Newspapers

Old Ed.

Ed Dupree lived a colorful life.

On a Saturday night in February 1936, three white men — Offie Page, Floyd Page and Gwin Pullman — pulled up outside Dupree’s Railroad Street house, called him to the car and forced him in at gunpoint. Fighting off blows, Dupree dived through the rear window as the vehicle neared Stantonsburg Street. When the police caught up with the trio, they found a toy pistol and a pointing finger — Dupree, the men said, was the responsible for Pullman’s arrest for possession of five gallons of unlawful liquor.

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Wilson Daily Times, 4 February 1936.

Almost three years later, Dupree was in court facing his fifth bootlegging charge in the last twelve months. Nettie Williams testified that Dupree had offered to pay her to take responsibility for the half-gallon of liquor police had found at his house. Police testified that they discovered alcohol poured into a bucket and stashed in “trap doors” in the outhouse and about the house. Ed Dupree’s daughter Mary testified that Nettie had brought the liquor in and dumped it when the cops arrived. The recorder — essentially, a magistrate — was not persuaded. He sentenced Dupree to six months “on the roads,” i.e. on a chain gang, and resurrected a six-month suspended sentence on top of that.

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Wilson Daily Times, 17 January 1939.

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In the 1930 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson township, Wilson County: at 420 South Lodge Street, rented for $20/month, bottling plant laborer Egar [sic] Dupree, 55; wife Bettie, 31; children Wilder, 11, Esther, 9, Mary E., 7, and Edgar Jr., 5; and roomer Cornelia Hicks, 22.

Per the 1930 edition of Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, Edw. Dupree was employed by Barnes-Harrell Company, bottlers of Coca-Cola. W. Offie Page was a clerk at P.L. Woodard & Company, an agricultural supply company. The directory also lists Floyd S. Page, a salesman with Wilson Auto Sales, and Floyd T. Page, a switchman. (At least twice — in 1939 and 1943 — the Daily Times printed notices that recent references to arrests of “Floyd Page” did not refer to car salesman Floyd. I suspect that switchman Floyd was the party involved in the kidnapping of Ed Dupree.)

Practicing midwifery without a license.

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Wilson Daily Times, 19 January 1938.

Mariah Battle Gaston‘s plight was a common one for midwives in the early twentieth century. As the practice of medicine professionalized, and backed by the twin pressures of sexism and racism, doctors began to usurp the traditional role of granny midwives and to criminalize their practice of their vocation.

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In the 1870 census of Joyners township, Wilson County: Frank Battle, 48; wife Martha, 49; and children Dolly, 25, Patsey, 17, and Mariah, 14.

On 16 July 1874, William Gaston, 22, married Mariah Battle, 20, in Toisnot township.

In the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farm laborer William Gaston, 28; wife Maria, 21; and children Willie, 7, Lola E., 5, Clara, 4, and Nannie, 2; plus schoolteacher George Harrison, 35.

In the 1900 census of Town of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: washerwoman Mirah Gaston, 35, widow; children Lola, 22, Nancy, 19, Lula, 16, Eddie, 15, Cora, 13, Fredrick, 8, and Elma, 6; and “orphans” Eva, 11, and Mary Barnes, 20.

On 23 October 1906, Ed Gaston, 22, son of Mariah Gaston, married Stella Williams, 22, in Elm City.

In the 1910 census of Town of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: on East Main Street, widow Maria Gaston, 49, washer woman, and sons Eddie, 24, lumber mill laborer, Fred, 21, Elma, 17, odd jobs laborer, Arma, 15, and Willie, 12.

Fred Gaston died 17 November 1916 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 27 years old; was born in Elm City to William Gaston of Virginia and Marriah Battle of North Carolina; and worked as a farm hand.

On 19 October 1920, Ed Gaston, 40, of Toisnot, married Ida Price, 39, in Elm City. Jesse Wynn applied for the license.

In the 1940 census of Town of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Nash Street, widow Mariah Gaston, 79, and son Ed, 53, a laborer at Williams Lumber.

Myria Gaston died 18 March 1947 in Elm City, Toisnot township. Per her death certificate, she was born 9 December 1880 in Wilson County to Frank and Martha Battle of Wilson County and was the widow of William Gaston. She was buried in Elm City cemetery, and Lula Dawson of Elm City was informant.

Eddie Gaston died 10 November 1951 in Elm City, Toisnot township. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 February 1886 in Wilson County to William Gaston and Mariah Battle; was a widower; worked as a laborer; and was buried in Elm City cemetery. Lula Lawson was informant.

Cora Gaston Latham died 9 January 1964 at Mercy Hospital. Per her death certificate, she was born 27 August 1891 in Wilson County to William Gaston and Mariah Battle; was widowed; and resided in Elm City. Maxine Kelly of Elm City was informant.

The obituary of Sarah Cone.

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Wilson Daily Times, 9 November 1935.

On 7 August 1868, Willis Cone and Sarah Glover were married in Nash County, North Carolina.

In the 1870 census of Springfield township, Nash County: farmer Willis Cone, 30, and wife Sarah, 18.

In the 1880 census of Jackson township, Nash County: farmer Willis Cone, 40; wife Sarah, 28; and children Kindred, 9, Kincaid, 7, Junius, 5, Willie M., 3, and Joseph I.G., 1 month.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Willis Cone, 62; wife Sarah, 49; and children Willie M., 23, Lillie, 17, Jamerson, 13, Romane(?), 11, Aven, 9, Armencia, 5, and Rada, 1.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on County Line Road, farmer Willis C. Cone, 75; wife Sarah A., 61; and children Avon, 17, Amincy, 13, and Rader, 11.

In September 1912, Willie Cone registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 6 April 1877; resided in Wilson; worked as a cook for W.R. Marlow, Railroad Cafe, Nash Street; and his nearest relative was his mother, Sarah Cone.

Willis Cone died 20 November 1918 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 85 years old; was married to Sarah Cone; was a farmer; and was born in Nash County. Raymond Cone of Wilson was informant.

Sarah Cone died 5 February 1935 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 98 years old [more likely about 85]; was born in Nash County to Lessie Glover; was the widow of Willis Cone; and resided at 1113 East Atlanta [Atlantic] Street. Willie Cone was informant.

Wilson news.

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New York Age, 16 September 1922.

  • The Wilson Church — I am not aware of any surviving issues of this newspaper.
  • Rev. Mebane — John A. Mebane. In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Mebane  Jno A Rev (c; Rachel) Mt Siani [Sinai] Missionary Baptist Ch h 1008 Woodard av
  • Rev. A.H. George — Arthur H. George.
  • Ruth Whitehead Whaley — Ruth W. Whaley was a native of Goldsboro, North Carolina. Per Wikipedia, Whitehead Whaley (February 2, 1901–December 23, 1977) was the third African American woman admitted to practice law in New York in 1925 and the first in North Carolina in 1933. She was the first Black woman to graduate from Fordham University School of Law, where she graduated cum laude in 1924.
  • Mr. & Mrs. A.B. Bowser — Astor B. and Deloris Hawley Bowser.
  • Charles Knight

The obituary of Louis Barnes.

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Wilson Daily Times, 17 September 1935.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Gray Barnes, 64; wife Barney, 54; and children Lewis, 27, Nancy, 17, Caroline, 14, Gray, 13, and Spicey, 11.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Louis Barnes, 50; wife Jane, 40; and children Maggie, 17, Lillie, 16, Reese, 15, Oscar, 13, Hattie, 12, Grey, 10, Jimmy, 6, Wiley, 4, Henry, 3, Navis, 1, Charity, 7, and Mary Jane, 1 month.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on Wilson Road, farmer Lewis Barnes, 57; wife Jane, 48; and children Lucy, 26, Hattie, 21, Gray, 20, Chairaty, 18, James L., 16, Henry, 14, Navis, 13, Mary Jane, 11, Joe, 9, Needham, 7, and David, 2.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on Wilson Road, farmer Lewis Barnes, 70; wife Jane, 58; and children Maggie Bullock, 35, and Lee, 25, Lossie, 18, J. Mary, 17, Joseph, 16, William, 15, and David, 13; and grandchildren Charity, 5, and Oscar Bullock, 3.

Jane Barnes died on 28 March 1924 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 65 years old; married to Lewis Barnes; and was born in Johnston County to Charity Cruddup.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: widower farmer Lewis Barnes, 73; children Charity, 27, Needam, 25, and David, 23; grandson Rosco Barnes, 15; daughter-in-law Hannah Bullock, 17; and boarder William Richardson, 22.

Louis Barnes died 16 September 1935 in Gardners township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 82 years old; was the widower of Jane Barnes and son of Grey and Bonnie Barnes; was born in Wilson County; and was a farmer. Lucille Batts was informant.

Lucy Batts died 13 March 1954 in O’Neals township, Johnston County. Per her death certificate, she was born 18 January 1890 in Wilson County to Louis Barnes and Jane Harris and was married. Valentine Batts was informant.

 

 

Goffney bound over.

The Times published a blow-by-blow of the preliminary hearing Wilson mayor E.F. Killette held over the homicide of Blanche Williams. Joe Goffney entered a plea of not guilty, but Killette found sufficient evidence to hold him over for trial in the Superior Court.

Joe Brodie testified first. Goffney, who was married, came with Williams to the house in which she lives. Brodie was in the back room when the shot rang out. Williams staggered out and fell to the floor. Goffney ran out, shouting that he had not known the gun was loaded. Brodie sent for Dr. Mitchner, who declared Williams dead.

Nellie Williams testified that Goffney and Blanche Williams had entered the house laughing and talking. She was in the next room lacing her shoe when she heard the gun fire and heard Goffney say, “I didn’t say a word — or I will kill all of you.” Nellie Williams ran out of the house with one shoe on.

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Clifton Johnson also testified that Goffney and B. Williams entered the house talking and laughing. Johnson said he saw the gun on the center table when he entered and did not know to whom it belonged. (Neither Brodie nor N. Williams corroborated this, saying that as far as they knew there had been no gun in the house.) Goffney picked up the gun and said “let me see it.” Johnson’s back was turned to them when Goffney fired. Goffney did not say anything “out of the way” to Williams. The remark about “killing them all” came after the shooting. Goffney told them to get a doctor, then left the house. He gave Johnson the gun, who threw it away.

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“Colored physician” William Mitchner testified that he found Blanche Williams on the porch dead. The bullet had struck her in the chin, breaking her lower jaw, and exited the back of her neck, possibly fracturing her spine. In his opinion, Goffney was standing directly in front of Williams when he fired, and the bullet’s trajectory was slightly downward.

Clifton Johnson was recalled to testify that he and Goffney were on the same side of the table, and he was behind Williams.

Goffney testified that Clarence Johnson carried concealed weapons. [Is this Clifton? Or a different man?] Clarence had placed a magazine and .32 cartridges on the table.

Officer Weathersbee testified that he and Officer Sikes asked Johnson for the gun, and Johnson said he had thrown it in the pea patch. Johnson admitted the gun was his, and it had not been found.

Clarence Johnson denied telling Weathersbee the gun was his. He did not own a gun. Goffney was mistaken when he said Johnson had pulled the gun from his pocket and that there had been a magazine on the table. Johnson works at an express office and borrowed a holster from a fellow employee. He did not borrow a gun. The holster is in a bureau drawer at his house. Mayor Killette interjected that the holster had been found between the bed[frame] and mattress in Johnson’s room. Johnson could not explain why he borrowed a holster.

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Joe Lee denied seeing Goffney take a pistol from Johnson’s pocket. Apparently, Nettie Williams did, too. Johnson’s mother testified that he did not own a gun and had not brought one to the house the night of the killing.

Johnson’s lawyer F.D. Swindell argued that in the excitement of the moment, it was perfectly natural for Johnson to throw away the gun Goffney gave him. The only evidence that the gun was his was Goffney’s testimony, which was inherently biased.

The mayor was satisfied that Johnson had borrowed the pistol and bound him over as a material witness and for carrying a concealed weapon. He fined Johnson $75 and set his bond for $500. Goffney was sent to jail to await trial.

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Wilson Times, 30 September 1921.

  • Joe Goffney — Was Joe Goffney convicted? I have not found a follow-up, but the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory lists: Goffney Joseph tobwkr [tobacco worker] h 206 Manchester. This is likely the Joseph Goffney listed in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmer Lemon Barnes, 51; wife Dollie Ann, 51; children Ida, 26, Lemon Jr., 20, Mattie, 17, Charlie, 15, and Howard, 12; stepsons Cornelius Neal, 11, Paul Goffney, 17, and Joseph Goffney, 15; and grandson Sylvester Barnes, 6.
  • Blanche Williams — Per her death certificate, Blanch Williams was 24 years old; single; resided on Stantonsburg Street; and worked as a common laborer. She was born in Wayne County, North Carolina, to Wash Smith and Laura Williams, and Selena Craig of Goldsboro was informant. Her cause of death: “revolver wound of head (probably accidental).” [A 26 September 1921 Times article about the shooting reported that Williams was married and lived in Goldsboro, but had come to Wilson to work briefly in domestic service. She had planned to return to Goldsboro the week she was shot. She had been “going with” Goffney while in Wilson, and jealousy was believed to be at the root of the violence. Unnamed witnesses heard Goffney tell Williams, “If you go with that man, I will kill you,” as they walked to Joe Lee’s home. As Williams walked out of the house to return home, Goffney called her back in and shot her.]

  • Joe Brodie — possibly Josephine Brodie listed in the 1922 city directory as a student living at 303 Mercer Street.
  • Nellie Williams
  • Clifton/Clarence Johnson — perhaps the Clifton Johnson listed in the 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory as a porter living at 118 Ashe Street.
  • Dr. Mitchner — William A. Mitchner.
  • Joe Lee — possibly Joseph Lee listed in the 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory as a factory hand living at 115 Manchester Street. [However, the 26 September Times article identified Joe Lee and Joe Brodie as the same person, a woman.]
  • F.D. Swindell — lawyer Fred D. Swindell.
  • W.A. Finch — lawyer William Atlas Finch.
  • Mayor Killette — mayor Edwin F. Killette Sr.
  • Officer Weathersbee
  • Officer Sikes

Golden wedding … and more.

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Wilson Daily Times, 1 December 1953.

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Wilson Daily Times, 23 November 1963.

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B.H. Edwards, 23, of Nash County, married Lucy Kearney, 17, of Wilson, on 9 November 1903 in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of J.J. Murfree, J.H. Pulley and W.L. Hardy.

Lucy K. Edwards died 26 March 1966 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 November 1886 in Franklin County, North Carolina, to Anna Williams; resided in Elm City, Wilson County; was married to Buck H. Edwards; and was buried in William Chapel cemetery.

Buck H. Edwards died 12 December 1967 in Elm City, Taylors township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 February 1891 in Nash County to Robert Edwards and Sallie Parker; was married to Bettie M. Edwards; was a minister; and was buried in William Chapel cemetery. Informant was Mrs. Mae Guzman, 1214 Queen Street, Wilson.

Sudden death.

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Wilson Advance, 21 April 1882.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: blacksmith Isaac Thorne, 58; Edith Thorne, 55; and David Thorne, 11.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Henry Forbes, 48, domestic servant; wife Louisa, 43; and children Charles, 15, farm laborer, and Georgiana, 9; plus John Forbes, 21, selling tobacco, and Patsey Forbes, 70.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: blacksmith Isaac Thorn, 72; wife Luzana, 70; and roomers Tony Barnes, 52, laborer, and Hannah Barnes, 80, pauper.

 

 

Captured with the goods.

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News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 26 September 1909.

  • Neverson Green
  • Walston Tucker — This appears to be a reference to Jacob Tucker, who ran a nearby grocery. In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: day laborer Jacob Tucker, 40, wife Mary, 39, and children Doward, 17, Daniel, 15, Thomas, 13, Henry, 12 (all day laborers), Smart, 9, Walter, 7, Patience, 5, Joseph, 2, and Bessie, 11 months. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Spring Street, retail grocer Jake Tucker, 45, wife Jane, 45, and children Andrew, 19, a factory laborer, Walter, 15, a bootblack at a barbershop, Pet, 13, Joe, 12, Bessie, 10, and Viola, 7.
  • Tom Tucker — The 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County, shows that Thomas Tucker in fact returned to hard labor. In a “convick camp” on Sugar Hill Road, “all in this hang are Prisoners”: George Gay, 19, Henry Jones, 20, Jim Sims, 18, Henry Climer 19, Will Dew, 34, Jessey West, 43, Pharrow Sanders, 20, Fenner Moore, 20, Harry Beemer, 17, Joe Lewis, 19, Thomas Tucker, 22, and Willie Peacock, 13. [Yes, 13.]

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1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County.