agriculture

Winners of the cotton contest.

The calendar in this photograph dates it to January 1949. It depicts ten men — four African-American — standing in what appears to be the lobby or a wide hallway of an office building. One man is accepting a document, perhaps a check, from another. I don’t have any other context for the image and don’t know the identity of any of the men.

[Update, 25 May 2023: John Hackney provided the essential clue — the man at far right is his grandfather Tom Bridgers. With that information, I was able to find an article in the 8 January 1949 issue of the Daily Times. At the Wilson Chamber of Commerce’s farm aware program, on behalf of Kiwanis Club, Bridgers presented awards to winners in the “cotton contest” — W.P. Proctor of Stantonsburg; John Farmer, Rufus Brewer, and Charlie Batts of Elm City; Tom Morris, E.G. Lindsey, Hardy Hooks, Henry Trevathan, James Faison, and Joe Hester of Wilson. The photo above, taken by a Chamber photographer, did not run with the article. I’ve amended the title of this post.]

Photo courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Walker Cain believes in conservation.

Wilson Daily Times, 5 April 1944.

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In the 1900 census of Williamsburg township, Lake County, South Carolina: farmer Alfred Cain, 42; wife Maggie, 40; and children Ralph, 17, Benjamin W., 15, Ella, 14, Fanny, 12, Walter, 10, Leonard, 7, and Robert W., 2.

In the 1910 census of Cain township, Florence County, South Carolina: widower Alfred Cain, 50; children Walker, 24, Ella, 23, Fanny, 19, Walter, 19, Leonard, 18, Robert W., 14; and nephew Willard Wiley, 7.

In the 1930 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Walker B. Cain, 49; wife Elizabeth, 30; children Erea, 16, Bessie, 14, Adrian, 8, and Alford, 5; nephews Earlie, 18, and Buster, 16; and “croper” James Redin, 18.¬†

In the 1940 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer Walker Cain, 58; wife Elizabeth, 35; and children Bessie, 19, Adam, 16, and Alfred, 14.

In the 1950 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer Walker Cain, 60; wife Elizabeth, 49; and grandsons Jeff R., 17, and Earnest Weatherspoon, 15.

Benjamin Walker Cain died 14 February 1974 in Wilson, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born 30 September 1884 in South Carolina to Alfred Cain and Edith [no maiden name given]; resided near Sims, Wilson County; was married to Elizabeth Rush; and was buried in New Vester cemetery.

Harris makes highest corn yield.

Wilson Daily Times, 19 November 1935.

  • Volious Harris

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Sidney Harris, 50, wife Hattie, 40, and children Emma, 17, Oliver, 16, Nathan, 13, Novella, 11, Volious, 8, Hattie M., 6, Beatrice, 3, and Clarence, 1.

In the 1940 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Sidney Harris, 59, wife Hattie, 50, and children Novella, 22, Volious, 17, Hattie Magarette, 15, Beatrice, 13, and Clearance, 12, and granddaughter Deloris McMillian, 6.

In 1942, Volious Lee Harris registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 June 1921 in Wilson County; lived at Route 2, Elm City; his contact was Sydney Harris; and was a student at A.&T. College, Greensboro, N.C.

On 21 July 1945, Volious Harris, 24, of Elm City, son of Sidney and Hattie Harris, married Helen Underwood, 25, of Goldsboro, N.C., daughter of William and Nellie Underwood, in Goldsboro, Wayne County, N.C.

Volious Harris died 28 February 1989 in Goldsboro, N.C.

Chester Woodard participates in corn variety test.

Wilson Daily Times, 6 May 1940.

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In the 1920 census of Speights Bridge township, Greene County, N.C.: farmer Johnie Woodard, 28; wife Emma Line, 29; and children Marvin, 6, Chester, 4, and Mary Adell, 21 months.

In the 1930 census of Gardners, Wilson County: farmer Johnie Woodard, 47; wife Emma L., 45; children Marvin, 18, Chester, 16, Adell, 14, Vernell[Vernon] L., 12, Jounes [Junius], 10, and Sherman W., 6; and lodger John McCory, 28.

In the 1940 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: widow Emiline Woodard, 48, farmer, and children Marvin, 26, farmer, Chester, 24, farmer, Mary, 21, beautician, Vornal, 19, Junious, 15, Helen G., 9, Bennie J., 6, and Thurman, 12.

In 1940, Chester B. Woodard registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his draft registration, he was born 5 August 1915 in Greene County, N.C.; lived at R.F.D. #4, Wilson; his contact was Emiline Woodard, mother; and was employed by Emiline Woodard.

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?)

Jones buys a mule.

On 17 December 1897, Thomas A. Jones purchased a bay mare mule from John Y. Moore for $75 on credit. Until Jones paid the full purchase price, title remained in Moore. On 7 January 1900, he satisfied his debt.

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In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Jno. A. Jones, 22; wife Susan, 19;  children Thomas, 2, and Jesse B., 7 months; and Rosett Boykin, 10.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Dempsy Powell, 52, farmer; wife Sallie, 46; daughter Susan A. Jones, 27, and her husband John A. Jones, 34; their children Thomas A., 13, Jessee B., 11, James A., 7, Celia C., 5, Sallie C., 4, and John A., 1; and W.D. Lucus, 21, laborer.

In the 1900 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Thomas A. Jones, 32; [second] wife Mary, 25; and children Wesley, 11, Earnist, 9, William P., 7, Locus C., 7, Eppie, 3, Bell L., 5, Milbry, 3, and Roxey, 6 months, plus brother Sylvester Jones, 13.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Thomas Jones, 43; wife Ida, 36; and children Earnest, 19, William, 17, Bettie, 15, Milbrey, 12, and Maoma, 21, and grandchildren Wiley J., 3, and Elroy Jones, 3 months.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: on Sims Road, farmer Thomas A. Jones, 51; wife Mary I., 45; children Milbry T., 23, Andrew, 19, Leona, 17, James H., 14, Ollie, 9, Ida May, 7, Paul H., 5, and Jim Lawrence, 3; and granddaughter Bettie Lee, 4.

In the 1930 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Thomas Jones, 61; wife Ida, 54; and children Leona, 27, Ollie, 19, Ida M., 17, Paul, 15, James, 13, and Willie, 8.

Thomas A. Jones died 20 February 1925 in Lucama, Springhill township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 May 1868 in Wilson County to John Jones and Susie Powell; was a widower; had been married to Ida Jones; was a farmer. Informant was Earnest Jones of Bailey, N.C.

Deed book 46, page 90, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.