Clifton D. Wanzer: The View from the Air Traffic Controllers’ Tower

Clifton D. Wanzer
1971

Clifton D. Wanzer is the oldest son of Daniel Wanzer and Viola Williams. He grew up in the Seminary (West End) of Alexandria, Virginia. A great deal of Clifton’s life has been in the years of segregation, but that period did not stop him for sketching out a better life for himself and his family.

Clifton D. Wanzer
1950s Air Force –
Air Traffic Controller

Although Clifton does not know whether he was the first Alexandrian African American to be an Air Traffic Controller, but it is clear that he was one of the first from his home town to have a view from the Air Traffic Controller’s Tower.

You can read more about Clifton D. Wanzer in the Alexandria Gazette newspaper on page 11 dated February 5, 2020 at
http://connection.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/news/documents/2020/02/05/Alexandria.pdf. Also you can read on page 10 a letter to the editor from Frances Burton.

Lewis Funeral Home – In the Business of Caring

Behind the scenes of the Alexandria Gazette Packet’s article on, “In the Business of Caring Bell and Johnson Funeral Service” January 22, 2019.

Grace Bell like so many African Americans in Alexandria decided to have her child in Washington, DC at the Freedmen Hospital. During the years of segregation, the Alexandria hospital had few colored beds and the condition of treatment was not the same as others for Blacks. So Grace decided in 1932 to have her son, Phillip Bell at the Freedmen Hospital.

Phillip Bell

Phillip Bell grew up surrounded with a loving mother, grandparents, Sebron and Teresa Anderson-Bell and his aunties and uncles. One of Phillip’s aunts was Alice Christine Bell Lewis who was the wife of Lloyd Lewis who got Phillip started in the funeral business. After Lloyd Lewis died in 1967, his widow Alice married Ferris Leonard Holland. Alice and Ferris worked at Parker-Gray School during the segregation era. Alice was an administrator and Ferris was the science teacher. Today, Lloyd and Alice Lewis’ son Lloyd still lives in the area.

When Phillip decided to attend the funeral home academy in New York, he did not leave his family behind. He took his wife and children with him while he was obtaining his degree in mortuary science.

Lewis Funeral Home
311 N. Patrick Street

Prior to Phillip moving his funeral business from Wolfe Street to 311 N. Patrick Street, he obtained Richard H. Poole’s funeral home that was located at the same address. Richard H. Poole died on August 7, 1987. He was born between 1891 and 1893 but his birth was reported by the Nursing Home as being born in 1900. Other documents showed he had an earlier birth. Phillip Bell took care of Richard’s funeral. Phillip’s signature was on Richard’s death certificate and the name and address of the funeral home: Lewis Funeral Home, 311 N. Patrick Street, Alexandria, VA.

Winona Morrissette-Johnson

Although, Phillip and Winona moved their business into 311 N. Patrick Street they hung out the sign for their business as Lewis Funeral Home. Phillip never forgot the generosity of his uncle who got him started in the Funeral business.

Phillip Bell and Lloyd Lewis made their mark on Alexandria’s African American History. They indeed provided a needed service in the African American community.

Check out this article, “In the Business of Caring: Bell and Johnson Funeral Service, from the Alexandria Gazette Packet on pages 8 and 14 at
http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2020/012220/Alexandria.pdf.

A Life Well Lived: Dr. Charles Fremont West

Dr. Charles F. West
1970s

Dr. Charles F. West was a high achiever. Few African Americans who were born in the late 1800s achieved the types of accomplishments as Dr. West. He was a man of many talents who was liked by many.

After returning from the 1924 Olympics in Paris, he made a decision to pursue an academic career in medicine. After completing his undergrad degree, he applied to Howard University Medical School. He graduated in 1928. He practice medicine in Alexandria, Virginia for fifty-years. If you want to know more about Dr. West, please read the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper article dated September 25, 2019 on page 10 at, The Alexandria Gazette Newspaper.

 

Update – Life and Times of the Livery Man

Moses Stevens – 1902 Business Listing

Update to my post on, “Life and Times of the Livery Man.” During the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries when a person was in the business of using their stables, horses, buggies, wagons and carriages for picking up people and delivering goods, they were known in some circles as the “Livery Man”.

For Moses Stevens, he was known in his community as the “Livery Man”. See the 1902 listing of Moses Stevens in the Alexandria City Directory.

%d bloggers like this: