NAACP Webster Plaque

Dr. D.E. Webster with Vivian Bird and her niece, Carolyn Carey Blackwell (Sangamon Valley Collection)

Dr. D.E. Webster with Vivian Bird and her niece, Carolyn Carey Blackwell (Sangamon Valley

The Springfield Branch of the NAACP annually awards its Webster Plaque to “a Black citizen of Springfield, who has contributed toward the uplifting of the Black race in any field of honest endeavor. …”

The plaque recognizes Dr. D.E. Webster (1897-1973) and his wife Elma (1900-75),
who instituted the award program in 1936.

D.E. Webster, a dentist, was branch president when the local group was overhauled and made more active in the 1930s, and his office was its headquarters. He also headed the Springfield Urban League and was the first black person named to the Oak Ridge Cemetery board of directors.

Webster, a graduate of the University of Illinois and Meharry Medical School, opened his practice in Springfield in 1927.  D.E. Webster reached the rank of sergeant major in the quartermaster corps during World War I. The Websters are buried at Camp Butler National Cemetery.

Additional sources: Dr. D.E. Webster obituary at the Sangamon Valley Collection, Lincoln Library; for more about the history of the Springfield NAACP, see Simeon Osby’s oral history memoir at the University of Illinois Springfield.schs logo (2)

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2 Responses to NAACP Webster Plaque

  1. Patricia McKinney Lewis says:

    My uncle, Dr. Dee Webster, did not die in 1936. I recall visiting him at his office on 5th Street in Springfield in 1967 and 1968. My cousin, Rose Bondurant, lived on 11th Street in Sprinfield during the years indicated. I presently live in Savoy, IL. 217-352-3752.

  2. editor says:

    Ms. Lewis: You’re correct that our entry had the wrong date for Dr. Webster’s death. He died in 1973, not 1943, as the entry originally said. (The 1936 date relates to the creation of the Webster Plaque.) The entry has been corrected.

    Thanks for reading, and thanks very much for correcting our error.

    Mike Kienzler

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