George Washington Carver Visits Suffolk, Virginia, 1922

The New York Age, October 7, 1922

Prof. Carver To Tell White Virginians About the Peanut – Will Lecture Daily at Four County Fair To Be Held at Suffolk Oct. 24-27, In Connection With First Big Peanut Exhibit — (Special to The New York Age)
The Four County Fair, to be held October 24 to 27, is owned and controlled entirely by the white people of this section. The secretary, Mr. Jordan, announces that the most striking feature of the forthcoming exhibition will be the peanut exhibit, with Prof. George W. Carver, director of chemical research of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, Alabama, lecturing daily during the fair to the white farmers and visitors.
The peanut industry, one of the largest agricultural industries in five states, has never yet attempted such an exhibition, and Secretary Jordan says it is but right “that the first exhibit of its kind in the world should be in Suffolk. We are going to have the first exhibit of its kind and it will be the most unique in the world.” Mr. Jordan is himself prominently identified with the peanut industry.
The secretary has been working for several weeks to plan this exhibit, and declares he would not have attempted it unless it had been possible to secure Prof. Carver, who will also bring his collection of exhibits. The arrangements were concluded by telegraph on September 22.
Plans for the unusual exhibit are now complete, whereby the numerous products manufactured from the peanut grown and marketed in this section of Virginia will be shown. The exhibit will be a revelation to everyone in this section.
Many Peanut Products

Prof. Carver, of Tuskegee, through his research work with the peanut, has opened new vistas for the industry, and his efforts will greatly benefit the producing states. He has produced for practical commercial uses from the peanut, the following, all of which will be on exhibition: Three kinds of butter, two salad oils, meal stock, for cattle and swine, flour for diabetics, meals for polishing metals, cake, numerous confections, ground hay, leather dyes of nineteen shades, instant coffee, bisque from peanut milk, Worcester sauce, chili sauce, sprouts, relishes, breakfast foods, axle grease, toilet and laundry soaps, quinine from the red skins, tannic acid, linoleum, glycerin, from which nitroglycerin was made during the war, butter chili, lard compound, oleomargarine, cheese filler, pomade, ink, purple and black indelible, wood stains of nine shades and colors, and peanut milk.
Peanut milk is of particular interest. An ordinary tumbler of shelled peanuts will produce one pint of rich, creamy milk, containing three times as much carbohydrates, and twelve times as much fat, as cow’s milk.
“By controlling the quantity of carbohydrates and proteins used,” says Professor Carver, “many different grades of milk can be made.” This milk is now being used for culinary purposes.
Born In Little Shanty
The life of Professor Carver reads like a romance. He was born in Diamond Grove, Mo., in a one-room log shanty. His parents were slaves. Like the late Booker T. Washington, with whom he was associated for many years at Tuskegee, he fought his way upward from reconstruction days, and won his education by manual labor.

He went to school at Fayetteville, Ark., then to Neosho, Mo., working as he went. With the help of friends, but mostly by his own efforts he entered Simpson College at Indianola, Iowa, and later completed his work in science and agriculture at Iowa State College, where he took the degrees of bachelor and master.  

Professor Carver was then added to the faculty and placed in charge of the greenhouse, bacteriological laboratory and work in systematic botany and was called from that post by Booker T. Washington to his present work at Tuskegee. For thirty years he has worked at that institution. He is now past sixty years of age.
By assembling the numerous everyday products made of peanuts, numbering about fifty different commercial items, and with those of Professor Carver, the peanut exhibit at Suffolk in October will be made worth traveling many miles to see.
These exhibits and the cost of assembling them is borne largely by some of the leading peanut cleaners of this section. The exhibit will be along educational lines only.

The New York Age, October 7, 1922

I suspect The New York Age carried this story on Prof. George Washington Carver’s visit to Suffolk in part due to merchant and businessman Robert Williams’ long-standing professional and personal friendship with Frederick Randolph Moore, editor of The New York Age.

Robert Williams (1867-1952), of Oxford, Granville County, North Carolina, was one of early Suffolk’s leading African American businessmen from 1902, until his death in 1952. He is buried along with his wife, Fannie B. Hargrove Williams (1876-1937), in historic Oak Lawn Cemetery (est. 1885), Suffolk. Look for our upcoming blog concerning Robert Williams in the near future.

For more on Professor George Washington Carver, see this link.

Professor George Washington Carver, date unknown. Library of Congress

Oak Lawn Cemetery tiers and ravine, February 4, 2019

Oak Lawn Cemetery tiers and ravine, February 4, 2019

Photos: Nadia K. Orton. All rights reserved

Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Foundation members Reginald H. Dirtion, President; Rev. Oulaniece Saunders, Vice President; Nadia K. Orton, Secretary/Historian; Brenda Orton; and M/M Lane, Lane Environmental Consultants.

Oak Lawn Cemetery approved for state funding

From the board of the Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Foundation: Special thanks to: the African American community of Suffolk, Virginia; Suffolk Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 5, LeOtis Williams, Frances McNair, Mike Lane, M/M Hinton (Eye Catch Photos), Otis Richards, First Baptist Church Mahan (FBC), Dr. Harry Quinton and Lt. Col. Bill Burrell (Tidewater Chapter, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.), and the staff of the East Suffolk Recreation Center. Also, Del. Hayes, Jr. (Dist. 77), Vice-Mayor L. Bennett, and Councilman C. Milteer,

Dedicated to the memory of Deacon George Lee Richards, Sr.

Duke Magazine (Winter 2018): Article featuring Oak Lawn Cemetery

The Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Foundation

Preserving African American History of Suffolk, Virginia with Integrity

Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Open House

We had a great day on Saturday, February 9, 2019, at the Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Open House! Thanks to all who braved the cold to honor this sacred ground, including: the members of the Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Foundation – President Reginald H. Dirtion, Vice-President Rev. Oulaniece Saunders, Treasurer Wilbur Holland, Jr., Historian/Secretary Nadia K. Orton; Delegate C. E. Cliff Hayes, Jr., chief sponsor, HB 2311; Suffolk Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 5; Frances McNair; Lt. Col./Chaplain William Burrell (USAF), President, Tidewater Chapter, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.; Tuskegee Airman Dr. Harry Quinton; Mike Lane, Lane Environmental Consultants; Rev. Baker; the Orton Family, and
Vice Mayor L. Bennett (Suffolk) . Also, huge thanks to M/M Hinton of Eye Catch Photos!

(Photos: courtesy R. Hinton, Eye Catch Photos, and Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Foundation. All rights reserved)

Members of the Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Foundation with Frances McNair (left), and Delegate C. E. Cliff Hayes, Jr. (Dist. 77, center); Dennis Orton, William Goodman and Sam Jones, Suffolk Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 5
The Historic Oak Lawn Foundation with Lt. Col./ Chaplain Dr. Bill Burrell (USAF), President, Tidewater Chapter, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (left), and Dr. Harry Quinton, Tuskegee Airman (right), at the gravesite of !st. Lt. William H. Walker (1919-1943), Tuskegee Airman

Cpl. William Parks, 135th Regiment, U. S. Colored Infantry

Gravestone of Cpl. William Parks, Co. G, 135th Regiment, U. S. Colored Infantry. Photo: Nadia K. Orton, May 26, 2018. All rights reserved

Introducing Cpl. William Parks, a newly found African American veteran of the Civil War. Nadia Orton, historian and secretary of the Foundation, first uncovered the gravestone of Cpl. Parks over the Decoration Day (Memorial Day) weekend in 2018. Cpl. Parks was born about 1843 in Mobile, Alabama. He enlisted on May 5, 1865, at the Ridgeway Depot in Warren County, North Carolina. At the time of his enlistment, he was described as five feet, seven inches tall, with a “yellow” complexion, black eyes and hair. Cpl. Parks mustered in on May 5, 1865, in Washington, D. C. He was promoted to Corporal on June 1, 1865 by special order, and mustered out four months later on October 23rd, at Louisville, Kentucky.

After his discharge from service, Cpl Parks returned to Warren County, and lived in the Smith Creek district with his wife, Lydia. In 1889, the family moved to Suffolk, Virginia. Cpl. William Parks passed away in 1897. His wife, Lydia, remained in Suffolk until her death on November 7, 1924. To date, we have not found her gravesite, but suspect she may be interred next to her husband in an unmarked grave.

The Historic Oak Lawn Cemetery Foundation

Preserving African American History of Suffolk, Virginia with Integrity