Hilda Maie Stancil Hales Stover
Hilda Maie Stancil Hales Stover in 1940
Hilda was born May 24, 1919, in Johnston County, NC, and died Sept. 3, 2005, in Texas. Hilda married Jesmon Cedric Hales on Oct. 31, 1936. She also married Harold Waddell Stover on March 19, 1977.

Hilda's children

Jesman Arnold Hales
Nov. 4, 1940-April 10, 2024

Mary Ann Hales

Hilda Stancil in 1933
Family photo

May 24, 1919-Sept. 3, 2005

Hilda was born May 24, 1919.

Hilda was delivered by Aunt Cynthia Crockrell. Her Mother had no milk. She was put on a bottle. Named "Hildred," after preacher Clark's wife. Her siblings nicknamed her "Hill." As a baby Hilda had the whooping cough.

She always considered herself the most neglected child. It was not unusual for older sister Myrtle to grab her bottle and take a drink.

Hilda recalls Ralph taking her to a silent movie in Selma, it was a western, Hilda thought the horses were going to run over her. Ralph has a Ford Roadster and was before Hilda started to school.

Myrtle and Vazelle went to, on the way home a black cat ran across the road in front of the car and Vazelle was 7 or 8 and made an X on the windshield to ward off evil spirits and Ralph almost slapped out of the car he was so angry she made a mark on the windshield.

When Hilda was 9 or 10 she and Nettie Boyette found evidence of a STILL when they went huckleberry picking on the farm. It was a log with the wood scooped out. She told her Pa.

Hilda was skipping in the yard when she came down on a 6-inch-long spading needle used in spading the dogs and cats. It went right into her big toe. Screaming she ran to her mother who pulled it out. Hilda soaked her toe in salt water to keep infection out.

Hilda cried a lot when she was young. One day George told her he'd give her $1 if she could go all day and not cry. Jarvis said, "I'll make that $1.35." Hilda was keeping the tears away until she stumped her toe when running to the house.

Hilda was one of the most musical of the children, playing the piano.

Hilda enjoyed her younger siblings. Hilda read, "Little Boy Blue" to G.I. and G.I. said, "Ugh, Ugh Hilly, O'cow hook him, O'cow hook him." Dot learned to walk wearing a red cape and walking to Hilda. Hilda called Dot "Doloney." Hilda helped look after Glenn Stancil, Junior, Rose and Harold was well as Dot.

One day Hilda and Myrtle dressed five chickens for Sunday dinner, Eva always invited people at church for Sunday Dinner. Often she stayed home preparing the meal. Once, five preachers came from Holly Springs.

Hilda hated weeping under the house with the yard brooms before the Reunion.

There was a division of household duties. Hilda and Mamie helped out with the cooking. Myrtle and Vazelle made the beds and did housework. The jobs changed each Saturday.

George looked on as Hilda and her mother helped harvest wheat. Mable the mule pulled the cart Hilda loaded full of straw and took to the pole. Once Hilda stuck Mable with the pitch fork and Mable took off leaving Hilda on the ground. Stacked hay and wheat straw were used for bedding and food. George hired a Negro to salt the straw as it was stacked around the pole.

Hilda watched her Pa and a neighbor made the Hoover Cart with a rumple seat. Their horse Trixie pulled it. The family was loaded in it for Sunday Services. Those attended included: Ma, Pa, Dot, Mamie, Vazelle, Myrtle, Hilda and Harold.

It was a rainy day Hilda returned home from school about 4 p.m. She was wearing her first new silk blouse made by her mother. Her mother told her to put a fire in the "blue baby range." The wood was wet and Hilda couldn't get it to light. Hilda had observed her mother pouring kerosene on wet wood in the past to get a fire started. Hilda went out to the barn and brought back gasoline by mistake. She didn't know the difference. A few coals were smoldering and Hilda pour on some gasoline. The flame flared burning the pleated collar on her silk blouse. Eva was in the den and ran out grabbing a quilt to smother the flames. The blouse was actually burned off of Hilda. Hilda asked her mother, "If you had been in the smoke house would you have come to me?" Her mother replied, "Yes, I would have, I needed to smother the fire."

Hilda was down at the syrup mill right after lunch when Grace came running up the path crying, "Daddy's been shot." George sent Hilda to get Emmette at the old house. It was Hilda's opinion that Robert shot himself because he took her Pa's part of the tobacco money and bought a car.

Hilda went with Ralph Godwin until Jesmon Cedric Hales came along.
Hilda Stancil and Cedric Hales
Family photo

Cedric grew up in Emit, NC. His mother descended from the Stancils around Creech's Church. Jesmon Cedric Hales was born Oct. 9, 1915. Cedric was the fourth son of Joseph Henry Hales and Mary Catherine Whitley.

Joseph Henry was the only boy in his family and Mary Catherine was the only girl. Joseph Henry had blond hair all his life that went to white as he aged and blue eyes. Mary Catherine had dark skin, jet black hair and brown eyes. A photo of them was taken in 1900

Cedric grew up in the Watkins Chapel Baptist Church in the community of Emit, NC. This was close to the intersection of NC 222 and NC 39 in Johnston County. Cedric was called "Tick" by his older brother and many good friends.

Hilda and Cedric secretly married Oct. 31, 1936. Hilda wore a rust colored dress and a coat referred to as Pied because it was made of blocks colors including brown, black and green. Hilda had the dress since earlier in the fall. Cedric got the license in Wilson. Cedric drove Mamie to Wilson to pay her tuition for her beauty culture class. On the way back Cedric stopped by the Earp Mansion to arrange for the marriage. They were married at 6 p.m. on a Saturday by Mr. W. A. Earp, Justice of the Peace who lived in the mansion. Hilda did not receive a ring. No family attended as none knew about it.

The car Cedric used belonged to his Pa. Cedric had put money gotten when he sold his crop into the car so he could drive it. This was a dark blue 1935 V8 Ford.

In November, G.I. dated a Godwin girl who's Pa worked with Cedric. Cedric told Mr. Godwin that he and Hilda were married. The Godwin girl told G. I. and he confronted Hilda. When Eva found out she made her quit school. Eva's position was that if you married him you had to live with him. Hilda would have graduated in June if she had stayed in school.

Hilda and Cedric moved in with his folks in 1937. After that year they lived in a house close to Watkins Chapel, a Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Debro Stancil preached there once per month in 1938. After a year there they moved into a house close to Cedric=s Pa.

In the spring of 1938 Cedric's appendix's ruptured and he spent three weeks in Duke University Hospital.

Cedric became a tenant farmer for Nevell and Delanie in 1939. Delanie was Hilda's sister. They lived on the John Stancil Farm. John was one of the adopted sons of James "Jim" Henry and Elizabeth Stancil. James Henry was the older brother of John Thomas Stancil, Hilda's grandpa. John was a full brother to Debro Stancil, Nevel's pa. Cedric spent about three years as a tenant farmer before moving to another farm.

Cedric hooked his mule Pete to the wagon when they visited Hilda's mother. There first child, Jesmon Arnold, was born on Nov. 4, 1940. Cedric nicknamed him "Teter." He was called Arnold.

Cedric spent about three years as a tenant farmer for Nevel before moving to Eva's farm.

Hilda and Cedric spent Sundays eating with Eva. Hilda liked seeing Cedric's family and invited them for Sunday dinner. At first only one car load came but before long several carloads were arriving. Once while the crowd was there Junior, Emmette's son siphoned gas out of the cars.

The large number of Sunday dinner guests became too much for Eva. She finally told Hilda not to come home bringing a crowd again.

In the summer of 1942 while Cedric was still a tenant farmer for Nevell, Arnold recalled sitting in the wagon between Cedric and Hilda on trips to visit Eva. Hilda was concerned Arnold would fall backwards and kept her arm around him. Arnold protested he was a big boy and liked to click to the mule. This encouraged them to go faster.

Cedric rented Eva's farm and he and Hilda lived with Eva beginning in the late fall of 1942. Cedric grew 6 acres of tobacco, cotton and hay. He raised hogs. He had two mules Pete, a sorrel, another one called Grey and a milk cow. Cedric stored hay in the old wooden Jim Yelverton house that was only used for storage. Cedric's milk cow smelled the hay and walked into the Jim house. She caught her foot in a crack in the rotten wooden sill. She tripped, breaking her leg. She had to be slaughtered.

Arnold enjoyed playing outside at Granny Stancil and would make a farm in the dirt, he told his granny, "Granny don't step on my farm now."

About 1943 Hilda and Cedric purchased a 1936 Model A Ford for $350 George Arnold Stancil, son of Delanie and Nevel. The car had been a high school graduation gift for him. George sold it to pay doctor bills for his daughter Sondra Gail born Sept. 5, 1943.

On June 10, 1943, Mamie wrote Harold that Hilda had her appendix out at Duke Hospital on June 4, 1943.

By July, Hilda had recovered and canned 52 quarts of corn, butterbeans, snap beans, cucumbers and beets.

Mamie wrote a letter to Harold July 20, 1943. Excerpts: "Wednesday, I had a letter from Mother today she said she thanked you and me for her birthday present. Mother said Cedric was losing a lot of tobacco."

Mamie wrote on May 2, 1944. Excerpts: "Dear Chick, Today is Hilda's Birthday but I did not go up. I have been feeling so bad lately I don't go any more than I have to but hope I soon can say I feel good. Chick take care of yourself and be very careful and come home when you get a chance, I dreaded to see you go but I know you wanted to so please be careful and remember we all love you and are praying for you. Love, Mamie"

Aug. 2, 1944 Mamie wrote to Harold, " ... I came by home and Mother and Hilda said they would can me some peaches, Dot was there, so she came home with me and we got my canning sugar and jars and Eddie took us back on Wednesday I enjoyed being at home and got along fine. Mother doctored me good and they canned me about forty qts. of peaches ... Mother, Hilda, Cedric and Teter are planning to come see me Sunday week ... "

Aug. 16, 1944 Mamie to Harold, Harold L. Stancil AMM1/C V-1 div USS Franklin, %Fleet P.O., San Francisco, Calif. "Dear Harold, Well Chick I reckon you are seeing some action now and that is what you wanted. I hope and pray you won't see too much of it. Mother, Hilda, Cedric and Teter came Sunday and we went out to Mr. Carraway to a barbecue dinner ... "

Hilda and Cedric decided to leave Eva's when Robert Renfrow was going to be her tenant farmer. They began making plans in 1944.

In a letter, Hilda wrote in August of 1944 to her brother Harold that the only ones of his siblings at the Reunion were: Effie, Emmette, Rachel, Myrtle, and Hilda.

The war was on and Cedric thought he'd be called up soon to join the Army, he suggested to Hilda that she take a beauty culture course to support herself and Arnold while Cedric was gone. Hilda agreed saying, "The only reason I want to a course in Beauty Culture, is so I can learn a trade that I might support Arnold and myself if anything should happen to you." It turned out that Cedric was not drafted because he was blind in one eye.

Arnold often looked after himself while Cedric farmed. Hilda stayed home Monday Tuesday Wednesday and helped barn tobacco for her and Cedric, Robert Renfrow and Roland Butler because they swapped work, Robert was a tenant farmer who used Emmette's allotment. Hilda went to class the other days. Hilda started school in December of 1944 and finished her beauty school at the Carolina College of Beauty Culture in Raleigh by March of 1945. The cost was $100. Her room and board while in Raleigh was $35 a month.

Hilda drove the car to Moore School House, left the car and caught the bus to Wilson for her 6 month apprenticeship with Vazelle. She worked with Vazelle in Wilson and helped on the farm until the end of 1945.

Hilda received her beauty license. She and Cedric settled in Fremont. Hilda and Cedric rented an apartment and below space for her beauty shop.

Cedric sold Pete the sorrel mule to Eva. One day Robert sent Viron with the wagon to Emmette's. Mules Pete and Grey were pulling it. The sun was beating down. The mules and Viron were wet with sweat. Robert needed fire wood for the tobacco barn. Rain was eminent, Viron was in a hurry.

Viron was unaware that Emmette had illegally hooked up an electrical wire directly to the power company's line. Viron drove the team at a high rate of speed too close to the wire. One of the mules touched the wire. The high dose of electricity killed Pete instantly and injured Grey.

Hilda and Cedric moved to Fremont in January 1946, she was pregnant when she opened up her Vogue Beauty Shop. Mary Ann was born July 15, 1946.

Hilda and Cedric began attending the large brick Fremont Missionary Baptist Church. Soon this became their home church.

In 1947, Hilda returned to Raleigh for more beauticians training. Hilda stayed with Reba and Lawrence House during the week while undergoing the training. Reba was Delanie's daughter and Hilda's niece. Reba's oldest son Larry, born March 26, 1947, was a baby. Occasionally Hilda brought MaryAnn along.

Hilda learned to knit and crochet as a young girl. She enjoyed these as an adult.

Hilda was outgoing, entertaining, full of laughter and fun. She greeted family members lovingly and with enthusiasm. Like a majority of her siblings, Hilda spoke her mind, didn't whitewash the truth and told it like it was.

Cedric was very friendly, a real people person. He began selling insurance about 1950.

Cedric enjoyed having a nice automobile. Cedric owned the following cars: '36 Ford, '48 Plymouth, '51 Plymouth, '53 Plymouth, '56 Desoto, '64 Chrysler. He also owned the following as his insurance cars when he owned those previously mentioned: '51 Plymouth, '52 Ford,'57 Ford,'63 Plymouth and another Ford after I was gone from home. Cars that Hilda owned included Plymouths, Olds and Buicks.

In 1951 Hilda's brother Ralph and his family were in a terrible auto accident in Allendale, SC.

In the summer of 1951 Cedric drove his 1948 Plymouth to Ocala, Fla. Hilda, Arnold, Mary Ann and Jean Eason (daughter of Myrtle Stancil Eason and Hilda's niece) came along. The purpose of the trip was to take three of Ralph's children to NC.

Hilda, Cedric, Arnold, Mary Ann and Jean visited Daytona Beach while in Florida. They took along Renn, age 6, and Georgeanne, age 8. Everyone got too much sun and left with sunburns. They all left early one morning with Georgeanne, Renn and 19-month-old Harold. A bag of oranges were gotten after the trunk was packed so Cedric gently poured them in the trunk, letting them find a place. Arnold spent much of the trip on the floor of the front seat. When he did get to sit on the front seat in the co-pilot seat it was his job was to hold Harold. Harold was a large toddler weighing over 32 pounds.

On the trip home Cedric had a blow out at night. The entire trunk had to be unpacked. Gathering the oranges was a challenge. There was much relief when Cedric finally got the tire changed in spite of the darkness.

Harold was taken to Rachel Renfrow's house. Georgeanne and Renn spent a week with Hilda during the summer. In the fall Mamie sent them to school.

Hilda wrote to Ralph and Ethel every week.

When Georgeanne and Renn returned home in December of 1951 Hilda sent lunch money for them and Hale each week for several years.

In 1953 Cedric decided he wanted to become a hair dresser. He attended the same school as Hilda, the Carolina College of Beauty Culture school in Raleigh. Cedric drove each day until he had completed the course. He worked in the beauty shop from 1953 until sometime in 1955. Cedric loved the out of doors and found beautician work too confining. Cedric had many clients who were sad when he decided to return to selling insurance. He worked for Durham Life Insurance Company.

Cedric was raised a farm boy and kept his interest in growing plants. Cedric kept a garden filled with a variety of vegetables.

Hilda Stancil Hales and Kathryn Jeanette Stancil at the 1982 family reunion.
Family photo

Hilda was an excellent cook and favorite dishes included roast beef and beef stew.

Cedric enjoyed hunting and fishing from an early age. Cedric and good friend, Mose Benson, built a wooden flat-bottomed johnboat. It had bench seats. They fished for Bream or sunfish, catfish and bass in area ponds.

On most Saturdays in the fall Cedric and Arnold would go rabbit hunting with their pack of beagles on Cedric's childhood farm in Johnston County. Cedric's favorite beagle was "Boy." "Boy" was fast enough to run a rabbit down. He would pick him up and deliver him to Cedric.

Cedric and Arnold also went bird hunting. Quail were plentiful.

Cedric bought a new 1953 green Plymouth and the family took a vacation to Florida. Cedric parked it on Daytona Beach like the rest of the tourists. It was almost washed away by the powerful waves of the Atlantic Ocean. They stopped by for a visit with Ralph, Hilda's older brother, in Ocala, Fla.

Hilda and Cedric enjoyed family trips to the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. Their favorite road trip was along the scenic Skyline Drive to Natural Bridge, Va. Cedric favorite car for the trip was his 1956 DeSoto.

Arnold graduated from high school, college and entered the Air Force. He trained as a bomber pilot. He married Betsy Jane Lane on July 18, 1964.

In 1970 Cedric suffered a heart attack and spent a week in the hospital. It was severe and Jes wanted to come home but it was decided that if he showed up Cedric might think he was dying. Cedric was released and instructed to go home and stay in the house resting.

Cedric had been active his entire life and told James, his Negro hired hand, to kill some chickens. Cedric wanted to make sure the correct chickens were killed, dressed and put in the freezer. He walked out to the chicken pen. Cedric held the door opened while James caught the chickens, wrung their necks and carried them to Mary to scald and pick off the feathers. When James returned to the chicken pen Cedric was slumped over, he's had another heart attack.

When Cedric fell Mary raced to tell Hilda. Hilda called the doctor Dr. Rand who came quickly and gave Cedric a shot. The injection did not help. Cedric was pronounced dead at 9:30 a.m. on Good Friday, March 27, 1970. He was only 54 years old. Cedric died of coronary thrombosis, a condition he'd had only had for about six weeks.

Yelverton Funeral Home in Fremont was in charge of arrangements. His funeral was held on Easter Sunday at the Fremont Missionary Baptist Church. Cedric was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery in Fremont, NC.

Hilda visited Hawaii and reconnected with her cousin Guy Stancil. Guy was the son of Oscar Stancil, grandson of Henry Stancil. He worked for a bus company there.

Hilda was a religious person and active in her church. She was a favorite Sunday School teacher. Hilda strived to acquire more Bible knowledge. In the 1970s and 1980s Hilda attended Word of Life camps in the in New York and Florida.

Hilda heard Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan. In 1945, Peale and his wife started Guideposts magazine.

Once Hilda traveled by bus with a group to Florida. Hilda met Ralph, Ethel and Renn while other members of the group toured Silver Springs. Hilda had visited Silver Springs on previous visits.

Hilda, Dot and Bob Dennison, Mamie and Charles Blair all toured Epcot Center at Disney World in Florida. They were put in the same boat as Anwar Sedat, President of Egypt and his entourage. They saw many secret service agents.

Mary Ann graduated from East Carolina University. While there she met and fell in love with Lewis Aldridge Weisiger. Lewis grew up in Goldsboro, NC. Mary Ann and Lewis finally married on Nov. 18, 1972. This was after one wedding date when Lewis didn't show up.

Mary Ann and Lewis moved to Texas. Lewis was interested in the ministry and Christian work.

Hilda met a widower Harold Waddell Stover through his Fremont relatives, Mrs. Hayes and her daughter Mary. Harold, from Lancaster, S.C., was the son of Ernest E. and Fredel Stover. Harold was a religious man who grew up on a farm. Harold's wife had been well off so he had no money worries.

Hilda married Harold in the Fremont Missionary Baptist Church, Fremont, N.C., on March 19, 1977. Rev. Frank Turner married them. Harold was a devoted Christian man. After the wedding Hilda realized that Mary Hayes had a crush on Harold and this tarnished Hilda's friendship with her.

Once Hilda married Harold, she was less outspoken and more reserved -- a better match for her new husband, who was considered straight-laced by Hilda's sister Mamie.

Harold usually stayed in the beauty shop and looked after the cash while Hilda worked. Harold died Monday, July 16, 1979, and was buried in the Memorial Park, Lancaster, S.C., beside his first wife. He left some stocks and seven acres in South Carolina.

Hilda enjoyed her grandchildren. One summer she took two of her grandchildren Mark Hales and Jesse Weisiger with her when she attended the Lincoln Lake Baptist Camp at Schroon Lake, N.Y.

Hilda helped out her brothers and sisters throughout her life. When trouble struck they knew they could count on Hilda to come. She visited her brother G.I., sisters Effie, Delanie, Rachel, Vazelle, Myrtle and niece Rose.

When Hilda's sister Dorothy "Dot" died, Hilda's house was the gathering place for family members.

Hilda had an excellent memory and shared a wealth of knowledge about the family. She also kept the many letters she and her mother wrote to Harold Lloyd while he served in the Navy. They were returned to her when Harold was killed on board the USS Franklin, Oct. 13, 1944.

Hilda spent the last several years with both her son Arnold, who now goes by Jes, who lived in Alabama and daughter Mary Ann, who lived in Texas. Hilda made a trip to visit her sister Mamie and sister in law Ethel, Ralph's widow in the summer of 2005.

The last family reunion she attended was in 2002, when her son Jes Arnold took her. Her daughter in law Betsy took her to the 2000 reunion.

Hilda died Sept. 3, 2005 while staying with her daughter, Mary Ann in Fort Worth, Texas. She was 86. Hilda was survived by one sibling, an older sister Mamie. Her funeral was held at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 10 in the Fremont Missionary Baptist. She was buried in the Fremont Cemetery beside Cedric.

Renn Stancil Hinton, daughter of Ralph Stancil, based on memories of Hilda, son Jes, Myrtle Stancil Eason, Mamie Stancil Blair and Ralph Stancil.

www.stancilreunion.com 2010
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