In this odd series of events, the “negro cemetery” appears to be the old Oakdale cemetery, located west of Stantonsburg Street (now Pender) and by 1932 abandoned.
Frank Austin — in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 318 South Lodge Street, Alas Austin, 65; son George Austin, 45; and grandchildren Pattie B., 20, Earnest, 19, Rose M., 17, Lorrine, 13, Katie B., 12, Virginia, 11, and Leroy Barnes, 10, and Frank Austin, 23. [The Barnes children were surely the children of India Alston Barnes, who was shot to death by their father Tip Barnes in 1921.]
Ed Johnson — Edward Johnson died 15 April 1924 (two weeks after his store burned.) Per his death certificate, he was born 12 February 1869 in Durham County, N.C., to Martin Johnson and Francies Burks of Durham County; was married to Rachel Jane Johnson; was a self-employed grocery merchant; and lived at 406 East Hines Street. His wife Rachel Johnson was the daughter of his landlord Lewis Townsend.
For more about the Odd Fellows Hannibal Lodge building, see here and here. Shortly after it erected this building, Lodge #1552 established the Odd Fellows cemetery that now lies abandoned and overgrown on Lane Street.
Margaret Colvert Allen, seated far right, third row, circa 1915.
Greensboro Daily News, 10 March 1916.
Margaret C. Allen, second from right, second row from top. Her sister Launie Mae Colvert Jones, at left, first row of middle section, circa 1916. Both photos, I believe depict students of Statesville’s Colored Free School. The second photo may show the school itself shortly before it burned or may depict one of the other buildings in which the school met before a replacement was built in 1921.
Samuel H. Vick had his finger in many pots, including tobacco farming. In a three-week span in July 1929, under circumstances that certainly strike a modern reader as suspicious, he lost to fire three barns filled with his tobacco.
Wilson Colored High School (which would be renamed for C.H. Darden in 1938) suffered a devastating fire in November 1936. How long did the “indefinite” closing last? Where did children attend class in the interim?
The three-story Hotel Union first appears in Sanborn fire insurance maps of Wilson in 1908. The wooden building had two storefronts on the ground floor and accommodations above.
The hotel also appears in the 1913 Sanborn map. By 1922, however, the Hotel Union was a boarding house. Its ground floor had been expanded to add another commercial space, and the one-story extension on the back of the building comprised a separate dwelling. There’s no listing for a black-owned hotel or boarding house in the 1922 Wilson city directory, but the 1925 directory shows the Whitley Hotel at 535-537 East Nash. Maggie A. Whitley was proprietor. In the 1928 directory, the address of the Whitley is 541 East Nash. The hotel is visible in a postcard of East Nash Street circulated in the 1920s.
In January 1928, a fire broke out in a second-floor bedroom of the Whitley. Quick action by the fire department prevented extensive damage.
Wilson Daily Times, 5 January 1928.
The 1941 edition of The Negro Motorist Green Book lists the Wilson Biltmore at 541 East Nash Street, which appears to be a later iteration of Hotel Union/Whitley Hotel. (This observation matches Samuel C. Lathan‘s recollection.) The building burned to the ground in the late 1940s.