City of Wilson

Studio shots, no. 181: Annie Mae Dillard Bowden.

Anna Mae Dillard Bowden.

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In the 1920 census of Henderson township, Vance County, North Carolina: Sallie Dillard, 28, tobacco factory; daughter Annie, 14; and mother Stella Smith, widow, 62, cook.

On 26 March 1925, Timothy Bowden, 22, of Wilson, married Annie May Pitt, 19, of Wilson. Sam Allen, “minister of A.M.E. Zion connection,” performed the ceremony at his home on Robeson Street in the presence of Georgia Ward, Fannie Allen, and Cardain Allen.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bowden Timothy (c; Annie M) hlpr h 305 Finch

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 307 Finch Street, Timothy Battle [Bowden], 27, chauffeur; wife Annie, 24; children William, 7, Timothy Jr., 5, Mary E., 4, Hurbert, 3, and Charlie, 1; mother-in-law Sallie White, 38, widow.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 902 Faison Street, Sankie Jones, 60; wife Armecie, 43, cook; roomer Joe McDowell, 41, plasterer, and wife Marinie, 41, cook, and Annie May Bowden, 34, domestic.

Timothy Bowden died 18 March 1945 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 June 1902 to Mary Ellen Adams of Wilson County; was married to Annie Mae Bowden; lived at 413 East Green; and worked as a chauffeur.

“Shortie” Bolden’s obituary. Wilson Daily Times, 19 March 1945.

Hubert O. Bowden registered for the draft in 1946. Per his registration card, he was born 5 April 1927 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 323 Macon Street, Brooklyn], Kings County, N.Y.; his contact was mother Annie Mae Bowden of the same address; and was unemployed.

Lane Street Project: Fannie Oates McCullins.

Fannie Oates McCullins‘ broken headstone lies in Odd Fellows cemetery a short distance from her parents and sisters Rosa O. Barnes and Ella Oates.

Fannie Wife of Andrew McCullins

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In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: day laborer Charles Oates, 34; wife Emma, 30; and children Willie, 11, Fannie, 9, Annie, 8, Effie, 5, and Queen Elsie, 4.

On 3 December 1908, Andrew McCullen, 40, of Wilson, son of Emma McCullen, married Fannie Oats, 19, of Wilson, daughter of Charles and Emma Oats. A.M.E. Zion minister J.S. Jackson performed the ceremony in the presence of Charles Knight, Henry Tart, and T.S. Beaty.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: pool room laborer Andrew McCollen, 36, and wife Fannie, 20, tobacco factory laborer. 

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 133 Ashe Street, tobacco factory laborer Andrew McCullers, 40, and wife Fannie, 30, shared a duplex with laborer Bob Strickland, 70, and wife Mary, 45.

The death of Mattie Merritt.

Wilson Daily Times, [16?] January 1923.

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In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Fannie Meritt, 53, widow, washing; daughter Martha, 35, washing; boarder Tom Deanes, 31, preacher; and lodgers William Kiterrel, 34, tobacco stemmer, and Willey Williams, 37, day laborer.

In the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Merritt Martha A (c) laundress h 121 N Railroad

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: laundress Fannie Merritt, 58, widow, and daughter Marthy, 40.

Fannie Merritt died 21 April 1915 in Wilson, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 67 years old; was born in N.C. to Bailum Bess and Millie Jones; and was a widow. Mattie Merritt was informant.

Mattie Merritt died 16 January 1923 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 60 years old; was born in Duplin County, N.C., to John Middleton and Fannie Best; was single; worked as a laundress; and lived on Smith Street. Cause of death: “Heart trouble stated to us. Found dead in her room had not been sick. No doctor in attendance.” Richard Best of Warsaw, N.C., was informant.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Franklin kicked by a mule.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 July 1913.

A mule kicked Jim Franklin in the face as he tried to catch it, “displacing his right eye and breaking his jaw bone.”

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On 12 August 1916, James Franklin, 24, of Wilson, obtained a license to marry Sudie Bryant, 22, of Wilson.

In 1917, Jim Franklin registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born January 1891 in Johnston County, N.C.; lived at 521 Lodge Street, Wilson; and worked as a laborer for Briggs & Simms. He claimed a draft exemption because he had one eye.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 521 Lodge, Ohio-born Jim Franklyn, 28, oil mill laborer; wife Sudie, 25; and son Freddie, 8 months, who shared a dwelling with Lina Smith, 21, laundress; her son Arthur, 1; and her grandmother Ella, 70, widow.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: James Franklin, 54; wife Sudie F., 35; and children Freddie F., 11, and Bertha L., 7.

Jim Franklin died 17 July 1939 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 46 years old; was born in Columbus, Ohio, to Rollingson and Emma Franklin; was married to Sudie Franklin; worked as a strikeman; and lived at 504 East Spruce Street, Wilson.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Lane Street Project: Rosa Oates Barnes.

Rosa Oats Barnes‘ broken headstone lies in Odd Fellows cemetery a short distance from her parents and sister Ella Oates.

Rosa Wife of Matthew Barnes

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On 25 August 1919, Matthew Barnes, 21, of Wilson, son of Nat and Emma Barnes, married Rosa Oats, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Charles Oats.  A.M.E. Zion minister  B.P. Coward performed the ceremony in the presence of John Norfleet, J.L. Moore, and James Whitley.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Railroad Street, tobacco factory worker Emma Barnes, 48, widow; son Matthew, 23, auto garage laborer; and daughter-in-law Rosa, 18, tobacco factory worker.

Rosa Oates died 18 November 1922 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 18 years old [actually, about 21]; was born in Wilson County to Charles Oats and Emma Williams; was divorced from Matthew Barnes; lived on Ash Street; and worked as a factory worker at Flemmings. Charlie Oats was informant.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2021.

Lula Malone is struck by a train.

Per the first account in the Daily Times, Lula Malone (not “Lizzie”) was struck by a train, but not seriously injured, sustaining only “cuts about the head and arms.”

Wilson Daily Times, 21 June 1922.

Three days later, however, the paper reported a very different story. How could a crushed skull have been missed?

Wilson Daily Times, 24 June 1922.

Lula Malone died 21 June 1922. Her death certificate states “June 1st,” but other dates in the document, including her dates of treatment, are consistent with a death on the 21st. She was 52 years old; married to Leroy Malone; a cook for “Mrs. Daniels”; and was born in Statesville, N.C., to John Griffin. Cause of death: “‘Shock’ (possible internal injury)” with “struck by RR engine” contributing.

Apparently, then Malone’s skull was not crushed. The official cause of death is more consistent with the initial news account. 

Clippings courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Old Cabin Lunch.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 August 1925. 

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.

Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory (1928).