Monday, September 30, 2019

Siomara Clotilde Savio Morales de Balmori

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DANVILLE, Va. - Siomara Clotilde Savio Morales de Balmori, 87 of Danville, Virginia, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, March 7, 2013, while a patient in Danville Regional Medical Center. She was born in Havana, Cuba on June 3, 1925, to the late Amador Savio Perez and Evangelina Morales Montiel de Savio.
In 1950 she married her high school sweetheart, Enrique Balmori Osorio, who preceded her in death in 1984. They had one daughter, Evangelina Balmori, who survives to remember and cherish her memory.

Mrs. Balmori graduated from high school in 1946 and attended the University of Havana, where she was a student in the school of law, the school of education, and the school of social work. She graduated from the University of Havana in 1953. She served as the administrator of a school for boys and worked in the family law firm. Mrs. Balmori and her family left Cuba for the United States on February 5, 1962 as a result of the Cuban Revolution of Fidel Castro, resulting in a communist government of the island.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

John T. Burton 1875 Letter

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Caswell County N.C. May 12th 1875

Mr. J. M. Merritt

My Dear Nephew, I saw a letter you wrote your Aunt Shanks and she requested me to write you a few lines. Her health is tolerable though she is very much distressed. She intends staying at her home. Mr. Shanks left her all he had real and personal during her life, and at her death it is to go to your mother and myself if we should out live her, if not to our children.

Mr. Shanks had been suffering several years from disease of the bladder, and for some time before he died severely. He was not confined but ten days, he was ready. Two nights before his death he called his wife and some friends that were sitting up with him, and told them he was almost over the river and saw the walls of Jerusalem, told them to meet him in heaven. I was there when he died. I think he was conscious, but he was in a stupor all day and had nothing to say. I go down there every two weeks to attend to the hands that are working the land. They seem to be doing tolerable well so far, but I don't know how they will hold out.

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I got one of William Murray's daughters to come and live with your Aunt Shanks and she appeared very well satisfied. The last time I was there one of Miss Murray's sisters had died and she was gone to her brother Robert's and had not returned when I last heard from there.

We are all well and hope this will find you all the same. We had a cold bad _____ spring. Everything is late. Great scarcity of Tobacco plants. I don't think there can be a crop planted in this section.

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Warren Morgan's family are all well and Rainy is married he was twenty one. He is living with his father.

I should be glad to see you but it is so far. I don't expect I shall ever see you at your house, though I may. You said you thought you would come and see your relatives next summer. I hope you will. If you can't come, write and let us hear from you.

Your Affectionate Uncle

John T. Burton

Transcriber's Note: Paragraph breaks were added to enhance readability.
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John T. Burton is a son of Benjamin Burton and Rebecca Pass. A sister of John T. Burton, Nancy P. Burton, married James Shanks, and most likely is the "Aunt Shanks" referenced in the 1875 letter from John T. Burton to his nephew Capt. J. M. Merritt.

Thus, it appears that another sister of John T. Burton had married a Merritt. However, note the following from Anne Burton Washburn:

John T. Burton was Daniel T. Merritt's wife's half brother. Fannie Ellis Gann was half sister to John T. Burton and Nancy Burton, Nancy Burton married James Shanks. Daniel T. Merritt's wife's mother was twice married - Gann 1st and Burton 2nd - 3 children in all.

Thus, J. M. Merritt (addressee in the letter) is Jefferson Monroe Merritt (1820-1896). His mother is Frances Ellis (Fannie) Gann Merritt (1798-1895), half-sister of the letter's author, John T. Burton.

Friday, September 27, 2019

R. A. Cox Farm Auction: 1910

R. A. Cox Farm Auction

Note reference to Slade's School House and McIver R.F.D. 1.

The Reidsville Review (Reidsville, North Carolina), 15 July 1910, Friday, Page 2.

Thomas Day Furniture Auction: John Wilson Cunningham


Sideboard with Cabinet

Description   Caswell County, North Carolina, mid-19th century, yellow pine and poplar secondary, three-part form, shaped and applied front crest, supported by a flared cornice, above a frieze with applied valance with drop acorn pendants, above a central upper hinged cabinet door with two shaped window lights above an open interior, with marble top workspace, flanked by two hinged cabinet doors, each with two window panes and shelved interior, applied stiles with scrolled capitals and stylized fleur de lis at base of stile, lower cabinet with two side-by-side ogee drawers, above two central bowfront cabinet doors, flanked by two paneled cabinet doors with applied ribbon molding, applied scrolled stiles, paneled sides, distinctive relief carved front feet, straight rear legs.

Size   93 x 75 x 22 in.

Note   Reference: Patricia Phillips Marshall & Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color, page 111, fig. 5.62 and 5.63.

Provenance    From the Estate of the late John Wilson Cuningham, Semora, North Carolina; by family descent to current consignor. These items were received from Waverly Plantation in Person County, North Carolina, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built circa 1830, the interior of the plantation features Thomas Day millwork.
Condition   As-is condition; will need some repair and restoration; veneer chips and losses; some veneer chips present in bag.

Estimate   $2,000 - $4,000
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Center Table

Description   Caswell County, North Carolina, mid-19th century, rosewood veneer, white pine, shaped and molded turtle top, skirt with relief carved floral motif, four cabriole legs with relief carved knee, carved and shaped stretcher base with central finial, cut and shaped feet.

Size   28.5 x 40 x 26 in.

Provenance    From the Estate of the late John Wilson Cuningham, Semora, North Carolina; by family descent to current consignor. These items were received from Waverly Plantation in Person County, North Carolina, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built circa 1830, the interior of the plantation features Thomas Day millwork.
Reference: Patricia Phillips Marshall & Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color, page 64, fig. 4.3.
Condition   Two old but stable breaks and repairs to interior frame; five areas of wood and veneer loss including capital of one leg; break and repair at stretcher joint; top with light staining and wear.

Estimate   $600 - $900
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Card Table

Description   Caswell County, North Carolina, mid-19th century, mahogany veneer, yellow pine and poplar secondary, rectangular hinged lid swivels to reveal an open game compartment, ogee skirt, raised on a square shaped and tapered standard, quadruped shaped base, on casters.

Size   30 x 36.5 x 18.25 in.

Provenance    From the Estate of the late John Wilson Cuningham, Semora, North Carolina; by family descent to current consignor. These items were received from Waverly Plantation in Person County, North Carolina, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built circa 1830, the interior of the plantation features Thomas Day millwork.
Condition   Sun fading; chip to front edge; some small veneer chips and losses; good as is estate condition.

Estimate   $600 - $900
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Bureau

Description   Caswell County, North Carolina, circa 1850, mahogany veneer, poplar, yellow pine secondary, in six parts, central swivel rectangular mirror supported by two rectangular plinths with stepped bases, above a central hinged lid document box and inset marble, flanked by two glove drawers, upper projecting ogee drawer above three long drawers, each with mirrored mahogany veneers, applied scrolled stiles, scrolled front feet, paneled sides, straight rear feet, back panel reads in black ink "C.H. Richmond / Milton NC / Hillsboro".

Size   83 x 44 x 21.75 in.

Provenance    From the Estate of the late John Wilson Cuningham, Semora, North Carolina; by family descent to current consignor. These items were received from Waverly Plantation in Person County, North Carolina, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built circa 1830, the interior of the plantation features Thomas Day millwork.
Reference: Patricia Phillips Marshall & Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color, page 92, fig. 5.29.
Condition   Good estate condition; staining to marble; some shrinkage splits to mahogany veneer; lower drawer missing lock; shrinkage split to right side panel; silver loss to mirror.

Estimate   $2,000 - $3,000
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Bureau #2

Description   Caswell County, North Carolina, mid-19th century, mahogany veneers, poplar and white pine secondary, central hinged rectangular mirror with distinctive stylized carved and shaped mirror supports, above a central inset marble top and flanked by two upper glove drawers with rounded corners, the case with two upper side-by-side ogee drawers above four long drawers, all with mirrored veneers, the lower being a secret base drawer, rounded corners, shaped foot brackets.

Size   71 x 44 x 20 in.

Note   Drawers and case with white chalk numbers.

Condition   Later mirror; later pulls with plug holes to upper glove drawers; expected small veneer chips throughout; shrinkage separation to right side of case; upper right drawer with three inch chip and loss to lower left molded edge.

Estimate   $800 - $1,200
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Thursday, September 26, 2019

United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946

World War II Service Records Confusion

Many conducting genealogical research use a database called:

"United States World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946"

Access to this resource is available through various online services.

Unfortunately, the index contains categories of information that may be misleading to users.

One data category is "Enlistment Date." Also possibly shown are "Enlistment State" and "Enlistment City." Some equate "enlistment" with volunteering. For purposes of this database that is incorrect. The proper way to view "enlistment" as used in this database is "entered service."

The database will contain another data category called "Component." Most entries in this database are for those who were drafted (they did not volunteer). The "Component" for drafted non-officers will be seen as "Selectees (Enlisted Men)." A "Selectee" is one chosen pursuant to the Selective Service System (that is, drafted). The designation "Enlisted Men" is to distinguish from officers.
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The index is described as:

"Name index to Army Serial Number Enlistment Card Records, excluding officers, in the United States Army including the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and the Enlisted Reserve Corps circa 1938-1946. The index is part of Record Group 64: Records of the National Archives and Records Administration. This index is not complete and may contain scanning errors. Database courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration. In August of 2013, the National Archives replaced the ARC – Archival Research Catalog - with the OPA – Online Public Access. ARC identifiers will still work to access the collections in OPA."
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About U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
This database contains information on about 8.3 million men and women who enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II. While this database contains information on the majority of the men and women who served in the Army during this war, it is not complete and does not represent the entirety of the U.S. Army servicemen. Information found in this database comes from the WD AGO Form 317 (used from 1941-45), WD AGO Form 372 (used from 1945-46), and Enlisted Reserve Corps Statistical cards.

Information included in this database about includes:

Name of enlistee
Army serial number
Residence (county and state)
Place of enlistment
Enlistment date
Grade
Army branch
Component
Term of enlistment
Birthplace
Year of birth
Race and citizenship
Height and weight*
Education
Marital status
Box and reel number of the microfilmed records


"The Last Full Measure of Devotion"

"The Last Full Measure of Devotion"

In the May 8, 1945, edition of The Bee newspaper (Danville, Virginia), Riverside and Dan River Cotton Mills, Inc., published a full page tribute to the GOLD STAR men of Riverside and Dan River Cotton Mills who died in World War II. Victory had been won in Europe, but the Pacific war continued.

"On this page, as in the hearts of those for whom they fought, are inscribed the names of men who will not come back.

"These are the men who have given the last full measure of devotion . . . the GOLD STAR men of Riverside and Dan River Cotton Mills . . . men who left their homes, their work, their security, and their future, to fight for the cause of freedom.

"Each name is a reminder of the awful cost of Victory. Each name should also be a reminder that we owe these men more than honor and glory, more than words of praise . . . a reminder that Victory in Europe is only part of the cause for which they died.

"Read each name carefully. You knew many of these men well. They were your fellow citizens . . . your fellow workers. If their sacrifice means anything at all, it means that we must work still harder, in the days ahead . . . that we must dedicate ourselves to a renewal of effort . . . that we, too, must give the last full measure of devotion until final Victory and peace are won."

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Here is the list enlarged:

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Elizabeth Thompson's Third-Grade Reindeer

"My mother took this picture and one of each of the groups that appeared in the play. The hidden reindeer may have been Earl Smith, Jr. There was a group of reindeer, elves, snowmen. and chimney sweeps.

"Harriet Johnston was Mrs. Claus and John Webster was Santa.

"The story line also included a set of figures that Santa's elves had made. Dolls were personified by Linda Gunn as a china doll (geisha?), Linda Cook as a ballerina, Judy Buchannan as a baby doll. Sarah Sykes and Linda Durham were also dolls but I don't remember what they were.

"There were four cowboys: Carroll Aldridge, Robert Crumpton, Charles McMullin and Richard Rogers. Patsy Chistenbury played the magic fairy that introduced each group. Every group performed a little skit and/or song. My mother gave every member a photograph of his/her group. I used to have an entire set but it was lost somewhere along the way.

"I think Doris Potter England narrated the play. I remember Paul Goforth was one of the elves. Many names are lost to my memory because I don't have the set of pictures to refer to. Elizabeth. Thompson made sure that every member of the class had a part in the play and it was a big hit for the elementary classes and I think we may have performed it more than once."

Source: Carroll Aldridge 25 September 2019 Post to the Caswell County Historical Association Facebook Page.
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The mother of Carroll Lee Aldridge is Luetta Carroll Aldridge (1914-1997). The photograph was taken in 1956. At some point it was reprinted in The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, North Carolina) as part of that newspaper's "OUt of the Past" series.

"Alabama" in Yanceyville: 1981

On Sunday, 3 May 1981, the musical group "Alabama" gave two performances at the Caswell County Civic Center in Yanceyville, North Carolina.

Below are memories of that event posted to the Facebook Page of the Caswell County Historical Association in September 2019:

"I think they won a big award that weekend. They laughed and said that we were getting their last performance for a fee that small. Our CC Chamber lucked up on that one." Katherine Finch Watlington

"I was working the civic center that day. Got to hang out with them. The country cousins opened up for them. They had just won their first big award. Randy was a little distant. I later found out his dad had just passed away and he couldn't attend the funeral because of commitments with the newly found fame. He did both shows just like there was nothing wrong." Gregory Kyle Solomon

"I was working for the band then. The story you just told was a very big deal to Randy. I had forgotten about that." Kevin P. O'Keefe

"I was there. Small audience..... afterwards you could go talk to them like they were your next door neighbor. Spring 1981." Nancy Fowlkes Dailey

"I was there. I think it was 1981 and their wives were in the lobby selling tapes and t-shirts." Jane Poteat

"They also played st the Camp Springs Bluegrass Park in the early 80s. Lee Greenwood was there too and they put on a great show!! I was there!" Judy Mansfield Smith Jenkins

"My wife and I were there..Definitely early 80’s.I remember a very young girl gave the band a poster she made for them.Then a few months later during the Country Music Award Show Alabama won a Award and they had the poster from the young girl at the award show..." Tim Smith

"My younger brother was with us and we walked by the buses, Randy and Ted were pitching a baseball back and forwards to each other. Randy missed and my brother got the ball and gave it to him, this was before the show. I really thought that Lee Greenwood did better than they show wise but they were great!" Judy Mansfield Smith Jenkins

"I remember the venue was unusually small for AL at that time. It was a personal favor for a friend that recruited events for the CCCC. It was told up front it would be the first and last time they appeared there. A favor paid up in full. My step-father Richmond S. Frederick, Sr. told me this." Steven Dale Broome

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Bartlett Yancey School Fire: 1970

"I believe that was Bartlett Yancey elementary at the time. Most of the Volunteers from Yanceyville FD had put in good nights work before battling a church fire. Both fires caused by lightning."

Source: R. Neal Spivey 18 September 2019 Post to the Caswell County Historical Association Facebook Page.

"Mom taught Earth Science there. I remember that she lost some personal items that she had left in the classroom as she had expected to return for the next school year."

Source: Robert Neal 18 September 2019 Post to the Caswell County Historical Association Facebook Page.


Before the fire.











Contract granted to build new Bartlett Yancey High School.

Source: The Bee (Danville, VA), Friday, 13 December 1935.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Bartlett Yancey High School Senior Class 1948


Bartlett Yancey High School Senior Class 1948

Lila Bradner
Madelyn Butts
Hallie Carter
Thacker Carter
Gypsy Davis

W. E. Farthing
Charles Fowlkes
Richard Gwynn
Virginia Hodges
Darlene Holt


Billy Hunt
Claude Hyler, Jr.
Annie Ruth King
Hunter Lunsford
Wilma Lunsford

Earl Poteat
June Poteat
Cordelia Slade
Max Smith
Nina Smith

Wyomie Smith
Evelyn Stephens
Nancy Totten
J. T. Terrell
Charles Walters


Doris Watlington
Jacksie Watlington
Jeanne Whitlow

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Ray Denny Warren (1925-1945)

Ray Denny Warren (1925-1945)

Sunday, September 15, would have been Ray Denny Warren's 94th birthday. But he never made his 20th.

He was born in Caswell County's Hightowers community September 15, 1925, a son of Floyd Doak Warren (1888-1926) and Mabel Beatrice Murphy Warren (1894-1965). The young Warren never knew his father, who died of heart disease in 1926 when Ray was not two years old. His mother was left to raise nine children. Ray was one child removed from being the youngest.

A few days before his 18th birthday Ray enlisted to fight in World War II. He chose the United States Naval Reserve and eventually served aboard the Destroyer "U.S.S. Bowers" as a Seaman First Class. Ray was killed in action April 16, 1945.

While operating near Okinawa the Destroyer "Bowers" was assigned to anti-submarine screen duty. At dawn on April 16, the destroyer escort shot down one attacking Japanese plane. Then at 09:30, two more planes came in, flying low and fast. "Bowers" maneuvered radically to avoid the planes as they split to attack the escort. The first came in dead ahead, but the "Bowers" guns brought it down.

The second passed over the ship as her port guns came to bear. Despite the heavy gunfire, the kamikaze regained altitude, turned, and came in from a 45-degree angle forward. It crashed into the warship's flying bridge, spraying high octane gasoline over the bridge and pilot house. The plane's bomb penetrated the pilot house and continued down through the ship for 20 feet before it exploded and sprayed the deck with fragments. Fire-fighting parties brought the flames under control in about 45 minutes; but 37 men from the ship were killed, 11 were reported missing, and many of her 56 wounded died later.

Whether Ray's body was recovered is not known. However, in the Alamance Memorial Park Cemetery a bronze marker pays tribute to his life and service.
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The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Bowers (DE-637) arriving in the Kerama Retto, Ryukyu Islands, under her own power after being hit by a Kamikaze on 16 April 1945. Wreckage of the plane, a Nakajima Ki-43 (Allied code name "Oscar"), can be seen embedded in the the ship's bridge face. Note Bowers' very unusual paint, with traces of Camouflage Measure 31 or 32, Design 16D, showing through Camouflage Measure 22. The ship may have been undergoing repainting at the time she received this damage.