Alexandria, VA – Parker-Gray School’s Project

I am looking for people or/and their relatives who attended Alexandria, Virginia’s Parker-Gray School from 1920 – 1965. Please see my flyer for my contact information. Parker-GraySchool flyer3SocialMedia. Thanks.

Ellen Elizabeth Carter-Goods – A Special Teacher

Ellen Carter-Goods
1937 Honeymoon Cruise

Behind the scene of the Alexandria Gazette’s story on Ellen Carter-Goods dated September 12, 2018.

Ellen Elizabeth Carter was born on September 21, 1907 in her parents’ home at 614 South Washington Street. Her parents were Douglas Robinson Carter and Elizabeth Campbell. By 1910, the family had moved to 603 South St. Asaph Street. In 1916, the family was living at 821 Gibbon Street. Her father was a skilled carpenter, his occupation was listed in the City Directory as a contractor/builder. He built his own house at 911 Princess Street between the years of 1916-1917. The family was living at the house in 1918.

Ellen was the oldest of ten siblings, only seven lived until adulthood. Between Ellen and her youngest sibling, Alfred Dubois Carter, there was a twenty-year gap. She taught several of her siblings, especially her youngest brother, Alfred. He was in her class at Parker-Gray School.

During the early 20th Century, many women stayed home until they married. Ellen was one of those women. She stayed home until she married Moses Goods, Sr. Also Moses Goods was living at home with his mother in Washington, D.C., when he married Ellen on June 7, 1937. They were married at Roberts Chapel Methodist Church. For their honeymoon, Moses and Ellen went on a cruise. The picture with this blog shows the thirty-year old Ellen on the ship.

Although Ellen’s parents were Methodist, Ellen converted to Catholicism. She was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. After Ellen and Moses’ honeymoon, they moved to 318 Hopkins Court in Alexandria, VA. After sometime, they moved temporarily to 2719 Sherman Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. In 1950, they moved to 2460 South Lowell Street, Arlington, VA and finally to 420 East Custis Avenue, Alexandria, VA.

You can check out the article, ‘A Special Teacher’ in the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper on pages 12 and 30 at http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2018/091218/Alexandria.pdf.

Miss Laura Missouri Dorsey

Behind the Alexandria Gazette story on Laura Missouri Dorsey dated January 11 – 17, 2018.

Several years ago, I visited and interviewed Miss Laura Missouri Dorsey’s second cousin, Mrs. Fayrene Lyles-Richardson in Maryland. In talking with Fayrene, she shared many family pictures of the Lyles and Dorsey families. One particular picture was of two cars in the Lyles family in the early 20th century.

Very few people of colored (African Americans) owned automobiles at that time, but the

Lyles Family with their Vehicles

Lyles not only had one vehicle, they had two in the family. Also in Fayrene’s collection were many pictures about the family life style. There were summer homes up north, post cards from their vacations in the 1900s – 1950s. There were pictures of their homes in Alexandria, Virginia and in Prince William County, Virginia. In the collection were professional pictures of the Lyles’ brothers at a photographer’s studio and pictures of Laura and her sister, Mary and their mother, Hannah.

As Fayrene and I pored over the pictures, we went back in time to a period when the Lyles and Dorsey family flourished. The public records have documented the life style of the Lyles and Dorsey families in the censuses, tax records, newspaper articles, marriages, death records, church records and pre-civil war documents. Laura Missouri Dorsey and her uncle, Rosier Lyles were educators in the Alexandria Public school system. Laura’s grandfather, Reverend Richard H. Lyles was the pillar of Alexandria’s African American’s Society. He was born free in 1834. Reverend Lyles was a minister at Roberts Chapel in the 19th Century; he taught private school prior to the Civil War; he worked for the Federal Government at the Freedmen Bureau; he was active in Alexandria’s Republican Party; he was a caulker on ships; he owned a business on the wharf; and, he owned a number of properties in Alexandria. He afforded his family many pleasures of life that was found among the white middle class.

The heyday for the Lyles family started prior to the Civil War through the middle of the 20th Century. They regained all their property losses during the Civil War. The Lyles and the Dorsey families left a positive history that will make many Alexandrians eager to learn more about them. Read the article on “Laura Dorsey” in the Alexandria Gazette Packet for January 11 – 17, 2018. You can sign up for a digital copy of the paper at http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/subscribe.

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: