1004 Washington Street.

The forty-fourth 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: “circa 1930; 1 1/2 stories; James Whitfield house; bungalow with gable roof and shed dormer; aluminum sided; Whitfield was a house painter.”


James Whitfield registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 26 March 1892 in Nash County; resided at 717 Stantonsburg; was a self-employed painter; had a wife and two children; and had sandy hair and brown eyes.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 715 Stantonsburg Street, house painter James Whitfield, 27; wife Lizzie, 25, hotel cook; children James Jr., 8, Lillian, 5, and Helen I., 5 months; and father Andrew Whitfield, 69.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1004 Washington Street, valued at $3000, building painter James Whitfield, 34; wife Lizzie, 31, laundress; children James Jr., 18, Lillian, 15, and Hellen, 12; and father Alleck Whitfield, 81.

James A. Whitfield Jr. died 17 December 1936 of “auto collision on U.S. 301 killing him instantly.” Per his death certificate, he was born 24 July 1912 in Wilson to James Whitfield of Wilson and Elizabeth McNeal of Fayetteville. He worked as a school teacher. Informant was James Whitfield.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1004 Washington Street, valued at $3500, house painter James Whitfield, 37; wife Elizabeth, 45; and daughters Lillian, 27, and Helen, 22.

James A. Whitfield, 61, of 1004 Washington Street, son of A.W. and Sallie Whitfield, married Elizabeth Jenkins, 44, of 612 East Green Street, daughter of Mary Sanders, on 13 February 1955 in Sims. Baptist minister George S. Stokes performed the ceremony in the presence of Howard M. Fitts Sr., Ruth J. Hines, Mrs. W.P. Brown and Mrs A.W. Stokes.

James Ashley Whitfield died 23 November 1960 at Duke Hospital, Durham, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born in 20 March 1892 in Wilson County to W.A. Whitfield and Sally (last name unknown); resided at 1004 Washington Street; was a self-employed contract painter; informant was Elizabeth S. Whitfield.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017.


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