Land

Delinquent taxes.

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Wilson Daily Times, 7 November 1932.

The five columns at right show delinquent taxes for property in the town of Stantonsburg for years 1928, 1929, 1930 and 1931, and the total owed. As in everyday life, tax notices were segregated by race.

  • Wm. & Hannah Artis — [This, presumably, is an error. Hannah Forte Artis was the wife of Walter S. Artis, not his brother William M. Artis. (Both were brothers of Cain ArtisJune S. Artis, Columbus E. Artis, Josephine Artis Sherrod and Alberta Artis Cooper, and their primary residence was across the county line in the Eureka area of Wayne County.)] In the 1930 census of Eureka township, Wayne County: Walter S. Artis, 56, farmer; wife Hannah E., 47; and children Adam T., 18, and Elmer H., 5.
  • Sare J. Artis — in the 1930 census of Stantonsburg, Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Yelverton Street, widow Sarah J. Artis, 65; son-in-law Clinton Artis, 30, a sawmill laborer; daughter Mattie, 26, a washerwoman; and grandchildren Ruby, 5, Clinton Jr., 4, and Hazel Artis, 1.
  • Nealy Barnes
  • Wiley Barnes
  • Walter Bynum
  • Adeline Donald — in the 1930 census of Fork township, Wayne County, Adeline Donald, widow, 54, is listed as an inmate of the Eastern North Carolina Insane Asylum (Colored). Donald died 1 January 1931 at the state hospital in Wayne County. Per her death certificate, her regular residence was Wilson County.
  • John E. Ellis
  • Dallas Finnell — Dallas Fennell died 21 April 1935 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was 41 years old and married to Sarah Fennell. Informant was Elijah Ward, Stantonsburg.
  • Louis Lewis Est.
  • George Powell Est. — in the 1930 census of Stantonsburg, Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Wilson Road, valued at $1000, truck farmer George Powell, 60; wife Fannie, 60, washerwoman; and children Bruce, 21, and Fannie, 16, odd jobs laborers. George Powell died 18 August 1930 in Stantonsburg, Stantonsburg township. Per his death certificate, he was 60 years; a farmer; married to Fannie Powell; and was born in Nash County to Lawson Powell and Lannie Taylor. Robert L. Powell of Stantonsburg was informant.
  • Mrs. Tom Tyson — in the 1930 census of Stantonsburg, Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Railroad Street, valued at $700, Tom Tyson, 50; wife Arneta, 36; and children Ordella, 18, Celesta, 13, Ethel L., 11, Hubert, 9, Larry L., 2, and Clementon, 1; plus mother-in-law Ordella Barnes, 58.
  • Dave Ward
  • Tom Whitted — in the 1930 census of Stantonsburg, Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Delaware Line, Tom Whitted, 50; wife Kitsey, 35; and children J.B., 25, Bertie, 20, Ada, 18, Claude, 15, Henry, 14, Irene, 13, Aaron, 11, Minnie, 10, and Emma, 8.
  • Titus Whitley — in the 1930 census of Stantonsburg, Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Delaware Line, valued at $600, farm laborer Titus Whitley, 75; wife Ida, 71; grandson Leslie, 10; and lodger Allen Edmondson, 68.
  • John Whitley — in the 1930 census of Stantonsburg, Stantonsburg township, Wilson County: on Delaware Line, valued at $600, blacksmith John Whitley, 49; wife Mollie, 25; and children Artillia, 18, Irene, 15, D.H., 13, John W., 10, Mary F., 8, Marjorie, 3, and Clavon, 1 month; plus father-in-law Wiley Locus, 70.
  • James Woodard

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Like Wilson, railroad tracks (marked with an arrow) divided Stantonsburg into black and white sections.  

Lines.

A GIS map of East Wilson reveals a curiously continuous lot line running from Nash Street (east of Ashe) to Reid Street (just south of Green). The diagonal, which I have paralleled below with a thicker line for great visibility, does not appear to mark an old city limit or plat line, though it would seem to predate East Wilson’s grid. How did it come to be?

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Map by Wilson County GIS/Mapping Office, a division of Wilson County Planning Department, available here.

Trustees purchase land for the Baptist Church.

In 1906, Samuel H. Vick and Elijah L. Reid sold a lot at the corner of Nash and Pender Streets to trustees of the Missionary Baptist Church. The document below is a mortgage securing the purchase price.

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This agreement made and entered into this the 19th day of July, 1906, by and between S.H. Vick and E.L. Reid of the first part, and Parker Battle, George Woodard, S.D. Henderson and Walter Foster, Trustees of the Missionary Baptist Church, of the second part.

WITNESSETH: — The said parties mutually agree the one with the other, that in consideration of the mutual stipulations herein contained, as follows, to wit

That the said S.H. Vick and E.L. Reid shall have the rights to the rents to Jan. 1st, 1907, and to remove from the lot on the corner of Nash and Pender Streets, in the town of Wilson, and heretofore conveyed unto the said Trustees by them, all the buildings now located thereon, at any time prior to the 1st day of January, 1907, and that such removal shall not in wise effect the purchase price for the said lot heretofore agreed upon as set forth in the deed for the said lot.

It is further agreed, that if the said trustees shall not be able to pay such an amount on the note held by Silas Lucas and secured by a mortgage to him on the said real estate, as shall satisfy the said Lucas so that he shall give his consent to the removal of the said buildings then and in that event the said S.H. Vick and E.L. Reid hereby agree that they will extend the time of the payment of the note due unto them as a portion of the purchase price and secured by the mortgage on said lot, by allowing the sum of Three Hundred dollars to be paid at any time within six months after the 1st, day of January 1907.           /s/ S.H. Vick, E.L. Reid, W.M. Foster, Parker Battle, George W. Woodard, S.D. (X) Henderson

[Handwritten] It is also further, agreed that the buggy house and stable situated on the premises herein described shall remain on said premises, and be used by the trustees until the church contemplated to be built on said lot shall have been completed. E.L. Reid & S.H. Vick via E.L. Reid.

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  • S.H. Vick — Samuel H. Vick.
  • E.L. Reid — Veterinarian Elijah L. Reid seems never to be credited as half the partnership that sold the lot at the corner of Nash and Pender to First Missionary Baptist Church.
  • Parker Battle — Battle died in 1914, just a year after the new church was completed.
  • George W. Woodard
  • S.D. Henderson — Sandy D. Henderson.
  • Walter Foster — Walter M. Foster.
  • Missionary Baptist Church — This church later merged with Jackson Chapel to become today’s Jackson Chapel First Missionary Baptist Church.
  • Silas Lucas — A wealthy brick maker, builder and real estate developer.

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The corner of Nash and Pender as shown in the 1908 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson, two years before ground-breaking for church’s construction.

Deed book 72, page 141, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

Wilson needs a lot of good colored homes now.

Suggs Heights appears to comprise part or all the D.C. Suggs properties platted in the early 1920s.

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“Ask any man who has property to rent what kind pays the most on the investment and he will tell you colored property.” [Likely because one could readily overcharge.] Wilson Daily Times, 11 December 1925.

Stantonsburg Heights may be the area platted as Vicksburg Manor.

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“This high class colored development will build up in good homes and gardens.” Wilson Daily Times, 8 May 1945.

[A note about “Heights.” Wilson sits it in North Carolina’s Upper Coastal Plain at 108 feet above sea level. The eastern half of the county, including the city of Wilson, is notably flat, and low-lying areas flood notoriously. Neither of the areas advertised above are “heights” in any common understanding of the term, and it’s questionable whether the latter area could reasonably be described as high or dry.]

Purchase option for nine areas just south of town.

In 1909, Daniel C. Suggs gave attorney Sidney A. Woodard a $3600 purchase option on nine-acre lot just outside town limits adjacent to the Wilmington & Weldon and Norfolk & Southern railroads. The option included the grant of a right of way for construction of a railroad siding “beginning at the second or third telegraph pole from Floyd Bynum’s house” to run through the property.

The description suggests that the nine acres was located in the lowest quadrant of the X formed by the railroads just below Contentnea Guano Company, as shown in this detail from the 1913 Sanborn fire insurance map of Wilson.

Here is the area today, per Google Maps:

Littleton Ellis’ land division.

Littleton Ellis‘ land was surveyed, divided and platted in the spring of 1942, several decades years after his death between 1900 and 1910. The road slicing across the middle of the plat appears to be today’s Forest Hills Road, with directions east “To U.S. Hwy. No. 301” and west “To Road Leading to the Wilson Via of Winstead Sch.”

Plat book 2, page 175, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

The division of Mary Eliza Farmer’s land.

In late September 1934, a surveyor walked the land of Mary Eliza Farmer and prepared a plat dividing it into five equal sections. Mary Eliza had inherited a life estate in the property from her husband Valentine Farmer, and upon her death or remarriage it was to pass to her children and step-children. The double line at the left edge of the plat denotes a road and fronting it, in the fourth strip of lad, a pack house and dwelling are marked.

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On 5 February 1882, Vaul Farmer, 52, married Mary E. Ruffin, 43, in Wilson County.

In the 1900 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: farmer Valintine Farmer, 70, wife Mary, 58, children Mattie, 30, Elizabeth, 26, Mary J., 24, and Elizar, 22, son-in-law Charly Freeman and daughter Carolina. All did farm work except Elizabeth, who was a cook, and Elizar, who was a schoolteacher.

In the 1910 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: widowed farmer Mary L. Farmer, 64; daughter Mattie, 48; and granddaughter Mary Batts, 28.

In the 1920 census of Toisnot township, Wilson County: on Winstead Road, widowed farmer Mary Farmer, 75, and daughter Mattie, 40.

Mary Eliza Farmer died 31 October 1928. Per her death certificate, she was born 15 February 1836 in Wilson County to Bob Shelley and Minerva Barnes; was the widow of Vol Farmer; and her informant was Mattie Stallings.

Plat book 2, page 101, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

Plans for future growth.

This map was produced just past the period of focus of Black Wide-Awake, but I post it for the crystal-clear view it gives of mid-century Wilson’s residential segregation patterns.  It appeared in the 14 April 1951 issue of the Wilson Daily Times under the heading “Map Shows Zoning Plans for Future Growth of the City of Wilson.”

Here’s the key:

The dot-and-dash of proposed zone RA 5 Residential not coincidentally was coterminous with the East Wilson and Daniel Hill neighborhoods. These neighborhoods were black, and the “plans for future growth” intended to keep them that way.