1920s

D.S. Farmer’s estate notice.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 May 1928.

 

When Doctor S. Farmer died without a will in 1928, the administrator of his estate published notices in the local paper seeking any persons with claims.

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On 16 March 1880, D.S. Farmer, 22, married Elizabeth Locust, 22, in Wilson.

In the 1880 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: Doctor S. Farmer, 22, and wife Elizabeth, 20.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Doctor S. Farmer, 45; wife Elizabeth, 43; children Lowla, 16, William L., 13, Ella E., 12, Emma L., 9, Walter W., 5, and Geneva A., 2; and boarder Sarah Parker, 24.

On 13 May 1906, D.S. Farmer, 50, of Taylors township, son of Delphia Farmer, married Susie Johnson, 40, of Wilson, daughter of Nash Johnson [sic; Horton], in Taylors township, Wilson County.

In the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Farmer Dock S (c) farmer h 410 N Pine

On 23 July 1908, William L. Farmer, 21, of Wilson, son of D.S. and Elizabeth Farmer, married Pocahuntas Henry, 20, of Wilson, daughter of Mack and Ellen Henry, at Mack Henry’s in Wilson. Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Glace Battle, Corneva Griffin and Ella Battle.

On 7 October 1908, D.S. Farmer, 46, of Wilson, applied for a license to marry Janie Lewis, 35, of Wilson.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Dock S. Farmer, 52; wife Janie, 26; children Ella, 20, Emma, 18, Walter, 14, and Geneva, 12; and hired woman Sarah Wells, 32.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Doc Farmer, 68; wife Janie, 30; son Walter, 25; and laborer Sarah Parker, 46.

In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Farmer Dock S (c) farmer h 1109 E Nash

Doctor Sims Farmer died 20 February 1928 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 21 April 1857 in Wilson County to Hillard Farmer and Adelphia Farmer; was married to Channie Farmer; and was a self-employed barber.

Susan Horton died 18 January 1945 in Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 14 July 1866 in Wake County to Nash Horton; was the widow of Dock Farmer; and lived at 417 South Goldsboro Street. She was buried in Boyett [Saint Delight Missionary Baptist Church] cemetery.

Lane Street Project: Aaron Washington?

This broken concrete headstone is lying atop the square marble base of a grave marker that has gone completely missing. The legible part of the broken stone reads: DIED APR 2 192 and MAY THE RESURRECTION FIND THEE ON THE BOSOM OF THY GOD.

A search of Wilson County death certificates filed in the 1920s reveals this possible identification of the deceased. Aaron Washington died 2 April 1923 in Wilson. (The bottom curve of the last digit in the year, above, is consistent with a 3.) Per his death certificate, he was born 21 February 1866 in Freemont [Fremont, Wayne County], N.C., to Gray Washington and Julie Sharp; was married to Stella Washington; worked as a drayman; and lived on Waynewright [Wainwright] Street.

Aaron Washington’s mother Julia Sharpe Washington and son Alexander Washington died in 1913 and 1918, respectively. If the marker above is in fact Aaron’s, it is likely that his family members were buried near him.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, January 2021.

Lane Street Project: Bessie Yancey McGowan.

Bessie Wife of John McGowan Born 1888 Jan 7 1925 Gone But Not Forgotten

At right, the headstone of Bessie Yancey McCowan looms amid a haphazard pile of more than a dozen grave markers  in Odd Fellows Cemetery. 

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In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: ditcher Benjamin Yancy, 50; wife Angeline, 39, washing; daughters Lizzie, 19, Bessie, 18, and Gertrude, 16, all cooking; and son Willie, 16, at school.

John McCowan, 21, of Wilson, son of Sam and Anne McCowan, married Bessie Yancey, 21, of Wilson, daughter of Ben and Angline Yancey, on 5 August 1903 at William McCowan‘s residence. Levi Jones applied for the license, and Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Alonzo Taylor, [illegible] Williams, and Fannie Jones

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: brickmason John McCowan, 27; wife Bessie, 26, laundress; daughter Annie, 5; and father Sandy, 91, widower.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Nash Street, brickmason John McGowan, 40; wife Bessie, 35; and daughter Beatriss, 13.

Bessie McCowan died 31 December 1924 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born April 1884 in Goldsboro, N.C., to Benjamin Yancey and Angaline Houston; was married to John McCowan; and lived at 1203 East Nash Street, Wilson. John McCowan was informant.

Her chicken came home to roost.

Culpeper (Va.) Exponent, 30 March 1922.

Lila Thompson and Annie Graham were close neighbors on Ashe Street. Within 30 months of their dispute, both were dead of tuberculosis.

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  • Liler Thompson — In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Thompson Lila (c) tobwkr h 124 Ashe. Lila Thompson died 14 October 1924 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 24 years old; was born in Sampson County to Henrietta Clark; was married to Walter Thompson; lived at 1005 Washington Street; and was buried in Rountree cemetery.
  • Annie Graham — In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Burley Graham, 16; mother Annie, 30, widow; sister Margrette, 14; and cousin Walter Bryant, 19; all born in South Carolina. Annie Graham died 27 July 1924 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was about 40 years old; was born in Lake City, South Carolina, to Daniel and Martha Martin; was the widow of James Graham; lived at 130 Ash Street; and worked as a maid for the Briggs Hotel. Burley Graham was informant. (Annie Graham’s daughter, also named Annie Graham, aged three months, died five days earlier. Per her death certificate, her parents were James Hall and Annie Graham. Mary Graham was informant.)

Frank Rountree plat map.

This 1923 plat map detailing part of Frank Rountree’s property shows, at left, the block now home to Wilson’s main United States post office and, right, the location of a Family Dollar store. 

The 1922 Sanborn fire insurance maps of Wilson reveal more detail about Rountree’s property. The houses he owned in this block are marked with asterisks. Most were double-shotgun houses built as rentals for African-American tobacco factory workers. 

Rountree’s properties on the other side of Hines are again marked with asterisks below. The houses fronting the north side of Hines Street had white occupants, but the double-shotguns behind them on Sunshine Alley and along South Goldsboro had Black tenants. (West of the tracks, especially on the southern perimeter of downtown, segregation patterns were checkerboard, blocks by block.) See more about short-lived Sunshine Alley here.

Plat Book 1, page 268, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson; Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, N.C., 1922.

Store damaged by fire.

Wilson Daily Times, 30 March 1924.

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  • Ed Johnson — Edward Johnson died 15 April 1924 (two weeks after his store burned.) Per his death certificate, he was born 12 February 1869 in Durham County, N.C., to Martin Johnson and Francies Burks of Durham County; was married to Rachel Jane Johnson; was a self-employed grocery merchant; and lived at 406 East Hines Street. His wife Rachel Johnson was the daughter of his landlord Lewis Townsend.
  • Louis Townsend — Lewis W. Townsend and his brother Andrew J. Townsend operated groceries together and separately in the warehouse district southwest of downtown Wilson.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

A lucky find.

Wilson Daily Times, 22 October 1925.

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On 31 January 1910, Fletcher Bowling, 34, of Wilson, married Lucy Barnes, 25, of Wilson, daughter of Rhoda Barnes, in Wilson. Holiness minister Leroy Wiggins performed the ceremony in the presence of William King, Bertha Wiggins, Lemuel Hargett, and Elder J.R. Beamon of Mount Olive.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Walnut Street, Fletcher Bowling, 34, and wife Lucy, 25.

George Fletcher Bowling registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County in 1918. Per his registration card, he lived on Mercer Street, Wilson; was born 8 August 1975; worked as a plumber’s helper for J.R. Hinton, Tarboro Street; and his nearest relative was Maria Bowling, Simpsonville, Greenville County, South Carolina.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Fletcher Bowling, 45, plumber; wife Lucy, 40, tobacco factory laborer; and daughter Ruby, 18 months.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 508 Spruce Street, paying $16/month in rent, Fletcher Bowling, 54, city sewer laborer; wife Lucy, 54; and daughter Ruby, 12.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: at 407 Spring Street Alley, Fletcher Bowling, 66; wife Lucy, 56; daughter-in-law Ruby Powell, 22, retrying tobacco factory laborer; and grandchildren Billy and Bobby, 5, and Edna Earl, 4.

Fletcher Bowling died 25 December 1940 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1878 in South Carolina to George F. Bowling and Mariah Smith; was married to Lucy Bowling; was a common laborer; lived at 407 Spring Street Alley; and was buried in Masonic Cemetery.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Typhoid treatment for colored people.

Wilson Daily Times, 21 April 1924.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The obituary of Mary Jane Barnes.

Wilson Daily Times, 5 November 1920.

  • Mary Jane Barnes — in the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: widower Sampson Sharp, 57, and children Mary J., 19, Earnes, 17, Frankling, 15, and Eva, 13. Jacob Barnes, 25, of Wilson, son of George and Silvia Barnes, married Mary J. Sharp, 21, of Wilson, daughter of Sampson and Ella Sharp, on 8 April 1903. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of S.E. Dortsch [future wife of Walter S. Hines] of Goldsboro, Annie F. Connor of Charlotte, and Geneva Battle of Wilson. Mary J. Barnes died 27 October 1920 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 April 1881 in Edgecombe County, N.C., to Samptson Sharpe and Lillie (maiden name unknown); was married to Jake Barnes; and lived at 814 Nash Street. 
  • Jake Barnes — in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Nash Street, Jake Barnes, 40; wife Mary J., 38; and children Gretchard, 14, Fred O., 11, Walom E., 8, Eva F., 6, and Mattie G., 3; and brother-in-law Frank Sharpe, 34.
  • Masonic cemetery
  • Rev. Chas. T. Jones — Charles T. Jones.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Applications for military headstones, no. 3: Rountree Cemetery.

As here, the applications below were made for military headstones to be installed in “Rountree Cemetery,” i.e. Rountree, Odd Fellows, or Vick Cemeteries. Of these, only James F. Scott’s grave marker has been found. (Another is now in Rest Haven, presumably the result of an exhumation and reburial.) The number of missing military headstones provides scale to the total loss of monuments in these cemeteries. 

  • James Franklin Scott

The gravestones of James F. Scott and his father, the Rev. John H. Scott, have been located in Odd Fellows Cemetery. (Rev. Scott applied for his son’s gravestone.) However, they were found piled and stacked with more than a dozen other markers, and the location of the actual graves is not known.

Frank Scott’s headstone. Interestingly, the marker is engraved with after-market text — a birthdate and an epitaph, “Who is now with the Lord.” 

  • Larry Barnes

Howard M. Fitts applied for the marker on Barnes’ behalf, as he did for many veterans.

  • Marcellus Lassiter

Marcellus Lassiter died 4 July 1947 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 April 1897 in Wilson County to John Lassiter and Isabell Gear; worked as a laborer; was a World War I veteran; was the widower of Mamie Lassiter; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Informant was Hardy Lassiter of Baltimore, Maryland.

  • Hubert Romaine Mitchener

Hubert Mitchener’s gravestone now stands in Rest Haven cemetery.

  • Sam Nash

Sam Nash registered for the World War I draft in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born 20 February 1890 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 1069 West Lexington Street, Baltimore; and worked as a laborer for B. & O. Railroad.

Minnie Nash of Baltimore submitted the application and requested that the headstone be shipped to Rosa Battle, 913 Washington Street, Wilson.

  • John W. Pitts

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 904 East Vance Street, John W. Pitts, carpenter, 53, born in South Carolina; wife Penina, 52, hotel maid; and son Junius, 20, farm laborer.

  • Nathan Austin

Nathan Austin died 22 July 1948 at a Veterans Hospital in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1893 in Wilson County to Marshall Ingram and Louise Ingram Austin; was a widower; lived at 610 Taylor Street, Wilson; and was unemployed.

  • Robert E. Ashford

[This is not the Robert Edward Ashford born 23 November 1918 in Wilson, who was white.]

Robert Edward Ashford registered for the World War II draft in 1942 in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 23 July 1923 in Wilson; lived at 614 East Green Street, Wilson; his contact was mother Rosa Ashford; and he worked at the Marine Base in Jacksonville, N.C.

Rosa L. Ashford submitted the application.

  • Fred Hyman

Fred Hyman registered for the World War I draft in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born 15 September 1887 in Tarboro, North Carolina; lived at 1323 South Markoe Street, Philadelphia; was a farmer for “Dougherty” in Haddonfield, New Jersey; and was married.

Fred Hyman died 23 August 1947 at a Veterans Hospital in Kecoughtan, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 September 1888 in Tarboro; was separated from Magnolia Hyman; lived at 1233 South 47th Street, Philadelphia. His body was shipped to Wilson, N.C., to the care of C.H. Darden & Sons Undertakers.

Sam Hyman, 816 Mercy [Mercer] Street, Wilson, submitted the application.

  • John Henry Jackson

John H. Jackson died 7 April 1946 at the Veterans Hospital in Asheville, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born 27 September 1872 in Surry County, N.C., to Tom Jackson; was married to Ida Mae Jackson; worked as a laborer; lived at 1201 East Washington Street; and was a veteran of the Spanish American War.

  • Henry Hines

Henry Hines died 11 March 1937 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 16 October 1892 in Wilson County to Mary Hines; was married to Lela Hines; lived at 808 Suggs Street; and was a day laborer for Farmers Oil Mill. 

  • Will Dixon

Will Dixon registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born in 1896 in Farmville, North Carolina; lived on Stantonsburg Street, Wilson; was a laborer for W.L. Russell Box Company, Wilson; and was single.

Lenora Dixon applied for his headstone.

U.S. Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1970, http://www.ancestry.com.