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Zonia T. Way

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Information about Zonia T. Way

Profile image of Zonia T. Way

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Interior Design Consultant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Idlewild, Michigan
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/9/1905
Birth Location:
Meridian, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Interior Design Consultant

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Idlewild, Michigan
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/9/1905
Birth Location:
Meridian
See how Zonia T. Way is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Longtime Chicago resident Zonia Thomas Way was born Zonia Matticx on May 9, 1905, in Meridian, Mississippi. Her grandfather founded St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Meridian. Way’s mother, Virginia Anna Shields Matticx, who taught Greek and Latin at Meridian College (later named Haven College) met Way’s father, Frank Henry Matticx (who was half French and half Choctaw Indian), in college. Way attended Meridian Academy and later attended Meridian’s Colored Public School. When Way’s mother died in 1915, her father relocated to Chicago, remarried, and then sent for his daughter in 1918.

In Chicago, Way attended Doolittle Elementary School and Hyde Park High School, where she was an honor student and a member of the Girl’s Reserves. Her stepmother, Grace Abney Garnett Matticx, frequently entertained black business leaders and notables like Congressman Oscar de Priest, Provident Hospital leader Dr. George Cleveland Hall, Dr. T.K. Lawless, Chicago Defender publisher Robert S. Abbott, banker Jesse Binga, and Illinois State Representative Louis B. Anderson.

Way’s first job was in a hat shop in 1925. That same year, she met Walker V. Thomas, a dental student. Soon they married, and Way for many years was an active part of civic life on Chicago’s South Side and in Idlewilde, Michigan. She joined the Church of the Good Shepherd in 1934 and was a member of the Douglass Chapter of the League of Women Voters, the YWCA board, the Meharry Auxiliary and the Dentists Wives Club. After her husband died in 1949, Way made draperies and sold them to clients. In 1960, she married John Way and continued to design draperies and do interior design. A former president of the Seniors Club of Parkway Gardens, Way designs and teaches crafts.

Over one hundred years old, Way has a grown daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

See how Zonia T. Way is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Zonia T. Way's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Zonia T. Way lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Zonia T. Way describes her maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Zonia T. Way describes her mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Zonia T. Way describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Zonia T. Way describes how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Zonia T. Way describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Zonia T. Way describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Zonia T. Way describes her childhood personality and activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Zonia T. Way describes Meridian, Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Zonia T. Way recalls a harsh punishment from her second grade teacher
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Zonia T. Way describes her experiences in elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Zonia T. Way recalls leaving Meridian, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Zonia T. Way remembers Meridian, Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Zonia T. Way describes her family's experiences in Grenada, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Zonia T. Way recalls her mother's death
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Zonia T. Way recalls living in Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Zonia T. Way recalls moving to Chicago, Illinois as a teenager
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Zonia T. Way describes Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Zonia T. Way describes her stepmother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Zonia T. Way describes her father's occupation, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Zonia T. Way describes her father's occupation, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Zonia T. Way remembers celebrating the end of World War I
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Zonia T. Way recalls prominent figures from her childhood community, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Zonia T. Way recalls prominent figures from her childhood community, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Zonia T. Way remembers Dr. Theodore K. Lawless
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Zonia T. Way remembers the Matticx Creole Sausage Company
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Zonia T. Way recalls the rioting in Chicago in 1919
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Zonia T. Way talks about the Chicago Defender's early publications, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Zonia T. Way talks about the Chicago Defender's early publications, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Zonia T. Way talks about the NAACP and Marcus Garvey's movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Zonia T. Way recalls her experiences at Chicago's Hyde Park High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Zonia T. Way remembers her teachers at Hyde Park High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Zonia T. Way recalls her aspiration to teach in the South
  • Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Zonia T. Way recalls meeting her second husband, Walker V. Thomas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Zonia T. Way recalls ending her first marriage
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Zonia T. Way recalls divorcing her first husband
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Zonia T. Way recalls marrying her second husband, Walker V. Thomas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Zonia T. Way remembers Chicago's Douglass League of Women Voters
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Zonia T. Way describes Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Zonia T. Way describes Oscar Stanton De Priest and her stepmother's family
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Zonia T. Way recalls Ida B. Wells' family
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Zonia T. Way talks about her organizational involvement in Chicago
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Zonia T. Way talks about Chicago's African American dentists
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Zonia T. Way recalls her husband's dental practice during the Great Depression
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Zonia T. Way describes her social activities during the Great Depression
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Zonia T. Way recalls listening to radio programs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Zonia T. Way recalls attending a Negro League Baseball game
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Zonia T. Way recalls being forced from her home after her husband's death
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Zonia T. Way recalls protesting the development of Lake Meadows Apartments
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Zonia T. Way describes her children's college educations
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Zonia T. Way recalls working at a drapery store on Chicago's North Side
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Zonia T. Way describes segregation in Chicago
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Zonia T. Way remembers marrying her third husband, John Way
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Zonia T. Way describes her involvement at Chicago's Church of the Good Shepherd
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Zonia T. Way describes her injuries after falling in church
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Zonia T. Way describes her healthy diet and activities
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Zonia T. Way reflects upon her longevity
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Zonia T. Way describes her grandchildren
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Zonia T. Way describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Zonia T. Way reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Zonia T. Way reflects upon her legacy and how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Zonia T. Way narrates her photographs