Wilson in Wilson County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Owen L. W. Smith
1898-1902; born into
slavery. Pastor, St. John
A.M.E. Zion Church
in Wilson. Lived 1/10 mi. N.
Erected 2001 by Division of Archives and History. (Marker Number F-64.)
Location. 35° 43.289′ N, 77° 54.319′ W. Marker is in Wilson, North Carolina, in Wilson County. Marker is at the intersection of Pender Street and Smith Street, on the right when traveling south on Pender Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Wilson NC 27893, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. R.D.W. Connor (approx. ¼ mile away); First ABC Store (approx. ¼ mile away); Wilson County Civil War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Henry G. Conner (approx. 0.4 miles away); Combat Wounded Veterans (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hackney Wagon Company (approx. 0.4 miles away); Military Hospital (approx. 0.4 miles away); P.D. Gold (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wilson.
Regarding Owen L. W. Smith. The State Department was among the first agencies to appoint blacks to positions of prominence and one of the few to continue to do so beyond Reconstruction
Owen L. W. Smith was born into slavery in Sampson County in 1851. He followed the Confederate Army as a personal servant but by war’s end had joined Federal forces and was part of Sherman’s army at Bentonville and the Grand Parade in Washington, D.C. He taught school briefly and studied at the University of South Carolina, 1874-1876. In 1880 he was converted at a camp meeting and the next year began to preach. Active in the A.M.E. Zion Church, he served or built churches across eastern North Carolina. Smith served as presiding elder; secretary of the Sunday School convention; private secretary to Bishop John Small; conference delegate; and corresponding editor of the Star of Zion.
In 1885 Smith took up a pastorate at St. John’s in Wilson where he lived the rest of his life. In 1897 he sought the diplomatic post and received endorsements from the governor, attorney general,
Categories. • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 12, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 347 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 12, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.