obituary

The obituary of Sarah Jane Gregory.

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Indianapolis Recorder, 14 January 1967.

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Sarah Baker, born 1892, daughter of Benny Baker and Nancy Newsom, married Joseph Gregory on 25 November 1912 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In the 1920 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 1564 Park Avenue, rear, rented for $20/month, Kentucky-born Joe Gregory, 48, laborer, and wife Sarah, 45, servant, born in Tennessee [sic].

In the 1930 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 1564 Park Avenue, rear, rented for $20/month, Kentucky-born Joe Gregory, 59, gardener, and wife Sarah, 31, maid, born in North Carolina.

The obituary of Henry Rountree.

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Wilson Daily Times, 14 September 1940.

Is this the same Henry Rountree who  spoke of Christmas-time serenades in an 1936 interview by a Federal Writers Project employee? Though it would seem so, the life details of the two Henrys do not seem to match.

Here is this Henry Rountree’s death certificate:

His parents are listed as Spencer and Julia Rountree, not Shark and Adell, as in the F.W.P. interview. The obituary reports his owners as the Tomlin family, but the narrative names Dock Rountree. The obituary centers around Henry Rountree’s work during the Civil War, which the narrative does not mention at all.

In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Simon Ricks, 34; wife Lula B., 29; children Mary E., 12, Alexander, 9, Etta, 6, Gertie, 4, and Roland, 2; mother-in-law Fannie Rountree, 58, widow; and uncle Henry Rountree, 74, widower.

In the 1930 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: renting for $2/month, widowed farm laborer Nora Dew, 42; her children Lester, 15, and Etta, 11; uncle Henry Rountree, 85, farm laborer; and boarders Edna, 17, and Ella Lane, 14, and Elijah Terrell, 22.

The obituary of Rev. James Wesley Holiday.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 March 1977.

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In the 1920 census of Concord, Clarendon County, South Carolina: farmer Wesley Holiday, 29, farmer; wife Caroline, 22; and children Erlier, 5, Cecil, 4, Manyard, 3, and Eddie, 2.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Holiday Wesley (c; Rosa) tob wkr h 709 Cemetery.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 612 East Suggs, rented for $12/month, tobacco factory laborer Westley Holiday, 40; wife Rosa, 30; and children Earlise, 12, Edward, 11, Deborah, 9, Lula M., 6, Earnest, 4, and Joseph, 1.

Rosa M. Holiday died 31 January 1938 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 5 months old; was the daughter of Wesley Holiday and Rosa Brown, both of Sumter, South Carolina; and resided at 312 Spruce Street.

In 1946, Joseph Holliday registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 16 September 1928 in Wilson County; lived at 648 Cemetery Street; was a student; and his contact was his father Wesley Holliday, 648 Cemetery.

Rosa Holiday died 8 December 1951 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 18 September 1899 to Payrow Brown; was married; and lived at 648 Cemetery Street. Rev. W.H. Holiday was informant.

James W. Holiday, 69, married Lona Tillery, 47, in Wilson on 23 October 1958.

Lonia Tillery Holiday died 15 November 1972 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 57 years old; was married to James Holiday; was the daughter of Mary Sanders; and had worked as a maid.

James Wesley Holiday died 8 March 1977 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born January 1900 in South Carolina to unknown parents;

The obituary of Lauraetta J. Taylor.

Lauraetta J. Taylor (1916-1977), daughter of Russell Buxton and Viola Gaither Taylor, was a legendary women’s basketball coach at Fayetteville State University. A gymnasium on campus is named in her honor.

Pittsburgh Courier, 26 March 1977.

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In the 1920 census of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina: on Johnston Bow, preacher Russell B. Taylor, 35; wife Viola, 31, seamstress; and children Beatrice, 7, Janett, 5, and Sarah, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on East Nash Street, Methodist minister Russell B. Taylor, 48, widower; children Laura, 14, Sarah, 11, Christopher, 7, and William, 4; daughter Beatrice Barnes, 18, public school teacher, and her son Elroy, 1; and lodgers Cora Speight, 49, laundress, and Mamie Williams, 30, ironer, and Roscoe McCoy, 32, farm laborer.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 536 East Nash, preacher and public school teacher Russell B. Taylor, 52; children Loretta, 23, and Sarah, 21, both teachers, Leonard, 16, and William, 14; grandson Elroy Barnes, 11; and lodgers Isiar Jones, 36, Virginia-born construction laborer; Mitchell Frazier, 32, South Carolina-born truck driver; John Baldwin, 29, Lumberton, N.C.-born tobacco redrying factory laborer, and his wife Clyde, 26, a native of Wilmington, N.C.

1939 edition of The Ayantee, the yearbook of North Carolina State A.&T. University in Greensboro. Taylor’s sister Sarah G. Taylor graduated from A.&T. that year.

Reverend Silver comes to Wilson.

Hattie Henderson Ricks remembered:

… Mama’d make us go to Holiness Church and stay down there and run a revival two weeks.  And we’d go down there every night and lay back down there on the bench and go to sleep.  … Mama’d go every night.  And they’d be shouting, holy and sanctified, jumping and shouting.  

Mr. Silver, he had a bunch, he had 11 children, and his son had a whole bunch of ‘em.  Joseph Silver.  …  When Mama got married there on Elba Street, there at the house.  Yeah.  He come up there …  He was a little short brown-skinned man, and he was a elder and the head of the church where was down there in Halifax County.  

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On 31 August 1933, Sarah Henderson Jacobs of Wilson married Rev. Joseph Silver of Halifax County at her home in Wilson [303 Elba Street]. The ceremony was performed by Holiness minister J.H. Scott and witnessed by S.B. Thomas, Eleanor Hooker and W.M. King. Silver helped establish the Holiness church in North Carolina, and Jacobs was a Holiness evangelist.

Sarah Silver died 8 January 1938. Five years later, on 8 September 1943, Rev. Silver married Martha C. Aldridge in Goldsboro, Wayne County. Rev. Silver had performed the marriage ceremony for Martha, nee Hawkins, and her second husband, Joseph Aldridge, in Wilson on 16 December 1925. C.E. Artis applied for the license, and William A. Mitchner, Hattie Tate and Callie Barnes were witnesses.

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REV. JOSEPH SILVER DIES AT HIS HOME AT 100 YEARS OLD

Reverend Joseph Silver, Sr., well known and highly respected Negro minister, died Tuesday at his home in the Delmar community, on Enfield Route 3.  He celebrated his 100th birthday anniversary last July 22 at a large gathering of friends and relatives. Rev. Silver had been in poor health about four years and had been confined to his bed for the past four months.

Funeral services will be held from the Plumbline Holiness Church, Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. The body will lay in state at the church an hour before the funeral. The Rev. L.G. Young, of Henderson, will preach the funeral and burial will be in the family plot.  Among those expected at the final rites are Bishop M.C. Clemmen of Richmond, Va., and Bishop H.B. Jackson of Ayden.

Rev. Silver began preaching in 1893 when he he organized and built Plumbline Church.  Among other churches built by his ministry are ones at Ayden and Summitt, near Littleton. He was an organizer of the United Holiness Church of America and served on the board of Elders until his death.

Rev. Silver was married three times; first to Felicia Hawkins, who died in 1931, then to Sarah Jacobs of Wilson, who died in 1938; and last to Martha Aldridge of Goldsboro, who survives.  In addition to his wife, Rev. Silver is survived by five sons N.D. and Samuel Silver, of Washington, DC; Gideon, of Pittsburg, Pa.; Joseph, Jr., of Halifax and A.M. Silver of Route 3, Enfield; three daughters, Epsi Copeland and Roberta Hewling, of Enfield, Route 3, and Emma Goines, of Pittsburg, Pa. Eighty grandchildren, 109 great-grandchildren, and 17 great great grandchildren also survive.  [Newspaper clipping from unnamed source, 10 January 1958.]

Shortly after Rev. Silver’s death, his widow Martha wrote Hattie Henderson Ricks a letter, addressing it to her workplace, the Eastern North Carolina Sanatorium:

P.O. Box 193 Nashville

N.C.   c/o Brake

Feb. 2, 1958

Dear Hattie –

You heard of Rev. Silver’s death Jan. 7th although I didn’t notify you as I was sick and still is sick but not confine to bed.  Sarah had some things in the home.  A bed which I am sure you wouldn’t care for and a folding single bed which I am going to get but my main reason for writing you she has an oak dresser and washstand that Rev. Silver told me you wanted and said he told you you could get it if you would send for it so it is still there and it is good material if you want it.  Amos has already seen a second hand furniture man about buying it.  The Silver’s will “skin a flea for his hide and tallow.”  The Aldridges holds a very warm place in my heart and always will.  If you wish to do so you may write to Rev. Amos Silver Route 3 Box 82 Enfield and ask him if your mother Sarah’s furniture is still there.  There is also a carpet on the floor in the living room you need not mention my name.  I am very fond of Johnnie Aldridge of Dudly.  Come to see me whenever you can I think you might get with Reka at Fremont some times, she and Luke come to Enfield to see me occasionally  I am going to write Reka next week.  I married your great uncle Rev Joseph Aldridge write me

Your friend and great aunt by marriage.

M.C. (Aldridge) Silver

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  • J.H. Scott — John H. Scott died 18 November 1940 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 February 1874 in Halifax County to Alex Scott and Cathrin [no last name]; was married to Sarah Ann Scott; resided at 311 Lane Street; and was a Holiness preacher.
  • S.B. Thomas — Sarah Best Thomas.
  • Eleanor J. Hooker — Eleanor J. Farmer Hooker.
  • W.M. King — In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: redrying plant janitor William M. King, 67; wife Annie, 64, washwoman; daughter Mary Lucas, 28, laundress; and son-in-law Herman Lucas, 26, redrying plant day laborer.
  • C.E. Artis — Columbus E. Artis, an undertaker. [Note: Artis’ mother Amanda Aldridge Artis was Joseph Aldridge’s sister.]
  • W.A. Mitchner — William A. Mitchner, a physician.
  • Hattie Tate — Hattie Pearce Tate.
  • Callie Barnes — in the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Barnes Paul (c; Callie) mgr Lenora Dixon h 306 Elba [Dixon operated an East Nash Street billiard hall.]

Oral interview of Hattie H. Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson, all rights reserved; newspaper clipping and letter in the possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.

Obituary of Mary Bridgers Jenkins.

Wilson Daily Times, 21 May 1952.

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Gray Jenkins, 21, son of Gray and Lucinda Jenkins, married Mary Jane Bridgers, 17, daughter of Si and Penny Bridgers, on 17 September 1898 in Township #11, Edgecombe County.

In the 1900 census of Lower Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: farmer Gray Jenkins, 20, wife Mary J., 18, and son Isaac, 1.

In the 1910 census of Township #10, Edgecombe County: on the Tarboro & Wilson Road, farmer Gray Jenkins, 30; wife Mary Jane, 29; and children Charity, 9, Joseph, 7, William G., 5, Lucinda, 4, and Mada, 2.

In the 1920 census of Lower Town Creek township, Edgecombe County: farm laborer Mark Jenkins, 46; wife Mary Jane, 35; children Joseph, 17, William, 15, Lucinda, 12, Mada, 11, Mark, 9, Turner, 7, Rosa, 5, and Rachel, 4; adopted son Lester, 7; and servant Frank Braswell, 18.

Joe Jenkins died 5 April 1924 “on W.W. Cobbs farm” in Township #10, Edgecombe County. Per his death certificate, he was 22 years old; was born in Edgecombe County to Gray Jenkins of Edgecombe and Jane Bridgers of Wilson County; farmed for Walter Brown; was single; and was buried “in Wilson County Mr. Hyram Webb.”

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Gray Jenkins, 54; wife Mary J., 40; and children Mark, 19, Rachel, 15, and Lucy, 9.

Billie Gray Jenkins died 3 February 1931 in Pinetops, Edgecombe County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1905 in Edgecombe County to Gray Jenkins and Mary J. Bridgers; was a laborer; resided at 310 Gold Leaf, Rocky Mount, Edgecombe County; and was buried in Wilson County.

Gray Jenkins Jr. died 8 December 1937 in Elm City, Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1879 in Edgecombe County to Gray Jenkins and Sinda Bynum; was married to Mary Jane Jenkins; and was a farmer. Informant was Bess Jenkins, Pinetops, North Carolina.

Mary Jenkins died 19 May 1952 at Mercy Hospital. Per her death certificate, she was born 2 June 1893 to Sie Bridgers and an unknown mother; was a widow; had worked in farming; and resided at 124 Narroway Street, Wilson. Turner Jenkins was informant.

Lucinda Dixon died 27 February 1956 at her home at 604 East Vance Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 March 1910 in Edgecombe County to Gray Jenkins and Mary J. Bridgers; was a widow; and was buried in Rest Haven cemetery. Mark Jenkins was informant.

Rachel J. Wooten died 23 November 1960 in Pinetops, Edgecombe County. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 December 1916 to Gray Jenkins and Mary Bridgers; resided on East Cobb Street, Pinetops; was married to Charles W. “Sam” Wooten; and was buried in Pinetops cemetery.

Turner Jenkins died 11 January 1967 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 April 1912 in Edgecombe County to Gray Jenkins and Mary Jane Bridgers; worked as a laborer; was married to Lossie Jenkins; and resided at 128 Narroway Street.

Mark Jenkins died 11 June 1969 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 25 August 1910 to Gray Jenkins and Mary Bridgers; resided near Elm City; was married to Leatha Hill; was a farmer; and was buried in Sharpe Cemetery.

Charity Williams died 6 March 1970 in Tarboro, Edgecombe County. Per her death certificate, she was born 8 March 1910 in Edgecombe County to Gray Jenkins and Mary Jane Bridgers; was a widow; resided in Pinetops; and was buried in Pinetops cemetery.

Rosa Mae Bynum died 24 August 1972 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 March in about 1915 to Gray Jenkins and Mary Jane Bridgers; lived at 701 Manchester Street; and was married to Fred Bynum.

Final rites for Aggie M. Williams.

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Wilson Daily Times, 24 March 1951.

The Daily Times‘ editorial policy, apparently, provided that the most remarkable fact of the lives of men and woman who had been enslaved was that they had been enslaved. However, as set forth in detail here, Aggie Mercer Williams died possessed of a house and two lots in Elm City and two farms outside of town, which suggests a lifetime of notable achievement.

Jane Mobley, a remarkable woman.

Wilson Daily Times, 1 June 1931. 

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In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: Henry Rountree, 35, farm laborer; wife Patsey, 30; and children Jane, 15, Amos, 10, George, 8, Hannah, 6, Bettie, 4, and Margaret, 1.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farm worker John Mobley, 35; wife Jane, 28; and children Rhoda, 9, Henrietta, 6, Jane, 5, Isaac, 4, and John H., 1.

On 9 March 1898, John Mobley Jr., 21, son of John and Jane Mobley, married Miss Julia Penn, 20, daughter of Lou Penn, in Wilson. Columbus Gay applied for the license, and Baptist minister W.T.H. Woodward performed the ceremony in the presence of W.H. Neal, Sallie Neal, and Lesley Mobley.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: John Mobley, 50, teamster; wife Jane, 46; and children Fannie, 12, Charlie, 13, farm laborer; Patience, 10; Henry, 9; Mary, 7; and James, 23, day laborer.

On 28 December 1904, Fannie Mobley, 19, daughter of John and Jane Mobley, married James M. Moses, 21, son of Carson and Alice Moses, in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Jeremiah Scarborough performed the ceremony at F.A. Woodard’s residence. [United States Congressman Frederick A. Woodard was the husband of Fannie Rountree Woodard, whose family had owned Jane Mobley’s.]

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Nash Road, odd jobs laborer John Mobley, 53; wife Jane, 56, nurse; and nieces in law Mary Rountree, 16, nurse, and Patsy Whitehead, 7.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 120 Vance Street, farmer John Mobley, 64; wife Jane, 65; daughter Fannie Mobley, 23; and grandchildren Mary Jane, 7, and Alexander Mobley, 13.

Fannie Mobley, 29, daughter of John and Jane Mobley, married John Faulkland, 28, son of Philipp and Rachel Faulkland, on 2 December 1922. Free Will Baptist minister E.S. Hargrave performed the ceremony in the presence of J.W. Rite, Joseph Faulklin, and Boston Witingham.

John Mobley died 13 June 1923. Per his death certificate, he was about 60 years old; was born in Washington, North Carolina, to Javis and Harriet Mobley; was married to Jane Mobley; resided at West Lee Street; and had done masonry work. Informant was Fannie Faulkland, 200 West Lee Street.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1001 Gold Street, Lamar H. Winstead, 38, book merchant; wife Anabel, 37; son William, 13; and servant Jane Mobly, 85.

Jane Mobley died 31 May 1931 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was about 92 years old; was born in Wilson County to Henry and Martha Rountree; was the widow of John Mobley; and lived at 320 Hackney Street. Informant was Fannie Mobley. [Based on her age in early census records, Jane Mobley was likely no older than her late 70s when she died. Also, contrary to her obituary, it is unlikely that she was born to an enslaved mother, but not herself enslaved.]

 

 

Spicie Eatman dies.

Wilson Daily Times, 26 January 1944.

In the 1940 census of Bailey township, Nash County: on Finch Perry Road, farmer James Terrel, 60; wife Della, 58; children Luther, 26, Jessie D., 24, and Millard, 15; grandson Robert, 14; and lodge Spicy Eatmon, 99, an old age pensioner.

Spicie Eatman died in the Wilson County Home and was buried at New Vester. Her death certificate identified her mother as Gracie Flowers.

[Sidenote: I know nothing more about Spicie Eatman. I can say unequivocally, however, that the twenty years she spent enslaved were not the sum total of her long life.]

Obituary of Della Barnes Thomas.

Wilson Daily Times, 16 October 1951.

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In the 1880 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Wright Barnes, 31; and wife Jane, 29; and children Henryetta, 11, Susan, 9, Della, 8, William W., 7, Mattie, 5, and John R., 4 months.

On 10 June 1893, Tommy Thomas, 26, married Della Barnes, 20, at Martha Winstead‘s in Wilson township. Free Will Baptist minister Daniel Blount performed the ceremony in the presence of Julia Blount, Albert Winstead and Giney Winstead.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Finch Mill Road, farmer Thomas Thomas, 44; wife Della, 31; and children Joseph, 14, Fred, 6, Lizzie, 3, and Ida, 1.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 211 Walnut Street, rented for $12/month, Tom Thomas, 63; wife Della, 40; and children Ida, 21, Larrie, 19, George, 17, and Jessie W., 15.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 604 Warren Street, Tom Thomas, 74; wife Della, 69; and son Jessie, 24, who worked in a tobacco factory machine room.

In 1942, Jessie Wright Thomas registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 7 January 1915 in Wilson; resided at 604 South Warren; his contact was mother, Della Barnes Thomas; and he worked for Southern Tobacco Company, South Tarboro Street, Wilson.

Fred Thomas died 25 December 1945 at Mercy Hospital. Per his death certificate, he was born 1 March 1905 in Wilson County to Thomas Thompson [sic] and Della Barnes; worked as a laborer; and resided at 604 South Warren.

Della Thomas died 14 October 1951 at her home at 604 South Warren Street. Per her death certificate, she was 79 years old; was born in Wilson County to Thomas Thomas [sic] and Jane Barnes; and was a widow. Jessie Thomas was informant.