Descendants of renowned residents Buddy and Louelle Conyers visit their exhibit at Monroe Museum

From left: Tammee Young, Charles Young and Twila Young-Frazier in front of the exhibit of their great-grandparents Boyd ‘Buddy’ and Louelle Conyers, renowned Monroe residents. Photo credit: Sharon Swanepoel

MONROE, GA – (Aug. 28, 2022) – Charles Young, and his two sisters, Tammee Young and Twila Young-Frazier and her husband, Eldridge, were guests of the Monroe Museum last week. The Young family members traveled from Arizona and Maryland to see the exhibit that pays tribute to renowned Monroe resident Boyd ‘Buddy’ Conyers and his wife, Louelle, who are their great-grandparents.

“Charles Young (and his sisters) came to see our exhibit on his great grandfather and grandmother. I sent him a picture of Buddy, whom he had never seen before, in April of 2021 and he has been trying to get here since then,” Monroe historian Steve Brown said, adding Buddy’s story is one of the most intriguing stories in our town’s Black History.”

Charles Young said that Monroe businessman and early civil rights worker, Dan Young, is also their great uncle. Charles Young is retired and travels the country with a friend presenting programs on the history of the Buffalo Soldiers. When studying his genealogy, he came across the story of Buddy Conyers and the Brownsville, TX Raid. Prior to that he did not know of his great-grandfather’s national significance in the 1906 raid in Brownsville, Texas.

Monroe Museum historian Steve Brown tells the story of Buddy and Louelle Conyers, describing them of one of Monroe’s “best known and respected couples,” with Buddy a local business owner and Louelle one of Monroe’s most sought-after caterers.

The Conyers’ son, Wendell, was killed while on guard duty in Korea on June 23, 1948. He had joined the Army Engineers in 1946 after completing one year of college. Brown said flags were flown at half-mast on Aug. 10 of that year when Wendell’s body was returned home for burial. He is buried at Zion Hill Cemetery which is currently being restored by Friends of Zion Hill Cemetery Monroe, Georgia. Charles Young and his sisters also went to Zion Hill Cemetery last week to see the grave of Wendell Conyers.

“There is irony in the fact that Wendell would join the army after what his father, Buddy, had gone through while serving in 1906,” Brown said. That was when Buddy’s story had gone national. “He’d been an innocent soldier when he was pulled into the controversy surrounding the ‘Brownsville Raid.’ His family had moved here when he was four years old and he joined the Army really to get an education.”

Click or tap on this link to read the full story of the Brownsville incident and Buddy Conyer’s involvement in the whole controversy, as recounted by Brown.

Charles Young said there is great interest in the Buffalo Soldiers and he enjoys doing presentations and taking part in events. Members of the Monroe Museum invited him to give a presentation, or even participate in a Monroe Christmas parade, if he could at some time in the future.

You can also stop by the Monroe Museum, which is now open, to see the exhibit and read the story of Buddy Conyers well as to see information on both Buddy and Louelle Conyers. You can see more information on the museum on the Facebook page at Monroe Museum.

For more reading:

A tribute to Buddy and Louelle Conyers, titled The Shoe Shine Man and the Caterer by columnist Nowell Briscoe, can be found on Rootsweb.com.

A tribute to Louelle Conyers, published following her death in 1981, titled Monroe’s First Lady of Food, can be found on gagenweb.com

The book, the Brownsville Raid by John D. Weaver, can be purchased by clicking on this link.

Click or tap on this link for information on the original Charles Young, Buffalo Soldier, and the Buffalo Soldier National Monument.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply