Too low and too near the streets.

In June 1889, Rev. J.H. Mattocks, hat in hand, submitted a letter for publication in one of Wilson’s newspapers. The Colored Methodist Church, i.e. Saint John’s A.M.E. Zion, was about to pitch into the street, and could the white citizens help? Remittances could be made to Charles Darden, Gray Farmer or Samuel Vick, all up-and-coming black businessmen who enjoyed the trust of folks across the tracks.

wm-6-19-1889

Wilson Mirror, 19 June 1889.

Charles Darden remained a lifelong member of Saint John’s but, authorization to solicit subscriptions notwithstanding, Gray Farmer and Samuel Vick were on their way out. Just two months after this appeal appeared, the Mirror announced that both  were charter members of a colored Presbyterian church.

wm-8-21-1889

Wilson Mirror, 21 August 1889.

Per a publication issued for the Cape Fear Presbytery Centennial, 1886-1986, Calvary Presbyterian was organized 4 August 1889. The full list of organizers comprised Mahalie Artis, Hattie Barnes, F.O. Blount, William B. Conner, A.D. Dawson, Lucy Dawson, G.A. Farmer, John Gaston, Susie Harris, Abbie Holloway, Patrick Leach, A.J.C. Moore, L.H. Peacock, Edmund Poole, Mary Stephens, Hardy Tate, Daniel Vick, S.H. Vick, J.J. White [Wilson?] and B.R. Winstead.

  • William B. Conner — perhaps, in the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: house carpenter WIlliam A. Connor, 50, wife Ada, 27, and children William, 5, and Rosetta, 1. [If so, he was a Greene County native and a veteran of the United States Colored Troops. More later.]
  • Lucy Dawson — in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: dealer in fish Edd [Alexander D.] Dawson, 40; wife Lucy, 40, dressmaking; and children Mattie, 14, Virginia, 9, Lucy, 8, Edd, 5, Clarence, 3, and Augusta, 1. Lucy Annie Dawson died 20 May 1917 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 October 1860 to Joseph Hill of Virginia and Sally Slaughter of Virginia, was married and was engaged in dressmaking. Sophia Dawson was informant.
  • Abbie Holloway — on 10 February 1892, John A. McLeod, 24, of Boston, married Abbie G. Holloway, 24, of New York City, in Boston, Massachusetts. John, a waiter, was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to John and Ruth McLeod. Abbie, a domestic, was born in Wilson to James and Amanda Holloway. United Methodist minister John Hughes performed the ceremony.
  • Patrick Leach — in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: shoemaker Patrick Henry Leach, 61, and wife Lavinea, 56. Leach reported that he was born in Mississippi to North Carolina-born parents. [Had he returned to his parents’ home after Emancipation?]
  • Mary Stephens — in the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: brickmason Lorenzo Stephens, 27, and wife Mary, 24.

 

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