Clark

Harry Clark’s farm.

The city’s response to my request for documents about Vick cemetery yielded an unexpected bit of information. One of the plat maps revealed a property across Lane Street from Vick that the city’s Cemetery Trustees purchased from Augustus S. Clark of Cordele, Georgia, in 1953 for $4400. Partially visible next to it is a parcel marked “Bethel.”

The deed for the Augustus Clark parcel describes it as:

“The public road leading from Ward’s Boulevard pass [sic] Rest Haven Cemetery” is the western leg of what is now called Lane Street. “The road leading to Highway #264” is the eastern leg. Harry Clark was Augustus S. Clark’s father, and a 1921 plat map of his farm is annotated here:

In short, the southeastern half of Rest Haven cemetery was once the northeastern half of Harry Clark’s farm. In 1953, the Cemetery Commission purchased three tracts from the Clark family for the cemetery’s expansion.

On 23 January 1923, the same day A.S. Clark sold his share of his father’s estate, his niece Flora Clark Bethel and her husband Wilton Bethel sold Tract No. 6 to the Cemetery Trustees. (Flora C. Bethel had inherited the tract from her father, John H. Clark.)

On 5 June 1953, pursuant to a suit filed by the Cemetery Trustees against William H. Clark‘s heirs (widow Mary Clark, Thomas Clark and wife Sarah, A.S. Clark, Flora Clark Bethel and husband Wilton, A.S. Gaston, Theodore Gaston, Ralph Gaston and wife Dora, Cicero Gaston, George Gaston and unnamed wife, Russell Golding and unnamed wife, Flora Golding Parks and unnamed husband, and Harry Jenkins and wife Bertha), Tract No. 5 of the Clark farm was condemned. The heirs were awarded $3600, split according to their interests.

The road separating Tracts 1, 2, 3, and 4 from 5, 6, and 7 is now Lane Street, as is the road extending toward Martin Luther King Parkway from the dead-end of the first road. Tract No. 4 belonged to the heirs of Ella Clark Gaston Hinton, who died in 1947. The small black square in this tract shows the location of the Clark “home-house” (as the house recognized as the family seat is called in Wilson-speak.)

Here’s this area now:

The old path of Lane Street is clearly visible running alongside the softball field toward Stantonsburg Road. The electrical substation that the city lopped off A.S. Clark’s tract is the square of cleared land off Lane Street mid-frame. Vick cemetery is the field below Lane Street closest to the right edge of the frame. My best estimate is that the southwest half of Harry Clark’s farm stretched roughly from today’s Snowden Drive to the former path of Lane Street. The northeast half encompassed the portion of Rest Haven in which the sections widen over to Lane Street.

Plat Book 1, page 220; Deed Book 489, page 439, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson; Deed Book 489, page 437; Deed Book 499, page 353, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson. Aerial view courtesy of Bing Maps.

The last will and testament of Ella Clark Gaston Hinton.

With brother John H. Clark nearby, Ella M. Hinton drafted her last will and testament on 15 August 1946. Her major asset consisted of six acres inherited from her father Harry Clark, and she was very particular about to whom it would go.

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Harry Clark, 27; wife Flora, 26; and children John, 6, Mary, 5, Ella, 3, and Henriett, 1.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County, farmer Henry Clark, 39, wife, Florah, 38, and children John, 16, Mary J., 14, Ella, 12, Henrietta, 9, Henry, 8, Augustin, 5, Thomas, 3, and Margaret, 10 months.

On 18 September 1884, J.A. Gaston, 25, married Eller Clark, 17, in Wilson. Witnesses were Samuel H. VickC.D Howard and Braswell R. Winstead.

John A. Gaston and Ella Clark Gaston divorced prior to November 1899, when he married Sattena Barnes.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Ella Gaston, 30, divorced, and children Ralph, 10, and Albert, 2.  Also, per the 1900 census of Wilson, John and Ella’s sons Theodore, 13, Cicero, 10, George Gaston, 8, remained in their father’s household. (By 1910, they lived in Warsaw, Duplin County, North Carolina.)

On 18 December 1902, Alexander Hinton, 29, of Wilson, married Ella Clark, 31, of Wilson, in Wilson. Presbyterian minister E.A. Mitchell performed the service in the presence of Ida R. Clark and E.J. Hooker.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Nash Street, Alex Hinton, 40, college cook, and wife Ella, 39, laundress. Both reported having been married twice, and Ella reported that five of her seven children were living.

In the 1940 census of Hampton, Virginia: at 35 Tyler, Ella Hinton, 72, widow; granddaughters Edna, 21, tea room waitress, and Eloise Gaston, 13; and lodgers Jessie Wright, 75, Elliott Wyche, 32, gardener, and Rebecca Butler, 20. Ella and Edna were born in North Carolina, Eloise in Pennsylvania, Jessie and Elliott in Virginia, and Rebecca in “Africa.”

Ella Hinton died 17 May 1947 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 June 1871 in Wilson to Harry Clark and Maude [sic; maiden name unknown]; was widowed; and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery. Albert Gaston was informant.

Rev. Clark congratulates The Age.

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New York Age, 9 February 1935.

In 1935, Rev. Thomas G. Clark sent a congratulatory letter to mark the New York Age’s “50 years of untrammeled service to the race, nation and the world.” In it, he revealed details of his early educational struggles, and the epiphany to which Edward A. Johnson’s A School History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1890 brought him. [Johnson, born enslaved in Wake County in 1860, was educated at Atlanta University and wrote A School History at the urging of a school superintendent. The book was the first by an African-American author to be approved for use in North Carolina’s public schools. (Sidenote: I won’t rest until I secure a copy.)]

 

Studio shots, no. 90: Edna E. Gaston.

Per an eBay listing for a reproduction of this photo: “Photo. North Carolina. Black girl and doll carriage. The girl’s name is Edna Earl Gaston. She was the niece of John Clark who was a founder of St Mark’s Episcopal Church. He was also the first Black mail carrier in Wilson, North Carolina. 1925.”

In fact, Edna Earline Gaston was the daughter of Albert Sessle Gaston of Wilson and Annie House Gaston of Moore County, North Carolina. John H. Clark was her great-uncle, brother of Albert Gaston’s mother Ella Clark Gaston.

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In the 1900 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson County: Ella Gaston, 30, divorced, with sons Ralph, 10, and Albert, 2. [Also in the 1900 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson township, North Carolina: 44 year-old barber John Gaston, [second] wife Sabrina [Sattena] 22, and children Theodore, 13, Cicero, 10, George, 8, and Caroline, 2 months. John A. Gaston was Albert Gaston’s father.]

In 1918, Albert Gaston registered for the World War I draft in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his registration card, he was born 16 August 1897 in Wilson, N.C.; resided at 2105 Nassau Street, Philadelphia; worked as a longshoreman; and his nearest relative was Anna Gaston.

In the 1920 census of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania: at 2105 Nassau Street, building laborer Albert Gaston, 22; wife Anne T., 23; daughter Edna E., 1;  lodger Harry Jenkins, 19, a laundry laborer; and “mother” Hellen Hunton, 53. All were born in North Carolina.

Shortly after the census, the Gastons returned to North Carolina, where they took positions in Annie H. Gaston’s home county. On 28 April 1921, The Moore County News of Carthage printed principal Albert Gaston’s address to the Shady Grove colored school.

By October 1921, Gaston had take over as head of the struggling Addor school. Per this 1997 National Register of Historic Places nomination report, the Gastons began an energetic campaign to raise money for a Rosenwald School, and the Lincoln Park school near Pinebluff was the result.

Albert Sessel Gaston registered for the World War II draft in 1942 in Raeford, Hoke County, North Carolina. Per his registration card, he was born 15 August 1897 in Wilson; was employed by the Board of Education in Raeford; and his contact was Annie L. Gaston, 119 Lincoln Street, Hampton, Virginia.

Annie Lillian Gaston died 2 June 1952 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 17 July 1896 in Moore County to John House and Maggie Gunter; was a schoolteacher; and was married. Albert Gaston was informant.

Per the Social Security Death Index, Albert Gaston died November 1979 and Edna Gaston Coles died 25 July 1999, both in Philadelphia.

Pioneer passes.

Wilson Daily Times, 14 January 1942.

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In the 1870 census of Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina: Chaney Crenshaw, 40, and daughters Jinnie, 15, Ida, 7, and Ella, 6.

In the 1880 census of Raleigh township, Wake County: at Saint Augustine School, Jinnie, 19. Ida, 18, and Ella Crenshaw, 14.

In the 1887 Raleigh, N.C., city directory: Crenshaw Ida (col) houseservant at 522 Fayetteville, r outside

On 28 March 1888, John H. Clark, 24, of Wilson County, son of Harry and Flora Clark of Beaufort County, North Carolina, married Ida R. Crenshaw, 21, of Wake County, daughter of John and Chaney Crenshaw. Robert B. Sutton, Doctor of Divinity, Presbyter of the Protestant Episcopalian Church, performed the ceremony at the Chapel of Saint Augustine Normal School, Raleigh.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: school teacher John H. Clark, 36; wife Ida R., 34; and children Chaney V., 8, and Flora R., 2.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Street, letter carrier John H. Clark, 46; wife Ida, 46, school teacher; and daughter Floyd [sic], 12.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 635 Manchester Street, mail carrier John Clark, 56; wife Ida, 48; and daughter Flora, 12.

On 18 June 1930, Flora Ruth Clark, 21, of Wilson, daughter of John H. and Ida R. Clark, married Wilton Maxwell Bethel, 21, son of Ernest and Phillis Bethel, at Saint Mark’s Presbyterian Episcopal Church in Wilson. Presbyterian Episcopal minister Eugene Leon Henderson performed the ceremony in the presence of John H. Clark and Ida R. Clark.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 706 East Nash Street, John Clark, 76; wife Ida, 65; son-in-law Wilton Bethel, 33, insurance agent for N.C. Mutual Insurance; and daughter Flora, 30, school teacher at Darden High School.

Ida R. Clark died 13 June 1942 at her home at 706 East Nash, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 25 May 1873 in Franklin County to Prince and Chaney Crenshaw of Franklin County; was married; was a teacher and homemaker; and was buried in the Masonic cemetery. John H. Clark was informant.

Fayetteville State ’47.

From the 1947 edition of The Bronco, the yearbook of Fayetteville State University:

  • Rebecca Elaine Clark

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Elaine Clark’s sister Romaine Clark, also a member of the Class of ’47, was “the lady with the dignified look.”

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 502 East Vance Street, oil mill laborer William Clark, 27; wife Katie, 27, laundress; and children Romane, 6, Jeroline, 2, and Elaine, 4.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 502 East Vance Street, fertilizer factory laborer William Clark, 37; wife Katie E., 37, laundress; and children Romaine, 16, Elaine, 14, Geraldine, 12, Arthur E., 8, Addie E., 5, and William T., 2.

On 25 January 1958, Rebecca Elaine Clark, 31, and Gilbert Joseph Carter, 27, both of High Point, North Carolina, were married in Wilson by Catholic priest Peter A. Washington in the presence of Jual Peacock Anderson, William Franklin Pitts and William Clark.

Elaine Clark Carter died 16 February 2004.

  • Mattie Ruth Hart

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In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Grover Hart, 34; wife Mamie, 30; and children William, 11, Rosa L., 9, Addie B., 7, Mattie, 5, and Grover C., 2 months.

In the 1940 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farm operator Grover Hart, 41; wife Mamie, 41; and children Rosa Lee, 18, Addie Blanche, 17, Mattie Ruth, 16, and Grover Clifton, 10.

On 2 September 1955, Mattie Ruth Hart, 29, of Elm City, daughter of Grover L. and Annie E. Hart, married Webster Norman Jr., 28, son of Grover Newman Sr. and Beulah M. Miller, of Fayetteville.

Mattie Ruth Newman died 30 November 2014.

The lady with the dignified look.

The Bronco, Johnson C. Smith University (1947).

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 502 East Vance Street, oil mill laborer William Clark, 27; wife Katie, 27, laundress; and children Romane, 6, Jeroline, 2, and Elaine, 4.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 502 East Vance Street, fertilizer factory laborer William Clark, 37; wife Katie E., 37, laundress; and children Romaine, 16, Elaine, 14, Geraldine, 12, Arthur E., 8, Addie E., 5, and William T., 2.

Esther Romaine Brown died 25 June 1996 in Richmond, Virginia. Per Findagrave.com:

“Dr. Esther Romaine Clark Brown, 72, of Richmond, a retired professor of special education at Virginia State University. Dr. Brown taught at the elementary, secondary and collegiate levels in North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania before she retired in 1984 as a professor of special education at Virginia State.

“Widow of John Clinton Brown Sr., who died in 1981. Survived by a son, John Clinton Brown Jr.; three sisters, Elaine Carter of High Point, N.C., Geraldine Pettyjohn of Sharon Hill, Pa., and Addie Sherrod of Wilson, N.C.; and three brothers, Offie Clark of Aberdeen, Md., W.T. Clark of Hanover, and Milton Grady of Greensboro, N.C.”

The reverends grew up together.

NY age 3 15 1930

New York Age, 15 March 1930.

Leaders of Saint Mark’s Episcopal.

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Junior warden John Boykin, Rev. Robert N. Perry, and senior warden John H. Clark, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, early 1900s. [Update, 17 February 2010: Per Ellen Perry Livas, the man in the middle is not her grandfather Rev. Robert N. Perry.]

  • John Boykin — John Boykin, son of Rose Boykin, married Dicy Bailey, daughter of Moses and Julia Bailey, on 21 April 1870 in Wilson County. In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Virginia-born farmer John Boykin, 26; wife Disey, 25; and children Julian, 8, Rear Ann, 7, John C., 5, W. Brogner, 3, and Sallie A., 9 months, plus Anna Barnes, 17. In the  1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: house mover John Boykin, 50; wife Dicy, 44, cooking; and children Sallie, 19, cooking, James, 18, day laborer, Dotia, 14, Susia, 14, Lillie, 10, and Eliza, 7. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: John Boykins, 56, odd jobs laborer; wife Disey, 54; and children Lillie, 20, and Liza, 17. In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Virginia-born house mover John Boykin, 70, wife Dicey, 65, and lodgers Sam Stephens, 21, and wife Cora, 20. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 801 Viola Street, widower John Boykin lived alone.
  • Rev. Robert Nathaniel Perry — Rev. Robert N. Perry appears in Hills’ city directory in 1908 as the rector of Saint Mark’s, then located at Lodge Street near Bank Street. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Lodge Street, Robert Perry, 28, wife Mary A., 26, and son William, 5 months. Perry was described as a public school teacher. On 12 September 1918, Robert Nathaniel Perry registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 6 December 1881; resided at 315 South Street; was married to Mary A. Perry; and was minister of the colored Episcopal Church. After leaving Saint Mark’s, Father Perry served 32 years as vicar of Good Shepherd Church in Thomasville, Georgia and headmaster of its parochial school.
  • John Henry Clark

Photo courtesy of Robert Boykin, reprinted from Wilson Daily Times, 4 February 2008.