George P. Inge

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Portrait of Inge.[1]

George P. Inge (1859-1948) was a prominent African American merchant who operated a store at 333 West Main Street. [2]

Inge was born in Pittsylvania County, Virgina. He was a teacher in Albemarle County for two years before opening a grocery store at 333 West Main Street. He was quoted to have said that he aimed "to live an upright life and do all I can to better the condition of my fellow man who may not be so well favored."[3]

Biography

George Pinkney Inge was born in Danville on February 10, 1859.[4] He graduated from the Hampton Institute in 1879 and moved with his family from Danville, Virginia, to Charlottesville to teach in the public schools. He taught at the Jefferson School on 7th Street for two years until it moved to the current 4th Street location.[4] On July 1, 1891 he went into business as a grocer. He was a member of the First Baptist Church.

In 1900, he was elected City Chairman of the Charlottesville Republican Party. He was part of the Cox delegation dismissed from the Luray Convention in 1922.[3]

Inge was known to be a close confidant of Paul McIntire and is said to be instrumental in the donation of the property for Washington Park. Booker T.Washington had attended school with Inge and their friendship continued through the years, with Washington staying with the Inge's when he visited Charlottesville.[5]

Inge and his wife, Kate Virginia (Ferguson) Inge (1864-1941), had nine children[6]:

  1. Frederick Douglas Inge (1896-1977)
  2. Hutchins Inge (1900-2002) (D-Newark) was the first Black to serve in the New Jersey State Senate. A Newark physician, Inge was elected to the Senate in 1965, unseated Republican Senate Minority Leader C. Robert Sarcone by 7,144 votes. Inge sought re-election to a second term in 1967 but lost when Republicans swept all six Essex Senate seats. He moved to Massachusetts a few years after leaving the Senate and practiced medicine into his 90s. He died in 2002 at age 101. In 2009, legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora to commission a permanent memorial to Hutchins Inge in the New Jersey statehouse was signed into law.
  3. Thomas Ferguson Inge (1903-1993) took over the Inge's Grocery Store business in Charlottesville.
  4. Kate (Inge) Fuller
  5. Roger Inge
  6. Theodore Inge
  7. Thomas Inge
  8. Laverne (Inge) Hepburn
  9. Gertrude (Inge) Brown

Grocery

Inge's Store, featured in the Daily Progress. From 1890-1979 Inges Home & Store. [7]

As the Vinegar Hill area developed into an African-American business and residential district, Inge's grocery stood at its center as an important commercial and social establishment. For a time, Inge's Store was the only place in Charlottesville to sell fresh fish.[4] Inge's supplied the Clermont and Gleason Hotels, the Dolly Madison Inn, and the University Hospital, as well as fraternities and private homes.[4]

In 2004 the City of Charlottesville unveiled a historical marker in front of the 333 West Main Street location honoring the significance of Inge's Grocery.[4]

The Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society has a ledger from the store in their collections.

References

  1. Web. [ The Reflector: An African-American Newspaper Depicting African-American Life in Charlottesville, Virginia During the Jim Crow Era], Friedman, Jackson, Lathan, and Nicholson., Web Exhibit, 2010, retrieved July 22, 2021.
  2. Web. Prominent Negro Merchant is Dead, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, March 15, 1948, retrieved December 12, 2016 from University of Virginia Library.
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/afam/politics/profiles.html#taylor
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Web. [visitcharlottesville.org/listing/inges-grocery-store-historical-site/3196/ Inge's Grocery Store], Website, Visit Charlottesville, retrieved July 21, 2021.
  5. https://www.dailyprogress.com/progress-past/article_295337b1-ba3e-5019-8049-3dea178663b6.html
  6. http://www2.vcdh.virginia.edu/afam/raceandplace/perl_scripts/funeral_search.html
  7. Web. Progress Past, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, June 13, 2018, retrieved July 21, 2021.

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