The James and Addie Barnes Artis family.

These photographs of James and Addie Barnes Artis and several of their children are drawn from a family history booklet, Our Heritage 1812-1996: Edwards, Evans, Woodard, published in 1996.

James A. Artis (1876-??), in the one-armed wicker chair at Picture-taking Barnes’ studio in Wilson.

In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Ned Artis, 44; wife Jane, 42; and children Polian, 14, Mary J., 13, Dora, 12, Walter, 9, Joseph, 7, Corinna, 6, James, 4, and Charles, 6 months.

In the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Ned Artis, 65; wife Jane, 60; and children Dora, 31, Walter, 28, Joe, 26, Jimmie, 21, Charley, 20, Effie, 18, Fred, 15, and Jim, 15.

On 21 November 1900, James Artis, 22, son of Ned and Jane Artis, married Addie Barnes, 20, daughter of Isaac and Bettie Barnes, at the home of Parish Bynum in Saratoga. Walter Artis applied for the license, and Missionary Baptist minister E.P. Pearsall performed the ceremony in the presence of Dempsey Bullock, Andrew Sauls, and G.H. Moore.

In the 1910 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Road, farmer James Artis, 30; wife Addie, 28; and children Isaac, 9, Archie, 7, Thelonia, 5, Dorothy, 4, Gladys, 2, and an unnamed newborn daughter.

[Ned Artis died 21 November 1917 in Falkland township, Pitt County, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born about 1838 to Arch and Rosa Artis in Wilson and was buried in Wilson County. Informant was Joe Artis, Falkland.]

In the 1920 census of Fountain township, Pitt County: farmer James Artis, 40, widower, and children Isah, 18, Archie, 16, Thelonia, 15, Dortha, 13, Virginia, 9, Saparrisa, 8, and Bettie Lee, 5.

In the 1930 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Jim Artis, 52; wife Silva, 49; and children Dorthy, 19, Virgina, 18, Bettie L, 15, and Seph P., 17.

——

Addie Barnes Artis (1879-1917)

Isaac Barnes, 22, married Bettie Ellis, 21, on 11 January 1877 at Levi Valentine’s in Wilson County.

In the 1880 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: laborer Isac Barnes, 26; wife Elizebeth, 24; and children Parish, 5, James, 2, and Addie, 8 months.

Addie Artis died 30 June 1917 in Saratoga township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 20 June 1879 in Wilson County to Isaac Barnes and Bettie Ellis; was a tenant farmer; and was married. Informant was James A. Artis.

——

Isaac Amos Artis Sr. (1902-1973)

Isaac A. Artis, 32, of Pitt County, married Lillian Lee Daniels, 30, of Pitt County, on 1 April 1937 in Williamston, Martin County, North Carolina.

In the 1940 census of Greenville, Pitt County: on Third Street, teachers I.A. Artis, 38, and wife Lillian L., 35; their daughter A.L., 2; and his sister Dorthy, 32.

In 1942, Isaac Amos Artis registered for the World War II draft in Greenville, Pitt County. Per his registration card, he was born 13 December 1902 in Wilson County; resided at 106 Tyson Street, Greenville; his contact was wife Lillian Lee Artis; and he was employed by Pitt County Board of Education.

Isaac A. Artis died 28 November 1973 in Greenville, Pitt County. Per his death certificate, he was born 13 September 1903 to James Artis and Addie (last name unknown); resided in Greenville; was married to Lillian Daniels; and was buried in Brownhill cemetery, Greenville.

——

Archie Charles Artis (circa 1904-1958)

In the 1930 census of Durham, Durham County, North Carolina: barber Archie Artis, 24, was listed as a boarder in the household of dentist Edward P. Norris.

In the 1940 census of Durham, Durham County, North Carolina: barber Archie C. Artis, 33, was listed as a lodger in the household of dentist Edward P. Norris.

In 1940, Archie Charles Artis registered for the World War II draft in Durham. Per his registration card, he was born 24 August 1906 in Fountain, North Carolina; resided at 607 Thomas Street, Durham; his contact was father James Artis, East Nash Street, Wilson; and he was self-employed at 711 Fayetteville Street, Durham.

On 19 December 1940, Archie Charles Artis, 34, of Durham County, married Evelyn Elma Bryant, 25, of Chatham County, in Oakland township, Chatham County, North Carolina.

Archie Charles Artis died 23 December 1959 in Durham. Per his death certificate, he was born 24 August 1906 in Wilson County to James Artis and Addie Bynum; was married to Evelyn Artis; taught at a barber college; was buried in Beechwood cemetery, Durham. Brother S.P. Artis was informant.

——


Thelonia “Theodore” Artis (ca 1907-??)

——

 

Dorothy Artis Hines (circa 1907-??)

——

 

Virginia B. Artis Jones (circa 1910-1959)

Virginia B. Artis Jones died 18 April 1959 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 29 August 1911 in Pitt County to James Artis and Addie Barnes; was married to Lee Jones; and worked as a beautician. She was buried at Rest Haven cemetery.

 ——

Separise “S.P.” Artis (1912-1998)

Grace Whitehead, 21, of Wilson, daughter of Henry and Victoria Whitehead, married Separise Artis, 25, of Wilson, son of James and Attie Artis, in Nashville, North Carolina, on 1 August 1938.

In 1940, Separise Artis registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 12 December 1912 in Wilson County; resided at 303 North Vick Street; his contact was wife Grace Emery Artis; and he was a self-employed barber.

Separise P. Artis died 13 December 1998 in Rocky Mount, Nash County.

——

Bettie Lee Artis (1913-1999)

Bettie Lee Artis died 16 February 1999 in Greenville, North Carolina.

Many thanks to B.J. Woodard for sharing this invaluable volume.

Uptown, 1930.

As detailed here and here, the blocks of East Nash Street between the railroad and Pender Street were home to Wilson’s black commercial district. Pages 285-336 of 1930 edition of the Wilson, N.C. City Directory offers a detailed listing of the businesses on these blocks. (There were a baker’s dozen residences, too — all save one black-owned or -occupied. One was a boarding house, and half the others included unrelated lodgers.) Though primarily owned by African-Americans, white businesses — several run by immigrant Syrians or Greeks — and a Chinese laundry also operated in the district.

Though they could not buy a dress or deposit a check* or consult a lawyer on their side of town, East Wilson did not have to cross the tracks to see a movie, get their shoes shined or repaired, get a haircut (four barbers), buy eggs and butter (eight groceries, including a corporate chain), grab a cup of coffee and a slice of pie (six cafes and restaurants), select fresh fish, get a suit altered or pressed, play billiards, straighten a bicycle frame, buy or repair furniture, consult a doctor or dentist (two of each), get a prescription filled (two pharmacies), have their hair straightened, sample fresh-made candy, attend a lodge meeting (three), book a hotel room, replace a watch band, pay on insurance policy, fill a gas tank, or bury their dead.

Though this entry suggests otherwise, the theatre’s building was actually east of the tracks. In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, George C. Woller is listed as the proprietor of the Lincoln.

A C L R R intersects

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Cutt Davis and James Mack are listed as proprietors of the Baltimore Shoe Shop.

  • 420 1/2 McNeill & Hargrove (c) barbers

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Angus A. McNeill and John Hargrove are listed as the proprietor of the Lincoln. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1202 Wainright, Angus McNeil, 40, barber; wife Maggie, 25; and daughter Agnes E., 6.

  • 421 Kannan Thos S gro

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 208 Pine Street, Syrian-born widow Shely Kannan, 48, saleslady in a dry goods store, with children Ellis, 28, dry goods store manager, Albert, 22, dry goods store salesman, Thomas, 18, fruit stand salesman, and Rosa Lee, 16. The older two children were also born in Syria.

  • 423 Star Cafe

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Gost Glearmis is listed as the proprietor of the Star.

Pettigrew intersects

  • 500 Gatlin Amos J & Co gro

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 220 Railroad Street, grocery merchant James P. Gatlin, 66; wife Patty, 68, saleslady; son Amos J., 29, salesman; daughter-in-law Edna, 24; grandchildren Amos Jr., 6, Constance, 4, Patricia, 3, and Dorthy, 9 months.

  • 501 Maynard’s Mkt gro

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, George W. Maynard is listed as the proprietor of this grocery and another at 401 Stantonsburg.

  • 503 Barnes Rachel G (c) restr

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1118 East Nash Street, Johnie Barnes, 33, cafe proprietor; wife Rachel G., 35, cafe cook; cousin Leotha Clark, 22, cafe waitress; and roomer Henrietta Walker, 28, cafe waitress.

  • 504 Verser Jesse W

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 504 East Nash Street, grocery store proprietor Jessie W. Verser; with Annie, 36; daughters Ethel, 10, and Thelma, 7; and mother Bertha, 71.

  • 505 Barnes John (c) barber

John Barnes was husband of Rachel G. Barnes, above.

  • 506 Wah Jung lndy

Wah Jung Laundry appears in Wilson city directories as early as 1912. In the 1930 residential listing, its proprietor was listed as Yee G. Wah.

  • 507 Ziady Jos gro

Per the 1928 Wilson city directory, Ziady’s establishment was called Nash Candy Kitchen. He resided nearby at 107 South Pettigrew Street.

  • 508 Service Barber Shop (c) Artis Ernest A (c)

In the 1930 residential listing: Artis Ernest L (c) (Louise) (Service Barber Shop) h 404 N Vick

  • 509 1/2 Stokes Thos (c) fish

In the residential listing of the 1930 directory: Stokes Thos (c) (Babe) fish 509 1/2 Nash h 615 W Wiggins

  • 511 Lupe Peter (c) shoe shiner
  • 512 Braswell Ezekiel (c) rest

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1120 East Nash Street, Ezekiel Braswell, 38, cafe proprietor; wife Mary, 29, public school teacher; daughters Mary E., 5, and Parthenia, 3; and roomer Matilda Cherry, 26, teacher.

  • 514 Lesley Saml G (c) tailor

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 802 Manchester Street, Ohio-born tailor Samuel G. Lesley, 28; Virginia-born wife Lillian, 24; and children Denis, 8, Robert, 6, Samuel Jr., 4, and John W., 3.

  • 517 Moore John H (c) shoe repr

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1113 Atlantic Street, cobbler John H. Moore, 45; wife Annie, 31; and children Lena, 13, Carl, 11, John, 9, Anna G., 7, Odessia B., 3, and Ruth, 1.

  • 519 Phillips Chas P bicycle repr

In the residential listing of the 1930 directory: Phillips Chas P (Minnie A) bicycle repr 519 E Nash h 410 Herring Ave

  • 520 Dixon Lenora (c) billiards

Though Lenora Dixon appears in the 1930 city directory under her maiden name, living at 611 Nash, on 9 December 1929, she married Daniel Carroll in Wilson. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Daniel Carroll, 27, barber in Hines shop; wife Lenora, 27, no occupation; and adopted daughter Hattie L., 9.

  • 521 Smith Preston (c) clothes clnr

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 314 Stantonsburg Street, tailor Preston Smith, 42; wife Minnie, 30; sons Henry, 17, and Vernon, 10; and roomers Henry Edwards, 40, and Anna B. Edwards, 18, both tobacco factory laborers.

  • 522 Atkinson Henry (c) shoe repr
  • 523 Wooten W L Co furn

In the residential listing of the 1930 directory: W L Wooten Co Inc, H Paul Yelverton pres, Jesse W Thomas v-pres, Wm L Wooten sec-treas, furn 523 E Nash.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 805 East Nash, physician Matthew S. Gilliam, 45; wife Annie L., 42; and children Charles A., 17, Matthew, 15, Emily, 13, George T., 12, and Herman, 10. In the 1930 residential listing of the city directory: Howard Mary (c) lndrs h 524 E Nash.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 719 East Green Street, barber Charles S. Thomas, 48; wife Blanch, 48; nephew-in-law George W., 22; adopted daughter Cora, 22; and adopted son Lee Roy, 11.

  • 526 Coleman Mattie B (c)

Mattie B. Coleman managed a boarding house at 526 East Nash. At that address in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: paying $12/month in rent, widow Carrie Shaw, 48; and children Robert, 21, dry cleaning plant laborer, Cornie, 20, laundress, Louise, 18, private nurse, Jovester, 17, Aline, 15, and Nettie R., 12. Also paying $12/month, Dave Harris, 32, guano plant laborer; wife Bessie S., 27, laundress; and children Timothy, 12, Roy, 10, Ardria M., 8, Roland, 5, Odessa, 3, and Herman, 1. Also paying $12/month, boarding house keeper Mattie B. Coleman, 25; tobacco factory stemmer Enemicha Kent, 20; tobacco factory stemmer Carrie M. Shine, 22, and Callonia Shine, 15; wholesale grocery delivery boy Mitchel Hamon, 24, and wife Ella, 17; restaurant dishwasher James Nelson, 21; laundry ironer Irene Rountree, 27; and cook Maggie Downing, 26.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 528 East Nash, widowed seamstress Sarah L. Bowden, 59; divorced restaurant cook George Lee, 24; and widower barber George Sledge, 51.

  • 529 Coppedge Sarah (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Sarah Coppedge, 36, laundress; lodgers James Ellec, 27, cook, and Mary Taylor, 30; son-in-law James Barnes, 26, coal company truck driver; daughter Verlie L., 20; and relative Frank, 21, tea room cook.

  • 530 Stokes Turner (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: building carpenter Turner Stokes, 60; wife Mattie, 38, laundress; and roomers Mary Barnes, 16, and Lillian Dedman, 17.

  • 531 Swindell Deborah (c) hair drsr

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 630 East Suggs Street, beauty parlor helper Debbie Swindell, 40; widow Effie Lewis, 35, servant, and children Essie M., 10, Mathew, 8, and William J., 4; and daughter Deborah Swindell, 6.

  • 532 Uzzell Henry (c) furn repr

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 503 Viola Street, cafe cook Henry Uzzell, 48; wife Almira, 43; and children Eliza, 20, servant, Corine, 17, Mable, 16, Eva May, 11, James, 9, and Corrie, 6.

  • 533 Taylor Bertha (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: divorced laundress Bertha Taylor, 33.

  • 534 Bynum Mack (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 534 East Nash, tobacco factory machinist Mack Bynum, 48; and children Mildred, 20, school lunchroom cook, and Mary, 17; son-in-law Richard Saunders, 25; daughter Catherine, 23; and grandson Walter, 6 months. Also, South Carolina-born odd jobs laborer Anthony Ashley, 48; wife Sarah D., 30, a tobacco factory stemmer; and children Willie G., 10, Leo, 8, Eugenia, 6, and Joseph D., 2 months; restaurant cook Marshal McCommick, 23; hardware delivery man Fletcher Lassiter, 25; and embalmer Daniel McKeathan, 30.

  • 535 Najim Geo candy mfr

Najim resided at 107 South Pettigrew. See Joseph Ziady, above.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Methodist minister Russell B. Taylor, 48, widower; and children Laura, 14, Sarah, 11, Christopher, 7, and William, 4; daughter Beatrice Barnes, 18, teacher, and her son Elroy Barnes Jr., 1; Cora Speight, 49; laundress Mamie Williams, 30; and Roscoe McCoy, 32.

  • 537 Lucas Wm T gro

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 216 Railroad Street, Will T. Lucas, 56, grocery store merchant; wife Sallie, 42; son Leon, 22; daughter-in-law Dorthy, 22; children Will Jr., 7, and Sarah F., 3; and granddaughter Betsy G., 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Virginia-born druggist Darcey C. Yancey, 46; wife Lelia B., 40; and daughter Maude, 9.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Albert Mitchel, 52; brother Floyd Mitchel, 47; and roomers Settie Hardy, 56, housekeeper, and Jaunita Nevells, 23.

  • 541 Whitley Hotel; Marshall Lodge, No 297, IBPOE

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Maggie A. Whitley is listed as the proprietor of this hotel.

  • 542 Brewington Edward C (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: transfer driver Eddie Brewington, 32; wife Mary, 32, laundress; and hospital nurse Alice Tyler, 69.

  • 543 Jones Luther J (c) restr

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Mason Street, seamstress Lula Herring, 25, and boarder Luther Jones, 38, cafe manager.

  • 544 Baker Easter (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widowed laundress Esther Baker, 64; son Jim, 24, tobacco factory laborer; cafe dish washer George Coley, 32; and Fred Hancock, 43.

  • 545 Ford clnrs; Best John (c) clothes presser

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Herbert H. and Alf J. Ford are listed as the proprietors of Ford cleaners. Also, Best John (c) (Sylvia) clothes presser h 106 Ashe.

  • 546 Rogers John W (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: dry goods store janitor John W. Rogers, 57; wife Mary R., 47; adopted son Leonard G., 7; and niece Ernestine Atkinson, a teacher.

  • 547 Am Legion, Henry Ellis Post (c); IOOF, Hannibal Lodge, No 552 (c)
  • 548 Barbour Nannie (c) clo presser

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Barbour Nannie (c) clothes presser 548 e Nash h 1005 Atlantic.

  • 549 Fahad Kattar billiards

Census and other records indicate that Fahad, born in Syria or Lebanon, was primarily a resident of New Bern, North Carolina.

  • 551 Rutherford Geo (c) restr

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 104 [sic; 804] Green Street, Georgia-born cafe proprietor George Rutherford, 45, and wife Maggie, 31, waitress.

  • 552 Alston Robert T (c) watch repr

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory: Alston Robet T (c) watch repr 552 E Nash h do

  • 552 1/2 Wilson Dye Works (br)

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Luther W. High is listed as the proprietor of this branch of the dye works.

  • 553 Peacock & Locus undtkrs

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Levi H. Peacock Jr. and Luther Locus are listed as the proprietors of this undertaking establishment. However, in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1108 Wainwright, cook Luther Locus, 37, wife Eula, 37, also a cook, and son Robert, 16. And at 204 Vick Street, hotel bellboy Levi Peacock, 30; wife Elouise, 28, a public school teacher; children Jewel D., 4, and Thomas L., 14; and mother-in-law Etta Reaves, 50, post office maid.

  • 554 Baxter & Co gros

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, Herman W. Baxter and James F. Downing are listed as the proprietors of this grocery.

Stantonsburg intersects

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 900 Atlantic Street, cafe proprietor Jim Allen, 45; wife Rachel, 32, a private nurse; and children Elouise, 10, and Fred, 8; and lodgers Floyd Baker, 26, farm laborer, Gertrude Kannary, 27, cook, and Katherine, 10, Dortha, 7, and Elouise Baker, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 604 East Green, Baptist minister Fred M. Davis, 60; wife Minie, 49; daughter Addie, 25, teacher; and Bermuda-born son-in-law George Butterfield, 27, dentist.

Darcy C. Yancey, above, was proprietor of Ideal Pharmacy.

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory: Mitchner Wm A (c) phys 565 E Nash h 604 E Green.  Winston Mutual Life Insurance Company was established in 1906 by African-American business and civic leaders to provide health and accident insurance for Winston-Salem’s African-American tobacco workers.

  • 567 Battle Harry (c) restr

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory: Battle Harry (c) restr 567 E Nash r 902 do.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Columbus Artis, a merchant/undertaker, wife Ida [Ada], and niece Gladys Adams. Artis owned the house at 308 Pender Street, valued at $4000.

Pender intersects

  • 600 Triangle Filling Sta

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory, William H. Taylor is listed as the proprietor of this gas station.

  • 601 Boykin Dorsey G filling sta

In the residential listing of the 1930 Wilson city directory: Boykin Dorsey G (Virginia L) filling sta 601 E Nash h 208 W Green.

  • 603 Simpson Fannie (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Fannie Simpson 60, widow.

  • 605 Parker Eli (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 605 East Nash, fertilizer plant laborer Bob Snow, 29; wife Elberta, 27; and children Beulah, 11, John, 8, Albert, 6, and Edgar, 1. Also, oil mill laborer Elye Parker, 29, and wife Pearl, 27, cook.

  • 607 Smith Wm (c)

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: bakery laborer Willie Smith, 27; wife Ada, 24; and brother Oscar, 18, bakery laborer; widow Mary Williams, 45, cook, and son Robert, 28, tobacco factory stemmer.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 111 Pender Street, Charles H. Darden, 76, undertaking proprietor; wife Mary E.; and Cora Brown, 22, drugstore clerk.

*Black-owned Commercial Bank closed abruptly amid scandal in 1929.

 

1113 East Nash Street.

The thirty-eighth 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.

IMG_1679.jpg

As described in the nomination form for East Wilson Historic District: “1927; 2 stories. Parsonage, Jackson Chapel Baptist Church; cubic, hip-roofed, is blend of Colonial Revival and bungalow traits, typical of a host of middle-class dwellings in district built during 1920s.”

In the 1930 Wilson city directory: Jordan Benj F Rev (c) (Maggie L) pastor First Bapt Ch h 1113 E Nash.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1113 East Nash Street, minister Benjiman Jorden, 50; wife Maggie, 44; and children Benjiman F., 16, Mary B., 14, Milford L., 12, Odis, 11, Willard, 10, Irene C., 8, and James D., 6.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1113 East Nash Street, renting for $20/month, W.P.A. project laborer Oscar Ellis, 50; wife Mamie, 48; children Henry, 23, laborer, Estell, 22, housekeeper, Aja, 21, waiter, Charles, 20, deliveryman for Moore’s Drug, James, 18, Bessie, 17, Herbert, 15, Leroy, 13, Fred, 8, Mamie, 10, and Clarence, 5; and adopted children Annie, 15, and Rosco Jones, 13.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2017.

Alvin Howard.

22221614_10210628424088387_3047956931278922222_n

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Deal Howard, 39; wife Nancy, 39; and children John, 16, Christian, 14, Oscar, 11, Ettie, 10, Albert, 7, Thomas, 5, Alvin, 3, Herman, 1, and Tiner, 0.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Horne’s Road, farmer Zelius Howard Jr., 49; wife Nancy, 49; and children Albert, 17, Thomas, 15, Alvin, 13, Herman, 11, Tina, 9, Florence, 7, and Ella, 5.

Alvin Howard registered for the World War I draft in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born 15 November 1896 in Wilson County; worked as a farmer for John Ba[illegible]; and was single.

005152194_03948

In the 1940 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer Dock Eatmon, 63; wife Sallie, 63; son Clifton, 19; brother Peedie, 50; and lodger Alvin Howard, 44.

Alvin Howard died 15 August 1974 near Sims, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 March 1903 to Deil Howard and Nancy Blackwell; was a retired laborer; never married; and was buried in Howard cemetery. Mary Eatman was informant.

Photograph courtesy of Europe A. Farmer.

Rosetta Whitley Ellis.

Wilson Daily Times, 2 April 1949.

In the 1910 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: Counsel Whitley, 27; wife Annis, 24; and children Alice Ida, 4, Matha J., 2, and Rosa Ella, 6 months.

In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Concil Whitley, 42; wife Annis, 37; and children Ida, 14, Jane M., 12, Rosetta, 10, Isaca, 8, Dortha, 6, Council Jr., 4, and Mina, 2, plus widower brother William Haskins, 34.

In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Council Whitley, 50; wife Annis, 44; and children Ida, 24, Jane, 23, Rosetta, 20, Hezekiah, 18, Dorothy, 16, Council Jr., 14, Mimy, 13, Mandy L., 9, Mary M., 6, and Ruth L., 3, plus widowed mother Mimy Whitley, 70, and lodger John H. Dean, 20.

Rosetta Ellis died 29 March 1949 in Spring Hill township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 October 1910 in Wilson to Council Whitley and Anis Batts; was married; and worked in farming. She was buried in Bethel cemetery. Informant was Eddie Ellis.

 

Lost ‘hoods, no. 2.

“The Atlantic Coastline Railroad tracks separated a black and a white world almost. And then there was Hines Street that wasn’t a connector in those days, but just a street. And there was Daniel Hill, where colored people lived. Then there were six houses between Lee and Gold Streets close to the city lot where black people lived. And Mercer Street in Five Points was all black. There were two ice companies near the railroad tracks and one area was called ‘Happy Hills’ where a few blacks lived. ‘Green Hill’ near the other ice company was a white neighborhood. Except for the above-mentioned, I don’t know of one black family that lived beyond the tracks. But I’m not saying there might not have been a few isolated cases. But Daniel Hill was where 99 percent of the black population lived anywhere on the west side of Wilson.” — Roy Taylor, My City, My Home (1991).

The 1930 edition of Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory reflects the full flower of segregated Wilson, with street after street east of the railroad occupied entirely by African-American households in patterns still easily recognized today. However, here and there clusters of houses appear at unfamiliar locations, either because the streets themselves have disappeared or because we have lost collective memory of these blocks as black neighborhoods.

Here are a few more:

  • Banks Alley

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 8.54.06 PM

I’ve been unable to locate this street.

  • West Lee Street

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 9.17.30 PM

An earlier post explored the small African-American settlement that coalesced around Lee and Pine Streets by the turn of the twentieth century. By 1930, this community had contracted to three small duplexes on Lee Street and half-a-dozen around the corner on Pine.

1922 Sanborn fire insurance map, Wilson.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 202 Lee Street, paying $16/month rent, Willie Walter, 21, odd jobs laborer; wife Lulu, 15, servant; and roomer Novella Townsend, 25, laundress. Also [in the other half of the duplex], paying $16/month, cook Mamie Nord, 47, and her son Rufus J., 21, odd jobs laborer. At 204 Lee Street, paying $16/month: laundress Lizzie Larry, 49; Maude Lofty, 100; Lizzie’s daughter Anabel Larry, 28, and her sons John H., 12, and M.C., 13. Also, paying $16/month, Jasper Thigpen, 47, transfer truck driver; wife Dora, 33; and daughter Allie, 16.

  • North Pine Street

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 405 Pine Street, paying $10/month rent, Adele Matthews, 42, laundress, and Sarah McMullen, 23, laundress. Also [in the other half of the duplex], paying $10/month, odd jobs laborer David Sanders, 35, and wife Carry, 44, laundress. At 407 Pine Street, paying $12/month: servant Ella Pulley, 30. Also, paying $12/month, Egarber Barnes, 24, jail attendant, and wife Nanny, 25, laundress. At 409 Pine Street, paying $12/month, practical nurse Lizzie Bullock, 70; and children Ernest, 43, house painter, Obert, 33, hotel cook, and Gertrude, 35, laundress. Also, paying $12/month, truck gardener Charlie Moye, 29, and Edward Williams, 53, farm laborer. At 411 Pine Street, paying $10/month, greenhouse gardener Windsor Ellis, 41; wife Rachel, 34; and children dry goods store janitor Douglas, 20, John H., 10, and Elaine, 5; and lodger Fred Moye, 26, café cook.

  • South Street

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 9.31.28 PM

In 1930, the east and west ends of South Street were largely home to commercial and industrial outfits. The middle block, however, the 300s, housed in uncomfortably close quarters a stone cuttery, a couple of black families, the black Episcopal church, and a notorious whorehouse.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 304 East South Street, high school janitor Joseph Battle, 80; wife Gertrude, 42; and daughter Clara, 22; and five boarders, Earnest Heath, 24, cook; James Pettiford, 36, barber; Robert McNeal, 23, servant; Essie M. Anderson, 18, servant; and Viola McLean, 24, “sick.” At 306 East South: tobacco factory laborer William Barnes, 28; wife Loretta H., 23; and brother Charles Barnes, 22, servant. At 309 East South, widow Mattie H. Paul, no occupation.

Karl Fleming wrote of “veteran madams” Mallie Paul and Betty Powell, who operated Wilson’s “two twenty-dollar whorehouses,” “sexual emporia [that] had operated for at least thirty years [by the late 1940’s] … situated in similar two-story wood houses near each other just behind the tobacco warehouse district.” Though Fleming curled his lip, Roy Taylor fairly gushed about Paul: “One sight that got my attention, along with everyone else’s in the area when it occurred, was the march of Mallie Paul and her girls from their home on South Street, to women’s stores downtown to purchase clothing, cosmetics, and other necessities. And those women were beautiful! … There would be 10 or 12 of them walking leisurely toward the hotel from Douglas Street, then turning on Nash. …”

Most of Wilson’s tobacco warehouses succumbed to arson in the final decade and a half of the last century, and the 300 block of South Street is entirely industrial.

  • Taylor Street and Taylor’s Avenue

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 9.25.59 PMNeither exists today.

  • Wiggins Street

This entire street is gone, cleared for the extension of Hines Street over the railroad tracks (via Carl B. Renfro Bridge) to connect with Nash Street a few blocks west of highway 301 as roughly shown below.

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1922 Sanborn fire insurance map, Wilson.

Fake news (and other stories.)

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Wilson Advance, 14 October 1887.

Wilson Advance, 8 July 1897.

——

On 21 November 1895, Richard Renfrow, 35, son of Julia Gay, married Victoria Knight, 28, daughter of Harriet Knight. Baptist minister W.T.H. Woodward performed the service, and Levi Jones, H.T. Ransom and Maggie Ransom witnessed.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: barber Richard Renfrow, 38; wife Victora, 35; her widowed mother Harriet Knight, 61; and Harriet’s grandchildren Hattie, 16, Andrew, 17, barber, and Alis, 12.

In the 1901 Hill’s Directory of Norfolk, Portsmouth and Berkley, Virginia: Renfrow Richard barber 311 Queen.

In the 1908 Hill’s Directory of Wilson, N.C.: Renfrow Richard barber 544 E Nash.

In the 1914 Hill’s Directory of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia: Renfrow Richard barber 417 E Bute.

On 26 December 1916, Richard Renfrow, 50, married Matilda Taylor, 50, in Wilson. Hood Phillips applied for the license, and Missionary Baptist minister A.L.E. Weeks performed the ceremony in the presence of Boston Griffin, J.E. Farmer and Henry Lucas.

Matilda Renfrow died 2 June 1918 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was about 50 years old; was married; and worked as a cook. Informant was Richard Renfrow, 900 Queen Street, Norfolk.

In the 1923 Hill’s Directory of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia: Renfrow Richard barber 628 E Charlotte.

 

Lost ‘hoods, no. 1.

The 1930 edition of Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory reflects the full flower of segregated Wilson, with street after street east of the railroad occupied entirely by African-American households in patterns still easily recognized today. However, here and there clusters of houses appear at unfamiliar locations, either because the streets themselves have disappeared or because we have lost collective memory of these blocks as black neighborhoods.

Here are a few:

  • New Grabneck

Was Grabneck the same as New Grabneck? I’m not sure of the location of either.

  • Pecan Road

Pecan Rd 1930

There is no Pecan Road in Wilson, though there is a Pecan Court off Kincaid Avenue in the approximate neighborhood of Pecan Road.

  • Oil Mill Alley

Oil Mill Alley, oft-cited in Daily Times‘ crime beat columns, lay in the shadow of the fertilizer plant at the edge of the large cotton oil mill complex on Stemmery Street. It no longer exists.

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  •   Parkers Alley

Parkers Alley, then known as Vicks Alley, is clearly shown in the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson as a small lane bordered by five small single-family dwellings and two duplexes.

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To my amazement, Parkers Alley, now Parker Lane, still runs southeast from South Douglas Street, as shown in this Google Maps screenshot:

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  • Young’s Alley

Young’s Alley is gone, likely lost to the urban renewal projects that reshaped Daniel Hill in the 1960s. On the 1922 Sanborn map of Wilson, it is labeled Townsend Alley.

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Today, West Spruce no longer intersects South Bruton, and the former Young’s Alley — designated as a red diagonal below — cuts through the middle of a large block bounded by South Bruton, West Hines, Warren and Walnut Streets.

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