National Register of Historic Places

906 and 908 Viola Street; 505, 507 and 509 North Carroll Street.

The one hundred twenty-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.

Seeds of Hope Wilson tends a teaching and community garden at the corner of Viola and Carroll Streets and, in a revamped cottage at 906 Viola, a small community center for the neighborhood surrounding Samuel H. Vick Elementary School. (The garden had not been installed when the photo above was taken.) Community members who work in the garden take home the food they grow after donating a portion to charities such as Hope Station, a local shelter. If you’d like to support Seeds of Hope’s fine work in East Wilson, see here.

Seeds of Hope’s property is a consolidation of five original lots — two on Viola Street and three on North Carroll. Below, a look at some of the families who lived at these addresses in the first half of the twentieth century.

Detail from Plat Book 42, Page 20, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson, showing Seeds of Hope’s consolidated parcel.

  • 906 Viola

As described in the nomination form for East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1910; 1 story; John Dudley house; Queen Anne cottage with hip-roofed, double-pile form and turned porch posts; owner in 1925 was Dudley, a carpenter.” [The house was heavily modified for Seeds of Hope’s use.]

In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Dudley Jno H carp h 906 Viola

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Dudley Jno H (c; Della) carp h 906 Viola

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Barnes Ned (c; Malina) truck driver h 906 Viola

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 906 Viola, rented for $12/month, Ned Barnes, 31; wife Malline, 46; stepson Johny, 20; and sons Robert, 18, and Jessie B., 14.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 906 Viola, rented for $12/month, Amos Moore, 39; wife Mattie, 29, born in Georgia; children Joseph, 5, Patricia, 3, and Iris V., 8; and sister-in-law Lillie Blue, 33, born in Georgia.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory:  Moore W Amos (c; Mattie; 3) firemn Hotel Cherry h 906 Viola

  • 908 Viola

As described in the nomination form for East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1945; 1 story; gable-end bungalow with metal porch supports.”

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cannon James (c; Debora) drayage 908 Viola

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cannon Jas (c; Deborah) taxi driver h 908 Viola

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 908 Viola, rented for $15/month, James Cannon, 34, taxi cab driver, born in S.C.; wife Deborah, 25, born in S.C.; and children Dorthy, 10, James Jr., 9, Beatrice, 6, William H., 3, and Willie W., 2.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 908 Viola, rented for $12/month, Polly Evans, 56, widow; children Charlie, 24, Josie, 16, Alphonza, 13, and Eloise, 10; son-in-law James Parker, 30; and daughter Virginia, 25.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Evans Polly (c) h 908 Viola

  • 505 North Carroll

As described in the nomination form for East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1930; 1 story; one-room, gable-roofed house with bungalow type detail; aluminum sided; late example of traditional form.”

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ellis Jno (c; Georgia) soft drinks 1009 Carolina h 505 N Carroll

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ellis John (c; Georgia) lab h 505 Carroll

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 505 Carroll, rented for $10/month, James Tinsley, 30; wife Jensy, 23; and sister-in-law Arrie Williams, 34.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bynum General B (c) lab h 505 N Carroll; Bynum General B Jr (c) lab h 505 N Carroll

  • 507 North Carroll

As described in the nomination form for East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1930; 2 stories; gable front house with two-bay facade and side-hall plan; aluminum sided; built by black developer William Hines.”

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ellis James (c; Matilda) lab h 507 N Carroll

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, the house at this address was vacant.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 507 Carroll, rented for $10/month, Wade Boddy, 36; wife Mildred, 32; and children Wade O., 2, and Mildred, newborn; mother-in-law Vicey Jones, 63, widow.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jones Vicie (c) lndrs h 507 N Carroll; Body Wade (c; Mildred; 2) lab 507 N Carroll; Body Wm (c; Susie) lab 507 N Carroll

  • 509 North Carroll

As described in the nomination form for East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1940; 2 stories; gable front house matching #507; also built by William Hines.”

Aerial photo courtesy of Google Maps.

904, 906 and 908 Wainwright Street.

The one hundred twenty-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.

908, 906 and 904 Wainwright St.

  • 904 Wainwright

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1930; 2 stories; Miracle Tabernacle Church; traditional gable-end form and pointed-arch vent in gables rare example in district that retains weatherboarded facade.” [The building since has been clad in vinyl siding. It does not appear to be in current use.]

In the 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, at 904 Wainwright: The Church of God (c).

Wilson Daily Times, 29 November 1941.

  • 906 Wainwright

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1930; Hattie Daniels rental house: shotgun with engaged porch and late turned porch posts; built for tenants by Daniels family, who lived at #908.”

No house is found at this address in the 1930 or 1940 censuses or in the city directories issued in the 1940s.

  • 908 Wainwright

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1930; 1 story; Hattie Daniels house; bungalow with three-pile plan and gable-end form with hip-roofed porch; asphalt veneer; Daniels preached at the Miracle Tabernacle Church and began a day-care center behind her home in 1949; husband, Cleveland, was a [railroad] fireman.”

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hardy Cornelius (c; Carrie) hlpr h 908 Wainwright Av.

In the 1930 city directory: Hardy Cornelious (c; Carrie) mill hd h 908 Wainwright Av

Wilson Daily Times, 12 January 1931.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 908 Wainwright, owned and valued at $1500, Cleveland Daniel, 40, fireman at city plant; wife Hattie, 38, saleswoman; and father-in-law Mack Owens, 60, farm laborer. All were born in Georgia.

In 1942, Cleveland Daniels registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 15 April 1897 in Warrengton, Georgia; lived at 908 Wainwright Avenue, Wilson; his contact was Mrs. Dora Godwin, 910 Wainwright; and he worked for the City Light Plant.

George Cleveland Daniels died at his home at 908 Wainwright on 19 August 1949. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 April 1897 in Warren County, Georgia, to Peter and Jane Daniels; was a fireman; was married to Hattie Daniels; was a veteran of World War I; and was buried in Rountree Cemetery.

Hattie Owens Daniels died 25 April 1979 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 July 1900 in Chester, Georgia, to Mack Owens and Mary Gardner; was a widow; resided at 908 Wainwright Avenue, Wilson; and was a minister and kindergarten teacher. Daughter Deborah Daniels was informant.

802 Viola Street.

The one hundred twenty-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 house is: “ca. 1908; 1 story; L-plan cottage with turned-post porch and brackets.”

Jesse Ward registered for the World War I draft in Wilson in 1918. Per the registration card, he was born 15 June 1881; lived at 703 Viola Street; worked as a carpenter for Boyle-Roberson Construction, Newport News, Virginia; and his contact was Mary E. Ward

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 703 Viola Street [Wilson city house numbering was changed about 1921], house carpenter Jessie Ward, 36; wife Mary, 34; and children Mabel, 17, Gertrude, 12, Kerfus, 7, Malachi, 5, Dempsey, 3, Virginia, 2, and Sara, 1 month. 

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

Jessie Ward died 13 June 1923 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 38 years old; married to Mary Etta Ward; lived at 802 Viola Street; worked as a janitor and carpenter at graded school; and was born in Wilson County to Jessie Ward and Classy Burney.

Virginia Dare Ward died 15 June 1923 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 14 February 1919 in Wilson to Jessie Ward and Mary Sherrod and lived at 802 Viola. Like her father, she died of arsenic poisoning. 

Mary Etta Ward died 12 June 1925 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 41 years old; was the widow of Jessie Ward; lived at 802 Viola; was born in Wayne County to Dempsey Shearard and Harriet Hill; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Informant was Solomon Shearard. 

Wilson Daily Times, 4 August 1925.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hodges James (c; Gertrude) driver h 802 Viola; Hodges Joseph (c; Pearl) lab h 802 Viola

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 802 Viola, rents at $16/month, laundress Anna R. Parker, 65, widow; grandchildren Gurtrude, 7, Emma M., 5, Matthews, 4, and Dorthy, 2; and daughters Ellen Gay, 27, laundress, and Minnie Knight, 29.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Parker Minnie (c) lndrs h 802 Viola; Parker Roxie A (c) lndrs h 802 Viola

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 802 Viola Street, Solomon Shearard, 60; wife Josephine, 52; and children Flora, 15, Beulah, 13, Elmer, 11, and Solomon, 21; plus “son’s wife” Mildred, 18, and grandson Ernest E., 8 months. [Solomon Sherrod (also known as Shearard) was the brother of Mary Shearard Ward, above.]

In 1947, Elmer Lee Sherrod registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 30 March 1929 in Wilson County; lived at 802 East Viola; worked for BPOE Elks Home, East Nash Street, Wilson; and his contact was Solomon Sherrod, 802 East Viola.

Solomon Shearard died 6 February 1948 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 21 October 1878 in Wayne County, N.C., to Dempsey Shearard and Harriett Hill; was married to Josephine Shearard; lived at 802 East Viola Street; worked as a common laborer; and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2020.

Hannibal Lodge building burns.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 October 1997.

For more about the Odd Fellows Hannibal Lodge building, see here and here. Shortly after it erected this building, Lodge #1552 established the Odd Fellows cemetery that now lies abandoned and overgrown on Lane Street.  

915 East Nash Street.

The one hundred twenty-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 encompassed 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: “909-911 [Nash]; ca. 1930; 1; Cain’s Grocery; district’s largest grocery; brick-veneered structure with parapet front.” The correct address for this building is in fact 915 East Nash Street. 909 and 911 are empty lots.

The 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of the block shows three contiguous wood-framed commercial buildings, two marked as groceries, in the 900 block of Nash Street. The middle building, at 913, appears to be the precursor of the building above.

In the 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., directories, 915 East Nash Street is listed as vacant.

As early as July 1936, Gill’s Grocery advertised in the local newspaper:

Wilson Daily Times, 17 July 1936.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Gill’s Grocery (John D Gill) 915-917 E Nash.  (On either side, two more groceries, Jesse Verser’s at 913 and Smith’s, owned by Leander and Maggie Smith, at 919-921.)

Gill’s Grocery remained in business at 915 East Nash Street into the 1970s. Cain’s Grocery and other supermarkets succeeded Gill’s into the early 21st century. Most recently, the building has housed a church.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2018.

201 North Pender Street.

The one-hundred-twenty-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 encompassed 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.

Formerly 128 Pender Street. The house was demolished between 1982-1988, prior to preparation of the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District. It appears on Sanborn fire insurance maps as early as 1908 as a large one-story house with a front porch and two add-on rooms.

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

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city department: Poole Boyd (c; Henrietta) driver Independent Electric Ice Co h 201 Pender

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 201 Pender, rented at $13/month, ice plant truck driver Boy Pool, 26; wife Henryetta, 24; and lodgers Leslie McCain, 20, tobacco factory stemmer, Jack McCain, 25, farm laborer, Beaulah Woods, 21, tobacco factory stemmer, and Emma L., 6, Mabrain, 5, William R., 2, and Carrie L. McCain, 2.

201 North Pender Street was among several properties offered for sale in an ad that ran 13 June 1936 in the Wilson Daily Times. All were in the vicinity of Saint John A.M.E.Z. Church.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 201 Pender, rented at $14/month, widow Margie Williams, 35, washing, and son Winfried, 1; and roomer Willie Sanders, 30, divorced, tobacco factory laborer.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Williams Margie (1; c) h 201 Pender

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Evans Ida (c) smtrs h 201 Pender

By 1960, the house at 201 North Pender Street had been converted to a duplex, and two women listed it as their address in the city directory, Ida E. Evans, who owned Ida Evans Dress Shop, and Martha P. Farmer.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2019.

1000 East Nash Street.

The one-hundred-twenty-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 encompassed 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.

1922 Sanborn fire insurance map, showing a grocery store at 1000 East Nash

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “ca. 1922; 1 story; Progressive Primitive Baptist Church; brick-veneered former grocery and bottling plant; parapet front with spire added.” 

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Higson Bros (B H and V H) gros 1000 E Nash [The Higsons — owners Booth H. and Velborn H., clerk William B, and his wife Sidney S. —  lived at their shop. Like all who operated businesses at 1000 East Nash, the Higsons were white.]

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Pridgen Babe D (Mattie) gro 1000 E Nash and 513 Stantonsburg h 506 Pender

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Pilot Beverage Co (Roger J Crawley Andrew C Byrd) 1000 E Nash

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wilson Bottling Co Moffett L Carson Mgr, Bottlers of Nesbitt’s California Orange 1000 E Nash tel 2408

Ad, 1947 city directory.

In the 1950 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wilson Bottling Co Moffett L Carson Mgr, Bottlers of Nesbitt’s California Orange 1000 E Nash tel 2408

In its 30 July 1953 edition, the Wilson Daily Times announced the opening of a new grocery business, Super Duper, at 1000 East Nash. Thus, the building returned to its original use.

Wilson Daily Times, 31 May 1956.

In the 1963 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Super Duper Market No 1 (Lerby Bryant Odell C Tant) gros 1000 E Nash

These food stamp credit tokens for Super Duper No. 1 date from the 1970s. For an interesting history of this currency, see this 2015 CoinWeek digital article.

In 1978, the owners of the building advertised it for rent in the Daily Times.

Per mentions in the Wilson Daily Times, from 1982 to 1988 and possibly longer, Goodwill Progressive Primitive Baptist Church operated from 1000 East Nash Street.

Per mentions in the Wilson Daily Times, from 1995 to 1999 and possibly longer, Brotherhood of Deliverance Pentecostal Church operated from 1000 East Nash Street.

The building has been demolished.

1000 East Nash Street now, per Google Street View.

600 East Carroll Street.

The one-hundred-twenty-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, this building is: “ca. 1922; 1 story; shotgun with hip-roofed porch and gable returns.” 

This house lies outside the boundaries of the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance maps of Wilson. The 1950 city directory reveals the original house number was 512:

The 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory listed laborer Charles Finley and wife Martha Finley at 512 North Carroll, but the 1930 reveals that the couple’s surname was actually Winley. 

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 512 Carroll, Charlie Winley, 28; wife Martha, 25; and children Chas. L., 9, Annie M., 7, and Mary F., 5.

In the 1941 city directory the house was vacant.

Floyd Woods died 21 February 1945 at his home at 600 North Carroll. Per his death certificate, he was born 25 December; was 52 years old; was born in Lenoir County to Charlie Woods and Aurey Sutton; was married to Louise Woods; and worked as a laborer.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wood Louise (c; wid Floyd) tob wkr h 512 N Carroll

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2020.

404 North Reid Street.

The one-hundred-twenty-fourth 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. 1922; 1 story; Alf McCoy house; Queen Anne cottage with hip roof and double-pile plan; evidence of original turned posts and patterned-tin roof.”

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: McCoy Alfred (c) lab h Reid betw Carolina & E Green

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Town of Wilson laborer Alfa McCoy, 43; wife Florence, 40; widowed mother-in-law Adline King, 78; sister-in-law Mattie Mercer, 30; and roomers Leroy Mercer, 35, Town of Wilson laborer, Silvester Mercer, 15, and Dempsey Mercer, 1.

The 1922 Wilson, N.C., Sanborn fire insurance map, detail below, shows only three houses on North Reid between Carolina and Green Streets. As indicated in the 1916 city directory, Queen Street had not been cut through yet. The house thus appears to be a few years older than estimated in the nomination form.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 404 Reid Street, owned and valued at $2000, Alford McCoy, 53, fertilizer company laborer, and wife Florance, 52, laundry. 

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 404 Reid Street, owned and valued at $2000, Alfred McCoy, 72, “not able” to work, and wife Florence, 60, washing. 

Alfred McCoy died 5 November 1953 at his home at 404 North Reid Street. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 September 1875 in Edgecombe County to Alexander McCoy and Ellen [last name unknown]; was married; and worked as a laborer for the Town of Wilson. Informant was Florence McCoy

In her 3 October 1955 will, filed after her death in Wilson County Superior Court, Florence McCoy left her house at 404 North Reid Street to her neighbor John H. Jones.

Florence McCoy died 21 August 1956 at her home at 404 North Reid Street. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1883 in Nash County to Berry King and was a widow. Informant was John H. Jones, 405 North Reid Street.

William “Bill” Pharaoh Powell died 23 July 1963 at his home at 404 North Reid Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 February 1891 in Wilson County to Echabud Powell and Mary Ann Lassiter; was married to Margaret H[agans] Powell; and worked as a laborer. 

600 East Green Street, update.

This two-story house at the heart of East Wilson Historic District likely is not long for this world.

As detailed here, J.D. and Eleanor Frederick Reid built this two-story dwelling at 600 East Green about 1922, the year after the Commercial Bank, for which Reid was vice-president and principal promoter, opened. 

In 1945, the Reids sold the house to the Redemptorist Fathers of North Carolina, who converted it into a convent for the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the African-American order whose nuns taught at Saint Alphonsus Catholic School.

The Redemptorist Fathers held the house until 1969, then they sold it to private owners? and it began its steep slide. The city of Wilson condemned 600 East Green in 1977, but took no further action against it. In 1990, the city repealed the condemnation order to allow a new owner to rehabilitate it. This Daily Times article described plans for its renovation, and Roderick Taylor Jr. described a little of its history.

Wilson Daily Times, 26 December 1990.

In 1994, Oxford House, a living facility for recovering addicts, took over in the space. I have not been able to determine how long it remained open. It is clear, though, that the Reid house/nunnery has been vacant and moldering for much of this century. Since I photographed it in 2016, it has lost the midsection of fascia and soffit above the upper floor and the front porch ceiling has begun to collapse.