“Can’t a man take a nap?”

Not Dead But Sleeping.

Yesterday afternoon it was reported about the city hall that old man Alfred Boyette, the janitor and who has been in the service of the town over forty years, was dead or dying in the town building. Mr. T.A. Hinnant, the city clerk, several policemen, and the county physicians and other officials hurried to that part of the building where he was lying anxious to do all they could to have him taken home. There was little appearance of life, but when they started pick him up he aroused himself and wanted to know what it all meant. Old man Alfred was simply asleep. “Can’t a man take a little nap,” he said. Everyone likes Alfred and the crowd was glad that he was not dead but sleeping.

— Wilson Times, 6 May 1910.


On 20 January 1867, Alfred Boyette and Liza Barnes were married in Wilson County.

In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Alfred Boyette, 26, farm laborer; wife Eliza, 29; and Julius Freeman, 21, carpenter.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Spring Street, Alfred Boyette, 40, working on street; wife Eliza, 45; daughter Sylvia, 9; and boarder Albert Barnes, 22, working at ice house.

On 18 November 1897, Alfred Boyette, 55, son of Hady Hinnant, married Mrs. Mary Armstrong, 37, daughter of Raford Dew, at the home of Raford Dew in Wilson township. Missionary Baptist minister M. Strickland performed the ceremony in the presence of Bush Dew, Moses Dew and Henry Melton.

In the 1900 census of “genater” Alfred Boyett, 59; wife Mary, 32; and children Alfred, 1, Etna, 9, and Willie, 13.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Alfred Boyette, 75, laborer for court; wife Mary, 40; and children Millian, 21, and Willie, 18, both factory laborers, Edna, 11, and Gincy, 9.

On 7 March 1911, in a synopsis of news of the monthly city aldermen’s meeting, the Wilson Times noted that on motion Mayor Briggs was powered to “look into the condition and needs of Alfred Boyette, city employee, who is in bad health.”  Boyette apparently died shortly after.


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