Pitt County

Mrs. Johnson seeks a pension.

In March 1933, Lula Johnson applied to the North Carolina Confederate Pension Board for a widow’s pension.

Johnson’s application noted that she was 60+ years of age; resided at 608 East Nash Street, Wilson; and her late husband was John Streeter, also known as John Johnson. She did not know when or where Streeter/Johnson enlisted, but claimed he was a member of “Company H, 14 W.S. Colord Heavy Artillery.” The couple had married in 1922, and Streeter/Johnson died in June 1932, three years after he had begun to draw a pension. Arthur N. Darden and Darcey C. Yancey were witnesses to her application, which Yancey stamped as notary public.

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Lula Johnson’s application was denied. She was “not eligible” (underscored) for a pension. (To boot, she was “Negro,” underscored four times.) Though the Pension Board did not set forth a reason for denying Johnson’s claim, there is a glaringly obvious one. The 14th Regiment, Colored Heavy Artillery, were United States Army troops, not Confederate. The regiment — comprised of runaway enslaved men and free men of color — was organized in New Bern and Morehead City, North Carolina, in March 1864; primarily served garrison duty in New Bern and other points along the coast; and mustered out in December 1865.

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Here is a record of the military service of John Streeter, alias Johnson. He was born in Greene County about 1846 and had enlisted in the Army in New Bern in 1865. Three months later, he was promoted to corporal. John Johnson had served his country honorably, which did not entitle his widow to Confederate benefits.

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I did not find any evidence that the Johnsons actually lived in Wilson County. The address Lula Johnson listed as her own was that of C.H. Darden & Sons Funeral Home, the family business at which Arthur Darden worked. Was she (or her husband) related to the Dardens? Census records show John Johnson and his wife Mary in Leflore County, Mississippi, in 1900 and 1910, but Mary Moore Johnson died in Farmville, Pitt County, in 1913.

John Johnson died in Farmville, Pitt County, North Carolina, on 8 June 1932. Per his death certificate, he was about 90 years old; was married to Lula Johnson; had been a preacher; and was born in Greene County to Ned and Manervie Johnson. He was buried in Farmville, and Darden & Sons handled the funeral. (Charles H. Darden was also a Greene County native. )

Act of 1901 Pension Applications, Office of the State Auditor, North Carolina State Archives [online]; U.S. Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1863-1865  [database on-line], http://www.ancestry.com.

Studio shots, no. 89: the Mobley family.

I posted the obituary of Jane Rountree Mobley here.

Her great-great-granddaughter, Carolyn Maye, has graciously shared these photographs of Jane Mobley’s descendants, many of whom moved into Edgecombe and Pitt Counties in the early years of the 20th century.

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Rhoda Mobley Barnes

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farm worker John Mobley, 35; wife Jane, 28; and children Rhoda, 9, Henrietta, 6, Jane, 5, Isaac, 4, and John H., 1.

On 13 January 1889, Ben Barnes, 42, of Wilson township, married Rhoda Mobley, 21, of Toisnot township, on F.A. Woodard’s plantation in Wilson township. Primitive Baptist minister Samuel Burston performed the ceremony in the presence of Harry Sharp, Dennis Bynum and Mike Barefoot.

Rhoda Barnes died 1 June 1951 in Macclesfield, Edgecombe County. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 October 1854 [actually, about 20 years later] in Wilson County to John Mobley and Jane [maiden name unknown]; was a widow; and was buried in Harrell cemetery near Crisp, North Carolina. Mattie Howard was informant.

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Benjamin Barnes

Ben Barnes died 19 April 1935 on Amanda Pitts’ farm in Edgecombe County. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 December 1835 in Wilson County to Isaac Barnes and Julia [maiden name not given]; was married to Rhoda Barnes; was buried at Harrell cemetery. Informant was Jessie Barnes.

Martha Lee Roberson Maye (1932-2014), daughter of Willie and Annie Barnes Roberson, at age 7 and shortly before her death.

Mattie Barnes Howard (1905-1977), daughter of Rhoda and Ben Barnes.