Jones

State vs. Percy Jones.

One Saturday evening in August 1911, 14 year-old Henrietta Faison tagged along with her sister Emma Faison to Walter F. Woodard’s house at the corner of North Goldsboro and Lee Streets. Emma Faison and an older woman, Fannie Rountree, were employed in the Woodards’ kitchen. Percy Jones, a farm hand employed by Woodard, was hanging around the back steps. Suddenly, he grabbed the girl and tried to force her to go off with him. She screamed.

Evidence presented to a county grand jury yielded this testimony, transcribed from court records:

“Henrietta Faison — I know Percy Jones; last Saturday night I was at Mr. Walter Woodards; Percy was sitting on back steps and he caught me by hands and said let’s go to the store; I told him to turn me loose; he put his arms around me and said I had to like he would me to, that he would give $5 or $10 to buy me a new dress; told him to turn me loose, that I would call Miss Fannie; I called Miss Fannie but she didn’t hear me; he asked me my age and went to pulling up my dress; he pulled me down to back part of Mr. Walter Woodard’s lot; he was on the out side of back gate, where he began to pull me; he told me if I hollered he would kill me, that he had a pistol in his pocket; he put his hand on my mouth and I tried to get it away when he slapped me in the face; when I began to holler he be tried to choke me; he turned me loose and jumped and run. After he began to run Sister Emma and Miss Fannie came out of the house. I then went to the house we were on the street where this took place. When he left me he went toward Mike Taylor‘s. He put his hand on known but clothes.

“Fannie Rountree — I saw Henrietta at Mr. Woodard’s Saturday night; I was in Mr. Woodard’s dining room and heard a scream; didn’t know who it was; sounded like it was on lawn; when I got out I heard it again saw Henrietta coming up toward steps; saw no one else. Asked her what was the matter; she said Percy snatched her out of gate and ran.She was screaming. Emma came out where we were. This was between 7 and 8 o’clock.

“Emma Faison — I am Henrietta’s sister; I was at Mr. Woodard’s last Saturday; I was washing dishes; heard some one screaming; it was Henrietta; said Percy had pulled her out of the yard, put his hand over her mouth and slapped her; that he had pulled up her clothes and asked her to go with him to the store; saw man running; don’t know who it was; her dress and waist was unfastened and her clothes was wrinkled; Percy had been working at Mr. Woodard’s. When I saw the man running he was half block away. Henrietta was crying when I got up with her.

“W.F. Woodard — I swore out warrant; I heard the screaming; my family was sitting on front porch — heard the screaming twice. Went on back porch, found Henrietta sobbing; asked her what was the matter; she said Percy had caught and dragged her down to back lot and told her if she hollered he would kill her; that he pulled her dress, put his hand on her mouth and she hollered. Phoned for officers, they came and I told them there the trouble. Didn’t notice condition of Henrietta’s clothes. This was a few minutes after 8.”

Jones was quickly caught and charged with assault with attempt to commit rape. He pled guilty to a lesser charge of simple assault and was sentenced to three months “on the roads,” i.e. working road maintenance on a chain gang.

A few weeks later, Jones’ lawyers, Daniels & Swindell, petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus. Under recent state law, they claimed, absent aggravating circumstances, 30 days was the maximum sentence for simple assault. Percy Jones was transported to Raleigh for a hearing before the state Supreme Court.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 October 1911.

The wait for a decision was not long. Three days later, Percy Jones was a free man.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 October 1911.

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  • Henrietta and Emma Faison

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Vance Street, widow Ellar Fason, 49, laundress, and daughters Mary, 18, laundress, Emma, 16, cook, Henretta, 13, and Flory, 10.

On 3 March 1914, John Ellis, 22, of Wilson, married Henretta Faison, 18, at Mrs. Ellar Faison’s place in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Ed Cox and Roscoe Yelverton.

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, Ella Faison, Henrietta Faison, and Mary Faison are listed at 802 Viola. Ella and Mary Faison worked as laundresses.

  • Percy Jones

On 3 July 1910, Percy Jones, 22, of Wilson, married Fannie Reid, 18, of Wilson, at the residence of Sam Miller in Wilson. Primitive Baptist minister Jonah Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of B.R. Winstead, Robert Talley, and Arthur Isom.

  • Fannie Rountree

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Fannie Rountree, 40, widow, cook, living alone.

Fannie Rountree died 4 June 1925 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was about 60 years old; was born in Wilson to Benjamin Rountree and Maria Dunston; was separated; lived at 710 East Vance; and worked as a cook for Mrs. Walter Woodard. Sarah Bell was informant.

  • Mike Taylor

Drayman Mike Taylor lived at 108 West Lee Street. Thus, Jones ran west when Faison began screaming.

Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson (1922), page 7.

Criminal Action Papers, 1911, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Populist vs. Republican.

Up until he killed his wife, Samuel Vick‘s sister Nettie Vick Jones, — A. Wilson Jones enjoyed a reputation as a gifted, if wily, orator.

Wilson Advance, 25 October 1894.

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  • Jeremiah Scarboro — Jeremiah Scarborough, a Baptist minister and white supremacy apologist, as well as Populist politician.

Jones dragged by Norfolk-Southern train.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 October 1948.

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In the 1930 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Geo. T. Jones, 48; wife Minnie B., 33; and children William T., 18, Tonnie R., 15, Ronnie H., 13, Mary J., 11, Richard E., 9, George E., 8, Cellie B., 6, and Luise, 3. 

In the 1940 census of Bailey township, Nash County: farmer George T. Jones, 56; wife Minnie, 43; and children Mary Jane, 21, Richard E., 19, George E., 18, Celia, 16, Doris, 13, Louis, 7, Maggie, 5, Harold, 3; and grandson George Cornealis, 3. 

George Edward Jones registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 21 December 1921 in Wilson; lived on Route 1, Bailey, Wilson County, N.C.; his contact was George Turner Jones; and he worked for George Finch, Route 3, Bailey.

George E. Jones died 10 October 1948. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 December 1912 in Wilson County to George T. Jones and Minnie Alston; was married to Annie Doris Jones; and worked as a farmer on Sandford Wilson’s farm.

“Accident Body crushed and limbs torn off due to being dragged beneath a west bound train near the seven hills road over pass (no auto involved)”

1010 Atlantic Street.

The one hundred sixty-eighth 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, this building is: “ca. 1913; 1 story; Queen Anne cottage with double-pile, hip-roofed form, projecting front wing, and several intact turned porch posts.” [The house is misnumbered as #1008 in the nomination form.]

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In the 1928 Wilson city directory: Jones Lee C (c; Sadie L), dentist 559 1/2 E Nash h 1010 Atlanta

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1010 Atlantic Street, seamstress Sadie Jones, 32, and sons Emery L., 7, Clarance and Clinton, 3; and lodgers Catherine Joyner, 14, James Coley, 9, and Elaine Coley, 15. [Sadie Jones was described as “single” and presumably was divorced.]

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: owned and valued at $1500, Robert Lee, 27; wife Elaine, 25; and son Robert Jr., 3.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Lee Robt E (c; Elaine L; 1) tchr h 1010 Atlantic av

In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Lee Robt E (c; Elaine ) tchr h 1010 Atlantic av

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2022.

608 Viola Street.

The one hundred sixty-seventh 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, this building is: “ca. 1913; 1-story; L-plan cottage.” The original address was 619 Viola.

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In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Harrison Reginald (c; Bessie) driver Hackney Oil Co h 608 Viola

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Reddit Jos (c; Mary) lab h 608 Viola

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 608 Viola, rented for $14/month, Joseph Redditt, 34, oil mill laborer; wife Mary, 26; niece Eva Branch, 16; and roomer Lucy Barnes, 29, cook.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 608 Viola, paying $11/month, Josh White, 48, factory deliveryman, born in Georgia, and wife Pecorria, 41, chambermaid at girls college; paying $4/month, Florine Jones, 24, servant, born in Georgia; husband Preston, 29, service station attendant, born in South Carolina; and daughters Hattie Pearl, 7, and Doris E., 4. [By October 1940, the Joneses had relocated to Richmond, Virginia, where Preston Jones registered for the World War II draft.]

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Woodard Flossie (c) cook h 608 Viola

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2022.

An interesting heritage.

We have read here of Kingsberry and Charity Jones Taylor, who migrated to Indiana in the 1840s. The pages below are excerpted from “My Grandmother, Sarah Ann Taylor Maxwell,” a transcribed memoir by the Taylors’ great-granddaughter Bessie Chandler Van Dyke (1907-1994). As with many such recorded recollections, some of the details are off, but others provide incredibly rich insight into the lives of two free people of color with roots in what is now Wilson County.

Per Europe Ahmad Farmer, the principal historian and genealogist of the Locus/Lucas family and related free families of color of Nash and Wilson Counties, Kingsberry Taylor’s mother was Zelphia Taylor Brantley, who was white, and his father was a free man of color who was a Locus. Kingsberry was not enslaved, though he likely was indentured as an apprentice until he was 21. He did not live in Randolph County, but in Nash County, and he married Charity Jones (who lived in what is now Wilson County) prior to their migration to Indiana.

The Taylor family in the 1850 census of Madison County, Indiana.

Transcript courtesy of Ancestry.com user samjoyatk.