Photo of the Month

African American Pioneers

Willis Pettigrew, Sam Van Winkle, Charlie Richardson, Squire Jahagen, Nick Clemmons, Fayetteville, circa 1910. Washington County Historical Society Collection/Burch Grabill, photographer (P-51)

From A Timeless Epoch: A Pictorial History of Fayetteville by Kent R. Brown:

Entitled "The Old South," this photo was made ca. 1910 by Burch Grabill and became so popular that nearly 5,000 copies were quickly sold. Willis Pettigrew (left), a Fayetteville handyman, drove the last oxen team to be seen on the streets of Fayetteville. Sam Van Winkle took the name of his owner, a mill owner on War Eagle River, and worked in local orchards as a groundskeeper. Charlie Richardson followed his master, a Confederate officer from Virginia, through several battles in the Civil War before the officer returned home and Richardson drifted to Fayetteville. Squire Jahagen had originally come from Africa, settled in Fayetteville after obtaining his freedom in Texas, and founded the St. James Baptist Church in the 1880s. Nick Clemmons was the son of an African woman shipped to America by slave traders.

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