Darden

The Darden-James wedding.

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New York Age, 11 July 1912.

 

Cemeteries, no. 25: the Dew family cemetery.

The well-maintained Dew cemetery lies behind Repha Church of God on Weaver Road east of the city of Wilson.

The stones mark the graves of Raiford and Jency Short Dew, both born into slavery, and their descendants.

  • Raiford Dew

Raiford Dew Feb 18, 1838 Apr. 12, 1907

In the 1870 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Haywood [Raiford] Due, 35; wife Quincy [Jency], 34; and children Dennis, 14, Joseph, 12, Benj’n, 10, Caroline, 8, Jeffry, 7, Bush, 5, and Mary, 1.

In the 1880 census of the town of Wilson, Wilson County: Raford Dew, 45, farmer; wife Ginsey, 45; and children Caroline, 20, Bashrod, 14, Mary, 11, Martha, 9, Sallie, 7, W.H., 5, and Moses, 4.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Rayford Dew, age unknown; wife Jensy, age unknown; son Moses, 23; daughter-in-law Eliza, 40; and grandsons Jonie, 1, and Willie, 11.

  • Jency Short Dew

Jency Dew Nov, 5, 1838 June 19, 1922 Wife of Raiford Dew

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Moses Dew, 45; wife Eliza, 49; children Jonie, 19, Dora, 17, Mary, 15, Naomi, 14, David, 13, Pearl, 12, Lucy, 10, Rosetta, 9, and Moses, 3; grandson Johnnie Barnes, 5; and widow Jensy Dew, 83.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount Road via Town Creek, farmer Moses Dew, 45; wife Eliza, 49; children Jonie, 19, Dora, 17, Mary, 15, Naomi, 14, David, 13, Pearl, 12, Lucy, 10, Rosetta, 9, and Moses, 3; grandson Johnnie Barnes, 5; and widow Jensy Dew, 83.

Jency Dew died 5 June 1922 in Wilson township. Per her death certificate, she was born 27 November 1838 in Wilson County to Reddick Short and Easter Dew; was the widow of Raford Dew; and had worked in farming. Moses Dew was informant.

  • Jefferson Dew

Jefferson Dew

In the 1870 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Haywood [Raiford] Due, 35; wife Quincy [Jency], 34; and children Dennis, 14, Joseph, 12, Benj’n, 10, Caroline, 8, Jeffry, 7, Bush, 5, and Mary, 1.

In the 1880 census of the town of Wilson, Wilson County: Raford Dew, 45, farmer; wife Ginsey, 45; and children Caroline, 20, Bashrod, 14, Mary, 11, Martha, 9, Sallie, 7, W.H., 5, and Moses, 4.

On 25 January 1883, Jeffrey Dew, 21, married Jane Harvey, 17, at Toisnot.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Jeff Dew, 38; wife Jane, 32, farm laborer; children Bessie, 12, Lesse, 9, Lula, 8, Nettie, 6, James E., 3, Lizzie, 2, and Jesse, i month,

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Nash Road, Jeff Dew, 46, farmer; wife Jane, 43, farm laborer; children Bessie, 21, Lessie, 19, Lula, 17, Nettie, 16, Eddie, 13, Lizzie, 12, Jessie, 9, Joseph, 8, Margaret, 6, and Jonah, 3. Jane and all but the youngest two children worked as farm laborers.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount Road via Town Creek, Jefferson Dew, 57, farmer; wife Jane, 55; children Lula, 26, Nettie, 24, Eddie, 22, Jesse, 20, Joe, 17, Margaret, 16, and Jonie, 14.

Jefferson Dew died 1 May 1926 in Wilson township. Per his death certificate, he was 63 years old; was born in Wilson County to Rayford Dew and Jensy Dew; was married to Jane Dew; and worked as a farmer.

  • Mary Dew Armstrong Boyette

Mary Boyette Jan. 6, 1869 Jan. 9, 1960

In the 1870 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Haywood [Raiford] Due, 35; wife Quincy [Jency], 34; and children Dennis, 14, Joseph, 12, Benj’n, 10, Caroline, 8, Jeffry, 7, Bush, 5, and Mary, 1.

In the 1880 census of the town of Wilson, Wilson County: Raford Dew, 45, farmer; wife Ginsey, 45; and children Caroline, 20, Bashrod, 14, Mary, 11, Martha, 9, Sallie, 7, W.H., 5, and Moses, 4.

On 18 Novcember 1897, Alfred Boyette, 55, of Wilson, son of Hardy Hinnant, married Mrs. Mary Armstrong, 37, daughter of Raford Dew. Missionary Baptist minister M. Strickland performed the ceremony at Raford Dew’s house in the presence of Bush Dew, Moses Dew and Henry Melton.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: “geneator” [janitor] Alfred Boyette, 59; wife Mary, 32; and children Alfred, 1, Etna, 9, and Willie, 13.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 570 Kenan Street, Alfred Boyette, 75, laborer for town; wife Mary, 40; and children Million, 21, and Willie, 18, farm laborers, Edna, 11, and Gency, 9.

Jincy McBride died 3 November 1925 In Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 September 1091 in Wilson to Alford Boyett and Mary Dew; was married to Harrison McBride; and worked as a tobacco factory day laborer. Informant was Mary Dew, 304 Walnut Street.

Mary Magdeline Dew Boyette died 9 January 1960 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 6 January 1879 in Wilson County to Raeford Dew and Jessie Dew; was widowed; and resided at 504 Stantonsburg Street, Wilson. James Boyette was informant.

  • Wiley Rountree Sr.

Wiley Rountree Sr. Oct. 5,1871 Jan. 1, 1939 He was faithful to every duty

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Andrew Rountree, 50; wife Nellie, 36; and children Elvy, 5, Rehna, 3, and Willie, 8 months; plus Mariah Farmer, 14.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Andrew Rountree, 60; wife Nelly, 48; children Elva, 15, Marina, 12, Willie, 10, Syviann, 7, Vaul, 2, and America, 3 months; plus grandson Auston, 3.

On 5 December 1889, Willey Rountree, 20, of Toisnot, son of Andrew and Nelly Rountree, married Martha Dew, 19, of Toisnot, daughter of Raford and Jenny Dew. Free Will Baptist minister Crocket Best performed the ceremony at “the residence of the bride’s father in Toisnot Township, W.C.” in the presence of Alex Williams, Hardy Ellis and A.J. Farmer.

[Death certificates and other records of some of Wiley and Martha Dew Rountree’s oldest children suggest that the couple left Wilson shortly after their marriage and moved throughout the Southeast United States before returning to Wilson County about 1895. For example, Freeman Rountree was born in 1890 in South Carolina or Georgia; Wiley Rountree Jr. was born in Georgia in 1892; and Raiford Rountree was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1894.]

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Willie Rowntree, 29; wife Martha, 27; and children Freeman, 9, Willie, 8, Rapherd, 6, Captan, 3, Dasie, 2, and Andrew, 1.

On 29 August 1906, Wiley Rountree, 36, of Wilson, son of Andrew Rountree and Nellie Rountree, married Matilda Locust, 31, of Wilson. Primitive Baptist minister Jonah WiIliams performed the ceremony “at Rev Steel’s house” in Wilson in the presence of Moses Dew, F.S. Steele and Jessie Whitehead.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Tarboro Road, Wiley Rountree, 42; wife Matilda, 34; daughter Matha, 20, and her son Roscoe, 2; children Freeman, 19, Wiley Jr., 18, Raford, 16, Captain, 14, Daisey, 13, Andrew, 10, Husband, 9, Nellie, 8, and Frank, 6; and grandson Bosy, 3 months.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Wiley Rountree, 53; wife Matilda, 44; children Raiford, 25, Andrew, 20, Herbert, 17, Nellie, 16, Frank, 14, and Roscoe, 12; and grandsons Henry C., 6, and Eula, 4.

On 29 December 1929, Wiley Rountree, 60, of Wilson County, married Louvenia Cotton, 45, of Toisnot township. Presbyterian minister C.H. Hagans performed the ceremony in the presence of James H. Armstrong, John H. Armstrong, and Junius Best.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Wiley Roundtree, 63; wife Louvinia, 47; and children Tennie L., 16, Carrie, 14, Henry C., 17, Paul A., 8, and Frank, 25.

Wiley Rountree died 1 January 1939 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 68 years old; was married to Louvenia Rountree; was a farmer; and was born in Wilson County to Andrew Rountree and Nellie Barnes. Informant was Wiley Rountree Jr.

  • Martha Dew Rountree

Martha Rountree Born Nov. 3, 1870 Died Nov. 4. 1905

In the 1880 census of the town of Wilson, Wilson County: Raford Dew, 45, farmer; wife Ginsey, 45; and children Caroline, 20, Bashrod, 14, Mary, 11, Martha, 9, Sallie, 7, W.H., 5, and Moses, 4.

On 5 December 1889, Willey Rountree, 20, of Toisnot, son of Andrew and Nelly Rountree, married Martha Dew, 19, of Toisnot, daughter of Raford and Jenny Dew. Free Will Baptist minister Crocket Best performed the ceremony at “the residence of the bride’s father in Toisnot Township, W.C.” in the presence of Alex Williams, Hardy Ellis and A.J. Farmer.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Willie Rowntree, 29; wife Martha, 27; and children Freeman, 9, Willie, 8, Rapherd, 6, Captan, 3, Dasie, 2, and Andrew, 1.

  • William Henry Dew

Wm. Henry Dew May 1874 Jan. 19, 1936 Gone but not forgotten.

In the 1880 census of the town of Wilson, Wilson County: Raford Dew, 45, farmer; wife Ginsey, 45; and children Caroline, 20, Bashrod, 14, Mary, 11, Martha, 9, Sallie, 7, W.H., 5, and Moses, 4.

William Dew, 32, of Wilson, son of Raford and Jensie Dew, married Susana Savage, 17, of Wilson, daughter of Amy Savage, on 10 October 1906 at Susana Savage’s residence. Primitive Baptist minister Jonah Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of Moses Dew, John Crisp and Leavi Arrington.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County — on New Stantonsburg Road, William Dew, 45; wife Susanna, 29; children Pearlie, 12, James W., 10, Lester, 9, Mary, 7, Levi, 5, Mamie, 4, Elnora, 2, and Ernest, 3 months; and mother-in-law Emmie Savage, 55.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County — William Dew, 55; wife Susanna, 40; children Pearlie, 22, James W., 20, Lester, 18, Mary L., 17, Levy, 15, Mamie, 13, Elnora, 11, and Earnest, 9, Gladys, 7, Alice, 5, and Orlanda, 4.

William Dew died 17 January 1936 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born in May 1874 in Wilson County to Raford Dew and Jensie Dew; was married to Susana Dew; and was a farmer.

  • Nettie Dew Viverette

Jesus Saves Nettie D. Vivret Born March __ 1895 Died June 16 _____

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Jeff Dew, 38; wife Jane, 32, farm laborer; children Bessie, 12, Lesse, 9, Lula, 8, Nettie, 6, James E., 3, Lizzie, 2, and Jesse, i month,

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Nash Road, Jeff Dew, 46, farmer; wife Jane, 43, farm laborer; children Bessie, 21, Lessie, 19, Lula, 17, Nettie, 16, Eddie, 13, Lizzie, 12, Jessie, 9, Joseph, 8, Margaret, 6, and Jonah, 3. Jane and all but the youngest two children worked as farm laborers.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount Road via Town Creek, Jefferson Dew, 57, farmer; wife Jane, 55; children Lula, 26, Nettie, 24, Eddie, 22, Jesse, 20, Joe, 17, Margaret, 16, and Jonie, 14.

Willie Viverett, 30, of Wilson County, son of Ephriam Joyner and Clara Viverett, married Nettie Dew, 26, of Wilson County, daughter of Jefferson Dew and Mary J. Dew, on 30 March 1921. Baptist minister Elias Lucas performed the ceremony at Mary J. Dew’s residence in Wilson in the presence of Andrew Rountree, Moses Dew and Raiford Rountree.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Willie Viverett, 39; wife Nettie, 35; sister Margaret Sauler, 26; and widowed mother Jane Dew, 65.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson township: at 914 Carolina Street, Willie Viverette, 50, state laborer; wife Nettie, 47, laborer; daughter Frances, 4; and roomer Nancy Barnes, 24, cook.

Nettie Vivrett died 16 June 1955 in Norfolk, Virginia. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 March 1895 in Wilson, N.C., to Jefferson Dew and Jane Harvey; was married to Willie Vivrett; and resided at 4208 Bowdens Ferry Road.

  • Bushrod Dew

Bush Dew Born Oct 27 [broken] April 1920

In the 1870 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Haywood [Raiford] Due, 35; wife Quincy [Jency], 34; and children Dennis, 14, Joseph, 12, Benj’n, 10, Caroline, 8, Jeffry, 7, Bush, 5, and Mary, 1.

In the 1880 census of the town of Wilson, Wilson County: Raford Dew, 45, farmer; wife Ginsey, 45; and children Caroline, 20, Bashrod, 14, Mary, 11, Martha, 9, Sallie, 7, W.H., 5, and Moses, 4.

On 19 January 1892, Bush Dew, 26, married Susan Melton, 23, at M.C. Melton’s.

In the 1900 census, Bush Dew, 35; wife Susan, 32; and children Effa, 7, Etta, 6, and Losse, 4.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Bush Dew, 45; wife Susan, 42; and children Effie, 15, Edward, 14, Dossie, 13, Nannie, 8, and Van, 8.

Bush Dew died 3 April 1920 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 5[illegible] years old; was married to Susan Dew; was born in Wilson County to R.F. Dew and Jennie Dew.

  • Freeman Rountree

Freman Rountree Oct. 5, 1890 Apr. 10, 1963. Gone but not forgotten.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Willie Rowntree, 29; wife Martha, 27; and children Freeman, 9, Willie, 8, Rapherd, 6, Captan, 3, Dasie, 2, and Andrew, 1.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Tarboro Road, Wiley Rountree, 42; wife Matilda, 34; daughter Matha, 20, and her son Roscoe, 2; children Freeman, 19, Wiley Jr., 18, Raford, 16, Captain, 14, Daisey, 13, Andrew, 10, Husband, 9, Nellie, 8, and Frank, 6; and grandson Bosy, 3 months.

On 31 August 1916, Freeman Rountree, 25, of Wilson, son of Wiley Rountree and Martha (last name not listed, married Vinie Wilson, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Tom Wilson and Anna Wilson. Rev. John A. Barnes, A.M.E.Z. minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Jesse C. Lassiter, William Knight and Johnnie A. Barnes Jr.

In 1917, Freeman Rountree registered for the World War I draft. Per his card, he was born 5 October 1890; was born in South Carolina; was a self-employed farmer; and lived in Black Creek township. He was literate.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Rountree, 29, and wife Viana, 20.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Rountree, 37; wife Vinie, 30; and adopted son Eddie Bynum, 14.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Roundtree, 49, born in Florida; wife Viney, 38; and cousin Paul, 18, farm helper.

In 1940, Eddie Rountree registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 28 January 1916 in Beaufort County, N.C.; lived on Route 3, Wilson; worked on J.C. Speight’s farm, Route 2, Elm City; and his contact was father Freeman Rountree.

Freeman Rountree died 10 April 1963 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 October 1891 in Georgia to Wiley Rountree and Martha Dew; was married to Vinie W. Rountree; and was a farmer.

  • James Edward Dew

James E., son of Jefferson & Jane Dew

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Jeff Dew, 38; wife Jane, 32, farm laborer; children Bessie, 12, Lesse, 9, Lula, 8, Nettie, 6, James E., 3, Lizzie, 2, and Jesse, i month,

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Nash Road, Jeff Dew, 46, farmer; wife Jane, 43, farm laborer; children Bessie, 21, Lessie, 19, Lula, 17, Nettie, 16, Eddie, 13, Lizzie, 12, Jessie, 9, Joseph, 8, Margaret, 6, and Jonah, 3. Jane and all but the youngest two children worked as farm laborers.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount Road via Town Creek, Jefferson Dew, 57, farmer; wife Jane, 55; children Lula, 26, Nettie, 24, Eddie, 22, Jesse, 20, Joe, 17, Margaret, 16, and Jonie, 14.

Eddie Dew died 7 February 1924 in Wilson township. Per his death certificate, he was born 18 June 1896 in WIlson County to Jefferson Dew and Mary Jane Harvey; was single; and was a farmer for Jefferson Dew.

  • William Dew

William Dew Died Oct. 14, 1941 Age 52 Yrs.

  • Calvin Rountree Sr., alias Captain Rountree

Calvin Rountree Sr US Army World War I 1895 1984

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Willie Rowntree, 29; wife Martha, 27; and children Freeman, 9, Willie, 8, Rapherd, 6, Captan, 3, Dasie, 2, and Andrew, 1.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Tarboro Road, Wiley Rountree, 42; wife Matilda, 34; daughter Matha, 20, and her son Roscoe, 2; children Freeman, 19, Wiley Jr., 18, Raford, 16, Captain, 14, Daisey, 13, Andrew, 10, Husband, 9, Nellie, 8, and Frank, 6; and grandson Bosy, 3 months.

Captain Rountree registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born 25 December 1895 in Wilson County; lived on R.F.D. 5, Wilson; and farmed for his father. He signed his card with an X.

On 24 May 1918, Captain Rountree, 22, of Wilson, son of Wiley Rountree and Sarah Rountree, married Lizzie Horne, 19, of Wilson, daughter of Simon Horne and Nancy Horne at Simon Horne’s.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Tarboro Road, farm laborer Cavender Rountree, 25; wife Lizzie, 21; and son Jimmie D., 1.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Captain Rountree, 35, farm laborer; wife Lizzie, 28; children Jimmie D., 13, Viola, 10, Lossie, 9, Martha, 5, Surisa, 3, Will Jr., 2, and Annie M., 10 months.

In the 1940 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farm laborer Calvin Roundtree, 40; wife Lizzie, 40; Viola, 19, Mathie, 15, Swaneebell, 13, Willie Jr., 12, Annie Mae, 9, Rosa Lee, 7, Calvin Jr., 6, Mavis, 4, and Doris, 1.

In 1940, Willie Junius Rountree registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 10 September 1928 in Wilson County; worked on the John Watson farm; and his contact was Calvin Rountree.

  • Lizzie Rountree

Lizzie Wife of Calvin Roundtree 1900 1974

Lizzie H. Rountree died 4 September 1974 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 15 June 1906 to Simon Horne and Nancy Horne; was married to Calvin Rountree; and resided at 904 East Vance Street, Wilson.

  • Rev. Willie Darden

Rev. Willie Darden Son of Windsor and Mattie Born Jan. 24, 1895 Died June 13, 1941

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Winston Darden, 37; wife Mattie, 29; children George, 11, Jesse, 8, Willie, 5, William, 3, and Mattie, 1; and mother Mary Darden, 55.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Finch Mill Road, Winsor Darden, 42; wife Mattie, 35; and children George, 22, Jesse, 16, Willie, 14, Winsor, 12, Charlie, 10, Olivia, 7, Annie M., 6, Leroy, 3, and Mattie, 8 months.

Willie Darden registered for the World War I draft in 1917. Per his draft registration card, he was born 23 January 1895 om Wilson County; lived at Route 2, Wilson; was single; and worked as a farm laborer for Frank Langley. He signed his name in full.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Willie Darden, 25; wife Victoria, 19; and son Junius, 2.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Willie Darden, 45; wife Victoria, 41; children Willie Jr., 22, Ettie May, 18, Gladys, 16, Dorthy, 14, James Arthur, 12, John, 11, R.T., 10, Remather, 8, Minnie, 6, Carolyne, 4, Percey, 1, and Mattie, 1; and lodger Willie Miller, 24.

  • Vinnie Wilson Rountree

Vinnie Wilson Roundtree March 8, 1900 July 4, 1972

On 31 August 1916, Freeman Rountree, 25, of Wilson, son of Wiley Rountree and Martha (last name not listed, married Vinie Wilson, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Tom Wilson and Anna Wilson. Rev. John A. Barnes, A.M.E.Z. minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Jesse C. Lassiter, William Knight and Johnnie A. Barnes Jr.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Rountree, 29, and wife Viana, 20.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Rountree, 37; wife Vinie, 30; and adopted son Eddie Bynum, 14.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Roundtree, 49, born in Florida; wife Viney, 38; and cousin Paul, 18, farm helper.

Vinnie Wilson Roundtree died 4 July 1972 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born in 8 March 1898 to Tom Wilson and Anna Briggs; was a retired farmer; was widowed; and resided at 920 Poplar Street. Georgia Wilson, 706 Stantonsburg Street, was informant.

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2019.

Darden v. Robert G. Lassiter & Co., 198 N.C. 427, 152 S.E. 32 (1930).

Wilson Daily Times, 31 October 1929.

Darden v. Robert G. Lassiter & Company reached the North Carolina Supreme Court on appeal from Wilson County Superior Court. Camillus L. Darden, administrator of the estate of Evan Powell, filed the action against Robert G. Lassiter & Company to recover damages for Powell’s death of plaintiff’s death, which was alleged to have been caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of the defendant. The county court entered a judgment for plaintiff, and Lassiter & Company appealed.

The evidence showed that on December 29, 1927, Powell was working for Lassiter in a trench or ditch cut along Mercer Street in the town of Wilson in preparation for laying sewer or water mains. The trench was cut by a ditching machine to approximately the required depth, and Powell was engaged in smoothing out the bottom of the trench to a uniform grade, called “fine grading,” when the trench caved in and injured him, along with two other workmen. Powell died the following day.

Powell, “a colored man about 29 years of age,” had been employer by Lassiter as a day laborer for about five months and working with this particular crew for about two months prior to his injury. The trench was approximately 7 feet deep and about 21 inches wide. The ground was saturated with water from heavy rainfall.  Water seeped in from the walls on both sides of the trench, and there had been a couple of cave-ins prior to this one. About fifteen yards from the most recent cave-in, workers encountered quicksand about 6 feet below the surface of the ground. Lassiter installed a pump to keep the water out of the trench.

Lassiter’s foreman, O.L. Pickering, directed that certain bracing be used to keep the walls of the trench from falling in — two upright pieces of timber, placed from 8 to 16 feet apart along the sides of the ditch, with two horizontal braces placed between them, one at the top and the other at the bottom. However, contrary to custom, Pickering provided no longitudinal stringers to keep the banks of the ditch from falling or caving in.

On the day of the incident, Pickering went to lunch about 12:30 and left the others working in the ditch. There were no braces for a space of 18 or 20 feet (one witness said from 35 to 40 feet) immediately behind the ditching machine where Powell was working. Shortly after the foreman left, the bank of the ditch suddenly caved in just beyond the last brace and temporarily buried three of the workmen.

Foreman Pickering testified, in part: “It was my duty to see that these braces were put in. I instructed them to put the braces in at intervals of 8 feet. There was a space behind the machine of about 12 or 15 feet in which there were no braces. They had put in all the braces I had instructed them to put in except the last one. They did not have it in when I left. I left them to put that in — the one right behind the machine — and to lay the pipe. Evan Powell was in the ditch at the time I left. He was leveling the bottom or doing fine grading.”

Lassiter offered evidence that Powell had a duty to help put in braces and assumed the risk of his injury. However, this was countered by evidence showing that Powell had no such responsibility. Other employees were instructed to place the braces in the ditch under the immediate supervision of the foreman, who, in turn, was under the supervision of an engineer employed by Lassiter.

The usual issues of negligence, contributory negligence, assumption of risk, and damages were submitted to the jury, resulting in a verdict for the plaintiff. The defendant appealed.

Chief Justice Stacy wrote the opinion. “The case, with evidence sufficient to carry it to the jury, was tried upon the theory that in law the defendant was in duty bound, in the exercise of ordinary care, to provide a reasonably safe place for [Powell] to work, and to furnish him reasonably safe means and suitable appliances with which to execute the work assigned, subject to the limitation that the deceased took upon himself, as an employee or servant of the defendant, the ordinary risks of danger incident to the employment, which were obvious or could have been perceived by him in the exercise of his senses and by the use of ordinary care and circumspection. In this, there was no error. …

“Whether ‘fine grading’ in the bottom of a trench, such as [Powell] was doing in the instant case, is dangerous, or otherwise, would seem to depend upon a variety of circumstances. In some cases, it might be entirely safe; in others, not. The size and dimensions of the trench might affect it. The character of the soil would certainly have some influence. The presence of lime, stone, or quicksand, or of earth newly filled in, the moisture in the ground, and numerous other conditions might render such work more or less safe, or more or less hazardous. The state of the weather or the season of the year might have something to do with it. But all of these are matters of fact, about which there may be conflicting evidence, as in the instant case, calling for determination by a jury.

“Indeed, in the instant case, the fact that [Powell]’s work was done under the immediate supervision and direction of the defendant’s foreman would seem to be equivalent to an assurance that he might safely proceed with it. … When the foreman went to get his lunch, he left [Powell] at work in the trench, leveling the bottom or doing fine grading. He was therefore, at the time of leaving, in a better position than [Powell] to observe and appreciate the danger.

“The case was properly submitted to the jury.

“No error.”

Evan Powell’s death certificate. Cause: “Paralysis. Crushed by falling dirt while digging a ditch in town of Wilson; fractured vertebrae.” Powell was a native of Whiteville, Columbus County, in southeast North Carolina.

Colored businesses.

Among the businesses highlighted in the Wilson, North Carolina, Industrial & Commercial Directory, published in 1912, were these:

PARAGON SHAVING PARLOR — The establishment is located at 213 East Nash street in Briggs Hotel Block, and it can truthfully be said that it is the most popular Tonsorial parlor in the city of Wilson. It is owned and managed by N.J. Tate and W.S. Hines, both of whom are skilled barbers of long experience. Their genial manner and high class work have won for them the liberal share of the best patronage of the city. Their shop is fully equipped with all the latest appurtenances, and a short visit to this establishment will after passing through their hands, convince you of what the modern, up-to-date barber shops can do to put a man in good humor with himself and the rest of mankind. The shop is equipped with five chairs, each in charge of a professional barber. Go there for your next slave.

JAMES HARDY, SUCCESSOR TO HARDY BROS. — Feed and Livery Stables. This business is located on South Goldsboro street between Nash and Barnes streets and the business has been established for the last four years. The proprietor has succeeded in building up a good patronage. He is very prompt in answering calls and his prices for Livery are very reasonable. Telephone Number 9. Hack and Dray work solicited. The proprietor wants your patronage and guarantees the right sort of treatment. He is a colored man and has the good wishes of all.

  • James Hardy — in the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: livery stable laborer Jim Hardy, 32; wife Lizzie, 31; sons James, 8, and Lovelace, 6; and boarders Lincoln Sellers, 29, widower and brick yard laborer, and [blank] Batts, 37, water works laborer. James P. Hardy died 20 April 1914 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 27 April 1879 in Greene County to Petter Hardy and Jane Foreman; was married; lived at 508 Vance Street; and was a livery stable employer. Lizzie Hardy was informant. [Who was the other Hardy Brother?]

C.H. DARDEN & SON — This is the only colored firm of undertakers and funeral directors in Wilson, and has been established by the senior member of the firm, C.H. Darden, for some thirty years. His son C.L. Darden has been a member for twelve years years. This place is located at 615 East Nash street, and every branch of the undertaking and Funeral Director business is executed. The equipment includes two Hearses, as well as all other necessary appliances pertaining to the business. They also handle Bicycles and Fire Arms, Victor Talking Machines, Records, Bicycle Sundries, etc. Special attention given to repairs. Their telephone number is 60 and all calls are promptly answered.

OATES & ARTIS — Family groceries. This firm is located at 601 East Nash Street, with telephone connection 456. The business was established in August 1910 and has steadily increased from the beginning. The stock includes all kinds of Groceries, both staple and fancy, Produce, Teas and Coffee, Tobacco and Cigars and the prices are very reasonable. The members of the firm are Wiley Oates, a native of this county, and who has been residing in the City for two years, and Cain Artis, who is also a native of the county, but who has resided in Wilson for twenty-two years. Both are colored men and they are ably attending to the business.

  • Wiley Oates — in the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Vick Street, dredge boat laborer Wiley Oats, 32; wife Nettie, 28; and daughters Dollena, 8, and Dottie Lee, 13 months. Wily Oates died 23 July 1913 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, she was born 26 September 1879 to Adam and Amanda Oates; was a farmer; and was married.
  • Cain Artis

IDEAL PHARMACY — This is the only colored Drug store in Wilson, and it has been established for about seven years. The proprietors, D.C. Yancy, Ph.G., receiving his degree from the Leonard School of Pharmacy, Shaw University Class of 1905-06, has been connected with the store for the past three years and gas been sole proprietor for the past year and a half. He reports that the business is constantly growing and he hopes within a very few years to have one of the largest stores in the City. He personally presses over the prescription department and absolute accuracy is his watchword. His motto is “Not how cheap but how pure.” The general stock includes fresh drugs, patent medicines, Tobacco, Sundries, etc, soda fountain in connection. 109 South Goldsboro street, phone 219.

 

Mrs. Johnson seeks a pension.

In March 1933, Lula Johnson applied to the North Carolina Confederate Pension Board for a widow’s pension.

Johnson’s application noted that she was 60+ years of age; resided at 608 East Nash Street, Wilson; and her late husband was John Streeter, also known as John Johnson. She did not know when or where Streeter/Johnson enlisted, but claimed he was a member of “Company H, 14 W.S. Colord Heavy Artillery.” The couple had married in 1922, and Streeter/Johnson died in June 1932, three years after he had begun to draw a pension. Arthur N. Darden and Darcey C. Yancey were witnesses to her application, which Yancey stamped as notary public.

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Lula Johnson’s application was denied. She was “not eligible” (underscored) for a pension. (To boot, she was “Negro,” underscored four times.) Though the Pension Board did not set forth a reason for denying Johnson’s claim, there is a glaringly obvious one. The 14th Regiment, Colored Heavy Artillery, were United States Army troops, not Confederate. The regiment — comprised of runaway enslaved men and free men of color — was organized in New Bern and Morehead City, North Carolina, in March 1864; primarily served garrison duty in New Bern and other points along the coast; and mustered out in December 1865.

SR_State_Auditor_1901_Pensions_5_22_226_11_Johnson_John_Wilson_County_002.jpg

Here is a record of the military service of John Streeter, alias Johnson. He was born in Greene County about 1846 and had enlisted in the Army in New Bern in 1865. Three months later, he was promoted to corporal. John Johnson had served his country honorably, which did not entitle his widow to Confederate benefits.

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I did not find any evidence that the Johnsons actually lived in Wilson County. The address Lula Johnson listed as her own was that of C.H. Darden & Sons Funeral Home, the family business at which Arthur Darden worked. Was she (or her husband) related to the Dardens? Census records show John Johnson and his wife Mary in Leflore County, Mississippi, in 1900 and 1910, but Mary Moore Johnson died in Farmville, Pitt County, in 1913.

John Johnson died in Farmville, Pitt County, North Carolina, on 8 June 1932. Per his death certificate, he was about 90 years old; was married to Lula Johnson; had been a preacher; and was born in Greene County to Ned and Manervie Johnson. He was buried in Farmville, and Darden & Sons handled the funeral. (Charles H. Darden was also a Greene County native. )

Act of 1901 Pension Applications, Office of the State Auditor, North Carolina State Archives [online]; U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1863-1865  [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

An approaching marriage.

Wilson Daily Times, 24 December 1938.

Mary Thelma Barnes, daughter of John M. and Annie Darden Barnes, in fact married Walter Byers, not Bias. Thelma Barnes Byers received degrees from Virginia State College in 1928 and Columbia University in 1941. The Byerses later relocated to Charlotte, where an elementary school still bears Walter G. Byers’ name.