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Church, Robert Reed, Jr. (26 October 1885–17 April 1952), politician and businessman, was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the son of Robert Reed Church, Sr., a banker and businessman, and Anna Sue Wright, a school principal. The wealth and prestige of his father afforded young Church opportunities not available to most African-American children of his day. After attending a parochial school in Memphis and Oberlin Academy in Oberlin, Ohio, Church studied at Morgan Park Military Academy in Chicago, Illinois, and then enrolled in the Packard School of Business in New York City. He completed the business course and worked on Wall Street for several years before returning to Memphis in 1909 to help his father in the management of the Solvent Savings Bank and Trust Company and other family enterprises. In 1911 he married Sara Paroda Johnson, a schoolteacher; they had one child....

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Woodward, George (22 June 1863–25 May 1952), political reformer and suburban real estate developer, was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the son of Stanley Woodward, a judge, and Sarah Butler. Woodward grew up in an important local family whose ancestors had been civic leaders and elected officials since the seventeenth century, including three governors of colonial New England as well as George’s paternal grandfather and namesake, who served as chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court....