Store owner convicted in accidental shooting.

An act of self-defense at a small Springhill store ended in the death of an innocent bystander:


Wilson Daily Times, 12 October 1948.

Asheville Cit Times 1 9 1949.png

Asheville Citizen Times, 9 January 1949.


In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Wilson & Raleigh Road, Joseph Wilder, 44; wife Chestina, 40; and children Almita O., 15, Elizabeth, 11, Seth B., 8, Sidney, 6, and Luther, 4.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Old Raleigh Road, widow Chestiney Wilder, 51, and children Elizabeth, 21, Seth, 17, Sidney, 15, and Luther, 13.

On 28 December 1924, Seth Wilder, 22, married Aldonia Ruffin, 20, in Johnston County.

Aldonia Wilder died 24 July 1929 in Springhill township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 24 years old, born in Wilson County to Charlie Ruffin of Johnston County and Sarah Jane O’Neil of Wilson County; was married to Seth Wilder; and was buried in Barnes cemetery.

In the 1930 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: Mc. Coward Tucker, 47; wife Bella, 34; and children Mildred, 18, Albert, 17, Eddie, 14, Charles, 11, Martha, 8, Joe, 4, and James, 1.

On 14 January 1931, Seth Wilder, 31, son of Josiah and Chestinie Wilder, married Lillie Mae Creech, 24, daughter of Wright and Sallie Creech, in Smithfield, Johnson County.

In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Seth Wilder, 37; wife Lillie Mae, 32; and children Willie May, 2, and Seth, 1; Chestiney Wilder, 72; Sally Creech, 57, and her children Sally, 18, Geneava, 16, and Addie Lee Creech, 13; and Waltie Monque, 26.

In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Dowell Tucker, 71; wife Isebell, 47; and children Charles, 21, Bennie, 17, Martha, 15, Joe B., 13, James, 10, Dove, 8, Joe Lewis, 5, and daughter-in-law Mamie Ree, 14.

Seth Wilder registered for the World War II draft in 1942. Per his registration card, he was born 6 May 1902 in Wilson County; resided at Route 1, Box 261, Lucama; was self-employed; and his contact was R.H. Neal.

Seth Wilder died 2 May 1990 in Washington, D.C.



  1. Seth Wilder was my Uncle who lived in DC. He was a good man who people loved dearly, I did. The Washingtion Post wrote an article about how he helped people in his Capitol Hill neighborhood. He was killed by a homeless man he had once helped who lived in shelter near his house. Life oftentimes gives us lemonade. He made a mistake but he turned his life around.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Eunice. I’m glad that this tragic accident did not permanently derail his life. Thanks also for the tip re the Post article. I’ll see if I can find it.

      1. Thank you Lisa. Edith Garett is my first cousin. She told me about your site and I’ve read so many articles. Great work.

      2. Thank you, Eunice! Edith has been such a great collaborator, sending me all kinds of wonderful photos! I love chronicling the histories of our Wilson County families. Sometimes what we find is sad, or tragic, or even shocking, but that — along with all the happy events — is life. I grew up in Wilson, but didn’t personally know many people from the Lucama area. I’m enjoying learning the rich stories of African-American families in Springhill and Cross Roads townships!

  2. This has been really helpful!!!! I traced my family history 9 generations for my granddaughter!! Thank you…. Until tonight it stopped at Luther (champ). Lisa Y Henderson Thank you

    Ben Wider
    Ishmael Wilder
    Josiah Wilder
    Luther Wilder
    Marion Wilder Shepard
    Emma Jean Shepard Doye
    Kisha Doye ( me)
    Sania Jefferson ( daughter)
    Niani Badger ( granddaughter)

Leave a Reply