Taylor

604 North Carroll Street.

The one hundred-fifty-fifth 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, this building is: “ca. 1913; one story; L-plan cottage with turned-post porch.” [Note: per tax records, the house was built in 1925. It does not appear on the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map.] The 1950 Wilson city directory reveals the original house number was 516.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Graham David (c; Golda) h 516 N Carroll; also Graham Theola (c) 516 N Carroll

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Taylor Green (c) h 516 N Carroll; also, Taylor Green jr (c) h 516 N Carroll

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 516 Carroll Street, high school janitor Green Taylor, 57; wife Rebecca, 54; stepdaughters Lillie, 26, Wauline, 18, and Julia, 11; and son Robert Taylor, 19.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Edwards Julia (c) cook Rosa R Lupe h 516 N Carroll

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Edwards Julia (c) gro h 516 N Carroll h do [home ditto]

Wilson Daily Times, 8 July 1976.

Julia Edwards died 3 December 1989 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 14 February 1904 in Wilson County to John Henry Edwards Sr. and Nealie Farmer; was never married; had a fifth grade education; and operated a restaurant. Informant was Annie Edwards, Stantonsburg.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2022.

The obituary of Green Taylor, Sr., school janitor.

Wilson Daily Times, April 1942.

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In the 1910 census of Bull Head township, Greene County: farmer Greene Taylor, 28; wife Annie, 24; children Clara, 4, and Greene, 1; and cousin Lonnie Malons, 8.

On 25 February 1914, Green Taylor, 34, of Greene County, married Sula Swinson, 20, of Greene County, daughter of Willis and Matilda Swinson, in Bullhead, Greene County.

In the 1920 census of Snow Hill township, Greene County: farmer Green Taylor, 39; wife Sula, 30; and children Clara, 14, Green, 12, and Essie Lee, 4.

On 4 January 1930, Green Taylor, 49, of Wilson, son of Green and Viney Taylor, married Rebecca Ruffin, 44, of Greene County, daughter of George and Lucy Batts, in Wilson County. Free Will minister A. Bynum performed the ceremony in Wilson County.

In the 1930 census of Bull Head township, Greene County, N.C.: on Bullhead Wilson Road, farmer Green Taylor, 49; wife Rebecca, 45; sons Elijah, 10, and Alfred R., 9; and stepchildren Charlie, 19, farm laborer, Lillie, 10, Wauline, 7, and Julia Mercer Ruffins, 1.

On 20 September 1932, Green Taylor [Jr.], 24, of Wilson, son of Green Taylor, married Bessie Leon Artis, 21, of Wilson, daughter of Noah and Patience Artis, who were Wayne County residents. Baptist minister B.F. Jordan performed the ceremony in the presence of Marion B. Jordan, Odess Jordan, and William Jordan. [Bessie Artis Taylor was a sister of Pauline Artis Harris.]

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 516 Carroll Street, high school janitor Green Taylor, 57; wife Rebecca, 54; stepdaughters Lillie, 26, Wauline, 18, and Julia, 11; and son Robert Taylor, 19.

Green Taylor died 2 April 1942 at Mercy Hospital. Per his registration card, he was 57 years old; was born in Greene County to Green Shackleford and Mary Taylor; was married to Rebecca Taylor; lived at 915 East Vance; worked as a common laborer; and was buried at Bethel cemetery.

Green Taylor Jr. died 27 September 1967 at his home at 1201 Atlantic Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 May 1907 in Greene County to Green Taylor and Sulla Swinson; was a retired laborer; served in World War II; and was a widower. Elijah Taylor, Washington, D.C., was informant.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Please let them go to church.

In February 1918, the Colored Ministerial Union published an appeal to white Wilsonians to adjust the working hours of their “colored help” to allow them to attend daytime Sunday services. 

Wilson Daily Times, 4 February 1918.

202 North East Street.

The one hundred-forty-seventh 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, this building is: “ca. 1930; 1 story; double shotgun with gable-end form and engaged porch.”

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bullock Richd (c; Eva) gdnr h 202 N East. Also: Bullock Richd jr (c) h 202 N East

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 202 East Street, rented at $13/month, gardener Richard Bullock, 48; wife Eva, 25, cook; and [his] children Richard, 20, Moses, 16, George, 14, and Hellen Bullock, 13.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ward Addie (c) cook h 202 N East. Also, Ward Elmer (c; 1) 202 N East.

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Monroe Eug (c; Annie M) tob wkr h 202 N East.

Eugene Monroe died 1 January 1953 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 March 1900 in Sumpter, South Carolina, to Ida White; was a tobacco factory worker; was married; and lived at 202 North East Street. Annie Mae Monroe was informant.

Annie Mae Monroe died 1 March 1960 at her home at 202 North East Street. Per her death certificate, she was born 5 September 1912 in Wilson County to Joseph Z. Taylor and Martha Ellis; was a widow; worked as a presser for Service Laundry; and lived at 202 North East Street. Mrs. Ossie Mae Barnes, 202 North East Street, was informant.

In early 1967, R.E. Townsend & Company Real Estate applied for a permit to renovate 202 North East Street. Property managers and sellers since 1898, Townsend once controlled scores of rental properties in East Wilson. Wilson Daily Times, 2 June 1967.

Ossie Taylor Barnes died 12 February 1970 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 July 1908 in Wilson County to Joseph Taylor and Martha [maiden name unknown]; resided at Dew’s Rest Home, with permanent address at 202 North East Street; and was a widow. Mrs. Ida Edmundson, 711 Suggs Street, was informant.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, January 2022.

Lane Street Project: an anniversary and a promise.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my discovery in Odd Fellows cemetery of my great-grandmother Rachel Barnes Taylor‘s grave marker. I am again in Wilson unexpectedly, but that meant I was able to stop by to lend encouragement to the Senior Force and to meet two young men who stopped by out of curiosity.

Castonoble Hooks filled them in on the Lane Street Project and encouraged them to bring their friends to the next scheduled clean-up on February 12. I reeled off a few names of families buried in Odd Fellows. When I said “Artis,” the young man in the Rugrats sweatshirt looked up quickly. “I’m an Artis,” he said. I asked if he wanted to see the Artis headstones we’ve discovered, and he turned to his friend: “Cut the car off.”

I led the two back to the pile in which I found Rachel Taylor’s headstone, as well as those of Amelia Artis and her son Rufus Artis, who died in 1916 at age 16. Both agreed that more in the community should know about Lane Street Project’s work and promised to return next month.

An interesting heritage.

We have read here of Kingsberry and Charity Jones Taylor, who migrated to Indiana in the 1840s. The pages below are excerpted from “My Grandmother, Sarah Ann Taylor Maxwell,” a transcribed memoir by the Taylors’ great-granddaughter Bessie Chandler Van Dyke (1907-1994). As with many such recorded recollections, some of the details are off, but others provide incredibly rich insight into the lives of two free people of color with roots in what is now Wilson County.

Per Europe Ahmad Farmer, the principal historian and genealogist of the Locus/Lucas family and related free families of color of Nash and Wilson Counties, Kingsberry Taylor’s mother was Zelphia Taylor Brantley, who was white, and his father was a free man of color who was a Locus. Kingsberry was not enslaved, though he likely was indentured as an apprentice until he was 21. He did not live in Randolph County, but in Nash County, and he married Charity Jones (who lived in what is now Wilson County) prior to their migration to Indiana.

The Taylor family in the 1850 census of Madison County, Indiana.

Transcript courtesy of Ancestry.com user samjoyatk.

The Emancipation Celebration.

Wilson Daily Times, 3 January 1917.

As we have seen here and here, for more than 50 years after the Civil War, January 1 (rather than Juneteenth) was the date Wilson’s African-American community celebrated Emancipation.

In 1917 (not ’18, per the headline), the Negro Business League sponsored the observation of the 54th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation at Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church. Master of ceremony Samuel H. Vick delivered remarks that appear calculated to soothe white attendees, as jarring as they may seem now. Mamie Faithful, a local teacher, recited two of her own patriotic poems, which, in the writer’s opinion, compared favorably to those of Paul Laurence Dunbar. And Presbyterian minister Halley B. Taylor delivered the keynote address on the progress and shortcomings of the Negro.

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  • Mamie Faithful

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: retail merchant Sulley Rodgers, 35; wife Earley, 33; and school teacher Mamie Faithful, 50, boarder.

Mamie Faithful is listed in the 1922, 1925, and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 114 Fourth Street, owned and valued at $1000, widow Mary Woodard, 34, laundress, and roomer Mamie Faithful, 61.

Mamie Faithful died at Mercy Hospital in Wilson on 15 January 1938. Per her death certificate, she was 63 years old; was single; worked as a laborer; and was born in Tarboro, N.C., to Irvin Thigpen and Beedie Faithful. Informant was James L. Faithful, Tarboro.

The obituary of James Taylor, farmer.

Wilson Daily Times, 23 October 1944.

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In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer James Taylor, 19; mother Martha, 57; her daughter Mallie, 27; and her grandchildren Anna, 14, Maggie, 11, Alice, 6, and Mattie, 2.

On 13 December 1905, James Taylor, 23, of Taylors township, married Dora Locus, 26, of Nash County, in Wilson County.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Farmers Mill Road, farmer James Taylor, 28; wife Dora, 34; and nieces and nephews James, 8, Booker T., 6, and Mattie, 12; stepson Willie Locust, 16, saw mill laborer; niece Maggie Parker, 22, and her sons Wiley D., 3, and Odies Lee, 8 months; also, Lemon, 70, and Matha Taylor, 69.

In 1918, James Taylor registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 30 December 1882; lived at Route 2, Elm City; farmed for W.W. Farmer; and his nearest relative was Dorah Taylor. He signed his card with an X.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer James Taylor, 43, and wife Dora, 38.

In the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer James Taylor, 48; wife Dora, 50; sister-in-law Mattie, 30, widow; children William N., 13, Irine, 11, Mildred G., 10, and Ardie L., 6; and Easter Pate, 3 months, and Swindell Pate, “0 months.” [Whose children are the Pates?]

In the 1940 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Jeams Taylor, 58; wife Dora, 62; siblings(?) Jim, 40, John, 70, Bloss, 42, William, 22, Arlene, 20, Mildred, 18, and Rudolph, 2; plus lodger Artis Locous, 18.

James Taylor died 4 October 1944 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 63 years old; was born in Wilson County to Leonard Taylor and Martha Farmer; was married to Dora Taylor; was a farmer; and was buried in Farmer cemetery.

721 East Green Street.

The one hundred thirty-fifth 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, this building is: “ca. 1913; 1 1/2 stories; H.B. Taylor house; intact Queen Anne cottage with double-pile, hip-roofed form and front-facing wing; Taylor was a minister with the Calvary Presbyterian Church.”

Per Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno in Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey (1980), source of the photo above: “Built c. 1913 for Halley B. Taylor, the pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church, this house is an example of the influence of the Colonial Revival style on traditional forms. The L-plan form, commonly used in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is updated here by the additional [sic] of a dormer with a Palladian window, and a pedimented entry to the wrap-around porch. A cut out foliate motif and delicate turned columns further enhance the porch.”

721 Green Street was originally numbered 650. The house has been demolished.

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In 1918, Hally Blanton Taylor registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 11 July 1879; lived at 650 East Green Street; was a minister; and his contact was Marie L. Taylor.

In the 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Taylor Halley B Rev, pastor Calvary Presbyterian Church h 650 E Green

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 700 [sic] East Green, Henry [sic] Taylor, 40, preacher; wife Louise, 28; and children Bettie, 8, Louise, 6, Robert, 5, and Halley, 4.

I wrote of the 1923 sale of Rev. Halley B. Taylor’s house to the trustees of First Baptist here.

In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: Calvert [sic] Henrietta (c) trained nurse h 721 E Green

In the 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: Colvert Henrietta (c) nurse h 721 E Green

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 721 East Green, rented for $40/month, Henrietta Colvert, 32, trained nurse for insurance company.

Maintaining respectability was important. Wilson Daily Times, 23 September 1935.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 721 East Green, rented at $12/month, Bettie Watts, 59, widow, and her foster daughters Amelia, 38, household servant, and Isabelle Gibson, 13.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Johnson Floyd (c; Flossie; 4) tob wkr h 721 E Green

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ellis Jas C (c; Minnie) porter RyExpAgcy h 721 E Green