This collection (1821-2007) contains several groups of family history-related papers concerning eastern North Carolina and a large number of unrelated miscellaneous items such as photographs, church records, Bible records, and rare printed items on a variety of subjects. The majority of the family papers concern the Croom and Whitfield families of Lenoir County, N.C. Other family papers concern the Harvey family of Greene County, N.C., the Jordan and Waters families of Washington, N.C., the Meeks family of Pitt County, the Outlaw family of Lenoir County and the Thompson family of Georgia. A large part of this collection concerns the Ficklen family of Greenville, N.C., including scrapbooks, diaries, an autograph book and a post card collection. Some items concern the colorful poet, magazine editor, railroad speculator, paper mill owner, Civil War blockade-runner, and sea captain Appleton Oaksmith who lived in Carteret County, N.C., for fifteen years (1872-1887). Also included are ambrotype photographs of Confederate Civil War soldiers James Needham Alexander, who served in Company A, 11th North Carolina Troops (Infantry) and Stanhope Washington Alexander, who served in Company H, 35th North Carolina Regiment.
This collection contains several groups of family history-related papers concerning eastern North Carolina and a large number of unrelated miscellaneous items gathered from various sources. Some of the family papers are connected to the donor's background in Lenoir County, N.C., while others were rescued from antique shops and flea markets. Miscellaneous items include scrapbooks, diaries, photographs, and church records concerning eastern North Carolina, rare printed items on a variety of subjects, and military photographs. Some items concern the colorful poet, magazine editor, railroad speculator, paper mill owner, Civil War blockade-runner, and sea captain Appleton Oaksmith who lived in Carteret County, N.C., for fifteen years (1872-1887).
The majority of the family papers concern the Croom and Whitfield families of Lenoir County, N.C. The Croom family papers consist primarily of receipts, notes, and accounts (1844-1896), many of which concern Joseph R. Croom (1844-1859) and William A. Croom (1860-1864) as trustees for Mrs. Elizabeth M. Davis. A promissory note for the hiring out of enslaved persons in 1844, 1846, 1847, and 1852 is found in the papers concerning Mrs. Davis. The Hiring-out system allowed a hirer to temporarily lease an enslaved person from a slaveowner, generating revenue for the slaveowner through the labor of the enslaved people completing the work.
Legal papers for two civil suits are also included in this group and they involve the Duplin County, N.C., case of John S. Davis vs. Seth Davis and others(1858-1860), and the Lenoir County, N.C., suit of Benjamin Davis vs. John G. Parker, administrator of John G. Davis, deceased(1855-1871). The latter case finally reached the N.C. Supreme Court in 1868 as James Wood, administrator of Benjamin F. Davis, deceased vs. John G. Parker, administrator of John G. Davis, deceased.
Other Croom family material includes genealogical notes (especially concerning William Cyrus and Gertrude "Gertie" Thompson Croom and their descendants), photocopies of Bible records for Joseph R. and Nancy Hardee Croom of Lenoir County (which also include the descendants of his son and daughter-in-law William Allen and Ann Mariah Jackson Croom) and for William Cyrus (son of William Allen Croom) and Gertie Thompson Croom of Lenoir County, handwritten birth and death records for Thompsons and Infingers of Georgia, handwritten birth and marriage records for Lenoir County Crooms, and genealogical information concerning the Jesse Jackson III family of Lenoir County. Also included here are a sketch (2001) by William E. Elmore concerning William Cyrus and Gertie Thompson Croom and their involvement in the early years of Webb's Chapel Methodist Church at Sandy Bottom in Lenoir County; a program (1925) for the play Tea Toper Tavern performed at Moss Hill High School in Lenoir County; an undated Lenoir County Republican ticket which has William Allen Croom (1837-1899) running for county commissioner; and Sandy Bottom, a narrative (1987) by Eleanor Fordham Cash concerning the lives of Henry Clay Fordham of Deep Run, N.C., and his wife Rebecca Croom of Sandy Bottom and their ancestors and descendants.
Lenoir County-related topics discussed in the Sandy Bottom narrative concern life on a farm in the 1930s (pp. 13-20, 50-54, 61-83) including growing flue-cured tobacco (pp. 14-15) at the urging of Jesse W. Grainger, working in the tobacco fields and the rate of pay for laborers (pp. 73-74); wages paid in stores in Kinston (pp. 68-69, 82-83); and teaching school (pp. 23-25, 28). Other topics covered are student life at East Carolina Teachers Training School (now East Carolina University) in the late 1910s (pp. 22-23), and life in southern Florida during the real estate boom of the 1920s (pp. 29-47) including renting Tahiti Beach in Miami, a private beach (formerly part of the Biltmore Hotel which had closed) in a lagoon near Coconut Grove, and hurricanes in 1926 and 1927 (pp. 29-32, 37).
The Whitfield family papers include correspondence (1843-1938), genealogical material and printed items. The correspondence is primarily of a personal nature and reflects family news and business activities such as the description of the death in 1854 of a relative (probably William Whitfield- see Whitfield, Bryan, Smith, and Related Families edited by Theodore M. Whitfield, 1948, p. 103) in Columbus, Mississippi. Letters (1888, 1891) from Nathan B. Whitfield and his wife mention meetings of the Farmers Alliance, and tell of Whitfield's campaign for the N.C. State Senate and the problems he was having in Greene County with "Radicals, Independents & Knights of Labor & No Fence Democrats" (1888). Mrs. Whitfield also talks about activities at the Seven Springs Academy (1888). Genealogical materials include transcripts of the Bible records for Augustus W. and Delilah A. (Jones) Whitfield (married November 25, 1869) and their children, and of his parents Constantine (1788-1867) and Elisabeth Jones Whitfield (1792-1869) and their children; a photocopy of a handwritten list of marriages and births concerning James Bryan Whitfield and Sally Eliza Wooten (married November 10, 1829); a remembrance card for James M. Kornegay who died February 6, 1890; a photocopy of a 1934 handwritten account concerning Allen Wooten during the Civil War, the burning of the Wooten mill (subsequently replaced by the Hardy mill) by the Yankees, and genealogy notes on the Wootens and Whitfields; and a handwritten copy of a land deed (1840) between James B. Whitfield and Allen W. Wooten of Lenoir County. Miscellaneous items include a typed 1908 reminiscence concerning Peter Stuart Ney (who taught in North Carolina schools from the late 1810s through at least the late 1830s and died in Rowan County in 1846), believed to be one of Napoleon Bonaparte's marshals who was supposedly executed for "high treason" in 1815; and various schoolboy essays. Printed items include two copies of a speech (1928) by Senator F. M. Simmons denouncing the attacks upon Prohibition by the "Tammany-Smith-Raskob-DuPont Coalition," denouncing Democratic Party presidential candidate "Al Smith's Policy" and touting the positive effect of the "White Supremacy Campaigns" on passing Prohibition in North Carolina; a souvenir receipt for a $1 contribution to the Jefferson Davis Monument at Fairview, Kentucky; the 1868 N.C. Constitution with comments in pencil that had belonged to Nathan B. Whitfield; and an undated songbook apparently putout for the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (which was created after President Abraham Lincoln's assassination).
Other family papers concern the Harvey family of Greene County, N.C., the Jordan and Waters families of Washington, N.C., the Meeks family of Pitt County, the Outlaw family of Lenoir County and the Thompson family of Georgia. The Harvey family papers include a memoria for Ann Hyman Harvey (died 1890, daughter of Dr. John Harvey) of Snow Hill, Greene County; an 1886 memoria booklet put out by William H. Oliver of New Bern concerning many apparently unrelated people including Martha Harvey Haughton (died 1876, daughter of John and Ann Harvey); and obituaries for William E. Best (his second wife was Sudie Harvey, daughter of Dr. John Harvey) of Kinston, Thomas H. Harvey and Dr. John Harvey and Ann(e) Hyman Harvey all of Greene County.
The Jordan and Waters families' papers were obtained together by the donor, but it is not known whether they are related. These papers include correspondence (1897-1901, undated) mainly between Mr. M. T. Jordan at school in Poughkeepsie, NY, and relatives and friends in Washington, N.C., receipts (1866-1898, undated), Farmers Alliance-related papers, advertising material and miscellaneous items. Topics discussed in the correspondence include a three-week prayer meeting held in Plymouth, N.C.(April 19, 1897), Carolina Institute (April 20, 1897), extensive descriptions of the "Sanctified" movement and preaching meetings (March-May, 1897) which became the Holiness Movement, and the increase in Alliance "business" in Washington, N.C.(March 8, 1897). Most of the receipts (1889-1898) are for dues to the Alliance No. 1436 (probably in Washington, N.C. for Moses M. Waters and Marcellus Jordan. The printed material is mostly advertising material especially for medical remedies such as Old Surgeon, Hiram Carter medications, Mark H. Jackson's Home Treatment for rheumatism, Dill's Balm of Life and Dyer Two-Fold Treatment for Rheumatism. Also included are a price list for Norfolk Distilling Co. (late 1890s or early 1900s?); an advertisement for C. M. Little, Jr., a grocer in Washington, N.C. a partially used 1942 war ration book from Pinetown, N.C. and a program (1920) for the Radcliffe Chautauqua in Wallace, N.C.
The Meeks family papers are a transcription of Bible records for George Ashley (1846-1906) and Louiza L. Pippin Meeks of Pitt County which also covers his parents George A. (1816-1855?) and Nancy Carson Meeks. Louiza Pippin Meeks was originally from Edgecombe County. The Outlaw family papers are handwritten birth, death and marriage records for the George (1812-1878) and Hester Whitfield Outlaw family (probably of Lenoir County) and possibly of Hester's parents. Also found here are a list of Lewis Outlaw's children with their birth dates (ranging from 1840s through early 1860s), an obituary for G. W. Outlaw of the Seven Springs community but actually residing in Duplin County, N.C., and a photocopy of Bible records which apparently document the family of George W. (1860-1928) and Charlotte Outlaw. The Thompson family papers contain a sketch of Henry Wesley Thompson (1850-1877) of Ware County, Georgia, whose daughter Gertrude Elizabeth married William Cyrus Croom of LenoirCounty, N.C., and a letter (1975) with information on Emanuel County, Georgia, Thompson ancestors. Later on in this collection is found a family history written in narrative format by Eleanor Fordham Cash, entitled Georgia Peaches, concerning the Meeks, Cole, Thompson, and Infinger families, all of whom are ancestors of Gertrude Elizabeth Thompson, except the Infingers who are her stepfather and half-siblings.
The remaining family papers include Bible records for the Cox family (birth dates in the 1870s); Quinn and Francisca S. Koskey Schumacher (married 1869) of Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Willoughby and Martha Ann Wallace Jones (married 1853). The Jones records also cover the Martha Jones and Allen Baker (married 1880) family. The Bible records for Jordan and Nancy Long Thomas (who were married in 1800) also contain records for the related Long, Noble and Gillett families. Deaths are listed primarily in Louisburg, N.C. Birth records and death records of enslaved persons from the early 1800s are also listed. The transcribed Bible records for the Lee family in Virginia are accompanied by a chart showing that John Lee, whose Meeks descendants reside in Pitt County now, was the brother of Henry Lee, Robert E. Lee's father. There is also a handwritten copy of a memorial print found in Tarboro, N.C., memorializing John, Martha Ann, Lewis and Tansie Harrell who died in the late 1800s and early 1920s.
A folder of material concerns Appleton Oaksmith. According to a sketch (found here) of his life published in the Daily Reflector in Greenville, N.C., on July 19, 1979, and written by Dr. H. G. Jones of Chapel Hill, N.C., Oaksmith was born Appleton Smith in Portland, Maine, on February 14, 1827. His parents were Seba Smith and Elizabeth Oakes Prince Smith. As already mentioned, he had experience in many interesting occupations. He had changed his name to Oaksmith by at least 1852. According to Dr. Jones, Oaksmith came to Beaufort, N.C., in June 1872 and settled with his family at "Hollywood" near Morehead City. On July 4, 1879, he took his two sons and four daughters on a boat ride to Fort Macon across Bogue Sound. Halfway across the Sound the sailboat capsized and all four daughters (Bessie, Corinne, Mildred, and Pauline) drowned. He and his sons Randolph and Stanly survived. Oaksmith died in New York on October 29, 1887. The papers here cover the years 1854 through 1875 with one letter from 1831, and concern mainly his involvement with the firm of S. Oaksmith and Company of New York, his poetry, and his personal life. The 1831 item is a note from "Bowdoin College" to Oaksmith's father, Seba Smith, informing him of his (Seba's) election to Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha of Maine. The material from the 1850s through 1861 is mostly legal and financial documents, some of which have a more obvious connection to Oaksmith than do others. Specifically named ships in these documents are the brig MARY ADELINE, the bark LAURETTA, and the bark JOHN CALBY(?). There is also a bill of sale (June 26, 1854) with enrollment information for the steamboat MASSACHUSETTS from the New Jersey Steam Navigation Company and a letter (October 25, 1859) concerning lawsuits that lists Oaksmith as an agent for the Springfield, Mount Vernon & Pittsburgh Railroad Company. The 1862 letters indicate that Oaksmith is in jail (in New York?) because they refer to not being able to pay his bail, but the reason for his imprisonment is not given. An 1865 notarized statement of Sidney Oaksmith certifies the satisfactory employment of Captain John McDonald in the former firm of S. Oaksmith and Co. of "Hayti, W.I. and New York" as a shipmaster for the years 1833-1860 and lists the ships he commanded. According to Dr. Jones's article, Oaksmith captained a blockade-runner between Liverpool, England, and Galveston, Texas, during the Civil War and continued to live in England for several years afterwards. An 1872 document is a declaration of Oaksmith's intention to renounce his naturalization as a British subject and resume his U.S. citizenship. Letters written in 1873 and 1875 are from his daughters at his home "Hollywood" near Morehead City and they discuss fruits and vegetables they are growing (1873); their new baby brother Stanley (June 1873); the price of ladies shoes in "New Berne" and health problems such as boils, fevers and chills (August 1873); playing backgammon and chess, and a lodge meeting which seems to be for men and women (1875). The June 1873 letter from daughter Millie also contains a poem that she wrote. The remaining items in this file are printed copies of poems Oaksmith wrote including one written December 12, 1861, in a casemate at Fort Lafayette where he was "wrongfully confined."
The next section of this collection includes unrelated correspondence (1864-1945) that is here because of the importance of topics discussed therein or the importance of the letter writer. The 1864 letter from Wapello, Iowa, discusses in detail setting up a drugstore including how much capital would be involved and how much the correspondent could earn versus working in a hospital. An 1894 letter from the A. B. Dick Co. in Philadelphia has a logo that contains pictures of the Edison Mimeograph Typewriter. There are now very few known examples of this typewriter in existence. A 1900 letter from New Bern includes a detailed biography of Francis Lister Hawks, a clergyman born in New Bern. Two letters (photocopies) from 1909 are on stationery for Hines-Murphrey Company Coca-Cola Bottling Works of Greenville, N.C., and one of them discusses the cost and freight charge for a train-car load of bottles. Another 1909 letter (September 9) was written by D. H. Hill Jr., president of North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Raleigh. Alice Leyden of Dublin, Ireland, writes to her cousin in America (1939) enclosing a sweepstakes ticket and commenting that a lot of the prizes go to America, and there is a photocopy of a letter from the singer Sophie Tucker (1940?) to Jack Prenner (?) explaining why she can't use songs he sent to her. There are seven pieces of V-Mail (1943-1945), with the majority being sent to Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Bailie, Jr., of Augusta, Georgia, from several people. The January 1944 letter from an army officer based in Ireland discusses his reactions to the announcements that Argentina has severed relations with the Axis powers, and that American airborne troops are in the British Isles for final training before invading Europe. The Bailies' son Bob writes from a hospital in Belgium in December 1944 where he is recovering from "combat fatigue." George Maines of Miami, Florida, manager for the singer Gene Austin, wrote the final letter in this file of miscellaneous correspondence to "Mickey" (William) Elmore. In the letter Mr. Maines gives a detailed description of Gene Austin's career in records, as a "pop" singer of the 1920s and 1930s, and as a songwriter. Details of his years recording for Aeolian Vocallion, Edison, and Victor, and writing songs for Mills Music Publishing Company are given as well as the help he gave to Gene Autry when he was first startingout. Attached to the letter is a copy of the Congressional Record for February 23, 1966, which contains an article from the Miami Herald by Larry Thompson about the singer who is most widely remembered for his song "My Blue Heaven."
The next section of this collection is printed material concerning Greenville, N.C. Most of the material is programs for special events. Included are programs for a Chautauqua (1919) led by superintendent Dr. P. Marion Simms of the Chautauqua Association of Swarthmore PA, commencement for the high school department of the Greenville Public Schools (1917), the Black Beauty Minstrel (1921) presented in the high school auditorium, the Greenville Music Club for the year 1950/1951, and the 4th Annual Eastern Carolina Exposition and Automobile Show (1926). There is also the constitution and by-laws (1933) for the Greenville Tobacco Board of Trade.
A file of education-related printed material includes catalogs for Carolina Christian College (1894/95) in Ayden, N.C., and Atlantic Christian College (1903/04) in Wilson, N.C., and a commencement program for Carolina Christian College (June 1895).
Other printed items concern the glass harmonicon and early televisions. There is a photocopy of an 1828 glass harmonicon instruction book that belonged to the family of the wife of Rev. John Winslow of Kinston, N.C. The original book remained with the glass harmonicon that had always belonged to her family, the Leyburn (Leburn) family of Virginia. The television-related printed items include photocopies of advertising pamphlets for Baird [Mechanical-Scanner] Television by Shortwave and Television Corporation of Boston with an accompanying letter (1933) from General Electronics Corporation (which manufactured the units) containing prices; a Baird Television Unit Construction Manual (1931) and a pamphlet (1928) for the Radiovisor, a mechanical-scanner television by Jenkins Laboratories, all of which belonged to Charles Alexander White of White's Store in Greenville. In an accompanying letter (1994), William Elmore discusses Mr. White's early televisions including the one that came with the 1931 instruction manual and an earlier television from the late 1920s that Mr. White experimented with but wasn't able to make operable.
A large part of this collection concerns the Ficklen family of Greenville, N.C. Included are two scrapbooks, two diaries, an autograph book and a post card collection. One scrapbook has a sticker on it that says "E. B. Ficklen," which stands for Edward Bancroft Ficklen (b. May 22, 1868, d. May 11, 1925), who was born in Buckingham County, VA, and came to Greenville in the 1890s as a commission tobacco buyer. He married Elmyra Ward Skinner of Greenville (June 6, 1899) and they lived at 508 West Fifth Street. The Ficklens had three sons: James Skinner, Edward Bancroft, Jr. (Apr. 29, 1903-May 16, 1914), and Louis Stuart (born Dec. 15, 1918). James Skinner Ficklen (b. May 3, 1900, d. September 17, 1955) married Lucy Warren Myers of Greensboro, N.C., on April 26, 1922, and they lived in Greenville. Their two children were James Skinner Ficklen, Jr. (b. February 23, 1924, d. December 25, 2001) and Edward Warren Myers Ficklen (b. October 25, 1926, d. December 27, 1952). The second scrapbook appears tobe mainly about James Skinner Ficklen, Sr., and his two children. [For more information on the Ficklen family see: Chronicles of Pitt County, North Carolina, p. 299.] James Skinner Ficklen, Jr., and Edward Warren Myers Ficklen kept the two short diaries. The autograph book belonged to Jessie M. Myers and was dated 1910. The signers were mostly children aged seven to eleven, although some older children and a few adults also signed the book. Cutout magazine pictures are pasted in the book and no indication of address is found in the autograph book.
The E. B. Ficklen scrapbook contains a variety of material such as photographs, invitations, poetry, newspaper clippings, post cards, obituaries, letters, booklets and a passport. The scrapbook has been dismantled and the pages numbered in their original order. Photographs are of E. B. Ficklen as a child, Catharine Davenport (great grandmother of James Skinner Ficklen), Elmyra Ward Skinner, the E. B. Ficklen home at 508 West Fifth Street, and several unidentified people. Information accompanying the Davenport photograph gives genealogical background for the Ficklen and Davenport families in Virginia. Post cards are of Trinity Presbyterian Church in New Canton, Mountain Lake and Petersburg, all in Virginia, and "Harwood" in Charlestown, West Virginia, built by George Washington's brother Samuel about 1762. One of the Petersburg post cards is of a photograph of the monument to the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment at the "Crater" on the Griffith farm. A note on the Trinity Church card dated May 10, 1910, indicates that someone's parents are buried there, and glued in on the same scrapbook page is a eulogy to James B. Ficklen of Buckingham County, VA.
Clippings (1890s-early 1900s) include poetry, words to songs, family-related announcements, and articles on state, national and world affairs. Topics discussed include a tribute (January 14, 1906) to Robert E. Lee by Dr. T. B. Kingsbury for the anniversary of his birth January 19 (pp. 10, 12); a story concerning the difficulty obtaining a casket for Robert E. Lee due to flooding in Lexington, VA, where he was when he died; the address by Governor T. W. Bickett at Moore's Creek Bridge on July 25, 1918, which also touched on the relationship with England during World War I (pp. 24-25); John McClintock Dick, one of the founders of Greensboro, N.C.(p. 27); President Woodrow Wilson; and World War I. Other clippings cover the address by Dr. C. Alphonso Smith on "Southern Literature" (p. 38) at East Carolina Teachers Training School (now East Carolina University); the nomination of Locke Craig for governor of North Carolina after the death of Governor Charles B. Aycock (pp. 44, 58, 85-86, 93); the unveiling of a tablet to N.C. Governor Alexander Martin (pp. 59, 66); the case of Captain Alfred Dreyfus who was convicted of treason in France in 1894, sent to Devil's Island, and finally vindicated in 1906 and released (pp. 81-84); Jefferson Davis (pp. 74, 95-96, 98, 100); and eulogizing Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt who supposedly gave his lifebelt to a woman on the sinking LUSITANIA and subsequently died (p. 31). A supplement to The Times weekly edition for January 7, 1916, contains a map of "The Threatened Invasion of Egypt" by the Turkish Army on one page and maps accompanied by a diary for World War I for 1914-1915 on the reverse of the page.
Family-related clippings announce the death of Mr. S. P. Ficklen of Washington, DC (p. 15); the drowning death in 1914 of Edward Ficklen, the young son of Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Ficklen (pp. 15-16); the engagement of Lucy Warren Myers and James Skinner Ficklen and entertainments they attended soon after they were married (p. 17); the marriage of Charles Andrew Anderson and Frances Jeter, granddaughter of James B. Ficklen (p. 19); the serious condition of Augustus H. Pannill of Chatham, VA, who was wounded in France during World War I (p. 41); and the deaths of Mrs. Charles C. Skinner and Dr. John Daniel Myers (p. 57). One clipping gives a detailed description of an antebellum plantation known as the "old Sam Pannell Place" and "Greenhill" two miles from Melrose, VA, on the Staunton River (pp. 67-68). Loose pages have clippings containing a speech by James B. Ficklen of Buckingham County, VA, before the House of Delegates in 1878 concerning a Finance Committee bill, and a description of the wedding of Louise Glass Dibrell and Louis Stuart Ficklen.
Other items in this scrapbook are a Confederate States of America $1000 bond certificate; an invitation to the wedding of Elmyra Ward and Edward Bancroft Ficklen; a poem titled "Richmond on the James" by Frances Pannill Ficklen (p. 4); and a signed printed thank-you note (1912) from President Wilson (p. 83). Numerous items relate to Nancy Langhorne Astor including a 1922 telegram (p. 43) from Nancy Astor, an undated handwritten note and a New Year's Eve card with a handwritten note on it from her, the May 4, 1922, "Presentation of Nancy Astor" speech by H. C. Ficklen in Danville, VA (pp. 45, 47, 49, 51), and a handwritten note from Nancy Astor's sister Irene Gibson (p. 53). Loose items from the scrapbook include a 1922 colored certificate declaring E. B. Ficklen a member of the Knights of Pythias in Charlotte, N.C. a typed history entitled "The Early Days of Pitt County" ; a booklet entitled "A Brief History of Edenton and Its Environs" compiled by Dr. Richard Dillard and Capt. Richard D. Dixon; a sonnet "Too Short the Span" written by Harry C. Ficklen for Susan F. Harrison on her ninetieth birthday September 24, 1925; and a 1925 passport for E. B. Ficklen and his wife Myra Skinner.
The two diaries are short and kept briefly by James and Warren Ficklen when they were young. The James S. Ficklen, Jr., diary covers January 1 through February 3, 1937, and talks about everyday life including school, church, movies, visiting relatives, parties, skating, bicycle riding and playing basketball. Warren M. Ficklen's diary covers January 1 through March 24, 1938, while his family was living at 411 Elizabeth Street in Greenville and he was attending Greenville High School. He also discusses everyday life including school, dances, movies, basketball, bicycle riding, dating, attending the Catholic church, visiting relatives, golf, the camera club, being on the student council, and having a part in an operetta.
The other scrapbook does not have an identifying name but seems to be primarily concerning James S. Ficklen, Sr. This scrapbook contains a large number of photographs which appear to be mostly of family members and friends, although most of the people are not identified. The identified photographs are of James S. Ficklen, Sr., and severalare presumed to be of his brothers and his sons. Several photographs are taken with the E. B. Ficklen house in the background. One particularly nice snapshot shows the E. B. Ficklen house and the house to its right in the snow. A couple of photographs are of young men in USN ROTC uniforms and there is one dated 1908 of a woman seated in a horse-drawn buckboard in front of a store with the caption "Mary James at Drugstore drinking Coca Cola." The remaining items in the scrapbook are post cards, clippings, and printed items such as programs and invitations. Clippings discuss an accident (July 26, 1908) in which James S. Ficklen, Sr., was riding his bicycle and was run over by an ice wagon but was not seriously hurt; the same Mr. Ficklen as president of the Greenville Tobacco Board of Trade; Warren M. Ficklen as a swimmer for UNC-Chapel Hill in 1947 and getting into Phi Beta Kappa; the unveiling of a tablet to William R. Skinner in Edenton, N.C. and King Edward VIII's farewell address to the British Empire. The remaining items in the scrapbook are a pamphlet entitled Stephen A. Douglas' Attitude Toward Slavery taken from a letter dated October 14, 1908, written by Douglas's son Judge Robert M. Douglas; 1937 dinner menus for the Hamburg-America Line S.S. RELIANCE; a 1938 PSI Chapter program for the Sigma Nu Fraternity 50th Anniversary Banquet at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, N.C. a hand-made invitation to a St. Patrick's Day party; a letter from Stuart Carr to Mrs. Ficklen concerning her son James's (James S. Ficklen, Sr.?) good record at the University; a 1915 UNC-Chapel Hill midterm report for J. S. Ficklen (Sr.); and the 1940 address by James S. Ficklen, Sr., as president at the 40th Annual Convention of the Tobacco Association of the U.S.
The post card collection was kept in a scrapbook belonging to Lucy Warren Myers (Ficklen) and the cards date mostly from 1908 through 1910. Most of the post cards are of sites in several states from all over the U.S., but there also five from foreign countries. The vast majority of the U.S. post cards are of North Carolina sites in Washington, New Bern, Mebane, Burlington (Battle of Alamance monument), Elizabeth City, Beaufort, Morehead City, Charlotte (houses), Laurinburg (Courthouse, Presbyterian Church), Flat Rock ("The Heidelberg"), Asheville (Courthouse), Morganton (house), and Mt. Airy (mountains). The Washington post cards depict Main and Second streets, the waterfront, the Beaufort County Bridge, and St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Beaufort scenes depicted are of the surf, the boardwalk and the harbor, and the Morehead City post card shows children standing in the surf. Elizabeth City sites shown are the harbor and the N.& S.R.R. depot; New Bern sites are the National Cemetery Lodge, an imagined depiction of Tryon Palace, and the Cedar Grove Cemetery entrance; and the Mebane sites are all of Bingham School. Numerous other cards celebrate various holidays. Two final post cards of note are dated March 4, 1909, and show President and Mrs. Taft in his inaugural parade, and ex-President Theodore Roosevelt leaving the Capitol.
This collection contains numerous photographs on a variety of subjects. Two major topics are a 1924 flood in Kinston, N.C., and a cruise by the USS NEVADA to Panama in 1920. The flood photographs (P-39/273 - P-39-291) were taken by M. S. Croom of Croom's Picture Shop at 206 East Street in Kinston; some are of the eastern part of Kinston and some are of a section known as Happersville which was located off Caswell Street across the former Caswell Street bridge (now King Street bridge) form downtown Kinston. They were originally displayed in a large frame. The Panama photographs (PC-39/207 - PC-39/231) are possibly part of an around-the-world tour by the U.S. Navy since they include shots identified as "Admirals U.S. Battle Fleet", the "Fleet in Panama Canal", the "Secretary of the Navy & Fleet Admiral & General in Marine Corp.", and "Army on Parade." Other shots are of Panama City sights, large crowds in Panama City, admirals in dress uniforms, the USS NEVADA and crew, Panama Canal locks, 318th Army "Gun Crew" on the beach, Gene Tunney (?) in boxing stance on a ship and a crossing the equator ceremony. A photograph that is not concerning Panama is identified as Plaza de Armas in Lima, Peru.
Another series of photographs (PC-39/190 - PC-39/206; PC-39/298 - PC-39/305) found in post card format also pertain to the Panama Canal Zone and are taken form a ship (probably U.S. Navy). The only two dated photographs are from January 1919. Scenes depicted are the towns of Pedro Miguel and Gatun, the Gatun Locks, the bridge across the Chagras River, a wireless station at Darian, the USS WEST CRESCENT, and the administration building at Ancon. Mixed in with these photographs are ones of a naval ship covered with very thick ice and sailors working with shovels on deck. One photograph has the identification of "ice from our northern trek."
Miscellaneous photographs concern the following subjects: individuals including Col. William Lafayette Kennedy of La Grange, N.C., Dr. Harper (dentist) of Kinston, Charlie Cobb seated in a car whose doors and wheel covers advertise selling tobacco in Greenville, N.C., and The Right Rev. Alfred Augustin Watson, D.D. (first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina); three musicians (two in uniform with a military encampment in the background) whose only identity is the information on their drum- the P.R. Band E. City N.C.; a camp cook at Bouquet Canyon (June 21, 1925) and log tobacco barns (photograph belonged to a woman in Elm City, N.C.). Education-related North Carolina photographs include the faculty at Robersonville School (1932), two Elm City School class photographs (1913, undated), and Winterville High School class photograph (1906/1907). Another series of photographs (P-39/184 - P-39/189) are snapshots taken about 1965 of Confederate obstructions of the Neuse River below Kinston, N.C. Miscellaneous N.C. post cards depict King Street and the "Sarahurst" house in Kinston (perhaps in the 1920s or so), a 1944 interior view of Walgreen's Store in Raleigh, a 1909 view of the "Thomasville Baptist Orphanage Automobile" (an oxcart) in Thomasville, and Hotel Kennon and horse-drawn carriages in Goldsboro.
A photograph album possibly originating from a member of the Pittman family in Edgecombe County, N.C., covers the years 1911 and 1912. The photographs (PA-39/34-39/153) depict the Mary L. Pittman house and the Reddin Pittman house in Edgecombe County; Lyon family houses in Chester, VA, and in Edgecombe County; Dorothy Hart, Eva Mayo, and various Lyon family members; and cars. The rest of the photographs document travels in Virginia, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and at sea. The sea photographs picture the S.S. DORCHESTER and the S.S. HOWARD. WestVirginia sights include White Sulphur Springs Hotel in Greenbriar County and the "Meadows" farm (near Lewisburg). The many Virginia photographs concern Richmond, Cape Henry (old and new lighthouses), Virginia Beach, Chester, Petersburg (Crater battlefield, Blandford Church), Drewry's Bluff, Chesterfield Court House (courthouse, jail, clerk's office), Elkton, and Basic (N & WRR and station). Travels in New Hampshire took the photographer to New Castle-by-the-Sea and Hotel Wentworth, Britton Woods and Mt. Washington Hotel, and the White Mountains; and in Massachusetts to Concord and Lexington, Harvard College, and Boston Harbor. North Carolina photographs depict the Roanoke River at Roanoke Rapids, the Joseph Montfort grave at Halifax, Edgecombe County houses (including snow shots), and what appears to be Masons in Masonic uniform standing in front of a Masonic Lodge which might be in Weldon. Some loose photographs (PA-39/1-39/33) that were originally stuck in the album cover some of the above subjects, but some are also from a 1920 trip to Florida, specifically Miami, West Palm Beach, and Long Key. There are shots of a Seminole Sun Dance, a shark on display on a pier, women in bathing suits and caps, beach scenes, a regatta, and unidentified festivities.
Two folders of material relate to the Aries Book Club of Greenville, N.C., which was founded in 1949. The material here covers the time span of 1949-1979 and includes yearbook programs, and a disassembled scrapbook (1949 through the mid-1950s) containing constitutions and by-laws, Annual Book Club Day programs, clippings, a resolution passed on the death of Miss Grace Outland, and two photographs. Of particular interest in the Book Club Day programs are one for 1949 honoring fifty years of the End of the Century Book Club and one for 1952 honoring fifty years of the Sans Souci Book Club.
Church records in this collection consist of a Sunday school disbursements and receipts ledger (1918-1944), a communicants list (probably 1929), and vestry minutes (1927-1933) for St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Wilson, N.C.
Miscellaneous items cover a variety of unrelated topics. Included are a photocopy of a broadside (printed in Littleton, N.C.) for a Graphophone Concert on March 10, 1897; unused V-Mail; advertising sheet (undated) for F. S. Wormell's Picture Gallery in "New-Berne," N.C.; 1887 issue of Branson's N.C. Agricultural Almanac; a lien notice (1878) and receipts (1880s, 1900) concerning the Andrews family of Pitt Co., N.C.; enrollment cards (1941) for Civilian Defense Duty in Greenville, N.C.; and a "History of the Historic Community of Moss Hill" (Lenoir Co., N.C.) written by the pupils of grade six in the Moss Hill Public School (1928-1929). Included in the history is information concerning the Civil War experience of the inhabitants, historic homes and mills, and the Donnell Graveyard at Strabane. Also found here are notes taken from discussions with Pitt County residents concerning teething remedies, "talking out the fire" of burns and "talking the blood out" to stop bleeding, and with Lenoir County residents concerning a theory for the reason behind the 1878 arson courthouse fire.
Oversized materials include a photograph (ca. 1920) of an Armistice Day celebration in front of the Grand Theatre in Kinston, N.C.; an 1860 $500 Carteret Co., N.C., bond found in the Appleton Oaksmith material; a hand drawn and colored plat showing the division of some of the land belonging to Mrs. William Allen Croom of Lenoir Co., N.C.; an undated list of Currier & Ives prints; a list of the officers of the Acushnet Lodge No. 41 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for the period 1844-1870 (from Acushnet in Bristol Co., Mass.?); and an 1873 letter in which a woman in Guntown, Mississippi, talks about losing teeth because of scurvy, taking in girls from a school as boarders as well as one of the teachers, the difficulty in getting the teacher to help out with basic household duties like sweeping her room because she didn't have to do that before "the surrender," and the scarcity of money.
Related material can be found in the Rebecca Croom Fordham Oral History Interview O. H. 77.
May 6, 2020, (unprocessed addition 10), 0.15 cubic feet; This addition includes emails (2006-2008) and printed PDF images related to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) excavation mission in India for the remains of the "Hot As Hell" B-24 plane and crew that crashed on Jan. 24, 1944 [a crew member was the donor's cousin]; programs (1959, undated) for musical performances at Grainger High School in Kinston, NC; copies of Bible records and photographs re Jesse J. Croom and wives Maud M. Taylor and Mary E. Moore of Lenoir Co., NC; Bible records for William Bradford Sumrell and wife Mary Alice Dixon of Grantsboro, NC; postcards of New Bern (Oaksmith House) and Halifax (Masonic Lodge interior); obituary for Ann Hyman Harvey; and Jan.-Feb. 1956 issue of North Carolina Roadways with an article about and photograph of the donor's uncle Charles W. Croom. Donor: William E. Elmore
Gift of William E. Elmore
Gift of Laurice Aramoonie
Processed by D. Lennon; M. Elmore, July 2002
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Descriptions updated by Jennifer Overstreet, July 2020
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
Contains: Print of James Needham Alexander ambrotype (2007) with caption by donor. 1 item. 1 p. Biographical and genealogical notes on James Needham Alexander (2007) compiled by the donor. Photocopy manuscript. 2 items. 2 p. Biographical sketch of James Needham Alexander (2007) from Heritage Trail August 2007, Vol. 5, No.3, p. 9. Photocopy typescript. 1 item. 1 p.
Contains: Print of Stanhope Washington Alexander ambrotype (2007) with caption by donor. 1 item. 1 p. Biographical and genealogical notes and emails relating to Stanhope Washington Alexander (2007) compiled by the donor. Photocopy manuscript. 4 items. 4 p.