accidental death

Willie Richardson, age 13, drowns.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 June 1934.

Wilson Daily Times, 12 June 1934.

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In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 208 East Hines Street, at $12/month, coal yard helper Junious Richardson, 31; wife Rose, 27; and children Willie, 9, and Henry, 2 months.

Willie Richardson died 10 June 1934 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 May 1921 in Wilson to Junius Richardson of Selma, N.C., and Rosevelt Battle of Portsmouth, Virginia; was in school and unmarried; and lived at 412 East Walnut Street, Wilson.

Groom killed an hour after marriage.

Wilson Daily Times, 30 November 1948.

In the 1930 census of Tarboro, Edgecombe County, North Carolina: farmer Robert Fate, 33, born in South Carolina; wife Mionna, 31, also born in South Carolina; children Alice, 17, Willis H., 17, Persey, 11, Geneva, 7, Robert Jr., 5, and May E., 2; mother-in-law Alice Jurant, 55, and father-in-law Melvin Jurant, 56.

In the 1940 census of Mannings township, Nash County, North Carolina: Robert Fate, 43, farmer on rented farm; wife Miona, 39; and Geneva, 16, Robert Junius, 15, Mary Etta, 12, Curtis Lee, 9, and Eddie Lee, 6.

Miorina Fate died 21 September 1947 in Bailey, Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 October 1901 in Florence, South Carolina, to Will Carter and Alice Green and was married to Robert Fate. 

Robert Fate, 55, of Wilson, married Anna Riley, 45, of Sims, on 29 November 1948 in Wilson.

At 5:45 P.M. the same day, Robert Fate was declared dead, struck by a car on U.S. Highway 264 near Sims. 

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Boy accidentally shot by sister.

Wilson Daily Times, 19 May 1943.

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On 27 February 1929, Rufus Wallace, 23, of Taylors township, son of C. and Lillie Wallace, married Dorethea Etheridge, 15, daughter of Wiley and Lula Etheridge, in Wilson.

In the 1940 census of Sterlings township, Roberson County: Rufus Wallace, 36; wife Dorothea, 29; children Wade, 10, Eileen, 8, Lula Mae, 6, Rufus Jr., 5, and Jimmie Carl, 3; and brother-in-law Wiley Etheridge, 19.

In 1942, Rufus W. Wallace registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 7 January 1904 in Robeson County, N.C.; lived on Route 4, Wilson, Gardners township; his contact was Martha Rountree, 913 Mercey [Mercer] Street, Wilson; and he worked for J.C. Corbett, Route 4, Wilson.

“Gun shot wound of head. Shot by sister accidental.”

In the 1950 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: well digger Rufus Wallace, 46; wife Doreatha, 39; and children Lula Mae, 16, Jimmy, 13, Freddie, 7, and Bobby, 4.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Alec Donald found dead beside railroad.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 October 1923.

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In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Lawson Donald, 23; wife Mariah, 20; and Ellic, 6, Rufus, 1, and Hamilton Donald, 12.

In the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Lawson Donnell, 39; wife Maria, 35; and children Alex, 16, Rufus, 11, Sallie, 8, Moses, 6, Lawson Jr., 2, Eunice, 4, and Ann, 1.

In the 1900 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Alexander Donald, 37; aunt Lizzie Williams, 67, washerwoman; and niece Elizabeth B. Williams, 12, nurse girl.

On 22 January 1902, Alex Donald, 39, of Stantonsburg, son of Lawson and Moriah Donald, married Adline Barnes, 26, daughter of Lewis and Allie Barnes, in Stantonsburg.

In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Railroad Street, which he owned, Alex Donald, 58, farm [croper?], and wife Adline, 44.

On 29 February 1920, Willie Donald, 31, of Stantonsburg, son of Alex Donald and Mandy Donald, married Pearl Melton, 28, of Stantonsburg, daughter of Ella Donald, at a church in Wilson. Free Will Baptist minister J.E. Brown performed the ceremony in the presence of E.S. Hargrove, C.C. Worthington, and E.H. Cox.

On 7 November 1920, Albert Thompson, 21, of Stantonsburg, son of Alex Donald and Frances T. Artis, married Ida Whitley, 17, of Stantonsburg, daughter of Council and Ida Whitley, at Council Whitley’s in Stantonsburg. Elder Isaac Barfield performed the ceremony.

Alex Donald died 14 October 1923 in Stantonsburg, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1854 in Wilson County to Lawson Donald; was married to Adline Donald; worked as a day laborer; and was buried in Bethel Cemetery. Cause of death: “Killed by train.”

Per probate records, on 27 November 1923, A.P. Moore applied for letters of administration for Donald’s estate, estimating its value at $400 and his heirs as wife Adline Donald and one brother.

Adline Donald died 1 January 1931 at a state hospital in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

In 1945, fourteen years after Adline’s death, Alex Donald’s heirs filed a petition to divide what remained of his estate. Though his children seem not to have survived, several of his siblings — far more than the one brother — laid claim to “certain real estate located in the Town of Stantonsburg … known as the Alex Donald lots.” Lawson Donald Jr. and wife Fannie Speight Donald were living in Johnston County, N.C. Rufus Donald had migrated to Baltimore, Maryland, at least 40 years earlier. I have not been able to locate Moses Donald.

Wilson Daily Times, 15 March 1945.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The shooting death of Nathaniel Ward.

In a follow-up to this post, we learn that authorities ruled that the shooting death of Nathaniel Ward was accidental.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 February 1921.

“Fractured skull, Base, Bullet wound, Accident.”

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  • Fannie Levington
  • Nathaniel Ward

Nathaniel Ward registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County in 1918. Per his registration card, he was born 10 December 1899; lived at R.F.D. 4, Wilson; farmed for O. Woodard; and his nearest relative was Lillie Applewhite, Wilson.

Nathaniel Ward died 8 February 1921 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 20 years old; was born in Wilson County to Frank Ward and Lillie Applewhite; was a farmer; and was single.

Twelve year-old accidentally shoots twelve year-old.

Wilson Daily Times, 3 January 1917.

I have not been able to find a death record for a 12 year-old child in early January 1917. Nor have I been able to identify a 12 year-old boy named Clark living in the Elm City area in 1917.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Fatal auto crashes.

Wilson Daily Times, 16 December 1929.

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  • Clarence Rogers — Rogers died 15 December 1929 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 24 years old; was born in Wake County, N.C., to James C. Rogers and Martha Perry; was married to Mary Rogers; worked as a common laborer; and was buried in Wake County. Millard Rogers, Wilson, was informant.

“Coronary Embolus auto accident. Not at R.R. crossing occurred at place of death”

  • Eddie Walker — in the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farm laborer Eddie Walker, 20; wife Pecolia, 24; and daughter Dallas, 9 months; also farm laborer Augustus Mitchel, 29; wife Cora, 24; and children Earnest L., 6, and Farman, 2.
  • Agelene Rountree — per her death certificate, Arger Lee Rountree of 120 Manchester Street died 15 December 1929 in Wilson. She was born 8 April 1921 in Wilson County to Wiley Rountree and Mary Barnes and was a student.

“Run down by Automobile while crossing the street, killed almost instantly. Was dead when Doctor reached there.”

  • James Artis 

The death of Peter King.

Wilson Daily Times, 1 December 1932.

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In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: day laborer Peter King, 27, and wife Bertie, 27.

On 29 February 1908, Peter King, 30, of Stantonsburg, married Lena Barnes, 30, of Stantonsburg, in Wilson.

On 22 February 1914, Peter King, 35, of Wilson, married Treacy King, 38, in Wilson. Free Will Baptist minister A.H. Moore performed the ceremony in the presence of Rosa Crank, Sarah J. Pitt, and Geneva Jones.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 620 Viola, Peter King, 50, laborer at public works; wife Trecy, 35; sons David, 7, and Thomas, 3; and stepdaughter Emma Davis, 13.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 611 Viola, rented for $6/month, Trecy King, 45, laundress; children Emma Davis, 20, laundress, David King, 17, and Thomas King, 12; adopted son Robert L. Smith, 5; and Petter King, 80.

Peter King died 30 November 1932 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 58 years old; was born in Fayetteville, N.C., to Haywood King; was married to Treacy King; lived at 402 Viola; and worked as a day laborer for the City of Wilson. 

“Third degree burn of right arm and chest. Two days later he developed symptoms of acute nephritis.”

[Sidenote: Newspaper clippings are also a source of fascinating evidence of changes in language — “who happened to an accident in falling into fire.” What a curious way to say “who accidentally fell into a fire.”]

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Young Mary Vick drowned?

Wilson Daily Times, 1 June 1940.

The brief news report about Mary N. Vick stated that the ten year-old drowned after falling into a wash tub. Her death certificate, however, declared hers a natural death, with “no signs of foul play.”

An article in the 2 June 1940 News and Observer helps explain:

Knight falls from truck and is killed.

Wilson Daily Times, 15 March 1935.

  • Boy Knight — “Boy” was, in fact, named Efird Knight. Per his death certificate, he was 27 years old; was born in Wilson to Eddie Knight and Minerva Ellis; was single; and worked as a common laborer. Minerva Gray of Wilson was informant. He died 15 March 1935, and his cause of death was: “Accidental fell of truck killing him instantly.”
  • Dock Sims

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.