1801 Patton Avenue

This is a draft, now being reviewed by members of the McCrorey Heights Neighborhood Association. Please share comments with Tom@HistorySouth.org 

Built in 1965 – 1966 for George W.C. Moreland and his wife Margaret T. Moreland. George Moreland was one of Charlotte’s few African American real estate professionals, son of a Bishop in the A.M.E. Zion Church. Wife Margaret Turman Moreland taught in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools where she helped desegregate First Ward Elementary.

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George Wiley Clinton Moreland (died July 1985) was born to Rev. Dr. John F. Moreland and wife Grace Scott Moreland.  Rev. Moreland was an important figure in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, sent to open new territories for the denomination in the midwest — which is how young George happened to be born in St. Louis, Missouri. Indeed the young man’s name honored Rev. Moreland’s mentor Bishop George Wiley Clinton of Charlotte. Rev. Moreland moved to Charlotte about 1908 where he ran the pension fund for the denomination from an office in the handsome three-story A.M.E. Zion Publishing House just completed on Brevard Street by black architect W.W. Smith. He became a Bishop, one of the twelve-person body that governed the denomination.

The family valued education and they sent George to boarding school at Emanuel Lutheran School in Greensboro, N.C., then to the A.M.E. Zion denomination’s Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C., and finally to Biddle University (soon to change its name to Johnson C. Smith University).  “He was an ardent reader with a keen business mind,” his obituary noted.

Real estate became George W.C. Moreland’s calling — a rarity for African Americans in that era. “He had a broad knowledge of finance and home construction,” according to his obituary. “He became a real estate agent in 1925. He was known for his creativity in exterior and interior decorating. He received a certificate of commendation as First Class Master Decorator from the U.S. Government, Newport News, Virginia.” In McCrorey Heights, in addition to his own house, building permits show that George Moreland developed two “spec” houses: 2001 Washington Avenue in 1961 and 2005 Washington Avenue in 1962.

Religion was a big part of Moreland’s life. “He was a scholar of the Bible and other famous classic literary works,” his family remembered. That scholarly passion ran in the family: his sister Dr. Sallie V. Moreland would serve for 47 years as president (1947 – 1994) of the A.M.E.Zion denomination’s Clinton Junior College in Rock Hill, S.C.  George’s study and teaching of the Bible took him beyond the A.M.E. Zion church of his upbringing. In later years he taught a popular adult Sunday School class at First United Presbyterian Church in uptown Charlotte, and today a scholarship for college students still honors his memory.

Outside of work and church, George Moreland was active in the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. Wife Margaret Turman Moreland was educated at Benedict College (Class of 1948), the African American women’s college in Columbia, S.C.  She taught in Charlotte public schools, including First Ward Elementary when she moved into this house about 1966. An all-black school when she began teaching there, First Ward was desegregated with white pupils and teachers arriving in 1969.  Margaret and George’s son George Jr., followed in his father’s footsteps, joining the real estate profession.

Four branches of the Moreland family resided in McCrorey Heights. George’s brothers Clarence and Howard, both school principals, were at 1617 Patton Avenue and 1722 Madison Avenue. Niece Alma Moreland Motley lived at 1726 Madison with her husband Rowe Motley, Mecklenburg’s first black County Commissioner.

Fairfield-1801-c-web
Fairfield-1801-a-web

Architecture

Ranch. Likely designed by its owner, George Moreland. Blond brick two-story dwelling with shallow hip roof and a prominent front chimney. Stairs march up to a second floor entrance. Doric porch columns and quoin-like protruding brick panels at the corners of the house give a nod to Classical tradition.  The two-story form is unusual, since most ranch houses were one story tall. Located on a corner lot with the front of the house facing Fairfield Street.

Building permit

Patton-1801-permit
Date issued: September 23, 1965
Owner: Mr. & Mrs. George Moreland
Contractor: Elbert Robinson
Estimated cost: $18,500
Other permit info: to build residence

Building permit files, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

First appeared in city directory

1967 – George W.C. Moreland & Margaret T.
He: No occupation listed. She: Teacher, First Ward Elem School
(He is listed 1981 as Real estate salesman)

City directory collection, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

obituary

Moreland, George, Funeral program in the Herron collection, Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Resources

Dedication of Research and Teaching Laboratories, Benedict College, 2007.”

First Ward Elementary Records,” finding guide for the collection at the Carolina Room of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Moreland, Clarence, Funeral program in the Digital Smith Collection, Inez Moore Park Archives, Duke Library, Johnson C. Smith University.

Moreland, Grace, entry in 1940 manuscript census.

Walls, William J., The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church: The Reality of the Black Church, especially pp. 211, 221, 224, 260, 321, 342, 431-32, 479.