cemetery

Cemeteries, no. 11: the Masonic cemetery.

Mount Hebron Masonic Lodge #42 founded this cemetery, probably in the late 1890s and 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.

——

  • 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.

Cemeteries, no. 9: William Chapel church cemetery.

William Chapel Missionary Baptist Church is one of three extant 19th-century churches in the Elm City area, and the only one with a cemetery. The church is about three miles northwest of Elm City on William Chapel Church Road, which runs just inside and roughly parallel to the Wilson-Nash County line. The cemetery lies a few hundred feet west of the church, across from Silver Lake Cotton Gin.

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Among the oldest graves at William Chapel are those of:

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  • Alexander and Sarah P. Barnes

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  • Harriet Hines

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  • W.S. Ward

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The graveyard artistry of Clarence Best, part 2.

I’ve written here of Clarence B. Best, the marble cutter whose custom gravestones can be found in cemeteries across Wilson County and beyond. Here’s more.

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  • Sylvia Boykin, died 1939. Rocky Branch United Church of Christ, near Kenly, Wilson County. SLEEP IN PEACE. Unusual dark pink granite marker.
  • Mrs. Polly B. Deans, died 1962. Rocky Branch United Church of Christ. Best’s basic rectangular layout, though addition of husband Ernest Deans‘ name is unusual.
  • Henrietta Stevens, died 1959.  Rocky Branch United Church of Christ. SHE WAS THE SUNSHINE OF OUR HOME. Heart shape executed in concrete.
  • Willie Coleman, died 1964. Or 1967. Jones Hill Baptist Church cemetery, near Sims, Wilson County. I have not been able to find a death certificate to settle the question of his death date. [Based on the number accepted and installed, I assume Best deeply discounted the stones upon which he made indelible engraving errors.]
  • Henry Winstead II, died 1966. William Chapel Baptist Church cemetery, near Elm City, Wilson County. Rough-cut marker with “II” squeezed in as an afterthought.
  • Roscoe and Mary J. Ford, died 1965 and 1954. William Chapel. Best apparently obtained much of his stone from reject piles, probably belonging to larger outfits like Wilson Marble & Mantel. This marker is clearly a single headstone split into his and hers. It is also a repurposed stone. As shown in the detail below, the lower two-thirds of the faces of the markers were ground clean. The ends of the machine-cut lines were erased, and scratches left by the abrasive can be seen below the letters.
  • Theodore R. Lenzy, died 1969. William Chapel. Seldom seen format highlighting the decedent’s surname.
  • Cleo and Thomas Davis, died 1974 and 1986. Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson. Their marriage date is a nice touch. Thomas’ info added by machine.
  • Viola S. McCray, died 2007. Rest Haven. This is mystifying. Best carved McCray’s name and birthdate when he carved those of her husband on the other half of this marker. McCray died more than 40 years after Best stopped carving (and 30 years after his death.) Who, then hand-engraved her death date in Best’s style?

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All photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, November 2016.

Cemeteries, no. 7: Jones Hill Primitive Baptist Church.

On Old Raleigh Road, just west of Interstate 95, lies the old Jones Hill Primitive Baptist church cemetery. The church itself is perhaps a half-mile down the road to the east. The cemetery has been so overgrown that I failed to locate it on two previous attempts, but appears to have been rough cut within the last couple of years. It contains, among others, the graves of several members of a large free family of color, the Joneses. Per Findagrave.com, there are at least 25 marked graves here, but because of dense weeds and underbrush, I missed several. (Including Julious Locus 1854-1922, Josiah Jones 1862-1925 and Benjamin Coley 1864-1921.)

The view from the road today:

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Two views within the cemetery, which lies in a narrow strip of woodland sloping upward between two cultivated fields:

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——

  • Elijah Powell

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In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Allen Powell, 32, dipping turpentine, wife Charity, 22, and children Robert and Cena, 2.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Allen Powell, 42, wife Chana, 36, and children Robert 13, Seneori, 11, Eligah, 9, Thomas R., 6, and James L., 1.

On 30 January 1896, Elijah Powell, 26, of Old Fields, married Sarah Tabron, 19, of Taylors, in Taylors township.

In the 1900 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Elliga Powell, 29, wife Sarah, 22, children Roxie, 2, and Daisy, 6 months, sisters-in-law Maggie, 12, and Ida N. Batts, 8, niece Loutory Taborn, 14, widowed grandmother Sarah Williams, 70, and boarder Henry Barnes, 25.

In the 1910 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Elijah Powell, 39, wife Sarah, 31, and children Roxie, 12, Daisy, 10, Emma L., 8, Bettie, 6, and Elijah, 3. Nearby: Dempsie, 30, Joe, 21, and widow Chanie Powell, 68.

In the 1920 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: on the Road to Horns Bridge, Elijah Powell, 51, wife Sarah, 45, and children Daisy, 19, Emma, 16, Bettie, 14, and Elijah Jr., 13.

In the 1930 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: Elijah Powell, 60, wife Sarah Powell, 52, and Isaiah Farmer, 22, a roomer.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on 407 East Walnut, Elijah Powell, 71, and wife Sarah, 62.

Elijah Powell died 8 September 1948 at his home at 407 Walnut Street. Per his death certificate, he was 77 years old, married to Sarah Powell, born in Wilson County to Allen Powell and Channie Boykins, and buried in Jones Hill cemetery.

  • John H. Jones

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On 25 June 1848, Jacob Jones married Milly Powell in Nash County.

In the 1850 census of Nash County:  Jacob Jones, 25, wife Milly, 28, siblings Shade, 18, and Susan Jones, 21, plus Levi Worrel, 30.

In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: steam sawmill worker Jacob Jones, 43, wife Milley, 43, and children John H., 17, Stephen, 15, Joanna, 13, Josiah, 11, Nancy, 7, and Milly A., 3, plus Jesse, 21, and Eliza Jones, 21.

On 16 May 1872, John Jones, son of Jacob and Milly Jones, and Penny Locust, daughter of Gaines and Fanny Locust, at Gaines Locust’s.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: John H. Jacobs, 26, wife Penny, 22, and children Sallie Ann, 6, Frances, 4, and William H., 1.

In the 1900 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John H. Jones, 49, wife Pennie, 46, and children George, 18, Jacob, 15, Richard, 13, Elizabeth, 11, Willie, 9, Callie, 5, and Mattie and Hattie, 2.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John H. Jones, 58, wife Penny, 57, and children Richard, 21, Chellie, 19, Willie, 17, Hattie and Mattie, 13, and Charlie Jones, 12.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Richard Jones, 33, and his widower father, John H. Jones, 66, both farmers.

  • Pennie Jones

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In the 1870 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Ganes Locust, 40, wife Zana, 35, and children Penny, 15, Hasty, 12, James, 9, Julius, 5, Sarah, 4, and Amanda, 1.

She married John H. Jones in 1872. See above.

  • Keziah Jones

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Thomas A. Jones and Kissiah Jones obtained a marriage license on 31 March 1888 in Wilson County, but did not return it.

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In the 1850 census of Nash County, North Carolina: farmer Willis Jones, 50, wife Sarah, 42, and children Henry, 13, Alex, 10, Noel, 8, Kingsberry, 3, and Peyton, 9 months. Willis’ mother Thany Jones, 78, was next door.

In the 1860 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Willis Jones, 62, black, farm laborer; wife Sarah, 51, mulatto; and children Henry, 20, Alexander, 17, Noel, 16, Willis, 12, Paton, 10, Burthany, 7, Sarah, 13, and James, 10. Also, Noel Jones, 15, making turpentine, with Gray Flowers, 28, white, also making turpentine.

On 12 July 1866, Noel Jones and Sarah Jones were married in Wilson County.

In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Noel Jones, 26, wife Sarah, 23, and children Josiah, 3, Charity, 1, and Edith, 4 months.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: laborer Noel Jones, 34, wife Sarah, 32, and children Josiah, 13, Charity, 12, Edieth J., 10, and Noel J., 6.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Noel Jones, 68, wife Sarah, 66, daughter Pearly, 25, grandsons Eddie G., 15, and Earnest, 11, and brother Alexander Jones, 69 (who was described as “afflicted.”)

“Gone but not forgotten”: the eternal art of Clarence B. Best.

Nearly all grave markers from the last 30 years or so are machine-cut, their lettering precise and even and utterly predictable. In Wilson County’s African-American cemeteries, however, even a casual perusal of older markers reveals artisanal work. Though there are many styles, one font repeatedly snags the eye — squarish letters with flared serifs and, especially, 9’s with long, pointed tails. These engravings are the work of marble cutter Clarence Benjamin Best, who, for more than 50 years, chiseled lambs, stars, stylized flowers and Masonic emblems, as well as pithy grammatically idiosyncratic epitaphs, into slabs of stone. I have found his work in rural Wilson County cemeteries and as far afield as Wayne, Edgecombe and Greene County, but Rest Haven cemetery is the ground zero of his oeuvre.

Best, whose monument business operated from his home on the outskirts of east Wilson, got his start as a marble cutter at Wilson Marble Mantle & Tile Company on North Railroad Street. By the early 1920s, he was designing and cutting headstones for African-American clients, perhaps initially as a side gig. He seemingly worked at every price point, offering custom monuments that collectively testify to his skill and endless creativity.

Clarence Best is just one of North Carolina’s unsung vernacular artists. These samples are a tribute to  the breadth of his work:

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  • James Brody Artis, died 1963. June S. Artis cemetery, Eureka, Wayne County. GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN.
  • George and Beulah Best, died undated and 1972. William Artis cemetery, Eureka, Wayne County.
  • William and Mary Kittrell, died 1952 and 1947. Masonic cemetery, Wilson. Likely a repurposed machine-etched stone. Not uncommonly, Best was off with his spacing estimates for lettering and here had to squeeze in the H. for William Kittrell’s middle initial.
  • Ben Hart, died 1951. Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson. Modern asymmetric concrete slab inset with etched black glass.
  • Virginia Hooks, died 1972. Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson. Virginia Hooks and her mother Donella died within months of one another. The shapes of their stones differ, but the style is much the same — name, dates, and a long epitaph. For Virginia, some extra verbiage crept in: WE MISS YOU NOW OUR HEARTS ARE SORE AS TIMES GOES BY WE MISS YOU NOW OUR HEARTS ARE SORE AS TIMES GOES BY WE WILL MISS YOU MORE. YOUR LOVING SMILES AN GENTLE FACE. NO ONE CAN FILL YOUR SPACE.
  • Donella Hooks, died  1972. Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson. TO SOME, SHE MAY BE FORGOTTEN/ TO OTHERS, JUST PART OF THE PAST/ BUT TO THOSE WHO LOVED AND LOST HER/ HER MEMORIES WILL ALWAYS LAST/ JUST A CLUSTER OF BEAUTIFUL LOVE SPRAYED WITH A MILLION TEARS/ WISHING GOD COULD HAVE SPARED HER/ FOR JUST A FEW MORE YEARS. (The last line shoe-horned in.)
  • Jacob Edwards, died 1950. Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson.
  • Archie Harris, died 1935. Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson. WE LOVED YOU BUT GOD LOVED HIM BEST.
  • Matthew and Lillian Williams, died 1968 and 1975. Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson. Pink granite was an unusual medium for Best. Names engraved on the front. On the back, astonishing and enigmatic carvings. Depending from banners, two large peaches (hearts?) carved with a plump fish for Lillian and a rifle for Matthew.

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  • Henry and Mamie Lucas, died 1942 and 1962. Masonic cemetery, Wilson. A rather plain piece with lettering somewhat rougher than usual.
  • Charles and Gertrude Jones, died 1963 and 1968. Masonic cemetery, Wilson. All Best’s main motifs — extra deeply incised family name, flowers, decorative border and religious epitaph.
  • Maggie Ellis, died 1964. Hilliard Ellis cemetery, Wilson. Dogwood design at top center.
  • Daisy Price, died 1965. Elm City colored cemetery. Extraordinary piece with stylized angel.
  • Dewey Gaston, died 1946. Elm City colored cemetery. A unique lily of the valley motif, symbolizing Christ’s second coming.
  • Link Bell, died 1959. Pyatts Chapel A.M.E. church cemetery, Edgecombe County. This oddly proportioned marker was perhaps the recycled top half of a broken slab.
  • Clarence Winstead, died 1968. Bethel A.M.E.Z. church cemetery, Stantonsburg.
  • Lucy Edwards, died 1971. Bethel A.M.E.Z. church cemetery, Stantonsburg. An apparently recycled marker, as tablet seems to have been chiseled clean.
  • Lucille Ellis, died 1964. Bethel A.M.E.Z. church cemetery, Stantonsburg. A heart engraved with a dainty ‘LOVE’ depending from a dogwood flower.

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  • Fannie Newsome, died 1960. William Artis cemetery, Eureka, Wayne County.
  • Ada Artis Rowe, died 1964. William Artis cemetery, Eureka, Wayne County. Unusual ablet in the form of a closed book.
  • Sarah Artis Speight, died 1950. Artis Town cemetery, Greene County.
  • Ruel and Louise Bullock, died 1969 and 1968. Masonic cemetery, Wilson. Masonic and Eastern Star emblems.
  • Malissia Hill, died 1929. Masonic cemetery, Wilson. An early model, the tails of the 9’s are rounded. Off-center epitaph.
  • Betty J. Levy, died 1975. Masonic cemetery, Wilson. Marble plaque inset into brick. Among Best’s last works.
  • Addie W. Taylor, died 1963. Masonic cemetery, Wilson.
  • Rev. R.J. Young, died 1933. Masonic cemetery, Wilson. Masonic emblem.
  • Short W. Barnes, died 1943. Masonic cemetery. A delicate cross top center.

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  • John and Mary Hogans, died 1951 and undated. Elmwood cemetery, Goldsboro, Wayne County. In God we trust, and a cross sprouting leaves.
  • Henry Sharper, died 1945. Elm City colored cemetery. Bird in tympanum (symbolizing eternal life) perhaps machine-cut. Veteran of World War I.
  • William H. Hall Sr., died 1925. Bethel A.M.E.Z. Church cemetery, Stantonsburg. One of the earliest stones, before Best settled in on the pointed 9’s.
  • Georgina Hall, died 1933. Bethel A.M.E.Z. church Cemetery, Stantonsburg. A tiny off-center cross leans curiously atop the tablet.
  • Edward Newsome, died 1956. Fremont colored cemetery, Fremont, Wayne County.
  • Milton and Nora Reid, died 1961 and 1965. Turner Swamp Baptist Church cemetery, Eureka, Wayne County.
  • Locus. Turner Swamp Baptist Church cemetery, Eureka, Wayne County. Perhaps a repurposed machine-cut stone. (The scroll at top is not Best’s work.) The incised trapezoid below the deeply cut tablet is unusual.
  • Walter M. Foster, died 1928. Rountree cemetery, Wilson. A fine early work framed in delicate florals with an epitaph whose freehand font diminishes in size.
  • Gus and Cora Armstrong. Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson. Bizarrely proportioned lines of lettering.

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In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Benjamin Best, wife Eliza, and children Virgin N., Mildred, Junius, Sopremia, Benjamin, Corinthia, Remantha, Olian, and Clarence. Benjamin and Eliza reported having been married 25 years, and Eliza reported that 10 of the 12 children she had borne were living.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: widow Eliza Best, 53, with children Junius, 29, Rematha, 20, Allen, 18, and Clarence, 16, plus grandchildren Suprema, 5, and Martha A., 3.

On 24 January 1917, Clarence Best, 22, of Wilson township, son of Benjamin and Eliza Best, and Geneva Smith, 22, of Gardners township, daughter of Henry and Mahala Smith, were married in Gardners township by C.H. Hagans, a Primitive Baptist minister. Fred Woodard, John Barnes and Len Woodard witnessed.

Clarence Best registered for the World War I draft on 5 June 1917. He reported that he was born 22 October 1894 in Wayne County, North Carolina; that he resided at RFD #4, Box 4, Wilson; and that he worked as a stone rubber at Wilson Marble Mantle & Tile Company. He claimed that he supported his wife and his mother and her two grandchildren. He was described as medium height and build, with brown eyes and black hair.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Saratoga Road, marble cutter Clarence Best, 26, wife Geneva, 26, and son Clarence H., 1, plus Eliza Best, 68, Martha Ann Best, 11, and Suprema Hooks, 11. Next door, Junius Best, 38, wagon factory assembly man, wife Mary A., 27, and children Mary Olivia, 2, and Colonius, 4 months.

Eliza Best died 1 September 1929 in Wilson of “injury of rt. leg; cut her leg on a piece of tin.” She resided at 1310 East Nash Street, Wilson, and was the widow of Benjamin Best. She was about 64 years old and had been born in Wilson County to Jim Ellis and Zannie Applewhite. She was buried in Rountree cemetery; Clarence Best was informant.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 203 East Nash Street, marble works polisher Clearance Best, 37, wife Geneva, 37, and son Clearance, 11. Nearby: wagon factory laborer Junious Best, 47, wife Mary, 39, and children Mary, 12, Colanelus, 11, Mattie, 7, and Rematha, 2.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: marble dresser Clarence Best, 46, wife Geneva, 46, and son Clarence H. Best, 21, tobacco stemmer, plus nephew Frank Brake, 14.

In 1943, Clarence Herman Best registered for the World War II draft. He reported his home address as 1306 East Nash Street, Wilson; his date of birth as 3 October 1918; and his closest relative as Clarence Benjamin Best, his father. His employer was Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Genevia Smith Best died 23 September 1969 in Wilson. Per her death certificate , she was born 19 August 1896 to William Henry Smith and Martha (last name unknown.) She was buried at Rest Haven cemetery; Clarence Best was informant.

Clarence B. Best died 18 November 1980 in Wilson. The double headstone he had created after his wife’s burial — with extra pointy 9’s, a cross, and a slighty too-long epitaph — awaited his death date as a final entry. When the time came, it was, of course, incised perfectly by machine.

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Be honest & true. Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.

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Wilson Daily Times, 23 May 1951.

All photos by Lisa Y. Henderson.

 

Wootten & Stevens, pt. 5.

In 1977, the late Hugh B. Johnston abstracted a newly discovered volume of the records of Wootten and Stevens, the earliest undertaking firm in Wilson County. The result, Funeral Register of Wootten and Stevens, Undertakers of Wilson, North Carolina, November 18, 1896-June 27, 1899 is an unpublished manuscript held at Wilson County Public Library. This post is the fifth in a series abstracting the abstract for entries naming African-Americans.

  • Hardy, Thomas. Wilson. Colored. Died 6 February 1897, age 55. Attended by Dr. T.B. Person. Length 6′. Cost $10. Billed to C.G. Wells. Buried in Joshua Barnes cemetery. (Page 32)
  • High, ______. Taylor’s township. Colored. Died 18 March 1899. Child of John High. Length 2’6″. Buried in Hilliard Ellis cemetery. Cost $3. (Page 438)
  • Hill, Edgar. Wilson. Colored. Died 20 October 1897, age 16 years, of consumption. Son of Henrietta Hill and brother of Richard Norwood‘s wife. Cost $23. Funeral at home. Burial at Oak Dale cemetery. Attended by Dr. B.T, Person. (Page 151)
  • Hines, Mamy. Wilson. Colored. Died 10 March 1899, age 1 year 1 month. Length 2’6″. Buried at W.H. Farmer cemetery. Attended by Dr. Albert Anderson. Cost $1.50. (Page 434)
  • Jackson, Rosa. Wilson. Colored. Died 5 July 1898, age 10 months, of cholera infantum. Child of Jos. S. Jackson. Attended by Dr. N.B. Herring. Length 2’6″. Funeral at home. Buried colored Oakdale cemetery. Cost $10. (Page 285)
  • Jeffreys, Mattie. Wilson. Colored. Died 24 July 1898, aged 7 years, of brain fever. Attended by Dr. Jones. Length 4′. Cost $7. Billed to W.T. Clark. “This girl was taken in to raise by Mr. Clark’s mother when very small and the whole family thought a great deal of her. She is the only colored person ever put in Maplewood.” (Page 289)
  • Jenkins, Annie Monite. Wilson. Colored. Died 20 May 1899, aged 24 years, of consumption. Daughter of Monite Jenkins. Attended by Dr. N.B. Herring. Length 5’6″. Buried Oak Dale cemetery. Cost $2.25. Billed to Wilson County. (Page 471)
  • Jones, Estelle. Wilson. Colored. Died 20 December 1896, age 9 months of fever. Length 2’9″. Buried at colored cemetery. Cost $5.50. (Page 10)
  • Jones, Gillie. Wilson. Colored. Died 31 October 1897, age 51 years, of bowel consumption. Wife of Alex Jones. Funeral at home. Buried at Oakdale cemetery. Cost $25. (Page 156)
  • Jones, Kesiah. Old Fields township. Colored. Died 21 August 1898, aged 38, of consumption. Wife of Thomas A. Jones. Length 5’9″. Cost $15. Buried in Jones Hill cemetery. (Page 305)
  • Jones, Nettie Vick. Wilson. Colored. Died __ August 1897. Daughter of Daniel Vick. Cost $25. “Murdered by her husband Wilson Jones.” (Page 124)

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Raleigh Gazette, 11 September 1897.

  • Jordan, Ned. Wilson. Colored. Died 2 February 1898, age 65 years. Father of Charlotte Aycock. Length 6′. Cost $15. Buried in colored cemetery. (Page 202)
  • Knight, _____. Wilson. Colored. Died 18 December 1897, of consumption. Length 6″. Cost $2.50. Billed to F.W. Barnes. (Page 184)
  • Lindsey, Frank. Wilson. Colored. Died 31 December 1898, age 27, of dropsy. Attended by Dr. Paschal. Length 6′. Funeral at home. Buried at Oakdale cemetery. Billed to William Lindsey. (Page 399)
  • Mabry, James. Wilson. Colored. Died 15 June 1897, of consumption. Buried in colored cemetery. Cost $10. Bill to L.A. Moore. (Page 84)
  • Matthews, Tom. Wilson. Colored. Died 28 May 1899, age 37 years. Length 5’9″. Attended by Dr. C.E. Moore. Buried in colored cemetery. Cost $4. Billed to Town of Wilson. “Killed by Policeman George Mumford in the discharge of his duty. Coroner’s Inquest gave the above verdict.” (Page 476)
  • Messick, James. Wilson. Colored. Died __ September 1898. Length 6′. Cost $7.50. County Commissioners paid $2. (Page 338)
  • Mobley, ____. Wilson. Colored. Died 16 March 1899, of consumption. Father of Jane Mobley. Length 5’9″. Cost $10. Attended by Dr. Albert Anderson. Billed to John T. Williams.(Page 437)
  • Mobley, Isaac. Wilson. Colored. Died 4 March 1899, age 21 years, of consumption. Buried in Oakdale cemetery. Cost $11. Billed to F.A. Woodard.(Page 430)
  • Moore, ____. Wilson. Colored. Died 17 January 1898, age 1 day. Grandchild of Pennie Moore. Length 2’4″. Cost $3. (Page 197)
  • Moore, ____. Wilson. Colored. Died 23 July 1898. Wife of Andrew Moore. Length 5’6″. Cost $10. Attended by Dr. Albert Anderson. Buried in colored cemetery.
  • Moore, ____. Wilson. Colored. Died 25 August 1898. Child of Henry Moore. Length 2’9″. Funeral in Methodist church. Buried in colored cemetery. Cost $15. (Page 313)
  • Moore, ____. Wilson. Colored. Died 17 September 1898, age 5 days. Length 2′. Cost $3. Billed to Pennie Moore. (Page 197)
  • Moore, Lelia. Wilson. Colored. Died 6 February 1897, age 3 months, of a severe cold. Length 2′. Buried in Oak Dale cemetery. Cost $3.50. Billed to Bryant Moore.

 

Cemeteries, no. 5: Elm City Colored Cemetery.

  • Winnie Rice Latham

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On 15 March 1875, Isham Latham, 19, married Winnie Rice, 20, at the home of W.W. Farmer, justice of the peace. Mundy Hardy, Lewis Hardy and Red Winsted witnessed the ceremony.

On 24 May 1890, Winnie Latham, 30, and James Gray Locus, 23, applied for a marriage license in Wilson County. They did not return it.

However, in the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: wagoneer James Locus, 35; wife Winnie, 42, cook; her children Corra, 22, cook, Wiley, 17, carriage driver, Roser, 16, cook, and John, 14, waiting boy; and their son Wiley G., 2. [Though listed as Locuses, Winnie’s children were Lathams.]

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on East Main Street, widow Winnie Locus, 47, laundress, with sons Johnie, 24, railroad laborer, and Willie, 14.

  • Charlie Armstrong

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In the 1870 census of Upper Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: farm laborer Wright Barnes, 54, Lucinda Armstrong, 31, and Charles, 7, Ann, 5, Shade, 16, and Goddin Armstrong, 7.

In the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Lizette Armstrong, 51, Lucinda, 41, Charley L., 16, Gray Anna, 13, and Shadrick, 10.

On 24 June 1886, in Toisnot township, Charles Armstrong, 23, married Marie Mitchell, 19, in the presence of Lula Johnson, Hattie Credle, and T. Blackley.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: railroad laborer Charles Armstrong, 37, wife Alice, 30, and children Maggie, 14, Lena, 11, William, 5, and Paul, 2.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Elm City Lane, Charlie Armstrong, 45, a laborer at a railroad water station; wife Alice, 43, laundress; children Maggie, 23, Walter, 15, Gaston, 11, Earnest, 8, Harvey, 6, Sissie, 4, Buster, 2, and baby, 3 months, as well as sister-in-law Lina Saunders, 21, and grandson Jasper Armstrong, 8 months.

In the 1920 census of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Tailor Street, Charlie Armstrong, 68, wife Allice, 50, and children and grandchildren Maggie, 30, Walter, 24, Gaston, 21, Harvey, 18, Annie, 13, Buster, 11, Gray, 8, Fred, 6, Lucie, 5, and Clifton, 3.

In the 1930 census of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: Charlie Armstrong, 70, wife Alice, 60, children and grandchildren Gaston, 27, Lawrence, 20, Gray, 23, Annie, 18, and Fred Armstrong, 16, and Lucille, 16, and Clifton McFadden, 15.

  • Thomas & Venus Drake

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In late December 1867 or very early January 1868, Thomas Drake, son of Thomas Avent and Lucinda Drake, applied for a marriage in Wilson to marry Venis Armstrong, daughter of Mary Armstrong. The license was not returned.

In the 1880 census of Town of Toisnot, Wilson County: railroad worker Thomas Drake, 34, wife Venus, 28, and children Jane, 9, Isaac, 7, John T., 3, and an unnamed infant, 1 month.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Tom Drake, 65, wife Venus, 62, and  daughter Pearl, 10.

Though her marriage license reported her surname as Armstrong, Venus’ death certificate lists her parents as Amos and Mary Braswell of Edgecombe County.

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  • Fortune Farmer Jones Joyner Bailey

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Washington Farmer, 43, wife Wady, 44, children Edith, 14, Fortin, 13, Gimsey, 11, John W., 8, Nancy, 6, and Orgius, 6, and farm laborer Nelson Thomas, 21.

On 3 December 1874, Stephen T. Jones, 21, married Fortune Farmer, 19, at Wash Farmer’s in Wilson County. Witnesses were Alex Jones, John H. Jones, and Eli Mercer.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Stephen T. Jones, 25, wife Fortune, 22, and children Susan, 4, and Tempy A., 2.

On 13 April 1884, Henry Joyner, 20, married Fortune Jones, 21, at Washington Farmer’s. Witnesses were G.D. Vick, Isial Williamson and Joseph Ricks. (Marriage and death records reveal that Henry and Fortune had at least one child, William Thomas Joyner, about 1884.)

The death certificate of widow Susie Dawes, who died in Toisnot township, Wilson County, on 26 July 1929, lists Stephen Jones and Fortnea Bailey as her parents. Dawes was born about 1874 in Jones Hill, Nash County. Fortnea Bailey was informant.

  • Isaac Rodgers

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In the 1880 census of Jackson township, Nash County: farmer Isaac Rodgers, 28, wife Alice, 28, and children Mary E., 6, Cinda E., 4, William A., 4, and Della, 1 month.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Gooch and Parkers School House Road, farmer Isaac Rodgers, 53, wife Alice, 50, and children Bettie, 21, Nat, 19, Henry, 16, Willie, 13, and Susie, 13.

Isaac Rodgers died 9 December 1916 in Rocky Mount, Nash County. His death certificate lists his birthplace as Johnston County, and his father as Ace Rogers.

  • Emily Shaffer

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In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: house carpenter Quincey Shaffer, 45, wife Jennie, 43, and mother Emma, 78.

Emily (or Emma) Shaffer’s death certificate lists her birthplace as Edgecombe County and her parents as Abram Mears and Bekie Sharp.

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  • Arch Stallings

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In the 1870 census of Cedar Rock township, Franklin County: Gray Stallings, 28, wife Fanny, 25, children Arch, 19, Cas, 7, Amanda, 5, Sidney, 2, and mother Matilda Stallings, 60.

On 25 February 1875, in Nash County, Arch Stallings, 30, married Phillis Evans, 18, at Lewis Evans’.

In the 1900 census of Cokey township, Edgecombe County: Arch Stallings, 42, wife Phillys, 38, and daughter Fannie, 12.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Arch Stallings, 59, and wife Phillis, 53.

Arch Stallings died 2 April 1918 in Rocky Mount, Nash County. Informant Dossie Lucas gave Arch’s birthplace as Wayne County.

  • Ned Winstead

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In the 1870 census of Joyners township, Wilson County: domestic servant Anna Oats, 28, and Milly, 18, Ned, 13, and Clara Batts, 12, plus John Batts, 22, a white liquor dealer.

In the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farm laborer Fannie Parker, 51, her daughter Martha, 28, grandchildren Julius S., 10, and Joseph W., 4, and nephew Ned Winstead, 22.

On 29 December 1889, Ned Winstead, 28, married Ann Edwards, 23, at Jim Chisel’s in Wilson County. W.W. Flowers, justice of the peace, performed the ceremony in the presence of J.M. Joyner and James Chisel.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot, Wilson County: farmer Ned Winstead, 42, wife Annie, 38, and children Hubbard, 12, James H., 10, Maggie N., 8, Lizzie V., 4, and William N.D., 2.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot, Wilson County: on State Highway, farmer Ned Winstead, 52, wife Annie, 47, and children Maggie, 18, Lizzie, 14, Daniel, 12, John, 9, Lee, 6, and Bryant, 4.

In the 1920 census of Toisnot, Wilson County: on State Highway, farmer Ned Winstead, 58, wife Annie, 50, and children Maggie, 23, John, 18, and Bryant, 13, plus granddaughter Annie Bell, 9.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: widowed farmer Ned Winstead, 60, son-in-law Tom Wilcher, 48 (a Georgia-born railroad laborer), daughter Maggie Wilcher, 37, son-in-law Carl Fenner, 23, daughter Lizzie Fenner, 33, and granddaughter Annie B. Fenner, 19.

Ned Winstead’s death certificate lists his parents as Iseley Winstead of Nash County and George Hardy (or Handy).

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  • Rev. Junius R. Rosser   

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On 8 September 1888, in Edgecombe County, Julius Rosser, 22, applied for a license to marry Mary Dunn, 16. The license was not returned.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: brick molder Junius Rosser, 35, Mary, 29, children Willie, 10, and Blanch, 3, father Daniel, 70, and [step?]mother Clarry, 40.

On 20 May 1903, Elm City resident Junius R. Rosser, 37, married Toisnot township resident Elizabeth Farmer, 32. Baptist minister Isaac Barnes performed the ceremony in the presence of William T. Armstrong, John R. Barnes and J. Staton.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Church Street, servant Junius Roser, 47, second wife Lizzie, 36, and children Danile, 4, Annie, 2, and Bennie, 7 months.

In 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Elm City & Wilson Road, farmer Junius Rosser, 59, Lizzie, 46, and children Daniel, 14, Annie, 12, Bennie, 10, and Lizzie, 8, plus boarder Mary Howard, 19.

In the 1940 census of Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Wilson Street, Bennie Rosser, 30, farmer, wife Cleo, 30, cook, father Junius, 79, mother Elizabeth, 69, and niece Florence A., 7.

——

From the Minutes of the 9 September 2014 Elm City Town Commissioners’ Meeting, item 5:

  • Shirley Robinson, mother of Shelley Knight, presented the Board with her concern over the cemetery located behind Nexans. She is interested in knowing who the property belongs to, and who is the responsible party.  Mayor Smith told Ms. Knight that although the Town mows the property, that it doesn’t belong to the Town. Wilson County has the owners as the Elm City Colored Cemetery Commission; therefore ownership belongs to the heirs of the Commission. He suggested that letters be sent to the heirs of previous Commission owners, in an effort to reform the Commission. He offered help from Admin. Russell regarding genealogical research.

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Cemeteries, no. 4: New Vester Baptist Church cemetery.

As discussed here, New Vester is one of the oldest extant African-American congregations in Wilson County. Its large, well-maintained cemetery holds the remains of several men and women born prior to the Civil War.

  • Richard J. and Lucy Boykin Jones

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Lucy Boykin, daughter of George and Mary Boykin, married Richard Jones on 8 September 1870 at minister J.J. Wilson’s. In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Jones, 35; wife Lucy, 25; and children Catharine, 8, James R., 7, Louisa, 4, Geneva, 3, and Rosa L., 10 months; plus mother-in-law Mary Boykin, 45. In the 1900 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Jones, 65; wife Lucy, 52; sister Cherry, 50; granddaughter Annie, 9; brother Joseph Huston, 50, and nephew Weston Huston, 25.

  • Gray and Eliza Shaw Bailey

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In the 1870 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: Thomas Shaw, 36, wife Katy, 37, and children Frances, 16, Eliza, 14, Fox, 12, David, 11, Martha, 4, and Mary, 2.

In the 1900 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Gray Bailey, 56; wife Elizer, 44; children Annie, 14, Bessie, 11, Thomas, 5, and Catharine, 10 months, plus daughter Polly Taburn, 28, and her children Miley, 5, Burnis, 2, Earnest, 2, and Lillian, 6 months. In the 1910 census of Old Fields township: Gray Bailey, 65, wife Eliza, 54, and children and grandchildren Thomas, 14, Miley, 14, Katie, 10, Annie, 26, Curtis A., 4, and Samuel, 2.

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  • Gray Hinnant

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Gray Hinnant, son of Martha Williamson, married Tama [Tamar] Hinnant, daughter of M. and Alley Hinnant, on 19 February 1895 at Thomas Hinnant’s. Witnesses were Rosker [Roscoe] F. Hinnant, Columbus Deans and Ransom Taylor. In the 1900 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Gray Hinnant, 48, wife Taimmer, 36, and children Emma, 17, Jarvis, 12, Lula, 8, Edwin, 16, and Arthur, 13. In the 1910 census of Old Fields: Gray Hinnant, 56, Taimer, 45, son-in-law Sefare Hinnant, and grandchildren Clinton, 6, and Kennie, 4. In the 1920 census of Old Fields: Gray Hinnant, 65, and wife Tamar, 55, on Old Wilson and Raleigh Road.

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  • Daniel Taylor

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In the 1850 census of Nash County: Willie Locust, 26, Eveline, 7, Arnol, 6, Rachel, 3, and Daniel Locust, 7 months.

In the 1860 census of Sullivants district, Nash County: in the household of white farmer William Rentfro, Evaline, 18, William, 16, Rachael, 14, and Daniel Locus, 10.

In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Daniel Locust, 21.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Daniel Locust, 32, wife Lucinda, 25, and children Mary, 8, and James R., 5.

In the 1900 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Daniel Taylor, 56, wife Lucinda, 43, and children Ardellis, 18, Willie T., 17, Joseph, 15, Martha, 12, Allis, 10, and Jesse, 6. In the 1910 census of Old Fields township: widower Daniel Taylor, 55, listed as a hired man in the household of white farmer Reuben Pittman. In the 1920 census of Old Fields: Daniel Taylor 70, with grandson Alvin Perry, 8.

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Harry Dunston married Mary Stancil on 28 December 1897 on Oneal township, Johnston County. In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Harry Dunston, 58, his wife of 6 years Livia A., 46, and children James, 10, Pearly, 7, Percy, 7, Alparada, 3, and Ollie, 1 1/2. (Close by, the family of Gray and Eliza Bailey.) His wife Livan, daughter of Best and Clara Locus Taborn, died 29 April 1947 and is buried at New Vester. Harry Dunston’s death lists his birthplace as Wake County and his parents as Ben Dunston and Harriett Hester.

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  • Silvia Mariah Deans

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In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Sylvia Deans, 46, with children Jane, 11, Simon, 9, and Columbus Deans, 6. [Silvia Deans apparently was not married. The marriage and death records of her sons John Simon and Columbus name their father as Jordan O’Neal, who appears in the 1870 and 1880 censuses of Wilson County in Spring Hill township.] In the 1900 census of Old Fields township: Columbus Deans, 23, wife Rosa L., 22, children Silvanes, 3, and Gray C., 1, and mother Silva Deans, 54. Next door: John Deans, 28, wife Ada P., 23, and grandmother Emily Taylor, 75. In the 1920 census of Old Fields township: Columbus B. Deans, 44; wife Rosa Lee, 41; children Savanah, 22, Gray C., 20, Allinor, 17, Walter Kelley, 16, Bennie H., 14, William T., 12, James K., 10, George L., 9, and Lucy J., 7; grandchildren Ella W., 6, and Lossie Lee, 3; and mother Sylvion Deans, 74. In the 1930 census of Old Fields: Columbus B. Deans, 54; wife Rosa L., 52; children and grandchildren James K., 21, Lucy J., 17, Ella W., 16, Lossie L., 13, Jessie, 8, Willie, 4, and Callie, 2; and mother Silvia Deans, 84.

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  • Angeline Hinnant

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In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Randall Hinnant, 33, Angeline, 26, and children J. Thomas, 10, James H., 8, Lilly Ann, 6, and Roscoe F. Hinnant, 4. In the 1900 census of Spring Hill township, Wilson County: Randall Hinnant, 55, Angeline, 48, George W., 16, Sallie A., 14, Survayal, 5, and “hired girl” Susan Hinnant, 40. In the 1910 census of Old Fields township: George Hinnant, 24, wife Elizabeth, 22, daughter Mary L., 1, mother Angeline, 58, and Percy Hinnant, 7. In the 1920 census of Old Fields: George Hinnant, 35, Elizabeth, 30, Mary L., 11, James, 9, Mary Lee, 7, Martha May, 6, and Charlie T. Hinnant, 1, and mother Angeline Hinnant, 70.

  • Alonzo Terrell

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In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Alonzo Terrell, 35, wife Jane, 30, and children Mariah, 15, John, 10, Mary, 7, Ellis, 4, Andrew, 2, and an unnamed infant, 1 month.

Wootten & Stevens, pt. 4.

In 1977, the late Hugh B. Johnston abstracted a newly discovered volume of the records of Wootten and Stevens, the earliest undertaking firm in Wilson County. The result, Funeral Register of Wootten and Stevens, Undertakers of Wilson, North Carolina, November 18, 1896-June 27, 1899 is an unpublished manuscript held at Wilson County Public Library. This post is the fourth in a series abstracting the abstract for entries naming African-Americans.

  • Cooper, Rachel. Wilson. Colored. Died 7 August 1898, age 65 years, of old age. Length 6′. Cost $2.25. Billed to County Commissioners. Burial in Green Lassiter cemetery. (Page 297)
  • Craig, ______. Little Richmond. Colored. Died 20 December 1896. Length 5’9″. Buried at colored cemetery. Attended by Dr. Albert Anderson. Cost $20. “Was shot on Sunday night said to be by negro Albert Tucker.” (Page 11)
  • Crosland, Mabel. Wilson. Colored. Died 8 January 1897, age 4 years 10 months, of accidental burns. Attended by Dr. Albert Anderson. Length 4′. Buried colored cemetery. Cost $8. Paid by Joseph S. Jackson. (Page 18)
  • Darden, Olive Oleta. Wilson. Colored. Died 6 April 1898, age 5 months 11 days, of bronchitis. Attended by Dr. Williams. Daughter of Charlie and Diana Darden. Length 2’6″. Cost $8. Funeral and burial at Oak Dale cemetery. (Page 228)
  • Deans, Barney. Near Wilson. Colored. Died 8 February 1898, of dropsy. Certified by Bob Paschall. Length 5’9″. Cost $4.50. Billed to J.C. Hadley & Co. (Page 206)
  • Dew, Edith. Taylor’s township. Colored. Died 10 October 1897, of consumption, age 30 years. Daughter of Viah Dew. Length 5’9″. Billed to Wiley Dew. Buried in Bat Thompson cemetery. (Page 147)
  • Dew, Oscar Cornelius. Lucama. Colored. Died 18 October 1898, age 10 1/2 months. Cost $2.75. Billed to C.D. Dew. Burial in W.H. Lamm cemetery. (Page 361)
  • Ellis, _____. Near Wilson. Colored. Died 7 February 1898, aged 21 days. Great-grandchild of Hilyard Ellis. Length 2′. Cost $3. (Page 205)
  • Ellis, Warren. Nash County. Colored. Died 25 October 1898, age 25 years, of yellow chill. Son of Hilliard Ellis. Attended by Drs. Brantley and Williams. Length 5’9″. Cost $15. Funeral in Baptist Church [probably Ellis Chapel]. Burial in old homestead cemetery. (Page  363)
  • Farmer, _____. Near Wilson. Colored. Died 24 April 1897, of a cold. Age 9 months. Length 2’4″. Cost $1.25. Billed to Charles Hagan. Buried in James Woodard cemetery. (Page 63)
  • Farmer, _____. Wilson. Colored. Died 14 January 1899, of croup. Age 3 months. Length 2’6″. Cost $5. Billed to John Wash Farmer. Buried in Oakdale cemetery. (Page 406)
  • Farmer, Hattie. Wilson. Colored. Died 9 March 1899, age 22 years, of pneumonia. Attended by Dr. Albert Anderson. Length 5’9″. Cost $8. Buried at Nashville, N.C. (Page 433)
  • Flora, Mourning. Wilson. Colored. Died 6 June 1899, age 9 months. Length 3′. Cost $3. Billed to W.H. Farmer. (Page 481)
  • Forsythe, Anna. Cross Roads Township. Colored. Died 7 September 1898, age 22 years. Attended by Dr. Hoover. Length 5’9″. Cost $15. Buried in Cross Roads township. (Page 323)
  • Fort, Prony. Near Wilson. Colored. Died 13 January 1899, age 65 years. Attended by Dr. W.S. Anderson. Length 5’9″. Cost $10. Billed to Calvin Fort through Bun Barefoot. Buried in Wayne County. (Page 405)
  • Freeman, James. Wilson. Colored. Died 21 May 1899, age 29 years 2 months 10 days, of consumption. Length 6′. Cost $10. Billed to Annie Tisdale. Buried in colored cemetery. (Page 469)
  • Gaffney, Andrew. Wilson. Colored. Died 6 January 1898. Length 6′. Cost $10. Billed to brother William Gotny [Gaffney]. Buried in colored cemetery.
  • Gay, Adaline. Near Wilson. Colored. Died 20 July 1897, of whooping cough and fever. Length 4′. Cost $3.25. Billed to Stephen Morriss. Funeral at Ellis Chapel. Burial in F.W. Barnes (Moore) cemetery. (Page 105)
  • Green, Della. Wilson Jail. Colored. Died 28 March 1899, age 33 years. “Died in Jail charged with infanticide.” Length 5’9″. Cost $2.25. Billed to County Commissioners. Burial in Poor House cemetery.