Knox College Struggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
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Mrs. J.W. Earley
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TitleMrs. J.W. Earley
DescriptionNotes taken by Knox College Professor of Sociology, J. Howell Atwood, from an interview with Mrs. J.W. Earley. Earley relates information about African American children and schools in Galesburg, Illinois and the race prejudice children encountered. The school at the railroad tie plant is discussed.
School integration
Race relations
Named PersonEarley, Mrs. J.W.; Williams, George; Brown, Abbie; McRae, Jonathan; McConnell, A.J.; Hogue-Barnett, Mrs. (Mrs. Edith Hoge?); Holley, Samuel W.; Booker, Dayse Walker;
CreatorAtwood, Jesse Howell;
Time Period1930s
Date Created (original)1936
IdentifierJ. Howell Atwood Manuscript Collection
CollectionStruggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
Date Digital2012-06-08
TranscriptMrs. J.W. Earley

Colored School Children

If they have interest one
can get results -- progress.
The homes are innocent of
books -- parents don't read
very much. Conversat[io]n is
not on a very high level.
Visiting teachers testify that
cultured homes (black or
white) produces children
interested in school.
Drop out around 14-15
for the boys. girls -- from
15-17. Boys if they stay on finish.
Boys go to work. Parents can't
support them. More do for this reason
than for lack of interest.
Girls don't seem to see the
value of an educat[io]n. They
could be kept in school. They
seem to have more academic

p. 2
Mrs. J.W. Earley

troubles than the boys.
From the view point of the
white teachers -- the Negro
children seem to segregate
themselves. They are over-
sensitive. The teacher may
say something quite inno-
cently at which the child
becomes offended. "I've tried
to tell them that they can
be broad-minded and be
thoughtful & 9 times out of 10
there wont be many problems
of discipline if they like the
teachers. Of course there are
prejudiced teachers. But I've
gotten around them: just by
being nice."
Many N. [Negro] children are used
to being whipped -- not used
to being talked to. Are

p. 3
Mrs. J.W. Earley 3

more stubborn at times.
One of my little boys is
stubborn -- refuses to talk
when asked a question. I
have another smart 5th grad-
er who must be kept busy.
Gets in to mischief -- resists
correction -- talks back. On
the whole I have little
discipline trouble.

At high school N. [Negro] stud-
ents have no membership
in the literary clubs. After
my graduat[io]n they tried a
club for colored students.
Girls aren't allowed to swim.
N. [Negro] Boys used to swim with
white boys, but they have
a class by themselves now.

p. 4
Mrs. J.W. Earley

Waterman School
named after Waterman
a CBQ superintendant at
the Timber Treatment Plant.

The old tie plant school -- in the
present Mexican camp at the Plant.
Purpose -- convenience of the
children -- avoiding the necess-
ity of crossing the plant
property -- coal piles etc. The
colored people at the plant
asked for a bldg [building] which
would serve both as a
school & a church.
The Four (a committee
Mr. Geo. Williams
Mr. Abbie Brown
Mr. Jno McRae
Mr. A.J. McConnell
They discussed among
themselves first then asked
Mr. W. if they could have

p. 5

this church-school on the
company property. He said
they'd first have to go to
Mr. Boyes -- county supt of
schools. If he would furn-
ish teacher & supplies -- the
Co. [county] would provide bldg &
grounds. This was about
1921-22. (Mrs. Hogue-
Barnett taught there 14 years,
which would make the
opening of the school in '22.)
There would have to be
at least 20 to put the plan
thru -- Mr. W. (They had
22) Mr. W. Went to see
each pupil individually.
The bldg. was built out
along the main highway.
Mrs. Hogue-Barnett was
highly esteemed by the

p. 6

Mexican & Negroes at the
She spoke Spanish fluently.
She was 1/2 Indian (mother) & 1/2 Negro (F)
She had lived in Mexico.
The first year they had a
3 day picnic in Sept.
Mayor Hawkinson
was a guest speaker. Also
Mr. Holley, a colored
citizen -- former policeman &
ex soldier was also a guest
speaker. They had foot
races, baseball, dancing,
aeroplane rides, barbecue
(the largest in recent times)
a tie carrying exhibit and
preaching. It was wonder-
ful that everything was
peaceful -- no one hurt.

p. 7

The material for grand
stands was furnished by
Mr. W.
This picnic
was in 1922 when the
1st (old) tie plant school
was completed. Held
near the 1st school.
When the new bldg.
was dedicated Mrs. Dayse
Walker Booker gave the

Present enrollment is
20. Last year, 21.
It is an excellent bldg. for
a county school. It lacks
a basement -- (for play in
bad weather). The Co.
furnishes the coal used. The
county buys the wood.

p. 8

There are no Mexicans
living at the plant in Sept.
1936. All the children are
colored children.

Physical Descriptionhandwritten on half sheets
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