Studio shots, no. 149 and 150: Rev. Nash Horton and Rev. Rufus A. Horton.

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Rev. Nash Horton (ca. 1835-aft. 1910).


Immediately after Emancipation, Nash Horton threw himself into political and religious activity. Horton lived in Buckhorn township, Wake County, adjacent to Chatham County, and in 1867 was one of the commissioners of a Fourth of July celebration in the area.

The Daily Standard (Raleigh, N.C.), 16 July 1867.

Three months later, Horton met in Raleigh for the organization of the North Carolina Colored Christian Conference as a representative of Christian Chapel. (Founded in 1866, Greater Christian Chapel Church began as a brush arbor meeting. Per the church’s website, Nash Horton served as its first pastor. Rev. Horton’s first wife Elizabeth Horton is buried in Greater Christian Chapel cemetery near Apex in Buckhorn township, Wake County. Her headstone records her birthdate as 4 March 1829 and her death date as 20 September 1869.)

Weekly Standard (Raleigh, N.C.), 27 October 1867.

In the 1870 census of Buckhorn township, Wake County, North Carolina: Nash Horton, 35; wife Elizabeth, 25; and children James, 14, Allis, 9, Jane, 6, Susan, 4, George, 2, and Matthew, 2 months. [Per her headstone, Elizabeth died in the fall of 1869.]

In the 1880 census of Buckhorn township, Wake County: Nash Horton, 46, minister; wife Hannah, 27; son Gray Horton, 27; stepchildren Martha, 13, Alvis, 8, and William Walker, 5; boarders [who were his children] Jane, 17, and Susan Horton, 15; children Bartley and Matthew, 10, and Leonidas Horton, 8; and nephew Rufus Horton, 6.

Just after 1880, Nash Horton and his children moved to Springhill township, Wilson County. (Several were later active in Saint Delight Original Free Will Baptist Church near Kenly and are buried in its cemetery.)

On 21 May 1882, Joshua Beckwith, 28, of Chatham County, son of Wiley and Lucy Costin, married Susan Horton, 17, of Wilson, daughter of Nash and Elizabeth Horton, at Nash Horton‘s in Springhill township. Witnesses were John T. Hinnant, Nash Horton and Isaac Kirby.

Rose Ayers, 45, married Nash Horton, 50, son of Ben Bynum and Delly Horton, on 5 December 1888 at Meeksville post office, Spring Hill township. James G.Ishmael, and Guilford Wilder were witnesses.

On 28 September 1890, Savanah Scott, 20, daughter of John and Nannie Scott, married Mathew Horton, 21, son of Nash and Betsey Horton, all of Springhill township, Wilson County. Rufus Horton applied for the license, and he, Samuel Taylor and Anderson Horton witnessed.

In the mid-1890s, Nash Horton moved a few miles southwest into Johnston County.

On 5 July 1896, Rufus Horton, 23, of Johnston County, son of Nash and Elizabeth Horton, married Mary J. Davis, 19, of Johnston, daughter of Ollin and Mary F. Davis, in Pine Level, Johnston County. [Rufus, in fact, was a grandson of Nash Horton and was reared by Horton and his wife.]

On 10 December 1896, Nathaniel Horton, 25, son of Nash Horton, married Mila Shepherd, 21, in Clayton, Johnston County.

In the 1900 census of Selma township, Johnston County: Nash Horton, 60, and wife Rosa, 50.

In the 1910 census of Pine Level township, Johnston County: Nash Horton, 75, shoemaker in own shop. He reported that he had been married four times.

It appears that Nash Horton died shortly after 1910. I have not found his death certificate.

Rev. Rufus A. Horton, who founded Mount Zion Original Free Will Baptist Church in Wilson, died of a heart attack in Washington, D.C., on 30 October 1938. [He is not to be confused with Rufus G. Horton, who was born 1867 in Wake County to John and Essie Hackney Horton and died in 1935 in Springhill township, Wilson County.]

Rev. Rufus A. Horton (1873-1938).

Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 31 October 1938.

James H. Horton died 8 May 1943 in Springhill township. Per his death certificate, he was born 7 June 1860 in Wake County to Nash Horton and an unknown mother; was the widower of Lunar Taylor; and was buried in the Free Will Baptist cemetery. Henry Horton was informant.

Susan Horton died 18 January 1945 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 14 July 1866 in Wake County to Nash Horton and an unnamed mother; resided at 417 South Goldsboro Street, Wilson; was the widow of Dock Farmer; and was buried in Boyett cemetery. Informant was Carrie Boykin, 417 South Goldsboro.

Thank you, Rodger Creech Jr.!


  1. Thank for your wonderful blog on my second great grandfather and great grandfather! Actually for the record , there were two Rufus Hortons. One was a nephew and the other ( my great-grandfather was his grandson)was the son of his daughter Ruth. Eventhough I cannot find her, she’s listed on my family tree ! Thanks again!

  2. The two individuals that are listed as boarders (Jane & Susan Horton) were in fact his daughters! Thank you, Cousin Rodger! I do believe that Elizabeth or Betsy didn’t die in 1869 due to the youngest child being 2 months, along with her being listed in the 1870 census.

      1. Oh yes, most definitely! That’s something that still occurs to this day.

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