Houses

Map of the J.C. Palmer estate.

The settlement of Joseph C. Palmer‘s estate in 1924 required a survey and subdivision of the property he owned on South Lodge and Banks Streets. A large lot containing Palmer’s Lodge Street home and grocery store, as well as a smaller four-room house, was divided into six lots. Around the corner on Banks, he owned another lot with a ten-room apartment house.

Screen Shot 2020-03-28 at 5.43.22 PM.png

These blocks were surveyed just two years earlier for an update to the Sanborn fire insurance maps. The Sanborn map’s scale appears to be slightly off, but it’s easy to find Palmer’s grocery at 700 South Lodge and home at 702 South Lodge, as well as the smaller house at 408 East Banks. There was also a narrow house at 410 East Banks that apparently was demolished prior to 1924.

Screen Shot 2020-03-28 at 6.19.11 PM.png

On the other hand, the ten-room apartment building had not been built yet, and its lot is shown empty.

Screen Shot 2020-03-28 at 6.37.01 PM.png

The site today. The blocks below South Lodge Street were cleared for a public housing project, Whitfield Homes, in the 1960s.

Screen Shot 2020-03-28 at 6.39.56 PM.png

——

Joe Palmer, 20, married Ella Moore, 21, on 4 December 1879 at Saint Timothy’s Church.

In the 1880 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Jospeh Palmer, 20, works on farm; wife Ella, 21; daughters Pearl, 9, and Mattie, 6; and mother Mariah Moore, 60, cook. [These were Ella Palmer’s daughters and mother.]

In the 1900 census of Wilson, Wilson County: South Carolina-born Joseph Palmer, 42, carpenter; wife Estel, 41, confectioner; and son Joseph C., Jr., 9.

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 Wilson, Wilson County: at 710 Lodge Street, grocery store salesman Joe Palmer, 60, and wife Ella, 61, a general merchant.

Ella Palmer died 21 September 1921 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was 59 years old; lived at 702 Lodge; and born in Hyde County, North Carolina, to Mariah Moore. J.C. Palmer was informant.

Screen Shot 2020-03-28 at 7.52.09 PM.png

Hill’s Wilson, N.C., City Directory (1922).

Joseph C. Palmer died 12 December 1923 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was a native of Columbia, South Carolina; lived at 702 South Lodge; was a widower; and worked as 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.

Plat book 2, page 14, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson; aerial view courtesy of Google Maps.

Property of the heirs of Cecelia Norwood (deceased).

In September 1952, L.M. Phelps prepared a survey of the five lots on East Green and Pender Streets owned by the estate of Cecelia Norwood.

llggfjfd.PNG

Norwood’s two-story wooden house faced East Green Street on a lot that joined two others to ran all the way back to Darden’s Alley (now Darden Lane). Around the corner and across Pender, she owned two lots that adjoined Calvary Presbyterian Church, which then stood right at the corner of Green and Pender.

In 1957, Calvary Presbyterian Church purchased lots 4 and 5 from Cecilia Norwood’s estate. In 1970-71, the church constructed a new sanctuary on the Norwood property.

 A Google Maps aerial view shows the former location of Norwood’s house and lots.

On 28 February 1895, Celia A. Hill, 22, daughter of H. and H. Hill, married Richard Norwood, 21, son of B. Norwood of Chatham County, in Wilson. Episcopal minister J.W. Perry performed the ceremony at Saint Marks in the presence of John H. Clark, B.R. Winstead and S.A. Smith.

In 1918, Richard Norwood registered for the World War I draft in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Per his registration card, he was born 31 March 1897 in Wilson; resided at 134 Pender Street, Wilson (and also 935 Baltic Avenue, Atlantic City; was employed by John Moore, North Carolina and Atlantic Avenues, Atlantic City; and his nearest relative of Cecilia Norwood, 134 Pender Street.

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 134 Pender Street, Heneretta Hill, 70, A.C.L. railroad matron; Celia W. Hill, 40, teacher; Cora A. Hill, 27, teacher; Hazell Hill, 16; Christina Hill, 19; Barlee Hill, 22, laborer; Rosa Hicks, 22; and Archer Martin, 14.

In the 1922 Hill’s Wilson, N.C., city directory: Norwood Cecelia tchr h 205 Pender

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 205 Pender Street, valued at $5000, widowed teacher Cecelia Norwood, 60; granddaughter Cecelia Norwood, 5; grandson Edgear Norwood, 3; Ruth Cobb, 31, public school teacher; Lucie Richards, 50; and lodgers John, 38, carpenter at body plant, and Elizabeth Douglas, 35.

Cecilia Anna Norwood died 27 June 1944 in Wilson. Per her death certificate, she was born 14 February 1879 in Washington, North Carolina to Edward Hill and Henrietta Cherry; resided at 205 Pender, Wilson; was widowed; and was a teacher. Informant was Hazel Covington of Wilson.

Plat map 5, page 78, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

The corner of Wiggins and East Streets.

In 1920, an auction house commissioned the survey of part of a city block in East Wilson owned by E.S. Taylor. The parcel contained seven narrow lots, four of which already held endway (“shotgun”) houses. A three-foot alley spanned the rears of lots 3 through 7 offering access to the row of shared toilets at the back of lots 1 and 2.

gddhu

Here is the block in the 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, turned about 90 degrees to the right.

As noted elsewhere, there is no longer a Wiggins Street in Wilson. It was obliterated as part of the construction of Carl B. Renfro Bridge and the extension of Hines Street (which runs along the old course of Wiggins) to meet East Nash Street.

None of the houses shown in the Sanborn map now exist. And none of the houses shown in the Google Maps aerial view existed in 1922.

Property of the late Austin Neal.

Four years after his death in 1949, L.M. Phelps prepared a survey of barber Austin N. Neal‘s four lots and three houses on Wainwright Avenue.

srtdetyuy

The 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson gives a wider view of the area and shows the larger house on the corner and one of the shotgun houses.

Freeman Street and Wainwright Avenue no longer intersect. This stretch of Wainwright is now Hines Street, and Freeman Street is blocked off.

The Neal house is still standing, now numbered 1218 Hines Street S.E. In 1988, when the nomination form for the National Register of Historic Places was submitted, all three houses (and a newer fourth) were accounted for: #1212, built circa 1930, 1 story, shotgun with turned-post porch; #1214, built circa 1930 [per the Sunburn map, earlier], 1 story, shotgun with turned-post porch and Masonite veneer; and #1218, built circa 1913, 1 story, Queen Anne cottage with double-pile, hip-roofed form, front-facing wing, and turned-post porch.”

Here’s a side view of the house, showing the blocked end of Freeman Street.

——

In the 1900 census of Freeman township, Franklin County: widower Austin Neal, 30, and children Bryant, 3, and Bertha, 1, plus brother Abram, 17, and sisters Tabitha, 19, and Bessie, 21.

In the 1912 Wilson city directory, Austin Neal was listed as a barber at 409 East Nash. His home address was “Wainwright av for Freeman.”

In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 105 Wainwright, widowed barber Austin Neal, 42, with children Bryant, 21, also a barber, Daisy, 16, Annie, 13, Samuel, 7, and Ruth, 5.

In the 1930 census, Wilson, Wilson County: at 1214 Wainright Avenue, barber Austin Neal, 61, wife Lizzie, 38, servant for a private family, and son Samuel, 18, a hotel bell hop.

Austin N. Neal died 14 February 1949 at Mercy Hospital of terminal uremia. He was born 11 November 1878 in Franklinton, North Carolina, to Abron Neal and Louise Brodie. He was buried in Rountree cemetery. Mrs. Lizzie H. Neal was informant.

Plat map 1, box 114, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson; photos courtesy of Google Maps.

Negro cabins.

In 1914, Atlantic Coast Realty prepared a plat map showing the subdivision of Martin Applewhite’s Toisnot township farm into five parcels. The map shows the buildings on the property, in a “large house,” barns, and various dwellings, including two “Negro cabins.”

Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 7.22.31 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-03-06 at 7.23.02 PM.png

Plat book 1, page 18, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson. (Sidenote: some of these hand-drawn plat maps really are things of beauty.)

Rev. Taylor sells his house to First Baptist Church.

In January 1923, Halley B. and Marie Taylor of Paterson, New Jersey, sold the trustees of First Baptist Church a large lot “in the southeast corner of Chas. Thomas‘ lot on Green Street and runs with Green Street, Southeasterly 60 feet to the corner of Green and Vick Streets, thence with Vick Street, Northeasterly 60 feet, cornering thence at right angles to Viola Street, Southwesterly 210 feet to Green Street.” Trustees Noah J. Tate, Austin N. Neal, George Roberson, Ed Holden, Harry Brown and Glenn S. McBrayer paid the Taylors $6500 for the property. H.B. Taylor was pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church from 1908 to 1920.

The 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson shows a large one-story house with wrap-around front porch at 721 East Green Street. In the 1988 nomination form for historic register designation for East Wilson, the house is described as “ca. 1913; 1 1/2 stories; H.B. Taylor House; intact Queen Anne cottage with double-pile, hip-roofed form and front-facing wing….” The house has since been demolished.

Deed book, page, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

1206 Queen Street.

The one hundred twenty-second 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.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “ca. 1940; 1 story; gable-end bungalow with shed-roofed porch.”

In the 1941 Wilson, N.C., city directory: McKeithan Daniel (c; Naomi) notions 551 E Nash h 1206 Queen

Daniel McKeithan Jr. died 1 May 1942 at his home at 1206 Queen Street, Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 4 October 1941 in Wilson to Daniel McKeithan of Vass, N.C., and Naomi Jones of LaGrange, N.C.

In 1942, Daniel McKeithan registered for the World War II draft. Per his draft card, he was born 8 April 1899 in Moore [County,] N.C.; lived at 1206 Queen; his mailing address was 551 East Nash; his contact was Randall R. James, 111 Pender Street; and he was employed at 551 East Nash.

In the 1947 Wilson, N.C., city directory: McKeithan Elmer (c) 1206 Queen

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2020.

603 Darden Lane.

The one hundred twenty-first 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.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, this building is: “ca. 1913; 1 story; two-room house with rear shed extension.”

The house appears on the 1913 Sanborn map of Wilson, N.C., as 602 Darden Alley.

The house, as it appears on the 1922 Sanborn map of Wilson, N.C.:

In the 1928 and 1930 Wilson, N.C., city directories: Parker Elijah (c; Lucy) lab h 603 Darden al

In the 1941 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bullock Richd (c) 603 Darden Alley

In the 1947 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Wright Eli (c) 603 Darden Alley

Photograph by Lisa Y. Henderson, February 2020.

Ezekiel Smith house.

Per Kate Ohno, Wilson County’s Architectural Heritage (1981):

“This house is thought to have been built for Ezekiel Smith between 1845 and 1850. Smith was born in 1812, and the land upon which this house was built probably came from his first wife Ann (surname unknown). According top the 1860 census, Ezekiel was a farmer with $4,000 worth of real property and $15,430 worth of personal property (probably mostly slaves). Smith died in 1866 and according to the division of the land among his heirs, his daughter Penelope, wife of Benjamin W. Taylor, received the house property. The Taylors deed the property to John W. Smith, Ezekiel’s son, in 1869 and the property has remained in the Smith family to this day. The house is handsomely situated in a grove of mature trees on high ground above Contentnea Creek. The main section of the house is two stories high with a one-story rear shed. A shed-roof porch with Doric columns runs the length of the front facade. Typical of many of the Greek Revival houses in Wilson County there are two front doors flanked by nine-over-six windows. Single-shoulder exterior end chimneys are located in the gable ends. A small detached kitchen with an engaged porch has been moved up flush with the rear of the house and is joined by the side porch. On the interior the hall-and-parlor plan and original woodwork have been retained throughout. There are two corresponding smaller rooms in the one-story shed. An enclosed stair ascends from one of the front rooms. The original double vertical-panel Greek Revival style doors are still used on the interior. and simple mid-nineteenth-century mantels are still in place. The window and doors have nicely molded three-part surrounds.”

——

In the 1860 census of Black Creek township, Wilson County, Ezekiel Smith, 53, and family are listed.

Per the 1860 slave schedule of Black Creek district, Wilson County, Ezekiel Smith reported owning 14 enslaved people — eight men and boys aged 1 to 33, and six women and girls aged 3 to 30.

113, 115 and 117 North East Street.

The one hundred-twentieth 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.

As described in the nomination form for the East Wilson Historic District, the houses at #113, #115, #117 are: “ca. 1908; 1 story; shotgun with board-and-batten veneer.” The board-and-batten has been replaced with clapboard.

The 1913 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson shows that there were originally six endway houses (with two different floor plans) on this stretch of North East Street. Street numbering changed about 1922, so the houses above were originally #114, #116 and #118.

In the 1928 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Ward Ussell (c; Nettie) lab h 113 N East; 115 N East Vacant; Cooper Jack C (c; Nora) lab  h 117 N East

In the 1930 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bethea Mamie (c) smstrs h 113 N East; Hargrove Andrew (c; Ada) lab h 115 N East; Artis Amelia (c) factory hand  h 117 N East

In the 1930 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 113 North East, paying $6/month rent, Mamie Bathea, 40, laundress; Pattie Manual, 60, mother, laundress; George Kannan, 30, brother, taxi chauffuer; Pearl Manual, 20, nurse for private family; daughters Ruth S., 14, Sally S., 12, and Adel Manual, 10; cousins Louisa, 10, and Ralph Kannan, 8; and daughter Mamie Manual, 4.

In the 1941 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bethea Mamie (c) smstrs h113 N East; Bowman Rufus (c; Daisy) tob wkr h115 N East; Hines Boyd (c; Betty) tob wkr h117 N East

In the 1947 Wilson, N.C., city directory: Bethea Annie (c) h 113 N East; Grimes Fagin (c; Addie) lab h 115 N East; Williams Rematha Mrs (c) h 117 N East

Photo by Lisa Y. Henderson, August 2019.