Peacock

Struck with a pitchfork.

James H. Peacock of Wilson County met a violent death while a patient at the State Hospital at Goldsboro, North Carolina’s sole facility for the treatment of mentally ill African-Americans.

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“Fractured skull was struck with the pitchfork while out in hay field — Homicide 12 hours. … Insanity — killed by another patient.”

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In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: James H. Peacock, 14, farm laborer, listed as the servant of Rufus Barnes, 24, farmer.

On 5 September 1905, James H. Peacock, 19, of Cross Roads township, married Armetta Barnes, 18, of Cross Roads township, at Mary Barnes‘ residence in Wilson County. Witnesses were William Forsythe, Willie Barnes, and W.H. Pate.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Wilson and Smithfield Road, James Peacock, 24, farmer, and wife Armeda, 21, farm laborer.

In the 1920 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: on Black Creek and Lucama Road, James Peacock, 32; wife Armenta, 30; and children Paul, 12, Valena, 8, Savira, 5, Annie, 3, and Daniel and Blane, 1.

Rosevelt Peacock died 10 February 1922 in Black Creek township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 9 months old and was born in Wilson County to James Peacock and Armitta Barnes. Rulius Darring was informant.

The estate of George W. Thompson.

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Wilson Advance, 19 June 1890.

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In the 1870 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farm laborer George Thompson, 57; wife Rilda, 43; son Rufus, 8; with Cherry Bailey, 42, and Bitha, 25, and Mittie Bailey, 16.

In the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer George Thompson, 62; wife Marilda, 52; son Rufus, 20; and granddaughter Hattie Thompson, 6.

Apparently on his deathbed, George W. Thompson made out his will 16 December 1885.

He left all his property to his wife Rilda during her lifetime, then his land to son Rufus, and, if Rufus had no heirs, to granddaughter Cora Thompson. After Rilda’s death, his personal property was to be sold and the money equally divided between son Rufus Thompson, Courtney Peacock, and Cora Thompson. Solomon Lamm was appointed executor.

George Thompson died within days. His executor filed to open his estate and prepared this inventory of his property. Though relatively meager, the list represents a laudable achievement for a man who had spent the bulk of his life enslaved.

Unfortunately, George Thompson’s debts outweighed the value of his estate, forcing the sale advertised in the notice above of a ten-acre parcel adjoining the property of M.V. Peele, Isaac Rich, and Henry Peacock. Marilda and Rufus Thompson had left the area, however, and could not be found in the county for service.

George Thompson Will, George Thompson Estate Records, North Carolina Wills and Estates, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Run over by the fast mail train.

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Wilson Advance, 14 May 1896.

Henry Peacock was killed in a particularly gruesome train accident in 1896.

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In the 1870 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farm laborer Moses Peacock, 42; wife Hagar, 30; and Charles, 10, Matilda, 9, Green, 7, Roxy, 5, Caroline, 16, Lucetta, 2, and Henry Peacock, 13.

In the 1880 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Henry Peacock, 24; wife Courtney, 25; daughters Hettiroe, 4, and Naroe, 2; and stepmother Celia Thompson, 50.

Peacock’s land in Cross Roads township was mentioned in the notice of an action to sell a tract belonging to the estate of George Thompson.

Wilson Advance, 20 March 1890.

A week after her husband’s terrible death, Courtney Peacock appealed to justice of the peace W.R. Davis to appoint two disinterested people to assess Henry Peacock’s estate and apportion to her the year’s support to which she was entitled by law. Davis appointed Larry Lucas and Amos Atkinson and made this notation on the back of their summons:

She is entitled to 300$ as years support for herself and 100$ each for any child under 15 years of age — to be set apart out of all the personal estate of the dec’d. including crop now growing — which crops must be valued as correct as possible.

Courtney Peacock had eight dependents, though, and the value of her husband’s estate was only $432.50.

Henry Peacock’s widow Courtney died within a few years, leaving their children orphaned. In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer [illegible] Peacock, 18; and siblings Nerroe, 21, James P., 20, Amos H., 15, Georg A., 7, and Nettie, 5; plus grandmother Celia Thompson, 80.

Georgia Barnes died 28 December 1929 in Lucama, Cross Roads township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was 38 years old; was married to Junious Barnes; was born in Wilson County to Henry and Cortna Peacock; and was buried in the Peacock graveyard.

Anderson Peacock died 24 September 1933 in Cross Roads township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1883 in Lucama to Henry Peacock and Courtney Thompson; was the widower of Pattie Dawson; was a tenant laborer; and was “found dead in field no sign of foul play.” Abie Reid was informant.

Nero Bains died 3 February 1942 in Cross Roads township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born 30 June 1878 in Wilson County to Henry Pickup and Codney [last name unknown]; was the widow of John Bains; and was buried in Bickup cemetery near Lucama.

James P. Peacock died 3 March 1942 in Fremont, Nahunta township, Wayne County. Per his death certificate, he was born 2 November 1880 in Wilson County to Henry Peacock and Cedney [last name unknown], both of Wilson County; was a wage hand; was married to Minnie Belle Peacock; and was buried in Bains cemetery near Lucama.

Nellie Reid died 19 December 1949 in Great Swamp township, Wayne County. Per her death certificate, she was born 17 March 1889 to Henry and Courtney Peacock; was married; and was buried in Watson cemetery.

Henry Peacock Estate Records (1896), Wilson County, North Carolina Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

817 East Green Street.

The one-hundred-sixteenth in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, the house that stood at 817 East Green Street was: “ca. 1913; 1 story; I-plan cottage with intact turned-post porch.”

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Winstead Arnold (c; Sybina) brklyr h 817 E Green

In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Peacock Junius W (c; Ethel) barber Walter S Hines h 817 E Green

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 807 [sic] East Green, rented for $13/month, Junius Peacock, 30, barber, and wife Ethel, 34, maid at public school.

Junius Wesley Peacock died 28 April 1935 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 35 years old; was born in Wilson County to Junius Peacock and Nora Hoskins, both of Wilson County; lived at 817 East Green; and was a barber. Informant was Ethel Peacock.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 817 East Green, rented at $14/month, George Green 32, blacksmith at repair shop, born in South Carolina; wife Martha F., 26, hospital nurse; and mother-in-law Anetta Rosser, 63 (who had lived in Whitakers, Nash County, in 1935). Also, paying $5/month, Graham Bynum, 31, building carpenter, and wife Katherine, 29, hospital nurse.

In 1940, George Willie Green registered for the World War II draft in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 15 October 1906 in Saint Matthew, South Carolina; lived at 817 East Green; his contact was wife Frances Rosser Green; and he worked for Bissett’s Repair Shop, 307 South Tarboro Street.

In the 1941 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Green Geo W (c; Frances) blksmith Herbert W Bissett h 817 E Green

817 East Green was one of several dozen houses demolished on the order of Wilson City Council in 2002. Council also approved demolition of three other houses on East Green Street owned by the heirs of Walter S. Hines. (Walter Hines often rented his Green Street properties to barbers in his employ, like Junius Peacock.)

Wilson Daily Times, 21 June 2002.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2019.

The obituary of Eloise Reavis Peacock.

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Wilson Daily Times, 16 June 1951.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Woodard Street, widow Etta Reavis, 45, tobacco factory worker; children Louise, 18, and James, 6; brother-in-law Fred Reavis, 26, carpenter; his wife Cornelia, 19, and son Ralph, 4. Louise and Cornelia worked as tobacco factory laborers.

On 4 October 1923, Levi H. Peacock Jr., 22, of Wilson, son of Levi and Hannah Peacock, married Elouise Reavis, 20, of Wilson, daughter of Joseph and Etta Reavis, on 4 October 1922 in Wilson. W.A. Mitchner applied for the license, and Presbyterian minister A.H. George performed the ceremony in the presence of John D. Henry, Henrietta Foster and John H. Parris.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 204 Vick Street, hotel bellboy Levi Peacock, 30; wife Elouise, 28, a public school teacher; children Jewel D., 4, and Thomas L., 14; and mother-in-law Etta Reaves, 50, post office maid. [This entry contains serious errors. Jual D. Peacock was a daughter, rather than son, of Levi and Eloise Peacock, and Thomas was in fact just over a year old in 1930.]

Elouise R. Peacock died 15 June 1951 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 July 1906 in Wilson to Etta Fain; was a public school teacher; was married; and resided at 414 North Reid Street. Informant was Jeuetta Anderson.

1927 Oaklawn Avenue, Charlotte.

McCrorey Heights is an historic mid-century neighborhood in west Charlotte, North Carolina, that was once home to many of the Queen City’s leading African-American doctors, lawyers, educators and businesspeople. The McCrorey Heights Neighborhood Association is constructing a website featuring the histories of many of the homes in the neighborhood. One is 1927 Oaklawn Avenue, a bungalow belonging for fifty years to Abraham H. and Susan Peacock Prince.

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1927 Oaklawn Avenue. Photo courtesy of McCrorey Heights Neighborhood Association.

“Rev. Prince ranked among the leading ministers in the southeastern United States, director of evangelical outreach for the Atlantic Synod and later the Catawba Synod of the Presbyterian Church.” … “He married Susan Peacock Prince in 1930 and the pair likely built this house soon after. She came from Wilson, North Carolina, where her father [Levi H. Peacock] had been a political leader during the years before Disfranchisement, appointed Assistant Postmaster in 1891. Susan attended Shaw University in Raleigh and became a lifelong educator in Charlotte’s public schools. In 1940 the U.S. Census indicated that the couple had two daughters: Dorothy, age eight, and Susan, age six.” … “Rev. Prince lived in this house at 1927 Oaklawn Avenue during the 1930s and into the 1940s. His work for the Presbyterian synods evidently spurred him to find a home more central to his travels. By 1951 he was no longer listed at this address, nor even in Charlotte. But he continued to own the house as rental property at least into the 1970s. A note in the 1967 JCSU yearbook indicated he was then living in Columbia, South Carolina, pastor of Ebenezer Presbyterian Church.”

For more on Rev. Prince and the house at 1927 Oaklawn, see here. (Many thanks to M.H.N.A. for citing  Black Wide-Awake as a source.)

 

The obituary of Susan Hines Pyatt.

Wilson Daily Times, 21 January 1944.

On 12 February 1891, Alonza Davis, 27, of Edgecombe, son of Hector and Tabitha McKoy of Cumberland County, married Adline Pyatt, 16, daughter of Booker and Susan Pyatt of Edgecombe County.

On 20 June 1894, Levi H. Peacock, 35, son of James and Mariah Peacock, married Hannah H. Piatt, 22, daughter of Booker and Susan Pyatt, in Wilson. J.H. Clark applied for the license, and Presbyterian minister L.J. Melton performed the service in the presence of Mattie Harris, Minnie L. McGowen and Eliza Winstead.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Levi Peacock, 30; wife Hannah, 28; children Olivia, 5, Hannah, 3, and Levi, 2; and mother-in-law Susan Pyett, 59, widow.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Ash Street, post office clerk Levi Peacock, 40; wife Hannah, 38; children Oliva V., 15, Hannah, 13, Levi, 11, Susan, 6, Rubie, 4, and Vivian, 1; and mother-in-law Susan Pryett, 55, laundress.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: post office clerk Livia H. Peacock, 60; wife Annie, 31; children Olvia, 23, Annie L., 21, Livia H. Jr.; Sudie 14, Rubie, 12, Vivian, 9, Bennie, 5, and John, 3; boarders Mary S. Roberson, 32, and Mary Brodie, 20; plus widow Susan Byatt, 62.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: laborer Levi Peacock, 62; wife Hanna, 64; children Susan, 28, a teacher, Elizabeth L., 26, a hospital nurse, John H., 24, and Benjamin, 23; mother-in-law Hanna Luke, 80; and lodgers Susan Piatt, 34, and Ruby Piatt, 15. [This entry seems to contain several errors. Susan Piatt, not Hanna Luke, was Levi Peacock’s mother-in-law, and she was close to 80, not 34 years old. Also, Ruby was Levi and Hannah Peacock’s daughter.]

Hannah H. Peacock, 50, died 29 March 1935 in Wilson. Per her death certificate she was born in Edgecombe County to Booker Pyatt of Petersburg, Virginia, and Susan Hines of Edgecombe County; resided at 218 Ash Street; was a school tecaher; and was the widow of Levi Peacock.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Hana Peacock, 32; her grandmother Susie Pyatt, 84; and brothers John, 22, and Benjamin Peacock, 24.

Susan H. Pyatt died 14 January 1944 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1874 in Edgecombe County to Louis Hargrove and Hannah Lewis Hines; was widowed; and resided at 218 Ashe.

 

Studio shots, no. 39: Thomas Levi Peacock.

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Tom Peacock, mid-1940s.

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In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 204 Vick Street, hotel bellboy Levi Peacock, 30; wife Elouise, 28, a public school teacher; children Jewel D., 4, and Thomas L., 14; and mother-in-law Etta Reaves, 50, post office maid. [This entry contains serious errors. Jual D. Peacock was a daughter, rather than son, of Levi and Eloise Peacock, and Thomas was in fact just over a year old in 1930.]

Thomas Levi Peacock registered for the World War II draft in Wilson in 1946. Per his registration card, he was born 6 December 1928 in Wilson County; resided at 414 North Reid Street; his contact was Levi Harry Peacock; and he was a student at Darden High School.

Thomas Levi Peacock graduated from Darden in 1947 and entered Howard University in Washington, D.C.  He pledged Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity in 1948 and graduated in 1951.

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The Bison (1951).

Peacock enlisted in the Air Force after graduation and in 1952 graduated from Officer Candidate School.

Wilson Daily Times, 12 July 1952.

Peacock went on to Meharry Medical College’s Dental School and in 1958 was licensed to practice dentistry in North Carolina:

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Within a few years, Dr. Peacock opened a practice in Jamaica, Queens, New York, where he immediately rose to prominence in social, as well as professional circles …

Baltimore Afro-American, 17 December 1963.

… and was named one of the “Bachelors for 1964” in the August 1964 issue of Ebony magazine.

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Dr. Peacock is retired and, after returning to live in Wilson for several years, now resides in Florida.

Photograph in the collection of Hattie Henderson Ricks, now in possession of Lisa Y. Henderson.

Sam Vick and his assistants.

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Wilson Mirror, 26 February 1890.

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Wilson Mirror, 1 April 1891.

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Wilson Mirror, 11 August 1891.

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Raleigh Morning Post, 14 July 1898.

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Raleigh Morning Post, 4 January 1902.

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Raleigh Morning Post, 8 April 1903.

  • Samuel H. Vick
  • Braswell R. Winstead
  • Levi H. Peacock
  • Jim Thorp — On 22 March 1900, James J. Thorp, 22, of Wilson, son of Edy Thorp, married Hattie Bunn, 17, daughter of Joshua and Emma Bunn, at Joshua Bunn‘s house in Wilson. Richard Renfrow applied for the license, and Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Hilliard Ellis, Levi Jones and Phyllis Ellis. In the 1912 Wilson city directory, James Thorp, insurance agent, is listed at 654 Viola Street.
  • Fannie McGowan — on 30 August 1905, at the bride’s residence on Vance Street, Henry Matt Daniel, 40, son of Dave and Flora Daniel, married Flora McGowan, 28, parents unknown. A.M.E. Zion minister N.D. King performed the ceremony in the presence of L.A. Moore, J.S. Spell, and Mack Sharp.