A few references to a segregated Camp O'Neal have surfaced from the summer of 1933. According to the July 23, 1933 newspaper article, the camp was located "in the grove of West Elm and Tenth streets." Current maps do not depict where this location would be. Based on an assessment of older maps, it appears that this area is likely between the Tennessee River and where the Chattanooga Convention Center stands today.
WHO WAS O'NEAL?
It is speculated that this camp was associated with O'Neal Woods, based on his involvement in writing about the camp in the newspaper articles linked below as Scribe for segregated Troop 84. Here is the research uncovered regarding O'Neal Woods.
According to the 1920 census, "Oneal Woods" lived at 305 Chestnut Street. He was just shy of 2 years old, placing his birth at approximately 1918. He lived with his grandparents Alex and Annie McCutcheon and their two sons Leroy and Robert.
In 1928, "Harold O'Neal Woods" lived at 1101 West 11th Street. (Chatt. Daily Times, Dec. 22, 1928, pg. 13)
According to the 1930 census, "O Neal Woods" lived at 1001 W. 11th Street (although this appears to potentially have been a typo for 1101 W. 11th Street). He was 12 years old, placing his birth at around 1918. He lived with his grandmother Charity Woods and his father Leroy Woods. O'Neal's father, Leroy Woods, passed away in 1933. (Source 2)
In 1934 and 1935, "H. O'Neal Woods" lived at 1101 W. 11th. Interestingly--and perhaps coincidentally--not far from 1101 East 11th is present day O'Neal Street that runs parallel to Central Avenue in the vicinity of UTC and Engel Stadium.
O'Neal received his Life badge in February 1934. By December 1934, newspaper articles referred to him as an Eagle Scout.
In 1937, "H O'Neil Woods" lived at 1205 Pine. He graduated that year from Howard High School.
According to the 1940 census, 22-year-old "Oneal Woods" lived at 1205 Pine Street with his grandparents John and Charity Donley. In 1941, "O'Neal Woods" lived at 1205 Pine.
Charity Donley (O'Neal's grandmother) passed away in 1946.
In 1946, Harold O'Neal Woods filed for divorce against Tadonia Woods.
In 1955 and 1957, "O'Neal Woods," married to Viola T., lived at 808 W. 42d.
A 1957 newspaper article reflects that "Harold O'Neal Woods" lived at 808 W. 42nd St. (Chatt. Daily Times, Mar. 4, 1957, pg. 3).
O'Neal's wife, Viola, passed away in 2014. Her obituary reads:
Viola T. Woods, 96, died on September 22, 2014 at a health care facility.
She was a graduate of Howard High School Class of 1935. She worked for Picketts Women’s Clothing Store and at Chattanooga Human Services Department. She was also a member of Second Missionary Baptist Church.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold O’Neal Woods, and mother, Leona Fletcher Moore.
Survivors include special friends, Evelyn Hardin, Camille Robinson and Dorothy Jones.
Special thanks to staff at Health Center at Standifer Place, Gloria J. Hood for her loving and faithful care; relatives Norma Haddox, Fletcher and Wyatt Families.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, Sept. 29, at noon on Second Missionary Baptist Church 2305 East Third Street with Reverend Paul A. McDaniel officiating. Interment will be in Forest Hills Cemetery.
The body will in state after noon on Saturday, Sept. 27, at John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 622-9995.
1933-07-16 - West Elm grove camp and Camp Davis
1933-07-23 - Camp Davis and Camp O'Neal
1933-07-30 - Camp Davis and Camp O'Neal
1933-08-06 - Camp Davis and Camp O'Neal
1933-08-20 - Camp Davis and Camp O'Neal
1945 Article Mentioning Camp Davis (Nashville)