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Pauline C. Morton

Civic minded Pauline Cauthone Morton was born Pauline Cauthone on February 19, 1912, in Dunnsville, Virginia. Morton attended Ozena Public School, Dunnsville Public School, and the Baptist Association’s Rappahannock Industrial Academy. She completed high school in 1928 and graduated from Virginia State University in 1933 with her B.S degree.

Morton married Samuel Percell Morton, then principal of the Hayden High School in Franklin, Southampton County, Virginia, and taught home economics. She eventually became the area state supervisor for home economics as well as an officer in the Statewide Home Economics Association. Well known for her work in the Franklin community as well as in state and local politics, she served as chairman of the school board, community college board, and several other state and local boards and governor’s committees. She held lifetime memberships in Alpha Kappa Alpha, Links, Inc., the Order of the Eastern Star, the National Council of Negro Women, and the local NAACP Chapter that she helped to form. She served on the J.R. Thomas Camp Board of Trustees for over fifty years, and on the Board of Directors of Senior Services for Southeastern Virginia from 1972 to 2002. During her long career, Morton helped to form the Franklin Cooperative Ministry, The Cosmonettes, and Sesame Street Day Care. She also served as chairman of the Deacon Board of her church and twenty-three other organizations. A scholarship has been established in her name at Virginia State University.

The recipient of many proud honors, Morton passed away on February 7, 2004, survived by two daughters.

Accession Number

A2003.276

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/16/2003

Last Name

Morton

Maker Category
Middle Name

C.

Organizations
Schools

Virginia State University

First Name

Pauline

Birth City, State, Country

Dunnsville

HM ID

MOR01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Well, We'll See.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

2/19/1912

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Death Date

2-7-2004

Short Description

Civic leader and home economist Pauline C. Morton (1912 - 2004 ) served as area state supervisor for home economics in Franklin, Southampton County, Virginia, and was well known for her work in the Franklin community as well as in state and local politics.

Employment

Virginia Department of Education

Franklin Cooperative Ministry

Sesame Street Day Care

Favorite Color

Pink, Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Pauline C. Morton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Pauline C. Morton lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Pauline C. Morton talks about her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Pauline C. Morton remembers her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Pauline C. Morton talks briefly about her maternal grandparents' farm

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Pauline C. Morton talks about her paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Pauline C. Morton talks briefly about her family's service in World War I

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Pauline C. Morton describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Pauline C. Morton describes her father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Pauline C. Morton talks about Rappahannock Industrial Academy in Ozeana, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Pauline C. Morton describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Essex County, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Pauline C. Morton remembers her father's tractor, horse and buggy, and race horse

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Pauline C. Morton describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood in Essex County, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Pauline C. Morton remembers attending church and mistakenly taking the offering

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Pauline C. Morton remembers at-home prayer rituals

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Pauline C. Morton remembers attending Sunday school and church

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Pauline C. Morton describes listening to music on the Victrola in her childhood home

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Pauline C. Morton describes growing molasses, making candy and family meals

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Pauline C. Morton describes her experiences at Ozeana Public School, Dunnsville Public School and Rappahannock Industrial Academy in Ozeana, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Pauline C. Morton describes her experiences at Ozeana Public School, Dunnsville Public School and Rappahannock Industrial Academy in Ozeana, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Pauline C. Morton describes her experience as a high school student

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Pauline C. Morton remembers her high school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Pauline C. Morton describes her experience as an undergraduate student at Virginia State College for Negroes in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Pauline C. Morton talks about her first job as an educator at Rappahannock Industrial Academy in Ozeana, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Pauline C. Morton describes meeting her husband

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Pauline C. Morton describes becoming supervisor of home economics in the state department of education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Pauline C. Morton describes her duties as supervisor of home economics in the Virginia State Department of Education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Pauline C. Morton describes the way in which she supervised her assigned schools

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Pauline C. Morton talks about her involvement in civic activity

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Pauline C. Morton describes her husband, S.P. Morton and his role as principal of Hayden High School in Franklin, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Pauline C. Morton talks about her initial involvement with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Pauline C. Morton describes experiencing discrimination as the supervisor of home economics in the Virginia State Department of Education

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Pauline C. Morton talks about her initial involvement with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Pauline C. Morton remembers civil rights leaders involved with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Pauline C. Morton talks about her tenure as president of her local Virginia chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Pauline C. Morton talks about African Americans working the polls in Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Pauline C. Morton talks about her involvement in an association for vocational education

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Pauline C. Morton talks briefly about the legacy of Nat Turner in Southampton County, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Pauline C. Morton describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Pauline C. Morton considers her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Pauline C. Morton considers what in her life she may have done differently

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Pauline C. Morton describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Pauline C. Morton talks briefly about her children

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Pauline C. Morton narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

4$5

DATitle
Pauline C. Morton describes growing molasses, making candy and family meals
Pauline C. Morton talks about her initial involvement with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, pt. 1
Transcript
And many times after study at night, we would--sometimes they would tell us some stories and sometimes we would make candy. We grew molasses cane on the farm.$$Molasses cane?$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$That's what they call it.$$Okay.$$And that, that's a thing they had to grind and get the juice out of it and then they cooked molasses from that.$$Like sugarcane.$$Yeah, that's right.$$Okay, so you made your own on the farm?$$Made your own on the--in fact they--my mother [Etta Shelton Cauthorne] would put up sometimes hundreds of quarts or pints of fruits and vegetables, string beans, peaches, pears, apples, applesauce--hog-killing time. We didn't have the conveniences we have now, so many times they cooked that meat, fried the meat and put it--and made sausage and put it in jars and then you would open it. Some of the best I ever had was when went home one night and Mama opened a jar of spare ribs and made some onion brown gravy and she already had--we carried the bread with us because we didn't have--they didn't make as much loaf bread as they do now. And the--in case they didn't have cold--they had biscuits and something and we carried some bread with us. But it was a family thing. At our house we always set the table and everybody as at the table. And we always had prayer. And when the preacher come, sometime he'd want all of us to pray 'round the table; we wanted to eat. But we had to listen and everybody would say a prayer. So we grew up with that kind of family and many times the pastor had to come miles by horse and buggy. And so we put the man's horse; had to provide for him, for the horse and buggy and also for him to stay. Like we were having service on Sunday and he would come on Saturday and maybe stay overnight so he'll be there in time, especially during the bad weather.$$Where did he live?$$He lived about twenty-five or thirty miles from us, in King and Queen County [Virginia], and we lived in Essex County [Virginia].$$Okay.$$But I mean it was commonplace to drive the horse and buggy because we had the horse and buggy. My mother I said had--she would go to Middlesex where her home was with a horse and buggy. And I remember winters per my older brother and myself and then my third brother came in and somebody had to help to hold him you know, in the buggy to go that thirty miles to see my grandma.$So you joined the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People]. Did you join it when you were in your twenties, or did you wait for a while, or how did--$$That's been so long, I don't know when I was twenty (laughter). After all you know you're speaking of a ninety-something year old well now you know. But yeah, I, I have always--since I've been grown enough to know what it's all about, I have held membership. And I, I have, you know full membership in it. I'm not active like I used to be.$$Well now, but I'm talking about then. We're talking about then. We, we know you're not gone be as active.$$Yeah, and then, and I don't know how I got along in that, but I sure did, right on through the days that I was right here in Franklin [Virginia] working. But I did not, you know, go out on a limb.$$Now did, did you get a chance when you were young, when you were at college or high school, college or in your young adult life, did you get a chance to hear any of the national spokesmen for the NAACP or any of the Civil Rights leaders speak?$$Yeah. I, I did. Because I, I went to some of the meetings and, and then now you know, everything is available now so I know what they are.$$So who, who did you hear in those days speak?$$Well Bennie Mays Benjamin Mays] is one of my special persons, and can't recall any names now, but I used to go to the NAACP meetings and went to the state meetings too.$$Did you ever hear James Weldon Johnson speak?$$Yes, yes.$$Okay. And Dr. [W.E.B.] DuBois--$$That's right. And left the job one time. I was a state supervisor of home economics and they were having something at EC Glass High School up there in Lynchburg [Virginia], and we left and went up, and attended a meeting there to hear--I'm a person who like to hear it for myself. I've always been that way 'cause if you gone tell me about the very thing I'm interested in, you'll think that's what you gone miss telling me. So I like to go. I'm a meeting person. I like to hear it for myself.$$Okay. Who else, I mean did, did you hear in those days? Can you, can, can you remember any of the other people? Remember what they said and what--how it might have affected you.$$No, not now.$$Okay.$$But I was with the Civil Rights Movement.$$Walter White, did you ever meet him?$$Not, not, not to meet him, know their name.$$Or Mary White Ovington. Okay, yeah, did you know any of them very well? I mean--$$No.$$Any of the state officials well?$$Well in later years I did. I can't recall some of those names now around Richmond [Virginia] after--Johnson and, and now the younger one, what was those younger ones? Brothers up there in Richmond. But I'm not keeping up with it now like I used to.$$Well I know. I, I'm talking about back then. 'Cause the ones now, we, we could probably know about too. But I'm asking you about what happened way back and just, just to get some sense of what those people were like and, and, and how you were inspired to do what you did.