alcohol

Drunk on cider.

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After the registrar noted that no physician had been in attendance at Washington Simms‘ demise, some other person added “getting drunk on cider” as a cause of death.

A newspaper article sheds some light.

Charlotte Observer, 19 October 1916.

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There were at least two Washington Simmses in Wilson County in the late 19th century. This seems most likely to be the one above.

In the 1870 census of Stantonsuhrg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Washington Sims, 34, in the household of Rufus, 47, and Rebecca Edmundson, 34.

In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Washington Simms, 40, common laborer.

In the 1900 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farm laborer Washington Simms, 64.

In the 1910 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: odd jobs laborer Washington Simms, 71.

Poisoned liquor.

The end of Prohibition in December 1933 did nothing to stem the flow of bootleg liquor in Wilson (or anywhere else). Home brew could be dangerous though, and, in the new year, Charley Singletary and John Hagans died in back-to-back months from poisoned alcohol.

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“Found dead in Bed supposed to have drank poison liquor No Sign foul play.”

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“Supposed from drinking poison whiskey”

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  • Charley Singletary

Charlie Singletary registered for the World War I draft in Florence County, South Carolina, in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born in 1896 in Olanta, South Carolina; lived in Lake City, South Carolina; was a farm laborer; and was married with a child.

In the 1920 census of Lake township, Florence County, South Carolina: Charlie Singletary, 22; wife Josephine, 20; and son Wallace, 3.

Charlie Singletary, 23, son of Simp and Mollie Singletary, married Elizabeth Singletary, 19, daughter of Sam and Mary Singletary, on 17 March 1925 in Wilson.

In the 1930 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: Charley Singletary, 33; wife Lizabeth, 23; and children Fred, 4, J.B., 2, Gilbert, 1, and Evon, 2 months. Charley and Lizabeth were born in South Carolina.

  • John Hagans

John Hagans registered for the World War I draft in Oldfields township, Wilson County in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born 25 December 1889 in Rock Hill, South Carolina; lived in Rock Hill; worked as a stone quarry laborer for Harris G[ranite]. Co., Neverson, Wilson County; and was married.

In the 1920 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: on Neverson Stone Quarry Road, stone quarry laborer John Hogan, 31, and wife Mattie, 23.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Highway 91, widow Mittie Lucas, 40, laundress; her sons Otis, 19, and Maryland, 14; and roomers John Hagan, 38; Carder, 19, and Mandy Walker, 17, all of South Carolina.