Travel

Three killed in crash in Dunn.

A road trip from Wilson to Fayetteville ended in the deaths of three people when a train hit their car in Dunn, North Carolina. Tom Mingo, Viola Bullard (or Bullock), and Bessie Manning was transported 70 miles to the Atlantic Coast Line hospital in Rocky Mount (standard practice at the time), but succumbed to their injuries.

Wilson Daily Times, 7 June 1926.

Wilson Daily Times, 8 June 1926.

  • Mezinge Jamaica, or Tom Mingo — Thomas Mingo is listed in the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory as laborer living at 721 Viola.
  • Viola Bullard or Bulluck
  • Bessie Manning — Bessie Manning is listed in the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory as a factory hand living at 510 Pettigrew Street.

Clippings courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Wilson’s only Green Book hotel.

Though several hotels opened and closed on East Nash Street in the first half of the twentieth century, only one, the Wilson Biltmore, made it into the famous Negro Motorist Green Book. (Other listings for Wilson include a taxi service and an ambiguous reference to a residential address on Washington Street.)

North Carolina African American Heritage Commission’s Green Book Project is an interactive web portal compiling in-depth information about more than 300 Green Book sites across the state. The project also includes a traveling and virtual exhibition that highlights the experiences of African American travelers in North Carolina during the Jim Crow era.

The Project’s entry on the Wilson Biltmore Hotel cites to research in Black Wide-Awake, and I’m happy and honored to be able to contribute to the documentation of this era in African-American history.

Image courtesy of Smithsonian Digital Volunteers: Transcription Center.

A call for help from Istanbul.

We first met entertainer Isaiah Prophet Thorne via passport applications, here. In 1941, Thorne wrote the Daily Times, asking for help locating his family.

Wilson Daily Times, 24 June 1942.

Isaiah Thorne’s family appears in the 1870 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Preston Thorne, 23; wife Julia, 22; William, 3, James, 1, Charity, 5 months, and Alice, 10; and John Bullock, 18.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Pettigrew Street, farmer Preston Thorne, 37; wife Edney, 36; and children William, 13, Eugene, 11, Hattie, 6, and Annie, 4.

On 12 March 1890, Hattie Thorne, 17, daughter of Preston and Edney Thorne, married Willis Grissom, 21, son of Willis and Carry Grissom, in Wilson.

Isaiah Thorne’s sister, Hattie Grissom Henry, died 21 November 1930 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born in Wilson County to Preston Thorn of Edgecombe County and Eddie Adams of Greene County; lived at 203 Vick Street; was a widow; and worked in nursing. Lydia Grissom was informant.

I have not found anything else about Thorne’s family, including anything about his father and brothers in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Sarah Shade visits her brother in Brooklyn.

Thirteen year-old Sarah L. Shade spent some time with her brother John A. Shade and sister-in-law Ruby Purcell Shade before the school year began in 1924.


New York Age, 18 October 1924.

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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. [Estella Lane Shade was Isaac A. Shade‘s second wife. His first marriage, to Emma Green Shade, apparently ended in divorce.]

On 9 September 1937, Sarah Luvenia Shade, 27, of Wilson, daughter of I.A. Shade and Estella Shade, married Richard Clyde Minor, 27, of Columbus, Ohio, son of Richard C. Minor and Alice G. Minor, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister Richard A.G. Foster performed the ceremony in the presence of Thelma B. Foster, Norma E. Darden, and C.L. Darden.

In the 1940 census of Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri: at 809 East Dunklin, university professor Richard C. Minor, 40; wife Sara, 28; and boarder Rubye Harris, 20, university music teacher. [Richard Minor and Harris taught at Lincoln University.] Both Minors reported having lived in Salisbury, N.C., five years earlier.

The Lincoln Clarion (Jefferson City, Missouri), 30 October 1942.

Sarah and Richard Minor divorced in Missouri in October 1948, and a year later she filed a notice in Wilson County of her intention to resume use of her maiden name.

Sarah L. Shade died 5 March 1992 in Wilson. [She reverted to her maiden name after divorce.] Per her death certificate, she was born 10 November 1910 in Asheville, N.C., to Isaac Albert Shade and Estelle Lane.

North Carolina, Wilson County Divorce Records, http://www.familysearch.org.

The waiting rooms.

As discussed here, the Atlantic Coast Line’s handsome passenger rail station was the point of departure for many African-Americans leaving Wilson during the Great Migration. Now an Amtrak stop, the station was restored and renovated in the late 1990s.

Here’s the station’s main waiting room today. Through a doorway, a sign marks a second room for baggage.

Into the 1960s, though, the baggage area was the train station’s “colored” waiting room.

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, June and September 2021.

Excursion ends in collision.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 August 1914.

Train trips to nearby cities, known as “excursions,” were popular entertainment well into the 20th century. 

  • Mary Price
  • James Henry
  • Frank Savage — in the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Viola Street, odd jobs laborer Frank Savage, 25; wife Serina, 22, cook; and daughters Marthy, 3, and Eva, 10 months.
  • Monk Hargrove — in the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hargrove Monk (c) lab 803 Viola

Millie Locus leaves Kansas.

Manhattan (Ks.) Republic, 5 July 1923. 

Was this Millie Locus the daughter of Wiley and Avie Taylor Locus? If so, what was she doing in Manhattan, Kansas?

——

In the 1900 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer Wiley Locus, 44; wife Avey, 31; children Hyman, 12, Annie, 10, Mary, 9, Millie, 6, Wade H., 2, and Emma, 9 months; and boarder Silvia Taylor, 15.

In the 1910 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: Willie Locust, 56; wife Avie, 45; “husband’s son” Hyman H.R., 22; children Sylva, 25, Annie, 18, Mollie, 17, Millie, 16, Emma, 11, Wade A., 12, Leona, 8, Clinton, 6, Levi E.D., 5, and Isiacar, 1 month; and grandson Kilgo, 4, and David Locust, 1.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on West Nash Street, A.D. Woodard, 60, widow, and lodgers G.S. Willard, 25, high school teacher; C.G. Shreve, 30, high school teacher; and Millie Locus, 30, cook.

Millie Locus died 3 August 1968 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 10 August 1900 in Wayne County, N.C., to Wiley Locus and Avie Taylor; was never married; and lived at 305 North Vick. Leora Hines, 812 East Hines, was informant.