Month: June 2022

1204 Carolina Street.

The one hundred-seventy-third 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; shotgun with engaged porch.”

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Coleman James W (c; Annie) cook h 1204 Carolina St. The house was described as vacant in the 1930 city directory.

James Walter Coleman died 1 April 1930 in Wilson of an “unavoidable auto accident.” Per his death certificate, he was born 7 January 1900 in Nash County, North Carolina, to John Coleman; was married to Johnnie Ann Coleman; worked as a waiter at the Imperial Hotel; and lived at 1204 Carolina Street.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1204 Carolina Street, Oscar Ratcliff, 26, mortar mixer for Wilkins & Wilkins, and wife Nellie, 30, tobacco factory stemmer.

In the 1941 and 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: Ratcliff Oscar (c; Nellie) lab h 1204 Carolina

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1204 Carolina Street, Oscar Ratcliff, 49, plumbing and heating laborer, and wife Nellie, 43, worked in diet kitchen at tuberculosis sanitorium.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, June 2022.

Countywide picnic.

Wilson Daily Times, 30 June 1941.

Picnics organized by Wilson County’s Black 4-H and Home Demonstration clubs were annual social highlights. In 1941, a hundred and fifty families traveled to Yelverton School at the far eastern edge of the county for fun and frolic in such contests as milk-sucking, cracker-eating, nail-driving, bag-racing, and horseshoe-pitching.

Pray to God for rain.

Wilson Daily Times, 30 June 1944.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 62 East Nash, wood and coal salesman Henry Edwards, 73, widower.

Henry Evan Edwards died 21 November 1944 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 March 1869 in Greene County, N.C., to Lafayett Edwards; and lived at 620 East Nash Street. He was struck by a car while crossing a street. Joseph Edwards, 620 East Nash, was informant.

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35 When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict them,

36 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.

37 If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemy besieges them in the land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is,

38 whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart and stretching out his hands toward this house,

39 then hear in heaven your dwelling place and forgive and act and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways (for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind),

40 that they may fear you all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our fathers.

Former members return to chorus.

Wilson Daily Times, 27 August 1947.

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During the summer, college students returned to sing with their former choristers in Hartford Bess‘ Handel’s Chorus.

  • Mary Gilchrist — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 Viola, Canon Gilchrist, 38; wife Ruth, 32; and children Dorothea, 15, Mary L., 12, Gene, 11, Bella M., 5, and Janey V., 2.
  • Katie Chestnut
  • Virginia Ward — probably, in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Preston Ward, 38, widower; sister Annie, 26; and children James P., 20, Alonza, 18, Johnny Lee, 17, Rosa, 14, Virginia, 12, Sylvester, 10, Ruby, 8, Doris, 6, and Golden, 2.
  • Ann Johnson

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The obituary of Thomas Daniel.

Wilson Daily Times, 9 June 1948.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Mac Daniel, 45; wife Fanny, 36; and children Thomas, 5, Annie, 4, Willie, 3, Jane, 1, and Beatrice, 5 months.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 635 Vance Street, widow Fannie Daniel, 35, and children Thomas, 17, Annie, 15, Willie, 14, James, 13, Beatrice, 9, and Mary, 8.

On 30 November 1936, Tom Daniel, 36, of Wilson, son of Mark and Fannie Daniel, married Mamie Dixon, 31, of Wilson, daughter of Robert and Nilia Hodges, in Wilson.

In 1940, Tom Daniel registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 12 June 1905 in Wilson County; lived at 715 East Vance Street, Wilson; his contact was his mother Fannie Daniel of the same address; and he was unemployed.

Thomas Daniels died at his home at 544 East Nash Street on 7 June 1948. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 June 1903 in Wilson County to James Mal Daniels of Reidsville, N.C., and Fannie McGowan of Kernersville, North Carolina; worked as a common laborer; was married to Lossie Daniels; and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery. Mary Daniels, 715 East Vance Street, was informant.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Rev. and Mrs. Morgan’s son marries.

Call and Post (Cleveland, Ohio), 26 June 1948.

Rev. and Mrs. Eugene E. Morgan Sr. do not appear in the 1947-48 Wilson city directory, and apparently did not live in the city long. Rev. Morgan briefly served as pastor of Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church. Eugene E. Morgan Jr. was also an ordained A.M.E. Zion minister, serving longest in Akron, Ohio. In 1949, he was guest speaker at his father’s church.

Wilson Daily Times, 1 April 1949.

His daddy told him: “Take up something and take half his head off.”

Wilson Daily Times, 21 June 1948.

  • Willie Greenfield — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 319 North Hackney Street, Rufus Green [sic], 28, shoe repairer; wife Reva, 26; and children Willie Lee, 6, Ruby L., 5, Evelyn, 4, Charlotte, 3, and Bobby J., 1. [By 1950, the Greenfield family had migrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My grandmother Hattie Henderson Ricks, who migrated to Philadelphia later in the 1950s, spoke of Rufus Greenfield, mentioning that he was originally from Wayne County, North Carolina, and was blind by time she arrived in the city.]

Senior Willie L. Greenfield, Flame and Steel, the Dobbins-Randolph Vocational-Technical High School yearbook, 1952. [Greenfield would have been in my father Rederick C. Henderson’s class at Darden High School.]

  • Albert Parker — quite possibly, my cousin Albert Thomas Parker Jr. In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 800 Gay Street, oil mill laborer Thomas Parker, 25; wife Minnie, 23; and children Spencer, 5, Louise, 4, and Albert, 1.

708 Viola Street.

The one hundred-seventy-second 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. 1913; 1 story; L-plan cottage with cutaway bay; aluminum-sided.”

Charles S. and Lessie Barbrey Alston lived at 708 Viola Street in 1921.

Wilson Daily Times, 16 August 1921.

In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cotton Mark H (c) lab h 708 Viola

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cotton Mark H (c; Minnie) h 708 Viola

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cotton Mark H (c; Minnie) h 708 Viola

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: owned and valued at $2000, Mark Cotton, 87; wife Minnie, 37, servant; and stepdaughters Ruline, 19, and Eunice Brooks, 17, farm laborer.

The 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory lists Elizabeth Robinson, cook; Evelyn Robinson, cook; Lucile Robinson, maid; and William Robinson, laborer, at 708 Viola.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Robinson Eliz (c) h 708 Viola