studio photograph

Studio shots, 114: David Lucas.

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David Lucas (1903-1941).

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In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Henry Locus, 36; wife Ida, 30; and children Minnie, 12, Joseph, 11, Lou, 9, Davis, 7, and Willie, 5.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount Road, farmer Henry Locus, 48; wife Ida, 39; and children Joseph, 23, David, 17, and Willie, 15.

On 26 November 1927, David Locus, 24, of Toisnot township, married Thelma Winstead, 20, of Nash County, in Wilson County.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer David Locas, 27; wife Thelma, 24; and daughter Erma D., 2 months.

In the 1940 census of Upper Fishing Creek, Edgecombe County: on Highway 44, farmer David Lucus, 37; wife Thelma, 33; and children Irma, 11, Ruby Morris, 9, Evellar, 6, Thurman, 5, Yvonne, 3, and Mae Clee, 3 months.

David Lucas died 1 January 1941 in Tarboro, Edgecombe County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1 March 1903 in Wilson to Henry Lucus of Nash County and Ida Pender of Wilson County; was married to Thelma Lucus; worked as a farmer; and was buried at Williams Chapel, Wilson County.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user cclemmiles.

Studio shots, no. 112: Freeman Rountree.

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Freeman Rountree (1890-1963).

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Willie Rowntree, 29; wife Martha, 27; and children Freeman, 9, Willie, 8, Rapherd, 6, Captan, 3, Dasie, 2, and Andrew, 1.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Tarboro Road, Wiley Rountree, 42; wife Matilda, 34; daughter Matha, 20, and her son Roscoe, 2; children Freeman, 19, Wiley Jr., 18, Raford, 16, Captain, 14, Daisey, 13, Andrew, 10, Husband, 9, Nellie, 8, and Frank, 6; and grandson Bosy, 3 months.

On 31 August 1916, Freeman Rountree, 25, of Wilson, son of Wiley Rountree and Martha (last name not listed, married Vinie Wilson, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Tom Wilson and Anna Wilson. Rev. John A. Barnes, A.M.E.Z. minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Jesse C. Lassiter, William Knight and Johnnie A. Barnes Jr.

In 1917, Freeman Rountree registered for the World War I draft. Per his card, he was born 5 October 1890; was born in South Carolina; was a self-employed farmer; and lived in Black Creek township. He was literate.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Rountree, 29, and wife Viana, 20.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Rountree, 37; wife Vinie, 30; and adopted son Eddie Bynum, 14.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Roundtree, 49, born in Florida; wife Viney, 38; and cousin Paul, 18, farm helper.

In 1940, Eddie Rountree registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 28 January 1916 in Beaufort County, N.C.; lived on Route 3, Wilson; worked on J.C. Speight’s farm, Route 2, Elm City; and his contact was father Freeman Rountree.

Freeman Rountree died 10 April 1963 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 October 1921 in Georgia to Wiley Rountree and Martha Dew; was married to Vinie W. Rountree; and was a farmer.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user coop2122.

Studio shots, no. 111: Fred D. Hines.

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Fred D. Hines (1928-1995), right, with unknown woman, probably 1940s.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on Wilson Road, farmer Turner Hines, 43; wife Penny, 33; and children E. Mary, 21, Allen, 17, Hester, 18, West, 16, W. Jim, 7, Beatrice, 6, Tommie, 4, Rosa, 3, Francie, 2, and T. Lou, 4 months.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Turner Hines, 51; wife Eliza, 50; and children Beatrice, 17, Tommie, 15, Rosa, 13, Frances, 12, Creasy, 11, Turner Jr., 8, Daisy L., 6, Willie B., 4, and Fred D., 3.

On 24 November 1937, in Wilson, George Powell, 24, of Gardners, son of George Powell and Mary Jones, married Beatrice Hines, 23, of Gardners, daughter of Turner Hines and Rosa Hines.

In the 1940 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Turner Hines, 62, and children Rosetta, 23, Francis, 22, Lucretia, 21, Turner J., 18, Daisey, 17, Willie B., 13, Fred, 11, Freeman, 8, Ederene, 6, and Thelma D., 4.

George Henry Powell died 22 May 1992 in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 February 1910 in Edgecombe County to George Powell and Mary Cotton; resided at 1505 Queen Street Extension, Wilson; was married to Beatrice Hines Powell; and had worked as a carpenter.

In 1946, Fred Davis Hines registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 30 September 1928 in Wilson County; lived on Route 4, Wilson; and his contact was brother-in-law George Henry Powell. [It appears Hines was named for popular local Baptist minister Fred M. Davis.]

Fred Hines died 22 September 1995 in Jamaica, Queens, New York.

Photograph courtesy of Ancestry.com user rogerbarron52.

Studio shots, nos. 108, 109 and 110: the Evans family.

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Roscoe M. Evans (1913-1993), during his Wilson years.

Roscoe Michael Evans was born 11 March 1913 in Wilson to Erastus Marion Evans of Johnston County, North Carolina, and Mamie Britt Coles Evans of Sampson County, North Carolina. His parents were married in Wilson on 25 December 1911 by Baptist minister Fred M. Davis in the presence of James Crockett and Effie Pittman of Wilson and Jery Evans of Fremont, N.C., and Joe Evans applied for the license.

In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory Erastus M. Evans, laborer, is listed at 635 East Vance Street, as was John Evans.

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Erastus M. Evans (1891-1945).

In 1917, Erastus Marion Evans registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 1 June 1891 in Johnston County; lived on East Nash Street; worked as an electric lineman for the Town of Wilson; and supported a wife and child.

On 22 January 1918, the “Infant of Mamie Rastus Evans,” a boy, died in Wilson at age four days, probably of “la grippe” [influenza.] Per his death certificate, he was buried in Wilson County by C.H. Darden & Sons.

On 1 August 1919, a stillborn male infant was born to Rastus M. Evans and Mamie Cole. Per his death certificate, he was born in Wilson by C.H. Darden & Sons.

In the 1930 census of Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland: Rastus Evans, 39, ship stevedore, described as a widower, headed a household of roomers at 807 Franklin Street. However, at 1502 Pennsylvania Avenue, also described as a widow, was Mamie E. Ivans, 34, lunch room manager; her son Roscoe, 17; brother Owen Pope, 30; and sister-in-law Leonie, 24. [Widowhood was a euphemism for divorce.]

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Mamie Britt Cole Evans (1892-1979), probably in her early Baltimore days.

Erastus M. Evans died 4 April 1945, Mamie C. Evans died June 1979, and Roscoe M. Evans died 25 February 1993, all in Baltimore.

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Photographs of the Evans family courtesy of Ancestry.com user TheresaSandra.

Young lions.

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Photograph printed in Wilson Daily Times, 2 July 1976, owner unknown.

  • Dr. William A. Mitchner
  • Camillus L. Darden
  • Mr. Nelson — Note that Patrick M. Valentine’s The Episcopalians of Wilson County: A History of St. Timothy’s and St. Mark’s Churches in Wilson, North Carolina 1856-1995 does not list a Rev. Nelson among the priests that have served at Saint Mark’s. (Mitchner and Darden were members of Saint John A.M.E. Zion; Freeman, of Calvary Presbyterian.) Census records for 1900 and 1910 do not list any African-American male Nelsons in Wilson.
  • Oliver Nestus Freeman

Studio shots, no. 107: Polly Boykin Deans.

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Polly Boykin Deans (1883-1962).

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In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Kisseah Boykin, 41; children Polly, 19, James, 18, John, 16, and Charley, 9; and niece Nannie Potts, 10.

Ernest Deans, 25, of Taylors township, son of Alfred Rice and Amanda Deans, married Polly Boykin, 22, of Taylors township, daughter of Joe Boykin and Kissy Boykin. Hilliard Ellis Jr. applied for the license, and a justice of the peace performed the ceremony in Wilson.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Wilson & Raleigh Road, farmer James E. Deans, 33; wife Pollie, 29; and children James T., 6, and John H., 3.

In the 1920 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Earnest Deans, 43; wife Pollie, 39, and children Tommie, 15, Johnnie, 13, Clarence, 10, Naomi, 9, and Clenon, 5.

Clarence Deans died 10 March 1926 in Crossroads township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 27 August 1907 in Wilson County to Earnest Deans and Pollie Boykin; was single; and was a tenant farmer for E.B. Capps.

In the 1940 census of Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland: Sarah Powell, 50, widow; her daughters Ruth, 19, and Anna Powell, 16; and niece Polly Deans, 55, widow. All had lived in Wilson, North Carolina, in 1935, and Sarah and Polly worked as domestic servants.

Clinton Earnest Deanes registered for the World War II draft in 1940 in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 12 October 1914 in Wilson County; he resided in Baltimore, Maryland; his contact was Polly Deanes; and he was employed by U.S. Construction Company.

Polly Deans died 24 March 1962 in Crossroads township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 July 1883 in Wilson County to Joseph Barnes [sic] and Kizzie Barnes and was widowed. Informant was Johnnie Deans. She was buried in Rocky Branch cemetery.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user jmt1946808.

Studio shots, no. 105: James Walter Hines.

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James Walter Hines (1912-1968).

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on Wilson Road, farmer Turner Hines, 43; wife Penny, 33; and children E. Mary, 21, Allen, 17, Hester, 18, West, 16, W. Jim, 7, Beatrice, 6, Tommie, 4, Rosa, 3, Francie, 2, and T. Lou, 4 months.

In the 1930 census of Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina: at the State School for the Blind & Deaf (Col.), James W. Hines, 17, pupil, deaf.

In 1942, James Walter Hines registered for the World War II draft in Newport News, Virginia. Per his deaft registration card, he was born 7 October 1912 in Wilson; he resided at Route 2, Box 245, Wilson; his mailing address was 2816 Oak Avenue, Newport News; his contact was Turner Hines, Wilson; and he worked for Goodman Shoe Shop, 3115 Washington Avenue, Newport News. He was described as 6’5″, 145 pounds, “wears glasses,” and “deaf and dumb.”

James Walter Hines died 27 December 1968 at 831 – 25th Street, Newport News, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 September 1912 in Wilson to Turner Hines and Pennie Barnes; had never married; and worked as a laborer. Informant was Mrs. Beatrice Powell, 1505 Queen Street, Wilson.

Photo courtesy ancestry.com user rogerbarron52.

An afternoon with Mr. Lathan.

Samuel Caswell Lathan sat in the front row during my presentation at Wilson County Public Library last week, making me a little nervous. This extraordinary musician, who once played drums for James Brown, was especially interested in the topic — he grew up on the 500 block of East Nash Street in the 1930s and ’40s. I visited with Mr. Lathan the next afternoon, soaking up his memories of the people and businesses of the block, whom he credits for setting him on his path as a drummer. He urged me to continue my documentation of East Wilson and expressed appreciation for and satisfaction with my work thus far.

Mr. Lathan also shared with me some extraordinary photographs of pre-World War II East Nash Street. Here he is as a toddler, circa 1931.

This stunning image depicts Neal’s Barbershop, with three of its barbers, circa 1935. Mr. Lathan is the boy leaning against the window, and Walter Sanders is seated in the chair awaiting a cut. “Billy Jr.” stands to his left in the photo, and an unidentified boy to the right.

African-American photographer John H. Baker took this family portrait of an adolescent Sam Lathan with his mother Christine Barnes Collins, grandmother Jeanette Barnes Plummer, and aunt Irene Plummer Dew in the late 1930s.

And this Baker portrait depicts Mr. Lathan’s beloved late wife, Mary Magdelene Knight Lathan.

Sam Lathan has graciously agreed to meet with me again to further explore his recollection of Black Wilson. I thank him for his interest, his time, and his generosity.

Photos courtesy of Samuel C. Lathan, please do not reproduce without permission.

Studio shots, no. 95: Rosa Lee Ross.

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Rosa Lee Edwards McNeil Ross (1913-1989).

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 225 Stantonsburg Street, Billy Edwards, 35, lumber company laborer; wife Clara, 29, tobacco factory worker; and children Rosalie, 7, Booker T., 4, and Shelley, 2.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 804 Lincoln, owned and valued at $1700, fertilizer plant laborer Bill Edwards, 35; wife Clara, 31; and children Rosa L., 14, Booker T., 12, and Shelley G., 9. (Clara reported that she was born in Indiana to North Carolina-born parents.)

On 6 December 1931, Curtis McNeil, 21, of Wilson, son of Hector and Carrie McNeil, married Rosa Lee Edwards, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Billie and Clara Edwards. Methodist minister R.J. Young performed the ceremony in the presence of Nellie H. Carr, Emma King and Lawrence J. Baylor.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: tobacco factory laborer William Edwards, 52; wife Clara, 48, laundress; daughter Rose McNeal, 26, divorced, tobacco factory laborer; nieces Ester, 19, laundress, and Rachel Cromartie, 13; and mother-in-law Della Cromartie, 84.

John Henry Ross died 28 April 1973 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 August 1907 to Will Ross and Ida Barnes; resided at 904 Lincoln Street, Wilson; was married to Rosa Lee Edwards; and had worked as a mechanic for Paul Berry Chevrolet. Rosa Lee Ross was informant.

Rosa Lee Ross died 20 November 1989 in Wilson.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user kmiles65.

Studio shots, no. 94: Haywood and Mollie Vines Baker.

HWB & MB

Haywood W. Baker and Mollie Vines Baker, perhaps taken near Stantonsburg in the 1910s.

Though this is not, strictly speaking, a studio portrait, the formal posing and prop seating of this image strongly suggest that a professional photographer was behind the camera.

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On 5 November 1898, Haywood Baker, 20, son of Richard and Almira Baker, married Ora Harper, 19, daughter of Thomas and Leah Harper, in Greene County.

In the 1900 census of Carrs township, Greene County: farmer Haywood Baker, 22; wife Orra, 20; daughter Lula, 6 months; and widowed mother-in-law Laurer Harper, 54.

In the 1910 census of Farmville township, Pitt County: self-employed barber Haywood W. Baker, 30; wife Ora, 29; daughter Lular, 10; and adopted son Stiner, 9.

On 13 November 1912, Haywood Baker, 33, of Nash County, married Mollie Vines, 26, of Nash County, in Nash County.

In 1918, Haywood William Baker registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he resided in Stantonsburg; was 24 February 1870; worked as a barber; and his nearest relative was Mollie Baker.

In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Railroad Street, Haden [Haywood] W. Baker, 40, barber; wife Mollie, 33; and children Hilda R., 6, Jasper, 4, Harold, 2, Mary C., 2 months; and Haywood, 12; plus Exum Joyner, 25, barber, and wife Bertha, 24.

In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Haywood W. Baker, 52; wife Mollie, 43; and children Charles, 17, Hildarene, 16, Jasper, 14, Harold, 13, Mary P., 11, Richard T., 7, and Carlton Baker, 5.

In the 1940 census of Farmville township, Pitt County: farmer Haywood W. Baker, 62, and children Jasper, 22, Tensley James, 26, Richard Thomas, 16, and Carlton Baker, 14, and Mary Joyner, 20. All reported living in Greene County in 1935 except Tensley, who had lived in Goldsboro, Wayne County.

In 1942, Richard Thomas Baker registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 24 August 1923 in Stantonsburg; resided at 719 East Green Street, Wilson; his contact was Haywood Baker of the same address; and he worked at G.H.T.M. in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Haywood Baker died 17 August 1946 at Duke Hospital in Durham. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 February 1883 in Greene County; was married to Blanch Baker; resided at 719 East Green Street, Wilson; was a barber; and was buried in Marlboro cemetery, Farmville, Pitt County.

On 18 September 1946, the Wilson Daily Times ran the first of a series of executor’s notices posted by John H. Baker, 524 East Nash Street, concerning the estate of Haywood William Baker.

Last will and testament of Haywood W. Baker.

The item Baker specially bequeathed his son John is now a prized collector’s item. The Illinois Watch Company manufactured Santa Fe Special pocket watches from 1913 to 1935.

Photo of Baker courtesy of Ancestry.com user cbaker2928; North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.