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.

Thursday, January 09, 2014


You probably do not know that my family bought Woodside in the early 1980's and then asked ourselves "What will we do with it?" A friend said, "You may know as much about what you will do with it as if my dog would catch the cars he loves to chase. What would he do with the car?" We really hadn't give thought to that. When we moved to Yanceyville, my husband's mother told us: "My grandfather Richmond was born in Caswell County. I want you to find the Richmond home where he was born." This was the first Richmond home posted we found, but we didn't know whether it was the right one. A few days later it was posted "For Sale" and my husband was anxious not to miss purchasing it in case it was his Richmond family home place. He called me and said, "I'm going to buy it! I can get it for $16,000. That's a good buy!" SO, We bought it! We sold it ca. 1994 and I won't get into what we spent, but it wasn't cheap!

"Changing America" Exhibition: Caswell County, North Carolina

"Changing America" -- New Traveling Exhibition Tells a Story of Liberty and the American Experience

The Caswell County Historical Association (CCHA) presents - "Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863, and the March on Washington, 1963," a traveling exhibition opening at the Yanceyville (North Carolina) Town Hall on January 31, 2014, examines the relationship between two great people's movements that resulted in the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the March on Washington in 1963. Both grew out of decades of bold actions, resistance, organization, and vision. One hundred years separate them, yet they are linked in a larger story of liberty and the American experience - one that has had a profound impact on the generations that followed.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dr. William Marion Withers, M.D. (1829-1887)

Dr. William Marion Withers, M.D. (1829-1887)

The Richmond Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia)
1 February 1887

Death of Dr. Withers

Dr. William M. Withers died at his residence, at the northwest corner of First and Cary streets, at 3 P. M. yesterday, in the fifty-eighth year of his age. He had been sick for a week and under medical treatment, but it was not until Sunday that serious apprehensions were aroused. His disease was probably peritonitis.

The deceased was born in Caswell county, North Carolina, and was prepared for the practice of medicine at a college in New York. He married Miss Lee, of Campbell, and settled in that county for the pursuit of his profession, in which he was very successful. He possessed high qualifications; was a man of very pleasing manners, and was kind and helpful to those with whom he came in contact. He, however, gave up his chosen profession, and accepted the general agency of the North American Insurance Company, for which he secured an immense amount of business, and which afforded him a rich income until the panic of 1873. He was also for some years a member of the firm of Wilkinson & Withers, who did an extensive clothing business in Stearns's Block. Later on he was engaged in a number of enterprises, among others in the sale of a disinfectant, which was meeting with considerable success.

Branson's Business Directory 1867-1868

Welcome to Caswell County, North Carolina

Branson's North Carolina Business Directory (1867-1868)

Population in 1860........16,215
County Seat........Yanceyville

County Officers
Attorney, E. W. Withers [Although thought to have moved to Danville, Virginia, in 1876, this probably is lawyer Elijah Benton Withers.]
Clerk County Court, H. F. Brandon
Clerk Superior Court, James A. Henderson
Chairman County Court, James K. Lea
Clerk and Master in Equity, Thos. A. Donoho
Coroner, ____________
Register [of Deeds], Levi C. Page
Sheriff, John C. Griffith
Surveyor, Samuel L. Venable
Standard Keeper, _________
Trustee, Thomas D. Johnson
Deputy Sheriffs, John L. Stotom and John W. Duke