1930s

N.C.C.U., ’39.

From the 1939 edition of The Eagle, the yearbook of North Carolina College for Negroes [now North Carolina Central University.]

Seniors

  • James Anderson Holden

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  • Carl Frederick Reid

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In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Judge D. Reid, 47, wife Elenora P., 41, and children Bruce P., 17, James D., 15, Thelma R., 11, Carl F., 7, and Herbert O., 4.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: banker Judge D. Reid, 52, public school principal Elnora Reid, 50, sons Fredrick, 17, and Herbert, 14, and lodger Edwin D. Fisher, 36, a studio photographer. The house was owned free of mortgage and valued at $6000.

Carl Frederick Reid registered for the World War II draft in Washington, D.C. Per his draft card, he was born 12 September 1912 in Wilson, N.C.; resided at 535 Florida Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.; his contact was mother Eleanor P. Reid, 600 East Green Street, Wilson; and he was employed by the federal government.

Carl F. Reid died in March 1982 in Washington, D.C.

Juniors

  • Beulah Bowens

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In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 710 Manchester, oil mill laborer Jacob Bowens, 24; wife Flossie, 25; and children James, 2, and Bulah, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 709 Stantonsburg, school janitor Jake Bowens, 36; wife Lossie, 33; and children James, 12, Beulah C., 11, Jacob Jr., 9, Frances L., 6, and Hoover C., 1; plus mother Sabrina Cobbs, 50.

Beulah Bowens Fuller died 22 February 1997 in New York.

  • Alice W. Jones

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  • Charles B. Lassiter

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Change racket.

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Pittsburgh Courier, 18 September 1937.

Ed Sheppard, 23, married Sealy Black, 25, in Greene County on 24 April 1924.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 806 Oil Mill Alley, Ed Sheppard, no age given; wife Celia, no age given, cook; sons Henry, 22, oil mill laborer, Junior, 13, Moses, 11, and Raymon, 7; and lodger Earnest Ross, 11.

Shaw ’39.

From the 1939 edition of the Shaw University Journal:

  •  Georgia Eugenia Cooke

In the 1920 census of New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina: government mail clerk J.L. Cook, 33; wife Clara R., 29; and children Henderson, 9, Edwin, 8, Clara, 4, and Georgia, 2.

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.

Georgia E. Cooke graduated from Wilson Colored High School in 1935.

On 10 June 1940, Georgia Cooke, 22, daughter of Jerry L. Cooke and Clara R. Cooke, of Wilson, married George W. Gant, 24, of Greensboro, North Carolina, son of A.V. and Ada Gant. A.M.E. Zion minister R.A.G. Foster performed the ceremony in the presence of Henderson J. Cooke of Wilson, Joshua W. Levister of Raleigh and A.B. Moseley of Kinston.

George and Georgia Cooke Gant’s son George Arlington Lee Gant was born in Wilson in 1941.

Georgia Cooke Gant died 16 December 1970 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was born 18 December 1917 to Jerre L. Cooke Sr. and Clara Goddette; resided in Sedalia, North Carolina; was married to George W. Gant; was a school teacher; and was buried at Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson.

  • Lossie Dorothy Haskins

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Robert Haskins, 37, bottling company laborer; wife Gertrude, 28; and children Mandy, 14; Elizabeth, 12; Estelle, 10; Robert, 7; Lossie, 5; Lawrence, 4; and Thomas, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Robert Haskins, 44, insurance agent; wife Gertrude, 39; and children Mandy, 22, cook; Elizabeth, 20; Estell, 18; Robert, 17; Lossie, 14; Larence, 12; and Tommie, 10.

Lossie Haskins graduated from Wilson Colored High School in 1935.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Robert Haskins, 55, drug company salesman; wife Gertrude, 48; and children Mandy, 36; Elizabeth, 33, cook; Estelle, 29, beauty shop cleaner; Robert D. Jr., 29, hotel kitchen worker; Lossie, 24, N.Y.A. stenographer; and Thomas, 20, barbershop shoeblack; plus granddaughter Delores, 15, and lodger Henry Whitehead, 21.

  • Gracie Beatrice Swinney

For more re Gracie Swinney, see here.

Shaw ’38.

From the 1938 edition of the Shaw University Journal:

  • Mabel Lenora Brewington

shaw 1938

In the 1920 census of South Clinton township, Sampson County, North Carolina: on Lisbon Street, farmer Cnelus Brewington, 36; wife Emma, 26; and children Norward, 11, Mabel, 6, and John, 2.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 912 East Nash Street, building mechanic Frank Williams, 50, and wife Emma, a teacher; step-children Norwood, 21, Mabel, 16, and Johnnie Brewington, 11.

Mabel Brewington graduated from Darden High School in 1932.

On 8 March 1941, John E. Dixon, 29, of Burgaw, North Carolina, married Mabel Brewington, 27, of Wilson, in Wilson.

Mabel B. Dixon died 10 July 1975 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 December 1913 to Cornelius and Emma Moore Brewington; was married to John E. Dixon; resided at 411 North Vick Street; and was a teacher.

Louisa S. Perrington estate.

This notice of sale signaled the dissolution of the estate of Louisa Perrington, who died 26 January 1936 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, Louisa Virginia Perrington was born 1 April 1857 in Wilson to Sylvester Scarboro and Annie Adams, both of Greene County; resided at 702 East Nash Street; and was the widow of Weldon Perrington. Annie Marshall was informant.

Wilson Daily Times, 25 September 1933.

Perrington’s heirs were Annie Marshall, John Perrington, Morris Ellis and Camilous E. Ellis. The city plot up for auction was a half-acre on Nash Street  (at what is now 702 East Nash) bordered by John H. Clark‘s land, “the Daniel Vick homeplace,” and Boston Parker. The same lot had once been owned by John Kersey.

In the East Wilson Historic District nomination form, the two-story house on this lot is described as the “Louisa Parrington house; hip-roofed Colonial Revival dwelling with simple detail typical of houses of this middle-class design in East Wilson; builder was local carpenter Louis Thomas.”

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In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Anna Scarborough, 35; children John, 17, and Louisa, 14; and boarder Henry Blackman, 19.

In the 1880 census of Wilmington, New Hanover County: butler Weldon Perrington, 27; wife Louise, 23, and daughter Ardena, 2.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 614 Gold Street, widow Louise Perrerrington, 48; daughters Annie, 22, and Omma, 23, both cooks; son John, 17; and grandchildren John, 2, and Virginia Glastor, 4.

Morris M. Ellis, 25, and Ometa Sylvia Perrington, 22, daughter of Louisa Perrington, all of Wilson, were married 10 August 1910 at Saint John A.M.E. Zion church. Rev. D.L. Maultsby performed the ceremony in the presence of Floyd Mitchell, Dr. W.A. Mitchner and Chas. H. Darden.

On 28 February 1912, John Marshall, 21, married Annie Perrington, 21, in Wilson in the presence of A.N. Darden, Joseph Baker and William Baker.

Morris Weldon Ellis Jr. was born 16 February 1914 to Morris M. Ellis and Ometa S. Perrington.

John Perrington registered for the World War I draft in Wilson in 1917. Per his draft registration card, he was born 22 November 1894 in Wilmington, North Carolina; worked as a barber for Morris Ellis in Black Creek; and had “weak eyes.”

Morris McKenny Ellis registered for the World War I draft in Wilson in 1918. Per his draft registration card, he was born 29 July 1884; resided at 324 South Spring; was married to Ometa Silvy Ellis; and worked in his own barbershop in Black Creek.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 324 South Spring Street, Morris Ellis, 35; Ametra, 34; son Morris Jr., 5, and daughter Linnai, 2; mother-in-law Louisa Perrington, 63, and her granddaughter Inez Perrington, 14.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Hines Street, auto mechanic John Marshall, 32; wife Annie, 32; and children Glascoe, 12, Louise, 6, Bessie, 3, and Herman, 1.

On 22 November 1921, John W. Perrington, 27, of Wilson, son of Weldon and Louisa Perrington, married Nannie E. Frazier, 21, of Smithfield, daughter of Leslie and Amanda Drew, in Wake County.

Camillus Edward Ellis was born 25 February 1925.

Ometa Ellis died 3 May 1928 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was married to Morriss Ellis; resided at 702 Nash Street; was 42 years old; and had been born in Wilmington, North Carolina, to Weldon Perrington of Wilmington and Louisa Scarborough of Wilson. Louisa Parrington was informant.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 706 East Nash, widow Louisa Perrington, 76, a nurse; grandsons Comelius, 5, and Morris Ellis, 6; and roomer William L. Gardner, 25, a servant.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 507 Hines Street, widow Annie Marshall, 42, cook; and children Louise, 16, Bessie M., 13, Herman, 11, Margrette, 9, and Gretchen G., 1.

In the 1930 census of Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio: at 1409 Union Street (owned and valued at $3500), North Carolina-born barber John Perrington, 35; wife Nannie, 29; and stepsons John, 14, and James, 13.

Annie Mariah Marshall died 12 October 1937 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 50 years old; was born in Wilson to Weldon Perrington and Louise Scarborough; resided at 703 East Nash; and was widowed. Informant was Herman Marshall.

John W. Perrington died 29 November 1927 and, as a veteran of World War I, was buried at Dayton National Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.

In the 1940 census of Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee: on Quarles Street, medical foot specialist Morris M. Ellis, 55, and wife Minnie, 56.

Morris McKinley Ellis died 16 December 1952 in Clarksville, Montgomery County, Tennessee. Per his death certificate, he was born 18 July 1885 in North Carolina to Huel Ellis; was widowed; resided at 107-10th Street, Clarksville; and worked as a chiropodist. Camillus E. Ellis of New York, New York, was informant.

Camillus E. Ellis died 19 February 1968 in New York.

Morris Weldon Ellis Jr. died 26 November 1997 in Wilson.

 

Class of ’37.

This photograph of Wilson Colored High School’s Class of 1937 also hangs in the hallway of the Darden Alumni Center.

A label listing the students’ names has been augmented where possible with birth and death dates and parents’ names, below.

  1. Charles Darden James (1914-1994, Randall R. and Elizabeth Darden James)
  2. Howard Monroe Fitts Jr. (1921, Howard M. and Elizabeth Plummer Fitts)
  3. Doris Louise Crooms Caldwell Robinson (1920-1992, Lloyd and Maggie Jones Crooms)
  4. Herman Oliver Marshall (1918-??, John and Annie Marshall)
  5. Delores Robbins Coleman (1920-2003, James D. and Louise Davis Robbins)
  6. Alice McCoy (1915-1983, Russell and Ometa Smith McCoy)
  7. Lucy Dawson Artice Moss (1922-1989, Jesse A. and Sophia Dawson Artice)
  8. Hennie Ennis Campbell (1919-??, Samuel and Maggie Taylor Ennis)
  9. Hattie E. Ross McKeithan (1918-2008)
  10. Estelle Dew McNair (1917-2005, Ross and Ivory Taylor Dew)
  11. Catherine Joyner Foster
  12. Williard Jordan
  13. Primrose Carter (1914-1972, Willie E. and Henrietta Cooper Carter)
  14. Montez Colesse Hooker Boatman (1922-1990, Gray F. and Bettie Caddell Hooker)
  15. Celeste Hardy McClain
  16. William Nelson Knight (1916-2011, James H. and Ada Green Knight)
  17. Virginia Walden Wilson (Albert L. and Annie Moore Walden)
  18. Ernest D. Lassiter (1918-??, Jesse C. and Lessie Dew Lassiter)
  19. Jesse Fitzhugh Reid (1920-??)
  20. William Harry Howell (1921-2004, Harry B. and Annie Mae Thompson Howell)
  21. Evelyn Johnson Stone
  22. Alvis Ashley Hines (1918-1981, Ashley and Mattie Barnes Hines)
  23. Charles Futrell
  24. Henry Venson Whitehead (1918-2004, William and Nettie Bivins Whitehead)
  25. Arthur Lee Battle (1917-2007, William and Nora Williams Battle)
  26. Earl E. Ennis (1917-1964, Samuel and Maggie Taylor Ennis)

Photograph courtesy of Darden Alumni Center, Wilson.

Class of ’38.

The Class of 1938 was the first to graduate from the newly rechristened Charles H. Darden High School. Camillus L. Darden, after donating books to stock the school library, won the right to rename Wilson Colored High School after his father.

A label listing the students’ names has been augmented where possible with birth and death dates and parents’ names, below.

First row: Kester Congress Mitchell (1919-??, Kester R. and Martha Taylor Miller); William Aaron Best (1921-??, Aaron and Estell Best); Clarence Herman Best (1918-1994, Clarence and Best); Milton Jasper King (1920-??); Walter M. McMillon (1919-1994, Tommie and Willie McMillon); Herbert Vendrick Whitehead (1920-2007, Henry and Victoria Ennis Whitehead); James F. Coley.

Second row: Ida Doretha Parks Hinnant (1917-2007, John and Emmeline Bobbitt Parks); Lillian Boykin Kent (1917-2006, William and Sarah Williamson Boykin); Helen Elveta Reid Worsley (1921-1981, Willie C. and Mary Galley Reid); unknown; Carlotta Bernice GeraldClyde Joan Dickerson Faison (1921-1997, Fred and Almeter Edmundson Dickerson); Bessie Mae Joyner Redden (Eddie L. and Annie Joyner)Doris P. Freeman James (1920-2003), Julius and Pattie Hagans Freeman); Yvonne Taylor; Edna Gray Taylor Desvigne (1921-2011, Roderick and Mary John Pender Taylor; Doretha Hunter Farmer (1912-1992, Will and Mary Whitehead Hunter); Annie Elizabeth Cooke Dickens (1921-??, Jerry L. and Clara Godette Cooke); Annie Frances Crawford (1921-??, Clarence and Maggie Barnes Crawford); unknown; Lusynthia Page Johnson Marshall (1922-??, Theodore R. and Rachel Bynum Johnson); Mary A. Barnes; unknown.

Third row: Katie Powell; Virginia Ann Mitchell Williams (1918-2002, George and Rose Lipscomb Mitchell); Sallie Baldwin Howard (1916, Marcellus Simms and Narcissa Baldwin); Mary MooreAurelia Janet Lucas Hagood (1920-1997, Henry and Mamie Battle LucasMary Tena Melton (1920-1992, John and Lora Barnes Melton); Margaret PowellBeulah Sutton Legrand (1915-1975, George and Henrietta Sutton); Lena Cherry Goodman (1920-1988, John and Mable Langley Cherry); Mary J. BarnesHelen L. Potter; Estelle Ellis Coble Newsome (1919-1994, Oscar and Mamie Bynum Ellis); Cora Bynum Boney; Margaret Powell [one of these women is mislabeled; there was only one Margaret Powell in this class]; Nora Allen Jones MitchellRosa Lee Hart (1920-1943, Grover and Mamie Taylor Hart); Addie Pearl Farmer Vailes (1917-??, John D. and Rosetta Simms Farmer).

Photograph courtesy of Darden Alumni Center, Wilson.

Glee.

Another gem from Darden Alumni Center, here depicting the Wilson Colored High School glee club in 1937. A label listing the students’ and teachers’ names has been augmented where possible with birth and death dates and parents’ names, below. Many eastern North Carolina counties did not provide secondary education for African-American children in the 1930s. As a result, families who wanted schooling beyond the elementary grades chose to send their children to Wilson to board with local families and attend high school. Where discovered, the hometowns of such children are noted below.

Front row: Annie Elizabeth Cooke Farmer (1921-??, Jerry and Clara Godette Cooke); Delores Robbins Coleman (1920-2003, James D. and Louise Davis Robbins); Edna Gray Taylor Desvigne (1921-2011, Roderick and Mary John Pender Taylor); Helen E. Reid Worsley (1921-1981, Willie C. and Mary Galley Reid); Lucy Gray Pittman Cunningham Parker (1922-2003, Aaron and Lucy Graham Pittman); unknown; Bessie Mae Joyner Redden (Eddie L. and Annie Joyner); Gracie White Terrell (1923-1994); Willia B. Jones Turner (1923, Wesley and Martha Taylor Jones); Lucy Dawson.

Second row: Spencer J. Satchell; Aurelia Janet Lucas Hagood (1920-1997, Henry and Mamie Battle Lucas); Helen Crutchfield Lewis (1924-1993, Willie and Novella Bryant Crutchfield), Doris Louise Crooms Caldwell Robinson (1920-1992, Lloyd and Maggie Jones Crooms); Bernice Gerald; Annie Frances Crawford (1921-??, Clarence and Maggie Barnes Crawford); Retha M. Best; Millicent Monroe; Naomi Lee Dawson Clark (1920-1978, Clarence and Elizabeth Thomas Dawson); Rosemary Plummer Fitts Funderburg (1923-2000, Howard and Elizabeth Plummer Fitts); Hattie L. Dixon; Evelyn Knight (1921-??, James H. and Ada Green Knight); Alice McCoy (1915-1983, Russell and Ometa Smith McCoy); Juanita Pope Morrisey.

Third row: Leroy Foster (1917-??, Claude and Cora White Foster); Harvey Gray Ford (1921-1942, Curlis and Mamie Battle Ford); Cornelius Best; Eula Mae Horton Bryant (1912-1990, Louis and Minnie Horton); unknown; Montez Colesse Hooker Boatman (1922-1990, Gray F. and Bettie Caddell Hooker);  Virginia Walden Wilson (Albert L. and Annie Moore Walden); Thomas H. Haskins (1919-1978, Robert and Gertrude Haskins); Primrose Carter (1914-1972, Morehead City, Carteret County, Willie E. and Henrietta Cooper Carter).

Fourth row: William Nelson Knight (1916-2011, James H. and Ada Green Knight); John Henry Mincey (1919-1982, Benjamin and Mattie Barnes Mincey); Charles Darden James (1914-1994, Randall R. and Elizabeth Darden James); James F. Coley (1921-??); Clarence Herman Best (1918-1994, Clarence B. and Geneva Smith Best); Weldon Williams; unknown; Clinton Rudolph Leacraft (1918-2007, Swansboro, Onslow County, Frank and Hagar Duncan Leacraft).

Fifth row: James Aaron Best; Marion Vernon Jones (1919-1975, Wesley and Martha Taylor Jones); unknown; Charles Elva Kittrell (1918-1990, Solomon and Lettie Roberts Kittrell); unknown; Elmond Henry McKeithen (1914-2003, Cumberland County, Henry and Sarah Robinson McKeithan).

Killed by a bolt of lightning.

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Pittsburgh Courier, 1 August 1931.

Abraham Bynum was a newlywed. On 2 February 1931, he, 30, son of Charlie and Julia Bynum, married Carrie Beaman, 23, daughter of Dave and Sarah Beaman. Willie McLondon, a Free Will Baptist minister, performed the ceremony at 707 Suggs Street in the presence of Jack Rountree, Alice Davis and Leemoor Hannah.

Per his death certificate, Abraham Bynum died 21 July 1931, “killed accidentally by being struck by lightning during electrical storm.” He resided at 1008 Woodard Street, Wilson; was 31 years old; was married to Carrie Bynum; and worked as a day laborer at a tobacco manufacturing plant. He was born in Wilson to Charles Bynum and July Ann Davis, a Pitt County native, and J.C. Bynum of 807 Stantonsburg Street was informant.