Reid

For (white) women who care.

This entry in the 1928 Hill’s Wilson city directory is what first caught my eye:

Odessa Beatrice Reid was the daughter of Ietta R. M. Reid and noted veterinarian Elijah L. Reid. Why did she occupy a space at the rear of 109 1/2 West Nash Street? Lawrence Brett & Company were civil engineers; John D. Wells was a tobacconist. Odessa B. Reid, it turns out, was a hairdresser who catered to white women and located her business accordingly.

Reid announced her opening in October 1918, having graduated from a course in the Elizabeth Kink System (about which I can find absolutely nothing). Her beauty parlor was on the second floor of the Carolina Building on Goldsboro Street. (This location is not clear. The building most commonly known as “the Carolina” was at 105 North Tarboro Street, just beyond Nash Street. Interestingly, it had been the site of Lemon Taborn‘s 19th-century barbershop.) Reid kept an 11-hour day and made her client pool clear.

Wilson Daily Times, 3 October 1918.

Nine years later, Madame Reid announced a move to the space over the World Theatre in the Wells Building, today the site of a dance studio.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 October 1927.

She didn’t stay long. A year later, she was in the Tarboro Street Carolina Building in room 12, second floor. She asked that her clients call her home for appointments between 5 and 10 P.M. “on account of the illness of my mother.”

Wilson Daily Times, 2 October 1928.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Eliza [sic] Reid, 38, veterinary surgeon; wife Ietta, 36; and daughter Beatrice, 13.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 650 Viola Street, Eligha Reid, 50, doctor [sic] in general practice; wife Ietta, 44; and daughter Odess, 22, beauty parlor manager.

On 26 September 1923, Heathen Sorrell, 25, of Rocky Mount, N.C, son of Lizzie Sorrell, married Odessa B. Reid, 26, of Wilson, daughter of E.L. and Ietta R.M. Reid. Presbyterian minister A.H. George performed the ceremony in the presence of Levi Jones, Norma E. Duncan, and Ethel L. Hines. (The marriage ended quickly.)

For several weeks in December 1924, the Wilson Daily Times published a Notice of Summons and Warrant of Attachment in Odessa Reid Sorrell vs. Leslie Boise Pender, a case in which Reid Sorrell was seeking a $370.00 judgment. I have no further information about the lawsuit.

On 23 February 1925, Alfred G. Spicer, 24, of Washington, D.C., son of Addie Spicer, married Odessa B. Reid, 27, of Wilson, daughter of E.L. and Ietta Reid, in Wilson. M.E. DuBissette, M.D., applied for the license, and Primitive Baptist Elder Tom Dickens performed the ceremony at Dr. E.L. Reid’s residence in the presence of DuBissette, Reid, and A.T. Spicer of Rocky Mount.

In the 1930 census: at 309 Elba, doctor of veterinary surgery Eliria L. Reed, 67; daughter Odessa B. Spicer, 28, a beauty parlor operator; and wife Ietta Reid, 57. The house was valued at $5000.

On 31 December 1931, in Arlington County, Virginia, Alfred G. Spicer, 31, of South Washington, Virginia, was awarded a divorce from Odessa B. Spicer, 309 North Elba Street, Wilson, on the grounds of desertion.

Odessa Reid Sorrell Spicer, perhaps during her beauty salon years.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 505 East Green, rented for $20/month, veterinarian Elijah L. Reid, 78; wife Ietta R., 65; and daughter Odessa B., 30, a graduate nurse. [When and where did Odessa Reid train as a nurse?]

Dr. Elijah L. Reid died 8 November 1948 at home at 811 Viola Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 25 January 1881 in Wayne County, N.C., to Wash Reid; was married to Ietta Reid; and worked as “doctor (veterinarian).” Odessa Reid, 811 Viola, was informant.

Ietta R.M. Reid died 14 February 1961 at home at 816 Elvie Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate; she was born 12 August 1867 in Edgecombe County to Jairett Staton; was a widow; and was a retired teacher. Odessa Reid, 816 Elvie, was informant.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com user Joyce Rucker-Barnes.

Gen. Austin has ties to Wilson.

On 22 January 2021, the United States Senate confirmed Gen. (Ret.) Lloyd Austin as President Joe Biden as Secretary of Defense. The Wilson Times noted that Gen. Austin had ties to Wilson through his wife Charlene D. Austin and quoted Congressman G.K. Butterfield Jr.‘s remarks about his close friendship with her parents. Mrs. Austin’s father was Maryland Lee “M.L.” or “Tank” Banner, and her stepmother was Margaret Reid Banner. M.L. Banner was a Concord, N.C., native who moved to Wilson in the late 1950s to work at Reid Street Community Center. Margaret Reid Banner was a Wilson native, a descendant of the Wayne County Reid family whose Wilson branches included veterinarian Elijah L. Reid, principal and banker J.D. Reid, farmer Henry S. Reid, barber Willie G. Reid, and carpenters John R. Reid and John B. Reid. After many years in Pennsylvania, M.L. and Margaret Banner returned to Wilson in the 1980s, where both were deeply involved in community service for the rest of their lives.

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In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 614 Vick Street, laborer Oscar Reid, 26; wife Nora, 20; and daughter Thelma, 2. 

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1007 Washington Street, dry cleaner Oscar Reid, 41; wife Nora, 39, laundress; and children James O., 20, Cecil, 18, Percell, 16, Leotis, 14, Margarett, 7, Evangeline, 4, Eugene, 3, and Lettie Romaine, 2 months.

Margaret Reid graduated Darden High School in the Class of 1949.

From the The Trojan (1949), the Darden High School yearbook.

Studio shots, no. 167: Council T. Reid.

Council T. Reid (1897-1951).

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In the 1900 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, N.C.: farmer William Reid, 48; wife Bettie, 45; Pinkney, 18; Hattie, 14; Maggie, 11; Milton, 9, Iantha, 7, Council, 5, William S., 3, and Louisa, 3 months.

In the 1910 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer William Reid, 59; wife Bettie, 54; and children Hattie, 23, Milton, 19, Iantha, 16, Council, 15, Vestus, 13, Loumisa, 11, Ghorom, 8, and Madie, 5.

In 1917, Council Troy Reid registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 12 July 1895 near Eureka, N.C.; lived in Stantonsburg; and worked as a farmer near Eureka.

In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: tenant farmer William Reid, 63; wife Bettie, 52; and children Iantha M., 25, Council, 23, Vester, 21, and his wife Hattie, 19, Gorum, 17, Mater, 14, [granddaughter?] Marain, 7, and [grandson?] Melab, 15 months.

Council Reed, 28, of Stantonsburg, son of Wm. and Bettie Edwards [sic], married Mary Edwards, 21, of Stantonsburg, daughter of John and Nealie Edwards, on 26 December 1923 in Wilson County. A.M.E. Zion A.J. Rhodes performed the ceremony in the presence of Patrick Exum, Ghorum Reid, and Robert Gay.

In the 1930 census of Speights Bridge township, Greene County: farm laborer Council Reid, 35; wife Mary, 27; and children Nolia, 4, and Lee, 1.

In the 1940 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Old Wilson Road, farm laborer Council Reid, 42; wife Mary, 37; and children Knowles, 13, Ulyses, 11, Sedrice, 5, Sadie M., 3, and Wm. Henry, 1.

In 1946, Ulyses Sam Reid registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 23 August 1928 in Wilson County; lived on Route 4, Wilson; his contact was father Council Reid; and he worked for Council Reid.

Council Troy Reid died 29 August 1951 in Walstonburg, Green County. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 July 1895 in Wayne County to William Reid and Betty Wilson; was a widower; was a farmer; was a World War I veteran; and was buried in Bethel Cemetery, Stantonsburg. Knowless Reid Dupree was informant.

On 10 June 1954, H.M. Fitts applied for a military headstone for Council T. Reid. The application noted that Reid had enlisted on 18 July 1918, had served in 860 Co. Trans. Corps, and had been discharged 5 August 1919. [Per the fascinating blog Black Soldiers Mattered, “[t]he Transportation Corps were stevedore companies responsible for loading and unloading the vast war materials that arrived at the ports of Brest, St. Nazaire, Bordeaux, Havre, and Marseilles[, France]. Each company had 250 African American soldiers and three white officers.”

The obituary of John R. Reid, house carpenter.

John R. Reid was a descendant of Rhoda Reid, a free woman of color, and her enslaved husband David Reid, who lived in Nahunta township, Wayne County, north of present-day Eureka. As described here, many of the Reids migrated into Wilson around the turn of the twentieth century. Though veterinarian Elijah L. Reid and school principal and banker J.D. Reid were most prominent, the Wilson branch of Reids included several notable carpenters. John Right Reid, born in 1887 to Isaiah and Edith Evans Reid, was one.

Wilson Daily Times, 30 December 1960.

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In the 1900 census of Pikeville township, Wayne County: farmer Isiah Reed, 47; wife Eidie, 34; and children John W[right]., 17, Ida L., 15, Oscar, 8, Bessie J., 5, Waid J., 4, and Parthenie, 2. 

Johnie Reid married Laura Anderson on 17 December 1906 in Wayne County, N.C.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Saratoga Road, wagon shop laborer Johnie Reid, 25; wife Laura, 21; and children Louisa, 3, Odell, 2, and George W., 2 months.

In 1918, John Right Read registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 17 October 1884; lived at 105 4th Street, Wilson; worked as a carpenter for Emmett L. Winn, Pine Street, Wilson; and his nearest relative was Laura Reid. He signed his name “John Rite Reid.”

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: in Fourth Street, house carpenter John Reid, 34; wife Laura, 31; and children Odell, 11, John Jr., 8, Augustus, 7, Elton, 6, Eula, 4, Alfonso, 2, and Sammie, 9 months.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 109 Fourth Street, owned and valued at $750, house carpenter John R. Reid, 44; wife Laura, 41; and children Oden, 20, bookstore delivery boy; Johnnie, 19, ready-to-wear delivery boy, Augusta, 17, Elton, 15, Mary, 14, Alfonza, 12, Sam, 11, Christine, 8, Margaret, 5, and William, 3.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 109 Fourth Street, carpenter John R. Reid, 55; wife Laura, 42; and children Gus, 25, tobacco factory laborer, Alfonza, 19, grocery store delivery boy, Christine, 17, Sam, 17, Fobbs’ Grocery delivery boy, Margret, 13, William, 11, and Edgar, 9. 

In 1940, Addison Odel Reid registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 3 October 1910 in Wayne County; lived at 1104 East Nash Street, Wilson; his contact was father John R. Reid, 109 4th Street; and he worked for Bissette’s Drug Store. He signed his name “Adderson Odel Reid.”

Odell Reid died 1 April 1944 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 35 years old; lived at 205 South Reid Street; was a widower; was born in Wayne County to John R. Reid of Wayne County and Laura Anderson of Wilson County; and worked as a defense laborer. John R. Reid was informant.

The Reid-Miller marriage announcement.

Baltimore Afro-American, 12 July 1930.

James D. Reid Jr., a dentist, was born in Wilson in 1905 to J.D. and Eleanor Frederick Reid. On 7 July 1930, he married Irene Miller, whose father Kelly Miller was a renowned mathematician and sociologist at Howard University and an outspoken anti-racism intellectual.

In the 1940 census of Washington, District of Columbia — at 2826 Fourth Street, widow Annie M. Miller, 71; son-in-law James D. Reid, Jr., 39, dentist; daughter Irene Miller Reid, 39, teacher at Miner Teacher College; daughter-in-law Carlissa Miller, 39, clerk; and granddaughters Annie Mae 18, and Gloria Miller, 16.

In 1940, James D. Reid Jr. registered for the World War II draft in Washington, D.C. Per his registration card, he was born 5 January 1905 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 2225 Fourth Street, N.W., Washington; his contact was wife Irene Miller Reid; and was self-employed, with an office at 1203 U Street, N.W. [2225 Fourth Street is now the site of Howard University’s Bethune Annex residence hall.]

Dr. Reid’s U Street office was in this building.

Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

The Reid-Whitehead wedding.

Baltimore Afro-American, 18 May 1935.

 

600 East Green Street, update.

This two-story house at the heart of East Wilson Historic District likely is not long for this world.

As detailed here, J.D. and Eleanor Frederick Reid built this two-story dwelling at 600 East Green about 1922, the year after the Commercial Bank, for which Reid was vice-president and principal promoter, opened. 

In 1945, the Reids sold the house to the Redemptorist Fathers of North Carolina, who converted it into a convent for the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the African-American order whose nuns taught at Saint Alphonsus Catholic School.

The Redemptorist Fathers held the house until 1969, then they sold it to private owners? and it began its steep slide. The city of Wilson condemned 600 East Green in 1977, but took no further action against it. In 1990, the city repealed the condemnation order to allow a new owner to rehabilitate it. This Daily Times article described plans for its renovation, and Roderick Taylor Jr. described a little of its history.

Wilson Daily Times, 26 December 1990.

In 1994, Oxford House, a living facility for recovering addicts, took over in the space. I have not been able to determine how long it remained open. It is clear, though, that the Reid house/nunnery has been vacant and moldering for much of this century. Since I photographed it in 2016, it has lost the midsection of fascia and soffit above the upper floor and the front porch ceiling has begun to collapse.

The streets of East Wilson, part 1.

Many of East Wilson’s streets were laid out on parcels of land owned by African-Americans and still bear the names they chose.

  • Vick Street

Samuel H. Vick built his Queen Anne mansion on Green Street, but developed the neighborhood around it. He named several streets for his daughters, others for family friends and his personal hero, Booker T. Washington.

  • Elba Street

Vick named this three-block street after his eldest daughter Elba Louise Vick, born in 1893.

  • Viola and Reid Streets

Viola Street was named for Viola Leroy Vick, who was born in 1894 and died as a toddler. Reid Street was named for either (or both) veterinarian Elijah L. Vick or J.D. Reid, school principal and banker.

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2020.