“Colored” owners owing property taxes included owner-occupiers, absentee owners, investors, and estates. Samuel H. Vick owed the most by orders of magnitude, a sum reflecting his ownership of more than 100 properties across Wilson and his cashflow struggles after the collapse of Commercial Bank and the onset of the Great Depression.
On 7 August 1897, Jordan Taylor Jr., 21, and Eliza Taylor, 21, were married in Wilson by Baptist minister W.H.W. Woodard. Prince Smith, Annie Barnes, and Michiel Taylor were witnesses.
In the 1900 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Jordan Taylor, 24, wife Eliza, 25, and son Greemond, 2, shared a household with Sallie Taylor 27, and her son Rufus Taylor, 13, and boarder Mary Jones, 17.
In the 1910 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: odd jobs laborer Jordan Taylor Jr., 31, wife Eliza, 30, laundress, and son Greeman, 12, with Mary Parker, 69, widow, whose relationship to Jordan was described as “proctor.”
Jordan Taylor registered for the World War I draft on 12 September 1917. He reported his address as RFD#6, Wilson, and his birthday as 15 December 1875. He worked as a ditcher for Sid Clark, his nearest relative was Eliza Taylor, and he signed his card with an X.
In the 1920 census of Wilson, Wilson County: at 304 Stantonsburg Street, Jordan Taylor, 48, wife Eliza, 37, son Greeman, 22, and son Dave, 13. [Where did Dave come from?] Jordan worked as a warehouse tobacco worker, Eliza as a tobacco factory worker, and Greeman as a street boot black.
On 24 March 1922, Greeman Taylor of Stantonsburg Street, Wilson, died of consumption. He was born 2 June 1898 in Wilson to Jordan and Eliza Taylor. He was single.
I have not found the family in the 1930 census.
Eliza Taylor died 25 May 1934 in Rose Hill township, Duplin County, N.C. Per her death certificate, she was 47 years old [actually, more than ten years older]; was born in Wilson County to Green Taylor and Kenzie Taylor; and was married to Jordan Taylor.
Jordan Taylor, widower, died 29 April 1957 near Dunn, Johnston County, N.C. His informant Ethel Sanders reported his birthday as 15 March 1874, and his parents as Jordan Taylor and Frances Smith. He was buried in Wilson.
A deed of trust is essentially an agreement between a lender and a borrower to give legal title to a property to a neutral third party who will serve as a trustee. The trustee holds the property until the borrower pays off the debt owed to the lender. During the period of repayment, the borrower keeps the actual or equitable title to the property and generally maintains full responsibility for the premises. The trustee, however, holds the legal title to the property and is empowered to sell the property to satisfy the debt if the borrower defaults. Once the sale is complete, the trustee will distribute the proceeds between the borrower and the lender. The lender gets whatever funds are required to satisfy the debt, and the borrower receives anything in excess of that amount.
On 15 January 1940, the Wilson Daily Times published a notice of sale of six properties belonging to Andrew J. and Mary L. Townsend, who had defaulted on the terms of a deed of trust filed in 1938:
(1) adjoining the property of Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church, H.W. Farrior, and Owen Smith a lot on Banks Street purchased from O.L.W. and Cynthia Smith, recorded in Book 85, page 398, Wilson County Register of Deeds Office;
(2) a lot on the southern edge of Banks Street where Banks crosses a ditch that runs south into the Hominy Swamp canal, purchased from O.L.W. and Cynthia Smith, recorded in Book 111, page 361;
(3) adjoining the property of Louis W. Townsend, Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church and H.W. Farrior, a lot on the western side of Goldsboro Street and south of Banks Street, on the same ditch as above, purchased from O.L.W. and Cynthia Smith, recorded in Book 98, page 179;
(4) lot 14 in the Winona subdivision on Mercer Street (map recorded at Book 68, page 457) purchased from S.H. and Annie M. Vick and recorded at Book 116, page 273;
(5) adjoining the lands of John and Mary Lewis and S.H. Vick, a 50′ by 100′ lot on Mercer Street (lot 16 of Winona subdivision) purchased from S.H. and Annie M. Vick and recorded at Book 172, page 24; and
(6) lot 15 on the plat of Winona subdivision, a 50′ by 100′ lot on Mercer Street purchased from S.H. Vick and recorded at Book 68, page 457.
Andrew J. Townsend — in the 1940 census of Wilson, Wilson County: Andrew Townsend, 58, section hand for N.S. [Norfolk Southern railroad]; wife Lula, 49, tobacco factory laborer; children Lewis, 27, Rachel, 22, Louisa, 18, Christine, 16, Odell, 15, Hazel, 13, and Minnie Ruth, 11; and granddaughter Maybelle, 3.
Louis W. Townsend — Louis Townsend died 12 March 1932 in Wilson. Per his death certificate, he was born 29 February 1853 in Person County, N.C., to Dempsey Townsend and Margaret Thorp; lived at 408 East Hines Street, Wilson; was the widower of Henrietta Townsend; was a day laborer for a tobacco manufacturing company. Informant was Rachael Dixson, Wilson, N.C.