Home Economics Teacher at Salisbury High School (1895-1987)
A dedicated educator for five decades, Mrs. Chipman was a respected leader in school, in her church, in women's leagues, and voting groups.
Top photo: courtesy of Nabb Research Center
Jeanette P. (Pinkett) Chipman was Charles Chipman’s wife of 71 years. She was born in Rockwalkin, Maryland in 1895 to parents of the late Mr. and Mrs. William Pinkett.1 Miss Pinkett was educated in the schools of Salisbury and graduated from Morgan College Annex in Lynchburg, VA. The Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church established Morgan College in 1867 as the Centenary Biblical Institute, with the initial goal of preparing young men for ministry. In 1890, the school changed its name to Morgan College in honor of Reverend Lyttleton Morgan, the first chairman of the board of trustees and a land donor to the institution. Jeanette Pinkett attended Morgan College at its Lynchburg satellite campus, which was available to students of all races from the time it was opened as a public institution.2 When Pinkett graduated from the school in 1915, it is noted that she was a Fourth Year Normal and Preparatory student, indicating that it was her final year there.3
Additionally, Jeanette Chipman attended the Hampton Institute and the former Virginia State College, where she earned a bachelor's and a master's degree in home economics. The institute awarded her a diploma in 1919. She also pursued postgraduate studies in the 1920s at institutions including Cornell University, Goucher College, and Temple University.4
Her teaching career began in 1914 at an elementary school in Delmar, MD, where she taught grades 1 through 3. In April 1916, she transferred to Salisbury High School, where she spent 47 of her 51 teaching years as a Home Economics teacher. During this time, she met her husband, Charles Chipman. In addition to her job as a high school teacher, Jeanette Chipman taught evening classes for adults, along with teaching home canning techniques at many centers in Wicomico County during the summer months. Jeanette Chipman was also affiliated with the Princess Anne College, a four year land-grant institution for blacks. In the 1943-44 course catalog for Princess Anne College, Jeanette Chipman is listed as a Critic Teacher, highlighting her educational career.5 Furthermore, she played an active role as an advisor to the National Homemakers Association and Future Homemakers of America, where she attended numerous conventions across the country, contributing her advice and counsel.6
Jeanette Chipman was also active in the community, participating in numerous groups. She played a critical role for over 30 years as the treasurer of the Wesley Temple Church. Jeanette Chipman was also a member of the Epworth League, the Ladies Aid Society, Women’s Home Missionary Society, and the Wicomico County Retired Teachers Association. In addition, she was a member of the Naomi Chapter No. 16, Order of the Eastern Star. She was also the first black woman to join the League of Women Voters in Wicomico County.8
The Chipman couple resided on 107 Second Street in the west side neighborhood of Salisbury, Wicomico County, MD; however, in earlier years, according to the 1930 U.S. Census, the couple resided at 211 Second Street. Additionally, according to the Census, Charles Chipman worked as the high school principal and Jeanette Chipman as a teacher.9
Jeanette Chipman passed away on October 14, 1987 at the age of 92 due to cardiac arrest at the Salisbury Nursing Home.10 Her husband of 71 years, Charles Chipman, died at age 99 just a month later from cardiac arrest at the Jenkins Memorial Nursing Home in Baltimore.11 Both of their funeral services were at the Wesley Temple Church and internment at the Green Acres Memorial Park. At the time of Charles and Jeanette Chipman’s death, they had a surviving daughter, along with two granddaughters and two great-granddaughters.12
The Chipmans will be remembered as prominent fixtures in the Salisbury community as educators and community leaders for their contributions to the African-American people in Salisbury, Maryland.
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