public health

The Negro and tuberculosis.

The Daily Times lauded the efforts of African-Americans to raise money to build a hospital and sanatorium, noting the potential benefit to white people, too. “When … it is considered that colored servants, nursemaids, laundresses, gardeners and cooks do the bulk of the menial tasks for the whites of the South, the danger of so large a floating population of ignorant, dangerous consumptives is intensified.”

Wilson Daily Times, 10 December 1912.

Darden band performs at mass X-ray survey.

Wilson Daily Times, 18 November 1950.

“Hundreds of Wilson county residents yesterday turned out for the opening of the mass x-ray survey which will last until December 23. Part of the crown which attended the opening in front of the county court house can be seen in the top photo. The Charles L. Coon High school band also is shown in the above picture. Colored citizens staged their own opening program at Nash and Pender streets. The Darden High school band can be seen in the bottom photo getting the mass x-ray started in that section of town. …”

An appeal to vaccinate.

In 1920, a public health officer resorted to shaming to appeal to Wilson’s African-American community to (trust the white medical establishment enough to) be vaccinated against smallpox.

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Wilson Daily Times, 29 January 1920.

Also, “Norfolk and Southern station”? This was not the iconic railroad station still standing at Nash Street and the Atlantic Coast Line railroad. Rather, it was a small depot at the corner of Barnes and Douglas (then Spring) Streets.

Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, N.C. (1922).

Long abandoned as a railroad station, here is the building now.

[Sidenote: I and my cohort were among the last children in Wilson to receive smallpox vaccinations. Since 1969, I have worn the “badge of honor” at the top of my left shoulder blade.]

Streetview photo courtesy of Google Maps.