Author: Lisa Y. Henderson

Researcher -- and descendant -- of North Carolina's free people of color. See also my genealogy blog at www.scuffalong.com and www.afamwilsonnc.com, which documents the African-American history of Wilson County NC.

Dancing and games on East Nash Street.

Pittsburgh Courier, 20 January 1934.

  • Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Hilliard — Rufus Hilliard, 35, of Wilson, son of A.H. Hilliard and Penina V. [Wimly?], married Lela M. Washington, 29, daughter of William Washington and Martha (last name not listed) on 30 December 1932 in Wilson. Baptist minister B.F. Jordan performed the ceremony in the presence of J.S. Spell, E. D.[illegible] Fisher and Nancy Wilkins. Rufus Wimberly Hilliard died 5 December 1976. Lela Washington Hilliard died 26 July 1985.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Levi Peacock Jr. — Levi H. Peacock, 22, of Wilson, son of Levi and Hannah Peacock, married Elouise Reavis, 20, of Wilson, daughter of Joseph and Etta Reavis, on 4 October 1922 in Wilson. W.A. Mitchner applied for the license, and Presbyterian minister A.H. George performed the ceremony in the presence of John D. Henry, Henrietta Foster and John H. Parris.
  • Gilda Whitley
  • Jethro Couch
  • Ruth E. Hooker — Ruth Hooker Coppedge died 26 May 1945 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 41 years old; resided at 200 South Vick Street, Wilson; was married to George Coppedge; was born in Wilson to Frank Richard Hooker of Greene County and Eleanor Farmer of Wilson County; and was a school teacher.
  • Allie M. Hines — Within days of the Hilliards’ soiree, on 27 January 1934, Willis E. Prince, 47, son of Turner Prince and Sarah (last name not given) married Alma Mae Hines, 29, daughter of Amos and Sarah Hines, in Wilson. C.E. Artis applied for the license, and A.M.E. Zion minister I. Albert Moore performed the ceremony in the presence of M.W. Hines, C.L. Darden and A.M. Dupree. In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Willis Prince, 54, carpenter contractor, and wife Allie, age not listed.
  • Willis Prince — Willis Ephriam Prince died 2 October 1960 at Mercy Hospital. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 January 1889 in Edgecombe County to Turner Prince and Sarah (last name not listed); worked as a merchant; was married; and resided at 205 Stantonsburg Street. Allie Mae Prince was informant.

701 East Green Street.

The fifty-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: “ca. 1922; 2 stories; Cora Washington house; Queen Anne house composed of hip-roofed central block and projecting central pavilion; Washington was a schoolteacher.”

Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno’s Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey, originally published by the City of Wilson in 1980 and updated and republished in 2010 under the auspices of the Wilson County Genealogical Society, provides additional details about the house: “House. 701 East Green Street. This turn of the century house may be compared stylistically to the Jefferson D. Lee House on Jackson Street. The gable peaks are ornamented with diamond shaped louvers and a pedimented pavilion projects from the central bay. The generous porch has a shallow pedimented entrance supported by turned columns. Although the porch has been partially enclosed the house retains much of its original character.” The photo above is from the original publication. Though described here as turn-of-the-century, the lot at 701 East Green was vacant on the 1913 Sanborn map. The house apparently was erected between that date and 1922, when it does appear.

1922 Sanborn fire insurance map, Wilson, N.C.

701 East Green Street was demolished in the 1990s and, unusually for the district, another house was built on the lot.

In the 1925 Wilson city directory, Cora, Irene and Janie Washington are listed at 701 East Green, and their occupations are given as student, teacher and cook.

In the 1928 Wilson city directory, Cora and Janie Washington are listed at 701 East Green, and their occupations are given as teacher and elevator operator at Efirds department store.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 701 East Green Street, George Farmer, 55, porter for A.C.L.R.R.; wife Cora, 51, school teacher; daughters Lena, 20, teacher, and Janie L., 23, department store elevator girl; stepdaughter Cora M. Washington, 21 (marked as “absent”); mother-in-law Lou Miller, 75; and boarders Mildred Norfleet, 23, courthouse elevator girl; and Amos Moor, 35, hotel porter. [Janie, in fact, was Cora’s daughter and George’s step-daughter.]

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 701 East Green Street, public school teacher Cora M. Washington, 30, and nephew James R. Washington, 15.

Samuel Washington died 12 December 1959 at his home at 701 East Green Street. Per his death certificate, he was 92 years old; had never married; worked for the United States Postal Service; and was born in Wilson to Jeremiah Washington and Jane (last name unknown). Informant was Cora Miller Washington Artis.

I will get all the subscribers I can.

New York Age, 14 January 1915.

——

In the 1908 Wilson city directory: Joyner Washington, painter, h 616 Viola.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: wagon factory laborer Willie Paulkin, 26, wife Pearl, 22, son Atric, 2, and brother Sam, 24, a wagon factory laborer; also house painter Wash Joyner, 35, wife Sarah, 32, a laundress, and son Alexander, 13.

In the 1912 Wilson city directory: Joyner Washington, barber, h 616 Viola.

In 1918, George Washington Joyner registered for the World War I draft. Per his registration card, he was born 15 April 1875; resided at 616 Viola Street; was a self-employed barber at 213 Goldsboro Street; and his nearest relative was Sarah Jane Joyner.

Studio shots, no. 27: Annie Washington Vick.

Annie M. Washington Vick (1871-1952).

In the 1870 census of Wilson township,Wilson County: blacksmith Jerry Washington, 42; wife Jane, 29; and children Georgiana, 14, Joshua, 12, William, 11, George H., 7, Andrew, 5, and Samuel, 2.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: blacksmith Jerry Washington, 52; wife Jane, 40; and children George H., 17, works in blacksmith shop, Andrew, 14, Samuel, 12, Anna Maria, 8, Paul, 6, Sarah Jane, 3, and Mary Cathren, 11 months.

On 19 May 1892, Samuel H. Vick, 29, of Town of Wilson, son of Daniel and Fannie Vick, married Annie M. Washington, 22, of Town of Wilson, daughter of Jerry and Jane Washington. Alfred Robinson applied for the license, and Methodist minister J.F. Jordan and Presbyterian minister L.J. Melton performed the ceremony at the A.M.E. Zion church. Witnesses were Washington Suggs, C.H. Darden and B.R. Winstead.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: postmaster Samuel H. Vick, 37; wife Annie M., 28; and children Elba L., 17, and Daniel L., 3; plus cousin Bessie Parker, 15.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: dealer in real estate Samuel Vick, 47; wife Annie, 38; and children Elma, 17, Daniel L., 13, Samuel E., 10, George, 7, Anna, 5, and Robert, 2.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Hines S. Vick, 62, real estate dealer; wife Annie M., 57; son Samuel H., 30, druggist; daughter Monte L., 11; and Alferd Robinson, 78, widower and lodger.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 622 East Green, Sam Vick, 77; wife Annie M., 70; sons Sam, 35, salesman for cosmetics house, and Robert, 28; son-in-law A.G. Walker, 40; daughter Doris Walker, 35; and grandchildren A.G., Jr., 5, and Joyce, 3. Both Walkers were teachers at Vick Elementary.

Daniel L. Vick registered for the World War II draft in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his registration card, he was born 2 February 1898 in Wilson, North Carolina; resided at 125 North 58th Street, Philadelphia; his contact was Mrs. Annie M. Vick, 622 East Green Street, Wilson; and he worked for John Wilds, 4035 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.

Samuel Hiram Vick Jr. registered for the World War II draft in Wilson in 1942. Per his registration card, he was born 1 November 1900 in Wilson; resided at 622 East Green Street, Wilson; his contact was Mrs. Annie M. Vick, 622 East Green; and he worked for Martin Laboratory, 5111 Brown Street, Philadelphia, as a traveling salesman (“home every week-end.”)

Annie M. Vick died 20 August 1952 at her home at 622 East Green. Per her death certificate, she was 81 years old; a widow; a retired teacher; had been born in Wilson County to Jeremiah Washington and Jane (last name unknown); and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Monte Cowan was informant.

Photograph courtesy of Adventures in Faith: The Church at Prayer, Study and Service, the 100th anniversary commemorative booklet of Calvary Presbyterian Church.

603 East Green Street.

The fifty-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: “ca. 1930. 1 1/2 stories. Washington Wilkins house; bungalow with engaged porch and gabled dormer; Wilkins was a carpenter.”

In the 1912 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wilkins Washington, lab 604 E Green. [603 East Green was formerly numbered 604.]

In 1917, Washington Wilkins registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born in 1893 in Wilson County; lived at 604 East Green Street; and worked as a blacksmith for Hackney Wagon Company.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 604 Green, wagon factory blacksmith Washington Wilkins, 26, wife Nancy, 24, children George Washington, 4, and Virginia, 2, niece Beatrice Barnes, and sisters Mittie Wilkins, 22, and Lucy Wilkins, 27. Wilkins owned his home subject to mortgage.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Nancy Wilkins, 30; husband Washington, 40, a city laborer; sister-in-law Lucy Wilkins, 45; sons Washington, 15, and James, 10; daughters Virginia R., 11, and Nancy G., 4; roomers Mary Wilkinson, 23, Davis Carroll, 35, and Adline Adams, 65; and niece Beatrice Barnes, 17. The Wilkins’ house was valued at $4000.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 603 Green, plumber Washington Wilkins, 46, wife Nancy, 44, and children George W., 24, and Nancy G., 14.

In 1940, George Washington Wilkins registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 7 June 1915 in Wilson; resided at 603 East Green; his contact was his mother, Nancy Wilkins, 603 East Green; and he worked at Imperial Tobacco Company, corner of Lodge and Factory Streets.

Washington Wilkins died 13 February 1958 at his home in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he lived at 603 East Nash Street (this is clearly an error); was married; was a laborer; and was born 14 June 1894 in Wilson County to Richmond Wilkins and Patsy Armstrong.

Nancy Wilkins died 24 August 1972 in Goldsboro, Wayne County. Per her death certificate, she was a widow; lived at 603 East Green Street, Wilson; was born about 1892 to Minnie Adams; and had been a tobacco factory laborer.

Studio shots, no. 26: James Thomas Clifton.

James T Clifton ths1369

James Thomas Clifton (1857-1932).

James Clifton, 32, married Susan Clifton, 21, on 26 November 1889 in Franklin County at J.T. Clifton’s. Jackson Hunt and Bet Clifton witnessed.

In the 1900 census of Harris township, Franklin County: farmer Jim Clifton, 45; wife Susan, 31; and children Grant, 20, Matilda, 18, Susan, 16, John L., 14, Genievieve, 8, Tommie, 6, Mary, 4, Martha, 2, and Myrtle, 3 months.

In the 1910 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: on Edmunson Road, farmer James T. Clifton, 52; wife Susan, 40; and children Genevieve, 18, Thomas, 16, Mary, 14, Mattie, 12, Myrtle M., 10, Eula P., 8, Minnie B., 6, Wesley, 3, and Leona, 2, plus lodger Arthur Bunn, 21. James reported that he had been married twice.

Susan Clifton died 25 August 1915 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 44 years old; married; and the daughter of Stiff and Ellen Clifton. James Clifton was informant.

Between 1916 and 1920, three licenses for marriages of a James Clifton were filed at Wilson County Register of Deeds office. It is not clear if any or all are this James Clifton. (If all, he endured extraordinary grief in a very short time span.) On 6 February 1916, James Clifton, 54, of Wilson, married Mary Barnes, 40, of Wilson. Primitive Baptist minister John S. May performed the ceremony in Wilson win the presence of James Bass, Henry Meak and Melvis Jones. On 8 July 1917, James Clifton, 52, of Taylor township, married Emma Grady, 41, of Wilson, in Wilson. Otis Wright applied for the license and Elder J.R. Pitt, Disciples of Christ, performed the ceremony in the presence of Willie Godwin, Lillian Hawkins and James Lewis. On 23 May 1920, James Clifton, 57, of Wilson married Martha J. Coffield, 50, of Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister William Baker performed the ceremony in the presence of Susie Barnes, Lena Newsome and Beatrice Cofield.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 500 Spring Street alley, widower James Clifton, 53, lumber company laborer, and son Thomas, 25, lumber company laborer; daughter-in-law Ethel, 20; daughters Mattie, 22, Myrtle, 20, and Ella, 14, all tobacco factory laborers; and boarders Ella Mitchell, 22, a widowed tobacco factory laborer, and her children Dorothy, 4, Y.C., 2, and James, 3 months.

James Clifton died 14 July 1932 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 74 years old; married to Jannie Clifton; worked as a common laborer; and was burnin Franklin County to James Reid and Lizzie Clifton. Bennie Bass was informant, and C.E. Artis was undertaker.

Photograph courtesy of Ancestry.com user ths1369.

The first baby is triplets.

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Pittsburgh Courier, 15 January 1938.

Though this appears to be a heart-warming story — in the wee hours of New Year’s Day, a community erupting in celebration over the birth of bouncing triplets — a bit of fact-checking quickly establishes a tragedy of which the reporter should have been aware.

Tommie and Rosa Bynum Hagans‘ babies — two girls and one boy, in fact — were born prematurely, and the first girl died ten minutes after birth. Her sister succumbed five minutes later. Their brother battled bravely, but passed away on the 3rd, ten days after the date-line and 12 days before the Courier picked up the story. Surely there had been no great neighborhood celebration at the Hagans’ home.

Two years later, Tommie Hagans himself was dead. Per his death certificate, he died 12 February 1940 in Wilson; was married to Rosa Hagans; resided at 509 South Spring Street; worked as a common laborer; and had been born in Wilson County to James and Hannah Bynum Hagans. Joseph Hagans was informant, and C.E. Artis was undertaker.

In loving memory.

I have remarked at length about the artistry of Clarence B. Best‘s hand-carved gravestones here and here. In Adventures in Faith: The Church at Prayer, Study and Service, a booklet commemorating the 100th anniversary of Calvary Presbyterian Church, Best’s son Clarence H. Best and daughter-in-law published an ad honoring Best and wife Geneva “Eva” Smith Best.

Best made special mention of his father’s nickname, The Tombstone Man, and memorialized the elder Bests’ gift of a hand-crafted baptismal font, which is still in use. The carving on the edge of the basin block is classic Bestian.

This inscription may have been added later. Though apparently hand-carved, it does not appear to be Best’s work.

Many thanks to Tracey Ellis Leon, a life-long member of Calvary, for lending me a copy of Adventures in Faith and for taking the photos above.

Washingtonians feted.

Screen Shot 2018-01-13 at 8.52.08 PM.png

Pittsburgh Courier, 12 January 1929.

On 27 December 1928, Professor and Mrs. J.D. Reid threw a buffet lunch and whist party at their home at 600 East Green Street, which was followed by a dance at the Samuel H. Vick home at 622 East Green, all in honor of Irene and May Miller of Washington, D.C. [Who were the Miller sisters, and what was their Wilson connection?]

Thelma, J.D. Jr. and Frederick Reid were children of J.D. and Eleanor Frederick Reid. Robert and Samuel H. Vick Jr. were sons of Samuel and Annie Washington Vick.

Where did they go?: Out-of-state World War II draft registrations, no. 1.

 

Elton Henry Thomas was the son of Charles Thomas and Sarah Best Thomas. He returned to North Carolina; he died in Goldsboro in 1970.

  • Clarence Charles Dawson

Clarence Charles Dawson was the son of Clarence C. Dawson (see below) and Elizabeth Thomas Dawson.

  • Clarence Connor Dawson

Clarence Connor Dawson was the son of Alexander D. Dawson and Lucy Hill Dawson.

  • Leroy Armstrong

  • Walter Armstrong

  • Van Armstrong

Van Armstrong was the son of Guston and Drucilla Armstrong of Toisnot township, Wilson County. He first appears in the federal census of Petersburg, Virginia, in 1930.

Charles S. Alston was the son of James H. and Martha Dew Alston of Wilson township, Wilson County. On 3 November 1920, Charles S. Alston, 24, married Lessie Barbrey, 22, daughter of Hulis and Lola Barbrey, in Elm City. A.M.E. Zion minister B.P. Coward performed the ceremony in the presence of James O. Bunn, William H. Woods and Charles S. Thomas, all of Wilson.

  • David Alston

David Daniel Alston was the son of Henry and Mary Taylor Alston. He died 8 November 1974 in Norfolk, Virginia.

  • James Henry Adams

  • Edward Adams