609 Viola Street.

The seventy-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: “ca. 1908; L-plan cottage with especially intact bracketed porch; asbestos shingled.”

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Viola Street, Wash Joyner, 35, house painter; wife Sarah, 32, laundress; and son Alexander, 13.

In 1917, Alexander Barnes Joyner registered for the World War I draft in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Per his registration card, he was born 5 June 1896 in Wilson, his address was 616 Viola Street, and worked as a chair pusher for the Shill Company in Atlantic City. [Under the pre-1922 numbering system, 609 Viola was 616.]

In 1918, George Washington Joyner registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 15 April 1875; resided at 616 Viola Street; was a self-employed barber at 213 Goldsboro Street, Wilson; and his nearest relative was Sarah Jane Joyner, 616 Viola.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: public laborer Sarah Joyner, 45, widow, and son Elex, 22.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 609 Viola, owned and valued at $2000, maid Sarah Joyner, 40, widow.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Joyner Sarah (c) lndrs h 609 Viola

Sarah Joyner died 5 May 1943 at her home at 609 East Viola Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 66 years old; was born in Wilson County to Alex Barnes and Frances Stephens, both of Wilson County; was the widow of J. Washington Joyner; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Informant was Annie Alexander of the home.

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2017.

1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, N.C. (The private school was, of course, the Independent School.)


Leave a Reply