Illustration of foot and flags]
Outland House by Lois Outland
Northampton Scene by Kitty Good
FOOTPRINTS IN NORTHAMPTON 1741 - 1776 - 1976
NORTHAMPTON COUNTY BICENTENNIAL COMMITTEE1976
It is our sincere hope that you will with patience and understanding read this short explanation before reading this book. We would like to emphasize what this book is not as well as what it is. We emphatically state that it is not a history of Northampton County and is in no way intended to take the place of one. It has been called a, “glorified scrap book”.
Each member of the Northampton County Bicentennial Committee has worked hard collecting information from his or her part of the county. We have pleaded for information from our citizens and we hope that you contacted your representative.
We are keenly aware that people, places, and things have been left out and for this we are sorry, but at the same time we know it is impossible to cover everything. Everyone will not be pleased, but we feel a duty to try to produce a publication that will in a small way increase our awareness of our county's rich heritage. Though it be both negative and positive we feel we will accomplish something even if we call to the attention of our citizens just how much history remains to be written. Therefore, we solicit your understanding.
Just as we have found mistakes and contradictions by early historians of our area, we also know they will plague us. So, in essence, forgive out human frailties and know that all who have contributed to this book have done it for their love of Northampton County, remembering, “where we go depends upon where we have been”.
E. Carl Witt. Chairman
Historic Concord Church
Now Thank We All Our God
God of our Fathers, known of old, we thank you for those intrepid souls who loved freedom to worship and the right to govern themselves more than their native land. Even as Abraham left his homeland and sought a “better place” so did our forebears come to America seeking a better place. Thank you for leading them to America, protecting them amidst all the vicissitudes of this wildnerness land and for the new nation they wrought out under the leadership of God.
Forgive us for our sometime — neglect and betrayal of our inheritance. We pray that you, our merciful and loving Heavenly Father, will heal our feverish ways, keep our star still shining and the dream of a better place in our hearts. May there be a renewal of faith in the destiny and purpose of these United States of America.
Dr. and Mrs. R. Kelly White
Table of Contents
|I.||General Histories and Listings||1|
|II.||The War Between the States||37|
|VI.||Rich Square Area||113|
Northampton County Commissioners - 1975
Jasper Eley, Chairman
John H. Liverman, Jr., Vice-Chairman
W. D. Edwards
W. W. Grant
General Histories and Listings
“The Essential Northampton”-
A Portrait Drawn in Affection
Who lives in Northampton? What kind of people are they? In the summer of 1947 these questions came winging across the Atlantic from a news reporter of the London Times.
With love and affection, our own Bernice Kelly Harris, a resident of Seaboard and a writer of distinction, wrote an answer to these questions which was carried in full in the July 27, 1974 News and Observer and reads as follows:
“ ‘The Essential Northampton’ — A Portrait Drawn In Affection”
While the attitudes, modes, and conventions of Northampton do not differ from those of in general, a sense of older cultures, of the grace and revel of other days, of land passing from heir to heir does seem to linger distinctively, giving flavor and piquancy to this section of state. The names of antebellum plantations, of old taverns and race horses, of the hunt, and of primitive peoples are as integral a part of local nomenclature as are Jackson and Rich Square and other little towns spaced through the county every few miles. Added to the more romantic labels, there are Urahaw, Wiccacanee, Potecasi, Occoneechee, and Meherrin, suggestive of wigwam days; Cutawhiskie. Bear Creek, Hunting Branch, Wildcat Swamp, Edwards’ Pocoson, Beaverpond, Paddy's Delight Creek, Panther Swamp, Pin Hook, and Shell Landing, reminiscent of pioneer days when the hunt was subsistence as well as recreation.Families Stick Here
The plantation idea which still seems to linger in the cultivation of the rich Northampton acres survives the plantation system and an older culture that is not otherwise entirely without material evidence, impressive if not provocative of extensive Old Homes and Garden Tours. While there is left only the site of Mount Gallant, plantation home of one of Northampton's illustrous sons, with its slabs of English stone marking the resting places of their noted family, such tours would show homes considerably over a hundred years in which consecutive heirs have lived and are still living, family burying grounds on land still in the possession of great-great-grandchildren, site of holdings that have run to three thousand acres, and colored tenants still on land that was cultivated by their great-grand fathers under the slave system.
Plantations first developed along the Roanoke and Meherrin Rivers and near their tributaries which served early planters as highways by which they could travel as well as receive cargoes of slaves brought directly from . Local historians state that the river Negroes, living in what is familiarly known as “The Neck,” until comparatively recently remained somewhat distinctive in character, preserving their own tribal lore and picturesque dialect. For instance, coming from a part of where salt was unavailable, they were some generations acquiring a taste for the standard fare of fatback and corned herrings. These early settlers of Northampton, formed as a county from Bertie in 1741 and named for the Earl of Northampton, were principally Scotch and Scotch-Irish from the , and later from colonial provinces to the north came French, English, Scotch, and Scotch-Irish. Their descendants are the white population of the county today.
However changed the distinctive manorial pattern, Garibaldi and Maretoc and Thornbury and Alvesta, Bull Hill, Mowfield, Big Gees and Little Gees, Odum Farm, Rogers Quarter, The Meadows, The Level, Over-the-Road Farm, among others, are still yielding cotton and corn under those names and are as glib to the tongue of colored sharecroppers as are Conway, Woodland or Seaboard.
Verona, home of General Ransom, is still in the possession of his family. Longview; home of Willie Jones Long — named for his nationally famous great-great-grandfather, Willie Jones — is a beautiful example of plantation continuity. In it are living the fifth generation, and on the land descendants of slaves have lived consecutively, with slaves’ great-great-grandchildren still calling the Longview plantation home.Her People ‘Belong.’
Warren Place, rebuilt on the site of a plantation house more than a hundred years old and named for one of the early Northampton sheriffs, is the home of Gilbert T. Stephenson, whose great-great-great-grandfather came back from the Revolutionary War to this neighborhood — now called Pendleton — and whose great-great-grandfathers are buried on land still in possession of heirs. The Meherrin River road, from Margarettsville to Severn, is bordered at intervals with old houses that were once manors with slave quarters. The Nancy House, unoccupied but still owned by heirs, faces towards the river rather than the highway. The Jordan Edwards place and Rogers Farm are among other old houses still used by the family. These random examples of continuity and permanence, giving to Northampton people the feeling of “belongingness” can be duplicated over the county.
Many old plantations, such as Branch's and Deberry's, and old plantation houses have passed into other hands or alien occupation. There is the Cotton house, built on Sutton Ridge, grant of land from the Earl of Sutherland; formerly distinguished by hand carvings and brass locks and a secret stair. It is now a shell, housing tenants. There is the Boone home, owned by heirs but unoccupied, closed and shuttered in embalmed stillness and dignity, preserving almost intact the furnishing and way of living of other generations.The Pace Changes.
Likewise, Faison's Old Tavern, according to local historians the lively scene in other days of much reveling, of cock fights and English pub conviviality, now operates prosaically as a filling station. Silver Hill, originally a famous race course to which horses were brought from points as far away as Long Island, is now tilled land on which nothing more dare-devil than farm mules plod.
The Burgwyn family is only one exponent of the other culture, landed still if more nearly urban now in point of residence, inheriting several large plantations along the Roanoke River from their uncle, George Pollock, The Burgwyns came to Northampton from Craven County in 1840. Henry King Burgwyn designed the courthouse for the county, erected around 1850, and other members of his
family have a distinguished record of service to county and State. Harry King Burgwyn of the 26th Regiment at Gettysburg was the youngest colonel to be killed in action, being only 21. Others have established banks, served as county treasurer, clerk of Superior Court, Representative and Senator in the General Assembly. W. H. S. Burgwyn, formerly legislator, has been judge of Superior Court for the past ten years.
Northampton is not without representation in state and national affairs. Thomas Bragg was Governor of and Attorney-General in Davis’ cabinet; his residence stands in quiet dignity not far from the courthouse square. Matt Ransom, General and Senator, was the first Ambassador to , a post, the General confided to county acquaintances, created by Cleveland especially to favor him — with the better salary involved in the higher rank. Political creation or not, diplomacy obviously suited the General. A legend has grown up in this locale around his hospitality, his diplomatic dealing with tax collector or importunate creditor. One sheriff it is alleged, ran on the sole platform that he would collect the General's taxes if elected to office. Regardless of crass electioneering, the General's home, Verona, stands as a symbol of the charm and hospitality of ante-bellum days.Land Sires Lawyers.
The General's neighbor, Judge Mason, and E. C. Beddingfield were members of the State Railroad Commission, which antedated the present Utilities Commission and played an important part in the revolution that overturned the Republican regime.
In jurisprudence, the genius of Northampton seems to flower. Its citizens are inclined toward patronage of, rather than active participation in, the arts. A young portrait painter, Copeland, was gaining considerable reputation when he died. There has been a sprinkling of writers, journalists, local historians like the scholarly P. J. Long, formerly superintendent of education for a quarter century. But the judges — Mason, Barnes, Midyette, Peebles, Burgwyn — all the lawyers reflect the basic predilection of Northampton in respect to public life. The Northampton Players, a significant organization of adults from various parts of the county dedicated to the writing and production of one-act plays, were giving an impetus to one phase of cultural development when gas rationing interrupted and the drafting of players to other theaters of action. Currently, under the aegis of the Gilbert Stephensons who commute to Warren Place from Wilmington, Delaware, there is an embryonic plan to effect an organization forwhatever artists and patrons of art there are in this area, with cultural objectives.
A county library serves every section of Northampton; agriculture, home economics, health and welfare departments function under most efficient administrations. Consolidation has effected a good system of elementary and high schools for white and colored, with improvement in the literacy rate evident. Little headway has been made against adult illiteracy, though classes have been held intermittently toward that end.
The sense of continuity and of goodly heritage is emphasized in the religious background. The map of Northampton is dotted every few miles with churches and chapels, some of them old. St. Luke's and Potecasi and Cedar Grove Meeting House are among the older churches, along with Concord, established in 1795, and Pinner's and Sharon early in the last century. Baptist, Episcopal, Friends, and Methodist churches serve the county, white and colored, from Hebron in the extreme east to Roanoke Chapel in Occaoneechee Neck; and associations and yearly meetings and conferences cement the fellowships of a churched and religious people.
The essential Northampton is not backgrounds and older cultures and well-known names alone, not altogether the college trained women and men that make up an impressive percentage of the citizenry; it is also the stout-hearted men and women who from some stubborn clearing or new ground made homes and a good life for their families without benefit of plantation slaves, those simple happy people who could stand at their gates and see every foot of land they owned, who loved land not too much to make footpaths across their fields to neighbors’ houses, whose land sense provoked no feuds over boundary or line trees.Northampton Is Broad.
The essential Northampton is that colored man and woman of Jonesboro who made their bodies veritable steam engines doing public work and standing knee-deep in mud from sun to sun molding brick by hand, in order that they might acquire land passing from heir to heir; it is that indomitable old woman from Conwell's Mill who peddled broomstraw and blackberries from door to door over the miles rather than go on relief; it is the harrowingly deformed man of Galatia who helped support his family with the sales of his quaint little baskets, made with his own afflicted hands, and who sang what he called a ‘mean bass,’ withal; or the man down Bynum Road who spent his life keeping peace, gratis, in preference to making peace profitably after it was broken.
It is that 12 good-men-and-true who, shocked and angered and enraged over one of the most horrible crimes ever committed in Northampton or anywhere, because of the circumstantial element in the court evidence, returned on June 27, 1947 a verdict of first degree burglary with a recommendation for mercy for the colored criminal.Respects Human Dignity.
It is the undaunted old matriarch who at 73 joined an adult illiteracy class that she might learn to read her Bible and sign checks; that gaunt aging share-cropper at Lassiter's Fork still no nearer his dream of owning a farm, but continuing to make his current home a haven for homeless children of family connections and “some sort of how” to provide a living through depressions and panics for his family circle of 20-odd, not one of whom he would “shed” himself of; that kindly country doctor trading pills for plow beams the years his patients have more plows than money. It is that cornfield philosopher who, when challenged by a city resident with, “I bet I could lose you on the streets of Norfolk,” retorted: “I bet I could lose you in Fountain Creek, too!” It is those tired harvesters trudging along Drake's Crossroads, of nights toward fireside fellowships with neighbors, a brightness of their own creating, a triumph of human spirit over bleak horizons of circumstance.
The essential Northampton is, indeed, the spirit of the people who, not uncompromisingly heroic in equivocal situations, yet become veterans and casualties of
Corregidor and Gaudalcanal and Normandy beaches and Iwo Jima.
Essentially, Northampton takes pride in the record of its good and self-respecting colored people, in men like the late W. S. Creecy, for many years head of Creecy Institute at Rich Square and a sound and wholesome influence in his section; like Ernest Sugg who for 20 years has taught in the three-teacher school near Jackson and built toward a better community; like workers in the Willis Hare High School in Kirby township which has reports of excellent work: like J. N. Gill, under whose long administration Coates school in Seaboard grew into a four year high school, with agriculture and home economics departments.Record Brings Pride.
There is pride, too, in the creditable record of race relationships through the years and in the jealous concern on the part of leading citizens for the fair treatment of colored people. There is a common saying in Northampton that the colored man stands a better chance in law than the white man. The facts, according to an outstanding lawyer in Jackson, seem to bear this out. It is his opinion that if the evidence in a case weighs about equally, a jury in this county will nine times out of ten tip the scales in favor of the Negro.
The protective instinct and indulgence have on occasions risen beyond any brotherhood thesis and become down-to-earth practice. In adversity and in danger these have asserted themselves in behalf of the colored man. White men have rushed into danger, risking their lives during emergencies — notably to rescue tenants from flooded lowlands during river freshets — and they have responded to exigency otherwise when the response involved great burden. They have helped him build his churches and chapels and schools, provided clinics and hospitalization, cheered his achievements. In the same spirit and in the limit of his ability the colored man has reciprocated.Essentially a Farmer.
The deep sense of land motivates Northampton. Northampton is a farmer. Of the 125,000 acres in cultivation, from an approximate total of 325,000 acres of farm and woodland, an average of 45,000 acres is planted in peanuts, 20,000 in cotton, 30,000 in corn — the three principle crops — while tobacco trails with 660 acres. The average cotton production is 450 lint pounds per acre and peanuts 1,200 pounds per acre. The diversification that was in evidence during the plantation system of farming collapsed after the War Between the States as a result of the demoralization of labor and depletion of capital. During the period of adjustment, crops which required the least labor and could be most readily converted into cash had to be grown, and cotton was king. The commercial production of peanuts began during the last two decades of the nineteenth century, and today Northampton ranks first among all other counties in the State in peanut production and seventeenth in the nation.
The rich lowgrounds of the Roanoke and Meherrin Rivers, the well drained terraces, the fertile uplands and new grounds, the fine sandy loams and silty clays all present at harvest time a picture of pastoral and sylvan plenty that is idyllic. The agrarian idea is not gentle of idyllic in Northampton, however, but more nearly Big Business, highly specialized and scientific. The peanut shocks, shading from lacy green at digging time to weathered brown at threshing, may emboss slope and lowground in picturesque polk-dot design, or like fat old ladies standing comfortable and ungirdled and fulfilled. But they are so because soils have been analyzed and the Norfolk fine sandy loams and Marlboro and Wickham and Altavista and Congaree silty clays adapted to right uses, because commercial fertilizers have been poured down, an average of 18 to 20 tons a farm per year; because winter legumes, rye and crimson clover and vetch and lespedeza have been used to the millions of pounds crops rotated; because they are money, five million dollars annually.Land Is Fertile.
Likewise, cotton, lapping luxuriantly in the rows in August and fruiting toward white field and a million miniature Santa Claus beards, is investment, not eclogue, bringing in approximately two million dollars a year. Livestock and cattle breeds are being developed, notably on Holoman Farms and Tall Pines Plantation, with outstanding dairying at Longview; commercial turkey raising, a model being Rogers Farm near Severn, and poultry flocks and hatcheries add to the cash income, the total of which for all farm products is eight million dollars annually. While values are only approximately fifty per cent on the tax book, Northampton is rated as an eleven million dollar county.
Farmer means investor, without bucolic connotation, necessarily; and farming is a corporation with highly specialized idiom and as intricate ramifications as a metropolitan syndicate. A sharecropper might easily daze a cosmopolite with his articulation of the idiom. It might well occasion no surprise, indeed, for the insignificant looking fellow at the hammermill to be heard referring to the theory of relativity or extrasensory perception; or the shirt-sleeved man at the disk harrow recalling that Carlyle's “French Revolution” and Millay's “Conversation at Midnight” were reproduced from ashes; or the fat farmer on the tractor opining on ideologies and theses of government. For graduates from Carolina and Duke and Guilford and State and Wake Forest come back to farm in Northampton — albeit from town homes, principally. They may be bankers, lawyers, legislators, doctors, merchants, druggists; but they are farmers, too, with as interesting assets, perhaps, from farms as from fees of office.Sense of Continuity.
The sense of land is not all related to the business of dollars. Heritage is inherent, the idea of land transmitted from ancestors and transmissable to heirs. While Northampton seems to be a county of large farms and big landowners, actually 33 per cent of the farms are less than 50 acres, and only 16 per cent more than 100. The pattern even among the comparatively big landowners is no longer vicinal and compact, but bordered by various ownerships that keep the surveyor straightening out boundaries. Land is where they can buy it, and buy it they do big prices against competitive bidding. But the background is continuity, land passing from heir to heir.
The social design is conventional, though rockfish muddles, perhaps squirrel muddles too, seem to be a sectional basis for gatherings that are just picnics elsewhere. Peanut threshings are often the occasion for bucolic, old-fashioned feeds, of the layin-by of crops for big brunswick stews and barbecues; in the winter, hog-killings are
festivals of neighborliness, in town and county, with platters of “fresh” making the rounds like May baskets. Connoisseurs rate Northampton hams, cured by family or neighborhood recipes, quite as high as those with more famous labels. Deer hunts through the creeks and swamps of Northampton, fishing in the mill, bird hunting in woods and fields are seasonal diversion. Teas, bridge, luncheons, dinner parties, log cabin suppers are as likely to be county as neighborhood in scope, so close and so neighborly are inter-town contacts.
It is a good county, this Northampton.Northampton History
by Hazel Griffin
During 1963 is celebrating the 300th anniversary of the granting of the Carolina Charter. Through the celebration the state is expressing its consciousness of its heritage, history, and culture. Several counties are participating in the anniversary event with programs, projects, and displays.
Northampton County too has its share of heritage even though much of its history is unrealized and certainly unwritten.
The county, 504 square miles, was formed in 1741 from Bertie County, which was formed in 1729 from the Albemarle precinct. Thus, Northampton as a part of old Albemarle, is among the earliest sections of the state to be settled. The county took its name from George, Earl of Northampton, a British nobleman, the brother of the Earl of Wilmington.
The two earliest deeds in Northampton were copied from the Bertie precinct records. Both concern land on the south side of the Meherrin River. Joseph Boon granted to Matthew Strickland a tract that was part of Thomas Boon's 1723 patent, and Matthew Strickland deeded to Joseph Strickland a tract granted to William Boon, Nov. 11, 1723.
The first deed recorded Nov. 21, 1741 after the formation of Northampton was by Rowland and Phillis Williams to Anthony Robinson, York County, Virginia, for land on the Roanoke River, the land being part of a land patent of William Brown,deceased, who sold the land to Williams.
Other of the earliest land grants after the founding of the county were in 1742 to Thomas Wall and in 1744 to Richard Pace, John Smelly, and Robert Warren. Practically all of the land was patented during the 1740-1790 period. Only small tracts were patented after 1790.
Before 1741 however deeds indicate early owners of land. From the deed books the earliest mention of a land grant or patent in Northampton is that of Richard Braswell, 1706. Other early patents were held in 1712 by Thomas Howell; in 1718 by Phillip Jones of Surry County, Virginia; in 1719 by John Green, John Colson, Rebecca Braswell, Joseph Boon, Patrick Maule and Benjamin Williams; in 1720 by John Cheserby and John Farrow; in 1722 by Henry Baker and Edward Barnes; in 1723 by William Boon, Thomas Howell, John Lee, John Nelson, Richard Jarnagan and Richard Washington (of the George Washington family); and in 1725 by William Ricks and Robert Edwards.
Other land owners before 1741 were family names of Kerbey, Baggett, Hart, Hayes, Joyner, Glover, Bridgers, Turner, Tyner, Parker, Wheeler, and many others.
In 1755, Northampton had a total of 1,736 taxables and 676 men serving in the militia.
By 1762 there were 2,280 persons named in the tax list, 1,109 being white and 1,171 black. Of these only about 235 paid taxes. John Edwards was county clerk at that time.
Names of the 1762 list familiar in Northampton today were those of Barrett, Barrow, Boon, Bridgers, Carter, Ellis, Davis, Daughtrey, Deloach, Faison, Gay, Garris, Gee, Griffin, Harris, Hayes, Johnson, Lassiter, Lewis, Mecham, Parker, Parks, Revel, Rogers, Martin, Long, Sauls, Sikes, Taylor, Vaughan, Vinson and Wheeler.
By 1786, the population had increased greatly. The records of Eaton Haynes, clerk at that time, show a white male population of 2,346, white female 2,165, and blacks 3,709. With approximately 850 heads of households listed, the number of slaves averaged about four per family.
The largest slaveholder was Allen Jones, who in 1768 advertised in the Virginia Gazette 1450 acres of good tobacco land and 200 acres of low ground on the Roanoke River. Included in the sale were dwellings and orchards of 500 peach trees and 200 apple trees. The fruit was used in those days for brandy making.
Other large slaveholders were William Clements with 53 slaves; Harwood Jones with 49; William Eaton who lived at Eaton's Ferry with 45; Priscilla Williams, 39; William Ruffin, 37; Mary Mason, 33; John Branch, 31; Henry Deberry, 30; Benjamin Edwards, 27; Jonas Wood, 26; James Wood, 25; and Joseph Wood, 24. Incidentally, it is believed that Woodland was named for the Wood family named in the list above.
In 1794, the court minutes show that Northampton had then 445,647 acres of land, 1,587 free poll and 4,164 black poll. Also in the county were 148 “wheels of pleasure”. Forty-six town lots were listed as taxable.
The first official census of the county was taken in 1790 by order of the newly formed national or federal government. The 1790 census showed Northampton's population to be 9,981. The latest census (1960) lists the population as 26,811, a not remarkable increase for 200 years. The original list of the county's 1762, 1786, and 1790 tax lists are in the Department of Archives, Raleigh.
Northampton is more fortunate than many counties in the matter of preserved records, yet it is one of the few counties in the state whose history has not been put into book form. In fact, scarcely nothing of its history or people has been told.
In 1974, the county had 339,986 acres of farm, woods, pasture land, with 296,223 acres in farm land, and 99,776 in cropland. In crops were peanuts 28,916 acres, cotton 26,446, soybeans 14,083 and smaller acreage in alfalfa, irish potatoes, and watermelons. Northampton leads all counties in the nation in peanut production. Turpentine and tar were vital commodities in the early days, followed by cotton. Timber sales have saved county farmers during depressions.
Carl Goerch said, “Northampton is made up of agriculturist liberals.”
This article appeared in The News, Murfreesboro, N. C. March 28, 1963.
Life in this area known as Northampton County had its beginning many centuries ago. The rich lands fed by her rivers and many streams were formed countless years before the peoples of Northampton were married to this land.
Two hundred million years ago our land was scraped by glaciers pushing their way down from the north. Evidences of this ancient invasion are found even today with large chunks of tumbled and worn petrified wood deposited in various sections of the county. Some of these pieces were brought here from as far north as the present state of .
Northampton also has her own native examples of petrified wood which exhibit the fact of her dense and lush forests centuries ago. Mr. Q. J. Stephenson of Garysburg, who for many years has unearthed this county's prehistory, has found twenty-five different types of petrified wood native to our county. Pine, hickory, and oak grew on our land thousands of years ago, even as today.
A layer of blue mud lies over this age. Today streams have cut through the soil to expose this layer established before history. Within this layer, one can find numerous shells as evidence of the time when the ocean covered our land. The sea last covered this area thousands of years ago and its shore was just west of the present city of Weldon. Shark's teeth at Watson's Mill have been a curiosity for decades. Northampton's soil still reveals shells, coral, whale bones and other examples of this domination by the ocean. The animals of the sea swam over this area until the sea receeded leaving the land once again to the land animals.
Several years ago, Mr. Q. J. Stephenson, while setting mink traps, discovered a “log” sticking out of a stream bank. This “log” as he later discovered was the four foot long leg bone of a mastadon. From this site of what is now called “Garysburg Mastadon,” Mr. Stephenson has recovered a number of bones and bone fragments including a kneecap, a tusk, and a tooth (with enamel still on it.)
Exactly when the first humans made their footprints in our land, is not certain. The rich soil and plant and animal life must have been attractive to those prehistoric wanderers. Indian relics are abundant in our county and extend man's existence here, back thousands of years. A significant find however, is that of an authenticated arrowhead of the Folsom period. This find could set man's existence in our county back a hundred centuries.Indians in
English settlers in Northampton County encountered Indians. They were an agricultural people, but also depended on hunting and fishing, according to the writing of E. Lawrence Lee, in Indian Wars in North Carolina, 1663-1763, a 1963 publication. These people had an organized way of life, living in villages and towns which varied in size from a few to as many as two hundred or more. Each had a chief or a head man as leader. The Indians had an uncomplicated life style before the coming of the whites, raising some grain, tobacco, vegetables and fruits with additional food provided by fishing and hunting. Surplus foods of all kinds were dried and stored in town storehouses for future use. They also depended on their surroundings to provide the materials for the tools which were fashioned from such things as stone and bones.
Most of the history of these colorful people is unknown because they had no written language.
The Meherrin Indians were the predominant tribe in Northampton County.Meherrin Indians
Meherrin Indians came from the Susquehanna area between and about 1675, according to Roy Johnson, Roanoke-Chowan News, July 20, 1958. They were called Susquehannas. They came to the old Saponnic Town on the Meherrin River near Lawrenceville, Virginia. Historian R. D. Connor says the town (referred to by Johnson as Saponnic) was called Christina (now sp. Christianna) and was the home of the Saponi Indians. Connor also identifies the Saponis with the Nottoway River in present Brunswick County. The river divides and . Colonel Byrd in his account of his surveying the state line refers to the Saponi Indian School at Christina. The school was fortified for protection against the savage Tuscaroras, but it was the Mohawk Indians who attacked the Saponis or the Meherrins in 1717, dispersing them. Some came into the Meherrin and Roanoke river areas of Northampton, only to be scattered by maurauding Catawba Indians about 1727. Some of the Meherrins settled on the Potecasi Creek, Urahaw and Cutawhiskie Swamps. Fragments of their civilization have been found on these waterways as well as on those in Hertford County, including Chapel Branch, near St. John's. In 1775, colonial records show 28 Indians still in Northampton. Many mulattoes in the Winton area of Hertford and the Woodland area of Northampton are of Meherrin blood. Around Woodland the Pierce family is reputed to be of Meherrin ancestry. The earliest Pierce settler worked on the Wiley Jacobs farm and stated he was “part Meherrin”.Believe it or not!!!
THE PEOPLES PRESS
SALEM, N. C.
SEPTEMBER 29, 1871Wonderful Discovery
A Cave of Dead Indians Mammoth Remains
The following information is given by gentlemen of highest character and credit who have seen with their own eyes and touched and tested with their own hands the wonderful objects of which they make report.
The workmen engaged in opening a way for the projected railroad between Weldon and Garysburg struck Monday about one mile from the former place in a bank beside the river a catacomb of skeletons, supposed to be those of Indians of a remote age and a lost and forgotten race. The bodies exhumed were of strange and remarkable formation. The skulls were nearly an inch in thickness, the teeth were filed sharp, as are those of cannibals, the enamel perfectly
preserved; the bones were of wonderful length and strength-the femur being as long as the leg of an ordinary man, the stature of the body being probably as great as eight or nine feet. Near their heads were sharp stone arrows, stone mortars in which their corn was brazed, and the bowls of pipes, apparently of soft friable soap-stone. The teeth of the skeletons are said to be as large as those of horses, one of them has been brought to this city, and presented to an officer of the Petersburg Railroad.
The bodies were found closely packed together, laid tier on tier as it seemed. There was no discernable ingress into or egress out of the mound. The mystery is who those giants were; to what race they belonged, to what era and how they came to be buried there. To these inquiries no answer has yet been made; and meantime the ruthless spade continues to cleave skull and body asunder, throwing up in mingled masses the bones of this heroic tribe. We hope some efforts will be made to preserve authentic and accurate accounts of these discoveries; and to throw some light, if possible, on the lost tribe whose bones have been thus rudely disturbed from their sleep in the earth's bosom.Early Religion
Before church buildings were constructed, ministers traveled the countryside staying in private homes where they preached. Methodist Thomas Coker who visited in the county in 1785 wrote in his diary of Bridges-Creek church which belonged to the Church of England, saying it was in low country where there were an “astonishing number of frogs and a high mortality rate”. Of Roanoke-Chapel, eight miles from the line, Coker said the talk there was chiefly of slaves.
Between 1763 and 1775, Devereux Jarratt, an Anglican minister of and a forerunner of Methodism came into the county preaching a “peculiar doctrine in a peculiar manner, advocating remission of sins”, according to Guion Griffin Johnson in Ante-Bellum North Carolina. Jarratt said he came regularly into the county and his revivals awakened the people. By 1778, the Roanoke Methodist circuit was in existence. Two other itinerant Methodists who worked in the county were Phillip Cox and John Easter. In 1788, Bishop Asbury reported that he found the people in Northampton easy to preach to and wrote “I know that God and Christ dwell in the hearts of the people”. In 1770, an Episcopal missionary found “New Lights Baptists” increasing rapidly in the county.
In the early 1800's camp meetings became popular and remained so until the Civil War. In 1808 Elder Phillip Bruce advertised a camp meeting in the county and requested those not accustomed to good behavior not to attend. Rules were set up for good conduct. Carriages and wagons met river boats to take passengers inland to the camp meetings which lasted for several days.
Between 1760-1790, the first Methodist, Baptist, and Friends (Quakers) houses of worship were built in Northampton county. Early meetings of some of these groups were held in private homes and under brush arbors when an itenerant minister came into the area. The earliest church buildings were small, one-room weatherboarded structures. Some had dirt floors. The first Friends Meeting House was built in Rich Square in 1760. The first Methodist churches were Concord (near Seaboard) and Rehoboth (near Jackson) in 1798. The oldest continuously used church in the county is Concord. The first Baptist churches were Potecasi in 1775 and Elam (near Gaston) in 1788. The church revival in the 1700's coincided with that in adjoining counties and in . In the 1820's the Methodists experienced another revival, and in the 1840's both Baptists and Methodists had a spurt of growth. The last era of growth for these two denominations were in the 1880's and gain in the first decade of the 20th century. Although the Friends Society has had four meeting houses in the county, only the one at Woodland is now functioning. In the county the Baptists of the West Chowan Association have 18 churches, the Methodists 17, the Independent Baptists 1, the Episcopal 2. The white Baptists have a total membership of 4,121 and the white Methodists 3,171.The Episcopal Church
The history of the Anglican Church in Northampton dates from the establishment of Bertie's Northwest Parish in 1727. The earliest recorded services were conducted by Peter Fontaine, chaplain with the party that surveyed the - dividing line in 1728-29. Money for the erection of chapels was first raised in 1735-37.
In 1759 the portion of Northwest Parish that lay in Northampton was renamed St. George's, and that parish welcomed its first rector, William Fanning. By the time of the Revolution, St. George's had a substantial parish church (situated near present-day Mt. Carmel Baptist Church) and four active chapels: St. John's near Summerall's Fork, St. Paul's between Conway and Pendleton, and Bridger's Creek Chapel below Bryantown. The rector when the Revolution began was Charles Edward Taylor, and the vestrymen bore such names as Atherton, Edmunds, Gee, Wood, Figures, Bennett, Pace, Hough, Williamson, Thompson, and Smith. Taylor's loyalty to the American cause is attested by his service as chairman of Northampton County's Committee of Safety.
After the Revolution services were held as long as clergymen were available, but the lack of a bishop and a general decline in religious sentiment brought an end to the Anglican organization in Northampton by 1800. Not until the 1830's and 1840's, some years after the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina was formed, did signs of revival appear in the county. The bishops and neighboring clergymen made visits to the area and performed occasional services. In 1848, the Rev. William H. Harison was assigned missionary duty in the county, and soon a small church was erected in Jackson. When that building was consecrated as The Church of The Saviour by Bishop Levi S. Ives on May 4, 1851, the Rev. Frederick Fitzgerald took charge and led the new parish into union with the diocesan convention. Its first vestry was composed of Dr. William Barrow (senior warden), Thomas Bragg (later governor), Henry K. Burgwyn, John B. Bynum, Samuel Calvert (donor of the land on which the church was built), John
Randolph, Thomas D. Sterling (who soon moved away and was replaced by David A. Barnes), and Edmund Wilkins (the only resident of the western part of the county). From 1859 through the Civil War the parish was served by Frederick Lightbourne, a native of who lived at Thornbury plantation where, in addition to his church work, he served as tutor to the children of Henry K. Burgwyn. Throughout the pre-Civil War period the parish was noted for its work with the black population, particularly those blacks who were the property of members of the congregation.
Late in 1858, largely through the efforts of Edmund Wilkins, a mission was established in Gaston, where a small building was consecrated by Bishop Thomas Atkinson on May 7, 1859. In 1867 that building was moved from the dying town to a site adjoining the entrance to the Wilkins family's Belmont plantation.
From 1877 until 1890 both Northampton congregations thrived under the Rev. Gilbert Higgs. The Jackson church was enlarged, and at Gaston a new building was erected and consecrated as St. Luke's on June 12, 1889. William T. Picard, a respected Jackson businessman, served first as lay reader under Higgs and later as perpetual deacon. Through his efforts, services were held for several years in Rich Square, Margaretsville, Seaboard, Garysburg, and Pleasant Hill, but no permanent congregations were assembled in those places.
On the night of September 29, 1895, the Jackson church was destroyed by fire, and the congregation was forced to hold services in its parochial school, where Miss Lucretia Whitfield taught for many years. Through the determined efforts of its members under the direction of William T. Picard, the Church of the Saviour was rebuilt in stone and ready for services by November 17, 1898. When the debt had been removed, it was consecrated by Bishop Joseph B. Cheshire, Jr. on June 19, 1904. At that time it was considered one of the best appointed churches in ; its windows, all installed at the time it was built, offer a remarkable display of stained glass of the period. The Peebles and Ransom windows are particularly impressive.
In the first quarter of the twentieth century both Northampton congregations suffered from the removal of many families and individuals who had been members. But in the late 1920's, under the Rev. Lewis N. Taylor at Gaston and the Rev. deSaussure P. Moore at Jackson, the work of the Episcopal Church in the county began a modest revival. Today the Rev. Robert M. Bird serves both congregations. Although their numbers have never been great, these churches have consistently furnished Northampton with responsible men and women for leadership in community affairs.Baptist Churches
The 18 white Baptist churches are a part of the West Chowan association formed in 1882, which was formerly a part of the Chowan association organized in 1806, which grew out of the Kehukee association organized in 1796, according to Dr. G. W. Paschal.
Only two churches date back to the 18th century, Potecasi (1775) and Elam, near Gaston, (1788). The Potecasi church was founded by the Rev. Lemuel Burkett, who organized Burkett's church, later called Sandy Run in Bertie county near the Northampton line in 1750. Burkett also organized the Kehukee association of churches. The present Potecasi brick church begun in 1927 is the third house of worship in Potecasi. The second, a large wood structure with a slave gallery stands in a wooded area to the rear of the present building. The first structure of batten board was in mid-town Potecasi. A brush arbor on the creek was used prior to the first board structure. Elam church, Gumberry, was organized in 1788 as Vasser's meeting house (at that time nearly all churches were called meeting houses, only the Quakers have retained the term) and reorganized in 1844 as Elam. Two houses of worship have occupied the same site, the second being dedicated July 1920.
Not until 1821, or 32 years later, was a third Baptist church founded, that of Mt. Carmel near Jackson. However it was a mission known as Smith's Church as far back as 1821. The large rectangular white weatherboard church was built in 1847 on the original five-acre plot.
Begun during the first half of the 19th century were Roberts Chapel 1848, Rich Square 1854, Hebron 1856, and Galatia 1852. Roberts Chapel at Woodard's Crossroads was first an interdenominational “mission chapel”. It is not known for whom it was named. In 1853 the site was deeded by the governor of to the Baptists. On June 1 and 2, 1861, at the opening of the Civil War, Roberts Chapel, along with all Chowan association churches, observed two days of fasting and besought the protection of God against the “northern fanatics”. A new wooden church was built in 1871, burned in 1924, and replaced by a large brick structure on a new site in Pendlton. The present Galatia brick church was built in 1963. The Rich Square Church, first called Corinth, was three-fourths of a mile south of Rich Square. It was organized in 1853 by 20 white members and 10 Negro slaves. In 1891, a part of the members built a place of worship in Rich Square. A few stayed at Corinth, which later became a Negro Methodist church. The present Rich Square church was built in 1951. Hebron, near Woodland, was first organized as an anti-mission body but later reorganized as a missionary church. The small frame church was burned January, 1964 and replaced by a small brick structure the same year.
A lapse of 34 years occurred before any additional Baptist churches were built in the county. In the late 19th century the Jackson 1882, Margarettsville 1889, Seaboard 1892, Creeksville 1892 and Severn 1896 churches were instituted. Seaboard's brick church was built in 1919. In some of the churches of this period deacons were referred to as “elders” and the governing committee as “presbyters”.
Twentieth century churches are Woodland 1902, Conway 1905, Lasker 1906, Ashley's Grove (near Conway) 1909, Bethel (near Seaboard) 1916, Lasker's church was completed in 1908. Woodland's wooden structure was replaced by a brick one in 1949. Ashely's Grove, named for Ashley Liverman, had its origin from a Sunday School organized as early as 1892. Its first church building was completed in 1911, but burned in 1968. A new brick church was dedicated on August 10, 1969, its debt being paid in 1970.
In 1916 the average pastor's salary was about $400 for pastoring one church, but a pastor would often serve from three to five churches.
The Roanoke church near Rich Square, founded in 1885 had an enrollment of 30 in 1926, and was not mentioned in association minutes after 1936.
Some Baptist ministers with long years of service in the county have been Dancy Cale, died 1931, with almost 40 years of service, Lonnie Sasser, and Charles W. Scarborough. Some outstanding lay associational leaders have been J. T. Bolton of Rich Square, P. M. Fleetwood of Jackson, R. T. White of Conway, Miss Una White of Severn, and Noah W. Britton of Woodland.Methodist Churches
Concord church near Seaboard and the line was the first Methodist meeting house in Northampton. A deed for the land was given June 12, 1783 by Howell Hobbs of Brunswick county, , to Matthew Myrick and Nathaniel Mason of Brunswick and Henry King and John Moore of Northampton. These same men signed a covenant on June 5, 1793 to construct a church building on the lot. The small white clapboard church is in use today, making it the oldest continually used church in the county.
The second oldest Methodist church is Rehoboth, established in 1798. Rehoboth was founded by Richard Whitaker, Jr. who was ordained March 4, 1804. The land for the church was purchased from Eliphas Lewis for one pound sterling and was deeded Agust 28, 1798 to the first trustees: Richard Whitaker, William Brewer, Absolam Grant, William Grant, and Matthew Griffin. The church was first called Rehoboth Chapel and was visited by Bishop Asbury four times. The present church was built in 1857, its slave gallery being removed in 1908.
Tremendous growth in Methodism occurred between 1821-1839 when eight new churches were formed. The first of these were Pinners (near Rich Square) and Oak Grove (near Gaston) in 1821. Land for Pinners was given by Joseph Pinner. The original church remained in use until 1973, when it was officially closed but it is being cared for as a memorial by the United Methodists. Oak Grove has had three church buildings, the last being built in 1948. David H. Clements gave the land for the original church. In 1822, Zion church (near Conway) was built. It has had four church buildings. The first was a one-room log cabin with a dirt floor, the second was of wood built in 1828 on the site of the present church, the third was used from 1860 to 1950 when it was replaced by the present brick structure. In 1824 both Bethany in Milwaukee and New Hope in Lasker were founded. The Lasker Methodist Church, founded in 1909 merged with New Hope in 1966. Land for Bethany was given by Joel Pierce and his wife Jinny. In 1830, land was deeded for the Pleasant Grove church, but the building was not completed until 1836. Its present-day Gothic structure of wood was built in 1924. In 1839, both Sharon on the Severn-Margarettesville road and Severn churches were organized. Sharon was built on land given by Micajah Harris. In 1955 a new church was erected. The Severn Methodist church was first known as Providence or Northampton Chapel, (said by two Methodist historians of the county to be “interdenominational”) between Cross Lox and Ramsay's Mill, four miles northwest of Murfreesboro. In 1915 a group of Providence Methodists built a church in Severn.
The Jackson and Garysburg churches came into being about mid-19th century. Jackson, organized in 1845, is now in its third building, the first being a wood box-like structure with a small balcony. The present building was built in 1906. The Garysburg church was built in 1849 on land given by a non-Methodist, Major R. B. Gary. The church was used as a hospital in 1861 during the Civil War. Major repairs were made in 1956 as a result of Hurricane Hazel.
During the late 19th century, five new churches were established: Lebanon, Seaboard, Shiloh, Woodland, and Rich Square. Lebanon, organized in 1878, was destroyed by fire in 1905 and rebuilt in 1907. The church, built on land given by Henry Meacham, was begun after Northampton Chapel meeting house at Jordan's Crossing was abandoned in 1855. Seaboard, organized in 1880, has had two houses of worship, the first in 1885, the second in 1922. Also in 1880 the Shiloh church came into being. It was remodeled in 1925, a new church was built in 1925 and another one in 1973. It has 300 members today. The first Woodland church of weatherboard was built in 1883 on land donated by deed in 1892 by Paul Harrell. The present brick church was completed in 1927. In 1896, the Rich Square church was built of wood but was later veneered. The last Methodist church to be organized in the county was Conway in 1904. The first church was on highway 158 east, mid-town. The second church of stone was built in 1949 on highway 305 south.
Several old Methodist churches have been abandoned, the oldest being Smith's Old Chapel organized in 1794 to be used only by Bishop Asbury or “anyone whom he appointed”. The chapel was located across the road from Mt. Carmel Baptist church. Another abandoned church was Moore's Old Meeting House, established possibly in 1799 and located about half way between Jackson and Garysburg, opposite Longview Avenue. In the town of Gaston on the east side of Ferry Road a Methodist meeting house was established in 1849 but no longer exists. Also, near Pleasant Hill and Turner's Cross Road a combination Methodist church and Masonic Temple was constructed on land made available by an 1851 deed. The 1939 records show that a Portuguese Methodist mission near Gaston-Garysburg was then in existence.
Records show that in the early Zion Sunday School the “Blue Back Speller” was taught to aid the uneducated members to read the Scriptures. In 1828, people attended Zion from an area of over 150 square miles. Three of the trustees that year were from Hertford county. Also, in the early days of Methodism most of the churches in Northampton, Gates, and Hertford counties belonged to the conference although the N. C. conference was organized in 1836. General Layfette stopped at Zion to shake hands with his well-wishers on his 1825 visit in the county.The Society of Friends
Records show that the Society of Friends (or Quarkers) was one of the first Religious Sects to establish a meeting house in the county. Guion Griffis Johnson in Ante-Bellum North Carolina reports Friends meetings in
Northampton as early as 1681. By 1750 quite a number of Friends had settled in the southern end of the county around Rich Square and Woodland. A few settled around the Jack Swamp area near Pleasant Hill and the line, but it was the southern group that has survived and made a profound and lasting influence in that area.
The first meeting house was built in Rich Square in 1758 on the triangle of the present downtown area on the main road between the Chowan and Roanoke rivers. The meeting house was moved near the Rich Square depot in 1869 and was sold in 1905 to Andrew J. Connor who used it for a printing office, the Roanoke-Chowan Times being printed there. The same year land was purchased from Connor for another meeting house which was used until 1936 when the meeting house was closed. Some of the Friends united with other denominations. Some joined Cedar Grove Monthly Meeting in Woodland which was established in 1868. Before 1868, Friends in the Woodland-George area were members at Rich Square. The present Cedar Grove house of worship was built in 1868, the two wings being added in 1965.
In 1905, the Cedar Grove and Rich Square Friends differed with the N. C. Yearly Meeting of Friends in regard to the newly adopted manner of worship. As a result those who objected met as a body at Cedar Grove to form a separate Yearly Meeting, which meets annually in August at Cedar Grove. Friends who favored the new manner of worship (called progressive) affiliated with the small Eagletown Meeting House near Rich Square. The land for the house of worship was given by William Ward and his wife Hattie Elliot Ward.
After 1946, no further records were kept. Its members dispersed to join other friends meeting groups. Later the church was destroyed by fire after it became the property of the Grace Independent Baptist Church. The Independent church was rebuilt in the early 1970's.
The Jack Swamp Meeting House was built in 1775 but the members disbanded in 1829, or as the Friends express it, “the meeting was laid down”. At one time the meeting house stood on a farm about one-half mile from the Pleasant Hill postoffice and later was used as a corn crib. The minutes of the Jack Swamp body are in tact in the Cedar Grove Meeting House and also are on microfilm as are those of Cedar Grove and Rich Square Friends.
Friends have been staunch in their beliefs about slavery and war. The slavery issue caused many Northampton Friends to migrate to and , beginning about 1830. Their view of killing in war has extended from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War. Quakers have been equally strong in advocating education and establishing schools. After 1866 numerous private schools have been supported in the county as Brown, Outland, Elliot, Olney, Rich Square, Pinners, Vernons, Peele's schools, and Aurora Academy, all in the Rich Square-Woodland vicinity. In 1769, the Rich Square Society had one person to serve as “Treasure of Books”, later called “Book Agent”, and still later librarian. The left wing of Cedar Grove Meeting house today contains a library and reading room.
The Society had its largest membership between 1873 and the first decade of the 1900's. Fluctuations in numbers were caused by the establishment of new monthly meetings in other counties of the state, and by a strict discipline code, “Marrying out of society” (that is, outside the religious body without consent of the meeting house) was not allowed until 1874. In the earlier days Friends were required to dress plainly, to speak properly (not to swear), to attend services, and to refrain from a frivolous and “sporty” way of life. As late as the 20th century elderly Friends used pronouns “thee, thou, thy”, wore simple but fine quality gray or black clothing, minus any decorations or adornments. Membership is gained by birthright or choice.Black Churches
Religion among the Blacks of Northampton County mainly reflects that of their ancestors. When they were slaves, most blacks were taken to the church of their owners. Rarely were separate churches established as places of worship for blacks. According to Presbyterian records of the Burgwyns of Northampton County had such a chapel. More often the churches had balconies just for the seating of the slaves. (It should be noted that as a rule only a certain number of slaves from each owner were allowed to attend church at a given time.)
Today the majority of the churches of the Northampton County Blacks are of the Baptist denomination. The others are Methodist, Pentecostal Holiness and Jehovah's Witnesses. Some of these churches began very soon after the Civil War ended.Black Episcopalians in
During the colonial period, clergymen of the Church of England were active in Northampton County where they ministered to the black as well as to the white population. Between September 29, 1771 and August 24, 1772, the Rev. Charles Edward Taylor reported that he baptized “112 white infants, forty-six Negro infants, two white adults and fifty-five colored adults” in the county. Speaking of the Negroes, he wrote that they were “very desirous of instruction in their duty”.
Following the upheavals of the Revolution, the Anglican Church declined considerably. Recovery did not begin in Northampton until the arrival of the Rev. William H. Harison in 1848. Under his leadership, the Church of the Saviour was built at Jackson and consecrated in 1851. It had members from both races.
The Burgwyns, who had come to Northampton in 1840, were especially zealous in forwarding the interests of the church and in working with their many slaves. Henry King Burgwyn of Thornbury plantation on the Roanoke River erected a chapel for his slaves and saw that regular services were conducted there. Prior to the Civil War, the rector of the church at Jackson lived at Thornbury and conducted services in both locations. The Rev. Frederick Fitzgerald, who had arrived in 1851, recorded that on the afternoons of three Sundays of each month he worked with a black congregation at Jackson. On the fourth Sunday, he instructed the group at Thornbury.
Thomas Atkinson, Bishop of , visited Thornbury on several occasions to preach and to confirm. In March, 1854, he reported that Mr. Fitzgerald was being assisted by Daniel Murrell, a candidate for Holy Orders, who was employed as a tutor for the Burgwyn children.
With obvious pleasure, the Bishop noted that “the good work seems to make gratifying progress”.
These arrangements continued until the outbreak of the Civil War when all aspects of life in Northampton County were disrupted. Following the war, most of the former slaves became Baptists.Roanoke Salem
Roanoke Salem Baptist Church
Roanoke Salem Baptist Church is the oldest Black church in the south end of the county. It was founded before the smoke had cleared the battlefields of the American Civil War. In 1866 under a Brush Arbor a few members of Elam Baptist Church withdrew from the Elam Baptist Church and organized what was to be known as the Roanoke Salem Baptist Church, located off highway 186 between Garysburg and Gumberry. The Roanoke Salem Church began its long history with faith in God and soon became a great educational and spiritual force in the life of the community. For a long time the church pioneered in the training of youth, two of her ministers having sponsored a training school and teaching program until it was replaced by public education.
In those days very little was kept by way of records, therefore, one has to rely on bits of information gathered from members who might remember some of those who were among the first members of this church.
The following ministers served as pastors: Revs. Richard I Walden, Annanias Buck, W. H. Woodard, Augustus Shepard, and J. W. Blacknall. Rev. Blacknall served for twenty seven years. Under the leadership of Rev. Blacknall the church experienced a phenomenal growth both in numbers and physical change in the church building. With fifty acres of land, our fathers envisioned adequate space for future development. Rev. Blacknall led in a complete facelifting of the present structure. An addition was added to the entire length of the church running from north to south; on the west of the building beautiful memorial windows were installed.
Following the Rev. J. W. Blacknall, Rev. C. C. Staton, Sr. came to the church in May, 1934. Under his leadership the church was completely renovated, from ceiling to floor. The church was completely brick veneered, using eighty thousand bricks. After this came the construction of an Education Building, with adequate space for Sunday School activities and individual classrooms. A modern heating plant was also installed and electric lighting throughout the building, including the sanitary facilities.
All of this has been realized through the consecrated leadership of Rev. C. C. Staton and his followers. We realize that: “Unless the Lord build the house they labor in vain that built it.” Rev. C. C. Staton is still pastor with an associate, Rev. Edward Flemming.Willow Oak
Willow Oak African Methodist Episcopal Church
Willow Oak, one of the first black churches in Northampton County, was organized the second Sunday in June, 1866 by the Reverends W. H. Bishop and Henry Epps. Seven dedicated Christians gathered that day, namely, Lazarus Pope, Margaret Pope, Venus Josey, Barbara Wiggins, Anthony Brewer, Mason Brewer and Julia Wilkins. They met under a willow oak tree, for which the church was named. This tree stood on a clay hill beside what is now state highway No. 258, south of Rich Square.
At first these pioneers had no building so they made a brush arbor under which they worshipped God. In winter they met in an old slab school for protection from the cold. In 1868 they built a wood structure large enough to seat more than 150 people. At this time there were 100 members added to the church.
During Rev. R. R. Nichol's administration, 1896-1899, the members purchased the old Corinth Church from the white Baptist members for the sum of $250.00, and very reluctantly moved from the old clay hill next door to where the present church now stands.
Under the leadership of Rev. L. R. Pearce, 1925-1935, a new structure was built. With Rev. S. A. Fennell as pastor, 1948-1954, the building was renovated, new furniture was purchased and the parsonage was renovated.
Plans for the present structure were made while Rev. G. B. Bowling was pastor, and completed in 1973 during the pastorate of Rev. H. L. Ingram, with the exception of the altar rail, carpet, tile and pastor's study.
In November 1973 the present pastor, Rev. L. O. Saunders, was assigned to the Rich Square Circuit. Under
his leadership $10,000 worth of improvements have been made, and through cooperation with the other churches of the Circuit, namely, St. John A. M. E. of Conway and Allen Chapel A. M. E. of Jackson, built a new parsonage in Rich Square.
The old Willow Oak School was located about ¼ mile from the present Creecy High School. The building was of perpendicular slabs with a chimney occupying each entire end of the structure. The floor was of dirt with logs used for seats. About 100 pupils were in regular attendance, some walking to school as far as from 3 to 5 miles.
Some of the teachers were: Miss Anna Skinner of New Haven Conn., Mr. J. W. Weaver of Rich Square, N. C., Prof. William Jennings, Phil, Pa., Mr. John Reynolds, Murfreesboro, N. C., Miss Annetta Taylor, Hampton, Va. and Mr. William Brewer, Rich Square, N. C.
In 1899 Willow Oak School was consolidated with Rich Square School to form what became the W. S. Creecy High School. The Willow Oak School was operated under the auspices of the Willow Oak Church.Full Text of Judge
August 5, 1937
Gentlemen of the grand Jury:
May I for a few minutes trespass on your time to talk about the County whose grand Inquest you are and whose history is dear to all of us alike, and yet I fear we are beginning to forget the fine examples set us by our forefathers in their great life work of building up a State such as has become, and in providing the foundation upon which is based all that we have and are. Northampton is one of the oldest Counties in the State, formed from Bertie in 1741, there being only eight counties formed before it.
Its history is full of the achievements of great men, a few of whom I shall call to your attention. One of its most distinguished citizens at its inception was John Dawson who died in 1762, and who was member of the N. C. Assembly in 1734, 1739, 1740 from Bertie, and from Northampton 1744-1752; Associate Justice of Superior Court 1751; Colonel commanding Northampton Militia; member of the Governors Council 1752-1762, and who married a daughter of Jeptha Atherton.
Another, Allen Jones 1739-1798, son of Robin Jones of this County, Attorney General of under the crown, and whose home was at Mt. Gallant in Gaston Township; member of the Colonial Assembly of , and Senator succeeding Whitmel Hill of Bertie as President of that body, Member of the Continental Congress and Brigadier General in the Continental army. One of his daughters married Wm. R. Davie, Governor of the State and for whom Davie County is named, and another married General William Eaton, of this County, a general in the Continental army. Mr. Jones was also a lawyer and stood among the first men of his generation. One of his last official acts was in 1788, to vote for adoption of the U. S. constitution at Hillsboro, which his distinguished brother, Willie Jones of Halifax, voted against and defeated.
Jeptha Atherton, Howell Edmonds, Drury Gee, Eaton Haynes, Samuel Lockhart, James Ingram and Robert Peebles all represented this county in the colonial assemblies before the Revolutionary War.
Of her regiment in 1776 William Eaton was Colonel, Jeptha Atherton, Lieut. Colonel and Drury Gee, Major.
A list of some of her representatives and senators in the State Assembly from 1777 to 1850 follows: I quote these names because many of their descendants are now valuable citizens of this county.
|Senate—1777 to 1850|
|James Vaughan||5 terms|
|Samuel Lockhart||2 terms|
|Allen Jones||4 terms|
|Jno. M. Berford||17 terms|
|Henry Cotton||1 term|
|William Edmunds||5 terms|
|Francis Dancy||1 term|
|Howell Peebles||3 terms|
|Cornelius Moore||1 term|
|Henry Boone||3 terms|
|John Peebles||5 terms|
|Exum Holoman||2 terms|
|Collin W. Barnes||2 terms|
|Herod Faison||3 terms|
|William Lockhart||1 term|
|William Moseley||3 terms|
|Jno. M. S. Rogers||3 terms|
|Jno. M. Moody||2 terms|
|House—1777 to 1850|
|Robert Peebles||5 terms|
|Jeptha Atherton||1 term|
|Joseph Bryan||2 terms|
|John Dawson||3 terms|
|James Sykes||2 terms|
|James Vaughan||2 terms|
|Wm. R. Davie||1 term|
|Robert Peebles||1 term|
|William Ames||3 terms|
|Nicholas Edmunds||9 terms|
|Benj. Williamson||4 terms|
|Henry Cotten||5 terms|
|Greene Turner||3 terms|
|Francis A. Bynum||2 terms|
|Andrew Jones||2 terms|
|John Peebles||1 term|
|Cornelius Moore||2 terms|
|Henry Boone||3 terms|
|Allen DeBerry||2 terms|
|Thos. Barrow||1 term|
|Thos. Peele||1 term|
|R. B. Gary||12 terms|
|Thos. Bynum||2 terms|
|J. M. S. Rogers||1 term|
|Jas. T. Haley||2 terms|
|Allen Pierce||2 terms|
|Samuel Calvert||1 term|
|Wm. E. Crump||2 terms|
|Herod Faison||2 terms|
|Saml. B. Spruill||1 term|
|Thos. Bragg, Jr.||1 term|
|Edmund Jacobs||1 term|
|John B. Odom||2 terms|
|David A. Barnes||1 term|
|E. J. Peebles||2 terms|
|Thos. J. Person||2 terms|
This brings us down to the year 1850 when the war clouds commenced to hover over this State and nation, soon to break- a war between brothers and state; on one side the North and on the other side the South.
In this struggle furnished over 125,000 troops to the Confederate army, and of these Northampton County furnished nearly 1000. Not many of her soldiers bore high office but all of them bore the brunt of the fighting, and time permits me only to name a few of the officers from this County who were as follows:
Paul F. Faison graduate of West Point, and Colonel of the 56th regiment, fought throughout the war and after its termination located in Raleigh where he became a useful and honored citizen.
Harry King Burgwyn, graduate of V. M. I. and Colonel of the 26th N. C. regiment at twenty-one years of age, and killed at the battle of Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, and whose body was brought back after the war and buried in the Confederate cemetery in Raleigh.
Capt. John H. Whitaker, killed; Capt. J. W. Peele, killed; W. R. T. Williams killed; Capt. Jas. B. Randolph, killed at Malvern Hill.
15th Regiment Co. A
Capt. Samuel T. Stancell, John H. Peele, Spier Wood, Wm. P. Vick.
19th Regiment Co. H
Capt. John Randolph, Capt. S. N. Buxton, Lieut. John Calvert, Lieut. W. H. Newsome, Lieut. Bishop, Lieut. F. M. Spivey, Lieut. J. A. Bridgers, Lieut. W. H. Ivin, Billy Sauls, E. A. Vaughan, J. T. Archer, Jos. H. Griffin.
32nd Regiment Co. C.
Capt. John M. Moody, Capt. Jos. W. Coker, Capt. John K. Ottley, M. D. L. Harris, T. J. L. Harris.
32nd Regiment Co. D
Capt. Emory A. Martin, Lieut. W. K. Stephenson, Lieut. Jos. A. Garris, Robert Gilliam, Wm. H. Vick, Adbeal Grant.
Matt W. Ransom, Col. 1862; wounded at Malvern Hill July 1, 1863; Brigadier General 1863; Major General 1865.
Robert Bruce Peebles, Adjutant 1863.
W. H. S. Burgwyn, aid to General Thos. L. Clingman and Captain in Confederate army; Colonel of the 5th Maryland Regiment and 2nd N. C. Troops in Spanish American War.
54th Regiment, Co. D.
Major James A. Rogers, killed in 1864; Capt. Junius DeBerry, Albert Rogers, Andrew Peele, R. T. Stephenson.
Col. Paul F. Faison, Adj. John W. Faison, A. Adj. Geo. B. Barnes, Major A. J. Jenkins.
Joseph C. Lockhart, Captain; Jacob Jacobs, Lieut.; Cornelius Spivey, Lieut.; Robt. Beale, Lieut.; E. J. Peehles.
Co. K 59th Regiment
James V. Sauls, Capt.; Wm. Vann Lieut.; Dallas Beale, Lieut.; W. T. Joyner, Lieut.; Bill Drake, Lamb Bridgers, Abner Lassister, James Martin.
Capt. Andrew Ellis, 3rd Battalion; Wm. J. Rogers, J. W. Wright, John U. Webb.
Capt. H. E. Hoggard, 4th Battalion; G. W. Joyner Lieut.; Daniel Ballance, Segt.; Jesse Parker.
Jesse B. Boone, Capt.; Jesse T. Butler, Lieut.; James O. Odom, Lieut.; Jeremiah Gay, Segt.; J. P. Parker.
H. Halway, J. G. Holliday, Capt. J. T. Branch, A. J. Allen, J. A. Allen, D. N. Stephenson, Jas. Liles, B. F. Martin, B. D. Stancell, Lamb Bridgers.
Literally hundreds of others, whose names were equally illustrious, and which time forbids my mentioning to my own regret, but remember it is not always those who attain fame who are alone entitled to glory. Thousands of men whose names will never be written upon the pages of history are entitled to the everlasting gratitude of their people for their service to the State, and remember:
- “When God calls up life's heroes
- To stand before his face
- O many a name unknown to fame
- Will ring from that high place”
These men were those who fought for the right of a State to govern itself, and who believed that the framers of the Constitution meant what they wrote therein, that the powers not expressly delegated to the Federal Government were reserved unto the several states; the cause for which these men, your forbearers and mine, fought and died is not, as many think and some assert, the “lost cause” of a dead Confederacy, but it is and always will be the vital cause of a living union without which it will fade away like the “smile of a dream upon the wrinkled face of time.”
It was very meet, right and proper, that our legislature should have designated a distinguished historian, Maj. John W. Moore of Hertford County, to compose a roster of our troops, and I quote from a letter to him written by the great Chieftain of the men who wore the gray, in regard to his work:
“Your roster will show in part how 's sons bore themselves in the last ordeal. There will be shown the relative proportion of the troops to her population capable of bearing arms and the long list of killed and wounded, prove they were not in the rear in attack or in the front in retreat.
“I have before expressed my high estimate of the conduct of North Carolinians during our war, but can eulogy enhance the fair fame with which their names will descend to posterity? That their children and their children's children may be WORTHY OF THEIR SIRES is the best wish and highest hope which I can offer for them.
And yet this County is one of the few, if not the only county in the State which has raised no stone to commemorate the valor and heroism of her sons. This should be done; it is as little as we can do.
I call to your attention the words of William Henry Trescott engraved on the marble shaft in front of the State Capital. Columbia, South Carolina, as summing up in eloquent truth the bravery and sacrifice of the men of the South.
- “This monument
- Perpetuates the memory of those who
- True to the instincts of their birth,
- Faithful to the teachings of their fathers,
- Constant in their love for the State
- Died in the performance of their duty, who
- Glorified a fallen cause
- By the simple manhood of their lives
- The patient enduring of suffering
- And the heroism of death, and who
- In the dark hours of imprisonment
- In the hopelessness of the hospital,
- In the short, sharp agony of the field,
- Found support and consolation in the belief
- That at home they would not be forgotten.
- These for whom they died
- Subscribe to this marble
- The perpetual gratitude of the State they served
- The undying affection of those whose lives
- The separation of death
- Has shadowed with an everlasting sorrow.
- Let the stranger,
- Who may in future times
- Read this inscription
- Recognize that these were men,
- Whom power could not corrupt,
- Whom death could not terrify,
- Whom defeat could not dishonor
- And let their virtues plead for just judgment
- Of the cause in which they perished;
- Let the South Carolinian
- Of another generation Remember
- That the state taught them
- How to live and how to die
- And that from her broken fortunes
- She has preserved for her children
- The priceless heritage of their memories,
- Teaching all who claim the same birthright,
- That truth, courage and patriotism Endure forever.”
Then after the war came a struggle which required as much courage, physical and moral, as fighting on battlefields; it was the struggle for survivorship from Reconstruction Government. In this, men of your county immortalized themselves. And many names are or should be forever inscribed upon the hearts of our countrymen.
Samuel Calvert, member of the Constitutional Convention 1835, member of the House of Representatives, and long standing for the finer things in this life, and dying about 1881 a very great patriarch, he gave to the Episcopal, Methodist and Baptist churches in this town the lots on which they now stand.
Thomas Bragg, Democratic Elector 1844, canvassing the State against W. W. Cherry of Bertie, and again 1848 canvassing against Kenneth Raynor of Bertie and again in 1853 against Hon. David A. Barnes, and 1854 elected Governor of the State over General Alfred Dockery of Richmond County; 1856 re-elected over Hon. John A. Gilmer; 1860 U. S. Senator from this State; 1861 Attorney General of the Confederacy, dying in Raleigh in 1872.
David A. Barnes, Lawyer and great advocate of the Whig cause. Member of our Senate and legislature defeating Gov. Bragg for this place in 1844; Judge of the Superior Court in the trying times following the Civil War, and dying a resident of Hertford County, beloved and admired by all its people.
Matt W. Ransom, Atty. General of at 26; member of the House from this County in 1858 and 1860; Lieut. Col. of the First Regiment of State troops, 1861-Col. of the 35th Regiment, 1862- Brigadier General 1863 and Major General 1865; procuring the writ of Habeas Corpus from Judge Brooks which freed the democratic leaders of the State from imprisonment in 1870; U. S. Senator from 1872-1896; U. S. Minister to and dying in 1904 in the Home Seat “Verona” on Oct. 8th. Caldwell, the great editor of the Charlotte Observer said of him: “He was our fullest scholar, our most accomplished diplomat, the handsomest man among us, the ablest man, the man who did us more credit in the eyes of the country. He is indeed the last of the Romans.”
Thos. William Mason, graduate of the Universities of N. C. and ; aide to General Robert Ransom in the Confederate Army; Captain therein; the greatest orator of his generation in this State. His speech at the unveiling of the Confederate monument in Raleigh, stands today as a shining example of mastery of language, eloquence, patriotism and sentiment. Many times a member of the House and Senate from this County, Democratic nominee for Lieut. Governor of the State and for U. S. senator. He died at his country seat “Longview” leaving behind to his children the priceless heritage of a “good name” and mourned by all the people of his county.
Robert Bruce Peebles, Adjutant to General Matt W. Ransom, Captain in the Confederate Army, one of the leaders in the battle for survivorship, brave as a lion, representing the county in the legislature several terms and finally Superior Court Judge of N. C. He left his mark on the affairs of State and County, and fought on and on when there was nothing left except the will which said to him fight on.
Rev. William Grant, preacher and judge, who always fought for the betterment of our people, temporally and spiritually.
Robert T. Beale, Judge of the County Court with Mason and Grant.
Thos. R. Ransom died as a victim of that political struggle contracting the fatality which ended his young life in the election day 1895.
W. J. Rogers, democratic nominee for Congress dying before the election after his nomination.
W. W. Peebles, State Senator, orator and lawyer of great distinction.
Benjamin Stancell Gay, valiant fighter for the right, lawyer of ability and a man of great and good heart. Member of the House and Senate many times, and father of our friend Hon. A. C. Gay.
Garland E. Midyette, Solicitor of the District and its Superior Court Judge, literally dying in harness and almost
on the Bench in the performance of his duties; father of our young friend Mr. Buxton Midyette.
Raymond Gay Parker, Judge of the Superior Court, and like Judge Midyette, dying while a young man with his full armour on.
Frank R. Harris and Calvert G. Peebles, both good lawyers and both honored by their people with election to the House and Senate respectively.
Simon Flythe, for over 20 years Clerk of Court in this County; Millard Stancell, Sheriff and Register of Deeds for many years; Wiley Fleetwood, Register of Deeds; W. H. Joyner, Sheriff of the County, member of the House and Senate; all active and fearless workers for our good for many years.
Jas. S. Grant and Dr. Carl Parker, members of the House; Dr. Mahlon Bolton, twice a member of the House, and one of the most beloved men in our County.
Andrew J. Connor, a private in the ranks, who for forty years published a newspaper in this county and deserves as much credit as any one for its material and spiritual advancement; J. W. Weaver, Everett Baugham, Cola Harrell, E. B. Lassiter, Jno. B. Griffin, Jno. W. Buxton, Albert Vann, Capt. A. J. Roundtree, Geo. P. Burgywn, J. G. L. Crocker, J. A. Burgywn, each Treasurer of the County for many years and many others deserve honorable mention.
Living survivors of that conflict are S. J. Calvert, former State Senator and Register of Deeds, J. B. Stephenson, several times a member of the House, and H. L. Joyner, Sheriff of the County for 30 years, the longest term ever held by any man in this State in that office, and now a member of the House of Representatives.
I would not forget another class of gentlemen who went about doing good and whose influence was felt for the betterment of the condition of our people — the country doctor — Drs. Barrow, Copeland, Weaver, Wood, Jordan, Ellis, Stancell, Ramsay, Stephenson, Bryant, Moore, Futrell, Morehead, Joyner, Whims, Bolton, McDaniel, Lassiter, Parker, and the late, beloved and lamented Henry Wilkins Lewis and others whose lives and characters meant much to this county and State.
These men, and others, too numerous to mention joined their hands and hearts and lived together and saved their country and their state.
- “He who saves his country saves himself,
- Saves all things, and all things saved
- Do bless them; Who lets his country die,
- Lets all things die; dies himself ignobly
- And all things dying curse him.”
It can truthfully be said of them that they fought the good fight, they finished their course, and which is more, they kept the faith.
- “Our fathers to their graves have gone,
- Their strife is O'er, their battle won,
- But sterner trials await the race,
- Which rises in their honored place;
- The moral warfare of the crime
- And folly of an evil time”
You and I, gentlemen of the Grand Jury, are the descendants of these men; many of you are the companions of my youth and for whom I have not only respect and regard but real affection. This county is as dear to you as it is to me; in it we were born; in it we live and in its bosom today lie sleeping the earthly remains of those who were near and dear to us; its traditions are as sacred to you as they are to me and I have no hesitancy in placing its weal and welfare in your hands.Education
The first schools in Northampton County were conducted in private homes and there are no known records of these. However, by the late 1700's and early 1800's academies for boys and finishing schools for young ladies were beginning to be established, especially in the Northampton County Courthouse area.
The first recorded military academy in Northampton, and the second in the state of , called the Wrenn Military Academy, was built by Tilbert Wrenn in 1795 on the site of what is now the Thomas Newsome home in Jackson. Tilbert Wrenn came to Northampton County from Surrey County in . An editorial in the Raleigh Star (May 8, 1810) shows that this school ran for at least 15 years.
Advertisements in the Petersburg Intelligencer, the Halifax Advocate, the Edenton Gazette, the Richmond Whig, and the Raleigh Register show that Northampton Academy was established between 1831 and 1835 in Jackson, referred to then as the Courthouse Village.
Another of these early schools were Northampton Female Seminary, established in 1833 with Richard H. Weaver, William B. Lockhart, Etheldred People, Issac Hall, Samuel B. Spruill, Shirley Tisdale, and Willie Langford constituted as the corporate body.
Just outside Jackson, Robert and Ben Peele, sons of Issac Peele, opened Peele Academy from 1845 to 1855 in their country home for the training and instruction of younger brothers and sisters and the sons and daughters of friends and neighbors.
The Elms Dependency
Samuel James Calvert operated a school in the mid-1800's in the pictured dependency of his home “The Elms.” Miss Leathe Barrow and later Miss Lou Whitfield
taught the children of the neighborhood in the one-room structure heated by an open fireplace. Miss Lou later taught for many years in the Episcopal Female Academy located behind The Church of the Saviour.
In 1849 a young ladies’ finishing school called St. Catherines Hall was opened and conducted by Misses Pattie and Anna Copeland in their home facing on the village green. This home now belongs to and is lived in by Miss Louise Skyes of Jackson and New York City.
On March 15, 1870 Samuel Calvert deeded one acre of land in Jackson Township to Jerry Gary, William Barrow, and Burton Jones, the school committee, for the “sole and exclusive purpose of a school for freedmen and no other.” This school was located approximately on the site of the present J. S. Jenkins Cotton Warehouses.
The Male Academy of Jackson was built near the present site of the Episcopal church in 1884. The school was burned in the great fire of 1895, but not before the young men of Northampton were exposed to training under three of the master teachers of the day, John Drake, Andrew Britton and Rev. Charles Fetter.
In 1896 Jackson Female Academy opened with Miss Lou Whitfield as principal. So great was the influence of this good woman and fine teacher that the children and grandchildren of her former students still visit her grave in the churchyard of St. Luke's at Benn's Church, Surrey County, Va. to pay her homage.
Although the constitution of 1776 provided for public schools, this provision lay dormant until 1839, when the Literary Fund had grown large enough to make a feeble beginning of the public school system possible. These funds were allotted to the counties and provided only for teachers’ salaries ($15 to $20 per month for a four month term).
A county examiner was appointed, whose duty it was to pass on the qualifications of those who wished to teach. Samuel N. Buxton was the first “examiner” in Northampton. Those applying to teach were mostly men. Some of these were real teachers; others were noted disciplinarians.
There was no provision for buildings, furniture or equipment. Some schools were held in abandoned buildings and some in community constructed one room log huts. The furniture was sparce and homemade. It was this type of edifice that created the term “Old field school”. McGuffey's Readers, Webster's Blueback Spellers and North American Arithmetic were the textbooks of the day. Even this feeble attempt at public education ceased at the outbreak of the Civil War.
Private schools called academies or institutes maintained in the several communities or neighborhoods were Northampton's answer to the education problem immediately following the Civil War. These schools and those who taught in them constitute the back log of our present school system.
The Seaboard community had Louis Foster, followed by W. C. Parker. Between Seaboard and Jackson, Robert and Ben Peele taught in their home. In Jackson, Charles Fetter, Andrew Britton, Misses Anna and Pattie Copeland, Miss Leathe Barrow and Miss Lou Whitfield held the fort against ignorance.
Around the turn of the century, governor Charles Brantley Aycock really put the public school system of on its way. Laws were enacted to permit local taxation and consolidation of school districts. In Northampton these innovations were adopted first by those sections along the railroads. Seaboard was the first district to vote the special tax; then followed Gumberry, Margarettsville, Severn Pendleton, Milwaukee, Potecasi, and Woodland. Vultare was the first strictly rural district to vote in the school tax which made it possible to erect new and larger buildings, employ more and better trained teachers and extend the three months term to six, and later seven or eight.
The State Department, in cooperation with the colleges, set up certain standards which, if met by the high schools, would permit their graduates to enter colleges without examinations. Seven was the first Northampton High School to meet these requirements; Woodland, Jackson, Rich Square, Seaboard, Conway, and Gaston followed.
Through the years, the public schools have drawn many fine people to Northampton County, who have done much to raise the cultural level. Many of these have gone on to important places in education at the statewide level: Rich Square had Dr. D. B. Bryan who later served as Dean of Wake Forest College for several decades; Severn had Kader Curtis, for many years superintendent of Wilson County schools; Jackson remembers W. B. Edwards, later president of Chowan College; many still recall the gentle, alert Hannah Starr of Olney School in Woodland; people in Pendleton, Rich Square, Seaboard, and Jackson will remember J. R. Ware, who spurred them on to further study in college and university; and Gaston can never forget the vigor with which Mrs. L. L. Harvin urged them on to their best efforts.
Northampton has been blessed by teachers who remained to become a part of our life, taking their place in the civic, cultural and religious life of our county. Numbered among these are: Mrs. Pattie Vaughan White Holoman, Grace White Stephenson, Bernice Kelly Harris, Jennie Williams Lewis, Ruby Fagg Flythe, “Bill” Pleasants Flythe, and Blanche Sloane Gay.
Northampton Schools have also kept many of our fine people at home to devote their lives in loving and interested service to the training of the youth of the county. Among these are Miss Minnie Taylor, Maggie B. Bridgers, Audrey Long and Spurgeon Clarke.
Many fine business men have served, giving valuable time, thought, and hours of work to serve as school committeemen and as members of the county board of education. Some of these were B. J. Martin, E. B. Lassiter, W. E. Harris, Andrew Crocker, E. S. Bowers, A. L. Lassiter, W. Harry Stephenson, W. C. Conner, and many others.
The first county superintendent of schools was Frank E. Foster of Seaboard, son of the noted teacher, Louis Foster. Mr. Wiley Fleetwood became the next superintendent and was followed by Mr. Andrew Conner of Rich Square. In 1897, P. J. Long of Jackson was elected superintendent and served until 1939. Under the direction of these fine and able men, the public school system in Northampton grew until it covered the county like the dew.
However, hard times and upheaval were on the way. The financial disaster of 1929-1933 made consolidation of the smaller schools in rural communities necessary, bringing hurt and heartbreak in many cases. After the state
took over the financial responsibility of public education in in 1931, further consolidation was deemed educationally and financially wise, and the Supreme Court Decision of 1954 brought integration of schools to Northampton County.
When N. L. Turner succeeded Paul J. Long as Superintendent of the Northampton County Schools on July 3, 1939, there were eleven union schools (schools which have both elementary and high school students) and forty elementery schools making a total of fifty-one schools. The number of teachers in the schools ranged from one to sixteen.
During the 1939-40 term there were 232 teachers and principals employed and the average daily attendance the preceding year was 6,726 students.
The members of the Northampton County Board of Education on July 3, 1939 were: Dr. J. Wesley Parker, chairman; J. A. Shaw, Dr. C. G. Parker, Claude Deloatche, L. F. Bradly, W. Harry Stephenson, J. A. Madry, W. F. Nelson, and R. V. Beale.
Since 1939 the following, in addition to the present members and those listed above, have served on the Board of Education: B. F. Ricks, J. R. Woodard, G. L. Ricks, H. P. Stephenson, V. D. Strickland, W. C. Conner, S. E. Crew, Ralph W. Britt, James Hedspeth, C. G. Parker, Jr. J. J. Heller, Lawrence H. Taylor, Jr., and Marshall W. Grant.
In addition to Dr. J. W. Parker who was serving as chairman in 1939, Dr. C. G. Parker, W. C. Conner, and Scott Bowers have served as chairman.
The present members of the Board are: Lynmore S. Gay, chairman: E. Scott Bowers, James M. Beasley, James H. Jones, Mrs. J. Roy Parker, Mrs. Diane M. Clark, and Grover L. Edwards.
As the statewide school bus system developed and more funds, both local and state, were appropriated school officials and the citizens of the county realized that the schools would be much better in the event that they were consolidated into larger units. The trend toward larger and more effective schools has been developing through the years. At the end of N. L. Turner's term as Superintendent in 1958, 233 teachers were employed. Under the able leadership of Superintendent Turner, the Board of Education, and citizens of the county, the number of schools during the period from 1939 to 1958 was reduced from 51 to 21. By consolidation the schools became larger and thus the educational opportunities were enhanced. The Gumberry High School was constructed during this period.
E. D. Johnson served as Superintendent from 1958 until 1961. During his tenure improvements continued to be made in the schools. An addition was made to the Gumberry High School.
When Roy F. Lowry became Superintendent July 1, 1961 there were 21 schools. The Cool Springs School had been reactivated during the tenure of E. D. Johnson.
During the last fourteen years under the leadership of the members of the Board of Education, citizens who believe in good schools, the staff of the schools, and the Central Office Staff, much has been done to enhance the educational opportunities of the students which were begun in an able manner by prior Boards of Education, prior Superintendents, citizens, and staff.
There are now fourteen schools in the county as follows: Coates, Grades K-4, 11 teachers; Conway, Grades 5-8, 18 teachers; Eastside, Grades K-4, 11 teachers; Garysburg, Grades K-8 33 teachers; Gaston, Grades 6-12, 28 teachers; Gumberry, Grades 9-12, 23 teachers; Jackson, Grades 5-8, 9 teachers; Northampton County High School, Grades 9-12, 38 teachers; Rich Square, Grades 5-8, 14 teachers; Seaboard, Grades 5-8, 10 teachers; Squire, Grades K-5, 25 teachers; Willis Hare, Grades K-4, 17 teachers; W. S. Creecy, Grades K-4 and 9-12, 29 teachers; and Woodland-Olney, Grades K-8, 19 teachers.
There were 285 teachers and principals employed during the 1974-75 school term.
Students who formerly went to six small high schools now attend the Northampton County High School. The Northampton County High School is a centralized educational institution which, like many of its counterparts in the county, is offering diversified and qualitative programs of education to its students. This school and the Gaston, Gumberry, and W. S. Creecy High Schools are offering more comprehensive programs than were possible before the schools were further consolidated. The Garysburg School is a modern elementary school and the newest one in the county.
During the past fourteen years one or more additions have been made to the Coates, Eastside, Gaston, Gumberry, Jackson, Squire, Willis Hare, and W. S. Creecy Schools. Additions or remodeling are now under way at the Eastside, Seaboard, and Woodland-Olney Schools.
The value of the schools in the county has increased from $3,759,000.00 in 1962 to $8,981,600.00. This $5,222,600.00 increase in the dollar value of the schools demonstrates that there is outstanding support and leadership being given by the Board of Education members and citizens of the county.
While the monetary value of the schools has become much greater the increase in educational opportunities for the students which has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the County School System is more important.
In addition to the state supported schools there is operating in Lasker a private school called Northeast Academy. This institution founded in 1966 offers Grades K-12.
Certainly the quality of education in the Northampton County Schools has been improving since the first school was established and is being improved each year.
Old Jackson School
Educational Report North Carolina
674BIENNIAL REPORT OF THE
tional purposes and in consequence the corporation became extinct. But during its existence it exerted a strong influence for good."
In Wilmington, as in Newbern, Edenton and many other towns dancing was considered a part of polite education. General Davie expressed much gratification that polished French refugees from Hayti and emigrants from France could be procured. One of the best markers in Wilmington appears to have been - Clay, who, among other beautiful figures, promised to instruct in the mysteries of Parsby's Rigadvon.
Formed in 1741, from Bertie.
Incorporated Schools.-Northampton Female Seminary, chartered 1833; North Carolina Male and Female Academy, chartered 1836.
The last of the above charters was amendatory of the first. It contained a donation by the State of a lot in the town of Jackson.
In 1839 James H. Wood advertised that he had secured the services of a lady Principal from Mrs. Willard's school at Troy, N. Y., and she would open a school for females on his plantation. Board and tuition for five months $40.
Mr. Julian Picot taught for many years at Buckhorn in this county. He had a well earned reputation.
Rev. Charles Fetter was Principal of the Jackson Male Academy for four years, succeeding A. J. Britton. In 1878 he was elected Principal of the new Academy at Garysburg, which position he held until the Fall of 1885, with the exception of one year.
Rev. Vernon Janson taught at Seaboard in 1880.
Horses and Horsemen in Northampton County
Henry W. LewisTar Heel Stud Sired
Modern Derby Champs
A likeness of Sir Archie and his Groom, Uncle Hardy, from a Contemporary Painting by A. Fisher.]
From mid-eighteenth century (or earlier), when Councillor John Dawson of Bridgers Creek bequeathed his “young horse Exum” to his son, until 1900, horses were a primary source of income and sport in Northampton County — income for breeders, sport for those who raced or put their money on the horses. On the whole, however, the county was more concerned with breeding horses than with racing them.
Soon after Jeptha Atherton settled at the courthouse in 1762, he acquired the imported stallion Janus, one of the great progenitors of the American turf, the sire of “an immense number of short distance Racers, brood mares and stallions...” The significant characteristic of the early American race horses was their ability to run quarter-mile races; they were not long distance runners.
Allen Jones of Mount Gallant plantation and his brother Willie of Halifax, sons of Attorney General Robert Jones of The Castle, both kept stables in Northampton. Closely allied to Gen. Allen Jones by family ties were the Haynes brothers, Eaton and Herbert. As early as 1770, the well-known Mark Anthony stood at Herbert Haynes's plantation. Eaton Haynes bred Cleopatria by Druid and, in 1811, bequeathed her to the distinguished turfman, Allen Jones Davie.
Although there were a few quarter-mile straight-away courses in Northampton, there was little evidence of organized racing in the county before 1800; local owners seemed to have raced their stock at neighboring and Carolina tracks. With the 1816 arrival of Sir Archie at the stables of William Amis at Mowfield plantation, interest in horses increased to fever pitch in the county. This “foundation sire of the American turf” is too well documented to require discussion here. Suffice it to say that he brought fine fees to his owners, and his progeny made his name famous throughout the racing world. In addition to Sir Charles, perhaps the best known of Sir Archie's sons, the stud books record sixteen horses the great stallion got for Northampton owners; others were unrecorded. The names of some of those who held the Archie stock still have a familiar ring: Richard Crump, the Rev. the Col. Howell Peebles, Capt. James Exum, and Andrew R. Govan, in addition to William and John D. Amis who owned the stallion. Still another well-known breeder of the period was Capt. William Moody of Mount Forest, a plantation on the road from Garysburg to Petersburg.
When the town of Jackson was laid out in lots on the Atherton courthouse lands, one of the principal purchasers was John White, whose hotel on the square soon rivalled the older establishment across the street at which Samuel Calvert had played host to Lafayette in 1825. At Silver Hill, a plantation adjoining the town on the south, White opened a race course. By 1833, the year of Sir Archie's death, the flourishing Jackson Jockey Club was holding its meets at Silver Hill.
Sir Archie Marker
As young men, the Burgwyn brothers, who inherited Pollock lands in Northampton about 1840, had an interest in horses and bred good stock, but they did not long pursue the turf. Thomas Good Tucker was the county's preeminent horseman from 1840 to 1860, and he maintained a lively interest until his death at 90 in 1897. From Tucker, Matt W. Ransom assumed leadership in Northampton's horse circles. He bred and owned a number of well-known horses; among the names associated with his stables were Tar River, Bill Arp, and Red Dick. In the twentieth century local interest declined, but Andrew Jackson (Jack) Joyner, who left to become trainer for George D. Widener, achieved an international reputation in the world of racing.
BROADSIDE - 1817
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SIR ARCHIE
BY BLANCHARD - WELLMAN
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS
Annual Subscription Jackson Jockey Club Spring Races, 1833.
Northampton County North Carolina In The Nineteenth Century
On February 25, 1825, General Marquis de Lafayette and his forty-five year old son, George Washington Lafayette, arrived in Norfolk and came by coach to Murfreesboro en route to Raleigh. In Murfreesboro the general stopped at the Indian Queen Hotel, but arrived too late at night because of muddy roads for the gala ball planned for him. He left Murfreesboro for his next stop, Northampton Court House, now Jackson. He went by way of Martin's Cross Roads (now Conway) and paused at Mt. Zion Methodist Church to shake hands with well wishers. An official delegation met him at Northampton Court House where he dined at the Samuel Calvert Inn. The dinner was described as a “hurried excellent dinner with about 40 present”. The meal was concluded at 3 p.m. and the party left for Halifax. (Tom Parramore, “The Roanoke Chowan Story”, ch. 14, in the Roanoke-Chowan Daily News, n.d.)The First Black
George Moses Horton
It is learned from the writings of George Moses Horton that he was born in what is now the Rich Square Township of Northampton County, North Carolina; the property of William Horton senior, who owned his mother and all her children. George Moses was the oldest of her children by her second husband. As a rule slaves did not know their ages, yet it is generally agreed that George Moses Horton was born around 1797 and as was true of most slaves he used the last name of his owner, William Horton.
The Horton family, along with their slaves moved to Chatham County, North Carolina when George Moses was about six.
Horton taught himself to read and write without the aid of a teacher. This was evident in his poor penmanship. Most of his learning was done while he tended the Horton family livestock. As he grew older he was given more demanding work and his only time to study was by a wood fire at night and on the Sabbath.
At the age of nineteen or twenty George Moses began making regular visits to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a compromise to his owner he agreed to sell fruits during his visits.
It did not take long for the students to realize Horton's unusual poetic ability. Tradition has it that James K. Polk (class of 1818, later President of the ) was the first student to encourage Horton to improve his poetical
One of Horton's poems, probably written by a University of North Carolina student who wrote as Horton dictated.
works. Many other students gave him books. Mrs. Caroline Lee Hentz, wife of Nicholas M. Hentz, a faculty member from Lancaster, Massachusetts, herself a poet, gave Horton lessons to improve his natural talents.
Augustus Alston, a university student from in the early 1800's paid Horton twenty-five cents for a poem. “Thus did the slave become the first Negro professional man of letters in America and one of the first professional writers of any race in the South. For the remainder of his life he supported himself, partially and at times totally from the fees he collected.”
His first published works appeared in the Lancaster Gazette. By the 1830's Horton's works were appearing in
the Raleigh Register. Because of his literary achievements attempts were made to purchase Horton's freedom but his master thought he was much too valuable to sell, therefore he remained a slave until he was liberated by Sherman's Army in 1865. However, his master did allow him to leave the farm to write in Chapel Hill for which Horton was to pay him twenty-five cents a day.
With financial backing from white friends Horton's first book, The Hope of Liberty, was published in 1827. An impressive list of North Carolinians, including Governor Swain, sponsored his second book, Poetical Works (1845). Although he continued to write until his death his third, largest, and last book, Naked Genius, (1865) was sponsored by Union Soldiers.
Material taken from The Black Poet, by Richard Walser
Learning the alphabet while tending cows one of the original sketches by artist Claude Howell illustrates Richard Walser's poet biography of George Moses Horton, the first black professional writer in America.
‘The majority of Africans brought to early America were used for a hard labor force for the fields, although some were house servants. Still others were used as skilled craftsmen-such as spinners, weavers, garment makers for women, blacksmiths, coopers (barrell makers), and woodworkers. Some of the woodworkers fashioned furniture of great beauty and many of their furniture pieces are treasured antiques today.
This secretary is an illustration of 19th century Black workmanship.
This stylish secretary shows the present day artistic skills of a 20th century Black woodworker.
Railroads in Northampton
Strangely enough, railroads and the people who owned and ran them have left indelible and permanent footprints in the rural northeastern county that is Northampton.
The first interstate railroad in was the Petersburg Railroad which opened in 1833 from Petersburg, Va to Blakely, N. C. a distance of 59 miles along the northern bank of the Roanoke River. The railroad was chartered by on February 10, 1830, and in on January 1, 1831. It became a part of the system now known as the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad on November 21, 1898.
railroad tickets on the Carolina & Northeastern Railroad]
At least eight of the towns in Northampton County have been named or influenced by railroads or railroad officials.
Conway, originally known as Martin's Cross Roads, was renamed in 1888 for the wife of the first president of the S.A.L. R. whose maiden name was Conway.
Milwaukee, first known as “Bethany,” which is still the name of the Methodist Church there, was incorporated in 1915 and renamed Milwaukee by an S.A.L.R. conductor, Hezekiah Lasker, for the city of his birth, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Pendleton, was incoroprated in 1893, keeping the name adopted in 1888 for the conductor in charge of the first train to run the Roanoke and Tar Rivers Division of the S.A.L.R.
Severn, first known as Cross Lox, later called Meherrin, was incorporated in 1919 and renamed for Severn Ayers, a huge stock holder in the S.A.L.R.
Seaboard, one of the oldest towns in Northampton, was first known as Concord. When the town was incorporated in 1877, its name was changed to Seaboard in honor of the Seaboard Air Line Rail Road.
Garysburg, first called Malone's Cross Roads, was renamed Peoples Tavern in 1819. In 1833 the name was changed again to Blakely and in 1838 the town was officially incorporated under the name of Garysburg, honoring Roderick Gary who gave the land and right-of-way to the S.A.L.R. for their railroad through that section.
Gumberry, was a settlement by 1882, but the establishment of a lumber company there in 1895 by one F. Kell who was also interested in railroads gave a real impetus to its growth.
The Northampton & Hertford R.R. Co. of North Carolina
A pass for Mr. J.A. Burgwyn Director N.H.R.R. until Dec. 31st 1898 unless otherwise ordered B H Clark President]
Jackson finally got its railroad in 1894, when the formal opening of the new rail line for Northampton and Hertford Counties took place in Jackson on January 18, of that year. The State daily newspaper published the following colorful account of that great occasion and of the ‘banquet’ and ‘ball’ with which it was celebrated.‘The Banquet’
“At six o'clock a banquet was served at the Burgwyn Hotel, which is a model country inn kept by Mr. James Scull. The banquet hall had been beautifully decorated with evergreen and bunting, and banners with appropriate inscriptions and monograms adorned the walls. Among these was a German flag displayed in honor of Manager Kell who is a native of that country. The tables were covered with snow-white linen and groaned beneath the load of good things thereon. I did not hear the tables groan and do not know why they should have done so, but I use the regulation phrase to be in fashion. I will remark, however, that I slept in the room that night with some of those who feasted at the banquet and I heard them groan in their sleep, and I knew why.”
“The menu consisted of Lynnhaven oysters, salads, cold meats, escalloped oysters, ice cream, cake, fruits, nuts, and raisins, together with a delicious article of champagne. The decorations, the arrangements, and the menu were the work of the ladies and their work was simply perfect. These ladies were Mesdames M. M. Randolph, R. A. Weaver, W. P. Moore, John E. Moore, J. A. Buxton, S. N. Buxton, B. S. Gay, James Scull, H. W. Lewis, and Misses S. E. Peebles and Pattie Peele.”‘The Toasts’
“Mr. John Burgwyn MacRae was toastmaster and very
gracefully and intelligently did he preside. The toasts and responses were as follows:
“Our Guests; response by Mayor C.G. Peebles; the Northampton and Hertford Railroad; response by Dr. H. W. Lewis. The Ladies; response by Mr. J. Burgwyn MacRae, Gumberry; response by Captain R. B. Peebles; the Press; response by Mr. H. B. Hardy of the North Carolinian and Mr. W. S. Copeland of the State. President Clark. Superintendent Whisnant of the Seaboard Air Line, and Mr. T. J. Anderson, general passenger agent of the same line, were also called for and gracefully responded. Everything went off without a hitch and the management was admirable. The committee in charge were Messrs. H. W. Lewis, J. A. Buxton, J. B. MacRae, W. W. Peebles, B. S. Gay, G. P. Burgwyn, W. P. Moore, J. S. Grant, S. J. Calvert, R. A. Weaver and D. A. Jordan.”
“Borjes orchestra from Norfolk furnished delightful music for the occasion.”‘The Ball’
“After the banquet, a grand dress ball was given at the hotel and the belles and beaux of Northampton and adjoining counties were seen in all their glory. Mr. George S. Urquhart, who was until Mr. Kell came, the “King of Gumberry” (if Captain Peebles is authority) was master of ceremonies and those who knew him needed not to be told that his management was superb. He was well assisted by Mr. E. J. Peebles, who has always been a general favorite with the young folks. Captain R. B. Peebles and his handsome wife and his charming daughter also contributed their full share to the enjoyment of the dance.”
“Among the ladies present were Mrs. Dr. Moore, in lilac china silk; Mrs. R. B. Peebles, black silken train; Mrs. J. W. Weaver, white bengaline silk, pearl trimming; Mrs. J. T. G. Gooch, terra cotta silk; Miss Kate Prescott, old rose silk, cream lace; Miss Eliza Grant, cream cloth; Miss Nita Selden, blue and white crepon lace; Mrs. Charles Gay, cream cloth; Miss Wingfield of Portsmouth, cream crepon cloth; Miss Wilson, of Portsmouth, pink cashmere; Miss Mabel Picard, pink cashmere, lace, pearls; Miss Sallie Peebles, cream cashmere and ribbon; Miss Sue Urquhart, cream cashmere and ribbon; Miss Dancy, pale green crepon; Miss H. Peebles, cloth and fur; Miss Annie Sancell, pink crepon, lace; Mrs. F. Kell, black silk; Mrs. Phil Meisel, black silk; Mrs. A. L. Bundy, cream silk; Miss Bena Gay, figured organdy, lace; Miss Mamie Lee, rose colored silk; Miss Hazeldine, steel silk; Miss Kittie Hazeldine, black silk; Miss Drewett, steel silk; Mrs. R. F. Keeling, brown henrietta and velvet; Mrs. B. H. Mock, black silk; Miss Lillie Grant, blue silk; Miss Annie Peebles, becoming dress of black.”
“Mr. George P. Burgwyn, Mr. S. J. Calvert, Mr. B. S. Gay, Mr. Faison Calvert, Dr. Rob Stancell, Mr. William Barrow, and other citizens exerted themselves to the utmost to give everybody a good time, while Mr. R. A. Weaver of J. P. Yancy & Co., and Dr. W. P. Moore fairly outdid themselves in acts of generous hospitality.”
“Mr. J. W. Zeaver, Rich Square, was present with his bride, who was one of the prettiest women in the company.”
“Mr. Kenneth Barrow, an old Jackson boy, but now with the Norfolk and Carolina railroad, was on hand and received the cordial greetings of his friends.”
“Mr. J. S. Grant, proprietor of the Cleveland Hotel conducts the “Administration House,” which is as popular as its namesake.”
Exactly forty years later on January 18, 1934 the current manager, H. O. Carlton, announced the intended abandonment of the Northampton and Hertford Railroad.Telephone Service
Old newspaper files peg 1896 as the year that the first telephone service came to Northampton County. It was in that year that a stock company of local citizens was organized and a telephone line from Jackson to Rich Square, via Bryantown, was erected. The company was composed of the following men: E. J. Gay (Judge Ballard S. Gay's father), B. S. Gay (father of Archie C. Gay) J. W. Buxton, R. B. Boyce, Albert Vann, P. T. Hicks, J. B. Griffin, R. A. Weaver, A. J. Conner, L. W. Boyce, James Scull, J. T. Parker, and W. P. Moore, and was incorporated on August 6, 1896 as the Jackson-Rich Square Telephone Company. Installing a telephone system in those days was a gargantuan task, but the following news excerpts show how well pure manpower could move when the notion struck them.
Lasker, Oct. 1, 1896: “The telephone line from here to Potecasi works admirably. Work on the extension to Woodland is progressing rapidly.”
Rich Square, same date: “The telephone line is proving a great convenience to our business men and is increasing the business of Western Union Telegraph Co. at this place.”
Jackson, Oct. 22, 1896: “The Stockholders of the Telephone Company are well pleased. During the first month of service, 220 paying messages were sent over the line (rate, 10 cents). Cotton quotations are received by telephone twice a day, and a full market quotation comes over Western Union twice a day.”
In 1909, the Carolina Telephone Company came into the county and installed the first switchboard in Jackson at the home of Mr. Jim Parker (where the Lloyd W. Warricks now live) and Daisy Parker was the first operator. Many years later the central office was moved to the second floor of the bank building and Helen (Mrs. Pete Stephenson) and Pearl (Mrs. George Tyler) Grant were the switchboard operators.
Telephone service is now available through Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Company to all Northamptionians. Costs have increased two to three hundred per cent, the dial system is in, and direct dialing to all parts of the world is possible. However, calls from town to town in the county carry a toll, and the service of the modern computerized “switchboard” is subject to error and is not nearly so personal and accommodating as that rendered by Daisy Parker in her day.
Post Offices in
Mention of the earliest postal facility in what is now Northampton County is that of Wheelers Mill (Barrows Mill). George Washington received mail from this post office (or postal point) during the Revolutionary War.
Some early post offices were: Northampton County Courthouse (Jackson) — 1804; Peoples Tavern (Garysburg) — 1819-1823; Diamond Grove (Margarettsville) — 1827; Ingram (Stancil) — 1882; Miami (Liverman or Newton) — 1888; Eagletown — Oct. 20, 1887-1906; Annetta — 1885.
The list of U. S. Post Offices in the National Archives and Records Service is as follows: Pleasant Hill, April 15, 1828; Rich Square, Jan. 26, 1831; Jackson, Jan. 13, 1836; Gaston, Jan. 17, 1837; Garysburg, May 5, 1838; Potecasi, Dec. 5, 1839; Margarettsville, Dec. 20, 1851; Seaboard, Aug. 11, 1853; Woodland, Feb. 7, 1854; Lasker, June 11, 1884; Conway, Oct. 24, 1887; Pendleton, May 3, 1888; Milwaukee, May 22, 1888; Gumberry, July 15, 1889; Severn, Aug. 10, 1889; George, April 6, 1899; Henrico, Nov. 12, 1906.First Colonial
Clerk of Court — Issac Edwards
Public Registrar — James Dancy
Sheriff — John Dawson
Commissioners and Justices of The Peace
|Robert Jones, Jr.||1754—1760|
|Robert Jones, Jr.||1764—1765|
|John M. Binford||1788—1795|
|John M. Binford||1796—1797|
|John M. Binford||1799—1802|
|John M. Binford||1805—1807|
|John H. Patterson||1828—29|
|Collin W. Barnes||1829—1831|
|James T. Hayley||1831—32|
|William B. Lockhart||1834—35|
|Joseph M. S. Rogers||5||1842—43|
|John M. Moody||5||1844—1847|
|Joseph M. S. Rogers||5||1848—1851|
|Thomas J. Person||5||1852|
|John B. Bynum||5||1854—55|
|Thomas J. Person||5||1856—1859|
|Joseph M. S. Rogers||5||1860—61|
|W. S. Copeland||5||1861—1864|
|John B. Odom||5||1864—65|
|R. H. Garner||5||1865—66|
|H. C. Edwards||5||1866—67|
|George D. Holloman||5||1872—74|
|William W. Peebles||3||1874—75|
|George D. Holloman||3||1879—80|
|Samuel G. Newsom||3||1881|
|Thomas W. Mason||3||1885|
|Benjamin T. Copeland||3||1889|
|W. E. Harris||3||1899—1900|
|S. J. Calvert||3||1901|
|Thomas W. Mason||3||1905|
|Benjamin S. Gay||3||1909|
|Calvert G. Peebles||3||1913|
|William H. S. Burgwyn||3||1917|
|William H. S. Burgwyn||3||1921|
|William H. S. Burgwyn||3||1925|
|Archibald C. Gay||3||1929|
|William H. Joyner||3||1933|
|Archibald C. Gay||3||1937—38|
|Archibald C. Gay||3||1941|
|Archibald C. Gay||3||1945|
|William H. S. Burgwyn||3||1951|
|Perry W. Martin||3||1957|
|Perry W. Martin||3||1963|
|William R. Davie||1784—1785|
|Halcott Briggs Pride||1789—1790|
|Henry K. Peterson||1796|
|Francis A. Bynum||1807—1808|
|Thomas W. Jenkins||1814|
|John R. Moore||1815—1816|
|B. C. Smith||1818|
|Roderick B. Gary||1821—1831|
|Lewis P. Williamson||1822—1824|
|John H. Patterson||1826—1828|
|Joseph M. S. Rogers||1828—29|
|James T. Hayley||1829—1832|
|Roderick B. Gary||1832—33|
|William E. Crump||1834—1835|
|A. B. Smith||1834—35|
|Roderick B. Gary||1835—1837|
|Samuel B. Spruill||1840—41|
|Thomas Bragg, Jr.||1842—43|
|John B. Odom||1842—1845|
|David A. Barnes||1844—1847|
|Etheldred J. Peebles||1846—1849|
|Thomas J. Person||1848—1852|
|David A. Barnes||1850—51|
|John B. Bynum||1852—1855|
|B. F. Lockhart||1852|
|Joseph R. Mason||1856—57|
|Marcus W. Smallwood||1856—1859|
|Matthew W. Ransom||1858—1861|
|William W. Peebles||1860—1864|
|Samuel T. Stancil||1862—1865|
|Samuel J. Calvert||1864—65|
|J. W. Newsome||1865—66|
|E. A. Martin||1866—67|
|Robert R. Peebles||1866—67|
|Roswell C. Parker||1868—1870|
|John T. Reynolds||1868—1870|
|R. Buxton Jones||1870—72|
|Samuel N. Buxton||1870—72|
|Burton H. Jones||1872—74|
|R. J. Walden||1874—75|
|A. J. Allen||1876—77|
|J. W. Grant||1879—80|
|George H. Parker||1883|
|Robert B. Peebles||1883|
|James H. Edwards||1885|
|J. W. Grant||1885|
|Edward R. Rawls||1887—1889|
|Robert H. Stancill||1887|
|A. R. Jacobs||1889|
|Robert H. Stancill||1891|
|Robert B. Peebles||1891|
|C. R. Harrell||1893|
|Robert B. Peebles||1895|
|Edward R. Rawls||1897|
|W. C. Coates||1899—1900|
|F. R. Harris||1901|
|Benjamin S. Gay||1903|
|W. T. Joyner||1905|
|Garland E. Midgette||1907—1908|
|Benjamin S. Gay||1911|
|Joseph B. Stephenson||1913|
|Thomas W. Mason||1915|
|William H. Joyner||1917|
|Joseph B. Stephenson||1919—20|
|William H. S. Burgwyn||1923—24|
|James S. Grant||1925|
|Carl P. Parker||1927|
|Joseph B. Stephenson||1929|
|Archibald C. Gay||1931|
|R. Jennings White||1933|
|Walter D. Barbee||1935|
|Hinton L. Joyner||1936—1939|
|Henry R. Harris||1941—1947|
|John R. Woodard||1949—1966|
|Perry W. Martin||6||1969—1971|
|James G. Revelle, Sr.||5||1973—74|
Registrars of Deeds
|1. Issac Edwards||1741—1745|
|2. Willie Jones||1745—1775|
|3. Jeptha Atherton||1775—1785|
|4. Eaton A. Haynes||1785—1812|
|5. James C. Harrison||1812—1823|
|6. John W. Harrison||1823—1830|
|7. Matt Calvert||1830—|
|8. Richard H. Weaver||1830—1835|
|9. William Bottoms||1835—1841|
|10. Thomas Hughes||1841—1845|
|11. John B. Odom||1845—1853|
|12. John E. Rogers||1853—1857|
|13. Issac Peele||1857—1861|
|14. Noah R. Odom||1861—1880|
|15. James D. Boone||1880—1885|
|16. H. B. Peebles||1885—1887|
|17. J. E. Buxton||1887—1890|
|18. J. T. Flythe||1890—1921|
|19. W. J. Beale||1921—1942|
|20. George P. Burgwyn||1942—1958|
|21. Miss Rebecca Long||1958—1966|
|22. R. Jennings White, Jr.||1966—Present|
Early Village and
|1802-1807||W. B. Lockhart|
|1807-1818||W. J. Dancy|
|1838-1839||William B. Wheeler|
|1839-1842||John S. W. Long|
|1855-1856||W. W. Peebles|
|1856-1862||Benjamin E. Peele|
|1862-1863||George W. Bowers|
|1868-1884||W. T. Buxton|
|1882-1884||H. R. DeLoatch|
|1881-1882||W. J. Rogers|
|1881-1886||E. E. Roberts|
|1886-1894||Millard F. Stancell|
|1890-1894||J. W. Fleetwood|
|1890-1902||E. E. Roberts|
|1902-1907||Millard F. Stancell|
|1907-1932||S. J. Calvert|
|1932-1959||A. H. Martin|
Cross Lox (Severn)
Diamond Grove (Margarettsville)
Malones Crossroads (Garysburg)
Northampton County Court House
Starke Woodard Shop
|Big Princeton||Mud Hole|
|Bishop and Powell||Occoneechee Wigwam|
|Brittles||Odoms (or Yellobies)|
|Bull Hill||Over the Road|
|Diamond Grove||Over the Swamp|
|Hyders||Thompsons (or Barrows)|
Blakeley's Tavern (near Garysburg)
Burgwyn Hotel (Jackson previously Sam Calvert Inn (Jackson)
Cleveland House (Jackson)
Cross Lox Tavern (Severn)
E. T. Harrell (Rich Square)
Faison's Tavern (Galatia)
Gary's Hotel (Garysburg)
Gaston Tavern (old Gaston)
Paul Harrell's Hotel (Woodland)
Horn's Inn (Rich Square)
Peeble's Tavern (near Garysburg)
John Peele Hotel (Rich Square)
Peterson's Inn (Garysburg)
Pruden's Hotel (Seaboard) later Stephensons Hotel
Rich Square Hotel (Rich Square) Baugham Hotel
Silver Heel Tavern (near Jackson)
John White Inn and Tavern (Jackson)
Shoular's Hotel (Rich Square)
Bryantown TavernMills and Ponds
Ferries and Landings
|Barrows (same as Wheelers)||Jordans|
John Edwards Ferry and Landing
Lower Shell Landing
Pollocks Ferry and Landing
Wilkins FerrySheriffs of
|Thomas Bauet (Boyette)||1800|
Schools and Academies
|James H. Wood||1823-1826-1830|
|H. T. Grant||1869-1871|
|C. S. Waggoner||1872|
|James W. Newsome||1873|
|N. L. Buxton||1885|
|W. H. Smith||1886-1889|
|M. F. Stancil||1889-1894|
|W. H. Buffaloe||1894-1900|
|W. H. Joyner||1900-1904|
|Hinton L. Joyner||1904-1934|
|J. Clyde Stephenson||1934-1950|
|E. Frank Outland||1950-Present|
Quakers had schools in mid 1700's
Wrenn Military Academy 1795 — Jackson
Forest Grove Academy (near Mt. Carmel) 1831
Northampton Academy 1831 — Jackson
Exum Outland School — 1831
Northampton Female Seminary — 1833
Woods Academy 1837 (twelve miles west of Murfreesboro)
Peele Academy 1845-1855 Jackson
St. Catherines Hall 1849 — Jackson
Union School 1855 Eagletown
Outland School 1867 — Woodland
School for Freedmen — 1870 Jackson
“Log College” — 1873 Conway
Holly Grove — 1870's
Newtown School — 1870's
Woodland School — 1875
Five Forks — 1875 — Pleasant Grove
Milwaukee School — 1876
Cedar Grove School 1877 — Woodland
Garysburg Educational Association 1874
Grange High School 1883 Woodland
Creeksville School 1883 (Grange Hall)
Jackson Male Academy — 1884
Westunion — 1885 Eagletown
Conway Public School — 1888
Aurora Academy — 1889 Eagletown
Rich Square Academy 1899
Olney High School — 1890 George
Rich Square High School — 1894
Potecasi High School — 1894
Meherrin Academy 1894 Margarettsville
Jackson Female Academy — prior to 1896
Seaboard and Roanoke Institute — prior to 1896
Conway School — prior to 1896
Pendleton Academy — prior to 1896
Severn High School — Prior to 1896
Bridgers School — prior to 1896 Creeksville
Miss Jones Female Academy — Woodland
Pruden Springs — Seaboard
Leathe Barrow School — Jackson
Old Yard School — Pleasant Hill
Frog Pond School — Garysburg
Fentons School — Garysburg
Woodruff School — Bethel
Baughams School 1880 Rich Square
Vann School 1885 Rich Square
Lasker Graded School
Mount Olive — Eagletown 1891
Boltons — Woodland around 1890
Dusty Hill SchoolBusiness Directory
for 1877-’78Northampton County
Population in 1870 — 14,749. White, 6,239; Colored, 8,510. County Seat — Jackson.
Population — 181 White, 97; Colored, 84.County Officers
Clerk Superior Court — Noah R. Odom.
Commissioners — Jas. W. Grant, Claiborn Faison, Henry
Copeland, Wm. Barrow, James A. Boone.
Coroner — John R. Drake
Register of Deeds. — Wm. T. Buxton.
Sheriff — James W. Newsome.
Solicitor — C. M. Cooke, 6th Dis.
Surveyor — Norman Parker.
Standard Keeper — Joseph N. Seldon.
Treasurer — James W. Copeland.Courts
Fourteenth Monday after second Monday in February and August, and third Monday in January.
TOWNSHIPS AND MAGISTRATES.
Gaston-Wm. E. Bradley, James W. Grant, Joe G. Lockhart.
Occoneechee-Thomas W. Mason, T. C. Parker, James L. Lintor.
Jackson-Issac Peele, W. S. Copeland, John T. Peebles.
Roanoke-Wm. Grant, Andrew E. Peele, William H. Williams.
Rich Square-Henry C. Edwards, J. C. Jacobs, Andrew J. Harrell.
Wiccacne-William J. Rogers, Wm. H. Parker, James L. Lassiter.
Kirby-Joe A. Garris, William J. Edwards, E. A. Martin.
Seaboard-C.C. Daniel, Alex. H. Reid, W. J. Maddry, B. D. Stancill.Churches
|Names, Post Offices, Pastors and Denom.|
|Jackson, Jackson, W. T. Picard,||Epis.|
|Jackson, Jackson, John Q. Rhodes,||Meth.|
|Garysburg, Garysburg, John Q. Rhodes,||Meth.|
|Concord, Seaboard, W. P. Jordan,||Meth.|
|Fidelity, Margaretsville, W. P. Jordan,||Meth.|
|Sharon, Margarettsville, W. P. Jordan,||Meth.|
|Providence, Murfreesboro, W. P. Jordan,||Meth.|
|Zion, Jackson, W. P. Jordan,||Meth.|
|Pinners, Rich Square, John Q. Rhodes,||Meth.|
|New Hope, Jackson, John Q. Rhodes,||Meth.|
|Rehobeth, Jackson, John Q. Rhodes,||Meth.|
|Pleasant Grove, Jackson, John Q. Rhodes,||Meth.|
|Mt. Carmel, Jackson, John N. Hoggard,||Bap.|
|Potecasi, John N. Hoggard,||Bap.|
|Roberts’ Chapel, Murfreesboro, John N. Hoggard,||Bap.|
|Gallatia, Margarettsville, John N. Hoggard,||Bap.|
Names, Post Offices and Proprietors.
Jackson, Jackson, Robert A. Weaver.
Garysburg, Garysburg, W. T. Kee.Lawyers.
Names And Post Offices
Barnes David A., Murfreesboro.
Bowen W. C., Jackson.
Bagley Willis, Jackson.
Beale Robert J., Potecasi.
Gatling John, Jackson.
Person Thomas J., Weldon.
Peebles Robert B., Jackson
Peebles William W., Jackson.
Ransom Gen. M. W., Weldon
Vinson J. C., Jackson.Manufactories.
Manufactories, Post Offices, and Prop'rs.
Carriages, Buggies, and Harness, Jackson, Joseph N. Seldon.
Cotton Presses, Jackson, W. H. Burgess.
Wheelwrighting and Blacksmithing, Pleasant Hill, A. Harris.
Buggies, &c., Pleasant Hill, M.D.L. Harris.
Wheelwrighting, Pleasant Hill, Price & Harris.
Coaches, &c., Rich Square, E.P. Copeland.
Undertaking, Seaboard, M.D.L. Harris.Merchants
Names, Post Offices, Line of Business
|Andleton, A. R., Garysburg,||GS|
|Buxton, Wm. T. & Co., Jackson,||GS|
|Buxton, Jas. A. & Co., Jackson and Rich Square,||GS|
|Burgess, Wm. H., Rich Square,||GS|
|Buxton, Jas. A. & Co., Seaboard,||GS|
|Buffaloe, (W.H.,) & Bryant (M. W.,) Jackson,||GS|
|Bridgers, C. M., Seaboard,||GS|
|Bridgers, Lawrence & Co., Seaboard,||GS|
|Blanchard, Jos. E., Woodland,||GS|
|Calvert, Samuel, Jackson,||GS|
|Capehart & Grant, Jackson,||GS|
|Conner, Jas. W., Rich Square,||GS|
|Carstarphen, W. & Son, Garysb'g,||GS|
|Cook, H. H., Potecasi,||GS|
|Drew, L. W. & Co., Rich Square,||GS|
|Daniel, C. C., Pleasant Hill,||GS|
|Edwards, Stevenson & Co., Seaboard,||GS|
|Farmer, Jas. B., Rich Square,||GS|
|Farmer, Wm. H. & Bro., Rich Square,||GS|
|Futrell, Anderson, Rich Square,||GS|
|Ferguson, B. L., Pleasant Hill,||GS|
|Grant, Wm. & Co., Jackson,||GS|
|Hardy, W. H., Rich Square,||GS|
|Harrell, A. J., Woodland,||GS|
|Joyner, W. T., Rich Square,||GS|
|Lassiter, S. M., Rich Square,||GS|
|Lewter, S. G., Margarettsville,||GS|
|Lawrence, Simon, Seaboard,||GS|
|Lambertson, W. A., Rich Square,||GS|
|Moore, J. D., Margarettsville,||GS|
|Maddrey, Bridgers & Co., Seaboard,||GS|
|Maddrey, Sears & Co., Seaboard,||GS|
|Norwood & Co., Rich Square,||GS|
|Outland Wm. C., Rich Square,||GS|
|Parker Wm. H., Margarettsville,||GS|
|Parker, G. T., Garysburg,||GS|
|Peele, W. T., Rich Square,||GS|
|Peele, T. C. & Co., Rich Square,||Gro|
|Reid & Harris, Pleasant Hill,||GS|
|Smallwood, M. W., Rich Square,||GS|
|Smith, J. P., Rich Square,||GS|
|Stephenson, Wm. T., Seaboard, Capitalist|
|Stephenson W. T. & R. T., Seaboard,||GS|
|Suiter, (J.L.) & Coker, (W.D.,) Garysburg||GS|
|Stephenson, Wm., U., Margarettsville,||GS|
|Stancill, B. D., Margarettsville,||GS|
|Thomas, E. J., Pleasant Hill,||GS|
|Thomas, E. J., Garysburg,||GS|
|Weaver, Robt. A., Jackson,||GS|
Names, Post Offices, and Denominations.
|Britton, E. R., Jackson,||Meth.|
|Flythe, Jesse, Jackson,||Meth.|
|Grant, Wm., Boon's X roads,||Meth.|
|Fleetwood, Joshua C., Margarettsville,||Bap.|
|Hoggard, John N., Murfreesboro,||Bap.|
|Rochelle, J. N., Jackson,||Bap.|
Kind, Post Offices, and Proprietors
Flour and Corn, Garysburg, E.I. Thomas.
Corn, Jackson, S. B. Boone.
Corn, —, J. W. Copeland & Co.
Saw Mill, Jackson, — —’s estate.
Flour and Corn, Murfreesboro, John C. Vinson.
Flour and Corn, Jackson, Jas. I. DeLoatch.
Corn, Jackson, W. D. Edwards.
Corn, Murfreesboro, Uriah Vaughan.
Corn, Margarettsville, Lewis D. Gay.Physicians
Names and Post Offices
Barrow, William, Jackson.
Copeland, Winfield S., Jackson
Clement, W. W., Gaston.
Ellis, Andrew J., Garysburg.
Jacobs, John C., Rich Square.
McNider, V. St. Clair, Jackson
Moore, C. G. C., Rich Square.
Ramsey, J. N., Seaboard.
Stancell, Rob't H., Margarettsville.
Squire, William R., Gaston.
Wilkins, E. W., Gaston.Post Offices
|Jackson, (c.h.)||Rich Square.|
Names, Post Offices, and Principals
Jackson Male Acad'y, Jackson, Chas. Fetter.
Jackson Female Academy, Jackson.Farmers.
Post Offices and Names
Gaston.-E. W. Williams.
Garysburg-M. W. Ransom, E. J. Thomas.
Halifax-J. J. Long, Sr.
Jackson— E. Jacobs, L. Calvert, A. Capeheart, G. P. Burgwyn, Wm. Barrow, Dr. Winfield S. Copeland, J. W. Newsom, N. R. Odom, Wm. W. Peebles, A. J. Allen, G. D. Holoman, J. Flythe, R. M. Garner, William T. Buxton, H. T. Grant, Henry Boyce.
Margarettsville. — W. Rogers.
Norfolk, Va. — J. M. S. Rogers.
Petersburg, Va. — J. J. Bell.
Potecasi. — A. J. Harrell, R. J. Beale, J. E. Magett, C. Lassiter, E. Martin, M. Futrell, W. M. Beale, H. C. Edwards.
Rich Square — J. N. Jacobs, J. T. Lambertson, T. Smallwood, T. Lambertson Williams, T. Peel, B. Farmer, J. Morris, H. T. Spivey, J. J. Jacobs, J. W. Copeland, Wm. J. Brown, T. P. Elliott, Thomas Harrell.
Correspondents Agr'l Dep't.
Wm. Grant, Jackson; W. J. Rogers, Margarettsville.
Land, Live Stock, and Values.
Land. — Acres, 313,804; Value, $1,449, 592; Town Property, $33,300. Aggregate. $1,482,892.
Live Stock. — Horses, 1,899; Value, $124,934; Mules, 1,136; Val., $78,603; Jacks, 3; Val., $100; Jennet, 1; Val., $10; Goats, 18; Val., $18; Cattle, 6,081; Val., $47,628; Hogs, 16,087; Value, $32,154; Sheep, 2,030; Value, $2,036.
Surface — Pleasantly undulating, lies along the Roanoke River, is well watered, plenty of water power, land generally good and productive when well drained and cultivated.
Staples — Cotton, Tobacco, Corn, Potatoes, Wheat, and Naval Stores.Newspapers
First paper published in 1870 by Probe Barrow and Sam Calvert in Jackson
Northampton Reporter 1877-1879 Merritt Briggs and Samuel J. Wright editors. Sold and name changed to Jackson Courier. Published in Jackson.
Jackson Courier 1878-1879(?) Published in Jackson. Paper sold to R. I. Beale.
Roanoke Patron 1879(?)-1891 Published in Potecasi. R. I. Beale and D. M. Beale editors.
Seaboard Reflector 1886-1889 Published in Seaboard by J. M. Ramsay and Will Maddrey.
Patron and Gleanor 1892-1899 Published in Lasker then Rich Square with Andrew J. Conner as editor, Name changed to Roanoke Chowan Times.
Roanoke Chowan Times 1899-1958 Published in Rich Square with Andrew J. Conner and Esther Conner as editors. Later merged to become Northampton Times.
Northampton Progress 1917-1926 Published in Jackson with J. A. Flythe and Walter W. Edwards as editors.
Northampton Enterprise 1930 Published in Jackson with Thad R. Howell as editor.
Jackson News 1926(?)-1949 Published in Jackson. Editors include Mrs. Lloyd Howel and James Bateman. Merged to become Northampton Times.
Northampton Times News 1949- Published in Jackson then Rich Square with Leonard O. Dudley as first editor.
The Weekly Roanoke Chowan News of Northampton County 1961. Published in Conway.
Roanoke Valley Sun 1960 Rich Square. Eugene and Jean Weber.Northampton County
|James W. Newsom||1868-1871|
|George D. Holomon||1868-1869|
|Lemuel H. Boyce||1868-1873|
|James W. Grant||1870-1877 — 1880-1883|
|John T. Reynolds||1870-1871|
|William Barrow||1872-1874 — 1877-1900|
|Thomas C. Peele||1872-1875|
|Samuel N. Buxton||1973 1890-1892|
|J. S. Evans||1874-1875|
|James A. Boone||1874-1877|
|William H. Parker||1878-1879 — 1882-1884|
|Andrew J. Harrell||1878-1880|
|William E. Bradley||1878-1879|
|William H. Williams||1878-1882|
|James H. Edwards||1880-1883|
|J. C. Jacobs||1881|
|R. T. Stephenson||1882-1885|
|H. C. Edwards||1883-1885|
|W. D. Coker||1885|
|Joseph A. Garris||1885-1887 — 1892-1896|
|J. A. Buxton||1886-1887|
|W. P. Vick||1888-1897-1901|
|J. G. L. Crocker||1888-1889 — 1892-1894|
|W. L. Stanley||1888-1889|
|C. R. Harrell||1886-1891 — 1897-1899|
|Everett Baugham||1892-1896 — 1901-1908|
|W. E. Harris||1893-1896|
|B. D. Stancell||1895-1896 — 1898-1899|
|J. R. Carstarphen||1897-1899|
|A. R. Jacobs||1897-1899|
|J. E. Drake||1897-1899|
|B. M. Pugh||1899|
|I. P. Parker||1900-1903|
|C. P. Stephenson||1900-1901|
|G. M. Powell||1900|
|B. F. Martin||1900-1901|
|W. T. Joyner||1902-1903|
|J. M. Grant||1902-1908|
|D. N. Stephenson||1904-1908|
|J. G. Stancell||1918-1921-1931|
|J. T. Bolton||1918-1921 — 1931-1943|
|J. O. Flythe||1919-1920|
|C. J. Garriss||1921|
|W. T. Liles||1931-1943|
|E. C. Parker||1932-1936 — 1938-1944|
|H. S. Ellis||1933-1940|
|W. G. Edwards||1933-1946|
|W. F. Nelson||1937|
|R. W. Thompson||1940-1956|
|H. D. Holoman||1943-1947|
|J. R. Woodard||1943-1948|
|John E. Boone||1944-1956 — 1958-1966|
|P. A. Bulluck||1946-1950|
|S. G. Baugham||1947-1959|
|Grady P. Davis||1948-1953|
|J. Grady Bridgers||1950-1962|
|J. Guy Revelle||1953-1972|
|Jasper Eley||1956-1958 — 1966-|
|T. G. Joyner||1956-1961|
|L. E. Bolton||1959-1962|
|H. C. Guthrie||1961-1970|
|John H. Liverman, Jr.||1962|
|H. C. Bottoms||1962-1964|
|David E. Gay||1964-1968|
|M. Thomas Flythe||1968-1970|
|John W. Faison||1970-|
|W. W. Grant||1970-|
|William D. Edwards||1972-|
1790 — 9,981
1800 — 12,353
1810 — 13,082
1820 — 13,242
1830 — 13,391
1840 — 13,369
1850 — 13,335
1860 — 13,372
1870 — 14,749
1880 — 20,032
1890 — 21,242
1900 — 21,150
1910 — 22,323
1920 — 23,184
1930 — 27,161
1940 — 28,299
1950 — 28,432
1960 — 26,811
1970 — 24,009Present County
Jasper Eley, Chairman
John H. Liverman, Jr. Vice-Chairman
W. W. Grant
John W. Faison
William D. Edwards
Charles Slade, Jr. — County Attorney
Sidney T. Ellen — County Manager
R. Jennings White — Clerk of Court
C. Wilson Bridgers — Register of Deeds
E. Frank Outland — SheriffAuthors
Mebane Holoman Burgwyn
Bernice Kelly Harris
George Moses Horton
Henry W. Lewis
Robert Glenn Mulder
Gilbert StephensonArtistsKitty Good
Done in true primitive style the canvases pictured by Kitty Good reflect the life and the people of Northampton County, North Carolina, during the 1915's-1930's as remembered by the artist, Kitty Good. Truly gone are the homes and the people. Much of the area now lies under the waters of Lake Gaston, and many fine old homes depicted are no more-either torn down, burned, or deserted and deteriorated.
A native of Henrico, North Carolina, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Moody, and now a resident of Richmond Virginia, Mrs. Good began painting at sixty two, and her work was quickly classified as “true primitive” art. It has been said that her paintings are amazingly three dimensional, though her style is flatly two dimensional.
Remembered rural scenes in the upper reaches of Northampton County, North Carolina dominate her work. Her largest, most interesting and intricate work, (pictured inside the front cover) condenses almost ten miles of countryside into a telephoto type perspective. Mrs. Good accomplishes this technique by eliminating colorless
countryside, and both highlighting and capitalizing on notable landmarks, most of which are country homes, farms, and a few stores. The artist boasts of having known every soul. Negro and White, in the ten mile area from the line to Saint Luke's Episcopal Church west of Gaston, N. C. Each lovingly painted home, horse and buggy, person, and cultivated garden row can be identified by this vivacious, gracious lady.
Kitty Good's paintings have been shown with honor in outstanding juried shows in and . They were last seen in the Contemporary Primitives Showing, so appropriate to the oncoming Bicentennial, at the Bergdorf Goodman Gallery, New York City, June 1964. , , , and are among the places where her canvases have found homes.Lois Griswold Outland
Lois Griswold Outland is the only child of Mr. and Mrs. O. Griswold of Wendell, North Carolina. She is married to Dr. R. B. Outland of Rich Square, where they have made their home throughout their married life. Two sons, R. B. Outland, Jr. and James O. Outland, are the children of this marriage. Both sons are married and make their homes in Rich Square also. There are four grandchildren.
Mrs. Outland graduated from Meredith College with a Major in Art. Here she studied under Art Instructor Ida Poteat, who encouraged her to go on to graduate from Washington School of Art in Washington, D. C.
While her sons were growing up, Mrs. Outland, shared generously of her time and talent in the cultural, civic, religious, and social life of Rich Square. She is a highly valued member of one of Northampton County's oldest and most highly respected clubs, The Rich Square Garden Club.
When her sons were in college. Mrs. Outland entered a class in Portrait Painting in Norfolk, Va. where she studied for several years under Lena McNamara. Portraiture is indeed Mrs. Outland's forte. Her character studies and her pastels of children, as well as her Northampton scenes and landscapes, are making Lois Outland a well known Northampton artist.
Recently, Mrs. Outland has taken art classes under Barclay Sheaks and Bettie Anglin at the Walter Cecil Rawls Library and Museum in Courtland, Va.Item of Interest in
Etheldred Martin received land grant from Governor Alexander Martin. Deed on file in Jackson courthouse begins as follows: Alexander Martin, Esquire, our Governor Captain General and Commander in Chief at Fairfield on the 29th day of October, in the seventh year at our Independence — 1782
For further research in Northampton history we suggest the courthouse records and the books by Margaret M. Hofmann.
Map of Northampton County Before 1949
When Gaston Was Called Camps Store.
Northampton County Div. A. Dist. 4.
The War Between the States
The War Between the States
Word of 's secession came to the people of Northampton just as crops of 1861 were coming up. War was here. There was both jubilation and dread with all hoping for quick end to the new hostilities. Northamptonians were enveloped with the spirit of the cause as many answered to the call of the Confederacy.
A Northamptonian, Thomas Bragg, left Jackson to serve as our state's governor during the crucial years preceding the outbreak of war. He was then called on to serve on Jefferson Davis’ cabinet as Attorney General of the Confederacy during the early organizational period. Another Northamptonian, Matt Ransom was to serve as a commissioner from to the Confederate government in Montgomery. Later he became a general and served in many campaigns. The only Confederate General born in Northampton County was Daniel Chevilette Govan, who served with the Western army before surrendering with General Johnston near Durham in 1865.
Northampton had many distinguished persons serving during these war years. Yet it was the thirteen thousand “plain people” who lived on the Northampton soil who provided so much. One thousand troops were furnished by this county. Northampton became the site of several Confederate training camps. Troops trained at such Northampton camps as Camp Mangum, Camp David, and Camp Ransom, noted to be among the “best” in the Confederacy.
Northampton was in a unique position. The rich plantation and farm lands were to provide the much needed food and clothing materials of support. The County was crossed by the railroads which transported the sorely needed war materials brought into Wilmington and then shipped to General Lee in . It was because of this crucial railroad link that Union troops under the command of Colonel S. P. Spear invaded Northampton soil in the hot month of July, 1863. As he and 5000 troops tramped across Northampton toward the railroad bridge over the Roanoke River, Confederate Intelligence watched closely. General Matt Ransom and less than two hundred troops were sent to Northampton to stop this Union movement.
On the morning of July 28, 1863 more Confederate troops stopped at a mill pond, called Boone's Mill, to lunch and bathe. Spear's forces nearly caught these men off guard as his cavalry approached. With some quick thinking on the Confederate's part and hesitancy of the Union troops, the day was saved. For nearly three hours, we are told, intense fire filled the already hot afternoon air. Then as the Union began a flanking movement around the Confederate embankment, Ransom pulled a bluff which drove Spear to the decision to retreat to Winton without realizing his goal of destroying the railroad bridge.
This battle preserved this section of from the enemy's presence for much time to follow. The crops of 1863 and 1864 were saved.
Northampton was to be spared from any further occupation until the closing weeks of the war in the spring of 1865 when an army of 8000 Union troops moved into the Seaboard area and dug up embankments on the railroad. As the train approached, the danger was discovered, and the train with 2000 Confederate troops backed down. No shots were fired and the railroad was cut.
The war was over for Northampton, but hard times were just beginning for the people of Northampton County.
The Civil War Battle
Boon's Mill Marker
in Gumberry that
Never Took Place
It was the Spring of 1865 and the closing weeks of the Civil War.
Northampton County farmers, among them Kindred Howell, once again had put their fields in order for the new crops of cotton and corn. Howell's land stood, as it does today, astride the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad, built to connect the Port of Norfolk with the main line road running south from Richmond into at Weldon.
One bright morning, excitement rang high through the Seaboard area. A “runner” from Jackson, the county seat brought word the Union Army was on its way.
Soon, a “roaring noise came from the southeast audible from enemy troops, many of them mounted and some horses pulling artillery pieces, moved across the countryside and onto the Howell's land. They stopped, some on each side of the railroad tracks. Two pit emplacements
for big guns were dug on either side of the railroad, and the rails themselves were ripped up for about half a mile, from Howell westward to the crossroads of Gumberry.
Today a long stretch of this “fort” is still there, probably the best preserved, in the original state, of any Civil War fortification in this region.
It runs about half a mile on the south side of the railroad, now a part of the Seaboard Air Line. The great mounds still are 12 to 15 feet in height in some places. A pine forest has grown up around them, and few people in this area know of their existence.
The “fort” was never used. What could have developed into a major engagement was averted because Union strategists beat the Confederates to the draw, and had an overwhelming force to “cut” the railroad at Howell's farm before the Southerners got there.
Among those who knew the fortification is still there is the late Mrs. L. W. Bryant (a veteran schoolteacher at Gaston, great-granddaughter of Kindred Howell) who lived on the old home place.
Recently, she and a brother, W. J. Stephenson of Richmond stood on the site and told of events of 98 years ago, as related to them by their grandmother, Mrs. Christine Howell Jordan, who died in 1925.
“My great-grandfather (Kindred Howell) put all the cured meat in a big box and buried it behind the barn when word came the Union Army was on its way,” Mrs. Bryant said.
“They stopped in my grandmother's fields. At that time she was living on the place with her father and sister, and a slave named Aunt Rena, who took care of the girls. Aunt Rena was rented from a neighbor for 50 cents a week.
“The Union forces, after throwing up the breastworks and placing the guns beside the railroad, waited for a train from Norfolk. They knew it was carrying Confederate soldiers, who were trying to get to Weldon or Richmond.
“Great-grandfather Howell talked to two of the Union officers while they were waiting. They told him it would not be necessary for him to take his family and slave and leave, because they knew there would be no battle. Both officers said their troops so far outnumbered the Confederates on the train that they were sure there would be no fight.” (It was estimated there were about 8,000 Union Troops, compared to about 2,000 Rebels on the train).
Howell invited the two officers in for coffee. The room in which they sat is still preserved, a part of the rebuilt homeplace which was moved several hundred yards from its original site.
For an hour or so, there were a series of “booms” heard as the Yankees tested their big guns guarding the railroad and got the range on the expected train.
“The train came slowly from Seaboard,” Mrs. Bryant was quoted. “It was flagged and came to a stop within sight of the fort. The crew could see the situation and the train began to back up. Not a shot was fired.
“One of the officers said. ‘Thank God, the war is over as far as we are concerned.’ The train backed out of sight toward the town of Seaboard.”
There was one Confederate on the train, whose home was nearby, and he jumped off and made a dash for it. He was captured by Union soldiers, the only prisoner taken. Mrs. Bryant's grandfather, Henry Clay Jordan was a soldier on the train also.
The gun pits as well as about half of the breastworks, have been leveled, but the other half still remains.
Mrs. Bryant recalled that her grandmother said the fields had been broken up and laid off in that Spring of ‘65 when the Yankees came. The troops, horses, and artillery pieces trampled them so thoroughly that all the work had to be redone after their departure, and a late crop resulted, that year.War Story
by Margaret Martin Womble.
This is a true story told to my father by his mother, Mary Flythe Martin, daughter of Rev. Jesse Flythe. She was one of the children mentioned in the story who hid out in the woods. The original home of Rev. Flythe still stands near Northampton High School. The story took place during the Civil War period.
The Methodist preacher, Jesse Flythe, was working in his grist mill at Creeksville Mill Pond, which was near the farm he owned. The Yankees came to Creeksville and caught him while he was at his mill. After capturing him and burning the mill and the bridge leading to it, they made him run on foot ahead of their horses for about a mile.
Arriving at his home, the Yankees told him there was going to be a battle at Creeksville Mill Pond. (The battle never did take place.) He was then ordered out of his house. He took his wife and six children (Jim, June, Joseph, Jesse Thomas “Simon”, Adrian “Ed”, and Mary Eliza “Molly”) to the woods where he built a brush shelter. The Yankees took over his house.
Rev. Flythe had hidden his meat in the kitchen loft. In a nearby graveyard he hid his brandy under a grave roof.
When Rev. Flythe returned to his home in about a week, he found his molasses, flour, and meal turned out on the floor. He found that his meat and horses, except for one old nag, had been stolen. Then, upon his return to the graveyard, he noticed that some of the shingles were not on the grave roofs. The Yankees had loosened them while dancing on the roofs. Mr. Flythe raised up one particular roof, and upon seeing the brandy still there exclaimed, “Oh yeah, dag-nab-it, you didn't get that!”Daniel Chevilette
GENERALS IN GRAY
by Ezra J. Warner
Daniel Chevilette Govan was born in Northampton County, North Carolina, July 4, 1829, but was brought up in , and attended the University of South Carolina. He joined in the gold rush to in 1849 with his kinsman, Ben McCulloch, who was also to become a Confederate general officer, but Govan returned to in 1852, and then moved to , in 1861, where he engaged in planting. Raising a company, which became part of the 2nd Infantry, he became its lieutenant colonel and participated in all the campaigns of the western army, rising to the rank of brigadier general,
Daniel Chevilette Govan
on February 29, 1863. He was captured at the battle of Jonesboro during the Atlanta campaign. Surrendering with General Joseph E. Johnston in 1865, General Govan returned to his plantation in , where he continued to live until 1894, when he accepted from President Cleveland a post as Indian agent in the state of . The last years of his life were spent in the homes of one or another of his fourteen children in and . He died in Memphis on March 12, 1911, and is buried in Holly Springs, Mississippi.Colonel
Harry Burgwyn“BOY COLONEL” OF THE TWENTY—SIXTH
NORTH CAROLINA REGIMENT
Henry Burgwyn, known to friends and relatives as Harry, was born in Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts, on October 3, 1841. He was to give his life for his country at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863 well before his twenty-second birthday.
His father, Henry King Burgwyn, married Anna Greenough, a native New Englander, and brought her back to Thornbury Plantation on the banks of the Roanoke River.
Young Harry was one of a large family, and was educated at home until the age of nine when he was sent to Baltimore to study at the school of The Reverend Frederick Gibson.
Burgwyn was noted as a bright student and was then sent to the Episcopal School in Burlington, New Jersey.
During these years war drums were becoming increasingly loud and his father decided to have him educated at West Point. Though too young at age fifteen, he was privately tutored by General Foster whom he would later face as an enemy.
Henry King Burgwyn
Boy Colonel of the Confederacy
Burgwyn then returned to his beloved and entered the University at Chapel Hill. After graduation he went to V. M. I. where he again distinguished himself as an excellent student. He served there as captain of the Cadet Corps, and was chosen to be guard at the execution of John Brown. Upon graduation he began his short but colorful career as an officer of the Confederacy.
In a letter to Governor Ellis of , one of his professors, Stonewell Jackson, praised him highly:
The object of this letter is to recommend Cadet H. K. Burgwyn of for a commission in the Artillery of the Southern Confederacy. Mr. B. is not only a high toned southern gentleman but, in consequence of the highly practical as well as scientific character of his mind, he possesses qualities well calculated to make him an ornament not only to the Artillary but to any branch of the military service.
T. J. Jackson”
Burgwyn was commissioned a major and given command of the camp of instruction for the Twenty-sixth Regiment in Camp Crabtree, now the site of Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh. At age twenty he was in command of training the roughest most lauded regiment in . At first the men of the Twenty-sixth feared him, because of his sharp military manner. They thought that he would expect too much of them. These emotions soon evolved into affection and respect for their youthful commander. Young Corporal John R. Lane, upon first seeing him, described his commander:
“This was our first sight of the commanding officer, who appeared though young, to be a youth of authority, beautiful and handsome; the flash of his eye and the quickness of his movements betokened his bravery. At first sight, I both feared and admired him.”
Marker for the “Boy” Colonel
This was the beginning of the “Boy Colonel's” short military career. He took command of the Twenty-sixth several times during various leaves by Colonel Zebulon B. Vance, his commanding officer, before he came into full command of the regiment at age twenty, when Vance became Governor.
Burgwyn continued training his men and the Twenty-sixth became known as the best drilled regiment in the Army of Northern . This they were to prove many times over.
In the Colonel's last battle, at Gettysburg, he died gallantly on the field while striving to keep the flag from falling. His regiment marched head on into the Union troops, actually causing one entire Union regiment to flee in panic. The young Colonel's last words were, “Tell the General my men never failed me at a single point.”
The Twenty-sixth took its objective that day but when the day ended there were not enough of them to form one complete company, though they had driven three complete Union regiments and a battery of artillery from the field.
On the first day the Twenty-sixth lost 588 men killed or wounded and at the end of the second day only 80 effectives out of 803 could report for duty.
Burgwyn was buried in a gun case on the field. His family had the body exumed after the war and reentered in the Solider's Cemetery in Raleigh. He was accorded the highest accolade, and was called the “Epitome of the Southern Cause.”A Commission
in the War
facsimile of a North Carolina commission]
General Matt W. Ransom
General Matt W. Ransom
“He was our fullest scholar, our most accomplished diplomat, the handsomest man among us, the ablest man, the man who did us more credit in the eyes of the country. He is indeed the last of the Romans.”]
Occupation of Jackson, North Carolina by Colonel Spear's Cavalry.
Oath of Allegience to the Union
taken by Confederate Soldiers
at the end of the War.
Oath of Allegience to the Union taken by Confederate Soldiers at the end of the War.
Oath of Allegience to the Union taken by Confederate Soldiers at the end of the War.
General Matt W. Ransom Marker
Northampton County War Dead
In Grateful Remembrance Of Those Northamptonians Who With Unselfish Devotion To Their Country Made The Supreme Sacrifice While Serving In The Armed Services
World War I through Vietnam
|Wray L. Askew||Bivion Stedan Jones|
|Lemuel A. Askew||Melbourne Barry Jones|
|Clinton I. Balmer||Billy Jordan|
|Lawrence W. Barnes||Raymond L. Jordan|
|Laurence G. Barnes||Dillard Odell Joyner|
|James Gillis Barnes||James M. Kee|
|Willie Robert Barrett||Wilson Turner Lanier|
|Wilbur Bolton, Jr.||Clanton C. Lassiter|
|David L. Boone||Donald N. Lassiter|
|Henry B. Bottoms||George W. Lassiter|
|Joseph Harvey Boyce||Charlie B. Laxton|
|Wilson R. Bridgers||James M. Lee|
|James Luther Bristow||William E. Lewter|
|Willie Britton||Lawrence E. McDaniel, Jr.|
|Willie Lee Broadnax||Thermon Miller|
|Joseph E. Burgess||Stanley Lee Nelson|
|William Henry Camp, Jr.||William P. Odom|
|Elmer E. Chambless||Arthur Reuben Parker|
|Jimmy Cox||Edward R. Parker|
|David Waverly Davis||Joseph Thomas Peebles|
|William Davis||Matt W. Ransom III|
|Clinton P. Deberry||Wheeler Holden Rawls|
|Wilbert E. Eason||William D. Reams|
|Lamont George Epps||Robert Allison Rogers|
|Thomas Benjamin Elliott, Jr.||George Browning Rogers|
|Robert F. Elliott||Jimmie N. Shaheen|
|Albert Everett||George R. Smith|
|George H. Faison||Charlie Culbreth Smithe|
|Eugene Garris||Edward V. Stephenson|
|Rudolph Gorham||Winifred Leo Sumner|
|George Grant||Wesley P. Terry|
|Milton Harris||William H. Warren|
|James L. Harvey||George L. Webb|
|Joseph L. Holder||William J. Wheeler|
|William H. Hollingsworth||James O. Williams|
David Alexander Barnes
Judge David A. Barnes was born in Northampton County on September 16, 1819. He was the oldest son of Collin W. Barnes, a wealthy planter of Northampton, who was married to his cousin Louisa Barnes. This was his second marriage. In 1840 Judge Barnes graduated from The University at Chapel Hill. He was a representative for his native county in the House in 1844, 1846, 1850, and 1858.
In 1851 Barnes was one of thirteen people who signed the petition to the diocese for the admission of The Church of the Savior (Episcopal) in Jackson. He was also a convention delegate that year. The next year Judge Barnes was elected to the vestry.
By this time Barnes had become a great advocate of the Whig cause. He was elected member of the Secession Convention in 1861. During the War Between the States David Barnes was on the Military Council of Governor Vance. In 1866 during the trying times following the War David A. Barnes was appointed Judge of the Superior Court in the First Judicial District. In 1870 Judge Barnes was a candidate for the Conservative party, for Congress, against C. L. Cobb but was defeated. The Conservative party was composed mostly of old Whigs and those Democrats who had been loyal to the Union and hostile to secession until the outbreak of the war. Zebulan B. Vance and John M. Morehead were in this group.
Judge Barnes was a lawyer of considerable reputation, whose speeches were unique in style, but very effective. Like most of the old lawyers he never became reconciled to The Code practice.
In 1872 the silver-haired bachelor lawyer of Jackson, and aide-de-camp to Governor Vance during the War, married the young and much-admired Bettie Vaughan, daughter of Colonel Uriah Vaughan, and settled in Murfreesboro with his bride and became a citizen of Hertford County. In 1874 Judge Barnes built a handsome Victorian residence in Murfreesboro.
David Alexander Barnes died in 1892, a most estimable gentleman, beloved because of his amiability, his sincerity and his gentleness. He is buried in Murfreesboro.Thomas William Mason
Thomas William Mason
Son of Nathaniel Mason, of Brunswick County, Va. and his wife Temperance Arrington of Nash County, N. C. Judge Mason was born on January 3, 1839, in the house now standing on his father's plantation in Brunswick County, Va., The house is now owned by Judge Mason's grandson, Willie Jones Long of Longview Northampton County.
His early education was in a boarding school in Ridgeway, Warren County and he was graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1858 with a degree of Bachelor of Arts.
Upon his graduation at Carolina he entered the law school of the University of Virginia from which he graduated in the spring of 1860.
At the outbreak of the War between the States Mr. Mason voluntarily joined the Army of the Confederacy and was appointed to the Staff of Gen. Robert Ransom with the rank of Captain and served as such throughout the entire war being in the forefront in many pitched battles.
Of undaunted courage, which was one of his great attributes throughout a long and useful life, he bore a splendid reputation as a true and valiant soldier. The late Chief Justice Walter Clark tells us that the first time he ever saw Mr. Mason was on the battlefield at Sharpsburg. He was riding a horse across the field almost covered with dead and wounded, taking a note from Gen. Robert Ransom to Gen.
Stonewall Jackson who was sitting on horseback with his staff watching the course of battle.
At the close of the war he returned to Northampton County and to his home “Longview” on the banks of the Roanoke River.
He served as Presiding Judge of the Inferior Court of Northampton County from 1877 to 1885; and as a member of the General Assembly of N. C. in 1885-1895 and in 1915 and as trustee of the University from 1885-1909. He was a Democratic nominee for U. S. Senator from N. C. but by a combination of Populists and Republicans was defeated by Marion Butler of Sampson County.
He was intensely loyal to the organizations of which he was a member and these included the Methodist Church, the Democratic Party, and lost cause of the Southern Confederacy. On Sept. 25, 1860 Judge Mason was happily married to Miss Betty Gray, daughter of Major William Gray of Northampton County and to this union were born three daughters and a son.
Judge Mason was a most eloquent man and his familiarity with the classics was disclosed by frequent allusions to them in almost every line of his address. Honorable Josephus Daniels summed up his life and character in these eloquent words: “passed to the Better Land yesterday, Captain Thos. William Mason, of Northampton County, full of years, full of grace, full of everything that makes a gentleman, a scholar, a Christian. Recalling his long and useful and unselfish life, it may be truly said of him that he was a “Sun crowned man” who lived above the fog in public duty and in private thinking.”
Judge Mason died April 25, 1921 at Longview and is buried beside his wife in the Methodist churchyard at Garysburg.Robert Bruce Peebles
Robert Bruce Peebles
Robert Bruce Peebles was the son of Ethaldred J. Peebles and wife Lucretia Tyner, daughter of Nicholas Tyner, of Northampton County. Judge Peebles was born on his father's large plantation — Moorfield, on July 21, 1840.
He was educated at the Celebrated Horners School at Oxford, Granville County, N. C. and entered the University of North Carolina in the fall of 1859. From both of these institutions he received high honors as a scholar. His stay at the University, however was cut short by the commencement of hostilities between the North and the South.
He was at first a private in Company E. 50th N. C. Regiment and was promoted for good conduct to a Lieutenancy in the same company. He was afterward made adjutant of his Regiment (35 N.C.). He fought at Petersburg, Drury Lane, Bermuda Hundreds, and Plymouth and was the last man to leave Fort Stedman on March 25, 1865. At Five Forks he was made Asst. Adjutant General of Gen. Matt W. Ransom's Brigade. He re-entered the University and studied law under the guidance of Hon. Wm. H. Battle, former Judge of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.
He commenced his professional career on the First Monday in Nov. 1866 as Attorney for Northampton County. He appeared as counsel in many cases of great importance. He was active at the Bar and no man ever lived in who had more completely the confidence of his clients, whom he served, not only with ability, but with aggressive fidelity.
He was an ardent and loyal Democrat, firm in his political opinions, as in all other matters. He was a member of the lower House of Representatives from Northampton County in 1866-1883 — 1891-1895 and served on the Board of Trustees of the University from 1865 until his election as Judge of the Superior Court in 1902.
He was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church of the Savior in Jackson and was loyal to it in every way. He was also a life long member of the Democratic party and one of its leaders in the County and State.
On Dec. 7, 1875 Judge Peebles was married to Miss Margaret Cameron. She was the daughter of Paul C. Cameron of Orange County, one of the largest land owners and business men in the State, her mother being Miss Annie Ruffin, daughter of Judge Thomas Ruffin of the Supreme Court of , who was recognized as the greatest Equity Judge of the State.
Major Charles M. Stedman, his college mate at Chapel Hill wrote of Judge Peebles, “He never evaded responsibility but was positive in all matters when duty required him to act.” He was absolutely sincere, devoid of cant, and hypocrisy. One of his chief qualities as a presiding Judge was a love of truth and fair play. The penniless litigant in his court had as fair a trial as the man of wealth and power. When elected Judge he carried to the bench qualifications of the highest order. In later years when the impartial historian shall review the official loves of the Judges of our Superior Courts he will cause to be recorded upon the pages which shall be written for the youths who shall survive us, that Robert Bruce Peebles ranked with the best and greatest Nisi Pruis Judges of .
Judge Peebles died on June 29, 1916 and is buried in the Episcopal Church Yard at Hillsboro beside the grave of his wife. It is significant that on his tombstone are the words “Robert Bruce Peebles of Northampton County.” This I believe was his desire.
Garland Eugene Midyette
|Born:||January 17, 1874, Fairfield, Hyde County, North Carolina.|
|Parents:||Thomas G. and Margaret Spencer Midyette.|
|Education:||Public Schools of Hyde and Martin Counties; Business School in Baltimore; Old Trinity College; and, Wake Forest Law School.|
|Family:||Married Mary Buxton, daughter of Samuel N. and Elizabeth Peele Buxton, of Jackson, North Carolina, on May 7, 1902. Four children — Mildred Carter, Samuel Buxton, Garland Eugene, and Thomas G. Mary B. Midyette died December 18, 1963. Samuel Buxton died April 15, 1965.|
|Career:||Licensed to practice Law, 1900; member of firm Gay and Midyette, Lawyers, Chairman Northampton County Democratic Executive Committee, 1904; General Assembly, 1907; County Attorney, 1910 to 1924; Solcitor of Third Judicial District of ; Resident Superior Court Judge for the Third Judicial District of , 1924 to 1932.|
|Religion:||Joined Methodist Episcopal Church when young, always a loyal and devoted member; served as Superintendent of Sunday School and as Steward.|
|Other:||Member of Masonic Order, Junior Order, Knights Templar.|
|Died:||Of Heart attack, September 20, 1932, while holding Court in Elizabeth City. He was 58.|
His father died when he was a child, his mother when he was 14. He and his sister Margaret left Hyde County to live with Dan Simmons, a relative, in Williamston, N. C. He worked as confidential clerk and bookkeeper.
He kept books for William Slade, saved his money and sent himself to old Trinity College. Following college, he worked for the mercantile firm of Buxton and Baugham in Rich Square, N. C. In 1899 he entered the law school at Wake Forest College, where, while still a freshman, he was a member of the debating team for the debate with Trinity College, an unheard-of honor.
Upon receiving his law license, he went to Jackson, N. C., and joined Benjamin Stancell Gay in the practice of law. Gay died in 1916, and Midyette and W. H. S. Burgwyn practiced together for three years. In 1919 Archibald Cree Gay, son of B. S. Gay, joined him in the practice of law. He was appointed Solicitor of the Third Judicial District, and served until 1924 when he was appointed to the post of Judge of the Superior Court by Governor Cameron Morrision. In 1927 Buxton Midyette joined A. C. Gay to continue the firm of Gay & Midyette.
Judge Midyette is reported to have had a brilliant mind which, combined with his devotion to duty, his willingness to work, and his honesty and integrity, won him respect among the people, the Bar, and the Bench. It was as a Judge, however, that his talents bloomed. His reputation for fairness and knowledge spread throughout the state. One of his charges was widely circulated in the press and among the Bar as a model, not only of the law, but of how the law could be explained in everyday language so that it could be understood by the jury.
He possessed a dry sense of humor. George Green, of the Halifax Bar, is quoted as having said that the first time he saw Midyette, he was heatedly arguing with a telegraph clerk over who was the ugliest man to come from Martin County, Midyette or the telegraph clerk.
His friend and adversary C. G. Peebles pronounced the following eulogy:
“He came to this county in his young manhood, unknown, without wealth, without pull, without the influence or help of kin, and by the weight of his own ability, by his sterling integrity, by his indomitable courage, by his faithfulness to every trust imposed upon him, and by his unselfish, sunny and lovable disposition he won for himself in the hearts of the people of this county, a place unsurpassed by any man within its limits.”William Hyslop
Easter Day, 1886, was very warm in Jackson. The Church of the Saviour was crowded for regular services and for the baptism of Maria Greenough and William Hyslop
William Hyslop Sumner Burgwyn
Sumner Burgwyn, twins born on January 22 that year. Present for the rite were the parents (George Pollok and Emma Ridley Burgwyn), the two grandmothers (Mrs. Henry K. Burgwyn of Richmond and Mrs. Thomas Ridley of Southampton County, Virginia), and the uncle for whom the boy was named.
At twelve Sumner Burgwyn was sent to the Graham School in Warrenton; at fourteen he went to the Episcopal High School. In 1902 he entered Georgetown University and upon completing his work there studied law at the University of North Carolina from 1906 to 1908. At Chapel Hill he became a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, an affiliation he has always cherished. When only eight years out of the University, he became one of its trustees and held the position for many years.
Upon admission to the bar Burgwyn began practice in Jackson, where he was soon elected mayor. On January 2, 1911, he was married to Miss Josephine Griffin, and not long thereafter they settled in Woodland, her home town, and became the parents of four children: John Griffin, W. H. S., Jr., Margaret Elizabeth, and Henry King Burgwyn. Mrs. Burgwyn died on December 11, 1967.
Sumner Burgwyn's interest and activity in the Democratic Party was evidenced early in his career. He was elected to the North Carolina Senate for three terms — 1917, 1921, and 1925 — and to the House of Representatives for the regular session of 1923 and extra session of 1924. As a member of the 1925 Senate, he was chosen president pro-tem of that body. In 1928 he made an unseccessful race for Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.
For a number of years Burgwyn was associated in practicing law in both Jackson and Woodland with Eric Norfleet. When R. Hunt Parker became a superior court judge in 1932, Governor O. Max Gardner appointed Burgwyn to succeed him as district solicitor, a position he held until named a special superior court judge by Governor Clyde R. Hoey in 1937. Older residents of Northampton recall that on the occasion of Judge Burgwyn's first term of court in Jackson he made a significant address to the grand jury on the county's heritage. For sixteen years Judge Burgwyn was reappointed special superior court judge; then at 67 years of age he became an emergency judge and a very active one, holding court thoughout the State for a total of almost forty years. His compassionate attitude toward criminal defendants and his willingness to hear all sides with care in civil matters won him the respect of public as well as bar.
A Mason, a Shriner, a Knight Templar, Judge Burgwyn was also long the president of the Farmers Bank based in Woodland and Murfreesboro. In several sections he carried on the farming tradition initiated by his grandfather in Occoneechee Neck as early as 1840. He became a leader in the effort to dam the Roanoke River at Bugg's Island and to develop a flood control plan for its basin. At 89, he is an alert, interested man — strong in his loyalty to his region, his party, his church, and his friends.Raymond Gay Parker
Raymond Gay Parker
Raymond Gay Parker was born in Northampton County on June 18, 1889. He was the son of Israel Putnam Parker and Sue Gay Parker. Judge Parker attended public schools of Seaboard, John Graham School at Warrenton, N. C., Wake Forest College, and the University of North Carolina.
He practiced law in Northampton County 1910-1915 and moved to Winston-Salem and had a very successful law practice until his elevation to the Superior Court in January 1, 1927. Judge Parker held court in Northampton County in August, 1927 and he died holding court in Asheville on the 30th day of August, 1927; he was thirty-eight years of age.
While holding court in his native Northampton he displayed great judicial temperament and wisdom, at the same time dealing with his fellow man fairly and mercifully, and was highly respected by everybody that knew him.
Judge Parker was married first in 1911 to Miss Julia Railey of Northampton County. Mrs. Parker died a few months after this marriage. On the 17th of December, 1919 he married Miss Sally Moore Calvert, also of Northampton County.
On August 10, 1959 Judge Parker's portrait was presented to Northampton County and this portrait still hangs in the Northampton County Court House. The proceedings of this presentation may be found in Minute Docket 20 — Page 103 in the Northampton County Superior Court's Office.Vernon
Vernon Dwight Strickland
Vernon Strickland was born in Johnston County on December 1, 1897 and died a resident of Rich Square, N. C. on May 31, 1969. Judge Strickland practiced law and was active in the banking business in Ahoskie prior to moving to Rich Square in the early 1930's. Mr. Strickland had a very active law practice before being elected Recorder's Court Judge for Northampton County in 1952. He served as Judge of Northampton County Recorder's Court for a period of two years and during that time he was a fair and just Judge. Judge Strickland served as mayor of Rich Square and was active in civic and religious affairs. During his lifetime he made great contributions to the development of his community. He married Effie Baugham of Rich Square and to this union were born two sons: Sam Strickland of Clayton, N. C. and Colonel Donald Strickland of the United States Army.Eric Norfleet
Eric Norfleet was born in Bertie County in 1897 at Woodburn, his ancestral home, near Roxobel, Bertie County, N. C. He is the son of Thomas Spruill Norfleet and Lelia Moore Powell Norfleet. Norfleet attended the University of North Carolina; served with distinction in World War I; came to Northampton County to practice law in the Fall of 1921, forming a partnership with W.H.S. Burgwyn, under the name of Burgwyn and Norfleet. This partnership existed until 1937 when W. H. S. Burgwyn was appointed Special Judge of Superior Court of . In 1934, Recorder's Court of Northampton was created by the Legislature and Eric Norfleet was appointed first Judge of this Court, a position he held with great distinction until 1952 when he gave up the Judgeship voluntarily to devote his full time to practicing law. During Judge Norfleet's tenure as Judge he served with great distinction and honor, having been known as a very fair and compassionate Judge who was very knowledgeable in the law and ran his courts in a very judicial and dignified manner. Judge Norfleet was, and still is, respected by all who know him. It can truly be said that he is “a gentleman and a scholar.” He has been and still is a useful citizen in this county, having served in many capacities in both civic and religious activies.
Judge Norfleet married Margaret Gary of Richmond, Virginia. They have two children — Margaret Gary Norfleet Gidley of Clemmons, N. C. and Lt. Commander Hill Norfleet of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Judge and Mrs. Norfleet reside in Jackson, N. C. where he is still active in the practice of law.
Ballard Spruill Gay
Ballard Spruill Gay
Ballard Spruill Gay was born February 8, 1902 in Jackson, N. C. He is the son of E. J. Gay and his wife, Lucy Arrington Spruill Gay. He attended public schools of Northampton County, the University of North Carolina, and graduated from law school in 1925. Judge Gay practiced law for a very brief period in Goldsboro, N. C. with the Honorable Kenneth C. Royall. He then came to his native county of Northampton where he became active in the practice of law. He served as Solicitor of Recorder's Court, Northampton County for several years. In 1954 he was elected Judge of the Northampton County Recorder's Court and assumed his duties the same year. Judge Gay held this position until 1968, at which time he was democratic nominee and was elected one of the District Court Judges of the Sixth District of ; a position which he holds today.
Judge Ballard S. Gay has always been active in civic, religious and political affairs. He is a strong Methodist, a Democrat, and a leader in the Masonic Order. Judge Gay also is known as a fair and kind Judge, always tempering his judgement with mercy.
Judge Gay married Genevieve Hodgin of Goldsboro, N. C. They reside at his family home place in Jackson, N. C.Robert
McKinney Martin, Jr.
Robert McKinney Martin, Jr., son of Robert McKinney Martin, Sr. and Sadie Catherine Parker Martin, born in Northampton County, near Conway, N. C., September 8, 1912, graduated from Conway High School, attended Wake Forest University, and was licensed to practice law in 1937. He practiced law in High Point from 1938 to 1967. Martin was Superior Court Judge from 1967
Robert McKinney Martin, Jr.
to 1974 and was elected Judge of the Court of Appeals in 1974 for an eight year term. Judge Robert M. Martin is the first native of Northampton County ever to be elected to the Court of Appeals.
While on the Superior Court bench Judge Martin held court in many counties throughout the State, and in every county in which he presided he won the admiration and esteem of all the people who came in contact with him. He is indeed a great judge, a fine gentleman and a judicial scholar. He always conducts himself on a very high plane of moral standards and judicial temperament, never forgetting that justice should be tempered with mercy.
Judge Martin married Edith Mewborn of Greene County and resides with his wife and children in Raleigh, North Carolina.James
James William Copeland, Democrat, was born in Woodland, N. C., June 16, 1914. He is the son of L. C. Copeland and Nora L. Benthall Copeland. He attended Woodland-Olney High School, graduating in 1930. Schools of higher learning attended by Copeland are Guilford College, A. B. degree, 1934; and the University of North Carolina Law School, J. D. degree, 1937. Copeland is a Lawyer and farmer; member of Hertford County Bar Association; North Carolina Bar Association; The American Judicature Society; member of Council, N. C. State Bar, Inc., 1955-1957; Murfreesboro Rotary Club; American Legion; V. F.W.; Mayor of Woodland, 1940-1942; Chairman of Northampton County Board of Elections, 1939-1942; Mayor of Murfreesboro, 1947-1950; Chairman of Hertford County Board of Elections, 1946-1949; Member American George Lodge No. 17, A.F. & A.M. Murfreesboro, N. C.; Sudan Temple, A.A.O. N.M.S., New Bern, N. C.; Assistant Editor, North
James William Copeland
Carolina Law Review, 1936-1937; Delegate to 1956 Democratic National Convention; Lieutenant, U. S. Navy, 1942-1946; State Senator in General Assembly of 1951, 1953, 1957, 1959 and 1961. On July 5th he was appointed Special Judge of Superior Court of , where he served with great distinction until December 31, 1974, when he was sworn in as a member of the Supreme Court of . He was nominated in the Democratic Primary, 1974, and elected in the General Election of that year with strong opposition in the Primary and General Election. However, he was overwhelmingly elected. While a Superior Court Judge he held court in approximately 88 counties in the State and is the only native of Northampton County ever elected to the Supreme Court of . While a Superior Court Judge he served on the Trial Judge's Conference and The American Bar Association, 1968-1974. It can truly be said of Judge Copeland that he has made many contributions to the State, to Northampton County and to Hertford County, always conducting himself as a gentleman and a legal scholar, highly respected and admired by all that know him. He is an obedient servant of that stern mistress known as Law and Justice.
Judge Copeland married Nancy Hall Sawyer of Elizabeth City, N. C. on October 11, 1941. They have three children — Emily Robbinson Copeland Bagby, James William Copeland, Jr. and Buck Sawyer Copeland.Perry
Perry Whitehead Martin, Democrat, of Northampton County was born near Conway, N. C., June 28, 1928. He is the son of B. R. Martin and Virgie Whitehead Martin. Martin attended Conway Elementary and High School, graduating in 1945; Wake Forest College, 1945-1947; Wake Forest College Law School, 1947-1950, LL.B.
Perry Whitehead Martin
Lawyer. He was recipient of Freshman Orators Award at Wake Forest College and solicitor of Northampton County Recorder's Court, 1954-1956. He entered the U. S. Army as Private in October of 1951, became trial Judge Advocate for 47th Infantry Division and was released from active duty, June 28, 1954 as First Lieutenant. He served in the North Carolina Senate from 1957-1963. Judge Martin was appointed as Resident Judge of the Sixth Judicial District in 1972 by the Honorable Robert W. Scott, Governor, and elected in 1974 for an eight year term. Judge Martin is now serving as Resident Judge of the Sixth District, which includes Northampton County. During the brief time Judge Martin has served on the bench, he has displayed great legal ability and judicial temperament. He conducts his court with dignity and fairness to all who come before him, and it is predicted he will become one of the great judges of this State. Judge Martin is active in civic and religious affairs.
He married Carolyn Calhoun of Cottonwood, Alabama, December 13, 1953. They have two children — Perry, Jr. and Lisa and reside in Rich Square, N. C.
The Northampton County Courthouse
Northampton County Courthouse
The Northampton County Court House of Classic Greek Revival architecture, so popular in America in the mid 1800's, was designed by Henry King Burgwyn, Sr., to replace the courthouse built in 1741, when Northampton County was founded.
The cornerstone of the building was laid on September 29, 1858. It has served as the seat of the courts in Northampton County with dignity and honor since the date of its completion in 1859. Many an illustrious name has resounded throughout its classic main room, and many a famous man has spoken from its rostrum.
Built of locally made brick, the stately two-story structure has a magnificent broad, second-level portico behind four tall Ionic fluted columns. The balustrade was composed of handsome hand-turned spindles of heart pine done in the shape of Grecian urns.
The great wooden double doors, each section of which is carved into eight graceful panels, leading to the second, or main floor, are wide and tall. A 12 pane window, 6 panes to each row, is above the doors, and above the window is a small greek type bonnet.
Inside the court room on the second, or main floor a carved cornice of the greek style outlines the great 21 foot ceiling. Fluted flat columns or pilasters add beauty and dignity to the rear of the room where the judge presides. Six great windows, 12 panes per sash, with elaborate facing and cornices add to the Greek effect of “openness and grace.”
Almost 100 years after this beautiful building was completed Johnson and Waterman included pictures of the Northampton County Courthouse in their Early Architecture of North Carolina, copyrighted in 1941, with the following quote: “At the courthouse in Jackson the large scale of the columns gives the building a monumental quality which is rivaled only by the heroic portico of the Davidson County Courthouse at Lexington.”
In 1938-39 the courthouse building was enlarged and remodeled with A. Wooten of Kinston as architect. A 40 by 80 foot wing was added at the back of the original building for additional office space. The center third of the magnificant flight of steps was removed to give a front access to the ground floor level, leaving two flights of steps to the portico instead of one. The handsome carved wooden balustrade was replaced by a wrought-iron railing. Two smaller doors, one on each side of the great double center door, were cut to face the two sets of iron-railed steps.
Between two and three thousand persons gathered for the dedication of the newly remodeled courthouse in August of 1939. The Hon. Eric Norfleet was Master of Ceremonies. Judge W. H. S. Burgwyn sat as the first Justice in the new courtroom and The Honorable R. Hunt Parker (Later Chief Justice) made the key address.
Two plaques on Courthouse wall
Judge J. Lloyd Horton, Presiding Hon. G. E. Midyette, Solicitor
The Northampton County Museum
Northampton County Museum
The Northampton County Museum was built in 1831 in a true, simple Greek Revival style of architecture but with local original features. Its architect is unknown.
Built of locally made red brick laid in the Flemish Bond style, the two-room structure is well-proportioned. The front has three doors; the center and the right one lead into the larger of the two rooms. A fireplace is located on the left wall of this room.
The ends of the building have stepped brick gables with little stone pyramids on the end of each step. In the center of each end there is a small half-circle, or arched, design in keeping with the gable pyramids. Each end has two windows of nine pane sashes with dark green shutters. Both ends of the building show splits made by the Charleston earthquake of August 31, 1886.
The building was restored in 1950 in keeping with its original design.
After Northampton's new library opened Dec. 7, 1970, the right room of the old library became headquarters for the County Industrial Development Commission.
The Northampton County Museum is now housed in the little Greek Revival building, built in 1831, in the southwest corner of the Courthouse Square. Preceding the museum collection it housed the Northampton County Memorial Library.
The direction and history of the museum has been under the auspices of the Northampton County Historical Society. The museum collection first began with a nucleus of artifacts housed in a cabinet, built for that purpose by Mrs. Nancy Froelich, in the library. The next building site used for the museum was between the present museum and the courthouse.
In September of 1964 the minutes of the Northampton County Historical Society show a revised committee for the museum. They were: Scott Bowers, chairman; G. T. Stephenson, Mrs. Nancy Froelich, Bernice Griffin, Mrs. Bernice Harris, Mrs. Raynor Woodard and W. H. S. Burgwyn, Jr. In September of 1968 the museum committee was as follows: Mrs. Bennett Stephenson, chairman; Mrs. Eric Norfleet, Mrs. Scott Bowers, Mrs. E. W. Lewis and Mr. Tillman Cooley, Sr.
By the fall 1969 meeting of the Historical Society, a screening committee consisting of W. H. S. Burgwyn, Jr., Scott Bowers, Mrs. Lucy Hollowell, C. L. Cleaton, and
Mrs. Frances Midyette had been appointed. They were to list the procedure for donating items for the museum. Items at this time were stored in the vault. As it was decided to wait for a proper facility before proceeding. The society was urged by B. R. Burgwyn to secure an official commitment by the county commissioners concerning having the old library building for the museum. At the spring 1970 Historical Society meeting T. G. Joyner reported that the museum had been granted the use of the old building by the county commissioners.
In the fall of 1970 President E. Carl Witt of the Northampton County Historical Society announced the opening of the museum for November 27. The museum was dedicated at this time and opened to the public. Many museum items were displayed and the first exhibit centered around laminated copies of old newspapers. Charles Worth Bridges, III, of Jackson, was of valuable assistance in setting up the displays in the museum. The museum is open daily during county office hours.
The present museum board is composed of: Mr. T. G. Joyner, Chairman, Mr. W. H. S. Burgwyn, Jr., Mrs. Mildred Long, Mrs. Gertrude Jordon, Judge Ballad S. Gay, Mrs. Alice Odom, Mrs. Beatrice Branch, Mrs. Frank Outland, Secretary, Miss Elizabeth Harris, and Mrs. Jennings White, Sr.
Jackson Courthouse Green—Timeless
Northampton County Museum
Spot in Northampton History
Two hundred and thirty-five years ago, when the people of the newly-formed county of Northampton were looking for the most accessible and desirable location for their county seat the present site of Jackson was chosen and the court village was established.
They first named the village “Northampton Courthouse.” And it was here that the first Federal Post Office in the county was established in 1804. The name of the village was changed to Smithville around 1814. However, the post office remained Northampton Courthouse until 1823, when the town was incorporated and named for Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans and seventh president of the .
If the magnificent old oak tree in the Bowers’ yard could talk, it would be able to tell us many interesting tales of the changes that have taken place around the Courthouse Square over the period of so many years. It is the only landmark left from that early period.
After the square was laid off and a courthouse built, naturally the village grew around the square. And it is here that we find most of the oldest houses in Jackson today.
Mrs. E. S. Bowers’ home is probably the oldest residence in the town. Eugene Scott Bowers was born in this house facing the courthouse square on January 1, 1874. This makes it 101 years old at least. The Bowers family had lived in the house prior to 1874, for probably four or five years.
Mr. and Mrs. George Bowers, lived on their farm when they were first married, but tales of Nat Turner's “up rising” were still rife, and she was afraid. They moved to Jackson and lived in a house on the lot now occupied by Mr. P. A. Lewis while their house was being built.
Mr. W. H. Picard and Mr. Bowers bought the lot known and recorded in old deeds as the Grove Lot and divided it. It was heavily wooded with a number of large oaks and other trees. Mrs. Bowers’ former slaves, two huge Negroes, went into the woods and cut the timber. The floors in the front portion of the house are the original ones. The plans for the house were taken from “Godeys Ladies Book” and she called it a Colonial Cottage. The contractor was a Negro, and was elected to the state legislature before he had quite finished.
The front four rooms were finished, but an old house in the rear which was once the residence of Judge David A. Barnes was moved up to form the dining room and kitchen, a bed room, and an enclosed hall or porch. This part was torn down about 60 years ago, and rebuilt. All that remains of that “old building” are the large sills seen from the basement. Old glass panes with air bubbles and blisters remain and some of the interior wood work is original. The roof line is in the shape of a cross.
Much of the house has had to be replaced, but the exterior look has never been altered except for the addition of a sun room on the South side.
Next around “the green” is the Bragg house. The Bragg House was built in 1835 by Thomas Bragg, Sr., the father of Governor Thomas Bragg. The house was owned by J. R. Drake, John White, and Junius Amis, respectively, until Thomas Bragg, Jr. bought it on January 1, 1841.
The original two story clapboard structure was painted white with green shutters and, the property occupied an entire block. A formal garden was to the rear, of which many evergreens and trees still remain. The house was of Georgian design and originally had a wing on each end and no porch. The left wing was burned five times. The house has two stories and an attic. The wings have been removed, and a front porch added. There are five rooms upstairs and four downstairs, all with original pine floors, high ceilings,
doors, lock and keys, and window frames. All original mantles are in use, except the one in the parlor.
The house was painted yellow with green trim in 1971. It is opposite the left hand corner of the courthouse square in Jackson and one block from the main street.
Thomas Bragg, Jr. was born in Warrenton on November 9, 1810, the son of Thomas Bragg and Margaret Crossland Bragg and brother of General Braxton Bragg of Civil War fame. Thomas Bragg, Jr. was married to Isabell M. Cuthbert of Petersburg, Va. in October, 1837. He served as Governor from 1855 to 1859 and was a U. S. Senator from 1859 to 1861. He died on January 21, 1872.
Dr. and Mrs. Leroy C. Grant bought the Bragg House in 1945. According to Mrs. Grant, the ghost of Mrs. Bragg makes her presence known from time to time, especially when guests are in the house. The house is presently inhabited by Mrs. Grant, her son, Lee, and the ghost of Mrs. Bragg.
The house now owned and occupied by Miss Julia Louise Sykes was built in 1848 by Dr. W. S. Copeland. It was there that his daughters, Misses Anna and Pattie Copeland, conducted a young ladies finishing school until about 1872. This school is remembered as St. Catherine's Hall.
Gov. Thomas Bragg, Jr.
St. Catherine's Hall
The house that we refer to as the Judge Peebles place (now owned and occupied by Dr. and Mrs. C. B. Robertson) was built at a very early date. The original house (circa 1775) was mentioned in the will of Jeptha Atherton, who died in 1797, and is believed to have been built by him. Jeptha Atherton, a rich Englishman, came to Northampton from and bought extensive holdings of land in and around the county seat in the 1700's.
The original house consisted of a broad main hall with two spacious rooms on either side. A stairway in the back of the hall led to two similar rooms on the second floor. Even now the outlines of this oldest part can be traced with scrutiny. The cookhouse was a separate building at the back.
Robert Peebles bought this house in the late 1700's and it has been owned and lived in by his Peebles
Invitation to a Concert at St. Catherine's Hall
descendants ever since that time. In the mid-1800's the house was enlarged by about four rooms and the upper and lower bays were added. The original porch was extended to include the addition.
In the “Gay Nineties” Judge Robert Peebles added the “gingerbread” touch in preparation for the wedding of his only daughter, Annie, to Norfleet Webb of Hillsborough, N. C.
The old Faison house, built by Herod Faison more than one hundred and seventy-five years ago, has enjoyed a rich and colorful history. Around 1870-1875 it was bought by George Pollock Burgwyn. At about the same time, his brother, Alveston Burgwyn, bought and moved into the Samuel Calvert house called “The Elms.”
Alveston Burgwyn never married, but George Pollock Burgwyn and his wife, Emma Wright Ridley Burgwyn, were blessed with a growing family, among whom was Northampton's own Judge W.H.S. Burgwyn. Space made it expedient for the Burgwyn brothers, Alveston and George Pollock, to trade homes-Alveston, taking the smaller Faison house, and George Pollock moving his growing family into “The Elms”.
The Stancells were the next family to inhabit this house on the courthouse green, and so, it has come to be known as the Stancell House in recent generations. For the past fifteen years it has stood forlorn and forsaken-empty. However, the story brightens: Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Barnes have bought the Faison-Burgwyn-Stancell house and are restoring it in keeping with the style of the period in which it was built. Linda Whitley Barnes is the great, great, great, great, granddaughter of Herod Faison, the original builder.
The lot upon which Mr. and Mrs. P. Alston Lewis have built their home is among the oldest homesites around the Square. In fact, it was so long ago that no one has ever been able to trace the builder of the original H-house that
stood there. Soon after the turn of the century the old house was divided and the wings were moved to the Selden lots, between the Episcopal Cemetery and Second Street, where they were remodeled and are now the homes of Mrs. E. B. Grant and Mrs. Mary Maiden.
The large house facing on the green from the lot where the Jackson Post Office now stands was built around 1840-45 by Mr. Sam Calvert (great grandfather of Paul Calvert) for his daughter Elizah, who married Dr. William Barrow. The little house, with a front porch, which sat in the corner of the yard was built for the Doctor's Office. Incidentally, it was in this smaller house that Northampton's first newspaper was published and printed by Mr. Sam Calvert (Paul Calvert's father) and Mr. Probe Barrow, when they were very young men. This house was once the Cleveland Hotel with Mr. J. S. Grant as proprietor.
Ticket to a Dance at the Burgwyn Hotel
Then, of course, John White's Tavern, the famous Hotel Burgwyn, in later years, stood nearby where the drugstore now stands. This beautiful old building with double rooms outside and its large horse and carriage lot covered most of the block on Jefferson Street from the drugstore corner to Seaboard Avenue. Its gracious hospitality and reputation for excellent food and elegant balls made it a mecca for travelers. It was a sad day for Jackson, when it burned in 1930.
Diagonally across from the Courthouse green, stood an even older hotel which was owned by Jeptha Atherton and widely known at the turn of the eighteenth century. It was here that Lafayette made his debut in Northampton on his tour of the South in 1825. He was received with great fanfare, and among other entertainment provided him, was a sumptuous turkey dinner. This relic of past days was burned on March 17, 1871.
Both of these famous hotels are plainly shown in the etching portraying Colonel Spear's Yankee Cavalry's occupation of Jackson. This drawing appeared in Leslie's Magazine in 1863.
Invitation to a Ball at the Burgwyn Hotel
Invitation to a Picnic at “The Odom Place”
Back Half of Courthouse Green
The former Rectory of the Church of The Saviour in Jackson is of federal design. Although it has been altered from time to time, its basic federal architectural lines have been retained.
Built about 1810, the house was purchased by the Episcopal Church in 1854.
It is a two-story, ten-room weatherboard house, painted white with green shutters, and it has a two-story rear wing to the right. Most of the changes in remodeling have been done on the rear portion, a side porch having been added. Originally a colonnade led from the front part of the house to a kitchen at the rear.
Perhaps the most attractive feature of the house is its classic design entrance doorway with its pointed bonnet. There is no porch or stoop on the present-day house, the original federal stoop having been removed.
The entrance hall separates two large drawing rooms, which have fine federal mantles, said to be similar to some in Charleston, South Carolina. Woodwork, wainscoting, pine floors and two exterior end chimneys — all of the original house — are in use. Originally the front door opened into a reception hall with the main drawing room to the left and an enclosed 1810 stairway and small drawing room to the right. The second floor originally contained three bedrooms.
Mr. and Mrs. J. Abner Flythe (Ruby F.) Flythe purchased the house from Mrs. Emma Boone and her daughter, Mrs. Marie B. Lamb, July 15, 1934. The deed refers to the property as the “homeplace of the late R. O. Boone,” the “O” being for Oscar. When the Flythes purchased the house it was in such bad condition that everything was torn away except the front rooms upstairs and downstairs. Torn away were the kitchen and an open porch, known as a “dog run,” that led to the detached kitchen with a fireplace. Also, the enclosed stairway that led from the front right room was removed and the present stairway was built. During the remodeling job, workmen were amazed to find the walls were insulated with sawdust.
Tom W. Henson purchased the house in 1967 from Mrs. Ruby Flythe and sold it in 1971 to Clayton C. Marlowe of Rockville, Md. Marlowe is the author of the book “A Faded Portrait of Confederate Gen. Matt W. Ransom of .”
The grove of old oaks and cedars forms an appropriate setting for this stately and now well-kept structure.Mowfield
The William Amis House, or “Mowfield,” built about 1770 is located one mile off the present-day Jackson-Weldon road. It was built on the road that originally ran from Warrenton southeast to Jackson.
William Amis built and designed “Mowfield” in a style similar to that of the New Orleans style. Built of wood and painted white, the massive but handsome three-floor structure is of an almost square shape, being slightly longer than wide. It has a steeply pitched roof extending over the second floor of the long two-story veranda which runs the length of the house. The porch, supported by eight slim columns, has a carved balustrade on both the lower and upper floors or decks.
There are three outside chimneys, each containing a
fireplace large enough to roast a whole hog or sheep. Huge hand-dressed timbers were used for beams, joists, and rafters. A center hall runs from the front to the back, there being three lofty-ceilinged rooms on the two main floors. A winding staircase rises to the second floor, on which there formerly was a ballroom extending the depth of the house.
The house stands today in fair condition surrounded by the remnants of spacious gardens, hedges, and tall trees. In the past, barns and stables were at the left and rear of the house, and behind the house was a race track, a family cemetery and a horse cemetery. Here it is said, “Sir Archie”, the Amis’ famous race horse is buried with silver shoes. It is also said Sir Archie's stable was mahogany lined.
The Amis family sold “Mowfield” in 1834 and moved to . Later owners were Sheriff Ethelred Peebles, Pat Ransom, and the present owner, Frank Meacham, of Weldon, N. C.Longview
“Longview,” a Georgian style plantation home, was built in 1827 by Major William H. Gray. It has been continuously owned and occupied by five generations of Gray's descendants. The present owner and occupant is Willie (pronounced Wiley) Jones Long, a great grandson of Willie Jones of Halifax County. William Gray Long, his wife, Mildred Terry Long, and their six daughters now reside in this gracious plantation home with Willie Jones Long, making the sixth generation of Gray's descendants to live in the house he built in 1827.
The two-story clapboard house, painted white with green shutters, did have a Georgian style front porch, which was changed to “gingerbread” Victorian about 1870. The doors and window frames are true Georgian style.
The first floor contains an “L”-shaped hall, living room, dining room, and one bedroom. In 1915, a pantry and kitchen were added, and in 1950, a kitchen was added to the rear. On the second floor are five bedrooms and a sleeping porch.
The downstairs hall of “L” shape and the dining room have chairboard paneling. Each of the 8 rooms in the house had a fireplace. A former cookhouse, converted into a family room, has an 8-foot brick fireplace and exposed beams.
The old kitchen with a large fireplace is about 30 feet from the rear of the house. Other outside buildings are an office building, a smokehouse, a salt house, and a washroom in the back yard.
The original owner, William H. Gray, left the property to his daughter, who married Judge Thomas Mason. Mason, at his death, left the property to his two daughters, Betty and Ruth Mason. At their death the property went to Willie Jones Long, the present owner. Longview is about one-half mile off highway 158 between Garysburg and Jackson.Banking in Northampton
Peoples Bank and Trust Company
The first bank in Northampton County was incorporated by an act of the state legislature in 1850. It had the name of Jackson Savings Institute. The following men took part in the proceedings: John Randolph, William Barrow, James W. Newsome, Samuel Calvert, John B. Odum, David A. Barnes, John Calvert, John B. Bynum, Herod Faison, E. J. Peebles, James L. Buffaloe, William H. Gary, Thomas Garret, Isaac Peele, Henry K. Burgwyn, E. D. N. Clarey, Henry W. Grant, James H. Cross, and William H. Whitehead. Under the provisions of the act, they were allowed a capital stock not to exceed the sum of fifty thousand dollars.
From this modest beginning, strong and financially progressive banking institutions became the heart and center of progress for each town in Northampton County.
The Bank of Northampton, serving agricultural Northampton County from Jackson, was organized in May of 1904. In the 70 odd year history of this organization, we find a virtual kaleidoscope of the history of small banks in eastern North Carolina.
Included among the founders were the names of many prominent Northampton families, some of which were Barnes, Stancell, Flythe, Burgwyn, Peebles, Ransom, Stephenson, and Wilkins, as well as many others. From the beginning the bank developed a conservative policy and was highly successful under the exceptional executive leadership of Presidents William H. S. Burgwyn (1904-1906), Jessie Thomas Flythe (1906-1917), Dr. Henry W. Lewis (1917-1927), Edmund Wilkins Lewis (1927-1955) and P. A. Lewis (1956 —).
P. A. Lewis, president; Tillman W. Cooley, cashier since 1946 and executive vice-president since 1955; Eric Norfleet, vice-president since 1946; and E. T. Summer, assistant cashier since 1955, were the officers of the Bank of Northampton when it merged with Peoples Bank and Trust Company of Rocky Mount, N. C., as of February 1, 1973.
Peoples Bank and Trust Co. was organized in 1931 and now has 38 branches in 22 communities in this state. At the present time, it ranks as the tenth largest bank in .Verona
“Verona” on the Jackson-Weldon highway was built around 1852-1860 by General Matt Ransom in the Louisiana style of architecture. The house has remained continuously in the Ransom family and is now owned by Matt Ransom IV.
A three-story house formerly stood on the site of Verona but was burned. It was built by Joseph John Exum whose daughter, Patty, married Matt Ransom.
The home is built of brick, painted white, and is a long “L”-shaped structure with one main floor and a basement, or ground floor, containing two rooms and a hall. On the main floor are a front and a back hall, two bedrooms, a dining room and a kitchen.
On the left side one room projects about nine feet forward to form the short part of the “L”. At the front of this room is a floor-length window with a small covered balcony underneath the window. Eleven steps lead to the porch which extends across the remaining front of the house and is the most distinctive feature of the house. The porch has seven ornately carved pillars, and delicate filigree carved work joining them, and a simple low balustrade. The single-door entrance from the porch is flanked on
Verona, Home of General Matt Ransom
each side by four window panes. The roof is of a deep overhang.
Underneath the main porch is a ground floor porch with seven simple pillars. Between each pillar is a solid wood arch.
The main floor windows are of floor length and when raised go through a sheltered opening into the ceiling.
The house is located about one-fourth mile off the Jackson-Weldon road and is visible from the road.
The stately home of “Verona” is a symbol of antebellum charm and hospitality and a fitting memorial to its builder, Matt Ransom, who was born in Warrenton in 1825 and died in 1904. A tall monument stands at his burial place in the cemetery to the right of the house.
Matt Ransom was an attorney general at age 26, member of the General Assembly, Confederate general and ambassador to . He has been acknowledged as a scholar, a diplomat and a handsome and able man.
General Ransom's Writing Box and Silver Headed Cane.
General Matt W. Ransom
General Matt Ransom's Tomb.
Henry Wilkins Lewis, M. D. (1856 - 1936)
Dr. Henry Wilkins Lewis (1856-1936)
In November 1879, after a brief medical practice in Lawrenceville, Virginia. Henry Wilkins Lewis came to Jackson to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Dr. Winfield Scott Copeland. From that date until his own death, Dr. Lewis served as faithful physician to the Northampton community. His devotion to his patients and unceasing efforts to keep abreast of developments in the treatment of disease led Sir William Osler, the most respected medical man of his day, to call Dr. Lewis “the ideal family physician.” In evaluating his work to eradicate hemorrhagic fever, national leaders in public health described Dr. Lewis’ success as a “deed for which America can never perhaps bestow enough thanks.”
The son of Benjamin and Ellen Wilkins Lewis, Dr. Lewis was born at Spring Bank plantation in Brunswick County, Virginia, on March 13, 1856. Although only 23 years old when he settled in , the doctor had had the benefit of the best medical training then available — first at the University of Virginia, then at the University of the City of New York, where he was awarded the M.D. degree in 1877. The practice of medicine seemed to come naturally to Henry Lewis for, although his father was a lawyer, both of his grandfathers and several of his uncles served in the profession. His connection with Northampton came initially through his mother whose family had owned Roanoke River lands since 1803 and had lived at Belmont plantation in the upper part of the county since 1814.
In 1885 Dr. Lewis became Northampton County's first public health officer, a post he held — while continuing in private practice — for 40 years. In this capacity he led the fight against the unsanitary living conditions that contributed to the spread of typhoid fever and diphtheria; and he campaigned tirelessly for drainage to relieve the county of the stagnant pools in which mosquitoes bred. In state medical circles Dr. Lewis became a recognized authority on the killer diseases of the day; his published papers on the treatment of pneumonia and typhoid fever were remarkable for their scholarship and respect for the scientific method. From 1899 through 1907, he served as a member of North Carolina's State Board of Health, playing a major role in support of quarantine laws and in arousing public concern for sanitation. His effective work against smallpox won statewide acclaim. Dr. Lewis was a founder and first president of the Seaboard Medical Association of and , which he saw as a means for the continuing education of practitioners and for the pooling of experience with the diseases endemic to the region.
Malaria, especially the virulent type known on Roanoke River as yellow chills, challenged Dr. Lewis to study and experiment with possible cures. In January 1899, speaking before the Seaboard Medical Association, he reported a breakthrough and later published his conclusions in the North Carolina Medical Journal under the title “Malarial Haemoglobinuria — Its Treatment by Injection of Normal Salt Solution.” At the Johns Hopkins, Dr. Osler read the article and immediately wrote his approval of Dr. Lewis’ thesis; widespread adoption of the treatment he developed led to the elimination of yellow chills on the Roanoke, on the Red River in , and wherever else it appeared.
In Jackson Dr. Lewis was a leader in the movement to obtain railroad service and to establish the Bank of Northampton, in which he was a director from the first and for which he later served as president. As a farmer he took a strong interest in agricultural chemistry and the use of legumes. The concern he demonstrated for the physical health of his patients moved many of them to seek his counsel on matters unrelated to medicine. A close observer has written that “ . . . more people went to Dr. Lewis for personal advice than anyone I have ever known.” A few days after his death on October 18, 1936, an editorial in The Jackson News expressed the opinion that:
“His influence was felt in nearly all the business activities of our town and in many other places. It seemed to stabilize and carry forward the business affairs of our people and section.”
On July 16, 1884, Dr. Lewis was married in Portsmouth, Virginia, to Sallie Ann Ridley, widow of John Joseph Long, Jr., of Halifax. Their three children were Henry Stuart Lewis (1885-1947), Ellen Wilkins Lewis (1887-1932), and Edmund Wilkins Lewis (1889-1955). Mrs. Lewis died in 1924, twelve years before the doctor.Henry Wilkins Lewis
Henry Wilkins Lewis, a native of Jackson, North Carolina, is the Director of the Institute of Government of North Carolina to which he has devoted twenty-seven years of his professional life. This outreach-through teaching, consulting, and publishing is designed to enhance the quality of public service in the State and to help individuals in developing their capacity for that service.
Following his early education in Jackson Public School and at Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, he received
Henry W. Lewis
his A.B. degree from the University of North Carolina in 1937. and his J.D. degree from Harvard University in 1940. He was admitted to the bar in in 1940, where he engaged in private legal practice with Mr. Eric Norfleet, Esq., for a year in Jackson and then served in the United States Army for five years. He was separated from the Armed Services in 1946, as a captain, and since then has served with the Institute of Government, having been made director in 1973. In 1958, he attained the rank of Professor of Public Law and Government.
His major fields of research, teaching, and writing have been property taxation, organization of State agencies, legislature organization and procedure, and election law and procedure. Property taxation is of most importance in his career. He has served with three tax study commissions while working with the organization of State tax agencies. He served as consultant and draftsman of the commission on the Reorganization of State Government (1953-54) with emphasis on the Department of Revenue, the State Board of Assessment, the Tax Review Board, and the Department of Tax Research.
His numerous publications connected with his profession include Basic Legal Problems in the Taxation of Property (1958); Property Tax Collection in North Carolina (two editions 1950 and 1951); In Rem Property Tax Foreclosure (with Robert G. Bryd, 1959); Judicial Review of Property Tax Appraisals in North Carolina (with Donald A. Furtado and others, 1966); Mandames and the Octennial Revaluation of Real Property (with William A. Camphell, 1967); Property Tax Exemptions and Classifications, (1970); The Annotated Machinery Act of 1971; The Property Tax: An Introduction (1970); Legislature Committee in North Carolina (1952); The General Assembly of North Carolina: Organization and Procedure (1952); Conducting Municipal Elections (1961); Primary and General Election Law, and Procedure: A Handbook for Election Officials (eleven editions through 1968), and An Introduction to County Government (1963; revised 1968).
Mr. Lewis has also written Horses and Horsemen in Northampton before 1900, Northampton Parishes (a history of the Episcopal Church in Northampton County), and at the present time, he is completing a biography of his paternal grandfather, Dr. Henry Wilkins Lewis.
Before becoming the Director of the Institute of Government, he served in administrative capacities. He was in charge of the Institutes Legislature Services in 1949, 1951, 1953, and 1955. During Gordon Gray's administration, he served on a committee to investigate hazing at the university and wrote a report that became rather celebrated. He took a one year leave from the University faculty of , acting as liason official between the Board of Trustees and the University Administration, and also as a legal counsel to the president of the University, the Chancellor, and the Board of Trustees and the University Administration. He also served as a legal counsel to the President of the university, the Chancellor, and the Board of trustees on matters affecting labor relations and student disruption and discipline, the University's television system was also under his supervision.
Since 1950, Lewis has been a vestryman and three times senior warden of the Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill, a member of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina for three terms, and three times Deputy of the Episcopal General Convention. He is a member of the advisory board of the Ackland Art Museum of the University of North Carolina, a president and twice member of the Executive Committee of the State Literary and Historical Association. He is a member of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Besides being astute in History, he is an art collector and an authority in genealogy.Jesse Thomas Flythe
Jesse Thomas Flythe (1865-1921) was married to Acree Lassiter of Conway. To family and friends, for some reason lost to present memory, this man came to be known as “Simon”.
For more than thirty years, Mr. “Simon” Flythe was Superior Court Clerk for Northampton County and, according to articles carried in the Roanoke-Chowan Times at the time of his death, was one of the best known and best beloved citizens of the county.
When quite a young man, Mr. Flythe (a Democrat) was prevailed upon to become a candidate for the office of Superior Court Clerk, and though the county was Republican at that time (1891), he was elected and was reelected to succeed himself at every election until the time of his death.
Simon Flythe was a powerful influence in the Methodist Church and devoted much time to its activities. He was engaged in various private enterprises and possessed the confidence of the public to a remarkable degree.
J. T. (Simon) and Acree Lassiter Flythe had five sons: J. Abner Flythe (deceased); Dr. Allen Flythe (deceased); Arthur P. Flythe (deceased); Julian Thomas Flythe (deceased); and Sutton Flythe, a retired banker in Fieldale, Virginia.
W. J. Peele
W. J. Peele, son of Isaac and Nancy Thompson Cobb Peele, was born on January 31, 1855 in Northampton County. His home was about three miles from Jackson, situated on the main road from Windsor to Garysburg where passage was taken to Raleigh or Richmond. A shell of the home still stands.
The Peele family was famed far and wide for its genuine culture and hospitality. Between 1845 and 1855 the Peele Academy was conducted in the home for the Peele children and the sons and daughters of friends and neighbors, by Robert and Ben Peele.
W. Joseph Peele was a member of the first class to graduate from the University of North Carolina following the Civil War. He settled in Raleigh and continued his interest in civic, educational and cultural pursuits, becoming the president of the first North Carolina Historical Society and instrumental in the establishment of what is now North Carolina State University at Raleigh.Paul Jones Long
Paul Jones Long, son of Martha Stephenson and James F. Long, was born on a farm in Northampton County near Jackson, August 4, 1868, and died September 29, 1951.
He received his early education at the Grange Hall, in the Mt. Carmel vicinity, and at a school in Jackson known as The Male Academy. He attended the University of North Carolina with the class of 1895, and taught for several years.
Long became superintendent of Northampton County Schools in 1897, and retired in 1939. He led in developing the 65 school districts into a county-wide school system.
He was a trustee of the University of North Carolina for 25 years and also a trustee of Chowan College. He was a member of Jackson Baptist Church where he served as deacon, trustee and Bible teacher.
He married Nannie Peebles, who died in 1947. They were survived by three children.Mrs. Frances Howell
Mrs. Frances Howell Parker is the wife of Mahlon R. Parker, Sr. Her children are Mahlon R. Parker, Jr. and Sarah Parker Martin. She now has four grandchildren. She is the daughter of the late William C. and Lizzie Taylor Howell. Mrs. Parker received her education from Seaboard High School.
She has been a member of the Extension Homemakers for fourty-two years and was a delegate to the National Extension Home in Orono, Maine. She has served on the local, county, and district level as Vice-President and President on the State level. She also served as Treasurer and was a member of the State Council in 1967. In 1968, she served as State 2nd Vice-President and attended the National Conference as a delegate to . She served as Vice-President and represented the State Council at the National Council in Blacksburg, Va. in 1969. In 1970, she served as State President. During this year the organization celebrated its 50th anniversary at Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh N. C. where Governor Robert W. Scott addressed about 4,000 club women. She then attended the National Council in Las Vegas, Nevada, as a member of the National Council.
In 1971, she attended the Associated County Women of the World Conference in Oslo, Norway as an official delegate. There were 71 counties represented for a study of local and world problems.
In 1958, and 1968, Mrs. Parker was the Northampton County “Woman of the Year.” She received the N. C. Homemakers Leadership award given by A and P Tea Company in 1968.
Mrs. Parker served as President of the Jackson High School PTA. She is a member of the Seaboard Baptist Church and for 20 years served as Sunday School Teacher.Hinton Lee Joyner
Hinton Lee Joyner was born in Seaboard, N. C., Northampton County on January 3, 1866. His parents were Allen Edward and Virginia Barham Joyner who named him for General Robert E. Lee and a Colonel Hinton, his Father's Commanding Officer in The War Between the States.
He was educated at Seaboard Academy, the schools of Wilson, N. C., and Richmond, Virginia.
Joyner was married in early manhood to Helen Bridgers. The children of that union were: Linwood Asbury Joyner (deceased), and Bertha Joyner Parker, Seaboard, N. C., Children of his second marriage to Mattie Reid were: Loretta J. Wester, Mary J. Bonner, Virginia Barrett, Louise J. Barrow, and Dwight Joyner (deceased).
Joyner's church connections were with the Pleasant Grove, Seaboard and Jackson Methodist Churches. He served as steward for many years in these churches.
He was elected Sheriff of Northampton County in 1906, and served in that office for thirty years. During this tenure he never carried a gun on his person. After retirement from that office he served two terms as House member and for several sessions as Sergeant at Arms in the Legislature of . Joyner was a delegate to the Convention in Chicago, Ill., where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was nominated for his third term.
Joyner died at the age of ninety-one and was known as “Mr. Democrat” of Northampton County. His concerns were always for the betterment of citizens of the County.The Owl's Nest
By Nancy M. Froelich
“Sheriff Joyner Is Invited to Lecture”
Hinton L. Joyner, sheriff of Northampton County since “the memory of man runneth not to the contrary,” had been invited to become a lecturer at the State University, the invitation coming by letter from Albert Coats, of the University Law School. The University man wrote Sheriff Joyner this week that his law class needed some practical instruction on the duties of a sheriff, and that the best way he knew to provide the information for them was to have a man with actual experience to instruct them in the ways of the office. Quite a score for Northampton, as well as the Sheriff, wasn't it?
Buxton Midyette (1903-1965), son of the late Judge Garland E. and Mary Buxton Midyette, a Jackson attorney received his early education in the public schools of Northampton County. Upon graduation from Jackson High School, he entered Porter Military Academy, Charleston, S. C., for one year before attending the University of North Carolina, where he received his B. S. degree in 1924. He attended Wake Forest Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1927, where-upon he became a member of the firm of Gay and Midyette, Attorneys at Law, in Jackson.
Midyette was a member of the Board of Law Examiners for 16 years and was chairman of that board for four years. He was a member of the General Statutes Commission of from 1953 to 1959, and served on the Employment Security Commission in 1948 and 1949.
He was also a member of the Northampton County, the , and the American Bar Associations; the N. C. State Bar; and the American Trial Lawyers Association. The late Edward L. Loftin, Asheville attorney and 1965 president of the N. C. State Bar, said “the death of Buxton Midyette deals a severe blow to the legal profession, to the Courts, and to the entire state of .”
Resolutions honoring the life and memory of the Honorable Buxton Midyette of Northampton County were entered upon the minutes of a joint session of the General Assembly of on April 22, 1965; of the Board of Law Examiners on June 12, 1965; and of a joint session of the N. C. State Bar and the North Carolina Bar Council on April 16, 1965.
A chartered bus left Raleigh on the morning of April 18, 1965, loaded with members of the above mentioned groups, who, as a final measure of honor and respect, came to Jackson to attend the graveside service of their friend, Buxton Midyette, who in their opinion gave to his profession and his commitments a full measure of time and devotion over and beyond the call of duty.”
Buxton Midyette was married to Frances Saunders of South Hill, Va., on March 8, 1932. Buxton Saunders Midyette of Media, Pa., and Margaret Midyette Peery of Charleston, S. C., are the children of this marriage.John Wallace Calvert
John Wallace Calvert
John Wallace Calvert was born in January of 1857, the son of a woman, Kate Cross Calvert, belonging to Sam Calvert. The child also became part of the Calverts. Jack or Uncle Jack as he was later called was interviewed by many editors and authors during his lifetime.
He was only eight years old at the time of The War when the Yankees came. He often described life and conditions in the south following the 1860's in lectures and conversations at schools, to individuals and to organizations.
He was the first and only black coroner of Northampton County. Uncle Jack served as coroner for four years. He was elected the first two years under the Republican Administration and again under the Democrats. Attempts were made to prevent his second election. A $2,000.00 bond was put up. It was then said that the Bonding Company would not take a black man's bond. Uncle Jack went to the main office in Baltimore, Maryland, and found this story to be untrue. He also served a short while as Deputy Sheriff.John James Buffaloe
John James Buffaloe (1881-1947) was the son of a former sheriff of Northampton County and postmaster of Jackson. He attended the Episcopal Institute under Miss Lou Whitfield in Jackson, and went on to the Graham Academy in Warrenton, N. C. From there, he entered
North Carolina State College, which he attended for one year.
When John Buffaloe returned, in the early 1900's, to Jackson he was promptly employed as bookkeeper for E. S. Bowers Store, where he was considered one of the few men in the village who could “figure”. Later, in the 1920's, he was appointed postmaster of Jackson. In the early 1930's, he served as an official of the Works Progress Administration, as a Veterans Service Officer, and also prepared income tax returns.
John Buffaloe's strong Democratic political connections gave him an early entry into high political circles on county, state, and national levels. When politicians needed help or wanted a job done, they contacted John J. Buffaloe.
His skill as a raconteur made him one of the best known “characters” in Northampton County. Even today he holds the crown as “Rockmuddle King” along the Roanoke, and many are the tales that are told of John Buffaloe and his day.
Baseball was one of the loves of this man's life, and he played the game regularly until well into his 50's. His most famous feat was mixture of joke and baseball. He was said to have hit “the longest home run in the sports history of Northampton County”. In fact, the ball landed in a moving boxcar and was carried all the way to Richmond!
John J. Buffaloe married Alice Stancell in 1903, and their children are Alice B. Murphy (deceased), Elizabeth B. Howell (deceased), John J., Jr. (deceased) William (deceased), Louise Buffaloe Parker, James, and Ann Lewis Buffaloe Mangum.Eugene Scott Bowers
Eugene Bowers was born in Jackson Jan. 1, 1874. His parents were George W. Bowers and Emily Hill Bowers. Mr. Bowers was known as one who never faltered when something had to be done for progress in his community.
He attended public schools in Northampton County and furthered his education at Trinity College in Durham.
Mr. Bowers began his career as a merchant with J. A. Buxton in 1893. He purchased the firm in 1897, and continued to operate it for over forty years. In later years Leroy C. Grant became his partner. He kept ahead of modern merchandising methods and thus had perhaps the largest trade store in this section of this county. He exhibited indulgence, thoroughness, and trust in his business and private affairs.
Eugene Bowers was a member of the County Board of Education serving for twenty years as its chairman. He served on the Jackson town council and was the vice-president of the Bank of Northampton. Mr. Bowers was a Mason and Shriner. Active in church affairs, he was superintendent of the Sunday School of the Jackson Methodist Church for many years.
On June 7, 1917, he married the former Miss Annie Jerome, daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. C. P. Jerome. Their four children are: Eugene Scott Bowers, Jr., Jerome Bowers, Robert Gray Bowers and Dr. Mary Blaire Bowers. Mr. Bowers died March 17, 1949.Mebane Holoman
Mebane Holoman Burgwyn
Mebane Holoman Burgwyn was born in Rich Square, North Carolina, and spent a happy childhood on her parents’ farm, with two sisters, a brother, many friends, good neighbors, and pets. She married after receiving a B. A. degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and she and her husband lived for a time in Woodland, North Carolina. Their present home on a farm in Occoneechee Neck is near Jackson. Their four children are now married.
In 1960, Mrs. Burgwyn's interest in young people led her back to graduate school at North Carolina State University and East Carolina University, where she received a master's degree in Guidance and Counseling. Since then, she has worked in the schools of Northampton County as Director of Guidance Services. Her work has kept her in close contact with young people and with their problems of adjustment to a rapidly changing technological world. She also serves on the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees as a member of the Executive Committee.
Mrs. Burgwyn enjoys the variety of experiences possible in her way of life. Her work with the University and with young people is a constant challenge. She is vitally concerned with the quest of young people for values and patterns into which they may fit their lives. The beauty and excitement of farm activities give her great pleasure, and in spite of her many community, state, professional, and personal interests, she always has time for her children, grandchildren, and guests.
Brode Horest Harrell
article taken from:
Sunday Herald, Roanoke Rapids, N. C., Sun., July 28, 1974Ode To Brode
- “If my memory serves me well,
- And all my facts are straight
- ‘Twas about 22 years ago
- Or somewhere near that date,
- That Brode Horest Harrell
- Moved his family with care
- And took a job that brought him here,
- To this our County, fair.
- They stayed a few years, then went away,
- But too late — our spell was cast,
- So in May of ‘Fifty-seven
- He returned to a full-time task.
- He put his all into his work
- Things had to be just right
- Serving above and beyond the call of duty —
- After hours, weekends, at night.
- Sometimes, Susan threatened bodily harm,
- When her plans were blown astray,
- How many dinners went curdled and cold?
- How many schemes lost by the way?
- Brode was concerned with all of Northampton
- And the direction it would go;
- And all phases of its agriculture
- And making good things grow.
- Peanuts were really his specialty,
- With yields climbing higher than high,
- He's been called “Mr. Peanut,” both far and near,
- The records will verify.
- He was always ready to try new techniques
- With farmers to trust in his might;
- Quite often its's been echoed the county o'er,
- “If Brode said it, it's right!”
- Not only was he the advisor,
- With know-how and knowledge, too,
- But personal friend, winning great respect
- From all of the people he knew.
- Active in all levels of County Agent Association,
- The National, District and State —
- He held offices in each division
- And in each he was just great.
- He won awards both far and wide
- We'll name you just a few:
- Northampton County Man of the Year
- In 1962;
- And then in 1966
- He had a winning streak,
- Soil Science Society Annual Award in Education,
- And Tarheel of the Week;
- Not to mention The National Association's
- Distinguished Service Award;
- He's really earned these honors,
- For he's worked so very hard.
- The man is good at landscaping,
- And expert with rose-growing advice;
- He's also a great Boss and co-worker;
- As a neighbor, he's very nice.
- He's active in church and civic life,
- And all around good guy,
- Whenever there's something to be done
- He's sure to give it a try.
- What do you say to a man like this:
- Who has shared all his time and skill?
- How do you acknowledge his giving of self?
- A mere “thanks” just won't fill the bill.
- So, Mr. Harrell, we've gotten together
- To figure just what to do,
- To let you know that we really care
- And what we think of you.
- We made big plans to celebrate
- And as one we all do say
- Write down in the annals of history,
- We proclaim this “Brode Harrell Day!”
Agriculture has been the foundation of the economic system in Northampton County for more than two hundred years, with cotton and peanuts now the basic money crops. Since this is true, it is not surprising that the Northampton Agricultural Extension Agency, is the most vital department of our county government.
Down through the years, beginning with E. P. Gulledge, the county Agricultural Department has grown in usefulness under the leadership of the fine and able men. Among these is Brode Harrell who retired in June of 1974, after 22 years of service “beyond the call of duty” to the farmers of Northampton County.
In appreciation, admiration, and respect, July 26, 1974, was declared to be “Brode Harrell Day” and more than 500 citizens gathered to pay him homage. Jeri G. Boone's poem was read on this occasion.Jackson Physicians
Dr. William Barrow
Dr. Winfield S. Copeland
Dr. V. St. Clair McNider
Dr. Lawrence E. McDaniel
Dr. J. L. Lister
Dr. S. B. Boone
Dr. Henry Wilkins Lewis
Dr. Marion Henry Seawell
Dr. Carroll Bracey Robertson
The Peebles Family
The contribution to the history of Northampton County made by those who carried the name of Peebles would be difficult to estimate. Members of this family have left their footprints in every phase of recorded history in this county; religious and social; political and professional; agricultural and patriotic; educational and architectural; not to mention the joy of laughter brought to friends and neighbors through the sense of the humorous of some of the Peebles clan. The given name of Robert (Bruce) has come down through generations in the Peebles family.
Records show that Captain Robert Peebles was one of the first three Northamptonians to receive commissions (June 11, 1776) at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. On Aug. 12, 1776, this same Robert Peebles was one of Northampton's representatives at the Halifax Congress.
From 1777 to 1850, four men carrying the Peebles name (Howell, John, Robert, and Etheldred J.) served a total of seventeen terms in the House and Senate of the State Legislature as representatives from Northampton County.
The Honorable E. J. Peebles helped to found The Jackson Savings Institute (Northampton's first bank) in 1850, and was also named among the founders of The Bank of Northampton in 1904. The Honorable W. W. Peebles was the leading spirit in bringing a railroad to the Jackson area.
When his efforts were rewarded in 1894, and the completion of the Northampton and Hertford Railroad was celebrated at the Burgwyn Hotel in Jackson with a sumptuous banquet and gala ball, there was a Peebles on every committee for arrangements, Misses Sallie, Sue, and Annie Peebles were listed among the belles attending the grand affair.
Some of the Peebles of Northampton were: Etheldred Peebles, Member of the Corporate Body of Northampton Female Institute in 1833, and one time owner of Mowfield plantation; the Rev. Howell and Capt. Seth Peebles, owners and breeders of race horses; Robert Bruce Peebles, captain in the Civil War, lawyer and Judge; Calvert G. Peebles, lawyer and planter; John Thomas Peebles, planter and owner of “Silver Heel”; Rebecca Gatling Peebles, charter member of Jackson Baptist Church; colorful humorist and delightful prankster, lawyer and planter, the Hon. W. W. Billie Peebles.The Calverts of
Perhaps no family has made a richer contribution to the cultural, religious or civic life of Northampton County than the Calverts.
Samuel Calvert, Esquire (1792-1881), son of Samuel Calvert and Mary Mosely Calvert of Southampton County, Virginia, moved to Jackson in 1823. He bought large acreages of land in and around Jackson and built a large and stately home called “The Elms”, Tradition places Jeptha Atherton's residence at the site chosen by Samuel Calvert for his home which was later occupied by the Burgwyns.
Samuel Calvert and his wife, a Miss Proby of Southampton County, Virginia, had a large family including Margeannah Mosely (1820-1906); Elizah Rebecca (1822-19?); Samuel James (1824-1870); John Harrison (1828-1865); and James Proby, who died in infancy.
Daughter, Elizah Rebecca married Dr. William Barrow. For a wedding gift, her father built her a stately house facing the Courthouse green, with a smaller house in a corner of the yard for the Doctor's office. Daughter Margeannah Mosely married a Peebles.
Son, Samuel James Calvert married Gulielma Rebecca Faison, daughter of Mariah Sheppard and Herod Faison. This latter couple stayed in Jackson and raised a large family, of whom Samuel James (1856-1944), lawyer and long-time Registrar of Deeds in Northampton, was one.
Samuel Calvert (1792-1881) was most generous in his land gifts for the well-being of the citizens of the Jackson area where he had chosen to make his home and to rear his children. He donated plots of land in the village to the Baptist, the Methodist and the Episcopal congregations upon which to build their churches. On March 15, 1870, he
deeded one acre of land to Jerry Gary, William Barrow and Burton Jones, the school committee of that day, for the “sole and exclusive purpose of a school for freedmen and no other”. This school stood near the present site of the John S. Jenkins Cotton Warehouse. From these gifts, we know that Samuel Calvert, Esquire, believed that worship of God and knowledge from books were the very foundation of the good life.
These tenets have been handed down through the Calvert descendants and have enriched and blessed our
An Invitation to the Calverts’ Home
county until this day. Samuel James Calvert, lawyer and Registrar of Deeds, married Sallie Wood Moore of “Mulberry Grove”, Hertford County, N. C. May (Maizie) Calvert, teacher and postmistress; Sallie Moore Calvert Parker, ardent church and civic leader; Julia Munro Calvert, talented musician and dedicated leader of young people; and Paul Faison Calvert, the complete historian, are the children of this marriage who remained in Northampton County. All are now deceased except Paul Faison Calvert. His going will close the story of the Calvert family in the Jackson area, spanning more than 150 years.
“The Elms” Calvert-Burgwyn House in Jackson
Demolished — 1956-57
Presentation of Bragg Portrait
—A portrait of Thomas Bragg, Governor and Attorney General of the Confederate States of America, was presented to Northampton County Saturday by Bragg's descendants in special ceremonies in the courthouse at Jackson. Shown here, left to right, Superior Court Judge W. H. S. Burgwyn of Woodland, who presided during the special session; Buxton Midyette of Jackson, who accepted the portrait for the county; Associate Supreme Court Justice Hunt Parker, who gave the welcoming address, and Judge Herbert Gillam of Petersburg, Va., grandson of Bragg, who made the presentation. (Reproduced from old newspaper clipping)]
Cotton Gin at Bull Hill
A Northampton Custom from Another Century
A Northampton Custom From Another Century: When a death occurred in a family, notice of the arrangements was written in black ink on white paper, a black ribbon was attached, and the whole was laid upon a silver tray which was carried from door to door by a family servant.
The body of John T. Peebles will be buried at his late house at 11 o'clock A.M. today. Friends of the family are invited to attend. September 14th, 1879-
Library Service in Northampton
The following are remarks of Mrs. J. P. Brown, chairman of the Library Board, at the 1950 dedication of Northampton Memorial Library, brought up to date by the present librarian, Frances S. Midyette.
“In 1928 the Citizens Library Movement revived the fight for improved public library facilities for ; then, in the Fall of 1929, a small group of women from the P. T. A's and Womens’ Clubs of Northampton County met at my house to see what could be done toward organizing a county-wide Library. The “Aim”: To serve the rural families of the county. Our ultimate goal was a central Library with a bookmobile serving the entire county.
That small group of women went home that day determined to do something about organizing a county Library. Each talked with her P. T. A. or Womans’ Club. There were four clubs and five P. T. A.’s that gave financial aid, as well as moral support. This group had faith, kept meeting, soliciting funds and books. Plans were discussed with the County Commissioners serveral times by representatives from the Library Board which had been set up. Finally, in 1933, they gave us $250.00 towards the fund. With the $253.00 donated by the organizations of the County, books and supplies were purchased, then plans for getting the books out in the county were made. Sixteen stations were set up throughout the county in homes where the women volunteered to look after the books. The books were transported to the communities by members of the Library Board or some other interested women. The number of stations increased as the number of books increased, and this means of distribution was continued until the purchase of a bookmobile in 1948. The work was done entirely by volunteer help until about 1938, when Miss Mary Bagley was employed, at a very small salary, to exchange and look after the books.
Each year it was the same old plea before the county commissioners. We were grateful for any amount. During 1937-1939 — $350.00 was given, then 1940-1943 the Library was given $315.00 each year. Some of the clubs and P. T. A's gave their financial support through 1938.
In 1940 the Library was fortunate in getting a W.P.A. worker, which has a great help. In 1941, State funds became available in the amount of $900.00, if the county would meet that amount and a trained Librarian could be secured. Representatives from the Library Board asked the County Commissioners for more money so that the county people could share in the State fund, however they felt $315.00 was all that could be given. Miss Beale, Director of the State Library Commission, realized the hard fight that had been going on in the county by the group of interested women and decided Northampton would be elegible for State aid, if we could secure a trained Librarian. We were fortunate in getting Miss Evelyn Mullins, then from Roanoke Rapids, for only $15.00 per month for one day a week. She had charge of buying and cataloguing all the books and also supervising the stations in the county, as well as the W. P. A. worker.
During 1941-42, W.P.A. sent a bookmobile with about 4,000 volumes to be circulated in the county for about seven months. This plan met with great success. We realized more than ever the need of a bookmobile, but we did not have the funds with which to purchase one before the war. As state aid increased, our financial help was eased some. All W. P. A. help was cut off in May 1942. That meant securing another person to look after the Library under Miss Mullins.
During one of his terms in the Legislature, Mr. Russell Harris of Seaboard, who was much interested in our fight, was instrumental in passing a law making it possible for the County Commissioners to increase taxes 1 per cent on the 100, that fund to be set aside as a Library fund. But during the years 1944 through 1947, the Library only received $900.00. In 1948 the amount was increased to $1800.00.
During this period, the town of Jackson started contributing $300.00 each year. They felt that they had more access to the Library than any other group in the county.
Our Library was growing each year, and it was necessary to have a full time Librarian. Our present Librarian, Nancy M. Froelich has worked with us since 1945. During this time, she has studied at one of the State Library schools and has become a qualified trained Librarian.
During the war, our application was filed in the State Library Commission office for a bookmobile. We finally got ours in 1948. The bookmobile called for more help, so Mrs. Froelich, our librarian, was asked to find someone who could drive and also help with the books. A part time worker was secured.
The County Commissioners gave us the use of our present headquarters just after the Court House was remodeled in 1940, but we only had part of the building. The Library was rapidly growing and more space was needed for books and equipment. A group of ladies, with representatives from Jackson Book Club, appealed to the County Commissioners for more space and also to have some work done on the building. Our present Commissioners have been most cooperative, and, we think, very generous in restoring and completely re-decorating our library. This 1831 building is the oldest public building in the county and one of the best, architectually speaking, in the South (Greek Revival).
We are immensely proud of what the County Commissioners have done for Northampton and the Library. As Chairman of the Board of Trustees, I wish to publicly thank each Commissioner and also the ladies of the Jackson Book Club, who have given their time so generously in planning the re-decoration of the building and equipment. We feel that now our “aim” and our “goals” have been reached, we will try to get to the people in the county more and better books.”
By 1965, the “aims” and “goals” of this dedicated group had been met so well, and the possibilities for enriched library service had become so great, that it was more than evident that a new and larger headquarters was needed in Northampton.
Mrs. Nancy Moore Froelich, librarian since 1944, resigned as of Dec. 30, 1966. On Jan. 3, 1967, Frances S. Midyette was officially named librarian with Lillian H. Pearce as assistant librarian and Evelyn C. Hull as parttime helper for bookmobile duties.
On Feb. 20, 1967, Buxton Weaver, as chairman and spokesman for the Library Board, made a formal request of the Northampton Board of County Commissioners-Chm. Guy Revelle, and members David Gay, J. H. Liverman, Jasper Eley and Horace Guthrie — for a new and adequate library building. Expert, Frances Gish, from North Carolina State Library in Raleigh recommended 5,000 sq. ft. of space at the approximate cost of $11.62 per sq. ft. She reminded the commissioners that the Federal Library Act would put up 58 per cent of the cost of such a building, if the plans were underway by July 1, 1967.
On March 6, 1967, the Board of County Commissioners voted (by a 3 to 2 margin) to have Northampton admitted into the Albemarle Region, made up of Bertie, Hertford and Gates Counties. At this same meeting the commissioners instructed County Manager Melvin Holmes “to cooperate with the local library board in investigating the construction of a new library building.”
An independent Building Committee was named and officially approved immediately, as follows: Charlie W. Bass of Jackson as Chairman; Beal Vick, Seaboard: Lois Lee B. Carpenter, Margarettsville; Kenneth Odom, Severn; Gay Wells, Woodland; Sylvia P. Lassiter, Rich Square; Hazel L. Collier, Lasker; and Virginia T. Stephenson, Garysburg.
There followed three years of hopes high and low; complete delight and abject discouragement; problems of financial delays, weather difficulties and all the headaches attendant upon any building program. On Dec. 9, 1970, the beautiful new Northampton Memorial Library designed by W. D. Boone, Jr., Architect of Charlotte, contracted by D. G. Manning of Williamston, N. C., and commissioned by Chm. Guy Revelle, J. H. Liverman, David Gay, Jasper Eley and Horace Guthrie opened its doors to bring library service to the citizens of Northampton County for years to come.
Barbara Jean Davis of Jackson is the newest member of the Library staff. She works as bookmobile and secretarial assistant to Lilliam Pearce.
Northampton Memorial Library]
Northampton Memorial Library dedication marker]
Our County Library
Returning to Northampton County after an absence of over 50 years, except for frequent but comparatively short visits to my parents, to make our home. I have been impressed tremendously by the signs of progress of every kind on every hand.
Of all the signs of progress I have seen already, after less than three months in the county, nothing has impressed me so much or so favorably as our county library. I have been impressed by the physical arrangement and equipment, by the selection of books, and by the enthusiasm of Mrs. Froelich and her associates.
Another thing that has impressed me is the attitude of our people toward their library — not only that of the Board of County Commissioners in cheerfully providing aid for its financial support but also, and even more significantly, that of our people themselves.
Farmers and other businessmen of the county have expressed pride in our — their — library. They have sensed what it will mean to their wives and children, as well as themselves, to have the best current and classic literature made available to them and, in fact, brought to their very doors through the bookmobile service.
I, too, am genuinely proud of my native county, which now once more is my home county, for making this wise and far-sighted provision for the cultural, educational, and, withal, spiritual welfare of our people to match our economic progress.
Gilbert T. Stephenson
Pendleton, N. C., Aug. 8, 1950Nancy Moore Froelich
Nancy Moore Froelich died and was buried on Saturday, May 23, 1969, but her spirit will remain as long as there is a Northampton County or a Northampton Memorial Library. All her life she gave to loving and learning about the people and places of Northampton County, and 25 years of her life were given to dreaming and building Northampton Memorial Library into the people's university that it has become.
Nancy Moore, daughter of Jenny Bolling Cocke and John Elliott Moore, grew up in Jackson at a time which she considered to be the golden age of the South. She was a vital part of a rollicking group of young people gathered from all over the county, to ride, to hunt and to dance. In later years it was fun to listen to her reminiscences of a certain fox hunt or a special dance at the “old hotel” on the corner in Jackson. During these years Nancy Moore never missed an item of history pertaining to the people she met or the places she went. It has been said that she had forgotten more Northampton County history than most of us will ever know.
Marriage to handsome Louis A. Froelich from Halifax in 1919, took Nancy Moore away from her beloved Northampton County for a few years, but in 1926, she returned to Jackson with her husband and two small daughters, Nancy and Jenny Bolling, to look after her father and mother in the old Moore home. Here she renewed her ties with the people of Northampton and began again to collect and store away items of historical significance against the day she would find the time to sort them out and write a much needed history of our county. Sad for us, this day never came.
Cultural and literary activities drew Mrs. Froelich like a magnet. She never lost her interest in, and concern for, the churches and schools of Northampton. She was a participating member of the Jackson Book Club until her death. For years she wrote a column for the county newspaper called “Owl's Nest.” Her membership in Roanoke-Chowan Writers Group gave her many highly valued opportunities to meet with other writers of the state. As librarian of Northampton Memorial Library, she was widely known in library circles all over . She was an enthusiastic member of the Northampton County Historical Society and hers was the moving spirit behind the society's efforts to open a Northampton County Museum. Remembering this, may we be spurred to new endeavor on behalf of the plans for such a museum.
Wife, mother, friend and clubwoman, with dry humor and unforgettable personality. For all of these, but especially for her work with Northampton Memorial Library, Nancy M. Froelich will be long beloved and best remembered in Northampton County.Library Board 1941
Left to Right:
Mrs. Walter Barbee, Mrs. Nancy M. Froelich. Mrs. Ailene
Brown, Mrs. Raby Flythe, Mrs. Genola Stephenson
A Brief History of King Solomon Lodge Number
56 A.F. and A.M. of Jackson, North Carolina
The historical period of King Solomon Lodge Number 56 of Jackson, N. C., extends over a period from 1810 to 1975, a span of 165 years. King Solomon Lodge Number 56 was chartered by the Grand Lodge of on December 10, 1810, when Benjamin Smith was the Grand Master. The Charter shows that Turner Byrum was the first Worshipful Master; John Nichols, the first Senior Warden, and Thomas White, the first Junior Warden, these being the three principal officers of the Lodge.
For many years King Solomon Lodge Number 56 was the only Masonic Lodge in Northampton County. At the time the village which is now Jackson was known as Smithville, North Carolina. The Lodge numbered on its roster many prominent citizens from all sections of the county and met on the first Saturday of each month and on the second Tuesday evening of each month. The Saturday meeting was an afternoon meeting in order for the out of town members to attend and to go to their homes and to not have to spend the night. Later on the meetings were held on the 1st and 3rd. Tuesday evenings. The lodge now meets on the first Tuesday of each month in the evening.
Corner Stone of the King Solomon Lodge Number 56
The cornerstone for the building was laid in 1888, and, as far as can be learned, the meetings were held in the building across the street from the Northampton County Library. This building was sold to Mr. M. L. Jernigan and renovated as a residence while the Lodge moved to its present quarters in the Flythe building. The second floor of the first lodge room, or building, was the lodge room and the first floor was used as a social hall and was used for parties and bazaars and church entertainments.
There is an interesting history connected with the bell which is now used to summon the members to the meeting. The bell hangs at the window of the present lodge room. It was used at one time to announce the races at the race track at “Silver Hill,” located on the farm now known as the Peebles Place. When the races were discontinued the bell was moved to the Hotel Burgwyn and was rung to announce the meal hour at the hotel, and also was rung or
The Bell Once Used to Announce the Races at “Silver Hill”
tapped to announce the Lodge meetings. The bell was rung three times to announce meetings.
Since King Solomon Number 56 was chartered, masonery has spread and flourished in Northampton County, and four other Lodges have been chartered, namely, Seaboard 378; Potecasi 418; Rich Square 488; and Pendleton 524.The 1940
Roanoke River Flood
The Roanoke River has long played an important and beneficial role in the history and destiny of people living in Northampton County, but it has been dreaded for other reasons in time past. Even its name, an Indian word suggestive of death, conveys the nature of its treacherous impact upon the lives of many people throughout the centuries.
Controlled now by the three dams which also furnish electric power to citizens of and , and pleasure to thousands of people who ski and fish on the beautiful Kerr, Gaston and Roanoke Rapids lakes, the Roanoke flows peacefully between its banks toward the Albemarle Sound where it finally meets the ocean.
. . . . Flood waters swirled to the edge of the bridge.
But it was in August 1940, that people in this century were introduced to the power and savagery of its waters on a rampage.
Prior to that time people were accustomed to late summer floods which usually came in September. Fed by rains in , which poured water from its red hills into feeder streams, the old Roanoke, almost every year, broke from its banks and backed slow waters into low lying fields so that farmers were forced to work on Sundays to harvest their corn, and those who lived or worked along its winding courses watched and waited anxiously for forecasts of its expected levels of flooding.
In 1940, however, when prospects for a bountiful harvest were viewed with unusual pride and high expectation, the rains came in early August and, by the second week, news of expected flood levels began to alarm even the most optimistic.
Then, with unexpected swiftness the waters came, not seeping backwards into low areas as usual, but rushing down from in powerful surges, sweeping homes, barns and livestock down from the hills into the lowlands of Northampton and other counties. Families were caught unaware by the rapid rise of swirling waters, and evacuation had to be carried out with expediency. Working feverishly, local fishermen and boat owners labored night and day to move families from their homes in the Occoneechee Neck to higher ground and were even then forced to call for service from the United States Coast Guard, which sent big cutters to assist in saving the lives of more than 1,000 people who lived there. Other areas of the county were similarly affected but, miraculously, only one life was lost in the Occoneechee Neck when Gomez Rawls, on a rescue mission, fell from a boat and before the horrified eyes of many who watched from a bank was swept downstream and drowned.
Wildlife did not fare so well. Rabbits, deer and wild turkeys, even snakes, sought higher ground but many were drowned. One small dog survived by climbing on a floating door and became a cherished pet of a family who named her Gypsy.
Roads were closed, and those bridges which were not swept away in flood waters were considered unsafe. Power was cut off in many areas which created problems for those unaffected by the water. A portable broadcasting unit was set up at Mud Castle Hill where families were being landed with clothes or cherished items from their homes clutched in their arms. Reports were sent out continuously by radio across the state and nation.
Approximately 2,200 people in the county were taken to local churches or to homes of friends and relatives where they were fed and clothed by the Red Cross, and concerned citizens of the county offered and gave their services. Food was cooked in big pots outdoors. Men, women and children slept on the floor of Roanoke Chapel in the Occoneechee Neck and in other churches throughout the county. Clothes were collected and distributed so that everyone had at least one change of clothing, Citizens and organizations rallied to provide help and comfort to the stricken families. Health precautions were taken. Homes were cleaned and disinfected as waters receded, and new mattresses were provided to replace those sodden with red mud. Inoculations against diseases left crying children and sore arms for flood victims but insured their escape from typhoid and other diseases. Friends more fortunate whose crops were not touched by the flood offered food for livestock which survived the flooded areas. Many gave financial help to farmers whose entire investments in crops had been washed away by the muddy waters. Loyalty, generosity and friendship helped stricken families recover from the shock and tragedy of their experience.
But, perhaps, best of all the results of this terrible flood was the concerted effort of citizens to seek and get help in the construction of the three dams that now furnish power, pleasure and protection for thousands of people living in Northampton and other low lying counties.
. . . . The Coast Guard to the rescue
. . . . Small boats worked Saturday night and Sunday carrying families to safety.
Giant Python Capture!
Intrepid Local Heroes Battle With
(Came to be International headlines, with Jackson, N. C. dateline)
Ye olde woodcut—made expressly for our paper—graphically records beginning of Great Python Capture. Police Chief Elmo Wheeler is dragged through fast-falling dusk by 32-foot serpent. This engraving done by Miss Robin Clair, freshman at Chowan College, close by to scene of immortal battle with escaped circus monster.
By Roy Parker, Jr.
Article taken from The Northampton County News, Jackson, N. C., Thursday, October 6 and 13, 1955.
Our correspondent brings you blood-chilling details of hour-long battle in woods near Jackson as saga of python comes to close...
“Now, what in the world would a person do after he stole a 208-pound snake of the python ilk?
Well, two employees of the Central Amusement Shows carnival, which put on its show in Jackson last week, are charged with trying to peddle the python to another carnival in Petersburg. They sent it by railway express.
This week the two men were waiting to be tried for ‘stealing and taking away one snake, weighing 208 pounds, valued at 1,100.’
They were being held in Northampton County jail, only a few hundred yards from the former carnival grounds.
Jackson Police Chief Elmo Wheeler arrested Lobis Webber, 47, and Dominick Reo, 25, in Windsor, where the carnival is now being presented. The warrant was signed by Pat Muszznski, an employee of the show which boasted the 28-foot python, billed as ‘the largest of its kind on the east coast.’
Wheeler said the carnival reported the giant serpent had been taken from its five-foot high box home Friday night.
Tuesday the carnival reported it had word that the Python had showed up in Petersburg.
The two men were scheduled for a magistrate court hearing Thursday night (tonight). Both have denied taking the reptile.
The victim of the larceny, a rather indolent creature of an off-green color, had been thrilling patrons of the carnival as the Jackson Fire Departmemt sponsored the show as a lund-raising gimmick.A Conspiracy
Johnny Ryan, owner of the carnival, told a reporter at Windsor that their snake-thievery must have been a conspiracy between several people. Webber the handler, of the python and Reo were part of the group, he said.
Miss Muszznski, a member of the girlie troupe of the show, said she had seen a mysterious panel truck parked near the carnival grounds early Saturday morning. Billed as “Stella,” the shapely carnival queen was a part owner of the absconded python.
Reporters checking in Petersburg Tuesday night got no help, although the police there had earlier sent word to Jackson that a snake had been picked up there. Apparently, the owners of the carnival had inside information on who was the “receiver” in the strange larceny story; and were hoping to catch them with the goods(?).
Ryan said that the python had been purchased by his show about three weeks ago from a snake-dealer. Shipping cost for the reptile came to $125, he said. The carnival was located in at the time.
He said he noticed the snake was gone early Saturday morning when he noticed that the blanket under which it slept (pythons are subject to colds) was unusually quiet, peeling it off, he found his king-size attraction missing.Easy To Steal
Explaining that it was actually easy to steal a snake, he said that an experienced handler can grab even the largest python by the tail and render it helpless, then stuff it in a sack, where it would remain uncomplainingly.
The python, a non-venomous serpent which polishes off its victims by squeezing them in its great coils, is native to several jungle areas. The stolen python was officially a “Regal Python’ and a native of .
Pythons, much feared in horror fiction and movies, are
actually rather lazy creatures, who engorge on huge meals and then lie quietly (and often helplessly) digesting their catch.Noble Ancestors
Of a noble ancestry, pythons have been degraded to the side show trade in the entertainment world.
The first Python, a terrible serpent of Greek mythology who slunk about Mount Parnasses, was slain by Apollo, greatest of the Greek gods. Because of this feat, Apollo was afterwards called ‘Pythian Apolo.’
The great temple at Delphi, chief center of Greek worship, conducted what were called ‘Python’ rites, and the words — derived from Python — have come to describe the state of frenzy which was characteristic of the rite.
Strangely enough, present day pythons aren't very pythian. They even allow themselves to be shipped by railway express without being duly wrought up.
Most Jackson folks hardly knew the snake was missing. The World Series, you know.
In Windsor, those in the know say that, while the loss of the python is mourned by some snake-lovers, the warm-blooded charms of Miss Muszznski are providing sufficient thrills, few chills.One Week Later
The Saga of the Python — which catapulted Jackson into nationwide headlines last week — added new color to the history of an already colorful section.
By now, the story is well known, not only in its local dress, but to the people of the county. Newspaper, television and radio spread the story of the Regal Python, its disappearance . . .its supposed kidnaping . . .its dramatic discovery . . .and the heroic capture of the jungle denizen by local Frank Bucks.
Headlines told the Saga for four days...radio announcers breathlessly related the strange tale, television programs outlined the adventure.Editorial Comment
The Saga brought editorial comment and provided discussion throughout the state. By Thursday, the Greensboro Daily News thought enough of the incident to editorially comment on the fact that communities were becoming bonafide menageries (an elephant, which escaped from a Charlotte circus had started the interest in wild animal-hunting in .)
The News and Observer, covering the story with wide headlines, also commissioned its cartoonist to make merry of Jackson people — looking under their beds for the 28 foot reptile. And, as the story sank from the headlines to become local legend, the paper's editorialist, in a serious vein, paid tribute to the men who had the courage to capture a monster capable of crushing them in its iron-like coils.
Sunday, the Saga ended officially with publication of the details in the New York Times.
In Jackson, Python Week was going down in history in fact and legend. Already a vast amount of anecdote was piling up along with eyewitness accounts; and the reports of the men who captured the snake.Story Begins
The story began sometime early Saturday morning, October 1, 1955. By some means, the 28 foot snake — officially a ‘Regal Python’ — left its cage home in the carnival grounds of Central Amusement Shows. The carnival was preparing to pack the next day to go to Windsor; after a week in Jackson, sponsored by the Jackson Volunteer Fire Department.
The missing snake caused strange emotions to boil among the carnival people. Monday afternoon, a Diana-like blond, by name, Pat Muszznski, by profession the queen of the carnival's traditional girlie show, arrived in Jackson with a warrant for the arrest of Louis Webber, 47, the handler of the reptile, and Dominic Reo, a wiry New Jerseyite who was a helper with the carnival.
The warrant, probably unique in American jurisprudence, charged the two men with ‘stealing or taking away one snake, weighing 208 pounds, valued at $1,000.’
Jackson remained calm as the story broke in the headlines Tuesday morning. It was assumed that the two men — locked in the Northampton County jail — had stolen the snake. The carnival owner, one Johnny Ryan, was convinced the reptile was being shipped to another carnival . . .he sent undercover men to check shows as far away as Petersburg.The Trial
But to no avail. Thursday night, in the small outer office of Northampton County Sherrif's department in the courthouse at Jackson, the two men faced shapely (and now ‘Mrs.’) Muszznski, and another older, but blond, lady — Mrs. Alezeanne Leocobio — as a collection of standers-on, interested law officers, and reporters waited to hear their stories.
Mrs. Muszznski told Justice of the Peace, Howard Rogers that she saw Webber and Reo early Saturday morning hanging around the snake's sleeping quarters. Webber, distinguished, despite three days ‘in solitary’ in the Northampton County jail, said it was ‘a deliberate frame.’ Reo told an involved tale of helping Webber put the snake to bed (covering him with a blanket), darkly hinted that a carload of unknown Negroes had done off with the snake.
Jackson Police Chief Elmo Wheeler, later to become a hero of the dramatic capture, said he had ‘done everything he knew’ to find the reptile.
Jaypee Rogers said he was going to bind the two men over to the October term of Northampton Superior Court on Mrs. Muszznski's ‘positive identification.’
But then, realizing that she would have to miss the footlights of the carny show in order to testify, the lithsome carnival queen decided to drop charges. She had before had two hurried conferences with a mustachioed man named ‘Angelo,’ who seemed an angel to both the accused men. Angelo paid the costs, and Webber and Reo left with the rotund angel of mercy. The two carnival beauties swept out of the room.
As the room cleared (some of the by-standers rushing to get another look at the carnival queen as she coolly sauntered to her carl, Chief Wheeler vowed that he was going back to the carnival area and make a thorough search.
And the stage was set for the capture.
Meanwhile, headlines, radio and television told the story of the missing python. Handler Webber gave clues — he said the snake would not venture far from its sleeping grounds; he told how to grab it by its scaly tail to render it helpless. He pointed out that pythons eat only rarely, but
also assured those interested that the snake was capable of crushing a man in its coils.
Still, Jackson remained calm. Only Wheeler, and reporters, sniffed the air and pawed for further word.
That is, until late Friday evening, October 7.The Capture
Bob, a birddog, broke the case.
Practicing for the hunting season, due to open in a week, Bob — owned by Rufus Jones — was going through a series of dry runs in a wooded area beside the former carnival grounds.
Suddenly, he got the shock of his canine life. Calm in the face of quail, a rock when scouting for the skittish, birds, Bob yelped excitedly when he came upon 28 feet of Regal Python, curled in a monstrous pile at the foot of a tree.
Jones investigated. . .looked. . .ran. . .informed Jailer John Wheeler.
And the capture was on.
Chief Wheeler and Scoopy Grant, lanky mortician and and former baseball star, tore to the python-haunted copse with the jailer and Jones.
Wheeler, remembering Webber's expert advice, grabbed the reptile by its tail. So did Grant. The python stopped being lethargic. It charged away. . .and the two would-be capturers were dragged for several feet.
Then, their Frank Buck natures gave them ideas. A rope was looped around the tail-end of the reptile. Wheeler valiantly strove to loop the powerful coil around a tree. Now Grant raced back to get more rope. The snake reared its head nearby Wheeler as he held onto the nether end... Wheeler fled. . .returned. . .others joined the fray.
By the light of a fire, as the October sun went down, the history-making python capturers loaded the snake into a casket box, brought by Grant. Heaved onto a pickup truck, the casket was taken to the Jackson Funeral Home. Several hundred people — now finally excited over the town's greatest adventure since the Battle of Boone's Mill, (1863), hovered around the safari group, and the legends, anecdotes and straight stories began to flow.
By late Friday night, the python was resting again in its cage home on the carnival grounds in Windsor.Firm Legends
Already, firm legends had been established. One told of the famous ‘fleeing society,’ and the ‘take-off section.’ These groups, who labored to hold and box the python, were qualified when they ‘flew’ or ‘took off’ when the giant monster squirmed near the escaping-point. The heroic holdon tactics of Wheeler and Grant when the python was first grabbed qualified them for well-deserved praise. Even handler Webber was leery of handling the python — he normally used a rake, or forked sticks.
Bob, the birddog, qualified for deserved praise by heroically standing his ground at a creature new to even his expert store of animal lore.
One old saw was dispelled — an eye-witness was impressed with the fact that several Negro men valiantly aided in heaving the monstrous coils of the reptile into the box, doing away with the legend that Negroes are inordinately afraid of reptile flesh.Rename the Scene?
Town fathers were discussing renaming the wooded area in which the adventure came to its spine-tingled end. The area is the beginning of a vast stretch of partial swamp known as ‘Edwards Pocosin.’ Suggestion is to rename at least the small section of it ‘Python Pocosin,’ in honor of the feat.
Reputations were made and added to by the Saga. For the first time, a Northampton County Justice of the Peace court became cloaked with new dignity. Dapper Webber began one of his speeches at the Thursday night trial with: ‘If it pleases the court, Your Honor. . .’
Nothing like that had ever been heard in the usually-informal atmosphere of JP jurisprudence.
Jailer John Wheeler, known to be a stickler for the law, was quoted as saying, when asked to grab a section of the heaving snake: ‘I can't grab anything without a (com) ‘mitment.’
(This story is only typical of the waggish — usually unture — tales that have been growing.)
The books on pythons would also have to be slightly rewritten. Pythons — Wheeler, Grant, and others will tell you — are not as docile and easy-going as you have heard.Cast Of Characters
The cast of characters was something no fictionist — not a Runyon, a Faulkner, not even a Dickens — would attempt to paint. The sharp Webber, for all the world like what he was, a snakeman and a girlie show barker (he gave his address as simply: ‘USA’) . . . the mysterious Angelo, who chastized all the principals for being in court at all. . .the queenly prosecutrix, looking more like a virginal high school sophomore than a bump-and-grind artist. . .easy going Wheeler and hunting enthusist Grant, having the adventure of their lifes as they hung onto the cold-blooded visitor from the African darkness. . .Bob, the dog. . .and, most important the leading character — ‘the largest of its kind on the east coast,’ black, spotted with gold, half-blind as it went through its annual sheddling period, coiled in an Eastern piney swamp, 10,000 miles from its equatorial birthplace.
The Saga added spice to the life of Jackson (for some reason described by the wire service reporter as a ‘sleepy little farming town.’ No such adventure has been recorded in the supposedly wide-wake metropolises. . .while thousands of city folks hung on the headlines to hear the latest from the tiny town).Wag Field Day
Wags had a field day. Both Wheeler and Grant were victims of telephone tricksters, who called fake inquiries about the affair, disguising themselves as reporters. R. T. Cochane, the town's reigning practical joke king, caught Wheeler with such a call. Elmo talked to a person who identified himself as ‘T. E. Jones of the Associated Press in Charlotte.’ While Elmo was talking over the phone in the back room of the Jackson Drug Company (Cochran's liar) to ‘Jones,’ Cochrane played reporter from a telephone behind the store's soda fountain, only a few yards from the intrepid officer.
The Saga was sure to go down in big letters in the historical annuals of the 200-year-old county seat, along with the Nat Turner Insurrection, the battle of Boone's Mill, the 1930 fire, and a thousand and one other legends, tales, stories, adventures, and everyday happenings that make up the story of Jackson.
Law Firm 1876 - 1965
Sign that Hung Above the Office Door
Benjamin Stancell Gay opened a law office in Jackson in 1876. Some years later, a young lawyer, Garland E. Midyette of Fairfield joined him as partner. The law firm of Gay and Midyette functioned until 1916 when Mr. Gay died. Archie C. Gay, son of Mr. Gay, graduated from law school at Wake Forest, and immediately after passing the bar, went into the army in World War I. Upon his return, he entered partnership with Mr. Midyette and the firm became Midyette and Gay, lasting until Mr. Midyette became judge. In 1927, Buxton Midyette, his son, joined Archie Gay and Midyette. This firm lasted until the death of both in 1965, covering in all a period of 89 years.Boone's Mill House,
Boone's Mill House (Jackson)
Garysburg - Gaston Area
Garysburg first appears in the official records as a post office named Peeble's Town established sometime between 1818 and 1825. Peeble's Town, or Tavern as some sources refer to it, was located on or near the banks of the Roanoke River South of the present intersection of U. S. Highways 301 and 158. Although it cannot be taken as conclusive, a foundation and enough broken crockery to indicate a public house were found about a half mile from the river beside “the railroad cut” on the old Jackson-Weldon Road in the 1930's when a farmer prepared a field where tradition said the tavern had stood.
The name of the post office was changed to Blakely Depot on September 20, 1833.
There is no known reason for the change, but it may have been because the Petersburg and Roanoke Railroad or the post office changed the name. In any event, the town was the southern terminus of the railroad and was probably quite prosperous.
Because it was between the railroad and the river it served as a major market for Northampton and a point of interchange for commerce. It was during the Blakely days that the Garysburg community became more socially aligned with Halifax County than Northampton County.
The next major river landing below Blakely was the town of Halifax and there must have been a good deal of interchange, for marriages between residents of the two towns were quite frequent.
Indeed it was a native of Halifax who settled in Northampton who gave Garysburgh, (as it was spelled until 1892) its new name in 1838.
Roderick B. Gary became the operator of the hotel (now the Collier Place) and did well in his new home. He served Northampton County as a representative in the State House for 12 terms between 1777 and 1830.
Sometime in the 1840's, the river site was abandoned and people began settling in the present Garysburg.
It may have been that the completion of the Weldon Bridge for the railroad ended the necessity of the river location and the residents moved inland to get away from the malaria-carrying insects.
In any event, Major Gary donated an acre of land to the Methodist Episcopal Church opposite his hotel as a new home for the congregation of Moore's Chapel located four miles east of town across the road from Longview.
“Mr. W. T. Key is proprietor and strives to please and entertain the traveling public.”
“. . . . . . . .Garysburg is growing and signs of improvements are apparent in many directions. It has a flourishing male school under the charge of Prof. Fetter, and now that St. Catherine's Hall is to be removed from Jackson to this place, they will have a female school, also. And when it gets the new railroad from the sound to this place, it will be quite a flourishing town.”
However, the new railroad from the sound crossed the existing north-south road in Weldon not Garysburg.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Garysburg grew to contain several general stores (mercantile), a drugstore, a bank (The Farmers & Merchants), a saw mill, a stone and gravel company, a public school, a doctor's office, and a lawyer's office. With the advent of the automobile, The Great Depression, and the completion of the U. S. 301 bridge over the Roanoke River, Garysburg went into a decline.
The Church was completed in the 1850's and is the only white church established in the community to this day.
During the Civil War, Garysburg was important because of the railroad. A camp was established for Confederate troops north of the town and trenches were dug near the river bridge to protect it from attack. The church was converted into a hospital and used by Confederate soldiers from and , some of whom are buried in the churchyard.
Following the War, Garysburg was still a prosperous town. The editor of a Petersburg, Va. paper wrote in 1881, after attending the Ellis-Coker wedding:
“. . . . . .We made the Garysburg Hotel, -which is one of the best country hotels in the state — our headquarters.”GastonOld Gaston
The site of old Gaston, a former town in northwest Northampton on the Roanoke, is now beneath the waters of the Roanoke Rapids Lake. It developed as the northern terminus of the Raleigh-Gaston railroad, chartered in 1835 and completed in 1840. The town began to decline after 1865 when the bridge across the Roanoke River was burned, Gaston was named for Judge William Gaston (1778-1844).Modern Gaston
At first called “Camp's Store”, in 1949 the name was changed to Gaston at the time of its incorporation. It was named for the township and the old town of Gaston, the site of which is about five miles west. Gaston is now a booming residential suburb of Roanoke Rapids.
A few early names associated with the Gaston Area are: Shaw, Camp, Grant, Jordan, Allen, Vincent, Floyd, Squire, Moody, King, Wilkins, Hodges, High, Moore, Baird, and Tucker.
Plan of The Town of Gaston
Garysburg Methodist Church
Plan of The Town of Gaston
Garysburg Methodist Church
The present day Garysburg Methodist Church was built in 1853. A deed for the land on which it was built was registered September 8, 1849; the land being the gift of Major Roderick B. Gary who owned the Garysburg Hotel and was town postmaster. The trustees who accepted the land gift from Roderick Gary for the construction of a
Methodist Meeting House in March 1849 were John B. Odom, Heriod Faison, Jeremiah Drew, and Benjamin Ellis. The land included a passageway twelve yards wide from the public road, the passage to be in front of the meeting house.
The 1853 building replaced an older one formed shortly after the Revolutionary War and called Moore's Meeting House or Moore's Chapel. This building was said to be located about halfway between Jackson and Garysburg opposite Longview Avenue on highway 158. It was in existence by 1788 when Bishop Asbury visited there and reported in his Journal that there were sixty members at that time. Asbury also visited Moore's Chapel in 1795 and 1808. The majority of the members voted in the 1840's to move the church to Garysburg, which by that time had grown into a bustling town with the Seaboard and Petersburg Road intersecting there, along with a hotel, a post office and other business facilities.
At times during the period from 1861 to 1865, the church was used as a Confederate hospital, in which the women of the community served as an “Aid Society” for the benefit of soldiers billeted there for training. The soldiers were extended local hospitality and apparently were welcome in the church congregation.
On May 14, 1861, William Dorsey Pender (later General) wrote from Garysburg to his wife Fanny:
A Mrs. Moody sent me some nice cake and excellent strawberries today, and has asked me several times to call out to see her. She has invited me to dinner twice, but I have not had time to go. Her carriage will be sent for me whenever I can go. You can see I am not suffering.
and again on May 18:
. . .today is Sunday. . .I shall go to church today if it does not rain too hard. . .
The white board church with a steeple and green blinds is structurally the same as when it was built on the pattern of 18th century New England churches. In 1905, when the church underwent extensive repairs, the old slave gallery was removed but the original ceiling was preserved. After hurricane damage in 1954, the old clear-paned windows were replaced with stained-glass memorial windows. A neat, well-kept cemetery adjoins the present church.The Moody House
The Moody House
The Moody House on the Gaston-Garysburg Road is one of the few fine plantation homes still standing in Northampton in a good state of preservation. Although the exact date of its construction is unknown, Dr. H. B. Grant, whose family once owned the plantation, says it was built before 1800.
Called “Woodland,” the plantation evidently was the scene of much social entertainment. The large twelve-room weatherboarded structure with its six-room basement bears evidence of its being used for large gatherings of a social sort.
Originally built in an “L” shape, the house was purchased by Jack Moody who rebuilt it between 1848 and 1855. Since then, no changes have been made. It was purchased by Newitt Grant in 1889 and sold by the Grant heirs, in 1950, to the Tudor family who lives nearby. The house, often referred to now as the “Grant House,” is unoccupied. The outside white paint is faded, but the wood,
as well as the interior, is in very good condition.
On each of the two main floors the rooms are expansive. From the long Victorian front porch entrance,
Moody House — Front Hall
double glass doors with side and upper window panes lead into a spacious airy hall with a wide stairway and an ornate medallion of cast iron, painted white, in the ceiling. The fifteen-inch plaster molding used in the hall and downstairs is of a fruit design, made in Petersburg. and shipped to the plantation. The baseboards are of marbleized painting. The original paint was still on the woodwork when the house was sold in 1950. There is no evidence that it has been repainted since.
The two large rooms on the left of the main floor are divided by folding shutter doors so that the rooms can be used en suite for a ballroom or lavish gatherings. In the front left room the mantle is of marble. One mantle on the second floor is of the Adams design; another is Victorian.
A horizontal hall extends across the rear of the main portion of the rear two-story wing which has a separate stairway. A full basement of six rooms with a hallway through the center, a wine cellar and fireplaces, is falling victim to disrepair. The kitchen, which formerly stood in the yard about 100 yards northwest of the main house, is now northeast of the house in a field and is used as a farm house. All other outside buildings have disappered. Two old oaks remain as sentinels.
The June 7, 1877 Murfreesboro Enquirer contains a news story of a tragic happening at the Moody house. Jesse D. Brantley, described as a “gentleman of very quiet and peaceful disposition,” shot John (Jack) M. Moody in an open duel. Brantley, the story goes, had testified against Moody, a “prominent man.” The two met in the road and had words. Both were armed. It was reported that Moody shot at Brantley after Moody was injured. It is said that blood stains from the wounded Moody can still be seen on the floor of the front right room of the house.Miles House
The Miles House, located on highway 46 between Gaston and Vultare, was built by W. M. Miles in the very early 1800's. It has been retained by the family, as the will of Miles states that the house must be willed to one of his descendants.
The large, two-story house, about 500 feet from the road, is of simple classic design. The main (front) part is of beaded weatherboard. The rear wing is of molded weatherboard, and by its structural design appears to be older than the main part. The first floor consists of four large rooms and a center hall, from which a stairway leads to a second floor hall and then to a large attic with two small windows at each end. Another stairway leads from the rear wing to the right bedroom upstairs.
The four windows on the second floor front are not proportionally spaced. The porch is of a stoop design with a painted arch of the Federal period. At the end of the four corner eaves is a carved design dropped about 14 inches. The window sills are of a thick carved heart design.
A unique feature of the interior of the main part of the house is the raised paneling used on the doors and the wainscoting, which is an unbroken panel. The original paint, polychrome of red-gold-black colors has never been painted over. The mantle in the room to the right of the entrance hall is of elaborately carved pine. The original large box iron lock with a small brass doorknob is in use on the front door. The stairway balustrade is turned and decorated.
A simple but odd feature is a cat hole that leads from the back porch to the dining room in the rear wing. The name “W. M. Miles” has been cut into a window pane in the kitchen.Gary - Collier House - Hotel
The Gary-Collier House in Garysburg was built in 1840 by Roderick Gary.
It is an immensely long rectangular two-story house with a two-story wing built later to the rear on the right side. Room additions have also been made to the left rear. It is of white clapboard and has windows of average or slightly underaverage size and no shutters. A porch extends across the front and right sides. Its many chimneys are both exterior and interior ones; the exterior ones being gabled.
For many years it served as a hotel, as it was on the railroad, and Garysburg thrived as a commercial and traveling center because of its being located on a main travel road and on the railroad.
It was sold to a Yankee Hunting Club, then to Bill Kee. In 1910, J. R. Collier purchased it. His heirs own it today.
Squire House. . . Too Late
The Squire House, located on the Gaston-Vultare road (highway 46) is a one story structure of Greek Revival style. The house is soundly built on a deep stone foundation which has been plastered over. It contains four large rooms and two halls on the first and only floor. The main entrance separates the two large front rooms, and behind the main hall is a horizontal hall which lead to a long side porch (since destroyed) which ran the length of the two large rear rooms. The back hall also leads to the rear wing of two rooms and to the tall deep basement, approximately 9 feet
high. Two rooms in the basement were completed and contained fireplaces. A portion of the basement under the rear wing was left open. This open section was used in later years for a buggy shelter. The three chimneys are interior ones. The front porch of oak flooring is of the stoop type of the Greek revival style.
The front left room was at one time the finest of the rooms. It still has intact at the top of the walls a two-foot border of wallpaper with a stencilled gold-leaf design. The woodwork was originally cobalt blue. The corners of the door frame are carved in a “whirl-a-gig” pattern. The house is no longer in use and is falling into decay.
Its builder is unknown; however a Sebastian Squire purchased land there on the north side of the Roanoke River in January 1791.Vincent House
The Vincent House was built in 1766. This date can be found on the fine chimney on the south side of the house. The house was built by the Vincent family of the Emporia section of Old Isle of Wight County, Virginia, probably on an original Crown grant.
The two story house of weatherboard is of the Spanish Colonial design, with a gambrel roof and three front dormer gable windows of nine panes. Originally it was a split-level; the “L” section on the front over a basement being lower than the other section. This basement once contained the kitchen and dining room.
Constructed with wooden pegs, the house contains two flights of walled-in stairs. The five original rooms consisted of two rooms on the second floor, three on the first, and the basement. There are two outside chimneys of T-shape stack and two inside chimneys. The foundation is of field stone and flint. The bricks are of English bond.
Some illegible writing is on the chimney near the dated brick. It perhaps indicated the name of the builder or architect. The Joel Lane house in Wake County is a replica of the Vincent House, with the exception of its having only four original rooms, two on each floor. Both houses have two halls.Allen Jones of Mt. Gallant
One of the most influential leaders during the struggle for independence in this country was General Allen Jones of Northampton County. Born December 24, 1739, and educated in at Eton, he was the son of Robert (Robin) Jones, Jr., who served as attorney-general of the province of under the Crown. Robin Jones owned the plantation “Mudcastle” on the banks of the Roanoke River in Northampton County. Allen Jones’ brother, Willie, owned an estate known as the Grove on the other side of the river in Halifax County. The country estate of Allen Jones was in Northampton and was known as Mt. Gallant.
Though politically active as a member of the Colonial Assembly prior to the Revolution, Allen Jones became a political force during the war. The Provincial Congress met four times prior to the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, and once after the declaration. Allen Jones was a delegate from Northampton
Mt. Gallant, House of General Allen Jones. Three Miles West of Gaston.
at all five congresses. During the third congress, on the ninth of September, 1775, Jones was elected Colonel of Militia for the county of Northampton and was named to the Committee of Safety for the Halifax District. In less than a year, and shortly before the Declaration, he was promoted to brigadier-general and received command of the Halifax District.
Because he had no military training, General Jones distinguished himself less as a soldier (though he saw service in the field) than as a statesman in his home state. Allen Jones represented Northampton in the first State Senate at New Bern on April 7, 1777. Re-elected senator several times, he became Speaker on August 12, 1778. He was elected a member of the Continental Congress on October 25, 1779. Allen Jones was instrumental in the drafting of the State Constitution and was strongly in favor of the state's adoption of the United States Constitution in 1788 and 1789. Allen remained a federalist in contrast to his brother Willie who became the leader of the extreme Republicans of that day. He has been described as a lawyer of learning and ability and of flawless character. He stood among the first men of his generation.
Married several times, Allen Jones left many descendants. His daughter, Sara, married William R. Davie, later Governor of the state. He died at his estate, Mt. Gallant, in Northampton, on November 10, 1798.Andrew Jackson Ellis, M. D.
Born May 17, 1834 at Blakely, then a busy settlement on the Roanoke River, Dr. Ellis was one of seven children of Robert Allen and Mary Person Ellis.
He received his education at the Warren Male Academy and the University of North Carolina where he became friends with Matt Ransom (later General, CSA and U. S. Senator). Dr. Ellis received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1858. From then until his death on November 18, 1912, except for three and one half years in the Confederate Army, he practiced medicine in the vicinity of Garysburg. His family moved to Garysburg from Blakely in 1840.
His first marriage took place November 8, 1859 to Sarah J. Ramsey. The couple had two children, Andrew, Jr., and Minnie.
He helped to organize an artillery company for service in the War between the States and was named Captain of Company A, Third Battalion and served in that capacity throughout the war. He fought at New Bern, Wilmington, Richmond, and Fredericksburg.
Clark, in History of the Several Regiments and Battalions from N. C. in the Great Civil War, gave the following eyewitness account of Dr. Ellis in battle.
“The writer was sitting on his horse on and near the left of the road, watching the effect of shells firing from a small brass field piece over the heads of the 17th , as that gallant regiment was advancing and engaging the enemy. Occasionally, a shell came screaming from a rifled field piece of the enemy, stationed about two thousands yards down the road and in full view of Ellis and others of us. For a little while it seemed as if the enemy was to have all the fun when a sudden and sharp command from Captain Ellis attracted my attention and, looking around, I saw him straighten himself in his saddle, and with his gun dash down the narrow road towards the enemy. Every once in a while he would wheel into position, his lead horses
sometimes falling in the deep and wide ditch, go into battery, fire a few well-directed shots, and then he was again leading his gun at a gallop, only to go into battery and fire again.”
When Clark caught up with Ellis, he was standing beside the captured gun petting it with ‘the glee of a boy’.”
After the war, Dr. Ellis returned to Garysburg and resumed the practice of medicine.
On the 16th day of December, 1885, he married again, to Margaret Bell Fitzhugh, and of this marriage was born one daughter, Margaret.
Dr. Ellis was active in the affairs of the County and town and particularly the Garysburg Methodist Episcopal Church of which he was a steward for thirty years.
He helped organize The Farmers & Merchants Bank of Garysburg and served as its president from 1906 until his death.
A friend wrote of him “In Memoriam” published in The News & Observer, November 29, 1912.
“I knew Dr. Ellis in every walk of life — as citizen, as doctor, as Christian, as neighbor, as husband, as father, as friend, and in every sphere of life. I do no violence to truth in saying that he came up to the truly ideal standard. His religious faith and views were known to all men. He was a Christian in every sense of the word. . . . .He was a thorough Democrat, a devoted North Carolinian, a lover of the South, an enthusiastic patriotic American, whose heart glowed with love for the human race and burned with a desire for its advancement.”
He died suddenly November 18, 1912 while treating a child in the Pleasant Hill community.A. N. Rice
A. N. Rice
A. N. Rice (Ananias), was born in Wilson County, May 28, 1870 and came to Garysburg, around the year 1885. Since he was interested in getting an education, he attended a local school and later became a schoolmaster, as it was called then.
Teaching was not his only attribute. He was also a farmer and a contractor. He was attributed with building Longview Dairy between Garysburg and Jackson. He built and-or repaired many houses and other buildings in Halifax and Northampton Counties. With an old truck chassis as a foundation, he built the first school bus in this county for high school students (black). This bus transported students to Northampton County Training School at Garysburg.
A. N. Rice, after his first wife's death, was married to a Miss Maggie Bradley. To the first marriage was born one daughter, to the last, three daughters and seven sons. Three of the sons preceded him in death.
He was a member of the Roanoke Salem Baptist Church, of which he was clerk until his death.Dr. Wester Ghio Suiter
1892 - 1962
Doctor Suiter was a native of Garysburg, graduate of Weldon High School and Trinity College, and he received his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond.
During World War I he served overseas as a Captian in the Army Medical Corps. After the war he moved to Weldon and began his medical practice in 1919.Granville H. Johnson
1870 - 1962
Granville H. Johnson
Granville H. Johnson was the second oldest of four brothers. He attended the public schools in Northampton County. He was married to Alice Jordan, and to this union one boy and three girls were born. After Alice's death, he
married Negolia Mitchell and they had five girls and five boys.
He was very active in church and civic work. He served as clerk for the Parkers Chapel Baptist Church for over 40 years. He served as Justice of the Peace in Northampton County from 1896 to 1900. Johnson was widely known as a lecturer and public speaker, imparting the wisdom of his years of study and experience to the present generation.Rev. J.W. Blacknall
Rev. J. W. Blacknall
The Rev. J. W. Blacknall, was headmaster of the R. I. Walden private school in Garysburg from the early 1900's to the early 1920's and pastor of the Roanoke Salem Baptist Church from the early 1900's until his death in 1933.
He was married to Cora Louise Walden and was the father of five children. His footprints are left in Garysburg and Occoneechee Townships.Rev. Wesley Porch
The Rev. Wesley Porch, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Porch was born on July 1, 1872 in Northampton County.
As a youth, he attended the Walden School in Garysburg, North Carolina. He also attended the Bricks School in Enfield, North Carolina. During the summer months, he attended the Elizabeth City State Teacher's College.
In the year of 1897 he started a teaching career which lasted for thirty-two years. He began his teaching career in a small wooden framed school called the Morning Star in the Pleasant Hill Community. In the year 1908, he began teaching in the Vultare School where he held the position of principal at different intervals. His teaching ability was also extended to the Thomas School in the Camp Store Community
Rev. Wesley Porch
known as Gaston, North Carolina.
In 1914, he was called back to Vultare School to teach. His ideology and belief in the advancement of education led to an additional classroom at his request. Also feeling the need for parents to understand their children and their educational problems, he established the First Parent-Teachers Association in the community.
From there, he went to the Oak Grove School in the Oak Grove Community as principal where his educational influence was felt for several years. In 1926, he went to teach at the Ransom School in Jackson, North Carolina. There he also held the position of principal. In the year of 1929, he retired from his teaching career
He was married to Rosa Lee Ellis of Pleasant Hill, on March 15, 1899. To this union ten children were born, five daughters and five sons. Four of his daughters and one of his sons survived him. The daughters are Mrs. Piccola Love, Mrs. Pocahontas Harris, Mrs. Ellis Lawrence, all of , and Mrs. Bernice Shearin of Garysburg, North Carolina. A son is also living, Mr. Wesley Porch, Jr. of Jamaica, New York.
During the early years of his marriage he was called by God to the Ministry. He served as minister at the Jerusalem Baptist Church in . He was a member of Coolspring Baptist Church in Gaston, North Carolina.
He departed this life at the age of 75 on April 24, 1948.William Henry Joyner
William Henry Joyner was born in Enfield, Halifax County, September 16, 1867, the son of Dr. Henry Joyner and Anne Pope Joyner. His grandfather was Col. Andrew Joyner. William Henry Joyner's father died when he was eight months old and his mother died a few years later. His early childhood was spent with his maternal uncle, Howard J. Pope. He attended school at Horner's Military Academy
Thomas H. Joyner
where he won the distinction of standing first in all of his classes.
In 1890 he married Miss Bettie B. Garris of Garysburg and to this union were born four children: Mrs. Nancy Suiter of Weldon, N. C., the late Henry Mercer Joyner of Garysburg, N. C., the late Mrs. Margaret McDowell of Scotland Neck, N. C., and Andrew Joyner, who died in infancy.
After the death of his wife he married Miss Mary Ann Suiter of Garysburg, N. C. To this union were born: William Lewis Joyner of Rocky Mount, N. C.; Mrs. Mary Virginia Brown, Mrs. Emily Pierce, Mrs. Ann Selden, Mrs. Dozene Pierce and Mrs. Constance Metcalfe, all of Weldon, N. C.; the late Miss Mildred Joyner of Jackson, N. C.; William H. Joyner, Jr., Plymouth, N. C.; the late Jack Joyner of Statesville, N. C.; the late Joseph Joyner, and Thomas G. Joyner, Garysburg, N. C.
Mr. Joyner was a man of strong Christian character and high moral standards. His personality was beaming with love for his fellowman.
In his early life he was a planter and merchant of Garysburg but in later years he severed his connection with the commercial world and stuck strictly to farming and working for the upbuilding of his community and his county. He was known probably by every man, woman, and child in Northampton County and was loved by all who knew him.
His political career, which did not carry him further than the State Capital in Raleigh, was marked with unselfish service for his fellowman. He not only helped the white people but was responsible for the advancement of the black race, educationally, around Garysburg.
In 1900 he was elected sheriff of Northampton County by the largest majority ever accorded a candidate in the County at the time. He served as mayor of Garysburg for nineteen years and held every office in Northampton County except those of Clerk of Court and Registrar of Deeds. He was a delegate to the House of Representatives in 1917 and served in the State Senate in 1933.
Mr. Joyner was Chairman of the Northampton County Democratic Executive Committee for forty years and was member of the State Democratic Executive Committee for many years. He served as a Member of State Board of Agriculture and a Director of the State Fair, which he co-leased from the State in 1933.
In the movement to organize the N. C. Cotton Growers Cooperative Association he was one of the pioneers and one of the first directors.
Upon his death in December 1933, at the age of 67, it was said of William Henry Joyner that he was the highest example of the type of good, honest, and substantial leaders who are responsible for making the state that it is today.Garysburg Educational
Garysburg School Building
On April 9, 1879, seeing the need for a school building in Garysburg, a group of citizens met to form an educational association. T. W. Mason, W. H. Summerell, James D. Garriss, J. T. Person, J. L. Suiter, E. J. Peebles, James W. Grant, and W. D. Ellis each held a share in the association in the amount of twenty five dollars. The Association obtained one acre of land from W. D. Ellis and his wife, Fannie, who received as payment for the land four shares in the association and the sum of one dollar. The Association was known as the Garysburg Educational Association.
The first Black Private School to prepare Blacks for teaching in Occoneechee Township of Northampton County was the Richard I. Walden School about two miles northeast of the City of Garysburg, N. C. At that time after the seventh grade, one was allowed to teach. One of the first teachers in the Occoneechee Township was A. N. Rice, the son of a slave who came to this part of Northampton County at the age of seventeen. Rice finished school and became the first Black teacher to teach in a little two-room school for blacks, about a mile south of Garysburg, N. C. The school was called the Frog Pond School because it was right on a pond where one could hear the frogs croaking loudly in the spring. It was also right by the Seaboard Railroad where it still stands.
Before the twenties, one and two teacher schools were being consolidated and students were sent to this private school, until the Northampton County Training School was completed. At that time Rev. J. W. Blacknall was the Headmaster, and also pastor of the Roanoke Salem Baptist Church. In the meantime another private school sprang up, the Walter Williams Private School, between Garysburg and the Roanoke River Bridge, which was called Person Town. It has been torn down.
In 1926 or 1927 William Greene became principal and said the school needed a bus to transport children from different sections to school. He kept trying to get the School Board to provide a bus but P. J. Long, School Superintendent along with the other Board Members refused. So A. N. Rice told the principal if the county would provide the chassis he and his men would build the body for the bus. It was the first black school bus in the state.The Raleigh and Gaston Railroad
Stock in R. G. R.
The Raleigh and Gaston Railroad was chartered December 21, 1835, with an initial authorized capital stock of $800,000. The company was organized on February 4, 1836, in Raleigh with George W. Mordecai as President. Work was begun within the year. The railroad, 85 miles long, was completed and opened in April, 1840.
A Letter Mailed to Blakely Depot
A Letter Mailed to Blakely Depot
The Dugger - Dromgoole Duel
Although prohibited by law in both and , dueling as a means for settling personal disputes persisted in both states until well into the nineteenth century. Along the border, duelists could slip over into the adjoining state, fight, then slip back with little danger of apprehension and prosecution. It would be an error, however, to assume that every challenge produced an encounter; in actuality the number of duels fought, though undocumented, was not great. If the principal figures were well known, however, the story of their meeting was told and re-told. And this has been the history of the duel between two Virginians — George C. Dromgoole and Daniel Dugger — fought on November 6, 1837, in Northampton County, North Carolina.
Dromgoole, a lawyer and militia general, had served one term in the United States Congress as Democratic Party representative from the district that encompassed Brunswick County. Dugger, a Whig with a taste for horses and sport, was at the time both owner and keeper of a hotel in Lawrenceville. The opening incident in the drama took place during an entertainment at his hotel late in the summer of 1837. Dromgoole, who expected to seek a second term in Congress, was present, but on this purely social occasion political talk was taboo.
“On this special evening (Mr. Dugger) was at the head of his table and carving a fowl. Some ill-advised guest addressed to him a political question. The decanter had circulated rapidly, and Gen. Dromgoole who sat immediately at Mr. Dugger's right hand and who had drunk freely, said (before Mr. Dugger could reply) in a loud voice, showing complete intoxication — ‘Dugger! Damn Dugger as a political mentor! Why he is below infamy and beneath contempt!’
“These words had scarcely passed (Dromgoole's) lips when Mr. Dugger struck him fiercely across the face with his open right hand, knocking him from his chair and half across the room, and then threw at him the carving fork as he tried to rise. . . .”
Dromgoole's love of the bottle was well known in his district, and the ruffled feelings were quickly patched up by friends of the two men — or so they thought. But as the race for Congress grew more heated, Whig newspapers took up the incident and called Dromgoole a coward, asking “Could a man who would tamely submit to such an indignity be entrusted to protect the rights of a brave and proud people?” The general wrote Dugger asking him to publish a statement setting the matter in its proper light; Dugger failed to reply. When Dromgoole made a peremptory demand that Dugger do so, Dugger refused, and Dromgoole sent him a challenge which Dugger promptly accepted. This set in motion the etiquette prescribed by the dueling code.
Each principal chose a second: Hiram Haines, the colorful editor of a Democratic newspaper in Petersburg, served the congressman; and Thomas Goode Tucker, a young lawyer who had moved from Lawrenceville to Northampton County, served Dugger. W. H. E. Merritt, another Lawrenceville lawyer, filled the role of “advising friend.” The seconds prepared written terms for the meeting. Tucker, for Dugger, insisted that the cartel contain a provision that the parties fire until one or the other should be “killed, mortally wounded or so disabled as to be unable to fire.” Haines, for Dromgoole, protested this as unusual and murderous, but to no avail. Dugger then obtained a three-week's postponement of the duel while he went to on private business. Dromgoole, who wore spectacles, was not considered a skilled marksman, so Haines used the three-weeks interval “to teach his friend the use of his weapon.” Strangely, Dugger “never seemed to realize and appreciate the responsibility of the event he was to face. . . .”
The seconds arranged for the duel to take place at Mount Rekcut, Tucker's plantation between Eaton's Ferry and the town of Gaston. Two days before the meeting, Dugger arrived at Gaston from and went immediately to Mr. Tucker's. Neither he nor his second had thought to obtain the services of a doctor in the event Dugger should be hurt, but Dr. Frederick W. Harrison, who had been called in for Dromgoole, got in touch with Dr. W. Webb Wilkins of Belmont plantation near Gaston who agreed to be present with Harrison for whatever help might be required.
On the morning of November 6 the six men — principals, seconds, and doctors — arrived at the site, “a level plateau on the banks of the Roanoke River, as smooth as a carpet. . .” about half a mile from Mr. Tucker's residence. “The parties greeted each other with a stern and polite civility. Messrs. Haines and Tucker conferred together for a few minutes and agreed upon the ground and stuck up the pegs. The distance was ten paces, which they stepped off together. They then, in the presence of each other, loaded the pistols, two pairs of which Mr. Haines and Gen. Dromgoole had brought. Mr. Dugger came unprovided. A coin was tossed for word and position. Mr. Tucker won the word and Mr. Haines the position.”
“The combatants took their positions and the seconds handed each a pistol. Mr. Tucker placed himself midway between the combatants and some yards out of the line of fire. Mr. Haines advanced to the remaining case of loaded pistols, and taking one in each hand placed himself in a similar position and opposite to Mr. Tucker, and announced how the word would be given. . . .
“ ‘Should either of you fire before the word “fire,” or after the word “stop,” he falls by my hand.’
“Both men were as cool as a summer's morn. Mr. Tucker gave the word. There was but one report as heard by those present. There was a commingled report as heard by those at a little distance, and who suspected what was taking place. Who fired the first shot is not known.
“As the smoke lifted Mr. Dugger was seen to stoop forward, and then pitch heavily face foremost to the ground. . . .”
He had been hit in the armpit. As Mr. Tucker and the doctors moved Dugger to a wagon to be taken to his second's house, Gen. Dromgoole called to Dr. Wilkins, “Is he badly hurt?”The doctor answered,, “I fear he is, sir. I do not think he will live to get to the house.” At this Dromgoole exclaimed, “I regret it exceedingly,” then left the field with Haines to return to Washington as soon as possible.
Dugger survived for twenty-one days. Under the terms of the cartel, Mr. Tucker was supposed to keep Mr. Haines informed of Mr. Dugger's condition. When he failed to do so, an argument ensued between the seconds, and Haines challenged Tucker. Tucker declined to meet him, and Haines retaliated with a vitriolic attack on Tucker in his newspaper.
It is significant that no effort was made to prosecute Gen. Dromgoole, and that he was re-elected to Congress four more times. He died on April 17, 1847, one month short of his fiftieth birthday.
Home of Dr. John W. Drewery, One of the Early Doctors Homes in Pleasant Hill, built in 1832.
Most of the early settlers of the Pleasant Hill area came from and settled between Fountain's Creek (just over the line in ) and Jack's Swamp. Pleasant Hill was on both sides of the Old Halifax Road — the road from Petersburg and Richmond to Halifax.
Dupree's Cross Roads, located 1½ miles from Pleasant Hill, is situated on the Old Halifax Road. It was named for the James Dupree family who lived there. Three Dupree brothers came from by and one settled in Isle of Wight County, Virginia; one at Henrico, Virginia; and one at Dupree's Cross Roads. James Dupree operated a store here in the last half of the 1700's. He died April 1816. The Dupree land was sold at public auction after the death of Mrs. Tabitha Morris Dupree, widow of James Dupree, on Dec. 9, 1848. The purchaser Barnes G. Clark paid $151.00 for the 400 acres of land.
A tavern was located at Dupree's and it was written that “they had food, entertainment for guests who arrived daily by Horse Post Coaches; also, relay of horses, rest, food, and drink.” The tavern was operated by a Mr. Webb, relative of the Webb family that still lives in the community. It is reported that five taverns were in Pleasant Hill at that time.
The U. S. Post Office, established April 15, 1828 in Pleasant Hill, was the first in Northampton County. Beverly Drinkard was appointed first Postmaster. A rural route was established in 1911 and J. J. Massey was the first rural carrier. He carried the mail with horse and buggy and it was necessary to keep more than one horse for this work.
The Petersburg Railroad came through being built in 1832 and completed in 1833. It ran to Blakely on the Roanoke River. A depot was soon built after 1833, and the agents were on duty around the clock, operating what was called three tricks.
Cornwallis and 5,000 soldiers camped at Jack's Swamp on May 15, 1781 on their way to Yorktown. He sent soldiers ahead to cut the Old Halifax Road wider so troops could move faster. It is said that Cornwallis left his initials carved on the bridge swinger at Jack's Swamp.
Lt. Moore Coming from Concord Church During the Civil War
President George Washington, in touring the Southern States, came to Pleasant Hill on April 16, 1791. Others known to have visited were Lafayette, Tarlton, and General Jackson, President Franklin D. Roosevelt came through by train on March 22, 1936.
Dr. John W. Drewery was an early doctor here and his home was built in 1832 — morticed and pinned together. The building is in a decayed condition and is on a farm owned by Marvin A. Coker.
Farmer's Alliance was active in the community and the building for this organization was completed in 1889. This organization allowed farmers to get a discount on farm supplies.
The first schools in this village were known as “yard schools” and were thus called because the children were usually taught in a small building in the yard of the residence. Usually several families would support one school but in some cases each family would have their own school. Some of the early teachers were known to be Miss Sally Sykes, Miss Clara Flythe, and a Mr. Foster. The first public school building was a one-room building built in 1905.
Marvin A. Coker experimented as early as 1956 with the present method of drying and combining peanuts.
The first paved road in this area was Highway 301. Seven miles was paved, starting at the line and going south, in the year 1930.
Rev. Totton, Pastor of Spring Church and Pleasant Hill Church in the Years of 1898 and 1899.
Old Coker Store and Post Office - First Post Office in County - April 15, 1828
Rich Square Area
History of Rich Square
The exact date of the founding of Rich Square is unknown, but it can be placed between 1717 and the recording of a deed with the name Rich Square thereon in 1766. It is difficult to fix an exact date because in those days land transactions often were not recorded for years, if ever, because travel to the county seat was slow and land transactions were affected by scripts between the parties concerned and also by wills. Many times the terms, scripts, and wills were used interchangeably.
In 1741, the same year Northampton County was formed from Bertie, a group of area landowners expressed the need for a meeting house for worship and a trading center. These landowners were Maules, Randolphs, Norfleets, Lawrence, Cathcarts, Perrys, Hunters, and Dukes. Isaac Hunter owned 640 acres referred to as “the rich fertile square.” The two main roads of the area crossed the Hunter property which became known as Hunter's crossroads.
For the sum of “10 shillings of current money” the society of people called Quakers bought one acre of land near the crossroads for the purpose of building a meeting house. The names Demcy Hunter, his wife Unity, Thomas Knox, and Robert Peele appeared as trustees for the Quakers on the transaction. The meeting house was built, named Rich Square, and recorded in the county seat on November 29, 1759. The monthly meeting was formed October 10, 1760, with John Peele, clerk.
Marmaduke Norfleet purchased a tract one mile in each direction from Hunters’ crossroads and established a trading center. The name Rich Square appeared on this deed recorded in 1766. The trading center consisted of a general store, a blacksmith shop, and a grist mill. Items were bought with pounds, shillings and pense, in current money, or by bartering.
The crossroads of Rich Square were on roads leading from the Roanoke to the Chowan Rivers and from Cottens ferry to Hills ferry.
Other family names thereafter appear in the records as people moved down from . Copelands, Baughams, Peeles, Outlands, Elliotts, Leakes, and Parkers. All of these were Quakers who came to help establish the new meeting house.
Farming was the chief occupation and the people lived simply, yet the meeting and trading center grew. The meeting handled most disciplinary matters of the time as there were no local lawyers.
The first doctor in the Rich Square area was Dr. William Cathcart, who inherited the large medical library of Dr. Gabriel Johnston, Governor of from 1734 to 1752. The first doctor to live in town was Dr. Windfield S. Copeland. The first doctor's office was built around 1850. It is now owned by Dr. R. B. Outland, Sr., and serves as a private museum.
Around 1800 a Quaker school was built near what is now Eagletown. It was one of the first schools in Northampton County and was named Union School.
Families continued to move to Rich Square coming down from and the eastern counties. A new Quaker meeting was built three-fourths of a mile east of the old one. This meeting dissolved when the members split over
Quaker Meeting House
religious matters in the yearly meeting. Mr. A. Jackson Conner bought the meeting house in 1904 and operated a printing office for the Roanoke Chowan Times. Other religious denominations moved in. The Methodists built a church at Pinners to the north in 1820 and the Baptists built a church called Corinth in 1853 to the South. These were the mother churches of our present-day Rich Square churches.
Cotton became the chief crop and the counties’ first gin opened shortly after the Civil War. The first peanuts were brought into Northampton County at Rich Square from Southampton County, Virginia in 1880 by Mr. James Outland.
Rich Square was incorporated in 1883. W. S. Norwood was elected first mayor along with four town commissioners: Everette Baugham, J. W. Buxton, L. J. Davis, and Watkins Roberts, a black man.
The first high school in the county was built on John Buxton's land in Rich Square in the late 1800's. About the same time W. S. Creecy also purchased land from John Buxton and built and opened the Creecy Academy for blacks. Mr. Andrew J. Conner was the prime mover in the county-wide education program and became known as the
father of education in Northampton County. Students came to Rich Square from surrounding areas to attend school. They were boarded by the Boltons, Baughams, Shoulars, Conners, Leakes, Vanns, Lassiters, Weavers, Hollomans, Johnsons, Browns, Huggins, Outlands, and Peeles.
The school not only educated people, it also resulted in many marriages. It was often said that if a female teacher came to Rich Square and didn't get married — then she preferred the single life.
Miles Darden, the world's biggest man, was born near Rich Square in 1798. He was seven feet, nine inches tall and weighed over 1,000 pounds.
The Roanoke-Tar River Railroad between Boykins, Virginia, and Lewiston, N. C., ran through Rich Square. It opened in 1887. The railroad train introduced the first commercial ice cream sold there. One of the early stores during the 1800's was the E. Baugham store, later known as Baugham and Leake.
The first underground piped gasoline in the area was from the depot station bulk tanks to a service station located near the center of the square, operated by Willie Millar. The first ice house in the county was located on the corner where the town parking lot is today. Ice was cut in blocks from the Roanoke River, hauled to town and stored in sawdust.
In the early 1930's a swimming pool and dance hall opened in Rich Square affording many hours of fun and relaxation. Soon afterward came the silent film theater which was followed by the talkies and Rich Square drew people for miles around for entertainment. The Saturday double feature with serial and cartoon, all for 10 cents, is something today's generation of young people can't even imagine.
The Rich Square post office was established January 26, 1831, the second oldest in the county. Its location has changed many times. In 1964 the present Federal Building was built. It is the only post office owned by the United Postal Service and Federal building in the county.
Today the town has approximately 1,250 residents and continues as a local trading center. It is still primarily agriculturally oriented, yet its native sons and daughters represent almost every known profession or business.Pinner's Methodist Church
Pinner's Methodist Church
The present Pinner's Methodist Church was built in 1820 on what is said to be land donated by Jeremiah Carter, whose plantation adjoined the church lot. The 1820 date was covered over when the church was painted in 1969. Land for the church was also said to have been given by Joseph Pinner for whom the church was named in 1821. The trustees who received the deed for the land were Richard Whitaker, William Gront, James Gront, Joseph Pinner, John Robbins, and James Briant.
The simple, one-room building, approximately 50 by 35 feet, has had no structural changes since it was built. Its original pine floors and pine altar rail have been retained. It also has a balcony at the rear.
The original Pinner's church stood on an open-field corner lot at George where the present-day paved road from Eagletown joins Highway 258, or about 1½ miles north of the present church. The original church was visited by Bishop Asbury, who recorded in his journal several visits to
Northampton County from 1785 to 1808. According to this report, the old Pinner's was built in the late 1700's or very early 1800's.
Pinner's is the mother church of the Woodland and Rich Square Methodist churches, and one of the oldest church buildings in the county. It was officially closed in 1971 but is retained as a memorial by the United Methodist Churches.Outland House
The Outland House, about one mile north of Rich Square, on Highway 258, sits approximately one-third of a mile from the road amid a pecan grove with a background of pine trees.
Of a small, simple country-style, the house is built of clapboard and has two stories and a wing to the right of two rooms. Three rooms are on the first floor and one on the second. It has simple wainscoting, mantles, a front porch, one inside chimney in the main part, and two end chimneys, one for the main part on the left and one at the end of the wing.
The house was built in the 1770's by Josiah Outland, who came from Isle of Wight County, Virginia, in 1770, to marry Millercent Peele, daughter of John Peele. The house remained in the Outland family until the last Outland owners (the last being Leroy, his brother Frank, and a sister-all unmarried) deeded it by gift to Ed Harrell of Rich Square in 1947. It is now owned by Milton Harrell of Rich Square, son of Ed Harrell, and it is in a good state of preservation.
Three original outbuildings with shingle roofs remain on the premises.
It is said that the date of its construction can be seen on a chimney brick.
The painting on the inside front cover of this book, by Lois Outland, is of this home.Lassiter House
The house was built in 1857 by W. S. Norwood, first mayor of Rich Square. It later became the home of Dr. and Mrs. E. W. Lassiter. The present owners are Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Conner, daughter and son in law of Dr. and Mrs. Lassiter. The house is in excellent condition.
of Rich Square
The Bank of Rich Square was founded in 1902 by Dr. W. H. S. Burgwyn (also lawyer and uncle of Judge Burgwyn) who came to to help organize financial institutions for business interest in this area.
Mr. John Thomas Bolton was the first president and served as such until his retirement. The board of directors included many of the leading businessmen and farmers in the county.
Except for a short period during the depression years, the bank has operated continuously and is the oldest in the county.
The officers and directors of the bank have put into its operation, and into the management of business, the astuteness they put into their own private affairs. As a result the bank has received the combined business energies of many of the county's leading men.
In February 1968 the bank was absorbed by Planters National Bank and Trust Company.Henry Thomas
Henry Thomas Outland, Sr.
Henry Thomas Outland Sr., born near Rich Square, N. C., February 21, 1846, was the son of William C. and Martha Copeland Outland.
He was a descendant of the Outlands, Copelands, and Peeles who settled around Rich Square and assisted in establishing the Friends meeting there in 1760.
His means of education were limited but being of a studious disposition, he embraced every opportunity for learning, especially in regard to the study of the Holy Scriptures.
As a boy he enjoyed youthful pleasures, yet he showed signs of deep, serious thoughtfulness and concern for all mankind.
During the Civil War, the President of the Southern Confederacy issued a call for two hundred thousand men to be raised by draft. Being only thirteen years old and seeing his mother and father in great distress, Henry prayed often to God to spare his father from the draft and war.
The draft took place and his father's name was placed in the draft wheel many times, yet never drawn. After the war ended Henry and his father were in Jackson on business and he heard an officer say “There is Quaker William Outland. His name was put in the draft wheel several times but never drawn. I wonder why?” Only Henry knew the answer.
He spent two years of his early life in and had many religious experiences. At age twenty-six he was recorded a minister by the Rich Square monthly meeting, where he had held membership since birth.
On October 13, 1870, he married Abigail Peele Jennett of Wayne County. They bought the E. Maggette house and lived there until their deaths. There were seven children born to this union, one died in infancy. Three sons settled in after attending a Quaker boarding school there. Two returned home and continued to live in Northampton County. The one son who remained at home to help his father with the farming bought the Aurora teacherage for his home and the school was moved and used as a barn. Both still stand but are yielding to decay.
Henry was firm yet flexible in his discipline, and was seldom known to show his temper. His neighbors esteemed him for his honesty, practical wisdom, and great strength of character.
He traveled extensively and preached to people of all faiths. Being an Apostle of Christianity, wherever he wentA Quaker Family
A Quaker Family
preaching the gospel, it was with such earnestness, simplicity, and sincerity that his followers heard him gladly. The ignorant understood and accepted his messages.
He visited the Dominion of three times and crossed the Chesapeake Bay one hundred times in service for his fellowmen.
Henry was a strong believer of education and assisted in establishing and giving land for the Quaker schools, West Union and Aurora.
Henry Sr. died Dec. 28, 1917, after three weeks of illness, having served forty-six years as a Quaker minister. Some of the sermons that he preached in Philadelphia were recorded and possibly may be found, in , and today.Mrs. Fannie
Mrs. Fannie Taliaferro Newsome
Mrs. Fannie Taliaferro Newsome was Northampton County's first Negro Home Demonstration Agent. However, in the early 1940's she was appointed Supervisor of the Northeastern District
Mrs. Newsome served as librarian for the Northampton County Negro Branch Library (later named the P. A. Bishop Library) until it was incorporated into the Northampton County Memorial Library. In the early days before the branch Library had a bookmobile, Mrs. Newsome established lending libraries in the homes of concerned citizens in each community for easy access of those who could not readily get to the library in Rich Square. With the help of other volunteers she was able to replenish and rotate the books at each station.
She is presently serving as First Vice-President of the National Federation of Negro Women's Clubs, as regional historian, and state treasurer. Mrs. Newsome was the organizer of the Rich Square Book Club (now the Rich Square Women's Club) and the Flower and Art Club. Both clubs are federated.Col. George
Col. George V. Holloman Historical Marker
Col. George V. Holloman, a pioneer in early missile research at Wright Field and Alamogordo Air Base, was born in Rich Square, September 12, 1902, and met his death in a plane crash in Formosa on March 19, 1946. He was buried at Formosa but later his body was brought to Arlington Cemetery for interment. For his achievements in aeronautic techniques and missiles, the Almogordo, New Mexico, Air Base was renamed Holloman Air Base in 1948 the year of the 41st anniversary of the U. S. Air Force. On September 27, 1951, a marker was unveiled on the main street of Rich Square a few hundred feet from his home as a tribute to his work in the air force. He was a 1925 graduate of N. C. State University, the subject of numerous magazine articles, and at his death numerous generals such as Louis H. Brereton, Carl Spaatz, and Douglas MacArthur paid homage to him.Andrew J. Conner
Andrew J. Conner (Sept. 1, 1860 — Oct. 25, 1931) of Rich Square was publisher and editor of the Patron and Gleaner, first in Lasker in 1892, and then in Rich Square in 1897. From 1899-1958, the paper was named Roanoke-Chowan Times then became The Northampton Times-News in partnership with Roy and Mayon Parker of Ahoskie, and in 1974 the Northampton News. Conner was noted as an educator, being a trustee and secretary of the board for N. C. Woman's College in Greensboro (now UNC-G). He was instrumental in hiring many Woman's College graduates to teach in Northampton. At a memorial
service held in the Rich Square High School auditorium his close friend, the Hon. Josephus Daniels, delivered the eulogy. A plaque to honor Conner was placed in the school.Dr. Paul
Dr. Paul Andrew Bishop
One of the progressive black leaders of Northampton County and the state of was Rev. Paul Andrew Bishop. He was born, raised, and lived the greater part of his life in Rich Square, N. C., and used his leadership ability for the uplifting of his people, community, and state. His education was secured from the Rich Square Institution, Roanoke Institute, and Virginia Union University culminating in an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Shaw University.
His religious, educational, and civic contributions were many. In the religious area, he pastored the following rural churches in and around Northampton County initiating the building of a brick structure at all five of them during his pastorate. The churches mentioned are The First Baptist Church in Rich Square, 41 years; Zoar Baptist Church in Pendleton, 35 years; Second Baptist Church in Potecasi, 35 years; Sandy Branch Church in Roxobel, 41 years; and New Haven Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, 30 years. He broadened their religious programs and budgets considerably.
His other religious affiliations were President: General Baptist State Convention for 18 years; President: Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention for 2 years; First Vice-President: National Baptist Association; and Historian of the West-Roanoke Association.
In the educational field, Rev. Bishop was Principal of Roxobel Graded School for 22 years, Chairman of Trustee Board of Shaw University, and a member of the Board of Directors of Oxford Orphanage. He was the initiator in establishing the first Negro library in Northampton county in 1951, securing a bookmobile in 1953. The county honored him in 1959 by changing the library's name from “Negro Branch Library” to “P. A. B., Sr., Library.” After 19 years the library was consolidated with the present “Northampton Memorial Library.”
As a civic leader, Rev Bishop was the Endowment Secretary of one of the oldest fraternal organizations in the state of , named the “Order of Love and Charity.” He was also Special Deputy Grand Master of Masons. He organized the Northampton Branch of the N.A.A.C.P. He was appointed by Governor Hodges as a member of the “ Citizens Committee for Better Schools”. He was also instrumental in obtaining jobs for blacks in the Northampton Branch of the “Fruit of the Loom Factory” and other businesses.
His executive leadership shows in the following civic contributions, namely organizer of the L. and C. Casket Company, the G. and B. Dry Goods Company, the Bishop Burial Association, the Roanoke-Chowan Credit Union, and was one of the original stockholders of the Ahoskie Fair Association.
In paying tribute to the successful life of Rev. Paul Andrew Bishop, we honor a Northampton County citizen of rare ability and unselfish service.John Thomas Bolton
John Thomas Bolton, a native of Rich Square, was born in 1862. He was the son of Thomas and Maltilda Pledger Bolton. In 1902 he was the first President of the Bank of Rich Square. He served four years on the town Council of Rich Square and was elected County Commissioner and served on the board for thirty-two years. He was a member of the school board. John was prominent in all public movements and civic affairs. He was interested in education and contributed greatly to his church, community, and country. He was also a large farm owner.Mrs. Janet
Mrs. Janet Baugham Brown
Mrs. Janet Baugham Brown, a native of Rich Square, was born on July 13, 1900. She was the daughter of John and Annie Smallwood Baugham. She attended Rich Square School. Littleton Female College, and Greensboro College.
Janet was the wife of Dr. William Brown and the mother of Ronald W. Brown.
She was the first woman from Rich Square to be appointed an official of Northampton County. She served 15 years as case worker for the Welfare Department and 20 years as the Director of Social Services.
Through her efforts many new programs and avenues were opened in the field of social service.
Her devotion and contribution to her family, church, community, and county made her an outstanding person.W. S. Creecy and
W. S. Creecy School
W. S. Creecy School
W. S. Creecy
The W. S. Creecy School was organized in 1899. It grew out of the consolidation of the Rich Square School and the Willow Oak School. The Rich Square School was located just east of the railroad track at the present location of the First Baptist Church and was conducted by Mr. G. G. Maggett. The Willow Oak School was located about one-fourth mile from the location of the present school. About one hundred pupils attended. Inadequate seating made it necessary for some of the pupils to remain outdoors at all times, thus making it difficult for passers-by to determine recess time.
It is interesting to note that the first consolidated school was the result of a misunderstanding. Funds that had been raised to construct a high school at Jackson were mistakenly turned over to the Rich Square community and were used to construct a two room building where the football field is presently located. Later two upstairs rooms were added. Professor L. Sessons, the first recognized principal, named the school, the Rich Square Academy.
During the administration of the fourth principal, Mr. W. H. Morris, a girls’ dormitory was built in 1903. Mr. Thaddeous Langford built the dormitory and the first benches used in the school. Lindsey Hill was the first and only graduate in 1903.
The school was expanded during the administration of the sixth principal, Mr. William Spencer Creecy, Sr. with a larger school building in 1913, a boys’ dormitory, dining hall, and principal's home. Mr. Creecy also changed the name of the school to Rich Square Institute in 1913. Other improvements during his administration were an eleven room brick high school with a large auditorium (seating capacity for five hundred) erected in 1931; an eight room brick elementary building in 1934; and an eleven room brick teacherage in 1940.
Mr. Creecy's administration also helped bring about academic expansions as well. He began the first school library in 1927, in one of the classrooms. Miss Viola Taylor (Mrs. P. A. Bishop, Sr.) was the first librarian. A trade department was added. He also purchased a private bus for the transportation of students.
In honor of Mr. Creecy's many years of service to the community, the state department changed the name of the school to W. S. Creecy School in 1938. The same year the first county school bus was given to the school.
At the death of Professor W. S. Creecy, Sr., March 10, 1940, his oldest son Mr. W. S. Creecy, Jr., was made principal and remains the principal to the present time.
Under the leadership of Mr. W. S. Creecy, Jr., the school continued to grow. The elementary school was standardized, neighboring smaller schools were consolidated into the school, and an agricultural building and a gymnasium were erected. A modern high school building was built in 1955 to replace the one destroyed by fire.The Roberts Brothers
Three brothers, sons of Watkins and Maretha Roberts, became outstanding black citizens during the 1800's. In 1883 Watkins, Jr., became one of the first commissioners of Rich Square when it was incorporated. Exum E. Roberts owned a store in Rich Square and was elected Registrar of Deeds of Northampton County in 1886. Winfred was
appointed the first black postmaster of Rich Square in 1886. Roberts Street in Rich Square is named for these three brothers.Doctors in the
Rich Square Area
1. Dr. William Cathcart, 1732
2. Dr. Windfield S. Copeland, Before 1850
First Doctor's Office in Rich Square
3. Dr. C. G. C. Moore, 1850
4. Dr. Weaver
5. Dr. R. Baugham
6. Dr. M. Bolton
7. Dr. W. E. Lassiter, 1907-1918
8. Dr. Q. H. Cooke, 1919-1940
9. Dr. J. C. Vaughan, 1919-1945
10. Dr. R. B. Outland, Sr., 1936-
11. Dr. B. E. Stephenson, 1945-Black Doctors
in Rich Square
Dr. J. M. Pope
Dr. H. A. Parrish
Dr. Genora Lassiter (woman)
Dr. Lawrence H. WynnDr. Samuel Peete
Dr. Samuel Peete came from to the county in the 1730's. With the exception of a few years in . , he remained in the county until 1767 when he went to Philadelphia. From there he returned to in 1775 to sell some property and to buy medicine. Then the Revolutionary War broke out. Dr. Peete started back to on a French ship, but was captured and taken back to . In 1778 he got permission from King George to travel to Northampton.
Dr. William Cathcart
and his House
Dr. William Cathcart, who studied at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, came to Northampton in 1732. Decribed as “accomplished and attractive”, he married Penelope Maule, daughter of William Maule, a large land owner, a surveyor, a justice, and a high sheriff. William Maule is said to have built the frame portion of the Duke-Lawrence house in Eagletown in 1716. Maule died, leaving the house to his daughter who married Cathcart. In 1749 Cathcart sold the house to John Duke who added the exterior of brick imported from . Duke willed it to a daughter who married John Lawrence. Subsequently, the house became the property of Amos R. Peele in 1847, of Elias Elliott in 1851, of Troy D. Shoulars in 1890, of Ronald Chappell in 1928, of Dr. Q. H. Cooke, Sr., in 1937, who willed it to his son Dr. Cook, Jr., whose heirs presented it to the Murfreesboro Historical Commission in 1974.Rich Square
Rich Square Drug Company was the first store in the county with a prescription department over which a registered pharmacist had charge. Mr. James Cener Bolton, the first registered pharmacist, was a native of Rich Square. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He opened the store for business in
James Cener Bolton
1904 and rendered a service that was distinctly a credit to the town.
Mr. Bolton was a progressive, public-spirited citizen who believed in progress and contributed much toward the upbuilding of the county.Rich Square Business Men, Early 1900's
Rich Square Business Men, Early 1900's
Front row 1-John Shoulars
Back row 1-Gurney Leake
3-Dr. M. Bolton
6-A. Jackson Conner
Rich Square Gin Company
After the Civil War there was a cotton gin, operated by horses and owned by Mr. J. H. Burgess and a Mr. Heaton. These men were from and were called “carpetbaggers” by the local people. The gin was located where the Creecy School now stands. There was also a horsedrawn gin, on the Aulander Road, owned by Mr. W. M. Norwood. In 1883 there was a cotton gin, known as the Bingham Gin, located where the Flat Iron building now stands.
Around the turn of the century Mr. Andrew J. Conner owned and operated a cotton gin, grist mill, and sawmill, run by steam and located near the depot and adjacent to the railroad track. Later this operation was run by electricity from a local electric plant, also owned by Mr. Conner.
After Mr. Conner's death in 1931, the gin was sold to Mr. N. L. Stedman, Mr. Fletcher Gregory, and Mr. R. W. Outland, Mr. Outland was manager of the gin. After Mr. Stedman's death in 1942, Mr. Outland bought his interest in the cotton gin and in 1946, Dr. R. B. Outland, Sr., bought out Mr. Gregory's interest.
The present gin was built in 1965 on the same site and is owned by Dr. R. B. Outland, Sr., Dr. R. B. Outland, Jr. and Mr. James O. Outland, Mr. James O. Outland is the manager.Rich Square Furniture
Handmade chest made in 1840 by H. Lassiter. Great uncle of Mrs. Russell Leake.
Table made by Joab Jinnett 1833 — Great grandfather of E. Frank Outland
Rich Square Map homes and businesses
Rich Square, N. C.
—Pictured above is one share of stock in the Rich Square High School as issued in 1894. The share, sold for $5.00, was issued to James Outland, who was the father of R. W. Outland of Rich Square. Shares of stock were sold to finance the building of the school. Dr. R. B. Outland, grandson of the late James Outland, has the original share in his possession.]
The area of Northampton County, east of Rich Square and extending to the Hertford County line, was settled early in the 1700's. It was on the main traveled road between Rich Square and Winton and was settled mainly by Quakers who were farmers migrating into the area from northeastern and southeastern . Area residents sometimes referred to the community as Quaker Road. Family names of some of the early settlers were Jenkins, Britton, Parker, Dunning, Elliott, Copeland, Outland, Ward and Brown.
Around 1887, the community acquired the name of Eagletown, the origin of the name is unknown. When railroad service was opened into Rich Square in 1887, application was made and commission was granted for operation of a post office called Eagletown at the J. T. Elliott General Store. Mail was brought from Rich Square to the post office for distribution to residents of the community. It operated until 1906 when mail began to be delivered by Star Route and a postal station was set up two miles east at Annetta, later known as Minton's Store. This station served until 1914 when RFD took over postal delivery from Rich Square.
Early residents of the area obtained their supplies by river transportation to Winton or Murfreesboro until the railroad was extended to Rich Square. Small general stores were opened to make supplies more easily available to the area residents. One of the earliest stores was opened by William C. Outland before 1870. A store was opened in 1880 by J. T. Elliott, who also operated a sawmill and cotton gin. Other stores in the community were operated by Jordan Smith and Mag Bryant, whose husband Wiley, ran a blacksmith shop. Walter Outland operated a store whichHighway 305, North Carolina,
Eagletown — J. T. Elliott Store — Residence and family of
James Thomas and Roena Elliott
was later moved and operated by Roy Joyner. The last store to be operated in Eagletown was by J. B. Edwards.
General Cornwallis, on his march to Yorktown, came through Eagletown and camped on property now owned by descendants of Thomas P. Elliott. The oak tree under which he camped was known as the Cornwallis Tree. A cannon ball left on the property is now owned by Mrs. Harold Keefer.
In 1904 J. T. Elliott began to observe, record, and report weather conditions for the area to the U. S. Weather Bureau as a “cooperative weather observer.” Rainfall records are still kept by members of his family.
The Friends Meeting at Rich Square split in 1904 and the Progressive Friends bought a lot from W. A. Ward and built a meeting house in 1905. It continued to serve as a Progressive Friends Meeting until 1951 when it was “laid down” (closed). The church was located on the present site of the Grace Baptist Church.
The early property owners built well constructed homes and some of them still exist today. Several homes or interior parts of homes were moved and used by the Williamsburg, Va., restoration. The Maggette house built in 1730 and at one time home of Henry T. Outland, Sr., was dismantled and moved to Richmond, Virginia, about 1930 and restored as a part of the Historical Restoration Project at the Country Club of Richmond. The brick for the house was imported from and hauled to the site from Norfolk by an ox cart. One brick from the house dated 1730 is now in the Quaker Corner at the Museum in Raleigh.Duke - Lawrence House
The Duke-Lawrence House, 2 miles east of Rich Square on the Aulander-Rich Square highway, is of Georgian design, built of Flemish bond brick with glazed headers and of clapboard, and is of “T” shape with six large rooms.
The oldest section of frame is thought to have been built by William Maule in 1716. The section of 1½ stories with a brick end, interior end-chimneys, and blind end walls was built about 1750 by John Duke. The newer or later section with 3 floors including a full basement corresponds architecturally to the original section but all three sides are of brick mortised by oyster shells. The 3-story section originally had a stairway enclosed in the chimney recess that connected the three floors. The roof form and corresponding elevation of the newer section is a unique feature of 18th century architecture. It is thought that the newer section was built in the 1770's as John Lawrence, the owner then, was married in 1768 and had eleven children. It is supposed he needed additional rooms. John Lawrence married the daughter of John Duke and she inherited the house. Also unique is the fact that the house is of the split-level design. Called a “3 bay” house, it has arched windows and doorways.
Originally the house had a porch which faced south, on the old Cornwallis Road, which no longer exists. At present, the rear is seen from the highway. The structure is about 500 feet off the road. The old cemetery is to the present rear of the house. All compound buildings have been destroyed.
The original interior paneled woodwork has been removed and is now a part of a Georgian residence which is a part of the Willow Oaks Club in Richmond, Virginia. A walnut cabinet, the pine flooring, doors, and the fireplaces — all in a good state of preservation — were sold in 1937 and placed in a Georgian brick house which is the focal center of the Richmond club house.
John Lawrence, who came into possession of the property after John Duke's death in 1787 (date his 1783 will was recorded), was a descendant of Thomas Lawrence, baronet and merchant of London. John Lawrence came into the Eagletown community by 1757 from Isle of Wight County, Virginia. The Duke-Lawrence land holdings have been estimated to be about 6,000 acres, which in time have been sold and resold in small portions. It was retained by the Lawrence family until 1847, when it was owned briefly by Amos R. Peele who in turn sold it in (1851) to Elias Elliot of Chowan County. The Elliot's daughter, Mrs. Lee Shoulars heired it. The house itself and a small acreage was sold to R. A. Chappell in 1928, and he sold it to Dr. Q. H. Cooke in 1937. Chappell sold the interior the same year (1937) to the Richmond club. Dr. Q. E. Cooke of Murfreesboro is the present owner. The exterior is still in a good state of preservation.
Manning Cooke of Rich Square, son of the late Dr. Q. H. Cooke, in a brochure on Rich Square, states that the frame portion of the structure was built in 1716 by William Maule, Esquire, who was granted a patent for the land. He died leaving one daughter who married William Cathcart, who in 1749 sold it to John Duke, who added the exterior of brick imported from and the interior of hewed virgin heart-pine. He bequeathed it to his daughter who married John Lawrence.
The house is variedly referred to as the “Brick House”, the “Elliot House” and the “Shoulars House”. It is, according to legend, said to be haunted.Copeland House
The Henry Copeland House, about two miles east of Rich Square on the Aulander-Rich Square highway, was built in the 1850's. It is said that the date, 1857 was on a chimney. Henry Copeland moved to the county from Chowan County in 1843. In 1842, he purchased from John Lawrence 218 acres of land on which he built his house. In 1859, he purchased 218 additional acres.
The one and one-half story English manor cottage was built of clapboard, with two outside chimneys, and a partial basement. It was said to contain a secret stairway to the basement. Copeland was a Quaker, and the story is that the secret passageway was used to protect slaves who sought their freedom.
The roof of the house extended over the porch, which was typical of the Edenton area.
A hall extended through the center of the house, two rooms being on each side of the hall on the first floor.
No structural changes were made in the house.
The last owner was Will Boone. The house burned in 1975.Lucy E. Hollowell
L. E. Hollowell
Lucy E. Hollowell is best remembered for her work in education and geneological research and writing.
Born Lucy Hines Elliott on January 9, 1895, at Eagletown, N. C., she was the daughter of James Thomas and Roena Howell Elliott. She attended Aurora Academy and Rich Square High School, graduating in 1912. She entered Chowan College in the fall of 1912 and received her degree in Education in the spring of 1914. She furthered her education by attending summer school at East Carolina in Greenville, N. C. State at Raleigh, and Woman's College at Greensboro, N. C.
She began teaching in 1914 at Jackson, N. C. and went on to become principal of Webb School in Orange County, Old Trap School in Camden County, Hobgood School in Halifax County, Smith's Chapel School in Eureka, and Woodland Graded School in Wayne County.
In 1925, Lucy married John Franklin Hollowell of the Genoa Station near Goldsboro, N. C. After his death in 1933, she returned with her three small sons — John, Edward, and Hugh to Eagletown to live on the farm.
She returned to teaching in 1943 and taught in Northampton and Bertie Counties until 1953. Again in 1962 and 1963, she was called upon to teach French, Chemistry, and Physics at the Rich Square High School. One of her greatest pleasures was in giving special instruction to students in various school subjects, and she was often called upon for help.
Upon retiring from teaching full-time, she turned to one of her life-long interests — the tracing of family histories, or genealogy. She compiled and printed not only the history of the Hollowell Family and the Elliott Family, but also did much research to compile or help compile histories of the Outlands, Peeles, Edwards, and others. She assisted in writing a history of the Cedar Grove Meeting at Woodland for use in the observance of their bicentennial in 1960. Her final work was the book The Descendants of Dr. Samuel Brown, which includes historical data on the formation of Northampton County.
She died, after a brief illness on June 22, 1972.
Schools in Eagletown
Since most of the residents of the community were Quakers and they desired educational opportunities for their children, they organized subscription type schools in the area. As most children had to walk to school, the buildings were placed to serve small areas and were one or two teacher units.
Around 1800 Union school was built on land purchased for seven dollars. It was a one room log and clay building with a fireplace and log benches. In 1850 this school was replaced with a larger frame building known as West Union. Its trustees were Elias Elliott, John Peele, and Henry Copeland.
A few years later a private school was built and opened on a site a few hundred yards west of the West Union School and was named Aurora Academy. This school had both elementary and high school students. A teacherage was built a short distance behind the school where teachers and boarding students lived. Aurora operated until 1907.
Mount Olive school, located about two miles east of West Union, was built and opened in 1891 as a one teacher
Mt. Olive School
Last West Union School
school, operated by the county school system.
West Union school was closed when Aurora Academy opened, but when the Quakers had their separation in the meeting in 1904, West Union reopened and the building was moved a little to the west, and another room was added. In 1915 this school consolidated with Mount Olive and the building was moved again one mile east to land purchased from Elwood Copeland. It operated with two teachers and continued to be called West Union. It was closed in 1925 when the public schools were consolidated, and the pupils were transferred to Rich Square.
After the formation of Northampton County in 1741, settlers moved down from and purchased land for farming and raising cattle.
Some of the names, appearing on records of people who settled in the area northwest of Rich Square, later known as Bryantown, were Baugham, Spivey, Pledger, Capehart, Smallwood, Bolton, Holloman, Boyce, Bryan, Peele, Newsome, Teneal, Cotten, and Leakes.
A stagecoach route ran from across the Nottoway and Meherrin Rivers into Northampton and to Bryantown where travelers rested at the tavern before crossing Pollocks Ferry and going to Calidonia and Halifax. Many a thirst was quenched in the tavern.
There was a general store and a school located in the area in the early 1800's. Records have not been found to determine the origin of the name, however it is believed to have been named for a family of Bryans who were among the early settlers in the area.
The fertile farm lands on and near the Roanoke River made farming quite profitable.
As other areas developed many of these families moved to other parts of the county, however some of the land is still owned by decendants of the early settlers and one of the large plantations bears its original name, Montrose.Peele House
The Peele House is located about three miles west of Rich Square, on Bryantown Road. It was probably built before 1792. The house and 495 acres of land were bought in 1817 by James Peele from Jethro Bass Jr. At any rate it is likely the house was built in the very late 1700's or very early 1800's.
Built of clapboard, painted white, the large two-story, eleven room house with a left wing is in very good condition. It has the original clear-glass window panes, simple wainscoting, some marbelized mantles, pine floors, and a porch which extends almost the length of the house. It was built without any room moldings. On the first floor are two sets of double-swinging doors, and a similar door leads to the large attic. The house has a partial basement. Six rooms are on the first floor, and five are on the second. The hall runs through the center of the first floor. From it a stairway to the second floor divides at a landing, one section going to the rooms on the right, and the other to the rooms on the left. In each room is a fireplace. There are four outside chimneys on the main portion and one for the wing. On the grounds are aged oaks and one original outbuilding, a milkhouse to the left of the left wing.
The only change in the structure has been the removal of a rear room and a back porch. The double door to these remains.
The present owner is Dr. Julian Edwards, Rich Square.
The Peeles were Quakers, and it is said the house was a favorite of visiting Quakers who came for the annual Yearly Meetings in August.
Briant-Lassiter House 1763
Lassiter Hill begins at what is known as “Roxobel Fork,” which turns left off highway No. 258 two miles out of Rich Square towards Scotland Neck. This road, ascending a rather high hill, was the horse and buggy trail which passed the Leake-Lassiter Plantation, a part of the Briant Lassiter Plantation. The house on the right as you turn on the same road was known as the Joe Lassiter House which stands today in a state of disrepair. Joe was the son of Briant Lassiter and the brother of Olivia Lassiter Leake and father of Robert “Bob” Lassiter, one time barber in Rich Square.
Later, Jake Lassiter, a brother of Joe and the father of Penelope “Nell” Huggins, wife of Edgar Huggins, who was in Hardware Business in Rich Square, lived there.
James Randolph Leake, husband of Olivia Lassiter Leake, operated a mercantile business on his plantation, and was widely known for his hospitality. He also operated a cotton gin, a grist mill and a sawmill along with farming. James Randolph, better known as Uncle Randal, served in the cavalry during the Civil War and lost his mustache in a scuffle, due to a powder burn.
Walter Gurney, the youngest son of James Randolph Leake, remained at the home until his father's death. This son had married Theresa Evelyn Smith, daughter of Jordan and Harriet Outland Smith from Eagletown.
In 1907, this family, including the elderly, widowed mother moved to a new home on Bryantown Road in Rich Square. The farm remained under his supervision even though he became a business associate in the grocery store of Baugham & Leake.
The Briant Lassiter house was build in 1763 of unplaned
Leake Family House
weatherboard and has never been painted. It is located about one mile off the Roxobel Road. It is in a fair state of preservation, belongs to Robert Vann, and is used as a private club. Robert Vann has a brick taken from the old house with the date, 1763, inscribed thereon. Many residents living in Rich Square today are descendants of the Lassiter-Leake family.First Boy Scout Troop in Northampton County
Troop No. 1, Boy Scouts of America in Rich Square, Northampton County, North Carolina, during 1913-1914. Organized in America, 1910. R. S. Proctor, Scoutmaster; C. C. Hunter, Assistant S. M.
|Mason Baugham||Everette M. Leake|
|Robert Baugham||Troy Liverman|
|Wilton Benthall||Woddley Merritt|
|Edward Boone||Allen Shoulars|
|Vernon Draper||Donald Vann|
|J. Everett Hunter||J. Buxton Weaver|
Lasker was settled about 1850 under the name of “Alto.” There is some doubt as to just how the name was changed. Some say that it was changed to Lasker for Hesekiah Lasker, conductor on the S. A. L. railroad. But, the most widely accepted story is that the “Las” was taken from the name Lassiter and the “ker” from the name Parker, both families being quite prominent in the town, and joined together to form the present name of Lasker. The township was incorporated in 1895, as verified by the original charter and seal now in possession of the town clerk, Millard Lassiter, and is now the smallest incorporated town in the county.
The E. S. Bowers notes state, “The people of Lasker must have come straight from and settled there.” It is said that, “they used many expressions of ‘Elizabethan English’ as ‘kine’ for cows. When trading at Mr. Bower's store in Jackson they used ‘sixpence’ and ‘tuppence’.” They were artisans and noted for their tubs, bread trays and other articles of wood. Around 1890 there was a craftsman in Lasker called “Bread Tray Britton.”
Lasker at one time was the epitome of the shopping world in this part of the county. The J. J. Parker Store, it is said, had everything a person would want or need including a much prided Millinery Department where a lady could choose a basic hat and also choose the accessories with which it was to be decorated. The hat would be fixed while she waited or did some other shopping in another department. There were also other general stores, the Bank of Lasker, a Junior Order Lodge Hall, a lumber mill, a resident doctor and drugstore, a cotton gin, and a public school. Between 1892 and 1896 other businesses included: Books, Conner and Vaughan; General Merchandise, Conner and Vaughan, Vaughan and Britton and J. J. Parker; Photographer, Benjamin F. Britton; Millinery, Mrs. J. H. Spivey; Fresh Beef, J. H. Lane; Horses and Mules, J. W. Parker, Parker and Draper; Corned Herring, C. E. Davis; International Savings, Loan and Building Institute, P. T. Hicks, agent; Mutual Beneficial Association of Richmond, Va. (loans), C. E. Davis. The last store to close was that run by the heirs of Eugene Lassiter. It closed July 1, 1974.
Doctors to serve Lasker were: Dr. Moorehead, Dr. L. E. McDaniel, Dr. McNider, Dr. Whims, Dr. Liverman, Dr. W. E. Futrell, and Dr. J. A. Fleetwood, Sr.Lasker Graded School
Lasker Graded School
The public school was known as the Lasker Graded School, (1885?-1944) and at one time was the largest in the county, with grades one through eleven available. Northeast Academy stands on this site now.
The forerunner of the Northampton News, the Patron and Gleaner, had its beginning in Lasker from 1892 to 1899. It was published by Mr. Andrew J. Conner in the back section of the house that is now the home of Mrs. Ethel Bridgers Smith.
Roanoke Baptist Church located between Lasker and Rehobeth was organized in 1885 and disbanded at the end of 1930. Lasker Methodist Church was organized in 1909 and was a part of the Northampton Charge until the church disbanded in 1966. The Lasker Baptist Church was organized on March 28, 1906, because it was felt that “a Baptist church was needed in the town.” It occupies its second building on the same site, and the wood for the present building came from trees cut from the church lot
J. J. Parker's Store
and also from trees donated by members. The exact year of the organization of New Hope United Methodist Church is not known, but records do indicate that the first building for worship was a log structure. Located just outside the town limits, this church occupied the third building on the same site. This building, begun in 1872 and completed in 1874, is now a part of the present sanctuary. Rehoboth United Methodist Church, originally called Rehoboth Chapel, occupies its second building on the same site on land purchased from Eliphas Lewis, August 28, 1798 for one pound sterling. It is the second oldest Methodist church in the county.
Lasker's post office was commissioned in 1884 and during these 91 years has had only six postmasters.
Home Demonstration Club Progress has always been important to the ladies of Lasker and to those in other surrounding communities. It began with work centered around what was called the Tomato Club.
Lasker is surrounded by many communities such as Rehoboth, Penhook, Dusty Hill, and Daughtry's Crossroads.
Old Lasker Methodist Church
Old Lasker Baptist Church
Old Lasker Methodist Church
Old Lasker Baptist Church
An Example of a Typical
Small Planter's Homestead
The acreage was approximately 500. The house was a story-and-a-half plain federal design. The entire farm compound was at the planter's doorstep.
One entered the house into a large sitting room with an enclosed stairway in one corner. To the right was a bedroom. The doors were flat paneled with H and L hinges and both rooms had flat-paneled wainscoting. The entire second story was one room used by the girls in the family. A door to the right of the bedroom led outside to the kitchen. Behind the kitchen was a dirt-floored smokehouse, pegged and dovetailed and of rough boards approximately eight inches by three inches.
This main house complex stood on a low rise at the end of a cedar lined lane. Along the main road in front of the house ran a rail fence and a plank board gate. Two catalpa trees shaded each side of the gate.
Going up the lane a twenty foot square log barn, with a lean-to shed on either side, stood to the left. Across from this to the right, was a log, two story stable with a slab roof. The ground portion was open in the center with stalls on either side. A loft covered the entire upper frame. Further up the lane on the left stood two offices. One was used as the living quarters for the sons, the other's use is uncertain.
To the right of the house, on the other side of the kitchen, was the barnyard. The cemetery was located behind this. The graves faced east with the servants buried in the front half and the family buried in the back half. It was marked by a cedar tree and grave houses.
In front of the cemetery were located three servant's quarters, at least two of which were log. In 1860 there were seventeen slaves. In front of these and to the right was a second barn. This was the main storage barn and buggy house.
Cotton fields ran behind this entire complex. Corn fields framed the right side.
Directly across the road from the gate was a log brandy house. Apple orchards and grape vines were located to the left of the lane. The apple orchard could turn out about eight barrels of cidar a day in the fall.
This example of a small planter's homestead, in fact, belonged to Jeremiah Daughtry (1810?-1892), magistrate and son of an early Northampton County school teacher. The descriptions and drawing are factual and a number of the buildings are still standing. The house now belongs to Mrs. Retha Bridgers Flythe and is located at Daughtry's Crossroads, one mile north of Lasker.Daughtry - Bridgers Smokehouse
Daughtry-Bridgers Smokehouse (circa 1800)
Rehoboth, from Mrs. E. S. Bowers’ notes made in 1950
Rehoboth was a thriving community at one time. Mr. Scull had a good mercantile establishment there. People from Jackson patronized this store as they did Mrs. H. R. Deloatche's millinery shop. The heart of the community was old Rehoboth church.Rehoboth Methodist Church
Rehoboth Methodist Church is the second church to occupy the same site on land purchased from Eliphas Lewis, August 28, 1798.
The original church, erected in 1797, was a mere box-like structure without plaster or paint. Bishop Asbury in his journal reports on his four visits to the Chapel — his visits were in the late 1700's and early 1800's.
The 1798 structure was removed in 1857 when the present one was erected. The present building had a slave gallery which was removed in 1908, when other improvements were made.
In 1934 a six-room educational building was added to the present one, which is constructed of wood and painted white.
Rehoboth was the second organized Methodist church in the county. It was organized by Richard Whitaker, a deacon ordained by the Methodist Bishop Asbury, in 1798.
Woodland-George was settled from 1750-1790 almost exclusively by Quakers (Friends). The Quakers came from Albemarle County, North Carolina, and southeastern . The two villages, about one mile apart, have been united through the culture and influence of the Quakers.
Woodland was known as Harrell's Cross Roads in 1800, being named for the Harrell family that lived on the corner of the road leading to Potecasi. They maintained mercantile establishments there until the beginning of the 20th century. The village was called Woodland when it was incorporated in 1884. George received its name when the Seaboard railroad was built in 1887-1888 and was named in honor of George Harrison Parker who gave the land for the depot.
View of Main Street About 1921. Photo by Marie G. McLean
Old Woodland School, Built in 1880's. Used Until 1917. Postal photo by Susie Minton 1909. Alpine Theatre 1922-1929.
From a strictly agricultural community the two villages have grown to become the industrial center of the county, with over 500 workers employed in its six major factories alone. They are Woodland Manufacturing Company, caskets, organized in 1895; J. M. Brown & Son, baskets, 1913; Parker Manufacturing Company, caskets, 1932; Tar Heel Casket Company begun after World War II, reorganized in 1967; Talon Zipper Company, 1953, and Daber Shirt Company, 1972. Industrial growth has been augumented by the strong Farmers Bank, begun in 1906, which merged with the North Carolina National Bank, July 1973.
Complementing industry and the bank, other growth signs have been its school system. Early schools were the Quaker Outland School, 1867; the Woodland Grange School, by 1880; an academy for young ladies, 1890; and the merging of the Quaker Olney and the Woodland public school, 1917. A survey about a decade ago showed that 75 percent of the adults had attended college.
Further complements are a National Guard Armory built in 1961, a community building and center built in the 1930's, a fire and rescue department begun in 1940, active men's and women's civic clubs, the Quaker House Restaurant, a variety of mercantile shops, two peanut drying warehouses, a sausage plant, and other small businesses, plus the tri-county airport three miles south.
The two villages pride themselves on their neat, well-kept homes. The oldest home in Woodland is that of Judson Carter, known as the Outland house, built in 1792.
In 1971, Woodland received from Governor Robert Scott an award as a community making progress as a prerequisite to industrial development. Since then a water line to George has been completed, a $50,000 addition to
N. G. Armory, Built in 1961 in Woodland
the zipper factory has been added, a housing development and zoning plan have been proposed, and two plots have been purchased for perpetual care cemeteries.
Woodland is said to have had the first graded school and the first brick store (that of Ezra G. Griffin) in the county.
Outstanding men who have contributed to the civic, business, and religious life of the community have been J. Guerney Parker, J. M. Brown, E. L. Timberlake, Julian Parker, R. W. Blanchard, Dr. W. R. Parker, Dr. C. G. Parker, E. G. Griffin, C. J. Vaughan, R. C. Benthall, L. C. Copeland, J. H. Liverman, S. R. Motzno, Dr. J. L. Outland, John B. Griffin, W. H. S. Burgwyn, Sr., W. H. S. Burgwyn, Jr., Irvin Blanchard, Sr., C. H. Griffin, R. M. Griffin, John Outland, Dr. John Stanley, and Tom Daughtry.Peele-Outland-Carter House
THE PEELE-OUTLAND-CARTER HOUSE in Woodland was built in 1792, the date being on a chimney brick now in the possession of Mrs. Pauline Outland Holloman of Woodland. She is the daughter of the late Dr. J. L. Outland, one of the owners of the house.
The six-room structure of weatherboard is made of hand-hewn timber put together by nails made by a blacksmith. The framing is made from big logs squared by broad axe, and studded by ripsaw. The 14-inch sills were also squared by broad axe, mortared, and fastened with white oak pegs. The front porch is of 16-inch feather edge weatherboarding. Some of the original H-hinges are still in use. The paneled doors are put together with oak pegs.
Four of the six rooms belong to the original house. The two upstairs rooms are reached by the original stairs. The original cypress shingle roof has been replaced.
The house was probably built by John Peele, Sr., (deceased 1804) and given to his son John Peele, Jr., who sold it to Jacob Jordan in 1834. Jordan deeded it in 1838 to Isaac O. Outland, who deeded it in 1887 to John L. Pruden, who deeded it to Dr. John Lewter Outland in 1891. Isaac Carter purchased it in 1905. Today it is owned and occupied by Judson Carter, youngest son of Isaac Carter, and his wife Margaret Aman Carter.Abraham Joyner House
Abraham Joyner House
THE ABRAHAM JOYNER HOUSE near Woodland, built 1800-1810, in a small farm home located about 500 feet from the Woodland-Aulander highway and is about 1½ miles south of Woodland.
It is a one and one-half story weatherboard home, now in a poor state of preservation. It has two outside chimneys, one to the south, and one at the center rear. The windows are small. It has never been changed structurally, and originally was painted brown with white trim. It has no cellar or basement.
It has five rooms on the main floor. The entrance hall at the right end extends the width of the house and contains a fireplace and a short stairway to the attic over the room. This room may have been used as a kitchen. The main and largest entrance door is to the left of the entrance hall. If there was a stoop at this entrance, it has been removed. The main room contains a fireplace, and a stairway to a second floor room above it. To the left of the main room are three small rooms.
The present owner is Roger McDaniel. After Abraham Joyner's death in 1850, the house was owned by his daughter's husband, a Futrell, and his heirs. Abraham Joyner's daughter died shortly after she inherited the property.Cedar Grove Meeting House, Woodland, N.C.
CEDAR GROVE MEETING HOUSE of the Friends Society was erected in 1868 in the town of Woodland on land given by Cornelius Outland.
Simple, in the New England style, it is a white structure, originally of one room. Two wings and green blinds were added in 1965, the south wing being a library and repository of records, dating back to 1715, the date that the parent meeting-house body of Rich Square met in its first meeting house then under construction. Also, in 1965, a single entrance of double-doors replaced the previous two double-door entrance.
On the original grounds were a well house, a shelter for
Cedar Grove Friends Meeting House. Built in 1868. Right
and Left Wings Added in 1965.
horses and carriages, and to the south, a school, known as Outland School for Friends. The well house still stands.
Surrounding the Meeting House is a grove of cedars and oaks, probably planted in the beginning days of the Society. To the left of the main structure is a small separate structure used for meeting house functions such as the preparation and serving of meals, and the latticed well-house, which presumably once covered a spring, as many underground springs are found in Woodland.
The interior is simple but comfortable, all pews have velvet cushions. At the center front, elevated pews for the elders called “facing benches”, face the congregation. To the right and left of the elevated pews are other pews which face the elevated center ones.
The church records, dating back to 1751, have been placed on micro-film.Harrell-Benthall-Whisnant House
Harrell-Benthall-Whisnant House, Late 18th Century or Early 19th Century.
A Group of Woodland Natives Line Up After a Fox Hunt on Main Street About 1900. Indentified are Mary Spivey, Godwin Spivey, C. J. Vaughan, Luther Carter, Josie Griffin, Ed Vick.
The Alpine Theatre
The Alpine Theatre as it Now Appears.
THE ALPINE THEATER, the first motion picture theater in Northampton, opened in Woodland in 1922 in the old Woodland school building. It was opened by Charlie Gould of . Gould ran into debt and W. Magnus Joyner of Woodland, owner of the building, took over its operation in the fall of 1923 and managed it until 1929, when talking movies became the vogue. In 1925 Joyner opened a theater in Rich Square which he sold to Charlie Myers in 1928. Eventually theaters were opened in Conway, Jackson, and Gaston. Today Gaston is the only town in the county with a movie theater. At the Alpine in the days of the silent movie, the pictures were chiefly of comedy and the Wild West and were shown only on Saturday nights except for “specials” shown on certain Friday and Saturday nights. Music was provided by a self-player piano.
Some of the favorite tunes were “Under the Double Eagle”. “El Capitan” and “Red Wing.” Admission was 20 and 35 cents (free for anyone 14 years and under).
The Farmers Bank
The C. J. Vaughan Store, Woodland's Oldest When Torn Down in 1950.
In the fall of 1905, John B. Griffin called together a small group of men to discuss the organization of a bank in Woodland. In December of the same year, the group met again with Griffin acting as chairman and Noah W. Britton as secretary.
Charlie H. Griffin and Cola J. Vaughan were appointed to solicit subscribers for a total of $5,000.00 in stock. On January 5, 1906, the stock was fully subscribed and the name “The Farmers Bank” was chosen. On January 15, 1906, the bank was chartered to operate for a period of thirty years, with John B. Griffin, Noah W. Britton, J. L. Outland, William F. Outland, and C. H. Griffin signing the charter. The charter was renewed in January, 1936, for a period of nine hundred, ninety-nine years.
John B. Griffin was elected the first president of the bank and served until his death in 1918. He was followed by S. Norfleet Parker of Potecasi, who served until his death in 1943. W. H. S. Burgwyn became president succeeding S. N. Parker and served until the bank merged with North Carolina National Bank in 1972.
Shares of $100.00 par value stock were subscribed by John B. Griffin, forty-one shares; J. L. Outland, five shares; W. F. Outland, two shares; and one share each by N. W. Britton and C. H. Griffin. The par value of the stock became $50.00 in 1923 and $10.00 in 1934. During that period the stock split several times.
John B. Griffin, W. F. Outland, N. W. Britton. Andrew J. Connor, E. G. Griffin, J. M. Odom, Everette B. Lassiter, W. E. Spivey, and Cola J. Vaughan were appointed the first directors of the bank in 1906. The bank began operations that year in a brick store building belonging to Ezra G. Griffin, on the corner where Lee's Exxon Service Station now stands.
A new building was constructed in 1906, and was used by the bank until a new modern structure was completed in 1959.
W. F. Outland was the bank's first vice-president, followed by E. G. Griffin, C. J. Vaughan, and Dr. C. G. Parker.
Irvin T. Blanchard became the first cashier, serving from 1906 to 1911, and again from 1916 until his death in 1934. C. H. Griffin served as cashier from the time of Irvin Blanchard's resignation in 1911 until he retired in 1915. R. M. Griffin became assistant cashier in 1915 and was promoted to cashier at the death of I. T. Blanchard. He retired as Executive Vice-President in 1963 but is still serving on the board of directors. C. G. Parker, Jr., Vice-President, succeeded R. M. Griffin as head of the Woodland office. After the bank's merger in 1972, Parker was transferred to the Raleigh office of NCNB and was succeeded as City Executive of the Woodland office by W. Gay Wells, Jr., Vice-President. Wells resigned from the bank on October 31, 1974, and Raymond C. Benthall, Jr., loan and marketing officer of the Woodland office was promoted to City Executive and became an assistant vice-president. H. D. Burgwyn became cashier and manager of the Murfreesboro office in November, 1953, succeeding Herman Babb, who suffered a heart attack and died just prior to that time. At the retirement of R. M. Griffin, H. K.
Burgwyn became Executive Vice-President, in which capacity he was serving at the time of the bank's merger. He is presently a Senior Vice-President and City Executive of NCNB's Murfreesboro office.
At the time of the merger of The Farmers Bank with National Bank on July 28, 1972, the bank had grown from the original $5,000.00 in capital stock to $600,000.00 in capital stock, with deposits of $16.3 million. The Farmers Bank stock was exchanged at merger at the rate of one and one-quarter shares of NCNB stock for each share, with NCNB's market value at that time of $72.50.
Growth of the bank has been marked by its acquisition of the Bank of Potecasi in 1930, by its opening of an office in Murfreesboro in 1934, a drive-in branch in Murfreesboro in 1956, as well as the move from the original building in Woodland to a new building in 1959, a new building for the drive-in branch in Murfreesboro in 1956, and a new downtown building for the Murfreesboro office in 1963.
Directors of The Farmers Bank at the time of merger were Edwin P. Brown, Bob F. Hill, H. K. Burgwyn, J. William Copeland, R. A. Parker, and Dr. Bruce E. Whitaker, all of Murfreesboro, and W. H. S. Burgwyn, R. M. Griffin, C. G. Parker, Jr., John S. Vaughan, Dr. John H. Stanley, and W. G. Wells, Jr., of Woodland.
A number of other prominent men of the area have served the bank during its sixty-nine years of operation, including E. G. Griffin, W. F. Outland, C. J. Vaughan, and Dr. C. G. Parker, who were all vice-presidents and directors during their years of service. The only woman ever to serve as an officer of The Farmers Bank was Mrs. Lilla T. Griffin, who was assistant cashier at the time of her death in December, 1959.
The bank is still serving the people of the area, and is still growing, with only minor set-backs through depression, recession, and prosperity.Woodland
CORNELIUS OUTLAND, (1829-1873), wife Sarah Copeland, large landowner, led in building Cedar Grove Meeting house. His brother, ELIJAH OUTLAND, (1825-1897) and wife Margaret Ann Griffin, gave land for the Quaker school in 1867 and for Cedar Grove Meeting House.
JOHN BRYAN GRIFFIN ( 1848-1918), first mayor of Woodland; founded Farmer's Bank; Trustee Chairman, Guilford College; organizer of Progressive Friends Meeting house, Eagletown; donated land for Jerusalem Baptist Church; merchant; large landowner; and sawmill and gin operator. Wife, Millie Beal. Son of Ephraim Griffin.
NOAH W. BRITTON (1860-1933), wife Minnie Skiles; Wake Forest graduate; principal of Woodland Academy in 1880's and early 1900's and of Potecasi High School; Director, Farmer's Bank; town commissioner, 1906; clerk of West Chowan Baptist Association, 20 years; Superintendent, Hertford County Schools, 20 years.
WILLIAM H. SUMNER BURGWYN, JR., born 1916; Wake Forest graduate; World War II Navy veteran; began law practice in Woodland, 1944; member of Senate, 1951; Solicitor, County Recorders Court, 1953-1954; District Solicitor, 1959 until present; director of Woodland branch North Carolina National Bank; vice-president, county historical society. Wife, Lucille Poole, Independence, Va.
EDWIN PIERCE BROWN (1903-1973) son of Walter J. Brown; graduate Guilford and Haverford colleges; manufacturer of baskets; moved to Murfreesboro where he expanded his manufacturing business; Trustee Chairman, Guilford College; Director, Chowan College; Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, Murfreesboro Historical Commission, North Carolina National Bank; lay leader, Cedar Grove Friends Meeting House. Wife, Dorothy Heath.
Dr. Clifton Parker of Woodland
DR. CLIFTON GENO PARKER (1877-1968) graduate of Medical College of ; practiced medicine in Woodland, 57 years; member of county Board of Education, 22 years (retiring 1961) and on Woodland school board several years; worked diligently for years for a consolidated high school; Vice-President of the Farmers Bank, 1913-1968; president of Woodland Cooperative Bonded Warehouse; member of Potecasi Masonic Lodge, no. 418, Odd Fellows and Woodman of the World; Chairman of Board of Deacons, Woodland Baptist Church; of county, state, Seaboard Medical societies; Fellow of the American Medical Association, publisher of medical articles; received 50-year pin from Medical College of. Students of Woodland-Olney school contributed pennies, nickels, and dimes for a school flag in his memory. In the school is a portrait of Dr. Parker, donated by his family, and a plaque honoring him and Ezra G. Griffin (1874-1943), both of whom were dedicated to education. Wife: Mary Elizabeth Parker. Children: Mary Lois Meacham, Helen F. Yeargan, Janie Lewis, Clifton Geno, and the late Dr. Charles Parker. However, Dr.
“Cliff” called hundreds of Hertford and Northampton citizens “my children”. He was well-known for never having lost a pneumonia patient during the time before antibiotics were discovered.
DR. WALTER RALEIGH PARKER, graduate Medical College of ; World War I, Navy, 1917-1919; town commissioner 14 years; county Board of Education, 2 terms; trustee Chowan College, 26 years and board chairman, 6 years; practiced medicine in Woodland, 1919-1937; county health director, 1937-1969; leader in establishing Tri-County Airport four miles south of Woodland, and in founding the Pine Valley Nursing Home at Potecasi. He is most noted for his influence in reviving Chowan College after World War II. Wife: Mary Ella Copeland.
JOHN STANLEY, M. D., born in ; graduate of the Citadel, 1950; the Medical College of , 1954; began practicing medicine in Woodland, 1955. Served as mayor, 15 years; helped organize and became acting director of Roanoke Chowan Mental Health Service; medical consultant and later acting director of Northampton County Health Department; director of National Bank; lay leader, Methodist church. Wife: Geneva (Neva) Applewhite.
JOHN HENRY LIVERMAN, county commissioner from Dec., 1962, to present; Woodland town commissioner, 1953-1955, treasurer for the term; area board chairman, Roanoke Chowan Mental Health Services for two years; member of the board since 1968; Sunday School Superintendent and deacon, Woodland Baptist Church. Wife: Patricia Bryant.
Others who contributed significantly to their community: George Harrison Parker, Guerney Parker, Julian Parker, Walter J. Brown, Mrs. Ailene Autry Brown Griffin, Mrs. Daivd (Christine) Brown of George; Cola J. Vaughan, Rabon C. Benthall, Jack Harrell, Ezra G. Griffin, Mrs. Ezra (Mary Brown) Griffin, Irvin Blanchard, Roger W. Blanchard, William F. Outland, Dr. Quinton Cook, Isaac Carter, Charlie Griffin, Walter Reinhardt of Woodland. All of the above are deceased except Mrs. David Brown, the county's first home agent, and organizer of first 4-H clubs.Hazel Griffin
The writings of Hazel Griffin of Woodland have been in the field of history, magazine articles, newspaper feature stories, and book reviews.
In 1959 she published a history of the Griffin-Blanchard-Outland families of Woodland, and in 1974, The Village of Woodland-George. Her articles have appeared in North Carolina English Teacher, North Carolina Folklore, and North Carolina Education. Her feature stories have appeared in daily and local papers. In 1972 she wrote a series of articles on Old Northampton homes and public buildings. She has contributed a number of articles on 18th century Northampton to Northampton Cousins. For several years she was a book reviewer for the News and Observer.
Miss Griffin received her B. A. Degree from Chowan College and master's degree from North Carolina State University. She did postgraduate work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her vocation has been teaching English, world history, speech, and journalism. She taught in high schools at Lexington, Rocky Mount; Needham Broughton in Raleigh, and Fayetteville. She also taught at Chowan College and North Carolina State University, where she earned her degrees. She retired from North Carolina State in 1965 but did part-time teaching at Chowan until 1968. She also taught at Chowan between 1949-1951. At State she served as adviser to the student publications board.
She has held membership in various professional organizations and in Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary society of women educators, and is a member of the Roanoke-Chowan Writers Conference and the Northampton Historical Society. She is a member of the Woodland Baptist church and a Sunday School teacher of adults. Her hobbies include flowers, antiques, and reading. She is the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Nathan E. Griffin of Woodland.Medical Men
MEDICAL MEN SERVING WOODLAND. Dr. Godwin Bryan, 1880's; Dr. R. W. Joyner (1842-1911); Dr. A. J. Ellis, moved to Garysburg; Dr. J. L. Outland (1856-1944) physician, druggist, postmaster; Dr. C. F. Griffin (1869-1937), John Hopkins graduate, moved in early 1900's to Winton; Dr. Jordan Griffin (1867-1930), Philadelphia Dental School, practice in Woodland began 1895, moved to Edenton, served as representative and senator in state legislator, president of Virginia-Carolina Peanut Growers association; Dr. Quinton H. Cooke (1879-1930) practiced early 1900's, moved to Rich Square; Dr. Jacob J. Jacobs (1869-1954) dentist early 1900's, moved to Roxobel; Dr. C. G. Parker, (1877-1968); Dr. W. R. Parker; Dr. John Stanley.Potecasi
Potecasi is a small village in the southeastern part of Northampton County. Origin of the name is unknown. It may well be that the name came from the Algonquin word Pohake since the Potecasi Creek was known by early settlers as Pohake Creek. Tradition claims that Potecasi means the “parting of the waters.”
Some of the earliest families -the Beales (also sp. Beel), Smellys, Fennels, Majettes, Bynums, Buntins, Powells, Blanchards, Woodards, Odoms, Joyners, Bridgers, and others-purchased land in and around Potecasi as early as 1745 and even earlier. Part of the land patented to Sam Ellson dates back to 1723. Most of these families came from southeastern counties of Surry, Sussex, Isle of Wight, Southampton, and neighboring counties of .
The name Potecasi has been spelled variously in wills and deeds as Potticasey, Pottecassi, Potecasti, Pottacasie, Poticasa, and Pottecassey.
Potecasi Baptist Church
The Second of Three Baptist Churches in Potecasi, Built About 1808, Standing at the Rear of the Present Church.
The second of three Baptist churches sits today to the rear of the present brick one, built in 1926. It was built in 1808 or thereabout as Jordan Beale donated the land for it that year. Built of wood, it was painted white many times but because the boards were of hardwood, the paint was not retained. The church was remodeled many times, and the slave gallery removed. It has two double-door entrances and a steeple of moderate height.
The first church was organized by the Rev. Lemuel Burkett of the Sandy Run Baptist Church, Roxobel, N. C. in 1775, and 150 persons were baptized. Their names were placed on the Sandy Run Church Roll. The first church was not on the site of the second and third churches but was nearer the center of the village of Potecasi and was located “on the Creek”, according to one present-day church member. Prior to the building of the first church, the congregation worshipped under a brush arbor. The first structure was built in batten-board style.
Both the first and second churches had hand-made pews. A single narrow board was used for the back of a pew.The Maggett—Jenkins House
THE MAGGETT-JENKINS HOUSE, three miles from Potecasi on the Jackson road, was built in the late 1700's. The original Sam Maggett purchased land, a part of the Sam Ellson grant on the Meherrin River in 1745. The Maggett family came from Isle of Wight County, Virginia. A later Sam Maggett died at the Potecasi home in 1847. In 1904, the once 2,000 acre estate, reduced to 600 acres, was purchased by Andrew J. Jenkins. It remained in the Jenkins family until 1971, when it was purchased by W. O. Coombs. The Georgian style house of white weatherboard contains eight rooms, five on the lower floor; six fireplaces; two hand-painted mantles, four of oak; 12-foot ceilings; wainscoting in the parlor, dining room and all halls; chair railings in other rooms; wide “riff” pine floor boards; heavy oak doors; hand-hewn sills; homemade hinges, locks, and bricks. A “stoop” porch marks the entrance. A porch extends across the long right wing. Original compound structures were a two-story business office, a two-story kitchen (both with fireplaces), a smokehouse, milk house, gin, and carriage house, most of which have been lost. An avenue of cedars leads to the house, once noted for its gardens of flowers, shrubs, and herbs, and a variety of trees. Maggett and Jenkins cemeteries are at the rear of the house. A slave cemetery was some distance away.
Jordan Beale Home
BUILT BETWEEN 1797 AND 1822
Home of Jordan Beale, Potecasi
The Jordan Beale home was built on the main road in Potecasi by Beale, a wealthy planter from Isle of Wight County, Virginia, in the late 1700's or early 1800's. Its style is typical of plantation homes in .
The plantation complex included spinning and weaving houses, a smoke house, milk houses, a three-room office with two fireplaces, and a summer house or gazebo. Slave houses extended from the house to the present Beale's
Grocery store. The lawn was landscaped with numerous shrubs and trees, was enclosed by a picket fence and had brick walls.
The house was a two-story building of 8 rooms, 5 large fireplaces, three chimneys, 2 stairways, wainscoting of extra wide boards in every room, and a long front porch. All the lumber was hand-planed, sills were hewn and wooden pegged. Bricks, nails, hinges, and all hardware were made at the home.
Jordan Beale's estate of 1,270 acres was divided in 1859 among his children: Eliza B. Blanchard, Angelina B. Outland. Henrietta B. Boone, Elizabeth B. Holomon, Dallas M., Ferdinand C., Robert I., Willis M., John R. Beale and Mary B. Bryant.
Jordan Beale's parents, Robert and Holland Brewer Beale were married in Isle of Wight County, Oct. 29, 1789. After Jordan Beale's father's death in 1797, his mother married Jeremiah Bradshaw on Feb. 4, 1802. One of their daughters. Martha, married John Parker, Sr. Their children, Jesse, Council, Solomon, William, James, Martha, Harriett, and John Parker, Jr., settled in Potecasi, Woodland, Menola, and surrounding areas through the influence of their half-uncle Jordan Beale and became leading citizens. John Parker, Jr., was the last of the Parkers to come to from . In 1901 he moved to Potecasi and bought the Jordan Beale homeplace. John Parker's son Robert bought the place in 1903 and had it in his possession until 1969, when his heirs sold it to Dewey Hobbs who now uses it as the central building of his grain-feed business.The E.B. Lassiter
In 1895 Employees of the E. B. Lassiter Lumber Mill Made $10.00 per month.
THE E. B. LASSITER LUMBER COMPANY, established in Potecasi in 1881, has been operated by the family since then. The founder used a steam engine, named Gladys, to haul logs from the woods to his mill. After his death in 1915, his three sons, Lloyd, Willie, and Everette Bruce (all deceased now) operated the mill as well as a cotton gin and a commissary until 1930. Bruce became operator of the lumber mill that year, adding new equipment and expanding its processes. In 1960 the mill was incorporated with Cornelius Everette and Estus Bruce, sons of Everett Bruce, joining the business. Everette Bruce died in 1961. The mill, one of the oldest family-owned businesses still in operation in Northampton, has served the Roanoke-Chowan area and for 92 years.The Pine Forest
THE PINE FOREST REST HOME of Potecasi was the “brainchild” of the Rev. J. E. Dailey when he was the pastor of the Potecasi Baptist Church in the 1940's. He took his idea to Dr. Walter Raleigh Parker, then county health director, who suggested soliciting funds from subscribers, Walter J. Brown being a leader in the movement. Potecasi School, then abandoned, was purchased, renovated and opened for non-profit use in 1949. The Riverside Manufacturing company of Murfreesboro, headed by Edwin Brown, provided between $65,000 and $75,000 in credit for furnishings. Ronald Chappell of Potecasi has been secretary-treasurer since the opening of the home. Mrs. Elma Railey was the first home manager. Under her administration enough profit was realized to build the front “L” sun porch. The only other manager has been the present one, Mildred Grant. The home, opened for ambulatory guests only, has always operated in the black and has been the subject of a Saturday Evening Post article.Potecasi Post Office
POTECASI POST OFFICE. The Potecasi post office was established on December 5, 1839. The postmasters and their appointment dates are: Jordan Beal, 1839; George D. Holloman, 1858; Cornelius Lassiter, 1859; Mrs. Eliza Beale, 1866; Henry H. Cooke, 1871; Everette B. Lassiter, 1876; B. W. Langford, 1897; William R. Griffin, 1898; Dallas M. Beale, 1906; William P. Blanchard, 1911; Grady E. Parker, 1914; Cornelia Beale, 1921 (name changed by marriage to Mrs. Cornelia Joyner, 1928). The National Archives and Records Service contains no entries after April 16, 1928; however Mrs. Joyner held the post until the recent appointment of Mr. Aubrey Vinson.Thumbnail Sketches
JORDAN BEALE, born Isle of Wight County, Virginia January 10, 1792, son of Robert and Holland Brewer Beale. Died December 22, 1858, buried in Beale cemetery in Potecasi. Reputed to have been married three times but only one marriage record has been found — that of his marriage to Eliza Copeland (1811-1898) on March 29, 1842. He owned thousands of acres of land and large numbers of slaves, their quarters extending the length of the main street of Potecasi; he was a merchant, justice of the peace, and first postmaster of Potecasi. The epitaph on his tombstone is written in Latin.
ROBERT I. BEALE, son of Jordan Beale; justice of the peace; lawyer; editor, Roanoke Patron, 1884-1885, founded at the “Old Jordan Beale Homeplace”, 1879.
DALLAS M. BEALE, son of Jordan Beale, merchant, editor, and publisher, Roanoke Patron, 1890-1891.
DR. CHARLES G. POWELL, dentist in the early 1900's, practiced in his home, now owned by Cornelia Joyner and located on highway 35 between Potecasi and Woodland. Moved to Ahoskie where he practiced many years, Wife Vashtie Cale, daughter of the Rev. Dancy Cale, well-known Baptist minister.
DR. PAUL PARKER, son of S. Norfleet Parker, physician in Erwin and Burlington, N. C. S. Norfleet Parker was President, Farmers Bank, Woodland.
DR. GEORGE HARRELL, son of Cola and Molly Harrell, practiced medicine in Murfreesboro for many years.
“AUNT” BURT ARRINGTON, beloved woman lived to be 112 years old and was sought for her memory of local history after she was past 100. Her parents were slaves at the Jordan Beale home. Died about 1970.
GRADY E. PARKER, cashier of the Potecasi Bank, which closed its doors during the depression of the 1930's. Postmaster.
OTHERS: R. L. Powell, S. N. Parker, Lloyd Lassiter, A. T. Jenkins, Fred Jenkins, C. W. Blow, Grover Joyner, Mrs. Ira Jenkins, ElPena Parker, and others made contributions to the village of Potecasi and to the county.Holly Grove—Ashley's Grove Community
Holly Grove School students, 1900 in Front of Second Holly Grove School.
The community of Holly Grove, four miles east of Woodland, is made up of farmers and rich loamy farm land, some of which borders on the Potecasi Creek. East of Holly Grove is another rural community, Newtown, in Northampton County. After the Ashley's Grove Baptist Church was built in 1910, the name Holly Grove became almost extinct and the place today is more often referred to as Ashley's Grove. Settled in the 1700's, the most common family names have been, and still are, Revelle, Futrell, Liverman, Joyner, Askew, and Vann.
Evidence of the cooperative spirit of this tightly-knit community is found in the construction of a community club house. The present club house, the second one, was built about 1967. Stanley Sauls, who purchased the first club house, gave the money for the second club house. Guy Revelle, Sr., gave the land, and the whole community gave
free labor and made donations.
Burned Bridges. Four wooden bridges once spanned Potecasi Creek in the Holly Grove section (now on highway 258). In 1863 when Union soldiers were marching from Winton to Weldon, confederate soldiers burned the bridges to prevent the northern troops’ crossing. They were forced to go to Benthall's Bridge to cross the creek. Thus, the name “Burned”, or more familiarly “Burnt”, was given to the bridges. On the eastern side of the creek is a bluff, oak and birch trees and a sandy beach which through the early 1900's was a favorite spot for picnics, swimming, fishing, and baptizings. On the trees are carved names, initials, and dates. The four wooden bridges have been replaced by one concrete bridge.
Revelle's Hill Baptist Church for blacks is also on the eastern side of the creek at Burned Bridges. It was formerly called the Creeksville Church. Charlie H. Revelle gave the land for the church on the condition it be used for a church. The white people aided in its construction. Later some members left to join the old Nebo congregation, now known as Creeksville Church, and the old Creeksville Church is known as Revelle's Hill Baptist Church.
Miami Post Office was established at Newtown, between Holly Grove and the Hertford County line. At the time Conway did not have a post office, but there was one at Stephenson-Sykes Mill in the 1840's. Mail was carried to Miami three times a week. It became a central stopping place between Rich Square and Murfreesboro with five established stores. The post office was later changed to Liverman's.
Holly Grove School, known first as a “District” school, was built about 1850. Prior to that, Mrs. Nancy (John H.) Joyner conducted a private school near Beale's Mill, which merged with the Holly Grove School. Pupils attended from near Milwaukee to the Big Dam near Newtown. The schoolhouse was a crude one-room structure with two windows on either side and a front and a back door. Long benches of two unfinished boards served as seats, the back bench being reserved for lunch pails. A board, attached to one wall, served as a writing desk for all pupils. Near the door was a pail of water and a gourd dipper or coconut shell for drinking.About 1881 the original building was taken apart and used to construct another school. The new school was given the name of Holly Grove by one of the pupils. About 1904 a second room was added and the term lengthened from two or three months to four months. The building was burned about 1913 and replaced by a three-room “L”-shaped building. In 1920 high school students began attending high schools in Conway or Woodland. By 1923 the term was eight months for grades one through nine. In 1930 grade students went to Conway. Six years later the Holly Grove school was burned after serving as the focal center of the community for over one hundred years.
Holly Grove's Famous Baseball Team. In the early 1900's Holly Grove was famed for its baseball team which drew large crowds of both women and men from a wide area. The games were played at the corner of the road near the “Old Revelle Homeplace”. For three years the team, coached by Heywood Joyner of Woodland but then a resident of Holly Grove, did not lose a game. Joyner received his athletic training at Oak Ridge Military Academy and Guilford College. On his unbeatable team were W. C. Sauls, Harvey Beale, Jack Liverman, Tony Woodard, Walter B. Futrell, Walter E. Futrell, Z. W. Storey, Dillie Pope, Lewter Revelle, Lonnie Joyner, Brater and Tamma Vinson, Cephus Norfleet, and Wesley Futrell. Mike and Tommie Vinson were umpires. In those days
Holly Grove School Between Woodland and Murfreesboro, About 1913, the Third Holly Grove School
Futrell-Revelle Home, Holly Grove Community, Built in Late 1700's by David Futrell.
every community and school had a baseball team and the competitive spirit was lively.
A. M. Beale's Mill was one of several in the past years on Potecasi Creek. Run by water power, Beale's operation included a grist mill, saw mill, and cotton gin. Nearby was a general store and a fish pond. Two water mills, one known as Moore's, were on the William A. Futrell farm, now owned by Guy Revelle, Sr. The mills have been destroyed, but the dams remain.
Old Homes in Holly Grove. The Futrell-Revelle home, the oldest, known as the “old Revelle place”, built of weatherboard in the late 1700's by David Futrell and his wife Elizabeth Jenkins, has never been changed structurally. The main part of the two-story house has four rooms on each floor. The center first-floor hall is divided into a back and a front hall with an enclosed winding stairway in the back hall. A colonnade divides the present kitchen from the main house. Across the kitchen front is a porch. A long, somewhat narrow porch, which may not be the original one, extends across the front of the house with delicate spindle-like scrollwork on the underhang. The interior was wide-board flooring, chair rails, some low paneling, and a pine ceiling board. The original chimneys have been replaced but the window panes are original. Several old elm trees line the driveway. Six outbuildings are standing; the two to the right of the house are one-and one-half stories. The one nearer the house with a fireplace and exposed blackened beams was the original kitchen. James Revelle, born 1813, and his wife Louvenia became its owners in 1851, Louvenia having inherited it from her father, David Futrell. James Revelle owned 13 slaves in 1850 and many acres of land when he died in 1895. In 1803 David Futrell wrote an arithmetic book which is now owned by Guy Revelle, Sr., a direct descendant of James and Louvenia Futrell Revelle. The house is now owned by Miss Molly Gay.
Another Futrell-Revelle home, now the home of Guy Revelle, Sr., was built about 1830 by Lemuel Futrell who married Mary Moore in 1818. The descendants of Lemuel Futrell, the Morris Futrell and William Augustus Futrell families lived in the home until it was purchased in 1948 by Guy Revelle, Sr., and his wife Pearla Futrell Revelle, who altered the structure in 1952 by adding the two-story columned porch and the two-room left wing and by removing the old kitchen. The original house remains structurally the same with its pegged sills, wide floor boards, and pine ceiling.
Other old homes in Ashley's Grove are those of Charlie H. Revelle, over a century old and lived in by members of the Revelle family until its recent abandonment. The Ashley Liverman home was built in the mid 1800's on land purchased from Matthew Johnson. The one-story “L”-shaped house is now in disrepair and is occupied by a tenant. Another old home in need of repair is the Jesse Vann home, built on Tom Atkinson land and deeded by Jesse Vann to his nephew, George Askew, who built the house of one and a half stories with two outside stacked chimneys. It was purchased by William H. Vann, later occupied by the Jesse Vann family, and is now owned by Clifton Vann, a nephew of Jesse Vann. The land around the house is now owned by Luther Vann of Murfreesboro. Other old homes are the Tommie Joyner and the John H. (Jack) Joyner homes. The kitchen of the Jack Joyner home is older than the front part. The private school in which the wife of Jack Joyner, Nancy Hudson Jordan Joyner, taught, was in the yard. The only change in the Tommie Joyner house has been the building of a new kitchen. The Joyner homes and the Ira W. Futrell home near the church are a century old. All of these houses are in the area of Ashley's Grove Baptist church and the burned-down Holly Grove school.
Futrell-Revelle Home, Now Home of Guy Revelle, Sr. Built about 1830. Wing and Porch Added by Revelle in 1952.
The Teachers and Three Pupils of Quaker Olney School at George. Pupils Wore Bibs on Aprons. Only persons Identified are Josephine Griffin, Center Front, Who Later Married W. H. S. Burgwyn, Sr., and Teacher Sally Payne. Photo About 1890.
Woodland group picture of 50 people taken in summer about 1895.
Front row: Girl standing with long black curls, daughter of Cecil Harrell, #6 Fred Outland, #10 Irene Outland, #11 Clara Outland (Pond), man with black derby, seated, Jim Blanchard.
Second row: #1 Janie Griffin, #8 Ozella Outland, #10 Haywood Joyner, #13 Mag Purvis with hair parted in middle, small boy: next to Joyner, Irvin Blanchard.
Third row: #3 Mrs. Bessie Harrell, #4 Cecil Harrell, #5 Julian Griffin, #6 Lula Vaughan (Brown), #7 Lurena Vaughan (Griffith), #8 Bill North Griffith, #9 Nettie Griffin (Odom), #10 Ola Joyner (Storey), #14 Mr. William J. Joyner (father of Ola and Betty). Standing in front of Bill North Griffin is Josephin Griffin (Burgwyn).]
Conway was settled around 1835. It was then known as Martin's Crossroads, also called Kirby.
The year of 1888 brought a railroad to Kirby. The railroad stretched from Boykins, Va., to Lewiston, and a small depot was built for each community. The conductor of the train decided that the depot at Kirby should be called Conway, from the name of a relative of a chief railroad official. The government was petitioned that the post office be called Conway also. Kirby became Conway to coincide with the depot.
The first post office was located in Mr. Abner Lassiter's Store in 1878. Mr. Lassiter was the first postmaster.
The train mail clerk, a black, used his influence to have Rachel Vaughan, also a black, appointed as the postmistress of the second post office. It was located in her home, a few miles outside of Conway.
After three months, the post office was moved to the store of William T. Bridgers, who was appointed postmaster. The name was changed from Kirby to Conway Post Office at that time.
The first school in the Kirby-Conway area was called Grange Hall School. The second was called Log College, whose first teacher was Miss Crump, grandmother of E. W. Martin. The third was a wooden two-story building located where Floods Funeral Home is now. The fourth school was a two story brick building which is now Conway Elementary.
Conway has had several doctors to serve their community. Possibly the first was Dr. D. H. Reid; Dr. Paul Clifton Brittle, Dr. Joseph Anderton Fleetwood, and Dr. Joseph Anderton Fleetwood, Jr., have followed him.
Conway's authors and writers have been Dr. and Mrs. R. Kelly White and Dr. and Mrs. Gilbert Stephenson. Its contributions to the House of Representatives of N. C. have been the Hon. R. Jennings White, Hon. John Raynor Woodard, and Hon. J. Guy Revelle. Conway has also produced many fine attorneys at law including R. Jennings White, Edgar W. Martin, Russell H. Johnson, Russell H. Johnson, Jr., Bruce C. Johnson, Dr. Gilbert Stephenson, and Judge Perry W. Martin.
The mills and ponds about the area are Stephenson-Sykes Mill and Pond, DeBerry's Mill and Pond, Vaughan's Mill, and Doo Little Pond.
When Gov. Robert Glen went to speak at Conway in 1907, there was no band for the occasion, but almost overnight one was formed by Milton Flythe. The band became famous as the Conway Cornet Band and for several years played for public events far and wide.
Conway was incorporated in 1913. The first Mayor was Mr. Jim Parker. Mr. W. A. Davis was the first policeman. The population was 400. It is now over 900.
Conway never had any hotels or taverns although Mr. Abner Lassiter's home served as hotel to salesmen and other travelers passing through the town.Kirby Township Goes
Back to Early 1700's
THE OWL'S NEST by Nancy M. Froelich
OLD KIRBY CREEK has been quite a factor in Northampton in its day. Even now, it can boast of three mill sites-Deberry's, Stephenson-Sykes’, and Watson's. Though I believe the mill at Watson's has been completely abandoned.
THE NAME “KIRBY” AS A family name has not been prevalent in Northampton for quite a long time. I have often wondered how the large township, and second largest creek, in the County, acquired that name. Well, at last, my curiosity has paid off, as the following article, taken from the September 20, 1906, Roanoke-Chowan Times tells the story.
“ONE OF THE TOWNSHIPS in Northampton County is named Kirby Township. This township lies on the East side of the County next to Murfreesboro Township in Hertford County. A part of the dividing line between Hertford County and Northampton County is along the run of Kirby Creek and Turkey Branch. The latter in ancient times was called Turkey Creek. This stream is on the east of the old Meredith Watson tract of land. The name Kirby is derived from the Kirby family who lived and owned much of the lands along these creeks.”
“IN 1712, THOMAS Kirby, Sr., received a patent for 1,200 acres of land lying on the Hertford side of Turkey Creek. In 1713 Kirby conveyed to Henry Wheeler 125 acres of this patent lying on Turkey Creek and on the South side of the Meherrin River. One of the witnesses to this deed was Richard Washington. On July 14, 1716, Thomas Kirby and wife appointed their son, Thomas Kirby, their attorney to acknowledge the execution of this deed.”The Martins of Martin's
Now Known as Conway
A Civil War map in the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C., shows Martin's Crossroads where the town of Conway now is. It acquired its present name when the Seaboard Airline Railroad came through the town.
A deed in Northampton County Courthouse records the purchase of land by JOHN MARTIN in 1742. He purchased other lands and received, in 1762, a land grant of 675 acres on Patty's Delight Creek from Earl Granville, one of the Eight Lords Proprietors of Carolina. Patty's Delight Creek is shown on local maps and the present Robert M. Martin Farm is a part of this original land grant.
John Martin, Jr., was born around the time of the Revolutionary War. Their children were Matthew, Jonathan, and Kinchen. Kinchen, born 1811-died 1882, is buried in the Martin cemetery just west of Conway. He was the father of 12 children. His home, now dismantled, was built prior to 1850 near the present cemetery. Eleven of his children were born in this home.
Kinchen's daughter, Sarah Elizabeth “Sally”, was strong in character and a leader in her community. A real
pioneer woman, she once hitched up a team of oxen and drove alone to visit her brothers, James Edgar and Simeon Peter, when they were fighting in the Civil War, Simeon Peter, born March 25, 1844, enlisted at Garysburg, N. C., on May 23, 1861 and was a private in Company A, 5th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry. His name appears on the Roll of Honor of the 15th Regiment, Troops. He died July 25, 1865 and is buried in the Martin Cemetery, James Edgar, born January 26, 1846-died June 7, 1903, enlisted May 23, 1861 in the same company as his brother and his name, too, appears on the Roll of Honor. He was captured by the Union Army at Petersburg, Virginia, and arrived at City Point, (now Hopewell) April 13, 1865. He was held prisoner at Point Lookout, Md., where he signed the Oath of Allegiance on June 29, 1865 and was released. He and his wife are buried in the Martin Cemetery. Another son, Robert McKinney, married Sadie Catherine Parker. He took his wife and young daughter, Gwendolyn, to a home on the same farm as the old home in which he had been born. The house, now demolished, was built in 1904 and had gas lights installed in 1914. Children of R. M. Martin were Gwendolyn, Marie, Lorraine, and Robert M. Martin, Jr., now Appeals Court Judge, .
Etheldred Martin, brother of John, received a land grand from Governor Alexander Martin in 1782. Part of this land was on Patty's Delight Creek. He, like his brother, purchased, or was granted, extensive lands from Potecasi Creek to Stephenson-Sykes Mill. Etheldred's will of 1822 mentions several children, one of whom was Zaccheus. Zaccheus’ will, 1820, mentions a son Henderson. Henderson built a log cabin on land bordering Patty's Delight Creek, between Conway and Milwaukee. His son, Benjamin Franklin, born 1845-died 1926, built a two-story frame house on the same location. He fought in the Civil War, and married Mary Eliza “Molly” Flythe. Molly's father was a Methodist preacher, the Rev. Jesse Flythe of Creeksville. Benjamin Franklin, known as Frank, was a hard-shelled Baptist — a very pious man, and a leader in his church. He sat with the elders in the A-men corner. He was a farmer and Justice of the Peace. He tried many cases in his home, and his parlor or front porch was the scene of many weddings. He even married one couple who sat in the road in their buggy. He had 9 children — Corbett, Lee, George, Jesse, Lula, Myda, Franklin Early “Rat”, Clyde and Alvah Hubert. The children were given parcels of land between Milwaukee and Conway by their father.
The only lands formerly owned by Etheldred Martin are now jointly owned by Archie Franklin Martin and Margaret Martin Womble, children of Alvah Hubert.
The last couple to live on Etheldred Martin's lands, was Alvah Hubert Martin and wife, Evelyn Elliott Martin. Alvah was principal of Conway School, worked in the Bank of Conway, and was Registrar of Deeds of Northampton County for 26 years.Silver Spoon of
The silver spoon pictured here was, according to family tradition, made at home from melted money. It bears initials Z. M., for Zaccheus Martin. He was the son of Etheldred Martin who was granted lands in Northampton
Silver Spoon of Martin Family
County as early as 1782. The spoon is now owned by Edward Franklin Womble, son of Mr. Edward L. and Margaret Martin Womble. Zaccheus was Edward Franklin's great, great, great grandfather.History of the
Bank of Conway
The Bank of Conway was organized in 1910 by 35 stockholders who subscribed $5,000.00 in capital stock. The Bank first opened for business in June, 1910, and the first annual meeting of the stockholders was held in January, 1911 with W. T. Bridgers as President. The first Board of Directors consisted of A. Lassiter, J. E. Taylor, D. C. Bridgers, J. B. Vick, J. O. Flythe, W. T. Bridgers and D. N. Stephenson.
Mr. W. T. Bridgers served as President of the Bank from 1910 until his death in 1947, a period of 37 years.
At the January, 1948 meeting of the stockholders, R. H. Johnson was elected President of The Bank of Conway. Mr. Johnson began his service with the Bank on September 1, 1921, as Assistant Cashier. On September 20, 1924, he succeeded L. W. Flythe as Cashier.
The following have served on the Board of Directors at some period of time from the organization of the Bank to December 31, 1974: J. J. White, O. L. Horne, J. L. DeLoatch, W. J. Liles, J. O. Parker, L. H. Davis, J. W. Johnson, B. F. Martin, A. H. Martin (Later Registrar of Deeds of Northampton County), W. J. Beale ( Later Clerk of Court of Northampton County), C. B. Draper, C. W. Martin, B. D. Stephenson, J. T. Lewter, R. H. Johnson, J. H. Draper, L. J. Johnson, W. M. Martin, Frank H.
Bridgers, Mamie B. DeLoatch, William W. Bridgers, Russell H. Johnson, Jr., Hiram Draper, Jr., Bruce C. Johnson, and Gary B. Bridgers.
Two men have served the Bank as President during its 64 years of business: W. T. Bridgers and R. H. Johnson.
The Bank has had three Vice Presidents: J. O. Flythe, W. J. Beale, and L. J. Johnson. In recent years two men have served as Executive Vice President: Bruce C. Johnson and Russell H. Johnson, Jr.
In 64 years of operation the Bank has had six cashiers: B. F. Martin, L. W. Flythe, R. H. Johnson, Wilson Bridgers (Now Registrar of Deeds of Northampton County), John Paul Garriss, and Russell H. Johnson, Jr.
The following have served as employees of the Bank at some period of time from its organization to December 31, 1974: Mrs. Claudia Bristow Joyner, R. H. Johnson, A. H. Martin, John Paul Garriss, Dudley W. Barnes, Wilson Bridgers, Pat Parke, Stanley Britt, Kenneth B. Woodard, Mary Davis, Reba Hale Hawkins, Jackie Davis Worley, Myrtice Futrell Earley, and Kathleen Francis Johnson.
The present Board of Directors consists of R. H. Johnson, Russell H. Johnson, Jr., Hiram Draper, Jr., Bruce C. Johnson, and Gary B. Bridgers.
The Bank of Conway is the only independent Bank in Northampton County.Mrs. Russell
Mrs. Russell Johnson, Sr., of Conway is the only Northampton woman to have been a State Officer of the Congress of Parents and Teachers Association. She served with distinction as statewide program chairman during the years 1945-47. Her articles, ideas and suggestions appeared in many of the educational publications of the day, and she received letters of high commendation from President, Mrs. E. N. Howell of Swannanoa, North Carolina, and Secretary, Mrs. T. R. Esterling of Rocky Mount, when her tenure of office expired.Conway-Personality Sketches
Abner Lassiter Born 1840 — Mary Lucy Allen Lassiter, Wife — William Jesse Lassiter, Son Born 1873.
ABNER LASSITER (1840-1928) was born near Lasker and married Mary Lucy Allen of Northampton. He purchased a farm at Martin's Cross Roads and gave land for the Seaboard railroad which opened in 1887. Martin's Cross Roads then was named Conway in honor of a Seaboard railroad official. Lassiter was Conway's first postmaster, a merchant, a promoter of a telephone company to get a line from Seawell's store to Lassiter's store, and a sawmill and cotton gin operator. With his wife, he gave some land for the Conway Methodist church in 1904 and some for the Baptist church in 1906. Lassiter was a Baptist deacon, his wife a Methodist. The Lassiters had four children, one of whom, Abner Pell Lassiter, today farms the 101-year old Lassiter farm.
JOHN RAYNOR WOODARD was born near Pendleton in 1906. He was educated at Pendleton Public School, Buies Creek Academy, and Wake Forest University. He became a teacher in Columbus County in 1930 and later a principal. Woodard returned to Northampton County in 1940 to
enter a farming-merchant partnership, known as Woodard Bros., with his brother D. M. Woodard, Jr. He served as county representative to the North Carolina General Assembly in 1949-1965, as Personnel Officer of the North Carolina Highway Commission, as Northampton County Commissioner and Treasurer, as President of the Northampton Farm Bureau and the Conway Ruritan Club. He is Past Master of Pendleton Masonic Lodge # 524, a Scottish and York Rite Mason, and a member of Sudan Temple. He is also a deacon and a leader in Conway Baptist Church. Woodard married Bernice Norris of Fair Bluff, North Carolina in 1933. His two sons, John Raynor and James Anderson Woodard, served in the Vietnam War.
Joshua Charlton Fleetwood
JOSHUA CHARLTON FLEETWOOD (1829-1901) was born in Perquimans County. He moved to Northampton in 1852, and purchased farm land near Galatia. He was ordained as a minister in 1879, organized thirteen churches and served as pastor of Galatia, Pine Forest, Mt. Carmel, Roberts Chapel, Jackson, Roanoke, Margarettsville (probably Seaboard and Creeksville) and others in Greensville County, Virginia. Fleetwood was educated at a Quaker school in Gates County. He traveled to Tennessee on horseback to visit an uncle and kept a diary of the trip which remains in the family. Fleetwood married twice, first to Susan Elizabeth Lewter in 1852 and second to Louisa Franklin Maddrey in 1865. He had seven children by his first marriage and twelve by the second, several dying in infancy. He is buried in the family cemetery near Galatia.
PAUL MADDREY FLEETWOOD, son of Joshua Charlton Fleetwood of Galatia, was tutored at home. He became a clerk in Severn, then moved to Jackson in 1911, where he was a farmer, merchant, and lumberman for about fifty years. Fleetwood was trustee of Chowan College between 1916 and 1920 and a Baptist lay leader. He was
P. M. Fleetwood and wife
born in 1875, and died in 1958. He married Foy Pruden of Severn, and they had twelve children.
DR. JOSEPH ANDERTON FLEETWOOD, SR., was born in 1894. He was a graduate of Buies Creek Academy, Wake Forest University, Tulane University Medical School, and began the practice of medicine in Conway in 1923. He was a member of the Northampton County school board in 1934-1942, and of the Conway Town Council in 1942-1950. He is a member now of the Northampton Historical Society, of four medical societies, and of the 50-Year Club of American Medicine. Dr. Fleetwood served as selective service examiner in 1942-1950. He was presented his 50-year pin as Mason and Shriner in 1974, and made Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians in 1974. He married Caroline Lane of Orange Park, Florida in 1924. Dr. and Mrs. Fleetwood were named by the Conway Ruritan Club as “Family of the Year” in 1972.
CAROLINE LANE FLEETWOOD was born in Millen, Georgia, in 1900. She was a graduate of Mary Baldwin College and student at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Caroline Lane was a violin teacher at Chowan College from 1921-1924, and married Dr. Joseph Anderton Fleetwood, Sr., in 1924. She is a member of The American College of Musicians, a guild member of Music Teachers, and was named to the Hall of Fame-Music Teachers in 1972. She has been a teacher of piano and violin for over fifty years. Mrs. Fleetwood is a member of the DAR chapter in Twin City, Georgia, Delta Kappa Gamma. The Northampton County Historical Society, and is a leader in church, school, civic and cultural organizations of Conway. She is also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star in Pendleton.
DR. JOSEPH ANDERTON FLEETWOOD, JR., was born in 1925. He is the only child of Dr. Joseph A. and Caroline L. Fleetwood. Dr. Fleetwood was a graduate of Wake Forest University and Bowman Gray Medical School in 1947. After medical internship, he entered the U. S. Navy. He has been a member of the Naval Reserve since 1949, with the present rank of Captain. He was part of Operation Deep Freeze #1 on an expedition to the South Pole in 1955-1956. Dr. Fleetwood began the practice of medicine in Conway with his father in 1951. He is married to Pat Poindexter of Cleveland, Ohio. They have four sons.The Whites of
A branch of the White family went down the Eastern Coast and settled in Perquimans County. Later Henry White of Southampton Couty, Virginia, came south into Northampton County, North Carolina. He married Mary Hill of Murfreesboro. From this union four children were born, the fourth being Benjamin Kelly White who was married four times. One of his wives was Rhodie Stephenson which made the Whites and Stephensons closely related. Benjamin Kelly and Rhodie were the parents of Julian J. White and Rufus White who became valuable citizens of Conway and Severn, both being interested in farming and buying peanuts. Julian J. White and his wife, the former Lula Hoggard, were the parents of Miss Una White, Jessie who became Mrs. Charlie Britt, Evelyn who married Reverend Pendleton Downey, and Jay who became Mrs. Julian Porter. All of these ladies were and are well known in this county.
Rufus White married Mariah Elizabeth Harris while he was studying for the ministry. After a period of study at Wake Forest, he came to Northampton County and became interested in farming. He and his wife became the parents of three sons, Ransom Kelly White, John Mitchell White, and Rufus Jennings White.
Ransom Kelly White was educated at Buies Creek, and Wake Forest, earning a B.A. degree in 1917; an M.A., 1919; the D.D., 1954; he received the Th. M. degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1920 and Th. D. in 1922. Dr. White is married to Vesta Benthall who has been an ideal minister's wife. Dr. White has been prominent in the Southern Baptist Convention having held quite a number of important offices. Dr. White's dissertation entitled “The Problem of Suffering and its Biblical Solution” is in Northampton's Memorial Library. Dr. White has traveled in Europe, South America, Africa, and Canada in the interest of Baptist work. Ransom Kelly White was President of Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee from 1952-1959. He is listed in “Personalities of the South, Who's Who In America, Trustees and President's of American Colleges and Universities, and the international Men of Achievement.” Mrs. White is listed in World Who's Who of Women, Personalities of the South, and International Biography.
John Mitchell White was interested in business in Newport News, Virginia and later returned to Northampton County, becoming interested in the car industry.
Dr. and Mrs. R. Kelly White
Rufus Jennings White attended Buies Creek Academy and Wake Forest, graduating with an LLB. At that time, baseball was the most important college game and he was always proud that he was on the varsity team. He returned to Northampton County to practice law. In addition to being a member of the North Carolina and Northampton Bar Associations he was elected to serve two terms as a member of the House of Representatives. He was an extensive Northampton farmer and a local figure being Past Master of Pendleton Masonic Lodge and commander of American Legion Post III. He was intensely interested in education, serving for a number of years as chairman of Conway School Board. He also served as Trustee of East Carolina University. The Conway Ruritan Club was organized by Mr. White, and he served his organization as Zone and District Governor. He married Hettie Mae Cannon of Marion, North Carolina, who had come to Northampton to teach. She became an active church leader, serving as teacher, W. M. U. President for ten years, and Director of the West Chowan Association W. M. U. for three years. Her service to her community and county, included being President of the Conway P. T. A. for ten years and serving a term as District President of P.T.A. As a member of the American Legion Auxiliary she served as local and district president as well as First Vice-President of the state organization.
Mr. and Mrs. White were the parents of three daughters, Mrs. Gilbert Etheridge Woodard, Mrs. James Wilfred Jenkins, and Mrs. Edward Stewart Taylor. Their only son R. Jennings White, Jr., is Clerk of Superior Court of Northampton County at the present time.
Robert Glenn Mulder, born in Milwaukee, N. C., in 1936, has contributed to the cultural life of a wide territory with his writings, music, teaching of English, church, and civic activities. He is presently professor of English at Chowan College and music minister of the Colerain Baptist Church.
Mulder received an A.A. degree from Chowan in 1956, the B.S. degree in 1958, and the M.A. degree in 1964, from East Carolina University, and has done further graduate study at the University of Richmond, the University of Mississippi, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
His major literary accomplishment has been three volumes of poetry: The Shepherd Who Stayed Behind, a collection of Christmas verse, 1969; The Tenor of My Song, a collection of sonnets fashioned after those of William Shakespeare; and Footprints on the Sands of Time, poetry on assorted topics, 1974. His poems have appeared in such magazines as Home Life, the Christian, and the Progressive Farmer. His latest literary work has been in the field of short story writing. His short stories have been published in Adventure, Wind, and Young Musicians. Since 1973 he has written a syndicated column, “Literary Musings”, published in 33 newspapers, including the Northampton County Times-News. Also, among his literary contributions have been many articles in music and educational journals.
Mulder has been the recipient of the Eva Berry Harris poetry award from the North Carolina Poet's Society, and has been selected for honor in Outstanding Young Men of America, Personalities of the South, and Outstanding Educators of America.
In public activities he has served as counselor at Camp Sequoyah for Boys, as director of a YMCA camp in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach area, as a Sunday School teacher, Royal Ambassador director, and as featured organist-pianist-speaker at various men's and women's clubs throughout the state.
Mulder is the son of Mr. and Mrs. R. G. Mulder, Sr., RFD Conway, is married, and has one son. He attended Conway Elementary School and graduated from Woodland-Olney High School.Pendleton Sketches
No one knows just how old Roberts’ Chapel is or from whence came its name. We do know the building was an old one and that it was a Mission Chapel. The Chapel was a small room with an arch-shaped ceiling and a low balcony. Some say it was named Roberts after a man who lived nearby; others say it was named after the carpenter who constructed the building and who, it is reported, fell from the roof and died
From the time of the Revolution until 1848, Roberts Chapel is thought to have been interdenominational. On the third Sunday in October, 1848, it became Roberts Chapel Baptist Church. At the first meeting after being organized, they called Rev. J. Battle of Chowan Female Institute. He did not accept. After this a call was extended to Rev. Wm. P. Britton, Jr., who accepted.
The Stephenson-Sykes water grist mill is over one hundred years old, about a mile from the present village of Pendleton. It, along with part of the old gin still standing, and the old country store with everything to sell, has been moved to Pendleton and is run by the Stephensons’ grandchildren. W. Harry Stephenson was a county commissioner for many years. He died at the age of 94 in 1973.
An old school stood near this same site, which was attended by the children in the community. There was an Artesian Well in the same area for many years. The old mill pond was a convenient place for baptizing and a good place to swim, fish, and skate.
Until 1886 Pendleton was known as “Starkey Woodard's Shop.” It was named for a conductor in charge of the first train over the Seaboard R.R. Pendleton was incorporated in 1893.Captain Collin
House: Circa 1810
The home and plantation of Collin Williams Barnes (1783-1855) is located two miles west of Pendleton. According to Winborne in his History of Hertford County, Collin W. Barnes was a “native of Nansemond County, Va., but moved to Northampton when young and became a large property holder and an influential citizen.”
His home, before alterations, was an L-shaped two-story house in the federal style. The entrance opened into a reception hall flanked on each side by large drawing rooms. The reception hall led perpendicularly into a two-story hall with stairway and balcony.
Behind the second hall were two more large rooms. This pattern was basically repeated on the second floor. Leading from the back first floor section of the house was a
Captain Collin Williams Barnes-Horne House
Captain Collin Williams Barnes-Horne House
breezeway leading to the kitchen. A large third-floor attic was located above the second floor.
There was a back entrance, two side entrances stooped in the federal style, and probably no form of porch on the front. One of the changes in the structure was the addition of a Victorian front porch.
On the grounds are still many beautiful boxwoods but none to compare with the boxwood garden cemetery located about 200 feet behind the house. In size and beauty their match could hardly be found in the county.
The estate originally consisted of large acres. Slave quarters and dependencies were located west of the house and across the road. A school stood on the plantation, as Barnes hired a tutor for the education of his children, grandchildren, neighbors, and servants.
Collin W. Barnes was described by the historian, John H. Wheeler, as a “most worthy man and greatly esteemed.” He represented his county in the State Senate in 1829 and 1830.
Captain Barnes married twice, taking for his second wife in 1815 Louisa Barnes, his cousin from Hertford County. They had three sons: Joseph B. Barnes of Northampton, George Badger Barnes and Judge David A. Barnes, the “silver-haired bachelor lawyer of Northampton and aide-de-camp to Governor Vance.” Captain Barnes and his wife Louise also had three daughters: Mrs. William Faison of Northampton, Mrs. William H. Drewery of Southampton County Va., and Mrs. Jesse Cotten Moore of Northampton.
The house is now owned by the Horne family of Pendleton.
Captain Collin Williams Barnes
Boxwoods in Barnes Graveyard Behind Barnes-Horne House
Dr. Gilbert Stephenson of Warren Place
Any history of Northampton County would not be complete unless Gilbert Stephenson of Warren Place was recognized. In the year of 1875, Thomas Boone Stephenson bought land from Sheriff Warren and the original home was called Warren Place. In 1910 when James Henry Stephenson inherited the land, he built a new home and retained the name Warren Place by which the home is known today.
James Henry Stephenson married Miss Susie Fleetwood, daughter of Rev. Joshua Fleetwood. They became the parents of Gilbert on December 17, 1884, who, after attending Conway and Severn Schools entered Wake Forest College at the age of fourteen years. So far, Gilbert is the youngest student ever to enter Wake Forest. In 1902 he graduated with an A.B. degree; an M.A., in 1906. Afterward he entered Harvard, earning a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1910. In the same year his first book, Race Distinction in American Law, was published. During his years, he wrote and published twenty-five books on banking law and trusts. These have been used as text books in colleges and universities. After his years at Wake Forest, Mr. Gilbert married an attractive young school teacher, Miss Grace White of Perquimans County, who was teaching in the Conway School.
After Dr. Stephenson's preparation in the law profession, he began the practice of law in Winston Salem in 1910. After the end of World War II, he began trust work in Wachovia Bank of Winston Salem. In 1922 Dr. Stephenson opened Wachovia Bank in Raleigh. During the years of depression he realized that to save Warren Place, he must go elsewhere to recuperate financially; therefore, he accepted a position in Wilmington, Delaware, as trust officer. Later, he became Vice-President of Trusts and soon was chosen President of Trust Division of Bankers in 1930-31. He studied trust methods in countries of Europe and was in demand for lectures in many law schools. After spending time teaching at Rutgers, Northwestern University, Southwestern University of Dallas and twelve years of teaching each summer on the Pacific Coast, Gilbert and Miss Grace retired to Warren Place in 1950 after working half a century in trusts. Both of these valuable people came home to give of their wealth of knowledge to Northampton County. They took an active part in the Baptist Church, which was expected as Mr. Gilbert had served on the Board of Trustees of Wake Forest College for twenty-one years, and on the Board of Crozier Theological Seminary of Pennsylvania, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and the Board of N. C. Baptist Foundation. Both Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson were active in the State Literary and Historical Association. Miss Grace brought recognition to Northampton County by being chosen Mother of the Year of 1964. In 1968, Dr. Stephenson, at 84 years of age, delivered the commencement address at his alma mater, Wake Forest.
Dr. and Mrs. Stephenson had two sons, Thomas, of Wilmington, Delaware; and James Henry, of Baltimore, Maryland. There are five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Miss Grace who has been alone for two years, is happy to have seen six generations come to Warren Place.
Gilbert Thomas Stephenson
Willis Hare School
Grace White Stephenson
WILLIS HARE SCHOOL, situated in Pendleton, North Carolina, was named for Mr. Willis G. Hare. Early in the 1900's Mr. Hare saw the need for some forms of educational facilities for black children in and around Pendleton. He used his personal funds to purchase one acre of land and gave it to the Northampton County Board of Education. Interested men in the community gave trees for the lumber, as well as time, service, and money towards erection of the first building. This one-room structure opened in October, 1908. As enrollment increased, more rooms were added. Mr. Hare was principal from 1916 to 1918.
In November, 1928, fire destroyed everything. For two years the Hare Presbyterian Church was used for the school. Through funds from the Rosenwald Foundation, added to county funds, a new four-room building with an auditorium was completed in time for the 1930-31 term. Parents and friends contributed a piano and seats.
In 1935 the high school department was opened. In 1968 the high school department was consolidated with the Northampton County High School. From 1969 to the present, Willis Hare School has operated as Kindergarten through the Fourth Grade. Mr. Oscar B. Spaulding, the present principal, has served as principal of the school for the past twenty-three years.Early Development of Severn
Before the present town of Severn was developed, there was a post office located at a crossroads known as Cross Lox.
It was operated by a Mr. Matt Edwards. This was called Meherrin. The legend goes that it got its name from a tribe of Meherrin Indians who lived on the banks of the river nearby. The post office served the people of the rural communities around it. From these communities came most of the original families who developed the town of Severn.
In the year 1887 the Seaboard Railroad Company built a branch line which ran from Boykins, Va., into North Carolina for several miles. One of the surveyors for the new line was Severn Ayres. When a village developed along the new railroad line it was named Severn for Mr. Ayres.
Soon after the railroad was completed, two young Pruden brothers, George and Bill, from Seaboard, built a sawmill near the tracks. It was located on the east side of the railroad between the present Highway 35 and the tracks. George Pruden built his house as quickly as possible. He used undressed lumber put together with strips of wood instead of the weatherboarding used on most houses. This house still stands on its original site and is owned by Mrs. E. C. Deloatch. The unusual strips of wood siding remain on the house today.
A commissary was built by the Pruden Brothers, near the mill, to supply the workers with their food and supplies. This building is now the warehouse for Farmers Supply Store.
As the sawmill grew, many of the young men from the surrounding communities began to move to the railroad tracks with their families. Some of the first families to come were the Edwards, Whites, Howells, Stephensons, Hoggards, Smiths, and Barnes. A few years later other families moved here. They were the Maddreys, Longs, Woodards, Fleetwoods, Watson, and many more.
The first two stores built in the new town were owned by Mr. Ernest Deloatch, who had a small store in front of the Edwards’ store. Shortly after these stores were built, Mr. Buck Howell and Mr. David Sam Barnes built a dry goods store. Mr. John Hoggard and Mr. J. B. Stephenson, Sr., built a store beside the Howell and Barnes Store.
The Post Office was moved from Cross Lox when Mr. Matt Edwards opened his store and was operated in a part of the store. He was Severn's first postmaster. Later a small building was built next door and a black man named Jim Martin became Severn's second postmaster. This building is now the kitchen of the G. D. Barnes home, occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Long. The third post office was across the road from the old one and Nannie Rochelle was postmistress.
Severn's first cotton gin was built and owned by Mr. Kelly White and was located along the present Ford Avenue. It has sinced burned. The first Blacksmith shop in Severn was operated by a black man named Jim Boone. It was located near the commissary. Later he worked for W. E. Glover, who opened a Blacksmith shop on the opposite side of the railroad. Mr. Macon Long and Mr. W. E. Glover had a casket shop in Severn's early years. Several years later Wallace and Johnny Watson moved to Severn and went into the undertaker's business. Severn also had a brandy still. It was located near the site of the current Odie Davis home.
Severn's first doctor was Dr. Otis Joyner. He built his home on Main Street. It is now owned by J. R. Railey.
In 1918 Mr. Buck Howell opened a movie house on the second floor of his store. His son, Henry Paul, operated the silent movie machine.
In 1916 Severn built its first bank. Mr. M. L. Martin moved his family here from Rich Square and became its first cashier. It remained open until the Depression in the early thirties.
Severn grew slowly, but in 1919 the town became incorporated.Rogers Home Near Severn
Rogers Home Near Severn
THE ROGERS HOME, located between Severn and Margarettsville, was built by the Branch family who later moved to Texas (probably about 1830-35 when many families of this area and of eastern Virginia went south). By the structure, it appears that one part of the house was built a little earlier than the other. According to the present owners, the house was built in 1761 or 1767. It is possible that the house is of the very late 18th Century or of the early 19th Century period. It is situated on a slight hill about 500 feet from the road.
The two-story house is of white clapboard, now covered with white metal siding and is of classic design. It is “L”-shaped and contains nine rooms and a cellar with exterior end chimneys. The main part, or the front of the house, has a center hall dividing two rooms. A two-story wing, which appears to be older than the main part, extends from the right rear. The second floor front has five windows. There are two stairways, one in the main part and one in the rear part. The main one is enclosed.
The original front porch, occupying the space about one-half the length of the house, but centered, has been enclosed in recent years, and above the porch a small room has been built as a bathroom. The back porches, both to the right and to the left, have also been enclosed.
The main living room, to the right of the entrance hall, is the finest room. It has a unique pine ceiling, divided by 5-inch moldings, of squares of approximately three or four feet. A candelabra over the pine mantel is also made of
pine, and is of circular design, extending the length of the mantel. The pine doors are in their original stain. The floors are made of wide pine boards.
W. J. M. Rogers inherited the home from his father. His nephew, Jesse Rogers, inherited it from him. W. J. M. Rogers, a bachelor, also owned the Peele home, which he sold to the father of Gilbert Stephenson. After the death in the 1960's of the last Rogers owners, it was given by deed to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Gay, its present owners. Joe Gay is the foster son of the last Rogers’ owners, Cade and Robert Rogers, both bachelors.
The house has been kept in very good condition. It is possible that the rear wing was built by the Branch family and the main part was added by the Rogers family. It is said that Governor John Branch, North Carolina Governor 1817-1821, was a member of the Branch family that built the Rogers home. Gov. Branch was from Halifax County. William Branch, probably the first of that family name in Halifax, died in 1793. He was a contemporary of Benjamin Branch (deceased 1792) and John Branch (deceased 1780) of Northampton County and the three may have been related. By the fact that Benjamin Branch, in a 1786 tax list, settled the estate of David Rogers, whose 1788 will was recorded in 1792, it can be assumed that the two families were of the same neighborhood, and 1792 could mark the date when the Rogers family acquired it. Joseph Rogers, who came from Surry Co., Virginia, died in Northampton in 1752.The Flythe House
The Flythe House
THE FLYTHE HOUSE is located near “Cross Lox” where the Severn-Boykins highway crosses the Murfreesboro-Margarettsville Road. The house was built by Braxton Flythe. The construction was begun before the Civil War and completed after the war. The substantial home sits on a sloping hill.
The two-story eight-room white clapboard house is of classic Georgian design. It has two large outside chimneys, five windows across the front and a simple Federal style stoop at the entrance, supported by 14-15-inch square pillars. The top front of the stoop is in the form of a pointed arch.
A small entrance hall separates two large rooms. Five rooms are downstairs and three upstairs. The stairway leads from the entrance hall. A piazza or colonnade leading to an off-kitchen has been enclosed and the old kitchen has been converted into an office. Originally the room over the present kitchen and dining room was used as a schoolroom.
The floors are of the original pine boards and the wainscotting is of simple classic design.
After Braxton Flythe's death, his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. James T. Stanford, owned the house. John Henry Samuel Britt purchased it in 1920 or 1921. At his death it was owned by his son, Julian Jesse Britt. Since 1961 it has been owned by Mr. and Mrs. E. D. Edwards, Mrs. Edwards being a daughter of Julian Jesse Britt who designated that his other heirs be paid their share of the place by Mr. and Mrs. Edwards. The home shows evidence of being well-kept by its owners.
There was once a racetrack at the home site of Braxton Flythe's father directly across the road from the Edwards place.
Princeton-The Vanished Town
PRINCETON, about a quarter mile from the narrow, winding Meherrin River, not far from Conway, was chartered as a town June 6, 1787, the same date Murfreesboro was incorporated. The dream of Princeton, a colonial village near the river, was never completely realized because its rival nearby port, Murfreesboro, was wider and could better handle the boat and shipping traffic.
Princeton was incorporated on the land of Matthew Figures. Nehemiah Long, Nicholas Edmonds, Henry Deberry, and Benjamin Cokeley — all influential and prominent men.
In an article on Princeton published in the News and Observer, October 24, 1954, Roy Johnson states that Princeton a “new town was established and became the home of several families of prominence”. Johnson names these as James Washington, colonial legislator of Northampton; Capt. James Vaughan, Revolutionary War leader; Howell Peebles, Capt. Robert Peebles, Benjamin Williamson, and others. Johnson says that all that is left of the town are bits of bricks and chinaware, cemetery headstones, giant trees, and references to its existence in letters and in B. B. Winborne's History of Hertford County, published in 1906.
In his history Winborne says the new town did not flourish long, the town charter was surrendered, the buildings and handsome residences taken down, leaving only a large plantation farm which today bears the name of Princeton. Winborne names its 1906 owners as C. M. Forehand of Murfreesboro, Will Stephenson of Pendleton, Garland Ricks of Conway, and Coy Martin “resident manager”.
Nothing remains to suggest the location of the Princeton wharf, Signs are that several roads led into Princeton, one being across Vaughan's Creek to Murfreesboro on about the same course as the present state road. Another road led across the river at a ferry later known as Skinner's Bridge site. Also, one road led eastward toward Como and another northwestward towards Boykins, Va. It is possible that a road led in the direction of Conway, Milwaukee, Potecasi, and Woodland and entered the Murfreesboro-Halifax stage road near Conway.
Johnson says that the Princeton town site was also an Indian village in earlier times as relics turned up in the plowed soil reveal. Indians located near streams could have found the site an ideal hunting and fishing area.Joseph Burton Stephenson (1861-1944)
Joseph Burton Stephenson
Joseph Burton Stephenson served his family, community, county, church, and state with dignity and honor. He was a lifelong resident of the Severn community, and he always worked for community improvement and progress, and for the betterment and upbuilding of his fellowman. He was a devoted family man, an honest businessman, and a good neighbor. No one was refused his counsel or material help. He was a man of wisdom, dependability, and foresight.
He was a member of the Severn Methodist Church, formerly known as Providence Methodist, and during his adult life he served in every official capacity of the church organization. Even after becoming feeble in his later years he was urged to continue to teach the Adult Sunday School Class. This he did by sitting before the class in a comfortable, high-backed chair. He was a Bible scholar, and used no notes for teaching or lecturing.
The only formal schooling Mr. Stephenson had was in the Buckhorn Academy located in Murfreesboro. He has often been referred to as a self-made man. Early in life he realized the value of public education, and helped establish the public school system of Northampton County. He served on the Board of Education 1905-11 and 1916-18.
He was a Democrat and represented Northampton County in the House of Representatives for three terms: 1913, 1919, and 1929. During the 1913 session he was named to the following committees: Appropriations, Courts and Judicial Districts, Insurance, Penal Institutions, and Regulation of Liquor Traffic. In 1919 he served on the Claims, Game, Manufacturers and Labor, Propositions and Grievances, and Public Buildings and Grounds committees. He served on the Claims, Corporations, Expenditures of the House, and the Public Welfare committees in 1929. Many people in the area were married by Mr. Stephenson, as he was a Justice of the Peace from age twenty-one until his death in 1944. During World War I he promoted the sale of Liberty Bonds. He was County Assessor in 1911.
He was a Master Mason having joined Pendleton Lodge # 524 in 1915, and served as Master, Secretary, and Chaplain. He was also a member of the Woodmen of the World and Odd Fellows.
Mr. Stephenson was a businessman-farmer. In addition to farming he operated the general merchandise store known as Stephenson and White, buying and selling peanuts, cotton, and other farm products. This store later became Britt and Stephenson, and finally J. B. Stephenson. Jr. The owners were now deceased and the store building demolished.
He helped organize the Bank of Severn, and served as its president until it was closed during the depression of the early 30's.
By today's standard perhaps Dr. Stephenson would not be called a wealthy man in material holdings. He amassed a wealth of religious experiences, political accomplishments, and services of his fellow man. Perhaps the greatest of all his wealth was his host of friends throughout the county and the state.
Mr. Stephenson was married twice. Five children were born to him and his first wife, the former Fannie Hoggard of the Severn area: Clyde, Gladys, Claire, Claude, and J. B., Jr. Clyde was Sheriff of Northampton County for many years. Following the death of his first wife, he was married to the former Nancy Clements of the Raleigh area. Six boys were born to them: Burton, Clements, Moring, Ray, Lyndon, and Robert (Bob). Three children survive: Clements of Red Springs, Moring of Charlotte, and Miss Claude Stephenson of the Methodist Retirement Home in Durham.Severn Elementary
The history of Severn School (Severn Elementary School as it is known today) is a storehouse of memories. The Severn School became one of the first high schools in Northampton County.
The first building for the school was a frame structure, 12 feet by 15 feet, located on the site of the present school building. The building was a one-room structure with a porch.
Mr. John Leitner, who taught in several schools throughout the county, was the first principal in the Severn One-Room School. Mr. Leitner, “Mr. Lightening” as he was known by his pupils, had no definite salary.
Later, three public spirited citizens, Mr. S. K. Edwards, Mr. G. T. Fleetwood, and Mr. G. W. Pruden, decided to guarantee the teacher $25.00 a month so that there could be a school term longer than two months. Patrons were charged $1.00 per pupil per month to pay the principal's salary. Miss Lillie Gaskins of Greensville County of Virginia was the first principal under the guaranteed salary plan.
The first one-room school building burned, and the school was moved to the Mr. Joe Mann residence which was nearby. A little later the school was moved to the house which is now the home of Mr. J. S. Watson. Then another building, this time a two-room frame structure, was constructed on the site of the present school building.
Mr. Wiley Fleetwood, a native of Northampton County, was the first principal after the county and state gave help to the school. Mr. Fleetwood taught from about 1895 to 1903.
Around 1905 the need for a larger building, with space for more teachers and more teaching facilities, was felt. A large two-story frame building was constructed. It was first occupied in 1907.
The first principal in the large two-story building was Mr. Curtis. Some other people who were principals in this building were Mr. Massey, Mr. Meyers, Mr. Hendrix, Mr. Whisnant, Mr. Lynch, Mr. Finch, Mr. Long, Miss Annie Taylor, and Mr. W. S. Clarke. The last class to graduate in the old building was the class of 1929.
In the fall of 1929 school began in a nice, comfortable, and beautiful two-story brick building, which is the present Severn School Building, Mr. W. S. Clarke was the first principal in the brick building.
During the period from 1923 to 1933, Severn High School was very active in Dramatics, Debating, and Music. Some plays were carried to Chapel Hill, and students participated in inter-school debates and Triangular Debates which were sponsored by the State. The school displays trophies won by students in music.
The enrollment of the High School decreased and by 1951 the State Department of Education recommended that the high school students be carried to the Severn School and then transferred by bus to Conway High School. In the fall of 1951 the Severn School became Severn Elementary School with Mrs. Elizabeth Britton as principal. In 1954 Mrs. R. J. Jordan became the principal of the school.
The school building had a “face-lifting” inside and outside in 1955. The school added a large and beautiful auditorium, a science room, a well supplied library, a lunchroom with modern conveniences, and a music room.
At the close of the school year 1966-67 the County Board of Education decided to move the Elementary School to Conway.Creeksville
One of the first stores to be remembered that was in operation between the middle and the late 1800's was run by Mr. Edd Bristow. Along with the store he had a blacksmith shop and he also built caskets. Other merchants that have been in Creeksville are and were Mr. June Davis and Mr. Erastus Lassiter, who also had a post office in a store and the only two telephones in the area. Paul Lassiter and Jack Lassiter bottomed chairs and made mattresses. Other merchants were Mack Edwards, Joe Lanier, Oscar Lassiter, Roy Davis, Dock and Chester Davis, Otha Flythe, Hersey Lassiter, Vernon Lanier, Robert Futrell, Jacob Lassiter, and at present Mrs. Myrtle L. Lassiter, and Mrs. Virgie Lanier. In the early 1900's the street lights in Creeksville were kerosene lanterns erected on a post.
The Creeksville Baptist Church members held services in the “Old Grange Hall”, until James Green Lassiter purchased a lot for the church that was erected in 1892.
The old grist and wheat mill was first owned by Jim R. Deloatch thus arriving at the name Deloatch's Old Mill. Other owners of the mill have been Tom Hicks, Dr. Moorehead, Kinch Bridgers, Dixie Flythe, J. G. Lassiter, Levy Davis, Mack Edwards, and Will Britton, who also had a cotton gin near the mill. Others who operated the grist mill were Binnie Hodges, and Edmond Draper. The
mill house burned down in the late 1940's or early 1950's. The old mill dam road with one-way traffic was cut down, and a two lane drive was built after the mill house burned.
The first school in the Creeksville District was opened around 1883, a one-room building called the “Grange Hall,” with one teacher. Since it was a private school, tuition was $2.00 per month, transportation was by foot. The Little Red School House was located on the “Wes” Deloatch farm with some improvements over the “Grange Hall.” A school of the same type was located on the “Doo Little” road. In 1903 a new, two-room building was erected on land given by Mr. Columbus Deloatch. It was known as “Wild Cat School.” The only other school in the vicinity was the “Bridgers School” located in a field near the residence of Mr. Ebbie Bridgers about 1896 to 1900.James Ira Deloatche House
James Ira Deloatche House
THE JAMES IRA DELOATCHE HOUSE was built in the late 1700's. However Deloatche did not come into possession of it until the mid-1800's or the 1840's.
The three-story, six-room country style Georgian house was of beaded weatherboard. It had two large rooms on each of the first and second floors, each room running the length of the house, or about 30 feet. In each of these four main rooms was a fireplace with a carved pine mantle, solid pine chairboard paneling, and small windows. Each room was plastered. The third floor was walled and ceiled with 14-inch pine boards with only one large room the length and width of the house. An original rear or “shed” room had been removed and two rooms (a kitchen and a dining room) and a back porch had been added.
At the south end of the house were two outside chimneys with a small window on each side of each chimney for the first two stories.
A porch extended almost the length of the house. The inside of the porch was weatherboarded with 14-inch boards like those in the attic. The porch was supported by narrow columns; a simple carved decoration joined the columns. A simple Georgian type of carving ran under the eaves on all sides of the house.
Sturdy pine flooring, large hand-hewn sills, uprights, and beams put together with homemade iron nails kept the house in good condition.
The only outbuilding standing is the smokehouse made of 14-inch boards.
The interior and the exterior were sold in 1970 by Fred Bridgers, the owner.
THE BRIDGERS HOUSE was built around 1840-1850 by a Mr. John T. Deloatche and purchased by the Boone family about 1875. The present owners, Mr. and Mrs. Grady Bridgers inherited it through Mrs. Bridgers, formerly a Boone.
The simple Georgian, two-story home, originally of weatherboard, has been brick veneered. A small front porch and two rooms have been added; the kitchen has been enlarged. Originally the house had five rooms, three downstairs and two upstairs. It has a small entrance hall from which the stairway leads to the second floor. New bricks have been built around the old outside chimneys.
The corners of the house were put in place with wooden pegs. The structure has its original wide, pine floor boards, hand-hewn sills, and simple wainscoting and mantles. The house is in excellent condition.
On the left side of the front yard is the Deloatche cemetery enclosed by a steel fence. The home, sitting on a hill, is reached by a short avenue of cedars and is on the Creeksville-Jackson road.
A Thing of The Past
A Thing of the Past, A Grave House Location — The Creeksville-Jackson Road
The town of Milwaukee was settled around the year 1889. It was first known as Bethany, which is still the name of the Methodist church there. The land for this church was given by Mr. Billy Gilliam. James Thomas Carter Martin was the church's first superintendent.
In 1915 the town was incorporated and given the name Milwaukee by Hesikiah Lasker, conductor on the S. A. L. Railroad. The town was named for the city in Wisconsin.
When the Seaboard Railroad built its branch, the Roanoke and Tar River (Huckleberry Special), in 1885, the train slacked speed and threw out a mail bag near the residence of Cecil Askew.
A few years after the town was named Milwaukee, Bud Coggins became postmaster. In 1902, A. J. Panton became postmaster. He built a small post office convenient to his blacksmith's shop.
Perhaps the only thing left of old Bethany is the name of the church.
THREE IN ONE
— Depending on the location from which this one sign is read, three phrases may be seen. However, the message is still the same - this is the Milwaukee Post Office. The original sign was constructed in 1925 by the late A.J. Panton. Serving as Milwaukee postmaster for 40 years, Panton, an immigrant from England, had seen a similar sign in St. Louis and returned to Northampton to build one. According to Mrs. Pearl Jenkins, Panton's daughter, “post office” is written on the flat board and “Milwaukee” and “North Carolina” are written on the right and left sides of the vertical petitions. Panton's son Charlie, area blacksmith, has made repairs on this sign which has hung above the Milwaukee post office door for almost 50 years.]
Seaboard is a small town of some less than 700 people that is situated in the northeastern part of Northampton County, only six miles across from the Virginia border. Seaboard was founded by settlers coming across the northeastern boundary of North Carolina from Virginia. Earliest records show that the village of Seaboard was in existence in 1751 and was called Concord at that time. It was situated on an important thoroughfare between the Roanoke River and the larger towns in nearby Virginia. According to the early records of Concord Church, founded in 1793, the families of the area were a pious and proud people and devoutly religious. This constituted a way of life for them. Services to the church, community and nation became standards of acceptance. Francis Asbury's Journal records that he visited this part of Northampton County in 1780 and again in 1784 and that he preached in homes and crude log chapels and outdoors in brush arbors.
The early inhabitants of the Seaboard community had a real concern for education. The early circuit riders were educators as they visited the pioneer homes and brought news from the outside world. They carried tracts with them which they sold or distributed. Many children learned their ABC's, as well as the teachings of Jesus, in the Sunday Schools. A subscription school was in existence in 1880 and was known as the Seaboard Institution. This wooden schoolhouse was later moved and renovated and is now the Bradley residence. Mr. Cary Parker was one of the early teachers in this one-room school. Nearby colleges enrolled some of the early residents of Seaboard.
The early emphasis upon religion and education has continued until the present time in Seaboard. Many persons have contributed to the cultural development and growth which, together with Seaboard's rich agricultural resources, have given to this rural community a heritage of which it is justly proud.Laws of North Carolina, 1876-77, Chapter ccviii.
An Act to incorporate the Town of Seaboard, in the County of Northampton.
Section 1. We, the General Assembly of North Carolina do enact, that the Town of Seaboard, in the county of Northampton be. The same is hereby incorporated by the name and style of the “TOWN OF SEABOARD”, and shall be subject to and have the benefit of all the provisions contained in chapter one hundred and eleven of Battle's Revisal not inconsistent therewith.
Section 2. The corporate limits of said town shall extend one half mile each way, north, south, east, and west from the railroad depot, so as to make said depot the center of said limits and forming a square around it.
Section 3. Until the regular election on the first Monday in May the government of the town shall be vested in the following officers: viz: Mayor, A. E. Joyner.; commissioners, Simon Lawrence, Joseph Maddrey, and H. R. Deloatch, who are hereby empowered to appoint a town constable until the regular election in May. And at said regular election a mayor, three commissioners, and a constable shall be elected according to the provisions of said chapter one hundred and eleven of Battle's Revisal.
Section 4: This act shall be in force from and after its ratification.
Ratified the 7th day of March, A.D. 1877Concord M. E. Church
Concord M. E. Church
The first record of a Methodist Meeting House in Northampton County is that of the Concord Meeting House built in 1795.
The church is located about four miles from Seaboard on the old thoroughfare between Emporia and Franklin, Va.
Built of clapboard, painted white, the church is small, being about 25 × 35 feet and having only the single-room sanctuary. The building is of simple design, has a double-door entrance and three clear-glass windows on each side and two at the rear. The timbers underneath are hand-hewn. It is believed that the bricks were also handmade.
The interior has pine floors and handmade pews and railings. The ceiling is of wood in the batten-board style.
The small edifice is surrounded by large oaks. To the left of the church is a cemetery of relatively recent graves.
On June 12, 1793, for the sum of 20 shillings, Howell Hobbs of Brunswick County, Va., deeded one acre of land for the Concord Meeting House to Matthew Myrick and Nathaniel Mason of Brunswick County and Henry King and John Moore of Northampton. This is the first record of a Methodist Church in Northampton.
A memorandum dated June 5, 1793, specifies that the preachers of the Methodist Episcopal Church South who have use of the benefits of the meeting house shall use it so “long as they expound the word of God . . . and preach the doctrines contained in Mr. Wesley's notes on the New Testament and his four volumes of sermons.”
In the early days of the church, the attendance was large, being made up of wealthy plantation owners. Families came from miles around to all-day religious festivals which were often extended into gay social activities in the homes. It is said that slaves served the food at the all-day meetings. Some of the notable members of the church in its early days were Captain Nathaniel Mason (1757-1834), William Reid, the Vassar family, and others.
Miss Zenobia Harris, an elderly member of Concord, tells the handed-down story of the time the church prepared a squirrel stew at Halloween. Someone hung on a tree a pumpkin with a candle in it. At the sight of it, the crowd, frightened, ran away and left the stew uneaten.Mt. Carmel Baptist Church
Mr. Carmel Baptist Church
This church building is an outstanding example of the mid-nineteenth century rural meetinghouse type, with its large windows and simple lines. The church was constructed in 1847 and remains the same in appearance as it did then.
While the vast majority of early settlers in North Carolina lived in simple log huts, there is evidence to prove that among those first homes were weatherboarded houses and houses of brick. Although the first settlers were forced to live in a primitive way in the beginning, just as soon as possible they were building spacious wood-framed houses. Bellevue (also written Bellview) is a type of the flowering North Carolina architecture in the early days, which is the same style of architecture in many present-day homes.
Bellevue was built before 1754 by Joseph Smith. The snugly fitted dormers, the fat high chimneys, and the general proportions closely resemble the medieval homes of England. It is a type of house prevalent in North Carolina until as late as 1830. But only the most pretentious of the early homes boasted dormer windows, for there was an added tax on the homes of more than one story. The nails used in the construction were made in the blacksmith's shop on the plantation and it is said that the bricks were also made there. The style of the house was undoubtedly Georgian, but many changes have made it quite unlike a true house of that type. Farmhouses, such as this one, however, had an appeal and character far different from the domestic architecture of any other period and have influenced later homes.
Colonel Lawrence Smith was born at Bellevue on July 17, 1754, and died there March 7, 1812. He is buried in the family cemetery that contains more than 20 graves. The inscription on his tomb reads: “Always lived and died in view of this place”. There is also a slave graveyard on the plantation.
The house has owned at one time by Ethelred Peebles who planted the oak trees. In 1837 Peebles sold the plantation to John Long, who at his death had no heirs but was heavily in debt. His widow married John Ramsay who sold off his own property to pay the debt on the then 1300-acre plantation. The Ramsays have owned and occupied the house for six generations, the present occupant being John H. Ramsay, III.
Mrs. J. H. Ramsay
Ramsay House Dining Room
Ramsay House Living Room
Ramsay House Half-Ceiling Bedroom
Michael Harris House
Michael Harris House
THE MICHAEL HARRIS HOUSE, near Seaboard, is an English-type cottage built by Michael Harris about 1812. It has been occupied by four generations of his descendants, the present owner and occupant being Miss Zenobia Harris. The house is a ten-room, two-story structure with an attic at the back of the house. There is also a basement, bricked for use in case of a storm. It has nine dormer front windows and six in the back.
The house has the original fireplace, wide hardwood board floors, hand-made doors, old locks, high ceilings, and the original foundation. Some of the original latches and window panes are still in use. An unusual feature of the porch is its sloping at the ends to shed water. The kitchen and dining room are under a separate roof, being separated by two porches.
Michael Harris and his two brothers left England in 1812 to come to America to join friends and relatives. They landed in Virginia and were on their way to Georgia when they stopped at an inn in Jerusalem, now Courtland, Va. There Michael Harris met Betsy McLemore and fell in love with her at first sight. After a few days the brothers said they were rested and were ready to continue their journey to Georgia. Michael told them he was in love and that he wanted to stay on and see if he could persuade Betsy McLemore to marry him and so the brothers left Michael in Jerusalem.
In a few weeks, on September 21, 1812, Michael and Betsy were married and starting for Georgia to make their home and to join the other brothers. They came by Concord Church, North Carolina, where a revival was in progress and decided to stop over for a few days to attend the services. The neighborhood received them warmly, and they were entertained in the homes. Michael was impressed with the hospitality of the people and the rich farm land and said if he could buy some land he would like to remain in that community rather than proceed to Georgia. A large landowner offered to sell him 300 acres of land, and he built the house that still stands on the property.
Michael Harris farmed and practiced medicine, being considered a good doctor by the neighborhood. He used roots, herbs, and medicine from England. The office where he treated his patients was located in the yard near the residence and was still standing until a few years ago with its wooden cases around the walls where he kept his medicine.
Michael and Betsy Harris had six sons, three of whom settled in the Concord community. These being Ab, Hard, and Frank. The other three sons, John, Kit, and Ben went to Georgia to join relatives there. Later, two of these sons went to Texas to live. There are numerous relatives of the three sons who remained in the Concord community and who are living in the Seaboard area at present.
Michael and Betsy Harris are buried in the family cemetery a few yards from the Harris residence.
Seaboard Depot-Built 1888
Although the Seaboard Air Line Railway as a rail network operating “Through the Heart of the South” dates back only to the year 1900, the Seaboard Air Line System, running from Portsmouth to Atlanta, is older. The name of that organization was derived from the Seaboard & Roanoke Railroad formed in 1846 and the Raleigh & Gaston Railroad that was advertised after the War as the Inland Air Line Route. However, the Seaboard Road, as the line from Portsmouth to Weldon was known, was organized in 1832, and it was this Railroad that the town of Seaboard was named for when the name was changed from Concord.
This company that came to be known as the Portsmouth and Roanoke Railroad signed a contract to build a track from Portsmouth to Weldon “near the foot of the great falls of the Roanoke River”.
Prior to the day of the new railroad, the products of that fertile area of Virginia and North Carolina were shipped down the Dan and Staunton Rivers into the Roanoke and through the canal locks or over the falls above Weldon. Construction of the Portsmouth and Roanoke Railroads diverted much of this business to the rails, and men in the Tidewater area held an interest in the new venture.
The first engine used on this railroad was christened “John Barnett” in honor of the first white man to ascend the Roanoke River above the great falls. In 1836 service was advertised as far as Margarettsville. After passing the
present towns of Seaboard and Gumberry the railroad reached Gary's Depot (Garysburg) in 1836 and in 1837. After the completion of the bridge across the Roanoke River, the train began running into Weldon on the south bank.
Unfortunately the company encountered numerous financial difficulties. In 1843 the railroad was sold at public auction and was purchased by Capt. Francis E. Rives who took immediate steps to close it down. In 1844 he brought 40 Negroes to a point just below Margarettsville and began destroying tracks. When news of this reached Portsmouth, a train was dispatched with citizens of that town who repaired the damage and stopped the vandalism.
In 1845 an advertisement announced that the Railroad again was in operation over 63 miles between Portsmouth and Margarettsville, where a change was made to Four Horse Post Coach, operated by Mr. Willis Sledge, for the 17 mile journey on to Weldon. This portion of track was completed in 1849.
During the days prior to the War, prosperity ruled the railroad. Trains were loaded with cotton, tobacco, corn, wheat, barrel staves, and other products of the Old North State. With the bombardment of Fort Sumter on April 11, 1861, the Seaboard & Roanoke Railroad pledged its loyalty to the Confederacy. At one time during the War in 1865, a detachment of Union troops attempted to invade Weldon from the East, found the town and bridges over the Roanoke too heavily guarded and so turned its attention to the destruction of the track northward from Garysburg to Gumberry. They received word of a trainload of Confederates on the way, so the enemy was encouraged to retreat toward Jackson and off the Seaboard right of way.
In 1896 it was decided to determine the performance of a new type of American locomotive: on a special run from Weldon to Boykins, the speed of 87 MPH was achieved.The Farmers Bank of Seaboard
First Bank Building in Seaboard
THE FARMERS BANK OF SEABOARD, now merged with The Bank of North Carolina, N. A., has played an important role in the growth and development of the Seaboard area. It has met the financial and business needs of its customers through the years and has maintained a close relationship with the community.
According to minutes of the bank, a group of interested citizens in Seaboard met in Grubbs’ Storehouse on Thursday, January 4, 1906, to plan the necessary steps to establish a bank for the town. Mr. Thomas J. Powell was appointed chairman of this meeting, and B. S. Stancell served as secretary. The following business was transacted: The new bank was to be called The Farmers Bank of Seaboard and was to have a Board of Directors consisting of fifteen men. The capital stock was to be $6,000.00 with no stock-holder to hold more than two shares of the capital stock except by order of the directors.
Application for incorporation was made to the State of North Carolina, and on March 16, 1906, The Farmers Bank of Seaboard was incorporated. The bank opened for business on May 19, 1906, with total resources of $17,884.87.
Among the depositors on the first day of business were the following: J. W. Leake, P. H. Rose, J. W. Magee, Bettie H. Ramsay, W. L. Stephenson, W. R. Stephenson, W. F. Grubbs, J. L. Harris, J. O. Rogers, Crocker & Harris,
C. P. Stephenson, M. D. L. Harris & Son, C. B. Vick & Co., H. C. Maddrey, John E. Bradley, W. M. Britt, and J. H. Ramsay.
The bank building, in 1906, was a brick structure approximately 18 ft. by 27 ft. It was divided into a lobby, working space with one window to serve customers, a vault, and space for directors’ meetings. The entire building was heated by one coal stove in the lobby. There was not a piece of machinery used; all the work was done by hand, including the posting of all the individual accounts without the use of a single adding machine. H. R. Harris performed all the work in the bank until 1915. His salary was $35.00 a month for a number of years.
In 1950, the location of the bank was moved to Main Street, and a modern building was constructed with adequate working space and equipped with modern furniture and fixtures. At that time the resources of the bank had increased to $1,400,000.00 and there were five active employees.
In 1970 the present Williamsburg-style bank was constructed at the same site with an attractive exterior and interior. The resources are approximately 4½ million dollars, and all the various banking services are available to the customers. There are six full-time employees.
Dr. J.N. Ramsay
Officers of The Farmers Bank of Seaboard Around 1925. Left to Right: J. J. Rogers, Leon Spencer, Elmo Crocker, and H. R. Harris
DR. JUNIUS NAPOLEON RAMSAY, M. D., was born near Seaboard on March 31, 1836. He was educated in the common schools, preparatory to entering The University at Chapel Hill, where he was graduated in 1857. Two years later he was graduated professionally from the University of Pennsylvania. He began the practice of medicine in Seaboard and Jackson and was well launched in his professional career when the first alarm of war followed the movement for independence of the Southern States. This movement he sympathized with and supported. Not content to await the action of his own state, he went to Charleston, South Carolina, and enlisted as a private with the Palmetta Guards. He was stationed at the famous Stevens Iron Battery during the bombardment of Fort Sumter. It is believed Dr. Ramsay fired the second gun
Dr. J. N. Ramsay
against the fort. A few days after the fall of Sumter he secured an honorable discharge in order to enter the service of his own state. On his way home he learned of the evacuation and burning of the naval yard at Portsmouth. He hurried on to Virginia, where, offering his services, he was appointed assistant surgeon, in which capacity he served at Fort Norfolk until the secession of North Carolina. Then returning home, he assisted in organizing a company in his county and was commissioned First Lieutenant. He was in battle in Plymouth, North Carolina and at Battery Wagner, Charleston Harbor. Immediately after the latter fight, he was promoted to captain. Going with his regiment to the defense of Petersburg and Richmond, he received a severe wound in his left foot at the battle of Drewry's Bluff. Upon partial recovery he was assigned to duty as Assistant Surgeon at Greensboro, North Carolina where he served until the close of the war.
He returned to the practice of medicine and to his business and agricultural interests in and around Seaboard, North Carolina.
He was married to Bettie Harwell Phillips in 1865. This couple became the parents of four children: Maggie, John T., Joseph H., and Bettie Phillips. Dr. Ramsay died February 26, 1904.Bernice Kelly Harris
BERNICE KELLY HARRIS, a distinguished and gifted resident of Seaboard in Northampton County, passed away in September 1973. She was a beloved, adopted daughter of the county since she came to teach in the high school at Seaboard in 1917. In 1926 she married Herbert K. Harris, a Seaboard businessman, and remained there through the years. She was born in Wake County, before the turn of the century, in the Mt. Moriah Community, and from there she went to Cary High School and later graduated from
Bernice Kelly Harris
Meredith College in 1913. At the time of her death she was known throughout the state and afar as a noted author of feature articles, short stories, plays, and novels, and as a capable teacher of creative writing. Her many friends, with love and esteem, continued to call her “Miss Kelly” — such was her close fellowship and accessibility. She touched and influenced others.
After graduating from Meredith College, she taught briefly at Beulaville and Maiden, and then she taught English and coached plays at Seaboard for ten years. As a child she was interested in writing, but it was not until she had courses under Dr. Frederick Koch of the Carolina Playmakers at Chapel Hill that she ventured into serious writing. The result was a collection of Folk Plays of Eastern North Carolina which in production delighted many audiences. After her marriage there was an interval of feature writing for Raleigh and Norfolk newspapers, and she conducted a play-writing class among her friends in Seaboard. Then she wrote her novel, Purslane. This was the first novel the University at Chapel Hill Press published, and in 1939 it won for her the coveted Mayflower Cup. Purslane also had the distinction of being published in London under the title of Pate's Siding by G. P. Putnam Company.
After that first novel Mrs. Harris wrote Portulaca, Sweet Beulah Land, Hearthstones, Wild Cherry Tree Road, Janie Jeems, and Sage Quarter. Many readers consider her last novel, Southern Savory, her best since it is more or less her autobiography. She also wrote stories for Colliers and Pageant (Magazines) and The Saturday Evening Post. Her Christmas stories, The Very Real Truth About Christmas and Santa On The Mantel, in booklet form, still make delightful reading for the season. Her play, The Yellow Color Suit, was produced as an NBC Television matinee. For ten years she taught creative writing classes at Chowan College in Murfreesboro. During this time she inspired many to write successfully themselves, and the classes under her editing wrote two books, Southern Home Remedies and Strange Things Happen. Mrs. Harris received numerous honors. In 1966 she was awarded the GOLD MEDALLION, known as the
Home of Bernice Kelly Harris
Governor's Award, since it was established by the legislature for outstanding achievement in literature in North Carolina. In 1968 Meredith College honored her with a gold seal pin as a distinguished alumna. Also she received honorary Doctor of Literature degrees from the Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. There were other tributes. Her personal contributions and services in the community with church and civic life were such that they cannot be evaluated. Truly, she was one of Northampton County's most distinguished and valuable citizens.J. G. L. Crocker
J. G. L. Crocker
Among the most influential and beloved citizens of Seaboard in the latter part of the 19th century was Mr. J. G. L. Crocker, a man of great vision and ability. He was born in Seaboard on June 29, 1850, the son of Joseph and Annie Maria Buffaloe Crocker. He attended school in a one-room log building near Cyprus Swamp where there were only benches with no backs and a large fireplace across one wall. His teacher was Mr. Lewis Foster, father of Mr. Frank Foster, a well-known educator in the Seaboard community. His education was interrupted by the Civil War, but he was a great reader and became well-versed in many areas.
Mr. Crocker was in the mercantile business for many years, first in the firm of Crocker and Maddrey, and later as Crocker and Harris.
Mr. Crocker held the office of County Treasurer for many years and served as county commissioner, a member of the County Board of Education, the first president of The Farmers Bank of Seaboard, a charter member of the Seaboard Masonic Lodge and a steward, and Sunday School Superintendent of the Seaboard Methodist Church. He served in all these capacities with honor and distinction.
Mr. Crocker was married to Miss Nettie Futrell on May 21, 1879, and there were born to this couple six sons and one daughter.
Mr. Crocker died on January 22, 1920, leaving a host of friends and a rich heritage to his family and to his community. He was a highly respected citizen, and his advice and counsel were sought on many matters. He was known for his generosity and kindness to any person in need.Henry Russell Harris
Henry Russell Harris
HENRY RUSSELL HARRIS was born in Northampton County on July 8th, 1881. He was the son of William Exum and Bashaba Boyce Harris. He graduated with an A. B. Degree from Wake Forest College in 1903, where he was an outstanding athlete. He studied banking under Colonel Burgwyn at Rich Square and in 1906 helped organize The Farmers Bank of Seaboard. He served there as Cashier from 1906 to 1920 and as President from then until his death. Although he was not listed in the bank's resources, his good judgment, sound policies, and wise counsel were its greatest assets.
He headed four War Bond drives, using his time and energy unselfishly, doing what he thought was his patriotic duty.
From 1915 to 1941 he served on the local school board. During the earlier part of this period Seaboard had a Special Tax District which enabled Seaboard to become one of the best schools in the State. Seaboard was one of the first schools to have Vocational Agriculture.
In the Seaboard Baptist Church he served as Sunday School superintendent, as Secretary and Treasurer, and for many years as a Deacon.
In civic activities he served as Town Councilman for 10 years, during which time substantial progress was made
in its financial condition and also in additions and improvements.
Just before World War II Wake Forest College elected him as President of their Alumni Association. It was interesting to see the quality of their athletic recruiting greatly improved. He loved any athletic contest but was more enthusiastic when Wake Forest was a participant.
He was Past-Master of Seaboard Masonic Order and was a Mason for 50 years. He served as Vice-President of Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Association. Mr. Harris represented Northampton County in the General Assembly from 1941 to 1947, during which time he was active on many committees and Chairman of the Banking Committee.
As a successful farmer in his native County he did what he could to alleviate the problems of other farmers. He was a great student of human nature, yet he was sympathetic of man's weaknesses and frailties. He looked for, and usually found, some good in his fellow man.
His life was characterized by honesty, generosity with his time and money, loyalty to his friends, devotion to his family, and most of all, concern for others.
He and his wife, formerly Miss Clara Stephenson, lived graciously in their native Seaboard community. They both had a keen sense of humor and thoroughly enjoyed each other, their friends, and the finer attributes of good living.
Here is a man whose roots were deep in Northampton County and who left many indelible footprints in its fertile lands. He was at the forefront in molding Northampton's sound economic principles.
He died January 30th, 1952 and is survived by his daughter, Mattie Elizabeth Harris, now Vice-President of The Bank of North Carolina, N. A. and Manager of its Seaboard Branch; his son, Henry Russell Harris, Jr., now retired; his granddaughters, Mrs. H. K. Aiken, Jr., and Mrs. E. B. Grant, Jr.; and their children, Jane Harris Aiken, Susan Kerr Aiken, Mary Elizabeth Aiken, Eugene Bowers Grant, III, and Henry Russell Harris Grant.
Dr. Carl Putnam
Dr. Carl Putnam Parker
DR. CARL PUTNAM PARKER was born near Seaboard, in Northampton County, December 9, 1891. He was the son of Israel Putnam Parker and Sarah Susan Gay Parker. His grandparents were Jesse and Lucy Joyner Vick Parker and Jeremiah Carter and Adelia Stancell Gay.
Dr. Parker attended public schools at Pruden's Spring and in Jackson and graduated from the private Warrenton (North Carolina) High School in 1910. He attended the University of North Carolina during 1910-11. From 1911 to 1915 Dr. Parker studied at the Medical College of Virginia, and in 1915 he interned in the Virginia Hospital, both in Richmond. For six months after that, Dr. Parker worked with the N. C. State Board of Health's typhoid vaccination program for Northampton County. Then he had a general practice of medicine in and around Garysburg until December 1917.
On December 13, 1917 Dr. Parker was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the Medical Corps of the U. S. Army and was assigned to Field Hospital Number 42. He served with this outfit in France from May 23, 1918, until April 7, 1919, and was in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. At the time of his discharge, Dr. Parker held the rank of Captain.
In 1919 Dr. Parker established his practice of medicine in Seaboard, where he contributed much to his community as a beloved physician and public spirited citizen until his early death April 6, 1928, at the age of 36. He was active in local politics and was an early and successful advocate of an improved road system for Northampton County. During 1926-1927 he represented Northampton County in the General Assembly, having been elected to push through the program for better roads. His other contributions were as a steward in the Seaboard
Methodist Episcopal Church, South; as a Master of Seaboard Lodge Number 378; as a Shriner and Knights Templar; as a member of Laurel Camp W. O. W. Number 486; and as President of the Northampton County Medical Society 1920-21. He was active in the North Carolina Medical Association and was a fellow of the American Medical Association. Dr. Parker strongly supported good public schools and at the time of his death was a trustee of the University of North Carolina.
Left to Right: Mrs. Bertha Joyner Parker, Carl Putnam Parker, Jr. and Helen Parker Smith
Dr. Parker married Bertha Helen Joyner, the daughter of Sheriff Hinton Lee Joyner and Helen Bridgers Joyner. Their four children are Helen Bridgers (Mrs. Clarence McKittrick Smith, Newberry, South Carolina); Carl Putnam Parker, Jr., M. D., Salisbury, North Carolina; Sarah Constance (Mrs. Frank Bancroft Thomas, Raleigh, North Carolina); and Marshall Joyner Parker, Seneca, South Carolina.
Dr. Parker's widow still lives in Seaboard as one of the town's outstanding and colorful citizens. She was a charter member and first president of the Woman's Club of Seaboard, was active in the American Legion Auxiliary, and was nominated for the North Carolina Mother of the Year Award. She is active in the Northampton County Library, the Northampton County Historical Society, and in the Seaboard United Methodist Church, currently serving as a member of the Board of Stewards. She was honored with a life's membership in the Woman's Missionary Society and by having one of the church circles named for her.Mount Zion
The black people of the Jonesboro Community worshiped about one mile from the present church site without being organized. The people were given the present site by a white landowner in 1865. Aaron Good, who was a member of his former master's church, organized the church, which was known as Mount Zion.
Long logs were cut and used for seats; with tops of trees a brush arbor was built. As time moved on, a small church was built. Rev. Richard Walden was the first pastor. He served for many years. When he became ill, Rev. S. G. Newsome, who was a member of the church, served as pastor. Several years later Rev. Hiram Clements was called to serve as pastor. Rev. Clements served until 1920. In 1921 Rev. F. L. Bullock of Enfield was elected as pastor. He still serves. Only four ministers are recorded as pastors of the church that serves the community between Margarettsville and Seaboard.
Pharoah Jones bought land and built the first house of boards in the community. As a result the community was called Jonesboro.
The school for blacks was on the church ground for many years. As time moved on, an acre of land was purchased on the Hannah Jordan tract of land, and a one-room school was built and named Jonesboro. Jonesboro school grew to two rooms by 1914. The two rooms served the community until the Rosewald Fund became available. Then Richard Ivey sold the School Board two acres of land on rural road 1325, where a four-room school was built.
In the early 1900's almost all of the land of the community was owned and cultivated by blacks. Richard Ivey built a country store where people went to buy their everyday needs, to play checkers, and to discuss the events of the day. However, Sundays found every family attending Sunday School at Mount Zion.
No one black wants to claim credit for the progress of the community, but the “Team Work” which started when the community was organized in 1865 has caused the community and church to survive many difficult times. Since the schools have been consolidated, one of the Ivey heirs bought the old Jonesboro school and donated it to the community for a Community Center, which serves many uses.People to Remember—
W. D. BARBEE — Principal of Seaboard High School for fifteen years, beginning 1913 — Supervisor Vocational Education for North Carolina — Member, North Carolina Legislature — Active member of Seaboard Baptist Church — Director of Farmers Bank of Seaboard — community leader
R. W. EDWARDS — Prominent merchant for fifty years — Active in Seaboard Methodist Church — Director of Farmers Bank of Seaboard for half century
MRS. RUTH VICK O'BRIEN — Leader in community affairs — Teacher at Seaboard High School for 15 years — Active member of Seaboard Methodist Church
DR. M. R. STEPHENSON — “Horse and Buggy” doctor for many years practicing over a wide area around Seaboard — Trustee of local school for many years — Active member of Seaboard Methodist Church
MRS. R. M. MADDREY — Active in Seaboard Baptist Church — Writer for early county newspapers under name of “Old Zick”
PAUL H. ROSE — Founder of Rose's Stores — lived in Seaboard during his boyhood and young manhood days — His first store was a lemonade stand on legs, operated in Seaboard and carried to various locations by his father
FRANK FOSTER — First superintendent of Northampton County Schools — At one time Checker Champion of wide area
|H. R. Harris||Raymond Parker|
|Dr. C. P. Parker||J. T. Maddrey|
|W. D. Barbee|
|W. E. Harris||Writers:|
|Mrs. Bernice Kelly Harris|
|Dr. M. R. Stephenson||Historic Buildings:|
|Dr. Carl P. Parker||Ramsay House|
|Dr. C. L. Vick||Concord Church|
|Dr. J. W. Parker||Mt. Carmel Church|
|Dr. Edward Boone|
|Dr. Crocker Maddrey|
|Dr. J. N. Ramsay|
|Dr. Robert Stancell|
|Dr. R. B. Blowe|
|Dr. T. J. Stephenson|
|H. R. Harris, Jr.|
|G. F. Crocker|
|Willie Mack Faison|
|F. R. Harris|
|C. T. Johnson, Jr.|
Paul H. Rose President and Founder of Rose's Stores
Mrs. Pauline Joyner Hart Postmistress in Seaboard around 1900
Seaboard Group at Panacea Springs 1913.
Mrs. Mattie Stephenson Gay, 1880, Owned and Operated a Millinery Shop in Seaboard for a Quarter of a Century. 1900-1925
Church Street, Seaboard, North Carolina, 1924
House and Family Group in Seaboard, 1892
One of the earliest settlements in Northampton County was in Margarettsville, near the Virginia border. Settlers from Greensville and Southampton counties in Virginia followed the Meherrin River in the late 1600's and early 1700's and found fertile lands for farming.
The community was officially named “Margaret” when an official of the Seaboard railroad came there to inspect the railroad after the line from Portsmouth, Virginia, to Margarettsville was completed. Upon learning that the community had no name, he named it Margaret for an attractive young native girl, Margaret Jordan. Residents later added the “tsville”, making it the longest name of any postal town in the state.
About one mile from Margarettsville is a crossroads which took its name from the once-prominent plantation, Diamond Grove. The plantation crossroads once had a post office, established January 25, 1827 (said to be the first in the county). In 1836 the name of the post office was changed to Margarettsville. Diamond Grove was also a stage stop and trade center. The plantation was named Diamond Grove because its structures stood among a grove of oak and elm trees planted in the shape of a diamond. Two old houses remain to attest to their original features. One is a Revoluntionary period frame home of two stories, a “jump”, and shedrooms. The other, built later, is a spacious two-story rectangular-shaped home, built in front of the older one. Diamond Grove was owned by Dr. William J. Johnson before the Civil War. Dr. Johnson was noted for making the plantation a horse racing and social center. The property today belongs to the J. E. Piland heirs.
Near Diamond Grove is another relic of the past, the forsaken manor house of a Captain Rogers. However, on the road between Diamond Grove and Cross-Lox (also called Lots, now Severn) is the well-kept 18th century Georgian home built by the Branch family, later owned by the Rogers family and known as the Rogers Home, and now owned by the Joe Gay family.
To the northwest of Margarettsville is Turners Crossroad, once the site of several stores and plantation homes and gaiety rivaling that of Diamond Grove. Only two of these homes are standing: the “Doc” Stancell house and one owned now by Richard O. Glover. The latter was formerly a Methodist parsonage, later the home of John Green Stancell.
The Margarettsville community, which extends about three miles, has two churches: the Sharon Methodist Church begun in 1839, and Margarettsville Baptist Church founded in 1889. The Baptist church was destroyed by the August, 1932, tornado. The present Sharon church was dedicated in 1955, replacing its old 1870 structure.
In the past the community had several stores, a lumber company, and a baby-crib factory owned by the Gray brothers. Today there are only two grocery stores and several agricultural businesses, including a gin and three peanut buying stations.
Although Margarettsville is a quiet, rural community today, it can point with pride not only to its rich past, elegant social life, and rich farm land, but to its having the county's first early twentieth century brick school. Another of its firsts in the county is its being the only place in the county where a President of the United States has stopped and talked. President Benjamin Harrison, while traveling through by train on a hot day, stopped briefly, and strolled to the shaded lawn of the Spivey home near the tracks. In his rolled-up shirt sleeves and red suspenders, he talked informally to the small crowd that gathered.
One old timer says, “Perhaps Margarettsville has seen its better days, but we love it as it is”. The remark is borne out by the fact that many former residents retire there, many history buffs visit there to see the old plantation-style homes, and many people come to search for Meherrin Indian artifacts. Margarettsville is more than a wide place on Highway 186.
Commissary and Warehouse at Gumberry
Mr. & Mrs. Frederich Kell
During the early 1880's, Mr. Frederich Kell, a native German from the Richmond, Virginia, area, bought land on both sides of the Seaboard Air Line Railway in the section between Seaboard and Garysburg known as Gumberry. He also acquired certain areas on which to build a railroad to Jackson.
On the south side of the SAL tracks he built a sawmill, a planing mill, a dry kiln, a small box factory, and a mill equipped to produce fancy boardwork, ceilings, moldings and the like. A commissary and a warehouse were built across from the railroad. Mr. Kell took pride in the small community he was creating. The late James La Taylor came to Gumberry in 1892 as the commissary manager.
Mr. Kell gave the land and lumber for a church. It was to be a church where all denominations could hold services.
As he began construction of the mill, Mr. Kell also began to build his railroad. He had the foresight to make it standard gauge. This facilitated the transfer of freight and other shipments between his railroad and the SAL. It was completed in 1893. There were two trains, a passenger and a log train, each with its own crew.
There was a private school in Gumberry in the 1880's and early 1900's. This was the Oak Grove Academy. It was located about where the old SAL's section foreman's house (now owned by Mr. William Price) stands.
The post office was established in July 15, 1889, and the name Gumberry was officially recorded. No one seems to know just how or why the name was selected. Mr. Kell was the first postmaster.
The people who bought out “F. Kell, Gumberry, North Carolina” were Mr. Jack Westcott and two Trenchard brothers, Mr. Will and Mr. Tom Trenchard. The company they operated was known as the Westcott-Trenchard Lumber Company. Gumberry has the distinction of being the first electrically-lighted village in Northampton County.
Dr. J.N. Ramsay
Essay on Patriotism
March 1, 1855
“Patriotism is the love of one's country; that devoted attachment which stimulates man's heart and puts in his veins the strength of a Lion. It is a flame in man's bosom, though when dying out will rekindle at the slightest touch and flash with sparkling luster when the cause of country is intimated.”
In addition to the names listed as contributors to this book I would like to express my great appreciation to all of the commissioners who have helped make this book possible and especially to Mr. Jasper Eley, chairman, who has taken special interest and followed it through to completion. I would like to thank the library and staff for allowing us to use the Buxton room as our headquarters and for all of their patience and help during our two month stay. Thank you's are extended to each member of the Bicentennial Committee for the diligent work and research they have put into this project. I appreciate the work of Polly Eley and Gen Stanley as secretaries to myself as editor of this book. I would like to thank the photographers who graciously gave their time and talents in capturing many of these pictures for our use. I would also like to thank the Registrar of Deeds office, the Clerk of Court's office, the Farm Bureau, and Mr. Ellen and the County Auditor's office for their time and help. To John Powell and the Herald Printing House office I say thanks for their time and efforts in making this book possible.
Knowing it is impossible to name everyone who has had a part in putting together this book I wish to thank each and every contributor. This book could not have been done without the combined efforts of numerous people.
E. Carl Witt
CONTRIBUTORS TO Footprints in Northampton
Mrs. Taney Brazeal
Miss Polly Eley — secretary to editor
Miss Gen Stanley — secretary to editor
Mr. John Powell
North Carolina Department of Archives
Mr. James Elliot Moore
Mr. Thad Eure
Mr. A. J. P. Edwards
Mrs. Frances Ramsay Magee
Mrs. Bettie Harris Eastwood
Mrs. Nettie Alice Taylor Moody
Mrs. Nancy W. Crocker
Mrs. Mary T. Carlton
Mrs. Mildred C. Westbrook
Miss Zenobia Harris
Mrs. Helen Bridgers Parker Smith
Mr. Christy L. Cleaton
Mrs. Bertha Joyner Parker
Mr. Henry Russell Harris, Jr.
Mrs. Olive Kelley
Mrs. Rosalie Upchurch
Mr. Lawrence McDaniel Ramsay
Mrs. M. N. Carpenter, Jr.
Dr. M. Crocker Maddrey
Rev. J. P. Morgan
Mrs Russel Vaughan
Mrs. Fannie Bryant
Mrs. James Bridgers
Miss Lola Wheeler
Mr. Walter V. Daughtry
Mrs. Jessie Holoman Daughtry
Mrs. Essie Warren
Mrs. Therman Lassiter
Miss Rebecca Long
Mrs. A. C. Gay
Mr. Roy F. Lowry
Dr. Henry W. Lewis
Mrs. E. S. Bowers
Mr. P. Alston Lewis
Mrs. P. A. Lewis
Mrs. Katherine Moody Good
Judge Ballard S. Gay
Mrs. Rod Jordan
Mr. J. Roy Parker, Jr.
Mrs. Bertha J. Parker
Mrs. Louise B. Parker
Jackson Book Club
Mrs. John Wesley Parker
Dr. Bernice Kelly Harris
Mr. Curtis Bass
Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Long
Mr. and Mrs. Grady Bridgers
Mrs. Russell Johnson, Sr.
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Meacham
Froelich Column “Owl's Nest”
Mrs. T. T. Stephenson
Mrs. Aileen Autrey Brown-Griffen
Dr. Gilbert T. Stephenson
Miss Louise Boone
Mrs. E. B. Grant
Mrs. Miriam Pruden
Mr. Russell Johnson, Jr.
Mrs. Frances H. Parker
Mr. Q. J. Stephenson
Registrar of Deeds Office
Clerk of Court Office
Mr. Bartlett Roper Burgwyn
Mrs. W. W. Grant
Mrs. Boyd Robinson
Miss Lucy Ellis
Mrs. R. O. Harris
Rev. Charles Morrison
Mrs. Bernice Shearin
Mrs. Geneva Blacknall High
Mrs. Catherine Robinson
Mr. Hansel Johnson
Mr. Thomas G. Joyner
Mr. Wilson W. Handing
Mrs. Mary R. Kelton
Mr. Jacob L. Rice
Mr. Robert B. Robinson, III
Mr. Jack Faison
Mr. S. G. Baughan
Mrs. Lois Outland
Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hollowell
Mrs. Clara Leake
Mrs. Olive Askew
Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Conner
Miss Alice Elliott
Mrs. Dorothy Outland
Mr. Ronald Brown
Mr. Manning P. Cooke
Miss Mabel Branch
Mrs. Ruby Bishop Scott
Mrs. Joanna Maggett
Mrs. Viola T. Bishop
Ms. Maizie Calvert Boone
Mrs. O. B. Spaulding
Mrs. Fannie T. Newsome
Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Creecy, Jr.
Mr. M. C. Ashe
Rev. L. O. Saunders
Mr. Marvin Eric Barrow
Mr. Rodney Barfield
Mrs. R. Jennings White, Sr.
Mrs. R. Jennings White, Jr.
Mrs. Gilbert Stephenson
Dr. and Mrs. R. Kelly White
Mr. and Mrs. Abner Lassiter
Dr. and Mrs. J. A. Fleetwood, Sr.
Dr. and Mrs. J. A. Fleetwood, Jr.
Mr. John Raynor Woodard
Mrs. Rod Jordon
Mr. Wilson Bridgers
Mr. Jerry Hedspeth
Mrs. Edward Womble
Mrs. Will Stephenson
Mrs. J. B. Stephenson, Jr.
Mr. Dudley Barnes
Miss Ola Mae Johnson
Mr. Frank Womble
Mrs. Willia P. Futrell
Miss Janie Revelle
Mr. Obed Futrell
Mrs. Janie Shearin
Mrs. Taney Brazeal
W. Guthrie Maddry
Mrs. Irma Odom
Miss Brownie Coker
Mrs. J. M. Attkinson
Mrs. Margaret B. Cooley
Mr. Felton Turner
Judge Robert Martin
Mrs. Effie Strickland
Mr. L. C. Copeland
Judge W. H. S. Burgwyn
Mr. Bruce Lassiter
Miss Rachel Brown
|Miss Jan Raby||Mr. Jerry Hedspeth|
|Mr. Lee Hansley||Mr. John Litchfield|
|Mr. E. Wright Emory, Jr.|
Miss Gen Stanley
Picture of Polly Eley and Gen Stanley, as secretaries, working on “Footprints In Northampton.”
Northampton County Bicentennial Committee
Chairman, E. Carl Witt
Judge W. H. S. Burgwyn, Sr.
Charles W. Bridgers, III.
W. H. S. Burgwyn, Jr.
Northampton County Courthouse