Carrie Walker Blackston (1897-1972), standing in front of the Parker-Kerbo home at 104 Ash Street.
Thanks you, Jerilyn James Lee!
Carrie Walker Blackston (1897-1972), standing in front of the Parker-Kerbo home at 104 Ash Street.
Thanks you, Jerilyn James Lee!
Oliver Nestus Freeman relaxing on his front porch.
Photo courtesy of Freeman Round House and African-American Museum.
Isaac and Dorsey Ann Farmer Bynum.
In the 1900 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Gray Bynum, 41; wife Hagar, 41; and children Rose, 18, John, 17, Martha, 9, Gray, 7, and Isaac, 12.
In the 1900 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Green Farmer, 40; wife Jennie, 33; and children Jeneva, 14, Mammie L., 9, Hattie M., 8, Annie D., 6, John G., 4, Ella E., 2, and Jona, 6 months.
In the 1910 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Gray Bynum, 52; wife Hagar, 54; and children Jonas, 19, and Isaac, 16.
In the 1910 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: farmer Green Farmer, 50, widower, and children Jennie, 24, Mamie, 18, Hattie, 16, Doracy, 15, John, 13, Jonah, 10, Ambrose, 6, and Nunnie, 4.
On 6 December 1911, Isaac Bynum, 19, of Saratoga township, son of Grey and Haga Bynum, married Dorsey Farmer, 18, of Gardners township, daughter of Green Farmer, in Gardners township.
In 1917, Isaac Bynum registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 31 May 1882 in Wilson County; lived in Stantonsburg; farmed for Jack Watson; and had a wife and four children. He signed his card in a clear, strong hand.
In the 1920 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Isaac Bynum, 28; wife Dorsey, 27; and children Martha, 7, Mamie, 6, Daisye, 6, Hagar, 3, and Mary, 1.
In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Isaac Bynum, 36; wife Dorsey, 36; and children Martha, 17, Mammie, 16, Daisy, 15, Hagar, 13, Mary, 11, William, 8, Essie M., 6, Hula G., 4, and Mavis G., 1.
In the 1940 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farm operator Isaac Bynum, 48; wife Dossie Ann, 45; children William G., 17, Essie Mae, 16, Hulda Gray, 14, Mavis Green, 11; and grandsons Ernest Burner Farmer, 5, and Dorsey E. Blackstone, 3.
Dossie Ann Farmer Bynum died 28 August 1967 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 4 November 1895 in Wilson County to Greene Farmer and Jennie Farmer; and was married to Isaac Bynum.
Isaac Bynum died 6 January 1986 in Newport News, Virginia. Per his death certificate, he was born 31 May 1893 in North Carolina to Gray Bynum and Haggar Anderson; lived in Hampton, Virginia; was the widower of Dossie A. Bynum; and was retired. Informant was daughter Hula Atkinson.
Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user vanessasmith0328.
In the 1910 census of Clayton township, Johnston County, North Carolina: farm laborer Fisher Patterson, 36; wife Minnie B., 28; and children John L., 7, Claudius, 3, and Clee, 7 months; father Chester Patterson, 79; and nephew William Patterson, 9.
In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Joseph Kent, 28; wife Minnie, 22; daughter Fannie, 1; and sister-in-law Rosa Bailey, 18.
In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Joe Kent, 38, farmer; wife Minnie, 30; and children Fannie, 11, Lillie, 9, Joe, 7, Elbert, 5, Ellic, 3, and Pauline, 5 months.
In the 1920 census of Clayton township, Johnston County: farmer Fisher Patterson, 49; wife Minnie, 39; children Leamon, 17, Claude, 14, Cleatho, 10, and Rubin, 4; sister India Cooper, 38, widow; and nephew Bill Cooper, 10.
On 22 December 1928, Claudie Patterson, 21, of Springhill township, married Fannie Kent, 20, of Springhill township, in Wilson.
In the 1930 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Claud Patterson, 22; wife Fannie, 21; and daughter Layeruth, 1.
In the 1940 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Claude Patterson, 33; wife Fannie, 31; and children Ruth, 11, L.O., 6, Minnie, 5, and Alberta, 2.
In 1940, Claude Patterson registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 1 August 1906 in Johnston County, N.C.; lived at R.F.D. #3, Kenly, Wilson County; his contact was wife Fannie Patterson; and he worked for Thelma Barnes, Kenly, Wilson County.
Claude Patterson died in 1984; Fannie K. Patterson died 26 May 2003.
Photograph courtesy of Bernard Patterson.
Black Wide-Awake benefits from the largesse of so many, and J. Robert Boykin III is at the forefront of its benefactors. Recently, Bobby shared a box of photographs left in a sidewalk trash pile after the death of Wilton Maxwell Bethel in 1986. A native of the Bahamas, Bethel was a long-time salesman for North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company, son-in-law of John H. Clark, and a devoted Episcopalian.
I pulled from the box several sleeves of loose sepia snapshots, several formal portraits mounted in cardboard folders, several large group photos, and a photo album. At first glance, no faces seemed familiar, but as I continue to sit with the box, it’s giving up its secrets. I’ll share them in groups, starting with the photo album.
Wilton M. Bethel’s photo album.
Five year-old Wilton M. Bethel arrived in the United States on 6 April 1911 with his mother Phillis E. Bethel, 33, described as a widowed washwoman; his eight year-old brother Alfred M. Bethel; and his four year-old niece Flosie L. Bethel. The family’s last residence was Eleuthera, Bahamas, and their “nationality” was British West Indies. Their nearest relative in their home country was Phillis Bethel’s sister Sarah J. Gardner, Cat Island, Bahamas. The Bethels’ final destination was listed as Eleuthera, which suggests a return trip home, but the family appears to have remained permanently in Miami, Florida. Phillis Bethel reported being in possession of ten U.S. dollars and stated that the family had not visited the country before. They were headed to visit her son George Bethel in Miami.
Detail of List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer at Port of Arrival.
In the 1920 census of Miami, Florida: at 630 2nd Street, Philis E. Bethel, 57; sons Arvis, 20, hotel bellman, Alfred, 18, aviation camp laborer, and Wilton, 15, jewelry store porter; and daughter Jessie, 19. All reported arriving in the U.S. in 1911 from the Bahamas and were “aliens.”
This photo broke the code. On the reverse:
It’s the young Wilton M. Bethel, “a pal indeed,” in January 1924, when he was 18. His mother ordered four copies, it appears.
Speaking of Phillis E. Bethel, this may be her image. The shotgun houses at rear, as the palm tree at right discloses, are not in Wilson. Rather, they are the type built by early Bahamian immigrants in Miami neighborhoods such as Coconut Grove.
Wilton Bethel at right at the beach with a man, a child, and a woman in a cloche, pearls, stockings, and high-heeled mary janes.
In 1924, Bethel arrived in Raleigh, North Carolina, to enroll in the high school division of Saint Augustine’s College’s, which did not yet offer baccalaureate degrees. (Bethel was already 19 years old, but older students were not uncommon in an era in which childhood illness, family finances, and the scarcity of public high schools for Black students often delayed completion of secondary education.) He is listed in school catalogs from 1924-25 through 1928-29 as he progressed through four years of high school and a year in the College Department. His first two years, his hometown is listed as Miami; the latter three, as New York, N.Y.
Bethel’s scrapbook seems to span his late teens and early twenties, with most of the photos snapped at Saint Aug. The nearly one hundred pictures do not appear to be in chronological order, and none are labeled. Several, though, are stamped “Finished by Siddell Studio, Raleigh, N.C.,” and a handful bear inscriptions on the reverse. Bethel himself appears to have been the photographer for many.
Wilton Bethel sitting on a stump, holding a 3A Folding Pocket Kodak.
On the reverse: “With love Al.” Is this Bethel’s elder brother Alfred Bethel?
Bethel, top left, with pals, probably at Saint Augustine’s College in the late 1920s.
Unidentified man skiing in tie and newsboy cap.
On the reverse: “Will arrives in Raleigh 5 40 Thurs after meet Train”
Around 1929, Bethel took a position as an insurance salesman with North Carolina Mutual Insurance Company and moved to Wilson, where he first lodged with the Noah Tate family.
In the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bethel Wilton M (c) slsmn N C Mut Life Ins Co h 307 Pender.
Flora Clark Bethel.
On 18 June 1930, Wilton M. Bethel, 21 [sic], of Wilson, son of Ernest and Phillis Bethel, married Flora Ruth Clark, 21 [sic], of Wilson, daughter of John H. and Ida R. Clark, in Wilson. Protestant Episcopal minister Eugene Leon Henderson performed the ceremony at Saint Mark’s in the presence of the Clarks and Percy Young. [Actually, Wilton Bethel was 24. Flora Clark Bethel was about 7 years older than her husband. She had also attended Saint Augustine’s College, graduating in 1924, when it was a junior college.]
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: John Clark, 76; wife Ida, 65; son-in-law Wilton Bethel, 33, insurance agent for N.C. Mutual, and daughter Flora, 30, teacher at Darden High School.
Wilton Maxwell Bethel registered for the World War II draft in 1940 in Wilson. Per his registration card, he was born 5 September 1906 in Miami, Florida; was an American citizen; lived at 706 East Nash Street, Wilson; his nearest relative was wife Flora C. Bethel; and he worked for N.C. Mutual Life Insurance Company, Goldsboro, N.C.
Wilton M. Bethel died 14 January 1986 in Wilson.
Florida, Arriving and Departing Passenger and Crew Lists, 1898-1963, database on-line at http://www.ancestry.com.
John H. Lassiter and granddaughter Ora Lassiter, probably not long before his death in 1915.
In the 1860 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farmer Silas Lassiter, 38; wife Orpie, 34; children Sallie, 12, Mary, 11, James, 9, John, 7, Elizabeth, 5, Penina, 4, Hardy, 3, Silas, 1, and George, 2 months; and Delpha Simpson, 14.
In the 1870 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: James Lassiter, 19, and John Lassiter, 18, farm laborers.
On 17 December 1874, John Lassiter, 21, married Lizzie Lunsford, 21, in Johnston County, North Carolina.
In the 1880 census of Pikeville township, Wayne County, North Carolina: John Lassiter, 28, farm hand.
On 26 October 1886, J.H. Lassiter, 34, of Wilson County, son of Silas and Orphy Lassiter, married Isabella Gear, 21, of Wilson County, in Wilson. Carline Vick, Martie Brooks, and John Vick were witnesses, and Baptist minister E.H. Ward performed the ceremony.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: drayman John Lassiter, 50; wife Isabella, 33, wash woman; and children and grandchildren Ida, 17, Henry G., 9, Marcellus, 7, Hardy, 5, and Ora, 7 months.
On 8 January 1908, John H. Lassiter, 50, of Wilson, son of S. and O. Lassiter, married Pattie D. Hunder, 29, of Richmond, Virginia, in Wilson. Joseph S. Jackson, A.M.E. Zion minister, performed the ceremony in the presence of Jim Watson, Harry Mercer and Rev. John Scarboro.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Stantonsburg Road, John H. Lassiter, 57, and children and grandchildren Marcellious, 18, Hardie, 16, and Oeta, 14, all odd jobs laborers.
John Lassiter died 15 June 1915 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 63 years old; was born in Wilson County to Silas Lassiter and Ophie Simpson; and was married. Henry Lassiter was informant.
In the 1916 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Lassiter Ora (c) dom h 512 Stantonsburg rd
On 5 May 1918, Albert Covington, 23, of Wilson, son of Noah and Sarah Covington of Harnett County, married Ora Lassiter, 19, of Wilson, daughter of Henry and Lizzie Lassiter, in Wilson.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 101 East Street, furniture store truck driver Albert Covington, 23; wife Ora, 20; son John, 4 months; roomer Will McNeal, 22, oil mill laborer; and brother-in-law Marcellus Lassiter, 24, tobacco company laborer.
In the 1928 Baltimore, Maryland, city directory: Covington Albert (Ora) chauf h 505 Robert
Detail of photo courtesy of Bernard Patterson.
Charles and Maggie Woodard Farmer and children, circa 1915.
In the 1870 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farm laborer Benj’n Woodard, 32, wife Harriet, 31, and children Edna, 13, Frederick, 9, and Venah, 6.
In the 1870 census of House Creek township, Wake County, N.C.: farm laborer William Harris, 30; wife Candrice, 30; and children Emeline, 13, Charles, 12, Willie, 6, and Medicus, 2.
In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer, Benjamin Woodard, 42, wife Harriet, 39, children Frederick, 18, Maggie, 15, and Ruth, 10, plus a servant with neuralgia named Merrit Joyner, 23.
In the 1880 census of Houses Creek township, Wake County: farmer William Harris, 45; wife Candis, 37; and children Charles, 20, Willie, 14, Medicus, 11, Betty, 8, Nancy, 4, Mary and Martha, 5, and Patsy, 2.
Charles Harris, 23, married Maggie Woodard, 19, on 13 December 1882 at Benj. Woodard’s in Wilson County in the presence of Frank Woodard, Benj. Woodard, and Harriett Woodard.
In the 1900 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farm laborer Charles Harriss, 49; wife Maggie, 36; and children Ora, 16, Lee A., 14, Annie C., 11, Charlie, 9, Hattie, 6, Benjamin F., 4, and Carr H., 2.
In the 1910 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Charles Harris, 50; wife Maggie, 44; and children Ora, 26, Charlie, 18, Hattie, 16, Benjamin F., 14, Hezekiah, 12, Mattie, 9, William H., 7, James C., 5, and Maggie, 1.
In the 1920 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Charley Harris, 60; wife Maggie, 55; and children Ora, 36, Ben, 24, Ezecar, 21, Mattie, 18, William, 16, James, 14, and Maggie, 11.
Charlie Harris died 9 September 1922 in Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 63 years old; was married to Maggie Harris; was a farmer who owned his farm; and was born in Franklin [sic], N.C., to William Harris. Informant was Leando Harris, R.F.D. 6, Wilson.
In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Hezicah Harris, 31; widowed mother Maggie Harris, 65; and daughters [i.e. Hezekiah’s sisters] Oda, 46, and Maggie, 21. Next door: Leander Harris, 44; wife Lucy, 48; and daughters Ada, 21, Rosa, 20, Dazie, 16, and Ida, 15.
Ora Harris died 10 February 1935 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 24 August 1883 in Wilson County to Charlie Harris of Franklin County and Maggie Woodard of Wilson County; was single; and farmed.
In the 1940 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Debro Bunch, 40; wife Mattie, 38; widowed mother-in-law Maggie Harris, 76; and children Charlie, 15, Athenia, 12, David, 10, Mattie Lee, 9, and Mary Bunch, 6.
Maggie Harris died 19 February 1945 in Black Creek township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1864 in Wilson County to Ben Woodard and Harriet Woodard; was the widow of Charlie Harris; and engaged in farming. She was buried in Harris cemetery [which had a Fremont address, but was probably in Black Creek township just inside the Wilson County line.] Debro Bunch was informant.
Cora Ann Elizabeth Woodard died 9 May 1945 in Black Creek township. Per her death certificate, she was born 19 March 1889 in Wilson County to Charlie Harris of Wake County and Maggie Woodard of Wilson County; worked in farming; was married to Steven Lee Woodard; and was buried in Harris cemetery, Black Creek.
Leander Harris died 22 February 1963 at his home at 1202 Wainwright Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 March 1886 in Wilson County to Charlie Harris and Maggie Woodard; was married to Lucy Harris; and worked as a laborer.
Mattie Harris Bunch died 15 January 1968 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 7 March 1902 to Charlie Harris and Maggie Woodard; was married to Debro Bunch; lived at 511 South Douglas Street, Wilson; and worked as a tobacco factory laborer.
William Henry Harris Sr. died 14 December 1970 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 22 February 1903 to Charlie Harris and Maggie Woodard and was married to Lucy L. Pate. Informant was Lucy Harris, Elm City.
Benjamin Franklin Harris died 21 August 1976 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 1 January 1896 to Charlie Harris and Maggie Woodard; was a widower; lived at 205 Manchester Street; worked as a laborer. Ernestine Harris, 205 Manchester, was informant.
Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user Laraysha Shaw.
Iora Wilkins Jones Baines Lucas.
In the 1900 census of Old Field township, Wilson County: Francis Kates, 37, widow, farmer, and children Ora, 16, Jane, 14, Willie, 10, and Earnest, 6.
Iora Lucas, 15, of Old Fields township, daughter of Buck Wilkins and Frances Kates, married James E. Jones, 28, of Old Fields, son of Burt Jones and Susan Jones, on 2 June 1901 at Frances Kates’ in Old Fields. Thomas A. Jones was a witness.
On 19 February 1906, Frank Baines, 26, of Old Fields, son of Simon and D. Baines, married Iora Jones, 21, of Nash County, daughter of Frances Cates, at Frank Baines’ residence. Thomas A. Jones, John R. Jones, and Dorsey Powell were informants.
In the 1910 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Franklin Baines, 28; wife Ora, 24; and children James V., 8, Elroy, 4, Cornelia, 2, and Mary A. Baines, 7 months.
In the 1920 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: widowed farmer Ora Bains, 33, and children Elroy, 12, Cornelia, 11, Mary E., 10, Rosevelt, 7, Donnie, 5, Armensie, 3, and Josephine, 2.
In the 1930 census of Jackson township, Nash County: widow Ora Lucas, 45, and children Donnie, 16, Armensie, 14, Josephine, 12, Junius, 8, and Monzora, 6. [The latter two by her third husband, June Lucas.]
Iora Lucas migrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Photo courtesy of Ancestry.com user Jerry Smith.
On the 111th anniversary of her birth, remembering my grandmother Hattie Henderson Ricks. This photo was snapped circa 1931 in East Wilson. I have not been able to identify the house. The same day, the photographer captured images of her oldest sons, Lucian and Jesse Henderson, her great-aunt Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver, and a friend, Sarah Lyles.
Photo in the collection of Lisa Y. Henderson.