Houses

901 East Green Street.

The one-hundred-seventeenth 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. 1930; 2 stories; two-bay, side-hall, gable front house.” Like 817 East Green, Walter S. Hines (and his heirs) owned and rented out this house. It was demolished in 2001.

In the 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: Brooks Maggie (c) cook h 901 E Green

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 901 East Green, renting for $21/month, widow Maggie Brooks, 45, servant; Eszie M. Brooks, 26, nurse; roomer Roland Sudden, 24, factory laborer; Christene Brooks, 2; and roomers Robert Harvey, 26, glass cutter, and wife Mary, 22, both born in Georgia.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 901 East Green, rented for $15/month, barber Henry D. Coley, 44; wife Eva J., 39, teacher in public schools; and daughters Elizabeth P., 16, Grace L., 14, and Eva E., 10.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Coley David H (c; Eva) barber Walter S Hines h 901 E Green

Eva Janet Coley died 7 October 1941 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 9 June 1899 in Greene County to Jacob Speight and Ida Ward; was married to David H. Coley; was a teacher; and lived at 901 East Green Street.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2019.

817 East Green Street.

The one-hundred-sixteenth 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, the house that stood at 817 East Green Street was: “ca. 1913; 1 story; I-plan cottage with intact turned-post porch.”

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Winstead Arnold (c; Sybina) brklyr h 817 E Green

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Peacock Junius W (c; Ethel) barber Walter S Hines h 817 E Green

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 807 [sic] East Green, rented for $13/month, Junius Peacock, 30, barber, and wife Ethel, 34, maid at public school.

Junius Wesley Peacock died 28 April 1935 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 35 years old; was born in Wilson County to Junius Peacock and Nora Hoskins, both of Wilson County; lived at 817 East Green; and was a barber. Informant was Ethel Peacock.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 817 East Green, rented at $14/month, George Green 32, blacksmith at repair shop, born in South Carolina; wife Martha F., 26, hospital nurse; and mother-in-law Anetta Rosser, 63 (who had lived in Whitakers, Nash County, in 1935). Also, paying $5/month, Graham Bynum, 31, building carpenter, and wife Katherine, 29, hospital nurse.

In 1940, George Willie Green registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 15 October 1906 in Saint Matthew, South Carolina; lived at 817 East Green; his contact was wife Frances Rosser Green; and he worked for Bissett’s Repair Shop, 307 South Tarboro Street.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Green Geo W (c; Frances) blksmith Herbert W Bissett h 817 E Green

817 East Green was one of several dozen houses demolished on the order of Wilson City Council in 2002. Council also approved demolition of three other houses on East Green Street owned by the heirs of Walter S. Hines. (Walter Hines often rented his Green Street properties to barbers in his employ, like Junius Peacock.)

Wilson Daily Times, 21 June 2002.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2019.

916 Atlantic Street.

The one-hundred-fifteenth 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; shotgun with gable returns; hip-roofed porch.”

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Strayhorn Farris (c; Lollie) lab h 916 Atlantic

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 916 Atlantic, rented at $8/month, cook Samuel Perry, 29; wife Sarah, 25; and children Devon, 5, Waldensia, 3, and Heron, 9 months.

In 1940, Samuel Perry Jr. registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 22 August 1910 in Wilson; resided at 916 Atlantic; his contact was wife Sarah Perry; and he worked for W.D. Hackney, 109 Gold Street, Wilson.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Perry Saml (c; Sarah; 4) cook h 916 Atlantic

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2019.

213 South Pender Street.

The one hundred-fourteenth 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: “circa 1913; shotgun with gable returns and hip-roofed porch.”

This house, once known as 211 Stantonsburg Street and the last remaining house on Pender Street between Nash Street and Hines Street, is now an office for the Wilson District of the A.M.E. Zion Church.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: rented for $12/month, Paul Savage, 34; wife Hannah, 35, cook; and roomers Minnie Taylor, 11, Jim Murray, 33, tobacco factory laborer, and Annie Murray, 21, tobacco factory stemmer.

Paul Savage died 15 April 1934 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 1891 in Edgecombe County to Albert Savage and Willie Ann Brant; was married to Annah Savage; was a tobacco factory day laborer; and was buried in Leggett, North Carolina.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: rented for $10/month, housekeeper Anna Savage, 46, and lodger Beatrix Wiggins, 32, housekeeper.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.

1400 Carolina Street.

The one hundred-thirteenth 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: “ca. 1930; 1 story; shotgun with hip-roofed porch and bungalow type posts; includes side hall; built for owner-occupant.” [I am not sure why this house is described as a shotgun, a form that by definition has no interior halls.]

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory: Patterson Wm (c; Bertha) housemn h 1400 Carolina

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1400 Carolina Street, owned and valued at $1000, butler Willie Patterson, 28; wife Bertha, 26; children Willie, 6, and William, 3; sister-in-law Bessie Langston, 15; and brother-in-law Thomas Langston, 15. [The Pattersons and Langstons appear in the 1940 federal census in Washington, D.C.]

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory: Delaney George (c; Marie) brklayer h1400 Carolina. Edward, Louis and William Delaney are also listed as residing at 1400 Carolina.

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Sidenote:

1400 Carolina Street holds great personal significance for me. In early 1965, my parents and I moved into 1401 Carolina Street, a small 1950’s era brick house rented from Henderson Cooke. Kenneth and Nina Darden Speight were living just across the street in 1400. (By then, Marie Delaney and family lived in 1402, a house George Delaney built for his family.) Off and on, until I was about three years old, Mrs. Speight provided daycare for me and my cousin. (She “kept” us, in the parlance of the day.) My earliest memory is being carried to 1400 early on a chilly morning, swaddled in a red blanket. Other memories of my days there come in snatches: a blue cardboard canister of Morton salt on a sunny kitchen table; an old-fashioned steam iron; Mr. Kenny’s aftershave bottles on a dresser; a Maxwell House snuff can; naps in the darkened back bedroom; snapdragons blooming at the edge of the flagstone walkway. Though I haven’t been inside this house in 45 years, I can still walk you through its layout with some precision. Come through the front door into a hallway. To your left, a door into a bedroom/sitting room. Ahead to the right, the bathroom addition visible at the edge of the photo above. Straight ahead, the back bedroom occupied by the Speights’ teenaged grandson, who was often pressed into ferrying me back and forth across the street. At the far end of the front room, a sort of walk-through closet — I recall a bag of wooden blocks kept there on a shelf — led into the only space about which I’m fuzzy. I’ll call it the middle room. It opened into the kitchen which, because its windows faced east, was bright in early morning. Was there a tiny screened porch off the back of the kitchen? I’m not sure, but the backyard — now grass and concrete — was crowded with delicious hog plum trees. At 1400 Carolina Street, Mrs. Speight and Mr. Kenny helped weave the cocoon of security in which I spent my earliest years in East Wilson, and I pay them tribute.

Me in front of 1400 Carolina Street in the spring of 1966.

Photo of house by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.

1002 Atlantic Street.

The one hundred-twelfth 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. 1940; 1 story; modified brick-veneered hip-roofed cottage.”

In Hill’s 1928 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Sherard J W h 1002 Atlantic

In Hill’s 1930 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Sherard John W h 1002 Atlantic

John W. Sherard died 23 May 1931 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 62 years old; was born in Wayne County to Swinson Sherard and Laura Sherard; lived at 1002 Atlanta [sic]; worked as a carpenter; and was buried in Wayne County.

In Hill’s 1941 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Purefoy Dallie A Rev (c; Alberta; 3) h 1002 Atlantic

Albrater Purefoy died 23 October 1941 in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1890 in Wilson County to Rufus Vinson and Johana Richardson; lived at 1002 Atlantic, Wilson; and was married to Dallie Purefoy.

Dallie A. Purefoy was pastor of Saint Luke A.M.E. Church in the 1930s and early 1940s. The church is located at the corner of Vick and Atlantic Streets, and 1002 Atlantic Street, which is adjacent to the rear of the church, has served as a church parsonage.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2019.

109 and 111 North Vick Street.

The one hundred-tenth 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, 109 North Vick Street is “ca. 1922; 1 story; double-pile, hip-roof cottage with wraparound porch; intact classical porch posts; fine local example of late Queen Anne cottage” and 111 North Vick (formerly 109 1/2) is “ca. 1950, 1 story; Vick St. Grocery; concrete-brick corner grocery.”

The 1922 Wilson, N.C., Sanborn fire insurance map shows the house at 109 standing alone. The store was essentially grafted onto the northern edge of the front porch. I have never been inside either building, but I assume there was an interior entrance from the house into the grocery.

Though labeled 213, this is the house now known as 109 North Vick depicted in the 1922 Sanborn map.

In 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Burton Hazel (c) student 109 N Vick and Burton Sadie sch tchr h 109 N Vick

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C.,  city directory: Farmer Wm (c; Eula) bellman Hotel Cherry h 109 N Vick

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson county: Will Farmer, 43, hotel “bell bob”; wife Eula, 40; and daughters Annie D., 19, nurse, and Sadie, 14.

In the 1941 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Moore Linwood (c; Ruth; 4) gro 102 N Vick h 109 d[itt]o. Moore is also listed at this address in the 1947 and 1950 city directories. Neither indicates an adjacent grocery. However, the 1951 directory lists Moore’s Grocery at 109 1/2 North Vick:

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2019.

Jackson buys from the Vicks.

In 1902, Samuel H. and Annie M. Vick sold Joseph S. Jackson a narrow strip of land lying between Jackson’s lot at 618 East Green Street and the Vicks’ lot.

The Jacksons’ two-story house at 618 East Green Street, shown here on the 1922 Sanborn map of Wilson, no longer stands.

It was replaced relatively recently by this small gable-front house:

Book 68, page 551, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.

405 North Vick Street.

The one hundred-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: “ca. 1913; 1 story; John R. Reid house; L-plan cottage with front-facing gable in side wing; contributing garage; Reid was a carpenter, and built #s 405-409.” [The owner of this house is misidentified. In fact, though John Right Reid may have built this house, he did not live in it. Rather, his cousin John B. Reid, also a carpenter, owned and inhabited the house from around the time it was constructed until his death in 1943. John R. Reid lived at 109 South 4th Street.]

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Reid John B carp h 405 N Vick

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 405 Vick, owned and valued at $2000, John B. Reid, 54, building carpenter, and wife Norma, 41, laundress.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 405 Vick, owned and valued at $3000, John Reid, 65, born in Smithfield, carpenter for C.C. Powell, and wife Naomi, 50, born in Durham.

John B. Reid died 24 July 1943 at his home at 405 North Reid. Per his death certificate, he was 60 years old; was born in Wayne County to Isaac Reid and Adlaide Bolden; worked as a carpenter; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Naomi Reid was informant.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Reid Naomi (c) h 405 N Reid

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2019.

The clean-up of Happy Hill.

“There were two ice companies near the railroad tracks and one area was called ‘Happy Hills’ where a few blacks lived. ‘Green Hill’ near the other ice company was a white neighborhood.” — Roy Taylor, My City, My Home (1991).

The Happy Hill neighborhood, wedged between the railroad and Lodge Street south of Hines, developed as early as the 1920s. In the 1950s, the city of Wilson began “slum clearance” in the area. Per the article accompanying the photo below, to avoid condemnation, property owners were forced to add two rooms and two baths to 19 four-room Happy Hill dwellings, each housing two families living without running water or toilets. Eventually, with federal funds, the city condemned and demolished the houses anyway and erected W.T. Adams Elementary School (now Saint John Community Development Corporation) and Whitfield Homes housing project (much of which is now shuttered) in the area formerly known as Happy Hill.

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Wilson Daily Times, 7 January 1955.

Happy Hill was designated as a street address in the 1940 census of Wilson:

The 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory contained this description of the neighborhood: