Studio shots, no. 96: Amanda Edwards Mitchell.

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Amanda Edwards Mitchell (1869-ca. 1905).

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 Roset 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 1875 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.

Photo courtesy of user grannysmess.


The Mitchell family reach a compromise.

3 12 1938

Pittsburgh Courier, 12 March 1938.

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.

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Rev. Foster, probably in the late 1930s or early ’40s, perhaps at Yale University, his alma mater.

Photograph courtesy of Sheila Coleman-Castells.

Teachers College graduates.

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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.



Rev. William J. Moore.

Toward the end of his life, Rev. William John Moore served as pastor of Saint John’s A.M.E. Zion Church in Wilson and Presiding Elder of the Wilmington District, Cape Fear Conference, of the A.M.E.Z. Church. In younger years, however, he had been a vital force in establishing the denomination throughout the region, as this entry in J.W. Hood’s One Hundred Years of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; or, the Centennial of African Methodism makes clear:




Rev. W.H. Davenport’s The Anthology of Zion Methodism, published in 1925, notes: “The Autobiography of Rev. William J. Moore, D.D., is interesting from cover to cover. Zion Methodism had its inception in the South in New Bern, N. C. Eliza Gardner, Mary Anderson and others of the Daughters of Conference of New England raised money to send Rev. J. W. Hood to the South. Shortly after his arrival he and Moore met and there began a friendship between them which was beautiful in its sincerity and purity. The early struggles of Moore’s life are intimately connected with the early struggles of Zion Methodism in North Carolina. The book is not cast in a high literary mold, but is a rugged and straightforward statement of a religious frontiersman and pioneer.”


Moore was in Wilson as early as 1892, when his wife Sarah is listed among gift-givers celebrating the marriage of Samuel Vick and Annie Washington.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: minister William J. Moore, 64; wife Sarah J., 60; daughter Mary E., 29; and grandsons Alfred Hill, 12, and Wilbur, 3.

On 6 December 1906, Mary E. Moore, 29, daughter of W.J. and Sallie Moore, married Willie Mitchell, 24, son of Wiley and Betsy Mitchell, in Wilson. Judge Mitchell applied for the license, and Rev. N.D. King performed the ceremony in the presence of L.A. Moore, Isaac Stone, W.J. Moore and Mrs. Burtie Farmer.

On 2 January 1908, Alex Moore, 38, and Mary Magett, 26, were married in Wilson by Methodist minister G.A. Wood in the presence of Martha Wood, Joseph Sutton and C.G. Lewis.


Hill’s Wilson, N.C, Directory (1908).

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Street, Willy Mitchell, 34, odd jobs laborer, wife Mary, 39, and son Wilton, 13.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Grace Street, Alex Moore, 46, factory laborer, wife Mary, 28, and son Charlie, 3.

Rev. Moore drafted and executed a will on 15 November 1913.


In it, he gave his children Mary and Alex a house and five lots in Wilson (which later revoked) and “all the endowment money ” coming from the Masonic Lodge, the Eastern Star Chapter, and the Brotherhood of the A.M.E. Zion Church. He further passed to Mary his interest in the mortgage held on property in Pamlico County, North Carolina, and named her his executrix. One of the witnesses, New Bern native Rev. Clinton D. Hazel, also served as Presiding Elder of Wilmington District.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 314 Stantonsburg Street, widowed cook Mary Mitchell, 46; barber Alex Moore, 43, his wife Mary, 38, a laundress, and their son Charles, 44. [The 1920 Wilson city directory lists Alex as an employee of M.D. Cannon‘s barber shop.]

On 9 November 1920, Mary E. Mitchell drafted a will with very terms. She had three insurance policies and specified that from the policy for $121.00 on the Durham Company [North Carolina Mutual] $50 be paid to Dr. W.A. Mitchner and $50 to Fannie Simpson “who nursed me last winter.” She owned “a house and some lots on Stantonsburg Street in the town of Wilson.” They were to go to Sylvia Best on the condition that she live in or rent out the house for ten years. “If at the time of the expiration of said ten years my son Alfred Hill, whom I have not heard from in a number of years, has not returned to Wilson,” the land would pass in fee to Best. If Alfred returned, he would receive the lot on which the house was located, and Sylvia the best. If he returned earlier than ten years, he was to allow Sylvia and her family to live with him until the ten years expired. W.A. Mitchner was named executor.

Mary E. Mitchell died 5 February 1921 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was divorced; resided on Stantonsburg Street; worked as a laundress; and was born 10 May 1865 in Beaufort County, North Carolina, to W. John Moore of Washington, North Carolina, and Sarah Moore. Informant was Alex Moore.

Mary Moore Mitchell’s will entered probate on 14 February 1921.

Alex Moore died 28 December 1928 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he resided at 108 Manchester Street; was a widower; worked as a common laborer; was 60 years old; and was born in Wilson to John and Sallie Ann Moore, both of New Bern, North Carolina. Charles Moore was informant.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line],

One-third acre on Lodge Street to Susan Mitchell.

This deed made this the 14th June 1875 by Charles Battle and wife Leah to Susan Mitchell all of the County of Wilson and State of North Carolina Witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of five hundred dollars in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged the said Charles Battle and wife Leah have bargained and sold and by these presents do bargain sell alien and convey to Susan Mitchell and her heirs that certain piece parcel or lot of land in Wilson on the continuation of Lodge street beginning at Thomas Johnstons line running thence at right angles with said Lodge street and along said Johnstons line seventy yards to a stake thence a line parallel with Lodge street sixty five feet to a stake then a line at right angles with said Street seventy yds, thence with the Street sixty five feet to the beginning containing one third of one acre more or less to have and to hold the same together with the improvements privileges and appurtenances there unto belonging to the said Susan Mitchell and her heirs and the Charles Battle and wife Leah do for themselves their heirs executors administrators and assigns covenants to and with the said Susan Mitchell her heirs executors administrators and assigns to warrant the title herein made against the lawful claims of all persons whomsoever. In testimony whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names and affixd our seals    Charles (X) Battle, Leah (X) Battle


State of North Carolina, Wilson County } In the Probate Court.

On this the 11th day of June in the year 1875 before me H.C. Moss Judge of Probate for said County, personally appeared Charles Battle and Leah Battle persons described in, and who signed the annexed conveyance, and severally acknowledged the due execution thereof for the purpose therein expressed. And thereupon the said Leah Battle being by me privately examined apart from her said husband touching her voluntary consent thereto acknowledged that she executed the same freely and without fear or compulsion of her said husband and do now voluntarily assent thereto and hereby relinquish her right of dower in said land. Thereupon let the said Deed and this certificate be registered.   /s/ H.C. Moss, Probate Judge

Received & Registered June 19, 1875



1880 census of Town of Wilson, Wilson County.

Deed Book 11, page 35, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

The last will and testament of Eva Mitchell.

As described here, Sallie Ann Mitchell‘s will did not emerge until nearly 20 years after death in 1926. Oddly, however, a different will was in fact entered into probate, along with that of sister Eva Mitchell, in 1929.

On 29 December 1926, Mack D. Cannon, J. Wesley Rogers and Lelia B. Young appeared in Wilson County Superior Court to swear that they were well acquainted with both Eva and Sallie Mitchell and recognized their signatures. Eva’s and Sallie’s niece and brother Severine and Albert Mitchell swore that they had found Eva’s “among the valuable papers” on the dresser in the room she had occupied for years and Sallie’s in a book on her dresser in the room she had occupied. On the basis of these affidavits, the clerk of court admitted both wills to probate.


Eva’s will, drafted in 1923, was simple and straightforward, if idiosyncratic:

My interest in the home to Lee Mitchell, Bro, Severene Mitchell, Lester Mitchell, my nephew & neice. All policies made to me be paid to Lee & Lest & Sallie Mitchell, when due. All bills settled by them for me anything left is theirs forever. This 4 day of Nov 1923.  /s/ Eva Mitchell  

P.S. House to be used as the Family home just as at present Floyd & Albert to live here as long as they wish.

Sallie’s was similarly brief:

My interest in the house to Albert Floyd and Effie Brother’s and Sister to have and to hold with out sale and after their death back to Severene neice and Lester nephew and their heairs forever and them to all ways have a home here as long as they live this is my last will this the 29 day of January 1926. /s/ Sallie Mitchell

Two months later, Sallie Mitchell drafted a completely different will. Three days later, she died. If the first will entered probate, why the hullabaloo about the second? How many “family homes” were there? Were Eva and Sallie claiming ownership of the same dwelling?  Per their death certificates, below, both lived at 540 East Nash Street. If so, and each actually had a viable claim, how were their last wishes reconciled?


In the 1880 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer Ed Mitchell, 43, wife Anarcha, 31, and children Walter, 12, Willie, 8, Charley, 6, Sallie, 8, Eddie, 4, Albert 2, and Effa, 6 months.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Jennie Mitchell, 51, with children Walter T., 32, Sallie Ann, 28, E. Augustus, 24, Effie C., 20, Eva M., 18, Floyd A., 16, Lee A., 14, and Adic M., 12.

On 3 July 1901, Walter Scott Mitchell, 33, son of Edward J. and Annie Peacock Mitchell, married Elizabeth Helms, 27, daughter of Madison and Flora Helms, at Jordan Taylor‘s house in Wilson. Fred M. Davis, Baptist minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Ed Pool, Jordan Taylor and Mary Brooks.

On 5 February 1902, Albert M. Mitchell, 24, son of Edward J. and Annie Mitchell, married Cora White[head?], 18, daughter of William and Jane Whitehead. Fred M. Davis, Missionary Baptist minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Walter S. Mitchell, Mary Whitehead and Jane Whitehead.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Annie Mitchell, 60, children Sallie, 30, Eddy, 28, Albert, 26, Eva, 24, and Floyd, 22, and grandchildren Sevren L., 9, and Lester Mitchell, 5.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 549 Nash Street, widow Annie Mitchell, 71,  children Sallie, 46, Eddie, 44, Albert, 42, Eva, 36, and Floyd, 34, niece Severana, 18, and nephew Lester, 16.

Edward Augustia Mitchell died 22 November 1921 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 January 1875 in Wayne County to Edward Mitchell and Annie Peacock. Eva Mitchell was informant.

Eva Mitchell Haywood died 1 October 1925.


Sallie Mitchell died 29 March 1926, three days after drafting her will.


Albert Mitchell died 9 July 1938 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was a widower; was born about 1878 in Wayne County to Edward Mitchell and Anna Peacock; worked as a laborer for Imperial Tobacco Company; and resided at 540 East Nash. Effie Hamlin of Farmville, North Carolina, was informant.

Floyd Alfonzo Mitchell died 18 January 1944 at his home at 540 East Nash Street. Per his death certificate, he was born 2 March 1884 in Wayne County to Edward Mitchell and Annie Barnes; worked as a carpenter; and he was single.

Effie C. Hamlin died 3 November 1957 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 December 1879 in Wayne County to Ann Mitchell and an unknown father; resided in Farmville, North Carolina; and was married to Austin Hamlin.  Mary Howell, 1202 Washington Street, Wilson, was informant.


1922 Sanborn map showing 540 (later 549) East Nash Street, Wilson.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line],

The popular (and peripatetic) Ed Mitchell.


Wilson Mirror, 18 January 1888.


Wilson Mirror, 7 May 1890.


Wilson Mirror, 30 July 1890.


Wilson Mirror, 25 February 1891.


Wilson Mirror, 20 May 1891.


Wilson Advance, 27 August 1891.


Wilson Advance, 14 January 1892.


Wilson Advance, 13 April 1893.


Democratic Banner (Dunn, N.C.), 31 December 1902.


Wilson Daily Times, 21 October 1910.


In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Spring Street, washerwoman Susan Mitchell, 47, with children Lucy, 19, and Louiza, 15, both house servants, Eddy, 12, and Joseph, 9. On 18 October 1880, Lucy Mitchell, 19, married Mashal Powell, 18, at Susan Mitchell’s house. Witnesses were Small Blunt, Mary Blunt and Susan Mitchell.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Susiana Mitchel, 65, a “grannie,” and son Edd, 33, a barber. [A granny-woman was a midwife.]

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Susan Mitchell, 75, lived alone in a rented house on the N&S Railroad. In the 1910 census of Averasboro, Harnett County: on Wilmington & Magnolia Road, barber Edward Mitchell, 44, wife Allice M., 24, and daughter Loucile D., 6 months.

Edward Mitchell died 5 February 1918 in Dunn, Harnett County, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born in Wilson to Ed and Susan Mitchell, was married, and worked as a barber. He was buried in Dunn.

In the 1920 census of Averasboro, Harnett County: at 311 Magnolia Avenue, widow Alice Mitchell, 33, with daughters Glydis, 10, and Doris, 9.

Some children told me Lucy Ann went to town.


Sept 15 – 1903

North Carolina, Wilson County

The examination of Smith Mercer taken before the undersigned Coroner of said County this 15th day of September 1903 at the court house upon the body of Lucy Ann Joyner then and there lying dead.

Smith Mercer being duly sworn said: All I know is that a woman and man passed my house on Saturday night about eight o’clock. Before the woman gets to the gate the woman asked the man to let her stop and the man said “Oh God damn it come on.” They went on down the road mumbling, I did not know him. I heard nothing more. I live on Sam Vick‘s farm near the Graded School. I did not know the woman never met Lucy Joyner. Heard the woman who passed was named Lucy Joyner. I was sitting near my door. Could not tell who the man and woman was.   Smith (X) Mercer

Thos Joyner being sworn said: I know Lucy Ann Joyner. She is my father’s sister. Worked on the farm with me. She was 19 years Worked with me about two months. She picked cotton on Saturday until dinner. She then stopped to do some washing She lived with me in the house, she cooked. We went to town and left her washing. I heard she came to town between sun set and dark. Until two months ago she lived in Rocky Mount with a man named Tom Mercer. She was in family way. She was expecting bed next month. When I got home I was sure Lucy was there but found her gone. Found some of her clothes in Harrison Battle’s house to get supper. Dora Woodard was with me. Some children told me Lucy went to town. I live about a mile from where Lucy was found. Dora’s children told me Lucy went to town about dark. Was told that she was seen in town about nine o’clock. I came to town yesterday and made an effort to find her. She had asked me to go down the county after a girl to wait on her. I waited until last night to begin to hunt for her. I came to town and went to Rachael Staton and asked if she had seen Lucy Ann Joyner. Josephine Staton told me that she had seen Lucy Ann on Saturday night. Told me that she saw her below the rail road between 8 & 9 o’clock. Was talking to a heavy black fellow. When she saw her again she was with Charity at the depot as if she was going to get off on the train. I made my self satisfied that she was gone on the train. I waited last night to see if Lucy Ann came back. I got home on Saturday night about moon rise. Guess it was about ten o’clock. I went home with Dora on Saturday night. Don’t know when I left town on Saturday. I went to Dilly‘s house to get some clothes and left there about half past nine o’clock. Don’t know who else saw Lucy Ann. Heard a colored woman named Miller saw her. The clothes the woman wore were Lucy’s. I knew her condition I went up to  the body this morning and examined it and think the dead woman was Lucy Ann Joyner. I went home from Dilly’s straight home. Dora’s children were at home alone and we wanted to get back as quick as possible. I expected to see Lucy when I got there.   Thos X Joyner

Dora Woodard being duly sworn says: I left Lucy Ann at home Saturday when I came town. We were on good terms. We quarrelled but she asked me to forgive her and I did it. We quarrelled at a dance at Mr Ben Owens place the last of Old Christmas. She had been living with me about ten months. She was living with Sarah Pettaway at Old Christmas. Sarah lived at Mr Ben Owens place. I used to live down there and met her down there. We fought a little but it did not last me long. I got hurt a little. Lucy lived with Harrison Battle ever since July. Do not know where she lived before we made up the fourth week in July. We were good friends. Lucy washed for me on Saturday and let me come to town. I am not married. I have four children. My oldest child is 12 years old and the youngest is 3 years and I am 27 years old. Lucy said she had one child and it was living. I have no sweetheart and Lucy said hers had run away. I do not know what time I got home on Saturday night. I went home with Thos. Joyner. We came to town together and went back together. We started from Dilly’s house. We went by where Lucy was killed. We fell out about dancing. The quarrel took place  the second week in July. I quarrelled because I thought I was as good dancer as she was. We made up the third or fourth week in July. We did not stay mad long. I did not see Lucy Ann in town on Saturday night Ida Barnes told me that she saw her on Saturday night. Ida said she met her near where she was killed or found. It was about dark when Ida met her. Ida said she was coming towards town. Lucy Ann did not come to town often. She came with me once before and we went back together. I have not seen any men around Lucy’s house. I do not know how long Lucy lived in town before she went out Harrison.  Dora (X) Woodard

Bynyan Mitchell being sworn says: When I went from town about six o’clock on Saturday I got mule and wagon from Mr Amerson to fetch his cotton and I had some things on the wagon and had to carry the team on by Mr Amersons place to my house. When I went on Lucy Ann was standing in the door putting on her hat. I said “Hello,””It is too late to go out now.” It was a white straw hat. I have not seen her since. She was gone when I brought the team back from Mr Amersons. She told me when I passed that she thought she would go to town. I did not go near the body and could not say it was Lucy Ann. The hat found near the body was the same I saw Lucy putting on I live about 300 yds from Lucy Ann’s house.  Bynyan (X) Mitchell

Harrison Battle being duly sworn says: I left Lucy at home when I left Saturday evening. I left with Thos Joyner and Dora Woodard. Did not see her any more. She was washing. I got home Monday morning. Stayed in town with my wife on the stow until Monday. I heard about her being missed when I got back. Tom said to me when I came in “Our cook is gone.” He asked me if I knew any thing about her going away and I said yes. She told me she was coming town after she got through washing. I told her to clear up everything. Told her I was not coming back until Monday morning. I have not seen her since if that was not her I saw this morning Lucy said she was not going to cook supper for us if I was not coming back. Dora and Lucy acted like they were on good terms. My wife left me the 4th Monday in May. I got to my wife’s house about dark and stayed there until Monday morning.   Harrison (X) Battle

Dr Paul Anderson being sworn said: Chas Woodard and myself cut off the clothes from the dead body. Consisting of waist under body shirt and corset. We were not able to find on account of the decomposed state of the body anything which pointed to violence. We did find however the left hand of a child protruding from the vulver. We turned the body over and examined it thoroughly. We found the body very badly decayed especially the throat and tissues under the jaw. The eyes were entirely gone and the skin on the face was partly gone. The skin on a greater part of the body had pealed off. Decomposition would have started at any opening. The position of the body was that which you would expected from a woman in labor. Blood was found on the clothes in several places.  /s/ P.V. Anderson

Dr Chas Woodard being duly sworn says: Around her neck was a part of a waist in the shape of a blue collar. On the ground near her feet was the top skirt. The skin and underlying tissues were pealed off on the face. Both clavicles were exposed. The opening above the breast bone was through the skin but did not have the appearance of a stab but of decomposition. Just above the left clavicle was another place of like nature. In the left groin there was another place of a like nature about two inches in length. In the back between scapulae was a similar place.  Chas. A. Woodard

Josephine Staton being duly sworn says: I saw Lucy Ann on Saturday night. She and a fellow were sitting on the slant near Salt Lake’s. I do not know the man she was with. He was buying her some apples or bananas. The man was a little slim fellow. I did not see her any more. She went to the ticket office like she was going off on the train. I did not see her any more She went to the office all alone. I first saw Lucy Ann with a dark man sitting down on the slant below the rail road. I left Mrs. Duke’s kitchen a little after six o’clock. Got up town about 6:30. I came up town and then went below the rail road and saw Lucy Ann talking to a dark man. I saw Tom Joyner last night and I told him that I saw Lucy on Saturday night. I saw and spoke to Lucy. She asked me how I was getting along. Lucy stayed at our house about a month. Lucy was out of the way. I am 21 years old. Have had two children. I did not know anything about Lucy’s sweet heart. I am not married.   Josephine (X) Staton

Commr’s Inquest over body of Lucy Ann Joyner

Filed Sept 17, 1903


  • Smith Mercer — in the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Smith Mercer, 60, wife Chaney, 46, children Lily V., 12, LeRoy, 8, and Linda, 24, and grandchildren Annie Bell, 6, and Charlie, 1.
  • Lucy Ann Joyner — in the 1900 census of Rocky Mount, Nash County: Peter Joyner, 89, with daughters Rosetta, 51, and Lucy A. Joyner, 16. [Per Thomas Joyner’s testimony that Lucy was his father’s sister, Peter Joyner was his grandfather.]
  • Dora Woodard — in the 1900 census of Gardners township: Mary Woodard, 45, children Dora, 23, Allice, 18, John, 16, Lewis, 14, and Annie, 5, and grandchildren Oscar, 9, William, 5, and James, 2. [These are the oldest of the four children to which Dora testified.]
  • Thomas Joyner — in the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: Reuben Joyner, 54, wife Millie, 59, children Thomas, 33, Josephine, 21, Alexandria, 30, John, 25, Sarah, 22, Malinda, 18, Roland, 15, Victoria, 10, and grandchildren Purnell, 10, Eddie, 7, Lizzie, 4, John, 4, and Bessie, 1.
  • Rachel and Josephine Staton — in the 1908 Wilson city directory, Josephine Staton is listed as a cook living at 410 East Green. On 26 July 1908, Rachel Staton, 40, daughter of Willis and Miller Staton, married C. Columbus Gay, 50, son of Spencer and Annie Gay at the sheriff’s office. Sheriff George W. Mumford performed the ceremony. In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: odd jobs laborer Columbus Gay; wife Rachel, 42, a farm laborer; and step-children Josie, 27, laundress, Caroline, 14, private nurse, and Martha, 10. In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Robinson [Roberson] Street, Columbus Gay, 55, wife Rachel, 41, stepdaughters Josephine, 27, Caroline, 21, and Martha Staton, 17, and grandson James Staton, 5.
  • “Salt Lake” — William Harris, a Polish Jew who offered his services as storekeeper, druggist, auctioneer, and failed Populist politician.


Excerpt from “Populists County Canvass Yesterday,” Wilson Daily Times, 23 October 1896.

  • Sarah Pettaway
  • Ida Barnes
  • Harrison Battle — in the 1900 census of Cokey township, Edgecombe County: Harrison Battle, 34, farmer, wife Annie, 32, and boarder Lula Joyner, 19. In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: on Wilson Road, Harrison Battle, 46, wife Annie, 46, and children Martha C., 15, and Willie Battle, 10. In the 1920 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: Harrison Battle, 60, and wife Annie, 60. Harrison Battle died 30 October 1920 in North Whitakers township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born about 1865, was the widower of Annie Battle, worked as a farm laborer, and was the son of Millie Joyner. Informant was Willie Ervin, Whitakers. [Thomas Joyner’s mother was named Millie Joyner. Were the two half-brothers? Otherwise kin?]
  • Bunyan Mitchell — in the 1850 census of Nash County: Mary Mitchell, 40, and children George, 16, Willie, 20, Eliza, 12, Henry, 6, and Bunyan, 2. In the 1860 census of Buck Swamp township, Wayne County: Absalom Artis, 32, wife Eliza, 22, and their children John F., 4, James W., 2, and George W., 3 months, plus Mary Mitchell, 55, and sons Henry, 16, and Bunyan, 14. In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Bunyan Mitchell, 53, and wife Louise, 51, married 31 years.  In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Bunnion Mitchell, 61, and wife Louisa, 59. On 6 April 1919, Bunyan Mitchell, 70, married Clara Anderson, 50, at London Church. Reverend Charles H. Hagans performed the ceremony before James H. Armstrong, Moses Parker and Telfair Joyner. In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Old Stantonsburg Road, Bunyan Mithell, 72, wife Clara, 50, and her child and grandchildren C[illegible], 30, Clara, 13, and Bessie Arrington, 9. Bunyan Mitchell died 21 October 1922 in “the country,” Wilson township, Wilson County. He was 70 years old, the son of Mary Mitchell, married to Clara Mitchell, and worked as a tenant farmer. Informant was Henry Mitchell, R.F.D. 6, Wilson.

Coroner’s Records, Miscellaneous Records, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.


We are the Republican party and those who denounce us are the traitors.

One hundred eighteen years ago today, four of Wilson’s African-American politicians — William H. Vick, W.S. Mitchell, Levi H. Peacock and Elijah L. Reid — submitted for newspaper publication a letter firmly denouncing the fusion politics of the era and declaring their firm allegiance to the Party of Lincoln.


Wilson Advance, 25 October 1894.

The last will and testament of Sallie Ann Mitchell.

In October, 1945, Levi Jones and Harry Howell were called into court to identify a will purportedly written by Sallie Ann Mitchell. Though executed in 1926, the document had only just come to light. Sallie’s sister, Effie Hamlin, had found it in a trunk belonging to their brother Albert Mitchell after his death. Albert had shared a home with Sallie and had been entrusted with her valuable papers. He had not, however, produced the will when she died within days of making it. Satisfied that the document was genuine, the clerk of Superior Court entered it into probate.


Wilson, N.C. March 26 1926

the will of Sallie Ann Mitchell I leave my share in the house to my brothers and sister Floyd Albert and Effie and for them to see that all unpaid bills is settled and the lot and graves must be kept clean by them out of the house if it is rented and Walter and Floyd is to have funerals out of the house if you have to put the house back in building loan and the house is to be used as a family home      Sallie Ann Mitchell

this is my last Will March 26 1926

Henrietta R. Colvert R.N., W.M. Davenport, Rose Williams


In the 1880 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer Ed Mitchell, 43, wife Anarcha, 31, and children Walter, 12, Willie, 8, Charley, 6, Sallie, 8, Eddie, 4, Albert 2, and Effa, 6 months.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Jennie Mitchell, 51, with children Walter T., 32, Sallie Ann, 28, E. Augustus, 24, Effie C., 20, Eva M., 18, Floyd A., 16, Lee A., 14, and Adic M., 12.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Annie Mitchell, 60, children Sallie, 30, Eddy, 28, Albert, 26, Eva, 24, and Floyd, 22, and grandchildren Sevren L., 9, and Lester Mitchell, 5.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 549 Nash Street, widow Annie Mitchell, 71,  children Sallie, 46, Eddie, 44, Albert, 42, Eva, 36, and Floyd, 34, niece Severana, 18, and nephew Lester, 16.

Annie Mitchell, 72, died 8 December 1920 in Wilson. She resided at 540 Nash Street. Per her death certificate, she was the widow of Edward Mitchell and was born in Wayne County to Tempy Davis. Eva Mitchell was the informant.

Sallie Mitchell died 29 March 1926, three days after drafting her will.

North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line],