History of the
Jefferson County Branch of the NAACP
was organized and chartered in June 1946.
To the best of anyone’s
knowledge , this is the first time a civil rights group had
been organized in Jefferson County, even though the second meeting
of the Niagara Movement was held at Storer College in Harpers
Ferry in 1906.
the charter members were: Rev. Marcus Wood, Rev. Elmer Dyson,
Professor E. M.
Dandridge, Mr. Ed Roper, Mrs. Ollie Tolbert, Mrs. Mary A
Mrs. Virginia Green, and Rev. R.E.Gordon.
first Branch president was Professor E.M.Dandridge, science
teacher at Page Jackson High School and later the school
principal. Rev. Marcus Wood, pastor of Wainwright Baptist Church
was vice president. Presidents
who followed were Rev. Wood and Rev. Dyson.
Branch was successful in getting the Jefferson County Circuit
Court to put Blacks on the petit and grand juries. It was also
successful in getting interstate buses desegregated. The local branch, in cooperation with the
State Conference of the NAACP, was actively involved in the 1948
incident where a Black couple from Philadelphia were forcefully
ejected from a N&W passenger train near Shenandoah Junction
and the husband killed in cold blood by a Jefferson County
Constable, John Brown. The branch had to borrow $50.00 from the
Martinsburg NAACP branch to help bring in attorney and State
president T.G.Nutter to the County. The Nutter investigation was
going well until the widow decided to obtain another attorney and
then dropped her suit
against the railroad. The community felt the shooting was
unjustified and was very disappointed that the widow dropped the
suit. The facts of the killing still have not been resolved.
1950, following the shooting incident , the Branch became
inactive. In the period between 1950 and 1963, the Jefferson
County Civic League was organized and continued working on
desegregation efforts and obtaining equal opportunities for
Blacks. In October
1963, The Jefferson County NAACP was rechartered following a
public mass meeting at the Zion Baptist Church in Charles Town.
Bishop Eugene Baltimore, pastor of King Apostle Church in Ranson
was elected president and Lester Taylor of Harpers Ferry ,
The Struggle continues.......
The mission of
the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is
to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality
of rights of all persons and to eliminate
racial hatred and racial discrimination
The vision of the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to
ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and
there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination.