Tuesday, November 19, 2013

An African American Farmer and Businessman Owned His Own Cotton Gin in Amite, LA

Walter Wren, Sr.
Walter Wren.Sr.,  was born to the late Sallie and Harry Wren on September 14 at Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center located in Independence, La., After being raised by his parents the later met and married  Ada Coleman Wren. Walter and his wife Ada had three children, Dorothy Wren Leonard, a native of New Orleans, LA., Walter Wren, Jr., a native of Amite, LA, and last, but not least the late Delores Wren who was also a native of Amite, LA.

Walter made a living for himself  and family by farming, that was considered more of a hobby rather than a living. During his farming his planting crops consisted of strawberries, watermelons, greens, snap bean, squash, sweet potatoes, peanuts, cucumbers, peppers, okra, and he also planted cotton that included a cotton gin, He was also known for raising animals which were cows, horses, and he owned one goat.

He owned a mule, which was used to do his plowing and planting of the crops back in the days, but as the years advanced he was able to purchase a tractor which eased his labor. During all the hard labor he performed he then took a stroke that would have  would have enabled him to perform his work and decreased his chances of every farming again, but nevertheless he didn't let the stroke interfere with what he loved and enjoying doing. He continue to plant until the Lord called him home. Indeed Walter Wren, Sr. was known as a noble man of farming and raising animals. He was a man like Mr. W.C. Frazier, Jasper Harrell, Sr., Cleveland Bennett, J.D. Atkins, Robert Temple, Walter Temple, Palmer Harrell and other black farmers who tilled the soil.

One of my relatives in New Orleans, La called me one afternoon and asked me to come by and look at a box of records that she taught I would like to see. I was so excited to get the call that I couldn't wait until the weekend to look in that box. After going through lots of photographs and old documents, I came across a receipt dated on September 27, 1949:

Amite, LA
September 27. 1949

The minutes of the report for the covering of the church. Brother Clifford Wheat and Bro. Walter Wren lent the church $50.00 each for the tin on the church, total one hundred dollars. We have planned to return the money on the 25 of October, we are asking each member for $2.50 for that date.

Elder E.C. Pounds, Pastor