This Oral History is copyrighted by the Interviewee
and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program on
behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of
Copyright, 2005, University of Florida.
All rights, reserved.
This oral history may be used for research,
instruction, and private study under the provisions
of Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of United States
Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section
107) which allows limited use of copyrighted
materials under certain conditions.
Fair use limts the amount of material that may be
For all other permissions and requests, contact the
SAMUEL PROCTOR ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at
the University of Florida
INTERVIEWER: Adolph Dial
INTERVIEWEE: Reverend C. E. Locklear
July 22, 1969
D: ...of Pembroke, July the twenty-second, 1969. Brother Locklear has
the distinction as serving as the first mayor, first elected Indian
mayor of the city of Pembroke. Brother Locklear, how old are you?
L: I am seventy-two years old. I was born June eighth, 1897.
D: When did you serve as mayor of Pembroke?
L: I was elected in 1950, 67, 1957, 50, pardon, let's start that again.
D: Let's see, let me repeat that question. When, when were you elected
as mayor of Pembroke?
L: I was elected in 1948.
D: At the time you were elected as the first Lumbee mayor of the city
of Pembroke or the town of Pembroke, how many served on your town
L: At the time I served as mayor there were two Indians and two white
D: And of course you being Indian, this gave the Indians a majority if
you look at it just from the standpoint of vote and race, doesn't it?
L: That's correct, sir.
D: But I suppose that the issue was always important and it was not really
a thing of race, but it was the issue and I imagine as well as I remember,
there was lots of cooperation. Everything went along smoothly.
L: That's correct, Mr. Dial. In all of my term as mayor I never had to
vote but one time and that was the question of electing a chief of
Page 2. dib
police and our split was one Indian and one white on each side. It
was not a question of race and of course that's the only time I ever
had to vote and I broke the tie.
D: Well, I think that's very, that's very remarkable and this shows that
you served the town well as mayor and the fact that you didn't have
to come in and have to. make so many decisions with your vote to
break a tie. Now before your time how was the mayor of Pembroke chosen?
L: Before my time the mayor and commissioners were appointed by the
governor of the state.
D: The mayor and the commissioners were appointed by the governor of the
state. Now, Brother Locklear, knowing you over the years you've been
a very successful business man and also a successful minister, you're
still in the ministry, when did you begin in the ministry?
L: I began in the ministry in the year of 1919. That was my first year
to serve as a pastor at one of our Baptist churches.
D: This was right after World War I.
L: That's correct.
D: Did you go into World War I?
L: No, I missed World War I by just a matter of a few days.
D: Yes, that's right, you were perhaps not quite old enough right at that
time. As you look back in your boyhood days, now you were born in
Lbelieve, what, about 1893?
D; No, 1897, yes, In 1897, looking back to around the turn of the century
right after the twentieth century came in, as a boy and you think back
Page 3. dib
among the Lumbee Indians as we know them today, would you mention,
I know you can't mention everybody and all of their names might
not come to your mind, but who do you consider some of the early
leaders back in your boyhood days and some, some of those who made
a contribution to the race?
L: Mr. Dial, I think of one outstanding man. He was a preacher as well
as a teacher, Reverend W. L. Moore. I went to him to school. I went
to his church and he was my ideal as a minister and as a teacher.
So I think that my good friend, Reverend, Mr. Moore, made in that day
the greatest contribution to the Indian race.
D: I barely remember seeing the late W. L. Moore. Oh, perhaps I remember
seeing him in the pulpit once or twice, but I still hear people today
talk about many of the text that he used on various sermons and at
funerals and he seemed to be able to always take a text that was
so appropriate for the occasion, and people do speak well of him as
an educator and as a minister back in his day. Brother Locklear, as
I look at the Lumbee race today in Robeson and joining counties, I
find them a very successful people and a very hard working people and
I believe that probably has made more progress fighting the odds
over the years than any other group of Indians without a doubt in the
United States and perhaps have been more successful considering the
opportunity than most groups whether they be minority or minority
groups in the United States. And looking at their success~today
what are some of the contributing factors that seem to be very im-
portant and happen to make these people very successful people?
Page 4. dib
L: Mr. Dial, of course there are several great factors that play in that.
Let me mention one or two. First of all the Indian people are smart.
They are good workers. They'll give you a good days work for the
pay, but the main factor that I would consider that has contributed
to the progress and the success of the Indian people in the last
years have been education, better schools, better teachers.
D: That's better schools and better education. How would you compare,
of course I know it's really not a good question, but it's really
not a comparison, but what was school like in your boyhood days?
Would you just give me a, oh, if you could look back in your elementary
school days, what was it like?
L: I, my early days I went to the little one-teacher school. Mr.
Foster Sampson was my teacher and of course he taught all grades
in the one building, and as I think of that school now, it of course,
that long ago disappeared. I also went to Prospect School and we
had the little one-room building. Now at Prospect High School and
Elementary School combined they have...teachers...
D: I suppose they have close to forty today.
L: They got:about forty teachers, where in my first schooling we had one
teacher in the one-room building.
D: Was this teacher the Reverend W.L. Moore?
L: Yes, he was. Mr. Moore was my teacher.
D: Now where was the Barton School located?
L: The little Barton Schoolhouse was about a mile and a half out from
Prospect. Now that was the first school I went to, was the Barton
Schoolhouse, and we had, of course little school buildings dotted in
Page 5. dib
various places throughout the county with one teacher in one school.
D: Now this of course was before the normal at Pates in 1887.
L: Yes, that's correct.
D: I see, now this Barton School was, this was up by, yes, was that near,
a mile and a half, let's see, a mile and a half from Prospect in which
D: North, up around the old, what was known as the Mac Barton place, up
in that direction.
L: That's correct.
D: I see. Brother Locklear, considering the Lumbees of Robeson and .adjoining
counties, I know you've served as pastor in adjoining counties,:you've
preached many funerals in adjoining counties and so forth, what would
you consider over the years has been the basic difference among the
Lumbees in Robeson and adjoining counties?
L: Mr. Dial, I think that we are all the same people. I think the
difference is the opportunities that have been afforded to all the Indians
in Robeson County. We have had a better chance. The fact of the matter
is that more Indians lived in Robeson County than in any other of the
adjoining counties. Therefore they had just a little bit more political
pull and recognized to a great extent than the Indians in other counties.
D: Thank you, Brother Locklear, and I certainly would have to agree with
all you've said and thanks-a lot for the interview. This is Adolph
Dial, Associate Professor of History, Pembroke State College, July the