National Register of Historic Places

112 North Pender Street.

The sixty-ninth 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 East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1913; 1 story; unusual L-plan cottage with a cross-hip roof; aluminum sided.”

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 112 Pender Street, Irene Plumber, 50; daughters Christine, 18, and Jennette B. Plumber, 21; mother Agness Barnes, 75; and lodger Lizzie Bryant, 28. All except Barnes were cooks. Bryant was a cook in a cafe; the others, in private homes.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N,C., City Directory: McCadden Tobias (c; Lorena) h 112 Pender

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2017.

1205 Queen Street.

The sixty-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:  “ca. 1922; 1 story; bungalow with clipped-gable roof; aluminum sided.”

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In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory: Farmer Richard (c; Bessie) lab h 1205 Queen

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1205 Queen, rented for $12/month, divorced laundress Bessie Farmer, 27; and children Richard Jr., 10, Kary, 8, and Albert, 4; and brother James Farmer, age illegible.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: owned and valued at $1600, widowed cook Allie McNair, 40; son Linwood, 20, odd jobs at municipal building; and daughter Madeline, 18, nurse. Allie was born in Pitt County, and her children in Washington County. [The McNairs apparently moved to Wilson after the death of Luther McNair in Plymouth, Washington County, on 23 May 1930.]

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory: McNair Allie (c) cook h 1205 Queen

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2018.

106, 108 and 110 Ashe Street.

The sixty-seventh 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.

110, 108 and 106 Ashe Street.

As each is described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District:  #106: “ca. 1908; 1 story; shotgun with hip-roofed porch and gable returns; uniquely high-pitched roof, with diamond-shaped vent in gable”; #108: “ca. 1908; 1 story; shotgun remodeled with Masonite veneer, but example of early form”; and #110: “ca. 1908; 1 story; shotgun with turned-post porch; partly alum. sided.”

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at #106 Ashe, building carpenter Burd Bess, 37, and wife Siveral, 38, private family nurse; at #108, laundress Willie Cobb, 48, and daughter Lilliam, 4; and at #110, laundress Mary Smith, 49, and her lodger George West, 55, tobacco factory laborer, both natives of South Carolina. All three houses rented for $12/month.

In 1940, Isaac Hodge registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 26 January 1905 in Wilson; he resided at 110 Ashe Street; his contact was Anzina Best Hodge, wife; and he worked for Liggett & Myers, Wilson.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory: Best John (c; Nellie; 1) carp h 106 Ashe; Smith Mae (c) lndr h 108 Ashe; and Hodge Isaac (c; Annie) lab h 110 Ashe.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory: Best John (c) carp h 106 Ashe; Huntley George (c; Magdelene) brklyr h 108 Ashe; and Best Willie Mrs (c) lab Plush Mill h 110 Ashe.

100 block of Ashe Street, Sanborn fire insurance map, 1930.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2018.

1013 East Nash Street.

The sixty-sixth 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: “ca. 1913; 1 story; Graham [sic] Reid house; Queen Anne cottage with intact wraparound porch and classical columns; fine local example of the type.”

The 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map shows that the porch did not originally wrap around the east side of the house:

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In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1013 East Nash Street, owned and valued at $3000, taxi chauffeur Jake Barnes, 563; wife Effie, 32; and children Douglass, 20, shoeshop cobbler, Waylone, 19, taxi chauffeur, Eva, 16, Mattie, 13, and Nellie, 10.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1013 East Nash Street, Willie Reid, 36, and wife Ada, 31. Willie reported that he had been living in Fremont [Wayne County] in 1935 and owned a barber shop. Ada was a teacher at “Farmer’s School.”

Willie Gorham Reid registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County in 1942. Per his registration card, he resided at 1013 East Nash Street; was born 12 August 1903 in Wayne County; his contact person was Mary Artist, 1013 East Nash; and he was a self-employed barber working on Main Street, Black Creek.

Willie Ghorum Reid died 28 February 1963 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 August 1902 in Wayne County to William Reid and Bettie Wilson; was married to Ada Reid; resided at 1013 East Nash; and was a barber at William Hines Barber Shop.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2017.

1200 Queen Street.

The sixty-fifth 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: “ca. 1930; 1 1/2 stories; James Battle house; bungalow with clipped-gable roof and dormer; Battle was a drayman.”

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In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Rutherford Geo lab h 1200 Queen. Also, Rutherford Maggie dom 1200 Queen.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Rutherford Geo (c; Maggie B) restr 551 E Nash h 1200 Queen. Also, Rutherford Mildred (c) student h 1200 Queen

George Rutherford died 15 August 1932 at Mercy Hospital. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 March 1885 in Tennille, Georgia; was married to Maggie Rutherford; resided at 1200 Queen; and worked as a cook.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Farmer Geo (c; Mamie) chauf h 1200 Queen. Also, Farmer Geo jr. (c) shoe shiner h 1200 Queen.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2018.

401 1/2 North Pender Street.

The sixty-third 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.

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As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1908; 1 story; two-room house with chamfered-post, hip-roofed porch; fine example of the type in the district.”

The 1908 Sanborn map of Wilson shows 401 1/2 as 300 Pender. By 1922, per the Sanborn map, the house had been renumbered 401. 401 Pender Street is a now 1930-era shotgun shoehorned between Vance Street and 401 1/2 Pender.

Vance Street marked a hard boundary on Pender Street. The 300 block of Pender and points south-west were home to African-American families. The 400 block and points north-east were white. This excerpt from the householder’s directory section of the 1930 edition of Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory reveals the line of demarcation plainly:

The parameters of this sharply segregated neighborhood persisted into the 1960s.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2018.

705 East Green Street.

The sixty-second 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: “ca. 1913; 2 stories; Hardy Johnson house; Queen Anne house composed of hip-roofed central block and projecting cutaway bay; porch has been modified and original gazebo removed; porch has been modified and original gazebo removed; Johnson was a fireman for the railroad.”

Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno’s Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey, originally published by the City of Wilson in 1980 and updated and republished in 2010 under the auspices of the Wilson County Genealogical Society, provides additional details about this house, including the photo above. “Built c. 1901 for Hardy Johnson, a fireman, this house is a good example of the type of large house built in Wilson at the turn of the century. Asymmetrically massed with a prominent cross gable wing to one side with a two story faceted bay, the house is transitional in style resembling a Queen Anne house in its massing, but possessing some Colonial Revival details. The generous and well preserved porch has a handsome faceted corner pavilion and a pedimented projecting entry.”

The photo, probably taken about 1979, appears to show a notice of the kind often posted to communicate boarding house rules. By the 1950s, many of the largest homes on East Green had been converted to multi-family dwellings. The house has been demolished.

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Hardy Johnson, 26, of Wilson township, married Martha Woodard, 25, of Wilson township, daughter of Martha Woodard, on 25 November 1892 at the Amerson place, Wilson. John Ellis and Martha Woodard were witnesses.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: day laborer Hardy Johnson, 33; wife Martha, 31; and children Jessee B., 10, Pauline, 7, Saniga, 5, Roscoe, 3, Herbert, 2, and Johnny G., 5 months.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: railroad laborer Hardy Johnson, 48; wife Martha, 40; and children Pauline, 17, market laborer, Thomas, 15, Rosco, 13, Hermon, 11, Jonnie, 10, Alford, 8, Joseph, 6, Annie L., 4, Hardy, 2, and Maggie L., 5 months.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 634 Green, Hardy Johnson, 50, foreman at electric light house; wife Martha, 48; and children Sidney, 20, laborer for barber; Roscoe, 23, John, 18, barber, Alfred, 18, Josey, 15, Annie Lee, 13, Hardey, 11, Russell, 8, and Martha, 4; plus lodger James Small, 22, barber.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Hardy Johnson, 61, flagman for A.C.L. Railroad; wife Martha, 60; children Allie L., 19, Martha, 13, and Russell, 17; sister-in-law Maggie Gaston, 50, divorced; granddaughter Mary Johnson, 6; and roomer Duffy Smith, 24, fruit store merchant.

Hardy Johnson died 25 December 1932 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 October 1871 in Edgecombe County to Jacob and Clara Johnson; married to Martha Johnson; worked as a day laborer; and resided at 705 East Green.

Martha Johnson died 18 December 1934 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born about 1870 in Wilson County to Martha Woodard; the widow of Hardy Johnson; and resided at 705 East Green. Informant was Martha Gray Johnson, 705 East Green.

814, 810 and 806 East Green Street.

The sixty-first 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 each is described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1925; 2 stories; William Hines tenant house; two-bay, side-hall dwelling with hip roof; built by Hines for tenants.”

Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno’s Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey, originally published by the City of Wilson in 1980 and updated and republished in 2010 under the auspices of the Wilson County Genealogical Society, provides additional details about these houses, including photos: “806-814 East Green Street. This rhythmic row of identical houses was built as speculative housing c. 1925. The plan is an expansion of the classic shotgun and details reflect a bungalow influence. Constructed as workman’s housing in the late 1920’s, these houses were occupied by a driver, a porter and a cook, among others. It is uncommon to find an entire row of houses such as these still intact.” Unfortunately, numbers 808 and 812 East Green Street were demolished between 1980, when the Inventory was published, and 1988, when the nomination form was completed.

806

The even-numbered side of the 800 block of East Green Street appears to have been skipped in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wingate Leon (c; Pearl) driver C Woodard Co Inc h 806 E Green

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 806 East Green, rented for $14/month, tobacco factory laborer George Marion, 32, born in South Carolina; wife Emma, 31, tobacco factory laborer; son Robert L. King, 16; boarders Thomas Jones, 22, tobacco factory laborer, and Bert Jones, 36, cook.

In 1940, George Marion registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 18 May 1908 in Sumpter, South Carolina; resided at 806 East Green; was married to Emma Davis Marion; and worked for R.P. Watson Tobacco Company.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Marion Geo (c; Emma) plumber helper h 806 E Green

808

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: White Israel (c) elev opr Federal Bldg h 808 E Green

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 808 East Green, rented for $14/month, cafe cook James Morrison, 30, of Maxton, North Carolina; wife Minnie, 30, family cook, of Greene County; daughter Reba, 14; and family cook Lessie McRay, 23.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Morrison Minnie (c) cook Golden Weed Grill h 808 E Green

810

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jones Martha (c) lndrs 810 E Green

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 810 East Green, rented for $14/month, widow Martha Jones, 67; widow Maggie Crooms, 36; Helen Jones, 16; widower Cornelius Jones, 38, builders supply truck driver; and Oscar Magette, 17, and Hubert Jones, 16, who were Martha’s grandsons.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jones Martha (c) lndrs h 810 E Green

812

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Freeman Geo (c; Effie) lab h 812 E Green; Freeman Jas (c) del man h 812 E Green

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 812 East Green, rented for $14/month,

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Farmer Jefferson D (c; Irene) del mn h 812 E Green

814

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Woodard Lula lndrs h 814 E Green

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 814 East Green, rented for $14/month, Lula Woodard, 40, widow, boarding house operator.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Woodard Lula (c) slswn [saleswoman] h 814 E Green

Lula Woodard died 24 July 1947 at her home at 814 East Green. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 June 1902 in Sampson County, North Carolina, to Harry Boykins and Mary Wronge and was married to Willie Woodard. Willie Boykins, 131 West 143rd Street, New York City, was informant.

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2018.

Suggs’ Greensboro dealings.

D.C. Suggs’ real estate speculation was not limited to property in his hometown.

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Brown Flats, 195-201 Lyndon Street, Greensboro, North Carolina.

Greensboro’s Lyndon Street Townhouses, also known as the Brown Flats, were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. Per pocketsights.com, “This series of townhouses is rare in Greensboro, where the urban prototype did not gain popularity before apartment houses with shared interior common halls grew acceptable. The four units remain among the few such townhouses in the state.

“The structures were likely built by Brown Real Estate Company, which had offices at 109 East Market Street. The firm was operated by Sample S. Brown, who was involved in several large transactions that transformed the city in the first decade of the twentieth century. At first, the flats were rented to white collar workers such as George Phoenix, clerk for the Southern railroad; rates in 1907 were $15 per unit.

“In 1919, the flats were acquired by Dr. Daniel Cato Suggs. Dr. Suggs was considered one of the wealthiest black men in North Carolina, and possibly the South. A native of Wilson, he graduated from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania (B.A. and A.M.) and Morris Brown University (Ph.D.) before beginning his career as a professor in the public school systems of Kinston and Asheville. He married Mary Nocho of Greensboro, daughter of educator Jacob Nocho, in 1902. In 1917 he was elected the President of Livingston College in Salisbury. He maintained his residence in the city until his death.”

The nomination form for the townhouses provides details of Suggs’ real estate activity in Greensboro:

“The failure of the townhouses to attract higher-class tenants was probably due to their location at the eastern edge of downtown, almost up against the tracks of the Southern Railway beyond which were the black neighborhoods of east Greensboro.  Their almost immediate transformation to working or lower middle-class housing was likely due to the construction of working-class black housing immediately to their rear along the railroad tracks in 1907 or 1908. These one-story shotgun duplexes, which no longer stand, were built by Daniel C. Suggs, a black teacher and entrepreneur, on an alley named after him (Sanborn Map Company, 1907 and 1913; Greensboro City Directories).

“Suggs had started to acquire property on the east side of Lyndon Street, on all three sides of the townhouses lot, early in the decade (Guilford County Deed Book 184, Page 240; Deed Book 186, Page 681; and Deed Book 230, Page 350, for example). Although listed in city directories as a teacher, Suggs was also an entrepreneur. He owned and lived in a large, two-story frame house at the southeast corner of Lyndon and East Market streets [a site currently occupied by a row of mid-century commercial buildings, one of which houses Uhuru Book Store], two doors up from the townhouses. A block to the west, at 239-245 East Market Street, he owned the Suggs Building, a three-story brick commercial building which housed a variety of black businesses, including a restaurant, a tailor shop, and a drug store (Greensboro City Directories; Sanborn Map Company 1919.)

“Suggs’ impact on the townhouses was to extend beyond any effect his construction of the houses on Suggs Alley may have caused. In 1919 S.S. and Helen G. Brown sold them to him, which gave him possession of the all of the property on the east side of Lyndon between Washington and Market streets and the tracks (Guilford County Deed Book 330, Page 465). Surprisingly, until 1928 the tenants in the townhouses continued to be white. During these years, Suggs was almost certainly one of the only black landlords in Greensboro who had white tenants. Ironically, in 1929, a year after the building’s tenants shifted from white to black, Suggs and his wife, Mary, defaulted on their mortgage and the townhouses came into the hands of a white owner, Mrs. Lottie Hughes Wallace (Guilford County Deed Book 634, Page 83; Greensboro City Directories). Since 1929, the townhouses have generally continued to be rented to low and  lower-income African-Americans.”

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Sanborn fire insurance map, Greensboro, N.C., 1919.

Image courtesy of Google Maps.

307 Elba Street.

The fifty-ninth 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: “ca. 1908; 1 story; Jesse Holden house; L-plan cottage with turned porch posts and traces of decorative millwork along porch; Holden was a brick mason.”

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In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Robert Conner, 63, odd jobs laborer; wife Lillie, 40; and sons Joseph, 2, Sam, common laborer, and Jack, 22, odd jobs laborer.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 608 Elmo [sic] Street, a rented house, factory laborer Orier Harrison, 28; Vasti Robins, 19, and Net Robins, 21, barber, both lodgers; and Carron Harrison, 44, oil mill laborer, and his children Margaret, 8, and Clarence Harrison, 4.

1922 Sanborn fire insurance map, Wilson, N.C.

In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Holden Jesse bricklyr h 307 Elba

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Holden Jesse (Beatrice) lab h 307 Elba

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory 307 Elba was listed as vacant, and the 1930 census does not enumerate anyone at that address.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 307 Elba Street, brickmason Jesse Holden, 46; wife Beatrice, 46, household servant; and daughter Geraldine, 30, tobacco floor girl.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Brown Ellis (c; Margt) driver R E Quinn & Co h 307 Elba; Brown Ellis Jr (c) tob wkr h 307 Elba.

In 1942, Ellis Brown registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 12 May 1902 in Wilson County; resided at 307 North Elba Street; his contact was Jessie M. Cox, Viola Street; and he worked for R.E. Quinn Furniture Company, South Goldsboro Street.