Business

Uptown, 1930.

As detailed here and here, the blocks of East Nash Street between the railroad and Pender Street were home to Wilson’s black commercial district. Pages 285-336 of 1930 edition of the Wilson, N.C. City Directory offers a detailed listing of the businesses on these blocks. (There were a baker’s dozen residences, too — all save one black-owned or -occupied. One was a boarding house, and half the others included unrelated lodgers.) Though primarily owned by African-Americans, white businesses — several run by immigrant Syrians or Greeks — and a Chinese laundry also operated in the district.

Though they could not buy a dress or deposit a check* or consult a lawyer on their side of town, East Wilson did not have to cross the tracks to see a movie, get their shoes shined or repaired, get a haircut (four barbers), buy eggs and butter (eight groceries, including a corporate chain), grab a cup of coffee and a slice of pie (six cafes and restaurants), select fresh fish, get a suit altered or pressed, play billiards, straighten a bicycle frame, buy or repair furniture, consult a doctor or dentist (two of each), get a prescription filled (two pharmacies), have their hair straightened, sample fresh-made candy, attend a lodge meeting (three), book a hotel room, replace a watch band, pay on insurance policy, fill a gas tank, or bury their dead.

Though this entry suggests otherwise, the theatre’s building was actually east of the tracks. In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, George C. Woller is listed as the proprietor of the Lincoln.

A C L R R intersects

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Cutt Davis and James Mack are listed as proprietors of the Baltimore Shoe Shop.

  • 420 1/2 McNeill & Hargrove (c) barbers

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Angus A. McNeill and John Hargrove are listed as the proprietor of the Lincoln. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1202 Wainright, Angus McNeil, 40, barber; wife Maggie, 25; and daughter Agnes E., 6.

  • 421 Kannan Thos S gro

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 208 Pine Street, Syrian-born widow Shely Kannan, 48, saleslady in a dry goods store, with children Ellis, 28, dry goods store manager, Albert, 22, dry goods store salesman, Thomas, 18, fruit stand salesman, and Rosa Lee, 16. The older two children were also born in Syria.

  • 423 Star Cafe

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Gost Glearmis is listed as the proprietor of the Star.

Pettigrew intersects

  • 500 Gatlin Amos J & Co gro

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 220 Railroad Street, grocery merchant James P. Gatlin, 66; wife Patty, 68, saleslady; son Amos J., 29, salesman; daughter-in-law Edna, 24; grandchildren Amos Jr., 6, Constance, 4, Patricia, 3, and Dorthy, 9 months.

  • 501 Maynard’s Mkt gro

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, George W. Maynard is listed as the proprietor of this grocery and another at 401 Stantonsburg.

  • 503 Barnes Rachel G (c) restr

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1118 East Nash Street, Johnie Barnes, 33, cafe proprietor; wife Rachel G., 35, cafe cook; cousin Leotha Clark, 22, cafe waitress; and roomer Henrietta Walker, 28, cafe waitress.

  • 504 Verser Jesse W

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 504 East Nash Street, grocery store proprietor Jessie W. Verser; with Annie, 36; daughters Ethel, 10, and Thelma, 7; and mother Bertha, 71.

  • 505 Barnes John (c) barber

John Barnes was husband of Rachel G. Barnes, above.

  • 506 Wah Jung lndy

Wah Jung Laundry appears in Wilson city directories as early as 1912. In the 1930 residential listing, its proprietor was listed as Yee G. Wah.

  • 507 Ziady Jos gro

Per the 1928 Wilson city directory, Ziady’s establishment was called Nash Candy Kitchen. He resided nearby at 107 South Pettigrew Street.

  • 508 Service Barber Shop (c) Artis Ernest A (c)

In the 1930 residential listing: Artis Ernest L (c) (Louise) (Service Barber Shop) h 404 N Vick

  • 509 1/2 Stokes Thos (c) fish

In the residential listing of the 1930 directory: Stokes Thos (c) (Babe) fish 509 1/2 Nash h 615 W Wiggins

  • 511 Lupe Peter (c) shoe shiner
  • 512 Braswell Ezekiel (c) rest

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1120 East Nash Street, Ezekiel Braswell, 38, cafe proprietor; wife Mary, 29, public school teacher; daughters Mary E., 5, and Parthenia, 3; and roomer Matilda Cherry, 26, teacher.

  • 514 Lesley Saml G (c) tailor

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 802 Manchester Street, Ohio-born tailor Samuel G. Lesley, 28; Virginia-born wife Lillian, 24; and children Denis, 8, Robert, 6, Samuel Jr., 4, and John W., 3.

  • 517 Moore John H (c) shoe repr

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1113 Atlantic Street, cobbler John H. Moore, 45; wife Annie, 31; and children Lena, 13, Carl, 11, John, 9, Anna G., 7, Odessia B., 3, and Ruth, 1.

  • 519 Phillips Chas P bicycle repr

In the residential listing of the 1930 directory: Phillips Chas P (Minnie A) bicycle repr 519 E Nash h 410 Herring Ave

  • 520 Dixon Lenora (c) billiards

Though Lenora Dixon appears in the 1930 city directory under her maiden name, living at 611 Nash, on 9 December 1929, she married Daniel Carroll in Wilson. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Daniel Carroll, 27, barber in Hines shop; wife Lenora, 27, no occupation; and adopted daughter Hattie L., 9.

  • 521 Smith Preston (c) clothes clnr

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 314 Stantonsburg Street, tailor Preston Smith, 42; wife Minnie, 30; sons Henry, 17, and Vernon, 10; and roomers Henry Edwards, 40, and Anna B. Edwards, 18, both tobacco factory laborers.

  • 522 Atkinson Henry (c) shoe repr
  • 523 Wooten W L Co furn

In the residential listing of the 1930 directory: W L Wooten Co Inc, H Paul Yelverton pres, Jesse W Thomas v-pres, Wm L Wooten sec-treas, furn 523 E Nash.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 805 East Nash, physician Matthew S. Gilliam, 45; wife Annie L., 42; and children Charles A., 17, Matthew, 15, Emily, 13, George T., 12, and Herman, 10. In the 1930 residential listing of the city directory: Howard Mary (c) lndrs h 524 E Nash.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 719 East Green Street, barber Charles S. Thomas, 48; wife Blanch, 48; nephew-in-law George W., 22; adopted daughter Cora, 22; and adopted son Lee Roy, 11.

  • 526 Coleman Mattie B (c)

Mattie B. Coleman managed a boarding house at 526 East Nash. At that address in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: paying $12/month in rent, widow Carrie Shaw, 48; and children Robert, 21, dry cleaning plant laborer, Cornie, 20, laundress, Louise, 18, private nurse, Jovester, 17, Aline, 15, and Nettie R., 12. Also paying $12/month, Dave Harris, 32, guano plant laborer; wife Bessie S., 27, laundress; and children Timothy, 12, Roy, 10, Ardria M., 8, Roland, 5, Odessa, 3, and Herman, 1. Also paying $12/month, boarding house keeper Mattie B. Coleman, 25; tobacco factory stemmer Enemicha Kent, 20; tobacco factory stemmer Carrie M. Shine, 22, and Callonia Shine, 15; wholesale grocery delivery boy Mitchel Hamon, 24, and wife Ella, 17; restaurant dishwasher James Nelson, 21; laundry ironer Irene Rountree, 27; and cook Maggie Downing, 26.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 528 East Nash, widowed seamstress Sarah L. Bowden, 59; divorced restaurant cook George Lee, 24; and widower barber George Sledge, 51.

  • 529 Coppedge Sarah (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Sarah Coppedge, 36, laundress; lodgers James Ellec, 27, cook, and Mary Taylor, 30; son-in-law James Barnes, 26, coal company truck driver; daughter Verlie L., 20; and relative Frank, 21, tea room cook.

  • 530 Stokes Turner (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: building carpenter Turner Stokes, 60; wife Mattie, 38, laundress; and roomers Mary Barnes, 16, and Lillian Dedman, 17.

  • 531 Swindell Deborah (c) hair drsr

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 630 East Suggs Street, beauty parlor helper Debbie Swindell, 40; widow Effie Lewis, 35, servant, and children Essie M., 10, Mathew, 8, and William J., 4; and daughter Deborah Swindell, 6.

  • 532 Uzzell Henry (c) furn repr

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 503 Viola Street, cafe cook Henry Uzzell, 48; wife Almira, 43; and children Eliza, 20, servant, Corine, 17, Mable, 16, Eva May, 11, James, 9, and Corrie, 6.

  • 533 Taylor Bertha (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: divorced laundress Bertha Taylor, 33.

  • 534 Bynum Mack (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 534 East Nash, tobacco factory machinist Mack Bynum, 48; and children Mildred, 20, school lunchroom cook, and Mary, 17; son-in-law Richard Saunders, 25; daughter Catherine, 23; and grandson Walter, 6 months. Also, South Carolina-born odd jobs laborer Anthony Ashley, 48; wife Sarah D., 30, a tobacco factory stemmer; and children Willie G., 10, Leo, 8, Eugenia, 6, and Joseph D., 2 months; restaurant cook Marshal McCommick, 23; hardware delivery man Fletcher Lassiter, 25; and embalmer Daniel McKeathan, 30.

  • 535 Najim Geo candy mfr

Najim resided at 107 South Pettigrew. See Joseph Ziady, above.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Methodist minister Russell B. Taylor, 48, widower; and children Laura, 14, Sarah, 11, Christopher, 7, and William, 4; daughter Beatrice Barnes, 18, teacher, and her son Elroy Barnes Jr., 1; Cora Speight, 49; laundress Mamie Williams, 30; and Roscoe McCoy, 32.

  • 537 Lucas Wm T gro

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 216 Railroad Street, Will T. Lucas, 56, grocery store merchant; wife Sallie, 42; son Leon, 22; daughter-in-law Dorthy, 22; children Will Jr., 7, and Sarah F., 3; and granddaughter Betsy G., 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Virginia-born druggist Darcey C. Yancey, 46; wife Lelia B., 40; and daughter Maude, 9.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Albert Mitchel, 52; brother Floyd Mitchel, 47; and roomers Settie Hardy, 56, housekeeper, and Jaunita Nevells, 23.

  • 541 Whitley Hotel; Marshall Lodge, No 297, IBPOE

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Maggie A. Whitley is listed as the proprietor of this hotel.

  • 542 Brewington Edward C (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: transfer driver Eddie Brewington, 32; wife Mary, 32, laundress; and hospital nurse Alice Tyler, 69.

  • 543 Jones Luther J (c) restr

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Mason Street, seamstress Lula Herring, 25, and boarder Luther Jones, 38, cafe manager.

  • 544 Baker Easter (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widowed laundress Esther Baker, 64; son Jim, 24, tobacco factory laborer; cafe dish washer George Coley, 32; and Fred Hancock, 43.

  • 545 Ford clnrs; Best John (c) clothes presser

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Herbert H. and Alf J. Ford are listed as the proprietors of Ford cleaners. Also, Best John (c) (Sylvia) clothes presser h 106 Ashe.

  • 546 Rogers John W (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: dry goods store janitor John W. Rogers, 57; wife Mary R., 47; adopted son Leonard G., 7; and niece Ernestine Atkinson, a teacher.

  • 547 Am Legion, Henry Ellis Post (c); IOOF, Hannibal Lodge, No 552 (c)
  • 548 Barbour Nannie (c) clo presser

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Barbour Nannie (c) clothes presser 548 e Nash h 1005 Atlantic.

  • 549 Fahad Kattar billiards

Census and other records indicate that Fahad, born in Syria or Lebanon, was primarily a resident of New Bern, North Carolina.

  • 551 Rutherford Geo (c) restr

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 104 [sic; 804] Green Street, Georgia-born cafe proprietor George Rutherford, 45, and wife Maggie, 31, waitress.

  • 552 Alston Robert T (c) watch repr

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory: Alston Robet T (c) watch repr 552 E Nash h do

  • 552 1/2 Wilson Dye Works (br)

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Luther W. High is listed as the proprietor of this branch of the dye works.

  • 553 Peacock & Locus undtkrs

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Levi H. Peacock Jr. and Luther Locus are listed as the proprietors of this undertaking establishment. However, in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1108 Wainwright, cook Luther Locus, 37, wife Eula, 37, also a cook, and son Robert, 16. And at 204 Vick Street, hotel bellboy Levi Peacock, 30; wife Elouise, 28, a public school teacher; children Jewel D., 4, and Thomas L., 14; and mother-in-law Etta Reaves, 50, post office maid.

  • 554 Baxter & Co gros

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Herman W. Baxter and James F. Downing are listed as the proprietors of this grocery.

Stantonsburg intersects

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 900 Atlantic Street, cafe proprietor Jim Allen, 45; wife Rachel, 32, a private nurse; and children Elouise, 10, and Fred, 8; and lodgers Floyd Baker, 26, farm laborer, Gertrude Kannary, 27, cook, and Katherine, 10, Dortha, 7, and Elouise Baker, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 604 East Green, Baptist minister Fred M. Davis, 60; wife Minie, 49; daughter Addie, 25, teacher; and Bermuda-born son-in-law George Butterfield, 27, dentist.

Darcy C. Yancey, above, was proprietor of Ideal Pharmacy.

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory: Mitchner Wm A (c) phys 565 E Nash h 604 E Green.  Winston Mutual Life Insurance Company was established in 1906 by African-American business and civic leaders to provide health and accident insurance for Winston-Salem’s African-American tobacco workers.

  • 567 Battle Harry (c) restr

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory: Battle Harry (c) restr 567 E Nash r 902 do.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Columbus Artis, a merchant/undertaker, wife Ida [Ada], and niece Gladys Adams. Artis owned the house at 308 Pender Street, valued at $4000.

Pender intersects

  • 600 Triangle Filling Sta

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, William H. Taylor is listed as the proprietor of this gas station.

  • 601 Boykin Dorsey G filling sta

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory: Boykin Dorsey G (Virginia L) filling sta 601 E Nash h 208 W Green.

  • 603 Simpson Fannie (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Fannie Simpson 60, widow.

  • 605 Parker Eli (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 605 East Nash, fertilizer plant laborer Bob Snow, 29; wife Elberta, 27; and children Beulah, 11, John, 8, Albert, 6, and Edgar, 1. Also, oil mill laborer Elye Parker, 29, and wife Pearl, 27, cook.

  • 607 Smith Wm (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: bakery laborer Willie Smith, 27; wife Ada, 24; and brother Oscar, 18, bakery laborer; widow Mary Williams, 45, cook, and son Robert, 28, tobacco factory stemmer.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 111 Pender Street, Charles H. Darden, 76, undertaking proprietor; wife Mary E.; and Cora Brown, 22, drugstore clerk.

*Black-owned Commercial Bank closed abruptly amid scandal in 1929.

 

Wilson news.

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New York Age, 3 October 1912.

  • C.H. Dorden and Son — Charles H. Darden and son Camillus L. Darden.
  • Dr. John W. Dorden — C.H. Darden’s son John W. Darden.
  • Maj. McGrew — apparently, Maj. James H. McGrew was commandant of students at Saint Paul’s Normal and Industrial School in Lawrenceville, Virginia. His wife was Hattie Smith McGrew. I have been unable to discover more about McGrew’s time in Wilson.

William Hines shows up.

The 1926 Winoca, the yearbook of Wilson High School:

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This ad, placed by William Hines Barber Shop, is the sole evidence that there were any colored people at all in Wilson.

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[In the 1920s and early ’30s, Wilson’s two high schools were Wilson High School and Wilson Colored High School. By the end of the latter decade, they were Charles L. Coon High School — named for the teacher-slapping superintendent who spurred a school boycott by black parents — and Charles H. Darden High School.]

Yearbook courtesy of Wilson County Public Library.

Camillus L. Darden.

Wilson Daily Times, 14 January 1956.

——

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: wheelwright Charles Dardin, 44; wife Dianna, 40, sewing; and children Annie, 21, sewing; Comilous, 15, tobacco stemmer; Arthor, 12; Artelia, 10; Russell, 5; and Walter, 4.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: blacksmith Charlie Darden, 55; wife Dianah, 48; and children Cermillus, 24, bicycle shop owner; Arthur, 22, teacher; Artelia, 18, teacher; Russel, 16; and Walter, 14.

Camillus Louis Darden registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 26 June 1884; resided at 110 Pender Street; was a self-employed undertaker at 615 East Nash Street; and his nearest relative was his father Charles H. Darden.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 110 Pender Street, blacksmith Charles H. Darden, 65; wife Mary E., 55; sons C.L., 35, and Artha W., 27, undertakers; and [step-] daughter Mary H., 19, and Cora B., 11.

Camillus Darden married Norma E. Duncan of Montgomery, Alabama.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 108 Pender Street, Calamus L. Darden, and wife Morma, 30. Their home was valued at $10,000.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 108 Pender Street, undertaker C.L. Darden, 45, and wife Norma, 40.

C.L. Darden executed his will on 1955. He devised his business, Darden Memorial Funeral Home, to his wife Norma E. Darden, brother Dr. Walter T. Darden and nephew Charles Darden James in one-half, one-quarter and one-quarter shares respectively. The property on which the funeral home was located, 608 and 610 East Nash Street, as well as an adjacent lot known as the Darden Shop lot, were similarly devised. His wife was to receive his residence at 108 Pender Street, and property at 203 Stantonsburg Street was to be sold and the proceeds divided between his sisters Elizabeth Morgan and Artelia Tennessee; his nieces Artelia Tennessee Bryant, Thelma Byers and Artelia Davis; and a long-time employee Frank Davis (with provisions to guarantee each received at least $1000.) All personal property was devised to wife Norma, and equal shares in all other real property to nieces and nephews Charles Darden James, Randall James, Johnnie K. Reynolds, Artelia Davis, Thelma Byers, Bernard Tennessee, Eugene Tennessee, Artelia Tennessee Bryant, Norma Jean Darden, Carol Darden, and Charles Arthur Darden.

004778533_00448

Camillus L. Darden died 12 January 1956 at Mercy Hospital. Per his death certificate, he resided at 108 Pender Street; was born 26 June 1884 in Wilson to Charles Henry Darden and Diana Scarborough; was married to Norma Duncan Darden; and worked as a mortician. Charles D. James was informant.

Read more about Camillus Lewis Darden here and here and here and here.

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The Darden house at 108 North Pender Street.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2017; U.S. Citizen Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Tampa, Florida, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787- 2004, digitized at Florida, Passenger Lists, 1898-1963 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com; North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

He was successful in every business he started.


Herbert Woodard Sr., age 100.

Herbert Woodard Sr., 100, of 1735 Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, died peacefully on Saturday, June 21, 2008, at Pitt County Memorial Hospital, Greenville. Herbert, son of the late James and Nancy Woodard, was born July 4, 1907, in Wilson County. Herbert was reared in Wilson County, where he attended the public schools. Though he never went beyond the 4th grade, what he lacked in education, he gained in common sense and wisdom. In the 100 years he lived, “Herb,” as he was affectionately called by friends, saw a lot of changes in this nation — from the rise of the age of television to the possibility of a black man becoming the president of these United States. He started working at the age of 13 to provide financial stability, not only for his family, but for others as well. Always self-employed, this magnate’s business ventures were successful whether selling coal and fish or by hauling water to men working at the now defunct Hackney Wagon Company. He cleaned septic tanks by day and ran a “Night Club” at night. He was the only black man to own and operate a motel in Wilson. It can be truthfully said that he was successful in every business he started. In celebration of Herbert’s 100th birthday, Mayor Bruce Rose presented him the key to the City of Wilson. Surviving to cherish fond memories are his wife, Mrs. Georgia Battle Woodard, of the home; two daughters, Georgie W. Hobbs of Hillside, N.J. and Annie Miller Woodard of Wilson; three sons, Ralph Woodard of Yonkers, N.Y., Herbert Woodard Jr., and David Woodard, both of Wilson; 13 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends. Funeral services for Mr. Woodard will be conducted Friday, June 27, 2008, at 1 p.m. at St. Rose Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, 605 S. Douglas St., Wilson. Bishop M.W. Johnson will officiate. Burial will follow in the Rest Haven Cemetery. The family will receive visitors and friends at a wake on Thursday, June 26, 2008, from 7-8 p.m. at the Hamilton Funeral Chapel, 726 S. Tarboro St., Wilson, and at other times at the residence.

Wilson Times, 25 June 2008.

——

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Nancy Woodard, 33, widow, and children Lizzie, 14, Mamie, 11, Hubbard [Herbert], 4, and David, 2. [In fact, Nancy Woodard was divorced.]

On 13 February 1924, Herbert Woodard, 21, son of London and Nancy Woodard, married Mary Jones, 18, daughter of Tom and Mary Jones. Dock Barnes [husband of Herbert’s half-sister Lizzie Woodard Barnes] applied for the license, and A.M.E. Zion minister John A. Barnes performed the ceremony at the bride’s home. Witnesses were Walter Barnes, Roosevelt Lipscomb, and David Downey.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Herbert Woodard, 32, self-employed manager of filling station restaurant; wife Lucille, 28; and lodger Jimmy Long, 24, tire repairer at filling station.

In 1940, Herbert Woodard registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. His card noted that he was self-employed:

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Woodard’s original filling station-cum-grocery store, built in 1935.

Jesse “Buster” Forte Jr. in front of a later version of the business.

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Woodard’s Motel, at left, and the Herbert Woodard home today. At the time of construction, they were at the far outskirts of east Wilson where Nash Street became Highway 264. Image courtesy Google Maps.

On 9 February 2008, just months before his death, The Wilson Daily Times printed a full-page story on Herbert Woodard in its Life/Feature section. His story is told largely in his own words and those of his children, and all the photos above, except the last, were reprinted from that article.