Thursday, December 23, 2021

Rev. William Spencer Campbell (1859-1939)

Rev. William Spencer Campbell (1859-1939) served as minister of the Milton Presbyterian Church (Milton, Caswell County, NC) 1891-1896, being the tenth person to hold that position.

He is a son of Rev. William Addison Campbell of Richmond, VA (1829-1896). Note the sender of the above 1892 envelope/letter is Rev. W. A. Campbell, 319 W. Grace St., Richmond, VA. Click the image to see a larger version.

For a brief church history go to Milton Presbyterian Church

Click the image to see a larger version.

The Evening Times (Washington, D.C.) June 10, 1896 page 8:

"Richmond, Va., June 10.—Rev. Dr. W. A. Campbell, the well-known Presbyterian minister and writer, died at his residence last night in this city. He had been in failing health since the early part of the year, but his condition was not considered alarming unit a few days ago.

"Dr. Campbell was a man of find character and unusual natural gifts. He had filled many important pastorates, and was for several years evangelist of the synod of Virginia; was for some time traveling agent of the Virginia Bible Society, and on the death last year of Mr. T. D. T. Walford became secretary of the society. He was also secretary of the peace conference. Dr. Campbell leaves a wife and five children."

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The Oliver House (Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina)

Restoration of the Oliver House

By John & Cathy Giannini November 12. 2021

Published by Milton Renaissance Foundation

Before we bought it in early 2003, the Oliver House was essentially unaltered and abandoned for the last 35 years.  Constructed in 1845, the small cottage  (15' X 30') is very visible, and one of only four 1-story Greek Revival style houses built on high basements with Italianate porches in Milton. At the time it had only four rooms, ghost lines for the front and back porches, a central chimney, a hip roof and four 9 over 9 double hung sash windows.  The wooden floor on the first level had rotted away leaving only dirt and a very low ceiling that would not meet current code.  No bathroom or kitchen were attached. There was also no way to get to the second floor except for a ladder. The water well just outside the back door had caved in. To use the phrase "dilapidated" or "on the edge of collapse" was an understatement, but it was calling our name so we signed on the dotted line.

Photo by Siler Rothrock, who did the restoration work. 

Photo by Siler Rothrock. 

Looking at the positives, the Oliver House is in Milton, NC, historic district and had a "new" metal roof (12 years old). Two of the three mantels and most of the chair and floor moldings were still intact. The sash windows still opened and the four original doors were still on the property.  The outside, second floor weathered boards were salvageable. We could see possibilities!  Truth be told, we could have torn down the whole cottage and replaced it in less time and for less money, but we were in it for the real restoration process.

Just two blocks from the historic Thomas Day House, the Oliver House was placed by it's previous owners under Preservation North Carolina  (PNC) restrictive covenants. PNC is a statewide, non-profit corporation, whose mission is to protect and promote sites important to the diverse heritage of North Carolina.  We used the Department of Interior guidelines in the cottage's restoration because they offered five years of federal and state tax credits to help pay for the work. The process involved a good deal of paperwork and photos taken for validation of diligent progress and now when we look back through the pictures and writings it is daunting to see all the work and love we put into the cottage's restoration. 

The Oliver House's basement first floor was three-brick deep with walls crumbing from moisture and exposure. We hired a structural engineer to give us advice on immediate foundation stabilization. Opting to replace all four walls, one at a time, created the appearance of the cottage walking on stilts! 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

"Watkins & Bullock" Roxboro, North Carolina

I believe I understand why a member of the Watkins family (Anne Elizabeth Watkins) recalled a John Bullock as the partner of William Cobb Watkins in the Roxboro building supply business of "Watkins & Bullock." The elder William Cobb Bullock (1827-1873) has a son named John Bullock (1855-1928). Census records show this John Bullock to be a "Lumberman." And this John Bullock has a son named William Cobb Bullock (1888-1944) who stated his occupation as "Retail Lumberman" in Roxboro, North Carolina.

So, which W. C. Bullock was the original partner in the W. C. Watkins and W. C. Bullock Roxboro building supply business? Could it extend back as far as 1873?

And to complicate matters, the mother of William Cobb Watkins (1877-1932) is Anne Chesley Bullock (1853-1939), and his paternal grandmother is Anne Elizabeth Bullock (1833-1913)! Thus the Bullock and Watkins families of Roxboro are closely related.


Footnote: The younger William Cobb Bullock (1888-1944) married Nannie Cabell Moore, and they had at least three children: Nancy Cabell Bullock (1916-2014); Carr Moore Bullock (1919-2001); and William Cobb Bullock, Jr. (1921-1944 -- killed in World War II).

Source: Richmond S. Frederick, Jr. Post to the Reminiscing in Roxboro Facebook Page, 11 November 2021.

Image: The Roxboro Courier (Roxboro, North Carolina), January 1924.

Saturday, November 06, 2021

Tribute to Bartlett Yancey, Jr. (1828)


Tribute to Bartlett Yancey, Jr.

Hillsborough, North Carolina

Wednesday, September 10 [1828].

For the Recorder.

At a meeting of the Orange Bar, held at the Court House on Monday the 8t inst. after the adjournment of court, his honor Judge Ruffin was called to the chair, and John W. Norwood acted as secretary. Mr. Nash rose and thus explained the subject of the meeting.

We are met, sir, to pay as a body our tribute of respect to the memory of our deceased friend and brother Bartlett Yancey. I hold in my hand certain resolutions to this effect, but before I lay them before you, I beg to retain you with a few remarks. It is now, I think, twenty years or more since my acquaintance with Mr. Yancey commenced. He was then just entered into the profession -- young, unknown, and poor; but by a steady attention to business, and vigorous prosecution of his profession, he had built up for himself a name and a fortune. At the time of his death he was no longer unknown or poor. Though still a young man, as a professional man we all have known him; you and I sir, for a longer space of time than any other member of this bar with one exception, and we have know him as a high minded, honorable man.

Like some, he was excelled in the powers of reasoning, and by others in the grace of oratory, by none was he surpassed in that plain practical good sense, which rendered him eminently successful as a jury lawyer. In a short time after he had been in the practice of the law, the district in which he resided chose him as its representative in the congress of the United States, and here Mr. Yancey took a high and distinguished status; his practical talents soon brought him forward and placed him at the head of one of the most important committees of the house of representatives. This status he continued to occupy while a member of the house. But in a few years he was admonished, that however alluring the path of political life might be, it did not, in this country lead to wealth, and that the time had not yet arrived to him, when justice to his family would permit him to devote himself to the general politics of his country.

He resigned his seat in congress, returned to the discharge of his professional duties, and never, I believe, in this country, did more abundant and rapid success crown the efforts of any individual. But though his private affairs drew him from congress, they did not forbid his taking an active share in the domestic politics of his native state. At the united voice of the citizens of Caswell, the county in which he was born and raised, he took his seat in the senate of our legislature, and was, upon his appearing among them, with one voice called to preside over its deliberations. And here, sir, as speaker of the senate, Bartlett Yancey was in his appropriate sphere. Nature had, in a peculiar manner, fitted him for the station. Dignified in his appearance, he filled the chair with grace; prompt to decide, little time was lost in debating questions referred to the chair; and energetic in enforcing order, the most unruly became obedient; fair, candid, and impartial, all were satisfied, and so entirely so, that from the period of his first election to the chair no effort was once made to disturb his possession of it.

Even those who, in other respects, differed from and opposed him, as a speaker admitted he was without reproach, and that he gave dignity to that body. But it was not alone as speaker of the senate that Mr. Yancey was useful to his native state as a legislator. He was too sound a politician not to perceive the true policy of the state. Ardently attached to the land of his birth, his constant effort was to elevate her in the moral and political scale. Whenever a measure was brought before the legislature, which in his estimation had these objects in view, he fearlessly threw himself and all his wealth of character into the ranks of its friends, and with as full contempt of consequences he never failed to frown upon and oppose all those wild measures of misrule which have from time to time agitated the legislature of hour state.

Such, sir, was Bartlett Yancey as a politician. He is gone, and greatly do I fear the state at large will have cause to morn his death. But, sir, there is another point of view in which I wish to present to you the death of our departed friend. He has spoken to us from the chair of office; permit him to speak to us from the bed of death. We have listened to the eloquence which has guided senates and enlightened juries; let us now listen to the mute eloquence of the grave. But a few months since, and Bartlett Yancey stood upon the spot I now occupy, but a few days since, and he also now addressed you mingled in debate with him, and upon the termination of the weekly labour, we shook each other by the hand and bade God speed. Little did we think that interview would terminate our mortal intercourse. Little did we think that the arrow was sped which was to lay one of us on the dust. . . .

And on and on.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Aunt Millie (Leasburg, Caswell County, NC)


Aunt Millie

Newspaper Article

The Danville Register, 3 July 1977 

Owen House and Tea Room in Semora, North Carolina

Semora home of Michael Wall and Janice Elizabeth Owen Wall on Highway 119 in Semora, Caswell County, North Carolina.

"There are still a few remnants of Semora-past. One is the home of Michael and Janice Owen Wall on Highway 119. The house was built in 1897, purchased in 1932 by Colonel Jasper Owen, Sr., and his wife, Ruby, having now been passed down through three generations.

"Colonel Owen and his wife built a Tea Room and Boarding House on the nearby corner lot, later a store, torn down in the 1970s. The building would have been an impressively sized structure in Dutch style. While the Boarding House no longer exists, Michael and Janice are fortunate to have the original architectural drawings.

"Janice reminisces, 'I can remember my granny telling the story of boarding the men that first paved the road from Milton to Semora.'"

Source: Daniel-Upchurch, Angela. "Semora is a Neighborhood Crossroads" in Discover Caswell, Edition Two (2021) [Published by The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, NC)]

Architectural drawings of the Semora Tea Room and Boarding House, built by Colonel Jasper Owen (1886-1956) and Ruby Virginia Groves Owen (1890-1983).

Images courtesy Janice Owen Wall. Click images to see a larger version.

Owen Store and Tea Room

Left-to-Right: Colonel Jasper Owen, Jr. (1921-1967), his wife Janie Clara Stowe Owen (1928-1969), and an unidentified friend.

Rear of Owen Store and Tea Room

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Descendants of a Foot-Warmer: Memories of a Rural Black Southern Family


In his 2021 book Descendants of a Foot-Warmer: Memories of a Rural Black Southern Family author Dr. Costello L. Brown, Ph.D., emphasized in the title the maternal side of his mother's family. The "Foot-Warmer" is his second-great grandmother, a slave named Queen. However, the paternal side of his mother's family is equally interesting:

1. John Bigelow m. Dicey/Lucy Williamson [both slaves]

2. Jacob Bigelow (1855-1918) m. Susan Baynes (1859-1901) [both born into slavery]

3. David Nathaniel Bigelow (1892-1970) m. Flora Evans (1896-1977)

4. Mattie Helen Bigelow (1915-1974) m. George Cornelius Brown (1916-1959)

5. Children of Mattie Helen Bigelow and George Cornelius Brown: 

(a) Costello L. Brown

(b) Constance Yvonne Brown (1944-2019)

(c) George Bernard Brown

It is possible (some would say likely) that the patriarch of this family, John Bigelow (who married Dicey/Lucy Williamson), was a slave owned by Thomas Pattillo Bigelow (1802-1873). Here is a research article on the "families" of Thomas Pattillo Bigelow: 

Bigelow Family


Brown, Costello L., Ph.D. Descendants of a Foot-Warmer: Memories of a Rural Black Southern Family. Independently Published: 2021.

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Tiptoe Through Caswell


Tiptoe Through Caswell

Did you know in Caswell County you can Bend, Blanch, Camp, Lick, Park, Prospect, Roost, Shuffle, and Tiptoe? You can pass through Hell (but passing Quick is recommended, even if you are buying a Half Acre).

Rattlesnakes also are found at a Creek, and be careful of a Creek that is Stoney; but some areas have a Grove -- Cherry, Piney, Pleasant, and Shady. And, there are other trees -- Sweet Gum -- even a Wood with a Gate.

However, there is a road where things might be snatched -- and another where you could Cross! Some houses are Purley white, with others being Red. Thirst can be quenched at several Springs -- may even Park at one, Camp at one, with another offering a Mineral. 

There is corn on the Cobb. One street offers Dolls. There is a Ridge for Gentlemen and Towers for those seeking a view from High (even from a Rock). You can hike for Miles without getting your hair in a Topnot.

Every few years avoid the Locust by climbing a Hill. Of course you can toot your horn in Jericho.

And, if looking for divine intervention, there is Providence.

Source: Richmond S. Frederick, Jr. 8 October 2021

Monday, September 27, 2021

Junior Order of United American Mechanics: Caswell County, NC


Junior Order of United American Mechanics

On Sunday, 20 July 1930, the Junior Order of United American Mechanics ("JOUAM") held a meeting in the Bartlett Yancey High School auditorium. The purpose apparently was to celebrate a membership drive.

The JOUAM had seven councils in Caswell County, including the Bartlett Yancey Council. The council was the local membership group. The winner of the membership drive was the Bartlett Council, with the "prize" accepted by E. F. Upchurch, Jr.

Attendees of some note included: Sam F. Vance (Kernersville); Judge Eure (Greensboro); J. M. Sharpe (Reidsville); John Reynolds (Wentworth); Numa R. Reid (Wentworth); S. F. Nicks (Roxboro); R. W. Duncan (Pelham); and Drake Bobbett (Durham).

"This will likely be one of the largest gatherings and one of the greatest meetings ever held in Caswell County for the cause of Juniorism. Every local council in Caswell is requested to attend with large delegations. All local councils of adjoining counties are invited to attend. The entire public, including the children, are cordially invited to meet with the Juniors on this occasion."

Source: The Bee (Danville, Virginia), 17 Jul 1930.


Junior Order of United American Mechanics

JUNIOR ORDER OF UNITED AMERICAN MECHANICS (JOUAM) -  The Order of United American Mechanics was an anti-Catholic American Nativist organization of the mid-19th century.  It was founded in Philadelphia amid the anti-alien riots of 1844-45.  It originally was called the Union of Workers.  Members were required to undertake efforts to publicize and campaign against the hiring of cheap foreign labor and to patronize only "American" businesses.  In 1853 it created the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, as an youth auxiliary. This group would eventually become more popular than the OUAM itself and became an independent adult organization in 1885.

A female auxiliary, the Daughters of Liberty, began as a local club to assist members of the Columbia Council in Meriden, Connecticut in January 1875. Other local Councils sprang up across Connecticut, as well as New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. By 1896 there were 30,000 members of the Daughters of Liberty. Membership was restricted to native born, white American women aged sixteen or over, and to male members of the Order of United American Mechanics.

In 1887 the Order created the Loyal Legion of the Order of United American Mechanics as an "uniformed division" which participated in drill and sword exercises and had a ritual of its own which was said to be derived from similar groups within the Oddfellows, Knights of Pythias and Foresters, themselves supposedly derived from the Masonic Knights Templar.  The ritual and symboling of the group was said to be heavily influenced by that of the Freemasons. Of the twenty five original founders, four were Freemasons and four other delegates were eventually raised to the Craft. The emblem of the Order incorporated the square and compasses with an arm and hammer in the middle.

Source: [Accessed 27 September 2021]

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Confederate Slave Payrolls

Confederate Slave Payrolls 

Exploring the "Confederate Slave Payrolls"

During the U.S. Civil War, the Confederate Army required enslavers to loan their enslaved people to the military. Throughout the Confederacy from Florida to Virginia, these enslaved people served as cooks and laundresses, labored in deadly conditions to mine potassium nitrate to create gunpowder, worked in ordnance factories, and dug the extensive defensive trench networks that defended cities such as Petersburg, Virginia.

To track this extensive network of thousands of enslaved people and the pay their enslavers received for their lease, the Confederate Quartermaster Department created the record series now called the "Confederate Slave Payrolls." This series is fully digitized and available to view in the National Archives Catalog.

This series is comprised of payrolls for slave labor on Confederate military defenses, including forts, entrenchments, obstructions on navigable rivers, "nitre" works, harness-making shops, ordnance works, and arsenals, in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

The payrolls were originally created by the Confederate Quartermaster Department, but were arranged, indexed, and numbered by the Federal War Records Office. The payrolls show the time period covered, the Confederate officer under whom the slaves were employed, the Confederate officer certifying the accuracy of the payroll, the place of service, names of the persons from whom the slaves were hired, names and occupations of the slaves hired, number of days employed, daily rate of wages, amount paid for each slave's work, and the signature of person receiving the payment. The person receiving payment may be (1) the person from whom the slave was hired or (2) a person designated by them to receive pay on his or her behalf through a validly executed power of attorney, which may be filed with that particular payroll or a different one.

Many payrolls, particularly those from Virginia and North Carolina, indicate the county of residence of the person from whom the slaves were hired. Although it can generally be presumed that the person from whom a slave was hired was the slave owner, that was not always the case. For example, payment for work done by Alex, James, and John, who were slaves at the Arsenal at Knoxville, Tennessee, went to different men each month, who probably hired these slaves from their owners, perhaps as a means to avoid providing their own slaves to Confederate authorities.

Approximately 90 percent or more of the persons providing slaves (slave owners) were men, but perhaps five to ten percent were women, likely either widows or women who inherited a slave(s) from a parent.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Tyson & Jones Buggy Company

 Carriage Makers — Tyson & Jones Buggy Company (1850 - 1925)

Owners: Thomas Bethune Tyson (1850 - 1893); Alexander Kelly (1856 - 1873);

William T. Jones (1859 - 1900s)

Location: Carthage, NC

Notes:  In 1850, Carthage, NC, merchant Thomas Bethune Tyson (1813 - 1893) bought an existing wagon/wheelwright repair shop owned by Isaac Seawell and his two sons.

In 1856, Thomas B. Tyson and landowner Alexander Kelly formed a partnership to run the wheelwright business and decided to build carriages. The firm was known as Tyson & Kelly (1856-1858). In 1857, Tyson hired William T. Jones as a carriage painter, shop supervisor, and S. W. Humber, as a carriage trimmer. Jones had proved his worth as the enterprise expanded and in 1859, the firm was renamed Tyson, Kelly & Company (1859 – 1873) with Jones joining Tyson and Kelly as a partner. It manufactured carriages and harness. 

In 1873, Tyson and Jones bought out the partnership of Kelly.

The company was renamed the Tyson & Jones Buggy Company shortly after. In 1876, the company produced 400 buggies.

The firm was incorporated in 1889 apparently.

At its maximum production, the firm constructed 3,000 carriages/buggies a year in the 1890s. 

In 1907, employees of the Tyson Buggy Factory in Carthage incorporated the Sanford Buggy Company and planned the construction of a two-story factory at 115 Chatham Street in Sanford, NC. The Sanford Buggy Company was employee-owned and operated. 

The popularity of the automobile led to the demise of the Tyson & Jones Buggy Company in 1925. 

The last buggy reportedly was delivered in 1925 to Neil S. Blue of Raeford, who was in his 80s and had declared that he would never operate a car. The company was sold and the new owners tried to re-established it as a furniture manufacturer, but were cut short by the Depression of 1929.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

J. L. Mott Iron Works

This metal object purportedly was found at or near the historic Caswell County Courthouse in Yanceyville, North Carolina. Other than the manufacturer no more is known, including the purpose for which it was intended. It was sold at auction a few years back and purchased by a couple from Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina. Click the image to see a larger version.


The J. L. Mott Iron Works was established by Jordan L. Mott in New York City in the area now called Mott Haven in 1828; the business was continued by his son, J.L. Mott, Jr. The elder Mott specialised in the manufacture of cooking-stoves fueled with anthracite coal. "Stoves and ranges, hot-air furnaces, parlor grates and fenders, fire irons, cauldrons and kettles, statuary, candelabra, fountains garden seats, vases, iron pipes or every kind, water tanks, &c" are mentioned in Benson John Lossing, History of New York City. Mott was interested in the patenting of inventions, but turned down President Buchanan's offer to make him Commissioner of Patents.

At the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, 1876, an elaborate cast iron fountain, 25 feet tall, was exhibited by the company. According to the exposition review, Gems of the Centennial Exposition all of the modeling of architectural forms, basins and figures was completed by artisans of the company. Figures were molded in clay, then cast in plaster to provide the moulds for the cast iron, in a process similar to bronze-founding. The lowest "pan" or basin was ten feet in diameter, said at the time to have been the largest such cast-iron basin in the United States. Some examples of the fountain figure The Boy with the Leaking Boot in various American and Canadian cities were purchased from the company.

Plumbing fixtures, including enameled cast iron bathtubs were also a J.L. Mott specialty.

Modern Plumbing - J. L. Mott Iron Works

In 1917, artist Marcel Duchamp may have selected a urinal from the J. L. Mott showroom in Manhattan and presented it as a work of art called Fountain at the Society of Independent Artists exhibition. This episode marks the introduction of the readymade in the history of modern art.

Source: Wikipedia.


Additional Photographs (Click image to see a larger version). Pat. April 28, 1885

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Caswell County, North Carolina, Want List

 Caswell County Want List (no particular order). Click an image to see a larger version.

1. Thomas Day Furniture

2. Maud Gatewood Painting

3. Russell Watlington Print

4. Terrell Chair (especially a rocker)

5. Jim Shell Print

University of North Carolina: Caswell County, NC, Association

University of North Carolina

Caswell County has a long association with the University of North Carolina (by which I mean Chapel Hill).

I have been working on a list. Early entries: Bartlett Yancey, Archibald Murphey, Calvin Graves, and Bedford Brown.

Bartlett Yancey's mother advised him against attending.

Archibald Murphey borrowed most of the books from the library, which burned. Then, he took the books back and "saved" the UNC library. Gives a library card new meaning.

Calvin Graves stayed only one year before becoming an apprentice lawyer.

 Attended UNC for All or Some of Their Academic Career

1. Bartlett Yancey, Jr.
2. Archibald Murphey
3. Bedford Brown
4. Calvin Graves
5. Jacob Thompson

6. Reverend Albert Gallatin Anderson 
7. Herndon Haralson, Jr.
8. John Archibald Tucker (and law school)
9. Millard Quentin Plumblee (master's degree)
10. Clarence Lilly Pemberton, Jr.

11. Reverend Solomon Lea
12. James Cecil Pointer
13. Dr. Ludolphus Graham Page, D.D.S.
14. Dr. Graham Allison Page, D.D.S.
15. John Paschall Page

16. Leon Faidherbee Lyday III (undergraduate, master's, and doctorate)
17. William Jackson Lyday (undergraduate, master's and doctorate)
18. Julius Johnston, Jr.
19. Sidney Preston Bradsher
20. George Nicholas Thompson

More Recent

1. Philip Walters Allen (and law school)
2. Larry Neal Briggs (Phi Beta Kappa)
3. Dr. Thomas Harrison Whitley, M.D.
4. Dr. Robert Riley Whitley, M.D.*
5. Larry Neal Stogner

6. William Ronald (Rag) Aldridge
7. Stuart Neal Watlington*
8. Belvin Grey Smith
9. David Burke Wilson
10. James Bartlett (Jim) Upchurch, Jr.

11. Earl Jones Smith, Jr.
12. James Monroe (Jim) Long III (and law school)
13. Gloria Anna Myers (and Master's Degree)
14. Lyttleton Luther (Lytt) Stamps
15. Edward Howell (Ed) Wilson, Jr.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Gwynn-Watlington House (Hodges Dairy Road, Caswell County, NC)


Gwynn-Watlington House

This house on the Hodges Dairy Road in Caswell County, NC, purportedly was built in 1846 by Augustus (Gus) Gwyn/Gwnn (c.1818-aft.1860).

Ruth Little-Stokes described it as: "R. L. Watlington House. ca. 1860. Standard Boom Era Greek Revival style house with hip roof, exterior end brick chimneys, ornate double door entrance with corner block surround. Replacement porch."1

The house and surrounding 14 acres apparently now (August 2021) are owned by Piedmont Community College (Yanceyville, NC) for use in its Agriculture-Business courses.

Apparent chain of ownership:

(1) Built in 1846 by Augustus (Gus) Gwynn (c.1818-aft.1860);

(2) James William Watlington (1845-1917) and Laura Ann Jones Watlington (1848-1919) purchased the property in 1898;

(3) Their son Robert Lindsey Watlington (1875-1954) and wife Hattie Harris Sturdivant Watlington (1891-1974) purchased it from his parents in 1910 or 1912 (raised their seven children there); and

(4) Harvey Wilson Watlington (1917-2012) and Annie Dora Carter (1923-2005) were the last known Watlington owners of the property. 


1 Little-Stokes, Ruth. An Inventory of Caswell County, North Carolina. Waynesville (NC): Don Mills, Inc., 1979, p.105. The discrepancy between the build dates (1846 and c.1860) is not understood.


Sunday, July 25, 2021

 Lea Ancestry

Many people in Caswell County, North Carolina, and surrounding areas have Lea ancestors. And, in "The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina," Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) (hereinafter "Caswell Heritage Book") are ten articles directly relating to the Lea family, with many references to Lea in other articles.

I want to caution you about relying upon these articles without doing further research. While this obviously can be said for all articles written by laymen in publications such as a county heritage book, it is especially critical for the Lea family.

The following factors are the basis for this warning:

1. The Lea family came to North Carolina from Virginia (particularly King & Queen County). Many of the core records from that county were lost or destroyed.

2. The given names William, James, and John were used repeatedly and confusingly.

3. Much misinformation has been published about the Lea family, esepcially these books:

(a) "Amite County Missisippi 1699-1890," Albert E. Casey

(b) "Finding Your Forefathers in America," Archibald F. Bennett

(c) "How I'm Kin to Whom: The Leas," Martha Lea Grdner and Richard T. Gardner

(d) "Lea Family," Frances Powell Otken. 1952.

Note that several articles in the Caswell Heritage Book rely heavily upon Amite County Mississippi 1699-1890, Albert E. Casey, and even cite it as an "excellent authority."

An example of the mischief caused by Albert E. Casey is his unfounded assumption that all persons with the surname Leigh, Lee, and Lea are related -- that the names essentially are the same. This was a crucial error.

The proliferation of online Lea family "genealogies" has compounded the problem.

Good luck.

Thursday, July 01, 2021

The Great Dinner in Caswell County, NC: 1839

 The Weekly Standard (Raleigh, North Carolina),  2 October 1839, Wednesday, Page 2

The Great Dinner in Caswell [From the Milton Spectator.] [Editor's Note: This apparently was a Democratic Party political meeting.]

"Agreeably to arrangements previously made, a very large assemblage (estimated at seven hundred) of the people of Caswell, including a few from all the adjoining counties, met on Thursday last at the house of Mr. Zeri Gwyn,* a gentleman noted for his hospitality and kindness, in the vicinity of Yanceyville, and partook of a sumptuous and splendid dinner, prepared for the occasion, and served up in a style that drew applause from every one; the company separated about sundown, highly delighted with their  entertainment, nothing having occurred to mar the good feeling and social intercourse with each other.

"The front gate of the beautiful and spacious lawn, shaded by lofty and spreading forest trees, was thrown open about nine o'clock A.M. when the company began to assemble. At about one o'clock P.M. dinner was announced, and the invited guests and strangers in attendance were politely conducted to the centre wing of the table by Major James Kerr, and Dr. James E. Williamson, Marshals of the day; and although 250 plates were provided, not one-half of the company could be accommodated with a seat at the first table, but waited patiently and without murmuring, until they could be accommodated.

"Upon the removal of the cloth, the table was bountifully supplied with choice wines and good liquors. General Barzillai Graves was requested to preside, and took his seat at the middle of the main table, fronting the centre wing, at which were again seated the invited guests and strangers. Dabney Rainy, Esq., General Thomas W. Graves, Major Wm. D. Bethell, Major Wm. A. Lea, and Dr. John B. McMullen, having been appointed, resumed their proper seats and officiated as Vice Presidents, when the following sentiments were given in regular order, and responded to by the immense crowd with an unusual degree of cheerfulness, making the air ring with loud huzzas."


*Zera/Zeri Gwyn (1778-1840)

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Life Magazine 1941 Yanceyville Article Correspondence


Dear Sandy:

Thank you so much for researching our request and getting back to me. However, the Caswell County Historical Association is a non-profit organization operating in one of the poorest counties in North Carolina. $500 to them might as well be $1 million.

Although the CCHA is over fifty years old, it did not have a website until this summer when I (from Florida) built one for them.

Is there any way Life Magazine could see fit to waive the fee? We would give full attribution and be very grateful.

We also could place a link to any site that you wish in an effort to generate more business for you.

That link would go at:

Otherwise, we will just quote a short part of the article under the fair-use rule, still of course citing the source and giving full attribution.

Thanks and best personal regards.


Richmond Stanfield Frederick, Jr.

PS I have not been successful in finding anyone who claims any copyright in the Walter Sanders photographs.

PPS I now have two copies of the December 8, 1941 issue, with one in mint condition. It was a very collectible issue because of the date and the fact that Douglass MacArthur was on the cover. The issue obviously went to press before the events of December 7, 1941.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Hyco Lake Power Plant Area History

"Colonial Commerce Once Thrived Through Area Where Power Plant And Its Lake Will Be Built"

The Bee (Danville, Virginia), 13 April 1963

Roxboro, N.C. -- A region in Person and Caswell counties, favored by commerce in this nation's early history, is again emerging as one of prominence.

Hyco River, which wends its way through the two counties to the Dan, is the scene of one of the locale's biggest economic moments, construction by Carolina Power & Light Company of a huge steam-electric generating plant and 3,750-acre cooling lake. The project eventually will cost some $325,000,000 and add 3,800,000 horsepower to the state's power supply.

The proposed plant will be situated northwest of the little community of Ceffo in Person County, an area referred to in the early days as the "Big Woods." The dam will be to the northeast, near historic McGhee's Mill where waters of the Hyco ground corn and wheat long before the Civil War.

Water will rise behind the earth-filled dam to form a lake 10 miles long. It will be used to cool condensers at the coal-fired plant, the first unit of which will go into service in 1966.

In Colonial days, McGee's Mill (formerly spelled McGehee's) was a way station on a stage line that angled northeast to Virginia and westward through Semora to Hillsboro and beyond.

The remains of the old McGehee home, built about 1765, stand overlooking this route. Across the road, in a tangle of briars, is the family graveyard, resting place for pioneer Mumford McGehee, his wife Sarah, their daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Revolutionary War Captain Robert Moore.

A few miles west of the McGehee homestead, at Semora, stands perhaps the only log post office in North Carolina. Mrs. Caroline McAden Winstead has been postmaster since 1942.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Thomas Brothers Oil and Gas, Inc.

Thomas Brothers Oil and Gas, Inc.

Thomas Brothers Oil and Propane 100 Year Celebration is set for Saturday, June 19, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at it’s location at the intersection of Main Street, Yanceyville and Rt. 158. The Open House will feature free BBQ and a raffle. All are invited.

History of Thomas Brothers Oil and Gas, Inc.


Walter Lea Thomas, Jr. (1900-1966) started the business in 1921 in the Town of Milton. A small general store was provided by his father and his brother Edmund Dixon Thomas (1902-1973) was given several farms in Caswell County.

His business was incorporated as Caswell Oil and Gas Company with his father, Walter Lea Thomas, Sr. (1895-1929) as a stockholder.

His first petroleum supplier was Esso, and he got his fuel by train delivered to two 8,000-gallon tanks on a rail siding near the Milton train depot (close to the Dan River).

The Esso deal was short-lived, and he moved to Texaco as a supplier. The two fuels he sold were kerosene and gasoline.

Kerosene was the best-selling product as sawmills were his largest customers, and they used kerosene to run their tractors and stationary engines. Gasoline was used to start these engines and as they warmed up, the kerosene tank was turned on for normal operation. Gasoline sales increased as more automobiles and trucks came with improved roads.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Short Sugar's BBQ Restaurant (Reidsville, NC)

Short Sugar's BBQ Restaurant
Reidsville, NC

Their first location was a few yards north of where they've been for most of their existence. The first place was a former service station on S. Scales Street at Northup Street. I remember going there soon after they opened in 1949 with my parents and eating inside the car. It had limited parking for curb service, so it wasn't long before they built their present facility with a faux chimney at the south corner of the building with an addition later on which put the chimney more in the middle of the present building. The real chimney is on the northside of the building. That "chimney" used to house a phone booth.

No visit to Reidsville is complete without a meal at Short Sugar's. I have yet to taste barbecue in Florida that comes close to Short Sugar's and have often thought if they opened a place in Jacksonville that they would do well.

Source: Thomas Gunn Facebook Post 25 June 2021


Along with his brothers Clyde Overby and Eldridge Overby, John (Johnny) Overby founded Short Sugar's BBQ Restaurant in Reidsville, North Carolina.

Legend has it that Eldridge Overby, who was on the short side, got his nickname in the late 1940s when his girlfriend, hearing her favorite song playing on a jukebox shouted, "I want to dance with my short sugar." From that day on, Eldridge Overby was known as "Short Sugar."

He and his brothers, Johnny and Clyde, went on to build Overby Brothers Drive-In. But just two days before the opening, Eldridge was killed in a car wreck. Johnny and Clyde decided to name the place after their departed brother, and Short Sugar's Drive-In was born.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Semora Mystery Graves: "Roots" Connection?

"Three Open Graves Remain Mystery"
The News Leader (Staunton, Virginia), 31 March 1982

Danville (AP) -- On a cool winter night, two coon hunters and their dogs topped a hill in the woods at Semora, N.C., a few miles south of Danville, and stumbled onto three open graves. A fine mist was falling.

Although he has hunted those woods for five or six years, Charles Lawson of rural Providence, N.C., had never run across the old graveyard before that eerie night. [Click image to see a larger version.]

Flat stones with no inscriptions, no names, no dates, mark about a dozen graves on the wooded hill.

Three of the graves had been exhumed to a depth of four or five feet. The open graves were nearly six feet long and two feet wide.

Two nights later, the moon was shining when Lawson showed the open pits to Det. Keith McKinney of the Caswell County, N.C., Sheriff's Department.

"It was an eerie feeling," McKinney said.

The defective took photographs but had been unable to find any record of the graves or any information that might explain their exhumation.

Who was buried there?

Why were they disinterred?

What did these unknown culprits find that would cause them to dig for so long and so deep?

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Southeast Film, Inc. Bankruptcy Proceedings 1997


The Caswell Messenger July 16, 1997

Officers of Southeast Film, Inc., pose in front of the US Bankruptcy Court in Greensboro, NC, after a federal judge gave them the go-ahead to restart the movie studios in Yanceyville.

Left-to-Right: Darrell Russell, Lee Farmer, Arnold Rogers, Tom Kirkpatrick, and Carlyle Wimbish.


Southeastern Film Inc. was once called Magder Entertainment Corp. Canadian filmmaker Zale Magder turned 315 acres in downtown Yanceyville, less than an hour's drive from Greensboro, into four large sound stages meant to attract the likes of Jodie Foster and John Travolta.

All this commotion arose in a rural county with no movie theater and one hotel.

Magder Entertainment opened in April 1996. In less than six months, after ``Last Lives,' a movie that went straight to video, and nine commercials, Magder Entertainment went belly up, with $52 left to spend and more than $2 million to pay.

Tom Kirkpatrick, shown above, was hired to turn around the bankrupt Southeastern Film, Inc.

Below is an aerial view of the studio buildings.

Zale Magder's Yanceyville Studios 1995


BY CHRISTINE TATUM Rockingham Bureau May 29, 1995 Updated Jan 25, 2015  0

Film producer Zale Magder doesn't want his new studios to change the face of Yanceyville.


Without bothering to remove a lit cigar from his mouth, film producer Zale Magder reaches for the ringing telephone. His greeting is curt and gruff.``Magder.'

The name speaks for itself among certain circles in the film industry. Magder, who gave Canada its first post-production studios nearly 20 years ago, was at one time that country's largest independent motion picture producer.

And now he's spending around $5 million to build film production studios in rural Caswell County - a county that doesn't even have a movie theater.

That beats all, said Caswell native Wilma Carter.

``I hear that man has more money than he knows what to do with,' Carter said, lowering her voice to a polite whisper. ``He must if he'd pick this place to start up such a whopper of a business.'

Around Yanceyville, the county's seat of about 2,000, few people link the Magder name to those four massive warehouse-like buildings that have recently popped up on the fringes of downtown. Many folks just say they're the doings of that wealthy Canadian who hopes his 315-acre estate will attract movie stars and movie makers worldwide.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Caswell County Midwives

 Caswell County Midwives

Discussed here and elsewhere is the 1913 trial of Henrietta Phelps Jeffries (1857-1926). In a Caswell County Superior Court she was convicted of practicing medicine without a license due to her activities as a midwife. The judge famously set aside the verdict.

Many have speculated that others in Caswell County also provided midwifery services but were never identified. Midwives did, and do, assist women in childbirth.

It appears that a Semora woman functioned as a midwife. She is Addie Sallie Royster (1884-1944). The 1940 United States Federal Census describes her as a negro/black female, 60 years old, with the following as her line of work:

Occupation: "mid Granny"

Industry: "Births"

Worker Class: "In Private Work"

Note that the above is not entirely legible on the original census form. She lived on the Semora-Milton Road with a household of fifteen people. Earlier censuses gave her occupation as "Home Laundress," which presumably meant that she did laundry in her home.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Stoney/Stony Creek Post Office (Caswell County, NC)


The Stony Creek Post Office operated from 15 April 1836 until 15 May 1905 when mail service was discontinued and shifted to Union Ridge in Alamance County. Why the US Postal Service used "Stony" instead of "Stoney" is not known. Perhaps others can help.

Postmasters: James Kerr; John Baynes; Hosea McNeill; George Leath; Jackson G. Pinnix; Confederate postmaster not identified; and Jeremiah A. Lea.

The location of the post office is not known, but, like many others of the time, probably was in a general store in the neighborhood. And, many who operated stores also were farmers. We know, for example, that the last "Stony Creek" postmaster, Jeremiah A. Lea, was a "Dry Goods Merchant," which meant he ran a general store.

I do not know the location of the Jeremiah A. Lea store, but this most likely was the site of the  "Stony Creek" Post Office. I do know he lived in the old James Kerr house near Kerr's Chapel Baptist Church and is buried in the church cemetery.

Semora Commercial Enterprises (Semora, Caswell County, NC)

Semora Commercial Enterprises (Semora, Caswell County, NC)

With respect to some we only know they existed, with no additional information available. Below the list are available relevant photographs. Click on an image to see a larger version.

Adams & Co. Store
Allen's Store (northeast corner of Highway 119/Highway 57 intersection)
Barker's Snack Bar (two locations)
Barker's Store (southeast corner of Highway 119/William Barker Road)
Barker's Store (Thomas Woody Barker 1930: merchant/general grocery/own account)

Brann/Fleetwood Store (near Highway 119/Highway 57 intersection -- southwest corner)
Brooks Funeral Home (north side of Highway 57 just east of Highway 119/Highway 57 intersection) 
Brooks Store (north side of Highway 57 just east of Highway 119/Highway 57 intersection)
Campbell's Store
Hamlett's Store

Hinton's Store (east side of Highway 119 generally across from current Semora Post Office)
Jessie Elmore's Store (east side of Highway 119 south of Highway 119/Highway 57 intersection)
Ma Barker's Store (northeast corner at Highway 119/Highway 57 intersection)
McSherry's Store
Millinery/Florist Shop

Nelson Store (Samuel B. Nelson, 1920, general merchandise)
Owen's Store and Tea Room
Red House Tavern
Semora ABC Store (two locations)
Semora Garage/Blacksmith Shop

Semora Lumber Mill
Semora Post Office
Semora Railroad Depot
Semora Supply Co. (known to be in operation 1919)
Taylor Store (Robert Stickney Taylor/retail grocer)

Winstead Store (Oscar Harris Winstead/general merchandise)

List compiled by Richmond S. Frederick, Jr. (June 19, 2021)

Monday, June 14, 2021

Signs of the South: Original and Archival Photographs (Caswell County, NC)

Curtis, Charlie. "Signs of the South: Original and Archival Photographs" in Southern Cultures, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Summer 2000, pp. 30-39. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Click image to see a larger version.

Caswell County Photographs

Friday, June 11, 2021

 Independent Weekly, April 13, 2005


The passionate art of Maud Gatewood is on display in a new film

By David Fellerath

The paintings are alternately vibrant, serene and joyful, hundreds of them produced over a long lifetime in Yanceyville, located in rural Caswell County, N.C. Many of the images are strikingly oblique glimpses of attractive young women at leisure: blow-drying hair, roller-skating or poised on a tree swing. But as immediately appealing as the paintings are, they also manage to be evocative and emotional without being sentimental. Highly distinctive yet often heedless of international art fashions, the work of Maud Gatewood represents a singular and private sensibility nurtured among the pines and red clay of North Carolina.

Rather quickly and unexpectedly, Gatewood succumbed last fall to a pair of strokes at the age of 70, but she survived long enough to see a newly completed film about her life and work. This weekend, Gatewood: Facing the White Canvas will play in area theaters, while a small memorial exhibition continues through Aug. 11 at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Like such Southern literary homebodies as Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, Flannery O'Connor and Reynolds Price (who appears in the film), Gatewood was hip to the goings-on in New York and Paris and London, but chose to practice her art in the land where her creative spirit felt at home.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Person County, North Carolina, Creation Petition

Petition to Create Person County, North Carolina 

I began a transcription of the petition. Any help would be greatly appreciated by anyone. The names of the signatories are difficult. I placed the document online:

Person County Creation Petition


Petition to Establish Person County [edited a bit to make more understandable]

To Honorable Mr. Speaker and Gentlemen of the House of Burgesses

We your humble petitioners of Caswell County labor under the ill conveniences of an ill situtate county, it being near forty miles in length and near twenty wide, which renders it very ill convenient to attend courts, general musters & other publick duties. We therefore pray an equal division.

And your petitioners as in duty bound shall every pray.

1. John Paine

2. David Whipple

3. William Rutherford

4. John Bell

5. Alexander __________

6. __________

7. Beverly __________

8. William __________

9. John Bowles

10. Thomas __________

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Caswell County Historical Association Projects: Missed Opportunities


The Caswell County Historical Association (CCHA) was formed in 1956 to document and preserve the history of Caswell County, North Carolina. It was a few years later that the CCHA acknowledged the importance of genealogy.

The CCHA owns and operates the Richmond-Miles History Museum in Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina. See image to left. Click it to see a larger version.

Unfortunately, over the past few years the CCHA has fallen on difficult times, primarily through a lack of leadership.

In an effort to assist the CCHA ,the CCHA Webmaster at the time, Richmond Stanfield (Rick) Frederick, Jr., provided advice. He identified problems, instructed how these problems should be addressed, and offered his expertise and money to get the job done. Here is a link to a comprehensive memorandum Rick Frederick prepared and submitted to the CCHA Board of Directors:

CCHA Projects and References

Unfortunately, the CCHA for the most part ignored this advice. And, not only did the CCHA ignore the advice, it launched personal attacks against the former webmaster, Rick Frederick. This was a sad chapter in the history of an otherwise proud organization.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Marshall Ferrell (1901-2002)


Marshall Ferrell (1901-2002). Click image to see a larger version.

Bartlett Yancey High School: "Looking Back" The Caswell Messenger

Left to Right (click image to see a larger version):

1. Mike Reynolds
2. Bobby Brewer
3. Rick Frederick
4. Russell Watlington
5. Wayne Cross

6. Larry Stogner
7. Mike Chandler
8. Gordon Plumblee 
9. Ronald (Rag) Aldridge

"Looking Back" The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, Caswell County, NC) 12 May 2021. Photograph courtesy Bonnie Simpson Brewer.

Location: Bartlett Yancey High School Football Field (school building is in the background/view is to the north). These boys were asked to show some leg skin.



Full Text of Opinion

 Court of Appeals of North Carolina.

WILLIAM RUSSELL JOHNSTON, Plaintiff, v. ALLYSON SCOTT JOHNSTON, Defendant. No. COA16-641 Decided: November 21, 2017

Manning, Fulton, & Skinner, by Michael S. Harrell, for plaintiff-appellee.
Tharrington, Smith, LLP, by Steve Mansbery, for defendant-appellant.

Defendant Allyson Scott Johnston appeals an order denying her motion to dismiss the case filed by plaintiff in Caswell County and to have it transferred to Wake County. Because defendant's custody claim was filed in Wake County before plaintiff filed his claim in Caswell County, the district court in Caswell County did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the custody claim.

We reverse the order denying defendant's motion to dismiss, remand for consideration of defendant's motion for sanctions, and vacate the temporary visitation and custody orders.

I. Background On 4 April 2009, plaintiff William Russell Johnston (“Husband”) and defendant Allyson Scott Johnston (“Wife”) were married. The parties had two children, one in 2012 and one in 2014. The parties separated, although the exact date is in dispute, and on 15 September 2015, Husband filed a complaint in Caswell County against Wife for custody, divorce from bed and board, and equitable distribution, alleging the parties had separated on 2 August 2015.

On 22 September 2015, the complaint was served on Wife. Thereafter, on 1 October 2015, Husband voluntarily dismissed his Caswell County complaint without prejudice.

On 8 October 2015, Wife filed a complaint against Husband in Wake County for custody, child support, post-separation support, alimony, and attorney fees. A temporary custody hearing was set in Wake County for 15 December 2015. Husband was not served with the Wake County summons and complaint on the sheriff's initial attempts, and he later admitted that he intentionally avoided service.

On 13 October 2015, Husband filed a second complaint against Wife in Caswell County for custody, divorce from bed and board, and equitable distribution; the complaint fails to note the active suit in Wake County, although husband was aware that it had been filed.

On 19 October 2015, Husband filed a motion in Caswell County requesting entry of an order for temporary child custody and visitation.

On 2 November 2015, Wife filed a motion to dismiss the Caswell County case for lack of jurisdiction because of her prior pending action in Wake County.

Also on 2 November 2015, the district court heard Husband's request for temporary custody, although Husband was not present and his attorney admitted he did not come to the hearing he had scheduled for temporary custody because he was avoiding service in the Wake County case:

MS. RAMSEY: His client's not even here. His client is asking for temporary custody of the children, and he's not even here. The reason he's not here is because he knows, if he comes in here, he's going to be served with this Wake County action. He's avoiding service.

Andrew Sterling Carter Arrested

On Friday, May 7, 2021, the Caswell County Sheriff’s Office served a felony arrest warrant on a 27-year-old Caswell County resident named Andrew Sterling Carter. The felony warrant obtained by the State Bureau of Investigation charged Carter with the commission of  five counts of Felonious Second Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. [The relevant North Carolina statute is set forth below.]

He was released from the Caswell County Detention Center after posting a $9,900 Secured Bond. His first appearance in Caswell County Superior Court is scheduled for Monday, May 24, at 10:00 am.

Carter is a former Caswell County Commissioner. He resigned in 2020.

Source: The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, NC), 10 May 2021.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Bowman, Gunn, Jones, Mims, Rice, Somers, Vernon

Click photograph to see a larger version.

Bowman, Gunn, Jones, Mims, Rice, Somers, Vernon


Seated: Herbert Jones, Bessie Virginia Rice, Fletcher Vernon, Minnie Bowman, Blanch Jones

Standing: Macrellus Mims, Martha Somers, Willie Rice, Mattie Rice, Bessie Gunn, Jim Somers, Ada Gunn, Roger Rice, Mrs. Mary Adeline Jones Gunn

Location: John Wright Mims home

Date: 1908

Photograph and information courtesy Clayton Blackwell.

Minnie Bowman

Bessie Gunn
Ada Gunn

Herbert Jones
Blanch Jones
Mary Adeline Jones m. Starling H. Gunn

Marcellus Mims

Bessie Virginia Rice m. Hugh Washington Johnson
Willie Florence Rice m. John C. Weaver
Mattie Rice (apparently never married)
Roger Mills Rice m. Ethel Pauline Sanderson

Martha Somers
Jim Somers

Fletcher Vernon

Digitally Preserving Old Photographs

Digitally Preserving Old Photographs (and other items)

Following are procedures that served me well. I hope you find something useful. Rick Summary (details below) 

1. Use a flat-bed scanner (not a smartphone)
2. Clean scanner glass/remove photo dust/do not repair photos
3. Scan at 600 dpi/8-inches output width
4. Scan in TIFF format
5. Scan in color mode

6. Scan back of photo if it has info
7. Use de-screening for certain items
8. Use post-scanning software like Photoshop
9. Devise a naming/filing scheme
10. Consider a commercial scanning service

11. Backup your digital image files

1. Use a flat-bed scanner. A suitable one will cost $100-$250 and should come with useful software.* Some multi-purposes devices, such as a copier/printer/scanner, may be suitable. However, most are not. A smartphone is not recommended. But, there may be circumstances when a smartphone is the only option. Do it. I have.

2. Keep the scanner surface clean using a microfiber cloth. Do not use a paper towel or tissue. Remove dust from photographs using compressed air, which is available in small cans. Do not rub the photograph with anything. Do not blow on the photograph. Do not attempt to repair any damage to a photograph, such as creases. If taped or has corner tabs from being in an album, leave all of it. Damage can be addressed using the software described below.

Yanceyville History: Dates to 1791? by Dr. H.G. Jones

Click the article to see a more-legible version.

Caswell County Quiz: What is incorrect about this article, just focusing on the heading: "Yanceyville Dates to 1791"?* The Daily Times-News (Burlington, North Carolina) · 11 Sep 1973, Tue · Page 15

*Rick Frederick: HG Jones was a friend and mentor. Thus, I reluctantly call out his mistakes. However, I know that he would not hesitate to do the same for me -- and did many times! What else did he get wrong in this article?

Answer: This article contains at least four errors:

(1) Yanceyville dates to 1792, not 1791 (Caswell County was divided in 1792 when Person County was carved off);*

(2) Yanceyville was named for Bartlett Yancey, Jr., and not his family;

(3) John Walter (Chicken) Stephens was not lured from the Caswell County Courthouse, he was killed inside it; and

(4) John William Cosby did not design the Caswell County Courthouse. It was designed by William Percival.
*Actually, the location of what became Yanceyville dates to 1792. The Town of Yanceyville was not established until the 1830s.

The Daily Times-News (Burlington, North Carolina) · 11 Sep 1973, Tue · Page 15

Did HG Jones actually write an article with so many mistakes? 

Given the errors, I would say no. However, there are word choices and stylistic clues that are pure HG. Examples: "miniaturized county"; not using "Chicken" to refer to John Walter Stephens; and the segue from "quiet country village" to "little quiet in 1870."

Of course the newspaper attributed the article to HG, and he signed the Yanceyville Historic District National Register of Historic Places application form.