Rest Haven cemetery

Follow-up: the roots of Rest Haven cemetery.

Here we explored an early family graveyard on the land now covered by Rest Haven cemetery, and here viewed a charcoal portrait of Jesse and Sarah Barnes, who established it.

Below, a closer look at Barnes cemetery. The large headstone visible is that of the Dixon family.

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Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, June 2020.

A lot in Rest Haven.

Ed and Daisy Hagans purchased a plot at Rest Haven cemetery for twenty-five dollars on 26 July 1948. Such a sale constitutes a real estate transaction, and the Haganses’ transaction was recorded in Deed Book 357, page 413, at the Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.

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This is somewhat confusing, as Edward Hagans died 20 July 1948. Per his death certificate, he was born 23 April 1913 in Wilson County to Isaac Hagans and Essie Mae Farmer; was married to Daisy Hagans; lived at 555 East Nash Street; worked as a laborer; and was buried in Rest Haven on 22 July 1948.

Edward and Daisy Hagans’ daughter Gloria Devetta Hagans died at home on 28 July 1948 of pulmonary tuberculosis (as had her father.) Per her death certificate, she was born 25 November 1934 in Wilson to Edward Hagans and Daisy Melton; was a student; lived at 536 East Nash; and was buried at Rest Haven.

Per Joan Howell’s Cemetery, Volume 5, Edward, Daisy and Gloria Hagans, plus Albert Hagans, are buried in Section 3 between rows L and M.

The roots of Rest Haven cemetery.

Heather Goff, Wilson Cemetery Commission Leader, has gone above and beyond to educate herself about the city’s historic black cemeteries and to search for documents concerning these little-known properties. She recently unearthed these Cemetery Commission records shedding light on Rest Haven Cemetery’s early days.

A document labeled Agreement: Town of Wilson vs. Colored Cemetery Commission:

The text of the document does not make reference to a lawsuit or the Colored Cemetery Commission. The passive voice construction in the first independent clause conceals a critical fact: who conveyed 38 acres known as the Jesse Barnes land to the Cemetery Trustees of the Town of Wilson on 24 October 1933? The Town of Wilson actually put up the money for the property and held it in trust until the Trustees paid the Town $3500, plus interest. This amount was to be realized, after deducting operating expenses, from sums raised from the sales of burial lots. The document is signed by the white Cemetery Trustees of Wilson, and I have not been able to identify any “colored” ones. The notes on the reverse show six payments totaling $2000 made between 1939 and 1945.

And thus we get an establishment date for Rest Haven cemetery — 1933 — and the provenance of its earliest section.

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So, who was Jesse Barnes?

This 12 June 1975 letter proclaims that “the lots adjacent to the Rest Haven Cemetery are have been, and in the future will be set aside for the heirs of the said, Jessie R. and Sarah L. Barnes. These lots are located at the back of Section No. 2 on row beside the ditch in the cluster of trees.” Frank Barnes signed the letter.

Jesse Reese Barnes (1873-1949) and Sarah Eliza Barnes Barnes (1872-1936) were married in 1893. Frank Washington Barnes was their son. Without access to deeds, I cannot determine at this time when the Barneses purchased their 38 acres. However, presumably, Jesse and Sarah sold it to the Cemetery Commission.

And “the back of Section No. 2 on row beside the ditch in the cluster of trees”? It’s here:

Less than a month after the note above, Frank W. Barnes sold four grave plots to John E. Dixon. This note is on file with the Cemetery Commission: “This is to certify that I, Frank W. Barnes of 308 Ward Boulevard, Wilson, North Carolina acting on behalf of myself and with the full consent of other concerned members of the Barnes family do hereby  for the sum of Ten Dollars ($10.00) and other value received do convey to said John E. Dixon and family of 411 N. Vick Street of Wilson, North Carolina space for four (4) grave plots in the Barnes Family Cemetery which is a part of REST HAVEN CEMETERY of Wilson, North Carolina. These grave plots are located near the south-east corner of the Barnes Cemetery between two (2) big Cedar trees. These plots are theirs to have and hold from this day hence-forth.” Joan Howell’s Cemeteries, Volume V, lists the burials of Jesse Barnes, Jesse J. Barnes, John E. Dixon, Mabel B. Dixon and Levi C. Dixon in the Barnes section of Rest Haven.

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In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Lemon Barnes, 32, farmer; wife Nancey, 26; and children Morrison, 8, Jessee R., 7, Ida, 6, Eddie, 3, Lemon Jr., 2, and General, 3 months.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Ned Barnes, 34; wife Margaret, 35; and children Luvenia, 9, Franklin, 8, Walter, 10, and Sarah Eliza, 7.

Jesse Barnes, 19, married Sarah Barnes, 21, daughter of Ned Barnes and Margarett Artis, on 2 December 1893 at the bride’s home in Wilson County. Per their marriage license, Presbyterian minister L.J. Melton performed the ceremony in the presence of L.A. Moore, John Hardy and Davis Barnes.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Jesse R. Barnes, 27; wife Sarah, 28; and children Lucretia, 5, Ned, 4, Nancy, 2, and Lemon, 11 months.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Saratoga Road, Jesse Barnes, 37, farmer; wife Sarah, 31, public school teacher; and children Lucresia, 16, Ned, 14, Nancy, 12, Lemon, 11, Jessie Bell, 10, Maggie May, 7, and Ardenia, 5.

Lucrettia Barnes died 11 March 1915 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 14 October 1894 to Jesse Barnes and Sarah Barnes.

In 1919, Margaret Edmundson Barnes Artis, signed her mark to a will leaving her real property to daughter Sarah Barnes Barnes. The land was described as a tract “adjoining the lands of Martin Barnes, Harry Clark, Daniel Vick‘s heirs, Dollison Powell and the Singletary Place, containing forty-four acres more or less.” (Margaret had jointly owned or inherited this property from her second husband Cain Artis.]

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Saratoga Road, farmer Jesse Barnes, 46; wife Sarah, 47; and children Ned, 23, Nancy, 22, Lemon, 20, Jessie Belle, 18, Maggie, 15, Ardenia, 13, Frank, 11, James, 6, and Mildred, 3.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Powell Street, farmer Jessie R. Barnes, 55; wife Sarah, 56; and children Mildred, 16, James, 13, and Frank, 18; granddaughter Alma, 10; daughter Nancey Farmer, 30, and son-in-law Andrew Farmer, 29, truck driver for Wilson Sales Grocery.

Sarah Eliza Barnes died 29 August 1936 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 52 years old; was born in Wilson County to Ned Barnes and Margarette Edmundson; lived on East Nash Road; and was married to Jesse R. Barnes.

Jessie Reese Barnes died 20 April 1949 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 3 April 1873 in Wilson County to Lemuel Barnes and Nancy Woodard; was a widower; was a farmer. Frank Barnes, 513 East Nash, was informant.

Many thanks to Heather Goff for her diligent search for these records.

Cemetery records request update, no. 6: the removal of graves from Oakdale cemetery.

Here’s my most recent request for public records, made 25 February 2020 to the Wilson Cemetery Commission:

Under the North Carolina Public Records Law, G.S. §132-1, I am requesting an opportunity to inspect or obtain copies of the following public records related to the Old Negro Cemetery (also known as the colored cemetery, Oakdale or Oaklawn Cemetery) and Rest Haven Cemetery:

  • Any and all documents showing the identity of persons buried in the Old Negro Cemetery during the period of its active existence
  • Any and all documents related to the Old Negro Cemetery
  • Any and documents showing the identity of persons whose graves were moved from the Old Negro Cemetery to Rest Haven Cemetery in or before 1941
  • Any and all documents, including but not limited to maps, plats, surveys and photographs, showing the location of graves and grave markers in the Old Negro Cemetery at the time the City of Wilson or the Cemetery Commission moved graves from the Old Negro Cemetery to Rest Haven Cemetery in 1941
  • Any and all documents, including but not limited to maps, plats, surveys and photographs, showing the relocation of graves and grave markers to Rest Haven Cemetery from the Old Negro Cemetery in 1941

Oakdale was the cemetery located near present-day Cemetery Street. The request was spurred by this article.

The reply? The Cemetery Commission has no documents responsive to this request.

Harry Clark’s farm.

The city’s response to my request for documents about Vick cemetery yielded an unexpected bit of information. One of the plat maps revealed a property across Lane Street from Vick that the city’s Cemetery Trustees purchased from Augustus S. Clark of Cordele, Georgia, in 1953 for $4400. Partially visible next to it is a parcel marked “Bethel.”

The deed for the Augustus Clark parcel describes it as:

“The public road leading from Ward’s Boulevard pass [sic] Rest Haven Cemetery” is the western leg of what is now called Lane Street. “The road leading to Highway #264” is the eastern leg. Harry Clark was Augustus S. Clark’s father, and a 1921 plat map of his farm is annotated here:

In short, the southeastern half of Rest Haven cemetery was once the northeastern half of Harry Clark’s farm. In 1953, the Cemetery Commission purchased three tracts from the Clark family for the cemetery’s expansion.

On 23 January 1923, the same day A.S. Clark sold his share of his father’s estate, his niece Flora Clark Bethel and her husband Wilton Bethel sold Tract No. 6 to the Cemetery Trustees. (Flora C. Bethel had inherited the tract from her father, John H. Clark.)

On 5 June 1953, pursuant to a suit filed by the Cemetery Trustees against William H. Clark‘s heirs (widow Mary Clark, Thomas Clark and wife Sarah, A.S. Clark, Flora Clark Bethel and husband Wilton, A.S. Gaston, Theodore Gaston, Ralph Gaston and wife Dora, Cicero Gaston, George Gaston and unnamed wife, Russell Golding and unnamed wife, Flora Golding Parks and unnamed husband, and Harry Jenkins and wife Bertha), Tract No. 5 of the Clark farm was condemned. The heirs were awarded $3600, split according to their interests.

The road separating Tracts 1, 2, 3, and 4 from 5, 6, and 7 is now Lane Street, as is the road extending toward Martin Luther King Parkway from the dead-end of the first road. Tract No. 4 belonged to the heirs of Ella Clark Gaston Hinton, who died in 1947. The small black square in this tract shows the location of the Clark “home-house” (as the house recognized as the family seat is called in Wilson-speak.)

Here’s this area now:

The old path of Lane Street is clearly visible running alongside the softball field toward Stantonsburg Road. The electrical substation that the city lopped off A.S. Clark’s tract is the square of cleared land off Lane Street mid-frame. Vick cemetery is the field below Lane Street closest to the right edge of the frame. My best estimate is that the southwest half of Harry Clark’s farm stretched roughly from today’s Snowden Drive to the former path of Lane Street. The northeast half encompassed the portion of Rest Haven in which the sections widen over to Lane Street.

Plat Book 1, page 220; Deed Book 489, page 439, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson; Deed Book 489, page 437; Deed Book 499, page 353, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson. Aerial view courtesy of Bing Maps.

Removal of graves from abandoned cemetery.

As noted here and here, I have long been intrigued by the disappearance (in space and memory) of Wilson’s first African-American cemetery, sometimes called Oaklawn or Oakland or Oakdale. Yesterday, the mystery was solved.

In the late summer of 1940, the Wilson Daily Times for several weeks ran a “Notice of Removal of Graves from Abandoned Cemetery.”  Town Commissioners had declared Wilson’s “colored cemetery” on Cemetery Street abandoned as there had been no burials there in 16 years. The Commissioners proposed “to remove all graves to the new cemetery for the colored race situate near the Town of Wilson, N.C., and known as Resthaven Cemetery.” Interested persons had 30 days to object.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 September 1940.

Whether or not there were objections, the work of removal commenced. It seems likely, then, that the oldest headstones in Rest Haven (such as those of the Dunstons) mark graves moved from Oaklawn, rather than Rountree cemetery, as I earlier speculated.

[Of course, as I learned back in February, the Cemetery Street cemetery was never entirely forgotten, at least by people who lived in the neighborhood. Harry Harris recently shared the history of the Turkey Bowl, an informal neighborhood football game taking place on holidays. The original game, he said, was played Christmas Day 1958 at the “old Carnival Ground,” then an open field at the corner of Barnes and Stantonsburg (now Pender) Streets. In 1965, the game moved to Stephenson Street, in “the projects,” where it became “part of the fabric of local community culture.” After several years, however, the game was again moved “because the ladies who lived there at that time reminded us that we were playing on sacred ground as the projects were built upon the grounds of the old Black cemetery, hence Cemetery Street.”]

Map courtesy of Bing.com.

 

Wilsons of Wilson.

Though there is only one individual headstone, this family plot in Rest Haven cemetery likely holds the remains of several members of the John Adam Wilson and Mollie Newsome Wilson family.

On 13 July 1893, Adam Wilson, 26, married Mollie Newsome, 19, in Wayne County.

In the 1900 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer Adam Wilson, 34; wife Mollie, 27; and children Leonard, 5, Nina, 4, Adam, 2, and Zilphia, 1 month; and John Locus, 20, boarder. [Locus was the son of Adam Wilson’s sister Louisa Wilson Locus.]

In the 1910 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer Adam Wilson, 44; wife Mollie, 36; and children Lenna, 15, Nina, 14, Adam J., 12, Zilpha A., 10, Sarah P., 8, Bunna, 6, Hurman, 4, William H., 2, and James J., 8 months.

Adam Wilson has two death certificates — (1) Adam Wilson died 30 October 1916 at the State Hospital in Fork township, Wayne County; he was 51; his regular residence was in Wilson County; and he was a carpenter, and (2) Adam Wilson did 31 October 1916 in Wilson; he was about 51; he was born in Wayne County to John Wilson and Zilfie Artis; he was a carpenter; and informant was Mollie Wilson of Wilson. [J. Adam Wilson was the brother of Elizabeth Wilson Reid.]

Fredrick Odel Wilson died 19 May 1918 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 16 December 1916 in Wilson County to Adam Wilson and Mollie Newsome, both born in Wayne County. He died of ileocolitis, and Mollie Wilson was informant.

John Adam Wilson registered for the World War II draft in Newport News, Virginia, in 1918. Per his registration card, he was born 25 February 1899; resided at 2131-22nd Street, Newport News; worked as a carpenter for Boyle-Robertson Construction Company; and his nearest Relative was Mollie Wilson of Wilson, North Carolina.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 302 Vick, Mollie Wilson, 46; son Lennie, 25, house carpenter; daughter-in-law Georgia, 23; grandson Lennie Jr., 2; and children John A., 22, house carpenter; Annie D., 19, Sarah, 17, Bunyon, 16, Hirmon, 14, William H., 12, James J., 10, and Ire, 7.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 302 Vick, owned and valued at $2000, widow Nolly Wilson, 54, laundress; son John B., 20, theatre janitor; daughter Irene, 17; and lodgers Mollie Zackery, 30, nurse; Blonnie Zackery, 22, cook; and Earl Zackery, 44 barber. [This entry is riddled with errors. Nolly Wilson was in fact Mollie Wilson, and Mollie Zackery (who was male, not female) was Nolly Zachary, who was a barber, not a nurse. Earl Zachary, son of Nolly and Blonnie Barnes Zachary’s son, and was 4 years old in 1930. Also, it is not clear who “John B. Wilson” is, unless this is a misnomer for son James J. Wilson.]

In the 1930 census of Newark, Essex County, New Jersey: at 10 Burnett Street, apartment janitor Leonard Wilson, 34; wife Georgia, 33; brother Herman, 21, lather; and children Leonard Jr., 11, Elma, 10, Ernest, 8, and Toney Lee, 6. All were born in North Carolina.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 302 Viola Street, owned and valued at $1800, widow Mollie Wilson, 66; fish market owner Dorphus Williams, 61, roomer; and father James Newsome, 86.

Mollie Wilson died 30 January 1952 at Mercy Hospital. Per her death certificate, she was born 1 September 1875 in Wayne County to James Newsome and Penina Artis; was the widow of John A. Wilson; and resided at 301 North Vick. Informant was Irene Sherrod, 302 North Vick.

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, April 2018.

Cemeteries, no. 10: Rest Haven cemetery.

City-owned and -maintained and now open to all, Rest Haven has been the primary cemetery for African-Americans in Wilson County since the 1940s.

  • Dallas Williams

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On 24 June 1867, Dallis Williams, son of Jacob Flowers and Lewis Barnes [sic; clearly an error], married Sarah Dew, daughter of Lewis Barnes and Jenny Dew, at Peter Dew’s in Wilson County.

In the 1870 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Dallas Williams, 40, wife Sarah, 27, and children Mary E., 3, and Essex, 5 months.

In the 1880 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Dallas Williams, 40; wife Sarah, 35; and children Mary E., 13, Jonney, 7, Hewel, 6, Peter, 3, and Eliza J., 1.

On 6 June 1889, John Brown, 19, of Wilson township, son of Krewble and Ellen Brown, married Mary Ella Williams, 22, of Taylors township, daughter of Dallis and Sarah Williams. Missionary Baptist minister Crockett Best performed the ceremony in the presence of Annie Bess, John Bess, and S.W. Mitchell.

On 17 December 1899, Peter Williams, 23, son of Dallas and Sarah Williams, married Minnie Woodard, 20, daughter of Bill and Zilpha Woodard, in Taylors township. General Barnes applied for the license on their behalf.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Dallas Williams, 59; wife Sarah, 54; and children George, 19, Ginnie, 17, Henry, 13, Sara, 12, Minnie, 10, and Lenea, 6.

On 8 February 1903, Huley Williams, 27, of Wilson, son of Dallas and Sarah Williams, married Ada Dew, 20, in Wilson township.

On 11 April 1903, Mary Ella Brown, 23, of Nash County, daughter of Dallas Williams, married Clayton Jones, 25, of Nash County, in Taylors township.

In the 1910 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farmer Dallas Williams, 69; wife Sara, 61; and children Minnie, 18, Lena, 16, and Henry, 24.

Dallas Williams died 26 June 1920 in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1834 to Jake Flowers and Easter Thompson and worked as a farmer; Peter Williams was informant. Cause of death? “Valvular heart disease bronchitis chronic 86 yrs old & worn out.”

On 18 July 1930, Henry Williams, 40, son of Dallas and Sarah Williams, married Bertha Neal, 19, son of Rufus and Hattie Neal. L.V. Kennedy, an A.M.E. Zion minister, performed the ceremony.

  • Blount Knight

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In the 1880 census of Walnut Creek, Edgecombe County: farm laborer Martha Knight, 47, and children Ellen, 22, Blunt, 18, George, 16, Moses, 14, and Haywood, 10, plus granddaughters Emma, 3, and Delia Harrison, 4.

On 30 July 1908, Blount Knight, 50, son of Isaac and Martha Knight, of Gardners township, married Mary Ellis, 39, daughter of Frank and Sara Edmundson, of Gardners, in Saratoga township.

In the 1910 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: ditcher Blount Knight, 52; wife Mary, 41; children Minnie, 19, Jimmie, 13, Mollie, 10, and Louisa, 6; son-in-law Willie Anderson, 30, daughter Martha, 22, and grandchildren Robert, 2, and “no name” Anderson, 0, and Jennie Knight, 1.

In the 1916 Wilson city directory: Knight Blount, laborer, Harper’s Ln near Herring Av

In the 1920 Wilson city directory: Knight Blount, farmer, 1 Carolina

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Carolina Street (suburbs Wilson), farmer Blount Knight, 59, wife Mary, 42, and daughters Mary 17, and Louisa, 15, with James Blount, 38, and wife Lulu, 19.

On 4 October 1921, Louisa Knight, 17, daughter of Blount Knight and Jennie Knight, married Gilbert Melton, 25, son of Mark and Sarah Melton, in Wilson County.

  • Maggie Towe

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Maggie Towe, wife of Granville H. Towe, died 15 April 1899. Her youngest child is buried next to her under a stone marked “Maggie L.B. Towe Daughter of G.H. & Maggie I. Towe December 27 1898 July 24 1899.” Maggie and child appear in the records of undertakers Wootten & Stevens, and it is likely that they were originally buried at Oaklawn cemetery.

On 29 November 1899, G.H. Towe, 48, of Wilson, son of Thos. J. and Sarah L. Towe, married Rosa Wallace, 38, daughter of Jacob and Eliza Zimmerman, at “Mr. Peter Rountree‘s House” in Wilson. Rev. Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of S.A. Smith, C.L. Darden and S.D. Bowen.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: schoolteacher Granville Tower, 40, wife Rosa, 40, and children Ophelia, 21, Addie, 18, Stella, 15, Ambrose, 14, Granville, 12, Powhatan, 9, Marry, 7, and Sinclair, 7.

On 2 October 1900, Charlie Alston, 21, of Wilson County, son of Alfred and Cora Alston of Louisburg, North Carolina, married Addie E. Towe, 19, of Wilson, daughter of G.H. and Maggie Towe, in Wilson at G.H. Towe’s. Rev. R.S. Rives performed the ceremony in the presence of L.A. Moore, Mark Cotton and G.H. Towe.

On 29 May 1901, Henry Saunders, 27, of Wilson, son of Lovett and Charity Saunders, married Ophelia Towe, 24, of Wilson, daughter of G.H. Towe of Norfolk, Virginia. Jeff Farmer applied for the license on the couple’s behalf, and A.M.E. Zion minister C.L. Alexander performed the ceremony at M.H. Cotton’s house in the presence of Lee Simms, Mary Simms, and Bessie Sanders.

Ethel Barnes died 19 July 1931 at her residence at 530 Stemmery Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1888 in Portsmouth, Virginia, to Granville Towe of Hampton, Virginia, and Margaret Corprew of Deepcreek, Virginia; was married to George Barnes; and worked as a day laborer for a tobacco manufacturing company. Ambrose Towe, 112 Vick Street, Wilson, was informant.

Powhatan Towe died 19 June 1942 at Good Shepherd Hospital in New Bern, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 4 September 1889 in Portsmouth, Virginia, to Granville and Maggie Towe; resided in James City, North Carolina; worked as a truck driver; and was married to Anner Towe.

Ambrose M. Towe died 7 July 1945 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born November 1891 in Portsmouth, Virginia, to Granville H. Towe and Maggie [maiden name unknown]; was married to Effie Towe; and worked as a laborer for Export Tobacco Company.

Estella Rush Joyner died 7 October 1951 in Farmville, Pitt County, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was born 19 December 1885 in Wilson to Granville Towe and Maggie [maiden name unknown] and was divorced.

  • Matilda Roberts

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In the 1880 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: Virginia-born farm laborer Jacob Roberts, 35; wife Matilda, 25; and children Willie, 8, Rebecca, 5, Lettis, 3, and Isam, 11 months.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Virginia-born carpenter Jake Roberts, 54; wife Matilda, 44, washing; and children Rebecca, 23, cooking, Lettie, 21, cooking, Luginia, 18, cooking, Mattie, 16, nurse, Westly, 14, tobacco stemmer, Marrie, 13, Eddie, 8, Laura, 5, and Addie, 2.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: widowed laundress Matildy Roberts, 45, and children Mattie, 23, Lara, 15, and Addie, 11, plus nephews William, 12, and Thomas Hilliard, 7.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 703 Vance Street, widow Matilda Roberts, 54; son-in-law John Bullard, 24, a truck driver, daughter Laura, 24, a dressmaker, grandsons John, 4, and Albert, 3; and adopted son Thomas Hilliard, 17.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 802 East Vance Street, widow Mitilda Roberts, 73, with Oscar Powell, 31, and wife Annie, 27.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 802 East Vance Street, widow Matilda Roberts, 82, son William, 67, a building carpenter, and son-in-law Prince W. Ward, 75. William reported that he had lived in Deland, Florida, in 1935.

Matilda Roberts died 25 September 1944 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 18 February 1864 in Edgecombe County to William Hilliard and Dorcas Mann; resided at 1209 East Nash; and was the widow of Jacob Roberts.  was informant.

  • Della Crumedy

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On 15 September 1912, Wm. Edwards, 24, of Wilson, married Clara E. Crumedy, 19, of Wilson, daughter of Delia Crumedy, at the bride’s mother’s house. A.N. Neal applied for the license on the couple’s behalf, and Primitive Baptist minister Jonah Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of Howard Powell, James Williams and Lear Arrington.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 905 Stantonsburg Street, widow Della Crumedy, 69; widowed laundress Haric Barnes, 45; and Della’s granddaughter Esther M. Crumedy, 9. Della owned the house, which was valued at $600.

Della Crumedy died 25 May 1941 at her home at 804 Lincoln Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was the widow of Calvin Crumedy; and was born 16 November 1865 in Greene County to Ester Fields. Clara Edwards was informant.

Edward Crumedy died 4 August 1947 in Lucama, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 1 January 1892 in Greene County, North Carolina, to Calvin and Della Crumed; was a farmer; and was married to Lizzie Crumedy. Calvin Crumedy was informant.

Photographs by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2017.