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High, Seth and Mary

Seth Elonza High
November 3, 1876 - September 25, 1956

Mary Frances Underwood High
September 25, 1894 - November 23, 1980

Seth Elonza High was a banker, educator, politician, and agriculturist. Born in rural Nash County, he came to Wilson as Superintendent of the Wilson County Home. He furthered his education by attending night classes at Atlantic Christian College, enabling him to acquire a position as private secretary to Congressman Claude Kitchen. He and his wife, the former Lura Daniel, of Nash County, and their two children, Beulah H. High and Seth Elonza High, Jr. moved to Washington D. C., Lura Daniel High died in 1918.

Three years after his return to Wilson County in 1919, he was named President of The Lucama Bank, a position he held until his death in 1956. When he became associated, The Lucama Bank had resources of $100,000.00. At the time of his death, he had established branches in Kenly and Bailey, and the resources had grown to more than $4,000,000.00.

Education was a vital part of his life. In 1942, he was named to the Wilson County Board of Education. He became Chairman in 1944, a position which he held at the time of his death. During this time, he also was Director for the North Carolina Board of Education. He never allowed a rubber stamp to be made of his name. He knew what each check was for and he signed each one personally. He felt a personal responsibility to his community and the Democratic Party. He was a member of the Wilson County Democratic Executive Committee for many years and served as Chairman for one term.

He attended Democratic National Conventions, often serving as a delegate. He valued a simple, unassuming life, the simplicity of rural life. He owned and managed farms in Wilson, Johnston, and Nash Counties. Devoted to his church, Lucama Methodist, he was an active member serving as Superintendent of the Sunday School for many years and on various other committees. Still, he had the time to be an avid sports fan and a beloved grandfather.

Mary found time to live the varied life-style of her husband. She was a homemaker, a gardener, a churchwoman, a grandmother, and a businesswoman. She was born in Nash County and moved to Washington, D. C. in 1917, where she also worked in Congressman Kitchen's office.

In October, 1919, she married Seth Elonza High, a widower with two children. They returned to Wilson County and made their home in Lucama.

She not only served as manager of The Lucama-Kenly Bank in Kenly and Bailey, but was active in her church and the Eastern Star.

Upon her retirement and after the death of her husband, she moved to Bailey where she remained active in the Bailey Baptist church until her death on November 23, 1980.

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