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My Future Depends Upon You!
The Colored Orphanage of North Carolina:

Electronic Edition.

Colored Orphanage of North Carolina (Oxford, N.C.)

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First edition, 2002
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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

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(title page) My Future Depends Upon You! The Colored Orphanage of North Carolina
Colored Orphanage of North Carolina (Oxford, N.C.)
8 p.
[Oxford, North Carolina]
The Orphanage

Call number Cb362.7 C71f (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

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[Title Page Image]

My Future
Colored Orphanage of North Carolina

T. K. BORDERS, Supt.



Page [2]

Superintendent's Message

T. K. BORDERS, Superintendent

        Last year through the kindness of Radio Station WPTF, Raleigh, the Colored Orphanage of North Carolina was able to put on four broadcasts. The Superintendent felt that the general public did not hear all of the speeches so this year we are sending these appeals to the public at large in this manner, hoping that all will read, and see the Orphanage through the eyes of four members of the Board of Directors.

        This fall and winter, as last, the Orphanage is attempting to carry on a financial drive in all counties. In each county there is an Orphanage Aid Committee. This committee is authorized to solicit funds for the Orphanage. If any person does not know to whom to give his or her donation, this information may be obtained by calling the Superintendent of Public Welfare in your county. All donations will be greatly appreciated and may be given to the chairman or any member of the committee or sent directly to the Orphanage.


Number Of Children In Orphanage

September 23, 1939

Beaufort 3
Buncombe 2
Burke 2
Cumberland 4
Granville 7
Guilford 8
Johnston 1
Lee 2
Martin 2
Pitt 2
Randolph 6
Rutherford 3
Surry 1
Watauga 4

Page [3]

Speech by Dr. E. E. Toney

Practicing Physician and Surgeon

        In 1883 a group of Negroes became possessed with the idea that there should be some place in North Carolina where homeless Negro children who had lost their parents might be given the care and training of a home. The two leaders of this movement were the late Hon. H. P. Cheatham, then a teacher in the public schools of Henderson, and the Rev. Augustus Shepard, father of Dr. James E. Shepard, who was at that time pastor of the Baptist Church in Henderson, North Carolina.

        An organization was perfected and a Board of Directors elected from among the ministers of the various denominations of the State, and the Orphanage was started out as a strictly non-denominational Institution.

        The Board purchased 16 acres of land one mile south of Oxford on which were located three old frame buildings. It was incorporated in 1887 and reincorporated in 1927 under the name and style of the Colored Orphanage of North Carolina, and under the act of re-incorporation, it was authorized that the Governor shall appoint five white men of Granville County as members of the Board of Directors. The other members were appointed by the Board.

        The present members of the Board of Directors are: Dr. James E. Shepard, President North Carolina College for Negroes, Durham, N. C.; Rev. N. A. Cheek, Pastor Belton Creek Baptist Church, Oxford, N. C.; Mr. Alex Peace, Oxford, N. C.; Dr. C. C. Spaulding, President N. C. Mutual Life Ins. Co., Durham, N. C.; Dr. David D. Jones, President Bennett College for Women, Greensboro, N. C.; Hon. Frank Hancock, Jr., Washington, D. C.; Dr. N. C. Daniel, Physician, Oxford, N. C.; Hon. B. W. Parham, Attorney-at-Law, Oxford, N. C.; Mr. J. W. Medford, Vice-President Oxford National Bank, Oxford, N. C.; Judge B. K. Lassiter, Recorder's Court, Oxford, N. C.; Dr. E. E. Toney, Physician, Oxford, N. C.

        Mr. T. K. Borders, a native of Shelby, N. C., and a graduate of the University of Michigan, is Superintendent. He has associated with him a staff of workers who are well-trained for institutional work. Mr. and Mrs. Borders are very fond of children and the Orphanage is a big happy family.

        The 16 acres of land in 1883 have become 450 acres in 1938. The three dilapidated buildings have become eleven brick modern structures, which include dormitories for boys and girls, chapel, dining hall, laundry, and school building. All of the bricks in these buildings erected during the superintendency of Hon. H. P. Cheatham, were made on the grounds by orphan boy labor. There are 150 acres of land under cultivation now, instead of six acres in the beginning.

        The first years of the Institution were very trying. The only funds available were those obtained from the churches, Sunday Schools, and sympathetic individuals. Later on, the State made an annual appropriation, and still later the institution shared in the funds of the Duke Endowment. Through these funds from the State, the Duke Endowment, churches, Sunday Schools, and friends, both white and colored, the Orphanage has for the past 50 years not only offered shelter to motherless and fatherless boys and girls, but it has educated them and trained them in the way of Christian living. Today all over

         (Continued on Page Seven)

Page [4]

Speech by Mr. B. W. Parham

Member of Board of Directors, and Attorney-at-Law

        I wish first to thank WPTF for the opportunity of making to the radio audience a statement about the Colored Orphanage of North Carolina, located at Oxford. It is my pleasant lot in life to live in Oxford and I have for several years served as trustee of the Colored Orphanage, under appointment by the Governor. Oxford is the home of two orphanages--the Oxford Orphanage, a splendid institution owned by the Masonic Fraternity of North Carolina and well-known throughout the State; and the Colored Orphanage of North Carolina, not so well known. Many years ago an effort was made to provide a home for destitute negro children of North Carolina. A small beginning was made with a little land and an old frame building at Oxford.

        The institution has grown until it now has eleven brick buildings and ample grounds and farm lands. It is not a State institution. It is not owned by the State. Appropriations from the State and the Duke Endowment, however, make the continued operation of the institution possible and it is dependent primarily upon the State appropriation. It is difficult at this time to describe the growth and development of this institution. It cannot be fairly said that anybody built it. It just grew. I doubt if anybody can tell just how it grew. Every brick in its buildings was made on the Orphanage grounds. Donations from members of the Duke family have greatly aided in the construction of these buildings.

        For many years H. P. Cheatham, an able and energetic negro leader, gave his time, his heart and his life to this home for negro children. He was its superintendent and to him more than any man, is due the credit for the remarkable progress and development of the institution. After his death, the board was fortunate in securing the services of T. K. Borders, an able and intelligent colored teacher from Cleveland County. Superintendent Borders has labored diligently and faithfully since he came to the institution and much has been accomplished under his administration. The board of trustees is composed of outstanding and loyal colored citizens and the board, insofar as these trustees are concerned, is self-perpetuating. In addition to these trustees the Governor of North Carolina appoints five trustees, who are charged with the supervision of the expenditure of the State appropriation.

        The Orphanage is now taking care of 150 children and it has room for 25 to 50 more, if it had the equipment and means for taking care of them. It is able to provide fairly well for the actual needs of the children now cared for and it is able to make some provision for the training these children. It is unable to give these negro boys and girls the sort of practical training necessary to fit them to earn a living in the walks of life in which they will necessarily find their way when they leave the institution. The institution is badly handicapped for lack of farm machinery, laundry equipment, an adequate dairy barn, manual training equipment and a home industrial building for girls. While these things are needed for the efficient operation of the Institution, they are needed primarily for the training of boys and girls.

        Little is accomplished if these colored boys and girls are merely clothed and fed for a period of years and turned out in the world totally unable to meet present labor and industrial conditions. Unless we can develop these boys and girls into good citizens, both willing and able

        (Continued on Page Seven)

Page [5]

Speech by Mr. J.W. Medford

At Time Address Was Made Mr. Medford Was Treasurer
of the Orphanage, and V.-Pres. of Oxford National Bank


         Like my predecessors on this program, I too wish to express any appreciation to Radio Station WPTF for the opportunity of bringing to the people of North Carolina more complete information concerning the Colored Orphanage of North Carolina, located at Oxford. The history of the Orphanage and its management have been previously presented and I shall not take your time to further discuss them.

        It has been my pleasure to serve the Orphanage for a number of years. First as a Trustee, by appointment of the Governor of this State and more recently as Treasurer. In this capacity I am able to watch the expenditures and ascertain the financial needs of the Orphanage.

        The principal source of income is from the State of North Carolina, although the institution is not owned by the State. In addition to the appropriation which the State makes, the institution is also one of the recipients of funds disbursed by the Duke Endowment and this annual distribution assists materially in providing for the necessities and comforts of the 150 children who are now being cared for and trained at the Orphanage. The Duke family has for many years exhibited a great deal of interest in the Orphanage and their liberal contributions have provided a school building, a little boys dormitory and many other desirable additions to the plant.

        The needs of the Orphanage have not been made known generally to the people of our State except during the past few years, as the founders of this institution have been required to devote all of their time to its management and supervision. Your contributions will be used to provide more adequately for the children and to better train them as useful citizens of our State and Nation. From a financial standpoint the Orphanage does need more funds. It does owe $8,000, a debt which was incurred to enable it to purchase additional land several years ago. The directors also find it necessary to borrow funds seasonally to take care of unusual requirements, out it is hoped that this can be eliminated and the regular income supplemented, by contributions from friends, to provide for these needs. The principal needs, however, are for farm machinery, adequate laundry equipment, a dairy barn to provide shelter for the cows and vocational guidance equipment for the training of the boys and girls. While these things are necessary for the economical operation of the Orphanage they are also necessary if the children are to be trained to be self-supporting and creditable citizens after leaving the Orphanage. With 150 acres of land under cultivation, providing a large portion of the food supply, modern farm machinery is necessary and it is noticeably lacking. Actual operating expense could, no doubt, be reducced if the machinery was available, but present income is not sufficient to purchase the same. The same thing is true of the meager laundry equipment. The matrons and children are required to spend a large portion of their time here, when the children should be in school. Modern equipment here would greatly facilitate this operation and release the children for school and training purposes.

        Recently much attention has been centered on the necessity of vocational guidance for boys and girls in our schools and institutions. If buildings could be provided at our Orphanage for manual and industrial

        (Continued on Page Eight)

Page [6]

Speech by Dr. C. C. Spaulding

Member of Board of Directors, President of
The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company,

GOOD AFTERNOON, Friends of the Radio Audience:

        In voicing my plea for the Colored Orphanage at Oxford, North Carolina, may I first express my appreciation and thanks to Radio Station WPTF which so generously made available the facilities of their station in this worthy cause.

        I wish also to endorse the statements of those who preceded me in this series of broadcasts and to express my appreciation to the white Orphanage and the citizens of Oxford who have contributed so generously to the welfare of these Negro boys and girls.

        Unless one has experienced the hardships and disappointments of an orphan--homeless, destitute and without hope--it is difficult to fully appreciate the service rendered by those who conceived the idea of creating this haven of refuge for these homeless Negro children. It was the ambition of the founders to provide for these children the care and training they would have normally received at home--a trust that has been performed acceptably and well. As a Trustee of this Orphanage, I wish to personally commend Supt. Borders and his associates for the very successful way they are perpetuating and improving the services of this institution.

        Speakers on previous broadcasts have touched on the struggles and accomplishments of the institution during its early years.--How the initial purchase of 16 acres of land has been increased to 450, with 150 acres now under cultivation.--How the three old frame buildings originally purchased have been replaced with eleven large brick buildings. This expansion was made possible through the help of the State, grants from the Duke Endowment, and gifts from broadhearted friends--mostly white. At present the institution is in need of additional funds to:

        It is also essential that the farm be provided with the necessary machinery--that the institution have adequate laundry equipment--that a dairy barn be provided to shelter cows and that vocational guidance equipment be provided for the training of these boys and girls. These facilities are essential if the children are to be so trained that they will develop into efficient, self-supporting citizens after they shall have left the Orphanage.

        It is to be regretted that Negroes throughout the state seem not to have awakened more fully to their responsibility in the care of these orphaned children. The abnormal prevalence of irresponsibility and crime among our group is not indicative of any inherent racial trait--but rather to undirected, unrestrained energy. As a minority group, it is essential that we recognize this fact and appreciate the necessity of more thought and material aid to the development of our youth, that they may measure up to the demands of today. Freedom of expression and activity should never exceed intelligence. As citizens of a progressive state, we should recognize our duty and gladly share our part of the responsibility.

        The Colored Oxford Orphanage is rendering an invaluable service to the orphan children of North Carolina. These children deserve a chance in life, notwithstanding the misfortune visited upon them through no fault of their own. As stated, funds are needed by the Orphanage to further develop the facilities of the institution and to provide more and better training for the

        [From page 7]

inmates thereof. With this in mind--as the Christmas season approaches, remember the Orphanage. No gift at Christmas could serve a more useful purpose or bring greater benefit to a deserving group than a contribution to this most worthy cause.

        I am a firm believer in placing emphasis where emphasis belongs. We, as members of the Negro race, should ever bear in mind that the moral and spiritual growth of a race is largely dependent upon the investment made in Youth. As Negroes it is our duty to recognize our responsibility to the unfortunate of our group and participate wholeheartedly in the state-wide campaign for funds that is now under way. The State and broadhearted friends have contributed to the growth and development of the institution thus far. But bear in mind, the responsibility is ours. It is my hope that we as Negroes will recognize this responsibility and contribute cheerfully and liberally to this cause.

        For: "In as much as ye have done it unto one the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Page [7]


        (Continued from Page Four)

        to earn a living and to make their contribution to the welfare and progress of the State, we have done very little. These boys and girls constitute a distinct problem for the whole State of North Carolina. We are undertaking to solve it properly and advantageously in the Colored Orphanage. Unless we solve it there, there is no other place under present conditions. We will solve this problem with the proper environment, care and training for these boys and girls or we will meet many of them in the criminal courts of the State. Remember that we will not solve the problem in the courts. We do not solve social problems by the court or the jail or the chain gang. These are the instrumentalities by which society combats a social problem and undertakes to protect itself. They offer no solution. Society will solve its crime problem when it ceases to make criminals; not until then and in no other way. To the colored listeners let me say that the Colored Orphanage of Oxford is doing a great work. The State of North Carolina has approved its work and appropriated money for its continued maintenance. The Duke Endowment has done likewise. Friends here and there, both white and colored, have helped, but it has not had the united support of the colored population of North Carolina that it deserves and needs. The State is doing its part, the Duke Endowment is doing its part, a few friends are doing their part--will you do yours?


        (Continued from Page Three)

        our State and Nation, they may be found as useful law-abiding citizens.

        The Institution still has a great many needs. Some among the most pressing are: (1) More funds to aid in maintenance. (2) Space to accommodate more children who are always seeking admittance. (3) Equipment for trade school and domestic science department.

        On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish to thank the friends everywhere for their support in the past, and beg your continued interest in the 150 boys and girls who are today being given every opportunity that our means will allow, not only to go into the world and be self-supporting, but also to be able to adjust themselves to their environment and become loyal citizens of this great democracy.

Page [8]

NEEDS OF THE Colored Orphanage

        This Year We Are Trying To Raise
$10,000 To Be Used As Follows:

        1. Build a Cow Barn.
The bricks for this barn are made, but the money for labor, cement, etc., must come from the public at large.

        2. Repair and re-paint all Buildings.

        3. Make the environment more adequate as to Clothing, Food, and Training.

        4. Enable us to increase capacity.
There are many dependent Negro boys and girls who need to be in the Orphanage, but we are unable to take them because of lack of finance.


        (Continued from Page Five)

        training of the children, they would experience very little difficulty in adjusting themselves to occupations available upon their graduation.

        At the present time the Orphanage is attempting its second annual statewide drive. In sixty-five of our counties Orphanage Aid Committees have been organized and are now attempting to supplement funds coming from the above mentioned sources. $10,000 is the goal.

        In the past twenty years the colored citizens of the State have done very little in a financial way for the Orphanage. We wish to ask all people, especially the colored people of North Carolina to support the Orphanage to the full extent of their ability. When members of your county Orphanage Aid Committees call upon you for assistance we ask that you hear their plea. Every one should be glad of the opportunity to help provide for the dependent Negro children of our State an environment which will be conducive to the proper training, care and development of these children.

        If the opportunity presents itself, take a few hours off and drive about one mile South of Oxford on State Highway 562. Look into the faces of these 150 children who come from over 42 counties of our State and who will soon be out of the Orphanage, and citizens of our State. As the Thanksgiving and Holiday Season approaches resolve to have a part in providing for care and needs. The State helps, the Duke Endowment helps. Won't you join with them in properly and adequately caring for these Orphans?