2009 Oaklawn Avenue first appeared in city directories in 1939 occupied by Frederick L. Wiley and wife Grace E. Wiley. The couple were life-long educators in Charlotte’s public schools, he at Second Ward High and she at Isabella Wyche Elementary. They evidently remained in the house all their lives. Mr. Wiley’s death notice in 1974 at age 79 listed him at this address. City directories continued to show Mrs. Wiley living alone in the early 1980s.
Mr. Wylie’s civic leadership included membership on the three-person committee that raised half the funds to construct West Charlotte’s athletic stadium in 1948, spurring the School Board to provide a matching amount. Chair of the Improvement Club for Negro Schools was W. Howard Moreland, a school principal who became a McCrorey Heights neighbor when he built a home at 1722 Madison Avenue in 1963.
Mrs. Wylie helped launch the Charlotte Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, an active African American sorority. In 1942 she was one of the first five initiates tapped by the original seven charter members. Interestingly, nearly all of the club members were (or would soon be) McCrorey Heights neighbors: charter members Julia Wyche Boulding, Roberta Douglas Thompkins, Edna Stinson Robinson; initiates Gladys Green, Grace Wylie, Kellene Wyche and Dorothy Stinson. The group funded scholarships, aided Good Samaritan Hospital and helped the NAACP, among other work. It remains active at this writing in 2017.
A Cottage style residence of the late 1930s. Most Cottage examples in Charlotte were one or one-and-a-half stories, but this is a full two-stories — a rarity. The main block of the house is gable-roofed with small eaves. At the front is a projecting entrance wing with a very steep-gabled roof, a Cottage style hallmark. In 1958 the original owner took out a building permit for construction of a one-story shed-roofed west wing. The house appears to retain its original beveled-edge wooden siding and its original double-hung wooden-sash six-over-six pane windows.
Date issued: February 1, 1957
Owner: F. L. Wiley
Contractor: Wells Construction Co.
Other permit info: to build addition
Building permit files, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.
First appeared in city directory
1939 – Frederick L. Wiley & Grace E.
He: Teacher, 2nd Ward High. She: Teacher Isabella Wyche School.
1959 – Frederick. L. Wiley & Grace E.
He: Teacher, Second Ward High. She: Teacher, Isabella Wyche School
1969 – Frederick. L. Wiley & Grace E.
no occupations listed
1980 – Mrs. Grace E. Wiley.
City directory collection, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.
“Charlotte Alumnae Chapter History,” on the Charlotte Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. website. On-line at: http://www.charlottedst.org/aboutus.html
Ely, Vermelle Diamond, Grace Hoey and Amy T. Rogers, Charlotte, North Carolina: Black America Series (Arcadia Publishing, 2001), p. 34.
“Second Ward High School Gymnasium: Survey & Research Report,” Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission, 2008. On-line at: http://www.cmhpf.org/S&Rs%20Alphabetical%20Order/Surveys&r2ndward.htm
“Deaths and Funerals,” Charlotte Observer, June 9, 1974.
“Negro Delegates Agree to Match Stadium Fund,” Charlotte Observer, October 26, 1948.