Month: May 2017

Elnora Williams Armstrong.

elnora armstrong

Wilson Daily Times, 27 October 1945.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Alnora Armstrong, 37, widow, with son Allen, 10.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: odd jobs laborer James Daniel, 50; wife Louise, 53, laundress; daughters Minnie, 21, Louise, 19, and Lillie, 17, all cooks; daughter Debie Black, 30, and her children Jessie, 9, Moses, 6, Minnie, 2, and Gertie Black, 1 month; plus Ellen Armstrong, 50, widowed house servant, and her son Allen, 18, a railroad laborer.

On 25 November 1915, Allen Armstrong, 26, son of Allen and Elenora Armstrong, married Annie Lewis, 23, daughter of Ed and Sophia Lewis. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony at Ed Lewis’ home in Wilson in the presence of Bessie Woodard, Nathaniel Williams, and Isum Harris.

On 5 June 1917, Allen Armstrong registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 15 November 1887 in Wilson;  resided at 532 Church Street; worked as a machinist for W.T. Clark; and supported his mother and wife.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 407 Viola Street, Allen Armstrong, 35, laborer, and mother Ellen Armstrong, 70, widowed family cook. [Both are erroneously reported as Texas natives.]

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 311 North Hackney Street, Sarah Mursley, 45, widowed laundress; son George, 15, tobacco factory laborer; and lodgers Doc Battle, 50, and Elnora Armstrong, 67, a widowed family cook.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 415 East Green Street, insurance collector N. Andrew Pierce, 61; wife Ada W., 58, a seamstress; nephew Otha R. Davis, 28, a beer parlor owner; his wife Lillie, 23, a nurse; their son Otha R., Jr., 6 months; and mother Ella Davis, 52; plus lodgers Elnora Armstrong, 90; Thomas Williams, 35, and Johnie Sarvis, 33.

Elnora Armstrong died 22 October 1945 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1869 in Halifax County, North Carolina, to Monroe and Susie Williams; was widowed; had worked as a domestic; and resided at 608 East Green Street.

[Armstrong’s long-time employer was William T. Clark (1868-1939), a wealthy tobacconist.]

No justice for Lee Locus.

On March 31, 1939, farmer LeviLee” Locus was shot to death by a policeman in his own bedroom in Oldfields township, Wilson County. Though the outcome of the officer’s trial was predictable, newspapers called for justice, and black folk took some satisfaction in watching Chief T.T. Autry brought to trial.

4 7 1939

Burlington Daily Times-News, 7 April 1939.

5 27 1939

Pittsburgh Courier, 27 May 1939.

12 23 1939

Pittsburgh Courier, 23 December 1939.

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In the 1910 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer John Locus, 37; wife Annie, 31; and children Flonnie, 9, Floid, 8, and Levy, 3.

In the 1920 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer John Locus, 43; wife Annie, 39; and children Floid, 17, Levi, 14, and Wiley, 4.

On 23 September 1922, Levi Locus, 21, of Simms, son of John and Annie Locus, married Lilly Jones, 18, of Bailey, daughter of Jesse and Sallie Jones, in Wilson. Witnesses were Eli Barnes, of Simms, and Ernest Batts and Fenley Davis of Bailey.

In the 1930 census of Oldfields, township, Wilson County: farmer Leevie Locus, 23; wife Lillie, 23; and children Lillie M., 7, Leevie Jr., 6, Johnnie B., 5, Freddie L., 3, Annie R., 1, and Queen E., 3 months.

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Send for your negro and get mine.

Mr. W.W. Batts

Please send for your negro and get mine and bring her to your house, if you please, and I will come to your house this Evening.

Jany the 1 1860       W.H. Edwards

[Second handwriting on face of letter]

Henry I will do what this calls for. I will bring her as far as my house.  W.W. Batts

[Handwritten on reverse]

Permit Lewis to carry this to W.H. Edwards.  W.W. Batts

 

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In 1977, late Wilson historian Hugh B. Johnston Jr. published an annotated collection of letters written to and from members of the Edwards family of Wilson County during the Civil War. William H. Edwards (1839-1864), son of Edwin and Zilpha Batts Edwards, lived in the Joyner’s Depot area just north of present-day Elm City. He was killed by cannonball during a battle near Petersburg, Virginia. His kinsman William W. Batts (1827-1869) also lived near Joyner’s Depot.

The meaning of the note is unclear, and the enslaved people to whom it refers — “your negro” and “mine” — are unknown. The message on the back conveys permission for Lewis, an enslaved man apparently belonging to Batts, to travel in Batts’ service. In other words, it is a “free pass.”

Wynn’s Chapel.

WYNN’S CHAPEL FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH

Wynn’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church was organized in the early years of the nineteenth [sic; twentieth] century. The original church was located on what was then called the “hill” beside the railroad track at the southern end of Elm City.

Two of the charter members were the late Willis Wynn and William Birstel [Burston].

In 1956, the original church burned to the ground. The present church was then erected on Armstrong Street on the east side of Elm City.

The present pastor is Rev. E.R. Reid, Jr., who resides at 911 Washington Street, Wilson, N.C. A few of the officers now serving are deacons and trustees: Cecil Hagans, Mason Benjamin, George Bunn, Talvin Latham; secretaries: Bertha Evans and Geneva Dew.

The oldest members are Mrs. Ellen Birstel Pender and Edward Norman.

— Elm City Centennial Committee, Elm City North Carolina Centennial 1873-1973 (1973).

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  • Willis Wynn — Willie Wynn Jr. was born about 1875 in Wayne County. Per his death certificate, he died 11 February 1940 in Wilson; was a widower; resided at 1102 Atlantic Street, Wilson; worked as a laborer; was the son of Willie Wynn and Annie Williams. Geneva Dew was informant, and he was buried in Elm City.
  • William Birstel — in the 1920 census of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: farm laborer William Birtsal, 51; wife Ida, 41; and children Lizzie, 18, Salmon, 20, Pearl, 11, William, 10, James, 7, and Lee Roy, 3.
  • E.R. Reid Jr.
  • Cecil Hagans — Cecil Lane Hagans (1916-1982) was a son of Julius and Grace Hagans.
  • Mason Benjamin — Mason Benjamin (1912-1995) was a Florence, South Carolina, native.
  • George Bunn — George Emerson Bunn Sr. died 16 February 1974 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 1 November 1911 to Emerson and Ella(?) Bunn; resided in Elm City; and had worked as a laborer. Carrie Cooper was informant.
  • Talvin Latham
  • Bertha Evans — Bertha Rountree Evans (1922-1985).
  • Geneva Dew — Geneva Wynn Dew was born 31 August 1911 in Wayne County to Willie and Jennie Hussey Wynn. The owner and operator of Dew’s Rest Home, Dew died 17 November 1984 in Wilson.
  • Ellen Birstel Pender — Ellen Burston, 18, of Toisnot township, daughter of William Burston, married Gold Pender, 22, of Toisnot township, son of Haywood and Mollie Pender, on 10 December 1917 at the bride’s home in Elm City. Baptist minister James Brown performed the ceremony in the presence of Rev. Fred Gardner of Ayden, North Carolina, and J.D. Hockaday and W.R. Hockaday of Elm City.
  • Edward Norman

Ella Stokes Doyle.

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A.B. Caldwell, ed., The History of the American Negro and His Institutions, Georgia Edition (1917).

“On June 26, 1907, [Newton Alexander Doyle] was married to Miss Ella Stokes, a daughter of Henry and Charity Stokes, of Wilson, N.C. Prior to her marriage she was a teacher. They have three children: Geraldine, Christine and Leonora.”

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Dr. Newton A. Doyle, 33, of Gainesville, Georgia, married Ella Stokes, 24, of Wilson on 26 June 1907. [Their license reports Ella’s parents as unknown. The 1880 census of  Jackson township, Nash County: farm laborer Thomas Stokes, 27, wife Charity, 31, and their children, including daughter Ella, 7. This Ella Stokes is several years older than Ella Stokes Doyle.] Dr. Frank S. Hargrave applied for the license, and Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony at Moses Brandon‘s house in the presence of Estella Holden and Roberta Battle. [Presumably the couple met at Shaw University.]

In the 1910 census of Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia: at 60 Athens Street, physician Nathan [sic] A. Doyle, 35; wife Ella, 30; daughter Julia, 1; and sister Florence, 20, a public school teacher.

On 12 September 1918, Newton Alexander Doyle registered for the World War I draft in Hall County. Per his registration card, he was born 30 September 1873; resided at 60 Athens Street, Gainesville; worked as a physician; and was of medium build with gray eyes and sandy hair. Ella Doyle was his nearest relative.

In the 1920 census of Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia: at 60 Athens Street, physician Newton O. Doyle, 45; wife Ella, 39; and daughters Geraldine, 10, Christine, 8, and Ella Lenore, 6.

In the 1930 census of Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia: at 60 Athens Street, physician Newton A. Doyle, 56; wife Ella, 49; daughters Christine, 19, and Lenora, 17; and nephew Willie, 25, a drug store clerk.

Newton A. Doyle died 18 January 1936 in Gainesville. His estate, perhaps battered by the Depression, was relatively modest: mortgaged vacant lots in Gainesville and Jefferson County, Alabama; the stock of medicines and merchandise in his drugstore at 78 Athens Street; a second-hand Essex automobile; and the furnishings and accessories of his home and business, many yet unpaid for.

In the 1940 census of Gainesville, Hall County, Georgia: on “street S. of Queen near Negro School,” Burnette W. Gallman, 31, public school principal; wife Lenora D., 26, school teacher; and mother-in-law Ella Doyle, 61.

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Keowee Courier (Pickens, South Carolina), 3 July 1907.

Pvt. Frank Worthington, alias Wellington.

Frank Worthington, alias Wellington, is the sole African-American veteran buried under a Civil War Memorial headstone in Wilson’s Maplewood cemetery. (For a fact, he is one of a very few African Americans buried in Maplewood, period.)

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Worthington, who ran away from a Pitt County slaveowner to join the Army, seems not to have actually lived in Wilson County. However, at least one of his children did. Charlie Wellington died 16 June 1958 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 7 September 1887 in Greene County to Frank Wellington and Fabie Atkinson; was married to Lovie Wellington; and was a farmer. He was buried in Red Hill cemetery, Wilson County.

Photograph courtesy of www.findagrave.com.

Tobias Dew.

tobie dew 4 30 1947

Wilson Daily Times, 30 April 1947.

In the 1880 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Isaac Dew, 30; wife Esther, 24; children Annie, 12, Willie, 9, Tobias, 8, Martha, 4, Lesie, 3, and Laura, 2; plus farmer Burden Barnes, 28, and his wife Delphina, 19, who were white.

On 20 May 1918, Tobe Dew, 45, of Crossroads township, son of Isaac and Easter Dew, married Ardella Scarboro, 25, of Crossroads township, daughter of John and Ardella Scarboro of Oxford, North Carolina, at the courthouse in Wilson.

Toby Dew registered for the World War I draft on 12 September 1918:

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In the 1920 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Tobey Dew, 40; wife Ardella S., 26; and children Anna, 9, and Easter, 6; sisters Martha, 30, and Georgia, 28; and widowed mother Easter, 60.

In the 1930 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: Tobie Dew, 52, farmer; wife Ardella, 36; and daughter Eva, 14.

On 3 January 1933, James Arthur Bynum, 25, of Crossroads township, son of Ora Bell Bynum, married Eva Dew, 18, of Crossroads, daughter of Tobie and Ardella Dew in Wilson. Elder Arthur Fuller of the Holiness church performed the ceremony in the presence of L.L. Harvey, Stephen Coleman, and Andrew Rountree.

In the 1940 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Tobey Dew, 67; wife Ardella, 46; granddaughter Thelma, 9; and widower cousin Gabriel Hooks, 75.

Tobie Dew died 28 April 1947 in Crossroads township Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was married to Ardella Dew; born 10 May 1874 in Wilson County to Isaac Dew and Easter Barnes; and had been engaged in farming. Della Dew was informant.

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Friendship Primitive Baptist Church today, just west of Lucama. The church was among those lead by Elder Fate Melton.

804 East Vance Street.

The twenty-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.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1930; 2 stories; gable front house of concrete-block construction, with patterned tin shingles in front-facing gable;  bungalow type porch; unique in district.”

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In the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Virginia-born farm laborer Jacob Roberts, 35; wife Matilda, 25; and children Willie, 8, Rebecca, 5, Lettis, 3, and Isam, 11 months.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Virginia-born carpenter Jake Roberts, 54; wife Matilda, 44, washing; and children Rebecca, 23, cooking, Lettie, 21, cooking, Luginia, 18, cooking, Mattie, 16, nurse, Westly, 14, tobacco stemmer, Marrie, 13, Eddie, 8, Laura, 5, and Addie, 2.

On 29 April 1902, Solomon Kittrell, 27, of Wilson County, son of Henry and Millie Kittrell of Oxford, North Carolina, married Lettie Roberts, 23, daughter of Jacob and Tildy Roberts, all of Wilson County. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony at Jacob Roberts’ home in the presence of Albert Hilliard, Floyd Cox and W.C. Christmas.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Vance Street, Solomon Kittrel, no age listed, laborer in buggy factory; wife Lettie, 26; and children Rebecca, 7, Sol K., 5, Bernis, 3, and Lillie, 1.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 704 Viola Street, laborer Saul Kittrell, 41; wife Lettie, 35; and children Rebecca, 16, Saul, 15, Bernice, 10, Lillie, 8, Margaret, 7, Charles, 2, and William, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 804 East Vance, painter Saul Kittrell, 52; wife Lettie, 48, practical nurse; and children Bernice, 19, Lilly, 18, Margaret, 17, Charles, 10, and Henry, 9. Sol valued their house at $10,000.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 804 East Vance, building painter Solomon Kittrell, 65; wife Lettie, 63; children Berenice, 32, a tobacco factory hanger, and Charles, 22, assistant county agent’s office; and lodgers Charles Beatty, 40, a blacksmith in a repair shop, and his wife Emma, 28, who reported living in Clinton, North Carolina, in 1935.

In 1940, Charles Elva Kittrell registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he resided at 804 East Vance Street, Wilson; was born 12 March 1918 in Wilson; his nearest relative was his mother Lettie Kittrell of 804 East Vance; and he was employed by the National Youth Administration in Kanawha, West Virginia.

Solomon Kittrell died 10 May 1944 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was married to Lettie Kittrell; resided at 804 East Vance Street; was born 8 February 1880 in Oxford, North Carolina, to Henry Kittrell and an unnamed mother; and he worked as a carpenter. Informant was Saul Kittrell, 804 East Vance.

Lettie R. Kittrell died 14 December 1957 after being struck by a freight train at the Green Street Atlantic Coastline railroad crossing. Per her death certificate, she was born 18 January 1876 in Edgecombe County to Jacob Roberts and Matilda Hilliard; worked as a practical nurse; and was widowed. Informant was Rebecca Thomas of 914 East Green Street.

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017.

Elizabeth Wilson Reid.

Bettie Reid 12 4 1947

Wilson Daily Times, 4 December 1947. 

Elizabeth “Bettie” Wilson Reid was born about 1864 in near Eureka in northern Wayne County to John and Zilpha Artis Wilson. The Artises, Wilsons and Reids were free families of color. [Zilpha A. Reid was a sister of Adam T. Artis (and Bettie was first cousin of Josephine Artis Sherrod.)] On 27 December 1882, Bettie Wilson married William Reid at her father Jack Wilson’s house in Wayne County. [William Reid was a cousin of Elijah and J.D. Reid.] They had ten children, Pinkney Reid, Hattie Reid Exum, Maggie Reid, Milton Curtis Reid, Iantha Reid Neal Braswell, Council Troy Reid, William Sylvester Reid, Loumiza Reid Cooper, Willie Gorham Reid and Mater Reid Winstead, at least six of whom settled in Wilson County.

In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg & Saratoga Road, tenant farmer William Reid, 63; wife Bettie, 52; and daughter Iantha M., 25; sons Council, 23, and Vester, 21; Vester’s wife Hattie, 19; son Gorum, 17; daughter Mater, 14; daughter(?) Marion, 7; and son(?) Melab(?), 1.

In the 1930 census of Black Creek, Wilson County: farmer Willie Gorham [sic], 27; mother Bettie Reid, 65; niece Marion, 17; and nephew Abraham, 11.

In the 1940 census of Black Creek, Wilson County: widowed farmer Iantha Braswell, 46; and children Abraham Neal, 21, and Randolph, 15, Nona Bell, 13, Mavis, 12, Bettie R., 10, and widowed mother Bettie Reed, 75.

Bettie Reid died 2 December 1947 at home at 1011 Stantonsburg Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was the widow of William Reid; was born 1 August 1874 in Wayne County to Jack Wilson and Zilphia Artis. Informant was Loumiza Artis Cooper, and C.E. Artis [Bettie’s first cousin] was undertaker.

Iantha Braswell died 9 May 1955 in Wilson. Per her death certificated, she resided at 719 Stantonsburg Street; was a widow; was born 10 September 1892 in Wayne County to William Reid and Bettie Wilson. She was buried 15 May 1955 in Turner Swamp cemetery, Wayne County. Informant was Nonnie Braswell of Wilson.

Vester Reid died 27 October 1956 at Mercy Hospital after being struck by an automobile on the highway near Stantonsburg, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he resided at 502 East Green Street; was married to Hattie Reid; was born 7 March 1897 to William Reid and Bettie Wilson; and was buried 30 October 1956 at Reid family cemetery in Eureka, Wayne County.

Pinkney Reid died 30 November 1961 at his residence at 504 North Vick Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 25 July 1881 in Wayne County to William Reid and Bettie Wilson; was married to Matilda Reid; was a farmer; and was buried at Turner Swamp cemetery, Wayne County. [Pinkney Reid was the father of Allen T. Reid.]

Willie Ghorum Reid died 28 February 1963 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he resided at 1013 East Nash Street; worked as a barber at William Hines‘ Barber Shop; was married to Ada Reid; was born 12 August 1902 in Wayne County to William Reid and Bettie Wilson; and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson.

Council Troy Reid died 29 August 1951 in Walstonburg, Greene County.  Per his death certificate, he was a widowed farmer; was born 21 July 1885 in Wayne County to William Reid and Bettie Wilson; was a World War I veteran; and was buried 2 September 1951 in Bethel cemetery, Stantonsburg. Informant was Knowless Reid Dupree.

Mater Reid Winstead died 5 January 1979 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 31 March 1906 in Wilson County to William Reid and Bettie Wilson; was widowed; and was buried in Bethel cemetery, Stantonsburg.

Loumiza Reid Cooper died 26 June 1988 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 27 January 1900 to William Reid and Bettie Wilson in Wayne County and had worked as a laundry operator.

Prodigal Parker.

prodigal parker 7 28 45

Wilson Daily Times, 28 July 1945.

In the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Sampson Parker, 56; wife Nancy, 51; and children Lou, 25, Cora, 21; Mira, 19; Caro, 17; Tedsy, 16; Prodigal, 14; Roda, 13; Grover, 4; and John, 6.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on Elm City Road, farmer Progisal Parker, 24; wife Kizzie, 20; and children Oscar, 1, and Nancy, 3 months.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on 4th Street, transfer car driver Prodical Parker, 31; wife Kizzie, 28; and children Oscar, 11, Mary, 8, and Nathan, 5.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 117 Fourth Street, transfer proprietor Prodigal Parker, 41; wife Kissie, 39; and son Oscar, 22, daughter-in-law Ella, 19, and son Nathaniel, 19.

In the 1941 Durham, North Carolina, city directory: Parker Prodigal (c; Kizzie) slsmn h507 Gray.

Prodical Parker died 23 July 1945 in Fremont, Wayne County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1887 in Nash County to Sampson Parker and Nancy Jones; was married to  Kissie Parker; and worked as a merchant.