obituary

The obituary of James Taylor, farmer.

Wilson Daily Times, 23 October 1944.

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In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer James Taylor, 19; mother Martha, 57; her daughter Mallie, 27; and her grandchildren Anna, 14, Maggie, 11, Alice, 6, and Mattie, 2.

On 13 December 1905, James Taylor, 23, of Taylors township, married Dora Locus, 26, of Nash County, in Wilson County.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: on Farmers Mill Road, farmer James Taylor, 28; wife Dora, 34; and nieces and nephews James, 8, Booker T., 6, and Mattie, 12; stepson Willie Locust, 16, saw mill laborer; niece Maggie Parker, 22, and her sons Wiley D., 3, and Odies Lee, 8 months; also, Lemon, 70, and Matha Taylor, 69.

In 1918, James Taylor registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 30 December 1882; lived at Route 2, Elm City; farmed for W.W. Farmer; and his nearest relative was Dorah Taylor. He signed his card with an X.

In the 1920 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer James Taylor, 43, and wife Dora, 38.

In the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer James Taylor, 48; wife Dora, 50; sister-in-law Mattie, 30, widow; children William N., 13, Irine, 11, Mildred G., 10, and Ardie L., 6; and Easter Pate, 3 months, and Swindell Pate, “0 months.” [Whose children are the Pates?]

In the 1940 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Jeams Taylor, 58; wife Dora, 62; siblings(?) Jim, 40, John, 70, Bloss, 42, William, 22, Arlene, 20, Mildred, 18, and Rudolph, 2; plus lodger Artis Locous, 18.

James Taylor died 4 October 1944 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 63 years old; was born in Wilson County to Leonard Taylor and Martha Farmer; was married to Dora Taylor; was a farmer; and was buried in Farmer cemetery.

The obituary of Robert D. Haskins, voting rights warrior.

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the passing of Robert D. Haskins, the named plaintiff in a landmark 1982 civil rights lawsuit filed against Wilson County over its at-large system for electing county commissioner.

Wilson Daily Times, 31 October 1986.

Attorneys G.K. Butterfield Jr. (now a U.S. Congressman) and Milton “Toby” Fitch Jr. (now a North Carolina State Senator) with Robert D. Haskins. In the early 1980s, on behalf of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, photographer Jim Peppler documented Black Wilson County citizens’ efforts to secure representation on the county’s Board of County Commissioners. The series of photographs are housed at Alabama Department of Archives and History

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In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Robert Haskins, 37, insurance agent; wife Gertrude, 28; and children Mandy, 14; Elizabeth, 12; Estelle, 10; Robert, 7; Lossie, 5; Laurence, 4, and Thomas, 11.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Robert Haskins, 44, insurance agent; wife Gertrude, 39; and children Mandy, 22, private family cook; Elizabeth, 20; Estell, 18; Robert, 17; Lossie, 14; Larence, 12, and Tommie, 11.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Robert Haskins, 55, drug company salesman; wife Gertrude, 48; and children Mandy, 36; Elizabeth, 33, cook; Estelle, 29, beauty shop cleaner; Robert D. Jr., 29, hotel kitchen worker; Lossie, 24, N.Y.A. stenographer; and Thomas, 20, barbershop shoeblack; plus granddaughter Delores Haskins, 15, and lodger Henry Whitehead, 21.

In 1940, Robert Douglas Haskins registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 1 June 1913 in Wilson; lived at 1300 Atlantic Street, Wilson; his contact was father Robert Haskins; and he worked for Robert Haskins as a salesman.

Hat tip to LaMonique Hamilton for the link to these photos.

The obituary of Moses Parker: he said he was going to live with Jesus.

Wilson Daily Times, 29 September 1936.

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In the 1870 census of Upper Town Creek township, Edgecombe County, N.C.: farm laborer Jason Parker, 35; wife Annis, 24; and children Moses, 8, Harriet, 5, Jerry, 4, and Sophy, 1.

In the 1880 census of Upper Town Creek township, Edgecombe County, N.C.: farmer Jason Parker, 43; wife Annis, 39; and children Moses, 17, Harriet, 15, Jere, 13, Sophia, 10, Mathew, 9, Cintha, 7, Susan, 5, and Abel, 2.

On 5 March 1892, Moses Parker, 29, married Henrietta Woodard, 27, at Isaac Farmer‘s residence in Wilson County. Free Will Baptist minister Crockett Best performed the ceremony in the presence of Jordan Braswell, Jno. W. Williford, and J.G. Barnes.

On 17 June 1897, Moses Parker, 33, married Sallie Reid, 27, at William Taylor’s residence in Wilson County. Jason Parker was a witness.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Mosses Parker, 40; wife Sarah, 30; and daughters Jennie, 14, and Mary, 12. (Next door, Moses’ brother Abel Parker, 21, farmer, wife Sarah, 20, son Jerry, 6 months, and boarder Thomas Horn, 60, widower, farm laborer.)

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 415 Goldsboro Street, widower Moses Parker, 45, house carpenter; daughters Mary, 21, and Nera, 23, private family cook; and granddaughter Lee Parker, 4.

On 7 September 1911, Moses Parker, 47, of Wilson, married Charity Holland, 50, of Wilson, in Wilson township. Primitive Baptist minister Jonah Williams performed the ceremony at Charity Holland’s residence in the presence of John Battle, George W. Wood, and John H. Akins.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 417 Goldsboro Street, general public drayman Moses Parker, 59, and wife Charity, 64.

Wilson Daily Times, 22 June 1921.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 1004 East Nash Street, owned and valued at $1700, grocery store proprietor Moses Parker, 63; wife Charity, 60; and roomer Elizabeth Simms, 17.

Moses Parker died 23 September 1936 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 73 years old; was born in Edgecombe County, N.C., to Jason Parker and Annis Parker; was married to Charity Parker; lived at 1004 East Nash Street; and worked as a carpenter.

The obituary of Eugene Williams of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Indianapolis News, 11 August 1959.

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In the 1900 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 1110-12th Street, janitoress Margaret Puryear, 38, widow; daughter Mary, 13; and cousin Eugene Williams, 25; all born in North Carolina.

Eugene Hummons Williams was born 24 February 1908 in Indianapolis to Eugene Williams, 23, foundry man, born in North Carolina, resides at 915 Paca Street, and Janie Isom, 33, born in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, resides at 915 Paca Street.

In the 1910 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 803 West Pratt, Eugene Williams, 35, steel works machinist; wife Jane, 25; son Eugene, 2; and sister-in-law Roberta Morse, 15.

Eugene Williams registered for the World War I draft in Indianapolis in 1918. Per his registration card, he was born 9 May 1874; lived at 805 West Pratt; was a fireman for C. & A. Potts & Company; and his nearest relative was Janie Williams.

In the 1920 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 805 West Pratt, Eugene Williams, 46, steel works machinist; wife Jane, 36; and children Eugene, 11, Don C., 4, and Harlan, 6 months.

In the 1930 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 918 Fayette Street, owned and valued at $4000, foundry laborer Eugene H. Williams, 53; wife Jane, 46; and sons Eugene Jr., 20, Don C., 14, and Harland D., 10.

In the 1940 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 918 Fayette Street, steel plant fireman Eugene Williams, 56; wife Jane, 54; and son Harlan, 20.

Eugene Williams registered for the World War II draft in Indianapolis in 1942. Per his registration card, he was born 9 May 1878 in Wilson County, N.C.; lived at 918 Fayette Street, Indianapolis; his contact was Jannie Williams; and he worked for Heteren & Burner & Co., Indianapolis.

Eugene Williams died 9 August 1959 in Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 May 1876 in Wilson, North Carolina, to Moses Williams and Mary [last name unknown]; lived at 918 Fayette Street; was retired from Hetherington Steel Structure; and was married to Jane Williams.

The obituary of Mary Thorpe of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Indianapolis News, 6 November 1956.

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Mary L. Sims married Henry Thorpe on 4 October 1893 in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Journal, 5 October 1893.

In the 1900 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: day laborer Henry Thorpe, 33; wife Mary, 30; and children Eugene, 6, Nellie, 4, and Henry Jr., 1; all born in North Carolina.

In the 1910 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 2601 Baltimore Avenue, street laborer Henry Thorpe, 43; wife Mary, 40; children Eugene, 16, Nellie, 14, Henry, 10, Elvia, 8, and Robert, 6; and niece Blanch Sims, 15. All the children were described as Indiana-born.

John Henry Thorpe died 6 June 1912 at 2557 Caroline, Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 6 June 1871 in Indiana to Robert Thorpe and Francis Bunn of North Carolina; was a laborer; and was married to Mary L. Thorpe. [In fact, he was born in Nash County, N.C., and migrated with his family to Putnam County, Indiana, before 1880, and then to Indianapolis.]

John Henry Thorpe died 17 January 1927 at City Hospital, Indianapolis. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 August 1898 in Indianapolis to John Henry Thorpe and Mary Sims, both of North Carolina and worked as a laborer.

In the 1930 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 2557 Caroline, owned and valued at $1800, widow Mary L. Thorpe, 70; son Eugene, 46, private chauffeur; daughter-in-law Anna, 45; and granddaughter Alma L., 13.

In the 1940 census of Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana: at 2557 Caroline, widow Mary L. Thorpe, 60; son Eugene, 36; daughter-in-law Anna, 34; and granddaughter Alma L., 3.

Mary Thorpe died 4 November 1945 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her death certificate, as digitized, is largely illegible.

The obituary of Louis Barnes.

Wilson Daily Times, 17 September 1935.

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In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Gray Farmer, 64; wife Barnie, 52; and children Lewis, 27, Nancy, 17, Caroline, 14, Gray, 13, and Spicey, 11.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Louis Barnes, 50; wife Jane, 40; and children Maggie, 17, Lucy, 16, Reese, 15, Oscar, 13, Hattie, 12, Grey, 10, Jimmy, 6, Wiley, 4, Henry, 3, Navis, 1, Charity, 7, and Mary Jane, 1 month.

In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Lewis Barnes, 57; wife Jane, 48; and children Lucy, 26, Hattie, 21, Gray, 20, Chairity, 18, James L., 16, Henry, 14, Navis, 13, Mary Jane, 11, Joe, 9, Needham, 7, and David, 2.

In the 1920 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Lewis Barnes, 70; wife Jane, 58; children Maggie Bullock 35, widow, Lucy, 25, Lossie, 18, G. Mary, 17, Joseph, 16, Needham, 15, and David, 13; and grandchildren Charity, 5, and Oscar Bullock, 3.

Jane Barnes died 28 March 1924 in Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 65 years old; was married to Lewis Barnes; and was born in Johnston County, N.C., to Charity Cruddup.

In the 1930 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: widower Lewis Barnes, 73; children Charity, 27, Needam, 25, and David, 23; grandchildren Roscoe Barnes, 15, and Hannah Bullock, 17; and boarder William Richardson, 25.

Louis Barnes died 16 September 1935 in Gardners township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 82 years old; was born to Grey Barnes and Bannie Barnes; and was a widower and a farmer. Lucile Batts was informant.

The obituary of Millie Sutton. (Who was not named Sutton.)

Wilson Daily Times, 20 October 1936.

The deaths of African Americans in early 20th century Wilson generally did not merit mention in the newspaper unless their lives could be framed in terms of their personal service to white people. This obituary could serve as a template in this regard.

It surely was not the Millie Smith Sutton who murdered her brother O.L.W. Smith‘s wife Lucy in 1891. I can find no death certificate for a Millie Sutton in Wilson or surrounding counties in 1936. However, Millie Bryant died 17 October 1936. Per her death certificate, she was 70 years old; was born in Goldsboro, N.C., to unknown parents; lived at 608 East Green Street. Celia A. Norwood, 205 Pender Street, was informant. Was Millie Bryant, in fact, “this good woman”?

Per the 1900 census of Wilson, she was. Millie Bryant is listed as the live-in cook for widower John Selby and family. 

From 1900 federal census, Wilson, Wilson County.

Ten weeks before she died, Millie Bryant made out her last will and testament, leaving all her property to her niece Celia Norwood.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

The obituary of Frances Woodard Barnes.

Wilson Daily Times, 2 June 1938.

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: carpenter Morrison Woodard, 47, wife Martha, 32, and children Nancy, 18, Arche, 17, Cherry, 15, Rosa, 13, Frances, 8, Jane, 7, John, 4, Martha, 1, and Mary, 2 months.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township (south of the Plank Road), Wilson County: farmer Morrison Woodard, 56, wife Martha, 45, and children Frances, 17, Jane, 15, John, 13, Martha, 11, Fena, 8, and Maggie, 3.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Short W. Barnes, 38; wife Frances, 40; daughters Armena, 13, and Maggie, 6; and cousin Ella, 19.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: carpenter Short Barnes, 50; wife Francis, 50; daughter Maggie, 16; and Mark Ellis, 25.

In 1917, Clarence Allen Crawford registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 23 September 1891 in Durham, North Carolina; resided at 617 East Green Street; worked in brick laying for Wilkins Brothers; and supported a wife and child.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 617 Green, carpenter Short W. Barnes, 60; wife Francis, 62; son-in-law Clarence A. Crawford, 28, brickmason; daughter Maggie L., 26; and grandchildren Verest A., 2, and Clarence A., Jr., 9 months. Barnes owned his house free of mortgage.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: carpenter Short W. Barnes, 70, wife Francis, 71, daughter Maggie Crawford, 36, son-in-law Clarance Crawford, 39, and their children Verda, 13, Clarance, 10, and Annie, 8. The house was valued at $6000.

Frances Barnes died 30 May 1938 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 78 years old; was born in Wilson County, N.C., to Morrison Woodard and Martha Thorn; was married to Short W. Barnes; and lived at 616 East Green Street. Maggie Crawford was informant.

The obituary of Clarissy Taylor.

Wilson Daily Times, 18 September 1922.

Zion’s Landmark was P.D. Gold’s semi-monthly newsletter chronicling Primitive Baptist sermons, testimonials, letters, obituaries, and other announcements, primarily in eastern North Carolina. It’s difficult to speculate why Clarissa Taylor might have wanted a copy in her casket. 

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Peter Taylor, 32; wife Classey, 37; and children Harriet, 8, Haywood, 10, William, 5, and Susan, 8 months.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm worker Peter Taylor, 32; wife Clarcey, 36; children Harriet, 17, William, 15, Susan, 10, Henry, 8, Moretta, 6, Charlie, 2; and granddaughter Clarcey, 7 months. 

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widow Classey Taylor, 68; boarders Frank Bynum, 30, odd jobs laborer, and Sarah Mercer, 40, private cook; and nephew Earle Lane, 9.

In the 1912, 1916, and 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directories, Clarissa Taylor is listed at 531 Church Street.

Clarissy Taylor of 522 Church Street, Wilson, died 16 September 1922. Her death certificate reports that she was 85 years old, that she had been born in Wilson County, and that her father had been Dempsey Cotton. Mark Cotton was informant.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.