Artis

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.

The obituary of Larry Artis, 99.

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When I’ve gone the last mile of the way,
I will rest at the close of the day;
And I know there are joys that await me,
When I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

Mr. Larry Artis, 99, of 100 A St., departed this earthly life on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at his home in the North End Section of Goldsboro, North Carolina. Larry was born on March 03, 1918 to John Eddie and Alneda Artis in Wilson, North Carolina.
Larry joined the Army in Apr 1941 and served in World War II. Mr. Artis served in the US Army from April 2, 1941 to August 31, 1945 in the East Indies, Papua and New Guinea in a all Negro Construction Battalion. While in the US Army He was decorated with the WW II Victory Medal; Asiatic Pacific Theatre Campaign Medal with 3 bronze service stars; the American Defense Service Medical and the Distinguished Unit Emblem. He was honorably discharged August 31, 1945. He did his basic training at Fort Bragg and was then shipped over to the Pacific. He was a See Bee (Construction Battalion). He was decorated with an Asiatic Pacific Theatre Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars; an American Defense Service Medal; a Distinguished Unit Emblem and a WW II Victory Medal. When he was there, he visited Australia when they were given leave. He was honorably discharged in October 31, 1944.

He was a member of St. James Holiness Church of Stantonsburg, North Carolina where he sung in the choir. On November 1, 1953, Larry married the former Lillie Frazier of Central Heights. To this union two sons was born, Nelson and Michael. Nelson has since passed away.

Mr. Artis was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lillie F. Artis; his son and daughter-in-law, Nelson Frazier and Jewel Frazier; his grandson, Nelson Frazier, Jr.; his siblings, Jesse Artis, Eddie Artis, Henry Artis, Mammy Artis, Clyda Newsome, Carrie Lee Newsome, Mary McCoy and Lizzie Mae Thomas. Larry leaves to cherish his lifelong memories; one son, Michael (Dawn) Artis; two sisters, Avris Jean White and Maggie Diamond; grandchildren, Savonnah Re’ Artis, Stephanie Davis, Tony Atkinson, Sharon Atkinson; great grandchildren, Greg Davis, Jr. and Kim Davis; and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Please remember the Artis family in your prayer time as they have entrusted their Final Services of Love and Compassionate Care to Serenity Memorial Funeral Home & Cremations, LLC.

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In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg & Wilson Road, John Ed Artis, 31, tenant farmer; wife Maggie, 32; and children Jessie, 9, Rosa, 7, Henry, 5, Claud, 2, Lyra, 2, and Ella, 6 months.

In the 1930 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: John E. Artis, 41, farmer, widower, and children Jesse, 19, Rosa, 18, Henry, 15, Claud, 13, Larry, 12, Mary, 10, Eddie, 8, Mamie, 6, Carry L., 4, and Maggie, 2.

In the 1940 census of Indian Springs township, Wayne County: farmer Earnest Thomas, 31; wife Lizzie Mae, 25; and children Earnesteen, 9, Doris, 8, and Louise, 6; and lodger Lara Artist, 21, farm laborer.

In 1940, Larry Artis registered for the World War II draft in Wayne County. Per his registration card, he was born 3 March 1919 in Evansdale, Wilson County; resided at R.F.D. #1, Dudley, Wayne County; his contact was brother-in-law Ernest Thomas; and he was engaged infarming.

On 1 November 1953, Larry Artis, 34, of Goldsboro, son of John Eddie Artis and Mattie Clay Artis, married Lillie M. Frazier, 34, of Goldsboro, daughter of Wright Frazier and Nettie Hines Frazier. Holiness minister W.H. Holiday performed the ceremony at Saint James Holiness Church in Stantonsburg, Wilson County, in the presence of Johnie Newsome, Hackney Artis and Henry Artis.

Division of lots in Stantonsburg.

Brothers William M. Artis and Walter S. Artis were primarily residents of the Eureka area of northeast Wayne County, but owned property in Wilson County. (As did their siblings Cain Artis, June S. Artis, Columbus E. Artis, Josephine Artis Sherrod and Alberta Artis Cooper.) Walter Artis and wife Hannah E. Forte Artis sued William Artis and wife Etta Diggs Artis for the partition of three lots they jointly owned in the town of Stantonsburg. (Filing suit does not necessarily indicate an adversarial situation. It is simply the mechanism for initiating a legal division.)

In January 1941, a trio of commissioners met to partition the three lots into two more-or-less equal parts:

  • Lot 1 — This 50′ by 150′ lot at the intersection of Broad and Yelverton Streets was allotted to Hannah Artis. [This is odd and interesting. Why Hannah alone, and not to her and Walter jointly? He was alive in 1941, and they were still married.] Because Lot 1 was more valuable than Lot 2, Hannah was to pay William $212.50. Also, William had sixty days to move a small building behind the store on Lot 1 to Lot 2, or it would become Hannah’s property, and the owner of an oil tank buried on Lot 1 had sixty days to move it or to come to terms with Hannah. [The “store” is identified here as the building rented by John Whitley for a blacksmith shop.]
  • Lot 2 — A 100′ by 150′ lot (comprising two lots on a town plat map) adjacent to Lot 1.

Hannah Artis and William Artis split the cost of the proceeding, paying $22.35 each.

The approximate location of the Artis lots at the corner of West Broad and North Yelverton. As in Wilson, Stantonsburg’s African-American community was clustered “across the tracks.” 

William and Etta Diggs and three of their children, circa 1930s.

Deed Book 150, page 315, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse, Wilson. Photo from personal collection of Lisa Y. Henderson.

Negro doing well in the North.

During one of his annual visits home to Wilson, the News & Observer published a short feature on Silas Alexander Artis, who had once worked turning the power press at the Wilson Daily Times., a paper once operated by N.&O. founder Josephus Daniels. After leaving the paper, Artis attended Brick Agricultural, Industrial and Normal Institute in northern Edgecombe County before migrating North.

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News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 22 June 1922.

Was Silas A. Artis the son of Fereby Barnes Artis Barnes and her first husband, Benjamin Artis? If so, in the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Willis Barnes, 60; [his second] wife Fereby, 51; and [Fereby’s] children Morris, 20, Artis [sic], 16, Silas, 14, Wade, 12; and Fereby’s mother Rose Barnes, 50. (Though the surname of Fereby’s children was listed as Barnes, it was in fact Artis.)

In 1917, S. Alexander Artis registered for the World War I draft in New Haven, Connecticut. Per his registration card, he was born 4 July 1886 in New Orleans, Louisiana; resided at 171 Dixwell Street, New Haven; worked as a stationary fireman for Cauder Rubber Company, New Haven; and had “defective eyes.”

In the 1920 census of New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut: at 58 Hudson Street, rubber shop fireman Silas A. Artis, 34, born in Connecticut; wife Baptiste, 38; daughters Sila, 2, and Frances, 1; and Pearley Reeves, 24.

In the 1930 census of New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut: at 647 Orchard Street, houseman Silas A. Artis, 44, born North Carolina; wife Baptiste, 50; and daughters Sila, 13, and Frances, 11.

In 1942, Silas A. Artis registered for the World War II draft in New Haven. Per her registration card, he was born 4 July 1886 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 9 Northeast Drive, New Haven; worked for City of New Haven Park Department; and his contact was Sila A. Artis, 9 Northeast.

Silas A. Artis died in New Haven, Connecticut, on 13 August 1977.

New Haven Independent, 5 May 2009.

306 North Vick Street.

The one-hundred-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 building is: “ca. 1945; 1 story; Tudor Revival cottage; brick veneered; handsome, late example of the type.”

The 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory lists 306 North Vick as vacant. (The house was built for and occupied into the 1960’s by Separise P. and Grace Whitehead Artis. A door on the Washington Street side of the property still shows a decorative A on the screen door insert.)

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2019.