Obituary of John F. Wooten

Mr. John F. WOOTEN quietly passed away this afternoon at 2:10 o’clock at his late residence on east King street. The immediate cause of his death was apoplexy.  Mr. Wooten suffered a slight stroke yesterday afternoon while in conversation with some friends at his home and recovered sufficiently to get about the house today and was sitting up just a few minutes before his death this afternoon. He had a second stroke and asked to be helped to the lounge in the room and died in a few minutes.

Mr. Wooten was born November 22, 1821, and consequently had he lived until the 22nd of this month would have been 82 years old.  He leaves a widow and six children: Mrs. W.O. MOSELEY, Messrs. T.C., Dal. F., J.F.Jr., and Lloyd, of this city and B.B. of Ft. Barnwell.  He was also the father of the late Sheriff John C. WOOTEN.

His has been a long and useful career.  Since receiving his license to practice law, up until a few years ago when he retired from the active duties of his profession on account of his age, he has been a public figure in this county.  Ranking among the first in the State as a criminal lawyer he wielded an influence that was not surpassed, in the days of his active practice at the bar.  He was indeed a foreman worthy of the best steed of an adversary and was counted the foremost advocate of the bar in this county during his long practice in the courts in this district.

The funeral had not been arranged when the paper went to press today, as members of the family were not here and until communication be gotten with them the arrangements will not be made.

The following biography of Mr. Wooten, found in the industrial issue of THE FREE PRESS, published in 1899 gives a concise history of his long and useful career:

Hon. John F. WOOTEN was born in Craven county, N.C., about 25 miles from Newbern, Nov. 22, 1821.  His father was “Council WOOTEN, of Pitt” county, a member of a large family of that name in Eastern Carolina.  His mother was Grizzy MURPHY, of Irish descent, and was a near kinswoman of Judge Archibald D. MURPHY, of legal fame in this State.

He received his early training in the celebrated school in Pittsboro, N.C., conducted by J.M. LOVEJOY. At the age of 21 he entered William and Mary College, Va., and in 1843 entered the Virginia University, taking the law course there.  He was licensed by the supreme court in 1845 and immediately located in Kinston, and was the first and only resident lawyer for a time.

He married Miss Mary Adams CHRISTIAN, of West Point, Va., a lady of great accomplishments and of a distinguished family.  He was married again, this time to Miss Mary PUGH, of Clinton, Sampson county.

He held the position of clerk and master of the court of equity for Lenoir county for five years, and afterwards held the office of county solicitor for Lenoir and Jones for a number of years.  He was elected as a Tilden elector in 1876, running ahead of his ticket in the State.  In 1879-1880 he was judge of the special criminal courts for Lenoir county.

He was considered one of the best criminal lawyers in the State in his best days, and was a wonderfully eloquent and able advocate.

He retired from the active practice several years ago to live out his declining years surrounded by his family and to enjoy the fruits of a well spent life.

Negro Killed

Negro Killed: Shot by Policeman at Kinston While Breaking Into a Store
(Special to the Times-Dispatch)

Kinston, N.C., February 11 – This morning about 3 o’clock Night Policeman J.J. Dunn, while making his beat on North Queen Street, saw a negro named Walter Houston, alias Hunter, entering the store of W.W. Triton through the back way.  The officer fired at him seven times, three balls taking effect.  As soon as he started the firing the negro jumped and ran out through an alley, which opened on North Street, where he fell dead and lay until 9 o’clock, when Coroner R.W. Wooten viewed the body.  No inquest was deemed  necessary.  The body was turned over to the sheriff for burial.

When he searched this morning the authorities found only one apple in his pocket, but it is reported that he had already broken in one or two more places before he had gotten to Mr. Triton’s place of business, and had carried clothing, shoes, etc., away to some of his partners.

Source: “Negro Killed.” Times-Dispatch [Richmond, VA] 12 Feb. 1903. Chronicling America. Library of Congress. <;.

Cyclopedia of Eminent Men in North Carolina

Individuals profiled in the Cyclopedia of Eminent and Representative Men of the Carolinas of the Nineteenth Century (published 1892) with connections to Lenoir County.  Click on thier names to read the biography. 

Hon. William Turner Faircloth – born 1829 in Edgecombe County, NC.  Husband of Evelyn Wooten, daughter of Council Wooten of Mosely Hall (now LaGrange).  William & Evelyn were married in Lenoir County on January 10, 1867.  

Dr. Henry Tull – born in 1855 in Lenoir County.  Graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1876.  Married to Myrtie Wooten, daughter of W.T. and Elizabeth J. Wooten in 1882. 

Dr. James M. Hodges – born in 1862 in Lenoir County.  Son of Simon E. and Persis S. (Harper) Hodges.  1st married to Nancy Turnage, 2nd married to widower Addie G. Mosely; and thirdly, to Emma E. Fields. 

Dr. John Pollock – born in Onslow County in 1884; practiced medicine and retired in Lenoir County.  Married 1st to Olivia B. Humphrey, 2nd to Annie Loftin, and thirdly to Agnes P. Jones. 

Dr. Jacob M. Hadley – born in Chatham County in 1835, son of William Penn Hadley & Hannah (McPherson) Hadley.  Graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1860.  Married Lizzie E. Kirkpatrick of Orange County in 1860. 

Hugh M. McDonald – druggist in LaGrange born in 1840 in Moore County.  Established his business in LaGrange in 1873 .  Married Mattie N. Hall in 1880. 

Hon. George W. Sanderlin — born in 1843 in Camden County, NC.  Was a lawyer, military man, religious leader, and one time an agricultural editor for the Kinston Free Press.  Married Eliza Wooten of Lenoir County, daughter of Council Wooten.

Prof. Joseph Kinsey — principle of the Kinsey female seminary in LaGrange.  Born in 1843 in Jones County. Came to Lenoir County in 1869 and established the seminary in 1886.  In 1868 he married Fannie Kinsey, daughter of J.H. Kinsey of Jones County. 

James F. Taylor – born in 1864 in Lenoir County. Secretary & treasurer of Orion Knitting Mills of Kinston. 

John D. Walters – born in 1858 in Lenoir County, son of Hawyood & Sally (Rouse) Walters.  Established a mercantile business in 1882.  In 1877 married Julia E. Hardy of Lenoir County. In 1886 married Kate E. Woolard of Lenoir County. 

Samuel H. Abbott – born 1839 in Lenoir County, son of Thomas J. and Lucinda (Phillips) Abbott.  Was a leading merchant in the county, owning a general grocery store, a brick and tile factory, manufactured and patented a plow, investor in the Orion Mills and a real estate investor.  Married Nancy Brock in 1873, daughter of Daniel & Caroline Brock. 

William L. Kennedy – born in 1845 in Lenoir County. Married Emily Hardee in 1874.  Was an established farmer and a stockholder in Orion Mill Knitting Co. 

Albert D. Parrott – born 1853 in Lenoir County, son of James M. & Elizabeth (Waters) Parrott.  Graduated from the University of Virginia with a civil engineering degree.  Served as Justice of the Peace. In  1876 married Elizabeth M. Karnegy.

1916 NC Yearbook

A fellow member of one of the genealogy societies I belong to shared a link tonight to a site with all kind of state directories. One of them, the 1916 North Carolina yearbook had the following items related to Lenoir & Craven counties:

  • 5 Jan 1915 — Mutual Aid Banking Company, of New Bern, negro institution, was closed.
  • 27 Feb 1915 – Emmet R. Wooten, of Kinston, Speaker of the House of Representatives,  died in Rex Hospital, Raleigh, as a result of an automobile accident on road near Raleigh in which William Aycock was killed.
  • 28 Feb 1915 – Late speaker Emmet R. Wooten buried at his home in Kinston, a great crowd in attendance at his funeral.
  • 25 Mar 1915 – Carter-Abernathy committee took up sitting in New Bern to hear other evidence in case
  • 29 Mar 1915 – Carter-Abernathy committee attached no importance to immorality charges, Chairman Doughton announced when Judge Frank Carter goes on stand in own behalf
  • 30 Mar 1915 – Carter-Abernathy committee heard oral argument and adjourned until April 26, when report will be formulated
  • 11 May 1915 – New Bern fire company tendered wholesale resignation
  • 12 May 1915 – N J Rouse, of Kinston, announced he will not be candidate for Attorney General against Judge Frank Carter
  • 31 May 1915 – Baugham case, which started the Carter-Abernathy controversy, discussed at New Bern.
  • 3 Jun 1915 – Judge George W. Connor, ordered at New Bern court, all records against Solicitor Abernathy explained.
  • 26 Jul 1915 – Kinston visited by $50,000 fire.
  • 31 Oct 1915 – Chief of Police,  C. M. Walters, of Raleigh, died on the day terminating his service of the city in that capacity, and C. F. Koonce, who was elected on the sixteenth of the month took charge.
  • 16 Nov 1915 – Fire destoryed Norfolk Southern shop at New Bern
  • 4 Dec 1915 – Mrs. Julia French, a real daughter of the revolution, died at Kinston