I’d seen numerous references to a Sandy Fork Baptist Church in Wilson County, but was confused because the church I found by that name is a mile or so across the line in Nash County. Even more confusingly, Sandy Fork’s cemetery is on Old Bailey Highway, more than a mile from the church.
Sandy Fork Missionary Baptist Church off Hornes Church Road in Wilson County.
Lisa Winstead-Stokes clarified the matter for me. Originally, there was a single Sandy Fork church, and a faction broke away to found “Little” Sandy Fork, also known “new” Sandy Fork Missionary Baptist Church of Wilson County.
Neither the little nor big church is located at the original site of the church, which was near the crossroads just south of Sandy Fork cemetery. Annie Eatmon Locus is regarded as the first “mother” of the new church, which was built on land conveyed by her and her husband Asa “Ace” Locus to church trustees L. Blackwell, Wesley Strickland, Herbert Taylor, and Ace Locus on 18 October 1917.
Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, March 2023; aerial (without annotations) courtesy of Google Maps.
I’ve been looking for Granite Point since 2019, and last month I finally posted a query here. Two weeks later, Lisa Winstead-Stokes responded that she absolutely knew where Granite Point is — it’s her family’s cemetery!
Yesterday I met up with Lisa and her husband Cornell Stokes on Thompson Chapel Church Road, just north of Silver Lake. We crossed into a patch of woods, and I immediately saw numerous depressions in the ground indicating sunken graves. After a few minutes, Lisa spotted an old metal funeral home marker, whose paper placard had long rotted away. She wasn’t sure there were any headstones in the cemetery, but then I spied this:
The woods are bisected by an open stretch that also shows evidence of grave depressions. We realized immediately that the second section, on a slope leading down to a mill pond, was the primary location of burials in the cemetery. Several small beautifully preserved concrete headstones stand in neat rows alongside two vaults and a large granite headstone. Sadly, most mark the deaths of children within a two-year span from 1921 to 1923, when influenza and other disease struck the extended Joyner family hard.
The cemetery was established on property belonging to John S. Thompson as burial place for African-American sharecroppers and tenant farmers working his land. According to Lisa’s father, Roosevelt Winstead, who recalled attending funerals there in the 1950s, the site was open not only to family, but to anyone in the community who could not afford to be buried elsewhere. A deed search shows the land belongs to absentee Thompson heirs, but neither recent plat maps nor J.S. Thompson’s 1943 plat map mark the cemetery’s location. (Thompson owned 909 acres along both sides of Thompson Chapel Church Road stretching from Highway 58 across the Nash County border.) The cemetery lies astride the boundary of two of the five parcels making up the present day property, and the metes and bounds description of one parcel likely provides a clue as to the actual name of the cemetery. Obituaries and death certificates list is as Granite Point or Grantie Point. The Winstead family’s pronunciation of its name is something closer to Granny Pines. The parcel description notes a Moccasin Branch and Granny Branch (tributaries of Toisnot Swamp) as boundaries. The cemetery lies partially in a triangular wedge jutting out from the parcel’s eastern edge. Was the cemetery’s original name Granny Point?
Maggie Wife of Sessoms Eatmon Died Feb. 10, 1923 Age 26 Yrs. As A Wife, Devoted. As A Mother, Affectionate. As A Friend, Eternal.
Maggie Eatmon died 10 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per her death certificate, she was 26 years old; was born in Wilson County to Henry Joyner and Margaret Winstead; was married to Sessoms Eatmon; worked in farming; and was buried in Wilson County.
Theodore Son of Henry & Margarette Joyner Born Dec. 29, 1909 Died Jan. 21, 1923. Gone But Not Forgotten.
Theordo Joyner died 2 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born in December 1909 in Wilson, N.C., to Wm. henry Joyner and Margret Winstead; was a school boy; and was buried in the “country.”
Martha A. Lucas Born Aug 9 1910 Died Aug 10 1921 Gone to be an angel.
Martha Lucas died 10 August 1921 in Wilson, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 August 1909 in Nash County to Willey Lucas of Nash County and Elizabeth Lucas of Wilson County; was a school girl; and was buried in the “country.”
Herman Son of Lem & Susie Tabron Born Dec. 29, 1920 Died May 18, 1921. Asleep in Jesus.
Infants of Sessoms & Maggie Eatmon, Born Jan. 31, 1923 Died Feb. 2, 1923. At Rest.
Infant Abert Eatmon died 2 February 1923 in Jackson township, Nash County. Per his death certificate, he was born 31 January 1923 in Nash County to Sessoms Eatmon and Maggie Joyner, both of Wilson County; and was buried in the “country.”
Infant Son of Jarmon & Lula Eatmon. Born & Died June 25, 1921. Asleep in Jesus.
Vault cover of Tempie Scott’s grave, stamped Cofield Services.
Tempie Tabron Scott died 2 December 1968 in Halifax, Halifax County, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 June 1886 to Larse Tabron and Elizabeth [maiden name unknown]; was widowed; and was buried in Tabron family cemetery, Nash County, by Cofield Funeral Home, Weldon, N.C.
Annie B. Tabron Dobie May 6, 1927 Dec. 6, 1952
One of perhaps a dozen funeral home metal markers found in the cemetery.
Two Lisas on a chilly, almost-spring day.
Lisa Winstead-Stokes is exploring the logistics of clearing Granny Pines/Granite Point cemetery of years of overgrowth. If you have relatives buried or simply are interested in helping, please comment here with contact information!
On 20 January 1909, Sidney Lucas, 21, of Taylors, son of John and Delphia Lucas, married Mamie Rountree, 17, of Taylors, daughter of Alex and Watie Rountree, at Emma Rountree’s in Taylors. Missionary Baptist minister William Rodgers performed the ceremony in the presence of James Ross, Pollie Howard, and Emma Lucas.
In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Howards Path, John Locust, 66; wife Delphia, 64; children Kinyan, 36, and Susie, 19; and grandchildren Bunyan, 15, Luther M., 13, and Roxie, 7 months.
On 15 May 1913, Loyd Simms, 21, of Taylors township, son of Lou Simms, married Susan Locus, 22, of Taylors, daughter of John and Delphia Locus, at the Register of Deeds office in Wilson.
In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: John Locus, 77; wife Delphi, 65; son Kennie, 48; and grandchildren Roxie, 11, and Luther, 23.
Delphia Lucas died 24 February 1923 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1849 in Wilson County to Dempsey Taylor of Wilson County and Essie Pace of Nash County; was married to John Lucas; and was buried in a family cemetery.
In the 1900 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Henry Eatmon, 25; wife Mahala A., 21; and daughter Bessie, 1.
In the 1910 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer Henry Eatmon, 35; wife Hally A., 35; children Bessie, 12, Wade, 7, and Mack, 2; and hired man Willie Durden, 17.
On 14 November 1919, Willie Howard, 22, of Nash County, N.C., married Bessie Eatmon, 20, of Nash County, in Taylor township, Wilson County. Duncan Eatmon was a witness.
In the 1920 census of Jackson township, Nash County: farmer Willie Howard, 22, and wife Bessie, 21.
In the 1930 census of Ferrells township, Nash County: farmer Willie Howard, 34; wife Bessie, 31; and children Vester, 9, Ruby, 8, Exie M., 6, Lee, 5, Roman, 2, and Madeline, 8 months.
In the 1940 census of Ferrells township, Nash County: farmer Willie Howard, 48; wife Bessie, 39; and children Vester, 20, Ruby, 18, Ellabe, 13, Roma, 12, Magaleen, 10, W.H. Jr., 7, Bessie, 6, and Carilene, 3.
In the 1950 census of Ferrells township, Nash County: farmer Willie Howard, 52; wife Bessie, 48; and children Romer, 22, W.H. Jr., 17, Bessie Ann, 14, and Caroline, 12.
Bessie Howard died 20 March 1971 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 September 1899 to Hand Eatmon and Hallie [maiden name unknown]; was married to Willie Howard; and lived at Route 2, Middlesex, Nash County.
Eatmons (also “Eatman”) settled in what is now the Rock Ridge area of Wilson County by the mid-1700s. They are thought to descend from brothers John and Thomas Eatmon, but exact relationships between various Eatmon lines, which often intermarried, are murky.
This post is the first in a series featuring documents from Eatmon/Eatman family estate files.
Joel Eatmon, son of John and Ruth Ruffin Eatmon, was born about 1780 in Nash County, N.C., and died 7 July 1851 in Nash County, N.C. Eatmon’s estate opened shortly after. Pending inventory and distribution of his assets, several of the enslaved people he had held were hired out to neighbors:
“The acount of the higher of the neroes of Joel Eatmans discease highered the 3 of March 1852”
Nathan Williams hired Reddick for a year for $56.50; Cornelius Jordan Sr. hired Sewel for $56.25 and Clary for $37.50; and Alexander Baker hired Haywood for $36.75.
Eatmon’s estate paid Alexander Eatmon $85.00 for “maintainance” of Charity and her four children, and Bertley Well $46.25 to care for Easter and her four children.
On 8 July 1851, the court approved the distribution of Eatmon’s enslaved property. Daughter Sally Eatmon drew Sowell, valued at $800; son Peter Eatmon drew Reddick, valued at $750; son Alexander Eatmon drew Haywood, $675; son-in-law John Eatmon, on behalf of his wife Elizabeth Eatmon Eatmon, drew Clary and Zilla, $912.50; son Amos Eatmon drew Easter, Ben, and Vilet, $837.50; son-in-law Barney B. Person, on behalf of wife Piety Eatmon Person, Charity, Delpha, Hawkins, and Wester, $825; and the heirs of Amy Eatmon Williams, Dolly, Barbary, and Milbry, $900.
In the 1850 slave schedule of Nash County, North Carolina, Joel Eatmon reported nine enslaved people — a 52 year-old man, a 41 year-old woman, a 35 year-old woman, a 19 year-old young man, a 14 year-old boy, a 13 year-old girl, a 10 year-old boy, and 5 and 8 year-old girls.
Reddick and Charity
In the 1870 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Redick Eatmon, 40, and wife Charity, 39.
In the 1880 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Reddic Eatmon, 49; wife Charity, 48; and hireling Casana Wiggins, 14.
On 27 February 1895, Willie A. Earp, 23, of Oldfields, son of G. and Mariah Earp, married Lucy A. Bailey, 18, of Oldfields, daughter of Allen and H. Bailey, at the residence of R.T. Boykin. Witnesses were Rosker Hinnant, Joe Boykin, and Mary Boykin.
In the 1900 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer William Earp, 29; wife Lucy, 22; and children Bunyan, 6, Eddie, 3, and Alvester, 2.
In the 1910 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: William H. Earp, 39; wife Lucy, 33; and children Earnest B., 15, Edmond G., 13, Alvestus, 11, Leila M., 8, and Nona, 7; plus mother Harrett Earp, 50.
In the 1920 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer Willie G. Earp, 48; wife Lucy, 41; and daughter Nonnie, 17.
Lelia Bunn died 11 July 1929 at Saint Agnes Hospital, Raleigh. Per her death certificate, she was 29 years old; was born in Wilson to Will Earp and Lucy A. [unknown]; lived in Zebulon, Wake County, N.C.; was married to John Bunn; and was engaged in farming.
In the 1930 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer Will E. Earp, 59; wife Lucy, 51; daughter Nonah, 27; and [Lelia Earp Bunn’s children] Bondena, 6, Willie, 4, and Lucy Bunn, 1.
In December 1940, Isaac Williams made his way to Wilson to meet with a Daily Times reporter. Reportedly nearly 110 years old, Williams told of his birth in what is now Wilson County; his enslavement in Nash County; and, most recently, his long voyage to Conroe, Texas, to testify in a massive lawsuit over a $24,000,000 oil fortune due to the rightful descendants of Wilson Strickland. Descendants of 36 different men named Wilson Strickland contested the claim, including Luther E. Williams of Nash County, whose grandfather Guilford H. Williams had been Isaac Williams’ owner and was said to be a close relative of Wilson Strickland.
Wilson Daily Times, 20 December 1940.
In the 1940 census of Bailey township, Nash County, N.C.: Isaac Williams, 109, and wife Jennie, 51. Both were described as unable to work.
In the 1900 census of Red Bluff township, Marlboro County, South Carolina: wood cutter George Handy, 36; wife Mary, 30; and children Neill A., 12, George, 8, Simeon, 5, Iola, 2, and Jessee, 2 months.
In the 1910 census of Stewartsville township, Scotland County, North Carolina: farmer George Handy, 55, and children Neill, 20, George, 18, Sim, 15, Iola, 12, Jessie, 9, Mary, 6, and Archie, 4.
Neil Handy registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County in 1918. Per his registration card, he lived at Route 6, Wilson; was born 30 May 1886; was a farmer for Jesse Barnes; and Nellie Handy was his nearest relative.
In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Black Creek Road, George Handy, 60, and children Douglass, 18, Arch, 12, and Mary Sudie, 14.
In the 1930 census of Jonesboro, Lee County, North Carolina: odd jobs laborer Jesse Handy, 25; wife Janie, 25; and daughter Mary J., 2.
In the 1930 census of Mannings township, Nash County, North Carolina: farmer John Wilkins, 52, widower, and children William C., 20, farm laborer, Levian, 17, and Zollie, 15, farm laborer.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Spring Street Alley, brickmason Douglas J. Handy, 40; wife Evan, 28, laundress; and daughter Mary J., 12.
Jessie Dugles Handy registered for the World War II draft in Wilson in 1942. Per his registration card, he was born 14 April 1898 in Marion County, South Carolina; resided at 404 South Spring Street Alley; worked for Jones Brothers Construction on Lodge Street; and his contact was brother, Neal Handy, a brickmason.
In the 1947 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Handley Jesse (c; Levan) brklyr h929 Carolina
Jessie Handy died 19 August 1979 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 14 April 1900 in Cumberland County, North Carolina, to George and Mary Handy; resided at 107 South East Street; worked as a brick mason; and was married to Levan Wilkins Handy.
News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), 13 August 2005.
Photo courtesy of Cassandra Handy Horsley. Thank you for sharing!
Originally from Franklin County, North Carolina, the Brodies spent time in Nash County before settling in Taylor township, Wilson County, in the first decade of the 20th century. Several members of the family are buried in the cemetery of William Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, a few miles west of Elm City.
Julia Brodie Oct. 17, 1867 Apr. 10, 1928. Peyton Brodie Mar. 1, 1862 July 19, 1930. Asleep in Jesus, blessed sleep.
Prosper Brodie Apr. 17, 1897 Oct. 1, 1918
In the 1870 census of Cypress Creek township, Franklin County, N.C.: farmer Sam Brodie, 50; wife Mariah, 30; and children Sam, 18, Berry, 16, Joice, 15, Theney, 13, Phil, 12, Peyton, 7, Susan, 5, Wash, 4, and Andrew, 7 months.
In the 1880 census of Harris township, Franklin County: farmer Samuel Brodie, 53; wife Maria, 39; children Peyton, 16, Susan, 14, James W., 13, Andrew, 11, Polus, 8, Emmer N., 6, Urnon T., 2, Robt. K.S., 1; and brother-in-law Mu N. Harris, 50.
On 14 July 1888, Payton Brodie, 24, married Julia Perry, 22, in Castalia, Nash County.
In the 1900 census of Castalia township, Nash County, N.C.: Paten Broddie, 36; wife Julia, 34; and children Thomas, 15; Chessin, 10; Annie B., 7, Sam, 6, Prosper, 4, and Delia, 2.
In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Farmers Mill Road or Nashville Road, farmer Payton Broadie, 47; wife Julia, 44; and children Thomas, 25, Samuel, 16, Prosper, 14, Adelia, 12, Odel, 10, William A., 5, and Annie M., 2.
In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Paton Brodie, 56; wife Julia, 53; and children Sammie, 24, Delia, 20, Odell, 17, William, 15, Annie, 12, and Naimie, 8.
In the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Payton Browdy, 65; son William, 25; wife Maylinda, 20; daughters Pearlie, 22, and Maomie, 18; and granddaughter Dortha L., 1.
Prosper Brodie registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born 17 April 1897 in Nash County; resided at Route 2, Elm City; his father was born in Franklin County; he was employed by Walter Bridger, Elm City; and his nearest relative was father Peyton Brodie, Elm City.
Payton Brodie died 17 July 1930 in Taylors township. Per his death certificate, he was 58 years old; was born in Franklin County to Sam Brodie and Maria Brodie; was the widower of Julia Brodie; and had been engaged in farming. William Brodie was informant.