An even better look at Cockrell’s grocery.

We’ve seen two grainy versions of a photograph of the interior of Cockrell’s Grocery, but here’s the original. Shot circa 1948, the image clearly depicts the Cockrell family and employees, including William White and Billy Strayhorn, and the layout of the store, which operated at the corner of East Green and North Pettigrew Streets. (The building still stands.)

Photo courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Another view of Cockrell’s Grocery.

Wilson Daily Times, 16 August 1946.

We read here of Cockrell’s Grocery, which stood at the corner of Green and Pettigrew Streets one block east of the railroad and served a largely African-American clientele. Above, a clearer view of the photograph accompanying an article about the store, with William White, at center, and Billy Strayhorn, at far right.

916 Atlantic Street.

The one-hundred-fifteenth 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.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1922; 1 story; shotgun with gable returns; hip-roofed porch.”

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Strayhorn Farris (c; Lollie) lab h 916 Atlantic

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 916 Atlantic, rented at $8/month, cook Samuel Perry, 29; wife Sarah, 25; and children Devon, 5, Waldensia, 3, and Heron, 9 months.

In 1940, Samuel Perry Jr. registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 22 August 1910 in Wilson; resided at 916 Atlantic; his contact was wife Sarah Perry; and he worked for W.D. Hackney, 109 Gold Street, Wilson.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Perry Saml (c; Sarah; 4) cook h 916 Atlantic

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2019.

Cockrell’s Grocery.

Wilson Daily Times, 16 August 1946.

Cockrell’s Grocery, at the corner of Green and Pettigrew Streets one block east of the railroad, served a largely African-American clientele. The building at 404 East Green now houses Saint Mary’s Love and Faith church, a Holiness congregation. Billy Strayhorn and Swindell McDonald, despite their length of service, were teenagers at the time this article was printed. I cannot identify William White with certainty.

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404 East Green Street, courtesy Google Maps.