I didn’t think it was any business of mine what the government did.

Rocky Mount Telegram, 27 January 1939.

In January 1939, a judge sentenced Claud Blake to 30 days’ labor on public roads for defrauding the North Carolina Unemployment Compensation Commission of $1.14. Blake had claimed to be disabled as a result of his World War I service, and, during questioning about it, revealed that he knew a former wife had collected $45 a month in death benefits for three years after she (or someone) filed a false claim. Blake testified that none of it had been any of his business.

Though described as a “Wilson Negro,” Blake was a native of Johnston County native and apparently spent most of his life there. In 1956, however, when he was about 73 years old, he married Mary Joyner, 57, of Elm City, daughter of Dock Powell and Hazel Dawes Powell. Blake died in Raleigh, N.C., in 1961 and is buried in the National Cemetery there.

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