obituary

The obituary of Dorothy H. Ellis, 100.

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July 3, 1919 — Dec. 15, 2019

Dorothy Geneva Hammond Ellis, 100, of Wilson, died Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, at the UNC Hillsborough Hospital campus in Hillsborough.

“Dorothy was a beloved retired schoolteacher who taught eighth grade at Darden High School starting in 1942. She and her husband, Coach [James C.] “Shank” Ellis, went on to teach at Coon Junior High School until they retired early in 1979. While teaching at Darden, she was asked to use her basketball skills to coach the basketball team while the men went off to fight in World War II.

“The funeral will be held at noon on Monday, Dec. 23, at Calvary Presbyterian Church, 209 Pender St. N., Wilson. The Rev. Rogers E. Randall Jr. will officiate. Burial will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery, 1717 Lane St. SE, Wilson.

“A public viewing will be 2-7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, in the Chapel of Edwards Funeral Home with the family visitation from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

“Dorothy was born July 3, 1919, in Cheraw, South Carolina.

“Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home.”

The obituary of Rosa Lee Moye Ward, 101.

Rose Lee Moye Ward (1918-2019).

“Mrs. Rosa Lee Ward, 101, of Wilson, NC, passed away on December 10, 2019 at Wilson Medical Center in Wilson, NC.

“The funeral service is scheduled for Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 1:00 pm at L N Forbes OFW Baptist Tabernacle, 1800 Lane Street, Ext., Wilson, NC.  A public visitation will be held Friday, December 13, 2019 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Stevens Funeral Home, 1820 Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy., Wilson, NC.   Burial will follow in Saint Delight Cemetery, Walstonburg, NC.

“Mrs. Ward was preceded in death by:  her husband, Willie Ward; one son, Willie E. Ward; her parents, Johnnie Moye and Sarah Moye; three brothers, Lloyd Moye, John Junior Moye and Glaster Moye; and three sisters, Betty L. Gay, Sarah E. Williams and Hattie M. Morgan.

“Many loving and cherished memories will linger in the hearts of:  her daughter, Veatrice A. Mills (Norman J.) of Wilson; three grandchildren, Clifton E. Cheeks (Barbara) of Randallstown, MD, Roland J. Cheeks (Carla) of Atlanta, GA and Kevin D. Cheeks of Washington, DC; four great grandchildren, LaShaunda P. Griffith (Ronnie) of Baltimore, MD, Clifton E. Cheeks, Jr. (Rajanna) and Maurice J. Cheeks (Cheryl), all of Atlanta, GA and Kevonda R. Proctor of Waldorf, MD; six great grandchildren, Cayden Cheeks, Royce Cheeks, Alijah Cheeks, Jackson Griffith, Jordan Cheeks and Za’Kari Barton; her daughter-in-law,  Tanya Fletcher-Ward of Wilson, NC; her former daughter-in-law, Doris Ward of Temple Hill, MD; one sister, Thelma Barnes of Virginia Beach, VA; one brother, Hubert M. Moye (Mary Alice) of Hyattsville, MD; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.

“Arrangements are entrusted to Stevens Funeral Home, 1820 Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway, Wilson, NC.”

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Willie Ward, 21, of Greene County, son of Mayo and Eliza Ward, married Rosa Lee Moye, 17, of Greene County, daughter of Johnnie and Sarah Moye, in Greene County on 7 March 1936.

The obituary of Herman P. Lucas, Sr., 103.

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Herman P. Lucas Sr., 103, of Wilson, died Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. Funeral will be 2 p.m. Sunday at Contending for the Faith Church Ministries. Burial will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery. Visitation will be 3 p.m. Saturday at Stevens Funeral Home. Arrangements are by Stevens Funeral Home. www.wilsontimes.com, 6 December 2019.

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I am not entirely sure, but I believe Herman P. Lucas Sr. to have been the son of Robert and Etta Howard Lucas. Corrections requested.

In the 1920 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer Bob Lucas, 30; wife Etta, 30; and children Nannie, 10, Ella, 8, Addie, 6, Herman, 4, and Lillie, 1.

In the 1930 census of Jackson township, Nash County: farm laborer Robert Lucas, 42; wife Etta, 41; children Ella, 18, Addie, 16, Herman, 14, Lillie, 12, James, 10, and Willie, 8; and grandchildren Doretha, 3, and Chaner, 3 months.

On 23 November 1934, Herman Lucas, 21, of Wilson County, son of Bob and Etta Lucas, and Mamie Lee Brockington, 19, of Wilson County, daughter of John and Mary Brockington, in Nashville, North Carolina. Witnesses were D. Elbert Williams, Addie Williams and Silas Wright, all of Wilson.

Herman Lucas registered for the World War II draft in 1940 in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 27 February 1915 in Wilson; lived at R.F.D. #1, Wilson; was married to Mamie Lucas; and worked for Mollie Howard. [If this is in fact Herman Lucas’ correct birth date, he was 104 at his death, not 103.]

The obituary of Johnsie P. Hardy, age 99.

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Johnsie P. Hardy, 6 October 1918-20 June 2018.

“Mrs. Johnsie Pauline Hardy, age 99 of Wilson, died Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at her residence. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 1:00 pm at Brown Chapel FWB Church, 507 Hadley Street in Wilson, NC with Bishop Willie Thomas officiating. Burial will follow in Rest Haven Cemetery. Public viewing will be on Friday, June 29, 2018 from 3-7 p.m. at Edwards Funeral Home Chapel.

“Celebrating her memory are her loving and devoted family: George L. Hardy [Louise], Christine D. Deans [Larry], Faye D. Hardy, Vernon T. Hardy, Vicky L. Saunders [James], Gwendolyn Paulette Howard, Patricia A. Jones [Mark] and Bruce Hardy [Joyce]; two daughters-in law, Betty Hardy and Joan Hardy; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

“The family will assemble at her residence on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 12 noon for the procession to the church. Direct condolences to edwardscares.com. Professional and personal services are entrusted to Edwards Funeral Home, Inc., 805 Nash Street East in Wilson, NC 27893.”

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In the 1920 census of Coleridge township, Randolph County: farmer James M. Cheek, 34; wife Donna, 36; and children Georgeanna, 9, Sarah B., 7, James H., 6, Thomas L., 4, Walter L., 2, and Jonsie P., 1.

In the 1930 census of Coleridge township, Randolph County: farmer J. Manley Cheek, 44; wife Donna, 46; and children Georgiana, 19,  Beatrice, 18, James H., 16, Thomas L., 14, Walter L., 13, Johnsie P., 11, Callie V., 9, Mahalah, 8, Celia M., 6, Gerladine, 4, Sylvinia, 2, and Margaret, 2 months.

On 1 October 1938, Pauline Cheek married Lawrence Hardy in Randolph County, North Carolina.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 209 Warren Street, rented for $7/month, Edna Hardy, 54; daughters Dina Mae, 18, and Nancy, 13; granddaughter Margaret, 1; son Lawrence, 23, bakery shop deliveryman; and Randolph County-born daughter-in-law Pauline, 21, cook.

In 1940, Lawrence Barnett Hardy registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 28 April 1916 in Pitt County, North Carolina; resided at 409 South Warren; was married to Mrs. Johnson Pauline Hardy; and worked for Imperial Tobacco Company, corner of Lodge and Barnes Streets, Wilson.

The obituary of Edgar Williams.

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Wilson Daily Times, 21 January 1949.

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In the 1912 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Williams Edgar (c) lab h 213 Spruce; Williams Jane (c) lab h 213 Spruce

In 1917, Edgar Williams registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 3 January 1896 in Mount Olive, N.C.; lived at 213 Spruce, Wilson; and worked as a laborer for Wilson Country Club.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 213 Spruce, Jane Williams, 46, and son Edgar, 24, both tobacco factory workers.

On 16 December 1920, Edgar Williams, 24, of Wilson County, son of Jane Williams, married Anna McKoy, 22, of Wilson County. Rev. A.L.E. Weeks performed the ceremony in the presence of F.F. Battle and Annie Weeks of Wilson and Almer Pouncey of Bennettsville, South Carolina.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: at 511 South Mercer Street, rented at $8/hour, Echo Williams, 33, office boy for “Empriel Tobacco Fac.”; wife Anna, 28; and lodger Ora Sanders, 26.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 511 South Mercer Street, rented for $6/month, Edgar Williams, 44, redrying plant office janitor, and wife Anna, 39, redrying plant “hang.”

Edgar Williams died 18 January 1949 at his home at 511 Mercer Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 June 1896 in Wilson to Jane Spells; was a widower; worked as a tobacco factory day laborer; and was buried at Rountree cemetery. Inez Watson, 113 Pender Street, was informant.

The obituary of Fletcher F. Pierce.

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Philadelphia Daily News, 22 February 2002.

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Fletcher Forest Pierce was born 5 May 1912 in Wilson to Nazareth Pierce and Ella Armstrong Pierce.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 806 Vance Street, Export Tobacco laborer Nazareth Pierce, 42; wife Ella, 43; children Eugene S., 18, Almira, 16, Leroy J., 14, Louie, 10, and Fletcher, 7; and mother-in-law Luvicy Armstrong, 65.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 905 Vance Street, insurance agent Nazareth Pierce, 54; wife Ada, seamstress; son Fletcher, 17, and daughter Elmira, 25.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 905 Vance Street, Milton Fisher, 32, teacher; wife Elmira, 28, teacher; and brother-in-law Fletcher Pierce, 26, insurance salesman.

In 1940, Fletcher Forest Pierce registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his draft registration card, he was born 5 May 1912 in Wilson; lived at 905 East Vance; his contact was father Nazerth Pierce, 415 East Green; and he worked for Winston Mutual Life Insurance, 656 East Nash Street, Wilson.

On 12 June 1943, Fletcher Forest Pierce, 31, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, son of N.A. and Ella Pierce, married Lucile Helen Russell, 30, of Charlotte, daughter of L.M. and Irene Russell, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In 1950, Fletcher F. Pierce filed for World War II compensation.

Pennsylvania, WWI Veterans Service and Compensation Files, 1917-1919, 1934-1948 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

The obituary of Charles Oats.

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Wilson Daily Times, 16 July 1941.

Incredibly, the grave markers of Charles Oats and his wife Emma Oats are among the few that remain at Rountree cemetery. Oats was an employee of C.H. Darden and Sons Funeral Home.

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In the 1870 census of Lower Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: farm laborer Albert Oates, 40; wife Elizabeth, 30; and children Ferrebee, 10, and Charly, 3.

In the 1880 census of Lower Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: Albert Oates, 51; wife Bettie, 34; and children Charles, 13, Turner, 11, Adam, 9, and Willie, 3.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: day laborer Charles Oates, 34; wife Emma, 30; and children Willie, 11, Fannie, 9, Annie, 8, Effie, 5, and Queen Elsie, 4.

On 9 August 1916, Charles Oats, 53, applied for a license to marry Lou Woodard, 48. It was never returned for registration.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on 119 Ash Street, laborer Charlie Oats, 52; wife Lilla, 42; and step-children Lizzie, 24, and Elmira Woodard, 15.

On 6 December 1920, Fannie McCullers died in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 32 years old; married to Andrew McCullers; lived on Ash Street; and was born in Wilson County to Charley Oates of Edgecombe County and Emma Williams of Wilson County.

On 3 February 1921, Matthew Smith of Greene County married Annie Edmundson, 30, of Wilson, daughter of Charles and Emma Oats. A.M.E. Zion minister B.P. Coward performed the ceremony in the presence of James Debury, Charles Thomas and Richard Green.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 203 Stantonsburg, rented for $24/month, Charlie Oats, 67, undertaking establishment laborer; wife Emma, 53; daughter Almira, 25; and mother Betsie, 92.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Jeff Benjamin, 41, bricklayer; wife Marie, 26, tobacco factory laborer; and lodger Charlie Oats, 75, widower, undertaker shop laborer.

Charles Oats died 13 July 1941 at his home at 112 South Vick Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 September 1873 in Edgecombe County to Albert Oats and Bessie Mercer; was widowed; and was an undertakers assistant.

Sarah Artist Battle of Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Indianapolis Recorder, 1 October 1938.

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In the 1880 census of Greencastle township, Putnam County, Indiana: farmhand Jonathan Artis, 47; wife Margret, 39; and children Evert, 19, Gray, 16, Sarah, 14, Tamer, 12, Minnie, 10, Rose, 8, John, 6, Jonathan, 4, and Willie, 2.

In the 1900 census of Indianapolis, Indiana: at 2419 North Oxford, Margaret Artist, 57, and children John, 24, day laborer, Jonathan, 22, grocery deliveryman, Willie, 22, railroad section laborer, and Sarrah, 34.

In the 1910 census of Indianapolis, Indiana: Margaret Artist, 67, with family members John, 30, Emma, 34, and Damon Artis, 8; Ralph, 13, and Mona McWilliams, 8; and Rose, 29, and Sarah Artist, 40.

In the 1930 census of Greencastle, Putnam County, Indiana: in a house owned and valued at $300, Anthony Battle, 70, farmer, and wife Sarah, 70, both of North Carolina.

Sarah Artist Battle died 27 September 1938 in Evansville, Indiana. Per her death certificate, she was about 72 years old; was born in North Carolina to Jonathan Artist and Margaret Woodard; was married; and resided in Greencastle, Indiana.

The obituary of Charles Diggs.

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Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 2 May 1919.

Charles Diggs left Wilson County shortly after Emancipation, and I have found no record of him there. He is remarkably elusive in federal census records as well, but newspaper clippings and other records offer glimpses of his family and the rich life he led in Brooklyn, New York. (Why was he called “Colonel,” though? Was he a veteran of the United States Colored Troops?0

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On 25 April 1872, in Brooklyn, New York, Charles Diggs, 25, of Wadesborough, Virginia [sic], son of James Diggs and Lydia Harris, married Carter Corlea Jones, 25, of Lynchburgh, Virginia, daughter of Riley Carter and Polly Reed.

In the 1874 Brooklyn, N.Y., city directory: Diggs Charles well sinker 1191 Atlantic av

A female child was born 14 October 1874 in Brooklyn to Charles Diggs and Carter Carlea Jones.

A male child was born 4 April 1878 in Brooklyn to Charles Diggs and Carter Jones.

Florence R. Diggs was born 20 October 1878 in Brooklyn to Charles Diggs and Carter C. Jones.

A male child was born 2 December 1880 in Brooklyn to Charles Diggs and Carter C. Jones.

In the 1889 Brooklyn, N.Y., city directory: Diggs Charles welldriver 289 Franklin av

Carter Diggs died 25 March 1890 in Brooklyn, New York. Per her death certificate, she was 46 years old, was born in Virginia, and was married.

In 1890, Diggs was initiated into the Brooklyn Literary Union, organized in 1886, and where he would rub elbows with journalist T. Thomas Fortune:

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 8 May 1890.

In the 1892 state census of Brooklyn, Kings County, New York: Chas. Diggs, 45, well digger, and children Rosa, 19, [illegible], 15, Horace, 10, and Florence, 12.

In the 1895 Brooklyn, N.Y., city directory: Diggs Chas welldigger 485 Waverly av

Horace L. Diggs, age 16, died 9 June 1898 in New York, New York.

A 1901 article noted that Diggs was one of a few Brooklyn residents to have been born into slavery:

From “Brooklyn’s Colored Population: It Is Believed to Number Eighteen Thousand — Progress in Prosperity and In Intellectual Advancement — Paying Taxes on Property Amounting to About One Million Dollars. The Brooklyn Citizen, 8 December 1901.

In the 1905 state census of Brooklyn, Kings County, New York: at 111 DeKalb Avenue, Louis Paultry, 42, laborer; wife Harriett Paultry, 38; well digger Charles Diggs, 59; porter James Teamer, 32; stable man Edward Scoot, 46; and laborer John Harry, 27.

“Colonel” Charles Diggs helped plan the Garnet Republican Club’s Lincoln Dinner in February 1908. During the event, he delivered a speech on “Organization and Unity.”

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 13 February 1908.

Diggs helped plan the Garnet Republican Club’s observance of the 100th anniversary:

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 28 November 1908.

In 1911, the Society of the Sons of North Carolina, to which Diggs belonged, planned a “monster mass meeting” and published an appeal for support of its efforts to address “the condition of immorality existing among the young girls of our race in certain sections ….”

New York Age, 6 July 1911.

Of more personal concern, in late 1911, widow Rosa Hardnut signaled her intent to sue Bristol Meyers Chemical Company, where her husband was buried alive while working on a dig for Charles Diggs.

Brooklyn Daily Times, 9 December 1911.

Charles Diggs died 29 April 1919 in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York. Per his death certificate, he was born 1848 to James and Lydia Diggs; was a well digger; was a widower; and was buried in Mount Olivet cemetery.

Florence Varner died 28 April 1928 in Manhattan. Per her death certificate, she was 61 years old; was widowed; was born in 1886 in New York City to Charles Diggs of North Carolina and Carter Jones of North Carolina.

Mae Wilson died 23 July 1941 in the Bronx. Per her death certificate, she was 42 years old; was widowed; and was born 24 October 1880 to Charles Diggs of North Carolina and Carter Jones.

[What was the Society of the Sons of North Carolina?

The Bystander (Des Moines, Iowa), 26 May 1911.

The obituary of Esther Brown Goodwin.

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Arizona Daily Star, 31 July 1984.

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In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 419 Hines Street, Lewis Townsend, 62; wife Henrietta, 60; daughter Alzie, 22; and daughter Geneva Brown, 24; son-in-law George Brown, 26; and grandchildren Ester, George Jr., and Martha.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 508 South Spring, pressing club operator George Porter, 34, divorced; Jeneva Brown, 30, divorced,  housekeeping servant, and her children Brown, 15, Esther, 13, Martha, 12, and Olive, 9; and George M. Porter, 4.

George Brown died 1 October 1947 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 53 years old; was born in Edgecombe County to Sam and Martha Brown; was married; lived at 911 Robeson Street; worked as an auto mechanic; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Informant was Mrs. Esther Goodwin, 408 East Hines Street.

In June 1955, the Goodwin family flew from Frankfurt, Germany, to New York after Capt. Felix Goodwin completed a tour of duty.

New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957, database on-line, http://www.ancestry.com.