Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lea Laboratory, Wake Forest, North Carolina

(click on photograph for larger image)

The erection of the next building [at Wake Forest College], Lea Laboratory, made possible a long cherished purpose of the Board of Trustees and other far-seeing friends of the College and provided for the adequate teaching of chemistry. A renewed interest in the matter was shown by the Trustees at their meeting in June, 1884, and a committee appointed to secure funds. This committee had nothing to report in the way of accomplishment at the meeting in June, 1885, but President Charles E. Taylor, in the first year of his presidency, brought the matter again before the Trustees, and in response to his request the Board appointed another committee, which consisted of President Taylor and Professors L. R. Mills and W. B. Royall. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Family Chronicle: Campbell Family

Evelyn Burch Jones (c.1923-2010)

Mrs. Evelyn Burch Jones, 87, of 808 N. Main Street, died Sunday, July 25, 2010 at Person Memorial Hospital. The funeral will be today, Wednesday, July 28, at 11 a.m. at the Brooks and White Chapel. The Rev. Bruce Allen and the Rev. Phillip Chryst will officiate. Burial will be in the Mt. Harmony Baptist Church Cemetery. Pallbearers will be nephews Barry Walker, Michael Burch, Phillip Burch, David Young, Keith Burch, Haley Burch, John David Lunsford and Robert Cox. Born in Caswell County, Mrs. Jones was the daughter of the late Arthur Clarence and Ella Talley Burch. She was married to the late John Victor Jones.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Americus Henderson (1924-2010)

July 27, 2010 - 05:41:35 pm CDT: Yanceyville, North Carolina - Mr. Americus Henderson 85, of 42 Stokes Road, Yanceyville, NC died Monday, July 19, 2010 at this residence. He was a native of Caswell County, NC the son of the late Ellis Henderson and Fannie Holloway Henderson, born September 26, 1924. He was a member of Sassafras Grove Baptist Church. He was a veteran of the United States Army, having served in WWII. He was married to Margaret Stokes Henderson who preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by four brothers and three sisters.

Dorothy Mary Mims Graves (1921-2010)

Reidsville, NC: Jul 27, 2010 - 05:41:35 pm CDT - Mrs. Dorothy Mary Mims Graves 88, of 2234 Wagon Wheel Road, Reidsville, NC, died Saturday, July 24, 2010 in the Penn Nursing Center, Reidsville, NC. She was a native of Caswell County, NC, the daughter of the late Johnnie Mims and Mary Badgett Mims, born August 4, 1921. She was a member of New Ephesus Baptist Church and she was a homemaker. She was preceded in death by her husband, John Will Graves; one son, John Edward Graves; two sisters; four brothers.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dewey Otis Chandler, Jr. (1928-2010)

Yanceyville, North Carolina - Dewey Otis "D.O." Chandler, Jr., 82, of 900 Oakview Loop Road, Yanceyville, N.C. passed away at his residence at 6:50 a.m. on Monday, July 26, 2010. A native of Caswell County, he was the husband of Leona Terrell Chandler and the son of the late Dewey Otis Chandler Sr. and the late Emma Stanfield Chandler. D.O.'s many accomplishments include being a lifelong farmer, working in the tobacco market for many years, operating the Hail and Crop Insurance Company, working as a salesman for Smith Douglas Fertilizer, being a charter member of the Southern Caswell Ruritan Club, and serving as a Deacon of Bush Arbor Primitive Baptist Church where he was a member.

Eliza Harrelson Simmons (1922-2010)

Burlington, North Carolina - Eliza Harrelson Simmons, age 88, of Hwy 62 South in Yanceyville passed away suddenly on Sunday, July 25, 2010 at her home. She was a native of Caswell County and the wife of the late Aubrey Hobart Simmons. Eliza retired from Bakery- Cammack Hosiery after 27 years. She attended Bush Arbor Primitive Baptist Church. Eliza was an avid flower gardener and cook. She enjoyed family vacations especially trips to Pigeon Forge. She was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Survivors include her daughters, Elaine Dabbs and her husband, Joe of Burlington, Audrey Hall and her husband, Bennie of Union Ridge, Patricia Rudd and her husband, Kenneth of Union Ridge, Judy Howell and her husband, Ralph "Mac" of Burlington; son, Kenneth Aubrey Simmons and his wife, Linda of Yanceyville; 12 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren; brother, Pete Harrelson, Jr. of Elon; sisters, Vernell Oakley of Burlington, Betty Jean Stowe and her husband, Vernon of Danville, VA. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, Pete and Mabel Walker Harrelson; sisters, Pauline Walker, Louise Clayton, Mary McKinney and Hazel McKinney and a brother, Emmitte Harrelson. The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at Lowe Funeral Home Chapel by Elder David Underwood and assisted by Rev. Dan Ficklin and burial will follow at Bush Arbor Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hattie Simmons Smith (c.1919-2010)

Jul 20, 2010 - 07:18:25 pm CDT: Elon - Hattie Simmons Smith, age 91, of 683 Simmons Rd. went to be with the Lord Sunday July 18, 2010. A native of Caswell County, she was the wife of the late James Elmer Smith and daughter of the late Berry Washington and Bertha Minor Simmons. She was a former employee of Holt Hosiery and a longtime member of Concord Christian Church where she had held several church offices. Survivors include brothers, Elbridge "Elb" Simmons and wife Wanda, Brodie Simmons and wife Irene and Ervin Simmons and wife Didama all of Elon; sisters, Edna Faison, Lottie Tate and Verdie Rice all of Burlington and Mona Busick of Browns Summit; one nephew and numerous nieces. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents and brothers, William Simmons and Robert Simmons.

Doris Elizabeth Oakley Edwards (c.1923-2010)

Jul 20, 2010 - 07:18:25 pm CDT: Reidsville, North Carolina - Doris Oakley Edwards, 87, of 9394 US Hwy 158 W passed away peacefully, Friday, July 16, 2010 at Penn Nursing Center. Funeral services will be held 2:00 PM Monday, July 19, 2010 at Wilkerson Funeral Home Chapel with Elder Ray King and Elder Harold Pittman officiating. The burial will follow in Bush Arbor Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery. The pallbearers will be T.J. Tuttle, Logan Gibson, Brandon Gibson, Cole Edwards, Aaron Edwards, David Edwards, Daniel Edwards and Jon Edwards.

Mrs. Edwards was born in Prospect Hill, NC and was the daughter of the late John Henry and Nancy Ann Elizabeth Blalock Oakley. She was of the Primitive Baptist faith and was a faithful homemaker. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She was passionate about her family and served many as caregiver over the years. Mrs. Edwards was preceded in death by her husband, Rufus Coleman Edwards; sons, Jerry Coleman Edwards and Johnny Michael Edwards; twelve brothers and one sister.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sharing Other People's Facebook Photos

One neat Facebook feature is the ability to tag photographs with the names of people. However, this feature unfortunately also is used to share photographs with people not actually in the image. This results in confusing tags.

Luna Lake (Danville, Virginia)

Luna Lake -- "Oasis" of Fun (The Register & Bee, Danville, Virginia, 28 June 1991) (click on photograph for larger image)

"Luna Lake was a mecca of entertainment, a place where you could have a vacation in a day. It was an oasis." Ray Hayes

Stated simply, Luna Lake was a place to go, -- a place, as they say, to see and be seen. Unlike today, when youth are more mobile and opportunities for entertainment seemingly abound for the bored and programmed adolescent, the '40s and '50s framed an age of limited mobility and, as Ray Hayes puts it, "familial closeness." Entertainment possibilities -- organized entertainment, that is -- were few, so youngsters made their own fun. And Luna Lake, located on the southern fringe of Danville, was one of the places they made it. Essentially, Luna Lake was a huge swimming hole, a mammoth pool with a cavernous central diving area. yet it was so much more. It was, as Hayes says, a "mecca" and an "oasis."

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chandler-Cook Marriage (10 July 2010)

Emma Florence Chandler of Yanceyville and Jayce Garrett Cook of Blanch, North Carolina were united in marriage at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 10, 2010, at Oakview Church, Yanceyville. Mr. Adam Cook, brother of the groom, officiated, and music was by the Danville String Quartet. Following the ceremony, the parents of the bride entertained with a reception at the Caswell County Civic Center in Yanceyville. On Friday evening, the parents of the groom hosted a rehearsal dinner at Caswell Pines Golf Club in Yanceyville. The bride is the daughter of Dwight and Tracy Chandler of Yanceyville. She is the granddaughter of D.O. and Leona Chandler and Hubert and Maggie Campbell, all of Yanceyville. The groom is the son of Larry and Pam Cook of Blanch. He is the grandson of Sam and Robette Evans of Providence, and the late Dewey Cook and Edna Cook. Presented in marriage by her parents, the bride wore an ivory strapless chiffon soft A-line gown with beaded lace on empire waist and back with a chapel train. Her veil was of elbow length, and she carried a bouquet of pink roses wrapped with satin and pearls.

Dream Comes True: Caswell County Training School 1951

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On the second day of March 1951, the faculty and students finally moved into the new Caswell County Training School. Teacher Chattye Boston, who had worked throughout the high school's years in "very limited facilities," remembers, "Each child took what he could carry. And the girls took books, anything they could carry. And we all marched down that road just as proud as peacocks and went into that building. We put those things down and went into the auditorium and had a joyous time. . . . We were so happy to be inside that building that we didn't know what in the world to do. And well they should have been. The new building was the largest school in the county -- indeed, the largest building in the county. The local newspaper recorded the event thus.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Century Farm Reunion 2008

(click on photograph for larger image)
John Lee Pointer, Jack Lee Pointer, Jr., Luna Allen Pointer Hollett, David Lawrence Joseph Hollett, Cyrus Cordell Vernon, and Janice Ann Rice Vernon.

Credits: All rights reserved by The Caswell Messenger and the submitter of the photograph.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Doris Phillips Lea (1938-2010)

Jul 06, 2010 - 08:58:53 pm CDT YANCEYVILLE - It is with profound sorrow we announce the death of Mrs. Doris Phillips Lea of 1108 Hwy 158 East, who died Thursday, July 1, 2010 in the Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. She was a native of Austin, Texas, the daughter of the late Elijah Phillips Jr. and Ardelia Johnson Phillips, born July 9, 1938. She was a member of High Rock Baptist Church and a beautician. She was married to John Lea Jr., who preceded her in death.

Sophronia Graves Southerland (d. 2010)

Jul 06, 2010 - 08:58:54 pm CDT REIDSVILLE - Mrs. Sophronia Graves Southerland died Thursday. She was a native of Caswell County and was a resident of Lynchburgh, Virginia for many years before relocating to Reidsville fifteen years ago. Attending the local public schools, she was a graduate of Caswell Training School, Class of 1936 and pursued further education at Winston-Salem State University, receiving a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. She received additional studies at the University of Virginia, attaining a Master's degree in Education. As an ardent educator for over fifty years, she taught in the Cleveland, Ohio, Norfolk, Virginia systems and retired from the Lynchburgh County School System. She was a member of New Ephesus Baptist Church. Her parents, George W. Graves and Elizabeth Pickard Graves; beloved husband, Rev. Mc Carthy Southerland; son, Macron Southerland; sisters, Nellie Graves, Ophelia Graves and Lillie Boyd; brother, Troy Graves, preceded her in death.

Yanceyville (NC) Air Scouts (1944)

(click on photograph for larger image)

Left to Right: John Slade Daily (tie and white shirt), Pick Cheek (possibly) (taller scout in back row), Charles Henry Hooper (possibly) (front row), Thomas Lea Gwynn (tall scout in rear with prominent ears), Ernest Byron Jeffries, Jr. (front row), and J. C. McLaughlin (last scout to the right). The adult in uniform to the far right has not been identified.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Marie Turner Weatherford (1923-2010)

Marie Turner Weatherford, 86, formerly of 168 Hamlin Avenue, died Friday, June 25, 2010, at Roman Eagle Memorial Home. Born July 18, 1923, in Caswell County, N.C., she was the daughter of the late Marvin Brown Turner and Kate Roach Turner Withers. She was married to Wesley Owen Weatherford, who predeceased her in 1977. Mrs. Weatherford was a member of Third Avenue Congregational Christian Church, where she served as secretary of her Sunday school, secretary of the "Widows Club" and was a member of the "Willing Workers." She had worked as a cashier for Home Beneficial Life Insurance Company before retiring. She is survived by one sister, Margaret Holley, her husband, Jesse W. Holley, and a niece, Linda Kate Holley, all of Danville. Funeral services will be held Monday, June 28, 2010, at Barker Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Frederick Vicks and the Rev. Richard Morris officiating. Interment will follow in Highland Burial Park. The family is receiving friends at the home of Jesse and Margaret Holley at 160 Orchard Drive, Danville. Barker Funeral Home is serving the Weatherford family. Published in Danville and Rockingham County on June 27, 2010.


Thursday, July 08, 2010

Larry Stogner: Mentor and Intern Form Lasting Bond

CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts was an intern at WTVD in 1980. His mentor was reporter Larry Stogner.


A college intern walked into the Raleigh newsroom of WTVD in 1980 for his first day of work and immediately was chewed out by reporter Larry Stogner for being late. Even though he wasn't. Then Stogner asked him to make coffee. Before long, Stogner asked him to buy him some cigarettes. That was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Really. Thirty years later, the intern, Byron Pitts, is chief national correspondent for "CBS Evening News" and a contributor to "60 Minutes," the brightest stage for TV journalism. And Pitts and Stogner are so close they consider each other family. Their story shows how an eager student and a generous mentor can lift each other and forge a bond that lasts forever.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Ella Virginia Graves Gannaway (1927-2008)

Yanceyville - Mrs. Ella Virginia Graves Gannaway, of 6618 N.C. 86 South, died Thursday, May 29, 2008. Survivors include one son, Dillard Franklin Gannaway Jr.; seven daughters, Ms. Gaye G. Poteat, Mrs. Katie G. Poteat, Ms. Faye B. Gannaway, Mrs. Wands J. Rogers, Mrs. Vanessa G. Poole, Mrs. Helen Jean Jeffries and Mrs. Gladys R. Jamison; 15 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren. The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, 2008, at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday at Fulton Funeral Chapel, 219 Dillard School Drive, Yanceyville. The family may be contacted at the residence.


Lions and Tigers in Caswell County, North Carolina

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh No!

Caswell County Board of County Commissioners Meeting June 7, 2010

Commissioner Hall came before the Board to discuss citizen’s concerns with the Conservators’ Center. The Center holds all kinds of animals like lions, tigers, wolves, coyotes, Australian bush dogs, etc. Citizens are concerned because some of the animals have been getting out resulting in a couple of sightings of lions in and around the compound. Commissioner Hall stated that when the citizens talked to the operators they denied that any of the animals are getting out. The citizens have pictures of paw prints that are four inches wide outside the Center. Commissioner Hall stated that the citizens would like the board to do a review of the security of the compound and make an adjustment. One elderly lady is afraid to come outside of her house. Commissioner Hall stated that the citizens are also concerned about cages in and around the compound that the operators will not allow them to see when they go into the Center with the operators saying the cages and fences are not strong enough if the animals get excited.

Monday, July 05, 2010

J. F. Griffin: 1975 Conservation Farm Family (Caswell County, North Carolina)

(click on photograph for larger image)

The J.F.Griffin family was named the conservation farm family of 1975 by the Caswell Soil and Water Conservation District. The Griffins’ farm is located on the Foster Road, seven miles northwest of Yanceyville. According to a prepared release from the Soil and Water Conservation District, the members of the committee felt that the Griffins have earned this recognition through the use of good conservation on their land. The release went on to point out that the Griffins used contour farming, terraces, conservation rotations, field borders, and meadow strips when growing tobacco. Due to a severe case of rheumatism, Mr. Griffin had to stop growing tobacco. At that time he converted to rolling cropland and suitable woodland to fescue-landino pasture and started a beef cattle operation. He uses cross fencing on his pastures to distribute the grazing. The pastures are fertilized and clipped annually to produce maximum grazing.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Tobacco: Brought Danville, Virginia, Fame and Fortune

Danville Register, 4 July 1976 (Page 1)
By Steve Gilliam (Bee Staff Writer)

Tobacco: Golden Leaf Brought City Fame and Fortune

If there ever was a city that was born and raised on tobacco, then that city is Danville. Leaf tobacco has brought the city as much of its fame -- and a good bit of its fortune as well -- as any of its other business or industrial enterprises. People around the globe smoke cigarettes made with tobacco that was purchased on Danville warehouse floors. The city enjoys a reputation as one of the world's major markets of fine smoking leaf. It is known as the birthplace of "Bright Leaf Tobacco," which is not the backbone of the nation's tobacco industry. The city is known as the "World's Best Tobacco Market," and the name is not without justification. During the 107 years since the Danville Tobacco Association was founded, growers have sold 84,744,445,404 pounds of tobacco. They have taken home approximately $1,626,898,841 for their offerings.

19th Century Milton, N.C., Revealed in Weekly Newspapers

Danville Register 22 August 1965 (Page 15)

Bustling Milton, N.C., of 19th Century Revealed by Weekly Newspapers of Era

Milton, N.C. - Milton, a tiny (population about 250) town on the Dan River, today is without a newspaper of its own. It has not always been so. This town, founded in 1720 and incorporated 76 years later, once had a bright future before it. The Dan that flowed by the town provided excellent transportation in an era when water was the principal means of transportation. Obviously, a town of such promise attracted the attention of budding newspaper publishers. By the time of the Civil War, four newspapers had operated in Milton.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Estelle Community of Caswell County, North Carolina

The following is from The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 20-21 ("Estelle Community" by Clyde Douglas Willis):

Estelle Community of Caswell County

Named after Virginia (Virgie) Estelle Firesheets [1881-1961], daughter of Chesley [1867-1937] and Jennie [Louisa Jane] Simmons Firesheets [1857-1947], the Post Office at Estelle was organized in 1888 and was located in the store of Chesley Firesheets, on the east side of the Milton-Yanceyville Road about three miles from Milton. Tom Rainey chose the name. The mail was delivered from Milton to each post office by buggy or cart. The Firesheets's store was later moved and made into a dwelling not many yards from the site of the store. Jennie Firesheets and her daughter [Virginia Estelle Firesheets] lived there until their deaths. The dwelling (a cabin) is now owned by Mrs. Clara Blackwell. Dr. Dodson of Milton served the Estelle community for their medical needs. He traveled by buggy in summer and sleigh in winter.

Branson's North Carolina Business Directory 1870 (Caswell County)

Friday, July 02, 2010

CCHA Wins NCGS Website Award

Click to See Larger Version

N. C. Genealogical Society Honors Caswell Web Site

The N.C. Genealogical Society presented their 2008 Award for a Freely Accessible Website Promoting North Carolina Genealogy to the Caswell County Historical Association Web site.

Karen Oestreicher, President of the Association and Karen Avants of Collections, accepted the award.

The website has archived text and pictures which are a wonderful resource for researchers with Caswell County ties.

There are over 50 family links and reference links. There is also an interesting blog and a genealogy form.

Rick Frederick created the Caswell County Historical Association website in 2005 and gives credit to the Association's volunteers for the archives and resources gather for fifty years. The website can be accessed at:

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Wrenn Family of Caswell and Person Counties (North Carolina)

Riley Ray Tuck and wife Molly Wrenn Tuck in the early 1970s. They worked in Miami, Florida before retiring and buying a farm adjacent to Griers Presbyterian Church on Griers Church Road near Leaburg.