last will and testament

The obituary of Walter Scott Hines, barber and real estate developer.

The obituary of Walter Scott Hines contains unusually detailed information about his career. He and his brother William Hines operated competing barber shops and built rental housing across East Wilson.

Wilson Daily Times, 9 August 1941.

Walter D. Hines presented his father’s will to the clerk of court to file for probate, swearing that he had found the document, drafted in 1924 “among the valuable papers and effects of … Walter S. Hines … within a certain iron safe having a combination lock, which was situated in Walter S. Hines’ home ….”

Wilson Daily Times, 12 August 1941.

——

In the 1880 census of Cocoa township, Edgecombe County: Joshua Hines, 52; wife Cally, 47; children Jerry, 20, Deller, 22, Lizer, 17, Joshua, 15, Caliph, 13, William, 11, Robert, 7, and Adline, 4; nephew Allen Harris, 3; and grandson Walter, 1 [Della’s son.]

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: hotel porter Dave Barnes, 40; wife Della; and children Walter, 20, William, 15, Lucy, 13, Dave, 5, and Viola, 11. [Walter, William, and Lucy were, in fact, Hineses and were Della Hines Barnes’ children.]

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: barber Walter Hines, 30; wife Sarah, 29; children Elizabeth, 2, and Walter D., 8 months; and boarder Inez Moore, 31, a school teacher.

In 1918, Walter Scott Hines registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 26 October 1879; lived at 616 Green Street; worked as a barber at Tate & Hines; and his nearest relative was Sarah E. Hines. He was described as tall and slender, with blue eyes and black hair.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: barber Walter Hines, 40, wife Sara, 37, Elizabeth, 11, Walter Jr., 10, and Carl, 5.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: barber Walter Hines, 50, wife Sarah, 48, and children Elizabeth, 21, Walter, 20, Carl W., 16, and Clifton R., 7.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Walter S. Hines, 60; wife Sarah E., 58; son Carl W., 24, teacher; son’s wife Ruth, 23, teacher; and son Ray W., 17.

Walter Scott Hines died 9 July 1941 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 24 October 1879 in Edgecombe County, N.C., to Walter S. Parker and Della Hines; and lived at 617 East Green Street, Wilson. His brother, Dr. B.O. Barnes, was the certifying physician.

Clippings courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The last will and testament of Simeon Wooten.

Simeon Wooten‘s 1948 will left all his property, including cash on deposit at Wilson Industrial Bank, to his cousins James Russell Deans, Walter Thomas Deans, Lawyer Theodore Deans, Dixie Bell Deans Carr, and Sallie Mack Deans Smith, children of James T. and Mary McCalop Deans.

——

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Clauda Wooten, 37, son Sidney, 18, farm laborer, and brother Irdel, 35, day laborer.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Goldsboro Street, widow Clauda Wooten, 47, laundress, and son Sim, 28, wagon factory laborer.

In 1918, Sim Wooten registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 26 January 1882; lived at 305 Hines Street, Wilson; worked as a machine operator for Hackney Wagon Company; and his nearest relative was Claudie Wooten, same address.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 512 South Lodge, Claudie Wooten, 57, widow, and son Sim, 37, wagon factory laborer.

On 11 July 1920, Sim Wooten, 38, of Wilson, son of John and Claudia Wooten, married Lula Dew, 26, of Wilson, daughter of Jeff and Jane Dew, at Jeff Dew’s residence. Daniel A. Crawford applied for the license, and Primitive Baptist minister C.H. Hagans performed the ceremony in the presence of Moses Dew, J.C. Lassiter, and John P. Battle.

In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wooten Sim (c) lab h 510 S Lodge

Lulu Jane Wooten died 7 November 1927 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 May 1892 in Wilson County to Jefferson Dew and Jane Weaver; was married to Simeon Wooten; lived at 510 South Lodge, Wilson; and was a dressmaker.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 510 South Lodge, owned and valued at $1000, widow Claudia Wooten, 67, and son Sim, 48, widower, carpenter at Hackney Wagon.

Claudia Wooten died 9 August 1935 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 73 years old; was born in Nash County to Henry Shaw and Jane Shaw; was a widow; and lived at 510 Lodge Street. Informant was Sim Wooten, 510 Lodge.

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 510 South Lodge, Simm Wooten, 68, widower, “swepts Atlantic Christian College.”

Simeon Wooten died 12 November 1950 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 4 November 1882 in Nash County, N.C., to [unknown] Wooten and Claudia [unknown]; and was buried in Rountree Cemetery. Informant was Walter Deans, 514 South Lodge.

 

 

 

The last will and testament of Annie Gunn.

Annie Gunn‘s will, drafted three years before she died in 1919, reveals unusual wealth and interesting family dynamics.

To her husband Daniel Gunn, Annie Gunn bequeathed the use and enjoyment of a room in their house (clearly, her house) on Lodge Street, specifically, the room next to the adjoining grocery store. Daniel Gunn was to live in the room, not rent it, and if he did not want to live there, the provision was moot. Annie Gunn also left her husband an interest in the store building for the duration of his lifetime, as long as he paid taxes, insurance, and made necessary repairs. Last, Daniel Gunn was to receive all his wife’s “wearing apparel” and her kitchen and household furnishings, except her clock, “machine,” and piano. Anything he didn’t want, he could “distribute among [her] own people as he may deem best.”

To nephew Thomas Deans, Gunn bequeathed her house at 514 South Lodge Street, the adjoining store, the piano, and the clock.

514 and 512 [now 510] South Lodge Street, with the grocery store between them, as drawn in the 1913 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson. (Is the small building behind the grocery the “room” bequeathed to Daniel Gunn?)

To Claudia Wooten, Gunn bequeathed a life interest in the house and lot at what is now 510 South Lodge and a sewing machine. At Wooten’s death, the house was to be sold to pay off debts, expenses, and inheritance taxes and to pay out these bequests:

  • to friend Mrs. Vene Davis, Greenville, N.C., $100
  • to Davis’ daughter, Mrs. Lourine Skinner, Greenville, N.C., $100
  • to friend Mrs. Minnie Cobb, wife of John Cobb, $50
  • to nephew Henry Battle, $50
  • to Charles Barnes, $50
  • to niece Fatina Battle, $50
  • to brother Isaac Matthews, $50
  • to Clara Ann Viverett, Bryant Winstead, and Ned Winstead, her sister’s children, $50
  • to Cora Gunn, $50
  • to Braswell Winstead, $50
  • to trustees of A.M.E. Zion Church of Wilson, $50
  • to Belle Holden, $50

Almost twenty years after Annie Gunn died, the house she left Claudia Wooten went up for auction. The notice of sale mentioned that the lot was a portion of the land Gunn (then Barnes) had purchased in 1897.

Wilson Daily Times, 1 June 1938.

——

  • Annie Gunn

On 17 September 1895, Geo. Bynum, 40, of Wilson, son of Amos Pitt and Lucy Bynum, married Annie Barnes, 35, of Wilson, at Fan[?] Johnson’s residence. A.M.E.Z. minister L.B. Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of Berry Bynum, Ella Allen, and Howell G. Bynum.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Annie Bynum, 40; Maggie Eanox, 24, widow, her children Addie M., 9, and Joseph Eanox, 7, and sister Bertie Eanox, 17; and boarder Mary Corbett, 24.

On 22 May 1901, Daniel Gunn, 40, of Wilson County, son of Ruffin and Lizzie Gunn, married Annie A. Bynum, 42, of Wilson County, at her residence in Wilson. Free Will Baptist minister Crocket Best performed the ceremony in the presence of Cora Beckwith, Mary Thorne, and Debsel [Delzelle] Beckwith. [The Beckwiths were Annie Gunn’s next-door neighbors.]

In the 1908 and 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: Gunn Anna (c) clothing h 514 S Lodge

Annie Gunn died 30 January 1919 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she lived at 514 Lodge Street; was 68 years old; was born in Nash County, N.C., to “Dr. Shaw, white” and an unknown mother; and was married to Daniel Gunn.

  • Daniel Gunn

In the 1908 and 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories: Gunn Daniel (c) grocer 512 1/2 S Lodge h 514 S Lodge

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Gunn Daniel (c) lab h 514 S Lodge

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 514 Lodge Street, school principal James T. Deans, 53, wife Mary, 34, and children Rosevelt, 16, James Jr., 9, Walter, 5, Therodore, 3, and Dixie, 2 months, and boarder Daniel Gunn, 57, a tobacco factory worker.

In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Gunn Daniel tob grader 512 S Lodge h 514 S Lodge

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Gunn Daniel (c) lab h 514 S Lodge

Daniel Gunn died 25 May 1929 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 68 years old; was a widower; was born in Danville, Virginia; lived at 514 Lodge Street; and worked as a tobacconist (grading). Addie E. Hall was informant.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Clauda Wooten, 37, son Sidney, 18, farm laborer, and brother Irdel, 35, day laborer.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Goldsboro Street, widow Clauda Wooten, 47, laundress, and son Sim, 28, wagon factory laborer.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 512 South Lodge, Claudie Wooten, 57, widow, and son Sim, 37, wagon factory laborer.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 510 South Lodge, owned and valued at $1000, widow Claudia Wooten, 67, and son Sim, 48, widower, carpenter at Hackney Wagon.

Claudia Wooten died 9 August 1935 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 73 years old; was born in Nash County to Henry Shaw and Jane Shaw; was a widow; and lived at 510 Lodge Street. Informant was Sim Wooten, 510 Lodge.

  • Vene Davis and Lourine Skinner

Lavenia Blount Davis (1854-1942) and her daughter Laurine Davis Skinner (1881-1959) were Wilson natives. That they were white is signaled by the inclusion of an honorific before their names. I do not know Annie Gunn’s relationship to them or why she would leave them such large sums of money.

  • Minnie Cobb — Minnie Warren Cobb (1884-1964), either.
  • Henry Battle
  • Charles Barnes
  • Fatina Battle
  • Isaac Matthews

In the 1870 census of Chesterfield township, Nash County, North Carolina: Clara Matthews, 55, and son Isaac, 19, farm laborer.

On 12 April 1871, Isaac Matthews, son of Stephen Powell and C. Mathews, married Sidney Powell, daughter of Calvin Powell and Penny Lucus, in Wilson County.

In the 1880 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: in the household of white farmer Mark M. Matthews, 40, hirelings Charly G. Howard, 24, Isaac Matthews, 28, George Locust, 50, and Calvin Powell, 50, and his son Thomas, 14.

  • Clara Ann Viverett —

In the 1870 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: d[omestic] servant Anna Oats, 28; Milly Winsted, 16, d[omestic] servant, Ned Winsted, 13, farm laborer, and Clara Winsted, 12, d[omestic] servant; and John Batts, 22, white, liquor dealer.

Henry Viverett, 42, of Toisnot township, Wilson County, married Clara Winstead, 30, of Toisnot township, on 19 March 1896.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Henry Vivrett, 47; wife Clory, 34; and children Isabella, 18, Arthur, 14, Willie, 10, Ella, 6, Victora, 3, and Henry, 1.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Henry Viverett, 56; wife Clara, 46; and children Ella, 17, Victoria, 13, Henry, 10, and Troy, 5.

In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Henry Virrett, 55; wife Clara, 53; and son Willie, 15.

  • Bryant Winstead

In the 1870 census of Joyners township, Wilson County: Bryant Winsted, 18, Jack Hardy, 22, and Matilda Hardy, 20, all farm laborers.

In the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Bryant Winstead, 30; wide Blessing, 28; grandmother Millie Batchelor, 83; and niece Ellen Heggins, 12.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Bryant Winstead, 49, and wife Blessing, 45.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Bryant Winstead, 54, and wife Blessing, 48.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Bryant Winstead, 65, and wife Blessing, 65.

Bryant Winstead died 2 October 1933 in Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was

James H. Holden, 35, of Wilson, son of Rachel Holden, married Isabell Deans, 25, on 25 January 1900 in Wilson. Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of J.T. Deans, Cora Beckwith and Goodsey Holden.

N.B. Annie Barnes Bynum Gunn is not to be confused with Annie Barnes Gunn (1874-1973), whose husband was Moses Gunn.

I am not yet clear on Annie B.B. Gunn’s birth family. Her marriage licenses do not list her parents. Her death certificate lists only her father, a white physician named Shaw. Bryant, Clara, and Ned Winstead are described as Annie Gunn’s sister’s children; records name their mother variously as Iseley and Essie Winstead. (They had different fathers.) Claudia Wooten is not described as Annie Gunn’s relative, but her parents’ surnames are listed as Shaw on her death certificate. Braswell Winstead, son of Riley Robbins and Malissa Winstead, is not described as Annie Gunn’s relative, but have been. J. Thomas Deans, son of Sarah Deans, was described as her nephew. Isaac Matthews is described as her brother, but his mother was Clara Matthews. Henry and Fatina Battle are described as her nephew and niece.

The obituary of Ardelia Nunn.

Wilson Daily Times, 27 June 1947.

——

In the 1880 census of Clayton, Johnston County: Essex Blake, ; wife Clara, ; children Della, Robert, Sallie, Benjamin, James, Halsey, Antney, Timothy, Ardelia, and Jerry, 5; and granddaughter Narcissie, 6.

In the 1900 census of Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina: minister of the gospel Essex Blake, 70; wife Nancy, 59; daughter Ardelia, 26, trained nurse; and Ellen Ransom, 60, seamstress.

In the 1910 census of Raleigh, Wake County: Ardelia Blake, 35, sick nurse, and “sleepers” Joanna Taylor, 42, and Harriett Davis, 65, both children’s nurses.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Nunn Ardelia (c) 1100 E Nash

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Sallie Barbour, 85, widow, and lodgers Ordelia Nunn, 66, and James Pettiford, 47, barber at Hines barbershop.

Sallie Minnie Barbour died 22 April 1942 at her home at 1100 East Nash Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 71 years old; was born in Wake County to Essex Blake and Clara Hodge; was a widow; and was a schoolteacher. Ardelia Nunn, 1100 East Nash, was informant.

Ardelia executed a will on 24 June 1946 in the presence of D.C. Yancey and C.E. Artis. Nine months later, she signed a codicil adding provision. The first provision bequeathed to Wesley Rogers her house at 1100 East Nash Street provided he care for her if she became disabled. Second, she bequeathed $100 to her sister Ordie J. Jones. Third, to her cousin Maud Hobbs, her interest in a house at 306 South Street, Raleigh, that had been willed to her and her sister Sallie Barbour. Per the codicil, Nunn bequeathed various sums of money to Maud Hobbs, Rebecca Farmer, and Vernecia Moore.

Ardelia Nunn died 25 June 1947 at Mercy Hospital. Per her death certificate, she was 70 years old; was born in Wake County, N.C., to Essex Blake and Clara Hodges; was a widow; lived at 608 North Carroll Street; and was buried in the Masonic Cemetery. Informant was Caroline Dismond, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III; Ardelia Nunn Will, North Carolina Wills and Probate Records 1665-1998, ancestry.com.

The last will and testament of James Artis.

James Artis‘ February 1930 will was devoted primarily to paying his debts to those who cared for or helped him during his final illness.

He directed that Dr. Matthew S. Gilliam be paid from insurance proceeds for “rendering me medical service, furnishing me medicine, paying my room rent, boarding me and furnishing me what ever I need as long as I live.”

Artis then directed that Julia Johnson‘s bill for “cooking, washing and looking after me” be paid, but only after his burial expenses were paid and lawyer Glenn S. McBrayer was paid $50 for handling his affairs.

If there was any money left, he directed that his unnamed daughter receive two dollars, and anything after that was to go to his unnamed wife.

——

In the 1870 census of Goldsboro, Wayne County: Louisa Artis, 21; husband James, 25, works on street; and children Adeline, 5, and James, 1 month.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: James Artice, 39, laborer; wife Louzah, 26; and children Adeline, 13, James, 10, Isadora, 8, Effie, 2, and Minnie, 1.

On 10 October 1902, James Artis, 29, of Wilson County, son of James and Louisa Artis, married Armelia Speight, 30, of Wilson County, daughter of Rufus Speight and Tempsy Speight [she, alive and living in Peterburg, Virginia]. Richard Renfrow applied for the license, and Missionary Baptist minister F.M. Davis performed the ceremony at Jane Branch’s residence in Wilson in the presence of C.R. Cannon, H.S. Phillips, and Jane Branch.

Blount Artis died 24 April 1916 in Boon Hill township, Johnston County. Per his death certificate, he was about 16 years old; was born in Wilson County to Jim Artis and Amelia Artis; was single; and worked as a clerk in a drugstore. Charles Gay was informant.

Amelia Artis appears in the 1912, 1916, 1928, and 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory. James Artis is listed in none. Amelia Artis worked variously as a laundress, cook, factory hand, and domestic, and lived at 121 Ash Street, 512 South Street, 117 North East Street, and 810 East Nash Street. [The couple seems to have separated early in the marriage, though they reunited long enough to appear in the same household in 1920.]

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 121 Ash Street, barber Jim Ardis, 30; wife Amelia, 28; and daughter Amelia, 14. [Jim and Amelia’s ages are off by twenty years.]

James Artis died 5 March 1930 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 50 years old; was born in Wilson to James Artis of Wilson County and Louise Faison of Duplin County, N.C; was married to Amelia Artis; and lived at 210 Manchester. He was buried in Rountree [Odd Fellows] cemetery. Amelia Artis, 112 East Street, was informant.

Amelia Speight Artis’ broken grave marker in Odd Fellows Cemetery.

I found the headstones of Amelia Artis, Blount Artis (also known as Rufus Artis), and Amelia’s mother Tempsy Speight in a pile with two dozen other headstones in Odd Fellows cemetery. The locations of their graves are unknown. I have not found a marker for James Artis, though he is surely buried there.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, March 2022.

The last will and testament of Millie Bryant.

On 3 August 1936, Millie Bryant made her mark on a will leaving all her property to her niece Cecelia Norwood. Bryant died ten weeks later. Her house was at 608 East Green Street, and Norwood held the property until she died though she lived around the corner on North Pender.

A dispute over the estate of James Scarborough.

We revisited James Scarborough’s early nineteenth-century house outside Saratoga last week, and we examined the contents of his will here. Scarborough died shortly after executing his will in 1835, and his estate entered a lengthy and contentious probate.

To wife Martha and daughter Zilly Scarborough, along with his home and other property, Scarborough left “A Parcel of Negros that is to say Nan Aggy Sen’r Silvey Lemon Washington Sumter and Young Aggy and Haywood these Eight negros with the in Creas I lend them Jointly to Geather to my wife & daughter Zilly but by no means to be Hired out but to Remane on the Plantation to labour for them …”

To his son John R. Scarborough: “I also gave him three Likely negros when he went a way and now I give him four more after my death there names is as follows Luke Guilford Orange and Willis the above negros is not to be carryed away without a Lawful authority or Either by himself or his Heirs or Executors….” (In fact, John Scarborough took the men to Alabama even before the estate was opened, claiming that they were a gift to him rather than part of the estate.)

Scarborough died 1 March 1836. Nan, an enslaved woman, barely outlived her master:

Screen Shot 2020-05-06 at 9.29.29 PM.png

Rec’d the 28th Oct 1836 of Richard T. Eagles one of the Executors to James Scarboroughs will the sum of three Dollars & fifty Cents in full for making Coffin for Negro Nann.  William J. Lewis

The estate paid for the care of Silvey and four children for the year 1837.

Rec’d the 9th Decr 1837 the Sum of forty Dollar of Stephen Wooten and Richard T. Eagles Exer to the Estate of James Scarborgh decst for keeping Silvy and 4 children for the year 1837.  R.T. Eagles for Martha Scarbrough    Witness [illegible] Edwards

Despite James Scarborough’s express directive that “by no means” should his enslaved people be hired out, they were. Immediately.

On behalf of herself and her daughter Zilly, Martha Scarborough repeatedly challenged the terms of the will and the handling of the estate. In March 1839, pursuant to court order, a committee prepared an inventory of the enslaved people in Scarborough’s estate. They were: Aggy, age 55 ($100); Silva, age 37, and her two-month-old child Bunny ($650); Milly, age 3 ($250); Haywood, age 5 ($350); Aggy, age 7 ($400); Sumpter, age 9 ($550); Washington, age 14 ($725); and Lemon, age 16 ($850). Sumpter was “set apart” for widow Martha Scarborough.

record-image_-3.jpg

Martha Scarborough immediately sold Sumter to her son Jonathan T. Eason. Or did she? See below.

Screen Shot 2020-05-06 at 9.37.53 PM.png

Rec’d of Jonathan T. Eason five hundred and fifty Dollars in full for negro Sumter whitch was aloted to me in the Devishion of the negroes of the Decst James Scarborough my Late husbun this the 3th of April 1839  Martha (X) Scarborough      J.B. Eason

On 5 March 1840, Jonathan T. Eason received sixty dollars from the estate for caring for Silvey and three of her children during the previous year. Silva’s children appear to have been Bunny, Milly, Haywood, and Aggy. As a seven or eight year-old, Aggy would have been considered old enough to hire out separate from her mother.

Screen Shot 2020-05-06 at 9.33.23 PM.png

In 1843, Martha Scarborough filed petition charging her son Jonathan T. Eason with having taken advantage of her by convincing that the boy Sumpter, also known as Tom Sumpter, who was eight or ten years old in January 1840, was “badly grown for his age,” and the land she’d received as dower was “poor & much exhausted by cultivation.” She claimed she had eventually given way to Eason’s solicitations to manage her property — “he had acquired in a little time a complete ascendancy over her will” —  and he had sold it away in bits and pieces. “When he obtained consent to  sell the slave Tom Sumpter which was the only one she possessed he promised that she should have another to wait and attend upon her during her life ….” In a deposition of William W. Edwards taken pursuant to Scarborough’s litigation, Edwards testified that “I was well acquainted with the negro Sumpter. He was sold by Jonathan T. Eason to John Harrell Sr. at Eagles’ store for the sum of $560.00.” (This was probably Richard T. Eagles’ store in Edgecombe County.)

The outcome of Martha Scarborough’s suit is not clear.

The James Scarborough house.

James Scarborough Estate Records, North Carolina Wills and Probate Records 1665-1998, ancestry.com; photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2020.

The last will and testament of Josephine J. Murphy.

Josephine J. Murphy of Wilson drafted a detailed will in 1946.

First, her executor should pay her debts and funeral expenses and rest a suitable monument at her grave.

Second, she gave “to the First Baptist Church located on the corner of Nash Street and Pender Street in the Town of Wilson, North Carolina” $100 to be used “for needed decorations and improvements on the interior.”

Third, $200 to Jenkins Orphans Home for Negroes, Charleston, South Carolina.

Fourth, sell her house and lot at 1006 Washington Street, Wilson, and pay half the proceeds to her niece Ovena Simmons Richardson. With the remaining half, “purchase country property for the benefit of my niece Josephine Simmons Williams, and her two children Printiss Williams, Jr., and Florida Anna G. Williams” in any location Josephine Williams chose. However, if either Richardson or Williams elected to live in the house within one year of Murphy’s death, the house would not be sold until vacated as a primary residence.

Fifth, all household items to be divided equally between nieces Ovena S. Richardson and Josephine S. Williams.

Sixth, Luke Lamb appointed executor.

Josephine J. Murphy signed the document on 23 July 1946 in the presence of Veda Lamb, Maxine Hudson, and P.O. Barnes.

Per Find A Grave, here is the suitable monument erected for Josephine Murphy in Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church cemetery, Bennettsville, South Carolina.

Last Will and Testament of Josephine J. Murphy, Wilson County Wills, Volumes 9-10, North Carolina Wills and Estate Records 1665-1998, http://www.ancestry.com.

The last will and testament of Herman N. Grissom.

I, Herman Grissom, of the town of Wilson, State of North Carolina, declare this to be my last Will and testament.

1 — I give and devise to my wife Lydia Grissom, the dwelling house and lot on which it stands, and after her death to my three children Dorthea, Vivian and Lydia Grisom.

2 — I will and devise to my mother Hattie Grisom, the vacant lot on the north side of the above named house & lot, on which my said mother is to build a house as soon as possible after my death, and after her death, said house and lot, to go to my children.

I name as my executor, Walter Hines.

In testimony whereof, I have set my hand and seal this the 23rd day of Mar., A.D. 1921.      Herman X Grisom

——

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Hattie Grissom, 25; son Herman, 8; sister Anie, 23, and brother Warren, 15, day laborer.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: factory laborer Etta [sic] Grissom, 35, divorced, and son Herman, 16, barbershop bootblack.

On 24 July 1913, Herman Grissom, 22, of Wilson, son of Willis and Hattie Grissom, married Lydia Meeks, 20, of Edgecombe, daughter of Philip and Nancy Meeks, at Saint Paul’s A.M.E. Zion in Tarboro, Edgecombe County.

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Grissom Herman N (c) barber Tate & Hines h N Vick cor Atlantic

In 1917, Herman Natius Grissom registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 12 January 1890 in Wilson; lived on Atlantic Street, Wilson; was a barber with Tate & Hines; and had a wife and two children. He signed his card “Herman Nadis Grissom.”

Herman Nadies Grissom died 23 March 1921 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 January 1891 in Wilson to Willis Grissom of Franklin County, N.C., and Hattie Thorne of Wilson; was married to Lydia Grissom; lived at 201 Vick Street; and worked as a barber.

Apparently, Walter Hines, the barber for whom Grissom had worked, carried out the terms of Grissom’s will immediately. As early as the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories, his mother, nurse Hattie Grissom, is listed at 203 North Vick Street, the house built on the north side of the house in which he had lived at 201.

 

Last will and testament of Nellie Bullock Whitehead.

When Nellie Bullock Whitehead made out her will on 10 November 1949, she was very clear that only her daughters Anna Whitehead Hagans and Elnora Whitehead Sauls would inherit.

Nellie Bullock Whitehead was a native of Wilson County; her husband John Whitehead was from Georgia. I have not found a marriage license for them, but they lived in Dodge County, Georgia, in 1910, and all their children were born in Georgia. By 1920, they had returned to live in Nellie Whitehead’s home county.

——

In the 1910 census of Mullis township, Dodge County, Georgia: John Whitehead, 26; wife Nellie, 25; and sons Edmund, 7, and Will. H., 4.

In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on S.H. Crocker Farm Road, tenant farmer, John Whitehead, 37; wife Nellie, 36; children E.K., 16, William H., 13, Anna V.O., 7, Anna Nula, 5, and J.B., 4; and great-uncle[?] Josh Whitehead.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Highway 91, express laborer [no first name] Whitehead, 49; wife Ella, 45; and children Anna V., 17, Nora, 16, John, 14, and William, 24. All were born in Georgia except Ella [Nellie], who was born in North Carolina.

John Whitehead died in Wilson on 24 October 1937. Per his death certificate, he was 55 years old; was born in Georgia to Joshua Whitehead and Georgian Melvin; was married to Nellie Whitehead; lived at 1513 Nash Street; and worked as a meat packer.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: widow Nellie Whitehead, 56; son J.B., 24, truck driver for a contractor; daughter Anna Hagans, 27, tobacco company stemmer; son-in-law Henry Hagans, 32, town garbage remover; and daughter Elnora Whitehead, 26.

John Baptist Whitehead registered for the World War II draft in Wilson in 1940. Per his registration card, he was born 25 December 1915 in Chester, Georgia; lived at Route 4, Box 39, Wilson; worked for Imperial Tobacco, Barnes Street; and his contact was his mother, Nellie Whitehead.

Nellie B. Whitehead died 27 March 1951 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 10 August 1884 in Elm City, N.C., to Equia B. Bullock and William Ann Barnes and was a widow. Anna B. Hagans was informant.