Business, Maternal Kin, Newspaper Articles, Politics, Virginia

Allen testifies and makes a good witness.

The Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia), 19 April 1911.

In 1909, the churches of Newport News’ East End, known as Bloodfields for its violence, commenced a campaign to curtail liquor licenses in the neighborhood. In April 1911, Zion Baptist Church and the Colored League of East End (represented by J. Thomas Newsome) appeared in court to contest the grant of a license to William Gholsen to open a bar at “the old Sam Hall saloon” near 20th Street on Ivy Avenue. My great-grandfather John C. Allen Sr. spoke on behalf of the church — at some length and to good effect. Gholson was denied.


4 thoughts on “Allen testifies and makes a good witness.

  1. vlittle302 says:

    Hi Lisa, I have really enjoyed all the information you’ve found. Recently a friend and i were discussing the origins of the Dochiki Club in Newport News. Your reference to Buster Reynolds was just what I was searching. I wondered if Mr. Reynolds had a liquor license and I’m wondering if his club “The Alley” sold alcohol. To learn he may have had some associations with the Mafia was very interesting. If you come across more information about him, please let me know.
    On another note, “Sumner’s” gas station aka Texaco was my father’s go to service station especially for repairs, Mr. Sumner and my dad were good friends. Are you related to the Sumners?

    Thanks again.
    Vanessa Withers-Little

    • Hi. Glad you’re enjoying my Newport News posts. I never lived there, but feel like I know it! My aunt and uncle are still there, and my late uncle was vice-mayor. We are not related to the Sumner family.

      • vlittle302 says:

        Thank you so much for responding! You have done an incredible job researching the Allen family. Do you live in Virginia? What area does your aunt & uncle live? I now live in Dover Delaware but I was born and raised in Newport News. In fact, I lived on 28th street down the street from the Texaco! 🙂

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