Anatomy of a photograph: East Nash Street.

This rare postcard depicts an equally rare image of East Wilson’s early business district in the 500 block of East Nash Street. Close examination of the photograph reveals fascinating details, many of which help date the image. The photographer set up his camera near the curb (a surprising feature!) on the south side of the street. First Missionary Baptist Church, built in 1913, would have been across from and slightly behind him. On the far horizon looms the brick bulk of the Hotel Cherry, built in 1917.

At least ten people — all of whom appear to be male — were captured in the image, including these seven standing or walking along the right side of the street:

These commercial buildings supply clues to the location of the photo. The three-story building, constructed in 1894, is Odd Fellows Hall, home to Hannibal Lodge #1552. Its ground floor contained an ever-changing array of store fronts, and a sign for Maynard’s Market/Fish & Oysters is visible here. As early as 1914, Samuel Vick‘s Globe vaudeville and moving picture theatre was housed on the second floor. The sign hanging from the corner of the building pointed the way to the theatre’s side entrance.

The three-story frame building beside the Odd Fellows Hall was the Hotel Union, managed by Mary Jane Sutzer Taylor Henderson. Here lies a clue to the photograph’s date. In the 1908 and 1913 Sanborn fire insurance maps, there is an empty lot between the Union and the hall.



However, by 1922, a one-story wooden structure, housing a barber shop and sharing a wall with the hotel/boarding house, appears in the gap. See below. (Note also that the theatre’s exterior staircase is gone, traded for enclosed access.) This building, with its shallow gable-end roof, is visible in the postcard image.


The Model T Fords (and a single mule and wagon) also help date the photo to the early 1920s.

There is an artificial quality about the neatly trimmed hedges and suspiciously uniform trees ranged along the left side of the street. Though this portion of the image may have been hand-drawn, that side of the 500 block was in fact lined with private homes.

Families living in this block included the Mitchells, (#540), the Sutzers (#536), and the Yanceys (#538).

This stretch of East Nash Street today, courtesy of Google Maps. The commercial buildings on the right side of the street, including the historic Odd Fellows Hall, were demolished in the 1990s.

Postcard image courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III, Historic Wilson in Vintage Postcards (2003).

Sale of the Morrison-Forbes lots.

Plat Book 3, Page 3, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.

In 1924, Atlantic Coast Realty Company prepared to market thirteen lots carved from the Rountree subdivision. Only one building is drawn — a brick grocery at the corner of Nash and South Vick. The 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map shows the houses already on the lots excluded from the plat map.

The area covered by lots 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9 of the left-hand block is today roughly the site of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church at 106 South Reid Street.

Property of the Julius Freeman heirs.

In 1949, twenty-two years after Julius F. Freeman Sr.‘s death, L.M. Phelps surveyed and platted two parcels of land in East Wilson owned by Freeman’s estate. One, divided into three lots, was at the corner of East Nash and Powell Streets, across and down Nash a couple of hundred feet from Freeman’s son O. Nestus Freeman. The second parcel, divided into two lots, was inside the angled intersection of North East Street and Darden Alley (now Darden Lane.)


  • Lydia Norwood — Lydia Ann Freeman Norwood Ricks was a daughter of Julius and Eliza Daniels Freeman. Robert Norwood, 24, married Lydia Freeman, 21, at the residence of Julius Freeman at 26 January 1899. Episcopal priest W.B. Perry performed the ceremony in the presence of William Kittrell, William Barnes and John Williams. In the 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, she is listed as a domestic living at E Nash extd, R.F.D. 4. In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1025 Roberson Street, owned and valued at $1000, tobacco factory laborer Egar Ricks, 49; wife Lydia, 62; and daughter Eliza Norwood, 39, tobacco factory laborer, tobacco factory laborer. Renting rooms in the house for $8/month were widow Dora Bynum, 40, tobacco factory laborer; her children Charles, 9, Dorthy, 6, and Joseph Bynum, 2, and Rosa Lee, 15, and James Joyner, 12; and widow Rosetta Farmer, 59. Lydia Ricks died 14 October 1960 at her home at 1025 Roberson Street. Per her death certificate, she was 84 years old; was born in Wilson County to Julius Freeman and Eliza Adams; and was married to Eddie Ricks.
  • Mrs. Bass
  • Dr. B.O. Barnes — Boisey O. Barnes Sr.
  • Mrs. Darden

Julius Freeman’s parcels today, per Google Maps:

Nash and Powell Streets.

The elbow of East Street and Darden Lane.



The division of Kenyon Locus’ land.

Plat Book 2, Page 171, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.

Kenyon Locus‘ estate included about 66 acres of land in Taylors township, Wilson County. His property was divided and platted in January 1942, a little over a year after his death. It was bordered on the north side by a road leading to the Wilson-Nashville Highway [N.C. Highway 58] and on the west by a road leading south to Wilson via Ellis Chapel. The property to his south was jointly owned by Charlie Brantley and Mollie Howard, heirs of Henderson Brantley. To the north was acreage owned by Will and Sylvia Howard (or Batchelor) Lucas. A house and several other buildings cluster on a small road that hooked across the northwest corner of the property.


In the 1880 census of Jackson township, Nash County: John Locus, 30; wife Delpha, 30; and children Frank, 10, Dora, 8, Kenny, 5, Nancy, 4, and Samuel, 9 months.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Johnnie Lucus, 43; wife Delpha, 51; children Kinion, 26, Nannie, 24, Edwin, 15, Sidney, 12, and Susan, 9; and grandsons Bunion, 5, and Martin L., 3.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Howards Path, John Locust, 66; wife Delphia, 64; children Kinyan, 36, and Susie, 19; and grandchildren Bunyan, 15, Luther M., 13, and Roxie, 7 months.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: John Locus, 77; wife Delphi, 65; son Kennie, 48; and grandchildren Roxie, 11, and Luther, 23.

In the 1940 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Kerney Locus, 67; wife Bell, 53; and lodger Frosty Pond, 33.

Kenney Locas died 10 December 1940 as the result of a terrible farming accident. Working in a field on his farm, he slipped off a stalk cutter and suffered a crushed leg and pelvis. He was taken to Mercy Hospital, where he was declared dead. Per Locus’ death certificate, he was 66 years old; was married to Isabella Locas, age 55; was born in Wilson County to John Locas of Wilson County and Delphia Taylor of Nash County; and worked as a farmer.



Lincoln Heights.

In the spring of 1947, Economy Homes, Inc., a Winston-Salem developer, filed a plat map for a subdivision to be laid out two miles southeast of town along Black Creek Road. Lincoln Heights consisted of 116 lots of various sizes to be offered to African-American buyers.

Plat Book 4, Page 71, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.

Post-war housing in Wilson was scarce, and lots in the new development sold immediately. Just ten days after the plat map was recorded, the Wilson Daily Times listed lot sales to Samuel T. Dowdy and wife, Julia Farmer Johnson, James T. Horton, Ernest McKinnon, I.V. Dringle, Oscar Eatman and Israel Thomas. Dowdy, who was white, was a speculator and later ran ads selling houses and lots on terms.

Wilson Daily Times, 31 July 1947.

The smaller lots filled with single-family homes, but the long, narrow lots at the right side of the plat eventually — apparently, in the early 1970s — became the site of Lincoln Trailer Park.

Today, nearly all of it is scrub pine and weedy fields. Lincoln Heights had no height at all, and eventually the repeated ravages of its low lands by the overflowing Hominy Swamp canal won the day.

Here is an aerial view of Lincoln Heights, courtesy of Google Maps. The “Williams Street” of the plat became Wills, and “Charles” became Charleston. Elizabeth Street was never cut through, but Purdie curved around to intersect Old Black Creek Road, cradling several smaller streets that were once lined with house trailers. By the mid-1970s, the Daily Times was regularly running stories of boat rescues and electricity shut-offs in Lincoln Trailer Park during hard rains and complaints about the clogged and under-dredged canal in the aftermath. Catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999 devastated Lincoln Heights. As the century turned, the city of Wilson, using federal funding, began to condemn houses and buy out landowners. Though Lincoln Heights is marked on a 2018 digital building map, only a handful of houses along upper Wills Street remain occupied.

Screen Shot 2018-10-13 at 6.56.55 PM.png

An abandoned house at the dead-end of Wills Street. 

Purdie Street is now fenced off at Old Black Creek Road.

Hominy Swamp Canal seems innocuous — at least in terms of volume flow. Otherwise, it is filthy.

In 2002, the city erected signs showing the Hurricane Floyd high-water mark. The sign is perhaps 100 yards from the course of Hominy Swamp and shows a flood depth of about four feet.

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.

A map of every building.

On 12 October 2018, the New York Times published a piece with the straightforward title “A Map of Every Building in America.” Its interactive map is endlessly fascinating at multiple levels. Below, the city of Wilson today:

Detail of the southeastern section of the city, with these historical African-American neighborhoods and places highlighted: (1) the heart of East Wilson; (2) the location of the Colored Graded School; (3) Rountree Place (nearly all of the houses in this triangle were cleared in the late 1990s to make way for Freeman Place, a multi-phase affordable housing development); (4) D.C. Suggs’ property (just above it, the site of the first colored cemetery; (5) Vicksburg Manor; (6) South Lodge Street; (7) Rountree cemetery; (8) Rest Haven cemetery; and (9) the Masonic cemetery:


Detail of the near-northwestern section of the city, with these historical African-American neighborhoods highlighted: (1) Grabneck; (2) New Grabneck; (3) Daniel Hill; (4) Finch’s Mill Road; (5) Lee and Pine Streets.

Property line.

Samuel H. Vick‘s house still towers over East Wilson, but that of contemporary giant Charles H. Darden is long gone. At first glance, I thought this plat map showed the location of the Darden house on Pender Street near Nash. Upon further study — not quite. The Dardens lived at 111 (formerly 110) North Pender Street, and this two-story house was at 113 (formerly 116) North Pender. The Dardens did own it, however, and rented it as a multi-family dwelling.

A surveyor drew the plat map in August 1946 and titled it “Property of C.H. Darden-Hebron Masonic Lodge #42.” Though the only building drawn in is the house at 113, the block was densely built, and nearby property owners are noted, including Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church, Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church, Columbus E. Artis, D’arcey C. Yancy, and Charles Darden’s son Camillus L. Darden.

The survey apparently was intended to resolve a dispute over the location of the lot line between Darden’s property (or that of his estate, as he died in 1931) and Mount Hebron Lodge #42, which was preparing to erect a replacement hall at 115-117 North Pender. As noted on the map, the boundary descriptions in the deeds for each property were vague. The Masons believed their southern lot line ran right through the middle of the house at 113, while the Dardens placed it a few north of the house’s edge.

The 1908 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, below, shows the old wooden lodge building and the house beside it. (The lot line is notably consistent with the 1946 map plat.) The corner of Vick and Pender was an empty lot, and Smith Street was “Zion Alley.” Charles H. Darden’s house is on the wedge-shaped lot at 110 East Pender.

Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 9.19.21 PM.png

On the 1913 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson below, note the newly built First Baptist Church, whose pink shading indicates that it was constricted of brick. Saint John A.M.E. Zion, on the other hand, was a couple of years away from its grandest edifice.

The 1922 Sanborn map, see below, depicts the new Saint John building. The lodge hall is, curiously, absent, and an “old 1st Baptist church” that I have not been able to identify is shown facing Smith Street.  (How old could it have been if it were not built until after 1913?) The Dardens had added several small outbuildings, including a garage, to their parcel. The house at 113 occupies half of a single lot, which is almost certainly a mapping error.

The site today, as shown in an aerial Google Maps view. The building marked “Ball & Cane Club” is the Masonic lodge hall built in 1947. (The club, now defunct, housed their social functions.) The sites of the houses at 111 and 113 North Pender are now under the parking lot of the expanded Baptist church.


In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 111 Pender Street, valued at $6000, undertaker-proprietor Charles H. Darden, 76; wife Mary E., 67; and granddaughter Cora Brown, 22, drugstore clerk. At 113 Pender, five families: (1) paying $14/month rent, fertilizer plant laborer James Edwards, 29, wife Frances, 32, and Rufus G., 14, Julious G., 12, and Willie G., 13; (2) paying $8 rent, hospital janitor Andrew Reid, 27, and wife Sarah L., 30; (3) paying $8, Carl Henborn, 39, building carpenter; (4) paying $4, Neil Ray, 31, junk shop laborer, and wife Annie, 23; and (5) paying $4, cook William M. Powell, 38.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 113 Pender Street, (1) paying $12/month, Ethel Cain, 32, elementary school teacher, and mother Delia Jones, 66, cook; (2) paying $4, Charles Nelson, 36, pressing club presser, and wife Mamie, 34; and (3) paying $4, Hubert McFail, 35, tobacco factory truck driver, and wife Viola, 20, school teacher.

Plat Book 4, page 46, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.

The division of Henderson Brantley’s land.

Though he died in 1916, Henderson Brantley‘s land in Taylors township was not divided per the terms of his will until 1946. His son Charlie Brantley and Mollie Brantley Howard received equal shares.


In the 1850 census of Nash County, North Carolina: Betty Brantley, 50, and her children Kimbrel, 25, Henderson, 14, and Guilford B. Brantley, 12, all described as mulatto.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Howards Path, Henderson Brantley, 70, widower; daughter Bettie, 23; and cousin Dock Howard, 38.

On 9 April 1915, Hence Brantley executed a will in Wilson County. Under its terms, his daughter Bettie was to receive 22 1/2 acres, including the home place; son Charley Brantley was to receive an adjoining 22 1/2 acres; and daughter Molie Hourd was to receive his remaining land. His money was to be split evenly among the children. Brantley named his “trusty friend” Grover T. Lamm executor, and Lamm and Dock Howard were witnesses.

Henderson Brantley died 2 December 1916 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 80 years old; was a widower; was a retired farmer; was born in Nash County to Bettie Brantley. Informant was Charles Brantley.

Bettie Brantley died 8 December 1919 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 40 years old; single; and was born in Wilson County to Henderson Brantley and Mollie Boone. Charlie Brantley was informant.

In the 1940 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Charlie Brankley, 63; his sister Mollie Howard, 53; and lodger Earnest Howard, 30, a farm laborer.

Charlie Brantley died 8 January 1948 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was single; was born 1 August 1874 in Nash County to Hence Brantley and Mollie Boone; was a farmer; and was buried in Brantley cemetery. Mollie Brantley was informant.

Mollie Howard Brown died 1 January 1974 in Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 15 April 1878 in Wilson County to Henderson Brantley and Mollie Boone; was a widow; and was buried in Howard cemetery. Earnest Howard was informant.

Plat book 2, page 218, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.

Where we worked: 1922 — B.

City directories offer fine-grained looks at a city’s residents at short intervals. The 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., directory reveals the types of work available to African-Americans during the booming tobacco era. This post is the second in an alphabetical series listing all “colored” directory entries for whom an occupation was listed. The address is the resident’s home, unless a business address is noted.

  • Bailey, Albert, fireman, 523 South Spring
  • Bailey, Rita, domestic, 118 Ashe
  • Baines, H[enry] Roscoe, carpenter, 307 North Reid
  • Baker, James, tobacco worker, 546 East Nash
  • Baker, William M., carpenter, 610 South Spring
  • Banaman, Frank, tobacco worker, 109 Ashe
  • Banner, Edward, driver, 614 Spruce
  • Banner, Mamie, domestic, 614 Spruce
  • Barber, Ethel, domestic, 1100 East Nash
  • Barber, Sallie, teacher, 1100 East Nash
  • Barbour, James M., proprietor – Wardrobe Pressing Club, 916 Atlantic
  • Barefoot, Bertha, domestic, 918 Washington Avenue
  • Barefoot, Ernest, porter, 324 Hackney
  • Barefoot, Hubert, presser, 412 North Vick
  • Barefoot, Linwood, proprietor – Barefoot Pressing Works, 918 Washington Ave
  • Barefoot Pressing Works, 507 East Nash, Linwood Barefoot proprietor
  • Barham, William, presser – Edwin Thomas, East Nash extended
  • Barnes, Agnes, tobacco worker, 523 Smith
  • Barnes, Albert, tobacco worker, 204 Sunshine Alley
  • Barnes, Alonzo, barber, 806 E Green
  • Barnes, Anna, laundress, 106 South Carroll
  • Barnes, Artelia, domestic, 500 East Green
  • Barnes, B. Frank, laborer, 106 South Carroll
  • Barnes, Bud, driver, 306 South Lodge
  • Barnes, Charlie G., 106 South Carroll
  • Barnes, Cherry, domestic, 608 Stantonsburg Road
  • Barnes, Clifton, tobacco worker, 417 South Goldsboro
  • Barnes, Cora, tobacco worker, 111 Manchester
  • Barnes, Dave, barber – W.S. Hines, 613 East Green
  • Barnes, Della, domestic, 613 East Green
  • Barnes, Dicey, domestic, 901 Stantonsburg Road
  • Barnes, Dorothy, maid, 209 West Nash
  • Barnes, Edward, porter, 418 North Vick
  • Barnes, Ella, laundress, 602 South Daniel
  • Barnes, Eva, tobacco worker, 302 Stantonsburg Road
  • Barnes, Fannie, tobacco worker, 642 Wiggins
  • Barnes, Frances, domestic, 512 Stemmery
  • Barnes, Frank, plasterer, 517 Railroad
  • Barnes, Frank, tobacco grader, 801 Mercer, (home) 716 South Goldsboro
  • Barnes, Fred, laborer, 126 Ashe
  • Barnes, George, farmer, 526 East Barnes
  • Barnes, George, laborer, 203 West Gold
  • Barnes, Harriett, laundress, 214 Manchester
  • Barnes, Henrietta, domestic, 1109 Atlanta
  • Barnes, Henry, laborer, 409 North Pine
  • Barnes, Henry, tobacco worker, 804 South Lodge
  • Barnes, Henry, tobacco worker, 406 Viola
  • Barnes, Howard W., barber – W.M. Hines, 420 Vick
  • Barnes, James F., laborer, 106 Carroll
  • Barnes, James H., barber, 420 East Nash, (home) 670 Viola
  • Barnes, John, helper, 114 Smith
  • Barnes, John, laborer, 810 South Lodge
  • Barnes, John, presser, 413 South Goldsboro
  • Barnes, John H., tobacco worker, 312 South Lodge
  • Barnes, John M., plasterer, 500 East Green
  • Barnes, Joseph, barber, 212 Manchester
  • Barnes, L[eonard]. Elroy, plasterer, 500 East Green
  • Barnes, Larry, presser, 212 Manchester
  • Barnes, Lemon, laborer, 1009 Atlanta
  • Barnes, Littleton, carpenter, 407 Viola
  • Barnes, Lizzie, maid, 1109 Atlanta
  • Barnes, Lonnie, barber – W.S. Hines, 802 East Green
  • Barnes, Louise, laundress, 418 North Vick
  • Barnes, Lucy D., tobacco worker, 212 Manchester
  • Barnes, Maggie, cook, 303 Stantonsburg Road
  • Barnes, Mal, laborer 408 South Lodge
  • Barnes, Mazie, domestic, 642 Wiggins
  • Barnes, Oscar, laborer, 406 South Goldsboro
  • Barnes, Pate, laborer, 1112 East Nash
  • Barnes, Rodenia, tobacco stemmer, 212 Manchester
  • Barnes, Rosa, domestic, 403 East Walnut
  • Barnes, Rosena, laundress, 119 East Walnut
  • Barnes, Sarah, cook – Carolina Hotel, 116 Pender
  • Barnes, Short W., carpenter, 616 East Green
  • Barnes, Sudie, tobacco worker, 602 South Daniel
  • Barnes, Tobe, tobacco worker, 309 Spring Street Alley
  • Barnes, Victoria, tobacco worker, 102 Ashe
  • Barnes, Weldon, laborer, 108 West Lee
  • Barnes, William, laborer, 1020 Wainwright
  • Barnes, Wright, laborer, 608 Railroad
  • Bass, Dezell, tobacco worker, 107 Stantonsburg Road
  • Batchelor, Amanda, domestic, 808 Suggs
  • Batchelor, Bonnie, laborer, 410 East Hines
  • Battle, Arza L., hairdresser – Carrie Strickland, 300 South Spring
  • Battle, Cary, horse shoer – J.Y. Buchanan, East Nash near East
  • Battle, Daisy, tobacco worker, 404 South Lodge
  • Battle, Dave, section hand, 404 South Lodge
  • Battle, Delphia, tobacco worker, 705 East Nash
  • Battle, Edward, laborer, 813 East Green
  • Battle, Ella, tobacco worker, 322 South Spring
  • Battle, Ernest, laborer, 609 South Lodge
  • Battle, Esther, tobacco worker, 209 East Spruce
  • Battle, Frank, freight hand, 902 East Nash
  • Battle, Frank, tobacco worker, 705 East Nash
  • Battle, Frank, tobacco worker, 912 Wainwright Avenue
  • Battle, Frank F., laborer, 1101 Woodard Avenue
  • Battle, Grace, maid – Oettinger’s, 322 South Spring
  • Battle, Hattie, laundress, 705 South Lodge
  • Battle, John, factory hand, 322 South Spring
  • Battle, Joseph, tobacco worker, 606 South Spring
  • Battle, Marie, domestic, 813 East Green
  • Battle, Maud, cook, 106 West Vance
  • Battle, Miller, section hand, 405 Spring Street Alley
  • Battle, Minnie, cook, 209 East Spruce
  • Battle, Narcissa, domestic, 503 Warren
  • Battle, Roberta, teacher, 322 South Spring
  • Battle, William L., tobacco worker, 506 South Lodge
  • Batts, Amos, Grand Scribe Knights of King Solomon Inc., 1113 East Nash
  • Batts, Jacob, 601 South Lodge
  • Batts, John, laborer, 317 South Goldsboro
  • Beckwith, Cora, domestic, 516 South Lodge
  • Beckwith, Odelle, cook, 208 Manchester
  • Becoat, Robert, tobacco worker, 108 South Vick
  • Bell, Charles, laborer, 509 Railroad
  • Bell, Hester, tobacco worker, 908 East Nash
  • Bell, Jasper, tobacco worker, 908 East Nash
  • Belmon, Tobe, laborer, 511 Railroad
  • Bennett, James W., tailor – Powell’s Cleaning Works, 527 Church
  • Bennett, Mable, domestic, 527 Church
  • Bennett, Pearl, laundress, 524 East Barnes
  • Bentley, Mary, domestic, 908 Mercer
  • Berry, Samuel, 508 North Pine
  • Best, Aaron, porter, 517 South Spring
  • Best, Ada, domestic, 1105 West Nash
  • Best, Clinton, bricklayer, 208 Pender
  • Best, Eliza, seamstress, 320 South Spring
  • Best, Frankie, domestic, 320 South Spring
  • Best, Harper, farmer, 320 South Spring
  • Best, John, laborer, 106 Ashe
  • Best, John W., soft drinks, 304 South Lodge, (home) 400 South Lodge
  • Best, Lossie, laundress, 913 Washington Avenue
  • Best, Minnie, domestic, 208 Pender
  • Best, Nannie, tobacco worker, 320 South Spring
  • Best, William, bricklayer 913 Washington Avenue
  • Best, Wilson, bricklayer, 1105 West Nash
  • Bethea, Iola, waitress, 304 East South
  • Black, Grover, laborer, 907 Robinson
  • Black, James, laborer, 501 Stantonsburg Road
  • Black, Martha, laundress, 907 Robinson
  • Black, William, tobacco worker, 507 Bank
  • Blackman, Andrew, drayman, 620 Darden Alley
  • Blow, Harrison, tobacco worker, 902 Mercer
  • Blow, Jane, tobacco worker, 902 Mercer
  • Blow, Sudie, laundress, 310 East Walnut
  • Blow, William, laborer, 513 Smith
  • Blue, Susie, domestic, 137 Ashe
  • Blue, William, tobacco worker, 137 Ashe
  • Boone, James, tobacco worker, 611 South Spring
  • Boone, Linwood, tobacco worker, 414 South Spring
  • Booten, Caroline, laundress, 206 East Hines
  • Borden, Liza, domestic, 204 South Vick
  • Bowden, William R., presser – Powell’s Cleaning Works, 110 Finch
  • Bowen, Horace, laborer, 802 South Lodge
  • Bowers, Bud, laborer, 414 Walnut Alley
  • Bowling, Fletcher, laborer, 518 South Lodge
  • Bowser, Astor B., insurance agent, 520 East Nash
  • Bowser, Sarah L., dressmaker, 520 East Nash
  • Bowser, Thomas F., cook, 520 East Nash
  • Boyette, Bud, tobacco worker, 304 East Walnut
  • Boyette, Emma, domestic, 210 Pender
  • Boyette, Jensie, tobacco worker, 304 East Walnut
  • Boyette, Nathan, carpenter, 210 Pender
  • Boykin, Bettie, 190 North East
  • Boykin, Charles, chauffeur, 306 East Walnut
  • Boykin, John, carpenter, 801 Viola
  • Branch, J.G., Rev., pastor Mount Zion Holiness Church, (home) Goldsboro, N.C.
  • Branch, Letta, tobacco worker, 507 Hadley
  • Brant, Elnora, domestic, 416 East Green
  • Brant, Joseph, bricklayer, 416 East Green
  • Braswell, Cora, domestic, 639 Wiggins
  • Braswell, William, laborer, 414 Whitley
  • Braxton, Viola, domestic, 415 South Railroad
  • Brewington, Angeline, domestic, 601 South Railroad
  • Brewington, David, laborer, 601 South Railroad
  • Brewington, Edward C., proprietor – Brewington Pressing Works, 1212 East Nash
  • Brewington Pressing Works, 561 East Nash, Edward C. Brewington proprietor
  • Bright, Martha, tobacco worker, 802 East Nash
  • Brin, John, tobacco worker, 110 South Vick
  • Brinkley, Nannie, domestic, 203 Stantonsburg Road
  • Britt, Mamie, cook, 113 Manchester
  • Brody, David, grader, 303 Mercer
  • Brody, Gertrude, domestic, 113 Pender
  • Brody, Josephine, student, 303 Mercer
  • Brooks, Burley, bicycle mechanic – C.H. Darden & Sons, South Atlantic
  • Brooks, Eva, laundress, East Nash extended
  • Brooks, Jesse, sexton – First Baptist Church, Stantonsburg Road
  • Brooks, Jesse B., barber – W.M. Hines, Atlantic near Nash
  • Brooks, John, carpenter, East Nash extended
  • Brooks, Minnie, domestic, 810 East Nash
  • Brooks, Seth, barber – W.M. Hines, 908 Elba
  • Brown, Edward, laborer, 411 North Pine
  • Brown, Edward H., carpenter, 202 South Vick
  • Brown, Ellis, tobacco worker, 906 Viola
  • Brown, Estelle, laundress, 306 Pender
  • Brown, Eva L., dressmaker, 202 South Vick
  • Brown, Jesse, tobacco worker, 1202 East Nash
  • Brown, Maggie, laundress, 1008 Woodard Avenue
  • Brown, Mattie, laundress, 809 Suggs
  • Brown, Nora, tobacco worker, 205 South Railroad
  • Brown, Oma, domestic, 209 South Railroad
  • Brown, Peter, cook, 406 Spring Street Alley
  • Brown, William, laborer, 809 Suggs
  • Brown, William H., printer, 202 South Vick
  • Bryant, Beatrice, domestic, 632 Suggs
  • Bryant, Cora, domestic, 111 Pender
  • Bryant, Edward, cook, 411 North Pine
  • Bryant, Harry H., tobacco worker, 619 Suggs
  • Bryant, Julia, domestic, 619 Suggs
  • Bryant, Millie, cook, 308 West Nash
  • Buie, Alma, tobacco worker, 209 North East
  • Bullard, Ayatte, domestic, 112 Fourth
  • Bullard, Minnie, domestic, 112 Fourth
  • Bullard, Wesley, presser, 112 Fourth
  • Bullard, William, carpenter, 112 Fourth
  • Bullock, Jolly, laborer, 120 North Railroad
  • Bullock, Lizzie, domestic, 525 Church
  • Bullock, Mack, tobacco worker, 1008 Robinson
  • Bullock, Martha, laundress, 1106 Wainwright
  • Bullock, Richard, laborer 1208 East Nash
  • Bullock, Swindell, butler, 1200 West Gold
  • Bullock, William, laborer, 525 Church
  • Bunk, William, 913 Robinson
  • Bunn, Abraham, carpenter, 629 Wiggins
  • Bunn, Bertie, domestic, 502 South Bruton
  • Bunn, Martha, domestic, 629 Wiggins
  • Burke, Lottie, laundress, 211 Stantonsburg Road
  • Burks, Georgia, teacher, 322 South Spring
  • Burl, Linda, domestic, 304 Stantonsburg Road
  • Burns, Henry, laborer, 409 Spring Street Alley
  • Burton, William H., tobacco worker, 201 North Vick
  • Burtsell, Paul, pastor Holy Apostolic Church, (home) Goldsboro, N.C.
  • Busy Bee Shoe Shine Parlor, 513 East Nash, Jake Johnson proprietor
  • Buthine, Charles, tobacco worker, 108 North Pettigrew
  • Buthine, Shulor, laundress, 108 North Pettigrew
  • Bynum, Albert, Rev., 627 Suggs
  • Bynum, Alice, tobacco worker, 510 Stantonsburg Road
  • Bynum, Annie, cook, 113 Narroway
  • Bynum, Charlotte, midwife, 117 Manchester
  • Bynum, Charlotte, millhand, 632 Wiggins
  • Bynum, Dudley, barber, 913 Atlanta
  • Bynum, Estella, domestic, 807 Stantonsburg Road
  • Bynum, Herbert, laborer, 1000 Mercer
  • Bynum, Ida, domestic, 510 Stantonsburg Road
  • Bynum, John, laborer, 807 Stantonsburg Road
  • Bynum, Joseph, laborer, 113 Narroway
  • Bynum, Katherine, student, 532 East Nash
  • Bynum, Mack, tobacco worker, 532 East Nash
  • Bynum, Penny, domestic, 627 Suggs
  • Bynum, Thomas, tobacco worker, 117 Manchester
  • Bynum, William, tobacco worker, 510 Stantonsburg Road
  • Byrd, Minnie, cook, 402 South Goldsboro
  • Byrd, Thomas, laborer, 514 East Nash


  • “Domestic” likely encompassed domestic work done both within one’s home (i.e. the work of a “housewife”) and for an outside employer.
  • In this era, there were no African-American firemen in Wilson in the “firefighter” sense. A “fireman” in this context was a stoker, i.e. someone responsible for tending the fire needed to run a boiler to heat a building or power a steam engine.
  • As is clear here, Barnes is by far the most common surname for African-Americans (and whites) in Wilson County. As a result, one should not assume that any two Barneses are related.
  • The streets now known as Atlantic Street and Washington Street were originally designated Atlanta Street and Booker T. Washington Avenue, both in honor of the “Wizard of Tuskegee,” who spoke in Wilson in 1910.
  • “Robinson” Street is, in fact, Robeson.
  • Whitley Street was a short, narrow block running alongside Williams Lumber Company between South Lodge Street and the terminus of South Spring Street. Per the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map, it was lined with seven small houses on the south side of the street. Hominy Swamp ran perhaps 150′ behind.

Today, Whitley Street and the last stretch of South Douglas, below the Norfolk & Southern tracks, have been swallowed up by the site of Garris Evans Lumber Company.

  • Oettinger’s Dependable Shop was at 100-106 East Nash Street.
  • The Carolina Hotel was at 225 East Barnes Street.
  • Carrie Strickland’s beauty shop was at 528 East Nash Street.
  • James Younger Buchanan was a blacksmith and horse shoer who operated a shop at 209 East South Street.
  • Powell’s Cleaning Works was at 117 South Tarboro Street.
  • Walter S. Hines barber shop.
  • William M. Hines barber shop.
  • Mount Zion Holiness Church was on Lodge Street near Walnut.
  • Holy Apostolic Church was on Banks Street near Spring.

Current map courtesy of Google Maps.

Lost ‘hoods, no. 3.

As illustrated in earlier “Lost ‘Hoods” posts, downtown Wilson was once shot through with narrow alleys packed with the tiny double-shotgun dwellings of African-American tobacco workers. In addition to Banks Alley and Oil Mill Alley and Parker’s Alley (also known as Vick’s Alley) and Young’s Alley, there were:

  • Sunshine Alley

Sunshine Alley lay in the shadow of Liggett & Meyers’ tobacco warehouse and within a block of Smith’s, Planter’s Warehouse, Banner, Monk-Adams, Farmers and Watson Warehouses. As shown in the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, the western end of the alley was a slot off Goldsboro Street in the block otherwise bounded by Hines, South Mercer and East Jones Streets.

Screen Shot 2018-10-07 at 7.01.41 PM.png

The eastern end formed a dogleg dividing the block bounded by Goldsboro, Hines, Spring and Jones Streets.

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Sunshine Alley is long gone, but its path is easily followed in the driveway of the Family Dollar store at Hines and Goldsboro, the driveway of Barrett’s Printing House (the white-roofed structure below standing with the former footprint of Smith & Leggett) and the cut-through that continues past Barrett’s to Douglas Street (formerly Spring).

Screen Shot 2018-10-07 at 7.21.12 PM.png

  • Walnut Alley

Only a block long, Walnut Alley ran parallel to South Spring (Douglas) and South Lodge Streets between East Walnut and East Banks Streets. The 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map depicts a small “colored church” on Spring.

Screen Shot 2018-10-07 at 9.33.04 PM.png

That church is now Saint Rose Church of Christ, and the alley is Walnut Lane.

Screen Shot 2018-10-07 at 9.38.12 PM.png

Current maps courtesy of Google Maps.