The curious bid of Walter S. Hines.

Deed Book 86, pages 570-571, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office.

What is happening here? Why did Walter S. Hines intercede to bid for this parcel at auction?

The land had been the property of Frank W. Barnes, who died in May 1910. His widow Mattie Bynum Barnes was administratrix of his estate; Alice Barnes Harriss was their daughter. Per a judgment of Superior Court (effectively, probate court), the parcel went up for public auction on 10 December 1910. Walter S. Hines was highest bidder at $3000. However, on 19 December 1910, he transferred his bid to Alice Harriss, who paid the money and received the deed for a 71-acre tract adjoining “J.D. Farrior, S.H. Vick, the Clark heirs, the Amerson place, and others.”

The tract appears to be the land later known as the Wright Farm, which wraps around two sides of Vick Cemetery. Here’s the ever-helpful plat map of the farm, which comprises now comprises two tracts with different (but related) owners. Vick Cemetery is the rectangle just above and right of center. The corner vicinity map shows the original parcel, which I believe to be that which Walter Hines bid upon.

Plat book 38, page 198.

Why was he part of this transaction? 


  1. Wow. I’ve looked at the deed that references a 1911 Plat and briefly studied the 2011 plat all of which I find extremely interesting. I’d like to see the 1911 plat too. Thanks for sharing this! My few notes for the present.
    • Just maybe (conjecture on my part), Walter Hines acted privately on behalf of A.B. Harris at the time .. maybe she was out of town. I suspect there was an arrangement. I knew the affable AB Harris .. she built one of the last houses in my immediate neighborhood (having originally owned the entirety of its four blocks before subdividing it and selling all but the one lot she kept for herself) and became my across the street neighbor here on Walnut St when I was a teenager. She was even closer friends with her backyard on Deans St next door neighbors, at the time Cliff Darden’s family.
    • The 2011 Plat informs us that NCDOT holds the drainage ROW that borders OddFellows and Rountree Cemeteries along their east boundaries.
    • Have you studied the DB 81 PG 196 deed of the SH Vick Heirs shown as owners of the OddFellows parcel on this plat? Are there any such living heirs?
    • The plat does not show any ROW other than that of the street where the Vick Cemetery power poles. The poles are shown seemingly coinciding with the very axis of the street ROW.
    • The Inset references to enlarged detailed views of several areas might contain other clues to interesting facts. These must be on Page 2 of the plat.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. My question about Hines is why him? Why would Alice Harriss, a white woman, choose an African-American man to act on her behalf? (Or not really on her behalf, but in her stead.)

      The DOT project dates from the 1960s. I’ve seen the drainage pipes in the berms rising between ROuntree Cemetery and Sandy Creek.

      That designation is a conjecture by the surveyor, as the Odd Fellows never filed their deed when they bought the parcel from Sam Vick. Yes, however, there are heirs, including a few grandchildren.

      The only ROWs are the ordinary setbacks for any street. The power poles are just outside the ROW. The sole utility easement is for one prong of the gas line. There were no easements filed for the power lines.

      The insets are on page 2, which can be found on the ROD website. I’ve featured inset 1 in other blogposts.

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