Dr. Basye’s bequest.

Three days after the Wilson Daily Times announced the death of Dr. Arthur A. Basye while visiting Richmond, Virginia, the newspaper published the contents of his will. Basye, an Illinois native, practiced medicine in Wilson for about ten years before his death. Among his bequests, Basye left African-American barber Andrew Pearce [Pierce] five hundred dollars. The will does not explain Pierce’s relationship to Basye or the impetus for this gift. 

Wilson Daily Times, 21 September 1926.


In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: hotel servant Andrew Pierce, 23; wife Allice, 20; daughter Nellie, 1; Harrit Knight, 36; and Victoria Knight, 17.

On 2 February 1904, Andrew Pearce, 22, son of Andrew and Alice Pearce, married Lossie Hasket [Haskins], 21, daughter of Damp and Estelle Hasket, in Wilson. Primitive Baptist minister J.F. Farmer performed the ceremony in the presence of Thomas Barnes, Abbie Foster, and Mrs. J.F. Farmer.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 614 Hines Street, barber Andrew Pearce, 26; wife Lossy, 26; and children Allice, 5, and Bossy, 6 months.

In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Pierce Andrew (c) barber h Hines hr Daniel

In 1918, Andrew Pierce registered for the World War I draft. Per his registration card, he was born 4 July 1886; worked as a barber for William Hines, 119 South Tarboro; lived at 515 Warren; and his nearest relative was wife Lossie Pierce.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 515 Warren, barber Andrew Pierce, 35; wife Loss, 35; and children Alice, 15, Mayzie [Boisy], 11, Hellen, 7, Benford, 5, and Ruby, 3.

On 11 April 1930, Ray M. Pierce, 4, of 1212 East Nash Street, Wilson, son of Andrew Pierce and Lessie Haskins, died of acute myocarditis.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 707 Vance, Andrew Pierce, 55, nurse at home (usually barber); wife Lossie, 55, in hospital; daughters Alice, 35, and Hester, 27; sons Boise, 29, cafe [cook?], and Binford, 14; daughter Ruby, 19, “cook school;” and grandchildren Randolph, 9, and Montheal Foster, 7, and Mickey Pierce, 1.

Andrew Pierce died 12 December 1948 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 18 June 1889 in Wilson to Andrew Pierce and Alice Knight; was the widower of Lossie Pierce; worked as a barber; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Hattie Tate, 307 Pender, was informant.

Clipping courtesy of J.Robert Boykin III.