Hines

Memories of William Hines.

I wrote here of the memoir of long-time Darden High School principal Edward M. Barnes. At the time, I believed the pink booklet to be a one-off tribute published by Darden High School Alumni Association. However, on a recent visit to Sallie B. Howard School, I was introduced to an entire library of these works spanning multiple literary genres — written, edited, and published in the 1980s and ’90s by Mrs. Howard for use in the Youth Enrichment Program.

I was particularly interested in this booklet, and Dr. JoAnne Woodard generously offered me a copy. William Hines seems scarcely remembered now, but was for nearly three-quarters of the twentieth century arguably Wilson’s most civically engaged African-American citizen.

The booklet is organized in a series of Mrs. Howard’s recollections. William Hines was her family’s landlord, and her earliest memories involve the house at 1011 Washington Street.

“… [W]hen we moved into his tenant house in 1935 or ’36, it was the first house we had ever lived in with electricity and an ‘inside’ toilet! We felt extremely fortunate as many of Wilson’s tenant houses did not have such accommodations.”

“How well I remember this neat little four-room house …. It sat so near the sidewalk there was hardly room to frow flowers in the front. In fact, the front porch steps were practically on the sidewalk itself! This, however, was not unusual as many houses were similarly situated during that time. I suppose the rationale of the builders was to leave room in the back so that the residents could plant gardens if they so desired. And in those lean days — nearly everyone desired!”  

“Mr. Hines owned many houses all over Wilson. He also owned his own barber shop where he employed as many as 12 barbers. The house we lived in sat right across the street from others who also owned their own homes. I remember my mother being highly impressed by the green striped awnings of some of these homeowner neighbors. Each summer they would lower these pretty awnings in order to shade their front porches. …”

“I also remember Mr. Hines as one of the donors of cash awards to students who excelled in various subjects at Darden High. Money was hard to come by in those days, and I for one worked hard to capture one of these cash prizes.”

“About 1942, I was a patient at Mercy Hospital on E. Green St. It was said that Mr. Hines was one of the persons who secured the funds from the Duke Endowment for the operations of this hospital. He was the Administrator at the time I was a patient. Practically every morning he would come into the war and say a little something to the patients.”

” … my high school days were filled with priceless memories: the parties, the basketball games held in heatless warehouses (I don’t remember feeling cold!); the football games played in the snow and slush in back of Darden High (I don’t remember feeling cold!); the Junior-Senior proms held on the 3rd floor of the old Vick casino (walk up!); the many concerts and dramas given by our school etc. …”

“Mr. Hines was one of the founders of the Men’s Civic Club. And it was this distinguished group of men who finally succeeded in getting a recreational facility for our community. Today, this facility is known as the Reid Street Center. Now the Black Community had a brand new place in which to house their various activities. How well I remember the Big Bands that played in our new facility. …”

William and Ethel Cornwell Hines in photo reproduced from booklet.

Town turns down request for recreation funding.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 September 1937.

The path to building Reid Street Community Center was a rocky one. As reported in September 1937, African-American community leaders, headed by William Hines, appeared repeatedly before Wilson’s Board of Aldermen (the precursor to City Council) seeking help.  To match federal funds, the group requested $7500 to add to another $7500 they hoped to receive from the county. When the county declined to approve the funds, the group returned to the city to ask for the $7500 outright to build a scaled-down building. “The request was voted down by the Aldermen last night on the grounds that the appropriation the town had made was contingent on the county’s appropriation and that there seemed to be some doubt anyway whether the town even could appropriate the money.”

The Center was finally funded in the spring of 1938 and opened at the end of the year.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Tributes to Dr. L.V. Grady.

Wilson Daily Times, 22 February 1936.

After faltering in the 1920s, Wilson’s Black hospital reorganized and reopened as non-profit Mercy Hospital in 1930. Carolina General Hospital’s Dr. Leland V. Grady was instrumental in guiding Mercy’s administrators through the hospital’s earliest years, and William Hines and Camillus L. Darden penned tributes to him at his death.

1009 and 1011 Washington Street.

The one hundred-fifty-first 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, 1009 Atlantic is: “ca. 1930; 1 story; shotgun with strong bungalow traits, including gable-end porch and shingle-shake gable; built as tenant housing by William Hines.”

1011 Atlantic is: “ca. 1930; 1 story; shotgun with strong bungalow traits; similar originally to #1011; also built Hines for tenants.”

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  • 1009

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C.: Bell James T (c; Pennie) barber Cherry Hotel Shop h 1009 Washington

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C.: Wright Mary (c) lndrs h 1009 Washington; also Wright Preston (c) h 1009 Washington

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1009 Washington, paying $6/month rent, Beatrice Ruffin, 25, tobacco factory stemmer; and, paying $12/month, Thomas Evans, 26, water department employee, Town of Wilson; wife Maggie, 27, tobacco factory stemmer; son Richard, 6; Coy Evans, 22, tobacco factory laborer, and James Evans, 20, farm laborer.

In 1940, Thomas Evans registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 24 April 1914 in Wilson; his contact was wife Maggie Evans; and he worked for the Town of Wilson.

In 1940, James Arthur Evans registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 24 July 1919 in Wilson County; lived at 1009 Washington Street; his contact was brother Thomas Evans Jr., 1009 Washington; and he worked for Josh Bryant, Route 2, Elm City, N.C.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Evans Thos (c; Maggie) lab h 1009 Washington

  • 1011

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C.: Floyd Ambrose (c; Mattie) drayman h 1011 Washington

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C.: Floyd Ambrose (c; Mattie) truck driver h 1011 Washington

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1009 Washington, rented for $17/month, taxi chauffeur Ambrose Floyd, 28; wife Mattie, 28; and children William A., 9, James, 8, Mateel, 6, Earnesteen, 5, and Hattie M., 1; and sister-in-law Hattie McLoran, 29, cook.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1011 Washington, Nathan Townsend, 43, born in Maxton, truck driver for retail coal company, and wife Narcissus, 44, born in Kenly, private cook.

In 1942, Nathan Townsend registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 15 July 1897 in Robeson County, N.C.; lived at 1011 East Washington; his contact was mother Sarah Townsend, Wagram, N.C.; and he worked for Bardin Coal Company, 701 Mercer Street, Wilson.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Townsend Nathan (c) driver Bardin Coal h 1011 Washington

Studio shots, no. 190: Willie B. Hines.

Willie Benjamin Hines (1927-1990).

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In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Turner Hines, 51; wife Eliza, 50; and children Beatrice, 17, Tommie, 15, Rosa, 13, Frances, 12, Creasy, 11, Turner Jr., 8, Daisy L., 6, Willie B., 4, and Fred D., 3.

In the 1940 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Turner Hines, 62, and children Rosetta, 23, Francis, 22, Lucretia, 21, Turner J., 18, Daisey, 17, Willie B., 13, Fred, 11, Freeman, 8, Ederene, 6, and Thelma D., 4.

In 1945, Willie Benjamin Hines registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration, he was born 17 February 1927 in Wilson County; lived at Route 4, Box 184, Wilson; his contact was father Turner Hines, 1001 East Vance Street, Wilson; and he worked for [brother-in-law] George Powell, Route 4, Box 184.

Photo courtesy of Roger Barron.

300 North Reid Street.

The one hundred-forty-fourth 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 building is: “ca. 1930; 1 1/2 stories; Jesse Knight house; popular bungalow design with gable roof and engaged porch; shed dormer; Knight was a porter at the Cherry Hotel in Wilson.”

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In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hines Ashley (c; Margaret) driver h 300 N Reid

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hines Ashley (c; Margaret) truck driver h 300 N Reid

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 300 Reid, rented for $20/month, Ash Hines, 36, tobacco factory laborer; wife Margrette, 37, public school teacher; and son Albert, 11.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 300 Reid, owned and valued at $2000, Jessie Knight, 38, cook, and wife Lessie, 42, maid. 

In 1942, Jesse Knight registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he was born 15 March 1902 in Edgecombe County, N.C.; lived at 300 North Reid Street; his contact was Rodda McMillan, 103 South Vick Street; and he worked for J.T. Barnes.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 December 1946.

Jesse Knight died 28 January 1952 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 52 years old; was born in Edgecombe County to John Knight and Sallie Batts; lived at 300 North Reid; worked as a laborer; and was married to Lessie Knight.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2021.

William Hines and Willie C. Reid merge barber shops.

In January 1932, William Hines announced the merger of his barber shop with Willie C. Reid‘s Wilson Barber Shop. The new business would occupy the space Reid had held at 130 South Goldsboro Street. (The address is the southernmost storefront of the Hackney Building at 124-130 South Goldsboro and is adjacent to today’s Eyes on Main Street gallery.)

Wilson Daily Times, 16 January 1932.

Hines’ former location at 113 South Tarboro was to close at the end of the month, and he announced an immediate reduction in service prices. (A Boncilla massage, by the way, involved a mud mask with Boncilla-brand “clasmic clay” and was touted to resolve wrinkles, lines, blackheads, enlarged pores, and oily skin.

Wilson Daily Times, 18 January 1932.

  • Willie C. Reid

In the 1910 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Jesse Reid, 59; wife Sallie, 53; and children Emmar J., 27, Barnes, 24, Willie, 22, Browdy, 19, Lonely, 17, Effie, 13, and Earle, 10.

In the 1910 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Jesse Reid, 59; wife Sallie, 53; and children Emmar J., 27, Barnes, 24, Willie, 22, Browdy, 19, Lonely, 17, Effie, 13, and Earle, 10.

In 1917, Willie C. Reid registered for the World War I draft in Duplin County, North Carolina. Per his registration card, he was born 28 April 1886 in Fremont, N.C.; lived in Warsaw, N.C.; and worked as a barber for John A. Gaston, Warsaw, N.C. [Gaston was a Wilson County native.]

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: at 407 Vick Street, widow Sallie Reid, 64; sons Willie, 30, barber, Boydie, 20, tailor, and Lonely, 25, tailor, daughter-in-law Mary, 24, schoolteacher, granddaughter Hilter, 3 months, and daughters Effie, 23, and widow Emma E., 35.

On 27 October 1920, Willie Columbus Reid, 31, of Wilson, son of Jesse and Sallie Reid, married Mary E. Galley, 25, of Wilmington, daughter of James J. and Lena E. Galley, at Saint Stephen’s A.M.E. Church in Wilmington, N.C.

In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Reid William (c) barber The Mayflower h 304 N Vick

In the 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Reid Wm C (c; Mary) barber 130 S Goldsboro h 304 N Vick

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 304 Vick, rented for $14/month, Willie C. Reid, 54, native of Fremont, N.C.; wife Mary E., 46, county school teacher and native of Wilmington, N.C.; and children William M., 16, and Helen E., 18.

Willie Columbus Reid died 26 January 1969 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 28 April 1886 to Jessie Reid and Sallie [maiden name not known]; was married to Mary E. Reid; lived at 1106 Atlantic Street; and had worked as a barber.

Clippings courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Carl W. Hines tops honor roll.

Wilson Daily Times, 5 November 1933.

Bulletin of A.&T. College (1933-34), published quarterly by The Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina.

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Carl W. Hines went on to become a beloved mathematics and band teacher at C.H. Darden High School and a principal at Adams and B.O. Barnes Elementary Schools.

Snaps, no. 91: At home with friends, Los Angeles, 1950s.

Two of Walter S. and Sarah Dortch Hines‘ children migrated to Los Angeles, California, where they joined the city’s emerging mid-century Black high society. Elizabeth “Scottie” Hines Eason and her Texas-born husband Newell Eason were educators. Eason grew up in Los Angeles and attended UCLA and, after several years teaching at Shaw University in Raleigh, took his family back to California just after World War II. Scottie Eason’s brother Walter D. Hines and his wife Cadence Baker Hines, who met in Michigan, arrived in the late 1940s. Their friend, lawyer Walter Gordon, left a trove of photographs that captured the era, including this one:

On couch, left to right: Kenneth Levy, Honore Levy, Newell Eason, Scottie Hines Eason, Dr. Arthur Mitchell, Gloria Mitchell. Seated: Clara Gordon, unidentified girl, Cadence Hines, and Dr. Walter D. Hines.

The Shaw University Bulletin, July-August Edition, 1937.

At home with friends, Los Angeles, 1950s,” Walter L. Gordon Jr./William C. Beverly Jr. Collection, UCLA Special Library Collections.