grave marker

Lane Street Project: Nettie Young Foster.

Nettie Wife of Walter M. Foster Born July 5, 1871 Died July 7, 1912. As a wife, devoted As a mother, affectionate As a friend, ever kind and true.

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Henry Young, 34; wife Anna, 37; and children Joseph, 5, Jane, 4, John, 2, and George, 5 months.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Henry Young, 45; wife Zelpha Ann, 21; and children Joseph, 15, Nettie, 13, and George, 10.

On 14 August 1896, Walter Foster, 23, son of Peter and Phillis Foster, married Nettie Young, 28, daughter of Henry and Annie Young. Rev. Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony at Lou Ellis‘ house in Wilson in the presence of William Coley, Cora Ellis, and Minnie Coley.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Walter Foster, 26, day laborer; wife Nettie, 29; daughter Mollie, 6 months.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Walter Foster, 34, fireman at wagon factory; wife Nettie, 39; and children Henry E., 8, and Walter A., 5; plus boarder Arthur Broady, 22, laborer.

Nettie Young Foster died 7 July 1912.

Lane Street Project: Henry Tart.

Henry Tart Born Apr. 11, 1886 Died Mar. 13, 1919

Henry Tart‘s magnificent obelisk is the largest gravestone standing in Odd Fellows. Tart was the well-known proprietor of a transfer company. Read more about him here and here and here.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Walter S. Mitchel, 42, mason; wife Elizabeth, 36, laundress; and children Ada, 14, and Esther, 18; plus, wagon factory laborer Oleone Brooks, 18, and laborer Henry Tart, 18.

On 13 December 1911, Henry Tart, 25, of Wilson, son of John and Oliphia Tart, married Julia Clark, 23, of Edgecombe County, daughter of Mathew and Amanda Clark, at Saint Paul A.M.E. Zion Church, in Township #1, Edgecombe County. Levi Jones and Herman Grissom of Wilson were among the witnesses.

In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Tart Henry lab h 613 E Green

Henry Tart registered for the World War I draft on 18 September 1918. He recorded his address as the corner of Green and Reid Streets, his birth date as 11 April 1884, and his occupation as self-employed in the transfer business. His wife Julia C[lark] Tart was his next-of-kin, and he signed his card in a neat, well-spaced hand.

Upon Henry’s death, Tart’s wife applied for Letters of Administration for her husband’s estate. She listed four surviving daughters, all minors — indeed, young children — Olivia, Julia, Josephine, and Miriam Tart.

Lane Street Project: Smith Bennett, revisited.

I’ve written of the dozens of simple narrow marble grave markers in Odd Fellows Cemetery. Most are inscribed with the full name of the deceased and, often, the fraternal organization’s emblem. Were they headstones or footstones, though?

Yesterday I had a go at unscrambling the chunks of concrete from a shattered anchor-and-ivy marker found when trash and privet were cleared from the edge of the parking lot bordering Odd Fellows. There was an obvious base and, around it, two dozen or so pieces of headstone, which I sorted more quickly than I’d expected. I was surprised to recognize the name of the deceased — Smith Bennett — especially since I’d already found a Smith Bennett marker

Smith Bennett Died Apr. 30, 192_ [May the Resur]rection Find Thee On the Bosom of Thy God

The first stone, which lies about 15 feet from this one, is of the smooth white marble variety that the Odd Fellows seem to have supplied to lodge members and their families. Presumably, in this instance, it served as a footstone, though it (or the headstone) has obviously been dislodged from its original place. 

Smith Bennett’s footstone. At top, between the trees, his broken headstone.

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2021.

Lane Street Project: Oscar Mincey.

Here’s what I wrote about Oscar Mincey‘s headstone in December 2019, in one of the first Lane Street project posts:

Oscar Mincey, son of Prince and Susan Suggs Mincey, was born about 1887. His small stone is a few feet from his father. It’s almost completely sunken, and his death date is unreadable. I have not found a death certificate for him, which suggests he died before the state required them in 1914. Oscar’s brother Benjamin, the fireman, is presumably buried nearby, but there is no trace of his headstone.

Since then, we’ve found Benjamin Mincey‘s fire hydrant grave marker and freed it from its next of vines. Today, it was time to bring Oscar Mincey’s headstone to light.

Here it was when I first saw it in 2015:

L.S.P. volunteers have cleared away the vegetation. Scratching at the soil reveals a web of wisteria roots clutching the stone. They run as much as a foot beneath the surface and have to be clipped carefully to release their grip.

Vines cut, I dug carefully at each edge, scooping out dirt by hand to keep the hole small. At last, Oscar’s death date appears — January 15, 1905.

Finally, a simple clean-up with water and a nylon brush.

Oscar Mincey was about 17 when he died.

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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.

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2021.

Lane Street Project: Lewis Holloway Sr.

Louis Holloway.

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In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: south of the Plank Road, Edward Holloway, 39, farm worker; wife Harriet, 44; and children Lewis, 20, Abigail, 11, James S., 6, and Milly, 3.

On 4 August 1880, Lewis Holliday [sic] and Leah Farmer were issued a license to marry in Wilson County.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Lewis Halaway, 40; wife Lear, 39; and children Jeff, 14, Edwin, 12, Elic, 10, Harry, 5, Anie, 8, Lewis, 4, and Willie, 7 months.

Jeff Holloway, 21, of Wilson, son of Louis and L. Holloway, married Hardena Best, 21, of Wilson County, daughter of Owen [Orren] and Hansey Best, on 22 August 1906 at the bride’s residence. Charlie B. Gay applied for the license, and A.M.E. Zion minister N.D. King performed the ceremony in the presence of Sarah Best, William Simms, Shepherd Sharp, and Martha Scarborough.

The 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory listed Alexander and Benjamin Holloway, both laborers, and Lewis Holloway, driver, all at Nash near Bynum [in other words, Grabneck.]

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: hardware store laborer Louis Holoway, 47; wife Leah, 43, laundress; children Ellic, 19, Harry, 14, and Louis Jr., 12, grocery store laborers, and Wilber, 11; and lodger Aaron Campbell, 19, wagon factory laborer.

Henry Rountree, 20, of Wilson, married Annie Holloway, 19, of Wilson, daughter of Louis and Lear Holloway, on 30 March 1910. Noah Best applied for the license, and Primitive Baptist minister Jonah Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of Jeff Holloway, Lewis Holloway and James A. Whitley.

Though it’s not entirely clear, it appears Louis Holloway died between 1910 and 1916. His death certificate has not been found.

The 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory listed Alexander Holloway, well digger; Annie Holloway, laundress; Harry Holloway, butler; Jeff Holloway, porter; Leah Holloway, laundress; Lewis Holloway, cook; and Wilbur Holloway, helper at P.D. Gold Publishing Company, all living at West Nash Street extended. [Lewis here is likely Louis Holloway Jr.]

The 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory listed Annie, Harriet and Lelia Holloway, all domestics, and Louis and Wilbur Holloway, both laborers, at W Nash near Young. 

Leah Holloway, 62, of Wilson, daughter of Harry and Rosa Farmer, married Jeremiah Scarboro, 63, of Wilson, son on Robert and Flora Scarboro, in Wilson on 31 March 1922. Missionary Baptist minister Charles T. Jones performed the ceremony in the presence of W.S. Barnes, Columbus Stuart, and Annie Rountree.

Alexander Holiway died 26 April 1929 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 38 years old; was married; was born in Wilson, N.C., to Lewis Holiway and Leah Farmer; and worked as a day laborer. Jeff D. Holiway was informant.

On 30 September 1933, Jeff Holloway, 47, of Wilson, son of Louis and Leah Holloway, both deceased, married Ella May Taylor, 24, of Wilson, daughter of Heywood and Wealthy Taylor. A.M.E. Zion minister John A. Barnes performed the ceremony in the presence of Oliver Best, Bethana Lassiter and Alberta McKethan.

Jefferson Davis Holloway died 7 November 1952 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 November 1885 in Wilson County to Louis Holloway and Leah Farmer; was a minister; was married to Ella Holloway; and lived at 323 Griffin Hill.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, January 2021.

Lane Street Project: Aaron Washington?

This broken concrete headstone is lying atop the square marble base of a grave marker that has gone completely missing. The legible part of the broken stone reads: DIED APR 2 192 and MAY THE RESURRECTION FIND THEE ON THE BOSOM OF THY GOD.

A search of Wilson County death certificates filed in the 1920s reveals this possible identification of the deceased. Aaron Washington died 2 April 1923 in Wilson. (The bottom curve of the last digit in the year, above, is consistent with a 3.) Per his death certificate, he was born 21 February 1866 in Freemont [Fremont, Wayne County], N.C., to Gray Washington and Julie Sharp; was married to Stella Washington; worked as a drayman; and lived on Waynewright [Wainwright] Street.

Aaron Washington’s mother Julia Sharpe Washington and son Alexander Washington died in 1913 and 1918, respectively. If the marker above is in fact Aaron’s, it is likely that his family members were buried near him.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, January 2021.

Lane Street Project: Bessie Yancey McGowan.

Bessie Wife of John McGowan Born 1888 Jan 7 1925 Gone But Not Forgotten

At right, the headstone of Bessie Yancey McCowan looms amid a haphazard pile of more than a dozen grave markers  in Odd Fellows Cemetery. 

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In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: ditcher Benjamin Yancy, 50; wife Angeline, 39, washing; daughters Lizzie, 19, Bessie, 18, and Gertrude, 16, all cooking; and son Willie, 16, at school.

John McCowan, 21, of Wilson, son of Sam and Anne McCowan, married Bessie Yancey, 21, of Wilson, daughter of Ben and Angline Yancey, on 5 August 1903 at William McCowan‘s residence. Levi Jones applied for the license, and Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Alonzo Taylor, [illegible] Williams, and Fannie Jones

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: brickmason John McCowan, 27; wife Bessie, 26, laundress; daughter Annie, 5; and father Sandy, 91, widower.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Nash Street, brickmason John McGowan, 40; wife Bessie, 35; and daughter Beatriss, 13.

Bessie McCowan died 31 December 1924 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born April 1884 in Goldsboro, N.C., to Benjamin Yancey and Angaline Houston; was married to John McCowan; and lived at 1203 East Nash Street, Wilson. John McCowan was informant.

Lane Street Project: Gus Hilliard.

This grave marker, which appears to be a foot stone, stands in Odd Fellows Cemetery. Research reveals only one Augustus “Gus” Hilliard in early 20th-century Wilson County.

But he died in 1971.

And is buried in Rest Haven Cemetery.

Why, then, is his marker in Odd Fellows?

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In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Black Creek Road, dredge boat laborer Dock Hilliard, 31; wife Mary Ella, 29; and children Agustus, 8, Isic, 7, Mattie F., 6, Eddie, 3, and Mary, 4 months.

In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Moyton and Wilson Road, Dock Hillard, 46; wife Mary, 28; and children Gustus, 17, Mattie, 14, Eddie, 12, Mellar, 11, Isabella, 10, Channie, 8, Tommie, 4, and Willie, 3 months.

On 17 January 1925, Augustus Hilliard, 23, of Stantonsburg, son of Dock and Mary E. Hilliard, married Nancy McCoy, 21, of Stantonsburg, daughter of Will and Leesie McCoy.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Gustie Hillard, 29; wife Nancy, 23; and children Henry, 5, and Daissey L., 2.

In the 1940 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Old Wilson Road, farm laborer Gus Hilliard, 39; wife Nancy, 40; and children Henry, 14, Daisy Lee, 12, Eddie, 9, Isaac, 6, Nathaniel, 3, and Johnnie A., 9 months.

In 1942, Gus Hilliard registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 31 March 1901 in Wilson County; lived at “Box 87 – Rt. #3 – Wilson – Stantonsburg – Wilson”; his contact was Thurman Phillips; and he worked for Ashley Horton, Greensboro, N.C.

In 1943, Henry Hilliard registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 25 November 1925 in Wilson County; lived at Route 3, Box 87, Wilson; his contact was Gus Hilliard; and he worked at J.A. Wharton Farm, Wilson.

Augustus Hilliard died 22 February 1971 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 3March 1904 to Doc Hilliard and Mary Ella Ellis; was married to Nancy McCoy; was a farmer; and was buried in Rest Haven. Informant was Daisy Peoples, Wilson.

Odd Fellows photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, January 2021; Rest Haven Cemetery image courtesy of Findagrave.com.

Lane Street Project: the Dawson family.

This large marble headstone, with its delicate crossed fern fronds, stands near the front edge of Odd Fellows Cemetery adjacent to plot of the Noah Tate family. It marks the family plot of the Alexander and Lucy Hill Dawson family. 

Alexander, known as A.D., Dawson was born about 1860, likely in Lenoir County, N.C., and arrived in Wilson by the 1880s. He was active in county Republican Party politics and was a teacher before going into business as a restaurant and fish market owner. Lucy Annie Hill Dawson (1860-1917) was born in Edgecombe County and worked as a dressmaker. The couple married in Wilson in 1882.

The only identifiable individual headstones in the plot are those of Lucy Dawson and daughter Virginia S. Dawson (1890-1933).