Boykin Grocery was a major grocery wholesaler in Wilson for decades. The business moved to this handsome brick building, formerly home to Barnes-Harrell Grocery Company, in the mid-1920s, and this photograph was likely taken shortly thereafter. (The building still stands, largely unaltered except for the enclosure of the bays, at the corner of Barnes and Douglas Streets.)
The front office staff, all clad in dark suits except the lone woman, stands in front of the first bay. To their left, six African-American men (one is barely visible on the running board) lean against two company vehicles, and a sixth leans against the building. The men standing at the cars were likely truck drivers, like Willie Forbes and Orlando Farmer.
Photo courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III. Thank you!
In the 1870 census of Upper Town Creek township, Edgecombe County, N.C.: farm laborer Jason Parker, 35; wife Annis, 24; and children Moses, 8, Harriet, 5, Jerry, 4, and Sophy, 1.
In the 1880 census of Upper Town Creek township, Edgecombe County, N.C.: farmer Jason Parker, 43; wife Annis, 39; and children Moses, 17, Harriet, 15, Jere, 13, Sophia, 10, Mathew, 9, Cintha, 7, Susan, 5, and Abel, 2.
On 5 March 1892, Moses Parker, 29, married Henrietta Woodard, 27, at Isaac Farmer‘s residence in Wilson County. Free Will Baptist minister Crockett Best performed the ceremony in the presence of Jordan Braswell, Jno. W. Williford, and J.G. Barnes.
On 17 June 1897, Moses Parker, 33, married Sallie Reid, 27, at William Taylor’s residence in Wilson County. Jason Parker was a witness.
In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Mosses Parker, 40; wife Sarah, 30; and daughters Jennie, 14, and Mary, 12. (Next door, Moses’ brother Abel Parker, 21, farmer, wife Sarah, 20, son Jerry, 6 months, and boarder Thomas Horn, 60, widower, farm laborer.)
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 415 Goldsboro Street, widower Moses Parker, 45, house carpenter; daughters Mary, 21, and Nera, 23, private family cook; and granddaughter Lee Parker, 4.
On 7 September 1911, Moses Parker, 47, of Wilson, married Charity Holland, 50, of Wilson, in Wilson township. Primitive Baptist minister Jonah Williams performed the ceremony at Charity Holland’s residence in the presence of John Battle, George W. Wood, and John H. Akins.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 417 Goldsboro Street, general public drayman Moses Parker, 59, and wife Charity, 64.
Wilson Daily Times, 22 June 1921.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1004 East Nash Street, owned and valued at $1700, grocery store proprietor Moses Parker, 63; wife Charity, 60; and roomer Elizabeth Simms, 17.
Moses Parker died 23 September 1936 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 73 years old; was born in Edgecombe County, N.C., to Jason Parker and Annis Parker; was married to Charity Parker; lived at 1004 East Nash Street; and worked as a carpenter.
Andrew Harget registered for the World War I draft in 1918 in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 9 January 1896 in Craven County, N.C.; he lived at 602 Spring, Wilson; his father was born in Beaufort County, N.C.; he worked for Barnes-Graves Grocery Company, Nash Street, Wilson; and his wife was Geneva Harget.
In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Rosa Farmer, 35, farm laborer, and children (and grandchildren) Gray, 18, Turner, 17, Mary, 16, Thomas, 13, Daniel, 12, Leah, 10, Jefferson, 8, Louisa, 10 months, Anna, 3; and Arche Barnes, 73, cooper.
On 6 November 1886, Jeff Gay, 23, married Blanch Gay, 16, at Sam Gay‘s in Wilson. Sam Gay, Dallas Taylor, and George Farmer were witnesses.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: drayman Jefferson Farmer, 40; wife Blanch, 28; and children May, 12, Turner, 11, Jesse, 8, Charley, 4, and Gola, 2.
In the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Farmer Jefferson (c) driver h Hines nr Warren
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 615 Hines Street, Jeff Farmer, 50; wife Blanch, 37; and children Turner, 20, Jessie, 16, Charlie, 13, Goler, 10, Jeff Jr., 7, Henry, 3, Allice, 2, and Gola, 1.
In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Farmer Jefferson (c) driver
On 19 March 1918, Goldie Farmer, 21, of Wilson County, daughter of Jesse and Blanch Farmer, married George McCoy in Richmond, Virginia.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 615 Hines Street, Jeff Farmer, 57; wife Blanche, 47; and children Charlie, 24, Jeff, 18, Henry, 14, Alice, 12, Sam, 8, and Blanche, 5.
In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Farmer Jefferson (c) driver h 404 Young’s Al[ley]
Jeff Farmer died 29 July 1927 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 55 years old; was born in Wilson to Nelson Farmer, Edgecombe County, and Rosa Farmer, Wilson County; was married to Blanch Farmer; lived on Hines Street; and worked as a drayman. [Nelson Farmer was actually his step-father.]
Charlie W. Farmer died 10 October 1938 at the V.A. Hospital at Oteen, Asheville, Buncombe County, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 September 1897 to Jeff Gay and Blanch Gay; was married to Maggie Farmer; and worked as a janitor.
Turner Farmer died 2 May 1939 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 50 years old; was born in Wilson to Jeff Farmer and Blanch Gay; lived at 901 West Nash; and worked as a chauffeur.
Jeff David Farmer died 12 June 1961 at his home at 807 East Viola Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 24 October 1903 in Wilson County to Jeff David Farmer Sr. and Blanch Ella Gay; was widowed; and was a World War II veteran. Goldie Ricks of 1413 East Nash Street was informant.
Blanche Hammonds died 11 July 1971 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 9 July 1914 to Jeff Farmer and Blanche Gay and was married to Joseph Hammonds Sr.
Goldie Farmer Ricks died 8 September 1974 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 January 1897 to Jefferson Farmer and Blanch Gay; resided at 108 Ashe Street, Wilson; and was a widow. Informant was Johnnie Lee Ward of Columbia, Maryland.
George Franklin Farmer died 1 February 1976 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 29 October 1899 to Jeff D. Farmer and Blanche Elnora Gay; was a widower; lived at 714-A East Green; and worked as a janitor.
Samuel Gay Farmer died 29 March 1980 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 October 1910 in Wilson County to Jeff D. Farmer and Blanch Elnora Gay; was divorced; lived at 714-A East Green Street; and worked in maintenance at Eastern North Carolina Sanitorium.
In which a warrant is sworn out for the arrest of an African-American man who yelled at and frightened a white child standing in the path of his wagon. I have not found further reference to this “crime.”
Kinston Daily Free Press, 20 January 1903.
Will Farmer — probably, in the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: teamster George Farmer, 51; wife Bettie, 46; and children George N., 21, teamster; Miner, 19; Aulander, 18, drayman; Willie, 17; Johney, 15; and Emma, 12.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Walter S. Mitchel, 42, mason; wife Elizabeth, 36, laundress; and children Ada, 14, and Esther, 18; plus, wagon factory laborer Oleone Brooks, 18, and laborer Henry Tart, 18.
Henry Tart registered for the World War I draft on 18 September 1918. He recorded his address as the corner of Green and Reid Streets, his birth date as 11 April 1884, and his occupation as self-employed in the transfer business. His wife Julia C[lark] Tart was his next-of-kin, and he signed his card in a neat, well-spaced hand.
Upon Henry’s death, Tart’s wife applied for Letters of Administration for her husband’s estate. She listed four surviving daughters, all minors — indeed, young children — Olivia, Julia, Josephine, and Miriam Tart.