City of Wilson

Studio shots, no. 43: Pattie Hagans Freeman.

Pattie Hagans Freeman (1900-1977).

——

In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Larnce Haggan, 49, wife Etha, 44, and children Joe, 21, Augustus, 19, Oscar, 18, Charlie, 16, Annie, 13, Connie, 10, Lena, 8, Mollie, 7, William L., 4, Minnie, 3, and Pattie, 1, and Lawrence’s widowed mother Alice Hagans, 70.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Laurence Hagans, 60, wife Mary, 56, and children Laurence Jr., 16, Minnie, 4, and Pattie, 12.

Julius F. Freeman, 31, of Camp Pike, Pulaski County, Arkansas, married Pattie Hagan, 21, of Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas, on 1 October 1918.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Julias Freeman, 33, brickmason for construction company; wife Pattie, 21; and son Julias Jr., 3 months.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1113 Washington Street, owned and valued at $3000, brickmason Julious F. Freman, 42; wife Hattie, 31; and children Julious, 10, Doloris, 9, Robert P. and Richard P., 8, John C., 6, Charles E., 4, Patricia E., 3, Mary E., 1, and Rubey, 2.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1114 Washington Street, owned and valued at $3000, brick mason Julius Freeman, 52; wife Pattie, 40; and children Julius L., 20, Doris, 19, Robert and Richard, 18, John, 16, Charles, 14, Eunice, 12, Mary, 11, Ruby, 10, Tom, 9, Dan, 8, Lillian, 6, and Henry, 2.

Pattie H. Freeman, age 77, died 12 August 1977 in Wilson.

Wilson Daily Times, 15 August 1977.

Photograph courtesy of Adventures in Faith: The Church at Prayer, Study and Service, the 100th anniversary commemorative booklet of Calvary Presbyterian Church.

112 North Pender Street.

The sixty-ninth 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.

As described in the nomination form for East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1913; 1 story; unusual L-plan cottage with a cross-hip roof; aluminum sided.”

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 112 Pender Street, Irene Plumber, 50; daughters Christine, 18, and Jennette B. Plumber, 21; mother Agness Barnes, 75; and lodger Lizzie Bryant, 28. All except Barnes were cooks. Bryant was a cook in a cafe; the others, in private homes.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N,C., City Directory: McCadden Tobias (c; Lorena) h 112 Pender

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2017.

Snaps, no. 22: Staton and Doretta Sherrod Davis.

Doretta and Staton Davis in front of their Bruton Street home in Daniel Hill, mid-1950s.

In the 1910 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer Westley Davis, 38; wife Mag, 38; children  Horris, 16, Lillie, 13, Oliv, 10, Clinton, 8, Staton, 7, Emma, 4, Learry, 2, and Eva, 1; and nephew June Coley, 25.

In the 1920 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: on Black Creek Road, West Davis, 50; wife Margaret, 50; children Horice, 23, Clinton, 17, Staton, 16, Emma, 15, Lerie, 13, Eva, 12, and Pelie, 9; and granddaughter Beulah O., 2.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on Elm City Road, farmer Solomon Sherrod, 41; wife Josephine, 32; and children Alena, 11, Jarvis, 10, Doretta, 8, Dock, 6, B. Minnie, 4, and Solomon, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Harpers Road, farmer Soloman Sheard, 50; wife Josephine, 42; and children Javis, 20, Doretta, 18, Linton O., 16, Minnie B., 13, Solomon, 11, Flora, 3, Bulah, 3, and Elmore, 1.

On 20 April 1930, Staton Davis, 25, son of Wesley and Maggie Davis, married Doretta Sherrod, 18, daughter of Solomon and Josephine Sherrod, at Wade [illegible]’s farm in Wilson township. Primitive Baptist minister Isaac Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of Leonard Shearard, Lonnie Hoskins and Jarvis Shearard.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 406 Bruton Street, rented for $9/month, Station Davis, 36, plumbing company pipe fitter; wife Doretta, 28; and children Lorena, 9, Richard, 8, Suti Mae, 6, Station, 4, Leonard, 2, and David, 5 months.

In 1940, Statin Davis registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he was born 12 October 1904 in Wyan [Wayne] County; resided at 408 Brouton Street, Wilson; his contact was Maggie Davis, Route 1, Fremont; and he worked for the W.P.A. at Charles L. Coon High School.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Davis Staton (c; Doretta; 6) h 406 S Bruton St

Staten Davis died 12 September 1952 at Mercy Hospital. Per his death certificate, he was born 19 October 1904 in Wayne County to Wes Davis and an unknown mother; resided at 408 Bruton Street, Wilson; was married to Doreatha Davis; and had worked as a laborer.

Doretta Elizabeth Sherrod Davis died 6 May 1997 in Wilson. Born 14 September 1911, she was 85 years old.

The first seven of the twelve Davis children: (top) Richard; (middle) Staton Jr., David, and Lorena holding Jo Ann; (bottom) Sudie Mae and Leonard, circa 1942.

Many thanks to William Ashley Davis for sharing these family photos.

Rogers kits out his pool hall.

In 1905, John W. Rogers bought, subject to $209.45 mortgage, all the goods necessary to furnish a billiard hall — two pool tables, balls, a cue rack, a ball rack, cues, triangles, etc. A handwritten notation along the edge of the entry shows that Rogers paid his note in full in June 1907 and owned the goods free and clear. [The 1908 Wilson city directory lists only one African-American-operated billiard room — Matthews Pool Room at 510 East Nash., which was managed by Eugene Matthews. Rogers, who lived at 555 East Nash, was described as a foreman in the directory.]

Where we shopped: Hill’s Fish Market.

Wilson Daily Times, 22 August 1944.

Brothers William and Joseph Meade Hill owned and operated a fish market on East Nash Street near Pender (the site later of Dr. Julian B. Rosemond‘s dental office.) The market’s location assured that it served a mostly African-American clientele.

What curious text: “For Your Protection … Always let the little fishes that swim around our adv. dive down into your Telephone Directory or Radio Station WGTM and bring up your Seafood Telephone Number 3291. It’s a number that guarantees fresh seafood.”

The teachers of Calvary’s church school.

CHURCH SCHOOL

Mr. S.H. Vick‘s zeal for Sabbath School work continued into his being superintendent of Calvary’s Church School for twenty-five years. Other superintendents following him were Mr. B.R. Winstead, Mr. William Hines, and Mrs. Henrietta Colvert, a registered nurse with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

Some of the early teachers were Mrs. Lucy Thompson, Mrs. Della Barnes, Mrs. Mamie Faithful, Mr. B.R. Winstead, Mr. and Mrs. Mack Cannon, Mrs. Martha Spells, Mrs. Eleanor P. Reid, Mrs. Ethel Hines, Mrs. Sarah Hines, Mrs. Cortney Fitts, and Mrs. Mary Diggs.

The Sunday School pianists included Mrs. Susan Peacock Prince, Miss Rose L. Kittrell, Miss Naomi Freeman, Mrs. Doris Vick Walker, Miss Dolores Hines, and Mrs. Mary Ellis.

From “Historical Highlights of Calvary Presbyterian Church (USA), Wilson, North Carolina,” Adventures in Faith: The Church at Prayer, Study and Service (1989).

1205 Queen Street.

The sixty-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.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District:  “ca. 1922; 1 story; bungalow with clipped-gable roof; aluminum sided.”

——

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory: Farmer Richard (c; Bessie) lab h 1205 Queen

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1205 Queen, rented for $12/month, divorced laundress Bessie Farmer, 27; and children Richard Jr., 10, Kary, 8, and Albert, 4; and brother James Farmer, age illegible.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: owned and valued at $1600, widowed cook Allie McNair, 40; son Linwood, 20, odd jobs at municipal building; and daughter Madeline, 18, nurse. Allie was born in Pitt County, and her children in Washington County. [The McNairs apparently moved to Wilson after the death of Luther McNair in Plymouth, Washington County, on 23 May 1930.]

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory: McNair Allie (c) cook h 1205 Queen

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2018.

Studio shots, no. 42: the Neal and Nellie S. Handy family.

Neal and Nellie Southerland Handy with children Alexander, Robert Lee and Susanna Handy, circa 1926.

——

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Black Creek Road, Neal Handy, 33, farmer; wife Nellie, 27; and children Susanna, 7, and Bubber, 4.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: brickmason Neal Handy, 40; wife Nellie, unknown age; children Susanna, 16, Alexander, 15, and Robert Lee, 5; and brother Archie, 22, laborer.

Jarvis Sherrod, 24, of Wilson, son of Solomon and Josephine Sherrod, married Susanna Handy, 21, of Wilson, daughter of Neil and Nellie Handy, in Wilson in October 1933. Missionary Baptist minister R.A. Murphy performed the ceremony at the bride’s home in the presence of Nellie Handy, Leonard Sherrod and Doretta Davis.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Raleigh Road, bricklayer on school projects Neal Handy, 52; wife Nellie S., 42; and son Robert L., 15.

Nellie Handy died 22 November 1941 in Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 40 years old; married to Neal Handy; and born in Robeson County to Eli Sutherland and Annie Barnes.

Robert Lee Handy died 2 February 1953 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 18 March 1925 to Neil Handy and Nellie Southerland; was single; and worked as a chauffeur.

Neil Alexander Handy died 7 March 1967 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 30 June 1888 in South Carolina to George Handy and Mary Murphy; resided at 108 Manchester Street; and was a brickmason. Alexander Handy was informant.

Alexander Handy Jr. died 18 April 1987 in Durham, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 20 August 1914 in Robeson County, North Carolina, to Neil Handy and Nellie Sutton; was married to Daisy Woodard; resided at 108 Manchester Street, Wilson; and worked as a brickmason.

Susanna Handy Sherrod Carmichael (1913-1991).

Susanna Handy Carmichael died 21 December 1991 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 March 1913 in Robeson County to Neil Handy and Nellie Southerland; resided at 704 Edwards Street, Wilson; worked as a housemaid; and was married to James A. Carmichael.

Photographs courtesy of Ancestry.com user JeffreyMcLean5046.

The winner! (Briefly.)

Wilson Daily Times, 19 May 1961.

In the spring of 1961, Howard Barnes won a Jaycee-sponsored contest for improvements made to his home at 709 Suggs Street, shown at the upper right. “Mr. Barnes who lives in a small modest wood frame dwelling really entered into the spirit of the competition,” winning first place in the interior category and second in exterior by painting, building a new porch, adding a fence and new indoor plumbing, and placing flower boxes on the front porch.

Despite Barnes’ recognized pride in ownership, few, if any, additional improvements were made to 709 Suggs Street. Barnes’ neighborhood had already been slated for clearance to make way for a “Negro housing project.” Progress had been delayed, however, by the refusal of many homeowners to sell out at the suggested price. It seems likely that Howard Barnes, so invested in his home, was one. Eventually, the city exercised eminent domain and forced sales of the intransigents’ property.

The shotgun house at 709 Suggs, then, like the cemetery nearby, is long gone. Howard Barnes’ house was likely built around the same time as others on nearby streets, such as that at 501 South Pender, which was erected circa 1920.

The 700 block of Suggs Street, per the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map.

The 700 block of Suggs today. (Stantonsburg Street is now Pender.) Map courtesy of Google Maps.

——

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory: Cooper John (c; Jeannette) tobwkr h 709 Suggs

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory: Sims Effie (c; 1) tobwkr h 709 Suggs

 

 

Removal of graves from abandoned cemetery.

As noted here and here, I have long been intrigued by the disappearance (in space and memory) of Wilson’s first African-American cemetery, sometimes called Oaklawn or Oaklawn or Oakdale. Yesterday, the mystery was solved.

In the late summer of 1940, the Wilson Daily Times for several weeks ran a “Notice of Removal of Graves from Abandoned Cemetery.”  Town Commissioners had declared Wilson’s “colored cemetery” on Cemetery Street abandoned as there had been no burials there in 16 years. The Commissioners proposed “to remove all graves to the new cemetery for the colored race situate near the Town of Wilson, N.C., and known as Resthaven Cemetery.” Interested persons had 30 days to object.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 September 1940.

Whether or not there were objections, the work of removal commenced. It seems likely, then, that the oldest headstones in Rest Haven (such as those of the Dunstons) mark graves moved from Oaklawn, rather than Rountree cemetery, as I earlier speculated.

[Of course, as I learned back in February, the Cemetery Street cemetery was never entirely forgotten, at least by people who lived in the neighborhood. Harry Harris recently shared the history of the Turkey Bowl, an informal neighborhood football game taking place on holidays. The original game, he said, was played Christmas Day 1958 at the “old Carnival Ground,” then an open field at the corner of Barnes and Stantonsburg (now Pender) Streets. In 1965, the game moved to Stephenson Street, in “the projects,” where it became “part of the fabric of local community culture.” After several years, however, the game was again moved “because the ladies who lived there at that time reminded us that we were playing on sacred ground as the projects were built upon the grounds of the old Black cemetery, hence Cemetery Street.”]

Map courtesy of Bing.com.