automobile accident

Albert Gay Jr. knocked from bicycle.

Eight year-old Albert Sylvester Gay Jr. broke three ribs when an automobile knocked from off his bicycle. 

Wilson Daily Times, 11 July 1925.


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.

Three killed in auto-train collision.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 June 1926.

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!

Pvt. Ford killed in Christmas Eve car accident.

Wilson Daily Times, 28 December 1944.


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.

Dawson is victim of hit-and-run.

Wilson Daily Times, 19 March 1928.


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.”

Killed as she crossed the street.

Wilson Daily Times, 23 May 1928.

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.

Hurt in an odd accident.

Wilson Daily Times, 16 February 1929.


  • Henry Holloway  

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. 

Emma Jane Farmer fatally injured.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 December 1928.

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.

Teenager killed in a car-bike accident.

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Wilson Daily Times, 10 May 1946.

Fourteen year-old Jessie Lee Davis was seated on the handlebars of his friend Walter Rogers‘ bicycle when a car made a left turn in front of them. Rogers did not see the car and ran into it, killing Davis. The driver of the car, a 22 year-old white man named Vernest Ballance, was initially charged with manslaughter in Davis’ death, but the case was dismissed after a preliminary hearing.

  • Jessie Lee Davis

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Jesse Lee Davis was the son of Clinton Davis and Alliner Sherrod Davis Randall. His funeral was handled by his great-uncle, C.E. Artis.

  • Walter Rogers

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 705 East Green (one of several families in a rooming house), tobacco factory stemmer Thomas Rodgers, 37; wife Minorh, 33, housemaid; and children Ruth, 15, Joseph, 14, Otis G., 12, and Walter, 8.

The doctor accidentally killed him.


“Accidentaly killed by auto Driven by the hands of Dr Paisley Fields Weldon N.C. occurred in Wilson Co near Elm City”

I have not been able to discover any additional information about the automobile accident that took 17 year-old Allen Deans‘ life. Five months later, however, this notice appeared in the Wilson Daily Times. “Judgment” implies that Deans’ estate won a monetary settlement from Fields, a Halifax County doctor, but no details are provided.

Wilson Daily Times, 28 June 1929.


In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Josuah Deans, 62; wife Julia, 39; and children Glendora, 19, Minnie, 14, Daisy, 13, James, 11, Ernest, 9, Allen, 8, Louis, 6, twins Armor and Norman, 4, John, 2, and twins Mary and Martha, 8 months.

Allen Deans is buried in Elm City Colored Cemetery.

Kent killed in car accident.

Albert Kent was the third African-American killed in car accidents in Wilson County over a ten-day period in April-May 1938. Though described as “aged,” Kent was only 54 years old.

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Wilson Daily Times, 9 May 1938.


In the 1870 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farm laborer Elbert Kent, 25, wife Rebecca, 23; and daughter Mary, 1.

In the 1880 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: Elbert Kent, 36, farmer; wife Rebeca, 29; and children Mary, 10, Rufus, 9, Saraha, 7, Flournes J., 6, Martha M., 4, and Pharrow, 1.

In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Elbert Kent, 55, widower, and children Joseph, 18, Albert, 15, Bettie, 8, Rebecca, 7, and Isaiah, 4; plus daughter Martha Barnes, 23, widow, and her children Rebecca, 4, and Joseph, 2.

On 24 April 1909, Albert Kent, 23, of Springhill township, son of Elbert and Rebecca Kent, married Martha Short, 22, of Springhill, daughter of John and Mandy Short, in Wilson.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: railroad laborer Albert Kent, 32, and wife Mary, 30.

In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Albert Kent, 35; wife Mary S., 31; and children Alta M., 9, James A., 7, George, 5, and Napoleon, 2 months.

In the 1930 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer Albert Kent, 46; wife Maggie L., 31; and children Elsie, 19, James A., 17, Robert, 15, Napoleon, 10, Mary M., 9, Sallie M., 6, and Elbert, 3.

I have not identified William or Richard Jones with certainty.