Jane Cooke Hawthorne shared these beautiful images of Jake Mitchell shot by her father, dentist (and photographer) Charles Cooke, in 1973. Mitchell was houseman and later chauffeur to generations of tobacconist Howell G. Whitehead III’s family.
In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: George Mitchel, 23, day laborer; wife Rosa, 23; and children William, 2, and George, 1.
In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer George Mitchell, 29; wife Rosa, 30; and children George, 11, Bunyan, 9, Frank L., 5, Albert and Alton, 3, and Rosa, 1.
On 8 November 1922, Jake Mitchell, 21, son of George and Rosa Mitchell, married Mandy Lucus, 19, daughter of Wyatt and Elizabeth Lucus, in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister JeremiahScarboro performed the ceremony “on Daniel Hill” in the presence of Della Smith, George Thorne and James Blake.
In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Jake Mitchell, 27, farmer; wife Manda, 28; and children Jake T., 3, and Jewell D. [Geraldine], 1.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 410 Warren Street, W.P.A. cement finisher Jake Mitchel, 38; wife Mamie, 39, cook; and children Jake, 13, Jeraldine, 11, and Edna Gray, 9.
In 1942, Jake Mitchell registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 12 October 1903 in Wilson; lived at 410 Warren Street, Wilson; his contact was George Mitchell, Finch Street; and he worked for tobacco dealer H.G. Whitehead at 505 West Nash Street.
Both Jake and Amanda Locus Mitchell worked in the Whitehead household. In 1953, Nolia G. and Howell G. Whitehead transferred to the Mitchells a house and lot at 810 West Walnut Street, in Daniel Hill.
Wilson Daily Times, 1 October 1953.
Three years later, realtor George T. Stronach Jr. and his wife Nancy C. sold the Mitchells a lot on Queen Street, in East Wilson.
Wilson Daily Times, 12 December 1956.
The following spring, Jake Mitchell secured a building permit to erect a five-room brick house on the Queen Street lot.
Wilson Daily Times, 11 March 1957.
Rosa Mitchell died 6 April 1959 at 335 Finch Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 16 May 1883 in Wilson County to Stephen Lipkins [Lipscomb] and Mariah (last name unknown) and was a widow. Jake Mitchell was informant.
in 1960, under the terms of Nola Gardner Whitehead’s will, Jake and Mandy Mitchell received bequests of $500 each as well as a 1950 Buick.
Wilson Daily Times, 2 March 1960.
Jake Mitchell died 8 June 1975 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 October 1900 to George Mitchell and Rosa Libson [Lipscomb]; was married to Amanda Locus; lived at 1305 Queen Street; and was a chauffeur.
Jake Mitchell reminisced about running dogs for P.L. Woodard, merchant and president of Contentnea Guano Company.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: merchant Lee Moore, 36, wife Louisa, 32, and son Ernest, 12.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Nash Street, life insurance agent Lee Moore, 40; wife Mary, 36; and son Earnest, 19.
In 1917, Ernest Andrew Moore registered for the World War I draft in New York, New York. Per his registration card, he was born 8 March 1888 in Wilson, N.C.; lived at 257 West 111th Street; worked as an elevator operator for Frank Mull, 257 West 111th; and was single.
Ernest Moore, 31, of Wilson married Esther Mitchell, 21, of Wilson on 18 July 1919 in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister B.P. Coward performed the ceremony, and Dudley Bynum and Oleonia Bynum witnessed.
On 17 November 1927, Louise and Thelma Moore, children of Ernest and Ethel Mitchell Moore, were baptized at Riverside Hospital. Louise was born 28 October 1924, and Thelma, 15 July 1926. New York, Episcopal Diocese of New York Church Records, 1767-1970,[database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.
Ethel Mitchell — actually, Esther Mitchell.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Atlantic Street, barber Douglas [Dudley] Bynum, 29; wife Ora, 28; and roomer Ester Mitchell, 21.
Nora A. Jones, age 101, of Wilson transitioned from labor to reward on Monday, May 18, 2020. Funeral service will be held Monday, May 25 at 12 noon at St. John AME Zion Church, Wilson. Interment will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Nash Street, Frank Mitchell, 27, laborer; wife Allice, 23; and daughter Nora A., 1; plus boarder Noah Bess, 63, widower.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: in New Grabneck, carpenter Frank Mitchell, 37; wife Alice, 31, teacher; and daughter Nora A., 10.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: in New Grabneck, carpenter Frank Mitchell, 52; wife Alice, 39, teacher; and daughter Nora Allen, 19.
On 27 October 1946, Walter A. Jones, 24, of Wilson, son of Joe Jones and Virginia Applewhite Jones, married Nora Allen Mitchel, 25, of Wilson, daughter of Frank and Alice Mitchell, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister William A. Hilliard performed the ceremony in the presence of Frank Mitchell, Alice Mitchell, and Mrs. Louis Thomas.
At Fall Term 1856 of Wilson County Superior Court, a grand jury charged William Baker and Patsey Mitchell, both of Wilson County, “being lewd and vicious persons not united together in the bonds of marriage” before and after 1 April 1856 “unlawfully lewdly and lasciviously associate bed and cohabit together … to the evil example of all others.” William Felton and Elisha Owens were subpoenaed as witnesses, and jury foreman William Ellis returned a true bill to the clerk of court.
William Baker was white; Martha “Patsey” Mitchell was African-American.
In the 1850 census of Edgecombe County, North Carolina: Willis Hagins, 50, and Patsy Mitchell, 45, and her children Sally, 20, Rufus, 9, Amanda 6, Wm., 2, and Mary, 1. Next door, laborer Wm. Baker, 26, white, in the household of Joseph Peacock.
In the 1860 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Martha Mitchell, 44, and her children William, 13, Franklin, 11, George, 10, Thomas, 9, and Martha, 6. Also in Gardners, William Baker, 30, in the household of John Bynum, 22.
[A note: During my recent visit to North Carolina, I stopped for several hours for a long-overdue visit to the State Archives in Raleigh. I was pressed for time, so I skimmed folders with an eye for names of African-Americans (or indicia like “col.”), then flagged those documents for copies that I could study later. In the Adultery records, I pulled just a few years from 1856-1868 and ultimately copied only six or seven sets of documents. Baker-Mitchell is the fourth of them that involves an interracial relationship. The fact of these relationships does not surprise, but their seeming overrepresentation among prosecutions for adultery does. Perhaps it’s no more than a fluke of my search. I look forward to a return visit to search further.]
Adultery Records-1857, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.
Lena Mitchell Kent, 104, of Wilson, died Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Funeral will be 1 p.m. Friday at Mount Zion Progressive Primitive Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Hamilton Burial Gardens. Visitation will be 7 p.m. Thursday at Carrons Funeral Home. Arrangements are by Carrons Funeral Home.
Wilson Daily Times, 31 July 2019.
On 15 December 1888, Laurence Mitchel, 21, of Cross Roads township, son of Primus Mitchel, married Ester Darden, 18, of Cross Roads township, daughter of Martin and Jane Darden, at Primus Mitchel’s in Cross Roads.
In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Laurence Michel, 29; wife Easter, 24; and children Alonza, 8, Nettie, 6, Eddie, 4, and Babe, 1.
In the 1910 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Lawrence Mitchell, 40; wife Easter, 36; and children Alonzo, 19, Nellie, 17, Eddie, 13, Jesse, 11, Bettie, 7, Coy S., 5, Mattie, 3, and an infant, 11 months.
In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Lawrence Mitchell, 30; wife Louisa, 30; and children Altie, 29, Bettie, 17, Colasta, 14, Mattie, 12, Wiley, 9, Cleveland, 6, and Lena, 4.
In the 1930 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Lawrence Mitchel, 57; wife Louisa, 45; and children Cleveland, 17, Lena, 15, and Easter, 16.
On 9 October 1937, in Smithfield, Johnston County, Joseph Kent, 25, of Lucama, son of Joseph Kent and Minnie Kent, married Lena Mitchell, 22, of Lucama, daughter of Lawrence Mitchell and Easter Mitchell.
In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Joe Kent, 27, and wife Lena, 24.
In 1940, Joe Kent Jr. registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 8 October 1912 in Wilson; lived at R.F.D. #1, Lucama; was married to Lena Kent, wife; and worked for T.R. Smith, Lucama.
Under laws authorizing the involuntary apprenticeship of poor orphans and the children of unmarried parents, county courts in antebellum North Carolina removed thousands of children from the homes to be bound to serve their neighbors. Hundreds of indentures dot the pages of Wayne County court minute books, and free children of color were disproportionately pulled into the system. Apprenticeship created an inexpensive, long-term and tractable labor supply for white yeoman farmers, many of whom could not (or could not yet) afford to purchase enslaved people.
Wayne County lost its northern tip to the newly created Wilson County in 1855. By pinpointing the locations of the farms of the men (and rare women) to whom they were indentured, we are able to identify the following free children of color as residents of the area that would become Wilson County’s Black Creek township and parts of Crossroads township.
Bunyan Barnes was born about 1809 and died before 1870. Per Wilson County Founding Families, S. Powell and H. Powell, editors, Barnes was the first postmaster of Bardin’s Depot (now Black Creek) and owned property along the Wilson and Goldsboro Road (now Frank Price Church Road) between Canal Branch and Dickerson Mill Branch in Black Creek township.
Stephen Mitchell, 8, and Warren Mitchell, 7, were bound to Bunyon Barnes in 1833.
John Hagans, 15, was bound to Bunyan Barnes in 1844.
Apprentice Records, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives; federal censuses.
In the 1880 census of Rocky Mount township, Nash County: farmer Rob Edwards, 40; wife Sallie, 38; children Waitie, 20, Mary E., 19, Lucy, 17, Georgeanna, 15, Jerryhill, 12, Mandy, 11, Morning, 9, Charity, 7, Cora, 5, Maddieann, 2, and Buckhill, 4 months; and grandson Aaron, 1.
On 24 December 1889, James Mitchell and Amanda Edwards, both 20, applied for a marriage license in Nash County, North Carolina.
In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer James G. Mitchell, 31; wife Armanda, 30; children Chestar, 9, Regenia, 8, Henretta, 6, William R., 4, and Dewry, 2; and widowed mother Rose Mitchell, 50.
Amanda Edwards Mitchell died between 1900 and 1910. In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer James G. Mitchell, 38; mother Rosa, 58; and children Kester R., 14, Cynthia, 14, Robert L., 12, Jimmie D., 10, and Lelia B., 8.
Cinderilla Cotton died 27 December 1928 in Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 35 years old; was born in Wilson County to James G. Mitchell of Wilson County and Armanda Edwards of Nash County; was married to Sidney Cotton; and was buried at William Chapel Church cemetery.
Robert Lee Mitchell died 18 October 1975 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 April 1896 to James Gray Mitchell and Amanda Edwards; was a widower; was a farmer; and resided in Elm City.
For more about Rev. Richard A.G. Foster, see here and here and here.
Georgia Farmer Mitchell died 18 February 1938 at Mercy Hospital. Per her death certificate, she was a 15 year-old school girl; was born in Wilson to Floyd Mitchell and Lucy Farmer, both of Wilson County; and resided at 409 South Warren Street. She died of acute appendicitis and an intestinal blockage.
Rev. Foster, probably in the late 1930s or early ’40s, perhaps at Yale University, his alma mater.
Fayetteville State Teachers College Catalog 1944-45 (1944).
The 1944 graduating class of Fayetteville State Teachers College included Clyde Joan Dickerson, Nora Allen Mitchell and Helen Elveta Reid, all of whom graduated Darden High School in 1938. In addition, their FSTC classmate Azzalee Mallette of Wilmington, North Carolina, married Alvis A. Hines, Darden ’37, in Wilson on 5 April 1952.