Dew children perish in fire.

Wilson Daily Times, 19 December 1911.

It is difficult to know what to take away from this erratum. Unfortunately, the previous day’s paper is not available for details of the Dew children’s tragedy.


  • Oscar Dew — in the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Oscar Dew, 32; wife Annie, 24, farm laborer; children George F., 2, and Bettie M., 5 months; sister-in-law Fannie Strickland, 26, widow, farm laborer; and “sister-in-law son” Sydney Woodard, 10, farm laborer. In the 1920 census, Oscar and Annie Dew’s children were George F., 12, Annie Bell, 5, Rita Bell, 2, and James Arthur, 5 months. Presumably, the children killed in the fire were Bettie and a child born after the 1910 census was taken.
  • Nora Woodard — most likely: in the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Alfred Woodard, 69; wife Sarah, 59; daughters Nora, 21, and Francis, 17; and servant Bessa Foard, 19. [It appears that Alfred Woodard died 1900-10 — did Nora inherit farmland from him?] In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Woodard Norah (c) h s of Cemetery rd nr A C L Ry

Bushrod Dew’s crop lien.

On 17 January 1903, Howard, Graves & Company agreed to advance Bush Dew up to one hundred thirty dollars in supplies to enable Dew to cultivate the land in Wilson township Dew rented from S.H. Morris. In return, Dew gave Howard, Graves a lien on his crop as well as a eleven year-old black mare mule, an iron axle cart, an open buggy and harness, and all his farming implements.

Deed book 66, page 233, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office. 

Dew attends Boys State.

Wilson Daily Times, 12 June 1948.

Billy Dew attended the “colored encampment” of Boys State in 1948.

Here’s William Lyman Dew‘s senior portrait in the 1949 edition of Darden High School’s Trojan yearbook.

William Dew was born 28 October 1931 in Wilson to Irma I. Dew and Edwin Cooke. He joined the United States Air Force in 1951 and, when he married Martha Lucretia Reid of Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1957, was working as an assistant air traffic controller with the Civil Aeronautics Administration at Stapleton Air Field, Denver, Colorado. Dew died in Denver in 1987 and is buried in Rest Haven Cemetery, Wilson.

United States Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007,; Pittsburgh Courier, 3 August 1957, page 15; clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Gone fishing.

Wilson Daily Times, 15 June 1948.

Two couples and a set of sisters learned the hard way that Wiggins Mill pond was not open to free fishing.


  • Rosetta Tune and Willie James Tune — in the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Willie Tune, 29; wife Rosetta, 29; and son Willie Lee, 10.
  • Bessie Dew — Bessie Dupree Dew. In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: William Dupree, 26; wife Nettar, 17; son Sylvester, 5 months; brother Ernest, 20; and Ernest’s wife Ora Lee, 19; sister Sudie, 16; brother Frank Jr., 19; sister Bessie, 15, Charity, 12, and Ada, 9; and nephew James Petway, 6. On 17 September 1941, Moses Dew, 23, of Wilson, son of Moses and Eliza Dew, married Bessie Dupree, 19, of Wilson, son of Preston and Ada Dupree, in Wilson.   
  • Moses Dew — in the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County [next door to the Tunes]: widow Eliza Dew, 69; daughter-in-law Naomi, 28, widow; son Moses, 21, farmer; niece Elizabeth, 13; and grandchildren Catherine, 7, and Eva, 5 months.
  • Lizzie Vick and Mary Vick — probably, in the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: John Vick, 55, divorced, boiler tender at auto body company; sister Mary Vick Hooks, 44, widow, farming hired hand; sister Lizzie Vick, 38, widow, farming hired hand; nephew Charlie Hooks, 19, farm laborer; niece Betty May Hooks, 15; and daughter Lumizer Vick, 26, divorced, private family cook.

620 Viola Street.

The one hundred sixty-seventh 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.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “ca. 1950; 1 story; two-room, gable-roofed cottage.” This house appears to have replaced an earlier building on the site that dated from the mid-1920s. (The lot was empty at the time of the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map.)


In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Picott Wm (c; Annie) pntr h 620 Viola

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Williams Chas (c; Ellen) lab h 620 Viola

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 620 Viola, rented for $9/month, Charlie Williams, 25, body plant laborer; wife Elandor, 28; and stepson Dav S. Shaw, 12.  

On 17 September 1938, the Wilson Daily Times listed the property among those subject to auction for delinquent taxes. The owners were the heirs of Della Barnes.

In 1940, Lester Dew registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his draft registration card, he was born 7 February 1911 in Wilson County; lived at 620 Viola; his contact was wife Grace Dew; and he worked for Southern Tobacco Company, Wilson.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 610 Viola, Lester Dew, 29, tobacco packer, and wife Grace, 26, tobacco hanger.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Dew Lester E (c; Grace) lab h 620 Viola

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, the house was listed as vacant.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2022.

Crop liens and mortgage deeds, no. 1.

On 6 April 1936, General Supply Store Inc. agreed to advance brothers Will Artis and Roselle Artis a fifty dollar merchandise account for the cultivation of crops on the lands of W.J. Davis in Stantonsburg township. In consideration, the Artises agreed to convey to General Supply “a light brown Guernsey cow about 3 yrs old & increase 1 Poland China sow & 14 pigs 4 Poland China shoats about six weeks old” as well as a lien on all the crops grown on the land, in the event of default.

Deed book 220, page 160.

In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: Willie Artis, 43; wife Francis, 43; children Alexander, 21, Harvie, 20, Willie Jr., 16, Nora E., 14, Marion, 11, Rosel, 9, Jessie, 8, Elcy, 5, and Johnie, 18; laborer Miles Warren, 40; and boarder Albert Thompson, 19.

In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: Will Artis, 53; wife Francis, 52; children Roselle, 19, Jesse, 18, and Elsie M., 15, and Johnie, 18; lodger Myrs Warren, 50; and sister Beatrice Sauls, 19.

On 1 December 1934, Rozell Artis, 23, of Wilson County, son of Will and Frances Artis, married Rencie Bynum, 16, of Wilson County, daughter of William and Rosa Bynum, in Nashville, Nash County, North Carolina. Will Artis, William Bynum, and Frank Williams were witnesses.


On 22 May 1936, P.L. Woodard & Co. agreed to advance Captain Rountree and Freeman Rountree $27.50 in money, merchandise and supplies for the cultivation of crops on an eight and one-fifth acre lot in Wilson township, “the identical land deeded to Freeman Rountree by Margaret Dew and having been a part of the Jeff Dew estate.” The Rountrees gave P.L. Woodard & Co. a lien on their crop as well as on the land they had purchased from Jeff Dew’s daughter. The Rountrees paid off the loan in October of the same year.

Deed Book 220, page 180.

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

On 24 May 1918, Captain Rountree, 22, of Wilson, son of Wiley and Sarah Rountree, married Lizzie Horne, 19, of Wilson, daughter of Simon and Nancy Horne, at the residence of Simon Horne. Fred Weaver, Jonah Dew, and Andrew Rountree were witnesses.

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 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount to Wilson Road, farmer Captain Rountree, 35; wife Lizzie, 28; and children Viola, 10, Lossie, 9, Martha, 5, Surisa, 3, Will Jr., 2, and Annie M., newborn.

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 the 1940 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Calvin [sic] Rountree, 40; wife Lizzie, 40; and children Viola, 19, Mathie, 15, Swanee Belle, 13, Willie Jr., 12, Annie Mae, 9, Rosa Lee, 7, Calvin Jr., 6, Mavis, 4, and Doris, 1.

Deed books, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

Her love drew her back.

I have written here and here of the children of Jonathan and Margaret Dew Artis, who migrated from Wilson County to Putnam County, Indiana, in the 1870s. The Artis family seems to have followed family there, as a sad newspaper story reveals Margaret’s cousin Esther Due in Indiana, too.

Esther Due was born about 1879 in Wilson County, North Carolina, to Edwin Due [Dew] and Adaline Barefoot (or Deans) Due. The family migrated to Indiana when Esther was an infant. On 2 July 1898, Esther gave birth in Putnam County to a son Raymond Due, whose father was white.

The boy was placed with an African-American foster family, who sought to adopt him.

Greencastle Banner, 28 April 1899.

They appear in the 1900 census of Greencastle, Putnam County, Indiana: Virginia-born gardener John T. Fox, 32; wife Luella, 31; and son Raymond F. Fox, 1.

Things did not go well though. In December 1899, newspapers ran articles with varying details, but telling one essential story — Esther Due had taken her son from the Foxes and gone to Indianapolis. They lodged briefly with her cousin Margaret Artis, but were not allowed to stay. Due then entered a rescue mission for unwed women, Door of Hope.

Indianapolis’ Door of Hope Mission. Undated photo courtesy of IUPUI University Library.

Seemingly dissatisfied with her situation at the mission, and unable otherwise to care for the boy, Due left him in a stranger’s front yard.

Indianapolis Sun, 22 December 1900.

Indianapolis Journal, 22 December 1900.

Greencastle Star Press, 29 December 1900.

I have found nothing further about Raymond Due, alias Fox. His mother died 10 November 1904 in Putnam County, Indiana. Per her death certificate, she was born 26 April 1879 in North Carolina to Edward Due and Ida Barefoot; was single; worked as a domestic; and was buried in Brick Chapel cemetery.


In the 1870 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: domestic servant Lucy Sanders, 45; farm laborers Ollen Womble, 19, Edwin Due, 15, and Tony Rountree, 23; and farm laborer Seth Deems, 22, (his wife?) Eliza, 20, and Dinah, 2.

Edwin Dew, 23, and Adaline Deans, 19, were married 10 September 1876 at Virgil Deans’ in Wilson County.

In the 1880 census of Jefferson township, Putnam County, Indiana: Edward Dew, 25, works on farm; wife Adaline, 20; and children James A., 2, and Easter A., 1.

In the 1900 census of Edwin Due, 48; wife Addie, 39; and children Arthur, 22, Easter, 21, Edwin Jr., 17, Ida A., 16, Lizza, 14, Mary E., 12, Edith, 11, John, 9, Joseph, 7, Eva, 4, and Marshal, 1. Addie reported 12 of 14 children living. The first two listed here were born in North Carolina; the remaining in Indiana.

Adeline Due died 2 November 1902 in Monroe township, Putnam County, Indiana. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 July 1860 in North Carolina to Nicodemus Taylor and Anna Barefoot and was married to Ed Due. She was buried in Brick Chapel cemetery.

In the 1910 census of : Edwin Due, 56, farmer; wife Tena, 55; children Johnnie, 18, Joseph, 16, Eva, 13, Marshal, 12, and Lorenzo, 10; and mother-in-law Olive Howell, 82.

Per his headstone in Brick Chapel cemetery, Edwin Due died in 1921.


Dew seeks son.

Isaac Dew published this notice in the Daily Times seeking information on the whereabouts of his 23 year-old son Willie Dew, whom he described as “insane.”

Wilson Daily Times, 6 July 1897.


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.

Willie Dew is not listed in his parents’ household in 1900.

Lane Street Project: Lula Dew Wooten.

This lovely little headstone was discovered in Odd Fellows cemetery this very morning by volunteers at Lane Street Project’s Clean-Up Kick-Off!

Lula Dew Wooten’s grandparents and several generations of descendants are buried in the Dew cemetery on Weaver Road, northeast of Wilson. Lula’s grave in Odd Fellows cemetery suggests that she was buried in a plot purchased for her and her husband, Simeon Wooten. Wooten died in 1950, and his death certificate lists his burial location as “Rountree.” As we know, Rountree was the name broadly applied to Rountree, Odd Fellows, and Vick cemetery.


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, 1 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.

On 11 July 1920, Sim Wooten, 38, of Wilson, son of John and Claudia Wooten, married Lula Dew, 26, of Wilson, daughter of Jeff and Jane Dew, at Jeff Dew’s residence. Daniel A. Crawford applied for the license, and Primitive Baptist minister C.H. Hagans performed the ceremony in the presence of Moses Dew, J.C. Lassiter, and John P. Battle

Lulu Jane Wooten died 7 November 1927 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 May 1892 in Wilson County to Jefferson Dew and Jane Weaver; was married to Simeon Wooten; lived at 510 South Lodge, Wilson; and was a dressmaker.

Photo courtesy of Jane Cooke Hawthorne.

Edmundson and Dew wed.

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Wilson Daily Times, 21 February 1896.

In the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: Nelson Barnes, 51, farm laborer; wife Angy, 56; children Margaret, 22, Dred, 20, Thomas, 13, “epilepsy;” Mack, 11, Puss, 9, and Roscoe, 7; and John Edmundson, 24, farm laborer.

On 9 February 1896, Jno, Edmunson, 40, of Black Creek, married Sally Ann Dew, 35, of Black Creek, at justice of the peace O.W. Spivey’s in Wilson.