Wilson Mirror, 19 November 1890.
Frank Oscar Blount married Nettie Amanda Steward in Philadelphia in 1890.
Nettie S. Blount of 926 Lombard Street, aged about 30, died 2 April 1892 in Philadelphia. She was buried in Philadelphia’s Lebanon Cemetery.
Wilson N.C., May 31, 67
Freedmens Bureau Goldsboro N.C.
I respectfully wish to inform you that my grandsons Oscar & Marcus Blount (16 & 17 years of age) have been without my or their knowledge or consent bound to Mr. B.H. Blount, their former owner, while myself and their younger brother age seven years have to be supported by my son in law Daniel Vick. I am seventy years old and do think that common justice requires these boys to work at least in part for me & their younger brother as their mother is dead and their father does not claim to work for him. Mr. B.H. Blount once agreed to give the boys up to me but still holds on to them saying that his son G.W. Blount Esq. had arranged it for them to stay where they are till they are free.
Most Respectfully, Violet Blount
North Carolina Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1863-1872, Goldsboro (subassistant commissioner), Roll 15, Letters Received Jan 1867-Feb 1868.
News & Observer, 28 August 1908.
In 1908, a Harnett County runaway (known variously as Eliza Smith, Lydia Smith and Alice Williams) testified against Josephine Blount, who operated a house of prostitution out of the Orange Hotel on East Nash Street.
The 1908 city directory lists Josie Blount as proprietor of the Orange Hotel (though it was actually owned by Samuel H. Vick at the time.) Blount lived next door at 517 East Nash Street and may have been Vick’s relative.
We read earlier of Violet Blount‘s successful attempt to gain custody of her grandsons, Oscar and Marcus Blount, who were first cousins to Samuel H. Vick. Though that battle played out in the Goldsboro field office of the Freedmen’s Bureau, George W. Blount’s statement was filed in the Rocky Mount office. In it, he gave details about the relationship between the boys’ mother, Margaret Blount, and Samberry Battle.
Statement of G.W. Blount.
Margarett was the name of the mother of the children. Oscar & Marcus, two colored children bound to B.H. Blount their former master by Wilson County Court. The mother of these children is dead and has been for several years. Samberry Battle did have the mother of the children for a wife & by her begot one child who is now of age & whose name is William. After the birth of William the mother became intimate with another man, by name Hillman, by whom she had two children, James & [illegible]. After the birth of the first of these two Samberry left the mother on account of her infidelity and took another woman and never after had anything to do with the mother of these. Marcus has a different father from Oscar, and there is yet another child by a different father. It is notorious among negros & whites that Samberry is not the father of any of the children except William and never set up a claim to them, until recently. He has never mentioned the mother to B.H. Blount in whose custody the children have always been. The grandmother of the children is living under the protection of B.H. Blount who will not see her suffer and said Grandmother protests against the claim of Samberry Battle. The fathers of the two children referred to above if living are not in this country & if so could not claim them as they were both begotten illegitimately. Therefore the binding by the Court without Notice to them is valid. The binding was regular & in accordance to law.
Roll 56, Miscellaneous Records, Rocky Mount Assistant Superintendent’s Records, North Carolina Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1863-1872, National Archives and Records Administration images, www.familysearch.org.
News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 12 February 1908.
Daniel Vick and Fannie Blount registered their six-year cohabitation in Wilson County on August 31, 1866.
In 1867, Fannie Blount Vick’s grandmother, Violet Blount, filed a letter with the Goldsboro Field Office of the Freedmen’s Bureau opposing the apprenticeship of her grandsons Marcus and Oscar to Benjamin H. Blount, their former owner. She named Daniel Vick as a suitable “master” for the boys, who were the sons of his wife’s deceased sister.
In 1868, Daniel Vick single-handedly halted a fire that threatened to devour all of Wilson’s downtown.
In 1877, Vick purchased one acre of land just east of Wilson town limits, his first recorded real estate acquisition.
In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: grist mill worker Daniel Vick, 38, wife Fannie, 35, children Samuel, 16, Nettie, 14, Earnest Linwood, 12, Henry, 10, and James O.F. Vick, 8, plus Frank O., 20, and Marcus W. Blount, 26.
In 1883, Vick was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Colored Graded School.
In 1884, Vick was appointed to a mail carrier position in Wilson, ousting a younger white man who had held the patronage position. (Mail carriers transferred mail arriving by train to the post office for local delivery.)
In 1888, Vick was elected as a delegate to the Wilson County Republican convention.
In 1893, Argent Farmer sued Vick over contested ownership of property along what is now Church Street.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: carpenter Daniel Vick, 52; wife Fannie, 52; and granddaughters Annie, 8, and Nettie B. Vick, 6, and Mamie Parker, 20, laundress. Vick reported that both his parents were born in Virginia.
“The colored Odd Fellows cemetery just on the outskirts of the southeastern section of the city” was abandoned in the mid-20th century. Though Daniel Vick surely had a headstone, it now has been buried, lost or destroyed. [Update: I located Daniel Vick’s headstone in February 2020.]
When Lily-White Republican Senator Jeter C. Pritchard set out to oust postmaster Samuel H. Vick, who represented “the last vestige of negro office holders in the state,” a slew of prominent Wilson Democrats bucked convention to rally in Vick’s favor. Among the politicians, lawyers and businessmen supporting Vick was John H. Blount, whose letter of recommendation noted that Vick’s “mother and grandmother belonged to [his] father.”
The writer of this opinion piece mocks the Democrats who had once lamented Vick’s sinecure, “pictur[ing] how their dear wives and daughters were humiliated by having to transact all their postal business at Wilson with a negro postmaster and negro postal clerks.”
The People’s Paper (Charlotte, N.C.), 10 December 1902.
The seventeenth 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. 1908; 1 story; John Blount House; triple-A cottage with bracketed porch posts; Blount was a barber.”
John Blount, 24, married Jane Bryant, 21, on 4 March 1886, at Caroline Vick‘s in Wilson. E.H. Ward, Missionary Baptist minister performed the ceremony in the presence of Vick, Julius Watkins and Bettie Rountree.
In the 1900 census of Goldsboro, Wayne County: on William Street, John Blount, 38, and wife Jane, 35.
John Blount is listed in the 1908, 1912 and 1916 Wilson city directories as a barber living at 206 Pender. The 1912 directory lists his work address as 422 East Nash.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Hagarty Street [briefly, the name of Pender Street], barber John Blount, 48, wife Mary J., 44, and son Walter, 9.
John Blount died 29 October 1917 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1863 in Greene County to Wright and H. Blunt and worked as a barber. Informant was J.W. Blunt.
In the 1920 Wilson city directory, Jane Blount is listed as a domestic living at 206 Pender Street.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 305 North Pender Street, Julius Parker, 50, coal company laborer; wife Mollie, 42; and children Pearl Mae, 23, and James O., 19. In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, Julius Parker is listed at 305 Pender with wife Mollie. His occupation was driver for Carolina Builders Supply Corp. Son James L. Parker, a student, had a separate listing at 305 Pender. (Julius Parker, 20, son of Jason and Annis Parker, married Mollie Ricks, 18, daughter of A. and Cherry Ricks, in Toisnot township on 25 December 1913. Elder B.W. Tippett, a Freewill Baptist minister, performed the ceremony at Jason Parker’s in the presence of S.S. Strickland, H.F. Boswell and Mc. Whitehead.)
In the 1959 and 1963 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city director Herman W. Edwards was listed as the occupant of 305 North Pender Street. His descendants own and occupy the house today.
Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017.
Wilson Mirror, 11 June 1890.
Twenty years later though, Arthur N. Darden, just 21 and the youngest son of Charles H. and Diana Scarborough Darden, was knocking on doors in the streets of Wilson. (Counting black households, only, of course.)
A month after his wife’s death, Julius Freeman, Austin J. Lindsey and Braswell R. Winstead placed an ad in Raleigh’s African-American newspaper to show respects to their lodge brother Marcus W. Blount.
Raleigh Gazette, 28 November 1896.
In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Louiza Bryant, 30, Cornelius Harriss, 23, Catherine Harriss, 20, Cornelius Harriss, 1, Ann Bryant, 9, Willie Bryant, 8, and Alice Ellis, 15.
Prior to 1880, Ann Bryant married Samuel Smith. In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: iron foundry worker Samuel Smith, 28, wife Anna, 19, and brother Simeon, 23, school teacher. Samuel died in early 1882, and his will entered probate in May of that year.
On 27 December 1888, Mark Blount, 35, son of Sebery Battle and Margaret Blount, married Annie Smith, 27, daughter of Louisa Bryant. F.O. Blount applied for the license on his brother’s behalf. The couple were married at the A.M.E. Zion church in the presence of F.O. Blount and their nephews S.H. and W.H. Vick.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: the widower Mark Blount, 38, a cook, and his children Coneva, 10, Dotsey, 9, and Theodore W., 6, were lodgers in the household of George Faggin, just a few households away from Samuel Vick.