Wilson County

The death of Hattie Rodgers, 13.

Wilson Daily Times, 6 July 1916.

Thirteen year-old Hattie Rodgers was pregnant. The newspaper reported speculation that her death was a suicide resulting from her family’s response to her condition.

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In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Berry Rodgers, 35; wife Florence, 23; and children Bessie, 10, Hattie, 7, Eula, 4, Nora, 2, and Nannie B., 11.

I have not found Hattie Rodgers’ death certificate.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Vacation Bible School.

Wilson Daily Times, 15 July 1922.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 June 1927.

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  • Susan Peacock
  • Ruby Martin
  • Maggie Parker — in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: house carpenter Charles Parker, 40; wife Maggie, 30; children Magleen, 14, Charlie Jr., 21, Jim, 12, and Jennie, 10; and mother-in-law Jennie Hedgepeth, 66.
  • Rosa Lee Kittrell
  • Sarah Ray — in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Jessie Williams, 42; wife Lizzie, 38; in-laws Sarah, 14, Hattie, 12, Katie, 9, Stephen L., 9, and Lillian Ray, 5; and daughter Margrett Williams, 13.
  • Hattie Langley — in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Jarot Langley, 40, blacksmith at wagon factory; wife Lydia, 38; and children Hattie, 15, Thedore, 14, Marie, 12, Carnell, 7, Ruline, 6, Alcestus, 4, and Oris, 2.
  • A.H. George — Rev. Arthur R. George.
  • J.D. Martin

[Sidenote: I attended Vacation Bible School at Calvary Presbyterian with my cousins, who were church members. I remember most vividly the summer of 1969, when classes were taught on the first floor of the Mercy Hospital building, closed just five years earlier. Calvary had torn down in 192x edifice and was building a new church on the site. What do I recall best? Singing “Michael Row The Boat Ashore,” making crafts with marbles and popsicle sticks, and having the scab knocked off my smallpox vaccination site.]

Willard Sharpe gets married in New York.

Wilson native Willard C. Sharpe married Mildred C. Putnam in Syracuse, New York, on 21 September 1926.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Mack Sharp, 43; wife Katie, 29; and children Harvey, 12, Williard C., 10, Earnest, 8, Samson, 6, Nellie B., 3, and Elexander, 18 months.

In 1918, Willard Clarence Sharp registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 1 August 1900; lived at the corner of Robeson and Reid Streets; and was a laborer for Export Leaf Tobacco Company. Katie Sharp was his nearest relative.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Katie Sharpe, 37, and children Harvey, 21, Willard, 19, Ernest, 17, Samson, 15, Gladys T., 15, Nellie, 13, Alexander, 11, Kathryn, 9, Mack, 6, and John, 4.

Entry in Episcopal church records for the September 1926 marriage of Willard C. Sharpe and Mildred Catherine Putman.

In the 1931 Syracuse, N.Y., city directory: Sharpe Willard C (Mildred) laborer res 618 Harrison

In the 1931 Syracuse, N.Y., city directory: Sharpe Willard C (Mildred) chauff h 518 E Adams

Syracuse Herald, 29 June 1937.

In the 1940 census of Attica State Prison, Wyoming County, New York: Willard C. Sharpe, 38, married, born in South [sic] Carolina; resided in Syracuse, Onondaga County in 1935. [Mildred Sharpe is listed in her mother’s household in Syracuse.]

In 1942, Willard Clarence Sharp registered for the World War II draft in Erie County, New York. Per his registration card, he was born 1 September 1900 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 236 North Div[ision]; worked for S.W. Minor, Oldsmobile Motor Company, Buffalo, New York; his contact was Mrs. Smith, 236 North Div.; and he had a scar on the left side of his face.

New York, Episcopal Diocese of Central New York Church Records, 1800-1970, ancestry.com.

Henry Borden, disabled Civil War veteran.

The National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers were established following the Civil War to provide living space for disabled American soldiers and sailors. Henry Borden, born in Wilson County, entered the home at Hampton, Virginia, a few months before his death in 1911.

The hospital’s registry shows that Borden had enlisted on 25 April 1864 at New Bern, North Carolina, and served as a private in Company C, 14th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery. [Three other Bordens from Wilson County — Dennis, Edward and Jerry — enlisted the same day. Their relationship is unclear.] He was discharged 11 December 1865 in New Bern. His disability: “old injury to right foot, arterio sclerosis, &c.”

Borden was born in Wilson County, N.C.; was 85 years old; was five foot three inches tall; had a black complexion, black eyes, and gray hair; had worked as a laborer; had lived in Bertie County, N.C., after his discharge; was married; and his nearest relative was his wife Cora Borden of Winton, Bertie County.

Borden’s rate of pension was 15 [dollars per …?], and he was admitted to the hospital on 26 April 1911. He died 19 August 1911.

Henry Borden was buried in Hampton National Cemetery, Hampton, Virginia. Per the cemetery’s burial registry, he was buried in row 10117; had been a member of Company C, 14th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery; died August 19; and was from Windsor, N.C.

Cora Borden applied for a widow’s pension on 19 September 1911.

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On 24 December 1874, Henry Barreden, 36, black, married Cora Johnson, 17, “light black,” in Windsor, Bertie County, North Carolina.

In the 1880 census of Whites township, Bertie County: farmer Henry Bartly, 28; wife Cora, 26; and daughters Leah, 3, and Cora, 1.

In the 1900 census of Windsor township, Bertie County: farmer Henry Bardin, 64; wife Cora, 48; and children Leoha, 22, Ida, 20, Minnie, 17, Lazarus, 11, and Henry, 7.

Cora Burden died 14 February 1917 in Plymouth, Washington County, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was a widow; was 59 years old; and was born in Washington County to Cora Johnson. Lazarus Borden was informant.

National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938, http://www.ancestry.com; original data: Historical Register of National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938, Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15, National Archives, Washington, D.C.; Burial Register, Military Posts & National Cemeteries, 1862-1960, http://www.ancestry.com; Civil War Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, http://www.ancestry.com.

Applications for military headstones, no. 4: Rountree Cemetery.

None of these veterans’ headstones have yet been found in Rountree, Odd Fellows, or Vick Cemeteries, the cemeteries collectively known as “Rountree.” 

  • David McPhail

Dave McPhail registered for the World War I draft in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born April 1896 in Wade, N.C.; lived in Darden’s Alley; worked as an auto mechanic for S.H. Vick; and was single.

David McPhail died 6 March 1936 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 31 December 1899 in Cumberland County to Raford and Laura McPhail; lived at 208 South Vick; was married to Juanita McPhail; and worked as a mechanic.

  • Jessie Oliver 

Jessie Oliver registered for the World War I draft in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born 24 December 1890 in Waynesboro, Georgia; lived in Black Creek; worked as a laborer for M.B. Aycock; and was single. 

Jessie Oliver died 12 February 1938 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 48 years old; was born in Georgia; was divorced; and worked as a laborer. Mary Jones was informant.

  • Robert Reaves

Robert Reaves died 7 December 1932 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 37 years old; was born in Orangeburg, S.C., to Robert and Luella Reaves; was married to Daisy Reaves; lived at 510 Smith Street; and worked as a mechanic for a cement finisher.

  • Doc Richardson

Doc Richardson registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born in 1887 in Johnston County, N.C.; lived at 523 Lodge Street, Wilson; and worked as a railroad section hand for J.B. Hooks.

Doc Richardson died 5 March 1937 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 March 1889 to David and Vicey Ann Richardson; was single; worked as a laborer; and lived at 713 Viola Street. Lee Richardson was informant.

  • Dock Royall

Dock Royall died 31 March 1938 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 September 1898 in Sampson County, N.C., to Samuel and Rachel Royall; was married to Ossie Mae Royall; lived at 310 Hackney Street; worked as a mechanic for Hackney Body Company. George W. Royall of Clinton was informant.

  • Plummer Williams

Plummer Williams registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born in 1896 in Pitt County, N.C.; lived at Route 6, Wilson; worked as a farm hand for W.F. Williams, Wilson; and was single.

Plummer Williams died 11 December 1937 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 44 years old; was married to Annie Williams; worked as a common laborer; and was born in Falkland [Pitt County], N.C., to Haywood Williams and Francis Barnes.

Nothing compares to the loss.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 March 1923.

Incredibly, Augusta Walker dropped by the Daily Times office a few days after her infant son Leroy Wanamaker was burned to death in a house fire. She wanted to explain the circumstances of the tragedy.

Per his death certificate, Leroy was six months old; was born in Wilson County to James Wanamaker of South Carolina and Augusta Walker of Durham, N.C.; and died in Saratoga township, Wilson County.

No other trace of Augusta Walker is readily found in Wilson County records. She may have only recently arrived when she gave birth in Wilson County and may have had no family with which to leave her son while she worked. 

The death by drowning of Leander Sauls.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 March 1922.

Wilson Daily Times, 25 March 1922.

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Lee Ander Sauls registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County in 1918. Per his registration card, he was born 11 [illegible] 1899; lived at Route 3, Stantonsburg; was a farm laborer for Claude Foster; his contact was Ivery Artis, Fremont, Wayne County; and he had lost one eye. He signed his card “Leander Sauls.”

On 19 July 1919, Lee Sauls, 21, of Stantonsburg, married Bessie Barnes, 20, of Stantonsburg, in Wilson County.

In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Lee A. Sauls, 21; wife Bessie, 20; children Mary F., 14 months, and John L., 1 month; and mother-in-law Ceilie Barnes, 61, widow.

Leander Sauls died 26 February 1922 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 23 years old; was born in Wilson County to Ivey Artis and Emia Sauls; was married; and farmed for W.A. Batts. Eddie Sauls was informant.

Green Street updates.

On a recent visit to Wilson, I noticed clean-up and renovation underway at several houses in East Wilson Historic District, including:

The Charles and Ella Tate Gay house was built about 1913. Its entire exterior has been renovated. (I wish they’d kept the porch posts.)

It’s not clear to me what is happening at the Nathan Haskins house, also built about 1913. It has been missing a porch post for years and remains boarded up, but its yard is regularly and thoroughly maintained.

The Isaac and Emma Green Shade house, one of two Tudor Revival cottages built in the 1930s on this stretch of East Green, has undergone a lovely external transformation. I hope it’s got an updated interior to match!

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, June 2021.

Olive Freeman, nurse.

Wilson Daily Times, 5 March 1918.

Olive Freeman was the sister of O. Nestus Freeman and Julius F. Freeman Jr. and daughter of Julius and Eliza Daniel Freeman

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In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: house carpenter Julius Freeman, 65; wife Eliza, 54; and children Nestus, 28, brickmason labor, Ollie, 18, Daniel, 14, John, 7, Junius, 22, Ernest, 20, and Thomas, 17.

  • Lincoln Hospital — Per the website of the New York Public Library Archives and Manuscripts, “The Lincoln School for Nurses, a privately endowed institution, was founded in 1898 in the Bronx to train black women to become nurses at a time when this kind of education was not available elsewhere. It was the first school of its type in the United States. The Lincoln School was located on the site of the Society for the Relief of Worthy Indigent Colored Persons, which began operation in 1839. In 1902 its name was changed to Lincoln Hospital and Home, and in the 1920’s it became affiliated with Lincoln Hospital, which was operated by the City of New York. The Lincoln School’s first graduating class was in 1900, with a total of six graduates. 1961 was the year of its last graduating class. A total of 1,864 black women from the United States, Haiti and other Caribbean countries, Bermuda and Africa attended the Lincoln School for Nurses.”