Join us September 8 at Wilson County Public Library’s Main Branch for my talk about Dr. George K. Butterfield Sr.’s historic election to Wilson’s Board of Alderman in the 1950s. The lecture is part of a series of events leading up to National Voter Registration Day on 20 September 2022.
A recent post revealed pharmacist D’Arcey C. Yancey‘s April 1947 declaration of candidacy for a seat on Wilson’s Board of Aldermen, today’s equivalent of City Council. I had not been aware of Yancey’s political career, and his campaign is not covered in Charles McKinney’s Greater Freedom: The Evolution of the Civil Rights Struggle in Wilson, North Carolina.
The Daily Times made sure, of course, to highlight Yancey’s race, but otherwise made no comment about his extraordinary bid for elected office.
Wilson Daily Times, 4 April 1947.
The campaign season was only weeks long, and the Times wasted little ink covering it. May 6 saw a record turnout at the polls, and the Daily Times announced the results the next day. Yancey had been badly defeated, garnering only 75 votes to incumbent Ed W. Davis’ 348.
My thanks to Matthew Langston for following up on the initial post.
Wilson Daily Times, 28 April 1947.
Until now, I was not aware that pharmacist D’arcey C. Yancey had run for a seat on Wilson’s Board of Aldermen in 1947. I hope to find more about his campaign.
A regular meeting of the Board of Aldermen was held in the office of C.A. Young this Monday evening, December 19, 1887.
Present, G.D. Green, Mayor in the chair and all members of the Board.
On motion the Old Methodist E. Church (Colored) was condemned as unfit for use.
On motion the Board was adjourned. — C.A. Young, Clerk
The location of the condemned church building on the eastern edge of town is shown here.
This Board of Aldermen entry appears Minutes of City Council, Wilson, North Carolina, May 1, 1885-June 16, 1892, transcribed in a bound volume shelved at Wilson County Public Library, Wilson
A regular meeting of the Board of Aldermen of the Town of Wilson was held in the office of C.A. Young this Monday evening, January 2, 1888.
Liquor License was granted to the following parties:
- Wiley Corbett at Bates Stand
- Hawkins & Bridgers on Tarboro Street
- Edwin Rose on Fulcher’s Block
- Emma Gay at her old stand
No other business appearing the Board adjourned. C.A. Young, Secretary
In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farm laborer Charles Gay, 35, wife Emma, 25, children Charles, 5, and Mary, 1, and two farm laborers Rich’d Harper, 20, and Haywood Watson, 17.
Charles Gay died in late 1873 or early 1874. Emma was appointed administratrix of his estate, which consisted of personal possessions, cash, accounts receivable, and liquor and groceries from the store he operated. Emma carried on his business; this was her “old stand.”
In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Emma Gay, 35; children Charlie, 15, a steam-mill worker, Mary, 11, Etheldred, 8, and Willie, 6; plus a boarder Fannie Thompson, 19, cook.
In early 1885, pursuant to a judgment against her, Emma Gay lost the half-acre lot upon which she and her family lived.
Wilson Advance, 12 December 1884.
On 4 February 1892, Henry C. Rountree, 44, married Emma Gay, 44, at the bride’s residence in Wilson. Presbyterian minister L.J. Melton performed the ceremony, and witnesses were Edward Pool, Mark Blount and S.H. Vick.
Emma Gay Rountree’s will entered probate in Wilson County Superior Court in June 1917:
Last Will and Testament of Emma Rountree of Wilson, North Carolina.
Know all men by these presents that, I, Emma Rountree of Wilson, Wilson County, state of North Carolina, being of sound mind and disposing memory, do hereby make and publish this, my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me at any time heretofore made.
(1) I give, devise, and bequeath to my children Mary Strickland, William Gay, Dred Gay, and the estate of my late son Chas Gay all of my property both real and personal with the exception of one dining room table, and one organ. The organ is hereby bequeathed to my beloved granddaughter Emma Gay.
(2) I give, devise and bequeath to Lizzie Whitfield, one dining room table, the same now in use in my dining room.
(3) I give, devise, and bequeath to my children Mary Strickland, William Gay, Dred Gay, and Lizzie Whitfield all money that may be left after paying all debts and expenses of my funeral. The same to be divided equally among them.
(4) I, hereby appoint Rev. H.B. Taylor the executor of this my last will and testament and recommend to the proper authorities that he be appointed guardian for Dred Gay and Mary Strickland, whose mental abilities incapacitates them to manage an estate. Emma (X) Rountree
Signed by said Testatrix, Emma Rountree, as for her last will and testament, in the presence of us, who at her request, in her presence and in the presence of each other, have subscribed our names as attesting witnesses. Louis Thomas, W.H. Kittrell, S.H. Vick
This Board of Aldermen entry appears Minutes of City Council, Wilson, North Carolina, May 1, 1885-June 16, 1892, transcribed in a bound volume shelved at Wilson County Public Library, Wilson; North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.