Goldsboro Daily Argus, 26 January 1918.
Rocky Mount Telegram, 29 January 1960.
Wilson Daily Times, 22 July 1944.
In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Wade Barnes, 33; wife Adline, 25; children John, 6, Willis, 3, and Varina, 1; and Dury Simons, 60.
On 23 November 1894, John A. Barnes, 21, of Wilson County, married Sarah Jane Staten, 23, of Wilson County, at Margarett Staten‘s in Wilson. Witnesses were Aaron Sharp, William Weaver and George Weaver.
In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: day laborer Johnny Barnes, 25; wife Sarah, 29; and children Victoria, 10, Robert, 8, Ella, 2, and Johnny, 8 months.
In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: John Barnes, 36, church preacher; wife Sarah, 38, dressmaker; and children Robert, 16, Mary E., 12, John E., 11, Wade, 8, Rosa L., 4, and Frank, 3.
In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on Lipscomb Road, farmer John A. Barnes, 44; wife Sarah J., 45; and children Ella M., 22, John, 20, Wade, 17, Rosa L., 15, Frank, 12, Willie C., 10, Bessie M.C., 8, Roy L., 7, and Elson, 6. John Jr. and Wade worked as wagon factory laborers.
In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: at 739 Lipscomb, owned and valued at $2000, farmer John A. Barnes, 55; wife Sarah, 55; aunt Lucy Bynum, 65; and son Frank W., 23, cook at cafe.
Mary Ella Barnes died 24 March 1934 at Mercy Hospital. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 July 1897 in Wilson County to John Allen Barnes of Wilson County and Sarah Jane Staton of Tarboro; was single; worked as a laundress; and resided at 403 Viola Street.
In the 1940 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: at 739 Lipscomb Road, garden worker John A. Barnes, 65; wife Sarah J., 71; son John A., Jr., body work-Hackney Bus Bodies; daughter-in-law Emma, 35, laundry; son Wade, 36; grandson James D., 17; and grandchildren George, 15, Odell, 13, and Margaret McAllister, 10, and Inez Tart, 9.
John Allen Barnes died 20 July 1944 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 25 January 1879 in Wilson County to Wade Barnes and Adeline Bynum; was married to Sarah Jane Barnes; lived at 739 Lipton [Lipscomb] Street; and was a preacher.
The Carolina Times, 20 November 1937.
Elder C.L. Faison is elusive in census records and directories of Wilson, and apparently divided his time between Wide-Awake and Durham, North Carolina, where his Church of God in Jesus Christ, New Deal, Inc., was incorporated. Per his death certificate, Cluster L. Faison died 27 March 1963 in Durham. He was born 9 September 1889 in McCrae [McRae], Georgia, to Eli Faison and Della Thorpe; was a clergyman; and was married to Isabelle Faison.
Safe in the arms of Jesus.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Virginia-born “horseler” Henry Johnson, 76; wife Luisa, 46, cook; and children Gertrude, 19, Mertie, 17, Walter, 10, and Richard, 8 months.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: cook Susan Jones, 42; her children William E., 23, tobacco stemmer, Levi H., 22, barber, Charles T., 20, tobacco stemmer, Butler E., 19, tobacco stemmer, Mary J., 15, Nancy A., 11, Luther, 8, and Harvey L., 2, plus niece Arnetta Sexton, 8.
Charles T. Jones, 24, married Gertrude Johnson, 22, on 23 April 1903 in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of William Gay, Lucy A. Richards and Rosa Farmer.
John Daniel Jones died 14 March 1914 of catarrhal pneumonia in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 June 1913 to Chas. Jones and Gertrude Johnson and resided on Nash Street.
On 20 September 1914, Butler Jones, 34, son of Henry and Sue Jones, married Mirtie Brodie, 28, daughter of Henry and Louise [Kersey] Johnson, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister H.E. Edwards performed the ceremony, and Ed Cox, Chas. T. Jones and Minnie McDaniel witnessed.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 667 Nash Street, minister Charlie Jones, 41; wife Gertrude, 39; children Ruth, 16, Charlie, 14, Elwood, 12, Louise, 10, and Sudie, 4; plus mother-in-law Louisa Johnson, 65.
On 24 December 1926, Simon Plater, 30, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, son of Simon and Birdie Plater, married Ruth Jones, 22, daughter of Charles and Gertrude Jones of Wilson. The bride’s father, a Missionary Baptist minister, performed the service in the presence of Gertrude Jones, Louisa Johnson, and W.E. [William Elwood] Jones.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Harper Lane, farmer Charlie T. Jones, 52; wife Stella [sic], 49; and children William E., 23, farm laborer, Louise M., 20, and Sadie, 14.
Sudye Jones died 4 March 1937 of meningitis in Greensboro, Guilford County, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was 21 years old; was born to Charles T. Jones of Hertford County and Gertrude Johnson of Wilson County; was a student at Bennett College; and was single. Rev. Charles T. Jones, 412 East Vick, was informant.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 412 Viola, owned and valued at $2000; Charles Jones, 61, janitor at Vick School; wife Gertrude, 59, a tobacco factory stemmer; daughter Ruth Plater, 35, divorced, teacher; grandsons Torrey S., 12, and Charles S. Plater, 11; son-in-law Ruel Bullock, 35; daughter Louise, 30; grandsons Jacobia, 7, Robert, 6, Harold, 4, and Rudolph, 7 months; and granddaughter Barbara Jones, 6.
In 1940, William Elwood Jones registered for the World War II draft in Halifax County, North Carolina. Per his registration card, he was born 6 January 1907 in Wilson; he resided in Halifax, North Carolina; his contact was mother Gertrude Jones, 412 East Vick Street, Wilson; and he was employed by Weldon City Schools.
Charles Thomas Jones died 2 September 1963 at his home at 412 North Vick Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 October 1878 in Hertford County, North Carolina, to Henry Jones and Louisa Copeland; was married to Gertrude Jones; was a minister; and was buried in the Masonic cemetery. Informant was Ruth Brown, 906 Faison Street, Wilson.
Louise J. Bulluck died 27 June 1968 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 July 1909 to Charles Thomas Jones and Gertrude Johnson; was married to Ruel Bulluck; resided at 412 East Vick Street; and was buried in the Masonic cemetery. Informant was Ruth Brown, 906 Faison Street, Wilson.
Mary Gertrude Jones died 17 September 1968 in Goldsboro, Wayne County. Per her death certificate, she was born 16 February 1880 to Henry Johnson and [Louisa] Kersey; was a widow; had worked as a tobacco factory laborer; resided at 412 East Vick Street, Wilson; was buried at Masonic cemetery.
Ruth Jones Brown died 24 September 1970 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 February 1904 in Wilson to Charles T. Jones and Gertrude Johnson; was married to Edwin J. Brown; was a teacher; and resided at 906 Faison Street.
Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, October 2018. The headstone, of course, was engraved by Clarence B. Best.
Rev. Charles H.C. White briefly served as pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church and is depicted in its centennial anniversary booklet.
Wilson Daily Times, 22 April 1939.
The Carolina Times (Durham, N.C.), 21 June 1969.
Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory (1947).
Photo courtesy of History of Wilson County, North Carolina (1985).
Geneva Jones Bailey (1876-1959) with her Bible.
In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Jones, 35; wife Lucy, 25; and children Catharine, 8, James R., 7, Louisa, 4, Geneva, 3, and Rosa L., 10 months; plus Mary Boykin, about 45, mother-in-law.
On 20 December 1893, at the residence of Richard Jones in Old Fields township, John D. Bailey, 24, son of Hill and Mary Bailey, married Genevia Jones, 18, daughter of Richard and Lucy Jones.
In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer John D. Bailey, 31; wife Geneva, 23; children Rhoda, 4, Pearl, 1, and Mary L., one month; plus servant Lillie Bagley, 35.
In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John D. Bailey, 35; wife Jeneva, 33; Rhoda, 15, Pearlie, 12, Mary L., 9, Lonnie, 8, Ora, 6, John T., 5, William H., 4, Melton P., 2, and Richard H., 1.
In the 1928 Wilson city directory: Bailey John D (Geneva) lab h 509 Church.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 516 Church Street, oil mill laborer John Bailey, 60; wife Geneva, 52; and children Johnny, 16, James, 14, Perry, 21, and Jerry, 24 (both railroad laborers); plus lodgers Mack Miller, 35, an auto mechanic in a garage, and Mary P. Williams, 74, a private nurse. Bailey owned the house, valued at $2000.
Geneva Jones Bailey died 29 September 1959 at her home at 516 Church Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, he was born 6 March 1876 in Wilson to Richard Jones and Lucy Boykins; was a widow; and had worked as a tobacco factory laborer and minister. Rev. James H. Bailey of Riverton, New Jersey, was informant.
This extraordinary photograph is courtesy of Findagrave.com contributor James Morgan.
On 15 September 1939, Cora L. Bennett, a writer employed by the Works Project Administration interviewed William Arthur Cooper for the Folklore Project. The transcript of the interview is housed at the Library of Congress. Here is an excerpt:
William A. Cooper, artist and preacher gives the story of his life as follows:
“My work has been my life. Whatever degree of success I have had has come about, I believe, as a result of my dogged determination to do something tangible for my race.
“I was born in the country near Hillsboro, N.C. As a small boy I worked on the farm. I worked in the tobacco fields, worming and stemming tobacco as well as in the cotton fields. For about four months in the winter I attended a Mission school in Hillsboro for negros. In summer time I worked as a janitor and some times as a cook or house boy.
“When I was about fourteen I began to support myself, and soon there after went to the Industrial Institute at High Point, N.C. as a work student. I worked on the school farm,
got up at five o’clock in the morning to milk the cows, plow and hoe cotton and corn, and anything else that needed to be done. While I was at this school I also took up brick laying along with my other studies.
“From High Point I went to the National Religious Training School at Durham, N.C. There I took the four year Theological Course. Still working my way through school, I received the Bachelor of Theology Degree from that institution.
“As soon as I had finished I went to Wilson, N.C. where I started out as an insurance man, and at the same time preaching at a small church on Sunday.
“I went from there to Burlington, N.C. where I was elected Principal of a high school. I also served as Principal of the high school at Graham, N.C. and taught at various other places. All this time I was studying law at night and passed the State Bar examination in 1922.
“I became interested in art for the first time a few years before this. I was in bed with a severe cold and while lying idle I thought I would try to do two pictures illustrating the Biblical quotation: ‘Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, but straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be who
find it.’ The members of my church were quite pleased with the pictures. Their pleasure encouraged me a great deal, and from that time on I began to paint other things. It was then I started painting the members of my race, anybody I could get 3 to sit— field hands, teachers, children, cooks or washerwomen. I had taken no formal lessons at the time but I kept right on trying to see what I might do.
“I have attempted to show the real negro through art. I believe that unless we have some record of the negro that is neither burlesqued with black face nor idealized with senmentality, the younger generation of negroes will be deprived of inspiration from their own race. …”
William Arthur Cooper (1895-1974), preacher, lawyer, and artist, painted the portraits of Negro field hands, domestic servants, children, religious and civic leaders and business executives. As a member of the North Carolina Interracial Commission, Cooper made a “good will” tour to colleges and universities in North Carolina where he exhibited his portraits and lectures on art and black culture.
Cooper’s papers, housed at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, include: “Biographical materials; correspondence, concerning portrait commisions, lectures on art, and exhibitions of his work; two account books containing expenditures; receipts; a journal, 1935, containing expenditures and notes concerning his “good will” tour; a report on the tour; Cooper’s publication Educating Through Fine Arts; his book A Portrayal of Negro Life, 1936, which contains reproductions of his portraits acompanied by his explanatory text, and documents related to the book including proposed plans, sales records, and a typescript of the book which contains portraits not included in the published version; price lists for Cooper’s paintings; exhibition catalogs, clippings, miscellany, and a book by Charles C. Dawson, ABCs of Great Negroes; and 36 photographs of Cooper, of his friends and church members, and his portrait paintings.”
The Bathing Girl (1932).