Manuscripts/Mixed Material ["Bones"]
Bones, who never had any “schooling”, is a great believer in education. One of a family of eight children, he helped to educate his three sisters and four brothers, one of whom became a doctor.
Although he never had a child of his own, Bones takes a keen interest in the colored boys and girls of his city, over whom he has a great influence for good. For years he was in charge of the Dogie Club, among whose members crime was practically unknown.
At the 1940 convention of Negroes in Detroit, at which seventy-five years of history and development of the colored race in America was celebrated, Bones was present with pictures and oral and written records of his people in the Panhandle, both black and white, with whom he had lived the history of fifty of those seventy-five years.
Old-timers and other white people of the region have grown to know and respect the aged Negro, whose heart is as white as their own. No pioneer gathering is complete without Bones and his white flower for the oldest settler present. “The White Carnation”, composed by Mrs. John Arnold and Sylvester Cross of Silverton, was written in honor of his quaint custom.
Bones has a fund of homely wisdom and philosophy, which, as he says, comes from experience. Athough he is a member of no church, he has a religion of work and service for his fellowmen. Knowing that Negroes in America do not have the privileges and advantages of the white people, he yet deplores the attitude of many of the modern generation of colored boys and girls. Freedom, he says, is in the heart. Bones is well informed on the topic of the day, but his favorite subject is the history of the Panhandle and those who made that history, the pioneers, of whom he is proud to say that he is one.