Women

1112 Carolina Street.

The eighty-seventh 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: “circa 1913; 1 story; two-room, central-hall house; turned porch posts; asphalt siding.”

The 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, N.C., shows 1112 Carolina Street.

In the fall of 1929, Bettie Lofton placed an ad seeking a cooking and general housework position:

Wilson Daily Times, 17 September 1929.

Lofton apparently rented her home out shortly after. (Perhaps because she married Thomas Morning in Wilson on 17 March 1930. The couple is listed together at 518 Hadley Street, Wilson, in the 1930 census)) In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1112 Carolina, renting at $16/month, tobacco factory laborer Jessey Farmer, 34; wife Henerator, 26, laundress; and children Jessey Jr., 8, Irvin, 4, and Trumiller, 3.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Lofton Betty cook h 1112 Carolina

Wilson Daily Times, 12 December 1965.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.

Mother and daughter.

The family of Ruth Hooker Coppedge and her mother Elna Farmer Hooker paid tribute to them in Calvary Presbyterian Church‘s centennial anniversary booklet.

On 26 December 1900, Frank Hooker, 26, of Wilson County, married Elner T. Farmer, 24, of Wilson County, daughter of Gray and Argent Farmer, in Wilson. W.H. Kittrell applied for the license, and Rev. C[larence]. Dillard, Presbyterian, performed the ceremony in the presence of S.H. Vick and J.T. Harper of Wilson and Daisy Dillard of Goldsboro.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Manchester Street, Frank Hooker, 57 [sic], wood sawyer; wife Ella, 33; and children Emma R., 8, Grey, 6, Clarence D., 4, and Argent, [age illegible.]

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 656 Viola Street, Frank Hooker, 47, woodyard sawyer; wife Elinor, 37, sewing woman; and children Ruth, 17, Gray, 14, Henry, 12, Inez, 9, Irmadeen, 7, Sylvester, 4, and Theodore, 2.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 717 Green Street, Ellen Hooker, 47, widowed teacher; children Ruth, 25, Cilvesta, 14, and Theodo, 11; and grandchildren Montez, 8, and Clementine, 6.

On 5 June 1937, Ruth E. Hooker, 29, of Wilson, daughter of Frank and Ella Hooker, married General W. Coppedge, 45, of Wilson, son of James and Sallie Coppedge. Presbyterian minister O.E. Sanders performed the ceremony at 708 East Green Street in the presence of Annie L. Sanders, Lenora Carroll and Eleanor J. Hooker.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 708 Green Street, Eleanor Hooker, 59, widowed teacher; daughter Inez, 27, cook; and roomer Willie Boykin, 35, bricklayer, of Lawrenceville, Virginia.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 200 South Vick, George Coppedge, 55, bricklayer; wife Ruth, 40, schoolteacher at county school; [his] son George Jr., 23; daughter-in-law Elouise, 20; and grandchildren Julia, 4, Deloris, 2, and Carrol, 1.

Ruth Hooker Coppedge died 26 May 1945 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 41 years old; resided at 200 South Vick Street, Wilson; was married to George Coppedge; was born in Wilson to Frank Richard Hooker of Greene County and Eleanor Farmer of Wilson County; and was a school teacher.

The obituaries of Fannie G. Ellis and John Henry Moore.

Wilson Daily Times, 6 December 1949.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Wiggins Mill Road, farmer Bryant Ellis, 40; wife Mary Jane, 39; and children Pinkey, 17, General, 15, Gusten, 13, Bryant, 11, Thomas, 9, Sonnie, 7, Ronnie, 5, Sylvester, 3, and Mary Jane, 10 months.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Bryant Ellis, 53; wife Mary, 50; and children Daisy Sarah Herring, 28, and Gustus, 24, Bryant Jr., 21, Thomas, 19, Sonie, 17, Visor 12,  Mary, 11, William, 9, and Minnie Ellis, 5; and grandchildren Lizzie, 2, and Carry Gray, 1.

On 27 May 1937, Thomas E. Ellis, 35, of Winston-Salem, son of Bryant and Mary Jane Ellis of Wilson, married Fannie Gilmer, 27, of Winston-Salem, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

In the 1940 census of Winston-Salem, Forsyth County: Lafayette Cook, 24, teacher; wife Beatrice, 25; and son Lafayette Cook Jr., 1; with lodgers Thomas Ellis, 35, insurance agent, and wife Fannie, 30, tobacco factory stemmer.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ellis Thos E (c; Fannie F) mgr Winston Mut Life Ins Co h 616 E Green

In 1942, Thomas Elder Ellis registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 25 February 1902 in Wilson; resided at 302 North Vick Street, Wilson; received mail at Post Office Box 93, Wilson; his contact was Short Barnes, 616 East Green Street; and he worked for Winston Mutual Life Insurance Company at its branch office in Wilson.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ellis Thos E (c; Fannie G) mgr Winston Mut Life Ins Co h 1307 Atlantic Av

Fannie Goosby Ellis died 3 December 1949 at Wilson County Sanatorium. Per her death certificate, she was born 5 November 1907 in Davie County, North Carolina, to Horace Goosby and Mary Ann Lash; was married to Thomas Ellis; resided at 1307 East Atlantic Street; and was buried in Ellis Cemetery, Wilson County.

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In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Moore Jno H shoemkr 526 E Nash h 137 Pender

In 1918, John Henry Moore registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 6 October 1884; resided on Atlantic Street, Wilson; was a self-employed shoe repairer with a shop at 513 East Nash; and his nearest relative was wife Armensie Moore.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Atlantic Street, James [sic] H. Moore, 36, laborer; wife Mary, 23; and children Robert, 6, Lenard, 3, and Carl, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1113 Atlantic Street, owned and valued at $2000, shoe shop cobbler John H. Moore, 45; wife Annie, 31; and children Lena, 13, Carl, 11, John, 9, Anna G., 7, Odessia B., 3, and Ruth, 16 months.

In 1944, Ozzie Moore registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 1 September 1926 in Wilson; resided at 1113 Atlantic Street, Wilson; his contact was his father, J.H. Moore; and was employed by J.H. Moore at 517 East Nash Street, Wilson.

John Henry Moore died 4 December 1949 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 October 1894 in Pitt County, North Carolina, to Samuel Moore and Caroline Bullock; was married to Armecie Moore; resided at 1113 Atlantic Street; and operated a shoe shop.

John H. Moore’s headstone in Rest Haven cemetery. Both it and the family marker were engraved by Clarence B. Best.

The only colored school with a domestic science class.

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Wilson Daily Times, 8 April 1921.

  • Elm City Colored Graded School
  • Prof. J.D. Reid — Reid was principal of the Wilson Colored Graded School.
  • Prof. W.S. Washington
  • Mary Howard — in the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on the Elm City and Wilson Road, farmer Junius Rosser, 59, wife Lizzie, 46, children Daniel, 14, Annie, 12, Bennie, 10, and Lizzie, 8, and boarder Mary Howard, 19, a teacher.

Studio shots, no. 96: Amanda Edwards Mitchell.

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Amanda Edwards Mitchell (1869-ca. 1905).

In the 1880 census of Rocky Mount township, Nash County: farmer Rob Edwards, 40; wife Sallie, 38; children Waitie, 20, Mary E., 19, Lucy, 17, Georgeanna, 15, Jerryhill, 12, Mandy, 11, Morning, 9, Charity, 7, Cora, 5, Maddieann, 2, and Buckhill, 4 months; and grandson Aaron, 1.

On 24 December 1889, James Mitchell and Amanda Edwards, both 20, applied for a marriage license in Nash County, North Carolina.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer James G. Mitchell, 31; wife Armanda, 30; children Chestar, 9, Regenia, 8, Henretta, 6, William R., 4, and Dewry, 2; and widowed mother Roset Mitchell, 50.

Amanda Edwards Mitchell died between 1900 and 1910. In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer James G. Mitchell, 38; mother Rosa, 58; and children Kester R., 14, Cynthia, 14, Robert L., 12, Jimmie D., 10, and Lelia B., 8.

Cinderilla Cotton died 27 December 1928 in Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 35 years old; was born in Wilson County to James G. Mitchell of Wilson County and Armanda Edwards of Nash County; was married to Sidney Cotton; and was buried at William Chapel Church cemetery.

Robert Lee Mitchell died 18 October 1875 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 April 1896 to James Gray Mitchell and Amanda Edwards; was a widower; was a farmer; and resided in Elm City.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user grannysmess.

 

Studio shots, no. 95: Rosa Lee Ross.

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Rosa Lee Edwards McNeil Ross (1913-1989).

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 225 Stantonsburg Street, Billy Edwards, 35, lumber company laborer; wife Clara, 29, tobacco factory worker; and children Rosalie, 7, Booker T., 4, and Shelley, 2.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 804 Lincoln, owned and valued at $1700, fertilizer plant laborer Bill Edwards, 35; wife Clara, 31; and children Rosa L., 14, Booker T., 12, and Shelley G., 9. (Clara reported that she was born in Indiana to North Carolina-born parents.)

On 6 December 1931, Curtis McNeil, 21, of Wilson, son of Hector and Carrie McNeil, married Rosa Lee Edwards, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Billie and Clara Edwards. Methodist minister R.J. Young performed the ceremony in the presence of Nellie H. Carr, Emma King and Lawrence J. Baylor.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: tobacco factory laborer William Edwards, 52; wife Clara, 48, laundress; daughter Rose McNeal, 26, divorced, tobacco factory laborer; nieces Ester, 19, laundress, and Rachel Cromartie, 13; and mother-in-law Della Cromartie, 84.

John Henry Ross died 28 April 1973 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 August 1907 to Will Ross and Ida Barnes; resided at 904 Lincoln Street, Wilson; was married to Rosa Lee Edwards; and had worked as a mechanic for Paul Berry Chevrolet. Rosa Lee Ross was informant.

Rosa Lee Ross died 20 November 1989 in Wilson.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user kmiles65.

Practicing midwifery without a license.

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Wilson Daily Times, 19 January 1938.

Mariah Battle Gaston‘s plight was a common one for midwives in the early twentieth century. As the practice of medicine professionalized, and backed by the twin pressures of sexism and racism, doctors began to usurp the traditional role of granny midwives and to criminalize their practice of their vocation.

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In the 1870 census of Joyners township, Wilson County: Frank Battle, 48; wife Martha, 49; and children Dolly, 25, Patsey, 17, and Mariah, 14.

On 16 July 1874, William Gaston, 22, married Mariah Battle, 20, in Toisnot township.

In the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farm laborer William Gaston, 28; wife Maria, 21; and children Willie, 7, Lola E., 5, Clara, 4, and Nannie, 2; plus schoolteacher George Harrison, 35.

In the 1900 census of Town of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: washerwoman Mirah Gaston, 35, widow; children Lola, 22, Nancy, 19, Lula, 16, Eddie, 15, Cora, 13, Fredrick, 8, and Elma, 6; and “orphans” Eva, 11, and Mary Barnes, 20.

On 23 October 1906, Ed Gaston, 22, son of Mariah Gaston, married Stella Williams, 22, in Elm City.

In the 1910 census of Town of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: on East Main Street, widow Maria Gaston, 49, washer woman, and sons Eddie, 24, lumber mill laborer, Fred, 21, Elma, 17, odd jobs laborer, Arma, 15, and Willie, 12.

Fred Gaston died 17 November 1916 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 27 years old; was born in Elm City to William Gaston of Virginia and Marriah Battle of North Carolina; and worked as a farm hand.

On 19 October 1920, Ed Gaston, 40, of Toisnot, married Ida Price, 39, in Elm City. Jesse Wynn applied for the license.

In the 1940 census of Town of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Nash Street, widow Mariah Gaston, 79, and son Ed, 53, a laborer at Williams Lumber.

Myria Gaston died 18 March 1947 in Elm City, Toisnot township. Per her death certificate, she was born 9 December 1880 in Wilson County to Frank and Martha Battle of Wilson County and was the widow of William Gaston. She was buried in Elm City cemetery, and Lula Dawson of Elm City was informant.

Eddie Gaston died 10 November 1951 in Elm City, Toisnot township. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 February 1886 in Wilson County to William Gaston and Mariah Battle; was a widower; worked as a laborer; and was buried in Elm City cemetery. Lula Lawson was informant.

Cora Gaston Latham died 9 January 1964 at Mercy Hospital. Per her death certificate, she was born 27 August 1891 in Wilson County to William Gaston and Mariah Battle; was widowed; and resided in Elm City. Maxine Kelly of Elm City was informant.

The obituary of Sarah Cone.

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Wilson Daily Times, 9 November 1935.

On 7 August 1868, Willis Cone and Sarah Glover were married in Nash County, North Carolina.

In the 1870 census of Springfield township, Nash County: farmer Willis Cone, 30, and wife Sarah, 18.

In the 1880 census of Jackson township, Nash County: farmer Willis Cone, 40; wife Sarah, 28; and children Kindred, 9, Kincaid, 7, Junius, 5, Willie M., 3, and Joseph I.G., 1 month.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Willis Cone, 62; wife Sarah, 49; and children Willie M., 23, Lillie, 17, Jamerson, 13, Romane(?), 11, Aven, 9, Armencia, 5, and Rada, 1.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on County Line Road, farmer Willis C. Cone, 75; wife Sarah A., 61; and children Avon, 17, Amincy, 13, and Rader, 11.

In September 1912, Willie Cone registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 6 April 1877; resided in Wilson; worked as a cook for W.R. Marlow, Railroad Cafe, Nash Street; and his nearest relative was his mother, Sarah Cone.

Willis Cone died 20 November 1918 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 85 years old; was married to Sarah Cone; was a farmer; and was born in Nash County. Raymond Cone of Wilson was informant.

Sarah Cone died 5 February 1935 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 98 years old [more likely about 85]; was born in Nash County to Lessie Glover; was the widow of Willis Cone; and resided at 1113 East Atlanta [Atlantic] Street. Willie Cone was informant.