The obituary of Rev. Arthur Fuller, Disciples pastor.

Wilson Daily Times, 16 January 1937.


In the 1900 census of Great Swamp township, Wayne County, N.C.: farmer Allen Fuller, 66; wife Mollie, 36; children Mittie, 18, Arthur, 16, and Willie, 14; and grandson George A., 4.

On 26 July 1902, Arthur Fuller, 21, applied for a license to marry Hattie May Newsome, 19. The license was not returned.

In the 1910 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: Arthur Fullar, 22, oil mill worker making guano; wife Nettie, 24; and children Lester, 9, Emma M., 6, and Arthur R., 2.

On 4 May 1916, Arthur Fuller, 34, of Fremont, married Carrie Braswell, 22, daughter of Anna Braswell, at Lillea Sanders’ residence in Nahunta township.

Wilber Fuller died 3 June 1916 in Fremont, Nahunta township, Wayne County. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 February 1916 in Fremont to Arthur Fuller and Hattie May Vick.

In 1918, Arthur Fuller registered for the World War I draft in Wayne County. Per his registration card, he was born 2 January 1882; lived in Fremont, Wayne County; farmed for Willie E. Edmundson; and his nearest relative was Carrie Fuller. He signed his card “Arthur Fuller.”

In the 1920 census of Buck Swamp township, Wayne County: farmer Arthur Fuller, 38; wife Carrie, 26; and children Arthur, 13, Albert L., 10, Jasper, 7, Josaphine, 6, and Charles H., 21 months.

Carrie Fuller died 28 July 1920 near Pikeville, Wayne County. Per her death certificate, she was 26 years old; was born in Wayne County to Bert Braswell and Anna [no maiden name listed]; and was buried in Fremont Colored Cemetery, Fremont.

On 16 January 1922, Arthur Fuller, 40, of Wayne County, son of Allen and Mollie Fuller, married Mary Hunter, 38, of Wilson County, daughter of Charlie Taylor, at First Baptist Church, Wilson. Nathan Boyett applied for the license, and Baptist minister John A. Mebane performed the ceremony in the presence of E.J. Hayes, A.E. Weeks, and Mrs. J.D. Reid.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Fuller Arthur (c; Mary) lab h 904 Mercer

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 904 Mercer, Holiness church minister Arthur Fuller, 48; wife Mary J., 46, laundry; daughter Mildred, 12; and roomers Lonnie B. Fields, 42, laundry, widow, and Darthy M. Fields, 3.

Arthur Fuller Sr. died 15 January 1937 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 2 January 1882 to Allen Fuller of Nash County and Mary Wolfington of Lagrange, N.C.; was married to Mary Fuller; lived at 604 Warren Street; and was a preacher. He was buried in Fremont [Wayne County,] N.C.

Dr. Mitchner’s ordeal.

Wilson Daily Times, 21 April 1938.

In late March or early April 1938, white newborn baby was found abandoned under a tree on Hines Street in Wilson, and died a short time later. The police quickly identified Mittie E. Lucas, reported as a 43 year-old widowed seamstress in the 1940 census of Wilson, as the child’s mother and Jesse Hamilton, also 43 and a married former policeman, as its father. Lucas and Mary Fuller, an African-American midwife, were charged with the baby’s homicide, and Hamilton was charged with abortion along with black physician William A. Mitchner. The four criminal cases were consolidated.

It is not difficult to imagine Mitchner’s terror. He testified that Lucas called on him on February 2 and, in 30 years of medical practice, he had never before examined a white woman. He denied attempting an abortion, asserting that he told Lucas he didn’t “do that kind of work and not to let anyone else do it.” He admitted referring Lucas to Dr. Clarence Dillard Jr., an African-American doctor in Goldsboro, but claimed he did not know whether Dillard were an abortionist, he just “wanted to get rid of them and stop them from coming to me.” [In fact, just four months later, newspapers would breathlessly cover a trial in which Dillard was accused of performing an abortion on a young white woman pregnant by her black boyfriend.] More than a dozen character witnesses stood for Mitchner, including “prominent negro undertaker” Camillus L. Darden and “prominent local druggist” Doane Herring, who was white.

On 26 April 1938, the Daily Times reported that Recorder McLean had dismissed charges against Mitchner, concluding that the other defendants’ actions after visiting Mitchner suggested that he “would do nothing for them.”

The charges against Lucas, Hamilton and Fuller dragged on. Lucas’ brother, U.R. Moore, posted her bond at the end of April, but Fuller and Hamilton remained in jail. After several court continuances, startling news broke on 8 February 1939 after the state rested its case. Witnesses testified that Hamilton admitted that he was the baby’s father; that Hamilton went to a Negro doctor for “medicine” and that the doctor had refused to do what was “intimated”; that Lucas had given the infant to Fuller to place with “some rich person or some hospital”; and that Fuller had placed the child under a tree and called a neighbor to the scene. However, the solicitor conceded that he could not establish if the baby had died of exposure [or, presumably, died of natural causes]. Thus, he could not establish homicide. (And as Lucas seemingly delivered a full-term child, nor could he show that Lucas had obtained an abortion.) With this failure, he proferred a nolle prosequi, i.e. dropped charges, against Lucas and suspended five-year sentences to Hamilton and Fuller if they pleaded no contest.


Perhaps, in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Mary Fuller, 56, laundress; daughter Mildred, 22; and boarder Texanna Whitley, 23, and her children Cleo, 7, and Charlie, 2.