nonagenarian

In memoriam: Vivian Speight Coley, nonagenarian.

Vivian M. Speight Coley (1924-2023).

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In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 405 East Green, dentist William H. Phillips, 56; wife Rena C., 52; sister-in-law Isabelle Thornton, 62; and lodgers Ruth Williams, 26, Vivian Speight, 23, both public school teachers, Harold Schmoke, 30, movie theatre manager, Angus Williams, 21, projection operator, and James Williams, 20, chauffeur.

On 16 October 1950, Jasper Coley, 23, of Wilson County, son of Jasper Coley and Lydia Coley, married Vivian Speight, 23, of Greene County, daughter of Sylvester Speight and Minnie Speight, in Nashville, Nash County. Witnesses were Ruth G. Ward, Vivian G. Garner, and Luther Wingate, all of Wilson.

Retired teacher Vivian Speight Coley died 13 May 2023 in Wilson.

The obituary of Hilliard Barnes, age 100?

Wilson Daily Times, 8 January 1944.

Hilliard Barnes, in fact, was probably closer to his early 90s when he died, but even that’s an impressive lifespan for man born into slavery on the plantation of Elias Barnes.

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On 16 February 1880, Hilliard Barnes, 30, married Nancy Baker, 25, in Wilson County.

On 24 February 1887, Hilliard Barnes, 29, son of Gray Barnes and Bunny Barnes, married Sarah Spell, 30, daughter of Sarah Spell, at C. Woodard’s in Wilson County. Primitive Baptist minister Jesse Baker performed the ceremony in the presence of Turner Hale, Peter Barnes, and Hilliard Strickland.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Hilliard Barnes, 50; wife Sarah, 52; and children Mary and Martha, 11, Clara, 10, WIllie, 8, Hettie, 3, Lula, 6,  and Lonza, 9 months.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Hillard Barnes, 54; wife Sarah, 56; and children Mary, 20, Lula and Willie, 16; Hettie, 13; Lonzo, 10; and Rosa, 7.

On 17 August 1916, Hilliard Barnes, 62, of Wilson, married Fannie Thompson, 58, of Wilson, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister B.P. Coward performed the ceremony in the presence of Lee Simms, Shade Hines and Menus Hines.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Hilliard Barnes, 70; wife Fannie, 53; children James, 21, Rosa, 18, Essie May, 12, and Odessa L.M., 1; and daughter Mary Jones, 36, widow, and her children William, 8, Nettie, 4, Bud, 34, and Pate, 6 months.

Martha Batts died 26 September 1922 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 37 years old; was born in Wilson County to Hilliard Barnes and Sarah Spells; was married; and was buried in Oldfield cemetery, Wilson County. John Batts was informant.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 702 Lipscomb, owned and valued at $500, Hilliard Barnes, 72; wife Fanny, 50; and granddaughter Odessa, 12.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 705 Lipscomb, “rent free,” Fannie Barnes, 70, cook; husband Hilliard, 88; daughter Odessa, 21; and grandson Herbert L., 4.

Hilliard Barnes died 6 January 1944 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was about 100 years old; was born in Wilson County to Gray Barnes and Bernie Barnes; lived at 705 Woodard Line; and was married to Fannie Barnes, age 70.

The obituary of Roscoe Woodard, nonagenarian.

Wilson Daily Times, 18 March 2022.

In the 1930 census of Eureka township, Wayne County, North Carolina:  farm laborer Marcelius Woodard, 36; wife Adlonia, 26; children Adrew, 6, Roscoe, 5, Dover L., 3, and Kelvin, 1; Leslie Malone, 30, farm laborer; and Nannie Hastings, 48, widow, farm laborer.

In the 1940 census of Faison township, Duplin County, North Carolina: farmer Marcellus Woodard, 46; wife Adlonia, 35; and children Andrew, 17, Rosker, 15, Donie, 13, Calvin, 11, Roosevelt, 9, Mary, 7, Margree, 4, and Jessie James, 5 months.

Roscoe Woodard registered for the World War II draft in 1943 in Wilson County. 

On 26 January 1948, Roscoe Woodard, 22, of Route 1, Walstonburg, son of Marcellus Woodard and Adalone Fields Woodard, married Flora Bell Evans, 18, of Route 1, Wilson, daughter of Robert Evans and Ruby Edwards Evans, in Wilson County. 

In the 1950 census of 

 

In memory of Margaret Hagans Powell.

Wilson Daily Times, 3 June 2022.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Finch Mill Road, farmer Julius Hagans, 45; wife Matha, 32; daughters Frances, 10, and Margaret, 8; and hired man Andrew Sanders, 21.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: on Boswell Road, widower Julus Haggens, 55, and children Margrett, 18, Henry, 13, and Cecil, 4.

On 9 February 1924, William Powell, 33, of Nash County, son of Ichabod and Mary Ann Powell, married Margarette Hagans, 22, of Wilson County, daughter of Julius Hagans, in Wilson County. James Powell applied for the license.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farm laborer William Powell, 30, and Margaret, 28.

Willie B. Powell died 2 March 1938 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 7 September 1937 in Wilson to William Powell and Margret Hagans and lived at 701 West Hines Street, Wilson.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 609 Hines Street, W.P.A. laborer William Powell, 48; wife Margaret, 38; and children Odell, 8, Willie Mae, 6, Joe Louis, 3, and William T., 8 months.

In the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: body factory janitor William Powell, 61; wife Margaret H., 45; and children Willie M., 16, babysitting, Joe L., 14, William T., 10, Betty J., 9, Jesse G., 7, James A., 5, Margaret A., 4, and Maud R., 2.

William “Bill” Pharaoh Powell died 23 July 1963 at his home at 404 North Reid Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 February 1891 in Wilson County to Echabud Powell and Mary Ann Lassiter; was married to Margaret H[agans] Powell; and worked as a laborer.

The obituary of Jordan Sauls, farmer and nonagenarian.

Wilson Daily Times, 20 May 1940.

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On 17 September 1873, Jordan Sauls married Serena Fort in Wayne County.

In the 1880 census of Saulston township, Wayne County: farmer Jordan Sauls, 27; wife Serena, 33; and children Elizabeth, 13, Ichabod, 10, and James Fort, 7; Emma, 6, Dortch, 5, and Isabel, 9 months; and Loumiser Sauls, 21, and [her?] children Oda, 5, and Anna, 1.

In the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farm laborer Jordan Sauls, 50, widower.

On 25 December 1906, Jordan Sauls, 52, of Wayne County, son of Charles and Smithy Sauls, marred Mary Davis, 39, of Wayne County, daughter of Ellis and Hester Fort, at Mary Davis’ in Nahunta, Wayne County.

In the 1910 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: Jorden Sauls, 53; wife Mary, 45; children Hester, 19, Betsey, 17, Thomas, 15, George, 10, Eliza, 8, Pearly, 6, Ben, 4, Blossey, 9 months, and Ellis, 21; and grandchildren Emma, 4, and Rena Davis, 2.

In the 1920 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: on Black Creek and Stantonsburg Road, farmer Jordan Sauls, 74; wife Mary, 47; and children Lina, 18, Ben, 15, Blossie, 19, and George, 5.

On 10 January 1925, John Tyson, 23, son of Red and Alberta Tyson, married Lizzie Sauls, 20, daughter of Jordan and Mary Sauls, in Wilson County.

On 21 September 1925, Herbert Tyson, 23, son of Ed and Mell T. Tyson, married Blossie Sauls, 16, daughter of Jordan and Mary Sauls, in Wilson County. 

In January 1926, Benjamin Sauls, 20, son of Jordan and Mary Sauls, married Janetta Sutton, 18, daughter of John and Penna Sutton, in Wilson County.

In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farm laborer Jerdan Sauls, 82; wife Mae, 65, farm laborer; daughter Lossie Tyson, 22, cook; and grandchildren Jerdan Jr., 3, and Zebedee Tyson, 1.

In the 1940 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: John Tyson, 35, farm laborer; wife Lizzie, 38; father-in-law Jordan Sauls, 99; mother-in-law Mary Sauls, 78; and Frank Strickling, 9, “adopted.”

Lizzie Tyson died 19 July 1943 in Bullhead township, Greene County. Per her death certificate, she was born 5 May 1903 in Wayne County to Jurdan Sauls and Mary Davis and was married to John Tyson.

Blossie S. Powell died 2 June 1979 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 August 1909 in Wayne County to Jordan Sauls and Mary Fort; was a widow; and lived at 1200 East Nash Street.

Blount Knight’s 89th birthday.

Wilson Daily Times, 1 April 1946.

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In the 1880 census of Walnut Creek, Edgecombe County, North Carolina: farm laborer Martha Knight, 47, and children Ellen, 22, Blunt, 18, George, 16, Moses, 14, and Haywood, 10, plus granddaughters Emma, 3, and Delia Harrison, 4.

On 16 December 1880, Blount Knight, 23, married Lucy Bullock, 20, on 29 December 1880 in Edgecombe County.

On 21 March 1884, Blount Knight, 22, married Ginnie Carroll, 16, at Martha Knight‘s home in Wilson County.

In the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Blount Knight, 42; wife Jennie, 31; and children Eddie, 17, Martha, 13, Minnie, 11, Carrie, 6, Jemmie, 4, and Mary, 9 months; plus mother-in-law Mary Coal, 68.

On 30 July 1908, Blount Knight, 50, son of Isaac and Martha Knight, of Gardners township, married Mary Ellis, 39, daughter of Frank and Sara Edmundson, of Gardners, in Saratoga township.

In the 1910 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: ditcher Blount Knight, 52; wife Mary, 41; children Minnie, 19, Jimmie, 13, Mollie, 10, and Louisa, 6; son-in-law Willie Anderson, 30, daughter Martha, 22, and grandchildren Robert, 2, and “no name” Anderson, 0, and Jennie Knight, 1.

In the 1916 Wilson city directory: Knight Blount, laborer, Harper’s Ln near Herring Av

In the 1920 Wilson city directory: Knight Blount, farmer, 1 Carolina

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Carolina Street (suburbs Wilson), farmer Blount Knight, 59, wife Mary, 42, and daughters Mary 17, and Louisa, 15, with James Blount, 38, and wife Lulu, 19.

Blount Knight died 5 July 1957 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 1 April 1868 in Edgecombe County, N.C., to Isiah Knight; lived at 920 Carolina Street; was a widower of Mary Knight; and had worked as a laborer. Mary Currie was informant.

Knight’s headstone in Rest Haven cemetery lists his birth year as 1851, which would have made him 106 at his death. The records above yield birth years between 1857 and 1862, which would have made him somewhere between 95 and 100 years old.

In memory of Troy Lee Chatman.

Wilson Times, 19 January 2021.

We first met Troy Lee Chatman here, as a member of the Darden High School football team. He passed away in January 2020, and today would have been his 99th birthday.

His obituary:

Mr. Troy Lee Chatman, 98, of 5002 Rainwater Road, Lucama, NC, passed away on January 25, 2020 at his home.

The funeral service is scheduled for Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 12:00 noon at Stevens Funeral Home, 1820 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway, Wilson, NC. Pastor Rondric Coppedge will deliver the eulogy. Burial will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery, Lane Street Ext., Wilson, NC.

A public visitation will be held on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 from 3:00 pm until 6:00 pm also at Stevens Funeral Home.

Mr. Chatman was preceded in death by his children, Geraldine Whitley and Inez Chatman; his parents, George Chatman and Daisy Pender Chatman; two sisters, Carrie Chatman and Fannie Best; and one brother, Leroy Dew.

He leaves cherished memories to: four sons, Roma Chatman, Gary Chatman, Troy “TL” Chatman and David Whitley all of Wilson, NC; five daughters, Delores Chatman and Barbara Singletary both of Lucama, NC, Cynthia Daughtridge (Ricky), Bernice Simmons and Abigail Kelly (Edward) all of Wilson, NC; twenty-three grandchildren; fifty-three great grandchildren; several great great grandchildren; god daughter, Ernestine Kinney; two nieces, three nephews, several cousins; other family and friends.

Arrangements are by Stevens Funeral Home, 1820 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway, Wilson, NC.

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In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farm laborer George Chatman, 35; wife Mary Ellen Chatman, 25; boarder Sue Pender, 28, cook; and son Troy Lee Chatman, 7.

In the 1940 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer George Chapman, 29, widower; son Troy Lee, 10; mother-in-law Sudie Pender, 35; and nephew Leroy, 5, and niece Carrie Jew [Dew], 3. [The ages of George and Troy Lee Chatman, and probably Sudie Pender, are wildly off.]

In 1942, Troy Lee Chapman registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 20 January 1922 in Wayne County, N.C.; lived in Black Creek; his contact was Luther Bardin, Black Creek; and he worked for his father George Chapman, Black Creek. He was five feet, five inches tall; weighed 140 pounds; and had a scar on both sides of his forehead.

On 24 December 1943, Troy Chatman, 21, of Black Creek township, son of George and Daisy Chatman, married Gladys Whitley, 20, of Wilson, daughter of Monroe and Lena Whitley, in Wilson.

On 24 January 1953, Troy Lee Chatman, 31, of Lucama, married Louise Best, 27, of Black Creek, in Wilson.

Rest in peace, Roderick Taylor Jr.

My uncle, my father’s half-brother, passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Roderick Taylor Jr., a retired teacher, was well-known for his encouragement and mentorship of generations of students, who called him “Chief,” and his tireless community activism.



A classroom at the Colored Graded School (later Sallie Barbour School), circa 1935. Roderick Taylor Jr. is at center in a dark sweater.

Everyone else called him “Bud.”

Roderick Taylor Jr. was born in April 1928 in Wilson, North Carolina, the youngest of Roderick Taylor Sr. and Mary John Pender Taylor‘s three children. He graduated from C.H. Darden High School in 1947 and graduated from Johnson C. Smith University.


Part of the freshman class at Johnson C. Smith University in 1949. Bud Taylor is kneeling in the front row. Catherine A. Gibson stands over his shoulder in a black peacoat.

J.C. Smith’s Spanish Club, 1949.

Roderick Taylor Jr. and Catherine Augusta Gibson were married 20 June 1954 in Brunswick, Georgia.

Pittsburgh Courier, 10 July 1954.
Wilson Daily Times, 28 December 1998.
Roderick Taylor on his Faison Street porch, 2017.

Top photo in collection of Lisa Y. Henderson (colorized via MyHeritage.com; The Bull (1949), yearbook of Johnson C. Smith University; bottom photo by Lisa Y. Henderson.