Business, Maternal Kin, Oral History, Other Documents, Photographs, Virginia, Vocation

Texaco liked the work.

In the summer of 2002, my uncle Charles C. Allen told me this about my grandfather John C. Allen Jr.:

[Daddy] had to get reestablished after the war. But he had a friend named Buster Reynolds. And Buster Reynolds was reputed to have made his money in the numbers, and so when the numbers were getting real hot and heavy, when it was reputed that the Mafia was trying to take the numbers over, Buster got out. And he built this service station, and he had a Texaco franchise, and he had Daddy to build the station. And Texaco liked the work so much that Daddy built two more stations for Texaco. And both of the stations that were built in the black community are still up. They’re not gas stations anymore, but the buildings are still up. And the one that was built Overtown is gone. But even the station that was in the white community, Texaco had him to build that one, too.

Today I found this:

2 1 1948

The Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia), 1 February 1948.

My uncle passed away in January; I wish dearly that I’d been able to share this with him.

Texaco 2

The former service station at 28th and Chestnut, Newport News, 2002.

Maternal Kin, Paternal Kin, Vocation

Where we worked: hewers and builders.

Adam T. Artis, near Eureka NC – carpenter, 1850s-circa 1900.

Adam T. Artis Jr., Washington DC – hod carrier, circa 1910.

Isham Smith, Goldsboro NC – husband of Nancy Henderson Smith, blacksmith, 1880s?-1914.

Junius Allen, Newport News VA – carpenter, circa 1917.

Prince A. Aldridge, Wilson NC – plasterer, circa 1940.

Van Smith – husband of Mattie Taylor Smith; bricklayer, Pool & Whitehead, Smithfield NC, 1917; Wilson NC, circa 1920.

Jesse Artis, Norfolk VA – laborer, house builder, circa 1920.

Dock Simmons, Logansport IN – owned and operated hauling and excavating company, circa 1924.

John C. Allen Jr., Newport News VA – carpenter, construction contractor, 1920s-1948.

Benjamin A. Harris, Wilson NC – husband of Pauline Artis Harris; brickmason, 1930s-1950s.

Daniel Simmons, Philadelphia PA – construction laborer, circa 1930.

Johnnie Smith, Goldsboro NC – carpenter, circa 1930.

Eugene Stockton, Statesville NC – husband of Ida Colvert Stockton; brickmason, circa 1930.

Ira Henderson, Mount Olive NC – carpenter, circa 1940.

Ned Barnes, Wilson NC — building carpenter, circa 1930.

Richard G. Wynn, Wilmington NC – brickmason, 1950s.

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