706 East Green Street.

The nineteenth in a series of posts highlighting buildings in East Wilson Historic District, a national historic district located in Wilson, North Carolina. As originally approved, the district encompasses 858 contributing buildings and two contributing structures in a historically African-American section of Wilson. (A significant number have since been lost.) The district was developed between about 1890 to 1940 and includes notable examples of Queen Anne, Bungalow/American Craftsman, and Shotgun-style architecture. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

706 e green

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this house is: “ca. 1913; 1 story; extensively remodeled two-room house with stuccoed facade and added wings.” Because of its extensive remodeling, the house was considered “non-contributing” to the historic character of the district.

The photograph below accompanies a fine article published in the January 2011 volume of North Carolina Historical Review, Richard L. Mattson’s “The Cultural Landscape of a Southern Black Community: East Wilson, North Carolina, 1890-1930.” The image dates from about 1910, and 706 East Green — though now heavily modified — is easily recognized in the twin gables fronting the house. The family depicted is that of John W. and Edmonia Barnes Farmer, whose grandson James E. Farmer provided the photograph.


In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Washington Farmer, 43; wife Wady, 44; and children Edith, 14; Fordin, 13; Gimsey, 11; John W., 8; Nancy, 6; and Orgius, 6; and Nelson Farmer, 21.

In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer George Barnes, 30; wife Anner, 24; and children Hardy, 8, Rena, 7, Edna, 1, and Jesse, 3.

In the 1880 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: farm laborer Washington Farmer, 52; wife Waity, age about 50; and children Edieth, 25; Gincy, 21; John W., 18; Nancy, 16, Ojus, 13; Mariah, 2; and Margaret, 2.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: George Barnes, 41; wife Anna, 34; and children Hardy, 19; Reny, 17 (“toothache”); Jessee, 12; Edmonia, 11; George, 9; Minnie Adeline, 6; twins Joshua and General, 3; and William, 1 month.

On 25 December 1884, John W. Farmer, 22, married Edmonia Barnes, 18, at George Barnes’. G.T. Williamson and B.B. Barnett were witnesses.

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: wagon driver John W. Farmer, 37; wife Edmonia, 33; and children George, 13, Paul, 12, Annie, 9, Mary, 7, and Fannie, 5.

In the 1910 census of Wilson, Wilson County: express wagon driver John Farmer, 48; wife Edmonia, 41, a laundress; and children George, 23, factory laborer; Paul, 19, hotel servant; Annie, 18; Mary, 16; Fannie, 14; Arthur, 8; Melton, 6; and William, 4.

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 706 East Green, plasterer John A. Farmer, 60; wife Nona, 61; sons James E., 17, and Woodie, 22, barber; and daughter-in-law Savana, 22, lodge bookkeeper.

In the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: washer Edmonia Farmer, 71; husband John, 73; son James E., 27, a plasterer; daughter-in-law Doretha, 27, a beauty operator; and their son James E., 6; and grandchildren Marvin, 10, and Vera Farmer, 14.

Edmonia Farmer died 18 January 1947 at home. Per her death certificate, she was 77 years old, married to John Wash Farmer, and born in Wilson County to George Barnes of Wilson County and Annie Parker of Edgecombe County. George W. Farmer was informant, and Dr. William Hines certified the death.

John Wash Farmer died 20 January 1947 at home. Per his death certificate, he was 79 years old; was born in Wilson County to Wash Farmer of Wilson County and an unknown mother; and worked as an expressman. The informant was George W. Farmer, 1207 Carolina Street, Wilson.


  1. Awesome information and picture of my ancestors!!

  2. Leon Jones I’m the younger brother by 1 year difference to Deborah Jones aka Fiona . Do our family still live at this address???

      1. Thank you Lisa for this information , I’m going to have to take a trip down and see if any possibilities exist in repurchasing the family property.

  3. It’s possible that John Washington Farmer is my 4th great-grandfather. If ‘Fortney’/’Fortin’ Farmer is the grandmother of Rogers Bailey, Sr., then I am. Just missing the parents of Rogers, Maggie and John L. Bailey. They are listed on the US 1920 Census as the nephews and niece of Ed Joyner, whose mother was Fortin (sp) Farmer, but I don’t know who their parents were. Would you please forward this to Debora and Leon Jones; perhaps they could offer assistance; it appears they are descendants of the Farmers. Also, if James Farmer (photo provider) is still with us, please forward my contact info to him. I’d appreciate it.

    Thankful for any and all info.
    Lisa Winstead Sloan

      1. Thank you so much! I look forward to the connection. 😄

      2. This is Leon Jones my wife and I are stopping down Wilson NC on the 22nd of this month at 706 Green Street East , that’s Saturday we will be there at noon , I always wanted to see the home in person and especially meet with some family members . I’ve talked with Allegro Farmer and Paul Farmer whom will do their best to meet us there . I hope to meet Allegro’s father Mr. Farmer whom I think it is that Lisa is referring to . Any family member can contact me on FB or Lisa Y. Henderson if your still in the area and could be so kind to pass my and or this info that I’ll be down . My Grandmom always spoke with her heart filled soul of her family and times as a child at the house she grew up in , the many generations of in house births etc. I can’t wait to be there in person . My number 4847513194 . Lisa you have been the greatest of value and help and we appreciate you more than you could ever imagine , thank you so much.
        Leon Jones and family

      3. Thank you, Leon. Your trip sounds great! I haven’t lived in Wilson for many years, though I go home regularly. I won’t be there that weekend though. If you meet up with Alle and Freddie and Mr. Farmer at 706 Green Street, please take a photo. I’d love to add it to my blog post!

    1. Hi Lisa My mother is James Farmers second cousin! I’m Justine Justine on Facebook. We would love to connect with you!

      1. As noted, I grew up with a bunch of John Wash Farmer’s descendants and have a set of cousins who are descended from one of his daughters.

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