Sandy Fork Missionary Baptist Church.

I’d seen numerous references to a Sandy Fork Baptist Church in Wilson County, but was confused because the church I found by that name is a mile or so across the line in Nash County. Even more confusingly, Sandy Fork’s cemetery is on Old Bailey Highway, more than a mile from the church. 

Sandy Fork Missionary Baptist Church off Hornes Church Road in Wilson County.

Lisa Winstead-Stokes clarified the matter for me. Originally, there was a single Sandy Fork church, and a faction broke away to found “Little” Sandy Fork, also known “new” Sandy Fork Missionary Baptist Church of Wilson County. 

Neither the little nor big church is located at the original site of the church, which was near the crossroads just south of Sandy Fork cemetery. Annie Eatmon Locus is regarded as the first “mother” of the new church, which was built on land conveyed by her and her husband Asa “Ace” Locus to church trustees L. Blackwell, Wesley Strickland, Herbert Taylor, and Ace Locus on 18 October 1917.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, March 2023; aerial (without annotations) courtesy of Google Maps. 

Cemeteries, no. 32: Granite Point is found!

I’ve been looking for Granite Point since 2019, and last month I finally posted a query here. Two weeks later, Lisa Winstead-Stokes responded that she absolutely knew where Granite Point is — it’s her family’s cemetery!

Yesterday I met up with Lisa and her husband Cornell Stokes on Thompson Chapel Church Road, just north of Silver Lake. We crossed into a patch of woods, and I immediately saw numerous depressions in the ground indicating sunken graves. After a few minutes, Lisa spotted an old metal funeral home marker, whose paper placard had long rotted away. She wasn’t sure there were any headstones in the cemetery, but then I spied this:

Earnest Windstead d. Apr. 17, 1953 Age 85 Yrs

The woods are bisected by an open stretch that also shows evidence of grave depressions. We realized immediately that the second section, on a slope leading down to a mill pond, was the primary location of burials in the cemetery. Several small  beautifully preserved concrete headstones stand in neat rows alongside two vaults and a large granite headstone. Sadly, most mark the deaths of children within a two-year span from 1921 to 1923, when influenza and other disease struck the extended Joyner family hard.

The cemetery was established on property belonging to John S. Thompson as burial place for African-American sharecroppers and tenant farmers working his land. According to Lisa’s father, Roosevelt Winstead, who recalled attending funerals there in the 1950s, the site was open not only to family, but to anyone in the community who could not afford to be buried elsewhere. A deed search shows the land belongs to absentee Thompson heirs, but neither recent plat maps nor J.S. Thompson’s 1943 plat map mark the cemetery’s location. (Thompson owned 909 acres along both sides of Thompson Chapel Church Road stretching from Highway 58 across the Nash County border.) The cemetery lies astride the boundary of two of the five parcels making up the present day property, and the metes and bounds description of one parcel likely provides a clue as to the actual name of the cemetery. Obituaries and death certificates list is as Granite Point or Grantie Point. The Winstead family’s pronunciation of its name is something closer to Granny Pines. The parcel description notes a Moccasin Branch and Granny Branch (tributaries of Toisnot Swamp) as boundaries. The cemetery lies partially in a triangular wedge jutting out from the parcel’s eastern edge. Was the cemetery’s original name Granny Point?

Maggie Wife of Sessoms Eatmon Died Feb. 10, 1923 Age 26 Yrs. As A Wife, Devoted. As A Mother, Affectionate. As A Friend, Eternal.

Maggie Eatmon died 10 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was 26 years old; was born in Wilson County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead; was married to Sessoms Eatmon; worked in farming; and was buried in Wilson County.

Theodore Son of Henry & Margarette Joyner Born Dec. 29, 1909 Died Jan. 21, 1923. Gone But Not Forgotten.

Theordo Joyner died 2 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born in December 1909 in Wilson, N.C., to Wm. henry Joyner and Margret Winstead; was a school boy; and was buried in the “country.”

Martha A. Lucas Born Aug 9 1910 Died Aug 10 1921 Gone to be an angel.

Martha Lucas died 10 August 1921 in Wilson, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 August 1909 in Nash County to Willey Lucas of Nash County and Elizabeth Lucas of Wilson County; was a school girl; and was buried in the “country.”

Herman Son of Lem & Susie Tabron Born Dec. 29, 1920 Died May 18, 1921. Asleep in Jesus.

Infants of Sessoms & Maggie Eatmon, Born Jan. 31, 1923 Died Feb. 2, 1923. At Rest.

Infant Abert Eatmon died 2 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born 31 January 1923 in Nash County to Sessoms Eatmon and Maggie Joyner, both of Wilson County; and was buried in the “country.”

Infant Son of Jarmon & Lula Eatmon. Born & Died June 25, 1921. Asleep in Jesus.

Vault cover of Tempie Scott’s grave, stamped Cofield Services.

Tempie Tabron Scott died 2 December 1968 in Halifax, Halifax County, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 June 1886 to Larse Tabron and Elizabeth [maiden name unknown]; was widowed; and was buried in Tabron family cemetery, Nash County, by Cofield Funeral Home, Weldon, N.C.

Annie B. Tabron Dobie May 6, 1927 Dec. 6, 1952

One of perhaps a dozen funeral home metal markers found in the cemetery.

Two Lisas on a chilly, almost-spring day.

Lisa Winstead-Stokes is exploring the logistics of clearing Granny Pines/Granite Point cemetery of years of overgrowth. If you have relatives buried or simply are interested in helping, please comment here with contact information!

The last will and testament of John Lucas.

John Lucas (also known as Locus) made out his will on 10 July 1926, about six months before he died.

His bequests included:

  • to son Kenney Lucas, a life interest in “that part of the home place, on the North side of the cart road, on which the house I live in now stands,” and after his death to children Sidney Lucas, Susia Sims, and Eddie Lucas in equal shares.
  • to children Sidney Lucas and Susia Sims, in equal shares, the portion of the home place on the south side of the cart road, adjoining Dew’s place.
  • to son Eddie Lucas, 20 acres known as “the old Phine place,” adjoining the lands of Allison Howard, Gib Howard, Dick Cozart, and ten acres Eddie Lucas purchased from his father earlier.
  • to daughter Nannie Deans, ten acres from the old Phine place.

  • to daughter Dora Battle, ten acres of the Phine tract.
  • to son Frank Lucas, five dollars.
  • to Roxia Blackwell [daughter of Susan Lucas Simms Ellis],his organ.
  • to an unnamed granddaughter, described as “the daughter of Sidney Lucas, the one next to the oldest girl,” his bureau.
  • to granddaughter “Mink,” daughter of Eddie Lucas, his “clothing safe.”
  • to daughter Susia Simms, his sewing machine.
  • to son Kenney Lucas, his iron safe.
  • and other property to be divided equally among children Kenney Lucas, Sidney Lucas, Eddie Lucas, Dora Battle, Nannie Deans, and Susia Simms.
  • children Kenney Lucas and Dora Battle were named co-executors, and Glenn McBrayer legal adviser.

Glenn McBrayer, Lillian McBrayer, and George W. Barnes were witnesses.

Will of John Lucas (1926), North Carolina Wills and Probate Records 1665-1998,

The obituary of Delphia Taylor Lucas.

Wilson Daily Times, 26 February 1923.

Delphia Taylor Lucas was born free in Nash County to Dempsey Taylor and Eliza Pace Taylor.  (“One of the old time darkies” was a bizarre (and utterly offensive) term of approval.)


In the 1850 census of Nash County: farmer Dempsey Taylor, 35; wife Eliza, 33; and children Margaret A., 4, Sarah, 2, and Delphi, 7 months; and Jane, 12.

In the 1860 census of Winsteads township, Nash County: farmer Dempsey Taylor, 46; wife Liza, 44; and children Margaret A.W., 14, Delphia A., 10, Riley A.R., 8, and Joel R., 6.

In the 1870 census of Chesterfield township, Nash County: farmer John Lucus, 24; wife Dalphia, 20; and son John F., 1.

In the 1880 census of Jackson township, Nash County: John Locus, 30; wife Delpha, 30; and children Frank, 10, Dora, 8, Kenny, 5, Nancy, 4, and Samuel, 9 months.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Johnnie Lucus, 43; wife Delpha, 51; children Kinion, 26, Nannie, 24, Edwin, 15, Sidney, 12, and Susan, 9; and grandsons Bunion, 5, and Martin L., 3.

On 20 January 1909, Sidney Lucas, 21, of Taylors, son of John and Delphia Lucas, married Mamie Rountree, 17, of Taylors, daughter of Alex and Watie Rountree, at Emma Rountree’s in Taylors. Missionary Baptist minister William Rodgers performed the ceremony in the presence of James Ross, Pollie Howard, and Emma Lucas.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Howards Path, John Locust, 66; wife Delphia, 64; children Kinyan, 36, and Susie, 19; and grandchildren Bunyan, 15, Luther M., 13, and Roxie, 7 months.

On 15 May 1913, Loyd Simms, 21, of Taylors township, son of Lou Simms, married Susan Locus, 22, of Taylors, daughter of John and Delphia Locus, at the Register of Deeds office in Wilson.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: John Locus, 77; wife Delphi, 65; son Kennie, 48; and grandchildren Roxie, 11, and Luther, 23.

Delphia Lucas died 24 February 1923 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1849 in Wilson County to Dempsey Taylor of Wilson County and Essie Pace of Nash County; was married to John Lucas; and was buried in a family cemetery. 

Train-auto collision kills two.

In December 1930, several North Carolina newspapers carried an Associated Press article that opened with this: “Death rode the highways in the Carolinas over the week-end, leaving in its wake eight dead persons and many injured.”

The dead included Samuel High and James B. Lucas:

Burlington Daily Times, 8 December 1930.

  • Samuel High

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: John High, 26; wife Treasy, 23; and children Willie, 8, and Sam, 6.

On 13 December 1915, Samuel High, 19, of Oldfields township, son of John and Treacey High, married Roberta Lucas, 19, of Taylor township, daughter of Elbert and Rose Lucas, in Oldfields township, Wilson County.

On 25 May 1925, Samuel High, 32, of Pikeville, Wayne County, N.C., son of John and Treacy High, married Rosa Arrington, 33, of Pikeville, daughter of William and Tempie Arrington, at the courthouse in Goldsboro, Wayne County.

  • J.B. Locus [James B. Lucas]

In 1917, James Lucas registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 14 August 1890 in Wilson County; lived in Wilson County; farmed for Frank Williamson; had a wife and two children; and was literate.

In the 1920 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer J.B. Lucas, 26; wife Effie, 25; and children Savanah, 6, Sallie, 4, and Pearlie, 2.

In the 1930 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer James B. Lucas, 39; wife Effie, 36; and children Suvannia, 16, Sallie, 14, Peral, 12, Mae H., 10, James W., 8, Mae, 5, Zelmar, 3, and Lillion, 6 months.

Like Samuel High, Lucas “came to his death by N.S. Engine hitting car he was in at crossing in Simms, N.C.”

Teen stabs teen; goes to movie.

Wilson Daily Times, 21 October 1942.

On 11 December 1942, Willie Lucas pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of Hezekiah Reid. He received a sentence of three to five years in prison, but was paroled by Governor J. Melville Broughton in August 1943, having served nine months.


  • Willie Lucas
  • Hezekiah Reed

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Westover, farmer Zion Read, 56; wife Lara, 25; and children Zoreana, 8, Hesicar, 12, William, 4, and Walter E., 0. 

Willie Reid died 20 October 1942 at Centre Brick Warehouse, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 June  1923 in Wilson to Zion Reid and Laura Davis; was single; worked as a laborer; and was buried in Rountree Cemetery. Cause of death: “homicide — knife wound of left breast.”

Pfc. C.H. Lucas receives letter of recommendation.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 September 1945.

  • C.H. Lucas — Charles H. Lucas.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 208 Jones Street, South Carolina-born drayman Henry Lucas, 35; wife Mamie, 35; and children James, 16, Leroy, 14, Milton, 12, Lucille, 10, Alma, 5, Margret, 6, and Charles, 2.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Henry Lucas, 56; wife Mary, 55; and children Lucille Lucas, 28, Alma Thompson, 24, Margaret Wright, 23, (and her daughter) El L. Wright, 2, [Alma’s daughter] Jacqueline Thompson, 3, Charles Lucas, 22, and Amelia Lucas, 20.

Charles Henry Lucas registered for the World War II draft in Kinston, Lenoir County, North Carolina. Per his registration card, he was born 11 July 1918 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 1018 North Queen Street, Kinston; his contact was mother Mamie Battle Lucas, 914 East Queen Street, Wilson; and he worked for H.C. Hines, Kinston.

In 1950, Charles Henry Lucas applied for World War II compensation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his application, he was born 18 July 1917 in Wilson; lived at 4020 Spring Garden, Philadelphia; entered military service on 8 June 1944 and remained on active duty. His beneficiary was Margaret Lucas Wright, 4020 Spring Valley.

Charles H. Black died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 24 October 1974.

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.


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.

Funeral directors argue over girl’s body.

The competition between rival undertakers was ferocious. Martha Lucas died two days after her twelfth birthday. Unbeknownst to the family, a nurse at the “local colored hospital” (later known as Mercy Hospital) called Batts Brothers and Artis undertaking firm to prepare the girl’s body for burial. Later, the Lucas family asked C.H. Darden & Sons to perform the service. When Darden discovered the body missing, they showed up at Batts and Artis demanding possession. Batts and Artis refused to hand her over unless Darden paid transportation expenses. Darden went to court.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 August 1921.

Three days later, Martha’s father Wiley Lucas and Camillus L. Darden also appealed to the court of public opinion. Lucas stated that he, not Darden, had caused the sheriff’s department to file a claim and delivery action on the advice of police when Amos Batts dramatically claimed he would rather die than surrender Martha’s body. (Replevin, or claim and delivery, is a legal remedy that enables a person to recover personal property taken unlawfully and to obtain compensation for resulting losses.) Lucas “emphatically [denied] that any undertakers but C.H. Darden & Sons were instructed to attend to the funeral arrangements, as I knew of no other colored funeral directors in Wilson at the time ….”

C.L. Darden chimed in to direct readers to the magistrate’s record for the facts, noting that Batts had been told he could sue the hospital if he felt aggrieved. “But Batts knows as the public knows — as I can prove if it comes to a showdown — that Artis’ wife, who is head nurse in the institution, solicits in the hospital for the firm of Batts Bros. & Artis, of which her husband is a member of the firm.” “Artis” was Columbus E. Artis, and his wife was registered nurse Ada Artis.

Wilson Daily Times, 14 August 1921.

Batts Brothers and Artis responded three days after that, “that the public may not be misled.”  They denied having refused to give up the girl’s body, contending that they only sought to be paid for services rendered. The firm claimed the trial justice agreed they were entitled to a “small fee,” but, perhaps taking the temperature of public sentiment, they agreed to drop their claim and pay court costs.

Wilson Daily Times, 17 August 1921.

Martha Lucas’ death certificate.

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. 


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.