Amelia Schmidt (Schmitt)

Mount PleasantEnters a Period of Decline

Miss Amelia Schmidt (Schmitt), who was described as a single woman, purchased the 642 acre Mount Pleasant tract and its improvements from B. F. and Emma E. Wingfield on October 29, 1887 (Surry County Deed Book 22:365). By 1888 the county tax assessor had commenced creditingSchmidt, aSurryCountyresident, with Mount Pleasantwhich contained 642 acres and had $1,300 worth of improvements.  Meanwhile,WilliamC.WilsonandC.W.Wilson(JamesD.Wilson’s sons) were credited with 245 acres and 200 acres, respectively, both of which tracts were described as “part ofMount Pleasant.”  Neither of theWilsontracts contained improvements.  AlthoughAmeliaSchmidt’s property’s improvements were valued at $1,300 during 1889 and 1890, by 1891 the assessor had reduced their estimated worth to only $1,000.

The assessment remained at that level through 1892, but then in 1893 rose to $1,300.  Again, the county tax assessor failed to note why he had altered his evaluation.   Then, in 1894 he reduced the buildings’ value to $1,000.  They remained at that level until 1896, at which time they were reduced to only $800. This pattern suggests that the condition of the structures onMissSchmitt’sMount Pleasantacreage was deteriorating, perhaps due to lack of maintenance, for there was no apparent overall adjustment in the county’s tax base.  However, a catastrophic event occurred atMount Pleasantafter the assessor’s visit in 1897 but before his return in 1898.  In 1898 when he formulated his assessment, he noted that he had taken “$500 off for buildings burned.” As a result of the  fire, the remaining buildings onAmeliaSchmidt’s 642 acres were worth only $300.  They were taxed at that level through 1900 (Surry County Land Tax Lists 1888-1900). Perhaps on account of the disastrous fire, in May 1899MissAmeliaSchmidtsoldMount Pleasantto her nephew and niece,JohnandAmeliaM.Schmidtof Surry County, for $1,000 (Surry County Deed Book 28:363).