Land

Vick has piled up a fortune.

In June 1916, a Laurinburg newspaper reprinted the Wilson Dispatch‘s tally of Samuel H. Vick‘s wealth.

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Laurinburg Exchange, 1 June 1916.

Some minor corrections:

  • Vick was neither born nor bred in Wilson, though he moved to town as a small child. He and his parents were from Nash County, North Carolina.
  • In 1916, 98 town lots represented a sizable minority of all the lots in East Wilson. (Though not all Vick’s property was east of the tracks.) By time his empire collapsed in 1935, he owned much more.
  • It is not clear why Vick — who had living siblings — would be considered the practical owner of his father Daniel Vick‘s estate.
  • Vick’s holdings were in Whitesboro, New Jersey, not North Carolina.

Property of Judge Fleming heirs.

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As detailed here, Judge Fleming and his son Johnnie died in an automobile accident in 1934. This plat map of Fleming’s Gardners township property was drawn in December 1947. Fleming’s youngest child had reached the age of majority, and the land likely was divided to be distributed among his heirs.

Plat book 4, page 82, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

Cash Williams’ property in Little Richmond.

The corner of East Wilson (specifically, Little Richmond neighborhood) shown in this 1946 plat map of D.C. “Cash” Williams‘ property between Maury and Railroad Streets was demolished for the construction of the Carl B. Renfro Bridge in the early 1970s. This collection of duplexes and endway (the local name for shotgun) houses would have housed mostly workers at one of several nearby oil mills and factories.

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The 1922 Sanborn fire insurance map shows the duplexes on Maury, Gay, and Railroad Streets were already in place by then.

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Here, via Google Maps, is Williams’ former block now. Railroad Street ends several hundred feet to the west. Taylor Street is gone. Gay Street peters out in a dead-end well short of its former terminus at Railroad. All of the houses have been torn down.

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Plat map 4, page 56, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

Trustee’s sale of Suggs’ land.

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Wilson Daily Times, 12 October 1928.

Trustee J.S. Duncan posted a notice of the sale of three lots on which Daniel C. Suggs and wife Mary A. Suggs defaulted payment.

The first lot was one and a half acres between Railroad Street and the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, adjacent to Contentnea Fertilizer Factory.

The second lot was six acres north of Contentnea [Cemetery] Street adjoining Calvin Blount, John RatleySamuel H. Vick, and “the colored cemetery.”

The third lot was at the intersection of Railroad and Suggs Streets.

The town’s property on Cemetery Street?

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NOTICE: I am speculating here.

This is a plat map, labeled “The Town of Wilson Property on Cemetery Street,” showing the subdivision of a parcel of land into 79 lots and several blocks of unnamed streets. I do not have access to the deed recording the city’s purchase of this tract. Moreover, the exact location of this tract today is difficult to determine. However, the date of map — October 1942, eleven months after the exhumation of graves from Oakdale cemetery — suggests to me that this is the cemetery land that the city “condemned … to build several roads through it.”

Col. church.

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Surrounded by “the Farmer place owned by the hairs of Mrs. Jerusha Woodard” was a small square of land upon which a “colored church” was built. Woodard, born 1838 to Moses and Elizabeth Barnes Farmer and married to Warren Woodard, died in 1910. This plat map was drawn in 1914.

I have not been able to identify the church.

Plat book 1, page 111, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

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.

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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.

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

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

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——

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.

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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.

Establishing a property line.

On 12 February 1946, Leslie and Minnie Diggs Artis of Eureka, Wayne County, and the Trustees of Saint John A.M.E. Zion Church reached an agreement to resolve uncertainty over the location of back boundary for property that each party owned on Smith and Church Streets.

Both Artises had close ties to Wilson. Leslie Artis, son of Napoleon and Sallie Taylor Artis, was the nephew of Cain, C.E., June Scott, Walter and William Artis, Josephine Artis Sherrod, and Amanda Artis Cooper, as well as Jonah Williams, whose daughter Clarissa Williams owned the lot adjoining the disputed properties.

Leslie Artis (1892-1974).

Minnie Diggs Artis was a cousin of Edgar H. Diggs. And the Artises’ daughter Sallie Mae Artis Shackleford (1924-2013) was a long-time resident of Academy Street in East Wilson.

Minnie Diggs Artis (1897-1970).

The church’s trustees were Camillus L. Darden, John Mack Barnes, Separise P. Artis, Louis Thomas, James Henry Knight, Charles Knight, D.E. Simms, C.L. Hardy, A.J. McCoy, Linwood Moore, and David Henry Coley.

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Photos courtesy of Leroy Barnes; deed book 318, pages 183-185, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

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.

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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.