Farmers Cotton Oil Company had been in operation only six years when an artist sketched it for the border of T.M. Fowler’s 1908 bird’s-eye map of Wilson. At the time, the tobacco town was also one of the larger cotton markets in eastern North Carolina, and Farmers not only ginned cotton and pressed cotton seed oil, it manufactured fertilizer.
It was also a dangerous place to work. In November 1922, doctors amputated Will Scott’s left hand after it was mangled in machinery at the mill.
Wilson Daily Times, 16 November 1922.
Seven years later, Wade Vick was whirled to death after being caught in a revolving wheel at the compound.
As shown in the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map, Farmers Cotton Oil Company filled almost the whole block bounded by East Barnes, Grace, Stemmery, and South Railroad Streets. The church at lower right was Wilson Chapel Free Will Baptist.
Andrew Harget registered for the World War I draft in 1918 in Wilson County. Per his registration card, he was born 9 January 1896 in Craven County, N.C.; he lived at 602 Spring, Wilson; his father was born in Beaufort County, N.C.; he worked for Barnes-Graves Grocery Company, Nash Street, Wilson; and his wife was Geneva Harget.
John D. Bailey, 24, of Oldfields township, married Genevia Jones, 18, of Oldfields township, on 20 December 1893 at Richard Jones‘ in Oldfields township.
In the 1900 census of Springhill township, Wilson County: farmer John D. Bailey, 31; wife Jeneva, 23; daughters Rhoda, 4, Pearl, 1, and Mary L., 1 month; and servant Lillie Bagley, 35.
In the 1910 census of Oldfields township, Wilson County: farmer John D. Bailey, 42; wife Jeneva, 33; and children Rhoda, 13, Pearlie, 12, Mary L., 9, Lonnie, 8, Ora, 6, John T., 5, William H., 4, Melton P., 2, and Richard E., 1.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 516 Church Street, owned and valued at $2000, oil mill laborer John Bailey, 60; wife Jeneva, 52; children Johnny, 16, James, 14, Perry, 21, railroad laborer, and Jerry, 24, railroad laborer; and lodgers Mack Miller, 35, divorced, born in S.C., auto garage mechanic, and Mary P. Williams, 74, widow, private family nurse.
John Bailey died 24 June 1932 at Mercy Hospital in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1876 in Nash County to Hill Bailey and Mary Bailey of Nash County, N.C.; was married Geneva Bailey; lived at 516 Church Street, Wilson; and worked as a day laborer for Southern Oil Mill. His cause of death: “hemorrhage of brain at base & of spinal cord” as a result of “scaffold fell on which he was working.”
Richmond Pender worked a regular job as a drayman for a grocery store. He operated a side business, though, selling wood, likely mostly to feed stoves and furnaces throughout East Wilson. In April 1928, he suffered a devastating injury when his arm was pulled into a wood saw in his back yard.
Wilson Daily Times, 28 April 1922.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: farmer Gray Pender, 37; wife Katie, 36; and children Richard, 16, Louvenia, 13, Caroline, 10, Wilson, 6, Floyd, 4, and Jonah, 11 months. [Gray and Louvenia Pender’s headstones have been found in Rountree Cemetery.]
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Green Street, Katey Pender, 47, laundress, and children Richman, 26, grocery store delivery; Carrie, 16, private nurse; Willie, 16, farmer; Floyd, 14, laborer; and Joseph, 10.
On 26 May 1912, Richmond Pender, 28, of Wilson, son of Gray and Kate Pender, married Marinda Howard, 21, of Wilson, daughter of Jesse and Martha Howard, in Wilson. W.H. Kittrell applied for the license, and Rev. H.B. Taylor performed the ceremony in the presence of C.L. Darden, Wm. Hines, and C.R. Cannon.
Richmond Pender registered for the World War I draft in Wilson in 1918. Per his registration card, he was born 9 July 1883; lived at 505 East Vance; his nearest relative was Marinda Pender; and he worked as a drayman for J.H. Gill of East Nash Street.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Richmond Pender, 35, drayman for grocery store; wife Marinda, 25; and son Jessie, 7.
Marinda Lilian Pender died 25 November 1925 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 16 June 1890 in Wilson County to Jesse Howard and Martha Ruffin; was married to Richmond Pender; and lived at 504 East Vance.
On 9 January 1927, Richmond Pender, 44, of Wilson, married Mamie E. Jones, 27, of Wilson, in Wilson. Presbyterian minister A.H. George performed the ceremony in the presence of S.A. Coward, Jesse Gray Pender, and Ruel Bulluck.
Richmond Pender wrote out a will a few weeks after his second marriage. He directed a burial in the Masonic cemetery (not to exceed $400 in cost) and specified that he did not want a headstone (at least not one paid for by his estate.) His house and lot on Vance Street and two lots on Nash Street were to go to son Jesse Gray Pender. Mamie Pender was to receive household furnishings and any money left in the estate. William Hines was named guardian of the property of Jesse Pender, who was a minor, as well as executor of the estate.
Richmond Pender died 3 March 1930 in Wilson of apoplexy [stroke]. Per his death certificate, he was 49 years old; was married to Mamie Pender; lived at 504 Vance; was a dealer in wood; and was born in Wilson County to Gray Pender and Katie Woodard.
In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: tobacco grader Sam Allen, 50; wife Ellen, 42, “tobacco tying”; and mother Mariar, 70, washer.
On 2 January 1907, Sam Allen, 51, of Wilson, son of Jack Allen and Mariah Clay, married Fannie Sinclair, 23, of Wilson, at the groom’s residence in Wilson. A.M.E. Zion minister N.D. King performed the ceremony in the presence of Alex Walker, Mahala Harris, and Carrie Pettiford.
In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: factory laborer Sam Allen, 60; wife Fannie, 20; and lodger Charlie Herring, 50, streets work.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Sam Allen, 63; wife Fannie, 35; daughter Geneva, 27; and son Charlie, 8.
In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 706 Roberson, owned and valued at $1000, warehouse laborer Sam Allen, 73, and wife Fannie, 37, “agent-srubbery” [sic].
Samuel Allen died 22 December 1930 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 60 years old; was married to Fannie Allen; lived at 706 Roberson; worked as a day laborer at a tobacco warehouse for 30 years; and was born in Oxford, N.C.