1-7 of 7 results  for:

  • Insurance Industry Leader x
  • African American Studies x
  • Entrepreneur x
Clear all

Article

Shennette Garrett-Scott

insurance entrepreneur, was born Robert Alexander Cole in the small Tennessee town of Mount Carmel to former slaves Robert and Narcissa Cole. Cole grew up in a community of poor cotton sharecroppers, but his childhood was a happy one. Cole worked on the farm with his seven brothers and sisters. He was only able to complete four years of formal education. Around 1899 Cole moved to Kentucky and quickly advanced as a foreman in a machine shop. However, he chafed under southern racial proscriptions and migrated to Chicago in 1905. He eventually secured employment with the Pullman Company as a sleeping car porter. In his twenty years as a porter Cole listened closely to traveling businessmen and often asked questions. He also formed valuable professional and social relationships with prominent blacks, such as the successful undertaker and policy king Daniel McKee Jackson He gained an invaluable business ...

Article

Alexa Benson Henderson

barber and businessman, was born in Social Circle, Georgia, the son of a white father (name unknown) and a slave mother, Sophenia Herndon. Born on a farm in Walton County, forty miles east of Atlanta, he was a slave for the first seven and a half years of his life and, in his own words, “was very near it for twenty years more.” After emancipation, he worked as a laborer and peddler to help his family eke out a living in the hostile rural environment, where he was able to acquire only a few months of schooling. In 1878, with eleven dollars of savings, Herndon left his birthplace to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Settling in Atlanta in the early 1880s he obtained employment as a journeyman barber and soon purchased his first barbershop He began to build a clientele composed of the city s leading white lawyers judges ...

Article

John N. Ingham

John Merrick was born a slave in Sampson County, North Carolina. Merrick never knew his father, but his mother, Martha, was a strong presence in his life. Little is known of Merrick's early years except that, to help support his mother and brother, he began working in a brickyard in Chapel Hill when he was twelve. In 1877 he moved with his family to Raleigh where he worked as a helper on the crew that constructed the original buildings on the campus of Shaw University Merrick could have remained in the construction trade he advanced to brick mason a highly skilled and relatively well paid occupation but he had far greater aspirations Merrick s first goal was to open his own barbershop one of the few business opportunities open to black Southerners at that time So he soon quit being a brick mason and took a menial job ...

Article

John N. Ingham

insurance company founder and entrepreneur, was born a slave in Sampson County, North Carolina. Merrick never knew his father, but his mother, Martha, was a strong presence in his life. Little is known of Merrick's early years, except that, to help support his mother and brother, he began working in a brickyard in Chapel Hill when he was twelve. In 1877 he moved with his family to Raleigh where he worked as a helper on the crew that constructed the original buildings on the campus of Shaw University Merrick could have remained in the construction trade he advanced to brick mason a highly skilled and relatively well paid occupation but he had far greater aspirations Merrick s first goal was to open his own barbershop one of the few business opportunities open to black southerners at that time So he soon quit being a brick mason and ...

Article

Alexa Benson Henderson

entrepreneur and founder of a bank and an insurance company, was born in Houston, Texas, the son of John Perry and Lucy Compton. Heman Perry, the second of nine children, grew to manhood in post-Reconstruction Texas. His father, a former Georgia slave, reputedly ran away to Texas, where he dabbled in various entrepreneurial activities; at times he operated a farm, traded cotton and other commodities, rented out drays, and worked as an insurance agent. Although without formal training himself, John Perry believed firmly in the value of education for his children. Heman completed only a few years of formal schooling, but his father encouraged his self-education through reading and practical business experience.

As a youth Perry helped his father with his various entrepreneurial endeavors often peddling farm products providing clerical help in the insurance work or assisting with buying and selling cotton These experiences and his father s ...

Article

Steven J. Niven

businessman and civic leader, was born in Columbus County, North Carolina, one of ten children of Benjamin McIver Spaulding and Margaret (Moore) Spaulding, who together ran a prosperous farm. The Spauldings were descendants of a tight-knit, self-reliant, and fiercely independent community of free people of color who had settled in southeastern North Carolina in the early nineteenth century. Benjamin Spaulding was also an accomplished blacksmith and furniture maker, and he served as county sheriff during Reconstruction. George White the last African American to represent a Southern district in Congress until the late 1960s was a neighbor Like his nine siblings Charles Spaulding learned the dignity of labor from an early age He recalled in an unpublished autobiography that when not working with their father tending crops the children were to be found helping their mother scrub the floors of their cabin or keeping the farmyard as pristine ...

Article

In 1923 C. C. Spaulding became president of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, which became the largest insurer of African Americans in the United States. His reorganization plan for the company enabled it to survive the Great Depression during which Spaulding served on state and federal relief ...