Category Archives: Obituary

TARKENTON, Asa – (d. 1935)

Funeral services were held Thursday afternoon at the Baptist church in Roper for Asa TARKENTON, well-known farmer of Washington County, who succumbed from the infirmities of age Wednesday afternoon after being in failing health for four months. 

Burial took place in Zion’s Chapel Christian church cemetery.  Rev. W.H. AMBROSE, of the Christian denomination.  Mr. TARKENTON was 81 years of age and was the last of his family, leaving no brothers or sisters.  His wife was the late Mrs. Ellen Ainsley BATEMAN

Surviving are the following: one sister-in-law, Mrs. W.H. TARKENTON, Roper; nieces, Mrs. C.N. REYNOLDS, Mrs. D.A. HUDSON, Mrs. W.B. MASSENGALE, all of Roanoke Rapids; Mrs. Hugh McCabe, Norfolk; Mrs. Lula BARNES, Tarboro; Mrs. Nellie Oliver, Mrs. J.C. PHELPS, Mrs. John FURLAUGH, all of Roper. 

Nephews: H.W. TARKENTON, Frank TARKENTON, Roper; L.D. TARKENTON, Manteo; U.W. TARKENTON, Belhaven; J.W. PHELPS, Tarboro; Clinton TARKENTON, Creswell; J.M. TARKENTON, Norfolk; H.W. TARKENTON, Elizabeth City.  Active pall-bearers were relatives of the deceased. 

Obituary originally published in the April 12, 1935 issue of the Roanoke Beacon.  Also published in the Fall 1993 Washington County Genealogical Society Journal. 

GURKIN, Harry (d. 1994)

This obituary for Harry Willoughby GURKIN appeared in the December 13, 1994 issue (page 8A) of The Coastland Times newspaper of Manteo, NC.  Harry was the son of Luther Warren GURKIN and Margie Willoughby GURKIN. 


DAVIS, Peter – (d. 1890)

A Boy Lost — On Monday evening a report was circulated that Peter DAVIS, a colored boy, was missing.  Search was made throughout the town, but his whereabouts could not be learned.  On Tuesday morning the little five year-old son of Jos. MITCHELL told that he and the missing boy were at play near the river on Monday and that the boy DAVIS fell in the river, and then led the anxious parents to the point where he said DAVIS fell in.  At this point was found the boy’s had, but no other evidence of his being drowned.  A party went out in boats and dragged the river for the body, but as yet it has not been found. 

The accident should be a reminder to parents both white and back, that the banks of the river is no place to allow their children to play .

LATER — The boy was found in the river on Wednesday evening, half a mile below where he fell in.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 15 August 1890, page 3. Available online at

HOWARD, Sallie – (d. 1890)

DIED – At her home in this town on Thursday morning last, July 31st, after a short but painful illness, Mrs. Sallie HOWARD, nee PEARCE.

The deceased was the daughter of Capt. D. PEARCE, deceased, and was a native of this county. She was married on the 16th of Oct. 1889 to Mr. Charles T. HOWARD, of Norfolk, Va., who after marriage located here, where the nine months of their wedded life passed happily. The deceased was a devoted christian, a member of Grace Episcopal church, an obedient daughter and a loving and devoted wife.

While it may seem hard that two lives so young an full of promise, that have been linked together in the holy bonds of matrimony, should so soon be separated forever, yet God in his infinite mercy saw fit to take the one and leave the other.

Our heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved husband and relatives.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 8 August 1890, page 2. Available online at

LEGGETT, Alfred – (d. 1890)

DIED — At his home, corner Main and Monroe streets, Monday night at about 11 o’clock, Mr. Alfred LEGGETT, in the 66th year of his age.

The deceased leaves a wife and several children to mourn his loss.  The remains were interred in the Baptist church-yard on Tuesday afternoon at 4 o’clock, Rev. J.F. TUTTLE officiating.  Our sympathies are extended to the bereaved.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 8 August 1890, page 2. Available online at

GAYLORD, John (Mrs.) – (d. 1890)

Extracted from the Roper Letter column (dated August 5, 1890):

Mrs. John GAYLORD, who has been a great sufferer for several months, departed this life on Saturday last, and her remains were interred in St. Luke’s cemetery yesterday morning.  We extend to the bereaved family our deepest sympathies in their loss.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 8 August 1890, page 3. Available online at

ARMISTEAD, Robert – (d. 1890)

DIED — At Plymouth, on the 7th inst., Mr. Robert ARMISTEAD, a respectable merchant of that place.


Source: Raleigh Register and North Carolina Weekly Advertiser, 11 November 1806

DAVENPORT, Snowden – (d. 1890)

At his home on Long Ridge of pneumonia, Monday, March 17, 1890, Mr. Snowden DAVENPORT, age 65 years.  The deceased leaves a wife and three children to mourn his loss.  From his earliest days Mr. DAVENPORT has been a member of the Baptist church and has lived the life of a devoted Christian and we are sure our loss is his eternal gain.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 21 March 1890, pg 3. Available online at

HOWELL, Julius L. – (d. 1890)

IN MEMORIAM –  We today find it our solemn duty to chronicle the death of another of Washington county’s most beloved and prosperous citizens.  In making his way from earth to heaven, the guardian angel that had been watching by the bedside of our dear friend for several weeks, thought proper to take with him the spirit of Mr. Julius L. HOWELL, on the 28th of March, leaving his lifeless body surrounded by kind and loving friends.

The deceased leaves a wife and one child and a host of friends to mourn his untimely departure, but we find sweet relief in knowing that, though he has been taken from us, yet, our loss is his eternal gain.  We mingle our sorrows with those of his many friends, and to his bereaved family we extend our most heartfelt sympathies.  As a husband, he was kind, loving and true; as a father he was affectionate and forgiving; as a friend (ah, who knows better what the word friend here means than the writer) he was kind, generous and as true to those he called friends, as steel.  We have only known the deceased fro six years, but in that time, though short it may seem, he has proved to be to us a friend, and had he been nearer to us, we could not have taken the sad news of his death more at heart. In his death we may truly say we lose one of our staunchest friend. He has not only been such a valuable friend to us personally but no firmer friend could the Beacon boast than “X.Y.Z,” which was none other than this noble man of whom we write, he was ever found ready to help make the paper an honor to his county, for which we will ever remember him kindly.

The deceased was 44 years of age, had long been a member of the Methodist Protestant Church, to which he was devoted and the rules of which he love as only Christians can.

Mr. HOWELL was last year elected to the office of Mayor of Creswell, which office he has filled with credit: he was also a member of the Board of Education of the county and he always seemed to take much interest in the educational advancement of our people.  His every effort in public as well as private life seemed to be for the betterment of his fellow man.

This good man from us is gone forever, his lifeless remains have been laid within the tomb and covered by the cold sod, there to remain until the Great Day, all that is left of this noble character is memory.  His earthly career has ended, his suffering are all over and he is now with the angels in that high home prepared for the righteous.  And, as Christ came and “hath abolished death,” we will think of him in the inspired language and say: “He is not death but sleepeth.”

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 4 April 1890, pg 3. Available online at

CLIFTON, Jessie – (d. 1890)

A Child Drowned

obituary for Jesse CLIFTON, the little six-year-old son of Capt. Thomas CLIFTON, keeper of the Roanoke Light.



Roanoke Beacon newspaper – May 9, 1890. Available at