Wilson Daily Times, 14 November 1918.
Wilson Advance, 19 January 1888.
Wilson Daily Times, 11 November 1919.
John T.M. Artis announced his tobacco stick business in the Daily Times in November 1919. Tobacco sticks were thin cuts of wood used to hang tobacco leaves from barn rafters for drying.
On 24 February 1903, J.T. Artis, 21, of Wilson, son of Ben and Ferabee Artis, married Mattie Thomas, 20, of Gardners township, daughter of Peter and Margaret Thomas. Sidney Wheeler applied for the license, and Primitive Baptist minister Jonah Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of Willis P. Evans, John Barnes and Henry Melton. E.L. Reid witnessed Williams sign an X.
John T. M. Artis registered for the World War I draft in Wilson in 1918. Per his registration card, he was born 17 March 1880; lived on Route 5, Wilson; farmer for Petter Thomas; nearest relative, Simon Barnes.
In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer John Artis, 38; wife Mattie, 40; sister Hattie Sims, 40; mother Fariby Artis, 82; grandmother Rosa Barnes, 94; and nephew James Artis, 12.
In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Artis Jno T (c; Mattie) lab h 1114 Queen
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1114 Queen, rented for $9/month, Morison Artis, 63, and wife Mattie, 65, tobacco factory stemmer.
Mattie Artis died 21 October 1962 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 82 years old; was born in Wilson County to Peter Thomas and Maggie Barnes; was married to J. Marshall Artis; and was buried in Barnes cemetery.
John Marshall Artis died 6 January 1967 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, je was born 17 March 1883 in Wilson County to unknown parents; lived at 1109 Washington Street; was married to Odessa R. Artis; and had worked as a laborer.
Wilson Daily Times, 3 December 1936.
In 1936, African-American children at Rocky Branch, Williamson, Kirby’s, New Vester and Calvin’s Level schools — all in the rural southwest quadrant of Wilson County — responded to a survey about education and farm life. To the surprise of the writer of this article, most children indicated that would like to live on a farm (in the future?)
These photographs of African-American Wilson County tobacco farm laborers were likely taken by Raines & Cox in the 1940s.
Photos courtesy of Keith Barnes, The World’s Greatest Tobacco Market: A Pictorial History of Tobacco in Wilson, North Carolina (2007).
Wilson Daily Times, 20 June 1946.
Operation Dixie succeeded.
Wilson Daily Times, 24 December 1919.
By 1922, there was no longer any question that boll weevils could thrive in North Carolina. The rapacious insect was not eradicated in the state until 1987.
Wilson Daily Times, 21 August 1933.
Richard C. Artis and father Robert E. Artis, circa 1950s. Photo courtesy of Melissa Mack.
To address the acute labor shortage created by World War II, the Wilson Colored Ministerial Association came to the aid of tobacco factories and volunteered to recruit workers. “Three meetings of the colored ministers have already been held at the Darden funeral home, and colored church workers are making a house to house canvass for workers as a result of this meeting.”
Wilson Daily Times, 22 August 1944.