1950s

Elm City’s water woes.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 May 1950.

——

  • James Young

On 3 February 1936, James Young, 21, of Toisnot township, married Alice Simmons, 17, daughter of Sam and Minnie Simmons, in Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: renting for $8/month, town laborer James Young, 27, born in Georgia; wife Allice, 20; and children Rachiel E., 3, and Eddie J., 1; and cousin Romar McGee, 16. 

In the 1940 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: electric light lineman James Young, 40; wife Bessie, 39; and children Ratchel, 13, Eddie, 12, Verge, 10, Edna Hines, 10, and Willie Lee, 2.

In 1942, James Alexander Young registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 8 May 1904 in Savannah, Georgia; lived in Elm City; and worked for O.C. Hill, Elm City.

In the 1950 census of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: James Young, 49, city electrician; wife Lucille, 29; and children Thomas, 19, Willie Lee, 12, Thomas B., 3, Carolyn, 2; and Shirley, born in November. [The family is erroneously described as white.]

James Alexander Young died 21 June 1971 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 8 May 1904 in Georgia to Alexander Young and “Claretta (?) Young”; lived in Elm City; worked as an electrician; and was married to Lucille Newbern Young.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The Pettigrew Street post office.

Wilson Daily Times, 15 February 1950.

Not only did I not know there was ever a post office branch on Pettigrew Street, I cannot imagine where on Pettigrew Street it stood. Anyone know?

Woodard Station moved to 1318 East Nash Street in 1966 and operated until 2011. Since its closure, there has been no postal facility east of the tracks or from Wilson’s Main Branch east to Saratoga. 

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Daily Times paperboys, no. 2.

  • Willie Battle Jr.

Wilson Daily Times, 3 October 1950.

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 908 East Nash, widow Mamie Hill, 43; nephew Bobbie Becton, 10; and lodgers Willie Battle, 48, and sons Willie Jr., 17, and James, 16.

  • Percy Bowens

Wilson Daily Times, 3 October 1950.

This boy’s name, in fact, was Percy Bowens. (And he grew up to be a well-known East Wilson businessman.)

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: carpenter Welch Bowens, 55; wife Leola, 55; daughter Mary D. Brown, 23, house cleaner; and grandchildren Raymond, 15, LeAnna, 14, and Percy Bowens, 12, and Veronia, 5, Colin Jr., 3, Patricia Ann, 2, and Mary Brown, born in June.

  • Joshua E. Winstead Jr.

Wilson Daily Times, 5 October 1950.

In the 1940 census of North Whitakers township, Nash County, North Carolina: teamster Josh Winstead, 20; wife Flora, 19; and children Joshua E., 2, and Darlina, 9 months.

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1020 Roberson Street, Flora Bowens, 29, “cook and keep house,” divorced; children Joshua, 12, Darlena D., 10, and Aldonia Winstead, 8; and lodger Susie G. Edwards, 26.

Clippings courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Daily Times paperboys, no. 1.

  • Benjamin Amos Harris Jr.

Wilson Daily Times, 5 October 1950.

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 312 Finch Street, brick mason foreman Benjamin Harris, 55; wife Pauline, 49; and children William, 24, brickmason, Agnes, 18, and Ben Jr., 15.

  • Odell Thomas Simmons

Wilson Daily Times, 5 October 1950.

In the 1940 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Junius Simmons, 44; wife Clara, 39; and children Levi, 21, Joseph, 20, Frank, 15, Julia, 10, Lettie, 5, Thomas, 1, and Edward, 9.

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: in New Grabneck, carpenter Junious Simmons, 50; wife Clara J., 49, nurse; children Julia M., 20, “clean house and wash and iron,” Lettie L., 16, and Thomas, 10; and grandson William E., 2.

  • James Battle

Wilson Daily Times, 5 October 1950.

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 908 East Nash, widow Mamie Hill, 43; nephew Bobbie Becton, 10; and lodgers Willie Battle, 48, and sons Willie Jr., 17, and James, 16.

Clippings courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The robbery and beating of Asa Locus.

From its beginning in 2015, Black Wide-Awake‘s cut-off date for events has been 1949. It was an arbitrary date, but a clean one, and meant to ensure my focus on people, places, and things that were furthest from us and thus closest to slipping away. Recently, though, I received the gift of a compelling trove of newspaper clippings from 1950 and can’t help but share them.

Here’s the first detailing the daring armed robbery of Asa “Acie” Locus by two white men, who got away with $27,000 in cash and several guns. (Note the reason Locus felt “only fools” kept their money in bank — he was probably referring to the collapse of Commercial Bank in 1929.)

Wilson Daily Times, 14 October 1950.

——

In the 1880 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: Nelson Eatmon, 66; wife Eliza, 50; [Eliza’s children] Amanda, 18, Mary J., 14, Asa, 10, and Lougene Locus, 4; and Margaret Howard, 21, and Harriet Howard, 2.

Also, in the 1880 census of Fishing Creek, Warren County, North Carolina: Levi Richardson, 25, wife Temy, 16, and cousin Acy Locus, 10.

On 17 June 1895, in Brinkleyville, Halifax County, Asa Locus, 23, of Halifax County, married Annie Eaton [sic], 18, of Halifax County.

In the 1900 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Asa Locus, 27, wife Anna, 22, and children Larry, 5, Johney, 4, and Kniver, 1.

In the 1910 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: on Nash Road, farmer Acy Locust, 40, wife Annie, 33, and children Larry, 15, John, 13, Eva, 11, James, 8, Ada, 6, and Paul, 3, and mother-in-law Wilmur Eatman, 68.

In the 1920 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Asa Locus, 49, wife Annie, 40, daughter Ada, 14, and son Paul, 12.

In the 1930 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Ace Locus, 60, wife Annie, 50, and granddaughter Teanestus Locus, 10.

In the 1940 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Ace Locus, 72, and wife Annie, 68.

Asa Lucus died 14 July 1955 at Park View Hospital in Rocky Mount, Nash Carolina. His residence was Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born October 1860 in Wilson County to Martin Lucus and Liza Brantley. He was buried in a family cemetery in Wilson County.

[N.B. An earlier blogpost cited Civil Rights Congress’ We Charge Genocide: The Historic Petition to the United Nations for Relief From a Crime of The United States Government Against the Negro People (1951) as the source of a short blurb about the crimes against Locus. That document erroneously places the robbery in 1944.}