Sam Wilson, “B&E Larceny”, 6 February 1937

comments 18

Sam Wilson was arrested for burglary in 1937, but there is no record of the case. At the time, he was living in an apartment above the Davis Coal and Supply Company store on Moravia street with his wife and five children. A decade earlier, he had a place above the Gloria Tire and Rubber Works, two blocks away, and made money working in a limestone quarry and selling bootleg wine. It was a wild time. He stabbed Cryp Williams in the chest with a penknife during an argument over a game of cards. He was mauled by a guard dog that had to be shot by the police. He was almost killed when—for a reason that no one was prepared to tell—a drinking companion emptied his revolver at him and some other men who were gathered in an alley behind the old Shearer barn.

Sam’s wife divorced him in the forties. He moved to Wampum, a few miles south of New Castle, and married a woman who died from complications of diabetes a few years later. He married his next wife, Edna Hicks, only a short while before he too was diagnosed with diabetes and a heart condition.

On the third of April 1960, a week after he had been released from a stay in hospital, Sam stayed up all night drinking in his kitchen. Around five in the morning, he said to Edna, “I know that I have to die, and you are going with me,” and attacked her with a pair of scissors. She called the police. Sam was taken to the county jail. Nevertheless, they remained married until Sam’s death, eighteen years later.

Sources: New Castle News: 19 May 1924, “Quartette Promises To Pay Fines Later”; 18 Oct 1926, “Dog Bites Man; Shot By Officer”; 15 Dec 1928, “Grabs For Knife; Cut Beneath Heart”; 17 Dec 1928, “Charges Wilson With Felonious Cutting”; 17 April 1931, “Negro Turns Gun On Companions In Shooting Spree”; 6 Dec 1934, “Tells Police He Was Assaulted”; 27 July 1939, “Hospital Notes”; 25 April 1956, “Deaths Of The Day”; 14 Jan 1957, “Two Persons Injured In Two-Car Collision”; 4 April 1960, “Man Is Charged With Assault, Intent To Kill”.


  1. Nate says

    Been a long time reader of this site. Just want to give a thanks for all the work you must put into this.

  2. Mary Lorena Barber says

    Sam Wilson must have mellowed with age. Mary Brown Lewis did not die of cancer but rather from complications of diabetes according to her death certificate. She died 24 April 1956. Sam married Edna V. Hicks in June 1956. They must have gotten past their ordeal with the scissors because they remained married and are buried side by side in Clinton Cemetery in Wampum. Samuel T. Wilson was born 25 December 1900 and passed in February 1978. He raised Mary Lewis’ grandson after her death. That grandson is my father-in-law…

    • Thanks for that information, Mary – I’d better amend this entry in light of it! I’m so glad you took the time to let me know.

  3. Mary Lorena Barber says

    Did some research on Sam Wilson. Samuel T. Wilson was the eighth of 15 children of Samuel and Margaret Ellen (Woods) Wilson of Elizabeth, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Samuel T. Wilson was born 25 December 1900 in Duquesne, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. By 1910 the family had moved to Sheep Hill in Shenago, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. (Moravia St. is at the bottom of Sheep Hill.) Sam’s father worked as a laborer in the tin mill. By 1930 Sam’s father had purchased land and was living in the Rose Point area of Slippery Rock Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. He is working as a laborer in the Limestone Quarry in 1930. Samuel T. Wilson is not living with his family in the 1930 Census. From your previous research it appears he is still living in the Sheep Hill/Moravia St. area. By 1940 he is living with the family in Rose Point and working as a farm laborer. He is listed as single. Sometime after 1940 he marries Rosella. He files for and is granted a divorce from Rosella on the grounds of desertion 12 of May 1952. 08 August 1952 he married Mary Edna Brown Lewis. He is working as a laborer. She died 24 April 1956. He remarried to Edna V. Hicks 23 June 1956 and is now working for the Pennsylvania Railroad. So between 1952 and 1956 he began working for the Railroad. He continued working for the Railroad until his health issues facilitated his retirement. As stated before he and Edna are buried together in Clinton Cemetery in Wampum, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. I have not been able to find any information on children he may have had with Rosella. Have a good day!

  4. Mary Lorena Barber says

    I have special interest in Sam Wilson and Anna Mae Craven since they are both connected to my family. If you would like my sources for the information provided please do not hesitate to contact me through my personal e-mail. I can send copies of marriage license applications, etc. to support my information. 🙂

    • That information is fantastic, Mary. I’m so glad you’ve done all that research, which I’ll use to rewrite this entry. Also, I’m keeping a file of people who are related to people whose mug shots I have, so that I can send the pictures to them once this project’s finished. I’ll get in touch with you via email at that point so I can get your mailing address, if you’d like Sam and Anna Mae’s mug shots.

  5. Mary Lorena Barber says

    Yes! I would be very please to have Sam and Anna Mae’s pictures. Thanks so much!

  6. Mary Lorena Barber says

    I will continue to look for information on Rosella and the children as well as Sam during that 20 years between 1920-1940. Seems he got his act together as her aged. 🙂

  7. Mary Lorena Barber says

    Just FYI…found Rosella (Woods) Wilson, age 17, along with 2 year old Gladys Wilson in the 1920 Census living with her parents in Slippery Rock, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania,She is listed as married…still no sign of Sam…

  8. Mary Lorena Barber says

    Update: Samuel T. Wilson and Rosella Woods were married 31 August 1917. She was just 14 and he 16 although the marriage license application says that they were 15 and 18. Sam’s father signed consent for him and Rosella’s mother signed consent for her. Both families were living in Rose Point, Slippery Rock Township, Pennsylvania. 🙂

  9. Mary Lorena Barber says

    A few more tidbits for you regarding Samuel Wilson…He passed away 10 Feb 1978 in the New Castle Hospital. He was retired from the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie division of the Pennsylvania Railroad. His obituary does not list his marriage to or children by Rosella. Mary Lewis is listed as his first wife. It’s actually his second wife, Edna V. Hicks, that has me perplexed. The marriage license application clearly states her name as Edna V. Hicks, daughter of John and Mary (Goode) Hicks. It also states that she has never been married. Her obituary has her name as Edna D. Wilson, daughter of John W. and Mary (Goode) Dennis. It also states that she was previously married to George Watson who preceded her in death and married second to Samuel Wilson who died in 1978. I know this is her because my father-in-law is listed as a grandchild that she raised. I have found her family (parents and siblings) in the census and she is in fact Edna Dennis. Not sure why she gave her name as Hicks…oh well another mystery… 🙂

  10. Mary Lorena Barber says

    BTW—Edna died 16 Jan 1981 in the Haven Nursing Home in New Castle, PA following an extended illness…

    • You know there’s got to be a good story behind that Hicks/Dennis confusion. If only we knew what it was…

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