Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Caswell County Elections 1962

Big Election Field in Caswell As Republican Candidates File

"Yanceyville, N.C. -- A last-minute deluge of Republican candidates produced Friday Caswell County's biggest election field in years. The Republicans, all of them from Stony Creek, even appeared to have clinched one election by offering a candidate for a minor position that Democrats usually ignore.

"And even experienced observers were predicting they'd win another office despite Democratic opposition.

"Sheriff Frank Daniel will have three opponents in the Democratic primary. Ralph O. Vernon, judge of Recorder's Court, also has three Democratic opponents. Two Democrats are in the race for Solicitor and two are seeking the House of Representatives seat.

"In the sheriff race with Daniel are W. A. Aldridge, Jack E. Watson and William L. Boone. The primary winner will take on J. Lester Cox, Republican, in the general election.

"Running against Vernon are the Rev. L. W. Smith, J. O. Evans, and Samuel Shaw. The GOP entry is Joseph F. Matkins.

"Clerk of Court George Harris is running unopposed in the primary, and has no Republican opposition in the November general election.

"Mrs. Ann Gatewood Poteat will try to unseat veteran Representative Ed Wilson in the Democratic primary. H. O. Davis filed for the office as a Republican.

"Three candidates for the Board of Education are unopposed, either in the Democratic primary or general election. They are C. N. Barker, running for the Milton-Dan River seat, Earl J. Smith of Yanceyville and David W. Wright, Jr., of Pelham Township. Barker and Smith are incumbents.

"Two Democrats, J. C. Wilkinson and Gilbert R. Lunsford, will contest for the Hightowers-Leesburg seat while Democrat incumbent N. L. Oliver will be opposed in Anderson-Stony Creek by Republican James F. Wyrick.

"W. Robert Briggs and Robert M. Fleetwood, Democrats, filed for the Leesburg-Milton seat on the Board of County Commissioners and Oscar B. Watlington and Bill R. Murphy, Democrats, are seeking the Yanceyville Township seat.

"Other Democratic County Commissioner candidates are James Y. Blackwell, Locust-Stony Creek; G. Irvin Aldridge, Hightowers-Anderson; and A. D. Swann, Dan River-Pelham.

"Three Republicans will vie for the right to challenge Blackwell in November. They are Otis E. Simmons, Robert E. Somers and Carl W. Perkins.

"The Republican who is assured of victory, barring a write-in upset, is Scott Gwynn, who is offering for Stony Creek Justice of the Peace. This is the only township with a Jaypee candidate. Normally Democrats don't run for Justice of the Peace. When this occurs, a Superior Court judge fills the office by appointment.

"Two Republicans have filed for Stony Creek Constable. They are Brodie James Terrell and John A. Strader. The winner in the Republican primary will take on Democrat John Howard Talley.

"Informed sources here were predicting Friday that the GOP candidate will win. While more Democrats are registered in Stony Creek township than Republicans, the township in the past several elections has been solidly in the Republican camp.

"There will be constable contests in five other townships but, in each of these, the race will be strictly Democratic.

"In Dan River, it will be Maynard S. Collie versus Teddy Willis. In Pelham L. H. Hamlett and Jim Adams are the opponents, while Locust Hill has three candidates, Walker Hodges, Kenneth Hodges and Benny E. McKinney.

"W. B. Totten and L. S. Massey are running for constable in Anderson township and Raymond Wilson and Leon Foster are vying for Yanceyville constable.

"Unopposed are James Webster in Leesburg and Ben H. Blaylock in Hightowers.

"A total of 54 candidates completed the filing procedures before the deadline. It's the biggest field since he became chairman of the County Board of Elections in 1954, W. D. McMullen said. Neither McMullen nor anyone else could recall when a Republican last held an office in this solidly Democratic county."

The Danville Register (Danville, Virginia), 14 April 1962.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Joel Watson Booth (1882-1967)

Booths Shoe Shop in Yanceyville
Click for Larger Image

Joel Watson Booth (1882-1967)

The man to the left in the photograph (without hat) is Joel Watson Booth (1882-1967). The man with the hat has not been identified.

The location is Booth's leather/shoe-repair shop on the north side of the Square in Yanceyville, North Carolina.

The photograph was taken in September 1939 by Marion Post Wolcott as part of her Farm Security Administration assignment, and is titled: "Saturday Afternoon in Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina."

At some point, Booth moved his business from this location to a small stand-alone building just a short distance west on Greensboro Street in Yanceyville. The location in this photograph became the jewelry/watch-repair shop of Walter Daniel McMullen (1901-1988).

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Tobacco Warehouses: North Carolina

As Tobacco Slumps, Warehouses Close: The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), 3 August 2000

This year, another 15 tobacco warehouses have closed in North Carolina, bringing the number of active warehouses down to 89 - the lowest number in 50 years - and leaving the rural landscape littered with empty buildings where growers once celebrated or mourned the annual market season.

W. L. Hopkins Jr. kept the Piedmont Tobacco Warehouse in Mebane open for as long as he could; but this year, he and his wife, Lou, who kept the books, called it quits. Two years ago, he was down to two sales a week. Last year, his growers could produce only enough tobacco for one sale a week, and this year, he would have had one every three weeks. That's not enough to pay the workers it would take to run the warehouse.

His wife says she will miss the fellowship of the farmers and their families she used to see at the warehouse every year. "What I enjoyed about it, you'd meet all kinds of people, really nice people who worked hard," she says. "That's not an easy job. I enjoyed being around them."

Hopkins, 72, still raises tobacco with his son on the family farm in Alamance County. For now, he will continue to rent space in his warehouse for local manufacturers to store finished goods until customers are ready for delivery.

Warehouse operators have long relied on second incomes to supplement their tobacco earnings, which come mostly from a 2.5 percent commission on every sale. That rate, set by the General Assembly in the 1890s and unchanged since, may be part of the problem, Dunkley says. Though the costs of running a warehouse have steadily increased, warehouse owners have not been allowed to negotiate a more profitable cut.

Warehouses Close

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Deed of Trust: Historical View

Gazette and Roanoke Advertiser, 31 July 1830
Deed of Trust: Historical View

Gazette and Roanoke Advertiser, 31 July 1830.1

Here, a "deed in trust" (deed of trust/trust deed) was used to secure a debt created by a promissory note. By virtue of the promissory note, the borrower contractually was obligated to repay to the lender the amount borrowed (and interest if applicable). Without the deed of trust, the lender would be forced to sue the borrower in the event of a default on the note. However, the deed of trust provided a means of recovery by selling certain assets pledged under the deed of trust. And, often this was not real estate.

Here is how it worked. The borrower/debtor conveyed legal title to certain assets (including slaves in this instance) to the trustee (third party) to hold for the beneficiary (the lender) until the debt was satisfied. The trustee was able to sell the property if the borrower/debtor defaulted on the underlying promissory note. Of course, the borrower/debtor had the right to demand the return of the legal title when the debt was paid. Note, legal title to the trustee gave the lender a beneficial (equitable) interest in the property without right of possession.

You also will see in these older documents the creditor/lender/beneficiary referred to as the "cestui que trust" -- the person for whose benefit a trust is created. Although legal title of the trust was vested in the trustee, the cestui que trust was the beneficiary who was entitled to all benefits from the trust. Thus, "cestui que trust" = "beneficiary" = "lender".

While both a mortgage and a deed of trust were used to provide security for a debt, they were different. A mortgage did not involve the third-party trustee, and usually was enforced through judicial process in a court of law. A deed of trust involved the third-party trustee and could be enforced outside the judicial process. See the newspaper notice below where the trustee advertised sale of the property securing the debt. No court need be involved. Simply, a mortgage created a lien on the pledged property that must be enforced, while a deed of trust actually transferred title to the property.

"Looking Back" The Caswell Messenger, 7 March 2018

Click to See Larger Image

"Looking Back"

The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, North Carolina), 7 March 2018.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Clay-Lewis-Irvine House (Milton, NC)

The Clay-Lewis-Irvine Place House

When the Town of Milton was incorporated in 1786, Henry M. Clay bought lot number thirteen. The white clapboard house, which he built in 1820 [c.1815], is tall and steeply gabled; its portico is simple and well proportioned.

The house was bought in 1830 by Nicholas Meriwether Lewis and his wife, Lucy Bullock, of Granville County. There was another Lucy, Nicholas' [sic] sister, and it was she who loved the large square garden with its borders of box. It is said that the garden was laid out by the garden designer of Mount Vernon. Be that as it may, the box was arranged in a similar fashion, and for many years this was one of the noted gardens of North Carolina. A high brick [actually stone] retaining wall topped by a magnificent hedge of English boxwood separates the garden from the street, and behind this hedge grow iris and tulips, heartsease and forget-me-nots, violets and roses. Because she loved and tended it, to this day it is called "Aunt Lucy's garden."

In 1886, after the death of his wife and sister, Mr. Lewis sold the place to his nephew, John Lewis Irvine. Today it is the home of his two daughters, Miss Anne Irvine and Mrs. N. R. Claytor.

Henderson, Archibald. Old Homes and Gardens of North Carolina. Photographs by Bayard Wootten. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1939.

Caswell County Tobacco Season 1929

Tobacco Curing Begins: 1929

A mighty slashing of the superlative bright leaf is on in every section of Caswell this week. In every nook and corner of the county the fires are brightly burning under thousands of barns, and from reports coming in the leaf is being dried in matchless beauty.

While just a little too soon to correctly appraise the 1929 crop, it is indicated that the crop will be a good one, and the dried leaf will fill the demands of the buying eye.

The rain which fell all over the county last week came at a most opportune time, producing a blanket of moisture and just the right sort of a condition to hurry on the graining and maturing period.

Farmers believe, should the rains run true for the next few weeks and the nights grow a little colder, that you may watch out for Caswell to keep alive its reputation of years for the growing of the ultimate leaf.

In the Country Line hills many barns of the matchless Caswell county cutter have been dried, while the news comes from the Pea Ridge section that the Caswell county sunburst wrappers are likely to abound. Excellent cures have been reported from the Gentleman's Ridge section, the high grounds around Pelham, from Semora and other bright areas.

The crop, while likely to be below normal in poundage, is believed will be one of the most saleable in years. Next week the real slashing will be on and it is generally believed that the cures will prove satisfactory.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia), 14 August 1929, Wednesday, Page 3.