History and images have been compiled from various sources including, among others, the 1987 National Register of Historic Places, Stack & Beasley's 1902 Sketches of Monroe and Union County, Union County Public Library (Patricia Poland, Genealogy & Local History Librarian), the Heritage Room Photo Collection, North Carolina Map Collection, Rootsweb - An Ancestry.com Community and Ancestry.com family histories.

Emsley Alexander Armfield House and Family

E.A. Armfield
Emsley Alexander Armfield (1839-1915) was the son of Needham S. Armfield (1833-1909) and Margaret Houston. Needham was son of David (1756-1845) born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, son of William (1720-1812) also of Bucks County but died in Guilford County NC, son of John (1695-1792) born in England and died in Greensboro Guilford County NC.

Emsley married Rachel Phifer (1845-1932) on March 18, 1863 in Thomas, Georgia. Rachel was the daughter of Matthew Pfifer and Drucella Houston of Guilford County.

1860 Union County Census, rural post office, E.A. Armfield 20 was living and farming with William Houston and B.F. Houston. At that time, E.A. Armfield’s personal estate was valued at $14,000.

1870 Monroe Census: E.A. Armfield 30 was listed as a farmer; value of real estate $4000, value of personal estate $5000. In the household were: Rachel 25, Ella 7, Alice 4, Franklin 1/mo, along with domestic servants David Watts 65, Mary Rogers 25 and Mary Dickson 11.

By the 1880 census: Emsley (dry goods merchant) 40, Rachel 35, Ella 16, Alice 13, Frank 10, Davis 7, Horace 5, Rufus 2, niece Mary Stewart 14 and servant George Alsbrooks 33.

By 1900, added to the household were Wilma 19, Lina 16 and Emsley 14.

Children: Ella (1863-1945) married William Spencer Lee, Alice (1866-1944) married William Crow Heath, Frank 1870-1962) married Mary Lucille Armfield, Davis (1872-1911) married Annie English Ragan, Horace (1875-1942) married Ora S. McCain, Rufus (1878-1918) married Lola Houston, Wilma (1881-1964) married Julian Walter Laney Sr. (1880-1959), Lina (1883-1959) married Samual Howard Hudson and Emsley A. (1886-1963) married Ruth Russell.


National Register:
E.A. Armfield House ca. 1875 - 507 S. Church Street (I could not find a photo of the house.)
E. A. Armfield purchased the lot on which this house was constructed in 1875 and it appears on the 1882 Gray's Map. Armfield was a horse and mule dealer in business with N.S. Ogburn in the 1870s and 80s. In 1890 he opened a stable at the corner of Church and Jefferson Streets, taking in his sons Davis and Rufus in 1897. Rufus, and later his widow, lived in the house in the 1920s. As built, the house appears to have been a central hall, single pile, gable-roofed frame residence with a stepped-shoulder end chimney. The five-bay front elevation has six-over-six sash and a central doorway. Sanborn maps show a porch around the front and sides of the house. The current front door and sidelights, as well as the gabled front portico with Tuscan columns, appear to be 1950s additions. In the pedimented gable ends are vertical beaded flushboarding. A one-story, screened porch has been added to the north elevation, and a two-story central ell on the rear has been surrounded by one-story additions.

Stack and Beasley 1902 account:
“E.A. Armfield, clerk of the superior court, is one of our best known men, having been in business in the county for more than 30 years. He completed his education at Trinity College in 1858 and then taught school and worked in a bank at Greensboro until 1860, when he moved to Georgia and engaged in farming. He resided in Georgia for 10 years, barring the time he was following the Confederate flag in other States. In 1870 he returned to North Carolina and located in Monroe. He at once went into the mercantile business, in partnership with Mr. A.A. Laney, and continued in that business until 1889. The firm of Armfield & Laney did an immense business and contributed much towards the growth of Monroe. In 1889 Mr. Armfield moved to the country and again engaged in farming and dealing in stock. In 1898 Mr. Armfield was elected by a big majority and is making a fine clerk."

E.A. Armfield and Sons' Livery Stables - (Stack & Beasley 1902)
 "This firm is composed of E.A. Armfield, Davis Armfield and Rufus Armfield. The senior member began dealing in horses and mules in 1870. Later on, he and N.S. Ogburn became associated together and continured for several years in the stock business. Mr. Ogburn finally became the sole owner and Mr. Armfield gave his entire attention to his other business. In 1890 he opened up again at the present stand, corner of Church and Jefferson streets. In 1897 he took in Mr. Davis Armfield and in 1899 took in Mr. Rufus Armfield. The two latter now have the active management of the business....Besides their sales stable, these gentlemen own a large gin, saw and grist mill six miles south of Monroe and also run a large farm."

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