State vs. Frank Jenkins.

Ten days after Frank Jenkins testified about a shooting involving a grocer and a bystander, Carrie Strickland pressed charges against him for kidnapping a little girl. 

“… Frank Jenkins did unlawfully, willfully, feloniously forcibly and fraudulently kidnap and carry away Mabel Jenkins, the said Frank Jenkins having previously thereto forfeited his right to the care and custody of said Mabel Jenkins.”

Strickland swore that she had tended Jenkins’ sick wife and their daughter Mabel; that the woman asked her to take the child; and that the woman had died in late 1911. Strickland had kept Mabel until 20 November 1912, and Jenkins had never said anything. She had “kept [the girl] well clothed and sent her to school.” On the morning of the 20th, Jenkins had stopped Mabel as she walked to school. She had run, but he had caught her and taken her with him. 

Strickland said Jenkins had occasionally sent food in a little wagon when she first began to care for his wife, but stopped. Jenkins did not visit his wife, but Strickland saw him in and out of another house. 


  • Frank Jenkins

 On 15 November 1906, Frank Jenkins, 18, of Wilson, son of John Batts and Alice Jenkins, married Sarah Wells, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Jacob and Claud Wells, in Wilson. Neptune Lee applied for the license, and Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Sarah Wells, 52; children Sarah, 22, laundress, Mabel, 5, and Frank, 3; grandson Russell, 2; lodgers Frank Jenkins, 25, horseshoer at blacksmith’s shop, and Sarah Marrian, 29, factory laborer; and brother John Wells, 43, odd jobs. [Despite their marriage in 1906, Sarah Wells is listed with her maiden name, and Frank Jenkins as a lodger in the household.]

On 28 November 1912, three days after Strickland swore out a warrant [and apparently before he was arrested and posted bond], Frank Jenkins, 28, of Wilson, son of John Batts and Alice Batts, married Ethel Barnes, 22, of Wilson, in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister William Baker performed the ceremony.

Ethel Jenkins died 22 February 1913 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 22 February 1891 in Wilson to George Barnes and Emma McGowan and worked in washing. Frank Jenkins was informant.

On 6 December 1913, Frank Jenkins, 26, of Wilson County, married Pet Tucker, 28, of Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister William Baker performed the ceremony.

In 1918, Frank Jenkins registered for the World War I in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born in 1884; lived at Spring Street, Wilson; worked as a horse shoer for Holmes & Boykin at Centre Brick Warehouse; and his contact was wife Pet Jenkins. 

Wilson Daily Times, 4 December 1918. Jake Tucker was the shopkeeper against whom Jenkins testified in 1912.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 319 Goldsboro Street, John Batts, 56, oil mill laborer; wife Alice, 46; grandchildren Mabel, 15, and Frank Jenkins, 13; and roomers Lucy Taylor, 32, dishwasher in cafe, Josephine Atkins, 24, private cook, George Owens, 27, Charlie Howard, 34, oil mill laborer, Olivers Wheeler, 21, tobacco factory worker, and Roland James, 26. [Eight years after her father was charged with kidnapping, Mabel Jenkins and her brother Frank Jr. were living with their father’s parents.]

Also in the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Frank Jenkins, 36; wife Pet, 23; and son Haywood, 4.

On 22 November 1921, James Bennett, 27, of Wilson, son of Wash Little and Rosa Bennett, married Mabel Jenkins, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Frank and Sarah Jenkins, in Wilson. James Barbour applied for the license, and A.M.E. Zion minister A.L.E. Weeks performed the ceremony.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 511 Spring Street, rented at $20/month, blacksmith Frank Jenkins, 43; wife Pet, 32; and children David, 15, Haywood, 13, Mary E., 8, and William H., 4.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 404 East Hines, rented at $12/month, blacksmith Frank Jenkins, 53; wife Pet, 41; children Mary Elizabeth, 19, laborer at redrying tobacco factory, William H., 18, and Haywood, 24, laborer at redrying tobacco factory; and daughter-in-law Laurine, 22, laborer at redrying tobacco factory.

Frank Jenkins died 8 August 1945 at Duke Hospital, Durham, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 August 1884 in Wilson to John Jenkins and Alice [maiden name not given]; was married to Alice [sic] Jenkins; and worked as a blacksmith.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 August 1945.

  • Carrie Strickland

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Spring Street, brickmason Goodsey Holden, 50; wife Laura, 47; daughters Estella, 25, Bertha, 24, laundress, and Ione, 20, laundress; and lodger Carrie Strickland, 18, hotel chambermaid.

In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Strickland Carrie (c) dom h 603 S Spring

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 603 Spring Street, brickmason Goodsey Holden, 59; wife Laura, 52; and roomer Carrie Strickland, 29, tobacco factory worker.

In the 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Strickland Carrie I (c) hairdresser h 603 S Spring

In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Strickland Carrie (c) hairdresser 528 E Nash h 504 S Lodge

Criminal Action Papers, 1912, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Smallest prints on file.

I have been unable to find more to elucidate this strange kidnapping story. The Daily Times‘ initial report, which focused more on a novelty angle than on the tragedy, misidentified the baby as “11 months old Mildred Pace,” and suggested that her birth mother had taken her from a black doctor in Washington, D.C., to whom she had sold the child for fifty dollars.


Wilson Daily Times, 14 November 1940.

Two weeks later, while still strangely stuck on peripheral details like the light skin color of the baby and her mother, the Times had more details. The child Lorraine was 20 months’ old, and Delores Pace was accused of stealing her from her birth parents, Ida and Massie Vaughn. (Massie Vaughn was a W.P.A. worker, not a doctor.) As best I can decipher, the allegations were these:

Delores Pace befriended the Vaughns under the alias Annie Mae Johnson. On October 28, she took the youngest two of their six children to the movies, where three year-old Cephus was found alone that night. Pace’s friends told police she had taken Lorraine to Wilson. United States marshals were called in to track down Pace and the toddler, and a D.C. policeman followed, took the child into custody and stashed her in the Raleigh City Jail under the care of a janitor.

Pace did not testify at her arraignment. The Vaughns identified their daughter and produced her birth certificate (and the newspaper made much of the contrasting skin tones of all involved.) Pace was ordered to stand trial. After the hearing, Pace told someone (the reporter?) that the child had been born in New York and that her father, Marvin Knight, had promised to marry Pace if Pace showed him the child, and Knight confirmed his paternity. That’s it.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 November 1940.

The 1940 census of Washington, D.C., shows that Lorraine was the youngest of the Vaughns’ six children.

I have not found any record of Delores Pace anywhere.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Lodge Street, retail grocer James Henry Knight, 53; wife Ada Elsie, 52; and children Marvin, 22, retail grocery clerk; Evelyn, 19, Nancy Doris, 10, and Joseph Frank, 8. On 6 June 1944, Marvin Robert Knight, 26, of Wilson, son of James and Ada Knight, married Jewell Dean Stokes, of Middlesex, daughter of T.O. and Anna Stokes, in Wake County.

Old Ed.

Ed Dupree lived a colorful life.

On a Saturday night in February 1936, three white men — Offie Page, Floyd Page and Gwin Pullman — pulled up outside Dupree’s Railroad Street house, called him to the car and forced him in at gunpoint. Fighting off blows, Dupree dived through the rear window as the vehicle neared Stantonsburg Street. When the police caught up with the trio, they found a toy pistol and a pointing finger — Dupree, the men said, was the responsible for Pullman’s arrest for possession of five gallons of unlawful liquor.

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Wilson Daily Times, 4 February 1936.

Almost three years later, Dupree was in court facing his fifth bootlegging charge in the last twelve months. Nettie Williams testified that Dupree had offered to pay her to take responsibility for the half-gallon of liquor police had found at his house. Police testified that they discovered alcohol poured into a bucket and stashed in “trap doors” in the outhouse and about the house. Ed Dupree’s daughter Mary testified that Nettie had brought the liquor in and dumped it when the cops arrived. The recorder — essentially, a magistrate — was not persuaded. He sentenced Dupree to six months “on the roads,” i.e. on a chain gang, and resurrected a six-month suspended sentence on top of that.

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Wilson Daily Times, 17 January 1939.


In the 1930 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson township, Wilson County: at 420 South Lodge Street, rented for $20/month, bottling plant laborer Egar [sic] Dupree, 55; wife Bettie, 31; children Wilder, 11, Esther, 9, Mary E., 7, and Edgar Jr., 5; and roomer Cornelia Hicks, 22.

Per the 1930 edition of Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, Edw. Dupree was employed by Barnes-Harrell Company, bottlers of Coca-Cola. W. Offie Page was a clerk at P.L. Woodard & Company, an agricultural supply company. The directory also lists Floyd S. Page, a salesman with Wilson Auto Sales, and Floyd T. Page, a switchman. (At least twice — in 1939 and 1943 — the Daily Times printed notices that recent references to arrests of “Floyd Page” did not refer to car salesman Floyd. I suspect that switchman Floyd was the party involved in the kidnapping of Ed Dupree.)