In 1936, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt toured southern Illinois in her famous bid to see how the “other third” were faring through the depression. She came upon a group of African American singers in the Williamson County village of Colp, and agreed to employ them through a Works Progress Administration program.
The Colp Federal Chorus was commissioned by the government before WW II under President Roosevelt to sing at churches, schools, prisons and on the radio. Their robes were donated by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Shown standing in the photo from L-R are:
Felix Bowler (Director), David Copening, Earl Clark Sr., Cleo Spears, Willie Williams, Paul Brown, John Davis, Ardel Bostic, Edward Page
Shown seated in the photo from L-R are:
Renetia Mays, Mae Starks, ?? Skates, Leonore Davis, Viola Haynes, Mattie Ramseur, Mildred Page, Mossie Perkins, Nora Meeks, Willie Jefferson, Theodore Tidwell