Maggie Lena Barbee was the first known family member to go to college. She was born on 13 Mar 1891 in Alabama to Robert and Martha Ella Quinn Barbee. Both of her parents were enslaved people. My 2nd great grandfather, Robert, had previously been married to Amanda Lawler (1852-1876) and had four children by her. My 2nd great-grandmother Ella was previously married to Richard Warford and had two children by him. Together Robert and Ella had eight children.
The 1900 census contained Robert, Ella, and Maggie’s brother Clarence. She was eight, and Clarence was 14. In 1910 she appeared on the census with Robert and Martha Barbee on 25 Apr. However, she also appeared on 23 Apr at Fisk University, a student in Jubilee Hall, Nashville, Ward 3, Davidson County, Tennessee.
According to the Fisk University News (1915), Maggie L Barbee worked in the public schools in McAlester, Oklahoma, and now resides in Americus, Georgia. She lived at 1322 E Chickasaw in McAlester, Pittsburg, Oklahoma, in 1913 and taught at Second Ward School (colored). In 1915, the Barbee family (Maggie, George, Sam, and Joe) allotted two acres of land to create a neighborhood school in Athens, Alabama. However, after the school was damaged in 1918 by a storm, they transferred the property to the Colored Presbyterian Church that restored it as Alabama Forks School.
Maggie lived at Masonic Orphans Home in Americus, Sumter County, Georgia, in 1916. She was a teacher at the Masonic Orphan’s Home (colored) at the corner of Mason between N Lee and N Jackson. The superintend of the Home was Barbara E Battle. The Masonic Orphanage of Americus, Georgia, was built in 1898 to support children of deceased parents of the Order, offering home economics, sustainable farming, and Religion to the students. Order members of the State of Georgia fund the facility.
Maggie lived at 124 S 22d in Bessemer, Jefferson County, Alabama, in 1920 and was a teacher in Bessemer Public School. She, a teacher at Muscoda School No. 1, married Jefferson Davis Brown, a miner, on 25 Aug 1931, living at 728 Interness Avenue in Bessemer in 1932. Maggie appeared in the census on 9 Apr 1940 at 3126 Fairfax in Bessemer. She owned her own home and was living alone. She was a teacher in the County and made $600. On 4 Apr 1946, in Athens, Maggie L Barbee Brown sold to Homer C Steelmon 10 acres of land for $500. In 1960 Maggie B Brown still resided at 3126 Fairfax, Bessmer, Alabama. She was a teacher at Muscoda Jr. High School.
Mrs. Maggie Barbee Brown retired from teaching after fifty years in 1961. She spent 43 of teaching in the State of Alabama. They said Brown attended eight learning institutions and graduated from two of them. She died on 11 Jul 1966 at 75 in Bessemer, Alabama. She was also known as Maggie Barbee and as Maggie B Brown.