The first page of the 1913 Sanborn fire insurance map contains a paragraph detailing the city’s fire protection. West of the tracks the fire department utilized horse-drawn equipment, including a steam fire engine, a hook and ladder truck with extension ladders, and 2500 feet of hose. East of the tracks, in “Colored Section” covering roughly sections 11, 12, most of 13, 22, and 23, there was one hand reel with 300 feet of hose — operated by the famous Red Hots.
Wilson Daily Times, 29 January 1919.
Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.
On 4 December 1916, Mary Jane Scott and her husband, John H. Scott, gave a mortgage on certain property to the trustees of the Great Union Holiness Convention of America, who had made a loan to the Scotts in the amount of $125.00. The Scotts paid off the loan on time in November 2018.
Deed book 110, page 46-47, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.
Rev. John H. Scott was a Holiness preacher. He died in 1940 and is buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery, as is his and Mary Jane Peacock Scott’s son, James Franklin Scott. Mary Jane Scott died in 1921 and may have been buried in Odd Fellows as well, but her headstone has not been located.
Wilson Daily Times, 26 December 1918.
Wilson Daily Times, 27 December 1918.
Despite their hopes, Thomas and his buddies did not get home until March 1919. Dave Barnes suffered the effects of his gas attack the rest of his life. This history of Company H, 365th Infantry’s battles in France suggests that the date of injury was November 10, not the 18th.
This service card provides details of Thomas’ time in the Army.
- Elton Thomas
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Charlie Thomas, 38, printing office pressman; wife Sarah, 33; children Elton, 9, Louis, 8, Elizabeth, 6, and Hattie May, 2; and lodgers Manse Wilson, 36, and Johnnie Lewis, 21, both carpenters.
In the 1908 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Thomas Elton (c) lather h 616 E Green
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Charlie Thomas, 49, laborer for printing office; wife Sarah, 44; and children Elton, 20, Lizzie, 18, Louis, 15, Hattie M., 11, Mary, 5, and Sarah, 1 month.
In 1917, Elton Thomas registered for the World War I draft. Per his registration card, he was born 17 July 1889 in Wilson; lived at 616 East Green Street; was single; and worked as lathing contractor for Kittrell & Wilkins.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Clarence Dawson, 23, barber; wife Elizabeth, 22; and daughter Eris, 2; widower father-in-law Charley Thomas, 59; brother-in-law Clifton Venters, 24, his wife Hattie, 20; and in-laws Elton, 29, Marie, 15, Sarah, 10, and Beatrice Thomas, 8.
In the 1927, 1929, 1930, 1934, and 1942 Newark, New Jersey, city directories, Elton H. Thomas is listed at several addresses, including 117 Summer Avenue, 105 Somerset Avenue, and 109 Sherman Avenue.
In 1942, Elton Henry Thomas registered for the World War II draft in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey. Per his registration card, he was born 15 August 1894 in Wilson; resided at 108 Sherman Road, Newark; his contact was Charles Thomas, 619 East Green Street, Wilson; and worked for Julius Rose, 327 Amherst Street, Orange, New Jersey.
On 27 November 1947, Elton Thomas, 52, of Wilson, son of Charlie and Sarah Best Thomas, married Rebecca Williams, 44, of 804 East Vance Street, Wilson, daughter of Solomon and Lettie Kittrell in Wilson. Free Will Baptist minister E.H. Cox performed the ceremony in the presence of Lillie J. Thomas, 715 East Green; Harold E. Gay, 623 East Green; and Louis Thomas Jr., 715 East Green.
Elton Thomas died 15 December 1970 in Goldsboro, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 July 1891 to Charlie Thomas and Sarah Best; was married to Rebecca Thomas; resided in Wilson; and had worked in lathing construction.
- Miss Richardson
- Rev. Coward — Bryant P. Coward, pastor of Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church.
Wilson Daily Times, 3 January 1917.
I have not been able to find a death record for a 12 year-old child in early January 1917. Nor have I been able to identify a 12 year-old boy named Clark living in the Elm City area in 1917.
Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.
The initial reporting of Archie McLean‘s terrible death, in addition to being breathlessly gory, tries and convicts his assailant, “a negro from South Carolina” named Bennett Bethea or Bennett McCarroll or Bennett McNeal. Also, note the third paragraph, in which Officer John Walston fired at a man he “thought” was Bethea/McCarroll/McNeal and instead shot a white woman bystander in the thigh. The reporter laconically noted the target “happened to be the wrong negro,” and Mrs. Davis was all right.
Wilson Daily Times, 29 September 1919.
Benny McNeal (as his name turned out to be) remained on the lam for more than two months before surrendering. He claimed self-defense, and witnesses at the inquest backed him up. After fleeing the scene, McNeal had stopped at his mother’s house, then headed south, finding work on a Hoke County farm.
Wilson Daily Times, 10 December 1919.
The grand jury agreed that McNeal had acted in self-defense and refused to indict him. Witnesses testified that McLean had come at McNeal with a piece of scantling (a small section of sawn timber) studded with twenty-penny (four-inch) nails, and McNeal had lashed out with a trench knife that penetrated McLean’s heart.
Wilson Daily Times, 16 December 1919.
In 1917, Arch McLean registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born March 1895 in Raleigh, N.C.; lived at 509 Stantonsburg Street; worked as a laborer at W.L. Russell Box Company; and was single. He signed his card with an X.
Archie McClain died 28 September 1919 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born in February 1894 in Wake County, N.C., to John Beckwith and Vicy Jones; was single; lived on Stantonsburg Street; and worked as a wagon driver for a L.&M. [Liggett & Meyers] tobacco factory. Bessie McClain was informant.
“Stabed to Death by a man”
Wilson Daily Times, 3 January 1917.
In 1917 (not ’18, per the headline), the Negro Business League sponsored the observation of the 54th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation at Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church. Master of ceremony Samuel H. Vick delivered remarks that appear calculated to soothe white attendees, as jarring as they may seem now. Mamie Faithful, a local teacher, recited two of her own patriotic poems, which, in the writer’s opinion, compared favorably to those of Paul Laurence Dunbar. And Presbyterian minister Halley B. Taylor delivered the keynote address on the progress and shortcomings of the Negro.
- Mamie Faithful
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: retail merchant Sulley Rodgers, 35; wife Earley, 33; and school teacher Mamie Faithful, 50, boarder.
Mamie Faithful is listed in the 1922, 1925, and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 114 Fourth Street, owned and valued at $1000, widow Mary Woodard, 34, laundress, and roomer Mamie Faithful, 61.
Mamie Faithful died at Mercy Hospital in Wilson on 15 January 1938. Per her death certificate, she was 63 years old; was single; worked as a laborer; and was born in Tarboro, N.C., to Irvin Thigpen and Beedie Faithful. Informant was James L. Faithful, Tarboro.
“In your home, you should put aside all arguments in favor of the one fact — the trained and proficient man is the best.” — C.H. Darden & Sons.
Wilson Daily Times, 21 December 1916.
Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.
Without comment, on 7 June 1917, the Wilson Daily Times published a lengthy list of names and addresses of children who were members of corn (for boys) and canning (girls) clubs in Wilson, Lucama, and Stantonsburg. The groups, supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, were the precursors to 4-H Clubs.
Given the canning club membership requirements, it’s astonishing that so many town girls were involved. Per Farm Life Readers, Book 5 (Bryan, Evans & Duncan, 1916, page 38): “Any girl between the ages of nine and eighteen in the county, where the work is organized may become a member. She must plant one-tenth of an acre to tomatoes, and must do all the work connected with her garden except preparing the soil for her plants. Prizes are offered for the largest yield, the largest net gain, the best display in glass jars, best history of garden work, the largest tomato, the most perfect tomato, the largest, neatest best collection of tomato recipes.”
Cover of notebook created by North Carolina canning club girl, 1915. Wilson County girls would have been required to create such a document. Jane Simpson McKimmon Papers (PC 234), State of Archives of North Carolina.
Below, the lists of children consolidated and alphabetized:
- Allen, Rose, Route 2
- Atkinson, Addie, Route 2
- Atkinson, Mattie, Route 2
- Barnes, Fletcher, Route 3 Box 68
- Barnes, Joseph, Route 3 Box 68
- Barnes, Sarah, Route 3 Box 68
- Battle, Jason
- Battle, Mamie
- Battle, Redmond (son of Columbus and Sallie R. Battle)
- Bethea, Lillie, Box 77
- Boykin, Ida, Route 3 Box 76 (daughter of William T. and Sarah Boykin)
- Boykin, Katie, Route 3 Box 76 (daughter of William T. and Sarah Boykin)
- Cherry, Eldora, Route 2 (granddaughter of Arch and Martha M. Atkinson)
- Creech, Daisy, Route 3 Box 74 (daughter of Troy and Martha Creech)
- Creech, Dorsey, Route 3 Box 74 (son of Troy and Martha Creech)
- Creech, James, Route 3 Box 14
- Creech, Naomi, Route 3 Box 14
- Creech, William, Route 3 Box 14
- Dew, Joseph, Box 92 (son of Cornelius D. and Cora L. Dew)
- Dew, Martha, Box 92 (daughter of Cornelius D. and Cora L. Dew)
- Ellis, Allman, Route 3 Box 14
- Dupree, Smithie, Route 3 Box 96 (daughter of Moses and Henrietta S. Dupree)
- Forsythe, Isabella, Route 3
- Forsythe, Lena, Route 3 (daughter of Mac and Mary Forsythe)
- Forsythe, William, Route 3
- Harris, Alvester (son of Andrew J. and Henrietta Harris)
- Kent, Elijah (son of Rufus and Maggie Kent)
- Murchison, Johnnie, Route 3 (John J., son of Samuel A. and Martha Murchison)
- Newsome, Adam, Route 1 (son of Larry and Louetta Artis Newsome)
- Newsome, Genatus, Route 1 (William Genatus, Larry and Louetta Artis Newsome)
- Pate, Alvestor, Route 3 Box 75 (son of James G. and Heterow Pate)
- Pate, Daisy, Route 3 Box 75-A (daughter of James G. and Heterow Pate)
- Proctor, Bessie, Route 1 Box 15 (daughter of Charlie and Dorita Proctor)
- Thomas [Thompson], Addie, Box 11 (daughter of Nelson and Melvina Thompson)
- Thompson, Lillie, Box 11 (daughter of Nelson and Melvina Thompson)
- Thompson, Nettie, Box 11 (daughter of Nelson and Melvina Thompson)
- Westley, Mattie (daughter of John A. Wesley)
- Whitley, Clarence, Route 1 Box 61-B (son of James and India Whitley)
- Williams, Beatrice, Route 1 Box 95
- Williams, Essie, Route 3 Box 68
- Williams, James, Route 1 Box 95
- Williams, Martha, Route 1 Box 61
- Williams, Minnie, Route 3 Box 68
- Williams, Odessa, Route 3 Box __
- Williamson, Eliza, Route 3 Box 68
- Adkinson, Viola, 649 East Green Street
- Allen, Lema [Lena], Raleigh Road (daughter of John and Martha Allen)
- Bagley, Herman, 609 Viola Street (son of Edward and Effie Newsome Bagley)
- Barefoot, Martha, 103 Viola Street (son of Wiley and Maggie Barefoot)
- Barnes, Alena, 504 East Green Street
- Barnes, Alma, Atlanta [Atlantic] Street (daughter of Lemon and Lizzie Barnes)
- Barnes, Anna, 103 Wiggins Street
- Barnes, Annie, 211 Manchester Street
- Barnes, Annie, 213 Pender Street
- Barnes, Antelia [Artelia], 121 Pender Street (daughter of John M. and Annie Darden Barnes)
- Barnes, Ardenia, 563 [East] Nash Street (daughter of Jesse and Sarah Barnes Barnes)
- Barnes, Boisey, 612 East Green Street (son of Dave and Della Hines Barnes)
- Barnes, Edward, Atlanta [Atlantic] Street (son of Lemon and Lizzie Barnes)
- Barnes, Frank, 106 East Nash Street
- Barnes, Gretchen, Nash and Reid Street
- Barnes, Jessie, 561 East Green Street
- Barnes, Joseph, 312 Manchester Street
- Barnes, Lizzie, Route 3 Box 82
- Barnes, Lucinda, Grabneck
- Barnes, Mable, 504 East Green Street
- Barnes, Margaret, Mason Street
- Barnes, Rosa, 14 Harper Street
- Barnes, Thelma, Leigh [Lee] Street
- Barnes, Victoria, Route 1, Box 126
- Barnes, Wearland, Leigh [Lee] Street (son of William I. and Madie Taylor Barnes)
- Battle, Annie, 628 East Nash Street
- Battle, Annie, 135 Sugg Street
- Battle, Effie, Suggs Street
- Bess, Suprema, 1105 East Nash Street (granddaughter of Benjamin and Eliza Ellis Best)
- Best, Laura, West Nash Street (daughter of Noah and Sarah Best)
- Best, Mattie, 631 East _____
- Blount, Joseph, Cemetery Street (son of Daniel and Susana Blount)
- Blount, Walter, 206 Pender Street (son of John and Mary J. Blount)
- Boykin, Mabel, 700 Viola Street
- Brannick, Bessie, 139 Ash Street
- Bullock, Rachel, 412 Lodge Street (daughter of Richard and Lucretia Beal Bullock)
- Bynum, Agusta, 143 Sugg Street (daughter of Charlie and Sarah Barnes Bynum)
- Bynum, Cathrin, 541 [East] Nash Street (daughter of Mack and Victoria Bullock Bynum)
- Bynum, Irene, 140 Suggs Street (daughter of Archibald and Lillie Woodard Bynum)
- Bynum, Leah, 541 East Nash Street (daughter of Mack and Victoria Bullock Bynum)
- Cannon, Ethel, 616 East Nash Street (daughter of John and Florence Cannon)
- Carroll, Mary, 507 Vicks Alley
- Chapman, Delzelle, 206 Stantonsburg Street
- Crawford, Willard, 705 Spring Street (son of Joe and Annie Crawford)
- Cox, Minnie, 109 Green Street (daughter of Floyd and Lula Cox)
- Dawson, Almedo, 505 East Vance Street
- Dupree, Nancy, Vick Street (daughter of Wiley and Victoria Woodard Dupree)
- Edwards, Jonathan, 609 Robinson Street (son of Henry Edwards)
- Ellis, Charles, 665 Carolina Street
- Ellis, Florence, 157 Atlanta [Atlantic] Street
- Ennis, Freeman, 401 Pine Street (son of Samuel and Maggie Barnes Ennis)
- Farmer, Clara, Mason Street
- Farmer, Gladys, Barnes Street (daughter of Jason and Bessie Farmer)
- Faulk, Marie, 210 Pender Street (daughter of Hiram and Arzulia Mitchell Faulk)
- Gaston, Lorenzo, 120 Manchester Street
- Grantham, John E., 205 Reid Street
- Green, Ida, 628 Green Street
- Green, William, 1208 Pender Street
- Griffis, Hazel, Vick Street
- Hall, Flora, 607 Sunshine Street
- Hargreaves, Willie, 663 East Carolina Street
- Harper, Mary, 141 _____
- Harris, Georgia, 617 Stantonsburg Street
- Haskins, Estelle, 505 West _____
- Haskins, Mandy, 303 Varn [Barnes] Street
- Haskins, Marie, 631 East Green Street
- Holden, Carrie, 305 John Street
- Holman, Thelma, 503 East Vance Street
- Holt, Maggie, 113 Pender Street
- Hooper, Ruther, 656 Viola Street
- Howard, Mary, 110 Pender Street
- Howard, Ophelia, 627 East Green Street
- Hunt, Lulu, County Road
- [H]ussey, Rhoda, 634 [East] Nash Street
- Jackson, Joseph, 619 East Green Street (son of Joseph and Annie Horton Jackson)
- Jackson, Paul, 619 East Green Street (son of Joseph and Annie Horton Jackson)
- Jeffreys, Luvinia, 702 Daniel Street
- Johnson, Maizie Lee, 151 Sugg Street
- Johnson, Winona, 418 East Nash Street
- Jones, Alice, 825 Stantonsburg Street (daughter of Wesley and Martha Taylor Jones)
- Jones, Margaret, 400 Washington Street
- Jones, Julia, 700 Tarboro Street
- Kittrell, Rosalie, 637 East Green Street
- Lane, Archer, 7084 Green Street
- Lane, Esther, 704 East Green Street
- Langley, Harriet, 800 Viola Street
- Lewis, John, 411 Vick Street
- Lonze, Willis, 619 Vance Street
- Lude, Martha, 119 Pender Street
- Marshall, Inez, 315 Jones Street
- McCoy, Henry, 23 Carolina Street
- McPhail, Mary, 313 Vick Street
- Melton, Maggie, 648 Mercer Street
- Miller, Rebecca, 313 Goldsboro Street
- Mimms, ___sie, Grabneck Street
- Mitchell, Lester, 549 East Green Street
- Moore, Samuel, 406 Wiggins Street
- Morgan, Ella, 706 Green Street
- Myselle, Mary, 307 Walnut Street
- Norfleet, Ruth, 213 Lee Street
- Norwood, Eliza, Route 4, Box 14-A
- Oates, Rosa, 542 Narrow Way Street
- [O’]Kelley, Gladys, 633 East Green Street
- Palmer, Beatrice, 608 Viola Street
- Parker, Maggie, 111 Ash Street
- Parker, Marie, 901 _____
- Pearce, Almira, 806 East Vance Street
- Pitt, Elizabeth, 804 East Vance Street
- Pur___, Alma, 413 Stantonsburg Street
- Reed, Bruce, 601 East Green Street (son of J.D. and Eleanor Frederick Reid)
- Rodgers, Alphonza, 607 Lodge Street
- Sanders, Amelia, 143 East Street
- Savage, Bedford, 623 Darehis [Dardens] Alley (daughter of Frank and Serena Woodard Savage)
- Scarborough, Lucile, 1109 East Nash Street (daughter of Festus and Mary Parker Scarborough)
- Scott, Mary, near Colored Gra. School
- Scott, Sarah, Woodard Avenue
- Selman, Francis, West Hines Street
- Shaw, Willie, 209 Hackney Street
- Simms, Essie, 509 Mercey [Mercer] Street
- Speight, Bessie, 627 East Green Street (daughter of Jake and Rebecca Speight)
- Spells, John, 133 Pender Street (son of John S. and Martha A. Gordon Spell)
- Stephen, Elsie, 151 Lee Street
- Stevens, Josephine, Lodge Street
- Taylor, Gladys, Robinson [Robeson] and Reid Streets
- Taylor, Mae, 9_6 Carolina Street
- Taylor, Tilly, 515 East Green Street
- Thigpen, Amanda, 603 East Elba Street
- Thomas, Marie, 616 East Green Street (daughter of Charles and Sarah Best Thomas)
- Utley, George, 39 East Green Street
- Vick, George, 623 East Green Street (son of Samuel H. and Annie Washington Vick)
- Washington, _____, 630 East Green Street (child of George and Cora Miller Washington)
- Washington, James, 630 East Green Street (son of George and Cora Miller Washington)
- Weeks, Marie, 131 Pender Street (daughter of Rev. Alfred and Annie E. Weeks)
- White, Patsy, Grabneck Street
- Wilkins, Hattie, 414 East Lodge Street (daughter of Redden S. and Mary Hines Wilkins)
- Williams, Dorthea, Rountree Street
- Williams, Helen, 411 [South] Goldsboro Street
- Williams, Mattie, 204 Wiggins Street
- Williams, Nettie, Stantonsburg Road
- Woodard, Almira, 119 Ash Street
- Woodard, Herbert, 22 Harper Street
- Applewhite, Alberta
- Applewhite, Cherry (daughter of George and Jane Edmundson Applewhite)
- Artis, Estelle
- Artis, Nora
- Barnes, Bessie
- Barnes, Cora
- Barnes, Hattie
- Barnes, James
- Batts, Ada
- Foster, Mamie
- Hagans, Luvinia (daughter of Dave and Almeta Ellis Hagans)
- Hall, Oliver (son of James and Henrietta Hall)
- Jones, Agnes
- Jones, Albert
- Jones, Ernest
- Jones, Roscoe
- Locus, Naomi
- Lucus, Emma
- Miller, Sarah
- Newsome, Valdena
- Reid, Loumiza (daughter of William and Bettie Wilson Reid)
- Ward, James
- Ward, Sarah
- Whitley, Beatrice (daughter of Titus and Ida Whitley)
- Whitley, Benjamin (son of Titus and Ida Whitley)
- Winstead, Isaac (son of James Woodard and Annie Liza Winstead)
- Winstead, Camuel [Samuel?]
- Winstead, Mena (daughter of Mandy Winstead)
- Yelverton, Ada (daughter of Ivory and Annie Taylor Yelverton)
- Yelverton, Albert
- Yelverton, Claude (son of Ivory and Annie Taylor Yelverton)
- Yelverton, Henry (son of Ivory and Annie Taylor Yelverton)
Wilson Daily Times, 7 December 1916.
A few years after it opened, friends of the Wilson Colored Hospital (later known as Mercy) held a pop-up shop of sorts in the Odd Fellows Hall on East Nash Street to raise money for indigent tuberculosis patients. On offer, clothing, but mostly undoubtedly delicious food — barbecue, chicken salad, oysters, sausages, sandwiches, sweets and ice cream.