On 12 February 1946, Leslie and Minnie Diggs Artis of Eureka, Wayne County, and the Trustees of Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church reached an agreement to resolve uncertainty over the location of back boundary for property that each party owned on Smith and Church Streets.
Both Artises had close ties to Wilson. Leslie Artis, son of Napoleon and Sallie Taylor Artis, was the nephew of Cain, C.E., June Scott, Walter and William Artis, Josephine Artis Sherrod, and Amanda Artis Cooper, as well as Jonah Williams, whose daughter Clarissa Williams owned the lot adjoining the disputed properties.
Leslie Artis (1892-1974).
Minnie Diggs Artis was a cousin of Edgar H. Diggs. And the Artises’ daughter Sallie Mae Artis Shackleford (1924-2013) was a long-time resident of Academy Street in East Wilson.
Minnie Diggs Artis (1897-1970).
The church’s trustees were Camillus L. Darden, John Mack Barnes, Separise P. Artis, Louis Thomas, James Henry Knight, Charles Knight, D.E. Simms, C.L. Hardy, A.J. McCoy, Linwood Moore, and David Henry Coley.
Photos courtesy of Leroy Barnes; deed book 318, pages 183-185, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.
“The Albion Academy was designed to prepare young men and women to be teachers in schools intended for the instruction of colored people in the Southern States.
“It was organized by the late Rev. Moses A. Hopkins, its first principal, and aided by his Presbyterian friends North and South.
“Like all schools, at its commencement, it had many obstacles to fight. But by prayer, and the indefatigable energy and push of its founder, it grew gradually until it attracted the public in such a way, that the State of North Carolina, feeling the need of having intelligent, warmhearted citizens who will exercise their right of suffrage intelligently, and for the good of their country, the elevation of the race, and the glory of God, established six Normals, and located one at Franklinton, in connection with the Albion Academy.”
Albion Academy’s 1892-93 catalog listed 58 students by name in the Academic program and claimed another 189 in the preparatory and primary programs. Though Samuel H. Vick and Rev. Leavy J. Melton (and Clarence Dillard) served on the school’s board of trustees, no children from Wilson matriculated at Albion that year.
Excerpts from catalog found at http://www.ancestraltrackers.net/nc/franklin/catalogue-albion-academy-1892.pdf
Board of Trustees, Wilson County Negro Library, 1948: clockwise around the table, Willie Mae Freeman, Carter Foster, Anna Johnson, D’arcy Yancey, Barbara Foster, James Whitfield, Elizabeth Jenkins, G.K. Butterfield Sr., William Hines.
Willie Mae Freeman, Elizabeth Jenkins, Dora Dickerson.
This early iteration of the Negro library was located in a first-floor storefront of Mount Hebron Masonic Lodge No. 42, 115 North Pender Street.
Photographs courtesy of Freeman Round House Museum, Wilson, North Carolina, and digitized at http://www.digitalnc.org.