- Local History
Tuskegee Airman Willie Howell Fuller Tarboro’s 'Red Tail'
With the showing of the movie Redtails in movie theaters today about the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, it is appropriate that we remember Tarboro’s own “Red Tail,” Willie Howell Fuller. Prior to Tuskegee Airmen, there had been no African American military pilots. Highly motivated, they proved themselves to be a particularly effective fighting squadron, escorting bombers. The Airmen were called “Red Tails” because they painted the tails of their P-51 Mustangs red.
The Emancipation Proclamation was issued Jan. 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln. With the newfound freedom of slaves, during the brink of conflict with the American Civil War, many were able to connect with a world of opportunity. Education and worship were a few of these opportunities according to Lovie Rooks, retired Edgecombe County educator and Tarboro native.
W. A. Pattillo: Educator, Community Leader
When Walter Alexander Pattillo came to Tarboro 1912, he joined an established educational system that was already serving the black community. Building on that foundation, he developed a comprehensive union school (first grade through twelfth grade) for the area blacks.
Lawrence and Mary Eliza Cotten Fountain remains moved from family farm
We are two great grandchildren who initiated this project: Ardelia Harper Long “Dee” of Tarboro and William Buckley Fountain “Bill” of Richmond, VA.
This past June the remains of Lawrence Fountain (1832-1895) and his wife, Mary Eliza Cotten Fountain (1841-1921) were moved 3 and 3/10 miles from a cotton field on Route 33 to the William and Mary Hart Presbyterian Church cemetery in Leggett. They were placed beside their son, William Fountain.
Remembering the Veterans of World War I
Friday, November 11, 2011 was Veterans Day. It was designated to commemorate the service of all men and women in the armed forces. It is always on Nov. 11 because it was at 11 am on the 11th of November, 1918 that the armistice was signed to end World War I.
We have no surviving papers from 1911-1919 so we don’t know details of who served, who died, and what the folks at home were doing during this first major war of the twentieth century. However, two items were given to the Edgecombe County Memorial Library that reveal a little to us.
The Phillips Family Beneficiaries of Bricks School
Last month’s column was devoted to The Joseph Keasbey Brick School and Junior College near Enfield. This column looks at the Phillips family that benefited greatly from the education they received from the instruction and cultural exposure from Bricks School.
The first college for African Americans in Edgecombe County was The Joseph Keasbey Brick School and Junior College which operated from 1895-1933. The school stood on the former Estes plantation, located three miles south of Enfield. Thomas Sewall Inborden was the first Principal and served from 1895-1926. His history of the school describes some of the events that lead to the founding of the school.
Pictures are worth a thousand words
This month, instead of a story we will examine some photos and the stories they have revealed.
Back in July, my column included a photograph of a school trip of Crisp second and third graders to the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Tarboro in 1952. That column generated a lot of response. Several of the children in the photo, now grown, recalled the “big trip to Tarboro” and helped identify some of the folks.
100-Year-Old Law Firm Celebrates Centennial
The history of the Battle family in Edgecombe County precedes their ownership of the cotton mill at the falls when Nash County stopped at the west side of Tar River, and their legacy resounds in the history of Tarboro.
Public Power Week begins Sunday
The Town of Tarboro is once again celebrating Public Power Week in a way sure to please at least three electricity customers.
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- Tuskegee Airman Willie Howell Fuller Tarboro’s 'Red Tail'