Wilson County

The grave of Rev. Richard J. Young.

The grave marker of Rev. R.J. Young, Masonic cemetery, Wilson.

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In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: P.J. [sic] Young, 57, farmer; wife Mary, 44; and children Bertha, 24, Rosa, 22, Emma, 20, Mary, 17, and Louise, 11.

Richard J. Young died 28 November 1933 at Mercy Hospital. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 May 1876 in Sumter, South Carolina, to Richard Young and Emma Scott; was married to Mary Young; resided at Route 3, Wilson; and worked as a farmer.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018.

Farm life, school life.

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Wilson Daily Times, 3 December 1936.

In 1936, African-American children at Rocky Branch, Williamson, Kirby’s, New Vester and Calvin’s Level schools — all in the rural southwest quadrant of Wilson County — responded to a survey about education and farm life. To the surprise of the writer of this article, most children indicated that would like to live on a farm (in the future?)

Julius Freeman buys land.

On 21 March 1898, Louisa M. Daniel sold Julius F. Freeman a 125-acre tract called the Arky Gardner land in Gardners township. Freeman paid her $500.

Freeman married Eliza Daniel (or Daniels), daughter of Amos and Olive Daniel, in 1873. Was Louisa her kin?

Deed book 46, pages 421-422, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson County Courthouse.

Wiley Ricks is still barbering.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 October 1980.

Wiley Ricks and young customer.

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In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Millie Ricks, 40, widow, with sons William, 12, and Wiley, 1.

In the 1910 census

On 27 July 1918, Wiley Ricks, 21, of Toisnot, married Fannie Fort, 21, of Toisnot, in Elm City. Presbyterian minister A.E. Sephas performed the ceremony in the presence of John Gaston, Samuel T. Ford and T.H. Nicholson.

Fannie Ford Ricks died 9 March 1924 in Elm City, Toisnot township. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 January 1899 in Wilson County to Sam Ford of Halifax County and Mattie Williams of Wilson County and was married to Wiley Ricks.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Wiley Ricks, 30, barber; wife Carrie, 29; and children Miriam, 2, and Maggie, 9 months.

In the 1940 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Branch Street, barber Wiley Ricks, 41; wife Cary P., 39; and children Miriam, 12, Maggie R., 10, Lois, 8, and Malinda, 1.

Wylie Ricks died 28 March 1985 in Hollister, Halifax County, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 4 December 1898 in Wilson County to Wiley Sharpe and Millie Sharpe; was a barber; resided in Elm City; and was married to Carrie Parker Ricks.

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A 1947 photo taken outside Wiley Ricks’ barbershop. Courtesy of Thomas Griffin via Wilson Daily Times, 15 January 2002.

Haircut photo courtesy of article re Ricks in History of Wilson County, North Carolina (1985).

The obituaries of Anna Brodie and Margaret Joyner.

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Wilson Daily Times, 20 October 1944.

  • Anna Brodie — Anna Kearney Brodie.

In the 1900 census of Franklinton, Franklin County: Paul Kearney, 59; wife Patsey, 47; and children Robert, 19, Bennie, 16, Anna, 13, Zollie, 11, Joseph, 9, Geneva, 5, and Vassa L., 2.

In the 1910 census of Youngsville, Franklin County: Paul Kearney, 67; wife Patsy P., 54; and children Anna, 23, Zollie, 21, Joseph, 19, Geneva, 15, and Vassar, 10.

On or about 30 December 1913, Arthur Brodie, 26, of Franklin County, son of Joshua and Nellie Brodie, married Anna Kearney, 26, of Franklin County, daughter of Paul and Patsie Kearnie, in Franklinton, North Carolina.

In 1918, Arthur Brodie registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 7 May 1886; resided at 16 Carolina Street; worked as a machine operator for Hackney Wagon Company; and his nearest relative was Anna Brodie.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: laborer Aurtha Brodie, 36; wife Annie, 31; children Lizzie V., 3, and Aurtha, 2; and brother Elmer, 22.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1201 Carolina Street, rented for $12/month, tobacco factory laborer Arthur Broady, 43; wife Anna, 46, laundry; and children Elizabeth, 13, Arthur, 11, Iola, 8, May E., 5, and Anna O., 11 months.

On 17 April 1937, Elizabeth Brodie, 20, of Wilson, daughter of Arthur and Anna Brodie, married Luther E. McKeithan, 25, son of Henry and Sarah McKeithan of Cumberland County, in Wilson. A.M.E. minister John C. Coaxum performed the ceremony in the presence of Rhoda McMillan, Alex McMillan and Sallie Suggs.

In 1940, Arthur Brodie Jr. registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 9 September 1918 in Wilson; lived at 1208 Queen Street; his contact was mother Anna Kernay Brodie; and he worked at Carolina Laundry.

On 9 March 1941, Iola Brodie, 20, of Raleigh, daughter of Arthur and Anna Brodie of Wilson, married Willie Blount, 21, of Raleigh, son of Mary Rawlins, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Annie Brodie died 18 October 1944 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 57 years old; her birthday was July 1; she was married to Arthur Brodie; she lived at 1208 Queen Street; and she was born in Franklinton, North Carolina, to Paul Kearney and Patsy Perry.

On 26 September 1946, Anna Odell Brodie, 17, of Raleigh, daughter of Arthur and Anna Brodie of Wilson, married Jack Terry Marsh, 17, of Raleigh, son of William and Joy Bell Marsh, in Raleigh. Iola Blount, guardian, gave permission for Anna to marry.

  • Seventh Day Adventist Church
  • Elder N.B. Smith — Napoleon B. Smith. Rev. Smith is listed in the 1922, 1925 and 1930 Wilson city directories.
  • Margaret Joyner — Margaret Winstead Joyner.

In the 1870 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Benj. M. Williams, 35; Berry Winstead, 47; his wife Louisa, 41; and their children Adeline, 20, Lena, 18, Sidney, 13, Rinah, 7, Henry, 10, Malinah, 6, Willie, 1, and Margrett, 4.

Henry Joyner, 26, of Taylors township, son of Simon and Venus Joyner, married Margaret Winstead, 26, of Taylors township, daughter of Berry and Luende Winstead, at A.M. Thompson’s house in Taylors.

In the 1900 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Henry Joyner, 32; wife Margret, 31; and children James, 14, Lou, 10, William H., 7, Hubert, 4, Maggie, 3, and Anna, 9 months.

In the 1910 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: on Thompson’s Road, Henry Joyner, 42; wife Margaret, 42; and children Lula, 18, William, 17, Hubbert, 15, Maggie, 13, Annie, 10, Obie, 8, Bettie, 4, Luther, 2, and Theodore, 3 months, and James Joyner, 24.

In the 1920 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: Henry Joyner, 52; wife Margaret, 51; and children Annie, 20, Obie, 18, Bettie, 13, Luther, 11, Theodore, 9, and Lizzie, 6, and grandson Nathan, 6 months.

Maggie Eatmon died 10 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was 26 years old; was born in Wilson County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead of Nash County; was engaged in farming; was married to Sessoms Eatmon; and was buried in Wilson County.

In the 1930 census of Jackson township, Nash County: Henry Joyner, 60; wife Margaret, 60; and children Annie, 26, Obie, 25, Bettie, 24, Luther, 21, and Lizzie, 16, and grandchildren Nathan Joyner, 8, and Josephine, 14, Rosella, 12, Edward, 10, and Elmus Eatmon, 8.

Bettie Joyner died 17 September 1933 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 25 years old; was born in Wilson County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead; was married to Fred Joyner; and engaged in farming.

In the 1940 census of Jackson township, Nash County: Obie Joyner, 38; wife Gladys, 20; father Henry, 71; mother Margrett, 70; siblings Annie, 40, and Luther, 31; and nieces and nephews Curtis Joyner, 7, and Leone, 4, Nathan, 24, and Elmus Eatmon, 19.

Henry Joyner died 13 June 1944 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was 78 years old; was born in Wilson County to Simon and Venus Joyner; was married to Margaret Joyner; was a farmer; and was buried in Granite Point cemetery, Wilson County.

Margaret Joyner died 18 October 1944 in Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was 77 years old; was born in Nash County to Berry Winstead and Lurenda Winstead; was a widow; and was buried in Granite Point cemetery, Wilson County. Obie Joyner was informant.

Annie Joyner Thomas died 30 October 1950 in Rocky Mount, Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was born 2 April 1900 in Wilson County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead; resided in Elm City; was married to John Thomas; and was buried in the Thomas family cemetery in Wilson County.

Herbert Joyner died 14 August 1966 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 January 1893 in Wilson County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead; was married to Laura Joyner; resided in Wilson; was a World War I veteran; and worked as a laborer.

Lula Joyner Eatmon died 25 January 1967 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 May 1894 in Nash County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead; was married to Jarman Eatmon; and resided in Elm City.

  • Saint Paul’s Holiness Church — now Saint Paul Church of Christ, located on Lake Wilson Road northwest of Wilson?
  • Rev. Benny Melton — in the 1940 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Bennie Melton, 33; wife Julia, 34; children Ireen, 6, Kathreen, 4, Curtis, 3, Bennie Jr., 2, and Esther, 8 months; grandson Ramson Morgan, 4; and mother Frances Morgan, 57.

Finding the Newsomes’ resting place.

Searching for Wilson County’s Lost Cemeteries: Project pinpoints gravesites before nature reclaims them.

By Drew C. Wilson, Wilson Times, 29 June 2018.

Brian Grawburg stops his pickup truck at the end of a farm path between an old hedgerow and a field off Radford Road.

“There it is,” Grawburg says, pointing to the underbrush where two flat marble headstones have come into view.

The 72-year-old retiree is on a search for hidden and overgrown cemeteries in Wilson County.

Grawburg erects a ladder in the bed of his truck, climbs up and points his camera at the graves. He makes a couple of pictures with a 1937 Leica rangefinder and climbs down to note the cemetery’s location with a modern GPS tracker.

These are the gravestones of Amos and Martha Newsome, husband and wife, who called Wilson County home in the late 1800s. A neighbor across the road had told Grawburg about the graveyard’s existence, and this was his second visit to the spot. Upon closer inspection, Grawburg notes the presence of another grave a few feet deeper into the woods.

Hidden behind a shield of Virginia creeper, smilax and scuppernong grape vines is a marble obelisk not quite waist-high. The face of the monument is clean and the inscription is clear.

Edna Newsom, 1846 to 1913, Kind angels watch her sleeping dust.”

“It’s a very nice stone,” Grawburg comments. “That one we’re going to have to carefully look at.”

Despite the difference in the last name spelling, Grawburg wonders if Edna might be Amos’ mother, but he’s not sure.

“Martha died in 1902, and he’s 1919,” Grawburg said. “That is certainly where we will have to get more information.”

Grawburg says he can’t wait to tell Joan Howell that he has found another headstone.

MAKING A LIST

Joan Howell has compiled four books on Wilson County cemeteries. The first one was completed in 1993, and she is currently working on her fifth. All were projects supported by the Wilson County Genealogical Society with information supplied by the group’s members.

It is Howell’s work and old Work Progress Administration surveys from the 1930s that offer hints as to where Grawburg may find the forgotten cemeteries.

The Wilson resident will sometimes wear boots to protect his shins from snakes and ticks and take along clippers to cut back “vines from hell” as he calls them.

Grawburg is building a photographic record of deceased Wilson County residents.

He’s not interested in the cemeteries that are neatly kept. Those are the ones that are already well-known.

Grawburg is interested in finding the ones that have been overgrown and rest in little patches of woods in farm fields, at the edges of subdivisions, anywhere that Mother Nature has waged a battle to reclaim the plots.

“It doesn’t take long,” Grawburg said.

A cemetery can go from being well-maintained to overgrown in a matter of a few years.

“This is top priority because they are becoming nonexistent,” Howell said.

An example is the B. Ellis cemetery in a small plot hidden by trees and overgrowth that is unseen by passing traffic off Forest Hills Road in Wilson.

“There are 35 people in there, and you don’t know there is a single one in there,” Grawburg said. “That cemetery is right there.”

Grawburg said with 16 cemeteries Howell recently found and added to the list, there are about 260 known cemeteries in Wilson County.

There are estimates that there could be another couple of hundred cemeteries that are not documented in the county.

‘IT’S EXCITING’

At age 85 and after two hip replacements, Howell still puts on her “snake boots” and heads into the woods to search.

“It’s exciting,” Howell said. “I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. Some people don’t know where their grandmothers and their grandfathers are. I just love doing this. I lament the fact that I am not as able as I once was.”

Grawburg and Howell will often meet in the genealogical room of the Wilson County Public Library to share notes. On Thursday, Howell spread out a United States Geological Survey topographical map with handwritten notations marking cemeteries that had been located.

“I don’t put anything on the map until I find the cemetery, and then I give it a name,” Howell said.

Howell said locating gravestones is vital to filling in Wilson County’s history.

“Death certificates didn’t begin to be recorded until 1913, and then they were spotty. So this is a means of recording people who might not have been noted elsewhere,” Howell said. “It is a way of preserving history and family information.”

Grawburg and Howell said there have been rare instances where farmers have driven implements over cemeteries, knocking over gravestones, and have even taken them away from the actual graves.

“That is distressing to me,” Grawburg said.

It is also a violation of state law, he added.

When Grawburg finds a grave, he wonders who the person was, how he ended up there and what he died from, particularly the children who are interred.

“Did they have scarlet fever? Did they have measles? I think about that,” Grawburg said. “Why did they die? Why so young?”

Grawburg traveled to upstate New York to locate his own relatives.

“I think about my reaction when I found my great-great-great-great-grandfather and you say, ‘Geez, I’m standing on the grave where we’re related.’ There is just something cool about that,” Grawburg said. “Not everybody sees that, but it is kind of neat to say that there’s a connection.”

Grawburg hopes that living Wilson County residents might have the same experience after their ancestors’ graves have been located.

He said there is the joy of saving somebody’s heritage regardless of the fact that he is not a relative.

“I don’t know Amos Newsome,” Grawburg said. “I don’t know anything about him. I don’t know any of his family. I have no connection to him whatsoever. None. Well, somebody does.”

Both Grawburg and Howell said tips from the public about the locations of lost cemeteries are valuable in the search.

“If they would show me where the cemeteries are, that would be helpful,” Howell said. “This is such a large project and I don’t know when we will ever get through with it.”

People interested in the project may contact Grawburg by email at archive@myglnc.com.

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Benjamin Newsome and Edna Newsome registered their 16-year cohabitation in Wilson County in 1866.

In the 1870 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Benjamin Newsom, 50; wife Edna, 31; and children Amos, 10, Gray, 18, Pennina, 16, Mary, 13, Louisa, 9, Larry, 7, and Joseph, 5.

In the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Benjamin Newsome, 53; wife Edna, 40; and children Oliver, 21, Amos, 19, Gray, 18, Penelope, 6, and Mary, 2.

On 23 December 1883, Amos Newsom, 23, married Martha Ann Barnes, 22, in Wilson County.

After Benjamin Newsome’s death in 1893, Edna Newsome applied for letters of administration for his estate. A Report of Commissioners valued his personal estate (excluding land) at $400. At his death, he had owned a safe; a bureau and its contents; four beds, [bed]steads and contents; another bed and bedstead; two trunks; a sewing machine; a table; a clock; eight chairs; a stove and contents; two more tables and contents; a lard stand; another safe and contents; a saw; three trays; two jugs; a jar; two pots; a tub; two buckets; one lot of corn (about 15 barrels); two stacks of fodder; two mules; one wagon and gear; one cart; farm tools; a barrel of syrup; two wheels; a loom; four bushels of pears; two bushels of wheat; nine hogs; 150 bushels of potatoes; 150 bushels of cotton seed; seven geese; 25 chickens; 500 pounds of tobacco; and 1200 pounds of seed cotton.

On 31 January 1900, Edna Newsome, 55, of Cross Roads, married Ishmael Wilder, 60, of Springhill township, at Newsome’s residence. W.H. Horton, “minister of the Christian denom.,” performed the ceremony in the presence of Grant Farmer, W.T. Barnes, and L.H. Newsome.

In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Ishmael Wilder, 63; wife Edney, 55; and daughter Clara, 26.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Joseph L. Newsom, 34; wife Virginia L., 34; mother Edna, 65; and sister Mary E., 42.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Amos Newsom, 55; [second] wife Frances, 30; and children Lena, 21, Mamie, 17, Mattie, 14, Linettie, 5, Clevland, 2, Willie, 20, and Albert, 18.

Amos Newsom died 8 June 1919 in Cross Roads township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1859 in Wilson County to Benjamin and Edna Newsom of Wilson County; was married to Francis Newsom; owned his farm; and was buried in the “country.” Informant was Larry Newsome.

Image of estate document available at North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Snaps, no. 48: Hilliard S. “Dock” Cotton.

Per the caption in “Black History Month,” Wilson Daily Times, 22 February 2008, page 6c, “Hilliard S. ‘Dock’ Cotton was operator of Cotton’s Grocery at the corner of Carroll and Carolina Streets. He was an African-American entrepreneur during the 1950s and 1960s.”

The grocery at Carroll and Carolina Streets is on the southwest corner — 1114 Carolina Street.

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In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Henry Cotten, 44; wife Lula, 37; and children Hilliard, 15, and Ardelia, 14; all farm laborers.

In 1940, Hilliard Sander Cotton registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 17 August 1914 in Black Creek, N.C.; lived at 27 Carolina Street; worked for Wilson Veneer Company; and was married to Phoebe Cotton.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cotton Dock (c; Phoebe, 5) fireman h 1222 Carolina

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cotton Dock (c: Phoebe) lab h 1222 Carolina; (also) Cotton Hilliard S (c) lab Wilson Veneer h 27 Carolina

In the 1960 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Cotton Hilliard S (Phoebe B) clipper opr Wilson Veneer h 1303 Carolina; (also) Cottons Grocery Store (Hilliard S Cotton) groceries candy soft drinks wine kerosene 1114 Carolina; (also) Cotton Phoebe B Mrs cash Cottons Gro Store h 1303 Carolina

Hilliard (Dock) Cotton died 23 April 1963 at Mercy Hospital. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 August 1914 in Wilson County to William H. Cotton and Clara Cotton; was married to Phoebe Cotten; lived at 1216 Carolina Street; worked as a clipper operator/laborer; was buried in Jones Hill cemetery.

Wilson Daily Times, 23 April 1965.

Rev. Phoebe Ann Britton Cotton died 15 December 1971 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 28 February 1916 in South Carolina to Waitis Barnwell Britton and Emma Britton; was a widow; resided at 1303 Carolina Street; and was a minister. John Cotton of Augusta, Georgia, was informant. She was buried in Jones Hill cemetery.

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Wilson Daily Times, 10 September 1955.

 

 

Happy New Year!

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Heartfelt thanks to all who supported Black Wide-Awake in 2018 through likes, comments, shares, tips and leads, and other feedback. This blog is my gift to my hometown, but the love and knowledge I’ve gained in return is immeasurable. I’m deeply grateful.

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Here are some 2018 stats:

579 posts

84,877 views (best ever: 1046 on April 20)

28,198 visitors (from 100 countries)

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Top 5 most popular posts:

“Wide A-wa-ake Love!” – the Wilson roots of Tupac Shakur.

The Harris brothers.

The Klan comes to Wilson.

Snaps, no. 39: unknown man.

The Samuel H. and Annie W. Vick family.

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Some of my favorites (so many, but…):

Anatomy of a Photograph: East Nash Street.

The Round House reborn.

It’s got a little twang to it.

The demise of Grabneck, pt. 2.

The 100th Anniversary of the Colored Graded School boycott.

‘Hoods.

A sacred space for truth-telling.

Mary Euell and Dr. Du Bois.

Play with all your might.

A charge of “negro blood.”

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Happy Emancipation Day!