Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


February 12, 2014

Pat Smith: African Americans contributed much to Decatur County's history


Orlando Hood, veteran (Co. E, 23rd USCI), and wife Irene owned their home in the 300 block of East North Street and lived there for nearly 50 years. Born in 1841, he died in 1914 and was buried in Soldiers Circle at South Park. He was 56-years-old in 1907. Irene died in 1929 at age 92 and was buried in South Park.

George and Jane Edwards had four children and owned their home in 600 block of West Washington Street. He was custodian at the Baptist Church and a long-time employee as a millhand of the Garland Milling Company. They had four children and one daughter became an accomplished organist. George and Jane were 44 in 1907.

Sallie Mitchell, George Edwards’ sister, lived in the 1000 block of North Anderson Street. Mrs. Cora Hood and Mrs. Quincy Edmonds were daughters. A son, Charles “Bud” died young.

Thomas Gaines lived in the 500 block of East Washington Street. He lived here during 1907 and died in 1917.

The Jim and Sarah Wright family (daughters Sallie and Mary) and Sarah’s two daughters (Maude and Eleanor Primm) by an earlier marriage lived on South East Street across from where the paint store is now.

Marion and Jane White lived on South East Street across from the Catholic Church. Born in Tennessee, he had only one leg, possibly from a Civil War injury. As chef at the then-ritzy DeArmond Hotel he served grand meals. In 1907 he was 44-years-old. He died in 1913.

William C. Irvin is listed as pastor of the African Methodist Church in 1900, by 1907 Jasper Silar (or Siler) was pastor of the church. He and his wife Cordelia were still here in 1910.

Samuel T. Evans is listed in Records of Indiana Volunteers in the Spanish American War 1898 - 1899. His name is listed under E, page 349. Evans and his wife Frances are buried at South Park Cemetery. Evans enlisted in the 24th U.S. Infantry which was “all Negro unit” during the war. He was chosen to assume charge of a detail of six men that were to take a message to the General of the Spanish Forces that demanded the surrender at Aparri in North Luzon. Evans was cited for bravery and is said to have been the first American soldier to set foot on Aparri.

Evans died at the Greensburg Memorial hospital in January 1944 and was buried in South Park Cemetery Jan. 11, 1944 by the Wenning Porter Funeral Home.



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