Month: November 2018

The obituary of Dr. Rolland T. Winstead.

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Wilson Daily Times, 29 May 1934.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: assistant postmaster Braswell Winstead, 39, wife Ada, 25, and children Arnold, 13, George, 12, Rolland, 11, and Christine, 8. [Note: Ada Davis and Braswell Winstead were married in 1899, and the children were his by his first wife.]

On 14 September 1905, Rolland T. Winstead, 26, of Wilson County, son of B.R. and Eliza Winstead, married Julia B. Daves, 25, of Nash County, daughter of Charles Hamlin and Julia A. Daves, in Happy Hill, Rocky Mount, Nash County. Episcopal priest Robert Nathaniel Perry performed the ceremony in the presence of Harvey G. Barnes of Wilson and H.W. Bullock and George W. Daves of Rocky Mount.

Rolland Tyson Winstead registered for the World War I draft in June 1917 in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 16 June 1889 in Wilson; resided at 603 Green Street, Wilson; and worked as a barber for John Bradsher, Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

On 28 October 1917, the Greensboro Daily News published the “names of negro officers given commissions in the army after training with seventeenth provisional training regiment at Fort Des Moines, Iowa ….” The list included Rolland T. Winstead, second lieutenant, officers reserve corps, Rocky Mount, N.C.

In the 1920 census of Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee: R.T. Winstead, 29, and wife Julia, 28, cook, both natives of North Carolina, were roomers in the household of Robert M. and Kate S. Hall. Two years later, Winstead was still enrolled at Meharry Medical College.

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Nashville, Tennessee, city directory (1922).

When he completed his medical studies, the Winsteads returned to Rocky Mount.

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Rocky Mount, N.C., city directory (1928).

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Baltimore Afro-American, 28 April 1928.

In March 1933, Rolland T. Winstead executed his last will and testament. He was a relatively young man, but suffering ill health. His friends, physician Leonard P. Armstrong and insurance agent Orin A. Whitted, witnessed.

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Rolland Tyson Winstead died 28 May 1934 at Duke Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he had suffered from heart disease for twenty years.

Rocky Mount Herald, 1 June 1934.

Julia Daves Winstead lived another 50 years, passing 20 August 1986 in Rocky Mount.


Teens clear the Ellis cemetery.

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On 25 November 2018, the Wilson Times published an article about a group of teenagers working to clean and restore an African-American cemetery as a service project with the Wilson County Genealogical Society. The teens, members of a mentoring group called Gentleman’s Agreement, were curious about history of the graveyard, which was believed unidentified. I immediately recognized it as the Littleton and Judie Barnes Ellis cemetery and reached out to reporter Olivia Neeley to provide links to my September 2017 post about the overgrown burial site. I’m overjoyed to learn that it is receiving much-needed attention and look forward to Neeley’s follow-up on the project. Kudos to the young men of Gentleman’s Agreement!

Taxi war.


Wilson Daily Times, 28 November 1938.

Eighty years ago today, Richard Sheridan and Ed Nicholson were fined for trespassing after protesting the exclusion of African-American taxi drivers from Wilson’s bus station.

In a nutshell:

Miley Glover and Dr. Mallory A. Pittman leased a building to various bus companies for use as a bus station. Glover and Pittman also leased “taxi rights” to the building to J.D. Peacock of Goldsboro, who barred any other taxi drivers from seeking fares on the premises. When Sheridan and Nicholson attempted to pick up fares at the station, they were arrested and charged with trespassing. Their lawyer argued that the station owners had created a taxi monopoly in contravention of state law, but the recorder (magistrate) did not agree. Each man was assessed a five-dollar fine.

The 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory reveals two taxicab companies in Wilson. J. Clifford Peacock and George B. Patrick owned Oak Cab Company, based at the bus station. Hugh T. Foster owned Taxi-Cab Service at 508 East Nash. Oak Cab’s arrangement with Glover and Peacock meant that, effectively, black drivers had no access to white patrons arriving in Wilson by bus. It also meant that black riders had to leave the station’s premises to hail a cab.

Per the nomination form for Wilson Central Business-Tobacco Warehouse District, the taxi stand and bus station at 307 East Green Street were built for Miley Glover in 1937 and 1938. The bus station was one of Wilson’s few Art Deco buildings. It operated into the 1990s and was demolished after the city built a public transportation hub on Nash Street.


  • Richard Sheridan — Richard Sheridan, 26, son of Richard and Fannie Sheridan, married Beatrice Bullock, 19, daughter of Alice Bullock, on 1 September 1935 in Wilson. Sheridan registered for the World War II draft in Wilson in 1940. Per his registration card, he was born 20 September 1910 in Maxton, N.C.; resided at 1115 Atlantic Street, Wilson; his contact was mother, Fannie Sheridan, 1115 Atlantic; and he worked for traveling salesman John Whelan.

Photo of bus station and taxi stand courtesy of Dean Jeffrey at Flickr, 2001.

Brown’s Service Station.

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This undated photograph is found in a scrapbook belonging to the Oliver Nestus Freeman family.

Brown’s Service Station stood at 1216 East Nash Street. Containing a small grocery, it was an early precursor to today’s convenience store. Per a label, Nestus Freeman is one of the men depicted; my guess is the man at left holding the gasoline pump nozzle. Note the Coca-Cola and Texaco advertising.

Entry under “Grocers–Retail” in the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory.

Freeman’s album is among the documents digitized by in the Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House Museum Group of the Images of North Carolina Collection. 

The obituary of Serena Suggs Moore.


Wilson Daily Times, 12 August 1930.

Serena Suggs Moore (not Moon), an accomplished musician, grew up in Wilson in the household of her parents, Washington and Esther McKinney Suggs. Her daughter Annie L. Moore Kennedy was married to Rev. John E. Kennedy.

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Hill’s Wilson, N.C. city directory (1930).




Snaps, no. 44: Alfred Taylor.

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Alfred Taylor (1848-1918).

In the 1880 census of Town of Earpsborough, Johnston County: farm laborer Alfred Taylor, 26, and wife Cata, 22.

Alfred Taylor married Emma Mayhaw in Johnston County on 29 December 1887.

In the 1910 census of Oneals township, Johnston County: farmer Alford Taylor, 60; wife Emma, 38; and children Mary, 20, William A., 18, Avon, 16, Myrtle, 14, Robellia, 10, Ernta, 8, Amos, 6, Levy, 4, and Heff, 5 months.

Alfred Taylor died on 1 February 1918 in Gardners township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1848 in Wake County; was a farmer; was married; and was buried in Gardners township.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry user Johnie Melton.

Where we worked, 1922 — J and K.

City directories offer fine-grained looks at a city’s residents at short intervals. The 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., directory reveals the types of work available to African-Americans during the booming tobacco era. This post is the ninth in an alphabetical series listing all “colored” directory entries for whom an occupation was listed. The address is the resident’s home, unless a business address is noted.

  • Jackson, Annie S., domestic, 618 East Green
  • Jackson, Benjamin H., barber — W.M. Hines, 721 East Green
  • Jackson, Elise, teacher, 618 East Green
  • Jackson, Joseph S., laborer, 618 East Green
  • Jacobs, Elizabeth, domestic, 302 North East
  • Jacobs, Jesse, janitor, 303 Elba
  • Jacobs, Lillie B., cook, 705 South Lodge
  • Jacobs, Sarah, domestic, 303 Elba
  • James, Mary, tobacco worker, 307 Stantonsburg Road
  • James, Robert, tobacco worker, 307 Stantonsburg Road
  • James, William, laborer, 201 Stantonsburg Road
  • Jarvin, Clinton, laborer, 407 North Pine
  • Jefferson, Charles, tobacco worker, 213 Stantonsburg Road
  • Jefferson, John, carpenter, 521 South Spring
  • Jefferson, Maggie, tobacco worker, 627 Wiggins
  • Jefferson, Robert, laborer, 706 Walnut
  • Jeffrey, Ethel, domestic, 912 Washington
  • Jeffreys, Addie, cook, 310 Spring Street Alley
  • Jeffries, Janie, laundress, 607 Spruce
  • Jeffries, Kate, laundress, 600 South Daniel
  • Jeffries, Mary, domestic, 507 Stantonsburg Road
  • Jeffries, Nathan, drayman, 607 Spruce
  • Jenkins, Frank, blacksmith, 404 East Hines
  • Jenkins, Frank, tobacco worker, 317 South Goldsboro
  • Jenkins, Tessie, tobacco worker, 306 Stantonsburg Road
  • Jennings, Mary M., teacher, 307 Pender
  • Johnson, Amos, laborer 609 East Nash
  • Johnson, Beatrice, cook, 529 South Lodge
  • Johnson, Bertha, tobacco worker, 510 South Goldsboro
  • Johnson, Edward, grocer 708 South Goldsboro, 406 East Hines
  • Johnson, Ella, laundress, 316 South Lodge
  • Johnson, Frank, laborer, 515 Railroad
  • Johnson, Jake, proprietor — Busy Bee Shoe Shine Parlor, 513 East Nash
  • Johnson, Lee, shoemaker 517 East Nash, 206 North East
  • Johnson, Lula, domestic, 506 Smith
  • Johnson, Marjorie, tobacco worker, 207 South Railroad
  • Johnson, Richmond, gardener, 911 East Vance
  • Johnson, William, laborer, 506 Smith
  • Johnson, William A., cook, 910 Mercer
  • Johnson, Winnie, laundress, 529 South Lodge
  • Jones, Charles, barber 914 East Nash, 912 East Nash
  • Jones, Christine, tobacco worker, 1009 Mercer
  • Jones, Edward, bricklayer, 202 Pender
  • Jones, Edward, laborer, 107 West Walnut
  • Jones, Elmira, tobacco worker, 1009 Mercer
  • Jones, Estella, laundress, 513 Railroad
  • Jones, Frank, laborer, 509 South Bruton
  • Jones, Geneva, laundress, 506 Grace
  • Jones, Harriet, domestic, 1000 Robinson [Roberson]
  • Jones, Isaiah, butcher, 500 East Vance
  • Jones, Levi H., proprietor — The Mayflower, 114 Pender
  • Jones, Mack, drayman, 502 South Lodge
  • Jones, Martha, domestic, 901 Stantonsburg Road
  • Jones, Maud, cook, 207 South Bruton
  • Jones, Melvin, tobacco worker, 708 East Vance
  • Jones, Nannie, domestic, 621 East Vance
  • Jones, Noel, farmer, 1009 Mercer
  • Jones, Noel, tobacco stemmer, 409 Bank [Banks]
  • Jones, Pearl, cook, 311 East Jones
  • Jones, Roberta, cook, 404 South Bruton
  • Jones, Sadie, domestic, 202 Pender
  • Jones, Samuel, barber — The Mayflower, 500 East Vance
  • Jones, Vicey, laborer, 505 Stantonsburg Road
  • Jones, Walter, driver, 507 Grace
  • Jones, Wesley, laborer, 901 Stantonsburg Road
  • Jones, William H., teacher, 307 Hackney
  • Jordan, Delia, domestic, 614 Wiggins
  • Jordan, Mollie, tobacco worker, 628 Wiggins
  • Joyner, Farrar, fireman, 418 Walnut Alley
  • Joyner, George H., shoe repairer, 529 East Nash
  • Joyner, Lou, tobacco worker, 406 South Goldsboro
  • Joyner, Mazie, tobacco worker, 496 South Goldsboro
  • Joyner, Thomas, porter, Atlantic extended
  • Kenner, George, drayman, 528 East Barnes
  • Kenner, James, driver, 528 East Barnes
  • Key, Clarence, porter, 621 Suggs
  • Killebrew, Needham, driver, 311 Hackney
  • Kindell, Charles, janitor, 121 Pender
  • Kindell, Jessie, domestic, 121 Pender
  • King, Alberta, domestic, 203 North East
  • King, Andrew, tobacco worker, 205 South Spruce
  • King, Chaney, laundress, 205 South Spruce
  • King, Ernest, driver, 316 Pender
  • King, Henrietta, cook, 651 Wiggins
  • King, Ludie, laborer, 203 North East
  • King, Martha, tobacco worker, 649 Wiggins
  • King, Mary, domestic, 203 East Spruce
  • King, Mary H., laundress, 205 East Spruce
  • King, William, farmer, 203 East Spruce
  • King, William, laborer, 111 West Gold
  • Kittrell, Letta, domestic, 807 Viola
  • Kittrell, Mary, domestic, 708 East Green
  • Kittrell, William H., brick layer, 708 East Green
  • Knight, Ada, clerk — Nelson Green, 607 South Lodge
  • Knight, Elsie, domestic, 112 Pender
  • Knight, Frank, chauffeur, 112 Pender
  • Knight, Frederick, laborer, 402 South Daniel
  • Knight, James H., blacksmith — Thomas & Barnes, 607 South Lodge
  • Knight, John, teacher, 704 Suggs
  • Knight, Nancy, laundress, 607 South Lodge
  • Knight, Rosa, tobacco worker, 209 North East
  • Knights of King Solomon Inc., 205 South Stantonsburg Road, W.M. Pierce G.H.P., Amos Potts G.S.
  • Kornegy, Bryant, pastor — Christ Disciples Church, Kinston N.C.
  • Korney, Elbert, tobacco worker, 203 South Stantonburg Road


  • The Grand Scribe of the Knights of King Solomon was Amos Batts, not Potts.

1204 Queen Street.

The ninety-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 described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “ca. 1930; 1 story; bungalow with gable roof and engaged porch.”

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wright Julia (c) lndrs h 1204 Queen; Wright Nathaniel (c) hlpr h 1204 Queen.

In the 1930 census, Wilson, Wilson County: at 1204 Queen, rented for $20/month, taxi chauffeur Mack Jones, 28; wife Bessie, 28; and daughter Ruth, 8.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.


Snaps, no. 43: Mattie Taylor.

The genealogies of African-American families are often complex in ways that may surprise us. The fact that many African-Americans had white male ancestors in the 18th and 19th centuries does not raise eyebrows. That many also descend from white female ancestors who lived in that time period is less well-known. The descendants of Elizabeth Taylor are one such family.

Taylor was born about 1815, probably in southern Nash County, North Carolina. She had at least five children, some of whom were white and others mixed-race, including daughter Abi Taylor.

Mattie Taylor (ca. 1877-1971), daughter of Abi Taylor.

In the 1850 census of Nash County, North Carolina: Elizabeth Taylor, 35, and children Mary Ann, 14, Hilliard, 12, Abi, 6, Bryant, 4, and Harry, 1 month. Abi and Harry were described as mulatto; the others white.

In the 1860 census, Kirbys district, Wilson County: Elizabeth Taylor, 42, farm laborer, and children and grandchildren Abia, 18, Bryant, 14, Jackson, 12, Kinchen, 10, and McDaniel, 7.  All were described as white except Abia, Jackson and Kinchen, who were mulatto.

In the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County:  Abi Taylor, 35, and children James, 20, Levi, 14, Mike, 12, Sallie, 7, Martha, 3, and Richard, 1.

John Sharpe married Sallie Taylor on 20 April 1889 in Wilson County.

Mike Taylor, 20, of Gardners township, Wilson County, married Estella Pender, 18, of Toisnot township, Wilson County, on 18 January 1890 at Amos Pender‘s.

In the 1900 census, Gardners township, Wilson County: John Sharpe, 32; wife Sallie, 26,  and children Lossie, 7, Suckie, 5John, 2,  and Jennie, 5 months, plus Sam Sharpe, 20.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on the Elm City Road, John Sharp, 43, wife Sallie, 37, and children Lossie, 16, Mathosie, 14, Johnnie Jr., 12, Geneva, 9, and George, 7.

In the 1910 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount Road, Mattie Taylor, 36, and children Gray, 14, Benjamin F., 8, Lee R., 7, Mary, 6, Annie, 2, and Hilliard, 6 months.

In the 1920 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County:  Mattie Taylor, 30, and children Levy, 14, Mary, 13, Annie, 12, Hilliard, 10, Archie, 7, Joseph, 5, and Marvin, 3, plus Abi Taylor, 75.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: on New Wilson and Raleigh Road, farmer John Sharp, 53; wife Sallie, 48; and children Sardie, 24, Johnie, 22, Eva, 19, and George, 16, and daughter-in-law Mollie, 26.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Mike Taylor, 46, wife Estella, 35, and son James, 20.

On 12 December 1928, Mike Taylor, 57, married Elizabeth Evans, 45, in Wilson.

On 5 December 1929, Lee Taylor, 26, of Saratoga township, son of Mattie Taylor, married Sallie Barnes, 22, daughter of Cornelius and Maggie Barnes, in Wilson.

In the 1930 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: three households in a row on an “improved dirt road,” Emmit Taylor, 30, and wife Clauddie 27; Arthur Taylor, 21; Hillard Taylor, 53, wife Annie, 48, and children Walter, 24, and Moses, 14; Lee Taylor, 26, wife Sally, 23, widowed mother Mattie, 56, her children Archie, 16, Joe, 15, and Marvin, 12; and widowed grandmother Abbie Taylor, 91.

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: John Taylor, 65, wife Sallie, 59, and boarder Monroe Whitley, 45.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Mike Taylor, 60, wife Elizabeth, 41, and son Carlie, 12.

Abie Taylor died 24 October 1930 in Saratoga township, Wilson County.  Per her death certificate, she was 94 years old; was born in Nash County to unknown parents; and was the widow of Rutherd Taylor. Informant was Hilliard Taylor. [There is no evidence that Abie Taylor ever married, though she is sometimes listed as a widow in census records.]

Mike Taylor died 6 March 1932 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 May 1870 to Archie Taylor and Abie Taylor and was married to Elizabeth Taylor.  Informant was Mazie Taylor.

Hilliard Taylor died 24 August 1944 in Saratoga township, Wilson County.  Per his death certificate, he was 65 years old; was born in Wilson County to Wash Powell and Avie Taylor, both of Wilson County; and was married to Gussie Taylor. Informant was Walter Taylor.

Sallie Sharpe died 4 March 1955 at her residence at 314 South Goldsboro Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 May 1874 in Wilson County to Cage Archey and Abby Taylor and was buried at New Vester cemetery, Wilson County. Informant was Mrs. Lossie Mitchell, Lucama, N.C.

Mattie Taylor died 11 October 1971 at 129 Narroway Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was a widow; was born 15 August 1876 to an unknown father and Abbie Taylor, and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery.  Informant was Mrs. Mary T. Bynum.

Photograph courtesy of user ________.