Thanks for kindnesses shown.

Wilson Daily Times, 5 April 1944.

The deceased was Luvenia Pierce‘s daughter Sandora Powell


In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Levenia Pierce, 36, divorced, hotel maid; daughter Sandora Pierce, 19, farm laborer; granddaughter Clara Pierce, 22 months; son-in-law Cesar Williams, 20, hotel bellboy; daughter Darthy L. Williams, 16; grandson Boyed L. Williams, 7 months; Estelle Butler, 30, cook; and John Kitchen, 30, barber.

On 8 September 1934, Moses Powell, 26, of Goldsboro, N.C., son of Eddie and Mollie Powell, married Sandora Moses, 23, of Goldsboro, daughter of Oliver and Lavinia Moses, in Nashville, Nash County, N.C.

Sandora Powell died 12 April 1944 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 29 December 1911 in Wilson to Oliver Moses and Louvenia Pierce; was single; lived at 317 Hackney Street; worked as a domestic; and was buried in Rountree Cemetery.

Lane Street Project: another thanks.

Special thanks to all who donated to our headstone restoration fund! All donations go directly to pay a local company for their care and expertise in cleaning, stabilizing, and resetting grave markers, and are always welcome!

Among the stones recently cleaned  was Joseph S. Jackson‘s white marble marker, which was partially buried and badly stained.


In the Oates family section, Billy Foster unearthed these two hand-lettered markers, which appear to be foot stones.

As you see, the grass is starting to grow quickly at Odd Fellows. Please come out for our April 15 and 29 workdays!

Photos courtesy of Foster Stone and Cemetery Care, April 2023.

Lane Street Project: gratitude.

Thank you to every person who pulled a weed, dragged a rake, hefted a chainsaw, donated a dollar, called a councilperson, or said a prayer for Lane Street Project during Season 2.

A special thank you to friends who made contributions to LSP’s maintenance fund in memory of my father. Your generosity touched my heart.

An extra special thank you to my LSP team for the beautiful flowers in his honor.

See y’all next winter.

(Unless you want to join the Senior Force, which plans to work at Odd Fellows throughout the year.)

The Elks show appreciation.

Wilson Daily Times, 20 January 1930.


  • George Utley 
  • H.H. Bryant — in the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bryant Harry H (c) carp h 619 Suggs
  • M. Simms 
  • S.D. Leonard — in the 1930 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Leonard Samuel D (c; Annie) porter The Market Store h 512 Church

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Though I disavow the false narrative that has been passed down to us about the first Thanksgiving, I embrace the setting aside of a day to give thanks. In these times more than ever, I’m grateful for the overwhelming bounty of my life. In all my years, I have never wanted for family, health, shelter, or wealth, and I understand the privilege that bestows upon me. Black Wide-Awake and Lane Street Project are ways I honor the people and place that nourished and encouraged and shaped me. 

Lane Street Project: coda.

Lane Street Project’s public work kicked into gear in December 2020 with the discovery of Samuel H. Vick‘s long-lost grave marker. We carefully unearthed and cleaned it, and several volunteers have worked extra-diligently to uproot the layers of wisteria runners that encase it. However, wisteria fights hard, and this is what it looked like this morning.

Charles Eric Jones‘ care, storage, and transport of Lane Street Project’s tool collection has been critical to the success of Season One. So, too, his commitment to show up early and stay late for every workday. His words today:
“Good afternoon from the Lane Street Project. This is the last joint clean-up before the summer. I have truly enjoyed working out here giving back to the ancestors,
who were the builders of East Wilson and who my elementary school was named after. I could not leave without freeing [Sam Vick’s] headstone and cutting the grass to help it look better. Thanks to all the good people I have met during this project, and I look forward to doing more. I pray that the Creator continues to Bless you and your family. Yours in Peace. CJ”
I owe everything to women and men like Charles Jones, without whom these cemetery clean-ups would have remained fervent, but unrealized, dreams. Lane Street Project is too big for one person, or a dozen, or even a hundred. We need you — your time, your energy, your ideas, your support. See you for Season Two, rested and ready to reclaim this sacred space!
Heartfelt thanks to the faithful and upright Portia Newman; Brittany Daniel; Joyah Bulluck; LaMonique Hamilton; Castonoble Hooks; Raven Farmer; Craig Barnes Jr.; Charles Jones; Dr. Judy Rashid; Rev. Kim Reives; Mayor Carlton Stevens; Briggs Sherwood; Julia Newton; Mike Witting and Alliance Forestry, Inc.; Drew Wilson; Will Corbett; Greg Boseman; the Wilson Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; Barbara Hansen; Councilman Derrick Creech; Joseph Story; Tyrone Speight; Laurie McBriarty-Sisk; Brandon and Kayla Nelson; Vicki Cowan; Brian and Erin Hollaway Palmer and Melissa Pocock of Friends of East End; Adam Rosenblatt of Friends of Geer Cemetery; Perry Morrison; Charlie Farris; and each and every LSP volunteer, donor, and supporter this Season One. 
Photos courtesy of Charles E. Jones.

Sampson Barnes’ family shows appreciation.

Wilson Daily Times, 7 August 1937.


In the 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: tenant farmer Preston Barnes, 27; wife Rosetta, 20; and children Samson, 5, Aulander, 3, and Sallie, 5 months.

Samptson Barnes died 3 August 1937 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 22 years old; was born in Wilson County to Preston Barnes and Rosetta Williams; and was engaged in farming. Drew Barnes was informant.

The Moore family’s card of thanks.

Firm racial identification was paramount during Jim Crow, and Southern newspaper often carried notices clarifying that status or making it plain even in contexts in which it would not seem to be important. Did John L. Moore submit his acknowledgment to the Times with “(Colored)” already included? Or did staff insert it to make clear that this John Moore was not one of the white John Moores?

Wilson Daily Times, 11 November 1927.


On 30 May 1895, John Moore, 22, of Black Creek township, son of L. and Vinney Moore, married Mattie Simms, 18, of Black Creek township, daughter of Jno. Lassiter and Rachel Simms. L.A. Moore applied for the license, and a justice of the peace performed the ceremony at Larnce Moore’s residence in Black Creek in the presence of C.F. Darden, M. Roundtree, and David Moore.

In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: day laborer John Moore, 28; wife Mattie, 23; and sons Arthur, 4, and John H., 1.

In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer John Moore, 36; wife Mattie, 36, dressmaker; and sons Arthur, 14, William B., 7, Zack, 6, and James, 5.

Mattie Moore died 7 November 1927 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 24 December 1877 in Wilson County to John Lassiter and Rachel Sims; was married to Johnie Moore; and lived at 910 Washington Street. She was buried in Wilson [likely in Vick or Rountree cemeteries.]

Happy Thanksgiving!

My aunt married into a big family, and my parents, sister, and I were often absorbed into the Barneses’ big holiday gatherings. Especially Thanksgiving. I’m not sure why I remember this one exactly, but I was about 9 or 10, I think, and Aunt Pet was hostess. At the time she was living in this house at 1112 Carolina Street, down the street from our old house. Coats heaped on a bed, folding tables pressed end to end from one room into the next, pots steaming, plates groaning. 

2020 has been terrible in so many ways, but though there will be no big family gathering, I am mindful of the grace extended to me even in this year. I am thankful for my life and all in it, and grateful to the ancestors who guide my steps.