At the beginning of Black History Month, the New York Times published an essay, “Everyday Excellence,” in its Style Section. Though the piece centers the black folk we see in the now, everyday, in an edited form Rembert Browne’s text sets out the raison d’être for Black Wide-Awake and stands as a convenient coda to February:
“As a child, I learned during our shortest month about Martin and Malcolm, Harriet and Sojourner. At home and in school they told of Benjamin Banneker’s almanacs, Madam C.J. Walker’s hair products and subsequent wealth, George Washington Carver’s peanuts, Crispus Attucks’s heroism in dying first, and even what Dr. Ben Carson did with those conjoined twins.
“Black History Month has taken these mortals from heroes to idols, out of both pride and desperation. The resulting highlight reel of black triumph is pure historiography, a particular formulation of the story of black America. Its chronology supports the misleading narrative that a few exceptional people and their acts are the de facto history of black America, rendering the stories of the ordinary as invisible.
“If your life is filled with these ordinary black people, however, you understand what the true meaning of Black History Month is. What truly pushes black America forward are all the people in between, all the people you don’t see if you don’t know where to look, or simply don’t care. But if these circles are part of your life — either through inheritance, or by showing up and seeking them out — your entire world opens up. Every day is overwhelmingly Black History Month, because it’s all around you. …”
Back to our regularly scheduled programming, i.e. Black History all year long.
The sixty-first 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 each is described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1925; 2 stories; William Hines tenant house; two-bay, side-hall dwelling with hip roof; built by Hines for tenants.”
Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno’s Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey, originally published by the City of Wilson in 1980 and updated and republished in 2010 under the auspices of the Wilson County Genealogical Society, provides additional details about these houses, including photos: “806-814 East Green Street. This rhythmic row of identical houses was built as speculative housing c. 1925. The plan is an expansion of the classic shotgun and details reflect a bungalow influence. Constructed as workman’s housing in the late 1920’s, these houses were occupied by a driver, a porter and a cook, among others. It is uncommon to find an entire row of houses such as these still intact.” Unfortunately, numbers 808 and 812 East Green Street were demolished between 1980, when the Inventory was published, and 1988, when the nomination form was completed.
The even-numbered side of the 800 block of East Green Street appears to have been skipped in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County.
In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wingate Leon (c; Pearl) driver C Woodard Co Inc h 806 E Green
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 806 East Green, rented for $14/month, tobacco factory laborer George Marion, 32, born in South Carolina; wife Emma, 31, tobacco factory laborer; son Robert L. King, 16; boarders Thomas Jones, 22, tobacco factory laborer, and Bert Jones, 36, cook.
In 1940, George Marion registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 18 May 1908 in Sumpter, South Carolina; resided at 806 East Green; was married to Emma Davis Marion; and worked for R.P. Watson Tobacco Company.
In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Marion Geo (c; Emma) plumber helper h 806 E Green
In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: White Israel (c) elev opr Federal Bldg h 808 E Green
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 808 East Green, rented for $14/month, cafe cook James Morrison, 30, of Maxton, North Carolina; wife Minnie, 30, family cook, of Greene County; daughter Reba, 14; and family cook Lessie McRay, 23.
In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Morrison Minnie (c) cook Golden Weed Grill h 808 E Green
In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jones Martha (c) lndrs 810 E Green
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 810 East Green, rented for $14/month, widow Martha Jones, 67; widow Maggie Crooms, 36; Helen Jones, 16; widower Cornelius Jones, 38, builders supply truck driver; and Oscar Magette, 17, and HubertJones, 16, who were Martha’s grandsons.
In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jones Martha (c) lndrs h 810 E Green
In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Freeman Geo (c; Effie) lab h 812 E Green; Freeman Jas (c) del man h 812 E Green
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 812 East Green, rented for $14/month,
In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Farmer Jefferson D (c; Irene) del mn h 812 E Green
In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Woodard Lula lndrs h 814 E Green
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 814 East Green, rented for $14/month, Lula Woodard, 40, widow, boarding house operator.
In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Woodard Lula (c) slswn [saleswoman] h 814 E Green
Lula Woodard died 24 July 1947 at her home at 814 East Green. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 June 1902 in Sampson County, North Carolina, to Harry Boykins and Mary Wronge and was married to Willie Woodard. Willie Boykins, 131 West 143rd Street, New York City, was informant.
Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2018.
The photograph in this advertisement for Bardin Brothers is undated, but it was published in the 1960 edition of Lee Woodard High School’s Panther’s Paw yearbook. Black Wide-Awake’s focus is pre-1950, but I am sharing as a rare image of African-Americans born early in the 20th century who lived and worked in rural Wilson County. I cannot identify any of the men and women depicted alongside members of the Bardin family. However, Bardin Brothers’ sweet potato farm-cum-gas station-and-grocery stood off Highway 117 Alternate South at Yank and Potato House Court Roads, just north of the town of Black Creek, and presumably these workers and/or customers lived in the neighboring community.
If you recognize anyone, please let me know.
Many thanks to Wayne Edwards for bringing this photo to my attention.
Dempsey L. Henderson was born on or about 31 December 1927 in Wilson to Lena B. McNair and Jesse “Jack” Henderson.
In the 1940 census of Washington, District of Columbia: at 335 Elm Street, Lena Henderson, maid, 30; son Dempsey Henderson, 12; mother Mary McNary, 53; and lodger John Pendleton, 29, transfer merchant truck driver.
In 1943, Henderson registered for the World War II draft in Washington, D.C.
This 1944 muster roll shows that Henderson was aboard the U.S.S. Abner Read, a Fletcher-class destroyer, in September of that year.
Dempsey L. Henderson died 2003, and was buried at Quantico National Cemetery.
Photo of Dempsey Henderson in collection of Lisa Y. Henderson; Draft Registration Cards for District of Columbia, 1940-1947, digitized at www.fold3.com; Muster rolls of U.S. Navy ships, stations, and other naval activities, 1939-1949, digitized at www.fold3.com.
This entry appears in the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory:
Who was Theodora Percival, and what was a “religious education maker”?
Percival appears her family in the 1900 and 1920 censuses of Greenville, Greenville County, South Carolina. She attended Barber Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina, and went to work for the missionary arm of the Presbyterian Church. It apparently was in this capacity that Percival arrived in Wilson in the late 1920s and took a room in the home of William and Ethel Hines, stalwarts of Calvary Presbyterian.
She did not remain in Wilson long.
In the 1930 census of Raleigh, Wake County: Leland S. Cozart, 34; wife Theodora, 29; and roomer Freeman Coley, 21.
Theodora Percival Cozart died 19 February 1963 at Barber Scotia College, Concord, Cabarrus County, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was born 5 February 1897 in South Carolina to Henry Percival and Jennie Thompson; was married to L.S. Covert; resided on West Depot Street at Barber Scotia; and was a housewife. She was buried in Charlotte, N.C.
The second of Charles H. and Dinah Scarborough Darden’s sons, Charles Sylvester Darden made his mark far from home — in Los Angeles, California. Though he largely eluded the decennial censuses, the trajectory of Darden’s career as a hard-charging attorney can be glimpsed in contemporary newspapers and other documents.
In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Charles Darden, 26; wife Diana, 21; and children John, 3, Annie, 2, and Charlie, 9 months.
Charles Darden received an undergraduate degree at Howard University and graduated from its law school in 1904.
The Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 31 May 1904.
In short order, Darden headed West and in 1906 passed the examination for admission to the California bar. He was one of the first licensed African-American lawyers in the state.
The anomaly of Darden’s position early caught the attention of the local press, and in 1907 this mocking piece appeared in the Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles Times, 25 December 1907.
Within his community, however, Darden was taken seriously. In May 1908, his place in the political life of black Los Angeles was signaled by his inclusion among leaders calling for a protest against Republican presidential nominee William H. Taft for his recommendation that President Theodore Roosevelt dismiss black soldiers blamed for murder in the Brownsville Affair.
Los Angeles Herald, 31 May 1908.
That same year, Darden was instrumental in organizing a Howard University alumni association in Los Angeles. The Times covered the group’s annual banquet in 1909.
Los Angeles Times, 11 February 1909.
By 1911, Darden had entered the arena in which he had the greatest impact — real estate development and litigation. That year, as the first black lawyer to argue before the California Supreme Court, Darden attacked racially restrictive covenants
By 1913, he and ten others incorporated the Co-operative Commercial Investment Company.
Los Angeles Times, 27 November 1913.
He also was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1913.
Journal of the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 1915, black police officer Homer L. Garrott purchased a home in the Angeles Park subdivision of Los Angeles. Angeles Park lots were covered by a restrictive covenant prohibiting sales to black, Japanese and Chinese buyers, and the Title Guarantee Company sued to enforce it. Charles S. Darden stepped up to defend Garrott. A Superior Court judge ruled in Garrott’s favor, striking down race restrictions as null and void. Angeles Park and the title company appealed, and the case reached the California State Supreme Court in 1919. The ruling was affirmed, but bizarrely undercut by the court’s decision in another case upholding the validity of occupancy clauses. (For more re Garrott, see Douglas Flamming, Bound for Freedom: Black Los Angeles in Jim Crow America (2005)).
As the United States entered World War I, Darden got involved in protests over the forced retirement of African-American Colonel Charles Young in the wake of resistance by white officers balking at being outranked by a black man. In a letter to Dean Kelly Miller of Howard University, Darden also championed of the causes of Captain Benjamin O. Davis Sr. and a Captain Green, who had also been effectively sidelined.
Kansas City Sun, 21 July 1917.
Two months later, Darden wrote directly to the Secretary of the War Department, complaining that the applications of well-qualified young African-American men were being turned down “because of their color.” The response was terse and not entirely to the point: “At the present time no colored squadrons are being formed and applications from colored men for this branch of service cannot be considered for that reason.”
In 1918, Charles Sylvester Darden registered for the World War I draft in Los Angeles. Per his registration card, he was born 10 August 1879 in Wilson, North Carolina; resided at 224 South Spring, Los Angeles; was a self-employed lawyer at 407 Germain, Los Angeles; was 5’4″ and of medium build; and his nearest relative was Charles H. Darden, 110 Pender Street, Wilson, North Carolina.
“Incorporations,” Southwest Builder and Contractor, volume 57, number 11 (18 March 1921).
The beach at Santa Monica’s Bay Street, popular with African-Americans in the early 20th century, was derogatorily called The Inkwell. While they appreciated the access to the Pacific Ocean that the beach represented, local African-American leaders also wanted an end to all efforts to inhibit their freedom to use all public beaches. In 1922, the Santa Monica Bay Protective League attempted to purge African Americans from the city’s shoreline by blocking an effort by the Ocean Frontage Syndicate, an African American investment group led by Norman O. Houston and Charles S. Darden, to develop a resort with beach access at the base of Pico Boulevard. Santa Monica officials quickly enacted zoning laws to deny the Ocean Frontage Syndicate beach front property, changing such regulations once whites bought the land and made similar development proposals.
In 1940, Darden partnered with two African-American doctors to form the Los Angeles Negro Professional Men’s Athletic Club, a venue for boxing matches, ball games, dances and other affairs.
Pittsburgh Courier, 29 June 1940.
A whiff of scandal touched Darden in 1940, but failed to gain traction. He was held blameless in a fatal automobile accident on Anaheim’s Santa Ana Canyon Road. Darden apparently never married, and the paper was careful to note that his female companion was white.
Santa Ana Register, 27 August 1940.
In 1942, Charles S. Darden registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he was born 10 August 1879 in Wilson, North Carolina; he resided at 1802 Central, Los Angeles; his phone number was PR 3750; he was employed as an attorney at 1802 Central; and his contact was C.L. Darden, Wilson, North Carolina.
Charles S. Darden died in March 1954 in Los Angeles.
The Daily Press (Newport News, Va.), 17 March 1954.
Photograph of Dardens courtesy of N.J. and C. Darden, Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine; J. Clay Smith Jr., Emancipation: The Making of the Black Lawyer 1844-1944 (1993).
Brown Flats, 195-201 Lyndon Street, Greensboro, North Carolina.
Greensboro’s Lyndon Street Townhouses, also known as the Brown Flats, were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. Per pocketsights.com, “This series of townhouses is rare in Greensboro, where the urban prototype did not gain popularity before apartment houses with shared interior common halls grew acceptable. The four units remain among the few such townhouses in the state.
“The structures were likely built by Brown Real Estate Company, which had offices at 109 East Market Street. The firm was operated by Sample S. Brown, who was involved in several large transactions that transformed the city in the first decade of the twentieth century. At first, the flats were rented to white collar workers such as George Phoenix, clerk for the Southern railroad; rates in 1907 were $15 per unit.
“In 1919, the flats were acquired by Dr. Daniel Cato Suggs. Dr. Suggs was considered one of the wealthiest black men in North Carolina, and possibly the South. A native of Wilson, he graduated from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania (B.A. and A.M.) and Morris Brown University (Ph.D.) before beginning his career as a professor in the public school systems of Kinston and Asheville. He married Mary Nocho of Greensboro, daughter of educator Jacob Nocho, in 1902. In 1917 he was elected the President of Livingston College in Salisbury. He maintained his residence in the city until his death.”
The nomination form for the townhouses provides details of Suggs’ real estate activity in Greensboro:
“The failure of the townhouses to attract higher-class tenants was probably due to their location at the eastern edge of downtown, almost up against the tracks of the Southern Railway beyond which were the black neighborhoods of east Greensboro. Their almost immediate transformation to working or lower middle-class housing was likely due to the construction of working-class black housing immediately to their rear along the railroad tracks in 1907 or 1908. These one-story shotgun duplexes, which no longer stand, were built by Daniel C. Suggs, a black teacher and entrepreneur, on an alley named after him (Sanborn Map Company, 1907 and 1913; Greensboro City Directories).
“Suggs had started to acquire property on the east side of Lyndon Street, on all three sides of the townhouses lot, early in the decade (Guilford County Deed Book 184, Page 240; Deed Book 186, Page 681; and Deed Book 230, Page 350, for example). Although listed in city directories as a teacher, Suggs was also an entrepreneur. He owned and lived in a large, two-story frame house at the southeast corner of Lyndon and East Market streets [a site currently occupied by a row of mid-century commercial buildings, one of which houses Uhuru Book Store], two doors up from the townhouses. A block to the west, at 239-245 East Market Street, he owned the Suggs Building, a three-story brick commercial building which housed a variety of black businesses, including a restaurant, a tailor shop, and a drug store (Greensboro City Directories; Sanborn Map Company 1919.)
“Suggs’ impact on the townhouses was to extend beyond any effect his construction of the houses on Suggs Alley may have caused. In 1919 S.S. and Helen G. Brown sold them to him, which gave him possession of the all of the property on the east side of Lyndon between Washington and Market streets and the tracks (Guilford County Deed Book 330, Page 465). Surprisingly, until 1928 the tenants in the townhouses continued to be white. During these years, Suggs was almost certainly one of the only black landlords in Greensboro who had white tenants. Ironically, in 1929, a year after the building’s tenants shifted from white to black, Suggs and his wife, Mary, defaulted on their mortgage and the townhouses came into the hands of a white owner, Mrs. Lottie Hughes Wallace (Guilford County Deed Book 634, Page 83; Greensboro City Directories). Since 1929, the townhouses have generally continued to be rented to low and lower-income African-Americans.”
Sanborn fire insurance map, Greensboro, N.C., 1919.
This massive volume, dense with charts and tables and lists, illuminates the fierce struggle over political appointment/patronage jobs in the late 19th century and the intense sense of envy and entitlement that shaped attitudes toward award of such jobs to African-Americans. Essentially, this book lists all military officers and federal government employees on the payroll in 1891.
Here is Alfred Robinson, railway postal clerk on the Rocky Mount, N.C., to Norfolk, Virginia, line, earning $1000 per year.
Measured in 2016 dollars, the relative economic status value of a $1000/year salary is $239,000. A $1500/year salary is valued at $358,000. (Economic status value measures the relative “prestige value” of an amount of income or wealth measured between two periods using the income index of the per capita gross domestic product.) This kind of wealth awarded to African-Americans set blood boiling.
“Official Register of the United States, Containing a List of the Officers and Employees in the Civil, Military, and Naval Service,” Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census, digitized by Oregon State Library, Salem, Oregon; available online at http://www.ancestry.com.
Ethel Mae Vick Harris, 100, of Wilson, NC, died Saturday April 8, 2017. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Edwards Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Mary Vick Howell officiating. Burial will be private in Rest Haven Cemetery. Public viewing will be on Friday, April 14, 2017 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Edwards Funeral Home Chapel. The family will assemble at Edwards Funeral Home at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Direct condolences to edwardscares.com. Professional and personal services are entrusted to Edwards Funeral Home, 805 Nash St. E in Wilson.
In the 1920 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Samuel Vick Jr., 32; wife Lizzie, 21; and children James, 4, Malissa, 3, and James, 2 months. [The elder “James” was probably daughter Jane, and “Malissa” seems to have been Ethel Mae.]
In the 1930 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Sam J. Vick, 33; wife Lizzie, 31; and children Jane, 15, Ethel M., 14, Lynard, 13, Lucile, 9, Bloomer, 8, Eva May, 6, Margaret, 4, Sam R., 3, and Percy L., 7 months.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: tobacco factory laborer Sam Vick, 46; wife Elizabeth, 44, also a tobacco factory laborer; and children Ethel, 22, maid, Mattie, 17, housekeeper, Lenwood, 20, Beullah, 16, Eva, 14, Margrett, 12, Richard, 11, Percy, 10, and Sylvester, 5.
This notice of impending sheriff’s sale for non-payment of property taxes included these African-Americans (and a reference to Washington Suggs):
Charles Barber — Or, Charles Barbour. In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: mechanic Charley Barber, 41; sons Luther, 13, James and John, 7, and Hubert, 5; widowed sister Mary Tomlingson, 42, and her children Ella, 9, and Charley, 4; and boarders Turner Utley, 27, John Purkison, 31, and George Garrett, 25.
Josephine Battle — possibly, Josephine Moore Battle. [Note that African-American women were not afforded honorifics in the Times.] Possibly, in the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: laborer Paul Battle, 26; wife Josephine, 27; and children Clestia, 3, and Earnest Battle, 6 months, and Tiney, 8, and Jessee Moore, 6. In the 1900 census of Washington, D.C.: on Q Street, laborer Paul Battle, 46; wife Josephine, 40; and children Israel, 24, Austen, 17, and Indimuel, 11. (All were born In North Carolina except Indimuel, born in D.C.)
Dennis Batts — In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, farmer Dennis Batts, 46, widower; and children John H., 22, William A., 20, Mary J., 17, Patience, 15, Haywood, 13, Hattie, 11, Samuel, 9, Gorman, 6, and Rosa, 3.
Smith Bennett — in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widowed brickmason Smith Bennett, 47, and daughter Addie, 20, with boarder Robert Wilkerson, 36; and lodgers Archie Williams, 34, and Samuel Wooten, 18.
F.K. Bird — Franklin K. Bird. In the 1900 census of Raleigh, Wake County: at 575 Blount Street, preacher Frank Bird, 42, wife Agnes, 36, and children Oscar S., 17, a laborer, Mamie, 15, a student, and Fred, 12.
Mark Blount — Marcus W. Blount. In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: the widower Mark Blount, 38, a cook, and his children Coneva, 10, Dotsey, 9, and Theodore W., 6, were lodgers in the household of George Faggin, just a few households away from Samuel Vick.
John Boykin — in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: house mover John Boykin, 50; wife Dicy, 44, cooking; and children Sallie, 19, cooking, James, 18, day laborer, Dotia, 14, Susia, 14, Lillie, 10, and Eliza, 7.
Julia Bryant — Julia Suggs Bryant. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farm laborer Harry Bryant, 34; wife Julia, 34; and sons Leonard, 10, and Leroy, 4. [Julia S. Bryant was the daughter of Washington and Esther Suggs.]
M.D. Cannon — Mack D. Cannon. Mack D. Cannon died 15 December 1938 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he resided at 210 Pender; was married to Bettie Cannon; was employed as a barber; was born in Oxford, North Carolina, to Henry Cannon and Mary Dinger; and was buried in Wilson. Marie Mathews was informant.
Julius Freeman — in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: 56 year-old carpenter Julius Freeman, wife Eliza, 46, and children Elizabeth, 19, Nestus, 17, Junius, 11, Ernest, 9, Tom, 6, Daniel, 4, and Ruth, 4 months.
Walter Kersey — in the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: blacksmith John Kersey, 61; wife Julia, 53; and son Walter, 21; plus boarder William Joyner, who worked in the blacksmith shop. In the 1910 census of Center township, Marion County, Indiana: widower Walter Kersey, 40, a blacksmith, was a boarder in a household at 914 Weikel Street.
Sam McGowan — in the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Pettigrew Street, hotel porter Saml. McGown, 57; wife Ann, 42; and children Bettie, 18, and Margaret, 16, both nurses, Saml., 12, Minnie, 3, and Lanie, 1.
Charlie Parker — in the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: carpenter Charles Parker, 32; wife Maggie, 23; and children John, 6, Charles, 3, and Henry, 1 month, plus lodger Florence Hooks, 18.
Phillis Phillips — On 18 May 1893, Hood S. Phillips, 22, of the town of Wilson, son of H.C. and E.E. Phillips, married Phillis Gay, 24, of the town of Wilson, daughter of Wiley and Catharine Gay. Rev. H.C. Phillips performed the ceremony at the A.M.E. Zion church. Witnesses were Annie Mincy, Annie Thorn and Alex Warren.
John W. Rogers — in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: John W. Rodgers, 30; wife Mary E., 22; sister Minnie, 17; and boarder Sallie Barber, 35, described as “widowed.”
George Short — perhaps, in the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer George Short, 39; wife Martha, 35; and children Lizzie, 8, Minnie, 5, and Dorah, 2, and boarder Basha Joyner, 47, farm laborer.
S.A. Smith — Simeon A. Smith. In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: school teacher Simeon A. Smith, born 1849; his wife Minnie E., born 1865, also a teacher; and their son [sic] Georgie, 3, all natives of North Carolina.
G.H. Towe — Granville H. Towe. In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: schoolteacher Granville Tower, 40, wife Rosa, 40, and children Ophelia, 21, Addie, 18, Stella, 15, Ambrose, 14, Granville, 12, Powhatan, 9, Marry, 7, and Sinclair, 7.