Edwards sisters enshrined to Hall of Fame

Apr. 22, 2013 @ 05:29 PM

Sisters Rosa and Lois Edwards, originally from Henderson, were posthumously enshrined recently to the Henderson County Education Foundation Hall of Fame.

The ceremony took place at the Hendersonville Country Club, and included the great-great nephew of the Edwards’ sisters, Stanley Floyd of Louisburg, and the great-great niece of the Edwards’ sisters, Patricia Fuller Hughes of Henderson. Floyd’s wife Gail and Hughes’ husband Fred were also in attendance.

The Edwards sisters left Henderson for the mountains and the Hendersonville City School System shortly after the death of their mother, Mrs. McDonald Arena Edwards, in 1909. Both were graduates of what is now known as UNC Greensboro, but known then as the State Normal and Industrial College.

Lois (1884-1931) was a teacher from 1911 to 1929 in Hendersonville, forced to stop for health reasons. She died of heart disease in 1931.

Rosa (1877-1932) taught in Hendersonville from 1912 to 1919, was named principal of Fourth Avenue School in 1919, and held the position until she died of a heart attack.

The sisters’ gravesites are in the family plot in Union Chapel United Methodist Church Cemetery in Henderson.

The Hendersonville City Board of Education renamed Fourth Avenue School the Rosa Edwards School in April of 1933, one of only three in the Henderson County Public School System named for educators. She was the first.

Tommy Fuller of Henderson, a great-nephew of the sisters, and his daughter Patricia donated a portrait of Rosa Edwards to the Henderson County Board of Education last year. It now hangs in the main conference room of the school board’s administrative offices in Hendersonville.

Also attending the ceremony were Margie Grissom, a former Henderson resident who retired to Henderson County 16 years ago, and 99-year-old Grady Vaughn, a first-grade student of Lois Edwards in 1919 who went on to have Rosa Edwards as his principal from 1919 to 1925.

Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.