Thursday, November 15, 2018

Henry McGilbert Wagstaff (1876-1945)

Henry McGilbert Wagstaff (1876-1945)

Henry McGilbert Wagstaff, historian and university professor, was born on a farm near Roxboro, the son of Clement McGilbert Wagstaff (1840-1916) and Sarah Elizabeth Paylor Wagstaff (1840-1900). In 1895 he enrolled at the University of North Carolina, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, served on the "Daily Tar Heel" staff, and was awarded a Ph.B. degree (bachelor of philosophy) in 1899. After teaching for two years, he attended Johns Hopkins University for graduate work in history and received his Ph.D. in 1906. In 1907 he began a thirty-eight year career teaching history at the University of North Carolina. He rests at the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery (Chapel Hill, Orange County, North Carolina).

Wagstaff wrote two books about Person County's Concord Community:

Wagstaff, Henry McGilbert. Wiley Buck and Other Stories of the Concord Community.

Wagstaff, Henry McGilbert. The Concord Community: A Retrospective (1941).

A reviewer of Wiley Buck shared the following: "A gifted teller of tales sketches a lively picture of his boyhood in the old tobacco section of Person County, North Carolina, just south of the Virginia line. All the white grown-ups of the boy's childhood were former slaveholders and former soldiers who had come through the Civil War and had met the need for readjustment."

The publications may be available in libraries and possibly online.

The Concord Community in Person County, North Carolina, has no legal definition, but generally is thought to be the area northwest of Roxboro on Highway 57 (Semora Road) around the intersection with Concord Church Road. This is in Cunningham Township.

Photograph: 1899 staff of the "Daily Tar Heel" UNC campus newspaper. Wagstaff is bottom right.

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