The death of Dock Royall.

Wilson Daily Times, 1 April 1938.

Dock Royall was a member of the Red Hots, an all-Black volunteer fire company. A World War I veteran, he worked as a mechanic for Hackney Body Company and died after being severely burned while trying to prime a truck motor.


On August 10, 1928, Dockery Royall, 28, of Wilson, married Ossie Mae Jenkins, 25, of Wilson in Wilson. Baptist minister B.F. Jordan performed the ceremony in the presence of Lossie Jenkins, Flonnie Farmer, and Maggie Jordan. Walter M. Foster applied for the license.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 321 Hackney Street, rented at $12/month, Doc Royall, 34, body plant laborer, and wife Ossie May, 26, cook.

The obituary of Henry Powell, light plant fireman.

Wilson Daily Times, 1 October 1928.


In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: brothers James Powell, 24, and Henry Powell, 22, both farm laborers.

In the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Powell Henry (c) laborer h 136 Manchester; also, Powell James (c) laborer h 136 Manchester

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: James Powell, 33, farm laborer; wife Martha, 28; daughters Mattie B., 4, and Charity, 1; and lodger Henry Powell, 32, farm laborer.

In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Powell Henry (c) fireman h East nr Nash

On 6 November 1912, Henry Powell, 34, married Sarah E. Hagans, 25, at the bride’s house in Wilson. Primitive Baptist elder Jonah Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of Dempsey Lassiter, Alus Harris, and Charles Parker.

In the 1920 census of Jackson township, Nash County: on Raleigh and Tarboro Road, farmer Henry Powell, 43; wife Sarah, 35; and children Eva, 16, Hallah, 13, Mildred, 11, John, 8, Maso, 6, Ruth, 5, Annie B., 3, Charlie L., 2, and Millie, 3, months.

Cora Miller Powell died 13 November 1926 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was born 5 September 1926 in Nash County to Henry Powell and Sarah Hagans, both of Wilson County; and was buried in Nash County. Henry Powell was informant.

Henry Powell died 29 September 1928 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born November 1877 in Wilson County to Ichabod Powell and Mary Ann Lassiter; was married to Sarah Powell; was a farmer; and was buried in Nash County.

Sarah Powell filed for letters of administration in Nash County Superior Court on 9 October 1928. His estate was estimated at $5500, of which $4500 was land. His heirs were his wife and children Ruth Powell, Geneva Woodard, Mahala Powell, J.H. Powell, Mildred Powell, Maso Powell, Annie Belle Powell, Christine Powell, Charles L. Powell, Irene Powell, Freeman Powell, Junius Powell, and Lorenzo Powell.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Boiler explosion.

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“No Dr. Instantly killed and body badly mutilated, caused by explosion of boiler at pumping station.”

A fireman tends the fire for running of boilers, heating buildings, or powering steam engines. The job involves hard physical labor, including shoveling coal or wood into a boiler’s firebox, and is inherently dangerous.

I have been unable to locate additional information about Walter Brailey‘s life or death.

The obituary of William J. Howell.

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Wilson Daily Times, 10 November 1939.

As noted here, William J. Howell was a member of the Red Hot Hose Company, Wilson’s all-black volunteer fire company.


William Howell, 35, son of J. and R. Howell of Fayetteville, North Carolina, married Susan Minche [Mincey], 40, on 29 October 1903 in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister E.S.W. Simmons performed the ceremony in the presence of J.P. Daniel, Carrie Pettiford and P. Henry Cotton.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Moore Street, William Howell, 40, factory laborer, and wife Susan, 35.

In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Howell Susan domestic h525 Stemmery and Howell Wm J lab h525 Stemmery

On 8 March 1929, W.J. Howell, 58, married Henrietta King, 50, in Wilson. Baptist minister B.F. Jordan perfromed the ceremony in the presence of Gen. W. Coppedge, Willie Faulkland and Eva M. Hines.

William J. Howell died 8 November 1939 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 67 years old; was born in Cumberland County, North Carolina, to Rachel Barnes; worked as a laborer; lived at 517 Church Street; and was buried at Rountree cemetery.


Chief Mincey.

Benjamin Mincey, after Edmund Poole, was the second “chief” of Wilson’s African-American volunteer fire department, the Red Hot Hose Company. This magnificent photograph depicts Mincey in full fireman dress regalia.

Benjamin Mincey (circa 1881-1950).


In the 1900 census of Wilson town, Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Prince Mensey, 60; wife Susan, 52; children Ben, 19, Emma, 19, and Oscar, 12; and niece Rosetta Mensey, 7.

Ben Mincey, 21, of Wilson, son of P. Mincey, and Mattie Barnes, 20, of Wilson, daughter of M. and Mariah Barnes, were married on 12 January 1904. Berry Williams applied for the license, and Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in his home in the presence of Harry Mercer, W. Aken, and E.M. Davis.

In 1918, Ben Mincey registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 25 December 1879; resided at 411 Wiggins Street; worked as a laborer for the city of Wilson; and his nearest relative was Mattie Mincey.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 411 Wiggins Street, city pipe fitter Benj. Mency, 38; wife Mattie, 37, tobacco factory worker; and children Benjamin J., 11, Mildred, 7, Maddison, 5, and John, 3 months.

Wilson Daily Times, 26 June 1929.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 656 Wiggins Street, valued at $800, town of Wilson plumber Benjamin Mincy, 48; wife Mattie, 49; and children Benjamin Jr., 23, Briggs hotel cook; Madison B., 16; Mildred, 17; and John H., 11; and roomer Andrew P. Sugg, 59.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: City of Wilson plumber Benjamine Mincy, 60; wife Mattie, 60; and sons Benjamine, 31, hotel cook, and Johnnie, 21, daily paper deliveryman; and granddaughter Deloris Woodard, 5.

Benjamin Mincey died 14 July 1950 at his home at 712 Wiggins Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 67 years old; was married; worked as a plumber for the town of Wilson; was born in Greene County to Prince Mincey and Susan Suggs; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Informant was Mattie Mincey.

Photograph of Mincey reprinted from Wilson Daily Times, 29 April 1999. Many thanks to Pamela Mincey Myers, who advises that the original of this portrait of her great-grandfather hung in the living room of her grandparents,Madison Benjamin  Mincey and Lala Rook Barnes Mincey at 723 Lincoln Street, Wilson.

Newsy notes from Wide Awake.

The state colored firemen‘s convention came to town. Negroes, who “generally have very fine, rich, resonant voices, full of volume and melody,” sang. Braswell R. Winstead, normally “well-behaved,” had the “bad taste” to “inject venom” into the festivities by complaining of “being oppressed and denied of their rights.” But the finest and most learned Frank S. Hargrave poured oil on the waters with some “very happy and admirably conceived remarks.”


Raleigh Morning Post, 11 August 1904.