Teenager killed in a car-bike accident.

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Wilson Daily Times, 10 May 1946.

Fourteen year-old Jessie Lee Davis was seated on the handlebars of his friend Walter Rogers‘ bicycle when a car made a left turn in front of them. Rogers did not see the car and ran into it, killing Davis. The driver of the car, a 22 year-old white man named Vernest Ballance, was initially charged with manslaughter in Davis’ death, but the case was dismissed after a preliminary hearing.

  • Jessie Lee Davis

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Jesse Lee Davis was the son of Clinton Davis and Alliner Sherrod Davis Randall. His funeral was handled by his great-uncle, C.E. Artis.

  • Walter Rogers

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 705 East Green (one of several families in a rooming house), tobacco factory stemmer Thomas Rodgers, 37; wife Minorh, 33, housemaid; and children Ruth, 15, Joseph, 14, Otis G., 12, and Walter, 8.


  1. Jessie Lee Davis is my cousin on both my father’s and mother’s sides. My mother Doretta Sherrod and her sister Alliner Sherrod married two brothers,, Staton Davis and Clinton Davis, respectively. My aunt Alliner and my uncle Clinton were Jessie’s parents. Jessie and Walter, I was told, were riding the bike to a Wilson Tobs baseball game. There was speculation that Jessie was killed by a knife he had on his person at the time of this wreck. This early loss troubled my aunt Alliner for the rest of her life. The “good old days” were often not that good.

    William Ashley Davis

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