In 1905, John W. Rogers bought, subject to $209.45 mortgage, all the goods necessary to furnish a billiard hall — two pool tables, balls, a cue rack, a ball rack, cues, triangles, etc. A handwritten notation along the edge of the entry shows that Rogers paid his note in full in June 1907 and owned the goods free and clear. [The 1908 Wilson city directory lists only one African-American-operated billiard room — Matthews Pool Room at 510 East Nash., which was managed by Eugene Matthews. Rogers, who lived at 555 East Nash, was described as a foreman in the directory.]
On 30 April 1938, the Pittsburgh Courier reported that three African-American Wilson women were facing fraud and misrepresentation charges connected with unemployment compensation applications. Though the details of their alleged crimes are not listed, the article notes that several others had recently been penalized after refusing employment in strawberry fields.
Pittsburgh Courier, 30 April 1938.
Maggie Rogers — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: perhaps, at 705 Dew Street, high school lunchroom cook Maggie Rogers, 40, and her sons Phillip Henry, 18, a tobacco factory laborer, Millard Jr., 16, and Coach V., 14.
Tiny Hobbs Jefferson — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: fertilizer plant laborer TomJefferson, 43; wife Tiny, 32; and children George, 12, Lena, 10, Tom Jr., 4, and Momynise, 2.
J.W. Rogers, 25, married Annie H. Blake, 21, on 21 September 1893. L.J. Melton, a Presbyterian minister, performed the ceremony at the Baptist church in the presence of David Pyatt, H. Bynum, and S.H. Vick.
J.W. Rogers — Per the city directory, in 1922, John Wesley Rogers lived at 548 East Nash Street and worked as a porter at Oettinger’s department store. His wife, a native of Johnston County, was Mary Elizabeth Thomas Rogers (1878-1950). Rogers was born in Durham County in 1870 and died in Wilson in 1951.
Mrs. Jasper Coley — Laura (or Laurena) V. Coley, daughter of Isaac and Penny Coley, married Jasper Allison Coley on 6 June 1912 in Wayne County. A native of Pikeville, Wayne County, like her husband, Laura died 12 May 1923. She was a teacher. Jasper Coley was the son of Phillip R. and Annie Exum Coley. He is listed in Wilson city directories in the early 1920s as a carpenter, a plasterer and a bricklayer, and lived at 401 North Vick Street.
Mrs. William Hines — Ethel Cornwell Hines (1894-1983) was a South Carolina native.
Mrs. Stattie Cannon — In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Charles Cannon, 35, barber in a “white shop”; wife Statie, 34; and children Charles, 11, Ruth, 9, and Statie Benton, 13. In the 1922 Wilson city directory, Stattie Cannon is listed as a dressmaker and Charles Cannon as a carpenter; both resided at 724 East Green Street. In the 1940 census of Newark, Essex County, New Jersey: Charles Cannon, 44, mother Stattie Cannon, 65, brother-in-law Fred Langford, 29, and sister Ruth Langford, 33. All were born in North Carolina and described as “white.”
A.N. Darden — Arthur N. Darden (1889-1948) was a son of Charles H. and Dinah Scarborough Darden and worked in his father’s undertaking business.
Mrs. S.L. Bowser — Burt Bowser, born in Halifax County, married Sarah Rountree, daughter of Peter and Lucinda Rountree, on 4 December 1888 in Wilson. Reddin S. Wilkins, A.J. Lindsay and JamesW. Parrington were witnesses to the ceremony. In the 1900 census, Burt L. Bowser is described as a bar tender and in 1910 as the conductor of a pool room. Sarah is described as a dressmaker. Burt Landers Bowser died in 1920; Sarah Bowser, in 1935.
John Spells — In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Pender Street, carpenter John E. Spell, 50, wife Martha A., 39, and son John E., Jr., 16. (John’s death certificate lists his middle name as Stephen.) Martha A. Spell, a native of Guilford County, died in Wilson in 1966.
Wesley Rogers — Per the city directory, in 1922, John Wesley Rogers lived at 548 East Nash Street and worked as a porter at Oettinger’s department store. His wife, a native of Johnston County, was Mary Elizabeth Thomas Rogers (1878-1950). Rogers was born in Durham County in 1870 and died in Wilson in 1951.
Deby Harper — Deborah Harper Swindell () was the daughter of Argent Harper. She was briefly married to Louis Swindell.
Dr. and Mrs. J.B. Darden — Pharmacist James Benjamin Darden was a brother of Arthur and Camillus Darden. After a brief partnership with his brother John W. Darden, a doctor in Opelika, Alabama, he settled in Petersburg, Virginia.
Mrs. A.B. Bowser — Astor Burt Bowser, born 1896, was a son of Burt L. and Sarah L. Bowser, above. He married Deloris Harvey of Alamance County on 17 August 1921 in Wilson. Rev. B.P. Coward officiated. In the 1930 census, the couple and their children, Astor B., Jr., and Sarah, are listed in Chicago, Illinois. Astor worked as an artist in his own studio and Deloris as a saleslady in a millinery. Astor died in Hennepin County, Minnesota, in 1981.
From the records of the Freedmen’s Bank, New Bern branch:
In the 1870 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County, 80 year-old midwife Cherry Rogers is shown in the household of Watson and Rosa Stanton. Cherry and Rosa may have been the mother and half-sister named above.