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An Interview With Henry Warren Sewing
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TitleAn Interview With Henry Warren Sewing
AbstractInterviewer: Ella Pruitt. Interview recorded April 12, 1976. 2 sound cassettes (ca. 60 minutes): analog, stereo.; 5 7/8 x 2 1/2 in., 1/8 in. tape; 2 sound disc; digital; $ 3/4 in. Has printed guide to contents.
NotesListed in the business category. Henry Sewing was born February 15, 1891 in Texas. In the interview he discusses his early life, coming to Kansas City and first work here, banking involvement, Douglass State Bank, etc.
Date1976-04-12
SourceKansas City Public Library; Black Archives of Mid-America, Inc.
LocationSC69-2, Tape 49, CD 49 (2 parts)
Local SubjectOral History
African Americans
Sewing, Henry W.
Douglass State Bank
Bankers
Item TypeArchival Material
TranscriptionSynopsis of Interview:

Henry Warren Sewing was born February 15, 1891, in Bremond, Texas. Sewing is the son of Thomas Wesley and Margaret Sewing. Mr. Sewing began school at age nine. He attended Boyd Academy in the ninth grade where he taught as a student teacher. He went to Tillotson College where he majored in sociology. He graduated in May 1915 with an A.B. degree. Mr. Sewing's first job after completion of his A.B. was in Austin, Texas, as a sixth grade Latin and math teacher.

In June 1920 he came to Kansas City where his first jobs were in the Sausage Department at Armour's Packing Company and Missouri Pacific Freight. At this time he was the only Black clerk. Began as a part-time life insurance salesman with Standard Life Insurance. In 1922 enlisted as part-time life insurance salesman of the Standard Life Insurance Co. of Atlanta, Georgia. He was made manager of the branch office in Kansas City. Sewing was regional supervisor of Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas in 1923 for the National Benefit Life Insurance Company.

Sewing and Jim Browne began gathering information to start a bank. Prayer taken from Mr. Sewing's diary and used in his book, "Henry Warren Sewing: Founder of the Douglas State Bank, an Autobiography," pg. 89. Mr. Sewing contacted James McCurry to gain insight on purchasing land for the site of the new bank. Ground breaking for new bank January 22, 1947. Original date for opening of bank was July 1, 1947. The bank actually opens August 25, 1947. Employees go into training.

Wendell A. Robbins applied to Douglas State Bank and received assistance to finance the beginning of what is now known as the Brentwood Hills Subdivision, in Kansas City, Kansas. The cashier at this time was Edward. E. Tillman. Douglas State Bank's first year and its first employees. The directors are also listed.
Access This ItemYou may come to the Missouri Valley Room to listen to the interview.
Item ID210263
CONTENTdm number36312
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