Gladys S. Haskins, 100.

Gladys S. Haskins, 100, of 1603 Kincaid Ave E-4, Wilson, NC died Thursday at Wilson Medical Center. The funeral will be held Tuesday at 12 noon at Wilson Chapel FWB Church, 513 E. Barnes St. Wilson, NC with Bishop Robert Gorham officiating. Interment will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery. Public viewing will be held Monday from 2-7 pm at Edwards Funeral Home. The family will meet and greet friends from 11:00 am to 12 noon on Tuesday at the church. Family and friends will assemble at the residence at 10:00 am on Tuesday for the funeral procession. Professional and personal services are entrusted to EDWARDS FUNERAL HOME, 805 E. Nash Street Wilson, NC Condolences may be directed to edwardscares.com.

Obituary online.


On 24 December 1927, Nathan Haskins, 30, of Wilson, married Gladys Simon, 19, of Wilson, in Wilson. Witnesses were J.W. Joyner, S. Hinnant and M. Goodman.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 702 East Green Street, Addie Haskin, 50, widowed cook; daughters Martha, 20, teacher, and Addie, 19; daughter-in-law Gladis, 19; and son Nathan, 32, tobacco factory cooper.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 721 Viola Street, Nathan Haskins, 42, tobacco factory cooper; wife Gladys, 29, tobacco factory stemmer; and mother Addie, 67, a servant.

Elnora C. Dawson, 101.

Elnora Dawson, 101, a resident of Hunter Hill Nursing Home and formerly of 313 Freeman Street, Wilson, NC died March 2, 2015. The funeral will be held Saturday at 12 noon at Olive Chapel Baptist Church, Hwy 301 South, 3406 Hathaway Blvd., Sharpsburg, NC with Rev. Jimmy Williams officiating. Interment will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery Wilson, NC. Public viewing will be Friday from 2 to 7pm at the funeral home with the family receiving friends from 6 to 7pm. Family and friends are requested to assemble on Saturday at the residence, 313 Freeman St., Wilson, NC, at 11:00am for the funeral procession to the church. Professional and personal services are entrusted to EDWARDS FUNERAL HOME, 805 E. Nash Street, Wilson, NC. Condolences may be directed to edwardscares.com.

Obituary online.


Elnora Cotton Dawson (1914-2015).

In the 1930 census of Upper Town Creek township, Edgecombe County, North Carolina: farmer James Cotton, 52; wife Mattie, 42; and children Leroy, 17, Elnora, 16, Essie M., 13, Sabra A., 11, and Addie M., 9.

In the 1940 census of Upper Town Creek township, Edgecombe County, North Carolina: farmer Jim Cotton, 62; wife Mattie, 58; and children Lee Roy, 28, Elnora, 26, Essie Mae, 24, Sabrer Ann, 22, and Alta Mae, 20; and sister Bettie Cotton, 67.

On 28 October 1946, Elnora Cotton, 32 , of Sharpsburg, North Carolina, daughter of Jim and Mattie Cotton, married Frank Lee Dawson, 28, of Norfolk, Virginia, son of Vanderbilt and Carrie Dawson, in Tarboro, Edgecombe County. [Frank Lee Dawson registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 19 August 1919 in Wilson; resided at R.F.D. 3, Box 275, Wilson; his contact was his mother, Harrit Dawson of Wilson; and he worked for R.P. Watson Tobacco Company, Wilson.]

On 31 July 1987, Frank Lee Dawson died in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 19 October 1918 in Wilson to Vanderbilt Dawson and Harriet Woodard; resided at 313 Freeman Street; was married; and had worked as a ship mechanic.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user diann_dawson.

Dedicated to Jennie R. Shaffer.


Has Been Dedicated to


Who Was 100 Years Old on May 8, 1973


ELM CITY — Mrs. Jennie Ransome Shaffer of Elm City, who celebrates her 100th birthday today, was the honored guest of Elm City Sunday during Wilson’s Sunday in the Park festivities.

Mrs. Shaffer, who was born on May 8, 1873 in Enfield, moved to Elm City when she was town years old. She lives alone and still does all of her own cooking, washing and ironing. During her long life she  has been a farmer and a house cleaner. While her hearing is not what it used to be, her eyesight is still good, and she still walks without aid, but limits her walking to a half-mile area.

Elm City, celebrating its 100th birthday this year, sponsored a Centennial display in Wilson Sunday and featured an old covered wagon belonging to Grady Jackson. The background for the display was a red, white and blue sign reading “Elm City Centennial 1873-1973,” and was flanked by the American flag and North Carolina state flag.

The Dixie Land Band and the Elm City High School Band furnished music during the afternoon, while Mrs. Louise Winstead, Hester Tyson, Aquilla Parker, Nancy Mitchell, Nancy Johnson, Ruth Davis, Mary Lou Doles, Joyce Hawley and Pat Humphrey, all in Centennial dress, entertained with “Songs of Yesterday.”

Miss Ocie Batts, chairman of the Elm City Centennial, said that Police Chief Isaac Kirby, Commissioner Lynwood Sharpe and Lloyd Webb restored the covered wagon for the event.

— Elm City Centennial Committee,  Elm City North Carolina Centennial 1873-1973.


In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: laborer Joe Q. Shawfer, 35; wife  Jennie, 43, cook; son Howard,12; and daughter-in-law(?) Jennie, 8.

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

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: town laborer Quincy Shaffer, 55; wife Genney, 54; daughter Lena, 29; and boarder Mable Dison, 7.

John [Quincey] Shaffer died 19 May 1940 in Elm City. Per his death certificate, he was 67 years old; married to Jennie Shaffer; worked as laborer; and was born in Elm City to Emma Moore. He was buried in Elm City cemetery.

Jennie Ransome Shaffer died 9 January 1981 in Wilson, aged 107.


She loved the Lord.

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Inez Powell Battle Dade Leaves a Legacy of Love

Long-time member of the Annapolis First Baptist Church Inez Powell Battle Dade passed away in March at 103 years old. Dade was a resident of Annapolis and Washington, D.C., and attended services at the Annapolis church for 49 years. Shortly after she joined First Baptist, she became a volunteer and worked in many of its ministries.

Dade was the matriarch of a large family that includes four daughters, 12 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and seven great, great-grandchildren. One sister, Vanilla Beane, a resident of Washington, D.C., who is 96 years old, survives her.

One of Dade’s daughters, Peggy Holly, resident of D.C. said, “My mother would always say, ‘Have faith in the Lord; stay active and help others.'”

First Baptist Rev. Louis Boston said she would do anything to help others.

“She was compassionate and gave her best because of her love for the Lord,” Boston said. “She loved her church.”

Dade was born in [Wilson,] North Carolina and moved to D.C. when she married John Battle. She later married James Dade. She worked as an elevator operator until she got a job with the Federal government.

After retiring from the government job, Dade opened a daycare center called Tiny Tots Preschool and Nursery in the Petworth neighborhood of D.C. in 1972. She ran the center until taking her leave at the age of 99.

“I vividly remember that Mrs. Dade was someone who did a lot with a little,” said Boston. “She loved the Lord.”

From http://www.capitalgazette.com, 30 March 2016.


Inez Powell was born in 1913 in Wilson County to James and Martha Hagans Powell. Her father, born about 1876, was the son of Ichabod and Mary Ann Lassiter Powell. (Mary Ann’s parents were Silas and Orpha Simpson Lassiter.) Her mother Martha was the daughter of Charles and Charity Thomas Hagans.

Probably the oldest person ever.

WDT 1 20 1915 C Harris obit

Wilson Daily Times, 20 January 1915.

Charity Harris‘ death certificate lists her age as 100, not 111.


Census records point to a birthdate in about 1830, making her in fact closer to 85 when she died.

In the 1870 census, Wilson township, Wilson County: Joseph Harriss, 56; wife Charity, 40; and children Joseph, 18, Arch, 18, Charles, 15, Sarah, 19, Amanda, 15, Jane, 10, Lucy, 6, Abraham, 4, and Henry, 5 months.

In the 1900 census, town of Wilson, Wilson County: Charity Harriss, 90, with grandchildren Rufus, 18, and Bettie Crudup, 11.

In the 1910 census, Wilson township, Wilson County: James Harris, 28, Dora, 22, and Rosa, 1, with grandmother Cherady Harris, 80. Next door: Arch Harris, 56, Rosa, 51, and children Jessie, 15, Annie, 12, and James, 12. On the other side: Minus [Mintus] Woodard, 32, Sarah, 25, and children Hattie, 13, Etta, 11, Minus, 6, Charrady, 5, Lizzie, 4, Redman, 2, and Creesey, 2 months. [Mintus Woodard’s previous wife, Martha Harris, whom he married in 1899, had been the daughter of Arch and Rosa Harris. See this post about the accidental shooting death of Charity’s son Abraham Harris. Mintus was a witness in the coroner’s inquest.]

107 year-old groom: “I never paid more than $3 for a woman in my life.”

Ex-Slave Takes His Fourth Wife.

Man, Aged 107, and Bride, Aged 75, are Happy Newly-Weds

A 107 year-old Wilson colored man and a 75 year-old woman joined hands in Holy matrimony this week, bringing to a total four trips to the altar for this aging former slave.

Beaming with connubial happiness, the ancient colored man recalled that he was outlived three wives and five children. His last children died [illegible] years ago at the ripe old age of 75.

William Henry Pellan and his bride, Matilda Andrews, both of Wilson will make their home on Spruce street in Wilson.

Obtains License

Pellan obtained his marriage license in the Register of Deeds office in Wilson. Confronted with the $5 fee always charged for a license, Pellan balked. He said, “I never paid more than $3 for a woman in my life, and this is my fourth one.”

Pellan credits his outstanding age to what he terms clean living. He says he never dissipated and was always in bed before 10 o’clock at night.

He was sold three times as a slave prior to Civil War days, once for $700, once for $859, and once for $1000. He says that he remembers clearly Sherman’s march through North Carolina. Working on a large plantation in Washington county, Pellan was just turning 18 when the War between the States broke out.

Holds Numbers of Jobs

He has worked on Mississippi steamboats, at sawmills, as a farm hand, as a fireman on a train and has preached for a number of years.

Now he has settled down to enjoy life, he says, Still very active although he walks with the aid of a cane, he has a loud booming voice and an exceptionally good sense of humor.    — Wilson Daily Times, 22 April 1949.


Hat tip to Will Robinson.


She remembers being sold for $40.


New York Age, 22 July 1933.


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The sailor she married: on 27 May 1874 in Salem, Massachusetts, Laura Whitfield, 30, of North Carolina, married Augustus Mafuta, 40, of “Africa.” It was a first marriage for both.

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1880 census, Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts.

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Worcester, Massachusetts, City Directory, 1898.

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Worcester, Massachusetts, City Directory, 1909.

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1920 census, Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts.