Thursday, May 31, 2007

1862 Lessie Park Robertson Letter

The following letter from Lessie Park Robertson to her brother Willie Robertson was found in the papers of Mary Kerr Motz (1917-2005):

June 25th 1862

Dear Wiley,

It's with the greatest pleasure imaginable that I seat myself this beautiful morning, to write you a few lines. Rose Belvins hand is very sore. Dr. Roan thinks it will rise, she has not been out in the last day or two. Sallie Belvins keeps well; I believe still goes to see Ben & enjoys herself very well, Rose expecting Miss Fress? Ma is tolerably well, sends
love & c. How do you all get on without Captain Withers? Sorry to hear he was sick.
Went to church yesterday,

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great many people there. Geo Graves was there, he looked very badly indeed, intensely
pale Loss Bosco was present also, had his hand bandaged up. Send you some cherries
the pears are not fully ripe; Want to see you all very much Wish you could come home
To stay all the time All the girls send their Love to you Mrs. Mason Mrs. Reinhart? & Mrs Johnston send love too. Maj. J.A. Graves & Martin? Lenick Norfleet in town got home Saturday.

Enclosed this miserably written scrawl & write
soon to your affectionate

Sister Lessie Park

Sam West Letter 1861

The following letter was found in the papers of Mary Kerr Motz (1917-2005):

Clinton Hinds County, Miss.
January 12th 1861

Miss E. A. Robertson

I am again in possession of another one of your kind favors. Though it made my heart glad to hear from you, still, It pained me to think that you, my own & only female Correspondent, believed me “buried” in love with Miss McLeuse. I have seen her once, never shall see her again. This is cirtain for I am almost bound to spend the residue of my days in the army. This is the shortest way to spend an unhappy and unprofitable life. I have the honor to command a company, whose destination is South Carolina, the -----? civil war is proclaimed. I hope such news will reach us soon. And yet I am a–co-opperationist. One who loves the Union of his fathers. But I am no submissionist; And, I thank God, that I have more stability than to love best the girl I see last. I cannot make love a matter of such frivolous speculation. I would have you think better of your old friend & correspondent. I shall accept your advice; and, on the event I do “try again”, I will send Cupid, armed with many a arrow to fall harmless at your feet, or find a home within your heart. If you intend to hold out long you had better strengthen the walls that surround your heart.

I love you. I do esteem you highly & may long love you with constancy that amounts
to idolatry. I believe you fear this too much, to trust me your ambrotype. If you don’t send it, I shall see you soon in some sweet dream, or on my way to “West Point”.

If you don’t send it I will have you up in church for non-compliance of duty. You know the Methodist are baston for struting. My dad is Methodist So are you, or am I much mistaken in your notions of faith. I am Methodist in all but Baptism I think persons who are baptized ought to be drowned Such is Ovids translation of “emergo.”

I am a Mason, this must do me; till I get married. I will then go the way she tells me, except up the chimney. In regard to Cousin writing to you, I have to say, She is too happily gazing upon Vesses face to look at ------? Or think of writing.

I don’t like to be whipped for doing the best I can do, I‘ll go and get the whipping if you say so, but you shall get the scolding, if we are out of the old glorious Union. Missippssi is out Louisiana is out. Hurah! for the new Union! Money matters are still hard up. No credit. These are indeed hard times. Well I see no use In crying over the present or prophesying what will be. Still I can not help being sad if I am out of love.

I recon this is the cause of it, if it is I shant grieve much longer, if you will send me your type. Please send. ”Why tease me so”? If you are ugly, why you may know its just like me & most of the world. Beauty & intelligence don’t travel the same road far. That’s why I’m such a “sallet”. Cousin said you was ugly as herself. Vess thinks she’s the woman. I may think the same of you. I know you think I’m ugly & a sallet too, or would not tease me so about falling in love.

Your Friend, Sam West

Vess is Veston A. Carraway of Madison County, Mississippi.
Cousin is Eliza Baldwin Skidmore Carraway wife of Veston A. Carraway.
They were married September of 1860.

1860 Letter to Eliza A. Robertson

The following letter was found in the papers of Mary Kerr Motz (1917-2005):

Clinton Hinds Co.
April 17th 1860

Miss E. A. Robertson
Yanceyville N. C.

Miss Eliza

Notwithstanding I have been in possession of your kind & very interesting letter for several days past, I have been unable from sickness & impartation duties to reply to it, until I fear you think I am one of those whose delight is not in the law of the heart but whose evil intentions severeth good to the heart, that forgets its only earthly idol, so soon as the king of day sinks to his rest.


(near bottom of page)

I visited the “crescent city- New Orleans”, I did enjoy myself finely while there. Save when I was in the hospital, gazing upon the afflicted & dying. I saw sights there that will haunt me to my grave. Still I am theoretically familiar with such scenes.

(page 2)

I met with one of my childhood friends there, who who had visited South America, Mexico & all the Teritories. Many an interesting story could he tell of fairy Zinzinas, who inhaled at every breath the sick perfumes of the sigareta, that adorned their lips.”like chimneys of paradise”. I spent every night while in the city in his room.

I must say a few things in regard to Miss House. I am grieved to dispute her word and will do so with that courtesy due a lady from a gentleman.


Such, too, is the opinion exemplified by my amable cousin, (Eliza) (Sam refers to his cousin Eliza Baldwin Skidmore future wife of Veston Carraway)

Having sent you my ambrotype, I can but hope you have rec’d it and fear your expectations have been sadly disappointed. It will be depending upon circumstances whether I visit Salem or not. Should my health not impose I shall visit Carolina; and will certainly make Yanceyville my first destination in the State.

(page 3)

My Cousin Eliza is again at home, imparting something of her happiness to all around.


I will close with a little poem I wrote for you one starry night in March. Receive it and treat it as a gift of the heart.

Your friend, Sam West (poem not with letter)

Sallie Robertson Bible

Mary Kerr Motz of Yanceyville, North Carolina, died 11 November 2005. Included in her books was the Bible of Sarah A. (Sallie) Robertson (1833-1923). This Bible apparently was an 1860 present to Sallie Robertson by her friend Harriet Graves. Over the next several decades, Sallie Robertson used this Bible as a diary or journal, recording wherever there was space the happenings of the day and her feelings about them.

This fascinating journal was sold at auction in 2006. The auction house was kind enough to allow Karen Avants of the Caswell County Historical Association to capture the information Sallie Robertson so carefully preserved. Set forth below are excerpts from this journal. A chronological order is attempted, which often differs from the page numbers cited.

Sarah A. (Sallie) Robertson the daughter of Dr. George Robertson (c.1807-1855) and Sarah Allen Robertson (1803-1871) of Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina. Sallie was born June 1833 and died 27 November1923. She was the third child in a family of eight children.

Sallie Robertson never married and lived with her sisters in the family home until her death in 1923 at 90 years of age. When Sallie was 27 years old her friend Harriet Graves gave her a small Bible June 1, 1860. Sallie recorded Civil War events as they touched her family, friends, and community. She wrote brief notes about births, deaths, and events for over 50 years. Sallie writes; “I wonder when this awful war will cease!! The blood, the blood that has been spent for our confederacy. I wish I could stop mourning for the dead, for I feel that I sin in so doing, I try to be resigned to thy will O Lord.”

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Obituary of Kayla Leighann Montana Lipscomb (2007-2007)

Kayla Leighann Montana Lipscomb

May 23, 2007 - 01:44:59 am CDT

Providence, NC - Kayla Leighann Montana Lipscomb, 17 days old, died Saturday, May 12, 2007 at 2:15 a.m. at University of Virginia Hospital. Survivors are her father, Kelvin Lipscomb, Sr; mother, Crystal Pleasant; sisters, Jenna and Kora; brothers, Courtney, Isaiah, Kelvin, Jr. and Elijah; grandparents, Freeman Bigelow, Carolyn Lipscomb, Gwendolyn Pleasant and Martin and Kimberly Pleasant. The funeral service was held Thursday at 2 p.m. at Hamer Missionary Baptist Church in Blanch with internment following at the church cemetery. Arrangements were entrusted to Blackwell Funeral Home in Yanceyville.

Obituary of Kayla Leighann Montana Lipscomb (2007-2007) (The Caswell Messenger, 23 May 2007)

Obituary of David Russell Turner (1939-2007)

David Russell Turner

May 23, 2007 - 01:44:58 am CDT

Danville, Va - David Russell Turner, age 68, 292 Glenlyn Street Danville died Saturday, May 19, 2007 at his residence. He was born January 7, 1939 in Danville, VA to Charlie Richard Turner and Zona Ozella Meeks Turner, both deceased. Mr. Turner worked as an electrician for the US Government at Fort Jackson, NC. He had served two years in the US Navy. He is survived by daughters, Leslie Turner of Rural Hall and Kelly Turner of California; brothers, Richard Alvin Turner of Raleigh, NC, Henry Charles Turner of Leasburg, NC, and Billy Ray Turner of Leasburg, NC; Sisters, Bonnie Joy Ferrell of Vernon Hill, Patsy Ann Turner of Pffaftown, NC, Donna M. T of Pffaftown, Rene Davis of Roxboro, NC and Tracie Horner of Roxboro, NC. He was predeceased by a sister, Nellie Glancey. Barker Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Obituary of David Russell Turner (1939-2007) (The Caswell Messenger, 23 May 2007)

Obituary of Alice Ware Miller (1925-2007)

Alice Ware Miller

May 23, 2007 - 01:45:00 am CDT

Providence, NC - Alice Ware Miller, age 81, of 527 Ware Road, Providence, NC died Thursday, 5/17/07 at Brian Center in Yanceyville, NC after a decline in health. Mrs. Miller was born in Caswell County, NC on December 13, 1925. She was a daughter of the late James Emmett Ware and Bertha Gillespie Ware.

She was a member of the Providence Baptist Church and was educated in the Caswell County public school system. Mrs. Miller was retired from Dan River Mills in the spinning department of the Schoolfield Division. She was married to the late Hardy Arnold Miller. She was also predeceased by a son, A. Leroy Miller; two sisters, Viola W. Bryson, and Nettie W. Bray; two brothers, William Adrian Ware and James Ralph Ware. Surviving are one daughter, Luretta M. Rich of Danville, one son, Robert A. Miller of Providence, NC, one sister, Sarah W. Guthrie of Danville and one brother, Raymond V. Ware of Providence, NC. Also surviving are three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2007 at 11:00 am from the graveside at Highland Burial Park by the Reverend Matthew Eades, Pastor at Providence Baptist Church. The family will receive friends at Townes Funeral Home, 215 West Main Street on Friday, May 18, 2007 from 7 to 8:30 pm and at other times will be at the residence of her grandson, Mr. Kevin Pegg, 94 Bill Smith Road in Providence, NC. Townes Funeral Home, 215 West Main Street is in charge of the arrangements for the Miller Family.

Obituary of Alice Ware Miller (1925-2007) (The Caswell Messenger, 23 May 2007)

Obituary of Eloise Hendrix Hodges (1920-2007)

Eloise Hendrix Hodges
May 23, 2007 - 01:45:00 am CDT

Yanceyville, NC - Eloise Hendrix Hodges 87 of 1196 U.S. Highway 158 West died Friday May18, 2007 at Danville Regional Medical Center.

She was a native of Reidsville, N.C. and was married to James Thomas Hodges, Sr. in 1937. Mrs. Hodges spent her entire life in the Yanceyville area. She was a homemaker, a member of Prospect United Methodist Church since 1937, she had served as a Sunday School Teacher, choir member, and Past President of the United Methodist Women and life member of the U. M. W. She served on the Administrative Board of Prospect United Methodist Church for sixteen and one half years, and was installed as an Ex Officio Honorary Member of the Administrative Board of Prospect United Methodist Church in 1993. She had served as past president of the Iris Garden Club, and served as past president of the Yanceyville -Prospect Home Demonstration Club, and served for a time on the Caswell County Homemakers County Circle. She also served as Den Mother for the Boy Scouts Program.

Surviving are one son James Thomas (Tommy) Hodges, Jr. and wife Martha Jo of Danville, grandsons John Russell Hodges and Bradley Thomas Hodges. Mrs. Hodges was predeceased by her husband James Thomas Hodges Sr. in 2001. They were married for 64 years. Funeral Services will be Monday 2 p.m. at Prospect United Methodist Church, conducted by Rev. David Grissom, Pastor and Dr. George Johnson. Interment will be in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends and relatives Sunday 1-4 p.m. at the Yanceyville residence and 7-8:30 p.m. at Harrelson Funeral Service Chapel.

Memorials may be made to The Prospect Church Fellowship Hall Building Fund, c/o Jimmy Watlington, 254 Hodges Dairy Road, P.O. Box 1027, Yanceyville, N.C. 27379. Harrelson Funeral Service is assisting the Hodges Family with arrangements.

Obituary of Eloise Hendrix Hodges (1920-2007) (The Caswell Messenger, 23 May 2007).

Obituary of Daisy Beatrice Simmons McKinney Faulkner (1921-2007)

Beatrice "Bea" McKinney Faulkner
May 23, 2007 - 01:44:59 am CDT

Graham, nc - After a lengthy illness, our beloved mother and grandmother, Daisy Beatrice Simmons McKinney Faulkner, returned to God at 9:40 a.m. on Wednesday the 16th of May, 2007 at the age of 85. She was at home surrounded by her children, other family members, and friends when she passed peacefully from this mortal world.

She was born September 12, 1921 to her parents, James Thomas Simmons and Daisy Belle Stainback Simmons, now deceased. She was the wife of the late Howard Walter McKinney, Sr. and the late James Luther Faulkner. She was a former hosiery and textile employee, retiring from Kayser-Roth. She was a member of Beverly Hills United Church of Christ, the Women_s Fellowship and Circle, and former member of the choir.

Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Jerilyn Nunley of Ringgold, GA and Mrs. Vickey Jeffreys and husband, Ron of Graham; two sons, Mr. Howard W. McKinney, Jr. and wife, Debbie of Woodbridge, VA and Mr. Timothy F. McKinney of Chapel Hill; two sisters, Mrs. Lucy Simmons Kimbro and Mrs. Frances Simmons Ausley, both of Burlington; eight grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson. She was preceded in death by one sister, Pauline Simmons Aldridge.

The funeral will be conducted at Beverly Hills United Church of Christ on Friday, May 18, 2007 at 3:00 p.m. by Rev. Rosser Clapp. Burial will follow in Pine Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the Rich & Thompson Mortuary in Burlington on Thursday from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Other times they will be at the residence of Vickey and Ron Jeffreys, 3972 S. NC Hwy 87, Graham, NC.

Memorials may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Alamance-Caswell, 914 Chapel Hill Road, Burlington, NC 27215 or to Beverly Hills United Church of Christ, 715 North Church Street, Burlington, NC 27217. Condolences may be sent to

Obituary of Daisy Beatrice Simmons McKinney Faulkner (1921-2007) (The Caswell Messenger, 23 May 2007)

Obituary of Jeanette Riley Carter (1919-2007)

Jeanette Riley Carter

May 23, 2007 - 01:44:58 am CDT

Providence, NC - Jeanette Riley Carter, 87, of 1123 Shady Grove Road, Providence, NC died unexpectedly at her residence of Thursday, May 17, 2007.

She was born on July 5, 1919, in Raleigh, NC, a daughter of John Riley and Cornelia Mercer Riley.

On September 4, 1948 she married John T. "Jake" Carter, Jr., of the home, who survives.

She had formerly worked for Dan River, Inc., Security Bank and as a substitute teacher for the Danville Public School System. She was a member of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church where she was a member of the Browder Sunday School Class and the United Methodist Women.

In addition to her husband, Jake, she is survived by a daughter, Jan C. Lester and her husband, Howard of Danville; two grandsons, Ward B. Lester of Martinsville, VA and John C. Lester of Danville.

In addition to her parents she was predeceased by three sisters, Thelma Riley, Ruby Riley and Alma Riley.

Graveside services will be held at 10:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2007 at Shady Grove United Methodist Church Cemetery with the Reverend David Palmer officiating.

Townes Funeral Home, 215 West Main Street is in charge of arrangements and the family will receive friends at the residence, 1123 Shady Grove Road.

The family suggests that memorials may be sent to Mount Vernon United Methodist Church or Shady Grove United Methodist Church.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 23 May 2007.

Barzillai Shuford Graves (1854-1942)

Barzillai Shuford Graves (1854-1942)
(Click on Photograph for Larger Image)

Barzillai Shuford Graves* was born 5 July 1854 in Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina, to William Blair (Billy Hickory) Graves (1827-1894) and Mary Elizabeth Shuford (1835-1861). The Graves family was one of the founding families of Caswell County. The Shuford family was early on the scene in Buncombe County.

In 1894 Barzillai Shuford Graves married his distant cousin, Malvina F. Graves (1870-1955). To this marriage was born one child, daughter Mary Elizabeth Graves (1896-1977).

The following article appeared 22 July 1939 in a North Carolina newspaper (The Caswell Messenger or the Greensboro Daily News):

(Click on Newspaper Article for a Larger Image)

Click on Photograph for Larger Image)

Above is a photograph of the Yanceyville house that Barzillai Shuford Graves built for his bride, Malvina F. Graves, in the 1890s.

Both Barzillai Shuford Graves and Malvina F. Graves are buried in the First Baptist Church of Yanceyville cemetery.

(Click on Photograph for Larger Image)

(Click on Photograph for Larger Image)
* Barzillai probably was pronounced BAR-ZIL-AIGH (bärzĭl`ā) or BAR-ZIL-A-EYE (bärzĭl`āī), being a Bibical name (among others, a chief in Gilead who was friendly to King David). However, most avoided the issue entirely and just called him "Baz"! Note that Barzillai was a common Graves family name.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Yanceyville Bowling Alley

In 2002, Caswell County resident Larry Gibson was interviewed for a Burlington Times-News article on life in Yanceyville. Here is an excerpt from that article:
Some people in Caswell County say small-town life is exciting enough for them.

Larry Gibson has lived in Caswell County all 55 years of his life. He works at Goodyear Tire and Rubber in Danville. He says there are plenty of things to do on Friday nights, including playing cards, talking with friends and attending church.

Gibson laughs when asked if there is anything exciting for young people to do in Yanceyville. He cites the recreation center, the school band and school sports, but says there is no bowling alley or movie theater in the county.

But this was not always the case. Yanceyville once had a walk-in movie theater (Caswell Theater), a drive-in movie theater (although short-lived), a three-table pool hall (Alex's Cafe),* and a bowling alley. This entry focuses on the bowling alley.

Yanceyville's bowling alley may have been the long dark-roofed building seen in the above two photographs from 1940. It is the one with two chimneys and a series of windows that is to the left of Alex's Cafe (between Alex's Cafe and the Texaco service station).

Here is another view of the building that may have housed the bowling alley in Yanceyville. This is on Greensboro Street looking generally toward the Square. Based upon the vehicles in the scene, the date is 1949 or later (newer car is 1949 Dodge).

Below, courtesy of Ray McGuire (Member of the Yanceyville Town Council) are photographs of the wooden "duck" pins used in this bowling alley. The bowling balls also were wooden.

(Click on Photographs for Larger Images)

Bowling ball purportedly used in the Yanceyville bowling alley. Image courtesy Mike McGuire.

* Red Daniel's service station (at the intersection of Highway 86 and the Shady Grove Road) also at one time had a few pool tables, but this establishment was not located in Yanceyville. Note that Red Daniel actually was Robert Howard Daniel (1919-1987).

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bartlett Yancey High School 1925

(Click on Photograph for a Larger Image)

People identified in the above photograph:

Clyde Carrithers Allison (married Dr. Ludolphus Graham Page, DDS). She is about midway to the left of the middle group with her face almost in left profile.

Herman Gunn (Christmas) Page. He is the handsome tall blonde in the middle of the group toward the center.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Yanceyville Rotary Club

(click photograph for larger image)

(click photograph for larger image)

(click photograph for larger image)

(click photograph for larger image)

Fifty Years of Rotary in Yanceyville, North Carolina (1937 - 1987)

On May 7, 1937 thirty-two men from Caswell County saw a dream come true when the Yanceyville Rotary Club was officially formed. Sensing the need for an organization to promote the development and advancement of the Yanceyville community, these men turned to the high aims and achievements of Rotary International. In 1905 a few man in Chicago committed to the ideal of fellowship and cooperation in business began the first Rotary Club. Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, initiated the procedure of selecting the leaders from various business and professional men to be members of that first Rotary Club. As early as 1936, a group of Yanceyville citizens formed an organization to develop and improve this community. Special committees were appointed to study the local situation and a compromised report was approved for the establishment of a Rotary Club with a special Industrial Committee to seek new industries for the town. The Yanceyville Rotary Club was organized on March 16, 1937, and through the sponsorship of the Burlington Rotary Club, the Yanceyville club was admitted to Membership in Rotary International on May 7, 1937. The charter members were:

Samuel Murphy Bason

Vice President
Dr. Houston Lafayette Gwynn, M.D.

Clyde Caviness Cole

Clarence Lilly Pemberton, Jr.

L. W. Lillard

J. B. Blaylock
Holland McSwain
W. J. Swicegood
C. S. Buchanan
George C. Neal
E. F. Upchurch
J. H. Gunn
H. H. Page
R. F. Warren
Jno. 0. Gunn
L. G. Page
Roy F. Whitley
R. L. Hall
Howard P. Richardson
D. W. Wright
W. V. Hall
C. B. Rogers
H. W. Hooper
H. L. Seagrove
W. B. Horton
E. J. Smith
H. M. Lilly
T. E. Steed
S. A. Malloy
Erwin D.Stephens
W. L. Maness
David 0. Sunderland

Friday, May 11, 2007

Evelyn Barbara Whitlow Greenfield (1916-1994)

Evelyn Barbara Whitlow Greenfield (1916-1994)

Angels of Bataan and Corregidor

The following is from The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 568-569 (Article #781 "Evelyn Barbara Whitlow" by Jeannine D. Whitlow):
Evelyn was born April 17, 1916, the daughter of Robert Norwood Whitlow and Ruth Carolina Stephens Whitlow. She was educated in the Caswell County schools and was trained as a Registered Nurse at Memorial Hospital in Danville, Virginia.

She joined the Army Nurse Corps May 1940 at Ft. Bragg, N.C. She was sent to Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia, and later to Ft. Benning, Georgia for training. In November of 1941 she sailed on the USS Coolidge and landed in Manila, Philippine Islands, where she served first at Sternberg General Hospital.

World War II began with the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands and the attack on Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines December 7, 1941. On Christmas Day 1941, Evelyn was shipped out to a hospital on Lamay, an island off Batan. Manila was declared an open city by General Douglas MacArthur on December 26, 1941, after his forces had cleared Manila on their withdrawal to Bataan and Corregidor.

As the Japanese came closer, everyone had to be evacuated, and they went on to what was called Hospital No. 1 where barracks had been prepared for them. Later she was transferred to Hospital No. 2 where nurses were desperately needed. There were no rooms -- only cost awaiting the wounded. The area, deep in the bamboo forest, was very primitive and had no sanitary facilities. Evelyn contracted malaria and was shipped to Corregidor where she remained three weeks in the hospital inside Malinta Tunnel.

About one-hundred Army and Navy nurses staffed General MacArthur's Corregidor headquarters inside Malinta Tunnel, but twenty-one were evacuated before General Jonathan Wainwright was forced to surrender to superior Japanese forces May 6, 1942. Eleven of the nurses escaped in a submarine, and twenty were flown out on an amphibious Convair PBY. Evelyn was one of the last nurses to leave the island before the surrender, but the PBY transporting her and nine other nurses crashed on Mindanao. Inside, water was waist deep before they all got out. They were taken prisoner along with the nurses from Corregidor and sent to Santo Tomas University, which had been turned into an internment camp in Manila.

Santo Tomas had about four thousand civilian prisoners. Each had a measured space of forty-six inches for a bed and personal belongings. For the first two years of imprisonment they had some contact with the outside world through native Filipinos, who were allowed to come to the camp to sell fruits and vegetables to those who had money to buy them. Later these Filipinos were not even allowed to come to the camp to give food to the internees. The Army Nurses interned at Santo Tomas served as camp nurses who took care of civilians interned there.

The drug supply was scarce, and many people died of malnutrition. They were fed two meals a day consisting mostly of rice from which they picked out bugs and other foreign objects. They had some seeds and occasionally water buffalo to eat. Those who were able tended little garden plots on the grounds and supplemented their diet in this way. They were given an ounce of salt a month, which some of them crushed and used to brush their teeth.

Evelyn was reported missing in action May 1942, and it was not until December 1944 that her parents received word that she was still alive.

In describing their liberation by United States armed forces and the events leading up to it, Evelyn said, 'One plane came over the camp and somebody said they dropped a message saying: 'Roll out the barrel, we'll be here tonight.' That night they came. We heard a big noise that night, but for three days we had been hearing the sound of buildings being blown up all over town, and there had been so much of it we couldn't tell what was really happening. Bombardment by our own forces and the Japanese was almost continuous from September 21 until February 3. About 8:30 that night we really began to hear noises. Shrapnel from the Japanese was falling like rain around us. Lights were thrown up that could be seen everywhere. In spite of the shrapnel, we broke over the ropes that had been put up to hold us back, and rushed for the doors. We saw two tanks coming. Someone yelled that they were Japanese and to watch out, but we soon saw they were Americans.

"Everybody was yelling, crying and shouting. We could smell that good American gasoline. We were soon out patting the tanks. They were the most beautiful things we had ever seen."

During their liberation, Evelyn received a small shrapnel wound in the shoulder, but after nearly three years of imprisonment, it seemed of little consequence to her.

The nurses who were taken prisoner were called "The Angels of Bataan and Corregidor." Newspapers carried many stories and pictures of these nurses. From the time they landed in California, newspaper articles reported their progress as they journeyed across the country to be reunited with their families. Upon arriving at home, they were bombarded with requests for speaking engagements. Evelyn accepted many of these requests, one of which was before the N.C. General Assembly at John O. Gunn's invitation. years later he told this writer that Eleanor Roosevelt had been there just before Evelyn was, but Evelyn received a standing ovation and a warmer welcome from the group.

Evelyn left the Army Nurse Corps as a 1st Lieutenant. On January 2, 1946, she married Milton Greenfield, who she had met at Santo Tomas. He was an American civilian engaged in manufacturing in the Philippines when the war began. They were at Las Vegas celebrating their twenty-third wedding anniversary when he died in 1969 following Hong King 'flu and a heart attack. They had no children.

Evelyn has returned to the Philippines many times since her prisoner-of-war days and lived there part of the time with her husband, Milton. Her most recent visit, which she said would be her last, was in April 1980 when she and twenty-five other nurses gathered to take part in a ceremony honoring the "Angels of Bataan and Corregidor." A memorial inscribed with the names of all the nurses who served was placed at the Shrine of Valor at the foot of Mount Samat on the island of Bataan. Two of Evelyn's sisters accompanied her on this trip.

Eight-one women were captured by the Japances in their World War II takeover of the Philippines, becoming the only American women military members ever to be listed as POWs. Of the sixty members of that group still living, thirty-four attended a reunion in Washington, D.C., when President Ronald Reagan proclaimed April 9, 1983, as POW-MIA Day. Evelyn was among those in attendance.

Evelyn Barbara Whitlow Greenfield now lives in a retirement village in Camarillo, California.
She died 3 June 1994 in Los Angeles, California.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Briggs Service Station (Leasburg, North Carolina)

Robert Ashley Briggs operated a store in Leasburg, and so did his son Clyde Curtis Briggs. Here is a free-oil coupon issued by one of them. Their respective stores are shown below as they looked around 2005. Do you know which store issued the coupon? The current thinking is that Ashley Briggs sold Texaco gasoline from his store and issued the coupon.

(Click on Photographs for Larger Images)

Curtis Briggs Store

Ashley Briggs Store

This was Briggs General Merchandise, located across from the old Leasburg Post Office.

Obituary of Mary Cross Lunsford

Mary Cross Lunsford

Yanceyville, N.C. - Mary Cross Lunsford of 185 Atwater Street, Yanceyville, NC died Thursday, April 19, 2007, at Danville Regional Medical Center, Danville, VA, following a decline in health for several years. She was born in Caswell County, North Carolina, the daughter of the late Eugene Estes Cross and Minnie Frances Durham Corss. Mrs. Lunsford was retired from American Tobacco Company and a member of Community Baptist Church for many years.

She was married to Hunter Lee Lunsford, Sr. who preceded her in death. She is survived by two half sisters, Elizabeth Belton of Reidsville, NC and Ruby Carter of Axton, VA; one half brother Billy Cross of Axton, VA and several nieces.

The funeral will be held Saturday, April 21, 2007, at 1: pm at Community Baptist Church, Yanceyville, NC, with Dr. John Carpenter and Reverend Calvin Holdren officiating. Interment will be at Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church, Hwy, 158 East, Yanceyville, NC. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at Community Baptist Church, from 12:00 noon until 1:00 pm. The family requests in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Community Baptist Church, c/o Mrs. Ann Scruggs, 5857 Old NC Hwy 86, North Providence, NC. Marley Funeral Home, Yanceyville, is in charge of arrangements.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 25 April 2007.

Obituary of Virginia Jones Graves Coleman (1945-2007)

Virginia Jones Graves Coleman

Yanceyville, N.C. - It is with profound sorrow we announce the death of Mrs. Virginia Jones Graves (Tennie) Coleman 61, of 2059 Yarborough Mill Road, Milton, who died Friday, April 20, 2007, in the Brian Center Nursing Facility. She was a native of Caswell County, North Carolina, the daughter of the late Galloway Jones and Georgianna Thaxton Jones, born October 6, 1945. She was a member of Macedonia A.M.E. Church in Milton, N.C. She was a former employee of Dan River Mills for 23 years, the Caswell County School System and she wasa CNA before she became disabled. She was preceded in death by one brother, Rev. William Henry Currie.

Her survivors are two daughters, Ms. Fentre Graves-Neal (Dennis) of Danville, VA and Ms. Kidada Graves of Milton, NC; Husband, Rev. George Coleman; two brothers, Lorenzo Graves (Lois) of Milton, NC and Ulysses Graves (Adelle) of Philadelphia, PA; five sisters, Mrs Hannah Neal of San Antonio, Texas, and Mrs. Sallie Allen (Lonnie) of Omaha, Nebraska, Mrs. Mary Jane McGhee of Leasburg, NC, Mrs. Aelene Lucas and Ms. Georgianna Newkirk of Plainfield, NJ; one grandchild, De'sean Neal of Danville, VA; four devoted friends, George Thaxton of Blanch, NC, Mrs. Essie Hughes of Milton, NC, Bobby Steward of Semora, NC, and Mrs Josephine Johnson of Maryland; fifteen nieces, eight nephews; a host of other relatives and many dear friends.

Funeral services for Mrs. Virginia Jones Graves "Tennie" Coleman will be Wednesday, April 25, 2007, 1:00 PM at Macedonia A.M.E. Church with interment at Floral Hills Memorial Garden, Danville, VA; Rev. Donald Coletrane, Pastor of St. Matthews Baptist Church in Dry Fork VA will deliver the Eulogy. The family may be contacted at her residence 2059 Yarborough Mill Road, Milton, NC. All arrangements for Mrs. Virginia Jones Graves "Tennie" Coleman are entrusted to Fulton Funeral Home 219 Dillard School Dr. Yanceyville, NC.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 25 April 2007.

Obituary of Mary Catherine (Cat) Briggs (c.1950-2007)

Mary Catherine "Cat" Briggs

May 09, 2007 - 01:03:22 am CDT

Burlington - Ms. Mary Catherine "Cat" Briggs, 57, of 540 Queen Ann Street, Burlington, NC died May 2, 2007 at her residence. She was born in Caswell County daughter of Mr. James Phillips, Jr. and Ms. Beatrice Crawley Briggs both deceased. She was a member of Gospel Tabernacle United Holy Church.

Survivors are a son, Anton Downey of the home; two daughters, Adawn Downey and Cassandra Dark both of Burlington, NC; two brothers, John A. Briggs of Washington, DC and Robert H. Briggs (Brenda) of California; eight sisters, Lillie Lucas of Washington, DC, Beatrice Renee Holland (Dean) of Maryland, Robenia Briggs, Mary Phillips, Margret Phillips, Sandra Boswell, Willie Mae Booker and Faye Jean Haith all of Burlington; six grandchildren, Montre' Downey, Kentrell Sheppard, Brandon Corbett, Brittanie Downey, Nautica Downey and Mekiah Dark.

The funeral service will be at 3:00 pm Monday at the chapel of Blackwell Funeral Home with Elder Greg Hargrave delivering the eulogy. Burial will be in North Lawn Cemetery. Visitation will be thirty minutes prior to the service at the church on Monday. At other times the family will receive visitors at the home. The body can be viewed on Sunday from 1:00 until 9:00 pm at the funeral home. Services are entrusted to Blackwell Funeral Home, Burlington.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 9 May 2007.

Obituary of Helen Williamson Harrelson

Helen Williamson Harrelson

May 09, 2007 - 01:04:49 am CDT

Pelham - Mrs. Helen Williamson Harrelson of 4956 Allison Road died Tuesday evening at her residence. As a native and lifelong resident of Caswell County, she attended the local public schools and was a member of the Yanceyville Seniors Association. Spiritually she was a faithful member of New Ephesus Baptist Church where she served with the Board of Ushers and Missionary Society. Survivors are six daughters, Gennie Martin of Oxon Hill, Maryland, Dorothy Brown of Landover, Maryland, Minnie Ratliff and spouse, Richard of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Evangelist Ruby Hines, Hazel Hairston and Blanche Harrelson, all of Pelham; 14 grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren; 2 great great grandchildren; one sister, Mary Jones of Pelham; other relatives and a multitude of treasured friends. Funeral services will be conducted at 2:00 pm Saturday from the New Ephesus Baptist Church, 8939 Highway 158, Ruffin with Pastor William E. Lee and Reverend Willie R. Sellars presiding. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. The family visitation will be Saturday from 1:30 until 2:00 pm at the church. Funeral arrangements are by Johnson & Sons.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 9 May 2007.

Obituary of Emerson Reid Strader, Sr. (c.1915-2007)

Emerson Reid Strader Sr.

May 01, 2007 - 07:21:23 pm CDT

Ruffin, NC - Emerson Reid Strader Sr., 92, of 9658 Business 29 died Saturday April 27, 2007 at Annie Penn Hospital. Graveside Services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 2007 at Ruffin Cemetery.

A native of Rockingham County, he was a son of the late Edward Gilbert and Lemma Jane Duncan Strader and had lived in Ruffin all of his life. He was a member of Ruffin United Methodist Church and he was retired from the Rockingham County Sheriff's Department. Mr. Strader was a farmer and a Charter member of the Ruffin Volunteer Fire Department where he served as Assistant Fire Chief and Treasurer for many years. He was preceded in death by six Brothers and two Sisters.

Surviving is his wife of 71 years, Louise Cowan Strader of the home; sons Emerson Reid Strader Jr. and wife Linda of Pine Knoll Shores, Phillip Strader and wife Sandra of Pelham; daughter Cindi Everett and husband Keith of Ruffin; grandchildren Sherry Strader, Vonda Strader, Phillip Strader Jr., Brandon Strader, Whitney Everett, Rachel Everett, & Rebecca Everett and great grandson Colton Strader.

The family will see friends from 7 - 8:30 p.m. Monday, April 30, 2007 at Citty Funeral Home and at other times, they will be at the residence. Memorials may be made to Ruffin United Methodist Church, PO Box 66 Ruffin, NC 27326. Condolences may be made to

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 1 May 2007

Obituary of Precy Lee Blackwell (c.1918-2007)

Percy Lee Blackwell (c.1918-2007)

April 20, 2007 3:01 AM
RUFFIN — Mr. Percy Lee Blackwell, 89, of 197 Smith Road, died April 14, 2007, at his residence.

A native of Caswell County, he was the husband of the late Addie Ray Settle Blackwell, and the son of the late Mr. Joe B. Blackwell and Mrs. Lizzie Totten Blackwell. Survivors include a brother, Sandy Blackwell of Reidsville; two sisters, Elizabeth Jones and Ruby Blackwell, both of Ruffin; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and a goddaughter, Jarnice Blackwell.

The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, at New Ephesus Baptist Church on U.S. 158. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be at the church on Saturday 30 minutes prior to the service, and at other times the family will receive visitors at the home. Viewing will be at Blackwell Funeral Home in Yanceyville from 1 to 8 p.m. today.

Source: Burlington Times News, 20 April 2007.

Ruffin is an unincorporated community located in Rockingham County, North Carolina. It is northeast of Reidsville, North Carolina and southwest of Danville, Virginia just off US 29 (future Interstate 785).

Ruffin - Mr. Percy Lee Blackwell, 89, of 197 Smith Road died at his residence April 14, 2007. He was born in Caswell County to Joe B. Blackwell and Lizzie Totten Blackwell, both deceased. He was also, predeceased by his wife, Addie Ray Settle Blackwell.

Survivors are one brother, Sandy Blackwell of Reidsville, two sisters, Elizabeth Jones and Ruby Blackwell both of Ruffin, 5 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandchild and goddaughter, Janice Blackwell.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 pm at New Ephesus Baptist Church on Hwy. 158 with visitation thirty minutes prior to the service and at other times at the home. Burial was in the Church cemetery. Services were in trusted to Blackwell Funeral Home, Yanceyville.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 1 May 2007

Obituary of John Walter Newnam, Jr. (1933-2007)

John Walter Newnam (1933-2007)

Apr 18, 2007 - 12:30:30 am CDT

RALEIGH, N.C. - John Walter Newnam, Jr., 73, of Morrisville, North Carolina died Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at Rex Health Care, Raleigh, NC where he had been a patient since March 19th. He was born December 1, 1933 in Danville, VA to John Walter Newnam, Sr. and Blanche Allgood Newnam, both deceased. Mr. Newnam lived most of his life in the Pelham, North Carolina area where he was a well known farmer. He was a graduate of Hargrave Military Academy, Chatham, VA and a veteran of the US Army serving during the Korean War. He was a 32nd Degree Mason with the Yanceyville, NC lodge.

He is survived by daughters, Bettie Newnam Moore of Raleigh, NC, and Cynthia K. Bridges of Greensboro, NC; sons, Bruce Wayne Newnam of Raleigh, NC, Randall Arthur Newnam of Pelham, NC, and Vincent Brian Newnam of Asheville, NC; a sister, Shirley Sartin of Ruffin NC, and nine grandchildren.

The funeral will be Saturday, April 14, 2007 at 2:00 pm at Swicegood Chapel with Reverend Wayne Sartin officiating. Burial will be at Lively Stones Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends Friday, April 13th from 7:00 until 8:30 pm at Swicegood Funeral Home and at other times at the home of Randall Arthur Newnam, Pelham Loop Road, Pelham, N.C.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 18 April 2007.

Obituary of William Franklin Mise (1931-2007)

William Franklin Mise (1931-2007)

Apr 18, 2007 - 12:30:30 am CDT

LEASBURG, N.C. - William Franklin Mise 76, 1064 Highway 119 North went home to be with his Lord Wednesday April 11, 2007 at his residence. He had experienced declining health for several years. He was born in Caswell County March 20, 1931, to the late Dan Hannable Mise and Mary Hamlett Mise. He was a farmer most of his life. Educated in Caswell County, he was a member of Griers Presbyterian Church and he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Funeral services will be Friday, at 11:00 at Beulah Baptist Church, conducted by Reverend Morgan Roberts. Interment will be at Griers Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

Survivors are wife, Leona Simmons Mise of the home; one daughter, Robin Elaine Mise; two sons, William Dennis Mise and wife, Gail of Leasburg and James Ronald Mise and wife, Connie of Lehi, Utah; sisters, Maggie Mise of Leasburg and Sarah Broach of Roxboro; four grandchildren; two great grandchildren; step children, Debra Stikeleather and husband Gene, Meleady Gusler and Husband Bill, Peggy Barfield and husband Travis, Pamela Reagan, Melissa Wells and husband, Dwight, Denise Reagan Parliman, James Reagan, Jr. and wife, Diane,, Bryon Reagan and wife, Donna, nineteen step grandchildren and eight step great grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by one son Michael Timothy Mise, two brothers "Mack" Mise and Allen Mise and one step grandson Nathan Scott Harrell.

The family will receive friends Thursday from 6-9 pm at Beulah Baptist Church on Highway 158 East and at other times at the residence. Harrelson Funeral Service is assisting the Mise family with arrangements.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 18 April 2007.

Obituary of Ronald Ross (Ronnie) Crumpton (1940-2007)

Ronald Ross (Ronnie) Crumpton (1940-2007)

Apr 18, 2007 - 12:30:29 am CDT

YANCEYVILLE, N.C. - Ronald Ross "Ronnie" Crumpton, Sr. 66, formerly of Foster Road died Monday April 16, 2007 at Piney Forest Health Center in Danville, following several years of declining health. He was born in Rockingham County August 2, 1940 to the late James "Jim" Crumpton and Hazel Apple Crumpton. He retired from N.C. Department of Correction after thirty-two years of service, and was awarded the Long Leaf Pine Award for exceptional Service. He graduated from Bartlett-Yancey High School and attended Prospect United Methodist Church. Funeral Services will be Thursday 2:30 P.M. at Prospect United Methodist Church, conducted by Rev. David Grissom, pastor. Interment will be in the church cemetery.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife, Gayle Stuck Crumpton, after thirty-two years of marriage, and sister Betty Andrews. Surviving are daughter Rhonda Hampton and husband Ryan of Greensboro, son Ronald R. Crumpton, Jr. and wife Sabrina of Yanceyville, two granddaughters, Abigayle and Alayna Crumpton, sisters Christine Cook and husband Wally of Pelham, Connie Griffin and husband Jim, of Newton-Conover, brothers Jim Crumpton and wife Sarah of Danville, and Mark Crumpton and wife Fran of Roxboro.

The family will receive friends Wednesday 7-8:30 p.m. at Harrelson Funeral Service and at other times at the residence of son Ross and Sabrina Crumpton, 321 Hatchett Road. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to The Alzheimer' s Association, 400 Oberlin Road Ste 220, Raleigh, N.C. 27605 919-832-3732. Harrelson Funeral Service is assisting the Crumpton family with arrangements.

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 18 April 2007.

Obituary of Myrtle Lee Simmons Allred (c.1914-2007)

Myrtle Lee Simmons Allred (c.1914-2007)
Apr 18, 2007 - 12:30:29 am CDT

ELON, N.C. - Myrtle Lee Simmons Allred, 93, of 1280 Milesville Rd. went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, April 12, 2007 at her home after two months of failing health and a one week critical illness. She was born in Caswell County, daughter of the late John D. and Mamie Miles Simmons, and was married to the late William Preston Allred. She was a member of Concord Christian Church where she was also a member of the Women's Fellowship.

She is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Delmar W. and Brenda Allred of Elon, John W. Allred of Burlington, Melvin D. and Patsy Allred of Elon, Claude A. and Linda Allred of Burlington; 10 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; 7 step grandchildren and sisters, Eva S. Coble of Graham, Sue S. Brooks and Doris S. Simpson, both of Burlington. She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; brothers, Edgar, Doake, Claude and Earl Simmons; and daughter-in-law, Connie T. Allred.

The funeral was held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Concord Christian Church by Pastor Keith Murray with burial following in the church cemetery. The family received friends at Lowe Funeral Home and Crematory and at the home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Concord Christian Church c/o Doug Simmons 5730 Cherry Grove Rd. Elon, NC 27244 or to Hospice and Palliative Care Center of Alamance-Caswell 914 Chapel Hill Rd. Burlington, NC 27215. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Source: The Caswell Messenger, 18 April 2007.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Connie B. Gay in Caswell County, North Carolina

(Click Photograph for Larger Image)

Connie Barriot Gay was born 22 August 1914 in Lizard Lick, North Carolina (about twenty miles east of Raleigh, in Wake County). He died 4 December 1989. In 1980, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. During 1940 Gay apparently was the Agriculture Extension Agent assigned to Caswell County, North Carolina.

Above is a 1940 photograph of Connie B. Gay, Caswell County FSA (Farm Security Administration) county supervisor talking to Emery Hooper* about his tractor and disc plow purchased with a FSA cooperative community service loan. The location is near Prospect Hill, Caswell County, North Carolina.

After leaving Caswell County, Connie B. Gay went on to have a successful career in the country music industry. Gay may have been succeeded as Caswell County Agricultural Extension Agent by Ralph Mimms Aldridge (1917-1993), as the Aldridge family recalls that Ralph Aldridge spoke often of Connie B. Gay.

The following is from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Website:
Connie Barriot Gay was one of country’s leading entrepreneurs of the 1950s, playing a seminal role in transforming what was still called “hillbilly” music into a modern entertainment industry in just one decade from his base in the Washington, D.C.–Virginia area. Gay was one of the first to coin the term country music, in place of the less flattering hillbilly music.

Gay got his start in radio broadcasting on the Farm Security Administration’s National Farm and Home Hour. Later, at WARL, Gay helped popularize country music in Washington, D.C., where he nurtured a vibrant, profitable music scene beginning in 1946 through the 1950s. His activities spanned TV and radio, as well as live stage shows in the blockbuster mode, using the all-purpose moniker Town & Country. His early stable of talent included the Wheeler Brothers, Clyde Moody and the Radio Ranchmen with guitarist Billy Grammer, Grandpa and Ramona Jones, Hank Penny, and a then unknown Jimmy Dean.

Gay took over the management of Dean, whom he developed into a TV star and host of the regionally popular Town & Country Time show and the short-lived CBS effort, The Jimmy Dean Show (1957–1959), until Dean and Gay split in 1959. In his heyday Gay’s steady roster of talent included, besides Dean, Patsy Cline (who made her TV debut on Gay’s Town & Country TV shows), Roy Clark, and George Hamilton IV.

In 1958 Gay became the founding president of the Country Music Association (CMA), and several years later he helped launch the Country Music Foundation (CMF). He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980. - Margaret Jones

The following is from DC Music History Website:
Connie B. Gay got his start in radio broadcasting on the Farm
Security Administration’s National Farm and Home Hour, in the 40’s. In
1946, Gay contacted Frank Blair, the Program Director of WARL
Arlington, Virginia and got a mid-day Country show. Gay took a
percentage of the advertising revenue instead of a salary and He
registered the name
Town and Country. The trademark name, "Town
and Country", was instrumental in changing the image of “Hill Billy"
music to a more "uptown" one. WARL became the first urban radio
station to have a full-time Country format.

Connie B. Gay’s activities spanned TV, radio, and live stage shows,
produced under the
Town and Country trademark. On October 31,
1947, he booked the DAR’s Constitution Hall for two Country shows
headlined by Eddy Arnold. Both shows were sold out with thousands
turned away. Gay started to work closely with Jim Denny the General
Manager of the
Grand Ole Opry and probably the most important man
in Country music.

Through this connection, Gay was able to have the monopoly on
acts for the mid-Atlantic region. The following year, he gave 26
straight sold-out shows at Constitution Hall. The shows were
broadcast regionally by WNBW-TV and other NBC affiliates. Gay was
asked to take his shows some place else. After that he took his acts
everywhere , including amusement parks, the National Guard Armory
and County fairs. In 1949 he promoted the Watergate concert, which
drew 15,000 fans , and the Hillbilly Air Show at the Bailey’s
Crossroads’ Airport.

Gay started offering weekend train tours to Nashville to visit the
Ole Opry
. In 1950, Gay teamed up with the Wilson Line and began
"Hillbilly Moonlight Cruises," which operated on the Potomac. Then In
September 1951, Gay staged a star-packed show at Griffith Stadium in
Washington, D.C., which included Ernest Tubb, Lefty Frizzell, Carl
Smith, Hank Snow and Flatt & Scruggs. The show drew a record
14,000 crowd. He teamed up with Denny for a six-city promotion on
New Year’s Eve, 1951.
In 1952, Gay joined forces with the Department of Defense to organize
Special Services Road Shows, which brought Country music to other
parts of the world.

Gay discovered Patsy Cline In 1954, at the
National Country Music
in Warrenton.
In 1957, Gay had to face up to an increasing dependency on alcohol.
He withdrew from Country music in 1959 to recover from his alcohol
dependency. He remarried in 1961 and his new wife put his money into
more cautious investments. At his hight , Gay’s radio empire included
Town and Country Jamboree, which came from the Capitol Arena,
Washington, D.C. Every week,
Town and Country Time, which featured
Roy Clark and was produced for RCA and in 1957, and
Country Style,
with Jimmy Dean, on WTOP-T.V. Washington, D.C.

Some of his earlier acts that Gay showcased included the Wheeler
Brothers, Clyde Moody and the Radio Ranchmen with guitarist Billy
Grammer, Grandpa and Ramona Jones, Hank Penny, and Jimmy Dean.
Gay managed Dean, who he developed into a TV host of the regionally
Town and Country Time show and the short-lived The Jimmy
Dean Show
(1957–1959) on CBS. Besides Dean, Gay’s roster of talent
included, Patsy Cline (who made her TV debut on Gay’s
Town and
T.V. shows), Roy Clark, and George Hamilton IV.

In 1958 Gay became the founding president of the
Country Music
(CMA), and later he helped launch the Country Music
(CMF). He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in

Country Music Hall of Fame


Country Music Association

Elvis on the Potomac 1956

Lizard Lick
* Who is this Emery Hooper who farmed near Prospect Hill, Caswell County, North Carolina? One possibility is Emery McCormick Hooper (1913-1994), son of Rufus Albert Hooper (1861-1938) and Margaret Charlotte McCormick (1876-1970).


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Samuel Stone

This photograph of Samuel Stone was provided by Vic Johnson. Samuel Stone is a relative of Vic Johnson and lived in the Danville, Virginia/Caswell County, North Carolina area. Samuel was born around 1885 and was last known to be alive in 1920. He had a large family born in the area that included the following names: Fred, Lillie, Mabel, Hilda, and James. His wife was named Janie M. Williamson Stone.