Following the recent post “History begets history…”, we received a comment on one of the buildings featured therein. I would like to thank the commenter, because that comment has inspired me to add more information, proving that history always begets more history. Since the Tise family at one time owned the entire block of Main Street from Third to Fourth Street, I thought I would discuss yet another almost forgotten chapter in the history of the building of the Twin City.


Jacob Tise, 1817-1904

Jacob Tise, one of the early mayors of the town of Winston,  was born in Davidson County in 1817. Apprenticed to a blacksmith, he moved to Waughtown in 1843, and after the creation of Forsyth County in 1849, bought a lot within the forks of Main and Liberty Streets in Winston, where he began manufacturing wagons. He married Margaret Kiser of Rural Hall. They had four children…one daughter married the well known tobacco manufacturer and developer Sihon Ogburn…the other daughter married the well known merchant and developer Thomas Masten…son Charles became a successful manufacturer of pumps and other well equipment…and son Cicero, born in 1855, became a successful merchant at age ten.


Jacob Tise ad, Winston City Directory, 1884. The store was located at the southeast corner of Main & Fourth Streets.


Charles H. Tise ad, Winston City Directory, 1884. His home and business was located at the southwest corner of North Main and Fifth Streets.

By that time, his father had bought the block east of the courthouse on Main Street and in 1865 he set apart a small portion of a building where Cicero began selling ginger cakes and beer made by his mother. The business grew rapidly into a successful general merchandise store. He also dabbled in inventing, at one point marketing a patented pneumatic churn. In 1892, at age 37, Cicero retired from the merchandising world and focused all his energy on real estate development and investment.



From then on he maintained his offices on the second floor of the building at  315 North Main Street. He invested in a number of businesses, including furniture manufacturing, tobacco warehousing and undertaking. In 1900, he formed a company to buy the famous Vade Mecum Springs resort, one of three famous spas, the others being Moore’s Springs and Piedmont Springs, in the Sauratown Mountains in Stokes County. A few years later, he became the sole proprietor of Vade Mecum. His father, Jacob, died in 1904. Cicero, having recently invested over $100,000 to upgrade Vade Mecum, died on October 13, 1917 of “apoplexy” brought on by Bright’s disease. His magnificent house, which for many years was the headquarters of the Winston-Salem Women’s Club, still stands near Grace Court on West Fourth Street.


The Cicero Tise house still stands on West Fourth Street,  just across from Grace Court

Below is a map detailing the Tise enterprises in downtown Winston from the early 1850s through 1917.


Click map for full size