elected office

Constable Blow runs down an escapee.

Wilson Advance, 1 March 1888.

Wilson township elected a series of African-American men to the office of town constable in the 1880s, including Edward C. Simms, Gray Farmer, and Joseph Blow.

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  • Joe Blow

In the 1870 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Charity Blow, 32, domestic servant, and children Joseph, 18, Lenday, 9, Thomas, 3, and Lucind, 1.

Constables were paid out of the county treasury, and several disbursements to Blow appear in year-end summaries published in local newspapers.

From “Statement of Disbursements of Wilson County,” Wilson Advance, 15 December 1887.

Blow left office in November 1888, and “a true white man” took his place.

Wilson Mirror, 7 November 1888.

Wilson Mirror, 26 December 1888.

The county’s fiscal year ran December 1 through November 30, so Blow’s final payments, made after he left office, were not reported until the following year.

Wilson Advance, 19 December 1889.

Blow apparently died before 1900. In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Jane Blow, 40, with children Marry, 21, Bettie, 20, Ro[illegible], 16, Henretter, 13, Henry H., 11, and [grandson] Auguster, 2.

On 23 January 1907, Lemon Barnes, 21, son of Charles and Jack Ann Barnes, married Henrietta Blow, 20, daughter of Joe [deceased] and Jane Blow, at Jane Blow’s residence. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Merriman Watkins, James Taylor, and Charles H. Barnes.

On 27 May 1909, George Scott, 21, of Johnston County, N.C., son of Lendora Scott, married Henrietta Blow, 22, daughter of Joe and Jane Blow, at Jane Blow’s. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Etter Armstrong and W.O. Barnes.

On 26 October 1930, July Wells, 60, son of Adam Wells and Sylvia [no maiden name], married Henrietta Scott, 43, daughter of Joe and Jane Blow. Rev. Holaday performed the ceremony on Suggs Street.

Henry Harrison Blow died 31 August 1937 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 49 years old; was born in Wilson to Joseph Blow and Jane Barnes; lived at 902 Mercer Street; worked as a common laborer at a tobacco factory; was single; and was buried in Wilson [probably, Vick Cemetery.] Henrietta Scott was informant.

Jane Blow died 3 April 1938 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 79 years old; was the widow of Joe Blow; was born in Wilson County to Hardy Hinnant and Mildred Barnes; and was buried in Wilson [probably Vick Cemetery.] Bettie Earp was informant.

Banks Blow died 26 June 1943 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 56 years old; was born in Wilson to Joe Blow and Jane Barnes; was married to Mary Blow; lived at 707 East Green Street; worked as a common laborer at a tobacco factory; and was buried in Rountree Cemetery [probably, Vick Cemetery.]

Bettie Blow Earp died 17 April 1954 in Kenly, Johnston County, N.C. Per her death certificate, she was born 15 April 1877 in Wilson County to Joe Blow and Jane Barnes. Informant was James H. Blow, 115 South Reid Street, Wilson.

  • John Field