1900 Entrepreneurs

There were many African Americans businesses in Alexandria, Virginia.  African Americans were in occupations as barbers, blacksmiths and Wheelwrights, a Boarding House, Boot and Shoemakers Repairs, Coal and Wood, Confectioners, Dressmakers, Eating Houses, Grocers, Gun and Locksmith, a Junk Dealer, a Livery Stable and a Physician. 

Some African American businesses never made it to the Business section of the City Directory for whatever reason.  Listed are the people and their occupations and locations for the year 1900 that were in the Alexandria City Directory.


William Diggs – 312 N Fairfax Street

Dulany & Son – 504 King Street

Ernest G. Grady – 207 King Street

Albert Green – 419 Oronok(c)o Street

Hammond & Jones – 619 King Street

Benjamin F. Lucas – 206 N Fayette Street

Ross & Thompson – 1025 King Street

Larkin Smith – 104 S Royal Street

Herbert P Tancil – 305 King Street

Julia F Triplett – 116 N Royal Street

John Triplett – 211 S Fayette Street

Blacksmiths and Wheelwrights

William Davis – 100 Strand Street

Jackson Garrett – 319 N Royal Street

Oliver Norris – Franklin corn S Patrick Street

Boarding House

Champ Carter – 111 S Union Street

Boot and Shoe Makers and Repairers

Beverly Butler – 318 N Pitt Street

Edmond Fry – 420 S Royal Street

Charles Gray – 521 S Columbus Street

Weston Green – 417 N St. Asaph Street

Charles Jackson – 220 N Fayette Street

Gustavus A Lumpkins – 810 Queen Street

George W Martin, 634 S St. Asaph Street

Gilson Spence – 1210 Cameron Street

John H Webb – 227 Commerce Street

Strother Webb – 428 N Patrick Street

Coal and Wood

Harry B Boteler – 716 N Henry Street

Ernest J Frazier – 622 S Washington Street

Sidney D Lane – 417 N Henry Street

Charles Medley – 235 Commerce Street


Edward W Dudley – 934 N Columbus Street

Henry E Green – 212 N Payne Street

Charles Keys – 204 N Fayette Street

William H Rich – 135 Peyton Street


Agnes C Proctor – 408 N Patrick Street

Sarah Taylor – 822 N Columbus Street

Eating Houses

Frank B Baltimore – 204 N Fayette Street

Richard Morgan – 601 S Columbus Street

Anna Shackelford – front of Oronok(c)o Street

Charles Williams – 112 King Street

John A Wilson – 223 Commerce Street


William Burr – 429 First Street

William S Dogan – 601 S Asaph Street

Edmund Hill – 1012 Wythe Street

W N Jackson – 200 N Payne Street

William R Lee – 903 Princess Street

William H Whiting – 517 Gibbon Street

Gun and Locksmith

John Jones – 528 N Columbus Street

Junk Dealer

Thomas E Arrington – 528 Gibbon Street

Livery Stable

Moses Stevens – 1325 Cameron Street


Albert Johnson – 814 Duke Street

Hallowell School – 1893 Teachers’ Census

Hallowell Public Black School for Girls

George L. Seaton built another School in the City of Alexandria for black girls.  The Freedmen Bureau funded the Hallowell School in 1867.   The basic design of the school was similar to the Snowden School.  The school was located on North Alfred Street, between Princess and Oronoco Streets. 

Prior to Sarah A. Gray becoming the principal of Hallowell School, Mrs. Matilda A. Madden was the principal and her assistant teachers were Mrs. Jane A. Crouch and Miss Harriett Douglas.

Hallowell was sometime called “Lee School, just like Snowden School was known by another name.  It is unknown why Hallowell was referred to as the Lee School.  When the City of Alexandria took over the Black Girls School, the School was named Hallowell after a white educator in Alexandria.

Alexandria Black Girls School
1893 Hallowell School Teacher Census

Every school year, the State of Virginia required all counties to provide a school census of their teachers.  The 1893 School year for the City of Alexandria School listed the following teachers for Hallowell School:

 Mrs. Louisa R. Cabainss – 1906 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC

Mrs. Rosetta L. Holland – 315 South Royal Street, Alexandria, VA

Miss Margaret E. Darnell – 117 South West Street, Alexandria, VA

Miss Bessie K. Spriggs – 602 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA

Miss Sarah J. Derrick – 610 Gibbon Street, Alexandria, VA

Miss Sarah A. Gray – Pleasant View, Alexandria County

Mrs. Harriet E. Thornton, Substitute – 323 North Patrick Street, Alexandria, VA

Miss Maggie A. White – 1016 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA

Snowden School – 1893 Teachers’ Census

Snowden Public Black School for Boys

Shortly after the civil war in 1867, the Freedmen Bureau commissioned George L. Seaton to build two schools for the African Americans in the City of Alexandria.  George, a highly respected African American carpenter built the Snowden School for boys located at Pitt Street between Gibbon and Franklin Streets.  The school was a two-story built frame building with six classrooms.

The first principal of Snowden School was William F. Powell and his assistant teachers were Miss Sarah A. Gray and Miss Carrie Claggett.  Snowden School had a Black Board of Trustees that continued to monitor the Black Education in the City of Alexandria.

Prior to the Snowden School becoming the Black Boys Public School in Alexandria, it was known as the, “Seaton School.”  Once the City of Alexandria took over the School building, the School was named Snowden, after a white educator in Alexandria, but many people referred to the Schoolhouse as the “Seaton Building.”

Alexandria Black Boys School
1893 Snowden School Teachers' Census

Every school year, the State of Virginia required all counties to provide a school census of their teachers.  The 1893 School year for the City of Alexandria School listed the following teachers for Snowden School:

Mr. John F. Parker – 810 North Columbus Street, Alexandria, VA

Mr. William H. Madella – 217 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA

Mr. Patrick H. Lumpkin – 810 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA

Mr. Norman B. Pinn – 816 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA

Mr. Richard A. Diggs – 325 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA

Mr. Ros(z)ier D. Lyles – 405 North Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA

Mr. Robert B. Thompson, Substitute – 500 block of North Columbus Street

1920 Parker-Gray Class

Front Row Left to Right: Reverend A.W. Adkins, Henry T. White, Laura Dorsey, Rozier D. Lyles and James E. Howard. Back Left Row: Mayme Anderson, Margaret Young, Florence Murray, Harriet E. Thornton, Susie Madden and Sarah D. Gray

Prior to 1920, a group of concerned African American citizens which included Reverend Samuel B. Ross, Samuel Tucker, Henry Taylor, Blanche Parker Taylor and the alumni from the Hallowell and Snowden Schools pressured the City of Alexandria for a new school building.  By 1920, the African American community had a new school located at Alfred and Wythe Streets.  The school was named after two former principals at Snowden and Hallowell Schools, John F. Parker and Sarah A. Gray.

The First Faculty at Parker-Gray School included one principal and ten teachers in 1920. 

Mr. Henry T. White – Principal – taught 7th grade

Reverend Andrew Warren (A.W.) Adkins – taught 4th and 5th grades

Mrs. Mayme Anderson – taught 5th grade

Miss Laura A.  Dorsey – taught 1st grade

Mrs. Sarah D. Gray – taught 3rd grade

Mr. James E. Howard – taught 3rd grade

Mr. Rozier D. Lyles – taught 6th grade

Mrs. Susie Madden – taught 2nd grade

Mrs. Florence Murray – taught 2nd grade

Mrs. Harriet E. Thornton – taught 5th grade

Mrs. Margaret Young – taught 1st grade

%d bloggers like this: