Moore

1008 Washington Street.

The one hundred-seventy-eighth 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 story; Clarence McCullers house; bungalow with low hipped roof and double-pile plan; McCullers was a chauffeur.”

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1008 Washington Street, Clarence McCullers, 42, hardware store laborer; wife Rosa E., 37, who did washing; and son Willie E., 17.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1008 Washington Street, Clarence McCullers, 45, born Johnston County, light plant employee; wife Rosa, 43, born Wilson County, a laundress; and roomer Ethel Alexander, 28, born Scotland Neck, North Carolina, a teacher at Darden High.

Rosa E. McCullers died 18 January 1944 at Mercy Hospital. Per her death certificate, she resided at 1008 Washington Street; was 50 years old; was born in Wilson to John Hardy and Lucinda Rountree; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Clarence McCullers was informant.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: McCullers Clarence (c) lab h 1008 Washington

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1008 Washington, Leonard Moore, 33, A.C.L. Railway porter, and wife Mary A., 30, clerk at local drug store.

On 18 July 1953, Ozzie Moore, 26, of 1113 Atlantic Street, son of Johnnie Moore and Araminice Cohen [Armencie Cone] Moore, married Bessie Howard, 22, of 412 East Walnut Street, daughter of Monk Johnson and Clara Howard, in Wilson. Rev. E.F. Johnson, a Disciples of Christ minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Leonard Moore, 1008 Washington Street; Annie D. Jones, 414 East Walnut Street; and Noel B. Jones, 411 Banks Street.

Emiline Edwards Woodard died 15 April 1971 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 20 December 1894 to a mother named Hagar and an unknown father and was a widow. Informant was Mrs. Mary W. Moore, 1008 Washington Street.

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2022.

Edgar Moore dies at the funeral home.

Wilson Daily Times, 15 April 1948.

In the 1900 census of Rocky Mount township, Nash County, North Carolina: farmer Edmon Moore, 43; wife Zannie, 45; children Mary, 22, Susa, 19, Edgar, 18, Wily, 15, and Matilda, 13; and grandson Fred, 5.

On 31 December 1902, Eddie Moore, 21, and Addie Winstead, 18, both of Nash County, were married by W.D. Carter, Justice of the Peace, at Charles Winstead’s.

In the 1910 census of Rocky Mount township, Nash County, North Carolina: farmer Edgar Moore, 28; wife Addie, 24; ad children Viola, 6, Pauline, 4, Grover S., 2, and Olivia, 1.

In 1918, Edgar Moore registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his draft card, he was born 15 March 1882; lived on Route 2, Rocky Mount; was a farmer for W.D. Carter; and his nearest relative was Addie Moore.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Edgar Moore, 37, widower, and children Viola, 16, Pauline, 13, Grover, 12, Omeda, 10, Edgar, 9, Zanie, 7, Effner and Hattie, 5, George, 4, John, 2, and Fenner, 10 months.

In the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farm laborer Edger Moore, 48, widow, and children Pauline, 24, Ometia, 21, Edger, 19, Jannie, 17, Efner, 16, Hattie, 15, Hermond, 14, John M., 14, and Fenner, 11.

In the 1940 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Edgar Moore, 58, widower; daughter Pauline, 32; and lodgers James Joyner, 23, and Herman, 23, Clara, 20, Edwin, 2, and Dorothy Moore, 10 months.

Edgar Moore died 14 April 1948 at 608 East Nash Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 66 years old; was born in Nash County, N.C., to Edmon Moore and Zannie Daniel; worked as a farmer; was separated; and was buried at Williams Chapel. Herman Moore, Elm City, was informant.

Wilson Daily Times, 17 April 1948.

Cocaine, knock-out drops, and boosted clothes.

We first met Cora Moore when we read of her daring escape from the Wilson city jail. Here’s what put her there to begin with.

It started with the arrest of Mamie Ricks for possession of cocaine and “knock-out drops” after she tried to poison Ada McNeal. When Ricks was arrested at her Railroad Street home, police found “a number of pieces of fine clothing.” Efird’s Department Store quickly identified two silk dresses as goods stolen from them. The remaining items were a mystery, but Joe and Ada McNeal were also charged with larceny.

Wilson Daily Times, 27 November 1923. 

Less than two months later, the police cracked the case.

In short, a New York coat and suit manufacturer shipped goods south via Norfolk Southern freight. About three miles outside Wilson, someone (a co-conspirator?) threw the boxes of clothing off the train. Joe McNeal witnessed “two negroes in a large seven passenger car” stash the clothes at a spot in Grabneck. As the goods were already hot, he tipped off two friends, Cora Moore and Aaron McKeithan, and three retrieved some of them and hid them in a trunk in Moore’s house. When they realized they were under suspicion, they sold as much of the loot as they could.

Wilson Daily Times, 15 January 1924.

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Neither Cora Moore, Mamie Ricks, Ada McNeal, Joe McNeal, nor Aaron McKeithan are readily identifiable in Wilson County records. The surnames of the McNeals and McKeithan suggests they came from the Cumberland County, N.C., area, and they may not have remained long in Wilson.

Jail break.

I am not sure what to make of this story.

Ben Joyner was janitor of the Wilson County jail. In mid-June of 1924, Cora Moore, a prisoner, allegedly stole Joyner’s pistol and pawned it to fund an escape. (How did she make this happen from jail?) On July 7, she saw her chance as Joyner made his evening rounds. With an unnamed assistant, Moore jumped Joyner, took his keys, locked him in a cell, and escaped. I don’t know if she was recaptured.

(Moore apparently was in jail for her part in a stolen goods conspiracy. More about that some other time.)

Wilson Daily Times, 8 July 1924.

The Moore family’s card of thanks.

Firm racial identification was paramount during Jim Crow, and Southern newspaper often carried notices clarifying that status or making it plain even in contexts in which it would not seem to be important. Did John L. Moore submit his acknowledgment to the Times with “(Colored)” already included? Or did staff insert it to make clear that this John Moore was not one of the white John Moores?

Wilson Daily Times, 11 November 1927.

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On 30 May 1895, John Moore, 22, of Black Creek township, son of L. and Vinney Moore, married Mattie Simms, 18, of Black Creek township, daughter of Jno. Lassiter and Rachel Simms. L.A. Moore applied for the license, and a justice of the peace performed the ceremony at Larnce Moore’s residence in Black Creek in the presence of C.F. Darden, M. Roundtree, and David Moore.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: day laborer John Moore, 28; wife Mattie, 23; and sons Arthur, 4, and John H., 1.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer John Moore, 36; wife Mattie, 36, dressmaker; and sons Arthur, 14, William B., 7, Zack, 6, and James, 5.

Mattie Moore died 7 November 1927 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 24 December 1877 in Wilson County to John Lassiter and Rachel Sims; was married to Johnie Moore; and lived at 910 Washington Street. She was buried in Wilson [likely in Vick or Rountree cemeteries.]