Tribute to Wallace Kent, alert and self-determined youth.

Wilson Daily Times, 12 May 1944.

Per his death certificate, 16 year-old Wallace Kent died of conditions brought about by schizophrenia. Given contemporary attitudes toward mental illness, the esteem in which his community held him is noteworthy.


In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Joe Kent, 48, farmer; wife Minnie, 42; and children Joseph, 17, Elbert, 15, Elek, 13, Pauline, 10, Elve, 8, Addilee, 5, and Wallace, 3.

In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Joe Kent, 48; wife Minnie, 51; and children Elbert, 25, Alex, 23, Ella, 17, Addie Lee, 15, and Wallace, 13; as well as daughter Lillie Powell, 25, and her children Joseph, 9, Elmer Lee, 5, and Bill, 3.

Wallace Kent died 28 June 1943 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 16 years old; was born in Wilson County to Joe Kent of Johnston County, N.C., and Minnie Bailey of Harnett County, N.C.; was engaged in farming; and was single. He was buried at Mary Grove cemetery.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Leave a Reply