Governor’s Day attendees.

Baltimore Afro-American, 11 June 1938.

William and Ethel Cornwell Hines, “Mrs. M. Darden” (probably Naomi Duncan Darden), and Flossie Howard Barnes traveled to Richmond, Virginia, in 1938 to attend a Governor’s Day program. (I have no information on either the purpose of the program or why North Carolinians would have been interested.)

Lane Street Project: finding Odd Fellows photos.

The only pre-Lane Street Project pictures of Vick, Odd Fellows, and Rountree Cemeteries discovered to date are aerial images and newspaper photographs. I reached out to Drew C. Wilson of the Wilson Times to find out if the paper’s photo archives held originals of the prints published in the 18 February 1989 article about Benjamin Mincey‘s efforts to keep Odd Fellows clear. I stopped by the Times‘ newsroom yesterday, where Olivia Neeley and Lisa Boykin Batts were already sorting through files. Drew Wilson split a stack of negatives with me, the ancestors smiled, and within minutes, I’d found the images.

Me with one of two negative strips and Olivia Neeley with an original print of the 1989 article. Photo by Drew C. Wilson.

The photographer used almost all his shots in the article. I had trouble initially pinpointing Mr. Mincey’s location in the image below, then I recognized Della and Dave Barnes‘ headstones just left of the center of the image. The stone nearest him is Charles S. Thomas‘ granite marker. The trees in this area threw me, as all have since been removed. (What’s that pile of stones by the tree? There’s a similar pile, smaller, near a different tree now.) Number of the small, white marble footstones so common in Odd Fellows are visible, but many appear to have been moved now from their original locations. There seems to be something large and square to the left and behind the Barnes headstones, but it’s not clear what it is.  

The approximate view this morning, with the Thomas marker at (A) and the Barneses at (B). 

Below, Mr. Mincey stands near a sign: NO TRESPASSING CEMETERY PROP. UP TO $200.00 FINE FOR DUMPING TRASH. VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED BY ORDER of THE CITY OF WILSON CEMETERY COMMISSION. It’s not clear exactly where this was. Vick Cemetery? The Cemetery Commission now disclaims responsibility for any cemeteries other than Rest Haven and Maplewood.

To the left and behind Mr. Mincey, Lucinda White‘s headstone, unbroken. To his right, back among young pines, Henry Tart‘s obelisk, which still leans back at about the same angle. Wisteria had not yet become the scourge in these woods that it is now.

Today, with (A) White and (B) Tart markers.

Mr. Mincey and an unnamed assistant standing at the fire hydrant marking the grave of Mr. Mincey’s father, Benjamin Mincey. There appears to be a wooden sign draped with plastic sheeting in front of hydrant, and piles of trash and tree stumps are visible in the middle distance. I’d thought the large white headstone at center was Walter Foster‘s, but its outline and location don’t match up. The small white monument with a knob on top behind and to the left of the large marker made be that of Louvenia Pender, found back in December with its finial broken off.

Six months ago, this image would have been impossible to reproduce. Today, though the wisteria has begun to rebound from being cut back during the winter, the hydrant is visible at (A) with effort. The white stone behind Mr. Mincey may have been in the Vick plot, but it is no longer standing. 

This shot appears to have been taken from Lane Street and shows a gatepost similar to the ones that bracketed (until recently) another entrance into the cemetery perhaps 50 yards to the northeast. This entrance below is approximately at the current entrance to the cemetery parking lot. 

Finally, a bonus image, show later in 1989, perhaps to commemorate a milestone in Mr. Mincey’s service with East Nash Volunteer Fire Department. 

Madison Benjamin Mincey (1913-2001), the first champion of Odd Fellows Cemetery. 

Many thanks to Drew Wilson, Olivia Neeley, and Lisa Batts for their generosity of time, resources, and spirit in the search for these photographs!

Lane Street Project: summer check-up.

The second day of summer in Odd Fellows cemetery:

Burn marks in the parking lot. People, do better.

I hope the city has not taken the front section of Odd Fellows off its regular maintenance schedule just because Lane Street Project put its shoulder to the wheel. This grass badly needs cutting.

Likewise, the entire ditch needs to be cleared of sumac, sweetgum, and maple saplings, as well as a blanket of weeds.

The wisteria is trying to make a comeback, but severing the vines up high has secured LSP’s major Season 1 victory.

The Mincey family plot is losing ground. Ben Mincey‘s hydrant is nearly overgrown again, as are the markers for his father Prince and brother Oscar Mincey.

We remember.

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, June 2021.

Wilbanks news.

Wilson Daily Times, 21 June 1897.

Henry Knight, colored, who lives near here had his stables smashed by a falling tree. Fortunately he had his team in the field plowing.”


  • Henry Knight — perhaps, Henry Knight who died 4 July 1919 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 69 years old; was born in Edgecombe County to Lewis Knight; and had been a farmer. Informant was William Knight.

Snaps, no. 86: the William and Zilphia Woodard family.

Seated, William “Bill” Woodard and Zilphia May Adams Woodard. Standing, Eva Woodard, Wesley Woodard, Elvin Woodard and Lena Woodard, who were among their children.


William Woodard was the grandson of London Woodard, the famous preacher and founder of London’s Primitive Baptist Church, and his first wife, Venus.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Elvin Woodard, 47; wife Deber, 48; and children William, 21, Sylvia, 18, and Amanda, 16.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer William Woodard, 35; wife Zilpha, 27; and children Elvin, 8, James, 5, and Minnie, 2.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer William Woodard, 52; wife Zelpha, 44; children James, 22, sawmill laborer, Minnia, 20, Wesley, 17, Eaver, 14, Lenar, 11; and boarders Irvin Eatman, 18, and Art Edwards, 20.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer William Woodard, 64; wife Zilfa, 60; children Eva, 23, and Lena, 20; and grandchildren Bettie Williams, 6, and Arthur Woodard, 3 months. Next door: Westley Woodard, 27; wife Easter, 30; stepson Richard Poole, 10; mother-in-law Gracie Poole, 40; and sister-in-law Minnie Poole, 11.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: William Woodard, 70; wife Zilfie, 75; and daughter Lena Barnes, 27.

James Woodard died 1 May 1927 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 51 years old; was born in Wilson County to William Woodard and Zilphia Moye; was married to Mary Woodard; and was a tenant farmer for Bunyan Boyette

Zilphia Woodard died 22 April 1934 in Wilson township. Per her death certificate, she was 85 years old; worked in farming until two days before her death; was born in Wilson County to David Moye and Harriett Daniel; and was a widow. Minnie Williams was informant.

Elvin Woodard died 30 March 1941 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 8 February 1879 in Wilson County to William Woodard and Zilphia Moore; was a laborer; was the widower of Frances Woodard; and was buried in Ellis cemetery. Westley Woodard was informant.

Minnie Williams died 21 May 1941 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born in Wilson County in 1887 to William Woodard and Zelphia Adams; was a widow; and had been engaged in farming. Mamie Melton was informant.

Eva Thorne died 7 May 1948 in Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 5 October 1894 in Wilson County to William Woodard and Zilpha Adams; was a farmer; and was married to Bill Thorne. Informant was Gladys Hoskins.

 Thanks to LeRoy Barnes for sharing this family photo.

The death of Annie Cole.

Wilson Daily Times, 24 June 1913.

Mental illness was often criminalized in the early twentieth century and, Eastern North Carolina Insane Asylum notwithstanding, treatment options were few.


In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: house servant Annie Cole, 25, and lodger Lue Merritt, 30, odd jobs laborer, shared a household.

Distribution of the slave population of the U.S. South.

In about 1861, the United States Coastal Survey issued a map showing the distribution of enslaved people throughout the South. As Susan Schulten noted in a 9 December 2010 piece called “Visualizing Slavery,” “[t]hough many Americans knew that dependence on slave labor varied throughout the South, these maps uniquely captured the complexity of the institution and struck a chord with a public hungry for information about the rebellion.”

Map Showing the Distribution of the Slave Population of the Southern States of the United States Compiled from the Census of 1860 — Sold for the Benefit of the Sick and Wounded Soldiers of the U. S. Army.

A close-up of eastern North Carolina shows that Wilson County, with a population 37% enslaved, lay at the western edge of the state’s heaviest band of slave-holding counties.