Month: October 2017

The Pope-Morisey wedding.

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Pittsburgh Courier, 8 January 1938.

This blurb appears in the “Rocky Mount, N.C.” column of the Courier‘s 8 January 1938 society page. Per their marriage license, the wedding took place in Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina. Juanita Marion Pope was the daughter of O.R. and Myrtle Pope of Rocky Mount, and Alfred Alexander Morisey was the son of Rev. A.A. and Mamie Morisey of Raleigh. The couple did not live in Wilson very long — had they met there? — and it is not clear whether they taught at Darden or the Sallie Barbour school (or in the county). Though they are not found in the 1940 census, the 1942 Raleigh city directory lists: Morisey A Alex (c; Juanita) news reporter h S Davie ter CH. By 1946, the couple is listed in the Greensboro city directory with Alex working in public relations for Bennett College (his wife’s alma mater) and Juanita for the Colored Division of the United States Employment Service. 

Morisey’s obituary, published 26 July 1979 in the Washington Post, sheds light on his accomplishments after his time in Wilson:

“A. Alexander Morisey, 65, a former director of public relations at Howard University who was one of the first black reporters to work for a white owned southern newspaper, died of cancer Monday in New York City hospital.

“Mr. Morisey worked for the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal from 1949 to 1955 where he covered the black community and did general assignment reporting.

“Journal reporter Roy Thompson said, “Not a handful of people here remember after all these years, but blacks and whites in this town know a great deal more about one another than they did when Alex came to town, and he had a hand in this.”

“After working for the American Friends Service Committee, Mr. Morisey came to Washington and was public relations director at Howard University from 1967 to 1969.

“He left Howard to become public relations director of the Philadelphia Committee on Human Relations. Mr. Morisey joined the public relations staff of The New York Times in 1969, and was named public relations director two years later.

“Since 1973, he had been assistant for community relations to the president of Manhattan Community College in New York.

“Mr. Morisey was a native of Smithfield, N.C., and a graduate of Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. He also did graduate work at American University.

“He is survived by his wife, Dr. Patricia Morisey, of the home in New York City; a son, A. Alexander Jr., of Philadelphia; two daughters Jean Alexander and Muriel Morisey, both of Washington; a stepson, Paul Garland, of New York City; a brother, John, of Philadelphia; a sister, Grace Jones, of Burlington, N.C., and three grandchildren.”

Willie Wynn.

Wilson Daily Times, 16 February 1940.

On 23 September 1886, Willie Winn, 27, and Jennie Hussey, 19, were married in Wayne County, North Carolina.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Willie Winn, 50; wife Jennie, 23; and children Bessie, 18, Cora, 14, Charlie, 11, Annie, 10, John, 9, Ray, 7, Dortch, 4, Pinkie, 1, and Jessie, 17.

In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer William Winn, 59; wife Jennie, 48; and children Charley, 21, John, 19, Dorch, 13, Pink, 10, and Jeneva, 8.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: odd jobs laborer Willie Winn, 62; wife Jennie, 60; and children Roy, 23, and Pink, 20; and lodger Lula Ward, 45.

Willie Wynn Jr. died 11 February 1940. Per his death certificate, he died 11 February 1940 in Wilson; had been married to Jennie Wynn, but was a widower; resided at 1102 Atlantic Street, Wilson; worked as a laborer; was the son of Willie Wynn and Annie Williams. Geneva Dew, 1102 East Atlantic Street, was informant, and he was buried in Elm City.

  • Wynn’s Chapel
  • McKinley Whitley — in the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: church minister McKinley Whitley, 28, and wife Ruth, 28.

Emiline Woodard and children.

Chester, Mary Adell, Emiline and Marvin Woodard, circa 1920.

In the 1920 census of Speights Bridge township, Greene County, North Carolina: on Harris Chapel-Howell Swamp Road, Johnnie Woodard, 28; wife Emma Line, 29; and children Marvin, 6, Chester B., 4, and Mary Odell, 21 months.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Johnie Woodard, 47; wife Emma L., 47; and children Marvin, 18, Chester, 16, Adell, 14, Vernell L., 12, James, 10, and Thomas W., 6; plus lodger John McCory, 28.

In the 1940 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Emiline Woodard, 48; and children Marvin, 16, Chester, 24, Mary, 21, Vornal, 19, Junious, 15, Helen G., 9, Bennie J., 6, and Thurman, 12.

Emiline Edwards Woodard died 15 April 1971 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 20 December 1894 to a mother named Hagar and an unknown father and was a widow. Informant was Mrs. Mary W. Moore, 1008 Washington Street.

Photograph courtesy of the family history booklet, Our Heritage 1812-1996: Edwards, Evans, Woodard, published in 1996, and graciously shared by B.J. Woodard.

505 East Green Street.

The fortieth 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 East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1908; 1 ½ stories; Roscoe Hall house; unusually narrow, two-bay house with gambrel roof and shed dormer; asphalt shingled; Hall was a butler.”

In the 1912 and 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: Rountree Lucy (c) laundress h 504 E Green. John Rountree is also listed at the address — the prior house number — in 1912.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 504 East Green, Lucy Rountree, 70, “wash & iron”; granddaughter Alene Barnes, 13; and twelve lodgers [which hardly seems possible] Cleveland Sims, 35, oil mill laborer; house carpenters William Thomas, 19, and John Hinnant, 22; factory laborers Herbert Joyner, 24, and Edgar Wilkerson, 30; wagon factory laborer Nathan Woodard, 20; garage laborer Nathan Williams, 22; wagon factory Robert Night, 17; department store truck driver Roy Evins, 22; factory laborer James Ostan, 22; woodcutter John Ostan, 22; and house carpenter Macon Locon, 22.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 505 East Green, rented for $24/month, Lucy Roundtree, 80; her daughter Bertha King, 43, servant; and lodgers Della Jones, 47, maid, and Annie Coney, 28, cook.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 505 East Green, rented for $20/month, veterinarian Elijah L. Reid, 78; wife Ietta R., 65; and daughter Odessa B., 30, a graduate nurse.

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2017.

Studio shots, no. 15: Dardens and friends.

Lizzie Darden commemorating her high school graduation with Roderick Taylor (standing), her brother Camillus L. Darden (seated), and a friend (seated in Picture-Taking George W. Barnes‘ chair), circa 1903.

Photograph courtesy of N.J. and C. Darden, Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine (1978).

Leonard Medical School students.

James Arthur Cotton appears in Leonard Medical School‘s 1888-’89 catalog with a notation that he done his collegiate studies at Saint Augustine’s College. (Perhaps he did not finish, as the Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929 lists him as a 1897 graduate of Chicago’s Harvey Medical College.

Lincoln University graduate Charles Hudson Bynum appears in the 1892-’93 Leonard Medical School catalog.

Wanton deviltry.

One hundred twenty years ago yesterday …

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Wilson Advance, 14 October 1897.

  • Lewis Pitt — On 1 August 1872, Lewis Pitt, 24, and Charity Strayhorn, 21, were married in Edgecombe County. In the 1880 census of Hillboro township, Orange County, Lewis, 25, and Charity Pitt, 23, were listed in the household of Charity’s parents, Yank and Patsy Strayhorn. In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Lewis Pitt, 55; wife Carty, 50; and grandson Daniel, 10. In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 633 Green Street, farmer Lewis Pitt, 71; wife Charity, 68; daughter Gradis, 15; and roomers George Thompson, 16, and John Byrd, 20, both wagon factory laborers. Lewis Pitt died 6 April 1924 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was about 76 years old; was born in Edgecombe County to Hardy and Peggy Atkinson; and resided at 704 East Green Street. Charity Pitt was informant.
  • Nettie Jones
  • Bill Ayers
  • John Swader