obituary

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.

The obituary of Calvin Blount.

CALVIN BLOUNT.

Calvin Blount, one of Wilson’s oldest colored people, died this afternoon at 3 o’clock, after being ill several days with pneumonia.

“Uncle” Calvin was 88 years old and had a large circle of friends, both white and colored, in Wilson, where he has spent the greatest part of his life.

Wilson Daily Times, 27 April 1916.

The obituary of Eliza Ellis Best.

Wilson Daily Times, 6 September 1929.

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In the 1870 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farm laborer James Ellis, 48; wife Zana, 38; and children (grandchildren?) Eliza, 14, James, 5 months, Cora, 13, Macord, 10, Oscar, 6, and Anna, 1.

Benjamin Best, 22, married Liza Ellis, 18, on 22 October 1874 at the residence of James Ellis in Wilson County. James Ellis, Gilford Ellis, and Aaron Ward were witnesses.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Pettigrew Street, farmer Benjamin Best, 26; wife Eliza, 23; and children Virginia, 4, Priscilla, 3, and Columbus, 1.

In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Benjamin Best, wife Eliza, and children Virgin N., Mildred, Junius, Sopremia, Benjamin, Corinthia, Remantha, Olian, and Clarence. Benjamin and Eliza reported having been married 25 years, and Eliza reported that 10 of the 12 children she had borne were living.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: widow Eliza Best, 53, with children Junius, 29, Rematha, 20, Allen, 18, and Clarence, 16, plus grandchildren Suprema, 5, and Martha A., 3.

On 24 January 1917, Clarence Best, 22, of Wilson township, son of Benjamin and Eliza Best, and Geneva Smith, 22, of Gardners township, daughter of Henry and Mahala Smith, were married in Gardners township by C.H. Hagans, a Primitive Baptist minister. Fred Woodard, John Barnes and Len Woodard witnessed.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Saratoga Road, marble cutter Clarence Best, 26, wife Geneva, 26, and son Clarence H., 1, plus Eliza Best, 68, Martha Ann Best, 11, and Suprema Hooks, 11. Next door, Junius Best, 38, wagon factory assembly man, wife Mary A., 27, and children Mary Olivia, 2, and Colonius, 4 months.

Eliza Best died 1 September 1929 in Wilson of “injury of rt. leg; cut her leg on a piece of tin.” She resided at 1310 East Nash Street, Wilson, and was the widow of Benjamin Best. She was about 64 years old and had been born in Wilson County to Jim Ellis and Zannie Applewhite. She was buried in Rountree cemetery; Clarence Best was informant.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.