On 28 March 1905, for $200, Calvin and Effie Blount sold Daniel Blount a one-quarter acre lot and house “on the south side of the Alley running from Cemetery Street towards the Colored Cemetery ….” The deed mentions several features of the landscape — several ditches, a bridge at the intersection of the alley with Cemetery Street, a house occupied by Walter Jones. (The ditches and bridge remind us that this was low-lying, flood-prone land, which was likely a factor in the abandonment of Oakdale Cemetery in favor of Vick Cemetery after 1913.)
Calvin Blount and Daniel Blount were likely either relatives or shared a history of enslavement by Richard H. Blount of Pitt, then Wilson, County.
Deed book 68, page 363, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.
In his 1909 will, Calvin Blount left to his “sons Wright Blount and Tillman Blount, whom I have not heard from in many years” a one-acre lot “on the edge of the Town of Wilson, State and County aforesaid, adjoining the lands of G.W. Sugg, Cater Sugg, and the Colored Cemetery….”
Blount had purchased that small lot in January 1867, less than a year after he was emancipated. He paid Richard Hines Blount, who was likely his former owner and a blood relative, $50 for the parcel, which was located just south and west of present-day Hines and Pender Streets.
Deed book 2, page 182, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.
The double headstone of Samuel H. Vick‘s parents Daniel and Fannie Blount Vick marks two of the oldest graves in Odd Fellows Cemetery.
The headstone was cast in what I call the Concrete Stipple style. Disturbingly, it was used as target practice at some point, and bullets took a chunk out of its top left corner and left a pockmark that obliterates Fannie Vick’s death date. (That date appears to start with “18,” but she was alive at the time the 1900 census was taken.)
Daniel Vick and Fannie Blount registered their six-year cohabitation in Wilson County on August 31, 1866. [Blount, for certain, and most likely Vick, arrived in Wilson from neighboring Nash County shortly after the Civil War.]
In 1867, Fannie Blount Vick’s mother, Violet Blount, filed letters 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 Fannie’s deceased sister Margaret.
In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: baker Samuel Williams, 30, carpenter Daniel Vick, 25, wife Fannie, 24, children Samuel, 8, Earnest, 3, andNettie M., 5, plus Violet Drake, 52.
In 1877, Vick purchased one acre of land just east of Wilson town limits, his first recorded real estate acquisition. He went on to purchase additional land along what is now Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.
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.
Calvin Blount owned land adjacent to Washington Suggs and purchased his property even earlier than Suggs did.
In 1870, Washington Suggs purchased a lot adjacent to “the grave yard lot” and the African church, south of downtown between the railroad and what is now Pender Street. In the 1890s, the town of Wilson formally established a public cemetery for African-Americans in this area and called it Oakdale. The cemetery was active until the 1920s, though decreasingly so after Vick Cemetery was established in 1913 further from the center of town. In 1941, Wilson disinterred the graves at Oakdale and reburied them in Rest Haven Cemetery. Per Wilson’s Cemetery Commission, no records exist of the names of those whose remains were moved.
Here is the original complaint from Violet Blount to the Freedmen’s Bureau about her grandsons’ unlawful apprenticeship, chronicled here. Blount was also the maternal grandmother of Samuel H. Vick.
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.
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.