Gen. Austin has ties to Wilson.

On 22 January 2021, the United States Senate confirmed Gen. (Ret.) Lloyd Austin as President Joe Biden as Secretary of Defense. The Wilson Times noted that Gen. Austin had ties to Wilson through his wife Charlene D. Austin and quoted Congressman G.K. Butterfield Jr.‘s remarks about his close friendship with her parents. Mrs. Austin’s father was Maryland Lee “M.L.” or “Tank” Banner, and her stepmother was Margaret Reid Banner. M.L. Banner was a Concord, N.C., native who moved to Wilson in the late 1950s to work at Reid Street Community Center. Margaret Reid Banner was a Wilson native, a descendant of the Wayne County Reid family whose Wilson branches included veterinarian Elijah L. Reid, principal and banker J.D. Reid, farmer Henry S. Reid, barber Willie G. Reid, and carpenters John R. Reid and John B. Reid. After many years in Pennsylvania, M.L. and Margaret Banner returned to Wilson in the 1980s, where both were deeply involved in community service for the rest of their lives.

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In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 614 Vick Street, laborer Oscar Reid, 26; wife Nora, 20; and daughter Thelma, 2. 

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1007 Washington Street, dry cleaner Oscar Reid, 41; wife Nora, 39, laundress; and children James O., 20, Cecil, 18, Percell, 16, Leotis, 14, Margarett, 7, Evangeline, 4, Eugene, 3, and Lettie Romaine, 2 months.

Margaret Reid graduated Darden High School in the Class of 1949.

From the The Trojan (1949), the Darden High School yearbook.

One comment

  1. I saw Gen.(ret’d) Austin on his last day on active duty. I was working at the Fort Myer MPD(Military Personnel Division) at the time, managing commissioned officers orders. The office was abuzz. His presence was like that of a rockstar.

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