Johnny Matthews and Luther Barber [Barbour] were fined ten dollars each (or was it $22?) after an altercation over two bottles of Coca-Cola at Matthews’ cold drink stand on the Plank Road (roughly, Martin Luther King Parkway). State law prohibited the sale on Sunday of any goods other than “drugs, undertaking supplies, ice and those things absolutely necessary for the sick.”
Levi Jones clearly believed in the benefits of advertising to set himself apart from the crowded barbershop market in early 20th-century Wilson. This notice touted his business at 108 East Nash Street, opposite Lumina Theatre. (Wilson changed its street numbering system about 1921; Jones’ shop was located at what is now a parking lot at the corner of Tarboro and West Nash Streets.)
In 1912, Tuskegee Institute-trained veterinarian Elijah L. Reid moved his practice to 304 East Barnes Street, the livery stable operated by John H. Aiken.
The Norfolk & Southern station at the corner of Spring and Barnes Streets, and J.H. Aiken’s livery stable at 304 East Barnes. Detail, Sanborn fire insurance maps of Wilson, N.C., 1912.
Ten years later, Reid and Aiken’s location (now numbered 307 East Barnes) is labeled a “veterinnery,” but the city directory reveals that the business belonged to veterinarians L.J. Herring and M.M. Dew. Aiken had died in 1914, and Reid had retired.
Detail, Sanborn fire insurance maps of Wilson, N.C., 1922.
N.B.: The nomination form for the Wilson Central Business-Tobacco Warehouse Historic District asserts that the building at 307 East Barnes, described as brick, was built circa 1912 as the livery and veterinary clinic of Dr. Lawrence Herring. However, the 1912 Wilson city directory shows that Herring was then practicing at Wilson Live Stock Company, 212 East Barnes Street. Also, the Sanborn map shows 307 as a wooden building, not brick. In the 1916 directory, Herring was at 306 East Barnes, the brick building depicted above adjacent to the veterinary building.
In 1925, 1401 East Nash Street was just beyond eastern city limits. I have not been able to find anything else about Old Cabin Lunch. I’m not at all sure it was a Black-owned business, though it was located in an African-American residential area. Three years later, the address was the location of William Wells‘ auto repair garage.