Johnny Matthews and Luther Barber [Barbour] were fined ten dollars each (or was it $22?) after an altercation over two bottles of Coca-Cola at Matthews’ cold drink stand on the Plank Road (roughly, Martin Luther King Parkway). State law prohibited the sale on Sunday of any goods other than “drugs, undertaking supplies, ice and those things absolutely necessary for the sick.”
This marker in Odd Fellows cemetery is likely the footstone for the grave of George Washington Joyner, called “Wash,” a painter turned barber.
In the 1870 census of Upper Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: farm laborer Ned Joyner, 34; wife Edith, 22; and children Charles, 9, Mary, 7, John, 5, Toney, 2, and Hail Columbus, 1 month.
In the 1880 census of Upper Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: laborer Ned Joyner, 51; wife Eadie, 42; and children Charles, 19, Mary, 16, John, 14, Toney, 12, Lumm, 10, Wash, 7, Louiza, 5, Birt, 3, and Mirtina, 1.
On 7 October 1895, Geo. W. Joyner, 21, son of Ned and Edie Joyner, married Sarah Barnes, 18, daughter of Frances and Alex Barnes, in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Dock Chandler, Alfonzo Graves, and J. Nelson Peacock.
In the 1908 Wilson city directory: Joyner Washington, painter, h 616 Viola.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: wagon factory laborer Willie Paulkin, 26, wife Pearl, 22, son Atric, 2, and brother Sam, 24, a wagon factory laborer; also house painter Wash Joyner, 35, wife Sarah, 32, a laundress, and son Alexander, 13.
In the 1912 Wilson city directory: Joyner Washington, barber, h 616 Viola.
In 1918, George Washington Joyner registered for the World War I draft. Per his registration card, he was born 15 April 1875; resided at 616 Viola Street; was a self-employed barber at 213 Goldsboro Street; and his nearest relative was Sarah Jane Joyner.
G.W. Joyner died 18 November 1918 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1875 to Ned Joyner and Edith [last name not given]; was a barber; and he died in an automobile wreck. Sarah Joyner was informant.
The race is on to find gravestones in Odd Fellows Cemetery before spring foliage engulfs them again. This little headstone was trapped under multiple bands of wisteria vine.
There were two Junius Peacocks, father and son. This marker most likely heads the grave of Junius Wesley Peacock, the son, who died in 1935.
In the 1880 census of : in the household of 27 year-old white farmer William Bynum, Henry Peacock, 30, works on farm; wife Zetta, 28; and children Henry, 12, John, 7, Junius, 5, Sarah, 4, and Emma, 2.
Junius Peacock, 22, of Wilson, son of Henry and Rosetta Peacock, married Nora Haskins, 17, of Wilson, daughter of Martha Haskins, on 30 March 1898 at Martha Haskins’ in Wilson. Primitive Baptist minister J.W. Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of J. Bradley Exum, Noah Tate, and C.B. Gay.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Junious Peacock, 23, bartender; wife Nora, 19; son Junious, 7 months; mother [in-law] Martha Haskins, 60, washing; sister[in-law] Addie, 34; and Addie’s children Rosko, 13, Nathan, 4, and Allen, 3.
In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Peacock Junius (c) cook h E Chestnut
In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Peacock Junius (c) elev opr Oettinger’s
In 1918, Junius Wesley Peacock registered for the World War I draft in Norfolk, Virginia. Per his registration card, he was born 30 December 1935; lived at 316 Kent Street, Norfolk; worked as a bellboy at a Turkish bath, 416 Atlantic Street; and his nearest relative was Nora Stokes, 535 East Nash Street, Wilson. [Nora Peacock, likely a widow, had married Turner Stokes in Wilson in 1916.]
Junius Peacock, 21, of Norfolk, Virginia, son of Junius and Nora Peacock, married Ethel Wilson, 22, of Norfolk, Virginia, daughter of F. and A. Wilson, in Norfolk, Virginia, on 24 October 1918.
In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Peacock Junius W (c) barber h 524 E Nash
In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Peacock Junius W (c) barber Coley & Taylor h 525 E Nash
In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Peacock Junius (c; Ethel) barber Walter S Hines h 817 E Green
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 807 Green Street, barber Junius Peacock, 30, barber, and wife Ethel, 34, maid.
Junius Wesley Peacock died 28 April 1935 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 35 years old; was born in Wilson to Julius Peacock and Nora Haskins; was married to Ethel Peacock; lived at 817 East Green Street; and worked as a barber.
Ethel M. Peacock died 25 May 1974 in Norfolk, Virginia. Per her death certificate, she was born 23 October 1893 in Norfolk to Fred Wilson and Ann Brooks; was the widow of Junius Peacock; and was buried in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Sidney Wheeler was a man, not a boy, and married nine months after this mishap. On 23 December 1896, Sidney Wheeler, 24, married Lou Armstrong, 20, in Wilson. W.T.H. Woodard performed the ceremony in the presence of Richard Renfrow, S.A. Smith and Janie Booth.
In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: day laborer Sidney Wheelus, 27; wife Lula, 23; and son Sidney, 8 months.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Sidney Wheeler, 40, barber; wife Lou, 40, private cook; and children Sidney, 9, Dave, 7, Floyd, 4, and Emma, 2.
In March 1910, Sidney Wheeler Jr. accidentally shot his sister in the head while playing with a gun. She died instantly. Their mother was away from home cooking supper for Frederick Woodard’s family; their father presumably was also at work. The Wheeler girl’s name is unknown. The 1900 census lists only one child; the 1910, only one daughter, Emma, who lived to adulthood. Though described as eight years old, Sidney Jr. was more likely about ten.
News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 17 March 1910.
Fourteen months later, Sidney Wheeler Jr. (still described as eight years old) was charged with assault with a deadly weapon against General Tyler, “another colored boy.”
Wilson Daily Times, 19 May 1911.
The Daily Times published two articles about the incident. The second doubled down on the sensationalist editorializing, but there seems little question that Sidney Jr. engaged in unusually violent behavior.
Wilson Daily Times, 19 May 1911.
Six months later, a Raleigh paper picked up a local-interest bit from Wilson and printed it using the exaggerated dialect and descriptions saved for negro anecdotes. In a nutshell: Anderson Dew visited Sidney Wheeler’s barber shop. With half his face shaved, Dew attempted to spit. Wheeler warned there was no spitting while he was shaving. Further, there was the matter of Dew having testified against Wheeler on a liquor charge. Dew distracted Wheeler’s attention, then jumped from the chair and ran off to tell this tale.
The Farmer and Mechanic (Raleigh, N.C.), 7 November 1911.
Sidney Wheeler died 8 March 1912 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 35 years old; was born in Nash County to Richard and Annie Wheeler; worked as a barber; was married; and resided at 710 Vance Street. Lula Wheeler was informant.
Six and-a-half years after their father died, Sidney Wheeler Jr.’s younger brother Dabbie fetched up in court on a breaking and entering charge. As he had already done time on a county road gang, the judge sentenced him to five-to-ten in the state penitentiary.
News & Observer, 7 September 1918.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Hackney Street, college cook Lula Wheeler, 49, widow, and children Richard, 12, Emma, 10, John, 8, and Sammie, 6.
Dabbie Wheeler died four years into his prison term of tuberculosis of the shoulder joint and bowels. He was 17.
Dabbie Wheeler died 21 June 1922 at the State Penitentiary in Raleigh, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 27 August 1904 in Wilson to Sidney Wheeler and Lula Armstrong and worked as a laborer. He was buried in Chapel Hill.
Ten months later, Sidney Wheeler Jr. escaped from a prison camp near the Rocky Face Mountain quarry in Alexander County, North Carolina. I have found nothing further about him.
Alamance Gleaner, 5 April 1923.
Lulu Wheeler died 5 May 1925 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 August 1878 in Elm City to Emma Armstrong; she was the widow of Sid Wheeler; she resided at 523 Church Street; and she did housework for Atlantic Christian College. Emma Wheeler was informant.
The Gaston twins were John A. Gastonand George A. Gaston. George established perhaps the leading barber shop in Elm City, seven miles north of Wilson. Though John was sometimes referred to as “Twin Gaston,” this ad, with Gastons plural, suggests that the brothers were in business together in Wilson at least briefly.
In the 1870 census of Kinston, Lenoir County, North Carolina: brickmason George Gaston, 53, wife Matilda, 30, and 13 year-old sons George and John, both farm laborers.
In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: brickmason George Gaston, 60, wife Matilda, 44, and son John, 23, a farm laborer. John’s twin George Gaston, 23, barber, is listed by himself in the 1880 census of Town of Toisnot, Wilson County.
In addition to his business and real estate interests, William Hines for decades served as secretary-treasurer and general administrator of Mercy Hospital. This photograph, which probably dates from the mid-1950s, depicts Hines flanked by Helen James, nursing director, and Anna Burgess Johnson, hospital board member. Photo courtesy of O.N. Freeman Round House and Museum.
In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Millie Ricks, 40, widow, with sons William, 12, and Wiley, 1.
In the 1910 census
On 27 July 1918, Wiley Ricks, 21, of Toisnot, married Fannie Fort, 21, of Toisnot, in Elm City. Presbyterian minister A.E. Sephas performed the ceremony in the presence of John Gaston, Samuel T. Ford and T.H. Nicholson.
Fannie Ford Ricks died 9 March 1924 in Elm City, Toisnot township. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 January 1899 in Wilson County to Sam Ford of Halifax County and Mattie Williams of Wilson County and was married to Wiley Ricks.
In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Wiley Ricks, 30, barber; wife Carrie, 29; and children Miriam, 2, and Maggie, 9 months.
In the 1940 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Branch Street, barber Wiley Ricks, 41; wife Cary P., 39; and children Miriam, 12, Maggie R., 10, Lois, 8, and Malinda, 1.
Wylie Ricks died 28 March 1985 in Hollister, Halifax County, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 4 December 1898 in Wilson County to Wiley Sharpe and Millie Sharpe; was a barber; resided in Elm City; and was married to Carrie Parker Ricks.
A 1947 photo taken outside Wiley Ricks’ barbershop. Courtesy of Thomas Griffin via Wilson Daily Times, 15 January 2002.
Haircut photo courtesy of article re Ricks in History of Wilson County, North Carolina (1985).