Delia Hill
Delia Hill 1902
Delia Hill was born Sept. 1, 1890, and died Sept. 10, 1969
Delia's children

Un-named Bailey

Annie Bailey Narron
June 4, 1912-Oct. 4, 2002
Tempie Esker Bailey
Aug. 30, 1914-Jan. 2, 1991
Johnston County, NC
Sallie Pearl Bailey
April 6, 1916-Oct. 4, 2002
Rector Bailey
Jan. 4, 1921-April 10, 1996 NC
Sudie Bailey
Sept. 5, 1922 Johnston County, NC-
Archie Radford Bailey
Sept. 24, 1924-Dec. 14, 1979 NC
William "Bill" Artis Bailey
Aug. 10, 1927-Dec. 28, 1995
Delia Lois Bailey
May 24, 1930 Johnston County, NC-
June 18, 2009 Fayetteville, NC
Johnnie Fletcher Bailey Sr.
Feb. 19, 1933-

Delia Hill was born Sept. 1, 1890.

Delia grew up with lots of responsibility as the oldest child. She was also very kind and sweet.

Tobacco was the main money crop and she was a good hand. Using tobacco was almost expected and Delia began dipping snuff quite young.

Delia had red highlights in her dark wavy hair and blue eyes. Fred had red hair. Delia completed grammar school at the Boyette School held in the old Slave House. This was one of the few graded schools in Johnston County.

When her mother died in childbirth, Delia helped raise her brothers and sisters. Fred saw that his daughter was growing up and needed a life of her own. She was 19 when her ma died and stepped right in to look after the family. Fred encouraged Delia to date.

Radford and Delia met at the Marzipan Church, while he was dating Stella O’Neal. Radford had brown hair and blue eyes. He wanted to date Delia, but she did not want to leave her Pa and younger brothers and sisters. Finally they started seeing each other. Radford was ready for marriage.

Radford was born Feb. 21, 1886. He came from a good family, well liked in the neighborhood. His father was wealthy, owning one of the few country stores in the area.

Eventually love won out. Delia and Radford were married on March 1, 1911.

Radford's family was members of Stancil's Chapel and Delia joined them there. They were both Democrats.

Radford and Delia ran a country store for seven years and then rented it. They also farmed and had some tenant farmers. They kept a yard dog. He was black with white spots.

Aunt Sylvia Woodard, a Negro midwife delivered some of Delia’s children. Among those she delivered were Annie, Rector, Sallie, Esker and Sudie. Her payment was a sweet potato and a glass of milk. Dr. Powell of Middlesex delivered Archie, Bill and Lois. Dr. Grady of Kenly delivered Fletcher.

The children called Delia 'Mommy' and Radford 'Pa.'

Delia was a talented seamstress, making all the children’s clothes as well as quilts. Like all women of that era she boiled the clothes outside in the wash pot to clean them. She made lye soap. All the children were taught to work at an early age. Many hands were needed to carry water, gather fire wood, vegetables, and work in the fields. Delia enjoyed churning butter and cooking for her family. Hog killings provided meat and was stored in the smoke house.

Delia had a piano and all the girls learned to play. An early tune was "Chop Sticks."

Delia’s brother Jack lived with them for several years. Jack taught Sallie and Esker to dip snuff. A habit they enjoyed all their lives. Delia’s brother Millard took in his baby brother Tonie who was only two when his ma died. Later another brother Preston took in Ressie (Resley).

Later Red Bailey, Radford's brother moved in with them. He helped with the farming.

Esker, Annie and Sallie all helped with the plowing. Ole Bessie, a black horse with a white star was a favorite. Sometimes Esker plowed with a mule named Minnie and Annie plowed with a black mule named Maude. Maude was the best mule to use when breaking new land. Delia put all the girls in overalls for farm work. The children were often accompanied by a friendly yard dog.

Sallie recalled sitting in the foot of the buggy when Delia and Radford drove to town. A mule pulled the buggy but once became afraid and almost ran away, a real scare for young Sallie. A favorite place to shop was Walter Bailey’s Store. This was one mile south of Highway 42 on Beulahtown Road.

When Fred died Delia inherited some land along with her other siblings. Children of Fred and Arnettie were placed in a Masonic Orphanage in Raleigh. Radford Bailey went with Millard, Delia’s brother, to get Arthur out. He stayed with Millard and Zilphia, working on the farm for room and board. Arthur was glad to be out of the orphanage.

In 1929, Rumors were rampant concerning banks. Radford and Delia were one of a minority of folks in the neighborhood putting money in a bank. Radford drove his late Model T. Ford to town to get his money out of the bank. The bank was closed; many people were standing outside the locked bank doors. All their savings were gone. It was time to start over.

Radford and Delia took the children to Stancil's Chapel Freewill Baptist Church. Annie and Sallie joined this church. Esker and Rector joined Oak Grove Presbyterian Church. Sudie, Lois and Rector later joined the Union Chapel Freewill Baptist Church. Archer met with two members of Mt. Zion Free Will Baptist Church and made a profession of faith.

Some of the children went to the one room Oak Grove School House. Miss Mary Edwards was the teacher. It was heated with a pot belly stove. It was necessary to cross Bull Branch to get to school. Someone put a log across the branch so they could cross without getting their feet wet. Annie, Esker, Sallie and Rector all walked to school. Once, the wooden shingles caught fire burning down the school. The children completed the school year at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church. Later Sudie rode the bus to the Stancil's Chapel School.

Radford had a stroke in the mid 1930s. He was still able to direct the farming and the older children. Rector, Sudie, Archie, and Bill worked even harder. Esker learned to drive at an early age and drove him about.

About this time Delia had to deal with arthritis. She came down with the crippling kind. There was no help for her. She struggled to carry on, looking after her large family. It was a blessing that Red lived with them and helped farm.

Radford died on June 30, 1935. His funeral was at home, with the traditional all night Wake the night before the burial. Radford was buried in the Bailey Family Cemetery. At the burial, two year old Fletcher cried out to his Ma, "Mommy, don't let them put dirt on Pa like that."

One of Delia's daughters stayed with her during the day and Bill, just 7 years old was there at night. Delia continued to have trouble walking. Finally she was just sitting. Red not only farmed by helped raise the children.

Delia decided to move her church membership to Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. She continued to farm with her children’s help.

Delia never learned to drive, but decided to buy a car. Delia contacted her brother Jack, who was selling cars and bought a 1934 Chevy when Archer needed a car.

Delia’s birthday was a time of celebration. The family gathered at her house. Chicken pastry was a mainstay. Ronia was selected to make it because her pastry was the best. She made it in Delia’s kitchen. Delia’s favorite foods were sweet potatoes, sausage and cracklings.

Later Delia had a hired hand, John Ellis and a tenant farmer, Mr. Knight. John’s home was a campsite in the woods.

Wade and Sallie farmed one acre of tobacco for her in 1937.

Delia stopped farming in 1946. When Archer married Pauline in 1946, they moved into the tenant house. As Delia’s arthritis limited her mobility, either one of Delia’s children or daughter-in-laws stayed with her a week at the time. After Delia suffered a stroke, she moved in with Sudie and Clovis. Delia spent most of her last years in a wheelchair. Sudie was very good to her mother and sometimes comforted her by sleeping with her.

Delia died at home on Sept. 10, 1969. Her funeral was on Friday, Sept. 12, 1969, at Mt. Zion Free Will Baptist Church. Rev. Braxton Creech and Rev. Royster Martin preached her funeral.

Delia was buried in the Bailey Cemetery next to her beloved Radford. A new double headstone was ordered with their pictures on it. Unfortunately the date of Radford’s birth was off by two years. It should have been Feb. 24, 1886. A correction was never made.

Renn Stancil Hinton © 2014
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| Modified June 17, 2014