Month: June 2019

Studio shots, no. 113: Charles Thomas Rountree Sr. of Xenia, Ohio.

Joseph T. Rountree apparently followed his kinsman (uncle?) Charles T. Rountree from Wilson to Xenia, Ohio.


In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Rebecca Rountree, 50, and children and grandchildren Henry, 20, butcher, John, 23, barber, Dempsy, 26, farm laborer, Charles, 15, Benjamin, 24, butcher, Mary, 30, domestic servant, Joseph, 9, Willie, 8, Lucy, 20, domestic servant, Worden, 2, and Charles, 1.

Charles T. Rountree, 25, married Alice Thorn, 19, on 26 May 1880 at C.T. Rountree’s in Wilson. Rev. F.K. Bird performed the ceremony in the presence of Squire Sharp, Alfred Boyett and Preston Thorn.

In the 1880 Census of Xenia, Greene County, Ohio: on Charles Street, Charles Roundtree, 24, hotel cook, and wife Alice, 19.

In the 1900 census of Xenia, Greene County, Ohio: at 16 Columbus Street, Charles T. Roundtree, 44; wife Alice, 38; and children Mary H., 19, Alice R., 18, Charles T., 16, John W., 15, Maggie H., 13, Benjiman J., 11, James D., 10, David G., 8, Shadrack R., 7, and Edith O., 2.

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Xenia Daily Gazette, 2 November 1903.

Charles and Alice Rountree’s youngest daughter died of “congestion of the brain,” a catch-all term for what would now likely be a diagnosis of ischemic stroke. I haven’t identified the other child that died.  Xenia Daily Gazette, 20 May 1907.

In the 1910 census of Xenia, Greene County, Ohio: at 325 East Main Street, hardware store driver Charles T. Rountree Sr., 51; wife Alice, 47; and children Charles T., Jr., 26; Ada A., 23; Benjamin, 21; Quint S., 16; Helen L., 9, Paul D., 7, and Ward T., 4. All the children were born in Ohio.

Charles Rountree’s father was likely Jesse H. Artis. Xenia Daily Gazette, 17 January 1911.

Four years after Edith’s death, the Rountrees lost son Quinton, 18, to tuberculosis. Xenia Daily Gazette, 7 August 1911.

Rountree’s move to Racer & Glossinger was ill-timed. Per The Hub, a wagon, carriage and automobile manufacturers’ trade journal, the company filed for bankruptcy by November 1913. Xenia Daily Gazette, 19 June 1912. 

In social news…. Xenia Daily Gazette, 22 November 1916.

Ada A. Rountree married William A. Joiner on 10 October 1917. Joiner was a graduate of Wilberforce and Howard University’s Law Department. He returned to Wilberforce in 1910 as Superintendent of the school’s new Normal and Industrial Department. In 1915, he published A Half-Century of Freedom of the Negro in Ohio, a socio-economic history of African-Americans in Ohio since the Civil War. Xenia Evening Gazette, 20 October 1917. 

William A. Joiner (1869-??)

In the 1920 census of Xenia, Greene County, Ohio: at 14 North Columbus, Charles T. Rountree, 63, laborer; wife Alice, 56; and children Charles T., Jr., 35, department store decorator, William H., 33, David G., 27, Paul D., 16, Ward V., 14, and Helen K., 18.

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Ada Ann Rountree Joiner (1886-1972).

It appears that Charles Rountree’s son William sued his father and sister over a ten-acre plot in Xenia. A later article reported an amicable resolution. Xenia Evening Gazette, 6 August 1922.

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William Rountree (1885-1934).

Xenia Evening Gazette, 1 December 1924.

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Ward Vincent Rountree (1905-1981).

Charles T. Rountree died 16 June 1926 in Xenia, Ohio.

Charles Thomas Rountree Sr. (1856-1926).

Photos courtesy of user ktreenga.


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I am humbled by the outpouring of donations to Freeman Round House and Museum made in response to my Facebook Birthday Fundraiser. I surpassed my first goal — $250 — in about an hour. I upped it to $400, and y’all blew past that one, too. Some of you grew up in Wilson and know intimately the people and places I blog about. More know Wilson only through the love letter that is Black Wide Awake.

Thank you for reading and following and commenting and encouraging my documentation of the community that raised me. Thank you for caring about the preservation of the history of a place you may never have seen. Thank you for the gift of money, so fundamental to the support of the little museum dedicated to telling the stories of Wilson’s African American community.


Other suns: Walter Artis Sr. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Walter Artis migrated from Wilson County to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the first decade of the 20th century. He adopted a variant spelling of his surname — “Arties.” He was the brother of Adeline Artis Rountree.


In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Ned Artis, 44; wife Jane, 42; and children Polian, 14, Mary J., 13, Dora, 12, Walter, 9, Joseph, 7, Corinna, 6, James, 4, and Charles, 6 months.

In the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Ned Artis, 65; wife Jane, 60; and children Dora, 31, Walter, 28, Joe, 26, Jimmie, 21, Charley, 20, Effie, 18, Fred, 15, and Jim, 14.

Pittsburgh Gazette, 6 May 1909.

Oscar Arties died 20 February 1913 in Pittsburgh. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 June 1911 in Pittsburgh to Walter Arties of North Carolina and Lottie Coles of Virginia, and lived at 2203 Bedford Avenue.

Xenia Evening Gazette, 9 September 1913.

Elsie L. Arties died 3 January 1914 in Pittsburgh. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 December 1904 in Pittsburgh to Walter Arties of North Carolina and Lottie C. Coles of Lexington County, Virginia; lived at 2203 Bedford Avenue; and was a school girl.

In the 1920 census of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: at 604 Francis Street, steel mill laborer Walter Artis, 48; wife Lottie, 38; nephew Vernon Burke, 22; niece Janie Burke, 19; son Walter Artis, 6; mother-in-law Sarah Cole, 60; and niece Hazel L. Burke, 11 months.

In the 1930 census of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: at 911 Moore Way, rented at $23/month, Walter Artis, 52, odd jobs laborer, born in North Carolina; wife Lottie, 48, born in Virginia; children Walter Jr., 16, and Hazel, 11, both born in Pennsylvania; and lodgers James, 28, and Nellie Terry, 25.

Lottie Artis died 12 May 1930 in Pittsburgh. Per her death certificate, she was born 13 March 1881 in Lexington County, Virginia, to William H. Coles of Hanover County and Sarah Andrews of Richmond; was married to Walter Artis; resided at 911 Kirkpatrick; and was buried in Lincoln cemetery. Lucy Perry, 2218 Arcena, was informant.

Walter Arties applied for a Social Security number in 1937. Per his application, he was born in Wilson County, North Carolina, on 18 October 1872 to Ned Artis and Jane Bynam.

In the 1940 census of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: at 2232 Bedford Avenue, Walter Artis, 67, and wife Lena, 58.

Walter Arties Sr. died 5 November 1952 in Pittsburgh. Per his death certificate, he was about 75 years old; was born in North Carolina to Ned Artis and an unknown mother; lived at 2232 Bedford Avenue; worked as a bank janitor. Walter Arties of New York was informant.


Studio shots, no. 112: Freeman Rountree.

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Freeman Rountree (1890-1963).

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Willie Rowntree, 29; wife Martha, 27; and children Freeman, 9, Willie, 8, Rapherd, 6, Captan, 3, Dasie, 2, and Andrew, 1.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Tarboro Road, Wiley Rountree, 42; wife Matilda, 34; daughter Matha, 20, and her son Roscoe, 2; children Freeman, 19, Wiley Jr., 18, Raford, 16, Captain, 14, Daisey, 13, Andrew, 10, Husband, 9, Nellie, 8, and Frank, 6; and grandson Bosy, 3 months.

On 31 August 1916, Freeman Rountree, 25, of Wilson, son of Wiley Rountree and Martha (last name not listed, married Vinie Wilson, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Tom Wilson and Anna Wilson. Rev. John A. Barnes, A.M.E.Z. minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Jesse C. Lassiter, William Knight and Johnnie A. Barnes Jr.

In 1917, Freeman Rountree registered for the World War I draft. Per his card, he was born 5 October 1890; was born in South Carolina; was a self-employed farmer; and lived in Black Creek township. He was literate.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Rountree, 29, and wife Viana, 20.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Rountree, 37; wife Vinie, 30; and adopted son Eddie Bynum, 14.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Roundtree, 49, born in Florida; wife Viney, 38; and cousin Paul, 18, farm helper.

In 1940, Eddie Rountree registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 28 January 1916 in Beaufort County, N.C.; lived on Route 3, Wilson; worked on J.C. Speight’s farm, Route 2, Elm City; and his contact was father Freeman Rountree.

Freeman Rountree died 10 April 1963 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 October 1921 in Georgia to Wiley Rountree and Martha Dew; was married to Vinie W. Rountree; and was a farmer.

Photo courtesy of user coop2122.