Wilson Times, 11 August 1899.
In 1899, veterinary surgeon Dr. Elijah L. Reid moved his practice from Stantonsburg to the greener pastures of the town of Wilson, setting up at Jefferson D. Farrior‘s livery stable. He came with glowing references.
In the late 1940s, the Wilson Daily Times regularly ran classified ads for housing restricted to African-American tenants and buyers. The realty companies that placed the advertisements below were white-owned.
Wilson Daily Times, 19 February 1946.
Realtor George A. Barfoot sought to unload houses to both homeowners and investors.
Wilson Daily Times, 19 August 1947.
J.E Miles offered building lots across East Wilson. (Where was Stronach Avenue?)
Wilson Daily Times, 9 December 1948.
George A. Barfoot, who was the major player in East Wilson real estate sales in this period, advertised what appears to be the short sale of 706 East Viola. Realtor Hugh S. Sheppard showcased a more modest offering, a two-room house near Export Leaf Tobacco Company, which was at 601 South Goldsboro Street.
Wilson Daily Times, 15 August 1949.
Wilson Daily Times, 12 November 1925.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: cook Susan Jones, 42; her children William E., 23, tobacco stemmer, Levi H., 22, barber, Charles T., 20, tobacco stemmer, Butler E., 19, tobacco stemmer, Mary J., 15, Nancy A., 11, Luther, 8, and Harvey L., 2, plus niece Arnetta Sexton, 8.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Levi Jones, 32, barber, with sister Nancy, 24, brothers Butler, 28, house carpenter, and Harvey, 12, and mother, Susan Jones, 50.
In the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jones Butler carp h 536 Church
In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jones Butler painter h Robinson nr Manchester
On 20 September 1914, Butler Jones, 34, son of Henry and Sue Jones, married Mirtie Brodie, 28, daughter of Henry and Louise [Kersey] Johnson, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister H.E. Edwards performed the ceremony, and Ed Cox, Chas. T. Jones and Minnie McDaniel witnessed. [Myrtle Johnson‘s first marriage was to James A. Brodie on 25 November 1903 in Wilson. Her sister Gertrude Johnson married Butler Jones’ brother Charles T. Jones.]
In 1918, Butler Jones registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 5 December 1879; resided at 808 East Nash; worked as a carpenter for Boyle Robertson Construction Company, Camp Hill, Newport News, Virginia; and was married to Mertie Jones.
In the 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jones Butler painter h 808 E Nash
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 808 East Nash, Butler Jones, 39, painter; wife Myrtle, 36; and children Gertrude, 12, Louise, 6, Joseph, 5, Ruth M., 3, and Willard, 3 months.
In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jones Butler pnter h 1011 E Nash
In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jones Butler (Myrtie) pnter h 1011 E Nash
In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jones Butler (c; Myrtie) pnter h 1011 E Nash
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1011 East Nash, owned and valued at $2500, Buller Jones, 49, building painter; wife Myrtle, 46; and children Gertrude, 23, cook, Louise, 16, Joseph, 15, Myrtle, 11, William, 9, and John, 8.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1011 East Nash, Butler Jones, 59, painter; wife Myrtie, 51; sons Joseph, 25, Willard, 20, and John, 19, all painters; and William Tabron, 26, janitor at Carolina Theatre, wife Myrtie Tabron, 21, and daughter Patsy, 3 months.
In the early 1940s, Butler and Myrtle Jones’ sons registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. All listed their address as 1011 East Nash Street; the contact as mother, Myrtle Jones, of the same address; and their employer as father, Butler Jones: in 1940, Joseph Jones, born 27 April 1914, and Willard Jones, born 3 April 1919, and in 1942, John Henry Jones, born 15 December 1921. In 1943, Butler’s brother Harvey Jones, born 23 December 1898, also registered. He resided at 1011 East Nash, but was unemployed.
Butler Jones died 24 December 1961 at his home at 405 North Reid Street. Per his death certificate, he was 83 years old; his parents were Henry Jones and Sue (maiden name unknown); he was a self-employed painter; he was a widower; and he was buried in the Masonic cemetery. John H. Jones of 405 North Reid was informant.
Wilson Daily Times, 29 November 1933.
In the 1928 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Earp Norma (c) student r 106 S East.
Wilson Daily Times, 20 November 1936.
Wilson Daily Times, 29 October 1940.
Wilson Daily Times, 2 July 1943.
Wilson Daily Times, 26 June 1946.
Wilson Daily Times, 2 September 1946.
Wilson Daily Times, 9 September 1949.
This ad for Darden Memorial Funeral Home appeared in the 1947-48 edition of Hill’s Wilson City Directory.
These ads appeared in the 1947-48 edition of Hill’s Wilson City Directory. Based 25 miles away in Goldsboro, North Carolina, Hamilton Funeral Home was a late arrival to the somewhat crowded black undertaker scene in Wilson, jostling stalwarts Darden Memorial and C.E. Artis.
On 13 August 1935, Talmon Hunter, of Wilson County, son of Will and Callie Hunter of Wilson County, married Naomi Swinney, 22, of Wilson County, daughter of Samuel and Georgia Swinney of Wilson County, in Nashville, Nash County.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 530 East Nash Street, Salmon Hunter, 29, born in Georgia, funeral director for a burial concern.
Talmon Hunter died 5 May 1986 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 23 November 1913 in Dodge County, Georgia, to Will Hunter and Callie Wilcher; resided at 707 East Nash; worked as a funeral director; and was married to Naomi Swinney Hunter.
Naomi S. Hunter died seven months later, on 31 December 1986. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 November 1913 in Roberson County, North Carolina, to Samuel Swinney and Georgia Rickett; was a widow; and resided at 707 East Nash. Informant was son Joseph S. Hunter, Greensboro, North Carolina.
The photograph in this advertisement for Bardin Brothers is undated, but it was published in the 1960 edition of Lee Woodard High School’s Panther’s Paw yearbook. Black Wide-Awake’s focus is pre-1950, but I am sharing as a rare image of African-Americans born early in the 20th century who lived and worked in rural Wilson County. I cannot identify any of the men and women depicted alongside members of the Bardin family. However, Bardin Brothers’ sweet potato farm-cum-gas station-and-grocery stood off Highway 117 Alternate South at Yank and Potato House Court Roads, just north of the town of Black Creek, and presumably these workers and/or customers lived in the neighboring community.
If you recognize anyone, please let me know.
Many thanks to Wayne Edwards for bringing this photo to my attention.
In the earliest years of his ministry, Rev. Fred M. Davis continued to ply his trade as a wallpaper hanger, sign painter and interior decorator.
Wilson Advance, 8 February 1894.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Fred M. Davis, 33, paper hanger; wife Diannon, 31; children Eva M., 6, Bertha E., 5, and Fred M., 17 months; plus mother Judith Davis, 50, laundress.
The 1926 Winoca, the yearbook of Wilson High School:
This ad, placed by William Hines Barber Shop, is the sole evidence that there were any colored people at all in Wilson.
[In the 1920s and early ’30s, Wilson’s two high schools were Wilson High School and Wilson Colored High School. By the end of the latter decade, they were Charles L. Coon High School — named for the teacher-slapping superintendent who spurred a school boycott by black parents — and Charles H. Darden High School.]
Yearbook courtesy of Wilson County Public Library.