107 Year Old ex-Slave Marries 75 Year Old Woman

107 manThis is my most sensational headline for a blog post I’ve ever had.  But I found this astounding article in the April 22, 1949 edition of the Wilson Daily Times while looking for an obituary.  William Henry Pellan had lived more history than found within the pages of most history books.   He recounts that he was a slave in Washington County, NC and was sold three times for $700, $850 and $1,000 respectfully.  He also remembers Sherman’s March and had worked on Mississippi steamboats, worked as a farmhand, a fireman on railroads, in a sawmill and as a preacher.

Also the funniest/ meta-saddest part was when he complains that the price for a marriage license went up from $3 to $5 and says “I never paid more than $3 for a woman in my life, and this is my fourth one.”

107 man2

The First Children’s Story-time at the Wilson County Public Library


Mrs. Townsend has a very cool hat. It may be the sorting hat.


I recently found these pictures of the first children’s story-time at the newly opened Wilson County Public Library.  The pictures date from November 18, 1939 and the story-teller is Matilda Townsend.  The picture below is from the summer of 1947 and the story-teller is Sara Harrell.


I think this photograph was taken by a professional, maybe Guy Cox of Raines and Cox Photography

New Images of Wilson


I love planes!



It says Jones, Esso and Scene 2 on the clapboard

I found some more Photos in a scrapbook from the 1940’s.  The first picture is of a beautiful, unidentified girl holding onto the propeller of an airplane and the other is of a movie or commercial being filmed in a Wilson tobacco warehouse.  If someone has more information about these pictures, please let me know.

Tobacco Queen

tobacco_girlDuring another expedition through the supply room I found some old scrapbooks and many photographs, including this great one of what I assume is a tobacco queen during one of Wilson’s tobacco festivals in the 1940’s. Unfortunately I do not know who took the photograph.  I will put up the other photos on the Flickr page.