Nettie DeElla Langston1860 - 1938
Obituary: Nettie (Langston) Napier
From Chicago Defender, 8 Oct 1938, page 3, col. 2.
Death Takes Mrs. Nettie L. Napier in Nashville
By Rebecca Stiles Taylor
Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 30 – Mrs. Nettie Langston Napier, daughter of the late Congressman John M. Langston of Virginia, and wife of Hon. J.C. Napier, former register of the U.S. treasury, died here Tuesday in Hubbard hospital.
She entered the hospital four weeks ago after a prolonged illness which kept her under a physicians’s care at her home, 120 North Fifteenth avenue, for the past three years. She passed away under an oxygen tent.
Mrs. Napier was christened Nettie DeElla Langston. She was born in the historic educational center, Oberlin, Ohio. When she was nine years old her family moved to Washington, D.C., where her father was already pursuing his noted career. She entered Howard university where she spent only one year, returning to Oberlin to complete her education.
Did Civic Work
Early in her young womanhood she married J.C. Napier of Nashville and became what can be easily said its most outstanding race woman. She gave constant attention to social duties that commanded her attention and was an efficient and consistent worker in enterprises connected with the Congregational church of her city. She interested herself in matters of education, never failing to aid by advice and substantial support persons seeking situations as students of Fisk university and other schools.
Mrs. Napier possessed an accomplished musical education, with a deep, rich contralto voice of great power and frequently took part in musical entertainments of public and general interest.
Aided Red Cross
During the Red Cross campaign in Nashville, Mrs. Napier was chosen chairman of a committee of Race women invited by the whites of the city to cooperate with them for Red Cross work. Not only was this work carried out during the entire time of the World war, but other phases of war work were creditably done with Mrs. Napier as the leader.
Although Mrs. Napier, along with other women, was instrumental in bringing the National Association of Colored Women to Nashville in 1897, it was not until the meeting in Buffalo in 1901 that she became an active member. In this meeting she appeared on the program, her subject being “Women’s Domain.” The subject of home-making had always been first and foremost with her. Afterwards when speaking to a friend concerning this paper, she laughingly said, “I put woman in the home and let her stay there.”
Since the Buffalo meeting Mrs. Napier attended every meeting of the National Association of Colored Women and served on some of the most important committees of the organization. On the death of Mary B. Talbert, who was president of the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical association, Mrs. Napier became president of the association and it was in this capacity that she was most keenly felt. Through her efforts the Douglass home at Anacostia, Washington, D.C., has become the shrine it was intended to be.
Mr. Napier accompanied her at every meeting of the association. On their return from Fort Worth, Texas last summer the car in which they traveled, accompanied by friends, was struck and both Mr. and Mrs. Napier were injured, he receiving the worst injury, but it was believed that neither was fatally hurt.
Mrs. Napier has labored unceasingly for the growth of the fund for the Frederick Douglass Home and the clubs of Tennessee have rallied to her wonderfully well, as have the clubs of other states. It will be her work for the Douglass Home for which she will be longest remembered for it has been most exceptional.
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