photography studio

Studio shots, nos. 92 and 93: Ozzie B. Moore and John H.W. Baker.

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Ozzie Bernard Moore (1926-1995).

This photograph of zoot-suited Ozzie B. Moore, as suggested by the familiar patterned drapes, is another taken at Baker’s Pictures at 520 East Nash Street. John H. Baker is listed in the 1947 and 1950 Wilson city directories as the proprietor of a billiards room and photography shop at 520 and 524 East Nash and resident, with his wife Rosalee, of a home at 718 East Green. It seems likely that photo of Baker below is a self-portrait.

John Haywood William Baker (1907-1992).

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In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Railroad Street, Haden [Haywood] W. Baker, 40, barber; wife Mollie, 33; and children Hilda R., 6, Jasper, 4, Harold, 2, Mary C., 2 months; and Haywood, 12; plus Exum Joyner, 25, barber, and wife Bertha, 24.

On 18 September 1946, the Wilson Daily Times ran the first of a series of executor’s notices posted by John H. Baker, 524 East Nash Street, concerning the estate of Haywood William Baker. Haywood Baker died 17 August 1946 at Duke Hospital in Durham. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 February 1883 in Greene County; was married to Blanch Baker; resided at 719 East Green Street, Wilson; was a barber; and was buried in Marlboro cemetery, Farmville, Pitt County.

On 23 November 1955, John H. Wm. Baker, 48, of Wilmington, married Laura Mae Murphy, 30, of Wilson, daughter of Clarence P. Murphy and Mittie Wilks Murphy, in Wilson. Baptist minister T.A. Watkins  performed the ceremony in the presence of Theodore M. Hooker, Alice P. Hooker and L.E. Rasbury of Wilson.

On 1 December 1988, the Wilson Daily Times ran an obituary for Laura Mae Murphy Baker of Wilmington, formerly of Wilson. The notice noted that she was married to Rev. John H. Baker and had three daughters, three sons, two sisters and three brothers, including Charlie Murphy of Wilson.

John Haywood William Baker died 12 May 1992 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 13 March 1907 in Pitt County to Haywood Baker and Ora Harper; was a widower; and had been a self-employed barber. He was buried in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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In 1944, Ozzie Moore registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 1 September 1926 in Wilson; resided at 1113 Atlantic Street, Wilson; his contact was his father, J.H. Moore; and was employed by J.H. Moore at 517 East Nash Street, Wilson.  [John H. Moore owned a shoe repair shop.]

On 18 July 1953, Ozzie Moore, 26, of 1113 Atlantic Street, son of Johnnie Moore and Araminice Cohen [Armencie Cone] Moore, married Bessie Howard, 22, of 412 East Walnut Street, daughter of Monk Johnson and Clara Howard, in Wilson. Rev. E.F. Johnson, a Disciples of Christ minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Leonard Moore, 1008 Washington Street; Annie D. Jones, 414 East Walnut Street; and Noel B. Jones, 411 Banks Street.

Photograph of Moore courtesy of Ancestry.com user TeiaHarper1; photo of Baker courtesy of Ancestry.com user cbaker2928.

Picture-Taking Barnes.

Said Hattie Henderson Ricks, who lived in East Wilson from 1911 to 1958: “Yep, that’s me standing up there, and [my sister] Mamie sitting in the chair. And that little arm [of the chair] off there, it was Picture-Taking Barnes, they called him then. You were gon have your pictures made, you went to Picture-Taking Barnes.”

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Sisters Mamie and Hattie Henderson, alias Jacobs, circa 1920.

George Washington Barnes‘ one-armed chair is also recognizable in this image of Ricks’ great-aunt, Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver:

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Per Stephen E. Massingill’s Photographers in North Carolina (2004), Barnes was perhaps the first of three African-American photographers operating in Wilson in the early part of the twentieth century. In the 1908 city of directory of Wilson, George W. Barnes’ listing shows that he worked for photographer Orren “O.W.” Turner. The others were J. Thomas Artis, active in Wilson by 1921 and also in Wilmington, North Carolina, in the 1920s, and Connecticut native Edwin D. Fisher, active by 1930.

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Wilson City Directory, 1916. (The asterisk * indicates “colored.”)

In The Sweet Hell Inside (2001), Edward Ball prints a letter that 28 year-old Elise Forrest wrote her boyfriend Teddy Harleston after she arrived in New York City in 1918 to begin classes at the Emile Brunel School of Photography. “Dear Ted,” she began. “This morning I went to school. I am the only woman. There is one other colored, a young man from Wilson, N.C., …” … Who?

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1922 Sanborn map of Wilson showing 2nd floor location of Barnes’ East Barnes Street photography studio.

Interview of Hattie H. Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson, all rights reserved; photographs in possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.