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Curtis family rich in history, service

Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 12:12 pm

The Curtis Family holds a lot of rich memories and history in Lincoln County. Lewis Curtis re-cently shared his family history with The Elk Valley Times for Black History Month starting with his grandparents, Wesley and Martha Curtis of Dellrose.
Staff photo by Anna Fain

The Curtis family hold a lot of rich memories and history in this county, along with many achievements.

Wesley and Martha Curtis lived in Dellrose in the early 1900’s and had 13 children. They had five boys, Garland, Humphrey (called Ump), Clarence, Leroy, and Tommy, and eight girls, Luevenia, Mattie Sue, Ora, Callie, Bertha, Loney, Nola, and Lillian.

Wesley and Martha’s son, Roy Curtis married a local girl named Nora Blair. Etta Blair was Nora’s mother and she had many relatives in Fayetteville. Nora had four sisters – Nina, Emily, Bertha, and Jennie Lee all of Nashville. She also had one half-brother, Ned Blair who operated a restaurant and barber shop in Fayetteville for many years.

Nora and Roy had six children, three girls and three boys.

Louise was a postmaster for many years at Fisk University in Nashville.

Louetta achieved the title of bursar of Meharry Medical College – a bursar is the university treasurer. She maintained that title for many years at the college in Nashville.

Lurla was a teacher for the Waverly School System and a community leader. She was very active in the Waverly community.

Lercy worked on farms in agriculture with Dewitt Solomon. She plowed and any other required farm work with the Solomon boys. Additionally, she hauled 10-gallon milk cans for the Mansfield family to the Borden Milk Plant in Fayetteville.

Leroy managed Tennessee A&I State Normal School along with the athletic fields for the University of Tennessee.

L.C. worked at several uptown restaurants. After many years of teaching building and trade classes, L.C. achieved the position of assistant superintendent of the Lincoln County School System. He was also very active in the political arena as well.

Lewis spent many years teaching architectural and mechanical drafting. He later achieved the position of supervisor of attendance and transportation of McMinn County. He was also advisor to the mayor of Athens, an auxiliary volunteer policeman for the City of Athens, chairman of the Democratic Party, and as an active member of the VFW 2167 locally.

All of Roy and Nora Curtis’ children graduated from Market Street Colored School after renting a place to live. Lewis and Louise were the only exceptions. Louise finished at Bridgefort High School in Pulaski, and Lewis graduated from Pearl High School located in Nashville.

The Curtis boys were also active in the military. Leroy was drafted into the U.S. Navy in 1942, L.C. was drafted into the U.S. Navy in 1944, and Lewis was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1945. They all served in World War II and all served overseas.

Lewis served in an all-black infantry unit called the Buffalo Soldiers. Lewis and his wife Zelda presently reside in Fayetteville where he is active in his church at Mt. Zion Baptist serving as a deacon and a trustee.