Wilson County

The Harts’ resting place.

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A photograph does not do justice to these unique matching headstones in Rest Haven cemetery. The inset is etched black glass. Tempie Ann Hart‘s shows a regularity that suggests it was machine-made. Ben Hart‘s, however, with its pointed-tail 9’s and serifed 7’s, bears the unmistakable imprint of craftsman Clarence B. Best. Though the insets have cracked, their lettering still darkly gleams in sunlight.

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In the 1870 census of Walnut Creek township, Edgecombe County: farmer Wiley Hart, 47; wife Chaney, 33; and children Susan, 13, James, 12, Lucius, 11 (described as “idiotic”), Wiley, 5, and Benjamin, 3.

In the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Willie Hart, 57; wife Chaney, 43; children Susan, 24, James, 23, Willie, 15, Ben, 13, Epsy, 8, and Tildy, 6; and nephew Willie Killebrew, 15. Willie and Chaney reported suffering from dysentery.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Stephen T. Jones, 25; wife Fortune, 22; and daughters Susan, 4, and Tempy A., 2.

Ben Hart, 31, son of Wiley Hart and Chaney Hart, married Tempy Joyner, 20, daughter of Forten Joyner, on 6 June 1900 in Toisnot township, Wilson County.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farm laborer Benjamin Hart, 32; wife Tempy, 25; children Hattie, 5, and Grover, 2; grandchildren [niece and nephews] Edwin, 17, George, 12, and Chaney, 11; and grandmother [mother] Chaney Hart, 65.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Wells Daws Avenue, Benjamin Heart, 43; wife Tempy, 33; children John L., 8, Willie B., 6, Dicy A., 5, Mattie, 3, and George, 1; wife’s children Hattie, 13, and Grover Johnson, 10; nephew Dallis Locus, 11; and mother Chanie Heart, 73.

In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Wilson-Tarboro Road, farmer Ben Hardt, 50; wife Tempy, 45; children John L., 18, Willie, 16, Dicie, 14, Mattie, 12, George, 10, Mary, 8, and Effie, 4. Next door, Grover Hart, 21, wife Mammie, 21, and son William, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Ben Hart, 63; wife Tempie, 51; and children George, 21, Effie, 15, and [grandson] Ben Jr., 7.

In the 1940 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Ben Hart, 70; wife Tempie, 62; nephew Aaron Hinnant, 18; son-in-law Ernest Parker, 23; daughter Effie, 24; and granddaughter Elouise, 6.

Tempie A. Hart died 9 July 1940 in Wilson township. Per her death certificate, she was 57 years old; was born in Wilson County to Steve Jones and Forneighny Jones; and was married to Ben Hart.

Ben Hart died 7 November 1951 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 20 March 1881 in Edgecombe County to Wiley Hart; was a widower; resided at 1200 Washington Street, Wilson. Informant was Rev. J.L. Hart, 1200 Washington Street.

Willie Brown Hart died 2 April 1956 in Portsmouth, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born 3 January 1906 in North Carolina to Ben Hart and Tempie Ann Jones; was married; and worked as a janitor at City Treading Plant. Informant was George Hart, 104 North Reid Street.

Grover Lee Hart died 1 November 1958 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 August 1898 in Wilson County to Ben Hart Sr. and Tempie Ann Jones; was engaged in farming; lived in Elm City; and was married to Mamie Hart.

Hattie Pitt died 12 June 1962 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 29 January 1897 in Wilson County to Ben Hart and Tempie A. Jones; she was a widow; and she resided at 1306 Washington Street. Mrs. Festee Cotton, 1306 Washington, was informant.

John L. Hart died 6 February 1963 at Mercy Hospital. Per his death certificate, he was born 28 January 1901 in Wilson County to Benjamin Hart and Temie Ann Jones; was a minister; lived at 1200 Washington Street; and was married to Elouise Hart.

George Hart died 30 September 1971 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 February 1911 to Ben Hart and Tempie Jones; worked as a cabdriver; resided at 104 North Reid, Wilson; and was married to Lutoria Hinnant Hart.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2018.

Election Day.

At the entrance to my parents’ neighborhoods, signs for these candidates — George K. Butterfield for United States Congress, Milton F. “Toby” Fitch for North Carolina Senate, Jean Farmer Butterfield for North Carolina House of Representatives, and Calvin L. Woodard for Sheriff. I was struck by the deep roots that all have in Wilson County.

G.K. Butterfield’s earliest Davis ancestor, Judith Davis, arrived in the town of Wilson in 1855, and his grandfather Fred M. Davis Sr. led Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church for decades.

Toby Fitch’s maternal Dunstan ancestors were free people of color in antebellum Wilson County and his Whitteds and Beckwiths arrived before the turn of the 20th century.

“Farmer” is a classic Wilson name, and Jean Farmer Butterfield’s father Floyd Willie Farmer was a force in the effort to get Wilson County to build rural high schools for African-Americans in the 1940s.

Calvin L. Woodard is descended on his mother’s side from Benjamin and Violet Barnes, were well into middle age and newly freed from slavery when they registered their long marriage in Wilson County in 1866.

Artis’ Cafe padlocked.

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Wilson Daily Times, 13 February 1939.

  • June Scott Artis — A history of Stantonsburg gave the date of the cafe’s opening as 1947, which apparently was off by at least a decade. It remained in business into the 1960s.
  • Edgar Artis, June S. Artis’ son.
  • Walter Ward — The 6 February 1939 edition of the Wilson Daily Times reported that Ward pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received a 15 to 18-year sentence.
  • H.B. Swenson — H.B. Swinson died 28 January 1939. Per his death certificate, he was “murdered, knife wound of breast”; was born 18 April 1913 in Greene County to Allen Swinson and Henrietta Applewhite of Greene County; lived i Stantonsburg; and worked in farming.

Studio shots, no. 99: Harry and Luetta Brooks Ellis.

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Harry and Luetta Brooks Ellis.

In the 1900 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Daniel Ellis, 40; wife Celia, 24; and children Lena, 10, William, 7, Mary E., 6, Sampson, 2, and Harry, 10 months.

In the 1910 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Road, farmer Daniel Ellis, 50; wife Celia, 35; and children Maeliza, 13, Willie, 14, Samson, 11, Harry, 10, Robert, 7, and Jackson, 8.

On 18 May 1921, Harry Ellis, son of Daniel Ellis and Celia Ellis, married Luretta Brooks, daughter of Coy Brooks and Maggie Woodard, in Stantonsburg. Rev. E.H. Cox of the U.A.F.W. Baptist Church performed the ceremony in the presence of Henry Dillard of Wilson and John Artis and Pearl Donald of Stantonsburg.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ellis Harry (c; Louetta) mill hand h 631 Lincoln

Nathaniel Ellis died 1 July 1929 of bronchopneumonia at his home at 801 Everlyn[?], Wilson. He was a year and eight months old; was born in Wilson to Harry Ellis of Stantonsburg and Louetta Brooks of Wilson County; and was born in Rountree cemetery.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Harry Ellis, 28, farm laborer; wife Luetta, 24; and children Lenora, 6, Harry, 4, and Ruth, 3 months.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Harry Ellis, 38, farmer; wife Luetta, 34; children Lenora, 15, Harry L., 13, Ruth L., 11; stepmother Maggie Ellis, 55, widow; and sister Mattie Ellis, 15.

In 1944, Harry Lee Ellis registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 15 January 1926 in Wilson County; his contact was Harry Ellis; he lived at Route 3, Box 269, Wilson; and he worked as a helper on the farm of W.A. Batts.

Louetta Ellis died 14 August 1983, and Harry Ellis died 28 December 1988, both in Wilson.

Harry Ellis, probably in the mid-1980s. (Sidenote: I love everything about this photo.)

Photos courtesy of Ancestry user Nortonsapple.

This county shall be ruled by white people.

One hundred thirty years ago today, Josephus Daniels at the helm, the Wilson Advance whipped its readership into a froth with articles warning of the perils of black political participation. The paper called out B.A. Peele for making common cause with black voters and warned of the dire consequences of Negro rule.

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Wilson Advance, 1 November 1988.

 

 

Shot over the heart. (But will live.)

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Wilson Daily Times, 24 October 1911.

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Wilson Daily Times, 27 October 1911.

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Ruth Maultsby was the sister of Mattie L. Maultsby, who was a daughter of Daniel L. and Smithia C. Maultsby and wife of Dr. William A. Mitchner. It appears that the Maultsbys were from Pitt County, North Carolina, and D.L. Maultsby briefly served as pastor at a Methodist church in Wilson, most likely Saint John A.M.E. Zion.

Studio shots, no. 98: Jerry M. Richardson.

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Jerry McKinley Richardson (1891-1971).

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Jerry M. Richardson was born in Warren County, North Carolina, and, with his family, migrated south through Nash County to settle in Johnston County. Along the way, Richardson lived for a time in Wilson County’s Springhill township.

In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Middlesex-Kenly Road, farmer Jerry M. Richardson, 33; wife Katie B., 37; stepdaughter Eugene, 22; and in-laws Henry Dawson, 50, and Lucy Dawson, 60.

Photograph courtesy of Ancestry.com user PeggyRudd39.

 

Studio shots, no. 97: Albert Howard, soldier.

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Albert Howard (1892-1956).

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Deal Howard, 39; wife Nancy, 39; and children John, 16, Christian, 14, Oscar, 11, Ettie, 10, Albert, 7, Thomas, 5, Alvin, 3, Herman, 1, and Tiner, 0.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Horne’s Road, farmer Zelius Howard Jr., 49; wife Nancy, 49; and children Albert, 17, Thomas, 15, Alvin, 13, Herman, 11, Tina, 9, Florence, 7, and Ella, 5.

In 1917, Albert Howard registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born in 1892 in Wilson; was single; and farmed for himself.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Deal Howard, 58; wife Nancy, 60; and Albert, 28, Herman, 22, Tiner, 19, and Florence, 17.

In the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Albert Howard, 35, farmer; mother Nancy, 75; and James, 11, and Tommie Howard, 9.

Albert Howard died 3 August 1956 in Taylors township. Per his death certificate, he was born 2 February 1890 in Wilson County to Dill Howard and Nancy Black; was married to Ida Howard; was a farm laborer; was a World War I veteran; and was buried in Howard cemetery, Wilson County.

Photograph courtesy of Europe A. Farmer.

 

The division of Kenyon Locus’ land.

Plat Book 2, Page 171, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.

Kenyon Locus‘ estate included about 66 acres of land in Taylors township, Wilson County. His property was divided and platted in January 1942, a little over a year after his death. It was bordered on the north side by a road leading to the Wilson-Nashville Highway [N.C. Highway 58] and on the west by a road leading south to Wilson via Ellis Chapel. The property to his south was jointly owned by Charlie Brantley and Mollie Howard, heirs of Henderson Brantley. To the north was acreage owned by Will and Sylvia Howard (or Batchelor) Lucas. A house and several other buildings cluster on a small road that hooked across the northwest corner of the property.

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In the 1880 census of Jackson township, Nash County: John Locus, 30; wife Delpha, 30; and children Frank, 10, Dora, 8, Kenny, 5, Nancy, 4, and Samuel, 9 months.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Johnnie Lucus, 43; wife Delpha, 51; children Kinion, 26, Nannie, 24, Edwin, 15, Sidney, 12, and Susan, 9; and grandsons Bunion, 5, and Martin L., 3.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Howards Path, John Locust, 66; wife Delphia, 64; children Kinyan, 36, and Susie, 19; and grandchildren Bunyan, 15, Luther M., 13, and Roxie, 7 months.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: John Locus, 77; wife Delphi, 65; son Kennie, 48; and grandchildren Roxie, 11, and Luther, 23.

In the 1940 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Kerney Locus, 67; wife Bell, 53; and lodger Frosty Pond, 33.

Kenney Locas died 10 December 1940 as the result of a terrible farming accident. Working in a field on his farm, he slipped off a stalk cutter and suffered a crushed leg and pelvis. He was taken to Mercy Hospital, where he was declared dead. Per Locus’ death certificate, he was 66 years old; was married to Isabella Locas, age 55; was born in Wilson County to John Locas of Wilson County and Delphia Taylor of Nash County; and worked as a farmer.

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