Hargrave

624 East Green Street.

The sixteenth 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.

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As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1922; 2 stories; Dr. Frank S. Hargrave House; district’s most distinguished Colonial Revival house when completed in the early 1920s; retains cubic form with cross gables and columned porte-cochere; aluminum; Hargrave was influential physician who helped organize local hospital for blacks.”

The house has been heavily modified, and its original charm is not easily detected. It remains, however, an imposing structure that, with Samuel H. Vick‘s house next door, dominates East Green Street.

Hargrave’s accomplishments have been chronicled here, here, and elsewhere at Black Wide-Awake. He did not live in the house long, migrating to New Jersey in the mid-1920s.

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, November 2016.

Progressive citizens, pt. 1.

Sometime in 1914, the Wilson Times published a three-page insert highlighting the achievements of the town’s African-American community. “Wilson is fortunate in having a large proportion of sensible negroes,” the writer opined, and counted among the laudable such well-known citizens and institutions as Samuel H. Vick; J.D. Reid; Dr. Frank S. Hargrave; Charles, Camillus and Arthur Darden; Levi Jones; William Hines; Henry Tart; and H.G. Barnes; Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home for Colored People; the Colored Graded School; First Baptist Church; Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church; C.H. Darden & Sons Undertakers; and Lincoln Benefit Society.

On page one, the main text of digitized version of the insert is difficult to read, but the advertisements and photographs are clear. Surrounding an image of the just-opened Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home are ads placed by Henry Tart, “The Transfer Man”; York Pressing Shop; and C.H. Darden Undertakers. In addition to their funeral business, the Dardens touted their bicycle and firearm dealerships and their status as agents for Victor talking machines and records. The proprietors of the pressing club are listed only as Reed and Whitty. I have not been able to identify Whitty, but Reed seems to have been Lonnie Reid (a cousin of J.D. Reid), who is listed in the 1912 Hill’s city directory of Wilson operating a clothes cleaning shop at 603 East Nash Street. York was short-lived, as in the 1916 directory Reid was in business with Dunn, North Carolina, resident William Bates. Their tailor shop, Bates & Reid, also operated from 603 East Nash.

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Original document in the collection of the Freeman Round House Museum, Wilson, and digitized at www.digitalnc.org.

Newsy notes from Wide Awake.

The state colored firemen‘s convention came to town. Negroes, who “generally have very fine, rich, resonant voices, full of volume and melody,” sang. Braswell R. Winstead, normally “well-behaved,” had the “bad taste” to “inject venom” into the festivities by complaining of “being oppressed and denied of their rights.” But the finest and most learned Frank S. Hargrave poured oil on the waters with some “very happy and admirably conceived remarks.”

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Raleigh Morning Post, 11 August 1904.

A quarrel over house rent.

San Antonio Register 8 5 1932 MS Gilliam cut by Hargrave

San Antonio Register, 5 August 1932.

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Pittsburgh Courier, 6 August 1932.

Sometime between 1910, when he and Annie Gilliam appear in the census of Plymouth, Washington County, and 1912, Dr. Matthew Stanley Gilliam moved his family and practice to Wilson. The city directory that year lists Dr. Gilliam’s address (probably that of his office) at 532 East Nash Street. Later directories place his office at 516 East Nash and his home at 805 East Nash Street (now occupied by Edwards Funeral Home). The inventory list accompanying the Nomination Form for designation for East Wilson as a National Historic District notes that Gilliam owned rental property in the 1300 block of East Nash and on Ashe Street. Presumably, it was in one of these houses that Gilliam had his fatal encounter with Andrew Hargrave.

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43rd State Sunday School convention.

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Minutes of the Forty-Third Annual Session of the North Carolina Baptist State Sunday School Convention (1915). 

Mrs. Sallie Barber — Per her death certificate, Sallie Minnie Blake Barbour was born about 1871 in Wake County to Essex and Clara Hodge Blake. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson township, Wilson County: mechanic Charlie Barber, 47; wife Sallie, 40, teacher; and sons Luther, 21, John, 17, James, 17, and Herbert, 15, plus two roomers. Wilson’s black graded school was named in her honor in the early 1930s. She died in 1942.

Mrs. Anne E. Weeks — In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson township, Wilson County: Alfred Weeks, 44, a minister; wife Annie, 44; daughter Marie, 14, and sister Bessie, 26. Annie Elizabeth Cook Weeks, then a resident of Elizabeth, New Jersey, died while visiting Wilson on 19 April 1943. Her death certificate noted that she was born in Wake Forest, North Carolina, in 1875 to Henderson B. and Mariah D. Batchlor Cook of Wake County, and was a teacher.

F.S. Hargrave — Dr. Frank Settle Hargrave was a physician.

S.Y. Griffin

Miss Daisy Holland — In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson township, Wilson county: at 450 Goldsboro Street, widow Charity Holland, 48, laundress; son Charlie Holland, 24, barber; and daughters Jane, 20, Mazie, 18, Daisy, 18, Lue, 16, and Lillian, 12. Daisy died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 10 May 1927. Her death certificate notes her parents as Benjamin Holland and Charity Jones, originally of Wake County; her husband as George Cooper; and her occupation as school teacher.

Mrs. A.L. Fauk — Probably, Arzalia L. Faulk. In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson township, Wilson County: barber Hiram Faulk, 44; wife Arzalia L., 40, a dressmaker; and daughter Marie, 14.

A.L.E. Week — New Bern native Rev. Alfred Leonard Edward Weeks was minister of Tabernacle Baptist Church in Wilson. He was pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church of New Bern from 1896-1912 and his “dynamic leadership” is credited with the rebuilding of the church after a devastating fire, as well as the founding of the New Bern Industrial Collegiate Institute.

Minutes at Duke Divinity School Library Archives.

Dr. Frank S. Hargrave.

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Yenser, Thomas, ed., Who’s Who in Colored America, 6th ed. (1942).

Dr. Frank Settle Hargrave, a native of Lexington, North Carolina, was a founder of Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home (later known as Mercy Hospital) and its medical director from 1913 to 1923. He was president of the National Medical Association (the African-American equivalent of the American Medical Association) 1914-15.