Author: Lisa Y. Henderson

History. Genealogy. Culture.

Franklin kicked by a mule.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 July 1913.

A mule kicked Jim Franklin in the face as he tried to catch it, “displacing his right eye and breaking his jaw bone.”

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On 12 August 1916, James Franklin, 24, of Wilson, obtained a license to marry Sudie Bryant, 22, of Wilson.

In 1917, Jim Franklin registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born January 1891 in Johnston County, N.C.; lived at 521 Lodge Street, Wilson; and worked as a laborer for Briggs & Simms. He claimed a draft exemption because he had one eye.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 521 Lodge, Ohio-born Jim Franklyn, 28, oil mill laborer; wife Sudie, 25; and son Freddie, 8 months, who shared a dwelling with Lina Smith, 21, laundress; her son Arthur, 1; and her grandmother Ella, 70, widow.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: James Franklin, 54; wife Sudie F., 35; and children Freddie F., 11, and Bertha L., 7.

Jim Franklin died 17 July 1939 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 46 years old; was born in Columbus, Ohio, to Rollingson and Emma Franklin; was married to Sudie Franklin; worked as a strikeman; and lived at 504 East Spruce Street, Wilson.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Lane Street Project: Rosa Oates Barnes.

Rosa Oats Barnes‘ broken headstone lies in Odd Fellows cemetery a short distance from her parents and sister Ella Oates.

Rosa Wife of Matthew Barnes

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On 25 August 1919, Matthew Barnes, 21, of Wilson, son of Nat and Emma Barnes, married Rosa Oats, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Charles Oats.  A.M.E. Zion minister  B.P. Coward performed the ceremony in the presence of John Norfleet, J.L. Moore, and James Whitley.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Railroad Street, tobacco factory worker Emma Barnes, 48, widow; son Matthew, 23, auto garage laborer; and daughter-in-law Rosa, 18, tobacco factory worker.

Rosa Oates died 18 November 1922 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 18 years old [actually, about 21]; was born in Wilson County to Charles Oats and Emma Williams; was divorced from Matthew Barnes; lived on Ash Street; and worked as a factory worker at Flemmings. Charlie Oats was informant.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2021.

The death of Hattie Rodgers, 13.

Wilson Daily Times, 6 July 1916.

Thirteen year-old Hattie Rodgers was pregnant. The newspaper reported speculation that her death was a suicide resulting from her family’s response to her condition.

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In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Berry Rodgers, 35; wife Florence, 23; and children Bessie, 10, Hattie, 7, Eula, 4, Nora, 2, and Nannie B., 11.

I have not found Hattie Rodgers’ death certificate.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Lula Malone is struck by a train.

Per the first account in the Daily Times, Lula Malone (not “Lizzie”) was struck by a train, but not seriously injured, sustaining only “cuts about the head and arms.”

Wilson Daily Times, 21 June 1922.

Three days later, however, the paper reported a very different story. How could a crushed skull have been missed?

Wilson Daily Times, 24 June 1922.

Lula Malone died 21 June 1922. Her death certificate states “June 1st,” but other dates in the document, including her dates of treatment, are consistent with a death on the 21st. She was 52 years old; married to Leroy Malone; a cook for “Mrs. Daniels”; and was born in Statesville, N.C., to John Griffin. Cause of death: “‘Shock’ (possible internal injury)” with “struck by RR engine” contributing.

Apparently, then Malone’s skull was not crushed. The official cause of death is more consistent with the initial news account. 

Clippings courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Vacation Bible School.

Wilson Daily Times, 15 July 1922.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 June 1927.

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  • Susan Peacock
  • Ruby Martin
  • Maggie Parker — in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: house carpenter Charles Parker, 40; wife Maggie, 30; children Magleen, 14, Charlie Jr., 21, Jim, 12, and Jennie, 10; and mother-in-law Jennie Hedgepeth, 66.
  • Rosa Lee Kittrell
  • Sarah Ray — in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Jessie Williams, 42; wife Lizzie, 38; in-laws Sarah, 14, Hattie, 12, Katie, 9, Stephen L., 9, and Lillian Ray, 5; and daughter Margrett Williams, 13.
  • Hattie Langley — in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Jarot Langley, 40, blacksmith at wagon factory; wife Lydia, 38; and children Hattie, 15, Thedore, 14, Marie, 12, Carnell, 7, Ruline, 6, Alcestus, 4, and Oris, 2.
  • A.H. George — Rev. Arthur R. George.
  • J.D. Martin

[Sidenote: I attended Vacation Bible School at Calvary Presbyterian with my cousins, who were church members. I remember most vividly the summer of 1969, when classes were taught on the first floor of the Mercy Hospital building, closed just five years earlier. Calvary had torn down in 192x edifice and was building a new church on the site. What do I recall best? Singing “Michael Row The Boat Ashore,” making crafts with marbles and popsicle sticks, and having the scab knocked off my smallpox vaccination site.]

Old Cabin Lunch.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 August 1925. 

In 1925, 1401 East Nash Street was just beyond eastern city limits. I have not been able to find anything else about Old Cabin Lunch.  I’m not at all sure it was a Black-owned business, though it was located in an African-American residential area. Three years later, the address was the location of William Wells‘ auto repair garage.

Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory (1928).