Born an enslaved woman, Tempie Avery gained her freedom after the Civil War and went on to become a beloved nurse and midwife in Asheville, North Carolina. She lived on property deeded to her by her former owner, Nicholas Woodfin, a North Carolina state senator. The property is now the site of the Montford Community Center, to be renamed the Tempie Avery Montford Center in her honor.
Avery’s granddaughter, Julia Brown, moved to Newton in the 1940s, and remained here to raise her family. Former Newton Mayor Setti Warren is her step grandson.
The City of Newton acknowledges Asheville’s recognition of Tempie Avery because “Ms. Avery’s granddaughter, Julia Brown, found a home in Newton. On the occasion of Ms. Brown’s passing in May 2017, she was remembered as someone devoted to children who always had a positive outlook,” the Certificate of Commendation from the City of Newton to the City of Asheville states.