Photographs

Studio shots, no. 181: Annie Mae Dillard Bowden.

Anna Mae Dillard Bowden.

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In the 1920 census of Henderson township, Vance County, North Carolina: Sallie Dillard, 28, tobacco factory; daughter Annie, 14; and mother Stella Smith, widow, 62, cook.

On 26 March 1925, Timothy Bowden, 22, of Wilson, married Annie May Pitt, 19, of Wilson. Sam Allen, “minister of A.M.E. Zion connection,” performed the ceremony at his home on Robeson Street in the presence of Georgia Ward, Fannie Allen, and Cardain Allen.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bowden Timothy (c; Annie M) hlpr h 305 Finch

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 307 Finch Street, Timothy Battle [Bowden], 27, chauffeur; wife Annie, 24; children William, 7, Timothy Jr., 5, Mary E., 4, Hurbert, 3, and Charlie, 1; mother-in-law Sallie White, 38, widow.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 902 Faison Street, Sankie Jones, 60; wife Armecie, 43, cook; roomer Joe McDowell, 41, plasterer, and wife Marinie, 41, cook, and Annie May Bowden, 34, domestic.

Timothy Bowden died 18 March 1945 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 June 1902 to Mary Ellen Adams of Wilson County; was married to Annie Mae Bowden; lived at 413 East Green; and worked as a chauffeur.

“Shortie” Bolden’s obituary. Wilson Daily Times, 19 March 1945.

Hubert O. Bowden registered for the draft in 1946. Per his registration card, he was born 5 April 1927 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 323 Macon Street, Brooklyn], Kings County, N.Y.; his contact was mother Annie Mae Bowden of the same address; and was unemployed.

Lane Street Project: Fannie Oates McCullins.

Fannie Oates McCullins‘ broken headstone lies in Odd Fellows cemetery a short distance from her parents and sisters Rosa O. Barnes and Ella Oates.

Fannie Wife of Andrew McCullins

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In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: day laborer Charles Oates, 34; wife Emma, 30; and children Willie, 11, Fannie, 9, Annie, 8, Effie, 5, and Queen Elsie, 4.

On 3 December 1908, Andrew McCullen, 40, of Wilson, son of Emma McCullen, married Fannie Oats, 19, of Wilson, daughter of Charles and Emma Oats. A.M.E. Zion minister J.S. Jackson performed the ceremony in the presence of Charles Knight, Henry Tart, and T.S. Beaty.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: pool room laborer Andrew McCollen, 36, and wife Fannie, 20, tobacco factory laborer. 

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 133 Ashe Street, tobacco factory laborer Andrew McCullers, 40, and wife Fannie, 30, shared a duplex with laborer Bob Strickland, 70, and wife Mary, 45.

Snaps, no. 87: Iora Blanche Wilkins Jones Baines Lucas.

Iora Wilkins Jones Baines Lucas.

In the 1900 census of Old Field township, Wilson County: Francis Kates, 37, widow, farmer, and children Ora, 16, Jane, 14, Willie, 10, and Earnest, 6.

Iora Lucas, 15, of Old Fields township, daughter of Buck Wilkins and Frances Kates, married James E. Jones, 28, of Old Fields, son of Burt Jones and Susan Jones, on 2 June 1901 at Frances Kates’ in Old Fields. Thomas A. Jones was a witness.

On 19 February 1906, Frank Baines, 26, of Old Fields, son of Simon and D. Baines, married Iora Jones, 21, of Nash County, daughter of Frances Cates, at Frank Baines’ residence. Thomas A. Jones, John R. Jones, and Dorsey Powell were informants.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Franklin Baines, 28; wife Ora, 24; and children James V., 8, Elroy, 4, Cornelia, 2, and Mary A. Baines, 7 months.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: widowed farmer Ora Bains, 33, and children Elroy, 12, Cornelia, 11, Mary E., 10, Rosevelt, 7, Donnie, 5, Armensie, 3, and Josephine, 2.

In the 1930 census of Jackson township, Nash County: widow Ora Lucas, 45, and children Donnie, 16, Armensie, 14, Josephine, 12, Junius, 8, and Monzora, 6. [The latter two by her third husband, June Lucas.]

Iora Lucas migrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user Jerry Smith.

Lane Street Project: Rosa Oates Barnes.

Rosa Oats Barnes‘ broken headstone lies in Odd Fellows cemetery a short distance from her parents and sister Ella Oates.

Rosa Wife of Matthew Barnes

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On 25 August 1919, Matthew Barnes, 21, of Wilson, son of Nat and Emma Barnes, married Rosa Oats, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Charles Oats.  A.M.E. Zion minister  B.P. Coward performed the ceremony in the presence of John Norfleet, J.L. Moore, and James Whitley.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Railroad Street, tobacco factory worker Emma Barnes, 48, widow; son Matthew, 23, auto garage laborer; and daughter-in-law Rosa, 18, tobacco factory worker.

Rosa Oates died 18 November 1922 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 18 years old [actually, about 21]; was born in Wilson County to Charles Oats and Emma Williams; was divorced from Matthew Barnes; lived on Ash Street; and worked as a factory worker at Flemmings. Charlie Oats was informant.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2021.

906 Mercer Street.

This house is not within the bounds of East Wilson Historic District. However, the blocks of Mercer Street southwest of the Norfolk & Southern Railroad lines have been an African-American residential area since the early twentieth century.

906 Mercer appears in the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance maps of Wilson.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Outlaw Arthur (c; Mary) fishermn h 906 Mercer

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Oates Henry (c; Minnie) driver Clark Hdw Co Inc h 906 Mercer

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 906 Mercer, rented for $21/month, Henry Oates, 34, hardware store truck driver; wife Minnie L., 26; and children Willie, 9, Albert L., 8, Fredie, 6, and Bubbie, 2.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 906 Mercer, Lettie Smith, 48, widow, works at stemming machine at redrying plant; her children Harvey, 28, gas station attendant, Mary, 15, Herbert, 13, and Elijah and Elisha, 11; and grandson Donald Ray, 8.

The house is listed as vacant in the 1941 city directory, but in the 1947 directory was occupied by tobacco worker Lena Whitley. (Whitley died in 1965 at her home at 918 Mercer. The informant on her death certificate was Eula King, 906 Mercer.)

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2021.

Mr. Hooks speaks.

I live in my head. So I’ve been carrying the seeds of Black Wide-Awake and Lane Street Project a very long time, but only recently stretched out my hands to sow them.

The harvest has been immense.

Among the bounty — Castonoble Hooks, who has championed my work since Dr. Joseph H. Ward. He has become both my student and teacher, and I am immensely grateful for his wisdom, friendship, and support.

On July 28 at 7:00 PM, Mr. Hooks will deliver a lecture on Wilson’s early civil rights history at Our Wilson, 501 Nash Street E. Our Wilson, led by Donta Chestnut, is a non-profit organization focused on providing mentoring and educational resources to young people and families. Fittingly located in the heart of Wilson’s historic Black business district, Our Wilson works to inspire youth across the city’s spectrum with stories of Wilson natives who have accomplished their dreams. In the spirit of sankofa, Mr. Hooks will provide much-needed, always relevant context for the community’s modern success stories. Please support this event if you’re able.

309 Elba Street, revisited.

The two-faced house at 309 Elba Street, once owned by veterinarian Elijah L. Reid and family, is one of my favorite in East Wilson. It’s in terrible shape though. Years of water running off the porch roof have rotted a corner of the house completely through, compromising its structural integrity.

On my obligatory pass-by of 303 Elba, I noticed that the front door of 309 was wide open. Thinking “now or never,” but also “watch your step,” I went no further than the front room, but snapped these two images of the interior.

Below, the house’s central staircase. Note the original newel posts, the paneled stringer, and the curved plaster ceiling. The landing juts out from the house into a sort of oriel; the four-over-one window looks west.

One of the original five-panel doors with large brass knobs and plates.

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, June 2021.

202 North Pender Street, revisited.

One of my favorite East Wilson houses, the two-story George McDaniel house at 202 North Pender Street [202 Pender Street E], is on the market, and its real estate listing offers a glimpse of its interior.

The house has been extensively, and not necessarily kindly, modified, but these photos in particular give a hint at what a handsome dwelling it once was and could be again for the right buyer.

Thanks to Melita Amara for the tip!

412 East Green Street.

The one hundred thirty-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.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “ca. 1940; 1 story; double shotgun with bungalow type porch.” (It’s not clear whether the house is still multi-family or has been converted to a single.)

Per the 1922 Sanborn fire map of Wilson, this single-family dwelling stood at 412 East Green prior to the double-shotgun there today.

In the 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: McNeill Lucinda (c) dom h 412 East Green

In 1940, Ike Essex Collins registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 23 November 1907 in Camden, S.C.; lived at 412 1/2 East Green Street; his contact was mother Josephine Robinson Collins of Greensboro, N.C.; and he worked for Monticello Cafe, West Nash Street, Wilson.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Collins Isaac (c; Lula; 1) cook Monticello Cafe h 412 E Green

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Collins Isaac E (c; Lula) cook M&J Restaurant h 412 E Green

[A comparison with the 2012 image in Google Maps Street View shows that this house has been updated. Large overgrown shrubs blocking the front steps are gone, and the white trim paint is fresh.]