Mrs. Laura Dickerson Wheatley, President of the Baltimore Federation of
Colored Parent-Teacher Clubs, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her early train-
ing was received in the public schools of St. Louis, Missouri, and of Louisville,
Kentucky. She was graduated with highest honors from both the High School
and Teachers' Training School of Louisville. The principal of the High School
at that time said "Mrs. Wheatley was, if not the brightest, among the brightest
pupils that have passed through that school." She was a brilliant student at
Kentucky State University, Louisville, and took a special course at Cook County
Normal School, Chicago, Illinois. Later she was graduated with the degree
Bachelor of Arts from Morgan College, Baltimore, with the highest average of
her class, rating above 90 per cent in all subjects. Mrs. Wheatley was the
first student to do extension work at Morgan College.
Mrs. Wheatley's record as a teacher in the public schools of Louisville
was described as follows, by her principal: "In the Sloyd Department Mrs.
Wheatley easily took first place among the teachers; the success of that depart-
ment was due largely to her efforts. She was a very successful teacher, and
a woman of earnest, studious habit-, exerting a splendid influence upon her
pupils. Her work was inspired by the highest motives, and her interest and
enthusiasm was catching."
Mrs. Wheatley is a member of Metropolitan M. E. Church. She is a. pleas-
ing public speaker and a splendid writer. Her speech at the Louisville High
School Commencement was described in the Louisville Courier Journal as "the
feature of the evening's exercises."
In national literary contests—Mrs. Wheatley was awarded the prize of a
free trip to Europe by the Boston Brown Book Magazine; a cash prize by the
Maryland Branch of the National Defense Council during the World War (Mrs.
Wheatley was the ONLY WOMAN and the ONLY PERSON of COLOR among
the three prize winners in that contest.) She was awarded a set of books by
the Friends of Africa Society, and a cash prize by Opportunity Magazine.
Mrs. Wheatley is the wife of Dr. Edward James Wheatley, a prominent
physician and native of Baltimore, a graduate of Lincoln University and of
Howard Medical School.
Since her marriage Mrs. Wheatley has devoted herself untiringly to civic
work. She organized the Neighborhood Improvement League and was chairman
of the committee from that organization which appealed to the city to use
asphalt instead of vitrified bricks as had been planned for paving Druid Hill
Avenue, because din of traffic over the latter paving would seriously interfere
with the many institutions located on the avenue, and requested that moonlights
be placed in front of Bethel and Union Baptist churches. These requests were
Mrs. Wheatley is eminently successful as an impressario. She was the first
to introduce Roland Hayes and Lillian Evanti to Baltimore audiences.
In 1920 Mrs. Wheatley was chairman of the largest membership drive of
the local N. A. A. C. P., which enrolled 2,000 members and collected between
$5,000 and $6,000 cash. In 1921, through Mrs. Wheatley's efforts in his behalf,
three reprieves of thirty days' each, were granted by President Harding to
Henry Brown, the Colored youth who was accused of the murder of a Naval
Academy nurse at Annapolis, Md, The boy having been convicted wholly
upon circumstantial evidence.