The obituary of Sallie Barbour, revered teacher.

Wilson Daily Times, 25 April 1942.

In the 1880 census of Clayton, Johnston County, North Carolina: Essex Blake, 53; wife Clara, 43; and children Della, 23, Robert, 21, Sallie, 19, Benjamin, 17, James, 15, Halsey, 12, Antney, 10, Timothy, 8, Ardelia, 6, Narsissie, 6, and Jerry, 5.

On 11July 1886, Charles Barber married Sallie Blake in Clayton, Johnston County.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: mechanic Charley Barber, 41, described as married; sons Luther, 13, James and John, 7, and Hubert, 5; widowed sister Mary Tomlingson, 42, and her children Ella, 9, and Charley, 4; and boarders Turner Utley, 27, John Purkison, 31, and George Garrett, 25. In a different household: John W. Rodgers, 30; wife Mary E., 22; sister Minnie, 17; and boarder Sallie Barber, 35, described as “widowed.” [In fact, she and her husband had separated.]

In the 1908 version of Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, the only Barbers listed are James M., Jno. W., and Luther Barber at 129 Pender Street, and Sallie Barber next door at 131 Pender.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: mechanic Charlie Barber, 47; wife Sallie, 40, teacher; sons Luther, 21, James and John, 17, and Hubert, 15; and roomers Willie Harris, 17, and Carrie Mayswood, 16.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 809 Nash Street, barber John Barber, 27; wife Ethel, 26; widowed mother Sallie, 59, a school teacher; and brother Luther Barber, 32, also a barber.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1100 East Nash Street, Sallie Barber, 67, widowed public school teacher, and her sister Tiny Hill, 69, also a widowed teacher.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Sallie Barbour, 85, widow, and lodgers Ordelia Nunn, 66, and James Pettiford, 47, barber at Hines barbershop.

Sallie Minnie Barbour died 22 April 1942 at her home at 1100 East Nash Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 71 years old; was born in Wake County to Essex Blake and Clara Hodge; was a widow; and was a schoolteacher. Ardelia Nunn, 1100 East Nash, was informant.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 April 1942.

Clippings courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Teachers assigned to Negro schools.

Wilson Daily Times, 31 August 1949.

Just before the school year began, the Daily Times published the names of African-American teachers at Wilson County’s Black county schools — Williamson High School, Williamson Elementary, Rocky Branch, Jones Hill, New Vester, Sims, Farmers, Howards, Holdens, Saratoga, Bynums, Wilbanks, Yelverton, Stantonsburg, Evansdale, Ruffin, Lofton, Minshew, Brooks, Lucama, and Calvin Level

Cancer instruction.

Wilson Daily Times, 6 August 1949.

The Wilson County chapter of the American Cancer Society sent Mercy Hospital nurse Sylvia Daniels to attend a training course in cancer nursing at Durham’s North Carolina College (now North Carolina Central University.)


Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory (1947).

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Levi Simmons is the state 4-H champion!

Wilson Daily Times, 2 August 1940.


We read here the letter Pfc. David Levi Simmons wrote to the newspaper . Before he was a soldier or college student, Simmons was a member of the Minshew 4-H Club and 4-H state champion, with winning projects in pigs, gardening, tobacco, cotton, corn, potatoes, and peanuts. 

A letter from Pvt. Simmons.

Wilson Daily Times, 23 July 1942.


In the 1920 census of Plowden Mills township, Clarendon County, South Carolina: Junious Simmons, 24; wife Clara, 19; and son David L., 1.

In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Junius Simmons, 33; wife Clara, 29; and children Levi, 11, Joseph, 9, Frank, 4, and Julia May, 5 months.

In the 1940 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Junius Simmons, 44; wife Clara, 39; and children Levi, 21, Joseph, 20, Frank, 15, Julia, 10, Lettie, 5, Thomas, 1, and Edward, 9.

In 1940, David Levi Simmons registered for the World War II draft in Wayne County. Per his registration card, he was born 15 May 1918 in Manning, South Carolina; lived at Route 1, Fremont, Wayne County; his contact was father Junious Simmons; and he was a student at A.&T. College, Greensboro, N.C.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Vacation Bible school at Calvary Presbyterian.

Wilson Daily Times, 24 June 1929.

Samuel H. Vick, who helped establish Calvary Presbyterian Church, was an early proponent of the Sunday School movement. In 1929, two hundred children enrolled in classes taught by ten teachers and looked forward to “a dramatic recital by a blind girl, and several Biblical dramatizations by the students.”

[Sidenote: For a summer or two circa 1970, when its new edifice was under construction, Calvary held its Vacation Bible School on the first floor of Mercy Hospital, which had closed in 1964. My cousin and closest friends were church members; I tagged along. My  recollections are fleeting — singing “Michael, Row the Boat Ashore,” crafts with popsicle sticks and marbles, recess on the front lawn, and an unfortunate accident in which the scab was ripped from my smallpox vaccination scar.]

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.