L.E. Matthews, arrested in 1948 integration try


July 15, 1993|By Staff Report

LeRoy E. Matthews, a retired investigator in the Maryland attorney general's office who in 1948 was arrested during an attempt to integrate the Druid Hill Park tennis courts, died Saturday at the Johns Hopkins Hospital of head injuries received in a fall at his Elks Lodge.

He was 64 and lived in the Hoes Heights area of Baltimore.

He retired about five years ago after many years in the attorney general's office. Since retiring, he had worked part time for the law firm of Hassan, Hassan and Tuckman.

Born in South Baltimore, Mr. Matthews was a graduate of Carver Vocational-Technical High School and of Wiley College in Marshall, Texas.

Known as Pat, he served in the Army in the late 1940s.

He was one of 24 people arrested when blacks and whites played tennis together at the segregated courts in Druid Hill Park. Many of them sat or lay down on the courts and were carried to patrol wagons.

He was treasurer and former Exalted Ruler of the Spirit of the Chesapeake Lodge of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World. He was also active in the organization's regional and national groups. He was a former master of the Federal Lodge of the Prince Hall Masons, and he belonged to the Hiram Consistory and the Royal Arch. He was potentate of Jerusalem Temple in 1988 and held other Masonic offices.

Services were to be conducted at noon today at Union Baptist Church, 1219 Druid Hill Ave. in Baltimore.

Mr. Matthews is survived by his wife, the former Eleanor Peters; a daughter, LeErn Miller of North Babylon, N.Y.; and three grandchildren.

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