Photographs

Lane Street Project: the end of Season 2.

Vick Cemetery, May 2022.

Thousands of graves lie here. … As do a parking lot and several utility poles. The City — or whomever they contract the work to — finally got around to cutting the grass at Vick Cemetery this past week, but the neglect otherwise continues. Wilson’s voters saw fit to return four incumbents to office. What will you demand of them in return? 

Lane Street Project’s Season 2 ends this Saturday. Please come help us mow the front section of Odd Fellows and clear cut limbs and debris a final time. We need you now as much as ever. As always, thanks for all you have done to restore dignity to our ancestors.

Rest in peace, Rederick C. Henderson.

I know East Wilson because my father knew East Wilson. He was born in a house on Elba Street, was raised on Queen and Reid Streets, and was educated at Samuel H. Vick Elementary and Charles H. Darden High School. He played basketball at the Community Center, spent whole Saturdays watching movies at the Ritz Theatre, and knocked on the back door of Hines Barbershop to get spending money from his father. Long before Black Wide-Awake, my father introduced me to so many of the people and places that have made their way into this blog’s 4000 posts. Even as his final illness progressed, he loved to ride through the streets of East Wilson, pointing and narrating, peeling back layers of time to expose the pentimenti of our shared birthplace.

My father transitioned Friday night, surrounded by the four women who loved him most — his wife of 61 years, his two daughters, and his granddaughter. We are heartbroken, but blessed that we could comfort and care for him as he has done for us always. I honor his life and legacy here. Rest in power, Daddy.

504 North Vick Street.

The one hundred sixty-sixth 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.

The approximate location of 504 North Vick.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “ca. 1922; 1 story; shotgun with hip roofed porch.” This house has been demolished.

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Detail from 1922 Wilson, N.C., Sanborn fire insurance map.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Harris Milton (c; Florence) lab 504 N Vick

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bright Janie (c) lndrs 504 N Vick

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 504 Vick Street, rented at $12/month, Janie Bright, 26, laundress, and sons James, 7, and Theo, 5; and sister Malisia Murphey, 35, cook.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 504 Vick, widow Janey Bright, 40, and sons James, 18, CCC camp, and Joshua, 15, new worker.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bright Janie (c) cook 504 N Vick; also Bright Jas (c) h 504 N Vick; also Bright Joshua (c) tob wkr h 504 N Vick

In 1942, James Theo Bright registered for the World War II draft in Richmond, Virginia. Per his registration card, he was born 24 February 1922 in Wilson; lived at 407 East Clay Street, Richmond, Virginia; his contact was mother Jannie Bright, 504 North Vick, Wilson; and he worked for John Sarras, Richmond.

Joshua Royal Bright died 25 October 1943 at “Wilson Co. T.B. Hospital.” Per his death certificate, he was born 12 March 1925 in Wilson to Joshua Bright of Sampson County, N.C., and Jannie Murphy of Duplin County, N.C.; worked as a laborer; and was buried in Magnolia, N.C.

In October 1944, Leslie and Minnie Diggs Artis transferred title to the property at 504 North Vick to their daughter Sallie Mae Artis Bell (later Shackelford).

Wilson Daily Times, 28 October 1944.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bright Janie (c; wid Joshua) tob wkr h 504 N Vick

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2022.

924 Carolina Street.

The one hundred sixty-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.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “ca. 1922; 1 story; shotgun with hip roof.”

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Lowe Charles (c) lab h 924 Carolina

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Chappman Viola (c) h 924 Carolina

The bend of Carolina Street between North East and North Vick Streets was once lined with endway [shotgun] houses. Detail from 1940 aerial photograph of Wilson, N.C.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cromartie Leslie (c; Nora; 6) lab h 924 Carolina

In 1942, James Leslie Cromartie registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 31 August 1920 in Saint Paul, N.C.; lived at 924 East Carolina; his contact was Nolie Cromartie, 924 East Carolina; and he worked “Imperial Tobacco (season) … Defense work at present.”

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Mitchell McKinley (c; Augusta) porter RyExp h 924 Carolina

Wilson Daily Times, 5 June 1989.

This 1989 notice reveals that the six shotgun houses at 904 through 924 Carolina Street were built on a single lot and required a zoning variance for repairs because they did not meet setback requirements. 

Ship’s Cook Carl Dudley is somewhere in the South Pacific.

Wilson Daily Times, 15 May 1945.

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In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: carpenter John Dudley, 32; wife Della, 27; children Carl D., 7, James H., 5, and Minnie, 2; and niece Fanie Farmer, 22.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: carpenter Henry Dudley, 42; wife Della, 38, housekeeper; and children Carl, 17, delivery boy for grocery store; James, 14, Minnie, 12, and Robert, 9.

Carl Douglas Dudley registered for the World War II draft in 1942.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The Daily Times’ Negro news carriers.

Wilson Daily Times, 25 April 1944.

The news carrier “boys” included a girl, Susan Moody.

  • Teddy Jenkins
  • Robert Barnes
  • Willie Lee Smith
  • Navarro Artis
  • James Delaney — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: WPA bricklayer George Delany, 46; wife Marian, 39; and children Lewis, 18, Willie, 15, Joyce, 12, Ray, 9, James D., 8, Ruby, 4, and Fred, 2.
  • William Farmer
  • Willie Jones
  • Charles Moody — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 410 Daniel Street, Charlie Moody, 38, W.P.A. laborer; wife Martha, 36, laundress; and children Magnolia, 17, Susie G., 14, and Charlie Jr., 12; and mother-in-law Susan Lipscomb, 56.
  • Edward Harris — probably Edward K. Harris, son of Benjamin and Pauline Artis Harris.
  • Susan Moody — see above.
  • Evander Barnes
  • Winford Lee Morgan — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 611 Spring, James Morgan, 34; wife Addie May, 29; son Winford Lee, 9; mother-in-law Eunice Lara Fisher, 55, widow; and cousin Ruth Richard, 14.
  • Billie Dew
  • James Spivey
  • Willie Blue
  • Pete Bryant
  • Joseph Knight
  • Joseph Hunter

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Studio shots, no. 194: the Battle siblings?

A reader who wishes to remain anonymous submitted this family portrait. The four women’s dark dress suggests a family in mourning.

Who were they? The only clue we have is a pencilled notation on the reverse: “Chandler/Battle.” I thought immediately of Nicholas R. Battle, who was born in Wilson County about 1862 to Charles and Leah Hargrove Battle and migrated to Chandler, Oklahoma, about 1900. His sister Ada G. Battle briefly lived in Chandler as well, and Nicholas and Ada had a sister, Chandler Battle Wright.

Could this be a portrait of Charles and Leah Battle’s children — most of them, anyway — taken around the time of Charles Battle’s death in 1910? (Leah Battle died in 1898.) Their known children were Nicholas R. (1863), with Lewis (1862), appear to have been Charles’ children by an earlier relationship; Susan (1869); Ada G. (1875); Geneva Battle Faver (1878); Virgil T. Battle (1880); Chandler (1883); CaledoniaDoane” Battle Williston (1887); and Charles T. Battle (1888). Lewis, Susan, and Virgil appear to have died young. The six remaining children included four girls and two boys, which is consistent with the photo. 

In 1910, the living children would have been Nicholas, 48; Ada, 35; Geneva, 32, Chandler, 27; Doane, 23; and Charles T., 22. The daughters’ ages are consistent with the woman depicted. The man at bottom left appears to be Charles T. Battle, the younger of the two sons, and closely resembles his son, Dr. C.T. Battle Jr. The man at bottom right looks younger than 48 years old, but that age is not out of the range of possibility, and this is likely Nicholas Battle.

If anyone can identify the family depicted here more accurately, I’d love to hear from you.

703 East Vance Street.

The one hundred sixty-third 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. 1913; 1 story; saddlebag house aluminum-sided and heavily remodeled.”

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For several weeks in 1920, an unidentified African-American nurse living at 703 East Vance advertised her skills in the Wilson Daily Times.

Wilson Daily Times, 21 January 1920.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bennett Fredk D (c; Lillie) h 703 E Vance

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 703 Vance, rented for $11/month, Fred D. Bennett, 46, minister, Holiness Church; wife Lily, 43, laundress; and children Herbert, 15, Willie, 12, Ruth, 6, Naomi, 10, and Charles E., 4. The Bennetts and their two oldest children were born in Georgia; the remaining children in South Carolina. [In 1940, the Bennett family was enumerated in New Haven, Connecticut.]

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Rogers Wm (c) h 703 Viola

In the 28 October 1944 edition of the Wilson Daily Times, a “Land Transfers” column detailed this transaction: 

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Darden Moses (c; Cora) h 703 E Vance

The Dardens did not keep the house long:

Wilson Daily Times, 1 December 1950.