Photographs

Manchester Street, today.

Manchester Street was home to several of late 19th century black Wilson’s most prosperous working class families. When Samuel H. Vick chose a location for his ponderous Queen Anne, however, he bypassed Manchester in favor of a block laid out in a plat he himself had registered. East Green Street immediately eclipsed Manchester as the most fashionable address for Wilson’s nascent African-American professional class, and Manchester faded rapidly.

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Manchester Street was not recorded in Sanborn fire insurance maps until 1913, shown here. The uniformity of the houses on the southeastern side of the street suggest rental property. John H. Clark’s fine dwelling, with its idiosyncratic gazebo, is on the corner facing Nash.

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The same block in the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map.

Manchester Street today, aerial view courtesy Google maps.

Manchester Street, looking southeast from Nash Street. Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2016.

Snaps, no. 17: Unknown.

This photograph is labeled “520 E. Nash, Wilson.” The subject is unknown, and the image appears to date from the 1940s. The 1941 Wilson city directory lists at that address a billiard parlor operated by Hally A. Armstrong. (The current three-storefront building at that address was built in the late 1950s and has been occupied by variety stores and beauty shops.)

Photograph courtesy of Paul Ashford, from a collection belonging to his grandmother Reka Aldridge Ashford Morrisey of Eureka, Wayne County.

Studio shots, no. 20: John Walter Jones.

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John W. Jones (1890-1978).

In the 1910 census of Manning township, Nash County, North Carolina: farmer Washington Jones, 54; wife Elizabeth, 45; and children James, 23, Mary E., 21, John W., 19, Gertrude, 18, Willie, 16, Lily A., 14, Addie, 12, Edie, 11, and Carrie, 8.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: on New Wilson and Raleigh Road, farmer Less Barnes, 24; wife Edna, 30; daughters Lillie Ruth, 2, and Mary L., 1; widowed mother Elizabeth Jones, 52; brothers-in-law James, 32, and John, 29; and sister-in-law Carrie Jones, 18.

In the 1930 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John Jones, 37; wife Hattie, 25; and children Oscar, 9, Minnie L., 5, and James W., 1.

In the 1940 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John Jones, 49; wife Hattie, 35; children Oscar, 19, Minnie L., 14, James W., 12, Willie, 9, Emma L., 7, John, 5, Lizzie B., 3, Annie L., 1, and Anna M., newborn; and granddaughter Genlia Jones, 1.

Hattie Jones died 16 February 1946 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 June 1904 in Wilson County to Bud Jones and Emma Hinnant; was married to John Jones; and was buried at New Vester cemetery.

John Walter Jones died 1 June 1978 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he resided in the Spring Hope, Nash County, area; was born 14 November 1890 in Wilson County to Washington Jones and Elizabeth (last name unknown); was widowed; and was buried in New Vester cemetery.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user bkjones88.

 

Studio shots, no. 19: Hattie Jones Jones.

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Hattie Jones and child.

On 27 April 1902, Bud Jones, 20, of Wilson County, son of Jesse and Eliza Jones, married Emma Hinnant, 18, of Wilson County, daughter of Grey and Smithy Hinnant, at Flat Rock church on Old Fields. Rev. P.H. Howell performed the ceremony in the presence of James Boykin, Robert Woodard, and James R. Jones.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Buddie Jones, 27; wife Emma, 22; and children James, 7, and Haddie, 8.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: on Kenly and Bailey Road, farmer Buddie Jones, 40, and children James, 17, Hattie, 14, William C., 6, Rusha, 5, and Marry E., 2.

In the 1930 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John Jones, 37; wife Hattie, 25; and children Oscar, 9, Minnie L., 5, and James W., 1.

In the 1940 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John Jones, 49; wife Hattie, 35; children Oscar, 19, Minnie L., 14, James W., 12, Willie, 9, Emma L., 7, John, 5, Lizzie B., 3, Annie L., 1, and Anna M., newborn; and granddaughter Genlia Jones, 1.

Hattie Jones died 16 February 1946 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 June 1904 in Wilson County to Bud Jones and Emma Hinnant; was married to John Jones; and was buried at New Vester cemetery.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user bkjones88.

307 North Reid Street.

The forty-fifth 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; L-plan cottage with front-facing gable in side wing; cutaway bay; turned porch posts; perhaps built by carpenter John Reid.”

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: 307 Reid Street, rented for $20/month, hospital orderly Henry A. Best, 38, wife Anney C., 40, laundress, and children Thelma, 13, Dubulte, 8, and Reatha, 6; and lodgers Leslie, 23, taxi driver, and Beulah Exam, 20.

In the 1930 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Best Henry A (c) (Annie C) orderly Carolina Genl Hosp Inc h 307 N Reid

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 307 Reid Street, rented for $14/month, Joe McCoy, 40, barber at Barnes Barber Shop, and wife Mittie, 40, laundress; and, renting at $4/month, Willie Forbs, 22, truck driver for Boykin Grocery Company, wife Goldie, 21, cook, and son Jimmie, 3; daughter Erma G. McCoy, 16; and roomer Thomas Elton, 17.

In the 1941 Wilson, N.C., city directory: McCoy Jos (c; Mittie) barber John B Barnes h 307 N Reid.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017.

Studio shots, no. 18: Arthur Sutton.

In the 1910 census of Bull Head township, Greene County, North Carolina: farmer John Sutton, 34; wife Peniza, 26; and children Sanker, 5, Jennie, 4, Effie, 3, Authur, 2, John, 11, and Kirby, 10.

In the 1930 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer John Sutton, 53; wife Panisco [Peniza], 44; and children Effie, 21, Arthur, 20, Walter, 19, Primas, 17, Gustas, 14, Jesse, 12, Mary, 11, Haddie, 9, Jay B., 7, Bessie, 6, and Rena, 4.

On 22 February 1932, Arthur Sutton, 22, of Saratoga, son of John and Penny Sutton of Saratoga, married Rosa Bynum, 18, of Stantonsburg, daughter of William and Rosa Bynum of Stantonsburg, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister James B. Holmes performed the ceremony in the presence of Jean D. Holmes and Ruth Lee.

In the 1940 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Arthur Sutton, 29; wife Rosa, 26; and children James J., 7, Rosa Lee, 3, Sarah Jane, 1, and Ellen Gray, 3 months.

In 1940, Arthur Sutton registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he was born 10 February 1909 in Greene County, North Carolina; his contact was John Sutton, father, of Walstonsburg, Greene County; and he was self-employed.

Arthur Sutton died 30 August 1971 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 April 1909 to John Sutton and [first name unknown] Woodard; resided in Elm City; and was a retired farmer. Rosa Sutton was informant.

Photograph courtesy of the family history booklet, Our Heritage 1812-1996: Edwards, Evans, Woodard, published in 1996, and graciously shared by B.J. Woodard.

1115 Woodard Avenue.

The forty-fourth 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. 1930; 1 story; bungalow with popular gable roof and engaged porch; shingled gables and small, gabled dormer; fine, compact example of the type in E. Wilson.”

There is no listing for 1115 Woodard Avenue in the 1930 Wilson, North Carolina, city directory.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1115 Woodard, tobacco factory laborer Mary Ward, 51, and husband William Ward, 65, warehouse laborer; and wholesale company truck driver Walter Williams, 37, wife Gennette, 28, and children Geraldine, 12, and Walter Jr., 11.

In the 1941 city directory of Wilson, North Carolina: Ward Wm (c; Mary) h 1115 Woodard Av.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2017.

 

 

Russell L. Darden.

“Russell Darden — front row, second from left, in his class at Biddle, now Johnson C. Smith.”

“… [O]ne of the first funerals under [Camillus and Arthur Darden‘s] direction was that of their younger brother, Russell, who was in his last year at Howard University Law School. Russell had gone to New York City to look for adventure during the Christmas vacation. While there, he caught pneumonia and died at Harlem Hospital before any of the family could reach him. Russell had been a daring, fun-loving, robust, athletic young man known for his prowess on the football field. [His brother Walter T. Darden remembered] that the last time he saw Russell play football was at Livingston[e] College. The score was Livingston[e] 3, Biddle 3. The ball was snapped and thrown to Russell. He was running hard. The opposition tried for the tackle but missed and tore off the seat of his pants instead. Oblivious to the cheers and laughter of the crowd, Russell kept running and won the game 9-3 with his rear end showing. He had an aggressive spirit and was the pride and joy of his family. His death left an aching gap in the family circle.”

N.J. and C. Darden, Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine (1978).

——

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: wheelwright Charles Dardin, 44; wife Dianna, 40, sewing; and children Annie, 21, sewing; Comilous, 15, tobacco stemmer; Arthor, 12; Artelia, 10; Russell, 5; and Walter, 4.

In the 1908 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Darden, Russell, carpenter, h 110 Pender. [At age 15?]

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: blacksmith Charlie Darden, 55; wife Dianah, 48; and children Cermillus, 24, bicycle shop owner; Arthur, 22, teacher; Artelia, 18, teacher; Russel, 16; and Walter, 14.

In the 1912 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Darden, Russell, porter, h 110 Pender.

In the 1913 Charlotte, N.C., city directory: Darden, Russell, bds [boards] Seversville.

In 1917, Russell Lenoir Darden registered for the World War I draft in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he was born 9 June 1893 in Wilson, N.C.; resided at 940 Westminster Street, Washington, D.C.; was a student; was single; and was stout and of medium height.

Russell Darden died 26 January 1918 in Manhattan, New York, New York.

A brief mention in the New York Age suggests that C.L. and Arthur could not, after all, bring themselves to bury their brother and called in Calvin E. Lightner of Raleigh to assist.

New York Age, 9 February 1918.

 

Best and Marjorie Fulcher Stewart.

Best Stewart was born into the household of Ellen McCoy and Louis Stewart in Wake County, North Carolina, on December 24, 1912. He was the youngest of fourteen children …. As a young man in the Wilson area, Best started his career in real estate and super market business.

Marjorie Fulcher was born into the household of Barthena Best and George Fulcher on October 26, 1917, in Wilson, North Carolina. She was the second of five daughters: Hancey Lee, the oldest, and Ernestine, the youngest. She was raised in the area called ‘Grab-Neck’ on the east side of town adjacent to the area known as ‘Daniel Hill.’ Her mother was a holiness preacher.

“Best Stewart started his supermarket business as a very young man. He was a successful businessman with the assistance of his wife, Marjorie, at his side. He can be described as a brick-mason, community leader, gardener, fisher, and hunter and electrician. Even though he never completed his secondary education, he was a self-educated success.

“Marjorie was nicknamed ‘Dorgie’ by her family. … She was a warm, loving, easy-going, quiet and caring sweet wife and mother. She was also a business partner with her husband.

“In 1960 the family moved from the area known as ‘Daniel Hill’ because of the urban renewal project in the Wilson, N.C. area. Even though Best moved his family to the east side of town, he was determined to come back to his home area. In 1970 Best moved his family back to the area which was once known as ‘Daniel Hill’ where new brick homes were built. In 1974 they retired from the supermarket business.

“In August, 1977, Marjorie F. Stewart departed her life. In November 1980 Best Stewart departed his life. Even though these two wonderful people are gone, the memories of what they stood for will never be forgotten.”

Best and Marjorie Fulcher Stewart.

——

On 11 June 1913, George Fulcher and Barthena Best, both 22, were married by A.M.E. Zion minister B.P. Coward in Grabneck. Ernest Allen, Jesse Barnes and James Daniel were witnesses.

Marjorie Bethena Fulcher was born in 1917 to George and Bathena Best Fulcher in Wilson.

Geo. Fulcher registered for the World War I draft in Wilson in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born 14 September 1891 in New Bern, North Carolina; resided on Nash Street in Wilson; worked as a delivery boy for Patterson Drug; and was married with one child.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 605 Spruce Street, barber Sam Right, 25; wife Bula, 20; mother-in-law Ellen Stewart, 50, widowed laundress; brothers-in-law Lewis, 18, and Bess, 16; and daughters Myrtle E., 4, and Ready G. Wright, 2.

On July 6, 1937, Best Stewart, 25, of Wilson County, son of Louis and Ellen Stewart, married Marjorie Fulcher, 19, of Wilson County, daughter of Bathena Fulcher Lassiter. Bathena Lassiter applied for the license, and A.M.E. Zion minister B.P. Coward preformed the ceremony in Grabneck in the presence of Ernestine Fulcher, Bathena Lassiter and Wms. Bunn.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 409 Spruce Street, retail salesman Best Stewart, 38; wife Marjorie, 27; and children Best Jr., 2, James A., a newborn, and Ellen, 70, mother.

In 1940, Best Stewart registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he was born 24 December 1912 in Fuquay Springs, North Carolina; resided at 409 West Spruce Street, Wilson; was self-employed at Best Stewart’s Place; and his contact was Mrs. Marjorie Fulghum Stewart. Best’s brother Louis Stewart also registered. His card notes that he was born 22 April 1909 in Libby Springs, North Carolina; resided at 409 West Spruce; worked at Export Tobacco Company; and his contact was his mother Ellen Stewart.

Ellen Stewart died 6 April 1960 at 409 West Spruce Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 2 October 1881 in Harnett County to John and Neily McCoy. Informant was Best Stewart.

Wilson Daily Times, 27 August 1977. 

Wilson Daily Times, 17 November 1980.

Text and photo courtesy of History of Wilson County, North Carolina (1985).

A Woodard plantation.

Headed east from Wilson toward Saratoga and Greenville, this house stood just beyond city limits near the fork of Highways 91/264 Alternate and 58. It was set back perhaps 75 yards from the road on the left. I took these photos circa 1990; the house was demolished perhaps a decade later. I was informed by a knowledgeable source that the dwelling was built circa 1832 by William Woodard, but it does not match the description of Woodard’s house in Ohno’s Architectural Heritage book or in the Woodard Family Rural Historic District nomination form. Though its ownership is unclear, there is no doubt that this home dates several decades before the Civil War and anchored a plantation worked by enslaved people.

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Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson; aerial image courtesy of Google Maps.