Monday, December 11, 2006
The Civilian Conservation Corps (the "CCC") was part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal effort to fight unemployment during the Depression and help conserve natural resources. The bill creating the CCC was titled "An Act for the Relief of Unemployment Through the Performance of Useful Public Work and for Other Purposes" (Public Act No. 5, 73rd Congress). This law was adopted by a Congress called into emergency session by the newly elected President in March 1933. FDR signed the legislation into law on March 31, 1933. He then established by Executive Order 6101 (5 April 1933) the Emergency Conservation Work agency, appointed a Director, and provided $10 million in funding. The first CCC member enlisted on April 7, 1933.
The U. S. Army was given the job of moving the men from induction centers to the newly established camps, with assistance provided by the Coast Guard, U. S. Navy, and Marine Corps as needed.
The Army (War Department) was not the only organization to display extraordinary efforts in meeting the demands of this emergency. The Departments of Agriculture and Interior were responsible for planning and organizing work to be performed in every state of the union. The Department of Labor, through its state and local relief offices, was responsible for the selection and enrollment of applicants. All four agencies performed their minor miracles in coordination with a National Director of Emergency Conservation Work, Robert Fechner, a union vice-president, personally picked by FDR and appointed in accordance with Executive Order 6101 mentioned above.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
James McConnell Smith (1787-1856)
James McConnell Smith was born 14 June 1787. The site of his birth was a log cabin near the confluence of the Swannanoa and French Broad Rivers, very near what was to become the City of Asheville in Buncombe County, North Carolina. His father is Colonel Daniel Smith (1757-1824), his mother Mary McConnell Davidson (1760-1842).
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
His parents were Larkin Tucker Stallings (born Nov 1861) and Aurora Brooks (born November 1865). His father was a bank teller in Macon and later a corporate treasurer in Atlanta, his mother a housemaker who introduced Laurence to the world of literature. Laurence had two siblings, both older: George Brooks Stallings (born March 1890); and Ruth Stallings (born December 1892). His paternal grandfather was the Reverend Jesse Stallings of Stallings, South Carolina.
Laurence graduated from Gresham High School (Macon, Georgia) in 1911, worked for the Royal Insurance Company of Atlanta, then set out in the fall of 1912 for Wake Forest College in North Carolina, where financial aid was provided by a Baptist minister friend of Larkin Stallings, Reverend John E. White. Wake Forest is a Baptist institution. At Wake Forest Stallings became editor of the campus literary magazine Old Gold & Black. In 1915 Laurence Stallings went to Atlanta as a reporter for the Journal, but returned to Wake Forest College in 1916 to graduate. After World War I he earned an MS degree from Georgetown University.
On March 8, 1919, Laurence Tucker Stallings, married Helen Purefoy Poteat, the daughter of Dr. William Louis Poteat. The Stallings had two daughters: Sylvia Stallings (born 1926); and Diana Poteat Stallings (born 1931).
Laurence Stallings's father-in-law, Dr. William Louis Poteat, was born in Caswell County, North Carolina, October 20, 1856. He was President of Wake Forest College from 1905 until 1927. The college then was located near Raleigh, North Carolina (not in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as Wake Forest University is today).
Monday, December 04, 2006
After many attempts, in 1878 Milton finally obtained railway service. On March 2, 1876, the Virginia assembly incorporated the Milton and Sutherlin Narrow-Gauge Railroad Company, and a year later the North Carolina general assembly followed suit.
The result was a narrow-gauge railroad seven miles long from Milton to Sutherlin Station on the Richmond and Danville Railroad in Virginia.
Convict labor was hired from both Virginia and North Carolina for use in constructing the roadbed, and the stone pillars to carry the tracks across Country Line Creek and the Dan River. The Town of Milton subscribed to stock in the enterprise, and the one engine owned by the company began running in 1878. It primarily was a freight line but some passengers were also carried. Initially, three round trips were made each day.
The Richmond and Danville acquired control of the Milton and Sutherin in 1882 and operated it until 1894, when the Southern Railway Company leased the larger line and also operated the Milton and Sutherlin. The opening of the regular-gauge Atlantic and Danville Railway in 1890 into Danville, through Semora, Milton, and Blanch in Caswell County cut into the revenue of the Milton and Sutherlin route so deeply that its operation by the Southern ceased on September 6, 1894. It was returned to the Milton and Sutherlin Railroad Company and a mortgage of 1880 was was foreclosed; the property of the line was sold on November 23, 1896, and the rails soon afterwards were taken up.
L. M. Warlick purchased all the stock of the Milton and Sutherlin, foreclosed on the mortgage, and had all the assets sold November 23, 1896. Warlick, from Winston (became Winston-Salem) purchased these assets for $6,000 and proceeded to tear up the rails. The right of way purportedly became a public road.
See: Powell, William S. When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977. Durham: Moore Publishing Company, 1977, pp. 505-506.
Photograph courtesy the Danville Historical Society and Mark Cornelius. Click on photograph for a larger image.
For a history of the legal steps taken to create and eventually discontinue the Milton & Sutherlin Narrow Gauge Railroad Company see: Harrison, Fairfax. A History of the Legal Development of the Railroad System of Southern Railway Company. Washington, D.C.: The Transportation Library, 1901: 252-255. Print.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Henry Hines Hatchett (1908-1971)
Henry Hines Hatchett was born February 10, 1908, on a farm near Yanceyville in Caswell County, North Carolina, where the land had been in the family by grant from King George II since before the Revolutionary War. The son of William Wallace Hatchett and Bett Siddle, "Hines," as he was always called, attended local schools along with his brothers William Siddle Hatchett, Wilson Wallace Hatchett, Paul Bolden Hatchett and sister Marion Elizabeth Hatchett. Graduating from Bartlett Yancey High School as valedictorian of his class, Hines immediately went to work as a newspaper reporter in Winston-Salem and Asheville, North Carolina, later moving to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was there that he met and married Ruth Pauline Renninger, a young schoolteacher, and became manager of Radio Station WGAL.
After moving to New York in 1936, Hines was account executive for several radio representative companies, better known in the trade as radio and newspaper reps. From 1941 through 1949, Mr. Hatchett was first with John H. Perry and Associates then on to John E. Pearson Co. as manager. During this period, Mrs. Hatchett took a job as a researcher of material for the "Professor Quiz" radio program, the first nationally popular quiz show.
The year 1949 saw the turning point in Mr. Hatchett's career when he invented and patented the "Boardmaster," a visual control board which he developed during his years with radio advertising. The moveable cards proved to be so valuable in updating information that could be seen at a glance that Hatchett began to have requests for similar boards from his colleagues. He and Mrs. Hatchett began to handle the manufacture and marketing of the product from the basement of their New York residence. As president and owner, Hines Hatchett devoted the next 10 years of his life to building up the company's reputation. It was found that "Boardmaster" could be adapted to the needs of many different companies and organizations -- even colleges. Gradually an international mail-order business developed and the gross sales could total more than six figures annually.
During these busy New York years, Mr. and Mrs. Hatchett had been planning for "a quiet place in the country." At the same time, Mr. Hatchett wanted to share his good fortune with his native county. Both objectives were accomplished in 1960 when they moved their business and themselves to Caswell. The company was installed in an already-existing brick building in Yanceyville, while their home, located on Hatchett farm land near Yanceyville on the Danville highway, was now ready for occupancy after having been two years in the building. Intended as a fitting repository for the couple's inherited and collected antique furniture, the two-story with basement Williamsburg-design home was planned and executed with careful attention to detail and harmonious arrangement.
After his return to Caswell County, Hines Hatchett was very active in Boy Scouting, served as president of the Rotarians, was a member of the Caswell County Historical Association, and took part in other efforts for the betterment of the County. Hines and Pauline and the Hatchett brothers, Siddle, Paule and Wilson, contributed generously to the complete renovation of Purley Methodist Church where the family has a long history of membership.
On October 3, 1971, Hines Hatchett died after eighteen months of failing health. His business, "Graphic Systems," has been called his legacy to Caswell County. Now operated by Pauline Hatchett and the long-term General Manager Vernon Moore, Mr. Hatchett's invention continues to bring business to the county and benefit to mankind.
Submitted by his wife, Pauline Hatchett, in loving memory.
Source: The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 642 ("Hines Hatchett" by Pauline Hatchett)
"Hines Hatchett Road" in the Caswell County community of Covington (between Yanceyville and Purley) was named for Henry Hines Hatchett.
What was the basis for the middle name "Hines"? Back numerous generations on both his paternal and maternal ancestral lines there is no evidence of a Hines. However, Henry Hines Hatchett did have a second cousin who married a Hines. This was Lucy Catherine Hatchett who in 1882 married William Ludolphus Hines of Danville, Virginia.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
An Inventory of Historic Architecture: Caswell County, North Carolina, Ruth Little-Stokes (1979) at 34 and 104:
The exterior of the Holderness-Paschall-Page House (Fig. 36), Yanceyville vicinity (No. 109) is representative of the entire Caswell County Boom Era group, but the flanking one-story side wings with smaller versions of the entrance porch give the house more monumentality than the typical example. This house represents the highest development of the Greek Revival style farmhouse in Caswell.
Photo 109. Holderness House. ca. 1851. Handsome Boom Era Greek Revival sytle house with hip roof, exterior end brick chimneys, pedimented Doric entrance porch. Unusually distinguished example due to the flanking one-story wings, each with a smaller version of the central entrance porch. The voluptuous mantels and stair rail are stylistically attributed to famed local cabinetmaker Tom Day. The unknown archtect who built this house is said to have also built the front block of the nearby Bartlett Yancey House.Referring to the 10 December 2006 CCHA Historic Homes of Yanceyville tour, the Greensboro News-Record newspaper made the following observations:
One of the tour homes will be the Holderness House on U.S. 158 West, a Greek Revival structure featuring a porch with Doric columns. According to an association press release, the house's "voluptuous mantels and stair rail'' may have been the work of Thomas Day, a now revered 19th black furniture maker who lived in the small Caswell town of Milton. The association says the Holderness Home "represents the ancestral roots of the prominent Greensboro Holderness family, and over the years with other old Caswell County families." The Holderness family, which also has roots in historic Tarboro in eastern North Carolina, included the late Howard Holderness of Greensboro, president of what's now Jefferson-Pilot Corp. and his wife, Anilein Holderness, an early member of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. Also, Willie Holderness was a prominent Greensboro attorney.Source: Greensboro News-Record, 17 November 2006.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The Caswell County Historical Association will present a medley of private homes and public buildings in its Sunday, December 10, 2006, tour (1:00 - 6:00 PM) . Except for the Holderness House (see below) all buildings are in the Yanceyville Historic District. The tour will end with a program of traditional Christmas Carols presented by the new community group, Singers of Hope, in the sanctuary of the Yanceyville Presbyterian Church, and refreshments will be served after the singing.
Tickets are $12.00 in advance and may be purchased at the Richmond-Miles History Museum or the Chamber of Commerce office in the Gatewood House on the Court Square in Yanceyville, North Carolina.
They also may be ordered from CCHA, Box 278, Yanceyville, NC 27379 by sending a check or Postal Money Order, or online from the CCHA Website and charged to PayPal or a major credit card.
Tickets will be mailed until December 3, 2006. After then they may be picked up at the Richmond-Miles History Museum on the day of the tour. Ticket prices on the day of the tour will be $15.00 and will be available at the Museum, the Holderness House, and the Yanceyville Presbyterian Church.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
George ("Chicken George") Lea
"Chicken" George, made famous in the Alex Haley novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family (1976), purportedly was born in Caswell County, North Carolina, the illegitimate son of slaveowner Tom Lea and his female slave Kizzy Kinte Waller, daughter of Kunta (Toby) Kinte and his wife Bell. For a synopsis of the novel go to Roots. Above is a photograph of Alex Haley.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Caswell County Heritage Day Cookbook
This wonderful 65-page cookbook apparently was created in connection with (or in anticipation of) the 200th anniversary of Caswell County's founding. While out-of-print, it occasionally can be found in used-book stores and at online auctions (such as EBay).
Table of Contents
A Brief Look at Caswell County
Food Preparation Terms
Pickles and Relishes
The book contains an interesting rustic sketch of the historic Caswell County Courthouse.
Monday, November 13, 2006
The Thomas Day chair pictured above will be auctioned this Saturday, November 18, 2006, by Winstead's Auction Company in Yanceyville, North Carolina. Click on the photograph for a larger image.
Looking for a way to keep our Caswell County heirlooms at home? Why not purchase this chair and donate it to the CCHA's Richmond-Miles History Museum?
For more on this famous Caswell County craftsman go to Thomas Day.
What connection could Hoagy Carmichael (1899-1981) possibly have to Caswell County, North Carolina? You might be surprised. Click on the photograph above for a larger image.
The following is based upon The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 143 (Article #108 "The Duncan Carmichael Family" by John Wesley Carmichael), and official Carmichael Family websites. References are compiled at the end of this article.
Duncan Carmichael (born in Scotland) came to Virginia in 1763, bringing with him his two sons, Duncan Carmichael, Jr. (born 1752) and Archibald Carmichael (born 1754). It generally is believed that Duncan Carmichael, Jr., was the ancestor of the Carmichael line in Caswell County. Note, however that some Carmichael researchers claim that Archibald Carmichael was the head of the Caswell County Carmichael family.
Duncan Carmichael, Sr., was on the tax list in Cumberland Parish, Lunenerg County, Virginia, for the year 1764. Duncan Carmichael, Jr., was a Revolutionary War soldier. He enlisted in Caswell County on May 15, 1781, in Dixon's Company 10th Regiment in the Continental Line. He was a private and a blacksmith, and fought in the battle of 96 South Carolina and in the Battle of Eutah Spring's, South Carolina. He left the service on May 28, 1782.
Duncan Carmichael, Jr., drew a pension beginning October 1819 of eight dollars per month. His pension is listed in the National Archives at Washington, D.C. Having lost his discharge papers, he had trouble proving that he had been in the Revolutionary Army. Bartlett Yancey, a native son of Caswell County, a teacher, a lawyer, and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, gave a sworn statement that neighbors where he grew up talked of Duncan Carmichael's Revolutionary Wary service and that he had no doubt it was true.
Duncan Carmichael, Jr.'s obituary was in the Western Carolinian (newspaper) published in Salisbury on August 2, 1834. He died at his home in Stokes County near Germanton, North Carolina, at the age of 82. He had a land grant in Caswell County in 1778 on the North Carolina-Virginia state line in the St. Lawrence District. He lived there and on the Hico River nearby until 1788 when he moved to the St. David's District in Caswell County (the Locust Hill Community). He lived there until 1812 when he moved to Stokes County, North Carolina (near Germanton).
The brother of Duncan Carmichael, Archibald Carmichael married Elizabeth Nix (or Hix). She was born 1755 in Scotland. While they may have had more than one child, a son is known, Richard Carmichael. Whether this son, Richard Carmichael, was born in Virginia, Caswell County, or after the Carmichael family had move to the Stokes/Surry County, North Carolina, area is not clear. However, it does appear that Richard Carmichael married a Mary Graves after the family moved to Stokes/Surry County. Both parents of Richard Carmichael, Archibald and Elizabeth died in Stokes/Surry County, North Carolina.
Richard Carmichael and Mary Graves had a son named Peter Carmichael, who married Lydia Teague (also from Stokes County, North Carolina). In September 1829 a group of Carmichaels, Graves, Teagues, Holders,Volcks, and other related or unrelated families (Penningtons, Longs, Oliphants, Kirks and others) moved to Greene and Monroe Counties, Indiana. Richard Carmichael and wife Mary Graves settled in Greene County, Indiana. Richard was a hard-shelled Baptist and eventually was buried in Clinton, Indiana, (near Kokomo) at Veneman Cemetery and Mary was buried in Monroe County in Tague Cemetery. His son Peter had a meatpacking business and a partner (J. Urmey). Peter was the treasurer of his Mason's Lodge when he died. Both are buried at Clover Hill Cemetery, Monroe County, Indiana.
Peter Carmichael and Lydia Teague had a son, Michael Taylor Carmichael (born 1845, died 1906, Monroe County, Indiana). "Grandpa Taylor," as he was known, married Laura Emma Campbell. Laura Emma died in Indianapolis in 1949.
We are getting close.
Michael Taylor Carmichael and his wife Laura Emma Campbell had a son named Howard Clyde Carmichael, born 1875. This Howard Clyde Carmichael (1875-1943) married one Lida Mary Robison. The had four children, the best known of whom is:
Here is a simpler ancestral outline:
1. Duncan Carmichael (born in Scotland)
2. Archibald Carmichael (brother to Duncan Carmichael, Jr.) m. Elizabeth Nix
3. Richard Carmichael m. Mary Graves
4. Peter Carmichael m. Lydia Teague
5. Michael Taylor Carmichael m. Laura Emma Campbell
6. Howard Clyde Carmichael m. Lida Mary Robison
7. Hoagland Howard (Hoagy) Carmichael m. Ruth Meinardi
According to an article on page A24, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 9, 1999, titled "Carmichael's Centenary Celebrations", by Tom Nolan:
"Seventy years ago, Hoagland Howard Carmichael, from Bloomington, Ind., found a melody that enchanted the world...The melody was titled 'Star Dust' (later 'Stardust'), and is arguably the most recorded popular song of all time, with well over 2,000 versions...Hoagy Carmichael, in a career that spanned two or three generations, wrote more than 600 other melodies, some nearly as well known as 'Stardust': 'Georgia on My Mind,' 'Skylark,' 'Up a Lazy River,' 'Rockin' Chair,' 'Baltimore Oriole,' 'Heart and Soul,' 'The Nearness of You.'...Hoagy Carmichael, with his low-key informality and his idiosyncratic vocal style, had success not only as a composer and a recording artist, but also as a film actor, radio and television performer, and memoir writer. But it was the songs this onetime lawyer and untrained musician wrote that mattered most to him..."Star Dust by Hoagy Carmichael (1927) [click on the photograph for a larger image].
Of more than passing interest is the fact that one Mary Graves was the great great grandmother of Hoagy Carmichael. Mary Graves was the daughter of Peter Graves of Surry County, North Carolina, generally believed to be a direct descendant of Captain Thomas Graves of Virginia from whom the Graves family of Caswell County purportedly descend. For more go to the Graves Family Association Website. Note, however, that recent DNA studies have caused major shifts in the Captain Thomas Graves genealogies.
The Hoagy Carmichael Collection
The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 143 (Article #108 "The Duncan Carmichael Family" by John Wesley Carmichael)
Graves Family Association
One of the most notorious Scalawags was a fellow named George William Swepson (1819-1883). Born in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, he had moved to Caswell County, North Carolina, by 1842 and was listed in the 1850 United States Census (Caswell County) as a farmer with real estate worth $9,000. By the time of the next census in 1860, Swepson was living in Alamance County, North Carolina, still listed as a farmer, but now with $4,500 in real estate and $65,000 in personal property. Before his death in 1883, Swepson had moved to Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, and described himself as in "manufacturing."
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Above is a photograph of Woodfern, the home of William B. Swan (1812-1891) in Pelham, Caswell County, North Carolina. Click on the photograph for a larger image. A map shows the location of the house in the northwest corner of Caswell County.
William B. Swann married Elizabeth A. Shelton (1816-1890) in August 1846. The couple donated the land on which the Pelham United Methodist Church was built in 1871.
The brother of Elizabeth A. Shelton, William C. Shelton, maintained a journal during the period 1850-1852. For more on this go to William C. Shelton.
Do you have information about the Woodfern Plantation, the Woodfern house, William B. Swann or his relatives? If so, please share them by leaving a comment here, contacting the CCHA, or by posting a message to the CCHA/CCGW Message Board.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Photograph Identification Project Entry #4 (Solution)
On 28 June 2006, the CCHA posted the above photograph as Photograph Identification Project Entry #4 and asked for help identifying the children. Click on the photograph for a larger image.
Fortunately, one viewer of the image recalled that it had been featured in the "Out of the Past" section of The Caswell Messenger (Thursday, April 12, 1984), with the following caption:
School days in 1923 at Jones School included a school portrait. This photo comes from W. J. "Buck" Jones, who is standing at the far left of the second row. In the first row, from left, are Mary Low [Lou?] Shelton Harrelson; Fielding Hodges, deceased; Rebecca Smith; T. C. Jones, deceased; and Margaret Shelton. Second row: W. J. "Buck" Jones; Billy Jones, deceased; Morris Smith; Roy Jones, deceased; and Cecil Jones, deceased; Third row: Jimmy Hodges, Clyde Smith; and Pauline J. Jones. Fourth row: Jack Thompson; Naomi Jones, deceased; and Jessie Thompson, deceased; Nellie Jones Hodges; Joe Nunn Thompson; Herman Hodges; Mary E. Hodges Harrelson; and Clem B. Shelton, deceased.The CCHA had identified this school as Cobb, but, based upon the above, and input from others it definitely was the one-room Jones School that was located on the farm of George Thomas Hodges (1871-1939). The school was on the Hodges Dairy Road a quarter mile east of George T. Hodges's store and across the road from the Hodges Home. The George Hodges-Thomas Smith House is featured on page 99 (Photo 100) of An Inventory of Historic Architecture: Caswell County, North Carolina, Ruth Little-Stokes (1979). The school closed in 1930, and students were bussed to Cobb Memorial School that fall. The old one-room school building was demolished in the 1980's.
This school has been confused with the Jones School for black students that was located at the corner of Mineral Springs Road and Allison/White House Road. After desegregation this black Jones School was renamed Duncan School.
Also note that the year 1923 stated in the newspaper article probably is incorrect. This photograph most likely was taken a few years later. Also, some of the identifications in the newspaper require correction or amplification.
Here is a list of the names:
1. Mary Lou Shelton Harrelson, daughter of George H. and Elizabeth Nethery Shelton. She married Malcolm Harrelson and was the sister of Clem (#21 below, her older brother) and Margaret (#5 below). The 1920 US Census (Locust Hill, Caswell County) has entries for this family.
2. Fielding Hodges. This is the Fielding Jones Hodges who married Dorothy McKinney, but he would have been only four years in 1923, having been born 12 June 1919. This is one of the bases for concluding that the photograph was taken later than 1923. His parents were George Thomas Hodges and Mary Elizabeth Shelton. He was the brother of James Armistead Hodges (#11 below), Herman Hodges (#19 below), and Mary Evelyn Hodges (#20 below). The school was on their father's farm.
3. Rebecca Smith. The 1920 US Census (Locust Hill, Caswell County) shows William P. (age 32) and Annie Smith (age 30) with the following children: Eva (12); Clyde (5), Maurice (3); and Rebecca (six months). However, Smith family members are a bit troubled here. Notwithstanding the census information, they suggest that this Rebecca (#3), Morris (#8 below), and Clyde (#12 below) were the children of Felix Smith. The uncertainty is compounded by the absence in the photograph of the children of Thomas and Lottie Smith (Bertie, Wilbur, Steve, and Wesley), who lived in the community and were of the right age to attend the Jones School. Thus, it is possible that these three children have bee misidentified.
4. T. C. Jones. This is Thadeus Cornelius Jones II, the son of Paul Hosier Jones and Lemma Sue Fowlkes. He was born 14 September 1919 and died 17 March 1937. He is the brother of W. J. "Buck" Jones (#6 below) and never married. His birth year gives further support to the date of this photograph being later than 1923.
5. Margaret Shelton. She is the twin sister of Mary Lou Shelton (#1 above) and a sister of Clem Shelton (#21 below, her older brother). She never married. The 1920 US Censns (Locust Hill, Caswell County) shows a Magaret L. Shelton, age two, as the daughter of G. H. and Elizabeth Shelton.
6. W. J. "Buck" Jones. This is William Joseph (Buck) Jones, son of Paul Hosier Jones and Lemma Sue Fowlkes, and older brother of Thadeus Cornelius Jones II listed above. Buck Jones was born 5 July 1915 and died 8 July 2001. He married Mary Vivian Hodges 25 December 1937.
7. Billy Jones. This is Billie Webster Jones (1917-1970), son of Walter Raleigh Jones and Dora Belle Siddle. He was a first cousin of T. C. Jones and Buck Jones, listed above. He married Ann Daniel, who graduated from Cobb Memorial High School in 1941.
8. Morris Smith. The 1920 US Census (Locust Hill, Caswell County) shows William P. and Annie Smith with the following children: Eva (12); Clyde (5), Maurice (3); and Rebecca (six months). See the comments under Rebecca Smith (#3 above). This person may be mis-identified.
9. Roy Jones. This is Harry Leroy (Roy) Jones who married Mary C. Gunn (1916-2003). He was the son of Robert Leroy and Ruth Hatchett Jones and a brother of Cecil Jones (#10 below). His wife, Mary C. Gunn, was a sister of Thomas Earl (Tommy) Gunn, who married Anna Thelma Thompson, whose sister, Jessie Thompson, is listed below.
10. Cecil Jones. This is Cecil Owen Jones (1917-1943), son of Robert Leroy Jones and Ruth Hatchett. Thus, he is was a brother of Roy Jones (#9 above) and was killed in World War II.
11. Jimmy Hodges. This is James Armistead Hodges who married Nellie Jones (#17 below). He is the son of George Thomas Hodges and Mary Elizabeth Shelton and the brother of Fielding Hodges (#2 above), Herman Hodges (#19 below), and Mary Evelyn Hodges (#20 below). Note that the Jones School was located on the farm of George Thomas Hodges.
12. Clyde Smith. The 1920 US Census (Locust Hill, Caswell County) shows William P. and Annie Smith with the following children: Eva (12); Clyde (5), Maurice (3); and Rebecca (six months). However, see the comments above associated with Rececca Smith (#3).
13. Pauline J. Jones. She is Mary Pauline Jones (1917-1998), the daughter of Paul Hosier Jones and Lemma Sue Fowlkes. She would be the sister of Buck Jones and T. C. Jones, listed above. She married John M. Jones (no relation) of Reidsville, North Carolina.
14. Jack Thompson. He is the son of Joseph Hilton and Jennie Bell Nunn Thompson and the brother of Jessie Thompson (#17 below) and Joe Nunn Thompson (#18 below).
15. Naomi Jones. She is Naomi Jones (1911-1943) who was a daughter of Robert Henry Jones and Caroline Wimbish Bennett and a sister of Laura Mae Jones, who married Julius Spencer Watlington (owned and operated Watlington's on the Square in Yanceyville). She also is a sister of Nellie Jones Hodges (#17 below). Naomi Jones never married.
16. Jessie Thompson. This is Jessie Thompson, daughter of Joseph Hilton and Jennie Bell Nunn Thompson and the sister of Jack Thompson (#14 above) and Joe Nunn Thompson (#18 below).
17. Nellie Jones Hodges. She is Nellie Althea Jones, born 1913, who married James Armistead (Jimmy) Hodges, Sr. (#11 above). James A. Hodges, Sr. and Nellie Althea Jones were the parents of James A. Hodges, Jr., Alvis Hodges, Ann Hodges, and Mary Nell Hodges.
18. Joe Nunn Thompson. This Joseph Nunn Thompson (born 1914), who married Hattie Bertha Hodges. He was a son of Joseph Hilton Thompson and Jennie Bell Nunn and a brother of Jack Thompson (#14 above), Jessie Ethel Thompson (#16 above), Jennie Bell Thompson, and Anna Thelma Thompson.
19. Herman Hodges. He is George Herman Hodges (1910-1995), who married Margaret Watlington, and was the son of George Thomas Hodges and Mary Elizabeth Shelton, thus being a brother of Fielding Jones Hodges (#2 above), James Armistead Hodges, Sr. (#11 above), and Mary Evelyn (#20 below).
20. Mary E. Hodges Harrelson. This is Mary Evelyn Hodges (born 1915), who married Hiram Turner (Buster) Harrelson. She was a daughter of George Thomas Hodges and Mary Elizabeth Shelton, thus being a sister of Fielding Jones Hodges (#2 above), James Armistead Hodges, Sr. (#11 above), and George Herman Hodges and George Herman Hodges (#19 above).
21. Clem B. Shelton. This is Clem Bryant Shelton, Sr., who married Annie Hodges Smith. He is the brother of Mary Lou Shelton (#1 above) and Margaret L. Shelton (#5 above).
More about these people and their familes can be found at the Caswell County Family Tree.
Do you have information to share? If so, please leave a comment here, email the CCHA, or post a message to the CCHA/CCGW Message Board.
Courtesy The Caswell Messenger
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Do you know where this marker is erected? Do you understand the special relationship between Caswell County and several southern Virginia counties? Pittslyvania? Halifax?
Your attention is called to a book that remains in print: The History of Pittsylvania County Virginia, Maud Carter Clement (1988). See Pittsylvania Historical Society
Here is the marker for the one of the Virginia counties:
Pittsylvania Historical Society
Pittsylvania County GenWeb
Danville Historical Society
Halifax County Historical Markers
Monday, October 30, 2006
Thomas Lanier Williams was born on March 26, 1911, in Columbus, Mississippi. His father, Cornelius Coffin Williams, was a shoe salesman who spent a great deal of his time away from the family. Williams had one older sister and one younger brother. They spent much of their childhood in the home of their maternal grandfather who was an Episcopal minister. In 1927, Williams got his first taste of literary acclaim when he placed third in a national essay contest sponsored by The Smart Set magazine. The essay was entitled "Can a Good Wife Be a Good Sport?"
In 1939, Williams moved to New Orleans and formally adopted his college nickname "Tennessee" - which was the state of his father's birth. Tennessee Williams, considered one of America's greatest playwrights, drew heavily on his family experiences in his writings. When "The Glass Menagerie" hit Broadway in 1945, it not only changed Tennessee Williams' life, it revolutionized American theater. "A Streetcar Named Desire," "The Night of the Iguana" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" are among his other masterpieces. Among his many awards, Williams won two Pulitzer Prizes and four New York Drama Critics Circle Awards.
In addition to twenty-five full length plays, Williams produced dozens of short plays and screenplays, two novels, a novella, sixty short stories, over one hundred poems, and an autobiography. His works have been translated into at least twenty-seven languages, and countless productions of his work have been staged around the world.
Okay, you have read this far and undoubtedly have at least wondered why this article on playwright Tennessee Williams has been posted to the Caswell County Historical Association Weblog. What connection could Tennessee Williams possibly have to Caswell County? The CCHA is glad that you asked.
Take a close look at the gravestone fragments shown below. Click on the photographs for a larger image, which should allow you to read the gravestone inscription. You must look at several of them to piece together the entire script:
These gravestone pieces not only were found in Caswell County, they were in Yanceyville. Origninally believed to have been on the property of Giles and Gertie Jones (the old Dr. Allen Gunn house property), they were found on the grounds of Clarendon Hall, which is about as down-town Yanceyville as an address can be. Here is a photograph of Clarendon Hall:
So, what do all these gravestone fragments tell us?
Here is the best guess at the gravestone inscription:
"Sacred To The Memory of Mrs. Sarah Williams wife of the late Robert Williams, Esq. of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, who was born . . . and died in Caswell County, North Carolina October 1814."
These gravestones are from the grave of Sarah Lanier (1748-1814). In 1774, she married Robert Williams (1744-1790). She was born in Lunenburg County, Virginia. He was born in Hanover County, Virginia. Source: Williams Family Website.
His parents were Nathaniel Williams and Elizabeth Washington. His brother was Joseph Williams (1748-1827), who married Rebecca Lanier (1757-1823), sister of Sarah Lanier. And, down through the generations this Joseph Williams was the direct ancestor of playwright Tennessee Williams. Here is the complete ancestral outline:
Joseph Williams m. Rebecca Lanier
John Williams m. Melinda White
John Williams m. Rhoda Campbell Morgan
Thomas Lanier Williams II m. Isabel Coffin
Cornelius Coffin Williams m. Edwina Dakin
Thomas Lanier Williams (better known as Tennessee Williams)
Well, the Caswell County connection to Tennessee Williams is a bit of a stretch. Tennesse Williams is the third great-grand nephew of the husband of the person (Sarah Lanier) who is buried in Yanceyville. At least her gravestone is there.
While not directly connected to Tennessee Williams, the following probably is more relevant for those researching the Williams family of Virginia and North Carolina:
Robert Williams, b. 4 Aug 1744, Hanover Co., Va, d. 1790. Lawyer and as Commonwealth Attorney for Pittsylvania and Henry Counties of Virginia. Married 10 Oct 1774 Orange/Granville Co., NC to Sarah Lanier Williams, b. 12 Dec 1748, Lunenburg Co., Va, d. aft 1804. Sarah Lanier Williams was d/o dau. of Thos. and Eliz. Hicks Lanier, widow of Robert's cousin, Joseph Williams, s/o Daniel Williams and Ursula Henderson. Resided near Sandy Creek of Bannister River, Pittsylvania County, Virginia. According to one source (Fran Laird), Robert and Sarah had five children (names not known at this time). Source: Williams Family Website
There are two Robert Williams' that are uncle and nephew that keep getting confused. The uncle Robert Williams that married to Sarah Lanier died in 1790. He was not the Robert Williams that was the North Carolina Congressman 1797-1803 (and appointed by President Jefferson to be Governor of Mississippi Territory)--this was his nephew, brother of John. See Williams Family Website.
According to The History of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, Maud Carter Clement (1929) at 139:
Robert Williams and his brother Colonel Joseph Williams settled in North Carolina prior to the Revolution, and married sisters, Sarah and Rebecca Lanier, daughters of Thomas Lanier, an early justice of Lunenburg County, who later moved to North Carolina. Sarah Lanier and Robert Williams were married October 10, 1774, and moved to Pittsylvania County to live, settling near Sandy Creek of Banister River. Here he practiced his profession of law and served as commonwealth attorney for both Pittsylvania and Henry Counties. He died in 1790, and the inventory of his estate showed much silver, books, and elegance of living; he left no will but in 1799 there was a division of his estate.
They (Robert Williams and Sarah Lanier Williams) "moved to Pittsylvania County to live, settling near Sandy Creek of Banister River. Here he practiced his profession of law and served as commonwealth attorney for both Pittsylvania and Henry Counties. He died in 1790, . . . ."
Also interesting is the following with respect to the formation of Lunenburg County, Virginia, and the part that Thomas Lanier (father of Sarah Lanier Williams) played in the early days of that county:
The area that today is Pittsylvania County, Virginia, initially was part of a very large county named Brunswick. However, in February 1745 Brunswick County was subdivided to create Lunenburg County, Virginia. A court for the new county was organized and held on 5 May 1745 when eleven gentlemen took the oath of justice of the peace. Thomas Lanier was one of these men.
Thomas Lanier was the son of Nicholas Lanier of Brunswick County, Virginia and grandson of John Lanier, the emigrant, whose will was proven in Prince George County, Virginia 1717, naming sons John, Sampson, Robert, and Nicholas. Thomas Lanier was born about 1722 and married Elizabeth Hicks in 1742, issue: Robert, born 1742; Molly, born 1744; Sarah, born 1748, married first Col. Joseph Williams, second Robert Williams; Betty, born 1750, married Col Joseph Winston; Caty, born 1752; Patsy, born 1754; Rebecca, born 1757, married Col. Joseph Williams, brother of Robert Williams; Thomas, born 1760; Susanna, born 1763; Lewis, born 1765; Fanny, born 1767; William, born 1770. Thomas Lanier moved to Greenville County, North Carolina, where his will was probated August, 1805. (Wheeler's "History of North Carolina").
Source: The History of Pittsylvania County Virginia, Maud Carter Clement (1929) at 48.
And, while all the above is interesting and may delight genealogical researchers, one question remains:
Why was Sarah Lanier Williams buried in Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina?
For more on the ancestry of the Williams and Lanier families go to the Caswell County Family Tree.
THE COMPLETE ANCESTRY of Tennessee Williams
This genealogy links the world-famous playwright to all of his notable cousins, including royalty, presidents of the U.S., and several state governors. Mr. Brayton traces Williams' ancestry back a full 14 generations, citing all primary and secondary sources and sometimes discussing the genealogical problems associated with each ancestor. The volume includes separate chapters on the following Williams ancestors: the two Thomas Bakers of Boston, MA; Bellar of Frederick Co., VA, and Stokes Co., NC; Bowker of King & Queen, Spotsylvania, and Cumberland Cos., VA; Carnes of Boston, MA: Evans of Prince George Co., VA; Lanier of Rowan Co., NC; Miller of Northampton Co., PA; Nickerson of Norfolk, VA; Moses White of Rowan Co., NC; and Woodhouse of Boston, MA.
Occasionally it seems fitting to explore the history of the living. We spend most of our time at the Caswell County Historical Association covering people and events of the far past. Today our most-deserving subject is Larry Neal Stogner.
Larry Stogner was born 1947 in Burlington, North Carolina, to the late Earl Brown Stogner and Dorothy May Watlington. However, it is Yanceyville, North Carolina (Caswell County) that Larry calls his "hometown". Except for a year in Danville, Virginia, Larry attended school in Yanceyville, graduating from Bartlett Yancey High School in 1965.
Then it was off to college at the University of North Carolina, where his education was interrupted by the Vietnam War, in which Larry served as a member of the United States Air Force. After the War, he completed his education and graduated from UNC in 1973. First working as a reporter at WRAL in Raleigh, Larry then joined the news team at ABC affiliate WTVD (Channel 11 locally). He sat behind the anchor desk for the first time at 11 p.m. March 8, 1976. And, except for a short assignment to the Raleigh Bureau in the late 1970's, Larry has been the well-known WTVD news anchorman.
Thus, Caswell County's own Larry Stogner, who recently celebrated thirty years with WTVD, has become the senior broadcast journalist in the northern Piedmont market (Raleigh-Durham and surrounding areas). For many (almost a million each day), the evening news is not the same without Larry's presence.
When Larry was surprised on-air with a thirty-year anniversary cake, here is what his colleague Angela Hampton had to say:
Those of you who watched WTVD in March 1976 will know exactly what we're talking about. It was 30 years ago that Eyewitness News anchor Larry Stogner started his long and successful career here at ABC11.And from those of us who knew Larry from childhood, we're saying: "Thanks for the friendship and making us proud."
When you think about news in this part of North Carolina, you naturally think about Larry Stogner. Before Jennings, Brokaw and Rather - - there was Stogner. Larry beat those broadcast legends to the anchor desk by five years.
Larry began his career at ABC11 on March 8, 1976. That summer, America celebrated its 200th birthday - - and in the fall, a peanut farmer from Georgia, Jimmy Carter, was elected president.
So many things about our hometowns and our world have changed since then, but Larry remains a constant, comforting presence on the 5:00 and 6:00 editions of ABC11 Eyewitness News.
When Governor Jim Hunt made his first, historic trade trip to China, it was Larry who walked side-by-side at the Great Wall. Larry reported to us when Dean, Michael and James brought back the first NCAA championship to Chapel Hill.
When ABC11 viewers gave more than $1 million dollars for firefighters' families after 9/11, it was Larry who hand-delivered the check to New York's police commissioner.
It was Larry who insisted that he be on the ground with our Fort Bragg troops as they fought the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Larry has brought us many memorable stories over these past thirty years, but mainly, we appreciate our anchor man for who he is: Native North Carolinian, working journalist, proud Vietnam veteran and our good friend.
This month, we're saying, "Thanks for the company, Larry." Here's to the years to come.
References and Links
News and Observer Article
Larry's Web Log
Larry and his wife Bobbi live in Durham, North Carolina.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Below is a slide show containing images of some of the gravestones in the First Baptist Church Cemetery (Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina). While you should be able to view these images here, many will be fairly small and it may be difficult to read the information on the gravestone.
These same images can be found at Flickr. There you will be able to see the photographs individually (or in a slide show), add your own photographs of gravestones in this cemetery, leave comments, choose an image size (from thumbnail to very large), download the photographs, and order prints. All that is required is that you have a Yahoo ID and that you register with Flickr. Registration is free.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
To view the slide shows posted to this weblog you must have Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer. This program is free, fairly small, easy to install, and will be useful in ways not related to this site.
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Here is how Adobe describes Flash Player:
Flash Player is free software that lets you view web content created by Flash. This content may be interactive content such as menus that slide, or may be complex applications, games or animations. Many web browsers (Internet Explorer, for example) install Flash Player automatically, but you may need to upgrade it from time to time as Adobe makes improvements and as websites you visit update their content.To download the program go to Adobe Flash Player.
Monday, October 16, 2006
C. D. Vernon & Company, Yanceyville, North Carolina, Trade Card
Note that the 1850 US Census for Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina, listed a Calvin D. Vernon, born around 1818 in Virginia. He is the son of Ann Y. Vernon. No connection has been made with the C. D. Vernon of the above trade card.
The following is from When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 128:
In 1850 there were three tobacco peddlers in the county: Royal McKinney, Soloman Merritt, and William Whitmore. There were a dozen men, however, who declared their occupation to be that of a "tobacconist." They were Pinkney Burton, Joshua Butler, William F. Butler, Larkin S. Grinstead, William Lewis, Raleigh McLaughlin, Isley Phillips, R. H. Pritchett, James Read, Rufus Rainey, Williba Shelton, and Joseph M. Swift. In 1860 N. C. Motley and John Denny, both natives of Virginia but living in Caswell County, were described as "traders on tobacco." Sixteen tobacconists were listed: J. Q. Anderson, B. Brown, Jr., T. J. Brown, William Brown, Allen Gunn, G. W. Gunn. H. Harrell, J. H. McCaden, William D. Mitchell, H. M. Roan, W. N. Shelton. S. T. Sparks, William H. Vaden, C. D. Vernon, John L. Williamson, and A. G. Yancey.C. D. Vernon also was appointed by the North Carolina legislature in 1877 to serve as an officer of the Yanceyville municipal government until an election could be held. Later, he was involved in unsuccessful efforts to secure a railroad to run between Danville, Virginia, and Yanceyville, North Carolina.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
As Mary Elizabeth Connally was born in 1835, this report card probably was issued in the 1840's - 1850's. She married in 1867.
If the image here is unacceptable go to Report Card.
Do you know more about the Milton Female Academy, the Connally family, or Milton generally? If so, please share by leaving a comment here, posting a message to the CCHA/CCGW Message Board, or emailing the CCHA.
The standing of Mary E. Connally, in the Milton Female
Academy, during quarter ending last of September
is as follows,
Spelling & Reading Very respectable.
Grammer Very respectable.
Arithmetic Very good.
Absent from morning prayers 9 times.
Do recitation 22 do.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Above is a slide show of all the gravestones in the New Hope United Methodist Church cemetery. The images were taken in September 2006 by the Caswell County Historical Association, which reserves all rights.
The cemetery is located beside the church on the Long's Mill Road in the northwest quadrant of Caswell County, North Carolina (near Hamer and Semora). See the map below. Click on the map for a larger image.
On 26 July 2009, New Hope United Methodist Church celebrated its 230th anniversary. To see a brochure commenorating this event and including a history of the church see New Hope United Methodist Church Anniversary.
New Hope Methodist church, which is now known as New Hope United Methodist Church, was one of the earliest churches founded in North Carolina. Even before it was founded officially in 1779, people in the Blanch/Hamer communities were meeting in the name of the Lord and conducting worship services. These were held first under a large oak tree about a mile from the site of the present structure before the year 1778. But let us go back further and find a little history to pave the way for this coming together of a group of people to worship their Lord.
By 1771, John Wesley sent Francis Asbury as a missionary to America. In 1777, Asbury and John B. Davis of this community met in Hillsborough, North Carolina, which at the time was the [county seat] of Orange County. At that time Caswell County was a part of Orange County. John B. Davis was a very devout man, and he and Asbury, having this common bond, became very close friends. Both of these men played an important role in the early organization of New Hope Church. These two men were drawn together by circumstances stemming from an incident that occurred in Hillsborough. At this time, John B. Davis was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and Asbury had been arrested by the British soldiers in Hillsborough for his friendliness [with] or sympathy for the Colonies. Asbury was fined by the British and released. He went home with his friend, John B. Davis, and stayed at his home, working as a missionary in what is now Caswell County. Thereby, was the beginning of . . . the foundation of New Hope Church, as services were held in the home of Mr. Davis. Before, as it has been noted, services were conducted outside under a large oak tree. This group, under the guidance of Missionary Asbury, and through the hospitality extended by Mr. Davis, was invited and did meet in the shelter of his home. This was only a temporary arrangement, and in 1778, the building of a log church was begun. it was located about a mile from the home of John B. Davis. This was considered the first church structure, and to place it in our minds today, it was build on the site where S. H. Crumpton, Jr. now has his brick home (approximately 6 miles north of Yanceyville on the East Side of NC Hwy. 62). At that time, the property on which it was erected belonged to Thomas Moore. Mr. Moore was one of the men who helped build the first log church. He was the great grandfather of Julian Moore, a resident of Wilmington at this time, Carolyn Moore Upchurch Thomas, of Milton, the late Warner Moore of Milton, and other children of the John W. Moore family, who you may know.
When the first log church was completed, dedication services were held and in 1779, it was given the name New Hope Church. All close descendants of John B. Davis were worshipers and members of this early church.
In 1803, the log church was torn down and moved to a new church site, which was established north of the present structure, beyond the spring and below the old graveyard. This building was used until 1860 when a new church was built on the site of the present church. Land, consisting of 4 1/2 acres was given by John G. Lea, and the abandoned log church was used by the Leas as slave quarters. The church had the pulpit between the two front doors near the entrance and the congregation sat beyond at the other end of the church, or at the back of the church [building]. One had to pass by the pulpit on entering and this made it uncomfortable for those coming to services late. W. C. Taylor remembered this as a child an recounted this many times to his family. The need for a larger facility led to the construction of New Hope's present structure in 1907.
In 1906, Mr. W. H. Humble contracted to build the present church for $2500. he and Mr. Hall, a carpenter, boarded at W. C. Taylor's parent's home while building the structure. M. W. Claire Taylor was five years old at the time and remembered carrying lunch each noon to the church for the two men. He and the Taylor cook would take it; she with a basket of hot food, and he with a four-pound tin lard bucket of fresh buttermilk.
Materials for the church were hauled by members on horse drawn wagons from a sawmill operated by James Satterfield, who donated the rough lumber for the building. The two large stained glass windows on each side of the pulpit were placed in the church when it was built. In the 1960s the present memorial windows replaced the original clear glass windows in the sanctuary. Money from the "Harrelson Fund" helped build the present church. Mr. Harrelson, a bachelor, contributed to this building and several other churches. He was a native of Caswell County, but is not buried at New Hope Cemetery. New Hope still has the original carved pulpit and hand-made pews in the church sanctuary.
The present church was dedicated on the fourth Sunday, July 22, 1907. Rev. J. A. Dailey officiated at the dedication. According to Mr. Taylor, the church services that day were interrupted when several members came to the dedication in a chauffeured Cadillac. The car frightened the horses so badly that church was dismissed long enough for the people to recover their horses. Taylor said this was the first car that had been seen in this area.
Church services during W. C. Taylor's growing-up years were long with the minister preaching for at least an hour. The ministers of the early years were real "hellfire and damnation" preachers. There was little singing, but he remembered Mr. Lea using a tuning fork to get the pitch to start the singing. He would hit it and hold it up to his ear. Taylor said at revivals or protracted meetings, as they were called, continued for an entire week or longer. There were morning and evening services, and dinner was held on the grounds.
There was a tradition practiced regularly then and as remembered by current members some years ago at New Hope, called "Pounding the Preacher." This was when church members would give the preacher a pound of butter, bacon, flour, or whatever other foods (fresh or canned) were available. This included food for his horse in earlier years.
New Hope was the Mother Church of Methodism in Caswell County. Mr. Taylor recalled a membership of 285 at New Hope in his younger days. Many ministers served New Hope since 1783, 133 before it became a two-point charge with Purley Church and fourteen since then, for a total of 147 pastors. We were a five-point charge consisting of Milton, Semora, Connally, Purley, and New Hope.
In the 1970s, a Fellowship Hall was added to the present church, including a kitchen and bathrooms. This addition was planned to blend with the original structure and paints the scene of a small clapboard church with gingerbread trim standing in a grove of magnificent huge old oaks. The church and the setting are one of simplicity and serenity, which creates a timeless image of pastoral beauty.
In July of 1979, New Hope United Methodist Church celebrated its 200th Anniversary, but "Dinner on the Grounds" tradition was abandoned for the air-conditioned and bee-less comfort of the Fellowship Hall. Bishop Robert Blackburn of Raleigh was the guest speaker, and Rev. Clay Smith was our pastor at this time.
In the years that have come and gone since our 200th celebration, New Hope Church has stood proudly and held its small congregation close. We have come through many changes and still hold steadfast to tradition. We are small in number, but our faithful few who attend, feel strong bonds with the little church.
Many of our older members have passed on, but some of their descendants still attend church and keep the legacy alive. The Lord has blessed the New Hope Church family in that it has gained new families in its congregation.
The church has many small children and young people who give us promise for the future. Recently we replaced the church roof, installed a new heating and air-conditioning system, repainted our fellowship hall and kitchen, and replaced the ceiling above the pulpit where bees had swarmed in the attic, causing honey to drip through the ceiling. We have cut timber and sold it due to trees being blown down by Hurricane Fran. This project was possible by our members working together to cut up the trees and transport them to the lumber mill.
In 1997, New Hope members, who are always active in the community and county, took an active part in the Cancer Walk/Relay for Life and raised $19,000 in the county. Several of our members participate in delivering "Means on Wheels."
We have a Certified Lay Leader, who was led to go on a "Walk to Emmaus." Several of our teenagers have been very active in M.Y.F., 4-H, The Heifer Project, Chrysalis, and Future Farmers of America. Besides being very active in their church, school, and community,the have excelled in the scholastic challenges as well. They also conduct an entire service twice a year at New Hope and Purley. This past Christmas we compiled a Christmas Memory Book for the Advent Season, containing many memories and comments concerning events of Christmas Past and why they were so important in their memory.
Several of the women of our church have attended the Annual Methodist Women's Spiritual Retreat. We assist in alternating a Thanksgiving Service with our sister church Purley and Blanche Baptist Church. This originated many years ago and is enjoyed by all three church families. We also have a Maundy Thursday Service with our sister church and host an Easter Sunrise Service. We continue to be very active in the Caswell Parish and participate regularly.
New Hope hosts a wonderful Bible School each summer with a community-wide participation. Our children do a Christmas program each year. This last year, we took on a real challenge by doing a "Dinner Theatre" with our children of the church and the surrounding community. The parents and children created a full stage of an inn by painting screens for the sets. The children performed and served the dinner that church members had prepared for the audience to eat as they enjoyed the production of "The Bethlehem Inn Christmas Story." The money that the audience contributed to this production was used by the children to buy gifts for less fortunate children in the Angel Tree program in Caswell County. We continue to encourage our children to be involved in the community and county.
We have a strong Sunday School with lots of children and a few faithful teachers to go around. We are positive in our attitude and enjoy the fellowship of our members by having church lunches, soup and salad lunches, and hot dog cook outs. We have come a long way from the meeting of a few under the spreading oak tree in Mr. John B. Davis's yard. However, with the Lord's continued blessing, we will strive to continue the work begun by our forefathers in this community over 200 years ago.
Prepared by Mrs. Anne Taylor Daniel, February 1998
Leahurst was the childhood home of Ann Wright Lea, who was featured as the title character in Tom Henderson's booklet Ann of the Ku Klux Klan.
William Louis Poteat (1856-1938)
William Louis Poteat was born in Caswell County, North Carolina, in 1856. He graduated from Wake Forest College with the A.B. degree in 1877, and received the A.M. degree in 1889. He received LL.D. degrees from Baylor, North Carolina, Brown, and Duke; and the Litt.D. degree from Mercer. He engaged in postgraduate studies at Marine Biology Laboratory and University of Berlin. He married Emma J. Purefoy of Wake Forest in 1881 and had three children.
Poteat played a prominent role in the development of Wake Forest College, serving on the faculty from 1878 until 1905, and as president from 1905 until 1927 - longer than any other president in Wake Forest's history. He was active in the affairs of North Carolina Baptists and Southern Baptists. He was popular as a lecturer on religion, science, temperance, and education. He was a member of North Carolina Conference for Social Service (president), North Carolina Ant-Saloon League (president), Southern Baptist Education Association (president), Council of Church Schools of the South (president), North Carolina Reconstruction Commission, North Carolina Academy of Sciences (president),, and many other movements of his day.
Special Collections Department
Z. Smith Reynolds Library
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
President Taylor was succeeded by Dr. William Louis Poteat of the Department of Biology. Affectionately known as "Dr. Billy" to a host of students during his twenty-two year administration, he continued to promote the general growth of all areas of the College. Special emphasis was placed on development in the area of sciences, reflecting in part the interests of the President and also in part the need to enrich the premedical training required by the new School of Medicine.
As student enrollment increased from 313 in 1905 to 742 in 1927, there was a corresponding increase in the size of the faculty. Increased registration in religion, English, education, and social sciences required more administrative direction, and a Dean and a Registrar as well as Librarians were employed. Expansion of physical facilities included science laboratories, two new dormitories, an athletic field, a heating plant and an infirmary. Wake Forest, joining the trend of the other colleges in the state, gave more attention to sports and achieved an envied reputation in baseball and football.
Notable also during President Poteat's administration was the continued growth of the endowment. Through the efforts of Professor John B. Carlyle $117,000 was added, one-fourth of which was contributed by the General Education Board of New York. Later a gift of $100,000 in Duke Power Company stock was received from Benjamin N. Duke, and $458,000 from the Southern Baptist Convention.
Beyond these significant material advances, President Poteat brought another distinction in the form of state and national recognition. A devout Christian, an eloquent speaker, an accomplished scholar, he became a state-wide leader in education and probably the foremost Baptist layman in the state. As a distinguished scientist he was among the first to introduce the theory of evolution to his biology classes. His Christian commitment in his personal and public life enabled him to successfully defend his views on evolution before the Baptist State Convention in 1924. This was considered a major victory for academic freedom and attracted national attention. Due in part to his influence and that of the Wake Forest alumni who supported his view, the Legislature of North Carolina did not follow other Southern states in the passage of anti-evolution laws in the 1920's.
Sources: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography; History of Wake Forest.