Cemeteries, no. 5: Elm City Colored Cemetery.

  • Winnie Rice Latham


On 15 March 1875, Isham Latham, 19, married Winnie Rice, 20, at the home of W.W. Farmer, justice of the peace. Mundy Hardy, Lewis Hardy and Red Winsted witnessed the ceremony.

On 24 May 1890, Winnie Latham, 30, and James Gray Locus, 23, applied for a marriage license in Wilson County. They did not return it.

However, in the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: wagoneer James Locus, 35; wife Winnie, 42, cook; her children Corra, 22, cook, Wiley, 17, carriage driver, Roser, 16, cook, and John, 14, waiting boy; and their son Wiley G., 2. [Though listed as Locuses, Winnie’s children were Lathams.]

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on East Main Street, widow Winnie Locus, 47, laundress, with sons Johnie, 24, railroad laborer, and Willie, 14.

  • Charlie Armstrong


In the 1870 census of Upper Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: farm laborer Wright Barnes, 54, Lucinda Armstrong, 31, and Charles, 7, Ann, 5, Shade, 16, and Goddin Armstrong, 7.

In the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Lizette Armstrong, 51, Lucinda, 41, Charley L., 16, Gray Anna, 13, and Shadrick, 10.

On 24 June 1886, in Toisnot township, Charles Armstrong, 23, married Marie Mitchell, 19, in the presence of Lula Johnson, Hattie Credle, and T. Blackley.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: railroad laborer Charles Armstrong, 37, wife Alice, 30, and children Maggie, 14, Lena, 11, William, 5, and Paul, 2.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Elm City Lane, Charlie Armstrong, 45, a laborer at a railroad water station; wife Alice, 43, laundress; children Maggie, 23, Walter, 15, Gaston, 11, Earnest, 8, Harvey, 6, Sissie, 4, Buster, 2, and baby, 3 months, as well as sister-in-law Lina Saunders, 21, and grandson Jasper Armstrong, 8 months.

In the 1920 census of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Tailor Street, Charlie Armstrong, 68, wife Allice, 50, and children and grandchildren Maggie, 30, Walter, 24, Gaston, 21, Harvey, 18, Annie, 13, Buster, 11, Gray, 8, Fred, 6, Lucie, 5, and Clifton, 3.

In the 1930 census of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: Charlie Armstrong, 70, wife Alice, 60, children and grandchildren Gaston, 27, Lawrence, 20, Gray, 23, Annie, 18, and Fred Armstrong, 16, and Lucille, 16, and Clifton McFadden, 15.

  • Thomas & Venus Drake


In late December 1867 or very early January 1868, Thomas Drake, son of Thomas Avent and Lucinda Drake, applied for a marriage in Wilson to marry Venis Armstrong, daughter of Mary Armstrong. The license was not returned.

In the 1880 census of Town of Toisnot, Wilson County: railroad worker Thomas Drake, 34, wife Venus, 28, and children Jane, 9, Isaac, 7, John T., 3, and an unnamed infant, 1 month.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Tom Drake, 65, wife Venus, 62, and  daughter Pearl, 10.

Though her marriage license reported her surname as Armstrong, Venus’ death certificate lists her parents as Amos and Mary Braswell of Edgecombe County.


  • Fortune Farmer Jones Joyner Bailey


In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Washington Farmer, 43, wife Wady, 44, children Edith, 14, Fortin, 13, Gimsey, 11, John W., 8, Nancy, 6, and Orgius, 6, and farm laborer Nelson Thomas, 21.

On 3 December 1874, Stephen T. Jones, 21, married Fortune Farmer, 19, at Wash Farmer’s in Wilson County. Witnesses were Alex Jones, John H. Jones, and Eli Mercer.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Stephen T. Jones, 25, wife Fortune, 22, and children Susan, 4, and Tempy A., 2.

On 13 April 1884, Henry Joyner, 20, married Fortune Jones, 21, at Washington Farmer’s in Wilson. Witnesses were G.D. Vick, Isial Williamson and Joseph Ricks. (Marriage and death records reveal that Henry and Fortune had at least two children, William Thomas Joyner, about 1884, and Eddie Lee Joyner, born in 1897.)

In 1918, Ed Lee Joyner registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 26 February 1897 in Wilson County; his father’s birth place was Wilson County; he lived at Route 1, Elm City; he worked for G.A. Barnes, Elm City; and his contact was mother Fortney Bailey. He signed the card “Eddie Lee Joyner.”

In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Ed Joyner, 22; [step]father Louis Bailey, 80; mother Fortiny, 56; niece Maggie, 16; and nephews Rogers, 14, and John E., 8.

On 8 January 1921, Eddie Joyner, 22, of Elm City, son of Fortning Bailey, married Annie Pearl Wynn, 19, of Elm City, daughter of Will and Jenny Wynn, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister B.P. Coward performed the ceremony in the presence of Bettie Gaskell, Mattie M. Ford, and Mary Latham.

The death certificate of widow Susie Dawes, who died in Toisnot township, Wilson County, on 26 July 1929, lists Stephen Jones and Fortnea Bailey as her parents. Dawes was born about 1874 in Jones Hill, Nash County. Fortnea Bailey was informant.

  • Isaac Rodgers


In the 1880 census of Jackson township, Nash County: farmer Isaac Rodgers, 28, wife Alice, 28, and children Mary E., 6, Cinda E., 4, William A., 4, and Della, 1 month.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Gooch and Parkers School House Road, farmer Isaac Rodgers, 53, wife Alice, 50, and children Bettie, 21, Nat, 19, Henry, 16, Willie, 13, and Susie, 13.

Isaac Rodgers died 9 December 1916 in Rocky Mount, Nash County. His death certificate lists his birthplace as Johnston County, and his father as Ace Rogers.

  • Emily Shaffer


In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: house carpenter Quincey Shaffer, 45, wife Jennie, 43, and mother Emma, 78.

Emily (or Emma) Shaffer’s death certificate lists her birthplace as Edgecombe County and her parents as Abram Mears and Bekie Sharp.


  • Arch Stallings


In the 1870 census of Cedar Rock township, Franklin County: Gray Stallings, 28, wife Fanny, 25, children Arch, 19, Cas, 7, Amanda, 5, Sidney, 2, and mother Matilda Stallings, 60.

On 25 February 1875, in Nash County, Arch Stallings, 30, married Phillis Evans, 18, at Lewis Evans’.

In the 1900 census of Cokey township, Edgecombe County: Arch Stallings, 42, wife Phillys, 38, and daughter Fannie, 12.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Arch Stallings, 59, and wife Phillis, 53.

Arch Stallings died 2 April 1918 in Rocky Mount, Nash County. Informant Dossie Lucas gave Arch’s birthplace as Wayne County.

  • Ned Winstead


In the 1870 census of Joyners township, Wilson County: domestic servant Anna Oats, 28, and Milly, 18, Ned, 13, and Clara Batts, 12, plus John Batts, 22, a white liquor dealer.

In the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farm laborer Fannie Parker, 51, her daughter Martha, 28, grandchildren Julius S., 10, and Joseph W., 4, and nephew Ned Winstead, 22.

On 29 December 1889, Ned Winstead, 28, married Ann Edwards, 23, at Jim Chisel’s in Wilson County. W.W. Flowers, justice of the peace, performed the ceremony in the presence of J.M. Joyner and James Chisel.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot, Wilson County: farmer Ned Winstead, 42, wife Annie, 38, and children Hubbard, 12, James H., 10, Maggie N., 8, Lizzie V., 4, and William N.D., 2.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot, Wilson County: on State Highway, farmer Ned Winstead, 52, wife Annie, 47, and children Maggie, 18, Lizzie, 14, Daniel, 12, John, 9, Lee, 6, and Bryant, 4.

In the 1920 census of Toisnot, Wilson County: on State Highway, farmer Ned Winstead, 58, wife Annie, 50, and children Maggie, 23, John, 18, and Bryant, 13, plus granddaughter Annie Bell, 9.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: widowed farmer Ned Winstead, 60, son-in-law Tom Wilcher, 48 (a Georgia-born railroad laborer), daughter Maggie Wilcher, 37, son-in-law Carl Fenner, 23, daughter Lizzie Fenner, 33, and granddaughter Annie B. Fenner, 19.

Ned Winstead’s death certificate lists his parents as Iseley Winstead of Nash County and George Hardy (or Handy).


  • Rev. Junius R. Rosser   


On 8 September 1888, in Edgecombe County, Julius Rosser, 22, applied for a license to marry Mary Dunn, 16. The license was not returned.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: brick molder Junius Rosser, 35, Mary, 29, children Willie, 10, and Blanch, 3, father Daniel, 70, and [step?]mother Clarry, 40.

On 20 May 1903, Elm City resident Junius R. Rosser, 37, married Toisnot township resident Elizabeth Farmer, 32. Baptist minister Isaac Barnes performed the ceremony in the presence of William T. Armstrong, John R. Barnes and J. Staton.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Church Street, servant Junius Roser, 47, second wife Lizzie, 36, and children Danile, 4, Annie, 2, and Bennie, 7 months.

In 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Elm City & Wilson Road, farmer Junius Rosser, 59, Lizzie, 46, and children Daniel, 14, Annie, 12, Bennie, 10, and Lizzie, 8, plus boarder Mary Howard, 19.

In the 1940 census of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Wilson Street, Bennie Rosser, 30, farmer, wife Cleo, 30, cook, father Junius, 79, mother Elizabeth, 69, and niece Florence A., 7.


From the Minutes of the 9 September 2014 Elm City Town Commissioners’ Meeting, item 5:

  • Shirley Robinson, mother of Shelley Knight, presented the Board with her concern over the cemetery located behind Nexans. She is interested in knowing who the property belongs to, and who is the responsible party.  Mayor Smith told Ms. Knight that although the Town mows the property, that it doesn’t belong to the Town. Wilson County has the owners as the Elm City Colored Cemetery Commission; therefore ownership belongs to the heirs of the Commission. He suggested that letters be sent to the heirs of previous Commission owners, in an effort to reform the Commission. He offered help from Admin. Russell regarding genealogical research.



  1. Just happened to ‘find’ this article as I’m leaving a cemetery in South Boston, VA, taking pictures of the headstones of my husband’s grandparents. I put in a search of Elm City cemeteries and this article popped up. Needless to say, I found this heartwarming and welcomed as I am Lisa Winstead Sloan. Edward ‘Ned’ Winstead is my 2nd great-grandfather, his son, Bryant, also mentioned in this article, was my great-grandfather and helped raise me. I spent many evenings eating dinner with ‘Granddaddy’ as we called him. A picture of Ned hangs in my stairway. I also have the pipe organ that he gave Bryant as a wedding gift. I remember quite well ‘Aunt Mag’ (Maggie Wilcher) and ‘Aunt Lizzie’ (Lizzie Winstead). This did bring up fond memories. If you have any further info on my family, particularly on Ned’s parents, Iseley and George or any of this ancestors, please contact me. Thanks again for a wonderful article. Continued strength. – Lisa Winstead Sloan

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