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teachers. He had set his heart on Medicine, however, and
so entered Howard University at Washington. After pur-
suing the course for two years, he was in 1885, induced to
heed the urgent call of his Alma Mater and so returned to
Biddle, where for thirty-five years he has taught without
a break.

As a student Dr. Davis was popular and gave consider-
able attention to college athletics. During the years he
has traveled well over America. He is a close observer, a
clear thinker, an extensive reader and a most interesting
conversationalist. His ability as a teacher was soon recog-
nized and he was at different times Secretary and Presi-
dent of the State Teachers Association. He was also the
conductor for twenty consecutive sessions of the North Car-
olina State Summer Schools.

Dr. Davis takes no active part in local politics, though
in National matters he is a Republican. Nor is he identi-
fied with the secret orders. He is, of course, an active mem-
ber of the Presbyterian Church.

As he has studied conditions, local and general, by per-
sonal contact with men and through the books, he has
reached some definite conclusions as to the outstanding
needs of the people. He has no ready made panaceas. He
believes that permanent progress must rest on such funda-
mental things as the development of character, the securing
of education and the accumulation of property.

On Sept. 19, 1891, Dr. Davis was married to Miss Eliza-
beth Gaston, a daughter of Aexander H. and Parmelia
Gaston. Of the seven children born to them five are liv-
ing. They are Fannie C, Hattie G., Alexander G., Celeste
C, and Gladys E. Davis.

Dr. Davis owns a comfortable home near 'Biddle Uni-
versity, where he has surrounded himself with the comforts
of life.

John Wesley Anthony Blake

Religion and education go hand in hand. Not a few
of the religious leaders of the race 'have also made a name
for themselves as practical educators and have thus multi-
pied their influence in the lives of others. One of these
men who for nearly a generation has been going in and
out before the people in South Carolina and North Carolina
is Rev. John Wesley Anthony Blake, D. D., of Concord.
He is a native of Chester County, S. C, having been born
near Richburg on Feb. 8, 1873. His father, James Blake,
was a devout member of the A. M. E. Zion Church in which
he was a class leader. He lived on a farm and also made
horse collars when that work was still done by hand. He
was a son of Ben and Celia Blake. Ben Blake was a suc-
cessful farmer. Rev. Blake's mother, before her marriage
was Miss Drucilla Stevenson. She was a daughter of An-
thony Stevenson.

On March 8, 1897, Dr. Blake was married to Miss Sarah
L. Crosby. In 1916 she passed to her reward and on July
10, 1918, Dr. Blake was married a second time to Miss Ethel
N. Norwell, a daughter of Simon and Ziporah Norwell.
There are two children, Calista E. (Mrs. Stockton) and
Ruth E. Blake, both b yhis first wife.

Dr. Blake has had a hard struggle to fit himself for
his work in life. In his boyhood days the public schools to
which he went ran only two or three months a year. Added
to this was the fact that he was under the necessity of
making his onw way when he went to college. He did not
allow this to discourage him, (however, and entered Brainerd
Normal at Chester. After reaching the place where he
could secure a teachers license the way was easier and find-
ing the work of teaching congenial and offering a large field
of usefulness, he has continued in that work. For thirty
years he has been teaching in the two states of South Car-
olina and North Carolina. He was converted about the age



of twelve and joined the church in which he had been
brought up. He graduated from Brainerd Institute in

Having decided to take up the work of the Gospel min-
istry he went to Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta,
for (his Theological Course and did special work at Clark
University and Pee Dee College. He has the D. D. degree
from the latter.

Early in life he took for his motto : "Be ready to every
good work." Added to this has been the influence of an
humble though Christian training, which disciplined him
in an honest upright life.

Dr. Blake joined the Conference at Chester, S. C, in
1893, and has preached at various places in Lancaster and
York Counties, South Carolina, and also at Blacksburg,
Gaffney, and Clio, in South Carolina. In North Carolina
he has pastored the churches at Grover, Monroe, Wades-
boro, Fayetteville, Maxton, Hertford and Concord. His
work has been marked by growth in membership and in
spiritual power and numerous church improvements have
been made under his administration. As many as one 'hun-
dred and fifteen have been converted in one revival. He
has attended four General Conferences of his denomination.
In his reading he gives first place to the Bible. After that
comes the works of John Wesley and the Cyclopedias. He
is President of the Christian Endeavor and among the secret
orders is identified with the Eastern Star. His standing
locally may be judged from the fact tihat he is President of
the Ministers Union of Concord. Both as pastor and as
evangelist he has had a fruitful ministry and has brought
many new members into the church. He believes in a
"high standard of home or family circle life and a Christian
standard lifted up by each school teacher with an active
parent teacher organization co-operating in all moral, reli-
gious and civic uplift."

Dr. Blake is one of the prominent figures in the work of
the Varick Christian Endeavor Movement.

Eli Benjamin Thompson

The Rev. Eli Benjamin Thompson, B. Th., of Durham,
is a native of Robeson Co. and has with singleness of pur-
pose devoted the mature years of his life to the Baptist
ministry. He was born April 6, 1888. His father was
Joihn H. Thompson, a son of John and Mariah Thompson.

Rev. Thompson's mother was, before her marriage, Miss
Amelia Ashley, a daughter of Robert and Sarah Ashley.

As a boy young Thompson worked on the farm and as a
student in the public schools was apt and steady. He was
converted when about fourteen years of age and joined the
Sandy Grove Baptist Church at Lumberton, N. C.

He attended the National Training School at Dunham,
and was graduated from the Theological Department of
that institution with the B. Th. degree May 18, 1914.

On Nov. 4 of the same year he was married to Miss
Tola W. Burton, a daughter of Charles M. Burtin, of Rox-
boro. She was educated at Shaw University and was be-
fore her marriage a teacher. They have two children, Eli
B., Jr. and Cordell R. Thompson.

Young Thompson was licensed to preach in 1910 by
the White Rock Baptist Church of Durham. The follow-
ing year he was ordained to the full work of the Gospel
ministry by the same churclh. His attitude toward an edu-
cation may be judged from the fact that he remained in
school under difficulties. It was not only necessary for him
to make his own way but he also had to help support the
family at home. Both as pastor and as evangelist he has
been successful. His first pastorate was Mt. Gilead, at
Durham, wthere in a single year the membership grew from
about thirty to nearly ninety. He served the Second Bap-
tist Church of Roxboro for a little more than a year and a
half and added forty to the membership of the church. He
then accepted the call of the Lawson Chapel Baptist Churclh
ten miles east of Roxboro and during a pastorate of two



years added forty members to that congregation. His next
pastorate was the Red Mountain Church at Rougemont,
where in one year thirty new members were added to the
roll. He has served the Rocky Springs Baptist Church at
Creedmore for three years and added one ihundred new mem-
bers. He has only recently gone to the Prospect Hill Bap-
tist Church of Woodsdale, but already the work there has
responded to his efforts and sixty persons have come into
the church. He is also serving the Jonathan Creek Church
at Nelson, Va. As a result of :his evangelistic work in this
(1919) season alone nearly one hundred and fifty conver-
sions have been witnessed. He is a member of the Pythians.
Speaking of race conditions he advocates "better home train-
ing and a more competent leadership, spiritually, morally,
socially and intellectually. This will be the greatest demand
that can be made on envy, strife and hatred, which exists
between the races."

Albert Witherspoon Pegues

Albert Witherspoon Pegues, A. B., A. M., Ph. D., D. D.,
is one of the most influential of the! leaders of the colored
people in North Carolina. He was born at McFarlan, N. C,
Nov. 25, 1859, and passed his younger days in South Caro-
lina. His mother's name was Adeline Pegues, and she was
devoted to her son, and first gave him a start in the schools
when he was quite young. However, young Pegues was
made of such stuff that he was not long a care to his
mother, but from the age of twelve years he had depended
mainly upon his own efforts. He attended the public schools
of Cheraw, S. C, at a young age, and later on Benedict Col-
lege, Columbia, S. C. He afterwards attended the Richmond
Institute, Richmond, Vr., and finally attended and graduated
from Bucknell University at Lewisburg, Pa., June, 1886.
He received from time to time small scholarships from



friends in the North at the different Institutions that made
it possible for ihim to pull through school together with his
own small earnings.

After graduation he began his public career at Parkers-
burg, W. Va., where he became principal of the high school,
but he only remained there for one year. In 1887 he was
called to a position at Sthaw University, Raleigh, N. C, and
he was dean of the college department for six years. As
teacher and dean he was personally quite acceptable to
faculty and students, and his work was noted for efficiency
and faithfulness. He resigned the position at Shaw to
accept the work of Sunday School Missionary of the Ameri-
can Baptist Publication Society for the State, and served a
few years in that position, resigning to accept the superin-
tendency of the colored department of the North Carolina
State School for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind, located at Ral-
eigh, his home town. He served here several years, and
resigned to accept other work, but it was not long before
he returned to the same institution and finally completed
fifteen years of service there altogether, counting his two
separate terms of service. When he first left this institu-
tion it was to return to Shaw University, but not for col-
lege work, but to take a position in the Theological Depart-
ment, and he spent ten years in the work of that depart-
ment. It can be well seen that Dr. Pegues has been closely
associated with the young men and women of yesterday
who became the leaders of their people today, and the result
is that he stands in very close relation to the leaders of the
Negro Baptists in the State, and wields a great influence
among them. In 1919 he accepted again a position that
called ihim back to Shaw University Theological Department
to do work a part of the year and to spend the other part of
the year in field work over the State. In this position he is
supported jointly by the white and colored Baptist Conven-
tions of the State. He has only recently started out on
that work, but no one who is acquainted with Dr. Pegues
expects anything but a marked degree of success to follow
his efforts.

Dr. Pegues has for many years sustained quite a close


relation to the Sunday School and young people's work in
the State of the Baptist denomination as Corresponding
Secretary of the Baptist State S. S. Convention. In that
position he has helped to improve the Sunday School work
of the State. At the same time he has also held various
positions on the boards of the regular Baptist State Con-
vention, and has taken a vital part in the operation of the
Negro Baptists of the State.

There is hardly a colored man in the State that is bet-
ter read than Dr. Pegues, and his reading is generally of
a high type and the result is that his mind has been well
disciplined and stored with a large supply of facts covering
a very wide range.

Dr. Pegues is an ordained minister of the Missionary
Baptist persuasion and has from the first year of his public
service served in a ministerial way in addition to his work
as a teacher. During the early years of his connection with
Shaw University he was called to the pastorate of the First
Baptist Church at Franklinton, N. C, and has held that
position until this blessed day, covering a period of more
than a quarter of a century. During this pastorate he has
set a high standard of intelligence as well as morality and
spirituality for his members. In recent years he has been
called and has accepted the pastorate of the First Baptist
Church at Henderson, N. C, some twenty miles further
away, and he is doing a good work also at that point. As
a minister he early associated himself with the national
gatherings of his denomination, but in later life he has
contented himself to largely limit his activities outside of
the State to the territory of the Lott Carey Convention, cov-
ering three or four States only, and he has served as the
Recording Secretary of that body from the beginning of the
organization. However, in earlier life and before he ceased
to attend the National Baptist Convention, he wrote a book
entitled "Our Baptist Schools and Preachers," which had a
large circulation among the preachers of that body. He
also served as Statistician three years.

Dr. Pegues is a man of signal business ability, and
though a minister and a teacher, there is no man of the


race in the State whose signature has higher standing at
-a bank than his. He has closely associated himself with
the practical business life of his people and iholds positions
in various organizations among them. He is president of
the Oak City Building and Loan Association at Raleigh,
treasurer of the Mallette Drug Company, secretary of the
Capital Development and Trust Company. He is a trustee
of Shaw University. Dr. Pegues' position on the race situa-
tion in this country may be summarized in the following
words : "Mutual sympathy, closer study of conditions,
needs and opportunities for helpfulness on both sides, seek-
ing to put in practice principles of right and justice as
taught in the Bible." It can be seen by a careful study of
these words that he comes pretty near to the only perma-
nent solution of this great problem and his own life has
been an embodiment of his ideas along this line.

On February 18, 1890, Dr. Pegues was married to Miss
Mary Ella Christian, daughter of Mr. Wallace B. and Mrs.
Josephine Christian, of Richmond, Va. To this union was
born two children, a son and a daughter. But his son Allie
died as he was nearing manhood, and his death was greatly
lamented by his acquaintances and friends, for he was a
popular young man. The daughter, Earnestine Florence,
still lives and is now the wife of Dr. Hamlin and they make
their home in West Virignia.

Dr. Pegues may be classed among the few really able
leaders of his people in the State and enjoys the confidence
of his own people and also the white people as few others
do. He has traveled extensively in the United States and
some in Canada, but his principal field of activity has been
in North Carolina, and as a result he is known as few other
leaders in the State and has a standing equalled only by
few others. He is a man of pleasing address and convinc-
ing manners and modest bearing. As a preacher and
speaker he has shown great endowment in convincing his
ihearers, and usually depends upon logic and facts rather
than upon feeling in making his appeal.

Edward William Carpenter

The man of business can count his dollars or make an
inventory of his merchandise and show the world what he
has accomplished, and we are accustomed to applaud the
men who can measure their work in large figures. But the
man who invests (his life in religious and educational work
must be content with values that can not be measured in
dollars and cents. One of the faithful workers in these
fields is Rev. Edward William Carpenter of Charlotte. For
nearly forty years he has been engaged in educational work
and for nearly as long a period in preaching the Gospel.

He was born at Ansonville during the war, April 11,
1862, and was, of course, free before he felt the pressure
of slavery. His father Samuel J. Carpenter, was a farm
hand and after the war continued farming. He was a son
of Samuel and Jennie Carpenter, who had been brought
South from Virginia as slaves. Rev. Carpenter's mother
was Cherry M. Carpenter. She was a daughter of John
and Rebecca Carpenter, also from Virginia. John Carpen-
ter must have been enterprising and ambitious as he saved
enough money from work done at night to purchase his
own and his wife's freedom. It was from ancestry like this
that our subject descended.

Young Carpenter attended the local public school as a
boy and worked on the farm. When he was about eighteen
years of age he turned his mind to the serious matter of
religion. He had previously entered the preparatory de-
partment of Biddle University and continued his studies
there, graduating with the A.B. degree in 1886. The same
institution has since conferred on him the A.M. degree.

He began to teach at his own home school in 1880 and
has since been in the harness as a teacher regularly. His
first pastorate was at Wadesboro, where he preached from
1884 to 1886. From 1886 to 1889 he preached at Siloam.
In the latter year he moved to Madison, Ga., to accept the



pastorate of the church there and also preached at Conyers,
in an adjacent county, as well as some country work. He
was principal of the Madison Academic Institute for eigh-
teen years. He was chairman of the committee on exami-
nation of candidates for the ministry. He examined espe-
cially in Hebrew, Latin and Theology for years.

New houses of worship were erected while he was in
Georgia and ihe was Stated Clerk of the Hodge Presbytery.
He remained in Georgia till 1907, when he returned to
Charlotte. For three years he pastored McClintock and
Emanuel and then went to Woodland and Mint Hill for three
years. Since 1913 he has again been preaching at Siloam
and at Lloyd. The house of worship at Siloam has been

On December 30, 1885, Rev. Carpenter was married to
Miss Augusta T. Richardson, daughter of Henry and Mary
Richardson. Of the nine children born to them the follow-
ing are living: Edward W., John H., Emma M., Demetrius
A., Ira, Mareellus D.. and Augusta T. Carpenter.

Mr. Carpenter has had a fruitful ministry. He belongs
to the Masons and the Pythians. He preaches a plain, vig-
orous gospel as he finds it in the Book. He believes that
progress depends on better educational facilities and on
better leadership.

James Leslie Hollowell

Rev. James Lesie Hollowell, A. B., A. M., pastor of the
Presbyterian Church at Statesville, has felt even from child-
hood that his work in life was to be that of the ministry.
He had a hard struggle to equip himself for efficient service
but his patience and courage won and he has made himself
a prominent place in the work of his denomination. He
was born at Goldsboro, April 11, 1881, and is a son of
Samuel Hollowell and his wife, Hepsie Jane, who before her
marriage was a Hicks. She was a daughter of Diana Hicks.
His paternal grandmother was Rose Hollowell.



In 1909 Rev. Hollowell was married to Miss Elizabeth
Cornelia Beatty, a daughter of Carter and Susana Beatty.
They have one child, James Leslie, Jr., born Sept. 22, 1912.
Young- Hollowell attended the graded school of Goldsboro
and after that the Normal School. In the fall of '99 he
entered Biddle University, graduating with the degree of
A. B. in 1903. Three years later he completed the Theologi-
cal course. In 1910 the degree of A. M. was conferred on
him by Biddle. Speaking of his education, he says:

"My struggle for an education was hard. At an early
age my father died, leaving me and one sister to be cared
for by my mother. I worked mornings and evenings at odd
jobs and often times during the early years of my school
life, among excellent white people at their homes.

When I entered the Normal School, which was one of
the State's schools, I began to see the necessity of securing
an education for life's work. I could do more for myself
and be a help to my parents at this time. I am indebted to
several kind friends, both white and colored, for help in
many ways. Here in the Normal School I came in contact
with one of the finest products of womanhood that ever
lived, Miss Louise Dorr (white), one of my teachers, who
has left an everlasting impression on me for good. Such
principals as A. L. Summers, a graduate of Lincoln Univer-
sity; E. E. Smith, of Shaw University, and H. E. Hagans,
of Howard University, and P. W. Russell, of Biddle Univer-
sity. All of these men inspired me to go on.

I finished the Normal School under Prof .P. W. Russell,
now of Biddle University. It was a long, hard pull. I am
much indebted to the late President of Biddle, Dr. D. J.
Sanders, for aid and much advice. Truly Dr. Sanders was
a friend to poor struggling young men."

From the time of his graduation in the spring to Sep-
tember, 1906, Rev. Hollowell worked at Hope, Ark., under
the Freedman's Board. Since that time he has had charge
of the Trade Street Presbyterian Church at Statesville, and
Mt. Tabor, a country church.

Among the secret orders he belongs to the Masons, the
Pythians and the Eastern Star. He is Stated Clerk of the


Yakdin Presbytery and Corresponding Secretary of the
Western N. C. S. S. Convention of Yadkin Presbytery. He

"The best interest of our state can be fostered by our
people by upright dealing with one another, a better appre-
ciation of industrial opportunities as well as religion. A
high standard of morality must exist. Accumulation of
property. Taking advantage of eduction, especially must
parents emphasize this. Co-operation for race betterment
in all of its connections, and cultivating friendship with the
opposite race."

John Ellis Boykin

In a state like North Carolina, some of the most use-
ful men of the race are in the smaller towns and in the
rural districts. Such a man is the Rev. John Ellis Boykin,
Baptist pastor and teacher at Thomasville. He was born
in Sampson Co. on March 4, 1873, and is a son of Warren
Boykin, a farmer. His mother, whose maiden name was
Susan Wright, was a daughter of Macon and Rebecca

On December 28, 1904, our subject was happily married
to Miss Jerusha C. Hubbard, a daughter of Unus and Alice
Hubbard. Of the four children born to them two are liv-
ing. They are Helen T. and Charles R. Boykin.

Mr. Boykin was brought up under conditions which
made it necessary for him to work his way through school.
'Tie refused to be discouraged, however, and managed to at-
tend and graduate from the State High School at Fayette-
ville. In 1914 his work and attainments were recognized
by Friendship College, at Rock Hill, S. C, and the A. M. de-
gree conferred upon him.

He began his career as a public school teacher in the
rural schools of his native county, and has been teaching
steadily since. He taught with signal success in both Rich-
mond and Scotland Counties, North Carolina. He passed



from the rural schools to the principalship of the Union
Academy at Clinton, where he taught for four years. For
the last twelve years he has been head of the Thomasville
School, which has more than doubled its enrollment under
his administration.

Mr. Boykin has also been successful in his religious
work. He was converted and joined the Baptist Church
when about eighteen years of age. Some five years later
he was licensed to preach and in 1902 ws ordained to the
full work of the ministry by the Piney Grove Baptist Church
of Sampson Co. His first pastorate was at Beaver Dam,
where a new church was built. For eight years he has been
pastor of the First Baptist Church of Thomasville, and for
six years pastor of Elm Grove near Reidsville. Both

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