plat map

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.

Carver Place.

Wilson County Register of Deeds’ office has digitized relatively few of its real estate records. Nonetheless, its limited database is yielding up treasure after treasure.

This plat map for Carver Place, bristling with more than 200 tiny 25-foot-wide lots, was registered in 1948. The subdivision never came together. Nonetheless, this landscape is easily recognizable today, which I’m beginning to recognize as a reflection of the underdevelopment of East Wilson, stagnant for decades.

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  1. “Colored Cemetery Road” — Lane Street.
  2. Dempsey Lassiter (col.) — This lot is now home to Tabernacle Temple of Jesus Christ.
  3. Masonic Cemetery — In 1900, Cain and Margaret Artis sold this lot to Mount Hebron No. 42, Prince Hall Masons.
  4. R.T. Smith tract — Now home to Hamilton Burial Gardens.
  5. This edge of Rest Haven Cemetery was part of the Jesse Barnes land (which Barnes’ wife Sarah Barnes Barnes inherited from her mother Margaret Artis.)
  6. Ward Boulevard runs coterminously with U.S. Highway 301.
  7. Finch Street is not open between Ward Boulevard and Tuskegee Street. Southeast of Tuskegee, it is the central artery of a mobile home park — laid out on those 25-foot lots — and bends slightly before terminating in a dead end.
  8. This street was named Freeman, not Woodard. It starts at Tuskegee and runs southeast past the dead end of Tacoma Street, then makes two sharp turns through a trailer park.
  9. Today, site of a Walgreens Pharmacy.

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Plat book 6, page 6, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson; aerial view courtesy of Bing.com.

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.

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.

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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.

The Farrior farm.

For much of the twentieth century, Wilson’s eastern city limits did not extend beyond modern U.S. Highway 301. A half-mile outside of town, along what was then a county road (and is now Martin L. King Parkway/U.S. Highway 264 Alternate), sprawled one of Jefferson D. Farrior‘s many farms.

In 1919, Atlantic Coast Realty prepared a plat map showing the 500+-acre Farrior farm divided into 35 unequal parcels. Though there were few buildings or other landmarks on the land, it is easily identifiable. I spent half my childhood on the land, on its far edge, in Bel-Air Forest.

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Plat map 1, page 160, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

Property of Alphonzo Coleman.

In 1952, L.M. Phelps mapped the subdivided property of Alphonzo Coleman located near Wilson’s municipal airport.

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In the 1870 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: farm laborer Squier Coleman, 47, wife Nancy, 36, and children Gray, 18, Mary, 16, Afonzo, 9, Margret, 4, and Thomas, 2, plus Cassa Jordan, 70, Riley Jordan, 7, and Thomas Jordan, 25.

Alphonso Coleman, 21, married Annis Barnes, 18, on 18 September 1878 in Wilson County.

In the 1880 census of Wilson township, Wilson County: Alfonso Coleman, 21; wife Annise, 18; and sons Isaac, 1, and Henry D., 2 months.

In the 1900 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: farmer Alfonse Coleman, 42; wife Annis, 36; and children Jestus, 17, Minnie, 12, James, 11, Amous, 8, Richard, 3, Floyd, 4 months, Bessa, 9, and Ella, 5.

In the 1920 census of Taylors township, Wilson County: on County Line Road, farmer Alfonso Coleman, 63; wife Annie, 56; and children Minnie, 25, Amos, 22, Floyd, 20, Ella, 17, and John R., 16.

On 1 April 1929, Alfonza Coleman died in Taylors township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1909 in Wilson County to Alfonzo Coleman and Annie Johnson; was married to Annis Coleman; was a farmer; and was buried in the Coleman cemetery.

On 15 June 1935, Amos Coleman died in Taylor township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in 1896 in Wilson County to Alfonzo Coleman and Annie Barnes; was single; was a farmer; and was buried in the Coleman graveyard.

On 6 July 1936, John W. Coleman died in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was 73 years old; was born in Wilson County to Squire Coleman and Nancy Johnson; was married to Annis Coleman; was a farmer; and was buried in the farmer cemetery. Squire J. Coleman was informant.

On 27 August 1956, Square [Squire] Justuce Coleman died in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per his death certificate, he was born in 4 December 1881 in Wilson County to Alfonza Coleman and Annie Barnes; was divorced; was a farmer; and was buried in the Coleman cemetery.

On 11 October 1960, Minnie Coleman died in Wilson township, Wilson County. Per her death certificate, he was born in 1 January 1901 in Wilson County to Alfonza Coleman and Annie Jordan; was never married; and was buried in the Coleman cemetery.

Plat map 1, page 66, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson.

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.

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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.

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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.

Church 1/2 acre excepted.

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In 1917, Atlantic Coast Realty prepared a plat map subdividing the James W. Hayes Farm near Elm City into ten parcels. The farm’s location is readily identifiable as the tip of the triangle formed by present-day East Langley and Haynes Roads. At the tip of the tip, this notation: “Church 1/2 A, Excepted.”

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The original Little Union Primitive Baptist Church!

Plat book 1, page 40, Register of Deeds Office, Wilson; aerial view courtesy of Google Maps.