Though this notice gives her birth year as 1865, Caroline Dunston‘s death certificate describes her as 47 years old, i.e. born around 1883. Though imprecise knowledge of birth years were not uncommon in 1930, it’s hard to imagine how a 47 year-old woman could be regarded as “among the oldest members” of Elks Daughters of the Ark of the Covenant No. 214.
Clare [sic] Dunston is listed in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County, on Lodge Street. She is described as a 30 year-old tobacco factory worker, and her household included children Mamie, 14, servant, and Winnie, 9, and brother-in-law Charles Dunston, 20, lumber company truck driver.
Caroline Dunston appears in the 1922, 1925, 1928, and 1930 Wilson city directories with several related family members — Charles, Leroy, Mamie, Eveline, and Winnie Dunston.
Nora Whitfield died 23 July 1924 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born in Wilson County [on a unstated date] to William Dunston and Caroline Thomas; and lived at 1012 Robeson Street. Charley Dunston was informant.
William Dunston died 12 February 1926 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 28 years old; was born in Louisburg, N.C., to William Dunston and Carolina Branch; lived at 205 Manchester; and worked as a day laborer at a tobacco factory. Informant was Carolina Branch Dunston.
Per her death certificate, Caroline Dunston died 25 December 1930; was 47 years old; was a widow; lived at 705 East Nash Street; and was born in Franklin County, N.C., to Clancie Thomas. Informant was William Dunston.
Abstracts of deeds recording the purchase of real property by African-American churches and lodges in Wilson County:
On 16 November 1916, J.L. Yelverton and Mary B. Yelverton sold J.H. Winston, Nathan Locus, and Peter Barnes, trustees of Travelers Rest Church of the Bethlehem Primitive Baptist Association, for $50, a lot in Stantonsburg bordering the Yelvertons, the colored school, and B.M. Whitley. The purchase was recorded 6 October 1917 in Deed Book 111, page 347, Register of Deeds office, Wilson.
On 18 October 1917, Ace Lucas and wife Anne Lucas sold L. Blackwell, Wesley Strickland, Herbert Taylor, and Ace Lucas, trustees of Sandy Fork Missionary Baptist Church, a 90′ by 90′ lot in Taylors township adjacent to the lands of U.H. Cozart and Ace Lucas. The lot was to be used for Missionary Baptist church building and would revert to the Lucases otherwise. The purchase was recorded 17 November 1917 in Deed Book 111, page 423, Register of Deeds office, Wilson. [Sandy Fork’s current church is just across the county line in Nash County.]
On 24 February 1919, Jesse R. Barnes and wife Sarah L. Barnes, having borrowed $300 from George W. Harris, W.M. Pearce, and E.H. Haskins, trustees of the Christian Aid Society of Rountree Missionary Baptist Church, signed over to the Society 3.44 acres on “Colored Masonic Cemetery Road” [Lane Street] adjacent to the lands of Dollison Powell, Margaret Artis, Raleigh Real Estate and Trust Company and S.H. Vick. The Barneses had purchased this property from S.H. and Annie Vick on 26 April 1913, per Deed Book 91, page 580, and the $300 went to pay them off. The loan to the Society was due 24 February 1920. If the Barneses were to default, the Society’s trustees were to sell the land at auction, recoup the debt, and pay any remainder to the Barneses. On the other hand, if the note were satisfied, the deed was void. The deed, filed at Deed Book 117, page 285, was marked paid on 8 February 1923. [This parcel was much smaller than the Barnes land that ultimately became Rest Haven cemetery.]
On 9 March 1926, Glenn S.McBrayer and wife Lillian L. McBrayer sold W.H. Brown, W.H. Kittrell, A.C. Winstead, Jno. A. Parker, and Jesse Holden, trustees of Marshall Lodge No. 297, Approved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World, a lot at the corner of Vick and Nash Streets, being part of Lot No. 1 of Block B of the Rountree property recorded in Deed Book 78, pages 62-63, Register of Deeds office, Wilson. The purchase was recorded 29 May 1926 in Deed Book 161, page 608, Register of Deeds office, Wilson.
In 1954, Marshall Lodge 297 of the International Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks dedicated a new brick lodge hall at the corner of Nash and Vick Streets. Prior to this, the Elks met at 541 East Nash.
1001-1005 East Nash Street.
Clarence Best engraved the cornerstone.
The lodge is defunct, and the building, long abandoned, is scheduled for demolition.