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Evolution of the Maynard-Pearson House and Apex Historical Society

The Maynard-Pearson House was built on a parcel of land from the estate of James Marshall Pearson, decendent of the Pearson family from North Carolina and the eastern coastal region. Family geneological records date ownership of the land back into the 1800's and the family's presence in the region extending back to the 1600's. James Marshall Pearson was born in 1818 and died in 1862. He married Nancy H. Branch in 1842 and they had four children - Civil D. Pearson, Stephen Henderson Pearson, James Jackson Pearson and John Phineus Pearson. At his death, Mr. Pearson left a portion of the land, including the lot the Maynard-Pearson House is on, to Civil D. Pearson, his only daughter. When she married, the land the house currently sits on became the site of a home built by her and husband James Jackson Maynard that later became what is now known the Maynard-Pearson House. A history of the family lineage has been included below.

Pearson family timeline and origin of Apex Historical Society

1665-1735 - Simon Pearson was born in 1665 and died in Baltimore, Maryland, and was a weaver and planter. His first marriage was to Hannah Ball Traves and he later married Emma Westbury before 1702. She died in July 1714 in Baltimore County, Maryland, and he then married his third wife Sarah Thurston Shaw in July, 1715. Sarah abandoned Simon in around 1723. Samuel's children with his first two wives are listed: children with Emma Westbury - Mary Pearson (?-?), Simon Pearson (1714-?), Thomas Pearson (?-1743) and Constantina Pearson (?-1791); children with Sarah Shaw - Captain Samuel Pearson (1722/23-1802), Ann Pearson (?-?), Moses Pearson Sr. (1716-1763), Comfort Pearson (1718-?), Susannah Pearson (?-?) and Margaret Pearson (1720-?).

1722-1802 - Captain Samuel Pearson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and in 1745 moved to Craven County, NC, near New Bern, then moved to Johnson County, then became one of the earliest settlers in what would become known as Wake County. He married Mary Simons after settling in Wake County and had ten children: Paris Allen Pearson (1748-1832), Simon Pearson (1749-1803), Rachel Pearson (1753-1773), Charity Pearson (1758-1808), Fereby Pearson (1763-1804), Asa Pearson (1765-1844), Esther Pearson (1768-?), Peace Pearson (1770-?), Preston Pearson (1772-1817) and Patience Pearson (1754-?). Samuel and Mary were married in Craven County, NC, near New Bern in 1747.

Samuel Pearson was the founder of Wake County's Yates Mill and owned it until his death in 1802. A 340 acre portion of property including the mill was passed to Samuel's son Simon Pearson. Because of debts owed to the State Bank of North Carolina, Simon was later forced to sell the land, including the mill, in a sheriff's sale in 1819. The mill went through a series of ownerships including Thomas Briggs who founded Raleigh's Briggs Hardware. Briggs sold the mill to Phares Yates in 1863. The mill is the only remaining gristmill in Wake County and has now become the central focus of Historic Yates Mill County Park. A detailed history of the mill's origin and evolution is recorded on Wake County's website.

1748-1832 - Paris Allen Pearson was born in Dinwiddie County, Virginia and later moved to Orange County, NC, where he died in 1832. He married Mary Martin Gilmore from Cumberland County in 1785 and they had twelve children: Stephen Pearson (1786-1865), Ann Pearson (?-?), Elizabeth Pearson (?-?), Green Pearson (?-?), Thomas Pearson (?-?), Mary Pearson (?-?), Rachel Pearson (?-?), Sarah Pearson (?-?), William Pearson (1789-1862), Joel Asa Pearson (1806-1858), Jane Pearson (?-?), John M. Pearson (?-?). Paris moved to New Hope Creek in 1817 and bought 399 acres in Orange County and lived there until his death.

1786-1865 - Stephen Pearson and Mary Polly Utley married in 1813 and had ten children - James Marshall Pearson (1818-1862), Martha Pearson (1814-?), Mary Pearson (1816-1844), Eliza Pearson (1820-1830), Nancy Pearson (1822-?), Elizabeth Pearson (1824-1886), Sarah Pearson (1827-?), Lucy Pearson (1829-1909), William Pearson (1834-1915) and John Pearson (1837-1892). Stephen was married to Civil Ann Avera before his marriage to Mary Utley. In about 1852 Stephen and four of his children moved from Wake County to Harnett County, NC. After moving to Cumberland County he was appointed Justice of the Peace and served as a public officer.

Pre-1862 - James Marshall Pearson settled on land in Western Wake County located along Olive chapel Church road. He married Nancy H. Branch in 1842 and had four children - John Phineous Pearson (1859-1931), James J. Pearson (1855-1888), Stephen Henderson Pearson (1850-1889) and Civil D. Pearson (1850-1889). The original Pearson farm home was on land behind the site of the Maynard-Pearson House that was built later on the same farm.

1862 - Civil D. Pearson inherited land the Maynard-Pearson House is built on from her father James Marshall Pearson when he died in 1862. Civil married James Jackson Maynard in April, 1872.

1870 - James Jackson Maynard and Civil D. Pearson Maynard built the Maynard-Pearson House to live in and had one child, Exum Earl Maynard in 1886. The Pearsons lived in the house and farmed the land until selling it in 1883.

1873 - Town of Apex incorporated.

1883 - John Phineus Pearson and Ida Colon Maynard Pearson purchased the Maynard-pearson House from John's sister Civil for $20.00 and established residence there. The couple had six children - John Amos Pearson (1894-1977), Paul Lamar Pearson (1888-1973), Bayard Preston Pearson (1890-1950), James Roy Pearson Sr. (1898-1966), George Dowell Pearson (1904-1947) and Ethel Ruth Pearson (1892-1943). He served in NC House of Representatives in 1901. Paul, Bayard, Ethyl Ruth and Amos were born in the old family farm house that was on land near the rear of the farm and in what is now known as Pearson Farms subdivision. James Roy and George Dowell were born in the home now called the Maynard-Pearson House. The old family farm house was torn down after 1973 when Pearson Farms was built by a local developer.

1930s-1973 - The Maynard-Pearson House became home for Dr. Paul Lamar Pearson, an Apex dentist and farmer. Dr. Pearson married Hazel Barker and they had one child, Daphne Lamar Pearson. The couple divorced when Lamar was around 16 years old and Hazel and Lamar moved away from the area and were never heard from after that time. A newspaper obituary appeared in 2006 indicating Lamar had passed away in the western part of North Carolina. Dr. Pearson's first dental office was located in an upstairs office suite at the intersection of Salem and Chatham Streets over the Merchants and Farmers bank (now Savory Bakery) in 1916. He later relocated his office to the white frame house just east of the Maynard-Pearson house on Olive chapel Road within walking distance of his residence. It was later sold after his estate was settled and is now a rental property.

1973 - The Maynard-Pearson House became property of Dr. John Kent Pearson when the estate of Dr. Paul Pearson was divided among heirs Dr. J. K. Pearson, James R. Pearson Jr., John W. Pearson, Bob and Betty Ruth Uzzle (children of Ruby Pearson Uzzle). The house became a rental property until the land was sold in 1995 to a local developer.

October 22, 1987 - A group of local residents interested in capturing and preserving the history of the Apex area initiated discussions about forming a historical society and began having meetings to plan and formally organize the society.

March 24, 1988 - The Apex Historical Society was chartered and began meeting to share knowledge about local history and homes. As information and artifacts were collected the Society gradually found a need to find a site to call home.

March, 1995 - Dr. John Kent Pearson sold the old family farm house and his portion of the Pearson estate to MJK Developments LLC. The developer began building Pearson Farms subdivision on the portion of the Pearson estate on the south side of Olive Chapel road and left the Pearson farm house intact.

1994 - MJK Developments transferred the Pearson farm house to philanthropist Maurice Kouns for possible preservation or destruction.

May 5, 1995 - After learning that the house might be destroyed, the Society acquired the Pearson farm house and 0.47 acres of land from Maurice Kouns under an agreement the house would be restored and preserved.

1997 - The farm house initial restortion was completed and the site became known as the Maynard-Pearson House and began a new life as home base for the Apex Historical Society.

2008 - A new AHS project was initiated to formally begin collecting an "oral history" about Apex and the area from senior residents and add content to website.

John William Pearson - June, 2008
Revised January, 2011

The Apex Historical Society is a non-profit, membership-supported organization dedicated to preserving, protecting and promoting the history of Apex, North Carolina.

Apex Historical Society
P.O. Box 506
Apex, NC 27502

Copyright 2002-2008 ~ Apex Historical Society ~ All Rights Reserved