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. 

4-H Club honors.

Wilson Daily Times, 28 August 1939.

  • C.L. Spellman, county agent — Cecil L. Spellman.
  • Cleo Jones — in the 1940 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer James L. Wood, 23, and wife Cleo C., 18; mother Flonnie Hall, 41; half-brother Lewis, 13, and Lizzie, 8.
  • Edith Joyner
  • Charles Ruffin — in the 1940 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Charles Ruffin, 39; wife Henrietta, 38; and children Bertha, 19, Charles, 17, James R., 16, Juanita, 12, Gladys Lee, 10, Christine, 8, Bruce, 7, Bertie Mae, 4, and and Curtis, 10 months. 
  • Levi Simmons — David Levi Simmons.
  • Aaron Clay — in the 1940 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Joe Clay, 47; wife Ezzie, 44; children Moses W., 19, Eva E., 9, Aron D., 18, and [Aaron’s wife] Gertrude, 17; brother John, 39; and granddaughter Ann D., newborn. All but Gertrude and the baby had lived in Sussex County, Virginia, five years before.
  • June Langston — in 1942, June Boney Langston Jr. registered for the World War II in Wayne County, N.C. Per his registration card, he was born 1 July 1922 in Wayne County; lived at “Fremont (Blackcrek) Wilson NC”; and his contact and employer was Jennie Langston, Fremont, Wayne, N.C. 
  • Mary Armstrong
  • Verdie Locus
  • Beatrice Jones
  • Joseph Simmons — 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.

Countywide picnic.

Wilson Daily Times, 30 June 1941.

Picnics organized by Wilson County’s Black 4-H and Home Demonstration clubs were annual social highlights. In 1941, a hundred and fifty families traveled to Yelverton School at the far eastern edge of the county for fun and frolic in such contests as milk-sucking, cracker-eating, nail-driving, bag-racing, and horseshoe-pitching.

Mad dogs in Black Creek; or Sam Rice loved his dog so much.

Wilson Daily Times, 7 June 1934.


In the 1930 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Samuel Rice, 35; wife Nettie, 36; and children Essie M., 17, Jeneva, 14, and Beatrice, 13.

In the 1940 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Sam Rice, 43; wife Nettie, 47; and son Richard, 11.

In 1945, Richard Rice registered for the World War II draft in 1945. Per his registration card, he was born 2 December 1927 in Wake County, North Carolina; lived at Route 1, Lucama, Wilson County; his contact was father Sam Rice; and he worked for Lannie Smith, Five Points, Wilson.

Sam Rice died in Black Creek township on 16 January 1946. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1885 in Spartanburg, South Carolina; was married to Nettie Rice; and worked in farming.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Tribute to Wallace Kent, alert and self-determined youth.

Wilson Daily Times, 12 May 1944.

Per his death certificate, 16 year-old Wallace Kent died of conditions brought about by schizophrenia. Given contemporary attitudes toward mental illness, the esteem in which his community held him is noteworthy.


In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Joe Kent, 48, farmer; wife Minnie, 42; and children Joseph, 17, Elbert, 15, Elek, 13, Pauline, 10, Elve, 8, Addilee, 5, and Wallace, 3.

In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Joe Kent, 48; wife Minnie, 51; and children Elbert, 25, Alex, 23, Ella, 17, Addie Lee, 15, and Wallace, 13; as well as daughter Lillie Powell, 25, and her children Joseph, 9, Elmer Lee, 5, and Bill, 3.

Wallace Kent died 28 June 1943 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 16 years old; was born in Wilson County to Joe Kent of Johnston County, N.C., and Minnie Bailey of Harnett County, N.C.; was engaged in farming; and was single. He was buried at Mary Grove cemetery.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

A mule named Rody, twelve acres of cotton, and a Hackney-made buggy: miscellaneous transactions, no. 2.

Most “deed” books stacked in the search room of the Wilson County Register of Deeds Office contain just deeds, but others, like Volume 72, contain miscellaneous records of sales agreements, leases, contracts, chattel mortgages, and other transactions. These documents offer rare glimpses of the commercial and farming lives of Black Wilsonians.

  • On 2 February 1907, John Artis and A.P. Branch agreed that Branch would advance Artis forty (up to fifty) dollars in supplies in order for Artis to make a crop on  in exchange for a lien on land in Black Creek township owned by and rented from Nathan Bass and on which Artis resided. In return, Artis agreed to cultivate and harvest twelve acres in cotton, nine in corn, and four in tobacco, and gave a lien not only on those crops, but on a seven year-old black mare mule named Rody; a buggy and harness; an iron axle cart; and all his farm implements. Deed Book 72, page 191.
  • On 25 February 1907, R.E. Hagan leased to Richard Renfrow, Charles S. Thomas, and Andrew Pierce for $8.00 per week “One Certain Outfit for Barber’s Shop,” consisting of five hydraulic barber’s chairs, twelve sitting chairs, one table, one bootblack stand, one barber’s pole, one mug case, five chairs, combination cabinet with mirrors, five towel jars, one complete wash stand, window curtains, and other furniture and furnishings in Renfrow, Thomas, and Pierce’s shop on Nash Street in a building owned by Hagan. Renfrow, Thomas, and Pierce further agreed to pay all taxes on the property and insure it against fire to the value of $700. After 215 weeks of payments, Renfrow, Thomas, and Pierce had the option to purchase the property for $912. Deed Book 72, page 195.
  • On 24 December 1906, Neverson Green agreed to purchase a #10 Computing Scale from The J.H. Parker Co. of Richmond, Virginia, for $57.50 payable in installments. Deed Book 72, page 205.
  • On 6 December 1907, to secure a debt of $3500, James White and George W. Suggs gave Samuel H. Vick a mortgage on 13 sets of single harnesses; three sets of double harnesses; five winter buggy robes; ten summer robes; one clipping machine; one roomer top desk; one iron safe; one saddle; one roan horse; four gray horses; two black horses; one bay horse named George; three bay mares; one brown horse; one sorrel horse; two double surries; one double carriage; four steel tire buggies; five rubber tire buggies; one drummers wagon; two runabout buggies; one single wagon; and one spring wagon. The loan was satisfied and discharged on 19 February 1908. Deed Book 72, page 249.
  • On 6 November 1907, H.G. Whitehead agreed to sell to Samuel H. Vick “an outlet through the lands of Silas Lucas and the said H.G. Whitehead” near Wilson’s corporate limits on both sides of the Norfolk & Southern Railroad at the extension of Warren Street, as well as another outlet at a place to be determined. Deed Book 72, page 249.
  • On 1 December 1907, to secure a debt of $712, James Hardy gave Samuel H. Vick a mortgage on one set of wagon harnesses; one wagon; one gray horse; one horse named George; one sorrel horse; one surrey horse; one surrey; one top buggy, Hackney make; three sets of harnesses; two buggy robes; one wagon pole; one set of double harnesses; and one buggy pole. Vick had sold this property to Hardy for use in a livery stable in the Town of Wilson. Deed Book 72, page 250.