automobile accident

Teenager killed in a car-bike accident.

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Wilson Daily Times, 10 May 1946.

Fourteen year-old Jesse 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.

  • Jesse Lee Davis

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Jesse Lee Davis was the son of Clinton Davis and Alliner Sherrod Davis Randall.

  • 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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

T/5 Jones killed in New Guinea.

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Rocky Mount Telegraph, 21 March 1944.

Technician Fifth Grade Thomas Jones Jr. died in an automobile accident in New Guinea in March 1944.

Jones registered for the draft in 1942 in Cambridge, Maryland. Per his registration card, he was born 25 December 1923 in Wilson; he lived at various locations in Cambridge and Dorchester, Maryland; his contact was Henrietta Whitlock; and he was employed by E.T. Webb, Jamesville, Virginia.

His body was returned to Wilson for burial. Howard M. Fitts Sr. handled arrangements for a military headstone to mark Jones grave in Rest Haven cemetery.

Though a corrected birth date is penciled in on the application, Jones’ stone was delivered with an incorrect date. This photo is found at www.findagrave.com.

Father and son killed in auto accident.

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Wilson Daily Times, 1 October 1934.

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In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Luke Flemmons, 40; wife Emily, 45; and children James Flavius, 20, Willie, 15, Sarah, 12, Judge Thomas, 10, Henry, 6, Eddie, 4, Harriet, 3, and Mary E., 1.

In the 1900 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: widow Emily Fleming, 60, and children Harriet, 24, Judge, 23, and Sam, 12.

In the 1910 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: on Ellis Road, farmer Judge Fleming, 36; wife Mollie, 27; and children Lissie, 7, Sarah J., 3, Lula, 2 months, and Aaron, 6.

In the 1920 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Road, farmer Judge Fleming, 49; wife Molly, 40; and children Lizzie, 18, Arron, 16, Sarah, 12, Lula, 10, Addie, 8, Jordan, 5, and John, 3.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Judge Fleming, 57; wife Mollie, 47; and children Arron, 25, Sarah J., 21, Lula, 20, Judge, 15, Johnie, 14, and Mary L., 6.

Judge Fleming died 29 September 1934 in Stantonsburg, Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 65 years old; married to Mollie Fleming; was a farmer; was born in Wayne County to Luther Fleming and an unknown mother. Informant was Mollie Fleming.

Johnnie Fleming died 29 September 1934 in Stantonsburg, Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 18 years old, single, and born in Wilson County to Judge Fleming of Wayne County and Mollie Sutton of Greene County. Informant was Mollie Fleming.

 

The obituary of Sarah Jane Gregory.

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Indianapolis Recorder, 14 January 1967.

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Sarah Baker, born 1892, daughter of Benny Baker and Nancy Newsom, married Joseph Gregory on 25 November 1912 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In the 1920 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 1564 Park Avenue, rear, rented for $20/month, Kentucky-born Joe Gregory, 48, laborer, and wife Sarah, 45, servant, born in Tennessee [sic].

In the 1930 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 1564 Park Avenue, rear, rented for $20/month, Kentucky-born Joe Gregory, 59, gardener, and wife Sarah, 31, maid, born in North Carolina.

Surprise verdicts?

Just after Christmas 1948, an all-white jury acquitted Woodrow Taylor, a white service station operator, in the murder of Hugh Bynum, a black man.

In a nutshell: Bynum and Taylor had a “conversation” about a pack of cigarettes. Bynum stepped out of the store. Taylor followed and asked, “You don’t think I’ll kill you?” Bynum said no. Taylor went back in and returned with a shotgun. Again: “You don’t think I’ll kill you?” And shot Bynum in the chest. Or, “the gun went off” — Taylor said it fired accidentally when he tried to set it down on a “cold drink crate.” And he denied aggressively questioning Bynum. The jury believed him.

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Wilson Daily Times, 29 December 1948.

Bynum was not the only black man whose manner of death went before a jury that day. On 7 October 1947, William Cooper was thrown into the street at Nash and Pender Streets when M.O. Tripp, driving drunk, struck his wagon. Cooper died two weeks of later of injuries sustained, and Tripp was charged with manslaughter. The Daily Times reported the verdict in this case the next day. Surprise.

Wilson Daily Times, 30 December 1948.

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In the 1920 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Lynn Bynum, 70; wife Lena, 50; and children Patience, 18, Lynn, 8, Harvey, 6, Hubert, 5, and Bunny, 3.

In 1940, Hubert Bynum registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born in 1915 in Edgecombe County; resided at Route 1, Stantonsburg, Wilson County; and his contact and employer was his first cousin Jack Bynum. He was described as “feeble-minded” with a “displaced eye.”

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In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: William F. Cooper, 43, delivery man for ice and coal company; wife Lillie, 30, cook; and step-daughter Anna Bobbitt, 16.

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