Richard W. Bentley – 19th and 20th Century Businessman

Behind the scenes of the article on Richard W. Bentley

Inez Howard-Dishman and son, Howard F. Dishman

Mr. Howard Frederick Dishman, Sr., was the only child of Howard Armstead Dishman and Inez Howard. Mr. Dishman’s father, Howard Armstead Dishman, was born in Stafford, Virginia. He migrated first to Washington, D.C., then to Alexandria, Virginia. Howard’s grandfather, Armstead Dishman, was a large property owner in Brooke’s section of Stafford, Virginia.

Howard’s mother, Inez’s parents were Fredrick Howard and Cora Bentley. Inez inherited property from her father’s siblings, James Howard and his sister, Sarah Howard who never married. They left their property to their niece, Inez. The property was 620 and 622 North Alfred Street. Inez passed three pieces of property to her son, Howard F. Dishman. Two pieces of properties from her father’s brothers and one parcel of property from her mother’s father.

Inez’s mother, Cora Bentley-Howard Bank, inherited property from her father at 315 North Patrick Street. Cora’s father was Richard W. Bentley. Cora passed her property to her daughter, Inez. Cora had several siblings, one of them was Lewis (Louis) Bentley. Lewis inherited property from his father, Richard Bentley. He inherited the property at 313 North Patrick Street. His property was given to his daughter, Dorothea C. Bentley-Campbell.

The article stated that Howard Dishman inherited properties from his grandfather, Richard Bentley. The information was somewhat correct; but, he inherited the property through his mother by way of his grandfather. This property was at 315 North Patrick Street and the other properties were from his grandfather’s siblings located at 620 and 622 North Alfred Street.

Mrs. Dorothea Bentley-Campbell is the granddaughter to Richard and Sarah Bentley. Mrs. Dorothea and her two sisters, Teresa and Frankie are the last living grandchildren of Richard and Sarah Bentley. Mr. Howard Dishman, Mr. Lynnwood Campbell and his siblings are the great-grandchildren of Richard and Sarah Bentley.

You can read the Alexandria’s article on Richard W. Bentley – 19th and 20th Century Businessman on pages 11 and 21 at

Eugene Shanklin: Buffalo Soldier, WW I Veteran

Behind the scenes of the article on Eugene Thomas Shanklin

Eugene Shanklin Drayton notified me that his great-uncle, Eugene Thomas Shanklin, was a World War I veteran. The only information he shared with me was that his great-uncle

VA Hospital at Kecoughtan – Hampton, Virginia

lost his sight due to the mustard gas he was exposed to in World War I (WW I).

The research started with documenting Eugene’s great-uncle. First, I located Eugene Thomas Shanklin in the United States Censuses from 1900 – 1940. Secondly, I obtained his WW I and WW II draft registration cards. Third, I obtained his death certificate. Fourth, I contacted the Department of Veterans Affairs. Fifth, I contacted the National Arlington Cemetery. Sixth, I researched at the Library of Virginia (Archives) for any information on Eugene’s military service including his WW I discharged questionnaire. Seventh, I obtained information on the Veterans Hospital in Hampton, Virginia. Eighth, I researched the Library of Congress concerning Eugene’s great-uncle’s military Company, Infantry Regiment and Division. Ninth, I researched information at the United States Army Historical Archives’ databases. Tenth, I researched him through the Alexandria City’s directories. Using all of these resources, I was able to write the article on Eugene Thomas Shanklin.

In doing this article, the golden nugget was finding out that Eugene served with the 92nd Division known in France as the “Buffalo Soldiers.” My great-great uncle, John Henry Muse (Lovelace), was a Buffalo Soldier who fought in the Indian Wars and in WW I. Maybe they knew each other.

If you want to share your African American family’s contribution to the history of Alexandria, Virginia with me, contact me through my blog. If I decide to write about it, I will do the research and make their history known.

You can read the Alexandria’s article on Eugene T. Shanklin: Buffalo Soldier, WW I Veteran on page 9 at

Correction to Remembering Parker-Gray School from 1920 – 1965

Front row from left to right: Bernadine Price, Helen Toms, Carolyn McCrae and Alice Thompson; Second row from left to right: Catherine Ward, Pearl Turner, Gertrude Murray and James Beatty and members not in the photo are Jacqueline Golden, Lovell Lee and Ida Gambrell

Two corrections were brought to my attention in my article in the Alexandria Gazette Packet dated August 2nd. One was the picture of the Parker-Gray Alumni Association’s officers. The picture did not include all the names of the individuals; and, one of the member’s names was incorrect.

The second correction was that Parker-Gray did include a 12th grade in the 1950s at their new location at 1207 Madison Street.


Remembering Parker-Gray School from 1920 – 1965

Behind the scene of the article on Parker-Gray School.

Parker-Gray School
1920 – 1965

Parker-Gray School was established in 1920 in Alexandria, Virginia. The first building was located at 901 Wythe Street where the present day Charles Houston Recreation Center is located. The school had grades 1 through 8. By 1930s, high school classes were added going up to grade 11. The first graduating class was in 1936. In September 1950, Parker-Gray High School moved into their new building at 1207 Madison Street. The last graduating high school class was in 1965. In 1975, the Parker-Gray Alumni Association started to celebrate Parker-Gray School’s history and to award scholarships to descendants of Parker-Gray School.

An article in the Alexandria Gazette Packet dated August 2, 2018, on page 11 gives more details of Parker-Gray School’s humble beginnings. You can read the article at If you want to attend this year Parker-Gray School’s Alumni Banquet weekend scheduled for August 17 – 19, 2018, please send an e-mail to me with your contact information; I will pass the information to the coordinator of the Parker-Gray Alumni Association.

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