Wedding scenes.


Pittsburgh Courier, 3 January 1942.

Robert E. Vick, son of Samuel H. and Annie Washington Vick, was a groomsman in the Atlanta wedding of Alice Clarissa Clement, whose father Rufus E. Clement was president of Atlanta University, and Robert Joseph Foster of Monroe, Louisiana. Vick is seated bottom right in the right-hand photograph.

Many thanks to S.M. Stevens for the referral.

Daniel Vick, who “had accumulated quite a nice lot of property,” dies.

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News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 12 February 1908.


Daniel Vick and Fannie Blount registered their six-year cohabitation in Wilson County on August 31, 1866.

In 1867, Fannie Blount Vick’s grandmother, Violet Blount, filed a letter with the Goldsboro Field Office of the Freedmen’s Bureau opposing the apprenticeship of her grandsons Marcus and Oscar to Benjamin H. Blount, their former owner. She named Daniel Vick as a suitable “master” for the boys, who were the sons of his wife’s deceased sister.

In 1868, Daniel Vick single-handedly halted a fire that threatened to devour all of Wilson’s downtown.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: baker Samuel Williams, 30, carpenter Daniel Vick, 25, wife Fannie, 24, children Samuel, 8, Earnest, 3, and Nettie M., 5, plus Violet Drake, 52.

In 1877, Vick purchased one acre of land just east of Wilson town limits, his first recorded real estate acquisition.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: grist mill worker Daniel Vick, 38, wife Fannie, 35, children Samuel, 16, Nettie, 14, Earnest Linwood, 12, Henry, 10, and James O.F. Vick, 8, plus Frank O., 20, and Marcus W. Blount, 26.

In 1883, Vick was appointed to the Board of Trustees for the Colored Graded School.

In 1884, Vick was appointed to a mail carrier position in Wilson, ousting a younger white man who had held the patronage position. (Mail carriers transferred mail arriving by train to the post office for local delivery.)

In 1888, Vick was elected as a delegate to the Wilson County Republican convention.

In 1893, Argent Farmer sued Vick over contested ownership of property along what is now Church Street.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: carpenter Daniel Vick, 52; wife Fannie, 52; and granddaughters Annie, 8, and Nettie B. Vick, 6, and Mamie Parker, 20, laundress. Vick reported that both his parents were born in Virginia.

“The colored Odd Fellows cemetery just on the outskirts of the southeastern section of the city” was abandoned in the mid-20th century. Though Daniel Vick surely had a headstone, it now has been buried, lost or destroyed.

Civil servants.

This massive volume, dense with charts and tables and lists, illuminates the fierce struggle over political appointment/patronage jobs in the late 19th century and the intense sense of envy and entitlement that shaped attitudes toward award of such jobs to African-Americans. Essentially, this book lists all military officers and federal government employees on the payroll in 1891.

Here is Alfred Robinson, railway postal clerk on the Rocky Mount, N.C., to Norfolk, Virginia, line, earning $1000 per year.

And here is Samuel H.Vick, postmaster of Wilson, pulling down a $1500 annual salary.

Measured in 2016 dollars, the relative economic status value of a $1000/year salary is $239,000. A $1500/year salary is valued at $358,000. (Economic status value measures the relative “prestige value” of an amount of income or wealth measured between two periods using the income index of the per capita gross domestic product.) This kind of wealth awarded to African-Americans set blood boiling.

“Official Register of the United States, Containing a List of the Officers and Employees in the Civil, Military, and Naval Service,” Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census, digitized by Oregon State Library, Salem, Oregon; available online at

Obituary of Ethel Vick Harris, 100.

Ethel Mae Vick Harris, 100, of Wilson, NC, died Saturday April 8, 2017. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Edwards Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Mary Vick Howell officiating. Burial will be private in Rest Haven Cemetery. Public viewing will be on Friday, April 14, 2017 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Edwards Funeral Home Chapel. The family will assemble at Edwards Funeral Home at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. Direct condolences to Professional and personal services are entrusted to Edwards Funeral Home, 805 Nash St. E in Wilson.


In the 1920 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Samuel Vick Jr., 32; wife Lizzie, 21; and children James, 4, Malissa, 3, and James, 2 months. [The elder “James” was probably daughter Jane, and “Malissa” seems to have been Ethel Mae.]

In the 1930 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Sam J. Vick, 33; wife Lizzie, 31; and children Jane, 15, Ethel M., 14, Lynard, 13, Lucile, 9, Bloomer, 8, Eva May, 6, Margaret, 4, Sam R., 3, and Percy L., 7 months.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: tobacco factory laborer Sam Vick, 46; wife Elizabeth, 44, also a tobacco factory laborer; and children Ethel, 22, maid, Mattie, 17, housekeeper, Lenwood, 20, Beullah, 16, Eva, 14, Margrett, 12, Richard, 11, Percy, 10, and Sylvester, 5.

Obituary online.

On the agenda.

This 1925 Daily Times article detailed the business of a single February city aldermen’s meeting. First on the agenda, the Wilson Colored Hospital. The article listed the white members of the hospital’s board of trustees first, then noted its African-American members — S.H. Vick, J.D. Reid and “Permillus” [Camillus] Darden. After some discussion, the “the Board” decided to reinstate the city’s $75/month appropriation to the hospital, which had been discontinued the previous September.

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The trustees stated that the hospital was “a necessity among the colored people of the city, and that many of them would be without treatment but for the institution.” Alderman Daniel asked if the trustees had personal knowledge that “the affairs of the institution were properly administered.” Dr. C.A. Woodard responded that “no institution of this kind made any money, and that they understood the disadvantages under which those connected with it were laboring.” Hospital management agreed to file monthly reports to the city.  Trustee F.N. Bridgers invited the city to appoint a member to the board, and J.D. Reid noted that alderman Graham Woodard had been asked. Woodard acknowledged the invitation, but cited a busy schedule.

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Hospital business satisfactorily concluded, Vick broached another subject — street lights. Would “the city extend its Whiteway below the railroad to the Baptist church, at the corner of Nash and Pender Streets”? A lighted north side and dark south did not present a good look to voyagers passing through on trains. The aldermen referred the matter to the Water and Light Commission. The Business Men’s League and the J.C. Price Literary Society endorsed the project, Vick added. (Joseph C. Price “taught here fifty years ago and afterwards founded Livingstone College.”) Mayor Lucas raised another point: lighting would help the police do their job. One had been killed and another nearly so in “pistol duels in that section of the city.”

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Vick raised item number three — the colored cemetery. Would the city place an awning and also fix the roads so people could get in and out? Mr. Grantham of the cemetery commission responded defensively: “it was difficult to get the cemetery into a correct shape, and lay it out. The graves had been placed everywhere, and without regard to lines or streets.” Also, “there was some of the land that was worthless for the purpose, as it was a bottom. He spoke of land in the old cemetery which if the graves were removed would be worth considerable money.” Anyway, he agreed to “go over the property and work out some plan to get it in shape.”

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No further colored business.

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Wilson Daily Times, 10 February 1925.

  • Why had the city discontinued its $75/month allocation in the first place?
  • What did the J.C. Price Literary Society do? When was it founded? Who were its members?
  • When did streetlights finally cross the tracks?
  • For what purpose was an awning needed in the cemetery?
  • “Fix the roads“? What roads led to the cemetery?
  • Were there still burials in Oakdale as late as 1925? Was the question more of access to existing graves than for new ones?


Lincoln University, 1882-’83.

During academic year 1882-’83, 73 of Lincoln University’s 214 students were from North Carolina. Five of that 73, all in the collegiate division, were from Wilson County: juniors Frank O. Blount, Cato D. Suggs [Daniel Cato Suggs], and Samuel H. Vick; sophomore Braswell R. Winstead; and freshman Francis M. Hines (whose home was Toisnot.)

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N.B.: Though Francis M. Hines’ home was listed as Toisnot, now Elm City, and firmly within Wilson County, it seems certain that he was in fact from the Temperance Hall area of Edgecombe County, a few miles east and just across the county line. Hines graduated from Lincoln in 1886 and, upon his return to Edgecombe County, plunged into local politics. He quickly rose to leadership of the Knights of Labor and, on the strength of the African-American voting power in a county in which they were the majority population, was elected Register of Deeds. Tragically, Hines died of kidney disease at the age of 28. Local newspapers’ laconic reports of his death did not fail to include aspersions.

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Tarborough Southerner, 21 February 1889.

He is buried in the cemetery of Pyatt Memorial A.M.E. Church in the Temperance Hall community.

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703 East Green Street.

The fifty-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: “ca. 1913; 1 story; Lewis Pitt house; hip-roofed, double-pile cottage with bracketed porch posts; Pitt was a laborer.” [In fact, Lewis Pitt lived at 633/704 East Green, across the street.]

Robert C. Bainbridge and Kate Ohno’s Wilson, North Carolina: Historic Buildings Survey, originally published by the City of Wilson in 1980 and updated and republished in 2010 under the auspices of the Wilson County Genealogical Society, provides additional details about the house: “Typical of turn of the century architecture in Wilson, this cottage boats handsome banded chimneys and a porch with interestingly scrolled sawnwork brackets and turned columns.”

703 East Green Street was formerly numbered 632.

The corner of Green and Elba Streets as shown in the 1913 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson. 701 East Green, not then built, has since been demolished. 303 Elba, 700 East Green, 702 East Green and 703 East Green remain, though only one is currently inhabited.

In the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Vick Caroline, h 623 Green; Vick Elva, h 623 Green. [Was this Samuel and Annie Vick’s daughter Elba, who was about 15 in 1912? If so, why was living with Carolina Vick across the street from her parents? Was Carolina’s deceased husband Robert Vick a relative of Sam Vick?]

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widowed laundress Caroline Vick, 60, and grandson Madison Perry, 17.

In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Vick Caroline, midwife h 623 Green; Vick Elba, music tchr h 623 Green; Cooper Becky h 623 Green.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 623 Green, widowed midwife Caroline Vick, 90; Nancy Dawson, 45, widowed cook; Becky Cooper, 85, widow; daughter Alice Heath, 35, widowed factory laborer; and son-in-law Isom Perry, 45, farm laborer.

Allace Heath died 16 April 1921 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 43 years old; was born in Franklin [County], North Carolina, to Norflick Dunson and Carolina Williamson; was a widow; was a laborer; and resided at 703 East Green. Carolina Vick was informant.

Isham Perry died 10 July 1921 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 55 years old; was born in Halifax County to Isham Perry and Mollie Alston; was a tenant farmer; was a widower; and resided at 703 East Green. Nancy Dawson was informant.

Carolina Vick died 16 July 1925 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 78 years old; widowed; a midwife; and born in Newton County, Georgia, to Marner and Cheney Williamston. Nancy Dawson, 703 East Green was informant.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 703 East Green, rented for $21/month, Nancy Dawson, 60, widowed laundress, with two roomers, Oscar Ratliff, 36, and wife Nellie, 27; also renting for $21/month, Charlie Davis, 61, butler, wife Mattie, 50, laundress, and son Willie, 24, farm laborer.

Nancy Dawson died 17 January 1938 at Mercy Hospital. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 October 1869 in Edgecombe County to Millie Adkisson; resided at 703 Greene; and was widowed. John Bynum was informant.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 703 Green Street, renting for $8/month, service station attendant Paul Dunison, 27, and wife Dossie M., 27; also, renting for $8/month, Mary Farmer, 57, laundress, and daughter Vivian, 32, a household servant.

In the 1941 Wilson city directory: Williams Malcolm D (c; Rosa, 1) librarian Sam Vick Sch h 703 E Green; Williams Rosa (c) tchr Chas H Darden High Smh h 703 E Green

In 1942, Malcolm Demothenese Williams registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 26 September 1909 in Warsaw, N.C.; he resided at 703 East Green; his phone number was 2330; his contact was wife Rosa Lee Williams; and he was employed by superintendent S.J. Chappel, Wilson City Board of Education, at Vick School, North Reid Street, Wilson.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2017.



Studio shots, no. 60: Annie Washington Vick.

Annie M. Washington Vick (1871-1952).

In the 1870 census of Wilson township,Wilson County: blacksmith Jerry Washington, 42; wife Jane, 29; and children Georgiana, 14, Joshua, 12, William, 11, George H., 7, Andrew, 5, and Samuel, 2.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: blacksmith Jerry Washington, 52; wife Jane, 40; and children George H., 17, works in blacksmith shop, Andrew, 14, Samuel, 12, Anna Maria, 8, Paul, 6, Sarah Jane, 3, and Mary Cathren, 11 months.

On 19 May 1892, Samuel H. Vick, 29, of Town of Wilson, son of Daniel and Fannie Vick, married Annie M. Washington, 22, of Town of Wilson, daughter of Jerry and Jane Washington. Alfred Robinson applied for the license, and Methodist minister J.F. Jordan and Presbyterian minister L.J. Melton performed the ceremony at the A.M.E. Zion church. Witnesses were Washington Suggs, C.H. Darden and B.R. Winstead.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: postmaster Samuel H. Vick, 37; wife Annie M., 28; and children Elba L., 17, and Daniel L., 3; plus cousin Bessie Parker, 15.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: dealer in real estate Samuel Vick, 47; wife Annie, 38; and children Elma, 17, Daniel L., 13, Samuel E., 10, George, 7, Anna, 5, and Robert, 2.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Hines S. Vick, 62, real estate dealer; wife Annie M., 57; son Samuel H., 30, druggist; daughter Monte L., 11; and Alferd Robinson, 78, widower and lodger.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 622 East Green, Sam Vick, 77; wife Annie M., 70; sons Sam, 35, salesman for cosmetics house, and Robert, 28; son-in-law A.G. Walker, 40; daughter Doris Walker, 35; and grandchildren A.G., Jr., 5, and Joyce, 3. Both Walkers were teachers at Vick Elementary.

Daniel L. Vick registered for the World War II draft in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his registration card, he was born 2 February 1898 in Wilson, North Carolina; resided at 125 North 58th Street, Philadelphia; his contact was Mrs. Annie M. Vick, 622 East Green Street, Wilson; and he worked for John Wilds, 4035 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.

Samuel Hiram Vick Jr. registered for the World War II draft in Wilson in 1942. Per his registration card, he was born 1 November 1900 in Wilson; resided at 622 East Green Street, Wilson; his contact was Mrs. Annie M. Vick, 622 East Green; and he worked for Martin Laboratory, 5111 Brown Street, Philadelphia, as a traveling salesman (“home every week-end.”)

Annie M. Vick died 20 August 1952 at her home at 622 East Green. Per her death certificate, she was 81 years old; a widow; a retired teacher; had been born in Wilson County to Jeremiah Washington and Jane (last name unknown); and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Monte Cowan was informant.

Photograph courtesy of Adventures in Faith: The Church at Prayer, Study and Service, the 100th anniversary commemorative booklet of Calvary Presbyterian Church.