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Wed, 11.24.1852

William Feilds, School Principal born

William A. Feilds

*The birth of William A. Feilds is celebrated on this date in c. 1852.  He was a Black schoolteacher and principal.   born a slave in West Tennessee in 1874, Feilds married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Fields, age 20, in Shelby County, TN.  In 1882, Sholes’ Memphis City Directory listed Feilds as a “teacher 5th District school, r county.”

According to the 1883 (Sholes) and 1884 (Weatherbe) city directories, William A. “Feilds” was employed as the principal of Shelby County’s 5th District school.  He served one term as a Republican legislator in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1885 to 1886.  He was also elected a member of the Shelby County court and a justice of the peace.  

He is the paternal great-great-grandfather of actress, singer, Miss America 1984, Vanessa Williams, and actor Chris Williams.  William Feilds died on September 9, 1898. 

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