I, ISABELLA ARTIS, of the County of Wilson, State of North Carolina, being of sound mind, but considering the uncertainty of life, do hereby make and declare this to be my last will and hereby revoking and declaring numb and void all other wills and testaments heretofore made by me.
FIRST: My executor hereinafter named shall give my body a decent burial, and erect a suitable tombstone or monument at my grave, collect all debts due my estate, and out of the first moneys coming to into my estate, he shall pay all of my just debts, funeral expenses and costs of administering my estate.
SECOND: I give, devise and bequeath to my husband, J.E. Artis, that parcel or land together with the house thereon situate in which I now love, located on Banks Street, in the Town of Wilson, and adjoining the heirs of Mary Bunch and others, and having a frontage of approximately fifty feet on Banks Street, and a depth of about one hundred and ten feet, and being the identical lot devised to me by the will of James Holden.
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the above described real estate to him, the said J.B. Artis, for the term of his natural life, and no longer, and upon his death to the following persons in fee simple absolute forever, in shares as designated: To my brother-in-law, Ed Holden, a one-half interest; to my step-children Verdie May Artis and James Clifton Artis, a one-fourth interest each.
I devise and bequeath this property in the above manner in consideration of the love and affection my husband, J.E. Artis, has exhibited towards me and that I hold for him, and in consideration of the fact that the house in which I now live was largely paid for by the said J.E. Artis; and I give Ed Holden, my brother-in-law, one-half interest in the remainder after death of J.E. Artis, in consideration of the many favors and accommodations he has rendered me, and because he is a brother of my first husband, who originally owned the property.
THIRD: All of my personal property of every description, I give to my husband, J.E. Artis.
FOURTH: I hereby constitute and appoint my husband, J.E. Artis, my lawful executor to all intents and purposes to execute this, my last will and testament, according to the true intent and meaning of the same, and every part and clause thereof.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, the said Isabella Artis, do hereunto set my hand and seal, this the 14th day of September, 1938.
Witness as to Mark: C.E. Simons, M.D.
Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Isabella Artis, to be her last will and testament, in the presence of us, who at her request and in her presence, and in the presence of each other, do subscribe our names as witnesses. Bessie L. Edwards, Leon Ward, Julie McNeal
Isabella Artis died four days after making her will.
In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: 24 year-old brickmason James Holden, wife Isbella, 35, daughter Ether, 1, and brother Jesse, 7.
James Holden, son of Anderson and Rachell Whitfield Holden and a native of Johnston County, died of consumption, i.e. tuberculosis, on 8 August 1918 in Wilson.
On 17 June 1919, Isabella Holden, 36, married Zeke Artis, 35, in Wilson.
The 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County, shows James E. Artis, 50, living at 407 Banks Street with his new wife, Molly. “Ezekial” Artis died in Goldsboro, Wayne County, on 15 July 1964.
North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line], Ancestry.com.