Mercy Hospital

Benefit for Mercy Hospital.

Unlike this benefit in 1930, the program below was aimed at an African-American audience.

Wilson Daily Times, 3 December 1946.

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New historical markers.

Though the coronavirus pandemic has forestalled the customary installation ceremonies, Wilson County Historical Association has erected two of four planned markers commemorating significant African-American people and places in Wilson’s history.

Charles H. Darden. Born in Greene County, 1854. Arrived in Wilson after Civil War. In 1875, here established the first African-American funeral business in Wilson, diversified by son C.L. Darden. Operated for more than 100 years. Local high school named in his honor. (Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church is at rear.)

Dr. Frank S. Hargrave. Born in Lexington, NC. Graduated Leonard Medical School, 1901. Arrived in Wilson, 1903. Founder and Chief of Staff, Mercy Hospital. In 1914, elected President, National Medical Ass’n. President, Lincoln Benefit Society. Home was at 624 E. Green St. (Hargrave’s former home is at left, and Samuel and Annie Washington Vick‘s at right.)

I collaborated with W.C.H.A. on the subject, text, and siting of these markers. I give thanks to the Association and honor to these ancestors.

Allen is getting along nicely.

Wilson Daily Times, 3 June 1937.

Allen died two days later of complications from her surgery.

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In the 1900 census of Stewarts Creek township, Harnett County, N.C.: farmer Ed Armstrong, 29; wife Mary, 25; and six daughters Josephine, 12, Ella, 9, Mary, 6, Rachel, 5, Ola, 3, and Julia, 1.

In the 1910 census of Duke township, Harnett County: farmer Ed Armstrong, 45; wife Cornelia, 45; and children Ellie, 19, Mamie, 17, Rachael, 15, Viola, 14, Julia, 12, Maggie, 10, Ernest, 8, and James, 6.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Allen James B (c; Rachel) rest 217 S Goldsboro h 900 Atlanta [217 S. Goldsboro is the site of today’s Worrell’s Seafood.]

On 26 November 1929, Rachel Armstrong, 36, of Harnett County, daughter of Eddie Armstrong and Lelia Smith, married James Bland Allen, 45, divorced, of Craven County, N.C., son of Wyatt Allen and Eliza Hicks, in Greensville County, Virginia.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 900 Atlantic Street, cafe proprietor Jim Allen, 45; wife Rachel, 32, private nurse; children Elouise, 10, and Fred, 8; and these lodgers — farm laborer Floyd Baker, 26; cook Gertrude Kannary, 27; and Katherine, 10, Martha, 7, and Elouise Baker, 1.

Rachel Allen died 5 June 1937 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born about 1897 in Dunn, N.C., to Edward and Cornelius [sic] Armstrong; was married to James Allen; lived at 405 East Green Street; and worked as a midwife and hospital nurse. Informant was Maggie Armstrong, Durham, N.C.

Boxcar.

News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 8 June 1913.

Joe Saunders was arrested for shooting Charles Coley at a house at 114 Wiggins Street. Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home (later known as Mercy) did not open until 1914. Other hospitals in town would not admit African-Americans, so Coley was carried to a boxcar to die or recuperate.

 

Benefit for Mercy Hospital.

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“All receipts given to colored hospital,” Wilson Daily Times, 11 April 1930.

This advertisement touts a midnight variety show and movie screening to benefit Mercy Hospital. The institution, in continuous financial straits, had recently been sold at auction to businessman Wade H. Gardner.

Though the ad is not explicit, it seems to be directed at a white audience. James Edward Andrews, Carl S. Hinnant (described in the 1930 federal census of Wilson as an orchestra musician), Sidney Willoughby and Lester Rose were local white men, and a “black face comedy act” would not have had primary appeal to an African-American audience.

 

Financial report.

As a publicly funded institution, Mercy Hospital was required to disclose its revenues and expenditures. In December 1935, the Times published secretary-treasurer William Hines‘ account of the previous month’s financial operations.

As is unsurprising for any institution during the depth of the Great Depression, Mercy Hospital was operating in the red. It began the month with just over $702 in the bank and ended with $367. Only $678 came through the door. At $300, payroll comprised more than a quarter of the month’s expenditures, which also included major payments for groceries, laundry service, utilities and supplies.  Mercy owed $3000 to a local bank and hundreds more to vendors (and employees.) Fewer than 1 in 12 of its patients had paid full-rate, nearly half paid nothing at all, and the hospital carried more than $3000 in unpaid patient bills on its books.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 December 1935.

Contributions to Mercy, part 5.

On 30 January 1947, the Wilson Daily Times published a lengthy list of contributors to the fundraising drive of the Mercy Hospital Women’s Auxiliary. The list, reproduced here in five parts, included many of black Wilson’s leading individuals, businesses and institutions.

Wilson Daily Times, 30 January 1947.

All annotations, some edited for clarity, are entries in Hill’s Wilson City Directory 1947-48.

Contributions to Mercy, part 4.

On 30 January 1947, the Wilson Daily Times published a lengthy list of contributors to the fundraising drive of the Mercy Hospital Women’s Auxiliary. The list, reproduced here in five parts, included many of black Wilson’s leading individuals, businesses and institutions.


Wilson Daily Times, 30 January 1947.

  • J.J. LangleyLangley Jarrette J (c; Mary H) grocery h 901 Viola
  • Jesse Knight — Knight Jessie (c; Eliz) grocery 1105 Washington h 300 N Reid
  • J.F. Downing — Downing James F Jr clk Virginia Downing [grocery]
  • B. Murray
  • C.B. Stewart — Stewart Columbus B (c; Pearl M; 3) grocery 602 W Spruce h 604 ditto
  • E.H. Knight — Knight Elbert emp Williams Lumber r Elm City
  • Rev. R.A. Murphy — Murphy Raymond A (c; Ethel) grocery 210 E Banks h 411 Warren
  • Best Stewart — Stewart Best (c; Marjorie) grocery 411 W Spruce h 409 ditto
  • Jesse Stewart
  • L.E. Smith
  • Wheeler Filling Station– Wheeler D Elmo (Viola H; 2; Wheelers Esso Station) filling station 711 S Goldsboro h 910 Jordon (Five Points)
  • Rev. D.W. Winstead
  • S.M. Steevrus Grocery
  • Dora Gaston — Gaston Dora (c; widow Henry) grocery 706 U S Hwy 301 h 710 ditto
  • Junius Mitchell
  • J.F. Williams Cash Grocery
  • Hochnotts Grocery — Hocutts Grocery (Wm S & Roland B Hocutt) 203 1/2 Stantonsburg
  • Yellow Front Market — (Wm L Dickerson) grocery 501 E Nash
  • J.B. Barnes — perhaps Barnes John B (c; Rachel) Quick Serv Cleaners h 526 E Nash
  • Peter LupeLupe Peter (c; Rosa R) beer 511 E Nash h 717 Viola
  • Thomas Ford — Ford Thomas (c; Dora) confectioner 515 E Nash h 1008 Mercer
  • Baxter Grocer Co. — 703 Crowell
  • Nash Street Cafe — Nash Cafe (John R Saleeby) rest 552 E Nash
  • Mercers Market — Mercers Gro (Jas Mercer) 550 E Nash
  • Haywood Ellis — Ellis Haywood W (c; Ida) beer 506 E Nash h 108 Powell
  • Mr. and Mrs. G.J. Faison
  • S.P. ArtisArtis Separise P (c; Gracie W; Artis Barber Shop) h 537 1/2 E Nash
  • Libby’s Cafe — (c) (Libby McPhatter) rest 539 E Nash
  • Wade Moore — Moore Wade M (c; Eliz O; Wade’s Shoe Shop) h 1001 Faison
  • J.H. Moore — Moore J H floor mgr Big Star Whse h Bowdens
  • Lewis Barber Shop
  • Mack’s Shoe Shop — Mack James (c; Beulah; Baltimore Shoe Shop) h 206 N Reid
  • C.B. Bynum — Bynum Curley B (c; Pearl) shoe shiner 522 E Nash h 102 Pender
  • Levi Godwin — Godwin Levi (c; Esther) checker Wardrobe Cleaners h 900 Washington
  • J.M. Moore
  • Clarence BestBest Clarence B (c; Eva; East Nash Monument Co) h 1302 E Nash
  • James Whittaker — Whitaker Jas (c; Effie; 2) porter Rick’s Gulf Service h 416 N Vick
  • Gills Gro. — Gills Grocery (John Gill) 915 E Nash
  • W.L. Whitley — Whitley Walter L (Marie; 2; Forbes Grocery) h 1506 S Goldsboro
  • Kirby Sutton — Sutton Kirby (c) grocery 1122 E Nash h 1200 ditto
  • Eula Locus — Locus Eula (c; widow Luther) grocery 1201 E Nash h 1108 S Wainwright Av
  • Sylvester Sauls — Sauls Sylvester (c; Mattie; 2) laborer Williford Bros h 311 Stantonsburg
  • Lillian Williams — Williams Lillian (c; 2) tob wkr h 604 Manchester
  • Leslie Best — Best Lester [sic] (c; Pennie) farmer h 1331 E Nash
  • Mrs. F. McLean — probably Flowers McLean, see below.
  • Alester McLean — McLean Alex (c; Flowers) filling station 1421 E Nash h ditto
  • Cockrells — Cockrells Grocery (John Cockrell) 404 E Green
  • Geo. Wong — Wong George (Canton Restr) h 122 N Tarboro
  • O.K. Cockrell — Cockrell Onnie R. (Lucy I) grocery 513 Stantonsburg h 400 N Goldsboro
  • Dr. B.O. Barnes — Barnes Boisey O (c; Flossie H) physician 525 1.2 E Nash h 613 E Green
  • William Hines — Hines Wm M (c; Ethel L) barber h 615 E Green

All annotations, some edited for clarity, are entries in Hill’s Wilson City Directory 1947-48.

Contributions to Mercy, part 3.

On 30 January 1947, the Wilson Daily Times published a lengthy list of contributors to the fundraising drive of the Mercy Hospital Women’s Auxiliary. The list, reproduced here in five parts, included many of black Wilson’s leading individuals, businesses and institutions.

Wilson Daily Times, 30 January 1947.

  • Vick ElementaryVick Saml Elementary School (c) 801 N Reid
  • Sallie Barbour — (Formerly the Colored Graded School.) Barbour Sallie School (c) Milton M Daniels prin 705 Stantonsburg
  • Darden High — (Formerly Wilson Colored High School.) Darden Chas H High School (c) Edw M Barnes prin N Carroll
  • Saint Alphonsus — St Alphonsus Catholic School 600 N Reid
  • Stantonsburg — a Rosenwald school.
  • Penders
  • Ruffin
  • Williamson High
  • Sims — a Rosenwald school.
  • New Vester — a Rosenwald school.
  • Healthy Plain
  • Yelverton — a Rosenwald school.
  • Stantonsburg [a duplicate entry?]
  • Pages
  • Howard
  • Williamson [a duplicate entry?]
  • Evans Dell [Evansdale] — a Rosenwald school.
  • Turners — a Rosenwald school.
  • Holden — a Rosenwald school.
  • Tune
  • Minshew
  • Barnes
  • Farmer
  • Barnes
  • Davis Gulf Station — Davis Gulf Station (W Ira Davis) 136 N Goldsboro
  • Corner Green and Goldsboro St.
  • Lucama School — a Rosenwald school.
  • Men’s Civic Club
  • Ladies Civic Club
  • A.K.A. Sorority — Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
  • The G.O.S. Club
  • Ace Heralds Club
  • Domestic Club
  • Merry Matrons Club
  • Modernetts Club
  • After Six Club
  • The Friends
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
  • Quartets
  • Cedars of Lebanon Tent
  • Jewels of Julia Tent No. 159
  • Alpha Tent No. 483
  • Ark of the Covenant Temple No. 214 — Ark of the Covenant Temple No. 214, Daughter of Elks
  • Mt. Hebron Lodge — Mount Hebron Lodge N0. 42, Prince Hall Masons
  • Marshall Lodge No. 297 — Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, Marshall Lodge No. 297
  • Silver Star Chapter No. 26 — Order of Eastern Star, Silver Star Chapter No. 26

All annotations, some edited for clarity, are entries in Hill’s Wilson City Directory 1947-48.