migration from Virginia

M.H. Wilson defaults on five lots.

In February and March 1938, trustee D.M. Hill ran a notice of sale of real estate for five large parcels of land that carpenter-contractor Mansfield H. Wilson owned on Pender, Church, and Smith Streets. Wilson had defaulted on loans taken out in 1926.

The first lot was 116 North Pender Street, which Wilson had purchased from E.F. Nadal and wife in 1906.

The second lot bordered O.L.W. Smith; Wilson had bought it from D.C. Suggs and wife in 1906. The one-third acre lot contained houses numbered 521, 523, and 525 Church Street.

The third lot had been cobbled together from several purchases made between 1907 and 1924 and included 121 and 123 North Pender and 529, 531, 533, and 535 Smith Street.

Wilson had bought the fourth lot, bordering Charles Knight, from William and Ethel Hines in 1920.

O.L.W. Smith and wife sold Wilson the fifth lot, 201 North Pender, in 1920.

Wilson Daily Times, 14 March 1938.

Virginia-born Mansfield Wilson arrived in Wilson before 1908, but was far away before the trustee called in his debt. By 1934, he was well enough established in California to register to vote in Los Angeles.

California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968, http://www.ancestry.com

In April 1935, however, Mansfield H. Wilson died at the Richmond, Virginia, home of his son Samuel H. Wilson. Three years later, during the depths of the Great Depression, Wilson’s creditors called in their loans and forced the sales of his properties.

In this detail from the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, asterisks mark nine of Mansfield H. Wilson’s properties.


In the 1880 census of Powellton township, Brunswick County, Virginia: farmer Henry Lewis, 33; wife Matilda, 38; and children Edward, 10, Catharine, 6, Louisa, 4, and John H., 6 months; plus step-children Mansfield, 21, and Mary Wilson, 17.

On 10 September 1890, Mansfield H. Wilson, 30, born in Brunswick County, Virginia, to William and Matilda Wilson, married Maggie J. Richards, 24, born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in Richmond, Virginia.

In the 1900 census of Tarboro township, Edgecombe County, North Carolina: carpenter Mansfield Wilson, 39; wife Maggie, 32; children Gertrude, 6, Samuel, 3, and Mansfield, 1; and sister-in-law Lucy Richards, 30, dressmaker.

In the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C, city directory: Wilson Mansfield H (c) carp h 126 Pender

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmer Mansfield H. Wilson, 49; wife Maggie, 43; son Samuel, 15; sister-in-law Lucy Richard, 45; and servants John M. Madderson, 14, and William Dew, 21.

In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C, city directory: Wilson Mansfield H (c) carp h 126 Pender

Maggie J. Wilson died 30 June 1914 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 29 February 1865 in Virginia to Henry Richards and Annie R. Crozier; and was buried in Tarboro, N.C. M.H. Wilson was informant.

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C, city directory: Wilson Mansfield H (c) carp contr h 126 Pender

In 1918, Samuel H. Wilson registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 5 September 1897 in Edgecombe County, N.C.; his father was born in Brunswick County, Virginia; he lived at 126 Pender Street; and worked for Mansfield Wilson, who was his nearest relative.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 126 Pender Street, Virginia-born house contractor Mansfield H. Wilson, 60; son Samuel H., 20; and sister-in-law Lucy Richards, 40.

In the 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C, city directory: Wilson Mansfield H (c) carp contr h 126 Pender

In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C, city directory: Wilson Mansfield H (c) carp h 123 Pender

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 123 Pender Street, owned and valued at $2000, Virginia-born carpenter Mansfield Wilson, 50, widower; son Samual, 30, insurance company agent; daughter-in-law Sarah, 24, public school teacher; granddaughter Audrey, 3; and sister-in-law Lucey Richard, 50.

Mansfield Harrison Wilson died 25 April 1935 in Richmond, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was about 70 years old; was born in Brunswick County, Virginia, to Henry Wilson and Harriett [maiden name unknown]; was a carpenter; lived at 1271 East 33rd Street, Los Angeles, California; and was buried in East End Cemetery, Richmond. Samuel H. Wilson was the informant.

Samuel Henry Wilson, 41, born in Wilson, son of Mansfield Wilson and Maggie Richards, married Janie Thomas Williams, 32, born in Richmond, Virginia, daughter of Roland Williams and Eliza Ricks, on 18 November 1938 in Richmond, Virginia.

Mary Matthewson Meachem died 22 February 1948 in Tarboro, Edgecombe County. Per her death certificate, she was born 12 July 1876 in Brunswick County, Virginia, to Mansfield Wilson and Mildia Dunn; was the widow of A.B. Meachem; and was buried in Community Cemetery, Princeville, North Carolina. William Matthewson, Norfolk, Virginia, was informant.

The murder of Cora Lee Carr.

Wilson Daily Times, 22 April 1924.

The victim, in fact, was named Cora Lee Carr. I have not found more about her terrible death.


Cora Lee Carr died 21 April 1924 in Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was about 24 years old; was married to Earnest Carr; and was born in Norfolk, Virginia. Willie Williams was informant. Cause of death: “Crushed scull with axe Homicide Instant death.”

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Were the Fisher children regularly bound?

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Mr. Burnell, No. 11, Wilson, N.C.             Goldsboro N.C. March 8 1866


You are requested to inform this office if you have in your employ two (col) boys, named Beverly & Henry Fisher, aged 12 & 14 years, formerly of Dinwiddie Va. Please state if these children are regularly bound to you, or if there exist any reason, why they should not be returned to the custody of their parents, who have made application to this Office for this return.     Very respectfully, Hannibal D. Norton

North Carolina Freedmen’s Bureau Field Office Records, 1863-1872, Goldsboro (subassistant commissioner), Roll 15, Letters sent, vols. 1-2, February 1867-February 1868, http://www.familysearch.org.

Work and that woman has kept me right.

Martha Tyson Dixon‘s husband Luke D. Dixon consented to a Federal Writers Project interview, too. His story, starting with his Africa-born grandparents, is electric.

“My father’s owner was Jim Dixon in Elmo County, Virginia. That is where I was born. I am 81 years old. Jim Dixon had several boys — Baldwin and Joe. Joe took some of the slaves his pa gave him, and went to New Mexico to shun the war. Uncle and Pa went in the war as waiters. They went in at the ending up. We lived on the big road that run to the Atlantic Ocean. Not far from Richmond. Ma lived three or four miles from Pa. She lived across big creek — now they call it Farrohs Run. Ma belonged to Harper Williams. Pa’s folks was very good but Ma’s folks was unpleasant.

“Ma lived to be 103 years old. Pa died in 1905 and was 105 years old. I used to set on Grandma’s lap and she told me about how they used to catch people in Africa. They herded them up like cattle and put them in stalls and brought them on the ship and sold them. She said some they captured they left bound till they come back and sometimes they never went back to get them. They died. They had room in the stalls on the boat to set down or lie down. They put several together. Put the men to themselves and the women to themselves. When they sold Grandma and Grandpa at a fishing dock called New Port, Va., they had their feet bound down and their hands bound crossed, up on a platform. They sold Grandma’s daughter to somebody in

“Texas. She cried and she begged to let them be together. They didn’t pay no ‘tension to her. She couldn’t talk but she made them know she didn’t want to be parted. Six years after slavery they got together. When a boat was to come in people come and wait to buy slaves. They had several days of selling. I never seen this but that is the way it was told to me.

“The white folks had a iron clip that fastened the thumbs together and they would swing the man or woman up in a tree and whoop them. I seen that done in Virginia across from where I lived. I don’t know what the folks had done. They pulled the man up with block and tackle.

“Another thing I seen done was put three or four chinquapin switches together green, twist them and dry them. They would dry like a leather whip. They whooped the slaves with them.

“Grandpa was named Sam Abraham and Phillis Abraham was his mate. They was sold twice. Once she was sold away from her husband to a speculator. Well, it was hard on the Africans to be treated like animals. I never heard of the Nat Turner rebellion. I have heard of slaves buying their own freedom. I don’t know how it was done. I have heard of folks being helped to run off. Grandma on mother’s side had a brother run off from Dalton, Mississippi to the North. After the war he come to Virginia.

“When freedom was declared we left and went to Wilmington and Wilson, North Carolina. Dixon never told us we was free but at the end of the year he gave my father a gray mule he had ploughed for a long time and part of the crop. My mother jes

“picked us up and left her folks now. She was cooking then I recollect. Folks jes went wild when they got turned loose.

“My parents was first married under a twenty five cents license law in Virginia. After freedom they was remarried under a new law and the license cost more but I forgot how much. They had fourteen children to my knowing. After the war you could register under any name you give yourself. My father went by the name of Right Dixon and my mother Jilly Dixon.

“The Ku Klux was bad. They was a band of land owners what took the law in hand. I was a boy. I scared to be caught out. They took the place of pattyrollers before freedom.

“I never went to public school but two days in my life. I went to night school and paid Mr. J.C. Price and Mr. S.H. Vick to teach me. My father got his leg shot off and I had to work. It kept me out of meanness. Work and that woman has kept me right. I come to Arkansas, brought my wife and one child, April 5, 1889. We come from Wilson, North Carolina. Her people come from North Carolina and Moultrie, Georgia.

“I do vote. I sell eggs or a little something and keep my taxes paid up. It look like I’m the kind of folks the government would help — them that works and tries hard to have something — but seems like they don’t get no help. They wouldn’t help me if I was bout to starve. I vote a Republican ticket.”

NOTE: On the wall in the dining room, used as a sitting room, was framed picture of Booker T. Washington and Teddy Roosevelt sitting at a round-shaped hotel dining table ready to be

“served. Underneath the picture in large print was “Equality.” I didn’t appear to ever see the picture.

This negro is well-fixed for living at home. He is large and very black, but his wife is a light mulatto with curly, nearly straightened hair.


This is the image that Luke Dixon’s interviewer so studiously ignored. The event it depicted, which scandalized white America in 1901, is the subject of Deborah Davis’ recent book, Guest of Honor: Booker T. Washington, Teddy Roosevelt and the White House Dinner That Shocked a Nation (2012).

I have not found Luke Dixon or his parents in the censuses of Virginia. There is no “Elmo County,” Virginia, but New Port may have been Newport News, which was little more than a fishing village in the antebellum era.

Dixon apparently attended night school at Wilson Academy, but it is not clear when. Joseph C. Price headed the school from 1871 to 1873, when Samuel H. Vick was just a child. Vick assumed the helm at age 21 after graduating from Lincoln University.

104 Ash Street.

The fifty-sixth 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: “ca. 1908; 1 story; triple-A cottage heavily modernized; aluminum sided.”

Prior to the early 1920s, 104 Ash Street was numbered 111. The 1913 Sanborn fire insurance map shows the house in its original L-shape.

Screen Shot 2018-01-28 at 8.10.29 AM.png

In 1918, Charlie Parker registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 17 January 1898; resided at 111 Ash Street; was a laborer at the Naval Yard in Norfolk, Virginia; and his nearest relative was Charlie Parker, 111 Ash Street.

In the 1922 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Hedgepeth Jennie, cook h 104 Ashe; Parker Charles, carp h 104 Ashe; Parker Maggie, cook h 104 Ash.

Charlie Parker died 22 July 1923 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 53 years old; was married to Maggie Parker; was a carpenter; and was born in Easenburg(?), North Carolina, to Ruffin Parker and an unknown mother. Maggie Parker, 104 Ashe Street, was informant.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 104 Ashe Street, rented at $12/month, widow Maggie Parker, 40, cook, and daughters Maggie, 23, laundry ironer, and Jennie, 20, plus mother Jennie Hedgpeth, 60, widow. All were born in Virginia except Jennie Parker.

In the 1941 Wilson, N.C, city directory: Parker Magdelena (c) prsr Service Laundry & Dry Clnrs h 104 Ashe;    Stokes Turner (c; Maggie) carpenter h 104 Ashe.

Jennie Hedgepeth died 27 April 1942 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 65 years old; a widow; born in Virginia; resided at 104 Ashe Street; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Jennie Parker was informant.

In 1942, Charlie Parker registered for the World War II draft in South Norfolk, Virginia. Per his registration card, he resided at 1220 Transylvania Avenue, South Norfolk, Virginia; his phone number was Berkley 696M; he was born 17 January 1898 in Wilson, North Carolina; his contact was Maggie Parker, 104 Ashe Street, Wilson; he wore glasses; and he owned a real estate business.

On 29 May 1950, Turner Stokes died at his home at 104 Ash Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1868 in Nash County to Simon Stokes and Mariah (last name unknown); worked as a carpenter laborer; was married; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Informant was Jennie Kerbo, 104 Ash Street.

Maggie Parker Stokes died 4 March 1963 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 March 1884 in Roanoke, Virginia, to Calvin Hedgpeth and Jennie Adams; and her residence was 104 Ashe Street. Jennie Kerbo was informant.

Jennie Parker Kerbo resided at 104 Ash Street until her death in 2006.

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The modern footprint of 104 Ash. The narrow porch shown on the 1913 Sanborn map was likely converted to an interior hallway when a room was added on the southeast side of the house. Courtesy Google Maps.

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2017.



1119 East Nash Street.

The fifty-fourth 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.

This house appears to be misnumbered in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District. The entry for 1119 describes a two-story gable-front house, which this clearly is not.  However, the description for 1117:  “ca. 1922; 1 story; L-plan cottage; original brick veneer; builder was Nestus Freeman; contributing auto garage.”

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1119 East Nash Street, valued at $2000, teacher Julia Harold, 37; Clara Thomas, 39; brickmason Loyd Thomas; teacher Louise Thomas, 22; and Deloris R. Thomas, 9.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1119 East Nash Street, valued at $3000, Julia Harrell, 44, schoolteacher at Vick Elementary, of Florence, South Carolina; her brother-in-law, bricklayer Loyed Thomas, 44, of Lynchburg, Virginia; her sister Clara Thomas, 54, of Florence; and her nieces Louisa Cherry, 31, of Florence, and Deloris Robins, 19, of Wilson.

Clara Edna Thomas died 18 June 1956 at her home at 1119 East Nash. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 March 1892 in Palmetto, South Carolina, to Dozier W. Davis and Jeanette Edwards; and was married to Lloyd Thomas. Louise C. Sherrod was informant.

Julia Burnette Harrell died 30 January 1959 at her home at 1119 East Nash. Per her death certificate, she was born 28 January 1894 in Florence, South Carolina to Dozier W. Davis and Jeanette Edwards; was widowed; and was a teacher with Wilson County schools. Louise C. Sherrod was informant.

Lloyd Cheatam Thomas died 9 February 1968 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 June 1890 in Forest, Virginia, to James Thomas and Amanda (last name unknown); was married; was a retired brick mason; and lived at 1119 East Nash. Informant was Louise C. Sherrod, 1119 East Nash.

Photograph taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2017.

“He could not have gotten him without shooting”; or, plus ça change.

That the deceased, Thomas Matthews, came to his death by a pistol shot wound inflicted by George W. Mumford, a policeman of the town of Wilson, in the lawful discharge of his duties in the execution of a certain warrant issued by the Mayor of the town of Wilson against the said Thomas Matthews for larceny. That said wound was necessary to prevent the escape of the deceased. And it further appearing that the said Mumford is in the custody of the sheriff , the jury recommends that he be forthwith discharged.   /s/ W.L. Banks, T.H. Jones, B.T Amerson, B.H. Cozart, J.T. McCrow, J.W. Corbett


Testimony taken at a coroner’s inquear held over the body of Tom Matthews, C.W. Gold Special Coroner


Coroner’s Jury, State vs. Geo. Mumford

Frank Felton

Mr. Mumford told me to assist him in making arrest, said he had a warrant vs. Tom Mathews, he went down by Graded School & come by later. He got to the house & come out at front door, the negro came out and he asked him to stop. Saw Mumford shout about 20 or 25 yards from deceased. Mumford kept hollowing at him to stop, the negro ran faster and kept running


Said he broke in Garris’ store about in Feby


Am a policeman in Wilson


Geo. M. is a police.

[Passage missing]

Started about 445 Garris store was broken into some time in Feb. I knew the goods were stolen & Tom Mathis was suspected. Mumford had arrested him in Feb. He was carried in Walston store & asked Walston to hold him, went for me & he had escaped. I took warrant vs. him & have been looking for him ever since first saw him. When I first saw Mumford the deceased was in the second house from the Graded School. Mumford kept hollowing stop. When first saw him he was about 10 ft when first told him to stop, he was running, M ran after him & ran all of 75 or 80 yds, kept hollowing stop, Mathis was going running away, he was about 60 ft from him when he shot. Heard Mumford say will shoot if don’t stop, also heard woman say stop. He could not have gotten him without shooting, he was going towards the woods & was nearly at the woods when he shot. Only 1 shot fired. I helped pick deceased up with Mumford & brought him back to the house. Deceased said he was the cause of it all, said it was all his fault that he had no business running he walked with us 60 or 70 yds got a dray brought him to sanatorium & then got a dray & carried him to station house. He did not read the warrant, said he did not need him to read Mumford had on police uniform badge & [illegible] knew we were policemen & that we had a warrant for him.   /s/ W.F. Fulton

Dr. C.E. Moore

Negro was brought to my office, & had him sent to station house, where I examined him found him suffering from shock & internal hemorrhages. Sent for Dr. W.S. A[nderson] to assist in giving chloroform We saw evidence of ball have lodged in abdominal wall, 2 inches below ombillicus made prognostic closed him up the best we could made an incision over the ball & where the ball [section missing] there was a gush of blood showing the abdominal cavity was full of blood. Then executed the incision longer [illegible] to examine the abdominal cavity, found a good many loops punctured & the ball entered the posterior part of the left hip. Had he been in an erect position the ball would have passed through the thigh and been a harmless shot. Repaired we think all of the wounded intestines we could find. Think the immediate cause of his death was the shock & infection. Had a good pulse for 24 hours after we closed him up. Rendered service at instance of the gentlemen of the town and Mrs Mumford’s father. Should have been a harmless shot had he been in an erect position. The operation was a successful one & the patient in a good condition for 24 hours. /s/ C.E. Moore

Mary Frances Scott

I was standing in my house down near the Graded School, Tom ran out of the gate, Mumford behind. I hollowed at him to stop, he didn’t stop & Mumford shot him when at 50 yds. Tom was in Sarah Grants house across the street from me. Know the deceased well. Didn’t hear Mr. Mumford hollow stop, I was scared. Didn’t remember the position the deceased was running from me. Tom and I both knew Mr. Mumford was a policeman. Tom didn’t answer at all when I told him to stop, he kept on running and Tom was gaining, Tom was running and Mr. Mumford running after him.


First I saw was Mr M at steps at Tom at door, Tom and I both knew he was a policeman, Both were running every minute, Tom was gaining on him Tom was running to the woods as fast as he could, I hollowed when he first came out the gate if you haven’t done any thing stop. Saw no one at the time of the shooting Tom come so he said from Lbg., have heard he broke away from the chain gang there. Saturday evening is the first time, I think I have seen him since he went away, when were play children together and had he been here I would have seen him. I knew at the time I hollowed to him to stop that the police were after him. /s/ Mary Francis Scott

Henry Claxton

I come from Lbg. [Lynchburg, Virginia] about 3 years ago. Knew Mathis in Lbg. He was on the chain gang in Lynchburg. He was disposed to be fussy, was up before the mayor quite often. Know nothing about the killing. He left here about 2 or 3 months ago, didn’t see him until the last game Saturday before he was shot. Heard Tom accused of the Garris robbery. Knew Tom nearly all his life he was in trouble quite often in Lynchburg & several times on the chain gang. He worked here for Maury a little while this year. After Garris store was broken open Mr Felton asked me about “the boys” and I told him Little Andrew Brown about [passage missing, page torn] the Hobos and men like Tom and his crowd. /s/ Henry (X) Claxton, witness R.W. Mumford

Dr. W.S. Anderson

Saturday evening I went to the Station house & found the man with a ball in his abdomen 3 or 4 inches below navel. We decided from symptoms it was better to cut in & see the extent of his injury, after cutting thru the skin found ball & extracted it. Enlarged opening [passage missing] found several holes in there possibly 6 or 8, didn’t think to count the number sewed up. The deceased must have been stooping over when shot an ordinary stooping running position would cause such a wound as the deceased has. Had he been standing erect don’t think the ball would not have killed him. /s/ W.S. Anderson.

M.T. Cousins

I know nothing about the killing. These knives (the ones shown him) are very much alike, if not the knives (2 large ones) I sold Mr Garris when I sold out to him. Don’t think I have ever seen in Wilson any knives like these except those I sold Garris. They are the same make or shape. Sold out to Garris abt. 18 Nov. 97. The knives are cheap knives not regularly sold thro the channels of trade. /s/ M.T. Cousins

J.H. Garris

Know nothing about the killing. The knives shown me are exactly like the knives stol from me when my store was broken open in Feb. Found the knives at Mr. G.W. Walston. They had been pond. Saw the knives the following week after my store were broken open. They are knives not usually sold, are too large. Saw dec’d in Walstons store, he was under arrest, recognized him as one who had been in my store several times. /s/ J.H. Garriss

G.D. Walston

Don’t know when the knives were left with me. Mr. Garris came over & saw the knives said they were like his, spoke to Mumford & he commenced to look into it. A few nights after M. brought in Tom Mathis & asked if he was the one left the knives there. I identified him as the one I got 2 of the knives. Mr. Mumford said if keep him there, he stepped out and the next I saw of the boy he went out the door. He (the decd) pawned there with me. I suspected at time of the knives being pawned they were those stolen of Garris, I then reported the matter to Mr. Mumford. Mr. Mumford was pointed out the deceased by my clerk. Never seen the dec’d since. When Mumford left the dec’d boy with me it was [illegible]. /s/ G.D. Walston

Geo. Athey

Know nothing about the killing or stealing. I was born in Lbg. Have known Tom about 13 yrs. He left Lbg. about 1 yr. ago. He was working in the factory at Lbg. Staying at his mothers and broke away from the chain gang when he left. Was put on the chain gang for resisting and fighting a policeman who attempted to arrest him. He then went to Richmond. Mathis trampled his way down here – by the frt [freight]. The last time he left there was account of the police being after him. /s/ George Athey

Orion Crank

Was in Sarah Grants house & when I came to the door both were running. Mr. Mumford was going to the front door & Felton to the back door. Mathews said nothing he was sitting on the floor with me & others, raised up & saw Mumford, then hopped up jumped out of the door & ran. Was so far from me when they came out that couldn’t hear anything was said. There was in the house with me Warren Crank Sarah Grant & the deceased. I was the only one that saw him until after he was laying down. Tom stayed on the road all the time here last year about two months. Tom knew the policeman had out papers for him. Didn’t see him for some time until Friday night. Have known Tom 10 or 12 years, have lived in Little Richmond since I came here about 2 years ago. Tom said Monday morning following Saturday night after Garris saw him Friday night for the first time in some time. I heard some of them talking about Tom being in the robbery knew Mr. Mumford had us all three about some knives Both Tom & I knew M. was a policeman [illegible] Was on the road as a Tramp or Hobo [illegible] from that [illegible] don’t know. Had he been here I would have seen him. Tom heard this. There is what is called a “Band” down in Little Richmond, composed of people who don’t work, they offer for sale goods of different kinds, such as soap, handkerchiefs, they were all together, Tom stopped with 2 others stayed out in the street there were 5 in all 2 came in and Tom & 2 others stayed in the street. Haven’t seen anything of the band since the Garris store was broken in. Heard from my wife that Tom was in trouble in Richmond about shooting at a policeman. There is lots of complaint among the better class of store was broken in follow me & lets go up street & get drunk had only 10 cents the day before, he was not working. Mr. Mumford had Jim English Tom Mathis & myself to go on Monday to see about some knives of Mr. Garris. Mr. Mumford recovered Mr Garris [section missing] ran out of this side door & didn’t see him any more until Friday before the shooting. Tom knew the police were after him. Tom was running pretty fast & Mumford after him, he was 50 or 60 yards from him when Mumford shot. He would have gotten away had not Mumford shot him   /s/ Orion Crank

J.T. Wiggins

Know Geo. W. Mumford, have know him since a boy his general character is good

J.K. Monk

Am town clerk Came into contact with Mumford daily his character for a police officer is good

P.B. Deans

Geo. W. Mumford is a policeman, his character is very good. He is one of the best policemen I have ever had. He surrendered to the sheriff Saturday evening. I signed his bond for $500.00 for his appearance. Have always considered him of a very even temperament.

Geo. W. Mumford

I knew Thos. Mathis, have known him since he first came here. I am a policeman of the town of Wilson have been such since Feby 1897. On Saturday night the later part of Feby 1899 Mr Garris store was broken open. The next week Mr. Walston called my attention to 2 knives I then saw Garris & he said he believed they were his knives. I swore out a warrant & the next day went down to the store. The boy was pointed out by Walstons clerk I saw him carried him to Walston and he identified the boy as the one who had pawned the knives. Left him with Walston when I came back he had gone. Mr [passage missing] him Saturday and went down with a warrant after him. (Warrant is shown and read) I asked Mr. Frank Felton to help me to arrest him, he went down Saratoga road and I the Stantonsburg road got thru first saw dec’d thru window, he ran out the door, I hollowed to him to stop, he saw Felton and turned to the woods. I hollowed if you don’t stop at least 20 times [illegible] shoot & did shoot after he had got over a ditch. Shot to try & stop him. I could not stop him he was going [illegible] me. We were about 10 or 12 ft when I first started after him, he was all of 40 ft before I shot. Heard several women hollering at him to stop. I had no grudges or ill feelings against him. He knew me, my beat being below the RR am known to most of the people below there. I shot him in an attempt to arrest him, could not have gotten him otherwise. I surrendered to the sheriff Saturday evening. I could have killed him had I desired when in a few feet of him. I ran him fully 75 feet before I shot. /s/ G.W. Mumford


  • Dr. William S. Anderson — in the 1900 census of the town of Wilson, listed as a 55 year-old physician.
  • George Athey
  • Henry Claxton — married Caroline Jackson in Wilson on 22 December 1897 at age 54.
  • Major Thomas Cousins — in the 1900 census of the town of Wilson, listed as a grocer.
  • Orion Crank
  • Warren Crank — died in Wilson on 2 June 1917; death certificate lists birthplace as Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1880; worked in tobacco factory.
  • Patrick Bolan Deans — in the 1900 census of the town of Wilson, listed as a 44 year-old broker.
  • Jim English
  • W. Frank Felton — in the 1900 census of the town of Wilson, listed as a 34 year-old policeman.
  • J.H. Garris — in the 1908 Wilson city directory, listed as a clerk in the grocery of John H. Gill.
  • Sarah Grant
  • Thomas Mathis (or Matthews)
  • J.K. Monk
  • Dr. Charles E. Moore — in the 1900 census of the town of Wilson, listed as a 45 year-old doctor.
  • George Washington Mumford — in the 1900 census of the town of Wilson, listed as a 31 year-old policeman.
  • Mary Frances Scott
  • Golden D. Walston — in the 1900 census of the town of Wilson, listed as a 54 year-old grocer.
  • James T. Wiggins — in the 1908 Wilson city directory, listed as a grocer.

[Sidenote: Officer Mumford went on to become a Wilson County deputy sheriff. He was killed in 1911 in a shoot-out while trying to arrest members of the “Louis West Gang.” More about that notorious set of events later.]

Coroner’s Records, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives; federal population schedules, 1900; North Carolina Deaths, 1906-1930 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com; U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line], www.ancestry.com.


The death of Moses Brandon.

Victim of Heart Failure.

Moses Brandon, a negro, fell dead today at 2:15 from heart failure.

The negro, it appears, was walking on Spring street, opposite the Norfolk Southern cotton platform, when suddenly he threw up his hands and fell to the ground. Smith Bennett, another negro who lived nearby, saw him and ran to his assistance. He saw though that Brandon was dying and ran to get a chair. Brandon died in a few minutes.

The deceased had conducted a restaurant in this city for a great many years and is one of Wilson’s best known colored citizens.   — Wilson Daily Times, 4 March 1914.


Moses Brandon, son of Frances Terry of Virginia, married Amie Hilliard on 22 May 1895 in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister L.B. Williams performed the ceremony, and Charles H. Darden, Braswell R. Winstead and L.A. Moore served as witnesses.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Virginia-born Moses Brandon, 50, day laborer; wife Emmie, 45, washerwoman; and son Marvin, 12. (Smith Bennett, 47, a brickmason, and his daughter Addie, 20, also appear in the Wilson census.)

In the 1908 Wilson city directory, Moses Brandon’s listing shows his “eating house” at 127 South Goldsboro Street and his home at 125 Ashe.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Moses Brandon, 55, proprietor of boarding house, and wife Amy, 51, laundress. Her only child was reported dead.

In the 1912 Wilson city directory, Moses Brandon’s listing shows his eating house at 411 East Nash and his home at 127 Ashe.

Page_11) 127 E. Goldsboro. 2) 411 E. Nash. 3) 125-127 Ashe. 4) N&S cotton platform, Spring Street. Sanborn map of Wilson NC, 1913.

Brandon died intestate. Two months after his death, his widow Amy applied for letters of administration for his estate, valued at $300. Camillus L. Darden (son of Charles L. Darden, above) and Roderick Taylor joined her to give a $600 bond.

M Brandon Admin Bond

Amy Brandon did not long outlive her husband. The will she drew up in September 1916 was proved six months later:

North Carolina, Wilson County.   I, Amy Brandon, a colored woman, of the state of North Carolina and county of Wilson, being of sound mind and memory but considering the uncertainty of this my earthly existence and wishing to arrange for the proper handling of my affairs and the distribution of my property in the event of my death, do make, publish, and declare this my last will and testament in manner and form following:

First: my executor, hereinafter named and designated, shall give my body a decent burial, suitable to the wishes of my relatives. And it is my desire that my said executor have my body interred in the burial ground at Wilson, North Carolina.

I direct my said executor to pay all my funeral expenses and all my just debts out of the first moneys coming into his hands from my said estate.

Second: I give, bequeath and devise to my beloved and only sister, Lucinda Holloway, now living and residing at No. 624 Princess Anne Avenue, Norfolk, Virginia, all my property, real and personal, of whatsoever kind and condition and wheresoever situate, to her and her heirs and assigns, in fee simple forever.

Third: I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint, Camillus Darden, a colored man of Wilson, North Carolina, a friend of myself and family, my lawful executor, to all intents and purposes to execute this my last will and testament and every part and clause thereof according to the true intent and meaning of the same, hereby revoking and declaring void all other wills and testaments by me heretofore made.

In Testimony Whereof, I, the said Amy Brandon, have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal, this the 8th day of September, 1916.     Amy (X) Brandon  {seal}

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Amy Brandon to be her last will and testament in the presence of us, who at her request and in her presence, and in the presence of each other, have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.    Witnesses: /s/ D.C. Yancey, Ph.G., L.A. Moore