Vocation

Sidney S. Boatwright, “dean of local barbers.”

Wilson Daily Times, 19 January 1950.

Wilson Daily Times, 18 March 1977.

In the 1910 census of Legett, Marion County, South Carolina: laborer Joe Williams, 19; wife Dina, 39; and step-children Lillie, 17, Lida, 14, Sherwood, 9, and Mizoula Boatright, 7.

On 5 June 1917, Sid Boatwright registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 16 June 1896 in Mullins, South Carolina; lived on Green Street; worked for Mrs. J.C. Williams as a hotel porter; and supported his mother and sister.

In the 1920 Wilson city directory, Sidney Boatwright is listed as a factory hand residing at 123 Pender Street.

In the 1925 Wilson city directory, Sidney Boatwright is listed as a barber residing on May Street near the city limits.

In the 1928 Wilson city directory, Sidney Boatwright is listed as a barber for W.S. Hines residing at 1001 Lincoln Street.

In the 1930 Wilson city directory, Sidney Boatwright is listed as a barber for Walter S. Hines residing at 418 North Vick Street.

In 1942, Sidney Sherwood Boatwright registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 16 June 1900 in Mullins, South Carolina; resided at 722 East Green Street; worked as a barber at Walter Hines Barber Ship, 208 East Nash Street; and his nearest relative was Mrs. Sidney Sherwood Boatwright. He was described as 5’10 1/2″, 200 pounds.

Sidney Boatwright died 16 March 1977 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 16 June 1900 in South Carolina to Sherwood Boatwright and Dinah (last name unkn0wn); worked as a barber; resided at 722 East Green; and was married to Johnnie Kornegy Boatwright.

 

Almus A. Lovette.

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Wilson Daily Times, 5 November 1938.

In the 1880 census of Savannah, Chatham County, Georgia: at 518 West Broad, laborer Green Lovett, 28; wife Julia, 30; and children Almus, 5, Mary, 3, and Floyd, 1.

In the 1900 census of Chesapeake District, Elizabeth County, Virginia: at Hampton Normal & Agricultural Institute, Almus A. Lovett, 25, student, born in Georgia.

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Third-Year Trade School Students, Catalogue of Hampton Normal & Agricultural Institute, Hampton, Virginia 1902-1903.

Lovette appears in Savannah city directories between 1904 and 1913 at various addresses and working as blacksmith, post office carrier, and driver. [Which begs the question of which years he taught in Greensboro.]

On 6 July 1908, Almus A. Lovett and Letitia H. Jones, both 33, were married in Savannah, Georgia.

Almus Ashton Lovette registered for the World War I draft in Wilson on 12 September 1918. Per his registration card, he resided at 415 Stantonsburg Street; was born 8 April 1876; worked as a horseshoer for G.T. Purvis, 212 Tarboro Street; and his nearest relative was Letitia H. Lovette.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Almus Lovett, 42, blacksmith in shop, and wife Letitia, 43, seamstress.

In the 1930 Wilson city directory: Lovett Almus A (c) (Letitia H) horseshoer Stallings & Riley h 301 N. Vick.

Almus Ashton Lovett died 5 November 1938 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 7 April 1877 in Sylvania, Georgia to Green Lovett; resided at 301 North Vick Street; was married to Letitia Lovett; and worked as a blacksmith at a repair ship. Letitia Lovett was informant.

On 2 February 1941, Letitia H. Lovett, 57, daughter of Frank and Sarah Jones, married Edwin D. Fisher, 47, son of Edwin W. and Nannie D. Fisher, at Lovett’s home. Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the service in the presence of Milton W. Fisher, Mrs. Almina Fisher, Mrs. Rosa E. McCullers, and Mrs. Eva L. Brown.

Letitia Lovette Fisher died 1 November 1969 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 10 January 1876 in Georgia to Franklin Jones and an unknown mother; had worked as a teacher and seamstress; resided at 301 North Vick; and was married to Edwin D. Fisher, who served as informant.

 

Snaps, no. 6: Nurse Farmer.

Cora Farmer at Eastern North Carolina Sanatorium, circa 1950.

“Me and Cora Farmer worked over at the Sanatorium together. She was the cause of me going over there to get the job. ‘Cause I was living there on Queen Street right from her house, and I seen her going over there with that white dress on all the time. So she seemed to be very friendly, and her daughter, and her husband. And their boys. And so I went over there.” — Hattie Henderson Ricks

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Cora Lee Rountree Farmer (1900-1990) was the daughter of Jack and Lucille Bergeron Rountree.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farm Jack Roundtree, 53; wife Lucy, 35; and children Junius, 15, Delzel, 12, Cora Lee, 10, John H., 7, Jessie, 6, Mable, 4, and Gallie May, 1.

On 24 December 1917, Paul Farmer, 29, of Wilson, son of Jno. Wash Farmer and Edmonia Farmer, married Cora Rountree, 21, of Wilson, daughter of Jack and Lucile Rountree. G.W. Barnes applied for the license, and A.M.E. Zion paster B.P. Coward performed the ceremony in the presence of Annie Jackson, G.W. Barnes and Jack Rountree.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Old Stantonsburg Road, farmer Jack Rountree, 57; wife Lucile, 47; son Julius, 24, daughter-in-law Lida, 23, sons John Henry, 17, and Jesse, 16, daughters Mabel, 14, and Ola May, 10, and married daughter Cora Farmer, 19. [Her husband Paul was working in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.]

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1201 Queen Street, fertilizer plant laborer Paul Farmer, 44; wife Cora, 30; and children Pauline, 4, Fredrick, 2, and John W., 1, and lodger Nancy Wilson, 17.

Cora Rountree Farmer died 4 February 1990 in Wilson.

Interview of Hattie Henderson Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson, all rights reserved; photo from personal collection of Hattie H. Ricks, now in possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.

312 Finch Street.

The twenty-first 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: “1941; 1 ½ stories; Benjamin Harris house; brick-veneered Tudor Revival dwelling built by Harris for his home; Harris was a brick mason; fine example of this style in district.”

This home has been continuously occupied by the family since its construction. For more about Benjamin A. Harris Sr., see here.

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2017.

John M. and Annie D. Barnes.

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John M. and Annie D. Barnes. The building behind them appears to be Mercy Hospital. They lived next door at 500 East Green Street.

John Mack Barnes is one of a handful of African-Americans whose bio briefs were submitted for publication in History of Wilson County, North Carolina (1985). “Father John Barnes was a real down to earth person. Never a hint of show off, or put on trying to impress you. Every one that knew him had to respect him.”

Per the article, John Barnes was born 26 December 1870 in Edgecombe County to Charles and Rebecca Barnes. (Benjamin Frank Barnes was one of his brothers.) He married Annie Darden and fathered four children, Leonard Elroy, Artelia, Thelma, and a boy who died early. Annie Darden Barnes taught at the Sallie Barbour School.

Barnes was a master builder, carpenter and brickmason whose finest works included Saint John A.M.E. Zion church and parsonage, Camillus L. Darden‘s stately Colonial Revival home on Pender Street, and the Tudor Revival Darden Funeral Home on Nash. He was devoted to Saint John and served as violin soloist, steward and trustee during his 69 years of membership. In his spare time, he raised Rhode Island Red and Plymouth Rock chickens at his home at 500 East Green Street.

When Annie Barnes died, Barnes built a brick and cement mausoleum for her remains. John M. Barnes died 27 April 1958 and was buried in an extension of the mausoleum built by his friend George Coppedge.

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Barnes mausoleum in Darden family plot, Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson, February 2017.

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In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farm laborer Charley Barnes, 50, wife Beckey, 36, and children John, 10, Frank, 6, Ann, 4, William C., 3, Thomas, 1, and Corah H., 1 month.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmhand Charley Barnes, 50; wife Rebecca, 57, washing; and children John, 26, drayman, William, 23, drayman, Annie, 17, cooking, Tom, 18, day laborer, and Corrah, 12, nursing.

On 22 December 1903, John M. Barnes, 33, son of Chas. and Rebecca Barnes of Wilson, married Annie Lee Darden, 24, daughter of Chas. and Dianah Darden of Wilson. Samuel H. Vick applied for the license, and Methodist Episcopal minister B.D. McIver performed the service in the presence of C.R. Cannon, Walter Hines, and O.L.W. Smith.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: brickmason John M. Barnes, 44, wife Annie L., 32, Leonard E., 5, Lee J. [Leo Artelia], 4, Selma [Thelma] F., 2, and John W., 3 months.

In the 1912 Hill’s city directory, John M. Barnes, bricklayer, is listed at 121 Pender Street (adjacent to Saint John A.M.E. Zion.) In the 1922 and 1930 city directories, he is listed at 500 East Green. His occupation was given as plasterer in 1922.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 500 East Green, bricklayer John M. Barnes, 69, and wife Annie L., 61.

Annie Lee Barnes died 3 May 1943 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 February 1879 in Wilson to Charles Henry Darden of Greene County and Dianna Scarborough of Wilson County; was married to John M. Barnes; and taught at the Sallie Barbour School. John M. Barnes was informant.

John M. Barnes died 27 April 1958 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1870 in Wayne County to Charles and Rebecca Pope Barnes; worked as a brickmason; was married to Cora Sherrod Barnes [daughter of Jack and Cassie Sherrod]; and was buried at Rest Haven. Thelma B. Byers was informant.

Photo of John and Annie Barnes courtesy of History of Wilson County, North Carolina (1985); cemetery photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017.

He learned the English alphabet in about twenty minutes.

Jethro, Nimrod, the Queen of Sheba, Saint Catherine, Hannibal, Phillis Wheatley, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Denmark Vesey … and Rev. Robert S. Rives. Rives was pastor of Saint John’s A.M.E. Zion in Wilson around 1900 and testified at the coroner’s inquest over the shooting death of James A. Hunt. His selection as one of the Negro stars of the ages is as curious as author W.H. Quick’s contrived (and occasionally opaque) prose.

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Snaps, no. 4: Cax aside all fear.


Evangelist Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver with her Bible, circa 1931. The boy is her great-nephew, Lucian J. Henderson. This photo appears to have been taken at the same time as this one.

I have written here of a Bible (not the one shown above) that once belonged to Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver. When I first thumbed through the Book in the early 1990s, I found two scraps of paper stuck deep in its chapters. Sarah had left the Congregationalism of her upbringing and joined the Holiness movement sweeping the country in the early 1900s and pencilled in a square, unsophisticated hand were these bits from her sermons.

Self life that might hender and draw you to earthly thing it inpels you on in to Godlines Paul sed I die dailey to the things of this world yeal your life dailey and hold your life in submision to the will of God and live by his word that you may grow unto the fulles measure of the staturs of Chris the one that lives wright is the ones who will a bide bide with him the day of his coming and stand when he a

Come by your God like impression God will take care of you no matter where you are cax aside all fear and put your trust in God and you are save. Then when your pulgrimage is over and you are call from labor to reward you will be greeted with that holy welcome that is delivered to all true missionaries come in the blessed of my father 

Hattie Henderson Ricks recalled: “Mama’d make us go to Holiness Church and stay down there and run a revival two weeks. And we’d go down there every night and lay back down there on the bench and go to sleep. … Mama’d go every night. And they’d be shouting, holy and sanctified, jumping and shouting.” She did not recall the name of the church, which was located on Lodge Street. This 1933 Sanborn insurance map may provide an answer. Mount Zion Holiness Church is shown in the block of South Lodge between Walnut and Banks Streets. The area was cleared in the 1960s to make way for the Whitfield Homes housing project.

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1933 Sanborn insurance map, Wilson. 

Sarah Henderson Jacobs apparently met her second husband, Rev. Joseph Silver, founder of one of the earliest Holiness churches in eastern North Carolina, on the revival circuit. They married 31 August 1933 at her home at 303 Elba Street and divided the five years before her death between Wilson and his home in Halifax County.

Interview of Hattie Henderson Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson, all rights reserved; photograph in the possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.

Jack Henderson.

Like many, Jesse “Jack” Henderson, a Wayne County native, was drawn to Wilson in the booming years after the establishment of the city’s tobacco markets. His uncle and aunt, Jesse and Sarah Henderson Jacobs, had preceded him, and he joined their household on Elba Street in East Wilson.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Jesse Jacob,  53, deliveryman for stable; wife Sarah, 35; daughter Annie Belle, 15; and boarders Jesse Henderson, 17, Herbert Jones, 23, both stable laborers, and Nina Fasin, 32, a housemaid.

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Jack Henderson, right, with a friend and dog, around 1910.

On 3 Dec 1914, Solomon Ward applied for a marriage license for Jesse Henderson of Wilson, age 21, son of Jesse Jacobs and Sarah Jacobs, both dead, and Pauline Artis of Wilson, age 18, daughter of Alice Artis.  On the same day, Fred M. Davis, Baptist minister, performed the ceremony at his residence before Mary Barnes, Annie Hines, and Willie Cromartie, all of Wilson.  [Jesse and Sarah Henderson Jacobs reared Jesse, who was the son of Sarah’s sister.]

The 1916-17 Wilson city directory lists: Henderson Jack lab h 219 1/2 Pender.

Jessie Henderson registered for the World War I draft on 5 June 1917.  Per his registration card, he was born 1893 in Mount Olive, North Carolina; resided at Pender Street, Wilson; and worked as a transfer driver for Sam Vick, Wilson.  He had a wife and 2 children and was described as tall and slender with brown eyes and black hair.  He signed with an X.

The 1918 Wilson city directory lists: Henderson Jack chauffeur ZF Gill h 217 Pender.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 217 Pender Street, Jesse Henderson with wife Pauline, daughter Bessie, and mother-in-law Alice Artis.  Jesse worked as a truck driver for a woodyard. Alice was a cook for a private family.

In the 1928 Wilson city directory: Jack Henderson, a driver, and wife Pauline, were listed at 318 Pender Street. Around this time, he posed with his oldest daughters, Bessie (1917-1996) and Alice (1920), for this photograph.

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In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 308 Pender Street, Jack Henderson, 38, wife Pauline, 31, and children Bessie, 12, Alic, 10, Joice, 7, Mildred, 6, and Archy, 4, mother-in-law Alic Artis, 49, paying $18/month rent.  Alice worked as a cook for a private family, and Jack as a truck driver.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: tobacco factory laborer Jack Henderson, 47, and lodger Pattie Barnes, 30.

Per her headstone at Rest Haven cemetery, Pauline Artis Henderson died in 1950.

Pattie Barnes Henderson died 13 October 1957 at her home at 900 Robinson [Robeson] Street. Per her death certificate: she was born in 1910 in Wilson to Tip Barnes and an unknown mother and was married to Jack Henderson.

Jack Henderson died 29 April 1970 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 21 April 1898 to an unknown father and “Lucy (?) Henderson;” had worked as a laborer; and resided at 1214 East Queen Street, Wilson.  He was buried in Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson.  Informant was Mildred Hall.

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Jack Henderson wearing his driving gloves, probably in the 1940s. He worked many years transporting tobacco from Wilson’s markets.

Photographs in personal collection of Lisa Y. Henderson.