Hilliard

903 East Nash Street.

The eighty-third 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, this house is: “circa 1930; 1 story; Rufus Hilliard house; bungalow with gable roof and small gabled entry porch; form appears to have been extended to accommodate tenants; Hilliard operated store at #901 [The People’s Palace] and speculated in local real estate.”

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Murray Wm (c) h 903 E Nash

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: [at 903 East Nash], owned and valued at $2000, Lelia Hillard, 36, teacher at Lucama Graded School, living in Florence, S.C., in 1935, and husband Rufus, 43, fireman for City of Wilson power plant.

In 1940, John Smith Hammett registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 19 February 1912 in Clarendon, South Carolina; resided at 903 East Nash Street; his contact was Rufus W. Hilliard, uncle, 903 East Nash; and he worked for the Town of Wilson.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hilliard Rufus W (c; Lelia) firemn Town of Wilson h 903 E Nash

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hilliard Rufus W (c; Lelia) firemn City Light Water & Gas Dept h 903 E Nash

Rufus Wimberly Hilliard died 5 December 1976 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 16 July 1896 to Albert H. Hilliard and Penina Wimberly; was married to Lela Washington Hilliard; lived at 903 East Nash; and was a retired fireman with the Wilson Power Plant.

 

Dancing and games on East Nash Street.

Pittsburgh Courier, 20 January 1934.

  • Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Hilliard — Rufus Hilliard, 35, of Wilson, son of A.H. Hilliard and Penina V. [Wimly?], married Lela M. Washington, 29, daughter of William Washington and Martha (last name not listed) on 30 December 1932 in Wilson. Baptist minister B.F. Jordan performed the ceremony in the presence of J.S. Spell, E. D.[illegible] Fisher and Nancy Wilkins. Rufus Wimberly Hilliard died 5 December 1976. Lela Washington Hilliard died 26 July 1985.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Levi Peacock Jr. — Levi H. Peacock, 22, of Wilson, son of Levi and Hannah Peacock, married Elouise Reavis, 20, of Wilson, daughter of Joseph and Etta Reavis, on 4 October 1922 in Wilson. W.A. Mitchner applied for the license, and Presbyterian minister A.H. George performed the ceremony in the presence of John D. Henry, Henrietta Foster and John H. Parris.
  • Gilda Whitley
  • Jethro Couch
  • Ruth E. Hooker — Ruth Hooker Coppedge died 26 May 1945 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 41 years old; resided at 200 South Vick Street, Wilson; was married to George Coppedge; was born in Wilson to Frank Richard Hooker of Greene County and Eleanor Farmer of Wilson County; and was a school teacher.
  • Allie M. Hines — Within days of the Hilliards’ soiree, on 27 January 1934, Willis E. Prince, 47, son of Turner Prince and Sarah (last name not given) married Alma Mae Hines, 29, daughter of Amos and Sarah Hines, in Wilson. C.E. Artis applied for the license, and A.M.E. Zion minister I. Albert Moore performed the ceremony in the presence of M.W. Hines, C.L. Darden and A.M. Dupree. In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Willis Prince, 54, carpenter contractor, and wife Allie, age not listed.
  • Willis Prince — Willis Ephriam Prince died 2 October 1960 at Mercy Hospital. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 January 1889 in Edgecombe County to Turner Prince and Sarah (last name not listed); worked as a merchant; was married; and resided at 205 Stantonsburg Street. Allie Mae Prince was informant.

102 North East Street.

The thirteenth 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. 1913; 2 stories; Queen Anne house with L-plan and cross-gable roof; intact turned-post porch.”

The history of occupancy of this shabby gem is spotty. Though the house’s year of construction is estimated at 1913, the house does not appear on the 1922 Sanborn insurance map of Wilson unless the house at 901 East Nash was moved and reoriented to face East Street at the red X. The plan of the house at 901 closely resembles that of 102 North East.

east

Laborer Rufus Hilliard* and his wife Pennie are listed at 102 North East Street in the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory. However, in 1940, when Roosevelt Leech [Leach] registered for the World War II draft, he listed his address as 102 North East Street. He also indicated that he was born 25 May 1913 in Johnston County; was married to Hattie Leech; and worked as a cook in his own cafe at 512 East Nash Street.  He signed the card with an X. The 1941 city directory also shows Leach at the address. In 1942, when George Lee Williams registered for the draft, he named Hattie Leach of 109 [sic] North East Street as his nearest relative. Williams was born in Goldsboro on 10 March 1924 and worked for Draper Brothers in Frederica, Delaware. Roosevelt Leach died 30 October 1943 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he lived at 102 North East Street, was married to Hattie Leach, worked as a cook, and was born in Johnston County to Colman Leach and Mary Hall. In 1945, Robert Earl Williams, presumably George’s brother, named Hattie Leach, 102 North East Street, as his guardian on his draft registration card. He indicated that he had been in Wayne County on 11 August 1927 and worked as a laborer.

Sarah Sauls died 3 October 1961 in Wilson at her home at 102 North East Street. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 May 1888 in Greene County to Patric Sauls and Ada Thomas and was buried in the family cemetery in Black Creek. Bessie Sauls of 102 North East Street was informant.

In the 1963 Hill’s city directory, Hattie E. Lee is listed at 102 North East.

*The National Register nomination form describes 903 East Nash Street, just around the corner from 102 North East, as the Rufus Hilliard house and notes that Hilliard operated a store at 901 East Nash [the People’s Palace, built about 1940 and destroyed since the district was registered] and speculated in local real estate. Such real estate included 104 North East Street, built circa 1930.

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017.

“Have YOU got any mules to jerk?”

In which G.R. Jones shoots into a house and wounds four people after Patty Spell and her children curse him out.

wdt-7-29-1910

Wilson Daily Times, 29 July 1910.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Morton Road, widow Patsie Spells, 33, with children Lula, 19, Johnnie, 14, and Effie, 11. Next door: Daniel Geer, 75, wife Sarah, 66, and children Mary E., 29, Chas., 21, James, 20, Frank, 18, Floyd, 12, Cora, 11, Clarra, 9, Thomas, 6, and William, 5. [Sidenote: on Christmas Eve 1918, Effie Spell, 18, daughter of Hugh and Patsey Spell, married Ashley Simms, 22, son of Needham and Jane Simms, all of Wilson County. This is not the same Ashley Simms pictured in a previous post.]

Amos Hayes appears in the 1910 census of Wilson township as a 55 year-old white farmer. Doc Hilliard and G.R. Jones are not found.

They are all the time playing with the gun.

North Carolina, Wilson County }

We the undersigned Jury summoned by L.O. Hays coroner of Wilson County to investigate the killing of Abraham Harris, met on the premises on this the 15 day of January 1899, and after being duly sworn, and viewing the body of deceased, and hearing the evidence of the following Witnesses to wit: Jack Hilliard, Laura Hilliard, John Hilliard, Dutch Bennet, Mattie Harris and Mintus Woodard do render the following verdict to wit: That the deceased Abraham Harris came to his death from a shot from a gun in the hands of Robt Hilliard and we find that said shooting was accidental.   /s/ [torn] Farmer, [torn], J.F. Mayo, B.F. Taylor, W.C. Mayo, A.G. Winstead. I hereby approve the same 1 15 1899. /s/ L.O. Hayes Cor.

Witnesses in case of Death of Abraham –

Jack Hilliard.

Is the father of the boy who killed Abraham Harris. Lives in this house. Saw Abraham early this morning. Dutch Bennet Robt Hilliard and Dutch Bennett were together playing had no stick time was after sun up. Sun about two hours and a half high. Robt lives with me. Robt left here after sun up to go to [illegible] House. Abrham married Robt sister. Did not all go in the house. They were playing at gate and Robt slammed the gate too run in the house and hid between the beds and Abraham came in the house after him. Abraham grabbed Johnnie for Robert and shook him. My wife said that is not Robert yonder is Robert. Then Robert kneeled down. Soon as Robert kneeled down the gun struck the bed and went off. Robert had hold of the gun. The gun was sitting back of gun [sic] Robert reached and got the gun as Abraham turned John loose and started towards him. Abraham did not say anything to Robert. Robert did not say anything. Single barrel Breech loder. Robert had the gun in his hand sitting with face towards Abraham. As Robert dropped down towards him it struck the bed. Robert did not have gun pointed toward him. Both were laughing. I was near fire place. My wife was in front of me. Don’t know that my wife had hold of him or not. She eased him down. Abraham did not say a word. Robt said Lord Lord have I killed my brother in law. They are all time playing with the gun. Took the gun I think to point at him. Don’t think he intended to shoot him. Robert about sixteen. Abraham and Robert had no fuss had not been drinking. Abraham has been married around 8 years. Saw him when he was squatted down and had the gun. Do not know whether the gun was cocked or not. Did not see his hand at that time. When the gun struck the floor hit hard cant tell whether barrel struck bed or floor. Jack (X) Hilliard

Laura Hilliard.

I was comeing in the door. They were laughing. Abraham caught hold of Johnnie and Johnnie said this is not Robt. Johnnie went out doors. I pointed my finger at Robt and said yonder is Robt. Robt stooped down the gun fired. As I turned my head to look Robt said Lord Ma I aint I shot my brother in law. I said no he aint hurt. He is standing here laughing. When I laid him down on the floor he was smiling. I felt the blood then was the time I knew he was hurt. He did not live many minutes after he was shot. Laura (X) Hilliard

John Hilliard.

I got up started out to tell Dutch Bennet to come in house and heard gun fire. Turned round he was falling. As I went out Abraham came in Robt had gun in his hand when I went out standing up. Abraham did not say anything to me. Abraham run up against me and shook me. Did not know gun was loaded. Mintus Woodard was at fireplace his mule was at gate Dutch Bennet was out there I did not here ma say anything. Robt did not say anything when he got the gun. Robt had gun when Abraham came in house. John (X) Hilliard

Dutch Bennett.

Live across field no kin to parties, I first saw Abraham Harris at his house this morning Robt came to his house as were fixing to go off. Had no conversation Abraham wanted to borry Robs hat and was coming after got to playing at the gate grabbing at each other. I told Rob to bring hat to the gate. He said no let Abraham come and get it. They got to grabbing at each other playing and laughing. Rob came running to the house and Abraham after him. I stayed out and heard the gun fire. Have never heard Rob say anything about shooting Abraham. Never heard of there having any difficulty. Came in house pretty soon after gun fired. Door was open. Saw Abraham falling he did not speak after I got in house. Did not see Abraham before gun shot. When I came in aunt Laura was in house. Rest had gone out. All were out doors crying and hollering. Rob said O Lord I have killed my brother in law I would not have done it for anything. I staid out about five minutes after gun shot before I came in. Have not talked to matter over with others before this. Don’t know where Mintus Woodard was at the time. Don’t remember seeing him was not frightened. Come here right often. Intimate with family do not run with Robt know Mintus Woodard when I see him. Been over swamp today, and home. Sun was about two hours of more high when gun fired. Staid at house about an hour afterwards. Dutch (X) Bennett.

Mattie Harris.

I am the wife of Abraham Harris and sister of Robt Hilliard. Abraham left home between 8 and 9 oclock. Dutch Bennett and Rob were with him. Robt went home about eight or nine oclock. Rob and Abraham were talking about hat. Abraham asked Rob for his hat. After the talk about hat Abraham went off. Robt has not been to house often. Robt and Abraham have never had any fuss. Always mighty loving. I heard Robt saying he had shot his brother in law. I asked Mintus Woodard how come it. He said they were playing. Robt said I did not know there was a load in the gun Don’t know who was in the house at the time. When I heard gun I thought they had shot at something in the field. Mattie (X) Harris

Mintus Woodard.

I was sitting by the fire when Rob run in house — run on other side the bed and grabbed up a gun. When he run in the door he was laughing Rob had in his hand pointed towards fire place when Abraham came in. I don’t know whether it was cocked or not. Abraham came in and said where is he about that time gun fired. When gun fired he fell down. Robt did not say anything before he shot. He was stooping down. I don’t remember him slamming gun on the floor. Soon as he fell I got up and went out. Jack was in one corner & me in other. Abraham was by himself when shot. I did not hear Laura say there is Rob. Rob said I have shot my brother in law I did not know gun was loaded. Have not heard of any fuss between Rob & Abraham. Mintus (X) Woodard

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In the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Jack Hilliard, 44, wife Laura, 25, children Mattie, 5, John, 3, and Doctor, 1; Alford Harris, 16; plus John, 20, and Ben Wasdon, 20, both white.

In the 1900 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Jack Hilliard, 62, wife Laura, 60, and children Henry, 16, and John, 22. Laura reported 5 of 6 children living. Also in the 1900 census of Stantonsburg township: widow Mattie Harris, 25; her children Abraham, 6, Laurena, 5, Charity, 3, and Maggie, 1; brothers Dock, 21, and Robert Hilliard, 19; and boarder Eady King, 23, also a widow.

Coroner’s Records, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

 

The death of Moses Brandon.

Victim of Heart Failure.

Moses Brandon, a negro, fell dead today at 2:15 from heart failure.

The negro, it appears, was walking on Spring street, opposite the Norfolk Southern cotton platform, when suddenly he threw up his hands and fell to the ground. Smith Bennett, another negro who lived nearby, saw him and ran to his assistance. He saw though that Brandon was dying and ran to get a chair. Brandon died in a few minutes.

The deceased had conducted a restaurant in this city for a great many years and is one of Wilson’s best known colored citizens.   — Wilson Daily Times, 4 March 1914.

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Moses Brandon, son of Frances Terry of Virginia, married Amie Hilliard on 22 May 1895 in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister L.B. Williams performed the ceremony, and Charles H. Darden, Braswell R. Winstead and L.A. Moore served as witnesses.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Virginia-born Moses Brandon, 50, day laborer; wife Emmie, 45, washerwoman; and son Marvin, 12. (Smith Bennett, 47, a brickmason, and his daughter Addie, 2o, also appear in the Wilson census.)

In the 1908 Wilson city directory, Moses Brandon’s listing shows his “eating house” at 127 South Goldsboro Street and his home at 125 Ashe.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Moses Brandon, 55, proprietor of boarding house, and wife Amy, 51, laundress. Her only child was reported dead.

In the 1912 Wilson city directory, Moses Brandon’s listing shows his eating house at 411 East Nash and his home at 127 Ashe.

Page_11) 127 E. Goldsboro. 2) 411 E. Nash. 3) 125-127 Ashe. 4) N&S cotton platform, Spring Street. Sanborn map of Wilson NC, 1913.

Brandon died intestate. Two months after his death, his widow Amy applied for letters of administration for his estate, valued at $300. Camillus L. Darden (son of Charles L. Darden, above) and Roderick Taylor joined her to give a $600 bond.

M Brandon Admin Bond

Amy Brandon did not long outlive her husband. The will she drew up in September 1916 was proved six months later:

North Carolina, Wilson County.   I, Amy Brandon, a colored woman, of the state of North Carolina and county of Wilson, being of sound mind and memory but considering the uncertainty of this my earthly existence and wishing to arrange for the proper handling of my affairs and the distribution of my property in the event of my death, do make, publish, and declare this my last will and testament in manner and form following:

First: my executor, hereinafter named and designated, shall give my body a decent burial, suitable to the wishes of my relatives. And it is my desire that my said executor have my body interred in the burial ground at Wilson, North Carolina.

I direct my said executor to pay all my funeral expenses and all my just debts out of the first moneys coming into his hands from my said estate.

Second: I give, bequeath and devise to my beloved and only sister, Lucinda Holloway, now living and residing at No. 624 Princess Anne Avenue, Norfolk, Virginia, all my property, real and personal, of whatsoever kind and condition and wheresoever situate, to her and her heirs and assigns, in fee simple forever.

Third: I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint, Camillus Darden, a colored man of Wilson, North Carolina, a friend of myself and family, my lawful executor, to all intents and purposes to execute this my last will and testament and every part and clause thereof according to the true intent and meaning of the same, hereby revoking and declaring void all other wills and testaments by me heretofore made.

In Testimony Whereof, I, the said Amy Brandon, have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal, this the 8th day of September, 1916.     Amy (X) Brandon  {seal}

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Amy Brandon to be her last will and testament in the presence of us, who at her request and in her presence, and in the presence of each other, have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.    Witnesses: /s/ D.C. Yancey, Ph.G., L.A. Moore