Arthur Bunyan Caldwell.

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

. (page 8 of 48)
Online LibraryArthur Bunyan CaldwellHistory of the American Negro and his institutions; (Volume 4) → online text (page 8 of 48)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Lexington he built a new house of worship and taught till
he removed to Wilmington in 1895, where he has since re-
sided. Since coming to Wilmington the church edifice has
been repaired and a commodious parsonage built on Chest-
nut Street. For nearly a quarter of a century he has been
Teacher and Principal of the Peabody Graded School and
has had the pleasure of seeing many of his school boys and
girls grow up to useful manhood and womanhood, which
after all is the teacher's greatest reward.

Dr. Bonner has been honored by being twice elected
Moderator of Synod, and more often Moderator of Presby-
tery. He has made for himself a place among the leaders.
He has attended four General Assemblies of his church and
has been elected Commissioner to the 1920 General Assem-
bly. He is a member of the Masons, Grand Historian Pyth-
ians, Grand Prelate Good Samaritans and the Eastern Star.
He is a ready speaker, widely known as pulpit and plat-
form orator, whose services are in constant demand.

Genial in manner, he is generally beloved ; end energetic
in action, he is regarded as a man of service.

On Dec. 20, 1888, he was married to Kittie Stella Richie,
of Abbeville, S. C, a daughter of William J. and Clara F.
Richie. They have one son, Benjamin Berry Bonner.

Dr. Bonner believes that the best interests of the race
are to be promoted "by education, industry, thrift and prac-
tical religion." One would hardly call that a short cut to
success, and yet its worth has been demonstrated in Dr.
Bonner's own experience.

James Youman Eaton

There are few, if any, men in upper North Carolina who
have touched the lives of more colored young people than
has Prof. James Youman Eaton, Principal of the graded
school at Henderson. Prof. Eaton is a versatile man who,
notwithstanding he might have succeeded along almost any
line of work he had chosen, preferred to give himself to edu-
cational effort largely, though he is well equipped as a law-
yer also. For more than thirty years he has been teach-
ing in one capacity or another; and has had the pleasure of
seeing many of the boys and girls pass from his schools into
higher institutions of learning, and later take their places
in the professional and business life of the State.

He is a native of Louisburg, where he was born just
after the close of the war, in 1866. His father, Thomas
Eaton, was a carpenter and a farmer. In fact, he was the
most successful colored farmer of his day in Vance Co., and
owned 700 acres of land. Prof. Eaton's maternal grand-
father was a native African, brought to this country in a
slave ship. He was a man of great physical strength, who
was held in high esteem by his owner, who gave him the
name of James Eaton. Prof. Eaton's mother, before her
marriage, was Annie Eaton, and though of the same name
as he husband was in no way related by blood.

On June 30, 1900, Prof. Eaton was marired to Miss
Mary Agnes Cooper, a daughter of Edward and Carolina
Cooper, of Vance Co. Mrs. Eaton was educated at Hampton
Institute, Hampton, Va., where she graduated in 1898. Their
children are: Coresce C, T. Renfroe, James Y., Jr., Annie
W. and Mary V. Eaton.

When of school age, young Eaton attended the local pub-
lic schools and when ready for college passed to Shaw Uni-
versity, finishing the course in 1894. This included his law
course, in connection with which he received the L.L. B. de-
gree. He was admitted to the bar in September of the.



same year and has been practicing the courts of the State
for more than twenty-five years. In that time he has ap-
peared in a number of important cases. In 1896 he was
elected County Attorney of Vance County by the Board of
County Commissioners, notwithstanding the fact that every
member of the Board, with one exception, was a white man.
Prof. Eaton has always handled his own, and public af-
publican party and stands high in the confidence of his or-
ganization. He has frequently been a delegate to the State
and national conventions and has served his party on all
sorts of committees for more than a quarter of a century.
In 1898 he was elected a member of the State Legislature
from his county, where he took an active part in all legisla-
tion pertaining to the welfare of his people. His speech
on the Disfranchising Amendment to the Constitution of
North Carolina was declared by Hon. Josephus Daniels (now
Secretary of the Navy) to have been the ablest comine
from the Republican side of the house during the debate.
Prof. Eaton has always handled his own, and public af-
fairs entrusted to his care, in such a manner as to win for
himself the esteem and confidence not only of his own people,
but of the white race as well. It is, however, as a teacher
that perhaps he is best known.

As a young man he began teaching at Townsville and
later was principal of the public school at Buffalo Lithia
Springs, Va., for two years. In 1899 he was made Principal
of the Henderson School and has seen the system grow
from an enrolment of less than a hundred to more than 700
and from a teaching force consisting of himself and one
assistant to a faculty of eleven. In other words, he has
practically created the public school system of Henderson
and has done this while keeping up with his law practice
and at the same time taking care of his political interests.

Prof. Eaton is a member of the Baptist Church and
longs to the Masons. At the present time he holds the
chairmanship o fthe Committee on Appeals in the Grand
Lodge of North Carolina. He has served the same body as
Grand Orator.

For years Prof. Eaton has given close study to History,


especially the history of the development of law and politi-
cal Science. He believes the best interests of the race are
to be promoted by teaching the people to cultivate a relation
of confidence in their own leaders and professional men.
At the same time, he recognizes the importance of making
these same leaders and professional men worthy of the
confidence of all the people.

Prof. Eaton owns considerable property in and around
Henderson, and occupies perhaps the most attractive home
in his county.

Samuel Levenus Parham

The Master taught that true greatness comes through
service. One of the greatest incentives in the life of Rev.
Samuel Levenus Parham, of Henderson, has been a desire to
be of service. This idea was uppermost in his thinking
during the years he was struggling for an education. Hs
was born at Henderson, Oct. 1, 1879. His father, James
Parham, was a farmer and mechanic. His mother's name
was Mary (Woods) Parham.

Mr. Parham was married on May 17, 1899, to Carrie
Hawkins, of Henderson, a daughter of Easter Hawkins.
They have four children: Bettie E., Samuel L., Jr., Annie
L. and James R. Parham. He is giving these the best educa-
tional advantages.

Young Parham attended the local public schools as a
boy, and the Henderson Normal Institute, at Henderson.
He did his Theological work at Shaw University, from
which he had the B. Th. degree on the completion of his The-
ological course. He also holds a Theological diploma from
Howard University for work done under direction at that

Mr. Parham was left an orphan at an early age and
had to make his own way in life. Fortunately he came into
the church at an early age and his life was saved for serv-
ice. He was licensed to preach in 1911, and in 1912 was or-



dained to the full work of the ministry by the Shiloh Bap-
tist Church. He served his home church one year. He
preached at the First Baptist Church of Roxboro six years.
After a pastorate of three years at Franklinton, he resigned
and after a two year pastorate at Stovall he resigned to ac-
cept other work. He has been preaching at Michael's Creek
six years. He is also pastor at this time (1919 of the First
Baptist Church at Louisburg. He is popular in his section
of the State and is in demand as a preacher. As evidence of
his popularity it may be mentioned that he is Moderator of
the Middle Association. Some years ago he declined the
position of Grand Secretary of the Knights of Gideon of
N. C, to which he had been elected without his knowledge.

He owns an attractive home and other property at Hen-
derson. He has studied conditions among his people and be-
lieves that the best interests of the race are to be promoted
"by education along all lines of useful service, by higher
education where it is possible, by prepared and consecrated!
ministers in our pulpits, by a continuation of conservation*
by buying homes and farms, and by going into business-
Wise and skilful Negro leaders should discuss with white
people race relations. This will lead to a better understand-
ing of each other and ultimately reduce race friction which
now prevails."

Zander Adam Dockery

The State and the Nation owe a large debt of gratitude
to the faithful, efficient men who almost without thought of
pecuniary gain, have invested their lives in the religious;
instruction of the people and in the training of the young..
One of these men who, by force of character and hard work.,
has made for himself a place in the religious and educational;
life of the State, is Rev. Zander Adam Dockery, of States-
ville. He is pastor of the Broad Street Presbyterian Church
of Statesville, and head of the Billingsly Memorial Academy..



Let no one imagine this position of usefulness and large
service was reached without a struggle.

Rev. Dockery was born at Mangum, in Richmond Co.,
on May 10, 1870. His mother's name was Tirzah Dockery.
His struggle up from poverty and obscurity to a place of
leadership was marked by hard work, close economy and
persevering effort. He grew up on the farm and began his
education in the rural school. A speech by Bishop Moore
first fired the boy's imagination and a young man who had
been away to school for a short while added fuel to the

Our subject determined to have an education and went
to work first at a saw mill and afterwards at a brickyard.
In the fall of 1890 he entered Biddle University and at the
end of the second year was able to secure a teacher's license.
He began teaching in 1893 and has been in the school room
every year since. It was eleven years from the time he
began his course till he completed it and during only four
years was he able to pursue his work without a break.
Notwithstanding this disadvantage, he never repeated a
class nor failed on an examination.

Young Dockery was converted when about fourteen and
soon after began to shape his life definitely for the minis-
try. He won his A. B. degree in 1899 and completed the
Theological Course with the S. T. B. degree three years later.
He was ordained in 1902 and called to the church at Biddle-
ville, which he served eight years. He taught school dur-
ing the winter months. The degree of A. M. was given in
1909 by Biddle University. He resigned the Biddleville
work to accept two country churches which had good
growth under his administration, and in the meanwhile he
continued teaching. In 1914 he came to Statesville, where
the quality of his work is recognized by both races.

Among the secret orders he is identified with the Pyth-
ians and the Odd Fellows. His favorite reading is History.
He is a prominent figure in denominational gatherings and
was a delegate to the General Assembles which sat at Des
Moines in 1906 and Atlantic City in 1910. He is now (1919)
Chairman of the New Era Movement in his local Presby-


tery. He attended the Conference of Foreign Missions of
his church at N. Y. City on Oct. 12, and is delegate to
General Assembly at Philadelphia in May, 1920.

He believes that the greatest single need of the race
today is a better understanding with the white race. His
property is in Charlotte, N. C.

In March, 1890, he was married to Emma J. Patterson,
of Huntersville. She was educated at Scotia Seminary and
taught before her marriage. Their children are: Ethel,
Zander, Jr., George, Emma and Robert Dockery. Mrs.
Dockery passed to her reward on Jan. 31, 1912. Subse-
quently he was married to Anna T. Adams, of Charlotte.
She, too, is a teacher, and was educated at Oxford, N. C.

William Henry Moore

The lessons of persistence, of toilsome pursuit of a great
aim in the face of obstacles and in defiance of hardships
which are to be found in the lives of many of our most
successful men, are present in the career of Rev. William
Henry Moore, D. D., pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church, of
Wilmington, N. C.

Converted at fourteen years of age and ordained to the
full work of the ministry before he was twenty, Dr. Moore
has devoted more than thirty years to the active pastorate.
He is a native of Pender Co., and was born at Currie on
March 15, 1869. His father, Henry Moore, was a farmer.
Henry Moore was the son of Louie and Tena Coston Moore.
Dr. Moore's mother before her marriage was Emily Murphy.
She was a daughter of Sam and Ellen Murphy.

Dr. Moore has been married twice. His first marriage
was on March 8, 1893, to Miss Coa E. Corbett. She was a
daughter of Calvin D. and Ellen Corbett. She passed away
on August 19th, 1907.

On June 2, 1909, Dr. Moore married Clara A. Hill, a
daughter of Rev. John M. and Mollie Hill. He has four



children, Mamie E., Edna F., Annie L., and Jamie Eliza-
beth Moore.

Young Moore was reared on the farm and was accus-
tomed to do all sorts of outdoor work. He went to the local
public schools and to the Long Creek High School. He soon
reached the point where he could himself teach and combined
teaching with preaching for a number of years. He was
converted while in his early teens and felt called to preach
the Gospel when seventeen. H was licensd only a year later.
He continued to study under the tutorship of Prof. J. F.
Moore, of Black River Academy and later took special work
at the University Law School of Chicago. He has the
D. D. Degree from Guadloupe College, of Texas. The early
days of his ministry were spent in country pastorates. As
the character of his work became known there was a demand
for his services in the larger centers. He accepted the call
of the First Baptist Church of Burgaw, whre he preached
with marked success for more than five years. In 1904 he
resigned that work to accept the.pastorate of the Shiloh Bap-
tist Church, of Wilmington, which under his leadership has
come to be one of the best Baptist Congregations in the
State. Every department of the work has prospered in his
hands. Dr. Moore is a prominent figure in denominational
gatherings. He is a recognized Bible scholar. After his
Theological reading he is very fond of Civil Government and
has found the biographies of great men especially helpful.
He belongs to the Masons and is Chaplain of the N. C. Grand
Lodge. He is also a member of the K. P.'s and the Good
Samaritans, in which he is Grand Chief. He owns an at-
tractive home at Wilmington. He believes that the best in-
terests of the race are to be promoted by closer contact
between the best element of the two races in order that the
which man may know from first-hand information what the
best element of the Negro Race stands for.

Frank Alston Evans

Though just now 1920) turning into his thirties, Dr.
Frank Alston Evans, a successful dentist of Asheville, has
firmly established himself in the practice of his profession
and as a citizen has taken his place in the business and social
life of the city. He is a native of the capital of the State,
having been born at Raleigh, April 4, 1890. His father,
Rev. Thomas S. Evans, a Baptist minister, was the son of
Richmond and Frances (Smith) Evans. They lived in Hali-
fax Co., at Scotland Neck.

Almost from childhood Dr. Evans has been an industri-
ous worker. At the early age of eight he was a messenger
boy at a hotel, and bellman at twelve. He attended the
Raleigh public schools, where he made the best of his op-
portunities. He early showed aptness for mechanics and
worked a while at the electrical and plumbing trade. At the
age of seventeen he was able to take a place as chief engi-
neer, which he held for three years.

When ready for college, he entered Shaw University
and studied there for four years, 1906-1910. In 1910 he
went North and worked in various cities. In this way he
earned the money to begin his dental course at Meharry in
1911. By returning each vacation he was able to complete
the course in 1915 without a break. Some of his vacation
work was in the Pullman service, which took him to every
part of the U. S., as well as into Canada and Mexico, and
added much to his knowledge of men and places and proved
in every way a valuable experience.

In 1916 he began practicing in Asheville, where he has
since resided. On Oct. 14 of the same year he was married
to Alethia J. Brooks, a daughter of Alexander and Lethia
Brooks, of Columbia, S. C. They have two children:
Frank A.. Jr., and Frederick Thomas Evans.

Dr. Evans was active in college athletics while he was
in school. He is a member of the Baptist Church and is



identified with the Odd Fellows. He was one of the organ-
izers of the Old North State Dental association, of which he
is Vice-President and a member of the Executive Board.
He also holds membership in the State and National Medi-
cal and Pharmaceutical Association and Interstate Dental
Association. His investments an$ property interests are
at Asheville and Raleigh. W*

William Henry Knuckles

In the minds of some men, education stands for intelli-
gence only. ' That is primarily the German idea of education.
There is an increasing number of men, however, who have
seen the importance of correlating the forces which make
for character with the forces which make for intelligence.
We call this "Christian education" for want of a better term.
The public schools and State institutions are State created
and as they are for. all classes and all creeds, cannot give
religious instruction. So it has remained for the denomi-
national schools, both in the field of secondary and higher
education, to train teachers and other religious leaders to
the work of the churches.

Among the Baptist educators in North Carolina must
be mentioned Rev. Wm. H. Knuckles, A. M., D. D., of Lum-
berton. He was born at Ridgeway, March 6, 1873, and is a
son of J. W. and Pinkie Knuckles.

Young Knuckles grew up on a farm in Warren Co.
and attended the public schools. He was converted at the
early age of fourteen, and some years later felt called to
the Gospel ministry. He passed from the Warren Co.
schools to Shaw University, from which he graduated with
the A. B. degree in 1910. He pursued his Theological course
along with his Classical work, and such was his record as a
student at Shaw that upon the completion of his course he
was offered a professorship in the institution. This he ac-
cepted and remained for two years. He was then called to
the principalship of Thompson Institute at Lumberton,



which is under the auspices of the Lumber River Baptist
Association. For eighteen years he has presided over this
growing institution, which now needs the services of a fac-
ulty of seven teachers. It requires five buildings to accom-
modate the school work, four of which have been erected
under Rev. Knuckles' administration. The main college
building is a commodious brick structure. Finding the in-
stitution owning only a half acre of land ,it was under his
supervision that a nine acre tract was secured in connection
with the college and a 32 acre farm. The whole plant repre-
sents a value of between forty and fifty thousand dollars.
Under the policy adopted by Dr. Knuckles, all money raised
in the Association goes into the permanent building fund,
while he undertakes, and does make, the tuition fees and out-
side donations take care of the running expenses.

Dr. Knuckles, notwithstanding the arduous duties con-
nected with the school, has been in the regular pastorate for
a number of years. He served Greenville Baptist Church
near Lumberton for fourteen years, and erected a new house
of worship. He has preached at Bryan's Swamp in Bladen
Co. four years, and Piney Grove, Columbus Co., for five

He has not been active in politics, nor is he identified
with the secret orders. He is a prominent figure in the
work of the denomination and was for ten years President
of the State B. Y. P. U. Convention. During the war he was
chairman of the W. S. S. and Red Cross organizations for
the colored people of his community and did strenuous and
successful work.

On October 5, 1915, Dr. Knuckles was married to Sadie
Lewis, a daughter of the late Dr. P. S. Lewis, President of
the Baptist State Convention. They have two children,
Wm. H., Jr., and Mary R. Knuckles.

Dr. Knuckles is a forceful and magnetic speaker, a
clear thinker and a good organizer.

Henry Beard Delaney

The finest bit of Christian evidence in literature, Theo-
logical or otherwise, is the testimony of the man who was
born blind : "Whereas I was blind, now I see." That was
the main thing, that was enough. The man knew God
through Jesus, who had dealt with him. He does deal
with men personally, individually and on the level of then-
personalities. He spoke to the boy Samuel in the hush of
early dawn when the lights were burning low and in such
human accents that the child thought Eli had called him.
He thundered His message to Saul of Tarsus on the Damas-
cus road in tones that made men shudder and in a l'ght
that blinded. Many trying experiences followed in the life
of each, but if either ever doubted his acceptance with God
it is not recorded.

The life and work of Rt. Rev. Henry Beard Delany,
Suffragan Bishop of the Episcopal Church cannot be un-
derstood without some account of his religious experience
as a youth.

He was born in the historic old Georgia town of
St. Marys on Feb. 5, 1858. His father, Thomas Delany, was
a ship carpenter and house carpenter by trade. He was
active in the work of the Methodist Church, in which he
was a local preacher. The mother of our subject was Sarah
Louisa Delany, a Godly woman. While the boy was still
small the family moved from Georgia to Fernandina, Fla.

Coming of school age just about the time the war closed,
he went to school at Fernandina, supported by the Freed-
men's Bureau and taught by devout missionary teachers
from the North whose foundation work in the South for
the first ten years after the war was one of the finest mis-
sionary accomplishments of the century. Their work still
lives. Bishop Delany acknowledges with tender gratitude
that they gave tone and direction to his life. They not only
inspired him to effort but brought him those sweet and re-



fining influences which adorned their lives. As the boy
grew he developed remarkable talent for music, both vocal
and instrumental, which he cultivated and found to be of
great advantage in later years.

Growing up in Fernandina, he worked on his father's
farm, also learned bricklaying and plastering, and was never
afraid of work. As a young man he tried honestly to be
religious. He reached the point where he was even willing
to give up his music. Later he was to learn that it was a
thing to be used rather than sacrificed. At the solicitation
of friends he joined the Methodist Church and came to his
first communion, there to feel that he was all undone.

Fortunately for him and the great church which he
serves he did not turn back, but humbled himself by fasting
and prayer for a week. The tender ministrations of his
mother cut him to the quick. All exhausted physically and
ready to surrender spiritually a wonderful vision opened up
before him in which he saw twelve men in vestments, kneel-
ing m semicircle around him, where he prayed. From this
he seemed to pass into a church which became vibrant with
sweet music. He sought to join in, and aroused himself by
singing aloud: "I am so glad that Jesus loves me."

Many things have happened from that day to this, but
the youth now advancing in years and occupying the highest
position in the gift of his church has never doubted his ac-
ceptance with God.

When the time came for him to go to school he could
not see his way clear. Guided by his Rector and encouraged

Online LibraryArthur Bunyan CaldwellHistory of the American Negro and his institutions; (Volume 4) → online text (page 8 of 48)