Thank you to Levolyre Farmer Pitt for sharing a copy of this photograph.
Jack Henderson hauled tobacco in trucks across the Southeast. Here he is in driving gloves, probably in the early 1950s.
Copy of photograph courtesy of Mildred Henderson Hall.
Wilson Daily Times, 17 November 1982.
In the 1920 census of Fountain township, Pitt County: Fred Artis, 33; wife Mattie, 23; and children Christine, 5, and Fred, 4.
In the 1920 census of Saint Pauls township, Robeson County: Worth Currie, 34; wife Bell, 33; and children David, 15, Katie, 14, Blanch, 13, Colon, 10, and Rossie B. Currie; daughter Snodie Mc[Ilwain?], 20, and her daughter Lee E., 1.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 101 Reid Street, school janitor Fred Artist, 56; children Christine, 16, and Mildred, 11; and lodger Suddie Brown, 22.
On 1 November 1932, Colon Currie, 23, of Wilson, son of Worth and Isabel Currie, married Christine Artis, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Fred and Mattie Artis, at the bride’s home. Missionary Baptist minister R.A. Murphy performed the ceremony.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Coleman Curry, 31, Williams Lumber Company laborer, and wife Christine, 25, cooking.
In 1940, Colon Franklin Currie registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 29 January 1919 in Robeson County, N.C.; lived at 1202 Wainwright Avenue, Wilson; his contact was wife Christian Currie; and he worked for Williams Lumber.
In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1208 East Nash, Colon Currie, 39, truck driver for local lumber company, and wife Christine, 35, practical nurse at local T.B. hospital.
Christine A. Currie died 9 October 1984. Colon F. Currie died 28 October 1993.
Julius, Sally, Julia, and Savannah Powell, circa 1918.
In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Saratoga Road, Howard Powell, 21; wife Geneva, 24; and children Savannah Lee, 19 months, and Sallie V., 1 month.
In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Saratoga Road, Howard Powell, 31; wife Geneva, 33; and children Savannah L., 11, Sallie, 9, Julius and Julia, 6, Johnny H., 4, and Christine, 2.
Thank you to Levolyre Farmer Pitt for sharing a copy of this precious photograph.
My paternal grandmother’s family arrived in Wilson circa 1905 from southern Wayne County, North Carolina. Jesse and Sarah Henderson Jacobs came first, and Sarah’s teenaged nephew Jesse “Jack” Henderson arrived a few years later. My grandmother Hattie Mae Henderson was born in Dudley in June 1910. In six months or so, her 19 year-old mother Bessie Henderson was dead.
Said my grandmother:
“I thought of many times I wondered what my mama looked like. Bessie. And how old was she, or whatever. Looked at Jack, and I said, they say he was 17 years old when he come to Wilson. From down there in Dudley, down there in Wayne County.
“My mama was helping Grandpa, Grandpa Lewis [Henderson.] The pig got out of the pasture and, instead of going all the way down to where the gate opened, she run him back in there, to try to coax him in there. They picked him up. They picked him up and put him over the fence. And when they picked him up, and put him over the fence, she had the heavy part, I reckon, or something, and she felt a pain, a sharp pain, and so then she started spitting blood. Down in the country, they ain’t had no doctor or nothing, they just thought she was gon be all right. And I don’t think they even took her to the doctor. Well, she would have had to go to Goldsboro or Mount Olive, one, and doctors was scarce at that time, too, even if it was where you had to go a long ways to get them. Or go to a hospital and stay. And so she died. She didn’t never get over it. You never know what you’ll come to.
“But I don’t remember ever staying down there. ‘Cause they brought me up to Wilson to live with Mama and Papa [Sarah and Jesse Jacobs]. I stayed with them after Bessie died. I don’t remember Bessie. But my sister Mamie says she remembers her.”
At left, the only known photograph of Bessie Henderson (1891-1911). At right, a colorized version, which highlights surprising details of the backdrop. Does anyone recognize these trees and white ducks from an early twentieth-century Goldsboro or Mount Olive photography studio?
Adapted from interviews of Hattie H. Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson, 1996 and 1998, all rights reserved; photo in collection of Lisa Y. Henderson.
Bedie Powell Blackwell (1871-??)
In the 1880 census of Taylor township, Wilson County, N.C.: farmer Ichabud Powell, 32; wife Mary A., 32; and children Beedy A., 9, Pheny, 7, John, 5, James W., 4, Henry G., 3, and Mary A.E., 11 months.
On 9 April 1892, Asberry Blackwell, 35, of Wilson township, married Beedey Powell, 25, of Wilson township, in Taylor township, Wilson County.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Bedie Blackwell, 27, tobacco stemmer.
In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Powell Bedie (c) lndrs h 311 Mercer
Asberry Blackwell died 21 September 1919 in Oldfields township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1857 in Wilson County; was a widower [actually, it appears he and Bedie were separated or divorced]; and worked as a farmhand for Grover Lamm.
In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Powell Bedie (c) lndrs 401 N Reid
In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Powell Bedie (c) lndrs 400 (401) N Reid
Copy of photo courtesy of Levolyre Farmer Pitt.
This past September, the Department of Veterans Affairs posthumously awarded an Exceptional Service Award to Wilson native Dr. Joseph H. Ward for his leadership of the V.A.’s first all-Black hospital “during an era of severe discrimination and racial hostility.”
To learn more about Dr. Ward and Tuskegee Veterans Administration Hospital, see this recent NPR piece, A Century Ago, Black WWI Vets Demanded Better Care. They Got Their Own Hospital, and this National Archives blogpost, The Trials and Triumphs of Dr. Joseph H. Ward.
Dr. Joseph H. Ward stands at center in the first row in the photograph taken of the V.A. Hospital’s ground-breaking all-Black medical staff.
Wilson Daily Times, 9 November 1949.
The members of the 1949 Darden gridiron squad were Eddie Best, Hunk McNeal, Herman, Hall, Bill White, Leo Dancy, Harold Darden, Charlie Floyd, John Wesley, Joe Tucker, Offie Clark, Bill Kerr, Booker T. Bridges, Fred Barnes, Jimmy Ellis, Clyde Speight, Johnny Moore, Ben Knight, and Isiah Ward.
Everybody played both of the ball and subbed.