Newspapers

A heinous charge.

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Wilson Mirror, 6 November 1889.

Algie Vaughan’s stepdaughter was Sarah Ward, who was about 15 in 1889. Sarah’s mother Mittie Ward had two children, Sarah and Joseph H. Ward, before she married Vaughan in 1879. This terrible incident may explain why Mittie reverted to her maiden name and Minerva used “Ward” as an adult.

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On 6 May 1879, Algenon Vaughn, 22, married Mitty Finch, 27, in Wilson.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Sarah Darden, 57, son-in-law Algia Vaughn, 23, daughter Mittie, 22, and grandchildren Joseph, 8, Sarah, 6, and Macinda [Minerva] Vaughn, 5 months. [Joseph “Vaughn” was actually Joseph Ward, listed with his stepfather’s surname.]

On the occasion of his historical marker dedication, another account of Dr. Ward’s appointment.

This weekend, with his granddaughter and great-grandchildren in attendance, the Indiana Historical Bureau, the American Legion, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History will dedicate a historical marker commemorating the lifetime achievements of Wilson native Dr. Joseph H. Ward. Though I’ve blogged about him here and here and here and here, this seemed an appropriate time to feature yet another long newspaper article detailing Dr. Ward’s accomplishments.

 

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“The appointment of Dr. [Joseph H.] Ward to this position marks a decided step forward for the race. In many respects this may be regarded as the highest office to which a Negro has ever been appointed, certainly the most responsible.”

Topeka Plaindealer, 25 July 1924.

Photos courtesy of L. Bates.

In my humble estimation you stand pre-eminently above them all.

In 1936, Wilson-born pharmacist William Henry Vick wrote a letter to Kansas Governor Alf Landon, predicting that he would win the Republican nomination for president. Vick wished “to be the first Negro of New Jersey as Landon booster.” Vick’s prescience notwithstanding, Landon lost badly to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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The Montclair Times, 28 July 1936.

They are non-residents of this state.

Hardy Lassiter died about 1853 in a section of Edgecombe County that two years later became part of the newly created Wilson County. During the probate of his estate, the court ordered this ad placed in an attempt to locate his daughter Sally Lassiter Artis and her husband, Morrison Artis.

The Tarborough Southerner, 24 September 1853.

Where were the Artises?  Indiana.

Morrison Artis, son of Micajah and Bedie Powell Artis, was born about 1822 in or near what would become Wilson County. His father Micajah is listed as a head of household in the 1830 census of Taylor district, Nash County, and the 1840 census of Davis district, Wayne County. Morrison Artis married Sarah “Sally” Lassiter circa 1845. Born about 1827 in what was then Edgecombe County, she was the daughter of Hardy and Obedience Lassiter. Morrison and Sally’s first child, Benjamin F. Artis, was born in 1847, and within a year or so the family struck out for Indiana with Morrison’s family.

In the 1850 census of District 85, Parke County, Indiana: Morrison Artis, 24, farmer; wife Sarah, 21; and children Benjamin, 3, and Rachel, 6 months. All except Rachel were born in North Carolina.

In the 1850 census of District 85, Parke County, Indiana: Micajah Artis, 50, farmer; wife Bedy, 40; and children Arcada, 17, Eliza, 14, Burket, 4, and Henriette, 1. All but Henriette were born in North Carolina.

In the 1860 census of Reserve township, Parke County, Indiana: farmer Morrison Artis, 35; wife Sally, 33; and children Benjamin, 13, Rachel. 10, and Martha, 5. Morrison reported owning $1000 in real property and $465 in personal property.

In the 1860 census of Adam township, Parke County, Indiana: Micajah Artis, 58, farmer; wife Beda, 50; and children Birket, 16, Henrietta, 10, Elmeda, 8, and Benson, 7.

Per Early Black Settlements by County, indianahistory.org, “During the 1850s, the Bassett, Artis and Ellis families left Parke County, Indiana, and established a settlement in Ervin Township. (The Bassett and Artis families were free African Americans who came to Indiana from North Carolina.)  At least 11 families lived in this area that became a small farming community of blacks sometime known as the Bassett Settlement or the Bassett and Ellis Settlement.  They had a school, church, cemetery (located at 950 W.), general store, blacksmith shop and a post office.  Some of the other surnames associated with the settlement include Canady, Griggs, Jones, Kirby, Mosely, and Wilson.

“Zachariah and Richard Bassett served as ministers at the Free Union Baptist Church in Howard County.  The 1870 census list Bassetts, Artis, and Ellis as farmers.  Richard had land valued at $8,400 and Morrison Artis’s land was valued at $2,800.  In 1892, Richard Bassett became the third black person to be elected to the Indiana state legislature.”

The heart of the Bassett Settlement as shown in this 1877 plat map. Two parcels are labeled M. Artis — one, perhaps, Micajah and the other Morrison. A small cross is visible at the center of the image in a parcel marked R. Bassett; it marks the community cemetery in which the older Artises were buried. [For an account of my visit to Bassett cemetery and a family connection to this place, see here and here.]

In the 1870 census of Ervin township, Howard County, Indiana: Morrison Artis, 46; wife Sarah, 40; and children Benjamin, 23, Martha, 16, and William, 1. Morrison reported owning $2800 in real property and $500 in personal property.

In the 1870 census of Ervin township, Howard County, Indiana: Macajah Artis, 65, farmer; wife Bedea, 65; and children Henrietta, 22, Almedia, 20, and Benson 17. Morrison reported owning $700 in real property and $100 in personal property.

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Indianapolis Leader, 30 August 1879.

In the 1880 census of Ervin township, Howard County, Indiana: farmer Morrison Artis, 57; wife Sarah, 55; children Benjamin, 33, Martha, 26, and William M., 11; and grandson Melvin, 8.

In 1891, Morrison Artis was nearly swindled from his life’s accumulation in a fraudulent land transaction.

Kokomo Saturday Tribune, 12 May 1891.

Morrison Artis died in April 1896 after terrible head injuries sustained when his spooked horse threw him, then fell on him.

Kokomo Daily Tribune, 9 April 1896.

Benjamin F. Artis died 8 September 1910 in Coopers Grove, Howard County, Indiana. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 February 1947 in North Carolina to Morrison Artis and Sarah Lassiter; was married to Caroline Artis; and was a retired laborer.

Melvina Bassett died 7 April 1917 in Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana. Per her death certificate, she was born April 1839 in North Carolina to Micajah Artis and Bedie Powell; was the widow of John Bassett; and was buried in Bassett cemetery. William Bassett was informant.

Benson Artis died 17 April 1919 in Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana. Per his death certificate, he was 56 years old; was born in Indiana to M. Artis and an unknown mother; was single; lived at 145 Western Avenue, Kokomo.

William M. Artis died 27 August 1920 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 26 February 1869 in Indiana to Morrison Artis and an unknown mother; was married to Lula Artis; worked as a laborer; and was buried in Kokomo.

U.S. Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Coley receives a degree in library science.

Wilson Daily Times, 21 June 1947.

Elizabeth Pauleze Coley was almost certainly the first, and perhaps the only, African-American native of Wilson to graduate what is now Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. A 1940 graduate of Charles H. Darden High School, she received her first degree from North Carolina College for Negroes (now North Carolina Central University) in 1944.

Coley married Kelly Winslow Bryant of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and eventually migrated to suburban Washington, D.C. Though it’s not clear whether she ever worked in Wilson — the main library on West Nash Street was whites-only in 1947, and the tiny Negro branch remained a fledgling — Elizabeth Pauleze Coley Bryant did become a librarian.

Roundtable (1969), the yearbook of Frank W. Ballou High School, Washington, D.C.

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Elizabeth P. Coley was born 1 May 1923 in Wilson to David Henry Coley and Eva Jane Speight.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 930 [sic, 931] Carolina Street, barber Henry Coley, 48; wife Eva, 46, teacher; and children James, 16, Eva, 15, and Elizabeth, 13. [The ages of this entire family are off. David H. Coley was in fact about; Eva, about 30; Elizabeth, about 6; and Eva, about 4.]

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 1948 Rocky Mount, North Carolina, city directory: Bryant Kelly W (c; Pauleze; Wright’s Chick Shack) r 522 Raleigh rd

 

Notice of sale of McGowan’s lot.

Tillman McGowan and wife Charity McGowan died within days of one another in 1892. In an earlier post, I noted that I had not found estate records for the McGowans. Now, I have.

The McGowans had at least nine children — Martha McGowan Cole, Chloe McGowan Barnes, Amy McGowan Hinnant, Lucinda McGowan Harper, Aaron McGowan, Ira McGowan, Delia Ann McGowan Morgan, Nathan McGowan and Courtney McGowan. At appears that three — Martha, Aaron and Courtney — died before their parents, though of these only Martha left heirs.

The McGowan children inherited as tenants in common a half-acre single lot at the corner of Vance and Maplewood Streets. Too small to divide seven ways, the McGowan heirs sought to sell the lot and divide the proceeds equally among them. To do this though, everyone needed to be on board. Ira and Nathan McGowan had migrated to Indianapolis, Indiana, and Delia McGowan Morgan was still living in Wilson. It is not clear to me where Chloe Barnes, Lucinda Harper or Amy Hinnant were living, but they were accounted for. All joined as plaintiffs in a suit for partition, naming their nieces and nephews — Charity, Nelson, Mary, Aaron and John Cole — as defendants. The Coles could not be found in the state, however, and the court named Henry G. Connor as guardian ad litem to represent their interests. The notice below ran for six weeks in the Wilson Mirror, but the children did not respond. On 10 December 1894, an appointed commissioner conducted a public sale of the lot, netting a $345 bid. After fees were deducted for the plaintiffs’ attorney ($20.00), the guardian ($5.00) and the commissioner ($10.00), the McGowans shared the proceeds.

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Wilson Mirror, 19 September 1894.

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In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Setta Whitfield, 37, domestic servant; Gross Conner, 18, a white news dealer; Tillman McGown, 35, farm laborer, wife Charity, 36, and children Amy, 17, Lucinda, 15, Aaron, 20, Ira, 5, Delia A., 7, Nathan, 3, and Courtney, 1.

On 15 October 1875, Lucinda McGowan, 20, married Richard Harper, 22, in Wilson.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmer Tilman McGown, 43, wife Charity, 49,  and children Delia A., 18, Ira R., 15, and Nathan, 13.

On 1 September 1892, Delia Ann McGown, 22, of the Town of Wilson, daughter of Tilghman and Charity McGown, married Dennis Morgan, 38, of Wilson township. Rev. Crocket Best performed the ceremony in the presence of J.T. Deans, Paul Loyd and Cora Beckwith.

On 24 May 1894, Nathan McGowan married Clara Hester in Marion County, Indiana.

On 2 December 1894, Ira R. McGowan married Alice A. Stout in Marion County, Indiana.

Ira McGowan died 17 May 1939 at his home at 952 Camp, Indianapolis, Indiana. Per his death certificate, he was born 8 January 1865 in North Carolina to unknown parents; worked as a laborer; and was married to Alice McGowan.

The colored firemen’s convention.

The Red Hot Hose Company of Wilson hosted the 1904 convention and tournament of North Carolina Volunteer Firemen’s Association (Colored). Southern Railway ran this notice of special round-trip rates for firemen and brass bands making the trip from various points across the state.

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The Morning Post (Raleigh, N.C.), 28 July 1904.

Jonathan Artist (Jr.) of Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Indianapolis Star, 27 October 1945.

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In the 1880 census of Greencastle township, Putnam County, Indiana: farmhand Jonathan Artis, 47; wife Margret, 39; and children Evert, 19, Gray, 16, Sarah, 14, Tamer, 12, Minnie, 10, Rose, 8, John, 6, Jonathan, 4, and Willie, 2.

In 1894, Jonathan Artist graduated from Brightwood School’s eighth grade class.

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Indianapolis News, 6 June 1894.

He was the sole “colored” member of the Brightwood High School graduating class of 1896. Per an article printed in the 6 June 1896 of the Indianapolis Journal, as part of commencement exercises, he read an eight-minute essay on “The New Lochinvar.”

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Indianapolis News, 22 May 1896.

In the 1900 census of Indianapolis, Indiana: at 2419 Oxford, Margret Artis, 57, widow, and children John, 24, day laborer, Jonathan, 22, grocery deliverer, Willie, 20, railroad section hand, and Sarrah, 34, all born in North Carolina.

On 3 December 1902, Jonathan Artist married Carrie Broshiers in Marion County, Indiana.

Indianapolis Sun, 1 December 1902.

Twelve years after graduation, Artist was advocating on behalf of children at school in the Oak Hill neighborhood. The school site was too far from the homes of the children it served, he complained. Though the school board’s business director was instructed to consult a house mover about relocating the building, “it is not likely that the school will be moved.”

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Indianapolis Star, 15 July 1908.

Elliott Artist was born 4 July 1909 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Jonathan Artis, 32, of North Carolina, a laborer, and Carrie Broshier, 27, of Indiana. The family resided at 2623 North Oxford, and Elliott was the fifth of five children, all of whom were surviving. [This child was later known as Francis Artist.]

In the 1910 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 2623 North Oxford, grocery company laborer Jonathan Artist, 29; wife Cary, 28; children Cecil, 7, Thelma, 6, Raymond, 4, Juanita, 2, and Francis, 9 months; father-in-law Abner Broshier, 65; sister-in-law Alice Broshier, 34; brother-in-law David Broshier, 21; and sisters-in-law Maiza, 19, and Eva Broshier, 16.

George Gilbert Artist was born 8 June 1911 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Jonathan Artis, 32, of North Carolina, a laborer, and Carrie Broshears, 29, of Indiana, a housewife. The family resided at 2623 Oxford Street, and George was the sixth of six children, all of whom were surviving.

Leslie Artist was born 25 November 1912 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to John Artis, 31, of North Carolina, a grocery driver, and Carrie Broshier, 29, of Indiana, a housewife. The family resided at 1930 Columbia Avenue, and Leslie was the seventh of seven children, all of whom were surviving.

An unnamed male child was born 7 December 1915 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Jonathan Artis, 38, of North Carolina, and Carrie Brochere, 29, of Indiana. The family resided at 1930 Columbia Street, and the child was the eighth of eight children, of whom seven were surviving. [This child’s birth certificate was not filed until 13 December 1915 and in the intervening week the attending physician misremembered the baby’s birthdate. Per his death certificate, “Infant Jonathan Artist” was born premature on 6 December 1915 and died 7 December. ]

Juanita Artis died 26 August 1916 in Indianapolis of tetanus contracted from a splinter in her foot. Per her death certificate, she was born 9 September 1906 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist and Carrie Broshears and lived at 2148 Arsenal Avenue.

An unnamed male child was born 5 December 1916 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Jonathan Artis, 38, of North Carolina, a porter, and Carrie Broshire, 30, of Indiana. The family resided at 2144 North Arsenal, and the child was the ninth of nine children, of whom seven were surviving. [This was son Cornelius “Neal” Artis.]

An unnamed male child was born 6 July 1919 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Jonathan Artis, 41, of North Carolina, and Carrie Broshire, 33, of Indiana. The family resided at 2508 Euclid, and the child was the ninth of nine children [sic, he was tenth of ten], of whom eight were surviving.

In 1919, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & Saint Louis Railroad Company police snatched up Artist while he was walking near the railway and locked him on a vagrancy charge. The city court threw out the case, and Artist sued for false imprisonment.

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Indianapolis Star, 29 May 1919.

In the 1920 census of of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: on Phipp Street, grocery driver Jonethan Artist, 48; wife Carrie, 34;  and children Cecil, 17, Thelma, 15, Raymond, 14, Francis, 10, George, 8, Leseley, 7, Cornelius, 3, and Burton, 6 months.

Seven months later, Artist’s case was “compromised,” or settled, when he accepted a $250 payment from the railroad company.

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Indianapolis News, 16 February 1920.

In 1923, Jonathan Artist took on the school board, filing suit for equal treatment for his children. Though they were allowed to attend School No. 51 (now James Russell Lowell School No. 51) with white children, they were excluded from classrooms and forced to sit in closets to receive instruction.

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Indianapolis News, 28 November 1923.

Cecil Artist died 17 December 1924 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 4 January 1903 to John Artist of North Carolina and Carrie Broshears of Indiana; was a school boy; and resided at 2508 Euclid.

Carrie Artist died 3 October 1928 in Indianapolis. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 January [1881] in Indiana to Abner Broshiers of Kentucky and Luella Winfrey of Kentucky; was married to Jonathan Artist; and lived at 2508 Euclid Avenue.

In the 1930 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 2508 Euclid Avenue, owned and valued at $1800, grocery salesman Jonathan Artist, 51, widower; and children Thelma, 25, Raymond, 24, coal yard chauffeur, Francis, 20, odd jobs laborer, George, 18, dog pound chauffeur, Leslie, 17, garage repairman, Cornelius, 13, and Vincent, 10.

Raymond Artist died 21 August 1933 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 31 December 1906 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist of North Carolina and Carrie Broshear of Evansville, Indiana; worked as a mechanic; and was single.

In the 1940 census of of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 2508 Euclid Avenue, retail grocery clerk Johnathan Artist, 54, widower; and children Cornelius, 23, coal yard foreman, Vincent, 20, and Leslie, 26, both glass manufacturing laborers, and daughter-in-law Sarah, 18.

Indianapolis Recorder, 29 January 1944.

Leslie Artis died 30 October 1961 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 24 November 1913 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist and Carrie Broshiers; lived at 222 1/2 West 18th Street; and worked as a fertilizer company laborer. Widow Sadie  Artist was informant.

Thelma Artist died 28 April 1978 in Indianapolis. Per her death certificate, she was born 32 March 1904 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist and Carrie (last name unknown); lived at 2508 North Euclid Avenue; and worked as a domestic worker. Vincent Artist was informant.

Francis Artist died 27 May 1981 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 4 July 1909 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist and Carrie (last name unknown); was divorced; and worked as a construction worker. Vincent Artist was informant.

Vincent Artist died 15 April 1986 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 July 1919 in Indianapolis to Johnathan Artist and Carrie Brosheres; was never married; worked as a automotive repairman; and lived at 2508 North Euclid. Brother Neal Artist was informant.

George G. Artist died 19 June 1991 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 8 June 1911 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist and Carrie Breshere and was a U.S. post office mail handler. Informant was daughter Roselyn Artist.

Neal C. Artist died 6 December 2006 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 December 1916 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist and Carrie (last name unknown); was a widower; and worked as a tool and die inspector.