Children

The once moral man is the father of the bastard child.

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News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 2 November 1909.

Rev. Owen L.W. Smith had, of course, been a Presiding Elder of the A.M.E. Zion Church and United States minister to Liberia. The News & Observer‘s restraint in covering his downfall is especially remarkable when earlier coverage of the affair is considered. The Smith-Moye had scandalized black Wilson. Moye not only worked for the church, she was married, and her husband had been driven off by Smith’s peremptory claims to her time. Just as shocking — the magistrate’s dismissal of Smith’s suit!

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News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 27 August 1908. 

“Delia R. Moye” was Delia A. Moye, listed in the 1908 city directory as a teacher residing at Goldsboro near Bank. Also at that address, her teenaged son, porter Albert Moye. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 459 Goldsboro Street, widowed laundress Della Moye, 31, with her children Albert, 17, twins Hattie and Mattie, 9, and Ethel, 2, who was Smith’s child. (In subsequent city directories, too, Delia Moye was described as a laundress. She lost her teaching job as a result of her pregnancy. She also likely was not actually a widow.)

On 18 August 1944, Ethel Mae Moye, 35, daughter of O.L.W. Smith and Della Smith [sic], married David H. Coley, 49, son of W.H. and Luanna Coley, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister W.A. Hilliard performed the ceremony in the presence of C.L. Darden, Norma Darden and Mrs. Ambrose Floyd.

Delia Ann Moye died 19 April 1955 at her home at 1207 East Washington Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 27 March 1882 in Greene County to Sandy Malone and Mattie [maiden name unknown; was widowed; and was a retired school teacher. Informant was Ethel M. Coley, 1207 East Washington.

He will not do so.

On 7 October 1889, Amy Kimble swore that her husband Edmund Kimble had abandoned her and their child. Witnesses testified for her, and a justice of the peace sustained the charge, ordering Kimble’s arrest. He was picked up nine days later.

Edmund “Kimble” is likely the Edmund Kimbrough listed as a laborer residing at 219 South Railroad in the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C. city directory. I have found no documentation of Amy Kimble/Kimbrough or their children.

Miscellaneous Records, Records of Wilson County, North Carolina State Archives.

The Mitchell family reach a compromise.

3 12 1938

Pittsburgh Courier, 12 March 1938.

For more about Rev. Richard A.G. Foster, see here and here and here.

Georgia Farmer Mitchell died 18 February 1938 at Mercy Hospital. Per her death certificate, she was a 15 year-old school girl; was born in Wilson to Floyd Mitchell and Lucy Farmer, both of Wilson County; and resided at 409 South Warren Street. She died of acute appendicitis and an intestinal blockage.

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Rev. Foster, probably in the late 1930s or early ’40s, perhaps at Yale University, his alma mater.

Photograph courtesy of Sheila Coleman-Castells.

Send-off at Calvary.

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The Africo-American Presbyterian, 15 September 1938.

Emiline Woodard and children.

Chester, Mary Adell, Emiline and Marvin Woodard, circa 1920.

In the 1920 census of Speights Bridge township, Greene County, North Carolina: on Harris Chapel-Howell Swamp Road, Johnnie Woodard, 28; wife Emma Line, 29; and children Marvin, 6, Chester B., 4, and Mary Adell, 21 months.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Johnie Woodard, 47; wife Emma L., 47; and children Marvin, 18, Chester, 16, Adell, 14, Vernell L., 12, James, 10, and Thomas W., 6; plus lodger John McCory, 28.

In the 1940 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Emiline Woodard, 48; and children Marvin, 16, Chester, 24, Mary, 21, Vornal, 19, Junious, 15, Helen G., 9, Bennie J., 6, and Thurman, 12.

Emiline Edwards Woodard died 15 April 1971 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 20 December 1894 to a mother named Hagar and an unknown father and was a widow. Informant was Mrs. Mary W. Moore, 1008 Washington Street.

Photograph courtesy of the family history booklet, Our Heritage 1812-1996: Edwards, Evans, Woodard, published in 1996, and graciously shared by B.J. Woodard.

Colored section rallies for playground.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 June 1921.

  • Rev. Arthur George
  • Judge D. Reid and Eleanor P. Reid
  • S.A. Vick — Samuel H. Vick?
  • Celia Norwood — on 28 February 1895, Celia A. Hill, 22, daughter of H. and H. Hill, married Richard Norwood, 21, son of B. Norwood of Chatham County, in Wilson. Episcopal minister J.W. Perry performed the ceremony at Saint Marks in the presence of John H. Clark, B.R. Winstead and S.A. Smith. Cecilia Anna Norwood died 27 June 1944 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 14 February 1879 in Washington, North Carolina to Edward Hill and Henrietta Cherry; resided at 205 Pender, Wilson; was widowed; and was a teacher. Informant was Hazel Covington of Wilson.
  • C.N. Darden — Charles H. Darden? Camillus L. Darden?
  • Charles Thomas 
  • Ethel Hines — Ethel Cornwell Hines
  • C.A. Hill
  • Lonvalle Martin
  • Hazel Norwood — Hazel Norwood (a daughter of Richard S. and Cecilia Hill Norwood), 24, married Thomas Covington in Durham, North Carolina, on 5 September 1933.

In 1921, “the end of Green and Viola Streets” would have been just northwest of the lot upon which Wilson Colored High School was constructed just a couple of years later. Was the playground ever built? Or were the baseball field and tennis court quickly encroached upon and then obliterated by houses in the 900 blocks of Green and Viola? If so, they were not replaced until Reid Street Community Center opened a few blocks away in 1938.

Sanborn fire insurance map, Wilson, North Carolina (1922).

The remains of Williamson High School.

The six-room Williamson High School, the second high school for African-American children in Wilson County, opened in 1942 near Lucama in Springhill township. Long-closed, its roof and cinderblock exterior remain intact, but its interior is a moldering shambles.

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Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2017.

Class of ’28.

In 1928, Wilson Colored High School was led by principal William H.A. Howard and teachers F. Meredith (math), J.E. Amos (home economics), J.F. Anderson (science), C.F. Hunt (English), and B.M. Davis (history and French).

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  • Jennie Moring Parker Kerbo, prophet (1909-2006, daughter of Charles and Maggie Hedgepeth Parker)
  • Herman Bess, valedictorian (possibly, son of William and Ada Best)
  • Ada Elizabeth Harris Reid Sharpe, treasurer (1908-2010, daughter of Leander and Lucy Brooks Harris)
  • Esther Lue Purdie, president (1907-??, daughter of Street P. and Lenora Bethea Purdie)
  • Walter Jefferson Giles, vice president (1909-2001, son of George W. and Lucettie Sutton Giles)
  • Vivian Elizabeth Peacock Smith, secretary (1909-1999, daughter of Levi H. and Hannah Pyatt Peacock)
  • Odelle Whitehead Barnes, salutatorian (1912-2011, daughter of J. Henry and Victoria Ennis Whitehead)
  • Mattie Smith, poet
  • Henderson Jesse Cooke, orator (1910-1971, son of Jerry and Clara Godette Cooke)
  • Catherine W. Whitehead Bynum, giftarian (1910-1999, daughter of J. Henry and Victoria Ennis Whitehead)
  • Maggie M. Ricks, alphabet (1909-??, probably, daughter of Ed and Nannie Gaston Ricks)
  • Beatrice Taylor Barnes, pianist (1912-1995, daughter of Russell B. and Viola Gaither Taylor)
  • Mary Street, historian
  • Cora Miller Washington Artis, class soloist (1909-??, daughter of George W. and Cora Miller Washington)
  • Ruby Speight, critic
  • Isaac Artis
  • Sarah Virginia Thomas Bryant (1909-1992, daughter of Charles and Sarah Best Thomas)
  • Pearl Foreman
  • Cora Bell Exum Lane, class will (1908-1984, daughter of Frank and Mamie Johnson Exum)
  • Clara Battle (1908-??, daughter of Joseph and Gertrude Battle)
  • Martha Bedford Savage Lucas (1907-1965, daughter of Frank and Serena Woodard Savage)
  • Naomi Scott Edwards (1910-??, daughter of Charles and Susie Ann Jones Edwards)

As was their principal, the Colored High School’s teachers seem to have been short-term Wilson residents:

  • F. Meredith — in the 1928 Wilson city directory, duplicate entries (though the names differ slightly): Wm. J.F. Meredith, school teacher, 624 East Green; James Meredith, school teacher, Wilson High School, 624 East Green. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Edwin W. Fisher, 56, district manager insurance company; wife Daisey V., 52; daughter Susie A., 21; and lodgers James F. Anderson, 26, Indiana-born school teacher, and William Meredith, 25, Tennessee-born school teacher.
  • J.E. Amos — in the 1928 Wilson city directory, Jane E. Amos, teacher, Wilson High School, 111 Pender. In the 1930 city directory, Jane E. Amos, teacher, Wilson High School, 919 Atlantic. However, in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 919 East Nash, brickmason James Russell, 42; wife Julia, 42; and daughter Annie, 7, plus lodger James E. Amos, 41, South Carolina-born school teacher. This is surely Jane E. Amos.
  • J.T. Anderson — see James F. Anderson at F. Meredith, above.
  • B.M. Davis — in the 1928 Wilson City directory, Bessie M. Davis, teacher, Wilson High School, 908 East Nash. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 913 East Green Street, teachers Ruth A. Brown, 23, of Nevada; Annie Wilson, 25, of North Carolina; Lucile Wynn, 22, of Virginia; and Bessie Davis, 28, of Washington, D.C.
  • C.F. Hunt — in the 1928 Wilson City directory, Cornelia F. Hunt, teacher, Wilson High School, 1009 East Nash. In the 1930 city directory, Cornelia F. Hunt, teacher, Wilson High School, 910 East Green. This is likely the Cornelia Frances Hunt born in 1907 in Granville County, North Carolina.

Photograph courtesy of Darden Alumni Center, Wilson.

Snaps, no. 11: Willie Batts and children.

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Willie Batts with daughter Josephine and son William.

In the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farm laborer Tom Batts, 37; wife Maria, 34; and children Joseph, 15, Henry, 13, John, 12, Bettie, 10, George, 8, Amos, 6, Willie, 4, Charles, 3, and “no name,” 1, and granddaughter Eliza, 1.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Tom Batts, 69; wife Mariah, 60; and children Eddie, 22, Willie, 20, Blossom, 18, William, 15, Bettie, 29, and Frank, 11.

On 10 February 1904, Livia Mercer, 21, of Wilson, daughter of Ella Barnes, married Willie Batts, 22, of Wilson, son of Tom and Mariah Batts. Benjamin Ellis applied for the license, and the ceremony took place at E.S. Toney’s home in the presence of Bud Batts, Wade Vick and Addie Batts.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 628 Warren Street, farm laborer Willie Batts, 28, wife Olivia, 29, and children Ernest, 8, Claria, 5, Elizabeth, 3, and twins Jodie and Josephine, 6 months.

Will Batts registered for the World War I draft in 1918. Per his registration card, he lived on R.F.D. 5, Wilson; was born 3 July 1880; and worked as a farmer for Billie Stott.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Willie Batts, 39, wife Olivia, 39, and children Ernest, 17, Clara, 16, Elizabeth, 13, Josephine, 10, William, 7, E. George, 5, and M. Mary, 1 1/2.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Will Batts, 50, wife Olivia, 50, and children Ernest, 25, William, 16, Georgiana, 14, Magdelene, 11, Rosa L., 10, and Henry, 8.

Willie Batts died 19 July 1939 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 58 years old; was born in Wilson County to Thomas and Mariah Batts; was married to Oliva Batts; worked as a common laborer.

Photograph courtesy of Ancestry user brianandrewbonner.