Edwards

Barnes-Edwards family portrait.

The family of Lee John Edwards, circa mid-1940s.

This lovely colorized photograph depicts three generations of Lee John Edwards‘ family and dates to the mid-1940s. Edwards stands on the porch beside his second wife, Maggie Speight Edwards. who is holding baby John Henry Edwards. Lee Edwards’ daughter Elizabeth Edwards Barnes sits at right, her husband Frank W. Barnes stands at left, and her stepson Frank W. Barnes Jr. stands on the steps beside his young uncle, A.J. Edwards. On the bottom step are Marvin, Hattie Mae, and S.T. Edwards. Willie Edwards stands behind his sister Elizabeth.

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On 21 January 1912, Lee John Edwards, 21, of Greene County, son of Elizabeth Edwards, married Almira Rowe, 18, of Greene County, daughter of Julus and Sarah Rowe, in Bullhead township, Greene County, North Carolina.

Lee John Edwards, 21, registered for the World War I draft in Greene County in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born April 1896 in Greene County; was a farmer; and was single.

On 8 February 1920, Lee J. Edwards, 24, of Saratoga, son of Isaac and Elizabeth Edwards, married Tessie Ward, 19, of Saratoga, daughter of Dug and Sallie Ward, in Wilson County.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmer Lee J. Edwards, 24; wife Tessie, 19; and son Lee, 16 months.

Lee McKinley Edwards died 12 November 1925 in Saratoga, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in June 1919 to Lee Edwards and Tessie Ward.

Lee John Edwards Jr. died 30 May 1928 in Saratoga, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 May 1928 to Lee Edwards and Tessie Ward.

In the 1930 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Lee Edwards, 34; wife Tessie, 28; and children Elizabeth, 8, Tinsie, 7, and Eddie, 9 months.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Lee Edwards, 46; wife Maggie, 25; and children A.J., 4, Elizabeth, 19, Marie, 18, Eddie, 11, and Willie, 8.

In the 1950 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farm operator Lee J. Edwards, 54; wife Maggy, 39; and children Eddy H., 20, Willy J., 19, A.J., 15, Marvin Lee, 12, S.T., 10, Haddy May, 8, John Henry, 5, and Isaac Lee, 2.

Lee John Edwards, 65, of Black Creek, married Maggie Speight, 40, on 10 July 1959 in Wilson County.

Lee John Edwards died 24 July 1959 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 30 July 1894 in Greene County; was married to Maggie Edwards; resided at Route 3, Wilson; and was engaged in farming. A.J. Edwards was informant.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 August 1959.

Photo courtesy of Christopher Frazier and Dr. Michael Barnes — thank you for sharing!; World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919, online at http://www.ancestry.com.

812 East Vance Street.

The one hundred-seventy-sixth 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. 1913; 1 story; L-plan cottage with hip-roofed porch.”

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In 1922, William Pritchitt of 812 East Vance Street advertised finding a set of keys.

Wilson Daily Times, 22 February 1922.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jenkins Jesse (c; Hattie B) car washer h 812 E Vance

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 812 East Vance, minister Roosevelt Wheeler, 26; wife Minnie, 24; and lodger Jessie Edwards, 17.

In 1940, Roosevelt Wheeler registered for the World War II in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 4 March 1910 in Darlington, South Carolina; lived at 812 East Vance Street, Wilson; his contact was wife Minnie Beatrice Wheeler; and worked for Armour & Co., Railroad Street, Wilson.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, May 2022.

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.

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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.

604 North Carroll Street.

The one hundred-fifty-fifth 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. 1913; one story; L-plan cottage with turned-post porch.” [Note: per tax records, the house was built in 1925. It does not appear on the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map.] The 1950 Wilson city directory reveals the original house number was 516.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Graham David (c; Golda) h 516 N Carroll; also Graham Theola (c) 516 N Carroll

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Taylor Green (c) h 516 N Carroll; also, Taylor Green jr (c) h 516 N Carroll

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 516 Carroll Street, high school janitor Green Taylor, 57; wife Rebecca, 54; stepdaughters Lillie, 26, Wauline, 18, and Julia, 11; and son Robert Taylor, 19.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Edwards Julia (c) cook Rosa R Lupe h 516 N Carroll

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Edwards Julia (c) gro h 516 N Carroll h do [home ditto]

Wilson Daily Times, 8 July 1976.

Julia Edwards died 3 December 1989 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 14 February 1904 in Wilson County to John Henry Edwards Sr. and Nealie Farmer; was never married; had a fifth grade education; and operated a restaurant. Informant was Annie Edwards, Stantonsburg.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2022.

Look! The first colored fair!

Wilson Daily Times, 10 November 1920.

“It will be up-to-date in every way. Exhibits of every kind, good racing, good riders, good speaking, good shows, good midway, good free attractions, in fact, everything that it takes to make a good fair!”

  • Hon. Robert H. Terrell
  • Prof. E.J. Hayes — Edgar J. Hayes, superintendent of Wilson’s colored graded schools.
  • F.E. Edwards — Frank E. Edwards died 17 February 1931 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 57 years old; was born in Wayne County to King and Eliza Edwards; was married to Addie Edwards; lived at 426 Spring Street; and worked as a house mover.
  • W.M. Phillips — William H. Phillips, dentist.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The Oliver Marable case.

I happened upon this Notice signed by Columbus E. Artis, one of the principals of the undertaking firm Artis, Flanagan & Batts, in the Wilson Daily Times. Who was Oliver Marable? What was his “case”? What were the “false reports being circulated”?

Wilson Daily Times, 14 December 1925.

Here is Marable’s death certificate:

Filled out largely in C.E. Artis’ bold, readily recognizable hand, it states that Marable died 4 December 1925 in Spring Hill township; was about 55 years old; was married to Bettie Marable; resided at 717 Manchester Street; was born in Henderson, N.C., to Grand and Cornelia Marable. In a different script, Marable’s cause of death: “fracture of base of skull accidentally incurred in a cave-in of earth.” 

Or was it accidental at all?

An inquest held into Marable’s death revealed a bizarre set of facts. On a Friday evening, Marable, who lived on Roberson Street in East Wilson, was miles away in Springhill township digging with a dozen other men for “buried treasure.” Later that night, Marable’s battered body was taken to C.E. Artis and his business partner Walter E. Flanagan, who were preparing to bury him when the police intervened. 

When Artis and Flanagan could not produce a death certificate, the police halted the funeral and contacted the coroner, who went with several county officials to the dig site. Dissatisfied with the accounts of witnesses as to what had happened to Marable, the coroner ordered an inquest. A jury traveled out to Tobe Hinnant‘s farm in Old Fields [Springhill?] township, where they found a “huge hole” in a field near a creek bank. 

The witnesses, who had been digging the hole with Marable, testified that he had been killed when the hole’s sidewalls caved in, but the jury found foul play involved. 

The physician who conducted a post mortem of Marable’s body concluded he likely met his death from a skull fracture, but had also suffered a broken arm, collar bone, and femur and contusions of the back, neck and face.

The police arrested seven people in connection with Marable’s death. Tom Boykin, conjure doctor Richard Pitts and Amos Batts [who was both Marable’s brother-in-law and the third business partner of C.E. Artis] were held without bond; William Edwards, McKinley Edwards, Tobe Hinnant, and John Hinnant bonded out. The story these witnesses told: conjure man Pitts showed up in Hinnant’s neighborhood, claiming that there was buried treasure nearby. Hinnant said he had often dreamed of such a thing, and Pitts said he could locate it. Hinnant pointed out the X in his dreams, and Pitts performed a divination with mineral oil. Though it is not clear how the rest of the treasure hunters were assembled, digging commenced. When the tip of a seven-foot augur embedded itself in a wooden object, the treasure was found. Marable died during the attempt to dig it out. The jury viewed the stuck augur, several shovels, and some sounding rods, as well as a length of white cord festooned about the perimeter to keep out the “haints” lingering in a nearby cemetery in use during slavery. (The jury concluded the augur was more likely stuck in a coffin lid than a treasure chest.) On a side note, investigators also found a large hole, filled in, in Marable’s back yard on Roberson Street, evidence of an earlier search.

Wilson Daily Times, 9 December 1925.

The next day, Raleigh’s News and Observer reported that the jury had adjourned without a verdict, but with a recommendation that Pitts be held pending investigation by a lunacy commission. (Per the Times the same day, Pitts “in his many trips and ‘treasure hunts’ in and around Wilson county had poisoned the minds of many of the negro inhabitants in regards to buried treasure and hidden pots of gold. In many cases sections of the county Pitts has ‘engineered’ treasure hunts, receiving pay for his ‘knowledge’ while honest negroes work in good faith at the task of uncovering the treasure which is never found.”) Everyone else was released. The jury had gone back to the site to find that it had been tampered with. The augur and divining rods were gone, and someone had thrown four feet of dirt into the hole. Several convicts were put to work to shovel out the dirt, but Marable’s pick could not be found. Amos Batts had testified that he did not know about the digging until Marable had died, but when told that Marable had his hand on the money when the pit collapsed, joined the enterprise. (Presumably by agreeing to bury Marable reporting the death or issuing a death certificate.) Someone named Lee Pearce testified, but no details as to what.

Five days later, the matter was dropped. Most of the 20 witnesses had testified to hearsay, Tobe Hinnant’s six-year-old swore he had never accused his father of killing Marable, and county officials gave ambiguous testimony about whether they had seen blood in the pit. The jury was hopelessly confused. Hinnant was freed, leaving only Pitts in jail, presumably for his chicanery.

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  • Oliver Marable

In the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Marable Oliver (c) lab 501 Lucas al

In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Marable Oliver (c) lab Robinson nr Stantonsburg rd

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Marable Oliver (c) lab 501 Robinson

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 501 Robinson Street, Oliver Marable, 56, oil mill laborer; wife Betie, 48; and daughter Hattie, 7; plus brother-in-law John Batts, 52, oil mill laborer.

  • Tobe Hinnant  
  • Amos Batts
  • Richard Pitts
  • Tom Boykin 
  • William Edwards and McKinley Edwards — in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 609 South Railroad Street, rented for $16/month, farm laborer William Edwards, 52; wife Lillie, 49; son McKinly, 28, worker at Hackney Body Company; McKinley’s wife Maggie, 25, farmworkers; and his son Bernard, 6.
  • John Hinnant

Lona Edwards Alston Dunston, centenarian.

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Wilson Daily Times, 10 November 2001.

201907181724569470

Wilson Daily Times, 15 November 2002.

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In the 1910 census of Speights Bridge township, Greene County: farm laborer Stephen Edwards, 31; wife Charity, 29; and children Lonnie, 9, John H., 7, Charity, 4, William, 2, and Mary, 7 months.

On 14 January 1917, Thomas Alston, 22, of Greene County, son of Thomas and Peggy Alston, married Lonie Edwards, 18, of Stantonsburg, daughter of Steve and Charity Edwards, in Stantonsburg, Wilson County. Rev. W.J. Fox of “A.M.E. Zion connection,” performed the ceremony.

In the 1940 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: widow Lonie Alston, 40, farmer, and children Napoleon, 23, Willie Marie, 20, Thomas Lee, 17, J.C., 15, Stephen, 12, Jesse, 9, Mattie, 7, Lonnie, 5, and Lillian, 3.

In 1940, Napoleon Alston registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 26 August 1918 in Greene County; he lived in Stantonsburg; his contact was his mother Lonie Alston; and he was self-employed.

In 1944, J.C. Alston registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 26 October 1926 in Wilson County; his contact was his mother Lonie Alston; and he worked for John Lane, Stantonsburg, as a farmer.

Lona Edwards Alston Dunston died 1 October 2003, just weeks before her 103rd birthday.

Three drown; three thousand attend funeral.

The day after graduation, Darden High School’s Class of 1942 road-tripped south to Kinston for a picnic at a lake. The day ended in tragedy when three young men drowned trying to save the life of a classmate.

Wilson Daily Times, 4 June 1942.

The Daily Times estimated that three thousand mourners jammed the “Wilson Community Center” [Reid Street Community Center] for joint services for Harvey Ford, Raymond Edwards, and Russell Clay

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Wilson Daily Times, 8 June 1942.

  • Harvey Ford — Per his death certificate, Harvey Gray Ford died 4 June 1942 in Falling Creek township, Lenoir County, North Carolina, “drowned no boat involved.” He was born 8 January 1921 in Wilson, N.C., to Curtis Ford of Dillon, S.C., and Mamie Battle of Wayne County, N.C.; was a student; and was single. Mamie Ford, 910 East Green Street, was informant.
  • Raymond Edwards — Per his death certificate, Raymond Edwards died 4 June 1942 in Falling Creek township, Lenoir County, North Carolina, “drowned no boat involved.” He was born 15 November 1924 in Wilson, N.C., to McKenly Edwards of Greene County and Maggie Thomas of Wayne County, N.C.; was a student; and was single. Maggie Edwards, 609 South Railroad Street, was informant.
  • Russell Clay — Per his death certificate, Russell Clay died 4 June 1942 in Falling Creek township, Lenoir County, North Carolina, “drowned no boat involved.” He was born 8 April 1921 in Jarrett, Virginia, to Larry Clay of Wilson, and Hattie Grice of Wilson; was a student; and was single. He was buried in Newsome cemetery near Lucama. Hattie Clay, 902 Viola Street, was informant.
  • Parthenia Robinson — Anne Parthenia Robinson. In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 202 Vick Street, barber Golden Robinson, 30; wife Bertie, 23; and children Parthenia, 5, Gold M., 3, and Glean, 1.
  • E.M. Barnes — Edward M. Barnes was principal of C.H. Darden High School.
  • Rev. F.M. Davis — Fred M. Davis was pastor of Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church.
  • Rev. A.D. Dunstan
  • Charles D. James
  • Eunice Cooke — in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Hadley Street, railroad mail clerk Jerry L. Cook, 43; wife Clara, 39, teacher; children Henderson, 20, Edwin D., 18, Clara G., 14, Georgia E., 12, Annie, 8, Jerry L., 6, and Eunice D., 4; sister Georgia E. Wyche, 48, teacher; and nieces Kathaline Wyche, 7, and Reba Whittington, 19.
  • James Mincey — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: fertilizer plant laborer James Mincey, 39; wife Lucinda, 35; grandfather William Ran, 87, widower; and James Mincey Jr., 15.
  • Eleanor Reid — Eleanor P. Reid was principal of Sallie Barbour Elementary School.
  • Annie Cooke
  • M.D. Williams — Malcolm D. Williams was principal of Samuel Vick Elementary School.
  • Rev. W.A. Hillard — in 1942, William Alexander Hilliard registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 14 September 1904 in Greenville, Texas; was a minister in the A.M.E. Zion Church serving in Wilson; resided at 119 Pender Street; and his contact was Mrs. Veta Watson, 2449 Woodland Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri.
  • Quincey Ford — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 409 Carroll Street, carpenter Curtis Ford, 52; sons Quincey, 20, and Harvey G., 19, tobacco factory laborers; wife Mayme, 48, teacher; son-in-law Liston Sellers, 22, tobacco factory laborer; daughter Leah, 22, and granddaughter Yvette, 2.
  • Leah Ford — Leah Ford Sellers‘ daughter Yevette Sellers died just three and a half years after her uncle Harvey.
  • Kennie and Maggie Edwards — in the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 609 South Railroad Street, William Edwards, 52, farm laborer; wife Lillie, 49; son McKinley, 28, wife Maggie, 25; and son Ramond, 6.
  • Hattie Clay — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 902 Viola, hospital cook Hattie Clay, 42, widow, and children Russell, 19, Buelah M., 15, and Arthur, 7; plus mother Mary Grice, 76, widow.
  • Beulah Clay
  • Arthur Clay