Monday, June 30, 2008

Bartlett Yancey High School Basketball Team 1966

(click on photograph for larger image)

Back Row:

Coach Lindsey Page
Paul Taylor Johnston
William Alvis Hodges
Bryant Hinson
Earl Keith Stogner
Jimmy England
Sandy Warren
Tommy Cooper

Front Row:

Barry Boyd
Otha Lee Hicks
#33 Unknown
Roy Lee Gauldin
William Osmond Smith III
Phillip Julian Myers
Garland Walker
Randy Webb


Jesse McArthur Page (1866-1955)

(click on photograph for larger image)

Jesse McArthur Page (1866-1955) is the father of William Jennings Page (1914-1965). William Jennings Page married Sallye Yancey Wilson of Caswell County, North Carolina, a daughter of Robert Edward Wilson (1881-1954) and Gertrude Hodges Wilson (1883-1975).

For more on this Caswell County family visit the Caswell County Family Tree.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Harrell Wells Barker (1924-2008)

Harrell Barker

Harrell Wells Barker

MILTON, N.C. - Harrell Wells Barker, age 84, of 10977 Hwy 62 North, Milton, N.C., died Thursday, June 26, 2008 in Carteret General Hospital, Morehead City, North Carolina.

He was born on June 13, 1924 in Caswell County, N.C., a son of Harvey and Lucille Wells Barker.

He was married to Virginia Ward Barker who survives of the home.

Mr. Barker was a World War II veteran, having served in the United States Army. He was a retired dairy farmer and cattle dealer and a member of Milton United Methodist Church.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Wells Barker of Beaufort, NC and Mike Barker of Arapahoe, N.C.; two brothers William Barker of Milton, N.C., and Wayne Barker of Semora, N.C.; four sisters, Sue Chattin of Danville, Va., Frances Kirby of Semora, N.C., Ann Gravitte of Surfside Beach, S.C., and Dailey Hardee of Greenville, N.C.; three grandchildren, Kyle Barker of Roxboro, N.C., Jason Barker, Marietta, Ga., and Troie Barker of Carboro, N.C.; and one great-grandchild, Kylie Jean Barker of Roxboro, N.C.

Including his parents, he was predeceased by a son, David Barker; two sisters, Margaret Hepler and Laura Brendle; and one brother, James Barker.

Graveside services will be held at 3 p.m., Sunday, June 29, 2008 at Cedars Cemetery, Milton, N.C. with the Reverend Clarence Garner and Reverend John Upton officiating.

The family will be at the residence.

Memorials may be made to Milton United Methodist Church.

Townes Funeral Home, 215 West Main Street, is in charge of arrangements.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Carolyn Bason Long

Source: "Between You and Me: Bring Me Flowers" (by Carroll Leggett), Metro Magazine (November 2004). (accessed April 2008).

Bring me flowers
By Carroll Leggett


Drive east from Sanford on 421 and the Paul Green Highway will run you right into the old Harnett County courthouse that now sits stripped and abandoned in what used to be the middle of downtown Lillington. The town has shifted north a few miles to what locals call “Lillington Crossroads,” a place that once was home to little more than Robert Johnson’s honest-to-god country store—the only place whose chittlins my folks trusted; the county’s largest cemetery; and Matthews Oil Company, now empty and in disrepair.

Reigning supreme there now among fast-food restaurants, a Food Lion, car dealerships and gas stations is the new Harnett County courthouse, a structure of majestic proportions. Once it was sited, businesses and county offices clustered around it, and the axis of the town of Lillington shifted dramatically.

But there is now hope for the old downtown that has sputtered along and seen some landmarks, such as the old Lillington Hotel, disappear. Lillington voters recently passed liquor by the drink—the bootleggers must all be dead—and a new steak house is opening where pharmacist Bill Randall once dispensed medicine. It’s comforting to think that folks again may leave this location feeling no pain.

Other eateries are on the way. As Lillington attempts, like Lazarus, to rise from the dead, the marker honoring Revolutionary War hero and town namesake, General Alexander Lillington, that has long stood on the corner where Hwy. 421 jogs left toward the Cape Fear River, no longer stands sentinel alone. It has company now. A marker of like design now honors Harnett County native and modern-day patriot, Robert Burren Morgan—Clerk of Court, State Senator, Attorney General of North Carolina, and United States Senator—and my boss of 13 years and friend of four decades.

Lillington mayor, Grover Smith, a childhood friend of the Senator and a distinguished educator that many remember as Headmaster at Raleigh’s Ravenscroft School, is largely responsible. Grover rallied the troops and worked out details that allowed the “state historical marker” to be erected with the seal of the town of Lillington, thus skirting the rule that one must be dead for 10 years before being so honored.

The mayor orchestrated a program at the Harnett County Library honoring the Senator and an unveiling of the marker that stands just a few hundred yards away. Unfortunately by the time dates had been juggled a number of times, the day of the event found me in Mississippi—a far piece from Lillington.

I called the Senator to tell him, and in turn he asked if I would write something to be read at the event. I demurred. That would be presumptuous, I argued.

At the same time, I recommended that our mutual friend and his former law partner Judge Gerald Arnold, now an executive with Lawyers Mutual Insurance, be the keynote speaker. He predates me with the Senator by many years, just as do people like his former professional associates Peggy Stewart Seifert and Judy Breeden.

“Well, no doubt about it, Gerald is a real orator,” he mused.

“Yes,” I said, and laughed. “And you know what they say about Southern orators?”

“No. What?”

“They say that between bad oratory and fried food, it is a wonder the South has survived.”

This old saw drew a chuckle, and he agreed that Gerald should make comments. Shortly my phone rang. It was Gerald. He started to plead for help, and I laughed and confessed that it was I who had thrown ole Brer Rabbit in the brier patch.

“I suspected you had something to do with it, Leggett,” he said in a voice that expressed both amusement and resignation.

“But I want to help by giving you some material—some stories—to use,” I said. “Don’t you think it would be presumptuous of me to send something to be read?”

“I have to say I do,” he answered. Honesty is a primary tenet of our friendship. That settled it for me.

“Please tell people about his long-time connection with the Smithsonian Institution,” I said. “That’s something even people who know him well generally don’t know.”

People are awed by the Smithsonian Institution, and for good reason. More people visit it each year than any other museum in the world.

Few people know that Robert Morgan has been involved with the Smithsonian for 25 years or so. When Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) was Majority Leader of the United States Senate, he appointed then Senator Morgan to the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian, one of the most prestigious appointments in the nation. He soon was appointed to the Oversight and Review Committee and continued to serve until this year. He became good friends with the chairman, Chief Justice Warren Burger, and while a Regent, Robert was appointed to the board of the National Portrait Gallery, a part of the Smithsonian family, and served as Chair. He is still a member of the board.

A lot of folks in Harnett County still remember that when Robert Morgan broke into politics, he was referred to as “Little Robert” to distinguish him from Judge Robert Morgan, who unlike “Little Robert,” was tall and lanky.

Here is a Wendell Ford story relevant to the “Little Robert” appellation. Senator Ford, the colorful former governor from Kentucky, was our neighbor down the hall in DC. One evening during a heated Senate session, he stopped by to visit.

“Senator, what’s happening on the floor?” I asked.

“The fur is flying,” Senator Ford said. “Senator Morgan is trying to get recognized to speak, but the presiding officer can’t tell that he is standing up.”

As a Senator, Robert Morgan was in the company of many famous people. But even though he loves history, he always has been somewhat oblivious to contemporary culture.

Carolyn Bason Long, wife of former Senator Russell Long (D-LA), is from Caswell County and an old friend of the Senator. One day we were in the Senator’s dining room when Carolyn came over to the table.

“Roooooooooooobert,” she said, “Ya’ll come over to my table. I want you to meet someone.” We followed her.

“Robert, this is my dear friend Angela Lansbury. Angela, this is my old friend Bob Morgan. He’s our senator from North Carolina.”

“Pleased to meet you, Ms. Lansbury,” Robert said, “And what do YOU do?”

When Catfish Hunter’s pitching helped San Francisco win the World Series, he skipped the victory parade and flew home to a fish fry at the American Legion Post in Hertford. It was all over the news, and Catfish was fined, I think.

Then Attorney General Robert Morgan was the speaker at the fish fry. But, as you can imagine, Catfish was the center of attention. The Post Commander brought him over and proudly introduced him. “Robert, I want you to meet Catfish Hunter.” I already had pen and paper ready for an autograph.

“Pleased to meet you, Mr. Hunter. And what do you DO?” Robert asked.

Robert Morgan doesn’t know much about movie stars and such, but he has gotten to know a few, like Lorne Green from TV’s Bonanza and Mary Travers of Peter, Paul, and Mary.

But still they are no big deal... usually that is.

Right after he arrived in Washington, Robert and wife Katie were invited to the White House. As they entered, Robert said, “Now, Katie, there will be a lot of famous people here, so just be cool about it. Don’t run over and talk to every movie star you see.”

Katie said, “We walked through the door, and Robert looked across the room. ‘My Lord, Katie, there is Ginger Rogers,’ he said, and he hightailed it across the ballroom to introduce himself and left me standing there with my coat still on my arm.”

Robert Morgan has an independent streak and does not suffer fools gladly. He wore his hair rather long for a good while. Apparently it annoyed some folks. One Sunday a little lady tapped him on the shoulder in church, leaned over the pew and hissed into his ear, “When are you going to cut that hair?”

I understand the Senator whispered back, “When I get good and ready, thank you.” Between you and me, I think that was a pretty good answer.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Caswell County Fair

Fairs freshen up to broaden appeal USA Today, 07347456, JUL 11, 2006

MAS Ultra - School Edition

Fairs freshen up to broaden appeal

State and county festivals pinched by competition

Section: News, Pg. 01a

State and county fairs hurt by financial problems and falling attendance are trying to attract young, urban audiences this summer by adding skateboard-decorating contests, Harry Potter displays and ethnic foods to traditional offerings.

"We've got to come up with something unique," says Larry Gabriel, agriculture secretary in South Dakota, where some legislators considered shutting down the money-losing state fair. "It's never going to get easy to keep a fair operating, because we're competing against so many more events."

Competition comes from amusement parks, casinos and vacation destinations such as Branson, Mo., and Las Vegas, he says.

The Caswell County, N.C., fair closed last year, one year short of its 50th anniversary. The final fair drew only 2,000 people over five days. In Michigan, nearly half of 88 local and county fairs lost money last year, says E.J. Brown of the Michigan Association of Fairs & Exhibitions.

Rising costs for fuel and insurance contribute to fairs' budget problems. Most fairs are subsidized by county or state governments. Some fairs are adjusting to tough times by shortening their runs or rescheduling to the July Fourth or Labor Day holidays. Many are updating exhibits and contests. Some fairs are enlivening their core focus by adding animal birthing centers and milking parlors.

Max Willis of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions says the group doesn't track fairs' bottom lines. Fairs are trying "to appeal to their clientele," he says. "They have to keep up with the times."


New kinds of fun on schedule

Many county fairs are updating activities:

*The Wilson County, Tenn., fair has contests for decorated skateboards and text messaging.

*A new wine bar at the Wisconsin State Fair features jazz and blues music.

*A "cellfest" at the Marin County, Calif., fair includes videos and photos created by fairgoers on their cellphones. There's also a Harry Potter-inspired exhibit with a 20-foot rotating cavern.

*South Dakota's state fair dropped rodeos because of sinking attendance. Now it hosts championship bull riding, broadcast on the Outdoor Channel. The fair runs five days, down from eight.

*Mexican and Middle Eastern food are a trend at New England fairs, says Bob Silk of the New Hampshire Association of Fairs and Expositions. "People are getting away from just eating the sausage, french fries and fried dough," he says.

(c) USA TODAY, 2006


North Carolina Civil War Debts

North Carolina:
Bookseller: David M. Lesser, ABAA
(Woodbridge, CT, U.S.A.)
Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating
Price: US$ 75.00
Quantity: 1 Shipping within U.S.A.:
US$ 5.50

Book Description: 1867., 1867. North Carolina: REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF CLAIMS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA, AT ITS ADJOURNED SESSION. AUGUST, 1867. Raleigh: 1867. 76pp, dbd, loose, several institutional rubberstamps, edge- wear. Good. An exhaustive examination of all debts allegedly incurred by the State during the Civil War, with recommendations on their treatment. All War Debts-- whether as bonds, treasury notes, claims for services rendered or supplies furnished to any of the war departments-- are repudiated. Indebtedness incurred for civil purposes are not repudiated. The Commissioners establish procedures and examine numerous claims, reported in this piece. FIRST EDITION. Thornton [Official Publications] 260.


Harris Family Group Photograph


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

For Whom Was Yanceyville Named?

Caswell Messenger
January 3, 2001

Definitive Proof for Yanceyville's Name

To the Editor:

I doubt if many Caswell County residents stay awake worrying about the mystery, but historians just can't stand unanswered questions. So I am glad to be able to settle a controversy once and for all, and we all can sleep better.

For whom was Yanceyville named? About sixty years ago in Editor Erwin D. Stephens' countywide contest, I won a subscription to The Caswell Messenger largely because I answered that the county seat was named for the older brother of Bartlett Yancey. I seem to remember that Katherine Kerr Kendall believed the same. As the bicentennial of the county's creation approached, Johnny Gunn, M.Q. Plumblee, and I persuaded my friend and colleague William S. Powell, to write When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County. Professor Powell discussed the question on page 341 and, ever the historian, added “Until the discovery of incontrovertible contemporary evidence, which has so far eluded those who have searched for it, the question remains unanswered.”

Well, recently while researching another subject, I came across serendipitously (a word I learned after leaving Cobb Memorial School) the following announcement on Page 2 of the May 24, 1832, issue of The Roanoke Advocate, published in Halifax, North Carolina.

“The citizens of Caswell County have resolved in public meeting, that the village in which their Court House is situated shall hereafter be called YANCEY, as a testimony of respect to the memory of BARTLETT YANCEY, their late distinguished fellow citizen.”

There is “incontrovertible contemporary evidence,” and it eludes us no longer.

P. S. Because my answer sixty years ago was wrong, I obviously did not deserve that free subscription to the Messenger. But don't you think I deserve one now?

Houston G. Jones
Davis Research Historian


Monday, June 23, 2008

Mary Satterfield Class Photograph

This photo is from Mary Satterfiled also. She notes the identities on the back of the photo as follows:
Bottom row. Left to right
Pam Barker
Brenda Simpson
Carol Thomas
Marliea Thomas
Pam Brandon
Pam Long
Deborah Hudgins
Joy Doolin
Mary Satterfield
Second row:
David Myers
Pete Walker
Dallas Thompson
James Willis
Richard Hamlett
Donald Phelps
Marcus Thomas
Henry Fleetwood
Donald Terry
Third row:
Max Bryant
Susanne Mc Sherry
Gail soloman
Sarah Terry
Junior Weadon
Donald McCann
Blake McSherry
Billy Long