Month: December 2017

Marriages at Saint Mark’s Episcopal.

Patrick M. Valentine’s The Episcopalians of Wilson County: A History of St. Timothy’s and St. Mark’s Churches in Wilson, North Carolina 1856-1995 (1996), features several invaluable appendices that illuminate Wilson’s tiny African-American Episcopalian community. Valentine credits Cindy and Jeff Day with compiling them, and this post is the first in a series annotating the marriage list.

“Appendix J: Marriages, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church” shows the marriages between 1895 and 1905:

  • Richard Norwood to Celia Hill, 27 February 1895

On 28 February 1895, Celia A. Hill, 22, daughter of H. and H[enrietta]. Hill, married Richard Norwood, 21, son of B. Norwood of Chatham County, in Wilson. Episcopal minister J.W. Perry performed the ceremony at Saint Marks in the presence of John H. Clark, B.R. Winstead and S.A. Smith. Cecilia Anna Norwood died 27 June 1944 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 14 February 1879 in Washington, North Carolina to Edward Hill and Henrietta Cherry; resided at 205 Pender, Wilson; was widowed; and was a teacher. Informant was Hazel Covington of Wilson.

  • Robt. Norwood to Lydia Freeman, 26 January 1899

On 26 January 1899, Robert Norwood, 24, of Wilson County, son of Harris and Rebecca Norwood of Bynum, North Carolina, married Lydia Freeman, 21, daughter of Julius and Eliza Freeman of Wilson. Episcopal priest W.B. Perry performed the ceremony at Julius Freeman’s in the presence of William Kittrell, William Barnes and John Williams. Robert Norwood died 20 October 1916 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was married; was born in 1880; and worked as a cook in a cafe. Informant was Julius Freeman.

  • James Roach [sic] to Jane Tyson, 24 May 1899

James Branch, 29, of Wilson County, married Jane Tyson, 30, on 24 May 1899. J.C. Palmer applied for the license; Rev. W.B. Perry performed the ceremony at the home of Mrs. J.C. Palmer in the presence of J.C. Palmer, Mrs. J.C. Palmer and Robert Norwood. In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: tobacco packer James Branch, 28; wife Jane C., 31, cook; and stepsons Carrol C. Tyson, 12, house servant, and Caborn C. Tyson, 8.

On 2 August 1899, Walter B. Hulin, 21, of Wilson County married Hattie Artis, 18, of Wilson, at “Mrs. Artis’ home” in Wilson. Rev. W.B. Perry, Episcopalian, performed the ceremony, and James Artis, Miss Irene Winstead and Mrs. Barnes witnessed. [W.B. Perry, in contravention to Jim Crow norms, appears to have been deliberate about his use of the honorifics “Miss” and “Mrs.” for his African-American congregants.]

  • Spincer Barnes to Annie Petyford, 4 December 1899

On 4 December 1899, Spencer Barnes, 26, of Wilson County, married Anna Pettiford, 25, of Franklin County, daughter of Manlis and Frances Pettiford. Rev. W.B. Perry, Episcopalian, performed the ceremony, and Mr. McDonald, Miss Irene Winstead and Mrs. James Branch witnessed.

  • Junius M[illegible] and Jin [illegible], 14 August 1899

Junius Munk, 26, son of Dudley and Pheomy Munk of Magnolia, North Carolina, married Jennie Strickland, 24, daughter of Jim and Neomy Strickland, of Wilson on 14 August 1899. Rev. W.B. Perry performed the ceremony at the bride’s home in the presence of Howard Strickland, John Coleman and Archie Hunt.

  • Dr. Frank Welleston and Done Battle, 17 September 1905

On 17 September 1905, F.O. Williston, 24, of Wilson, son of Henrietta Williston of Fayetteville, North Carolina, married Doane Battle, 19, daughter of Charles Battle of Wilson. F.S. Hargrave applied for the license, and Rev. Robert F. Perry performed the ceremony at James Jenkins‘ home in the presence of F.S. Hargrave, James Jenkins and William Dawson.

  • Colie Barnes and Leaha Barnes, 27 December 1905

Wilson County marriage records do not reflect a marriage between Colie Barnes and Leaha Barnes. However, on 27 December 1905, Colie Barnes, 20, married Ella Taylor, 19, in Wilson.

Manchester Street, today.

Manchester Street was home to several of late 19th century black Wilson’s most prosperous working class families. When Samuel H. Vick chose a location for his ponderous Queen Anne, however, he bypassed Manchester in favor of a block laid out in a plat he himself had registered. East Green Street immediately eclipsed Manchester as the most fashionable address for Wilson’s nascent African-American professional class, and Manchester faded rapidly.

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Manchester Street was not recorded in Sanborn fire insurance maps until 1913, shown here. The uniformity of the houses on the southeastern side of the street suggest rental property. John H. Clark’s fine dwelling, with its idiosyncratic gazebo, is on the corner facing Nash.

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The same block in the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map.

Manchester Street today, aerial view courtesy Google maps.

Manchester Street, looking southeast from Nash Street. Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2016.

Snaps, no. 17: Unknown.

This photograph is labeled “520 E. Nash, Wilson.” The subject is unknown, and the image appears to date from the 1940s. The 1941 Wilson city directory lists at that address a billiard parlor operated by Hally A. Armstrong. (The current three-storefront building at that address was built in the late 1950s and has been occupied by variety stores and beauty shops.)

Photograph courtesy of Paul Ashford, from a collection belonging to his grandmother Reka Aldridge Ashford Morrisey of Eureka, Wayne County.

Baptisms at Saint Mark’s, no. 1.

Patrick M. Valentine’s The Episcopalians of Wilson County: A History of St. Timothy’s and St. Mark’s Churches in Wilson, North Carolina 1856-1995 (1996), features several invaluable appendices that illuminate Wilson’s tiny African-American Episcopalian community. Valentine credits Cindy and Jeff Day with compiling them, and this post is the first in a series annotating these lists.

“Appendix F: Baptisms, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church” shows that Rev. J.W. Perry baptized these children between 1889 and 1892:

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: blacksmith Henry Hill, 35; wife Henrietta, 29; and children Celicia, 9, Robert, 4, and James H., 1. Henrietta Hill died 21 April 1928 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 78 years old; was born in Washington, North Carolina, to George Cherry and Martha Gardner; was a retired maid for the A.C.L. station; resided at 205 Pender Street; and was a widow. Cecilia Norwood was informant.

  • 9 February 1890, Joseph C. Palmer, sponsors: J.H. Clark, S.S. Nixon, Henrietta Hill
  • 23 February 1890, Adaline Allen, sponsors: J.H. Clark, Henrietta Hill, Ella Palmer

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: cook Adeline Allen, 36, widow, and children Frank, 14, James, 13, Susan, 12, Ony, 7, Edgar, 6, and Willie, 4. In 1910, the family is found in the census of Portsmouth, Virginia.

  • 9 March 1890, Mary Harris, sponsors: J.H. Clark, Henrietta Hill, Sylvia Stricklin
  • 23 March 1890, James Artis, sponsors: J.H. Clark, Ida Clark, Henrietta Hill

Ida R. Clark died 13 January 1942 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 25 May 1873 in Franklin County to Prince and Chaney Crenshaw of Frankin and Edgecombe Counties; was married; worked as a teacher and homemaker; and was buried in the Masonic cemetery. John H. Clark was informant.

  • 8 August 1890, Ardina Purrington, sponsors: J.H. Clark, Ida Clark, Henrietta Hill
  • 14 September 1890, Anna M. Purrington Marshall, sponsors: J.H. Clark, Ida Clark, Joseph C. Palmer
  • 14 September 1890, Zalia Purrington, sponsors: J.H. Clark, Ida Clark, Joseph C. Palmer
  • 12 October 1890, David Dupree, sponsors: J.H. Clark, Ida Clark, Clara Dupree

David Dupree died 4 September 1954 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 8 May 1881 in Newport News, Virginia; worked as a laborer; and resided at 701 Wiggins Street. Informant was Lonnie Mercer.

  • 12 October 1890, Joseph Dupree, sponsors: J.H. Clark, Ida Clark, Henrietta Hill
  • 19 March 1891, Irine Winstead, sponsors: J.H. Clark, Ida Clark, Virginia Crenshaw

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Arrene Winstead, 32, widow.

  • 19 March 1891, Josephine Peyton, sponsors: J.H. Clark, John Boykin, Henrietta Hill
  • 26 June 1891, Chanie Virginia Clark, sponsors: J.H. Clark, John Boykin, Henrietta Hill

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: school teacher John H. Clark, 36; wife Ida R., 34; and daughters Chany V., 7, and Flora R., 2.

  • 28 August 1892, Bud Allen, sponsors: J.H. Clark, John Boykin, Henrietta Hill
  • 28 August 1892, Susan Allen, sponsors:  J.H. Clark, John Boykin, Henrietta Hill

Bud and Susan Allen were children of Adeline Allen, above.

The building of a new Episcopal church.

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Wilson Advance, 6 December 1888.

“On April 23, 1888, the minister at St. Luke’s in Tarboro formally took over the work at Grace Mission as a part-time missionary to Wilson. John William Perry was a graduate of St. Augustine’s and had been consecrated a priest by Bishop Lyman on April 7, 1887. He had been doing ‘most valuable work’ as rector at St. Luke’s since 1881. According to his own account, ‘when I took charge of this work [at Wilson] I found a few communicants and no Sunday School in operation and no particular place to worship in. When we could not rent a place to hold the services in, a room was used of a private family.

“Reverend Perry soon started a fund-raising campaign. Partly as a result, by October 1887, the diocese — with St. Timothy’s [a white congregation] ‘giving the greater portion of the purchase price’ — had obtained possession of a lot on the corner north of Lodge Street running 65 feet and running south on the west side of South Street for 153 feet ‘for the Colored Congregation … to build thereon an Episcopal Church for their use and benefit.'”

— Patrick M. Valentine, The Episcopalians of Wilson County: A History of St. Timothy’s and St. Mark’s Churches in Wilson, North Carolina 1856-1995 (1996).

Location of the new church building, as shown in the 1893 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, N.C.

Studio shots, no. 20: John Walter Jones.

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John W. Jones (1890-1978).

In the 1910 census of Manning township, Nash County, North Carolina: farmer Washington Jones, 54; wife Elizabeth, 45; and children James, 23, Mary E., 21, John W., 19, Gertrude, 18, Willie, 16, Lily A., 14, Addie, 12, Edie, 11, and Carrie, 8.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: on New Wilson and Raleigh Road, farmer Less Barnes, 24; wife Edna, 30; daughters Lillie Ruth, 2, and Mary L., 1; widowed mother Elizabeth Jones, 52; brothers-in-law James, 32, and John, 29; and sister-in-law Carrie Jones, 18.

In the 1930 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John Jones, 37; wife Hattie, 25; and children Oscar, 9, Minnie L., 5, and James W., 1.

In the 1940 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John Jones, 49; wife Hattie, 35; children Oscar, 19, Minnie L., 14, James W., 12, Willie, 9, Emma L., 7, John, 5, Lizzie B., 3, Annie L., 1, and Anna M., newborn; and granddaughter Genlia Jones, 1.

Hattie Jones died 16 February 1946 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 June 1904 in Wilson County to Bud Jones and Emma Hinnant; was married to John Jones; and was buried at New Vester cemetery.

John Walter Jones died 1 June 1978 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he resided in the Spring Hope, Nash County, area; was born 14 November 1890 in Wilson County to Washington Jones and Elizabeth (last name unknown); was widowed; and was buried in New Vester cemetery.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user bkjones88.

 

I certify to his high character.

When Lily-White Republican Senator Jeter C. Pritchard set out to oust postmaster Samuel H. Vick, who represented “the last vestige of negro office holders in the state,” a slew of prominent Wilson Democrats bucked convention to rally in Vick’s favor. Among the politicians, lawyers and businessmen supporting Vick was John H. Blount, whose letter of recommendation noted that Vick’s “mother and grandmother belonged to [his] father.”

The writer of this opinion piece mocks the Democrats who had once lamented Vick’s sinecure, “pictur[ing] how their dear wives and daughters were humiliated by having to transact all their postal business at Wilson with a negro postmaster and negro postal clerks.

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The People’s Paper (Charlotte, N.C.), 10 December 1902.

Called out and shot at.

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Daily Charlotte Observer, 11 December 1878.

Raiford Yelverton married Eliza Locust in Wayne County on 17 January 1869.

In the 1870 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farm laborer Raford Yelverton, 26; wife Elizar, 24; and daughter Mary,

In the 1880 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer Raford Yelverton, 30; wife Anne M., 26; and daughter Mary J., 14.

Rayford Yelverton died 9 December 1917 in Nahunta township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 84 years old; married; a farmer; and was born in Wayne County to Adam Outland and an unknown mother. William Locus of Stantonsburg was informant.

Mary Susan Artis died 7 November 1958 in Oldfield township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 85 years old; born in 1873 to Raiford Yelverton and Barbara Locust; and was a widow. Her informant was Mary E. Applewhite of Lucama.

Williamson v. Williamson, 57 N.C. 272 (1858).

This case was filed in Wilson County Court of Equity by Garry Williamson and Jesse Fulgham, executors of the will of Thomas Williamson, concerning the distribution of certain enslaved people for whom Williamson claimed ownership. The principle question posed to the North Carolina Supreme Court was whether enslaved children, born before Williamson died, passed with their mothers to the designated legatees. “The general rule is clearly settled that the bequest simply of a female slave and her increase passes the mother only, and not the increase which she may have had before the will was executed, or between that time and the death of the testator.” An exception would be where the testator’s intent to include the children can be inferred from a reference to the enslaved woman having previously been in the possession of the legatee. Otherwise, the children become part of the “residue,” i.e. property to be liquidated and the proceeds equally divided among legatees.

The chart below summarizes the fates of 26 of the enslaved people — all women and children — that Thomas Williamson owned. It is a stark encapsulation of the devastating impact of slavery on African-American families. And where were their men? An examination of Williamson’s will, drafted in August 1852, reveals further separation. Turner, Patrick and Dennis were bequeathed to his wife Keziah Williamson, and Jack was passed to son Garry Williamson.