Monday, May 23, 2022
Ida Wigley celebrates 100th Birthday
By Special to the Sentinel
Published July 8, 2021

Ida Elizabeth Wigley

Mrs. Ida Elizabeth Wigley was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma May 10, 1921. Mrs. Wigley was the in the first Black group of Drum and Bugle Corp and marched in many parades playing the snare drum. She was the niece of one the only Black brakemen on the railroad and was able to ride the train to Chicago to the first World’s Fair. She went to Douglas High School, the only Black high school at the time in Oklahoma City. When she was a senior in high school all of the graduates from the state took part in a celebration at Langston University and stayed in Guthrie, Oklahoma where she met her future husband in 1938. She saw him a few more times and then he volunteered for the service in 1940 on his birthday where he became the first sergeant in the army of an all-Black unit. He saw much of the Pacific and served in WWII. She went to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri for a short time and then transferred to Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio in 1938 where she pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. a plan she made when she was a little girl, “I wanted to be one too.” This was a comfortable. She majored in education and graduated in 1942.

After college, she had a job waiting for her in the summer of 1942, as her family was friends with the editor of the only Black newspaper in the area The Black Dispatch, Roscoe Dunge, and became his private secretary.

Mrs. Wigley was invited to Stillwater, Oklahoma for her first teaching job at Stillwater High School where she started out teaching 5th grade and a class of 25 children. The townspeople took care of her housing in a new apartment.


She had been writing letters with her future husband while he was fighting in the war. Everett Eugene Wigley I Oklahoma City in 1942.

She married Everett at a friend’s house, Marilyn Moses in June 10, 1944, in Oklahoma.

Purmon Smallwood one of the first Black real estate brokers, the uncle of Everett II invited them to come to LA for opportunities with work in Los Angeles and they stayed on W 35th Place. They purchase their first home at 5109 Wall St. in 1947 (51st and Main St.) and lived there until 1952?. They then purchased a home in Windsor Hills.

She taught 5th grade in 1945 Main Street Elementary. She then went to a school she taught on San Pedro. Retired in 1979 from teaching.

She was church secretary for (1944-45) started attending Angeles Mesa church on 54th St. Where she kept all the records for all of the elders until 1987.


Mrs. Wigley had one son in 1948 at California Hospital. She had an uncomplicated pregnancy.

From the 90s-2020’s she has belonged to a group of 12 women.

Categories: Family | News (Family)
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