Sunday, December 30, 2007

Benjamin Franklin Stanfield Will (1861)


J. W. Reid (c.1853-1929)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 29 January 1929 (Page 1)

J. W. Reid Victim of Stroke Today At His Residence

J. W. Reid, 713 Oxford street passed away this morning at 3:30 o'clock with the second stroke of paralysis which he had suffered within 15 minutes. He lived only a few moments after the stroke, having retired last evening only to be seized without warning. He was 76 years old.

Mr. Reid is survived by his wife and eight children: Charlie Reid, Ringgold; Mrs. J. R. Holder, Winston-Salem, N. C.; E. F. Reid, Danville; H. K. Reid, Whitmell; W. N. Reid, Hillsboro, N. C.; Mrs. J. J. Lane, Danville; Mrs. W. M. Abernathy, of West Virginia and Mrs. G. L. Guthrie, of this city, with whom he was making his home at the time of his death.

Mr. Reid was born in Caswell county, North Carolina, having moved to Danville 28 years ago. He was one of the charter members of Keen Street Baptist church, having been a member almost continuously from organization, and was a member at the time of his death. He participated in the 25th anniversary just a week ago.

The funeral services will be held from the church auditorium Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock by Rev. Jesse R. Hite and Rev. C. M. Roberson. The interment will be in Leemont cemetery.


Rufus Edwin Powell (1856-1924)

This photograph is believed to be of siblings Bettie Margaret Powell (1851-1938) and Rufus Edwin Powell (1856-1924). They were children of Henry Alexander Powell (1824-1866) and Martha Ann Walters (born 1825). For more information on this family go to the Caswell County Family Tree. Click photograph for larger image.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 6 December 1924 (Page 5)

Rufus E. Powell Dies at His Home at Blanch, N.C.

Announcement is made of the death at his home at 5:50 p.m. yesterday of Rufus E. Powell, an influential citizen and farmer of Blanch, Caswell county, N. C., aged 68 years. He had resided near Blanch all his life, was a deacon in the Baptist church and a man of the highest standing in his community.

Funeral services will be held at the home at 2 p.m. Sunday (tomorrow) and interment will be made in the family cemetery.

Deceased has a brother Arthur H. Powell of Sutherlin, Va. and two sisters Mrs. Betty P. Moore, of Bunn, N. C. and Mrs. D. G. Watkins of Blanch, N. C. He is survived by eight children: Mrs. W. L. Griggs, North Wilkesboro, N. C.; H. A. Powell, N. C.; R. E. Powell, Marshville, N. C.; Miss Mary E. Powell, Raleigh, N. C.; Dr. Walter B. Powell, Memphis, Tenn.; Dr. Rosa P. Taylor, Charlottesville, Va.; Robert G. Powell, Blanch, N. C. and Mrs. B. V. Chamblee, Hamlet, N. C.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 10 December 1924 (Page 11)

Card of Thanks

We, the children of Mr. R. E. Powell, Blanche, N. C. wish to express to friends and relatives our deepest appreciation of the many kindnesses shown us during the sickness, death and burial of our beloved father.

To see photographs of all the gravestones in the Powell family cemetery in Blanch, Caswell County, North Carolina go to the Caswell County Photograph Collection or the Caswell County Cemetery Census.

Hover cursor over the top portion of the screen above to see available controls. Thumbnails of the images can be seen at the bottom of the screen.


Ruth E. Dameron Wins Award

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 22 April 1927 (Page 9)

Ruth Dameron Wins Caswell's Speaking Contest
(Special To The Bee)

Yanceyville, N. C. April 22 (1927). "The Geo. Anderson Medal" for excellence in public speaking was awarded to Miss Ruth Dameron in a most spirited contest at the annual commencement of the Anderson consolidated held yesterday.

This medal which was offered by clerk of the court Anderson to the best contender among the boys and girls of the Anderson school, for public speaking was strenuously sought after by a number of pupils.

The Anderson school which ranks high among the best of consolidated schools in this section is located near the home of Mr. Anderson who for a number of years was county superintendent, and is an institution which is proving its real worth to the people of Caswell.

Miss Dameron is the granddaughter of Albert Florance and comment is being made on the fact that Mr. Anderson was the teacher of her mother years ago. And also that the speech of presentation was made by Judge Dan Walker, also a former pupil of Mr. Anderson, who is now judge of the County Court of Alamance county.

Ruth E. Dameron was the daughter of Rosa T. Florance and Louis Benjamin Dameron. Rosa T. Florance was the daughter of Albert B. Florance and Mattie Anderson.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Frank S. James (1872-1932)

Buried in the First Baptist Church of Yanceyville (Caswell County, North Carolina) cemetery near others with the James surname. He is a brother of Alice James Hughes. Death date may be 18 August 1932. See the obituary set forth below.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 19 August 1931 (Page 1)

F. S. James Is Victim Of Heart Attack

Funeral Services for Well Known Danville Man To Be Held This Afternoon

Funeral services will be held this afternoon at 4 o'clock for Frank S. James, prominent Danville business man, who died suddenly from heart failure last night shortly before 8:00 o'clock. The obsequies will be conducted from the residence by Rev. E. K. Means and the remains will be taken to Yanceyville, N. C. for interment in the Baptist church cemetery there.

Mr. James died suddenly while alone at his home, 119 South Main street from a heart attack. He had been seen walking about the yard a few minutes before he was found seated in a chair dead, by Miss Bessie Tatum, a nurse at Memorial Hospital who had called to see Mrs. James and by John G. Fuller, who called about the same time. Mrs. James at the time, was visiting in the neighborhood. She stated that her husband had appeared as well as usual when she left. He had been in ill health for some time. A physician was called and stated that Mr. James had been dead only a few minutes.

Mr. James was the son of Reverend J. J. James and Mary Mangum James, of Caswell county, coming from an old North Carolina family. His father was a leading Baptist minister of North Carolina and his mother was the daughter of a North Carolina jurist, Judge Mangum, of Raleigh. Mr. James came to Danville when he was eighteen years old and entered business. For many years he was a member of the firm Barker, Turner and James, clothiers, and lately had been engaged in an independent mercantile venture. He had a wide circle of friends and was noted for his warm-hearted generosity. In addition to his wife he is survived by a sister, Mrs. Alice James Hughes, of California.


Friday, December 28, 2007

J. W. Reid (c.1853-1929)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 29 January 1929 (Page 1)

J. W. Reid Victim of Stroke Today At His Residence

J. W. Reid, 713 Oxford street passed away this morning at 3:30 o'clock with the second stroke of paralysis which he had suffered within 15 minutes. He lived only a few moments after the stroke, having retired last evening only to be seized without warning. He was 76 years old.

Mr. Reid is survived by his wife and eight children: Charlie Reid, Ringgold; Mrs. J. R. Holder, Winston-Salem, N. C.; E. F. Reid, Danville; H. K. Reid, Whitmell; W. N. Reid, Hillsboro, N. C.; Mrs. J. J. Lane, Danville; Mrs. W. M. Abernathy, of West Virginia and Mrs. G. L. Guthrie, of this city, with whom he was making his home at the time of his death.

Mr. Reid was born in Caswell county, North Carolina, having moved to Danville 28 years ago. He was one of the charter members of Keen Street Baptist church, having been a member almost continuously from organization, and was a member at the time of his death. He participated in the 25th anniversary just a week ago.

The funeral services will be held from the church auditorium Thursday afternoon
at 2 o'clock by Rev. Jesse R. Hite and Rev. C. M. Roberson. The interment will be in Leemont cemetery.


Julius Johnston, Jr. (1890-1931)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 26 September 1931 (Page 1)

Caswell County Bar Member Heart Victim
Julius Johnson Succumbs at Yanceyville After Illness

(Special To The Bee)

Yanceyville, N. C. Sept 26 (1931). Caswell county was shocked today to hear of the death last night of Julius Johnson at his home here following a heart attack. Mr. Johnson who was a member of the 1931 General Assembly was taken ill during that session and returned here from Raleigh with a severe heart ailment. He never recovered from his illness though he had been able to attend his law office. Late yesterday afternoon he became critically ill and he died at nine o'clock.

Mr. Johnson was 42 years of age and a native of Caswell being one of the leading members of the Caswell Bar. He was a graduate of the University of Virginia and after taking his law degree has been a member of the local firm of Ivy, Trotter and Johnson. He was unmarried but was known throughout the county particularly for his kindness
and generosity.

He is survived by his mother and the following brothers and sisters, John Johnson and Richard Johnson both of Yanceyville, Mrs. Annie J. Hoke of Yanceyville, Mrs. W. D. Bradsher of Roxboro, N. C., Mrs. E. W. Hatchett of Durham and Mrs. Allen Gwynn of Reidsville.

The funeral will be held at four o'clock this afternoon from the home, interment to be in
the Presbyterian church burial ground.

Note that the family used the spelling Johnston.


Hatchett-Johnston/Johnson Marriage (1925)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 12 August 1925 (Page 2)


A marriage of interest throughout the community and one which came in the nature of a surprise to their many friends was that of Miss Nancy Lea Johnson, of Yanceyville, N. C. and Edward Wallace Hatchett, of Blanche, N .C., which took place at 12 o'clock noon today, in the parlors of the Hotel Burton, Rev. J. W. Rustin, pastor of Sledd Memorial M. E. Church performing the ceremony, assisted by Dr. James M. Shelburne, pastor of the First Baptist church.

The bride was attended by her sister, Miss Willie Johnson, and John A. Woods of Purley, N .C., was the bridegroom's best man. The bride wore a traveling suit of navy blue cloth with blonds accessories.

The ceremony was witnessed by G. A. Anderson, of Yanceyville, an intimate friend of the young couple. Mrs. Hatchett is a daughter of Mrs. Julius Johnson, and the late Julius Johnson, of Yanceyville, N. C. and is a young woman greatly admired. She is a graduate of North Carolina College for Women, Greensboro.

Mr. Hatchett is a son of Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Hatchett, of Blanche, N. C. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy class of 1923 and since his graduation has been a teacher in the Durham high school, Durham, N. C.

After the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Hatchett left in their car for Washington and New York, where they will spend their honeymoon. After September 1, they will be at home in Durham, N.C.

Note that the preferred spelling of the bride's maiden surname is Johnston.


Gypsies in Yanceyville (1925)

Bank of Yanceyville
(click on photograph for larger image)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 24 August 1925 (Page 1)

Gypsies Fail To Find Yanceyville Bankmen Suckers

Tried To Pull Hoodwinking Trick But Cashier Is More Than Match For Wiles

Gypsies have made their reappearance in this section and last Saturday a group of them visited the Bank of Yanceyville where they found Cashier S. M. Bason more than a match for their wiles. One of the swarthy strangers wanted the privilege of "touching" the bank's money to bring it luck, but Mr. Bason having heard of similar "touches" made in Danville not so long ago, told them all that "that Danville stuff" would not go in Yanceyville. Bason sought the authorities but the Gypsies eased out of town on high in their six cylinder cars before they could be detained for the Danville authorities who have an old score to settle with them. The Gypsies presented themselves at the bank windows, seeking to convert bills of various denominations into gold but they got little service at Yanceyville, and Mr. Bason refused to be hypnotized, mesmerized or hood-winkled.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

George H. Rainey (c.1855-1928)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 5 November 1928 (Page 3)

George H Rainey Is Laid To Rest

The funeral of George H. Rainey, Caswell county man, who died Friday night in Greensboro, was held yesterday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock from the late residence near Gatewood. The services were conducted by Rev. W. A. Rollins, of Greensboro. Interment was made near Gatewood. The pall-bearers were G. W. White, A. P. White, W. H. Fowlkes, Thomas Long and W. G. Evans. There were numerous floral designs.

Mr. Rainey, who was 78 years old, is survived by three daughters and three sons: Mrs. G. S. Moxley, Mrs. R. D. Fore, Miss Helen Rainey, Will T. Rainey, Glen T. Rainey, and Virgil Rainey.

1920 United States Federal Census
Name: George H Rainey
Home in 1920: Pelham, Caswell, North Carolina
Age: 65 years
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1855
Birthplace: North Carolina
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's Name: Jennie
Father's Birth Place: North Carolina
Mother's Birth Place: North Carolina
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Sex: Male
Home owned: Own
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Image: 1206
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name/ Age
George H Rainey 65
Jennie Rainey 60
William T Rainey 32
Helen Rainey 36
Glenn Rainey 22
Virgil Rainey 14

George H. Rainey (c.1855-1928) married Virginia H. (Jennie) Hatchett (1858-1927), and they had six children.


Viola S. Lewis Letter to Santa Claus (1927)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 22 December 1927 (Page 7)

Letters to Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

I am a little girl 9 years old. I go to school. I am in the third grade. I want you to bring me a doll, a pretty cloak, a sewing machine, and don't forget Mama and Papa and my two little sisters and my little brother, bring them some toys too.

Your little friend
Viola Lewis
Pelham, N.C.

December 1927

Viola S. Lewis (born c.1919) was the daughter of James P. and Bettie Ann Lewis of the Pelham Community of Caswell County, North Carolina.

Sadly, only a few years later just before Christmas Viola S. Lewis lost her mother:

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 22 December 1933 (Page 4)

Death of Mrs. Lewis

Mrs. Bety Ann Lewis died at her home near Pelham, N. C. yesterday afternoon at 3:15 o'clock. She was 37 years of age. Funeral services will be conducted at the residence Saturday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock, and interment will be in the Mayfield church cemetery.

Mrs. Lewis is survived by her husband J. P. Lewis and and the following children: Viola Lewis, Annie Lewis, Irene Lewis, James Lewis, Willie Lewis and Harold Lewis, all of Pelham, N. C.


Alvis Stokes Gatewood (c.1868-1964)

The Daily Times News (Burlington, North Carolina) 22 September 1964 (Page 19)


Mrs. Neal's Father Dies In Caswell

Alvin Stokes Gatewood Sr., 96 of Gatewood, in Caswell County, died at his residence last night at 10:05 o'clock after an extended illness. He was the father of Mrs. Tom S. Neal, of Burlington. A native of Caswell County, he was the son of the late William Henry and Mary Hodges Gatewood. He was a charter member of Bethel Methodist Church and served as steward for 40 years. He also was a member of Caswell Brotherhood Masonic Lodge No.11.

In addition to Mrs. Neal, he is survived by two sons, Alvis S. Gatewood Jr., of Winston-Salem and Cary Gatewood, of Gatewood; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. The body will remain at Townes Funeral Home in Danville, Va., pending completion of funeral arrangements.

Alvis Stokes Gatewood (c.1868-1964) was a son of William Henry Gatewood (1821-1900) and Mary Jane Hodges (1830-1890). He was married to Mary Elizabeth Glass, and they had three children.


Walter Nathaniel Harrelson (1859-1933)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 10 February 1933 (Page 1)

W. N. Harrelson Buried Thursday

Funeral services for Walter N. Harrelson, Yanceyville merchant, were conducted yesterday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock at his late home in Caswell county. The services were conducted by Rev. I. T. Poole and Rev. Roy F. Whitley. Interment was in the Baptist church cemetery.

The pall-bearers were: Dr. H. L. Gwynn, M. C. Winstead, Dr. S. A. Malloy, R. S. Graves, A. L. Florence, E. P. Poteat. Honorary pall-bearers were: W. H. Hooper, T. J. Ham, Tom McKinney, A. H. Motz, T. E. Steed, J. A. Massey, P.T. Dodson, J. Y. Gatewood, T. J. Henderson.

The flower-bearers were: T. H. Pleasant, H. L. Seagrove, Henry Turner, W. B. Horton, E. F. Upchurch, Dotson King, Cecil Jones, V. E. Swift, A. C. Linsey, A. Y. Kerr, B. S. Graves, T. J. Henderson, E. A. Allison, Onzil Gwynn, John O. Gunn, S. M. Bacon, Rev. Mr. Worrell, S. H. Able, J. T. Fitch, Jeff Enoch, Will Farthing, Robert Mitchell.


John Wilson (1796-1875)

(click photograph for larger image)

The above photograph is of John Wilson (1796-1875) of Milton, North Carolina. On 6 December 1821 he married Anne Smith (1802-1838). They had at least five children. One son was John Wilson, Jr., who became a physician. He often is confused with his father who was a merchant and planter, but not a medical doctor.

Joseph Pinkney Gwynn (1861-1929) Obituary

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 24 October 1929 (Page 3)

Joseph P. Gwynn Dies Suddenly At Yanceyville

News was received here today of the sudden death at Yanceyville yesterday morning of Joseph P. Gwynn, prominent Caswell county man. He was 68 years of age and was over-come apparently with a heart attack near his home. He leaves a widow, nee Sallie Hatchett and eight children, Lawrence Gwynn, Philadelphia; Thomas W. Gwynn of Richmond; J. P. Gwynn, Jr. and Henry W. Gwynn of Ashville; Allen H. Gwynn, of Reidsville; Mrs E. G. Click and Miss Ruth Gywnn, of Elkin, and Miss Anne Yancey
Gwynn, of Washington.

Joseph Pinkney Gwynn (1861-1929) was the son of Robert Zera Gwynn (1840-1927) and Nancy Corbett (1843-1865). Joseph Pinkney Gwynn married Sarah Eliza Hatchett (1865-1951), and the couple had nine children. She was the daughter of Allen Lellius Hatchett (1838-1919) and Ann Eliza Womack (1837-1901).


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Thomas Mayes Angle (1863-1929) Farm Auction

(click on advertisement for larger image)

Thomas Mayes Angle moved to Milton, North Carolina around 1899 and purchased the Dr. Stamps home, which burned around 1929. Source: The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 91 (Article #19, "Angle" by Lois Sydnor Angle Love). Note: The name of the house that burned may have been "Glenburnie."

Late in life James H. (Jack) Miles secured the services of T. M. Angle of Milton, North Carolina, to operate or assist in operation of the distillery in Anderson Township, Caswell County. Arch Lindsey of Yanceyville, North Carolina, was the bookkeeper. The exact dates of operation are not known. It appears that the distillery closed with the coming of North Carolina's prohibition law in 1908. Source: From Rabbit Shuffle to Collins Hill: Stories of Southern Caswell County, North Carolina, Millard Quentin Plumblee (1984) at 130.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 9 March 1929

Thomas M. Angle Will Be buried at Milton Sunday

The death occurred yesterday afternoon at 2:17 o'clock of Thomas Meise Angle, age 65, prominent citizen of Milton, N .C. He had been in declining health for some time but was seriously ill but one week. Mr. Angle was a native of Iredell County, N.C., but had lived at Milton for the last 35 years. He was a successful farmer and throughout his active life displayed large interest in community affairs, being for many years a political leader.

He is survived by his widow and three sons T. S. Angle and Sol Angle, of Milton, and M. S. Angle of Greensboro, N. C..

The funeral will be held from his late home at 3 o'clock late Sunday afternoon, services to be conducted by Rev N. R. Claytor and Rev. Mr. Jones.

1920 United States Federal Census
Name: Thomas M Angle
Home in 1920: Milton, Caswell, North Carolina
Age: 56 years
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1864
Birthplace: Virginia
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse's Name: Eva
Father's Birth Place: Virginia
Mother's Birth Place: Virginia
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Sex: Male
Home owned: Own
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Image: 1143
Household Members: Name Age
Thomas M Angle 56
Eva Angle 49
Montrose Angle 19
Soloman Angle 18
Thomas S Angle 13


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Virginia H. Hatchett Rainey (1858-1927) Obituary

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 26 January 1927 (Page 3)

Mrs. G. H. Rainey Passes Away at Home In Caswell

Mrs. G. H. Rainey, age 74, died last night at her home near Shady Grove in Caswell county. An invalid for the last four years her strength had gradually left her and she had been in serious condition for some time. The funeral will be held probably at two o'clock tomorrow afternoon.

Mrs. Rainey is survived by her husband and six children, W. T. Rainey, G. T. Rainey and C. J. Rainey of Caswell, Mrs. George Moxley and Miss Helen Rainey of Caswell county and Mrs. R. D. Fore of Greensboro, N.C. Four brothers also survive, H. F. Hatchett of Ruffin, J. D. Hatchett of Atlanta, E. F. Hatchett and Y. W. Hatchett of Mississippi. She also leaves a sister, Mrs. R. W. Gatewood of Danville.


The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 28 January 28 (Page 1)

Mrs. G. H. Rainey Buried Thursday

Funeral services for the late Mrs. G. H. Rainey, aged 64, who died at her home near Shady Grove, in Caswell county, on Tuesday, were held yesterday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock conducted by Rev. C. W. Merrick.

Mrs. Rainey is survived by her husband and six children, W. T. Rainey, G. T. Rainey and C. J. Rainey of Caswell, Mrs. George Moxley and Miss Helen Rainey of Caswell county and Mrs. R. D. Fore, of Greensboro, N. C. Four brothers also survive her, H. F. Hatchett of Ruffin, J. D. Hatchett of Atlanta, E. F. Hatchett and Y. W. Hatchett of Mississippi. She also leaves a sister, Mrs. R. W. Gatewood of Danville.

The pallbearers were H. B. Carter, S. T. Carter, Vars Gatewood, C. C. Gatewood, Julius Gatewood and E. L. Hatchett.

The flower bearers, L. S. Carter, E. W. Carter, H. C. Connor, Glenn Carter, L. G. Cater, Snell McDowell, and Mr. Turner.

Virginia H. Hatchett was a daughter of Thomas Russell Hatchett (1824-1897) and Julia A. Voss (1832-1874). She married George H. Rainey, and they had at least four children.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Fitch-White Wedding (1923)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 20 December 1923


Yanceyville Dec 19 (1923) The lady members of the Bartlett Yancey high school faculty entertained for Miss Bettie May White at the school building last Friday afternoon from 4 to 5 o'clock. Miss White's wedding to W. F. Fitch will take place December 19.

The guests assembled in the auditorium where a short musical program was rendered. Mrs S. M. Bason sang "Oh Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms," and "In The Gloaming" accompanied at the piano by Miss Ruby Warff. The guests were then invited into an adjoining room which was beautifully decorated with suggestions of Christmastide. A huge white wedding bell was suspended form the center of the ceiling. Miss White was led to a seat beneath the bell and asked to pull the cord and wonderful results would follow. As she did this, a shower of red paper hearts descended, and Miss White, not being able to catch them all, was reprimanded for causing so many broken hearts. About this time a knock was heard at the door and little Arthur Moorefield, Jr., dressed as Santa Claus, came in carrying a large bag on his back, loaded with nice gifts which he gave to Miss White.

Delicious fruit punch and wafers were served by Miss Blanche Pinchback, Florence and Jessie Huff, Ruby Warff, and Mesdames J. W. Crowell, A. Y. Kerr, and Gary Wendell. About 25 guests were present.

Miss White, whose home is near Blanche, teaches the second grade in the school here, and her many friends in Yanceyville are glad to know that she will make her home here.

Dr. H. L. Gwynn and Alvis L. Florance, whose marriages are to take place this month, were honor guests at a dinner given at the Hotel Burton, Danville, last Wednesday evening. About 30 guests were present, including friends from Danville and Yanceyville. Messrs. Robt. W. Isley and W. F. Fitch, whose marriages take place soon, were also given seats of honor.

* Note the Smithsonian has the first song online:

"Oh Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms"

To hear a snippet for free go to Smithsonian Global Sound.

Names Mentioned: Bettie May White; W. F. Fitch; Mrs. S. M. Bason; Miss Ruby Warff; Arthur William Moorefield, Jr.; Miss Blanche Pinchback; Florence Huff; Jessie Huff, Mrs. J. W. Crowell; Mrs. A. Y. Kerr; and Mrs. Gary Wendell.

Bettie (Betty) May White (1885-1972) was a daughter of Ansel Washington White (1834-1913) and Sarah Jane Watlington (1846-1905). On 19 December 1923 Bettie May White married William F. Fitch (1877-1956). He was the son of William Walker Fitch (c.1834-1897) and Cornelia Ann Nash (c.1843-1906). The first wife of William F. Fitch, Fannie Moore (1881-1920) had provided him at least six children, with two or three still at home in 1923. Whether William F. Fitch and Bettie May White Fitch had children is unknown.

Other People Mentioned (school party only)

1. Mrs. S. M. Bason was Mrs. Samuel Murphy (Sam) Bason: Martha Eliza Hatchett (Miss Marnie) Bason (1896-1993). She taught at Bartlett Yancey for several years and had just herself been married in 1921.

2. Miss Ruby Warff is Ruby Mozelle Warf (1904-2000). In 1924 she would marry Joseph Daniel Gwynn, Sr. a brother of Dr. Houston L. Gwynn, M.D.

3. Arthur William Moorefield, Jr. (1917-1975), only six-years old at the time, was the son of Arthur William Moorefield (1893-1976) and Pearl Virginia Smith Moorefield (1895-1969).

4. Miss Blanche Pinchback may have been the second wife (1934) of Samuel Clair Wilkinson (1881-1948). His first wife was Margaret Frances Cooper (1881-1924).

5. Florence and Jessie Huff: no information.

6. Mrs. J. W. Crowell could be the wife of the owner of Crowell Auto in Yanceyville, which became Johnnie Gunn’s Caswell Motor Company.

7. Mrs. A. Y. Kerr is Mrs. Albert Yancey Kerr, Mary Johnston Oliver Kerr (1896-1982), the mother of Katharine, Mary Frances, and George Yancey Kerr.

8. Mrs. Gary Wendell: no information.

In The Gloaming, 1912, words by Meta Orred, set by Annie Fortescue Harrison, is a song in the Irish style, not written by Irish composers, quite common in the early 20th century. There is a sweet love story attached to this song. It seems that an Annie Fortescue Harrison of Sussex was proposed to by a Lord Arthur Hill, sixth Marquis of Downshire. She was not in the same class, so quietly fled. Lord Arthur, devastated by her flight, never forgot her. Fast forward to a London concert. He heard the poignant, lovely lyric to this song and was reminded of his lost love. It set him on a new search for her, he found and wed her! According to one author in my research: the front of the sheet music "which I am holding in my hand" lists the music by Annie Fortescue Harrison and words by Meta Orred. However, on the back is listed: "In the Gloaming" by Lady Arthur Hill! Lord Hill was completely convinced that his lover had written this piece during the time they were apart, as it perfectly describes their parting. I leave it to you.

In the gloaming, oh my darling,
when the lights are soft and low
and the quiet shadows falling
softly come and softly go..

When the trees are sobbing faintly
with a gentle unknown woe,
will you think of me and love me,
as you did once long ago..?

In the gloaming, oh my darling,
think not bitterly of me.
Though I passed away in silence
left you lonely, set you free..

For my heart was tossed with longing,
what had been could never be.
It was best to leave you, thus, dear,
best for you and best for me..

In the gloaming, oh my darling,
when the lights are soft and low,
will you think of me and love me,
as you did once long ago..?


Friday, December 21, 2007

Thomas Satterwhite Harrison (1842-1927) Obituary

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 17 January 1927 (Page 1)

T. S. Harrison Well-Known Man of Blanche, Dies

New was received here today of the death last night at 11:25 o'clock of Thomas Satterwhite Harrison, lifelong and prominent resident of Blanche, N. C. Mr. Harrison, who is 85 years old, had been bed-ridden for about eight weeks from infirmities of age, but several days ago contracted bronchial pneumonia, which hastened his death.

Mr. Harrison was widely known and esteemed in Caswell county. He served as justice of the peace for 52 consecutive years, probably establishing a record in years of service as an officeholder. He also served two terms in the state legislature and was a Mason and confederate veteran.

Besides his sister, Mrs. Cora Slade, of Yanceyville, Mr. Harrison is survived by the following children: Will Harrison, Havanna, Cuba; Robert L. Harrison and and John P. Harrison, of Blanche, N. C.; I. D. Harrison, of Norfolk; Miss Annie Harrison, Danville; Mrs. James Murray, Danville; Miss Dora Harrison, Blanche; Mrs. W. T. Lea, Blanche; Lieut. Duval Duckett, United States Navy, San Diego; Mrs. W. K. Webster, Washington, D. C., and Miss Lillie Harrison, of California.

The funeral will be held from Harrison's old church, near the residence, Tuesday morning at 11 o'clock. He will be buried with Masonic honors.
Thomas first married Addie Slade and then, upon her death, her sister Belle. Upon the death of his second wife, he married Mary Joe Burkholder. The Tom Harrison home is located on the Blanche road and is in a splendid state of repair. It dates back to the early 1800's and is now owned by one of the daughters, Mrs. Eliza Harrison Duckett.
Source: Purley

Thomas Satterwhite Harrison (1842-1927) was the son of Samuel Satterwhite Harrison (1818-1885) and Louisa Matilda McDaniel (1820-1889). On 23 August 1863 he married Adeline Hannah Slade (1843-1878). Upon her death he married her sister Isabella P. Slade (1845-1890). Finally, after the death of his second wife, he married Mary Jo Burkholder. And, he outlived her. By these three wives he had fourteen children:

First Wife

1. Cora Isabell (Belle) Harrison
2. John Phillip Samuel Harrison
3. William Slade Harrison
4. Thomas Henry Harrison
5. Dora K. Harrison
6. Adeline Harrison
7. Lilly Harrison

Second Wife

8. Annie May Harrison
9. Robert Lee Harrison
10. Bessie Harrison

Third Wife

11. Isaac Douglas Harrison
12. Mary Eliza Harrison
13. Sarah Carroll Harrison
14. Gladys Burks Harrison

For more information see the Caswell County Family Tree.


Daniel M. Hines (c.1850-1928) Obituary

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 16 June 1928 June (Page 3)

Milton Resident Passes Away Here

D. M. Hines, well know Milton, N .C. resident, passed away this morning at Edmunds Hospital, where he had been at patient for several days. He had been ill for a long time and his death was not unexpected. Mr. Hines was widely known through Caswell county and was esteemed in Milton where he lived his entire life, being engaged in the insurance business. He was 78 years old and is survived by his wife and the following children, S. H. Hines, Henry Hines and Miss Nellie Hines, of Winston-Salem, Mrs. E. C. Glenn, of Greensboro, and Mrs. I. P. Davis, of Warsaw, N. C.

The funeral will be held Sunday from the residence in Milton, the hour having not been decided on early this afternoon.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 18 June 1928 (Page 3)

Daniel M. Hines Buried at Milton Sunday Afternoon

Funeral services for Daniel McCormick Hines, who died Saturday in Edmunds Hospital, were conducted at Milton, N .C. Presbyterian church Sunday afternoon at four o'clock and was one of the largest in the point of attendance seen for many years. The obsequies were conducted by Rev. N. R. Claytor of the Presbyterian church, Rev. W. C. Jones, of Milton Methodist church, and the Rev. M. S. Huske, of Reidsville Presbyterian church. Interment was in the Milton cemetery, the pall-bearers being J. J. Lipscomb, G. L. Donoho, A. H. Motz, Hunt Jeffreys, Charles Thomas, and J. W. Williams.

Mr. Hines was engaged in the insurance business and was widely-known through that section. He had been in failing health for some time and was brought to the local hospital for treatment.

In 1870, a young Daniel Hines (age 21) was living in the Milton household of William Smith, a fairly wealthy dry goods merchant. Daniel apparently worked in Smith's store as a clerk. Milton, North Carolina, had a well developed row of commercial buildings around 1870. The second building in the row (from the east) once housed Bill Smith's General Merchandise. This probably was the store of William Smith. Eventually it became Hines & Holdman General Merchandise. Query whether the Hines who was a partner in this store was the Daniel M. Hines of this entry. The site eventually became J. J. Lipscomb General Merchandise and operated as such for over seventy years. Note that a business operated in the building to the east (the first building in the commercial row) named Hines & Lipscomb Hardware and Caskets. Also note that the obituary states that Daniel Hines was in the insurance business.

See: Milton Map


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Milton Social Event (1923)

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The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 13 December 1923 (Page 4)


On Friday night, December 21st, at the Caswell Hotel in Milton, N. C. the ladies of the Baptist church will give one of the largest social events of the season. Featuring the occasion will be a big oyster supper and a "candy pulling." The proceeds of the event will go to the church to be used in making needed repairs and additions.

The scene is being decorated elaborately with cedar, holy, mistletoe and candle lanterns swinging from the ceiling. In front of the church will be planted a row of cedar trees to give the scene a holiday aspect. A large banner across the street heralds the event.

The sumptuous supper will be served by young ladies of the church, after which an old-fashion candy pulling will be held. Music will also be a feature. Altogether a joyful time is anticipated. It is expected to be one of Milton's largest social events for many a day.

The following is from An Inventory of Historic Architecture: Caswell County, North Carolina, Ruth Little-Stokes (1979) at 212:

The variety of items advertised by local merchants in the Milton newspaper during the antebellum heyday indicates that the buying power of the citizens was substantial, but the Milton Hotel, the other taverns, the grocery and dry goods stores, drug stores, tin shop, millinery, tailor shops, shoe store, cabinet shops, dance studio, candy store, banks, "doctors and lawyers" offices and the savings and loan institution which formed Milton's business district by 1850 are gone. The Milton Hotel, also known as the Gordon Hotel, located on the southwest corner of Main Street and Lea's Alley, undoubtedly suffered the most spectacular end. The hotel burned on May 5, 1951, during a dispute between Dan River mill strikers and non-strikers who were living in the building. Built about 1825, the twenty-room hotel was a two-story rectangular building with a two-story porch engaged beneath the steeply gabled roof. The structure was of wood, although the west side and a portion of the rear elevation were constructed of brick -- a combination of materials often found in cities in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to lessen the danger of fire spreading from building to building.

(click map for larger image)


Booth-Mansfield Marriage (1923)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 21 December 1923 (Page 4)
Booth - Mansfield

Willis S. Booth, of Milton, N. C. and Miss Lessie S. Mansfield of Semora, N. C. were united in marriage yesterday at four-thirty o'clock. The ceremony was solemnized at the residence of Rev. J. Clyde Holland, North Main street in the presence of a few friends. The bride was given away by her mother, Mrs. R. L. Mansfield. Each of the contracting parties hold places of high esteem in the communities from which they came. The groom is engaged in the automotive business in his native town. The bride is a young lady of imposing disposition. In addition to the bride's mother, the young couple were accompanied by Mrs. W. D. Mansfield. The couple will make their home in Milton, N. C.

Willis Stokes Booth (1899-1959) was the son of Edward Benjamin Booth (1877-1941) and Lucy Ann Collie Booth (1880-1936). On 20 December 1923 he married Lessie Swann Mansfield (1906-1992). She was the daughter of Robert Lee Mansfield and Mary Ann Smith. Willis Stokes Booth and Lessie Swann Mansfield Booth had at least three children: Mary A. Booth; Shirley May Booth; and Hortense Virginia Booth.

During the 1920's Willis Stokes Booth was an "automotive machinist" in Milton, North Carolina. At the time of the 1930 US Census he was a painter for the railroad.

Lessie Swann Mansfield Booth eventually became the Head Housekeeper at Doctor's Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Both are buried in the Fort Lincoln Cemetery, Brentwood, Prince George's County, Maryland.

Note that in the Cedars Cemetery, Milton, North Carolina, are gravestones for Isaac Bunch Booth (1873) and Willie Gordon Booth (1880-1943). No connection has been made, however, to the family of Willis Stokes Booth. For more on both families go to the Caswell County Family Tree.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Airplanes Over Yanceyville (1927)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 11 August 1927 (Page 3)

Air Mail Plane Will Be Routed Over Yanceyville
Preparations are being made steadily in the vicinity of Danville for the passage of airplanes carrying mail on the new air mail route, soon to be established between Washington and Atlanta. One of the "legs" of the flight is from Richmond to Greensboro, N. C., which will bring an airplane daily over this section of the country.

Captain Smith and Captain Wildman, representatives of the government postal service, arrived yesterday at Yanceyville, N.C. for the purpose of continuing their survey of the ground and to make arrangements for an emergency landing field which, it is learned, will be made available.

The whole route has already been charted by the aviators from the air. They are now covering the flight territory and are making necessary surveys. They probably will remain in Yanceyville for two weeks. George A. Anderson, clerk of the court, has placed his automobile and services at the behest of the visitors.

There is no chance of the airplane being seen in Danville. The routing shows that the planes will fly over South Boston and will thence make for Milton, N. C. passing directly over the old town and on to Yanceyville, thence to Ashland and from there on to Greensboro.

A sixty-acre track is sought in the immediate vicinity of Yanceyville as an emergency landing field. Such fields as these are required at certain distances. The government is prepared to pay $10 per acre per year for the use of the field, which would be -----for five years and on ---- placed an air beacon, a steel tower with a powerful upward beam directing the fliers at night. If this is done it is thought that the Appalachian Power Company will supply the current for the beacon.

The airmen say that just as soon as the necessary ground survey has been made the air mail service will be put into operation.

For another aviation article relevant to Caswell County see Caswell Airpark. Actually, this article is relevant to the current article. Whether or not the airfield described above to provide an emergency landing site for postal carriers was completed near Yanceyville or not, the "air beacon, a steel tower with a powerful upward beam directing the fliers at night" was constructed on Foster Road. It eventually was moved to the Caswell Airpark in West Yanceyville where it remains today.

Others have reported that the flight pattern over Caswell County may still be in current use by military aircraft.

Note that the Clerk of the Court, George A. Anderson, referred to in the newspaper article was George Andrew Anderson (1869-1945):
George A. Anderson was born into a family that has lived in Caswell County for over 200 years. He was reared on the family plantation at Anderson in the southern part of Caswell County. Anderson Township was named for his grandfather, Quinton Anderson, a merchant, legislator, and businessman who built large agricultural holdings. George A. Anderson was Caswell County Superintendent of Schools for seventeen years, a newspaper editor, and Clerk of Superior Court for eight years. His published books include a history of Caswell County in World War I and biographies of Caswell statesmen Bartlett Yancey and Bedford Brown. Anderson School was named for him. His father was Dr. John Q. Anderson who practiced medicine in Caswell County for fifty years.

George A. Anderson Sworn In (1926)

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The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 6 December 1926 (Page 12)

Col. Anderson Is Sworn In As Clerk of Caswell Court
(Special to the Bee)

Yanceyville, N. C. Dec. 6 (1926) The Caswell county Superior court opened this morning with a heavy docket and with three homicide cases expected to be called. There are a number of other cases and witnesses, defendants and attorneys made up a substantial crowd to attend the court session.

This morning marked the induction into office of George Anderson, as clerk of the court, following his victory at the polls last fall. Mr. Anderson is widely known throughout Caswell county for his administration of the schools during an earlier day. He was at one time in the newspaper business in Danville and is probably one of the best known citizens of Caswell county. Col. Anderson qualified for his new duties this morning and it is expected will make an efficient and business-like clerk of the court.

George A. Anderson c. 1943 (Yanceyville)


George Andrew Anderson (1869-1945) was the son of Dr. John Quenton Anderson, M.D. (1820-1893) and Minerva Isabella Rice (1836-1903). On 26 May 1897 he married Mary Elizabeth Slade (1873-1939).

For more on the Anderson family of Caswell County go to the Caswell County Family Tree and to Slade Anderson's Web Page.


Hattie Florance Smith Gunn (1890-1933) Obituary

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The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 10 April 1933 (Page 5)

Mrs. J. H. Gunn

Mrs. Hattie Florance Gunn, wife of John H. Gunn, former sheriff of Caswell county, died suddenly at her home at Yanceyville Wednesday morning at 8:30 o'clock. She was 43 years of age.

For eight years while her husband was sheriff of the county, Mrs. Gunn was in charge of the routine of the office, and thus became acquainted with most of the residents of Caswell county. She was particularly esteemed by people or Yanceyville and the immediate vicinity.

For 22 years Mrs. Gunn was a member of the Methodist church and was at the time of her death actively identified with the work of the church at Yanceyville and the work of the Women's Missionary Society.

Funeral services were conducted at Prospect Methodist church near Yanceyville at three o'clock yesterday afternoon by Rev. L. T. Poole, pastor. Interment took place at Prospect.

Besides her husband, Mrs. Gunn is survived by four children: William Laroy, Henry Wesley, Annie Elizabeth, and Elvin Malloy Gunn, all of Yanceyville. She also leaves her mother, Mrs. Lucy Rudd Smith, of Pelham and four brothers: Felix S. Smith, Burlington, John Franklin Smith, Ruffin, Route 1, Onza G. and G. Robert Smith of Pelham.

Hattie Florance Smith (1890-1933) was the daughter of William Sheppard Smith (1862-1928) and Lucy Ann Rudd (1862-1935). On 26 December 1909 she married John Henry Gunn (1882-1962). He was the son of Hiram Leroy Gunn (1852-1909) and Virginia Elizabeth Jones (1856-1921).

Hattie Florance Smith Gunn and John Henry Gunn had four children:

1. William Laroy Gunn (1910-1984). He married Elizabeth Jefferson Foster (1911-2004).

2. Henry Wesley Gunn (1913-1986). He married Hallie Mae Wrenn (1917-1964).

3. Annie Elizabeth Gunn (1914-1959). She married Clyde Vernon McKinney (1908-1955).

4. Elvin Malloy Gunn (1916-1983). He married Dorothy Bowles (1915-1986).

For more on this family go to the Caswell County Family Tree.

Note the Florance part of the name Hattie Florance Smith Gunn. Elsewhere it is seen as Florence. From where does this come? On the mantle of the Graves-Florance- Gatewood house in Yanceyville, North Carolina, is a photograph of John Henry Gunn. See below. Why? Is it because his wife had Florance family connections? Or is it because one of the owners of the house, John Yancey Gatewood was, like John Henry Gunn, Caswell County Sheriff?

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Richard Ivy

Two local families chose to name their sons Richard Ivey/Ivy:

Richard Ivey Bradsher (born 1789)

Richard Ivy Smith ( born 1800)

The name was used at least once more by the Bradsher family, and was repeated for several generations by the Smith family.

The reason for the choice of given name is not immediately obvious from earlier Bradsher and Smith generations.

Here are excerpts found on the Internet with respect to a Richard Ivy. They apparently are from a site that provides minutes to early Methodist Church conferences. Whether he was the namesake of Richard Ivey Bradsher and Richard Ivy Smith is unknown, but this Richard Ivy would have been living at a time when decisions with respect to the Bradsher and Smith sons were being made.


Richard Ivy was a native of Sussex county, in Virginia. He traveled extensively through Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. A man of quick and solid parts. He sought not himself, any more than a Pedicord, a Gill, or a Tunnell--men well known in our connexion--who never thought of growing rich by the Gospel; their great concern and business was to be rich in grace, and useful to souls. Thus Ivy, a man of affliction, lingering out his latter days, spending his all with his life in the work. Exclusive of his patrimony, he was indebted at his death. He died in his native county, in Virginia, in the latter part of the year 1795.

"His race is run, his sorrows are o'er;
His work it is done, he'll suffer no more."
Minutes for 1795.


As a number of the early Methodist ministers were Englishmen, strongly attached to the mother country, all of them were suspected of being disloyal to this country, Richard Ivy was admitted on trial in the traveling connection in May, 1778. In 1782 he traveled with Joshua Dudley, West Jersey circuit. Rev. Thomas Ware resided there; he had been converted not long before. He says, "Learning that a company of soldiers, quartered near one of these appointments, had resolved to arrest the first preacher who should come there, and carry him to head-quarters, I determined to accompany him, hoping, as I was acquainted with some of the officers, to convince them that he was no enemy of his country. The preacher was Richard Ivy, who at that time was quite young. The rumor of what was about to be done having gone abroad, many of the most respectable inhabitants of the neighborhood were collected at the place. Soon after the congregation was convened, a file of soldiers were marched into the yard, and halted near the door; and two officers came in, drew their swords and crossed them on the table, and seated themselves one on each side of it, but so as to look the preacher full in the face."

"I watched his eye with great anxiety, and soon saw that he was not influenced by fear. His text was, 'Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.' When he came to enforce the exhortation, 'Fear not,' he paused and said, 'Christians sometimes fear when there is no cause for fear;' and so, he added, he presumed it was with some then present. Those men who were engaged in the defense of their country's right meant them no harm. He spoke fluently and forcibly in commendation of the cause of freedom from foreign and domestic tyranny, looking at the same time first on the swords, and then in the faces of the officers, as if he would say, This looks a little too much like domestic oppression; and, in conclusion, bowing to each of the officers, and opening his bosom, said, 'Sirs, I would fain show you my heart; if it beats not high
for legitimate liberty, may it forever cease to beat.'"

"This he said with such a tone of voice and with such a look as thrilled the whole audience, and gave him command of their feelings. The countenances of the officers at first wore a contemptuous frown, then a significant smile, and then they were completely unarmed; they hung down their heads, and before the conclusion of this masterly address shook like the leaves of an aspen. Many of the people sobbed aloud, and others cried out, Amen! while the soldiers without (the doors and windows being open) swung their hats, and shouted, 'Huzza for the Methodist parson!' On leaving, the officers shook hands with the preacher, and wished him well; and afterward said they would share their last shilling with him." -- Life of T. Ware, pp. 71, 72.

This is about all we know of Richard Ivy, except what is contained in the Minutes; but this
is sufficient to make him an evergreen.

Richard Ivey (2 February1755 – 1795/6) Baptized 13 April 1755. Richard was an itinerant Methodist preacher according to an 1918 biography.[133] He inherited the 255 acres on which his father was living and several slaves, for whom he executed a manumission in 1795.[134] He apparently died intestate in Sussex County in late 1795 or early 1796, as Daniel Ivey was his administrator in February 1796.[135] He left no heirs.

Richard Ivey (2 February1755 – 1795/6?) Born 2 February 1755 and baptized 13 April 1755, according to the Albemarle Parish register. He was unmarried. Richard Ivey was one of the earliest Methodist ministers from the colonies, being admitted in 1778, and was one of the original thirteen Elders selected when the American church was organized in 1784. He later served as Presiding Elder of several different church districts. According to a variety of Methodist histories, he preached prodigiously from New Jersey to Georgia and was well-known among Methodists.[295] According to these histories, he returned to Sussex County in 1794 “to take care of his aged mother”, took ill and died in the latter part of 1795. There is some reason to doubt the precision of these dates. Richard and Littleberry Ivey witnessed the will of Nathaniel Cotton on 16 November 1793, suggesting he might have returned to Sussex County before 1794.[296] His father’s will, proved in 1793, had left to Richard Ivey the 255 acres on which his father was living. It also left him six slaves after the death of his mother, for whom Richard executed a manumission in 1795.[297] An accounting of Hugh Ivey’s estate filed by Daniel Ivey on 2 June 1796 shows payments to Richard Ivey, mentions “the six legatees.”[298] However, Richard Ivey was dead by February 1796, when his inventory was taken by Daniel Ivey, who recorded both the inventory and an accounting of Richard Ivey’s estate in February 1801.[299] The same accounting refers to five legatees, seeming to confirm that the remaining five legatees of Hugh Ivey (who were Richard’s own heirs) were still alive at the time of the accounting.[300]

Source: The Line of Adam Ivey


Robert Lee Mitchelle (1865-1939)

The following is from The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 651 ("In Memory of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Lee Mitchelle"):

Robert Lee Mitchelle was born in 1866 near Ridgeville in Caswell County and was educated in the public schools, attending high school at Cedar Grove under the direction of Mr. Sam Hughes. He spent two years at Oak Ridge Military Academy where he studied bookkeeping and commercial law. After being called home on account of his father's death, he took over the management of the large family farm.

Milton State Bank Building

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Milton was the home of Caswell County’s first bank, with a branch of the State Bank of North Carolina established there in 1818. The building in this photograph was erected in 1859 to house the Milton branch of a successor institution with a similar name, the Bank of North Carolina. The structure, now a private residence, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The First State Bank has always been an imposing building, and for virtually all of my life it was a family home. Early on, before my time it was the home of the diverse and prominent Fleming family. The first family I remember there was Sol Angle and daughter, Eva Margaret. Sol's life ended when his little daughter was three years old. I must have been about seven. I loved that house with its huge rooms and high ceilings. The Ed Walker family lived there next. Lillian, the daughter, must have been a teenager when they came. I remember her most in those early years as an invalid from rheumatoid arthritis, or some such crippling disease. She overcame that illness and lived a full life. Steve, her brother, was nearer my age, became a good working companion when he was rural carrier out of Milton and I was postmaster. Steve was a versatile man and boy, good athlete excelling in baseball, but also a worth artist. They were an interesting family, widely traveled. They had a touring car of some kind, great long thing, with great distance between the front and back seats, with pull down seats between and vases on the side. Luxurious for its time, which was long before them came to Milton, but a part of their family.

Since then the house has not had residents and is available for restoration. What a wonderful asset it could be to Milton!! When I went to work as a postal clerk the Post Office was there. Painted with a calcimine paint in a sick green that rubbed off on little girls who sidled along the walls waiting for the mail. There must have been about 20 lock boxes and a wonderful vault with steel door, remaining from the time it was a bank. After the Post Office moved to a new building, the Walkers made that vault into the safest bathroom in Caswell County.

Source: "Milton Memories" by Jean Scott, The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, North Carolina), December 2008.

Milton Bank Building

Milton had been served by an agency of the state bank since 1834, for in that year the State Bank of North Carolina, originally chartered in 1810 was newly incorporated as the Bank of the State of North Carolina and established an agency in Milton In April of 1834 the Milton agent reported to the bank commissioners in Raleigh that he had taken 166 subscriptions for capital stock in the bank, and the Milton agency must have opened soon after May 23, 1834, when the commissioners announced that the subscription drive was closed (One of the seventeen citizens who purchased stock in the state bank agency was Thomas Day, a very talented free Black furniture craftsman whose workshop was in Milton.)

In 1835 the state bank bought the lot at the corner of Broad and Bridge streets which contained the "Office of Discount and Deposit" of the Bank of New Bern, one of the two earliest private banks in the state. The state bank agency was housed in this former office of the Bank of New Bern, built between 1820 and 1826.

In 1859 the Milton agency was elevated to branch status, and in January, 1860, the state bank purchased a lot on the north side of Broad Street between Lea's Alley and Liberty Street for $1,000 and constructed the branch Banking House -- which is the subject of this nomination.

The Civil War severely weakened the Bank of North Carolina, however, and all branches and agencies were closed by August 9, 1865, although the liquidation process continued until 1874.

Charles Dewey, the cashier of the state bank, sold the Banking House and property to a Milton citizen in 1873 for $3,200. However, the building's banking days were not over. The Sanborn Insurance Maps of Milton indicate that in 1893 the Merchants' and Planters' Bank occupied the premises, and by 1908 the structure housed the Bank of Caswell. Soon after this the bank failed and from about 1912 to 1963 the building served as a combination residence and the Milton Post Office.

The Milton State Bank is truly a "banking house," for the structure has housed an intriguing combination of commercial and residential functions. The building is set, its side to the street, with a plain street entrance opening to the banking room. Architectural elaboration is reserved for the entrance to the residential quarters in the long side of the structure, away from the street and protected by a porch. The orientation and the interior division of space is very similar to the central banking house of the state bank in Raleigh built fifty years earlier, in 1813. It too has a simple street entrance in the narrow side and a more elaborate residential entrance away from the street.

Source: National Register of Historic Places Application (1973).

Old Fleming Place Is Sold For $6,000
(Special to The Bee)
Yanceyville, N. C. Oct. 22 [1923] – Word reaching here from Milton is that the old Fleming house was sold at auction last Saturday afternoon to Lex Motz, a merchant of Milton, his last bid for the famous old place being $6,000. A quantity of fine old mahogany furniture was sold separately to a number of different people. Some of the pieces were valuable and brought good sums. The sale was largely attended not only by people of this section but by several people who came from distant states and who were interested if not in the building itself in its old traditions and history. It is understood that Mr. Motz intends to make some improvements and to occupy the home himself.
The Fleming place is one of the landmarks of this section. Years ago it was the North Carolina State Bank built by the state authorities and operated successfully by the Flemings for a number of years. That was in the day and time when the banking quarters were part and parcel of the residence of the bankers and the staff. It was a rendezvous for the surrounding territory such towns as Danville doing their banking at the state bank. The
building was of colonial type built of fine material with large and spacious rooms.
The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 22 October 1923 [click article for larger image]
Lex Motz was Alexander Hamilton Motz (1885-1973). He married Martha Frances Kerr (1883-1965) and they had a daughter named Mary Kerr Motz (1917-2005). The A. H. Motz store still stands on the Square in Yanceyville. Note that the Milton State Bank building changed hands again the next year, 1924, when it was purchased by Solomon Angle (born c.1902)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Anderson Homeplace Burns (1927)

May 15, 1927 (Possibly The Caswell Messenger)

The Old Home Place of the Anderson's Burned

Was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Otis Reagan and Family. Fire Occurred Sunday Morning.

A fire, which occurred last Sunday morning during the preaching hour, completely destroyed the old Anderson home, owned by George A. Anderson and located in Anderson Township, together with all the household effects and personal belongings of Otis Reagan and family who have been living at the Anderson place.

Both from the financial and sentimental standpoints the fire caused a great loss. The house itself was partially covered by insurance. But the insurance coverage will not begin to replace the large, old 12-room building. It has not been learned whether or not Mr. Reagan had any insurance on his household goods. But it is certain that his loss is great, in which he has the sympathy of many friends.

But the destruction of this famous old southern home, built by Quinton Anderson in 1820, and kept in the Anderson family for three generations is irreparable when the sentiment, traditions and historical associations that have gathered about the place are considered.

It is said that Quinton Anderson was a prominent politician and that many distinguished men have been entertained within its portals. So it can be confidently asserted that what is commonly known as history was made about its blazing hearths and around its hospitable table. No amount of money and effort of the skilled artisan or artist can restore such a structure, rich in historic traditions, any more than the old table, benches and flagons used at the "Cheshire Cheese" by Dr Johnson and his contemporaries could be reproduced be modern mechanism and art.

Aside from this the old house had been HOME to three or four generations. This fact has hallowed the house and the memory of it, to every one who has warmed himself and herself by its fire places, slept in its beds, played about its doors, eaten at its table, looked out on the landscapes from its windows and sat on its porches on summer nights beneath the star-domed canopy, looking to heaven, dreaming of the ages, past, present and to come. In this home the youngsters were cuddled in the arms of the mother who rocked them to sleep as she sang the old plantation melodies or crooned to them the eternal songs of mother love. The problems of all homes were entertained and settled there as the growing children trooped in and out of its open doors. The old fashioned parlor was the scene of many a courtship. Matches were made and unmade there. Gala days filled with high spirited romance {and} adventure come both ceremoniously and un-ceremoniously, to that home. Mother(s) hearts were torn in that sacred place called home, and mothers heads were bowed in agonizing grief when the fledglings of the house spread their wings and flitted from the old home and left father and mother to sit with empty hands about a lonely hearth. And it was from the front door of the old home place that the still forms of the sacred dead were borne by sympathizing neighbors and placed tenderly under the cedars in gods acre.

It is true that a fire cannot destroy all the hallowed association and memories of a home. But the house about which they have clustered comes in time, to be a sacred place. And the disappearance of such an ancient edifice is sometimes next akin to tragedy to those who for several generations have known it as home.


Thomas Jefferson Florance (1858-1926) Obituary

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The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 29 December 1926 (Page 9)

Thomas Florance Was Caswell County Road Champion

Yanceyville, N.C. Dec. 29 (1926) - In the passing of Thomas J. Florance, who was laid to rest in the cemetery of the Yanceyville Presbyterian church Sunday afternoon at 3:30 o'clock death removed one of the most widely-known citizens of Caswell county. The burial service, beautiful in its simplicity, was conducted by Rev. W . W. McMorries, pastor of the Yanceyville Presbyterian fold. Death came to Mr. Florance at Edmunds hospital in Danville, where he had been carried for remedial treatment. The funeral services were largely attended, many people from all sections of Caswell gathering to pay their last tribute. A number of friends from Danville attended the obsequies.

The pall-bearers were Dr. S. A. Malloy, Julius Johnston, George A. Anderson, S. M. Bason, R. L. Mitchelle, and A. Yancey Kerr. Floral designs of rare beauty were borne by more than 30 friends.

Deceased for 30-odd years had been in the mercantile business at this place, and was everywhere respected for his integrity and open fairness of manner. A member of the Presbyterian church, for many years he had given service as superintendent of the Sunday school. He took a live interest in all the activities in Caswell which meant a larger life for the county.

Mr. Florance was chairman of the Caswell county highway commission at the time the great road building program of the county began. He was the prime mover in the adoption of the Yanceyville-Danville road as a state project, and his first official act was to secure a county allocation of funds, which was used in building the Caswell section of highway No. 10 between Pelham and Danville. He also championed the construction of road No. 62, which project opened up a section of the county that has made great strides.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Nannie Lea Florance, and the following children: A. L. Florance, county treasurer, Mrs. F. G. Harrelson, Mrs. H. L. Gwynn, and Miss Mary Lea Florance; also one grandchild, Thomas Carter Florance, and two brothers, A. B. and S. Y. Florance of Anderson township.

Thomas Jefferson Florance (1858-1926) was the son of Empson Florance (1820-1888) and Eliza Boswell (1823-1877). On 30 November 1887 he married Nancy Kerr Lea (1869-1939), daughter of Jeremiah A. Lea (1841-1916) and Mary Elizabeth Lindsey (1847-1869).

Thomas Jefference Florance and Nancy Kerr (Nannie) Lea Florance had four children:

1. Alvis Lea Florance (1889-1964) m. Rose Lee Carter (1902-1998)

2. Maud Florance (1894-1982) m. Frederick Graves Harrelson (1888-1956)

3. Helen Tom Florance (1898-1977) m. Dr. Houston Lafayette Gwynn, M.D.

4. Mary Lea Florance (1903-1995) m. (1) John Yancey Gatewood (1893-1954), (2) John Richard Nicks (1904-1976)

Those who served as pall bearers at the funeral of Thomas Jefferson Florance are remarkable for their positions of importance in the community:

Dr. S. A. Malloy (1872-1944) is probably the most-beloved family physician ever to practice in the Yanceyville area of Caswell County. Dozens, if not more, baby boys were given the middle name Malloy.

Julius Johnston, Jr. (1890-1931) was a prominent local lawyer, as was his father of the same name before him.

George A. Anderson (1869-1945) was Caswell County Clerk of Court 1926-1934.

Samuel Murphy Bason (1894-1986), among other things, was President of the Bank of Yanceyville for fifty-two years.

Robert Lee Mitchelle (1865-1939), Clerk of the Caswell County Superior Court 1902-1922, President of the Bank of Yanceyville (trained his successor, Samuel Murphy Bason).

Albert Yancey Kerr (1878-1942), editor and publisher of the Caswell County Democrat newspaper, served in the 1927 North Carolina General Assembly, and was Judge of the County Recorder's Court.

Note that various parts of this family used Florance, others used Florence or Flourance. It makes research difficult.


Milton Elementary School (c.1933)


Dr. Nathaniel M. Roan, M.D. (1803-1879)

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Gravestone in the Yanceyville Presbyterian Church.


Bartlett Yancey High School Class of 1928

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Annie Aldridge Travis
Fannie Mae Fitch Byrd
Margaret Yarbrough Upchurch
Elizabeth Moore Upchurch
Myrtle Goodson Poteat
Elizabeth Chandler Plumblee
Herman Page
Irving Vanhook
Bessie Mae Rascoe Harasyka
Pearl Goodson
Louise Harris Powell
Mozelle Johnston Nall
Daniel Thomas Aldridge
William Wilson
John Burch Blaylock
Mary Foster Langley
Sue Chandler
Fannie Lee Aldridge


Monday, December 17, 2007

Yanceyville, North Carolina (1979)

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John Stephen Hightower (1855-1928) Family

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John Stephen Hightower (1855-1928) was the son of John A. Hightower (1814-1869) and Mary Jackson Hightower (1822-1890). In 1843 he married Della Susan Smith, who died in 1915. The had nine children. To see more on these children and the Hightower family go to the Caswell County Family Tree.


Archibald Murphey (1742-1817) Grave Site

For those seeking the final resting place of Archibald Murphey (1742-1817) the following should be of some assistance:
Deed Book X, pp. 335-336: ARCHIBALD D. MURPHEY of Orange County, surviving executor of ARCHIBALD MURPHEY, dec'd., of Caswell County, to David Pointner of Person County, for $1500., 676 acres in Caswell and Person Counties, being tract where ARCHIBALD MURPHEY resided adjacent William McGehee, James Rainey, Thomas Jeffreys, William Childs, George Taylor, Hamlet's old tract, excepting 1/2 acre laid off in square around the graveyard where ARCHIBALD MURPHEY IS BURIED; also release for 4 3/7 acres to Hico Academy which is part of said tract and is excepted. 09 June 1828. Wts: James Rainey, Thos. D. Johnston, David G. Brandon.

Holland and Ollie Barringer McSwain

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Holland McSwain (1903-1988) and Ollie Barringer McSwain (1905-1990).

Holland McSwain was the son of Dock F. McSwain and Maddie Holland.

Ollie Barringer McSwain was the daughter of John H. and Cora L. Barringer.


William Daniel Hightower (1844-1925) Obituary

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 8 December 1925 (Page 6) ( Reidsville Section)

William Daniel Hightower

The remains of William Daniel Hightower were buried last Thursday in Caswell county. His death occurred Tuesday at a Raleigh hospital following a lingering illness.

"Squire Hightower" as he was familiarly known and called, was born in Caswell county, N. C. on September 15, 1844. He moved to Rockingham county near Reidsville about forty-five years ago and lived there and in Reidsville until a short while until he was taken ill. He was a Confederate veteran, having enlisted in the Company B, 4th North Carolina Calvary (or the 59th Regiment) in January 1862, at the age of seventeen, fought in the battle of Gettysburg and remained with his company and regiment until Lee surrendered, April 1865.

He was laid to rest in the Bethel churchyard, near the scenes of his birth and which has been the family burial place for generations, on the afternoon of December 4th. Burial services were fittingly conducted by Reverend S. F. Nicks, of Hillsboro.

The oldest son, W. Daniel (1844-1925), enlisted in Company B of the fourth North Carolina Regiment on January 1, 1863. He was with that regiment in many of its battles including the great conflict at Gettysburg. He was captured near Petersburg when Lee surrendered. After his parole, he returned to Caswell County, was identified with farming there, and later removed to Rockingham County where he was prominent as a farmer, merchant, and holder of several public offices, including Deputy Register of Deeds. Two of the daughters, Susan and Jennie, never married and continued to live at the old family homeplace in the Ridgeville community of Caswell County. Susan died in 1919 and Jennie in 1922, but the house, though unoccupied, remains standing today and is known as "Aung Jennie's" place. Source: The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 279-280 (Article #332, "The Hightower Family" by Mabel Long Owen).

William Daniel Hightower was a son of John A. Hightower (1814-1869) and Mary Jackson (1822-1890). To see more on the Hightower family visit the Caswell County Family Tree and use the search function.