutherfordton Circuit.


In 1917 he was promoted to the Morganton District,
over which he has presided till the present (1920).

Though born in obscurity on a poor South Carolina
farm, Dr. Corde has forged ahead and made a place for
himself in the life of his people. By hard work and care-
ful economy he has accumulated considerable property.

On Aug. 9, 1883, Dr. Corde was married to Fannie
Williams, a daughter of James and Fannie Williams of
White Oak, S. C. They have been unfortunate in that only
three of the seven children born to them survive. Their
names are Minnie M. (Mrs. Faucette), Hattie O. and An-
drew Jackson Corde, Jr.

Dr. Corde has very clear ideas as to what is necessary
"to race progress and development. He believes that first
of all the race should have proper educational opportuni-
ties. After that, they should be given equal protection and
opportunities as citizens and before the courts. He contends
with reason that the Negro is a law-abiding citizen and that
given the right sort of chance, will work out for himself a
destiny that is worth while.

Henry Clay Mabry

It has been said that "the great lesson of biography
is to show what man can be and do at his best. A noble
life put fairly on record acts like an inspiration to others."
Viewed from this point the life and service of Dr. Henry
Clay Mabry of Raleigh is a real asset not only to his denomi-
nation but to the race as well. He is a native of Lexington,
where he was born on Nov. 10, 1853. His mother, Elizabeth
Mabry was a daughter of Warren Payne and Patsey Mabry.
It will be seen that our subject was a boy twelve years of
age at the close of the war and, of course, had not been given
any schooling up to that time. After Emancipation, he
was taught his first lesson by his former young mistress,
-who taught him morning and evening and gave him two


dollars a month for his services about the place. This was
the beginning of a career which led to a career of large serv-
ice and usefulness both as an educator and as a minister
of the Gospel. He attended the Presbyterian Parochial
School one year. When he aspired to a higher education and
proposed going to Lincoln University, he was discouraged
by his doctor who advised him that he would not live three
months. Contrary to this dire prediction he has not only
lived to be almost the allotted three score and ten but has
filled the years with work and service. He went to Lincoln
in 1868 and won his A. B. degree in 1873.

Young Mabry began teaching in 1871, and organized
the first colored graded school in North Carolina. Some of
his earlier vacations were spent at summer seashore resorts
in hotel work. After completing his College course he took
up the Theological course which led to the B. Th. degree
in 1883. He taught for a little more than a year at Bennett
College. In 1879 he went to Franklinton where he remained
for about five years and organized the Albion Academy
which has grown into an institution of importance. He has
in a way been a pioneer and his work both along educational
and religious lines has been of a constructive character. He
has sought to do foundation work rather than build on the
foundation laid by another. He has made it a rule to go, not
to the most attractive fields nor to see how long he could
remain, but rather to thoss places which have offered the
largest opportunities for service.

Rev. Mabry's first pastorate was at Chadbourn, where
he built the first church erected in that prosperous town.
In fact he organized the church. For the first three months
his pulpit was a saw log. He also enjoys the distinction of
having planted the first strawerries in that section where
strawberries have come to be such a profitable crop. He
remained on that work for five years and erected a new
house of worship, said at the time to be the most attractive
church in the county. True to his training he carried on
school work in connection with his preaching. From Chad-
bourn he went to Fayetteville, where he preached and


taught for nearly three years. Here he first repaired the
old church and later laid the foundation of the present
Presbyterian Church. In 1891 he was called to Biddle Uni-
versity as Dean of the Theological Department and remained
with that institution for two years when he resigned to go
to Petersburg, Va., where he labored for two years and nine
months. At the end of that time there was an urgent de-
mand for his services again at Chadbourn. So he returned
to that field and with characteristic zeal entered upon the
work. In less than three years a church was built at Vine-
land and a graded school organized for the twin cities of
Vineland and Whitewille.

In 1900 Rev. Mabry moved to Raleigh, where he has
since resided. He pastored the Davie Street Presbyterian
Church for nearly eleven years and ran a private school
which grew to an enrollment of a hundred boys and girls.
The Raleigh work grew and prospered under his direction.
Since resigning that pastorate, he has served at Goldsboro,
Holly Springs and now at Maxton. For seven years he was
principal of the graded school at Wake Forest and is now
(1919) head of the school at Apex.

Before getting into the pastorate he was rather active
in politics till impressed by his deliverance from an accident
that his work lay in other directions. From that time to
the present he has devoted himself with singleness of pur-
pose to the spiritual and intellectual development of his peo-
ple and has had the enduring satisfaction of seeing many of
the converts of his early ministry and students in his vari-
ous schools grow into manhood and womanhood and take
their places in their communities as heads of families and as
good citizens. There is scarcely a man in the Presbyterian
Church in North Carolina whose work is more widely
known or who is personally held in higher esteem than Dr.
Mabry. He has during his long ministry brought into the
church a large number of members.

On March 3, 1874, he was married to Sarah Rebecca
Denny of Westchester, Pa. She was educated at Morton's
Academy. Dr. and Mrs. Mabry reared an intelligent and


interesting family of six daughters. They have however,
been called to go through the deep waters as five of the
children have gone to their reward in advance of their par-
ents. One daughter, Mrs. E. T. Tillman, survives. There
are two grandchildren.

Dr. Mabry has held almost every official position in the
gift of his denomination. He has been moderator of his
Presbytery and Synod and is Chairman of the Committee on
Ministerial Relief and Sustentation ; and has for twenty
years been Chairman of the Committee on Ministerial Re-
lief. He enjoys the distinction of having sent nineteen
young men into the ministry.

Such in brief is the story of a man born in slavery.
He has lived to see his people emancipated from slavery
and has done a mans' work in freeing them from the slavery
of superstition and ignorance.

McDuffie Bowen

The old county of Columbus, North Carolina, has con-
tributed to the business and professional life of the race,
several remarkable men. Among those who have made a
place for themselves in the medical fraternity is Dr. McDuf-
fie Bowen, of Wilmington. He was born near Whiteville
during the war, on April 14, 1862. His father, John A.
Bowen, was a son of John and Susan Bowen. His mother,
before her marriage, was Miss Lucy Ann Dew.

Young Bowen worked on the farm until manhood. His
education, up to that time, had been confined to the local
public schools. On June 16, 1881, he was happily married
to Amy Oxendine of Robeson Co. Realizing their lack of
training, and both being anxious to be of some real service
to the world, they entered school together after their mar-
riage. Their financial condition was such, however, at that
time, that it was not practicable for them both to continue
in school. Accordingly, the wife dropped out for a while


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and this permitted the Doctor to go ahead with his course,
which he completed in 1895. Such was the record he made
as a student that when through school, he was offered a
professorship at Shaw and remained with that institution
till 1907. Later, Mrs. Bowen resumed her studies at col-
lege, winning her A. B. degree in 1905.

After finishing his medical course at Leonard, Dr.
Bowen also did post-graduate work at Chicago. He prac-
ticed in Raleigh until 1907, when he removed to Wilmington,
where he has since resided and has built up a large general

During the administration of Governor Russell, he was
appointed physician to the Institution for the Deaf, Dumb
and Blind at Raleigh for colored peopl°, and handled this
trust in such a way that he was continued in this position
by the succeeding Democratic Governors, Aycock and Glenn.

Before going to Shaw, Dr. Bowen taught school for
several years in Columbus Co. His favorite reading, after
his professional books, is History and Current Literature.

Dr. Bowen is identified with both the State and National
Medical Societies. He belongs to the Baptist denominaton,
and is treasurer of the trustee board of his local church.
Among the secret orders he holds membership in the Masons
and Pythians. He took an active part in war work, be-
longing to the Volunteer Medical Corps, but was not called
into the service. His principal investments are in and
around Wilmington.

John Andrew Blume

Winston-Salem, now the largest city in North Carolina,
has long been noted for its progressive business men of both
races. Among the successful Negro men of the city, who
have risen from the ranks to Drominence in the business
life of the community, must be mentioned John Andrew
Blume, of the Winston-Salem Mutual Insurance Company,



and Treasurer of the Citizens' Bank & Trust Company. He
is, in the best sense of the word, a "self-made man." This
appears both in his education and in his business career.

Mr. Blume was born at Friendship, in Guilford Co., on
March 16, 1874. At an early age he moved to Forsyth Co.,
where he attended the public schools. By working in the
tobacco factories he was able to earn the money on which he
went to college. He attended Livingston College, at Salis-
bury, but did not remain to fully complete the course. He
has never sought to win success by any short cuts but has
always believed in industry and honesty. His success as a
business man has been built on this solid foundation.

On returning from school, he entered the employ of the
Winston Mutual Life Insurancce Company and made such
a record that in a short while he was promoted to Gen-
eral Manager of the concern, which position he held for
ten years. He was not a man to be contented with a subordi-
nate position when a higher or better one was within his
reach, so three years ago he was promoted to the Presidency,
which has brought great prosperity to the institution. He
has invested his earnings wisely and has lived to see values
grow by leaps and bounds in his adopted city. He was for
a long time identified with the Forsyth Savings & Trust
Company as stockholder, director and Vice President. With
the organization of the Citizens' Bank & Trust Company,
he was selected as the logical man for Treasurer on account
of his means and splendid business ability.

Mr. Blume is a member of the A. M. E. Zion Church
of which he is a member of the Board of Trustees and of
the Building Committee. In politics he is a Republican and
is a Notary Public under appointment by the Governor.

On July 1, 1904, Mr. Blume was married to Miss Cora
B. Clement, a daughter of Rufus and Bettie Clement, of
Winston-Salem. Mrs. Blume was educated at Livingston
College and taught Domestic Science in the city schools of
Winston-Salem. They have an attractive home on East
9th Street.

Mr. Blume is prominent in the work of the secret orders


and benevolent societies. As a Mason, he is Deputy Grand
Master of North Carolina ; he is also Deputy Grand Master
of the Odd Fellows. lie is Supreme Inner Guard of the
Supreme Lodge of K. of P., N. A. S. A. and E. A. A. A.,
and is Endowment Secretary for the North Carolina juris-
diction Grand Court N. C. Order of Calanthe. In addition to
this he is Supreme Representative of the Supreme Lodge,
K. P. North Carolina, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa
and Australia, representing the N. C. jurisdiction.

He believes that progress will be made by working hard
at all times, saving something of what we make, investment
in well selected property and enterprises and in cultivating
the friendly regard of all, but more especially of those who
can help us in time of need.

James Daniel Martin

Prof. James Daniel Martin, A. B., A. M., Ph.D., Pro-
fessor of Latin and History at Biddle University may be
said to stand as an exponent of one generation of freedom
as he was born May 9, 1864, after the Emancipation Procla-
mation had been issued but before freedom was an accom-
plished fact. True, not all members of the race have made
the same progress, but his life and work show what a boy
can do, even when early environment is against him. Prof.
Martin was born at Mechanicsville, in Sumter Co., S. C.
His father, John Martin, became an extensive planter after
the war, having purchased land in 1872. His mother, who,
before her marriage, was Miss Eliza Porter, was a daughter
of Frank and Sookey Porter. Prof. Martin's paternal grand
parents were Peter Doctor Martin and Elsie Martin. The
gradparents on both sides were slaves.

On Sept. 20, 1893, Prof. Martin was married to Miss
Catherine Cleveland Dibble of Sumter, S. C. She was a
daughter of Andrew H. and Elizabeth L. Dibble. She was
educated at Claflin University. Of the nine children born



to them six are living. These are John F., James Dwight,

Online LibraryArthur Bunyan CaldwellHistory of the American Negro and his institutions; (Volume 4) → online text (page 19 of 48)