Monday, September 24, 2018

Clarendon Hall Chain of Ownership

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Clarendon Hall Chain of Ownership

Phil B., a member of the Caswell County Historical Association's Yahoo Group (message board), spent time at the Caswell County Register of Deeds office and developed the following Clarendon Hall ownership history, which we will explore here:

1.  Thomas Donoho Johnston and wives Sarah Grimes McAden and Adaline Hannah Williamson

2.  Willoughby Newton Shelton and Mary Frances Johnston Shelton

3.  William Blair Graves

4.  Heirs of William Blair Graves

5.  Thomas Oldham Jones

6.  Sarah Hundley Lipscomb Jones

7.  Heirs of Sarah Hundley Lipscomb Jones

8.  The Historic Preservation Fund of North Carolina

9.  Susanna R. Gwyn, Meyer E. Dworksy, and S. Revelle Gwyn

10. Benjamin Forrest Williams and Margaret Ann Click Williams

11. TBD

Dowdy Town Raid 1928

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Dowdytown Is Raided Again: Brew Seized

Caswell Officers Have a Busy Day -- 13 Arrested in Two Raids

(Special to The Bee.)

Yanceyville, N.C. Aug 18 -- Caswell county officers became conspicuously active yesterday making two raids during the course of the day during which time they arrested thirteen men for various violations, most of whom are now in jail here.

One of the raids centered on Dowdytown -- one of several made recently by officers and it resulted in eleven men being taken into custody. Three officers made the descent, W. C. Taylor, deputy sheriff of this township, aided by Herman Smith, of Dan River, and J. Cullen Bryant, game warden and a physical giant with it. They made their way by circuitous route to a branch near Dowdytown and report surprising eight negroes who were engaged in rolling dice. None of them got away and were made secure.

From there, the officers went to John Dowdy's place of business and reported capturing nearby an automobile in the rumble seat of which they found home brew on ice and about 7 gallons of liquor in the front seat. John Dowdy was arrested as were Peyton Lunsford, another white man whose condition was such that repeated questions of him for his name, the officers reported, drew little but a blank stare. With this load the officers returned to this place where Dowdy gave $300 bond for appearance Monday. He was already under another bond at the time. The others were put in jail.

Doubling back, Taylor accompanied by Sheriff Gunn, J. C. Long and H. A. Smith, went to a point near Park Springs and there arrested Joe Fogleman, of Burlington, and W. E. Boggs, a Danville barber, who were arrested for inebriety and who gave bond for appearance.

While all this was going on a well organized manhunt was in progress in another part of the county. C. E. Diamond deputy of Stony Creek, and Stokes Butler was [sic] notified that the store of T. R. Minor had been broken into and that the storekeeper had surprised the two alleged burglars who fled, leaving their automobile and some goods taken from the store. The two men made a dash for some heavy woods and the two officers ringed the woods with a posse of forty hastily summoned men. As they closed in they flushed their alleged quarry but there was no escape. One gave the name of Attress Sutton, of Alamance and the other gave the name of Shambley of Lexington, N.C. Both are in jail.

Source: The Bee (Danville, Virginia), 18 August 1928, Saturday, Page 1.

People Mentioned: W. C. Taylor; Herman A. Smith; J. Cullen Bryant; John Dowdy; Peyton Lunsford; Sheriff Gunn; J. C. Long; Joe Fogleman; W. E. Boggs; C. E. Diamond; Stokes Butler; T. R. Minor; Attress Sutton; Unknown Shambley.

Caswell County Extension Services

Caswell County Extension Services

Christensen, Janice R. and Deekens, A. Maynard, Editors. "And That's the Way It Was 1920-1980: The 60-Year History of Extension Home Economics Work in North Carolina," 1980.

In 1935, a group of Caswell County women saw the need for a trained home economics Extension agent to help with all aspects of home and family living. Prior to that time a home economist, Mrs. N. B. Nicholson, had worked with groups in the county on food conservation. The county commissioners agreed to fund a home agent for one year. On July 1, 1935, Miss Maude Searcy was hired as the first home agent.

Miss Searcy resigned in 1941 to become the home agent in Harnett County. She was followed by Miss Margaret Montgomery who served in Caswell County until she moved to West Virginia in September 1942.

Miss Louise Homewood was employed in September 1942 and worked with the club women until September 1965. She held pressure cooker clinics in Yanceyville and in other areas of the county each spring because too many women were using acid to preserve their food. She also remembers hat-making workshops and the pulled-mint workshops where the women met, had fun, and had products to carry home.

Friday, September 07, 2018

John Walter (Chicken) Stephens Revolver

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                Stephens Revolver

Earl Jones Smith (1910-1985) with revolver taken from John Walter (Chicken) Stephens (1834-1870). The item appeared in The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, North Carolina), probably around October 1953. Image courtesy The Caswell Messenger and Jerry Parks Cooper. The revolver now is on display at the Richmond-Miles History Museum in Yanceyville, North Carolina.

"Earl Smith, local banker, is a collector of antique firearms, having quite a varied display of old muskets, rifles, and pistols. Here he is shown holding a plaque with the ball and cap Colt revolver which once belonged to John Walter (Chicken) Stephens, who was murdered in the Courthouse here during Reconstruction days. Mr. Smith acquired the revolver from Giles Mebane, who received the gun from Mrs. Alice Denny Lea in 1930. A affidavit states that Mrs. Lea received the gun from her brother, James Denny, who acquired it on the night when Stephens was knifed to death in the year 1870."
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John W. Stephens's Colt revolver. According to Mrs. Alice Denny Lea, this was one of the three taken from Stephens when he was murdered. Her brother, James Denny, brought it to her for concealment on the night of the murder. It remained hidden in an old trunk until 1930.

Eliza Alice Denny Lea (1850-1933) is a daughter of James L. Denny and Isabella Adams. Her brother, James G. Denny (born c.1847), is believed to be the James Denny who brought to her the Colt revolver taken from John Walter (Chicken) Stephens the night he was killed.

Eliza Alice Denny married Sidney Slade Lea (1853-1932), brother of Caswell County Ku Klux Klan leader John Green Lea (1843-1935).