Historian, Mary Logan Taylor
Samuel Carter, Sr., was born to enslaved parents during the 1800’s. We were told that his original given name was Miles. Samuel was apparently sold to a slave master by 10 the name of Carter, thus taking on the name Carter. We have no verbal or written record .,,of his having any brothers or sisters. It is not known how many times he was sold. Samuel grew up in Pittsylvania County, Virginia where he courted and married Josephine Luck, J who also was born to enslaved parents. However, we do know that Josephine had no sisters but, had several brothers, Jerry, Lemmon, Green, Winston, Preston and Felix. We also know that two of her nieces, Addie Luck Williams and Etta Luck Jones (Jerry’s daughters) lived to be over 100 yeas of age.
Samuel and Josephine raised their children as they worked as share croppers on what we heard (Walter) speak of as “Char1ie White’s Farm,” which is located somewhere near Blairs, Virginia. Their children grew up during the time when children were “whipped” by whomever saw them doing anything wrong, plus, they received a second “whipping: because they were ‘not sent home, but taken home. Samuel and Josephine had 14 children. Samuel waS’ the oldest boy and Joanna was the oldest gir1 and Myrtle was the , youngest. Their other children were: Andy, Alvin, Walter, Willie, Mary, Sallie and Pear1. Education was an important factor in their life.
Samuel, Jr. and Sandy moved north to Philadelphia and worked at a steel. mill. J , During the ear1y 1950’s Samuel, Jr., returned to Danville where he died. Sandy later died and was buried in Philadelphia. Alvin moved to West Virginia where he raised his family and later died. ‘Samuel, Sr. lost his eyesight; so Walter being the next oldest boy had to take care of his mama and papa, younger sisters, and brothers. Joanna, the oldest, married John Price and they raised six children along with several grandchildren. Mary worked outside of the home. She was a school teacher. Mary died at an ear1yage. Sallie, moved to New York were she met and married Ernest Stroud. They had two sons. Sallie died in the 1970’s. Willie married Viola Flag. There were no children. He later moved to New York and died there in the 1960’s. Pearl married Otis Luck and they remained in the .. Danville area where they raised 11 children.
Myrtle married William Badgett. Together, they had 6 children. Myrtle died in 1926. Walter was the only surviving child of Sam and Josephine. He continued helping his parents care for his youngest brothers and sisters and working in the field. Their home was home to many others because there was always room for one more.
In 1921, Walter, Jr. married Susie Irving. They had 9 children together. Four are now deceased. Walter continued ‘to share crop as he raised and supported his family. There came a time when farming was inadequate so Walter went north to Baltimore and when times got better in the farming business, Walter returned to his home and began, ‘” farming again. He later secured a job in a cotton mill, working from 4:00 p.m. to midnight. , He would get up at the crack of dawn, work in the field with his family until 12 noon or 1 :00 p.m., clean himself up, and go to work at the cotton mill.
Walter and his family raised tobacco and vegetables. They churned their own milk and, butter, raised hogs and chickens and took wheat and com to be ground into meal and, flour. Walter worked hard to sell all of his produce because he wanted all of his children to go to college.
The Carter family had a strong religious foundation. Everyone attend Sunday School and church service every Sunday. Walter was a deaCQn and trustee at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Blairs, Virginia. His family were the first to arrive at church and the last ones to leave because Walter made several church before taking his family home. All of his children lived to adulthood except Roberta who died in infancy.
On February 23, 1994 at the age of 99, Walter, the last surviving children of Samue1 and Josephine went home to be with the Lord. Since Walter’s demise, our family tree has sprouted with a number of new branches, and our tree continues to bear fruit to this day. We thank God for our family history. We thank God for each other.
Historian, Mary Logan Taylor