Jane Rountree Mobley was enslaved by Moses Rountree, a leading nineteenth-century merchant. As Carolyn Maye relates, family lore passed to Mobley’s descendants holds that the Rountree family named a street Jane in honor of Jane Mobley. If so, where is it?
There is no Jane Street in present-day Wilson. However, early twentieth-century Sanborn fire insurance maps reveal that this was not always the case. Ash Street, a narrow spur off Nash Street running parallel and just east of Pender Street, was once called Jane. (Was it actually named for Mobley?) The street is clearly marked in the 1908 Sanborn map:
However, in the Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory issued the same year, the street was called Ashe, and the 1913 Sanborn map relegated “Jane” to parentheses.
When Hill’s issued the 1922 city directory, there was no alternate name listed for Ash Street.