406 East Green Street.

The one hundred-fortieth 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. 1893; 1 story; two-room house; among oldest in district; intact porch with chamfered posts.”

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As shown in the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, the first few houses of the 400 block of East Green comprised a rare integrated block. Houses (and a grocery) numbered 402, 404, 406, 408 1/2, and 410 had white occupants. Numbers 405, 408, 411, and the remainder of the block headed east had black occupants. (400 and 407 were vacant; there was no 401 or 403.) 406 was occupied by William H. and Cora Brown.

By the 1930 Hill’s city directory, laborer Ephraim Brown and his wife Cora lived at 406. His white neighbors were Baker Brothers grocery, William J. and Mandy Pittman, Sallie A. Ezzell (who owned three adjoining houses mid-block), and James and Martha Farmer. 

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 406 East Green, Evelyne Giles, 30, stemmer, divorced; daughter Thelma, 14; mother Aline Hawkins, 42, stemmer, and her son Lee Hawkins, 22, odd jobs laborer. 

John Lee Hawkins registered for the World War II draft in Wilson in 1940. Per his registration card, he was born 6 July 1916 in Black Creek, N.C.; lived at 406 East Green; his contact was mother Aileen Hawkins; and he worked for Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company, South Goldsboro Street.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Giles Evelyn (c) tob wkr h 406 E Green

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Giles Evelyn (c) fctywkr h 406 E Green

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, November 2021.

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