Thursday, October 16, 2014

Highway 86

City Is Making Much Progress in Campaign for Road Improvement

[Special to The Times-Dispatch]

Danville, Va., July 29 [1909] -- Danville is keeping pace with other cities in Virginia and North Carolina in the improvement of the public roads, and considerable work is in progress now and more contemplated on the various highways leading into the city.

At a meeting of the board of directors of the Caswell County Macadam Road Company, held here yesterday, it was decided to start work as soon as possible on the construction of the new road from Yanceyville, N.C., to Danville, a distance of nearly fourteen miles. The Caswell County Road Company will build as far as the Virginia-North Carolina line, a distance of about eleven miles, and Danville, by an agreement, will build to the State line, a distance of about three miles beyond the corporate limits. A committee has been appointed with full authority to act for the road company, and to award the contract. The City Council at the next regular meeting is expected to make the appropriation for the building of Danville's part of the road. The construction of the Danville-Yanceyville road will cost approximately $40,000.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Gretna Green of Caswell County, North Carolina

Eleven Eloping Couples Married at Pelham Christmas Day
(Special to The Times-Dispatch)

Danville, VA., December 27 [1904] -- Justice of the Peace S. A. Pierce, of Pelham, N.C., the gretna green of this section, did a rushing business Sunday, uniting various couples in the bond of wedlock. On that day alone he performed eleven marriages, which is a record breaker.

The couples began to arrive in vehicles early in the morning, and Mr. Pierce was kept busy until a late hour that night. All of the brides are described as being young and pretty and most of the contracting parties were run-away couples.

Woman With a Horn

Woman With a Horn Not a Myth

One of the greatest living human freaks in the country is to be seen in Caswell County, N. C., which is in Representative W. W. Kitchin's district.

The other day Mr. Kitchin received in his mail a letter from the chairman of the Caswell County commissioners requesting him to go and see some dime store manager and make arrangements for exhibiting the freak, which is a woman with a horn growing from the back of her head.

The horn is six inches long and very hard. It strongly resembles the horn of a goat.

Mr Kitchin saw the woman some time ago in a museum in North Carolina. The member from the Tar Heel State, however, has not yet made up his mind whether or not he will embrace this opportunity and embark in the dime museum business as a side issue.

The woman with a horn is no myth but a living reality.

Source: The Washington Times (Washington, D.C.), 9 June 1906, Page 6.

Medical Doctors: Caswell County, North Carolina

Early Caswell County Medical Doctors

In the early 1800’s, medical training was by apprenticeship. By 1810 there were five practicing physicians in Caswell County, North Carolina:

Dr. John McAden
Dr. William S. Webb
Dr. Samuel Dabney
Dr. James Smith
Dr. Edward Foulks.

Perhaps Solomon Debow, as well as his son, Archibald Debow, apprenticed under one of these Caswell County physicians.

Source: Biography of Dr. Solomon Debow, M.D. (1780-1831), Caswell County Historical Association.

Subsequently, the University of Pennsylvania Medical School became a source of medical training for several Caswell County doctors.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Glenburnie by Mary S. Royster, 1938, is a handsome little privately printed 17-page, one-sided, loose-leaf piece, tightly boundthrough three holes with a doubled silk rope with tassel. It is so tightly bound that it cannot be opened wide enough for photocopying (the pages would break) without being completely disassembled, including undoing the intricate ribbon with tassels, copying the pages singly, then reinserting and retying the double silk rope (that in itself would require a delicate hand to prevent further damage). (Toward the back of the 17 pages is a two-page poem titled "The Scions of 'Glennburnie', composed and sung by Mrs. E.J. Stamps and dedicated to her children.") The text is double-spaced, so hand copying the entire 19-page item would not be a terribly lengthy job if one of the girls would come to the North Carolina Collection for several hours. A sandbag (furnished by the staff) would be needed to hold down the lefthand bent pages during copying---again careful to prevent breaking the paper. The piece was put together obviously as a keepsake or artifact rather than a cataloged library item---beautifully done but without consideration of its preservation potential. H. G. Jones 14 August 2012.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Rock Academy

Rock Academy

Perhaps the longest-lived and influential school of this period was the Rock Academy and its successor. In 1867 James S. Dameron opened a school in northwestern Caswell County which he called the Ruffin Select School. Shortly afterwards a permanent building was erected and it came to be called the Rock Academy because it was constructed of rock. Associated with Dameron at one time or another in the operation of this school were Miss Jennie Roberts, Miss Alden Combs, Miss Allen Courts, Elder P. D. Gold, and John W. Gilliam. A large number of young people in the neighborhood were educated here. Among them was John B. Cobb who afterwards left the county to seek his fortune. In 1921 he provided $20,000 for a school building nearby which became the first consolidated school in the county. The building was dedicated to the memory of Cobb's parents and was known as Cobb Memorial School. Cobb and his daughters made further gifts to the school and the plant was enlarged.

The original building burned in 1948 but was shortly replaced. With integration in 1969 Cobb Memorial School's role in the county system was changed leaving only grades four through seven there. In 1971, however, an Occupational Education Program was established there and its service to the community thereby enlarged.

Source: Powell, William S. When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977. Durham (North Carolina): Moore Publishing Company, 1977. Pages 396-397.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Semora (Caswell County, North Carolina)

The following is from Whitlow, Jeannine D., Editor. The Heritage of Caswell County North Carolina 1985. Winston-Salem (North Carolina): Hunter Publishing Company, 1985 ("Semora" by Mary McAden Satterfield).


Semora is a community located in the northeast corner of Caswell County, North Carolina, bounded on the north by Virginia and on the east by Person County. There was settlement there as early as 1755, known as Campbell's Crossroads. Two major stage coach lines crossed there, one running east-west, and the other following a north-south route.

The history of many American communities can be traced by studying the history of the area's churches. One of the oldest Presbyterian churches in North Carolina, Red House, is located approximately one mile from the center of Semora. The church dates from before 1755. Another early church is Lebanon Christian Church of Christ, dating from 1845. Later churches include the Baptist Church, established in 1906, and the Methodist Church, organized in 1920.