Artis

310 North Reid Street.

The one hundred-nineteenth 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: “ca. 1930; 1 story; Thomas Foster house; bungalow with hip roof and engaged porch; Foster was janitor at Wilson post office.”

In the 1925, 1928 and 1930 Wilson city directories, Thomas and Olivia Foster are listed at 310 North Reid.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: owned and valued at $3000, Tom Foster, 45, post office janitor, and wife Oliva, 43.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: owned and valued at $3000, John T. Foster, 60, post office janitor; wife Olivia, 59; and her brother Claude Artist, 53, odd jobs.

In 1940, Du Bissette Best registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 26 January 1922 in Wilson; lived at 308 North Reid; his contact was Tom Foster, 310 North Reid; and he worked for W.G. Taylor, Taylor’s Barber Shop, 106 South Tarboro.

Tom Foster died 17 October 1956 at Mercy Hospital. Per his death certificate, he was born 3 April 1883 in Wayne County to John Thomas Foster and Louise Thompson; was married to Olivia Foster; worked as an elevator laborer; and resided at 310 North Reid.

Olivia Foster died 15 November 1956 at her home at 310 North Reid. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 October 1886 in Wayne County to Jesse Artis and Lucinda Hobbs; was a widow. Informant was Ada Rowe, 1006 Atlantic Street, Wilson.

Tom and Olivia Foster had mortgaged their home early in 1955 and, the spring after their deaths, the loan went into default. Trustee Wade A. Gardner posted this notice of sale in the local newspaper. Among the details: the Fosters had purchased the lot, part of the Rountree Tract, from Levi H. and Hannah Peacock in 1916.

Wilson Daily Times, 9 May 1957.

Around the same time, Tom Foster’s executor advertised a sale of the contents of the house, which offers an interesting glimpse at the typical furnishings of a working-class household in mid-century East Wilson.

Wilson Daily Times, 8 June 1957.

Claude Artis died 16 January 1960 at his home at 310 North Reid Street. Per his death certificate, he was born 3 January 1890 in Wayne County to Jesse Artis and Lucinda Hobbs; was never married; and worked as a laborer. Ada Rowe, 310 North Reid, was informant. (Claude Artis was Olivia Artis Foster’s brother. Did he buy the house, or did he pay rent to whomever purchased it?)

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2019.

Shooting scrape.

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Wilson Advance, 12 March 1896.

  • James Artist — perhaps, in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: brickmason James B. Artis, 26; wife Cornelia, 31; and son Solomon, 7 months; plus brother-in-law Charlie B. Fort, 12.
  • West Barnes — perhaps, in the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farm laborer Willis Barnes, 30; wife Cherry, 25; and children Rachael, 7, West, 5, Jesse, 2, and Ned, 5 months. In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Willis Barnes, 42; wife Cherey, 20; stepdaughter Rachel Battle, 17; children Wesley, 15, Jesse, 13, Ned, 11, Eddie, 7, Mary Barnes, niece Ellen Battle, 2; and son Willey Barnes, 1. On 4 June 1885, Sylvester [sic] Barnes, 21, married Ellar Mercer, 22, at Dempsey Mercer’s in Wilson County. In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: teamster Wesley Barnes, 32; wife Ella, 35; and children Joseph, 14, Lucy, 11, Sylvester, 7, Viola, 5, and Charley, 3. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: West Barnes, 44; wife Ella, 47; and children Sylvester, 17, Viola, 15, and Charlie, 13. Wesley Barnes died 20 January 1919 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 54 years old; was born in Wilson County to Willis Barnes and Cherry Eatmon; was married to Ellar Barnes; and worked as a drayman for Tominson & Company.

Sarah Artist Battle of Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Indianapolis Recorder, 1 October 1938.

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In the 1880 census of Greencastle township, Putnam County, Indiana: farmhand Jonathan Artis, 47; wife Margret, 39; and children Evert, 19, Gray, 16, Sarah, 14, Tamer, 12, Minnie, 10, Rose, 8, John, 6, Jonathan, 4, and Willie, 2.

In the 1900 census of Indianapolis, Indiana: at 2419 North Oxford, Margaret Artist, 57, and children John, 24, day laborer, Jonathan, 22, grocery deliveryman, Willie, 22, railroad section laborer, and Sarrah, 34.

In the 1910 census of Indianapolis, Indiana: Margaret Artist, 67, with family members John, 30, Emma, 34, and Damon Artis, 8; Ralph, 13, and Mona McWilliams, 8; and Rose, 29, and Sarah Artist, 40.

In the 1930 census of Greencastle, Putnam County, Indiana: in a house owned and valued at $300, Anthony Battle, 70, farmer, and wife Sarah, 70, both of North Carolina.

Sarah Artist Battle died 27 September 1938 in Evansville, Indiana. Per her death certificate, she was about 72 years old; was born in North Carolina to Jonathan Artist and Margaret Woodard; was married; and resided in Greencastle, Indiana.

They are non-residents of this state.

Hardy Lassiter died about 1853 in a section of Edgecombe County that two years later became part of the newly created Wilson County. During the probate of his estate, the court ordered this ad placed in an attempt to locate his daughter Sally Lassiter Artis and her husband, Morrison Artis.

The Tarborough Southerner, 24 September 1853.

Where were the Artises?  Indiana.

Morrison Artis, son of Micajah and Bedie Powell Artis, was born about 1822 in or near what would become Wilson County. His father Micajah is listed as a head of household in the 1830 census of Taylor district, Nash County, and the 1840 census of Davis district, Wayne County. Morrison Artis married Sarah “Sally” Lassiter circa 1845. Born about 1827 in what was then Edgecombe County, she was the daughter of Hardy and Obedience Lassiter. Morrison and Sally’s first child, Benjamin F. Artis, was born in 1847, and within a year or so the family struck out for Indiana with Morrison’s family.

In the 1850 census of District 85, Parke County, Indiana: Morrison Artis, 24, farmer; wife Sarah, 21; and children Benjamin, 3, and Rachel, 6 months. All except Rachel were born in North Carolina.

In the 1850 census of District 85, Parke County, Indiana: Micajah Artis, 50, farmer; wife Bedy, 40; and children Arcada, 17, Eliza, 14, Burket, 4, and Henriette, 1. All but Henriette were born in North Carolina.

In the 1860 census of Reserve township, Parke County, Indiana: farmer Morrison Artis, 35; wife Sally, 33; and children Benjamin, 13, Rachel. 10, and Martha, 5. Morrison reported owning $1000 in real property and $465 in personal property.

In the 1860 census of Adam township, Parke County, Indiana: Micajah Artis, 58, farmer; wife Beda, 50; and children Birket, 16, Henrietta, 10, Elmeda, 8, and Benson, 7.

Per Early Black Settlements by County, indianahistory.org, “During the 1850s, the Bassett, Artis and Ellis families left Parke County, Indiana, and established a settlement in Ervin Township. (The Bassett and Artis families were free African Americans who came to Indiana from North Carolina.)  At least 11 families lived in this area that became a small farming community of blacks sometime known as the Bassett Settlement or the Bassett and Ellis Settlement.  They had a school, church, cemetery (located at 950 W.), general store, blacksmith shop and a post office.  Some of the other surnames associated with the settlement include Canady, Griggs, Jones, Kirby, Mosely, and Wilson.

“Zachariah and Richard Bassett served as ministers at the Free Union Baptist Church in Howard County.  The 1870 census list Bassetts, Artis, and Ellis as farmers.  Richard had land valued at $8,400 and Morrison Artis’s land was valued at $2,800.  In 1892, Richard Bassett became the third black person to be elected to the Indiana state legislature.”

The heart of the Bassett Settlement as shown in this 1877 plat map. Two parcels are labeled M. Artis — one, perhaps, Micajah and the other Morrison. A small cross is visible at the center of the image in a parcel marked R. Bassett; it marks the community cemetery in which the older Artises were buried. [For an account of my visit to Bassett cemetery and a family connection to this place, see here and here.]

In the 1870 census of Ervin township, Howard County, Indiana: Morrison Artis, 46; wife Sarah, 40; and children Benjamin, 23, Martha, 16, and William, 1. Morrison reported owning $2800 in real property and $500 in personal property.

In the 1870 census of Ervin township, Howard County, Indiana: Macajah Artis, 65, farmer; wife Bedea, 65; and children Henrietta, 22, Almedia, 20, and Benson 17. Morrison reported owning $700 in real property and $100 in personal property.

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Indianapolis Leader, 30 August 1879.

In the 1880 census of Ervin township, Howard County, Indiana: farmer Morrison Artis, 57; wife Sarah, 55; children Benjamin, 33, Martha, 26, and William M., 11; and grandson Melvin, 8.

In 1891, Morrison Artis was nearly swindled from his life’s accumulation in a fraudulent land transaction.

Kokomo Saturday Tribune, 12 May 1891.

Morrison Artis died in April 1896 after terrible head injuries sustained when his spooked horse threw him, then fell on him.

Kokomo Daily Tribune, 9 April 1896.

Benjamin F. Artis died 8 September 1910 in Coopers Grove, Howard County, Indiana. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 February 1947 in North Carolina to Morrison Artis and Sarah Lassiter; was married to Caroline Artis; and was a retired laborer.

Melvina Bassett died 7 April 1917 in Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana. Per her death certificate, she was born April 1839 in North Carolina to Micajah Artis and Bedie Powell; was the widow of John Bassett; and was buried in Bassett cemetery. William Bassett was informant.

Benson Artis died 17 April 1919 in Kokomo, Howard County, Indiana. Per his death certificate, he was 56 years old; was born in Indiana to M. Artis and an unknown mother; was single; lived at 145 Western Avenue, Kokomo.

William M. Artis died 27 August 1920 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 26 February 1869 in Indiana to Morrison Artis and an unknown mother; was married to Lula Artis; worked as a laborer; and was buried in Kokomo.

U.S. Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Jonathan Artist (Jr.) of Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Indianapolis Star, 27 October 1945.

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In the 1880 census of Greencastle township, Putnam County, Indiana: farmhand Jonathan Artis, 47; wife Margret, 39; and children Evert, 19, Gray, 16, Sarah, 14, Tamer, 12, Minnie, 10, Rose, 8, John, 6, Jonathan, 4, and Willie, 2.

In 1894, Jonathan Artist graduated from Brightwood School’s eighth grade class.

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Indianapolis News, 6 June 1894.

He was the sole “colored” member of the Brightwood High School graduating class of 1896. Per an article printed in the 6 June 1896 of the Indianapolis Journal, as part of commencement exercises, he read an eight-minute essay on “The New Lochinvar.”

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Indianapolis News, 22 May 1896.

In the 1900 census of Indianapolis, Indiana: at 2419 Oxford, Margret Artis, 57, widow, and children John, 24, day laborer, Jonathan, 22, grocery deliverer, Willie, 20, railroad section hand, and Sarrah, 34, all born in North Carolina.

On 3 December 1902, Jonathan Artist married Carrie Broshiers in Marion County, Indiana.

Indianapolis Sun, 1 December 1902.

Twelve years after graduation, Artist was advocating on behalf of children at school in the Oak Hill neighborhood. The school site was too far from the homes of the children it served, he complained. Though the school board’s business director was instructed to consult a house mover about relocating the building, “it is not likely that the school will be moved.”

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Indianapolis Star, 15 July 1908.

Elliott Artist was born 4 July 1909 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Jonathan Artis, 32, of North Carolina, a laborer, and Carrie Broshier, 27, of Indiana. The family resided at 2623 North Oxford, and Elliott was the fifth of five children, all of whom were surviving. [This child was later known as Francis Artist.]

In the 1910 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 2623 North Oxford, grocery company laborer Jonathan Artist, 29; wife Cary, 28; children Cecil, 7, Thelma, 6, Raymond, 4, Juanita, 2, and Francis, 9 months; father-in-law Abner Broshier, 65; sister-in-law Alice Broshier, 34; brother-in-law David Broshier, 21; and sisters-in-law Maiza, 19, and Eva Broshier, 16.

George Gilbert Artist was born 8 June 1911 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Jonathan Artis, 32, of North Carolina, a laborer, and Carrie Broshears, 29, of Indiana, a housewife. The family resided at 2623 Oxford Street, and George was the sixth of six children, all of whom were surviving.

Leslie Artist was born 25 November 1912 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to John Artis, 31, of North Carolina, a grocery driver, and Carrie Broshier, 29, of Indiana, a housewife. The family resided at 1930 Columbia Avenue, and Leslie was the seventh of seven children, all of whom were surviving.

An unnamed male child was born 7 December 1915 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Jonathan Artis, 38, of North Carolina, and Carrie Brochere, 29, of Indiana. The family resided at 1930 Columbia Street, and the child was the eighth of eight children, of whom seven were surviving. [This child’s birth certificate was not filed until 13 December 1915 and in the intervening week the attending physician misremembered the baby’s birthdate. Per his death certificate, “Infant Jonathan Artist” was born premature on 6 December 1915 and died 7 December. ]

Juanita Artis died 26 August 1916 in Indianapolis of tetanus contracted from a splinter in her foot. Per her death certificate, she was born 9 September 1906 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist and Carrie Broshears and lived at 2148 Arsenal Avenue.

An unnamed male child was born 5 December 1916 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Jonathan Artis, 38, of North Carolina, a porter, and Carrie Broshire, 30, of Indiana. The family resided at 2144 North Arsenal, and the child was the ninth of nine children, of whom seven were surviving. [This was son Cornelius “Neal” Artis.]

An unnamed male child was born 6 July 1919 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Jonathan Artis, 41, of North Carolina, and Carrie Broshire, 33, of Indiana. The family resided at 2508 Euclid, and the child was the ninth of nine children [sic, he was tenth of ten], of whom eight were surviving.

In 1919, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & Saint Louis Railroad Company police snatched up Artist while he was walking near the railway and locked him on a vagrancy charge. The city court threw out the case, and Artist sued for false imprisonment.

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Indianapolis Star, 29 May 1919.

In the 1920 census of of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: on Phipp Street, grocery driver Jonethan Artist, 48; wife Carrie, 34;  and children Cecil, 17, Thelma, 15, Raymond, 14, Francis, 10, George, 8, Leseley, 7, Cornelius, 3, and Burton, 6 months.

Seven months later, Artist’s case was “compromised,” or settled, when he accepted a $250 payment from the railroad company.

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Indianapolis News, 16 February 1920.

In 1923, Jonathan Artist took on the school board, filing suit for equal treatment for his children. Though they were allowed to attend School No. 51 (now James Russell Lowell School No. 51) with white children, they were excluded from classrooms and forced to sit in closets to receive instruction.

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Indianapolis News, 28 November 1923.

Cecil Artist died 17 December 1924 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 4 January 1903 to John Artist of North Carolina and Carrie Broshears of Indiana; was a school boy; and resided at 2508 Euclid.

Carrie Artist died 3 October 1928 in Indianapolis. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 January [1881] in Indiana to Abner Broshiers of Kentucky and Luella Winfrey of Kentucky; was married to Jonathan Artist; and lived at 2508 Euclid Avenue.

In the 1930 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 2508 Euclid Avenue, owned and valued at $1800, grocery salesman Jonathan Artist, 51, widower; and children Thelma, 25, Raymond, 24, coal yard chauffeur, Francis, 20, odd jobs laborer, George, 18, dog pound chauffeur, Leslie, 17, garage repairman, Cornelius, 13, and Vincent, 10.

Raymond Artist died 21 August 1933 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 31 December 1906 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist of North Carolina and Carrie Broshear of Evansville, Indiana; worked as a mechanic; and was single.

In the 1940 census of of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 2508 Euclid Avenue, retail grocery clerk Johnathan Artist, 54, widower; and children Cornelius, 23, coal yard foreman, Vincent, 20, and Leslie, 26, both glass manufacturing laborers, and daughter-in-law Sarah, 18.

Indianapolis Recorder, 29 January 1944.

Leslie Artis died 30 October 1961 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 24 November 1913 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist and Carrie Broshiers; lived at 222 1/2 West 18th Street; and worked as a fertilizer company laborer. Widow Sadie  Artist was informant.

Thelma Artist died 28 April 1978 in Indianapolis. Per her death certificate, she was born 32 March 1904 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist and Carrie (last name unknown); lived at 2508 North Euclid Avenue; and worked as a domestic worker. Vincent Artist was informant.

Francis Artist died 27 May 1981 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 4 July 1909 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist and Carrie (last name unknown); was divorced; and worked as a construction worker. Vincent Artist was informant.

Vincent Artist died 15 April 1986 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 July 1919 in Indianapolis to Johnathan Artist and Carrie Brosheres; was never married; worked as a automotive repairman; and lived at 2508 North Euclid. Brother Neal Artist was informant.

George G. Artist died 19 June 1991 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 8 June 1911 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist and Carrie Breshere and was a U.S. post office mail handler. Informant was daughter Roselyn Artist.

Neal C. Artist died 6 December 2006 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 December 1916 in Indianapolis to Jonathan Artist and Carrie (last name unknown); was a widower; and worked as a tool and die inspector.

Josephine Artis Sherrod turns 100.

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Wilson Daily Times, 18 May 1987.

Josephine Artis Sherrod, a sister of Cain Artis, William M. Artis, Walter S. Artis, Alberta Artis Cooper, Columbus E. Artis and June S. Artis, was matriarch of a tight-knit family centered on two blocks of Viola Street described within the family as Sherrod Village.

Hannah Ellis Artis Farmer and family of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Xenia Daily Gazette, 11 April 1935.

Ardeaner (Mrs. Fred) Rountree Cosby and David, Helen and Charles P. Rountree Jr. were cousins, the children of Joseph and Adeline Artis Rountree and Charles and Alice Thorn Rountree, respectively. Their relationship to Hannah Ellis Artis Farmer is unclear. Were they related via her first husband, John Artis, son of Arch and Rose Farmer Artis? Via Charles and Joseph Rountree’s father (or grandfather) Jesse H. Artis? Was Ardeaner (who shared a first name with Hannah Farmer’s daughter) a double-cousin via her mother Adeline, daughter of Ned Artis? If so, how were Ned, Arch and Jesse H. Artis related?

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In the 1870 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farm laborer Jackson Ellis, 45; wife Margaret, 36; children Hannah, 17, and Hewel, 11; and Hannah Ellis, 90.

On 29 February 1872, Hannah Ellis, daughter of Jack and Margaret Ellis, married John Artist, son of Arch and Rose Artist, at H. Dew’s.

In the 1894 Polk’s Indianapolis, Indiana, City Directory: Artist Hannah (wid John) h James (B[rightwood]). [Brightwood was a railroad settlement formed in the 1870s and is now a neighborhood in northeast Indianapolis.]

On 23 February 1897, Jason Farmer married Hannah Aretts in Marion County, Indiana.

In the 1900 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 2313 Oxford, day laborer Jason Farmer, 37; wife Hanna, 46; and step-daughters Maggie, 25, cook, Ardena, 14, and Pennie, 12. All were born in North Carolina.

In the 1910 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 2325 Oxford, foundry laborer Jason Farmer, 46; wife Hanna, 56; and stepdaughter Penetta Artis, 22, hairdresser.

On 25 May 1918, Pennetta Artis, 29, of Wilson, N.C., daughter of John Artis and Hannah Ellis, married Osber Ballinger in Marion County, Indiana.

In the 1920 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 2325 Oxford, auto shop laborer Jason Farmer, 55; wife Hanna, 60; son-in-law Osborne Ballinger, 26, auto shop laborer, born in Kentucky; and daughter Pettie, 32, housekeeper.

In the 1930 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: odd jobs laborer Jason C. Farmer, 60, and wife Hanna, 75.

Hannah Farmer died 6 April 1935 in Center township, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 April 1856 in North Carolina to Jack Ellis and Margaret [maiden name unknown]; was married to Jason C. Farmer; lived at 2329 North Oxford; and was buried in Crown Hill cemetery. Maggie Taylor, 441 West 25th, was informant.

Jason Cornelius Farmer applied for a Social Security number in September 1937. Per his application, he was born 6 May 1869 in Wilson, N.C., to Cornelius and Peggy Farmer.

Jason Cornelius Farmer died 12 August 1842 in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 May 1853 in Wilson,N.C., in Wilson, N.C., to parents unknown; was a widower; and was a job laborer. Informant was Maggie Taylor.

Ardena A. Hamm died 10 December 1942 in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 January 1890 in Wilson, N.C. to John Artis and Hannah Ellis; was married to John H. Hamm; resided at 1038 Roache Street; and worked as a maid. She was buried in Crown Hill cemetery.

Maggie A. Taylor died 30 May 1943 in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 April 1882 in North Carolina to John Artis and Hannah Ellis; was married to John Taylor; resided at 441 West 25th; and was buried in Crown Hill cemetery.

Walter Artis Sr. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Walter Artis migrated from Wilson County to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the first decade of the 20th century. He adopted a variant spelling of his surname — “Arties.” He was the brother of Adeline Artis Rountree.

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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, 14.

Pittsburgh Gazette, 6 May 1909.

Oscar Arties died 20 February 1913 in Pittsburgh. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 June 1911 in Pittsburgh to Walter Arties of North Carolina and Lottie Coles of Virginia, and lived at 2203 Bedford Avenue.

Xenia Evening Gazette, 9 September 1913.

Elsie L. Arties died 3 January 1914 in Pittsburgh. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 December 1904 in Pittsburgh to Walter Arties of North Carolina and Lottie C. Coles of Lexington County, Virginia; lived at 2203 Bedford Avenue; and was a school girl.

In the 1920 census of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: at 604 Francis Street, steel mill laborer Walter Artis, 48; wife Lottie, 38; nephew Vernon Burke, 22; niece Janie Burke, 19; son Walter Artis, 6; mother-in-law Sarah Cole, 60; and niece Hazel L. Burke, 11 months.

In the 1930 census of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: at 911 Moore Way, rented at $23/month, Walter Artis, 52, odd jobs laborer, born in North Carolina; wife Lottie, 48, born in Virginia; children Walter Jr., 16, and Hazel, 11, both born in Pennsylvania; and lodgers James, 28, and Nellie Terry, 25.

Lottie Artis died 12 May 1930 in Pittsburgh. Per her death certificate, she was born 13 March 1881 in Lexington County, Virginia, to William H. Coles of Hanover County and Sarah Andrews of Richmond; was married to Walter Artis; resided at 911 Kirkpatrick; and was buried in Lincoln cemetery. Lucy Perry, 2218 Arcena, was informant.

Walter Arties applied for a Social Security number in 1937. Per his application, he was born in Wilson County, North Carolina, on 18 October 1872 to Ned Artis and Jane Bynam.

In the 1940 census of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: at 2232 Bedford Avenue, Walter Artis, 67, and wife Lena, 58.

Walter Arties Sr. died 5 November 1952 in Pittsburgh. Per his death certificate, he was about 75 years old; was born in North Carolina to Ned Artis and an unknown mother; lived at 2232 Bedford Avenue; worked as a bank janitor. Walter Arties of New York was informant.

 

Snaps, no. 53: Joseph T. Rountree of Xenia, Ohio.

Joseph T. Rountree (1871-1932).

Joseph and Adeline Artis Rountree migrated to Xenia, Ohio, about 1889. They joined and were very active in Middle Run Baptist Church, and their lives were richly chronicled in regular columns of the Xenia Evening Gazette devoted to the city’s East End and “colored society.”

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Rebecca Rountree, 50, and children and grandchildren Henry, 20, butcher, John, 23, barber, Dempsy, 26, farm laborer, Charles, 15, Benjamin, 24, butcher, Mary, 30, domestic servant, Joseph, 9, Willie, 8, Lucy, 20, domestic servant, Worden, 2, and Charles, 1.

On 6 November 1879, Joseph Rountree, 21, married Adeline Artice, 19, in Wilson County.

In the 1880 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 272 Northwest Street, Joseph Rountree, 23, laborer, and wife Adeline, 19, both born in North Carolina. [It appears that the Rountrees joined the Exoduster movement to Indiana, though they quickly returned to North Carolina. (To leave again for Ohio later.)]

Xenia Daily Gazette, 26 August 1897. Quinsy, now known as a peritonsillar abscess, is a rare and potentially serious complication of tonsillitis.

In the 1900 census of Xenia, Greene County, Ohio: at 902 East Third Street, Joseph Rountree, 40, clerk; wife Addie, 38; and daughters Ardeaner L., 17, and Ezza M.A., 15, all born in North Carolina.

On 27 June 1901, Ardeaner Rountree, 19, of Xenia, born in Wilson, North Carolina, to Joseph Rountree and Addie Artist, married Fredrick Cosby, 19, of Xenia, laborer, son of William Cosby and Fannie Blass, in Xenia, Ohio.

On 9 December 1902, John G. Simpson, 22, laborer, of Xenia, born in Perry County, Ohio, to S.L. Simpson and Mildred Lett, married Ezzie M. Rountree, 18, of Xenia, born in North Carolina to Joseph T. Rountree and Addie Artis, in Xenia, Ohio.

Xenia Daily Gazette, 22 November 1906. Adeline Artis Rountree’s mother was Jane Bynum Artis. 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.

Xenia Evening Gazette, 26 February 1910. Founded in 1822 by a formerly enslaved man, Middle Run Baptist church is the oldest black Baptist church in Ohio and was an important stop on the Underground Railroad.

In the 1910 census of Xenia, Greene County, Ohio: at 902 East Third Street, Joseph Roundtree, 50, odd jobs laborer; wife Addie, 48; and daughter Ezzie May, 24, who was listed as born in Ohio.

Xenia Evening Gazette, 2 September 1913.

Xenia Evening Gazette, 9 September 1913.

Xenia Evening Gazette, 9 December 1914. The Order of Calanthe (O.O.C.), established in 1883, is an auxiliary of the African-American Knights of Pythias of North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Here. J.T. Rountree was elected Worthy Protector and his daughter Ardena Cosby “R. of D.”

Xenia Evening Gazette, 7 February 1916. The obituary of J.T. Rountree’s mother, Mary Bynum Rountree.

In 1918, Fred Cosby registered for the World War I draft in Xenia, Ohio, Per his registration card, he was born 1 January 1882; worked for Pennsylvania Rail Road; lived at 900 East Third, Xenia; and was married to Ardenia Coley.

Xenia Evening Gazette, 5 August 1918.

On 3 September 1918, Ezzie M. Rountree, 27, daughter of J.G Rountree and Addie Artis, married Chester Davis, son of Tom Davis and Jennie Oaks, in Franklin County, Ohio.

In the 1920 census of Xenia, Greene County, Ohio: at 902 East Third Street, Joseph Rountree, 55, tobacco factory laborer, and wife Addie, 54. (Next door at 900: Fred Cosby, 34, railroad section hand, born in Ohio, and wife Ardena, 32, born in North Carolina.

In the 1922 Xenia, Ohio, City Directory: Rountree Jos T c[olored] (Addie) janitor Commercial & Savings Bank r 902 E 3rd

Xenia Evening Gazette, 19 June 1926.

Xenia Evening Gazette, 26 December 1928.

In the 1930 census of Xenia, Greene County, Ohio: at 902 East Third Street, Joseph Rountree, 40, clerk; wife Addie, 38; and daughters Ardeaner L., 17, and Ezza M.A., 15, all born in North Carolina.

Xenia Evening Gazette, 18 January 1930.

Joseph T. Roundtree died 12 May 1932 in Xenia. Per the application for letters of administration of his estate, he was survived by wife Addie Roundtree (for nine days only — she died May 21) and daughters Ardeanner Roundtree Cosby, 900 East Third Street, Xenia, and Ezzie M. Davis, 749 Edwards Street, Columbus, Ohio. Ardeanner Cosby was appointed administratrice.

Xenia Evening Gazette, 13 May 1932. The photo of Rountree above was printed with his obituary.

Joseph T. Rountree’s death certificate identifies his parents as Henry Rountree and Mary Gill.

Addie Artis Rountree’s death certificate.

Bad debts.

Among the men whose debts to deceased Theophilus Grice were listed in an inventory of his assets were these free men of color — Lewis Artis, Thomas Ayers, Richard Artis and Jacob Artis. (Actually, Thomas Ayers’ ethnicity is ambiguous. He may have been white, but appears to have been closely related to free colored Ayerses in the county.) All likely were close neighbors of Grice in the area around Bloomery Swamp in western Wilson (then Nash) County.

Lewis Artis owed for two loans — $17.00 incurred in 1806, and $13.05 incurred in 1808. Thomas Ayers had owed $29.79 since 1818. Richard Artis owed $15.84 since 1819. Jacob Artis had owed $14.56 since 1810. All the debts were described as “desperate” and were unlikely to be recovered.

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Images of estate documents available at North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.