1005 Fayetteville - John O'daniel House

35.983657, -78.898215

Cross Street
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(Courtesy Durham County Library / North Carolina Collection)

Occupying the entire 'block' between Banks Alley and Cart Place, the house at 1005 Fayetteville St. was built by John O'Daniel.

O'Daniel had been enslaved by the Carr family prior to the civil war. Although it has never been proven, he was reputed to be a half-brother to Julian Carr. Regardless, Carr certainly held O'Daniel in higher esteem than one might expect, given their previous relationship. O'Daniel seems to have become a 'right-hand man' to Carr over the course of the later 19th and early 20th century.

In 1877, O'Daniel acquired the land at 1005 Fayetteville St. and was therefore one of the earliest African-American landowners in Hayti. His relative economic well-being seems evidenced by the size of the house he was able to construct, and his contributions to the construction of St. Joseph's AME.

O'Daniel most notably became head of recruitment and manager for the Durham Hosiery Mill No. 2 on East Pettigrew St. - Carr's 'experiment' with African-American machine operators/employees.

O'Daniel died in 1917; that Carr had some respect and affection for him seems proven by the renaming of the former Bowling-Emory Hosiery Mill on Gilbert St. after O'Daniel when he purchased it in 1919. (The choice was also linked to the decision of Carr's sons - by then running the Hosiery Mill business - to staff this location exclusively with African Americans, repeating the above-mentioned 'experiment' at Mill No. 2.)

O'Daniel's family continued to live at 1005 Fayetteville after his death - another John O'Daniel, perhaps a son, is listed as a "Florist" living at the house in the 1920s.

By the 1940s, the house was no longer occupied by the O'Daniel family. A series of other occupants ensued. The unrelated last names and short tenure imply to me that the house was rented through must of the mid-20th century.

The house was demolished by 1965. It was converted into part of the housing project, now abandoned and awaiting unclear redevelopment by Campus Apartments, Inc.

Site of 1005 Fayetteville, 10.05.08

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In the early 1920's,  this was also the home of Miss Mattie N. Day, who served 6 years as Durham County's second Jeanes supervising teacher.  In addition the supervising the schools, Ms. Day also worked tirelessly within the Hayti and East Durham communities, and often raised money on her own to help fund both the schools and community education groups like the Homemakers Club during war time. In correspondances between School Superintendent CW Massey, Director of the NC Division of Negro Education Nathan C. Newbold and Dean Wannamaker from Trinity College, the leaders praised Ms. Day's work overseeing the schools. 

In the 1920 census, Day was listed along with another local teacher, Geraldine Dyson, as a boarder in the O'Daniel house. 

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