Submitted by James E. Buxton Jr.; Edited and vetted by Cheri Todd Molter
Born into slavery in 1849, Dred Wimberly served in the State House of Representatives in 1879 and 1887 and in the State Senate in 1889. His family lived on the Battle plantation in Edgecombe County, and he named one of his sons Kemp for Kemp Plummer Battle, Rocky Mount native and president of the University of North Carolina.
Dred Wimberly’s legislative record indicates his support for education as well as his support for the rebuilding of railroads. During his Senate term, Wimberly voted for the bill to establish the land grant college now known as North Carolina State University. He was widely respected, among both colleagues and constituents, for his humility, sincerity, and generosity. A Republican, Wimberly served as a delegate to the party’s national convention in 1900 where William McKinley was renominated for president. From 1900 to 1902 he served as a janitor in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1902, he returned to live in Rocky Mount with his wife and eighteen children. He died in 1937 at age eighty-eight.
Dred Wimberly’s name and achievements are featured on a NC Historical Marker located by what was his home, at US 64 (Raleigh Street) in Rocky Mount.
Source: NC Highway Historical Marker Program Essay, http://www.ncmarkers.com/Markers.aspx?MarkerId=E-74