Funeral programs: Ruth J. Brown.

The funeral of Ruth Jones Brown (1904-1970), daughter of Charles T. and Gertrude Johnson Jones, took place 27 September 1970 at Saint John’s A.M.E. Zion Church.

FP Ruth Brown Wilson NC 1_Page_1

FP Ruth Brown Wilson NC_Page_2

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 667 Nash Street,  minister Charlie Jones, 41; wife Gertrude, 39; children Ruth, 16, Charlie, 14, Elwood, 12, Louise, 10, and Sudie, 4; plus mother-in-law Louisa Johnson, 65.

On 24 December 1926, Simon Plater, 30, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, son of Simon and Birdie Plater, married Ruth Jones, 22, daughter of Charles and Gertrude Jones of Wilson. The bride’s father, a Missionary Baptist minister, performed the service in the presence of Gertrude Jones, Louisa Johnson, and W.E. [William Elwood] Jones.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, WIlson County: at 412 Viola, owned and valued at $2000; Charles Jones, 61, janitor at Vick School; wife Gertrude, 59, a tobacco factory stemmer; daughter Ruth Plater, 35, divorced, teacher; grandsons Torrey S., 12, and Charles S. Plater, 11; son-in-law Ruel Bullock, 35; daughter Louise, 30; grandsons Jacobia, 7, Robert, 6, Harold, 4, and Rudolph, 7 months; and granddaughter Barbara Jones, 6.


Progressive citizens, pt. 3.

Sometime in 1914, the Wilson Times published a three-page insert highlighting the achievements of the town’s African-American community. “Wilson is fortunate in having a large proportion of sensible negroes,” the writer opined, and counted among the laudable such well-known citizens and institutions as Samuel H. VickJ.D. Reid; Dr. Frank S. HargraveCharlesCamillus and Arthur Darden; Levi JonesWilliam HinesHenry Tart; and H.G. Barnes; Wilson Hospital and Tubercular Home for Colored People; the Colored Graded School; First Baptist Church; Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church; C.H. Darden & Sons Undertakers; and Lincoln Benefit Society.

Here is page 3 of the insert:

141061 (1)_Page_3

  • Crockett & Aiken
  • Acme Sign Works — “Estimates and designs furnished. Up-to-date electric signs promptly. Gold, silver and brass letters. Satisfaction guaranteed. Glass, cloth, wood, brass, metal and wire. ‘Anything in signs.’ H.G. Barnes, proprietor. ‘U No Barnes.’ He does the work.”
  • The Sanitary Shop — William Hines’ “up-to-date barber shop.”
  • Levi H. Jones, the Barber — “Hot and cold baths. No long waits. Clean shaves and everything sanitary. None but up to date workmen employed. Look for revolving sign opposite Lumina. Old customers stick. Drop in and join the stickers.”
  • Henry Tart, the Reliable Transfer Man — “When you need the luggage wagon or a hack — call Henry Tart at either phone 437 or phone 40. You get personal attention and careful handling of baggage. Our wagons and hacks meet all trains at both depots and we transfer baggage promptly to either depot or home or hotel and do it right. Hand baggage cared for with personal attention and delivered at the depot promptly. Passengers transferring between trains will find our drivers courteous. They will take of your hand baggage as well as transfer your trunks.”

Mr. and Mrs. Jones celebrate their 50th anniversary.

NY age 3 21 1959

New York Age, 21 March 1959.

In late March 1959, the seven children of Wesley and Martha Taylor JonesMildred Jones Crittenden, Lucille Jones Peterson, Vernon Jones, Willia Jones Turner, John Wesley Jones, James Jones and Elroy Jones — threw a party in East Elmhurst, Queens, New York, to celebrate their parents’ 50th anniversary.


Marriage license of Wesley Jones and Martha Taylor, who were married 26 March 1910 in Taylor township, Wilson County.


Martha and Wesley Jones with six of their children, circa late 1950s.

Photo courtesy of Shaunna M. Stevens.

309 Elba Street (633 Viola Street).

The eleventh in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.


As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1930; 2 stories; gable front house; two bay, side-hall plan; bungalow type porch and detail.”

Though the address is listed in the nomination as 633 Viola Street, that seems to be incorrect. In the 1930 Sanborn insurance map of Wilson, the house is numbered 629 Viola. (There is no 633 on the map.) Neither the 1930 nor 1940 censuses show any household numbered 633 (or even 629) Viola. Modern searches attach the address 309 Viola to this house.

In the 1930 Hill’s city directory, veterinarian Elijah L. Reid, his wife Ietta and daughter Odessa are listed at 309 Elba, located on the north side of the intersection of Elba and Viola. In the 1930 census: at 309 Elba, doctor of veterinary surgery Eliria L. Reed, 67; daughter Odessa B. Spicer, 28, a beauty parlor operator; and wife Ietta Reid, 57. The house was valued at $5000.


From 1930 Sanborn insurance map of Wilson, N.C.

After Louisa Kersey Johnson died 15 January 1934, her daughter Gertrude Jones of 309 Elba Street provided information for her death certificate.

In the 1950s and ’60s, the house was inhabited by the family of Ernest and Myrtie Clifton Haskins, as shown in this excerpt from the 1959 edition of Hills’ Wilson, N.C., city directory.

Though the house has entrances on both Viola and Elba Streets, the larger porch faces Elba. (See photo below.) With this orientation, the description changes considerably from that in the nomination form, as the house is gable-end, rather than gable-front, and three, rather than two, bays wide.

Photographs taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017.

James and Roxie Coley.


James and Roxie Coley.

In the 1900 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: widow Harriet Jones, 32, and daughters Viola, 11, Nancy, 6, and Roxie, 3.

In the 1900 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Benjamin Coley, 38, wife Tempy, 35, and sons James, 16, and Eddie, 13.

On 2 January 1910, Jas. Coley, 21, of Old Fields, son of Ben and Tempie Coley, married Roxie Hinnant, age not given, of Old Fields, daughter of Gillis and Harriet Hinnant, in the presence of William Boykins, Williamson Jones, and Freddie Jones.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: widow Harret Kerny, daughters Dazle, 12, and Lillian Kerny, 11, grandson George Kerny, 6, son-in-law James Coley, 21, ad daughter Roxie Coley, 16.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer James Coley, 34; wife Roxie A., 26; and children Harriett, 9, Martha, 7, Nancy, 4, and James E., 2. Next door: Ben Coley, 60, wife Tempie, 60, and granddaughter Maggie, 13, with servant George Kerney, 17.

In the 1930 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer James Coley, 42; wife Roxie, 34; and children George, 19, Willie, 17, Ben, 4, and Beulia, 1.

In the 1940 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer James Coley, 54; wife Roxie, 43; children Harrit, 17, Martha, 16, Nancy, 14, James E., 13, George L., 11, Willie, 8, Bennie, 14, and Beulah, 11; Carrie Marie, 4, and Lou, 1; niece Rematha Coley, 8, and nephews, L.V., 7, Johnny Lee, 6, and William Arthur Coley, 4.

Roxie Coley died 27 February 1960 at her home at 207 Stantonsburg Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate: she was born 25 December 1900 in Wilson County to Douglas Jones and Harriette Jones; was married to James Coley; her usual residence was in Sims, Wilson County; and she was buried in Jones Hill cemetery.

Photo courtesy of user tmuzaina.

Married too much.

Rev. Spurgeon David Davis, appointed in 1918 to head one of two planned alternative schools in the wake of the Charles Coon incident, was a newcomer to Wilson. A native of Maryland, he arrived in town in 1917 to head First Baptist Church (now known as Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church.) So who was he?

In the 1900 census of Baltimore, Maryland: day laborer Jarriet Davis, 50; wife Mary A., 41; children Mary V., 21, Louis B., 20, and Jarriet W., both hotel waiters, Spurgeon D., 10, and Alice D., 7; niece Ella A. Bell, 2; daughter Augusta Addison, 17, and son-in-law Roy A. Addison, 22, a schoolteacher.

In the 1910 census of Baltimore, Maryland: farm laborer Jarrett Davis, 58, wife Alice, 50; children Alice, 17, and Spurgeon, 21, “church preacher”; grandson Jarrett, 3; niece Ella Bell, 12; and sister Annie Wall, 56.

Spurgeon Davis apparently was ordained as an A.M.E. minister prior to 1910. He headed west to a post in Kansas City, Missouri:


Kansas City Sun, 31 January 1914.

But did not stay long:


Kansas City Sun, 4 April 1914.

Davis fetched up in Rome, Georgia, but his stay there was even shorter and considerably less welcome:


Atlanta Constitution, 26 September 1914.

This escapade called for some reinvention. Davis cut his ties with the A.M.E.’s and reemerged as a Baptist preacher …


New York Age, 11 January 1917.

… and headed back South.

On 5 June 1917, Davis registered for the World War I draft in Wilson, and listed his address as 648 West Mulberry Street, Baltimore; his date of birth as 26 July 1887; and his occupation as minister employed by “So. Baptist Convention; white; travelling in South.” He also noted that he was married with two children. Wilson County’s Clerk of Superior Court transmitted the registration to Baltimore.

Shady past notwithstanding, Davis — by now, somehow, a Doctor of Divinity — was a sought-after speaker in North Carolina, as these glowing briefs demonstrate:


Wilmington Morning Star, 15 April 1917.


The Robesonian (Lumberton), 22 August 1918.



Richmond Planet, 2 August 1919.

On 23 April 1919, Davis married Nancy Jones, 27, of Wilson. Though the two obtained their marriage license in Wilson County, the ceremony, oddly, was conducted one county over by Baptist minister J.S. Brown in Rocky Mount. Wilson leading lights F.S. Hargrave and C.L. Darden were two of the official witnesses.

However, this “prince among preachers” was soon on the lam again, having hastily resigned his post in October 1919 as a bigamy scandal erupted.


News & Observer, 30 October 1919.

A more succinct narrative appeared on 7 November in Elizabeth City, North Carolina’s Independent:


Davis apparently never returned to Wilson — at least, in any long-term capacity. It is not clear who the Oklahoma wife was. Davis obtained a license to marry Ruth Olivia Jones in Lynchburg, Virginia, on 26 May 1911. The couple, however, are also listed in a District of Columbia Compiled Marriage Index with an 29 April 1912 marriage date.


Washington Times, 29 April 1912. [Note: the Davises, though white-looking, were not “white.”]

Rev. Spurgeon Davis of 139 Pender Street appears in the 1920 Wilson city directory — a volume compiled no doubt before he left town — with no spouse noted. He is not found in the 1920 federal census. However, it seems that Nancy prevailed in the skirmish, for, in the 1923 Montgomery, Alabama, city directory: Davis Spurgeon D Rev (c[olored]; Nancy E) pastor First Baptist Church h[ome] 714 High. And in the 1930 census of Montgomery, Alabama: at 714 South Ripley (an $8000 home he owned), Maryland-born Spurgeon Davis, clergyman; North Carolina-born wife Nancy, 38; and Maryland-born daughter Mary A., 10. Tragedy befell during the Depression decade, however, and in the 1940 census of Baltimore, Maryland: at 111 Railroad Street, public school principal Carrington Davis, 52; brother-in-law Douglas Smith, 45, a baseball team manager; sister Alice Smith, 45, a laundress; brother Spurgeon Davis, 49, a house man working for a private family; and nephew Jarrett Davis, 34, a gardener. (Davis was described as married, though no wife was listed in the household. In a rented house across the street at 112 Railroad, however, was North Carolina-born Nancy Davis, 44, described as divorced.) In 1942, Davis registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card: he resided in Chattolanee, Baltimore, Maryland; he was born 28 July 1887 in Chattolanee; his contact person was Mrs. Alice Smith of Owings, Maryland; and his employer was Mrs. Horace White of Garrison, Maryland. I have not found record of his death.

From a history of Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church, a photograph of Rev. Davis. From the text: “The Reverend A.L. Weeks and the Reverend Spurgeon Davis were those to follow the Reverend [M.A.] Talley. In 1919, the mortgage on the new edifice was burned as a result of a great financial effort engineered by Reverend Davis, supported by the officers and members.” There was that, at least.


Cemeteries, no. 7: Jones Hill Primitive Baptist Church.

On Old Raleigh Road, just west of Interstate 95, lies the old Jones Hill Primitive Baptist church cemetery. The church itself is perhaps a half-mile down the road to the east. The cemetery has been so overgrown that I failed to locate it on two previous attempts, but appears to have been rough cut within the last couple of years. It contains, among others, the graves of several members of a large free family of color, the Joneses. Per, there are at least 25 marked graves here, but because of dense weeds and underbrush, I missed several. (Including Julious Locus 1854-1922, Josiah Jones 1862-1925 and Benjamin Coley 1864-1921.)

The view from the road today:


Two views within the cemetery, which lies in a narrow strip of woodland sloping upward between two cultivated fields:




  • Elijah Powell


In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Allen Powell, 32, dipping turpentine, wife Charity, 22, and children Robert and Cena, 2.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Allen Powell, 42, wife Chana, 36, and children Robert 13, Seneori, 11, Eligah, 9, Thomas R., 6, and James L., 1.

On 30 January 1896, Elijah Powell, 26, of Old Fields, married Sarah Tabron, 19, of Taylors, in Taylors township.

In the 1900 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Elliga Powell, 29, wife Sarah, 22, children Roxie, 2, and Daisy, 6 months, sisters-in-law Maggie, 12, and Ida N. Batts, 8, niece Loutory Taborn, 14, widowed grandmother Sarah Williams, 70, and boarder Henry Barnes, 25.

In the 1910 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Elijah Powell, 39, wife Sarah, 31, and children Roxie, 12, Daisy, 10, Emma L., 8, Bettie, 6, and Elijah, 3. Nearby: Dempsie, 30, Joe, 21, and widow Chanie Powell, 68.

In the 1920 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: on the Road to Horns Bridge, Elijah Powell, 51, wife Sarah, 45, and children Daisy, 19, Emma, 16, Bettie, 14, and Elijah Jr., 13.

In the 1930 census of Crossroads township, Wilson County: Elijah Powell, 60, wife Sarah Powell, 52, and Isaiah Farmer, 22, a roomer.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on 407 East Walnut, Elijah Powell, 71, and wife Sarah, 62.

Elijah Powell died 8 September 1948 at his home at 407 Walnut Street. Per his death certificate, he was 77 years old, married to Sarah Powell, born in Wilson County to Allen Powell and Channie Boykins, and buried in Jones Hill cemetery.

  • John H. Jones


On 25 June 1848, Jacob Jones married Milly Powell in Nash County.

In the 1850 census of Nash County:  Jacob Jones, 25, wife Milly, 28, siblings Shade, 18, and Susan Jones, 21, plus Levi Worrel, 30.

In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: steam sawmill worker Jacob Jones, 43, wife Milley, 43, and children John H., 17, Stephen, 15, Joanna, 13, Josiah, 11, Nancy, 7, and Milly A., 3, plus Jesse, 21, and Eliza Jones, 21.

On 16 May 1872, John Jones, son of Jacob and Milly Jones, and Penny Locust, daughter of Gaines and Fanny Locust, at Gaines Locust’s.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: John H. Jacobs, 26, wife Penny, 22, and children Sallie Ann, 6, Frances, 4, and William H., 1.

In the 1900 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John H. Jones, 49, wife Pennie, 46, and children George, 18, Jacob, 15, Richard, 13, Elizabeth, 11, Willie, 9, Callie, 5, and Mattie and Hattie, 2.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John H. Jones, 58, wife Penny, 57, and children Richard, 21, Chellie, 19, Willie, 17, Hattie and Mattie, 13, and Charlie Jones, 12.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Richard Jones, 33, and his widower father, John H. Jones, 66, both farmers.

  • Pennie Jones


In the 1870 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Ganes Locust, 40, wife Zana, 35, and children Penny, 15, Hasty, 12, James, 9, Julius, 5, Sarah, 4, and Amanda, 1.

She married John H. Jones in 1872. See above.

  • Keziah Jones


Thomas A. Jones and Kissiah Jones obtained a marriage license on 31 March 1888 in Wilson County, but did not return it.


In the 1850 census of Nash County, North Carolina: farmer Willis Jones, 50, wife Sarah, 42, and children Henry, 13, Alex, 10, Noel, 8, Kingsberry, 3, and Peyton, 9 months. Willis’ mother Thany Jones, 78, was next door.

In the 1860 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Willis Jones, 62, black, farm laborer; wife Sarah, 51, mulatto; and children Henry, 20, Alexander, 17, Noel, 16, Willis, 12, Paton, 10, Burthany, 7, Sarah, 13, and James, 10. Also, Noel Jones, 15, making turpentine, with Gray Flowers, 28, white, also making turpentine.

On 12 July 1866, Noel Jones and Sarah Jones were married in Wilson County.

In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Noel Jones, 26, wife Sarah, 23, and children Josiah, 3, Charity, 1, and Edith, 4 months.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: laborer Noel Jones, 34, wife Sarah, 32, and children Josiah, 13, Charity, 12, Edieth J., 10, and Noel J., 6.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Noel Jones, 68, wife Sarah, 66, daughter Pearly, 25, grandsons Eddie G., 15, and Earnest, 11, and brother Alexander Jones, 69 (who was described as “afflicted.”)

Establishing a graded school.

From “The Graded School Bill: An Act to Establish a Graded School in Wilson township, Wilson County,” as published in the Wilson Advance. The North Carolina legislature ratified the bill on 27 February 1883.


Wilson Advance, 23 March 1883.

  • E.C. Simms. Edward Cicero Simms was a teacher. In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: school teacher Edward C. Simms, 23, wife Nicy, 26, and son Edward, 7 months. By 1891, the Simms family had moved to Norfolk, Virginia, where Edward is listed in the city directory. By 1897, Edward was an ordained A.M.E. Zion minister, as shown in this 9 May 1897 edition of the Norfolk Virginian:


  • G.A. Farmer. Probably, Gray Farmer, a carpenter and constable.
  • Peter Rountree was a shoemaker.
  • Charles Battle was a blacksmith.
  • Jerry Washington. Jeremiah Washington was a blacksmith. His daughter Annie Maria married Samuel H. Vick.
  • C.M. Jones
  • Daniel Vick, carpenter, farmer and politician, was the father of Samuel H. Vick.
  • Samuel Williams was a baker, then grocer. In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: baker Samuel Williams, 30, with carpenter Daniel Vick, 25, wife Fanny, 24, and children Samuel, 8, Earnest, 3, Netta M., 5, and Violet Drake, 52. On 24 September 1870, Samuel Williams, parents unknown, married Ann Scarbro, daughter of Jack and Zaly Adams, in Wilson. In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Samuel Williams, 38, wife Ann, 47, and daughter Anna, 9. In the 1900 census, grocer Samuel Williams, 58, with lodgers William Jackson, 36, and William Allen, 25, both tobacco graders.
  • C.H. Darden. Charles H. Darden was a blacksmith and, later, undertaker. In 1938, Wilson’s high school for African-American children would be named for Darden.

The murder of Nettie Vick Jones.

Ten years after Caesar Wooten shot Mittie Strickland near Wilson’s railroad tracks, another man killed a woman near the Nash Street crossing. Initially, at least, this murder drew wide attention: A. Wilson Jones, the alleged killer, was a prominent African-American Republican Party leader in Wilson County, and his victim, his wife Nettie Vick Jones, was the sister of Samuel H. Vick.

As an early report from a Fayetteville paper notes, considerable confusion surrounded the crime. Jones fled in the aftermath, and a black constable searching for him got himself arrested after pulling a gun on a flagman.


Fayetteville Observer, 28 August 1897.

The Baltimore Sun claimed that friends of the victim’s family were threatening to lynch Jones.


Baltimore Sun, 28 August 1897.

A few days later, the Wilson Advance and Wilson Times offered more detailed versions of events. The Joneses, who were estranged, were overheard quarreling on Nash Street. Nettie rebuffed Wilkes, and he stabbed her repeatedly with a shoemaker’s knife. Wilkes then ran down Pettigrew Street to the home of one of Nettie’s friends, Annie Williams (reported earlier as Annie Battle), and shot her as she came to her door.


Wilson Advance, 1 September 1897.


Wilson Times, 3 September 1897.

Expressions of shocked sympathy rolled in from Nettie Jones’ contemporaries.


Raleigh Gazette, 11 September 1897.

Quickly, though, the hubbub died away, and a few brief updates in newspapers in early 1898 suggest that Jones was never caught.


In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: baker Samuel Williams, 30, carpenter Daniel Vick, 25, wife Fannie, 24, children Samuel, 8, Earnest, 3, and Nettie M., 5, plus Violet Drake, 52.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Daniel Vick, 38, wife Fannie, 35, children Samuel, 16, Nettie, 14, Earnest Linwood, 12, Henry, 10, and James O.F. Vick, 8, plus Frank O., 20, and Marcus W. Blount, 26.

In the 1880 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson County: on Nash Street, Wilson Jones, 22, shoemaker.

On 13 December 1884, A.W. Jones, 24, of Wilson County, married Nettie M. Vick, 20, at Thomas Johnson’s. E.H. Ward, a minister, conducted the ceremony before John Moss, Alice Johnson and Thomas Johnson. (Per the 1900 census, Thomas Johnson was a mail carrier and, presumably, therefore an associate of postmaster Sam Vick. Alice was his wife.)

The estate of Henderson Bagley.

Late in the winter of 1906, Henderson Bagley closed his eyes in death. Born a slave, perhaps in Nash County, he had defied odds to accumulate a sizeable estate in western Wilson County. Despite his advanced age, however, he died without a will, and his family stepped forward to ask the County Superior Court to appoint Samuel H. Vick as the estate’s administrator. Bagley’s widow, second wife Lenora, marked the petition with an X, but sons Nestus and Ruffin Bagley penned confident signatures. Notes at the bottom identified more heirs — Zilla Bagley Renfrow, Ida Jones, Etta Bagley and Allen Bagley‘s children Willie, Hattie, Sarah and Gertrude — and estimated the value of his property.


On 7 March 1906, Vick filed an inventory of Bagley’s personal estate: a mule, a cart, a wagon, nine hogs, 17 geese, 25 chickens, about five barrels of corn, one and a half stacks of fodder, four feather beds, and some furniture, valued in total at $150; $458.35 received from the sale of timber; and $220.66 paid into the estate by son Ruffin. Vick noted that the heirs had decided that their stepmother should receive Bagley’s personal property as the year’s allowance due her as a widow.


Two months later, three commissioners and a surveyor paced the irregular outlines of Bagley’s nearly 180 acres, dividing it into parcels of equal value for distribution to Bagley’s heirs. Here is their report:

NORTH CAROLINA, Wilson County  }  In the Superior Court, Before the Clerk.

Leno Bagley, widow, Zillia Rentfrow, Nestus Bagley and others, Ex Parte. }

Report of Commissioners.

To S.G. Mewborn, Clerk of the Superior Court of Wilson County:

Obedient to a summons of the sheriff of Wilson County, we, the undersigned commissioners appointed to divide and allot in severalty the lands of the petitioners, containing 178 3/5 acres, assembled on the premises in Old Fields Township, Wilson Co. on the 5th, day of June, 1906, and after being duly sworn, and proceeded to partition the lands among the said tenants in common, according to their prospective rights and interests therein, after first laying off and allotting to Leno Bagley, widow, her dower and thirds in the lands of Henderson Bagley, deceased, the metes and bounds of dower and of each share, being as follows (as will appear by reference to plat of same, filed herewith):

To Leno Bagley, widow of Henderson Bagley, deceased we allot the following tract of land, as her dower:

Beginning at a stake at (B), Wiley Pearson’s corner, thence to said Pearson’s line S. 85; 20 E. 20 chains and 44 links to a stake on the north side of a certain ditch, at (C) on plat; thence S. 4, 9 W. 14 chains and 37 links to a large black gum on a branch, at (D) on plat; thence S. 87; 30′ E. 6 chains and 19 links to a large pine, Wiley Pearson’s corer thence along an agreed line, with said Pearson, S. 4; 53′ E. 7 chains to a stake, at (E) on plat, corner of Lot No. 1, thence with the line of Lot No. 1, S. 87; 30′ W. 25 chains and 75 links to a stake, at (A), thence North 24 chains and 82 links to the first station, containing 40 8/10 acres.

Lot No. 1, assigned to Ruffin Bagley, consisting of two shares, 1st share in his own right and 2nd share in the right of his sister, Zilla Rentfrow, as per her deed to Ruffin Bagley, is described as follows:

Beginning at a stake, in Morgan’s line, at the intersection of said Morgan’s line and the Center of Avenue, thence with the center of said Avenue N. 87; 30′ E. 40 chains and 25 links to a stake on Wiley Pearson’s agreed line; thence along said agreed line, this day marked, S. 4; 53′ E. 10 chains and 50 links to a Bay, on the run of Juniper Swamp, then up the run of said swamp to the mouth of a ditch, Morgan’s corner; thence along Morgan’s line, N. 2 E. 18 chains and 25 links to the first station, containing 64 acres, and valued at $400.00.

Lot No. 2, assigned to Willie, Hattie, Sarah and Gertrude Bagley is composed of two tracts (2 and 5 on the map), first tract, being lot no. 2. is described as follows:

Beginning at a stake at intersection of Morgan’s line and the Avenue the beginning corner of Lot No. 1, thence along said Morgan’s line N. 2 E 34 chains and 25 links to a stake, said Morgan’s corner; thence S. 85; 50′ E 5 chains and 50 links to three pines, an old corner same course continued, 2 chains and 59 links to a stake, thence south 33 chains and 24 links to a stake, on the line of Lot No. 1, thence along said line S. 87; 30′ W. 8 chains and 30 links to the first  station, containing 33 9/10 acres; 2nd Tract, marked on plat No. 5, being in widow’s dower, is described as follows, Beginning at a large pine, Wiley Pearson’s corner, thence along said Pearson’s line S. 4; 53′ E. to a stake, corner of Lot No. 1, thence along line of Lot No. 1 S. 87; 30 W. 15 chains and 50 links to a stake S. 85 E. 10 chains and 19 links to a stake on the south side of a ditch, thence S. 4; 9′ W. 14 chains and 37 links to a large Black Gum, in a branch, thence S. 87; 30′ E. 6 chains and 19 links to the beginning, containing 23 4/10 acres, valued at $200.

Lot No. 3, assigned to Nestus Bagley, is composed of two tracts marked on plat no. 3 and 4, 1st tract is described as follows:

Beginning at three pines, thence N. 4; 30′ E. 9 chains and 71 links to a stake, thence S. 85 E, 8 chains and 50 links to a stake, thence S. 17 chains and 47 links to a stake, Pearson’s and the Dower corner, same course continued 24 chains and 82 links to a stake on line of Lot No. 1, thence along line of Lot No. 1. S. 87; 30′ W. 6 chains and 30 links to a stake, corner of Lot No. 2, thence along line of Lot No. 2, 33 chains and 24 links to a stake, thence N. 85; 50′ W. 2 chains and 59 links to the first station, containing  33 9/10 acres; 2nd tract, being on the Dower, and marked no. 4 on plat, is described as follows, Beginning at a stake at (B) on plat, Pearson’s corner, thence along Pearson’s line a stake, in line of Lot No. 1. thence along line of Lot No. 1, S. 87; 30’W 10 chains and 35 links to a stake, thence North 24 chains and 82 links to the beginning, containing 23 4/10 acres, valued at $200.00

The Plat, showing the above division, dated June 14, 1906, made by James W. Taylor Surveyor, is hereto attached and made a part of this report.

Respectfully submitted,  W.N. Glover, A.R. Taylor, N.W. Williams, Commissioners

This 20th day of June, 1906. A correct copy. S.G. Mewborn, C.S.C.

Bagley plat


On 22 August 1866, Henderson Bagley and Hana Williams registered their cohabitation in Wilson County, thereby legitimating a marriage made during slavery.

In the 1870 census of Chesterfield, Nash County: Henderson Bagley, 40, and children Catherine, 15, Allen, 10, Zillie, 8, Nestus, 6, and Thomas R., 4.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields, Wilson County: farmer Henderson Bagley, 53, and children Allen, 21, Zillah, 18, Genestus, 17, and Ruffin, 14.

On 4 July 1880, Henderson Bagley, 50, married Lenora Jones, 25, in Wilson County. J.W. Smith, Cena Smith and D.J. Scott witnesses the ceremony, which was performed by a justice of the peace.

On 7 October 1880, Allen Bagley, 22, married Mary Rountree, 20, at Alfred Woodard‘s in Wilson County. [Mary Rountree and her sister Louisa, who married Allen’s younger brother Ruffin, were Alfred Woodard’s stepdaughters. They are listed in the household of their father Warren Rountree in the 1870 census of Wilson township with mother Sarah, and siblings Florence, Rhebecca, Howell, Sallie and Warren Jr. Alfred Woodard, his first wife Harriet and their children are listed next door. Alfred Woodard married Sarah Rountree on 13 February 1873.]

On 18 December 1884, Nestus Bagley, 22, married Margarett Coleman, 20, at Washington Farmer‘s with J.W. Turner, Oscar Jones and James Locus witnessing.

On 27 November 1889, Ruffin Bagley, 22, son of Henderson and Bethany Bagley, married Louisa Rountree, 20, daughter of Warren Rountree and Sarah Woodard, at Alfred Woodard’s in Wilson County. Witnesses were W.W. Rountree, Sam Winstead and Henry Deans.

In the 1900 census of Old Fields, Wilson County: farmer Henderson Bagley, 70, wife Lenora, 48, daughter Etta, 18, and grandchildren Lonna Locus, 8, Earnest Locus, 6, and Percy Locus, 2. Next door: Ruffin Bagley, 32, wife Luesah, 25, and son Arthar, 6.

Ruffin Bagley, age 50, died 30 December 1915 in Old Fields township, Wilson County, of gastritis. His death certificate lists his parents as Henderson Bagley and Fannie Williamson. Nestus Bagley was informant.

On 12 March 1933, Ida James, daughter of Henderson Bagley and Lena Jones, both of Wilson County, died of uterine cancer. Her death certificate reports that she was married to Thomas James.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.comCommissioners’ Report at Plat Book 1, page 4, and plat at Plat Book 1, page 5, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.