Civic Life

Paul T. Williamson.

Paul Thomas Williamson (1879-1960).

Merchant-farmer Paul T. Williamson donated the land upon which the Wilson County School Board built a six-room high school to serve African-American students in southwestern Wilson County. Williamson High School, which opened in 1942, later became known as Springfield High School.

Wilson Daily Times, 18 January 1960.

Wilson Daily Times, 28 December 1960.

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In the 1880 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Elic Williamson, 44; wife Gracy, 29; and children John, 14, Lugen, 11, Joseph, 9, Jennie, 7, Mary, 6, Clem, 4, Sarah J., 2, and Pall, 1.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Alex Williamson, 63; wife Gracy, 50; children Genny Whitley, 26, and Sarah, 22, Paul, 21, Daniel, 19, Henietta, 15, Edna, 15, and Katie Williamson, 12; and grandchildren Nancy, 8, Della, 5, and Pearle Whitley, 4.

On 23 November 1904, Paul Williamson, 25, son of Alex and Grace Williamson of Springhill township, married Mary Hinnant, 23, daughter of Joe and Rhoda Hinnant of Spring Hill township. W.H. Horton of the Christian denomination performed the ceremony at Thom Hinnant‘s house in the presence of  J.T. Hinnant, L.H. Horton and W.H. Shaw.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Wilson & Smithfield Branch Road, farmer Paul Williamson, 31; wife Mary, 28; and children Beatrice, 4, and James C., 3.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Old Clayton & Wilson Road, farmer Paul T. Williamson, 40; wife Mary, 38; and children Beatrice, 14, and James, 12.

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Paul T. Williamson, 51; wife Mary, 48; daughter Beatrice, 24; son James C., 23; daughter-in-law Anna D., 22;  grandson James W., 6 months; and boarder Ozie Allen, 35, a farm laborer.

In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Paul Williamson, 61; wife Mary, 57; daughter Beatrice, 34; son James, 33, filling station operator; daughter-in-law Anna, 32; and grandchildren Jantice, 8, and Paul W., 6.

Paul Thomas Williamson died 27 December 1960 in Lucama, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 February 1879 in Wilson County to Alex Williamson and Grace Shaw; worked as a grocery store merchant; and was married to Mary Williamson.

Photo of Williamson courtesy of Wilson Daily Times.

Annie Weeks and the Federated Club.

In the 1880 census of Wake Forest, Wake County, North Carolina: farmer Henderson Cook, 37; wife Mariah, 30; and children Livelina, 12, Lidia J., 9, Bryant, 7, Bettie A., 5, Willie, 3. and Laura A., one month.

In the 1910 census of New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina: at 176 George Street, pastor Alfred L. Weeks, 34; wife Annie, 34, a teacher; daughter Marie E., 4; and sister Bessie, 20.

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Hill’s New Bern, N.C., City Directory (1911-1912).

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson township, Wilson County: Alfred Weeks, 44, a minister; wife Annie, 44; daughter Marie, 14, and sister Bessie, 26.

In the 1930 census of Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey: at 233 West Grand Street, minister Alfred L. Weeks, 54; wife Annie, 54; and seven boarders.

Annie Elizabeth Cook Weeks, then a resident of Elizabeth, New Jersey, died while visiting Wilson on 19 April 1943. Her death certificate noted that she was born in Wake Forest, North Carolina, on 4 December 1875 to Henderson B. and Mariah D. Batchlor Cook of Wake County, and was a teacher. [Annie Weeks died at 916 East Green Street, the home of her brother Jerry L. Cook. He acted as informant on the death certificate.]

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Community Chest drive.

community chest

Wilson Daily Times, 10 November 1933. 

  • North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company
  • Community Chest
  • Rev. C.H. Richmond — C.H. Richmond was a Presbyterian minister.
  • C.S. Thomas — Charles S. Thomas (1878-1937), an insurance agent, was a native of Bennettsville, South Carolina.
  • Dr. W.A. Mitchner — William Arthur Mitchner.
  • William Hines
  • Levi Jones — Levi Hunter Jones.
  • John H. Clark — John Henry Clark.
  • Walter Hines — Walter Scott Hines.
  • Rev. B.F. Jordan — B.F. Jordan was a Missionary Baptist minister.
  • Dr. G.K. Butterfield — George Kenneth Butterfield.
  • Dr. Z.M. Johnson — Bertie County, North Carolina, native Zebulon Myer Johnson (1873-1934) was a chiropodist.
  • G.J. Faison
  • Loyd Thomas — Brickmason Lloyd Cheatam Thomas (1890-1968) was a native of Forest, Virginia.
  • Daniel Vick — Known as “Bud,” Daniel Leon (or Lionel) Vick (1898-1975) was a son of Samuel and Annie Washington Vick.
  • A.A. Lovette — Blacksmith Almus Ashton Lovette (1877-1938) was a native of Sylvania, Georgia.
  • James Crockett — James Crockett (1868-1935) was a native of Goldsboro, North Carolina. He was the brother of Georgia Crockett Aiken Thomas.
  • Andrew Townsend — Person County native Andrew Townsend (1881-1960) worked as a laborer.
  • Washington Wilkins — Washington Wilkins (1894-1958) was a plumber and laborer for the city. He was the son of Richmond and Patsy Armstrong Wilkins.
  • Rev. R.A. Horton
  • Golden Robinson — Golden Robinson (1897-1948) was the nephew of Alfred Robinson and a native of Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • James E. Stokes — Probably James Stokes (born circa 1895), who worked as a barber.
  • Ed Humphrey — James Edward Humphrey (1874-1936) was a carpenter.
  • Dr. B.O. Barnes — Boisey Otha Barnes.
  • N.A. Pierce — Nazareth Andrew Pierce.
  • S.H. Vick — Samuel Hines Vick.
  • C.E. Artis — Columbus Estelle Artis.
  • L.A. Moore — Lee Andrew Moore.
  • Rev. I.A. Moore
  • John M. Barnes — John Mack Barnes.
  • Prof. Edward Barnes — Edward Morrison Barnes.
  • Prof. Johnson
  • J.J. Langley — Jarrett Judge Langley (1878-1967) was a grocer.
  • O.N. Freeman — Oliver Nestus Freeman.
  • Wesley Rogers — John Wesley Rogers.
  • H.C. Brower
  • Clarence McCullers — Clarence McCullers (1885-1945) was a Johnston County, North Carolina, native.
  • George White — Either George Washington White (1877-1939), a city boiler operator, or George C. White (1901-1945), a cook and native of Franklin County, North Carolina.
  • Robert Haskins — Robert Douglas Haskins.
  • George Hagins — Possibly, George Hagans (1900-1978), a farmer.
  • Clarence Best — Clarence Benjamin Best.
  • Roderick Taylor
  • Wm. Barnes
  • John Battle — Probably John Parker Battle (1890-1945).
  • Prof. H.M. Fitts — Howard Monroe Fitts.
  • Rev. H.E. Edward
  • James Whitfield — James Ashley Whitfield.
  • E.W. Fisher — Virginia native Edwin W. Fisher (1873-??) was a district manager for North Carolina Mutual.
  • Dr. I.A. Shade — Isaac Albert Shade.
  • Rev. J.S. Jackson — Joseph Sylvester Jackson Sr. (1870-1942) was a Granville County, North Carolina, native.
  • Dr. J.F. Cowan — Physician Joseph Franklin Cowan (1901-1985) was a native of Abbeville, South Carolina.
  • Rev. Fred Davis — Fred Marshon Davis.
  • Levi Arrington — Levi V. Arrington (1887-1964), carpenter, was a native of Nash County, North Carolina.
  • J.H. Knight — James Henry Knight (1886-1951), was a grocery merchant.
  • Dr. S.H. Vick — is this a duplicate entry for Samuel H. Vick?
  • J.H. Cook
  • W.M. Bethel — Wilton Maxwell Bethel.
  • Ash Hines — Ashley Hines (1895-??) was a laborer.
  • A.J. McCoy — Probably Alfred McCoy (1874-1953), a laborer employed by the city of Wilson and a native of Edgecombe County.
  • A.N. Neil — Austin N. Neal.
  • Rev. Eddie Cox — Wayne County, North Carolina, native Eddie Harrison Cox was probably a Baptist minister.
  • Clinton Best — Bricklayer Clinton Bess (1885-??) was the son of Noah and Sarah Bess.
  • Edgar Diggs — Barber Edgar Hiram Diggs (1891-1970) was a Wayne County native.
  • Walter Whitted — Walter Craig Whitted.
  • C.L. Darden — Camillus Lewis Darden.

 

Dr. Butterfield goes home.

Thirty years after he establish a dental practice in Wilson and became one of the early architects and builders of the town’s nascent civil rights strategy, the Bermuda Record published a glowing report of George K. Butterfield‘s return to his home country.

Bermuda Recorder, 10 August 1957.

[N.B.: Dr. Butterfield‘s son, shown peering at the camera in the photograph above, is George K. Butterfield, Jr., member of the United States House of Representatives.]

William Hines, making good.

In March 1913, the Indianapolis Recorder, a nationally focused African-American newspaper, ran a front-page feature on William Hines, a “native of [Wilson] and a forceful character for the intellectual, moral, spiritual, social and economic development of young North Carolinians.”

Citing Samuel H. Vick and Biddle University as Hines’ influences, the article detailed his entry into the real estate business after establishing a successful barber shop. In just five years, Hines had accumulated 11 houses and “a number of very desirable lots.”

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Indianapolis Recorder, 1 March 1913.

Hines’ real estate investments eventually made him one of the largest builder-owners of rental property in east Wilson. His barber shop operated for many decades, and his varied civic involvement included work as leader in the World War I Liberty Loan Campaign, charter investor in the Commercial Bank of Wilson, founding member of the Men’s Civic Clubboard of trustees of the Negro Library, board of directors of the Reid Street Community Center, and administrator of Mercy Hospital.

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William Hines, a little later in life.

William Hines was born 29 October 1883 in Edgecombe County and died 17 October 1981 in Wilson. He is buried in Rest Haven cemetery.

Photo of Hines courtesy of History of Wilson County, North Carolina (1985).

Progressive citizens, pt. 1.

Sometime in 1914, the Wilson Times published a three-page insert highlighting the achievements of the town’s African-American community. “Wilson is fortunate in having a large proportion of sensible negroes,” the writer opined, and counted among the laudable such well-known citizens and institutions as Samuel H. Vick; J.D. Reid; Dr. Frank S. Hargrave; Charles, Camillus and Arthur Darden; Levi Jones; William Hines; Henry Tart; and H.G. Barnes; Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home for Colored People; the Colored Graded School; First Baptist Church; Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church; C.H. Darden & Sons Undertakers; and Lincoln Benefit Society.

On page one, the main text of digitized version of the insert is difficult to read, but the advertisements and photographs are clear. Surrounding an image of the just-opened Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home are ads placed by Henry Tart, “The Transfer Man”; York Pressing Shop; and C.H. Darden Undertakers. In addition to their funeral business, the Dardens touted their bicycle and firearm dealerships and their status as agents for Victor talking machines and records. The proprietors of the pressing club are listed only as Reed and Whitty. I have not been able to identify Whitty, but Reed seems to have been Lonnie Reid (a cousin of J.D. Reid), who is listed in the 1912 Hill’s city directory of Wilson operating a clothes cleaning shop at 603 East Nash Street. York was short-lived, as in the 1916 directory Reid was in business with Dunn, North Carolina, resident William Bates. Their tailor shop, Bates & Reid, also operated from 603 East Nash.

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Original document in the collection of the Freeman Round House Museum, Wilson, and digitized at www.digitalnc.org.

Benjamin Frank Barnes.

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Cornerstone, Mount Hebron Lodge.

In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farm laborer Charley Barnes, 50, wife Beckey, 36, and children John, 10, Frank, 6, Ann, 4, William C., 3, Thomas, 1, and Corah H., 1 month.

On 3 May 1899, Benjamin F. Barnes, 25, son of Charles and Rebecca Barnes of Wilson County, married Prudy Miller, 20, daughter of Prissy Miller, in Wilson. Rev. S.B. Hunter performed the ceremony at Saint John’s A.M. E. Zion in the presence of L.A. Moore, Charlotte Aycock and Annie V.C. Hunt.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: house mover Frank Barnes, 28, wife Prudence, 21, mother-in-law Priscillia Miller, 45, and her son John, 14.

On 14 September 1904, B.F. Barnes, 31, of Wilson County, son of Charles and Rebecca Barnes, married Nicey A. Harper, 30, daughter of John and Edna Harper of Greene County, in Snow Hill township, Greene County.

In the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, Benj. F. Barnes, bricklayer, is listed residing at 221 Pender Street.

In the 1910 census of Snow Hill, Greene County: in the household of John and Edna Harper, son-in-law Frank Barnes, 37, married twice, brickmason, and daughter Nicie A., 38.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 418 Green Street, brickmason Frank Barnes, and wife Nicey, 47.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: brickmason Frank Barnes, 68, wife Nicey, 69, and brother-in-law Will Harper, 62.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2016.

Wilson County Negro Library.

negro library trustee board

Board of Trustees, Wilson County Negro Library, 1948: Willie Mae Freeman, Carter Foster, Anna Johnson, D’arcy Yancey, Barbara Foster, Elizabeth Jenkins, James Whitfield, G.K. Butterfield, William Hines.

library

Willie Mae Freeman, Elizabeth Jenkins, Dora Dickerson.

This early iteration of the Negro library was located in a first-floor storefront of Mount Hebron Masonic Lodge No. 42, 115 North Pender Street.

Photographs courtesy of Freeman Round House Museum, Wilson, North Carolina, and digitized at http://www.digitalnc.org.

The Colored Red Cross battles the 1918 influenza pandemic.

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Wilson Times, 19 November 1918.

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Wilson Daily Times, 31 December 1918.

  • Bessie Weeks — Bessie M. Weeks, sister-in-law of Annie Cook Weeks, below, is listed in the 1922 Wilson city directory as a teacher living at 500 Hadley Street.
  • Eva Mitchell — Eva Mae Mitchell Haywood. In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Nash Street, Annie Mitchell, 70, her children Sallie, 46, Eddie, 44, Albert, 42, Eva, 36, and Floyd, 34, plus niece Sevreane, 18, and nephew Lester, 15. On 16 April 1923, Eva Mitchell, 33, obtained a license to marry Lucien F. Haywood, 41, of Wake County, in Wilson. The license was not returned. On 1 October 1925, Eva Mae Haywood died in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born about 1885 in Wayne County to Edward J. Mitchell and Anna Peacock; resided at 540 East Nash, Wilson; was the widow of Lucien Haywood; and worked as a dressmaker. Walter Mitchell was informant.
  • Frankie Best — In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 330 South Spring Street: widowed Nannie Best, 61, her daughter Frank, 30, son Aaron, 21, daughter-in-law Estelle, 19, widowed brother Harper Best, 65, and a lodger, nurse Henrietta Colvert, 24. In the 1922 Wilson city directory, Frankie Best was listed as a domestic living at 320 South Spring.
  • Glace Battle
  • Mrs. Mary Taylor — probably Mary John Pender Taylor. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: barber Roderick Taylor, 47, wife Mary J., 39, and children Edna G., 8, Mary J., 4, and Roderick, 1. Mary John Taylor died 17 September 1972 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 20 July 1896 in Wilson County to Maggie Pender and was a widow. Informant was Roderick Taylor.
  • Mrs. A.L.E. WeeksAnnie Elizabeth Cook Weeks. In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: church minister Alfred Weeks, 44, wife Annie E., 44, daughter Marie, 14, and sister Bessie Weeks, 26. Annie Elizabeth Cook Weeks died 19 April 1943 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 December 1875 in Wake Forest, North Carolina, to Henderson T. Cook and Mariah D. Batchelor; was married; was a retired teacher; and resided in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Informant was Jerry L. Cook, 916 East Green Street, Wilson.
  • Sarah Coley — Sarah Sherard Coley. Sarah E. Coley died 18 July 1926 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 25 March 1883 in Wayne County to Swinson Sherrood and Laura Hooks, both of Wayne. She was the widow of Rufus Coley and resided at 1012 East Atlantic Street, Wilson. John Sherrood was informant.
  • Mrs. N.J. Tate. Hattie Pearce Tate. In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 208 Pender Street, barber Noah Tate, 42, wife Hattie, 34, boarder Mary Jennings, 28, and children Helen, 16, Mary Jane, 8, Andrew, 11, and Noah Jr., 3.
  • Mrs. Robt. N. Perry.
  • Mrs. Lawrence Coley — probably, Laurena Coley. Laura V. Coley died 12 May 1923 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born about 1883 in Wayne County to Isaac and Penny Coley, was a teacher, was married to Jasper Coley, and was buried in Pikesville township, Wayne County. [Jasper Coley married Lydia Grissom the following year; see below.]
  • Mrs. H.A. Faulk — Arzulia Mitchell Faulk. In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 210 Pender Street, barber Hiram Faulk, 44, dressmaker Arzulia, 40, and daughter Marie, 14. Arzulia Faulk died 7 March 1922 in a tornado accident. Per her death certificate, she was born 16 April 1879 in Perquimans County, North Carolina, to John Mitchell of Pasquotank County and Rossie Kirk of Gates County; was a teacher; and was married to Hiram Faulk. She was buried in Hertford County.
  • Nancy Crocker — Nancy Dew Crocker. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: James W. Crocker, 40, odd jobs laborer, and wife Nancy, 34. Nancy D. Crocker died 10 October 1958 at her home at 617 Darden’s Alley, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 25 December 1880; her father was Ned Dew; and she was widowed. Informant was Robert Sheridan of her home address.
  • Mrs. L. Grissom — Lydia Meeks Grissom Coley. In the 1922 Wilson City directory, Lydia Grissom was listed at 201 North Vick Street. On 9 October 1924, Lydia Grissom, 30, married Jasper Coley, 40, in Wilson. Lydia Lee Coley died 7 March 1946 at Lincoln Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she resided at 201 North Vick Street, Wilson; was born 9 October 1892 in Tarboro, North Carolina, to Rebecca Meeks; was a teacher; and was married to Jasper Coley. Informant was Dorothy Parker, 624 East Green Street, Wilson.
  • Mrs. Elijah ReedIetta R.M. Staton Reid. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: veterinary surgeon Elija Reid, 35, wife Ietta, 30, and daughter Beatrice, 13. Ietta R.M. Reid died 14 February 1951 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 August 1867 in Edgecombe County, her father was Jainett Staton, she was a widow and retired teacher, and resided at 816 Elvie Street. Odessa Reid was informant.
  • Della Barnes — this seems unlikely to be Della Barnes, mother of William and Walter Hines. Perhaps, in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: day laborer George Barnes, 40, wife Mary, 42, and children Della, 23, and John, 22.
  • Mildred Toler — in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: butler Claude Toler, 24, and wife Mildred, 20. Mildred Toler died 29 December 1921 in Wilson of pulmonary tuberculosis. Per her death certificate, she was born about 1901 in Wayne County to Isiar and Lizzie Moore, was a teacher, and was married to Claude Toler. She was buried in Goldsboro, North Carolina.
  • S.E. Hines — Sarah Elizabeth Dortch Hines. In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Green Street, Walter Hines, 40, wife Sara, 37, and children Elizabeth, 11, Walter, 10, and Carl, 5. Sarah Elizabeth Hines died 22 October 1967 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 September 1879 in Wayne County to Ralph Whitley Dortch and Mattie [last name unknown]; resided at 617 East Green Street; and was married to Walter Scot Hines. Carl W. Hines was informant.
  • S.H. Vick — Samuel H. Vick.
  • W.S. Hines — Walter S. Hines.
  • Clarence Carter — in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 423 Green Street, barber Clarence Carter, 36; wife Meena, 25; and children Omega, 9, Clarence H., 7, and Mina G., 5.
  • Wm. Hines — William Hines.
  • Ben Muncey — Benjamin J. Mincey. In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Street, Ben Mency, 38, pipefitter for town; wife Mattie, 37; and children Benj. J., 11, Mildred, 7, Maddison, 5, and John, 3 months. Benjamin J. Mincey died 14 July 1950 at his home at 712 Wiggins Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born about 1883 in Greene County to Prince Mincey and Susan Suggs, was married, worked as a plumber for the Town of Wilson, and was buried at Rountree Cemetery.
  • James Woodard
  • John Bullock
  • Mary Williams
  • Junius Best
  • Geneva Sims — in the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Raleigh Road, sawmill worker Ellic Simms, 27; wife Geneva, 26, a farm laborer; stepdaughter Lelia Butts, 7; and sons Ned, 4, and Ed Simms, 1.
  • B.J. Mincey — see Benjamin J. Mincey, above.
  • Luanna Brown

 

Newsy notes from Wide Awake.

The state colored firemen‘s convention came to town. Negroes, who “generally have very fine, rich, resonant voices, full of volume and melody,” sang. Braswell R. Winstead, normally “well-behaved,” had the “bad taste” to “inject venom” into the festivities by complaining of “being oppressed and denied of their rights.” But the finest and most learned Frank S. Hargrave poured oil on the waters with some “very happy and admirably conceived remarks.”

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Raleigh Morning Post, 11 August 1904.