Lane Street Project: James Edward Humphrey.

Erin Hollaway Palmer of Friends of East End and Adam Rosenblatt of Friends of Geer Cemetery focused their efforts Saturday on a dense tangle of wisteria with a small stone jewel at its core.

And here it is. This narrow rectangle is the most common type remaining in Odd Fellows — white marble foot stones etched with the Odd Fellows’ linked rings and the name of the deceased brother. This marker stands at the grave of “Ed Umphrey,” or, more accurately, James Edward Humphrey.

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On 25 May 1894, Edward Humphrys, 20, married Mary Harrison, 21, in Wilson. A.M.E. minister L.B. Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of Dennis Sutton, D. Willie Best, and Lillie Harrison.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Edwin Umphrey, 24; wife Mary, 25; and children David, 6, Mattie B., 5, and Mittie L., 2.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 462 Goldsboro Street, lumber mill laborer Ed Humphrey, 35; wife Mary, 36, laundress; and daughters Mattie, 15, and Mittie, 12.

On 8 November 1911, Mattie B. Humphrey, 20, of Wilson, daughter of Ed and Mary Humphrey married Hardy Hinnant, 20, of Wilson, son of James and Louisa Hinnant, at Ed Humphrey’s residence in Wilson. Astor Tabron applied for the license, and Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Ione Holden, Annie Thompson, and Annie Iris.

On 10 December 1914, Mittie Humphrey, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Ed Humphrey, married Edward Grimes, 23, of Nash County, at Ed Humphrey’s residence. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony. 

James Edward Humphrey registered for the World War I draft in Wilson on 12 September 1918. Per his registration card, he was born 14 February 1875; resided at 707 Goldsboro; worked as a cooper for Export Leaf Tobacco Company at Goldsboro and Spruce Streets; and his nearest relative was wife Mary Humphrey. He was described as tall and slender with gray eyes and black hair. He signed the card “Ed Humphrey.”

Wilson Daily Times, 12 November 1919.

Wilson Daily Times, 14 November 1919.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 South Goldsboro Street, tobacco factory cooper Edd Humphrey, 46; wife Mary, 47; daughter Cortez, 1; and boarder George Cooper, 31, church minister. 

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 Goldsboro Street, house carpenter Ed Humphrey, 54; wife Mary, 55; daughter Eddie C., 11; grandchildren Eddie R., 14, James M., 11, Alfred R., 9, Mary E., 7, Sally S., 5, and boarder Millie Faggins, 65.

James Edward Humphrey died 18 July 1936 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 February 1875 in Person County, N.C., to Sallie Humphrey; was married to Mary Humphrey; lived at 707 South Goldsboro Street; and worked as a laborer.

Mary Humphrey died 12 April 1950. She was buried in the Masonic cemetery, which is also on Lane Street but about a half-mile from Odd Fellows. 

Wilson Daily Times, 13 April 1950.

Mattie Humphrey Hinnant died 9 June 1969 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 December 1894 to Edward Humphrey and Mary [no maiden name listed]; was married to Hardy Hinnant; and lived at 707 South Goldsboro Street. She was buried in the Masonic cemetery. [Per Sanborn maps, 707 South Goldsboro was a one-story L-shaped cottage standing between Banks and Spruce Streets. It has been demolished.]

Photos courtesy of Erin Hollaway Palmer.

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