Probably, in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Tilghman Road, Frank Cooper, 30, farm laborer; wife Jessie M., 23; children Christine, 4, Mary F., 3, and Frank, 1; and lodger Robert Battle, 37, farm laborer.
The cause of death on John Henry Evans‘ death certificate is fairly laconic: “brain injury due to auto accident.”
Newspaper accounts detail a more complicated story. About eight o’clock on the evening of April 11, Evans and J.D. O’Neal, on whose land he lived, were driving wagons to fertilizer to O’Neal’s farm near Lamm’s School [today, near the intersection of Interstate 95 and U.S. 264.] The men stopped on the shoulder of the road to talk to O’Neal’s brother. Both wagons were lit with lanterns. Erwin Stewart of Durham smashed into other wagons in a Graham truck and flipped over in a ditch. According to witnesses, Stewart’s truck had only one headlight working and had drifted partly on the shoulder of the road. The wagons were demolished, one mule was badly injured, and John Henry Evans was first thought dead. He was rushed to the “colored hospital.” As his death certificate notes, Evans lingered for five days before succumbing to injuries to his head.
Wilson Daily Times, 12 April 1929.
For all the carelessness hinted at in the initial report, a month later, Stewart was acquitted of a manslaughter charge in Evans’ death.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: express wagon driver John Farmer, 48; wife Edmonia, 41, a laundress; and children George, 23, factory laborer; Paul, 19, hotel servant; Annie, 18; Mary, 16; Fannie, 14; Arthur, 8; Melton [Nelson], 6; and William, 4.
On 10 January 1924, Nelson Farmer, 21, of Wilson, of John W. and Edmonia Farmer, married Nancy Williams, 20, of Wilson, daughter of Dorsey and Ida Williams. Presbyterian minister A.H. George performed the ceremony in the presence of John Brooks, Samuel Bridges, and Gladys O’Kelly.
Nelson Farmer died 16 April 1935 in Petersburg, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born in October 1904 in Wilson to John W. Farmer and Edmonia Barnes; was married to Nancy Farmer; lived at 706 East Green Street; and worked as a laborer. George Farmer, 1207 Carolina Street, was informant.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Alice Gay, 45; daughter Beatrice, 26; grandson Jerome Wood, 11; granddaughter Gereddine, 10; son Albert, 30; daughter-in-law Anabell, 24; grandsons Albert Jr., 4, and Jesse, 2; son-in-law Fredrick Bolling, 35; daughter Lillie, 23; and grandchildren Delma, 4, and Fredrick, 2.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 623 Green, widow Annie B. Gay, 30, a laundress; husband Albert, 40, a bellboy; mother-in-law Alic, 73; and children Albert Jr., 14, Jessie, 11, Hal, 8, Samual, 6, Mirrian, 4, and Ralph, 2. The house was valued at $8000.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 623 Green, Albert Gay, 24, truck driver for retail furniture store; and his siblings Harrell, 19, Samuel, 17, Annie M., 14, and Ralph, 12; plus lodgers Mrs. Julia Russell, 40, and her son, Albert, 22.
After the car she was in collided with a train in Dunn, North Carolina, Bessie Manning of Wilson was rushed to the Atlantic Coast Line hospital in Rocky Mount, but died of her injuries. Tom Mingo died at the scene, and Viola Bullock at the A.C.L. hospital. Both were also Wilson residents.
Manning’s death certificate, filed in Nash County, does not reflect her residency in Wilson. However, her son Paul Kirk filed for letters of administration for her estate in Wilson County, estimating its value at $2500.
Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III. Thank you!
In the 1930 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farm laborer Rosco Ford, 48; wife Mary J., 37; and children Roxy L., 19, Iola, 17, Beatrice, 16, David, 14, Gestine, 13, John D., 11, Rosetta, 8, Virginia, 7, Horris C., 6, Ester J., 4, Mary L., 3, and Henry C., newborn.
In the 1940 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Roscoe Ford, 55; wife Mary, 48; children Beatrice, 25, David Lee, 24, J.D., 21, Rose Esther, 19, Virgina, 17, Harries, 15, Esther, 14, Mary, 13, Henry Clay, 10, and Willie Clinton, 9; and grandchildren John Beregs, 4, and and Odain McKennon, 1.
Horace Clee Ford registered for the World War II draft in June 1942. Per his registration card, he was born 28 January 1924 in Wilson County; lived on Route 1, Elm City; his contact was Roscoe G. Ford; and he worked for Walter Pridgen, Elm City.
Horace C. Ford died 24 December 1944 in rural Wilson township, Wilson County “3 mi N of Wilson.” Per his death certificate, he was born 24 January 1924 in Wilson County to Roscoe Ford and Mary Jane Simms; was single; was a soldier in the U.S. Army; and was buried in William Chapel cemetery.
John Dawson died 18 March 1928. Per his death certificate, he was about 70 years old; lived in Wilson; and was a laborer. “Darden undertakers” were the informant and knew nothing else about him. Cause of death: “Run over by automobile by some unknown person killed instantly.”
Mattie Farmer was knocked down and killed as she crossed from one side of the 500 block of Nash Street, where she lived, to the other.
Mattie Farmer died 23 May 1928 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 28 years old; was married Eli Farmer; lived at 522 East Nash Street; worked as a common laborer; and was born in Laurinburg, N.C., to Henry and Hattie McLaurin. She was buried in Rountree cemetery.
On 23 October 1897, Henry Holiway, 23, of Crossroads township, son of Anson Canady and Maggie Wiggins, married Millie Purvies, 19, Crossroads township, daughter of J.K. and Mary Purvies, at Poney Renfrow‘s tenant house of Crossroads township.
In the 1900 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Henry Holiway, 25; wife Millie, 23; and children Amos, 7, and Cora Lee, 1 month.
In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Buck Horn and Kenly Branch Road, farmer Henry Holloway, 47; wife Millie, 45; and children Mattie, 17, Beatrice, 14, Pearline, 12, Narcissus, 9, and Elizabeth, 6.
In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Holloway Henry (c; Millie) lab h 908 Mercer
In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Holloway Henry (c; Millie) lab h 908 Mercer
In 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 704 Warren Street, tobacco factory sweeper Henry Holloway, 67; wife Millie, 60; and grandchildren Cora Lee, 13, and James, 9.
Henry Holloway died 16 December 1966 at his home at 903 Mercer Street, Wilson. He was born 5 August 1871 in Durham, N.C., to Maggie [no last name listed]; and was a laborer.
Rev. LeRoy Pearce
Rev. LeRoy R. Pearce died 15 December 1961 in Rich Square, Northampton County, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born in 9 October 1884 in Fayetteville, N.C., to Rufus and Mary Pearce, and was a minister.
The Daily Times misnamed the victim of this terrible accident. Emma Jane Barnes Farmer was killed near Holden’s Crossroads while standing behind her father John Barnes‘ automobile holding a lantern. Reddin Walston, a white teenager, was arrested and charged with her death, but freed after a grand jury refused to indict him. He was rearrested in January 1928 after a judge received additional evidence in the case. I have not been able to determine whether Walston was convicted. However, nine years later, Walston’s uncle shot and killed him in a dispute over liquor.
Tom Farmer, 43, of Wilson township, married Emma Barnes, 25, of Gardners township, on 24 October 1927. Primitive Baptist minister John R. Barnes performed the ceremony in Gardners township in the presence of Charlie Davis, Florence Battle, and Elijah Barnes.
Emma Jane Farmer died 11 December 1928 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 26 years old; was born in Wilson County to John Barnes and Bettie Parker; was married to Thomas Farmer; and was a tenant farmer on Sallie Gray’s farm. Her cause of death was “concussion of brain” six hours after an auto accident.