Originally from Franklin County, North Carolina, the Brodies spent time in Nash County before settling in Taylor township, Wilson County, in the first decade of the 20th century. Several members of the family are buried in the cemetery of William Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, a few miles west of Elm City.
Julia Brodie Oct. 17, 1867 Apr. 10, 1928. Peyton Brodie Mar. 1, 1862 July 19, 1930. Asleep in Jesus, blessed sleep.
Prosper Brodie Apr. 17, 1897 Oct. 1, 1918
In the 1870 census of Cypress Creek township, Franklin County, N.C.: farmer Sam Brodie, 50; wife Mariah, 30; and children Sam, 18, Berry, 16, Joice, 15, Theney, 13, Phil, 12, Peyton, 7, Susan, 5, Wash, 4, and Andrew, 7 months.
In the 1880 census of Harris township, Franklin County: farmer Samuel Brodie, 53; wife Maria, 39; children Peyton, 16, Susan, 14, James W., 13, Andrew, 11, Polus, 8, Emmer N., 6, Urnon T., 2, Robt. K.S., 1; and brother-in-law Mu N. Harris, 50.
On 14 July 1888, Payton Brodie, 24, married Julia Perry, 22, in Castalia, Nash County.
In the 1900 census of Castalia township, Nash County, N.C.: Paten Broddie, 36; wife Julia, 34; and children Thomas, 15; Chessin, 10; Annie B., 7, Sam, 6, Prosper, 4, and Delia, 2.
In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Farmers Mill Road or Nashville Road, farmer Payton Broadie, 47; wife Julia, 44; and children Thomas, 25, Samuel, 16, Prosper, 14, Adelia, 12, Odel, 10, William A., 5, and Annie M., 2.
In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Paton Brodie, 56; wife Julia, 53; and children Sammie, 24, Delia, 20, Odell, 17, William, 15, Annie, 12, and Naimie, 8.
In the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Payton Browdy, 65; son William, 25; wife Maylinda, 20; daughters Pearlie, 22, and Maomie, 18; and granddaughter Dortha L., 1.
Prosper Brodie registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born 17 April 1897 in Nash County; resided at Route 2, Elm City; his father was born in Franklin County; he was employed by Walter Bridger, Elm City; and his nearest relative was father Peyton Brodie, Elm City.
Payton Brodie died 17 July 1930 in Taylors township. Per his death certificate, he was 58 years old; was born in Franklin County to Sam Brodie and Maria Brodie; was the widower of Julia Brodie; and had been engaged in farming. William Brodie was informant.
“… the well-known twin-brother’s Doan and Dock Sims; saw-mill owners and lumber dealers here”?
Given the prominence of business owners among Wilson’s early 20th-century African-American community, I was surprised never to have heard of the Simms brothers or even any Black-owned sawmills in Wilson. What I can readily find in digital records does not shed much light on the brothers’ business operations, but does provide some details of their lives.
Lula Simms Deans was born in Nash County in 1871, most likely in Jackson township, which borders Wilson County west of Elm City. Her parents, Wiley and Rachel Simms, had been enslaved in Wilson County and registered their two-year cohabitation there in 1866. Lula was about 23 years old when she gave birth to Doan E. and Dolphus F. Simms in either Wilson or Nash County. She was not married, but one source lists their father as John Taylor. When the twins were about 14 years old, Lula Simms married Wiley Deans of Wilson County.
Doan and Dolphus, known as Dock, were earning their own money as early as 1910, and soon after set out on the separate paths that would eventually lead to their lumber business.
Doan Simms was in Franklin County, North Carolina, by 1912. He fathered a son that year, whom he named after his twin brother, and married the boy’s mother in 1917, the year little Dolphus died. The same year, when he registered for the World War II draft, he described his job as a millhand for John K. Barrow, a sawmill and lumber manufacturer near Zebulon in southeast Wake County. By 1930, Doan and his family were living near Whitakers in extreme northern Nash County, and Doan was described in the census as a sawmill foreman. Ten years later, he and his family were living just over the Wilson County line in Wayne County.
Dock Simms remained in Jackson township (or nearby Zebulon) for decades before relocating to the Edgecombe County side of the Whitakers area during the Depression. In 1930, the census described his occupation as lumber mill manager and in 1940, a sawmill logger.
By 1940 (and perhaps ten years earlier), the Simms brothers had established their lumber business(es), but I have not been able to determine where it was located and even what it was called. I’ll continue to search, and any clues are appreciated.
In the 1870 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farm laborer Willie Simms, 32; wife Racheal, 23; and daughters Mahala, 1, and Anna, 7.
In the 1900 census of Jackson township, Nash County, N.C.: farmer Rachael Simms, 52, widow; daughter Lula, 27, farm laborer; and grandchildren Loyd, 7, Doan and Dolphus, 6, and Maud, 2 months.
On 13 April 1908, Wiley Deans, 22, of Nash County, son of Pete and Catsey Ann Deans, married Lula Simms, 34, of Nash County, daughter of Wiley and Rachel Simms, both deceased. Free Will Baptist minister C[rockett] Best performed the ceremony at his residence in Wilson.
In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Wiley Deans, 27; wife Lula, 36; stepsons Loyd, 18, Doane and Dolphus, 16, and Theodore R., 5; brother-in-law Hubbert Simms, 19; and niece Mary Simms, 12.
In the 1920 census of Jackson township, Nash County: on Wilson and Stanhope Road, farmer Wiley Deans, 36; wife Lula, 45; children Thedo, 15, and Van, 9; and brother-in-law James Sims, 43.
Lula Deans died 18 September 1946 near Whitakers, Edgecombe County, N.C. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 November 1871 in Nash County to Wiley Simms and Rachel Simms, both of Wilson County; was a widow; and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery, Wilson. D.F. Simms, Whitakers, was informant.
Doan E. Simms
Also in the 1910 census of Jackson township, Nash County: Doc and Doanie Simms, 17, odd jobs laborers in the household of N. Harriss Perry, a white 35 year-old farmer.
Dolphus Simms died 21 June 1917 in Harris township, Franklin County, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born 2 June 1912 in Franklin County to Don Simms of Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and Roxana Davis of Dinwiddie County, Virginia.
In 1917, Doan Sims registered for the World War I draft in Franklin County, N.C. Per his registration card, he was born 6 March 1896 in Wilson County; lived in Louisburg, N.C.; and worked as a millhand for J.K. Barrow.
On 9 September 1917, Doane Sims, 28, of Louisburg, Franklin County, married Anna Morgan, 26, of Louisburg, daughter of Wyatt Morgan and Rebecca Morgan, in Zebulon, Wake County. [Presumably, “Anna” was Roxanna.]
U.S. Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board for Military Duty, 1917-18, www.ancestry.com.
In the 1920 census of Little River township, Wake County, N.C.: Doan Sims, 26, sawmill sawer; wife Roxanna, 27, born in Virginia; daughter Mary, 9, born in Virginia; and boarder Nelson York, 27, sawmill cutter, born in South Carolina. [Mary Beatrice Simms was born 3 September 1910 in Dinwiddie County, Virginia. She died 16 September 2003 and is buried in Rest Haven Cemetery, Wilson.]
On 5 May 1927, Mary B. Simms, 18, of Zebulon, daughter of Doan and Annie Simms, married Rubert Weaver, 22, of Zebulon, son of Gus and Ida Weaver, in Raleigh, N.C.
In the 1930 census of North Whitakers township, Nash County, N.C.: sawmill foreman Doan Sims, 36, and wife Roxanna, 31. Sharing their household: Rubert Weaver, 25; wife Mary B., 19; and their daughters Doris, 2, and Ruby V., 11 months. [A number of saw mill laborers were listed in the vicinity, including Nelson York, the Simms’ Wake County boarder.]
In the 1940 census of Great Swamp township, Wayne County, N.C.: farm manager Don Simms, 46; wife Roxanna, 48; grandchildren Doris, 12, Ruby, 10, Anna, 9, and Myrtle, 4; and Jimmie Joyner, 25, laborer.
In 1940, Jefferson Albert Howard registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 7 June 1918 in Wilson County; lived at New Grabneck (Gen Del), Wilson; his contact was Doane E. Simms, R.F.D. Lucama, who was his employer and landlord. The card noted that Howard had a “severe burn scar on left arm & foot.”
In 1940, Jimmy Joyner registered for the World War II draft in Wayne County. Per his registration card, he was born 20 September 1912 in Bailey, Nash County; lived at R.F.D. 1, Lucama, Wayne County (updated: 53 K Street N.E., Washington, D.C.); and his contact was friend Don Simms.
Doan E. Simms died 22 December 1962 at Carolina General Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 March 1896 in Nash County to Lula Deans; was married to Roxanna Simms; lived at 200 Pender Street, Wilson; was a World War I veteran; and was a retired businessman.
Simms was buried in Rest Haven Cemetery under a large headstone engraved D.E. and D.F. Simms Family.
Dolphus F. “Dock” Simms
On 30 August 1919, Adolphus Simms, 35, of Nash County married Bessie Lucas, 18, of Nash County at the Wilson County Courthouse.
In the 1920 census of Jackson township, Nash County: farmer Dolphus Simms, 25, and wife Bessie L., 17.
On 1 October 1923, Dock Simms, 28, of Zebulon, N.C., married Mary Lou Fennell, 22, of Wallace, N.C., in Burgaw, Pender County, N.C.
In the 1930 census of Jackson township, Nash County: lumber mill manager F. Dock Simms, 36; wife L. Mary, 39; and lodgers, D. John Fennell, 25, lumber mill laborer, and wife Mary, 25.
In the 1940 census of Upper Fishing Creek township, Edgecombe County, N.C.: sawmill logger Dock Simms, 46; wife Mary L., 39; and daughter Evelyn, 4. Per the census, the family lived in Wilson County in 1935.
Dock F. Simms died 30 March 1953 in Whitakers, Edgecombe County, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 March 1894 in Wilson County to John Taylor and Lula Simms; was a sawmill operator; and was married to Mary Lou Simms.
Simms was buried in Rest Haven Cemetery under a large headstone engraved D.E. and D.F. Simms Family. His widow, Mary Lou F. Simms of Whitakers applied for a military headstone, which was to be shipped to D.E. Simms, 200 Pender Street, Wilson.
Slaveowners needing additional labor sometimes looked beyond the borders of Wilson County for supply. In January 1857, W.H. Privett, Stephen Privett and J.D. Rountree agreed to pay Dr. P.S. Foster $375 for twelve months’ hire of enslaved men Gaswell and James. Gaswell and James were to receive the usual clothing provided to hired slaves and were to be returned to Foster in Louisburg the following 1 January.
Dr. P.S. Foster — Peter S. Foster is listed in the 1860 census of Franklin County as a doctor with $5500 real property and $48,555 of personal property.
Stephen Privett — in the 1860 census, Stephen Privett is a 50 year-old farmer living in Black Creek township, Wilson County.
J.D. Rountree — in the 1860 census, Jno. [Jonathan] D. Rountree is a 40 year-old merchant living in the Town of Wilson.
Slave Hire-1857, Records of Slaves and Free People of Color, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.
The family history of Annie H.F. Pender illustrates the movement of families among neighboring counties to find the best farming arrangements. The Hineses and Finches moved between Franklin and Nash Counties before settling near Stantonsburg in Wilson County in the 1920s.
In the 1900 census of Cypress Creek township, Franklin County, North Carolina: Phil Hines, 21, farm laborer.
In the 1900 census of Cypress Creek township, Franklin County, North Carolina: farmer Marcellus Harris, 57; wife Ann, 55; children Anna, 36, William, 21, Laura, 18, and Jesse, 17; grandchildren Anthony, 10, and Sallie, 6; son Daniel, 24; daughter-in-law Drucilla, 25; and grandchildren Pearlie, 2, Mosey, 1, and an unnamed infant boy.
On 22 October 1901, Phil Hines, 22, of Franklin County, son of Jonas and Isado Hines, married Laura Harris, 21, of Franklin County, daughter of Marcillus and Anna Harris.
In the 1910 census of Harris township, Franklin County: on Lower Road, James Hines, 30, farm laborer; wife Laura, 28; and children Wiley, 7, Lula, 6, Anna, 6, Pernolia, 4, and Aron, 2.
Phil Hines registered for the World War I draft in Nash County in 1918. Per his registration card, he was born 13 December 1876; resided at R.F.D. #2, Bailey, Nash County; farmed for M.F. Morgan, Bailey; his nearest relative was wife Laura Hines; and he was literate, signed his name “Phill Hines.”
On 29 June 1923, Mozelle Hines died in Dry Wells township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was 4 years old; was born in Nash County to Phil Hines and Laura Harris; and was buried in Wiggins cemetery. Phil Hines, Middlesex, N.C., was informant.
On 21 July 1923, Annie Hines, 21, of Nash County, daughter of Phil and Laura Hines, married Howard Finch, 21, of Nash County son of Bennett and Annie Finch, in Nash County.
Albert Lee Finch died 12 July 1924 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 23 October 1923 in Nash County to Howard Finch and Annie Hines and was buried in Bethel Cemetery.
In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Snow Hill Road, Aaron Hines, 19; wife Grace H., 21; son James W., Jr., 2; father James W., Sr., 51; mother Laura, 47; widowed sister Phoenolia, 21; brothers Wiley, 25, John E., 14, George, 13, and Mozelle, 12; niece Fannie, 6; and nephews Raymond, 7, Robert L., 3, and Stephen Finch, Jr., 1. [This entry appears to contain significant naming errors.]
In the 1930 census of Jackson township, Nash County: farmer Howard Finch, 23; wife Annie, 22; sons Howard L., 5, Grover, 3, and James A., 2; and lodger Charlie Webb, 28.
In the 1940 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: sawmill laborer Phillip Hines, 55; wife Laura, 45; sons John, 23, Mozelle, 19, and Robert Lee, 17; grandchildren Raymond, 12, Stephen, 10, and Fannie, 13; daughter Lula, 37; grandchildren Dorabelle, 10, Justus Lee, 5, and Sadie Mae, 2; widowed daughter Anna Finch, 37, and her sons Howard, 17, Grover, 13, Randolph, 10, and James, 8; [grand]son-in-law Eddie Freeman, 20; granddaughter Ella, 19, and great-granddaughter Blonnie, 1.
In 1940, John Hines registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 17 October 1913 in Nash County; lived in Stantonsburg; his contact was mother Laura Hines, Stantonsburg; and he worked for Stantonsburg Lumber Company. In red grease pencil: “Cancelled dead Feb 9 1943.”
John M. Hines died 9 February 1943 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in Franklin County in 1921 to Phillip Hines and Laura Harry, both of Franklin County; worked as a common laborer; was single; and was buried in Red Hill cemetery, Wilson County. Informant was Laura Edmeson, Petersburg, Virginia.
In 1944, Raymond Hines registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 15 March 1926 in Farmville, N.C.; lived in Stantonsburg; his contact was grandmother Laura Hines, Stantonsburg; and he worked for Will Rogers at Stantonsburg Lumber Company.
Phill Hines died 15 March 1946 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 65 years old; was born in Nash County to Jonas Hines and Isadora High; worked as a common laborer; was married to Laura Hines, age 52; and was buried in Red Hill cemetery, Wayne County. Laura Hines was informant.
Laura Hines died 4 August 1960 in Stantonsburg township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 22 March 1896 [actually, closer to 1880] in Franklin County to Sellus and Ann Harris and was widowed. Robert Hines was informant.
Annie Hines Pender, born 11 December 1904 in Franklin County, died 30 October 1999 in Wilson County.
Thank you to Annie Finch Artis for sharing this photograph of her grandmother.
John Kearsey married Julia Richardson in Franklin County, North Carolina, in 1849. Both were free people of color. The couple migrated to the Town of Wilson prior to 1860.
In the 1860 census of Wilson, Wilson County: John Kersey, 37, blacksmith; wife Julia, 31; and children Louisa, 9, Dellah, 6, John, 5, and William, 1. Kersey reported personal property valued at $300.
In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: blacksmith John Kirsey, 45, wife Julia, 42, and children Louisa, 19, Idella, 16, John, 13, Walter, 10, and Robt., 9.
In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: blacksmith John Kersey, 61; wife Julia, 53; and son Walter, 21; plus boarder William Joyner, who worked in the blacksmith shop.
John and Julia Kersey’s children included:
Louisa Kersey — Louisa Kersey Johnson died 15 January 1934 in Wilson after a fall from her front porch. Per her death certificate, she was 78 years old; was born in North Carolina to John and Julia Kersey; was married to Henry Johnson and lived at 503 Warren Street. Gertrude Jones, 309 Elba Street, was informant.
Robert Kersey — like Walter, Robert Kersey migrated to Indiana. Robert Kersey died 30 August 1902 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Per his death certificate, he was 36 years old; was born in North Carolina to John Kersey and Julia Robinson; and worked as a laborer.
In the 1900 census of Franklinton, Franklin County: Paul Kearney, 59; wife Patsey, 47; and children Robert, 19, Bennie, 16, Anna, 13, Zollie, 11, Joseph, 9, Geneva, 5, and Vassa L., 2.
In the 1910 census of Youngsville, Franklin County: Paul Kearney, 67; wife Patsy P., 54; and children Anna, 23, Zollie, 21, Joseph, 19, Geneva, 15, and Vassar, 10.
On or about 30 December 1913, Arthur Brodie, 26, of Franklin County, son of Joshua and Nellie Brodie, married Anna Kearney, 26, of Franklin County, daughter of Paul and Patsie Kearnie, in Franklinton, North Carolina.
In 1918, Arthur Brodie registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 7 May 1886; resided at 16 Carolina Street; worked as a machine operator for Hackney Wagon Company; and his nearest relative was Anna Brodie.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: laborer Aurtha Brodie, 36; wife Annie, 31; children Lizzie V., 3, and Aurtha, 2; and brother Elmer, 22.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1201 Carolina Street, rented for $12/month, tobacco factory laborer Arthur Broady, 43; wife Anna, 46, laundry; and children Elizabeth, 13, Arthur, 11, Iola, 8, May E., 5, and Anna O., 11 months.
On 17 April 1937, Elizabeth Brodie, 20, of Wilson, daughter of Arthur and Anna Brodie, married Luther E. McKeithan, 25, son of Henry and Sarah McKeithan of Cumberland County, in Wilson. A.M.E. minister John C. Coaxum performed the ceremony in the presence of Rhoda McMillan, Alex McMillan and Sallie Suggs.
In 1940, Arthur Brodie Jr. registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 9 September 1918 in Wilson; lived at 1208 Queen Street; his contact was mother Anna Kernay Brodie; and he worked at Carolina Laundry.
On 9 March 1941, Iola Brodie, 20, of Raleigh, daughter of Arthur and Anna Brodie of Wilson, married Willie Blount, 21, of Raleigh, son of Mary Rawlins, in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Annie Brodie died 18 October 1944 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 57 years old; her birthday was July 1; she was married to Arthur Brodie; she lived at 1208 Queen Street; and she was born in Franklinton, North Carolina, to Paul Kearney and Patsy Perry.
On 26 September 1946, Anna Odell Brodie, 17, of Raleigh, daughter of Arthur and Anna Brodie of Wilson, married Jack Terry Marsh, 17, of Raleigh, son of William and Joy Bell Marsh, in Raleigh. Iola Blount, guardian, gave permission for Anna to marry.
Elder N.B. Smith — Napoleon B. Smith. Rev. Smith is listed in the 1922, 1925 and 1930 Wilson city directories.
Margaret Joyner — Margaret Winstead Joyner.
In the 1870 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Benj. M. Williams, 35; Berry Winstead, 47; his wife Louisa, 41; and their children Adeline, 20, Lena, 18, Sidney, 13, Rinah, 7, Henry, 10, Malinah, 6, Willie, 1, and Margrett, 4.
Henry Joyner, 26, of Taylors township, son of Simon and Venus Joyner, married Margaret Winstead, 26, of Taylors township, daughter of Berry and Luende Winstead, at A.M. Thompson’s house in Taylors.
In the 1900 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Henry Joyner, 32; wife Margret, 31; and children James, 14, Lou, 10, William H., 7, Hubert, 4, Maggie, 3, and Anna, 9 months.
In the 1910 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: on Thompson’s Road, Henry Joyner, 42; wife Margaret, 42; and children Lula, 18, William, 17, Hubbert, 15, Maggie, 13, Annie, 10, Obie, 8, Bettie, 4, Luther, 2, and Theodore, 3 months, and James Joyner, 24.
In the 1920 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: Henry Joyner, 52; wife Margaret, 51; and children Annie, 20, Obie, 18, Bettie, 13, Luther, 11, Theodore, 9, and Lizzie, 6, and grandson Nathan, 6 months.
Maggie Eatmon died 10 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was 26 years old; was born in Wilson County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead of Nash County; was engaged in farming; was married to Sessoms Eatmon; and was buried in Wilson County.
In the 1930 census of Jackson township, Nash County: Henry Joyner, 60; wife Margaret, 60; and children Annie, 26, Obie, 25, Bettie, 24, Luther, 21, and Lizzie, 16, and grandchildren Nathan Joyner, 8, and Josephine, 14, Rosella, 12, Edward, 10, and Elmus Eatmon, 8.
Bettie Joyner died 17 September 1933 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 25 years old; was born in Wilson County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead; was married to Fred Joyner; and engaged in farming.
In the 1940 census of Jackson township, Nash County: Obie Joyner, 38; wife Gladys, 20; father Henry, 71; mother Margrett, 70; siblings Annie, 40, and Luther, 31; and nieces and nephews Curtis Joyner, 7, and Leone, 4, Nathan, 24, and Elmus Eatmon, 19.
Henry Joyner died 13 June 1944 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was 78 years old; was born in Wilson County to Simon and Venus Joyner; was married to Margaret Joyner; was a farmer; and was buried in Granite Point cemetery, Wilson County.
Margaret Joyner died 18 October 1944 in Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was 77 years old; was born in Nash County to Berry Winstead and Lurenda Winstead; was a widow; and was buried in Granite Point cemetery, Wilson County. Obie Joyner was informant.
Annie Joyner Thomas died 30 October 1950 in Rocky Mount, Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was born 2 April 1900 in Wilson County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead; resided in Elm City; was married to John Thomas; and was buried in the Thomas family cemetery in Wilson County.
Herbert Joyner died 14 August 1966 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 January 1893 in Wilson County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead; was married to Laura Joyner; resided in Wilson; was a World War I veteran; and worked as a laborer.
Lula Joyner Eatmon died 25 January 1967 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 May 1894 in Nash County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead; was married to Jarman Eatmon; and resided in Elm City.
Saint Paul’s Holiness Church — now Saint Paul Church of Christ, located on Lake Wilson Road northwest of Wilson?
Rev. Benny Melton — in the 1940 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Bennie Melton, 33; wife Julia, 34; children Ireen, 6, Kathreen, 4, Curtis, 3, Bennie Jr., 2, and Esther, 8 months; grandson Ramson Morgan, 4; and mother Frances Morgan, 57.
“The Albion Academy was designed to prepare young men and women to be teachers in schools intended for the instruction of colored people in the Southern States.
“It was organized by the late Rev. Moses A. Hopkins, its first principal, and aided by his Presbyterian friends North and South.
“Like all schools, at its commencement, it had many obstacles to fight. But by prayer, and the indefatigable energy and push of its founder, it grew gradually until it attracted the public in such a way, that the State of North Carolina, feeling the need of having intelligent, warmhearted citizens who will exercise their right of suffrage intelligently, and for the good of their country, the elevation of the race, and the glory of God, established six Normals, and located one at Franklinton, in connection with the Albion Academy.”
Albion Academy’s 1892-93 catalog listed 58 students by name in the Academic program and claimed another 189 in the preparatory and primary programs. Though Samuel H. Vick and Rev. Leavy J. Melton (and Clarence Dillard) served on the school’s board of trustees, no children from Wilson matriculated at Albion that year.
Excerpts from catalog found at http://www.ancestraltrackers.net/nc/franklin/catalogue-albion-academy-1892.pdf