Friday, April 30, 2010

Chandler Family Association Newsletter

Chandler Family Association Newsletter Wins First Place

First ever entry in prestigious National Genealogical Society competition

Hixson, TN, April 30, 2010 - The Chandler Family Association Newsletter received the First Place, Family Newsletter award at the recent National Genealogical Society meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah. The coveted award was presented April 28 in front of a large crowd of enthusiastic genealogists. Accepting the award on behalf of the Association was Charles Chandler, a resident of West Jordan, Utah, and CFA member. Editor of the award-winning newsletter is Claudia Chandler Brocato of Brandon, Mississippi, who was appointed editor of the publication in 2006. Brocato also serves as webmaster for the CFA website, which scored 84% in a recent marketing effectiveness evaluation of 2.3 million websites.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sonny Lipscomb (c.1936-2006)

Milton — The funeral for Sonny Lipscomb, 70, of 10423 N. C. 62 North, Milton, who died Monday, April 3, 2006, will be conducted at 2 p.m. today, April 8, in the High Street Baptist Church in Milton by the Rev. Angel Lea. Burial will be in Floral Hill Memorial Gardens in Danville, Va. A native of Halifax County, where he attended public schools, Mr. Lipscomb was the son of the late Algie and Mary Ruth Brandon Lipscomb.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lt. Colonel John Pelham (1838-1863)

Caswell County, North Carolina, is divided into nine townships. Pelham Township, in Caswell's northwest corner, was named in honor of Confederate Lt. Colonel John Pelham (1838-1863). He was Major Pelham when killed at the Battle of Kelly's Ford, being promoted posthumously to the rank of Lt. Colonel.

The following is from The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 51 ("Naming of Pelham" by Mrs. Louise Fitzgerald):

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Caswell County Description: 1896

North Carolina and Its Resources: Illustrated, North Carolina State Board of Agriculture, Raleigh (1896):

Caswell county has a somewhat thin gravelly soil, though with rich bottoms along Dan river, which flows along and through its northern border and along Country Line and Hyco creeks. The larger part of its territory is devoted to the production of bright yellow tobacco, while grain crops occupy a comparatively subordinate position, and are produced principally along the river and creek bottoms which abound in the northern and eastern sections of this county. The northeastern section consists largely of red clay lands, with oak and hickory forests, while the lighter tobacco soils occupy most of the southern and western portions. Caswell ranks third among the tobacco counties in aggregate product. The crop averages annually 2,500,000 pounds, and more occasionally.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jessie Ethel Thompson (1910-1943)

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First two photographs: Jessie Ethel Thompson early 1940s.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wallace Henderson Alexander (1824-1872) House

“For and in consideration of the sum of one hundred dollars and for love and affection” are the words that James T. Alexander used when he conveyed ten acres of land and “a new house lately erected” to his elder son Wallace Henderson Alexander. The 1852 deed described the property as adjoining the Town of Lincolnton “on the south side of said town” and bounded on the northwest by the York Road. Built on a center hall, double-pile plan, the one story house with fine Greek Revival details became the home of Wallace H. Alexander and his family.

Kirby Family

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Photograph Courtesy The Caswell Messenger


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

William M. Crumpton (1811-1884)

(Spring Hill Cemetery, Lynchburg, Virginia)

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Note that the foregoing obituary incorrectly identifies the deceased as William C. Crumpton. In 1833 he married Mary E. Green. Their son, Robert Thomas Crumpton (1838-1913) was the head of a large family, many members of which lived in Caswell County, North Carolina.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Washington L. Coleman (1827-1903) Deed (1986)

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Bartlett Yancey High School Drama Club 1951

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Left-to-Right: Lindsay Tilden Foster; David Sartin; Tony Pentecost Wrenn; and William Lee Gunn. The play was titled "Mama's Getting Married."


Monday, April 12, 2010

Bartlett Yancey High School Teachers

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Bartlett Yancey High School Teachers (Yanceyville, North Carolina) 1940s


Front row: Unknown Lady, Beulah Cassie Sutton Thompson, Myrtle Lea, Dorothy Dean Yarbrough Zimmerman, Margaret Arnold Yarbrough Upchurch, Elizabeth Thompson.

Second row: Unknown Lady, Maude Faucette, Unknown Lady, Mary Jane Jones, Velma Ruth Humphries Witty, Gladys Marion Osborne Lansdell (apparently between front row and second row, dark dress).

Third row: Sheffield Horace Abell, Unknown Man, Unknown Man, Unknown Man, Julia Mitchell (light dress, dark scarf or blouse), Unknown Lady (light dress, glasses).

While the caption accompanying this great image states that it includes Louise Moore and Norman Upchurch, we are informed by family members that these people are not in the photograph.


Friday, April 09, 2010

At the Tobacco Market: 1957

Clifton Robert Pressley (left) and Matthew Booze (on truck) taking to the tobacco market auction product from the Caswell County Smith Hycotee Farm in 1957.


Matlock/Gunn Family Reunion 1938

James Matlock (1781-1868) married Martha Hooper Gunn (1791-1873) 16 January 1810. Marriage bond record:

Groom: James Matlock
Bride: Patsey H. Gunn
Bond Date: 13 January 1810
Bondsman/Witness: Benjamin Matlock
Location: Caswell County, North Carolina
Source: Caswell County, North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1778-1868, Katharine Kerr Kendall (1981) at 68.


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Rufus Eddie Foster (1897-1969)

World War I veteran whose biographical sketch was published in Caswell County in the World War, 1917-1918: Service Records of Caswell County Men, George A. Anderson, Compiler (1921) at 73-74:

Rufus Eddie Foster, whose Army Serial Number was 3349397, was born in Caswell County, May 1, 1897. His father, John Foster married Miss Lula Poteat. His parental grandfather was Allen Poteat, and we should record in passing, that no braver soldier ever followed Lee and Jackson. The educational qualifications of this young soldier were limited to the Public Schools of Caswell. At the time of his call for service, he was engaged in farm work near Yanceyville, N.C., and in August, 1818, he was sent by his Local Board to Camp Wadsworth S.C. Here he was placed in the Pioneer Infantry of Company 76, and as such, he was trained as a replacement man. He sailed from Newport News on the U.S.S. "Aeolus," on September 15, 1918, and landed at Brest on Sept. 28. Here he was placed in a rifle range for three weeks, and with this preliminary training he was assigned to the 107th Infantry of the 27th Division. We need not record the activities of this young soldier further than to say that he took part in all of the splendid activities which are associated with this historic Division.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Irma Allen Watson (c.1924 - 2010)

Irma Allen Watson

Apr 06, 2010 - 03:17:06 pm CDT Irma Allen Watson, age 86, of 2188 Ridgeville Rd., died Sunday, April 4, 2010 at the Caswell House. She was born in Person County and was the daughter of the late David Allen and Bessie Stephens Allen. She was widow of the late Floyd Watson. She was also preceded in death by a son, Dwight Watson, Sr., two brothers, Robert Allen, Hugh Allen, and one sister Wilma Hartmangruger. Prior to retirement she was employed by UNC and Duke University as a secretary and she was a member of Lea Bethel Baptist Church. Surviving are her one son Mike Watson and wife Lynn C. Watson of Oak Island; daughter- in- law, Dianne Watson, of Prospect Hill; one brother, Claude Allen of Newport News, VA; three sisters, Nancy Allen White of Newport News, VA; Kati Allen Weiss, of Newport News, VA; Shirley House of Lake Gaston; four grandchildren, Michael Watson, David Allen Watson, Dwight C. Watson, Jr., Derek W. Watson, and two great-grandchildren, Zachary Watson and Olivia Watson.

Funeral Services will be held 3PM Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at the Lea Bethel Baptist Church by the Rev. Donald Harris and Rev. Patricia Watson. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Pallbearers will be Keith Blalock, Barry Barnwell, Tim Solomon, Ronnie Lunsford, Mark Carver, and Jimmy Wilkerson. The family received friends 6-8PM Tuesday evening at the Brooks and White Funeral Home and at other times will be at the home. Memorials may be made to the Hospice and Palliative Care Center of Alamance/Caswell, 918 Chapel Hill Rd., Burlington, NC, 27215. Condolences may be sent online to


Dianne Brosseau Raymond (c.1962-2010)

Dianne 'Dinky' Brosseau Raymond

Apr 06, 2010 - 03:17:06 pm CDT Mrs. Dianne "Dinky" Brosseau Raymond, 48, died Sunday, April 4, 2010. A memorial service will be held Friday at 5 p.m. in the Wilkerson Funeral Chapel. Burial will be Saturday at 2 p.m. in the New Hope Methodist Church Cemetery, Yanceyville, NC. Mrs. Raymond, a native of Caswell County, NC, was better known to her loved ones as "Dinky." She was a graduate of Bartlett Yancey High School and two years of college at Lajes AFB in Azores, Portugal. Her favorite pastimes included watching cooking shows, trying new recipes, and writing poetry. Accomplishments include being a published poet laureate, and published musical interest with three copyrighted songs.

A loving wife, daughter, sister, and aunt, she will be greatly missed by all whose lives she touched. She is preceded in death by her birth parents, William and Martha Willis, and mother-in-law, Shirley H. Raymond. She is survived by her husband of 24 years, Richard Raymond; her mother, Nettie Willis Brosseau; her father, Wayne Douglas Brosseau, retired Air Force, all from Greenville; sisters, April Lamont, of Greenville; Heidi Jewett, of Hickory; Joy Tracy; and Rachel Ribelin, both of Yanceyville; and brothers, Buck Willis and Bobby Willis, both of Reidsville.

The family will receive friends from 7 - 9 pm on Thursday at Wilkerson Funeral Home. Online condolences available at


Monday, April 05, 2010

Dr. John D. Pierce

First Baptist In The Golden Gateway Calls Dr. John Pierce As Interim Pastor
by Ruth Robinson
posted April 4, 2010

Click to Enlarge
Dr. John D. Pierce
Dr. John D. Pierce, executive editor of Baptists Today, an autonomous national news journal, has been called as interim pastor of First Baptist Church in the Golden Gateway. A gifted writer and speaker, he has experience as pulpit supply, interim pastor and communications consultant to local churches, in addition to his work as a writer and editor,

A native of Fort Oglethorpe and ordained to ministry by Boynton Baptist Church in Ringgold, he and his wife, Teresa, and their two daughters live in Macon, Ga., where they are members of Highland Hills Baptist Church. He is a graduate of Berry College, Rome, Ga., with a master of divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C., and a doctor of ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Ga.

Mary Anne Eiler (1953-2010)

Mary Anne Eiler, 56, of 1802 Hatchett Road died Wednesday January 20, 2010 at her residence following a period of declining health. She was born in Frankfurt, Germany September 16, 1953 to James A. and Elisabeth Kuhn Davis, both deceased. She worked as an instructor in parenting and with the Teen Court for the county. She was a shop-a-holic and collected all types of baskets. She was of the Baptist faith. A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Harrelson Funeral Service Chapel, conducted by Chaplain Susan R. Kane. The family will receive friends Friday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the funeral home and at other times at the residence. Survivors are husband Walter Roland Eiler of the home, one daughter Bobby Jo Sandlin Rizzuti of Zebulon, N.C.; one son James Angris Sandlin II of Burlington; sisters Brigette Vann of Burlington, Christine Christenson of Conquille, Ore. and Cornelia Ward of Cofield, N.C.; brothers James A. Davis of Washington State, Thomas Davis of Gibsonville, Roy Michael Davis of Emporia Va.; two grandchildren; stepdaughters Wendy McClane of York, Pa., Kristy Decourley, Misty Warwick and Kacey Eiler all of Dothan, Ala. and Brandy Eiler of Longmont, Colo.; 26 step grandchildren and two great-step grandchildren. In addition to her parents she was predeceased by a brother Philip Freddie Davis and sister June Griffith. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Animal Protection Society, P.O. Box 193, Yanceyville, N.C. 27379.


Saturday, April 03, 2010

Jasper Brown Family

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Jasper Brown (1918-1997)

See: Dead-End Road, Deborah F. Brown (2004).

Three children of Jasper Brown, Nathan, Lunsford and Sheliah, sought transfers from the Caswell County Training School to Bartlett Yancey. Buses going to the Training School picked up the Brown children four-tenths of a mile from their home. The nearest route of a bus going to Bartlett Yancey was two and a half miles from the Brown home, and it was thought unsafe to operate two buses over the narrow road near the end of which the Browns lived. These are appropriate considerations, but the two schools were within two blocks of each other. It was admitted that there was no reason the Brown children could not ride the Training School bus and walk from that school to Bartlett Yancey.

Source: Jeffers v. Whitley, 309 F.2d 621 (1962).


Jasper Brown and His Children: The Supreme Court Said He Could

Jasper Brown took his four children to school in Yanceyville on January 22, 1963. He is black, but he took Nathan, Jocylin, Sheila and Lunsford to the white elementary and secondary school. The Supreme Court had said he could, and the U.S. Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy, had said he should. It was 8:30 a.m. A crowd had gathered. An out-of-town newspaper photographer snapped the picture: Mr. Brown, wearing a topcoat and broad-brimmed hat, hurrying his children into the school.

At 9:30 a.m., a flustered Mr. Brown found the town sheriff and asked for protection from a group of white youths he said was trailing him. The sheriff refused -- said he could not act until something happened. Mr. Brown burst into Thomas Little's dry-cleaning store. "He said, 'Thomas, I'm not going to let them kill me,'" Mr. Little recalls. The businessman called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for advice and finally sent Mr. Brown home with an escort. It did not help.

At 1:30 p.m. two white youths in a 1956 Mercury forced the car carrying Mr. Brown and his escorts to a halt on a dirt road near his home. According to the accounts at the time, Mr. Brown "came out shooting." A bullet grazed the skull of young N. L. Oliver, Jr. His companion, James Nixon, was shot in the shoulder. Jasper Brown was charged, tried and found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon. He served 90 days in jail, then returned to his farm. But according to Mr. Little, "they froze him out. Whites wouldn't sell him anything -- fuel oil, supplies for his farm, anything." Mr. Brown finally gave up and moved out of town.

Source: Struck, Doug. "Southern Change: It Sometimes Gallops, Often Crawls: Racial Views Have Evolved in N.C. Town," The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), 22 November 1984.

Marian Katherine Brown Bryant (1930-2010)

Mrs. Marian Katherine Brown Bryant, age 80, of Yanceyville died Monday, March 22, 2010 at Wilkes Regional Medical Center. Mrs. Bryant was born in Locust Grove, Georgia, on February 4, 1930, to Robert H. and Marian Donovan Brown. She was a member of Locust Hill United Methodist Church. Mrs. Bryant was retired from the Caswell County Board of Education. She was the House Manager and secretary for the Caswell County Civic Center. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Bryant was preceded in death by two brothers, Robert Brown and Wiley Brown. Mrs. Bryant is survived by one daughter, Katherine B. Stahle of Rutland, VT; one son, Billy Mac Bryant, Jr. and wife, Patricia of North Wilkesboro; four grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Park's Spring

There are countless springs around Caswell County and many of them are well known locally for their association with certain families or events. Two, however, were of enough significance that their waters were analyzed early in the twentieth century and described in a publication of the Geological and Economic Survey of the state. Strader's Spring, located about two and a half miles northwest of Pelham was one. The second spring described in the report was Park's Spring, six miles east of Pelham where the water comes up beside a small creek into a section of terra-cotta pipe. In this case the spring was clean and well maintained, the water being so popular among those in the surrounding country and as far away as Danville, Virginia. The analysis of Park's Spring water was similar to that of Strader's Spring; in this case there were 33.7 parts lime per million and 14.1 of soda.

Source: When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County North Carolina 1777-1977, William S. Powell (1977) at 15.

Photograph: "Part of the Beach at Park Springs, North Carolina. Justly Famous for Good Bathing." Click on it to see a larger image.

Park's Mineral Spring: 1877

"There is a mineral spring six miles northwest of Yanceyville, belonging to Mr. Jno. S. Park, brother of B. F. Park of Raleigh, which for its tonic, alterative and diuretic properties is attracting considerable attention. It is used with marked success in dyspepsis, indigestion, diseases of the urinary organs, and nervous prostration. It is carried from the spring by persons at a distance. It does not deteriorate or become impure when kept in glass vessels closely corked."

"Caswell County Letter", R. A. Leigh (Correspondence of The Observer, Yanceyville, October 8, 1877). The Weekly Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), 16 October 1877, Tuesday, Page 1.

In 1881, Park's Spring was managed by T. H. Park. Thomas H. Park is the son of the John S. Park referenced above. In the 1920s and early 1930s the property appears to have been owned by Judge Cox Womack of Danville, Virginia. As of August 5, 1927, it was managed by B. A. Murray. In 1938, the Danville Kiwanis Club purchased the Park's Spring property, apparently from J. M. Berry. The Danville Bee article reporting the sale stated that in the early years of the Spring it was managed by the late E. C. Arey. Note that Judge Cox Womack was in business with one or more people named Arey Danville, Virginia (Womack & Arey Shoe Co. at 212 Craghead Street). The current owner of the Spring property (as of June 2016), the Piedmont Christian Assembly, acquired the Spring in 1976. Whether the Piedmont Christian Assembly purchased the property from the Danville Kiwanis Club is not known.  However, in 1971 the Kiwanis Club advertised that the property would be sold at auction. Whether this auction resulted in a sale is not known. If so, the Piedmont Christian Assembly may have purchased the Spring property from the auction purchaser.

Charles Nathaniel Morris (1906-1984)

In 1958, Charles Nathaniel Morris was appointed Postmaster at Pelham, North Carolina, a position he held for eighteen years. When he was appointed, the post office was in the old Fitzgerald store building. A new post office was built a few years later across Highway 29, and this is where he worked until his retirement in 1976.


Pelham Graded School (Caswell County, North Carolina)

1905 Chapter 720. Page 880. An Act Amending chapter 407 OF the Public Laws of 1903, Relating to the Pelham Graded School. The General Assembly of North Carolina do enact:

Five trustees. Trustees continue in office. Additional trustees appointed. Trustees elected by voters of district. Vacancies.

Section 1. That chapter four hundred and seven of the Public Laws of one thousand nine hundred and three be and the same is hereby amended by striking out all of section two of said act and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "Sec. 2. That there shall be five trustees of the school in said district. That the persons now holding the position of such trustees shall continue in such office until the first day of June, one thousand nine hundred Additional trustees and five. That F. D. Swann and J. O. Fitzgerald be and they are hereby appointed as such trustees to serve for a term of two years from the said first day of June, one thousand nine hundred and five. That W. H. Baise be and he is hereby appointed as such a trustee to serve for a term of six years from the said first day of June, one thousand nine hundred and five. That on the second Tuesday in May, one thousand nine hundred and five, there shall be elected by the qualified voters of said school district two persons from among the qualified voters of said district to serve as such trustees for a term of four years from the said first day of June, one thousand nine hundred and five. That such election shall be conducted in the manner prescribed for elections of members of the General Assembly. That at the general election of county officers for said county in the year one thousand nine hundred and six there shall be elected by the qualified voters of said school district in the manner prescribed for the election of members of the General