The apprenticeship of Charity Sanders.

On 19 May 1904, a Wilson County Superior Court judge ordered 12 year-old Charity Sanders bound as an apprentice to Julius Hagans until she reached 18 years of age.

Charity was the daughter of Mary Sanders and Edmund (or Edward) Sanders (or Wrenn?) and was likely an orphan at the time of her apprenticeship. Julius Hagans had recently married Charity’s aunt, Martha Sanders.


In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: teamster Edman Sanders, 39; wife Winne, 32; son Andrew, 12, day laborer, and daughter Charty, 9; sisters Martha, 19, and Bettie Sanders, 20; and boarders Willie Sanders, 21, day laborer, Preston Bryant, 24, day laborer, and Chrischana Sanders, 18.

On 2 January 1901, Julius Hagan, 36, of Wilson County, son of Richard and Allie Hagan, married Martha Sanders, 22, of Wilson County, daughter of Lovett and Charity Sanders, at Ed Sanders’ residence in Wilson County.

On 6 December 1906, James Tate, 27, of Wilson, son of Isaac and Emily Tate, married Charity Sanders, 17, of Wilson, whose parents were dead and whose guardians were Julius Hagans and wife. Missionary Baptist minister William Baker performed the ceremony at Julius Hagans’ residence in the presence of Martha Hagans, Jason Farmer, and Bettie Boykin. [Charity Sanders, in fact, was only about 15 years old.]

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Raleigh Road, James Tate, 27; wife Charity, 18; step-son Henry Sanders, 3; son Hollie Tate, 2; and lodger John Pleasant, 39. All the adults were farm laborers. [On nearby Finch Mill Road, Charity Sanders Tate’s brother Andrew Sanders, 21, was living with Julius and Martha Hagans as a hired man.]

On 9 February 1914, Charity Sanders, 22, married Cordy Tillery, 22, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister B.P. Coward performed the ceremony in the presence of Allen Nelson, Edward Hill, and Lacy Sloane.

In 1917, Cordy Tillery registered for the World War I draft. Per his registration card, he was born 9 August 1889 in Manchester, Virginia; lived at Spring Street, Wilson; was a convict of the County of Wilson (for “misdemeanants”); and had a wife and one child to support.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Park Avenue, tobacco factory worker Cordy Tillery, 28, and wife Charity, 27.

In the 1920 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Tillery Charity dom h ft [foot of] Daniel; Tillery Cordy lab h 510 Railroad; Tillery Lorena dom h ft Daniel

Charity Tillery died 18 May 1920 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 25 years old; was born in Smithfield, N.C., to Edward Wrin of Raleigh, N.C., and Mary Saunders of Smithfield, N.C.; was married to Cordy Tillery; worked as a tenant farmer; and lived on Daniel Street. William Smith was informant.

United States Indenture and Manumission Records, 1780-1939, database at

Sanders slain by Officer Hartis.

Wilson Daily Times, 2 October 1935.

In his 2005 memoir Son of the Rough South, journalist Karl Fleming painted a dark picture of police officer Philemon Ray Hartis in the late 1940s, a dozen years after he shot Ernest Sanders to death. In a chapter titled “My First Bad Cop,” Fleming introduced Hartis as the detective whose job it was to follow what was happening across the tracks in “n*ggertown” and in other pockets of the town’s demimonde, who ran white madames and black bootleggers as informants, who hoarded the dirty secrets of the white upper class, and who smacked around any black body he deemed deserving.

Earnest Sanders’ death was ruled a justifiable homicide, “shot by policeman.”

County teachers retire.

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Wilson Daily Times, 27 June 1962.

In the 1900 census of Jackson township, Nash County: farmer Dennis Tabron, 51; wife Harrett, 49; and children Cephus, 18, Theodorie, 16, Anna D., 13, and Arena H., 7.

In the 1910 census of Ferrells township, Nash County: farmer Dennis T. Tabron, 66; wife Harret, 50; and daughters Anna D., 18, and Irena, 15.

Barney Reid, 27, of Wilson, son of Jessie and Sallie Reid, married Elnora Taborn, 21, of Nash County, daughter of Denis and Harrit Tayborn, on 28 May 1912 in Wilson.

Barney Reid registered for the World War I draft in 1918 in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 13 April 1885; lived at 300 Vick Street, Wilson; worked as a mechanic for Boyd-Robertson Construction in Newport News, Virginia; and was married to Anna D. Reid.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 300 Vick Street, building carpenter Barney Reid, 43; wife Anna, 39; children Earl, 4, Piccola, 13, and Fitzhugh, 9; and in-laws Harriot, 69, and John Tayborn, 80.

Anna Dora Reid Hall died 20 April 1969 in Kinston, Lenoir County.

  • Cora Sherrod Barnes

In the 1900 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer Jack Sherard, 56; wife Cassy; and children Ida, 27, Benjamin, 25, Dalas, 20, Exum, 16, Arthur, 15, and Cora, 11.

Columbus Ward, 26, of Greene County, son of Pearson and Cherry Ward, married Cora Sherrod, 18, of Wayne County, daughter of Jack Sherrod, on 17 April 1907 in Stantonsburg, Wilson County.

In the 1930 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: Cassie Sherrod, 75; grandchildren Zenobia, 25, Doris, 7, and Jeraldine, 6; and daughter Cora Powell, 30, public school teacher, divorced.

John M. Barnes died 27 April 1958 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1870 in Wayne County to Charles and Rebecca Pope Barnes; lived at 500 East Green; worked as a brickmason; was married to Cora Sherrod Barnes [daughter of Jack and Cassie Sherrod]; and was buried at Rest Haven. Thelma Byers was informant.

Cora Sherrod Barnes died 12 June 1972 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 13 December 1888 to Jack and Cassie Sherrod; was a widow; and was a retired teacher. Ralph Sherrod was informant.

Send-off at Calvary.

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The Africo-American Presbyterian, 15 September 1938.

700 East Green Street.

The forty-second in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

As described in the nomination form for East Wilson Historic District: “ca. 1908. 1 story. Hargrave-Sanders house; L-plan cottage with traces of original Victorian millwork in the cutaway front-facing bay; possibly first occupied by Dr. [Frank S.] Hargrave; later occupant was Dr. Otto Sanders, minister of Primitive Baptist Church [sic; Sanders was a Presbyterian minister].”

This house was occupied until just a few months ago by a Sanders descendant, who was forced out by a fire.

The 1913 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson shows the original house number — 629.

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In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: medical doctor Frank Hargrave, 32; wife Bessie, 23; and boarder Lena Harris, 26, insurance bookkeeper.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 629 Green Street, renting, widow Rebeca Speight, 40; daughters Eva, 23, school teacher, Bessie, 13, Addie, 11, Rubie, 9, and Ineese, 7; and roomer Hossie Arrington, 21, wagon factory laborer.

In the 1930 edition of Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory lists 700 East Green as vacant, and it does not appear in the 1930 census.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 700 East Green, renting for $20/month, Rev. O.E. Sanders, 48, wife Annie, 30, teacher; and sons Charles, 6, and Otto, 14.

Annie G. Sanders died 17 September 1964 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 28 March 1907 in Moore County, North Carolina, to Sidney D. Goins and Rosa McCray; was married to Rev. O.E. Sanders; was a teacher; and resided at 700 East Green Street.

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, July 2017.

The Negro ministers were well received.

pc 3 12 1938

Pittsburgh Courier, 12 March 1938.

  • Richard A.G. Foster — As shown here, Rev. Foster was a steadfast and enthusiastic proponent of civil rights.
  • E.O. Saunders — South Carolina native Otto Eugene Sanders was newly arrived from Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Bryant P. Coward

Happy father of 19.

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Raleigh News & Observer, 24 July 1912.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: on New Creek Road, farmer Adolphus Sanders, 51; wife Penny, 52 (who reported that 10 of her 14 children were living; daughters Lucy Jane, 22, and Rosabella, 20; daughter Annabella Bird, 20, and her husband David Bird, 21; son Walter, 14; daughters Casilla, 13, Vizetteora, 11, and Liewgenia, 10; son George L., 7; and granddaughter Annabella, 4 months; plus hired woman Alice Whitley, 45. Next door: Adolphus and Penny’s son Milton Sanders, 28, and family.

Johnston County native Adolphus Sanders died 24 February 1929, aged 67.