Pender

The South is all right.

On the eve of the civil rights movement, Wilson Daily Times editor John D. Gold penned this soothing editorial meant to reassure his readers (or the white ones, anyway) that there was no trouble “between the races” in the South, that colored people know “the Southern white man is his friend,” and that Negroes are loyal and faithful around the house and farm. The piece is rubbish, but includes views of Charlie Thomas, who worked for the Golds as a house servant and at the newspaper, and Dick Pender, who worked for the Golds and, most especially, for Joshua Barnes. (Pender died in 1896; Gold had to reach way back for him.)

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Wilson Daily Times, 12 May 1948.

The family of Annie H.F. Pender.

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Annie Hines Finch Pender (1904-1999).

The family history of Annie H.F. Pender illustrates the movement of families among neighboring counties to find the best farming arrangements. The Hineses and Finches moved between Franklin and Nash Counties before settling near Stantonsburg in Wilson County in the 1920s.

——

In the 1900 census of Cypress Creek township, Franklin County, North Carolina: Phil Hines, 21, farm laborer.

In the 1900 census of Cypress Creek township, Franklin County, North Carolina: farmer Marcellus Harris, 57; wife Ann, 55; children Anna, 36, William, 21, Laura, 18, and Jesse, 17; grandchildren Anthony, 10, and Sallie, 6; son Daniel, 24; daughter-in-law Drucilla, 25; and grandchildren Pearlie, 2, Mosey, 1, and an unnamed infant boy.

On 22 October 1901, Phil Hines, 22, of Franklin County, son of Jonas and Isado Hines, married Laura Harris, 21, of Franklin County, daughter of Marcillus and Anna Harris.

In the 1910 census of Harris township, Franklin County: on Lower Road, James Hines, 30, farm laborer; wife Laura, 28; and children Wiley, 7, Lula, 6, Anna, 6, Pernolia, 4, and Aron, 2.

Phil Hines registered for the World War I draft in Nash County in 1918. Per his registration card, he was born 13 December 1876; resided at R.F.D. #2, Bailey, Nash County; farmed for M.F. Morgan, Bailey; his nearest relative was wife Laura Hines; and he was literate, signed his name “Phill Hines.”

On 29 June 1923, Mozelle Hines died in Dry Wells township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was 4 years old; was born in Nash County to Phil Hines and Laura Harris; and was buried in Wiggins cemetery. Phil Hines, Middlesex, N.C., was informant.

On 21 July 1923, Annie Hines, 21, of Nash County, daughter of Phil and Laura Hines, married Howard Finch, 21, of Nash County son of Bennett and Annie Finch, in Nash County.

Albert Lee Finch died 12 July 1924 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 23 October 1923 in Nash County to Howard Finch and Annie Hines and was buried in Bethel Cemetery.

In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Snow Hill Road, Aaron Hines, 19; wife Grace H., 21; son James W., Jr., 2; father James W., Sr., 51; mother Laura, 47; widowed sister Phoenolia, 21; brothers Wiley, 25, John E., 14, George, 13, and Mozelle, 12; niece Fannie, 6; and nephews Raymond, 7, Robert L., 3, and Stephen Finch, Jr., 1. [This entry appears to contain significant naming errors.]

In the 1930 census of Jackson township, Nash County: farmer Howard Finch, 23; wife Annie, 22; sons Howard L., 5, Grover, 3, and James A., 2; and lodger Charlie Webb, 28.

In the 1940 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: sawmill laborer Phillip Hines, 55; wife Laura, 45; sons John, 23, Mozelle, 19, and Robert Lee, 17; grandchildren Raymond, 12, Stephen, 10, and Fannie, 13; daughter Lula, 37; grandchildren Dorabelle, 10, Justus Lee, 5, and Sadie Mae, 2; widowed daughter Anna Finch, 37, and her sons Howard, 17, Grover, 13, Randolph, 10, and James, 8; [grand]son-in-law Eddie Freeman, 20; granddaughter Ella, 19, and great-granddaughter Blonnie, 1.

In 1940, John Hines registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 17 October 1913 in Nash County; lived in Stantonsburg; his contact was mother Laura Hines, Stantonsburg; and he worked for Stantonsburg Lumber Company. In red grease pencil: “Cancelled dead Feb 9 1943.”

John M. Hines died 9 February 1943 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in Franklin County in 1921 to Phillip Hines and Laura Harry, both of Franklin County; worked as a common laborer; was single; and was buried in Red Hill cemetery, Wilson County. Informant was Laura Edmeson, Petersburg, Virginia.

In 1944, Raymond Hines registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 15 March 1926 in Farmville, N.C.; lived in Stantonsburg; his contact was grandmother Laura Hines, Stantonsburg; and he worked for Will Rogers at Stantonsburg Lumber Company.

Phill Hines died 15 March 1946 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 65 years old; was born in Nash County to Jonas Hines and Isadora High; worked as a common laborer; was married to Laura Hines, age 52; and was buried in Red Hill cemetery, Wayne County. Laura Hines was informant.

Laura Hines died 4 August 1960 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 22 March 1896 [actually, closer to 1880] in Franklin County to Sellus and Ann Harris and was widowed. Robert Hines was informant.

Annie Hines Pender, born 11 December 1904 in Franklin County, died 30 October 1999 in Wilson County.

Thank you to Annie Finch Artis for sharing this photograph of her grandmother.

Snaps, no. 58: Artelia Spells Buchanan.

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Artelia Spells Buchanan, at left.

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In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 619 Lincoln Street, fertilizer plant laborer James Pender, 45; wife Lillie, 29; and children Artesia, 12, Mosses, 10, Ometa, 8, Farro M., 4, and Isaac, 1.

On 11 August 1937, Artelia Spell, 19, of Wilson County, daughter of Ervin and Lillie Spell, married James Buchanan, 22, of Wilson County, son of James Luther and Annie Lee Buchanan, in Nash County. George Vick applied for the license.

In 1940, James Hardy Buchanan registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his draft card, he was born 25 September 1915 in Rennent, North Carolina; his contact was Mrs. Artelia Buchanan; he resided at 1002 Wainwright Avenue, Wilson; and he worked for R.E, Quinn & Co., Goldsboro Street, Wilson.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user kmiles65.

 

The three orphan children are in my possession.

In August 1867, white farmer John J. Pender posted a letter to the Goldsboro field office of the Freedmen’s Bureau, disputing Toney Robbins‘ claim to three orphaned children, Della, Sylvia and Jacob Pender, whom Pender likely had claimed as property just a few years before:

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Joyners Depot NC August 10th 1867

Lieut J F Allison

Sir

Your note was received last evening ordering me to furnish you with all the facts concerning three grand children belonging to Tony Robbins cold [colored]. I must say the report is entirely false. Tony Robbins has no grand children and he had none of his own nor he never has had any children. I can if necessary furnish you with all the evidence you may desire. I have three orphan children in my possession named Dellar, Sylva & Jacob apprenticed and bound to me on the 2nd January 1866 by Capt Glavis post Commander at Goldsboro, and also my Lawyer instructed me to have said children bound to me by Wilson Court and I did so. So have had them bound to me at Goldsboro by Capt Glavis and by Wilson County. Said Tony Robbins has given me considerable trouble abot said children and I am getting tired. Said Tony Robins has made application to every Commander in reach concerning Said Children and further more the Children is not related to Said (Robins) in no shape nor manner. He has run me to a great deal of expense. Said Tony Rbbins and Mr (Totten) at Joyners Dept have been troubling me badly during this year Concerning said Children

I am glad to Say the Children are in fine health and get a plenty to eat and are sheltered under my own roof and well clothed &c &c.

Very Respectfully yours truly

J.J. Pender

To Lieut. J.F. Allison

Post Commander

Goldsboro NC

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In the 1870 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Joseph Pender, 63, and wife Lucretia, 49; daughter Lucretia, 5; and farmer’s apprentices Jacob, 8, and Selvia Pender, 5, both black.

In the 1870 census of Upper Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: Toney Robbins, 51, farm laborer, and wife Jinny, 48. [Sidenote: Joseph J. Pender’s mother was Elizabeth Robbins Pender. Was Toney Robbins linked to her family?]

On 18 April 1878, Haywood Braswell, 23, married Sylva Pender, 19, in Township No. 14, Edgecombe County, in the presence of Toney Robbins, Charles Daws and Tom Petway.

In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farm laborer Haward Braswell, 25; wife Silvy, 22; and daughter Lucy, 3.

Sylvia Pender Braswell died 12 April 1952 at her home at 510 South Spring Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 January 1842 [sic] in North Carolina to unknown parents and was a widow. Connie Bynum was informant.

North Carolina Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1863-1872, Goldsboro (assistant subassistant commissioner) > Roll 17, Letters Received, Jul-Sep 1867, http://www.familysearch.org 

 

He has received less care and attention than his years demanded.

In 1877, Abram Farmer petitioned Probate Court to apprentice his grandson to him, charging that the boy was being neglected by his stepfather:

Before H.C. Moss, Judge of Probate for Wilson County

The Petition of Abraham Farmer of Wilson County North Carolina, respectfully shows with your Honor that his grandson, Gray Pender a boy of color, aged about Sixteen years, is an orphan, his father Richmond Pender having died about six years ago, and his mother, Sarah Pender died about two years ago. That the said orphan has been living with this step father, Stephen Battle since the death of his mother, & by him hired out for wages, & has received less care & attention than his tender years demanded &c &c

Your petitioner respectfully makes application before your Honorable Court that the said orphan may be summoned to appear before the [illegible] & show cause why he may not be apprenticed to him or to some other good master who will educate & provide for said orphan as the law directs

Jan’y 22nd 1877     J.S. Woodard Atty for Petitioner

The said orphan is now at the house of your petitioner on the premises of Isaac B. Farmer.

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Rich’d Pender, 28, farm laborer; wife Sarah, 25; and sons Gray, 9, and George, 1.

On 7 June 1871, at Anthony Barnes’, Stephen Battle, son of Hundy and Lucinda Battle, married Sarah Pender.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Pettigrew Street, farmer Abram Farmer, 63; wife Rhoda, 45; step-children Charlotte, 16, Kenneth, 15, Fannie, 11, and Martha, 10; and grandchildren Gray Pender, 17, Gray Farmer, 19; and Thad, 13, and John Armstrong, 10.

In the 1910 census to Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Gray Pender, 47; wife Lillie, 35; and Eliza, 18 months, and Aniky, 4 months.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Grey Pender, 58; wife Lily, 44; and children Elijah, 11, Annie, 10, Herman, 8, Rosetta, 9, Furney, 6, Dennis, 4, and Victoria, 2.

Grey Pender died 22 August 1928 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 67 years old; was born in Wilson County to Richmond and Sarah Pender; was married to Lillie Pender; and was a tenant farmer for Mrs. Mattie Williams.

Apprentice Records 1877, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.

 

 

Left for Wilson.

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New York Age, 31 May 1919.

The 1919 city directory of Niagara Falls, New York, lists only one Whitehead — the mayor — but the 1918 edition shows Jesse Whitehead, laborer, living at 26 Cherry Street:

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Jesse Whitehead registered for the World War I draft in September 1918 in Niagara Falls. Per his registration card, he was born 7 September 1878, worked as a packer for an electrolytic company on Old Main, Niagara Falls, and was married to Rose Whitehead. He was literate.

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Jesse Whitehead’s visit down South had no return. He died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 4 October 1919 in Wilson. Per his death certificate he was 40 years old; worked as a cooper; was married to Rosa Whitehead; lived at 639 East Green Street; was born in Wilson County to Spencer Whitehead; and had contracted his fatal illness in “Niagra Falls.”

In the 1880 census of Upper Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: farmer Spencer Whitehead, 38; wife Rhoda, 40; and sons W.D., 13, and Jesse, 1.

On 23 December 1908, Jesse Whitehead, 28, of Wilson, son of Spencer Whitehead, married Rhoda Pender, 27, of Wilson, daughter of Amos Pender, in Wilson. Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony at Amos Pender’s in the presence of D.S. Lassiter, Elton Thomas and Hardy Mercer.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Jessie Whitehead, 35; wife Rhoda, 24; and boarder Ada Jaspin, 25.

Rosa Whitehead remained in Wilson at least briefly after her husband’s death. In the 1920 census, she is listed at 801 Kenan Street as a servant of farm supply retail merchant Lewis Tomlinson. Whitehead was 39 years old and described as a widow. However, in the 1920 Wilson city directory, her address is listed as 639 East Green.

Rosa/Rhoda Whitehead grew up in Toisnot township, north of Wilson. In the 1900 census of Toisnot township: farmer Amos Pender, 57, widower, and daughters Vanedous, 22, and Rhoday, 19, plus adopted daughter Prussie Armstrong, 18.

Amos Pender died 26 January 1922 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 8 March 1844 in Wilson County to Abraham Farmer and Amy Bullock; was married to Pennie Pender; and was a farmer. Rhoda Whitehead was informant.

I have not been able to identify Rosa Whitehead’s sister, Miss E. Pittman.

Snaps, no. 47: Lillie Edwards Spells Pender.

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Lillie Edwards Spells Pender (1894-1991).

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Mingo Edwards, 53; wife Martha, 45; and children Charley, 17, Leandis, 16, Bunk, 13, Callie, 12, Jacob, 10, Lula [Lillie], 8, Learer, 7, Mingo, 5, Emma, 3, Clara, 2, and Vandore, 1.

On 15 November 1916, Irvin Spell, 21, son of Hurl and Patsy Spell, married Lillie Edwards, 20, daughter of Mingo and Martha Edwards, in Wilson. Free Will Baptist minister J.E. Brown performed the ceremony in the presence of Whit Lewis, Charlie Newkirk and Carrie Parker.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Irving Spell, 23, farm laborer, and wife Lilly Spell, 22.

On 16 June 1928, James Pender, 37, married Lillie Edwards, 28, in Wilson. Disciple minister W.W. Webb performed the ceremony in the presence of Bessie Harris, Ella Adams and Victoria Webb.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 619 Lincoln Street, fertilizer plant laborer James Pender, 45; wife Lillie, 29; and children Artesia, 12, Mosses, 10, Ometa, 8, Farro M., 4, and Isaac, 1.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 619 Lincoln Street, tobacco factory laborer James Pender, 55; wife Lillie, 39; tobacco factory laborer; children Isaac, 12, James, 9, Lillie M., 7; stepchildren Omeda, 18, and Vara Spells, 14; and nephews Albert, 10, and James McCoy, 15.

Lillie Edwards Pender died 7 September 1991 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 October 1894 and was a widow.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user kmiles65.

From cathouse to White House.

Chef Jesse David Pender published his memoirs in 2007 at the age of 92. Pender’s life has been singularly interesting in many ways, but I am most drawn to the book’s first 75 pages, in which he offers a richly detailed account of life in Wilson and Wilson County in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Below, I highlight the people and places he mentions from that era.

  • mother and father — On 11 January 1899, Joe Pender, 21, son of Ed and Caroline Pender, married Ella Hinnant, 19, daughter of Eliza Barnes, at Dred Barnes’ house in Black Creek.  In the 1900 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Joseph Pender, 21, wife Ella, 22, and daughter Mamie, 8 months. In the 1910 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: on Plank Road, Joe Pender, 28, wife Ella, 20, and children Mamie 11, Dred, 5, and Ernest, 1. In the 1920 census of Goldsboro township, Wayne County: farmer Joseph Pender, 49; wife Ella L., 42; and children Edward D., 14, Maggie, 9, Ernest, 12, Alonzi, 7, Jesse, 4, Georgiana, 3, and Josephine, 1. Ella Hinnant Faulkland died 8 October 1967 at her home at 718 Viola Street. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 April 1886 in Wilson County to Deed Barnes and Luzannie Hinnant. Informant was Georgia Harris.
  • “my brother Elonzie” [also spelled Alonzie and Alonzo] — Alonzo Pender.
  • “my sister Maggie” — Maggie Pender Brooks Blocker (1910-2000).
  • “my niece Abby”
  • “my baby sister Josephine,” — Josephine Pender Thompson Williams, the youngest of Jesse Pender’s 13 siblings, died in Wilson in 2014, aged 96. This photo accompanies her obituary.

  • “my sister Georgia” — Georgia Anna Pender Jenkins Harris (1917-1990).
  • “We lived on a plantation owned by Mr. Frank Hooks which was way out from a little town called Fremont, North Carolina.”
  • “my father’s brother, Uncle Tiko” and his children “HB, Sug, Buddy, Pete and Bessie Mae”
  • moved to Black Creek to “Mr. Johnson Daniels’s farm” from 1923-1926, then to Dudley [in southern Wayne County] from 1927-1928
  • in 1929 “moved back to Wilson County between Wilson and Willsbanks [sic; Wilbanks] on Mr. Dick Cozart’s farm”
  • “my older brother Dred” — Edgar Dred Pender.

Wilson Daily Times, 17 May 1929.

  • a couple named Clyde and Eva; Eva’s brother John — Eva Strickland Roberson died 27 February 1929.

  • family moved into Wilson in 1930, and father took a job in a tobacco factory
  • Zeb Whitley’s grocery and fish market on Nash Street — in the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Whitley Zebediah (c; Mazie) pdlr [peddler] h 202 Manchester. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 702 East Nash, rented for $8/month, Zeb Whitley, 37, wood yard proprietor, and wife Mazie, 38.
  • “Blacks didn’t live on the west side of town. If you were up there, you were working there. We had everything we needed on the east side of town — theater, drugstores, grocery stores and everything else you could think of.”
  • mother went to work cooking and cleaning for Duncan Savage, who owned a outdoor advertising agency
  • “cousin James Robins” who lived in Elm City with his wife Flory and her son Frank, whom he adopted — in the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Elm City-Wilson Road, James Robbins, 26, wife Flora L., 23, and son Frank, 12.
  • stayed with grandparents Dred and Louzanna near Black Creek just before grandfather died in September 1931 — Dred Barnes, 33, of Black Creek township, son of Nelson Barnes, married Luzana Hinnant, 30, of Black Creek township, daughter of Hardy Hinnant, at her home on 14 March 1893.  In the 1900 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Dred Barnes, 42; wife Lou J., 37; son Johnnie, 4; and boarder Alex Johnson, 29. In the 1910 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Dred Barnes, 54, and wife Louzanie, 48. In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Dred Barnes, 69, and wife Louiza, 67. Dred Barnes died 29 September 1930 in Black Creek township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 70 years old; was born in Wilson County to Nelson Barnes and Annie Daniel; was a farmer; and was married to Luzina Barnes.
  • grandparents’ neighbors James Caper and John Barnes — near Dred and Louzania Barnes in the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer James Caple, 36, wife Mary, 37, and children Willie, 16, and Augusta, 12.
  • C.E. Artis Funeral Home
  • mother’s sister Aunt Maggie and her son John, who lived in Kenly — Supercentenarian Maggie Hinnant Barnes (1882-1998) was the daughter of Louzanie Hinnant.
  • cousins Buddy and Nell — children of Maggie and Orangie Barnes.
  • Flory Robins’ brother, who lived at 411 East Jones Street
  • friend Jimmy D. Barns
  • hired out on the farm of the Batts family near Elm City (Mr. Batts, wife Lula and sons Douglas and J.D.) — in the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Elm City-Wilson Road [next door to the James Robbins family, above], farmer Leroy Batts, 26; wife Lula, 23; son Armour, 9 months; uncle Stephen B. Strickland, 61; and boarder James E. Pender, 22, farm laborer. [Is this, in fact, Jesse Pender?]
  • Clyde Batts, the tailor in Wilson — in the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory:

  • siblings Margaret and George Pipos, cafe owners — in the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Pappas Geo (Elite Cafe) h 404 E Nash and Pappas Margaret waitress Elite Cafe h 404 E Nash.
  • cooks James and “Jelly Butt”
  • the Dixie Inn, a “seafood and barbecue place”
  • “Aunt Maggie’s husband, Uncle Orangie Barnes, had a sister living in Wilson on Pettigrew Street named Mittie Barnes
  • Martha Coverton, a cook for Betty Powell — possibly, in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 408 South Lodge Street, rented for $18/month, widow Annie Covington, 54, laundress, and children Martha, 20, servant, and James, 9. In the 1930 city directory, Martha Covington was listed as a cook.
  • Betty Powell, a downtown madam who employed Pender from 1934 to 1946
  • Powell’s husband, Mr. Taylor, who raised chickens and ran a cafe on Tarboro Street
  • Mr. Benny, a retired teacher
  • Mr. Howard, a high school principal — William H.A. Howard, principal of the Wilson Colored High School.
  • Dardens High School — Wilson Colored High School was renamed C.H. Darden High School in 1937.
  • Mallie Paul of Wilson and Katie King of Goldsboro, madams in nearby towns
  • Effie Mae Dean, a cook, and her mother Rosie Battle
  • Charles Barnes, houseman and butler for Dick Cozart; Elks Club member; struck by a car and killed in 1937
  • Herbert Woodard‘s place, a motel and cafe on the outskirts of WIlson
  • Shade’s Drugstore — pharmacy owned by Isaac A. Shade at 527 East Nash Street.
  • John D. and his sister Irma Dean [Hines], whom Pender married — in the 1930 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Lewis Hines, 42; wife Martha, 41; and children William D., 15, John D., 11, Lewis Jr., 8, Annie E., 7, Etta E., 6, and Debora, 2,  plus mother-in-law Jack A. Barnes, 74. On 29 December 1937, Jesse Pender, 23, of Wilson County, son of Joe and Ella Pender of Wilson County married Erma Dean Hines, 18, daughter of Louis and Martha Hines of Wilson County, in Nashville, Nash County.
  • daughter Betty Lou Pender, born in 1938
  • house on Carole Street up by Darden’s High School — Carroll Street.
  • parents moved to a house on Vance Street
  • Pa Faulkland, his mother’s second husband, who died in 1956 — Willie Faulkland died 1  November 1955 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 16 November 1883 in Wilson County to Phillip Faulkland and Jannie Farmer and was a laborer. Informant was Ella Faulkland, 718 Viola Street. [He was buried by Hunter’s Funeral Home, 900 East Nash Street — who?]
  • mother’s house on Viola Street — 718 Viola Street.
  • Watson Tobacco Warehouse on Lodge Street
  • Pender, Milton Fitch, Albert Wingate, Cris [Chrisdell] Leach and Albert Gay got taxi licenses and opened Veteran Cab Company in a “little office shack in the backyard of Hamilton Funeral Home”
  • cousin Frank Durham — son of James and Flora Robbins, above. On 12 November 1938, at Nashville, Nash County, Frank Durham, 23, son of James Durham and Flora Durham Robbins, married Annie Gray Finch, 23, daughter of Alonzo Finch and Annie Hall Finch in the presence of W.R. Lucas of Elm City and Louis Hines and Dollie Mae Williams Hines of Wilson.

Jesse Pender, veteran and chef.

In 2011, a Palm Springs, California, news reporter interviewed Wilson native Jesse D. Pender Sr., then 96, about his World War II service, his early work for a brothel keeper, and his years cooking for a president.

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The Desert Sun, 4 December 2011.

In the 1920 census of Goldsboro township, Wayne County: farmer Joseph Pender, 49; wife Ella L., 42; amd children Edward D., 14, Maggie, 9, Ernest, 12, Alonzo, 7, Jesse, 4, Georgiana, 3, and Josephine, 1.

On 29 December 1937, Jesse Pender, 23, of Wilson County, son of Joe and Ella Pender of Wilson County married Erma Dean Hines, 18, daughter of Louis and Martha Hines of Wilson County, in Nashville, Nash County.

In 1940, Jesse David Powell registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Note his employer.

Betty Powell and Mallie Paul, Depression-era Wilson’s most notorious white madams, ran neighboring brothels on Jones and South Streets. In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County, Georgia native Bettie Powell, 46, is listed without occupation, and her three lodgers, all white women in their early 20s, were occupied as “companion-private home.”

Betty Powell made out her will in March 1945. After disposing of bonds, bank accounts, real property and jewelry, she bequeathed “all the residue of my estate to Jesse Pender and all of the girls including my maids, that may be residing with me at my death, to share and share alike.” She died just over a year later.

Wilson Daily Times, 7 May 1946.

Pender’s workplace before Betty Powell hired him to drive. Advertisement, Facts About Wilson North Carolina, Wilson Chamber of Commerce (1934).

Pender at age 102. Photo courtesy of “A Flowery Tribute in Palm Springs as Warplanes Fly in Formation in Memorial Day Salute,” The Desert Sun, 29 May 2017.

Thanks to my frequent collaborator S.M. Stevens (and her grandmother Willia Jones Turner) for forwarding this clipping. North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

 

122 North Pender Street.

The thirty-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 East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1908; 2 stories; Alice Jones house; locally rare two-thirds I house, with rear ell and added side wing; aluminum sided; Jones was a schoolteacher.”

This house does not appear on the 1908 or 1913 Sanborn fire insurance maps. The house shown as 122 Pender on those maps was across the street, next to Saint John A.M.E. Zion. On the 1922 map, it is labeled under a new number, 119 Pender. That number is now the address of Saint John, and lot once designated #122 is now the site of the Saint John parsonage, 121 North Pender.

Sanborn fire insurance map, Wilson, N.C., 1908.

This house, then, was built after 1922, and Alice Helena Albright Jones did not occupy it until after World War II.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: building carpenter David Davis, 47; wife Hepsie, 47; and sons Frank D., 22, tire shop laborer, and Willie T., 19, tobacco factory factory. The family rented the house for $6/month.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Edward Pender, 33; wife Minnie, 26; cook Annie B. Holmes, 39; Walter Johnson, 49, and his wife Winnie, 27. Edward Pender’s occupation was driving a car for Walter Johnson.

The 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C. city directory lists tobacco worker Elijah Ellis at 122 Pender.

Alice Jones died 29 October 1957. Per her death certificate, she was 65 years old; born in Lexington, North Carolina, to John Albright and Alice Adams; died in a car accident in Durham, North Carolina; was a retired school teacher; and resided at 122 Pender Street. Robert L. Jones, 122 Pender, was informant.

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2017.