Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Historical Highway Marker “Morris Stanley Alexander (1891-1977)” To Be Dedicated in Lynchburg

Photo shows Alexander swinging golf club.
Morris Stanley Alexander

Alexander, an African American, was a caddy master and golf professional at Lynchburg’s Oakwood Country Club; four of Alexander’s students later won Virginia amateur state championships and two were U.S. and British amateur champions

 The marker text is reproduced below

A state historical marker issued by DHR will be dedicated this weekend that highlights the career of Morris Stanley Alexander, an African American caddy master and golf professional of national repute who taught the fundamentals and etiquette of golf for more than 50 years at Lynchburg’s Oakwood Country Club.

The dedication and unveiling ceremony for the marker will begin at 1 p.m., Saturday, December 7, at Oakwood Country Club, where the marker will be located, at 3409 Rivermont Avenue, in Lynchburg. The ceremony is open to the public.

Speakers will include Jane B. White of Lynchburg; Ted Delaney, director of Lynchburg Museum System; historian Lane Demas, of Central Michigan University; and three former students of Alexander: Billy Walker, Jimmy Davidson, and Ned Baber. Vincell Mcalister, a granddaughter of Morris Stanley Alexander, will offer remarks on behalf of Alexander family members attending the ceremony. Vivian Hudson and Glenn Buck will provide musical contributions during the event.

Oakwood Country Club opened in 1914 as a segregated, all-white facility, which it remained during the 50 years Alexander worked there.

As a golf professional at Oakwood, Alexander tied the course record in 1928, “earning national attention in the black press,” according to the marker.

During the 1950s, the Morris Alexander Junior Golf Tournament attracted young golfers to the Oakwood course. “Four of Alexander’s students,” the marker states, “later won Virginia amateur state championships, and two were United States and British amateur champions.”

As part of Saturday’s ceremony, the Alexander family will donate to Oakwood Country Club a golf club that Alexander made in 1911 out of persimmon wood. The club will be part of a permanent display honoring Alexander at Oakwood.

The Alexander marker was approved for manufacture and installation earlier this year by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources, which is authorized to designate new state historical markers. The marker’s sponsor, Jimmy Davidson, covered its manufacturing costs.

Virginia’s historical highway marker program, which began in 1927 with the installation of the first historical markers along U.S. Route 1, is considered the oldest such program in the nation. Currently, there are more than 2,600 official state markers, most maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation and by local partners in jurisdictions outside of VDOT’s authority.

[PLEASE NOTE: DHR markers are erected not to “honor” their subjects but rather to educate and inform the public about a person, place, or event of regional, state, or national importance. In this regard, markers are not memorials.]

Text of marker:

Morris Stanley Alexander (1891-1977)

Morris Alexander was the first caddy master and a longtime golf professional at Oakwood Country Club, which opened here in 1914. For more than 50 years, this African American golfer taught fundamentals and golf etiquette at the club, which was all white during the segregation era. Alexander tied the course record in 1928, earning national attention in the black press. The Morris Alexander Junior Golf Tournament attracted young golfers to the course during the 1950s. Four of Alexander’s students later won Virginia amateur state championships, and two were United States and British amateur champions.

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Updated December 9, 2019