Photographs

Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church.

Now at 1626 Martin Luther King Parkway (formerly East Nash Street), Trinity, Wilson’s second A.M.E. Zion church, was originally located on Banks Street.

Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory (1928).

Wilson Daily Times, 16 October 1948.

This granite plaque is affixed to eastern end of the church’s front porch:

Jesse T. McPhail is memorialized for his nearly 70 years of service to Trinity, which he joined just after his 19th birthday.

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In the 1910 census of Dunn, Harnett County: on Washington and Pearson, lumber mill laborer Arnold McPhail, 25; wife Norah, 20; and children Jesse, 3, and Ellis, 18 months.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Arnold McPhail, 35; wife Nora, 29; and children Jessie, 13, Ellis, 11, Isibell, 9, Neressa, 7, Ethel, 5, and Paul, 2; and niece Ruby Monroe, 3.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 813 Mercer Street, owned and valued at $1500, truck farmer Hardy Hinnant, 38; mother Mollie B., 35; son George, 8 months; and roomer Jessie McPhail, 24, bank elevator boy.

On 29 March 1931, Jessie McPhail, 24, of Toisnot, son of Arnold McPhail, married Minnie Barnes, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Frank and Chaney Barnes. Elder W.C. Chavers, minister of the “U. Holiness Church,” performed the ceremony in Wilson in the presence of Hardy Hinnant, Dave [illegible] and Arnold McPhail.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: post office janitor Jesse McPhail, 32; wife Minnie, 27; and children Jesse Jr., 8, Clarence, 7, Milton, 5, Geraldine, 4, Ester, 3, Nathaniel, 1, and Minora, 4 months.

In 1942, Alen McCrimmon registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he was born 17 November 1923 in Wilson; resided at 9 Carolina Street; his mailing address was 1114 Carolina Street; his contact was Jesse McPhail, 7 Carolina Street; and he was unemployed.

Jesse Thurston McPhail died 24 May 1994 in Wilson.

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2019.

109 and 111 North Vick Street.

The one hundred-tenth 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, 109 North Vick Street is “ca. 1922; 1 story; double-pile, hip-roof cottage with wraparound porch; intact classical porch posts; fine local example of late Queen Anne cottage” and 111 North Vick (formerly 109 1/2) is “ca. 1950, 1 story; Vick St. Grocery; concrete-brick corner grocery.”

The 1922 Wilson, N.C., Sanborn fire insurance map shows the house at 109 standing alone. The store was essentially grafted onto the northern edge of the front porch. I have never been inside either building, but I assume there was an interior entrance from the house into the grocery.

Though labeled 213, this is the house now known as 109 North Vick depicted in the 1922 Sanborn map.

In 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Burton Hazel (c) student 109 N Vick and Burton Sadie sch tchr h 109 N Vick

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C.,  city directory: Farmer Wm (c; Eula) bellman Hotel Cherry h 109 N Vick

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson county: Will Farmer, 43, hotel “bell bob”; wife Eula, 40; and daughters Annie D., 19, nurse, and Sadie, 14.

In the 1941 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Moore Linwood (c; Ruth; 4) gro 102 N Vick h 109 d[itt]o. Moore is also listed at this address in the 1947 and 1950 city directories. Neither indicates an adjacent grocery. However, the 1951 directory lists Moore’s Grocery at 109 1/2 North Vick:

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2019.

Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Church.

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Founded in 1896, Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Church met at the corner of East Green and Elba Streets for more than 75 years. The church building has been extensively modified, but if you walk around back …

There is this. A colored-glass window that, if not original, dates to an early iteration of the church.

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, taken in November 2015 and July 2019.

Jackson buys from the Vicks.

In 1902, Samuel H. and Annie M. Vick sold Joseph S. Jackson a narrow strip of land lying between Jackson’s lot at 618 East Green Street and the Vicks’ lot.

The Jacksons’ two-story house at 618 East Green Street, shown here on the 1922 Sanborn map of Wilson, no longer stands.

It was replaced relatively recently by this small gable-front house:

Book 68, page 551, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.

Dorothy H. Ellis celebrates her 100th birthday.

From the 7 July 2019 edition of Wilson Times:

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Dorothy Hammond Ellis of Wilson was honored at her 100th birthday July 3 in the fellowship hall of Calvary Presbyterian Church by her daughter, Cynthia Ellis, goddaughters and church family.

“Dorothy H. Ellis is a beloved retired schoolteacher who taught eighth grade at Darden High School starting in 1942. She and her husband, Coach [James C.] “Shank” Ellis went on to teach at Coon Junior High School until they retired early in 1979. While teaching at Darden, she was asked to use her basketball skills to coach the boys basketball team while the men went off to fight in World War II.

“Dorothy Ellis was born July 3, 1919 in Cheraw, South Carolina.”

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Dorothy H. Ellis and James C. Ellis in the 1949 edition of the Trojan, the yearbook of C.H. Darden High School.

Studio shots, 114: David Lucas.

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David Lucas (1903-1941).

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In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Henry Locus, 36; wife Ida, 30; and children Minnie, 12, Joseph, 11, Lou, 9, Davis, 7, and Willie, 5.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount Road, farmer Henry Locus, 48; wife Ida, 39; and children Joseph, 23, David, 17, and Willie, 15.

On 26 November 1927, David Locus, 24, of Toisnot township, married Thelma Winstead, 20, of Nash County, in Wilson County.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer David Locas, 27; wife Thelma, 24; and daughter Erma D., 2 months.

In the 1940 census of Upper Fishing Creek, Edgecombe County: on Highway 44, farmer David Lucus, 37; wife Thelma, 33; and children Irma, 11, Ruby Morris, 9, Evellar, 6, Thurman, 5, Yvonne, 3, and Mae Clee, 3 months.

David Lucas died 1 January 1941 in Tarboro, Edgecombe County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1 March 1903 in Wilson to Henry Lucus of Nash County and Ida Pender of Wilson County; was married to Thelma Lucus; worked as a farmer; and was buried at Williams Chapel, Wilson County.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user cclemmiles.

405 North Vick Street.

The one hundred-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 the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1913; 1 story; John R. Reid house; L-plan cottage with front-facing gable in side wing; contributing garage; Reid was a carpenter, and built #s 405-409.” [The owner of this house is misidentified. In fact, though John Right Reid may have built this house, he did not live in it. Rather, his cousin John B. Reid, also a carpenter, owned and inhabited the house from around the time it was constructed until his death in 1943. John R. Reid lived at 109 South 4th Street.]

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Reid John B carp h 405 N Vick

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 405 Vick, owned and valued at $2000, John B. Reid, 54, building carpenter, and wife Norma, 41, laundress.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 405 Vick, owned and valued at $3000, John Reid, 65, born in Smithfield, carpenter for C.C. Powell, and wife Naomi, 50, born in Durham.

John B. Reid died 24 July 1943 at his home at 405 North Reid. Per his death certificate, he was 60 years old; was born in Wayne County to Isaac Reid and Adlaide Bolden; worked as a carpenter; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Naomi Reid was informant.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Reid Naomi (c) h 405 N Reid

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2019.

Burt Ellis stacks bricks.

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Philadelphia Inquirer, 7 March 1988.

This photograph of 79 year-old Burt Ellis of Wilson appeared in “Voices of the South,” an Inquirer article about the “evolving South” published in the lead-up to the 1988 presidential election.

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In the 1920 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Byrd Ellis, 47; wife Alice, 60; and children Charlie, 17, Jennie, 14, Bert, 13, and Minnora, 12.

Per the Social Security Death Index, Bert Ellis was born 25 October 1907 and died 15 November 1996.

Mary Elise Jackson Jenkins of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Like her brother Paul L. Jackson, Mary Elise Jackson Jenkins migrated from Wilson to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Toward the end of her life, she was featured several times in Philadelphia Inquirer articles.

  • Art exhibit

Philadelphia Inquirer, 10 June 1983.

  • Education in the South

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Philadelphia Daily News, 17 February 1987.

The “very special block” was, of course, the 600 block of East Green Street, home to the Vicks, the Hines/Barnes family, the Hargraves, the Reids, and other striving East Wilsonians. However, Claflin University (then College) was an unusual choice for a Wilson family. I have not been able to determine who the “girl from my home” was.

  • The Great Migration

Elise Jenkins contributed keepsakes to “Let This Be Your Home,” a year-long exhibit at Philadelphia’s Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum [now the African American Museum] chronicling the lives of “the new Philadelphians” who arrived in the city as part of the Great Migration.

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Philadelphia Inquirer, 13 February 1990.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Joseph Jackson, 37, minister; wife Annie, 45; and children Eloise, 8, Joseph, 5, Paul L., 2, and John, 2 months.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 616 Green Street, Joseph S. Jackson, 48, minister; wife Annie H., 45; and children Mary E., 18, Joseph S., Jr., 15, Paul L., 11, and John B., 9.

On 18 August 1926, Leroy H. Jenkins, of Philadelphia, son of John and Molie Jenkins, married Mary Eleis Jackson, 25, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister J.S. Jackson performed the ceremony in the presence of C.L. Darden, C.S. Thomas and H.S. Stanback.

In the 1930 census of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania: at 2346 North 25th Street, owned and valued at $2900, South Carolina-born Leroy Jenkins, 33, a doctor of dentistry; North Carolina-born wife Elise, 28; and brother Augustus, 21, automobile works inspector.

In the 1940 census of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania: at 2351 West Haggart, owned and valued at $3000, dentist Leroy H. Jenkins, 42; wife Elise, 39; and children Leroy, 8, and Anne, 5.

Mary Elise Jackson Jenkins died 6 May 1990 in Philadelphia.

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Philadelphia Inquirer, 8 May 1990.

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M. Elise Jackson Jenkins (1901-1990).

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user GusJenkins.

Snaps, no. 54: Robert Brown.

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Robert Brown (1893-1975).

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On 16 November 1917, Robert Brown, 22, married Mahalia Pool, 19, in Wilson County.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Robert Brown, 37; wife Hallie, 31; and children Arthur, 15, Charlie, 4, and Lucille, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Robert Brown, 34; wife Hallie, 23; and children Arthur, 5, Frank, 14, Lucille, 11, Robert Jr., 9, Joseph, 8, Valentine, 5, Paul, 2, and Phillip A., 9 months.

In the 1940 census of Jackson township, Nash County: farmer Robert Brown, 50; wife Mahalie, 41; and children Robert Jr., 20, Joseph, 18, Valentine, 15, Paul, 13, Phillip, 11, and George Deal, 8.

Robert Brown died 11 September 1975 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 1 January 1893 in Georgia to Mae Ella Williams; was married to Mahalia Poole Brown; lived at 1901 Lipscomb Road; and had been a farmer.

Photograph courtesy of Ancestry.com user wms960.