Other People |
African Americans |
Frank J. Bradley |
Olive Rambo Cook |
John Hoyt |
Jerry Litton |
1913 Biographies |
Bicentennial Memories of Negroes
Edited by Progressive Art and Study Club
I. Table of Contents
P. Taylor and E. Scholls
IV. History of Club
V. Busy Jewel Club
VI. History of Churches
A. Mt. Zion Baptist
M. Johnson and D. Steward
B. Bethel A. M. E.
L. Williams and P. Taylor
C. Beal Chapel
D. Church of God
D. Steward and C. Rucker
VII. History of Garrison School
P. Taylor, C. Bland and L. Williams
VIII. Fraternal Bodies
A. Golden Rule Lodge #77
E. Scholls and R. Gutheridge
B. Queen of the South #18 O. E. S.
C. Bland and C. Rucker
C. Boys in Service of Our Country
L. Williams and D. Botts
D. Botts and M. Johnson
X. Negroes in Business
P. Taylor, D. Steward, W. Smith and L. Williams
XI. Prominent Citizens
J. Saunders, C. Bland and L. Dodd
XII. Contribution in Music
E. Scholls and L. Dodd
XIII. Making a Living Then and Now
E. Scholls and C. Neal
XIV. Early Settlers
J. Saunders and L. Williams
XV. Did You Know?
|E. Scholls, D. Steward, C. Neal and J. Saunders|
XVI. In Memory
XIX. Books Are Silent Friends
We are pleased to go
down Memory Lane and present for your enjoyment, bits
It is our hope that you will
be able to find here-in things that will give you
strength, inspiration, a bit of humor, examples of beautiful attitudes, love of
fellowmen--thus making your day a little brighter.
We feel that this little
book carries out the motto selected for the Progressive Art
and Study Club-quote "We Live to Serve." Many of the persons we recall had this
wonderful Spirit of Service in their own way. We are richer because of their contribution
and truly grateful for the same.
Mrs. Boone organized the
Progressive Art and Study Club on October 29,1929,
who passed the torch to the living.
"All mankind is
of one author and is one volume, when one man dies,
one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language;
and every chapter must be so translated---God's hand is in every translation."
Written by Mrs. Marjorie Brown
The Progressive Art and Study was organized October 29, 1929 at Garrison
Henry Street, Chillicothe, Missouri. The late Mrs. Mildred Boone was the organizer,
who was at that time, Secretary of State Federation of Colored Women's Clubs.
The following Ladies met and formed the nuclei of the organization:
June 30, 1930, the club became a member of The State Association, a
member of the
Central Association and The National Federation of Clubs.
The following were selected:
Our meetings are bi-monthly and so outlined to include the Study of Art,
Music, History, past and present, and Home Economics.
The first president was Mrs. Blanch Miles Austin, serving two years, from
2nd President-Mrs. Marjorie Banks, serving two years, from 1931-33
3rd President-Miss Bessie Banks, serving nine years, from 1933-42. (Deceased)
4th President-Mrs. Mae Lee, serving four years, from 1942-46. (Deceased)
5th President-Mrs. Lucille Williams, serving two years, from 1933-42. (Deceased)
6th President-Mrs. Pauline Brown, serving one year, from 1948-49. (Deceased)
7th President-Mrs. Effie Alex Brown, serving one year, from 1948-49. (Deceased)
8th President-Mrs. Eileen Price Scholls, serving three years, from 1950-53.
9th President-Mrs. Iva Williams, serving one year, from 1953-54.
10th President-Mrs. Marjorie Banks Brown, serving two years, from 1948-49.
11th President-Mrs. Catherine Rucker, serving four years, from 1956-60.
12th President-Mrs. Darlene Botts, serving two years, from 1960-62.
13th President-Mrs. Johnson, serving two years, from 1962-64.
14th President-Mrs. Edna Shields, serving two years, from 1964-66.
15th President-Mrs. Doris Steward, serving four years, from 1966-70.
16th President-Mrs. Henrietta Johnson, serving two years, from 1970-72.
17th President-Mrs. Eileen Price Scholls, serving from 1972.
Just to recall a few of the outstanding programs and projects:
The Cancer and TB Unit's yearly contribution to the Ellis Fischell Hospital in Columbia,
Sponsored the pilgrimage to Jefferson City to the highest ranking sophomore .
Sponsored the Girls' Club, known as the "Busy Jewels."
Temperance Union Department added many artist of note programs and art.
Anniversary historical skit relating the projects of each administration in
1952, written by
Money making projects displaying art ability of the members. (Received
We have purchased supplies for the school, gave books to the schools and
contributions to character building organizations and misfortunate people.
Annually aided in the scholarship program of the State Federation.
With these programs, we were able to carry out the purpose of the organization:
To aid women in becoming more involved in the needs of the community
The Charter Members who are still affiliated with the club are:
We have entertained the District, 14 times, the state, six times and have had
officers in the state, we have had one state president, Mrs. Marjorie Brown and two
vice-presidents, Miss Bessie Banks and Mrs. Eileen Price Scholls.
The Girls' Club has furnished six state presidents, namely:
The history of the Busy Jewels Club will appear later in the records.
Let us close by paraphrasing this verse:
Mrs. Marjorie A. Brown Financial Secretary
Mrs. Eileen Scholls
3rd Vice President
Mrs. Marjorie A. Brown Chairman Student Aid Commission
Mrs. Eileen Scholls
Mrs. Linda Dodds 1st Vice President
Mrs. LaVerna E. Williams 2nd Vice President
Mrs. Darlene Botts Secretary
Mrs. Patricia Taylor Assistant Secretary
Mrs. Katherine Rucker Treasurer
Mrs. Clementine Bland Chaplain
Mrs. Jessie Saunders Reporter
Mrs. Marjorie Brown Parliamentarian
Mrs. Mary Johnson Courtesy Chairman
Mrs. Doris Stewart Mother, Home and Child
Mrs. Iva Williams Historian
Mrs. Henrietta Johnson
Mrs. Winona Smith
Mrs. Carrie Neal
Mrs. Sadie Hutchison
Mrs. Iva Fairley
The Progressive Art and
Study Club of Chillicothe, Missouri, is affiliated with the
National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, Inc.
This is how the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs was organized.
For many years colored women had been binding themselves together in the
interest of the church, and had done very effective work in many ways.
In 1892 in Washington, D. C., a number of these women decided to band together
to raise the standards of their group and the ColoredWomen's League was formed.
Meantime in Boston, a club
of progressive colored women was formed whose
purposes and aims were similar to those of the league. Each of these organizations grew
apace and enlarged its sphere of usefulness more and more.
Women from several states
met in Boston in 1895 and the Federation of
Afro-American Women was formed. There were then two national organizations of
A dispute soon arouse as to
which was the first to became actually national in
scope and later on the question was raised as to which had more clubs affiliated with it
than the other.
The group of women which
assembled in Boston in 1895 was the first secular
national gathering of colored women in the United States which actually met with the
intention of becoming a permanent organization. Thus, the National Federation of
Afro-American Women formed.
The Colored Women's League
and the National Federation of Afro-American
Women were both having their convention in Washington, D. C., when a remarkable
thing was done. It was decided to merge the two organizations into one.
A committee was appointed
from the League and the Federation, to effect the
union of the two organizations, and to discuss the terms on which they could unite with
justice to each organization. Considering the difficulties encountered, this was
accomplished with comparatively little friction.
After much debating on a
name, it was finally decided that it should be called the
National Association of Colored Women. It was organized in 1896 and its first president
was Mrs. Mary Church Terrell.
The following is from an article written by Mrs. Mary Church Terrell in
and June 1893 issue of Ringwoods Afro-American Journal of Fashion:
We the members of the
Progressive Art and Study Club are proud to be affiliated
with this 80 year old organization.
L. E. Williams
The junior division of the
Progressive Art and Study Club, named the Busy Jewel,
was organized October 30,1929, by Mrs. Marjorie and Miss Bessie Banks, Mrs. Brown,
Mrs. Mae Lee and Mrs. Annie B. Botts, who were sponsors.
The origin of the club was
planned at the home of Mrs. Effie Alex Brown, 3425
Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri. The following ladies, all former Chillicotheans, Mrs.
Jewel Center, Mrs. Delia Montgomery, Mrs. Hattie Briley, Mary Taylor and Mrs. Brown.
For the primary purpose of
spending the day in friendship, visiting and renewing
and recalling events of days gone by. The first picnic ass held at Swope Park, Kansas
City, Missouri on August 29, 1954, with 50 persons present and officers elected as
The second picnic was at
Simpson Park with 250 present from 10 states. This
continued in 1957 and the Chillicothe citizens organized a club group to work with
Kansas City's club and Mrs. Effie Brown since moving back to Chillicothe due to the
illness of her husband. The club kept up until Mrs. Effie Brown's death.
Now there is one club, the
one in Kansas City, which meets regularly every two
months. The officers are as follows:
We still have our annual
picnic and Christmas party club. This club has done
many acts of charity to the various citizens of Chillicothe and Kansas City.
Mt. Zion Baptist of
Chillicothe was organized by the Wood River Association of
Wood River, Illinois in 1854. One of the organizers was a Rev. Dolin.
The meeting places of the
church in its early organization were in the homes, in
the school and in an old tobacco factory on West Webster Street.
In the month of September
1865, the North Missouri District Association was
organized by several ministers. Being the oldest church north of the Missouri River, this
church is called the Mother church of the Mt. Zion District.
In 1866, the present site on
which the church now stands was purchased from
a man named Graves for $1.50.
The first building was a
crude one, far different from the one that stands now. The
church building at first was 40 feet long and 20 feet wide, but as the membership grew,
more space was needed and 20 feet was added making it 60 feet long and 20 feet wide..
The church was raised, a
basement added and a baptismal pool built during
the pastorage of Rev. J. S. Swancy.
Ministers preceding Rev. S.
D. Saunder lived in rented houses. During Rev.
Saunder's ministry, the parsonage was purchased.
Down through the years,
additions and repairs to the church have been added as
needed, keeping the building adequate for worship.
In the past 25 years,
extensive remodeling and redecorating have been done. God
inspired ministers and men of the church with friends of the community contributing to
financial efforts made possible building funds and dedicated membership drives. The
women of the church have always worked hard in every effort, dating back to pioneer
women who helped to hew out logs that were used for sills in the church
During the existence of the
church, there have been 34 pastors preceding our
present pastor Rev. John White, who came to us with a well planned program. The
church presented some of the older members with plaques for their years of service.
Over the years, there has
been some good shepherds and some not so good. There
have been some dissension and some strife during its course but every plant which our
Heavenly Father has planted can not be rooted up.
So, Mt. Zion standing here
today is proof that, that which is of God can not be
Much of the history of the
church and the high lights of its success has been lost,
but the church marches on in the name of Jesus.
Richard Allen, founder of
the A. M. E. Church, was born February 12, 1760 as a
slave. He was ordained First Bishop by Ashbury in 1799. Although a slave, he was a
remarkable man. He redeemed himself, became wealthy and built for his people on his
own land a church, which Ashbury dedicated as Bethel.
For awhile, it was under
Methodist supervision, but a decision of the court put the
property into their own hands and tools from the Methodist Episcopal Church, all
They proceeded to form in
1816, the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the
largest Protestant African Church in the world having over 900,000 members.
The church has many
multi-purpose schools, seminaries and a University Labor
Force in Xenia, Ohio. In the slave states, it had not been allowed that Negroes could
worship with whites, but in 1865, Bishop Payne assisted by Bishop Brown, the successor
of Richard Allen, the First Bishop, formed a conference in South Carolina. In
Philadelphia, occurred the separation of the whites and blacks. It was here the faithful
members of the A. M. E. Church paid homage and respect to all that helped. A church
still stands now in Philadelphia and has a few members that still uphold the faith.
Richard Allen was converted and joined a Methodist Society at age 17 and became a
local preacher at 22. He passed away March 26, 1831. The members of his church built
a monument to his memory and it stands today in a park at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Securers of the present
structure Bethel A. M. E. Church located on 200 Henry
Street, was built by T. F. Watson, with the endorsement of the Trustees and Stewards
carved in the cornerstone of the church. Pastors in succession thus far are as follows:
Rev. Guy, Rev. Peck, Rev. Leach, Rev. Richardson, Rev. Daby, Rev. Ward, Rev.
Rodgers, Rev. London, Rev. Ponder, Rev. Oaks, Rev. Harris, Rev. Bunbridge, Rev.
Hamilton, Rev. Williams, Rev. Abbot, Rev. Driver, Rev. Garner, who during his
pastorship repaired and built a basement on the present structure. Rev. Thompson
followed, Rev. Payne, Rev. Ranague, Rev. Bell, Rev. King, Rev. Bell, a different one,
Rev. Coleman, Rev. Byrd, Rev. Bryant, the only Negro minister to serve on our local
police force, Rev. Carter, Rev. Banks, Rev. Skinner, Rev. Haller, Rev. Warren, Rev.
Porter, Rev. Johnson, Rev. Thurman, who was later established a degree to be our local
presiding Elder, Rev. Elliot who was blind but never faltered in keeping up the repairs of
the parsonage and installed a full bath. Also, his musical talents in playing the piano,
guitar, etc., kept the church's young people active with his family's help. Rev. Nelson
was an interim, commuting from Kansas City, Missouri, the same as our present pastor,
Rev. Macon McMillan, who has been our faithful servant for the last nine years. Rev.
McMillan travels a distance of 500 miles round trip twice a month to hold services due to
the fact our church is still on a circuit.
Under the leadership of our
fore-fathers, a parsonage was purchased on a corner
lot directly across from the church. This property has now been sold, due to
circumstances. Also, a South Cemetery was purchased with the location off of Highway
36, first road to the south, after a short drive to the left.
As long as our church has
been in existence, it has always been in a circuit
charge, with Utica, Trenton, Brookfield, Cameron and Plattsburg, Missouri. Due to the
lack of members in Brookfield, Missouri, the church and parsonage was sold with the
members commuting here and serving elsewhere. The members in Trenton, Missouri are
no longer living and the parsonage and church was deleted. Members of the Cameron and
Plattsburg churches are all deceased, but two in each town, with the church and property
being taken care of and rented to other community people.
Dating back to the old
Sunday School days and glorious church services under the
divine leadership as a child's remembrance of Rev. A. G. Thurman, our Presiding Elder
and Rev. Fred Hughes of St. Louis, Missouri (deceased). There was a Sunday school
with Allen Christon Endeavon of A. C. E. League, with the attendance of 17 to 30 boys
and girls, not counting the adult Bible class. Rev. A. G. Coleman pastored, followed by
Rev. Samuel Banks and Rev. K. B. Byrd. The Sunday school and the junior and senior
choirs were quite active with a large attendance. When Rev. C. J. Skinner and his wife
Nellie came, there was choir practice either in the parsonage or church every Wednesday
night. At this time, a Y. P. D. (Young People's Department) was organized, with Bible
study before choir rehearsal. Due to the war, night services were cut out taking several of
our young men, leaving our congregation quite small. Under Rev. and Mrs. Skinner's
leadership, we had dinners in the home of Benjamin Bland with his wife helping,
although she was a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, to pay the basement repairs
and installation of a converted furnace from coal to gas. Within a short period, our
finances from plate lunches for 50 cents each, our debts were paid in full. Our young
people were helpers in selling tickets for these efforts white the women carried out the
Rev. Skinner passed while he
was our leader. Mrs. Skinner moved to St. Joseph,
Missouri and lived there until her death. Rev. A. G. Haller and his wife came to us daily
from St. Joseph, mostly on the weekend, sometimes during the week for prayer meeting
and other business in the church. After his term of pastoring, Rev. Elliot from
Huntsville, Missouri came to serve with his family of three, his wife, a son, Jr., and
daughters Darlene and Christan. Several improvements were made on the parsonage and
church basement, even though his handicap of blindness, it was no secret to the things he
could do. Our music was boosted with his talent of playing the piano, guitar and other
instruments. His wife Lillian kept the Y. P. D. active. She also played the piano along
with Mrs. Lela Greene (deceased) and Mrs. Doris Golden for morning services.
Our youth choir was honored
by being part of the annual Northwest Fifth
Episcopal District Conference, held in Kansas City, Missouri once a year usually in
October, with pastoral appointments being handed out by our Bishop. The choir sang,
recited musical numbers as part of the main program and youth night. Our Bishop at that
time was Bishop Prim (deceased). Our presiding Elder at the time was Rev. Whitlock of
Kansas City. He held our quarterly meeting, followed by Rev. Hughes, Rev. Thurman
and our present Presiding Elder, Rev. Lewis.
Our circuit has been
shortened to our local church combined with Joplin,
Missouri. our church and community is honored to have our past Presiding Elder and
wife, Rev. and Mrs. A. C. Thurman as residents and members of our congregation.
The membership in Utica
dwindled due to deaths in the community. Mr. and Rev.
John Lee and other members moved their membership to the local church in Chillicothe,
Missouri. Due to the lack of services the church building was sold along with the
property by the General Conference under Bishop Walker. During the time of activities,
they had services of the local members along with the combined churches from Trenton,
Brookfield and Chillicothe, Missouri. They would have an annual Basket Dinner
beginning at noon, with morning and afternoon services. The afternoon program would
be a visiting church from Kansas City, Missouri or surrounding towns. At that present
time, Rev. and Rev. T. J. Soil and son would come and bring their members from
Trenton, Missouri. Rev. Soil was the pastor of the A. M. E. Church in Trenton.
The membership of Beal
Chapel was quite long. Russell and Arvella Sipes and
family, John and Mae Lee, Gustiva and Charlotte Browne, Richard, Charlie and Carrie
White and family, Bertie Gudghell, Rev. Charlie Ballinger, D. E. and Artie Taylor, who
moved there from Chicago, Illinois, Ollie Lee, who served in a helpful way even though
she was truly dedicated as a Catholic, Will and Emma Greene, former residents from
Kansas City, Missouri. Several members in Beal Chapel secured lots in Utica Cemetery,
directly left of old Highway 36 west.
great-great-great-great grandfather of Patricia Taylor gave the lot the
church was built on. Robert Lee, great-great-great grandfather gave the first load of
lumber to build the church.
Richard Alien was a man of
sublime courage and indestructible and passionate
faith. Equipped with these two spiritual weapons, he could not be beaten down. When
he and others of African descent were denied the freedom to worship God in the St.
Georges M. E. Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1787, he politely walked out into
God's great big world and started the movement which blossomed into the African
Richard Allen was not
mastered by the disappointing and ugly experiences which
confronted him; instead, he mastered these experiences by taking a healthy attitude
toward life. He refused to adopt a sour-grape philosophy and instead adopted a
courageous and positive faith-filled attitude toward the problems which the people of
African descent faced. He did not boil up, he did not blow off, he did not fret himself
because of the evil doers. He did not feel sorry for himself. He did not become
impatient or irritable. He kept his balance and his self-control. He did not go into a
slump. He made up his mind to do something about what has happened to him and his
people by going out immediately and starting something new--a movement administered
by people of African descent, this movement would recognize "God as our Father, Christ
as our Redeemer, and Man as our Brother."
Richard Alien felt that he
had a special duty to spread the gospel among Africans
and people of African descent. These were the people who, because of segregation and
discrimination in church and state, were being dehumanized, ostracized, exploited,
robbed, by-passed and otherwise mistreated. They needed to be organized and needed to
have a Christian guiding principle of action. They needed to be encouraged to see that
they too were children of God who had rights and responsibilities. With these high goals
and noble purposes in mind, he proceeded to take the ugly social situation which made
his movement necessary, and like Joseph of old, use it as a channel of blessing which
stirred up in the Afro-Americans a burning determination to be first class American
The A. M. E. Church has
never strayed from the course charted by Richard
Allen. The leaders of the church who succeeded him were wedded to the spiritual
doctrine of "God our Father, Christ our Redeemer, Man our Brother." Motivated by the
far reaching significance of this motto they led our people into fearless battles against the
enemies of human dignity and civil liberties. Every A. M. E. Church became a
headquarters for the proclamation and the demonstration of first class Christians in the
community. A long time ago in an "Address to the People of Colour," Richard Allen
pleaded with those still in slavery not, to lose hope but to trust, in and to believe that He
will make a way for them. He appealed to them not to hate their masters, but to fill
their hearts with love for God. This would enable them to have the spiritual foundation
for the freedom in which Allen never lost hope.
The Church of God In Christ,
was started in Chillicothe in the spring (or early
summer of 1926 when Elder and Sister Fisher came to town, and obtained ground back of
the Bethel A. M. E. Methodist Church on the corner of Violet and Conn Street.
They had services every
night under a brush arbor. Soon people were attracted
and began to come every night, mostly out of curiosity, because this was a new way of
worshipping God, talking about the baptism of the Holy Ghost and living free from sin
every day was different from what the people of other churches were acquainted with.
After a period of time, the
church moved to another corner, the corner of
Liberia and Waples Street, where they erected another brush arbor. As time passed,
the people started believing what was preached and some members from other churches
began to join the Holiness Church, as it was commonly called, both black and white. It
was the first integrated church in town. As time passed and the membership grew, a
small church was built.
Members from out of town
Holiness churches came and helped with services
and financial projects, some of which were Fish Fries and a Tag Day. The Tag Day was
so successful, it was later established as an annual event, from these efforts a larger
church was built. This annual day was carried on by the ministers that succeeded Elder
After Elder Fisher's
departure, there was an Elder Cleveland of Kansas City, who
had meetings in his home on Third Street. He was followed by Elder Fred Boone, who
also had meetings in his home and started a Bible study class that met every Thursday
Elder Jones of Kansas City
was the next minister of the church, but he did not live
here, he traveled back and forth. Then Elder and Sister Campbell came to town to be in
charge of the church. They were both ardent workers for the Lord.
After living here for many
years, they moved to their home in Kansas City, but
would come back on occasion to put on financial drives or have their annual Tag Day.
The church was host to
several district meetings during the ministry of Elder
Campbell, who was in charge of the church until his death.
Here are some memories of past tense good and bad days along with school days:
During the year I started
school beginning in the first grade, there was no
kindergarten or pre-school. When I started to school, it was directly across from where I
lived. Our first day it was so frightening to meet strangers and to leave the crib of
infancy. My first home teacher was Blanche Miles Austin.
Our school consisted of one
through 12 grades with credits. Our room was from
one through four. Our desks were one seat, with ink wells and a pencil slide, with
enough room for another person to sit with you if necessary. Once a week we would
have an all school assembly. Each room had a club with names, like the Victory Club,
with dues being paid each week from five to ten cents per week with the intention at the
end of the year to take a field trip. It was well rewarding after the sacrifice of belonging
for a year. Some were not able to go because of the lack of paying their dues, but having
a large room count, there was no reason for none to be left behind.
The next grade school room
was fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Teachers,
I well remember are, William V. Williams, being understanding and a favorite of all his
class. Mrs. Julia Cox as the music teacher. During the war, several teachers came and
substituted a year at length like Genevive Baise, Margaret Williams Young and Mrs.
Fletcher, an elderly lady who had a hard time walking. Several times the teachers would
have to leave for sickness or the annual teacher's meeting. Several substitute teachers
like Mrs. Clementine Bland, Annabell Botts and Mrs. Iva Williams Brown.
Our four room school house
also had junior and senior grades. These rooms
served a dual purpose. They were used for Home Economics, History, English,
beginning Latin, Algebra, spelling bees, basketball banquets and writing awards which
were practiced by students who wished to do so. Located in the basement were the boy's
and girl's restrooms and on one area was the shop and partial lab for the science class.
Some were required to take this class due to extra credits and assignments. Our boys
made real nice woodwork with what they had to work with. A lot of our books would be
used ones because at that time, the Chillicothe High School under the leadership of
Superintendent E. F. Allison, followed by Raymond Hauston and sometimes if the school
system had ordered more new books than they needed, we would have new books. Our
teachers would have most of the students cover their new books to keep them clean for
another year of learning. Some were so rugged to begin, covering was useless.
The Home Economic room under
the leadership of Eileen Price was used for dual
purposes too. In the morning, it was a school room and in the afternoon used for cooking
and sewing. Several times there would be a canning time, especially in the early part of
September and October. A lot of garden vegetables were available from familiar that
raised large lots of home grown food. Some I remember taking part with were, tomatoes,
pears, peaches and apples. These were judged by the class as a whole on the experience
of being able to do these things later in life. Mrs. Young and Mrs. Price Scholls had
several drawbacks trying to use what the other schools didn't need or could spare.
Sewing on the old-fashioned
treadle machines, learning the parts and the
mechanical part of putting things together under the hardships the best we could. After
Mrs. Price and the other home economic teachers had requested more modern and
up-to-date equipment for the more advanced sewing class, the Chillicothe High School
finally saw fit to allow us one of their later yeared electric sewing machines, the type
with the knee mechanism. They were faster and more capable of making garments look
presentable. Those classes were a lot of fun, and following a semester term, the girls had
a sewing fashion review of their clothing with the grade attached along with the cost of
the material, thread, trim and slot of time. Some would model their outfits. The tears
and disputes some had gone through like taking zippers out and sewing buttons on
in the class was well rewarded. Some of the classmates I remember were, Marchetta
Leeper, Norma and Jean Schools, Betty and Florence Steward, Fannie Grace Grimes,
Barbara Jean Trasper, a long distance transfer student from Trenton, Missouri, Mary
Danson, a transfer from Meadville, Missouri, Charlotte Walker, Alice Kiles, Barbara
Sue, Bessie and Betty Jo Palmer, Patricia and Yvonne Greene, Lillian Bell, Margie and
Lorraine Parker, Martha Lewis, Elizabeth Bland, Rosie and Joan Bruce, Ottie Lou and
Betty June Brown, Vivian Midgyett from Meadville, Ottie Lou and Betty Jane Brown
from Linneus, Missouri where Mrs. Junior (Leah) Wallace taught lower grades and then
moved here to live with Mrs. Bessie Banks, L. P. N. who was working full time at our
local Chillicothe hospital. She was a foster mother to several of her relatives along with
her father, Mr. Tom Banks. This made it handy for these girls to finish their junior and
senior high education at Garrison High School.
All senior graduation
exercises were held in Central School due to the auditorium
space to accommodate the parents, teachers and friends of the graduates. This ended
when the law of the Supreme Court was passed in 1954, there would be no segregation in
public schools. Due to this transaction, all of our Negro teachers were transferred to
other teaching establishments and moved to new locations for other careers. The last
graduates of Garrison Grade and High School in the year of 1953, at the Central School
auditorium were, Yvonne Greene, Des Moines, Iowa and Cornelius Witchen of Chicago,
Illinois. The principal was John White of Indiana. The first Negro to graduate from
Memorial School, parochial, was Carl M. Anderson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bert L.
Anderson, deceased. Carl Anderson is a resident of Omaha, Nebraska and attends
the school's annual reunions.
The first graduates were on
the two-year high school level. These four students
sought professional training. One student of the group became a lawyer of note.
The four-year high school
rating was granted in 1935 under the late Mr.Virgil
Williams. Leroy White of this city was the first graduate under this rating, Many who
completed two years of high school came back and finished the other two years. In 1953,
the present structure was completed which gave several advantages..
Garrison has been supported
with many excellent teachers. The first teachers
were white, for Negroes were not allowed to secure an education openly until after the
Emancipation Proclamation. The first Negro principal was Mr. H. C. Madison from
To you who have passed
through Garrison doors and have a burning desire for the
finest things in life, while lasting memories of the past are filled with mixed emotions,
yet, we can say, "We have come a long way."
The Garrison School has been
housed in four structures. The first Garrison was a
one room, one teacher elementary school with limited facilities on Conn Street in the 200
The boys and girls soon
outgrew this little building. The next structure was a
store building on Madison Street which was rented for a number of years.
Garrison on the present
ground of Henry Street was built with other schools of the
community in 1881-1890. This building consisted of five class rooms, basement, modern
heating and plumbing equipment. The building not only served as a school, but as a
community center. Many outstanding projects were held in this building.
Although it is difficult in
the present day to throw lights upon thedark past and to
clarify information concerning the men active in establishing a Masonic Lodge at
Chillicothe, Missouri, the following is the contribution of Golden Rule Lodge for the
Historical Album to be kept in the Grand Lodge Archives.
About 1896, Professor Joe E. Herriford, Sr., a Master Mason, the principal of
High School and who possessed a ripe experience covering all branches of fraternal
activities, started the effort to organize a Masonic Lodge at Chillicothe, and some were
deeply impressed. At the time, three flourishing benevolent societies existed among our
people in Chillicothe. Whether to accept the chance to became acquainted with the
principles of Masonry was left for each man to decide according to his own conscience.
As proof of their respect and esteem for Professor Herriford, a sufficient number made
the decision to join him in forming the organization.
On the roll of first members are listed:
The first permanent meeting
place of Golden Rule Lodge was the second floor
rooms of a building in the heart of the downtown district. From that time on it was kept
as a meeting place down to the late 1930's. Because of the loss of loyal members by
death, and the increasing financial strain from high rent and other demands, a motion
presented by Thomas Banks was approved and the meeting place was moved to the
Central High School, where twice the Grand Lodge was entertained with credit to the
Lodge and the warm hospitality of the citizens.
Virgil E. Williams and
William V. Williams, James Banks and Thomas Banks,
respective brothers with the help, of other members who stood beside, were outstanding
in their services to the lodge. Again going through a few years when extra financial
efforts were necessary to survive, it became evident that there was a pressing lack of
members, especially younger members, to replace the drop-outs and the loss of older
members by death. During the year of 1953, the lack was supplied with the assistance of
the M. W. G. M., Waite H. Madison, M. D. and D. D. G. M., Franklin Dewey, and they
applied for dispensation was granted the lodge and several younger men were accepted to
become members. It was at this time that the opportunity to receive mutual help was
forthcoming from a neighboring tea, Brookfield, Missouri, the lodge needed the
Chillicothe lodge and it in turn needed and welcomed what added strength the Brookfield
lodge was able to give. Officially, the Brookfield members were granted the right to join
the members of Golden Rule Lodge and for a number of years have planned and cooked
together, traveling to a destined goal, following the precept and example of brethren long
since gone. All public, social and special fraternal as well as the monthly meetings of the
lodge are held at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
Having made no attempt to
praise or criticize it is hoped that the facts submitted
in this sketch are sufficient to tell the story for the sake or the future and the inspiration
of Freemasonry. Compiled by the late Benjamin London.
Our 1976 membership roll:
Mr. Joe E. Herriford, a Mason in
Golden Rule Lodge No. 77, organized the Queen
of the South Chapter No.18 O. E. S. in. 1898, The Garrison School of which he was the
principal was the organizing location, The chapter was composed of many wives of the
masons, and they functioned very well together. Some of the chapter members were,
Mrs. Mae Lee, Mrs. Ollie Lee, Mrs. Mildred Underwood and Mrs. Rebecca Sawyer
At that time, they belonged to the
United Grand Chapter O. E. S. of Nebraska,
Iowa and Missouri. In later years, the chapters left them and became a part of Harmony
Grand Chapter O. E. S. Missouri and Jurisdiction.
We have been faithful as a
chapter. Keeping the obligations placed upon us. We
are small in number because many have died and others have moved to other places and
joined by demitting.
The late Mrs. Rebecca Singer Estes was our D. D. G. W. M.
for many years. Her
successor, Mrs. Lucille Williams, organized a large Youth Council. She trained them
well and our youth held several grand offices, including Queen President. Mrs. Florence
Hern of St. Joseph, Missouri, was our next D. D. G. W. M. and Mrs. Edna L. Guthridge
followed her. Mrs. Mary Johnson is our present District Deputy.
Mrs. Annabelle Botts, now deceased, was our next youth
Clementine Bland was appointed to take her place. Many of the youth have left and
others fail to function due to other activities. This of course, makes us very sorry.
Of all the members of our Youth
Council, we have had one who really was the
star in the east and is nor present Worthy Matron, Sister Linda Dodd. We are glad too, to
have Mrs. Eileen Price Scholls. She was absent many years, however, she kept her
membership in our chapter and has represented us well as the Grand Lecturer and as
Grand Charity Secretary of Harmony Grand Chapter.
Mrs. Clementine Bland, our oldest
member who received her 50 year recognition
in 1967 still functions in our chapter. Mrs. Bland was stricken very ill on November 30,
1974 and was hospitalized for sometime. During her illness, Mrs. Alice Pettigrew was
elected the secretary. But, Mrs. Bland still does what she can and without her assistance
we would not have been able to write this history.
Men from Our Area That Are Serving and Those Who Have Served In the
Armed Forces For Our Country
The Chillicothe Chapter of the
National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People was organized January 26, 1952 at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 201
Asher Street with approximately 100 persons in attendance. Rev. I. H. Harris was the
pastor. Mr. Stewart P. Parker of Columbia, Missouri, State President and Attorney Carl
Roman Johnson of Kansas City, Missouri, a staff member of the organization.
Attorney Johnson was the principal
speaker. He declared there was a need for a
branch of the N. A. A. C. P. here. Johnson said a Jewish girl from New York was the first
to present the racial question to an editor of the New York Evening Post. "The
association's ultimate goal is to establish full equal rights for Americans or all races."
The following officers were elected:
Mr. Benjamin F. Bland, President
Miss Mary Rogers Johnson, Secretary
Mr. L. A. Sawyer, Treasurer
Twenty-three members were enrolled of the original membership, 13 are still
active. President Bland appointed the following committees and officer personnel.
Mrs. Charlotte Midgyett Mr. Max Allen
Mr. Vincent Sawyer Mr. Jerome Botts
Mr. Vincent Shields Mr. Walter Frazier
Mr. Jackson Scholls Mrs. Beatrice Anderson
Mrs. Helen Palmer Mrs. Nellie Skinner
Meetings are held twice a month,
alternating meeting places between Bethel
A. M. E. Church and Mt. Zion Baptist Church. meetings always opened Kith prayer,
"for if we believe in God and in our cause, we all continue to advance."
With continued efforts of
President Bland and the membership chairman, Mrs.
Charlotte Anderson Midgyett, membership increased and the charter was presented in a
ceremony at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church on May 22, 1952, to Mr. Benjamin Bland, local
president, Rev. I. H. Harris, Attorney Leona H. Pouncey, Kansas City, Missouri, and Mrs.
Mary Rogers Johnson by Attorney Carl R. Johnson, Kansas City, Missouri. President
Bland expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of the body stating, "I expect to be
governed by divine guidance for without God in the plan, we would fail. May we
continue in earnest prayer." Following the presentation, the following committees were
Press and Publicity
L. A. Sawyer Charlotte A. Midgyett
Jerome Botts Legal Redress
Mr. Bert Anderson
Labor and Industry
Mr. Carl Kerr Education
Mrs. Catherine Rucker
Mr. Willie Williams Entertainment
Mrs. Nellie Skinner Senior
Mrs. Mary Scholls
Mrs. Beatrice Anderson By Laws
Mrs. Eula Parker Mr. Jackson Scholls
Mr. Wyman Palmer
Mr. L. A. Sawyer
President's Aide Mrs. Clementine Bland
Mr. L. A. Sawyer Mrs. Rebecca Estes
Max Allen Mrs. Vernola Stephens Ware
Mr. Jackson Scholls Rev. I. H. Harris
Mr. Jerome Botts
Mr. Benjamin Bland
Mr. Francis Midgyett
Mr. Alonzo Anderson
Mr. Carl Kerr
Mr. Earl Crain
Mr. Walter Frazier
Rev. I. H. Harris
Projects included lawn socials, Lincoln Day Banquet, dinners and
Day. A time clock was presented to Garrison School, as well as other civic work.
1953 arrived with its challenges. On February 12, a Lincoln Day
held at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Rev. Rehorn was the banquet speaker. Youth work was
active under the direction of Mrs. Nellie Skinner. On January 26, 1953 Darlene Botts
was elected secretary of the local branch.
1954, Attorney Carl Johnson of Kansas City was contacted in regard to a
Troop being refused admittance to Simpson Park swimming pool. He held conferences
with Mayor Taylor.
1955, after serving faithfully for three years, Mr. Bland gave up the
president stating, "A younger man should be elected and I recommend Vincent Shields
will serve as local president." Oliver Vincent Shields was elected president in June 1955.
Mr. Bland worked until his death.
1956 was a productive year. Youth work was active under the
direction of Mrs.
1957 continued with progress. A committee of seven was appointed
president to meet with the local school board relative to the Supreme Courts decision of
the 1954 desegregation law. Committee members were, Mr. and Mrs. Wyman Palmer,
Mrs. Lucille Kerr, Mrs. Darlene Botts, Mr. Vincent Shields and Mr. Benjamin Bland.
1959, 1960 and 1961, were the years the local branch held executive
and maintained its membership of 50 members to retain the charter. President Shields
attended the state, regional and national meetings, yearly at his own expense,
representing the Chillicothe branch.
1962 was the year that gains mere made in public accommodations and the
N. A. A. C. P. Freedom Fund Banquet was held. Mrs. Kelsey Besheras, St. Joseph,
Missouri, was the speaker. Eating facilities were tried to see what their policies were.
1963, four youth sought to be served at Paul's Restaurant by Mr. and
Shields and family and Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Botts and family.
1964-65, the fight for public accommodations and employment continued
various efforts of the local branch.
1966, the Chillicothe N. A. A. C. P. Chapter was host to the state
(Strand Hotel), Mayor Woodrow Kline assisted beautifully in hosting the conference. Mr.
Rory Williams, national president, was the banquet speaker. A plaque was presented to
Mrs. Clementine Bland in memory of Mr. Benjamin Bland for his past work as local
president. Our thanks to Mr. Eugene Eubanks for making the state conference signs, and
to members who served as hostesses. Four establishments in Brookfield, Missouri were in
violation of the Missouri public accommodations law. They were investigated by the
Human Rights Commission and they complied with the public accommodations statute.
Three tavern owners and a pool hall operator agreed to comply with the public
accommodations statute, regarding the charge of fifty cents for a fifteen cent mug of
beer. $100 was mailed to the national office for the Georgia law suit.
1967, four names were submitted for applications to Whitaker Gable,
Missouri. They were investigated by President Shields. The applicants were hired.
1968, the local branch sent a telegram to each, regarding the poverty
1. Regional O. E. O. Office
2. National N. A. A. C. P. Office
3. Director of Community Action Programs.
This telegram suggested the merger of the nine counties, which include
Livingston, Saline, Ray, Carroll, Chariton and Lafayette counties. A discrimination
complaint was filed against Al's Cocktail Lounge and the Casino Bar by Billy Johnson
and President Shields. There was a conciliation agreement mailed to Mr. Shields
following an investigation. Vincent Shields was elected state president, serving until
1973. He worked diligently with the public accommodations law. Eating establishments
and fair employment practices.
1969, a local youth council was organized with 50 members. Youth
were, Mrs. Wilma Hutchinson Perkins and Mrs. Darlene Botts. The Youth Council was
very active and attended the regional conference in Waterloo, Iowa, in large numbers.
Larry Shields was elected to a national office.
1970, the executive committee continued to meet the local membership,
kept alive and able to retain the present charter.
1971, the applications for minorities were made to Howard's
construction.1972-1973, the local branch maintained the charter with representation to
the national conventions in:
Minneapolis, Minnesota -1971
Indianapolis, Indiana -1972
Detroit, Michigan -1973
New Orleans, Louisiana -1974
1974, Oliver Vincent Shields and Family moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where
employed by the federal government, after serving the Chillicothe branch for 9 years. He
was succeeded by the 1st Vice-President, Mr. Billy Johnson. A recognition program was
held at the Chillicothe Housing Authority Community Room in his honor. City officials,
members and friends were present. A plaque was presented to Mr. Shields for his
1975, we are striving to meet the membership of 75 end the Freedom Fund
Professional Negroes In Business
Tense and Past Tense
Mr. and Mrs. John Lee opened and ran a restaurant in Utica, Missouri on the
of a building on the main street during the 1929 and 1930 period. They served full meals
in the afternoons and in the evenings. On weekends they would bring in talent of
additional musicians, Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Henderson (deceased), his wife Tennie playing
the piano, Leroy White playing the trumpet, Clyde W. Banks (deceased) on the drums.
John sometimes would play the saxophone and Mae would sometimes play the piano in
between doing the cooking of the meal. The above musicians would play for square and
round dancing on the weekends and became well known over the county for their music.
Edward Gilbert ran the first pool hall for Negroes by the Wabash railroad,
located in a
small building an First and Elm Street.
Dan Monroe had the first lunch counter, where you could purchase a quick
located in the middle of the block of now Locust and Clay Street. Also, Mr. Monroe
presented the first ice cream cone that was ideal and tasty
Oliver Shields Sr., had a restaurant with a walk up counter outside for quick
Rev. Fred Boone had a dairy service for local residents with his own horse and wagon.
Bill Anderson and wife Ruth had a restaurant and combined grocery store.
Edward Jones organized the Knights of Pythians fraternal body, with a large membership.
Alex Winifred met the mail train with his own horses and wagon, which he
the mail to the local post-office. He had the help of several men in the busy section of
the year. He erected a barn and stall to house his horses and wagon behind the family
home on the corner of Third and Vine.
Dr. G. W. Brown, 207 Slack Street, had a practice he performed out of the
front of his
home. He was a licensed M. D. and had quite a large clinic. In the opposite side of his
building, David Douglas ran a pool hall and entertainment center for the public.
Clyde W. Banks ran a dry cleaning establishment with mending and small
provided by his wife Margie. His services included delivering services within the city
John Denning used to grow tobacco for sale on a small plot of ground located
close to the
drive-way dividing Lily Street. When he would hang it up to dry, several would go by to
see the process and care it required.
Clarence M. Brown Sr., was the first Negro to be a switch brakeman at the
Plant, now Midland Brick and Tile Company.
Rev. Harlon Campbell, a local pastor was one of the first to carry hot
homemade pies, made by his wife, from one end of Washington Street to the opposite
end with a big list of favorite edibles.
In Business 36 Years
Mr. Vern Smith began his long career in business at the Tempter Grill,
10th Street in Trenton, Missouri. Here he operated a Sandwich Shop, which also
featured homemade pies, The business expanded and a dining groom was annexed in
which full meals were served with a specialty of seafood and steaks.
In the spring of 1942, due to ill health, he was forced to sell the
business. By fall,
his health regained. He leased: the Plaza Coffee Shopp on 715 Main Street, and served
the public here for two years,
He purchased the Blue Moon Cafe, located at 906 Main Street, where he
business until he retired. Serving the public at this location for 16 years and five months,
his personnel consisted of 20 employees.
Since his retirement, Mr. Smith has done a little home baking such as
and featured barbecue ribs for many of his old time customers.
In 1900, Alien Bland was the only Negro bricklayer in the Chillicothe area. He worked
for the Meek contractors. They built flues and homes in this area and other parts of
Thomas Banks (Deceased)
Thomas Banks, father of Mrs. Clementine Bland, was custodian for the Central School,
321 Elm Street, for 40 years. The school was noted for its beautiful flowers that he
planted on the school grounds. People came from all over Livingston County to view
Aunt, as she was called by many, McLinda Lewis was a midwife. She lived on Lindley
Street there she lived and helped others until her death after 90 long years of service to
John Denney raised long green leaf tobacco. In his drying and curing process, he had a
special way of twisting it. This was part or the way he would have to supplement his
income from year to year.
Laura Wright was a janitress and cleaned for Judge Davis in the courthouse along with
other business places. She was the only Negro to live in the heart of downtown
Chillicothe. Her favorite attire was a gunny sack apron and sandals. It was rumored that
she knew more about the happenings going on about the town than the local police knew.
Eugene Eubanks was a graduate artist with a degree he accomplished from the Lincoln
University in Jefferson City, Missouri. He used his G. I. Bill of income to further his
education which led in his later years to be an accredited teacher in the State Training
School for Girls. After this accomplishment, he and his wife built a two-bedroom home
on the corner of Hill and Herriman Street.
Key Kyles lived on Herriford Street here in Chillicothe. Later he married and moved into
a newly furnished home in Brookfield, Missouri. He was a steward for the Burlington
Railroad until his retirement. During his career, he introduced several to this type of
work and some are still employed with outstanding accomplishments.
Benjamin London was a noted writer on any subject of today. He wrote articles for the
Constitution Tribune, our local paper, which was read by all its subscribers with a certain
area of the paper which was set aside for that purpose only. Mr. London was a member
of the Christian Church where he was in charge of the custodial department. With these
tasks, Ben was connected with the writing of editorials, along with some proof reading
for the Kansas City Star in Kansas City, Missouri, which would call for him to travel to
and fro frequently to fulfill this commitment which he loved to do.
Tom Scott, Louis Waller, and Henry Blackwell
Tom Scott played and taught the others music lessons on the fife. Louis was taught how
to play the snare drum and Henry learned the bass drum. This group-trio played for
different affairs here in Chillicothe, Missouri. They were noted for playing in the home
for special occasions or large weddings.
Tom (the head of the fife and drum corps), who was born in slavery in
Kentucky. After the civil war, he made his home at 115 Henry Street. After his marriage
one daughter was reared. They were the parents of one son, Earl Sidney, who lived in
Liberty and Excelsior Springs area before moving to the present family home. Mr.
Sidney was active in work at the Bethel A. M. E. Church during his residence as well
as after his retirement. When people wanted to hire a buggy for picnic or other affairs, he
was the one to drive them because he worked at a livery stable. Tom Scott died in 1933
and his resting place is the Negro South Cemetery.
Henry Blackwell played the bass drum with perfection, especially for
in front of the courthouse. Some of his superb playing was for the new mayor, Lewis
Chapman in front of his home on Polk Street .
Mr. Henry Williams
Henry Williams of Livingston County and Miss Fannie B. Hicklan of Lexington,
Missouri, were married in 1874. They too were early settlers. At the time of their
marriage, they lived at 1207 Fair Street. They purchased the land and built their home
from the plans of their own, in 1910, at 707 Graves Street. They were the parents of
three children, two girls and one boy. Their names were, Nina, Virgil E. and William
Vernon Williams. Virgil was a long time teacher in the public school system (Garrison
School), for several years. He also was a railroad mail clerk in and out of the St. Louis,
Clyde W. Banks
Clyde W. Banks was born in Chillicothe, Missouri. After finishing school at Lincoln
University in Jefferson City, Missouri, he operated a cleaning and pressing shop. He also
was a tailor except for the 13 years he was principal in Brookfield and Salisbury,
Missouri. He worked at this business until his death, May 8, 1962.
There are so many who have contributed their wholeheartedness to their
profession, like Bud Shields, Charlie Golden, Sonny Lewis Sr., Mont, Lucky, Frank and
Pete Green, Cal Bridgett, who owned a large area of property. There were also the ones
like Oleo Stevens, Leon Steward, Welter Frazier, Lee Miles, Marvel Winifred, Orville
Ware, Henry Eubanks, Vernon Browne, Vernon Banks, Horace Bruce, Lloyd Rozzell,
Willis Walker, Bazel Allen, who was one of the first to die in the Negro community,
fighting for his country in World War II.
Past and Present Employment
State Training School (1500 Third Street, Chillicothe, Missouri)
Mrs. Henrietta Johnson (retired) Kansas City, Missouri
Mrs. Odera Barns (retired) Kansas City, Missouri
Mrs. Lucille Williams (retired) Chillicothe, Missouri
Mrs. Florence Banks.(retired) Chillicothe, Missouri
Mrs. Benjamin (Mary) Johnson, Chillicothe, Missouri, the first Negro to work in
the field of teaching cosmetology before any Negro ladies were hired to be
Mrs. Margie B. Browne (retired) Edwardville, Kansas,
Mrs. Dottie McGlothen, Mrs. Jessie Allen, Mrs. Charlotte Helm are present
employees or this large school,
United States Post Office
Mr. Victor Alex under several administrations of post-masters.
Mr. Bert L. Anderson under several administrations also.
Mr. Vincent O. Shields moving from this previous location, the corner of Locust and
Clay to the newly built building all on one floor on Washington Street. Mr. Shields
retired from this branch of work and transferred his work record to another part of
Federal employment, living in Kansas City Missouri as a Highway Inspector over several
Chillicothe Municipal Hospital (Now the Hedrick Medical Center)
The first Negro nurse to have a position on the staff of nurses, was Mrs. Clyde Moore.
Mrs. Bessie L. Banks was the first to be a registered nurse in the night supervisor
Mrs. Vincent (Edna) Shields worked every shift and detail from 1949 to 1974.
Rev. Lewis Jefferies was a male orderly along with a message of cheer to all faiths. He
was a devoted minister of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church during the years of the 50's and
Mrs. Joseph (Martha Ann) Bentley, Mrs. Lewis (Alice Hill) formerly of Mexico, Missouri
and James (Iva) Fairley a former employee are beautiful assets to our community
working in our only hospital in this area.
Mrs. Kay (Martha) Kiles is also an R. N. in the BrookfieId, Missouri, General Pershing
Hospital where she is in charge of many services.
At this writing, all of the above herein listed were all residents of this
families participating and owning property, besides being involved in all affairs of
Mrs. C. V. (Patricia) Taylor
I would like to express my gratitude to the ones in this excerpt for
allowing us the courtesy.
The Negro Contribution
Among the Negroes of the south during the time of slavery a type of
developed which is called Negro folk music. It is not the song of the African in his
native land, but the product of the African in a different environment. The Negro
brought with him from Africa, a rhythm seldom copied, although tried by many. Another
characteristic, monotone expression and repetition of words or phrases. A number of
use of singing in his religious observance, with chants, clapping of hands and swaying of
the body with the rhythm.
He soon began to imitate the song of his master. As he combined all the
ingredients we find a new kind of music called the Negro folk songs.
To understand the words or singing of any people, one must learn the
life of the
singer. You can see why these early songs were sad, as attempt was made to express the
feelings of the singer.
The principle of the rhythm is syncopation--that is the accent shifted
unaccented beat of the measure. There is also slurring of the voices in song and a sliding
from one note to another, as well as sudden emphasis on a syllable or note. Often the
music followed the melody, others improvised parts added making a unique production.
Timing is kept perfect for rarely a discord was produced.
Minor form is also another characteristic of the music and the time
most used is
2/4 or 4/4.
Juba is a Negro expression for the clapping sounds, as the hands and
the feet. A fiddler or a banjo player furnished the music for the vocal numbers in the
Songs formed a large part of social life in the early days. At
the master's house
the old ballads would be sung over and over. The Negroes quickness of memory and of
apt musical ear would learn the ballads and pass them on to the workers in the field. The
slaves were not permitted to learn to read or write, except in some exceptional cases, and
had to transmit all their knowledge orally.
By the cabin fires, the Negro folk songs were born. Some of the old
songs such as,
"You Got Shoes, All of God's Children Got Shoes," were composed and sung while the
shoeless feet ached and they longed for better shoes. While hungry, their thoughts were
for a brighter day and songs like, "I'm Going to Sit at the Feasting Table," were
composed. Their songs often told a story or portrayed a deep yearning for improved
conditions and treatments.
The ballads learned at the big house were changed as the Negroes added
distinctive touches of their native land. Bible stories were retold in songs as, "Noah and
the Ark," "Cain and Abel," etc.
The Negro is a born dramatist who can put life, color, expression and
into any song which makes the hearer feel the spirit of the singer as well as the rhythmic
beat. One of the old songs still very popular today is, "When the Saints Go Marching In."
We realize that we have songs which fit every mood and every situation. The
back-breaking jobs thrust upon the Negroes were often distasteful. The overseers
prodded them with whips and guns to keep up a specific working pace. Singing an old
song would ease the sting of labor. At the deepest pain, a Negro often expressed the hurt
in a song, Example: "Nobody Knows the Trouble I See." Some of the outstanding work
songs are "John Henry," "Telling the Story of a Pile Driving Man, Who to Beat the Steam
Instrument," and "I've Been working on the Railroad," along with "The Cotton Fields."
The various songs so much a part of the Negro heritage has also been a
of the Negroes of Livingston County.
The Mt. Zion Baptist Church choirs have in the past and still do, go to
towns to sing for revivals and many other types of celebrations.
In the early 1960's, a community choir was formed. This choir was
members from Bethel A. M. E. and Mt. Zion Baptist Churches along with others from the
community. This group toured and put on programs in various parts of the area.
Vivian Midygett Hutchinson will be remembered with soloists including
Midgyett, Linda Dodd, Rodney Crain, Betty Crain, Robert Midgyett, and Patricia Taylor.
The Hendersons and the Lees formed an orchestra and played for special
occasions at the churches and lodge affairs.
Mr. Dennis Wolfscale played his banjo around in the small towns. A
crowd would gather
and an audience soon formed. In appreciation they rewarded him with much applause
and coins to help him on his way.
Making a Living Then and Now
In the early days in Livingston County, We find many Negro farmers.
few who owned and operated thriving farms were, Step Slaughter, Henry Williams, John
Palmer, Luther Frazier, Bill Wright, Charlie Johnson, and more. Now there is not a
Negro farmer in the county
John Denny owned a tobacco farm on Lily and Herriford Street of today.
Remember when the brass rub boards, galvanized and wooden tubs and flat irons were
the only means of cleaning and ironing our clothes? Now mechanical, machines for
washing and drying do the job for us, The flat irons are antiques.
Many served as custodians:
Elk Building - Harvey Montgomery
Chillicothe High School - Sill Sawyers, Jack Scholls, William Wilson,
Warrenton Pettigrew and James Price
Central School - Thomas Banks
City Hall and Central School - Leon Steward
Now we have only three serving the schools:
Charles Crain, O'Dell Taylor and Mary Taylor.
Where are the old churns in which we made butter? Gone forever.
At the post office, we recall the following:
Ed Gilbert, Bert Anderson,Victor Alex and Vincent Shields,
None are employed in this government project
The first Negroes to work at Bell Telephone Inc. were:
Fred Doxey and James Pettigrew.
Now Lester Williams is employed.
Many mechanics worked in the various shops in Chillicothe. A few are:
George Allen, Carl Kerr, Raymond Kitchen, Max Allen,
Francis Midgyett, Joe Bentley and Alonzo Cooper.
One auto mechanic shop was owned and operated by Edward Akers.
We had many working as clerks in the stores:
Mary Redmon, Lorraine Pettigrew, Catherine Rucker, Oscar Jones and
George Parker, who were shipping clerks at Adams Warehouse.
We have Wanda Doxey Wilson, Patricia Greene Taylor, Leroy White working in our
stores in the downtown area.
The nurses we recall working in the community and the hospital are:
Bessie Banks, Clyde Moore, Edna Gilbert Shields and Helen Shields.
Those presently working this capacity are, Iva Fairley, Thelma Hill and Martha Bentley.
Among the Negroes owning, operating and working in restaurants, short order,
home bakery, etc., and doing thriving business are:
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Anderson's business on Slack Street, Edward Gilbert,
Oliver Shields, Mae Lee, Mary Scholls, Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo Harris,
Mr. and Mrs. Paul Anderson, Ralph Anderson and Minnie Estes who also
The following are working in Green Hills Human Resource Corporation Agency,
sponsors many projects:
Lucille Kerr - Family Planning
Darline Botts - CETA
Mary Johnson - Head Start
Mary Kinyoun - Out-Reach Aid
Melvina Scott - Out-Reach Aid
Jo Ann Pittman - Head Start
Linda Dodd - County Director
Jerome Botts - H. U. D. maintenance director
Robert Jordon, helper in H. U. D.
Did You Know?
Alonzo Pedro, a Negro sailor, piloted, the Nina, one of Columbus' ships, on
of America in 1492.
Andrew Hatcher was named associate Press Secretary to President John F. Kennedy.
The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History was incorporated by
the law of
the District of Columbia in 1915.
Lampton Hughes a writer, was born in Joplin, Missouri in 1902.
Slaves in the French colonies were emancipated in 1794.
The first celebration of Negro History week was in 1928 by Woodson Carter.
The ten cent stamp honors the poet laureate, Paul Lawrence Dunbar who was
Dayton, Ohio in 1906.
T. J. Byrd patented an improvement in railroad car coupling in 1874.
Grandville T. Woods patented a telephone transmitter in 1884.
Alexander Dumas, renowned French Negro novelist, died in France in 1870.
James B. Allen patented a clothes line support in 1895.
George T. Grant patented the golf tee in 1899.
Acting governor of Louisiana, Pinkey Benton Pinchback began serving his 43
governor Warmouth in 1872.
Willie B. Purvis patented the paper bag machine in 1894.
Cab Calloway, famous musician, was born in Rochester, New York in 1907
Jerry M. Certain patented the parcel post carrier for bicycles
McCoy and Hedges patented a lubricator.
Sammy Davis Jr., singer, dancer and actor was born in New York City.
John T. White patented the lemon squeezer.
Augustus Savage, sculptress, was commissioned to execute work symbolizing the
contribution of the Negro in music, by the New York world fair. Her masterpiece "Lift
Every Voice," stood on the fair ground.
Ethel Waters was a star of stage, screen and radio.
Adam Clayton Powell was elected to Congress from New York in 1944.
The Julian Davis Fund established in St. Louis in 1961 by the citizens to
study of Negro and African world culture.
John Williams (Blind Boone), a great musician who could reproduce any piece
he heard was admitted to the school for the blind in St. Louis.
Benjamin Banneker, astronomer, philosopher, inventor, philanthropist, and
out plans for the city of Washington D. C.
S. E. Thomas patented -- pipe connection.
C. O. Bailiff patented --shampoo headrest.
H. O. Blair patented -- corn planter
Dorothy Maynor, concert soprano, was born in Norfolk, Virginia.
I AM SOMEBODY
By Dr. William Holmes Borders
I Am Somebody
I am a poet in Langston Hughes.
I am a creator of rhyme in Paul Lawrence Dunbar.
I am a Christian statesman in J. R. E. Lee.
I am a diplomat in Fred Douglas.
I. Am Somebody
I am a soldier in Colonel Young.
I am courage in Cripus Attucks.
I am a humorist in Bert Williams.
I am a radio artist in Dorothy Maynor.
I am a world-famous tenor in Roland Hayes.
I am a contralto in Marian Anderson.
I am a baritone in Paul Robeson.
I Am Somebody
I am an athlete in Bennie Jefferson.
I am a sprinter in Ralph Metcalfe.
I am an intelligent pen in the hand of DuBois.
I am a college president in John Hope.
I am a fighter in Samuel Howard Archer.
I am a breaker of world records in Jesse Owens.
I Am Somebody
I am an orator in P. James Bryant.
I am a preacher in C. T. Walker and L. K. Williams.
I am a composer in Nathaniel Dett.
I am an actor in Richard a. Harrison.
I am a boxer in Armstrong.
I am a Knock-out punch in Joe Louis.
I Am Somebody
I am a scientist in George Washington Carver.
I am an industrial educator in Booker Washington.
I am a Congressman in Oscar Depriest and Arthur Mitchell.
I am a skin specialist in Lawless and teach what I know at Northwestern.
I am a pathologist in Julian Lewis and serve on the University of Chicago faculty.
I am a the first successful surgeon on the human heart, in Daniel Hale Williams.
I Am Somebody
I am a marksman in Dorie Miller.
I am a register of the treasury in Judson Lyons.
I am loyalty in the Armed Services.
I am insight in Sojourner Truth.
I am an advocator of justice in Walter White.
I am a leader in A. Phillip Randolph.
I Am Somebody
I am a molder of character in Nannie Burroughs.
I am a banker in R. R. Wright and L. D. Milton.
I am a certified Public Accountant in Jesse Blayton.
I am a sculptor in Henry O. Tanner.
I am a businessman in Alonzo Herndon.
I am a grand specimen or womanhood in Mary Mcleod Bethune.
I Am Somebody
I am an insurance executive in C. C. Spaulding.
I am a biologist in Just of Howard.
I am a historian in Carter Woodson.
I am a lover of education in Charlotte Hawkins Brown.
I am a beautician in Madames Walker, Washington and Malone.
I am a trustee in slavery -- I protected my master's wives and daughters, while he fought
to keep the chains of slavery about my body.
I Am Somebody
I am a Bishop in W. A. Fountain.
I am a ball of fire in Richard Allen.
I am a laborer in John Henry.
I am a Christian in "Tom," for indeed, I practiced the religion of Jesus at points than
mmaster from whom I learned it.
I Am Somebody ---
This came from the Chicago Defender Newspaper
written by Keith McConnell, member of the staff
Some of the events that helped to shape our country and state ideals with the
men played as follows:
I. Beckworth has been called the most famous Indian fighter of his
His contemporaries, Kit Carson, Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, all rose to historical
prominence, but Beckworth's name was dropped from history's pages.
Beckworth, who was born to a slave woman in St. Louis, Missouri in 1798,
became a skilled frontiersman. He broke trail through forests to settlements all through
the midwest and unsettled areas.
Williams Wells Brown, a physician and abolitionist was born of slave
He was exposed to medicine by a master, Mr. John Young of St. Louis, Missouri. At 18,
Brown ran away to Ohio. He was so opposed to slavery he lectured, and wrote articles
against slavery and later became an agent of the underground railroad. In 1849, Brown
was sent to England in behalf of the abolition movement. In England, he became known
to Dr. John Bishop Eastlin, a physician and anti-slavery advocate. At Eastlin's urging,
Brown chose a career in medicine. In 1865, he became a physician and opened his office
Scott Joplin was born in Arkansas in 1866. After going to
Chicago, Illinois as a
teenager, Joplin decided to reside in Sedalia, Missouri. He played at the Maple Leaf
Club. He composed 53 songs for the piano, ten vocal selections and two operas. Joplin's
composition, "The Entertainer," was used as the theme for the movie, "The Sting." This
movie won an Academy Award in 1974. Joplin is just now being recognized by
memorials and special interest in Sedalia, by music critics from all over the world for his
greatness and contribution to the musical world.
The cemeteries in Livingston are about 25 in number, but the one with
interesting note of interest, is the one located in Edgewood called Forest Hill. Landon
Johnson, a free slave who, when his former master died penniless, he collected money
from door to door alone on his own so he could bury him there. Later when Landon
passed, special permission was granted for he himself to be buried by his former master.
South Cemetery is located at the edge of town, southeast of highway
cemetery belonged to an organization known as the Old Benevolent Lodge. After the
members died, Mt. Zion Baptist Church obtained the ground. It has been a burial ground
for Negroes for years.
The North Cemetery, located northeast of the Milwaukee tracks, formerly
belonged to the Aide Society. Later, Bethel A. M. E. Church became sponsor and many
of the old settlers are buried there.
This is a tribute that Patricia Greene Taylor, as mistress of ceremonies,
made at the Hometown Vespers held at the Bethel A. M. E. Church
in Chillicothe, Missouri on January 4, 1987
My childhood memories are made most pleasant by remembering the times I
spent with my Mother and my "Aunties." The happiest of all times with them came
when Sunday morning arrived. Sunday School, morning service, A. C. E. league,
sometimes programs in the early afternoon with basket dinners, and other Churches
joining in the services with us.
Aunt Pearl C. Trosper was the church pianist, and very faithful in
sisters and I walked to and from the Church with her. She was a persistence teacher for
one being on time. She spoke of being on time for school, and going to work on time, so
why not be on time for the service for the Lord? Choir practice and Bible Study on
Wednesday was another enjoyable time we looked forward to attending. Aunt Pearl
taught to faithfully serve by example.
Aunt Mae Lee thought the choir needed young voices, since other
Our family of four girls were members of a large Sunday School, so we soon had a Youth
Choir. My Mother, Lela Greene, practiced with us at home, as well as on Saturday
afternoon. Our Choir would visit the Beal Chapel in Utica, Missouri to sing for special
Our most memorable times were the interchanging of Christmas programs
the Mt. Zion Baptist Church. With Mother, the late Benjamin Bland, Earl and Mae
Sindey, Irene Crain, and Ruth Anderson, we'd have ample candy and treats on all the
holidays, especially on Christmas and Easter. Rev. Holler, Rev. Skinner, and Rev. Banks
all encouraged and expected the young people to sing and looked forward to the part we
took in the Sunday services.
In later years, Aunt Doris Golden (really my cousin) Became our
Aunt Mae Lee counting the time of the music, while Doris played "by ear." Aunt Mae
Lee thought that if we practiced homes it would save heating the Church. Many of our
practices were held in various homes, and were sometimes very lengthy. Some of Aunt
Doris' favorite songs were "In the End" and "Christ Is All", (which all of us "old-timers"
still remember and sing !!)
After Aunt Doris became ill and couldn't play for the choir, we
acappella with Aunt Doris in her favorite seat, directing our singing. this togetherness
and consideration of the elderly, and bringing joy to them as well as ourselves, is one of
the treasures I'll always cherish.
My tribute to these three, My Mother, Lela Greene, Aunt Mae Lee, and
Doris Golden could go on endlessly, but looking around my Church, I see so many empty
spaces of those who no longer gather with us:
Rev and Mrs. Thurman (both deceased)
Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Black (both deceased)
Ben and Bertha Longdom (both deceased)
Albert and Irene Crain (both deceased)
Ruth Anderson (deceased)
Matileen White (deceased)
Iva Lee Brown (now in a home in Kansas City, Kansas)
Lucille Williams (Morningside Center)
Tillie Trosper (Livingston Manor)
and her daughter, Louise (who are unable to attend)
To end my tribute, the verse from the Bible that comes to my mind is:
"Teach a child to follow the right path,
and when he is older he will remain upon it."
"Lest We Forget"
In memory of:
Mrs. Beatrice Boone
Mr. George Dandridge
Mr. Christopher Dandridge
Mr. Roscoe "Shine" Dandridge
Mr. Homer "Monroe" White
by Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Kitchen
In memory of:
Mrs. Julia Ann Walker
Mr. Willis Harrison Walker
by Mrs. John (Charlotte) Helm
In memory of:
Mr. Deward Stewart
Mrs. Carrie Johnson Ellis
Mr. Holice Johnson
Mr. George William Johnson
Mr. Oscar Kitchen
Mrs. Eula Mae Johnson
Mrs. Hattie Johnson
Mrs. Elonora Johnson
Mrs. Eliza Tulley
Mr. Charles Franklin Ellis
by Mrs. Deward Cocile Stewart
In memory of:
Mr. LeRoy Greene
Mrs. Lela E. Greene
by Mrs. Clyde (Patricia) Taylor
In memory of:
Mrs. Mitzye Judith Mitchell
by Edward Lee Greene
In memory of:
Mrs. Darrieux Walden
by Ms. Yvonne Greene of Des Moines, Iowa
In memory of:
Mr. Charles David Wilson
by Mrs. Charles (Wanda) Wilson
In memory of:
Mr. Fred Doxey
by Mrs. Fred (Juanita) Doxey
In memory of:
Mr. Louis Steward
Mrs. Laura Thaxton
by: Mrs. Leon (Doris) Steward
In memory of:
Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Montgomery
by Mrs. Shelton (Katherine) Rucker
In memory of:
Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Walker
Rev. and Mrs. J. W. Harris
Mr. James Price
Mr. Jackson Scholls
by Mrs. Jackson ( Eileen) Scholls
In memory of:
Mrs. Pearl Charlotte Trosper
Mr. William Philly Trosper
Mr. Oliver Eugene Trosper
Mrs. Saraha Alice Trosper
by Mrs. Leroy (Alice) Pettigrew
In memory of:
Mr. George Parker
by Mrs. George (Eula Mae) Parker
In memory of:
Mr. Charles Sherman Golden
Mr. Henderson Trasper
Mrs. Zenabin Berry
by Mrs. Charles (Doris) Golden
In memory of:
Mr. Oscar Bruce
Mr. Robert Levi Lee
Mrs. Ollie Lelia Lee
Mr. John Wesley Lee
Mrs. Chaney Lee
Mrs. Lucy Carey Lee
by Mrs. Oscar (Bessie) Bruce of Kansas City, Missouri
In memory of:
David Edward Taylor
Mrs. Artie Nelia Taylor
by Mrs. Clyde V. Taylor
In memory of:
Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Shields
Mrs. Minnie Ester
Mrs. Maxine Beechum
by Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Vincent Shields of Kansas City, Missouri
In memory of:
Mr. and Mrs. Bert L. Anderson
Mr. Freddie Anderson
Mrs. Oakie Berry
by The Anderson Family
In memory of:
Mr. Kay Kiles
by Mrs. Key (Martha) Kiles of Brookfield, Missouri
In memory of:
Mr. and Mrs. William Bush
by Mrs. Cyrus (Sadie) Hutchinson of Brookfield, Missouri
In memory of:
Mrs. Zack Fairley
by Mr. and Mrs. James Fairley
In memory of:
Mrs. Irene Bland Crain
Mrs. Ruth Anderson
by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Crain
In memory of:
Mrs. Charles A. Palmer
by Mr. and Mrs. Wymond Palmer
In memory of:
Mr. Homer (Happy) Bank
by Mrs. Carl (Lucille) Kerr
In memory of:
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence R. Kerr, Sedalia, Missouri
by Mr. Carl Kerr
In memory of:
Mr. Rudolphus (Bud) Shields
by Mrs. Rudolphus (Bud) Shields
In memory of:
Mr. Virgil Williams
Mr. William V. Williams
by Mrs. William (Lucille) Williams
In memory of:
Mr. Lawrence W. Lewis
Mrs. Lawrence S. Lewis
by Mrs. Joseph (Martha Ann) Bentley
In memory of:
Mr. Benjamin Bland
Mrs. Annabelle Botts
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Banks
by Mrs. Benjamin (Clementine) Bland
In memory of:
Mrs. Bessie Lee Banks
by Mrs. Benjamin Johnson
In Memory of:
Mr. and Mrs. Ed Gilbert
by Mrs. Louis (Frances) Oliver
In memory of:
Mr. Walter Frazier
by Mrs. Walter (Christine) Frazier
In memory of:
Mr. James Banks
Mr. Howley C. Banks
Mr. Eldon H. C. Campbell
by Mrs. Joe (Marge) Browne
In memory of:
Mr. and Mrs. Birdie W. Winn
Mrs. Charlotte Midgyett
by Mrs. Jerome (Darlene) Botts
In memory of:
Mr. Clarence M. Brown
Mr. Vernon E. Brown
by Mrs. Clarence (Gustive) Brown of Des Moines, Iowa
In memory of:
Rev. and Mrs. J. Pierce
by Mrs. Vern (Winona) Smith of Trenton, Missouri
In memory of:
Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Harris, Hamilton, Missouri
Mrs. Lucille Scholls
by Mrs. John (Jean) Davis of Kansas City, Missouri
In memory of:
Mrs. Helen L. Perry
Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Kiles
by Mrs. Lowell (Norma) Cason of Kansas City, Missouri
In memory of:
Mr. Junior Wallace
Mrs. Elizabeth Montgomery
by Mrs. Junior Leah Wallace of Liberty, Missouri
In memory of:
Mr. Thomas B. Williams
Mr. Mrs. Eliza Jane Brown
Mr. William Edward Brown
Mr. Edward Clem Brown
Mrs. Pearl Brown
Mr. Elbert Brown
Mr. James O. Brown
Mrs. Kathryn Brown
Mr. Charles Gross
Mrs. Jane Gross
Mrs. Iva Brown Williams
In memory of:
Mr. Lloyd Clark
Mrs. Lloyd (Louise) Clark
In memory of:
Mr. and Mrs. Clem Agee
by Mrs. John (Carrie) Neal