Pinkie V. Yates (1879–1962)
Pinkie V. Yates was the sixth daughter born to Jack and Harriet Yates in Houston Texas on March 28, 1879. Pinkie’s mother, Harriet, died in 1887 when Pinkie was 8 years old. Rev. Yates remarried a year after Harriet died and Pinkie and her sister Nannie did not adjust well to their step-mother. Their older sisters, who lived nearby, Martha, Sallie and Maria helped take care of them for several years. Eventually, when the American Baptist Home Missionary Society sent two missionaries to help Rev. Yates in 1892 they assisted him in sending Pinkie and her sister Nannie to Spelman Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia.
Pinkie graduated from Spelman in 1900. Pinkie began her teaching career in Matagorda and Brazoria Counties. In 1903 she decided to teach in Houston. in 1905 Pinkie taught 1st grade at Colored High for two years. In 1910 Pinkie married Mr. B.F. Henderson and moved to Washington, D.C. Mr. Henderson was a mail carrier and Pinkie taught school in Washington and Virginia. While living there Pinkie visited Wareneck, Virginia, Gloucester County where her parents came from. Their relatives still there helped her to learn more of her family history. Her uncles, George and Que, who helped build the Yates House had returned to Virginia. Pinkie’s older sisters still kept in contact with their family in Virginia most of their lives through letters. Pinkie divorced Mr. Henderson and returned to Houston in 1914 or 1915 and began substitute teaching.
Pinkie was listed in the City Directory as a substitute teacher from 1915-1918. From 1919–1921, Pinkie substituted at a Glen Cove School in Third Ward. From the later 1920’s on Ms. Yates taught 2nd grade at Edgar M. Gregory Elementary School until her retirement in the late 1940’s. Pinkie married Mr. Robert Bridgeman in 1916. Mr. Bridgeman was the Superintendent of Buildings at Prairie View A&M for several years. While Mr. Bridgeman was at Prairie View Pinkie worked on her Bachelors of Science Degree, which she obtained in 1930.
Mr. Bridgeman left Prairie View and was over the grounds of the Houston Negro Hospital on Holman Street. Pinkie and he divorced in 1937 and Pinkie retained her Yates last name. Over the years Pinkie had gained ownership of the Yates Homestead at 1318 Andrews St. This is the Yates House donated by her niece, Martha C. Whiting and her daughters to the Heritage Society in 1994.
Pinkie taught at Gregory School until she retired and there are pictures of Pinkie with her class at the Gregory Library. Pinkie was a member of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church for most of her life. She was a Sunday School teacher and Mission Society Member. She also was a member of the Grand Order of Calanthe. After suffering from glaucoma Pinkie retired from teaching. She had a stroke in the 1950’s and passed away in July of 1962.
For more information on the Jack Yates House click here.