Locus

State vs. Benjamin Ellis.

To stave off responsibility for caring for poor women and their children, unwed mothers were regularly brought before justices of the peace to answer sharp questions about their circumstances.

On 26 January 1867, Zily Lucas admitted to Wilson County justice of the peace Solomon Lamm that her four-month-old son Bryan had been born out of wedlock and  his father was Benjamin Ellis. Lamm ordered that Ellis be arrested and taken to a justice to answer Lucas’ charge.

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In the 1870 census of Chesterfield township, Nash County, N.C.: Delila Lucus, 32; Rachel, 25; Zillie, 16; Louisa, 13; and Bryant, 2. [Note that Zillie was about 14 when her son was born.]

In the 1880 census of Jackson township, Nash County: farmer Dilla Locus, 40; niece Louiza, 29; cousin Mary E., 16; nephew Bryant, 13; cousin Dora, 5; and mother Delila, 72.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: mill laborer Bryan Locus, 31; wife Susan, 28; and children Pat, 12, Lou, 9, G[illegible], 6, Martha, 3, and Arthur, 10 months.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Bryant Lucas, 45; wife Susan, 38; daughters Pattie Winstead, 22, and Lula Joyner, 20; children Mary L., 17, Matha A., 15, James A., 12, Susan, 9, Laura C., 7, and John H.B., 4; and grandchildren Arta Lee, 5, and Eva May Winstead, 2, and May Lizzie Lucas, 10 months.

In the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farm laborer Bryant Locus, 64; wife Susie, 69; daughter Charity, 10, and son James R., 6; son-in-law Willie Barnes, 32, farm laborer; daughter Martha, 26; and granddaughters Catherine, 16, and Pauline Barnes, 13.

Susie F. Lucas died 10 June 1933 in Wilson. Per her death certification, she was 55 years old; was born in Nash County, N.C., to Dock and Charity Wilkins; was married to Bryant Lucas; and lived at 507 Carroll Street.

Martha Barnes died 7 December 1961 in Wilson township. Per her death certificate, she was born 20 September 1897 in Nash County to Bryant Lucas and Susie Wilkins;  and was widowed. Catherine Nicholson, 103 North Vick, was informant.

Bastardy Bonds, 1866, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

State vs. Johnathan P. Locus.

To stave off responsibility for caring for poor women and their children, unwed mothers were regularly brought before justices of the peace to answer sharp questions about their circumstances. 

On 18 December 1866, Aby Anderson admitted to Wilson County justice of the peace John Nichols that she was unmarried and had given birth to a child whose father was Johnathan P. Locus. Nichols ordered that Locus be arrested and taken to a justice to answer Anderson’s charge.

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I have not been able to identify Locus with certainty. Aby Anderson may have been Tabitha “Abi” Anderson, born about 1848, who married Gray Ruffin in Wilson County on 18 October 1893.

Bastardy Bonds, 1866, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Jasper R. Locus moves to a new service station.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 December 1944.

At the end of 1944, J. Ollie Mercer announced that Jasper R. “Jabo” Lucas had left Meek’s Gulf Station to work at Mercer Esso Service. 

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In the 1910 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Road, Edd Locus, 34; wife Winnie, 26; and children Leonezo, 18, Diawas, 11, Rosevelt, 7, Elizebeth, 6, and Anner, 2.

In the 1920 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: at “Cross Roads toward Fremont,” farmer Ed Locust, 50; wife Winnie, 45; and children Dowes, 22, Rosevelt, 18, Lula, 18, Amma, 12, and Herman, 5.

Jasper Roosevelt Lucas registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County in 1942. Per his registration card, he was born 3 September 1901 in Wilson County; lived in Stronach Alley; his mailing address was 807 West Nash Street, Wilson; his contact was Winnie Lucas, Spring Street, Wilson; and worked at Donnie Meeks Service Station, Wilson.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The robbery and beating of Asa Locus.

From its beginning in 2015, Black Wide-Awake‘s cut-off date for events has been 1949. It was an arbitrary date, but a clean one, and meant to ensure my focus on people, places, and things that were furthest from us and thus closest to slipping away. Recently, though, I received the gift of a compelling trove of newspaper clippings from 1950 and can’t help but share them.

Here’s the first detailing the daring armed robbery of Asa “Acie” Locus by two white men, who got away with $27,000 in cash and several guns. (Note the reason Locus felt “only fools” kept their money in bank — he was probably referring to the collapse of Commercial Bank in 1929.)

Wilson Daily Times, 14 October 1950.

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In the 1880 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: Nelson Eatmon, 66; wife Eliza, 50; [Eliza’s children] Amanda, 18, Mary J., 14, Asa, 10, and Lougene Locus, 4; and Margaret Howard, 21, and Harriet Howard, 2.

Also, in the 1880 census of Fishing Creek, Warren County, North Carolina: Levi Richardson, 25, wife Temy, 16, and cousin Acy Locus, 10.

On 17 June 1895, in Brinkleyville, Halifax County, Asa Locus, 23, of Halifax County, married Annie Eaton [sic], 18, of Halifax County.

In the 1900 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Asa Locus, 27, wife Anna, 22, and children Larry, 5, Johney, 4, and Kniver, 1.

In the 1910 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: on Nash Road, farmer Acy Locust, 40, wife Annie, 33, and children Larry, 15, John, 13, Eva, 11, James, 8, Ada, 6, and Paul, 3, and mother-in-law Wilmur Eatman, 68.

In the 1920 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Asa Locus, 49, wife Annie, 40, daughter Ada, 14, and son Paul, 12.

In the 1930 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Ace Locus, 60, wife Annie, 50, and granddaughter Teanestus Locus, 10.

In the 1940 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Ace Locus, 72, and wife Annie, 68.

Asa Lucus died 14 July 1955 at Park View Hospital in Rocky Mount, Nash Carolina. His residence was Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born October 1860 in Wilson County to Martin Lucus and Liza Brantley. He was buried in a family cemetery in Wilson County.

[N.B. An earlier blogpost cited Civil Rights Congress’ We Charge Genocide: The Historic Petition to the United Nations for Relief From a Crime of The United States Government Against the Negro People (1951) as the source of a short blurb about the crimes against Locus. That document erroneously places the robbery in 1944.}

Studio shots, no. 193: Kenney Locus (also known as Lucas).

Kenney Locus, also known as Lucas.

In the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Ed Locus, 47; wife Cora, 35; and children Linward, 20, Maggie, 19, Ula, 18, Winnie, 17, Alma, 16, Redelpha, 13, John E., 11, Clinton, 10, Kenny, 9, Josephine, 7, Easter, 5, Louise, 4, Frank, 3, and Nancy, an infant.

In the 1940 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farm laborer Ed Locus, 55; wife Clara, 45; and children Ella, 26, Redelphine, 23, Jhonnie Ed, 21, Qunnion, 19, Kerney, 18, Jasperine, 17, Lottie and Louise, 15, Frank, 12, and Nancy, 10.

In 1942, Kennie Lucas registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 10 November 1924 in Wilson County; lived at P.O. Box 293, Wilson; his contact was mother Cora Lucas; and helped his father Ed Lucas farm. He had a scar on his right leg below the knee. 

Kenney Lucas died 14 September 1965 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 July 1927 [sic] in Wilson to Eddie Lucas and Cora Lucas; was never married; worked as a farmer; and was a veteran of World War II. Nancy Farmer was informant.

Photo courtesy of Europe A. Farmer.

The Locuses sell a lot to Taylor’s Chapel.

Deed book 86, page 97, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.

On 14 December 1909, John and Delphia Taylor Locus(t) conveyed an 1800 square foot parcel to Willis Ellis, Joe Eatman, and Phoebe Rountree, trustees of Taylor’s Chapel Christ’s Disciples Church. The land was on “the north side of the path leading from the Nash Road to the old home place of Ira Howard, deceased” and was adjacent to land owned by John Locus and Ruffin Watson (“the James Howard tract”).

The land was to “be used for a church in the name of the Christ’s Disciples Church,” and to return to John Locust and his heirs after such use ended. 

[There is a Taylor’s Chapel Pentecostal Holiness in Nashville, N.C., today. I do not believe it is a related church.]

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  • Willis Ellis — in the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Mary Ellis, 34, and children Willis, 12, Walter, 9, William, 8, Henry, 5, and Lou, 4.
  • Joe Eatman
  • Phoebe Rountree — in the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: widow Phebee Rountree, 59, farmer, and children Richard, 19, Warren, 17, Ardenia, 15, and Martha, 12. 
  • Ira Howard — in the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Ira Howard, 45; wife Harett, 44, and son William, 18.
  • James Howard– in the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: next door to Ira Howard, farmer James Howard, 20, and wife Cisco, 20.

Guilty of bigamy.

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Wilson Daily Times, 28 November 1911.

  • Julius Locus

On 25 February 1904, Julius Lucas, 20, son of Lovett and Viney Lucas (then living in Virginia), married Lou Arrington, 24, daughter of Sidney Arrington, in Wilson. R.J. McPhail applied for the license, and Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of John Moore, Amos Daniel, and Julia Davis.

In 1917, William Julius Lucas registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born in April 1888 in Nash County, N.C.; lived at East Street, Wilson; worked cleaning and pressing clothes for Y.C. Lamm, Wilson; and supported a wife, five children, and a father.

I have not been able to identify Julius Locus’ second wife or the Howard daughter he ran off with.

  • Jesse Howard

On 17 August 1889, Jesse Howard, 22, son of Deal and Rhoda Howard, married Martha Ruffin, 21, daughter of Green and Tamer Ruffin, all of Taylors township.

On 5 June 1901, Jesse Howard, 33, son of Delius and Rhoda Howard, married Zillah Woodard, 32, daughter of Alfred and Sarah Woodard.

  • Mr. Powell — probably, in the 1912 Winston-Salem, N.C., city directory: Powell Geo C (Mattie C), propr Powell’s Steam Cleaning & Dye Works, h 925 Church, Salem
  • Lou Arrington

On 8 June 1896, Lou Arrington, 18, daughter of Saul and Viney Arrington, married W.M. Atwater, 23, son of Aterson Atwater and Angeline Burston, at “Rezdent hear mother” in Wilson. Baptist minister Esrom P. Pearsall performed the ceremony in the presence of Mrs. Timfrey Ann Rountree and Mrs. Blanchie Rountree. [Atwater, presumably, is the man to whom Lou Arrington was married when she married Julius Locus.]

Studio shots, no. 187: Ida Brown Locus Ellis.

Ida Brown Locus Ellis (1907-1969).

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In the 1910 census of Currituck township, Hyde County, North Carolina: lumber swamp laborer Columbus Brown, 29; wife Fannie, 22; and children Bertha, 4, Ida, 2, and Leonard, 5 months.

In the 1920 census of Currituck township, Hyde County, North Carolina: farmer Columbus Brown, 44; wife Fannie, 34; and children Bertha, 14, Ida, 11, Leonard, 9, Jeff, 7, Lucey, 6, Marvin, 2, and Louissa, 1.

On 10 May 1926, Pete Locust, 21, and Ida Brown, 17, both of Greene County, N.C., married in Wilson County by Free Will Baptist J.E. Brown in the presence of Will Jordan, Frank Ward, and Harry Ellis.

Haywood Ellis died 8 April 1959 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 28 December 1907 in Greene County to Calvin Ellis and Mary Speight; was married to Ida Ellis; lived at 104 Powell Street; and was a grocer.

Ida Locus Ellis died 17 February 1969 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 August 1907 to Columbus Brown and Fannie Hudson; was a widow; lived at 400 South Pender Street; and was a grocery store operator. Elnora Finch was informant.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com Anthony Williams.