Hines Barber Shop.

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Walter Hines Barber Shop, 208 East Nash Street, circa early 1940s.

In the era of segregation, the barbering trade was dominated by African-American practitioners, who operated black- or white-only shops. The Hines brothers, Walter and William, owned prominent white-only establishments in Wilson’s downtown business district.

Here, left to right, the barbers are:

  • David Henry Coley (1895-1974) was born near Pikeville, Wayne County, to William Henry Coley and Luanna Vick Coley. He married (1) Eva Janet Speight in 1922 and (2) Ethel Mae Moye in 1944, both in Wilson. (Moye was a daughter of O.L.W. and Della Smith.)
  • Joe Knolly Zachary (1900-1984) was born in Perquimans County, North Carolina, to Nathan and Penelope Zachary. He married Mildred Barnes, daughter of Sam and Ida Barnes, in Wilson in 1933. Rev. Charles T. Jones, whose brother Levi H. Jones was also a barber at Hines, performed the service, and Roderick Taylor (below) was a witness.
  • Edgar Hiram Diggs (1890-1970) was born near Eureka, Wayne County, to Sula Diggs. He married Mary Estella Grant in Statesville, Iredell County, North Carolina, in 1923.
  • Roderick Taylor (1883-1947) was born in Wilson to Henry Michael Taylor and Rachel Barnes (or Battle) Taylor. He married Mary John Pender in Wilson in 1906.
  • Sidney Sherwood Boatwright (1900-1977) was born in Mullins, Marion County, South Carolina, to Collins and Dinah Blaine Boatwright. He married Johnnie Lee Kornegay in 1928 in Goldsboro, Wayne County.

Original photograph in the collection of Lisa Y. Henderson.

27 comments

  1. When I was a kid in the early and mid 1960’s the shop was located on Douglas Street behind and across from the US Post Office (now Imagination Station). My mom would drop me off for a haircut with a dollar for the haircut and 10 cents for the tip. Usually Mr Diggs cut my hair, although sometimes Mr Boatwright would do the honors. I’d usually spend 15 or 20 minutes getting the cut, and AT LEAST another hour or two waiting for my mom to pick me back up.
    I realize now – included in that $1.10 – she was also getting daycare service on those long-ago Saturday mornings. She’d run her shopping errands downtown (grocery shopping at the A&P, clothes shopping, etc) while I was there, and I’d spend my time hangin’ with Boatwright and Diggs and Knolly and Colley and Zachery. All of those barber’s names are still so familiar to me all these years later. They were all such good guys and so patient with me. They made it fun to hang out at the shop!
    Although it’s not listed with the picture, I believe that’s Boatwright on the far right, and Diggs (with small mustache) 3rd from the right. I remember hearing that Boatwright was in the hospital not long after I came back to Wilson after college. One of my big regrets is that I did not take the time to go visit him then, as the barbershop and my Saturday mornings spent there were clearly a fond memory for me.

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