From the 1910 Durham Illustrated:
A man who is responsible for many of the fine buildings erected in Durham during the past dozen years is Norman Underwood, a builder and contractor knovvn throughout this entire State for his dependability and expert knowledge of building. His offices are situated in the Underwood Building, on W. Main Street. He has a capable staff of foremen, and some fifty expert carpenters and builders in his employ. Among other important buildings he has erected in this district are the Post Office, the Trust Building, and a large number of the Trinity College Buildings. He is just completing the handsome residence of B. N. Duke on West Chapel Hill Street, and J. E. Stagg's fine residence on Morehead Avenue. Mr. Underwood established his business in this city eleven years ago, coming here from Raleigh, where he was in this same profession for some years. He is an Ohioan by birth, and lived in Tennessee for fifteen years before he came to North Carolina. He has always taken, since his arrival in the city, an interest in public matters and the development and growth of Durham. He was for a number of years a member of the Board of Aldermen and is at present Chairman of the Police and Fire Commission.