Jefferson Eugene Grigsby, the acclaimed Phoenix artist, was descended from slaves
in Cleveland County, North Carolina who were owned by Fennel Whitworth in 1860. Between
1860 and 1865, they were sold to Dixon slaveowners. On achieving their freedom in
1865, the two related families from the Dixon plantation, like many freed slaves,
chose the surname of their last slaveowner. The oldest brother, George, however,
chose the surname Whitworth rather than Dixon as did the rest of his family, because
according to my grandfather, Daddy Bruce, he didn’t like the Dixon servitude. Clifton
Bruce Whitworth (Daddy Bruce) was the son of George Whitworth. Jefferson Eugene
Grigsby, Jr. was the grandson of George’s youngest brother, John William Dixon and
the oldest son of Purry Leone Dixon. Eugene served in the Battle of the Bulge under
General Patton in World War II. He then went on to become a world-class artist on
the staff of Arizona State University.
Click anywhere on the Phoenix skyline below for Eugene’s web page.