The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 14, 2012

Twin Counties HoF Tomorrow


TARBORO — The 10-member Class of 2012 of the Twin County Hall of Fame will be inducted beginning at 6 p.m. at the annual banquet in the business center at Nash Community College. Tickets are $30 each and are available online at the hall’s website: or by calling 443-6318.

This year’s group includes several educators, a United States congressman, a physician, a nationally acclaimed author, two outstanding veterans and business leaders.

Inductees include:

• Channing Hilliard Fries Jr. first came to Nash County Schools in 1938 as a teacher. He served in World War II and returned to the area in 1946 to become principal at Nashville High School. He served 12 years as assistant superintendent for Nash County schools and in 1961 he became the superintendent of the system. He served in that position for 16 years until his retirement in 1977. He led the system through both integration and the consolidation of the Nash County School System, which led to the creation of Northern and Southern Nash High Schools. Fries died in 2007 at the age of 92.

• Edgecombe County native Willie Howell Fuller was born in 1919 and was just 22 when World War II began. He had graduated from Tarboro Colored High School in 1937 and attended Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. While at Tuskegee, Fuller joined the training for pilots and became one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. He served as a second lieutenant from 1942 to 1947 as part of the 99th Fighter Squadron European Theater and flew 76 combat missions. He received an Air Medal with Oak Leaf. After the war, Fuller and his wife made their home in Georgia and Florida where he became district executive for the South Florida Council of Boy Scouts. Fuller died Jan. 2, 1995.

• A North Carolina native, Lee Rawlings Hall worked in several Eastern North Carolina schools in Bertie and Pasquotank counties as a teacher, then as principal and finally as associate superintendent. He brought that experience to Edgecombe County in 1968 when became the superintendent of the Edgecombe County Schools, a position he held for 25 years. He attended Campbell College for two years before earning his bachelor’s in science and business education from East Carolina University. He completed advanced degree work and earned a Superintendent Certification from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. During his tenure as superintendent, he consolidated several county schools to establish the integrated high schools of North Edgecombe and SouthWest Edgecombe. The athletic complex at North Edgecombe was named the Lee R. Hall Complex in 1993 upon Hall’s retirement. Hall and his wife live in Tarboro.

• Although he came from Massachusetts, Jack Kerouac spent some of the most productive years of his life between New York and Rocky Mount. During the 1950s, he lived with his sister and brother-in-law in the Easonburg Woods area. It is there that Kerouac wrote about life and composed his most famous work “On the Road.” Kerouac is considered to be the father of the Beat Generation, a new style of writing that appeared in the 1950s. Kerouac died in 1969.

• Josephine E. Newell’s father’s family had seven generations of doctors, so it was only natural that she wanted to keep the family tradition going. She grew up in Vance County and earned a chemical engineering degree at the age of 16 from University of South Carolina. She then attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She began her practice in Bailey in 1951 and treated patients for the next 23 years. Dr. Newell was involved in numerous state health care projects. She is one of the founders of the County Doctor’s Museum in Bailey and a published author. Her medical mystery, “By Whose Hand,” was published in 1989.

• A Rocky Mount native, Joseph Leonard Rawls Jr. attended Rocky Mount public schools, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as an undergraduate and East Carolina University for graduate school. In 1961, he became chairman and president of a new restaurant operation in Rocky Mount, Hardee’s Food Systems. When he left the company in 1975, there were more than 900 Hardee’s across the southeast. Rawls also was founder of Canton Station restaurants, known as Management Affiliates. He died of a heart attack in 1982 at the age of 51.

• Born in Park View Hospital in Rocky Mount, James Edward “Butch” Robbins grew up on a farm in southern Edgecombe County. While attending West Edgecombe School, Robbins joined the U.S. Army in 1967 was sent to Vietnam. In 1968, he stepped on a mine and lost both legs and an arm. He returned to North Carolina to the farm life he knew well. Later he became an auctioneer with Goins and Harris. In 1993, he began his own auction firm. Robbins wrote “So You Think Times are Tough!” and became a motivational speaker encouraging others to succeed as he has.

• In 1915, a 19-year-old Arthur Lynwood Tyler came to Rocky Mount from Richmond to manage Anchor Department Store. After graduating from Henderson High School, Tyler attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for one year. He left the university to help support his family when his father was seriously injured in a railroad accident. Tyler Spent one year in the army in World War I and returned to Rocky Mount for a couple of years. In 1931, he joined Henry Belk and together they opened the Belk-Tyler Store in Rocky Mount, the first of 14 stores in the chain that would eventually employee hundreds and serve the southeast as one of the leading retail clothing stores of the region. Tyler died in 1978.

• Nash County native Itimous “Tim” Thaddeus Valentine Jr. will be the second member of his family to be inducted into the Twin County Hall of Fame. His mother Hazel Valentine was inducted in 2007. A graduate of Nashville High School, Tim later earned a bachelor’s degree from the Citadel in Charleston, S.C.. He served in the Army Air Force during World War II. After the war, he earned a law degree from University of North Carolina Law School in 1952. He served in the N.C. House from 1955 to 1960 and was then elected as a U. S. Congressman for six terms from 1982 to 1994. During his services in Congress, Valentine was Chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology, Environment, and Aviation. Today, he and his wife reside in Nashville.

• Frank Byrd Weaver was born in Edgecombe County. After graduating from Fayetteville State Teachers College in 1948, Weaver began his educational career as a teacher in Warren County. In 1950, he returned to his native Edgecombe County as the principal of Providence Rosenwald School. He then organized and served as principal of Roberson School from 1951-56, and then Willow Grove from 1956-62. He earned a doctorate of education from Penn State and a Divinity Degree from Shaw University. His outstanding work with elementary education led to him becoming the State Supervisor of Elementary Education for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. Dr. Weaver then became an administrator in the community college system and wrote several guidebooks on adult education. He went on to become assistant superintendent of Durham City Schools. Dr. Weaver and his wife live in Raleigh.