Thursday, May 10, 2018

Hamer General Store and Post Office (Hamer, Caswell County, North Carolina)

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Hamer Post Office

The Hamer community of northeast Caswell County once had a post office, albeit short-lived. On June 7, 1882, Grattan T. Hubbard was appointed postmaster at Hamer. He continued in that position until the Hamer post office was discontinued in 1904, with mail diverted to Blanch.

Grattan T. Hubbard apparently built the Hamer general store around 1875 and most likely operated the Hamer post office from that store. In later years this store was owned and operated by Doug Fowlkes.

Grattan T. Hubbard served as the first U.S. postmaster at Hamer, which was in operation from 7 June 1882 until 14 October 1904. He may have owned at one time the John Johnston House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The following is the summary from the National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for the John Johnston House, Caswell County, North Carolina (3 January 1997):

The John Johnston House was probably built early in the second quarter of the nineteenth century on a plantation of 375 acres that Johnston assembled at that time "on the main road leading from Yanceyville to Milton." A member of a prominent Caswell county family, John Johnston (ca. 1778-1860) was a son of Scottish immigrant Dr. Lancelot Johnston, who served with distinction as a surgeon with the American forces during the Revolution. John Johnston's son by his first marriage to Mary Frances Donoho, Thomas Donoho Johnston (1800-1883), rose to prominence as a businessman in the late antebellum period and built Clarendon Hall in Yanceyville, one of the county's finest antebellum residences. Following John Johnston's death in 1860 and the death of his second wife, Nancy, in 1872, the property had a long succession of owners, one of which, probably either G. T. Hubbard or J. E. Zimmerman, moved the house in the first quarter of the twentieth century some 150 yards southwest to a corner of the property where it served as a tenant house. In the late 1980s it was restored by local resident and historian, Hilda Broda, who received a 1995 Award of Merit from the Historic Preservation Foundation of North Carolina for this project. The John Johnston House now provides the observer with a rare glimpse of rural life in nineteenth-century Caswell County.

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Frank Douglas Fowlkes, age 88, of Blanch, N.C., died Tuesday, March 22, 2016. He was born 1 June 1927 in Caswell County, to the late Robert Jennings Fowlkes (1888-1977) and Nancy Williamson Martin Fowlkes (1889-1952). He was one of nine children. He graduated from Bartlett Yancey High School, attended Oak Ridge Military Academy and Appalachian State University. He also served in the US Navy and was a member of New Hope United Methodist Church.

He was married to Anne Isabell Davis Fowlkes (1928-2004) for 56 years. He and his wife owned and operated Fowlkes Store for 56 plus years in Hamer where he also was a proud lifelong tobacco farmer. He is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth Anne Fowlkes Petty of Forest City, N.C., and husband, Buck, and Janet Davis Fowlkes Collie of Blanch, N.C.; two sons, Frank Davis Fowlkes II of Blanch, N.C., and wife, Debbie, and George Jennings Fowlkes of Blanch, N.C. He is also survived by one brother, Richard Fowlkes of Yanceyville, N.C.; six grandchildren, Amy Neal, Brian Collie and wife, Staci, Ethan Fowlkes, Emily Fowlkes, Davis Fowlkes and Kati Jo Fowlkes all of Blanch, N.C.

In addition, he is also survived by two great-grandchildren, Graham Collie and Adelyn Collie.In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by four sisters, Rebecca Fowlkes Stanfield, Elizabeth Fowlkes White, Francis Fowlkes Smith and Nancy Fowlkes Patterson; and three brothers, Robert Fowlkes, John Fowlkes and Charles Fowlkes. Many beloved nieces and nephews also survive.

He enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was an avid rook player with his many friends at the Senior Center. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, March 25, 2016, at New Hope United Methodist Church with the Rev. Howard James officiating. Interment will be at the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 24, 2016, at New Hope United Methodist Church, 465 Longs Mill Road, Blanch, NC 27212 and other times at the residence. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be mailed to the New Hope Cemetery Fund c/o Karen Daniel, 4385 Blanch Road, Blanch, NC 27212. Harrelson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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