Houses

205 North Vick Street.

The ninety-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 the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “ca. 1945; 2 stories; gable-front house with bungalow type porch posts; aluminum-sided.”

Edgar H. Diggs Jr. died 21 December 1925 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 5 days old; was born to Edgar H. Diggs of Wayne County and Mary Grant of Statesville, N.C., and resided at 205 North Vick. He was buried in Diggs cemetery, Wayne County.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Diggs Edgar H (c; Mary) barber W S Hines h 205 N Vick

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 205 Vick, valued at $2000, Edgar Diggs, 49, barber at Hines Barber; wife Mary, 39, teacher in Stantonsburg; and children Edgar, 13, Mary, 9, and Preston, 11.

Edgar Grant Diggs registered for the World War II draft in 1945. Per his registration card, he was born 14 January 1927 in Wilson; his contact was Mary Diggs, 205 North Vick; and he was a student.

Preston Walter Diggs registered for the World War II draft in 1946. Per his registration card, he was born 27 September 1928 in Wilson; his contact was Mary Diggs, 205 North Vick; and he was a student at Mary Potter School, Oxford, North Carolina.

Edgar H. Diggs died 17 November 1970 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 1 August 1890 to Sula (last name unknown); was married to Mary Estella Grant; resided at 205 North Vick; and was a barber.

Mary Diggs died 22 February 1974 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 March 1900 to unknown parents; was a widow; resided at 205 North Vick; and was a retired teacher. Walter Preston Diggs of Washington, D.C., was informant.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.

 

918 Washington Street.

The ninety-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, this building is: “ca. 1930; 1 1/2 stories; bungalow with gable roof; engaged porch; asphalt veneer; built by carpenter Alonzo Coley.”

In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Barefoot Linwood propr Barefoot Pressing Wks h 918 Washington

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Barefoot Lenwood (c; Bertha) tailor h 918 Washington

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Barefoot Lenwood (c; Bertha) tailor Service Cleaning Wks h 918 Washington

William Alvis Barefoot died 22 February 1930 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 7 years old; was born in Wilson to Lenwood Barefoot and Bertha Moore, both of Wilson; lived at 918 Washington Avenue; and went to school.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 918 Washington Street, owned and valued at $6000, tailor Lenwood Barfoot, 33; wife Bertha, 32; and sons John L., 8, Stanley B., 5, Noris H., 4, Henry V., 2, and Kertise, 6 months.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Fisher Alonzo (c) porter h 918 Washington

In 1942, Alonza Garfield Fisher Jr. registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 3 May 1903 in Lenoir County, North Carolina; resided at 918 Washington, Wilson; his telephone number was 3820-1; his contact was Louis H. Fisher, Kinston, North Carolina; and he worked for the government in Railway Mail Services.

Notices of sheriff’s sale for 918 Washington appeared in the Wilson Daily Times in January and February 1946:

Wilson Daily Times, 5 February 1946.

However, when Alonzo G. Fisher Sr. died 13 August 1948, he was still living at the address. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 March 1883 in Lenoir County to James Fisher and Martha Jones; was the widower of Lanie Fisher; and had worked as a laborer. Alonzo G. Fisher, Jr., 918 Washington, was informant.

Alonza Garfield Fisher Jr. died 15 September 1949 at his home at 918 Washington Street. Per his death certificate, he was born 8 May 1903 in Lenoir County, North Carolina, to Alonza G. Fisher Sr. and Mollie Carr; was married; and worked as a railway mail clerk. Lewis Henry Fisher of Kinston was informant.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.

1202 Carolina Street.

The ninety-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 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, this building is: “ca. 1930; 1-story; bungalow; gable-end form with entry porch.”

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Mercer Leroy (c; Mattie) driver h1202 Carolina

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Barnes Matthew M (c; Ossie M) carp h1202 Carolina

Circa 1940, Maxie Gause registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 30 October 1908 in Marion, South Carolina; his contact was mother Rosa McDaniel Gause, 1202 Carolina Street; and he worked for R.P. Watson Tobacco Company, Wilson.

In 1940, Edward Gause registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 1 May 1917 in Mullins, South Carolina; his contact was mother Rosie Gause, 1202 Carolina Street; and he worked for E.J. O’Brien Tobacco Company, Goldsboro Street, Wilson.

In 1940, Russell Gause registered for the World War II draft in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he was born 8 August 1910 in Pillin, South Carolina; he resided at 418 Eighth Street, S.E., Washington (crossed out, then 1202 Carolina Street, Wilson, also crossed out); his contact was mother Rosa Gause, 1202 Carolina Street; and he worked for Highway Engineering Company, Washington, D.C.

In 1940, William Gause registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 2 October 1919 in Mullins, South Carolina; his contact was mother Rosa Gause, 1202 Carolina Street; and he worked for Watson Tobacco Company, Wilson.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory there are listings at 1202 Carolina for six members of the Gause family: Edward Jr. (laborer), Mack (farmer), Rosa, Russell (laborer), William (laborer) and Wilson (laborer).

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.

507 Church Street.

This heavily modified shotgun house on Church Street is not located in the East Wilson Historic District. Nor was its single block included in the Wilson Central Business-Tobacco Warehouse District, though it lies just behind East Nash and Pettigrew Streets. Once densely packed with working-class housing, Church Street is now empty. Only three houses stand on the block, none occupied, and 507 is the last house remaining on the north side of the street.

The 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories list Lucy Sherrod at 507 Church. Also in 1930: Hall Lonnie (c; Mamie L) laborer 507 Church

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 507 Church, renting for $16/month, Lonnie Hall, 34, odd jobs laborer, wife Mamie, 34, hotel maid, and daughter Elsie, 2; nieces and nephews Estha, 16, Christine, 13, and lodgers Lucile Sherif [sic], 30, widow, hotel maid, Lucile Sherif, 14, and Jack Sherif, 17, odd jobs laborer.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 507 Church, renting for $12/month, laborer Will Rogers, 28, and wife Sally, 30, odd jobs. Both seemed to be Arkansas natives — he, from Pine Bluff, and she, from Fayetteville.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Rogers William (c; Sallie) yd mn 507 Church

As the Central Business Historic District survey map shows, as recently as 1984, Church Street was filled with houses. 507 is encircled.

Google Maps shot this image of 507 Church in 2012. It appears that, at that time, the house was occupied.

1209 East Nash Street.

The ninety-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 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, this house is: “1927; 1 story; William Wells house; bungalow with gable roof and engaged porch; built by Nestus Freeman; Wells was an auto mechanic.”

The house lies within the boundaries of the first phase of the Freeman Place housing redevelopment project and is the sole remaining pre-World War II house between Carroll Street and U.S. Highway 301.

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In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wells Mazie tchr h 1209 E Nash; (also) Wells Wm auto repr RFD No 4 h 1209 E Nash;

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wells Wm (c; Mazie H) prop Wells Garage h 1209 E Nash

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1207 [sic] East Nash, owned and valued at $1500, auto mechanic at garage William Wells, 34; wife Mazie, 32, public school teacher; son George, 7; brother-in-law George Cooper, 46, tobacco factory laborer; and sister Aldreta Cooper, 26, cook.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wells Wm (c; Mazie H) (Wells’ Garage) h 1209 E Nash; (also) Wells’ Garage (c; Wm Wells) 1401 E Nash

Charles Rudolph Bridgers died 15 January 1937 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 7 months, 5 days old and was born in Wilson to Jessie Bridgers and Margaret Kittrell.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: renting for $8/month, Jessie Bridgers, 32, truck driver for furniture company; wife Margaret, 27; and children Elizabeth, 6, and Jessie Jr., 5.

In 1940, Jessie James Bridgers registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 6 July 1905 in Halifax, N.C.; his contact was wife Margarette Bridgers; and he worked for J.W. Thomas and V.C. Martin at Thomas Yelverton in Wilson.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bridgers Jesse (c; Margt; 4) furn repr h 1209 E Nash

Wilson Daily Times, 19 January 1946.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Currie David (c; Rematha) lndry wrkr h 1209 E Nash

In a 3 September 1993 Wilson Daily Times article, “City OKs Owner Occupancy-Based Redevelopment”:

“City Council unanimously approved the Redevelopment Demonstration Project Area plan Thursday night despite concerns expressed by some property owners.

“The city proposes to redevelop the two-acre area bounded  by Nash, Carroll, Atlantic and Wainwright streets through housing acquisition, demolition and new construction activities. The redevelopment plan calls for construction of 12 new single-family homes for owner occupancy.

“The sole existing house to be spared demolition — and the only owner-occupied unit — is at 1209 E. Nash St. Charity Speight and her husband own that property.

“‘I was very concerned that no one came to talk to us,’ Mrs. Speight told council. ‘I feel we should have some input too.’ She said the house was rehabilitated two years ago. Even with those improvements, the house will not meet the standards of the new houses to be constructed on the rest of the block. Mrs. Speight said she and her husband are still paying off the rehabilitation loan and cannot afford to put more money into home improvements.”

A notice of conveyance published in the Times a year later made clear the exclusion of the Speights’ home from the city’s redevelopment project:

Wilson Daily Times, 29 October 1994.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2018.

Melia azedarach.

Chainyball trees, as they are locally called, are small, multi-trunked trees that produce copious yellow drupes in fall. These fruit persist well into winter and create a noisome sludge when they fall and rot. Though now widely regarded as an invasive species and a “trash tree,” the chinaberry tree, Melia azedarach, was once as common in East Wilson landscapes as the still-popular crepe myrtle.

Fruit, close-up.

“Chainy balls” in late December.

Chinaberry tree in front of a South Lodge Street house.

203 North Vick Street.

The ninety-fifth 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 the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1930; 1 story; bungalow with gable roof and prominent gabled porch; aluminum-sided; builder said to be John Reid.”

In the 1925, 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories, nurse Hattie Grissom is listed at 203 North Vick.

Hattie Grissom Henry died 21 November 1930 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born in Wilson County to Preston Thorne of Edgecombe County and Eddia Adams of Greene County; resided at 203 North Vick; was a widow; and had worked in nursing. Lydia Coley was informant.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: tobacco factory stemmer Emma Artist, 60, widow, born in Robeson County, and daughter Virginia, 24, Wilson County teacher.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Artis Emma (c) tob wkr h 203 N Vick; Artis Virginia (c) tchr h 203 N Vick

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2018.

705 and 707 East Nash Street.

The ninety-fourth 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, these houses are: “ca. 1908; 1 story; saddlebag house with hip-roofed porch and updated veneers built about 1908.”

The 1908 Sanborn fire insurance map shows that these houses began life as duplexes. They were probably built as rental housing for laborers drawn to Wilson’s tobacco economy. 705 East Nash was numbered 630 and 632 East Nash; 707 was numbered 634 and 636.

705

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Battle Frank (c; Delphia) firemn h 705 E Nash

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Dunston Chas (c; Eveline) wtchman h 705 E Nash

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 705 East Nash, rented for $4/month, Lonnie Hall, 52, janitor, and children Deloris, 13, Rogers, 18, Rex’s Shoe Shop delivery boy, and Kattie, private housekeeper; plus lodgers widow Evylene Dunston, 33; Lenora Whitfield, 24; Alonza Jones, 29; and Jasper Hillard, 10.

In 1942, Rogers Nathaniel Hall registered for the World War II draft in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he was born 22 March 1922 in Wilson; resided at 1522 – 5th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.; his nearest relative was father Lonnie Hall, 705 East Nash Street, Wilson; and he worked for Amos Hill, 812 – 13th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.

Lonnie Hall died 23 December 1955 at Mercy Hospital. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 March 1895 in Pender County; lived at 705 East Nash; was married; and worked as a laborer. Informant was Deloris Hall.

707

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hussey Florence (c) laundress h 634 E Nash

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 634 Nash, widow Florence Hussey, 34, and daughters Rosa, 13, and Elizabeth, 11.

Elizabeth Hussey died 12 June 1924 at her home at 707 East Nash. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 November 1908 in Wilson to Willie Hussey of Mount Olive, N.C., and Florence Hooks of Goldsboro, N.C.; was a single; and was a student. Of her death, Dr. A.F. Williams wrote: “On June 12th was sitting on porch & dropped dead, from some heart condition. She had lobar pneumonia in April when I treated her to complete recovery.”

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 East Nash, widow Florence Hussy, 46, laundry worker, and daughter Rosa, 23.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 East Nash, widow Florence Hussey, 58, laundress at Carolina Laundry, and daughter Rosa, 33.

Florence Hussey died 20 December 1946 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 December 1877 in Goldsboro, Wayne County, North Carolinal was a widow; resided at 707 East Nash; and had worked as a domestic. She was buried at Rountree Cemetery; Rosa Hussey was informant.

Rosa Hussey died six months later — 13 June 1947. Per her death certificate, she was born 10 July 1904 in Wilson to Willie Hussey and Florence Hooks, both of Mount Olive, North Carolina; was single; and worked as a tobacco factory laborer. She died of natural causes and was buried in Rountree Cemetery. Frances Wynn Lane of Mount Olive was informant.

Rosa Hussey’s 1947 will.

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

Women’s Club honorees.

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Wilson Daily Times, 18 August 1971.