Raleigh NC

The life and times of Wilton M. Bethel, part 3.

Wilton M. Bethels collection includes several large group photographs mostly taken on the campus of Saint Augustine’s, the Episcopal Church-affiliated college for African-Americans in Raleigh, North Carolina.

One of the earliest appears to be the formal portrait below of nine African-American men. In 1996, J. Robert Boykin III, who rescued the collection, sought assistance from Sarah L. Delany (of “Having Our Say” fame) to identify them.

On the top row, they are Rev. Henry Hudson (“my classmate”), a 1910 graduate of Saint Augustine’s collegiate division; Professor Charles H. Boyer (1870-1942) (“my teacher”), Saint Augustine’s professor; Rev. Charles Mail, priest at Oxford, North Carolina; Wylie B. Latham, a mail clerk in Raleigh and member of Saint Ambrose Episcopal Church; and perhaps Mr. Latham’s son.

Seated are Rev. James E. King, priest at Saint Ambrose from 1896 to 1913; “my father” the renowned Bishop Henry Beard Delany (1858-1928), first African-American Episcopal bishop in North Carolina and the second in the United States; Rev. James K. Satterwhite, Saint Aug graduate, priest at Saint Ambrose from 1913-1919 and then in Florida; and Rev. Robert N. Perry (“1st cousin of my mother, Nanny L. Logan”) and priest at Wilson’s Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church from 1905-1919.

Below, a photograph of student nurses and, perhaps, staff of Saint Agnes Hospital, established in 1896 on Saint Augustine’s campus. This image appears in Saint Aug’s 1927-28 Annual Catalogue. Bethel’s collection contains several loose snapshots of campus buildings. Did he take them for the college’s use?

Below, a group of lay people and clergy standing in front of another presumed campus building. (Can anyone identify it?) Wilson’s John H. Clark, a longtime lay leader at Saint Mark’s Episcopal, stands furthest left. The man standing second to the right of the girl on the front row is unidentified, but appears in snapshots in Wilton Bethel’s photo album.

John H. Clark (1863-1949), Wilton Bethel’s father-in-law.

Another large group standing on the steps of Saint Augustine’s Hunter Building.

Below, an industrial arts class at Saint Augustine’s College.

Another mixed group of clergy and lay people, presumably at Saint Aug. John H. Clark is seated on the second or third row, directly behind the man on the front row with his hat on his knee.

This shot, probably dating to the late 1930s, depicts a dinner gathering of North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance employees in Goldsboro, N.C. The guest of honor, N.C. Mutual’s long-time president Charles C. Spaulding, is seated below the welcome sign, wearing a bowtie. Goldsboro was Bethel’s home office. I don’t see him in the shot; perhaps he was the night’s photographer. (Notice the folding chairs borrowed from the occasion from funeral director Lawrence T. Lightner.)

In the photo below, a bow-tied John H. Clark overlooks a large group of people gathered at one side of what appears to be a church or school building. It does not appear to have been taken in Wilson at Saint Mark’s. I am not certain, but the man on the third row, at right, standing beside a woman in white, appears to be Rev. Robert N. Perry.

The deaths of little Louisa Sims and Infant Thorpe.

Though the state of North Carolina did not require death certificates until 1913, some municipalities began to record them earlier. Below, the returns of a death for two young children born in Raleigh to parents from Wilson County.


Louisa Sims died on 1 March 1900 after a six or seven-day illness. The three year-old had been born in her parents’ home on West Connor Street, Raleigh. Her father was from Wilson County; her mother from “near Goldsboro.”


Thomas and Mary Thorpe’s infant son was stillborn at 832 South Wilmington Street. His father was from granville County; his mother, from Wilson.

Death Certificates 1900-1909, Wake County, North Carolina County Records 1833-1970, familysearch.org.

Studio shots, no. 28: Ned and Louisa Gay Barnes family.

barnes-ned-barnes-family 1898

Ned and Louisa Gay Barnes and their daughters Mattie Radcliffe Barnes Hines (1895-1922) and Alice Ida Barnes Bryant (1897-1969).

In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farm laborer Willis Barnes, 30; wife Cherry, 25; and children Rachael, 7, West, 5, Jesse, 2, and Ned, 5 months.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Willis Barnes, 42; wife Cherey, 20; stepdaughter Rachel Battle, 17; children Wesley, 15, Jesse, 13, Ned, 11, Eddie, 7, Mary Barnes, niece Ellen Battle, 2; and son Willey Barnes, 1.

On 1 April 1889, Jesse Barnes, 21, and Mary Mag Mercer, 19, were issued a marriage license in Wilson County. Harney Chatman, Baptist minister, performed the ceremony on 3 April 1889 in Wilson Town. Witnesses were Westley Barnes and Ned Barnes, Jesse’s brothers.

On 27 October 1891, J.T. Dean applied for a marriage license for Edward [Ned] Barnes, 22, of Wilson, son of Willis and Cherry Barnes, and Louisa Gay, daughter of Samuel and Alice Gay. A.M.E. Zion minister J.W. Levy officiated over the ceremony, which took place 29 October 1891 at Samuel Gay’s. Witnesses were S.H. Vick, Spencer Barnes, and Thomas Davis.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Ned Barnes, 30; wife Loisa, 27; and children Mattie R., 5, Alice I., 3, and Ned, 0. Ned was employed as a coachman for white manufacturer Roscoe Briggs, and the family lived on premises.

In 1903, Ned Barnes was a crucial eyewitness to a sensational murder involving prominent white Raleigh citizens.

In the 1910 census of Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina: at 707 West Street, Ned Bonds Sr., 37; wife Louise, 36; and children Mattie, 15, Ida, 12, Ned Jr., 9, Howard, 7, and Blonnie L., 2. Ned worked as “horseler” at an animal hospital. Louise reported 5 of 6 children living.

Ned Barnes died 1 December 1912, aged about 42, of acute uremia, at 707 South Saunders, Raleigh, Wake County. Per his death certificate, he was born in Wilson County to Willis Barnes and an unknown mother; was married; and worked as a porter in a club. Informant was Mattie Barnes. Ned was buried 2 December in Wilson.

Ned Barnes Jr. (1899-1931). Ned married Lelia Newton, daughter of Thomas and Carrie Newton, on 14 July 1920 in Wilson.

Benson N. Barnes (1921-2004), son of Ned Jr. and Lelia Newton Barnes. (Alice Barnes Bryant was his father’s sister.)

Ned Radcliff Barnes (1924-2002), son of Ned Jr. and Lelia Newton Barnes. (Louisa Barnes was, in fact, his grandmother.)

Photographs courtesy of Katie Chestnut Barnes (many thanks!); newspaper clippings from Wilson Daily Times.

Prominent couple weds.


Pittsburgh Courier, 23 October 1943.


In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 614 East Green, barber William Hines, 35, wife Ethel, 25, and children Delores, 4, and William, 2.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: barber William Hines, 46, wife Ethel L., 36, and children Deloris L., 14, and William Jr., 11.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 615 East Green Street, barber shop operator William Hines, 56, wife Ethel L., 46, and children Delores L., 24, and William C., 21.

Dr. William Cornwell Hines received his first name from his father, but he was not a Junior, as the article implies. His middle name was his mother’s maiden name.

Nan Jeanette Delany was the daughter of Lemuel Thackara Delany, who was the son of Rev. Henry Beard Delany and Nannie Logan Delany and the brother of Sadie and Bessie Delany, the authors of Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ First 100 Years.

A splendid witness.

On 21 February 1903, pedestrians bustling about the streets of downtown Raleigh on a waning Saturday afternoon gazed in horror at a bleeding body crumpled in the middle of Fayetteville Street. Ernest Haywood, son of a prominent lawyer, had shot Ludlow Skinner, son of a well-known Baptist minister and “quiet and gentle as a woman,” in cold blood. (For the messy backstory, see here.) The crime, widely reported in newspapers across the state, captivated the public. Wilson native Ned Barnes (1869-1912), son of Willis and Cherry Battle Barnes, found himself thrust into the center of the months-long criminal court proceedings as the State’s star witness.

Only recently arrived in the capital, Ned was a drayman for the State Hospital, a ground-breaking psychiatric facility located just west of the city center. His duties that afternoon took him to the post office — and the very edge of the drama. Despite his evident efforts to stay out of white men’s business, he was drawn straight into the vortex.

On 30 May 1903, the Raleigh Morning Post published Ned’s habeas corpus hearing testimony in its entirety. This serious matter required that the paper forgo the mocking dialect so often attributed to African-Americans of the era, regardless of their actual speech, and the transcript reveals an ideal witness — straightforward, economical, willing to admit what he did not see. Ned’s language is respectful, but not obsequious. He does not take obsessive care with his “yes, sir” and “no, sir.” He answers only the question put before him and takes pains to deliver accuracy.


Evidence of Ned Barnes

Examination of Ned Barnes by counsel for the defense:

Q: Ned, where did you live before you came to Raleigh?

A: Wilson, N.C.

Q: How long have you been in Raleigh?

A: About two years and a half.

Q: What is your business now?

A: Driving for the state hospital.

Q: Have you been in the employment of this institution since you came to Raleigh?

A: Yes, sir.

Q: Where were you on the afternoon of the difficulty between Messrs. Haywood and Skinner?

A: I was in the city here.

Q: Did you see it?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Tell about it in your own way. What you saw.

A: I had been up to the market taking some ladies to the market house and about four o’clock I started down to the post office to wait for the mail before going back. I drove down below the south end of the post office and turned my horse around. I placed the robe on this side and heard some one speak. I stood my carriage just above the north side of the steps near to the curbing. I saw Mr. Skinner strike Mr. Haywood on the right side of the face.

Q: How far away were you from them, just the width of the curbing?

A: Yes sir, right by the edge of the sidewalk, about 12 or 15 steps I reckon.

Q: Do you mean steps?

A: Yes sir, steps. It is wide across there.

Q: You mean just the width of the sidewalk from the little projection?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Did you hear what was said when you turned your carriage there?

A: No sir.

Q: Just as you turned your head you saw the blow?

A: Yes sir.

Q: What became of Mr. Haywood when stricken that way?

A: He staggered back against the curb which leads out from the post office and fell on his left hand, but recovered and went for his pistol and Mr. Skinner jumped back from him and raised his right hand in this position, and stopped and Mr. Haywood raised up and fired at him and Mr. Skinner wheeled and I never saw him any more.

Q: Was Mr. Skinner’s back to you on his side after he struck Mr. Haywood?

A: He seemed sideways to me.

Q: Which side was to you?

A: His right side was to me I think.

Q: Which side was towards Mr. Haywood?

A: His left side.

Q: You saw his left hand?

A: No sir, his right hand.

Q: He struck so that Mr. Haywood fell?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Did he raise his hand?

A: Yes sir.

Q: In that position Mr. Haywood fired the first shot?

A: Yes sir.

Q: He was standing this way?

A: Yes sir.

Q: How far away was Mr. Skinner from him when he fired the first shot?

A: About half way across the sidewalk.

Q: What did Mr. Skinner do when the first shot was fired?

A: He wheeled to go.

Q: Which way?

A: He wheeled this way and turned to go.

Q: After he turned to go what did he do, continue or stop?

A: I don’t know whether he stopped or not. I did not see him until I looked on my right hand side.

Q: You stayed in the carriage?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Why did you not see him after he turned to go?

A: He got behind my carriage.

Q: Which way was your horse’s face turned?

A: North towards the capitol.

Q: You say Mr. Skinner went behind your carriage?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Did you turn the carriage?

A: Yes.

Q: Where was he then?

A: He was in front of me going to the street car track.

Q: What did he do when the second shot was fired?

A: I did not see him, I was looking at Mr. Haywood.

Q: Was he off the sidewalk when the second shot was fired?

A: I don’t know I was looking at the man that had the pistol.

Q: Was it after the first or second shot that Mr. Skinner turned to go?

A: After the second shot.

Q: How far from the curbing was he?

A: About half way distant.

Q: That was after the second shot?

A: Yes sir.

Q: What part of him was at that time presented to Mr. Haywood?

A: His back was to him.

Q: After he got into the street?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Did you look at Mr. Skinner after he got into the street until he fell?

A: Yes sir.

Q: How did he go?

A: He crossed over the track then turned to his left and got to the low edge of the track and fell face first to the pavement.

Q: What became of Mr. Haywood?

A: He walked off the corner going to the Tucker building.

Q: Did you notice whether Mr. Haywood had his hat on?

A: He had it on when he passed from the sidewalk.

Q: At the time of the shooting, did he have it on then?

A: Yes sir, he got it on then.

Q: What do you mean by that, he got it on then?

A: It was knocked pretty near off and he gathered it up.

Q: Did you tell anybody about this occurrence?

A: No sir.

Q: How long was it before you told about it?

A: I did not make any atatement till I got to the asylum. Then I told Dr. Koy.

Q: Do you remember what you told him?

A: I told him I saw Mr. Skinner strike Mr. Haywood and I saw Mr. Haywood shoot him, and he didn’t ask me anything else.

Q: Did you tell any one else in town?

A: I told some one else, I don’t know who – this feller that runs the bar room, what is his name?

Q: Which bar do you mean?

A: Hamlet’s.

Q: You have told him since?

A: Yes sir, I told him.

Q: You did not tell him all the facts?

A: And I told another man, I don’t know who it is. I have seen him here.

Q: Was it Mr. Rogers?

A: No sir, it was a white man.

Q: What white man did you tell in town?

A: I don’t know his name, McDaniels or McDonald, I think.

Q: Where does he live?

A: Here in Raleigh.

Q: What is his business?

A: I don’t know, I see him around the Tucker building.

Q: Did you tell him you saw it?

A: He asked me what did you see, and I told him I did not care to make a statement. He said, “did you see Haywood shoot,” and I told him yes. I did not tell him anything else.

Q: Which Rogers did you tell?

A: He works in the Commercial building.

Q: What sort of a carriage did you have?

A: It was not exactly a carriage but was a one horse surrey.

Q: Did it have curtains on.

A: It had black curtains on.

Q: Were the side curtains off?

A: Yes sir.

Q: It was open except the back.

A: The front curtain was off I mean.

Q: It had the back curtain on.

A: The back curtain and the two back curtains.

Q: Just the width of the seat was closed?

A: Yes sir.

Q: All the others were open?

A: Yes sir.

Cross-examined by counsel for state:

Q: Where did your carriage enter Fayetteville street?

A: I came from the market to the post office.

Q: There you turned around?

A: Yes sir.

Q: How far did you come up the street before turning around?

A: Just to the end of the post office, up near the sidewalk, near the south steps.

Q: Did you turn your surrey towards the door of the court house?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Your horse’s head was where?

A: Towards the capitol.

Q: Where did you stop your horse?

A: Right there where I was.

Q: And where were you?

A: Sitting in the carriage.

Q: And where was the carriage?

A: Standing on the street.

Q: Near what part of the sidewalk?

A: Right at the edge of the sidewalk.

Q: Where was the location? Where was the horse standing?

A: Pretty near the post office building.

Q: Pretty near the front?

A: Yes sir.

Q: Near what part of the front?

A: The lower end of the south door.

Q: Where was the head of your horse?

A: Just above the lower steps of the post office.

Q: Just above the south steps?

A: Yes sir.

Q: So you had your back to the post office?

A: Yes sir.

Q: What first attracted your attention there?

A: I heard some one speak.

Q: Whom did you hear speak?

A: I don’t know which one, one of these men, I don’t know which one.

Q: Did you know Mr. Skinner?

A: I did not know him sir.

Q: Did you see him pass out of the post office building by your carriage?

A: No sir.

The following witnesses were called to prove the character of Ned Barnes, to-wit: R.G. Briggs, a manufacturer of Wilson [Ned had worked for him as a coachman]; F.W. Barnes, of Wilson; F.A. Woodard, of Wilson, former Congressman from that district; Walter Woodard, tobacco manufacturer of Wilson; Geo. D. Green, hardware merchant of Wilson; W.R. Crawford, steward of State Hospital, Raleigh.


Three days later, in its summary of the proceedings, the Raleigh Farmer and Mechanic opined that Ned Barnes “made a splendid witness, and is an honest looking colored man, with a good face. The impression he made was excellent.”

The trial in State vs. Haywood unfolded in early fall. The first two weeks of October, crowds thronged the courthouse, the newspapermen among them jostling for prime spots to cover the action. Ned Barnes and other reprised their roles as witnesses, and a surprising verdict was rendered: Not Guilty.



Ned Barnes, wife Louisa Gay Barnes, and children Mattie and Alice, circa 1898.

Photo courtesy of Katie Chestnut Barnes.

Students of Saint Augustine’s School, 1915-1920.


Founded in 1867 as Saint Augustine’s Normal School by Episcopal clergy to educate freed slaves, this historically black institution institution changed its name to Saint Augustine’s School in 1893 and then to Saint Augustine’s Junior College in 1919 when it began offering college-level coursework. It began offering coursework leading to a four-year degree in 1927 and changed its name to Saint Augustine’s College one year later. The first baccalaureate degrees were awarded in 1931.

The following pages featuring the names of Wilson students and alumni were culled from Saint Aug catalogues published between 1915 and 1920.


1915-16 catalog.

Flora Ruth Mingo Clark (1898-1985) was the daughter of John H. and Ida Crenshaw Clark. (The family resided at 706 East Nash Street, a house that was only recently demolished.) She married Wilton Maxwell Bethel on 18 June 1930 at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Wilson.

annualcatalogueo19151930_0065 1916 1

1916-17 catalog.

Dinah (or Diana) Ada Adams (1891-1950) was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Troup Adams of Brooks County, Georgia. She married Wilson native Columbus E. Artis on 4 July 1918 in Washington DC. They returned to Wilson and settled at 308 Pender Street. C.E. operated an undertaker business and a filling station. They later moved to 611 East Green Street.

annualcatalogueo19151930_0057 1916 2

1916-17 catalog.


1917-18 catalog.

Glennie Dora Hill (1906-1989) was the daughter of George and Mary Bynum Hill. They appear in the 1910 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County, with Glennie’s siblings Lena, Emma, George and Edwin. In the 1930 census, Glennie is listed in Cross Roads township, Wilson County with husband Nathan Donald and children Eugene, Frank L., Hubert L, Alma and Algie. Ten years later, the family is listed in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Glennie later was married to a Council.

annualcatalogueo19151930_0125 1917 1

1917-18 catalog.

Raleigh native William H. Phillips (1885-1957), son of Frank and Margaret Haywood Phillips, was Wilson’s first African-American dentist. His first wife was Jewel J. Phillips and his second, Rena Maynor Carter Phillips.

Phillips directory

Wilson city directory, 1922.

Phillips lived at 405 East Green Street and maintained an office at 525 East Nash.

annualcatalogueo19151930_0335 1920

1920-21 catalog.

Marie Wells (1898-1997) was the daughter of Mack and Cherry Wells. The family resided at 615 Viola Street. Marie worked as a teacher and married Joseph Lucas in 1934 in Wilson. (Flora Clark Bethel’s husband W.M. Bethel was a witness to the ceremony.) They had at least three children: Joseph (1936), John Dennis (1940) and Joseph Clifton (1942).

annualcatalogueo19151930_0337 1920 1

1920-21 catalog.

Viola P. Adkinson married Belton Parker in Wilson in 1925. They are listed in the city’s 1928 city directory at 224 Ashe Street. Belton worked as a chauffeur.

Catalog images via http://library.digitalnc.org/cdm/ref/collection/yearbooks/id/6161