Colvert

Nurse Colvert catches a thief.

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Wilson Daily Times, 15 November 1929.

Iredell County native Henrietta R. Colvert was a nurse at Mercy Hospital and with North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company. Neighbor Alex Fields attempted a burglary at the home she rented at 721 East Green Street.

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In the 1910 census of Statesville, Iredell County, North Carolina: at 204 East Front Street, draywagon driver John Colvert, 53; wife Addie, 44; and daughters Lugenia, 20, laundress, Lillie, 18, academy teacher, and Harriet, 17.

Charlotte Observer, 21 July 1915.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 330 South Spring Street: widowed Nannie Best, 61, her daughter Frank, 30, son Aaron, 21, and daughter-in-law Estelle, 19, and a lodger, nurse Henrietta Colvert, 24.

In the 1925, 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., directories, Henrietta Colvert was listed as a nurse living at 721 East Green.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 721 East Green Street, paying $40/month, trained insurance company nurse Henrietta Colvert, 32.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 624 East Green Street, widow Cora Powell, 41, teacher, born Wayne County; George Cooper, 24, of Washington, and wife Margaret, 26, of Hamilton, Ohio; Henrietta Colvert, 38, of Statesville; and Marian Davis, 28, Salisbury. Several occupations are misplaced. George Cooper, not his wife, was a sheet metal worker; Colvert, not Davis, was a nurse; and Davis was a teacher at Darden. [624 East Green was the former Frank S. Hargrave house, which belonged to Colvert’s boss.]

In the 1951 city directory of Charlotte, N.C., Henrietta Colvert is listed as a nurse at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Henrietta Rebecca Colvert died 9 July 1980 in Roanoke, Virginia. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 March 1911 [sic, 1893] in North Carolina; resided at 233 Harrison Avenue, N.W., Roanoke; had worked as a hospital nurse; and was buried in Williams Memorial Park, Roanoke.

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Though he redeemed himself well enough to be described as “worthy” in his Daily Times obituary, Alexander Fields was listed in the county stockade in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County.

Wilson news.

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New York Age, 9 September 1922.

  • Mrs. Jasper Coley —  Laura (or Laurena) V. Coley, daughter of Isaac and Penny Coley, married Jasper Allison Coley on 6 June 1912 in Wayne County. A native of Pikeville, Wayne County, like her husband, Laura died 12 May 1923. She was a teacher. Jasper Coley was the son of Phillip R. and Annie Exum Coley. He is listed in Wilson city directories in the early 1920s as a carpenter, a plasterer and a bricklayer, and lived at 401 North Vick Street.
  • Mrs. William Hines — Ethel Cornwell Hines (1894-1983) was a South Carolina native.
  • Roberta Battle, Glace Battle, Georgia Burks and Henrietta Colvert
  • Mrs. B.P. Coward — Sarah Adelaide Brown Coward (1867-1946) was the wife of A.M.E. Zion minister Bryant Pugh Coward.
  • Mrs. Stattie Cannon — In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Charles Cannon, 35, barber in a “white shop”; wife Statie, 34; and children Charles, 11, Ruth, 9, and Statie Benton, 13. In the 1922 Wilson city directory, Stattie Cannon is listed as a dressmaker and Charles Cannon as a carpenter; both resided at 724 East Green Street. In the 1940 census of Newark, Essex County, New Jersey: Charles Cannon, 44, mother Stattie Cannon, 65, brother-in-law Fred Langford, 29, and sister Ruth Langford, 33. All were born in North Carolina and described as “white.”
  • A.N. Darden — Arthur N. Darden (1889-1948) was a son of Charles H. and Dinah Scarborough Darden and worked in his father’s undertaking business.
  • John Clark
  • Mrs. C.L. Darden — Norma Duncan Darden (1895-1987), a native of Montgomery, Alabama, was married to Arthur Darden’s brother, Camillus L. Darden.
  • Rev. A.H. George
  • Mrs. S.L. Bowser — Burt Bowser, born in Halifax County, married Sarah Rountree, daughter of Peter and Lucinda Rountree, on 4 December 1888 in Wilson. Reddin S. Wilkins, A.J. Lindsay and James W. Parrington were witnesses to the ceremony. In the 1900 census, Burt L. Bowser is described as a bar tender and in 1910 as the conductor of a pool room. Sarah is described as a dressmaker. Burt Landers Bowser died in 1920; Sarah Bowser, in 1935.
  • John Spells — In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Pender Street, carpenter John E. Spell, 50, wife Martha A., 39, and son John E., Jr., 16. (John’s death certificate lists his middle name as Stephen.) Martha A. Spell, a native of Guilford County, died in Wilson in 1966.
  • Wesley Rogers — Per the city directory, in 1922, John Wesley Rogers lived at 548 East Nash Street and worked as a porter at Oettinger’s department store. His wife,  a native of Johnston County, was Mary Elizabeth Thomas Rogers (1878-1950). Rogers was born in Durham County in 1870 and died in Wilson in 1951.
  • Deby Harper — Deborah Harper Swindell was the daughter of Argent Harper. She was briefly married to Louis Swindell.
  • Dr. DuBissette
  • Dr. and Mrs. J.B. Darden — Pharmacist James Benjamin Darden was a brother of Arthur and Camillus Darden. After a brief partnership with his brother John W. Darden, a doctor in Opelika, Alabama, he settled in Petersburg, Virginia.
  • Mrs. A.B. Bowser — Astor Burt Bowser, born 1896, was a son of Burt L. and Sarah L. Bowser, above. He married Deloris Harvey of Alamance County on 17 August 1921 in Wilson. Rev. B.P. Coward officiated. In the 1930 census, the couple and their children, Astor B., Jr., and Sarah, are listed in Chicago, Illinois. Astor worked as an artist in his own studio and Deloris as a saleslady in a millinery. Astor died in Hennepin County, Minnesota, in 1981.

Mercy Hospital.

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Founded in 1913, the Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home (later known as Mercy Hospital) was one of a handful of early African-American hospitals in North Carolina and the only one in the northeast quadrant of the state. Though it struggled financially throughout its more than 50 years of operation, the hospital provided critical care to thousands who otherwise lacked access to treatment.

A small cadre of black nurses assisted the attendant physicians. One was Henrietta Colvert (1893-1980) shown below at far left. A native of Statesville in North Carolina’s western Piedmont, Henrietta received training at Saint Agnes School of Nursing in Raleigh. How and when she came to Wilson is unknown. However, this photograph suggests that she cared for Mercy’s patients in its earliest days as the man seated in the middle is hospital founder Dr. Frank S. Hargrave, who left Wilson for New Jersey in 1924. The man at right is Dr. William A. Mitchner.

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Photograph of staff courtesy of the Freeman Round House Museum, Wilson; photograph of hospital taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, June 2013.