train death

Peoples suffers fatal heart attack while driving.

Wilson Daily Times, 16 March 1950.

Tragedy befell Eugene “Genie” Peoples and his son Earnest Peoples at nearly the same spot south of Elm City two years apart.


In the 1930 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: odd jobs farm laborer Jennie Peoples, 52; wife Ella, 51; and children Gennie, 19, garage laborer, William, 13, Ernest, 10, Clifton, 8, and Annie, 5.

Earnest Peoples registered twice for the World War II draft, first in 1941 in Wilson County. On that registration card, he was born 5 January 1922 in Wilson County; lived in Elm City; his contact was his brother-in-law McKinley Whitley; and he was unemployed. In 1942, he registered in Union County, New Jersey. Per that registration card, he was born 5 January 1922 in Elm City, N.C.; lived at 276 Carnegie Place, Vaux Hall, Union County; his contact was Pattie Johnson of the same address; and he was employed by Woolworth Company, Irvington, New Jersey.

Ernest Peoples died 30 April 1948. Per his death certificate, he was born 5 January 1922 in Wilson County to Genie Peoples and Ella Parker, both born in Northampton County; lived on Railroad Street, Elm City; and worked as a laborer. His cause of death: “decapitation and dismemberment of body due to Train #91 South Atlantic Coast Line R.R. passing over body.”

Genie Peoples died 15 March 1950 in Elm City, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born November 1886 in Jackson, Nash County, to Henry Peoples and Leair Peoples; resided on Railroad Street, Elm City; was married; and worked as a carpenter. Informant was Cora Robbins, Elm City.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III.

Forbes killed by train.

Wilson Daily Times, 3 December 1920.

  • Bynum Forbes

In the 1870 census of Saratoga township, Wilson County: James Forbes, 38; wife Sarah, 25; and children Garrot, 12, Joseph, 4, Bynum, 3, and William, 1.

In the 1880 census of Gardners township, Wilson County: James Forbes, 48; wife Sarah, 31; and children Garrett, 21, Joseph, 15, Bynum, 14, Martheny, 10, Rose, 9, Mary, 8, Florence, 4, and Reddin, 1.

On 5 July 1888, Bynum Forbes, 22, of Wilson County, son of James and Sarah Forbes, married Mary Smith, 19, of Wilson County, daughter of James and Edney Smith in Gardners township, Wilson County. Harry Barnes and Abram Sharp were witnesses.

On 21 June 1899, Bynum Forbes, 55, of Edgecombe County, son of Jim and Sarah Forbes, married Ida Pleasant, 21, daughter of George Pleasant and Mary Smith, at S.T. Cherry’s farm in Cocoa or #13 Township, Edgecombe County.

In the 1900 census of Township #13, Edgecombe County: Bynum Forbs, 51; wife Ida, 21; children John, 5, Henry, 1, and Edney, 9; sister Florance, 25; niece Mattie, 3; and nephew Jef. B., 2 months.

In the 1910 census of Township #13, Edgecombe County: on Cokey Road, Bynum Forbes, 67; wife Ida, 31; children John, 16, Henry, 13, Mary, 8, William, 5, James W., 2, Bynum Jr., 1 month, and Edna, 18; and grandchildren Mack, 4, Joseph, 2, and Jackann, 1 month.

I have not located Bynum Forbes’ death certificate. His death was one of a string of tragedies for the Forbeses — daughter William Ann Winston was shot to death in Rocky Mount, N.C., in 1924, and son John Forbes, a cement mixer, was crushed to death in a sand cave-in in 1930 in Rocky Mount.

Three killed in auto-train collision.

Wilson Daily Times, 11 June 1926.

After the car she was in collided with a train in Dunn, North Carolina, Bessie Manning of Wilson was rushed to the Atlantic Coast Line hospital in Rocky Mount, but died of her injuries. Tom Mingo died at the scene, and Viola Bullock at the A.C.L. hospital. Both were also Wilson residents.

Manning’s death certificate, filed in Nash County, does not reflect her residency in Wilson. However, her son Paul Kirk filed for letters of administration for her estate in Wilson County, estimating its value at $2500.

Clipping courtesy of J. Robert Boykin III. Thank you!

No one appears to know anything of him.

Dr. A.F. Williams likely hesitated briefly before setting the nib of his fountain pen to paper. Full name of deceased? “Sam Bright (Party gave this name which may or may not be correct.)”


“This man was brought to Wilson by the Norfolk Southern train, having been found on the track. No one appears to know anything of him — either name or residence.”