Woodard

John A. Woodard, seaman.

John A. Woodard applied for a Seaman’s Protection Certificate in December 1917. American seamen carried the document as proof of citizenship in foreign ports. Per his application, Woodard was born 15 April 1867 in Wilson, North Carolina; resided at 512 Canal Street, New York City; had been a seaman since 1906; and had last worked as a waiter on the S.S. Montgomery en route from New York to Savannah, Georgia. He was 5’9 3/4″, 179 pounds, with colored complexion, brown eyes, and black hair and a slight scar under his right eye.

“The Ocean Steamship Company of Savannah, generally known as the Savannah Line, was founded in 1872 to assume the operation of the Empire Line of steamships from William R. Garrison to operate passenger and cargo steamships between Savannah and New York. The newly founded company took over six steamers from the Empire Line to start the service. The company was to provide a major travel link over the next 70 years moving passengers, agricultural products, principally cotton and fruit from Georgia and Alabama to New York and Boston. … Two new passenger ships built by Newport News in 1910, the CITY OF ST. LOUIS and the CITY OF MONTGOMERY, were delivered to the company.”

U.S. Applications for Seaman’s Protection Certificates, 1916-1940 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com; original document at Application for Seaman’s Protection Certificates, 1916-1940, Records of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, 1774-1982, Record Group 41, National Archives, Washington, D.C; 

408 North Reid Street.

The seventy-fourth 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 house is: “1934; 2 stories; Oscar Woodard house; locally unique house with front-facing entry gable suggesting vernacular Tudor Revival style; end chimney includes decorative glazed tile; contributing stuccoed-concrete block wall, frame garage, and three storage sheds; Woodard was a chauffeur and handyman.”

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 408 Reid, rented at $16/month, barber Oscar Williams, 31, wife Lula, 23, son William, 1, and sister-in-law Mena Jones, 20.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 408 Reid, rented for $14/month, taxi driver Essie Smith, 28, born in Red Springs, N.C.; wife Alice, 26, maid at Woodard-Herring; and daughter Aggie Nora, 2; plus Annie McCohan, 50, widow, also from Red Springs.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, two entries: Smith Essie (c; Alice; 1) taxi driver h 408(2) N Reid; and Woodard Oscar (c; Katie J) janitor Branch Banking & Tr Co h 408 (407) N Reid

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, 2016.

She is proud of her name.

Wilson Advance, 7 May 1891.

In 1891, the Advance and the Tarboro Southerner ran a contest for longest name. In this round, the Advance proffered that of an eight year-old girl living on James Woodard’s large farm — Nina Ann Elizabeth Sarah Eliza Jane Monora Carrie Mabel Virginia Bethella Woodard.

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Perhaps: on 3 June 1917, Nina Woodard, 30, of Saratoga, daughter of Louis Brooks and Sue Woodard, married Adam Carter, 21, of Saratoga, son of Stephen and Hattie Carter. H.H. Sanders, Missionary Baptist minister performed the ceremony at “the church in Saratoga” in the presence of Ernest May and Jessie Darden of Saratoga and William Pierce of Wilson.

Received of Penny Lassiter.

James B. Woodard registered the receipt he issued to free woman of color Penny Lassiter for the $150 she paid to purchase her husband London Woodard in 1855. Though not legally manumitted, London lived essentially as a free man for the next ten years until Emancipation.

Deed book 1, page 155, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

Studio shots, no. 78: Peninah Lassiter Woodard.

penina-woodard-per-rogerbarron52

Penninah Lassiter Woodard Barnes (1858-1919) was the youngest child of London and Penelope Lassiter Woodard.

In the 1860 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Penny Lassiter, 50, and children Priscilla, 14, Theresa, 12, Hardy, 10, Haywood, 8, William, 6, and Penina, 2. Penny claimed $600 in real estate and $300 in personal property.

In the 1870 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer London Woodard, 79; wife Penelope, 59; and children Trecy, 20, Hardy, 19, Haywood, 18, William, 15, and Peninah, 12.

On 1 January 1877, Simon Barnes, 38, married Pennina Woodard, 17, in Wilson County.

In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Simon Barnes, 30; wife Penniney, 21; and children Rosetta, 2, and James, 11 months.

In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Simon Barnes, 51; wife Penina, 40; and children Rosetta, 22, James W., 20, Hardy, 18, Charly, 16, Penny, 14, London, 12, Silas, 11, Prisa, 8, Simon, 5, and Marylisa, 2.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Simon Barnes, 65; wife Pennie, 55; and children Pennie S., 22, Sillas, 17, Mary L., 12, Lucie, 8, Ama, 6, and Simon, 14.

Penina Barnes died 24 February 1919 in Gardners township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 January 1859 to London Woodard and Pennie Lassiter; was married to Simon Barnes; and was a farmer. Informant was Hardy Barnes.

Pricilla Hardy died 24 October 1919 in Wilson township. Per her death certificate, she was 28 years old; born in Wilson County to Simon Barnes and Penninah Woodard; was a tenant farmer; and was married. James Walter Barnes was informant.

Leonard Barnes died 19 November 1952 at his home at 1312 Carolina Street. Per his death certificate, he was born 26 June 1888 in Wilson to Simon Barnes and Pennina Woodard; and was a World War I veteran. Informant was Pennie Barnes.

Treasy Barnes Atkinson died 23 December 1964 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 June 1900 to Simon Barnes and Pennia Woodard and was widowed. Informant was Mrs. Inez Lucas, Wilson.

Photograph courtesy of Ancestry.com user rogerbarron52.

London Woodard, Penny Lassiter Woodard and the London Church.

On 14 February 1970, the Wilson Daily Times published a full-page article detailing the life of London Woodard, founder of London’s Primitive Baptist Church.

London Woodard was born enslaved in 1792. He was recorded in the estates of Asa Woodard in 1816 and Julan Woodard in 1826 (in which he was recognized as a distiller of fine fruit brandies.) In 1827, James B. Woodard bought London at auction for $500. The same year, London married Venus, a woman enslaved by Woodard. In 1828, London was baptized and appears as a member in the minutes of Tosneot Baptist Church. Venus was baptized in 1838 and died in 1845.

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Transfer of title to “a negroe man by the name of Lonon” from Nathan Woodard to James B. Woodard, 1928.

J.B. Woodard’s second wife in 1837, and he hired Penelope Lassiter, a free woman of color, as a housekeeper and surrogate mother to his children. Lassiter, born 1814, was the daughter of Hardy Lassiter, who owned a small farm south of Wilson. She met London, who was working as overseer, at Woodard’s. In 1852, Penny Lassiter bought 106 acres for $242 about five miles east of Wilson on the Tarboro Road.

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In 1854, Penny Lassiter purchased her husband London, then about 62 or 63, from J.B. Woodard for $150. In 1858 Lassiter bought another 53 acres near her first tract and purchased 21 acres in 1859. The same year, she sold a small parcel to Jordan Thomas, a free man of color [who was married to her step-daughter Rose Woodard.] In 1866, the years after he was emancipated, London Woodard bought, subject to mortgage, a 200-acre parcel.

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In 1866, London Woodard was granted authority to preach “only among his acquaintances,” i.e. African-Americans. A member of Tosneot Baptist donated an acre of land to build a black church, regarded as the first in Wilson County. London Woodard was licensed to preach in 1870.

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London Woodard preached his last sermon on 13 November 1870. The next day, he suffered a stroke and fell into an open fireplace. Despite severe burns, he was able to dictate a will before his death.

The history of London Church for the 25 years after Woodard’s death is murky. In 1895, white churches Tosneot and Upper Town Creek dismissed several African-American members in order that they might establish an independent congregation at London’s. [London Church reorganized under the umbrella of the Turner Swamp Primitive Baptist Association in 1897.]

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By the terms of his will, London Woodard provided for his wife Penelope; sons William, Hardy, Haywood, Howell, Elvin, Amos and London; and daughters Treasy, Rose, Pharibee, Sarah, Harriet and Penninah. (Deceased son John’s daughter was apparently inadvertently omitted.)  “A few facts” about Woodard’s children follows.

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Receipts for payments for taxes and accounts for Penny Lassiter and London Woodard.

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This building was moved around the corner to London Church Road. It has long been abandoned and collapsed in 2017 after suffering serious storm damage the year before.

Studio shots, no. 77: Benjamin and Phereby Barnes Artis.

Benjamin and Phereby Artis, Winstead Studio, Wilson, circa 1895.

This photograph was published in a 1987 Daily Times article about the history of photographers in Wilson. The caption identified the subjects as Benjamin Artis Jr. and wife Phariby Woodard Artis. However, this identification is incorrect (if understandably so). Benjamin Artis Senior, born about 1824, married Phereby [Phariby, Ferebee, etc.] Woodard, daughter of London and Venus Woodard. Their son, Benjamin Artis Junior, born about 1849, married a woman with the same name as his mother, Phereby Barnes, daughter of Silas and Rose Barnes. The photograph above — whose subjects are middle-aged, rather than in their 70s — depicts Ben Artis Jr. and Phereby Barnes Artis.

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For an earlier post about this photograph, please see here.

Photograph contributed by the late Wilson historian Hugh B. Johnston Jr. for “Say Cheese!,” Wilson Daily Times, 23 May 1987.

 

Studio shots, no. 49: Arthur Sutton.

In the 1910 census of Bull Head township, Greene County, North Carolina: farmer John Sutton, 34; wife Peniza, 26; and children Sanker, 5, Jennie, 4, Effie, 3, Authur, 2, John, 11, and Kirby, 10.

In the 1930 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer John Sutton, 53; wife Panisco [Peniza], 44; and children Effie, 21, Arthur, 20, Walter, 19, Primas, 17, Gustas, 14, Jesse, 12, Mary, 11, Haddie, 9, Jay B., 7, Bessie, 6, and Rena, 4.

On 22 February 1932, Arthur Sutton, 22, of Saratoga, son of John and Penny Sutton of Saratoga, married Rosa Bynum, 18, of Stantonsburg, daughter of William and Rosa Bynum of Stantonsburg, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister James B. Holmes performed the ceremony in the presence of Jean D. Holmes and Ruth Lee.

In the 1940 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Arthur Sutton, 29; wife Rosa, 26; and children James J., 7, Rosa Lee, 3, Sarah Jane, 1, and Ellen Gray, 3 months.

In 1940, Arthur Sutton registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he was born 10 February 1909 in Greene County, North Carolina; his contact was John Sutton, father, of Walstonsburg, Greene County; and he was self-employed.

Arthur Sutton died 30 August 1971 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 April 1909 to John Sutton and [first name unknown] Woodard; resided in Elm City; and was a retired farmer. Rosa Sutton was informant.

Photograph courtesy of the family history booklet, Our Heritage 1812-1996: Edwards, Evans, Woodard, published in 1996, and graciously shared by B.J. Woodard.

A Woodard plantation.

Headed east from Wilson toward Saratoga and Greenville, this house stood just beyond city limits near the fork of Highways 91/264 Alternate and 58. It was set back perhaps 75 yards from the road on the left. I took these photos circa 1990; the house was demolished perhaps a decade later. I was informed by a knowledgeable source that the dwelling was built circa 1832 by William Woodard, but it does not match the description of Woodard’s house in Ohno’s Architectural Heritage book or in the Woodard Family Rural Historic District nomination form. Though its ownership is unclear, there is no doubt that this home dates several decades before the Civil War and anchored a plantation worked by enslaved people.

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Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson; aerial image courtesy of Google Maps.

Studio shots, no. 48: Leonard and Mary Adell Woodard Moore.

Leonard and Mary Adell Moore Woodard.

Leonard and Mary Adell Woodard Moore.

In the 1920 census of Speights Bridge township, Greene County, North Carolina: on Harris Chapel-Howell Swamp Road, Johnnie Woodard, 28; wife Emma Line, 29; and children Marvin, 6, Chester B., 4, and Mary Adell, 21 months.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Johnie Woodard, 47; wife Emma L., 47; and children Marvin, 18, Chester, 16, Adell, 14, Vernell L., 12, James, 10, and Thomas W., 6; plus lodger John McCory, 28.

In the 1940 census of Gardner township, Wilson County: widowed farmer Emiline Woodard, 48, and her children Marvin, 26, Chester, 24, Mary, 21, Vornal, 19, Junious, 15, Helen G., 9, Bennie J., 6, and Thurman, 12. Mary worked as a beautician in a beauty parlor.

In 1940, Leonard J. Moore registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he was born 23 November 1916 in Wilso; resided at 517 East Nash Street, Wilson; his contact was Mary Woodard, 569 East Nash Street, Wilson; and he worked for Imperial Tobacco Company, Wilson.

On 28 November 1940, Leonard Moore, 24, son of John Henry Moore and A[illegible] Moore, married Mary Adell Woodard, 21, son of John and Emmaline Woodard. Rev. John F. Moreland performed the ceremony at the A.M.E. Zion church at the corner of Smith and Pender Streets, and Irene Carroll, Zelma Arrington and Mary E. Johnson were witnesses.

Emiline Edwards Woodard died 15 April 1971 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 20 December 1894 to a mother named Hagar and an unknown father and was a widow. Informant was Mrs. Mary W. Moore, 1008 Washington Street.

Mary A. Moore died 22 January 2008.

Photograph courtesy of the family history booklet, Our Heritage 1812-1996: Edwards, Evans, Woodard, published in 1996, and graciously shared by B.J. Woodard.