Pittman

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.

502 South Lodge Street.

This house is not within the bounds of East Wilson Historic District. However, South Lodge Street — below the warehouse district — has been an African-American residential area since the turn of the twentieth century.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Lodge Street, house carpenter Neverson Green, 49; wife Ezabell, 45 and children Ada, 22, Viola, 19, Rosa, 16, William O., 14, Lula, 12, Henry, 8, Bessie, 6, and Eva, 2. Ada, Viola and Rosa were tobacco factory laborers; William worked in a box factory.

Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson showing 502 South Lodge Street in 1913.

Sanborn map showing two locations at which Neverson Green operated grocery stores, across from the Norfolk Southern tracks at 400 and 412 South Spring Street. 

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Green Neverson grocer 412 S Spring h 502 S Lodge

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: grocery merchant Neverson Green, 58, grocery merchant; wife Isabella, 54; daughters Lula, 21, Bessie, 16, and Eva, 12; and roomer Willie Ward, 19.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: grocery store merchant Nelson Green, 72; wife Isabella, 65; daughters Lula, 30, and Eva, 23; and grandchildren Lila R. Barnes, 12, and Lissa Strickland, 12.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Green Nelson (c; Isabella) gro 400 Spring h 502 S Lodge

Neverson Green died 3 March 1936 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 March 1857 in Granville County, North Carolina, to Henry Green and Rosa Green; was a merchant storekeeper; resided at 504 [sic] Lodge; was married Isabella Green; informant was Viola Strickland, Wilson.

Isabella Green died 13 August 1936 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 13 March 1865 in Granville County to Haywood Thorpe and Rachel Thorpe; lived at 504 [sic] South Lodge; and was a widow. Ada Knight of Wilson was informant.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: brickmason Aaron Pittman, 38; wife Lucy, 37; daughters Helen, 18, and Lucy Gray, 17; and lodger Emmaline Hayes, 21.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Pittman Aaron (c; Lucy) brcklyr h 502 S Lodge

In 1941, Haron Pittman registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 6 September 1901 in Robeson County, North Carolina; resided at 502 South Lodge Street; his nearest relative was Helen D. Ford, 502 Lodge; and he worked for Jones Brothers Contractors, Wilson.

Haron M. Pittman died 9 March 1949 at Albemarle Hospital, Pasquotank County, North Carolina, of a cervical vertebra fracture suffered in an auto accident on Highway 17 near Elizabeth City. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 September 1901 in Robeson County to Mack Pittman and Lummie Mitchell; was divorced; resided at 502 South Lodge Street, Wilson. Informant was Helen P. Ford, 502 South Lodge.

On 6 March 1957, Helen Pittman Ford and husband Quincy, Clara E. Pittman and Lucy Pittman Cunningham and husband Prince Cunningham borrowed $3000 from real estate developer George Stronach Jr. and Atlantic Building and Loan Association and gave a mortgage on the property at 520 South Lodge. The Pittman family defaulted.

The notice that ran in the Daily Times in March 1960 mentioned that Aaron Pittman had purchased the property in 1937, and Neverson Green well before that. (Though the exact date is not mentioned, deed book 42 dates to the 1890s.)

Wilson Daily Times, 10 March 1960.

It appears that members of Neverson and Isabella Green’s extended family regained the house at 520 South Lodge. Daughter¬†Ada Green Knight died 3 March 1973 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born in Virginia on 13 March 1887 to Nelson Green and Isabell Thorp; resided at 502 South Lodge Street; and was a retired laborer. Informant was Nancy Doris Lucas, 502 South Lodge.

Jesse Vernon Lucas and Nancy Doris Knight Lucas lived at 502 South Lodge Street until their deaths in 1986 and 2013, respectively.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 April 2013.

[A lost-and-found photo album belonging to Neverson and Isabella Thorpe Green’s granddaughter Etta Mae Barnes Taylor was the subject of a New York Times feature in early 2017.]

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2018.