Huntington, WV Black History

Maudella White Taylor

Community Activist

Maudella White Taylor was an educator an community volunteer and served as executive director of the J.W. Scott Community Center in Fairfield for more than  three decades.

Taylor was born on June 23, 1910 in southern West Virginia. Her family relocated to Huntington, where she graduated from Douglass High School in 1929. she attended Bluefield State College became a teacher upon graduation. She also spent one summer at the University of Michigan and took classes at Marshall University in crafts.

Her teaching career included a stint in a two-room school house in the Virginia hills where the students sat on benches and a wall painted black served as the blackboard. In 1940, at the age of 29, Taylor and her husband resided with her parents at 1624 10th Ave. She taught in Huntington for several years but after realizing the lack of after-school social and recreation opportunities for Black youth, she decided to go into community work.

Taylor started volunteering at the J.W. Scott Community Center, located at 1637 8th Ave., and founded in 1928. She eventually became its director, donating her first year’s salary back to the Center in an effort to build its capacity. Her efforts succeeded. The Center served multiple community functions during her tenure and was incorporated as a nonprofit in 1961. She soon became its executive director, a position she would hold for a remarkable 34 years.

Taylor died on May 28, 1988 at the age of 77. She is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery.

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