Travel

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?

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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.

Governor’s Day attendees.

Baltimore Afro-American, 11 June 1938.

William and Ethel Cornwell Hines, “Mrs. M. Darden” (probably Naomi Duncan Darden), and Flossie Howard Barnes traveled to Richmond, Virginia, in 1938 to attend a Governor’s Day program. (I have no information on either the purpose of the program or why North Carolinians would have been interested.)

No Negroes on the jitney.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 May 1920.

First, “jitney” — a vehicle providing inexpensive shared transportation over a set route. In this case, round-trip travel between Wilson and Goldsboro, some 25 miles south. Second, the jitney was integrated in 1920?

Now the story: an African-American passenger aboard the jitney “made himself  obnoxious” — which could have been anything from refusing to yield to seat to whistling loudly to … anything, short of actual criminal behavior, which would have been dealt with swiftly. White people threatened to boycott the service if they had to share space with “colored” people any longer. The jitney proprietor quickly acceded to their wishes and barred Black passengers. An unnamed “worthy colored man” of Wilson requested that the Daily Times post a notice of the change to “save [African-Americans] from worry,” i.e. humiliation, inconvenience, and dangerous annoyance. He himself had been denied passage when he attempted to board for a return from Goldsboro. To reassure any who questioned his motives, perhaps, the anonymous man asserted that he was not complaining of the jitney company’s action, that, in fact, he thought it just under the circumstances. 

[Note: Jim Crow, among other things, required a constant soft-shoe, relentless squaring, rapid-fire calculation, a perpetual mask. Consider this as you judge. — LYH]

An out-of-town guest.

As reported in the African-American Cleveland Gazette, in 1911, Martha Dawson of Wilson attended a Y.M.C.A. reception in Springfield, Ohio. 

Cleveland Gazette, 19 August 1911.

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Possibly, in the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Isaac Dawson, 56; wife Sallie, 38; and daughters Clean, 21, Martha A., 18, and Loucrecie, 22.

Or, more likely, Mattie Dawson, daughter of Alexander D. and Lucy Hill Dawson; see here. [“Mattie” was a common nickname for  “Martha.”]

A long trip caused the miscarriage.

The local registrar attributed the cause of Esther Atkinson Pridgen‘s miscarriage to recent long-distance travel. Though midwife Nan Best delivered the child in Wilson, it appears that Chauncey Pridgen was living in Atlantic City already, where he is found in the 1940 census.

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“Supposed trip from Atlantic City N.J. the day before caused mother to miscarry.”