Houses

609 Viola Street.

The seventy-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 the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1908; L-plan cottage with especially intact bracketed porch; asbestos shingled.”

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Viola Street, Wash Joyner, 35, house painter; wife Sarah, 32, laundress; and son Alexander, 13.

In 1917, Alexander Barnes Joyner registered for the World War I draft in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Per his registration card, he was born 5 June 1896 in Wilson, his address was 616 Viola Street, and worked as a chair pusher for the Shill Company in Atlantic City. [Under the pre-1922 numbering system, 609 Viola was 616.]

In 1918, George Washington Joyner registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 15 April 1875; resided at 616 Viola Street; was a self-employed barber at 213 Goldsboro Street, Wilson; and his nearest relative was Sarah Jane Joyner, 616 Viola.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: public laborer Sarah Joyner, 45, widow, and son Elex, 22.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 609 Viola, owned and valued at $2000, maid Sarah Joyner, 40, widow.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Joyner Sarah (c) lndrs h 609 Viola

Sarah Joyner died 5 May 1943 at her home at 609 East Viola Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 66 years old; was born in Wilson County to Alex Barnes and Frances Stephens, both of Wilson County; was the widow of J. Washington Joyner; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Informant was Annie Alexander of the home.

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2017.

1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, N.C. (The private school was, of course, the Independent School.)

707 East Green Street.

The seventy-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 the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1913; 1 story; intact L-plan cottage with bracketed porch.”

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on East Green Street, Lucious Norfleet, 35, laborer; wife Mary, 30; and children James, 10, Josephine, 7, Ruth E., 5, and Jesse L., 4; and boarder Wiley Jones, 26, railroad laborer.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 636 East Green, Will Cuvington, 42, factory fireman; wife Mary, 41; stepchildren Josephine, 18, Ruth, 16, Jessie Lee Northfleet, 13; and adopted son James Northfleet, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 East Green, widow Mary Norflet, 40, laundress; daughter Ruth Gillchrist, 20, courthouse maid; and grandchildren Dorthy, 5, Mary L., 3, and Jene Gillchrist, 1.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 East Green, Bank Blow, 56, tobacco factory laborer; wife Mary, 50, laundress; and son James H., 7. [Mary Locus Covington Norfleet married Banks Blow in Wilson on 26 November 1933.]

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Blow Banks (c; Mary; 1) tob wkr h707 E Green

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2017.

Snaps, no. 36: Ernest and Myrtle Clifton Haskins.

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This magnificent photo depicts Ernest and Myrtle Clifton Haskins on the Viola Street-side porch of their home at 309 Elba Street on a Sunday morning circa 1965.

Ernest Haskins (1898-1975) was the son of Damp and Hester Haskins. Myrtle Clifton Haskins (1900-1970) was the daughter of James C. and Susan Clifton Clifton.

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The Haskins’ 1920 marriage license.

Many thanks to their grandson Ernie Haskins for sharing this snapshot.

 

Wilson needs a lot of good colored homes now.

Suggs Heights appears to comprise part or all the D.C. Suggs properties platted in the early 1920s.

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“Ask any man who has property to rent what kind pays the most on the investment and he will tell you colored property.” [Likely because one could readily overcharge.] Wilson Daily Times, 11 December 1925.

Stantonsburg Heights may be the area platted as Vicksburg Manor.

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“This high class colored development will build up in good homes and gardens.” Wilson Daily Times, 8 May 1945.

[A note about “Heights.” Wilson sits it in North Carolina’s Upper Coastal Plain at 108 feet above sea level. The eastern half of the county, including the city of Wilson, is notably flat, and low-lying areas flood notoriously. Neither of the areas advertised above are “heights” in any common understanding of the term, and it’s questionable whether the latter area could reasonably be described as high or dry.]

1007 East Nash Street.

The seventieth 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; 1 story; double shotgun with bungalow-type porch posts.”

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: McBrayer Glenn S (c; Lillian) lawyer h 1007 E Nash. [The house is not listed in the 1930 census.]

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1007 East Nash Street, (1) paying $/11 month rent, Elizabeth Hardy, 29, husband Herman, 33, a “P.W.A.” laborer, and son Leroy, 5; and (2) also paying $11/month rent, Carter Powell, 42, stationary fireman for apartment building, and wife Anna, 35.

In 1940, Herman Hardy registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 8 December 1907 in Greene County; his contact was wife Elizabeth Hardy, 1007 East Nash; and he worked for Watson Tobacco Company, Wilson.

In 1940, Carter James Powell registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 4 January 1899 in Nash County; his contact was Sylvester Powell, “no number” East Nash “near Gills Store”; and he worked for Dr. M.A. Pittman, Raleigh Highway, Wilson, who was a second contact.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hardy Mrs Eliz (c; nurse) 1007 E Nash

Virginia A. Jones died 3 July 1966 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 May 1879 in Wilson County to Enos and Cherry Applewhite; had been a farmer; was the widow of Joseph Jones; and resided at 1007 East Nash. Informant was [daughter] Elizabeth Hardy, 1007 East Nash.

Walter Jones died 31 November 1973 at home at 1007 East Nash, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 August 1921 in Wilson County to Joseph Jones and Virginia Applewhite; had been a cook; and was married to Nora Allen. Informant was sister Elizabeth Hardy, 1007 East Nash.

Elmer Jones died 21 March 1975 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Durham, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born 20 January 1920 in Wilson County to Joseph Jones and Virginia Applewhite; had been a porter-electrician; had never married; and resided at 1007 East Nash. Informant was sister Elizabeth Hardy, 1007 East Nash.

Elizabeth Jones Hardy lived in her home at 1007 East Nash until she passed away in 2001.

 Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2017.

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.

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.”

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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.

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.

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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