Old Fields township

An aged negro pays her respects.


Wilson Daily Times, 23 August 1929.

I have not been able to locate Lucy Worthington in records.

Virginia “Jennie” Wise Boykin’s husband William Monroe Boykin was the son of Hilliard and Willie Flowers Boykin. In the 1850 census of Nash County, Hilliard Boykin reported $200 worth of real estate and, in the slave schedule, ownership of three enslaved people — a 35 year-old mulatto man, a 21 year-old mulatto man, and an 11 year-old black girl. With the creation of Wilson County in 1855, the 1860 census found Hilliard Boykin in Old Fields district of Wilson County (with son Monro, 15, in his household), claiming $3000 in real property and $7655 in personal property, which included women aged 33 and 22; girls aged 3, 2, and one month; and boys aged 7, 5 and 4. Presumably, Lucy Worthington was one of this group of enslaved people.

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.]

W. Alfred Boykin house.

Per Kate Ohno, Wilson County’s Architectural Heritage (1981):

“This fine early nineteenth-century house [near Sims] was probably built between 1830 and 1840 for William Alfred Boykin, one of Wilson’s first commissioners. Boykin was born in 1814 in what was then Nash County. He was a son of Hardy Boykin Jr. and acted as the administrator of his father’s estate in 1837. Boykin married Elizabeth Barnes of Black Creek in 1832, and this house was probably erected shortly after their marriage. … The house, as it stands today, is a rare example of pre-Civil War architecture in Wilson County. As the home of an affluent farmer, the Boykin House reflects the life style of this influential and civic-minded man. On the exterior, the simple gable-roof house is enriched by two bands of dentils and scalloped wooden trim. The shed porch is enclosed at each end by sleeping rooms and the subtle peak of the porch ceiling above the two panelled front doors has a decorative effect.”


In the 1860 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: Alfred Boykin, 45, farmer; wife Elizabeth, 48; and children Temperance, 27, Patience, 19, Hardy, 17, Mahala, 15, Alfred B., 14, Sarah and Lenora, 11, Martha, 6, Addison, 6, and Lerozah, 7 months. Boykin listed $4910 in real property and $4800 in personal property. His personal property, per the 1860 slave schedule of Wilson County, included 4 enslaved girls and women ranging from 6 to 26 years old and one enslaved boy, age 8.

The life and times of Nathan W. Boyette.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 November 1921.

In a nutshell: Nathan W. Boyette lived at 210 Pender Street. He was born 18 September 1850 and was enslaved in Old Fields township by Jimmy Boyette. He was the second oldest of 11, eight boys and three girls. His mother Julie was literate and taught her children to read and write. In October 1865, Boyette purchased a Blueback Speller from Moses Rountree’s store at Tarboro and Broad Streets in Wilson. In 1871, he began subscribing to the Wilmington Post. Before he was 20, he became Sunday school superintendent at New Vester Baptist Church. Shortly after, he moved to Goldsboro and went to work for “Old Man” John Robinson. After seven years, he became a carpenter and continued to work into his 70s. In 1920 Boyette married his sixth wife. All but one — Roscoe Boyette — of his 14 children were dead. However, Roscoe’s whereabouts since his discharge from the military after World War I were unknown. Boyette was hardworking and thrifty and gave up his sole vice, smoking, as a condition of his last marriage. He had only been inside a courtroom to serve as a juror three times. He was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church on East Nash Street. “Never had a doctor but once in my life and then I could have done without him. The Lord has been good to me.”


The 1860 slave schedule of Old Fields township, Wilson County, lists James Boyett as the owner of eight enslaved people: a 28 year-old woman [Julia?]; six boys aged 19, 12, 9 [Nathan?], 7, 4 and 2; and a girl aged 8. They were housed in two dwellings.

On 23 February 1882, Nathan Boyett, 31, of Wayne County, son of Moses Bayley and Julia Bayley of Wilson County, married Charity Crow, 27, of Wayne County, daughter of Jorden and Jane Crow of Wayne County, in Mount Olive, Brogden township, Wayne County, North Carolina.

On 2 March 1904, Nathan Boyette, 53, married Louisa Fowler, 38, daughter of Suckey Wiggins, in Goldsboro, Wayne County.

In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Boyette Nathan carp h 210 Pender; Boyette Emma dom h 210 Pender.

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Boyett Nathan W (c, Emma) carp h 210 Pender

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 115 West Walnut Street, rented for $20/month,  Nathan Boyette, 79, and Emma Boyette, 56, cook for private family.

Nathan Boyett died 2 June 1937 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 15 February 1850 in Wilson County to Moses Bailey and Julia Boyett of Wilson County; had worked as a laborer until three months prior to his death; was married to Emma Boyett; and lived at 115 West Walnut. [Note that Nathan Boyette adopted his mother (and former owner’s) surname upon Emancipation. Julia Boyette apparently died before 1870. In that census Moses Bailey is listed as the single parent of several children, and on 5 January 1871, he married Isabella Renfrow in Wilson County. Per their marriage license, Bailey was the son of Benja Bryant and Juda Jones.]

The unmistakable way to conviction.

In November 1888, Charles Bynum was tried and convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of Henry Privett, his girlfriend’s brother.

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Wilson Mirror, 7 November 1888.

  • Charles Bynum, accused — possibly, the Charles Bynum, 15, listed with his parents Mack, 39, and Mary Bynum, 30, in the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County.
  • Henry Privette, victim; Bettie Privette, his sister, allegedly Bynum’s lover; Alice Privette, his wife; Sallie Privette, his sister; Mahala Privette, his mother — In the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Joseph Privett, 30; wife Mahala, 27; and children Lucretia, 9, Mary, 4, Henry, 2, and Bettie J., 2 weeks; plus Penninah Locust, 2. In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Joe Privett, about 44; wife Mahalah, about 35; and children Polly Ann, 16, Henry, 14, Bettie, 11, Hattie, 7, and Sallie, 3; plus Penninah Jones, 14. Henry Privett, 18, son of Joe and Mahalia Privett, married Alice Howell, 20, daughter of Ransom and Burbary Howell, on 8 February 1887 at the courthouse in Wilson.
  • James Bynum, juror.
  • Henry Birney, juror.
  • Celia Cotton, witness.

Studio shots, no. 33: Geneva Jones Bailey.

geneva jones bailey

Geneva Jones Bailey (1876-1959) with her Bible.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer Richard Jones, 35; wife Lucy, 25; and children Catharine, 8, James R., 7, Louisa, 4, Geneva, 3, and Rosa L., 10 months; plus Mary Boykin, about 45, mother-in-law.

On 20 December 1893, at the residence of Richard Jones in Old Fields township, John D. Bailey, 24, son of Hill and Mary Bailey, married Genevia Jones, 18, daughter of Richard and Lucy Jones.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer John D. Bailey, 31; wife Geneva, 23; children Rhoda, 4, Pearl, 1, and Mary L., one month; plus servant Lillie Bagley, 35.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer John D. Bailey, 35; wife Jeneva, 33; Rhoda, 15, Pearlie, 12, Mary L., 9, Lonnie, 8, Ora, 6, John T., 5, William H., 4, Melton P., 2, and Richard H., 1.

In the 1928 Wilson city directory: Bailey John D (Geneva) lab h 509 Church.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 516 Church Street, oil mill laborer John Bailey, 60; wife Geneva, 52; and children Johnny, 16, James, 14, Perry, 21, and Jerry, 24 (both railroad laborers); plus lodgers Mack Miller, 35, an auto mechanic in a garage, and Mary P. Williams, 74, a private nurse. Bailey owned the house, valued at $2000.

Geneva Jones Bailey died 29 September 1959 at her home at 516 Church Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, he was born 6 March 1876 in Wilson to Richard Jones and Lucy Boykins; was a widow; and had worked as a tobacco factory laborer and minister. Rev. James H. Bailey of Riverton, New Jersey, was informant.

This extraordinary photograph is courtesy of Findagrave.com contributor James Morgan.

Studio shots, no. 30: Wesley Jones.


Wesley Jones (1889-1968).

In the 1900 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer Thomas A. Jones, 32; [second] wife Mary, 25; and children Wesley, 11, Earnist, 9, William P., 7, Locus C., 7, Eppie, 3, Bell L., 5, Milbry, 3, and Roxey, 6 months, plus brother Sylvester Jones, 13.

On 27 March 1910, Wesley Jones, 21, son of Thomas and Milbry Jones, of Oldfields township, married Martha Taylor, 22, daughter of Dan and Sandy Locus, of Oldfields township. Josiah Jones applied for the license, and Missionary Baptist minister E.C. Watson performed the ceremony at Fess Perry‘s residence in Oldfields in the presence of Eddie Powell, James Farrell, George Vinson and Fess Perry.

In the 1910 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: Wesly Jones, 21, and wife Martha, 22.

Wesley Jones registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County  on 5 June 1917. Per his registration card: he was born 20 January 1889; resided at 825 Stantonsburg Road; worked as a laborer at Contentnea Guano; and supported his wife and three children. He was described as tall and slender, with gray eyes and black hair.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 825 Stantonsburg Street, Wesley Jones, 31, guano factory laborer; wife Martha, 32; and children Alice, 15, Franklyn, 11, Mildred, 5, Lucille, 2, and Vernon, 6 months.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 901 Stantonsburg Street, fertilizer plant laborer Westley Jones, 41; wife Martha, 42; and children Mildred, 15, Lucille, 12, Marion B., 10, Willie B., 6, John W., 4, James T., 2, and Elroy, 3 months.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 901 Stantonsburg Street, Wesley Jones, 51, fertilizer plant laborer; wife Martha, 52, tobacco factory laborer; and children Lucille, 22, teacher at Fremont School, Vernon, 20, Willie, 16, John, 14, James, 12, and Elroy, 10.

At least four men named Wesley Jones, 901 Stantonsburg Street, as their contact person when they registered for the World War II draft in the early 1940s. They were: (1) John Wesley Jones, 901 Stantonsburg, born 10 October 1925, student at A&T College, Greensboro, N.C.; (2) James Thomas Jones, 901 Stantonsburg, born 23 December 1927 and employed at Contentnea Guano; (3) Marion Vernon Jones, 901 Stantonsburg, born 18 August 1919 and employed at Imperial Tobacco Company; and (4) [son-in-law] Calvin Swinson, 1010 Wainwright Avenue, Wilson, born 6 June 1898 in Greene County and employed at Woodard-Herring Hospital.

Wesley Jones died 4 May 1968 at Wilson Memorial Hospital. Per his death certificate, he was born 20 January 1889 to Thomas Jones and Kizziah Powell; was married to Martha Jones; resided at 901 Stantonsburg Street; and had been a laborer at Contentnea Guano.

Detail from 1922 Sanborn insurance map of Wilson, N.C., showing the location of Jones’ home at 901 Stantonsburg Street, just inside city limits, and of Contentnea Guano Company.

The Jones house today, at what is now 901 Black Creek Road.

Photo of Wesley Jones courtesy of S.M. Stevens.

All ’round in spots.


Wilson Times, 3 October 1911.

Hassell Joyner registered for the World War I draft in 1918. At the time he was incarcerated. Per his registration card: he was born in 1879; resided at Camp #2, Bridgewater, McDowell County, North Carolina; and was “employed” as a convict at a state prison. His nearest relative was sister Millie Lucas, Elm City.

In the 1920 census of Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina: at the State’s Prison, Hassell Joyner, 36, listed as a prisoner.

Hassell Joyner died 3 June 1925 in Old Fields township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 49 years old; divorced; worked as a farm tenant for Mack Flowers; and had been born in Nash County to Patton Joyner and an unremembered mother. As cause of death: “Probable T.B. stated to us found dead in yard no doctor attended.” Charles Alston Williams was informant.

I have not been able to identify or locate Toad Town.

Studio shots, no. 16: James and Roxie Coley.


James and Roxie Jones Coley.

In the 1900 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: widow Harriet Jones, 32, and daughters Viola, 11, Nancy, 6, and Roxie, 3.

In the 1900 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Benjamin Coley, 38, wife Tempy, 35, and sons James, 16, and Eddie, 13.

On 2 January 1910, Jas. Coley, 21, of Old Fields, son of Ben and Tempie Coley, married Roxie Hinnant, age not given, of Old Fields, daughter of Gillis and Harriet Hinnant, in the presence of William Boykins, Williamson Jones, and Freddie Jones.

In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: widow Harret Kerny, daughters Dazle, 12, and Lillian Kerny, 11, grandson George Kerny, 6, son-in-law James Coley, 21, ad daughter Roxie Coley, 16.

In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer James Coley, 34; wife Roxie A., 26; and children Harriett, 9, Martha, 7, Nancy, 4, and James E., 2. Next door: Ben Coley, 60, wife Tempie, 60, and granddaughter Maggie, 13, with servant George Kerney, 17.

In the 1930 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer James Coley, 42; wife Roxie, 34; and children George, 19, Willie, 17, Ben, 4, and Beulia, 1.

In the 1940 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farmer James Coley, 54; wife Roxie, 43; children Harrit, 17, Martha, 16, Nancy, 14, James E., 13, George L., 11, Willie, 8, Bennie, 14, and Beulah, 11; Carrie Marie, 4, and Lou, 1; niece Rematha Coley, 8, and nephews, L.V., 7, Johnny Lee, 6, and William Arthur Coley, 4.

Roxie Coley died 27 February 1960 at her home at 207 Stantonsburg Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate: she was born 25 December 1900 in Wilson County to Douglas Jones and Harriette Jones; was married to James Coley; her usual residence was in Sims, Wilson County; and she was buried in Jones Hill cemetery.

Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user tmuzaina.

Burned a barn and stole a horse.


Wilson Advance, 28 November 1884.


Wilson Advance, 12 December 1884.

  • Joe Hinnant — in the 1870 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Emizel Hinnant, 30, with Harriet, 19, Tamer, 11, Henderson, 13, Mary, 7, Dennis, 8, and Joseph Hinnant, 1. In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Tamer Hinnant, 20, and brothers James, 11, and Joseph Hinnant, 11.
  • Dave Powell
  • Lewis Freeman — in the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Lewis Freeman, about 55, wife (or daughter) Katy, 25, and Violet Eatman, 78.