The last will and testament of Josephine J. Murphy.

Josephine J. Murphy of Wilson drafted a detailed will in 1946.

First, her executor should pay her debts and funeral expenses and rest a suitable monument at her grave.

Second, she gave “to the First Baptist Church located on the corner of Nash Street and Pender Street in the Town of Wilson, North Carolina” $100 to be used “for needed decorations and improvements on the interior.”

Third, $200 to Jenkins Orphans Home for Negroes, Charleston, South Carolina.

Fourth, sell her house and lot at 1006 Washington Street, Wilson, and pay half the proceeds to her niece Ovena Simmons Richardson. With the remaining half, “purchase country property for the benefit of my niece Josephine Simmons Williams, and her two children Printiss Williams, Jr., and Florida Anna G. Williams” in any location Josephine Williams chose. However, if either Richardson or Williams elected to live in the house within one year of Murphy’s death, the house would not be sold until vacated as a primary residence.

Fifth, all household items to be divided equally between nieces Ovena S. Richardson and Josephine S. Williams.

Sixth, Luke Lamb appointed executor.

Josephine J. Murphy signed the document on 23 July 1946 in the presence of Veda Lamb, Maxine Hudson, and P.O. Barnes.

Per Find A Grave, here is the suitable monument erected for Josephine Murphy in Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church cemetery, Bennettsville, South Carolina.

Last Will and Testament of Josephine J. Murphy, Wilson County Wills, Volumes 9-10, North Carolina Wills and Estate Records 1665-1998,

1006 Washington Street.

The one hundred thirty-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.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “ca. 1930; 1 story; Bungalow with gable-end form and subsidiary gable-end porch.”


In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Lamm Edward (Etta) (L&L Oldsmobile Co) h 1006 Washington. Edwin (not Edward) and Etta Bass Lamm were white. Why they were living in a solidly African-American residential block in 1928 is a mystery.

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Murphy Josephine (c) cook h 1006 Washington

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1006 Washington, owned and valued at $3000, Josephine Murphy, 56, widow, washing, born in Bennettsville [, S.C.] and two roomers Herbert Hines, 35, hotel bell boy, and Aletha, 27, cook.

Josephine Murphy died 15 December 1951 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 70 years old; was born in Marlboro, S.C., to Edmond Stubbs and Donella Jackson; lived at 1006 East Washington Street; was a widow; and had lived in Wilson since 1930. She was buried in Macedonia Cemetery, Bennettsville. Josephine Williams was informant.

Wilson Daily Times, 9 September 1983.

Photo taken by Lisa Y. Henderson, September 2021.