Month: August 2016

The colored jailer.

For at least five years, and presumably more, Tilghman McGowan was the jailer at Wilson’s town hoosegaw. He is known primarily from unflattering mentions in the newspaper.

Here, he is deservedly chastised for beating a small African-American boy:

8 20 1887

Wilson Mirror, 20 August 1887.

Here, he is mocked for allowing an inmate to escape at dinner time:

9 13 1887

Wilson Mirror, 13 September 1887.

And here, he and his unnamed wife receive a treacly double obituary:

2 17 1892

Wilson Mirror, 17 February 1892.

McGowan’s hut may have been lowly, but he seems to have owned it, and in late 1894, a half-acre lot he’d owned just across from Maplewood cemetery was sold at auction. (I have not found evidence of any probate records for McGowan, so do not know whether the sale was occasioned by an estate settlement.)

12 19 1894

Wilson Mirror, 19 December 1894.


In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Setta Whitfield, 37, domestic servant; Gross Conner, 18, a white news dealer; Tillman McGown, 35, farm laborer, wife Charity, 36, and children Amy, 17, Lucinda, 15, Aaron, 20, Ira, 5, Delia A., 7, Nathan, 3, and Courtney, 1.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmer Tilman McGown, 43, wife Charity, 49,  and children Delia A., 18, Ira R., 15, and Nathan, 13.

Almost a riot. (On the east side of the tracks.)

In which Spellman Moore‘s squad rescues him as he being frog-marched to court:

Prince Moore WA 7 13 1883

Wilson Advance, 13 July 1883.

The aftermath. Prince Moore, Patrick Brewer, Jerome Barden and Robert Kersey get four months of jail time.

moore sentence WA 3 7 1884

Wilson Advance, 7 March 1884.

  • Spellman Moore — On 27 October 1867, Spelman Moore, son of Louis Ellison, married Jane Barnes, daughter of Balaam and Genny Barnes, in Wilson County. On 9 April 1886, Spellman Moore, 30, married Rose Best, 24, at the Wayne County courthouse.
  • Prince Moore — On 28 January 1875, Prince Moore, 21, married Allice McGowan, 22, in Wilson County. In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County, Esther McGowan, 65; daughter Alice, 25, cook; and son-in-law Prince Moore, 25, laborer.
  • Major Horton
  • Louis Aiken
  • Jo. Brown
  • Pat. Brewer
  • Jerome Barden — On 25 November 1890, widower Jerome Barden, 33, son of G. and P. Barden, married Laura Cherry in Wilson County.
  • Robert Kersey

Free people of color, 1860: Old Fields district.

Free people of color enumerated in Wilson County’s first federal census, taken in 1860.

Old Fields district

#971. Farmer Willis Heggins, 51; wife Rhody, 47; and children Thomas, 4, Jackson, 2, and Delpha, 12; all mulatto.

#977. William Jones, 35, making turpentine, and wife Mary, 37, domestic, mulatto, in the household of white farmer Jethro Harrison, 31.

#990. Noel Jones, 15, black, making turpentine, with Gray Flowers, 28, white, also making turpentine.

#1007. John Brantley, 11, and Zilpha Brantley, 9, both mulatto, in the household of white farmer Hilliard Boykin, 47.

#1018. Louisa Hall, 31, and daughter Clara, 12, both mulatto, in the household of D.C. Clark, 30, a distiller of turpentine.

#1042. Thomas Brantley, 52, farmer; wife Lucinda, 35; and children William, 9, and James W., 6; all mulatto. Thomas claimed $800 in real property, $200 in personal property.

#1049. Emerson Locus, 13, black, in the household of white farmer John W. Driver, 39.

#1052. Hardy Taborn, 70, mulatto, farm laborer.

#1055. Isabell Rowe, 40, spinning, with Exaline, 23, Isaah, 20, Nancy, 12, and Winefred Rowe, 4. All were white except Nancy, who was described as mulatto.

#1061. Jolly Heggins, 36, mulatto, farm laborer, in the household of white farmer Jordan Winstead, 38.

#1065. Chilty Locas, 23, black, washing, claimed $20 personal property.

#1066. Caroline Locas, 27, black, farm laborer, with Cintha, 9, mulatto, and William Locas, 1, black.

#1083. Moses Heggins, 60, farmer, mulatto, and wife Theresa, 48, mulatto. Moses claimed $125 in real property and $115 in personal property.

#1084. Nelson Eatman, 50, farmer; wife Marinda, 45, and children Elizabeth, 20, Ginsey, 18, Smithey, 17, Alfred, 14, Nelson, 5, Emily, 7, and Jarman, 2, all mulatto. Nelson claimed $800 in real property; $320, personal.

#1085. Martin Locas, 45, farmer; wife Eliza, 30; and children Isham, 16, Edith, 10, Ervin, 8, Neverson, 6, Cedney, 5, and Susan Locus, 2, all mulatto. Martin claimed $250 in personal property.

#1089. Elijah Locus, 60, ditcher, wife Mariah, 60; and Martha Locus, all mulatto. Elijah claimed $30 in personal property.

#1091. Gage Locus, 30, black, farm laborer, in the household of white farmer Jarman Eatman, 50.

#1100. Peter Locus, 23, black, turpentine laborer, in the household of white turpentine laborer William Boykin, 29.

#1126. John Davis, 20, mulatto, turpentine laborer, in the household of white turpentine laborer laborer Arthur Davis, 25.

#1137. Willis Jones, 62, black, farm laborer; wife Sarah, 51, mulatto; and children Henry, 20, Alexander, 17, Noel, 16, Willis, 12, Paton, 10, Burthany, 7, Sarah, 13, and James, 10.

#1141. William Jones, 20, mulatto, farm laborer; Mahaly Jones, 17, domestic; John Locus, 10; Mary Jones, 35, domestic; John, 10, and Josiah Jones, 6; all mulatto; in the household of white farmer Elizabeth Sampson, 30.

#1142. Jane Locus, 28, black, in the household of white farmer W.W. Williamson, 24.

#1143. Anderson Blackwell, 90, farm laborer, and Drucinda Blackwell, 80, with Edith Jones, 14; all black.

#1147. Nathan E. Blackwell, 20, mulatto, wagoner, in the household of white farmer Robinson Baker, 42.

#1148. Jacob Jones, 31, day laborer, with wife Milly, 31, and children Louisa, 11, Charity, 10, John, 6, Stephen, 4, and Joana, 2; all black. Jacob reported $40 in personal property.


The last will and testament of Walter M. Foster.

I, Walter M. Foster, of the town of Wilson, State of North Carolina, being of sound mind and memory, declare this to be my last will and testament, in manner and form following, that is to say:

  1. It is my will that all my just debts be paid.
  2. I will and devise to my wife, Rose P. Foster, my house and lot where we now live No. 808 E. Vance St.
  3. I will and bequeath to my wife Rose P. Foster, my household and kitchen furniture.
  4. I will and bequeath to my daughter Henretta Foster, Five Dollars.
  5. I will and bequeath to my son Walter H. Foster, Five Dollars.
  6. I will and bequeath to my son Carter Foster, my Automobile, Viz, Reo Six.
  7. I will and bequeath to my daughter, Naomi Foster, Five Dollars.

I appoint as my executor Atty. Glenn S. McBrayer.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I Walter M. Foster, have hereunto set my hand and seal thi the 9th day of March, 1922.             Walter M. Foster

Subscribed by the testator in the presents of each of us at the same time declared by him to us to be his last will and testatement.

Witness our hands this 9th day of March, A.D. 1922     A.N. Neal, A. Batts, Glenn S. McBrayer


On 14 August 1896, Walter Foster, 23, son of Peter and Phillis Foster, married Nettie Young, 28, daughter of Henry and Annie Young. Rev. Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony at Lou Ellis‘ house in Wilson in the presence of William Coley, Cora Ellis, and Minnie Coley.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Walter Foster, 26, day laborer; wife Nettie, 29; daughter Mollie, 6 months.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Walter Foster, 34, fireman at wagon factory; wife Nettie, 39; and children Henry E., 8, and Walter A., 5; plus boarder Arthur Broady, 22, laborer.

Nettie Young Foster died 7 July 1912.

On 17 April 1913, Walter Foster, 38, married Rosa Parker, 23, in Wilson. Rev. M.A. Talley performed the rites in the presence of L.A. Moore, A.F. Broadie, and E.H. Thomas.

In 1918, Walter Macklin Foster registered for the World War I draft. He reported that he was born 13 May 1874, that he resided on East Vance Street, worked as a fireman for Hackney Wagon, and his nearest relative was wife Rosa Foster.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 Vance Street, Walter Foster, 46, fireman at wagon company; wife Rosa, 34; children Heneretta, 18, Carl, 6, and Naomi, 4; and sister-in-law Etta Parker, 32, a school teacher.

Walter’s will does not indicate the model year of his REO Six, but this 1922 ad offers a possible glimpse of his apparent pride and joy:


Walter Foster died 24 November 1928 in Wilson. His death certificate reports his place of birth as Franklinton, North Carolina. He had been working as a fireman at Hackney Wagon Company more than 20 years. (It is not clear to me whether he was a fireman in the traditional fire-fighting sense or in the maritime sense of “stoker.”)


His and his first wife Nettie’s gravestones are among the few that remain standing in Rountree cemetery.



Walter Foster’s home at 808 East Vance Street today:


North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line],; cemetery photos taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2016; photo of house courtesy of Google Maps.

The obituary of Paul L. Jackson, Philadelphia dentist.

Dr. Paul L. Jackson G’33, Philadelphia, a retired assistant clinical professor at the Temple University School of Dentistry who had maintained a practice in West Philadelphia for 28 years; Jan. 17. Following discharge from the U.S. Army after service in the Second World War, he taught dentistry at Howard University in Washington before setting up practice in Philadelphia in 1947.

The Pennsylvania Gazette, July/August 2002.


In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Joseph Jackson, 37, minister; wife Annie, 45; and children Eloise, 8, Joseph, 5, Paul L., 2, and John, 2 months.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 616 Green Street, Joseph S. Jackson, 48, minister; wife Annie H., 45; and children Mary E., 18, Joseph S., Jr., 15, Paul L., 11, and John B., 9.

In the 1930 census of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania: at 1304 Carpenter Street, North Carolina-born Paul Jackson, 23, laborer on wharves, listed as a nephew of Thomas and Louise Duncan.

In the 1940 census of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania: at 5222 Race Street, Paul Jackson and wife Catherine, both public school teachers.

In 1950, Paul Jackson applied for bonus compensation paid by Pennsylvania to honorably discharged veterans. He identified Annie H. Jackson, 618 East Green Street, Wilson, as his only living parent.



Paul Lawrence Jackson died 17 January 2002. On the 24th, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran his obituary:

Paul L. Jackson, 94, a dentist in West Philadelphia for 28 years, died last Thursday of pneumonia at Stapeley Hall, a retirement home in Germantown. 

Born and raised in Wilson, N.C., Dr. Jackson received a bachelor’s degree from Livingstone College in North Carolina. He received a master’s degree in zoology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1933. He received his dental degree from Temple University in 1943, and then served in the Army during World War II. 

After his discharge, he taught dentistry at Howard University in Washington before establishing a practice at his home in West Philadelphia in 1947. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Jackson was an assistant clinical professor at Temple University School of Dentistry. 

He was a member of the New Era Dental Society, the Philadelphia County and American Dental Associations, and the Omega Psi Phi and Chi Delta Mu fraternities. He was active in the Boy Scouts and was a former trustee of Alleyne Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in West Philadelphia. 

He is survived by his wife of 11 years, Margaret Trummell Williams Jackson; his first wife, Catherine McCaine Jackson, to whom he was married for 56 years, died in 1990. 

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Feb. 9 at Stapeley Hall, 6300 Greene St. Burial arrangements are private. 

The Re-pop-li-can sheriff and deputy.


“Prisoners escaping from Wilson Jail. The Re-pop-li-can sheriff and deputy of Wilson eat peanuts while the prisoners escape.”

News & Observer (Raleigh), 21 October 1898.

In the months leading up to the cataclysmic election of 1898, the News & Observer almost daily published political cartoons drawn by Wayne County native Norman Jennett. Former Wilson resident Josephus Daniels had purchased the paper in 1894 and immediately converted it into the organ of the white supremacist Democratic party. In collaboration with Daniels, whom history records as “progressive,” Jennett created a series of panels ridiculing Republican and Populist political figures and featuring stereotypical caricatures of their African-American allies. Riding in the wake of terrorist Red Shirts, the Democrats swept elections, sparking a wave of fury that would ignite the Wilmington Riots and effectively disenfranchise most African-Americans for decades to come.

W.J. “Jack” Cherry, a Populist, was the incumbent sheriff of Wilson County; W.D.P. Sharpe was running against him on the Democratic ticket. (I have not been able to identify the deputy.) Days before the election, the Wilson Advance ran this doggerel:

WA 11 3 1898

Wilson Advance, 2 November 1898.

And the jail break?

WA 8 11 1898

Wilson Advance, 11 August 1898.

Strung from a tree and shot to death.

The story broke 86 years ago today. Twenty-nine year-old Oliver Moore, accused of raping two small white girls, had been dragged from a Tarboro jail by a mob of 250. After hauling him across the line into Wilson County, the crowd strung Moore from a tree with plow lines and shot him to pieces. (He may have been “maltreated” — castrated — beforehand, but that was just a rumor.) Officially, it was the first lynching in North Carolina since 1921, and the first ever in Wilson County. The sheriff was chagrined. “… I shall not hesitate to bring the leaders to justice,” he declared. “If I find them.”

North Carolina’s relatively progressive governor, O. Max Gardner, professing outrage from his vacation spot, called Moore’s lynching a disgrace, but dawdled over a decision to have the state lead an investigation into the murder. The first coroner’s jury threw up its hands.

SRL 8 21 1930

Statesville Record & Landmark, 21 August 1930.

Governor Gardner offered a $400 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the lynchers, and Wilson County’s solicitor uttered strong protestations of his intentions to see this thing through.


“Not a clue,” said the Edgecombe County sheriff. The mob had been quiet and swift and manned with utter strangers who’d been shrewd enough to remove their license plates.

SRL 8 21 1930 2

Statesville Record & Landmark, 21 August 1930.

And four days later, the matter wrapped.

Officials were “unable to place the blame.” There was not a clue. On the other side of the state, Statesville’s newspaper of record expressed disappointment in the outcome and wagged a disapproving finger at Down East folks who apparently strongly supported “mob murder.” (Memory of the notorious 1906 Gillespie-Dillingham triple lynching just down the road in Salisbury had apparently faded into the ignominious past.)

SRL 8 25 1930

Statesville Record & Landmark, 25 August 1930.


Though newspaper reports emphasized that the crowd had taken Oliver Moore into Wilson County — presumably to shake the jurisdiction of Edgecombe’s hapless deputy sheriff — his death certificate was filed in Edgecombe and described his place of death as “near Macclesfield.” The coroner duly noted Moore’s sex, race and marital status, then skipped the rest of the personal preliminaries to bluntly record a cause of death: “riddled with bullets and shot from hands of unknown mob (lynched).”


I have not identified Oliver Moore in any census. The Morgan family, however, lived in Township 9 (also known as Otter Creek township), which shares several miles of border with Wilson County approximately 12-15 miles east of Wilson. Oliver’s brother, who refused (did not dare?) to claim his body, may have been the Andrew Moore, 23, listed with his young family in the 1920 census of Otter Creek.

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 4.29.29 PM

We do not know who, in fact, attacked the Morgan sisters. We never will. We do know, however, that justice was not served.

For a minute analysis of the lynching of Oliver Moore, offering details of the alleged rape, the kidnapping of Moore, the response of local citizens and media, and a social and historical outline of Edgecombe County, see the Chapter “North Carolina Slips Back” in Arthur F. Raper’s The Tragedy of Lynching, published in 1933 by the University of North Carolina Press.

To cost not less than $100.


I, O.L.W. Smith, of the State and County aforesaid, being of sound mind and memory, but considering the uncertainty of this my earthly existence, do make, publish and declare this my last Will and testament in manner and form following, to-wit:

FIRST: I direct that my Executor, hereinafter named, give my body a decent burial, suitable to the wishes of my friends and relatives, the interment to take place in my lot in the colored Masonic cemetery at Wilson, North Carolina. I direct that he place over my grave a tombstone to cost not less than ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($100.00) and not more than TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS ($200.00). I further direct that my said Executor from the first monies coming into his hands from my estate, pay my burial expenses and all of my just debts.

SECOND: My adopted son, Jesse Alexander Smith owes me about TREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS ($350.00), money that he has borrowed from me from time to time. I will that he shall be discharged of this obligation to my estate and shall receive nothing further from my estate than said discharge.

THIRD: I give, bequeath and devise to my step-daughter, Mary E. King, the wife of Clarence L. King of Goldsboro, N.C., all my personal property of every kind and condition and wheresoever situate, except hereinafter excepted. Also, I give and devise to her all my real estate of whatsoever kind and condition and wheresoever situate, subject only to the devise in the succeeding paragraph of this will.

FOURTH: I give and devise to Joannah Hall, who has been a faithful housekeeper, cook and wash woman to me and nurse during times of sickness, my house and lot on Pender Street in the Town of Wilson, Known as No. 122 Pender Street and my house and lot on Ashe Street, known as No. 137.

FIFTH: I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint Clarence King of Goldsboro, N.C. my Executor, to all intents and purposes to execute this my last will and testament and every part and clause thereof, hereby revoking and declaring utterly void all other wills and testaments by me heretofore made.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I, the said O.L.W. Smith, do hereby set my hand and affix my seal this the 6th day of November, 1924.    O.L.W. Smith

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said O.L.W. Smith to be his last will and testament, in the presence of us, who at his request, and in his presence, and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.      Lula Whitehurst, F.D. Swindell : Witnesses.


Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 9.03.52 PM

Rev. Owen L.W. Smith

On 31 March 1908, in Grifton, Pitt County, Owen L.W. Smith, 56, married Cynthia A. Isler, 43, daughter of Madison and Phyllis King. [She was his third wife.]

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: minister Owen W. Smith, 58, wife Lucy A., 45, son Jessy A. Smith, 27, daughter Carry E. Smith, 10, and step-children John H., 12, and Mary A. Isler, 10.

On 2 June 1911, Jesse A. Smith, 30, married Hattie M. Bailiff, 26, in Crossett, Ashley County, Arkansas. Six years later, Jesse Alexander Smith, born 12 February 1881, registered for the World War I draft. He reported that he lived at 246 Second Street, Crossett, Arkansas; worked as a teacher; and his nearest relative was Owen L.W. Smith of 129 N. Pender Street, Wilson, North Carolina.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 129 Pender Street, Owen L. Smith, 68, wife Cynthia, 55, stepchild Mary E. Isler, roomer John H. Isler, and eight other roomers. The 1920 census of Wilson also reveals that Frederick D. Swindell was a white lawyer who lived on Nash Street, and Lula Whitehurst was a 25 year-old white stenographer who lived with her parents on Kenan Street.

On 4 June 1922, Clarence L. King, 24, son of James and Sarah King, married Mary E. Isler, 22, foster daughter of O.L.W. and Anna A. Smith, in Wilson at the A.M.E. Zion Church. Rev. B.P. Coward officiated, and J.D. Reid, C.S. Thomas, and W.T. Darden served as witnesses.

Joanna Hall appears in the 1925 city directory of Wilson as a laundress living at 200 Pender Street.

Owen Lum West Smith died in Wilson on 5 January 1926, a little over a year after he wrote out his will.


This bit of page 31 of the 1922 Sanborn Insurance map of Wilson shows (A) O.L.W. Smith’s house at 200 North Pender Street (formerly 129); (B) the approximate location of his property at 137 Ashe Street (the numbering is confusing); and (C) the location of Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church.


In the inventory prepared in 1986 for the application for historic district designation for East Wilson, 200 North Pender Street, built circa 1908, was described as “Owen L. Smith House; Queen Anne house with hip-roofed main block and gable-front wing with a lunette in the gable; deep wraparound porch; house has been brick veneered; Smith was a pastor and missionary [sic] to Africa in the early 20th century.”

Unfortunately, it’s now a vacant lot.

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 8.04.35 PM

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line],; photo of Rev. Smith courtesy of Wilson County Public Library Local History and Genealogy Blog.

The estate of Henderson Bagley.

Late in the winter of 1906, Henderson Bagley closed his eyes in death. Born a slave, perhaps in Nash County, he had defied odds to accumulate a sizeable estate in western Wilson County. Despite his advanced age, however, he died without a will, and his family stepped forward to ask the County Superior Court to appoint Samuel H. Vick as the estate’s administrator. Bagley’s widow, second wife Lenora, marked the petition with an X, but sons Nestus and Ruffin Bagley penned confident signatures. Notes at the bottom identified more heirs — Zilla Bagley Renfrow, Ida Jones, Etta Bagley and Allen Bagley‘s children Willie, Hattie, Sarah and Gertrude — and estimated the value of his property.


On 7 March 1906, Vick filed an inventory of Bagley’s personal estate: a mule, a cart, a wagon, nine hogs, 17 geese, 25 chickens, about five barrels of corn, one and a half stacks of fodder, four feather beds, and some furniture, valued in total at $150; $458.35 received from the sale of timber; and $220.66 paid into the estate by son Ruffin. Vick noted that the heirs had decided that their stepmother should receive Bagley’s personal property as the year’s allowance due her as a widow.


Two months later, three commissioners and a surveyor paced the irregular outlines of Bagley’s nearly 180 acres, dividing it into parcels of equal value for distribution to Bagley’s heirs. Here is their report:

NORTH CAROLINA, Wilson County  }  In the Superior Court, Before the Clerk.

Leno Bagley, widow, Zillia Rentfrow, Nestus Bagley and others, Ex Parte. }

Report of Commissioners.

To S.G. Mewborn, Clerk of the Superior Court of Wilson County:

Obedient to a summons of the sheriff of Wilson County, we, the undersigned commissioners appointed to divide and allot in severalty the lands of the petitioners, containing 178 3/5 acres, assembled on the premises in Old Fields Township, Wilson Co. on the 5th, day of June, 1906, and after being duly sworn, and proceeded to partition the lands among the said tenants in common, according to their prospective rights and interests therein, after first laying off and allotting to Leno Bagley, widow, her dower and thirds in the lands of Henderson Bagley, deceased, the metes and bounds of dower and of each share, being as follows (as will appear by reference to plat of same, filed herewith):

To Leno Bagley, widow of Henderson Bagley, deceased we allot the following tract of land, as her dower:

Beginning at a stake at (B), Wiley Pearson’s corner, thence to said Pearson’s line S. 85; 20 E. 20 chains and 44 links to a stake on the north side of a certain ditch, at (C) on plat; thence S. 4, 9 W. 14 chains and 37 links to a large black gum on a branch, at (D) on plat; thence S. 87; 30′ E. 6 chains and 19 links to a large pine, Wiley Pearson’s corer thence along an agreed line, with said Pearson, S. 4; 53′ E. 7 chains to a stake, at (E) on plat, corner of Lot No. 1, thence with the line of Lot No. 1, S. 87; 30′ W. 25 chains and 75 links to a stake, at (A), thence North 24 chains and 82 links to the first station, containing 40 8/10 acres.

Lot No. 1, assigned to Ruffin Bagley, consisting of two shares, 1st share in his own right and 2nd share in the right of his sister, Zilla Rentfrow, as per her deed to Ruffin Bagley, is described as follows:

Beginning at a stake, in Morgan’s line, at the intersection of said Morgan’s line and the Center of Avenue, thence with the center of said Avenue N. 87; 30′ E. 40 chains and 25 links to a stake on Wiley Pearson’s agreed line; thence along said agreed line, this day marked, S. 4; 53′ E. 10 chains and 50 links to a Bay, on the run of Juniper Swamp, then up the run of said swamp to the mouth of a ditch, Morgan’s corner; thence along Morgan’s line, N. 2 E. 18 chains and 25 links to the first station, containing 64 acres, and valued at $400.00.

Lot No. 2, assigned to Willie, Hattie, Sarah and Gertrude Bagley is composed of two tracts (2 and 5 on the map), first tract, being lot no. 2. is described as follows:

Beginning at a stake at intersection of Morgan’s line and the Avenue the beginning corner of Lot No. 1, thence along said Morgan’s line N. 2 E 34 chains and 25 links to a stake, said Morgan’s corner; thence S. 85; 50′ E 5 chains and 50 links to three pines, an old corner same course continued, 2 chains and 59 links to a stake, thence south 33 chains and 24 links to a stake, on the line of Lot No. 1, thence along said line S. 87; 30′ W. 8 chains and 30 links to the first  station, containing 33 9/10 acres; 2nd Tract, marked on plat No. 5, being in widow’s dower, is described as follows, Beginning at a large pine, Wiley Pearson’s corner, thence along said Pearson’s line S. 4; 53′ E. to a stake, corner of Lot No. 1, thence along line of Lot No. 1 S. 87; 30 W. 15 chains and 50 links to a stake S. 85 E. 10 chains and 19 links to a stake on the south side of a ditch, thence S. 4; 9′ W. 14 chains and 37 links to a large Black Gum, in a branch, thence S. 87; 30′ E. 6 chains and 19 links to the beginning, containing 23 4/10 acres, valued at $200.

Lot No. 3, assigned to Nestus Bagley, is composed of two tracts marked on plat no. 3 and 4, 1st tract is described as follows:

Beginning at three pines, thence N. 4; 30′ E. 9 chains and 71 links to a stake, thence S. 85 E, 8 chains and 50 links to a stake, thence S. 17 chains and 47 links to a stake, Pearson’s and the Dower corner, same course continued 24 chains and 82 links to a stake on line of Lot No. 1, thence along line of Lot No. 1. S. 87; 30′ W. 6 chains and 30 links to a stake, corner of Lot No. 2, thence along line of Lot No. 2, 33 chains and 24 links to a stake, thence N. 85; 50′ W. 2 chains and 59 links to the first station, containing  33 9/10 acres; 2nd tract, being on the Dower, and marked no. 4 on plat, is described as follows, Beginning at a stake at (B) on plat, Pearson’s corner, thence along Pearson’s line a stake, in line of Lot No. 1. thence along line of Lot No. 1, S. 87; 30’W 10 chains and 35 links to a stake, thence North 24 chains and 82 links to the beginning, containing 23 4/10 acres, valued at $200.00

The Plat, showing the above division, dated June 14, 1906, made by James W. Taylor Surveyor, is hereto attached and made a part of this report.

Respectfully submitted,  W.N. Glover, A.R. Taylor, N.W. Williams, Commissioners

This 20th day of June, 1906. A correct copy. S.G. Mewborn, C.S.C.

Bagley plat


On 22 August 1866, Henderson Bagley and Thana Williams registered their 12-year cohabitation in Wilson County, thereby legitimating a marriage made during slavery.

In the 1870 census of Chesterfield, Nash County: Henderson Bagley, 40, and children Catherine, 15, Allen, 10, Zillie, 8, Nestus, 6, and Thomas R., 4.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields, Wilson County: farmer Henderson Bagley, 53, and children Allen, 21, Zillah, 18, Genestus, 17, and Ruffin, 14.

On 4 July 1880, Henderson Bagley, 50, married Lenora Jones, 25, in Wilson County. J.W. Smith, Cena Smith and D.J. Scott witnesses the ceremony, which was performed by a justice of the peace.

On 7 October 1880, Allen Bagley, 22, married Mary Rountree, 20, at Alfred Woodard‘s in Wilson County. [Mary Rountree and her sister Louisa, who married Allen’s younger brother Ruffin, were Alfred Woodard’s stepdaughters. They are listed in the household of their father Warren Rountree in the 1870 census of Wilson township with mother Sarah, and siblings Florence, Rhebecca, Howell, Sallie and Warren Jr. Alfred Woodard, his first wife Harriet and their children are listed next door. Alfred Woodard married Sarah Rountree on 13 February 1873.]

On 18 December 1884, Nestus Bagley, 22, married Margarett Coleman, 20, at Washington Farmer‘s with J.W. Turner, Oscar Jones and James Locus witnessing.

On 27 November 1889, Ruffin Bagley, 22, son of Henderson and Bethany Bagley, married Louisa Rountree, 20, daughter of Warren Rountree and Sarah Woodard, at Alfred Woodard’s in Wilson County. Witnesses were W.W. Rountree, Sam Winstead and Henry Deans.

In the 1900 census of Old Fields, Wilson County: farmer Henderson Bagley, 70, wife Lenora, 48, daughter Etta, 18, and grandchildren Lonna Locus, 8, Earnest Locus, 6, and Percy Locus, 2. Next door: Ruffin Bagley, 32, wife Luesah, 25, and son Arthar, 6.

Ruffin Bagley, age 50, died 30 December 1915 in Old Fields township, Wilson County, of gastritis. His death certificate lists his parents as Henderson Bagley and Fannie Williamson. Nestus Bagley was informant.

On 12 March 1933, Ida Jones, daughter of Henderson Bagley and Lena Jones, both of Wilson County, died of uterine cancer. Her death certificate reports that she was married to Thomas Jones.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.comCommissioners’ Report at Plat Book 1, page 4, and plat at Plat Book 1, page 5, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

Darden teachers, 1949.

From its 1949 yearbook, the faculty of Charles H. Darden High School (which housed grades six through twelve):

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 8.36.07 PM

  • Ethel D. Alexander — Ethel DeBrew Alexander, native of Scotland Neck, North Carolina.
  • B.T. Barnes — Beatrice Taylor Barnes (1912-1995), Wilson native, daughter of Russell B. and Viola Gaither Taylor.
  • O.W. Barnes — Odelle Whitehead Barnes (1912-2011), Wilson native, daughter of John H. and Victoria Ennis Whitehead. She married Edward Morrison Barnes (1905-2002), son of Lemon and Elizabeth Smith Barnes, and principal of Darden High School from 1932-1969.
  • F.C. Bethel — Flora Clark Bethel (1898-1985), Wilson native, daughter of John H. and Ida Ross Clark.
  • C.E. Branford — Charles E. Branford (1923-2008), born in Baltimore, graduated Darden ’41.
  • E.R. Bryant — Erdman Ray Bryant (1923-1978), native of Jones County, North Carolina.
  • B.E. Cartwright
  • C.R. Cooke — Clara R. Godette Cooke, native of New Bern, North Carolina.

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 8.36.24 PM

  • Z.C. Daniels — Zelma C. Daniels.
  • John E. Dixon — John Ezra Dixon (1909-2004), native of Bladen County, North Carolina. Later served as principal of Adams and Samuel H. Vick Elementary Schools.
  • Annie M. Dupree
  • D.H. Ellis — Dorothy H. Ellis.
  • James C. Ellis — James Charles Ellis (1919-1991).
  • Julius Freeman — Julius Franklin Freeman Jr. (1888-1960), Wilson native, son of Julius F. and Eliza Daniels Freeman.
  • Doris G. Gaston — Doris Gwendolyn Gaston (1924-2007), Elm City native, daughter of Dewey and Mary Howard Gaston. Married South Carolina-native Julian B. Rosemond, who established a dental practice in Wilson in the 1950s.
  • J.B. Harris — Johnie Bynum Harris (1917-1980), native of McDowell County, North Carolina.

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 8.36.37 PM

  • O.W. Harris — Oswald William Harris (1914-2001), native of Warrenton, North Carolina.
  • C.W. Hines — Carl Wendell Hines (1914-1995), Wilson native, son of Walter S. and Sarah Dortch Hines. Later served as principal of Adams and Boisey O. Barnes Elementary Schools.
  • Louise M. Jenkins — Louise McNeill Jenkins (1922-1988), native of Laurinburg, North Carolina.
  • Alice H. Jones — Alice H. Albright Jones (1892-1957), native of Lexington, North Carolina.
  • F.W. Jones — Frissell Wagner Jones (1917-2006), native of Gressit, Virginia. Went on to teach at Saint Augustine’s College and North Carolina A&T State University.
  • Marian H. Miller — Marian Howard Miller (1916-2003), native of Virginia.
  • Mabel A. Morgan
  • S.J. Satchell — Spencer Jordan Satchell (1910-1992), native of Hampton, Virginia.

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 8.36.56 PM

  • I.D. Taylor — Inez Dickerson Taylor Bell (1927), Wilson native, Darden ’44, daughter of Fred and Almeta Edmundson Dickerson.
  • Cora M. Washington — Cora Miller Washington (1909-??), Wilson native, daughter of George H. and Cora Miller Washington.
  • M.E. Whitehead — Mamie E. Whitehead.
  • H.D. Whitted — Helen Delzelle Beckwith Whitted (1888-1976) married Walter C. Whitted. She was one of the teachers who staffed the Colored Graded Shool after teachers and parents staged a boycott.
  • Rosa Lee Williams — Rosa Lee Kittrell Williams (1905-??), Wilson native, daughter of William H. and Mary Williamson Kittrell, married to Malcolm D. Williams (1909-??), principal of Sallie Barbour School, Samuel Vick Elementary, and superintendent of Wilson Negro Schools.