05/11/08 — Cashwell Post Office officially named for John Henry Wooten Sr.

View Archive

Cashwell Post Office officially named for John Henry Wooten Sr.

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on May 11, 2008 2:00 AM


News-Argus Staff Writer

More than six months after U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield introduced legislation to name a Goldsboro post office in honor of John Henry Wooten Sr., President George W. Bush has signed the bill into law.

It is the second Goldsboro post office that Butterfield has worked to have named for prominent residents.

The first was the downtown office at 200 N. William St., named last year in honor of former Goldsboro City Councilman Philip Baddour Sr.

The post office named for Wooten is at 3100 Cashwell Drive.

"These are greatly deserved honors for two people who truly embodied what public services is all about," Butterfield said. "John Wooten was a dedicated public servant who was deeply committed to improving his community. He contributed immensely to the growth and development of Goldsboro and Wayne County.

"John Henry Wooten was a legend."

He hopes to present signed copies of the legislation to the city of Goldsboro for display in the post offices some time later this month.

Wooten, a Goldsboro native, was a graduate of Dillard High School, as well as of N.C. A&T State University's undergraduate and graduate programs.

Later, after serving as a surgical technician for the 2nd Infantry, 10th Army Division in the Pacific Theater in World War II, he worked as a science teacher at Dillard, before moving up to be assistant principal and then principal.

He was the high school's last principal before it closed in 1969 after integration.

After the school closed, Wooten then worked in the central office as the assistant superintendent of curriculum until he retired in 1982.

"John Wooten helped bring out the best in many of Wayne County's young people," Butterfield said.

Wooten also taught at Wayne Community College, served as a trustee for N.C. A&T and as the national president of its alumni association, and was an active member of the First African Baptist Church.

He was elected to the Wayne County Board of Commission-ers in 1986 and served for 12 years, during which he sat as the county's first black chairman and was named Outstanding County Commis-sioner by the Neuse River Council of Governments.

He died in January 2007 at age 82.

Having the post office named for him, said Ernestine Wooten, his wife of 60 years, is a great honor.

"I was very pleased (the bill was approved)," she said. "I think it's a distinct honor.

"John was a good husband and father. He also was a public servant. It was just a part of him. I think he would be pleased with it, but he would just smile.

"He wouldn't call up anyone and tell them he'd just had a post office named after him. He was a humble person."