107 year-old groom: “I never paid more than $3 for a woman in my life.”

Ex-Slave Takes His Fourth Wife.

Man, Aged 107, and Bride, Aged 75, are Happy Newly-Weds

A 107 year-old Wilson colored man and a 75 year-old woman joined hands in Holy matrimony this week, bringing to a total four trips to the altar for this aging former slave.

Beaming with connubial happiness, the ancient colored man recalled that he was outlived three wives and five children. His last children died [illegible] years ago at the ripe old age of 75.

William Henry Pellan and his bride, Matilda Andrews, both of Wilson will make their home on Spruce street in Wilson.

Obtains License

Pellan obtained his marriage license in the Register of Deeds office in Wilson. Confronted with the $5 fee always charged for a license, Pellan balked. He said, “I never paid more than $3 for a woman in my life, and this is my fourth one.”

Pellan credits his outstanding age to what he terms clean living. He says he never dissipated and was always in bed before 10 o’clock at night.

He was sold three times as a slave prior to Civil War days, once for $700, once for $859, and once for $1000. He says that he remembers clearly Sherman’s march through North Carolina. Working on a large plantation in Washington county, Pellan was just turning 18 when the War between the States broke out.

Holds Numbers of Jobs

He has worked on Mississippi steamboats, at sawmills, as a farm hand, as a fireman on a train and has preached for a number of years.

Now he has settled down to enjoy life, he says, Still very active although he walks with the aid of a cane, he has a loud booming voice and an exceptionally good sense of humor.    — Wilson Daily Times, 22 April 1949.


Hat tip to Will Robinson.


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