City of Wilson

Lee C. Jones, dentist.

For a brief period in the 1920s, a second African-American dentist plied his trade on East Nash Street in competition with Dr. William H. Phillips. He appears in the 1925 and 1928 Wilson city directories and, as far as known, nowhere else:

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In the 1900 census of Raleigh, Wake County: on Cabarrus Street,  lineman Richard Jones, 36; wife Alice, 34; and children Charlie, 15, Walter, 10, Palmer, 8, Leclair, 4, and Lewis V. Jones, 4; Sonnie Mitchell, 5 months; and mother-in-law Laura Gray, 55.

In the 1910 census of Raleigh, Wake County: on NWest Cabarrus Street, tobacco factory laborer Richard Jones, 42; wife Alice, 43; and children Charley, 24, Walter, 20, Lee C. and Louis V., 14, and Nathaniel, 10, plus mother-in-law Laura Gray, 59.

Lee Clarence Jones registered for the World War I draft in 1917 in Wake County, North Carolina. Per his draft card, he was born 2 September 1895; resided at 124 West Cabarrus; was unemployed; and was single.

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Mess Attendant Lee C. Jones, left, on the deck of the USS Susquehanna during World War I, February 1918. 

In the 1920 census of Raleigh, Wake County: at 124 West Cabarrus, Alice Jones, 56; sons Walter, 27, L.C. and Louis V., 22, and N.R., 19; and mother Laura Gray, 64.

On 8 November 1921, Lee Clarence Jones and Sadie Lee Coley were married in Washington, D.C.

In the 1925 Wilson city directory: Jones Lee C, dentist 553 E Nash h 111 N Pender

On 30 June 1926, Lee and Sadie Coley Jones’ twins Clinton Merrill Jones and Clarence Conte Jones were born in Wilson.

In the 1928 Wilson city directory: Jones Lee C (c; Sadie L), dentist 559 1/2 E Nash h 1010 Atlanta

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1010 Atlantic Street, seamstress Sadie Jones, 32, and sons Emery L., 7, Clarance and Clinton, 3; and lodgers Catherine Joyner, 14, James Coley, 9, and Elaine Coley, 15. [Sadie Jones was described as “single” and presumably was divorced.]

In the 1940 census of Salisbury, Rowan County: at 116 North Lee, dentist Lee C. Jones, 35, and sons Emory L., 17, Clarence, 13, and Clinton M., 13. [The boys were also listed in their mother Sadie Jones’ household in the 1940 census of Washington, D.C.] Per the Salisbury Historic District (Boundary Amendment and Additional Documentation) form submitted to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999, Dr. Jones opened an office on North Lee as early as 1939, and he and his son Clinton practiced there in the 1950s.

Lee Clarence Jones died 27 October 1961 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 2 September 1895 to Richard Jones and Alice Stewart in Raleigh; resided in Salisbury; was married to Alice M. Jones; and worked as a dentist. He was a World War I veteran and was buried in Oakdale cemetery, Salisbury.

Photograph reprinted in the 26 January 2015 edition of the Salisbury Post, on-line here.

120 North Pender Street.

The thirty-second 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.

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As described in the nomination form for East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1913; John Barnes house; Queen Anne house with high hip-roofed main block and clipped-gable cross wings; wraparound porch; aluminum sided; Barnes was a brick mason.”

In the 1912 Hill’s city directory, John M. Barnes, bricklayer, is listed at 121 Pender Street (across from Saint John A.M.E. Zion.) The 1913 Sanborn map shows that 121 Pender was not the same house as the Queen Anne depicted above. Rather, it was a one-story dwelling on an adjacent lot.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Wilson, N.C. (1913).

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 123 Pender Street, Georgia Akin, 45, widow, livery stable manager; brother Alexander Crockett, 47, stable salesman; and roomers John Norfleet, 30, and Mose Parker, 32, both laborers. [Per the 1913 Sanborn insurance map, the lot now occupied by this house was numbered 123, and the house was a simpler and somewhat smaller two-story building. Georgia’s husband John H. Aiken had been a partner with Crockett in Crockett & Aiken, a livery, transfer and house-moving outfit. 123 was a small house next door, to the south, of 120. The Aikens family moved into 120 within a few years of the census.]

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Wilson, N.C. (1922).

In the 1925 Wilson city directory: Georgia Akins, matron, 120 Pender.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 120 Pender, school teacher George C. Akin, 52; stepbrother James Crockett, 60, drayman; and lodgers Rogers Odom, 21, warehouse laborer, and Clarance Pierce, 20, barber.

Georgia Crockett Aikens died 17 August 1939 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 67 years old, born in Wayne County to William Crockett and Rachel Powell, resided at 120 Pender Street in Wilson, and was the widow of John Aikens. Rachel Williams, New York City, was informant.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Philadelphia-born widow Rachel Williams, 44, dress factory presser; club hostess Eleanor Rogers, 22; cook Rosa Mae Rogers, 30; Daniel B[illegible]. 27, attendant to sick invalid; and Prince Cunningham, 38, tobacco factory laborer.

The 1941 Hill’s Wilson city directory lists Rachel Williams and Oralee Pender as residents of 120 Pender.

The 1962 Hill’s Wilson city directory lists Rachel C. Williams at 120 North Pender.

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2017.

The estate of Alex Crockett.

Alexander Crockett died 22 February 1920 in Wilson. He left no will.

Crockett was unmarried, and his sister Georgia Crockett Aiken filed for letters of administration on the estate. She and their brother James Crockett were the sole heirs, and she estimated Alex’ estate value at $400.00. Aiken and E.D. Barnes posted bond.

Dr. William A. Mitchner filed a claim for $65 against Crockett’s estate, presumably for services rendered during his treatment for tuberculosis.

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In the 1880 census of Little Washington, Goldsboro, Wayne County, North Carolina: William Crockett, 35, drayman; wife Rachel, 41, seamstress; and children James, 11, Alex, 9, Georgianna, 8, and Robert, 1.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 123 Pender Street, Georgia Akin, 45, widow, livery stable manager; brother Alexander Crockett, 47, stable salesman; and roomers John Norfleet, 30, and Mose Parker, 32, both laborers. [Georgia’s husband John H. Aiken had been a partner with Crockett in Crockett & Aiken, a livery, transfer and house-moving outfit.]

Alexander Crockett died 22 February 1920 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 August 1875 in Wayne County to William Crockett of Chester, South Carolina, and Rachel Hill of North Carolina; was a self-employed livery and transfer operator; and was single. Informant was Georgia Aiken.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Willie Simms.

 

Wilson Daily Times, 7 August 1954.

On 25 January 1911, Willie Simms, 21, of Black Creek, married Lucindy Barnes, 22, of Black Creek, at William Spells’ house in Black Creek.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Old Stantonsburg Road, farmer Will Simms, 34; wife Lucindy, 30; and daughters Emma, 16, Clara, 11, and Agnes, 3.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Black Creek Road, farmer Willie Simms, 49; wife Lucindy, 37; and daughters Clara, 19, Agnes, 13, Addie M., 6, and Elizabeth, 4.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1205 East Nash, rented for $6/month, carpenter Willie Simms, 50; wife Lucindy, 52; and children Clara, 33, Addie, 16, and Elizabeth Simms, 14; and daughter Emma Farmer, 37, widowed cook, and her children Turner Jr., 8, Emma C., 4, and Marie, 1. [The “sisters” named in the obituary were actually Simms’ daughters.]

Willie Simms died 6 August 1954 at his home in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 October 1890 in Wilson County to Benjamin and Beckie Simms; had worked as a laborer; and was a widower. Addie Jennifer was informant.

[For more re Elder Fate Melton, see here.]

1207 Washington Street.

The thirty-first 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.

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As described in the nomination form for East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1930; 1 1/2 stories; George Riggin house; bungalow with clipped-gable roof and entry porch; aluminum sided; Riggin was a house painter.”

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: painter George Riggins, 49; wife Eloise, 45, tobacco factory stemmer; and sons George, 18, and Robert, 20, both painters helpers. All were born in South Carolina.

In the 1941 and 1946 Hill’s city directories of Wilson: Riggins Geo (c; Eleise) pntr h1207 Washington, as well as Riggins Geo Jr pntr h1207 Washington.

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2017.

 

Change racket.

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Pittsburgh Courier, 18 September 1937.

Ed Sheppard, 23, married Sealy Black, 25, in Greene County on 24 April 1924.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 806 Oil Mill Alley, Ed Sheppard, no age given; wife Celia, no age given, cook; sons Henry, 22, oil mill laborer, Junior, 13, Moses, 11, and Raymon, 7; and lodger Earnest Ross, 11.

Snaps, no. 13: Isham and Rossie Underwood Bryant.

Isham and Rossie Bryant.

In the 1900 census of Hall township, Sampson County: farmer Joseph Bryant, 51; wife Carrie, 37; and children Louiza, 11, Elijah, 8, Isham, 6, Minnie, 5, Josiah, 5, and John, 7 months.

In the 1916 Wilson city directory: Isham Bryant, lab, h S Reid nr Robinson.

Isham Bryant registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 14 March 1893 near Clinton, North Carolina; resided at 213 Reid Street, Wilson; worked as a laborer for Will Coley, contractor; and was married with two children.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 596 Wainwright Street, tobacco factory laborer Isham Bryant, 27; wife Rossie, 21; and children Beatrice, 5, Bertha, 4, and Inez, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 805 Roberson Street, Isom Bryant, 37, factory laborer; wife Rossie, 32, public school maid; and daughters Beatrice, 15, Bertha, 14, and Inez, 11.

On 18 February 1931, Beatrice C. Bryant, 17, daughter of Isham and Rossie Bryant, married Jos. F. Haskins, 19, son of James Haskins and Martha Pitt, in Wilson. Rev. J.T. Douglas of Calvary Presbyterian Church performed the service at Isham Bryant’s house with Judge Mitchell and the Bryants as witnesses.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Isham Bryant, 49, machinist at tobacco factory; wife Rossie, 43; daughter Inez, 22, tobacco factory laborer; and granddaughter Bobbie Haskins, 8.

Isham Bryant died 6 September 1961 at 915 East Nash Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he lived at 414 North Vick Street; worked as a mechanic for Wilson Tobacco Company; was born 14 March 1894 in Sampson County to Joe Bryant and Carrie Hobbs; and was married to Roxie Bryant.

Rossie Bryant died 22 July 1984 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 1897 in Sampson County to Charlie Underwood and Rosetta Boykins; resided at 705 Edwards Street; and had worked as a tobacco factory hanger.

Rossie Underwood Bryant.

Photographs courtesy of Ancestry.com user michaelj379.

The last will and testament of Carter W. Foster.

Carter Washington Foster died 17 February 1955, deeply in debt.

Foster had been Wilson County’s Negro agricultural extension agent. To open his estate, his widow Estelle Duncan Foster testified that she had found his will among papers in a locked box at the National Bank of Wilson. Sadie H. Collins, Helen W. Branford and John M. Miller Jr. examined the paper and positively identified as the document they had witnessed Foster sign just a month before.

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On 24 February 1955, Wilson County Superior Court opened the estate. Foster’s will was straightforward — he left all property left after his debts were settled to his wife and named her his executrix. The attachment to the will is more perplexing.

First, “I suggest that the $5000 Metropolitan Policy payable to my wife be loaned to the Company and payable to Csrlotta and Barbara shall need same for schooling.” (What company? Was this suggestion lawful? Barbara Jean, born 1942, and Carlotta Estelle, born 1951, were the couple’s daughters.)

Second, Foster named three people who owed him a total of $30 — Isham Bryant, Leona Hines, and Maggie Bryant.

Third, he named eleven people that he owed a whopping $3007.5 (roughly $27,000 in 2017 dollars) — M.R. Zachary ($320), Mrs. Branford ($375), Percy Williams ($100), Mark Sharp ($825), Joe Hester ($650), Frank Murphy ($350), W.R. Barnes ($105), Cora S. Wilson ($75), Isiah Whitehead ($100), M.G. Garris ($25), and Martha Mitchell ($82.50). [As newspaper notices gave witness, attempts to pay them all back would require the sale at auction of Foster’s personal belongings, such as a 1951 Plymouth, and the house on Vance Street that he and his sister had inherited from their mother.]

Fourth, he designated seven people as trustworthy advisors to his wife — Bing Miller, Charles James, Rev. Farmer, Rev. Watkins, M.R. Zachary and Thomas J. Moore.

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In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 Vance Street, Walter Foster, 46, fireman at wagon company; wife Rosa, 34; children Heneretta, 18, Carl [sic, Carter], 6, and Naomi, 4; and sister-in-law Etta Parker, 32, a school teacher.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 808 East Vance Street, teacher Rosa Foster, 42; children Carter, 16, Daily Times newsboy, and Naomi, 14; and two roomers Alice Jones, 36, and Mamie Key, 20, both teachers.

The 1939 Ayantee, yearbook of North Carolina A&T State University.

On 29 December 1939, Carter Washington Foster, 26, of Wilson, and Estelle Duncan, 25, of Maysville, North Carolina, were married in Danville, Virginia. Foster, son of Walter Foster and Rosa Parker, worked as an agriculture teacher at Chatham County Training School and lived in Siler City, and Duncan, daughter of Samuel Duncan and Annie Hicks, lived in Clinton, North Carolina.

In 1940, Carter Washington Foster registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 15 January 1914 in Wilson; resided at 808 East Vance; worked as county farm agent at 559 1/2 East Nash Street; and was married to Estelle Duncan Foster.

This newspaper article about county officials reveals that Foster was paid less than half of his white counterpart’s salary:

Wilson Daily Times, 1 December 1941.

His work, alongside black home demonstration agent Jane Boyd, was recognized, however:

“Wilsonia” column, John G. Thomas, Wilson Daily Times, 24 January 1945.

Carter Washington Foster died 17 February 1955 in Saratoga township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 January 1914 in Wilson to Walter Foster and Rosa Parker; was married; resided at 801 East Green; and worked as a county agricultural agent.

Wilson Daily Times, 18 February 1955.

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  • Sadie Collins — Wilson cafe operator Sadie Collins.
  • Helen W. Branford — per the 1953 Raleigh city directory, Helen Wade Branford (1913-1994) was a agricultural extension agent living in Wilson.
  • J.M. Miller Jr. — Wilson elementary school principal John Maxwell Miller Jr. 
  • Isham Bryant — Sampson County native Isham Bryant (1891-1961) was a machinist in Wilson.
  • Leona Hines — Leona T. Hines (1901-1988) of Wilson County and later Lenoir County.
  • Maggie Bryant — Wilson teacher Maggie Walker Bryant (1910-1958).
  • M.R. Zachary — Hertford County native Molton R. Zachary was a classmate of Foster at A&T and was a county farm agent.
  • Mrs. Branford — probably Helen W. Branford above.
  • Percy Williams
  • Mark Sharp — Wilson County farmer Mark B. Sharpe.
  • Joe Hester — Granville County native Joe Hester (1900-1984) was a Wilson County farmer.
  • Frank Murphy
  • W.R. Barnes
  • Cora S. Wilson
  • Isiah Whitehead — Isaiah Whitehead Jr. (1894-1969) was a farmer near Tarboro, Edgecombe County.
  • M.G. Garris
  • Martha Mitchell — probably, Martha Taylor Mitchell (1895-1976) of Wilson.
  • Bing Miller
  • Charles James — undertaker Charles D. James.
  • Rev. Farmer
  • Rev. Watkins — Baptist minister Talmadge Adam Watkins (1915-2002)
  • Thomas J. Moore
  • Jane Boyd — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1111 Washington Street, Walter Thorpe, 63; wife Rebecca, 46; and roomer Jane Boyd, 37, Virginia-born county home demonstration agent.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.