Wednesday, January 31, 2007

1911 Postcard

The Mrs. B. S. Graves is Mrs. Barzillai Shuford Graves (1870-1955). Her maiden name was Malvina F. Graves, being a cousin of her husband. She affectionately was called Mallie or Miss Mallie, and was a Charter member (and member number one) of the Caswell County Chapter #1152 United Daughters of the Confederacy, founded in 1894

Monday, January 29, 2007

Elijah Benton Withers (1837-1898)

Withers, E. B. — of Yanceyville, Caswell County, N.C. Democrat. Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Carolina, 1876. Burial location unknown.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Marmaduke Williams Norfleet

Caswell County Courthouse

Jacob Thompson

Solomon Lea

Solomon Lea was born November 21, 1807, in Leasburg, North Carolina, the third son of William Lea and Sarah McNeil Lea. It was in Leasburg, a town named for his family (early settlers of the area that became Caswell County), that Lea spent a good part of his life, died, and was buried. He was awarded two degrees from the University of North Carolina, including a Master of Arts in 1838. He taught at the prestigious Warrenton Academy, at Randolph Macon College in Virginia, and was president of the Farmville Female School also in Virginia (1841).

Greensboro Female College (now called Greensboro College), the first chartered female college in North Carolina, selected Lea as its first president (1846). There, in addition to his administrative duties, he taught ancient languages and mathematics. Greensboro College records provide the following:

On the first of February, 1846, the trustees selected a faculty, with Rev. Solomon Lea, a local minister of Leasburg, North Carolina, as president--a gentleman of liberal culture and pleasing manners, and a teacher by profession. He had the honor of organizing the classes in the first regularly chartered female college in North Carolina, and the second south of the Potomac--the Wesleyan Female College at Macon, Georgia, being the first.

However, he remained only a short time at Greensboro College (two terms, 1846 and 1847). At the conclusion of the 1847 term he returned to Leasburg where, in 1848, he established the Somerville Female Institute. Solomon Lea operated the Somerville Female Institute for forty-four years, making it one of the most respected and successful schools of its kind. Over the years, in addition to Solomon Lea himself, teachers included his wife Sophia Ainger Lea (who also had taught at Greensboro College) and his daughters. The school became co-educational after the Civil War and closed its doors in 1892.

It was also in 1848 that Lea was licensed by the Methodist church to preach. While he had no regular pastorates, he did preach on the Leasburg Methodist circuit for over fifty years and was a popular guest minister.

Solomon Lea and Sophia Ainger (1810-1866) were married in 1837. They had eight children, six daughters and two sons. One of the best-remembered and loved of his daughters, Wilhelmina Lea (1843-1936), had the following to say about her father and his devotion to his profession:

In the school room he was in his natural element and as a teacher was very interesting. Seven of his granddaughters were partly educated by him, two of whom afterwards graduated from Greensboro Female College, and he often said he would like to teach long enough to give an education to all his granddaughters, as the most valuable legacy he could give them. Even after he quitted the school-room he gave the ones who stayed with him many an hour's drill in various branches, so eager was he to help and improve them; and then he wanted to be doing something.

Solomon Lea and his wife Sophia Ainger are buried in the Leasburg Cemetery. A large monument marks his grave.

Alexander R. Foushee of Person County knew Solomon Lea and provided the following in his collection of letters to the editor, Reminiscences: A Sketch and Letters Descriptive of Life in Person County in Former Days, Alexander R. Foushee (1921) at 49-50:

Editor Courier:

In my last letter I wrote of the preachers of the various denominations who served in this county during my boyhood days and middle life, but I overlooked the names of some, among whom was Rev. Solomon Lea, of Leasburg, who spent his life in school work and preaching the gospel in Person and Caswell counties. He was the first president of Greensboro Female College, but resigned this position and established the "Summerville Institute" for girls and young ladies at Leasburg, in Caswell County, which he kept up until the time of his death in 1896.

Mr. Lea did a great work for the cause of education to which a great many ladies now living can testify. This school was patronized by Caswell, Rockingham, Person, Halifax, Pittsylvania and other counties in Virginia. It was in a great measure the life of the town socially and otherwise. No one has ever been found to fill the gap caused by the death of this good, sweet-spirited, useful man. Leasburg must have been a very healthful town, as it was noted for its old citizens, many living to be upward of 80 and some very near to 100 years of age.

. . . .
Roxboro, N.C.
January 5, 1916


* Solomon Lea House (2005 Photograph)
* Solomon Lea Grave Monument (Large Image/Slow Loading)


* Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, William S. Powell, Editor (1991)
* When the Past Refused to Die--A History of Caswell County, North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977)
* The Heritage of Caswell County North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985)
* An Inventory of Historic Architecture--Caswell County, North Carolina, Ruth Little-Stokes (1979)
* A Romance of Education: A Narrative Including Recollections and Other Facts Connected with Greensboro College, Samuel Bryant Turrentine (1946)
* Reminiscences: A Sketch and Letters Descriptive of Life in Person County in Former Days, Alexander R. Foushee (1921)


* Leasburg
* Historical Marker
* Greensboro College Materials on Solomon Lea (Requires Adobe Reader)

Calvin Graves

Graves, Calvin (3 Jan. 1804-11 Feb. 1877), legislator, lawyer, and farmer, was born in Caswell County near Yanceyville. His grandfather, John Graves, was the first of the family to move to North Carolina, settling in Caswell County near Country Line Creek in 1770 and serving his new state in the General Assembly and the constitutional conventions of 1788 and 1789, called to consider the ratification of the Federal Constitution. His father, Azariah Graves, was general of the Sixteenth Brigade, Third Division, of the North Carolina militia during the Revolutionary War and, for seven terms, represented Caswell County in the state senate. Calvin Graves's mother was Elizabeth Williams, daughter of Colonel John Williams, also a prominent Revolutionary War leader.

Bedford Brown

Rose Hill in 2005

Raleigh, NC: In the 1820s, master craftsman Thomas Day built furniture for U.S. Sen. Bedford Brown and his estate near Yanceyville. Now, more than 180 years later, the family is parting with some of the pieces. Day, a free black man who lived from 1801to 1861, made some of the best furniture in North Carolina during his time. Despite living in the antebellum South, he was so well-respected that white men apprenticed for him. Nine of Day’s pieces, including a sofa worth an estimated $2,000 to $4,000, are being sold Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at the Tory Hill Auction House on Hillsborough Street near the State Fairgrounds. Seven of the nine pieces come from Sen. Brown’s estate, Rose Hill, where the furniture has resided since it was built.

“The house is still so full of original furniture and pieces,” said Robert Brown, a direct descendent of the senator Brown said his family decided to sell some of the furniture to raise money to help restore the estate, which they hope to open to the public. Plus, Brown and his wife are moving in and faced a problem - there was just too much furniture.

Day was highly regarded, making furniture for senators, congressmen, UNCChapel Hill, and even the governor’s mansion, said Jack Williams, a member of the board of directors at the Thomas Day House and Union Tavern in Milton. “He made all the pews in the Presbyterian church here with the understanding that his family could sit downstairs with the rest of the people, rather than up in the balcony with the slaves,” Williams said.

But Day also had to walk a fine line, especially because he owned more property and land than some white men in the area, said Michael Ausbon, decorative art associate curator at the N.C. Museum of History. He even owned slaves, though historians are unsure whether that was for labor or to find ways to help them. “He was very successful at balancing that tightrope of surviving as a free person of color in a white-dominated antebellum society,” Ausbon said.

Jason McCoon, owner of Tory Hill, said this is the first time Day’s work has come through his auction house. But Day’s furniture has only become well-known in the last decade, he said. “His work has finally been recognized as not only prolific but really high quality and really nice,” McCoon said.

That recognition included a three-year exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History that encompassed Day’s life, business, and furniture. Pieces from the exhibit have been moved to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., but Day can still be seen at the North Carolina museum - his statue is on the steps outside.

Even after living at Rose Hill as a child, Brown still marvels at the history of the estate and the furniture. “These places were made to host parties,” he said. “It’s amazing to sit and think back about people that were U.S. senators and possibly even presidents, and other congressmen, sitting around, drinking beers, eating there and talking. “People say, ‘If the walls could talk ... .’ In this case, it’s, ‘If the furniture could talk, the things they could say.”

Source: Raleigh News &Observer, June 2013. Seligson: 919-829-8983

Yancey Family

Archibald Debow Murphey (c.1779-1832)

Yarbrough Foundry

Mills of Caswell County

Richard Caswell (1729-1789)

Kerr's Chapel Baptist Church

Kerr's Chapel Baptist Church

Kerr's Chapel Baptist Church was established in 1843. Reverend John Kerr, a native of Southern Caswell County, was the namesake of Kerr's Chapel Baptist Church. In the early 1800s a division developed among the Baptists on several issues. The Southern Baptists were in favor of missions, evangelism, and education, while the Primitive Baptists were opposed to this interpretation. Reverend Kerr believed in the Southern Baptist doctrine, and in the 1830s led the establishment of the Yanceyville Baptist Church. In 1840, some of the residents of Southwestern Caswell County left the Yanceyville Baptist Church to form the Trinity Baptist Church, which was nearer their homes.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Obituary of Kate Smith McKinney (1911-2007)

Obituary of Kate Smith McKinney (c. 1911-2007)

Kate Smith McKinney
Jan 24, 2007 - 08:22:52 am CST

Locust Hill, NC - Kate Smith McKinney, 96, of 8643 Hwy 150 East died Thursday (Jan.18,2007) at her residence. Graveside services will be conducted at 2:00PM Sunday (Jan.21,2007) in Greenview Cemetery. A native of Rockingham Co., she was a daughter of the late Howard Snow and Lula Jordan Smith and spent most of her life in Reidsville before moving to the Locust Hill Community in Caswell Co. She and her late husband owned and operated McKinney Grocery on Lawsonville Ave., in Reidsville, for many years.

Mrs. McKinney was a Charter Member of Faith Christian Church where she was a member of the Ladys Circle. She was a loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, and Great Great Grandmother. Mrs. McKinney was preceded in death by her husband: Charles H. McKinney, a Brother: James H. Smith, Daughters: Geraldine McKinney & Barbara M. Watts and her Daughter-in-law: Gayle Reynolds McKinney. Surviving is her Son: John M. McKinney and his friend: Nell Lillardboth of Reidsville, Daughter: Gilda M. McCollum and husband: Jay of Reidsville, Son-in-law: Dr. Wilson Watts of Roanoke, VA, Sister: Lula S. Starling of High Point Grandchildren: Dr. Mark Watts Jr., Dr. Blake Watts, Alan Watts, Lisa Thorne, Dr. Leslie McKinney, Michael McKinney, Julie Blythe, Neil McKinney & Christie Bates, 19 Great Grandchildren, 1 Great Great Grandchild, Special Friends: Bea Williams, Colleen Wilson, and Frances Barts.

The family will see friends from 6:30 till 8:30PM Saturday (Jan.20, 2007) at Citty Funeral Home and at other times they will be at the home of her Son: John M. McKinney 8515 Hwy 150 East, Reidsville, NC 27320 or at the home of her Daughter: Gilda M. McCollum 615 Country Club Dr., Reidsville, NC 27320. Memorials may be made to: Hospice of Alamance/Caswell, 918 Chapel Hill Rd. Burlington,NC, 27215 or Faith Christian Church 2407 Richardson Dr., Reidsville, NC 27320. Condolences may be made to

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 24 January 2007.

Obituary of Andrew (Zeke) Taylor (1952-2007)

Obituary of Andrew (Zeke) Taylor (1952-2007)

Mr. Andrew "Zeke" Taylor
Jan 24, 2007 - 08:22:52 am CST

Yanceyville, NC - It is with profound sorrow we announce the death of Mr. Andrew "Zeke" Taylor 54, of 205 Barco St. who died Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at his residence.

He was a native of Caswell County, NC, born March 10, 1952 to the late Lydia France Taylor and was of the Baptist Faith.

His survivors are three brothers, Rudolph Taylor (Christine) of Greensboro, NC, Orlando "Peanut" Taylor (Rhonda) of Yanceyville, NC and Claude "Sleepy" Taylor of Murfreesboro, Tennessee; five sisters, Mrs. Odella Graves (Howard) of Yanceyville, NC, Ms. Betty Taylor Graves of Reidsville, NC, Mrs. Sandra Taylor (Eddie Dean) and Mrs. Carolyn Slade Casterlow (Clyde) all of Greensboro, NC and Mrs. Sandra S. Hall (Bobby) of Tulsa Oklahoma; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Funeral Services for Mr. Andrew "Zeke" Taylor will be Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 2:00 pm at Fulton Funeral Home Chapel with interment in Pearson Chapel AME Church Cemetery. Reverend Claude Walker will deliver the eulogy.

The body may be viewed Saturday evening from 2:00 until 8:00 pm at Fulton Funeral Home Chapel. The family may be contacted at his residence, 205 Barco St. Yanceyville, NC.

All arrangements for Mr. Andrew "Zeke" Taylor are entrusted to Fulton Funeral Home 219 Dillard School Dr. Yanceyville, NC.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 24 January 2007.

Obituary of Edward Bruce Jones (1922-2007)

Obituary of Edward Bruce Jones (1922-2007)

Edward Bruce Jones
Jan 24, 2007 - 08:22:50 am CST

Pelham, NC - Edward Bruce Jones, 84 of 1002 Jones Road died January 17, 2007 at his residence. He was born in Caswell County July 21, 1922 to the late Robert and Ruth Hatchett Jones. He served in the U.S. Army and worked for the Federal Government. Graveside services will be conducted Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 2:00 pm at Jones Family Cemetery.

He is survived by a sister, Juanita Jones Harding of Mocksville, NC and a brother, Richard Wharton Jones of Fancy Gap, Virginia, five nephews and one niece.

There will be no visitation at the funeral home but the family will be at the home of Mary Vincoli 1011 Jones Road. Harrelson Funeral Service is assisting the Jones family with arrangements.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 24 January 2007

World War II Service Record
Name: Edward Bruce Jones
Date of Entrance in Service: January 10, 1941
Branch of Service: Army Air Corps
Training Stations: Maxwell Field, Alabama; Salt Lake City Utah; Felts Field, Washington; Geiger Field, Washington; Rantoul, Illinois
Parents' Name: Robert L. and Ruth H. Jones
Date of Embarkation: August 6, 1942
Theater of Operations: European, African-Tunisian & Italian Campaign, Central Germany, Rome-Arno
Medals Earned: Good Conduct, Victory, Rome-Arno Campaign, African-Tunisian, Seven Battle Stars, 112 A.S.R. (Score)
Date Returned to United States: Augst 6, 1945
Discharged: Fort Bragg, North Carolina, September 7, 1945
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Time Served: Four years, eight months
Present Occupation: Student at North Carolina State College

Source: Service Record Book of Men and Women of Yanceyville, N.C., and Community, Sponsored by the V.F.W. Post no. 7316 (1947-1949).

This family had four sons, three of whom served in World War II: Cecil Owen Jones (1917-1943); Edward Bruce Jones (1922-2007); and Richard Wharton Jones (born 1925). Cecil Owen Jones was killed in action.

Obituary of William Lewis King (1923-2007)

Obituary of William Lewis King (1923-2007)

William Lewis King
Jan 24, 2007 - 08:22:51 am CST

Burlington, NC - Mr. William Lewis King, 84, of The Village at Brookwood and formerly of Union Ridge Road, Caswell County, died at Alamance Regional Medical Center at 3:10 AM on Sunday, January 21, 2007 after several months of failing health. A lifetime resident of the Anderson Community in Caswell County until his move to The Village at Brookwood in 2003, he was the husband of Margaret Robertson King, who survives, and the son of the late Joseph Henry and Eva Walker King.

He was a retired tobacco farmer and beef cattle producer. In addition, he was a lifelong member of Bethel Christian Church and served with the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. He further served his community as a charter member of the Southern Caswell Ruritan Club and the Caswell County Cattlemen's Association.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Marie King Crissman and her husband, Dr. Mark Crissman of Burlington; 3 grandchildren, Margaret Wilkins Strader and her husband Challey, Anna Marie Wilkins, and Jefferson Davis Wilkins, III; 4 sisters, Mrs. Louise Matkins of Gibsonville, Mrs. Mamie Sue Simmons (W. R. Jr.) of Elon, Mrs. Mary Alice Madden of Burlington, and Mrs. Rachel Pope (Harry) of Cedar Grove; and a brother, Mr. J. Wayne King (Donna) of Asheboro. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Mr. W. Thomas King.

The funeral service will be held at Bethel Christian Church, 595 Baynes Road, Burlington, NC 27217 at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, January 23, 2007. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at the Rich and Thompson Mortuary in Burlington on Monday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 PM. At other times they will be at the residence of his daughter, Marie Crissman, 211 Shelburne Court, Burlington. Memorials may be made to Bethel Christian Church, c/o Elsie Fitch, Treasurer, 221 Shea Street, Graham, NC 27253. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 24 January 2007.

World War II Service Record
Name: William L. King
Date of Entrance in Service: October 16, 1942
Branch of Service: 548th Air Service Squadron
Parents' Name: Joseph H. and Eva Walker King
Medals Earned: Victory, Good Conduct
Discharged: Fort Bragg, North Carolina, December 19, 1945
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Time Served: Three years, two months

Source: Service Record Book of Men and Women of Yanceyville, N.C., and Community, Sponsored by the V.F.W. Post No. 7316 (1948).

Obituary of Alice Barts Ellis (1938-2007)

Obituary of Alice Barts Ellis (1938-2007)

Yanceyville, NC - Alice Barts Ellis 68, of 1086 Main Street formerly of US Highway 158 West died Monday, January 22, 2007 at Danville Regional Medical Center following a period of declining health. She was born in Caswell County to the late Robert L. and Myrtle Mise Barts. Educated in Caswell County Schools, she attended Community Baptist Church and worked for several years at Hanover Mills.

Funeral services are Wednesday at 1:00 pm at Harrelson Funeral Service Chapel, conducted by Reverend Mark Smith and nephew Robert L. Oliver. Interment will be in Yanceyville United Methodist Church Cemetery.

Survivors are daughters Sandra E. Kirby and husband Robert of Prospect Hill, Teresa E. Coley and husband Michael of Yanceyville, sons, Shane Ellis and wife Delma of Yanceyville, and Lloyd Ellis and wife Denise of Prospect Hill. She is also survived by two sisters, Hazel Oliver of Oxford and Shirley Murray of Concord, one brother Robert (Butch) Barts of Yanceyville, grandchildren Shane, Casey, Sydney and Raegan Ellis, Hunter and Taylor Kirby and Trapper and Emaleigh Coley.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband Bruce C. Ellis, January 21,2002 and a brother Ronald Lee Barts.

The family will receive friends Tuesday from 7:00 until 8:30 pm at the funeral home and at other times at the residence of Shane and Delma Ellis, 205 Womack Boulevard, Yanceyville.

Memorials may be made to Alamance-Caswell Hospice, 914 Chapel Hill Road, Burlington, NC 27215.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 24 January 2007

Obituary of Oscar Hulon Briggs (1919-2007)

Obituary of O. Hulon Briggs (1919-2007)

O. Hulon Briggs
Jan 24, 2007 - 08:22:47 am CST

Graham, NC - Mr. O. Hulon Briggs, 88, of 512 Oakwood Lane, died Thursday, January 18, 2007 at the Hospice and Palliative Care Center of Alamance-Caswell after five years of failing health. A native of Caswell County, he is survived by his wife of 59 years, Gretchen W. Briggs of the home; two daughters, Lynn Briggs of Graham and Carol Briggs and her husband David Scott-Cowan of Sussex, England; one son, Oscar Briggs and his wife Karen of Hurt, Virginia; two grandchildren, Caitlin Briggs and Alex Cowan. One of six children, he leaves a sister, Ruth Kimbro of Martinsville, Virginia; along with nine nieces and nephews.

Hulon was a World War II veteran and served in the European Theater as part of "The Mighty 8" Air Corps, completing thirty combat missions as a top-turret gunner on B-24s. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters.

He was a 1950 graduate of Tri-State University where he received a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He retired from Western Electric after 21 years of service. Upon retirement he worked with the Western Electric Pioneers and served as a Hospice Volunteer. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church of Graham, a Past-Patron of the Battle of Alamance Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, and a Past-Master of the Thomas M. Holt Lodge #492.

A memorial service will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, January 22, 2007 at the First United Methodist Church of Graham by Dr. Ken Hall. The family will receive friends following the memorial service in the Church Fellowship Hall and at other times at the family home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Hospice and Palliative Care Center of Alamance-Caswell, 914 Chapel Hill Road, Burlington, N.C. 27215 or the First United Methodist Church of Graham, 303 N. Main Street, Graham, N.C. 27253. Rich & Thompson Funeral and Cremation Service, Graham is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 24 January 2007.

World War II Service Record
Name: Oscar Hulon Briggs
Date of Entrance in Service: May 5, 1942
Branch of Service: Army Air Corps, 453rd Bomb Group
Training Stations: Kessler Field, Texas; Buckley Field, Colorado; Charleston Army Air Base, South Carolina; Fort Myers, Virginia; Salt Lake City, Utah; Boise, Idaho; March Field, California; Laredo, Texas; Tyndall Field, Florida.
Parents' Name: Mr. & Mrs. Oscar T. Briggs
Date of Embarkation: December 22, 1942
Theater of Operations: European, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland
Medals Earned: European-African-Middle Eastern with four Bronze Stars, Air Medal, six Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross
Date Returned to United States: November 6, 1944
Discharged: Fort Bragg, North Carolina, September 10, 1945
Rank: Staff Sergeant
Time Served: Two years, six months

Source: Service Record Book of Men and Women of Yanceyville, N.C., and Community, Sponsored by the V.F.W. Post No. 7316 (1948).

The 453rd Bombardment Group in which Sergeant Oscar Hulon Briggs served has a website at The 453rd Bomb Group. That site has a guest book in which the following is found:

Record #: "645"
"Just visiting again after some time. My dad, Jack Klinedinst, flew in the 453rd 735th BS. He died 3 years ago. I was just looking at his books, and found his missions, etc. He flew in "Rumplestilskin" with Pilot Tarbell, Co pilot Bednarchik, Navigator Joyce,and others William Joyce,Bob Haron, Conrad, Hulon Briggs, Broadwater,A. Dick, Arthur Lavin. Just wanted yto say hello and keep up the great work of keeping our history alive. I'm proud of him and all of you. Support our troops."
Submitted by: "John Klinedinst"
"York", "PA" "USA"
E-Mail Me (

From the above we learn that Oscar Hulon Briggs flew in a B-24 Liberator Bomber named "Rumplestilskin."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Crystal Hope Buchanan (2007-2007)

Obituary of Crystal Hope Buchanan (2007-2007)

Crystal Hope Buchanan
Jan 16, 2007 - 08:11:03 pm CST

Burlington, NC - Crystal Hope Buchanan infant daughter of Van Arthur Buchanan II and Leslie Moore Buchanan of Burlington, NC was born January 13, 2007 and died January 13, 2007 at Memorial Hospital, Chapel Hill, NC.

In addition to her parents, survivors include her maternal grandparents, William and Nancy Ribelin of Yanceyville, NC and her paternal grandmother, Ann Buchanan and the late Mac Buchanan of Yanceyville, NC; one brother, Graham Lee Moore.

The Caswell Messenger, 16 January 2007

Michael Ray Dailey (1950-2007)

Obituary of Michael Ray Dailey

Michael Ray Dailey
Jan 16, 2007 - 08:11:03 pm CST

Pelham, NC - Michael Ray Dailey, 56, Pelham, NC, went home to be with his Lord at Duke Hospice, Hillsborough, NC, on Friday, January 12. He was surrounded by family and friends during his lengthy battle with cancer in which he was a great witness to his Lord.

A celebration of life will be held in his honor on Saturday, January 20, 2:00 p.m., at his church, Pelham United Methodist Church, where he was a member, Sunday school teacher and trustee. The family is receiving friends at the home, 5157 Old US 29, Pelham, at other times.

Born September 4, 1950, in High Point, NC, Michael was a veteran and an electrician by trade. He was a loving husband, son and brother to his family.

Michael was preceded in death by his grandparents, Cecil and Sybil Dailey and Alice Newsome, all of High Point. He is survived by his loving wife, Deane; mother, Frances Manring, of Eden; father, Ray Dailey, a retired High Point fireman, now residing in Roseboro, NC; sisters, Mickie King and husband, Scott, of Morehead City, NC; Cathy Swaim and husband Lanny, of Winnabow, NC Lynn Hege and husband, Jeff, of High Point, and Yvonne Manring, of Raleigh; as well as beloved nephews and nieces.

In lieu of flowers memorials maybe made to Pelham Untied Methodist Church, PO Box 82, Pelham, NC 27311.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 16 January 2007

Monday, January 15, 2007

Moorefield Genealogy

276 638-6001
DECEMBER, 10, 2006


Many of our family members today incorrectly feel that the Morefields and Moorefields are two different families. In the early days of this country, there were few people who could read and write, and when people got married, bought property, or for other reasons had their name written in a court record, it was written by the court official the way it sounded to him. In many of the early records, we find our name spelled a number of ways, such as Marfield, Merefield, Mirfield, Murfield, Morefield, Moorfield, Mofield, Moefield, Morefeal, and others. By the later 1700's, the common spelling in Halifax County, Virginia court records was Morefield. Halifax County began maintaining a personal property tax list in 1782, and our family name was spelled Morefield through 1817; but in 1818 and thereafter, it became Moorefield.

Many of our Kentucky, Tennessee and Illinois Moefield and Morefield cousins, whose families can often be traced back to Halifax County, simply had their name spelled that way by public officials due to the fact that they spelled the name as it sounded to them. I have observed that many of the Mofields, Moefields, and Morefields in this country descend from ancestors who migrated away from Halifax County by the early 1800's, say by 1820, and many of the Moorefields descend from those who migrated afterwards. In some areas today, such as Guilford, Forsyth, Stokes and Surry counties in North Carolina, most of the Moorefields who live there had grandparents and great grandparents who spelled their name Morefield.

While it would be very difficult to determine the exact number of people with the Moorefield (of all spellings) surname by birth who live in this country today, I estimate this number to easily be about one thousand. From research by myself, and others such as Pat Moorefield Seaver of Tennessee, Robert Morefield of Illinois, and Phyllis Morefield of the Edinburg, Va., I estimate that upwards of ninety percent of these folks descend from the early Morefields of Halifax County, Va. There have been a few colonial era Morefield records found in other locations, but most of these seem to have disappeared leaving few or no descendants.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Milton (North Carolina) Post Cards

Commercial Row

Milton School

Lewis Walker House

Hotel Caswell

[Clicking on the first three photographs will give a larger image.]

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Joseph Gwynn (1925-2007)

Obituary of Joseph Gwynn (1925-2007)

Mr. Joseph Gwynn
Jan 10, 2007 - 10:17:21 am CST

Yanceyville, NC - It is with Profound Sorrow we announce the death of Mr. Joseph Gwynn of 131 Melvin Wrenn Rd., Yanceyville, NC, who died Sunday, January 7, 2007 in the Alamance & Caswell Hospice Home in Burlington, NC.

He was a native of Caswell County, NC the son of the late Jim Henry Gwynn and Rosa Turner Gwynn, born June 1, 1925. He was a member of Blackwell Baptist Church and was an employee of Dan River Mills before retirement.

He was married to Addie Pulliam Bumper Gwynn who preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by 1 son, Sandy L. Bumper; 1 daughter, Joyce Covington; 2 sisters, Annie Bell Gwynn and Mary Penoy Gwynn Hood; 4 brothers, Willie Huston, Jimmy Jr., John Ernest, and Edward (Pecker) Gwynn.

His survivors are 5 daughters, Mrs. Josie Vanessa Gwynn Thompson (Terry) of the home; Mrs. Christine F. Miles of Ft. Washington, MD, Mrs. Linda Horton of Burlington, Mrs. Patricia Walker of Yanceyville, NC and Mrs. Angela Luck (Elder Nelson) of Danville, VA' 2 sons, Charlie L. Bumper (Shirley) if Hyattsville, MD and John Larry Bumper (Inez) of Danville, VA; 1 brother, Wilson Gwynn (Mayrine) of Yanceyville, NC; 17 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; a host of nieces; nephews; other relatives and friends.

Funeral services for Mr. Joseph Gwynn will be Friday, January 12, 2007at 1:00 p.m. at Blackwell Missionary Baptist Church with Pastor Everett Dickerson delivering the eulogy. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

The body may be viewed Thursday evening from 2 to 8 p.m. at Fulton Funeral Home Chapel. The family may be contact at his residence 131 Melvin Wrenn Rd., Yanceyville, NC. All arrangements for Mr. Joseph Gwynn are entrusted to Fulton Funeral Home, 219 Dillard School, Yanceyville, NC.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 10 January 2007

Sara Lea Iseley Stanfield (1921-2007)

Obituary of Sara Lea Iseley Stanfield (c. 1921-2007)

Sara Lea Iseley Stanfield
Jan 10, 2007 - 10:17:21 am CST

Burlington, NC - Sara Lea Iseley Stanfield, 86, of 428 Stanfield Rd. passed away Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at Alamance Regional Medical Center. She was the wife of Herbert Elwood Stanfield and the daughter of the late Clem Wade and Alma Keck Iseley. Sara was a member of Baynes Baptist Church and the Women's Missionary Union. She was greatly loved and considered an anchor for her family and community as well. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Survivors include her husband Herbert Elwood Stanfield of the home, daughters and sons-in-law; Barbara and Willie Massey of Elon, Brenda Faye Stanfield of Burlington, Betty S. Andrews of Burlington, Patricia and Keith Newcomer of Fuquay Varina, sons and daughters-in-law; Stephen and Tommie Stanfield of Burlington, David Elwood Stanfield of the home, John and Becky Stanfield of Burlington, Tom and Cindy Stanfield of Burlington, beloved sisters; Ida "Biddie" Overby of Reidsville, Ollie Mae Andrews of Burlington, Lydia "Tunsie" Berry of Elon, eleven grandchildren and seven great granchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and two infant brothers.

The funeral service will be held 2:00 PM Thursday at Baynes Baptist Church by Rev. Scott Williams and Rev. Marvin Simpson with interment following in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends 6-8 PM Wednesday at Lowe Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. and at other times at the home. Memorials may be made to Baynes Baptist Church, 1757 Baynes Rd., Burlington, NC 27217.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 10 January 2007

William Peterson (Bill) Couch (1936-2007)

Obituary of William Peterson Couch (1936-2007)

William Peterson (Bill) Couch was the son of Claude Campbell Couch and Mary Lillian Blalock, both deceased. His uncle was John Burch Blaylock (the way he spelled it), the long-time Caswell County Register of Deeds.

William P. Couch
Jan 10, 2007 - 10:17:20 am CST

Hernando, Florida -- William P. Couch, 70, died Saturday, January 6, 2007 at Citrus County Hospice House in Lecanto. A native of Bridgeton, New Jersey, he was born December 25, 1936 to the late Claude C. and Mary (Blaylock) Couch, and came to this area in 1993. Mr. Couch served in the National Guard and Ready Reserve, USAR stateside. He was an educator in the Bridgeton School system for 32 years, teaching history, sociology, law and had his master's degree in guidance. Bill grew up near the Delaware Bay and enjoyed hunting, fishing and metal detecting. His family stated that he found many coins, rings and other unique items during his metal detecting adventures. He was also an avid military historian. Mr. Couch was a 32nd degree Mason, belonging to Brearley Lodge # 2 in Bridgeton and was a member of Hernando United Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Donna (Scarberry) Couch of Hernando, Fl; one son, David and wife, Jeanna Couch of Blanch, NC; his twin sister, Ann Chytka and her husband, Joseph, Hernando, Fl; two grandchildren, Jaysunn and Dannielle Couch.; his father in law, Merle E. Scarberry, Barboursville, W.V; sister in law, Kathy Bledsoe, Charlotte, NC; brother in law, Ronald M. and wife, Barbara Scarberry, Barboursville, W.V; and seven nieces and nephews, Matt, Michael Eric and Nancy Chytka and Christian and Justin Bledscoe and Stacy Bias.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 13, 2007 at Harrelson Funeral Service Chapel. Interment will follow the service at Blalock Family Cemetery in Prospect Hill.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 10 January 2007 (Reprinted with Permission)

The following is from the Bridgeton News:

Retired BHS teacher Bill Couch dies

Thursday, January 11, 2007
Staff Writer

BRIDGETON -- Friends and former colleagues remembered fondly on Wednesday the memories and adventures they shared with William Couch.

A teacher at Bridgeton High School for 32 years, Couch enjoyed hunting, fishing and metal detecting, they said.

But what they remembered most about Couch was that he wasn't just a history teacher, bow hunter or angler.

He was also Superman.

"In school, we used to call him Clark Kent because of his appearance," former student Ken Brown recalled Wednesday. "He looked just like Superman. Everything about him was like Superman."

Couch passed away Saturday in Florida 13 years after he retired there.

He was 70 years old.

There are still plenty of people around who can remember just the kind of person "Couchy" was.

"He was a fun-loving guy, who was very kind and compassionate," Doug Rainear recalled on Wednesday.

Couch and Rainear both attended BHS in their younger days, and returned to teach at the school after they had received their degrees.

"I think there's a special bond between teachers that actually went through the BHS system and then returned to the school to teach for it," Rainear, current Cumberland County Freeholder Director, commented. "We shared a love for the school."

Dale Hall, another high school classmate, said that he, too, thought of Couch as a caring and compassionate man.

"He was just a good friend," he said. "He was a guy you could always depend on."

Hall added that he also spent many humorous hours hunting with Couch.

"He was a very nice person to be around," he commented. "I always had a lot of fun with him."

Perhaps in light of his fun-loving and carefree nature, friend and colleague Ron Filler said Couch was someone his students respected.

"He was well thought of by all of his students, and was respected by all of them," he remarked. "They still called him Mr. Couch years and years after he left."

Filler added that Couch was also a man who was passionate about what he believed in.

"He was a civil rights person that wasn't afraid to express himself," he said, adding that Couch was also an avid military historian. "He would write a letter (to the newspaper) without even thinking about it. He was not afraid to let people know how he felt."

Couch is survived by his wife of 46 years, Donna; a son, David Couch and his wife Jenna; a twin sister, Anny Chytake and her husband Joseph; two grandchildren, Jaysunn and Danielle Couch; and many nieces and nephews.

After a brief service at the Charles Davis Funeral Home in Hernando, Fla., Couch will be transported to Prospect Hill, N.C. for burial in the Blaylock family cemetery.

A memorial service will be held at the Harrelson Funeral Home in Yanceyville, N.C. on Saturday.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Reverend Lewis Washington Graves

Reverend Lewis Graves: "Man of Courage"

Courage is defined by Webster several different ways, with the primary definition cited as "The mental and moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty." Additionally, Webster offers forth the following definitions on the word courage: "To hold one's own against opposition, interference or temptation and; "Firmness of character and determination to achieve one's end."

By any definition of the word, Rev. Lewis Washington Graves was a man of courage. A lifelong resident of Caswell County, Rev. Graves was civic and community minded and outspoken on critical important issues.

While many others were content to live with the status quo of "separate but equal," Rev. Lewis Graves was keenly aware that just like in many other places, in Caswell County, separate meant not equal. He took a stand and added his name to those of other petitioners to file suit in the federal court to desegregate the Caswell County public schools.

As a result of his support for the lawsuit, Rev. Graves and others were confronted with harsh world and acts. Despite the late-night bombing of yard and driveway, being shun by some neighbors and community members and being harassed by those who opposed school desegregation, Rev. Lew Graves remained firm of mind and will.

The lawsuit was successful and several black students (Brown, Mims, Graves and Smith) were later admitted to Bartlett Yancey High and Elementary Schools, Cobb and Pelham in compliance with a mandate from Judge Stanley of Greensboro, NC.

As outspoken on major issues, so was Rev. Graves on issues that affected his neighborhood and church community. For years and years, it had been the practice to allow vendors to set up stands on church and surrounding property during homecoming at Graves Chapel Baptist Church. Homecoming was a very popular event at Graves Chapel Church and people came from all over. Many came to participate in the religious celebration; however, others came only to enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere outside the church area. Despite the event's popularity, Rev. Graves and other church trustee members were outraged at the tainting of the property and sought to eliminate the vendors from Homecoming. It was a long and hard struggle, as many vendors were reluctant to give up an opportunity to make a profit. Numerous trips were made to the then Sheriff John Henry Gunn's office, oftentimes on foot to solicit support for banning vendor stands. Eventually their efforts prevailed and homecoming at Graves Chapel Baptist Church became what it is today -- a joyous religious celebration!

Rev. Lewis W. Graves serves as an example of how taking a courageous stand, whether regarding a big issue or small one, can make a difference.

Submitted by Doris Graves Liggins, daughter of Lewis W. Graves.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Caswell County Bibliography

Set forth below (further down) is a fairly comprehensive compilation of reference materials relevant to Caswell County, North Carolina. However, if you are limited to only a few books, here is a short list of the "essentials."
1. When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) (available from the CCHA). That a comprehensive history of Caswell County written by North Carolina's top historian leads this list should not be surprising.
2. The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) (out-of-print). This is a traditional county heritage book, written by amateurs. However, it is one of the better of the genre produced because of the dedication of the editorial staff. It occasionally pops up in used book stores. If intrested, place a couple of want-list entries with online book sellers.
3. An Inventory of Historic Architecture Caswell County North Carolina, Ruth Little-Stokes (1979) (available from the CCHA). This volume is a treasure trove of history and architecture.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Corn Sheller

Above is a drawing of a large floor-model corn sheller patented 19 March 1867 by J. B. Siddle of Caswell County, North Carolina. For more on corn shellers go to American Artifacts.

Who was this J. B. Siddle?

A Civil War soldier, John B. Siddle, enlisted in Caswell County, July 14, 1862. He was a private in Cavalry Co. C, 41st Regiment through October 1864. He was postmaster at Locust Hill, Caswell County, North Carolina in 1885.

Source: The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 472-473 (Article #637 "John ("Jack") Siddle" by Lillian Walker Mauer).

Is this Civil War soldier the inventor of the corn sheller pictured above? He would have been around twenty-six years old when the patent issued. His father, John (Jack) Siddle, was a Caswell County wheelwright and could have taught the skills necessary to develop the corn sheller.

J. B. Siddle witnessed the 1885 Caswell County will of Antiocus Boswell. Was he the farmer, soldier, postmaster, and inventor?