Month: May 2020

Pitt County’s oldest citizen.

More about Cromwell Bullock, known as “Crummell,” who lived at various times in the areas of Wilson, Edgecombe and Pitt Counties between the towns of Saratoga and Fountain.

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Greenville News, 23 April 1919.

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Some notes:

  • Plymouth is in Washington County, North Carolina, east of Wilson County near the coast.
  • The 1860 slave schedule of Edgecombe County, North Carolina, lists Joshua K. Bullock as the owner of 50 enslaved people, including a 40 year-old male described as mulatto who might have been Cromwell.
  • Cromwell Bullock and Charity Farmer were married, though not legally, well prior to Emancipation. In 1866, they recorded their 17-year cohabitation in Wilson County.
  • The farm he purchased was likely in far southeastern Edgecombe County, near the Pitt County border. (I need to search further for a definitive location.)
  • Polly Wooten was Cromwell Bullock’s third wife. He was married briefly to a woman named Fannie between his first wife’s death in 1893 and his marriage to Polly in 1903.
  • I have only been able to identify ten children: John Bullock, Nathaniel Bullock, Cromwell Bullock Jr.Caroline Bullock Moore James White, Milly Bullock Scarborough, Peter Bullock, Harry Bullock, Jesse Bullock, Dempsey Bullock, and Leah Bullock Moore.

Hall of Famer Annie Cooke Dickens.

On the occasion of her induction into the Shaw University Athletic Hall of Fame, Annie Cooke Dickens shared memories of her school days in Wilson and beyond.

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  • Dickens credited John M. “Bing” Miller, her high school basketball coach, and Marian Miller, the girls’ basketball chaperone, as her “foundation.”
  • Dickens played guard on Shaw’s women’s basketball team from 1938 to 1942.
  • The basketball team played games in Banner Warehouse, and Marian Miller brought a small oil heater to warm the space.
  • For road games, the team road in a truck with a bench strapped to the body. They played most games on dirt courts.

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Wilson Daily Times, 14 December 1993.

  • “Extremely poor family” seems an exaggeration, as Dickens’ father was a railroad clerk, and the family owned a two-story house across from Darden High School.
  • Dickens was a cheerleader for three years and was crowned Miss Shaw as a junior and senior.
  • She was a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and several student organizations.
  • Dickens’ first teaching position was at Yelverton School near Saratoga, then Lofton School, where she was principal. These schools had no electricity, running water, or indoor toilets. She also taught in Greensboro and at Speight School.
  • She worked in school administration for 21 years before retiring.
  • Her husband James Dickens was a teacher at Fike High School. Both retired in 1983.
  • She engaged in volunteer work after retirement.

Women’s basketball team, Shaw University Journal (1939).

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In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Hadley Street, railroad mail clerk Jerry L. Cook, 43; wife Clara, 39, teacher; children Henderson, 20, Edwin D., 18, Clara G., 14, Georgia E., 12, Annie, 8, Jerry L., 6, and Eunice D., 4; sister Georgia E. Wyche, 48, teacher; and nieces Kathaline Wyche, 7, and Reba Whittington, 19.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 916 East Green Street, railway clerk J.L. Cook, 54, born Wake County; wife Clara, 48, born Craven County; children Henderson J., 30, Clara, 24, Annie, 18, Jerry, 16, and Eunice, 14; and cousin Ella Godette, 18. Henderson and young Clara were born in New Bern; the remaining children in Wilson.

Saddlebags.

Saddlebag houses like this one in the Evansdale area were common in the landscape of rural Wilson County as recently as the 1980s. I don’t know who lived in this particular house, but it is typical of those inhabited by tenant farmers, many of whom were African-American.

The basic saddlebag form consists of two rooms side-by-side, each with a front door. This house, however, has four rooms.

The headboard ceiling and walls are likely original, but the door communicating between the two rooms was probably cut through much later.

A view of the back two rooms. The door between these rooms is also likely a later addition.

Photos taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2019.

PFC George serves as lab technician.

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Wilson Daily Times, 3 September 1949.

In the 1940 census of Dunn, Averasboro township, Harnett County, North Carolina: widow Lula George, 60; her sons Wilbur, 22, and David, 14; granddaughter Cleo, 15; daughter Enice [sic], 29; and her son James D. George, 10. Eunice and James George reported that they lived in Wilson County in 1935.

Eunice George at left (I think) and James George, center.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user Donald George.

 

Death notices of Will Bulluck and Nokomis Swinson.

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Wilson Daily Times, 9 October 1941.

  • Will Bulluck

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Will Bullock, 67, driving dray, and wife Pearl, 49, cooking.

Per his death certificate, Will Bullock was a native of Edgecombe County. He was working as a railroad laborer at the time of his death (at age 67), and his body was returned to Wilson for burial.

  • Niknois Swinson — Nokomis Swinson, 19, is listed in the 1940 census of Speights Bridge township, Greene County, with his mother Lula Swinson.