Ward

Artis’ Cafe padlocked.

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Wilson Daily Times, 13 February 1939.

  • June Scott Artis — A history of Stantonsburg gave the date of the cafe’s opening as 1947, which apparently was off by at least a decade. It remained in business into the 1960s.
  • Edgar Artis, June S. Artis’ son.
  • Walter Ward — The 6 February 1939 edition of the Wilson Daily Times reported that Ward pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received a 15 to 18-year sentence.
  • H.B. Swenson — H.B. Swinson died 28 January 1939. Per his death certificate, he was “murdered, knife wound of breast”; was born 18 April 1913 in Greene County to Allen Swinson and Henrietta Applewhite of Greene County; lived i Stantonsburg; and worked in farming.

Wilsonian Ward appointed Chief Surgeon at Tuskegee.

Wilson Daily Times, 28 January 1924.

More than 40 years after he left, the link between Dr. Joseph H. Ward and Wilson was well-enough known that the Daily Times printed an article about his appointment as Chief Surgeon at Tuskegee’s veterans hospital.

Students at the colored orphanage.

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For “School Session September 1929 to May 1929,” the Roster of Students for the Oxford Colored Orphanage listed six children from Wilson: Madell Moore; Julian and Joseph Covington; and Dempsey, Malachi and Kurfew Ward.

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  • Madell Moore — in the 1930 census of Fishing Creek township, Granville County, Maedall Moore, 9, is listed as an inmate of the Oxford Colored Orphanage of North Carolina.
  • Julian Covington
  • Joseph Covington
  • Dempsey Ward — in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 703 Viola Street, house carpenter Jessie Ward, 36; wife Mary, 34; and children Mabel, 17, Gertrude, 12, Kerfus, 7, Malachi, 5, Dempsey, 3, Virginia, 2, and Sara, 1 month. In the 1930 census of Fishing Creek township, Granville County, Dempsey Ward, 14, farm laborer, is listed as an inmate of the Oxford Colored Orphanage of North Carolina. (Neither his brothers nor the Covingtons are listed.)
  • Malachi Ward — Malachi Ward died 14 February 1963 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 November 1919 in Wilson, N.C., to Jesse Ward and Mary Sherrod; he resided at 2819 North 11th Street, Philadelphia; and he worked as a barber. Kerfew Ward of Compton, California, was informant.
  • Kurfew Ward — Kurfew Melvin Ward was born 17 December 1912 in Wayne County, North Carolina. On 15 September 1937, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, issued a marriage license for Kurfew M. Ward, 24, and Elizabeth Brown, 19, both residents of Pittsburgh. Per their application, Wars was born 17 December 1912 to Jesse Ward and Mary Sheard, both dead; was from Wilson, N.C.; worked as a laborer; and lived at 621 Whittier. Brown resided at 107 Pugh and was the daughter of Earl Brown of Pittsburgh and Blanche Brown of Virginia. In the 1954 city directory of Compton, California: Kerfew M. Ward, plasterer, with Elizabeth J. Ward. Kurfew M. Ward died 4 July 1970 in Los Angeles, California.

Annual Reports of the Colored Orphanage Oxford, N.C. is available at https://archive.org/details/reporttoboardofd19201944.

Elm City news.

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New York Age, 12 July 1930.

  • Bedford Severage – Bedford Savage Lucas was born about 1907 to Frank Savage and Serena Woodard. She married Elias Lucas on 6 July 1930 in Wilson and died 25 July 1965 in Wilson.
  • Elias Lucas – Elias Joseph Lucas was born in Elm City in 1908 to Haywood and Cora Williams Lucas.
  • Alice Hunter — in the 1930 census of Elm City town, Toisnot township, Wilson County: Eliza Pinkney, 34, and sister Alice Hunter, 40. Alice Hunter died 20 April 1960 in Elm City. Her death certificate lists her parents as Hilliard Hunter and Mary Jane Pitt, and Eliza Pinkney was the informant. Hilliard Hunter and Mary Jane Pitt married 11 April 1878 in Toisnot township. Per estate records, Hunter died about 1893.
  • Eliza Pinkney – Eliza Pinkney, wife of Jim Pinkney and daughter of Hilliard Hunter and Mary Jones, died 10 July 1969 in Wilson.
  • Mary Hunter – Mary Whitehead Hunter, born 1886 in Nash County to Benjamin and Frances Whitehead, was the wife of Alice and Eliza’s brother Willie Hunter. She died 1 July 1930 in Wilson.
  • Katie Wynn – in the 1930 census of Elm City town, Toisnot township, Wilson County: railroad shifter Jessie Winn, 38; wife Katie, 37; and children Ralph, 16; George, 14; Charlie, 9; Jennie M., 7; Marie, 6; Herbert, 4; Katie, 2; and Edward Winn, 1. Katie Davis Wynn was born 30 May 1901 in Edgecombe County to John and Mary Williams Davis. She did 13 June 1963 in Elm City. Jessie Wynn died in 1946.
  • Genevieve Ward — Genevieve Ward was born in 1912 to Peter James Ward and Vallie Hockaday Ward. In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: railroad laborer Peter Ward, 35; wife Vallie, 28; and children V. Jennie V., 7; James, 6; and Eliza Ward, 3 months. Peter Ward, son of Jim and Phyliss Winstead Ward , died 17 October 1938 in Elm City.
  • Mamie Clyde Ricks Dantly –Mamie Clyde Ricks was born in 1909. At the time of the 1930 census, she had not yet joined her husband Aaron Dantley, who is shown living in a rooming house in Washington DC and working as a hotel waiter. Instead, she is listed as a 20 year-old in Elm City town, Toisnot township, with Ed Ricks, 52; Nannie, 50; Ruth, 16; and Eugene, 10 months.

MC Dantley

  • Mary Gaston — in the 1930 census of Elm City town, Toisnot township: Dewey Gaston, 30, barber; wife Mary, 20; and children Doris L., 5, and Victor H., 3. Next door in one direction: barbershop proprietor George Gaston, 72, and daughter Ada, a teacher, 43. In the other: John Gaston, 48, brickmason; wife Nannie, 41; daughters Pricilla, 21, and Minnie, 18; plus mother-in-law Mary Barnes, 62. Dewey Gaston, 23, son of George and Priscilla Gaston, married Mary B. Howard, 24, daughter of Mary E. Darden, on 8 March 1923 in Tarboro, Edgecombe County. Witnesses were Mancie Gaston and Fannie F. Ricks of Elm City. Dewey Milton Gaston, born 11 November 1899 in Elm City, died 16 February 1948. His father George died 30 May 1934.
  • Charles and Clarence Nicholson — Charles B. Nicholson and Clarence Everard Nicholson were born 24 December 1914 in Elm City to Thomas Harrison Nicholson (originally of Halifax County) and Clara Williams Nicholson. [Which golf course could African Americans play on in Wilson in 1930?]

David G.W. Ward plantation.

The Ward-Applewhite-Thompson House is a historic plantation home located near Stantonsburg, Wilson County’s oldest incorporated town. It was built about 1859 and is a boxy two-story, three-bay, double-pile, Greek Revival-style frame dwelling. It has a shallow hipped roof and wrap-around Colonial Revival style porch with Doric order columns added about 1900. Attached to the rear of the house is a gable roofed one-story kitchen connected by a breezeway.

“Country doctor” David G.W. Ward bought the property in 1857 and probably built the house two years later. (In the 1890s, his heirs sold it to heirs of W.H. Applewhite.) Situated on the confluence of Whiteoak and Goss Swamps, the old road to the coast (now Highway 58), and Contentnea Creek, the county’s only navigable waterway, “this well-watered, flat an fertile tract … was a prime site for the home of an important planter.” D.G.W. Ward, who was also a farmer and merchant and was active in local civic and social affairs, was such a man.

Though he could hardly have worked his vast acreage otherwise, as usual, the Nomination Form glosses over Ward’s slave ownership. In a discussion of his residency, a footnote mentions that Ward is listed with 46 slaves in the 1850 Greene County slave schedule. In the 1860 census of Greene, he is credited with owning 54. Among them were Sarah Ward and her children Henry, Mittie and Appie, who were his children, too. Ward owned extensive property in both counties and likely maintained quarters in both. Certainly, his slaves labored across county lines.

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Ward-Applewhite-Thompson house, February 2014.

The Civil War set D.G.W. Ward back, but not for long. When he died in 1887, he stood possessed of more than 1900 acres in Wilson and Greene Counties.

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Wilson Advance, 22 August 1889.

For a personal account of my history with this house, see here.

Mother Ward has departed this life.

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Pittsburgh Courier, 19 April 1924.

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Mittie Roena Ward was the mother of Dr. Joseph H. Ward, the Wilson-born Indianapolis doctor featured in my first blog entry. Mittie and her twin sister Apsilla, “Appie,” were born in 1849 to Sarah Ward in Greene County on the plantation of David G.W. Ward, who was their father as well as owner. [Ward’s plantation extended into Wilson County, and I have blogged about his home just south of Stantonsburg here.]

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Mittie’s twin, Appie Ward Hagans, perhaps 1880s.

On 12 July 1866, Sarah Ward and Sam Darden filed their cohabitation in Wilson County. This registration, which formalized the marriages of ex-slaves, noted that they had been married five years, well after the births of Sarah’s children. Daughter Appie married Napoleon Hagans of Nahunta, Wayne County, circa 1867, and on 16 June 1870, Henry Ward, son of D.G.W. Ward and Sarah Darden, married Sarah Forbes, daughter of Henry Forbes, in Wilson. The couple appear next door to the Forbes family in the 1870 census of Wilson. On 6 May 1879, Mitty Finch [alias Mittie Ward] married Virginia-born Algernon Vaughn in Wilson.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Sarah Darden, 57, son-in-law Algia Vaughn, 23, daughter Mittie, 22, and grandchildren Joseph, 8, Sarah, 6, and Macinda Vaughn, 5 months. [Joseph “Vaughn” was actually Joseph Ward, listed with his stepfather’s surname.] Also living in Wilson, plow shop worker Henry Ward, 27, wife Sarah, 28, and children Walter, 9, Manora, 7, Lilly, 5, Claudius, 3, and Addie, 1.

Mittie’s daughter Sarah married William Moody in Wilson on 18 February 1892.

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Before the decade was out, the entire family relocated to Washington DC to join William’s mother, Fannie. In the 1900 census of the District: William Moody (born 1872), wife Sarah S. (1876) and children Augustus (June 1894) and Crist Moody (1896), plus sister-in-law Minerva Vaughn (1890), mother-in-law Mittie Vaughn (1854), and mother Fannie Harris (1854), all born in North Carolina.

Soon after, however, Mittie joined her son Joseph Ward in Indianapolis, reverted permanently to her maiden name (though keeping the title “Mrs.”), and began a peripatetic life that saw her in and out of the households of her children. The Indianapolis Recorder, an African-American news weekly, kept close tabs on the mother of one of the city’s most illustrious residents:

  • “Mrs. Mittie Ward, mother of Dr. J.H. Ward will leave today for Washington, D.C., to spend the winter with her daughter, Mrs. Sarah Moody. Her youngest daughter will remain in the city with her brother Dr. Ward.”  [12 December 1903]
  • “Ward-Artis.  On Wednesday June 22, at high noon the wedding of Miss Minerva Ward, the daughter of Mrs. Mittie Ward and sister of one of our prominent physicians Dr. Joseph H. Ward, and Mr. Dillard Artis, of Marion, will be celebrated in the presence of the immediate family and a few intimate friends. Rev. Morris Lewis assisted by Rev. T.A. Smythe will perform the ceremony. They will leave at 5 p.m. for Marion, where a wedding reception will be given from 8 to 11 p.m., at 920 S. Boot street, the home of the groom. The bride is well and favorably known in our city’s best circles and is a favorite in the younger social set. The groom is a prominent cement contractor of Marion and a highly respected citizen, owning a great deal of property, which he has accumulated by his industry and business tact. They will be at home at 920 S. Boot street, Marion.”  [18 June 1910]
  • “Mrs. Minerva Ward Artis of Marion, spent the holidays with her mother, Mrs. Mittie Ward, of the city.”  [31 December 1910]
  • “Mrs. Dillard Artis of Marion, was in the city a few days this week. Mrs. Artis is visiting her brother, Dr. J.H. Ward and her mother, Mrs. Mittie Ward.”  [18 February 1911]
  • “Dr. J. Ward of Indianapolis and Master Joseph were guests of his mother Mrs. Mittie Ward and sister Mrs. S.D. Artis of S. Boots street Wednesday.”  [19 August 1911]
  • “Mrs. Mittie Ward of Indianapolis, who has been the guest of her daughter for the past week Mrs. S.D. Artis returned home Saturday and on December 5, will leave for Washington, D.C. to spend the winter with her daughter.”   [2 December 1911]
  • “Dr. J.H. Ward of Indianapolis was called to this city [Marion, Indiana] the first part of this week to attend the bedside of his mother, Mrs. Mittie Ward, who is ill at the home of her daughter, Mrs. S.D. Artis, in South Boots street.”  [25 November 1916]

It was during one of her visits with her daughter Sarah Moody in Washington, D.C., that Mittie Ward succumbed to a stroke.