The last will and testament of Sarah Daniel.

On 17 March 1863, Sarah Daniel made her mark on a will that, among other things, bequeathed twelve enslaved African-Americans to her daughters and granddaughter.

Daughter Elizabeth Rountree was to receive Silvia, Anarchy, Henry, and May.

Granddaughter Elizabeth Daniel was to receive Celia.

Daughter Penelope Daniel was to receive Serena, Esther, Lawrence, little Serena, Amos, Caroline, and Rufus.

Sarah Daniel appears in the 1850 census of Wayne County, North Carolina, with her daughter Penney. She lived near present-day Eureka and reported owning nine people in the 1850 slave schedule. By 1860, she had moved a few miles north into the Black Creek area of Wilson County and reported owning 14 enslaved people. Despite her relative wealth, I have not found much about her, including her maiden name or husband’s name.

Daniel died in 1864, and her son-in-law James Rountree handled her affairs. The auction of her personal property reveals a robust In a petition found in her estate records, Rountree asserted that Daniel’s daughter Penelope was “non compos” (non compos mentis, “of unsound mind”) and under the guardianship of Dr. A.G. Brooks, that her son Moses Daniel had moved out of state and could not be found for distribution of the $1000 she left him, that her granddaughter was married and now known as Elizabeth G. Upchurch, but that otherwise the estate had been settled.

Within a year, of course, Sarah Daniel’s plans were undone, and all those named in her will as property went free.


On 4 January 1870, Amos Daniel, son of Matthew Barnes and Serrena Daniel, married Jane Simms, daughter of Axum Barden, at J.P. Barden’s in Wilson County.

In the 1870 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Rena Daniels, 55, with Leah, 32, Carolin, 16, John, 11, Gray, 9, and Elizabeth, 1 month. Next door: Amos Daniel, 20, and wife Jane, 19.  [This appears to be “big” Serena, Caroline, and Amos in the will above. Where was Leah in 1863? Was the bequest to Penelope Daniel a family group, i.e. Serena and her children? ]

Around 1871, Gray Rountree, son of Thomas Barnes and Fanny Rountree, applied for a  license to marry Leah Daniels, daughter of Matthew Barnes and Rainey Daniel, in Wilson County. (They did not return the marriage license.)

On 1 February 1873, Joseph Horn, 22, married Caroline Daniel, 18, at Cerena Daniel’s in Wilson County.

In the 1880 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer Gray Rountree, 38; wife Lear, 38; children Elizabeth, 11, Walter, 9, Fannie, 7, Rena, 6, West, 3, and Neelie Rountree, 1; and son Gray Newsome, 15.

In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Joseph Horn, 27, farmer; wife Caroline, 24; children Slah [Selah?], 7, and Jefferson Horn, 5; and Milbry Horn, 14.

Cancer instruction.

Wilson Daily Times, 6 August 1949.

The Wilson County chapter of the American Cancer Society sent Mercy Hospital nurse Sylvia Daniels to attend a training course in cancer nursing at Durham’s North Carolina College (now North Carolina Central University.)


Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory (1947).

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Pray to God for rain.

Wilson Daily Times, 30 June 1944.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 62 East Nash, wood and coal salesman Henry Edwards, 73, widower.

Henry Evan Edwards died 21 November 1944 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 March 1869 in Greene County, N.C., to Lafayett Edwards; and lived at 620 East Nash Street. He was struck by a car while crossing a street. Joseph Edwards, 620 East Nash, was informant.


35 When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict them,

36 then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.

37 If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar, if their enemy besieges them in the land at their gates, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is,

38 whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart and stretching out his hands toward this house,

39 then hear in heaven your dwelling place and forgive and act and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways (for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind),

40 that they may fear you all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our fathers.

The obituary of Thomas Daniel.

Wilson Daily Times, 9 June 1948.


In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Mac Daniel, 45; wife Fanny, 36; and children Thomas, 5, Annie, 4, Willie, 3, Jane, 1, and Beatrice, 5 months.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 635 Vance Street, widow Fannie Daniel, 35, and children Thomas, 17, Annie, 15, Willie, 14, James, 13, Beatrice, 9, and Mary, 8.

On 30 November 1936, Tom Daniel, 36, of Wilson, son of Mark and Fannie Daniel, married Mamie Dixon, 31, of Wilson, daughter of Robert and Nilia Hodges, in Wilson.

In 1940, Tom Daniel registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 12 June 1905 in Wilson County; lived at 715 East Vance Street, Wilson; his contact was his mother Fannie Daniel of the same address; and he was unemployed.

Thomas Daniels died at his home at 544 East Nash Street on 7 June 1948. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 June 1903 in Wilson County to James Mal Daniels of Reidsville, N.C., and Fannie McGowan of Kernersville, North Carolina; worked as a common laborer; was married to Lossie Daniels; and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery. Mary Daniels, 715 East Vance Street, was informant.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

L. Henry and Elizabeth Lassiter Daniels, exodusters.

After reading the recent post about Hardy Lassiter, Thelma Simmons reached out to alert Black Wide-Awake that another Lassiter also migrated to Arkansas. Elizabeth Lassiter Daniels and her family arrived in Pine Bluff around the same time as her cousin Hardy.

In the 1860 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Silas Lassiter, 38; wife Orpie, 34; children Sallie, 12, Mary, 11, James, 9, John, 7, Elizabeth, 5, Penina, 4, Hardy, 3, Silas, 1, and George, 2 months; and Delpha Simpson, 14. [Note: there were several Hardy Lassiters in this family. Silas Lassiter’s father was named Hardy Lassiter, and Silas named a son after him. Similarly, Silas’ brother Green Lassiter also named a son Hardy, and this Hardy was the one who migrated to Arkansas.]

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Silas Lassiter, 47, and children Ophelia, 25, Mary, 20, Elizabeth, 16, Handy, 14, Penninah, 15, Silas W., 12, Milly, 8, and Jerusha, 4.

On 24 December 1879, Henry Daniels, 33, married Elizabeth Lassiter, 24, at E. Lassiter’s in Wilson County. B. Barnes and Short Barnes were witnesses.

On 20 May 1892, Henry Daniels, alias Henry Lewis Daniels, applied for an invalid pension for his service in Company K, 14th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery. [I am seeking more information about his Civil War service.] Daniels filed from Arkansas, the state to which the family had recently migrated.

In the 1900 census of Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas: day laborer Henry Daniels, 55; wife Elizabeth, 46; and children William H., 17, Martha A., 15, Mary J., 15, and Rice B., 7. All were born in North Carolina except the youngest child.

In the 1908 Pine Bluff, Arkansas, city directory: Daniels Henry (c) mach Prescott Table & Furn Co r 1013 w 8th av

In the 1910 census of Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas: odd jobs laborer Henry Daniels, 66; wife Bettie, 37; and children Henry, 27, street laborer, and Matilda, 10. Bettie reported that only three of her ten children were living.

On 3 March 1912, W.H. Daniel, 30, married Willie Floyd, 24, in Pine Bluff.

In 1918, William Henry Daniels registered for the World War I draft in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Per his registration card, he was born 23 September 1879; lived at 506 East 17th Avenue; worked as a laborer for Standard Lumber Company, Pine Bluff.

In the 1920 census of Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas: at 500 East 17th, Henry Daniels, 78; wife Elizabeth, 65; daughter Mary Webb, 30, and grandchildren Ulus, 10, Felton, 9, Louise E., 8, and Mary, 3. Next door: W. Henry Daniels, 38, born in N.C., railroad shop laborer; wife Willie, 32, born in Georgia; and children Justine, 6, Thurland, 4, Rosabelle, 3, and Doretha, 4 months. [Hardy and Nellie Lassiter occupied the household on the other side of Henry and Elizabeth Daniels, in effect right around the corner.]

Lewis Henry Daniels died 30 May 1920 in Pine Bluff. Per his death certificate, he was 79 years old; was married; was born in North Carolina; was “bright” colored [i.e. very light-skinned]; and lived at 500 East 17th Street. W.H. Daniel was informant. The cause of death: “operation of the eye and heart troubles.” Contributing factor: “Old cival war Soldier.”

In the 1927 Pine Bluff, Arkansas, city directory: Daniels Elizabeth (c) h 500 e 17th av

In 1942, William Henry Daniels registered for the World War II draft in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Per his registration card, he was born in 23 September 1881 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 506 East 17th; he worked for Cotton Belt Railroad, East 2nd Avenue, Pine Bluff; and his contact was Mrs. Willie F. Daniels.

William Henry Daniels Sr. died 25 November 1945 in Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas. Per his death certificate, he was born 23 September 1880 in Wilson, N.C., to Lewis Henry Daniels and Elizabeth Lassiter; was a laborer; and was married to Willie L. Daniels. Doretha M. Daniels was informant.

Annie May Barnes pleads guilty to manslaughter.

Wilson Daily Times, 8 February 1924.

  • Annie May Barnes
  • Will Daniels
  • Young’s Line 
  • Mary Blue
  • Claude Sessoms — Claud Sessoms died 28 February 1931 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 86 years old; was born in Nash County, N.C., to Jim Sessoms and Chaney Sessoms; was married to Elizabeth Sessoms; lived near Elm City; and worked in farming. 



Snaps, no. 84: Rev. Hattie Daniels’ home.

Dr. Judy Wellington Rashid shared these photos she took during a visit with Rev. Hattie Daniels‘ daughter Deborah R. Daniels in 1981, two years after Rev. Daniels’ death.

This remarkable framed portrait depicts Rev. Daniels as a young preacher, circa late 1920s or early 1930s. [In my years of searching for and collecting early 20th-century African-American photographic portraits, I have never seen one like this. I fervently hope that this one is safe somewhere with the Daniels family.]

Below, Rev. Daniels’ house at 908 Wainwright Avenue. Just visible behind it, at left, is the building that housed her Golden Rule kindergarten. It has been demolished. Rev. Daniels’ house is now empty and boarded up, and the boxwood hedge, ornamental tree, and small front garden have been ripped out.

The view from Rev. Daniels’ porch toward a line of endways (“shotgun”) houses on the south end of Vick Street. The houses were originally on South East Street. In the early 1970s, when Wiggins Street was eliminated for the extension of Hines Street across newly built Renfro Bridge, East was cut off from Hines by a barricade, and the continuation of Vick across Hines was slightly rerouted. Only three of the endways remain — on the Hines end of the block. All have been renovated within the last twenty or so years.

Many thanks to Dr. Judy W. Rashid.

904, 906 and 908 Wainwright Street.

The one hundred twenty-eighth in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

908, 906 and 904 Wainwright St.

  • 904 Wainwright

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1930; 2 stories; Miracle Tabernacle Church; traditional gable-end form and pointed-arch vent in gables rare example in district that retains weatherboarded facade.” [The building since has been clad in vinyl siding. It does not appear to be in current use.]

In the 1928 and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, at 904 Wainwright: The Church of God (c).

Detail from the 1930 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, N.C.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 November 1941.

  • 906 Wainwright

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1930; Hattie Daniels rental house: shotgun with engaged porch and late turned porch posts; built for tenants by Daniels family, who lived at #908.”

No house is found at this address in the 1930 or 1940 censuses or in the city directories issued in the 1940s.

  • 908 Wainwright

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1930; 1 story; Hattie Daniels house; bungalow with three-pile plan and gable-end form with hip-roofed porch; asphalt veneer; Daniels preached at the Miracle Tabernacle Church and began a day-care center behind her home in 1949; husband, Cleveland, was a [railroad] fireman.”

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hardy Cornelius (c; Carrie) hlpr h 908 Wainwright Av.

In the 1930 city directory: Hardy Cornelious (c; Carrie) mill hd h 908 Wainwright Av

Wilson Daily Times, 12 January 1931.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 908 Wainwright, owned and valued at $1500, Cleveland Daniel, 40, fireman at city plant; wife Hattie, 38, saleswoman; and father-in-law Mack Owens, 60, farm laborer. All were born in Georgia.

In 1942, Cleveland Daniels registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 15 April 1897 in Warrengton, Georgia; lived at 908 Wainwright Avenue, Wilson; his contact was Mrs. Dora Godwin, 910 Wainwright; and he worked for the City Light Plant.

George Cleveland Daniels died at his home at 908 Wainwright on 19 August 1949. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 April 1897 in Warren County, Georgia, to Peter and Jane Daniels; was a fireman; was married to Hattie Daniels; was a veteran of World War I; and was buried in Rountree Cemetery.

Hattie Owens Daniels died 25 April 1979 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 July 1900 in Chester, Georgia, to Mack Owens and Mary Gardner; was a widow; resided at 908 Wainwright Avenue, Wilson; and was a minister and kindergarten teacher. Daughter Deborah Daniels was informant.