Oswald Lipscomb, who came to
Wilson from Virginia about 1849, through four decades designed and built many houses
in Wilson and vicinity. He left his individual type of architecture in his
limited territory as completely as he did more famous architects in a wider
His favorite type of architecture
was neo-Gothic, examples of which are the George W. Blount house on West Nash
street, now owned and occupied by a grandson of Mr. Blount, Charles McLean; and the
Moses Rountree house on Rountree street, now owned and occupied by W. E. Barnes.
The Blount home was designed
and built in 1858 by Mr. Lipscomb for himself. He selected heart pine lumber for
the house with care and air-dried it for three years before building. All of the
flooring and timbers were hand-sewn and hand-finished. The beautiful molding was
hand-carved. No nails were used in the construction of the big, roomy house.
All material was mortised and pegged. Definite characteristics of both Blount
and Rountree houses are their Gothic-type windows.
Oswald Lipscomb - Born in 1826
in Virginia. Moved to Wilson in 1849.
In the same year he married Penelope Rountree, daughter of Lewis Rountree of Wilson .
Had one son, James Lipscomb who was associated with the Wilson Cotton Mill.
After the death of his first wife, he married in 1869 Sarah Barnes, daughter of
Edwin Barnes of Wilson. Entered into a business partnership with his brother-in-law
JT Barnes in 1874. In that year they purchased a lot on Pine street near Lee Street
where they built a sash and blind factory. By 1884 a planning mill had also been built
for the partnership. In the late 1880s Lipscomb sold his interests to his brother-in-law
because of failing health, and he died February 4, 1891.
Mr. Lipscomb designed:
the Billy Winstead House (said to have been moved to the NE corner of Lee and Tarboro Streets);
the Albert Farmer House (constructed on Goldsboro St, now demolished);
the Dred Ruffin House (on the Stantonsburg-Snow Hill Road in Greene County);
the James Davis House, at 600 West Nash Street;
the George Blount House, constructed on the site of the Branch Banking a& Trust Company's main office, now demolished;
the Moses Rountree House, constructed on West Nash Street, but now moved to Rountree Street;
the J.T. Barnes House, constructed on the corner of West Nash and Jackson Streets, now demolished;
the Alpheus Branch House, constructed on the corner of West Nash Street and Park Avenue,
the Frank Barnes House, constructed on the corner of West Nash and Rountree Streets (demolished);
the George D. Green House;
and his own house, still standing on the corner of Pine and Vance Streets.