Manchester Street

Someone to take care of her.

Like hundreds of others, Annie Mae Lewis likely came to Wilson during the Depression to seek work in the tobacco factories. She fell sick though, far from her family, and died in the winter of 1934.

Registrar Kate C. Daniels’ note on Lewis’ death certificate: “This girl came here from S.C. & the welfare dept got this woman at 313 Manchester St to take care of her.”


Manchester Street, today.

Manchester Street was home to several of late 19th century black Wilson’s most prosperous working class families. When Samuel H. Vick chose a location for his ponderous Queen Anne, however, he bypassed Manchester in favor of a block laid out in a plat he himself had registered. East Green Street immediately eclipsed Manchester as the most fashionable address for Wilson’s nascent African-American professional class, and Manchester faded rapidly.

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 6.24.06 PM.png

Manchester Street was not recorded in Sanborn fire insurance maps until 1913, shown here. The uniformity of the houses on the southeastern side of the street suggest rental property. John H. Clark’s fine dwelling, with its idiosyncratic gazebo, is on the corner facing Nash.

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 6.30.03 PM.png

The same block in the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map.

Manchester Street today, aerial view courtesy Google maps.

Manchester Street, looking southeast from Nash Street. Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2016.

A valuable town lot.


Wilson Daily Times, 24 October 1910.

Carpenter Gray A. Farmer married Argent R. Blount on 15 March 1876 at Smith Knight’s residence in Wilson County. The couple had at least seven children: Eleanor J. Farmer Hooker (1876-1944), Charlie Gray Farmer (1878-??), Rosa Farmer McCollum (1884-1947), Roberta Farmer, Gladys Farmer (1888-1910), Bernice Farmer Hooker Suber (1890-??), and Hattie Farmer (1891-??). Gray Farmer died circa 1892. Argent Farmer apparently died about 1910.