African Americans of Jefferson County (Images of America)
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Jefferson County can proudly claim a large number of firsts when it comes to African Americans in national history. The raid to free slaves that served as a catalyst for the Civil War was led by abolitionist John Brown in Harpers Ferry. The first man wounded in the rebellion was Heyward Shepherd, a free African American and a Jefferson County resident. Pres. Abraham Lincoln appointed Jefferson County native Martin Robison Delany as the first African American field officer of the Civil War. In 1906, the Niagara Movement, forerunner to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), held its first meeting on American soil on the Storer College campus. The first woman to become the coach of a menÂ’s college basketball team was also an African American from Jefferson County. Additionally, the Colored Horse Show held in Charles Town was the first of its kind for African Americans.
at Brown University, and Storer College. Later he served as the mayor of Harpers Ferry. Johnnie Bailey, a graduate from Page-Jackson High in 1952, holds all the equipment of sports in which he excelled. He served in the military and received a Bronze Star. The Bronze Star was established by Executive Order 9419 on February 4, 1944. It is awarded to those who distinguished themselves by heroic or meritorious achievement of service while serving in any capacity with the U.S. Army. The boys’
Page-Jackson High; 1957, Lamour Jackson; 1958, Brenda Washington; 1959, Sylvia Stanton. The Page-Jackson High School Father/Son and Mother/Daughter Banquet in 1949 was held by the New Farmers of America (NFA) and the NHA. The school would move into a new building in 1951. Once in that new building, they did not have to move again. Page-Jackson stayed open until 1965, when it was closed because of integration. The Page-Jackson High School building became the offices for the Jefferson County Board
industries. It also accepts clean cardboard from local residents. Three young men appear to be enjoying their summer vacation in the early 1940s. From left to right are Robert S. Brown, James Alvin Tolbert, and William Clay. The photograph was taken on Wysong Lane in Charles Town, West Virginia. The popular mode of transportation for young people in those days was bicycles, which these young men have. This photograph was taken in Big End, which was a part of Charles Town. It was located on the
services. Three NOTABLE PEOPLE Some people go through life and make such an impact on others that they are well remembered by many. Jefferson County had many such people, noted locally and/or nationally. This chapter examines a few but nowhere near all. Martin Robison Delany is foremost and the most notable. Delany was the highest ranking black field officer in the Civil War. He was a doctor, lawyer, author, explorer, and federal official, just to name a few. He is also credited as the first
Richard Clark, Gordy Clark, Janet Jeffries, James A. Tolbert, George Rutherford, Madeline McIver, James Surkamp, Sylvia Rideoutt Bishop, Cheryl Roberts, Ruth McDaniel, Rachel Johnson Canady, Charles Ferguson, Larry Good, Edith Clay, Jean Lee Roberts, Johnny Bailey, and the Dorothy Young Taylor Collection. In addition, the Historical Digest of Jefferson County, West Virginia’s African American Congregation 1859–1994, by Evelyn M. E. Taylor, Thomas J. Scott, and Vivian Jackson Stanton was a very