What do you remember best about Mrs. I. W. Wingo? A biscuit with butter and brown sugar on it? Her playing the organ at Tyger Church? Her serving as matron of the boys’ home? What you remember, of course, will depend upon the years that you were at North Greenville.
Mrs. Wingo remembers a great deal about her years on the campus. Her first period of service ran from 1912 to 1918. Last week in the Six Mile Baptist Hospital at Six Mille, South Carolina, Mrs. Wingo recalled the most exciting happening of those years, the first in 1916.
“We were having the annual E.Q.V. and A.C.H. banquet when the fire broke out. Someone shouted, ‘Save Mrs. Wingo’s piano.’”
Her piano was saved, but everything else was lost. Sunday morning, Mrs. Wingo went to church wearing a boy’s gray felt hat from which she had cut the brim. Mrs. Wingo remembers the boys kidding her about the hat. They said, “She wears Rexford’s hat, but he doesn’t mind that.”
In addition to the fire, Mrs. Wingo remembers her work as dietitian. Her hardest work was trying to feed the students on nothing. Meat, milk, pickles, preserves, and cake were rarely seen on the table. Once in desperation she appealed to Dr. A. E. Brown, Superintendent of the Mountain Mission Schools of the Southern Baptist Convention, for money. Mrs. Wingo said, “Dr. Brown gave me $5.00 and told me to buy some food.” She must have had at least on hundred people to feed.
Mrs. Wingo was away from the school, 1918-1919, studying the dining rooms of other schools. Returning in 1919, she served one year as lady principal. She again left North Greenville, returning in 1929. This last period of service lasted until 1948. During those years, she taught music and served as house mother in Taylor Hall. She was superintendent of the Junior Department of the North Greenville Baptist Church, and during that time only one child left the department not a member of the church.
Mrs. Wingo is affectionately known as “Mother Wingo” by a host of students. This affection is a double affair, for last week Mrs. Wingo said, “I loved the boys and girls – and my work.”
Printed in the November, 1953 North Greenville Junior College Alumni News