Deed Book 81, page 323.
In 1893, Ellen Williams, J.H. Joyner, Joseph Short, Haywood Batts, Amos Whitley, William Barnes, George Barnes, Robert Barnes, Agatha Williams, Frank Barnes, James Williams, Doublin Barnes, Amerson Parker, George Gaston, Joshua Farmer, Louis Deans, Leah Bullock, Elbert Locust, John Marshaw, Richard Battle, William Pender, George Barnes Jr., and Proctor Battle “associate[d] themselves” to purchase land to establish an African-American cemetery just outside Elm City. The group bought a two and a half acre parcel from Thomas G. Dixon and wife on 6 January 1893. As they began to sell burial plots, however, they ran into a problem. Securing the signatures of all the owners on every single sale was difficult and time-consuming.
After fifteen years of this struggle, on 28 September 1908, the owners conveyed the Elm City Colored Cemetery to three of their number — Robert Barnes, Haywood Batts, and George Barnes — as trustees.