migration to Washington DC

Snaps, no. 7: Marie Lofton Jones.

Marie Jones in front of 1109 Queen Street, Wilson. Probably early 1940s.

In the 1910 census of Brogden township, Wayne County: farmer Robert Lofton, 66; wife Eveline, 66; daughters Emma J. Lofton, 37, Alice A. Wilson, 35, and Mary, 24, Bettie, 19, Florence, 19, and Jessie Lofton, 14, plus granddaughters Donnie, 4, Mable, 3, and Marie, 2 months.

In the 1920 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Major J. Loftin, 42; mother Evaline, 71; brother-in-law Sam Barron, 24; sister Jessie Lofton, 24; and nieces Donnie, 13, Maybelle, 12, and Marie Loftin, 10.

On 11 October 1926, John William Jones, 23, of Black Creek, married Marie Lofton, 18, of Black Creek. A. Bynum performed the ceremony in the presence of Sylvester Woodard, R.H. Lofton and J.A. Jones.

In the 1930 census of Black Creek, Wilson County: farmer John W. Jones, 26; wife Maria, 20, a farm laborer; and daughters Celie Mae, 3, and Ruby Lee, 2.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1107 Queen Street, tobacco factory carpenter Johnnie Jones, 36; wife Marie, 30, cook; and children Ruby Lee, 11, Cecilia, 13, Johnnie, 9, Charles, 7, Joan, 3, and Jacqueline, 1. Marie reported that she was born in Mount Olive, North Carolina.

In 1942, Johnie William Jones registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he resided at 1107 Queen Street; was born 18 September 1903 in Wilson; his contact person was Mrs. Marie Jones, 1107 Queen Street; and he was employed by Noy 4750 Housing Project, New River, Onslow County, North Carolina.


The Jones family moved to Washington, D.C., in 1944. This photo likely was taken there. Marie Lofton Jones died in 1954.

Photographs from the personal collection of Hattie Henderson Ricks, now in possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.

Who was U No Barnes?

In 1914, in a show of mutual support, Progressive Colored Citizens included a glowing write-up of H.G. Barnes on its front page, and the painter placed two ads in its three pages.

“H.G. Barnes, the sign painter, better known as ‘U No Barnes,’ is a good workman and has practically all of the white business of the town. He was trained in the trade in Cleveland, Ohio, although he is a native of this community. With careful attention to the details of his business, he has established himself as worthy. He also installs all kinds of electrical signs.”

Who was U No Barnes?

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: teamster Ed Pool, 54; wife Adeline, 44; and nephew Harvey Barnes, 15.

Harvey G. Barnes took out a large in the 1912-13 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory to promote his business. The directory noted that Barnes lived at 623 Darden Alley, and his House of Signs was at 107 South Goldsboro Street.


On 28 June 1916, Harvey G. Barnes, 30, of Wilson, son of Jim and Harriet Barnes, both deceased, married Roslin Pitts, 21, of Guilford County, daughter of Morgan and Georgia Pitts of Spaulding County, Georgia, in Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina. The union merited a lengthy write-up in the New York Age. The wedding party included best man Camillus L. Darden and groomsman W.H. Jones of Wilson. Barnes and Pitts apparently met during the year that she taught at Wilson’s Colored Graded School.

nya 7 6 1916

New York Age, 29 June 1916.

On 12 September 1918, Harvey Grey Barnes registered for the World War I draft in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he resided at 410 L Street, S.E.; was born 22 March 1886; worked as a painter for W.M. Spore, 35 M Street; was married to Rosalind B. Barnes; and was 5’4″ and slender with black hair and eyes.

In the 1920 census of Washington, D.C.: at 410 L Street, S.E., North Carolina-born Harvey Barnes, 33, and his Georgia-born wife Rosylind, 23. Barnes worked as a coach painter in a paint shop. [This house, located in the Navy Yard area, no longer stands.]

In the 1930 census of Washington, D.C.: at 1013 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Harvey G. Barnes, 40, painter in paint shop, and wife Rosaline, 32, seamstress. Barnes owned the house, which was valued at $2385. [This house no longer stands.]

Harvey Grey Barnes applied for a Social Security number in November 1936. He listed his parents as James and Harriette Barnes on his application.

In the 1940 census of Washington, D.C.: at 1013 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Harvey Barnes, 53, and sister Alice Willist, 48. Both were divorced. Barnes worked as a painter in an auto shop.

In 1942, Harvey Gray Barnes registered for the World War II draft in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he was 56 years old; was born 27 March 1886 in Wilson County, N.C.; resided at 1013 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.; and worked at National Trailways Bus Garage, 66 Hanover Street, N.W. He was 5’4, 150 pounds, with light brown skin, gray eyes and gray hair, and his contact was Miss Alice K. Barnes, 300 W. Franklin Street, Richmond, Virginia.

She loved the Lord.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 10.54.02 PM

Inez Powell Battle Dade Leaves a Legacy of Love

Long-time member of the Annapolis First Baptist Church Inez Powell Battle Dade passed away in March at 103 years old. Dade was a resident of Annapolis and Washington, D.C., and attended services at the Annapolis church for 49 years. Shortly after she joined First Baptist, she became a volunteer and worked in many of its ministries.

Dade was the matriarch of a large family that includes four daughters, 12 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and seven great, great-grandchildren. One sister, Vanilla Beane, a resident of Washington, D.C., who is 96 years old, survives her.

One of Dade’s daughters, Peggy Holly, resident of D.C. said, “My mother would always say, ‘Have faith in the Lord; stay active and help others.'”

First Baptist Rev. Louis Boston said she would do anything to help others.

“She was compassionate and gave her best because of her love for the Lord,” Boston said. “She loved her church.”

Dade was born in [Wilson,] North Carolina and moved to D.C. when she married John Battle. She later married James Dade. She worked as an elevator operator until she got a job with the Federal government.

After retiring from the government job, Dade opened a daycare center called Tiny Tots Preschool and Nursery in the Petworth neighborhood of D.C. in 1972. She ran the center until taking her leave at the age of 99.

“I vividly remember that Mrs. Dade was someone who did a lot with a little,” said Boston. “She loved the Lord.”

From http://www.capitalgazette.com, 30 March 2016.


Inez Powell was born in 1913 in Wilson County to James and Martha Hagans Powell. Her father, born about 1876, was the son of Ichabod and Mary Ann Lassiter Powell. (Mary Ann’s parents were Silas and Orpha Simpson Lassiter.) Her mother Martha was the daughter of Charles and Charity Thomas Hagans.

Herbert Reid, Harvard Law, Class of ’45.

More on Herbert O. Reid, Wilson-born scholar and civil rights attorney.


IN THE FIELD of constitutional law and in the protection of civil rights, Herbert O. Reid, who died on Friday at the age of 75, stood out. Because of Dr. Reid, a brilliant professor and former acting dean of the Howard University Law School, thousands of men and women across the country share a common vision of the majesty of the Constitution and the workability of America.

Except for his first year as a Howard Law School professor in 1947, when he said he learned more from his students than he taught them, Herb Reid had a major hand in producing a host of this country’s most distinguished lawyers, public officials and judges. Many served with him during the decades of the 1950s and 1960s as legal guardians of the civil rights movement. But unlike many legal scholars, Dr. Reid was as comfortable in the courtroom and in the backroom of politics as he was in the classroom. Everywhere he landed, he became a pivotal figure. He took on the exclusion of New York Rep. Adam Clayton Powell from the House of Representatives in 1967 and won a U.S. Supreme Court victory two years later. School segregation in America fell before him and a handful of lawyers from the Howard Law School faculty and the NAACP who participated in the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education and the companion desegregation cases for the District of Columbia. They carried the day in court, in part, because of the preparation and the dry runs that took place under Herb Reid’s drilling in the basement of the law school.

Dr. Reid was always on call for rescue operations. Sixteen years ago, when the board of education was mired down in the firing of yet another school superintendent, it was he who took on the excruciatingly difficult role of hearing officer and, with a degree of incisiveness and dignity, helped end that long ordeal for the city. It was that sense of duty to the city and his friends from the movement that led Dr. Reid to serve as former mayor Marion Barry’s personal counsel and then as a member of that administration. Without Herb Reid’s being there, friends say, it could have been even worse.

A graduate of Harvard law school himself, Dr. Reid frequently spoke lovingly and longingly about the “golden age” of the Howard Law School — the period in the 1940s and early 1950s, when distinguished faculty worked with students and other lawyers on the major civil rights issues of the time. Herbert Reid was a central part of it all.

Washington Post, 17 June 1991.


On 16 October 1940, Reid registered for the World War II draft at the Harvard University precinct in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


New York Age, 8 December 1945.


New York Age, 12 July 1947.

U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

The mystery of Astor B. Bowser.

Astor Burt Bowser, born 1896, was one of three sons of Burt L. and Sarah Rountree Bowser. He appears with his parents (and grandparents) in the 1900 and 1910 censuses of Wilson, but in 1916 is listed at 17 Mott Street in the city directory of White Plains, New York. When he registered for World War I draft in September 1918, however, he was in Wilson, working in his father Burt’s cafe.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County, the Bowser family’s surname was erroneously recorded as “Brown.”


Occupations of the household’s inhabitants were recorded in the right-most columns. Astor’s? Doctor/dentist.


Dentist? When and where did Astor Bowser attend dental school?

Astor married Deloris Harvey of Alamance County on 17 August 1921 in Wilson. Throughout the 1920s, he appears to have continued to move between Wilson and greater New York City.  In the 1922 and 1925 city directories of Wilson, he is listed as an insurance agent residing at 520 East Nash. However, in the 1924 White Plains city directory: Astor B Bowser, clerk, at 17 Mott. And in the 1925 New York state census of White Plains, Westchester County: bank messenger Astor Bowser, 28, wife Deloris, 24, daughter Sarah, 2, and Lettia Bowser, 49, a widow. In the 1926 and 1928 city directories of White Plains, Astor is listed as a porter living at 7 Mott Street. But Astor B. Bowser Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, in May 1928.

In the 1930 census, Astor B. Bowser, 32, Delores, 29, and their children, Astor B., Jr., 1, and Sarah, 6, are listed in Chicago, Illinois, at 4905 Vincennes, where they were lodgers. Astor worked as an artist in his own studio and Deloris as a saleslady in a millinery.

In 1942, Astor registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he was born 29 September 1896 in Wilson, North Carolina; resided at 4905 Vincennes, Chicago; was married to Delores Bowser; and worked for the Fannie May Candy Company.

Astor died in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, in 1981.

Was Astor really then a dentist?

A brief entry in an industry journal may clear up the matter:


The Dental Cosmos: a Monthly Record of Dental Science, Edward C. Kirk, ed. (1917).

In fact, it was Astor’s elder brother Russell L. Bowser who attended dental school, graduating from Howard in June 1917. The same month, he registered for the World War I draft. Per his registration card: Russell Linwood Bowser was born 5 March 1891 in Wilson, North Carolina; lived at 416 Oakdale Place, Washington, D.C.; was single; worked as a dental surgeon in Washington; was tall, medium build, with brown eyes and black hair; and had “defective eyesight and a weak heart.”

In the 1920 census of Chicago, Illinois: North Carolina-born Dr. Linwood Bowser, 28, dentist, was a lodger on Evans Avenue.

In 1942, Russell Linwood Bowser registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card: he was born 5 March 1891 in Wilson, North Carolina; lived at 5634 South Parkway, Chicago (telephone number Went 2910); listed as a close contact Mr. A.B. Bowser, 4905 Vincennes Avenue, Chicago; and worked in the Central Investigating Unit, Federal Security Agency, Public Health Service, 54 West Hubbard Street, Chicago.

Per the Cook County, Illinois, Death Index, Russell L. Bowser died 2 December 1951.

Miss Swinney marries.


Pittsburgh Courier, 10 December 1946.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 602 Viola Street, Samuel Sweny, 53, painter, and children Neoma, 17, Laney, 15, Easter, 13, Gracy, 12, John H., 10, and George P., 7.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 602 Viola Street, Samuel Swinney, 76, painter, daughters Ester, 22, a tobacco stemmer, and Gracie, 22, superintendent at NYA project, and sons Johnnie R., 18, “in CCC camp,” and George, 17.

Samuel W. Swinney died 24 December 1940 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 59 years old; born in Roberson County to Richard Swinney and Fannie Manning, both of Dillon, South Carolina; and a widower. Grace Swinney of 602 Viola Street was informant.

Gracie Beatrice Swinney married John Wilkerson DuPree on 17 August 1946. Presbyterian minister O.J. Hawkins performed the ceremony, and Charles D. James, Lula Moore Foster and Bedford C. Lucas were witnesses.


Gracie DuPree’s obituary was published in the Washington Post on 15 February 1997:

Gracie Swinney DuPree, 77, a history teacher who retired in 1978 from Wakefield High School, died of cardiac arrest Feb. 12 at Prince George’s Hospital Center. She lived in Landover Hills.

Mrs. DuPree was a native of Roberson County, N.C., and she attended Barber Scotia Junior College in North Carolina. She was a graduate of Shaw University and received a master’s degree in education from Columbia University. She did additional graduate work in education at George Washington University, the University of Virginia and the University of Minnesota.

Before moving to the Washington area in the late 1940s, she taught at a high school in Wilson County, N.C., and at Tuskegee Institute, Fayetteville State Teachers College and Bishop College in Marshall, Tex., where she also was dean of women. She taught history at Morgan State University in Baltimore and was a teacher at Langston Elementary School before becoming a history teacher at Hoffman-Boston High School in Arlington. It later merged with Wakefield.

Mrs. DuPree was a member of clubs at Northeastern Presbyterian Church in Washington, a commissioner of the National Capital Presbytery and a member of Links Inc., the National and Virginia Education associations and the National Council of Social Studies. She was vice president of the Iona Whipper Home board of directors, treasurer of the Shaw University Alumni Association chapter in Washington and a volunteer at the Hospital for Sick Children, Howard University Hospital, Red Cross, Junior Village, D.C. Village and the Merriweather Home.

Her honors included the Henry Tupper Humanitarian Award of the Shaw University Alumni Association and the achievement award of the Women of Turner Memorial AME Church in Washington.

Her husband, John DuPree, died in 1967. There are no immediate survivors.

Buffalo soldier; or the colored man in the fight.

WDT 4 11 1917 WW1 soldier Farrior

Wilson Daily Times, 11 April 1917.


Rev. Owen L.W. Smith was a teacher, pastor of Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church, and United States consul general in Liberia.

In the 1900 census of Lisbon township, Sampson County, North Carolina: Virginia-born preacher Hennry Farrior, 39, wife Izzy, 37, children Lillie, 17, Dallas, 15, and Diane, 5, and divorced brother-in-law Richard Robinson, 50. Dallas and Richard worked as farm laborers. [Henry W. Farrior was an A.M.E. Zion minister.]

It appears that soon thereafter Dalley tried his luck up North and, on 4 October 1903, this tiny ad appeared in the classified ads of the Philadelphia Inquirer:


On 15 May 1905, in Manhattan, New York City, William H.D. Farrior [Dalley’s full name] married Florence Seel.

Before long, though, he returned to North Carolina. In the 1910 census of Lisbon township, Sampson County, North Carolina: house carpenter Dalley Farrior, 26, wife Florance, 22, and children James, 3, and Florance (Jr.), 1. [I have not found a marriage license for Dalley and Florence. Their daughters Florence Elizabeth, born 15 January 1909, and Sadie Carolina, born 6 November 1910, filed delayed birth certificates in Cumberland and Sampson Counties, respectively.]

At an unknown date, Dally Farrior enlisted in the United States Army’s Tenth Cavalry Regiment, a segregated unit that was one of the original regiments of Buffalo Soldiers. His role in the Army’s Mexican Expedition would garner him a measure of recognition and probably helped him secure government employment.

As adapted from Wikipedia: the Punitive Expedition, officially known in the United States as the Mexican Expedition, was an abortive military operation conducted by the United States Army against the paramilitary forces of Francisco “Pancho” Villa from 1916 to 1917. The expedition was retaliation for Villa’s invasion of the United States and attack on the village of Columbus, New Mexico, during the Mexican Revolution. More than 5,000 U.S. troops under General John J. Pershing, including elements of the 7th Cavalry and the 10th Cavalry Regiment, entered Mexico in hot pursuit of Villa. The campaign consisted primarily of dozens of minor skirmishes with small bands of insurgents. On 21 June 1916, two troops of the 10th, totaling 92 troopers, attacked Mexican Federal Army troops in the Battle of Carrizal, Chihuahua. Twelve U.S. troops were killed and 23 taken prisoner; 45 Federales were casualties, including the Mexican general Gomez. The engagement nearly precipitated open war with Venustiano Carranza’s Mexican government, but both governments immediately moved to lessen tensions and open negotiations for U.S. withdrawal, preventing war. The Carrancista government repatriated the American prisoners at El Paso, Texas.


Washington Post, 1 July 1916.

Dalley was one of the highest-ranking enlisted men in the Tenth Cavalry and, as an escapee from the bloodshed, was called upon to testify to the debacle. He gave the affidavit below to then Major Charles Young, the African-American commander of the Tenth Cavalry’s Second Squadron.*


State of Chihuahua, Camp U.S. Troops, Colonia Dublan, Mex.  }  ss.

Personally appeared before me the undersigned authority, one Dalley Farrior, Q.M. Sergeant, Troop C, 10th Cavalry, who being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says, concerning the engagement between American troops commanded by Capt. Charles R. Boyd, 10th cavalry, and Carranza troops near Ahumada, Mexico, on June 21st, 1916, that “when we arrived near Carrizal, the Captain had us load our rifles and pistols. We halted and sent a messenger in to ask permission to pass thru the town. When the messenger returned several Mexicans came with him, and they [illegible] our point. The Captain went forward and talked to them. He returned to us and said that “It looked favorable, but we could only go north.” He said that his orders were to go east, and he meant to go that way. By this time the general of the Carranza troops had come out and the Captain went forward to talk to him. When he returned he said the general had given us permission to go thru the town, but we could go thru as foragers. As we formed line of foragers, the general called him back again. When he returned he said he would execute fight on foot and advance in that formation. We did this and ordered no man to fire until fired upon. As we moved forward K Troop was on the right and C on the left. The Captain cautioned Sergeant Winrow, who organized the right of C Troop to keep his men on a zigzag line. The Mexicans during this time had formed a line out front about 200 yards away and opened fire on us. We laid down and fired back. Then we advanced by rushes. As to the second rush I was wounded in the right arm, and staid where I was. The line I had been on kept moving forward. On their third rush they reached the Mexican’s front line of defense, where there were two machine guns. By this time Captain Boyd had been shot in the hand and shoulder. Sergeant Winrow had been wounded in the leg and [illegible] Wilhoit had also been wounded in the knee. The Captain tried to get K Troop, which was in our rear, to move up to us. He was shot and killed at this time. Lieut. Adair had gone with his man and was out of sight. Captain Morey said to assemble K Troop on him and we would all surrender. But several men in K Troop remonstrated with Capt. Morey and induced him to make towards an adobe house on our left rear, where we could possibly make a stand. Capt. Morey was very weak from loss of blood and fainted once. From there I finally made my way to the Santa Domingo ranch. From here I finally reached the 11th Cavalry about [illegible] miles west of San Luis.

Further deponent sayeth not,  /s/ Dalley Farrior, Q.M. Sergeant, Troop C, 10th Cavalry.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 27 day of June 1916. /s/ Chas. Young, Major, 10th Cavalry, Summary Court.

A year later, on 15 June 1917, in the Nashville Globe‘s “News of the Nation’s Capital”:


Dalley Farrior registered for the World War I draft in Washington, D.C. on 12 September 1918. His draft card reports that he resided at 1830 – 9th Street N.W.; was born 3 September 1984; and worked as a messenger for the federal government at 4 1/2 & Missouri Avenue, S.W., Aircraft Production Division. His nearest relative was Isia Farrior, 11 Winter Street, Hartford, Connecticut. The card also reveals that he was more seriously injured at Carrizal than the Post reported — “gunshot wound in right forearm, hand almost totally paralyzed, in action with US troops in Mexico.”

On 9 January 1918, this tiny listing appeared in the Washington Post:


It appears to be notice of a suit for maintenance by Dalley’s wife Florence Farrior, and William H. Dalley Farrior seems to have been his full name.

Two days later, on 11 January, the Washington Herald ran this brief:


Two months later, Dalley threw down the gauntlet with a legal notice naming as defendants his wife and three men, presumably those with whom Dalley believed she had committed adultery.


Washington Post, 20 March 1918. 

The suit was successful. In the 1920 census of Washington, D.C.: boarders Dalley Farrior, 25, divorced, messenger for War Department; and son James Farrior, 12.

Dalley’s father Henry W. Farrior appeared in Wilson city directories as early as 1916 and throughout the 1920s. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Christian Church minister Henry W. Farrior, 60, and wife Aria, 60, with boarders tobacco factory stemmer Earnest Bulluck, 35, his wife Lena, 30, and children Earnest Jr., 12, Paul T., 8, and Lee, 7.

Henry William Farrior died 6 March 1937 in Wilson. Per his death certificate: he was born 12 August 1859 in Powhatan, Virginia, to Henry and Sylvia Farrior; resided at 203 Pender Street, Wilson; was married Isiebell Farrior; and was a preacher. Dalley Farrior was informant.

In 1942, Dalley Farrior registered for the World War II draft. His draft card reports that he resided at 2319 Druid Hills Avenue, Baltimore; was born 10 April 1884 in Garland, North Carolina; was employed by Samuel Plato, Turner’s Station, Baltimore; and his nearest relative was Pearl Farrior.

Per the Social Security Death Index, Dalley Farrior died in Baltimore on 7 May 1971. He was survived by daughters Florence E. Farrior and Sadie Farrior Izquierdo. Sadie died in 1995. Florence died 14 October 2015 in New York City at the age of 106.

*A copy of this affidavit is included in the draft of Ann T. Gustavson’s The Question of Pershing’s Verbal Orders: Carrizal 1916, published at http://www.barbarabeatty.com. The original is held by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Vanilla Beane, milliner extraordinaire.

Posted today on the Facebook page of the National Museum of African American History and Culture:

“Vanilla Beane, is a milliner, or hatmaker, known for her custom-made pieces adorned by civil rights activist Dorothy Height.

“Born Vanilla Powell in Wilson, N.C. in 1910, as the youngest of seven. She moved to Washington, D.C. in 1942 where she met her husband, Willie Beane. Working in the downtown Washington Millinery Supply and as a seamstress in the 50s, she sharpened her craft. After leaving the company, Beane continued to passionately make hats while working as a mail clerk for the General Services Administration. In 1979, she opened Bene Millinery & Bridal Supplies on Third Street in Northwest Washington to serve the African American community that kept the tradition of ornate hats alive, especially in the church. The 106 year-old milliner paid a visit to the museum on Grand Opening day. You can see an example of a millinery shop in our Power of Place exhibition on the fourth floor.”


According to birth records, Vanilla Powell was born in 1919 in Wilson County to James and Martha Hagans Powell. Her father, born about 1876, was the son of Ichabod and Mary Ann Lassiter Powell. (Mary Ann’s parents were Silas and Orpha Simpson Lassiter.) Her mother Martha was the daughter of Charles and Charity Thomas Hagans.

For more on Mrs. Beane, see here and here.