As described here, Sallie Ann Mitchell‘s will did not emerge until nearly 20 years after death in 1926. Oddly, however, a different will was in fact entered into probate, along with that of sister Eva Mitchell, in 1929.
On 29 December 1926, Mack D. Cannon, J. Wesley Rogers and Lelia B. Young appeared in Wilson County Superior Court to swear that they were well acquainted with both Eva and Sallie Mitchell and recognized their signatures. Eva’s and Sallie’s niece and brother Severine and Albert Mitchell swore that they had found Eva’s “among the valuable papers” on the dresser in the room she had occupied for years and Sallie’s in a book on her dresser in the room she had occupied. On the basis of these affidavits, the clerk of court admitted both wills to probate.
Eva’s will, drafted in 1923, was simple and straightforward, if idiosyncratic:
My interest in the home to Lee Mitchell, Bro, Severene Mitchell, Lester Mitchell, my nephew & neice. All policies made to me be paid to Lee & Lest & Sallie Mitchell, when due. All bills settled by them for me anything left is theirs forever. This 4 day of Nov 1923. /s/ Eva Mitchell
P.S. House to be used as the Family home just as at present Floyd & Albert to live here as long as they wish.
Sallie’s was similarly brief:
My interest in the house to Albert Floyd and Effie Brother’s and Sister to have and to hold with out sale and after their death back to Severene neice and Lester nephew and their heairs forever and them to all ways have a home here as long as they live this is my last will this the 29 day of January 1926. /s/ Sallie Mitchell
Two months later, Sallie Mitchell drafted a completely different will. Three days later, she died. If the first will entered probate, why the hullabaloo about the second? How many “family homes” were there? Were Eva and Sallie claiming ownership of the same dwelling? Per their death certificates, below, both lived at 540 East Nash Street. If so, and each actually had a viable claim, how were their last wishes reconciled?
In the 1880 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer Ed Mitchell, 43, wife Anarcha, 31, and children Walter, 12, Willie, 8, Charley, 6, Sallie, 8, Eddie, 4, Albert 2, and Effa, 6 months.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Jennie Mitchell, 51, with children Walter T., 32, Sallie Ann, 28, E. Augustus, 24, Effie C., 20, Eva M., 18, Floyd A., 16, Lee A., 14, and Adic M., 12.
On 3 July 1901, Walter Scott Mitchell, 33, son of Edward J. and Annie Peacock Mitchell, married Elizabeth Helms, 27, daughter of Madison and Flora Helms, at Jordan Taylor‘s house in Wilson. Fred M. Davis, Baptist minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Ed Pool, Jordan Taylor and Mary Brooks.
On 5 February 1902, Albert M. Mitchell, 24, son of Edward J. and Annie Mitchell, married Cora White[head?], 18, daughter of William and Jane Whitehead. Fred M. Davis, Missionary Baptist minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Walter S. Mitchell, Mary Whitehead and Jane Whitehead.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Annie Mitchell, 60, children Sallie, 30, Eddy, 28, Albert, 26, Eva, 24, and Floyd, 22, and grandchildren Sevren L., 9, and Lester Mitchell, 5.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 549 Nash Street, widow Annie Mitchell, 71, children Sallie, 46, Eddie, 44, Albert, 42, Eva, 36, and Floyd, 34, niece Severana, 18, and nephew Lester, 16.
Edward Augustia Mitchell died 22 November 1921 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 January 1875 in Wayne County to Edward Mitchell and Annie Peacock. Eva Mitchell was informant.
Eva Mitchell Haywood died 1 October 1925.
Sallie Mitchell died 29 March 1926, three days after drafting her will.
Albert Mitchell died 9 July 1938 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was a widower; was born about 1878 in Wayne County to Edward Mitchell and Anna Peacock; worked as a laborer for Imperial Tobacco Company; and resided at 540 East Nash. Effie Hamlin of Farmville, North Carolina, was informant.
Floyd Alfonzo Mitchell died 18 January 1944 at his home at 540 East Nash Street. Per his death certificate, he was born 2 March 1884 in Wayne County to Edward Mitchell and Annie Barnes; worked as a carpenter; and he was single.
Effie C. Hamlin died 3 November 1957 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 December 1879 in Wayne County to Ann Mitchell and an unknown father; resided in Farmville, North Carolina; and was married to Austin Hamlin. Mary Howell, 1202 Washington Street, Wilson, was informant.
1922 Sanborn map showing 540 (later 549) East Nash Street, Wilson.
North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.