Odd Fellows cemetery

Historic cemetery registration.

Last week, I registered Rountree, Odd Fellows, Vick, and Oakdale Cemeteries as historic cemeteries with North Carolina’s Office of State Archaeology, Division of Archives and History. Registration does not offer protection per se, but does guarantee their placement on state maps of sites of archaeological interest.

As an example, the form for Vick Cemetery:

The map showing state archaelogical sites is not yet available on-line. 

Lane Street Project: 10 September 2020.

10 September 2020, Wilson, North Carolina. Here lie the graves of thousands of African-American dead.

Odd Fellows Cemetery, sprayed with herbicide.

A garbage bag dumped inside the treeline at Odd Fellows.

Trash strewn at Vick Cemetery.

Rountree Cemetery fully festooned in late-summer foliage.

Again, Rountree Cemetery.

Odd Fellows. Samuel H. Vick, who died in 1948, is buried in that jungle.

Lane Street Project: Willie Gay’s headstone found in Odd Fellows cemetery.

Jeff Barefoot had read my blog and was passing through Wilson. Curious about Rountree, Odd Fellows and Vick cemeteries, he stopped by, poked around in the woods a bit, and hit the jackpot — the headstone of Willie Gay! Not only had I missed Gay’s marker on my forays into Odd Fellows, his is the only one I’ve seen for a Spanish-American War veteran in these cemeteries.

Screen Shot 2020-04-28 at 8.00.58 PM.png

WILLIE GAY  CORP.  3 N.C. INF.  SP.AM.WAR

——

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Emma Gay, 35; children Charlie, 15, a steam-mill worker, Mary, 11, Etheldred, 8, and Willie, 6; plus a boarder Fannie Thompson, 19, cook.

On 8 January 1894, Willie Gay, 18, and Mary Bunn, 21, were married at the groom’s house in Wilson. Presbyterian minister L.J. Melton performed the ceremony in the presence of W.T. Phillips, L.A. Moore, and C.C. Williams.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: day laborer William Gay, 26, widower, living alone.

On 29 October 1902, Willie Gay, 27, son of Charles Gay and Emma Rountree, married Mary Johnson, 22, daughter of Edmund Johnson and Bertha Johnson, at Henry Johnson‘s. H.S. Phillips applied for the license, and Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Cain Artis, Charles S. Thomas, and Robert E. Artis.

On 23 March 1906, William Gay, 33, son of Charles and Emma Gay, married Augustus McNeil, 30, daughter of Peter and Emily Patterson, in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of J.E. Farmer, Robert Strickland, and Charlie Farmer.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: railroad laborer Will Gay, 34; wife Susia, 34, cook; children Paul, 17, railroad laborer, Charlie, 10, Emma, 4, and Georgia, 2; brother-in-law Peter Johnson, 20, hotel waiter; nephew Jessie Lewis, 22, boarding house proprietor; and lodger Nathan Jenkins, 30, oil mill laborer.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 717 Stantonsburg Street, railroad brakeman William Gay, 48; wife Gertrude, 43; and roomer Oscar Magotte, 26.

In the 1920 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Gay William grocer 717 Stantonsburg Rd

On 27 December 1922, William Gay, 52, son of Charlie and Emma Gay, married Gertrude Magette, 45, daughter of Jerry and Lucy Magette, in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minster A.L.E. Weeks performed the ceremony in the presence of J.A. Parker, 211 East Spruce Street; Mary L. Moore, 314 South Stantonsburg Street; and Annie E. Weeks, 500 Hadley Street.

In the 1940 census of Kecoughtan, Elizabeth City County, Virginia: at the Veterans Administration facility, Willie Gay, 66, born in North Carolina.

Willie Gay died 25 May 1940 at the Veterans Administration hospital in Kecoughtan, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born 10 February 1874 in Wilson, N.C., to Charles Gay and Emma Byrum, both of Greene County, N.C.; was divorced; was a veteran of the Spanish American War; was a railroad worker; and lived at 526 Smith Street, Wilson.

Screen Shot 2020-04-28 at 8.43.38 PM.png

On 13 June 1940, Howard M. Fitts applied for a military headstone for Willie Gay. The application for an upright marker noted that Gay had served from 23 June 1898 to 8 February 1899 in Company I, 3rd N.C. Infantry; and achieved the rank of corporal. Gay was to be buried in Rountree (actually, Odd Fellows) Cemetery in Wilson.

Screen Shot 2020-04-28 at 8.37.54 PM.png

Photo of Gay’s marker courtesy of Jeff Barefoot and published at Findagrave.com. Thank you!

Lane Street Project: the continued search for gravestones in Rountree and Odd Fellows cemeteries.

It was chilly Saturday morning, too, but not as bitingly cold as at my last visit. This time, I focused on the end of Odd Fellows cemetery closest to its boundary with Vick.

First depressing thing I notice — some jackass has been spinning donuts in Vick cemetery.

Once I clawed my way into Odd Fellows, though I was achingly aware that the depressions I was stumbling in were collapsed gravesites, I didn’t see much beyond broken stones scattered here and there across the forest floor.

Have I mentioned the vines? The vines are insane.

The low-lying back of the property, which has standing water, probably year-round.

After poking around in piles of broken bottles and rusted-out enamelware, I finally spotted a cluster of grave markers about thirty feet distant.

This is the only military headstone I’ve seen in Rountree or Odd Fellows, and may be the only military marker I’ve seen anywhere with “after-market” enhancement.

James F. Scott North Carolina PVT 365 INF 92 DIV March 28, 1939 Born March 6, 1887 Who is now with the Lord

In the 1910 census of Weldon township, Halifax County, North Carolina: farmer John Scott, 53; wife Mary J., 46; and children James F., 22, Annie B., 16, Salomie A., 15, John A., 13, Sylvester, 11, Eliga, 9, Mary E., 7, David, 5, Sarah J., 3, and Inthe, 1.

James Franklin Scott registered for the World War I draft in 1917. Per his registration card, he was born 6 March 1887 in Wayne County, N.C.; lived on “Robinson” Street, Wilson; worked as a porter for Carroll Grocery Company; and was single.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Wainwright Street, farm operator John Scott, 60; wife Mary, 51; and children James, 30, wholesale company helper; Elijah, 19, David, 14, Sarah, 11, and Ianthe, 13.

Bessie Wife of John McGowan Born 1888 Jan. 7 1925 Gone But Not Forgotten

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: John McGowan, 40, brickmason; wife Bessie, 35; and Beatriss, 13.

Jesse Parker Dec. 1, 1890 Apr. 12, 1937 light from our household is gone

And then there was this stack, roped with vines:

The broken granite marker supports two intact concrete headstones, two marble footstones, and a few other chunks of rock.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Edd Hunter, 27, odd jobs laborer.

Ed Hunter, 27, married Minnie Woodard, 23, daughter of Ruffin and Lucy Woodard, on 28 December 1910 at Lucy Woodard’s in Wilson. Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of James H. Knight, J.L.Barnes Jr., and Joe Baker.

Ed Hunter, 30, married Lossie Ruffin, 27, on 18 March 1914. Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony at William Coppedge’s in Wilson in the presence of William Coppedge, Timcy Jones, and Bessie McGowan.

In 1918, Ed Hunter registered for the World War I draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 30 August 1883; lived on Carroll Street, Wilson; worked at Barnes-Harrell bottling plant; and his nearest relative was Lossie Hunter.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Washington Street, laborer Edd Hunter, 37; wife Lossie, 33; children Maeoma, 3, and Eliza, 1; and step-children Inise, 13, and Addie L. Ruffin, 11.

Rufus Son of James & Amelia Artis Born July 16, 1900 Died Apr. 24, 1916

Blount Artis died 24 April 1916 in Boon Hill township, Johnston County. Per his death certificate, he was about 16 years old; was born in Wilson County to Jim Artis and Amelia Artis; was single; and worked as a clerk in a drugstore. Charles Gay was informant. [Though the first name is different, this appears to be the same boy as Rufus Artis.]

Tempsy Wife of Rufus Speight Died July 16, 1917 Aged 75 Yrs. Gone to a Better Home, Where Grief Cannot Come.

In the 1870 census of Upper Fishing Creek township, Edgecombe County: farm laborer Rufus Speight, 23; wife Tempsy, 25; and children Isabella, 8, Rufus, 3, and Celey, 1.

In the 1880 census of Upper Fishing Creek township, Edgecombe County: farm laborer Rufus Speight, 45; wife Tempsy, 38; and children Isabella, 19, Rufus, 12, Wesley, 8, and Celey A., 10, and Mattie, 4.

Back toward the cleared section of the cemetery near the road, two broken concrete markers lay atop the marble base of a missing monument that must have been quite large.

Only the footstone of Mark H. Cotton, engraved with the Odd Fellows’ triple links symbol, is standing.

Mark Cotton, 23, married Jane Freeman, 22, on 27 February 1878 in Wilson, Minister Joseph Green performed the ceremony in the presence of I.S. Westbrook, S.W. Westbrook, and Charles Smith.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: laborer Dempsey Parker, 60; wife Phareby, 50; and children Mark, 27, works in nursery, Sanders, 23, laborer; Mary, 22, cook; and Lemuel, 40, laborer.

Mark H. Cotton, 45, son of Dempsy and Fereby Cotton, married Mahalia Battle, 22, daughter of Turner and Effie Battle, on 26 June 1895 at the residence of Mahalia Battle in Wilson. Henry C. Rountree applied for the license, and Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Thomas J. Day and J.T. Deans of Wilson and J.T. Tomlinson of Black Creek.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: graded school janitor Mark Cotton, 45; wife Mahaley, 27; daughter Mary E., 2, and adopted daughter Rosa L., 11.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Gold Street, school janitor Mark Cotton, 52.

Mark Cotton 67, son of Dempsey and Farebee Cotton, married Minnie Brooks, 38, daughter of Tobe Farmer, on 11 December 1922 in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister B.P. Coward performed the ceremony in the presence of Edward Smith, Sallie Smith, and Rosa Arrington.

Mark Henry Cotton died 19 November 1934 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 95 years old; was born in Edgecombe County to Dempsey Cotton and Fariby Mercer; was married to Minnie Cotton; worked as a laborer; and was buried in Wilson.

Wilson Daily Times, 20 November 1934.

I stepped from the wood line into the cleared section of Odd Fellows cemetery. At its line with Rountree cemetery, remnants of a stone border nestle in moss, then the ground dips into a vine-choked ditch. Below, the city has recently clear-cut the western side of the street, a section of which was once part of Rountree cemetery. A short stretch of stone or concrete border remains.

Naturalized daffodils hint at the strip’s past as a graveyard.

This ambiguous concrete rectangle is the sole evidence I saw of a grave marker.

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2020.

 

Lane Street Project: Lane Street on a breezy winter morning.

Two minutes, 49 seconds, of Lane Street on a breezy winter morning.

Sandy Creek spilling from the culvert under Lane Street.

The road, walking southwest.

The high bank of Rountree cemetery with its crown of honeysuckle and privet and catbrier and blackberry bramble.

Across the road, the low bank marking the cemetery’s western half. Note the daffodils. Sandy Creek flows just behind the trees; the houses crouch in its flood plain.

Just past the ditch marking its boundary, the gravestones of Odd Fellows Cemetery hove into view.

Between the Dawson and Tate family plots, Irma Vick‘s leaning concrete marker is visible at the edge of the woods. Hers is the outlier of the Vick family plot, which is otherwise overgrown.

A remnant of the cemetery’s wall; I enter the old gateway.

The cemetery looks empty. It is not.

The two tall marble markers are Dave and Della Hines Barnes, from the back. Presumably, other members of the Barnes and Hines family lie in their marked plot, but no stones are visible.

The city erected the two pillars at the entrance to the parking lot. They are, inaccurately, engraved “Rountree/Vick.” The parking lot bears the scorch marks of a torched vehicle. It is rarely visited by anyone with good intention.

Vick cemetery as playground.

The monument and its towering shrubs.

Video shot by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2020.

Lane Street Project: cemeteries in the flood plain.

From the website of the Wilson County GIS/Mapping Office, a map showing the flood plain of Sandy Creek. As is obvious from the drifts of trash littering the low-lying rear of Rountree cemetery, much of this graveyard is regularly underwater. The same holds for the southeast quadrant of Odd Fellows cemetery and nearly all of the section of Rountree across Lane Street.

Screen Shot 2020-02-16 at 8.32.14 PM.png

Lane Street Project: another search for gravestones in Rountree and Odd Fellows cemeteries.

First: my request for the Vick cemetery survey and documentation re the decision to destroy its headstones? As yet unfilled, though the city attorney assures me it’s coming soon.

With boots and gloves and a hand pruner, I returned to Rountree/Odd Fellows/Vick cemeteries on a frosty Saturday morning to see what else there is to see.  Walking through the clear strip of Odd Fellows, I noticed immediately that someone had neatened up the stones that are usually lying higgledy-piggledy on the ground. Here, Clarence L. Carter and his daughter Omega Carter Spicer.

Picking my way toward the back edge of the cleared section, it dawned on me that this was once the main entrance to Odd Fellows. The hinges on the post to the right were the give-away. And the traces of asphalt driveway.

Standing near Irma Vick‘s headstone and looking in, I spotted this, plain as day. It’s hard to imagine how I missed it in December.

It’s the double headstone of Daniel and Fannie Blount Vick, Samuel H. Vick‘s father and mother. Daniel Vick died in 1908 (112 years to the day before my “discovery” of his grave) and Fannie Vick sometime in the late 1800s. (Is that a bullet pockmark?)

A few feet away, the headstone of Viola Leroy Vick, daughter of Samuel and Annie Washington Vick. She died as a toddler in 1897, and East Wilson’s Viola Street was named in her honor.

And then, perhaps 25 feet away, cocooned in honeysuckle and evil smilax, this monument loomed. Was it Sam Vick’s?

To my astonishment — no. The honeysuckle pulled off like a cape (after I wasted time hacking at the briars on the other side) to reveal that this remarkable marble headstone, which tops six feet, marks the grave of Wiley Oates. (More about him later.) Samuel and Annie Vick’s gravestones remain elusive.

I’d bought the cheapest hand pruners I could find, and they performed cheaply, but I got through to this gravestone and its companion, which appear to lie across the property line in Rountree cemetery.

The gravestone for Amos Batts’ wife, Jennie Batts, who died in 1945. Behind it in the left corner of the frame you can see the base of a pine whose diameter is at least two feet, which gives a measure of how long this cemetery has been neglected.

Here is the “canal” described in the Rountree cemetery deed. It’s a channeled section of Sandy Creek, and I imagine Rountree Missionary Baptist Church once performed baptisms here. I spent idyllic childhood afternoons exploring along the banks of this waterway perhaps a quarter-mile downstream. Sandy Creek is a tributary of Hominy Swamp, which flows into Contentnea Creek, which empties into the Neuse River at Grifton, North Carolina.

Here, I’m standing on the south bank of Sandy Creek looking down into the bowl that was once Rountree cemetery. I have not found any markers in this low-lying section, though there appear to be collapsed graves. Repeated flooding was one of the factors that led to the abandonment of cemetery. The undergrowth is starting to green up and, as the weather warms, soon these graveyards will be nearly impenetrable without sharper, heavier tools.

Daffodils are not native to eastern North Carolina and would not ordinarily be found blooming in the middle of the woods. This thick drift has naturalized from bulbs perhaps more than one hundred years old. Daffodils were commonly planted in cemeteries to symbolize the death of youth or mortality.

My exit strategy failed at the edge of barricade of wild blackberry twenty-five feet deep between me and Lane Street. I had to scramble back through the woods to gain egress at the ditch dividing Rountree from Odd Fellows. All this battling ate up my time, and I wasn’t able to explore the far end of Odd Fellows, next to Vick. Peering through the fence, though, I did see this marker for Lizzie May Barnes, daughter of H. and L. Barnes, who died in 1919.

——

  • Amos Batts died 24 March 1937 in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 61 years old; was born in Wilson County to Thomas and Mariah Batts; was married to Jennie Batts; worked as a common laborer; and lived at 1202 East Nash Street. Informant was Jennie Batts.
  • Jennie Batts died 25 December 1945 at her home at 1202 East Nash Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was the widow of Amos Batts; was 58 years old; was born in Wilson County to unknown parents; and was buried in Rountree cemetery. Eddie Batts was informant.
  • Lizzie Barnes died 3 April 1919 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 11 August 1918 in Wilson County to Henry Barnes and Lena Woodard.

Lane Street Project: a list of likely burials in Rountree, Vick, or Odd Fellows cemeteries.

This is a running annotated list of people who are believed, on the basis of family information, death certificates, obituaries or other sources, including my strong hunch, to be buried in Rountree, Vick or Odd Fellows cemeteries.

These contiguous cemeteries were known commonly and collectively as “Rountree cemetery” making it difficult to determine the exact location of each burial.  Though county residents were more likely to be buried in church or family cemeteries, nearly every African-American city resident who died between about 1910 and 1940 was buried in Rountree, Vick or Odd Fellows. (Those who weren’t were laid to rest in the “old” Colored Cemetery, also known as Oaklawn or Oakdale, or the Masonic cemetery, around the bend of Lane Street.) C.H. Darden & Sons (CHD) conducted most of the burials in these cemeteries and, until the 1940s, often referred to their location on death certificates only as “Wilson, N.C.” (Thankfully, the various undertaking businesses run by Columbus E. Artis specified Rountree cemetery (even if Vick or Odd Fellows was the actual burial ground.)

This list does not include burials listed in Joan Howell’s cemetery book or individuals for whom gravestones are intact. All death certificates noted were issued in Wilson County unless otherwise noted.

  • Artis, Fabie — Died 1930. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertaker C.E. Artis.
  • Barnes, Infant — Stillborn 1925 to Lewis Barnes and Annie Taylor, a “5th month fetus.” Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Barnes, Infant — Stillborn 7 January 1926 in Wilson to George Barnes and Pattie Hill. Death certificate: Rountree’s cemetery, undertakers Artis & Freeman.
  • Battle, Paul — Died 1927. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Batts, John — Died 1927, age 60. Death certificate: Rountree’s cemetery, undertaker Artis & Freeman.
  • Boykin, Nancy Staton — Died 1946, age 88. Death certificate: Roundtree cemetery, undertaker C.H. Darden & Sons.
  • Bowen, Infant — Stillborn 30 January 1926 in Wilson to Jack Bowen and Flossie Cobb. Death certificate: Rountree’s cemetery, undertakers Artis & Freeman.
  • Bridgers, Infant Child — Died 1940, age 1 day. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, C.E. Artis.
  • Brooks, Unnamed — Stillborn 1927 to Setha Brooks and Frodia Williams. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, Artis & Flanagan.
  • Bryant, Infant — Stillborn 3 February 1926 in Wilson to Norwood Bryant and Laura Dodson. Death certificate: Rountree’s cemetery, undertakers Artis & Freeman.
  • Cannon, Infant — Stillborn 11 February 1926 in Wilson to Willie Cannon and Helen Harris. Death certificate: Rountree’s cemetery, undertakers Artis & Freeman.
  • Clark, Sarah Hill — Died 1927, age 64. Death certificate: Rountree’s cemetery, undertaker Artis & Freeman.
  • Coley, Infant — Stillborn 1927 to John Coley and Rosetta Harriss. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, Artis & Flanagan.
  • Dale, Joe — Died 1925, age 62. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Daniel, Boisie — Died 1927, age 1. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, Artis & Flanagan.
  • Davis, Infant — Stillborn 1927 to John Davis and Lula Jernigan. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Davis, Laura — Died 1925. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Dew, Alfred — Died 1925. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Edmundson, Infant — Died 1927. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, buried by family.
  • Edwards, Charlie — Died 1940. Death certificate: Rountree cemetery, undertaker I.W. Lee, Fremont, N.C.
  • Edwards, Isiah — Died 1927, infant. Death certificate: Rountree’s cemetery, undertaker Artis & Freeman.
  • Ethridge, Wiley — Died 1932, born in 1876. Death certificate: Roundtree, Darden.
  • Foster, William Calvin — Died 1929, age 1. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, C.E. Artis.
  • Gay, Albert S., Sr. — Died 1932. Probably Rountree (family info). Death certificate: Wilson, N.C., CHD.
  • Gill, Daniel — Died 1918, age 100. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C., CHD.
  • Guest, Infant — Died 1918. Death certificate: Rountrees Church.
  • Haggans, George — Died 1918. Death certificate: Rountree cemetery, CHD.
  • Hawkins, Dorothy Lee — Died 1927, age 6. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, Artis & Flanagan.
  • Henderson, Archie — Died 1930, age 4. Death certificate: Wilson Co., N.C., C.E. Artis. Family info.
  • Henderson, Jesse Jr. — Died 1929, age 5 months. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, Wilson, N.C., C.E. Artis.
  • Hines, Perry — Died 1927, age 25. Death certificate: Rountree cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Hinnant, Hercules H. — Died 1934, age 23. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C., CHD. Per his obituary, buried in Rountree cemetery.
  • Hobbs, George — Died 1927, age 59. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, Artis & Flanagan.
  • Howell, William J. — Died 1939, age 67. Death certificate: Roundtree Cemetery, Hamilton Funeral Home. Per his obituary, buried in Rountree cemetery. (Howell was a member of Red Hot Hose Company, and may actually have been buried in Odd Fellows with Benjamin Mincey and other firemen.)
  • Jackson, Florence — Died 1925, age 7 months. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Jacobs, Infant — Stillborn 1928 to Roderick Taylor and Hattie Mae Jacobs. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, Wilson, N.C., C.E. Artis.
  • Johnson, Infant — Stillborn 17 January 1926 in Wilson to William Johnson and Lula Willis. Death certificate: Rountree’s cemetery, undertakers Artis & Freeman.
  • Jones, Edward — Died 1940. Death certificate: Rountree, CHD.
  • Jones, Infant — Stillborn 27 January 1926 in Wilson to Luther Jones and Lula Herring. Death certificate: Rountree’s cemetery, undertakers Artis & Freeman.
  • Jones, Infant — Stillborn 1927 to Samuel Jones and Everline Harrell. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Jones, Sam, Sr. — Stillborn 1 February 1926 in Wilson. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Freeman.
  • Lassiter, Dempsey — Died 1946. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C., CHD.
  • Lassiter, Doris — Died 1943, age 5 months. Death certificate: Rountree’s, Hamilton Funeral Home.
  • Lucas, Infant. — Died 25 January 1940, premature. Death certificate: Rountrees, undertaker: family.
  • McCall, Willie Mae — Died 1927, age 11 months. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • McEachin, Margarette — Died 1927, age 6 months. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, Artis & Flanagan.
  • McNeill, Susie — Died 1927, age 28. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Melvin, John — Died 1939. Buried in Rountree cemetery, per obituary.
  • Moore, Ellias — Died 1918, age 40. Death certificate: Roundtree cemetery.
  • Moore, James Henry — Died 1927, age 32. Death certificate: Rountree cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Morgan, Sarah — Died 1927, age 16. Death certificate: Rountree cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Murray, Emma — Died 1927, age 41. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, Artis & Flanagan.
  • Perry, Lena — Died 1927, age 44. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, Artis & Flanagan.
  • Pitt, John Henry — Died 1927, age 3 months. Death certificate: Rountree cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Plummer, William Henry — Died 1925, age 70. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Pope, Mary Ella — Died 1932, age 24 days. Death certificate: “Roundtree (Wilson),” Amerson-Boswell Company.
  • Richardson, Infant — Stillborn 30 January 1926 in Wilson to Lizzie A. Richardson. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Freeman.
  • Rountree, Jack — Likely, Odd Fellows. Daughter Delzela Rountree is buried in Odd Fellows.
  • Rountree, Lucile — Died 1930. Likely, Odd Fellows. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C., CHD. Daughter Delzela is buried in Odd Fellows.
  • Simmons, Robert James — Died 1927. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Simms, Silva — Died 1927. Death certificate: Rountree cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Smith, Baby. Died 1940, aged 1 month. Death certificate: Rountrees, C.E. Artis.
  • Tate, Noah J. — Died 1926. Death certificate: Rountree cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Taylor, Eliza — Died 1934, age 47. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C., C.E. Artis. Probably Rountree or Vick, family info.
  • Taylor, Greeman — Died 1922, age 23. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C., CHD. Probably Rountree or Vick, family info.
  • Taylor, Hennie L. — Aged 1917, age 1. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C., undertaker A.D. McGowan. Probably Rountree or Vick, family info.
  • Taylor, Henrietta G. — Died 1916, age 19. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C., A.D. McGowan, undertaker. Probably Rountree or Vick, family info.
  • Taylor, Mike — Died 1927, age 68. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C., CHD. Probably Rountree or Vick, family info.
  • Taylor, Rachel — Died 1925, age 54. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C., CHD. Probably Rountree or Vick, family info.
  • Utley, Turner H. — Died 1928, age 52. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, C.E. Artis.
  • Vick, Annie M. Washington — Died 1952, age 81. Death certificate: Rountree cemetery, Edwards Funeral Home. However, the Vick family plot was in Odd Fellows cemetery.
  • Vick, Samuel H. — Died 1946. Death certificate: Rountree cemetery, Edwards Funeral Home. However, the Vick family plot was in Odd Fellows cemetery.
  • Vick, Viola — The Vick family plot was in Odd Fellows cemetery.
  • Ward, Helen — died 9 February 1926 in Wilson. Death certificate: Rountree’s cemetery, undertakers Artis & Freeman.
  • Weathers, Cleola — Died 1927, age 22. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • White, Clara — Died 1927, age 25. Death certificate: Rountree cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • White, Cora L. — Died 1927, age 1. Death certificate: Rountree cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.
  • Williams, Edgar — Died 1949, age 54. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, C.E. Artis.
  • Wilson, Fred — Died 1927, age 21. Death certificate: Rountree’s cemetery, undertaker Artis & Freeman.
  • Woodard, Lucy Simms — Died 1929, age about 48. Death certificate: Rountree Church Cemetery; Black Creek Undertaking Company. [Thank you, John Stembridge.]
  • Woods, Minnie A. — Died 1927. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, undertakers Artis & Flanagan.

Lane Street Project: a list of surviving headstones in Rountree and Odd Fellows cemeteries.

This is a running annotated list of people whose headstones still stand in Rountree and Odd Fellows cemeteries.

  • Barnes, Dave — Died 1913, age 52. Odd Fellows. Death certificate lists burial site as Wilson, N.C. (Undertakers C.H. Darden and Sons handled most of the Odd Fellows burials on this list, and their practice was to refer to the cemetery by this broad location name. Darden and Sons’ burials are marked CHD below.)
  • Barnes, Della — Born 1858, died 1935. Odd Fellows. Death certificate lists burial site as Wilson, N.C.; CHD.
  • Barnes, Lizzie May — Born 1918, died 1919. Daughter of H[enry]. and L[ena]. Barnes. Death certificate: Wilson County, CHD.
  • Barnes, Nunnie — Born 1885, died 1921. Odd Fellows. Death certificate: Wilson County; CHD.
  • Barnes, Rosa (wife of Matthew Barnes) — Odd Fellows. Broken stone.
  • Batts, Amos — Died 1937. Rountree. Husband of Jennie Batts.
  • Batts, Jennie — Died 1945. Rountree. Wife of Amos Batts. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery; C.E. Artis.
  • Best family — Odd Fellows. Large flat family marker.
  • Carter, C.L.Clarence L. Carter. Odd Fellows. Foot marker only, engraved with Odd Fellows triple link and Masonic square and compass. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.; CHD.
  • Dawson family — Odd Fellows. Large upright family marker.
  • Dawson, L. — Lucy Hill Dawson. Odd Fellows. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.; CHD.
  • Dawson, Virginia S. — Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.; CHD.
  • Ellis, Buster — Born 1914, died 1924. Rountree. Located in a cluster of broken stones, including grandmother Clarkie Ellis. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.; CHD.
  • Ellis, Clarkie — Born 1853; died illegible. Rountree. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.; CHD.
  • Farrior, Henry W., Rev. — Born 1859; died 1937. Odd Fellows. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.; CHD.
  • Gay, Willie
  • Hilliard, Gus — Odd Fellows.
  • Hines, Walter S. — Odd Fellows. Foot marker only. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.; CHD.
  • Holloway, Louis — Odd Fellows. Foot marker only, engraved with Odd Fellows triple links.
  • Jackson, J.S. — Joseph S. Jackson. Born 1870, died 1942. Odd Fellows. Foot marker only, engraved with Odd Fellows triple links. Death certificate: Rountree cemetery, CHD.
  • Marlow, Daniel — Born 1870, died 1918. Rountree.
  • McCullins, Fannie (wife of Andrew McCullins) — Odd Fellows. Broken stone.
  • Mincy, Oscar — Odd Fellows.
  • Mincy, Prince — Died 1902, age 61. Odd Fellows.
  • Oates, Ella (dau. of Charles Oates) — Born 1896, died 1913. Odd Fellows. Broken stone. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C., CHD.
  • Oates, Wiley — Born 1877, died 1913. Odd Fellows.
  • Oats, Charles — Odd Fellows. Foot marker only. Death certificate: Roundtree cemetery; CHD.
  • Oats, Emma — Died 1908, age 40. Odd Fellows.
  • Pitt, Washington — Died 1917, age 38. Odd Fellows. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.; CHD.
  • Roberson, William — Odd Fellows. Foot marker only, engraved with Odd Fellows triple links.
  • Robins, Daisy — Died 1914, age 38. Odd Fellows. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.; CHD.
  • Rountree, Delzela (dau. of Jack and Lucile Rountree)– Born 1897, died 1914. Odd Fellows. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.
  • Spicer, Omega C. — Died 1945. Odd Fellows. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.; Hamilton Funeral Home. [Listed in Howell volume.]
  • Tart, Henry — Born 1886, died 1919. Odd Fellows.
  • Tate family — Odd Fellows. Large upright family marker.
  • Tate, Daisy (dau. of Hardy Tate) — Born 1914, died 1936. Odd Fellows.
  • Tate, Hardy — Odd Fellows. Foot marker only, engraved with Odd Fellows triple links.
  • Tate, John P. — Born 1905, died 1907. Odd Fellows.
  • Tate, Noah J. — Born 1875, died 1926. Odd Fellows. Foot marker only. Death certificate: Rountrees cemetery, Artis & Flanagan.
  • Taylor, H.B. — Odd Fellows. Foot marker only, engraved with triple links and square and compass.
  • Thomas, Charles S. — Died 1937. Odd Fellows. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.
  • Thomas, Sarah (wife of Charlie Thomas) — Odd Fellows.
  • Unknown — Died 1921, age 51. Odd Fellows.
  • Uzzell, Millie — Born 1872, died 1928. Rountree. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.; CHD.
  • Vick, Daniel — Died 1908. Odd Fellows.
  • Vick, Fannie Blount — Odd Fellows cemetery.
  • Vick, Irma (dau. of S.H. and A.M. Vick) — Born 1905, died 1921. Odd Fellows. Death certificate: Wilson, N.C.
  • Vick, Viola Leroy — Born 1894, died 1897. Daughter of S.H. and Annie Vick. Odd Fellows.
  • White, Lucinda (wife of Geo. W. White) — Odd Fellows.
  • Williams, Louis — Odd Fellows.

Lane Street Project: a volume compiling burials in Rountree and Vick (and Rest Haven) cemeteries.

In 2015, culminating a years-long project headed by Joan L. Howell, the Wilson County Genealogical Society published Wilson County Cemeteries, Vol. V: The Two City-Owned African-American Cemeteries, containing alphabetical listings of 11,472 burials in Rest Haven cemetery and 650 burials in Rountree-Vick cemetery.

Howell’s book is an invaluable resource for Wilson County researchers and — as far as we know — the sole list of burials in Rountree-Vick. Nonetheless, it’s worthwhile to assess this compilation in the light of recent discoveries concerning these cemeteries.

Confronted with the empty expanse of the Rountree-Vick memorial ground, Howell undertook an exhaustive search of death certificates filed in the Wilson County registrar’s office, abstracting all that gave “Rountree cemetery,” “Vick cemetery,” or “paupers cemetery” as the place of burial. An examination of the resulting list makes clear that these burials were in Rountree, Vick and Odd Fellows cemeteries, which are contiguous, but separately owned, graveyards. And the list is incomplete.

Vick and Odd Fellows cemeteries were in use by the late 1800s, and Rountree by 1900. However, the overwhelming majority of burials listed in this volume date from the 1940s. (Rest Haven was the city’s primary black cemetery thereafter.) There are a smattering of burials from the late 1930s, the 1950s and even the 1960s. Because North Carolina did not require death certificates until 1914, and death certificates did not list burial locations with specificity until around World War II, the first forty or so years of burials in these cemeteries are difficult to chronicle.

So, how many people are buried in Vick, Rountree and Odd Fellows? A 1995 Wilson Daily Times article estimated 1300.  However, as at least 600 were laid to rest here in the 1940s alone, this is surely a vast understatement. We may never arrive at a definitive number, but we can augment Howell’s list. I will start with a list of people whose burial in Rountree, Vick or Odd Fellows is memorialized by an existing headstone and continue with a list of people whose burial place is noted in a published obituary. Do you know of a family member buried in one these cemeteries? If so, please let me know. If I find that they are not listed in Howell’s book, they will be added to a third list. Thanks for your help.

Interested in purchasing a copy of Howell’s volume?  You can order one at http://www.wcgs.org.