The robbery and beating of Asa Locus.

From its beginning in 2015, Black Wide-Awake‘s cut-off date for events has been 1949. It was an arbitrary date, but a clean one, and meant to ensure my focus on people, places, and things that were furthest from us and thus closest to slipping away. Recently, though, I received the gift of a compelling trove of newspaper clippings from 1950 and can’t help but share them.

Here’s the first detailing the daring armed robbery of Asa “Acie” Locus by two white men, who got away with $27,000 in cash and several guns. (Note the reason Locus felt “only fools” kept their money in bank — he was probably referring to the collapse of Commercial Bank in 1929.)

Wilson Daily Times, 14 October 1950.


In the 1880 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: Nelson Eatmon, 66; wife Eliza, 50; [Eliza’s children] Amanda, 18, Mary J., 14, Asa, 10, and Lougene Locus, 4; and Margaret Howard, 21, and Harriet Howard, 2.

Also, in the 1880 census of Fishing Creek, Warren County, North Carolina: Levi Richardson, 25, wife Temy, 16, and cousin Acy Locus, 10.

On 17 June 1895, in Brinkleyville, Halifax County, Asa Locus, 23, of Halifax County, married Annie Eaton [sic], 18, of Halifax County.

In the 1900 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Asa Locus, 27, wife Anna, 22, and children Larry, 5, Johney, 4, and Kniver, 1.

In the 1910 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: on Nash Road, farmer Acy Locust, 40, wife Annie, 33, and children Larry, 15, John, 13, Eva, 11, James, 8, Ada, 6, and Paul, 3, and mother-in-law Wilmur Eatman, 68.

In the 1920 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Asa Locus, 49, wife Annie, 40, daughter Ada, 14, and son Paul, 12.

In the 1930 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Ace Locus, 60, wife Annie, 50, and granddaughter Teanestus Locus, 10.

In the 1940 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Ace Locus, 72, and wife Annie, 68.

Asa Lucus died 14 July 1955 at Park View Hospital in Rocky Mount, Nash Carolina. His residence was Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born October 1860 in Wilson County to Martin Lucus and Liza Brantley. He was buried in a family cemetery in Wilson County.

[N.B. An earlier blogpost cited Civil Rights Congress’ We Charge Genocide: The Historic Petition to the United Nations for Relief From a Crime of The United States Government Against the Negro People (1951) as the source of a short blurb about the crimes against Locus. That document erroneously places the robbery in 1944.}

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