408 North Reid Street.

The seventy-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, this house is: “1934; 2 stories; Oscar Woodard house; locally unique house with front-facing entry gable suggesting vernacular Tudor Revival style; end chimney includes decorative glazed tile; contributing stuccoed-concrete block wall, frame garage, and three storage sheds; Woodard was a chauffeur and handyman.”

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 408 Reid, rented at $16/month, barber Oscar Williams, 31, wife Lula, 23, son William, 1, and sister-in-law Mena Jones, 20.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 408 Reid, rented for $14/month, taxi driver Essie Smith, 28, born in Red Springs, N.C.; wife Alice, 26, maid at Woodard-Herring; and daughter Aggie Nora, 2; plus Annie McCohan, 50, widow, also from Red Springs.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, two entries: Smith Essie (c; Alice; 1) taxi driver h 408(2) N Reid; and Woodard Oscar (c; Katie J) janitor Branch Banking & Tr Co h 408 (407) N Reid

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, 2016.

5 comments

  1. I well remember this house, though it has changed quite a bit from how I remember it. It had intricate scenery in the yard; a man and dog made of stone(I think) in what I thought was a hunting scene . The scenery was unique and ingrained in my memory. I would stand in my grandmother’s yard and stare at the house and yard endlessly and my imagination would run wild. When I passed the house on the walk to my aunt’s house on Green St, it felt like I was in a fairy tale.

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    1. It’s not visible here, but the man with rifle and dog are made of metal and sit atop a swinging house number sign. Do you remember Alicia Flowers? Essie and Alice Barnes Smith were her grandparents. They moved into 410 N. Reid in the mid-1940s, and the family remained there until Aunt Alice’s death a few years ago. I say “Aunt” because that’s what I called my first cousins’ great-aunts and uncles on their father’s side. One of Alice Barnes Smith’s brothers (John? Redmond? I can’t recall which) lived in the house at 408 N. Reid during my childhood.

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      1. Yes! Thanks for confirming that the dog and man with a rifle weren’t figments of my imagination. I do remember Alicia Flowers, in fact she came to mind when I was composing my initial reply. She and I had a several classes together during my one semester at Beddingfield (sophomore year). One day while visiting my uncle I was surprised to see her in the yard across the street from his house. I would see her several more times as she visited her grandparents; we’d always hang out in the yard and talk for a while. Alicia was one of the few fond memories I have of that semester at Beddingfield. I was saddened to hear of her passing.

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