Mrs. Norma (Jennings) Turner’s Memories of Parker-Gray High School – Class of 1947

Left: Mrs. Norma (Jennings) Turner – Right: Mrs. Turner’s favorite teacher, Mrs. Flora Walden Chase

Mrs. Norma J. Turner was born in the District of Columbia but resided in Alexandria, VA. She spent her formative years with her grandparents, Jesse and Mattie (Hackley) Speakes at 429 North Patrick Street in Alexandria, VA. She is the oldest child of Alexander and Esther (Speakes) Jennings.

Mrs. Turner has many fond memories of Parker-Gray High School. The teachers were interested in one’s progress, and even gave one additional opportunities to excel if one desired to do so. Before Norma entered school, her grandmother asked the then first grade teacher, for some books, to teach her how to read. Miss Laura M. Dorsey gave Norma’s grandmother the books and Norma was taught how to read before she entered the first grade. Miss Dorsey was one of the most popular first grade teachers at Parker-Gray.

At 13, she returned home to her parents. After completing three grades at the Lyles-Crouch Elementary School (on the other end of town), she returned to Parker-Gray. During her high school years, her Mother became ill, and the family had to stay home one to three days a week. One of her favorite high school teachers was Mrs. Flora Walden Chase, who assisted Norma after school by allowing her to complete typing and shorthand assignments. Mrs. Chase was also instrumental in securing an after school job with Mr. Otto Tucker’s office. She typed letters and wrote letters for those who visited the office and for those unable to read or write, but were employed in Alexandria on construction jobs.

There were other favorite teachers in elementary school and in high school that she loved: Mrs. Earline Luckett Hughes (Homeroom), Mrs. Ellen Carter Goods, (3rd Grade) and Mrs. Julia Whiting Pritchett (4th Grade).

Between Parker-Gray and Lyles-Crouch Schools, Norma made great friends who were in her class: Lorraine Parker, Gwendolyn Russell, Jean Taylor and Alice Harris. After she graduated in 1947, Mrs. Turner attended Virginia State College for one year. She was employed in the Federal Government (1949) for the next 39 years.

Due honor is given to her parents, grandparents and her many dedicated teachers who reared her. She has fond memories of Parker-Gray High School. Her family and her many dedicated teachers made her accomplishments possible.

1947 Parker-Gray High School Teachers and 1947 Students

1947 Parker-Gray High School Teachers Night

The Parker-Gray High School year of 1946 – 1947 had one principal and twenty-four teachers.

William H. Pitts, Sr. – Principal
A.W. Adkins – Mathematics
Susie E. Anderson – Science, English
Arthur W. Bracey – Shop
Janie Brown – Third, Fourth
Edith W. Casey – English
Flora W. Chase – Commerical
Helen L. Day – Seventh Grade
Laura M. Dorsey – Third Grade
Ferris Holland – Science
Earleen L. Hughes – English, French
Louis R. W. Johnson – Physical Education
Rubye Johnson – Physical Education
Dorothy P. Key – Librarian
Thelma Mickens – First Grade
Alma P. Murray – Second Grade
Edward Patterson – Music
Bernice J. Perry – Seventh Grade
Charles Price – Social Studies
Julia Pritchett – Seventh Grade
Lucile Smith – Third Grade
Mabel Lee Smith – Mathematics
Ruby E. Smith – Home Economics
Geraldine Stevenson – Seventh Grade
Mary E. Tunstall – English and Social Studies

Parker-Gray High School – 1947 “P” Club

There were forty students in the Class of 1947.

Jessie Mae Willis Adams
Alice Harris Arrington
Earl F. Bailey
William Bentley
John Blackburn
Doris A. Nelson Brown
Horace Burton
Albert Burts
Luther Burts
Majorie Charity Burts
George Carroll
Janice Reed Carroll
Carlton Chase
Gloria Copeland
Irene Copeland
Nevada Hurtt Ellis
Calvin Ferguson
Hiawatha Goff
William Green
Jule A. Bolden Hope
Doris Brown Holland
Dorothy Humphrey
Gwendolyn Russell Malloy
Lewis Nelson
Mildred Salisbury Nelson
Theodore Patterson
Costella Nickens Shackleford
Norman Shanklin
Morris Siebert
Jean Taylor Simms
Howard Stanton
Harold Tate
Claude Tripplett
Norma Jennings Turner
Pearl Waterson Turner
Juanita Wanzer
Frances Tibbs Wheeler
Cynthia Anderson Williams
Lorraine Parker Williams
Carlton R. Willis

Special Announcement of Freedmen’s Cemetery Sculpture

An Opportunity to Participate in the Freedmen’s Cemetery Sculpture

The three artist finalists are busy working on their proposals for the Freedmen’s Cemetery sculpture. The Selection Panel has requested that the artists consider using descendant families as models for the figures. The Office of the Arts would like to gather digital photographs of the descendant families to provide to the artists. If you have existing photographs of grandparents, great-grandparents, or great-great grandparents, the Office is interested in scanning or taking pictures of them so they can be sent to the artists. Additionally, if you or another member of your family is interested in serving as a model, the Office of the Arts staff will be happy to photograph you. Interested descendants may contact Irene Dellet, Alexandria Commission for the Arts intern, at: 703-746-5588 or email by Monday, June 18. Irene will also be following up with phone calls to the descendant families. If you are interested in participating, you may bring your photographs to the Durant Arts Center, 1605 Cameron Street, by June 18 or make arrangements for Office of the Arts staff to come to your home. Durant Arts Center hours: Monday – Thursday 9am – 10pm; Friday 9am – 5pm.

Alexandria African American World War I Draft Registrations – Part 3: C

Douglass Carter's WWI Draft Card
Douglass Robinson Carter’s WWI Draft Card

Prior to the 1912 Presidential elections, the majority of the African Americans in the United States were Republicans. Many of them left the Republican Party to vote for Thomas Woodrow Wilson. Wilson promised the African Americans that he would help them if elected.

Once Wilson became President, he reneged on his promise to help African Americans. Instead, he supported the Jim Crow laws in the south, and brought more Southern Democrats to his Administration that supported Jim Crow. The President did not interfere with the Jim Crow laws and the activities of the KKK.

Before Woodrow Wilson became President, he was president of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910. He used his influence after he became the United States President to prevent African Americans from attending Princeton.

African Americans were disappointed, but that did not discourage them in their dedication to their Country. When the Country entered War World I, many of them enlisted in the military.

Alexandria African Americans proved their loyalty by signing up for the draft like many other African Americans did throughout the United States. They were segregated in the military; but they still entered the military in large numbers.

Below are the African American Alexandrians with the “C” surnames.

Calloway, Joseph – born September 1875
Calwell, George – born November 13, 1889
Campbell, Carl – born May 1, 1882
Campbell, Richard – September 20, 1881
Carol, James – born January 11, 1895
Carpenter, George William – March 26, 1884
Carpenter, James Walter – born September 1889
Carroll, Charles – born January 18, 1882
Carroll, Joseph – born August 19, 1875
Carroll, Marshall – born January 1, 1877
Carter, Douglass Robinson – born October 18, 1884
Carter, Ferdinand – born February 20, 1885
Carter, George – born in 1895
Carter, Irving Chesterfield – born July 3, 1891
Carter, Isaac – born December 4, 1876
Carter, Isaac Westley – born August 25, 1897
Carter, John Lewis – born September 2, 1892
Carter, Robert – born September 1, 1890
Carter, Rubin – born January 22, 1898
Carter, Thedore Edward – born August 18, 1891
Carter, Willie – born May 15, 1898
Carum, Moalbond – born September 9, 1883
Casey, Charles – born April 15, 1900
Cash, Hollis – born March 17, 1890
Cass, Robert – born May 1, 1893
Celenay, Thomas – born June 11, 1899
Cephas, Abraham David – born July 23, 1874
Chambers, Peter Roland – born January 1, 1873
Chapman, George Marshall – born September 5, 1875
Chase, Lorenzo – born October 15, 1880
Chase, Thomas Melton – born February 16, 1877
Cheatham, Arthur – born May 4, 1897
Cheeks, Robert – born July 1, 1874
Childress, Charles Franklin – born July 5, 1899
Chinn, Charles Horace – born July 12, 1899
Chinn, Charles William – born May 29, 1877
Chisley, Charles H – born May 13, 1897
Churchill, James – born April 22, 1894
Churchman, Webster – born September 10, 1874
Chruchwell, Richard – born September 10, 1887
Clark, Ben – born August 18, 1900
Clark, Henry – born March 4, 1881
Clark, James Henry – born August 11, 1875
Clark, Louis Edward – born September 10, 1885
Clay, Robert – born March 2, 1888
Clayton, Nathan C – born December 25, 1875
Clinkett, Isaac Edward – born May 4, 1884
Cloxom, Christopher – born March 2, 1896
Cochran, Albert Alonzo – born November 22, 1888
Colbert, William Huston – born November 7, 1899
Cole, Thomas – born October 15, 1888
Coleman, George – born December 26, 1886
Coleman, Henry – born April 17, 1900
Coleman, James Arthur – born August 10, 1881
Coleman, Jesse – born December 15, 1888
Coleman, Joseph – born May 4, 1875
Coles, Jesse – born December 18, 1879
Coles, Russell H – born June 30, 1874
Collahan, George – born March 29, 1880
Collier, Charles – born December 25, 1883
Collins, Haywood Augustus – born November 22, 1898
Collins, Samuel Oliver – born March 23, 1878
Collins, Sydney – born March 23, 1890
Colv(b)ert, James Walter – born December 25, 1881
Conner, West – born January 22, 1880
Contee, Allan James – born December 6, 1893
Contee, Ernest Montgomery – born September 22, 1887
Contee, Norman Joseph – born April 26, 1880
Conway, Eugene – born June 8, 1899
Cooper, Claude M – born March 25, 1890
Cooper, Jacob – born August 27, 1888
Corbin, Edward R – born in 1895
Corbin, Frank Wesley – born November 5, 1882
Corbin, Henry Alexandria – born March 15, 1882
Corbin, John – born January 1, 1889
Corbin, Luther – born January 13, 1897
Corbin, Wilford Henry – born December 17, 1898
Cotton, Gus – born in 1894
Cox, William L – born November 11, 1889
Craig, William Braddock – born March 29, 1889
Crawford, Isiah – born January 29, 1895
Crawford, John – born October 22, 1896
Creditt, William – born in June 1893
Crosby, George Edward – born June 1, 1876
Cross, Grayson – born June 30, 1880
Crumpton, Paul – born July 4, 1893
Crutchfield, Elmore – born February 28, 1890
Cullin, Robert – born March 11, 1899
Cummings, Marion – born in September 1884
Curtis, George Lemuel – born February 18, 1874
Curtis, William – born in 1893

%d bloggers like this: