Pender

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.

IMG_1100.jpg

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.

Nobody knows but you.

North Carolina, Wilson Co  }

The examination of the following witnesses, taken before the undersigned Coroner of said County, this 6th of July 1903 at the house of Turner Walston upon the body of the infant of Ollie Horne then and near there lying dead, to wit:

Delpha Bynum, being duly sworn, says:

I never saw anything but the after birth and I examined it. My question to her was where is the young one and Caline Barnes said there they are and I said Come & see what I am talking about, and I said to Ollie nobody knows but you where that baby is and then Caline Gracy Abram and Mollie Barnes commenced to hunt for it.

Mollie Barnes being duly sworn says:

I says, Ollie tell me where the baby is. She says Aint Duck I don’t know where it is. I haven’t seen anything but that in the night glass. She then told her sister Gracey to go & get her snuff box and then she would tell her where the child was and then I saw her when she pulled it out from under pillow and then I said to her, you laid on this baby and she said no I didn’t Aint Duck. The body looked like it was sort of mashed one side. I saw little blood running out of its nostrils.   Mollie (X) Barnes

Addie Artis being duly sworn says:

I was the first one got there and I went into the room where she was and she was down on the floor and asked her what was the matter with her and she told me she did not know and I said Ollie yes you do know what is the matter with you and I went into the other room and she told me to bring her some water to wash her hands and I went to get the water and there was some sitting on floor in a bucket and I carried her that and she told me to bring her some sweet soap and I asked her where it was and she told me it was over mantle piece & I carried it to her and by that time sister Caline Barnes come and I asked her what must we do and she said lets send after her sister Gracy and we sent after her and when she come we sent after Aunt Delpha Bynum. I was out doors when they found the baby. She pulled the baby out from under the pillow. I saw the baby and it looked like it was mashed. There was some blood rushing out of its nose.    /s/ Addie Arirs

Jim T. Burress being duly sworn says:

I saw the child. She was looking towards it, I asked her if that was her child & she told me yes. I asked her where she gave birth to it & she said there where she was. I asked her if it was dead when it was born & she said it was and I asked her if she tried to conceal it & she said she didn’t. She said she put it over her, behind her, in the bed.  /s/ Jno. T. Burress

Solomon Horn being duly sworn says:

I heard the child cry twice. I was sitting on door steps on outside. I heard one of the children cry twice. Don’t know which one.   Solomon (X) Horn

Gracy Pender being duly sworn says:

I was not there when the child was born. I saw the child when she pulled it out from under the pillow. I saw a little blood running out from its nose.  Gracy (X) Pender

Abram Pender being duly sworn says:

Solomon told you that when he come to the house he took a seat on door steps or bench one on side of house and heard something in there crying like a little baby. He did not tell me about another baby.  Abram (X) Pender

Caline Barnes being duly sworn says:

I went into the house and asked sister Addie what was the matter and she told me she did not know, but go into room & she – Ollie – was sitting there and everything all round her was terribly fixed. I says what is the matter with you and she says what did I reckon made all that cold blood come from her and I say Ollie you ought to know I don’t know whether it lived or not.   Caline (X) Barnes

Be it remembered that on this the 6th day of July 1903 I Albert Anderson, Coroner, of the County of Wilson attended by a Jury of good and lawful men: Chas. Walston, Frank Walston, Ben Walston, Turner Walston, Jos. Bynum (col) and Gaston Eason, by me summoned for that purpose, according to law, and after being by me duly sworn and empaneled at Turner Walston in the Co aforesaid, did hold an inquest over the dead body of the infant of Ollie Horn and after examination into the facts and circumstances of the deceased, from a view of the corps, and all the testimony to be procured the said Jury find as follows, that is to say that the children was born dead.  /s/ Gaston Eason, B.T. Walston, Chas. Walston, Frank (X) Walston, W.T. (X) Walston, Jos. (X) Bynum

Inquest had and signed and sealed in the presence of Albert Anderson, Coroner of Wilson Co.

——

  • Ollie Horne — in the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Luke Horn, 56, wife Mary, 23, and children Ollie, 23, Fannie, 17, Marcellus, 8, and William, 13.
  • Delphia Bynum Applewhite Bynum — on 23 October 1873, Warren Applewhite, 21, married Delsy Bynum, 20, at justice of the peace Elbert Felton’s in Saratoga township. In the 1880 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Warren Applewhite, 23, wife Delpha, 22, children Lillie, 3, and Marcellus, 2, and Sallie Ruffin, 6. On 1 May 1890, Delphia Applewhite, 35, daughter of Edna Best, married Henry Bynum, 45, son of Robert and Mary Bynum at Blount Knight’s. In the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: widow Delpy Bynum, 50, and children M., 21, Matthew, 18, Bessie, 16, and Aaron Applewhite, 14.
  • Mollie Barnes — in the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Jarmes Barnes, 44, wife Mollie, 41, and children Lilly, 11, Lula, 10, Aaron, 8, Arrena, 6, Calvin, 4, Harry, 3, and Geneva, 2.
  • Addie Barnes Artis — Addie Barnes, 20, married James Artis, 22, on 12 November 1900 at “parents’ house” in Saratoga township. Missionary Baptist minister E.P. Pearsall performed the ceremony in the presence of Dempsey Bullock, Andrew Sauls and J.H. Moore. Addie Artis died 30 June 1917 in Saratoga township. Per her death certificate, she was born 20 June 1879 in Wilson County to Isaac Barnes and Bettie Ellis. James A. Artis was informant.
  • Solomon Horne — in the 1910 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Solomon Horn 23, is listed as a hired man in the household of white farmer Joe J. Mattox. On 18 December 1913, Solomon Horn, 28, and Jane Eason, 32, both of Saratoga, were married at Jane Eason’s residence by Primitive Baptist minister B.J. Best. On 1 June 1919, Solomon Horn, 34, married Pearl Ward, 18, at J.B. Eason’s farm.
  • Grace Horne Pender — in the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Abraham Pender, 28, wife Gracey, 20, and newborn son Charley. In the 1910 census of Saratoga township: Abram Pender, 42, wife Grace, 30, and children Charlie, 10, Albert, 8, Floyd and Louis, 6, Willie, 4, Dallas J., 1, and Mary, 2 months.
  • Abram Pender — see Grace H. Pender, above.
  • Caroline Best Barnes — on 19 March 1885, Allen Barnes 22, married Caroline Best, 20, in Wilson. M.E. minister W.J. Gay performed the ceremony in the presence of Leamon Taborn, George Marshall and Alfred Robinson. In the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Allen Barnes, 37, wife Calliann, 34, and children John, 15, Mary L., 12, Della, 7, Corinna, 5, Willie, 3, and Bennie, 1, plus friend Fannie Mathe, 26.
  • Joseph Bynum — possibly, in the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Joe Bynum, 35, and wife Mary L., 35.

Coroner’s Records, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

“A white friend” speaks of Mrs. Mary Hagans.

WDT 8 12 1921 Mary Hagans

Wilson Daily Times, 12 August 1921.

——

Richard Hagans married Ann Faithful 1 May 1849 in Edgecombe County. Lemon S. Dunn was bondsman, and John Norfleet, witness.

In the 1860 census of Edgecombe County: Richard Hagans, 33, wife Alley, 31, and children Lawrence, 10, Laura, 8, Margaret, 6, Richard, 5, Neely, 3, and Charles Hagans, 3 months.

The family is not found in the 1870 census.

On 30 December 1874, Lawrence Hagan, 25, married Mollie Pender, 20, at the residence of William Woodard in Wilson County. Witnesses were R. Hagan, Dobson Powell and Anderson White.

In the 1880 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Laurence Hagans, 30, wife Mary, 24, and children James, 6, and Elizabeth, 3. Next door, Lawrence’s father Richard Hagans, 52, mother Alley, 51, and brothers Charley, 20, Julus, 16, Bisco, 14, Thomas, 11, and Joe, 1.

In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Larnce Haggan, 49, wife Etha, 44, and children Joe, 21, Augustus, 19, Oscar, 18, Charlie, 16, Annie, 13, Connie, 10, Lena, 8, Mollie, 7, William L., 4, Minnie, 3, and Pattie, 1, and Lawrence’s widowed mother Alice, 70.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Laurence Hagans, 60, wife Mary, 56, and children Laurence Jr., 16, Minnie, 4, and Pattie, 12. [N.B. Pattie Hagans married Julius F. Freeman Jr. in 1918 in Pulaski, Arkansas.]

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Laurence Haggans, 70; wife Mary; 62; daughter Minnie, 23, and her children Lessie, 10, Mary, 8, Alliet, 6, and Rensie Comb, 4; son Joe Haggans, 35; son-in-law William Pearce, 40, daughter Mollie, 28, and their children Samuel, 7, Ernestine, 4, Wood Roe, 3, and Cleveland, 18 months; grandson Donnie Haggans, 4; and adopted children Jim, 14, Dave, 20, and Ruth Hinton, 20.

Mary Hagans died 30 July 1921 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Her death certificate reports that she was 64 years old and was born in Tarboro to David and Phillis Pender. Her and her husband Lawrence Hagans farmed for Kerby Woodard.

Five months later, on 14 December 1921, Lawrence Hagans, 69, of Gardners township, son of Richard and Allie Hagans, married Maggie Slaughter, 56, of Ahoskie, at Maggie’s home in Toisnot township.

Lawrence Hagans, 75, died 9 April 1926 in Wilson township. His death certificate reports that he was working as a tenant farmer for W.H. Woodard and had been born in  Edgecombe County.

Lawrence & Mary Gray Pender

Lawrence and Mary Gray Pender Hagans.

Photo courtesy of user nikkinaya at www.ancestry.com

Joseph J. Pender plantation.

Joseph John Pender House is a historic plantation home located near Wilson, Wilson County. The house consists of an original, two-story, three-bay, Federal frame section, built about 1840, and a one-story frame kitchen/dining room ell. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Though the Nomination Form describes Pender as a “large landowner and successful planter,” it makes no mention of his status as a slaveowner. Census records, however, tell the story. The 1850 slave schedule of Edgecombe County lists J.J. Pender with 15 slaves (12 male and 3 female), ranging in age from one month to 60 years. By time the Wilson County enumerator arrived in 1860, he had increased his holdings by two-thirds to 25 — 15 men and ten women ranging in age from six months to 75 years and sheltered in four cabins.

Slave schedules do not list the names of enslaved people, but one of the 25 may have been Carolina Pender, born circa 1853. She appears as a widow in the 1900 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County, with several children, including Thad (1884) and Cadmus Pender (1885). These children were apparently named for Thaddeus W. Pender (1838-1892) and Cadmus C. Pender (1841-1862), Joseph J. Pender’s oldest children.

JJP house

Joseph J. Pender house, circa 1986. Image from National Register of Historic Places — Nomination Form, above.