1637 Patton Avenue

This is a draft, now being reviewed by members of the McCrorey Heights Neighborhood Association. Please share comments with Tom@HistorySouth.org 

Built in 1957. First occupant listed in the city directory was Mrs. Louella M. Currie, a teacher at West Charlotte High. She was a leader in the Charlotte chapter of Jacks and Jills, Inc., the educational and social enrichment club for upscale African American youth. A February 27, 1958, item in the Charlotte Observer mentioned that she would be hosting a chapter meeting at her new home on Patton Avenue.

A random look at a later directory, 1981, shows Arthur A. Wilson, Jr & Sara P. living there. Arthur Wilson’s funeral program noted that he grew up in Charlotte, educated at Biddleville Elementary, Second Ward High and Johnson C. Smith University. “As a trailblazer for Driver’s Education, ‘Bud” as he was affectionately known, remained in this position for 27 years in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System.”

Driver’s Education was a new idea nationwide when Charlotte schools launched its program, instituted at the urging of nation’s insurance companies. In January of 1950, Arthur A. Wilson, Jr., was among twenty-one African American instructors from across North Carolina who graduated from a special forty-hour course offered by the American Automobile Association at Johnson C. Smith University. “Graduating teachers are now eligible to receive dual control cars” which would allow “behind the wheel training in their various schools,” explained the Charlotte Observer. That fall Mr. Wilson was on the faculty at Second Ward High School. Charlotte’s Pontiac dealer supplied two vehicles to the program, one to white Myers Park High School, the other to Mr. Wilson at Second Ward.

About 1958, as the program was extended to all Charlotte schools, Mr. Wilson moved to West Charlotte High School and Mrs. Clotelle Fisher took his place at Second Ward High. Mrs. Fisher and her husband lived at 1627 Patton Avenue in McCrorey Heights; she likely made the Wilson family aware when the Currie house two doors away at 1637 Patton Avenue became available.

Patton-1637-b-web

Architecture

Ranch house, one-story with dark red brick. The main hip roof is enlivened by two small hip-roofed projections facing the street. At the east, the main roof extends from the main block to the house to create a two-vehicle carport.

First appeared in city directory

1959 – Mrs. Louella M. Currie. Teacher, West Charlotte High

1981 – Arthur A. Wilson, Jr & Sara P. He: Retired

City directory collection, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

obituary

Wilson, Arthur, funeral program in the Obituary Project notebooks, African American Genealogy Interest Group collection, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

Resources

“Driver Course Awards Made,” Charlotte Observer, January 14, 1950.

“Driver Education Aided,” Charlotte Observer, September 19, 1954.

“Principals, Faculty for City are Listed,” Charlotte Observer, September 6, 1950.

“This and That by Katharine P. Halyburton,” Charlotte Observer, September 12 1950.