Papers (1944-1998, undated) of Matthew T. Lewis, educator and principal of Stokes Elementary School, a segregated, predominantly African American public school in Stokes, Pitt County, North Carolina, including correspondence with the Pitt County Superintendent Arthur S. Alford, announcements of retirement, newspaper clippings, programs from the dedication of Matthew Lewis Field and Picnic Shelter, reports, photographic prints and photograph albums.
Matthew T. Lewis served as the principal of Stokes Elementary School between 1952 and 1977. During his tenure as an educator, he was a beloved part of the Pitt County School system and proved to be a pioneer for desegregation and racial equality. He also served on the deacon board of Sycamore Hill Baptist Church. In 1998, the Parks Department for the City of Greenville renamed the park in Lewis' neighborhood, Meadowbrook, the Matthew Lewis Field and Picnic Shelter in his honor.
The Matthew T. Lewis Papers (1944-1998, undated) are arranged in original order. The papers document the life and career of teacher and school administrator, Matthew T. Lewis, who served at Stokes Elementary School, in the town of Stokes, Pitt County, North Carolina. Lewis was a teacher at Stokes Elementary School, a segregated, primarily African American school in the Pitt County school system, from 1944 to 1952; he was principal of the school from 1952 until his retirement in 1977. The papers include correspondence with the Pitt County Schools superintendent, Arthur S. Alford, minutes from meetings of the Pitt County Board of Education, evaluations, and the announcements of his retirement.
The Matthew T. Lewis Papers also documents his post-retirement years, 1977-1998. These papers include newsletters from Sycamore Hill Baptist Church, a blank petition to the Recreation Department of the City of Greenville to name the park in West Meadowbrook in honor of Matthew Lewis, a program for a 1994 appreciation banquet in Lewis' honor, programs for the 1998 dedication ceremony for the Matthew Lewis Field and Picnic Shelter.
In addition to the various documents, there are numerous photographic prints of Stokes Elementary School students, faculty, staff, and parents, 1944-1977. These photographs are in primarily in black and white but also include a few color photographs. Some photographs are mounted on scrapbook pages.
The collection includes printed materials relating to Stokes Elementary School and to the Pitt County public schools, 1956-1976.
The collection also includes an oversized folder containing a photocopy of the first issue of the school newspaper, The Stokes Pilot, from April 1965.
Gift of Mr. Matthew T. Lewis
Encoded by Apex Data Services, March 2002; Processed, Inventory, and Finding Aid by: Stephanie Hardy, May 2011; Finding Aid revised by Jonathan Dembo, June 26, 2012; Encoded by Jonathan Dembo, June 20, 2012; Encoding revised by Jonathan Dembo, July 20, 2012.
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.