Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dorothy Yarbrough Chandler (1912-2008)

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Dorothy Y. Chandler, 96, passed away peacefully on Dec.24, 2008 at her residence. "Nan" as she was affectionately called was the daughter of Ashley and Minnie Willis Yarbrough and was born in Caswell County on June 10, 1912.

The oldest member of Shiloh Baptist Church, she served in many capacities. She was recognized for the many years of dedication to her Sunday School Class. She truly loved the Lord all of her life and studied his Holy Word Daily. A wonderful mother and absolutely best Grandmother to her family. Always putting the needs of others above her own. Mrs. Chandler lived all of her life in the Estelle community, worked many years at Belk-Leggetts in Danville Va. She is survived by her daughter, Carolyn C. Lunsford and husband J. H. (Pete) of Milton, two grandsons, Andy and Lynn Lunsford. She was preceded by one son, John Ashley Chandler and wife Betty. Surviving are two grandsons Rickey Chandler and wife Cathy of Cascade Va. Gary Chandler of Rocky Mount, NC. Two grandaughters Cindy Smith and husband Bobby, Beth Powell and husband Benji Powell. She is survived by eight great grandchildren, Luke Lunsford, Josh Lunsford, Andrew Lunsford, Adam Lunsford, Bradley Chandler, Ashley Chandler, Trey Powell, Brooke Powell, Daniel Smith, John Robert Smith.

Funeral Services will be held on Friday, December 26, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church located on the Yarbrough Mill Rd. in Milton NC. The service will be conducted by the Rev. John L. Warner of Reidsville,NC and Rev. Ronnie Wyatt of Outer Banks, NC. Visitation will follow after the service. Also visitation is at the home of her daughter, Carolyn Lunsford, 135 Old Montgomery Rd. Milton, NC. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to Shiloh Baptist Church. c/o Judy Harris, 1450 Jack Pointer Rd. Semora, NC 27343.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Two Families Named McCain

The following article is posted to this Caswell County Historical Association weblog because the McCain family apparently moved from Caswell County, North Carolina, to Mississippi. Hugh McCain (c.1734-1784) and his wife Agnes apparently moved to Caswell County in 1778.

Two Families Named McCain: Candidate's Kin Share a History With Descendants of Slaves

By Douglas A. Blackmon

TEOC, Miss. -- Lillie McCain is watching the presidential campaign from a singular perspective.
A 56-year-old psychology professor whose family spans five generations from the enslavement of her great-great-grandparents to her own generation's fight for civil rights, Ms. McCain appreciates the social changes that have opened the way for Sen. Barack Obama to be the first major-party black contender for the White House.

WSJ's Douglas Blackmon speaks with Charles McCain Jr. and his sister Mary McCain Fluker, descendants of slaves held at the Mississippi plantation owned by the family of Sen. John McCain's great-great-grandfather. (Oct. 16)

But she also has an uncommon view on another American passage. Ms. McCain and her siblings are descended from two of about 120 slaves held before the end of the Civil War at Teoc, the Mississippi plantation owned by the family of Republican nominee John McCain's great-great-grandfather.

In a year when the historic nature of Sen. Obama's candidacy is drawing much comment, the case of the Teoc McCains offers another quintessential American narrative in black and white. For the black McCain family, it is a story of triumph over the legacy of slavery; for the white McCains, it is the evolution of a 19th-century cotton dynasty into one rooted in an ethic of military and national service.

"I think that since we can't undo what has been done, that the most effective thing for us to do is figure out how to put things in perspective and go from there," says Ms. McCain, who holds a doctorate in psychology and teaches at Mott Community College in Flint, Mich. "To harbor anger and hostility and all that is counterproductive."

To Sen. McCain, "How the Teoc descendants have served their community and, by extension, their country is a testament to the power of family, love, compassion and the human spirit." It is, he added, in a statement provided by a spokesman, "an example for all citizens."

The McCains of Teoc

The black and white McCain families have long acknowledged their shared history at Teoc, a name that applies to both the plantation and the now-sparse community around it. A cousin of the senator still owns 1,500 acres of the original 2,000. Sen. McCain's younger brother, Joe, and other white McCains have attended family reunions organized by the African-American McCains.

Lillie McCain's family is descended from two slaves, named Isom and Lettie, according to interviews and examinations of family documents, county files and U.S. Census Bureau records. They remained closely entwined with the white family for decades after the Civil War, taking its surname and living close by on land rented from their former owners. Lettie McCain's headstone is still visible in an overgrown graveyard for African-Americans not far from the ruins of the last "big house" on the Teoc plantation.

Lillie McCain's family spans five generations from the enslavement of her great-great grandparents on the Mississippi Delta plantation, Teoc.

According to members of the white McCain family, the plantation in rural Carroll County, Miss., was purchased by Sen. McCain's great-great-grandfather, William Alexander McCain, in 1851, when many of the flat vistas of the Mississippi Delta region in the state's northwest corner were still swampy wilderness. After his death in 1863, his widow and a brother, Nathaniel Henry McCain, maintained the family's position among Mississippi gentry.

William Alexander McCain's son John Sidney McCain ran the plantation and served in local politics, including a term as county sheriff. A son of his, also named John Sidney McCain but known as "Slew," graduated from the Naval Academy in 1906 and began a military life that would eventually supplant the family's long history as cotton barons. He became an admiral and top naval officer during World War II. His son, the third with the same name but known as John S. "Jack" McCain Jr., also rose to the rank of admiral, in the Vietnam War era -- while his own son, Sen. McCain, was a Navy pilot and then a prisoner of war.

Sen. McCain's family lived primarily on military installations around the world. But they remained attached to Teoc, visiting repeatedly during Sen. McCain's childhood, often for long periods. When they went to the farm in the 1940s and 1950s, the future Sen. McCain and his brother stayed in the rambling house, now abandoned, of their great-uncle, Joe McCain, who had become the plantation's owner.

Sen. McCain's younger brother, also named Joe, said that though their father "moved around as the son of a naval officer, he too always thought of Teoc as his 'blood ground' and loved visiting there."

The McCains in the early 20th century were known among African-Americans for relatively equitable treatment of their workers and tenants, especially compared with the abuses happening on many other farms. A visitor to the plantation in 1923 published an account that described "a tradition and a policy of fair dealing between planter and laborer."

"That's how I remember it," said Frank Bryant, 90, a black former Teoc sharecropper. The 19th century had been a different story for African-Americans in Carroll County. In 1886, after two black men filed a lawsuit against a white man, a white mob rushed the courthouse and murdered more than 20 blacks there, according to court documents and newspaper accounts at the time. They weren't prosecuted.

Earlier still, just after the Civil War, Sen. McCain's ancestors, like many former slave owners, made use of newly passed laws designed to temporarily force some freed slaves back into the control of their former masters. Records in a dusty storage room in the Carroll County courthouse show that in February 1866, Sen. McCain's great-great-grandmother, Louisa McCain, and her brother-in-law Nathaniel filed petitions to take legal custody of three girls under age 15 whom the McCains had owned before emancipation. In court, the girls were identified with the surname "Freedman," a common practice with emancipated slaves. There is no record of the full circumstances, but thousands of young African-Americans at that time were forced under such claims to return to their onetime masters as apprentices. Those apprentice laws in the South were later struck down.

Once freedom was clearly established, two black McCain families remained close to the former owners. One family was led by the former slave Isom McCain, who was 34 at the end of the Civil War, and the other by Henderson McCain, a 16-year-old at the time of emancipation, according to census records. They raised large families in rented houses next door to each other at Teoc. The black McCains of today were raised to believe that they were blood relatives of the white McCains, dating back to slavery times. White McCains say they're unaware of any biological connection between the families. A spokesman for Sen. McCain declined to comment.

Lillie McCain's great-great-grandparents were two slaves on a plantation owned by Sen. McCain's great-great-grandfather.

In the 1880s and 1890s, Henderson McCain and later Isom's son, Harry, became trustees of a tiny school for black children, according to records found by a local genealogist, Susie James. In 1922, blacks at Teoc built a four-room schoolhouse with $1,750 they scraped together and $900 from a philanthropy that was helping blacks build schools across the South, the Rosenwald Fund.
Most of the descendants of Henderson McCain left Teoc in the 1950s. Isom's son Harry had a boy in 1885 named Weston. He saved enough to buy a small parcel of farmland. "He didn't want to be dependent on white people, or needing white people," says Lillie McCain, who is his granddaughter. "He thought it was important to own land. He used to say, 'Everybody ought to have some dirt.'"

Weston McCain's oldest son was Charles W. McCain, who lived from 1916 to 2000. After serving in the Army in France during World War II, he returned to Carroll County and, along with a cousin, bought 160 acres of land.

By then, the black McCains were emerging among the county's most important leaders. Charles McCain was a central figure in the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. When civil-rights workers swarmed Mississippi in 1964, the black McCains housed white activists and received bomb threats and harassing calls. "Daddy didn't want us to roll over and play dead or live as if you are not a person," says Lillie McCain. Her sister Mary McCain Fluker, 53, says their father "would always tell us you are just as good as anybody. 'You are no better than anybody,' he'd tell us, 'but you're just as good as anybody.'"

Civil-rights organizers held secret meetings at the family's church just off the Teoc plantation. The Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, a state agency formed to thwart the civil-rights movement, kept tabs on Mr. McCain, according to commission records. "Daddy was one of the leaders, one of the people out front," says 60-year-old Charles McCain Jr., a retired brick mason and teacher who still lives on the family land.

Lillie McCain remembers seeing Martin Luther King Jr. speak from the back of a flatbed truck in nearby Greenwood. She and her two brothers were arrested at a march in Jackson, Miss., organized by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, whose leader, Stokely Carmichael, introduced the phrase "black power." Not long after Mr. Carmichael spoke at the McCains' church, it burned down, during a wave of Ku Klux Klan firebombings. The McCain children remember passing its smoking remains on their way to school the next day.

Amid those events, the black McCain children wondered what must be wrong with white people. "I was thinking, 'How can they kill people and they all go to church?'" says Lillie McCain. "I was just baffled by that." Sen. McCain grew to adulthood largely unaware of his family's ties to slavery. In a statement, he called the abuses of African-Americans in the 20th century "a dark and tragic chapter in American history" and said that "cultivating the bond between the two families...is important."

In the late 1960s, black McCain children were among those who integrated the previously all-white schools in the county seat, Carrollton. In 1969, Lillie McCain was one of the first two African-Americans to graduate from the integrated high school. Four of the six McCain children in her family served in the military and all six earned college degrees.

Lillie McCain earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit. Her sister Mrs. Fluker retired after a career as special-education teacher in the public schools from which she once was barred. Joyce McCain became a production executive at General Motors. Delbra McCain Roberts became a registered nurse. Charles Jr. taught bricklaying in the high school. The eldest child, George, became the first black fire chief in the town of Greenwood. Lillie and all of her siblings say they support Sen. Obama for president.

When George McCain was killed in a traffic accident in 2003, Frank Bryant, the aged former sharecropper, invited to the funeral Bill McCain, the senator's cousin, who owns the remaining 1,500 acres of Teoc plantation and lives nearby. It was the beginning of a modern dialogue between the two families as equals. At the service, Mr. McCain stood in the family section with the black McCains.

Source: The Wall Street Journal


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Yanceyville News 3 February 1922

Yanceyville News Notes

Yanceyville. Feb. 3. -- The meeting of the Caswell County Tobacco Growers' Association was held here Monday to elect delegates to the district meeting in Reidsville next were elected in the following order: Tuesday, February 7. Seven delegates. B. S. Graves, Yanceyville; S. F. Nicks, Leasburg; William Lea, Blanche; E. B. Blackwell, Quick; H. T. Watkins, Blanche; F. R. Warren, Prospect Hill; J. A. Burton, Hightowers.

Mrs. Dave Mebane of Mebane is visiting her brother R. L. Mitchell.

Mrs. Wade, who has been visiting her brother R. L. Mitchell has returned to her home in Tennessee.

Word has been received here from Memphis, Tenn. that Mrs. A. E. Henderson is ill with pneumonia.

Mrs. M. Cameron still continues in a critical condition in the General hospital, Danville.
James P. Burke of Reidsville, who stopped over in Yanceyville on his way to his regular appointments at Cunningham and Milton was detained here for several days on account of the snow. He returned to Reidsville Tuesday, having been unable to reach his appointments. While in the village he was a guest in the home of B. S. Graves.

Miss Mary Brown, after an enjoyable snow-bound visit to Miss Elizabeth Graves returned Wednesday to her home at Locust Hill.

Mr. Dove, county demonstrator, returned home Friday night from Raleigh. He started from Danville in his motor car, which gave out at Gatewood. From there he had the dangerous and thrilling experience of walking the ten miles to Danville through the snow.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) (4 February 1922)


Friday, December 26, 2008

Thomas Richmond McPherson (1929-2008)

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Thomas Richmond McPherson (1929-2008)

Yanceyville (Greensboro News Record, 26 December 2008) — Thomas Richmond McPherson, Sr., 79, formerly of Yanceyville, died on Tuesday, December 23, 2008, in the Coble Health Center of Twin Lakes Community in Burlington after several years of declining health. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, December 27, at the Yanceyville Presbyterian Church with burial in the church cemetery. A memorial service will be held in Foley Chapel at Twin Lakes at a later date. He was born on May 30, 1929, in Mebane, N.C., to the late William Edgar and Irene Richmond McPherson and was a grandson of the late William King and Elizabeth Slaughter McPherson and the late Thomas Bethel and Margaret Murray Richmond, all of Mebane.

Yanceyville News 6 May 1922

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Coach Lindsey Page

A night for champions and some great people

January 11, 2008 - 6:45 PM

When I saw Lindsey Page several months ago, it was the first time I’d laid eyes on him in 16 years or more. I couldn’t believe how little he had changed. He still had the same slight but solid build, the same white hair and the same sly and shy smile. It’s a mischievous grin, one that’s always trying to find the joke no matter where he is.

On this day in late May, Lindsey and his wife Myra stopped by the Times-News to stay hello and welcome me back to the area after 15 years away. It was good to see them. You get to know coaches pretty well as a sports writer and in the two years I covered Bartlett Yancey High School’s eventual march to the only state basketball championship in school history I learned a lot. I watched him carry the weight of an entire county’s hopes and hoop dreams as well as his own career goals as far as the semifinals in 1987. I saw him worn down by it even more the next year as the loaded Buccaneers won, and won and won some more. They lost their fifth game that year, at Reidsville, but didn’t drop another.

That didn’t make life any easier for the longtime coach who was then 48, the age I am today.
“You know, in some ways it’s harder when you’re winning than it is when you’re losing,” he told me one night in Graham that year in reference to the almost limitless pressure that comes from high expectations — particularly justified high expectations. The calendar had just turned to 1988. There was still a long way to go before Bartlett Yancey could get to the Smith Center, where the state finals would be played in March. Most thought this might be Bartlett Yancey’s best chance to do it.

I was among them.

Fast forward to May 2007 and all of that is in the deep past. So deep in fact that Lindsey is telling me that there’s a reunion of the 1988 state championship team planned for sometime in the coming year. He doesn’t know when but he’ll let me know.

“We’d like for you to come,” he said.

I quickly accepted.

THE DRIVE to Caswell County last Saturday was my first in about 20 years — since I actually covered basketball for the Times-News. I don’t see many people I recognize right away at the Caswell County Civic Center. Then I glance and see Lindsey Page escort a man and his young family down a deserted hallway. It looks to be Corey Elliott and it is.
Lindsey, with a handheld video camera, lines up Corey Elliott, his wife and young son as if for a family portrait and prods him to speak.

“I’m Corey Elliott,” he says to the camera and introduces wife Kiva and son Corey Jr. He goes on to tell his former coach what’s he’s doing these days — he’s a systems engineer who lives in Whitsett — as if Lindsey doesn’t already know. The coach and players have remained in touch. Corey Elliott mentions the championship ring, but adds that his son likes to wear it, too.
“What do you remember about the state championship game?” Lindsey asks. It won’t be the first or last time he poses that question. As the night goes on, he records players, coaches, friends and even former sports writers.

“Don’t get away without me getting you on videotape,” Page tells me.

A couple of minutes later, a tall man with impossibly broad shoulders fills the civic center doorway. He’s immediately hugged by one, two, three people or more. His smile matches his physical stature and the quiet lobby gets noisier. Keith Claiborne was always the emotional one.
The last time I saw any of them they were just kids really. Now they’re adults with families, jobs and responsibilities. Dana Elliott, who was always the quiet leader, works these days as a clinic manager at the Bone Marrow Transplant Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. He lives in Elon with his wife Sandra, daughter Jazmine and son Dana Jr. Jazmine, he says, is on the junior varsity women’s team at Williams. I told him his work sounded interesting.

“It’s a lot of sick people though. Lots of pain with the glory,” he said.

Clarence Moore almost didn’t make it to the reunion. The sergeant first class in the Army reserves just returned from Iraq in time to make the dinner. Louis Williamson, the point guard who was named MVP of the state title game against North Surry, ran into some rough patches after high school but regained control of his life. Today he operates a barber shop in Danville.
One by one they talked about that magical 31-1 season, which ended with an 82-68 win in Chapel Hill — a night anyone who wanted to could’ve taken over Caswell County because nearly every county resident was at the game. The team brought the entire community together as one. In many ways it marked the best of what sports can be.

The players know it now.

“When we went off to college and would come back people would stop us and say, ‘You guys don’t know what you did for this county,’” said Claiborne, who now works for UPS. “Lots of them were people I didn’t know, but they knew me. They told me we brought people together. I didn’t realize it then, and it didn’t mean much to me then but it means a lot to me now.”

It obviously still meant a lot to everybody at the civic center last week — all the players, cheerleaders and fans who took the time to revisit a great moment they all shared.
Myra Page put the night and the accomplishment 20 years ago in perspective though.
“You all turned out to be great people and that’s more important than any state championship,”
she said.

I would have to second that.

Madison Taylor is editor of the Times-News. Contact him by e-mail at
madison_taylor@link.freedom.com or by calling 506-3030. Also read his blog at TheTimesNews.com


Corrina Page Aldridge (c.1917 - 1995)

Greensboro News & Record (May 24, 1995)

Corrina Page Aldridge: Burlington - Mrs. Corrina Page Aldridge, 78, of 2874 Union Ridge Road died Monday, May 22, 1995 at Alamance County Hospital. Born in Caswell County to the late Charlie Henry Page and the late Roberta Page Page, she was the widow of the late James Whitted Aldridge. She was a retired dietician for Alamance County Hospital and was a member of Lakeview Community United Church of Christ. Funeral will be 2 p.m. today at Lakeview Community United Church of Christ with burial in Cross Roads Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Mebane. The Rev. Reid Dickens, pastor of the church will be assisted by Layman Lawrence L. Rudd of Peoples Memorial Christian Church in conducting the services.

Mrs. Aldridge is survived by daughters, Mrs. Junior "Dot" Hicks of Burlington and Mrs. Janice Shotwell of Graham; sons, Larry L. Aldridge of Burlington and Kenneth A. Aldridge of Pleasant Garden; 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; sisters, Mrs. Omie Snipes and Mrs. Merita Rich, Mrs. Dixie Sartin and Mrs. Gaynell Murray, all of Burlington; brothers, Brannock Page of Elon College and Kayo S. Page of Burlington. Memorials may be made to Congregational United Church of Christ, 400 W. Radiance Dr., Greensboro, N.C. 27403.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Andrew J. Turner

Biographical Sketch of Andrew J. Turner, Laclede County, Missouri>From "History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps and Dent Counties, Missouri" The Goodspeed PublishingCompany, 1889.**********************************************************************Andrew J. Turner, ex-judge of the county and a prominent farmer ofAuglaize Township, was born in Caswell county, N. C., in 1835, and is ason of Thomas and Celia (Wear) Turner. The father was born in Halifaxcounty, Va., November 15, 1790, and was the youngest child of Martin and Elizabeth Turner. Martin was born in England and came to the United States when a child, his parents both dying on the ocean whileen route to America. He attained his majority in Virginia, and afterbecoming grown was married to a Miss Lipscomb, who was born in KingWilliams County, Va., about 1810. After their marriage they went toNorth Carolina by wagon, and reared their family of ten children inCaswell county. Thomas Turner was in his twentieth year when his parents moved to North Carolina, and while a resident of that State heenlisted in the War of 1812, serving until the close. He was one of the leading men of his county, and in 1842 came with his family, over-land, to Missouri, making Springfield their home for two years. He then located in what is now Laclede county, where he improved a largefarm and resided until the breaking out of the late war, when he wentSouth and resided in Texas four years, then returning to the farm inMissouri, where he died in 1875. His wife was born in Caswell county,N. C., in 1800, and died February 1, 1862, while a resident of Texas.Four of their eight children are now living: Hillory M., William andMeriwether (deceased), John C. (deceased), Robert D., Mildred S. (de-ceased), Andrew J. and Thomas B. The father was first married toElizabeth Fisher, by whom he had one son, Rufus A., who is residing inTexas. Mr. Turner was a member of the A. F. & A. M. Andrew J. Turnergrew to manhood in Laclede county and attended the common schools andthe high school of Lebanon. He has resided on his present farm since 1858, with the exception of six years during the late war, when hemoved his family to Texas, and there enlisted, in February, 1862, inCompany G, Winston's Battalion, being afterward transferred to theMissouri Department, in which he served during the remainder of thewar. He was at the battles of Lexington, the first siege of Corinth,Prairie Grove and Little Rock. After the cessation of hostilities hereturned with his family to Missouri (1867) and in 1874 was electedjudge of the county court for a term of two years. November 18, 1858,he married Miss Laura L. Payton, who was born in Maury county, Tenn.,March 13, 1840, and is a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Payton, whocame to Laclede county, Mo., in 1855, and engaged in farming. The father died in 1857, but the mother is still living, and makes her homewith Mr. Turner. Mrs. Payton was born in Maury county, Tenn., Septem-ber 29, 1807, and after the death of Mr. Payton was married to JohnRagland, a native of Virginia, who died in 1876. Of the five childrenborn to her first union three grew to maturity, but all are now deceased, with the exception of Mrs. Turner. To Mr. and Mrs. Turnernine children have been born: Ella, wife of Samuel R. Fulbright; ThomasA., Robert B., Bettie F., Maude A., Henry P., Elmo M., Edna E. and Myrtle O. Mrs. Turner is a member of the Christian Church, and he is amember of the A. F. & A. M., of the Blue Lodge and the AgriculturalWheel. He is a stanch Democrat in politics.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Anderson Mitchell (1800-1876)

MITCHELL, Anderson, a Representative from North Carolina; born on a farm near Milton, Caswell County, N.C., June 13, 1800; attended Bingham's School, Orange County, N.C., and was graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1821; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Morganton, Burke County, N.C., in 1830; moved to Jefferson, Ashe County, N.C., in 1831; clerk of the superior court of Ashe County; moved to Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, N.C., in 1835, and resumed the practice of law; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-seventh Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Lewis Williams and served from April 27, 1842, to March 3, 1843; unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1842 to the Twenty-eighth Congress; member of the State house of commons 1852-1854; elected to the State senate in 1860; delegate to the State convention of May 20, 1861, that passed the ordinance of secession, and voted against secession; was appointed judge of the superior court by Provisional Governor Holden in September 1865, subsequently elected and reelected, and served until June 30, 1875, when he resigned; died in Statesville, N.C., December 24, 1876; interment in the Presbyterian Cemetery.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949; Biographies, p.2052

Anderson Mitchell was at one time a distinguished citizen of Wilkes. He was born in Caswell county in the year 1800; was educated at Bingham School and at the State University at Chapel Hill where he graduated in 1821. He read law under George Henderson and admitted to the bar in 1823.

Mitchell located in Jefferson, Ashe county, to practice his profession. In 1827, and 28 and 29 he represented Ashe county in the lower branch of the Legislature and in 1838 he was elected to the State Senate. In l840 he moved to Wilkesboro and the same year was elected to the State Senate from Wilkes. In l842 he was elected to Congress but resigned in l843 to devote his entire time to the practice of law.

In 1859 he removed to Statesville. In 1866, he was appointed Judge of Superoir Court, and in 1872 was elected, without opposition, to succeed himself as Judge and he served until his death in 1876 when Governor Brogden appointed D. M. Furches to succeed him.

On Dec. 24th, 1876, he died and was buried in the cemetery in Statesville.

Judge Mitchell's conduct during the Ku Klux era in North Carolina has won for him lasting fame. In his district there was no such thing as Ku Klux allowed; neither was there any necessity for such, for all the vio1ators of the law were punished without fear of favor. Our distinguished county man Anderson Mitchell Vannoy was named after him and was a close companion of the Judge until his death. Mitchell was an able lawyer, an excellent Judge, and a great and noble man.


Ku Klux Klan Activity (1869-1871)

Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General (Main Series), 1871 - 1880National Archives Microfilm Publication M666 Roll 1 "Statements, depositions, and other records submitted by Gov. William W. Holden relating to crimes of the Ku Klux Klan against citizens of North Carolina, 1869 - 1871"

Jan. 5, 1871 Case of Holden, Govr. N. C. Concerning Outrages in North Carolina
Respectfully referred to the Honorable Secretary of War By order of the President: (22 enclo.)

D. E. Babeoth The jail of Lenoir County broken open, and five men taken out, their throats cut, and their bodies thrown in Neuse river.

The jail of Orange County broken open, and three men shot at, two escaped, but one was wounded, and died of his wound.

The jail of Chatham County broken open and a United States prisoner released. He was in jail for violating the revenue law. He has not since been arrested.

The Sheriff of Jones County and Colonel of Militia, shot and killed from behind a blind, in the open day, on the public highway. His death was decreed by a Kuklux camp in the adjoining county of Lenoir. He was hated because he was a Northern man and a Republican. A colored man who was on horseback, in company with Sheriff Colgrove, was also shot and mortally wounded.

The Colonel of the Militia of Jones County, and a Justice of the Peace, shot and killed in the open day while at work in his saw mill. A colored man with him, at the same time badly shot.

A man named Grant shot and killed in Lenoir County, by order of a camp, because he threatened to divulge the secrets of the Kuklux.

Monday, December 15, 2008

William Brudly [Bradley] Bowe Bible



Collected by J. BURCH BLAYLOCK,


Owner of Bible:
Mrs. Annie Lee Gunn Aldridge
(Mrs. W. Preston Aldridge) Rt. 1,
Yanceyville, N. C.


William Bradley Bowe and Mary Ann Miles were married December 15th, A. D., 1831 - Caswell Co., N. C.;
Thomas C. Bowe was married to Mary Rudd of Prince Edward County, Oct. 11th, 1854;
Sarah Virginia Bowe was married to William E. Harrelson April 20th, 1853;
Elizabeth J. Bowe was married to George Featherston 15th day December, 1858;
Harriet Ann Bowe was married to Samuel W. Evans 12th, Oct., 1862
Huldah G. Bowe was married to Felix M. Neal by Rev. Sol Lea 3rd of December, 1867;
T. C. Bowe was married the second time on the of Dec. 1859 to Miss Lucie Millner.
James D. Aldridge was married to H. G. Neal on the 19th of Oct. 1882 by V. A. Sharpe;
Henry A. Howard was married to Ada M. Neal the 3rd of Nov. 1886 by Rev. Solomon Lea;
William F. Clayton was married to Annie Mabel Aldridge Dec. 25, 1907 by Rev. R. G. Rood; -
William Preston Aldridge was married to Annie Lee GUNN Dec. 7, 1910 by Rev. Blalock;


William B. Bowe was born in the year of our Lord 19(1808)ninth day February, Pittsylvania Co., Va.;
Mary A. Miles was born 18th January in the year of our Lord, 1808, Caswell Co., N. C.
Thomas Cicero, son of William B. Bowe and Mary A., his wife, was born 12th Oct, 1832, Hillsboro, N. C., Dedicated by Baptism. 1833;
Sarah Virginia, daughter of William B. Bowe and Mary A., his wife, was born 15th day May A.D., 1835, Caswell Co., N. C., Dedicated by Baptism same year;
Elizabeth Jane, daughter of William B. Bowe and Mary A., his wife, was born May 3rd, A.D., 1837, Caswell Co., N. C. Dedicated by Baptism same year;
William Preston, son of William B. Bowe and Mary A., his wife, was born June 25th, A.D., 1839, Caswell Co., N. C.; Dedicated by Baptism same year;
Mary Allen, daughter of William B. Bowe and Mary A., his wife, was born October 12th, A.D., 1841 - Caswell Co., N. C. Dedicated by Baptism next year;
Harriet Ann, daughter of William B. Bowe and Mary A., his wife, was born Feb. 19th, A.D.,1844 - Caswell Co., N. C.; Dedicated by Baptism 1845;
Huldah Gunn, daughter of William B. Bowe and Mary A., his wife, was born the 6th. December, A.D., 1846 - Caswell Co., N. C.; dedicated by Baptism 1849;
James Preston, son of William Preston Aldridge and Annie, his wife, was born June 5th, 1912, Caswell Co., Yanceyville, N. C.
Ada Marshall Neal, daughter of Felix H. Neal & Huldah G. Neal, was born August 31st, 1868 - Locust Hill, N. C.;
William Preston Aldridge, son of James D. and H. G. Aldridge, was born Sept. the 7th, 1883, Yanceyville, N. C.;
Annie Mabel Aldridge, daughter of J. D. and H. G. Aldridge, was born Jan. 19th, 1886 - Yanceyville, N. C.;
Mabel Pauline, daughter of W.F. Clayton & Mabel, his wife, was born May 1st, 1911, Mebane, N. C.;
Huldah Elizabeth Howard, daughter of Henry A. Howard and Ada M. Howard, his wife, was born July 16th, 1887 - Locust Hill, N. C.;
Annie Virginia Howard was born 28 day of March, 1889 - Locust Hill, N. C.
Ella Stokes Howard was born in Granville September 3rd, 1891;
Henry Allen Howard, son of Henry A. Howard and Ada, his wife, was born Feb. 20th, 1896 - Montgomery place;
Ada Neal Howard was born August 30th, 1902, daughter of Henry A. Howard and Ada, his wife, Yanceyville, N. C.;
Myrle Elise Clayton was born Oct. 26, 1908, daughter of W. F. Clayton and Mabel, his wife, Mebane, N. C.;
Felix Neal Howard, son of Henry A. and Ada, his wife, was born Feb. 23, 1910 - Yanceyville;


Mary Ann Bowe departed this life on the morning of the 27th of Dec., 1856 - 49th year;
William Preston Bowe departed this life on 20th day of July, 1861 a soldier in the Confederate Army at Culpepper Court House, Virginia of Typhoid Fever;
Mary Allen Bowe departed this life 28th May, 1866 being 24 years, 7 months &16 days old; she had professed religion several years before her death & she had strong hope in her death in wanted to depart & be with him;
W. E. Harrelson departed this life 13th of August, 1866 in full hope of Heaven;
Felix M. Neal died the 13th of March, 1869 - He gave strong evidence of his acceptance with Christ.
Elizabeth J. Featherston departed this life the 29th of July, 1876 in the 39th year of her age. She was a Christian;
Wm. B. Bowe departed this life on the evening of the 9th of Feby, 1880 it being his seventy second birthday; he died as he lived a true and firm Christian;
S. W. Evans died the 24th of March, 1881 - Only gone before He trusted in Christ fully;
Thomas C. Bowe, oldest son of W. B. Bowe & Mary A., his wife, departed this life on the 30th. day of January, 1896;
Viny, an old servant woman, died Dec. 27th, 1862;
Annie A. Bowe died Nov. 29th, 1888; wife of W. B. Bowe at J. D. Aldridge 's;
James D. Aldridge departed this life Oct. 15th, 1899;
Anny Bowe, wife of W. B. Bowe, departed this life novo 29th, 1888;
James D. Aldridge departed this life Oct. 15th, 1899 in the 43rd year of his life;
Hattie A. Evans, daughter of William. B. Bowe & Mary, his wife, died Jan. 7th, 1901. She passed away happy in her Savior's love;
Thomas Allen Harralson departed this life Feb. 1910 in Richmond at his home, submissive to his Lord's Will and happy in His love;
Henry Allen Howard departed this life Mar. 18, 1914 in the 55 year of his life in the full assurance of a Savior's love.
Huldah Elizabeth Howard, daughter of Henry A. and Ada Howard, departed this life Apr. 5th, 1915. Her hope was realized when she celebrated Easter in Heaven;
Huldah Gunn Aldridge, the wife of James D. Aldridge, departed this life June 10, 1926 in full hope of Heaven;
Sarah Virginia Harrelson, the daughter of Wm. B. Bowe, departed this life May 29th, 1923; .

This same Bible had attached on the back flyleaf the newspaper notice of the death of Mrs. Huldah G. Aldridge and the following is an excerpt

Mrs. Huldah G. Aldridge Dies at Yanceyville

Funeral service for Mrs. Huldah Gunn Aldridge, 79, were held from the Yanceyville Methodist Church Friday afternoon by her pastor, Rev. W. C. Merritt, in charge, and she was laid to rest in the nearby church cemetery. She passed away Thursday afternoon following a long invalidism incident to her advanced years. Death came to her at the home of her son, W. P. Aldridge, two miles west of Yanceyville. She was a life-long resident of Caswell and was a daughter of William B. BOWE and she came of a family which was closely connected with the history of the county. She was a great granddaughter of Starling Gunn, a Revolutionary Patriot, who fired the first shot at the battle of Yorktown and was an eye witness of the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. Surviving children are Mrs. Ada Neal Howard, Preston Aldridge, and Mrs. Mabel Clayton; surviving grandchildren are Henry A. Howard, Neal Howard, Mrs. S. B. Moore, Roxboro; Mrs. L. E. Helper, Thomasville;(probably should be Hepler); Mrs. Ada Carter, Yanceyville; James Aldridge, Ida Lea Aldridge, Ralph Aldridge, Eugene Aldridge, Bille Aldridge, Merle Clayton, Pauline Clayton, Lucie Clayton, Zelma Clayton and Thelma Clayton. The following great-grandchildren also survive; Howard Helpler, Louise Helpler, Mabel Helplar, Stokes Helpler, Bobbie Lea Helpler, Allen Howard, George Howard, Mary E. Carter, Helen Moore, Earl Moore, Billie Moore, and Howard Moore. She first joined the Yanceyville Methodist Church at age of 12 years and later moved her membership to Prospect and she was a member there the balance of her life. The pall was borne by the following friends: L. B. Page, Bobbie Poteat, Eddie Poteat, W. W. Rowland, John T. Lyons, John Allison and H. H. Roberts. Beautiful floral designs were carried by Ella Foster, Merle Clayton, Ada Carter, Ida Lea Aldridge, Virginia Dameron, Mabel Satterfield, Lucile Clayton, Ruby Gunn, Annie Lea Neal and Louise Neal.

Recorded herein on this July 25th, 1956.
J. B. Blaylock, Register of Deeds.
Copied from the files of Register of Deeds, Caswell Co., N. C.;
Mr. J. Burch Blaylock; by Mrs. Kay Dixon, member of William Gaston Chapter D A R. Gastonia, N. C. August 1956


Friday, December 12, 2008

Old Caswell Academies and Schools



Legislation. An Act to establish an Academy at the Courthouse in Caswell County:

Whereas, a number of the citizens of said county, are desirous of establishing an Academy for the promotion of learning, at the courthouse aforesaid, having by subscription, erected a convenient building on a lot appropriated to that purpose, and Trustees being already appointed by the Subscribers to carry the same into effect, and it is proper that they should be incorporated, therefore;

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That Thomas Donoho, Solomon Graves, Jesse Carter, Alexander Murphey, David Mitchell, Richard Simpson, Marmaduke Williams, Michael Montgomery, John M'Aden, James Yancey and Henry Atkinson, Esquires shall be, and they are hereby declared to be a body politic and corporate, to be known and distinguished by the name of "The Trustees of the Caswell Academy" and by that name shall have perpetual succession and that they the Trustees, and their successors by the name aforesaid, or a majority of them, shall be able and capable in law, to take, demand, receive and possess all monies, goods and chattels that shall be given for the use of the said Academy, and the same apply according to the will of the donors and by gift, purchase or devise, to take, have, receive, possess and enjoy and retain to them and their successors forever, any lands, rents, tenements, and hereditaments of what kind or nature soever, in special trust and confidence, that the same or the profits thereof, be applied to and for the use and purpose of establishing and endowing said academy.

Chapter XXXVII, Laws 1802.


There will be opened in the County of Caswell, near the Courthouse, on the first day of January next, an Academy, known by the Name of the Caswell Academy, for the Reception of Students, to be taught the different Branches of Literature; to wit, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, the Latin and Greek Languages, Geography, Natural and Moral Philosophy, Astronomy, etc., etc., under the direction of the Rev. Hugh Shaw. The Terms for teaching the Latin and Greek Languages, together with the Sciences, will be 14 Dollars per Annum; Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, 7 Dollars per Annum. Boarding may be procured convenient to the said Academy in good Houses, at the low Price of 33% Dollars, and from that to 40 dollars per annum.

November 22, 1802.

Raleigh Register, November 22, 1802.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Jeanette Ziglar Wilson (1922-2008)

Jeanette Roach Ziglar Wilson (1922-2008)

Cary, North Carolina (November 2008) - Jeanette Ziglar Wilson was born in Madison, North Carolina on 29 January 1922, a snowy day. She was a bright student, graduating from high school at age sixteen and going on to receive a professional business degree from UNC Greensboro, known then as the Womens' College. Although her first job was at her grandfather's grocery, Jeanette worked in the business office of the Washington Mill after graduation. She played on the Womens' Mill League basketball team, and at one of her ball games caught the eye of a handsome agriculture teacher from Blanch, North Carolina, her soon to be husband. Jeanette and Ed married in 1942. Jeanette was President of the Bartlett Yancey PTA, the Director of the NC 6th District United Daughters of the Confederacy, was Caswell County's Homemaker of the Year and participated in a variety of homemakers' clubs in Caswell County and in Cary, NC. In her home there existed a multitude of loving gestures; from immaculately clean surroundings to wonderfully prepared family meals that always included at least one, if not several, homemade desserts. Jeanette was Ed's partner in life. She worked alongside him at the farm in Caswell County, raised the children while he was away at war, campaigned with him when he ran for the State Legislature and served the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church with the dedication of an Elder's wife. Jeanette loved and supported her children, and adored her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jeanette had a great sense of humor and enjoyed celebra-tions with family and friends. She loved music and dancing even as her dementia progressed. We were all so very blessed to have known her and to have been embraced by her love until her death on November 25, 2008.

Jeanette was predeceased by her parents, Russell and Glysta Ziglar, and her husband, Edward H. Wilson, Sr. She leaves behind four children: Ed Wilson Jr. and wife Sue, Jim Wilson and wife Linda, Connie Crook and husband John, and Anne Rogers and husband Jack; eight grandchildren, Steve Wilson, Sherri Catalano, Leigh Anne Wilson, Jamie Wilson, JT Crook, Wil Crook, Michael Bryan and David Bryan; and five great grandchildren. Jeanette's grandchildren will serve as pallbearers.

The family is grateful for the loving care provided to Jeanette by her extended family at Brighton Gardens of Raleigh, Dr. Janet Dear, and Hospice of Wake County. The family will receive friends at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Cary on Saturday, November 29, 2008 from 7-9 p.m. A graveside service will be held at Highland Burial Park in Danville, VA at 11 a.m. on Sunday, November 30, 2008. A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 30, 2008 at the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church in Cary. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions in Jeanette's memory to the building fund of Kirk of Kil-daire Presbyterian Church, 200 High Meadow Drive, Cary, NC 27511, or to Hospice of Wake County, 1300 St. Mary's Street, Fourth Floor, Raleigh, NC 27605.

For more on Jeanette Ziglar Wilson and the Wilson family of Caswell County go to the Caswell County Family Tree.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Milton Hotel

Milton Hotel Destroyed by Fire

Fire swept through a 20-room hotel at Milton late Friday night and destroyed the structure, long a landmark in the town's business district. It was the third incident involving the old building in the past 10 days, Recently, a dynamite stick thrown into the apartment of a nonstriking textile worker rocked the building, and on Wednesday night a fire swept through a room on the rear of the ground floor. Milton firemen had to give up the fight to save the building Friday night and concentrated on protecting nearby property.

Source: The Greensboro Daily News 6 May 1951.

Milton Mourns Memory-Filled Ancient Hotel (Scenes of Early Glamorous Life)

Milton, N. C., May 7 - The people of this historic Caswell county township remain highly indignant over the burning a few nights ago of the old Gordon Hotel. They are hopeful that ti will not be impossible to "crack" the case of arson which is generally suspected, especially since two previous efforts within ten days were made to destroy the ancient hostelry. There is, too, a sense of injury among the older Miltonians resentful that a town which peculiarly has its own placid way of life, it should have been made to suffer from the backlash of an industrial dispute in another state and many miles distant.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dr. Charles Caldwell and Nathaniel Greene

Charles Caldwell (May 14, 1772 – July 9, 1853, Nashville, Tennessee)

A noted 19th century U.S. physician who is best known for starting what would become the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Born to Irish immigrants in Caswell County, North Carolina, he earned an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1796while studying under Benjamin Rush. After graduating, he practiced medicine in Philadelphia and was a lecturer at Penn. He also edited the "Port Folio" (one of the day's primary medical magazines) and published over 200 medical publications.

In 1819, he left Philadelphia to join the fledgling medical school at Lexington, Kentucky's Transylvania University, where he quickly turned the school into the region's strongest. In 1821, he convinced the Kentucky General Assembly to purchase $10,000 worth of science and medical books from France, many of which are still held at the university.

Despite his success, his "abrasive" and "arrogant" temperament created enemies at Transylvania. The university's medical program would fold soon afterwards. The school dismissed him in 1837, and he then traveled with several colleagues to Louisville, where they created the Louisville Medical Institute. as at Transylvania, he made the new school an instant success, with its rapid growth into one of the region's best medical schools. However, he was forced out in 1849 due to a personal rivalry with Lunsford Yandell.

Oddly, Dr. Charles Caldwell authored the book: Memoirs of the Life and Campaigns of the Hon. Nathaniel Greene, Major General in the Army of the United States, and Commander of the Southern Department, in the War of the Revolution. The book was published in 1819 when Caldwell was Professor of Natural History in the University of Pennsylvania. For images of this book go to:

Book Images

See also:


However, possibly it was not so odd that Dr. Caldwell would author a book on Nathaniel Greene. Caldwell was born in Caswell County, and it was through Caswell County that General Greene conducted his famous "Retreat to the Dan." Caldwell would have been a young boy at the time and may have had some personal recollection of the event or what he heard at the time.

A book on Greene's tactical retreat is available from the CCHA:

CCHA Publications

See also: The Tactical Retreat of General Nathaniel Greene, Thomas J.
Edmonds (2006).


Monday, November 10, 2008

Azariah Graves Building (Yanceyville)

"Brown's To Get New Life As Country Store"

By Angela Evans
4 November 2008
Managing Editor
© The Caswell Messenger

Brown's Seafood will soon have new life. Charles and Christina Ward, of Anderson, recently bought the former restaurant and are planning to turn it into a country store. The Wards plan to sell coffee, gifts and bakery goods. Christina Ward said the store will sell goat's milk soap and cheese and other products the couple make on their farm like baskets, wood crafts, jewelry and pottery. "She does pottery and I do woodworking," Charles said. "But it's simpler to start off with a wholesaler and then build as we go." Christina said the store will also offer fresh-made sandwiches and some organic foods, coffees and teas.

"We have a farm, and last summer we planted vegetables, and we had an abundance," she added. Charles said the couple plans to restore Brown's to its original state. The older part of the building is about 200 years old and the newer side is about 70 years old, he said. What does restoring it entail? "Quit a bit," Charles said. "We're gonna try and blend this side with the other side a little better." The old bar top will be the new countertop for the store. "We're coming up with different ideas as we go," Charles said.

Owning a country store has long been a dream for Christina; and when her mother died, Christina knew it was time to act. "When my mom passed away in 2002 that's when I stopped doing computer work; so I decided I wanted something more," Christina said. "Because my mom passed away a year after she realized her dream." Christina explained that her mother had always wanted to have a large building built. Having realized that accomplishment with the construction of a three-story office building in 2001, her mother died only a year later of colon cancer. Christina said shortly after her mother's death she also lost a brother to colon cancer and another brother is currently in remission. The illness and death in her family served as a wakeup call to Christina, who wants to be able to live her dream for as long as possible.

"Instead of sitting in a cubicle I decided I'd do what I always wanted to do," Christina said. "I still sit in a cubicle," Charles interjected, laughing. Charles works for fidelity investments as a software engineer, so, he said, Christina will mainly be the one running the store. The couple has started cleaning the old restaurant and with the help of a contractor and the Historic Preservation Society in Raleigh, hopes to have the store open in February. "We're going to get some tips from them to try and make sure we stick to the historic," Charles said. "We're going to upgrade some of the restaurant equipment, get newer stuff as we need it."

Work will begin on the roof next week, but the plumbing and electrical have already been upgraded. "All the hard stuff, in my opinion, has been done," Charles said. The Wards say former owner Jimmy Watkins is excited to see the couple opening the business and he's happy with the name they have chosen. "We're going to call it Azariah's Old Storehouse," Charles said, explaining that Azariah Graves was the original builder and that Watkins had always wanted to call the building by Graves' name, but that the restaurant had already been named Brown's when Watkins acquired it. The Wards say they are nervous and excited about the store, and hope the community will get excited too.

Christina has contacted Piedmont Community College about the possibility of having students in art classes participate in a period re-enactment with art and costumes for the store's opening. "We're excited to maybe get the square back up and going too," Charles added. The first time the Wards looked at the building, there was a tour bus parked across the street. "We said 'Let's buy it,'" Christina said with a huge anticipatory smile. The couple also has plans for growth on their farm, where they have dairy goats and miniature donkeys. They plan to add alpacas. The miniature donkeys act as security for the goats, Christina explains, and they plan to start breeding them, Charles adds. "They run after dogs or coyotes," she said. "We're working on it now. We started with infrastructure had fencing put in got a few animals," Charles said. "We'll get more animals." Sometime next summer, he said, the farm will open up to tours for school children.

More Photographs

Azariah Graves (1776-1837)

Azariah Graves died in 1837 after many years as a business man in what was then called "Caswell Courthouse". The upper floor of his office building in Yanceyville (Azariah Graves Store House) formed his living quarters, and the establishment may have been one of those mentioned by Bartlett Yancey in his 1810 letter describing Caswell County. Fuel for the two big fireplaces was stored in the full basement, and the store's window shutters had bars. The building later was a newspaper office.

Source: Yanceyville Walking Tour

Caswell County Family Tree


Bldg was originally owned by Azariah Graves as a tanyard and currier, historically there in 1800. Bldg has been many businesses; NP Oliver tavern, gov. Office, Post Office, Caswell newspaper, realtor, restaurants and Mr and Mrs Upchurch lived upstairs after they wed. Source: Brenda Brown 3 May 2020 Post to CCHA Facebook Page.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Oddfellows Lodge

John Grasty's diary mentioned an Oddfellow's Lodge in Yanceyville in September 1849. On the 28th he attended a meeting at which some kind of anniversary was observed and John Kerr made the primary address. On October 10, 1850, Grasty attended another meeting of the Oddfellows and saw several new members initiated.

Source: When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 426.


Sons of Temperance

John Grasty's diary for 1849 and 1850 contains scattered references to the Sons of Temperance and he mentioned the constitution on one occasion and some speeches delivered before the society on another. On February 1, 1850, he wrote: "After tea went to Fuller's office, spoke of his intention to withdraw from Sons of Temperance--I attended a meeting of the sons, etc."

Source: When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 426.


Yanceyville Grand United Order of Benelovence

The North Carolina General Assembly in March 1883 incorporated the Yanceyville Grand United Order of Benelovence, Number Ten. Those named in the charter were A. L. Johnson, W. H. Mebane, J. B. Graves, Frank Brandon, James Johnson, and Marshall Louis Graves. The purpose of the Order was described in the charter as being "to secure relief for the sick and distressed, to provide for the widow and fatherless in their afflictions, to bury the dead and elevate the living, and to spread the true spirit of charity and love to all within its healing influence."

Source: When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 426.


Masonic Lodges (Caswell County)

The fraternal society of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons was one of the earliest such organizations in Caswell County. The first lodge was chartered on November 20, 1788, as Caswell Brotherhood Lodge, No. 11, A.F. and A.M. it held its meetings in Leasburg, then the county seat. The Lodge ceased to function late in 1799; perhaps the formation of Person County in 1792 from the western half of old Caswell weakened the membership.

A Lodge was organized at Milton in 1818 and in 1820 Golden Fleece Lodge, No. 74, was chartered. In 1824 the General Assembly authorized the lodge to raise $3,000 by one or more lotteries. The earliest members are unknown, but in 1830 the following were active: Thomas L. Stevens, W. M. Malbon, Stephen Dodson, Samuel Watkins, M. P. Huntington, Samuel Holden, Josiah Dixon, Samuel A. Douglas, John E. Lewis, George W. Kent, Mumford Stanfield, Isaac Jones, Henry I. Foster, James M. Gunn, Nathaniel M. Roan, James H. White, Bennett Lea, Richard A. Yarborough, William B. Graves, and Charles D. Donoho. The original charter was revoked in 1837, but the lodge was rechartered in 1848 and continued its work until 1918, when the charter was arrested.

Clinton Lodge, No. 107, meeting in Yanceyville, was chartered in December, 1842, and among its members were Junius Dillworth, Richard Ferguson, James L. Graves, William P. Womack, William A. Lea, Henry Willis, James H. Atkinson, William R. Neal, James Clark, Moses Clark, N. M. Roan, Virgil M. Rainey, John A. Graves, Alfred A. Mitchell, and Alfred M. Ellington. Roan had previously been a member of the Golden Fleece in Milton and he was soon joined in the Yanceyville Lodge by Franklin A. Liley who had also belonged to the Golden Fleece. The charter of the Lodge was surrendered in 1896 or 1897 and a new Lodge, John A. Graves Lodge, No 494, was chartered in 1898. B. S. Graves presided at the initial meeting of the new lodge. On May 20, 1935, this lodge ceased to function when the local Masons resumed the original name and number of the first Yanceyville lodge: Caswell Brotherhood Lodge, No. 11. This was the only lodge in the county in 1977.

Yanceyville Kiwanis Club

In November 1948, the Yanceyville Kiwanis Club was formally launched. Ralph Aldridge was president and other officers included John S. Dailey, vice president, Fred L. Stuck, secretary-treasurer, and J. C. Alexander, J. Bradley Cook, Ralph W. Holmes, V. Frazier Williams, John A. Woods, James W. White, and Edward H. Wilson, directors.

Source: When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 427.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Connally United Methodist Church

History of Connally United Methodist Church
Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina

First Connally Church

"On October 1, 1821 one and one-third acres of land was purchased from John Pass of the County of Caswell and the state of North Carolina of the one part and Thomas Connally, William Connally, John McCain, Samuel Smith, John Smith, Newman Durham, William Chiles and Merry Maynard; trustees appointed by the Methodist Society of the other part witnesseth that the said John Pass for and in considertion of the desire he waspromoting the worship of God and further considerationof one dollar to him in hand paid by the trustees aforesaid hath given, granted, bargained, and sold this land." This parcel of land was on the road leading from the Red House in Semora, N.C. to Milton, N.C. A nearby spring provided water for the church. Witness: Samuel Dunnaway and John H. McAdin (see book V, page 286 in the Register of Deeds Office in Caswell Courthouse.) According to other information obtained from the Register of Deeds Office in the Courthouse "one-fifth of an acre of land was purchased on June 28, 1824, form Charles Wilson and Jeremiah Dixon by John McAden, Jr., and John Giles, Merry Maynard, and Samuel H. Smith to add on to the land on which Connally Meeting House alread stood." (See Book W, page 42 in Register of Deeds Office. The first church is remembered as a long log structure on the left side of the road near Alec Cobb's home on what was once Linsey Moore land. This information has been passed down by Connalley Church members from one generation to another.

Connally Methodist Church: 1821-1824

John Pass of Caswell County to Thomas Connally, William Connally, John McCain, Samuel Smith, John Smith, Newman Durham, William Chiles, and Merry Maynard, all trustees of Methodist Society, for $1 and his desire to promote the worship of God, 1 and one-third acres on the road from Red House to Milton for purposes of building a Church of Meeting House with egrees to the spring. 1 October 1821. Witnesses: Samuel Dunnaway, John H. McAden

Caswell County, North Carolina
Deed Book V, Pages 286-287

Charles Willson and Jeremiah Dixon to John McAden Junr., John Jiles, Merry Maynard, Samuel H. Smith, all trustees for the Methodist Church, 3/4 acre whereon a meeting house stands called Connally Methodist in Caswell County, said land drawn in division of lands by Elizabeth Stokes, now Elizabeth Bardwell; also 1/5 acre adjacent. 28 June 1824. Witness: James Rainey

Caswell County, North Carolina
Deed Book W, Page 42

Grier's Presbyterian Church

Caswell County, North Carolina Churches
Upper Hyco/Griers Presbyterian Church
National Register of Historic Places

Upper Hyco Church, the first organized church still in existence in Caswell County was organized in 1753 near the headwaters of North Hyco Creek. Samuel Bell, and his brothers removed from Pennsylvania and settled on the forks of Hyco Creek. They were staunch Presbyterians. The first church services were held under bush arbors and homes of the members. During the ministry of Rev. William Mooe (1789), the members built a church on lands of James Richmond and Jim Grier. Jim Grier may have died before the deed was registered. This may be the reason that the change was made from Upper Hyco to Grier's.

A rusted out and falling down iron fence surrounds a cemetery containing about 75 graves. The earliest date being 1820, the newest grave 1903. The newer cemetery (present) oldest marker has the date of 1890.

Some of the earlier ministers were: Henry Pattillo 1760; Hugh McAden 1768; William Moore 1789; James H. Bowman 1810; Ezekial B. Curry 1811; William B. Maroney 1814; Samuel Paisley 1829; Thomas Lynch 1836; John S. Grasty 1856; Jacob Doll 1857-1862; James L. Currie 1877-1883; W. R. Coppedge 1889; and William Campnell 1891.

Source: Caswell County NC GenWeb Archives


Monday, November 03, 2008

1936 Caswell County Highway Map

(click on photograph for larger image)
A larger version of this map may be found online at:

Caswell County Photograph Collection

At the Caswell County Photograph Collection click on "All Sizes," which will be a menu pick above the image. This will allow you to select the size to view and, if you wish, download.

Caswell County Maps


1908 Caswell County Soil Map

(click on photograph for larger image)

A larger version of this map may be found online at:

Caswell County Photograph Collection

At the Caswell County Photograph Collection click on "All Sizes," which will be a menu pick above the image. This will allow you to select the size to view and, if you wish, download.

Caswell County Maps

To see the text that accompanied this map go to:

1908 Caswell County Soil Survey


1868 Caswell County School Districts Map

(click on photograph for larger image)

A larger version of this map may be found online at:

Caswell County Photograph Collection

Caswell County Maps

This map is divided into thirty-six rectangular sections. Below is a partial transcription of the information found in the map's sections. They appear from top left to top right, then drop down one row and again are listed left to right (like reading the days on a calendar):


Wolf Island Creek
A. K. Pennix
W. Harrison
W. Patterson
W. Swann
Pelham Depo
H. R________
Pied Mont Railroad

2008 Caswell County Planning Map

(click on photograph for larger image)

A larger version of this map may be found online at:

Caswell County Photograph Collection

At the Caswell County Photograph Collection click on "All Sizes," which will be a menu pick above the image. This will allow you to select the size to view and, if you wish, download.

Caswell County Maps


Pattillo v. Harralson (1878)

(click on photograph for larger image)


The above document also may be found online at the Caswell County Photograph Collection.

In the Probate Court
Caswell County

A.H.W. Pattillo, as admin of Thos Bigalow
W__ C. Harralson as admin of Brice Harralson }

The undersigned agree and bind themselves to refer to this Probate Judge of Caswell County the question:

1st What amount of commission is due estate of Brice Harralson from the estate of Thomas Bigalow and

2nd and amount of interest due from the estate of Brice Harralson to the estate Thomas Bigalow and thus this award upon this question shall be final and conclusive believes the parties.

W__ Harralson
A.H.W. Pattillo

The above matter being heard by _____ both parties being present for the ____ ______ to be ______ ______ ____ hundred forty two dollars ____ to B. Harralson's estate as the amount of interest due from B. Harralson estate to _____ three hundred dollars & ____ that W__ Harralson, adm is advanced in ____ of forty two dollars bring the _____ of commission of the ___ and that A.H.W. Pattillo, Adm. is to have the same as a ____ which shows this day the balance due from B. Harralson estate to Thos Bigalow estate to be Fifteen hundred dollars.

This 23rd day January AD 1878
J. H. Kerr
Probate Judge


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Major Thomas J. Brown

Major Thomas J. Brown, the pioneer wholesale tobacco dealer of Winston, N. C., and one of the most extensive dealers in the state, was born in Caswell county, N. C., in August, 1833. The family is one of the oldest and most prominent in the state, and its members have at different times held high offices in both the commonwealth and national government. Maj. Brown was prepared for college at the Dan River institute. His mother then removed with her family to Davie county, in the Yadkin valley, where he engaged in agriculture until the breaking out of the Civil war, when he enlisted in Capt. Kelley's company as a private, but was at once elected lieutenant. This company was organized in Davie county, and afterward assigned to the Fourth North Carolina volunteer infantry. Lieut. Brown served with this command until prior to the battle of Culpeper Court House, and while the same was in camp at that point he was given a permit to return home and raise a new company, which he did, and of which he was elected captain. This company was assigned to the Forty-second regiment North Carolina volunteer infantry. The close of hostilities found him still in the field as a member of the last mentioned regiment with the rank of major, which office he had won by his faithfulness and valor on the following battle-fields: Cold Harbor, all the fights around Petersburg, Fort Fisher, two battles below Kinston, and at Bentonsville, and various skirmishes and engagements of minor importance.

Major Brown returned to North Carolina after the war and was engaged in the manufacture of tobacco for a short time, subsequently removing to Winston, where he established the first tobacco warehouse, and where he sold the first tobacco ever brought to that market, in February, 1872. This industry has since grown to enormous proportions in Winston, and forms one of its most important enterprises, the sales from Major Brown's establishment alone amounting to between four and five million pounds annually. This progressive gentleman is also a member of the extensive hardware firm of Brown, Rogers & Co., of Winston; is a partner in one of the largest dry goods houses in the city; is also a director in the First National bank of Winston, largely interested in three different land companies, and a stockholder in the Roanoke & Southern railroad company. Major Brown has been an elder in the Presbyterian church for a number of years, as well as superintendent of the Sunday-school. Major Brown was happily married in 1868 to Miss Delphine Hall, of Mobile, Ala. This estimable lady died on the 8th of August, 1889, leaving no children. Her father was Daniel Emerson Hall, a native of Middle Granville, N. Y., who graduated at Yale in the class of 1834. Subsequently he read law with his brother, Willis Hall, a prominent lawyer and politician and at one time attorney-general of New York state, and then removed to Mobile, Ala., where he soon rose to eminence in his profession, and married a descendant of Louis D'Olive, a French officer sent out by his government.

Major Brown is the son of John E. Brown, M. D., who was born in Caswell county, N. C., in 1800 and died in 1846. He was an eminent physician of his day, having prepared for his professional career in the old University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia. He served as a member of the legislature of his state, and for many years was chairman of the county board in Caswell county. In 1826 he married Miss Elizabeth B., daughter of Mr. Jesse Carter, and five children blessed their union, the four surviving ones being Col. John Edmunds Brown, of Charlotte, N. C., a prominent lawyer and an elder in the Presbyterian church; Major Thomas J. Brown, Sallie C., widow of Mr. W. E. Hall, and Miss Jessie E. Brown. The eldest child was William Carter Brown, M. D., who was a surgeon in the Confederate service and died from illness contracted in camp in 1862.

The Hon. Bedford Brown, who served as United States senator for many years, was an elder brother of John E. Brown, and they were sons of Jethro Brown, a Virginian, who spent his active life in Caswell county, N. C., as a planter and merchant. When a young man he removed to North Carolina, where, for several terms, he served as chairman of the county court of Caswell county, N. C., and died leaving the family name stainless. His father was John Brown, who was born in Virginia, and came to North Carolina during the Revolutionary war, and died in this state. This branch of the Brown family originated in Bedfordshire, England, having emigrated to America many years prior to the Revolution. Elizabeth Brown Carter, who became the wife of the Hon. John E. Brown, M. D., was a descendant of the Shirley Carter family, of Virginia. This proud old family furnished one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Creation of Caswell County - 1777

Three counties share the distinction of having been formed by the earliest North Carolina state government. Burke and Caswell counties were authorized by the 1777 General Assembly (the first to convene under the new constitution of 1776) to be laid out effective 1 June 1777. The act concerning Caswell is Chapter XVII, ratified on May 9, while Chapters XVIII and XIX pertain to Camden and Burke counties, respectively, ratified on the same date, but the act creating Caswell appears first in the session laws. Caswell County, therefore, was the first county created by the new State of North Carolina at the first session of its first legislature, and its court convened a month before either of the others.

Laws of North Carolina - 1777

At a General Assembly, begun and held at New Bern, on the Eighth Day of April, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Seven, and in the First Year of the Independence of the said State: Being the first Session of this Assembly. Richard, Caswell, Esq., Governor.

CHAPTER XVII [Ratified 9 May 1777].

An Act for establishing a new County between Hillsborough and the Virginia Line, by erecting the Northern Part of Orange County into a distinct County, by the Name of Caswell.

I. Whereas the large Extent of the County of Orange renders the Attendance of the inhabitants of the Northern Part to do Public Duties extremely difficult and expensive: For Remedy whereof.

II. Be it Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and by the Authority of the same. That from and after the First Day of June next, the inhabitants of the County of Orange lying to the North of a Point Twelve Miles due North of Hillsborough, and bounded as follows, to-wit, Beginning at the aforesaid Point, running thence due East to Granville County Line, thence North along Granville County Line to the Virginia Line, thence West along the Virginia Line to Guilford County Line, thence South along Guilford County Line to a Point due West of the Beginning, thence due East to the Beginning, be erected into a distinct County, by the Name of Caswell County.

American Indian Heritage

(click on photograph for larger image)

The photograph above is of the American Indian Artifacts display in the Richmond-Miles History Museum in Yanceyville, North Carolina. For more about the Museum and its hours of operation contact the Caswell County Historical Association.

For more on Caswell County American Indian artifacts see Early American Artifacts In Caswell County.

The following is from , When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977):

The Eno, the Shackori, and the Occaneechi tribes were the most numerous in the neighborhood of Caswell County, but there were two other tribes which may have been in the vicinity briefly. The Cheraw, also known as Saraw, Sara, or Saura, were found in what is not South Carolina by De Soto in 1540 and by Pardo in 1566. John Lederer in 1670 found them along the Yadkin River, but by 1700 they had settled on the south side of the Dan River west of the Caswell County area. In their wanderings, however, they undoubtedly followed the course of the river this far east, but by 1710, because of attachs by Iroquois enemies, they had departed and were living along the Pee Dee River to the south. But the Saura Indians were not forgotten; the court minutes of Caswell County for April 20, 1785, refer to land in the county "below the Sorrow Town road."

Even less is known of the Sissipahaw Indians whose name is perpetuated in the Haw River. They were found by Pardo to be living along the Santee River, but Lawson 135 years later heard of their settlement just west of the route he was following through the Piedmont. Lawson, however, did not see this tribe and it was suggested by later observers that they may have been affiliated with the Shackori. it seens clear that the Sissipahaw left the region in company with other small tribes and eventually joined forces with the Catawba.

Evidence of Indian activity is abundant in many parts of Caswell County. Bits of pottery, arrowheads, birds points, and other stone objects have been found in widely scattered areas, and in many fields, freshly plowed each spring, a pocketful of artifacts may be picked up in a brief time. About three miles northwest of Yanceyville on a small tributary of Moon's Creek there is a natural formation identified as "The Indian Rock" and traditionally said to have been used as a fortress by the Indians. The entrance to this small cave faces the branch just fifteen feet away. From the security of this spot projectiles could be fired at an approaching enemy. Nearby countless arrowheads have been found as well as stone blades and scrapers, and an occasional round stone such as would have been used in the games described by Lederer and Lawson.

The dating of Indian presence at a particular site has never been very precise, but in recent years more sophisticated methods have been developed. The Carbon-14 process is perhaps accurate to within several hundred years. An axe unearthed a few years ago at West Yanceyville by David Hopkins, Soil Conservationist, has been described as a Guilford axe. Sites occupied at this same period have been excavaated along the Roanoke River, and one of these has been tentatively dated as prior to 3500 B.C. Other sites in Piedmont North Carolina have been dated: (1) 5000 B>C>; (2( 2000 B.C.; (3) the beginning of the Christian Era; (4) 500 A.D.; and (5) 1700 A.D.

It seems evident that the native Indian quietly withdrew from the Caswell County area when white men began to appear.

North Carolina Museum of History

13th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration
Saturday, November 22
11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Celebrate North Carolina’s American Indian heritage at this exciting festival! The Museum of History and Bicentennial Plaza will overflow with music, dancing, storytelling, hands-on activities, and food.

Come to the museum and help commemorate American Indian Heritage month and the museum’s 13th annual American Indian Heritage Celebration! See artists demonstrate their skills at pottery, basketry, beadwork, stone carving, and other crafts. Watch dancers perform traditional dances to the rhythms of northern- and southern-style drum groups. Make crafts, plays games, and listen to stories and legends presented by Indian storytellers. Learn about members of the eight state-recognized tribes: Coharie, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occaneechi Band of Saponi, Sappony, and Waccamaw-Siouan. It’s fun for the entire family!

To learn more, visit:



Friday, October 31, 2008

Sallie Martin House (Yanceyville, North Carolina)

(click on photograph for larger image)

Above is what has come to be called the "Sallie Martin House."

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

"Photo 328. Sallie Martin House. Early 19th century. 1.5-story Federal brick-and stucco house with four exterior end brick chimneys. Considerably altered, but retains eave moldings, 9/9 sash."

This house was named for Sallie D. Walker Martin (1882-1968). She was the daughter of Levi Walker and Margaret Walker Walker. Sallie D. Walker married William C. Martin (c.1867-1968), and they had at least one child: Mary Margarette Martin (1905-1991).

For more on this family visit the Caswell County Family Tree.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

John Azariah Graves (c.1823-1874)

(click on photograph for larger image)

The photograph shown above is believed to be of a portrait that once hung in the John A. Graves Chapter of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons (Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina).

While no factual basis has been found, some have assumed that the John A. Graves Masonic Lodge Chapter in Yanceyville was named for Lt. Col. John Azariah Graves (c.1823-1864) to honor his Civil War service. This had been the Clinton Lodge (No. 107, chartered in 1842), and John A. Graves was a member. The charter of this Clinton Lodge was surrendered around 1887, and the John A. Graves Lodge (No. 494) was chartered in 1898.

John Azariah Graves was a Yanceyville lawyer, became a Confederate lieutenant colonel, and died at Johnson's Island Prison.

If one assumes (of course without any basis therefor) that the image dates from before the war, Graves would have been no older than around 38-40. Remove the moustache, and the image seems that of a reasonably young man, and certainly could be John Azariah Graves.

It is believed that John Azariah Graves at one time had his law office in the Graves-Florance-Gatewood House.

He married Catherine M. Dodson as her second husband, and they had two known children. John Azariah Graves is buried at the First Baptist Church of Yanceyville. His gravestone has the following inscription:

"My Brother; John A. Graves; Born Nove. 18, 1822;
Died at Johnson's Island; March 2, 1864"

One daughter, Mary John Graves (1849-1925), married DeBerniere Yancey Mebane (son of Giles Mebane and Catherine Yancey). Their descendants include many well-known Alamance and Caswell families.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jacob Doll (1812-1878) Diaries

Jacob Doll (1812-1878)

Jacob Doll Diaries (1848-1876 and Undated)

Jacob Doll was born in North Carolina in 1812, and died 27 April 1878. Doll was installed at Bethesda Church in Caswell County, N.C., 1 November 1866, and organized the First Presbyterian Church in Reidsville in 1875. The collection consists of eight diaries belonging to Jacob Doll and several enclosures. The diaries date from 1848 to 1876 and document daily events in 19th-century Caswell County, N.C., including marriages, deaths, sermons preached, social events and holidays, weather, church events, and anniversaries. They also include lists of letters written and visits made on church business. National events are occasionally noted, most prominent among them the Civil War. Doll recorded the dates of major battles and the wounding or deaths of soldiers from the community. One diary entry discusses the murder of Republican North Carolina state senator John Walter Stephens by the Ku Klux Klan in the Caswell County courthouse on 21 May 1870. The enclosures consist of several undated notes written by Doll's granddaughter, Mrs. J. M. McCord. The notes point out events in the diaries that McCord found of particular interest.

Source: Southern Historical Collection (Wilson Library, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina)


Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church (Caswell County, North Carolina)

Descriptive Summary

Repository: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection. Creator: Blaylock, J. Burch.Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church.
Title: Caswell County (N.C.) Primitive Baptist Church Records, 1923- 1928. Call Number: 4147-z Language of Materials: Materials in English Extent: 2 items.


Minutes, 1923-1928, of the Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church, Yanceyville, N.C.; and History of the Primitive Baptist Church of Historic Caswell County, N.C., by J. Burch Blaylock, which includes the location, founding dates, and history of the Primitive Baptist congregations in Caswell County, N.C.

Administrative Information

Acquisitions Information: Gift 1978

Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Additional Descriptive Resources

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], in the Caswell County (N.C.) Primitive Baptist Church Records, #4147-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Copyright Notice: Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Blaylock, J. Burch. Caswell County (N.C.)--Church history. Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church. Primitive Baptists (N.C.)--History.

Collection Overview

Minutes, 1923-1928, of the Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church, Yanceyville, N.C.; and "History of the Primitive Baptist Church of Historic Caswell County, N.C.," by J. Burch Blaylock, which includes the location, founding dates, and history of the Primitive Baptist congregations in Caswell County, N.C.