Red Hot Hose Company

Lane Street Project: Chief Ben Mincey’s grave.

Here is a closer look at a photograph published in the Wilson Daily Times in February 1989. Ben Mincey Jr. is shown standing at the grave of his father, Benjamin Mincey, renowned as a chief of the Red Hot Hose Company, an all-Black volunteer fire company. Fittingly, Mincey Sr.’s gravemarker is a fire hydrant.

Tragically, that grave is in Odd Fellows cemetery, and today the hydrant is strangled by wisteria vines. 

Marker of the grave of Benjamin Mincey (ca. 1881-1950).

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2020.

 

The obituary of John W. Jeffries (or Jefferson), member of the Red Hots.

Wilson Daily Times, 27 June 1938.

The “local negro fire company” was, of course, the Red Hots.

——

On 20 November 1887, John W. Jefferson, 36, of Wilson County, son of Jack Jefferson, married Lizzie D. Dotson (or Doster) at “the rectory at St. Timothys church.” Episcopal priest B.S. Bronson performed the ceremony.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: day laborer John Jefferson, 52, widower.

In the 1908 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jeffreys John V (c) lab h 708 S Spring

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 360 Spring Street, odd jobs laborer John Jeffries, 60, and wife Maggie, 30.

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jefferson John (c) lab h 708 S Spring

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 607 Spring, house carper John Jefferson, 68, and wife Maggie, 31.

In the 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jefferson John (c) lab h 607 S Spring

In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jefferson John (c) carp h 521 Spring

In the 1925 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jeffreys Jno W (c) carp h 521 Spring

In the 1928 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Jeffries John W (c) carp h 521 Spring

John Wesley Jeffrey died 27 June 1938 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 May 1849 in Harnett County, N.C.; lived at 307 Spruce Street, Wilson; was divorced from Maggie Wilson; and was a laborer.

The Red Hot Hose Company.

Wilson_Mirror_11_30_1887_Ed_Pool

Wilson Mirror, 30 November 1887.

Wilson_Advance_12_1_1887_Ed_Pool_appreciation

Wilson Advance, 1 December 1887.

WIlson_Advance_9_14_1893_fire_company

Wilson Advance, 14 September 1893.

Wilson_Advance_2_22_1894

Wilson Advance, 22 February 1894.

Wilson_Advance_5_10_1894 (1)

Wilson Advance, 10 May 1894.

Wilson_Adv_4_11_1895_WFCo

Wilson Advance, 11 April 1895.

WDT_7_31_1896_Red_HOt (1)

Wilson Daily Times, 31 July 1896.

Wilson_Advance_13_Aug_1896_Red_Hot

Wilson Advance, 13 August 1896.

Wilson_Advance_1_19_1899_colored_fire_co (1)

Wilson Advance, 19 January 1899.

WDT_8_18_1899_CFCo

Wilson Daily Times, 18 August 1899.

Raleigh_N_Carolinian_8_28_1902_Red_Hot_Hose

The North Carolinian (Raleigh NC), 28 August 1902.

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Wilson Daily Times, 7 March 1911.

WDT_12_10_1918_Ben_Mincey_fireman

Wilson Daily Times, 10 December 1918.

WDT_8_19_1921_COlored_firemen

Wilson Daily Times, 19 August 1921.

——

Edmund Poole (1846-?) was living in Wilson by 1882, when he married Adeline Gay. He worked as a teamster.

Greene County native Benjamin Mincey (1879-1950) was the son of Prince and Susan Mincey. The family moved to Wilson when Ben was young, and he married Mattie Barnes there in 1904. When not fighting fires, he worked as a laborer for the city.