Church

904, 906 and 908 Wainwright Street.

The one hundred twenty-eighth in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

908, 906 and 904 Wainwright St.

  • 904 Wainwright

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1930; 2 stories; Miracle Tabernacle Church; traditional gable-end form and pointed-arch vent in gables rare example in district that retains weatherboarded facade.” [The building since has been clad in vinyl siding. It does not appear to be in current use.]

In the 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, at 904 Wainwright: The Church of God (c).

Wilson Daily Times, 29 November 1941.

  • 906 Wainwright

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1930; Hattie Daniels rental house: shotgun with engaged porch and late turned porch posts; built for tenants by Daniels family, who lived at #908.”

No house is found at this address in the 1930 or 1940 censuses or in the city directories issued in the 1940s.

  • 908 Wainwright

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1930; 1 story; Hattie Daniels house; bungalow with three-pile plan and gable-end form with hip-roofed porch; asphalt veneer; Daniels preached at the Miracle Tabernacle Church and began a day-care center behind her home in 1949; husband, Cleveland, was a [railroad] fireman.”

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hardy Cornelius (c; Carrie) hlpr h 908 Wainwright Av.

In the 1930 city directory: Hardy Cornelious (c; Carrie) mill hd h 908 Wainwright Av

Wilson Daily Times, 12 January 1931.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 908 Wainwright, owned and valued at $1500, 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.

In 1942, Cleveland Daniels registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 15 April 1897 in Warrengton, Georgia; lived at 908 Wainwright Avenue, Wilson; his contact was Mrs. Dora Godwin, 910 Wainwright; and he worked for the City Light Plant.

George Cleveland Daniels died at his home at 908 Wainwright on 19 August 1949. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 April 1897 in Warren County, Georgia, to Peter and Jane Daniels; was a fireman; was married to Hattie Daniels; was a veteran of World War I; and was buried in Rountree Cemetery.

Hattie Owens Daniels died 25 April 1979 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she 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.

A few reasons why Negro ministers should support race enterprises.

The Word, in short: “buy Black.”

Cleveland Gazette, 6 July 1912.

  • A.N. Darden — Arthur N. Darden, son of Charles H. and Dinah Scarborough Darden, was only 23 years old when he penned this opinion letter published in the Cleveland Gazette, an African-American newspaper. His message of “race pride” to Black clergy is summarized in his final paragraph: ” … if the race sticks together in business life the day is nearer than we think when Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hand to God and our race become the chief corner stone that the builders rejected.”

915 East Nash Street.

The one hundred twenty-seventh in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompassed 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “909-911 [Nash]; ca. 1930; 1; Cain’s Grocery; district’s largest grocery; brick-veneered structure with parapet front.” The correct address for this building is in fact 915 East Nash Street. 909 and 911 are empty lots.

The 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of the block shows three contiguous wood-framed commercial buildings, two marked as groceries, in the 900 block of Nash Street. The middle building, at 913, appears to be the precursor of the building above.

In the 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., directories, 915 East Nash Street is listed as vacant.

As early as July 1936, Gill’s Grocery advertised in the local newspaper:

Wilson Daily Times, 17 July 1936.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Gill’s Grocery (John D Gill) 915-917 E Nash.  (On either side, two more groceries, Jesse Verser’s at 913 and Smith’s, owned by Leander and Maggie Smith, at 919-921.)

Gill’s Grocery remained in business at 915 East Nash Street into the 1970s. Cain’s Grocery and other supermarkets succeeded Gill’s into the early 21st century. Most recently, the building has housed a church.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2018.

Rev. Edward C. Simms, Presiding Elder.

This brief bio of Rev. Edward C. Simms is found in souvenir volume issued for an A.M.E. Zion General Conference. I do not have the access to the full volume, its title, or its date of publication.

REV. EDWARD CUTHBERT SIMMS, P.E., Tampa, Fla.

Rev. Simms hails from Wilson, North Carolina, and of the year 1862; he graduated from the Wilson Academy in 1883; was converted there in 1875; joining the Farmer A.M.E. Zion Church at the same time. He became a preacher in 1896 at Norfolk, Va., and joined the Virginia Conference. Later on, he was ordained deacon at Hickory, N.C., in 1897, and ordained elder at Franklin, Va., in 1899.

His pastoral labors were exerted at Mosley Street A.M. E. Zion Church, Norfolk, Newport News, Va., and Mount Sinai Church, Tampa, Fla. He built the Centreville Chapel in Norfolk County, and Zion Chapel at Bear Quarter, Va. Rev Simms is a prominent member of the South Florida Conference, and a preacher who draws and holds an audience. As a pastor his success reaches the best average. This will be his first official appearance in the General Conference. He makes a highly acceptable administrator and his constituency love, honor and revere him. 

Biographical Souvenir Volume of General Conference A.M.E. Zion Church

Norfolk Virginian, 9 May 1897.

In its coverage on the Philadelphia Conference of the A.M.E. Zion Church, the 30 May 1908 edition of the Washington Bee noted that “Rev. E.C. Simms, a delegate from Florida, died suddenly from heart disease; a sum of one hundred dollars was raised by Conference for his funeral, and a Florida delegate was sent to accompany the remains home.”

——

In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Esther Simms, 45, and Ned Simms, 19, both farmworkers.

On 8 May 1879, Ned Simms, 25, married Nicy Best, 26, in Wilson. Benjamin S. Brunson performed the ceremony at the A.M.E. Zion Church in the presence of Hayes Best, Jas. Harriss, and S.A. Smith.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: school teacher Edward C. Simms, 33; wife Nicy, 26; and Edward, 7 months.

In the 1900 census of Norfolk, Virginia: at 62 Moseley, teacher Edward C. Simms, 44; wife Nicy, 43, nurse; and children Edward, 20, porter, Theodocia, 18, teacher, Sacona, 16, errand boy, Adonis, 14, Cicero, 12, Henny, 10, and Hattie, 6. All were born in North Carolina, except the youngest two, who were born in Virginia.

In the 1906 Tampa, Florida, city directory: Simms Edward C (m) pastor A M E Zion Church, h 952 Harrison 

In the 1908 Tampa, Florida, city directory: Simms Edward C Rev (m) pastor A M E Zion Church, h 952 Harrison

E.C. Simms died 14 May 1908 of diabetes at 313 North 38th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his death certificate, he was 55 years old and was born in Virginia to E.C. Simms of North Carolina and an unnamed mother born in Virginia. Informant was J.B. Harris [who apparently knew little about Simms.] He was buried in Norfolk, Virginia.

In the 1910 census of Tanner Creek, Norfolk County, Virginia: at 4 Byrd Street, widow Nicey Simms, 50, and children Adonis, 22, candy maker in factory, Henrietta, 18, and Hattie, 15.

Nicy Simms died 6 January 1922 in Norfolk, Virginia. Per her death certificate, she was 60 years old; was a widow; lived at 914 Dunbar; and was born in Wilson, N.C., to Daniel Bass [Best] and Jane [last name unknown]. Theadesia Simms of Norfolk was informant.

Adonis Simms died 9 July 1930 in Norfolk, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1887 in North Carolina to Edward Simms; worked as a laborer; and was married to Vessie Simms.

1000 East Nash Street.

The one-hundred-twenty-sixth in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompassed 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

1922 Sanborn fire insurance map, showing a grocery store at 1000 East Nash

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “ca. 1922; 1 story; Progressive Primitive Baptist Church; brick-veneered former grocery and bottling plant; parapet front with spire added.” 

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Higson Bros (B H and V H) gros 1000 E Nash [The Higsons — owners Booth H. and Velborn H., clerk William B, and his wife Sidney S. —  lived at their shop. Like all who operated businesses at 1000 East Nash, the Higsons were white.]

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Pridgen Babe D (Mattie) gro 1000 E Nash and 513 Stantonsburg h 506 Pender

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Pilot Beverage Co (Roger J Crawley Andrew C Byrd) 1000 E Nash

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wilson Bottling Co Moffett L Carson Mgr, Bottlers of Nesbitt’s California Orange 1000 E Nash tel 2408

Ad, 1947 city directory.

In the 1950 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wilson Bottling Co Moffett L Carson Mgr, Bottlers of Nesbitt’s California Orange 1000 E Nash tel 2408

In its 30 July 1953 edition, the Wilson Daily Times announced the opening of a new grocery business, Super Duper, at 1000 East Nash. Thus, the building returned to its original use.

Wilson Daily Times, 31 May 1956.

In the 1963 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Super Duper Market No 1 (Lerby Bryant Odell C Tant) gros 1000 E Nash

These food stamp credit tokens for Super Duper No. 1 date from the 1970s. For an interesting history of this currency, see this 2015 CoinWeek digital article.

In 1978, the owners of the building advertised it for rent in the Daily Times.

Per mentions in the Wilson Daily Times, from 1982 to 1988 and possibly longer, Goodwill Progressive Primitive Baptist Church operated from 1000 East Nash Street.

Per mentions in the Wilson Daily Times, from 1995 to 1999 and possibly longer, Brotherhood of Deliverance Pentecostal Church operated from 1000 East Nash Street.

The building has been demolished.

1000 East Nash Street now, per Google Street View.

Rev. Franklin Brown Woodard.

Portraits of Rev. Franklin B. Woodard are posted on the blog of Legacy Museum of African-American History in Lynchburg, Virginia. The text of the post: “Rev. Frank B. Woodard was born and raised in Wilson County, North Carolina. He studied at Virginia Seminary and graduated in 1904. Woodard led churches in Michigan and Iowa and served as the President of the Iowa–Nebraska Convention. He died in 1919.”

——

In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Frank Woodard, 25; wife Appie, 23; son Frank Jr., 1; and Samuel, 20, farm laborer.

In the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Frank Woodard, 37; wife Appie, 32; and children Frank, 11, and Romulus, 9.

On 29 August 1906, in Lynchburg, Virginia, Franklin Brown Woodard, 38, born in Wilson County, North Carolina, to Frank and Apsilla Woodard, married Margaret C. Minnis, 27, born in Bedford County, Virginia, to Henry L. and Mamie Minnis.

In the 1910 census of Bluff Creek township, Monroe County, Iowa: Frank B. Woodard, 41, born N.C.; wife Margurite C., 31, born Virginia; and children Thelma K., 2, born Michigan, and Virginia L., 1, born Iowa. 

On 2 June 1915, Franklin Brown Woodard, 46, widowed, born in Wilson County, N.C., to Frank and A. Woodard, married Rosa Mildred Jones, 36, born in Buxton, Iowa, to Lewis and M. Jones, in Lynchburg, Virginia. 

The Bystander (Des Moines, Iowa), 7 June 1918.

Rev. Frank B. Woodard died 5 September 1919 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The Bystander (Des Moines, Iowa), 12 September 1919.

Rev. Woodard’s body was returned to Lynchburg for burial.

Woodard’s wife Rosa was appointed guardian to her step-daughters Thelma and Virginia. Though certified to teach, Rosa Woodard was in poor health, and year after year applied to the Linn County, Iowa, District Court to draw money from Frank Woodard’s estate to provide for the girls.

Petition for letters of guardianship.

Rosa Woodard’s first application for funds. She stated that it was too late in the year to get a teaching job.

Another petition for funds, in which Rosa Woodard revealed that she had been ill for months and had spent several weeks at Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Virginia Lavurn Woodard, born in Buxton, Iowa, to Frank Brown Woodard and Margaret Celeste Minnis, married John Henry Hughes Jr., born in Bedford County, Virginia, to John Henry Hughes and Lucretia Ann Griffin, on 1 March 1931 in Lynchburg, Virginia. 

Rosa Jones Woodard

Rosa Jones Woodard died 1 August 1957 at her home at 904 Eighth Street, Lynchburg, Virginia. Per her death certificate, she was born 27 February 1885 in Lynchburg to Louis Jones and Margaret Taylor; was a widow of Frank B. Woodard; and had worked as a teacher and school matron. Informant was Virginia Hughes, Lynchburg.

Photos of Frank and Rosa Woodard courtesy of Legacy Museum; photo of Woodard headstone courtesy of findagrave.com; Iowa Wills and Probate Records, 1758-1997, http://www.ancestry.com.

Pioneer Boys run from Goldsboro to Wilson.

Wilson Daily Times, 20 June 1928.

  • James T. Parker — James Thomas Parker. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1003 Washington Street, chauffeur George Connie, 41; wife Nona, 36, laundress; and laborers Cora Parker, 38, widowed cook, and her son James T., 15.
  • Jim L. Parker — probably, in the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Parker James L (c) student h 305 Pender
  • Joe Haskins — Joseph Franklin Haskins. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1200 Wainwright, valued at $1700, Coca-Cola Plant laborer Damp Haskins, 24; wife Sudie B., 21; children Damp Jr., 2, and Hellen, 6 months; mother Hester, 72; brother Jospeh , 18; sister Martha Pitt, 52, servant; and nephew Jim R. Haskins, 10.
  • Fletcher Pierce — Fletcher Forest Pierce. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 905 Vance Street, insurance agent Nazareth Pierce, 54; wife Ada, seamstress; son Fletcher, 17, and daughter Elmira, 25. 
  • Esmond Langley — Esmond Connell Langley. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 901 Viola Street, grocery store merchant Jarrette J. Langley; wife Mary, 49; and children Ivary, 21 public school teacher, Esmond, 19, grocery store delivery boy, Ruttena, 16, Alcesta, 14, and Eunice, 8.
  • Chas. W. Gilliam — in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 805 East Nash Street, valued at $8000, physician Matthew S. Gilliam, 45; wife Annie L., 42; and children Charles W., 17, Matthew, 15, Emily, 13, George T., 12, and Herman, 10.
  • Chas. Edwards — probably: Charles Edwards registered for the World War II draft in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1940. Per his registration card, he was born in Wilson, N.C., on 20 July 1912; he lived at 1342 Fulton Street, Brooklyn (updated to 1165 Fulton Street); his contact was sister Scottie Carter, 150 Wyckoff Street, Brooklyn; and he was employed by Etta Webb, 1144-A Fulton Street, Brooklyn.
  • James E. Farmer — James Edward Farmer. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 706 East Green, plasterer John A. Farmer, 60; wife Nona, 61; sons James E., 17, and Woodie, 22, barber; and daughter-in-law Savana, 22, lodge bookkeeper. [His parents, in fact, were John W. and Edmonia Barnes Farmer.]

Thanks to J. Robert Boykin III for sharing this clipping.

An introduction to Sharpsburg.

Per county GIS mapping data, there are two property owners remaining in Wilson County whose named include the word “Colored.” The first I know well — Elm City Colored Cemetery Commission. The second pulled me up short — Sharpsburg Colored Primitive Baptist Church.

Though I have driven through it on U.S. Highway 301 hundreds of times, I know little about Sharpsburg, other than that its town limits straddle three counties — Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe. Because I’m not familiar with the locations of these boundaries, I have not looked closely at Sharpsburg as a source of material for Black Wide-Awake.

I pulled up the GIS map for Sharpsburg Colored Primitive Baptist and was immediately struck by two things.

One, the Wilson County sector of Sharpsburg is cleanly bounded by SE Railroad Street on the west and Main Street on the north. Two, this is the historically Black section of town — the church is there, it is “across the tracks,” and its street names include Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.

And then there’s this grainy Google Maps image of the church itself:

Per county tax records, trustees bought the lot at the corner of Railroad and Lincoln Streets in 1915 and built Sharpsburg Colored Primitive Baptist Church in 1920. Another grainy photograph linked to the tax record and date-stamped 2016 shows a large sign mounted on the church tower that reads “Bellamy Chapel P.B. Church.” Bellamy Chapel appears to be defunct as well. 

I’ve added Sharpsburg Colored Primitive Baptist Church to my follow-up list. Stay tuned.