Edmonia and Carrie Taborn.

As noted here, free-born Lemon Taborn was a barber in the town of Wilson as early as 1860. A remembrance published in the Wilson Times in 1921 mentioned that Lemon’s first wife and child died around the time of the Civil War and were buried near Pender Street. I have not been able to discover their names.

WDT 12 30 1921 Taborn cemetery

Wilson Daily Times, 30 December 1921.

On 18 July 1870, Lemon Tabourne, son of Hardy Taylor and Celey Tabourn, married Edmonia Barnes, daughter of Louisa Barnes, “in church.” Minister C.C. Doelson performed the ceremony.

In the 1870 census, in the town of Wilson, Wilson County: barber Lemon Taber, 28; wife Edmina, 17; and daughter Stella (by his first wife?), 5; plus domestic servant Tillman Blount, 13, and Terry Noble, 18, barber. Edmonia reported that she was born in Virginia. In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County, the family is listed in a household on Tarboro Street.

Together Lemon and Edmonia Tabourn had at least seven children: Elma (1873), Carrie (1875), Lucy (1877), Joshua (1878), Lila (1884), Jacob Astor (1886) and Thomas Henry (1890), and possibly an eighth, Douglass.

Though Lemon lived until 1893, he may have been ill and unable to work regularly for several years before. As early as 1889, local newspapers were taking note of the presence in his shop of his wife Edmonia and, especially, teenaged daughter Carrie.

Mirror 5 11 1889

Wilson Mirror, 11 May 1889.

Mirror 8 7 1889

Wilson Mirror, 7 August 1889.

The Mirror was positively smitten. In verbiage usually exclusively reserved for white women, Carrie was described as “lady-like,” “graceful,” and — incredibly — possessed of “strokes as soft as the noiseless fall of silverest moonbeams upon the placid bosom of an unruffled lake.”

mirror 9 24 1890

Wilson Mirror, 24 September 1890.

Mirror 2 25 1891

Wilson Mirror, 25 February 1891.

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Wilson Mirror, 20 May 1891.

Nirror 7 29 1891 Carrie Taborn to DC

Wilson Mirror, 29 July 1891.

Even the Advance boasted, though it’s not clear who the third woman was.


Wilson Advance, 20 August 1891.

Perhaps to the dismay of the Mirror, on July 18, 1893, Carrie Taborn, 18, married Frank Sears, 21, of Wayne County, at the Presbyterian Church. David Wyatt, C.H. Bynum and S.H. Vick witnessed the ceremony. They settled in Goldsboro, where Sears was a barber, and Carrie apparently retired from the business.

Five months later, Lemon Taborn was dead. With her youngest child only 3 years old, Edmonia may have determined that she had better prospects in her hometown in Virginia. Before long though, she was back in Wilson, cutting hair for a former rival.

Mirror 8 8 1895

Wilson Mirror, 8 August 1895.

Edmonia resurrected the family business in short order, and, as they came of age, her sons Henry, Astor and Douglass (who may have been a grandson) took it over. [N.B.: This generation of the family adopted the spelling “Tabron.”]

WDT 3 3 1899

Wilson Daily Times, 3 March 1899.

Carrie Taborn Sears died 4 July 1903, apparently without children, and was buried in Goldsboro’s Elmwood cemetery. Edmonia Barnes Taborn died 13 July 1925.


  1. Thank you for all the great information. Where were you able to obtain information on Lemon’s parentage as well as on he and Edmonia’s wedding?

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