Ruth Whitehead Whaley — Ruth W. Whaley was a native of Goldsboro, North Carolina. Per Wikipedia, Whitehead Whaley (February 2, 1901–December 23, 1977) was the third African American woman admitted to practice law in New York in 1925 and the first in North Carolina in 1933. She was the first Black woman to graduate from Fordham University School of Law, where she graduated cum laude in 1924.
In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Gray Barnes, 64; wife Barney, 54; and children Lewis, 27, Nancy, 17, Caroline, 14, Gray, 13, and Spicey, 11.
In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Louis Barnes, 50; wife Jane, 40; and children Maggie, 17, Lillie, 16, Reese, 15, Oscar, 13, Hattie, 12, Grey, 10, Jimmy, 6, Wiley, 4, Henry, 3, Navis, 1, Charity, 7, and Mary Jane, 1 month.
In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on Wilson Road, farmer Lewis Barnes, 57; wife Jane, 48; and children Lucy, 26, Hattie, 21, Gray, 20, Chairaty, 18, James L., 16, Henry, 14, Navis, 13, Mary Jane, 11, Joe, 9, Needham, 7, and David, 2.
In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on Wilson Road, farmer Lewis Barnes, 70; wife Jane, 58; and children Maggie Bullock, 35, and Lee, 25, Lossie, 18, J. Mary, 17, Joseph, 16, William, 15, and David, 13; and grandchildren Charity, 5, and Oscar Bullock, 3.
Jane Barnes died on 28 March 1924 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 65 years old; married to Lewis Barnes; and was born in Johnston County to Charity Cruddup.
In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: widower farmer Lewis Barnes, 73; children Charity, 27, Needam, 25, and David, 23; grandson Rosco Barnes, 15; daughter-in-law Hannah Bullock, 17; and boarder William Richardson, 22.
Louis Barnes died 16 September 1935 in Gardners township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 82 years old; was the widower of Jane Barnes and son of Grey and Bonnie Barnes; was born in Wilson County; and was a farmer. Lucille Batts was informant.
Lucy Batts died 13 March 1954 in O’Neals township, Johnston County. Per her death certificate, she was born 18 January 1890 in Wilson County to Louis Barnes and Jane Harris and was married. Valentine Batts was informant.
The Times published a blow-by-blow of the preliminary hearing Wilson mayor E.F. Killette held over the homicide of Blanche Williams. Joe Goffney entered a plea of not guilty, but Killette found sufficient evidence to hold him over for trial in the Superior Court.
Joe Brodie testified first. Goffney, who was married, came with Williams to the house in which she lives. Brodie was in the back room when the shot rang out. Williams staggered out and fell to the floor. Goffney ran out, shouting that he had not known the gun was loaded. Brodie sent for Dr. Mitchner, who declared Williams dead.
Nellie Williams testified that Goffney and Blanche Williams had entered the house laughing and talking. She was in the next room lacing her shoe when she heard the gun fire and heard Goffney say, “I didn’t say a word — or I will kill all of you.” Nellie Williams ran out of the house with one shoe on.
Clifton Johnson also testified that Goffney and B. Williams entered the house talking and laughing. Johnson said he saw the gun on the center table when he entered and did not know to whom it belonged. (Neither Brodie nor N. Williams corroborated this, saying that as far as they knew there had been no gun in the house.) Goffney picked up the gun and said “let me see it.” Johnson’s back was turned to them when Goffney fired. Goffney did not say anything “out of the way” to Williams. The remark about “killing them all” came after the shooting. Goffney told them to get a doctor, then left the house. He gave Johnson the gun, who threw it away.
“Colored physician” William Mitchner testified that he found Blanche Williams on the porch dead. The bullet had struck her in the chin, breaking her lower jaw, and exited the back of her neck, possibly fracturing her spine. In his opinion, Goffney was standing directly in front of Williams when he fired, and the bullet’s trajectory was slightly downward.
Clifton Johnson was recalled to testify that he and Goffney were on the same side of the table, and he was behind Williams.
Goffney testified that Clarence Johnson carried concealed weapons. [Is this Clifton? Or a different man?] Clarence had placed a magazine and .32 cartridges on the table.
Officer Weathersbee testified that he and Officer Sikes asked Johnson for the gun, and Johnson said he had thrown it in the pea patch. Johnson admitted the gun was his, and it had not been found.
Clarence Johnson denied telling Weathersbee the gun was his. He did not own a gun. Goffney was mistaken when he said Johnson had pulled the gun from his pocket and that there had been a magazine on the table. Johnson works at an express office and borrowed a holster from a fellow employee. He did not borrow a gun. The holster is in a bureau drawer at his house. Mayor Killette interjected that the holster had been found between the bed[frame] and mattress in Johnson’s room. Johnson could not explain why he borrowed a holster.
Joe Lee denied seeing Goffney take a pistol from Johnson’s pocket. Apparently, Nettie Williams did, too. Johnson’s mother testified that he did not own a gun and had not brought one to the house the night of the killing.
Johnson’s lawyer F.D. Swindell argued that in the excitement of the moment, it was perfectly natural for Johnson to throw away the gun Goffney gave him. The only evidence that the gun was his was Goffney’s testimony, which was inherently biased.
The mayor was satisfied that Johnson had borrowed the pistol and bound him over as a material witness and for carrying a concealed weapon. He fined Johnson $75 and set his bond for $500. Goffney was sent to jail to await trial.
Wilson Times, 30 September 1921.
Joe Goffney — Was Joe Goffney convicted? I have not found a follow-up, but the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory lists: Goffney Joseph tobwkr [tobacco worker] h 206 Manchester. This is likely the Joseph Goffney listed in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmer Lemon Barnes, 51; wife Dollie Ann, 51; children Ida, 26, Lemon Jr., 20, Mattie, 17, Charlie, 15, and Howard, 12; stepsons Cornelius Neal, 11, Paul Goffney, 17, and Joseph Goffney, 15; and grandson Sylvester Barnes, 6.
Blanche Williams — Per her death certificate, Blanch Williams was 24 years old; single; resided on Stantonsburg Street; and worked as a common laborer. She was born in Wayne County, North Carolina, to Wash Smith and Laura Williams, and Selena Craig of Goldsboro was informant. Her cause of death: “revolver wound of head (probably accidental).” [A 26 September 1921 Times article about the shooting reported that Williams was married and lived in Goldsboro, but had come to Wilson to work briefly in domestic service. She had planned to return to Goldsboro the week she was shot. She had been “going with” Goffney while in Wilson, and jealousy was believed to be at the root of the violence. Unnamed witnesses heard Goffney tell Williams, “If you go with that man, I will kill you,” as they walked to Joe Lee’s home. As Williams walked out of the house to return home, Goffney called her back in and shot her.]
Joe Brodie — possibly Josephine Brodie listed in the 1922 city directory as a student living at 303 Mercer Street.
Clifton/Clarence Johnson — perhaps the Clifton Johnson listed in the 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory as a porter living at 118 Ashe Street.
Joe Lee — possibly Joseph Lee listed in the 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory as a factory hand living at 115 Manchester Street. [However, the 26 September Times article identified Joe Lee and Joe Brodie as the same person, a woman.]
B.H. Edwards, 23, of Nash County, married Lucy Kearney, 17, of Wilson, on 9 November 1903 in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of J.J. Murfree, J.H. Pulley and W.L. Hardy.
Lucy K. Edwards died 26 March 1966 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 November 1886 in Franklin County, North Carolina, to Anna Williams; resided in Elm City, Wilson County; was married to Buck H. Edwards; and was buried in William Chapel cemetery.
Buck H. Edwards died 12 December 1967 in Elm City, Taylors township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 February 1891 in Nash County to Robert Edwards and Sallie Parker; was married to Bettie M. Edwards; was a minister; and was buried in William Chapel cemetery. Informant was Mrs. Mae Guzman, 1214 Queen Street, Wilson.
Jane Rountree Mobley was enslaved by Moses Rountree, a leading nineteenth-century merchant. As Carolyn Maye relates, family lore passed to Mobley’s descendants holds that the Rountree family named a street Jane in honor of Jane Mobley. If so, where is it?
There is no Jane Street in present-day Wilson. However, early twentieth-century Sanborn fire insurance maps reveal that this was not always the case. Ash Street, a narrow spur off Nash Street running parallel and just east of Pender Street, was once called Jane. (Was it actually named for Mobley?) The street is clearly marked in the 1908 Sanborn map:
However, in the Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory issued the same year, the street was called Ashe, and the 1913 Sanborn map relegated “Jane” to parentheses.
When Hill’s issued the 1922 city directory, there was no alternate name listed for Ash Street.
This photograph of zoot-suited Ozzie B. Moore, as suggested by the familiar patterned drapes, is another taken at Baker’s Pictures at 520 East Nash Street. John H. Baker is listed in the 1947 and 1950 Wilson city directories as the proprietor of a billiards room and photography shop at 520 and 524 East Nash and resident, with his wife Rosalee, of a home at 718 East Green. It seems likely that photo of Baker below is a self-portrait.
John Haywood William Baker (1907-1992).
In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Railroad Street, Haden [Haywood] W. Baker, 40, barber; wife Mollie, 33; and children Hilda R., 6, Jasper, 4, Harold, 2, Mary C., 2 months; and Haywood, 12; plus Exum Joyner, 25, barber, and wife Bertha, 24.
On 18 September 1946, the Wilson Daily Times ran the first of a series of executor’s notices posted by John H. Baker, 524 East Nash Street, concerning the estate of Haywood William Baker. Haywood Baker died 17 August 1946 at Duke Hospital in Durham. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 February 1883 in Greene County; was married to Blanch Baker; resided at 719 East Green Street, Wilson; was a barber; and was buried in Marlboro cemetery, Farmville, Pitt County.
On 23 November 1955, John H. Wm. Baker, 48, of Wilmington, married Laura Mae Murphy, 30, of Wilson, daughter of Clarence P. Murphy and Mittie Wilks Murphy, in Wilson. Baptist minister T.A. Watkins performed the ceremony in the presence of Theodore M. Hooker, Alice P. Hooker and L.E. Rasbury of Wilson.
On 1 December 1988, the Wilson Daily Times ran an obituary for Laura Mae Murphy Baker of Wilmington, formerly of Wilson. The notice noted that she was married to Rev. John H. Baker and had three daughters, three sons, two sisters and three brothers, including Charlie Murphy of Wilson.
John Haywood William Baker died 12 May 1992 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 13 March 1907 in Pitt County to Haywood Baker and Ora Harper; was a widower; and had been a self-employed barber. He was buried in Wilmington, North Carolina.
In 1944, Ozzie Moore registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 1 September 1926 in Wilson; resided at 1113 Atlantic Street, Wilson; his contact was his father, J.H. Moore; and was employed by J.H. Moore at 517 East Nash Street, Wilson. [John H. Moore owned a shoe repair shop.]
On 18 July 1953, Ozzie Moore, 26, of 1113 Atlantic Street, son of Johnnie Moore and Araminice Cohen [Armencie Cone] Moore, married Bessie Howard, 22, of 412 East Walnut Street, daughter of Monk Johnson and Clara Howard, in Wilson. Rev. E.F. Johnson, a Disciples of Christ minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Leonard Moore, 1008 Washington Street; Annie D. Jones, 414 East Walnut Street; and Noel B. Jones, 411 Banks Street.
Photograph of Moore courtesy of Ancestry.com user TeiaHarper1; photo of Baker courtesy of Ancestry.com user cbaker2928.
As a publicly funded institution, Mercy Hospital was required to disclose its revenues and expenditures. In December 1935, the Times published secretary-treasurer William Hines‘ account of the previous month’s financial operations.
As is unsurprising for any institution during the depth of the Great Depression, Mercy Hospital was operating in the red. It began the month with just over $702 in the bank and ended with $367. Only $678 came through the door. At $300, payroll comprised more than a quarter of the month’s expenditures, which also included major payments for groceries, laundry service, utilities and supplies. Mercy owed $3000 to a local bank and hundreds more to vendors (and employees.) Fewer than 1 in 12 of its patients had paid full-rate, nearly half paid nothing at all, and the hospital carried more than $3000 in unpaid patient bills on its books.
This morning’s announcement from Wilson’s Sallie B. Howard School for the Arts and Education:
Our beloved, Sallie Baldwin Townsend Howard, passed away at 2:50am this morning, September 25, 2018. She was 102 years old and wanted everyone to know that “she was ready”. We miss her already but her life and her legacy remains with us, enshrined in the work we do for children for generations to come. Concerning her passing from this earth, this is what she had to say…
“When I lay me down to die
Have bade farewell this beauteous world
Of valleys green and oceans swirl
Of fragrant blossoms and birds that sing
Of happy voices with childlike ring
Of ecstasy from lovers kiss
Though evermore I’m done with this
And my journey through eternity
To the dawn of nothing be…
I shall begin it cheerfully
If little children let shed a tear
To express the love they bear
And weep my passing from this earth
Because til death, yea from birth
For truth and goodness I have striven
Because of kindness I have given
If they should weep to have me stay
Because I’ve lighted up their way
Then happy upon my couch I’ll lie
When I lay me down to die.”
Another encomium for Rev. J.H. Mattocks, A.M.E. Zion minister, this time in W.H. Quick’s Negro Stars in all Ages of the World (1898):
“… At the ensuing Conference he was appointed to the church at Wilson, N.C., where for one year he was kept on the go. Like a blazing meteor he flashed here and there in interest of his beloved Zion; but like a fixed star of the first magnitude his light was unfading. Wilson has never before nor since been so mightily stirred. …”
In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: blacksmith Isaac Thorne, 58; Edith Thorne, 55; and David Thorne, 11.
In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Henry Forbes, 48, domestic servant; wife Louisa, 43; and children Charles, 15, farm laborer, and Georgiana, 9; plus John Forbes, 21, selling tobacco, and Patsey Forbes, 70.
In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: blacksmith Isaac Thorn, 72; wife Luzana, 70; and roomers Tony Barnes, 52, laborer, and Hannah Barnes, 80, pauper.