Saint John AME Zion

Wilson news.

PC 2 17 1940

Pittsburgh Courier, 17 February 1940.

  • Johnnie Mincy — John Henry Mincey. In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 650 Wiggins Street, plumber Benjamin Mincey, wife Mattie, 60, sons Benjamin Jr., 31, a hotel cook, and Johnnie, 21, a daily paper deliveryman, and granddaughter Deloris Woodard, 5. In 1940, John Henry Mincey registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 8 April 1919 in Wilson, resided at 650 Wiggis Street, had telephone number 3909, was employed by National Youth Administration, and his closest relative was Mrs. Mattie Mincey. John H. Mincey died in Wilson 14 December 1982.
  • Hartford E. Bess — Hartford Eugene Bess. In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 208 Pender Street, widow Minnie Best, 48; and children Hartford, 30, delivery boy for retail dry goods business; Ruth, 27, teacher at Williamston School; James, 23, janitor at Oettinger’s store; and Glenwood, 10, grocery delivery boy. Hartford Bess died in Wilson on 2 December 1988.
  • S.J. Satchell — Spencer Jordan Satchell. In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 901 Viola Street, retail grocer Jarrette J. Langley, 60; wife Mary, 60; daughter Orris, 21; Virginia-born son-in-law Spencer Satchell, 29, teacher; and daughter Ivory, 30, teacher. Spencer J. Satchell died 20 February 1982.
  • Robert Haskin — Robert Douglas Haskins. In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: drug company salesman Robert Haskins, 55; wife Gertrude, 48; children Mandy, 36, cook Elizabeth, 33, beauty shop cleaner Estelle, 29, hotel kitchen worker Robert D., Jr., 27, N.Y.A. stenographer Lossie, 24, and barbershop shoeblack Thomas, 20; and granddaughter Delores, 15; plus lodger Henry Whitehead, 21, tobacco factory shaker. Robert D. Haskins died 11 December 1966 in Wilson.
  • Ossie M. Royall — Ossie Mae Jenkins Royall. In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 203 Pender Street, widow Ossie M. Royall, 33, an elevator girl at the courthouse; her mother Tossie Jenkins, 53, stemmer at a tobacco factory; daughters LaForest, 16, and Evauline Royall, 14; and a roomer named Ed Hart, 45, a laborer employed by the town of Wilson. Ossie and LaForest were born in Wilson; Evaline in Battleboro [Nash County]; and Tossie and Ed in Nash County. By the late 1950s, Ossie Royall had moved to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and was working as the dining hall supervisor at Elizabeth City State Teachers College. She died in Amherst, Massachusetts, 16 March 2000.

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  • Susie Moore
  • Robert L. Jeans — Robert Lee Jeans registered for the World War II draft in Wilson in 1942. Per his registration card, he resided at 510 East Green Street; was born 17 April 1903 in Tate County, Mississippi; and was minister of Calvary Presbyterian Church. His contact person was Mrs. A.G. Douglas, 416 North Meyers Street, Charlotte. The same year, Jeans was appointed head of Tabor Presbyterian in Des Moines, Iowa. Rev. Jeans died in Washington, D.C., on 17 November 1994.
  • Margaret K. Bridgers — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1209 East Nash Street, furniture company truck driver Jessie Bridgers, 32; wife Margret, 27; and children Elizabeth, 6, Jessie Jr., 5, and twins Saul and Carl, 2.
  • William A. Swinston
  • Mrs. R.L. Williams
  • Mrs. Brodie — possibly Anna Kearney Brodie.
  • Calvary Presbyterian Church
  • Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church
  • Darden High School
  • WGTM

Image courtesy of The Pirate (1960), Elizabeth City State Teachers College, digitized at U.S. School Yearbooks 1880-2012, http://www.ancestry.com.

He learned the English alphabet in about twenty minutes.

Jethro, Nimrod, the Queen of Sheba, Saint Catherine, Hannibal, Phillis Wheatley, Toussaint L’Ouverture, Denmark Vesey … and Rev. Robert S. Rives. Rives was pastor of Saint John’s A.M.E. Zion in Wilson around 1900 and testified at the coroner’s inquest over the shooting death of James A. Hunt. His selection as one of the Negro stars of the ages is as curious as author W.H. Quick’s contrived (and occasionally opaque) prose.

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Too low and too near the streets.

In June 1889, Rev. J.H. Mattocks, hat in hand, submitted a letter for publication in one of Wilson’s newspapers. The Colored Methodist Church, i.e. Saint John’s A.M.E. Zion, was about to pitch into the street, and could the white citizens help? Remittances could be made to Charles Darden, Gray Farmer or Samuel Vick, all up-and-coming black businessmen who enjoyed the trust of folks across the tracks.

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Wilson Mirror, 19 June 1889.

Charles Darden remained a lifelong member of Saint John’s but, authorization to solicit subscriptions notwithstanding, Gray Farmer and Samuel Vick were on their way out. Just two months after this appeal appeared, the Mirror announced that both  were charter members of a colored Presbyterian church.

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Wilson Mirror, 21 August 1889.

Per a publication issued for the Cape Fear Presbytery Centennial, 1886-1986, Calvary Presbyterian was organized 4 August 1889. The full list of organizers comprised Mahalie Artis, Hattie Barnes, F.O. Blount, William B. Conner, A.D. Dawson, Lucy Dawson, G.A. Farmer, John Gaston, Susie Harris, Abbie Holloway, Patrick Leach, A.J.C. Moore, L.H. Peacock, Edmund Poole, Mary Stephens, Hardy Tate, Daniel Vick, S.H. Vick, J.J. White [Wilson?] and B.R. Winstead.

  • William B. Conner — perhaps, in the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: house carpenter WIlliam A. Connor, 50, wife Ada, 27, and children William, 5, and Rosetta, 1. [If so, he was a Greene County native and a veteran of the United States Colored Troops. More later.]
  • Lucy Dawson — in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: dealer in fish Edd [Alexander D.] Dawson, 40; wife Lucy, 40, dressmaking; and children Mattie, 14, Virginia, 9, Lucy, 8, Edd, 5, Clarence, 3, and Augusta, 1. Lucy Annie Dawson died 20 May 1917 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 October 1860 to Joseph Hill of Virginia and Sally Slaughter of Virginia, was married and was engaged in dressmaking. Sophia Dawson was informant.
  • Abbie Holloway — on 10 February 1892, John A. McLeod, 24, of Boston, married Abbie G. Holloway, 24, of New York City, in Boston, Massachusetts. John, a waiter, was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to John and Ruth McLeod. Abbie, a domestic, was born in Wilson to James and Amanda Holloway. United Methodist minister John Hughes performed the ceremony.
  • Patrick Leach — in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: shoemaker Patrick Henry Leach, 61, and wife Lavinea, 56. Leach reported that he was born in Mississippi to North Carolina-born parents. [Had he returned to his parents’ home after Emancipation?]
  • Mary Stephens — in the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: brickmason Lorenzo Stephens, 27, and wife Mary, 24.

 

Rev. Foster flays white Methodism.

Rev. Richard A.G. Foster, a native of Whiteville, North Carolina, did not stay long at Wilson’s Saint John A.M.E. Zion, but he certainly made his mark there and elsewhere.

PC 11 5 1938

Pittsburgh Courier, 5 November 1938.

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Pittsburgh Courier, 21 January 1939.

PC 5 13 1939

Pittsburgh Courier, 13 May 1939.

NYA 10 19 1940

New York Age, 19 October 1940.

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Telegram from Negro Ministers of New Haven to W.E.B. DuBois, 21 April 1945; W. E. B. Du Bois Papers (MS 312). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Pitt Cour 8 22 1964

Pittsburgh Courier, 22 August 1964.

(For more about The Men of Tomorrow, see here.)

The accommodating and faithful transfer man.

WDT 3 14 1919 Henry Tart

Wilson Daily Times, 14 March 1919.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Walter S. Mitchel, 42, mason; wife Elizabeth, 36, laundress; and children Ada, 14, and Esther, 18; plus, wagon factory laborer Oleone Brooks, 18, and laborer Henry Tart, 18.

Henry Tart registered for the World War I draft on 18 September 1918. He recorded his address as the corner of Green and Reid Streets, his birth date as 11 April 1884, and his occupation as self-employed in the transfer business. His wife Julia C[lark] Tart was his next-of-kin, and he signed his card in a neat, well-spaced hand.

Upon Henry’s death, Tart’s wife applied for Letters of Administration for her husband’s estate. She listed four surviving daughters, all minors — indeed, young children — Olivia, Julia, Josephine, and Miriam Tart.

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North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database online], http://www.ancestry.com.

New A.M.E.Z. church.

WDT 5 19 1913 new AMEZ church

Wilson Daily Times, 19 May 1913.

St john dedication

Wilson Daily Times, 8 November 1917.

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Saint John African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, November 2015.

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Rev. Bryant Pugh Coward, here.

Lee A. Moore was one of the earliest agents of North Carolina Mutual and Provident Association (later, Insurance Company). Moore was born about 1863 in Black Creek township, Wilson County, to Lawrence and Vinnie Moore. He died in Wilson in 1948.

That’s your wife.

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Wilson News, 21 September 1899.

Ignore the snark, which was par for the course for newspapers covering African-American social and cultural events. This is a fascinating peek into early East Wilson’s social circles.

  • Henry S. Perry — Henry S. Perry (1873-1927) was a native of Lagrange, Lenoir County. He worked as a bellhop, porter and waiter.
  • Centha Barnes — Lucinda Barnes (1881-circa 1909), known as “Cintha” or “Cindy,” was the youngest child of Willis and Cherry Battle Barnes.
  • Roebertha E. Long
  • Rev. S.B. Hunter — Rev. Southey B. Hunter (1847-??) was an A.M.E. Zion minister.
  • Chas. B. Gay — Charles Benjamin Gay (1878-1953) was the son of Samuel and Alice Bryant Gay.
  • J.H. Brown
  • Michael Taylor — Henry Michael Taylor (1861-1927), married to Rachel Barnes, was the bride’s brother-in-law. Known as “Mike,”he worked as a drayman.
  • Edward Barnes — Edward Barnes (1869-1912) was the bride’s brother. He was much better known as Ned Barnes and married Charles and Lucy Gay’s sister Louisa Gay.
  • Walter Clark — Walter Clark (1884-??) was the son of mechanic Rhoden Clark and Sarah Hill Clark, who were Edgecombe County natives. The family lived at 606 E. Green Street.
  • Lucy Gay — Lucy Gay was a sister of Charles Gay. She later married John H. Lewis in Wilson.
  • L.H. Jones — Levi Hunter Jones (1877-1961), a native of Hertford County, North Carolina, was a barber.
  • E.J. Tate — Tate was probably a relative of Hardy Tate (1854-1938), a brickmason.
  • Williams Barnes — William Barnes (1879-1917) was also the bride’s brother.
  • Leutha Clark — Alethia Clark (1882-1936) was the sister of Walter Clark.
  • John Coleman
  • Sattena Barnes — Sattena Barnes (1878-1928) was born in Elm City, Wilson County, to Dublin and Eliza Batts Barnes. She later married John Gaston.
  • William Kittrel — William Kittrell (1875-??) was an Oxford, North Carolina, native and bricklayer.
  • Catharine Clark — Catherine Clark (1880-1933) was a sister of Walter and Lethia Clark.
  • Maggie Taylor — Maggie Taylor (1885-) was Mike and Rachel Barnes Taylor’s daughter.
  • Virginia Dawson — Virginia Dawson (1890-1933), daughter of fishmonger/merchant Alexander D. Dawson and dressmaker Lucy Annie Hill Dawson.
  • Bettie Clark — Bettie Clark (1885-??) was another of Rhoden and Sarah Clark’s children.
  • Lucy Hines — Lucy Hines (1886-??) was the daughter of Della Hines Battle.
  • Anna Pridgen
  • Glace Battle — Glace Battle (circa 1890-??) was the daughter of Parker and Ella Battle. She later married Timothy Black.
  • Alice Pierce — Alice Pierce (1889-1915) was the daughter of Andrew Pierce and Alice Knight Pierce. She later married Walter A. Maynor.
  • Bertha Taylor — Bertha Taylor (1891-1962) was also Mike and Rachel Barnes Taylor’s daughter.

Dr. William Arthur Mitchner.

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WA Mitchner

A.B. Caldwell, ed., History of the American Negro and His Institutions, North Carolina Edition (1921).

Dr. William A. Mitchner apparently moved to Wilson very shortly after graduating Leonard Medical School. In June 1910, he married Mattie Louise Maultsby, daughter of Daniel L. and Smithey C. Maultsby (who seem to have been natives of Pitt County.) Camillus L. Darden applied for the license on their behalf, and they were married at Saint John A.M.E. Zion church.

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In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County, at 534 E. Nash Street: Wm. A Mitchner, 40, son Wm. M., 8, mother Lucy, 60, and nephew Hubert Mitchner, 23, a barber.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County, at 604 E. Green Street: Dr. W. A. Mitchner, 53, born Johnston County; wife Marie, 40, born Wake County; and mother Lucy Mitchner, 80, born in Johnston County.

The East Wilson Historic District Nomination Report describes 604 E. Green, built circa 1913, as an “L-plan Queen Anne structure with cutaway front-facing bay.” The house has since been demolished.

Dr. Mitchner died 5 November 1941.

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WDT_10_20_1911_Watson_shooting

Wilson Daily Times, 20 October 1911.

Will Jenkins, in fact, survived his wounds. In 1917, he registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. He noted that he was born in 1893 in Edgecombe County, that he was married and lived at 672 Viola Street, and that he was a lumber yard laborer.

Rev. Owen L.W. Smith.

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The State Department was among the first agencies to appoint blacks to positions of prominence and one of the few to continue to do so beyond Reconstruction through World War I. African Americans were part of the diplomatic service on the ministerial level in Liberia and Haiti (where Frederick Douglass served, 1889-1891) and on the consular level in other countries. Four North Carolinians served as minister resident and consul general in Monrovia, Liberia. Owen Lun West Smith was the last in that line.

Owen L. W. Smith was born into slavery in Sampson County in 1851. He followed the Confederate Army as a personal servant but by war’s end had joined Federal forces and was part of Sherman’s army at Bentonville and the Grand Parade in Washington, D.C. He taught school briefly and studied at the University of South Carolina 1874-1876. In 1880 he was converted at a camp meeting and the next year began to preach. Active in the A.M.E. Zion Church, he served or built churches across eastern North Carolina and served as presiding elder, secretary of the Sunday School convention, private secretary to Bishop John Small, conference delegate, and corresponding editor of the Star of Zion.

In 1885 Smith took up a pastorate at St. John’s A.M.E. Zion in Wilson. In 1897, he sought the diplomatic post to Liberia and received endorsements from the state governor, attorney general, congressmen, and others. President William McKinley selected him from a field of forty-three applicants. During his first of four years in Liberia, Smith received an honorary doctorate from Livingstone College. When his posting ended, he returned to Wilson. He died there in 1926 and is buried in the Masonic cemetery.

Adapted from the website of North Carolina Historical Highway Marker Program.

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For more information about Reverend Dr. Smith’s life, see E. Renee Ingram, “Rev. Owen Lun West Smith: From Minister to Minister Resident and General Consul,” Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society Journal, volume 20, number 1 (2001).