Snaps, no. 73: Jake Mitchell.

Jane Cooke Hawthorne shared these beautiful images of Jake Mitchell shot by her father, dentist (and photographer) Charles Cooke, in 1973. Mitchell was houseman and later chauffeur to generations of tobacconist Howell G. Whitehead III’s family.





In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: George Mitchel, 23, day laborer; wife Rosa, 23; and children William, 2, and George, 1.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer George Mitchell, 29; wife Rosa, 30; and children George, 11, Bunyan, 9, Frank L., 5, Albert and Alton, 3, and Rosa, 1.

On 8 November 1922, Jake Mitchell, 21, son of George and Rosa Mitchell, married Mandy Lucus, 19, daughter of Wyatt and Elizabeth Lucus, in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Jeremiah Scarboro performed the ceremony “on Daniel Hill” in the presence of Della Smith, George Thorne and James Blake.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Jake Mitchell, 27, farmer; wife Manda, 28; and children Jake T., 3, and Jewell D. [Geraldine], 1.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 410 Warren Street, W.P.A. cement finisher Jake Mitchel, 38; wife Mamie, 39, cook; and children Jake, 13, Jeraldine, 11, and Edna Gray, 9.

In 1942, Jake Mitchell registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 12 October 1903 in Wilson; lived at 410 Warren Street, Wilson; his contact was George Mitchell, Finch Street; and he worked for tobacco dealer H.G. Whitehead at 505 West Nash Street.

Both Jake and Amanda Locus Mitchell worked in the Whitehead household. In 1953, Nolia G. and Howell G. Whitehead transferred to the Mitchells a house and lot at 810 West Walnut Street, in Daniel Hill.

Wilson Daily Times, 1 October 1953.

Three years later, realtor George T. Stronach Jr. and his wife Nancy C. sold the Mitchells a lot on Queen Street, in East Wilson.

Wilson Daily Times, 12 December 1956.

The following spring, Jake Mitchell secured a building permit to erect a five-room brick house on the Queen Street lot.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 March 1957.

Rosa Mitchell died 6 April 1959 at 335 Finch Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 16 May 1883  in Wilson County to Stephen Lipkins [Lipscomb] and Mariah (last name unknown) and was a widow. Jake Mitchell was informant.

in 1960, under the terms of Nola Gardner Whitehead’s will, Jake and Mandy Mitchell received bequests of $500 each as well as a 1950 Buick.

Wilson Daily Times, 2 March 1960.

Jake Mitchell died 8 June 1975 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 October 1900 to George Mitchell and Rosa Libson [Lipscomb]; was married to Amanda Locus; lived at 1305 Queen Street; and was a chauffeur.


Jake Mitchell reminisced about running dogs for P.L. Woodard, merchant and president of Contentnea Guano Company.

Many thanks to Jane Cooke Hawthorne!


  1. I love these pictures of Mr. Mitchell. Remember Julius in Half-Truths? Now I know what he looked like! Thanks for sharing.

    1. This is my Grandfather. My brothers and sister and I were raised by him and my Grandmother after our Mother died. I have often wondered what happened to Jane who visited our home when she was a little girl. She was much younger but Daddy loved her just like he loved us.We called him Daddy for he was in all respect. I visited the home of the Whiteheads as a young girl. They were always kind to my family. We never wanted for anything . Dr and Mrs Cooke were also very kind it was as if we were family. I now live in NYC but will return to Wilson and live in the near future.I love my hometown and the goog memories I had as I grew up there.All was not perfect but it never is. I grew up to attend and graduate from several Universities. I have sang in about twenty countries and am a retired teacher. Life was good because I learn to aspire to be the best that I could be. This is what Daddy always said “What ever you do , be the best at it.” That’s what Daddy always told each one of us. We did……

      1. Sharon, I remember how proud the community was of your singing talent though o was just a little girl. I think I remember my mother buying a recording of Darden’s chorus on which you were featured.

  2. Lisa, thank you for this article on my family. Some of the information I know and a few of the dates are not correct, but that is okay. I really loved my Grandparents and will never forget how they gave up much to raise us after our Mother died. I also loved Wilson and many of the people there. My plan is to return to live in Wilson in the near future. You mention a recording. Is their anyway for me to get a copy of it.or can it be .burned on a CD. I don’t.have one and I would like to hear it. If possible let me know . Again thank you and please stay safe and healthy. God Bless you and your family.


    1. Hi Sharon. The names and dates are transcribed exactly as they appear in records, which were often imprecise in that era. Next time I’m in Wilson, I’ll see if my parents still have it.

  3. Hello Sharon & Lisa. My name is Stephanie Mitchell Caldwell. Sharon your grandfather Jake was my Grandfather Albert Mitchell’s brother! He & his wife Lillie re-located from Wilson to South Jersey in 1930 where they raised 8 children then raised me from only a month old. I was doing a search for my family in Wilson when I came across this photograph; thank you so much Lisa!! Jake looks practically identical to my grandad Albert & his twin brother Alton. They were called Little Boy & Big Boy respectively. When I saw the photo I could hardly believe my eyes. My Pop Pop was born July 12, 1908 & passed June 4,1978. And yes, many of the dates are incorrect but that’s okay! I’m very grateful to have this information. I did notice however, that there are a few siblings missing; Lucille Mitchell Preston & Meana Mitchell Roye. Both relocated to Philadelphia, Pa. I have been planning to search my family tree for at least 30 years but somehow life gets in the way of our best intentions. I’ve never been to Wilson, but I plan to retire with the next 2 years & I look forward to spending some time there. Ladies may God bless you both as you continue to be a blessing. Be healthy & safe always. Stephanie

    1. Hi Stephanie! I’m so glad you found the post and the magnificent photos of Jake Mitchell. A note on the text: this is not intended to be a full family history. Rather, each paragraph offers a transcription of a record related to the subject. The transcription is verbatim, and accordingly there may be errors in ages, names, spellings, etc. Also, older or younger family members, or those who had left the household, may not have been included in a particular record. By the way, if you have early photos of your grandparents, I’d love to feature them!

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