Dr. Maurice Edmead
Data as of 11/11/2014
Dr. Maurice Edmead had a medical practice in Middleburg from 1933 to 1952. After that he moved to Washington, DC where he continued his practice, calling as clients many from Middleburg.
A Howard University Medical School graduate, Edmead was not allowed to practice at Loudoun Hospital in Leesburg, though the facility treated Blacks and had a dedicated wing, largely paid from the estate of a local Black man. However, by the 1940’s Edmead was chair of the Building Site Committee of the Middleburg PTA and Community League. He would use the science of medicine in petitions to address the appalling conditions in the schools, Local Blacks were worried that if their Grant Colored School was not expanded, respiratory disease might spread from overcrowding. The school had no plumbing, a pot belly stove heated with wood supplied by families, not the county, and a common ceramic cooler for water.[i] The multi-room structure still exists today, though as a small office building; old pictures and records on class sizes show that Edmead had a point. When the school closed in 1947, it hosted three teachers and 110 students![ii] The local Baptist Church also had to be used as a supplementary school room. Further, to have something to sit on, children had to use homemade orange crates created by their teacher Rosa Lee Carter. The same thing also happened at Bull Run where according to Ethel Smith the teacher’s desk and student chairs and benches had to be homemade.[iii]
On November 16, 1944, Edmead employed the support of famed attorney James. H. Raby, who petitioned Emerick directly.
“You have received a letter from a number of the parents in Middleburg complaining of the crowded condition at Grant School. As they stated to you, there were two rooms of which ninety-six children had to be cared for by two teachers. Under these conditions, there is no way that these children can get adequate training. This condition should not exist and there is not any reason for such condition because there is ample space to enlarge the school building.”[iv]
[i] Undated recollections of Barbara Evans Scott, received 2017, Edwin Washington archives.
[ii] EWP 6.6. Middleburg Colored, Grades 1-7 Yr. 1917 to 1947.
[iii] Ethel Smith, August 5, 2017, interview by Larry Roeder and Maddy Gold.
[iv] EWP: 2.5.A Yr. 1944 Nov 16 Raby Complains About Transportation and overcrowding at Grant. See also EWP: 2.5.A Yr. 1945 Grant Expansion Petitions. The Blacks in Middleburg considered Emerick condescending and said that the County Wide League did not speak for them.
Source: “Why Did We Lost So Much in 44 Years?” by Johnnie T. Smith in The Middleburg Mystique: A Peek inside the gates of Middleburg, VA. by Vicki Moon, Capital Books, July, 2002. (pp 71)
Edited by Larry W. Roeder, Jr., MS 703 867 2056. South Riding, Virginia (c) 2014