Children

Farm life, school life.

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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?)

New Negro school opened.

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Wilson Daily Times, 11 December 1936.

When Samuel H. Vick Elementary School opened in December 1936, about 600 children were transferred from the aging and seriously over-crowded Stantonsburg Street School to a brand-new building at 801 North Reid Street. (The older school was soon after renamed Sallie Barbour School and continued to serve children south of Nash or Hines Streets.)

A Christmas party for the children.

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Wilson Daily Times, 23 December 1940.

  • Negro recreation center
  • Prof. Williams — Malcolm D. Williams.
  • W.N. Lassiter — Wade N. Lassiter.
  • Abraham Bryant
  • James Barnes
  • Willie Barnes
  • Minnie Leach
  • Unice, Mary and Ruby FreemanPatricia Eunice, Mary E. and Ruby Freeman were daughters of Julius and Pattie Hagans Freeman.
  • Louis Parker — probably, Louise Parker. She and David Parker were children of Minnie Parker.
  • David Parker
  • Tom Freeman — Thomas Freeman was the younger brother of the Freeman sisters, above.
  • Charles Howard
  • John Farmer
  • Rosa Mae Barnes
  • Clarence Barnes
  • Mary Frances Williams
  • Annie Pearl Barnes
  • James Newsome
  • William Melton

I will not ask for much this year, because you can’t afford it.

At the dawn of the Great Depression, these children wrote letters to Santa Claus making modest requests for themselves and asking Saint Nick to remember their parents, siblings and teachers.

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Wilson Daily Times, 13 December 1930.

The obituary of Rev. Hattie Daniels.

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Wilson Daily Times, 26 April 1979.

Rev. Hattie Daniels‘ legacy continues. She began teaching neighborhood children “the Golden Rule” in the mid-1940s. Nearly 75 years later, the Daycare Center bearing her name yet educates East Wilson’s children.

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In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 207 Reid Street, owned and valued at $1600, Cleverland Daniels, 33, light plant fireman, and wife Hattie, 29, both born in Georgia; niece Christine Owens, 8, and nephew Filman Owens, 4.

in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Cleveland Daniel, 40, fireman at city plant; wife Hattie, 38, saleswoman; and father-in-law Mack Owens, 60, farm laborer. All were born in Georgia.

Per her death certificate, Hattie Owens Daniels died 25 April 1979; was born 4 July 1900 in Chester, Georgia, to Mack Owens and Mary Gardner; was a widow; resided at 908 Wainwright Avenue, Wilson; and was a minister and kindergarten teacher. Daughter Deborah Daniels was informant.

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Hattie Daniels’ Golden Rule Kindergarten, 1970. Photo courtesy of Ernie Haskins (first row in chairs, far right.)

A little paint does not help a situation like that.

Richard A.G. Foster made the most of his brief time as pastor of Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church, as chronicled here and here. In the letter to the editor below, he called to task Wilson County Commissioners for failing to heed the pleas of African-American residents for adequate schooling, including serious repairs for the Stantonsburg Street School (also known as Sallie Barbour School).

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Wilson Daily Times, 3 August 1938.

Shot over the heart. (But will live.)

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Wilson Daily Times, 24 October 1911.

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Wilson Daily Times, 27 October 1911.

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Ruth Maultsby was the sister of Mattie L. Maultsby, who was a daughter of Daniel L. and Smithia C. Maultsby and wife of Dr. William A. Mitchner. It appears that the Maultsbys were from Pitt County, North Carolina, and D.L. Maultsby briefly served as pastor at a Methodist church in Wilson, most likely Saint John A.M.E. Zion.

Studio shots, no. 90: Edna E. Gaston.

Per an eBay listing for a reproduction of this photo: “Photo. North Carolina. Black girl and doll carriage. The girl’s name is Edna Earl Gaston. She was the niece of John Clark who was a founder of St Mark’s Episcopal Church. He was also the first Black mail carrier in Wilson, North Carolina. 1925.”

In fact, Edna Earline Gaston was the daughter of Albert Sessle Gaston of Wilson and Annie House Gaston of Moore County, North Carolina. John H. Clark was her great-uncle, brother of Albert Gaston’s mother Ella Clark Gaston.

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In the 1900 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson County: Ella Gaston, 30, divorced, with sons Ralph, 10, and Albert, 2. [Also in the 1900 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson township, North Carolina: 44 year-old barber John Gaston, [second] wife Sabrina [Sattena] 22, and children Theodore, 13, Cicero, 10, George, 8, and Caroline, 2 months. John A. Gaston was Albert Gaston’s father.]

In 1918, Albert Gaston registered for the World War I draft in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his registration card, he was born 16 August 1897 in Wilson, N.C.; resided at 2105 Nassau Street, Philadelphia; worked as a longshoreman; and his nearest relative was Anna Gaston.

In the 1920 census of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania: at 2105 Nassau Street, building laborer Albert Gaston, 22; wife Anne T., 23; daughter Edna E., 1;  lodger Harry Jenkins, 19, a laundry laborer; and “mother” Hellen Hunton, 53. All were born in North Carolina.

Shortly after the census, the Gastons returned to North Carolina, where they took positions in Annie H. Gaston’s home county. On 28 April 1921, The Moore County News of Carthage printed principal Albert Gaston’s address to the Shady Grove colored school.

By October 1921, Gaston had take over as head of the struggling Addor school. Per this 1997 National Register of Historic Places nomination report, the Gastons began an energetic campaign to raise money for a Rosenwald School, and the Lincoln Park school near Pinebluff was the result.

Albert Sessel Gaston registered for the World War II draft in 1942 in Raeford, Hoke County, North Carolina. Per his registration card, he was born 15 August 1897 in Wilson; was employed by the Board of Education in Raeford; and his contact was Annie L. Gaston, 119 Lincoln Street, Hampton, Virginia.

Annie Lillian Gaston died 2 June 1952 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 17 July 1896 in Moore County to John House and Maggie Gunter; was a schoolteacher; and was married. Albert Gaston was informant.

Per the Social Security Death Index, Albert Gaston died November 1979 and Edna Gaston Coles died 25 July 1999, both in Philadelphia.