Photographs

Josephine Artis Sherrod.

j sherrod

Josephine Artis Sherrod (1887-1988).

Josephine Artis Sherrod, a sister of Columbus E. Artis and June S. Artis, was matriarch of a tight-knit family centered on two blocks of East Viola Street described within the family as Sherrod Village.

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In the 1900 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County:  Adam Artice, 68, a widowed farmer,  with children Louetta, 18, Robert, 16, Columbus, 14, Josephfene, 13, Jun S., 10, Lillie B., 9, Henry B., 6, Annie, 3, Walter, 26, and William Artis, 24. [Josephine’s mother was Amanda Aldridge Artis, who died in 1899.]

On 16 April 1907, Solomon Sherard, 28, son of Dempsey and Harriett Sherard, married Josephine Artis, 20, daughter of Adam and Amanda Artis at A.T. Artis’ in Nahunta township, Wayne County. J.H.W. Sherard of Pikeville, J.B. Best of Saulston, and Louis Sherard of Pikeville were witnesses.

In the 1910 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: Solomon Sherard with wife Josephene and children Allena and Jarva, plus cousin Walter Smith.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on Elm City Road, farmer Solomon Sherrod, 41; wife Josephine, 32; and children Alena, 11, Jarvis, 10; Doretta, 8; Dock, 6; B. Minnie, 4; and Solomon, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Harpers Road, farmer Soloman Sheard, 50; wife Josephine, 42; and children Javis, 20, Doretta, 18, Linton O., 16, Minnie B., 13, Solomon, 11, Flora, 3, Bulah, 3, and Elmore, 1.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 802 Viola Street, Solomon Shearard, 60; wife Josephine, 52; and children Flora, 15, Beulah, 13, Elmer, 11, and Solomon, 21; plus “son’s wife” Mildred, 18, and grandson Ernest E., 8 months.

Solomon Shearard died 6 February 1948. Per his death certificate, he resided at 802 East Viola Street; was married to Josephine Shearard; and was born 21 October 1878 in Wayne County, to Dempsy Shearard and Harriett Hill, both of Wayne County.  Informant was Josephine Shearard, 802 East Viola.

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 Wilson Daily Times, 11 April 1988.

Photographs by Winstead of Wilson.

These five photographs were taken at Francis M. Winstead’s studio in Wilson, most likely in the early 1890s. They are part of a trove of cartes de visite of African-Americans assembled by S.J. Reidhead, who graciously shared them with me. The images appear to have been part of one family’s collection, but I have been able to identify only a few of the subjects.

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On the reverse: “Compliments of Rev & Mrs L.J. Melton to Mr & Mrs G.T. Foster.” These are likely two of the Melton children.

  • Leavy J. Melton — Presbyterian minister Leavy J. Melton arrived in Wilson about 1891 and remained for seven years. In the 1900 census of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina: minister L.J. Melton, 36; wife Rebeca, 29; and children Marion, 6, Hally, 4, Onna Bell, 2, and Robert J., 1.
  • Rebecca Canty Melton
  • Grant T. Foster — Grant T. Foster, 22, married Alice M. Daniel, 22, in Oxford, Granville County, North Carolina, on 19 May 1886. The couple apparently moved to Wilson within the next few years, and Alice Foster is likely the Mrs. who received the photo. On 11 June 1900, presumably after Alice’s death, Grant T. Foster, 27, of Oxford, North Carolina, married Maggie Ransom, 27, of Wilson, daughter of Annie Horne, in Emporia, Virginia.

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Based on his photo in A.B. Caldwell’s History of the American Negro and His Institutions, North Carolina Edition (see link above), I am fairly sure this depicts a young Rev. Melton.

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Are these African-American children? The children of a white friend of the Meltons in Wilson? The former seems more likely.

Fred and Almeter Edmundson Dickerson.

Almeter E. Dickerson

Fred Dickerson

On 11 January 1922, Fred Dickinson [sic], 29, of Nahunta, son of Charles and Manerva Dickinson, married Almeter Edmundson, 23, of Nahunta, daughter of Mack and Harriett Edmundson in Fremont, Wayne County.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 308 Finch Street, Fred Dickerson, 38, W.P.A. project laborer; wife Almeter, 39, tobacco factory laborer; and daughters Clyde, 18, Dora, 16, and Inez, 13. The Dickersons owned their home, valued at $700.

Almeter Edmundson Dickerson died 2 August 1975 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 20 February 1902 to Mack Edmundson and Ferbie(?) Edmundson; was married to Fred Dickerson; and resided at 308 Finch Street.

Fred Dickerson died 20 August 1979 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 4 February 1892 to Charlie Dickerson and Minerva Green; was widowed; and resided at 308 Finch Street.

Photos originally published in History of Wilson County, North Carolina and Its Families (1985).

602 East Green Street.

The twentieth 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 house is: “ca. 1935; 1 story; Isaac Shade house; brick-veneered Tudor Revival cottage; Shade, a druggist, contracted black builders Louis Thomas and John Barnes.”

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On 29 November 1898, Isaac A. Shade, 23, of Buncombe County married Emma Green, 21, of Buncombe County in Buncombe County.

In the 1900 census of Asheville, Buncombe County: at 174 Haywood Street, Isacc Shade, 24, laborer; wife Emma, 29; and children John, 7 months; and mother Alice Shade, 40.

In the 1910 census of Asheville, Buncombe County: on Jordan Street, Isacc Shade, 34, physician at drugstore; wife Emma, 22; son John, 10, Alice, 8, and Kenneth, 3; and widowed roomer Ollie Burgin, 41.

New York Age, 31 July 1913.

Isaac Albert Shade registered for the World War I draft in Wilson on 12 September 1918. Per his draft card, he lived at 110 Pender Street, Wilson; was born 17 May 1876; was a self-employed druggist at 530 East Nash Street, Wilson; and wife Estella Shade was his nearest relative.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 535 Nash Street, Turner Stokes, 50, carpenter; wife Morah, 39; mother-in-law Martha Pitt, 83; and boarders Isac Shade, 44, drugstore manager; wife Estella, 38; and children Kenneth, 13, and Sarah, 9.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 602 Green Street, drugstore owner Dr. I.A. Shade, 63; wife Estelle, 54, city school teacher; niece Myrtle Lane, 23, county school teacher, and nephew George Lane, 21, drugstore clerk; and roomers Louisa [illegible], county school teacher, Vera Green, 18, housekeeper, and Catherine Ward, 20, county school teacher.

Isaac Albert Shade died 24 April 1953 at his home at 602 East Green. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 May 1875 in Morington [Morganton], North Carolina, to London Shade and Alice (last name unknown); was married; and was a pharmacist at a drugstore. Sarah Shade was informant.

Seventy-Second Annual Report of the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy (1953).

Photo of house by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017; undated photo of store courtesy of Delores Thomas, reprinted from Wilson Daily Times, 22 February 2008.

Ned and Louisa Gay Barnes family.

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Ned and Louisa Gay Barnes and their daughters Mattie Radcliffe Barnes Hines (1895-1922) and Alice Ida Barnes Bryant (1897-1969).

In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farm laborer Willis Barnes, 30; wife Cherry, 25; and children Rachael, 7, West, 5, Jesse, 2, and Ned, 5 months.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Willis Barnes, 42; wife Cherey, 20; stepdaughter Rachel Battle, 17; children Wesley, 15, Jesse, 13, Ned, 11, Eddie, 7, Mary Barnes, niece Ellen Battle, 2; and son Willey Barnes, 1.

On 1 April 1889, Jesse Barnes, 21, and Mary Mag Mercer, 19, were issued a marriage license in Wilson County. Harney Chatman, Baptist minister, performed the ceremony on 3 April 1889 in Wilson Town. Witnesses were Westley Barnes and Ned Barnes, Jesse’s brothers.

On 27 October 1891, J.T. Dean applied for a marriage license for Edward [Ned] Barnes, 22, of Wilson, son of Willis and Cherry Barnes, and Louisa Gay, daughter of Samuel and Alice Gay. A.M.E. Zion minister J.W. Levy officiated over the ceremony, which took place 29 October 1891 at Samuel Gay’s. Witnesses were S.H. Vick, Spencer Barnes, and Thomas Davis.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Ned Barnes, 30; wife Loisa, 27; and children Mattie R., 5, Alice I., 3, and Ned, 0. Ned was employed as a coachman for white manufacturer Roscoe Briggs, and the family lived on premises.

In 1903, Ned Barnes was a crucial eyewitness to a sensational murder involving prominent white Raleigh citizens.

In the 1910 census of Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina: at 707 West Street, Ned Bonds Sr., 37; wife Louise, 36; and children Mattie, 15, Ida, 12, Ned Jr., 9, Howard, 7, and Blonnie L., 2. Ned worked as “horseler” at an animal hospital. Louise reported 5 of 6 children living.

Ned Barnes died 1 December 1912, aged about 42, of acute uremia, at 707 South Saunders, Raleigh, Wake County. Per his death certificate, he was born in Wilson County to Willis Barnes and an unknown mother; was married; and worked as a porter in a club. Informant was Mattie Barnes. Ned was buried 2 December in Wilson.

Ned Barnes Jr. (1899-1931). Ned married Lelia Newton, daughter of Thomas and Carrie Newton, on 14 July 1920 in Wilson.

Benson N. Barnes (1921-2004), son of Ned Jr. and Lelia Newton Barnes. (Alice Barnes Bryant was his father’s sister.)

Ned Radcliff Barnes (1924-2002), son of Ned Jr. and Lelia Newton Barnes. (Louisa Barnes was, in fact, his grandmother.)

Photographs courtesy of Katie Chestnut Barnes (many thanks!); newspaper clippings from Wilson Daily Times.

A good day.

Yesterday, I attended the dedication by Wilson County Historical Association of an historical marker commemorating the establishment of Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home, later known as Mercy Hospital. For much of the 20th century, Mercy was the only hospital open to African Americans in northeastern North Carolina. I was born there in its final months of operation.

A little later, I made a presentation about this blog to Association members at the group’s annual meeting.

It was a good day.

Shouts out to Perry Morrison of W.C.H.A. for spearheading the effort to establish the marker, and to Barbara Blackston and Wilson Community Improvement Association for their excellent stewardship of this building.

[John Mack Barnes, who lived next door, built this hospital as well as Saint John A.M.E. Zion and other fine brick buildings in Wilson. He was partial to this dark red brick and white marble cornerstone combination. See here.]

706 East Green Street.

The nineteenth 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.

706 e green

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1913; 1 story; extensively remodeled two-room house with stuccoed facade and added wings.” Because of its extensive remodeling, the house was considered “non-contributing” to the historic character of the district.

The photograph below accompanies a fine article published in the January 2011 volume of North Carolina Historical Review, Richard L. Mattson’s “The Cultural Landscape of a Southern Black Community: East Wilson, North Carolina, 1890-1930.” The image dates from about 1910, and 706 East Green — though now heavily modified — is easily recognized in the twin gables fronting the house. The family depicted is that of John W. and Edmonia Barnes Farmer, whose grandson James E. Farmer provided the photograph.

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Washington Farmer, 43; wife Wady, 44; and children Edith, 14; Fordin, 13; Gimsey, 11; John W., 8; Nancy, 6; and Orgius, 6; and Nelson Farmer, 21.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer George Barnes, 30; wife Anner, 24; and children Hardy, 8, Rena, 7, Edna, 1, and Jesse, 3.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Washington Farmer, 52; wife Waity, age about 50; and children Edieth, 25; Gincy, 21; John W., 18; Nancy, 16, Ojus, 13; Mariah, 2; and Margaret, 2.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: George Barnes, 41; wife Anna, 34; and children Hardy, 19; Reny, 17 (“toothache”); Jessee, 12; Edmonia, 11; George, 9; Minnie Adeline, 6; twins Joshua and General, 3; and William, 1 month.

On 25 December 1884, John W. Farmer, 22, married Edmonia Barnes, 18, at George Barnes’. G.T. Williamson and B.B. Barnett were witnesses.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: wagon driver John W. Farmer, 37; wife Edmonia, 33; and children George, 13, Paul, 12, Annie, 9, Mary, 7, and Fannie, 5.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: express wagon driver John Farmer, 48; wife Edmonia, 41, a laundress; and children George, 23, factory laborer; Paul, 19, hotel servant; Annie, 18; Mary, 16; Fannie, 14; Arthur, 8; Melton, 6; and William, 4.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 706 East Green, plasterer John A. Farmer, 60; wife Nona, 61; sons James E., 17, and Woodie, 22, barber; and daughter-in-law Savana, 22, lodge bookkeeper.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: washer Edmonia Farmer, 71; husband John, 73; son James E., 27, a plasterer; daughter-in-law Doretha, 27, a beauty operator; and their son James E., 6; and grandchildren Marvin, 10, and Vera Farmer, 14.

Edmonia Farmer died 18 January 1947 at home. Per her death certificate, she was 77 years old, married to John Wash Farmer, and born in Wilson County to George Barnes of Wilson County and Annie Parker of Edgecombe County. George W. Farmer was informant, and Dr. William Hines certified the death.

John Wash Farmer died 20 January 1947 at home. Per his death certificate, he was 79 years old; was born in Wilson County to Wash Farmer of Wilson County and an unknown mother; and worked as an expressman. The informant was George W. Farmer, 1207 Carolina Street, Wilson.

The Book and Garden Club.

An early photo of the Book and Garden Club, founded in 1948 by Anna B. Johnson and Norma Darden, who are seated at the table. Behind them, from left, Beatrice McCowan (fourth), Courtney Fitts (fifth), Willie H. Freeman (eighth, just over Mrs. Johnson’s shoulder), Johnnie Boatwright (ninth), Estelle L. Shade (twelfth) and Flossie H. Barnes (thirteenth).

Image courtesy of Anna Hines, reprinted in Wilson Daily Times, 15 February 2008. Many thanks to Mrs. Inez Dickerson Bell for helping identify some of the club members.

Better furniture.

This tag, shown front and back and dated November 1933, was found among personal papers of Hattie Henderson Ricks, who lived in Wilson from 1911 until 1958. Most likely, her adoptive mother (and great-aunt) Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver purchased a mattress, box spring, stove and other items for their home at 303 Elba Street. ($87.50 is about $1650 in 2016 currency.)