Sutton

Cemeteries, no. 29: Polly Watson cemetery.

This poorly maintained cemetery is just outside Wilson County in Wayne County, but many of the dozens buried here were Wilson County residents.

This photo taken in December 2019 depicts a recent rough cut, with sedge broom mowed to the ground and weedy trees chopped and stacked in brush piles. The marked graves include those below.

Polly Watson cemetery under a low winter sun.

  • Calvin Sutton

Father Calvin Sutton Born 1858 May 2 1922 Gone But Not Forgotten

On 23 December 1875, Calvin Sutton, 21, married Sylvania Simmons, 22, in Wayne County.

In the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Calvin Sutton, 25; wife Silvania, 26; children Hattie, 3, and twins Joel B. and Josephin, 1; mother Dolly, 55; brothers Dallow, 18, and Henry, 16; and sister Mary, 12.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer Calvin Sutton, 45; wife Silvania, 49; and children George, 18, Walter, 16, Mary, 13, and Roscoe, 10.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Upper Black Creek Road, farmer Calvin Sutton, 54; wife Sylvania, 58; daughter Hattie Taylor, 33; and grandchildren Olivia, 9, Viola, 7, Lillie M., 5, Georgiana, 4, and Mittie, 2; plus adopted grandson Frank McNeal, 16.

Calvin Sutton died 3 May 1922 in Great Swamp township, Wayne County. Per his death certificate, he was 68 years old; was born in Wayne County to Doll Sutton and T. Dollie Ward; and was born in Polly Watson cemetery. George Sutton was informant.

  • Sylvania Sutton

Mother Sylvania Sutton Dec 5 1851 Died 1916 Gone But Not Forgotten

In the 1860 census of Indian Springs district, Wayne County: cooper George Simmons, 40; wife Axey J., 38; and children Riley B., 19, Simon, 15, Susan A., 17, Zach, 10, Silvania, 9, Bryant, 7, H.B., 5, and Gen. Washington, 2.

In the 1870 census of Brogden township, Wayne County: farmer Geo. Simmons, 52; wife Annie, 47; and children George, 24, shoemaking shoes, Zachariah, 22, Silavant, 20, Bryant C., 18, Hillary B., 16, and Washington, 12.

Sylvania Sutton died 4 August 1916 in Springhill township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was about 65 years old; was married; her father was George Simmons; and she was buried in Watson graveyard.

  • George Washington Sutton and Mary Artis Sutton

On 17 October 1900, George Sutton, 20, of Springhill township, married Mary Jane Artis, 19, of Wayne County, in Springhill township, Wilson County. L.H. Horton, Walter Sutton, and Mary Sutton were witnesses.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on Upper Black Creek Road, farmer George W. Sutton, 29; wife Mary J., 26; and children Walter C., 8, Mamie M., 6; William Mc., 4; and Anderson M., 1.

In the 1920 census of Great Swamp township, Wayne County: farmer George Sutton, 39; wife Mary J., 36; and children Walter, 18, Mamie, 16, McKinley, 14, Anderson, 10, Richard, 6, and Jarvis, 3.

In the 1930 census of Great Swamp township, Wayne County: farmer George Sutton, 49; wife Mary J., 46; and children Mamie, 26, McKenly, 24, Anderson, 21, Richard, 16, Jarvis, 14, Bessie, 8, Chester, 4, and Georgia L., 1.

Mary Jane Sutton died 11 January 1936 in Lucama, Cross Roads township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, she was born in 1884 in Wayne County to Bennie and Doomie Artis; was married to George Sutton; and was buried in Polly Watson cemetery.

On 28 November 1936, George Sutton, 55, of Wilson County, son of Calvin and Sylvania Sutton, married Fannie Morgan, 49, of Great Swamp township, Wayne County, daughter of John and Jane Roundtree, in Wayne County.

In the 1940 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County: farmer George Sutton, 58; wife Fannie, 52; children Mamie, 36, Richard, 27, Jarvis, 23, Bessie, 18, Chester, 14, and Georgia, 10; plus father-in-law John Roundtree, 83.

George Washington Sutton died 8 February 1968 in Fremont, Wayne County. Per his death certificate, he was born 17 October 1881; lived on Ward Street, Fremont; was a widower; and was born to Calvin Sutton and Sylvania Simmons. Informant was Mamie Lee Sutton. He was buried in Polly Watson cemetery.

  • James Revell

James Revell Born June 1, 1867 Died July 31 1926

James Revell, 22, of Springhill township, son of Sanders and Hannah Revell, married Clarkie Hinnant, 21, of Springhill township, daughter of Em. Boyette and Hannah Hinnant, on 9 May 1890. London Revell applied for the license, and Free Will Baptist minister Nash Hortonperformed the ceremony.

In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer James C. Revell, 30; wife Clarky, 28; and children Nancy, 9, James T., 7, Robert, 5,  and Violia, 2.

In the 1910 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer James Revel, 40; wife Clorca, 39; and children Nancy, 18, James T., 16, Viola, 11, Lunn, 9, and Jefferson J., 7, and cousin Lessie Barnes, 12.

In the 1920 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: on a branch off the Fremont and Kenly Road, farmer James Revell, 52; wife Clarkie, 50; and children Viola, 20, London, 18, Jefferson, 16, and Manley, 5.

In the 1930 census of Beulah township, Johnston County: farmer James T. Revell, 37; mother Clarkey, 61; sisters Nancy, 39, and Viola, 32; brother Manley, 18; and nephews James L., 5, and William F. Sheard, 1.

James Revell died 16 August 1948 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 30 September 1909 in Johnston County to James Revell and Clarkie Hinniant; was married to Annie D. Revell; was a truck driver; and was buried in Polly Watson cemetery.

  • Dudley E. Smith

Dudley E. Smith Oct. 16 1855 Oct. 15 1947

Douglas Smith married Mittie Speight on 5 February 1885 in Wayne County, North Carolina.

In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: day laborer Dudley Smith, 53; wife Mittie, 32; and children Polly, 13, Moses, 6, and Herbert, 4.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: on Main Street, brickyard laborer Dudley Smith, 54; wife Mittie, 33; and children London, 12, David, 7, and Minnie, 4.

In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Dudley Smith, 63; wife Mittie, 48; and children Minnie, 14, and Hastie, 7.

In the 1930 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: Mittie Smith, 51; son Thomas, 19; and father Dudley, 70. [Dudley Smith was Thomas Smith’s father, but Mittie Smith’s husband.]

In the 1940 census of Buck Swamp township, Wayne County: on Pikeville-Nahunta Road, Dudley Edward Smith, 85; wife Mittie, 65; and son Jack, 27; son-in-law Booker T. Sherard, 35, and daughter Minnie, 34; granddaughters Virginia, 15, and Viola Edward, 14; and grandson James Richard Edward, 12.

Dudley Smith died 3 September 1947 in Black Creek township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 100 years old; was born in Edgecombe County to unknown parents; was married to Mittie Smith, age 73; was a farmer; and was buried in Polly Watson cemetery. Joe Wells was informant.

  • Joseph F. and Pollie S. Wells

Father Mother Wells Joseph F. Sept. 21, 1883 Pollie S. Aug. 6, 1886 June 14, 1964 Thy Will Be Done Oh Heavenly Father

In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: day laborer Jason Wells, 51; wife Arrena, 30; and sons Joseph E., 16, Johnie H., 17, Shelly, 2, and Carlton, 9 months.

Joseph E. Wells, 21, of Cross Roads township, son of Jason Wells, married Polly Smith, 18, of Cross Roads, daughter of Dudley and Mittie Smith, on 31 October 1904 in Lucama. Isaac Rich applied for the license.

In the 1910 census of Lucama, Cross Roads township, Wilson County: on Main Street, Joseph Wells, 25; wife Polly, 20; children Joseph O., 6, and Clyde L., 3; and cousins Lissie, 18, and William A. Deans, 1.

In 1918, Joseph Elijah Wells registered for the World War I draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 21 September 1883; lived in Lucama; farmed for W.H. Tomlinson; and his contact was Pollie Wells.

In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: Joe Wells, 32; wife Pollie, 28; and Joe Jr., 7, Willie, 5, and Roy, 2.

In the 1930 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farm laborer Joseph E. Wells, 47; wife Polly, 41; and son Mack, 20.

In the 1940 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Joe E. Wells, 56; wife Polly, 52; Lessie Best, 28; and farmhand James A. Kent, 10.

Joseph Elijah Wells died 12 October 1866 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 21 September 1896 in Wilson County to Jason and Lena Wells; was a widower; worked as a farm laborer; lived at 105 South Reid Street, Wilson; and was buried in Polly Watson cemetery. Joseph O. Wells Jr., Buffalo, New York, was informant.

  • Cherry Speight

Cherry Speight Born Oct. 24, 1845 Died Nov. 1, 1921 Rest with God

In the 1880 census of Speights Bridge township, Greene County, North Carolina: Cherry Speight, 34, and children Manda, 15, Dempsy, 13, Annaky, 10, Nathan, 7, Francis, 5, and Louder, 1.

In the 1900 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Nathan Speight, 55; wife Cherry, 40; and children Sallie, 14, Charity, 13, and Dread, 6.

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Nathan Speight, 65; wife Cherry, 63; and children Cherry D., 19, Dred, 17, and Mamy, 3.

Cherry Speight died 1 November 1921 in Cross Roads township, Wilson township. Per her death certificate, she was 75 years old; married to Nathan Speight; was born in Greene County to unknown parents; and informant was Frank Hall.

  • Junius Banks

Junius Banks July 31, 1884 Jan 24, 1933 I have not forgotten you.

All photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2019.

Cemeteries, no. 27: the Sutton-Newsome cemetery.

I was making a U-turn to leave another graveyard near Lucama when I spotted this one at the woodline across a field. The gate is marked by these hand-decorated blocks of concrete.

There are only a handful of gravestones, but the space enclosed within the chain-link fence suggests many more burials.

  • James Walter Sutton and Ida Reid Sutton

Ida and Walter Sutton’s double gravestone. It’s a machine-cut marker not available in the 1950s, and I suspect the shell-decorated cement markers above headed the graves until this monument was placed decades later.

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In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: Calvin Sutton, 45; wife Silvania, 49; and children George, 18, Walter, 16, Mary, 13, and Roscoe, 10.

In the 1900 census of Pikeville township, Wayne County: Isiah Reid, 47; wife Eidie, 44; and children John W., 17, Ida L., 15, Oscar, 8, Bessie J., 5, Wade J., 4, and Parthenia, 2.

On 20 January 1904, Ida Reid, 18, daughter of Isaiah Reid, married James W. Sutton, 21, son of Calvin and Marenda Sutton, in Wayne County. [Sidenote: Isaiah Reid, son of John and Mozana Hall Reid, was first cousin to veterinarian Elijah Reid and school principal J.D. Reid.]

In the 1910 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: on Goldsboro Road, James W. Sutton, 28; wife Ida, 25; and daughter Irene, 4.

In the 1920 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer Walter Sutton, 36; wife Ida, 34; and children Irene, 15, Camillus, 9, Ethel, 6, and James, 1.

Annanias Sutton died 6 September 1925 in Lucama, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born 7 September 1918 in Wilson County to Walter Sutton and Ida Reid; was a schoolboy; died of “edema of larynx — post tonsil abscess”; and was buried in Wayne County.

In the 1930 census of Cross Roads township, Wilson County: farmer James W. Sutton, 48; wife Ida, 44; and children Irene, 23, Comillus, 18, Ethel, 16, Pocahontas, 9, Johnie, 6, and Elijah, 3.

In the 1940 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Walter Sutton, 58; wife Ida, 54; and children Irene, 34, Pocahontas, 19, Johnie, 16, and Elijah, 13.

Ida Sutton died 5 June 1957 in Cross Roads township. Per her death certificate, she was born 22 November 1889 in Wayne County to Isaiah Reid and Elizabeth Evans; was married to James Walter Sutton; was a farmer; and was buried in Sutton & Newsome cemetery. Informant was Commillus Sutton.

James Walter Sutton died 4 November 1957 in Black Creek township. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 April 1885 in Wayne County to Calvin and Marinda Sutton.

Irene Sutton died 9 July 1971 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 22 November 1907 in Wilson County to Walter Sutton and Ida Reid; lived at 501 Spaulding Street; was never married; and was buried in Sutton cemetery. Informant was Ethel Newsome, 1024 Faison Street, Wilson.

Photos by Lisa Y. Henderson, December 2019.

Like most negroes, she was full of superstition.

In 1891, Rev. Owen L.W. Smith‘s sister, Millie Smith Sutton, shot and killed his wife Lucy Smith at point-blank range, believing that Lucy had poisoned her son.

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Wilson Advance, 9 July 1891.

On 5 November, the Advance reported that Smith had been found “mentally deranged” at the time she killed Smith and was committed to the insane asylum in Goldsboro.

The Wilson Mirror offered more on 11 November:

This tragedy had sequels.

Six years later, Sutton’s walking companion, Nettie Vick Jones, was stabbed to death on the street by her husband, A. Wilson Jones.

Ten years later, on 22 November 1901, the Times reported that Sutton had been released from the hospital and had returned to Wilson and, with Carrie Pettiford, had threatened the life of her brother’s newest wife, Adora Oden Smith. (In the 1900 census, Carrie was a boarder in the Smiths’ home.) Both were arrested.

Studio shots, no. 49: Arthur Sutton.

In the 1910 census of Bull Head township, Greene County, North Carolina: farmer John Sutton, 34; wife Peniza, 26; and children Sanker, 5, Jennie, 4, Effie, 3, Authur, 2, John, 11, and Kirby, 10.

In the 1930 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer John Sutton, 53; wife Panisco [Peniza], 44; and children Effie, 21, Arthur, 20, Walter, 19, Primas, 17, Gustas, 14, Jesse, 12, Mary, 11, Haddie, 9, Jay B., 7, Bessie, 6, and Rena, 4.

On 22 February 1932, Arthur Sutton, 22, of Saratoga, son of John and Penny Sutton of Saratoga, married Rosa Bynum, 18, of Stantonsburg, daughter of William and Rosa Bynum of Stantonsburg, in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister James B. Holmes performed the ceremony in the presence of Jean D. Holmes and Ruth Lee.

In the 1940 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: farmer Arthur Sutton, 29; wife Rosa, 26; and children James J., 7, Rosa Lee, 3, Sarah Jane, 1, and Ellen Gray, 3 months.

In 1940, Arthur Sutton registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he was born 10 February 1909 in Greene County, North Carolina; his contact was John Sutton, father, of Walstonsburg, Greene County; and he was self-employed.

Arthur Sutton died 30 August 1971 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 9 April 1909 to John Sutton and [first name unknown] Woodard; resided in Elm City; and was a retired farmer. Rosa Sutton was informant.

Photograph courtesy of the family history booklet, Our Heritage 1812-1996: Edwards, Evans, Woodard, published in 1996, and graciously shared by B.J. Woodard.

Where did they go?: Indiana death certificates, no. 3.

Death certificates of Wilson County natives who died in Indiana.

  • Jack Sims

45232_355674-00749

In the 1880 census of Stantonsburg, Wilson County: Isaac Simms, 32, wife Elvy, 33, and children Lucy, 12, Lilly, 10, Jack, 6, Isaac, 5, and unnamed 10 day-old twins, a boy and a girl.

In the 1940 census of Indianapolis, Indiana: North Carolina-born Jack Sims, 69, was a lodger in a household on 17th Street.

  • Ella Farmer Suggs

45232_354177-00953

In the 1940 census of Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana: hotel night porter Adock Thompson, 68, wife Hattie, 55, and widowed sister-in-law Ella Suggs, 68. Ella indicated that she had been living in Indianapolis in 1935.

  • Joseph Levi Sutton

44494_351182-01852

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Wiggins Street, Joseph Sutton, 31, wife Maryliza, 30, and children Lula M., 9, Collie L., 6, Amanda, 4, and Bessie E., 1.

In the 1920 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: on Finch Mill Road, Joseph B. Sutton, 40, wife Malissa, 40, and children Lula May, 19, Carrol Lee, 16, Senoa, 13, Bessie, 11, Rosa Belle, 9, Beatrice, 7, James W., 5, Frederick C., 2, and Levi J., 10 months.

In the 1930 census of Pottstown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania: at 329 Front Street, Joseph B. Sutton, 50, wife Malissa G., 53, and children Beatrice, 17, James W., 15, Frederick, 13, Joseph L., 11, Bruce, 9, Beulah, 9, and Mable E., 7.

On 22 May 1940, in Emporia, Greensville County, Virginia, Joseph L. Sutton, 21, of Petersburg, Virginia, married Josie Mae Kenney, 18, of Wilson, North Carolina. Joseph, son of Joseph B. Sutton and Melissa G. Thaggard, reported that he was born in Sussex County, Virginia. Josie, daughter of Frank Kenney and Ida Barnes, reported that she was born in Baltimore, Maryland.

On 16 October 1940, Joseph Levi Sutton registered for the World War II draft. His registration card notes that he was born 19 May 1919 in Wilson County, that he resided at 534 East Nash Street in Wilson, that he worked for Southern Tobacco Company, and that his nearest relative was Malissie Gray Sutton of 716 East Green Street.

Malissie Gray Sutton died 17 May 1964 at her daughter’s home at 1200 Carolina Street in Wilson. Her death certificate states that she was born 15 May 1880 in Cumberland County to Andrew Thaggard and Annie Edwards. Informant was Lula Hayes of 1200 Carolina.

  • Eliza Patterson Venable

44494_351216-00539

In the 1910 census of Indianapolis, Indiana: at 27 West 10th Street, widow Eliza Venable, 53, laundress, and daughter Fannie Patterson, 30, domestic.

In the 1920 census of Indianapolis, Indiana: at 913 Camp Street, Edward Thompkins, 47, wife Fannie, 36, daughter Elizabeth, 4, and widowed mother-in-law Eliza Venable, 63.

In the 1930 census of Indianapolis, Indiana: at 2846 Shriver Street, Edward Tompkins, 56, wife Fannie, 44, daughter Elizabeth, 15, and mother-in-law Eliza Venable, 73. Edward worked as a stock clerk in an electric shop and Fannie as a church secretary.

  • Eleanor Bynum Whitlock

45232_354191-01320

  • Eugene Williams

44494_350923-00845

In 1942, Eugene Williams of 918 Fayette Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, registered for the World War II draft. His draft card reports that he was born 9 May 1878 in Wilson County, North Carolina, that his contact was Jannie Williams, and that he worked for Heteren & Burner & Co.

  • John A. Woodard

45232_355666-01124

In the 1920 census of Indianapolis, Indiana: at 1146 West 26th Street, North Carolina-born laborer John Woodard, 46, and Ohio-born wife Belle, 44.

In the 1930 census of Indianapolis, Indiana: at 1146 West 27th Street, owned and valued at $2500, John Woodard, 56,  wife Belle, 54, and son Frederick, 7. John worked as a janitor in a business building.

In the 1940 census of Indianapolis, Indiana: at 104 Geisendorf Street, laborer John Woodard, 66, and wife Belle, 65.