Hattie Henderson Ricks remembered:
… Mama’d make us go to Holiness Church and stay down there and run a revival two weeks. And we’d go down there every night and lay back down there on the bench and go to sleep. … Mama’d go every night. And they’d be shouting, holy and sanctified, jumping and shouting.
Mr. Silver, he had a bunch, he had 11 children, and his son had a whole bunch of ‘em. Joseph Silver. … When Mama got married there on Elba Street, there at the house. Yeah. He come up there … He was a little short brown-skinned man, and he was a elder and the head of the church where was down there in Halifax County.
On 31 August 1933, Sarah Henderson Jacobs of Wilson married Rev. Joseph Silver of Halifax County at her home in Wilson [303 Elba Street]. The ceremony was performed by Holiness minister J.H. Scott and witnessed by S.B. Thomas, Eleanor Hooker and W.M. King. Silver helped establish the Holiness church in North Carolina, and Jacobs was a Holiness evangelist.
Sarah Silver died 8 January 1938. Five years later, on 8 September 1943, Rev. Silver married Martha C. Aldridge in Goldsboro, Wayne County. Rev. Silver had performed the marriage ceremony for Martha, nee Hawkins, and her second husband, Joseph Aldridge, in Wilson on 16 December 1925. C.E. Artis applied for the license, and William A. Mitchner, Hattie Tate and Callie Barnes were witnesses.
REV. JOSEPH SILVER DIES AT HIS HOME AT 100 YEARS OLD
Reverend Joseph Silver, Sr., well known and highly respected Negro minister, died Tuesday at his home in the Delmar community, on Enfield Route 3. He celebrated his 100th birthday anniversary last July 22 at a large gathering of friends and relatives. Rev. Silver had been in poor health about four years and had been confined to his bed for the past four months.
Funeral services will be held from the Plumbline Holiness Church, Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. The body will lay in state at the church an hour before the funeral. The Rev. L.G. Young, of Henderson, will preach the funeral and burial will be in the family plot. Among those expected at the final rites are Bishop M.C. Clemmen of Richmond, Va., and Bishop H.B. Jackson of Ayden.
Rev. Silver began preaching in 1893 when he he organized and built Plumbline Church. Among other churches built by his ministry are ones at Ayden and Summitt, near Littleton. He was an organizer of the United Holiness Church of America and served on the board of Elders until his death.
Rev. Silver was married three times; first to Felicia Hawkins, who died in 1931, then to Sarah Jacobs of Wilson, who died in 1938; and last to Martha Aldridge of Goldsboro, who survives. In addition to his wife, Rev. Silver is survived by five sons N.D. and Samuel Silver, of Washington, DC; Gideon, of Pittsburg, Pa.; Joseph, Jr., of Halifax and A.M. Silver of Route 3, Enfield; three daughters, Epsi Copeland and Roberta Hewling, of Enfield, Route 3, and Emma Goines, of Pittsburg, Pa. Eighty grandchildren, 109 great-grandchildren, and 17 great great grandchildren also survive. [Newspaper clipping from unnamed source, 10 January 1958.]
Shortly after Rev. Silver’s death, his widow Martha wrote Hattie Henderson Ricks a letter, addressing it to her workplace, the Eastern North Carolina Sanatorium:
P.O. Box 193 Nashville
N.C. c/o Brake
Feb. 2, 1958
Dear Hattie –
You heard of Rev. Silver’s death Jan. 7th although I didn’t notify you as I was sick and still is sick but not confine to bed. Sarah had some things in the home. A bed which I am sure you wouldn’t care for and a folding single bed which I am going to get but my main reason for writing you she has an oak dresser and washstand that Rev. Silver told me you wanted and said he told you you could get it if you would send for it so it is still there and it is good material if you want it. Amos has already seen a second hand furniture man about buying it. The Silver’s will “skin a flea for his hide and tallow.” The Aldridges holds a very warm place in my heart and always will. If you wish to do so you may write to Rev. Amos Silver Route 3 Box 82 Enfield and ask him if your mother Sarah’s furniture is still there. There is also a carpet on the floor in the living room you need not mention my name. I am very fond of Johnnie Aldridge of Dudly. Come to see me whenever you can I think you might get with Reka at Fremont some times, she and Luke come to Enfield to see me occasionally I am going to write Reka next week. I married your great uncle Rev Joseph Aldridge write me
Your friend and great aunt by marriage.
M.C. (Aldridge) Silver
- J.H. Scott — John H. Scott died 18 November 1940 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 February 1874 in Halifax County to Alex Scott and Cathrin [no last name]; was married to Sarah Ann Scott; resided at 311 Lane Street; and was a Holiness preacher.
- S.B. Thomas — Sarah Best Thomas.
- Eleanor J. Hooker — Eleanor J. Farmer Hooker.
- W.M. King — In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: redrying plant janitor William M. King, 67; wife Annie, 64, washwoman; daughter Mary Lucas, 28, laundress; and son-in-law Herman Lucas, 26, redrying plant day laborer.
- C.E. Artis — Columbus E. Artis, an undertaker. [Note: Artis’ mother Amanda Aldridge Artis was Joseph Aldridge’s sister.]
- W.A. Mitchner — William A. Mitchner, a physician.
- Hattie Tate — Hattie Pearce Tate.
- Callie Barnes — in the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Barnes Paul (c; Callie) mgr Lenora Dixon h 306 Elba [Dixon operated an East Nash Street billiard hall.]
Oral interview of Hattie H. Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson, all rights reserved; newspaper clipping and letter in the possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.