James Yadkin Joyner lived here throughout his influential tenure as the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, which lasted from 1902 to 1919. J.Y. Joyner oversaw a maturation of the state’s educational system, focusing on teacher training, longer school terms, and high school instruction. At the same time, local governments began collecting special school taxes and the state started allocating funds for education.
The house is one of eleven in Oakwood built by Julius Lewis & Company, started in 1865 as a hardware and building supply firm. Lewis and partner Nicholas W. West built in the neighborhood in the 1870s and 1880s. The Lewis‐Joyner house dates to 1878 and combines details from the Stick, Italianate, and Second Empire styles of the Victorian period.