Dew

How Dew’s Rest Home got financed.

Naomi Elizabeth Morris (1921–1986), who grew up in Wilson, served on the North Carolina Court of Appeals from 1967 through 1982. She was Chief Judge of that court from 1978 through 1982. In an interview conducted in 1983, Judge Morris recollected her efforts to assist the establishment in the 1950s of Wilson’s first sanctioned nursing home for African-Americans. Though considered progressive for her time and place, Judge Morris’ notions of privilege and segregationist propriety (and that of the interviewer) peek through here.

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PAT DEVINE: One story that I encountered which struck me with interest as something that I’d love to hear you talk more about was, you alluded to one experience you had in helping to do the legal background work for the founding of the first or only home for indigent blacks in Wilson.

JUDGE NAOMI ELIZABETH MORRIS: Not indigent blacks. No, this was a nursing home for blacks. The office had had this woman as a client for many years. She ran a restaurant at one time. She was quite an aggressive, hardworking woman, and she came to me and said that the director of public welfare, Mr. Monroe Fordham [Fulghum], had asked her to open a nursing home for blacks. She had at that time taken in two or three aged people in her home to take care of, under the auspices of the welfare department, and Monroe Fordham had asked her if she would open a nursing home for blacks. She told him that she would if she could get the money, so she came to me to get the money. We went many places to borrow money, including from the black insurance company in Durham, and they would not let her have the money. Although she had sufficient property to secure the note, they would not let her have the money, and that made me perfectly furious. I came back to Wilson and called the Branch Bank and told them the situation. I said, “You will be missing a very good opportunity if you don’t let this woman have the money,” so they said they would. They required a lot of her that they might not have required of a white person in the same situation — I don’t know — but this was something new and untried. The man who did the electrical work took her note for the electrical work without any security. We worked it out to the point that she had her financing, and she paid everybody back ahead of time. One way she did it, in the summer when the crops would be coming in and the people would have gotten their crops harvested from the field, she would get permission to go out to that field and get what was left [gleaning], the small potatoes that they didn’t pick up, the beans on the bottom part of the vine. She would go get those, and that’s the way she fed her people and was able to feed them cheaper than a lot of people could run a home. Extremely well run.

PAT DEVINE: Is it still there?

JUDGE NAOMI ELIZABETH MORRIS: Oh, yes, it’s still there. About five years after she borrowed the money, the Branch Bank called me and asked me if she would be interested in adding onto her home, that they would be glad to let her have the money. I always wanted to write the insurance company in Durham and say something to them, but I didn’t.

PAT DEVINE: That’s hard to understand.

JUDGE NAOMI ELIZABETH MORRIS: It is hard. It was very difficult for me to understand, because they always talk about looking after their own and the fact that white people don’t do things they ought to for them.

PAT DEVINE: What is this woman’s name?

JUDGE NAOMI ELIZABETH MORRIS: Geneva Dew.

PAT DEVINE: Is she alive?

JUDGE NAOMI ELIZABETH MORRIS: Oh, yes, she’s alive and doing well. I hear from her at least twice a year. She attended my swearing-in ceremony and the party that was given afterward. I’m very fond of her. She’s a very fine person.

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Nina Aldridge Faison Hardy at Dew’s Rest Home, circa mid 1960s.

In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer William Winn, 59; wife Jennie, 48; and children Charley, 21, John, 19, Dorch, 13, Pink, 10, and Jeneva, 8.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: odd jobs laborer Willie Winn, 62; wife Jennie, 60; children Roy, 23, and Pink, 20; and lodger Lula Ward, 45.

On 27 July 1935, Ernest Dew, 26, of Wilson County, son of Frank Dew, married Geneva Dew, 23, of Wilson County, daughter of Willie and Jennie Wynn, in Nashville, Nash County.

Willie Wynn Jr. died 11 February 1940. Per his death certificate, he died 11 February 1940 in Wilson; had been married to Jennie Wynn, but was a widower; resided at 1102 Atlantic Street, Wilson; worked as a laborer; was the son of Willie Wynn and Annie Williams. Geneva Dew, 1102 East Atlantic Street, was informant, and he was buried in Elm City.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: Dew Geneva (c) beer 315 Stantonsburg h 203 Stantonsburg. (In the 1947 city directory, the address has shifted 319 Stantonsburg.) The 1950 city directory also shows Dew as owner of a beer establishment.

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Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory (1960).

Earnest Dew died 15 March 1969 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 18 May 1910 to Frank Dew and Cora Braswell; was married to Geneva Wynn; resided at 501 Spaulding Street, Wilson; and was a rest home operator.

Geneva Wynn Dew died 6 November 1984 in Wilson.

Dew’s celebrates a move to new quarters. Wilson Daily Times, 20 June 1964. 

Excerpt from oral history interview with Naomi Elizabeth Morris, November 11 and 16, 1982, and March 29, 1983. Interview B-0050. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; photo of N. Hardy in personal collection of Lisa Y. Henderson. Many thanks to Bob Martin for the correction of Monroe Fulghum’s surname.

The last will and testament of Larry Dew.

On 31 October 1861 (the same day as his brother David Dew), Larry Dew of Wilson County penned a will whose provisions disposed of these 46 enslaved men, women and children:

  • to son John Dew as trustee for daughter Harriet Barbee, wife of Joseph Barbee (and to her outright after Joseph’s death), Milly, Sam and Cherry
  • to son John Dew, Laney and her children Juan, Minerva and Della, valued at $700
  • to son Arthur B. Dew, “boy Raiford,” valued at $600
  • to daughter Pennina Dew, wife of William Hooks, Milbry, Louisa, Jacob, and Venus and her children Letha, Jack and Amos
  • to son Jonathan T. Dew, Caroline, valued at $750
  • to son David Dew, Everitt, valued at $600; a cow and calf; a sow and pigs; a feather bed and furniture
  • to granddaughter Sally Harriet Hocutt, Henry, now with Daniel Hocutt in South Carolina
  • to daughter Mary Ann Peel, wife of Stephen J. Peel, Charlotte, Newry and Reuben
  • to son William L. Dew, “boy Woodard,” valued at $600; one gray horse Charley; a cow and calf; a sow and pigs; a feather bed and furniture
  • to son Moses Dew, Arch, valued at $1000; a sorrel horse Selim; a cow and calf; a sow and pigs; a feather bed and furniture
  • to son Willie Dew, Silvira, valued at $900; one mule Jack; a cow and calf; a sow and pigs; a feather bed and furniture
  • to son George W. Dew, Julia, valued at $900; a mule Gin; a cow and calf; a sow and pigs; a feather bed and furniture
  • to daughter Nancy Dew, Eveline, valued at $900; a feather bed and furniture; and $100
  • “the remainder of my negroes, to wit: Litha, Phereby, Amos, Stephen, Toby, Mourning, Isaac, Sylvester, Lucy, Gilbert, Aaron, Linnet, Gray, little Raiford, Winney, Pearcy, Van Buren, little Everitt, Virgil, and Eliza” to be divided equally among his sons and his daughter Nancy

Dew’s estate entered probate in Wilson County in April 1862. These documents from his estate file, submitted to the court in November 1862, chronicle the calculations behind distribution of his human property. Two and a half years later, the work of Dew’s executor was undone by freedom.

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Estate of Larry Dew (1862), Wilson County, North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Cemeteries, no. 12: the Becky Pate cemetery. 

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

  • William Henry Pate

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Mittie Daniel Dew


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

  • Polly Ann Artis Daniel

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

  • Benjamin Barefoot

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

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

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

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

  • Ed Manuel

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dew triangle ends in murder.

The story broke on the Fourth of July 1907. Raiford Dew had shot and killed his wife Mittie and her lover — his brother Amos Dew. Newspapers across the state could not resist the tragedy:

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News & Observer (Raleigh), 4 July 1907.

A few days later, the Clinton Caucasian reported different details.

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Clinton Caucasian, 11 July 1907.

Unsurprisingly, Raiford Dew was convicted of second degree (unpremeditated) murder three months later. (And attention moved to another act of violence — the murder of Wiley Faison by Will Scarborough at a “negro dance” on a farm southeast of Wilson.)

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News & Observer (Raleigh) 12 October 1907.

Somewhat surprisingly, five years later, Dew received a conditional pardon at the recommendation of the trial judge and jury.

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Greensboro Daily News, 16 November 1912.

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In the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Louisa Dew, 35, and children Isaac, 20, Nellie, 17, Mourning, 10, Grant, 9, Raiford, 7, Mary Ann, 6, and Amos, 2.

On 10 August 1895, Rayfus Dew, 22, of Cross Roads township, son of Amos and Louisa Dew, married Mitty Daniel, 18, of Cross Roads, daughter of Isaac and Edna Daniel. Free Will Baptist minister Daniel Blount performed the ceremony at Pine Grove in Wilson township. Tom Moore, Noah Moore and Riney Ricks were witnesses. [William H. Pate, who fled from Raiford Dew’s threat, was the son of Alford and Polly Ann Daniel Pate and was Mittie Daniel Dew’s cousin.]

In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Roford Dew, 25; wife Mittie, 20; and children Lee M., 3, and Murray, 5 months. Two households away:  widow Louisa Dew, 65; daughter Mary, 27, and son Amos, 20; Roselle Deans, 75; and widowed sister Ellen Emerson, 60.

Mittie Dew was buried in Becky Pate cemetery near Lucama. Her headstone notes that she was the wife of R.D. Dew and proclaims her “Gone but not forgotten.”

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In the 1910 census of Halifax township, Halifax County: at State Farm #1, Raiford Dew, 38, prisoner.

On 23 August 1914, Raiford Dew, 44, of Cross Roads township, son of Amos and Louisa Dew, married Maybel Dawson, 18, of Cross Roads township, daughter of Perry and Sarah Dawson. Witnesses were Grant Dew, W.H. Mickerson and Vanderbilt Dawson.

In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Raiford Dew, 57; wife Mary Belle, 34; and children Clarence, 15, Lema, 13, and Joseph, 11; sister-in-law Dazzell Dawson, 17, and her daughter Sarah, 4; and brother-in-law Willie Dawson, 19.

Raford Dew died 28 December 1933 in Black Creek township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 62 years old; married to May Belle Dew; was a farmer; and was the son of Amos and Louisa Dew.

Photograph of headstone courtesy of Findagrave.com.

Obituary of Tobias Dew.

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Wilson Daily Times, 30 April 1947.

In the 1880 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Isaac Dew, 30; wife Esther, 24; children Annie, 12, Willie, 9, Tobias, 8, Martha, 4, Lesie, 3, and Laura, 2; plus farmer Burden Barnes, 28, and his wife Delphina, 19, who were white.

On 20 May 1918, Tobe Dew, 45, of Crossroads township, son of Isaac and Easter Dew, married Ardella Scarboro, 25, of Crossroads township, daughter of John and Ardella Scarboro of Oxford, North Carolina, at the courthouse in Wilson.

Toby Dew registered for the World War I draft on 12 September 1918:

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In the 1920 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farmer Tobey Dew, 40; wife Ardella S., 26; and children Anna, 9, and Easter, 6; sisters Martha, 30, and Georgia, 28; and widowed mother Easter, 60.

In the 1930 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: Tobie Dew, 52, farmer; wife Ardella, 36; and daughter Eva, 14.

On 3 January 1933, James Arthur Bynum, 25, of Crossroads township, son of Ora Bell Bynum, married Eva Dew, 18, of Crossroads, daughter of Tobie and Ardella Dew in Wilson. Elder Arthur Fuller of the Holiness church performed the ceremony in the presence of L.L. Harvey, Stephen Coleman, and Andrew Rountree.

In the 1940 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Tobey Dew, 67; wife Ardella, 46; granddaughter Thelma, 9; and widower cousin Gabriel Hooks, 75.

Tobie Dew died 28 April 1947 in Crossroads township Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was married to Ardella Dew; born 10 May 1874 in Wilson County to Isaac Dew and Easter Barnes; and had been engaged in farming. Della Dew was informant.

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Friendship Primitive Baptist Church today, just west of Lucama. The church was among those lead by Elder Fate Melton.

A&T trade school students.

From the list of trade school students in the 1922-23 Annual Catalog of the Negro Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina —

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  • Thomas Ellis
  • Reddick D. Dew — on 5 June 1917, Reddick David Dew registered for the World War I draft. Per his registration card: he was born 11 September 1894 in Lucama, North Carolina; worked “farming and laboring on brick yard” for C.D. Dew and John H. Moore of Lucama; and was single. He signed his card “R.D. Dew.” In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Cornelius D. Dew, 52; wife Cora L., 39; and children Reddick D., 25, Joseph, 19, Martha L., 16, Grady, 15, Orena, 14, Lee C., 10, David H., 5, and Mary N. Dew, 1. In 1942, Redick D. Dew registered for the World War II draft in New York City. Per his draft registration card: he was born 11 September 1894 in Wilson; resided at 2453 7th Avenue, Apartment 24; his contact was Apcillar Dew of the same address; and he worked for Arthur Prazo.
  • Richard O. Edwards

 

Where did they go?: Intrastate migration, no. 1.

  •      Mahalia Artis and family

Between 1890 and 1900, Mahalia Artis, her adult daughters Sarah and Mary Ella, and Mary Ella’s son Bruce moved 300 miles from Wilson to Asheville, North Carolina.

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In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Goldsboro Street, Mahala Artis, 50, and daughters Sarah, 25, and Mary R., 18, both laundresses. They are identified as white, which was unlikely.

In the 1900 census of Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina: at 20R Cumberland Avenue, widow Mahalie Artis, daughters Sarah Artis, 40, and Mary E. Artis, 37, both washerwomen, and grandson Bruce Artis, 10.

In the 1910 census of Asheville, Buncombe County: at 18 Cumberland Avenue, Mary E. Lindsey, 37, her son Bruce S. Lindsey, 19, and widowed sister Sarah Battle, 50. Mary and Sarah were laundry women; Bruce did laundry work.

In the 1920 census of Asheville, Buncombe County: at 34 Gaston Street, laundresses Sarah Battle and her sister Mary Lindsey, ages listed as unknown.

In the 1930 census of Asheville, Buncombe County: laundress Mary Lindsey, 46, living alone in a home she owned.

  • Reddick D. Dew

Reddick D. Dew, son of Alfred and Susan Dew, moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, circa the 1890s.

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Alford Due, 26; wife Susan, 23; children Jack, 6, Redick, 4, and “no name,” 1 month; plus Oliver Due, 48, Amos Barnes, 23, and Anna Due, 19.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township (south of the Plank Road), Wilson County: Alford Dew, 39, wife Louiza, 35, mother Olivia, 60, children Jackson, 18, Redick, 16, George, 15, Needham, 12, and Martha, 10, and niece Hatta, 4.

On 28 June 1898, Reddick D. Dew, 30, of Wilmington, whose parents lived in Wilson, married Addie J. Cash, 30, daughter of John and Martha Cash of Wilmington.

In the 1900 census of Wilmington, New Hanover County: at 718 Orange Street, widow Marthia Cash, 59, daughter Addie Diew, 33, and son-in-law Reddick Diew, a barber.

In the 1910 census of Wilmington, New Hanover County: at 718 Orange Avenue, South Carolina-born widow A. Martha Cash, 68, a lace stretcher (she reported only one of nine children); son-in-law D. Reddick Diew, 40, barber; and daughter J. Addie, 39; plus three lodgers.

In the 1915 city directory of Wilmington, North Carolina: Redick D Dew, barber, 6 S. 2nd.

In the 1920 census of Wilmington, New Hanover County: at 718 Orange Avenue, barber Redick Diew, 51, wife Addie, 52, and mother-in-law Martha Cash, 82.

Probably, in the 1928 city directory of Goldsboro, North Carolina: Redick D Dew, barber, 603 W. Pine.

Redick Diew died 6 August 1933 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 3 August 1868 in Wilson County to Alfred and Susan Diew; was a barber; was a widower; and resided at 1108 Wainwright Avenue. Eula Locus of the home was informant.

  • John and Annie Thomas family?

Mattie Thomas was the informant for the death certificates of Nannie Thomas Miller and David Thomas. She indicated that both were born in Wilson, North Carolina, to John and Annie Thomas. Census records, however, paint an unclear picture of the Thomas’ familial relationships and birthplaces.

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In the 1900 census of Asheville, Buncombe County: widowed washerwoman Annie Thomas, 55, children Cora Coldwell, 20, and Nannie, 19, Maggie, 15, John, 10, and Sallie, 9, daughter-in-law Mary, 18, and grandson David, 1. All listed as South Carolina-born, except  Maggie, John, Sallie and David, born in North Carolina.

In the 1910 census of Asheville, Buncombe County: at 6 Brick Street, David Thomas, 27, wife Mary, 26, and daughters Mattie, 9, Annie B., 7, Madlone, 2, and Nannie M., 5 months. At 7 Brick Street, Annie Thomas, 63, and children John, 20, and Sallie Thomas, 17, and Nannie Grant, 24. All were listed as South Carolina-born.

In the 1920 census of Asheville, Buncombe County: at 54 Davidson Street, Annie Thomas, 73, sons David, 36, and John, 25, both bakers; daughter Minnie G., 29, a cook; and grandchildren Mattie, 19, a maid, Annie Belle, 17, Madalon, 11, Eddie, 5, John, 6, David, 21, a transfer company teamster, and Sallie, 7; and daughter-in-law  Hattie, 23, plus a lodger. The birth place of Annie, David and Minnie was listed as South Carolina.

In the 1940 census of Asheville, Buncombe County: at 139 Eagle Street, Mattie Thomas, 35, a hotel maid; brother David, 40, a wholesale produce delivery helper; and three lodgers.

The last wills and testaments of the David Dews.

On 31 October 1861, David Dew Sr. of Wilson County penned a will whose provisions included:

  • to nephew Jonathan T. Dew, son of Larry Dew, “two negroes Forten and Sally and their increase”
  • to nephew David Dew, son of Larry, “one negro man Everitt
  • to nephew Moses Dew, son of Larry, “one negro boy Gray
  • to nephew Willie Dew, son of Larry, “one negro boy Dick
  • to nephew George Washington Dew, son of Larry, “one negro girl Rose and her increase”
  • to niece Nancy Dew, daughter of Larry, “one negro girl Mary Ann and her increase”

Five months later, on 24 March 1862, his nephew David Dew executed a will that provided, among other things:

  • to brother William L. Dew, “negro boy Young Everitt
  • to brother Moses Dew, “negro boy Amos,” a gold watch and chain
  • to brother Willie R. Dew, “negro Everitt derived from estate” of his uncle David Dew
  • to brother G.W. Dew, “negro boy Van Buren

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Everett Due, 58, wife Sarah, 59, and Joseph, 23, and Rachel Due, 18.

Also in Wilson township, near the households of white farmers Washington Due and Moses Due, Amos Due, 39, wife Louisa, 35, and children Isaac, 9, Ella, 5, and Morning, 1, with Everette Due, 32, wife Jane, 24, and Edward Due, 8 months, next door.

North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

He is a suitable person to have custody.

NORTH CAROLINA, WILSON COUNTY           }             IN THE SUPERIOR COURT

IN THE MATTER OF SARAH WILLIAMSON AND AMY WILLIAMSON            }             APPLICATION FOR HABEAS CORPUS

TURNER WILLIAMSON, first being duly sworn, says:

That he is a resident of Wilson County, North Carolina, sixty years old, and has lived in Wilson County all of his life; that on the 18th. day of November, 1914, the affiant and Leacy Williamson were married to one another in Wilson County, North Carolina, and lived together until March 5th. 1920, when the said Leacy Williamson, without cause or legal justification, separated herself from the affiant, and has lived separate and apart from him since that date; that prior to the said separation, there had been born of the marriage two children, viz: Sarah Williamson, now six years old, and Amy Williamson, now two years old; that at the time Leacy Williamson separated herself from the affiant, she took with her both of the said children and has had them with her continuously since said date; that she has refused to surrender the custody of the said children to this affiant, their father, and has refused to permit the said children to visit the said affiant or to permit the affiant to visit his said children; that the affiant is, in every way, a proper and suitable person to have the custody of the said children; that he owns eighty-seven acres of valuable Iand in Cross Roads Township and in addition thereto has sufficient personal property to meet the requirements of his said farm and of his family; that the said Leacy Williamson although of correct character, is not a suitable person to have the custody of the said children by reason of her temperament, her lack of estate and her physical inability to provide for the said children the necessities of life, and to educate them.

The affiant has repeatedly endeavored to have his wife return to his household and bring with her his children that he might support and educate his said children, but because of the antagonistic influence of the brothers and sisters of the said Leacy Williamson, she has refused and still refuses to return to his household or to surrender to this affiant the custody of his children, or to permit him to exercise any paternal care or authority whatsoever over his said children.

WHEREFORE, the affiant prays that by proper Writ of this Court the said Leacy Williamson be required to have the said children, Sarah Williamson and Amy Williamson before the Court at such time and place as may be designated by the Court that the custody of the children may, by the Court, be awarded, and for such other and further relief as may be proper in the premises.

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Sworn to and subscribed before me this 31st. day of October, 1921. /s/ J.D. Barden CLERK SUPERIOR COURT

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On 17 December 1914, Turner Williamson, 55, married Leecie Dew, 35, both of Cross Roads township. [Turner was the son of Patrick and Spicey Williamson.]

In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Turner Williamson, 62; wife Margarett B., 52; and children Bessie, 25, Effie, 23, Monte, 19, Turner, 17, Anne, 15, George, 13, Sarah, 4, and Amie, 8 months. A couple of odd points: (1) Turner Williamson married Margaret Barnes on 8 October 1891 in Wilson County, but, per her gravemarker, Margaret Barnes Williamson died in 1908 (and Turner is listed as a widower in the 1910 census); (2) if, per the petition, Turner and Leacy Williamson lived together until 20 March 1920, why was she not listed as his wife when the censustaker enumerated their household on 28 January 1920?

A sad coda: Amy Williamson died 25 March 1926, just short of her eighth birthday, of acute pericarditis and tonsillitis.

Marriage Records, Office of Register of Deeds, Wilson County; Death Certificates, Vital Records, Office of Register of Deeds, Wilson County; Child Care Records, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.