A deplorable blunder.

Sampson Democrat 5 26 1921 blunder

Sampson Democrat, 26 May 1921.

Ninety-five years ago today, the Times reported on a double-tragedy that befell a Sampson County family. First, their oldest son suffered a horrifying death in a guano factory in Wilson. Then, because damage to his corpse made identifying the body difficult,  undertaker Charles H. Darden released his body to the wrong family.

In the 1920 census of Turkey township, Sampson County: Ed Sikes, 55, and his children Edward, 18, Leonard, 14, Lilla, 12, and David, 9.

According to The American Fertilizer Handbook, volume 13 (1920), Contentnea Guano Factory was located on the A.C.L. and Norfolk Southern Rail Road in Wilson. Founded in 1907, the factory had the capacity to produce 20,000 tons of acid phosphates annually and 600 tons of bagged goods a day. P.L. Woodard was president of the company, and Graham Woodard was secretary and treasurer.

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