Reid

Elizabeth Wilson Reid.

Bettie Reid 12 4 1947

Wilson Daily Times, 4 December 1947. 

Elizabeth “Bettie” Wilson Reid was born about 1864 in near Eureka in northern Wayne County to John and Zilpha Artis Wilson. The Artises, Wilsons and Reids were free families of color. [Zilpha A. Reid was a sister of Adam T. Artis (and Bettie was first cousin of Josephine Artis Sherrod.)] On 27 December 1882, Bettie Wilson married William Reid at her father Jack Wilson’s house in Wayne County. [William Reid was a cousin of Elijah and J.D. Reid.] They had ten children, Pinkney Reid, Hattie Reid Exum, Maggie Reid, Milton Curtis Reid, Iantha Reid Neal Braswell, Council Troy Reid, William Sylvester Reid, Loumiza Reid Cooper, Willie Gorham Reid and Mater Reid Winstead, at least six of whom settled in Wilson County.

In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg & Saratoga Road, tenant farmer William Reid, 63; wife Bettie, 52; and daughter Iantha M., 25; sons Council, 23, and Vester, 21; Vester’s wife Hattie, 19; son Gorum, 17; daughter Mater, 14; daughter(?) Marion, 7; and son(?) Melab(?), 1.

In the 1930 census of Black Creek, Wilson County: farmer Willie Gorham [sic], 27; mother Bettie Reid, 65; niece Marion, 17; and nephew Abraham, 11.

In the 1940 census of Black Creek, Wilson County: widowed farmer Iantha Braswell, 46; and children Abraham Neal, 21, and Randolph, 15, Nona Bell, 13, Mavis, 12, Bettie R., 10, and widowed mother Bettie Reed, 75.

Bettie Reid died 2 December 1947 at home at 1011 Stantonsburg Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was the widow of William Reid; was born 1 August 1874 in Wayne County to Jack Wilson and Zilphia Artis. Informant was Loumiza Artis Cooper, and C.E. Artis [Bettie’s first cousin] was undertaker.

Iantha Braswell died 9 May 1955 in Wilson. Per her death certificated, she resided at 719 Stantonsburg Street; was a widow; was born 10 September 1892 in Wayne County to William Reid and Bettie Wilson. She was buried 15 May 1955 in Turner Swamp cemetery, Wayne County. Informant was Nonnie Braswell of Wilson.

Vester Reid died 27 October 1956 at Mercy Hospital after being struck by an automobile on the highway near Stantonsburg, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he resided at 502 East Green Street; was married to Hattie Reid; was born 7 March 1897 to William Reid and Bettie Wilson; and was buried 30 October 1956 at Reid family cemetery in Eureka, Wayne County.

Pinkney Reid died 30 November 1961 at his residence at 504 North Vick Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 25 July 1881 in Wayne County to William Reid and Bettie Wilson; was married to Matilda Reid; was a farmer; and was buried at Turner Swamp cemetery, Wayne County. [Pinkney Reid was the father of Allen T. Reid.]

Willie Ghorum Reid died 28 February 1963 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he resided at 1013 East Nash Street; worked as a barber at William Hines‘ Barber Shop; was married to Ada Reid; was born 12 August 1902 in Wayne County to William Reid and Bettie Wilson; and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson.

Council Troy Reid died 29 August 1951 in Walstonburg, Greene County.  Per his death certificate, he was a widowed farmer; was born 21 July 1885 in Wayne County to William Reid and Bettie Wilson; was a World War I veteran; and was buried 2 September 1951 in Bethel cemetery, Stantonsburg. Informant was Knowless Reid Dupree.

Mater Reid Winstead died 5 January 1979 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 31 March 1906 in Wilson County to William Reid and Bettie Wilson; was widowed; and was buried in Bethel cemetery, Stantonsburg.

Loumiza Reid Cooper died 26 June 1988 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 27 January 1900 to William Reid and Bettie Wilson in Wayne County and had worked as a laundry operator.

D.C. brides.

Indianapolis Recorder 5 18 1935

Indianapolis Recorder, 18 May 1935.

The Recorder reported on the marriages of five women with ties to Washington, D.C., including J.D. and Eleanor Frederick Reid‘s daughter Thelma, who married Matthew J. Whitehead of Rocky Mount. Thelma Reid taught at Cardozo night high school.

Progressive citizens, pt. 1.

Sometime in 1914, the Wilson Times published a three-page insert highlighting the achievements of the town’s African-American community. “Wilson is fortunate in having a large proportion of sensible negroes,” the writer opined, and counted among the laudable such well-known citizens and institutions as Samuel H. Vick; J.D. Reid; Dr. Frank S. Hargrave; Charles, Camillus and Arthur Darden; Levi Jones; William Hines; Henry Tart; and H.G. Barnes; Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home for Colored People; the Colored Graded School; First Baptist Church; Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church; C.H. Darden & Sons Undertakers; and Lincoln Benefit Society.

On page one, the main text of digitized version of the insert is difficult to read, but the advertisements and photographs are clear. Surrounding an image of the just-opened Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home are ads placed by Henry Tart, “The Transfer Man”; York Pressing Shop; and C.H. Darden Undertakers. In addition to their funeral business, the Dardens touted their bicycle and firearm dealerships and their status as agents for Victor talking machines and records. The proprietors of the pressing club are listed only as Reed and Whitty. I have not been able to identify Whitty, but Reed seems to have been Lonnie Reid (a cousin of J.D. Reid), who is listed in the 1912 Hill’s city directory of Wilson operating a clothes cleaning shop at 603 East Nash Street. York was short-lived, as in the 1916 directory Reid was in business with Dunn, North Carolina, resident William Bates. Their tailor shop, Bates & Reid, also operated from 603 East Nash.

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Original document in the collection of the Freeman Round House Museum, Wilson, and digitized at www.digitalnc.org.

309 Elba Street (633 Viola Street).

The eleventh 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.

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As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1930; 2 stories; gable front house; two bay, side-hall plan; bungalow type porch and detail.”

Though the address is listed in the nomination as 633 Viola Street, that seems to be incorrect. In the 1930 Sanborn insurance map of Wilson, the house is numbered 629 Viola. (There is no 633 on the map.) Neither the 1930 nor 1940 censuses show any household numbered 633 (or even 629) Viola. Modern searches attach the address 309 Viola to this house.

In the 1930 Hill’s city directory, veterinarian Elijah L. Reid, his wife Ietta and daughter Odessa are listed at 309 Elba, located on the north side of the intersection of Elba and Viola. 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.

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From 1930 Sanborn insurance map of Wilson, N.C.

After Louisa Kersey Johnson died 15 January 1934, her daughter Gertrude Jones of 309 Elba Street provided information for her death certificate.

In the 1950s and ’60s, the house was inhabited by the family of Ernest and Myrtie Clifton Haskins, as shown in this excerpt from the 1959 edition of Hills’ Wilson, N.C., city directory.

Though the house has entrances on both Viola and Elba Streets, the larger porch faces Elba. (See photo below.) With this orientation, the description changes considerably from that in the nomination form, as the house is gable-end, rather than gable-front, and three, rather than two, bays wide.

Photographs taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017.

Mercy goes on the block.

Eighty-seven years ago today, Mercy Hospital was sold at auction to the highest bidder. J.D. Reid had pledged the facility as security several years before, and the scandal that undid the Commercial Bank also dragged the struggling Mercy under. Oliver N. Freeman had signed the deed of trust transferring title.

The hospital soon reopened under new ownership.

PC 3 8 1930 mercy sold

Pittsburgh Courier, 8 March 1930.

The 1936 Bull.

From the 1936 Bull, yearbook of Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte:

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Rev. Marshall A. Talley was listed among alumni:

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Herbert Ordre Reid was a member of the junior class:

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On the yearbook staff:

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And polemarch of Alpha Epsilon chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity:

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William Cornwell Hines was a sophomore (bottom row, second from left):

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And a member of the Rho chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity:

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Yearbook digitized at archive.org.

Herbert Reid, Harvard Law, Class of ’45.

More on Herbert O. Reid, Wilson-born scholar and civil rights attorney.

HERBERT O. REID

IN THE FIELD of constitutional law and in the protection of civil rights, Herbert O. Reid, who died on Friday at the age of 75, stood out. Because of Dr. Reid, a brilliant professor and former acting dean of the Howard University Law School, thousands of men and women across the country share a common vision of the majesty of the Constitution and the workability of America.

Except for his first year as a Howard Law School professor in 1947, when he said he learned more from his students than he taught them, Herb Reid had a major hand in producing a host of this country’s most distinguished lawyers, public officials and judges. Many served with him during the decades of the 1950s and 1960s as legal guardians of the civil rights movement. But unlike many legal scholars, Dr. Reid was as comfortable in the courtroom and in the backroom of politics as he was in the classroom. Everywhere he landed, he became a pivotal figure. He took on the exclusion of New York Rep. Adam Clayton Powell from the House of Representatives in 1967 and won a U.S. Supreme Court victory two years later. School segregation in America fell before him and a handful of lawyers from the Howard Law School faculty and the NAACP who participated in the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education and the companion desegregation cases for the District of Columbia. They carried the day in court, in part, because of the preparation and the dry runs that took place under Herb Reid’s drilling in the basement of the law school.

Dr. Reid was always on call for rescue operations. Sixteen years ago, when the board of education was mired down in the firing of yet another school superintendent, it was he who took on the excruciatingly difficult role of hearing officer and, with a degree of incisiveness and dignity, helped end that long ordeal for the city. It was that sense of duty to the city and his friends from the movement that led Dr. Reid to serve as former mayor Marion Barry’s personal counsel and then as a member of that administration. Without Herb Reid’s being there, friends say, it could have been even worse.

A graduate of Harvard law school himself, Dr. Reid frequently spoke lovingly and longingly about the “golden age” of the Howard Law School — the period in the 1940s and early 1950s, when distinguished faculty worked with students and other lawyers on the major civil rights issues of the time. Herbert Reid was a central part of it all.

Washington Post, 17 June 1991.

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On 16 October 1940, Reid registered for the World War II draft at the Harvard University precinct in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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New York Age, 8 December 1945.

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New York Age, 12 July 1947.

U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947, [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

600 East Green Street.

The fourth 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.

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In the nomination form for East Wilson Historic District, this house, built about 1922, is listed as “Judge D. Reid house; hip-roofed, cubic form with simple Colonial Revival detail; Reid was a local banker and principal of Wilson Colored School.”

More nuanced accounts of Reid’s banking and educational careers can be found here and here.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: banker Judge D. Reid, 52, public school principal Elnora Reid, 50, sons Fredrick, 17, and Herbert, 14, and lodger Edwin D. Fisher, 36, a studio photographer. The house was owned free of mortgage and valued at $6000.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Sally Barbour School principal Eleanor P. Reid, 62, is listed with five roomers, Margaret Kornegay, 28,  Sallie Mae Johnson, 29, Elworth Sadler, 30, Amanda Daniel, 26, and Martha Johnson, 32. All were teachers at Darden High School or Sallie Barbour Elementary School. Reid owned the house free of mortgage, and it was valued at $8000. [Eleanor was described as married, but her husband J.D. was not listed in the household and has not been discovered elsewhere.]

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson taken February 2016.

A continuation of the bad feelings.

This article captures the apparent exasperation of Wilson school officials with the sizable “element” of the African-American community that refused to send its children to public school after Superintendent Charles Coon slapped a black teacher. The “Anti-Reidies” appointed local pastors Robert N. Perry and Spurgeon D. Davis to head their new schools at such time as they were able to open. (An occasion the health department was doing its part to thwart.) The basis of black opposition to J.D. Reid is sorely understated here, and the Reidites claim of public dislike of successor Clarissa Williams misses a larger problem with Reid himself. (Reid rebounded from this setback with a key role in the establishment of Wilson’s only black-owned bank, only to fall again spectacularly.) See here for a fuller account of the Mary Euell incident and its aftermath.

The Independent School (one, not two) in fact opened a week after this article ran and operated for the next ten years.

no-10-7-1918

News & Observer (Raleigh), 7 October 1918.

We are the Republican party and those who denounce us are the traitors.

One hundred eighteen years ago today, four of Wilson’s African-American politicians — William H. Vick, W.S. Mitchell, Levi H. Peacock and Elijah L. Reid — submitted for newspaper publication a letter firmly denouncing the fusion politics of the era and declaring their firm allegiance to the Party of Lincoln.

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Wilson Advance, 25 October 1894.