The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Local History

July 25, 2011

Outstanding graduates of Pattillo High School

TARBORO — “Pattillo High, Pattillo High

“To your ideals we will aspire

“Maroon and Gold our emblem bold,

“Beckons us on as knights of old.

“Thy noble sons, Thy daughters fair

“Lift standards high with bugles blare.

“Long as thy God is God above,

“We’ll sing thy praise and show thy love.”

The above lyrics are the alma mater for the W. A. Pattillo High School (1924 – 1970) which was written circa 1950 by Thelma Quigless Foster, a native of Fort Gibson, Miss., and a graduate with A. B. degree from Alcorn A & M College, in Alcorn, Miss. Foster taught at the school for approximately 25 years. he song has inspired many Pattillo graduates through the years. The biographical sketches below are a sampling of the many outstanding students and their accomplishments. The Pattillo legacy lives on in the minds and hearts of all the former students even after the last graduating class 1970.

Not surrendering to her limitation

Marsha Elizabeth Baker Coles is a 1967 honor graduate of W. A. Pattillo High School. She attended Princeville Graded School from first through fourth grade and grew up in Princeville. Born with an extreme case of nearsightedness, Marsha always received her large-type textbooks about six weeks after school had began, because they had to be specially ordered; however, she was never behind in her studies and assignments.

After high school she attended and graduated from Bennett College with a bachelor of arts degree in business education and, then, continued her education at North Carolina A & T State University, receiving a master’s of education in guidance and counseling. Her career, spanning the past 30 years, has included a counselor position with St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, NC; a rehabilitation counselor in the N. C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of the Services for the Blind; and, at UNC-Chapel Hill as director of staff development and training, program evaluation coordinator, and as a social worker.

She is a licensed professional counselor (NC Board Licensed Professional Counselors), Licensed School Counselor (NC Department of Public Instruction), Licensed Funeral Director (NC Board of Mortuary Science) and a Licensed Insurance Specialist (NC Department of Insurance). She also holds NC-Teach Certification (University of North Carolina at Wilmington).

Today, Mrs. Coles and her husband, the Rev. Dr. Clifton C. Coles, operate the Baker Funeral Home, continuing the legacy of sharing and giving to the community of Princeville and Tarboro where she provides grief and hospice counseling. Her parents, Jesse and Martha Matthewson Baker were founders of the Baker Funeral Homes and, today, the business is the oldest African American business in Tarboro.

Humble beginnings in the village of Princeville

Earl T. Brown, Esq. was born and reared in Princeville by his mother, Anna B. Brown, along with his sisters, Ann Brown Howell, Bettie Brown Cobb and Vananza Brown. He is a 1969 honor graduate of W. A. Pattillo High School. His “village fathers” were Asbury Batchelor and Jimmy Lee Stanley, and his “village mother” was Mrs. Peggy Stanley.

During his high school days in Tarboro, he worked at Marrow Pitt Hardware, Sugar's and Brill’s Department Stores, Deluxe Cleaners, and mowing lawns, with summer jobs at car dealerships in Arlington, Va.

While at North Carolina A & T, he worked at A & T and Jefferson Pilot Insurance Co. computer centers, American Textile & Dye Co., Guilford College Road Mobil Service Station, Greyhound Moving and Storage, and as a swimming instructor at Bennett College. After A & T, he began a career in computer systems design and support with Jefferson Pilot Insurance Company, then UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina Mutual Insurance in Durham, and Burroughs Wellcome Pharmaceuticals in Greenville.

After arriving in Greenville, he taught computer programming and flying classes at Pitt Community College and operated Martin County Airport, while starting Aero Sales Ltd. (an aviation business). Earl worked 1974-1978 while his wife attended the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry. After 19 years of working in the computer industry, Brown decided to pursue his dream of becoming an attorney, so, Dr. Brown supported the family during 1988-91 while he attended Campbell University School of Law.

Currently, Attorney Brown is sworn to practice before the U.S. Supreme and federal District Courts. He is a Superior Court Certified Mediator and a court-approved arbitrator. Brown also lists among his memberships the Eastern North Carolina Inn of Court, North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, American Bar Association, North Carolina Bar Association; Attorney for Law Enforcement Officers provided through Divisions of Southern States Police Benevolent Association (PBA), and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) for Beaufort, Pitt, Lenoir and Martin counties, including the cities of Greenville, Williamston and Washington.

During his career as an attorney, he has served as the president of the Pitt County Bar Association and as an assistant district attorney. Brown has also served as the chairman of the Judiciary District 3--A Grievance Committee of the North Carolina State Bar (investigating complaints against lawyers); and as a member of the Elizabeth City State University Board of Trustees, appointed by both Governors James Hunt and Michael Easley, Trustee Emeritus of Elizabeth City State University, Charter member of Elizabeth City State University's Board of Visitors, a member of the Historical Murfreesboro Commission, appointed by Governor James Martin; a member of the WEED and SEED Steering Committee of Pitt County; Juvenile Crime Prevention Council; and the Paralegal Advisory Board of Pitt Community College.

Brown became the 2007 recipient of the Best-Irons Humanitarian of the Year Award and was Keynote Speaker for Elizabeth City State University December 2002 commencement ceremony. Since 1991, Attorney Brown has presented seminars to different legal groups on computerization of law offices. He has served as a member of the planning committee for the ABA’s annual Computer Technology Conference. Additionally, Brown is a motivational counselor in the area schools and is a volunteer mediator for the Eastern Carolina Mediation Center. For his outstanding work in his profession and the community, he has received recognition as a Distinguished Alumnus of both North Carolina A & T State University and Campbell University School of Law.

 Brown is married to Dr. H. J. Brown, a dentist, owner of H. J. Brown and Associates, D.D.S., P.A. in Greenville. The Browns have one son, attorney Derek K. Brown, the managing partner of the Brown Law Firm, P.C.

Dr. Florence Armstrong and Samuel G. Pippen, two more of the many Pattillo High School graduates who have been successful and who have made significant contributions to their communities, will be featured in next month’s column.

    C. Rudolph Knight, a Tarboro native, is a retired community college educator, and a research historian. Look for his monthly reports on Edgecombe County’s African-American history on the Community page.


Text Only
Local History
  • Tarboro police warn citizens of scam, break-ins

    Tarboro police are warning citizens to be alert about a scam targeting the elderly in town. They are also warning people about several break-ins that have occurred in the Speight Forest and Summerfield neighborhoods.

    September 18, 2013

  • Mayor Pro Tem Knight: Main goal is to unite town

    Taro Knight was resolute.
    “Uniting the (town) council in the three months I have left is my priority,” Tarboro’s mayor pro tem said Friday afternoon as he discussed the release of a report of more than 30 pages of expenditures generated by certified fraud examiner Ray Jackson.

    September 16, 2013

  • First day of school.jpg Farrelly feels ‘positive energy’ during ECPS first day of school

    Approximately 6,100 students began a new school year on 14 campusess in Edgecombe County Public Schools (ECPS) Monday. The students were greeted by teachers, administrators, and freshly cleaned buildings.

    August 28, 2013 1 Photo

  • Three teens charged in pizza delivery robbery

    Three teenagers were charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon Thursday after the robbery of a Rocky Mount pizza delivery driver.
    Rocky Mount police were called to the 800 block of Lincoln Drive after the robbery had been reported around 1 a.m. When officers arrived, they found a 34-year old Domino's Pizza driver who had just been robbed of the pizza's he was delivering. The victim told police that the three suspects robbed him and then fled on foot from the scene. Officers were able to identify the three suspects and obtained warrants for their arrests.

    July 15, 2013

  • Farrelly_John.jpg ECPS cuts three more teaching positions

    The teachers’ lounges in Edgecombe County Public Schools (ECPS) will be a little quieter in the upcoming school year.
    On Monday, the Edgecombe County Board of Education unanimously approved ECPS Superintendent John Farrelly’s recommended “Reduction-in-Force,” which cuts three more teaching positions.

    July 10, 2013 1 Photo

  • County passes $58 million budget by 5-2 vote

    Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners passed it's 2013-2014 budget by a 5-2 vote during a recessed meeting Thursday. Commissioners Billy Wooten and Donald Boswell voted against it.

    June 28, 2013

  • DSCN8130.jpg 70 arts and crafts vendors hallmark of the Happening on the Common

    Arts and crafts are a hallmark of the Happening on the Common and this year was no exception. Live arts and crafts projects for children and vendors selling their handcrafted wares both were part of Saturday’s happening.
    P.J. Shafer of Rocky Mount sold her pottery, which ranged from traditional mugs and bowls to mushroom shaped pottery suitable for decorating a yard and a piece of pottery with a face carved into it and horns protruding from the top, suitable for hanging on a wall.

    May 20, 2013 2 Photos

  • Jorge-Richter.jpg ECU Orchestra highlights end of concert season with free performance

    The last concert of this season’s Edgecombe Performance Series is a free, afternoon concert featuring the East Carolina University (ECU) Orchestra
    Dr. Jorge Richter will direct the symphony in the concert at 3 p.m. April 21 in the Keihin Auditorium on Edgecombe Community College’s Tarboro campus. The audience will enjoy “Orchestral Favorites,” including Johannes Brahms' Hungarian Dances Nos. 5 & 6 and Peter I. Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Opus 64. The concert will also highlight the winner of the 2012-2013 ECU Concerto Competition.

    April 11, 2013 1 Photo

  • United-Manor-Courts.jpg United Manor Courts: An African American Community Self-Help Project

    This is the narrative of how four community churches came together in a self-help effort and enabled several dozens of low-income families to have safe and adequate housing in the early 1970s. A by-product of this project was home ownership by many of these families.
    Prior to the 1919 flood, the majority of African Americans lived in Princeville after it started in 1865. Many residents of Princeville were day workers, crossing the bridge into Tarboro each morning and returning to Princeville each evening, a convenient arrangement for all concerned. However, this pattern was interrupted by the 1919 flood when the high water prevented this back-and forth daily trek, disrupting the work force to which the white community had become accustomed.

    March 8, 2013 1 Photo

  • Edgecombe natives Charles Lavinghouse, Richard Cherry & Hamilton Pittman gave their lives for freedom

    Of the 36 Edgecombe County natives that enlisted in the 35th, 36th, and 37th US Colored Troops in New Bern, N.C., in 1863, orginally known as the African Brigade, twenty were members of the 36th USCT (see attached list). The African Brigade regiments were orginally named the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd N.C. Colored Volunteers, then later re-classified as the 35th, 36th and 37th U.S. Colored Troops.
    The 36th USCT (orginally the 2nd N.C. Colored Volunteers)  was one of six USCT regiments that made their mark at the Battle of New Market Heights, Va, in September 1864, outside of Richmond.

    March 8, 2013

AP Video
Raw: Fire Engulfs Tower Block in China Ocean Drones Making Waves in Research World Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier Raw: Ferry Captain Received Medical Treatment Hundreds Gather for Denver Pot Rally on Easter Transcript Reveals Confusion in Ferry Evacuation Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria
Twitter Updates
Must Read