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Following in his father and older brother’s footsteps, Napoleon first worked as a barber on Beaufort Street in Normal. In 1920, not long after he returned home from serving during World War I, he met and married Louise Davis. Seven years later, the couple was appointed superintendent and matron of the McLean County Home for Colored Children (later renamed the Booker T. Washington Home)–having been “thoroughly recommended by businesses and professionals of Normal who [had] known them for years.” The couple oversaw the only licensed home for children of color in Illinois outside Chicago for the next three decades.

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