This house is not within the bounds of East Wilson Historic District. However, the blocks of Mercer Street southwest of the Norfolk & Southern Railroad lines have been an African-American residential area since the early twentieth century.
The house was likely built 1900-1920 and appears on the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map.
In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Holloway Henry (c; Millie) lab h 908 Mercer. Also: Holloway Narcissus (c) dish washer h 908 Mercer. Also: Holloway Elizabeth (c) maid h 908 Mercer
In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, 908 Mercer is listed as vacant.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: renting for $4/month, Priscilla Little, 47, laundress; daughter Margaret, 21, “hang or shake tobacco” at redrying plant; and granddaughters Leigh Virginia, 2, and Romaine, 7 months.
In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bynum Paul (c; Dollena; 3) lab h 908 Mercer. Also: Bynum Mollie (c) h 908 Mercer
Delores Bynum died 9 November 1941 at her home at 908 Mercer Street. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 June 1941 in Wilson to Paul Bynum and Dorlena Anderson and was buried in Rountree Cemetery.
Mollie Bynum died 25 October 1947 at her home at 908 Mercer Street. Per her death certificate, she was born 22 November 1879 to Louis Haggans and was a widower. She was buried in Rountree Cemetery. Paul Bynum, 2306 Marshall Avenue, Newport News, Virginia, was informant.
Wilson Daily Times, 27 October 1947.
In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Whitley James (c; Hazel) carp h 908 Mercer
In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: south of the Plank Road, Edward Holloway, 39, farm worker; wife Harriet, 44; and children Lewis, 20, Abigail, 11, James S., 6, and Milly, 3.
On 4 August 1880, Lewis Holliday [sic] and Leah Farmer were issued a license to marry in Wilson County.
In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Lewis Halaway, 40; wife Lear, 39; and children Jeff, 14, Edwin, 12, Elic, 10, Harry, 5, Anie, 8, Lewis, 4, and Willie, 7 months.
Jeff Holloway, 21, of Wilson, son of Louis and L. Holloway, married Hardena Best, 21, of Wilson County, daughter of Owen [Orren] and Hansey Best, on 22 August 1906 at the bride’s residence. Charlie B. Gay applied for the license, and A.M.E. Zion minister N.D. King performed the ceremony in the presence of Sarah Best, William Simms, Shepherd Sharp, and Martha Scarborough.
The 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory listed Alexander and Benjamin Holloway, both laborers, and Lewis Holloway, driver, all at Nash near Bynum [in other words, Grabneck.]
In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: hardware store laborer Louis Holoway, 47; wife Leah, 43, laundress; children Ellic, 19, Harry, 14, and Louis Jr., 12, grocery store laborers, and Wilber, 11; and lodger Aaron Campbell, 19, wagon factory laborer.
Henry Rountree, 20, of Wilson, married Annie Holloway, 19, of Wilson, daughter of Louis and Lear Holloway, on 30 March 1910. Noah Best applied for the license, and Primitive Baptist minister Jonah Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of Jeff Holloway, Lewis Holloway and James A. Whitley.
Though it’s not entirely clear, it appears Louis Holloway died between 1910 and 1916. His death certificate has not been found.
The 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory listed Alexander Holloway, well digger; Annie Holloway, laundress; Harry Holloway, butler; Jeff Holloway, porter; Leah Holloway, laundress; Lewis Holloway, cook; and Wilbur Holloway, helper at P.D. Gold Publishing Company, all living at West Nash Street extended. [Lewis here is likely Louis Holloway Jr.]
The 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory listed Annie, Harriet and Lelia Holloway, all domestics, and Louis and Wilbur Holloway, both laborers, at W Nash near Young.
Leah Holloway, 62, of Wilson, daughter of Harry and Rosa Farmer, married Jeremiah Scarboro, 63, of Wilson, son on Robert and Flora Scarboro, in Wilson on 31 March 1922. Missionary Baptist minister Charles T. Jones performed the ceremony in the presence of W.S. Barnes, Columbus Stuart, and Annie Rountree.
Alexander Holiway died 26 April 1929 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 38 years old; was married; was born in Wilson, N.C., to Lewis Holiway and Leah Farmer; and worked as a day laborer. Jeff D. Holiway was informant.
On 30 September 1933, Jeff Holloway, 47, of Wilson, son of Louis and Leah Holloway, both deceased, married Ella May Taylor, 24, of Wilson, daughter of Heywood and Wealthy Taylor. A.M.E. Zion minister John A. Barnes performed the ceremony in the presence of Oliver Best, Bethana Lassiter and Alberta McKethan.
Jefferson Davis Holloway died 7 November 1952 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 November 1885 in Wilson County to Louis Holloway and Leah Farmer; was a minister; was married to Ella Holloway; and lived at 323 Griffin Hill.
On 23 October 1897, Henry Holiway, 23, of Crossroads township, son of Anson Canady and Maggie Wiggins, married Millie Purvies, 19, Crossroads township, daughter of J.K. and Mary Purvies, at Poney Renfrow‘s tenant house of Crossroads township.
In the 1900 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Henry Holiway, 25; wife Millie, 23; and children Amos, 7, and Cora Lee, 1 month.
In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Buck Horn and Kenly Branch Road, farmer Henry Holloway, 47; wife Millie, 45; and children Mattie, 17, Beatrice, 14, Pearline, 12, Narcissus, 9, and Elizabeth, 6.
In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Holloway Henry (c; Millie) lab h 908 Mercer
In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Holloway Henry (c; Millie) lab h 908 Mercer
In 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 704 Warren Street, tobacco factory sweeper Henry Holloway, 67; wife Millie, 60; and grandchildren Cora Lee, 13, and James, 9.
Henry Holloway died 16 December 1966 at his home at 903 Mercer Street, Wilson. He was born 5 August 1871 in Durham, N.C., to Maggie [no last name listed]; and was a laborer.
Rev. LeRoy Pearce
Rev. LeRoy R. Pearce died 15 December 1961 in Rich Square, Northampton County, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born in 9 October 1884 in Fayetteville, N.C., to Rufus and Mary Pearce, and was a minister.
Basically: Will Bullock, who worked at Best’s stables, was holding a horse for Ed Exum outside Batts’ bar. A drunk white man was found lying on the sidewalk, and “Prof. J. Louis Murphy” attempted to put him in Exum’s buggy. Bullock protested and, after some words, Murphy slapped him. Bullock flew at him, and Jim Holloway, accidentally or voluntarily, joined in. All three were arrested and fined, but appealed.
Will Bullock — probably, in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Georgia-born day laborer Will Bullock, 29; wife Martha, 27; and son Clarence W., 2, and Walter N., 8 months; half-siblings Alice, 12, and Mack Scott, 10; and boarder Will Bullock, 29.
The Independent (Elizabeth City, N.C.), 24 June 1921.
Harriet Holloway‘s vision failed; she died less than four months later.
In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory lists Harriet Holloway as owner of a millinery on Nash Street near Vick and living at East Nash near Wainwright. Laborers Jefferson Holloway and Thomas Holloway also lived at East Nash near Wainwright.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Nash Street, Harriet Holoway, 43, laundress, and son Thomas, 23, auto machinist.
In the 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, several Holloways were listed on West Nash Street near Young Avenue — domestics Annie, Harriet and Lelia, and laborer Louis and Wilbur.
Harriet Holaway died 2 October 1921 in Wilson of cancer of the uterus. Per her death certificate, she was 45 years old; was born in Durham, N.C., to Charlie Adams and Mary Trice; was married to Jeff Holaway; and resided at 609 Roberson Street.
On 5 October 1921, Camillus L. Darden appeared in Wilson County Superior Court and was appointed administrator of Harriett Holloway’s estate, her husband Jeff Holloway having renounced the role. T.F. Sanders provided bond with Darden. The estate was described as a house worth about $2500 and personal property valued at $150. Her heirs were Jeff Holloway, Minnie Exum, Thomas Holloway and Eddie Lee Artis (who was a minor.)
Holloway’s desperate measures captured the attention of her neighbors and of newspapers across North Carolina:
On 10 February 1892 in Boston, Massachusetts, Abbie G. Holloway, 21, of New York City, born in Wilson, North Carolina, to John and Amanda Holloway, married John A. McLeod, 24, waiter, of Boston, born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to John and Ruth McLeod. The ceremony was performed by Rev. John A. Hughes at People’s Temple Methodist Episcopal Church in Boston’s South End.
In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farm laborer Edward Holloway, 39; wife Harriet, 44; and children Lewis, 20, Abigail, 11, James S., 6, and Milly, 3. [Is this Abbie G. Holloway? The family was in Rocky Mount, Edgecombe County, in the 1870 census.]
In the 1900 census of Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts: on Village Street, John McLeod, 33, porter, and wife Abbie, 28, headed a household of thirteen African-American men and women lodgers working primarily as waiters and porters.
The McLeods appear in more than a dozen Boston city directories between 1904 and 1925. By 1904, they were living at 10 Clarendon Street, apparently over the laundry in which they worked. By 1911, they were living at 19 Newborn in Roxbury, while still working at 10 Clarendon as laundress and laundryman. In 1914, Mrs. Abbie McLeod was listed with two workplaces, People’s Hand Laundry at 10 Clarendon and Edison Hand Laundry at 24 Yarmouth. By 1920, the McLeods were working at Edison only. [24 Yarmouth Street, by the way, is four-story brownstone now divided into five condominiums valued at $750.000 and up.]
Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston; United Methodist Church Records, 1787–1922, Baptism, Marriage, and Death Registers, New England Methodist Church Commission on Archives and History, Boston School of Theology Library; both digitized at http://www.ancestry.com.
In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: wagon factory laborer Willie Paulkin, 26, wife Pearl, 22, son Atric, 2, and brother Sam, 24, also a wagon factory laborer; plus Wash Joyner, 35, house painter, wife Sarah, 32, laundress, and son Alexander, 13.
In 1917, Alexander B. Joyner registered for the World War I draft in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Per his registration card, he was born 5 June 1896 in Wilson, North Carolina; resided at 616 Viola Street, Wilson; was single; and worked as a chair pusher for Shill Company in Atlantic City. He was described as medium height and build.
Alexander Barnes Joyner registered for the World War II draft in New York, New York, in 1942. Per his registration card, he was born 5 June 1896 in Wilson, North Carolina; resided at 249 West 139th Street, New York; his contact was “George Joyner (wife),” and he worked for the W.P.A., 70 Columbus Avenue, New York.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: postmaster Samuel H. Vick, 37; wife Annie M., 28; and children Elba L., 17, and Daniel L., 3; plus cousin Bessie Parker, 15.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: dealer in real estate Samuel Vick, 47; wife Annie, 38; and children Elma, 17, Daniel L., 13, Samuel E., 10, George, 7, Anna, 5, and Robert, 2.
In 1918, Daniel Leon Vick registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 2 February 1897 in Wilson; resided at 623 Green Street; his father was born in Nash County, North Carolina; he worked for S.H. Vick; and S.H. Vick was his nearest relative. He was described as short and medium build.
In the 1920 census of Washington, D.C.: at 1455 W Street N.W., North Carolina-born Daniel Vick, 22, boarded in the household of Charles L. Jones. He worked as an office building messenger.
Daniel L. Vick registered for the World War II draft in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his registration card, he was born 2 February 1898 in Wilson, North Carolina; resided at 125 North 58th Street, Philadelphia; his contact was Mrs. Annie M. Vick, 622 East Green Street, Wilson; and he worked for John Wilds, 4035 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.