Monday, July 01, 2019

Zeb Vance found his value in Reems Creek

Zebulon Baird Vance
"Zeb Vance found his value in Reems Creek" by Rob Neufeld (Asheville Citizen-Times, 1 July 2019)

When David Vance, grandfather of future governor Zebulon Vance, moved to Reems Creek in the late 1780s, he was one of several settlers with Revolutionary War pasts who were looking to be part of what he considered an ideal community. That involved a large family, a working farm, a nearby church, a water powered mill, and some kind of school and slaves.

The condition of slaves lives and of the lives of freedmen, before and after Emancipation, varied greatly. The Vances perpetrated a big family model, which involved kindness and love as well as paternalism and bondage.

When David Vance was dying in 1813 he expressed in his will the desire that his two families of slaves, headed by Richard and Aggy and Jo and Leah, be given "full liberty." "Full liberty" meant, in that time and place, freedom to choose their households, to travel, and to not worry about losing their children. The State slave code required approval by a county court for emancipating the slaves. It also required that freedmen carry and present documents when they were away from their homes. The Vance's "liberated" slaves had to have tickets from their owners as permission to travel. All slaves and freedmen had to fear white men who were given license to shoot runaways.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Smith-McDowell House: "Twists and Turns"

c.1875 Click for Larger Image
"Twists and Turns"

In 1881, Alexander Garrett and wife Elizabeth purchased the Smith-McDowell House (purportedly then called "Buck House") from William Wallace McDowell and wife Sarah Lucinda Smith McDowell (daughter of James McConnell Smith, who built the house).

The Garretts, along with their son Robert Urey Garrett, his wife Mary Frances Tarr Garrett, and six-year-old granddaughter Alexandra, moved from St. Louis to Asheville. The family had emigrated from Ireland in 1847. Alexander Garrett had amassed a sizable fortune as a businessman in the Midwest. He retired to Asheville to enjoy the climate and to engage in land speculation. The elder Garrett sold the Buck House for $1 to his son Robert Urey Garrett (who owned the property until 1898).

The first wife of son Robert Urey Garrett, Mary Frances Tarr Garrett, died in 1884. A few years later the widower remarried (1887): Myra Adeline Gash, daughter of Leander Sams Gash and Margaret Adeline McClain. Her grandmother, Nancy Cordelia Gudger (1777-1851) is a sister of Joseph Henry Gudger (1826-1859), who married Elizabeth Adaline Smith (1829-1912), sister of Sarah Lucinda Smith (1826-1905) -- wife of William Wallace McDowell. After the death of James McConnell Smith in 1856, Joseph Henry Gudger purchased the Buck Hotel in Asheville.

Thus, a Gudger owned the Buck Hotel and a Gudger descendant owned (or at least was married to the owner of) the Buck House (now called the Smith-McDowell House).

And, it gets better, even if more confusing:

The first child of Robert Urey Garrett (by his first wife, Mary Frances Tarr Garrett), Alexandra Garrett, married Robert Pulliam Johnston (1870-1924), who apparently is referenced in the following --

"Johnston Estate is Given to Smith Heirs: Superior Court Verdict for Mrs. Miller and Others -- Construction of Ante-Bellum Will Recalls Interesting Facts of Asheville's Early History"

By virtue of the fact that the jury answered all issues in favor of the plaintiffs in Superior court yesterday morning in the case of Lula R. Miller and others against Robert P. Johnston and others, property located on Broadway, Spruce and Walnut streets valued at $100,000 is awarded to Lulu R. Miller, Jacob F. Weaver and the heirs of [Joseph] Henry Gudger. The plaintiffs in the foregoing suit are the heirs of Mrs. Elizabeth A. Smith [Gudger], daughter of James M. Smith, the construction of whose will made in 1856, was one of the chief points at issue in the case. In the course of the trial of the case, which was hotly contested by counsel on both sides and took up more than two days of the court's time, much interesting data relating to distinguished citizens of Asheville before and after the Civil war was unearthed.

The property which is now the site of many of the most valuable and important businesses in the city, in 1856, the date of Mr. Smith's will, was entirely given over to the use of the Buck hotel, one of the most noted of the ante-bellum taverns and frequented as a resort by the famous and distinguished men of the Civil war period.

As the will was made before the war and the testator willed slaves to his children, the reading thereof awakened many interesting memories in the minds of the older men in the court room.

It was the contention of the plaintiffs that this famous property was __________ Elizabeth A. Smith, the daughter of James M. Smith, the jury so held.

The Johnstons came into possession of the property under the provisions of a deed made by E Sluder [possibly wealthy Asheville banker/businessman Erwin Sluder who often went by E. Sluder], who had come into the possession of it in 1860.

It is an interesting fact that one of the corners called for in the Smith will was the old law office of Senator Zebulon Vance. One of the deeds in the chain proving title in the property was executed by Henry Grady, grandfather of Henry W. Grady, the famous orator. One of the executors named in the will was David L. Swain, at one time governor of the state and for thirty years president of the university, while a witness to the instrument was Nicholas W. Woodfin, one of the most prominent lawyers of his day in Western Carolina.

The property now has located on it the residence of Mark W. Brown, which faces Spruce street; the Annandale creamery, the large boarding house formerly used by the Elks as a temporary home and the building occupied by the Shaw Motor company.

The plaintiffs in the foregoing case were represented by Jones and Williams, while Mark W. Brown, W. R. Whitson and J. Sneed Adams appeared for the defendants.
. . . .

Source: The Asheville Citizen (Asheville, North Carolina), Friday, 29 October 1915.

Source: Some of the foregoing comes from the history of the Smith-McDowell House assembled by the Western North Carolina Historical Association.

When his father-in-law, James McConnell Smith, died in 1856, Joseph Henry Gudger purchased the Buck Hotel in Asheville (also called the Smith Hotel). Gudger acquired the hotel furniture from Smith's estate for $595.29. He quickly refitted the building and advertised it in the April 9, 1857, issue of the Asheville News (newspaper) as having "Good rooms, attentive servants, table supplied with luxury -- Sulphur and Chalybeate Water has been discovered within two or three minutes walk of the Hotel." By October, 1858, the Southern, Eastern, and Murphy stages were stopping at Gudger's Hotel, as it came to be called, and business was flourishing. Unfortunately, Gudger died at the age of 38 in October, 1859, as a result of "whiskey." The hotel soon passed out of the Smith family. However, Elizabeth Adaline Smith and her second husband, Winslow W. Smith, did operate the hotel for a time.

Source: The Smith-McDowell House: A History, Dr. Richard W. Iobst (1998) at 13.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Jesse Siler Smith (1821-1870): "Left Behind"

Jesse Siler Smith (1821-1870): "Left Behind"

Click Photo to See Larger Image
This photograph of my second-great grandfather, Jesse Siler Smith, was kindly was provided by cousin Jesse Gerald Smith, Jr., also a second-great grandson of Jesse Siler Smith.

I asked cousin Jesse if he knew where our second-great grandfather was buried. Here is his sad answer:

Good question. We have agonized over this for many years. Here is the long version. Jesse died in 1870 under less than ideal circumstances.

First, the war had wiped out most of the family's means. I believe (by conjecture) that even though the McDowell family (i.e. Jesse's sister with WW McDowell) was living in the brick house [Smith-McDowell House], they like everyone were under financial duress. It is inconceivable to me that Jesse would not have been buried with the family up at the original graveyard where present day Fernihurst stands [on the A-B Tech campus behind the Smith-McDowell House].

I believe Jesse was buried "on the cheap" meaning there was no money at the time for a nice headstone. Maybe owing to the manner in which he died also might have played a part in his "unnoticed" passing. But lack of financial resource is the most likely reason.

Secondly, there may have been a plan to eventually place a headstone when it was feasible, however the sale of the [Fernihurst] property with the graveyard in 1875 and subsequent moving of the family remains to Newton Academy Cemetery left it undone.

Putting it simply, Jesse is still up at the old site near Daniel Smith's original cabin. I recently discussed with a local historian in Asheville that she was told that during the construction of Fernihurst, after the removal of the remains of the Smith family, that it was reported that the remains of at least two other bodies were unearthed at the site of the old graveyard. These remains were quietly put back in the ground and not commonly referred to, for various reasons, not the least that they did not know who they were for sure. This analysis is the only rational one I can come up with.

Jesse was "left behind."

Posted By: Richmond Stanfield Frederick, Jr.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Elijah Johnson Moorefield Family (c. 1910)

Elijah Johnson Moorefield Family (c. 1910 and c. 1940)

Click Photo to See a Larger Image
Location and exact date unknown. Only the parents and the younger male are identified: Elijah Johnson Moorefield (1868-1937) (father); Ada Belle James Moorefield (1870-1955) (mother); and son Arthur William Moorefield (1893-1976).

The older-appearing daughter (to Arthur William Moorefield's right) may be Minnie B. Moorefield (1891-1987). Other daughters may include: Leona; Lula; Virginia; Violet; Esther; and Verna. The younger daughters probably not born are: Alice; and Naomi.

As Verna was born in 1908 and Alice in 1911, these years may bracket the date of the photo. Here is the 1910 census record (when the family was living in Person County, North Carolina):

1910 US Census
Name: Eliza J Moorefield [Elijah J Moorefield]
Age in 1910: 43
Estimated birth year: abt 1867
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1910: Olive Hill, Person, North Carolina
Race: White
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Occupation: Farmer (General Farming), Employee
Mother's Birth Place: North Carolina [Virginia]
Father's Birth Place: North Carolina [Virginia]
Household Members: Name Age
Eliza J Moorefield 43 [Elijah J. Moorefield]
Ada B Moorefield 40
Minnie B Moorefield 18
Arther [Arthur] W Moorefield 16
Leoner [Leona] Moorefield 15
Lula M Moorefield 12
Jennie [Virginia] L [I] Moorefield 8
Violet B Moorefield 6
Ester [Esther] L [T] Moorefield 4
Sadie Moorefield 2 [nickname for Verna or census taker error]

Photograph courtesy Jesse Gerald Smith, Jr.

Compare the above family photograph from c. 1910 to the following, which was take c. 1940:

Click Photograph to See a Larger Image
Elijah Johnson Moorefield Family at Purley, Caswell County, North Carolina (c.1940). Left-to-Right:

Back Row: Alice Velma Moorefield, Lula May Moorefield, Elijah Johnson Moorefield (father), Ada Belle James Moorefield (mother), Minnie B. Moorefield, Leona Moorefield, Verna Brent Moorefield.

Front Row: Violet Bye Moorefield, Arthur William Moorefield, Virginia Inez Moorefield, Naomi Ethel Moorefield, Esther True Moorefield

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Jesse William James (1837-1901)

Jesse William James (1837-1901)

Ada Belle James (1870-1955) married Elijah Johnson Moorefield (1868-1937). Her father, Jesse William James (1837-1901), served as a Confederate soldier during the Civil War.

On December 15, 1861, in Orange County, North Carolina he enlisted as a private for a term of three years in Company A, 13th Battalion, North Carolina Infantry (called Wright's Battalion). On October 2, 1863, this unit was consolidated with others to become Company A ("Orange Boys"), 66th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry (State Troops). The unit was stationed in Wilmington, North Carolina, but moved to Virginia in May 1864. It fought at Cold Harbor, was placed in the trenches of Petersburg.

The details of his service between enlistment December 16, 1861, and May 20, 1864, are not known. However, on this latter date he was "[w]ounded in action at Howlett's Farm" and furloughed. He apparently never returned to active duty and mustered out as a private October 2, 1864.

Click map to see a larger image
The reference to Howlett's Farm is an area between Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, that was involved in the Battle of Ware Bottom Church, a one day encounter on May 20, 1964. See the map. On that date eight Confederate brigades under General Beauregard attacked General Butler’s advance picket lines near Ware Bottom Church. Approximately 10,000 soldiers clashed near the church, resulting in 1,400 casualties. After the battle, the Confederates built the Howlett Line, a series of strong defensive works (including trenches) from the James River to the Appomattox River, effectively trapping Butler's army on the Bermuda Hundred peninsula.

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Caswell County Dog Catcher

Caswell County's First Dog Catcher

In 1956 the Caswell County Board of Commissioners approved the position of a full-time "dog warden" with a salary of $225 per month. The Board also voted $2,000 to erect a dog pound and $200 "for food, water and electricity and other needed supplies for operation of the dog pound." The Board also was to purchase a truck equipped for use by the dog warden in catching stray dogs and taking them to the pound.

Men who applied for the dog warden job: Vance Wrenn, John W. Newnam, Jr., F. A. Williamson, Nathaniel Willis, Jr., and J. H. Wilkins.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia), 24 May 1956, Thursday, Page 22.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Solomon Debow Land Sale 1812

Lands and Mills For Sale

The Subscriber, wishing to remove to his possessions in Danville, offers for sale his Lands, Mills and Distillery in Caswell county. His Lands consist of sundry tracts, adjoining or near to each other, containing in the whole about eleven hundred acres. They lie about 2 1/2 miles from Caswell Court-House, on the waters of Country-Line Creek. These Lands are well watered and well timbered; a great part consist of good Tobacco Land, and all well adapted to the culture of wheat and corn. The Plantation is in good repair and a considerable Crop of Wheat is sowed on it.

The Dwelling House is new, large and commodious; it is 58 feet long, 38 feet wide, contains ten rooms, besides two large apartments in the cellar; 7 of the rooms are neatly plaistered, and one elegantly papered. It is situated on an eminence which commands a view of the court house and the surrounding country. There is a good framed Kitchen and other convenient Out Houses.

The Mills are on Country Line Creek, which is the best stream in the county. The Grist Mills are double geared, running 3 pair of large stones; and one fixed with all the necessary machinery for manufacturing flour, and with excellent bolting cloths. The Flour Mills are equal to any in North Carolina. The Saw Mill is constructed upon the most appropriate plan, and the surrounding country abounds with good timber. These Mills have been lately built and are in perfect repair.

The Distillery contains 3 large Stills; the house is large and well fixed.

These Mills and the Distillery, exclusive of the Plantation and other Improvements, are now rented for $1000 per year -- Some idea of their value may be formed from the amount of their rent.

I will sell this property in whole or in part, to suit the purchaser. Good bargains will be given for Cash or for Negroes -- or for good Bonds, payable at some early period.

The Lands are situated in a wealthy, genteel and flourishing neighborhood.

Solomon Debow
Sept. 27, 1812

Weekly Raleigh Register (Raleigh, North Carolina), 23 October 1812, Friday, Page 1.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

NC Highway 86 (Caswell County, NC)

NC Highway 14 South
Today's NC Highway 86 started life as NC Highway 14. It became 86 as part of the 1940-41 NC/Virginia highway renumbering program. Virginia 86 was there first, so the North Carolina highway was given a new number..

The photograph location is just east/southeast of Yanceyville, NC. To the right is the farm road that became part of South Gatewood Road (S.R.-1780). The view is down the hill to the Country Line Creek bridge. Click photograph to see a larger image. first.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 18 October 1926 (Page 1)

Hundreds of Danville motorists tried out the new concrete road linking the Virginia line with Caswell county courthouse. This highway known as Route No. 14 is now a 16-foot causeway well finished with the "herring bone" design and well pitched, especially at the numerous
curves in the road. Motorists yesterday had to make the 200 yard detour paralleling the unopened stretch from Gatewood to the state line but the entire stretch is due to be opened today.

The road does not appear to be as wide as the Reidsville road, but it is a great improvement over the old dirt road, which at places developed the "corduroy" finish. Workmen will now finish building up the dirt shoulders to this road making it wider than is now the case. The stretch is 15 miles in length and will be a great benefit to the farmers coming to Danville from the fertile tobacco counties lying
beyond Yanceyville.

The road from Yanceyville to Hillsboro has been given oil treatment as an experiment. The gravel has packed down well and the road has the appearance of being asphalt and rides as smoothly as a hard surfaced road.

In the mid-1950s an 18-wheeler with a trailer full of peanuts lost its brakes going down the hill to Country Line Creek and overturned. The unharmed driver encouraged those who came to observe the wreck to take all the peanuts they wanted! Many did.

NC Highway 14 North
NC Highway 14 (became NC Highway 86 N) between Yanceyville and Purley (in the Covington community: just past Budge Hatchett's Tree).

N.C. 86 (and N.C. 14 before it) originally had its southern terminus in Carrboro, not Chapel Hill. Between Carrboro and Hillsborough the highway ran over today's Old N.C. 86 (of course it did, you say, that's why it's called Old N.C. 86). The Old 86 south of Hillsborough was 86'd in the mid-1950s in favor of today's alignment south to Chapel Hill.

Length: 55 miles.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Spanish-American War (Caswell County, NC)

Spanish-American War

On May 22, 1898, the 1st North Carolina Regiment was dispatched to Camp Cuba Libre in Jacksonville, Florida, for service in the Spanish-American War.

Three regiments were raised in North Carolina to participate in the Spanish-American War. The following Caswell County men have been identified: John M. Dyle [Doyle?]; Walter S. Green; Donald L. Oliver; W. Banks Horton; John A. Mebane; and Edgar Calvin Yarbrough. Only the last is known to have been in Cuba. See photograph.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Obediah Florance (1740-1816)

Obediah Florance Family (Caswell County, NC)

The story of a family is recorded here as an example to show where most of the settlers came from, how land was obtained, kind of homes built, and the disappearance of all the descendants from Anderson township. The place from whence this family came is the same as most other settlers, Virginia.

Obediah Florance (1740-1816) was born in Prince William County, Virginia, and on land that his great grandfather, William, received by grant. It was located on Ocaequan Creek, now Lake Jackson. The family later moved from there to Fauquier County, and then to Culpepper, Virginia, where Obediah's mother, Littice, daughter of German immigrants, Tilman and Anna Margaret (Cuntz) Whitescarver, lived and whose occupation was that of blacksmith. From that shop came the only long fish-tail hinges made in America. Obediah Florance served in the Revolutionary War, the Militia, and was assigned to the Border Patrol. From a book, "House of Hill" by Katheryn Hill Arbogast, a descendant of Obediah Florance's brother, Elder William Florance, Jr. we quote:

"Every non-commissioned officer who enlised for duration would receive a 400 acre land grant (Hennings Statute, Vol. IX, page 179 and Vol. X, page 161.)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

White Eagle Service Station (Caswell County, NC)

White Eagle Service Station

Around 1926, B. B. and C. R. Vaughn built "White Eagle" service station and store in front of the Anderson School. Rufus A. Hooper operated it for many years. Other operators were W. F. Hurdle and Doc Hudgins, June M. Hurdle, Raymond Vinson. For many years it was closed until Jimmy Simmons reopened it in 1982. Presently Billy Simmons is the operator.

Plumblee, Millard Quentin. From Rabbit Shuffle to Collins Hill: Stories of Southern Caswell County, North Carolina. Burlington (North Carolina): Full Service Printing, 1984, p. 22.

Photograph courtesy Tyler James Chandler. Click to see a larger image.

Southern Caswell Ruritan Club (Caswell County, NC)

Civic Clubs

The only civic organization in the township is the Southern Caswell Ruritan Club, organized in 1962 at Anderson High School. Richard Byrd was elected as first president. Meetings were later held at "The Hut" of Bethel United Church of Christ. In 1972 the club erected a modern air conditioned building with money on hand. It is valued at more than $150,000. The charter shows forty-nine members, but many soon fell by the wayside. By 1965 the membership leveled off at about twenty-five. Membership gradually increased to fifty-one in 1983. Young men are presently taking the lead.

The club serves the community and special needs of individuals and families. An average annual expenditure on behalf of the community is about $7,000. The club is truly a community service organization.

The building became a community center for family reunions, high school class reunions, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, "Little League" baseball teams, wedding receptions, showers, farmer's meetings, benefit programs, county fire departments meetings, educational center for technical college classes, voting place for Dabbs precinct, etc. The number of weekly meetings average from four to six. No charge is made by the club for community use.

Club members who have served as Zone Governor were Nathan Simpson, Ervin Miles. J. O. Gregory, Harvey Tate, Brodie Simmons, Wayne Dabbs and Lynn Massey. District Governors have been Ervin Miles, Nathan Simpson. Hassel A. Byrd served as District Secretary.

Ervin Miles served as National Director from 1978 to 1980, Vice President of Ruritan National in 1983, and was elected President of Ruritan National in 1984.

From 1972 to 1983 the club has an unbroken perfect attendance record. Ervin Miles, Nathan Simpson, W. R. Simmons, Jr. and William Simmons have 100% attendance records since the club was organized in 1962. The 1983 roster of members is given here and symbols indicate charter members (#) and past presidents (*).

Bobby Aldridge
L. B. Aldridge, Jr.
Boyd Byrd
Hassel A. Byrd #*
Lindey J. Byrd

Roy Byrd #
Jeffrey Campbell
D. O. Chandler, Jr. #
Dwight Chandler *
Wilbur Chandler *

Leo Dabbs
O. M. Dabbs, Jr. #
Tony Dabbs
Wayne Dabbs *
Melvin Dollar

Morris Fuqua #**
Larry Fuquay
J. O. Gregory #*
Bob Hillman
Harvey Holden

W. M. Kimbro, Jr. *
Alvis King
Buddy King
Lewis King #*
George Lea

Eugene Massey
Lynn Massey *
Monroe Massey
Ervin Miles #*
Graham Miles #

Jimmy Nixon *
Tommy Pattillo #
M. Q. Plumblee #*
Gilmer Rascoe *
Charlie Rice

William Ribelin
Herman Roberts *
Brodie Simmons *
W. R. Simmons, Jr. #*
William Simmons #

Nathan Simpson #**
Tommie Smith
Herbert Stanfield
Steve Stanfield *
Harvey Tate *

George Terrell
William Travis
Lawrence Walker #
Michael Walker
Aaron Wright #

Plumblee, Millard Quentin. From Rabbit Shuffle to Collins Hill: Stories of Southern Caswell County, North Carolina. Burlington (North Carolina): Full Service Printing, 1984, pp. 80-82.
The Caswell Messenger Newspaper 6 Aug 1931

Two Thousand People Attend the Funeral of Dr. J. A. Pinnix Thursday

Beloved Physician and Proud Veteran of the Confederacy is Laid to Rest at Bethel Church in the Presence of What Was Estimated to be the Largest Concourse of People Ever Gathered at a Funeral in Caswell. Rev. J.S. Carden of Durham and Rev. J.S. Jones of Cross Roads Church Officiate. The finest character created by any writer of the 19th century was the good Scotch physician, Doctor McClure, (Dr. John Watson) in Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush, according to Bishop William McDowell's opinion. One cannot read of great unselfish services rendered to scattered people of the extensive parish in the rugged highlands of Scotland by Dr. McClure without realizing that he is in the presence of one of the really great men of the earth.

On last Thursday the family and numerous friends of Dr. John Alexander Pinnix of Caswell County laid to rest in the quiet country church yard at Baynes Store the mortal remains of a similar character, who had spent his long and useful life in devoted and unselfish service to mankind. It was estimated that there were two thousand people present at the funeral. Twelve ministers were there, two of whom officiated.  These were Rev J.S. Carden, pastor of the Christian Church in Durham and the Rev. J.S. Jones, pastor of the Cross Roads Presbyterian Church.

The aged physician had been a loyal Mason and was buried with Masonic honors by the Cas-Lodge No. 539, assisted by the Yanceyville, Burlington and Mebane lodges, Dr. Patton of Elon College acted as master of ceremonies. Dr. Pinnix had long been the chairman of the Oxford Orphanage committee in his lodge.  He loved Masonry devotedly, it is said.

Dr. John Alexander Pinnix, son of John Calvin and Barbara Pinnix was born in Caswell county on Oct. 8 1846, and died at his home in Caswell County at Baynes Store on July 29th, 1931, which made the days of his life to be 84 years, nine months and 21 days.

As a young man he read medicine at The College of Physicians and Surgeons in Baltimore and under the direction of Dr. Yancey of Yanceyville.  He began the practice of medicine in 1875 while living at his birthplace in the Stoney Creek township.  Thirty-five years ago he moved to Corbett, where he has lived and labored ever since. In August of 1894 Dr. Pinnix was married to Miss Ester Walker, daughter of Lieut. L.H. Walker of Caswell, who survives her husband. This union was blessed with one child, Mrs. A. Clay Murray, of Corbett, who, with her husband, resides with her mother. A foster daughter, Mrs. Clyde Fuqua of Hightowers also survives.

Dr. Pinnix was the last of his father's family.  Some cousins of his now living are, W.B. Pinnix of Danville, Mrs. Virginia Hatchett of Ruffin and J. Charles Pinnix, a lawyer in Murfreesboro, Arkansas.  W. B. Pinnix of Danville is the son of Alexander Kerr Pinnix.  He says the name of "Alexander " in Dr. Pinnix's name was placed there in honor of Alexander K. Pinnix, who mas a magistrate at Pelham for 50 years.

Dr. Pinnix had a honorable war record, as a follow of Lee and Jackson, and is said to have been a gallant soldier.  He entered the Confederate Army at the age of 16 and served continuously from then to the close of the war, being paroled as a lieutenant at Appomattox following the surrender.  He kept his parole which is said to be the only one now known to be in the county. He was a member of company E, Eleventh North Carolina Regiment.

Mrs. Pinnix said that the Doctor accepted the Christian faith many years ago, but did not make a public profession of his faith until about ten years ago.  She said the good Doctor assured her, before his death, that he was ready to go. When Kirk's army marched to Caswell to avenge the death of Stevens, some of Kirk's men captured Dr. Pinnix at Slade's Mill, and were marching with him towards Yanceyville. On the march Dr. Pinnix, then but a young man, escaped and hastened ahead to warn the people of Yanceyville that Kirk was coming.

No one but the Recording Angel knows how many people Dr. Pinnix has helped, during the half century of his active practice as a physician.  It is said that he practiced medicine for love not money.  He was never known to ask if the patient was able to pay, before responding to a call, and he never failed to go when called, even by a pauper.

Dr. John Pinnix has helped many people to purchase a farm or a home and was never known to foreclose on any one. He always gave his debtors all the time needed.

In the death of Caswell's veteran physician many have lost a wise counsellor.  He would write a deed or a will for anyone and would never take a cent of pay.  In his latter years when his trembling hand made writing difficult for him, he would ask his daughter, Mrs. Murray, to serve as his amanuensis.

Those who knew Dr. Pinnix well say that he lived only to help his fellow-men, as a tender hearted, skillful physician, as a wise counsellor, as a generous benefactor and as a patriotic citizen Dr. Pinnix was a zealous Confederate.  But when the war was over he emulated Robert E. Lee and gave ardent and sincere devotion to the Union.

Such a man deserves a fitting memorial.  The Messenger suggest that the proper steps be taken to secure and establish a fitting memorial to the high character and beneficent service of Dr. John Alexander Pinnix.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Pinnix and Hurdle Institute (Caswell County, NC)

Click to See Larger Image

Pinnix and Hurdle Institute

Pinnix and Hurdle Institute, an elementary and high school near Baynes Store. Dr. J. A. Pinnix gave the land and neighbors gave logs and timber to erect this building in 1905. The upstairs was used as a Masonic Lodge. The Tony post office was nearby.1

Pinnix and Hurdle Institute (The Academy) was located on the east side of Highway 119 near Dr. Pinnix's home.2
Powell, William S. When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977. Durham (North Carolina): Moore Publishing Company, 1977, p. 396.
Plumblee, Millard Quentin. From Rabbit Shuffle to Collins Hill: Stories of Southern Caswell County, North Carolina. Burlington (North Carolina): Full Service Printing, 1984, p. 71.

Gunn Memorial Public Library History

History of the Gunn Memorial Public Library

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On May 1, 2019, a ribbon cutting celebrated opening of the expanded Gunn Memorial Public Library in Yanceyville, North Carolina. This significant expansion (almost doubling the library size) was made possible by grants totaling $2,369,178. Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation provided $995,000 to help launch the project.

The Gunn Memorial Public Library has been an important Caswell County institution for decades, assisting in the education and entertainment of its residents, and providing a repository for valuable historical materials. Local newspapers show that early county libraries were in schools. No public library existed until 1937 when the Caswell County Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) assembled books from various sources and opened a library in the basement of the Agriculture Building in Yanceyville, naming it the Confederate Memorial Library. The organizing UDC committee members were, Mrs. Mary Oliver Kerr, Mrs. Helen Florance Gwynn, and Mrs. Emily Doughty Seagrove.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Fitch School (Anderson Township, Caswell County)

Fitch School (Anderson Township, Caswell County)

This was one of the small (often one-room) rural schools in Caswell County, North Carolina, used before school consolidation in the 1920s.

Dr. J. A. Pinnix, M.D. Home
According to historian M. Q. Plumblee the Fitch School was located behind the Dr. J. A. Pinnix home. See photograph.

This is Dr. John Alexander Pinnix, M.D. (1846-1931)

McCauley's Store (Anderson Township, Caswell County, NC)

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McCauley's Store (Anderson Township, Caswell County, NC)

"Another early store was McCauley's. The first known reference to it by this author was as of October 2, 1818. (See chapter on 'Schools' herein.). Recently James L. Florance, Jr. of Route #1, Mebane, N.C. and grandson of Effie (Boswell) Florance (Mrs. John), born 1895, questioned his grandmother about the store. She well remembered and described it as about 20' X 40'. The location according to her, was on the west side of present highway number 119 and about six tenths mile north of the Alamance-Caswell County line. She also stated that there were no trees surrounding it. At that time the old road was slightly east of the present highway.

"On December 9, 1983, the same James L. Florance, Jr. visited this writer and stated that he had conferred with Eugene 'Genie' Murray, about age 90, concerning the same store. Following his interview with Murray, this writer made a visit to the home of Mr. and Mrs. L. D. Hall, with whom Murray resides with his sister on the Union Ridge road at the old Fletcher O'Ferrell homestead. The story which Murray told both parties coincided as described here.

Tony Post Office (Caswell County, North Carolina_

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Tony Post Office

Another US Post Office in Anderson Township was Tony. It opened February 1, 1890, with James E. Hensley as postmaster, and closed in 1908 (with mail service transferred to Watson in Alamance County).

Postmasters: James E. Hensley; John D. Whitted; John Mc. Smith; Benanna Walker; Thompson N. Smith; and Brown V. Vaughn.

M. Q. Plumblee provided the following:

"Official records show that a post office was operated at 'Tony, N.C.' from 1890 until 1908. Therefore all the mail received and distributed was at McCauley's Store. In conclusion, the original location of the store and post office was across the pond from the present John W. Huffines residence. The back part of the store projected out over a part of the slope leading down to the pond. The front part faced directly east.

"The building continued to be known even today as 'Old Tony.' While the building was located at the second and third sites it was operated by Lorenzo Smith, partners Moss W. Miles and Thomas E. Smith, Bill Fitch, Jim Kimbro, Silas Kimbro, and others. The third and present location is on the west side of highway #119.

"Tradition says that a 'man of color' carried mail from Tony, N.C. post office on mule back to Pinson's Store on Pinson Creek, and while enroute some of the citizens along the way asked for their mail. Reports indicate that the carrier agreeably complied."

Plumblee, Millard Quentin. From Rabbit Shuffle to Collins Hill: Stories of Southern Caswell County, North Carolina. Burlington (North Carolina): Full Service Printing, 1984, pp. 20-21, and 28.

Anderson Post Office (Caswell County, North Carolina)

Anderson Post Office

The first US Post Office at Anderson was named Anderson's Store. It opened December 13, 1814, with Quinton Anderson (1783-1854) as postmaster. In 1892 the name was simplified to Anderson, with George Anderson [probably George Andrew Anderson (1869-1945)) as postmaster. The post office closed in 1906, with mail service transferred to Union Ridge in Alamance County.

M. Q. Plumblee stated that this post office (and the store in which it was housed) was located at or near the intersection of what now is Highway 62 and Baynes Road (S.R.-1001).

"Anderson's Store was one of the early ones built in Anderson Township. It was located across the road from the Quinton Anderson residence. The west end of the present James W. Tate's residence is located over a part of the old store site."

Source: Plumblee, Millard Quentin. From Rabbit Shuffle to Collins Hill: Stories of Southern Caswell County, North Carolina. Burlington (North Carolina): Full Service Printing, 1984, p.20.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Oakview Presbyterian Church (Caswell County, North Carolina)

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Oakview Presbyterian Church

Oakview Presbyterian Church south of Yanceyville began as a chapel and Sunday School sponsored by the Yanceyville Presbyterian Church and led by Mr. C. D. Covington and Mrs. Mary Oliver Kerr. Many members have served on boards and committees of Orange Presbytery and now Salem Presbytery. Both home and global missions have been supported over the years. In 2005 the church was recognized by Salem Presbytery for having missions of all the 151 churches in the presbytery. Caswell Parish has been the primary home mission ministry of the church from the beginning of the parish and continues to be. Beyond the regular benevolent giving for missions, the church has strongly supported Pennies for Hunger, a ministry that provides crisis support and long-term efforts to alleviate the root causes of hunger at home and abroad. Beginning in 2006 the church provides food for a dozen homeless orphans in North Korea.

Source: Program of Yanceyville Presbyterian Church (Yanceyville, North Carolina) Homecoming 2007.

Fitch (Caswell County, North Carolina)

Fitch's Store/Fitch

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From 1876 until 1926 a US Post Office operated in the Fitch community between Anderson and Yanceyville on or near what now is NC Highway 62. In 1876 it was named "Fitch's Store." In 1892 the name was changed to "Fitch."

Postmasters: Hannibal A. Adams; Anderson A. Fitch; Anderson N. Fitch; Livingston L. Blackwell; Joseph L. Dabbs; Yancey I. Chandler; Rufus B. Dabbs.

Exactly where is Fitch? Before some changes were made in the area, Old Highway 62 directly intersected New Highway 62. Very near here was/is Fitch, which was there long before new Highway 62 was built in the 1950s.

Actually, part of Oakview Loop Road was the end of Old Highway 62 (now named Badgett Sisters Parkway). Some place Fitch at the intersection of Oakview Loop Road and Alvis Boswell Road. Find the site of the old Fitch's Store, and you have located Fitch.

"Post offices in Anderson township with opening and closing dates were: Fitch's Store, 1876-1892, which later became Fitch, 1896-1911. The location was on present old highway number 62 immediately south of intersection of country road number 1120. The North Carolina Department of Transportation map improperly places the site at intersection of county road number 1119 and old highway number 62."

Thus, according to historian M. Q. Plumblee, Fitch's Store was located on old Highway 62 immediately south of its intersection with Marshall Graves Road (S.R.-1120), and not at the intersection with Alvis Boswell Road (S.R.-1119).

Source: Plumblee, Millard Quentin. From Rabbit Shuffle to Collins Hill: Stories of Southern Caswell County, North Carolina. Burlington (North Carolina): Full Service Printing, 1984, p. 28.

Fitch's Store (Caswell County, NC): Newspaper Items

Presidential Campaign.

Messrs. J. H. Dobson and J. T. Strayhorn, the respective Democratic and Republican Electors for the 5th District of N.C., will address the people upon the national issues at the following places [only Caswell County locations shown]:

Fitch's Store, Caswell County, Saturday, Oct. 27th.

Milton, Caswell County, Monday, Oct 29th.

The Daily Evening Patriot (Greensboro, North Carolina), 22 October 1888, Monday, Page 1.

"Commissions have been sent to the following 4th class post masters: Annie R. Tapp, Dort; Joseph L. Dobbs [Dabbs], Fitch's Store; Mattie E. Phillips, Yadkin College."

Weekly Transcript and Messenger (Goldsboro, North Carolina), 22 July 1886, Friday, Page 1.

"The dead body of a colored man named George Oliver, was found near Fitch's Store in Caswell county, a day or two since. He is supposed to have been foully dealt with."

The Biblical Recorder (Raleigh, North Carolina), 18 April 1888, Wednesday, Page 3.

"Revenue Collector Simmons to-day received a report from Deputy Collector Moffit of the capture of a 50-gallon illicit distillery, near Fitch's Store, Caswell County. The operators escaped."

The Wilmington Messenger (Wilmington, North Carolina), 29 July 1894, Sunday, Page 1.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Caswell County Secondary Road Names

Caswell County Secondary Road Names

For decades Caswell County secondary roads/streets were identified by road number only. For various reasons, including providing better information for public services (such as first responders), names were added to these roads and streets. Some had been informally called by these names before official designation.


Atwater Street (Yanceyville) (SR-1592)
Badgett Sisters Parkway (SR-1156)
Barnwell Road (SR-1774)
Bertha Wilson Road (SR-1511)
Blackwell Road (SR-1319)

Burton Chapel Road (SR-1736)
Foster Road (SR-1321)
Griers Church Road (SR-1710)
Hatchett Road (SR-1123)
Hodges Dairy Road (SR-1311)

Jack Pointer Road (SR-1557)
Marshall Graves Road (SR-1120)
Mary Jane Bigelow Road (SR-1730)
Melvin Wrenn Road (SR-1518)
Moorefield Road (SR-1745)

Oak Tree Street (Yanceyville) (SR-1743)
Osmond Road (SR-1562)
Page Road (SR-1320)
Pallie Watlington Road (SR-1312)
Pemberton Street (Yanceyville) (SR-1593)

Snatchburg Road (SR-1543)
Solomon Lea Road (SR-1561)
Stephentown Road (SR-164)
Twin Chimney Road (SR-1570)
Weadon Road (SR-1534)

North Carolina G.S. 153A-239.1 authorizes a county to name or rename any public road, but a county cannot change the name of a State maintained road unless agreed to by the Board of Transportation. The present policy of the Board of Transportation to change the name of a secondary road will be at the request of a county board of commissioners. Requests for road name changes within municipal limits should be sent to the Powell Bill Program in the Fiscal Branch. Requests for road name changes on state maintained roads outside of municipal limits should be sent to the Chief Engineer's Office.

The official name of a secondary road is first established at the time of addition to the State Highway System. If a road was not added by petition (such as the original roads of 1931 and additions to the map in 1944), they are considered to have no name unless a name was submitted on the addition form.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Yanceyville Academy (Yanceyville, NC)

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Yanceyville Academy (Yanceyville, NC), 1923. Final year.

In 1924 Yanceyville students attended the new Bartlett Yancey School. The old Yanceyville Academy building for a while was used as a teacherage (boarding house for teachers) and at some time as overflow classrooms.

Based upon the 1930 United States Federal Census it appears that the building was used as a "teacherage" when that census was taken. The Bartlett Yancey School built in 1924 soon was inadequate physically and plans were adopted for a separate high school building (built 1935/1936). Thus, it apparently was during 1930-1935/36 that the old Yanceyville Academy building was used for overflow classrooms.

Note: While the name "Yanceyville Academy" was retained, the school had been converted to a public facility around 1910 (but possibly earlier; see below).

Friday, May 10, 2019

Yanceyville Academy Final Graduating Class in 1923

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Yanceyville Academy

1. Robert Glenn Reagan (1905-1992)

2. Earmine Lee Poteat (1898-1979)

3. Tom Jones: possibly Thomas Oldham Jones, Jr. (1903-1935)

4. John Alfred Bradner (1905-1964)

5. Laura Oliver: possibly Laura Mabel Oliver (1909-1977)

6. Hansford Bradner (1904-1987)

7. James Mitchell: possibly James Masten Mitchell (1899-1965)

8. Ernest Frederick Upchurch, Jr. (1907-1954)

9. Erastus Ralph Massey (1907-1976)

10. James Slade: possibly James Nathaniel Slade (1902-1968)

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Caswell County Old Field Schools

Old Field Schools

Poteat One-Room School
Many Caswell residents began their education at one of several small neighborhood schoolhouses scattered about the county, Poteat's being typical. When sufficient need arose, a small plot of land would he deeded to the County Board of Education for minimal consideration, the possession to revert to the grantor if the educational use should ever be discontinued. On the appointed day, prospective patrons and their helpers would gather at the site and put up a building in a surprisingly short time. The county would then contract and pay a teacher from some time in October until late February for the "free school." If the term should be extended, patrons paid the salary for the "subscription school."

During the term the teacher would room and board in the community and probably walk, as did the students, sometimes up to three miles "'cross the creek, over the cow pasture and through the woods" as Mrs. Ernest Foster of Yanceyville Baptist Home recalls. The familiar "teacher load" was usually fewer than 40 -- not too bad even today or at least yesterday -- hut how about that number of all ages from 6 to 17 learning at all levels from Grade One through Grade Seven? And all in the same room? Heat was provided from a pot-bellied stove sitting in a sand box, according to Mrs. Foster, and water was obtained by dipping from a pail filled at the nearest spring.

About 1924, according to lifelong school-man M. Q. Plumblee, these little schools became consolidated and in 1926 came transportation by motor (these figures are approximate, he cautions, as some schools like Poteat's closed earlier and some closed later). The fact is that, surprisingly enough, the children did manage to get a fundamental education and some even managed to like it so much that they went on to higher schools and colleges. Education did take place in spite of frost-bitten fingers and toes, and epidemics generated by the dipper-and-pail.

Source: Caswell County Historical Association Newsletter, Volume IX, Number 4 (October 1986), Sallie P. Anderson, Editor.

Below is a partial list of the type of Caswell County schools described above:

Blackwell's School at Quick
Burke School
Byrd School
Chesterfield School
Dameron School

Fitch School
Gillespie's Old School
Hunt Town School
Jones School
Leasburg School

Locust Hill One-Room Log School
Moore School
New Ephesus School
Pelham School
Piney Grove School

Pinnix and Hurdle Institute
Poteat One-Room School
Prospect School
Prospect Hill School
New Hope School

Ridgeville School
Simpson School
Stoney Creek School
Sweet Gum School
Tate School

Trinity School
Williamson School (Blanch)

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Dillard Middle School (Yanceyville, NC)

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Dillard Middle School

Julius Lee Clayton (right) was long associated with that school (served as principal). Ralph Ward to left, Mrs. Greene seated.

Some teacher names on the blackboard: Haygood, Boston, Graves, Long, Baker, Stillwell, Harrison, Blount, Wallace, Henderson, Bloomer, Haith, Slayton.

Subjects on the Board: English; Algebra; Civics; Home Economics; Agriculture; Physical Education; Band; and TV SC (science).

Dillard Middle School (Yanceyville, North Carolina), probably 1970s.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Caswell County High School Consolidation

High School Consolidation: Caswell County, North Carolina

Prospect Hill High School
In the early 1960s the Caswell County Board of Education decided that all Caswell County high school students eventually would attend Bartlett Yancey High School in Yanceyville ("BYHS"). Anderson High School students were the first to move to BYHS in the fall of 1962. Cobb Memorial High School students joined in 1964.

Oddly, while closure of the Prospect Hill School had been debated since the early 1950s it was the last to send its high school students to Yanceyville (1966). Prospect Hill residents, led by Geneva Elizabeth Williams Warren (Mrs. Joseph Hardy Warren) (1922-1992), fought consolidation for decades. The community even raised money to pay teachers in order to avoid consolidation at Yanceyville.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Mary Ann Pinnix Letter 1841

Letter from Mary Ann Pinnix (1816-1888) to her aunt (a sister of Reverend John Kerr (1782-1842). The letter was posted from Salt Sulphur Springs, VA (now WV) a resort on the popular "sprigs tour." Mary Ann had been to White Sulphur then to Blue Sulphur, on to Salt Sulphur and presumably Sweet Springs (near Union WV), and then was planning a return to Danville, Virginia.

Salt Sulphur, August 13, 1841

I wrote to you from the White Sulphur and had hoped to receive here a letter from you in reply but in this I have been disappointed.

We reached this place last Monday. We left the Blue in company with Mr. Galloway, Mr. Leech and Mr. Patrick. The company here is principally composed of aristocratic South Carolinians, consequently there is our little sociability. But our company is very pleasant. My old friend Mary Perkins of whom you have heard me speak, arrived a few days since and we are again happy in the company of each other.

I've heard of you since we left Danville through Mr. Kerr's jr family physician who also informed us of the partial recovery of your daughter in law.

During the whole summer w whole Providence has preserved the health of the family and I think that all of us have been benefitted by travelling.

I received a letter a few days since from a friend saying that he would preach with pleasure the first Sunday in September. You can inform Mr. Kerr of this as he wished to make an appointment for him.

I fear my dear Aunt that you have been giving yourself unnecessary trouble in regard to a certain matter let me beg you again not to do so. I have another request to make of you that you will be kind enough to have a dove coloured drawn silk bonnet made for me. I would prefer plain silk but if that cannot be procured, plaid or striped will answer and please let the bonnet be drawn not plain. Ma begs that you will have those three gowns and the white dress done up for her but I suppose you have already had it done. I feel that I can never be too thankful to you for your kindness. I can only repay you with my affection. Cornelia received a letter from her mother saying that she and the doctor are very much obliged to you for their invitations and would accept it.

I am writing in the greatest hurry (as the mail will close in a few moments) and with a miserable pen, therefore I hope you will excuse this miserable scrawl and let no one see it. We leave this place next week, when we go to the Sweet and then to Danville where we shall probably arrive on the 3rd or 4th of September

Ma & Pa send their love to you and Mr Kerr. Cornelia is still where a gimaal.

My Dear Bro Kerr,

Bro Brante has assented to the request to preach in Danville the first Sunday in September 5th. I do not know who will be there … but probably and if he, no doubt, will fall a last of the day, we are all mercifully ….and looking forward to the …..all early

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

James Yancey Chandler Family

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James Yancey Chandler Family November 1919


Back Row: Georgia Beatrice Chandler (1913-2005); Gertrude Elizabeth Chandler (1911-1995)

Middle Row (Parents): Hattie Thomas Walters Chandler (1890-1950); James Yancey Chandler (1887-1938)

Front Row: Hattie Lucile Chandler (1915-1995); Lillie Mae Chandler (1919-2010); Willie G. Chandler (1917-1975)

Photograph courtesy Tyler James Chandler.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Samuel B. Cobb (1816-1887)

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At the time of the 1850 US Federal Census Samuel B. Cobb was living in the Caswell County home of his mother Nancy Jennings Cobb. His younger brother John Wilson Cobb also was part of the household. Both brothers listed their occupation as "Negro Trader." Their father, Joseph Littleton Cobb had died in 1827. Another brother, Henry Wellington Cobb, was living next door.

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In 1851 Samuel B. Cobb married Elizabeth C. Burton, daughter of Henry A. Burton and Nancy Graves Slade. By the time of the 1860 US Federal Census the couple had moved to the Oregon Hill Community in northern Rockingham County, North Carolina, and were engaged in farming. The couple had no children. Personal property owned was valued at $19,000. Before the Civil War this usually indicated substantial slave ownership. Real estate was valued at $5,860.

Monday, April 15, 2019

James Poteat (Yanceyville, N.C.) Envelope 1863

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CSA COVER WITH COLORED CANCEL: 10c Davis; Type A, (Scott, tied to cover by RED Madison NC balloon postmark, stamp has huge margins but UL corner off, still only barely touches design, addr Yanceyville NC, some minor foxing, colored cancels are truly unusual on CSA stamps, Fine-VF.

Madison NC is listed in Dietz as one of fifty-five towns that used Red cancels. That may sound like a lot, but these cancels are truly unusual, especially so true to color like this example. From the GLADSTONE hoard of CSA STAMPS.

Source: [accessed 15 April 2019]

Friday, April 12, 2019

Caswell County Fire Service District: May 1, 2017

MINUTES – MAY 1, 2017

The Caswell County Board of Commissioners reconvened in regular session at the Caswell County Historic Courthouse in Yanceyville, North Carolina at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 1, 2017. Members present: Kenneth D. Travis, Chairman, David Owen, Vice-Chairman, Sterling Carter, William E. Carter, Nathaniel Hall, Jeremiah Jefferies and Rick McVey. Also present: Bryan Miller, County Manager. Paula P. Seamster, Clerk to the Board, recorded the minutes.


Chairman Travis stated “I would like to reconvene the May 1, 2017 Commissioners Meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to hold a public hearing on the Fire Service District Tax and when we start speaking on this we would like for everybody to limit it to 3 minutes each so that everybody that wants to speak will have a chance to speak.”


Commissioner W. Carter moved, seconded by Commissioner Owen that the Board enter into a public hearing to receive comments on the proposed Fire Protection Service District. The motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Robert Vernon stated that he lives in the Cherry Grove district and he was been there for 47 years. He wanted to let the commissioners know that he is in favor of a countywide tax. He thinks the departments need it to be able to keep the equipment up and to supply the fireman the equipment that they need.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Bank of Caswell Articles of Incorporation

Bank of Caswell Articles of Incorporation

1. W. W. Kitchen could be William Walton Kitchin (1866-1924) who practiced law in Roxboro, Person County, North Carolina, and who served as North Carolina Governor 1909-1913.

From 1897-1909 Kitchin served in the U. S. House of Representatives. This may explain why Kitchin's signing the articles of incorporation was notarized January 10, 1905, in the District of Columbia. It may have been mailed to him for signature while he was serving in the U.S. Congress.

2. The other incorporators appear to be: R. L. Watt; R. L. Dixon; R. L. Walker; Jas. A. Hurdle; E. Hines Jr.; D F. Morton; F. B. Jones; and Robt Hairston. Please help with these names.

3. The Caswell County notary public was Marcus C. Winstead.

4. These materials may have been in the possession of Alice Charette because she is Alice Jacqueline Jones Charette (1925-2017), a granddaughter of Franklin Beauregard Jones (1860-1931) who may be the F. B. Jones listed as one of the incorporators and stockholders. Note: Alice Jacqueline Jones Charette is a maternal first cousin of Emily Jean Bradsher Scott and Martha Ann Bradsher Spencer.

5. A copy of the Bank of Caswell Articles of Incorporation was filed with the County Clerk in Caswell County, North Carolina. The R. L. Mitchelle whose signature is found on the document most likely os Robert Lee Mitchelle (1866-1935), who served as Caswell County Clerk of Court 1902-1922.

"During the busy Yanceyville years, Mr. Mitchell held many positions of honor and trust in addition to his duties as Clerk. In World War I he served as chairman of the registration committee, as County food administrator, and as chairman of the Liberty Loan Committee. As treasurer of the Red Cross, the Y.M.C.A., Jewish Relief and Armenian and Syrian Relief, Mr. Mitchell still found time to head the promotion for the Caswell County Agricultural Fair. Mr. Mitchell was president of the Bank of Yanceyville and responsible for training Mr. Sam M. Bason, his successor. He also bought the Yanceyville drug store and kept it open for the use of the doctors until Pharmacist T. J. Ham took over. He and his wife and family were greatly missed when they moved to Danville."

6. R. L. Watt became President, with E. Hines, Jr., Cashier. Later, F. B. Jones became President.

President: R. L. Watt
Cashier: E. Hines, Jr.
Capital Stock: $4,600
Chartered: 1905 (by the Secretary of State, Laws 1903)
Organized: 2 January 1905
Opened for Business: 8 February 1905

This was the only Caswell County bank reported in the 1905 Bank Report, which is a good indication that it was the only bank in the county. The Bank of Caswell, Milton, was in business from February 8, 1905, until November 28, 1914, when the bank ceased operation.

Local legend in Milton has it that one Daniel Hines, son of Bank of Caswell Cashier Edward Hines, absconded with the bank's funds around 1815 and departed Milton, presumably moving quickly. If correct, this certainly explains the bank's closing its doors.

The closing of the Bank of Caswell ended Milton's banking business, which had lasted, with some interruptions, for almost one-hundred years. No record has been found of a bank in Milton after November 28, 1814.

Note that the Bank of Caswell apparently was the third bank to occupy the "Milton State Bank" building. A 1908 map created to assist insurance companies assess risk identifies this building as the "Bank of Caswell."  This building is seen again on a 1925 map, but the use is not identified.

7. This 1905 Bank of Caswell apparently was the second bank of that name to operate in Milton:

"In 1871, a new bank was chartered, the Bank of Caswell, which was located at Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina. It was directed by "commissioners" John B. Blackwell, George Williamson, James Poteat, Thomas D. Johnston, and Thomas Bigelow. How long this Bank of Caswell operated is not known. However, it apparently ceased business before 1905."

Images courtesy Angela Daniel-Upchurch (March 2019). Click image to see a larger version.


Monday, April 08, 2019

Emily Adeline Campbell Phillips 1840 Wedding Stockings

These are the wedding stockings of Emilea Adeline Campbell Phillps of Yanceyville. She was born in 1822 and married John Phillips in 1840. That makes them at least 176 years old.

They lived on County home rd and Blanch rd. I found these through internet detective work and calling. Wanda from Danville was very gracious and giving in letting me have a number of pictures and items of clothing from the Philllips family. I am tracking descendants to give them to.

Source: Rob Langlois 17 May 2016 Post to the Caswell County Historical Association Facebook Page

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Memories of Vietnam: 45 Years and Counting by Larry Stogner

While shooting a story at RDU recently, I recalled the day I returned home from Vietnam in late 1968. There were no jetways then. There were stairs. A 50-yard walk led to the only doorway into Raleigh-Durham Airport.
I’d been gone a year, and my family was there waiting for me.  I was pretty nasty from the arduous 21-hour hop-scotch from Bien Hoa Air Base near Saigon. And my joy of being home was overshadowed by fear – fear that I would fall back on old war zone habits and cut loose with a yard-long string of obscenities, horrifying my poor mother.  Consequently, I didn’t have much to say.
It’s been 45 years now. Yet I think about that war every day. I think about my friend Jim DesRochers – killed in the first few minutes of the infamous Tet Offensive, Jan. 31, 1968.  He was a kind, quiet boy who had been on my plane when we arrived in Vietnam months earlier.  He ran to the right when the Soviet-made rockets began to land around us, sending shards of metal in all directions.  I crawled to the left.  A rocket hit his bunker, cutting Jim in two.  A small piece of shrapnel in the knee is all I got.  Pure dumb luck.  Still, I have the memories.  Memories of a war everyone just wants to forget.
A big old country boy from the South Carolina Piedmont, Herhall Tallent couldn’t have cared less what that bloody little conflict was all about. We talked daily about his daughter, his pride and joy, born while he was in the jungle. Hershall died in my arms just 10 days before he was scheduled to get on that freedom bird for home and meet his baby girl. Each time my job takes me to Washington, I make a point of visiting the Vietnam Memorial and touching their names – Jim’s and Hershall’s – etched into that memorial’s sacred piece of black granite.
For 12 years I was a guest lecturer at Millbrook High School in a class called “Lessons of Vietnam.”  The curriculum was so popular there was a waiting list to enroll. Each semester I would “link” with one student who would pepper me with questions via email. Questions about war, communism, the anti-war movement, about the morality of a war that divided a nation.
And at some point I would speak to two straight classes of kids who at the start of the school year were only faintly aware of what the skirmish was all about. They wanted to know how it began, why it escalated, what led to the slow U.S. troop withdrawal, the Paris Peace Accords, and lastly ….the panicky, humiliating retreat of the remaining American troops when North Vietnamese soldiers closed in on Saigon, bringing an inglorious end to the war in Vietnam. The lectures were cathartic for me.  More than a few times I found myself choking up over things I hadn’t thought of in many years.  We didn’t lose that war. Our leaders chose not to win it. The price would be too great.
I’ve talked with dozens of fellow Vietnam vets about the spectacle of those final days in 1975.  There it was on television for everyone to see – Americans catching the last choppers out of Saigon as angry Vietnamese stormed the U.S. embassy.
In 1995 I went back to Vietnam to shoot a documentary. It was the 20th anniversary of the end of the war. It was surreal. Children played in the park in Saigon. No one was shooting. I visited deformed children whose parents had been showered with Agent Orange, a poison chemical sprayed from U.S. planes so many years ago. And I spent time at a camp for people the Vietnamese call “children of the dust.”  They are outcasts, children and grandchildren of Vietnamese women impregnated by American troops. For them the war never ends.
So what was it all about? What did we accomplish? The Cold War “domino theory” about the spread of Communism didn’t happen.  It seems all we managed to do was to buy South Vietnam 10 years. It ended pretty much the way it would have … had no American set foot on Vietnamese soil.
People like me trickled in to Vietnam. And 365 days later we trickled out. Most of us were glad to shed those uniforms and rejoin society when we hit the States. Some had a hard time doing it – and still do. Agent Orange, PTSD, drugs and booze are partly to blame. But we’re all brothers – survivors of a conflict America turned its back on.
My personal homecoming is still going on. I’ve made a point of staying close to the state in which I was born and raised. Several job offers years ago would have taken me to places like New York, Dallas or Chicago.  I turned them all down.  After a while, agents quit calling. North Carolina, its culture, its people, its very rhythm … are part of my DNA.
A year ago there was a huge Welcome Home celebration for North Carolina’s Vietnam veterans. For those of us who’d fought an unpopular war and hadn’t returned to parades and celebration, it was a special day.
Fifty thousand of us showed up at Charlotte Motor Speedway. There was music, a smaller portable version of the Vietnam Wall with all 58,000 names, and lots of hugging. Tears flowed freely and unashamedly. Young warriors – now old men – comparing stories and saying to each other finally – “Welcome Home.”
It was what we’d been denied so many years ago. A pat on the back…and a thank you from a grateful nation.
I think my friends Hershall and Jim would have enjoyed it.  Larry Stogner is an ABC11 news anchor