Did the “old people’s home, colored” ever open? Apparently so, at 310 Lodge Street.
Wilson Daily Times, 26 August 1918.
A.A.I Davis soon moved on to another old folks’ home in Wilmington, North Carolina. (Per newspaper accounts, Davis was pastor of a Baptist church in Albany, New York, as late as 1915, but by 1916 was running an old folks’ home in Maxton, North Carolina, in 1916. What was going on here?)
I knew we were related somehow to the Sherrods, but I was in college before I figured out how. Of course, I then wanted to visit Josephine Artis Sherrod, who, it turned out, was both my great-great-grandmother’s half-sister and my great-great-grandfather’s niece. (Yes, it was complicated.) My father took me by the house on Viola Street one evening when I was home over the Christmas holidays. We knocked, the door opened, and I stared into baby-blue eyes set in a caramel-brown face. This was Solomon C. Sherrod Jr., who, though just a few years younger than my grandmother, was my great-grandfather’s first cousin. He ushered us into the front room, and I spent a delightful hour or so with Aunt Josephine.
I was in Wilson this past week. Before I left, I knocked on another door on Viola Street. Cousin Solomon’s youngest son answered, and I placed in his hands the scrapbook Rita Elsner found on a Maryland street three weeks ago. As promised, the Sherrod family’s legacy has returned home.
Here are more gems from Alliner Sherrod Davis Randall‘s scrapbook. If you can help me identify the men and women depicted, I’d be grateful.
Alliner and Henry Randall, probably not long after their marriage in 1946. They made their home in Durham, N.C.
Elmer Lee Sherrod (1929-2002), Josephine and Solomon Sherrod’s youngest son. On the reverse: “To Mr. & Mrs. Randall with Love, Elmer Sherrod, 1401 N. 18th St., Phila 21, Pa.”
Minnie Sherrod Parker (1916-1996). [Thank you, Barbara Williams Lewis!]
Studio portrait of unidentified young woman.
Alliner Randall (1908-1992) and dog.
Unidentified snapshot of older man and young girl. Is this Solomon Sherrod Sr. (ca.1880-1948)?
Betty Cooper Sherrod, who married Solomon Sherrod’s eldest son Earnest E. Sherrod. [Thank you, Bonita Sherrod!]
Scene at a graveside funeral service, possibly in the 1950s.
Fourteen year-old Jessie Lee Davis was seated on the handlebars of his friend Walter Rogers‘ bicycle when a car made a left turn in front of them. Rogers did not see the car and ran into it, killing Davis. The driver of the car, a 22 year-old white man named Vernest Ballance, was initially charged with manslaughter in Davis’ death, but the case was dismissed after a preliminary hearing.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 705 East Green (one of several families in a rooming house), tobacco factory stemmer Thomas Rodgers, 37; wife Minorh, 33, housemaid; and children Ruth, 15, Joseph, 14, Otis G., 12, and Walter, 8.
The Rocky Mount Telegram‘s headline blares “WILSON NEGRO,” and the article identifies both the alleged shooter and his victim as black. However, the Wilson Daily Times‘ 28 January 1938 coverage of the incident reveals that both Charles Davis and Lawrence Lamm were, in fact, white.
Rocky Mount (N.C.) Telegram, 28 January 1938.
Lamm’s death certificate, marriage license, and census records confirm that he was white. (The Daily Times‘ piece revealed that the bad blood between Davis and Lamm stretched back “since a day over a decade ago when Lamm is alleged to have bitten off Davis’ father’s ear in a quarrel.” On 8 September 1938, the Daily Times reported that the defendant, whose actual name, was Charles Smith, was found not guilty on a directed verdict as the evidence determined that he had acted in self-defense.)
One #3 Overland safety bicycle with Morgan & Wright pneumatic tires provided that if the said Mortgagor shall pay the sum of Forty six and 66/100 dollars with interest [illegible] and collection charges according to the terms of Nine certain promissory notes signed by said Mortgagor Payable to Rouse Hazard & Co on order as follows to wit:
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Sept 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Oct 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Nov 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Decr 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Jany 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Feby 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Mar 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due Apl 10th 1893 for $5.00
One note dated August 10th 1893, due May 10th 1893 for $6.66
Mortgage Book 35, page 24, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.