Rockdale’s black women of the 1950s and 1960s
Reporter contributor

Editor’s note: The fifth edition of Susie Sansom Piper’s Black History Month series “On The Other Side of the Tracks” looks back at notable African- American women in Rockdale’s history.

At this particular time, the world seemed to have made a complete change.

The fabulous fifties and early sixties were times when the baby boomers began to come into focus. Poodle skirts with heavily starched crinoline undergarments so they could stand out were special.

The favorite Little Golden Book for children was published. “Old Yeller” was the favorite movie, and the hippies began to become an intricate part of life.

The Cold Wars and the “never understood” Vietnam war were happening.

Elvis Presley was the favorite singer. The 60s were also labeled as the Kennedy Era, for it was then when the popular John F. Kennedy became president.

The Civil Rights Movement began in the sixties, and there was a vast amount of unrest and explosive upheavals. Nothing was certain, and most of the historical things that happened during this era were unbelievable.

These phenomenal women were probably in their high school years, never really realizing the impact that they would have on their hometown some day.

Emma C. Metcalf, Imogene Gray and Charles E. McDonald McFarland were the next licensed beauticians in the city. All operated in Rockdale, except McFarland who later moved to Houston.

Ora V. Scott—Aycock honor Graduate who began her teaching career in the Liberty Hill Community, then later in Port Arthur. During the early beginnings of Integration, she made history for her hometown as she became one of the first blacks to be a part of the Texas Education Agency. She was a reading specialist.

Annie Marie Denmon- Ellison completed her LVN at Delmar College in Corpus Christi. She worked in this city, later returned to Richards Memorial Hospital, and spent many years there as lab technician.

Imie Mae Banks-Ledbetter— Aycock honor graduate began her teaching career in Sharp, later became a licensed beautician, and a government worker in postal ser v ices in Houston, Texas. She and her late sister, Emma, are owners of the Banks Apartments in Rockdale.

Doris Moore Hardeman was a well-known gospel singer who organized the former Hardeman Echoes. They were well known in the Central Texas area.

Bertha Thomason-Kline, an Aycock honor graduate, was also a graduate of the Prairie View A. & M. Nursing Program. She served as head nurse in the Houston ISD. She is also well known for her Biblical teachings in many other cities.

Mildred Wilhite Lovelady— Aycock honor graduate began her teaching career in Marlin in the field of music. She taught for one year at Aycock, and was transferred to high school during the first year of integration. The following year she began teaching music in the Houston ISD.

Allie Mae Banks Powell— Registered nurse, who was a graduate of Aycock, but completed her nursing education in San Francisco, California. She still resides in that city.

Margaret Banks Flowers— Educator who began her teaching career in Cameron, then to La Grange and later in the Houston ISD working in this district until retirement.

Johnnie M. Black- Steptoe and Bobbie Nell Richard Castleberry, both Aycock Honor graduates who taught in the Fort Worth ISD, and Bobbie also served as counselor for elementary grades.

Bette Smith Williams— Rockdale’s first black woman on the city council, serving for two terms. She was also president of the Aycock Alumni Association for more than 20 years.

Helen M. Crayton-Rhem— Educator who began her career in Hearne, then to LaMarque and later Palo Alto, California. She was a reading specialist, who also tutored outside of the classroom to improve a child’s reading skills. (Aycock honor graduate).

Margaret Sanders Green— Kindergarten Instructor with Rockdale ISD. She also served as the first president for the Aycock Alumni Association, and is a community worker. (Aycock honor graduate).

Mae Joyce Cashaw—LVN, who also provided special services for the home care service. Great singer also, who won many accolades during high school years. (Aycock honor graduate).

Elma Lee Moultrie-Jackson— Honor graduate of Aycock who became the first woman postmistress in the Manchaca area of Austin.

Flora J. Fair-Mack—Aycock educator and coach who was inducted into the Rockdale Athletic Hall of Honor. (Aycock Honor Graduate).

Dr. Fannie L. Lovelady- Spain—Educator in Texas and California, has written a book, served a term with the Rockdale City Council and was an educator on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. (Aycock honor graduate).

Delores Phillips-Beasley— Aycock honor graduate, educator in the East Texas area.

Eu la A . Sa n som- Heb er t— Aycock honor graduate, R. N. who began teaching nursing education at Snook and later became the first black Instructor at El Centro College of Dallas.

Barbara S. Sansom-Hols ome— Music educator in Cy press- Fair ISD, began her career in Brownsville, Timpson and Elgin, then later in Omaha, Nebraska. She has won many accolades for her musical productions for elementary grades. (Aycock honor graduate).

Estelle Fair Clark—Aycock honor graduate who became an R. N. in the Dallas area.

Marie E. Moore Thompson—( Aycock honor graduate) who is widely known for her dedicated community service. She was formerly a coordinator for the Texas Highway Department before retirement.

Annie Bell Page-Wesley was an all star athlete who was also one of the first inductees in the Rockdale Athletic Hall of Honor.

OMIT TED—These women were omitted from last week’s story which covered the 1940s and early 1950s.

Lucy Mae Brooks and Lucille Miller were the third and fourth midwives in the Milam County area. Mrs. Brooks was also a large supporter of teenage activities, through her providing a place of entertainment for this age group.

Ruthie M. Johnson Boney who was a qualified beautician as well as an educator for many years. She began her teaching career in the Robertson County area, and later in the Rockdale ISD until retirement.

Charles Etta McKee-McFarland, Vivian McDade Everage and Ruth E. McDonald- Sumuel also joined the licensed beauticians group and practiced their skills in Houston, Midland, and Austin.

Addie Pearl Cavil-Owens, educator, taught at Aycock, Rosebud, and also Compton, California. She was instrumental in beginning many new programs, such as the federal program known as career opportunities, and also the first Multicultural Ethnic Multicultural Center in the United States.

Dr. Uline Lovelady-Appling was an opera singer and educator in Texas and California. She formerly auditioned for Marian Anderson, and was successful in promoting one of high school choirs at the white house during the Truman years.

Lillian Bacy Jones became the first Aycock graduate to graduate from Prairie View A& M School of Nursing as a Registered Nurse. (RN). She spent her entire nursing career in the Houston area.

Rose Marie Arnwine was the second to graduate as an RN from the Prairie View School of Nursing. She moved to the Dallas area and was employed at St. Paul’s Labor and Delivery for more than 25 years. She was also head school nurse of the Dallas ISD for 41 years.

Dr. Artis Ruth Lovelady- Hopkins was the author of a published English textbook, educator in Texas and California, and an entertainer who was skilled in tap dancing.

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