- Delaina A. Price
washerwoman and philanthropist, was born in Shubuta, Mississippi, the only child of Lucy McCarty, a homemaker. Little is known about Oseola's father, as her mother was a victim of sexual assault. When McCarty was a baby, her mother married Willy Zinnerman, a laborer in the turpentine industry. Julia Smith McCarty, Oseola's maternal grandmother, decided to raise her because Oseola's mother would be migrating with her husband to one turpentine camp after the other. These camps were temporary quarters where workers extracted pine tree oils for solvents and were known for crime and gambling. Back in Shubuta, Oseola McCarty lived on her grandmother's farm and learned the virtues of industry and frugality. By 1918 McCarty s grandmother had grown weary of cultivating crops and livestock and moved the family to Hattiesburg Mississippi Once in town her family started a laundry business McCarty attended Eureka Elementary School ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.