Maternal Kin, Paternal Kin, Vocation

Where we worked: cafes, restaurants & eating houses.

Larry Artis, Norfolk VA – butcher, 1897.

Lloyd Artis, Norfolk VA –baker, 1897.

Celebus Thompson, Goldsboro NC — restaurant keeper, circa 1913.

Columbus E. Artis, Wilson NC — operated an “eating house” at 214 Goldsboro Street, circa 1912; proprietor of The Delicatessen, circa 1922.

Milford E. Carter — husband of Beulah Aldridge Carter; chef at the Lincoln Inn, Coatesville PA, circa 1917; New Britain CT, chef, circa 1924; Queens NY, restaurant chef, 1930s-1960s.

Tilithia Brewington King Goldbold Dabney,  Norfolk VA — owned and operated Strand Cafe, 426 Brambleton Avenue,  as early as 1920.

Mike Taylor, Wilson NC – cook, café (probably his son-in-law’s), circa 1920.

William I. Barnes, Wilson NC – husband of Madie Taylor Barnes; owned and operated café, circa 1920.

Barbara Brewington, Brooklyn NY —  wife of Elijah Brewington; worked in a “tea room” circa 1930.

Luther McNeely, Bayonne NJ — restaurant chef, circa 1930.

J. Maxwell Allen, Washington DC  — waiter in restaurant, circa 1930.

William J. Murdock, Statesville NC – husband of Bertha Hart Murdock; caterer, owned and operated Bill Bailey’s Steakhouse, 1930s-1944.

9 17 1943 reopening

Bertha Hart Murdock, Statesville NC – managed husband’s restaurant/roadhouse, 1930s-1940.

Allen Aldridge, Goldsboro NC — Central Cafe, Center Street, circa 1940s.

Milford Aldridge, Goldsboro NC – Central Café, Center Street, circa  1940s.

Adam H. Artis – restaurant cook, 1960s.

—–

The first in an occasional series exploring the ways in which my kinfolk made their livings in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Oral History, Vocation

Bill Bailey’s life and times.

My grandmother did not mince words when it came to her aunt’s husband. William James “Bill Bailey” Murdock was “trashy.” “We couldn’t stand him,” she said. “He did everything illegal and got away with it.” I laughed, and thought, “Oh, Grandma. Really?”

Well, yes.

Consider this:

bill bailey youth 7 14 03 Statesville Landmark, 14 July 1903.

He was born William Bailey in Iredell County, the son of Lela Bailey, black, and John T. Murdock, white, both teenagers. His stepfather was Floyd Murdock, and he eventually adopted the surname, but he was known as “Bill Bailey” all his infamous life. His mother was a cook, and it is likely that he gained his culinary skills at her side. In 1920, he lived on Washington Street in Statesville’s Rabbit Town section with Lela and his first wife Hattie, biding his time as a flour mill laborer.

Two years later, Bill and his roadhouse merited their first in a long line of write-ups in the local newspaper:

11 27 1922 Roadhouse

Statesville Landmark, 27 November 1922.

Three months later, in March 1923, Ethel Wallace was arrested for shooting her husband — and the husband of her husband’s girlfriend — at Bill Bailey’s Emporium. Before this matter was even tried, Bill himself was arraigned on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon against Howard Houston. It didn’t stick. In February 1924, however, Bill plead guilty to bootlegging, was fined $50 and given two years’ probation. In January 1926, he was arrested for bootlegging again.

In December 1927, Bill was acquitted of assault with a deadly weapon in the shooting of “a colored girl” named Veola Knox and of transporting and possessing liquor, but fined $50 for assaulting Jim Moore. Two years later, on the day after Christmas, someone “severely carved up” Alfred Hough, slashed his jugular, outside Bill Bailey’s.

In July 1931, Bill was charged with manufacturing and possessing “home brew” — a barrel and 18 cases worth — on his premises just beyond the southern Statesville city limits. In November 1932, Crawford Scott was shot in the shoulder just passing by the place.  In 1934, three men were arrested for liquor possession at Bill Bailey’s, and 1936 brought this:

10 1 36 Liquor

Statesville Landmark, 1 October 1936. 

Nothing stuck.  As the Depression wound down and the War picked up, Bill Bailey’s reputation shifted from gutbucket to speakeasy to wholesome purveyor of steaks and libations to Statesville’s white middle class. Shootings and cuttings disappeared from the pages of the Landmark to be replaced by jovial accounts of “delightful fried chicken suppers” at Bill’s “popular resort,” enjoyed by society ladies, sportsmen, company men, and civic boosters alike.

The bonhomie slammed to a halt on the night of March 28, 1944, when Bertha Hart “Aunt Bert” Murdock shot James Warren, a white serviceman out to celebrate leave with a juicy steak.  My mother’s cousin N. asserts that Bill and Bert thought that their clientele, not to mention his father’s relatives — who’d kept Bill out of prison during Prohibition and rewarded his good cooking with steady patronage — would stand by them. It did not happen.  The place shut down, and just over a year after wife’s conviction, Bill Bailey was dead.

Murdock died 12 6 1945 LandmarkStatesville Landmark, 6 December 1945.

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Maternal Kin, Military, Paternal Kin

In honor and recognition.

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John C. Allen Jr., U.S. Army, circa 1943.

——

In honor of my family’s veterans, living and dead.

Paternal

ALDRIDGE, ANTHONY, SR., Army

ALDRIDGE, BLANCHARD K. (1894-1965), Pvt., 78 PROV OP MG TNG CTR, World War I

blanchard aldridge

ALDRIDGE, EDISON M., Army

ALDRIDGE, FITZGERALD W. (1917-1962), World War II

ALDRIDGE, FREEMAN L., SR. (1932-2008), Cpl., Army, Korean War

IMG_1383

ALDRIDGE, GEORGE M. (1919-1995), Army

ALDRIDGE, JAMES E. (1919-1975)

ALDRIDGE [ALDRICH], Dr. JAMES T. (1886-1968), Army Medical Corps, World War I

ALDRIDGE, JOSEPH E. (1915-1988), S.Sgt., Army, World War II

JEAldridge

ALDRIDGE, QUINTIN, Army

ALDRIDGE, RICHARD B. (1939-2013), Air Force

ARMSTRONG, HARVEY G., Army, Vietnam War

ARMSTRONG, IVEY L. (-2013), Army, Vietnam War

ARMSTRONG, JACKIE R., SR., Army, Vietnam War

ARTIS, ADAM H. (1920-1963), World War II

ARTIS, ADAM T., III (1911-2000), Pvt., Army, World War II

ARTIS, COLUMBUS E., II, Corp., Army, World War II

ARTIS, DANIEL (1841-??), Co. G, 14th US Colored Heavy Artillery, Civil War

ARTIS, FREDERICK J. (1890-1954), World War I

ARTIS, GEORGE R. (1931-2011), Sgt., Army

ARTIS, JESSE L. (1919-1960), TEC5, Army, World War II

IMG_4767

ARTIS, LAMONT D. (1952-1972), Air Force, Vietnam War

ASHFORD, PAUL, Army, Vietnam War

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BARFIELD, BRIGETTE, Sgt., Air Force

BARFIELD, JOHN, Army

BARFIELD, JOSEPH F. (1933-2014), Army

BARFIELD, RICHARD J., Army

BARFIELD, RICHARD M., Air Force

BARNES, BENSON N., Cpl. (1921-2004), Army, World War II

BARNES -- Cpl Benson Barnes Photo

BARNES, Dr. LEROY T., Capt., Army Medical Corps, World War II

BARNES, NED R. (1924-2002), T5, Army, World War II

BARNES -- T5 Ned Barnes

BARNES, SYLVESTER (1893-1936), Army, World War I

BEASLEY, RONALD K., Army

ronnie

BOSTICK, CODEY, Air Force

BRASWELL, DAVID N., Army

BRASWELL, IRA III, Marines

BRASWELL, KEITH, Army

keith b

BRASWELL, RANDOLPH (1923-1989), PFC, Army, World War II

BROWN, NATHANIEL (1921-2004), Tec 5, Army, World War II

CARTER, CLARENCE M. (1927-2005), CMSgt, Army, Air Force

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CARTER, M. ELMER, JR., PFC, 184th MP Company, Army, World War II

Granddaddy Formal WW2

CLAIBORNE, CLAY T., JR., Vietnam War

CLAIBORNE, MACY ALDRIDGE (1923-1999), Women’s Army Corps, World War II

COOPER, JAMES W., Army, World War I

COOPER, WILLARD M. (1925-2006), Army, World War II

DARDEN, DAVIS C., SR., Navy

DAVIS, GEORGE E. (1921-1964), SSgt, 578th Field Artillery, World War II

DAVIS, STATON JR., Major, (1935-2018), Air Force

DAVIS, THOMAS, Col., West Point, Army, Vietnam

DePUY, CRAIG, Army, Iraq

DERICOTTE, Dr. EUGENE (1926-), Army, Tuskegee Airmen, Vietnam

DILLARD, TYRONE, Marines, Iraq

tdd

DIVERS, WAYNE A., Navy

DIVERS, PATRICK, SR., Air Force

DIVERS, PATRICK, JR., Army

DRAINES, ANTOINE, Capt., Air Force

ELLIS, T. ROOSEVELT, JR. (1934-2010), Navy

ENNIS, EARL E., Army, World War II

FOSTER, DEE, Army

GILLIAM, ALYSHA, Army

GOSS BURCHETT, BRANDI N., Army

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GUESS, JAMES, JR. (1923-1955), Cpl., Co. A, 529th QM (Ser) Bn., Army, EAMET Cam., World War II, recipient of 15 Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal

HAGENS, CH’REE, S.Sgt., Marines

chree

HALL, LOUIS, SR. (1920-1997), Cpl., Army Air Corps, World War II

Louis Hall Sr

HALL, LOUIS, JR., Sgt., Air Force, Vietnam War

LH Jr

HALL, MARY BRADLEY, Major, Army

HALL, R. ANDREW, SR., 1st Sgt., Army, Vietnam War

RAH

HALL, R. ANDREW, JR., Lt. Cpl., Marines

HANEY, JOHN E. (1949-1993), Sgt., Army, Vietnam War

HARDY, LARRY, Navy

HARGROVE, ELLIS RAY (1933-2018), Army

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HARRIS, BENJAMIN A., SR. (1894-1955), Sgt., Army, World War I

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HARRIS, BENJAMIN A., JR. (1935-1981), Army

HENDERSON, DEMPSEY L. (1927-2003), Navy, World War II & Korean War, recipient of three-star Pacific Theater Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon, Victory Medal, Purple Heart, and one-star Philippine Liberation Ribbon

Dempsey Henderson 001

HENDERSON, FREDERICK V., Army

Fred Henderson Army

HENDERSON, HAL F., SR., Army

HENDERSON, HORACE B., SR. (1923-1984), Army

HENDERSON, HORACE B., JR., Army

HENDERSON, IRA J. (1911-1984)

HENDERSON, JAMES H. (1906-1947)

HENDERSON, JAMES I. (1922-1966)

HENDERSON, JANEE, Army

HENDERSON, JAZELL W., SR. (1924-2004), World War II

HENDERSON, JAZELL W., JR., Army

HENDERSON, JESSE A., SR. (1929-2005), Army, Korean War

HENDERSON, JESSE A., JR. (1952-1979), Army, Vietnam War

HENDERSON, JOHNNY D. (1925-1992), Navy, World War II

HENDERSON, LUCIAN J., SR. (1926-2003), Army

Lucian in Army head shot

HENDERSON, LUCIAN J., JR., Army, Vietnam War

Lucian Jr Army

HENDERSON, MICHAEL D., Army

HENDERSON, REDERICK C., Air Force

RCHenderson 002

HENDERSON, TERRELL A., SR., Army

HENDERSON, WILLIAM H. (1902-1974)

HILL, ELLIOTT W., Marines

HILL, JAMES W., Army

HILL, WILLIAM G., Marines

HINES, ALVIS H., World War II

HOLT, JOHN J. (1923-2016), Army, World War II

John Holt Army dress uniform

HOLT, J. DENNIS (1951-1973), Navy

HOWARD, CHARLES L., Army, Vietnam War

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HOWARD, LAQUITA, Army

laquita

HUTCHINSON, ELLSWORTH W., JR., Army.

JOHNSON, SHOMA, Army

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KEITH, ANDREW, Navy, World War II

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KNOX, ROBERT (1923-1996), Army, World War II

LEWIS, TERENCE, Lt. Col., Army

terence

LEWIS, URBAN, War of 1812

LINDENMUTH, COURTNEY ROYAL, Air Force

MANUEL, WILLIAM, SMSgt., Air Force

MARTIN, LEWIS H., Co. I, 62 Georgia Cavalry, 8 Georgia Cavalry, Confederate Army, Civil War

MUHAMMAD, PATRICIA SMITH, Army

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MUSGRAVE, YANCY O., JR. (1946-2010), Army, Vietnam War

Musgrave---Obit-1-7-10

NEWSOME, OLLEY V. (1920-1999), 1st Sgt., Army Air Forces, World War II

ALDRIDGE -- Olley Newsome headstone

PARKER, ALBERT T., JR., Air Force

PARKER, DAVID L., Air Force

PEARSON, GLENN, Army

PEARSON, SHERMAN, Army

PERKINS, MAURICE N., Army

PERKINS, WILLIE, Army, World War II

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POUNDS, PATRYCE M., Army, Afghanistan

POUNDS, SHALIA N., Army

RANDALL, OSCAR (1896-1985), Col., Army, World War I, World War II

O Randall 1921

RANDALL, ROBERT S. (1915-1992), World War II

RANDOLPH, ELISHA B. (1879-1940), Fireman 1st cl., Navy

REAVES, JIMMIE R. (1890-1962), Army, World War I

REID, ALLEN T. (1919-1949), TEC5, Army, World War II

REID, BRODIE (1893-1942), World War I

REID, COUNCIL, Pvt., Army, World War I

REID, HADY (1919-2000), Army, World War II

ROBERTS, ERSKINE W. (1945-2013), Air Force

ROCHELLE, VIRGIL, World War II

ROYAL, GILBERT D., Air Force

ROYAL, WILBERT B., Army

SIMMONS, GEORGE G. (1895-1962), World War I

SIMMONS, HILLARY B., II (1926-2010), Navy, World War II

Hillary Simmons Navy Oahu

SUTTON, ROSS M., Sr. (1935-2013), Army, Korea

TANKSLEY, VIENARY ARTIS, M.Sgt., Army

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TATE, CHRISTOPHER, Navy

WARD, Dr. JOSEPH H. (1870-1957), Major, Army Medical Corps, World War I

Uncle Joe Ward

WARD, KERRY L., Navy

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WARD, LINWOOD R., Vietnam War

WARD, MORRIS, Navy, Vietnam War

WARD, WANDA A., Army

WATERS, FREDERICK C., Army

WILSON, MAURICE, Army

WILSON, SUMMER, Navy

WOODS, FARRAH M., Army, Iraq

farrah

WRIGHT, ANTHONY, Navy

WYNN, ANTHONY D., Army

WYNN, DANZIE J. (1895-1918), Army, World War I

WYNN, GEORGE E. (1941-1987), Army

WYNN, ISRAEL H. (1892-1967), World War I

WYNN, REGINALD D., Army

Maternal

ALLEN, CHARLES C., Capt. (1935-2017), Army

cca pinned

ALLEN, EDWARD N., Pvt., 153 DEPOT BRIG, Army, World War I

edw n allen

ALLEN, JOHN C., JR. (1906-1948), Pvt., Army, World War II

JC Allen Jr 2

ALLEN, JOHN C., III, Army

Henderson 023

ALLEN, WILLIAM J., S.Sgt., Army, World War II

William Allen Army

ALLISON, THOMAS, French & Indian War

BRADSHAW, WILLIAM (1894-1944), Pvt., Co I 365 Infantry, Army, World War I

IMG_5986

BRADSHAW, WILLIAM C. (1921-1988), Cpl., Army, World War II

IMG_5985

CHRISTIAN, CAREY E., Sgt., Army

carey

CHRISTIAN, MARION A. (1932-2011), Women of the Air Force, Korean War

mac waf

CLEMONS, J. BRISTOL, Navy, World War II

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COLVERT, GEORGE R. (1917-1959)

GIBBS, QUADARIS, Army

HOUSER, GARY, Army

gary houser

HOUSER, IRVING, JR. (1920-2001), Navy, World War II

HOUSER-GREEN, KEISHA, Army

HOUSER, MELROY, SR., Army

HOUSER, MELROY, JR., Army

melroy jr.

HOUSER, MICHAEL, SR., Navy

HOUSER, SHANICE, Navy

JAMES, CHARLES W., JR. (1917-2002), Navy, World War II

C James

JAMES, EDWARD R., III, Navy

ed james

JAMES, GARY A., SR., Army

JAMES, SHELTON H. (1919-1973), Pvt., Army, World War II

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JAMES, WILLIS H., Navy, World War II

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Le BON, IMANI, Army.

LOMANS, GILLESPIE G., Army, World War I

McCONNAUGHEY, JAMES W., World War II

McNEELY, EDWARD M., Army, World War I

McNEELY, JOHN (1873-1947), CO G 3 NC INF, Army, Spanish-American War

McNEELY, WILLIAM LUTHER (1875-~1945), CO G 3 NC INF, Army, Spanish-American War

luther mcneely stone

MEYERS, MARCELLUS W. (1909-1973), Navy

MILLER, GOLER L., Pvt., Army, World War I

NICHOLSON, JOHN S., Revolutionary War

RAMSEUR, E. CHAUNCY, Navy

RAMSEUR, STEVEN R., Army, Vietnam War

RENWICK, CHRISTOPHER C., Petty Officer 1st Class, Navy

RENWICK, DONALD, S.Sgt., Army, Korean War

RENWICK, HAYDEN B. (1935-2009), Army

RENWICK, ROY E., SR. (1938-2010), Air Force

SAWYER, SHAWN S., Army

STOCKTON, ALONZO P. (1917-1982), T/5, Army, World War II

STOCKTON, EUGENE A., JR. (1924-2016), Marines, World War II

STOCKTON -- Eugene Stockton Jr

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Births Deaths Marriages, Free People of Color, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs

Edward & Susan Henderson Wynn.

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Image

Edward James Wynn (1838-1922) was the son of Gray Winn and Sarah “Sallie” Greenfield Winn.  His wife, Susan Henderson Wynn (1854-1907), was the daughter of James H. Henderson and Louisa Armwood Henderson. They are buried in a small family cemetery near Dudley in southern Wayne County.

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Births Deaths Marriages, Migration, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Oral History, Paternal Kin, Virginia

We got strayed apart.

I was thinking about Cousin Tilithia when I was a little girl.  She had a restaurant large enough to work in and serve patrons.  It wasn’t real big, but they were serving patrons, and Mama carried me up there, and we spent the night there.  And whenever she’d come to Wilson she’d stay with us.  

Tilithia Godbold, she lived in Norfolk, and she married this man.  That wasn’t her children’s daddy.  King was her children’s daddy.  Godbold was the man she married later. He lived over in Rocky Mount, and he worked in the roundhouse or something.  I think he fixed the train, but he wasn’t the one on the train.  And Godbold, Tilithia’s husband, he stayed there in Rocky Mount.  ‘Cause Tilithia lived in Norfolk.  Her and her five or six girls or whatever it was, and she was running what they call the Strand Café.  And it was down on the first floor, and they lived up over it.  Go out there, and it was a sleeping compartment.  I was over there one time, and I remember it.  I think I was about seven or eight years old.  Went with Mama over there.  We was just running all over the place.  She had us waiting tables.  I wanted to wait tables. I was wondering, I asked Mama, “Well, why come we couldn’t have a place like that?”  And all that food!  Look like whatever the food was – I didn’t even know what it was ‘cause we ain’t never had none.  It was a whole lot of stuff, look like they had, I didn’t want it, but then I know it looked good, and we ate down there in the café.  

And another time Mama took me over there on the train to see her.  And it was right down in South Philadelphia where we went to their house.  Where they was staying.  And when I moved up here, her sister, she was telling me ‘bout how the children were there in Norfolk, her sister and all them.  I said, well, I could remember some of them, but I don’t remember what –  and I asked where some of the girls was.  Some of them in Norfolk and some of ‘em, one’s dead.  [Inaudible] the family.  We got strayed apart. 

——
My grandmother reminisced fondly of “Ta-LIE-a-thy” and her cafe, but was not entirely sure how they were related. Not long into my research, I discovered that Tilithia Brewington King Godbold Dabney was born 1878 to Joshua and Amelia Aldridge Brewington. She was, then, the first cousin of my grandmother’s father, J. Thomas Aldridge. Tilithia married Emanuel King in 1898 and, by 1910, the couple and their daughters Juanita, Elizabeth, Amelia, May Bell and Tilithia had settled in Norfolk, Virginia. Tilithia and Emanuel divorced and, by 1920, she was married to railroad fireman Walter Godbold and running her cafe. Her marriage to Godbold did not last, and the 1930 census found him back in Rocky Mount NC (described as divorced) and her still in Norfolk, holding herself out to be a widow while maintaining the little restaurant at 426 Brambleton Avenue.
This was about all I could locate on Cousin Tilithia until 2009, when I met — genealogically speaking — B.J., a descendant of Tilithia’s sister Mattie Brewington Braswell (and my fourth cousin.)  Ours has been a most fecund collaboration, and it was she who discovered Tilithia’s obit and what had become of her daughters. My grandmother would have pleased to know that the branches of our family had found their way back from being “strayed apart.”

Image Virginian Pilot, 22 November 1965.

Interview of Hattie H. Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson; all rights reserved.

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Births Deaths Marriages, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs

The Home of Personal Service.

Columbus Estell “C.E.” Artis was born in 1886 near Eureka, Wayne County NC to Adam T. Artis and his fourth wife, Amanda Aldridge Artis. Census records and city directories show that he tried his hand at a number of businesses, including grocery stores and “eating houses.” The 1915 directory of the town of Wilson NC described him as an undertaker, but it’s not clear for whom he worked or if he owned his own business at that time. He spent several years in Washington DC during and after World War I, but a 1922 newspaper article makes references to Batts Brothers and Artis as local undertakers, and the 1925 Wilson city directory carries this entry:

ARTIS & FLANAGAN (CE Artis, WE Flanagan) funeral directors 563 E Nash phone 1183

Here’s Artis’ business  described in 1979 in National Register of Historic Places Inventory — Nomination Form for  “East Wilson Business Area,” Wilson Central Business and Tobacco Warehouse Historic District:

One of only two black funeral directors in Wilson, Columbus Estelle Artis (1886- 1973) had this modest, one-story, three-storefront building [at 567-571 East Nash Street] erected in 1922. His funeral business occupied the 571 store until the mid 1950s when he retired and closed his business; the other two stores have always been used for rental purposes, except for a brief period from ca 1945 until ca 1951 when Artis expanded his funeral home into the 569 store. The stuccoed brick structure has narrow stores at 567 and 569 that contain a simple door and a large adjacent display window, both of which have transoms of clear glass. The store at 571 East Nash Street has a central door with flanking display windows, also with transoms. Unfortunately, all of the windows and three of the window transoms have been boarded up. The blind northwest elevation originally abutted the drug store occupied by Darcey D. Yancy during the 1940s and 1950s; this building was razed in the mid 1960s. The rear elevation of the Artis building has a one central door per store. The southeast elevation wall is adjacent to the Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church, which has maintained offices of the Artis building since 1980.

(Historic designation notwithstanding, Jackson Chapel tore down the buildings in the 1990s to make way for a church expansion and parking lot.)

C.E. Artis’ distinctive, wide-nibbed, angular cursive — r’s slashed diagonally — appears on hundreds of Wilson and Wayne County death certificates.  Like James Guess in Goldsboro, with whom he competed to some extent, C.E. Artis was often called upon to bury his kin, including several of his siblings. Among the funerals he conducted were:

Vicy Aldrich, 13 Feb 1927.  Buried Aldrich cemetery, Dudley NC.  Daughter of Adam and Frances Seaberry Artis, Vicey Artis Aldridge was C.E.’s half-sister.

+ Baby Jacobs, 22 Apr 1928.  Buried Rountree cemetery, Wilson. Unnamed stillborn son of Hattie Mae Jacobs, who was the granddaughter of Vicey A. Aldridge.

+Napoleon Artis, 9 Sep 1928.  Buried family cemetery, Wayne County.  Son of C.E.’s half-brother Walter S. Artis, who was son of Adam and Frances Seaberry Artis.

Jane Sauls, 16 Dec 1928. Buried Union Grove cemetery, Wayne County. Daughter of Sylvania Artis Lane, who was sister of C.E.’s grandmother Vicey Artis Williams.

+ Mable Barnes, 18 Apr 1929.  Buried family cemetery, Wayne or Wilson County. Daughter of C.E.’s brother Robert E. Artis.

+ Ivery Artis, 24 Jul 1930.  Buried Wayne County. Son of Morrison Artis, who was first cousin of C.E.’s father Adam T. Artis.  Also, Morrison’s first wife, Jane Artis, was Adam’s sister.

+ Alberta Artis, 9 Jun 1931.  Buried Wayne County.  Granddaughter of C.E. Artis’ paternal aunt Delilah Williams Exum.

+ Lucinda Artis, 23 Jun 1931.  Buried Wayne County.  Widow of C.E.’s uncle Jesse Artis.

+ Susiannah Artis, 11 Sept 1931.  Buried Wayne County.  Widow of C.E.’s uncle Richard Artis.

+ Leslie Exum, 4 Jul 1934.  Buried Wayne County.  Grandson of C.E.’s half-brother Jesse Artis, son of Adam and Frances Seaberry Artis. Leslie’s wife Beulah Artis Exum was daughter of C.E.’s half-brother, William M. Artis.

+ Malinda Artis, 5 Mar 1936.  Buried Wilson County.  Second wife of C.E.’s brother Robert Artis.

malinda artis

+ Sarah Jacobs Silver, 8 Jan 1938. Buried Wayne County [in fact, in the Congregational Church cemetery].  Silver’s great-niece Hattie Henderson (alias Jacobs) was the granddaughter of C.E.’s half-sister Louvicey Artis Aldridge.  Silver also lived on Elba Street in Wilson NC, around the corner from C.E.’s Green Street home.

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+ Viola Artis, 1 Feb 1938.  Buried Wayne County.  Granddaughter of C.E.’s brother Henry J.B. Artis.

+ William Wilson, 5 Mar 1939.  Buried Wilson County. Grandson of C.E.’s aunt, Zilpha Artis Wilson.

+ Delilah Exum, 18 Jul 1939.  Buried Wayne County.  C.E.’s father’s sister.

+ Julius Artis Jr., 18 Dec 1939. Buried Wilson County.  Grandson of C.E.’s brother Henry J.B. Artis.

+ Katie Artis King, 22 June 1940.  Buried family cemetery, Wayne County.  C.E.’s stepmother, his father Adam’s last wife.

+ John G. Reid, 29 Dec 1941. Buried Turners Swamp cemetery, Wayne County.  Husband of C.E.’s first cousin, Emma Artis Reid, daughter of Richard Artis Sr.

+ Ada Dixon Sauls, 28 January 1945. Buried Baptist church cemetery, Snow Hill. Wife of C.E.’s cousin, Cain D. Sauls.

+ Liberty P. Artis, 10 Jul 1945.  Buried family cemetery, Wilson County.  Son of C.E.’s brother Robert.

+ William Artis, 28 Sep 1945.  Buried “family (Seabury)” cemetery, Wayne County.  C.E.’s half-brother, son of Adam T. Artis and Frances Seaberry Artis.

+ Scott Artis, 6 Apr 1947.  Buried Red Hill cemetery, Wayne County. Son of  Morrison Artis, son of Sylvania Artis Lane, who was C.E.’s grandmother’s sister.

+ Bettie Reid, 2 Dec 1947.  Buried family cemetery, Wayne County.  Elizabeth “Bettie” Wilson Reid was C.E.’s first cousin.  Her mother, Zilpha Artis Reid, was Adam Artis’ sister.

+ Solomon Shearard, 6 Feb 1948.  Buried Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson.  Husband of C.E.’s sister Josephine.  Name generally spelled “Sherrod.”

+ Annie Marie Cooper, 16 Oct 1948.  Buried Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson.  Daughter of C.E.’s youngest sister Alberta.

+ Annie C. Best, 4 Jan 1949.  Buried Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson. Daughter of C.E.’s half-brother Jesse.

+ Minnie Belle Artis, 4 Apr 1950.  Buried family cemetery, Wilson County.  Daughter of C.E.’s brother Robert.

+ Walter Scott Artis, 25 Jun 1951.  Buried Fort cemetery, Wayne County.  C.E.’s half-brother, son of Adam and Frances Seaberry Artis.

+ Noah Artis, 16 May 1952.  Buried family cemetery, Wilson County.  C.E.’s half-brother, son of Adam and Lucinda Jones Artis.

Pages from index

The Carolina Times, 19 September 1942.

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Enslaved People, Maternal Kin, North Carolina

Where did they go?, no. 2.

Jacob, age 65, $450. Abraham, age 45, $1100. Charles, age 25, $1500. George, age 24, $1500. Douglas, age 21, $1500. John, age 2, $150. Cephas, age 1, $100. Edwin, age 1, $100. Willy, infant, $100. Hagar, age 70, age $100. Margaret, age 42, $850. Caroline, age 23, $1200. Lucianna, age 20, $1200. Eliza, age 17, $1200. Mary Ann, age 13, $1000. Grace, age 10, $500. Martha, age 7, $350. Angeline, age 7, $350. Mag, age 3, $200. 

These are the enslaved people — total value, $13,450 — that John M. McConnaughey reported to a Confederate tax assessor canvassing Rowan County, North Carolina, in 1863. Who were these 19 people? What were their links to one another?

Let’s start with the women. Hagar, at age 70, could have been the mother (or grandmother) of any or all of the McConnaughey slaves except Jacob. She was enumerated with McConnaughey in the 1850 slave schedule — 58 year-old mulatto female — and 1860 federal slave schedule — 68 year-old mulatto female. However, as detailed below, the composition of McConnaughey’s slaves changed extensively in the 1850s, and her relationship to others cannot be determined. In 1866, Hagar McConnaughey and David Litaker registered their 13-year cohabitation at the Rowan County courthouse, but she is not found in the 1870 census. Litaker appears as a single man, living in a household of white Litakers, and we can safely assume that Hagar had passed away. In 1867, when Benjamin McConnaughey married Adaline Gilliam, he listed his parents as March and Hagar McConnaughey. Here, perhaps, was Hagar’s first husband. Was he also owned by John M. McConnaughey?

Margaret was the mother or grandmother of at least six of McConnaughey’s slaves — George, Caroline, Mary Ann, Grace, Martha, Angeline and John — comprising a single extended family. Where was her husband? Among the small units of slaves like John McConnaughey’s (and the majority of other North Carolina slaveholders), husbands and wives rarely belonged to the same master or lived on the same farm. Death certificates and marriage records for several of Margaret’s children name Edward Miller as their father. (John’s father, however, is reputed to have been John McConnaughey himself.) The couple did not file their cohabitation, and Edward may have died before Emancipation.  He probably had belonged to and lived on one of several neighboring farms owned by white Millers.

There are two other young women, “Lucianna” and Eliza, who were of an age to have been Margaret’s children. Were they? When Louisiana McConnaughey and Hezekiah Mitchell registered their six-year cohabitation in Rowan County in 1866, Louisiana noted that John McConnaughey had been her master. Three year-old Mag may have been Louisiana and Hezekiah’s child.  If so, was she named for Margaret, possibly her grandmother? I haven’t found Louisiana, Hezekiah or Mag in the 1870 census or elsewhere, and have no evidence of their kinship to Margaret.

An Eliza McConnaughey appears in 1870 in the crazy-quilt household of John McConnaughey. McConnaughey never married and the only other white person reported under his roof was his nephew, Dr. Joseph L. McConnaughey, 34. The remainder of the household consisted of Peggy Ferran, 70 and blind; domestic servant/cook Eliza McConnaughey, 25, with her probable daughters, Alice, 7, and Rena, 4; 14 year-old Henry Ellis, a schoolboy; farm laborer Ed McConnaughey, 45; Dallas McConnaughey, 14; Harriet Barr, 40, also a domestic servant; and farm laborer-cum-schoolgirl (and my great-great-grandmother), Martha Miller, 14. Nearly all, it appears, were the former slaves of John McConnaughey (Martha and possibly Eliza) or of Joseph, who inherited them after his father James C. McConnaughey’s death in 1864 (Ed, Dallas, possibly Harriet, and possibly Eliza and her daughter Alice.)

Jacob did not register a cohabitation in Rowan County and does not appear under the surname McConnaughey in the 1870 census of the county.

In 1866 in Rowan County, Abram McConnaughey (the “Abraham” above) registered his six-year cohabitation with Eliza Barger. The family appears in the 1870 census of Mount Ulla, Rowan County: A. McConnaughey, 57, Eliza, 45, Peggy, 30, Francis, 14, Mitchel, 10, George, 4, and Charlotte McConnaughey, 1.  (They are listed next door to Margaret McConnaughey, her granddaughter Angeline and son John.)  In 1872, Abram married Phillis Cowan in Rowan County, and the license lists his parents as James Kerr and Esther McConnaughey. In 1893, he married again, to Jennie Rosebro, and gave his parents as James Kerr and Hester Ann Robinson. It is not clear who the parents are of the children listed in the household, and it seems possible that both Eliza and Peggy were, if not Abram’s wives, women by whom he had children. Two of Abram’s sons married in Rowan. William Giles McConnaughey, who married in 1867, listed his parents as Abram and Vina McConnaughey. The following year, James McConnaughey listed his parents as Abram and Phillis Lavina McConnaughey. In 1889, when Charlotte McConnaughey married Charles Brown in Rowan County, she listed her parents as Abram McConnaughey and Peggy Barber. (Is this the Peggy above?)

There are two Charles McConnaugheys in the 1870 census of Rowan County.  One is a 36 year-old listed in the household of John Barger.  Abram and Eliza McConnaughey’s cohabitation registration reveals that Eliza have been owned by John Barger (and her children with her.)  If the Charles in Barger’s household was a son of Abraham and Eliza, he would not have been the Charles listed above.  The other is a Charles McConnaughey, 40, listed with wife Phillis and ten children in Atwell township.  This Charles is a little old to be the same as the one listed in 1863 and may instead have been the Charles owned by James C. McConnaughey.

Margaret McConnaughey’s son George is found in all post-Emancipation records as “George Miller,” having adopted his father’s surname. I have assumed that his wife, Eliza Kerr, and oldest child, Baldy Alexander Miller, born 1858, had a different owner. However, the cohabitation registration for George Washington Miller and Eliza Catherine Kerr seems to indicate that both were the former slaves of John M. McConnaughey. There was in Eliza of the right age in the 1863 list, but no young Baldy or Alex.

In 1870, the McDowell County censustaker enumerated a railroad laborer named Douglas McConaughy in a camp in Old Fort township. [He appears to have been working on the Mountain Division of the Western Railroad, a project that extended the railroad over the continental divide and connected both ends of the state.]  Though his age is off by about six years, this may have been the Douglas listed among John M. McConnaughey’s slaves. Was Douglas also Margaret’s son? By age he could have been, but there is no evidence to prove so. (Of note, however: Mary Ann McConnaughey Miller named one of her sons James Douglas. For his uncle, perhaps?)

John McConnaughey was Margaret’s youngest son and is supposed to have been the son of John M. McConnaughey. He appears twice in the 1870 census, once with his mother and again in his sister Mary Ann Miller’s household.

Cephas, Edwin and Willy have not been found post-Emancipation.

Margaret McConnaughey’s six known children were born in 1835, 1840, 1847, 1853, 1855 and 1861. Given the gaps in their birth years, it is reasonable to assume that she bore additional children, perhaps Douglas (1842), Louisiana (1843) and Eliza (1846). (Though, of course, if Eliza were George Miller’s wife, she would not have been his sister.) Unfortunately, the available evidence is insufficient to establish these relationships or others among McConnaughey’s slaves.

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Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, Newspaper Articles, Photographs, Virginia

Marion Allen Lomans.

She was the aunt for whom my aunt was named. She was a teacher. She married late and had no children. And she died when my mother was small. That was about all I knew about my grandfather’s oldest sister, Marion Ellen Allen Lomans.

My uncle let me copy a scarred and badly tinted photo:

Marion Lomans

She looked like an Allen sister, but I was no less mystified. (Frankly, other than Aunt Julia, they were all a bit mysterious — how did I never meet Aunt Edith?  Or Aunt Nita until I was an adult? Or even Uncle Buster, who lived right in Newport News?)

And then M., my mother’s first cousin, sent this picture, which charmed me to no end — Aunt Marion and her students at John Marshall School:

Marion Allen & class

And then I found her obituary:

MA_Lomans_Obit_Daily_Press_15_Apr_1942

Virginian Pilot, 15 November 1942.

And so I learned a few more things: that, despite her marriage to Mr. Lomans, a World War I veteran whom she had married “recently” and whose Christian names were actually Gillespie Garland, she was still living at home at the time of her death. That she was a member of the United Order of Tents (a secretive charitable organization founded by black women in the mid-19th century) and the Good Samaritans (another?). That she taught for only six years. That Aunt Tee — that’s Edith — was unmarried and living in New York City when Marion died.  That Marion died at Whittaker Memorial Hospital, an institution that her father served as a board member.  That she was buried from Zion Baptist,  the church that nurtured her father. Still, who was she?

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Births Deaths Marriages, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Adam Artis’ children, part 4: Amanda Aldridge.

When Frances Seaberry Artis died in 1878, Adam Artis was left with no fewer than 11 children under the age of 18. Despite this brood, his relative wealth made him an attractive widower. He soon remarried, and he didn’t have to go far to do it. In November 1880, less than a year after his daughter Louvicey wed John W. Aldridge, Adam Artis married John’s sister, Amanda A. Aldridge.

Adam and Amanda Aldridge Artis’ children included:

Louetta Artis, born 1881, seems to have died in young adulthood. No record of any marriage has been found.

Robert Elder Artis, born 1883, was probably named after his maternal grandfather, Robert Aldridge. He was farmer in the Pikeville area of northern Wayne County and married three times, to Christana Simmons, Malinda Applewhite and Amanda Long. His children included Eva Mae, Robert Arzell, Mabel Irene, Challie, Adam, Edgar Lee, Etta Christine, Georgia, Nora and Maggie Artis.

Columbus Estell Artis, born 1886, was called “C.E.” For 30 years, he operated a funeral home in Wilson NC and was counted among the most prosperous of the town’s African-American citizens. He married twice, to Ada Diana Adams and Ruby Barber, and had at least one child, Naomi.

Josephine Artis, born 1887, was the longest and last living of all of Adam’s children. She married Solomon Sherrod in 1907 and settled in Wilson in the 1920s. Their children were: Booker T. Sherrod, Alliner Sherrod Davis, Jarvis Estelle Sherrod, Doretta Elizabeth Sherrod Davis, Leonard Oscar Sherrod, Minnie Bell Sherrod Parker, Solomon Conton Sherrod Jr., Harriet Sherrod, Amanda Bell Sherrod, Flora Annie Lee Sherrod Simms, Beulah Olivia Sherrod Williams and Elmer Lee Sherrod.  Josephine Sherrod died 8 April 1988, a month before her 101st birthday.

June Scott Artis, born 1889, farmed in the Stantonsburg area of Wilson County, not far from his father’s lands near Eureka, Wayne County. He married Ethel Pearl Becton and had four children, James Brody Artis, Edgar Joel Artis, Amanda Bell Artis Jones, and Gladys L. Artis. June Scott died in June 1973, less than three months after his brother C.E.

Lillie Beatrice Artis, born 1891, married three times in her short life — to Celebus Thompson, McDaniel Whitley and Chester Pridgen. Her children included Genetta Thompson, Wheeler Thompson, Columbus Whitley, Sampson Whitley, Floyd Marvin Whitley, Walter Andrew Whitley, Robert Whitley, William Jessie Whitley, Wilhelmena Pridgen and Mildred Beatrice Pridgen.  Lillie died in 1935 of heart issues complicated by pregnancy.

Henry J.B. Artis, born 1894, married Laurina House. His father Adam is buried in a small plot on land still owned by J.B.’s descendants. His children were Lillie Odessa Artis Baker, Julius House Artis, Roosevelt Artis, Columbus Estelle Artis II, Henry J.B. Artis Jr., Esther Artis Bunch, Jesse C. Artis, Mae H. Artis, Dorena Artis, and James Lacey Artis.  J.B., too, died in 1973, a month before his brother C.E.

Annie Deliah Artis, born 1897, married Wiley Hodges, then William Sauls. She had no known children and died in 1957.

Amanda Aldridge Artis died a few days after the birth of daughter Amanda Alberta Artis in 1899. Josephine Artis Sherrod, then about 12, told me that she discovered her mother’s lifeless body. John and Louvicey Artis Aldridge — the child’s uncle in one direction and half-sister in another — took in the infant to rear with their large brood. Alberta married James W. Cooper and had several children. She died in Wilson NC in 1985.

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North Carolina, Other Documents, Paternal Kin, Rights

The right to vote?

This soft-backed composition book, deposited at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, records the names of “colored” residents of Nahunta township, Wayne County, who paid poll taxes in the late summer of 1912. Paying such taxes was a prerequisite to vote in North Carolina, but few of these men actually registered, and probably fewer voted.  (The women, of course, could not have voted under any circumstance.) The first two pages overflow with my kinsmen, Artises (including Adam T., his sons, grandsons, brothers and nephews) and a couple of Aldridges (both sons of George W. Aldridge.)

Pages from Colored_Poll_Tax_1912

Pages from Colored_Poll_Tax_1912-2Pages from Colored_Poll_Tax_1912-3

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