Rountree

Bagging bucks near Cherry Point.

Wilson Daily Times, 9 November 1950.

Ben Hodges and Wiley Rountree were among a group of Wilson County men who traveled down to Craven County, North Carolina, to hunt deer in November 1950.

  • Ben Hodges — in the 1950 census of Wilson, Wilson County: ice company engineer Ben Hodges, 47; wife Rogenia, 47; and daughters Alva Wilson, 22, and Thelma Bryant, 20.
  • Wiley Rountree — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: plasterer Wiley Rountree, 47; wife Mary, 46; and children Lula, 25, cook, Junius, 21, plasterer, Joseph, 17, Daisey, 23, private nurse, Doris, 13, Mary, 12, and Thelma, 8.

Last will and testament of Fannie Rountree.

Last will and testament of Fannie Rountree.

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Osborn Dunstan, 37, wife Mariah, 45, and children Dora, 4, Cora, 2, Sarah, 2 months, John, 12, and Fanny, 6. [The latter two children were born prior to Mariah’s marriage to Osborne.]

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm worker Osbourn Dunston, 44, wife Mariah, 40, and children Dorah, 12, Corah, 11, Sarah, 9, Frances, 7, Hubbard, 5, Mary, 4, and Harriet, 3. Next door, in the household of farmer Henry Miller, was John Dunston, 20.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Fannie Rountree, 32, cook, married 16 years.

On 11 September 1901, Sarah Dunston, 23, of Wilson, North Carolina, daughter of Osborne and Mariah Dunston, married Marshall Bells, 24, waiter, of Charleston, South Carolina, son of Calvin and Lovinia Bells, in Norfolk, Virginia.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Fannie Rountree, 40, widow, cook, living alone.

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Rountree Fannie dom  h 667 E Vance

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 667 Vance, widow Fannie Rountree, 52, cook, and sister Sarah Rountree [sic], 35, tobacco laborer.

Fannie Rountree died 4 June 1925 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was about 60 years old; was born in Wilson to Benjamin Rountree and Maria Dunston; was separated; lived at 710 East Vance; and worked as a cook for Mrs. Walter Woodard. Sarah Bell was informant.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 710 East Vance, owned and valued at $3000, Sarah Belle, 55, cook.

Sarah Bell died 29 December 1930 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 54 years old; was born in Wilson to Osborne Dunston and Mariah Monday; was married to William Marshall Bell. Informant was Hattie Wilkerson, 712 Brooks Street, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

State vs. Percy Jones.

One Saturday evening in August 1911, 14 year-old Henrietta Faison tagged along with her sister Emma Faison to Walter F. Woodard’s house at the corner of North Goldsboro and Lee Streets. Emma Faison and an older woman, Fannie Rountree, were employed in the Woodards’ kitchen. Percy Jones, a farm hand employed by Woodard, was hanging around the back steps. Suddenly, he grabbed the girl and tried to force her to go off with him. She screamed.

Evidence presented to a county grand jury yielded this testimony, transcribed from court records:

“Henrietta Faison — I know Percy Jones; last Saturday night I was at Mr. Walter Woodards; Percy was sitting on back steps and he caught me by hands and said let’s go to the store; I told him to turn me loose; he put his arms around me and said I had to like he would me to, that he would give $5 or $10 to buy me a new dress; told him to turn me loose, that I would call Miss Fannie; I called Miss Fannie but she didn’t hear me; he asked me my age and went to pulling up my dress; he pulled me down to back part of Mr. Walter Woodard’s lot; he was on the out side of back gate, where he began to pull me; he told me if I hollered he would kill me, that he had a pistol in his pocket; he put his hand on my mouth and I tried to get it away when he slapped me in the face; when I began to holler he be tried to choke me; he turned me loose and jumped and run. After he began to run Sister Emma and Miss Fannie came out of the house. I then went to the house we were on the street where this took place. When he left me he went toward Mike Taylor‘s. He put his hand on known but clothes.

“Fannie Rountree — I saw Henrietta at Mr. Woodard’s Saturday night; I was in Mr. Woodard’s dining room and heard a scream; didn’t know who it was; sounded like it was on lawn; when I got out I heard it again saw Henrietta coming up toward steps; saw no one else. Asked her what was the matter; she said Percy snatched her out of gate and ran.She was screaming. Emma came out where we were. This was between 7 and 8 o’clock.

“Emma Faison — I am Henrietta’s sister; I was at Mr. Woodard’s last Saturday; I was washing dishes; heard some one screaming; it was Henrietta; said Percy had pulled her out of the yard, put his hand over her mouth and slapped her; that he had pulled up her clothes and asked her to go with him to the store; saw man running; don’t know who it was; her dress and waist was unfastened and her clothes was wrinkled; Percy had been working at Mr. Woodard’s. When I saw the man running he was half block away. Henrietta was crying when I got up with her.

“W.F. Woodard — I swore out warrant; I heard the screaming; my family was sitting on front porch — heard the screaming twice. Went on back porch, found Henrietta sobbing; asked her what was the matter; she said Percy had caught and dragged her down to back lot and told her if she hollered he would kill her; that he pulled her dress, put his hand on her mouth and she hollered. Phoned for officers, they came and I told them there the trouble. Didn’t notice condition of Henrietta’s clothes. This was a few minutes after 8.”

Jones was quickly caught and charged with assault with attempt to commit rape. He pled guilty to a lesser charge of simple assault and was sentenced to three months “on the roads,” i.e. working road maintenance on a chain gang.

A few weeks later, Jones’ lawyers, Daniels & Swindell, petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus. Under recent state law, they claimed, absent aggravating circumstances, 30 days was the maximum sentence for simple assault. Percy Jones was transported to Raleigh for a hearing before the state Supreme Court.

Wilson Daily Times, 10 October 1911.

The wait for a decision was not long. Three days later, Percy Jones was a free man.

Wilson Daily Times, 13 October 1911.

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  • Henrietta and Emma Faison

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Vance Street, widow Ellar Fason, 49, laundress, and daughters Mary, 18, laundress, Emma, 16, cook, Henretta, 13, and Flory, 10.

On 3 March 1914, John Ellis, 22, of Wilson, married Henretta Faison, 18, at Mrs. Ellar Faison’s place in Wilson. Missionary Baptist minister Fred M. Davis performed the ceremony in the presence of Ed Cox and Roscoe Yelverton.

In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory, Ella Faison, Henrietta Faison, and Mary Faison are listed at 802 Viola. Ella and Mary Faison worked as laundresses.

  • Percy Jones

On 3 July 1910, Percy Jones, 22, of Wilson, married Fannie Reid, 18, of Wilson, at the residence of Sam Miller in Wilson. Primitive Baptist minister Jonah Williams performed the ceremony in the presence of B.R. Winstead, Robert Talley, and Arthur Isom.

  • Fannie Rountree

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Fannie Rountree, 40, widow, cook, living alone.

Fannie Rountree died 4 June 1925 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was about 60 years old; was born in Wilson to Benjamin Rountree and Maria Dunston; was separated; lived at 710 East Vance; and worked as a cook for Mrs. Walter Woodard. Sarah Bell was informant.

  • Mike Taylor

Drayman Mike Taylor lived at 108 West Lee Street. Thus, Jones ran west when Faison began screaming.

Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson (1922), page 7.

Criminal Action Papers, 1911, Wilson County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

Fatal auto crashes.

Wilson Daily Times, 16 December 1929.

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  • Clarence Rogers — Rogers died 15 December 1929 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 24 years old; was born in Wake County, N.C., to James C. Rogers and Martha Perry; was married to Mary Rogers; worked as a common laborer; and was buried in Wake County. Millard Rogers, Wilson, was informant.

“Coronary Embolus auto accident. Not at R.R. crossing occurred at place of death”

  • Eddie Walker — in the 1930 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: farm laborer Eddie Walker, 20; wife Pecolia, 24; and daughter Dallas, 9 months; also farm laborer Augustus Mitchel, 29; wife Cora, 24; and children Earnest L., 6, and Farman, 2.
  • Agelene Rountree — per her death certificate, Arger Lee Rountree of 120 Manchester Street died 15 December 1929 in Wilson. She was born 8 April 1921 in Wilson County to Wiley Rountree and Mary Barnes and was a student.

“Run down by Automobile while crossing the street, killed almost instantly. Was dead when Doctor reached there.”

  • James Artis 

The obituary of Sarah Rountree Bowser.

December 1935.

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In the 1870 census of the Town of Wilson, Wilson County: shoemaker Peter Rountree, 46; wife Lucinda, 30; and children Sarenena, 8, Peter, 4, and Sarah, 2.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Nash Street, merchant Peter Rountree, 56; wife Lucinda, 40, born in Virginia; and children Serena, 17, Peter, 14, Sarah, 12, Burtie, 2, and Lucinda, 11 months.

Burt Bowser, born in Halifax County, married Sarah Rountree, daughter of Peter and Lucinda Rountree, on 4 December 1888 in Wilson. Reddin S. Wilkins, A.J. Lindsay and James W. Parrington were witnesses to the ceremony.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: shoemaker Peter Rountree, 76, wife Lucinda, 53, daughter Sarah Bowser, 32, son-in-law Burt L. Bowser, 36, grandsons Russell, 9, Astor B., 3, and Thomas F., 1, stepdaughters (?) Manda L., 18, and Rosa E. Rountree, 14.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Nash Street, Best Bowser, 48; wife Sarah, 40; sons Russell, 19, Astor B., 13, and Thomas F., 11; sister-in-law Rosa Rountree, 21, and brother-in-law James Rountree, 14; and mother Lucindia Bowser, 60, widow [actually, probably mother-in-law Lucinda Rountree.]

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Nash Street, Bert L. Brown [sic], 56; wife Sarah M., 49; sons Aster B., 25, and Thomas, 21; daughter-in-law Georgia B., 20; and mother-in-law Lucinda Roundtree, 70.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 528 East Nash, widow Sarah L. Bowser, 59, laundress, and roomers George Lee, 24, restaurant cook, and George Sledge, 21, barber.

Crop liens and mortgage deeds, no. 1.

On 6 April 1936, General Supply Store Inc. agreed to advance brothers Will Artis and Roselle Artis a fifty dollar merchandise account for the cultivation of crops on the lands of W.J. Davis in Stantonsburg township. In consideration, the Artises agreed to convey to General Supply “a light brown Guernsey cow about 3 yrs old & increase 1 Poland China sow & 14 pigs 4 Poland China shoats about six weeks old” as well as a lien on all the crops grown on the land, in the event of default.

Deed book 220, page 160.

In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: Willie Artis, 43; wife Francis, 43; children Alexander, 21, Harvie, 20, Willie Jr., 16, Nora E., 14, Marion, 11, Rosel, 9, Jessie, 8, Elcy, 5, and Johnie, 18; laborer Miles Warren, 40; and boarder Albert Thompson, 19.

In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: Will Artis, 53; wife Francis, 52; children Roselle, 19, Jesse, 18, and Elsie M., 15, and Johnie, 18; lodger Myrs Warren, 50; and sister Beatrice Sauls, 19.

On 1 December 1934, Rozell Artis, 23, of Wilson County, son of Will and Frances Artis, married Rencie Bynum, 16, of Wilson County, daughter of William and Rosa Bynum, in Nashville, Nash County, North Carolina. Will Artis, William Bynum, and Frank Williams were witnesses.

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On 22 May 1936, P.L. Woodard & Co. agreed to advance Captain Rountree and Freeman Rountree $27.50 in money, merchandise and supplies for the cultivation of crops on an eight and one-fifth acre lot in Wilson township, “the identical land deeded to Freeman Rountree by Margaret Dew and having been a part of the Jeff Dew estate.” The Rountrees gave P.L. Woodard & Co. a lien on their crop as well as on the land they had purchased from Jeff Dew’s daughter. The Rountrees paid off the loan in October of the same year.

Deed Book 220, page 180.

In the 1900 census of Taylor township, Wilson County: Willie Rowntree, 29; wife Martha, 27; and children Freeman, 9, Willie, 8, Rapherd, 6, Captan, 3, Dasie, 2, and Andrew, 1.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Tarboro Road, Wiley Rountree, 42; wife Matilda, 34; daughter Matha, 20, and her son Roscoe, 2; children Freeman, 19, Wiley Jr., 18, Raford, 16, Captain, 14, Daisey, 13, Andrew, 10, Husband, 9, Nellie, 8, and Frank, 6; and grandson Bosy, 3 months.

On 31 August 1916, Freeman Rountree, 25, of Wilson, son of Wiley Rountree and Martha (last name not listed, married Vinie Wilson, 18, of Wilson, daughter of Tom Wilson and Anna Wilson. Rev. John A. Barnes, A.M.E.Z. minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Jesse C. Lassiter, William Knight and Johnnie A. Barnes Jr.

In 1917, Freeman Rountree registered for the World War I draft. Per his card, he was born 5 October 1890; was born in South Carolina; was a self-employed farmer; and lived in Black Creek township. He was literate.

In 1917, Captain Rountree registered for the World War I draft. Per his card, he was born 25 December 1895; was born in Wilson County; farmed for his father; and lived at R.F.D. #5, Wilson. He signed his name with an X.

On 24 May 1918, Captain Rountree, 22, of Wilson, son of Wiley and Sarah Rountree, married Lizzie Horne, 19, of Wilson, daughter of Simon and Nancy Horne, at the residence of Simon Horne. Fred Weaver, Jonah Dew, and Andrew Rountree were witnesses.

In the 1920 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Rountree, 29, and wife Viana, 20.

In the 1930 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Rountree, 37; wife Vinie, 30; and adopted son Eddie Bynum, 14.

In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Rocky Mount to Wilson Road, farmer Captain Rountree, 35; wife Lizzie, 28; and children Viola, 10, Lossie, 9, Martha, 5, Surisa, 3, Will Jr., 2, and Annie M., newborn.

In the 1940 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Freeman Roundtree, 49, born in Florida; wife Viney, 38; and cousin Paul, 18, farm helper.

In the 1940 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Calvin [sic] Rountree, 40; wife Lizzie, 40; and children Viola, 19, Mathie, 15, Swanee Belle, 13, Willie Jr., 12, Annie Mae, 9, Rosa Lee, 7, Calvin Jr., 6, Mavis, 4, and Doris, 1.

Deed books, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

The why of Black Wide-Awake, no. 2.

Carolyn Maye, a generous contributor of photographs to Black Wide-Awake, made it to Imagination Station on closing day to see Say Their Names. The exhibit included among its displayed documents a copy of the obituary of her formerly enslaved great-great-grandmother, Jane Rountree Mobley.

She brought with her Skylar, the youngest of Jane Mobley’s great-great-great-great-granddaughters.

Thank you, Carolyn, for affirming the purpose of Black Wide-Awake. Your determination to get to Wilson, despite a pandemic, and to introduce Skylar to Jane Mobley, both humbles and inspires me. She will never believe, as so many of us have, that the lives of her ancestors passed unknown and unknowable.

Lane Street Project: Delzela Rountree.

Delzela Dau of Jack & Lucile Rountree Born Aug. 5, 1897 Died Mar. 8, 1914 An angel visited the green earth and took the flower away.

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In the 1900 census of Falkland township, Pitt County: farmer Jack Rountree, 49; wife Lucy, 27; and children Julius, 5, Daisy E., 2, and Cora, 2 months; sisters Marcela, 23, Cora, 24, and Ella Bargeron, 26; and boarder Jacob Worthan, 18.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on Saratoga Road, farmer Jack Rountree, 53; wife Lucy, 35; and children Junius, 15, Delzel, 12, Cora Lee, 10, John H., 7, James, 6, Mable, 4, and Gollie May, 1.

Daisy L. [sic] Roundtree died 5 August 1914 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1898 to Jack Roundtree and Lucy Body; was single; lived on Stantonsburg Street; and was buried in Wilson. 

Divine healer?

In a nine-day span in 1914, Wilson residents Mary A. Williams and James T. Rountree died while under the care of William F. Edwards, a “divine healer.”

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William F. Edwards was only passing through town and apparently moved on with impunity. Two years later the “Gospel preacher and healer” was in Concord, North Carolina, “still curing the people.”

Concord Daily Tribune, 4 December 1916.

Concord Daily Tribune, 11 December 1916.

Four years after that, “The World’s Wonder Christian Scientist Preacher Healer” was in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, exhorting black and white to come throw their crutches away.

The Independent (Elizabeth City, N.C.), 11 June 1920.

Hat tip to D.P. for locating these articles about Edwards.