William Edward Cornelius (circa 1911 – 1995) was born in Statesville, N.C, but came to Charlotte as a child when his family moved to the city. Like many homeowners in McCrorey Heights, he was a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University and also a Presbyterian, belonging to First United Presbyterian Church on Seventh Street in the center city.
Cornelius worked at Efirds department Store downtown, then for many years owned and operated a laundromat in the African American neighborhood of Brooklyn, “the first black washerette” in the city, according to his funeral program. When urban renewal demolished Brooklyn, he moved his business to North Myers Street. By the time that he and wife Dorothea Mayfield Cornelius settled into this spacious home in McCrorey Heights, the city directory listed him as “retired.”
Ranch house, light brown brick, 1-story. The long gable roof extends beyond the main block of the house at the east side to create a two-vehicle carport. Located facing Patton Avenue at the corner of Creek Street. This seems to have been one of the last houses constructed in McCrorey Heights; its owners took care to chose a Ranch style appearance very similar to the earlier houses in the neighborhood.
Cornelius, Wm, funeral program in the Obituary Project notebooks, African American Genealogy Interest Group collection, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.
First appeared in city directory
1982 – Cornelius, William E. & Dorthea M.
He: Retired She: No occupation listed
City directory collection, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.