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The Industry of Dr. Shaw

The Afro-American Newspaper

August 21, 1909

Mary Potter School at Oxford, N.C. the Result of His Efforts.

During the days of slavery Granville County held more slaves than any other county in the state of North Carolina. Oxford, the county seat and the commercial center of Granville County, is known throughout the states for its institutions of learning for white people.  The Afro-American population did not have the advantages of suitable schools. Their condition, however, was such that it was imperative that ample school facilities should be provided for them.  Nineteen years ago Dr. George C. Shaw came into the community to do missionary work among our people.  His preparation at Lincoln university, Pennsylvania, where he graduated with honors, made it possible for him to greatly advance their moral and intellectual condition.
Dr. Shaw's ability to do material work is proved by the fine Presbyterian churches he has built since he has begun his work in this field.  He has also given to the race by his untiring efforts a school that is quietly diffusing new life in the community.  In a picturesque section of the town of Oxford, upon a healthy site is the Mary Potter Memorial school, of which he is the founder. Dr. Shaw's sincerity and devotion to the uplift of our people attracted the attention of the late Mrs. B. F. Potter of Schenectady, N.Y., who used her influence as well as her money for the success of the school which was named in her honor. She was particularly interested in the work of the freedmen's board among Afro-Americans, and her true devotion to the uplift of the race is felt and appreciated by thousands of people.  Mary Potter Memorial school is under the direct control of the freedmen's board. The students are given a practical English training which prepares them for the freshman class of the best universities.  A farm of seventy acres is connected with the school where the students are taught the art and science of agriculture.  Owing to the fact that a number of students desire to learn trades, money is being raised to erect what will be known as "Auburn shops." No woman is prepared for her life's work who has not been taught sewing and domestic work. Regardless of the high literacy attainments of a young woman in this school, she is not allowed to graduate until she has made at least an ordinary dress.  The religious training that the student body receives has an encouraging effect upon the life of the community.  The women of the synod of New York donated the Helen A. Wells Building of Domestic Science as a testimonial of their ardent love of the work and for Miss Helen A. Wells.

2010 by  Deloris Williams, Nola Duffy for the NCGenWeb Project.  No portion of  any document appearing on this site is to be used for other than personal research.  Any republication or reposting is expressly forbidden without the written consent of the owner. Last updated 11/29/2011


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