Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mary Helen Anderson Covington (1864-1933)

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The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 27 March 1933 (Page 3)

Funeral services were held on Sunday afternoon at three o’clock for Mrs. Clem P. Covington who died at her residence on Green street from pneumonia early on Saturday morning. The rites were largely attended and were conducted by Rev. George Wesley Jones, pastor of Mount Vernon Methodist Church. The remains were conveyed to Caswell county and interment made near the Covington chapel.

The pall bearers were: J. M. Ley, J. O. Worthen, Charlie Turner, T. B. Fulton, John Stephens, J. W. Sams, Willard Arnett and Dr. C. T. Carter.

The flower bearers were: Jeff Garrett, Daniel Gwynn, Edgar Allison, W. B. Horton, Benton, Covington, C. G. Holland, M. O. Nelson, Jack L. Neal, A. M. Turner, W. T. Harnsberger, C. B. Watson, J. L. Hodges, E. T. Glidewell, J. V. Perry, Albert Perkinson, P. H. Neal, Hamilton Vass, Rutledge Carter, A. D. Starling, E. A. Garrett, George Myers, J. D. Ley, Sam Brown, W. C. Covey, Newman Turner, Dr. W. B. Fowlkes, Dr. Burnell Jones, B. J. Wade, Dr. G. W. Johnson, H. E. Cox, Aubrey Shelton, Dr. J. J. Neal, Dr. G. H. Snead, R. E. Soyars, C. L. Davenport, P. L. Booth, Dr. Gwynn, Huston Gwynn, M. C. Yarboro.

Mary Helen Anderson (1864-1933) was the daughter of Dr. John Quenton Anderson, M.D. (1820-1893), and Minerva Isabelle Rice Anderson (1836-1903). On 23 November 1885 she married Clem P. Covington (1852-1932).


Thomas Lawson Hodges (1859-1926)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 8 October 1926 (Page 1)

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Thomas Lawson (1859-1926) was the son of Y. F. Hodges and Martha Price Hodges. He was born 27 April 1859 (Caswell County, North Carolina) and died 8 October 1926 (Danville, Virginia). On 1 November 1888 he married Annie Williamson.

T. L. Hodges Passes Away at Hospital
Veteran Tobacco Man Succumbs After Long Illness

Thomas L. Hodges for nearly fifty years a widely known Danville citizen passed to his reward at five o'clock this morning at Edmonds [Edmunds] hospital. After a long period of declining health his condition became such five weeks ago that he was taken to the hospital for treatment which it was hoped would benefit him but he had grown steadily more feeble and for three weeks it had been recognized that his recovery was doubtful. Members of his devoted family were with him throughout the night and were grouped about him when death came.

The funeral will be held at three o'clock tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon from the home, 183 West Main Street and will be conducted by Rev. A. E. Acey with interment in Green Hill cemetery where his wife was laid to rest three years ago. The obsequies will be largely attended for Mr. Hodges had a large relationship and friendship throughout this section.

Born on April 27th 1859 in Caswell county, a son of the late Y. F. Hodges and Mrs. Martha Price Hodges, Mr. Hodges came to Danville at the age of twenty-one and since that time had resided here. His life was spent in the tobacco business and his ability in that field was recognized by his appointment to positions of large trust and reflecting his executive capacity. For many years he was identified with the old Farmers Warehouse. Later he was in business as a buyer on his own account. In 1902 he became identified with the American Tobacco Company and in 1911 he was placed in charge of the leaf business of the Export Leaf Tobacco Company of Danville and the surrounding section.

Failing health during the last five years had resulted in a diminution of his activity though he remained identified with the Export Company. Mr. Hodges was one of the oldest buyers on the Danville market and throughout his active life here had been devoted to the interests of the local market and a valued member of the Danville Tobacco Association. He was at one time a member of the executive committee of that organization.

Deceased was a member of Mount Vernon Methodist church since its organization and was a consecrated worshiper there. he belonged to no fraternal or secret organizations being essentially a home-loving man possessing those traits of Christian character which brought him many admirers.

Thirty-eight years ago he was married to Miss Annie Finley Williamson, daughter of Dr. Robert Williamson of Yanceyville, N. C. who died three years ago. He is survived by two children, Mrs. Alfred S. Wyllie of Greensboro, N. C., and T. Lawson Hodges of Danville. He also leaves a brother, J. B. Hodges of Sutherlin and three sisters, Mrs Adrian L. Carson of Urbanna; Mrs. Minnie Williams of Sutherlin and Mrs. J. E. Simpson of this city.


Yanceyville, North Carolina Incorporation History

Yanceyville, North Carolina has been somewhat erratic in its approach to incorporation. The North Carolina Legislature authorized Yanceyville as an incorporated town in 1833. However, this seems to have been forgotten because authorization was obtained again in 1877. A similar act was passed in 1885, but why it was needed remains a mystery.

Thus, by 1885, the state legislature had three times authorized the incorporation of the municipality of Yanceyville. Accordingly, in 1885, the corporate existence of Yanceyville would seem certain. However, this was not the case. In 1899 the law authorizing incorporation of Yanceyville was repealed. But, in 1905, Yanceyville was again incorporated. But, hold on. In 1915, the charter again was repealed. 

Based upon the newspaper articles set forth below, it appears that another attempt at incorporation was launched in 1928/1929. Whether this was successful is not known. But, in any event the incorporation failed or was repealed -- thus requiring another incorporation in 1986. That attempt was successful and, possibly, this last reorganization will be more permanent.

Below is a newspaper article that describes even another attempt at incorporation in 1929:

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The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 5 April 1929 (Page 1)

The Bee (Danville, VA), 14 March 1928


North Carolina 1870-77—Private—Chapter 90—100

An Act to Incorporate the Town of Yanceyville

Section 1. The General Assembly of North Carolina do enact, That the town of Yanceyville, in the county of Caswell, be and the same is hereby incorporated by the name and style of "The Town of Yanceyville," and shall be subject to and governed by all the provisions contained in chapter one hundred and eleven of Battle's Revisal.

Sec. 2. That the corporate limits of said town shall extend one half mile in every direction from the court house.

Sec. 3. That the first election for municipal officers and constable shall be held within two months after the ratification of this act, and annually thereafter on the first Monday of May.

Sec. 4. That this act shall be in force from and after its ratification.

Ratified the 12th day of March, A. D. 1877.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Yanceyville Vacation Bible School Parade

Below are photographs of children (not very sharp) from an old 8mm movie film taken in the mid-1940s. The event was the annual Vacation Bible School Parade. The children would gather at the Caswell County Courthouse where they were given sticks with crepe paper streamers. The parade proceeded to the elementary school building where a combined Vacation Bible School session was held (Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians from Yanceyville). Click on the photographs for a larger image.

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Yanceyville Square Scene (c.1953)

In 1953, Erwin Duke Stephens (1904-1991), Editor of The Caswell Messenger, attempted to encourage the people of Yanceyville, North Carolina, to clean up the streets. To emphasize his point he ran a series of photographs showing the situation he thought needed attention. Below is one of those photographs.

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Nancy Belle Boswell (1875-1956) Obituary

The Daily Times News (Burlington, North Carolina) 16 June 1956

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Nancy Belle Boswell (1875-1956) was the daughter of John Anderson Boswell (born c.1845) and Elizabeth Virginia Miles Boswell (1850-1914), being one of ten children. On her mother's side she descended from Caswell County Revolutionary War soldier Starling Gunn.


The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 383-384 (Article #491 "The Abner Miles Family -- From 1821" by Allen Miles and Kathleen Miles Stevens)


Yanceyville News (12 June 1923)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 12 June 1923

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Algernon Sidney

Through the years a number of men born in and around Caswell County have been named Algernon Sidney when there appeared to be no family reason therefor. Here is a possible solution to the mystery:

Algernon Sidney was tried and executed in 1683 for plotting against the English monarchy, but exonerated in 1688 after the Glorious Revolution of that year. Before his arrest, he wrote these Discourses, in response to a book titled Patriarcha, by Sir Robert Filmer, which argued for the divine right of kings. Sidney was widely read in the English colonies of America, and Thomas Jefferson regarded his writings and those of John Locke as the leading sources for the philosophic foundations of liberty and human rights. However, while Locke's Second Treatise on Government is still widely republished and read today, Sidney's Discourses has become obscure. This is probably due in part to the fact that it was written in haste, and poorly organized, and that, having been written in response to another work, it is sometimes difficult to understand without having read that other work first, and Filmer's Patriarcha has also fallen into obscurity, perhaps because its thesis has been rejected by subsequent generations.

In a letter to Thomas Jefferson in 1823, John Adams wrote:

I have lately undertaken to read Algernon Sidney on government .... As often as I have read it, and fumbled it over, it now excites fresh admiration [i.e. wonder] that this work has excited so little interest in the literary world. As splendid an edition of it as the art of printing can produce — as well for the intrinsic merit of the work, as for the proof it brings of the bitter sufferings of the advocates of liberty from that time to this, and to show the slow progress of moral, philosophical, and political illumination in the world — ought to be now published in America.

During a visit to the University of Copenhagen, Sidney wrote in the visitor's book

Manus haec inimica tyrannis
Einse petit placidam cum liberate quietem.
(This hand, enemy to tyrants,
By the sword seeks calm peacefulness with liberty.)

This was printed beneath the frontispiece of early editions of the Discourses, and that tradition is continued here. To this day, it remains the official motto of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

In the Apology in the Day of His Death, Sidney wrote:

I had from my youth endeavored to uphold the common rights of mankind, the laws of this land, and the true Protestant religion, against corrupt principles, arbitrary power, and Popery, and I do now willingly lay down my life for the same.

The many illegalities in the trial of Sidney remind us today, in this time of similarly illegal trials, that the struggle for liberty continues. Sidney is one of the heroes in that struggle. In these his words he fights on.

Hampden-Sidney College

"When the founder of the college, Samuel Stanhope Smith, announced the opening of the institution in September 1775, in The Virginia Gazzette (Dixon and Hunter), he used the spelling "Sidney" for Algernon Sidney. When the trustees petitioned for a charter from the Virginia General Assembly they used the "Sydney" spelling which became the legal one. The "i" spelling is correct from 1775 to 1783, when the charter was approved."


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cobb Memorial Junior-Senior (1925)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 8 April 1925 (Page 2)
Junior-Senior Banquet

Saturday evening, April 4th, a banquet was given by the undergraduates of Cobb Memorial school to the members of the senior class. Many interesting papers were read and toasts were given during the progress of the banquet. John White read the class history, and the call will was read by Walter Williamson. Louise Daniel, as class prophet, and Mabel Yarbrough, as class poet, read delightfully, and the class wishes by Helen Gatewood were clever and entertaining. A roast to the teachers, by Glen Williamson, to the truck drivers by John R. Daniel and to the seniors by Tom Neal, Jr., preceded the presentation of gifts to the seniors by Mary Neighbors. "Cobb School In Future," was read by Elizabeth Gatewood. Miss Della Powell was toast mistress of the evening.

Names Mentioned:

John White
Walter Williamson
Louise Daniel
Mabel Yarbrough
Helen Gatewood
Glen Williamson
John R. Daniel
Tom Neal, Jr.
Mary Neighbors
Elizabeth Gatewood
Della Powell


TopoNC: Caswell County

Welcome to TopoNC, a database that allows keyword searching for places, features, and quadrangle names within 7.5 topo maps for the state of North Carolina.
To begin searching, click “Enter Database” on the left-side column. The default is to the Basic Search screen that allows you to type in a keyword.
On the right side of the screen, you may choose Advanced Search. This function allows you to type in a keyword for either a feature name or a quadrangle name. You may then limit to county or feature type.

John Blackwell Cobb (1857-1923)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 12 April 1923 (Page 6)
Originally published in The Danville Register

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The New York Times, 10 April 1923

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John Blackwell Cobb (1857-1923) was the son of Henry Wellington Cobb and Mary Howard Cobb. On 4 January 1881 he married Price Perkins Millner. The couple had two daughters. John Blackwell Cobb may be best remembered in Caswell County, North Carolina, as the namesake of Cobb Memorial School.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bartlett Yancey Girls' Basketball Game (1953/1954)

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This photograph, taken 1953/1954, is of a Bartlett Yancey High School girls' basketball game being played in the auditorium/gymnasium of the old Bartlett Yancey Elementary School in Yanceyville, North Carolina. The Bartlett Yancey team is on offense (one is shooting), and the uniforms appear shiny.

The only people identified is Norman Stroupe Upchurch (1904-1989), who is seen in the far corner (glasses reflecting and wearing a suit, sweater, and tie). He was a high school teacher at the time. One yearbook does identify player #4 as Jean Foster.

Here is another yearbook entry for this team:

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Note that the basketball court had a stage to the left, and classrooms on the sides and to the right (which was the main entrance).

Here is what the building looked like from the outside:

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ku Klux Klan Rally (1925)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 2 July 1925 (Page 3)

A number of Danville Klansmen in their robes were seen in Danville last night travelling in automobiles. The fact that nearly a hundred hooded men visited Yanceyville, N. C., last night and staged a ceremonial in the public square there leads to the belief that many members of the Danville organization attended the event. It is reported also that they visited other Caswell communities before returning to Danville.


Yanceyville Murder Case (1929)

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Yanceyville News (4 December 1922)

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The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 4 December 1922
Yanceyville News Notes

Yanceyville, N. C. Dec 2 – Caswell county Superior court will commence next Monday with Judge Henry P. Lane of Reidsville presiding and Solicitor S. P. Graves of Mt. Airy representing the state.

The newly elected county officers will be inducted into office Monday.

Sheriff J. H. Gunn, Register of Deeds H. S. Turner and the county commissioners succeed themselves. R. S. Graves succeeds R. L. Mitchell as clerk of the court. While the people are delighted to welcome B. S. Graves to the office of clerk of the court, there is genuine regret over Mr. Mitchell’s exit from the office which he has filled as faithfully and so well for twenty years. Mr. Mitchell was not a candidate for the nomination.

The work of installing the electric lights and water plant in the court house will be completed Saturday.

Miss Helen Florence [Florance] entertained at a beautiful bridge party Tuesday. The hospitable home with its beautiful old mahogany furnishings, cheerful fires, and lovely flowers was most inviting. The bridal veil was suggested in the very attractive hand-painted serving cards and the dainty white baskets with the wedding bells. At the conclusion of the game Miss Lunner who held the highest score was given an ermine box which she very graciously presented to Miss Graves.

The hostess presented two exquisitely hand made dollies to Miss Graves. Mrs. Florance assisted her daughter in serving a delicious salad course.

Those enjoying Miss Francie’s gracious hospitality were Misses Elizabeth Graves, Ruby Emma Mitchell, Tumage Ripley Compton, Bessie Turner, Willie Johnston and Mesdames Giles Harrelson and Mr. L. M. Carlton of Roxboro.

James T. Warrenton spent Thanksgiving with his grand-parents, Mr. and Mrs J. H. Kerr.

Robert Mitchell is home from Chapel Hill to spend Thanksgiving with his parents.

Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Graves and Mesdames T. L. Sellars and C. F. Holt of Burlington were here Saturday to attend the Burks-Graves wedding.

Mr. and Mrs. George Fountain of Tarboro came on Saturday to attend the wedding of Miss Graves and Mr. James P. Burke last Saturday. While here they were the guests of Miss Sallie Robertson.

Dr. and Mrs. E. G. Chick [Click] spent the week-end in Yanceyville and attended the Burke-Graves wedding.

Miss Emma Mitchell has returned home after a short visit to her friend Mrs. Marlon McChaney in Raleigh.

W. F. Henderson of Mebane attended the Burke-Graves wedding last Saturday.

Dr. and Mrs. Malloy are moving into their handsome new home on Main Street.

L. M. Carlton and daughters Margaret and Mary Sanford Carlton and son L. M. Carlton, Jr. of Roxboro came over Saturday and attended the Burke-Graves wedding. While here they were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Upchurch.

G. L. Williamson attended the wedding of his neice, Miss Unknown Noell in Danville last Thursday evening.

Mrs. R. L. Graham and daughters, Miss Marion Graham of Greenville, S. C. are visiting relatives here. Mrs. Graham attended the Burke-Graves wedding.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Burke of Salisbury and Miss Hamms of Charlotte came up Saturday to attend the Burke-Graves wedding.


Alligator in Caswell County (1929)

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The E. H. Satterfield mentioned in the above alligator article could be Edward Hines Satterfield (1859-1939).

Permelia Cobb Gwynn - Art Teacher

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The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 12 May 1930 (Page 2)
Art Exhibit By Pupils of City Schools

Miss Permelia Gwynn, art supervisor of the Danville public schools, will hold an exhibit of the work of the public school children at the Wednesday Club, Thursday, May 15 (1930), from 10:00 am until 6:30 pm. This exhibition is arranged in co-operation with the Fine Arts Department of the Virginia Federation of Women's Clubs and is in honor of delegates and visitors to the twenty-third annual convention. The public is cordially invited to view the work of the school children.

Permelia Cobb Gwynn (born 1893) was the daughter of Littleton Ayers Gwynn (c.1854-1936) and Martha Ann Cobb Blackwell (born c.1856). Thus, she was the sister of Dr. Houston Lafayette Gwynn (1896-1963) and Joseph Daniel Gwynn (1901-1985).


William Green Covington (1849-1924)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 5 February 1924 (Page 1)
W. G. Covington Will Probated in Court

The will of W. G. Covington, who died here recently, was proved in the corporation court this morning by B. S. Graves and E. F. Upchurch, of Caswell. Benton R. Covington, one of his sons, was appointed executor in accordance with the request made in the will. The bond set by the court as is usual in such circumstances was $10,000, this amount being given. Mr. Covington, who lived many years in Caswell county, where he was a successful farmer, bequeathed his estate in that county, consisting of 220 acres, to his wife, Mrs. Bettie T. Covington, also all of his personal effects and all other property. The will further provided for his property to be divided among his children at her death. One of the final requests in the will was that his burial be simple, but in accordance with the wishes of the family. The value of the estate was not given or intimated in the will.

William Green Covington (1849-1924) was a son of Edward Green Covington and Lurina Ann Roberts. On 7 December 1875 he married Bettie Taylor Montgomery (1853-1934). They had eleven children, including the Benton Rockwell (1884-1966) mentioned in the above article.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office


Updated 12/31/99


The Union Tavern (also known as the Yellow Tavern and the Thomas Day House) was the subject of an archaeological project in 1994 by the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office, the local Thomas Day House/Union Tavern Restoration Association, and Coastal Carolina Research. A federal grant was given for the study of archaeological resources associated with free black cabinetmaker Thomas Day's use of the house. Almost 300 prehistoric and historic archaeological sites have been identified across the county.

Replica Civil War Canon

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

National Register of Historic Places (Caswell County, North Carolina)

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation's historic places worthy of preservation. The first Caswell County property to be listed in the National Register was the Milton State Bank in April 1973. Since then two historic districts, Yanceyville and Milton, and nineteen individual properties have been entered for a total of twenty-one National Register listings in the county. The Union Tavern (Thomas Day workshop) in Milton has been recognized as a National Historic Landmark.

County: Caswell (North Carolina)

Brown-Graves House and Brown's Store
SW of Yanceyville on NC 150
Locust Hill

Robert Kimbrough Deed to Meshack Morton 1793

Robert Kimbrough Land Deed to Meshack Morton
November 20th, 1793 Deed Book H Page 268
Caswell County North Carolina

This Indenture made this twentyeth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety three Between Robert Kimbrough of the County of Caswell and the State of North Carolina of the one part and Meshack Morton of the Said County and State of the other part. Witnesseth that the Said Robert Kimbrough for and in consideration of sum of two hundred and twenty four pounds VC to him in hand paid and made sum the receipt whereof he doth confess and acknowledge himself therewith to be to be fully satisfied and paid of every part and parcel thereof and doth the Said Meshack Morton his heirs & fully Exonerate Aquit and discharge hath bargained and sold and doth by these presents Bargain sell Alienate make over and confirm to the said Meshack Morton a certain tract or parcel of land whereon the Said Morton now lives Situate lying and being in the County of Caswell on the waters of the south fork of Country Line Creek.

Beginning at an Ironwood by a branch a fork of Mitchel's Branch, thence then up said Branch as it meanders North Easterly 66 chains to a Birch in the old line, then East along said line 41ch & 50 links to a Stake and pointers, then South 41ch & 50 links to a Black Jack, then West with Said Line 22ch & 50 links to a Post Oak, then South with Said line 30 chains to a Pine, then West with Said line 60ch & 60 links to the head of a Branch, then down said Branch to the mouth thereof, then down the south fork of Mitchel's Branch to the mouth thereof and up the North Fork to the first Station. Containing by Estimation Four Hundred and Forty Eight Acres of Land.

To have and to hold to the Said Meshack Morton his Heirs & Executors Administrators, Meshack Morton his Heirs Executors & Assigns forever free from the Claim Right Title or Interest of him the Said Robert Kimbrough His Heirs Executors Administrators to the only proper use and behoof of him the said Meshack Morton his Heirs Executors and Assigns forever together with all and singular the Appurtenances Privileges and Endowments there unto belonging or in anywise Appurtaining to the Said tract or parcel of land and the Said Robert Kimbrough against himself his Heirs Executors Administrators, or any other person or persons whatsoever claiming from by or under him, the right of the aforesaid lands and premises will warrant and forever defend to the Said Meshack Morton his Heirs etc. In Witness whereof the Said Robert Kimbrough hath hereunto set his hand and affixed his Seal the day and year above written.

Robert Kimbrough


Signed Sealed & Delivered In the presence of:

Robt. Mitchell

His Mark X

John Kimbrough


Caswell County January Court 1794

The Execution of this deed was duly proved in Court by the Oath of John Kimbrough one of the subscribing witnesses & on Motion ordered to be registered.

Test----A. Murphey C.C.

Transcribed By Latham Mark Phelps -- November 16, 2003


Allison Family Reunion (1928)

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mary Elizabeth Graves Wedding (1922)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) December 1, 1922 reported the following in its Yanceyville New Notes section:

Yanceyville New Notes

Miss Helen Florence entertained at a beautiful bridge party Tuesday.

The hospitable home with its beautiful old mahogany furnishings cheerful fires and lovely flowers was most inviting. The bridal veil was suggested in the very attractive hand painted serving cards and the dainty white baskets with the wedding bells

At the conclusion of the game Miss Lunner who held the highest score was given an ermine box, which she very graciously presented to Miss [Mary Elizabeth] Graves.

The hostess presented two exquisitely hand made doilies to Miss Graves. Mrs. Florence assisted her daughter in serving a delicious salad course.

Those enjoying Miss Francie's gracious hospitality were Misses Elizabeth Graves, Ruby Emma Mitchell, Tumage Ripley Compton, Bessie Turner, Willie Johnston, and Mesdames Giles Harrelson, and Mr. L. M. Carlton of Roxboro.

Mr. and Mrs E. L. Graves and Mesdames T. L. Sellars and C. F. Holt of Burlington were here Saturday to attend the Burke-Graves wedding.

Mr. and Mrs. George Fountain of Tarboro came up Saturday to attend the wedding of Miss Graves and Mr. James P. Burke last Saturday. While they were here they were the guests of Miss Sallie Robertson.

Dr. and Mrs. E. G. Chick spent the week-end in Yanceyville and attended the Burke-Graves wedding.

W. F. Henderson of Mebane attended the Burke-Graves wedding last Saturday.

L. M. Carlton and daughters Margaret and Mary Sanford Carlton and son L. M. Carlton, Jr., of Roxboro, came over Saturday and attended the Burke-Graves weddding. While here they were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Upchurch.

Mrs. R. L. Graham and daughters, Miss Marion Graham of Greenville, S.C. are visiting relatives here. Mrs. Graham attended the Burke-Graves wedding.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Burke of Salisbury and Miss Ramsey of Charlotte, came up Saturday to attend the Burke-Graves wedding.

Rosa Marie Crumpton Gunn (1845-1924) Obituary

Rosa Marie Crumpton (1845-1924)

Some researchers show her name as Crompton, which apparently is incorrect. They also show her birth as June 1848, which is at odds with her gravestone at the Purley United Methodist Church (Purley, Caswell County, North Carolina), the inscription on which shows she was born 10 September 1845.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 26 March 1924 (Page 9)
Mrs. L. H. Gunn Dies From Heart Trouble

Mrs. Rosa Crumpton Gunn, wife of Ludolphus Henderson Gunn, died at five o'clock this morning in Edmunds' Hospital where she was admitted yesterday to take treatment for a recurrence of heart trouble from which she had suffered intermittently for the past two years. Mrs. Gunn had been at the hospital twice recently and had reacted favorably under treatment. Yesterday she was again removed to the institution but her affliction was too far advanced to yield to treatment.

Mrs. Gunn was 76 years of age and was a native of Lynchburg. She lived in the Hill City until her marriage to Mr. Gunn about 58 years ago, since which time she had lived in Caswell county, near Purley and more recently on North Main extension. Mrs. Gunn was a consecrated Christian woman and had been a member of the Cabell-Street Methodist church for the past ten years. She is survived by her husband and four sons, M. C. Gunn, W. A. Gunn, both of Danville; J. C. Gunn, of Purley; and J. L. Gunn, of Florence, S. C. The funeral arrangements had not been completed this morning and were awaiting the arrival of her son now living in South Carolina.

She is buried beside her husband at the Purley United Methodist Church.

Based upon the foregoing obituary, only four of her twelve children were alive at her death.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Caswell County Century Farms

In 1970, the North Carolina State Fair undertook the largest agricultural project in the fair’s history. To highlight the theme of its 1970 State Fair, "Salute to Agriculture," State Fair officials initiated a search for all families who have owned or operated a farm in North Carolina for 100 years or more. More than 800 farms qualified as a Century Farm.

Century Farm families were honored at a luncheon held in Dorton Arena at the 1970 N. C. State Fair. Agriculture Commissioner, Jim Graham, emceed the event and Lt. Governor Pat Taylor was the featured speaker. The Commissioner congratulated the families for their contributions to North Carolina. "The strength and depth of North Carolina lies with you people who have held the family farm together. You are the fountain head of our economy."

In 1975, Century Farm families were honored again at a luncheon held in the Kerr Scott building. The late comedian Jerry Clower provided entertainment. More than 750 Century Farm families attended the event. Thus began the tradition of honoring Century Farm Families every five years during the State Fair.

Century Farms continue to be recognized in North Carolina. In 1988, a commemorative book, North Carolina Century Farms: 100 Years of Continuous Agricultural Heritage, was published. This book provided a history of century farms in North Carolina. Every Century Farm family received a copy.

Today, there are about 56,000 farms in North Carolina, but only about 1,600 have the distinct honor of being a N.C. Century Farm. North Carolina has a rich agricultural heritage and the Century Farm family program celebrates the many contributions farming has made to the state.


  • Helen Aldridge

  • Jimmy Allred

  • Bessie M. Bradsher

  • Novella Earp

  • Spencer T. Richmond

  • Otis F. Saunders

  • Betty M. Smith

  • Charles Smith

  • W. Osmond Smith

  • William L Tompson

  • William McNeill Turner

  • David C. Vernon

  • Luna Pointer Hollett

For more see North Carolina Century Farms.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Powell-Mansfield Wedding (1923)

Powell - Mansfield Wedding

Charles J. Powell, of Milton, and Miss Ruth Mansfield, of Semora, accompanied by several of their friends, motored to this city yesterday afternoon, and at the residence of Rev. J. Clyde Holland, on North Main street, were quietly united in marriage. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Mansfield, and admired among her friends. The groom is a well-known and esteemed young farmer of his community. Those in attendance upon the ceremony were Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Phillips, William W. Howard and Miss Susie Oliver, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Mathews, W. J. Powell, W. T. Oliver and Gaynell Powell. Mr. and Mrs. Powell will make their home near Milton, N. C.

Source: The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 5 November 1923 (Page 4)


Mary Adeline Jones Gunn (1850-1925)

Mrs. Mary A Gunn Dies In Caswell

Mrs. Mary A. Gunn, for many years a respected resident of Gatewoods, died at four o'clock this morning at the home of her daughter, Mrs. N. C. Hodges where she had been in failing health for several years. She was 75 years of age and her condition recently had become worse with the growth of infirmities of old age. Mrs. Gunn, widow of Starling Gunn, was born near Yanceyville and was widely known in Caswell county. Her funeral will be held from the home of her daughter at two o'clock tomorrow afternoon, the remains to be then carried to Shady Grove church cemetery where the interment will be made. She is survived by the following children: Wilbur Gunn, of Los Angles, Cal.; Richard Gunn, of Duluth, Minn.; Mrs. N. C. Hodges and Mrs. W. J. Gatewood, of Gatewoods.

Source: The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 17 February 1925 (Page 1)

The parents of Mary Adeline Jones (1850-1925) have not been positively identified. However, they are thought to be Richard H. Jones (born c. 1824) and Martha A. Blackwell Jones (born c. 1830). On 14 January 1868, Mary Adeline Jones married Starling H. Gunn (1843-1886). The couple had seven children: Samuel Bracken Gunn; James W. Gunn; Wilbur Glassic Gunn; Roberta Virginia Gunn; Richard Marcellus Gunn; Martha Ada Gunn; and Mary Elizabeth Gunn.


Yanceyville Road Rally (1924)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 4 June 1924 (Page 1)

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Yanceyville News (24 March 1922)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 24 March 1922

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Yanceyville News (5 October 1922)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 5 October 1922 (Page 2)

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Mary John Graves Mebane (1849-1925)

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The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 14 September 1925 (Page 3)
Mrs D. Y. Mebane Buried In Caswell

The remains of Mrs. D. Y. Mebane, who died Sunday morning in Richmond, arrived here this morning and were conveyed to Yanceyville, N. C., where the funeral was held at three o'clock this afternoon. Mrs. Mebane who had been ill for some time was 76 years of age. She was a daughter of Captain John A. Graves and had spent most of her life at Blanche. Six years ago she removed to Richmond where she had been living with her children. She is survived by her husband and the following seven children: Mrs. J. L. Satterfield, Blanche; J. A. Mebane, Tate Mebane, P. G. Mebane of Richmond; Charles Mebane of Blanche; D. Y. Mebane, Jr. of Hylton Village, Va., and Mrs. J. L. McCrary of Blanche.


New Danville-Yanceyville Concrete Road (1926)

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The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 18 October 1926 (Page 1)

Hundreds of Danville motorists tried out the new concrete road linking the Virginia line with Caswell county courthouse. This highway known as Route No. 14 is now a 16-foot causeway well finished with the "herring bone" design and well pitched, especially at the numerous curves in the road. Motorists yesterday had to make the 200 yard detour paralleling the unopened stretch from Gatewood to the state line but the entire stretch is due to be opened today.

The road does not appear to be as wide as the Reidsville road, but it is a great improvement over the old dirt road, which at places developed the "corduroy" finish. Workmen will not finish building up the dirt shoulders to this road making it wider than is now the case. The stretch is 15 miles in length and will be a great benefit to the farmers coming to Danville from the fertile tobacco counties lying beyond Yanceyville.

The road from Yanceyville to Hillsboro has been given oil treatment as an experiment. The gravel has packed down well and the road has the appearance of being asphalt and rides as smoothly as a hard surfaced road.


Moore-Gwynn House (c. 1790)

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Photo 85. Moore-Gwyn House. ca. 1790. Large 2-story brick house on a raised basement with restrained exterior treatment and full-blown Federal trim which may have been a later addition. One of the most handsome Federal style houses in the northern Piedmont of North Carolina. Probably built for Samuel Moore, a tobacco planter. The treatment of the raised basement as an element of the facade by means of matching architectural detail is atypical of Caswell County and creates a particularly imposing appearance. On the National Register of Historic Places.


Wildwood Fishing Club (1928)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 9 March 1928

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bartlett Yancey Fretwell (1843-1928) Obituary

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 9 July 1928 (Pages 1 and 5)

B. Y. Fretwell Passes Away; 85 Years Old
Well-Known Danville Veteran Succumbs to Heart Attack

Captain Bart Y. Fretwell, one of the best known Confederate War survivors in Danville, passed to his reward on Sunday afternoon at half past two o'clock after an illness of four months, since which time he had been an invalid steadily falling and suffering recurring heart attacks. The excessive heat was perhaps a factor in his demise. He sank throughout Sunday and was claimed with members of his family at his bedside at the Fretwell home in the Crestland Apartment 115, Chestnut Street.

Little hope had been extended for his recovery because Mr. Fretwell was well advanced in years and his heart weakness after years of sturdy health could not be overcome at his age.

The funeral will be held from his late home on Tuesday afternoon at 4 o'clock and burial will take place in the family square in Green Hill Cemetery. Services will be conducted by Dr. Smoot and Dr. Shelburne.

Captain Harry Wooding commander of Cabell Graves Camp U. C. V. today issued a call to all members of the camp to attend the rites of a comrade who had shown unfailing service and devotion to the cause of the Confederacy. Captain Fretwell's death reduced the number of Civil War veterans living in Danville to 19.

Bartlett Yancey Fretwell, named for a distinguished Carolinian, was born at Yanceyville, N.C., in 1843, thus being 85 years of age at the time of his death. He was a son of William A. Fretwell and Mrs. Caroline Lockett Fretwell of Caswell.

He came to Danville as a young man or in 1876 and established a wholesale grocery business and brokerage concern. He was active in community affairs until comparatively recently. He served one term in the city council in the bi-cameral days and he was widely known for his interest in Confederate enterprises and in keeping alive that spirit of devotion shown by Southern men in the cause.

When the war began Mr. Fretwell joined Company "C" Third North Carolina Cavalry and he served throughout the war taking part in nearly all of the engagements in which the cavalry played a part. He was not wounded. One of the stories associated with his war service was his wild ride at Petersburg. His horse became panic stricken and carried him behind the [Union] lines. A large detachment of Northern troops laid down their arms thinking that the enemy horsemen had cut them off. Mr. Fretwell sought to carry the ruse to its completion but was detected, was himself cut off from making his way back to his lines and was captured after a struggle and held as a prisoner of war for some time.

After the war Mr. Fretwell was a factor in organizing the old soldiers. For twenty years he was lieutenant commander of Cabell Graves Camp and was also adjutant for that period. He never failed to attend a state or national reunion and on occasions when Danville honors the memory of the men who fought, Captain Fretwell in his well cut grey tunic and his well moulded features was always a conspicuous figure. He had a retentive mind and many of his earlier experiences were engraved on his memory and related on Memorial days.

He was married to Miss Alice Harnsberger a daughter of Rev. Layton J. Harnsberger of Virginia. She passed away on July 10, 1918.

The following children survive: Julian W. Fretwell, Danville; W. C. Fretwell, Danville; B. Y. Fretwell, Jr., Staunton; Mrs. C. O. Butler, Jacksonville, Fla; Miss Grace H. Fretwell, Danville; Miss Alice F. Fretwell, of Danville; and Miss Peggy Fretwell, Danville.

He also leaves a sister, Mrs. G. A. Reynolds of Winston-Salem, N. C. and a brother, William A. Fretwell of Atlanta, Ga.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 11 July 1928 (Page 3)

Bart. Y Fretwell Is Laid To Rest In Green Hill

The funeral of Bart. Y Fretwell who died last Sunday afternoon from a heart attack was conducted yesterday afternoon at four o'clock from his late home on Chestnut Street by Dr. T. A. Smoot and Dr. James M. Shelburne. Interment was made in Green Hill Cemetery. There was an unusually large attendance and floral emblems when placed covered the square.

The pall bearers were: B. V. Booth, John Swanson, R. W. Jones, Grenhow Maury, Raymond Hall, John Lee, Dr. S. A. Shadrach, and W. R. Fitzgerald. The floral designs which were many and beautiful were borne by Jas. L. Pritchett, Capt. Harry Wooding, F. M. Hamlin, L. C. Robertson, W. H. Fuller, T. S. Price, P. A. Cummings, C. C. Dubose, W. B. Pinnix, R. E. Tobin, Newman Turner, W. F. Hughes, J. H. Tate, J. B. Guerrant, W. H. Cobb, H. McKee, Meade Flynn, J. C. B. Smith, S. J. Slaughter, George Price, W. E. Jefferson, Jake Tate, C. S. Wheatley, J. N. Wylie, Kenneth Puryear, Harry Graves, Harry Smith, A. A. Giles, Raymond Mitchell, E. B. Meade, H. B. Trundle, Townes Wimbish, and C. M. Flinn.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 12 July 1928 (Page 5)

Mrs. Maude F. Butler and B. Y. Fretwell, Jr., qualified yesterday as administratrix and administrator respectively of the estate of the late B. Y. Fretwell given an estimated value of $1000. The estate was composed of personalty.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Starling Gunn Grave Soil at Mount Vernon

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 29 March 1928 (Page 1)

Soil From Grave of Starling Gunn at Mt. Vernon

The tree from Yorktown which was recently planted near the tomb of George Washington at Mount Vernon by the Daughters of the American Revolution is taking root in soil, part of which was removed from the grave of Starling Gunn in Caswell county, it was learned today. A box
full of earth taken from the grave of the old patriot was North Carolina's contribution to the tree-planting ceremony but this apparently is not generally known.

The grave of Starling Gunn was brought into public view a few years ago. It is near Yanceyville and for years it had been neglected. Then the significance of the words on the time-worn slab was realized. This gives the name of the old soldier, recites the fact that he was a member of the Methodist church for 40 years, that he fired the first gun at the Battle of Yorktown, and that he personally witnessed the surrender of Lord Cornwallis. Gunn was a Caswell county pioneer and is the forbear of many Gunns now to be found in these parts.

Starling Gunn (1764-1852) is buried in the Yanceyville United Methodist Church cemetery (Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina), with the following inscription on his gravestone:

Sacred to the memory of Starling Gunn a soldier in the war of Independence who fired the first cannon at York and was an eye witness to the surrender of Cornwallis. He was for more than 40 yrs a prominent member of the M. E. Church. Who Died Aug. 13, 1852. AE. 88
y's 3 m's 4d's.

To see a photograph of Starling Gunn's gravestone go to the Caswell County Cemetery Census at:

The image also can be found at the Caswell County Photograph Collection:

For a biographical sketch go to:

For detailed Gunn family information see the Gunn and Burruss Family Tree:

Gunn family information can, of course, be found at the Caswell County
Family Tree website:

When this article was published Starling Gunn's grave was in the Gunn family cemetey north of Yanceyville. Later, his great great grandson, Johnnie Oliver Gunn, had the remains and gravestone moved to the Yanceyville United Methodist Church cemetery in Yanceyville.


Rat Hitches Ride With William Henry Gatewood, Jr.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 27 September 1922 (Page 1)

Rat Steals Ride On Top Of Auto

W. H. Gatewood of near Yanceyville, N. C., was coming to Danville yesterday evening when, arriving at Pumpkin Creek bridge he meet a man who stopped him and asked him what he intended doing with the big rat which was perched on the top of his automobile. Mr. Gatewood paid scant attention to the remark and drove on to Danville. Arriving at the Piedmont warehouse he looked and found that the rat was hoboing its way. Unable to escape from its lofty position the rat was dispatched on top of the car.

Mrs. C. M. McLaughlin, Grove street found a nest of rats in the garage in the rear of her home yesterday. Sixteen of the youngsters were killed the remaining two escaped.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Yanceyville News 11 April 1922

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Tucker-Donoho Marriage (1923)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 5 November 1923 (Page 4)
Tucker - Donoho

Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Garland Donoho announce the marriage of their sister Grace Donoho to Mr. John Edward Tucker on Wednesday, the thirty-first of October nineteen hundred and twenty-three "Longwood" Milton, North Carolina at home after November fifteenth Hotel Caswell Milton, N. C.

Grace Donoho (1871-1954) was the daughter of Thomas A. Donoho (1827-1887) and Isabella Glenn Garland (1832-1886). On 31 October 1923 she married John Edward Tucker (1862-1944). He was the son of John A. Tucker and Martha Tatum. Grace Donoho was the second wife of John Edward Tucker. His first wife was Dora Belle Graves, whom he married 27 December 1909. The daughter of George A. Graves and Mary Isabella Williamson, she died in 1918. Her name probably was Dora Isabella Graves, with Belle being a nickname.


Cora Ann Harrison Slade (1846-1933) Funeral

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 18 February 1933 (Page 5)

Mrs. Cora Slade Laid to Rest At Purley N. C.

Funeral services for Mrs. Cora Ann Slade were conducted yesterday afternoon at 3:30 o'clock at the residence at Yanceyville, by Rev. I. T. Poole, Rev. Whitley, Rev. Mr. Worrell and Cecil Jones. Interment was in the family burial grounds at Purley, N. C.

The pall bearers were Dr. S. A. Malloy, Dr. H. L. Gwynn, Marian McCrary, W. B. Horton, Harry Graves, J. Y. Gatewood.

Flower bearers were Sterling Graves, John Johnson, L. F. Hodges, W. F. Henderson, W. E. Reggan, Charlie Giles, L. B. Page, J.W. Latta, H. T. Watkins, H. L. Seagrove, Lewis Hodges,
E. F. Upchurch, Jr., H. H. Page, Henry Hooper, Jeff Enock, T. J. Ham, and Hubert Page.

Cora Ann Harrison was the daughter of Samuel Satterwhite Harrison (1818-1885) and Louisa Matilda McDaniel (1820-1889). on 24 May 1870 she married Ezekiel B. Slade (1838-1914). The couple had ten children. For more information on this family visit the Caswell County Family Tree.


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Milton Gazette Newspaper Articles

The following images kindly were provided by Slade Anderson who provided the following description of their origin:
I have an old arithmetic book, my ancestor Thomas Slade either wrote or had written for him in the early 1800's. On the inside front and back covers of this handwritten book are newspaper pages apparently from The Milton Gazette. They are attached to the cloth cover of the book.
Click on the articles for a larger image. You also may save the file to your own computer by using the right click button of your mouse ("save image as"). Then use a program such as Microsoft Photo Editor to enlarge the text.


Richard Malloy Foster (1922-2008) Obituary

LYNCHBURG, VA — Richard Malloy Foster, Sr., 85, of Lynchburg, died Thursday, January 10, 2008.

A funeral service will be conducted 2 p.m. on Sunday, January 13, at Calvary Baptist Church, Lynchburg, with the Rev. Mark W. Beck and the Rev. Dr. Don Williams officiating. Interment will be 11 a.m. on Monday, January 14, in First Baptist Church Cemetery, Yanceyville, N.C., with Pastor Phillip T. Kelley officiating.

He was the husband of Mabel Guthrie Foster.

Mr. Foster was born September 25, 1922, in Caswell County, N.C., a son of the late Ernest Osber Foster and Isabella Poteat Foster. He was a retired manager of Big Star Food Stores. He was a very active member of Calvary Baptist Church in Lynchburg.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Foster is survived by his sons, Richard (Rick) Malloy Foster, Jr., of Lynchburg, Randy Thomas Foster and wife, Brenda of Gretna, and Timothy Guthrie Foster and wife, Cathy of Ashby, Mass.; his brothers, James Ernest Foster of Yanceyville, N.C., Lindsay Tilden Foster of Sutherlin, Va., and Marion (Duke) Foster of Yanceyville, N.C.; his sisters, Doris Norwood of Burlington, N.C., Anne Vernon of Greensboro, N.C., and Betsy Webster of Orlando, Fla.; and his four cherished grandchildren, Lauren and Jordan Foster of Evington, Va., and Hannah and Nathan Foster of Ashby, Mass.

The family will receive friends following the service.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Calvary Baptist Church Retirement Fund, 20597 Timberlake Road, Lynchburg, VA 24502; or Interfaith Outreach, 701 Clay Street, Lynchburg, VA 24504.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family, 434-237-9424.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

Published in the News Record (Greensboro, North Carolina) 12 January 2008.


Friday, January 11, 2008

Annie Warner Newman Students (Bartlett Yancey 1929)


Yanceyville News (June 1922)

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John Murray Yates III (1847-1928) Obituary

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 21 March 1928 (Page 2)

J. M. Yates Dies At Shady Grove

J. M. Yates, a widely-known resident of Caswell county, died at one o'clock this morning at his old home, Shady Grove, where he had been ill for some time. He was 81 years of age and one of the oldest people in that section where he had spent most of his life. He was known to many Danville people by reason of many visits. He was a Confederate veteran and a native of the county of which he died. His wife died many
years ago but he is survived by five children.

The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at three o'clock at Shady Grove church by Rev. Mr. Storm, interment to be in the church burial ground.

The J. M. Yates of the above obituary is John Murray Yates III (1847-1928), a son of John Murray Yates, Jr. and Ann Eliza Taylor Yates. In 1866, John Murray Yates III married Louisa F. Gatewood (1845-1902) and they had at least six children.


Caswell Elderly Men Die (1928)

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 26 April 1928 (Page 3)

Town Topics

George A. Anderson of Yanceyville, N .C., now clerk of the Caswell Superior court was in Danville today as a visitor. He reported the death within a week of three of Caswell county's oldest men and made the significant statement that not more than five Confederate veterans are now surviving in his county. Those who died recently were James Tate, 84 of Anderson township, J. L. Roberts, 96 of Milton and J. M. Yates, 83 of Pelham, N. C.

The Bee (Danville, Virginia) 21 March 1928 (Page 2)

J. M. Yates Dies At Shady Grove

J. M. Yates, a widely-known resident of Caswell county, died at one o'clock this morning at his old home, Shady Grove, where he had been ill for some time. He was 81 years of age and one of the oldest people in that section where he had spent most of his life. He was known to many Danville people by reason of many visits. He was a Confederate veteran and a native of the county of which he died. His wife died many
years ago but he is survived by five children.

The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at three o'clock at Shady Grove church by Rev. Mr. Storm, interment to be in the church burial ground.

The J. M. Yates of the above obituary is John Murray Yates III (1847-1928), a son of John Murray Yates, Jr. and Ann Eliza Taylor Yates. In 1866, John Murray Yates III married Louisa F. Gatewood (1845-1902) and they had at least six children.


Benjamin Franklin Mebane, Jr. Death (1926)

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Benjamin Franklin Mebane, Jr., was the son of Dr. Benjamin Franklin Mebane, M.D., and Frances Letitia Kerr Mebane. That is the Caswell County connection as Frances Letitia Kerr (born 1840) was the daughter of James Kerr and Frances Ann McNeill Kerr, both from Caswell County families.

Note the mention in the article of Mrs. Motley Morehead. She was described as a sister of the wife of Benjamin Franklin Mebane, Jr. That is incorrect. The person described was Mrs. John Motley Morehead III, she was the sister-in-law of Lilly Connally Morehead, the wife of Benjamin Franklin Mebane, Jr.

Thus, siblings Lilly Connally Morehead and John Motley Morehead III were grandchildren of North Carolina Governor John Motley Moorehead.

Also of interest that Lilly Connally Morehead Mebane can trace her ancestry back to Captain Thomas Graves of Jamestown, Virgina, fame through her mother, Mary Elizabeth Connally. This, of course, means that her brother John Motley Morehead III can do the same, which makes him related to the Graves family that helped settle Caswell County in the 1750s.