Shaw brothers win corn show prize.

Wilson Daily Times, 7 January 1936.


  • C.L. Spellman — Cecil L. Spellman.
  • S.T. Shaw — Seth T. Shaw.
  • L.J. Wilder — Luther J. Wilder.
  • J.R. Shaw — James R. Shaw. In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer James Shaw, 40; wife Lossie, 35; and nieces Eunice, 11, and Nora, 10.

The apprenticeship of Ashley Jordan.

On 22 January 1870, a Wilson County Probate Court judge ordered Ashley Jordan bound as an apprentice to Jacob H. Barnes until he reached 21 years of age. At the end of his term, Jordan was to receive “six dollars in cash, a new suit of clothes and a new Bible.”

  • Ashley Jordan — Jordan is not listed in the household of Jacob H. Barnes in the 1870 census, and I have found no further information about him.

United States Indenture and Manumission Records, 1780-1939, database at

Typical tenant farm house.

This early twentieth-century photo shows a typical tenant farm house with one or two rooms and a shed-roofed extension. Most African-American farmers in Wilson County were tenant farmers or sharecroppers and would have lived in a house similar to this one.

Photo courtesy of Stantonsburg Historical Society’s A History of Stantonsburg Circa 1780 to 1980 (1981).

Harris makes highest corn yield.

Wilson Daily Times, 19 November 1935.

  • Volious Harris

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Sidney Harris, 50, wife Hattie, 40, and children Emma, 17, Oliver, 16, Nathan, 13, Novella, 11, Volious, 8, Hattie M., 6, Beatrice, 3, and Clarence, 1.

In the 1940 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Sidney Harris, 59, wife Hattie, 50, and children Novella, 22, Volious, 17, Hattie Magarette, 15, Beatrice, 13, and Clearance, 12, and granddaughter Deloris McMillian, 6.

In 1942, Volious Lee Harris registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 June 1921 in Wilson County; lived at Route 2, Elm City; his contact was Sydney Harris; and was a student at A.&T. College, Greensboro, N.C.

On 21 July 1945, Volious Harris, 24, of Elm City, son of Sidney and Hattie Harris, married Helen Underwood, 25, of Goldsboro, N.C., daughter of William and Nellie Underwood, in Goldsboro, Wayne County, N.C.

Volious Harris died 28 February 1989 in Goldsboro, N.C.

J.G. Mitchell, helping his colored people.

Wilson Daily Times, 27 March 1934.


In the 1880 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Wilson Sharp, 52; wife Cherry, 45; nephew Jerry Bynum, 6; and James Mitchel, 47; wife Rose, 33; and son James G., 11.

On 24 December 1889, James Mitchell and Amanda Edwards, both 20, applied for a marriage license in Nash County, North Carolina.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer James G. Mitchell, 31; wife Armanda, 30; children Chestar, 9, Regenia, 8, Henretta, 6, William R., 4, and Dewry, 2; and widowed mother Rose Mitchell, 50.

Amanda Edwards Mitchell died between 1900 and 1910. In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer James G. Mitchell, 38; mother Rosa, 58; and children Kester R., 14, Cynthia, 14, Robert L., 12, Jimmie D., 10, and Lelia B., 8.

Cinderilla Cotton died 27 December 1928 in Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 35 years old; was born in Wilson County to James G. Mitchell of Wilson County and Armanda Edwards of Nash County; was married to Sidney Cotton; and was buried at William Chapel Church cemetery.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Elm City and Wilson Road, farmer James G. Mitchel, 61; wife Mamie I., 42; and children Mary M., 15, William F., 12, and Samuel B., 11.

In the 1940 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farm laborer William Mitchell, 23; wife Rosa, 20; father Grey, 65; and brother Samuel, 21.

In 1940, Samuel Bryant Mitchell registered for the World War II draft in Cumberland County, N.C. Per his registration card, he was born 15 September 1918 in Elm City, N.C.; his home address was Route 2, Elm City; his contact was father James Gary [Gray] Mitchell; and he was a resident student at Fayetteville State Teachers College

James Mitchell Jr. died 19 May 1953 in Elm City, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 May 1869 in Wilson to James Mitchell Sr. and Rosa Parker; was married; operated a farm; and was buried in William’s Chapel cemetery. Robert L. Mitchell was informant.

Levi Simmons wins a second scholarship.

“Wilson County – July 30, 1940. Levi Simmons, Minshew Club member granted this second A and T College Club Scholarship for achievement in club work. The second project – 2 pigs. He will enter A and T in September to pursue an agriculture course.”

We’ve met David Levi Simmons before, here, here, here, and here. Simmons was a committed member of Minshew 4-H Club, which met at Minshew School near Black Creek.

4-H club member Levi Simmons with pigs for club project, University Archives Photograph Collection, 4-H Youth Development Photographs, UA 023.008, Special Collections Research Center, N.C. State University Libraries, Raleigh, N.C.

Bushrod Dew’s crop lien.

On 17 January 1903, Howard, Graves & Company agreed to advance Bush Dew up to one hundred thirty dollars in supplies to enable Dew to cultivate the land in Wilson township Dew rented from S.H. Morris. In return, Dew gave Howard, Graves a lien on his crop as well as a eleven year-old black mare mule, an iron axle cart, an open buggy and harness, and all his farming implements.

Deed book 66, page 233, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.