In addition to undertaking and embalming, Charles H. Darden & Sons offered a number of services, including bicycle repair. (Note the phone number. The Dardens were among the first in Wilson to get telephone service.)
Fourteen year-old Jessie Lee Davis was seated on the handlebars of his friend Walter Rogers‘ bicycle when a car made a left turn in front of them. Rogers did not see the car and ran into it, killing Davis. The driver of the car, a 22 year-old white man named Vernest Ballance, was initially charged with manslaughter in Davis’ death, but the case was dismissed after a preliminary hearing.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 705 East Green (one of several families in a rooming house), tobacco factory stemmer Thomas Rodgers, 37; wife Minorh, 33, housemaid; and children Ruth, 15, Joseph, 14, Otis G., 12, and Walter, 8.
One #3 Overland safety bicycle with Morgan & Wright pneumatic tires provided that if the said Mortgagor shall pay the sum of Forty six and 66/100 dollars with interest [illegible] and collection charges according to the terms of Nine certain promissory notes signed by said Mortgagor Payable to Rouse Hazard & Co on order as follows to wit:
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Sept 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Oct 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Nov 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Decr 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Jany 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Feby 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Mar 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Apl 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due May 10th 1893 for $6.66
Mortgage Book 35, page 24, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: John Rodgers, 30, day laborer; wife Mary E., 22; sister Minnie, 17; and boarder Sallie Barber, 35.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Railroad Street, John Rogers, 33, odd jobs; wife Mary E., 30; public school teacher; daughter Mary J., 2; and sisters Winnie, 22, cook, Ethel T., 12, and Ida E., 8.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: John Rodgers, 49, general laborer, and wife Mary, 38, at 555 [East] Nash Street.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 546 East Nash, John W. Rogers, 57, janitor at dry goods store; wife Mary R., 47; adopted son Leonard G., 7 (born in the West Indies to West Indian parents); and niece Ernestine Atkinson, 22.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: J. Wesley Rogers, 71, retail candy store operator, and wife Mary, 70, at 546 East Nash Street.
Mary Elizabeth Rogers died 24 May 1950 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 16 April 1878 in Smithfield, N.C., to John Thomas; was married; resided at 546 East Nash Street; and was buried in Thomas cemetery, Johnston County. Informant was Wesley Rogers.
John Wesley Rogers died 19 December 1951 at his home at 546 East Nash Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 May 1870 in Durham, N.C., to Charles Rogers; was a widower; had worked as a department store porter; and was buried in the Masonic cemetery. Earnestine Coley was informant.
In March 1905, Charles H. and Diana Darden conveyed to their son Camillus L. Darden a one-quarter interest (with a life interest retained) in a lot on the south side of Nash Street “whereon is located the new shop and hall” in order to encourage his interest in a bicycle repair business. The elder Dardens also leased to C.L. Darden one-half of the first and second floors in the shop building. The lease was to continue year after year for five dollars per year as long as C.L. pursued his business. If C.L. ever wished to sell his interest in the property, his parents had right of first refusal to purchase it for $250.
Deed book 72, page 49, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.