Friday, April 27, 2018

Samuel Settle & Co. (Milton, North Carolina)

Milton History: Samuel Settle & Co.

While the following deed of trust is not fully understood, it does show that in 1820 a Samuel Settle & Co. was operating a tobacco business in Milton (purchasing and stemming tobacco). A William Morgan apparently was a part owner of the business, that was indebted to the Bank of Newbern. The Lot #20 referenced is the lot on which sits today the Milton State Bank Building.

We do not know if the firm was in the name of one man, Samuel Settle, or whether the firm name actually was "Samuel, Settle & Co."

Deed Book T, Pages 284-285/Kendall #2 at 42

Deed of Trust -- William Morgan of Lynchburg, to R. M. Sanders of Milton -- whereas Morgan is a member of Samuel Settle & Co., carrying on the business of purchasing and stemming tobacco in Milton and indebted to Bank of Newbern as is John T. Hill & Co. a late firm in said town -- 420 acres in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and 200 acres both conveyed by James D. Patton executor of John Worsham deceased to Morgan & Fielding Bradford; lot #20 in Milton conveyed by Henry M. Clay and tract conveyed by N. Harrison & Morgan -- plus all negroes engaged at the stemmery -- same held in trust by R. M. Sanders. 18 June 1820. Witnesses: Iverson G. Lea, Jno C. Howard.

John J. Oliver's Tavern (Milton, North Carolina)

Milton History: John J. Oliver's Tavern

We know, and have discussed here, there was a Bell Tavern on Lot #18 (north side of Main Street) where the Thomas Store later was built. However, it appears that Milton had more than one tavern in the early 1800s.

The second tavern was John J. Oliver's Tavern on the south side of Main Street beside Lot #12. This appears to be on the west end of Main Street -- either on the lot immediately west of the lot that today is the site of the Milton Presbyterian Church or the lot that today houses the Milton Women's Club (former Episcopal Church).

The first record set forth below contains a reference to John J. Oliver's Tavern, and the second conveyance helps, although indirectly, locate the tavern on the south side of Main Street.

Deed Book T, Page 279/Kendall #2 at 41

Thomas Dix of Henry County, Virginia to Henry M. Clay and R. M. Sanders of Caswell County, for $500 part of lot 12 with tenement on Main Street in Milton adjacent John J. Oliver's Tavern. 15 March 1820. Wit: Joseph McGehee, B. M. Oliver.

Deed Book T, Page 280/Kendall #2 at 42

Henry M. Clay of Milton to Thomas Dix of Henry County, Virginia, a certain tenement on the south side of Main Street in Milton adjacent to lot #12. 15 March 1820. Witnesses: Joseph McGehee, B. M. Oliver.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Latin Legal Terms

Latin Legal Terms: Writs of "fieri facias" and "venditioni exponas"
Assume someone owed you money in the early 1800s but would not pay. You sued the debtor and won a judgment in court. But, even faced with the judgment the debtor still would not pay. Now what?
You would have the court issue a writ of fieri facias by which the county sheriff was instructed to seize property of the judgment debtor and sell it. You would receive the proceeds up to the amount the debtor owed (plus your court costs).
But, what if the sheriff did not offer the seized property for sale or was just unable to sell the property because there were no purchasers willing to pay the asking price? You would go back to the court for a writ of venditioni exponas. This would direct the sheriff to sell the debtor's property "for the best price obtainable." And, this often resulted in some very low prices.

State Bank of North Carolina (Milton, North Carolina)

State Bank of North Carolina

While the following is not entirely understood, it does provide a concrete reference to the State Bank of North Carolina at Milton (22 October 1819). The Milton branch of this bank was established in October/November 1818.

John W. Glenn of Caswell County to John Daniel of Milton -- whereas Richard Ogilby and James Daniel are securities for John W. Glenn for a note to Lockhard & Davis for $920 and suit was brought in Caswell County for $810 to President and Directors of State Bank of North Carolina at Milton -- also debt due New Bern bank -- for $1, all right and title to negroes: woman Judy age 28 or 30, Molly same age, Lucinda age 15, man Anthony 40 years, boy Anderson 6 or 8, two children Cathe and Agnes age 1 & 3 -- if debt not paid same to be sold. 22 October 1819. Witness: George Williamson.

Deed Book T, Pages 247-248/Kendall #2 at 40

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Milton Newspapers (Milton, North Carolina)

Milton Gazette Newspaper: 1826

John Campbell, Jr., of Orange County, North Carolina, to George Williamson and Archimedes Donoho, trustees -- whereas John Campbell, Jr., has purchased of Benjamin Cory of Milton the house and lot heretofore occupied by Cory as a book store and printing office on 20 April 1826 and also the establishment where the Milton Gazette is published; Campbell in debt to Cory for $1200 and bond jointly signed by John Campbell Sen; to Ragland & McGehee, Morgan & Bradford; also printing materials and press $423 made by Rounages, pica type, italia type, English roman type, et al. 25 July 1826. Witnesses: Chas Willson, Willis Jones.

Caswell County, North Carolina
Deed Book W, Pages 337-339
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In 1824, Benjamin Cory was the printer and publisher of the "Milton Gazette and Roanoke Advertiser." The subscription price was $3 annually, and the paper was published weekly. Cory continued to advertise in the newspaper his book store and printing services. He described his book store and printing shop as nearly opposite the store of D. & W. Kyle.

The March 1827 issue of this newspaper contained an advertisement by Thomas Day, Cabinet Maker; and one by Jesse Owen (Saddle & Harness Making): see earlier post.

John Campbell, Jr., first appears as the newspaper's printer and publisher in the 1 March 1827 issue, operating from the Milton Book Store.

It appears that the Milton Gazette & Roanoke Advertiser was printed from the Cory/Campbell print shop (and book/stationery store). Must check to see if later Milton newspapers were printed from the same location, which is likely as the printing equipment already was in place.

There was an older building on that lot that my mother said was once the newspaper building. It was later used as a feed and seed storage building for the Brandon Store. Later torn down for Thomas Service Station gas tanks. Not sure it was as old as first quarter 19th century. (Source: Jim Upchurch 24 April 2018).

Milton Springs (Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina)

Asa Thomas Indenture  8 July 1797 [Paragraphs added]

102

This Indenture made the Eighth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand and seven hundred and ninety seven and in the twenty second year of our Independence between Asa Thomas of the County of Caswell and State of North Carolina of the one part and Thomas Jeffreys, Archibald Murphey, William Rainey, Archibald Samuel and James Saunders, Commissioners appointed by an act of our General Assembly for the purposes of laying out, building and carrying on the town of Milton near the mouth of Country line creek, all of the County of Caswell & state aforesaid of the other part.

Witnesseth that the said Asa Thomas for and in consideration of the sum of five dollars to him paid by the said Commissioners the receipt whereof he the said Asa Thomas doth hereby acknowledge.

That he given and granted bargained and sold and by this agreement doth give and grant bargain and sell, allieve in fee assess release and confirm unto the said commissioners and their successors for ever three certain lots or parcels of land situate lying and being in the Countyy aforesaid adjoining the Town of Milton it being three separate lots including four several springs, conveyed to the said Commissioners for the free and uninterrupted use of water to the inhabitants of the Town of Milton and by the said Commissioners to be reserved a Town common for that special purpose for ever and bounded as follows to wit,

Spring Lot No. 1 beginning at the North East corner of the Lot No. 21 and running thence north 7 1/2 degrees east thirty three yards to a stake, thence North 82 1/2 degrees west twenty two yards to a stake, then north 7 1/2 __ degrees East fifty seven yards one foot eight inches to a stake, then South eighty two 1/2 degrees East 66 yards 2 foot 8 inches to a stake west corner of Lot No. 27 then South 7 1/2 degrees west ten yards to a stake, then north west corner of lot No. 26, thence north 82 1/2 degrees west thirty four yards two feet four inches to a stake the South 7 1/2 degrees west sixty nine yards one foot eight inches to __ the north west corner of lot No. 22 thence north.

104

And the said Asa Thomasfor himself, his _____  Exec - and administrators doth covenant and grant to ___ ___ the said commissioners and their successors for ever for the special purposes aforesaid by these presents that all and every other person of persons and his or their heirs anything having or claiming in the said premises above mentioned or any part thereof by from or under him them or any of them shall and will warrant and fore ever defend ________ by these presents.

In witness where of the said Asa Thomas hath hereunto set his hand and affixed his seal the day and year ____ above written.

Asa Thomas [Seal]

Signed  Sealed & Delivered
In Presence of

James Rainey
L. Lea
Robert Wilson

Caswell County July Court 1797
The execution of this deed was duly proved in open Court by ___ ___ acknowledged in open Court ___ motion ordered to be registered.

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A. D. Murphey CC
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Milton Springs: Tanyard Spring

We discussed in earlier posts the four springs (on three lots) deeded by Asa Thomas to the Town of Milton to be used by the citizens thereof.

Over the years, one of these springs, number two, came to be known as the "tanyard spring." Presumably, this is because it was located near a tanyard operation.

R. M. Sanders to John P. Sledge both of Milton, for $200, lot in Milton leading to spring #2 now called tanyard spring, adjacent to the property of M. Bennett heirs on Main Street. 1 June 1826. Acknowledged in open court.

Caswell County, North Carolina
Deed Book W, Page 363

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Milton Gazette and Roanoke Advertiser (Milton, North Carolina)

Milton Gazette Newspaper: 1826

John Campbell, Jr., of Orange County, North Carolina, to George Williamson and Archimedes Donoho, trustees -- whereas John Campbell, Jr., has purchased of Benjamin Cory of Milton the house and lot heretofore occupied by Cory as a book store and printing office on 20 April 1826 and also the establishment where the Milton Gazette is published; Campbell in debt to Cory for $1200 and bond jointly signed by John Campbell Sen; to Ragland & McGehee, Morgan & Bradford; also printing materials and press $423 made by Rounages, pica type, italia type, English roman type, et al. 25 July 1826. Witnesses: Chas Willson, Willis Jones.

Caswell County, North Carolina
Deed Book W, Pages 337-339

The "Milton Gazette and Roanoke Advertiser" newspaper apparently began 1823 in Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina. The 1824 issues are shown as Volume II. We know that it was in publication until at least 1831. The Milton parcel in question above is believed to be Lot #21, immediately east of the lot that today houses the Milton State Bank Building.

 In 1824, Benjamin Cory was the printer and publisher of the "Milton Gazette and Roanoke Advertiser." The subscription price was $3 annually, and the paper was published weekly. Cory continued to advertise in the newspaper his book store and printing services. He described his book store and printing shop as nearly opposite the store of D. & W. Kyle. Query whether Cory also was the editor.

The March 1827 issue of this newspaper contained an advertisement by Thomas Day, Cabinet Maker; and one by Jesse Owen (Saddle & Harness Making).

John Campbell, Jr., first appears as the newspaper's printer and publisher in the 1 March 1827 issue.

Bell Tavern (Milton, North Carolina): 1821

Milton History: Bell Tavern

It appears that a tavern operated on the north side of Broad/Main Street in Milton from the early days of that town, occupying what is known as Lot #18. On this lot today sits the Edmund Dixon Thomas store (built around 1850). However, no name was seen for the tavern until the following:

Caswell County, North Carolina
Deed Book V, Page 411-413

Charles Sims of Milton to Howell L. Ridley and William M. Sneed, securities of Granville County, and to John Smith of Milton, for $10 paid by Smith, lot #18 in Milton at the corner of Main and Liberty Streets known as Bell Tavern and now occupied by Thomas Mitchell; also lot conveyed Sims by Archibald Haralson and Johathan Haralson in 1818; also deed from Richard Ogilby 1817; all the interest he purchased of Warner Williams being one-third part; excepting title conveyed by Sims to Phil H. Inge trustee to benefit Henry M. Clay security. 26 March 1821. Witnesses: George M. Penn, George Farley.

While the foregoing, which appears to be a deed of trust, is complicated, it is posted here not for the details thereof but for the reference to the Bell Tavern, apparently operated by Thomas Mitchell.
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Taverns, Inns, and Ordinaries

While there may be overlap among these establishments, during the colonial period the following definitions generally were used. And, presumably, these categories carried over, at least for a while, after independence:

Tavern = a place where you could buy an alcoholic beverage and consume it on the premises.

Inn = a commercial establishment providing, among other things, lodging and food for the public, particularly travelers.

Ordinary = an inn or tavern that served a complete meal at a fixed price.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Richmond-Harding Golden Wedding Anniversary (Milton, NC, 1909)

Their Golden Wedding Celebrated

Milton, N.C., Jan. 20 [1909] -- Rev. E. H. Harding, the Presbyterian pastor at this place, and his beloved wife, Mrs. Mary Richmond Harding, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary here today. Their son, Dr. Richmond Harding, of Davidson College, and his daughter, Miss Mary R. Harding, Mrs. W. J. Montgomery, of Concord, and Dr. Henry Harding Dodson, of Greensboro, were among the relatives who came to honor the auspicious day with them. Many good gifts were sent by friends.

The three churches under Dr. Harding's pastoral care, Red House, Gilead, and Milton, sent a generous offering in gold, which was presented at the door of the manse this morning by a sweet little girl, Amelia Lankford, on a silver waiter filled with fresh violets, white carnations and maiden hair ferns, with a card expressing their loving loyalty and devotion, and in grateful recognition of his faithfulness and love to them.

Dr. Harding, at seventy years of age, continues to preach the gospel with great spiritual power, pathos and beauty. All denominations delight to hear and honor him.

News and Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), 21 January 1909.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Milton, North Carolina, Boundaries Expanded 1818

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Laws of North Carolina 1818

Chapter XCIX

An Act for the government of the town of Milton, to extend the boundaries thereof, and for other purposes.

I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That James Rainey, James Holder, Philip I. Inge, Solomon Graves, William Irvine, Washington Jeffreys, John P. Harrison, Thomas McGehee and John Rogers, or a majority of them, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners to lay off and establish, adjoining the town of Milton, such number of lots or quantity of ground, and to lay out and establish such streets and alleys on the same, as they may deem the public interest shall require; and when the said commissioners, shall have so laid out the said lots, streets and alleys, and establish the boundary aforesaid, they shall make or cause to be made, two fair and full copies of the plan of the said town of Milton, including the town heretofore incorporated by an act the General Assembly of this State, passed in the year one thousand, seven hundred and ninety six, and that part of the said town authorized to be laid out by this act, in which plan shall be represented, the several lots of the town with their numbers, the streets and alleys of the same, with the names of the said streets; one of which said copies, as soon as the same shall be completed, shall be deposited in the office of the clerk of the county court of Caswell, and registered by the register of the county of Caswell, and the other copy deposited with the commissioners of police herein after mentioned, and by them recorded in a book to be kept for the purpose of entering all proceedings of the said commissioners.

II. And be it further enacted, That the boundary laid off by the said commissioners shall be considered the limits of the said town of Milton and all lands lying in the same is hereby declared to be included in the corporation established by this act.

III. And be it further enacted, That on the first day of March next, the qualified voters in the said town of Milton, shall convene at some suitable place within the said town and shall elect eight persons to be commissioners of police for one year next ensuing, which said commissioners and their successors shall be, and are hereby declared to be a body politic and corporate, by the name of the commissioners of police for the town of Milton, and as such shall have perpetual succession and a common seal, shall sue and be sued, and by such name shall have power from time to time, and at all times hereafter to make such rules, regulations and bye-laws, as they or a majority of them shall think necessary, for the suppression of vice and immorality, and for the good government of the said town which are not repugnant to the laws of this State. They shall have power to appoint a town constable, superintendant of the streets of the town, and a superintendant of the public buildings of the town, and to establish and regulate the fees of the said offices, as they may think necessary; and the said commissioners and those hereafter to be appointed, shall before they enter upon the duties of their appointment take and subscribe before some justice of the peace of the county of Caswell, the following oath, (to wit,) I A B do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the nature of the case may be.) that I will well and truly perform the duties of commissioner of police of the town of Milton, so long as I shall continue to serve in the said appointment, to the best of my knowledge and ability, so help me God.

History of Milton, North Carolina

In 1826, the Reverend James M. Douglas, the Presbyterian minister, summarized the town's short history:

 "The ground on which the town of Milton now stands was covered with woods until about the year 1790. The first house was built by Mr. Daniel S. Farley, on the site of the present Milton Hotel. In 1796, a town, to be called Milton, a contraction of Mill-town, was laid out by Mr. Asa Thomas, and an act of the Legislature was obtained for the disposal of the lots. In 1819, when there were thirteen houses only, the act of incorporation was amended, and the town enlarged. For a time, flushed on by the madness of speculation, it increased rapidly. . . ."

Source: National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Milton Historic District, 27 August 1973.
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Laws of North Carolina, 1796

At a General Assembly, begun and held at the city of Raleigh, on the twenty-first Day of November, in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and ninety six, and in the Twenty-first Year of thee Independence of the said State; Being the first Session of the said Assembly.
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An Act to establish a town and inspection of tobacco and flour in Caswell county, near the mouth of Country line creek, on the land of Asa Thomas.

I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That Archibald Murphey, William Rainey, Thomas Jeffrey, Archibald Samuel and James Sanders, be, and they are hereby appointed Commissioners to lay off thirty acres of land of the aforesaid Asa Thomas, at or near his, the said Thomas' mill, into half acre lots, in such manner as they shall think most convenient for the same; and that as soon as said tract or parcel of land shall be laid off into lots, it shall be and the same is hereby established a town and shall be called and known by the name of Milton.

II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said Commissioners shall, as soon as convenient after laying off said town, proceed to sell the lots at public auction, giving twenty days notice of the time of said sale, and execute deeds of sale to the purchaser or purchasers for the same, in the name of the Commissioners; and the said Commissioners shall, and they are hereby declared to have full power and authority to form such rules, regulations and restrictions relative to the said town, as may from time to time be deemed expedient and necessary, not inconsistent with the constitution.

III. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said Commissioners, or a majority of them, shall, and they are hereby declared to have full power and authority to act as such; and in case of resignation or refusal of the aforesaid Commissioners, that then and in that case it shall and may be lawful for the other said Commissioners , to nominate and appoint some other person or persons to full such vacancy, who shall have equal power and authority with the other said Commissioners appointed by this act.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Asa Thomas Deed/Indenture 8 July 1797 (Milton, NC)

Asa Thomas Deed/Indenture  8 July 1797

Asa Thomas Indenture  8 July 1797

Asa Thomas of Caswell County to the Commissioners empowered to lay out the Town of Milton, for $5, land adjacent to Milton, three lots containing four springs for free use of water to inhabitants of Milton forever and to be reserved as the Town Common; lot #1 of 53 square chains and one spring; lot #2 of one acre and two springs; lot #3 of 1.75 acres [presumably with one spring]. 8 July 1797. Witnesses: James Rainey, L. Lea, Robert Wilson.

Source: Kendall, Katharine Kerr. Caswell County North Carolina Deed Books 1777-1817 Abstracts. Easley (South Carolina): Southern Historical Press, Inc., 1989, p. 179.
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[Paragraphs breaks added]

Asa Thomas Indenture 8 July 1797

102

This Indenture made the Eighth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand and seven hundred and ninety seven and in the twenty second year of our Independence between Asa Thomas of the County of Caswell and State of North Carolina of the one part and Thomas Jeffreys, Archibald Murphey, William Rainey, Archibald Samuel and James Saunders, Commissioners appointed by an act of our General Assembly for the purposes of laying out, building and carrying on the town of Milton near the mouth of Country line creek, all of the County of Caswell & state aforesaid of the other part.

Witnesseth that the said Asa Thomas for and in consideration of the sum of five dollars to him paid by the said Commissioners the receipt whereof he the said Asa Thomas doth hereby acknowledge.

That he given and granted bargained and sold and by this agreement doth give and grant bargain and sell, allieve in fee assess release and confirm unto the said commissioners and their successors for ever three certain lots or parcels of land situate lying and being in the Countyy aforesaid adjoining the Town of Milton it being three separate lots including four several springs, conveyed to the said Commissioners for the free and uninterrupted use of water to the inhabitants of the Town of Milton and by the said Commissioners to be reserved a Town common for that special purpose for ever and bounded as follows to wit,

Spring Lot No. 1 beginning at the North East corner of the Lot No. 21 and running thence north 7 1/2 degrees east thirty three yards to a stake, thence North 82 1/2 degrees west twenty two yards to a stake, then north 7 1/2 __ degrees East fifty seven yards one foot eight inches to a stake, then South eighty two 1/2 degrees East 66 yards 2 foot 8 inches to a stake west corner of Lot No. 27 then South 7 1/2 degrees west ten yards to a stake, then north west corner of lot No. 26, thence north 82 1/2 degrees west thirty four yards two feet four inches to a stake the South 7 1/2 degrees west sixty nine yards one foot eight inches to __ the north west corner of lot No. 22 thence north.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Nissen Wagon Dealers in Caswell County, North Carolina


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The Nissen Wagon Works of John Philip Nissen, located in Forsyth County, North Carolina, was one of the largest wagon makers in the south during the nineteenth century. By 1850 Nissen was producing 65 wagons annually, far more than his competitors. The good years that followed found Nissen tripling the amount of capital invested in his business as he purchased steam-powered and horse-powered machinery to double his production capacity.

John Philip Nissen managed the business until after the Civil War, when two of his sons, George E. and William M., began to operate the firm under the name George E. Nissen Wagon Works. At the peak of production, this company produced about ten thousand wagons a year. John Israel Nissen, another son of J. P. Nissen, also established a wagon factory, which he later sold to his brother, Christian Francis (Frank).

The separate Nissen wagon factories were consolidated in 1910 and continued to operate under the Nissen name until 1925 when it was sold for nearly $1 million.

Source: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. [Online at NCPedia].
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Counterfeit Bank of the State of North Carolina Note April 1844

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Counterfeit bank note taken from prisoner in Stokes County, North Carolina, 1846.

Bethania

"This Bill found in the possession of Larkin Ray a Prisoner brought before us Beverly Jones & HR Lehman two of the Justices of the Peace of Stokes County NC on the 10th of January 1846 at Bethania. HR Lehman."
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In 1846, Bethania was in Stokes County, North Carolina. However, as a result of the creation of Forsyth County in 1849 (carved from Stokes County), Bethania now is in Forsyth County.



The Bank of the State of North Carolina Promises to Pay Four Dollars on demand to the bearer at Milton Raleigh 1 Apr 1844.

From the Greg Cheek Collection
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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Peddlers

Peddlers

Drummer House (Leasburg, NC)
In the mid 1800s, Jews who had recently emigrated from eastern Europe got a foothold in business by peddling in North Carolina and other southern states. With little capital themselves, immigrant peddlers often catered to poor whites and blacks whose access to store credit was limited; some peddlers managed to accumulate enough cash to start their own permanent stores.

Although stereotyped as shady dealers, in reality peddlers were vulnerable travelers who could be easy crime targets.

Determining the precise number of peddlers who sold their wares in North Carolina at any given time is difficult. What is clear, however, is that this ancient form of selling remained an important part of the state's commerce into the twentieth century, when more sophisticated traveling salesmen replaced peddlers and improved transportation made getting to the store easier for consumers.

Source: Jones, Lu Ann. "Peddlers." NCPedia, 2006.
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Caswell County Pillory and Stocks

Caswell County Pillory and Stocks

Corporal punishment in North Carolina, short of death, has taken the varied forms of (1) mutilation and dismemberment, (2) public whippings, and (3) confinement before the public gaze in the pillory and stocks.

A major part of punishment in stocks and pillories was public humiliation and they were commonly found in the town square. The Stocks were used to publicly humiliate people that had committed petty crimes. As the offender sat in the stocks, the townspeople would often pelt them with rotten food, dead animals or stones while jeering, mocking, and ridiculing them.

As late as 1836, certain crimes in North Carolina were punishable by confinement in the pillory and stocks. These forms of corporal punishment were steadily restricted throughout the first half of the nineteenth century and altogether disappeared by constitutional fiat in 1868.

Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions:

April 1824: "Ordered the treasurer of public buildings build or repair the stocks in such manner as he may adjudge best for the use and benefit of the county."

July 1824: "Ames Ford be allowed $50.56 for building stock and pilory [sic] in this county."

Monday, April 09, 2018

Albert Gallatin Lea

1. Name: Albert Gallatin Lea (source for the middle name is a bio on his son William):

KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS
William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
Published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL

SHAWNEE COUNTY, Part 28
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (KELLAM - LYON)

WILLIAM J. LEA, of Topeka, western manager for the Aetna Life Insurance Co. of Hartford, is of Scotch-Irish descent. He is the son of Albert Gallatin Lea and Jane (Rhea) Lea, and was born in Wilson County, Tenn., August 17, 1844. He received a partial academic course at Cherry Grove Seminary in Illinois. His father died when he was thirteen years of age, and by his death he was early thrown upon his own resources. He assisted in the support of his widowed mother and obtained a good education besides.

One year after his father's death, not having a taste for farming pursuits to which he had hitherto been brought up, he bound himself as an apprentice to learn the printer's trade in the office of the Macomb, Illinois Eagle, where he remained for four years. During the last two years of his apprenticeship, he became foreman of the printing office, and did much of the local editorial work on the paper.

In 1860-61 he removed to Missouri, where he spent a year and then returned to Illinois. The war having broken out, August 11, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company A, Eighty-fourth Illinois Infantry. He served thirteen months as a Corporal, when he was discharged for disability April 21, 1863. Having regained his health he enlisted May 2, 1864, in Company C, One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry, serving until the regiment was mustered out September 24, 1864. During his service he participated in the bloody battle of Perryville, and also the defense of Memphis during Forrest's raid.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Caswell County Taverns (North Carolina)

1777

September

At the September 1777 session of the Caswell County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions (which was the county's executive branch), the justices took the following action: "License granted to John Payne to keep a tavern at Caroline with Robert Payne and John Satterfield, securities." At the same session "tavern rates" were set by the court.

John Chambers to keep tavern at his dwellling house.

December

Lawrence VanHook to keep ordinary at his dwelling house.

1778

March

Thomas Douglas to keep ordinary at his dwelling house.
Tavern keepers have leave to sell whiskey at 9 pence per gill.

1779

December

Thomas Douglas to keep tavern at his own dwelling house.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

SS Hoover 1937: Bettie Watkins

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Former Milton Woman Aboard The SS "Hoover"

Among the four hundred passengers who embarked on the President Hoover for China before she ran aground last Friday morning on a rocky island near Formisa [sic] is Mrs. W. Morris, wife of a director of the British American Tobacco Company and formerly Miss Bettie Watkins of Milton, N.C.

From last reports all of the passengers have been removed from the liner which is threatened with destruction to two small islands where they are safely encamped pending the arrival of rescue ships.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia), 13 December 1937, Monday, Page 12.
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1919 Passport Photo
The Bettie Watkins Morris is Elizabeth Peterson Watkins (c.1877-1957), daughter of Warner Merriwether Watkins and Kate Ashton Walker.

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Brooks & White Funeral Home

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Brooks & White Funeral Home was founded before 1914 in Hurdle Mills, NC by George D. Brooks and Cyrus Clifton White. They ran a blacksmith shop, woodworking shop, country store and garage. At that time the infant mortality rate was high and they offered infant caskets for sale in the store and then they later began providing a funeral service. It was around 1913-1915 when George D. Brooks and Cyrus C. White purchased a wagon that was converted to a hearse. With this wagon they would assist a family in shrouding the deceased and transporting the body to the burial location.

In the late 1920's, George D. Brooks moved to Semora in adjoining Caswell County and started a country store and funeral home. In the early 1930's, Merle Brooks, the oldest daughter of George D. Brooks graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Nashville, TN and went on to become one of the first female embalmers in the State of North Carolina. She also was licensed in Virginia.

Cyrus Clifton White
Later, the First Bank of South Boston was purchased and converted into a funeral home. This firm was named Brooks Funeral Home. Throughout the years, many of the family connections were employed by this firm. The next funeral home that was purchased was in Yanceyville, NC. This made the fourth in the Brooks & White organization. Following World War II in which four of five of Cyrus's sons were involved (the fifth and youngest son was in Korea), the oldest son, C.J. was sent to Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Nashville, TN and graduated June 28, 1947. C.J. then served his apprenticeship under Merle Brooks in South Boston. In 1951, the three brothers C.J., Lawrence and Jack White (along with Tom Jones, husband of Merle Brooks Jones) bought the J. J. "Dick" Woody Funeral Home from his widow and operated out of the house at 522 S. Main Street for the next 30 years. After many years of work and planning, Brooks & White Funeral Home was moved in 1981 to its current location at 907 Durham Road.

The Yanceyville funeral home was sold in the 1950s, and Semora and Hurdle Mills were closed. In the 1960s the South Boston and Roxboro funeral homes were separated, no longer having any common owners.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

State v. Wiley, North Carolina Supreme Court (1870)

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"The State Against F. A. Wiley"

Many legal proceedings resulted from the killing of John Walter (Chicken) Stephens (1834-1870) in the Caswell County Courthouse (Yanceyville, North Carolina). One case involved former Caswell County Sheriff Franklin A. (Frank) Wiley (c.1825-1888).

While not clear, this may have been a habeas corpus hearing to determine whether Wiley would be released or bound over for trial. Many witnesses gave testimony, including Doctor Preston Roan, M.D. (c.1842-1882). His testimony should be viewed as the definitive description of the death of John Walter Stephens (along with the much later "confession" of John G. Lea).

The attached photograph, while obviously not contemporaneous with the killing, shows the first-floor southeast room (including the single south window and the two east windows).
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Dr. [Preston] Roan was then called as the first witness. He gave a description of [the] Court house building. He said that he was sent for on Sunday morning; went into [the] room where the body lay; the door was opened before he got there; the corpse was lying in a hollow in the pile of wood at the north side of the room; knees and arms were drawn up, three stabs were discernible, a rope was around the neck, known as a grass rope, drawn tightly in a noose, with two ends both hanging from behind; two of the stabs were in the neck, one severing the windpipe; another pierced the heart; a knife was lying near the body, it had a buck-horn handle, two blades, one of which was open, about 3 inches long and 3/4 an inch in width; the rope was drawn tightly around the neck, sinking into the skin; there were noticeable sighs of blood on the wood and plastering; the stabs had been inflicted rapidly, and strangulation was effected before the infliction of the wounds.

No portion of the body touched the floor; it lay in a space in the wood-pile, and could not have been seen during the night search, from the windows; a few sticks of wood were under it. The back was toward the east, the side towards the wall. There was no doubt that Stephens was killed in the room. Saw no signs of blood at the window till next morning, then saw a drop on the granite sill and on the box, as if it fell and split; it was florid and fresh. He [Dr. Roan] had ordered the use of the box at the window ledge for the night search. There was no blood on the floor. A servant got the box. One of Stephens' brothers made examination. A candle was used, for the night had set in. When the windows were down a stick was usually put up to confine them; the door of this room was bolted as he learned that night; there was a thumb bolt at the hasp.

He [Dr. Roan] was not present when the door was opened. No key was seen by him. The spot of blood on the window sill might have been made by the print of a finger, a step could have produced it, but there was no blood on the floor. The body might have been seen in the day. It was not discoverable by candle-light. Had been asked permission to search the Courthouse on the night of the murder. The South window was too high to make an examination, both windows on the East were used. Permission was asked for the search by Mr. T. Stephens and Cooke. Door was closed. Didn't know where the key was. Was not asked for it. Granite would not absorb blood as readily as wood, and stains upon it would appear more plain distinct.

Monday, April 02, 2018

Sanford-Dagwell Marriage 1929

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Mrs. Charles P. Dagwell

Mr. and Mrs. Willis W. Sanford, of Newberry, Mich., announce the marriage of their daughter, Irene Eloise, to Mr. Charles Pond Dagwell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Dagwell, of Indian River, Mich., on Friday, June 14, in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The bride was most charming in a gown of yellow georgette and carried a bridal bouquet of roses, sweet peas and baby's breath. She was attended by Miss Elizabeth Myers, of Miles, Mich. Mr. Arza Austin, of Dundee, Mich., acted as best man.

Mrs. Dagwell is a graduate of Michigan State Normal college and a member of the Kappa Psi sorority. Mr. Dagwell is a student of the University of Michigan and a member of the Phi Epsilon Kappa fraternity. Both were on the faculty at Chelsea, Mich. After a short wedding trip they will be at home in Indian River.

Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan), 14 July 1929, Sunday, Page 44.

Barzillai Shuford Graves (1854-1942)

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The researcher is advised that not all the claims made in the following two obituaries have been confirmed. Example: The second obituary claims that Barzillai Shuford Graves was the first president of the Bank of Yanceyville. This is incorrect as he was not born when the Bank of Yanceyville was chartered in 1852. And, doubtful is whether he was the Mayor of Yanceyville. Also, note the differences between the two reports.

"B. S. Graves, Of Caswell, Is Stricken"

Yanceyville, May 3 (Special to Daily News) -- Barzillai Shuford Graves, Caswell county's grand old man, died at his home here tonight about 9 o'clock of infirmities due to old age. Mr. Graves, whose name had been prominently connected with political, religious and civic activities in this section for almost 70 years, had been in failing health during recent months.

Mr. Graves got an early start in politics. Before he was 21 years old he was elected sheriff of Caswell county and served in this capacity for several terms. Later he was named clerk of Superior court and remained in office for a number of years. He had also been a member of the board of county commissioners for several terms. He was a delegate to the Democratic national convention which first nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt for President.

The oldest Mason in Caswell county, Mr. Graves for 60 years was a charter member of Clinton Masonic lodge and also held membership in the John A. Graves lodge and the Caswell Brotherhood lodge. He was a lifetime member of Yanceyville Baptist church.

Me married Miss Mallie Graves, daughter of Judge Graves, of Mt. Airy. She preceded him in death. Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. J. P. Burke, of Hendersonville, wife of Rev. Mr. Burke, and a grandchild.

Arrangements for the funeral were incomplete tonight, but services probably will be held Tuesday.
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"B. S. Graves Passes In Yanceyville/Prominent Caswell Leader Dies At 87"

Yanceyville, N.C., May 4 (Special to The Bee) -- Barzillai Shuford Graves, former mayor of Yanceyville, Caswell county sheriff, chairman of the county Board of Commissioners and clerk of Superior court, died last night at his home after a period of gradually declining health. His age was 87.

Mr. Graves held a number of additional responsible positions in the county during his lifetime and was a pioneer advocate of the county's good-road policy. He was the first president of the Bank of Yanceyville, which position he filled with distinction for many years, and was an outstanding leader in other constructive movements.

He was a charter member and first master of the former John A. Graves Masonic lodge, which recently was re-named Caswell Brotherhood No. 11. Last year he received the 50-year certificate for membership in the lodge.

Mr. Graves began his career of county work at the age of 22, when he was elected sheriff. He held that position for 12 years, later taking on more responsible work.

Surviving are his wife, the former Miss Malvina Graves, of Mount Airy; one daughter, Mrs. J. P. Burke, of Hendersonville; two sisters, Mrs. T. L. Sellars and Mrs. C. T. Holt, of Burlington, and one granddaughter, Miss Betsy Graves Burke. He also leaves a number of nieces and nephews.

An interesting note in the family history of Barzillai Graves is that his great grandfather was the first white child born in North Carolina, west of the Blue Ridge mountains.

Funeral services will be conducted tomorrow morning at 11 o'clock at Yanceyville Baptist church, which he served as deacon and as superintendent of the Sunday school.