Mr. Moore’s retirement plan.


Raleigh Gazette, 31 July 1897.


Raleigh Gazette, 18 September 1897.


In the 1870 census of Wilmington, New Hanover County: brickmason Benjamin Moore, 36; wife Isabella, 42; laundress Polly Swann, 21; Henrietta, 15, Satyra, 5, Benjamin, 2, and Philip, 2 months; Harriet Quince, 23; and Alice Watson, 19.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: South Carolina-born farm worker Joseph Palmer, 20, wife Ella, 21, children Pearl, 9, and Mattie, 6, and mother Mariah Moore, 45.

On 2 December 1895, Benjamin Moore, 26, of Wilmington, son of Benjamin Moore of Wilmington, and Mattie Elizabeth Palmer, 22, of Wilmington, daughter of Joseph and Ella Palmer of Wilmington obtained a license to marry in New Hanover County.

The retirement experiment in shopkeeping. Before 1900, Benjamin and Mattie returned to Wilmington, and Benjamin rejoined the ranks of Pullman porters.

In the 1900 census of Wilmington, New Hanover: Bengamin J.W. Moore, 30, “R.R. porter,” and wife Mattie, 26. In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: South Carolina-born carpenter Joseph C. Palmer, 42, wife Estel, 41, a confectioner, and grandson Joseph C. Palmer Jr., 9.


Wilmington Messenger, 5 April 1902.

In the 1910 census of Wilmington, New Hanover County: at 1113 Market Street, railroad cook Benjamin J.W. Moore, 39, and wife Mattie, 35. (B.J.W. reported to the census taker having been married twice. The 19 April 1894 issue of the Wilmington Messenger recorded his grant of divorce from Laura Moore.) In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: on Lodge Street, house carpenter Joe Palmer, 50, and wife Ella, 49.

In the 1920 census of Wilmington, New Hanover County: Ben Moore, 49, private car porter A.C.L. [Atlantic Coast Line], and wife Mattie, 40. In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 710 Lodge Street, grocery store salesman Joe Palmer, 60, and wife Ella, 61, a general merchant.

Her mother Ella Palmer died 21 September 1921 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 59 years old and born in Hyde County, North Carolina, to Mariah Moore. Within 15 months, Mattie Palmer Moore lost her closest remaining relatives.

Her husband Benjamin J.W. Moore died 28 March 1922 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Per his death certificate, he was born 12 November 1870 in Wilmington to Benjamin Moore and an unknown mother, worked as a cook for A.C.L., and lived at 1113 Market Street. He was buried at Pine Forest cemetery. M.E. Moore was informant.


Wilmington Messenger, 14 April 1922.

Her father Joseph C. Palmer died 12 December 1923 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was a native of Columbia, South Carolina, a widower, and a store proprietor. Mrs. Mattie E. Moore was informant.

On 14 January 1924, Camillus L. Darden (with his father Charles H. Darden as surety) applied for and received at Wilson County Superior Court letters of administration to handle J.C. Palmer’s estate, which he valued at $8000. Curiously, he asserted that Palmer had no heirs.


In fact, both Mattie Palmer Moore and her son Joseph Clifton Palmer were alive. Joseph died 21 May 1928 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 36 years old, married to Viola Palmer, lived at 614 East Green, and was the son of James Artis and Mattie Palmer. His mother Mattie Moore was informant.

Mattie Palmer Moore, it appears, died 20 May 1952 in Wilson.

North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:


Leave a Reply