1636 Madison Avenue

 

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Built in 1954 – 55. Two early residents each worked their way into positions seldom attained by African Americans in their era. Initial occupant Ulysses McCaskill worked as an etcher, making machinery for printing cloth — a rare African American in a skilled trade in the textile industry in the 1950s. Later occupant Reginald Dalton took an active role in the Republican Party and became an auditor for the North Carolina Department of Revenue, part of the generation who integrated state government in the South.

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Building permits indicate that this house and the one next door at 1632 Madison Avenue were built speculatively in 1954 – 55 by W.P. Cherry & Son, one of the city’s small white-owned contracting firms. First occupants here at 1636 Madison were Ulysses McCaskill and wife Kathleen. The city directory listed McCaskill as an etcher, Charlotte Textile Engravers.

Textile production was the most important industry in the Carolinas from the late nineteenth through mid twentieth centuries. Charlotte Textile Engravers produced the printing plates that transferred designs onto finished cloth. The textile industry was highly segregated with few African Americans allowed into any skilled positions before the 1960s. McCaskill’s work as an etcher, a skilled trade, put him in the upper echelon of African Americans in the textile industry.

Later occupants in the 1980s were Reginald W. Dalton and his wife Theresa. Charlotte’s 1981 city directory listed him as “auditor, State Department of Revenue.” He is likely the same Reginald W. Dalton mentioned in a 1968 article in the Statesville Record and Landmark newspaper: “Reginald W. Dalton, a native of Statesville, N.C., is an alternate in the 52-member North Carolina delegation to the Republican National Convention. He is not disappointed, however, at being the only Negro member of the delegation. ‘You can’t claim a big share of what is not yours,’ he said. ‘On the basis of the Republican registration in North Carolina, I think it is excellent to get one Negro alternate.’ Dalton, a former Democrat, is a Durham insurance man.”

Madison-1636-b-web
Madison-1636-a-web

Architecture

Ranch style house, one-story in red brick under a gable roof. The roof extends slightly at one side of the front facade to shelter the front stoop. Though built at the same time as 1632 next door by the same builder, the two designs do not have much in common.

Building permits

Madison 1636 permit b,

Date issued: February 25, 1955
Owner: W. P. Cherry
Contractor: J. P. Thomas
Estimated cost:
Other permit info: Wiring, likely for original construction of house.

Madison 1636 permit a
Date issued: March 7, 1973
Owner: Edmond Thompkins, 1800 Madison Av.
Contractor: Mangie McQueen
Estimated cost: $300
Other permit info: Reroof residence

Madison-1636-permit-c
Date issued: December 3, 1954
Owner: W. P. Cherry
Contractor: W. P. Cherry & Son
Estimated cost:
Other permit info: Build residence

First appeared in city directory

1956 – Ulysses McCaskill & Kathleen R.
He: Etcher, Charlotte Textile Engravers, 1200 Elizabeth Av.
She: No occupation listed

1981 city directory:
Rev. Reginald W. Dalton & Theresa D.
He: Auditor, State Revenue Dept.
She: Cashier, JCSU

Resources

“Dalton Serves as Alternate,” Statesville Record and Landmark, August 7, 1968. On-line at: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/3688902/