The last will and testament of Henry C. Rountree.

H Rountree Will p 1

H Rountree Will p 2

Last Will and Testament of Henry C. Rountree.

Know all men by these presents, that I, Henry C. Rountree, of Wilson in the County of Wilson and State of North Carolina, being of sound mind and memory does make and publish this my last will and testament revoking all former wills at any time before made.

And as to my worldly estate, and all property real, personal or mixed of which I shall die seized and possessed, or to which I shall be entitled at the time of my decease, I devise, bequeath and dispose of in the following manner:

First. My will is, that all of my just debts and funeral expense shall by my executor hereinafter named be paid as soon after my decease as shall by him be found convenient.

I give, devise and bequeath to my beloved wife, Emma Rountree, all my household furniture, my horse, wagon and harness and all personal property and all moneys with which I may died possessed with the exception of money sufficient to pay my just debts and one hundred and twenty five dollars to be hereinafter disposed to her and to hold the same to her and her assigned forever.

I also give to her the use, improvements and income of my dwelling house land, and its appurtenances situated on Stantonsburg road, the dwelling in which I now reside, to have and to hold the same to her forever during her natural life.

To my son, Ernest Rountree, I give and bequeath the sum of five dollars.

I give, devise and bequeath to S.H. Vick ten dollars.

I give, devise and bequeath to Calvary Presbyterian Church Ten dollars.

I give, devise and bequeath to my beloved wife in addition to the above amount the sum of one hundred dollars to be held in trust for her and to be paid only when necessity demands it.

In case my wife dies before the said one hundred dollars is needed, I give, devise and bequeath to my wife’s grand daughter, Emma Gay, the said one hundred dollars.

After the demise of my beloved wife my house and lot situate on Stantonsburg road is to be sold, and the proceeds divided as follows:

I give, devise and bequeath to my Brother DeWitt Rountree one third of the proceeds of the sale of the house and lot.

I give, devise and bequeath to my sister, Lucy Rountree, one sixth of the proceeds of the house and lot.

I give, devise and bequeath to my niece, Josephine Hoskins, one twelfth of the proceeds of the sale of the house and lot.

I give, devise and bequeath to my niece, Mena Carter one twelfth of the proceeds of the sale of the house and lot.

And, lastly, I do nominate and appoint Rev. H.B. Taylor to be the executor of this my last will and testament.

Henry C. {X} Rountree

Subscribed by the testator in the presence of each of us, and at the same time declared by him to be his last will and testament and thereupon we, at the request of the testator and in his presence sign our names as witnesses — this 15th day of September, 1916, at Wilson, N.C.

/s/ S.H. Vick, J.D. Reid   } Wilson, N.C.

——

  • Henry C. Rountree (1848-1916) was the son of Jesse Artis and Rebecca Rountree. (The Artises were a free family of color. Several Jesse Artises lived in southeast Wilson/northeast Wayne Counties in that era, but Henry’s father was like the Jesse H. Artis listed in the 1850 census of the Town of Wilson.) He owned a grocery on Stantonsburg Road. In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Henry and his brother Benjamin reported their occupation as butcher. Another brother, John Rountree, was a barber. Other siblings included Dempsy, Charles, Mary, Joseph, and Willie. (Lucy was Benjamin’s wife, and Worden and Charles were their sons.)

1870HCRountree

  • Emma Gay Rountree (1845-?) married Henry Rountree on 4 February 1892 at her home in Wilson. Witnesses to the ceremony, apparently a second for both, were Edmund Pool, Mark Blount and Samuel H. Vick. She was likely the widow of Charles Gay; the family appears in the 1870 census of Wilson township.
  • Ernest Rountree (1872-?)
  • Emma Gay was Emma Gay Rountree’s granddaughter.
  • DeWitt Rountree
  • Lucy Simms Rountree was Henry’s sister-in-law, rather than sister. Her husband Benjamin Rountree was also a son of Jesse Artis and Rebecca Rountree. Lucy was the daughter of Reddick (or Redrick) Simms and Harriet Simms of Wilson County.
  • Josephine Rountree Hoskins (1878-?) was a daughter of Ben and Lucy Rountree.
  • Mena Rountree Carter (1890-1983) was a daughter of Ben and Lucy Rountree and wife of Clarence Carter.
  • Halley B. Taylor, a New Bern native, was pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church.
  • Samuel H. Vick (1863-1946), arguably early 20th century East Wilson’s most prominent resident, was an educator, a postmaster and a real estate developer.
  • Judge James D. “J.D.” Reid was a school principal and bank officer.

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