Richmond Pender’s arm nearly severed.

Richmond Pender worked a regular job as a drayman for a grocery store. He operated a side business, though, selling wood, likely mostly to feed stoves and furnaces throughout East Wilson. In April 1928, he suffered a devastating injury when his arm was pulled into a wood saw in his back yard.

Wilson Daily Times, 28 April 1922.


In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmer Gray Pender, 37; wife Katie, 36; and children Richard, 16, Louvenia, 13, Caroline, 10, Wilson, 6, Floyd, 4, and Jonah, 11 months. [Gray and Louvenia Pender’s headstones have been found in Rountree Cemetery.]

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Green Street, Katey Pender, 47, laundress, and children Richman, 26, grocery store delivery; Carrie, 16, private nurse; Willie, 16, farmer; Floyd, 14, laborer; and Joseph, 10.

On 26 May 1912,  Richmond Pender, 28, of Wilson, son of Gray and Kate Pender, married Marinda Howard, 21, of Wilson, daughter of Jesse and Martha Howard, in Wilson. W.H. Kittrell applied for the license, and Rev. H.B. Taylor performed the ceremony in the presence of C.L. Darden, Wm. Hines, and C.R. Cannon.

Richmond Pender registered for the World War I draft in Wilson in 1918. Per his registration card, he was born 9 July 1883; lived at 505 East Vance; his nearest relative was Marinda Pender; and he worked as a drayman for J.H. Gill of East Nash Street.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Richmond Pender, 35, drayman for grocery store; wife Marinda, 25; and son Jessie, 7.

Marinda Lilian Pender died 25 November 1925 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 16 June 1890 in Wilson County to Jesse Howard and Martha Ruffin; was married to Richmond Pender; and lived at 504 East Vance.

On 9 January 1927, Richmond Pender, 44, of Wilson, married Mamie E. Jones, 27, of Wilson, in Wilson. Presbyterian minister A.H. George performed the ceremony in the presence of S.A. Coward, Jesse Gray Pender, and Ruel Bulluck.

Richmond Pender wrote out a will a few weeks after his second marriage. He directed a burial in the Masonic cemetery (not to exceed $400 in cost) and specified that he did not want a headstone (at least not one paid for by his estate.) His house and lot on Vance Street and two lots on Nash Street were to go to son Jesse Gray Pender. Mamie Pender was to receive household furnishings and any money left in the estate. William Hines was named guardian of the property of Jesse Pender, who was a minor, as well as executor of the estate.

Richmond Pender died 3 March 1930 in Wilson of apoplexy [stroke]. Per his death certificate, he was 49 years old; was married to Mamie Pender; lived at 504 Vance; was a dealer in wood; and was born in Wilson County to Gray Pender and Katie Woodard.

Like many, Pender was apparently both a Prince Hall Mason and an Odd Fellow and was a member of the volunteer Red Hot Reel Company. Ben Mincey requested that all firemen assemble at the Odd Fellows Hall to go together to Pender’s funeral.

Wilson Daily Times, 5 March 1930.

Almost exactly 24 years after Richmond Pender’s injury, his only child was killed in an ammunition dump explosion in Newark, New Jersey.

Wilson Daily Times, 26 March 1946.