John Wesley Gilbert

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

John Wesley Gilbert was born in Hephzibah, Georgia back in 1863.  He spent half of the year in school and the other half on the farm.  After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the Augusta Institute, continuing his education enrolled at Brown University.  He graduated from Brown with a bachelor’s degree.

While in Brown he received a scholarship to the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece.  He attended from 1890-91.  For his work in Greece he was elected to the American Philological Association.  After returning to the States he taught Greek, French, German, Latin and Hebrew at his former school Paine College. He fell ill in 1921 and died two years later in Augusta, Georgia.

What you may not know about John is that he was the first African-American to graduate from Paine College, the first African-American professor of that school and the first African-American to receive an advanced degree from Brown University.

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Barbara Tattersall
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH) - Keene, NH

That must have been an interesting transition for John Wesley...from Georgia to Brown University.  It sounds like he had a fascinating life.

Mar 22, 2020 03:05 AM #3
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Amazing accomplishment given the times. John was a true pioneer. Enjoy your day!

Mar 22, 2020 03:45 AM #4
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

A well-educated man.

I still think they should teach all of the languages he learned. (I had a few years of four of the ones listed.)

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Mar 22, 2020 04:41 AM #5
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. What an incredible story and accomplished man.

Mar 22, 2020 05:22 AM #6
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray Brown is in our neighboring state..... Kennedys who do not go to Harvard will go to Brown!!!

Mar 22, 2020 05:47 AM #7
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I like hearing stories like this about people I have never heard about but are definitely worth knowing about.

Mar 22, 2020 05:59 AM #8
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Someone always has to be first, James... why not John Wesley Gilbert? He certainly paved the way...

Mar 22, 2020 06:24 AM #9
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - as I read this history of John Wesley Gilbert the same thoughts as expressed by Barbara Tattersall came to mind with the many changes he likely encountered from the South to the North.  The timing as well as all the factors of being the first show much.  I am sure this is another story, like many others you have shared,  goes much deeper.  

Mar 22, 2020 06:31 AM #10
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Wow, before Umiss this was something I wasn't aware of for an African-American.

Mar 22, 2020 07:25 AM #11
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

James, what an accomplishment by John Wesley Gilbert!  It illustrates the old adage, where there is a will, there is a way!  Happy Sunday.

Mar 22, 2020 07:57 AM #12
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Given the times and the the obstacles, what an amazing achievement for an amazing man.

Mar 22, 2020 08:08 AM #13
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon James Dray - what really great accomplishment he had including knowing all of those languages.

Mar 22, 2020 11:26 AM #14
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- amazing accomplishments considering the times!!!  Have a wonderful Sunday. 

Mar 22, 2020 11:45 AM #15
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - Some of us have a hard time mastering English!

Mar 22, 2020 12:29 PM #16
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James,  Thanks for sharing John Gilbert's story.  Being the first certainly helped pave the way for many others.  Great accomplishments!

Mar 22, 2020 05:01 PM #17
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

John was a leader, not a victim...

I hope you had a happy Sunday James Dray 


Mar 22, 2020 09:18 PM #18
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Wow I had no idea and James, you always amaze how you find these fantastic historical figures that we should all have learned about in school but did not, Endre

Mar 22, 2020 11:12 PM #19
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

What a brilliant man James Dray . To know five languages well enough to teach him is absolutely amazing to me. He may have even known more but those are the ones he taught.

Mar 23, 2020 06:54 AM #20
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi James:

I always enjoying your historical posts about those who have accomplished so much. Keep them coming!


Mar 23, 2020 08:44 PM #21
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Anyone who spoke as many languages as John Wesley Gilbert did, as well as teach those languages, was and is an amazing person. 

Apr 18, 2020 11:53 AM #22
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