Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hunt Town School

Hunt Town School
(click on photograph for larger image)

Photo 257. Hunt Town School Site. 3rd quarter 19th century. Site of one of the first post-Civil-War schools for blacks in Caswell County. Saluda Hunt, a black, was one of the first school teachers. Only visible remnant of the school is the the remains of a fieldstone chimney.

Source: An Inventory of Historic Architecture: Caswell County, North Carolina, Ruth Little-Stokes and Tony P. Wrenn (1979) at 163.


Note the following from When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 524-525:

In due time, of course, the custom of apprenticeship for both white and black children disappeared and all attended schools. Bertha Vincent, supervisor of the rural schools of Caswell County, reported in the spring of 1926 that she was pleased with the interest shown and the progress made in the black schools during the previous year. Her greatest problem, she said, was in holding black boys and girls in the rural schools until they finished the seventh grade. In 1926 for the first time a certificate was awarded to a student from a rural school for the completion of the seventh grade. Resser Lea of the Hunt Town section was announced as the recipient of the certificate. Four such certificates were awarded in Yanceyville that year, however. Another rural black student, Ernest Hagershow of Milton, a first grader, was awarded a ribbon for the best story in a story telling contest.

Thomas Patillo Bigelow provided for the education of at least six of his children at Shaw University (according to records from archivist at Shaw on matriculation). Shaw University Catalogues 1876-1877 and 1878-1879: lists the Bigelow children: Saluda Bigelow, Mary E. Bigelow, Laura Bigelow, James T. Bigelow, John Henry, and Albert Bigelow - all from Yanceyville.  Also, it may be that Albert and Lewis Bigelow helped start the Yanceyville School for Coloreds in 1897.

Note that the 1878-1879 Shaw University Catalogue lists Miss Saluda Bigelow as an Assistant Teacher (appointed by the President from among the pupils). A reasonable presumption is that she was an outstanding student.

According to a Bigelow family member, James Weldon Bigelow reported that he remembered his Aunt Saluda told him stories about her father, Thomas Pattillo Bigelow, and how Thomas Pattillo Bigelow took his children everywhere with him and "didn't deny them to anyone."  She also said they "weren't his slaves, but mulattos-issue free." Saluda married a Hunt in Ringold, Virginia. Her grandson (deceased) was a professor at a Texas University.

1880 United States Federal Census
Name: Saluda Bigelow
Home in 1880: Yanceyville, Caswell, North Carolina
Age: 20
Estimated birth year: abt 1860
Birthplace: North Carolina
Relation to Head of Household: Dau (Daughter)
Father's birthplace: North Carolina
Mother's Name: Elizebeth
Mother's birthplace: North Carolina
Occupation: School Teacher
Race: Mu
Gender: Female
Household Members: Name Age
Elizebeth Bigelow 60
Saluda Bigelow 20
Mary Bigelow 18
Laura Bigelow 16
Annie Bigelow 11
Robert Willis 16

1900 United States Federal Census
Name: Saluda Hunt
Home in 1900: Dan River, Pittsylvania, Virginia
Age: 38
Birth Date: Jun 1862
Birthplace: North Carolina
Race: Black
Ethnicity: American 
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Father's Birthplace: North Carolina 
Mother's Birthplace: Virginia 
Mother: number of living children: 3 
Mother: How many children: 3 
Marital Status: Widowed 
Residence : Dan River District, Pittsylvania, Virginia
Occupation: School Teacher, Public Schools
Household Members: Name Age
Saluda Hunt 38 
Vivian G Hunt 16 
Charmian Hunt 15 
Nat L Hunt 12

1930 United States Federal Census
Name: Saluda S Hunt
Home in 1930: Dan River, Caswell, North Carolina (Hunt Farm Road)
Age: 67
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1863 
Birthplace: North Carolina 
Relation to Head of House: Head 
Race: Negro (Black)
Age at First Marriage: 15
Able to Read and Write: Yes
Live on a Farm: Yes
Marital Status: Widowed
Occupation: None
Parents' birthplace: Father (North Carolina); Mother (Virginia)
Household Members: Name Age
Saluda S Hunt 67 
Juanita Hunt 23 (granddaughter, teacher in public schools) 
Rolando Hunt 21 (grandson, farmer)

For more on the Bigelow family see the Caswell County Family Tree.


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