Barnes

Stabbed while asleep.

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Wilson News, 20 July 1899.

Another version:

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Wilson Daily Times, 21 July 1899.

——

  • Warren Barnes — probably, in the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Warren Barnes, 50, ditcher; wife Agnes, 38, “stimmer”; and children Addie, 18, Willie, 17, and Jinnet, 11. Warren Barnes died 10 January 1918 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was about 70 years old; married; worked in a tobacco factory; and was born in Wilson County to Dink Barnes and Judia Barnes. Agnes Barnes was informant.
  • Mrs. Warren Barnes — Agnes Barnes died 21 March 1934 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 62 years old; was born in Edgecombe County to Agnes Powell; and was the widow of Warren Barnes. Addie Lee of 204 Pettigrew Street was informant.
  • Claude Jones

 

Toney Eatmon’s sons.

Is it not clear whether Toney Eatmon ever lived in Wilson County, but his two known children did. The record is scarce, but:

In the 1850 census of Nash County, North Carolina, Tony Eatmon, 55, farmer, in the household of white farmer Theophilus Eatmon, 70. Tony was described as mulatto, and the belief that he was Theophilus Eatmon’s son is supported by DNA matching.

On 4 February 1868, Jack Williamson, son of Toney Eatmon and Hester Williamson, married Ann Boykin, daughter of John Harper and Alder Reid, at Jack Williamson’s in Wilson. [Per census records, Jack Williamson was born about 1835.]

Willis Barnes died 15 September 1914 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 73 years old; married; a farmer; and born in Nash County to Toney Eatmon and Annie Eatmon. Jesse Barnes was informant.

In short: Toney Eatmon was born free about 1795 (or perhaps a few years later), most likely in southeastern Nash County to Theophilus Eatmon and an unknown free woman of color. Whether he married is unknown, but he fathered at least two sons, Jack Williamson, born about 1835 to Hester Williamson, an enslaved woman, and Willis Barnes, born about 1841, to Annie Eatmon (or, perhaps, Barnes), an enslaved woman. Williamson and Barnes lived their adult lives in Wilson County. Toney Eatmon likely died between 1850 and 1860.

The obituary of Lucille Pearl Hines White.

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Wilson Daily Times, 24 February 1920.

——

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: hotel porter Dave Barnes, 40; wife Della, 40; and children Walter, 24; William, 15; Lucy, 13; Dave, 5; and Viola, 11. [Though all the children were listed as Barneses, the oldest three were in fact Della’s children and were named Hines. Viola was Dave’s child with his first wife, Pattie Battle.]

In the 1900 census of Hingham, Plymouth County, Massachusetts: carpenter William White, 53; wife Mary R., 53; children John L., 15, Edgar, 10, and Sadie, 23; granddaughter Beatrice, 2; plus mother-in-law Frances D. Hogan. William was born in New York to a New York-born father and English mother. Mary was born in Massachusetts to a native Massachusetts father and New Hampshire-born mother. Frances was born in New Hampshire.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: hotel servant Dave Barnes, 50; wife Della, 50; and children William, 25, barber, Lucy, 23, Dave, 15, Bosey, 8, Mary, 7, John, 5, Sam, 3, and Carry, 1 month.

On 5 June 1912, Lucy P. Hines, 21, of Wilson, daughter of William Hines and Della Barnes Hines, married John L. White, 27, of Hampton, Virginia, son of William and Mary R. White (resident of Hingham Centre, Massachusetts), at the bride’s parents’ home. W.S. Hines applied for the license, and Presbyterian minister H.B. Taylor performed the ceremony in the presence of  M.E. Dortch of Goldsboro, North Carolina; J.M. Parker of Rocky Mount, North Carolina; and [illegible] B. Thomas of Washington, D.C. [Halley B. Taylor, not “W.B.” Taylor as the article notes, preached Lucy Hines White’s funeral eight years later.]

In 1918, John Leonard White registered for the World War I draft in Nashville, Tennessee. Per his registration card, he was born 26 May 1885; worked as the director of the Department of Agriculture of A.&I. State Normal School [now Tennessee State University]; and Lucile P. White was his nearest relative.

In the 1920 census of Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee: at 1710 Jefferson Street, John L. White, 32, teacher at State Normal; wife Lucille, 31; and daughter Charmian, 6.

Lucile Pearl White died 19 February 1920 at Hubbard Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, of a bowel obstruction following an operation. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 December 1885 in North Carolina. J.L. White, 1710 Jefferson Street, was informant, and she was removed to Wilson, N.C., for burial.

Charmian T. White, 30, born in Nashville, daughter of John L. White and Lucille P. Hines, married Lawrence C. Jammer on 3 August 1946 in Monroe, Michigan.

Charmian T. White died 1 November 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.

Della Hines Barnes.

Della Hines Wife of Dave Barnes 1858-1935 She is not dead but sleeping

Della Hines Barnes was mother of three of early 20th-century Wilson’s African-American heavyweights — Walter S. Hines, William Hines and Boisey O. Barnes. Her ornate marble grave marker — with its angel lifting her finger heavenward — gleams from the shabby remains of Rountree cemetery, a testament to the wealth of her children at the time of her death. Though the success of the Hines brothers and Dr. Barnes is primarily attributable to their own talents, each had the great good fortune to be the beneficiary of their mother’s drive and early financial success.

Della Hines Barnes was born in 1858 in Cokey township, Edgecombe County, which borders Toisnot and Gardners townships in Wilson County to the west. She was reared by Joshua Hines and Callie Mercer Hines, but, according to Hugh B. Johnston Jr., her birth father was John Routh Mercer (1825-1894), a wealthy white Edgecombe County physician.* (Mercer was likely the owner of Callie Mercer and her eldest children.) Della Hines Barnes’ first surviving child, Walter Scott Hines, was born in 1879 in Edgecombe County. Again per Johnston, his father was Walter S. Parker, a white farmer. Her second son, William Hines, was born in 1884, also in Edgecombe County. His father was Thomas Williams. About a year later, she gave birth to daughter Lucy.  In 1890, Hines and her children left the Jesse Norris farm in Edgecombe County for Wilson. There, Hines worked at Briggs Hotel and as a seamstress and tailor and was a member of London’s Primitive Baptist Church. Johnston further recorded that on 25 January 1894, just a few months before her marriage, Della Hines purchased 613 Green Street in Wilson for $375. (Though it not clear when it was built, by 1913 Della Barnes had erected a large two-story house at this address (originally 612 Green), which stood until the 1990s.) On 25 September 1911, she purchased four lots on Pender, Green and Second Streets in her own name (not her husband’s) from son William Hines for $1000, and on 1 March 1915, she purchased another lot on Green Street from son William and his wife Ethel Hines for $1200 and four lots from son Walter S. and and his wife Sarah E. Hines.

——

In 1866, Joshua Hines and Callie Mercer registered their seven-year cohabitation with an Edgecombe County justice of the peace.

In the 1870 census of Cokey township, Edgecombe County: carpenter Joshua Hines, 41; wife Calley, 37; and children Jerry, 11, Ashley, 21, Watson, 16, Della, 14, Joshua, 8, Eliza, 6, Caleb, 4, and William, 4. [Judging by the children’s ages, it appears that Jerry was their first child together.] Listed next door were physician John R. Mercer and his children.  Mercer reported $26,500 real property and $6500 in personal property.

In the 1880 census of Cocoa township, Edgecombe County: Joshua Hines, 52; wife Cally, 47; children Jerry, 20, Deller, 22, Lizer, 17, Joshua, 15, Caliph, 13, William, 11, Robert, 7, and Adline, 4; nephew Allen Harris, 3; and grandson Walter, 1 [Della’s son.]

On 15 April 1894, David Barnes, 35, married Della Hines, 32, in Wilson. Rev. Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony at the bride’s home in the presence of J.T. Deans, Mrs. Hardy Tate, and Hardy Tate.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: hotel porter Dave Barnes, 40; wife Della; and children Walter, 20, William, 15, Lucy, 13, Dave, 5, and Viola, 11. [Walter, William, and Lucy were, in fact, Hineses and were Della Hines Barnes’ children. Viola Barnes was Dave Barnes’ daughter by an earlier marriage to Pattie Battle. She married Mack Jones and died in Scotland Neck, North Carolina, on 8 September 1909. Dave and Pattie Barnes also had a son Efford Barnes, who was born about 1883.] Dave Sr. worked as hotel porter, Walter as a barber, and William as a day laborer.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: hotel servant Dave Barnes, 50; wife Della, 50; and children William, 25, barber, Lucy, 23, Dave, 15, Bosey, 8, Mary, 7, John, 5, Sam, 3, and Carry, 1 month. [No further record is found of the youngest four children, which suggests that they died between 1910 and the regular recording of North Carolina death certificates in 1914.]

On 5 June 1912, Lucy P. Hines, 21, of Wilson, daughter of William Hines and Della Barnes Hines, married John L. White, 27, of Hampton, Virginia, son of William and Mary R. White (resident of Hingham Centre, Massachusetts), at the bride’s parents’ home. W.S. Hines applied for the license, and Presbyterian minister H.B. Taylor performed the ceremony in the presence of M.E. Dortch of Goldsboro, North Carolina; J.M. Parker of Rocky Mount, North Carolina; and [illegible] B. Thomas of Washington, D.C.

David Barnes died 23 January 1913 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 52 years old; lived at 612 Green Street; was married; was born in Wilson; and worked in “hoteling.” William Hines was informant.

Della Barnes was appointed administratrix of her deceased husband’s estate in 1913. The estate was valued at $600, and heirs were identified as Della Barnes, Dave Barnes Jr., Boisey O. Barnes, Effort Barnes and “Viola Jones’ child.” (Efford Barnes died months later on 31 May 1913. I have not been able to identify Viola Barnes Jones’ child.) William Hines and Walter Hines joined their mother to post bond, as shown below.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 612 East Green, widow Della Barnes, 50; Cleveland Chick, 25, barber, and Dasy Chick, 23, both of South Carolina; and Della’s sons Dave, 24, and Otha, 17.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 613 East Green, valued at $8000, widow Della Barnes, 71, and sons Boysie, 26, and Dav., 35, barber.

Della Hines died 10 January 1935 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 75 years old; was born on January 19; was born in Edgecombe County to Joshua Hines and Pattie Hines; and was a widow. William Hines was informant.

Some Black Families of Wilson County, North Carolina, a compilation of The Hugh B. Johnston Working Papers published in 1997 by Wilson County Genealogical Society, contains several worksheets that Johnston apparently filled in while interviewing subjects. The information attributed to him here is drawn from the worksheets for Della Hines Barnes and William Hines.

This look at the life of Della Hines Barnes is the 2000th post of Black Wide-Awake. When I commenced this journey in October 2015, I had no idea where it would go or for how long, or even if anyone other than I would benefit from it. Thanks for coming on the ride with me.

Cemeteries, no. 26: the Alex and Gracy Williamson cemetery.

The Alex and Gracy Williamson cemetery lies adjacent to the Hardy H. Williamson cemetery off N.C. Highway 42 in Spring Hill township. Hardy Williamson (1807-1858) was a white farmer who owned property in parts of Johnston and Nash County that became Wilson County after 1855.

A view of the Alex Williamson cemetery from the western edge of the Hardy Williamson cemetery.

  • Alex Williamson

Alex Williamson died May 6, 1921 age 84

On 9 September 1869, Alex Williamson, son of Samuel Bass and Silvy Williams, married Grace Shaw, daughter of Thomas Narron and Katty Williamson, at Thomas Shaw‘s in Wilson County.

In the 1870 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Ellic Williamson, 33; wife Gracy, 24; and children Ellic, 4, and Eugenia, 1.

In the 1880 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Elic Williamson, 44; wife Gracy, 29; and children John, 14, Lugen, 11, Joseph, 9, Jennie, 7, Mary, 6, Clem, 4, Sarah J., 2, and Pall, 1.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Alex Williamson, 63; wife Gracy, 50; children Genny Whitley, 26, and Sarah, 22, Paul, 21, Daniel, 19, Henietta, 15, Edna, 15, and Katie Williamson, 12; and grandchildren Nancy, 8, Della, 5, and Pearle Whitley, 4.

On 23 November 1904, Paul Williamson, 25, son of Alex and Grace Williamson of Springhill township, married Mary Hinnant, 23, daughter of Joe and Rhoda Hinnant of Spring Hill township. W.H. Horton of the Christian denomination performed the ceremony at Thom Hinnant‘s house in the presence of  J.T. Hinnant, L.H. Horton and W.H. Shaw.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Wilson and Smithfield Branch Road, farmer Alexander Williamson, 72; wife Gracy, 62; widowed daughter Jennie Williamson, 38; daughters Sarah, 20, and Henrietta, 26; and grandchildren Nancy, 18, Della, 17, Hattie, 15, and Pearle Whitley, 14.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Old Clayton and Wilson Road, farmer Alexandria Williamson, 83; divorced daughter Janie W. Williamson, 37; granddaughter Dezell Bailey, 4; and stepson [son-in-law?] McKinley Bailey, 28, house carpenter.

Alexander Williamson died 6 April 1921 in Springhill township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1837 in Wilson County; was the widower of Gracy Williamson; was a farmer; and was buried in the Williamson graveyard.

  • Gracy Shaw Williamson

Gracy wife of Alex Williamson born  Jan 19, 1850 died June 28, 1912.

  • Mary Williamson

Mary Williamson Feb 21 1874 Sept 2 1899 Resting till the resurrection morn.

In the 1880 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Elic Williamson, 44; wife Gracy, 29; and children John, 14, Lugen, 11, Joseph, 9, Jennie, 7, Mary, 6, Clem, 4, Sarah J., 2, and Pall, 1.

  • Henrietta Williamson Kent

Henrietta Kent wife George S. Kent Born Sep. 4 1883 Died Sep. 14 1912 She fought the good fight she kept the faith and is safe in the arms of Jesus.

The Masonic emblem suggests that this stone was originally intended for a male decedent.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Alex Williamson, 63; wife Gracy, 50; children Genny Whitley, 26, and Sarah, 22, Paul, 21, Daniel, 19, Henietta, 15, Edna, 15, and Katie Williamson, 12; and grandchildren Nancy, 8, Della, 5, and Pearle Whitley, 4.

On 6 April 1911, George Kent, 28, of Nash County, married Henrietta Williamson, 27, of Spring Hill township. Missionary Baptist William H. Mitchiner performed the ceremony at the bride’s father’s house in the presence of J.T. Hinnant of Spring Hill, Paul Williamson of Lucama and Sallie M. Barbour of Wilson. (George Samuel Kent was a son of Ned and Lydia Barnes Kent.)

  • Bettie Boykin

Bettie dau. of J.R. & Mary Boykin Born Oct 5, 1876 Died Apr 25, 1913 Weep not, she is not dead but sleeping.

In the 1880 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer John Boykin, 42; wife Mary, 29; and children Dock, 19, DIck, 15, Turner, 7, Troy, 5, Betty, 3, and John, 1.

  • Edna Williamson Barnes

Edna wife of J. H. Barnes born Jan. 19, 1885 died June 13, 1914.

In the 1900 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Alex Williamson, 63; wife Gracy, 50; children Genny Whitley, 26, and Sarah, 22, Paul, 21, Daniel, 19, Henietta, 15, Edna, 15, and Katie Williamson, 12; and grandchildren Nancy, 8, Della, 5, and Pearle Whitley, 4.

On 18 November 1906, James H. Barnes, 25, of Spring Hill township, son of Joe and Chaney Barnes, married Edna Williamson, 22, of Spring Hill, daughter of Alex and Grace Williamson.

In the 1910 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: on Wilson & Smithfield Branch Road, James H. Barnes, 28, and wife Edna, 25.

Edna Barnes died 10 June 1914 in Spring Hill township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 32 March 1884 to Elex Williamson and Gracie Bailey in Wilson County and was married. James Barnes of Lucama was informant.

  • Katie Williamson

Katie Williamson Aug 10 1887 Just when we began to love her God called her back

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Alex Williamson, 63; wife Gracy, 50; children Genny Whitley, 26, and Sarah, 22, Paul, 21, Daniel, 19, Henietta, 15, Edna, 15, and Katie Williamson, 12; and grandchildren Nancy, 8, Della, 5, and Pearle Whitley, 4.

  • Annie Williamson

Annie Williamson Aug. 8, 1886 Oct. __, 1886 Our loved one is gone to be an angel

  • Mary Kent Renfrow

Mary Wife of I. Renfrow Born June 30, 1868 Died Sept. 30, 1914

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.

On 8 August 1886, Isaac Renfrow, 25, married Mary Kent, 20, at Buck Horn, Wilson County.

In the 1900 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Isaac Rentfrow, 38; wife Mary E., 29; and children John M., 11, Hettie B., 9, and Qweenie V., 2.

In the 1910 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Isaac Rentfrow, 48; wife Mary, 40; and children Victoria, 12, and Isaac, 9, plus Rebecca, 14, Joseph, 12, Lutory, 6, and Joseph Barnes, 2.

Mary Renfrow died 30 August 1914 in Spring Hill township. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 June 1868 to Elbert Kent and Mary Barnes and was a farmer’s wife. Isaac Renfrow was informant.

Detail of the exquisite three-dimensional carving on Mary Renfrow’s headstone. The hand pointed upward symbolized the hope of Heaven. The veined stone is unusual in Wilson County markers.

  • Isaac Renfrow

Isaac Renfrow Born July 5, 1862 Died Mar. 5, 1915

In the 1870 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Penelope Renfrow, 29, and sons Jacob, 16, Esaw, 13, and Isaac, 10.

On 8 August 1886, Isaac Renfrow, 25, married Mary Kent, 20, at Buck Horn, Wilson County.

In the 1900 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Isaac Rentfrow, 38; wife Mary E., 29; and children John M., 11, Hettie B., 9, and Qweenie V., 2.

In the 1910 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Isaac Rentfrow, 48; wife Mary, 40; and children Victoria, 12, and Isaac, 9, plus Rebecca, 14, Joseph, 12, Lutory, 6, and Joseph Barnes, 2.

Isaac Renfrow died 6 March 1915 in Spring Hill township. [Six months after his wife’s death.] Per his death certificate, he was born 1861 to Harry and Pennie Renfrow of Wilson County; was married; and was a farmer. Johnnie Renfrow was informant.

  • Abbie and Lidia Barnes

Abbie dau of J & C Barnes 1886 1909 At rest

Lidia dau of J & C Barnes 1880 1910 At rest

In the 1900 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Joseph Barnes, 48; wife Chana, 44; and children Lydia, 20, James H., 18, Edgar F., 16, Abbey A., 14, Minnie, 12, Lula, 9, Eliza, 6, Joseph, 2, and Sarah, 2 months.

On 29 October 1905, Lydia Barnes, 26, of Spring Hill, daughter of Joe and Chanie Barnes, married Thomas Hinnant, 26, of Spring Hill, son of Tom and Martha Hinnant, in Wilson County.

In the 1910 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: farmer Thomas Hinnant, 32; wife Liddie, 37; and children Claude, 9, Alonzo, 7, Viola, 4, and Chana, 2; plus sister Louzetta Hinnant, 39.

  • Sallie Powell

Sallie Powell Dau of K Freeman Age 22 At rest

  • Lorenzo Freeman

Husband Loranzie Freeman 1849-1895 At rest

On 25 September 1885, Lourenza Freeman, 28, married Katey Deans, 26, at Meeksville, Wilson County.

  • Anonymous grave

Hand-hewn natural rock markers were placed at the head and foot of this grave.

  • Williamson grave

This small, badly weathered stone was also hand-cut. The name Williamson is barely visible among the hand-cut letters on its face.

  • Rachell Roberson

Mother Rachall Roberson 1837-1925 At rest

In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Guilford Robinson, 35; wife Rachel, 34; and children Katy, 15, Henry, 14, and Lucy, 12.

In the 1880 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Gilford Robinson, 53; wife Rachal, 36; and children William, 9, and Sally, 8.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Guilford Roberson, 69, and wife Rachel, 57.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Wilson & Raleigh Road, farmer Rachael Robertson, 71, widow, and daughter Katie Freeman, 52.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Old Raleigh Road, farmer Rachael Robertson, 80, widow, and daughter Katie Freeman, 61, widow.

Rachal Robinson died 19 July 1925 in Spring Hill township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 98 years old; was a widow; worked on a farm; was born in Wilson County to Mary Dawson and an unknown father. W.R. Robinson of Simms was informant.

  • Phillip Allen

Phillip Allen North Carolina Pvt Co D 333 Svc Bn OMC World War I April 11 1894 October 20 1962

On 14 March 1920, Phillip Allen, 26, of Spring Hill, married Daisy Creech, 22, of Spring Hill, in Old Fields township.

Phillip Allen died 20 October 1962 in Lucama, Spring Hill township. Per his death certificate, he was born 20 October 1894 in Wilson County to William Allen and Charlotte (last name not given); was married; and was a laborer. Daisy Allen was informant.

  • Martha Field Creech

Mother Martha F. Creech June 15 1879 Sept 10 1961

Martha Field Creech died 10 September 1961 in Lucama, Crossroads township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 February 1888 in Wilson County to Wash Field and an unknown mother and was widowed. Daisy Allen was informant.

Remnants of fencepost and wire fence around the cemetery.

I’ve driven up and down Highway 42 a half-dozen times looking for this cemetery. Many thanks to Brian Grawburg for the tip that lead me straight there.

A closer look at the Simon and Penninah Woodard Barnes family.

As previously explored here, on 14 February 1970, the Wilson Daily Times published a full-page article by local historian Hugh B. Johnston, Jr., detailing the life of London Woodard, founder of London’s Primitive Baptist Church. Near the end of the piece, Johnston outlined the family of London and Penny Lassiter Woodard‘s daughter Penninah Woodard, who married Simon Barnes.

In February of this year, I undertook an unsuccessful search for the Barnes-Woodard cemetery with Bernard Patterson, a descendant. Below, please find Johnston’s notes about the family (with a few of my annotations.)

“Pennina Woodard was born on January 30, 1859, and died on February 24, 1919. On January 1, 1877, she married Simon Barnes, son of Silas Barnes and wife Rosetta (Rose) Farmer. He was born September 11, 1848, and died on April 15, 1923. His mother was born in March of 1831 and died on August 1, 1921. The exact date was not given, but her position on the roll of members of old Toisnot Baptist Church indicates that she was received about 1861. “Big Simon” Barnes was an industrious and highly respected citizen of the western section of Gardners township, and he and his good wife reared a large and commendable family on the farm that she had inherited after the death of her three brothers.

  • Rosetta Barnes married 1st Henry Pleasant and 2nd the Rev. John Dillahunt. [John Washington Dillahunt was a native of New Bern, N.C.]
  • James Walter (Bud) Barnes was born in 1878 and died August 18, 1931. He married Adeline Pitt but had no children. In addition to a farming operation, he had quite a widespread reputation as an “herb doctor.” The writer of this article also remembers that as late as 1919 he operated a cane press and vat which he transported from farm to farm at the end of the summer in order to make the molasses that in those days was considered a great delicacy by a great many people in Wilson and Wilson County
  • Hardy Barnes died October 11, 1954. He married 1st Martha Ann Pitt and 2nd Maggie Barnes [Maggie Bullock].
  • Chaney Barnes was born October 28, 1882. She married Frank Barnes, son of Silas Barnes and wife Mary Coleman. She lives with a daughter, Mrs. Jesse T. McPhail [Minnie Barnes McPhail] of 1316 Carolina Street, whose husband is a retired post office employee and friend of the writer.
  • Penny Barnes died on November 27, 1923. She married Turner Hines.
  • Leonard Barnes was born on June 26, 1888, and died on November 19, 1952. He served in World War I. His wife was Adelaide White.

Wilson Daily Times, 24 November 1952.

  • Silas Barnes died on February 2, 1945. He married Gertrude and lived in Richmond, Va.
  • Priscilla Barnes was born in 1891 and died on October 24, 1919. She married the Rev. Ed [Zeb] Hardy.
  • Simon Barnes, Jr., was born on October 15, 1895. On September 14, 1921, he married Roselee McCoy who was born on January 26, 1904. He served in World War I and now owns and occupies part of the farm that his maternal grandmother purchased prior to the Civil War. He is a lifelong and esteemed friend of the writer of this article as he was of my father before me.

Simon Grove Holiness Church was named in honor of Simon Barnes Jr., who donated the land upon which the church, to which his wife belonged, was built. This land, on N.C. Highway 42 East, is part of the acreage Penny Lassiter Woodard accumulated as a free woman of color.

  • Mary Eliza Barnes was born in April of 1896 and died on May 19, 1931. She was the second wife of Turner Hines above.
  • Treacy Barnes was born on June 4, 1900, and died on December 23, 1954. She married Calvin Atkinson.
  • Amy Barnes was born on August 25, 1904. On February 11, 1926, she married Luther Petway, son of Joe Petway. They reside at 1209 Queen Street and her husband is an old friend of the writer.”

Wilson Daily Times, 26 May 1971.

Thanks to Bernard Patterson for information regarding the history of Simon Grove; photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2019.

Cemeteries, no. 24: the Mercer cemetery.

Armed with a 1937 Leica IIIa 35mm camera, Brian Grawburg has begun a project to document “lost” Wilson County graveyards. Using early 20th topographical maps, WPA cemetery surveys, Google Maps, and tips from the public, Grawburg has battled heat, humidity and nearly impenetrable thickets to create and preserve a record of these forgotten spaces.

This is the first in a series of posts exploring African-American cemeteries that Grawburg has rediscovered.

This cemetery, off Carter Road in Gardners township in eastern Wilson County, contains six marked graves:

  • Willie Reid, 23 September 1920-23 September 1920
  • Sula Reid, 23 September 1920-23 September 1920
  • Jack L. Barnes, 1921-1946
  • Robert Mercer, 1908-1930
  • Charlie Mercer, 1902-1936
  • Gilmore McKoy, 29 August 1873-18 October 1939

Robert and Charlie Mercer were sons of Dempsey and Mattie Knight Mercer. Gilmore McKoy was Mattie Knight Mercer’s second husband. I have not been able to identify the Reids or Jack Barnes.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Dempsy Mercer, 27; wife Mattie, 20; children Charles, 7, William, 6, Robert, 3, and Walter, 2 months; nieces Lula, 2, and Gertrude Hines, 1 month; and sister Margarett Hines, 19.

In the 1920 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Dempsy Mercer, 40, widower; children Charley, 17, William, 15, Robert, 10, Walter, 9, and Maggie, 8; sister-in-law Maggie Hines, 24, and her children Lula, 8, Silvey, 7, and James, 4. [Dempsey Mercer was separated/divorced rather than widowed.]

On 15 August 1929 in Wilson, Robert Mercer, 22, of Gardners, son of Dempsey Mercer and Fannie [last name no given], married Retha Barnes, 14, of Gardners, daughter of Blannie and Dora Barnes.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Dempsey Mercer, 50; [second] wife Fannie, 40; children Charlie, 27, Lee, 19, Jonah, 16, Jamar, 13, and C[illegible], 10; and lodger Rachel Melton, 30.

Robert Mercer died 9 December 1930 in Gardners township. Per his death certificate, he was 23; single; was a farmer; was born in Wilson County to Dempsey Mercer and Mattie Knight; and was buried in Wilson County. Informant was Dempsey Mercer.

Charlie Mercer died 9 December 1936 in Gardners township. Per his death certificate, he was born in January 1902 in Edgecombe County to Dempsey Mercer and Mattie Knight; was single; worked as a farmer. Mattie McCoy was informant.

Gilbert McKoy died 18 October 1939 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 29 August 1883 in Whiteville, N.C., to Waddie McKoy and Annie Richardson; worked in a China American tobacco factory; was married to Mattie McCoy; and was buried in Wilson County.

For more information about this cemetery, please contact Brian Grawburg at archive@myglnc.com.