Georgia Burke was not, of course, a “girl.” She was close to 50 years old in 1944. Burke was one of eleven African-American teachers who resigned to protest the slapping of teacher Mary C. Euell by school superintendent Charles L. Coon and the disrespect shown them by Colored Graded School principalJ.D. Reid. With the others, Burke resumed teaching at the privately funded Wilson Normal and Industrial Institute, the institution referred to above as Wilson Training School for Negroes. For more about Burke, see here and here, and about the Normal and Industrial school, see here. For more about the talented Hartford C. Bess, see here.
Earnestine Ford died 10 November 1916 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was five months old; was born in Wilson to Curtis Ford of Dillon County, S.C., and Mamie Battle of Wayne County, N.C. Curtis Ford, 605 East Green Street, was informant.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Clarcy Williams, 50; roomer Curtis Ford, 37, house carpenter; nephew [sic] Mamie Ford, 24; and roomer Lias L., 4, and Quincey B. Ford, 2. [Mamie Battle Ford was the daughter of Clarissa Williams’ half-brother Richard Battle.]
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 407 Carroll, rented for $12/month, Curtis Ford, 52; sons Quincey, 20, and Harvey G., 19; wife Mayme, 42; son-in-law Liston Sellers, 22; daughter Leah, 22; and granddaughter Yvette Sellers, 2.
In 1940, Quincey Ford registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 23 October 1918 in Wilson; lived at 910 East Green Street; his contact was mother Mamye Ford; and he was employed by E.B. Pittman, 509 East Nash Street.
In 1942, Harvey Gray Ford registered for the World War II draft in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 8 January 1921 in Wilson; lived at 910 East Green Street; his contact was mother Mamie Ford; and he was unemployed. His card is marked: “Dead Cancelled Feb. 19, 1943.”
Harvey Gray Ford died 4 June 1942 in Falling Creek township, Lenoir County, North Carolina, “drowned no boat involved.” He was born 8 January 1921 in Wilson, N.C., to Curtis Ford of Dillon, S.C., and Mamie Battle of Wayne County, N.C.; was a student; and was single. Mamie Ford, 910 East Green Street, was informant.
Mamie Battle Ford died 14 November 1946 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per his death certificate, she was born 29 November 1892 in Wayne County to Richard Battle and Leah [Coley] Battle; was married to Curtis Ford; was engaged in teaching; and was buried in Rest Haven Cemetery.
Quincy Ford died 2 December 1965 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Per his death certificate, he was born 23 October 1918 in North Carolina to Curtis Ford and Mamie Battle Ford; lived at 2037 Master Street, Philadelphia; was a machine operator; and was married to Helen Ford.
School calendars aligned with the rhythms of the agricultural calendar. Even so, children picking cotton missed the beginning of school in October. (Just as children at my high school who worked in tobacco nearly one hundred years later sometimes did not report until after Labor Day.)
In the 1880 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: farmer Enos Thompson, 41; wife Hillon, 41; and children John, 17, Margaret, 16, Lucy, 6, Pet, 4, and Ennis, 3.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: garden laborer Ennis Thompson, 72; wife Helen, 65; and daughter Lucy, 35, laundress.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 144 East, Lucy Thompson, 40, and father Ennice Thompson, 81, widower.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 200 Pender, renting [likely a room] at $2/month, Lucy Thompson, 65.
Lucy A. Thompson died 24 July 1946 at her home at 310 Singletary Street, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 71 years old; was born in Wilson County to Ennis Thompson of Greene County, N.C., and Hellen A. Ruffin of Louisburg, N.C.; worked as a teacher; and was buried in Rountree cemetery.
Sixth-grade teacher Alice H. Jones (1892-1957). The Trojan yearbook, C.H Darden High School, 1949.
Lucy Frances Jones died 18 February 1930 at Guilford College, Greensboro, North Carolina. Per her death certificate, she was born 19 October 1914 in Wilson, N.C., to J. Robert Jones of Virginia and Alice H. Albright of Davidson County, N.C.; was a school girl; and was buried in Raleigh’s Cross Roads, Guilford County.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 808 East Vance, owned and valued at $2000, widow Rosa Foster, 42, public school teacher; her children Carter, 16, Daily Times newsboy, and Naomi, 14; and roomers Alice Jones, 36, and Mamie Key, 20, public school teachers.
In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Alice H. Jones, 46, public school teacher, and son James R. Jones, Jr., 23, office building janitor.
In 1940, James Robert Jones Jr. registered for the World War II draft. Per his registration card, he was born 2 January 1917 in Wilson; lived at 808 East Vance Street; his contact was his mother Alice Helena Jones; and he worked for Ernest C. Lucas, Lucama, N.C.
Alice Jones died 29 October 1957 at Duke Hospital, Durham, N.C. Per her death certificate, she was 65 years old; was born in Lexington, N.C., to John Albright and Alice Adams; was the widow of James R. Jones; lived at 122 Pender Street; and was a retired schoolteacher. Robert Jones was informant.
From the chapter concerning Wilson County in the 1890 edition of Branson’s North Carolina Business Directory:
Bass, Joseph — in the 1880 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County: farmer Ruffus Bass, 48; wife Caroline, 35; and children Joseph, 16, Annie W., 14, Rufus, 12, Francis, 10, Simon, 7, Isadora, 5, James H., 3, and John W., 1.
In the 1900 census of Cokey township, Edgecombe County: farmer Ben Tillery, 60; wife Charity, 55; and children James, 26, Jacob, 23, Prissilla, 18, William, 16, George, 14, and Claud, 12.
In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Wilbanks and Elm City Road, odd jobs laborer Benjamin Tilery, 70; wife Chary, 68; and children Pricilla, 33, and Claudius, 21, farm laborer.
Pricilla Tillery died 13 March 1929 in Toisnot township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, he was 52 years old; single; born in Edgecombe County to Ben Tillery of Halifax County and Cherry Williams of Wilson County; buried in Elm City. Jane Ruffin, Elm City was informant.
I have not identified the school at which Priscilla Tillery worked.
SKINNER, JOHN HENRY — Clergyman — b. Sept. 13, 1867, Wilson, N.C.; s. A. and Mary (Barnes) Skinner; educ St. Augustine Normal Sch., Raleigh, N.C.; A.B. State Normal Sch., Fayetteville, N.C., 1881; A.B. Tuskegee Institute, Ala., 1922; D.D. Baptist Coll., 1922; A.M. Am. Correspondence Coll., South Daniel, N.Y., 1896; m. J.H. Lane, Dec. 30, 1895 (deceased 1902); four children, Lena, b. Nov. 11, 1896; Lillie May, b. Oct. 5, 1897; Claude, b. Sept. 10, 1898; Flossie Pearl, b. Nov. 11, 1899; second marriage, Nelissa Peterson (deceased); one child, Mary V., b. 1910; third marriage, Mrs. Florence Dew; taught, Pub. Sch. Wilson County, for four years; established The Fremont Enterprise; taught in Wayne County, N.C., for fourteen years; taught in Green[e] County, N.C., for eighteen years; founded the Baptist College, Kenly, N.C., 1920; President of same, 1920-present; Associate Editor, City Paper, Kenly, N.C., 1926-present; Principal, Graded Schools, Kenly, N.C., 1926-present; General Moderator of two conferences for the sixth term, mem A.F. & A.M. Knights of Pythias; Pol. Republican; Relig. F.W. Baptist; Address, Kenly, N.C.
He began teaching when fourteen years of age and has been a teacher since 1881. He managed a newspaper in Freemont, N.C., for two years, teaching at the same time in Wayne County, holding then a First Grade Certificate. Was Dean of teachers in Greene County for ten years, resigning to found the Baptist College, of which he has been President since 1920.
The Baptist College began its work in 1909 in Fremont, N.C., and later was moved to Kenly, N.C. It held two months’ sessions each summer until 1920 when under the supervision of Rev. Skinner it began its eight months’ sessions.
The purpose of the school is to train young men and women in the elements of an English education, to prepare them for teaching and provide a Theological course. There are a number of buildings and a dormitory for boys and girls.
Joseph J. Boris, ed., Who’s Who in Colored America, vol. 1 (1927).
Teachers and students of the Original Free Will Baptist School, also known as Skinner’s College, circa 1923. John H. Skinner is at far right. Skinner was also principal of Kenly Colored Graded School, a Rosenwald school. Photo courtesy of Johnston County Heritage Center.
In the 1870 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Aaron Skinner, 37, carpenter; wife Mary, 25; and son John, 9; domestic servant Esther Barnes, 21; and Willie Battle, 2.
J.H. Skinner, 24, of Wayne County, son of Aaron and Mary Skinner of Virginia, married J.A. Lane, 23, of Wayne County, daughter of Amos and Penny Lane, on 30 December 1885 in Nahunta township, Wayne County.
In the 1900 census of Fremont, Wayne County, N.C.: school teacher John H. Skinner, 37; wife Jackan, 36; and children Adie L., 12, Lillie M., 10, Claud, 8, and Clasie, 4.
On Christmas Day 1904, J.H. Skinner, 41, married Ida Artice, 25, in Greene County, N.C.
In the 1910 census of Nahunta township, Wayne County, N.C.: public school teacher John H. Skinner, 49; wife Ida, 38; and children Lillie, 20, Claudie, 17, and Flosey, 14.
On 7 September 1913, J.H. Skinner, 45, of Johnston County, married Melisa Peterson, 20, of Johnston County, in Beulah township, Johnston County.
On 17 May 1919, Richard Swinson applied for a marriage license in Greene County for J.H. Skinner, 51, of Greene County, and Rosa L. Ellison, 27, of Greene County, daughter of Harvey and Laura Ellison. The license was not returned.
In the 1930 census of Beulah township Johnston County, N.C.: on Matthew Donal Street, widower John H. Skinner, 60, teacher at Brower(?) School.
On 10 May 1930, J.H. Skinner, 60, of Kenly, son of Adam and Mary Skinner, married Elizabeth Williams, 45, of Kenly, daughter of Dock and Mary Parker, in Kenly, Johnston County, N.C.
J.H. Skinner died 16 November 1937 in Kenly, Beulah township, Johnston County, N.C. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1851 in Wilson to Aaron Skinner and Mary Barnes; was married to Elizabeth Williams Skinner; and worked as a teacher and minister.
“The chancellor of Fayetteville State University, T.J. Bryan, came to town Aug. 5 to honor as trailblazers eight women who graduated from the school in the 1940s, when it was known as Fayetteville State Teachers College.”
Graduate of Nash County Training School; Master of Education, Pennsylvania State University; 38-year teaching career in Wilson and Nash Counties; owner and operator of Edwards Funeral Home; taught at Wilson Technical Community Center; member, Wilson County Commissioner; NAACP Life Member; member, Ladies Auxiliary, American Legion Post 17; member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and Links, Inc.
Graduate of Coulter Memorial Academy, Cheraw, S.C.; Bachelor’s in Elementary Education; played on two-time state champion basketball team at FSU; taught and coached at Charles H. Darden High School and C.L. Coon Junior High School; elder, Calvary Presbyterian Church; member, Ladies Auxiliary, American Legion Post 17.
Graduate of Williston High School, Wilmington, N.C.; Bachelor’s in Elementary Education; Master of Education, Pennsylvania State University; taught at Sallie Barbour, Elvie Street and Wells Elementary School; also taught at Wilson Technical Community Center and ADAPT outreach center; member, Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church; recipient, Distinguished Service Award, Wilson Human Relations Commission; volunteers at Wilson Crisis Center and other organizations; board, Freeman Round House Museum; member, Book and Garden Club, NAACP, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Ladies Auxiliary of American Legion Post 17.
Graduate of Wilson Colored High School [Darden High School]; completed two-year program at State Teachers College Fayetteville and later bachelor’s in education; master’s degree in early childhood education, Columbia University; taught at one-room school in Nash County in 1930s and ’40s, then Vick and Hearne Elementary Schools; member, Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church; member, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Alice Marie Shaw Stevens, ’46
Grew up in western Wilson County; attended Rocky Branch School; graduate of Richard B. Harrison High School in Johnston County at age 15; graduated FSU with honors; master’s degree in education, N.C. State A.&T. University; started teaching in two and three-room schools, then Springfield and Lee Woodard Schools; member of Rocky Branch United Church of Christ since age 10; member, Order of Eastern Star.
Graduate of Darden High School; education degree from FSU; married career soldier; worked with Wilson Board of Elections; volunteers with Opportunities Industrialization Center.
Artelya Whitley Williams, ’49
Graduate of Mary Potter School in Oxford, N.C., and beauty school in New Jersey; bachelor’s degree from FSU and master’s degree from New York University; served in U.S. Army and Air Force; taught at Lucama Elementary and Spaulding and Spring Hope schools in Nash County.