Cox

308 North Pender Street.

The sixty-fourth 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: “ca. 1908; 1 story; two shotguns joined together to form a duplex with unifying hip-roofed, turned-post porch; house appears in 1908 bird’s-eye view of Wilson.”

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In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Artis Columbus E propr[ietor] The Delicatessen h 308 Pender

In the 1925 Wilson city directory: Artis Columbus E (A & Flanagan) h 308 Pender

In the 1928 Wilson city directory: Artis Columbus E (c; Ada D), undtkr 571 E Nash and prop[rietor] Smith’s Filling Sta h 308 Pender.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Artis Columbus E (c) (Ada D), undrtkr 571 E Nash h 308 Pender

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County:  at 308 Pender Street, valued at $4000, Columbus Artis, a merchant/undertaker, wife Ida, and niece Gladys Adams.

In the 1940 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cox Leslie (c; Mary) h 308 Pender

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 308 Pender, rented for $16/month, Leslie H. Cox., 58; wife Mary, 53; and Nancy, 26, Florence, 20, both household servants, Leslie Jr., 18, hotel bellhop, David, 16, and Ardelia, 15, and grandson June Lee, 9.

In 1942, Leslie Robert Cox registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 8 August 1921 in Wilson, N.C.; his address was 308 Pender Street; his contact person was Mary Cox, 308 Pender; and he worked at the Briggs Hotel, East Nash Street, Wilson.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cox Leslie H (c) carp h 308 Pender and Cox Nancy (c) maid h 308 Pender.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2018.

The estate of Elijah Cox.

Less than a decade after gaining freedom, Elijah Cox passed away in southern Wilson County. He had assembled a small farm in Cross Roads township, but it would not pass intact to the next generation.

Receipt for reimbursement to Ben Cox, alias Horne, for clothing purchased “for burying father.”

Dr. R.E. Cox filed a claim against the estate for medical care provided in Elijah Cox’s final illness.

In 1874, Patience Cox applied for letters of administration in Wilson County Superior Court for her husband’s estate. His heirs were named as Haywood Sauls and wife Fannie; Sherrod Cox and wife Diana; Simon Dew and wife Telitha; Jerry Everett and wife Jane; Ben Barnes and wife Hester; Ben Cox; William Horne; and Warren Barnes. His estate file reveals that Cox owned about 56 acres at his death and that his debts were estimated at $175. For her support, Patience Cox was allotted barrels of corn, shucks, fodder, cotton seed, cattle, hogs, peas, potatoes, garden tools, plows, and household and kitchen furniture, which essentially wiped out Elijah’s personal property. As a result the court ordered Cox’s land sold to create assets to pay off his debts.

Inventory of Elijah Cox’s estate.

In a final accounting after the sale, heirs received payments of about $16 in February 1876.

Request from Cox’ daughter Fannie Sauls of Fremont, Wayne County, to have her share delivered via her husband Haywood Sauls.

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In 1866, these formerly enslaved couples registered their cohabitations in Wayne County (Haywood Sauls and Fannie Newsome, 4 years) and Wilson County (Simon Dew and Litha King, 18 years, and Benjamin Barnes and Hester Barnes, 20 years.) I have not found cohabitation records for Elijah and Patience or their other children. (Sidenote: the multiple surnames used by Elijah’s children — Cox, Horne, Barnes, King, Newsome — suggests that they had different mothers or were held in slavery by several different owners.)

In the 1870 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: shoemaker Elijah Cox, 66; wife Patience, 65; and children (or grandchildren) Jerry, 11, Clara, 5, and Patience Cox, 3. Cox claimed $150 real estate.

In the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Ben Jamin Horne, 33; wife Mandy, 26; and children William Henderson, 14, Alvester, 10, Hilliard, 8, Amos, 6, and Louetta Cox, 3; and mother Patience Cox, 70.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: wagon driver Haywood Sauls, 46, and wife Fannie, 56.

In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Simon Dew, 55; wife Lithy, 48; children Lany, 27, Peter, 25, Lucy, 23, Diannah, 21, Isaih, 20, Hilliard, 18, Hester, 16, Aarch, 14, Liscy, 12, Patience, 10, Sarah, 8, and Simon, 6; and grandchildren Zilpha, 13, Roxie A., 2, and William, 1.

In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Benjaim Barnes, 52; wife Hester, 52; and children Ervin, 17, Rebecca, 16, Bettie, 13, Larry, 10, Thomas, 8, and Benjaim, 6.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Robert M. and Zillah Horne Cox house.

Per Kate Ohno, Wilson County’s Architectural Heritage (1981):

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“Dr. Robert Cox was born in 1825 and he married Zillah Horne, an heir to the Horne land where this house was built. In 1844 Cox purchased his wife’s share of the Horne land, amounting to 385 acres. This house was probably built in the 1840s. After the death of Zillah, Cox married her sister, Elizabeth Horne. According to the 1860 census he was identified as a farmer with real property worth $8,000. … The Cox House consists of a two-room dwelling with an engaged porch and rear shed. The sturdy porch posts are chamfered and a shed room with access from the outside was built under one side of the porch. There are two exterior end chimneys; one centrally located on the west elevation which served the parlor and one on the east elevation on the rear shed. On the interior the house is divided into two main rooms with a shed room running the width of the house at the rear.”

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In the 1850 census of the North Side of the Neuse River, Wayne County, North Carolina [in an area which became part of Black Creek township, Wilson County, in 1855]: farmer Robert Cox, 25; wife Zillie, 23; and daughter Julia, 10 months. Per the 1850 slave schedule of the same district, Cox enslaved a 37 year-old woman, four girls ranging in age from 4 to 14, a 42 year-old man, and two boys, aged 7 and 14.

In the 1860 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Robert M. Cox, 35; wife Elizabeth, 21; Barney B. Cox, 21, clerk; John H. Minshew, 28, clerk; and J.S. Holt, 28, merchant. Cox reported $8000 in real property and $36000 in personal property. His personal property, per the 1860 slave schedule of Wilson County, included five enslaved girls and women ranging from 9 to 30 years old and ten enslaved boys and men ranging from 9 months to 35 years old. Cox provided three dwellings to house them.

The 1870 census of Wilson County lists 20 African-Americans with the surname Cox living in four households in Black Creek, Stantonsburg and Cross Roads townships. Though Robert Cox was the sole Cox slaveholder listed in Wilson County in 1860, several of his Cox kin in neighboring Wayne County owned slaves.

 

Pennsylvania veteran’s comp benefits.

Applications for Pennsylvania veteran’s compensation benefits filed by veterans born in Wilson County:

  • Iredell Seward Allen

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In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer James Allen, 27; wife Clara, 23; and children Howard, 7, Etta, 5, Clara, 4, Iredell, 3, and Dowell, 5 months.

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  • Ben C. Bunn

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  • Augustus Bynum

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  • Jesse James Cox

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  • Paul Farmer

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In the 1900 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson township, Wilson County: wagon driver John W. Farmer, 37; wife Edmonia,  33; and children George, 13, Paul, 12, Annie, 9, Mary, 7, and Fannie, 5. Paul registered for the draft while living in Philadelphia,

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but returned permanently to North Carolina after the war. In the 1930 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson township, Wilson County: Paul Farmer, 44, wife Cora, 35, and children Pauline, 4 1/2, Fredrick, 2, John W., 1 1/2, and lodger Harvey Wilson, 17.

  • George Alexander Gaston

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

Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com; Pennsylvania, Veterans Burial Cards, 1777-2012 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com; U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.