In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Rosa Farmer, 35, farm laborer, and children (and grandchildren) Gray, 18, Turner, 17, Mary, 16, Thomas, 13, Daniel, 12, Leah, 10, Jefferson, 8, Louisa, 10 months, Anna, 3; and Arche Barnes, 73, cooper.
On 6 November 1886, Jeff Gay, 23, married Blanch Gay, 16, at Sam Gay‘s in Wilson. Sam Gay, Dallas Taylor, and George Farmer were witnesses.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: drayman Jefferson Farmer, 40; wife Blanch, 28; and children May, 12, Turner, 11, Jesse, 8, Charley, 4, and Gola, 2.
In the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Farmer Jefferson (c) driver h Hines nr Warren
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 615 Hines Street, Jeff Farmer, 50; wife Blanch, 37; and children Turner, 20, Jessie, 16, Charlie, 13, Goler, 10, Jeff Jr., 7, Henry, 3, Allice, 2, and Gola, 1.
In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Farmer Jefferson (c) driver
On 19 March 1918, Goldie Farmer, 21, of Wilson County, daughter of Jesse and Blanch Farmer, married George McCoy in Richmond, Virginia.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 615 Hines Street, Jeff Farmer, 57; wife Blanche, 47; and children Charlie, 24, Jeff, 18, Henry, 14, Alice, 12, Sam, 8, and Blanche, 5.
In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Farmer Jefferson (c) driver h 404 Young’s Al[ley]
Jeff Farmer died 29 July 1927 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 55 years old; was born in Wilson to Nelson Farmer, Edgecombe County, and Rosa Farmer, Wilson County; was married to Blanch Farmer; lived on Hines Street; and worked as a drayman. [Nelson Farmer was actually his step-father.]
Charlie W. Farmer died 10 October 1938 at the V.A. Hospital at Oteen, Asheville, Buncombe County, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 September 1897 to Jeff Gay and Blanch Gay; was married to Maggie Farmer; and worked as a janitor.
Turner Farmer died 2 May 1939 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 50 years old; was born in Wilson to Jeff Farmer and Blanch Gay; lived at 901 West Nash; and worked as a chauffeur.
Jeff David Farmer died 12 June 1961 at his home at 807 East Viola Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 24 October 1903 in Wilson County to Jeff David Farmer Sr. and Blanch Ella Gay; was widowed; and was a World War II veteran. Goldie Ricks of 1413 East Nash Street was informant.
Blanche Hammonds died 11 July 1971 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 9 July 1914 to Jeff Farmer and Blanche Gay and was married to Joseph Hammonds Sr.
Goldie Farmer Ricks died 8 September 1974 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 January 1897 to Jefferson Farmer and Blanch Gay; resided at 108 Ashe Street, Wilson; and was a widow. Informant was Johnnie Lee Ward of Columbia, Maryland.
George Franklin Farmer died 1 February 1976 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 29 October 1899 to Jeff D. Farmer and Blanche Elnora Gay; was a widower; lived at 714-A East Green; and worked as a janitor.
Samuel Gay Farmer died 29 March 1980 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 October 1910 in Wilson County to Jeff D. Farmer and Blanch Elnora Gay; was divorced; lived at 714-A East Green Street; and worked in maintenance at Eastern North Carolina Sanitorium.
Founded about 1900, the Knights of Gideon were headquartered in Goldsboro, N.C., twenty-five miles south of Wilson. The group seems not to have been nearly as popular in Wilson County as similar fraternal organizations.
Deed Book 179, page 403, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.
On 31 January 1929, John and Cora Melton sold a parcel of land in Black Creek township for $100 to James M. Barnes, W.M. Forsythe, and J.A. Artis, trustees of Love Union Lodge #209, Knights of King Solomon. The parcel adjoined lands of John Melton and John Mercer on “the Ruffin Lane Road” near the Colored School Building and measured about one-half acre.
[Where was Ruffin Lane Road? Where was the Black Creek Colored School?]
Among the properties upon whichAndrew and Mary Townsenddefaulted in 1940 was a parcel described as “a lot on the southern edge of Banks Street where Banks crosses a ditch that runs south into the Hominy Swamp canal, purchased from O.L.W. and Cynthia Smith, recorded in Book 111, page 361.”
The Townsends ran a grocery store in the block, alongside a one-story wooden house and Trinity A.M.E. Zion church. Across the street, rail spurs from the Norfolk & Southern Rail Road ran to a tobacco factory and two coal and wood yards.
Here is the “southern edge of Banks Street” today, looking toward Mercer Street. The block is empty.
And here, still, is the ditch that runs south into Hominy Swamp.
In the 1920 census of Henderson township, Vance County, North Carolina: Sallie Dillard, 28, tobacco factory; daughter Annie, 14; and mother Stella Smith, widow, 62, cook.
On 26 March 1925, Timothy Bowden, 22, of Wilson, married Annie May Pitt, 19, of Wilson. Sam Allen, “minister of A.M.E. Zion connection,” performed the ceremony at his home on Robeson Street in the presence of Georgia Ward, Fannie Allen, and Cardain Allen.
In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bowden Timothy (c; Annie M) hlpr h 305 Finch
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 307 Finch Street, Timothy Battle [Bowden], 27, chauffeur; wife Annie, 24; children William, 7, Timothy Jr., 5, Mary E., 4, Hurbert, 3, and Charlie, 1; mother-in-law Sallie White, 38, widow.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 902 Faison Street, Sankie Jones, 60; wife Armecie, 43, cook; roomer Joe McDowell, 41, plasterer, and wife Marinie, 41, cook, and Annie May Bowden, 34, domestic.
Timothy Bowden died 18 March 1945 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 June 1902 to Mary Ellen Adams of Wilson County; was married to Annie Mae Bowden; lived at 413 East Green; and worked as a chauffeur.
“Shortie” Bolden’s obituary. Wilson Daily Times, 19 March 1945.
Hubert O. Bowden registered for the draft in 1946. Per his registration card, he was born 5 April 1927 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 323 Macon Street, Brooklyn], Kings County, N.Y.; his contact was mother Annie Mae Bowden of the same address; and was unemployed.
I have written here and here of the children of Jonathan and Margaret Dew Artis, who migrated from Wilson County to Putnam County, Indiana, in the 1870s. The Artis family seems to have followed family there, as a sad newspaper story reveals Margaret’s cousin Esther Due in Indiana, too.
Esther Due was born about 1879 in Wilson County, North Carolina, to Edwin Due [Dew] and Adaline Barefoot (or Deans) Due. The family migrated to Indiana when Esther was an infant. On 2 July 1898, Esther gave birth in Putnam County to a son Raymond Due, whose father was white.
The boy was placed with an African-American foster family, who sought to adopt him.
Greencastle Banner, 28 April 1899.
They appear in the 1900 census of Greencastle, Putnam County, Indiana: Virginia-born gardener John T. Fox, 32; wife Luella, 31; and son Raymond F. Fox, 1.
Things did not go well though. In December 1899, newspapers ran articles with varying details, but telling one essential story — Esther Due had taken her son from the Foxes and gone to Indianapolis. They lodged briefly with her cousin Margaret Artis, but were not allowed to stay. Due then entered a rescue mission for unwed women, Door of Hope.
Indianapolis’ Door of Hope Mission. Undated photo courtesy of IUPUI University Library.
Seemingly dissatisfied with her situation at the mission, and unable otherwise to care for the boy, Due left him in a stranger’s front yard.
Indianapolis Sun, 22 December 1900.
Indianapolis Journal, 22 December 1900.
Greencastle Star Press, 29 December 1900.
I have found nothing further about Raymond Due, alias Fox. His mother died 10 November 1904 in Putnam County, Indiana. Per her death certificate, she was born 26 April 1879 in North Carolina to Edward Due and Ida Barefoot; was single; worked as a domestic; and was buried in Brick Chapel cemetery.
In the 1870 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: domestic servant Lucy Sanders, 45; farm laborers Ollen Womble, 19, Edwin Due, 15, and Tony Rountree, 23; and farm laborer Seth Deems, 22, (his wife?) Eliza, 20, and Dinah, 2.
Edwin Dew, 23, and Adaline Deans, 19, were married 10 September 1876 at Virgil Deans’ in Wilson County.
In the 1880 census of Jefferson township, Putnam County, Indiana: Edward Dew, 25, works on farm; wife Adaline, 20; and children James A., 2, and Easter A., 1.
In the 1900 census of Edwin Due, 48; wife Addie, 39; and children Arthur, 22, Easter, 21, Edwin Jr., 17, Ida A., 16, Lizza, 14, Mary E., 12, Edith, 11, John, 9, Joseph, 7, Eva, 4, and Marshal, 1. Addie reported 12 of 14 children living. The first two listed here were born in North Carolina; the remaining in Indiana.
Adeline Due died 2 November 1902 in Monroe township, Putnam County, Indiana. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 July 1860 in North Carolina to Nicodemus Taylor and Anna Barefoot and was married to Ed Due. She was buried in Brick Chapel cemetery.
In the 1910 census of : Edwin Due, 56, farmer; wife Tena, 55; children Johnnie, 18, Joseph, 16, Eva, 13, Marshal, 12, and Lorenzo, 10; and mother-in-law Olive Howell, 82.
Per his headstone in Brick Chapel cemetery, Edwin Due died in 1921.
Fannie Oates McCullins‘ broken headstone lies in Odd Fellows cemetery a short distance from her parents and sisters Rosa O. Barnes and Ella Oates.
Fannie Wife of Andrew McCullins
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: day laborer Charles Oates, 34; wife Emma, 30; and children Willie, 11, Fannie, 9, Annie, 8, Effie, 5, and Queen Elsie, 4.
On 3 December 1908, Andrew McCullen, 40, of Wilson, son of Emma McCullen, married Fannie Oats, 19, of Wilson, daughter of Charles and Emma Oats. A.M.E. Zion minister J.S. Jackson performed the ceremony in the presence of Charles Knight, Henry Tart, and T.S. Beaty.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: pool room laborer Andrew McCollen, 36, and wife Fannie, 20, tobacco factory laborer.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 133 Ashe Street, tobacco factory laborer Andrew McCullers, 40, and wife Fannie, 30, shared a duplex with laborer Bob Strickland, 70, and wife Mary, 45.
The 1 September 1936 edition of Zion’s Landmark, a Primitive Baptist journal, printed a letter from Mrs. Charlie H. Wiggins of Elm City. “It is on my mind to write,” she began. “I don’t know why.” Wiggins meandered from thoughts of a recent service at White Oak Primitive Baptist to recollections of her great-grandfather James Bullock Woodard and his family to thoughts about London Woodard:
“We, the great granddaughters and sons, are thankful we descended from such a humble, honest God-fearing Primitive Baptist ancestor. Old Uncle London [W]oodard was a slave and belonged to great granddaddy Woodard. Old Uncle London became a Primitive Baptist preacher and was the founder of London’s Church, near Wilson. His wife, Aunt Penny, was a free negro. She bought her husband from great grand daddy.
“According to Elder [R.H.] Pittman’s, of Luray, Va. writings, in London Church was the first place he ever got in the stand and preached. I have a lot of curiosity about my ancestors. This is as far back as I can go on the Woodard generations. White Oak church and London’s have stood for several generations to come and pass on. I hope they will stand for the saints to go home and hear the Holy Child Jesus talked about.”
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Fannie Meritt, 53, widow, washing; daughter Martha, 35, washing; boarder Tom Deanes, 31, preacher; and lodgers William Kiterrel, 34, tobacco stemmer, and Willey Williams, 37, day laborer.
In the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Merritt Martha A (c) laundress h 121 N Railroad
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: laundress Fannie Merritt, 58, widow, and daughter Marthy, 40.
Fannie Merritt died 21 April 1915 in Wilson, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 67 years old; was born in N.C. to Bailum Bess and Millie Jones; and was a widow. Mattie Merritt was informant.
Mattie Merritt died 16 January 1923 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 60 years old; was born in Duplin County, N.C., to John Middleton and Fannie Best; was single; worked as a laundress; and lived on Smith Street. Cause of death: “Heart trouble stated to us. Found dead in her room had not been sick. No doctor in attendance.” Richard Best of Warsaw, N.C., was informant.