undertaker

Colored businesses.

Among the businesses highlighted in the Wilson, North Carolina, Industrial & Commercial Directory, published in 1912, were these:

PARAGON SHAVING PARLOR — The establishment is located at 213 East Nash street in Briggs Hotel Block, and it can truthfully be said that it is the most popular Tonsorial parlor in the city of Wilson. It is owned and managed by N.J. Tate and W.S. Hines, both of whom are skilled barbers of long experience. Their genial manner and high class work have won for them the liberal share of the best patronage of the city. Their shop is fully equipped with all the latest appurtenances, and a short visit to this establishment will after passing through their hands, convince you of what the modern, up-to-date barber shops can do to put a man in good humor with himself and the rest of mankind. The shop is equipped with five chairs, each in charge of a professional barber. Go there for your next slave.

JAMES HARDY, SUCCESSOR TO HARDY BROS. — Feed and Livery Stables. This business is located on South Goldsboro street between Nash and Barnes streets and the business has been established for the last four years. The proprietor has succeeded in building up a good patronage. He is very prompt in answering calls and his prices for Livery are very reasonable. Telephone Number 9. Hack and Dray work solicited. The proprietor wants your patronage and guarantees the right sort of treatment. He is a colored man and has the good wishes of all.

  • James Hardy — in the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: livery stable laborer Jim Hardy, 32; wife Lizzie, 31; sons James, 8, and Lovelace, 6; and boarders Lincoln Sellers, 29, widower and brick yard laborer, and [blank] Batts, 37, water works laborer. James P. Hardy died 20 April 1914 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 27 April 1979 in Greene County to Petter Hardy and Jane Foreman; was married; lived at 508 Vance Street; and was a livery stable employer. Lizzie Hardy was informant. [Who was the other Hardy Brother?]

C.H. DARDEN & SON — This is the only colored firm of undertakers and funeral directors in Wilson, and has been established by the senior member of the firm, C.H. Darden, for some thirty years. His son C.L. Darden has been a member for twelve years years. This place is located at 615 East Nash street, and every branch of the undertaking and Funeral Director business is executed. The equipment includes two Hearses, as well as all other necessary appliances pertaining to the business. They also handle Bicycles and Fire Arms, Victor Talking Machines, Records, Bicycle Sundries, etc. Special attention given to repairs. Their telephone number is 60 and all calls are promptly answered.

OATES & ARTIS — Family groceries. This firm is located at 601 East Nash Street, with telephone connection 456. The business was established in August 1910 and has steadily increased from the beginning. The stock includes all kinds of Groceries, both staple and fancy, Produce, Teas and Coffee, Tobacco and Cigars and the prices are very reasonable. The members of the firm are Wiley Oates, a native of this county, and who has been residing in the City for two years, and Cain Artis, who is also a native of the county, but who has resided in Wilson for twenty-two years. Both are colored men and they are ably attending to the business.

  • Wiley Oates — in the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Vick Street, dredge boat laborer Wiley Oats, 32; wife Nettie, 28; and daughters Dollena, 8, and Dottie Lee, 13 months. Wily Oates died 23 July 1913 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, she was born 26 September 1879 to Adam and Amanda Oates; was a farmer; and was married.
  • Cain Artis

IDEAL PHARMACY — This is the only colored Drug store in Wilson, and it has been established for about seven years. The proprietors, D.C. Yancy, Ph.G., receiving his degree from the Leonard School of Pharmacy, Shaw University Class of 1905-06, has been connected with the store for the past three years and gas been sole proprietor for the past year and a half. He reports that the business is constantly growing and he hopes within a very few years to have one of the largest stores in the City. He personally presses over the prescription department and absolute accuracy is his watchword. His motto is “Not how cheap but how pure.” The general stock includes fresh drugs, patent medicines, Tobacco, Sundries, etc, soda fountain in connection. 109 South Goldsboro street, phone 219.

 

Wilson news.

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New York Age, 3 October 1912.

  • C.H. Dorden and Son — Charles H. Darden and son Camillus L. Darden.
  • Dr. John W. Dorden — C.H. Darden’s son John W. Darden.
  • Maj. McGrew — apparently, Maj. James H. McGrew was commandant of students at Saint Paul’s Normal and Industrial School in Lawrenceville, Virginia. His wife was Hattie Smith McGrew. I have been unable to discover more about McGrew’s time in Wilson.

Camillus L. Darden dies.

Wilson Daily Times, 14 January 1956.

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In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: wheelwright Charles Dardin, 44; wife Dianna, 40, sewing; and children Annie, 21, sewing; Comilous, 15, tobacco stemmer; Arthor, 12; Artelia, 10; Russell, 5; and Walter, 4.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: blacksmith Charlie Darden, 55; wife Dianah, 48; and children Cermillus, 24, bicycle shop owner; Arthur, 22, teacher; Artelia, 18, teacher; Russel, 16; and Walter, 14.

Camillus Louis Darden registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 26 June 1884; resided at 110 Pender Street; was a self-employed undertaker at 615 East Nash Street; and his nearest relative was his father Charles H. Darden.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 110 Pender Street, blacksmith Charles H. Darden, 65; wife Mary E., 55; sons C.L., 35, and Artha W., 27, undertakers; and [step-] daughter Mary H., 19, and Cora B., 11.

Camillus Darden married Norma E. Duncan of Montgomery, Alabama.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 108 Pender Street, Calamus L. Darden, and wife Morma, 30. Their home was valued at $10,000.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 108 Pender Street, undertaker C.L. Darden, 45, and wife Norma, 40.

C.L. Darden executed his will on 1955. He devised his business, Darden Memorial Funeral Home, to his wife Norma E. Darden, brother Dr. Walter T. Darden and nephew Charles Darden James in one-half, one-quarter and one-quarter shares respectively. The property on which the funeral home was located, 608 and 610 East Nash Street, as well as an adjacent lot known as the Darden Shop lot, were similarly devised. His wife was to receive his residence at 108 Pender Street, and property at 203 Stantonsburg Street was to be sold and the proceeds divided between his sisters Elizabeth Morgan and Artelia Tennessee; his nieces Artelia Tennessee Bryant, Thelma Byers and Artelia Davis; and a long-time employee Frank Davis (with provisions to guarantee each received at least $1000.) All personal property was devised to wife Norma, and equal shares in all other real property to nieces and nephews Charles Darden James, Randall James, Johnnie K. Reynolds, Artelia Davis, Thelma Byers, Bernard Tennessee, Eugene Tennessee, Artelia Tennessee Bryant, Norma Jean Darden, Carol Darden, and Charles Arthur Darden.

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Camillus L. Darden died 12 January 1956 at Mercy Hospital. Per his death certificate, he resided at 108 Pender Street; was born 26 June 1884 in Wilson to Charles Henry Darden and Diana Scarborough; was married to Norma Duncan Darden; and worked as a mortician. Charles D. James was informant.

Read more about Camillus Lewis Darden here and here and here and here.

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The Darden house at 108 North Pender Street.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2017; U.S. Citizen Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Tampa, Florida, Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787- 2004, digitized at Florida, Passenger Lists, 1898-1963 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com; North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Darden funeral home and bicycle shop.

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Walter T. “Bud” Darden and Samuel H. and Annie Washington Vick‘s son, Daniel, also known as Bud, standing in front of Charles H. Darden & Son’s shop. In addition to providing funeral and undertaking services, the Dardens sold bicycles and Victor record players.

Image courtesy of City of Wilson Archives, reprinted in Wilson Daily Times, 15 February 2008.

 

Progressive citizens, pt. 1.

Sometime in 1914, the Wilson Times published a three-page insert highlighting the achievements of the town’s African-American community. “Wilson is fortunate in having a large proportion of sensible negroes,” the writer opined, and counted among the laudable such well-known citizens and institutions as Samuel H. Vick; J.D. Reid; Dr. Frank S. Hargrave; Charles, Camillus and Arthur Darden; Levi Jones; William Hines; Henry Tart; and H.G. Barnes; Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home for Colored People; the Colored Graded School; First Baptist Church; Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church; C.H. Darden & Sons Undertakers; and Lincoln Benefit Society.

On page one, the main text of digitized version of the insert is difficult to read, but the advertisements and photographs are clear. Surrounding an image of the just-opened Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home are ads placed by Henry Tart, “The Transfer Man”; York Pressing Shop; and C.H. Darden Undertakers. In addition to their funeral business, the Dardens touted their bicycle and firearm dealerships and their status as agents for Victor talking machines and records. The proprietors of the pressing club are listed only as Reed and Whitty. I have not been able to identify Whitty, but Reed seems to have been Lonnie Reid (a cousin of J.D. Reid), who is listed in the 1912 Hill’s city directory of Wilson operating a clothes cleaning shop at 603 East Nash Street. York was short-lived, as in the 1916 directory Reid was in business with Dunn, North Carolina, resident William Bates. Their tailor shop, Bates & Reid, also operated from 603 East Nash.

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Original document in the collection of the Freeman Round House Museum, Wilson, and digitized at www.digitalnc.org.

Wootten & Stevens, pt. 8.

In 1977, the late Hugh B. Johnston abstracted a newly discovered volume of the records of Wootten and Stevens, the earliest undertaking firm in Wilson County. The result, Funeral Register of Wootten and Stevens, Undertakers of Wilson, North Carolina, November 18, 1896-June 27, 1899 is an unpublished manuscript held at Wilson County Public Library. This post is the eighth in a series abstracting the abstract for entries naming African-Americans.

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  • Sanders, ____. Wilson. Colored. Died 12 July 1898, aged 1 year 4 months. Length 2’6″. Cost $1.50. (Page 287)
  • Sanders, Mourning. Wilson. Colored. Died 19 November 1897, aged 9 years, of scrofula. Length 4’6″. Death certified by Salt Lake Harris. (Page 169)
  • Sharp, _____. Rocky Mount. Colored. Died 14 January 1899. Daughter of Sampson Sharp. “Died at Rocky Mt. & was brought to Wilson for interment.” Burial in Oakdale cemetery. Cost $5. (Page 407)
  • Sharp, Nellie. Wilson township. Colored. Died 20 December 1897, aged 58 years. Length 5;8″. Buried in Oak Dale cemetery. Billed to Wilson Sharp. (Page 189)
  • Simms, _____. Wilson. Colored. Died 9 May 1898, of pneumonia. Attended to by Dr. Williams. “Simms was a young man who had the misfortune to get both feet cut off by a R.R. train.” Length 5′. Cost $10. Buried in Oak Dale Cemetery. Billed to Lee Moore. (Page 245)
  • Simms, Amos. Wilson. Colored. Died 27 November 1898. Length 6’1″. Cost $10. Buried at Old Simms place. (Page 384)
  • Stallings, Mary. Wilson. Colored. Died 15 June 1898, deranged, aged 20 years, 19 days. Attended to by Dr. T.B. Person. Cost $15. Funeral at home. Buried in “old section” of Oakdale cemetery. Billed to Gilbert Stallings. (Page 275)
  • Strickland, _____. Wilson. Colored. Died 8 June 1899. Wife of Marcellus Strickland. Length 5’6″. Cost $15. Buried in colored cemetery. (Page 483)
  • Strickland, Dave. Taylor’s township. Colored. Died 11 December 1897, of “hemordge of lungs,” aged 70. Attended to by Dr. B.T. Person. Length 6′. Buried in Batt Thompson cemetery. (Page 179)
  • Sugg, _____. Wilson. Colored. Died 4 April 1898, age 22, of fever. Length 5’6″. Cost $4.75. Billed to Haywood Best. Buried in Oakdale cemetery. (Page 227)
  • Sutton, William R. Wilson. Colored. Died 4 August 1897, aged 6 months. Length 2’6″. Child of Aider Sutton. Attended to by Dr. T.B Person. Funeral at church. Burial in old cemetery. Cost $4. (Page 114)
  • Swinson, Sarah. Greene County. Colored. Died 11 October 1898, aged 4o years, of Bright’s disease. Attended to by Dr. S.H. Crocker. Length 6″. Funeral at house. Billed to H. Edmundson. (Page 356)

Wootten & Stevens, pt. 6.

In 1977, the late Hugh B. Johnston abstracted a newly discovered volume of the records of Wootten and Stevens, the earliest undertaking firm in Wilson County. The result, Funeral Register of Wootten and Stevens, Undertakers of Wilson, North Carolina, November 18, 1896-June 27, 1899 is an unpublished manuscript held at Wilson County Public Library. This post is the sixth in a series abstracting the abstract for entries naming African-Americans.

  • Matthews, Tom.  Wilson. Colored. Shot 18 May 1899, age 37 years. Attended by Dr. C.E. Moore. Length 5’9″. Cost 4, billed to Town of Wilson. Buried in Colored Cemetery. “Killed by Policeman George Mumford in the discharge of his duty. Coroner’s Inquest gave the above verdict.” (Page 476)
  • Messick, James. Wilson. Colored. Died __ September 1898. Length 6′. Cost $7.50. The County Commissioners paid $2. (Page 338)
  • Mobley, _____. Wilson. Colored. Died 16 March 1899, of consumption. Father of Jane Mobley. Length 5’9″. Attended by Dr. Albert Anderson. Cost $10. Billed to John T. Williams. (Page 437)
  • Mobley, Isaac. Wilson. Colored. Died 4 March 1899, age 21 years, of consumption. Attended by Dr. N.B. Herring. Cost $11. Billed to F.A. Woodard. Buried Oak Dale cemetery. Cost $10. (Page 430)
  • Moore, _____. Wilson. Colored. Died 17 January 1898, age 1 day. Grandchild of Pennie Moore. Length 2’4″. Cost $3. (Page 197)
  • Moore, _____. Wilson. Colored. Died 23 July 1898. Wife of Andrew Moore. Length 5’6″. Cost $20. Burial at Colored Cemetery.  (Page 288)
  • Moore, _____. Wilson. Colored. Died 17 September 1898. Child of Henry Moore. Length 2’9″. Cost $15. Funeral at Methodist church. Burial at colored cemetery. (Page 313)
  • Moore, _____. Wilson. Colored. Died 17 September 1898, age 5 days. Length 2’. Buried at Oakdale cemetery. Cost $3. Billed to Pennie Moore. (Page 434)
  • Moore, Lelia. Wilson. Colored. Died 6 February 1897, age 3 months, of a severe cold. Length 2′. Buried at Oak Dale cemetery. Cost $3.50. Billed to Bryant Moore. (Page 31)
  • Newkirk, Fenner. Wilson. Colored. Died 18 July 1897, age 28 years, of brain fever. Attended by Dr. T.B. Person. Cost $6. Billed to Bettie Newkirk. Buried at Oak Dale Cemetery. (Page 103)
  • Nutall(?), _____. Wilson. Colored. Died __ July 1898. Length 5’9″. Cost $15. “Corpse was taken to Henderson, N. C., for burial.” (Page 291)
  • Parker, Harriet Jones. Wilson. Colored. Died 26 May 1898. Attended by Dr. N.B. Herring. Cost $10. Billed to Doane Herring. Burial at Oak Dale cemetery. (Page 260)
  • Parker, Nancy. Near Wilson. Colored. Died 19 March 1897, age 16 years, of measles and pneumonia. Length 5’9″. Attended by Dr. C.E. Moore. Buried at General Barnes cemetery. Cost $2.50. (Page 48)
  • Parker, Stanley. Wilson. Colored. Died 2 August 1898, age 65, of old age. Length 6′. Cost $2.25. Attended by Dr. T.B. Person. Funeral at home. Buried at Oak Dale cemetery. Billed to County Commissioners. (Page 294)
  • Parker, Susan. Wilson. Colored. Died 20 March 1897, age 20 years, of measles and pneumonia. Length 5’9″. Attended by Dr. C.E. Moore. Buried at General Barnes cemetery. Cost $2.50. Billed to Jack L. Ethridge. (Page 49)
  • Pender, _____. Near Wilson. Colored. Stillborn 2 April 1898 to Mr. and Mrs. Grey Pender. Attended by Dr. C.E. Moore. Cost $1.25. Billed to J.B. Farmer. (Page 223)
  • Pender, Jerry. Near Wilson. Colored. Died 27 November 1898, age 80 years, of old age. Length 6′. Cost $10. Attended by Dr. J.E. Brothers. Billed to Joshua B. Farmer by Grey Pender. Burial in Joshua B. Farmer cemetery. (Page 383)
  • Pleasants, George. Near Wilson. Colored. Died 24 May 1898, age 52 years. Length 6’2″. Cost $10. Billed to Sallie and Cora Farmer. Attended by Dr. T.B. Person. Buried at Simon Barnes cemetery. (Page 257)
  • Pitt, Antony. Gardners township. Colored. Died 26 March 1898 of “the effects of a blow.” Certified by County Coroner. Cost $2. Billed to County Commissioners. “Supposed to have been murdered.” (Page 221)