On its face, this account of this terrible crime has no bearing on Wilson County.
More details emerged in newspapers over the next few days, however, and on November 9, the Greensboro Daily News reported: “From the few facts available the affair was one of genuine old-fashioned lynching. [George] Taylor was identified by Ms. [Ruby] Rogers, it was said about 1.30 Tuesday afternoon. Immediately thereafter J.T. Bolling (who, with Buddie Mitchell, of Youngsville, and Dudley Price, it was said, made the arrest at Wilson) and Oscar Barham started to Raleigh with the prisoner.
“About a quarter of a mile from Buffaloe bottom [near Rolesville] about 400 yards from where the negro was strung up, four men wearing blue hoods, completely masking their faces and bearing a single barrel and double barrel shot gun, are said to have met the negro and the officers and carried the party into the adjoining woods.
“There the party was held until Tuesday night when the mob took the negro and hanging him by the feet on a bent pine tree, slashed and cut him up and filled him with over 100 bullet holes. He was left hanging from 7.25 Tuesday night, when the firing was heard until about 9 o’clock Wednesday morning when Sheriff Sears’ office was notified.
“Taylor was arrested near Wilson and tied in the foot of an automobile with a pistol pressing against his ribs, he was brought to Mrs. Rogers for identification. At first she is said not to have been positive, but later to have been convinced. When asked after the lynching she said there was no doubt but that he was the man. When he was brought before her Dr. Young of Rolesville said the negro was forced to repeat the words her assailant used and he changed his voice, later she heard him talking in the yard in his natural voice she became positive it was the man. J.T. Bolling the man from and with whom the negro was taken said that after the identification the negro confessed to the crime.”
George Taylor’s murder is the only recorded lynching in Wake County.
Immediately after Emancipation, Nash Horton threw himself into political and religious activity. Horton lived in Buckhorn township, Wake County, adjacent to Chatham County, and in 1867 was one of the commissioners of a Fourth of July celebration in the area.
The Daily Standard (Raleigh, N.C.), 16 July 1867.
Three months later, Horton met in Raleigh for the organization of the North Carolina Colored Christian Conference as a representative of Christian Chapel. (Founded in 1866, Greater Christian Chapel Church began as a brush arbor meeting. Per the church’s website, Nash Horton served as its first pastor. Rev. Horton’s first wife Elizabeth Horton is buried in Greater Christian Chapel cemetery near Apex in Buckhorn township, Wake County. Her headstone records her birthdate as 4 March 1829 and her death date as 20 September 1869.)
Weekly Standard (Raleigh, N.C.), 27 October 1867.
In the 1870 census of Buckhorn township, Wake County, North Carolina: Nash Horton, 35; wife Elizabeth, 25; and children James, 14, Allis, 9, Jane, 6, Susan, 4, George, 2, and Matthew, 2 months. [Per her headstone, Elizabeth died in the fall of 1869.]
In the 1880 census of Buckhorn township, Wake County: Nash Horton, 46, minister; wife Hannah, 27; son Gray Horton, 27; stepchildren Martha, 13, Alvis, 8, and William Walker, 5; boarders [who were his children] Jane, 17, and Susan Horton, 15; children Bartley and Matthew, 10, and Leonidas Horton, 8; and nephew Rufus Horton, 6.
Just after 1880, Nash Horton and his children moved to Springhill township, Wilson County. (Several were later active in Saint Delight Original Free Will Baptist Church near Kenly and are buried in its cemetery.)
On 21 May 1882, Joshua Beckwith, 28, of Chatham County, son of Wiley and Lucy Costin, married Susan Horton, 17, of Wilson, daughter of Nash and Elizabeth Horton, at Nash Horton‘s in Springhill township. Witnesses were John T. Hinnant, Nash Horton and Isaac Kirby.
On 28 September 1890, Savanah Scott, 20, daughter of John and Nannie Scott, married Mathew Horton, 21, son of Nash and Betsey Horton, all of Springhill township, Wilson County. Rufus Horton applied for the license, and he, SamuelTaylor and Anderson Horton witnessed.
In the mid-1890s, Nash Horton moved a few miles southwest into Johnston County.
On 5 July 1896, Rufus Horton, 23, of Johnston County, son of Nash and Elizabeth Horton, married Mary J. Davis, 19, of Johnston, daughter of Ollin and Mary F. Davis, in Pine Level, Johnston County. [Rufus, in fact, was a grandson of Nash Horton and was reared by Horton and his wife.]
On 10 December 1896, Nathaniel Horton, 25, son of Nash Horton, married Mila Shepherd, 21, in Clayton, Johnston County.
In the 1900 census of Selma township, Johnston County: Nash Horton, 60, and wife Rosa, 50.
In the 1910 census of Pine Level township, Johnston County: Nash Horton, 75, shoemaker in own shop. He reported that he had been married four times.
It appears that Nash Horton died shortly after 1910. I have not found his death certificate.
Rev. Rufus A. Horton, who founded Mount Zion Original Free Will Baptist Church in Wilson, died of a heart attack in Washington, D.C., on 30 October 1938. [He is not to be confused with Rufus G. Horton, who was born 1867 in Wake County to John and Essie Hackney Horton and died in 1935 in Springhill township, Wilson County.]
Rev. Rufus A. Horton (1873-1938).
Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), 31 October 1938.
James H. Horton died 8 May 1943 in Springhill township. Per his death certificate, he was born 7 June 1860 in Wake County to Nash Horton and an unknown mother; was the widower of Lunar Taylor; and was buried in the Free Will Baptist cemetery. Henry Horton was informant.
Susan Horton died 18 January 1945 at Mercy Hospital, Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 14 July 1866 in Wake County to Nash Horton and an unnamed mother; resided at 417 South Goldsboro Street, Wilson; was the widow of Dock Farmer; and was buried in Boyett cemetery. Informant was Carrie Boykin, 417 South Goldsboro.