grocery

Brown’s Service Station.

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This undated photograph is found in a scrapbook belonging to the Oliver Nestus Freeman family.

Brown’s Service Station stood at 1216 East Nash Street. Containing a small grocery, it was an early precursor to today’s convenience store. Per a label, Nestus Freeman is one of the men depicted; my guess is the man at left holding the gasoline pump nozzle. Note the Coca-Cola and Texaco advertising.

Entry under “Grocers–Retail” in the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory.

Freeman’s album is among the documents digitized by DigitalNC.org in the Oliver Nestus Freeman Round House Museum Group of the Images of North Carolina Collection. 

Captured with the goods.

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News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 26 September 1909.

  • Neverson Green
  • Walston Tucker — This appears to be a reference to Jacob Tucker, who ran a nearby grocery. In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: day laborer Jacob Tucker, 40, wife Mary, 39, and children Doward, 17, Daniel, 15, Thomas, 13, Henry, 12 (all day laborers), Smart, 9, Walter, 7, Patience, 5, Joseph, 2, and Bessie, 11 months. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Spring Street, retail grocer Jake Tucker, 45, wife Jane, 45, and children Andrew, 19, a factory laborer, Walter, 15, a bootblack at a barbershop, Pet, 13, Joe, 12, Bessie, 10, and Viola, 7.
  • Tom Tucker — The 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County, shows that Thomas Tucker in fact returned to hard labor. In a “convick camp” on Sugar Hill Road, “all in this hang are Prisoners”: George Gay, 19, Henry Jones, 20, Jim Sims, 18, Henry Climer 19, Will Dew, 34, Jessey West, 43, Pharrow Sanders, 20, Fenner Moore, 20, Harry Beemer, 17, Joe Lewis, 19, Thomas Tucker, 22, and Willie Peacock, 13. [Yes, 13.]

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1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County.

Batts Grocery.

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This photograph depicts the interior of Graham W. Batts’ grocery at 418 South Goldsboro Street. Batts is standing at right. The unidentified African-American man and woman at rear likely were employees.

The west side of the entire 400 block of South Goldsboro Street — between Jones and Hines Streets — has been demolished. 418 stood in what is now the grassy side parcel of a Family Dollar store.

Photograph courtesy of Keith Thomas. Many thanks for sharing.

Cockrell’s Grocery.

Wilson Daily Times, 16 August 1946.

Cockrell’s Grocery, at the corner of Green and Pettigrew Streets one block east of the railroad, served a largely African-American clientele. The building at 404 East Green now houses Saint Mary’s Love and Faith church, a Holiness congregation. Billy Strayhorn and Swindell McDonald, despite their length of service, were teenagers at the time this article was printed. I cannot identify William White with certainty.

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404 East Green Street, courtesy Google Maps.

Be convinced by the first colored merchant uptown.

GSS_4_15_1898 Wilson AfAm Merchant

The Great Sunny South (Snow Hill NC), 15 April 1898.

[I am greatly intrigued by the ground-breaking Mrs. A.V.C. Hunt, but have found little beyond some titillating, but enigmatic, coverage of an arson event involving her and/or her husband, the unnamed Mr. Hunt.

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Wilmington Messenger, 29 March 1899.

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Wilson Daily Times, 31 March 1899.

Justice apparently was available in Wilson criminal court as Hunt was acquitted of arson (though found guilty and fined for the assault on Rowe.

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Wilson Times, 30 June 1899.

A.V.C. Hunt died in 1903, and Henry C. Rountree was appointed administrator to her estate. There was not much to settle, and the value of her few possessions did not cover the expenses Rountree laid out for her board, care during illness, and burial. [Rountree himself died in 1916, and his death certificate notes that he was a “dealer in groceries.” He was born in 1848 in Wilson County to Jessie Artis and Becker Artis.]

AVC Hunt

Image from file of A.V.C. Hunt, North Carolina Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998, ancestry.com.