cemetery

Cemeteries, no. 19: Nelson Armstrong family.

This cemetery — way down an unpaved track and surrounded on three sides by soybeans — is back in the cut, as they say, but lovingly maintained. Nelson Armstrong and his brother Gary were prosperous farmers who owned large farms northeast of Elm City near the Edgecombe County line.

In the 1870 census of Joyners township, Wilson County: Abraham Armstrong, 52, wife Cherry, 32, and children Nancy, 16, Haywood, 14, Nelson, 12, Joshua, 11, and Burlee, 7.

On 10 January 1884, Nelson Armstrong married Mary Ann Bulluck in Edgecombe County.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Nelson Armstrong, 45, wife Mary Ann, 40, and children Mamie, 15, Hattie, 13, and Henry, 12.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot, Wilson County, on Wells Daws Avenue, Nelson Armstrong, 58, Mary, 45, daughter Hattie Armstrong, 22, son Henry Armstrong, 20, son-in-law Thomas Hilliard, 25, daughter Mamie, 24, and their children Carnelia, 3, and Magnora Hilliard, 2.

In the 1920 census of Toisnot, Wilson County: Nelson Armstrong, 60, wife Mary, 50, and boarder Grover Barnes, 19.

Nelson Armstrong was an initial investor in Commercial Bank of Wilson.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot, Wilson County: Henry Armstrong, 42, wife Mimia, 33, and children Mary, 11, Fred, 8, Rosa, 6, Clarence, 4, and Nathan, 1, plus widower father Nelson, 75.

Nelson Armstrong died 8 December 1934 in Toisnot township. Per his death certificate: he was 80 years old; was born in Edgecombe County to Abraham and Cherry Armstrong; was a farmer; and was a widower.

  • Mary Ann Armstrong

Mary Armstrong died 25 September 1924. Per her death certificate, she was 58 years old; married to Nelson Armstrong; and born in Edgecombe to Crumel and Rena Bulluck.

  • Hattie Armstrong Lucas

In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Nelson Armstrong, 45, wife Mary Ann, 40, and children Mamie, 15, Hattie, 13, and Henry, 12.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot, Wilson County, on Wells Daws Avenue, Nelson Armstrong, 58, Mary, 45, daughter Hattie Armstrong, 22, son Henry Armstrong, 20, son-in-law Thomas Hilliard, 25, daughter Mamie, 24, and their children Carnelia, 3, and Magnora Hilliard, 2.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Elias Lucas, 44; wife Hattie, 40; and children Ada, 16, Turner, 14, Eva, 13, Marie, 6, and Nathaniel, 5.

In the 1940 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Elias Lucas, 54; wife Hattie, 52; and children Marie, 16, and Nathanel, 15.

Hattie Lucas died 17 November 1943. Per her death certificate, she was 56 years old; born in Wilson County to Nelson Armstrong of Wilson County and Hattie Armstrong of Edgecombe County; was married to Elias Lucas; and was buried in the Armstrong cemetery.

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2017.

Cemeteries, no. 18: Cherry Chapel.

Cherry Chapel Baptist Church today is located just outside Elm City. Historically, however, the church’s home was several miles east on East Langley Road, just inside the Edgecombe County line. The small edifice is now occupied by Pleasant Hill Church of God, but Cherry Chapel’s cemetery remains. Well-maintained except along the edges where the woods encroach, most of its graves date from the mid-twentieth century and include:

  • Joseph Virgil (1909-1945)

Joseph Virgil died 16 January 1945 near Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 3 June 1910 in Florence, South Carolina, to Ed Virgil and Candis Scott; was a farmer; and was married to Fannie D. Virgil, who was informant.

  • Anner B. Knight (1901-1961)

Annie Knight died 17 January 1961 in Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 April 1902 in Norfolk, Virginia, to Wiley Batts and Lucy Bullock; was widowed; and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery. [Is this a recording mistake? Was she disinterred and moved?] Informant was Mary Lancaster of Wilson County.

  • Blanche B. Barnes (1906-1959)

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Blanche Barnes died 26 September 1959 in Toisnot township. Per her death certificate, she was born 3 June 1906 in Wilson County to Charlie Batts and Lizzie Joyner; was a farmer and housewife; and was married to Wiley Barnes.

  • Clara Dawes (1884-1953)

Clara Dawes died 23 July 1953 in Elm City, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 September 1883 in Wilson County to Handy Lawrence and Georgeanna Bullock and was widowed. Lonnie Weaver, Elm City, was informant.

  • Sarah Satterwhite

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Sarah Satterwhite died 7 January 1945 at the Wilson “county TB sanatorium.” Per her death certificate, she was born 18 December 1900 in Nash County to Robert Arrington and Caroline Bryant; was married to Eddie Satterwhite; lived near Elm City; and was buried at Cherry’s Chapel.

 

Cemeteries, no. 17: Littleton and Judie Ellis family.

This small family cemetery is completely hidden in a copse of trees just outside the gates of Wiggins Mill Water Treatment Plant on Forest Hills Road in Wilson. Until relatively recently, this area — nearly four miles south of downtown — was outside city limits. Few gravestones are visible in the tangle of catbrier, pines and oak saplings, but several oblong indentations — some feet deep — mark burial sites just as clearly. This cemetery holds the remains of several generations of the family of Littleton and Judy Barnes Ellis, a couple born in slavery. The couple and at least four of their children — Bryant, Lucy, Maggie, Lizzie Sarah — are buried here on land that once belonged to Littleton Ellis.

The view from the edge of the woods:

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The dark patches at right are a series of sunken graves:

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  • Maggie Ellis Darden (1886-1969). Gone to take her rest. We loved her but God loved her best. The family.

In the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Littleton Ellis, 45; wife Judah, 30; and children Bryant, 14, Martha, 12, Patsey, 10, Mary, 8, Bud, 6, Thomas, 4, Rose, 2, and James, 1.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Littleton Ellis, 73; wife Judy, 55; and children Lucy, 21, Littleton, 18, Sarah, 16, Maggie, 14, Nettie, 12, and Minnie, 10.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Wiggins Mill Road, farmer Littleton Ellis, 27; his mother Judie, 62; and sisters Lucy, 30, Sarah, 24, Maggie, 23, and Lettie, 21.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Judie Ellis, 80, widow; children Lucy, 32, Litt, 30, and Maggie, 25; and granddaughter Manerva Barnes, 22.

On 18 March 1923, George Darden, 35, married Maggie Ellis, 25, in Wilson County. Free Will Baptist minister Tom Thomas performed the ceremony in the presence of Willie Darden, Jonathan Ford, and W.H. Cotton.

In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farm laborer George Darden, 42; wife Maggie, 35, and daughter Artelia, 1.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1021 South Mercer Street, laundress Maggie Darden, 46, and daughter Artelia, 11.

Maggie Ellis Darden died 22 September 1969 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 10 March 1886 in Arkansas to Littleton Ellis and Julia Barnes [were the Ellises returned Exodusters?] Informant was Artelia Neal.

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A vault cover hidden under pine needles and creeping foliage:

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  • Rev. Jesse Herring (1890-1956). Gone but not forgotten.

In the 1900 census of Indian Springs township, Wayne County, and the 1910 census of Brogden township, Wayne County, Jessie Herring is listed in the household of his parents Amos and Lucy Herring.

In 1917, Jesse Herring registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Her his registration card, he lived at 618 Lodge Street, Wilson; was born 23 September 1892 in Mount Olive, North Carolina; worked as a carpenter for George Whitley in Wilson County; and had a dependent wife and two children.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: at 413 Lodge Street, carpenter Jessie Herring, 27; wife Sarah, 33; and children Daisy, 5, Minnie, 4, and Mary, 2.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Jessie Herring, 34; wife Sarah, 36; and children Daniel, 13, Minnie, 12, Mary E., 11, Amos, 9, Maggie, 7, James L., 3, and Mary E., 1 month. Herring paid $3/month in rent. [Next door, the household of Sarah’s brother Bryant Ellis.]

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Highway 301, farmer Jessie Herring, 53; wife Sarah, ; and children Dazel, 25, Amos, 20, James L., 14, Mary Elizabeth, 9, George R., 7, and Ruby Lee, 6. Herring owned his house.

Jessie Herring died 5 June 1956 in Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 23 September 1889 in Wayne County to Amos Herring and Lucy Whitfield; was a farmer; was married to Sarah Herring; and was buried in Ellis cemetery. Sarah Herring was informant.

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  • Lizzie Sarah Ellis Herring (1884-1964). We loved you. She was the sunshine of our home.

Sarah Ellis Herring died 9 July 1964 in Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 9 May 1891 in Wilson County to Littleton Ellis and Judy [last name unknown]; was widow of Jessie Herring; and was buried in the family cemetery. Informant was Amos Herring. [This is a fine example of a Clarence Best gravestone and features many of his signature motifs.]

Cemeteries, no. 16: Mary Grove Missionary Baptist Church.

Mary Grove church‘s cemetery lies behind the sanctuary on Wiggins Mill Road near Lucama. Among its earliest marked graves are those of members born in the 1870s, ’80s and ’90s.

  • Renda Green

In the 1900 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer James Green, 47; wife Lurenda, 33; daughter Rhoda, 13; and stepchildren Cornelia, 10, Larry, 9, Eddie, 4, William, 3, and Addie Dew, 1.

  • Lawyer Whitley

  • Charlie Cannady

In the 1940 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: South Carolina-born farmer Charlie Cannady, 60; wife Mary, 50; daughter Marie Braswell, 23; son-in-law Kennel Braswell, 24; and their children Minnie M., 2, and Charlie T., 1. Mary and Marie were also born in South Carolina.

Charlie Canaday died 21 February 1946 in Cross Roads township. Per her death certificate, he was born 29 February 1894 in South Carolina to Honor Canaday; was married to Mary Canaday; and worked as a farmer. Informant was Kennon Braswell.

  • Rev. Willie Barnes

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Photographs taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2017.

 

Cemeteries, no. 15: Living Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

This small cemetery, outside Lucama on Artis Road next to Living Hope Missionary Baptist Church, contains only eight marked graves.

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The earliest burial seems to be that of Rev. Clemon J. Phillips, one of the church’s pastors.

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Clement Phillips, 20, of Gardners township, son of Walter Phillips and Lizzie P. Edwards, married Estelle Farmer, 17, of Gardners, daughter of Jim Farmer and Mary F. Horne, on 4 December 1929 in Gardners. Elder Robert Edwards, a Primitive Baptist minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Oscar Braswell, Jessie D. Pender and Elanzer Pender.

In the 1940 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: on Saratoga Macclesfield Road, farm laborer Clement Phillips, 28; wife Estelle, 27; and children Lula, 8, Mary L., 6, and Clement Jr., 5; plus uncle Ernest Blunt, 40.

In 1940, Clemant Phillips registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 2 February 1912 in Norfolk, Virginia; was married to Estelle Phillips, Route 3, Stantonsburg; and worked for Lonnie C. Worrell, Route 3, Stantonsburg.

Clemon Phillips died 8 October 1973 in a car accident near Lucama, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 2 February 1912 to Walter Phillips and Lizzie Blount; was married to Estelle Minerva Farmer; and was a Protestant clergyman. He was buried at Living Hope Church cemetery.

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, November 2016.

Cemeteries, no. 14: the Valentine Farmer cemetery.

This small cemetery lies on the the south side of a deep curve of Lake Wilson Road on land that once belonged to Valentine Farmer. Farmer was born enslaved about 1828, and his daughter Martha Farmer Ruffin‘s W.P.A. interview — a so-called “slave narrative” — provides rich details of the family’s early history.

Valentine Farmer’s grave:

That of his second wife, Mary Eliza Ruffin Farmer:

Olivia Rena Woodard, wife of Kenney Woodard:

Mattie Farmer Statton, Valentine and Quinnie Harrison Farmer’s daughter:

and Walaenetess Reel:

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In the 1870 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Vance [Valentine] Farmer, 40, wife Quinnie, 30, and children Clara, 13, Patsey [Martha], 11, Isaac, 10, Nancy, 8, Leah, 6, and Mattie, 2. Also, in Wilson township: Reuben Farmer, 68, wife Nancy, 71, and Luke Farmer, 11.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Bullie [Vallie] Farmer, 50, wife Qunnia, 46, and children Patsie, 21, Isaac, 20, Nannie, 18, Lera, 16, Mattie, 10, Caroline, 8, Bettie, 6, Mary J., 4, Charles, 3, and Sarah E., 2, plus Nancy Farmer, 90.

On 5 February 1882, Vaul Farmer, 52, married Mary E. Ruffin, 43, in Wilson County. On 19 March 1882, in the town of Stantonsburg, Robert Farmer, 19, married Marinda Bynum, 18. I have not found Martha Farmer Ruffin’s marriage record.

On 11 January 1889, Kenny Woodard, 24, of Toisnot township, son of Howell Woodard and Rhoda Farmer, married Leah Farmer, 24, of Gardners township, son of Vaul Farmer. London Woodard applied for the license, and they were married by a Justice of the Peace in the presence of Dublin Barnes, Frank Barnes and Peter Thomas.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Valintine Farmer, 70, wife Mary, 58, children Mattie, 30, Elizabeth, 26, Mary J., 24, and Elizar, 22, son-in-law Charly Freeman and daughter Carolina. All did farm work except Elizabeth, who was a cook, and Elizar, who was a schoolteacher. Meanwhile, in Brodie, Pulaski County, Arkansas: North Carolina-born Thomas Ruffin, 48, his North Carolina-born wife Patsie, 42, and children Wiley, 14, Marina, 12, James, 10, Mammie, 8, and Lucy, 4. The last two children were born in Arkansas.

Valentine Farmer made out his will the following spring, and his estate went into probate in 1906:

North Carolina, Wilson County  }  I, Valentine Farmer, of the aforesaid County and State, being of sound mind, but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existence, do make and declare this my last will and testament.

First: My executor hereinafter named, shall give my body a decent burial, and pay all funeral expenses, together with all my Just debts out of the first money which may come into her hands belonging to my estate.

Second: I give to my daughter Clary Batts, the wife of Amos Batts, and Patsy Ruffin, the wife of Thomas Ruffin, the sum of one dollar each.

Third: I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Mary Eliza Farmer, during her lifetime or widowhood, my entire estate, both real and personal.

Fourth: At the death or marriage of my wife, I give and bequeath to my four daughters, hereinafter named — Mattie Farmer, Elizabeth Farmer, Mary Jane Farmer and Sarah Eliza Farmer, all of my personal property of whatsoever kind.

Fifth: At the death or marriage of my wife, I give and bequeath to my children hereinafter named, viz: Nannie Farmer, Louvenia Farmer, Elizabeth Farmer, Mary Jane Farmer, Charlie Farmer and Sarah Eliza Farmer all of my real estate.

Sixth: I hereby constitute and appoint my wife Mary Eliza Farmer my lawful executor to all intents and purposes to execute this my last will and testament, according to the true intent and meaning thereof; hereby revoking and declaring void all other wills and testaments by me heretofore made.

In witness whereof, I, the said Valentine Farmer, do hereunto set my hand and seal this 9th day of April, 1901.   Valentine (X) Farmer

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Valentine Farmer to be his last will and testament in the presence of us, who at his request and in his presence do subscribe our names as witnesses thereto   /s/ E.O. McGowan, W.H. Dixon

Valentine Farmer cemetery, July 2017.

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2017.

Cemeteries, no. 13: the Sharpe cemetery.

At the Wilson-Edgecombe line, the blacktop rounds a curve and changes abruptly from Wilson County Road to Shallingtons Mill Road. Atop the bank, just inside Wilson County, is a narrow cemetery wedged between a soybean field and the road. This is the burial ground of the Allen Sharpe family on, presumably, land that once belonged to Sharpes.

  • Allen and Mary A. Sharpe

In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Mary J. Forbes, 54, and children Meddis(?), 33, Homer, 31, Vernie B., 14, Ida M., 13, and Mary L., 3; plus farm laborer/servant Allen Sharpe, 21.

On 10 October 1900, Allen Sharpe, 24, son of Abram and Carolin Sharp, married Mary A. Barron, 17, daughter of Mark and Mason Barron, in Wilson County.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount Road, Allen Sharpe, 31; wife Mary, 26; and children Cora, 9, Carrie, 8, John, 5, Nettie, 3, Martha, 2, and Peter, 3 months; plus, John Smith, 25.

In the 1920 census of Lower Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: on the public road from Tarboro to Stantonsburg, farm laborer Allen Sharpe, 43; wife Mary A., 38; children Carrie, 17, John, 14, Nettie, 12, Beatrice, 10, Peter, 9, Mark, 8, Bertha, 5, Ethel Branch, 3, and niece Dora, 19,

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Allen Sharpe, 56; wife Mary A., 47; children Carrie, 25, Nettie, 22, Peter, 19, Mark, 17, Bertha, 15, Blanche, 13,  Senie, 11, and Odell Sharp, 8; plus grandchildren Roosivilt, 7, and Minnie Howard, 4.

Allen Sharpe died 24 January 1946 in Gardners township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 April 1888 [actually, probably 1878] in Edgecombe County to Abram and Mary Sharpe and resided near Macclesfield, Wilson County. [Note that Macclesfield itself is in Edgecombe County.]

  • Mark B. and Clara Farmer Sharpe

Mark B. Sharpe, here.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Cromwell Farmer, 57; wife Mary Jane, 48; and children James, 22, Ida, 20, Cromwell, 19, Ella, 17, Maggie, 16, Clara, 14, Floyd, 12, Viola and Liola, 9, Esther, 8, Lee A., 7, and George, 6.

On 15 March 1937, Mark Sharpe, 25, of Wilson, son of Adam [sic] and Mary A. Sharpe, married Clara Farmer, 20, of Wilson County, son of Cromwill and Mary Jane Farmer.

Clara Sharpe died 20 February 1951 in Gardners township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 November 1917 to Crummes Farmer and Mary Jane Battle and was married. Mark Sharpe was informant.

  • Martha Mitchell Farmer

Per her death certificate, Martha Mitchel Farmer died 19 October 1964 in Wilson township. She was born 4 July 1881 to Willie Mitchel and Laura Barren and was married to Willie Farmer. She was buried in Pinetops cemetery, Pinetops, North Carolina. [Was her grave later moved?]  Informant was Lloyd Farmer.

  • Kelly Johnson Sr.

On 1 October 1910, Kelly Johnson, 21, married Bloomer Moore, 19, in Edgecombe County.

On 5 June 1917, Kellie Johnson registered for the World War I draft in Gardners township, Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 9 March 1888 in Edgecombe County; resided near Fountain [which is in Pitt County]; was a farmer; and supported a wife and five children.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Kellie Johnson, 32; wife Bloomer, 26; and children Arthur, 10, Elizabeth, 8, L. Rosa, 6, Kellie, 5, Willie, 3, and Bloomer, 2.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Wilson and Tarboro Road, farmer Kelly Johnson, 40; wife Bloomer, 36; Elizabeth, 16, Rosa L., 15, Kelly, 14, Willie, 13, Bloomer, 12, Maggie, 9, Ethlen, 8, Allen, 5, and Martha, 1.

In the 1940 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farm operator Kelly Johnson, 52; wife Blumer, 48; and children Maggie, 19, Boy, 13, Martha, 10, and William Henry, 9; stepdaughter Mildred, 8; and  granddaughter Alma Jean, 5 months.

Kelly Johnson died 8 April 1963 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, he was born 9 March 1889 to David Johnson and Alice (last name unknown); was retired; was married to Blummer Moore Johnson; and was buried in Northeastern cemetery, Rocky Mount [??].

Allen Sharpe cemetery.

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2017.

Cemeteries, no. 12: the Becky Pate cemetery. 

Just beyond the northeast edge of Lucama, down a sandy road closely bordered in mid-summer by four-foot tobacco plants bristling with green-gold leaves, is the Becky Pate cemetery. I did not see Rebecca Daniels Pate’s grave, but her Wilson County death certificate notes that she was born in 1827 in Wayne County to Arch and Leah Daniel; that she was the widow of Richard Pate; and that she died 31 March 1935 in Cross Roads township, Wilson County. [Census records indicate that she was more likely born about 1845.] Richard Pate died in Cross Roads township on 21 February 1935. His death certificate shows that he was born in about 1835 to unknown parents; was married; was a farmer; and was buried in Pate Daniel Grave Yard. It is probable that this is the same burial ground as Becky Pate cemetery and that the cemetery is located on land that once belonged to Arch Daniel.

  • William Henry Pate

In the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Leah Daniel, 69, and grandson Wm. Henry Pate, 7.

In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer William H. Pate, 26; wife Rachael, 24; brother Jesse, 10; sister-in-law Nellie Peacock, 11.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer William H. Pate, 36; wife Fichrel, 34; and brother Jesse, 20.

William Henry Pate registered for the World War I draft on 12 September 1918 in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he lived at Route 3, Lucama; was born 11 February 1874; engaged in farming; and was married to Firchel Pate.

In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer William H. Pate, 46, and wife Firchel, 44.

William Henry Pate died 24 October 1921 in Cross Roads township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1873 in Wayne County to Alford Pate and Pollie Ann Daniel and was a farmer.

  • Mittie Daniel Dew


Mittie D. Dew was a granddaughter of Arch and Lear Daniel. Her murder is detailed here.

  • Polly Ann Artis Daniel

Polly Ann Artis Daniel was married to Isaac Daniel, grandson of Arch and Leah Daniel. (Polly is listed as Isaac’s first wife on his death certificate. And Rebecca Pate is listed as his mother.) Polly Ann died in 1908.

  • Benjamin Barefoot

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Mike Barefoot, 36; wife Caroline, 26; and children Olive, 12, Willie, 10, Rena, 8, Benjamin, 6, Ida, 4, Warren, 2, and Julia, 1.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Caroline Barefoot, 50, and children Ben, 21, Jula, 19, and Willie, 29.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: on Railroad Street, Benjamin Barefoot, 28, brickyard laborer, and his companion William Williams, 35, also a brickyard laborer.

Ben Barefoot registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County on 12 September 1918. Per his registration card, he was born 15 January 1881; resided at Route 1, Lucama; worked for Sparse Renfrow; and his nearest relative was Wiley Barefoot.

  • Ed Manuel

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Willis Adams, 65, and wife Jane, 65, plus Ed Manuel, 25, farm laborer.

Ed Manuel registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he resided in Lucama, Wilson County; was born 17 September 1879; worked as a farmer for E.B. Capps; and his nearest relative was Pinkney Williams, Florence, South Carolina.

In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Ed Manuel, 30, farmer.

In the 1930 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Edd Manuel, 49, farmer.

In the 1940 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Edd Manuel, 61, farmhand.

Ed Manuel died 19 September 1944 in Fayetteville, Cross Creek township, Cumberland County, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was single; born in South Carolina about 1885; worked as a farmer; and was buried in Beckie Pate cemetery, Wilson County. Informant was Hubert Knight, Route 2, Wilson.

Cemeteries, no. 11: the Masonic cemetery.

Mount Hebron Masonic Lodge #42 founded this cemetery, probably in the late 1890s, and it appears to have been used for burial into the middle of the 20th century. It was the first of three cemeteries on Lane Street. Among those interred there are:

  • Cora Barnes

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On 21 December 1899, George Barnes, 25, son of James and Harriett Barnes, married Cora Cook, 18, daughter of Alfred and Nancy Cook, in Wilson.

In the 1900 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer George Barnes, 35, wife Cora, 26, and children Estella, 6, Johnnie, 4, and Daisy E., 3 months.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer George W. Barnes, 40; wife Cora, 38; and children Estella, 16, Johnnie, 15, Nancy, 7, and Lizzie, 5.

Cora Barnes died in Wilson township on 22 September 1917. Per her death certificate, she was married; was a tenant farmer; was about 41 years old; and was born in Wilson County to Alfred Cook and Nancy Edmundson. George W. Barnes was informant.

  • J.H. Aiken

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On 24 February 1908, John H. Aiken, 44, of Wilson County, and Georgia Williams, 37, Goldsboro, were married in Goldsboro, Wayne County. L.A. Moore of Wilson was a witness.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Virginia-born livery stable laborer John Aiken, 44, and wife Georgia, 38, at 471 Jones Street.

John H. Aikins died 20 July 1914 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1860 in North Carolina to Edward Aikins and Annie King, both of Virginia and was a horse dealer or liveryman. Georgia Aikins was informant.

[Personal note: this large headstone, with its asymmetrical carving, is one of the most aesthetically impressive in this cemetery. It is like no other I’ve seen on an African-American grave in Wilson County.]

  • Mary Ann Hines Boddie Wilkins

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On 28 January 1903, Redden S. Wilkins, 33, of Wilson, married Mary [Hines] Boddie, 26, of Edgecombe County, at Haret Hines’ in Township No. 14, Edgecombe County. Witnesses were E.L. ReidA.S. Henderson and John A. Gaston, all of Wilson.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at Lodge Street, Redmond Wilkins, 42, odd jobs laborer; wife Mary, 35; and daughters Hallie, 4, Mary B., 23, a cook, and Isabell, 1. [Mary B. was Redden’s daughter with Mary Blount Wilkins. Hallie and Isabell, in fact, were named Hattie Margaret and Mary Della.]

Redden S. Wilkins died 7 October 1915 in Wilson.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 507 Vance Street, widow Mary Wilkins, 45, cook, and daughters Margaret, 13, and Della, 10.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 506 Vance Street, rented for $12/month, cook Mary Wilkins, 47; daughter Della Mary, 18; lodgers Ethel Adkins, 20, a divorced teacher, and Henretta Smith, 53, widow; and nephew Paul Bullock, 21.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 506 East Vance Street, widow Mary B. Wilkins, 65, and lodger Marion Sanders, 25, both of whom worked as a household servants.

Mary Ann Wilkins died 10 October 1956 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 20 May 1874 in Edgecombe County to Joshua Bullock and Harriette Hines; was widowed; and lived at 504 East Vance Street. Mary Della Bass was informant.

  • Samuel and Ida Barnes

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In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Green Street, washer and ironer Margarett Hinton, 30, children Nelly, 12, Alex, 10, and Ida B., 8, plus Mary Hodge, 19. Nelly and Alex were working as servants.

On 9 October 1895, Saml. Barnes, 26, married Ida Hinton, 22, at Ida Hinton’s in Wilson. L.B. Williams, A.M.E. minister, performed the service in the presence of Nannie Brinkley, Braswell R. Winstead and Alex Hinton.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: drayman Sam Barnes, 26, wife Idda, 25, a washerwoman, and daughter Tinnie, 2.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Francis Barnes, 63; son Sam, 40, oil wagon driver; daughter-in-law Ida, 38, laundress; granddaughter Liu[intelligible], 11; and daughters Annie, 23, housemaid, and Nannie, 21, cook.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 615 Viola Street, public drayman Samuel Best, 50; sister Fannie, 27, a public cook; wife Ida, 45; and daughter Lurean, 21, public school teacher.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 604 Viola, drayman Sam Barnes, 56, wife Ida, 52, and daughter Lorine, 29, a school teacher.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 604 Viola Street, Mrs. Ida Barnes, –, son-in-law Knolly Zachary, 39, a barber, and daughter Larean, 39, a public school teacher.

Ida Barnes died 26 April 1953 at her home at 602 Viola Street. Per her death certificate, she was a widow and was born 20 March 1874 in Wilson County to John Hinton and Margaret Matthew. Lurean Zackery of 604 Viola was informant.

  • John Stephen Spell and Martha A. Gordon Spell

 

On 14 June 1902, John S. Spell, 26, son of Henry and Esther Spell of Pitt County, and Martha A. Gordan, 26, daughter of Pompie F. and Grace Gordan, were married at the Baptist church by Rev. Fred M. Davis.  Redden S. Wilkins applied for the license, and A.G. Battle, A.V.C. Hunt and Orren Best were witnesses.

In the 1908 Wilson city directory,  Jno. S. Spell appears as a contractor living at 133 Pender Street.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Pender Street, house carpenter John E. Spell, 50, wife Martha, 46, a seamstress, and son John E., Jr.

In the 1925 Wilson city directory, the following are listed at 204 Pender Street: Jno. S. Spell, carpenter; Jno. S. Spell, Jr.; and Martha A. Spell, dressmaker.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 204 Pender Street, building carpenter John L. Spell, 65, and wife Martha, 46, a seamstress. They owned the house, which was valued at $3000.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 204 Pender Street, odd job laborer J.S. Spell, 74, born in Pitt County, and wife Martha, 65, an invalid born in Oxford. Grocery deliveryman Arthur Darden, 27, and his wife Bettie, 19, rented rooms in the house.

John Stephen Spell died 31 January 1946 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he resided at 204 Pender Street; was married to Martha Spell, age 61; was 80 years old; was born in Pitt County to Easter Spell; was a carpenter; and was buried in the Masonic cemetery. M.G. Spell was informant.

Martha A. Spell died 12 March 1966 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, her residence was 501 South Spaulding Street, Wilson; she was a widow; she was born 7 January 1874 in Guilford County to Proctor Bowden; and was buried in the Masonic cemetery. John H. Spell was informant.

  •  Rachel Foster

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The infant Rachel Foster was the daughter of Grant T. Foster and Maggie Joyner Ransom Foster.

  • Henry and Mamie Lucas

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On 6 October 1902, Henry Lucas, 26, married Mamie Battle, 25, daughter of Parker and Ella Battle, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister Rev. C.L. Alexander performed the ceremony at the home of B.F. Robbens(?), and B.F. Robbens(?), Moses Woodard and Andrew W. McCullers witnessed.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 410 Jones Street, brickmason Henry Lucas, 32; wife Mamie, 29; and children James L., 6, Arthur R., 5, Milton B., 3, and Irene, 4.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 208 Jones Street, South Carolina-born drayman Henry Lucas, 35; wife Mamie, 35; and children James, 16, Leroy, 14, Milton, 12, Lucille, 10, Alma, 5, Margret, 6, and Charles, 2.

Henry Lucas died 25 April 1942 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 60 years old; was born in Bennettsville, South Carolina, to Boykin Lucas of Columbia, South Carolina, and Hepsey Zimmon of Bennettsville; resided at 914 East Green Street; was married to Mamie Lucas, age 52; worked as a laborer; and was buried in the Masonic cemetery. Lucille Lucas was informant.

  • William J. and Sarah A.J. Moore

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In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: minister William J. Moore, 64; wife Sarah J., 60; daughter Mary E., 29; and grandsons Alfred Hill, 12, and Wilbur, 3.

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Hill’s Wilson, N.C, Directory (1908).

The first colored cemetery.

Modern conventional wisdom holds that Rountree cemetery was the first organized resting place for Wilson’s African-American dead. As I noted here though, Oaklawn (also called Oakdale) cemetery, located south of the stemmeries in Little Richmond was in fact first.

The cemetery was established by town commissioners about 1895, and Wootten & Stevens undertakers were burying bodies there — at “colored cemetery” or Oakdale cemetery — regularly in the late 1890s.

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Wilson Advance, 4 July 1895.

Lying hard by Stantonsburg Street, the southern route into town, the colored cemetery was a well-known landmark in turn-of-the-century Wilson.

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Wilson Times, 15 July 1910.

However, the site was not propitious and, less than 15 years after it was laid out, poor drainage conditions were leading to complaints.

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Wilson Times, 12 December 1911.

 The cemetery remained listed in the 1912 Wilson City directory:screen-shot-2017-02-17-at-6-24-57-pm

Though the record is not clear, it seems that burials ceased at Oaklawn by 1920. This 1923 plat of land sold for development by D.C. Suggs shows the gap the graveyard created in proposed grid of lots.

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At least some, and presumably all, the graves at Oaklawn were disinterred and moved a few miles east to Rountree or Rest Haven cemetery.

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  • Blount Moore — In the 1912 Wilson city directory, Blount Moore was listed as keeper of Oaklawn cemetery, residing at 401 Wiggins Street. Bryant Moore, a laborer, was listed at the same address.