AAERO Memorial Awards celebrate the lives of loved ones by giving financial contributions to the education of African American students. We have created a number of Memorial Awards to let others know about the experiences, admirable characteristics and accomplishments of these treasures of our community who have passed. Read about some of the men and women we honor with these awards.
Consider creating Memorial Awards for people you treasure. Contact AAERO if you would like to create, contribute to, or apply for an award.
Beulah Violet Tillman was born August 2, 1894 in Randolph County, North Carolina–the only child of Willis and Lillian Tillman. At the age of 11, Beulah went to Greensboro to attend school at what later became Bennett College. (In an interview, she talked of being mentored by the college students.) Eventually, she graduated from Bennett College and received a teaching certificate. Beulah Tillman was hired (unseen) to teach in a school for Negro and Indian children in Cumberland County North Carolina. She described her assertive integration of this school, in which Negro and Indian students had previously been seated on different sides of the same classroom. On June 2, 1918, Beulah Tillman married Warren Coleman Melchor of Fayetteville, North Carolina. The Melchors had two daughters–Grace and Beulah–who would later follow their mother’s path to Bennett College. Her retirement, in 1959, after more than 30 years teaching, gave Mrs. Melchor more time to enjoy gardening, fishing, and playing cards. She was an active member of the Greenlawn Garden Club. Much of Mrs. Melchor’s time was spent as a Red Cross volunteer at the Veteran’s Hospital in Fayetteville. A lifelong member of St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, she was active in many roles. When asked of what accomplishment she was most proud, Mrs. Melchor replied, “educating my two daughters.” She and her husband (who was a medical doctor) made education a priority, sacrificing to send both girls to Palmer Memorial Institute for secondary school and to Bennett College. this is a photo of “Granny” with Billy, one of her three grandchildren.
Edna Bertha Covington was born on September 18, 1894 in Rockingham, Richmond County, North Carolina–the only child of Addison and Martha Covington. She spent her childhood in Hamlet, North Carolina, where she lived with her grandparents, Reverend and Mrs. G. B. Mason. Edna
Covington attended the public schools of Hamlet and graduated from Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina.Edna Covington was first married to James Clifton Quick of Bennettsville, South Carolina. The Quicks had one son, Clifton Mason Quick. Several years after the death of James Clifton Quick, Edna Covington Quick married Robert L. Taylor of Pinehurst in Moore
County. Mrs. Taylor taught in the schools of North Carolina for 42 years. At her retirement she was a teacher at the Academy Heights School in the Taylortown community of Pinehurst. After retirement, Edna B. Taylor, became an Attendance Officer for Moore County schools. She was a member of the Board of Correctional Institutions of North Carolina, held offices several times in the North Carolina Baptist Convention, and was a state organizer for the Federated Women’s Clubs of North Carolina.
This photo is from “Negro Business and Professional Men and Women: A Survey of Negro Progress in Varied Sections of North Carolina,” published in 1946 by R. Irving Boone. Activities listed include, Nurse’s Aide, Moore County Hospital; Social Case Worker; Member, Moore County T.B. Board; Member, Executive Board, State Women’s Federated Clubs; State Organizer, Women’s Federated Clubs; and Member, Board of Missions, General Baptist State Convention of N.C.
Edna Taylor maintained her home in Taylortown while living for several years with her daughter, Dorothea Taylor Moore and her family–Lt. Col. Spurgeon Moore and their four children on the military base in Germany. She made friends and became active in the local community, as she had in North Carolina. This is “Mamma Taylor” with Kermit, one of 5 grandchildren.