Floreta Walson Allen died 3 November 1949 in rural Pasquotank County, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was born 17 May 1908 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Stacy J. Walson and Ruby A. Trowell; was married; was employed as a teacher. She was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Elizabeth City, N.C. Lesly J. Walson was informant.
Though she was said to have lived and taught in Wilson for ten years, I have not found record of her in the city.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: day laborer Henry Mercer, 48; wife Florence, 36; children Lesley, 18, Aderns, 14, Candis, 9, Isaac, 7, and Augustus, 2; plus boarder Jesse Farmer, 29.
On 17 June 1903, Leslie Mercer, 21, of Wilson, son of Henry and F. Mercer, married Carrie Gunner, 21, daughter of James and M. Gunner, at Henry Mercer’s residence in Wilson County. Primitive Baptist minister Jonah Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of J.D. Reid, H.S. Edwards, Jason Farmer, and E.L. Reid.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Lipscomb Road, Henry Mercer, 63, town wagon driver; wife Fourence, 45, laundress; children Lesslie, 23, brickyard laborer, Odjus, 19, market butcher, Isear, 12, brickyard laborer, Augustus, 9, Henry, 3, and Cora, 22, cook, and [grand]daughter Lucel, newborn.
On 28 May 1911, Leslie Mercer, 27, son of Henry and Florence Mercer, married Cora Barnes, 22, daughter of Maddison Barnes, in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister William Baker performed the ceremony in the presence of Will Bullock, Jason Farmer, and [illegible] Baker.
On 25 December 1914, Leslie Mercer, 35, of Wilson, married Mary Jones, 37, of Wilson, in Wilson. Banks Blow applied for the license, and Baptist minister William Baker performed the ceremony in the presence of Blow, Isaac Cobbs Jr., and Willie A. Cobbs.
Mary Jane Jones died 21 July 1920 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born April 1877 in Wake County, N.C., to Henry Mathews; was married to Leslie Mercer; worked as a stemmer for Wilson Tobacco Company; and lived at 510 Narroway Street, Wilson.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Leslie Mercer, 42, tobacco factory laborer; wife Mary, 40; and son-in-law [sic] Albert Parker, 50, widower.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 712 Viola, rented for $12/month, Marrion Mercer, 32, tobacco factory laborer; wife Sarah, 28; brother Leslie Mercer, 50, tobacco factory laborer; and children Isear, 10, Marjorie, 8, and Florence Mercer, 5.
Leslie Mercer died 15 March 1936 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 59 years old; was born in Wilson to Henry Mercer of Edgecombe County, N.C., and Florence Farmer of Wilson County; was married to Bertha Mercer; lived at 614 Viola; and worked as a laborer. His cause of death: intracranial hemorrhage after “auto ran over him on Green St.”
Fred Woodard — in the 1940 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Fred Woodard, 36; wife Maggie, 36; and children Roy, 15, John D., 13, Doris N., 11, Fred Jr., 9, and Rosie Lee, 7. Fred Woodard died 30 August 1942 in Cross Roads township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1904 in Wilson County to William Woodard and Cora [maiden name unknown]; was engaged in farming; and was buried in Newsome cemetery.
George Allen — in the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer George Allen, 45; his children George Love, 18, Clinton, 16, Ula Pearl, 14, Petronia, 13, and Josephine, 10; niece Jessie, 18; sister Rosa Creech, 35, and niece R. Virginia Creech, 14.
Mamie Daniel — in the 1940 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Louis Daniel, 56; wife Mamie, 42; and farm hand Willie R. Bynum, 18. Mamie Daniel died 27 August 1942 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 1902 in Johnston County, N.C., to Willie Wilson and Phillis Smith; was married to Louis Daniel; and was buried in Beckie Pate cemetery.
Tragedy befell Eugene “Genie” Peoples and his son Earnest Peoples at nearly the same spot south of Elm City two years apart.
In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: odd jobs farm laborer Jennie Peoples, 52; wife Ella, 51; and children Gennie, 19, garage laborer, William, 13, Ernest, 10, Clifton, 8, and Annie, 5.
Earnest Peoples registered twice for the World War II draft, first in 1941 in Wilson County. On that registration card, he was born 5 January 1922 in Wilson County; lived in Elm City; his contact was his brother-in-law McKinley Whitley; and he was unemployed. In 1942, he registered in Union County, New Jersey. Per that registration card, he was born 5 January 1922 in Elm City, N.C.; lived at 276 Carnegie Place, Vaux Hall, Union County; his contact was Pattie Johnson of the same address; and he was employed by Woolworth Company, Irvington, New Jersey.
Ernest Peoples died 30 April 1948. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 January 1922 in Wilson County to Genie Peoples and Ella Parker, both born in Northampton County; lived on Railroad Street, Elm City; and worked as a laborer. His cause of death: “decapitation and dismemberment of body due to Train #91 South Atlantic Coast Line R.R. passing over body.”
Genie Peoples died 15 March 1950 in Elm City, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born November 1886 in Jackson, Nash County, to Henry Peoples and Leair Peoples; resided on Railroad Street, Elm City; was married; and worked as a carpenter. Informant was Cora Robbins, Elm City.
A road trip from Wilson to Fayetteville ended in the deaths of three people when a train hit their car in Dunn, North Carolina. Tom Mingo, Viola Bullard (or Bullock), and Bessie Manning was transported 70 miles to the Atlantic Coast Line hospital in Rocky Mount (standard practice at the time), but succumbed to their injuries.
Wilson Daily Times, 7 June 1926.
Wilson Daily Times, 8 June 1926.
Mezinge Jamaica, or Tom Mingo — Thomas Mingo is listed in the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory as laborer living at 721 Viola.
Viola Bullard or Bulluck
Bessie Manning — Bessie Manning is listed in the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory as a factory hand living at 510 Pettigrew Street.
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.
James Walter Coleman was knocked off a truck running board and into the road, where he was fatally struck by another vehicle. In the darkness, neither Coleman’s family nor occupants of the other vehicle involved immediately understood what had happened. The terrible details came together during a coroner’s inquest. The Colemans’ truck had been badly overloaded, with furniture protruding out over the center line. With his family crammed inside the cab, Coleman was riding on the truck’s running board when an oncoming truck loaded with cabbage slammed into the furniture, pitching Coleman onto the ground and under the wheels of the cabbage truck or the vehicle just behind it.
Wilson Daily Times, 2 April 1930.
In the 1900 census of Bailey township, Nash County, N.C.: John Colman, 28; wife Fanny, 32; and children Adna, 4, Bessie, 4, and James W., 11 months.
In the 1910 census of Dry Wells township, Nash County: farmer John Coleman, 41; wife Fanny, 43; and children Adner, 15, Bessie, 13, James W., 11, Dessie, 9, William, 7, Theodore, 5, Sallie E., 3, and Lincey, 1 month.
In 1918, James Walter Coleman registered for the World War I draft in Nash County. Per his draft registration card, he was born 7 June 1899; lived at Route 1, Middlesex, Nash County; and worked as a farmer for John Coleman, Route 1, Middlesex.
In the 1920 census of Beulah township, Johnston County, N.C., James Coleman, 20, is listed as a fired man/farm laborer.
On 24 August 1921, James W. Coleman, 23, married Johnnie Ann Keys, 19, in Johnston County.
In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Coleman, James W lab h 1206 Carolina St
In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Coleman James W (c; Annie) cook h 1204 Carolina St
James Walter Coleman died 1 April 1928. His death certificate gives little hint of the horrific manner of his death.
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.”
Though this whole opinion piece is cast in racialized terms, the writer (the Times editor? so nearly killed? if so, his writing is atrocious) slips and admits that bad driving cut across caste — “some white drivers will do the same thing.”
Only in the second paragraph does he turn to the matter of correcting the previous day’s factual errors — Pearlie Hodges, not Cliff Williams, was driving the car that struck Mr. Oettinger’s car (only white people received the honorific Mr., Mrs. or Miss by the journalistic standards of the day), and Ernest Brown wasn’t there at all.