914 Washington Street.

The ninety-third 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: “circa 1930; 1 1/2 story; bungalow with clipped-gable roof and dormer; built by carpenter Alonzo Coley.”

It’s likely that this well-kept bungalow was built some years prior to 1930, as the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory shows: Jeffries David (c; Ethel) gro 912 1/2 Washington h do [ditto]

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 914 Washington, valued at $2000, grocery store proprietor David Jeffreys, 58; wife Ethel, 57, cook; and lodger Kattie Brown, 24, cook.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 914 Washington, valued at $3000, retail grocery owner David Jeffreys, 67, born in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and wife Ethel, 64, born in Cumberland County, N.C.

David O. Jeffreys died 22 October 1949 at his home at 914 Washington Street. Per his death certificate, he was married to Ethel Jeffreys; was born 8 November 1879 in Chase City, Virginia; and had worked as a cement finisher.

Ethel Jeffreys died 7 December 1958 at her home at 914 Washington. Per her death certificate, she was born 22 August 1876 in Cumberland County, N.C., to John Bell and Pearcey Williams; was a widow. Informant was Clyde McLean of the home.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.

 

The obituary of Rev. Hattie Daniels.

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Wilson Daily Times, 26 April 1979.

Rev. Hattie Daniels‘ legacy continues. She began teaching neighborhood children “the Golden Rule” in the mid-1940s. Nearly 75 years later, the Daycare Center bearing her name yet educates East Wilson’s children.

——

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 207 Reid Street, owned and valued at $1600, Cleverland Daniels, 33, light plant fireman, and wife Hattie, 29, both born in Georgia; niece Christine Owens, 8, and nephew Filman Owens, 4.

in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Cleveland Daniel, 40, fireman at city plant; wife Hattie, 38, saleswoman; and father-in-law Mack Owens, 60, farm laborer. All were born in Georgia.

Per her death certificate, Hattie Owens Daniels died 25 April 1979; was born 4 July 1900 in Chester, Georgia, to Mack Owens and Mary Gardner; was a widow; resided at 908 Wainwright Avenue, Wilson; and was a minister and kindergarten teacher. Daughter Deborah Daniels was informant.

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Hattie Daniels’ Golden Rule Kindergarten, 1970. Photo courtesy of Ernie Haskins (first row in chairs, far right.)

Over there!, no. 3.

The following men departed Hoboken, New Jersey, on 8 May 1919 aboard the George Washington with 5th Company Camp Grant Reenforcement Draft Labor Battalion (Colored).

  • Jonah Artis, whose next of kin was his wife Mary Artis of Stantonsburg.

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  • Aaron Barnes, whose next of kin was wife Lucy Barnes of Elm City.

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  • William Davis, whose next of kin was wife Ida Davis of Wilson.

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  • Van Edwards, whose next of kin was mother Martha Edwards of Wilson.

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  • Willie Hockaday, whose next of kin was sister Vallie Ward of Elm City.

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Lists of Incoming Passengers, 1917-1938 and Lists of Outgoing Passengers, 1917-1938; U.S. Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939, database on-line, http://www.ancestry.com.

Snaps, no. 46: James Sharpe.

James Sharpe (1872-1961).

In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Oren Sharp, 26; wife Debby, 25; and children Lary J., 2, Thomas, 4 months, and James, 8. [The order of listing of the children suggests that James was Debby’s son and Orren’s stepson.]

On 18 May 1892, James Sharp, 19, married Annie Gear, 15, both of Gardners township, in Gardners township.

On 24 November 1897, Jim Sharp, 24, son of Bill Thomas and Deby Sharp, married Bettie Bullock, 21, daughter of Josh Batts and Harriett Bullock (resident of Arkansas), both of Gardners, at the house of Lottie Bullock, Gardners township.

In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer James Sharpe, 28; wife Bettie, 25; and children Sarah, 7, Minnie, 4, Sonnie, 2, and Yetta, 7 months.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on the Plank Road, farmer Jim Sharp, 38; wife Bettie, 35; and children Sarah, 15, Sunny, 13, Etta, 12, Mary, 10, Mahala, 9, Jimmie, 7, Della, 5, Bettie, 3, and Annie, 2.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on the Tarboro Road, farmer James Sharp, 47; wife Bettie, 40; and children Sonnie, 21, Effie, 18, Mahaly, 17, Jimmie, 15, Dolena, 14, Annie, 13, Bettie, 12, and Willie, 7.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Jim Sharp, 57; wife Bettie, 52; children Sunny, 30; Bettie M., 18, and Willie, 15.

Darlena Hillard died 9 June 1934 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 27 years old; was married; and was born in Wilson County to Jim Sharp and Bettie Bullock.

Bettie Sharpe died 17 July 1935 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 60 years old; married to James Sharpe; and was born in Edgecombe County to Joshua Batts of Wilson and Tillie Faison of Faison, N.C.

Sunny Sharp died 31 October 1937 in Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, married to Lizzie Sharpe; was 40 years old; was a farmer; was born in Wilson County to Jim Sharpe and Bettie Bullock. Informant was Effie Ruffin of Wilson.

Etta Braswell died 26 March 1939 in Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was about 40 years old; was born in Wilson County to Jim Sharp and Bettie Batts; was married to Frank Braswell; and was engaged in farming.

Annie Lee Batts died 5 November 1961 in Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 June 1921 [sic] in Wilson County to James Sharpe and Bettie E. Batts and was married to Josh Batts.

James Sharpe died 20 October 1970 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 2 February 1906 to James Sharpe Sr. and Betty Elizabeth Bullock; was married to Ruth Tilman; resided in Elm City; and was a farmer.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user GeraldNelson31. Per his family tree, James Sharpe died in 1961. I have not found a death certificate.

The most blighted fraction.

In the early 1970s, Maury and neighboring streets, already hemmed in on one side by the railroad, were further cut off from the fabric of the larger community by the construction of Hines Street extension and the towering Carl B. Renfro Overpass. In the unselfconscious lingo of the early 1980s, the Wilson Daily Times described the neighborhood bounded by Gay, Stemmery, Pender and the railroad as “the most blighted fraction of the Wilson ghetto.”

The article focuses on the city’s efforts to eliminate blighted housing (“more often than not, … stem[ming] from the landlords’ greed”) and provide adequate public housing for its poorest citizens. Interviews of some residents offer stark testimony about the deterioration of many houses in the neighborhood, some already more than a half-century old.

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Wilson Daily Times, 24 October 1981.

Close-up of photograph of shotgun houses facing Pender Street, near Stemmery Street. All were demolished in the mid-1980s.

A related article in the same issue of the Daily Times highlighted successes of the Wilson Department of Community Development, which, via a multi-million-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, offered grants and low-interest loans to homeowners to improve their property.

Thirty-seven years after its rehab, this house at 309 Elba has relapsed into serious disrepair. 

Cooke’s Wilson Notes, no. 1.

In 1940, Henderson J. Cooke wrote a regular column about Wilson social doings for Durham’s The Carolina Times. This week, Cooke focused much of his attention on the doings of Rev. Hattie L. Daniels and his own family.

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The Carolina Times, 24 March 1940.

  • Rev. Mrs. Hattie L. Daniels — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Cleveland Daniel, 40, fireman at city plant; wife Hattie, 38, saleswoman at Steward Co.; and father-in-law Mack Owens, 60, farm laborer. All were born in Georgia.
  • Willis Owens Jr.
  • Mildred Blakney
  • Rev. Woods
  • R.A.G. Foster — Richard A.G. Foster.
  • Elinor Foster — Elenore Hasting Foster.
  • J.L. Cooke — Jerry L. Cooke.
  • Mrs. J.L. Cooke — Clara Godette Cooke.

“The official business of Christ.”

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The Carolina Times, 20 November 1937.

Elder C.L. Faison is elusive in census records and directories of Wilson, and apparently divided his time between Wide-Awake and Durham, North Carolina, where his Church of God in Jesus Christ, New Deal, Inc., was incorporated. Per his death certificate, Cluster L. Faison died 27 March 1963 in Durham. He was born 9 September 1889 in McCrae [McRae], Georgia, to Eli Faison and Della Thorpe; was a clergyman; and was married to Isabelle Faison.

411 North Vick Street.

The ninety-second 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.

Though misnumbered #409, as described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is:  “circa 1913; L-plan cottage which like #s 406-407 has front-facing gable in wing; built by J.R. [John Right] Reid.”

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1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, N.C.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Little J H (c; Mattie) lab h 411 N Vick; Little Chas D (c) driver h 411 N Vick

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Little Jas L (c; Mattie) lab h 411 N Vick; Little Maggie (c) factory hd h 411 N Vick; Little Chas (c) hlpr h 411 N Vick

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Jake Barnes, 63, truck driver; wife Effie Barnes, 43; daughter Mattie Barnes, 22; son Douglas Barnes, 31, father’s helper; daughter Nellie Barnes, 20; mother Sallie Reid, 83; and grandchildren Janice, 3, and Jimmie Barnes, 1.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Staten Curtis (c; Emma) carp h 411 N Vick; Staten Henrietta (c) cook 411 N Vick

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Staten Curtis (c; Sally) h 411 N Vick

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.

 

Masons’ annual meeting.

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Wilson Daily Times, 9 December 1947.

  • Rev. L.E. Rasbury — on 14 June 1954, L.E. Rasberry, 66, of Kinston, N.C., son of Ed and Sarah Harper Rasberry, married Sudie Ella Young, 56, of Wilson, in Wilson. U.F.W.B. minister H.R. Reaves of Ayden, N.C., performed the ceremony.
  • W.C. Hart — Walter C. Hart.
  • Rev. C.T. Jones — Charles T. Jones.
  • C.W. Foster — Carter W. Foster.
  • Rev. Fred M. Davis
  • J.M. Miller, Jr. — John M. Miller, Jr.
  • Ximena Moore — Xzimenna Moore.
  • Mattille Floyd — on 2 August 1950, Harold E. Gay, 30, son of Albert and Annie Bell Gay, married Matteele Floyd, 26, daughter of Ambrose and Mattie Floyd, in Nashville, Nash County. Ethel M. Coley and Albert Gay [Jr.] were witnesses.
  • Rev. O.J. Hawkins — Obra J. Hawkins.