Women

Lona Edwards Alston Dunston, centenarian.

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Wilson Daily Times, 10 November 2001.

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Wilson Daily Times, 15 November 2002.

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In the 1910 census of Speights Bridge township, Greene County: farm laborer Stephen Edwards, 31; wife Charity, 29; and children Lonnie, 9, John H., 7, Charity, 4, William, 2, and Mary, 7 months.

On 14 January 1917, Thomas Alston, 22, of Greene County, son of Thomas and Peggy Alston, married Lonie Edwards, 18, of Stantonsburg, daughter of Steve and Charity Edwards, in Stantonsburg, Wilson County. Rev. W.J. Fox of “A.M.E. Zion connection,” performed the ceremony.

In the 1940 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: widow Lonie Alston, 40, farmer, and children Napoleon, 23, Willie Marie, 20, Thomas Lee, 17, J.C., 15, Stephen, 12, Jesse, 9, Mattie, 7, Lonnie, 5, and Lillian, 3.

In 1940, Napoleon Alston registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 26 August 1918 in Greene County; he lived in Stantonsburg; his contact was his mother Lonie Alston; and he was self-employed.

In 1944, J.C. Alston registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 26 October 1926 in Wilson County; his contact was his mother Lonie Alston; and he worked for John Lane, Stantonsburg, as a farmer.

Lona Edwards Alston Dunston died 1 October 2003, just weeks before her 103rd birthday.

She Changed the World: Ruth Whitehead Whaley.

Last week, Wayne County Public Library presented Part II of “Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History,” Wayne County’s contribution to She Changed the World: North Carolina Woman Breaking Barriers, an initiative by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to celebrate the achievements of North Carolina women and explore the diversity of their experiences and impact on our history. Part II focuses on Goldsboro native Ruth Whitehead Whaley, the first African-American woman admitted to the North Carolina bar.

My thanks to Local History librarians Marty Tschetter and Paul Saylors for inviting me to contribute remarks on the influence Ms. Whaley has had on my mission in Black Wide-Awake and the importance of stories like hers.

Goldsboro News-Argus, 30 May 1932.

[Sidenote: Judge Frank A. Daniels was the older brother of Josephus Daniels, newspaper editor and racist demagogue. Both grew up in Wilson.]

The Dunston twins turn 90.

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Wilson Daily Times, 15 April 2006.

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Harry Dunston married Mary Stancil on 28 December 1897 on Oneal township, Johnston County.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Harry Dunston, 58, his wife of 6 years Livia A., 46, and children James, 10, Pearly, 7, Percy, 7, Alparada, 3, and Ollie, 1 1/2.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Harry Duncan [sic], 59; wife Livian, 39; and children Alparato, 11, Oliver W. 9, Bettie, 8, Clara, 7, Joseph, 6, Sidney, 5, Ruby and Ruth, 3, and Pearl and Percy, 15.

Livan Dunston died 29 April 1947 in Old Fields township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 14 May 1885 in Wilson County to Best Taborn and Clara Locus; was married to Harry Dunston; and is buried at New Vester.

Harry Dunston died 10 August 1950 in Old Fields township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born December 1859 in Wake County to Ben Dunston and Harriett Hester; was a widower; was a farmer; and was buried at New Vester. Eliza Dunstan Hayes was informant.

Ruby Dunston Jones passed away 6 March 2016, just before her 100th birthday.

 

Hall of Famer Annie Cooke Dickens.

On the occasion of her induction into the Shaw University Athletic Hall of Fame, Annie Cooke Dickens shared memories of her school days in Wilson and beyond.

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  • Dickens credited John M. “Bing” Miller, her high school basketball coach, and Marian Miller, the girls’ basketball chaperone, as her “foundation.”
  • Dickens played guard on Shaw’s women’s basketball team from 1938 to 1942.
  • The basketball team played games in Banner Warehouse, and Marian Miller brought a small oil heater to warm the space.
  • For road games, the team road in a truck with a bench strapped to the body. They played most games on dirt courts.

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Wilson Daily Times, 14 December 1993.

  • “Extremely poor family” seems an exaggeration, as Dickens’ father was a railroad clerk, and the family owned a two-story house across from Darden High School.
  • Dickens was a cheerleader for three years and was crowned Miss Shaw as a junior and senior.
  • She was a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and several student organizations.
  • Dickens’ first teaching position was at Yelverton School near Saratoga, then Lofton School, where she was principal. These schools had no electricity, running water, or indoor toilets. She also taught in Greensboro and at Speight School.
  • She worked in school administration for 21 years before retiring.
  • Her husband James Dickens was a teacher at Fike High School. Both retired in 1983.
  • She engaged in volunteer work after retirement.

Women’s basketball team, Shaw University Journal (1939).

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In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Hadley Street, railroad mail clerk Jerry L. Cook, 43; wife Clara, 39, teacher; children Henderson, 20, Edwin D., 18, Clara G., 14, Georgia E., 12, Annie, 8, Jerry L., 6, and Eunice D., 4; sister Georgia E. Wyche, 48, teacher; and nieces Kathaline Wyche, 7, and Reba Whittington, 19.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 916 East Green Street, railway clerk J.L. Cook, 54, born Wake County; wife Clara, 48, born Craven County; children Henderson J., 30, Clara, 24, Annie, 18, Jerry, 16, and Eunice, 14; and cousin Ella Godette, 18. Henderson and young Clara were born in New Bern; the remaining children in Wilson.

The obituary of Nora A. Jones, 101.

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Nora A. Jones, 2 January 1919-18 May 2020.

Nora A. Jones, age 101, of Wilson transitioned from labor to reward on Monday, May 18, 2020.  Funeral service will be held Monday, May 25 at 12 noon at St. John AME Zion Church, Wilson.  Interment will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery.

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In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Nash Street, Frank Mitchell, 27, laborer; wife Allice, 23; and daughter Nora A., 1; plus boarder Noah Bess, 63, widower.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: in New Grabneck, carpenter Frank Mitchell, 37; wife Alice, 31, teacher; and daughter Nora A., 10.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: in New Grabneck, carpenter Frank Mitchell, 52; wife Alice, 39, teacher; and daughter Nora Allen, 19.

On 27 October 1946, Walter A. Jones, 24, of Wilson, son of Joe Jones and Virginia Applewhite Jones, married Nora Allen Mitchel, 25, of Wilson, daughter of Frank and Alice Mitchell, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister William A. Hilliard performed the ceremony in the presence of Frank Mitchell, Alice Mitchell, and Mrs. Louis Thomas.

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Colored Graded School ’11 commencement.

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Wilson Daily Times, 19 May 1911.

  • Fern Speight
  • Mazie Holland — Mazie Holland Wells. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: laundress Charity Holland, 48; and children Charlie, 24, barber; Jane, 20; Mazie and Daisy, 18; Lue, 16; and Lillian, 12.
  • Eva Davis — Eva Mashon Davis Bland. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Fred M. Davis, 42, Baptist church minister; wife Dianah, 42; children Eva M., 16, Bertha, 15, Fred, 11, Ruth, 13, Addie L., 8, and William B., 5; and mother Jud., 60.
  • Nancy Jones
  • Bathenia Best —Barthena Best Fulcher.
  • Eva Speight — Eva Janet Speight Coley. In the 1910 census of Speights Bridge township, Greene County, North Carolina: day laborer Jacob Speight, 38, widower; and children Arbelia, 12, Eva, 9, Furnis, 7, and Joseph, 5.
  • Dr. Charles F. Meserve

The Junior Mission Circle goes on a tour.

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Wilson Daily Times, 10 November 1941.

  • First Baptist Church
  • Lealia Hilliard — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Lelia Hillard, 36, born in South Carolina, lived in Florence, S.C., in 1935, teacher at Lucama Grade School, and husband Rufus Hillard, 43, fireman at City of Wilson power plant.
  • Margaret Bridgers — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: furniture company truck driver Jessie Bridgers, 32; wife Margret, 27; and children Elizabeth, 6, Jessie Jr., 5, and twins Saul and Carl, 2.
  • Elsie Hobbs — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1205 Atlantic Ave., rented for $12/month, Hadie, 39, and wife Elsie Hobb, 32, both of Wayne County. Hadie’s occupation was “sick”; Elsie was a cook at Coon High School.
  • Mary Mitchell
  • Rosa Sutton — in the 1940 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Arthur Sutton, 29; wife Rosa, 26; and children James J., 7, Rosa Lee, 3, Sarah Jane, 1, and Ellen Gray, 3 months.
  • Cora Parker — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: James Parker, 25, Carolina Laundry employee; wife Lois, 19; mother Cora, 47, cook; and son William, 18 months.
  • Nannie Barbour
  • O.M. Royall — Ossie M. Royall.