Wilson Daily Times, 28 April 1944.
Wilson Daily Times, 28 April 1944.
Open just months, the Reid Street Community Center hosted bouts between Wilson County boxers eighty years ago today.
Wilson Daily Times, 30 March 1939.
Wilson Daily Times, 2 May 1911.
I have not identified the location of the baseball park in Grab Neck community.
[Since posting, I’ve learned that the location was likely off present-day Pearson Street, in the vicinity of Wells Elementary School. Thanks, John Hackney!]
The Carolina Times, 18 October 1939.
In the fall of 1939, C.I.A.A. rivals North Carolina A.&T. and Virginia Union staged a gridiron match in Wilson, most likely at Fleming Stadium. Five thousand football fans watched the Aggies narrowly defeat the Panthers, 7-6.
It’s football season!
Rocky Mount Telegram, 18 October 1945.
(Darden lost, by the way — 26-0.)
Lauraetta J. Taylor (1916-1977), daughter of Russell Buxton and Viola Gaither Taylor, was a legendary women’s basketball coach at Fayetteville State University. A gymnasium on campus is named in her honor.
Pittsburgh Courier, 26 March 1977.
In the 1920 census of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina: on Johnston Bow, preacher Russell B. Taylor, 35; wife Viola, 31, seamstress; and children Beatrice, 7, Janett, 5, and Sarah, 1.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on East Nash Street, Methodist minister Russell B. Taylor, 48, widower; children Laura, 14, Sarah, 11, Christopher, 7, and William, 4; daughter Beatrice Barnes, 18, public school teacher, and her son Elroy, 1; and lodgers Cora Speight, 49, laundress, and Mamie Williams, 30, ironer, and Roscoe McCoy, 32, farm laborer.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 536 East Nash, preacher and public school teacher Russell B. Taylor, 52; children Loretta, 23, and Sarah, 21, both teachers, Leonard, 16, and William, 14; grandson Elroy Barnes, 11; and lodgers Isiar Jones, 36, Virginia-born construction laborer; Mitchell Frazier, 32, South Carolina-born truck driver; John Baldwin, 29, Lumberton, N.C.-born tobacco redrying factory laborer, and his wife Clyde, 26, a native of Wilmington, N.C.
1939 edition of The Ayantee, the yearbook of North Carolina State A.&T. University in Greensboro. Taylor’s sister Sarah G. Taylor graduated from A.&T. that year.
It’s Opening Day of the 2018 Major League Baseball season. Wilson has hosted minor league teams since 1908; most called Tobs (for Tobacconists). In 1939, the year Fleming Stadium opened, Wilson was a member of the Class D Coastal Plain League.
Wilson Daily Times, 17 August 1939.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: hospital orderly Calvin Swinson, 41; wife Alice, 35; and children Jessie, 15, Calvin, 12, Earlean, 11, Horace, 9, Soisetta, 6, and Charles, 2.
[Note that, like many newspapers of the era, the Daily Times exaggerated the speech of African-Americans no matter that Southern whites also spoke a heavily accented dialect.]
“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.
Wilson Mirror, 12 October 1892.