Saturday, February 27, 2010

Linnie Walker Durham (c.1920 - 2010)

Reidsville — Linnie "Sister" Walker Durham, 94, formerly of Penn Nursing Center, passed away on Sunday, February 21, 2010 at Annie Penn Hospital. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2010 at Wilkerson Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Gary Loftis and the Rev. Ernest Sartin officiating. Mrs. Durham was born in Caswell County to the late Thomas and Carrie Loftis Walker. She was a former employee of Cone Mills and a homemaker. Along with her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Paul C. Durham; brothers, Samuel Walker, Woodrow Walker, Miller Walker, Stanford Walker, Norman Ashley Walker; sisters, Naomi Walker, Gladys Walker, Pricie Walker and Carrie Lee Smith.

Survivors include her son, Jimmie Allen Foster; grandchildren, Allen Lewis Foster and Jan Wright, Keith Foster and wife, Cheryl, James Foster and wife, Holly, Stephen Foster and wife, Natalie and Kelley Ann Foster; brother, B. Ray Walker; sister, Theo Petite; numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of the donor's choice. Condolences may be made to the family at

Published in News Record on February 24, 2010


Monday, February 22, 2010

Will of William Gooch, Sr. (1726-1802)

Will of William Gooch, Sr.

Will dated 5 Nov 1801; Will Book D, pp.130132.
Proved Jan Court 1803 Caswell County, North Carolina, Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions
Estate records of William Gooch, 1803, are in File box #29, Call No. C.R. 020.508 (1)-(106) in the NC Dept of Archives & History.
Book D, pages 130-132

January Court 1803 -

In the Name of God Amen I William Gooch Senr of the County of Caswell and State of North Carolina, being in health of body but of sound and disposing mind and Memory thanks be given to God for his Mercies, do constitute Ordain and appoint this to be my last Will and Testament in Manner and form following. To Wit,

Will of John Rice (bef.1724 - c.1796)

Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions
January Court 1797
Caswell County, North Carolina Will Book C, pages 197 and 198

In The Name of God Amen, I John Rice of the County of Caswell and State of North Carolina, being in low State of health, but of perfect sence and Memory, thanks be to God for the blessings, calling to mind the Mortallity of my Body and Knowing that it is appointed unto man to Die, do make and Ordain this my Last Will and Testament in Manner and form following, to Wit, I commend my soul to God who Gave It hoping through the Mediation of Jesus Christ to be received of him, my body to be decently buried at the discretion of my after named Executors, Hoping Its resurection through Jesus Christ to Eternal Glory at the last Day. And to what Worldly Goods It hath pleased God to endow me with, I will and bequeath them in Manner and form following, to Wit, I lend unto my beloved wife Lettisha during her life or widdowhood, the land and plantation whereon I now live except thirty acres, together with three feather beds and furniture, Four Cows and their Yearlings, her Choice, Ten Head of Sheep, three Horses, to Wit, a Gray Mare and Brown baldfaced Mare and Coult, and all the Household and Kitchen Utensils together with the Stock of Hogs.

Will of Henry Williams (1734 - c.1785)

Will of Henry Williams recorded in Caswell County, North Carolina, Will Book B, p.92

In the Name of God Amen, I Henry Williams of the County of Caswell & the State of North Carolina being in perfect health thanks be to Almighty God for his _____ but taking into consideration the shortness and uncertainty of this transitory life & that it is appointed for all men once to die. Do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following. That is to say, First and principally I commend my soul unto Almighty God my Creator assuredly believing that I shall receive full pardon and free remission of all my sins and be saved by the precious death and merits of my Savior and Redeemer Christ Jesus

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Murder in the Courthouse

Durham News staff writer and historian Jim Wise will launch his new book, "Murder in the Courthouse: Reconstruction and Redemption in the North Carolina Piedmont," with a reading and book signing at the Regulator Bookshop on today at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. When four Ku Klux Klansmen murdered John W. "Chicken" Stephens - a Republican politician and Freedman's Bureau agent - in the Caswell County courthouse in May 1870, the much-despised North Carolina Gov. William Holden imposed martial law, suspended habeas corpus, and assigned an infamous Union officer, George W. Kirk, to root out the increasingly violent Klan.

No suspect was ever indicted or tried for the murder of Stephens, and the KKK not only rid itself of a troublesome adversary but also set up a showdown between the state's old guard and the radical regime of Gov. Holden. Follow this little-known tale from the murder, through the "Kirk-Holden War," through the courts and to the finale of the governor's impeachment. Wise takes readers beyond the final days of the Civil War in North Carolina, amid the destruction and poverty and debt, to chronicle the men whose clashing agendas and personalities shaped a violent era and laid the foundations for the Jim Crow century to come.

Wise is the author of a number of historical books, including "Durham Tales" and "On Sherman's Trail.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Will of William Lea, Sen. (1747-1806)

The following will abstract is from Caswell County North Carolina Will Books 1777-1814, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1979) at 104:

Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions
October Court 1806
Will Book E, Page 288

William Lea, Sen. of Leasburgh - Will - Written 14 March 1804. Wife Catharine (four rooms in dwelling house in Leasburgh and land purchased of Thomas Hargis); son Lawrence (land on Cobb's Creek purchased of William Hargis and on Kilgore's Branch, also lots in Leasburgh containing store house and saddle shop); son James Lea (land on Kilgore's Branch where he now resides); son-in-law William Donoho to have one-fourth profit from merchantile business; dry goods to be obtained from Petersburgh; five rooms in east end of dwelling house in Leasburgh to William Donoho. Executors: son Lawrence Lea and son-in-law William Donoho. Witnesses: Loyd Vanhook, John McAden, Nicholas Thompson.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Caswool Cotco (Yanceyville, North Carolina)

Yanceyville, NC: Caswool Cotco

Yanceyville, the county seat of Caswell County, is located in the North Carolina Piedmont region near the Research Triangle and the Triad cities of Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem. The county has a high proportion of elderly and other Medicaid and food stamp recipients. Flue-cured tobacco production accounts for approximately 75 percent of the value of agricultural production in the county. Consequently, changes in the Federal tobacco program in the mid-1980s, such as the change in the Federal quota system, changed the economic base of the community. Before 1986, flue-cured tobacco farmers holding Federal quotas could lease their quotas or portions of their quotas by the pound to other growers. Many operators have stopped farning tobbacco because they could not afford to buy the quotas they had previously leased. Elimination of the lease and transfer system in 1986 consolidated tobacco production from 550 producers in 1986 to about 300 producers in 1990.