Artis’ miracle.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 May 1939.

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In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg and Wilson Road, tenant farmer Willie Artis, 43; wife Francis, 43; children Alexander, 21, Harvie, 20, Willie Jr., 16, Nora E., 14, Marion, 11, Rosel, 9, Jessie, 8, Elcy, 5, and Johnie, 18; laborer Miles Warren, 40; and boarder Albert Thompson, 19.

In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg and Wilson Road, farmer Willie Artis, 53; wife Francis, 42; children Roselle, 19, Jesse, 18, and Elsie M., 15; lodger Myrs Warren, 50; and sister Beatrice Sauls, 19.

On 1 December 1934, Rozell Artis, 23, of Wilson County, son of Will and Frances Artis, married Rencie Bynum, 16, of Wilson County, daughter of William and Rosa Bynum, in Nashville, Nash County, North Carolina. Will Artis, William Bynum, and Frank Williams were witnesses.

Helen Jean Artis died 10 June 1939 in Wilson township [12 days after her father survived his lightning strike.] Per her death certificate, she was born 24 February 1939 in Wilson County to Rosell Artis and Rencie Bynum.

In the 1940 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Old Wilson Road, farmer Roselle Artis, 27; wife Rencie, 20; son Milton, 4; mother Frances, 60, widow; nephews Marion Jr., 10, and Thomas S., 9;  lodgers Jimmie D. Barnes, 21, and Miles Warren, 60.

Roselle Artis registered for the World War II draft in 1940 in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 5 April 1911 in Wilson County; lived at Route 3, Wilson; his nearest contact was his wife Rencie Bynum Artis; and he worked for W.J. Davis, Wilson.

Jimmie Dee Barnes registered for the World War II draft in 1940 in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 6 January 1918 in Wilson County; lived at Route 3, Wilson; and his nearest contact was his employer Roselle Artis, Route 3, Wilson.

603 East Green Street, revisited.

The Washington Wilkins house at 603 East Green Street, built circa 1930, was burned beyond repair last night.

The destruction of this historic house is tragic, but secondary to the well-being of the last family to live in it. Wishing them well as they recover from their loss.

[Update, 4/15/2021: since this posting, the Wilson Times published an article detailing the local fire department’s efforts to battle this fire and the resiliency of Hunette Francois, the Haitian immigrant who lived in the Wilkins house for six years and lost everything in the blaze.]

Thanks to Edith Jones Garnett for sharing this image.

The death of Alphonso Battle, age 15.

The Daily Times reported the death of 15 year-old Alphonso Battle as tragic, but straightforward — he had accidentally shot himself in the chest while squirrel hunting.

Wilson Daily Times, 15 October 1937.

Bizarrely, though, Battle’s death certificate tells a completely different story, establishing his legal cause of death as “natural cause no sign of foul play.”

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In the 1930 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer John H. Battle, 49; wife Loutoria, 40; and children Johnie L., 21, Nettie, 19, Bessie L., 16, Mary L., 15, Roosevelt, 14, Armettie, 11, Alphnza, 8, Estelle, 7, Augustus, 4, and Harvey L., 2.

Last will and testament of Nellie Bullock Whitehead.

When Nellie Bullock Whitehead made out her will on 10 November 1949, she was very clear that only her daughters Anna Whitehead Hagans and Elnora Whitehead Sauls would inherit.

Nellie Bullock Whitehead was a native of Wilson County; her husband John Whitehead was from Georgia. I have not found a marriage license for them, but they lived in Dodge County, Georgia, in 1910, and all their children were born in Georgia. By 1920, they had returned to live in Nellie Whitehead’s home county.

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In the 1910 census of Mullis township, Dodge County, Georgia: John Whitehead, 26; wife Nellie, 25; and sons Edmund, 7, and Will. H., 4.

In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on S.H. Crocker Farm Road, tenant farmer, John Whitehead, 37; wife Nellie, 36; children E.K., 16, William H., 13, Anna V.O., 7, Anna Nula, 5, and J.B., 4; and great-uncle[?] Josh Whitehead.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Highway 91, express laborer [no first name] Whitehead, 49; wife Ella, 45; and children Anna V., 17, Nora, 16, John, 14, and William, 24. All were born in Georgia except Ella [Nellie], who was born in North Carolina.

John Whitehead died in Wilson on 24 October 1937. Per his death certificate, he was 55 years old; was born in Georgia to Joshua Whitehead and Georgian Melvin; was married to Nellie Whitehead; lived at 1513 Nash Street; and worked as a meat packer.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: widow Nellie Whitehead, 56; son J.B., 24, truck driver for a contractor; daughter Anna Hagans, 27, tobacco company stemmer; son-in-law Henry Hagans, 32, town garbage remover; and daughter Elnora Whitehead, 26.

John Baptist Whitehead registered for the World War II draft in Wilson in 1940. Per his registration card, he was born 25 December 1915 in Chester, Georgia; lived at Route 4, Box 39, Wilson; worked for Imperial Tobacco, Barnes Street; and his contact was his mother, Nellie Whitehead.

Nellie B. Whitehead died 27 March 1951 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 10 August 1884 in Elm City, N.C., to Equia B. Bullock and William Ann Barnes and was a widow. Anna B. Hagans was informant.

Snaps, no. 80: Two boys and a dog.

Lucian J. Henderson, in aviator helmet and goggles, stands with a dog between two unidentified houses in East Wilson. The boy at left in striped socks, also unidentified, is standing in the remnants of a light snow. The photo dates to the mid-1930s.

Photo in the collection of Lisa Y. Henderson.

T/5 Whitehead’s remains returned for burial.

Wilson Daily Times, 26 May 1948.

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In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on S.H. Crocker Farm Road, tenant farmer, John Whitehead, 37; wife Nellie, 36; children E.K., 16, William H., 13, Anna V.O., 7, Anna Nula, 5, and J.B., 4; and great-uncle[?] Josh Whitehead.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Highway 91, express laborer [no first name] Whitehead, 49; wife Ella, 45; and children Anna V., 17, Nora, 16, John, 14, and William, 24. All were born in Georgia except Ella [Nellie], who was born in North Carolina.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: widow Nellie Whitehead, 56; son J.B., 24, truck driver for a contractor; daughter Anna Hagans, 27, tobacco company stemmer; son-in-law Henry Hagans, 32, town garbage remover; and daughter Elnora Whitehead, 26.

John Baptist Whitehead registered for the World War II draft in Wilson in 1940. Per his registration card, he was born 25 December 1915 in Chester, Georgia; lived at Route 4, Box 39, Wilson; worked for Imperial Tobacco, Barnes Street; and his contact was his mother, Nellie Whitehead.

Concert at the Community Center.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 November 1946.

Acclaimed African-American tenor Emanuel Mansfield and Native American pianist Robert Evans appeared in concert at Reid Street Community Center in November 1946. Henry Ellis Post Number 17 of the American Legion sponsored the event. Tickets were available at Wade’s Shoe Shop, 533 East Nash Street, Wade M. Moore, proprietor.

Darden High School class of 1949’s 30th reunion.

Wilson Daily Times, 7 June 1979.

Darden High School’s Class of 1949 celebrated its thirtieth class reunion in 1979 at American Legion Post 17’s hall in East Wilson. Twenty-seven out of about 63 class members attended.

The Class of ’49 was Darden’s second to produce a yearbook, and here are the senior pages:

Henry Arrington Jr., Daisy Lee Artis, George Thomas Barnes, Mary Bernice Barnes, Katie Chestnut Barnes, Ruby Mae Blue, Samuel Wesley Bowens, George Thomas Brodie, Henry Tabron Brodie.

Jacobia Lorenzo Bulluck, Elnora Blanche Cooper, William H. Darden, Lorena Davis, William Lima Dew, Minnie Doris Ellis, Marie Everette, Levolyre C. Farmer, Mae Lillie Ford.

Charles Ervin Howell, Fredrick D. Jenkins, Robert Allen Jenkins, Elroy Jones, Joseph Jones Jr., Phoebe Arletha Jones, Flora Narcissus Little, Georgia Moore, Sarah Ruth Moore.

Daniel Edward Freeman, Joseph Thomas Freeman, Annie Mae Goodman, Gladys Lyvonne Goodman, Lucille Gorham, Helen Delzel Green, Agnes Angeline Harris, Joseph Holiday, Jasper Hoskins.

Addie Lucille Murphy, Louise Parker, Rosa Lee Payne, Eula Mae Reid, Margaret Reid, Bernice Roberson, Daisy Mae Robinson, Charlie Allen Roberts, Ivory Robinson.

Marjorie A. Robinson, Rosa Mae Roundtree, Fannie D. Rountree, Josh B. Rountree, Moses Rountree Jr., Christine Ruffin, William B. Short, James Arthur Simms, Mildred Simms.

Vera Elizabeth Smith, Rosa B. Sutton, Amos Tabron, Helen Robinson, Doris D. Williams, Robert Earl Williams, Annie Ruth Woodard, Fred Augustus Woods Jr., Earl Leonard Zachary.

At least two ’49 classmates — Agnes Harris Locus and Levolyre Farmer Pitt — will soon celebrate their 72nd class anniversary. Do you know of others?

[Update, 4/11/2021: John Stembridge reports that Mildred Simms, too, is looking forward to the 72nd anniversary of her graduation from Darden High School!]