WWI Films in Wayne County

Goldsboro Daily Argus June 4, 1921, Flashes of Action promoMount Olive Tribune, February 27, 1919, To Hell with the Kaiser advertisementWar propaganda films are as old as the medium itself. Dozens, if not hundreds, were made in the US during World War I. Charlie Chaplin produced and starred in multiple propaganda films, including The Bond, a series of short clips promoting the sale of Liberty Bonds. In one clip he literally beats the Kaiser with a war bond.

Two films appeared in theaters in Wayne County; the documentary Flashes of Action in Goldsboro and the comedy To Hell with the Kaiser in Mount Olive.

Goldsboro Daily Argus June 4, 1921, Flashes of Action article
Goldsboro Daily Argus – June 4, 1921 click to enlarge

Flashes of Action came to the Acme Theatre on Center Street on June 6 & 7, 1921 and ran about forty-five minutes long. The US Army Signal Corps filmed American troops from training in the US to combat on the front lines of Europe.

To Hell with the Kaiser lobby posterThe silent comedy film To Hell with the Kaiser, came to the Victoria Theatre in Mount Olive in February 1919. The plot centers on Kaiser Wilhelm and a German actor hired to be his body double. Wilhelm makes a pact with the Devil but is captured by American forces and commits suicide in a POW camp. In hell, the devil hands his throne over to the Kaiser, whom he claims is far more evil than he (Satan) could ever hope to be.

Unfortunately, To Hell with the Kaiser is a lost film. There are no known existing copies. Copies of Flashes of Action do exist and the National Archives has digitized the film and made available to the public. It can be viewed below.

To Hell with the Kaiser poster

Blind Tigers & Dissolute Women

From the minutes of the Goldsboro Board of Aldermen comes this nugget of booze and prostitution in 1917.

At the July 2, 1917 meeting of the city aldermen, the board called to the attention of the chief of police the proliferation of “Blind Tigers and dissolute women” in the city.

They instructed the chief to make every effort to free the city from “these shameful evils and solicit their cooperation [local judges] with the decent people of the community that these flagrant vices be abolished.”

“Blind tiger” is slang for an illegal bar, i.e. a speakeasy and “dissolute women” was a polite term for prostitutes.

At the July 17 meeting of the aldermen, Police Chief E.J. Tew reported on the arrest of twelve women and two men for a range of offenses including vagrancy (prostitution), running a bawdy house (brothel), and retailing whiskey.

One woman, Grace Lane, convicted of vagrancy, paid a fine and was let go on condition that she “leave [the] city by twelve o’clock July 15th or serve a sentence of 30 days in jail.”

Read moreBlind Tigers & Dissolute Women

WWI and Goldsboro’s War on Pool Rooms

Places of Idling

In May 1918 the Goldsboro Board of Aldermen voted to temporarily revoke the licenses of all pool rooms within city limits for the duration of World War I.

Representatives from many of the largest churches, and the Jewish temple Oheb Shalom, signed the petition and presented it to the alderman on May 6. They stated that their request was a “war measure” and that the

energy, time and money spent by our men and youth in the pool rooms is practically a waste, and should be diverted into productive channels.

The petitioners claimed that such action was not meant to “injure any man’s legalized business”, although how they could rationalize this as anything other than financial injury is suspect.

Local attorney J. Langhorne Barham represented the interests of the local pool room operators but his best efforts were not successful. The board agreed to the ban in a 5-3 vote at a special session on May 13.

Read moreWWI and Goldsboro’s War on Pool Rooms

Photograph – W. Walnut St. 1920

West Walnut St, Goldsboro, 1920s

 

From the collection of the Wayne County Public Library is this photo, taken about 1920, showing Walnut St. looking East towards Center St.

On the left is the Wayne National Bank. It was torn down in 1922 to make way for a skyscraper that still stands today.

To the right where the woman is window shopping is the Borden Building, completed in 1914, meaning the photo was taken sometime between 1914 and 1922.

Read morePhotograph – W. Walnut St. 1920

St. Mary’s Catholic Church – 50th anniversary

St. Mary's Catholic, 50th anniversary, 1939

The above picture was taken at the 50th anniversary celebration for St. Mary’s Catholic Church on November 9, 1939. This building, still standing, is located on the corner of Mulberry and William Streets in downtown Goldsboro, across the street from the post office.

mitres Catholic Encyclopedia
“Development of the Mitre”, Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913.

The man holding the staff is likely Eugene Joseph McGuinness, the Bishop of Raleigh from 1937-1944. The other men are high ranking officials from the Diocese of Raleigh.

The sermon was given by Monsignor Arthur Raine Freeman. Two of the altar boys listed an article in the News Argus were Richard Griswold and Billy Heeden. The pastor of the church at this time was Reverend F.C. Gorham.

Read moreSt. Mary’s Catholic Church – 50th anniversary

Neuse River Map, 1888

Corps of Engineers logo
           US Army Corps of Engineers logo

Waterways have been the primary highways for humans for thousands of years, long before the arrival of airplanes, cars, and trains.

Two of the largest and richest areas of Colonial America were Charleston, SC and the Tidewater region of Virginia, both blessed with natural deep water ports. North Carolina, with its string of barrier islands, was not so lucky.

The Neuse River was one of the few waterways of importance to early European settlers in North Carolina. Despite the emergence of the railroad in the mid-19th century, the Neuse continued as an effective highway for people and goods.

Read moreNeuse River Map, 1888

Honoring Wayne County’s WWI Dead: Andrew Best

Died November 11, 1918

Andrew Bass photograph, News & Observer, October 18, 1919
Photo from the October 18, 1919 issue of the News & Observer.

Andrew Best was born in Goldsboro on November 30, 1886, the son of Spicie Annie, a laundress. The family lived at 513 Denmark St.

The 1916 city directory lists Andrew’s profession as laborer, a catch-all term for manual laborers.

The 1910 census lists that he was married to Mary and they had a son named George, born about 1909.

Andrew was inducted into the US Army on March 30, 1918 in Goldsboro. He was assigned for training to the 161st Depot Brigade at Camp Grant, Illinois, one of the largest training camps for black soldiers during World War I.

On April 22 he was transferred to Company E of the 365th Infantry, part of the 92nd Division, the only active black fighting division during the war. The 92nd was nicknamed the “Buffalo Soldiers”, a name given by Native Americans to black soldiers serving in the American West during the 19th century.

His unit left for France on June 10, 1918 from Hoboken, NJ aboard the transport ship Agamemnon. Originally built as the German liner SS Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1903, it was seized by the US on April 2, 1918, four days after America’s official entry into the war.

Read moreHonoring Wayne County’s WWI Dead: Andrew Best

Dewey Brothers Foundry: Downtown Goldsboro

Dewey Brothers began in 1885 making everything from steam engines to manhole covers. The original foundry/machine shop was on N. Center St. and the building still stands today.

Just prior to World War I, the company moved to a new location on George St., where it operated until the 1990s.

Read moreDewey Brothers Foundry: Downtown Goldsboro

Dewey Brothers

The Dewey Brothers site on George Street is being torn down.

I was fortunate to get some photos of the site before everything is gone.

F-15E landing, V-22 Osprey in the background

I was out on Highway 111 near Seymour Johnson AFB and happened to have my camera as F-15E’s were landing.

F-15E landing with V-22 Osprey in background, Goldsboro NC

A V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor happened to be flying off in the distance. It was headed west, probably from Chery Point in Havelock. The base is home to the 2nd Marine Air Wing.

V-22 Osprey close-up

 

V-22 Osprey in flight

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