Month: March 2020

Cora Barnes Melton, centenarian.

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Wilson Daily Times, 4 May 1993.

Wilson Daily Times, 4 May 1995.

Wilson Daily Times, 2 May 1997.

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On 29 October 1917, John Melton, 26, married Cora Barnes, 25, at Zena Barnes’ in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Linnie Wilson, M.H. Wilson and Lorene E. Griggs.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Washington Street, carpenter John Melton, 28; wife Cora, 26; son Robert O., 1; and cousin Della Griswell, 24.

John Melton died 17 August 1933 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 8 July 1889 in Wilson County to John and Lucy Melton; was married to Cora Melton; lived at 1206 Washington Street; and worked as a carpenter.

In 1944, John Melton registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 11 September 1926 in Wilson County; lived at 1206 East Washington Street; his contact was his mother Cora Melton; and he worked at Imperial Tobacco Company.

In 1946, William Thomas Melton registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 11 October 1928 in Wilson County; lived at 1206 East Washington Street; his contact was his mother Cora Melton; and was a student.

Cora Barnes Melton passed away 4 May 1997, two days after the Daily Times featured her birth celebration.

Col. church.

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Surrounded by “the Farmer place owned by the hairs of Mrs. Jerusha Woodard” was a small square of land upon which a “colored church” was built. Woodard, born 1838 to Moses and Elizabeth Barnes Farmer and married to Warren Woodard, died in 1910. This plat map was drawn in 1914.

I have not been able to identify the church.

Plat book 1, page 111, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

One Negro Man Ben.

On 26 January 1864, administrator J.T. Dew filed in Wilson County court his inventory of the personal estate of Isaac Farmer. After a list of debts owed to the estate, he added a short list of personal property, including an enslaved man named Ben.

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Dew later filed with the court a receipt for the hire of Ben to Theresa Farmer in 1865.

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Isaac Farmer Estate (1863), Wilson County, North Carolina Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

 

Snookum Russell’s orchestra is coming to town!

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Indianapolis Recorder, 22 November 1947.

This Indianapolis newspaper article mentioned that Snookum Russell‘s Be-Bop Orchestra was scheduled to play “the annual winter prom” in Wilson on the night before Thanksgiving 1947. Russell, a pianist, lead a territory band that toured the South and Midwest in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, playing tobacco warehouses and dance halls.

Map of the J.C. Palmer estate.

The settlement of Joseph C. Palmer‘s estate in 1924 required a survey and subdivision of the property he owned on South Lodge and Banks Streets. A large lot containing Palmer’s Lodge Street home and grocery store, as well as a smaller four-room house, was divided into six lots. Around the corner on Banks, he owned another lot with a ten-room apartment house.

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These blocks were surveyed just two years earlier for an update to the Sanborn fire insurance maps. The Sanborn map’s scale appears to be slightly off, but it’s easy to find Palmer’s grocery at 700 South Lodge and home at 702 South Lodge, as well as the smaller house at 408 East Banks. There was also a narrow house at 410 East Banks that apparently was demolished prior to 1924.

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On the other hand, the ten-room apartment building had not been built yet, and its lot is shown empty.

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The site today. The blocks below South Lodge Street were cleared for a public housing project, Whitfield Homes, in the 1960s.

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Joe Palmer, 20, married Ella Moore, 21, on 4 December 1879 at Saint Timothy’s Church.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Jospeh Palmer, 20, works on farm; wife Ella, 21; daughters Pearl, 9, and Mattie, 6; and mother Mariah Moore, 60, cook. [These were Ella Palmer’s daughters and mother.]

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: South Carolina-born Joseph Palmer, 42, carpenter; wife Estel, 41, confectioner; and son Joseph C., Jr., 9.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Lodge Street, house carpenter Joe Palmer, 50, and wife Ella, 49.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 710 Lodge Street, grocery store salesman Joe Palmer, 60, and wife Ella, 61, a general merchant.

Ella Palmer died 21 September 1921 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 59 years old; lived at 702 Lodge; and born in Hyde County, North Carolina, to Mariah Moore. J.C. Palmer was informant.

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Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory (1922).

Joseph C. Palmer died 12 December 1923 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was a native of Columbia, South Carolina; lived at 702 South Lodge; was a widower; and worked as a store proprietor. Mrs. Mattie E. Moore was informant.

On 14 January 1924, Camillus L. Darden (with his father Charles H. Darden as surety) applied for and received at Wilson County Superior Court letters of administration to handle J.C. Palmer’s estate, which he valued at $8000.

Plat book 2, page 14, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson; aerial view courtesy of Google Maps.

Snaps, no. 66: Minnie Bell Barnes Barnes.

Minnie Belle Barnes Barnes (1905-1985).

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In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Redman Barnes, 47; wife Genette, 43; children Dora, 20, Fred, 19, Mary E., 17, Minie B., 15, Eddie Bell, 13, Petcandy, 11, Nora Lee, 9, Alice, 7, Lula Mae, 4, and Redman Jr., 1.

On 29 November 1923, Thomas Barnes, 21, son of Wiley and Sarah Barnes, married Minnie Belle Barnes, 19, daughter of Redmond and Jenette Barnes, at Redmond Barnes’ house in Stantonsburg. Methodist minister J.F. Ward performed the ceremony in the presence of O.M. Ellis of Wilson and Willie Ellis and Isaac Winstead of Stantonsburg.

In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg, Wilson County: on Railroad Street, rented for $8/month, farm laborer Thomas Barnes, 23; wife Minnie, 22; and children Daisy B., 5, Thomas, 3, Ruby M., 2, and Jeanette, 10 months.

In the 1940 census of Stantonsburg, Wilson County: farmer Thomas Barnes, 34; wife Minnie, 33; and children Daisie B., 15, Thomas Jr., 13, Ruby M., 11, Jeannette, 9, Inez, 7, Robert, 5, Sammy, 3, Moses, 2, and Minnie Mae, 2 months.

In 1940, Thomas Barnes registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 27 February 1905 in Wilson County; lived at Route 1, Stantonsburg; his contact was wife Mrs. Minnie Barnes; and worked for Lonnie Harrell, Stantonsburg.

Minnie B. Barnes died 14 December 1985.

Photograph courtesy of Ancestry.com user Jerry Smith.

The estate of Theophilus T. Simms.

On 13 January 1855, William Bardin, John G. Barnes, and William W. Barnes agreed to pay Amos Horn, guardian of the minor heirs of T.T. Simms, $225 for the hire of Reddick and Willie, enslaved men. Bardin and the Barneses also agreed to provide each man three suits of clothes (one woolen), two pairs of shoes, one pair of stockings [socks], a hat, and a blanket.

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At October Term 1863, the Wilson County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions heard the petition of Simms’ daughter Diana A. Simms for partition of her father’s slaves, identified as Gray, Willey, Dick, Austin, Watey, Jane, Lucy, Molly, Stella and Anna. Diana Sims and her minor siblings owned in common.

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I’ve only identified one of the enslaved people from T.T. Simms’ estate — Waity Simms Barnes.

In 1866, Waity Simms and Gaston Barnes registered their 6-year cohabitation with a Wilson County justice of the peace.

In the 1870 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farm laborer Casten Barnes, 28; wife Waity, 24; and children Austin, 6, Benjamin, 5, Etheldred, 4, and Aaron Simms, 1.

In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Gaston Barnes, 42; wife Waity, 35; and children Benjamin, 16, Aaron, 10, Nellie, 7, Willie, 5, and infant boy, 17 days.

T.T. Simms Estate Files, Wilson County, North Carolina Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Studio shots, no. 146: Richard Artis.

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Richard Artis (1890-1932).

In the 1900 census of Nahunta township, Wilson County: farmer Thomas Artice, 63; wife Bettie, 26; and children James F., 18, Richard, 9, Annah, 15, Lou E., 13, and Francis, 11.

Richard Artis, 23, of Wayne County, N.C., son of Tom and Polly A. Artis, married Sadie Woodard, 24, daughter of Fan Woodard, on 8 February 1914 in Stantonsburg.

In 1917, Richard (Bill) Artis registered for the World War I draft in Wayne County. Per his draft registration card, he was born 24 August 1890 in near Eureka, N.C.; was a self-employed farmer near Eureka, Wayne County; and had a wife and five children.

In the 1920 census of Nahunta township, Wilson County: farmer William Artis, 32; wife Sadie, 33; and children Ida, 15, Willie, 13, Eddie, 10, Walter, 8, Rosa Bell, 6, and Council Odell, 7 months.

In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Bill Artis, 38; wife Sadie, 42; and children Ettie, 20; Walter, 18; Rosa, 16; Richard, 14; Odell, 10; and Agnes, 8.

Sadie Artis died 16 January 1931 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 42 years old; was born in Greene County, N.C. to Fannie Woodard; was married to Richard Artis; and farmed.

Richard Artis died 29 November 1932 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1888 in Wayne County to Tom Artis and Polly Ann Daniel; was married to Sadie Artis; worked as a laborer; and was buried in Red Hill cemetery. Ida Horne was informant.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user Richard Grantham.

They believed they were merely playing.

On 27 March 1932, Chester Parker shot to death his sister Sarah’s husband, Ed Howard.

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Wilson Daily Times, 28 March 1932. 

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Raleigh Road, David Parker, 39; wife Elizabeth, 38; and children William E., 15, Richard, 13, Anna, 12, Sarah, 10, Sylvania, 9, Millie K., 7, Mary L., 5, Chester, 3, and John F., 7 months.

Eddie Howard, 21, of Edgecombe County, son of Tim and Mary Howard, married Sarah Parker, 20, of Gardners township, on 4 February 1920 at Joe Pender‘s house in Gardners township. Primitive Baptist elder Ruffin Hymon performed the ceremony in the presence of Crumel Farmer, John Barnes and another.

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“Murdered by Chester Parker shot through chest with revolver”

 

 

 

 

Studio shots, no. 145: James and Jenny F. Woodard.

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James and Jenny Farmer Woodard.

In the 1870 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farm laborer Jack Woodard, 25; wife Cherry, 24, farm laborer; and daughter Martha, 2.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Jason Farmer, 33; wife Candas, 29; and children Florance, 9, Isaih, 6, and George, 4.

In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Jack Woodard, 36; wife Cherry, 36; and children Martha, 13, Mattie, 8, James, 6, Mary, 4, Fannie, 3, and Nicey, 5 months.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Jason Farmer, 43; wife Candas, 44; and children Florrence, 17, Isaiah, 13, Geo. W., 11, Jessie, 9, Jason, 6, Jennie, 4, and Mayland, 2.

On 13 January 1897, James Woodard, 22, married Jennie Farmer, 21, at the residence of Jason Farmer in Wilson County.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer James Woodard, 25; wife Jennie, 26; and children Dophin, 3, Mary, 2, and Rosa, 1.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer James Woodard, 35; wife Gennie, 34; and children Dorthy Lee and Mary, 11, Rosa, 10, Minnie, 6, James Jr., 5, Walter, 3, Jonie, 2, and George D., 10 months; and niece Athena Adkins, 15.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Black Creek Road, James Woodard, 45; wife Jennie, 44; and children Rosa, 19, Mary, 21, Minnie, 16, James Jr., 14, Walter, 13, John, 12, George D., 10, Cherry, 8, Saphronnia, 7, Ed, 5, Jennie Lee, 3, and Martha, 1.

Jannie Woodard died 22 September 1922 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 10 May 1874 in Wilson to Jaison and Candas Farmer and was a farmer on her own land.

James Woodard died 4 February 1937 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 63 years old; was a widower; was a farmer; and was born in Wilson County to Jack and Charity Woodard.

Minnie Woodard, 22, of Wilson County, [daughter of James and Jennie Farmer Woodard,] married James Ellis, 22, of Wilson County, [son of William and Sarah Barnes Ellis,] on 22 March 1928 in Wilson County. Missionary Baptist minister Geo. Cooper performed the ceremony.

This post honors Minnie Doris Ellis Cummings, born in 1931 to James C. and Minnie Virginia Woodard Ellis. Mrs. Cummings, who passed away 22 March 2020, was one of the mothers of my childhood village. Rest in peace.

Top photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user ziggazigga; photo of Mrs. Cummings courtesy of Edwards Funeral Home, Wilson.