Children

The death of little Etta Parker.

“Pistol ball in brain by toy pistol in hands of boy unintentionally.”

I have not been able to learn more about the death of six year-old Etta Parker, who was fatally shot in the head by an unidentified boy with a toy pistol. (What kind of toy gun shot “pistol balls”? A BB gun?)

African-American scouts attend camp.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 August 1950.

Under the supervision of John E. Dixon and W.E. Jones, 14 boys from Wilson — Eddie Sauls, Herbert Cox, James Richardson, Jimmy L. Barnes, Joseph Speight, James Baines Jr., Rudolph Lane, John McNeil, Leroy Evans, Nesby Hilton, Joseph McNeil, Timothy Autry, Fred Woodard, and James Taylor — attended a Boy Scout camp in Rocky Mount in 1950.

 

State vs. Jeffrey Simms.

To stave off responsibility for caring for poor women and their children, unwed mothers were regularly brought before justices of the peace to answer sharp questions about their circumstances.

On 11 December 1866, Rebecca Barnes admitted to Wilson County justice of the peace Washington Barnes that she had given birth to a child whose father was Jeffrey Simms. Barnes ordered that Simms be arrested and taken to a justice to answer Barnes’ charge.

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In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: Jeffrey Simms, 24, wife Caroline, 22, and an unnamed one month-old infant, plus Bryant Simms, 80.

Bastardy Bonds, 1866, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Born in Africa.

A.M.E. Zion minister Owen L.W. Smith served as United States consul general to Liberia from 1898 to 1902. His family, which included second wife Adora Oden Smith and their children Flossie and George E. Smith, remained in Wilson during his post.

Flossie Smith died in 1901, and baby George and Adora Smith in 1906. On 24 February 1908, Rev. Smith married Cynthia A. King Isler in Pitt County, North Carolina.

The 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County, lists Owen W. Smith, 58; wife Lency A., 45;  children Jessy A., 27, and Carry E. Smith, 10; and stepchildren John H., 12, and Mary A. Isler, 10. John and Mary Isler were Cynthia “Lency” Smith’s children. Jesse Alexander Smith is described in Rev. Smith’s will as an adopted son. And what of Carrie E. Smith?

Carrie Emma Smith died 2 September 1917 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 29 December 1899 in “African (Liberia)” to Owen L.W. Smith and Mary Johnson. The certificate does not specify her place of burial, but we know she was laid to rest in the Masonic cemetery in the Smith family plot.

Her headstone is one of four remaining in the plot — Rev. Smith’s is not visible — and states: CARRIE EMMA Adopted Daughter of Rev. O.L.W. & Adora Smith Dec. 29 1899 Sept. 2  1917.

Carrie Emma Smith’s headstone in the Masonic Cemetery. The stone lying flat is that of O.L.W. Smith’s mother, Maria Hicks, who died in 1902. 

Adopted?

Carrie E. Smith was born in Liberia during Rev. Smith’s stint at consul. His wife Adora Smith remained in Wilson. Carrie Smith’s mother is named, per information provided by Rev. Smith, as Mary Johnson of South Carolina. Was O.L.W. Smith Carrie Smith’s biological or adoptive father? Did he bring the child home to Wilson when returned from his diplomatic post in Liberia? Who was Mary Johnson?

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2022.

State vs. Jack Aycock.

To stave off responsibility for caring for poor women and their children, unwed mothers were regularly brought before justices of the peace to answer sharp questions about their circumstances. 

On 11 May 1866, Amanda Aycock admitted to Wilson County justice of the peace S. Woodard that she had given birth out of wedlock and Jack Aycock was the child’s father. Woodard ordered that Jack Aycock be arrested and taken to a justice to answer the charge.

Jack Aycock married Letha Daniel on 17 December 1866 in Wilson County. In the 1870 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Jackson Aycock, 23; wife Litha, 26; and daughter Kate, 1.

I have not identified Amanda Aycock.

Bastardy Bonds, 1866, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Daily Times paperboys, no. 4.

  • Benjamin Hines

Wilson Daily Times, 5 October 1950.

  • Therman G. Barnes

Wilson Daily Times, 7 October 1950.

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: cook Maggie L. Ward, 38; cook Ida Mae, 35; sister Annie, 20, maid; sister Addie, 15; brother Vertice B., 14; nephew Thurman Barnes, 14; and nieces Mable Barnes, 18, and Patricia A. Ward, 1.

  • V. Bruce Ward

Wilson Daily Times, 7 October 1950.

Vertice Bruce Ward was the uncle of Therman G. Barnes, above.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The death of little Bud Horne.

Four year-old Bud Horne‘s cause of death is unfathomable: “It is supposed this child swallowed matches, fire was flaming from his mouth when discovered.”

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In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Lodge Street, brickyard laborer Richard Horne, 59; wife Lizzie, 60, laundress; children Elizabeth, 17, Mary, 15, and Emma, 8; and granddaughter Rosa, 1.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: also on Lodge Street, widow Adeline Suggs, 48, and her children  Alex, 18, Pattie, 15, and Fannie, 14.

State vs. Barry Lawrence.

To stave off responsibility for caring for poor women and their children, unwed mothers were regularly brought before justices of the peace to answer sharp questions about their circumstances.

On 25 July 1866, Jane Horn admitted to Wilson County justice of the peace Solomon Lamm that her two-month-old child’s father was Barry Lawrence. Lamm ordered that Lawrence be arrested and taken to a justice to answer Anderson’s charge.

I have not been able to identify Horn or Lawrence with certainty.

Bastardy Bonds, 1866, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

State vs. Sidney Edmundson.

In December 1866, someone reported swore to two justices of the peace that Amanda Edmundson, who was unmarried, had given birth to a child. When questioned, Edmundson admitted the birth and named Sidney Edmundson as the child’s father. 

I have found neither in Wilson County records. 

Bastardy Bonds, 1866, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

State vs. Johnathan P. Locus.

To stave off responsibility for caring for poor women and their children, unwed mothers were regularly brought before justices of the peace to answer sharp questions about their circumstances. 

On 18 December 1866, Aby Anderson admitted to Wilson County justice of the peace John Nichols that she was unmarried and had given birth to a child whose father was Johnathan P. Locus. Nichols ordered that Locus be arrested and taken to a justice to answer Anderson’s charge.

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I have not been able to identify Locus with certainty. Aby Anderson may have been Tabitha “Abi” Anderson, born about 1848, who married Gray Ruffin in Wilson County on 18 October 1893.

Bastardy Bonds, 1866, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.