The obituaries of Mary R. Wingate and Ozzie Locus.

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Wilson Daily Times, 2 September 1949.

  • Mary Rachel Wingate

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 802 Gay Street, rented at $16/month, Remond Wingate, 29, cotton oil mill laborer; wife Mary R., 24; daughters Cathleen, 7, and Mary E., 0; and roomers William White, 20, drugstore delivery man, and Lettice Owens, 17, cotton oil mill laborer.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 802 Gay Street, rented at $14/month, Fred Wingate, 40, oil mill fireman; wife Mary, 34, tobacco factory laborer’ daughters Mary E., 10, and Valera, 1; cousin Lillie Robinson, 20, born South Carolina; stepdaughter Catherine White, 17; and niece Lavonne White, no age listed.

Mary Rachel Wingate died 28 August 1949 at her home at 802 Gay Street. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 June 1905 on Salemburg [Sampson County], North Carolina to Getrue Royall and Sallie Blackwell and was married. Informant was Pauline Thompson, 802 Gay.

  • Ozzie Luzelia Davis Locus

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Buckhorn Road, farmer Richard E. Davis, 44; wife Lessie A., 42; and children William A., 21; Albert E., 18; Retha M., 16; Jessie L., 14; Richard E., 12; James I., 10; Susie M., 7; Osie L., 5; Dorris A., 3; and Lessie M., 3 months.

In the 1940 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Richard Davis, 56, farmer; wife Lessie, 54; and children Richard E., 22, James I., 20, Susie M., 17, Ozzie, 16, Davis L., 13; Lessie M., 10, Gladys F., 8; and grandchildren Violene, 10, James A., 6, and Bythia L., 8.

Ozzie Locus died 30 August 1949 near Sims, Old Fields township. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 June 1924 in Wilson County to Richard Davis and Lessie Atkinson; was engaged in farming; and was buried at Rocky Branch church.

Back to school!

More Raines and Cox photographs of Saint Alphonsus School, these taken in 1949.

Book Week.

Your Best Friends Read Good Books.

This photo, perhaps also shot by Raines and Cox, appears to date from the 1950s.

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Saint Alphonsus School Drum & Bugle Corps.

[On a personal note: One day when I was 4, I followed another child out the front of Kiddie Kollege of Knowledge (formerly St. Alphonsus School) with my arms spread wide. In the inexplicable way that crazy things happen to little kids, my pinky got caught and crushed between the heavy double doors seen in the third image above. My aunt, Hattie H. Ellis, came up Carroll Street from Darden High School — she was a guidance counselor — to take me to the doctor, and I proudly showed off my little cast when I returned to school the next day.]

Top photos: many thanks to John Teel for sharing these images from the Raines & Cox collection of photographs at the North Carolina State Archives. They are catalogued as PhC_196_CW_StAlphonsusClassroom3 and
PhC_196_CW_StAlphonsusClassroom2. Bottom: courtesy of Wilson Community Improvement Association.

812 Viola Street.

The seventy-eighth in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1922; 1 1/2 stories; gambrel-roofed house; double-pile; turned porch posts; locally rare.”

Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno’s Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey (1980) provides additional details about the house, including the photo above. “This house, probably built in the early twentieth century, has an extremely unusual gambrel roof. Two peaked louvers ornament the gable end and a shed roof porch with turned columns shelters the front facade.” This house has been demolished.

From the mid-1920s to the late 1940s, this house was owned by Nancy Staton Boykin and her husband James Boykin.

Erasure.

Wrote Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno in Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey (1980):

“Residence Park was Wilson’s first subdivision. This land, formerly used as farmland, on the western edge of Wilson was purchased by a group of developers from Norfolk, Virginia. The first lot was sold to Selby Hurt Anderson in 1906. The architectural fabric of the area is predominately representative of the Bungalow style, although many houses were built in the Colonial Revival style as well. This area flourished in the 1910’s and 1920’s but few houses date after 1930. Residence Park is the most cohesive residential neighborhood in town.”

Farmland? No doubt there were farms in the area. However, Residence Park’s development and expansion came at the immediate expense of the black community of Grabneck, which, anchored by the Best family, had taken root along a stretch of West Nash Street in the late 1800s. By the mid-1920s, all traces of the Bests and their neighbors had disappeared under Residence Park’s lovely bungalows, and within a few decades few remembered that black people had ever lived on that side of town.  Here, encapsulated, is the raison d’etre of Black Wide-Awake — to combat the erasure of African-American people and spaces of historic Wilson.

Detail of Bainbridge and Ohno’s map of Residence Park, which lies atop the old Grabneck neighborhood. #322, the H.W. Abbitt home, was built on land purchased from Wilson and Ada Best.

For more about Grabneck, see here and here and here and here.

106 South Carroll Street.

The seventy-seventh in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “1951; 1 1/2 stories; concrete-block dwelling with Tudor Revival influence.” It was classified as a non-contributing structure.

This house replaced the house Frank and Annie Green Barnes lived in from about World War I through the 1940s.

106 South Carroll sits on the west side of a double lot, shown below as lots 8 and 9 in the original plat of the neighborhood.

Map courtesy of Google Maps; Plat Book 78, pages 34-35, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse, Wilson.

 

 

Who did religion show plainest in the face of?

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Wilson Daily Times, 24 March 1934.

Notes from Julius John Thorn’s tribute to Wade Barnes:

  • “Elder A.J. Moore’s wife, late of Whitakers, N.C., was his young mistress in the days of slavery”
  • “Ex-sheriff Ed Farmer’s father [Larry Dew Farmer], late of Wilson County, was his master.”
  • “He joined the church at London, Wilson Co., about 1890, and was baptized by Elder Peter Battle.”
  • He was a deacon.
  • He died 2 March 1934, aged 89.
  • Elder C.H. Hagans may have preached his funeral — Charles H. Hagans.
  • He was buried in the colored cemetery in Elm City.
  • He was a “good, useful and noble old colored Lamb of God.”

——

Per Some Black Families of Wilson County, North Carolina, a compilation of The Hugh B. Johnston Working Papers published in 1997 by Wilson County Genealogical Society, in notes on the family of Benjamin and Feriby Woodard Artis:

“5. Julia Ann ‘Juda’ Artis was born on April 25, 1865, and died on April 28, 1960. She first married Columbus ‘Lum’ Thompson and lived near Lucama. [Their children were twins Mary Jane and Martha J. Thompson, born 26 April 1886. Martha married Joe Barnes, son of Wilson ‘Wilse’ Barnes, and their son Frank Barnes was born 29 January, 1909. Martha died 15 April 1909.]

“Jude Artis married secondly Wade Barnes, son of Silas Barnes and wife Rosetta Farmer. He was born August 1, 1845, and died on March 2, 1934. (He had first married Adeline Bynum, by whom he had (1) Rev. John Albert Barnes (Methodist, died July 20, 1944) who married Sarah Staton, (2) Willie Barnes never married, and (3) Betsy Barnes married Ned Holland of Delaware.) The Wilson Daily Times of March 24, 1934, carried a “Memorial to Wade Barnes” written by John Julius Thorne. … Frank Barnes was born on December 4, 1888. Ned Barnes was born on March 15, 1890. On December 12, 1917, he married Sally Simms, daughter of Ben Rawls and Mary Knight Bullock. She was born on April 1, 1900, and was reared by Jim and Hattie Simms. In the 1970 they lived at the corner of Pender and Dixon Street in Elm City. During World War I he served with the 344th Labor Battalion in the European Theatre.”

——

In the 1870 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Silas Barnes, 49; wife Rosa, 45; and children Feribee, 20, and Wade, 23.

In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Wade Barnes, 33; wife Adline, 25; and children John, 6, Willis, 3, and Varina, 1; plus grandmother Dury Simms, 60.

On 20 August 1892, Wade Barnes, 45, of Gardners, son of Silas and Rose Barnes, married Juda Thompson, 26, of Gardners, daughter of Ben and Feribe Artis. Missionary Baptist minister W.T.H. Woodward performed the ceremony in Wilson in the presence of [illegible] Townsend, Kate Perry and Louisa Williams.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Wade Barnes, 53; wife Julia Ann, 36; and children Betsy, 16, Martha, 15, and Ned, 9.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Farmers Mill Pond Road, Wade Barnes, 69; wife Julie Ann, 47; children Ned, 19, and Betsy, 23, and grandson Frank, 1.

In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Nashville Road, Waid Barnes, 75, and wife Julia, 56.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: in a home owned and valued at $3000. farm laborer Wade Barnes, 83; wife Juliann, 65; Frank, 21; lodger Alevia Batts, 39, widowed servant; and sister-in-law Mary Westray, 50, divorced.

 

Destroyed by fire.

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Wilson Daily Times, 1 April 1931.

In the 1910 census of Lumber Bridge township, Robeson County, North Carolina: Walter Bullard, 39; wife Emma, 38; and children Siilva J., 17, Mollie, 15, John F., 17, Earnest, 11, Wesley, 8, Walter S., 5, and Sudie B., 2.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Saratoga Road, farmer Walter Bullard, 50; wife Emmy, 42; and children Walter S., 15, Sudie Belle, 10, Olivia, 7, Sarah, 5, and Alice, 4.

On 26 October 1926, Walter Bullard, 21, son of Walter Emma Bullard, married Lucille Powell, 22, daughter of Jno. and Mariah Powell, in Wilson. John P. Battle applied for the license. E.H. Cox, a minister of the U.A. F. Will Baptist Church, performed the ceremony in the presence of Cora Hinnant, Joe Anna Hinnant and Mary Burnett.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bullard Walter B (c; Lucille) lab h 109 N Carroll

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bullard Walter B (c; Lucille) taxi driver h 105 N Carroll

Walter Bullard died 12 July 1946 in the Wilson County Sanitorium. Per his death certificate, he was 41 years old; was born in Robeson County, North Carolina, to Walter Bullard and Amy Clark; was married to Ester Bullard; worked as a bell boy and taxi driver; and lived at 1008 Carolina Street. He was buried at Rountree’s cemetery. Informant was Emma Bullard.

 

Fish market at night.

On the evening of 2 July 1945, Charles Raines and/or Guy Cox aimed a camera at Hill’s Fish Market, deep in East Wilson’s commercial block. Hill’s and its next-door neighbor, Mercer’s Grocery, were white-owned, but catered to African-American shoppers.

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Hill’s and Mercer’s were at 448 and 450 East Nash Street, across from Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church. (The traffic light faced what was then the south end of Pender Street, which stopped at East Nash. On the other side of Nash, at a dog-leg, was then Stantonsburg Street.) Both buildings are long gone. Dr. Julian B. Rosemond built a dentist’s office at 548 in the late 1960s; it now houses a hair salon. 550 is a vacant lot.

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Interior of Hill’s Fish Market, owned by J. Meade Hill.

Many thanks to John Teel for sharing these images from the Raines & Cox collection of photographs at the North Carolina State Archives. They are catalogued as PhC_196_CW_94-15_HillsFishMarket1 and PhC_196_CW_94-15_HillsFishMarket2

East Wilson aerial.

In January 1985, while the old Hotel Cherry was under renovation, Brian Ezzelle shot photos of the former Atlantic Coast Line station. In the process, he captured this slice of East Wilson. The blocks bordered by the railroad, Nash, Pender and Green Streets were home to East Wilson’s commercial district and its largest churches, with significant housing in the interior.

The intervening 33 years, arguably, have been catastrophic. Nearly all of the housing in the area shown below was demolished as substandard or derelict in the 1990s, as were stretches of commercial buildings fronting Nash and Pettigrew Streets. The city has engaged in streetscaping and the churches have renovated and expanded, but the liveliness of yesteryear, for better or worse, continues to elude this part of East Wilson.

What do we see here?

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  1. Former Atlantic Coast Line rail station.
  2. 418 and 420 East Nash Street.
  3. Seed house, Southern Cotton Oil Mill, 518 Stemmer Street. Per the inventory submitted with the nomination report for the Wilson Central Business-Tobacco Warehouse Historic District, “This massive (95×145) pyramidal structure was built ca 1940. It has a prominent sloping corrugated metal roof that is crown by a gable clerestory. The building is one of the prominent visual features of the southern portion of Wilson industrial’s section. The interior is cavernous, has a cement floor and is illuminated only by the windows in the clerestory. It is presently [1984] used for fertilizer storage.”
  4. 417, 419 and (hidden) 421 East Nash Street.
  5. Abbitt Building, 506-516 East Nash Street.
  6. Orange Hotel.
  7. Possibly 542 East Nash Street, the Anne Mitchell house.
  8. Odd Fellows Hall, 549-551 East Nash Street.
  9. Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church, founded 1872.
  10. M&W Grocery, 117 North Pettigrew Street.
  11. 119 North Pettigrew Street had been a seafood market, but housed a used clothing store by the mid-1980s.
  12. Church Street.
  13. Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church, founded 1868.
  14. Probably 122 North Pender Street.
  15. 200 North Pender Street.
  16. 202 North Pender Street.

Here, per Bing Maps, is the neighborhood today.

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  1. Now an Amtrak station.
  2. 418 and 420 East Nash Street.
  3. Southern Cotton Oil Mill’s seed house and most of its other buildings have been demolished.
  4. 417, 419 and (hidden) 421 East Nash Street.
  5. 506-514 East Nash Street has been renovated, but most of its storefronts are empty.
  6. Orange Hotel has been a rooming house for many years.
  7. This house has been demolished.
  8. Odd Fellows Hall was demolished in the 1990s. (It actually was a little further west on Nash than I have marked it here.)
  9. Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church expanded its sanctuary and purchased most of the eastern end of the block for parking for parishioners.
  10. M&W Grocery’s building now houses Green’s Grocery.
  11. 119 North Pettigrew Street has been demolished.
  12. Church Street and its crooked companion, Smith Street, have been cleared of nearly all the houses that once crowded their narrow lengths.
  13. Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church remains a vital stakeholder in the community.
  14. 122 North Pender Street is abandoned.
  15. 200 North Pender Street has been demolished.
  16. 202 North Pender Street is abandoned.

Many thanks to Brian Ezzelle for sharing his photo.

903 East Vance Street.

The seventy-sixth in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1913; 1 1/2 stories; Ximena Pitt house; Queen Anne cottage with double-pile, hip-roofed form and wraparound porch with classical posts and balustrade; similar to #905; Pitt was a store clerk.”

In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Pitt Hattie laundress h 903 E Vance; Pitt Violet laundress laundress h 903 E Vance

In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Pitt Elsie cook h 903 E Vance; Pitt Violet dom h 903 E Vance; Pitt Ximena clk h 903 E Vance

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Pitt Mena (c) sch tchr h 903 E Vance.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 903 East Vance, owned and valued at $2000, Elsie Pitt, 54, cook; sister Hattie Pitt, 52; sister Louisa McNeil, 49, cook; niece Evelyn Pitt, 9, born in Ohio; sister Mina Pitt, 36, public school teacher; and sister Elizabeth Pitt, 26, public school teacher.

Elsie Pitt died 19 June 1938 at Mercy Hospital. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1875 in Wilson County to William Pitt of Nash County and Violet Emerson of Wilson County and was single. Informant was Ximena Martinez.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Ramon Martinez, 38, is listed as a roomer in the household of Mena Pitts, 39, at 903 Vance Street. He reported that he was born in Argentina, had been living in Pennsylvania five years previously, and worked as a sign painter.

On 16 February 1942, Ramon Jose Martinez registered for the draft in Wilson. He listed his birth date and place as 7 September 1898 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He worked as a commercial artist, resided at 903 Vance Street, and Ximena Pitts Martinez was his contact person. He was 5’6″, 184 pounds, with brown eyes, black hair, and dark brown skin. The registrar noted: “he limps (right leg).”

Ramon Jose Martinez died 15 September 1973 in Wilson. His death certificate reports that he was born 7 September 1900 in Argentina; lived at 903 East Vance; and worked as a self-employed commercial artist. His parents were unknown. Wife Ximena Pitt Martinez was informant.

Ximena Pitt Martinez died 21 December 1973 in Wilson. Per her death certificate she was born 12 August 1896 to Violet Pitt; was widow; was a retired teacher. Evelyn P. Stoney of Brooklyn, New York, was informant.

Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno’s Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey (1980) provides additional details about this house, including the photo below.

“This turn of the century cottage is stylistically related to entry 286 [705 East Green Street], the same modified L-plan is followed, and the house is enhanced by the use of metal ridge pole ornaments and a wrap around porch with doric columns and a pedimented porch entry.”

Though the metal roof and balustrade have been replaced, 903 East Vance Street retains much of its original exterior detail and is one of the best-preserved houses in the district.

——

Wilson Daily Times, 5 December 1981.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017.