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Halifax County : economic and social : a laboratory study in the Rural Social Science Department of the University of North Carolina

Date: 1920 | Identifier: HC107.N8 A44X 1920
Halifax County : economic and social : a laboratory study in the Rural Social Science Department of the University of North Carolina / by Sidney B. Allen and R. Stanford Travis, Jr. [S.l. : s.n.], 1920 Seeman Printery) 75 p., [5] leaves of plates : ill., map ; 23 cm. more...





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Economic and Social


A Laboratory Study in the Rural Social Science
Department of the University of
North Carolina

The Expense of Publication and Distribution is Borne by the Adver-
tising and Gifts of Wide-awake and Generous Business Men
of the County. We Wish to Extend to Them our
Heartiest Appreciation and Best Wishes

JUNE 1920



Historical Background9
Natural Resources14
Industries and Opportunities17
Facts About the Folks26
Wealth and Taxation30
Nine-Year Gains in Rural Schools in Halifax, 1908-9 to 1917-1835
Farm Conditions and Practices42
Home-Raised Food and the Local Market Problem51
Things to be Proud of in Halifax61
Our Problems and their Solution67


We wish to extend our thanks to the business men of the county who have made possible the publication of this booklet by means of their advertisements. We wish also to acknowledge our obligations to the following for their generous contributions toward the expenses of publication and distribution:

The Shaw Cotton Mills

The Weldon Manufacturing Co.

The Roanoke Mills

The Weldon Grocery Co.

The first chapter in this publication, The Historical Background, is the work of Mr. Donald S. Daniel, of Weldon, a member of the 1920 class at the University. This chapter was prepared by Mr. Daniel during the 1919 Summer School at the University, being a laboratory study in the Rural Social Science Department.

The authors are greatly indebted to Prof. E. C. Branson, head of the Rural Social Science Department of the University of North Carolina for his invaluable suggestions, aid, and editorial work, and to his assistant, Prof. S. H. Hobbs, Jr., who has, at every step in the preparation of this bulletin, given us his active and interested assistance. We here render them our grateful thanks, for without their guidance in the use of state and county studies that have been accumulating in the Rural Social Science Department during the last six years, this bulletin would not have been possible.

University of North Carolina.

June 22, 1920.




Junior Senior High School Building, Roanoke Rapids, N. C. Now Under Erection


E. C. BRANSON, Kenan Professor of Rural Social Science, University of North Carolina.

The rearward look in Halifax county is inspiring. No county of has made larger contributions to the state and nation. Halifax history is tonic and quickening.

But the round-about and the forward look are also important. What Halifax is today and what she may be tomorrow concern the thoughtful people of the county quite as much as what Halifax was day before yesterday.

Not the days behind but the days at hand and ahead are the burden of this little bulletin on Halifax County: Economic and Social. It is a stock-taking enterprise. It has to do with the resources, advantages, enterprises, opportunities and possibilities of the home county. It compares Halifax with every other county in the state in more than 300 particulars of life and business. It shows where she leads, where she lags, and the way out—as far at least as the best thinking of three Halifax students at the State University avails.

The work on this bulletin by Messrs. Allen, Travis, and Daniel, has been done at odd times during the college year, not for marks but as an expression of devoted interest in their mother county.

It is a vital culture experience in their student lives. It has been a real preparation for competent citizenship and effective public service in the county and the state. What they have gotten out of these voluntary studies ought graciously to dower the county. And it will, if only the teachers use their bulletin as a text in their county institutes, if the high school students use it in their senior year, if the readers, thinkers, and leaders of the county thumb it thoroughly from cover to cover. It ought to fall into the hands of the farmers, merchants, bankers, manufacturers, teachers, and preachers alike. It carries food for serious thought for them all.

I may add that these studies of the economic, social and civic problems of the counties of make a unique body of literature. There is nothing like them in any other state of the Union. For the first time in this or any other state, the people of a county are having a chance to study their own work-a-day problems, and to think out ways and means to lofty ends in community life.

Six such bulletins are already in print at the university. Two others—Beaufort and Pitt—have just gone to the printers. The other counties can have bulletins of this sort just as soon as they call on their boys at the University and arrange to finance the publication of their efforts.

Chapel Hill, N. C.

June 23, 1920.


DONALD S. DANIEL, U. N. C. Summer School, 1919.

In 1757 the parish of Edgecombe sent a petition to Governor Arthur Dobbs, then Governor of North Carolina, asking that a new county be formed. The following year the Colonial Assembly granted the petition and the new county was named Halifax, in honor of Charles Montague, Earl of Halifax, then President of the British Board of Trade, who took a great interest in the affairs of the colonies.

Halifax, the county seat, preserves the aristocratic, colonial atmosphere of the long-ago days. Much of the architecture of the town dates back to the days of the Revolutionary War. Before and after the Revolution Halifax was a center of social and political life. For a while it was the capital of . The town is located near the Roanoke River and good roads make it accessible to the people of as well as . By rail it is 105 miles northeast from Raleigh.

The county of Halifax is located in the northeastern part of the state along the Roanoke River. On the north it is bounded by the Roanoke River and Northampton county; on the west by Warren; on the south by Edgecombe and Nash; and on the east by Martin and Bertie. It is triangular in shape, with a length of about sixty miles and a width of about 20 miles. It is six miles from at the nearest point. The climate is delightful without excess of rain or heat or cold, which makes splendid crop weather. Toward the west the contour of the county begins to roll and gives the scenery not of the Piedmont country, but more like a mid-state county. The effect is unique and attractive. Near the Roanoke there are low grounds, which are exceedingly fertile and productive. The county is noted for its large pines which make lumbering a lucrative business for our farmers.

As I have stated, the county was formed in 1758 from Edgecombe and given the name Halifax. The earliest inhabitants of this section were the Tuscaroras, an Indian tribe. The Indian names are still prominent as names of creeks and villages. Along the banks of the Roanoke, which is an Indian name meaning The River of Death, there can still be found remains of pottery, tomahawks, peace pipes, and other Indian relies. It is interesting to note that as the Pale

Faces began to occupy this region the aborigines peacefully moved away and there was no friction between the two races. Evidently there was kindness and consideration on the part of the settlers toward their red brothers.

In 1772 a group of Scotch Highlanders came to the county and settled along the lower banks of the Roanoke. They settled in the neck of the river; hence the name of Scotland Neck. In succeeding years immigrants from , , and began to pour into Halifax, some making it their home, while others, dissatisfied, too idealistic, or still entertaining the Old English idea of “gold on trees”, moved on only to be disappointed. At present there is a population of about 45,000, for the most part of English descent.

The county is divided into twelve townships: Halifax, Weldon, Roanoke Rapids, Littleton, Conoconara, Scotland Neck, Roseneath, Butterwood, Brinkleyville, Faucette, Palmyra, and Enfield. There are ten towns: Weldon, Roanoke Rapids, Littleton, Scotland Neck, Halifax, Enfield, Rosemary, Hobgood, Palmyra, and Hollister.

Halifax, being an old county, was very closely connected with the Revolution during those eventful days. For many years after the Declaration of Independence the General Assembly of North Carolina met and transacted business in the town of Halifax, thus making the town the capital of the state for that period.

On December 18, 1776, the First Constitutional Convention of met at Halifax and drew up the Constitution of North Carolina, thus making the county the birth place of the Constitution of North Carolina.

Cornwallis and Colonel Tarleton, on their way to their Waterloo at Yorktown, stopped a week at Halifax and many of the houses which they occupied are standing to this day.

Both Washington and Lafayette visited the county at different times and were entertained royally at Halifax at the old Eagle Hotel.

In 1776 resolutions were drawn up at Halifax for the purpose of sending delegates to a Continental Congress to declare their independence and to form foreign alliances. This resolution, the first of its kind in , was adopted April 12th. The Continental Congress acted upon this resolution of , and a National Declaration of Independence was passed at Philadelphia July 4, 1776.


1. One day in the year 1775 Willie Jones, a celebrated resident of Halifax county, came to the town of Halifax and saw sitting on the steps of a tavern a shabby, dirty-looking young man with apparently no motive nor interest in life. Having a sympathetic, big heart, he approached the stranger and this is the conversation that followed:

“What is your name?” inquired Jones.

“I have none,” answered the youth.

“Where is your home?” asked Jones.

“I have none,” again answered the youth.

Jones took the boy to live with him. In gratitude the boy adopted the name Jones and later became famous as the founder of the Navy. He was none other than John Paul Jones. The house in which he lived, the Grove House, is still standing, having been recently bought and repaired by the Daughters of the American Revolution. After a brilliant career in the American Navy he was of service to and . At the age of forty-five he died in the prime of life, in . After sleeping in French soil for over a hundred years his body was brought to this country and interred in 1905 in the Chapel of the Naval Academy at Annapolis. In Potomac Park, Washington, D. C., there is a monument to him as the Father of the American Navy.

2. William R. Davie when a mere youth came to this country from England and lived with his uncle, Rev. William Richardson, a Presbyterian minister residing in the Waxhaw settlement, in . About 1776 he graduated from Princeton with a degree of M. A. and with first honor. Having decided to make law his profession, he began his study in Salisbury. In 1779 after joining the American Army he was severely wounded at Charleston and because of his wound he began again to pursue his legal profession, but knowing his country needed men, he sold his inheritance from his uncle, and used the proceeds to raise troops. He was then appointed Colonel by Governor Nash and later was made Commissary General of .

He married Sarah Jones, a beautiful daughter of General Allen Jones, and made his home at Halifax, then the most important place in the state. It was not long before his qualities brought him an immense practice. He was a brilliant and forceful speaker. Combined with this talent was his capacity for hard work in preparing a case. As a result, he was a most powerful and effective advocate. He was tall, elegant in person, graceful, and gracious in manners.

Through his influence the bill to establish the University of North Carolina was introduced and passed by the General Assembly at Fayetteville, in 1789. He was an earnest advocate of education and was at that time head of the board of trustees of Warrenton Academy.

He was active in choosing the site, raising the endowment, electing professors, and outlining the proper course of study for the newly-established university. On October 12, 1793, as Grand Master of Masons, he laid the cornerstone of the Old East building at Chapel Hill, and in 1798, in the same capacity he laid the cornerstone for the South building. In 1811 the University conferred upon him the honorary degree

of LL. D., the first in its history. October 12th has long been observed as University Day.

On November 29, 1820, he died and was buried at Waxhaw Church, Lancaster county, . Such, in brief, is the story of a distinguished soldier, jurist, statesman, educator, and patriot. His name and deeds are made immortal by the spirit of the University and by the beautiful poplar on the campus, which is called the Davie Poplar, and which is renowned the world around. Recently a small poplar was planted near the old Davie Poplar by the class of 1918, and was named Davie Poplar, Jr.

3. John Branch was born a few miles from the town of Enfield on the 4th of November, 1782. He became one of the most popular and highly-honored natives of Halifax county. His boyhood was spent around the place of his nativity. In the year 1801 he graduated from the state university. His first appearance in public life was in 1811 when he was elected a state senator and he was re-elected until 1817, at which time he was made Governor of North Carolina. After serving the full term he came back to Halifax county and in 1823 was sent to the United States Senate, where he notably served until General Jackson honored the county and Governor Branch by appointing him Secretary of the Navy.

At the same time John Eaton, a native of Halifax county, but living in , was made Secretary of War. It was certainly a coincidence that the county of Halifax should have two natives in the President's cabinet at the same time.

Because of a breach between the President and Secretary Branch over social matters, Branch resigned. His actions made him still more popular and in 1843 he was appointed Governor of . What a shower of elections, appointments, and honors! Surely he was a great man. At Enfield, January 4, 1863, this great man of the county, the state, and the country passed away.

Other Contributions to the State and Nation

Joseph Montford, the first and only Grand Master of Masons for the continent of , lived in Halifax.

Willie Jones was a representative of the state in the Continental Congress.

Abner Nash was Governor of North Carolina, 1780-81; William R. Davie was Governor, 1798-99; John Branch from 1817-20; Hutchings Burton from 1825-27, and W. W. Kitchin from 1909-13.

There were six attorney-generals from Halifax county: John Haywood, 1791-94; H. G. Burton, 1810-16; William Drew, 1816-25; John R. V. Daniel, 1835-40; Spier Whitaker, 1842-46; and B. F. Moore, 1848-51.

Two judges of the Supreme Court of have come from Halifax county: Joseph V. Daniel, 1832-48, and Walter Clark, 1889—.

Five judges of the Superior Court have been furnished by Halifax county: John Haywood, 1794-1800; Joseph V. Daniel, 1816-32; Walter Clark, 1885-89; Spier Whitaker, 1889-94; and W. R. Cox, 1877-79.

Sixteen representatives in Congress and one Senator: Allen Jones, 1779-80; Willie Jones, 1780-81; John B. Ashe, 1789-93; Willis Alston, Jr., 1800-15, 1825-31; Starling Tucker, 1817-31; H. G. Burton, 1820-25; John Branch, 1831-33; Jesse A. Bynum, 1833-41; J. R. J. Daniel, 1841-53; L. O'B. Branch, 1855-61; B. S. Turner, 1871-73; W. H. Kitchin, 1879-81: W. R. Cox, 1881-87; J. E. O'Hara, 1883-87; W. W. Kitchin, 1897-1902; Claude Kitchin, 1901—; and Senator John Branch, 1824-’31.

A paragraph from Allen's History of Halifax county contains the facts that make every native of Halifax county swell with pride. They are facts that show that Halifax leads not in population, manufacture, or material, but in men.

“Halifax has furnished more governors (five); more attorney-generals (six); more members of Congress (fifteen); more brigadier-generals (six) than any other county in the state.”

“The true test of civilization is not in the census, nor the size of the cities, nor the crops—No—but the kind of men the country turns out.”—Emerson.

Sources of Information—Sprunt's Sketches; Allen's History of Halifax County; Wheeler's Sketches of ; N. C. Manual, 1913.




Halifax county is situated partly in the Piedmont plateau and partly in the Coastal plain. It has an area of 676 square miles, or 432,640 acres. Bounded on the north and east by the Roanoke river, on the south by Nash and Edgecombe counties, and on the west by Warren, it presents a very irregular outline. The surface configuration varies considerably in different localities. West of a line drawn from Battle's bridge on Fishing creek to , the surface is prevailingly rolling, steeply rolling, and hilly with intervening smaller areas of undulating to gently rolling country. To the east or southeast the topography becomes less broken. In the vicinity of Enfield and Scotland Neck and throughout the southern end of the county the surface is prevailingly flat to undulating, with gentle slopes toward the bottom lands.

The general slope of the country is toward the southeast. According to records of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, Hobgood is 88 feet above sea level, Palmyra 95 feet, Weldon 77 feet, Halifax 101 feet, and Enfield 99 feet. Points in the western part of the county probably reach an elevation of 400 or 500 feet.

Soils and Seasons

The soils in Halifax county may be classed in three groups, according to their origin: the residual soils of the Piedmont plateau; the sedimentary soils of the Coastal plain; and the alluvial soils developed along streams throughout the county. The soil in general is lacking in sufficient organic matter, but this can easily be remedied by turning under such crops as clover, soy beans, etc.

The climate of Halifax county is well suited to the production of a wide range of general farm products. Of late truck and stock farming are beginning a vigorous development. The winters are short and comparatively mild; the summers are long but not excessively hot. The mean annual rainfall is 47.22 inches, and the mean annual temperature is 58.9° F. Crops seldom suffer from drought, and there is a normal growing season of 195 days, which is long enough for all ordinary crops.

With soil and climate conditions such as these, it is not surprising that agriculture is the principal industry of the people. At the present


Rosemary Manufacturing Company, Roanoke Rapids, N. C.

time the principal crops are cotton, tobacco, corn, and peanuts, with grain, forage, cow peas, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables as crops of secondary importance. Cotton is the most important crop. The crop of 1919 was valued at $5,000,000. All that is produced is sold on the local markets, and a considerable part of it is manufactured at Roanoke Rapids, Rosemary, Scotland Neck, Halifax, Enfield, and Weldon. Second in importance to cotton is tobacco. In 1919 we produced 4,102,000 pounds worth $2,200,000.

Next in importance come peanuts. These are used to some extent for subsistence, but the greater part of the crop is sold on the local markets, and either disposed of to dealers in Norfolk, Portsmouth, or Petersburg, or handled by the mills within the county. A few of the most extensive growers ship directly to outside markets. The peanut crop of 1919 brought $1,320,000 and only four counties produced more.

By far the biggest subsistence crop of the county is corn, and, although this crop ranks fourth in importance, there is not enough produced in the county to supply the local demand, large quantities being shipped in each year. The corn is used to feed workstock and hogs and is also ground for domestic use.

Tobacco is fast becoming the leading crop in Halifax. Yearly it is pushing peanuts to the south, as the farmers realize the greater gains to be had through its growth. The ten-year increase in tobacco from 1909 to 1919 was 344 per cent. The total production in 1910 amounted to 924,000 pounds and sold for an average of about 10 cents a pound; in 1919 we produced 4,100,000 pounds with an average of 53 cents a pound. In 1919 Halifax ranked 28th in the state in tobacco production. The erection of warehouses in Enfield and other towns has provided markets of easy access to the growers. The crop is destined to see a great increase in the future and to become a source of still greater wealth to the farmers.

Practically all of the agricultural products of Halifax are marketed within the county.

Cotton and peanuts find a ready market in Weldon, Scotland Neck, Enfield and Tillery. Littleton, Roanoke Rapids, Rosemary and Hob-good are good cotton markets. Enfield has recently risen to great importance as a tobacco market, and much of the tobacco is sold there which was formerly sold at Rocky Mount and Warrenton. At Scotland Neck, Enfield and Weldon there are factories for shelling, grading and packing peanuts, and from these points shelled peanuts are shipped to all parts of the country. Potatoes, fruits and vegetables are disposed of in the local towns.

Railroads and Highways

The central part of Halifax county is traversed from north to south by the main line of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad from New York

to Jacksonville. The Kinston-Weldon branch of the same system extends southeasterly across the eastern half of the county, making connections at Hobgood with the Norfolk branch which crosses the county near the southeastern boundary. The northern part of the county is served by the Raleigh-Norfolk branch of the Seaboard Air Line. Halifax has admirable railway facilities.

The main highways of Halifax county are in good condition, and they are gradually being improved. Good roads branch out from Halifax to Weldon, Littleton, Scotland Neck, Enfield, and Roanoke Rapids. An improved road connects Littleton, Ringwood and Enfield, and another extends from Ringwood to Rocky Mount. At present operations are under way for the construction of a concrete road from Weldon to Roanoke Rapids. The greater part of the county is served by telephone lines.

Water Power

Halifax is drained by the Roanoke river, Fishing creek and their tributaries. The Roanoke river is a swiftly-flowing stream and near Roanoke Rapids considerable water power has been developed. Here are found some of the most modern mills of the state, a description of which occurs in another chapter of this publication. Below Halifax the river appears to have reached its base level and the current is much slower. A few grist mills are operated on the smaller streams.

With these natural resources and favorable conditions, the future standing of Halifax is assured. Already we lead in many of our industries and slow progress in the future seems impossible. Our variety of soils and seasons combine to give us ideal farm conditions. Water power occurs in abundance in favorable places, and the whole county is covered by a network of railways and good roads for the immediate and easy transportation of products.

Inhabited, then, by wide-awake, industrious people, Halifax is destined to even further development both as an agricultural and as a manufacturing county of no mean importance.

tined to even further development both as an agricultural and as a Survey of Halifax County.



Although Halifax is predominantly an agricultural county, manufacturing is rising into large proportions of late years. As a matter of fact, Halifax is fast taking its place among the leading manufacturing counties of the state, especially in cotton and paper goods. Its greatest manufacturing town, Roanoke Rapids, is situated on the Roanoke river at a point where natural water power is abundant and easily commandeered. Blessed with this advantage of limitless possibilities of cheap water power, the wide-awake mill men of the community have seized upon it, and the result is a lively, prosperous and progressive manufacturing district.

At Weldon, also, the rapids of the Roanoke lend its water power to industry. The Weldon Cotton Manufacturing Company, one of the oldest industries of the county, receives its power from this source. Power for the Roanoke Development Company, which, together with the Roanoke Rapids Power Company, furnishes electric energy for Weldon, is also furnished by the Roanoke river.

The value of the water power that lay dormant in the whirling rapids of the Roanoke was seen and appreciated by the late Major Thomas Leyburn Emery, of Weldon, who solicited foreign capital, and began the first water power development in 1895. This date marks the beginning of the wonderful development and rapid growth of Roanoke Rapids. Major Emery foresaw the possibilities of a prosperous town in the abundance of water power here and from his ideas sprang the present towns of Roanoke Rapids and Rosemary. His aim was to have several industries locate on the banks of the river, from which they could obtain power, and his first effort was the location of the Roanoke Mills Company. Major Emery, realizing the commercial possibilities of the power in the muddy Roanoke, organized the company and superintended the building of the first hydro-electric plant. Mr. S. F. Patterson was placed in charge of the enterprise, which, through his foresight and business genius, was able to overcome the many obstacles that fall in the way of a young industry. It now stands as one of the greatest mill properties in the south.

Believing that the major manufacturing enterprises of the county merit a detailed discussion, we have acted upon our belief, and are, below, giving attention to those about which we have been able to obtain

information. The absence of discussion on some concerns of the county is explained by the fact that our request for data and details was not given attention. However, most of the important manufacturing companies of the county are considered here.

We have endeavored in our consideration and discussions below to be as impartial as possible, but we have adhered to the policy that would give credit where credit is due.

The Roanoke Mills Company

The Roanoke Mills Company was incorporated in 1895, and began actual operation in 1897. This corporation is considered the pioneer in the industrial development of the community. Other industrial plants located at Roanoke Rapids before the birth of this enterprise had not proven successful.

The company was organized with $53,000 of capital stock and a contract was let for a $50,000 building. Mr. S. F. Patterson, formerly president, treasurer and general manager of the Thistle Mills Company, of Lichester, Md., was secured as general manager. Mr. Patterson increased the capital to more than a quarter of a million dollars, with which the equipment was considerably enlarged.

The first mill built by the company was equipped with 12,096 spindles and 320 looms, which were used for the manufacture of print cloth. In 1918, the mill had in operation 30,000 spindles and 842 looms.

Today, the Roanoke Mills Company has an authorized capital stock of $3,000,000, common, and $500,000, preferred. There is actually issued and outstanding $2,000,000, of common, and $500,000, of preferred stock. It has 53,000 spindles, and 1,500 looms; consumes about 1,300 bales of cotton a year; produces about 6,000,000 pounds of cloth. It manufactures flannels, or outing cloths, and dyes and finishes all its products. Its employees number, approximately, 1,000, and its pay roll is approximately $1,000,000 annually.

In 1918, Mill No. 2 of the Roanoke Mills Company was completed. This mill is a large re-enforced concrete building of the most modern construction, and at its beginning was equipped with 23,000 spindles. Its product is yarns used in the making of automobile tire fabrics.

The interest that the owners of the Roanoke Mills have manifested in their operatives has at all times been most considerate, and no strikes have ever occurred. The welfare, efficiency, and happiness of the operatives have been the first consideration in the mind of the mill owners. The mills of Roanoke Rapids and Rosemary furnish their operatives with villages that are sanitary in every respect. The tenant houses are cozy and attractive, with well-ventilated rooms. These houses are rented to the operatives, on the average, at $1.50 per week.

Local Market Established

Previous to the operation of the Roanoke Mills, the farmers of Halifax and nearby counties were compelled to market their cotton at distant places. With the establishment of the Roanoke Mills came the establishment of a local market for cotton. The mills have always paid the farmers the highest price for their cotton. During the year 1917, 8,200 bales of cotton were used by the Roanoke Mills, most of which was bought from the farmers of this section. The new mill uses something like 6,000 bales of cotton each year.

As a money circulator, the mills of Roanoke Rapids have been a distinct blessing to the community and surrounding country. At the close of the year 1917 this company had paid out $700,000 for cotton, of which $580,000 went to farmers of Halifax and the adjoining counties, and they keep the greater part of their receipts in the county by trading with the merchants of the county.

The Roanoke Mills Company is the greatest asset of Roanoke Rapids, and credit should be given them for the greater part of its phenomenal growth. With the success of the Roanoke Mills as their paramount aim, they have nevertheless neglected nothing that would in any way better this and the adjoining counties.

A great deal might be said of the man who has been the guiding hand and moving spirit in the phenomenal development of the Roanoke Rapids community. Mr. Samuel F. Patterson has always been one of the community's most valued citizens. He is a Tar Heel of the highest type. He was born and reared in Winston-Salem, and has been identified with cotton manufacturing all his life. Mr. Patterson may well be considered the father of the Roanoke Rapids community, for he organized the Rosemary Manufacturing Company, and the Patterson Mills, both of which are today successful enterprises.

Mr. Patterson has always had at heart the welfare of the entire community, and has never overlooked or failed to seize upon any matter which would tend to make the community more prosperous, or the people more contented. His activity has by no means been confined to the commercial and industrial advancement of the community, but he has been most influential in any phase of social and civic life that has for its goal a bigger, better, and more wholesome life for the people of the county.

Halifax Paper Corporation

The Halifax Paper Corporation was the second manufacturing concern to be established at Roanoke Rapids. The capital was furnished by foreign enterprises. At the start the mill manufactured a cheap grade of fibre paper for wrapping purposes, and this grade was made until the mill began the production of Kraft wrapping paper in 1911. This corporation has the distinction of making the first Kraft wrapping

paper produced by American industry. It was this mill that introduced to the American people and trade a home-made Kraft paper.

Today, the output of this mill is shipped into every state east of the Rockies, and is consumed as fast as the mill can make it.

Not only does this corporation bring into the county outside money to be circulated among the local enterprises, but it establishes a local market for the sale of small pine wood. The farmers are able to turn this commodity into ready cash at far higher prices than they ever received before.

The extraordinary success of the Halifax Paper Corporation has been due to the services of its president and general manager, Dr. J. T. Taylor. When he assumed charge in 1913, he immediately gave the business a new life, and to him is attributed the present success of the corporation. Mr. Taylor was formerly with the Roanoke Fibre Board Co. of Roanoke Rapids, which industry he managed for several years.

The Halifax Paper Corporation has contributed liberally to all causes looking to the betterment of Roanoke Rapids. They are equal donators to the Roanoke Rapids Hospital, a young and efficient institution built by the mills of Roanoke Rapids and Rosemary.

The Rosemary Manufacturing Company

The Rosemary Manufacturing Company operates the largest cotton damask mill in the world. From their 45,000 spindles and 1,200 looms there comes more than a third of the product which adorns the tables of America's dining rooms. Millions of yards of table cloth, and hundreds of thousands of dozens of napkins and pattern cloths are produced yearly.

The Rosemary Manufacturing Company began to operate in 1901 with 3,000 spindles and 50 looms, making only one grade of goods, of medium quality. The plant has steadily grown in size and the quality of the product has steadily improved. Today the plant manufactures fifty styles of damask.

The plant has a modern and completely-equipped machine shop, a supply house, two steam electric turbine power plants, and two large warehouses for the storage of thousands of bales of cotton. The machine shop is the largest in this section of the state. It employs more than 25 skilled mechanics, and the shop equipment is valued at more than $15,000. It is one of the best-equipped cotton mill machine shops in the South. The plant operates entirely from its own power, generated by its two turbine power plants.

Between 1,000 and 1,100 operatives are employed in the mills of this company, and their condition speaks highly for the unselfish interest that the company takes in its employees.

In the village, which is owned by the company, there are nearly 300 single, and about 90 double, houses. They are well-ventilated and modernly equipped. They are rented to operatives at a very low rate.

The company is active in making the village life as attractive and enjoyable as possible. It has provided and equipped a large park and playground. There is also a library of more than 800 volumes. A recreation hall is provided, which is used as a kindergarten during the day. It is in charge of a graduate teacher employed by the company. The company has also constructed in the village a first-aid dispensary, where the doctors have a well-equipped operating room, laboratory, and private consultation room.

Ten acres or more of land have been provided for gardening purposes, and those who do not have sufficient space at home are given a plot on this tract. The land is plowed by the company, and the gardening is supervised by an experienced gardener. There are a canning club and a tomato club conducted in the village, and the company furnishes a scientific cannery, steam-drying plant, and domestic science laboratory free to its employees.

From these details it can be seen that the mills have left nothing undone to maintain the highest efficiency, and to bring about the highest standard of living among its operatives.

The Patterson Mills Company

No mill has done more to put Roanoke Rapids on the map in cotton manufacturing than the Patterson Mills, which is the youngest industry of its kind in operation in this town. The company was organized in the year 1910, and began operations with just half the equipment it has at present. From time to time the equipment has been increased until today they operate 29,000 spindles and 742 looms.

The major part of the property owned by the company, exclusive of that occupied by the plant, is a well-laid-out and healthy village consisting of some eighty or ninety homes, all of which are modernly constructed two-story buildings. These dwellings are rented to the operatives at a very low weekly rate per room. The management has always exercised great care in assuring the operatives a village life as comfortable and pleasant as possible. The company employs a doctor and nurse whose whole time is given toward the health of the employees, free of charge. The Patterson Mills also contributed its pro-rata share to the Roanoke Rapids Hospital.

There are over 400 persons in employment at the Patterson mills. The product of the mills is the highest grade of dress ginghams, and they are always in great demand.

A large part of the credit for the success of the Patterson Mills is due to Mr. J. A. Moore, who is the president and general manager of the mills. Mr. Moore is an enthusiastic community builder, and has always taken part in all affairs looking toward a bigger and better community.

The Roanoke Fibre Board Co.

The Roanoke Fibre Board Company's mill was the first manufacturing plant erected at Roanoke Rapids. It is located on the Roanoke river, and is operated principally by water power. The building was originally constructed and designed as a knitting mill, and was used as such for a number of years. In 1905 it was converted into a mechanical pulp mill, and was operated as such until 1909, when the Roanoke Fibre Board Company was organized. It purchased the mill and equipment and converted these into a paper board mill.

The mill now manufactures combination and container boards, and the product is eagerly sought. The mill consumes many hundreds of cords of pine pulp wood each year, and a great amount of the raw material used is bought from the farmers in this and adjoining counties.

The company gives employment to more than 125 men. The monthly pay roll of them all amounts to about $10,000. The plant has now an operating capacity of from twenty to thirty tons a day. It is now considered to be one of the most important container and fibre board plants in the south. Mr. F. M. Brown is in charge of the mill.

Mills at Weldon

At Weldon there are two very progressive cotton mills, the Shaw Cotton Mills Company, and the Weldon Cotton Manufacturing Company. The Shaw Cotton Mills have in operation 10,000 spindles, and the Weldon Manufacturing Company has 3,636 spindles. The former manufactures hosiery splicing yarn on cones, while the latter manufactures men's cotton knit underwear.

The raw materials used in these mills are bought from the cotton growers in the county, and these two cotton mills, in conjunction with those situated at other towns in the county, furnish a local market for cotton.

The Weldon Lumber Company, an old and successful enterprise, is a large plant which exports great quantities of lumber. There is a peanut factory at Weldon, also, which prepares peanuts for northern markets. A modern ice plant at Weldon supplies ice for a large section of the county. Situated at Weldon, also, is a hardwood mill, which deals exclusively with hardwood and exports large quantities of its product.

Other factories at Weldon are a small grist mill, a large brick manufacturing plant, a paper box mill, three soft-drink bottling works, three job printeries, and an up-to-date ginning mill.

Dixon Lumber and Millwork Company was chartered in 1912 with an authorized capital stock of $50,000. It gives regular employment to thirty or forty employees, both skilled and unskilled. The products of the mill are principally interior finishing materials for building


Top-Girls' Dormitory, Rosemary Manufacturing Co. Middle-Kindergarten Playground, Rosemary Manufacturing Co. Bottom-Community Cannery, Rosemary Manufacturing Co.

construction, such as mouldings, stairway materials, mantels, doors, and such planing mill products as ceiling, flooring, and weather-boarding.

This enterprise is headed by Mr. Samuel J. Dixon, and through his kindness we have been able to obtain the following figures which give some idea of the development of the mill and the county, since a large part of the business carried on is done within the county:

Sales for the year 1919 amounted to $175,000, and for the first quarter of the present year the total sales amounted to nearly $90,000. The present annual payroll for operatives alone is $60,000.

The company is now engaged in the erection of several small modern family houses designed to provide pleasant and comfortable quarters for its operatives.

Scotland Neck Cotton Mills

The Scotland Neck Cotton Mills was organized and incorporated in 1899, and has been running steadily ever since, without a stop for any cause except a break-down or a regular holiday. This is one of the oldest hosiery manufacturing plants in the South.

The company has a capital stock and surplus amounting to $250,000. The yearly output is 225,000 dozen of ladies’ and misses’ seamless hosiery, the amount of raw material consumed is $350,000, and the annual payroll is $90,000. The mill has 252 knitting machines and gives employment to some 200 persons.

The mill building is located on a large lot, and there is abundant light and ventilation from all sides. The mill owns 35 tenement houses, each located on a lot 50 by 200 feet; thus providing for a large portion of its operatives an attractive small village.

Shipments of the products of the mills are made to practically every state in the Union, and during the last several years considerable exporting has been carried on.

Scotland Neck is situated in the center of the peanut area and is one of the largest markets in the world for that product. The National Spanish Peanut Company is a large plant which shells and bags the peanuts for foreign markets.


Hollister is a town that has grown up like magic. Extensive lumber manufacturing is done here, and around this industry as a nucleus has grown and developed a prosperous town, with a bank, beautiful residences, and fine streets.

Miscellaneous Factories

Included under the head of miscellaneous factories are all of the industrial enterprises not already mentioned which are listed in the report of the Department of Labor and Printing. This report,

which is for the years 1917-18, is incomplete, but must necessarily be relied upon.

According to the best figures available, the total capital of these miscellaneous manufacturing enterprises in the county is $288,625. This, of course, is not the actual amount, since many are not listed in the report, and many declined to disclose the capital employed. Omissions of this kind keep us from making a proper showing for the county.

These miscellaneous industries include hosiery mills, job printeries, ice and brick plants, ginning mills, peanut factories, and lumber mills, and numerous others too varied for classification.


The things necessary for the development of manufacturing are sufficient capital, raw products within easy reach, efficient workers, and ample transportation facilities. Halifax is blessed with all these. And in addition we have a good climate, excellent water power, and assured markets.

During the last few years there has been a tremendous growth in most of our industrial plants. But we have all the requirements for still more industries. We are blessed by being situated in the heart of one of the best cotton-growing areas of the state. Cotton manufacturing is our greatest industry, however, and our greatest need in the line of manufacturing enterprises is not in cotton, but in tobacco and lumber. Nevertheless there is ample room for more cotton enterprises.

We have noticed how Halifax has come forward in recent years as a tobacco-raising county. We also are aware of the majority of negroes in Halifax. These two requisites, along with others, furnish a great opportunity for the establishment of tobacco factories in the county. Negro labor is well adapted to such factories, and we have plenty of it. Our shipping facilities are excellent. Tobacco factories in Halifax would indeed be a great asset to the county. Why can we not have a tobacco factory in Halifax in the near future?

Markets For Food Supplies

One of our greatest opportunities lies in the establishment of ready cash markets for the home-raised food and feed products that the the farmers produce and bring to the towns. For such products the farmers have no ready cash markets at a fair price and profit. Of course they can find sale for their produce after peddling it from house to house, but what we mean is an established market which will take the products and pay cash for them. How can we expect the farmers of the county to raise food and feed supplies in excess of their own home consumption, if they encounter such difficulties in disposing

of their produce at profitable prices? We, like every other county, farm or city, are interested in the local market problem, because, in the first place, it concerns the increasing high cost of living. The cost of foodstuff is everywhere higher, while the purchasing power of the dollar is everywhere less.

Co-operation is the necessary remedy. The market problem cannot be solved by the producers alone. The problem is to get producers and consumers together. Our opportunity is before us. If every town can have an organized ready-cash market, if only a small one, where the farmer is assured of prompt sales of his fresh products, our farmers will look forward to their trips to town, and will offer the very best supplies, since they are aware of competition by other farmers.

High costs of living compel higher wages, as Adam Smith saw a century or so ago. Higher wages mean an increase in the labor cost of production. When production costs increase, dividends on capital dwindle or disappear. No one has a more direct relation to the problem of local markets for home-raised food supplies than our mill owners, and no one ought to have a livelier interest in it.

Sources of Information—Roanoke Rapids Herald, July, 1918; 1918 Report of State Commissioner of Labor and Printing; letter correspondence with mill men in Halifax; Rural Social Science Files, University of North Carolina.



This chapter is based upon the census reports of 1910 and other authoritative sources of information of later dates. The chapter closes with the usual table of data that compares the county with all the other counties in a score or more of important particulars; also with itself over a definite period of years, usually five or ten.


A fundamental social ill in Halifax and every other county in the state is illiteracy. Ten of every one hundred of our native white voters cannot read their ballots or write their names. Eighteen counties of the state make a better showing. Our average is 6 per cent greater than the average for the . It is possible that the moonlight school has somewhat reduced the high illiteracy rates reported in the 1910 census. Let us hope so. Our illiterate whites 10 years old and over in 1910 numbered 866 and negroes 5,652. Nearly 1,000 white children 6 to 14 years of age, or 35 percent of this age group, were not in school. The ratio of school attendance for negroes was around 40 per cent. In view of these facts our poor attendance takes on a new and baleful significance. Unless the compulsory school law is enforced and the parents of the county cheerfully co-operate in having their children attend school regularly, we cannot hope to do much toward sponging illiteracy off our map.

Higher Tax Rate Needed

An examination of our school expenditures reveals the fact that 56 other counties have a higher school tax rate per $1,000 worth of taxable property than Halifax. We believe that Halifax receives as much good from what she spends on schools as other counties, but we simply must have a higher rate of taxation in order to support our schools and enable them to do the most efficient work. We sincerely believe that the people of the state are fast coming to realize the fact that more money should be spent for educational purposes. It is only too true that has lagged far behind some of the other states in public education and has paid her teachers salaries far too small to attract the most efficient instructors. We dare to hope that the people of Halifax will not hesitate in the future to tax themselves generously for educational purposes. They cannot fail to do it

if they realize that no county can be progressive unless it will levy a tax rate high enough to house, equip, and support its public schools handsomely.

A High Marriage Rate

Halifax ranks 10th among the counties in marriage rate per 1,000 of population 15 years old and over, with 14 marriages per 1,000 inhabitants in 1914. The state average was 11 per thousand. Pasquotank led with 24 per thousand inhabitants. Our large negro population probably accounts for a depressed marriage rate in Halifax as in other eastern counties.

Death Rate High

The death rate in Halifax, although steadily improving, is still too high. In fact, only 29 other counties in the state had a higher death rate per 1,000 inhabitants in 1917. In that year there were 14.7 deaths for every 1,000 inhabitants. In 1914 there were 15, showing an improvement of only three-tenths per 1,000 inhabitants.

These figures show that the health conditions in Halifax are far from perfect. This is probably due in part to the fact that the negroes in Halifax outnumber the whites 2 to 1; and it is a well-recognized fact that the sanitary and housing conditions of the negroes invite disease and death. But we also realize the fact that much illness in Halifax could be prevented by greater care on the part of individuals, and more diligent efforts on the part of the health authorities. Here is the opportunity for the public health officer, working in co-operation with the State Board of Health, to render the fullest public service. It is a known fact that a very large percentage of the deaths which occur are those of babies under the age of one year. This is due to ignorance on the part of the mother before birth of the child, and to unsanitary conditions and improper after-care of babies. What is needed is a corps of rural public health nurses to instruct the young mothers in the care of themselves and their children, and to aid and advise them during the period prior to child-birth.

Birth Rate Increasing

Halifax stood 30th in birth rate in 1917 having 33.9 births for every 1,000 inhabitants. In 1916 we stood 65th with only 29.3 births per 1,000 inhabitants. The increase here noted is encouraging. It may also be noted that our birth rate exceeds our death rate by 19.2 per 1,000 of population.

A Religious People

Halifax stood 49th in church membership, with 61 per cent of its population 10 years old and over members of some church. This is one point below the state average of 62 per cent. However, we are not

proud of the fact that 39 per cent of our people above 10 years of age belong to no church whatsoever. All told, nearly 12,000 people of responsible ages were outside the churches in Halifax in 1916. The causes mainly are excessive farm tenancy and illiteracy. The church must help to reduce illiteracy and farm tenancy in sheer self-defense. These are not merely economic and social but spiritual ills; they are the very greatest home mission problems the church faces today, and they cannot be safely left to secular agencies alone.

A Working People

We need no figures to prove that the people of Halifax are an industrious population. To be convinced, one only has to watch the great hordes pouring into our industrial plants in the morning and out at nightfall. It may be consoling to some, but a warning to others, to know that only nine counties of the state have more female workers in factories than Halifax. Of course there are some who would contend that this is an undesirable condition from the point of view of health, but it does not keep us from taking our hats off to the women of Halifax who are nobly playing their part in building up our local industries and in providing for their homes.

A Satisfied People

With conditions of this sort, no wonder our people seem contented. So long as we continue to improve these various phases of our social and industrial life, we shall not be bothered with the strikes and troubles of the North and West. So long as one's surroundings are healthful, wholesome and satisfying, life is worth while; but when one's economic and social conditions become intolerable, strikes result or death may seem the only cure. The mill men in Halifax have been active in bettering the living conditions of their workers and in giving them a square deal. Consequently strikes are unheard of in Halifax. Industrial workers are well contented with their lot. They are for the most part a happy and satisfied people.

Facts About the Folks

17thin size in , acres432,640
8thin population, 191037,646
8thin density of rural population, per square mile55.7
7thin negro increase in ratio of total population, 1900-10, per cent.5
The increase was from 64.1 to 64.6 per cent.
In 72 counties the negroes were a decreasing ratio of total population.
The negroes were an increasing ratio in 25 counties, Halifax being one of these.

49thin church membership, 10 years of age and over, 1916, per cent61
Non-church members above 10 years of age, 11,680 in number.
9thin state support in 1918$26,895
This sum represents what the county paid into the state treasury more than it received in pensions and school funds. Thirty-three counties were dependent.
20thin native white illiterates 10 years old and over, per cent8.6
White illiterates, 866; state average, 12.3 per cent. ’ average, 3 per cent.
18thin native white illiterate voters, 363 in number, per cent10.3
State average, 14 per cent; U. S. average, 4.2 per cent.
10thin marriage rate per 1,000 of population 15 years of age and over, 191413.5
State average, 10.1; Pasquotank, 23.61, marriages in Halifax, 513.
71stin death rate per 1,000 population, 191714.7
30thin birth rate per 1,000 population, 191733.9
78thin suicide, 19172
9thin female workers in mills, 1915902
78thin Confederate pensioners per 10,000 of population in 1915, rate33
They were 130 in 1915, but only 91 in 1919. Clay ranked highest with 166, and Bertie, Pasquotank, and Perquimans lowest with 16.
59thin paupers in almshouses, rate per 100,000 population104
Number in Halifax 39.
25thin blind in N. C. State School, rate per 100,000 inhabitants10.6

Sources of Information—1910 Census; 1916 Census of Religious Bodies; Reports of the State Board of Health; 1918 Report of the State Tax Commission; Rural Social Science Files, University of North Carolina.



According to the census of 1910, the total farm wealth of Halifax was $7,737,161. Total farm wealth covers the value of farm lands, farm animals, building, and implements. It is unfortunate that the 1920 figures are not yet available, for they would most assuredly show a tremendous increase in the farm wealth of Halifax. However, it is safe to say that we have retained our rank in this particular. The other counties have increased their farm wealth since the last census and so has Halifax. There is no reason to believe that Halifax has not held her place among the first 25 farm counties of the state.

In total farm wealth in 1910 Halifax ranked 22d in the state. This means that only 21 counties had greater wealth in farm properties.

Between 1900 and 1910 our farm wealth increased 128.2 per cent against 130 per cent in the state-at-large.

In 1910 our per capita country wealth was only $205, while that of Alleghany county was $560, of the state at large $322, and of $3,386. Here it should be borne in mind that neither Alleghany county nor produces cotton or tobacco, but instead they devote their time almost entirely to food and feed crops, and livestock. Manifestly, bread-and-meat farmers accumulate wealth faster than cotton and tobacco farmers.

Domestic Animals

We experienced a notable gain in the value of domestic animals from 1900 to 1910, the increase being 144 per cent. This seems like a large increase, and yet we need more and better farm animals in the county. Too much emphasis cannot be placed upon the growing necessity for larger numbers and better breeds of domestic animals in Halifax. In 1910 we had less than half or exactly 44 per cent of the farm animals that our improved land would have supported as a lightly-stocked farm area.

We had only 47 hogs for every 1,000 acres while the state average was 39, the 66, and Iowa 263. Our rank in the number of hogs per thousand acres in the state is 27th, there being 26 counties which raised more hogs. We need more home-raised meat for home consumption. We need at least 60 to 75 hogs per thousand acres. Then the money that leaves the county each year to supply the shortage of 2,444,000 pounds of meat could be used for civic and social improvements.


Baptist Church, Weldon, N. C.

A Coming Tobacco County

Halifax has made great strides in tobacco production in recent years. In 1919 we ranked 28th in tobacco production with a total of 4,101,600 pounds. The ten-year increase from 1909 to 1919 was 344 per cent. The 1919 crop sold for around $2,200,000.

Negro Farm Owners

According to the last census 72 counties had more negro farm owners than Halifax, only 26 per cent of all the negro farmers being farm owners, while the state average is 33 per cent. We believe this number has been greatly increased in the last ten years. Only 55 per cent of the white farmers of Halifax own their own farms, while the state average is 65 per cent. Evidently we are a county of excessive tenancy. These figures show that both the negro farmers and the white are not up to the state average in home and farm ownership. More of the farmers must own their own farms or we shall fall behind in wealth accumulation and civic and social improvement.

Taxable Property

In 1917 our taxable property amounted to $19,030,046. In this particular we ranked 8th in the state. The increase in taxable property from 1907 to 1917 was above the state increase. Our increase was 76 per cent while the state increase was 70 per cent.

In 1919 the total taxable wealth of Halifax was between $22,000,000 and $23,000,000. Under the new assessment the figures will go between $60,000,000 and $65,000,000, and the tax rate can be reduced proportionately.

State and County Tax Rate

Eighty-four counties in the state had a higher tax rate than Halifax in 1917. Our rate, state and county, was only 91 2/3 cents on each hundred dollars worth of property.

We should not boast of the low tax rate which we have. It is not to our credit to have a low tax rate. It means that the people of Halifax are not receiving the civic and social benefits derived from a higher rate. A very high rate is equally as undesirable as a very low one. but a fairly high rate in our county will put into our hands the means for additional civic improvements and allow the people to receive the benefits that other counties derive from a higher rate.

Full Assessment Needed

Halifax makes a good record in assessing its farm land for taxation as compared with other counties. Only eighteen counties made a better showing in 1910. However, only 54 per cent of the conservative census value of our farm lands was taxed in 1910. For the state-at-large only 38 per cent of the census value of the farm land was taxed.

Thus is seen the urgent need of having our properties of all sorts more adequately taxed. It is an open fact that the major part of our property is assessed and taxed far below its true value.

The habit of dodging taxes seems to be ingrained in the people of . According to the Federal Census Bulletin of 1912, our estimated actual wealth in was one billion, 800 million dollars; our aggregate taxables were less than 800 million dollars, the difference being one billion dollars. This represents the wealth which the people of the state swore they didn't have. This is a crime against civic righteousness, education, and social and civic development.

Income Taxes

In state income taxes Halifax makes a very good showing. In 1917 only twelve counties paid more state income taxes than we, our total being $2,234. In 1914 it was $1,019. Nine counties reported no income tax at all in 1917. Twenty-nine counties paid more professional taxes than Halifax, the total for 1917 being $260.

Farm Mortgages

In the matter of farm mortgages we make only a fair showing. Fifty-two counties had a smaller per cent of white farm mortgages in 1910 than Halifax. Forty-three counties had a smaller per cent of negro mortgages than we. Mortgages are good in one sense and very bad in another. If a farmer mortgages his farm for productive purposes he is acting wisely. But if the farm is mortgaged for luxuries or for consumptive purposes, then the farmer is guilty of rank folly. By productive purposes is meant the purchase of land, farm machinery, implements, and animals, the erection of better homes and barns, anything that goes toward assuring better farming facilities and larger production. For in this case the increased production will enable the farmer to wipe off the mortgage in a short time. The evil of the farm mortgagement lies in the employment of it to buy automobiles and other such luxuries. In this case his farm is suffering. It may be interesting to note that Iowa, the richest farm state in the Union, has the greatest percentage of farm mortgages. But these mortgages are made to enable the farmers to invest in creameries, silos, and grain elevators, better farm animals, and more farm machinery. Mortgages for such purposes are not a disgrace but a sign of business wisdom.

Facts About Wealth and Taxables

22din total farm wealth, 1910 census$7,737,161
45thin farm wealth increase 1900-10, per cent128.2
State increase 130 per cent.
28thin tobacco production, in 1919, pounds4,101,600
Ten-year increase from 1909 to 1919, 344 per cent.

14thin increase in value of domestic animals, 1900-10, per cent144
State increase 109 per cent; Robeson, 208 per cent.
8thin total taxable property in 1917$19,030,046
Increase in taxable property 1907-17 was 75 per cent. State increase, 70 per cent.
83din per capita country wealth, 1910$205
, $560; state average, $322; U. S., $994; , $3,386; per capita taxable wealth, all property in 1910 was $305. Negro per capita taxable wealth in 1910 was $38. White per capita taxable wealth in 1910 was $571.
73din negro farm owners, per cent26
State average 33 per cent; negro farm owners in Halifax, 742; white farm owners in Halifax are 55 per cent of all white farmers. In , 65.5 per cent.
18thin tax rate, state and county, on the $100 in 1917$.91 2/3
Eighty-two counties have a higher rate; Yancey is highest with $2.48 2/3.
19thin tax value of farm land; compared with census value, 1910, per cent54
State average 38 per cent.
12thin state income tax paid in 1917$2,234
Nine counties paid no income tax in 1917.
30thin professional taxes paid in 1917$260
52 lawyers, doctors, dentists, photographers, architects, etc., in Halifax in 1917.
53din white farm mortgages, 1910, per cent19
44thin negro farm mortgages, 1910, per cent27
State average for negroes 26 per cent.
For both races 18.5 per cent in .
in number of miles of improved roads in 1920300
537 miles are worked intermittently.
33din per capita investment in automobiles, June 30, 1918$18.09
Only 16 counties had more. There are at present around 2,000 autos in Halifax.
Our investment in public school property was only $3.96 per inhabitant, or barely a fifth as much.
38thin bank account savings per capita$18.00
State average per capita $17.86.
New Hanover leads with $110.00.
42din per capita bank loans and discounts in 1915$30
Total $1,254,552. State average $45. New Hanover led with $296 per capita.

46thin per capita bank resources in 1915$39.20
State per capita average $62.95. New Hanover led with $432.
34thin war thrift, 1918, per capita66.00
Total investment in Liberty Loan bonds, exclusive of the first Liberty Loan, in war stamps, and bank account savings $2,942,449. New Hanover led in war thirft with $288 per capita.
50thin per capita bank capital in 1915$4.75
The per capita bank capital in the in 1915 was $21.46. In it was only $8.51. New Hanover led with $40.06.
19thin third Liberty Loan subscription. Per cent of population subscribing3.78
State average per hundred of population 3.4. U. S. average 17.5.
43din banks in 1914, ten in number—one bank to the following number of people4,984
The state average was one bank for every $4,800 people and the average was one for every 4,700 people. Camden, Currituck and Graham had no banks in 1914. Five new banks have been added since 1914.

Sources of Information—1910 Census; 1917-18 Report of the State Tax Commission; University of North Carolina News Letter; Rural Social Science Files, University of North Carolina.



This discussion is based as before on the tables that close this chapter.

Consolidation of Schools

During the nine years from 1908-09 to 1917-18 progress in the rural schools of Halifax has been highly commendable. We find decreases in only three items, and one of these indicates real progress. For instance, in 1908-09 there were 49 rural white schools and in 1917-18 there were 41, showing a decrease of 17 per cent. This decrease in per cent is a gain in reality, for consolidation of rural schools means more teachers per school, and better equipment, thereby cutting out the wasteful, weak little one-teacher schools, and substituting bigger, better and more efficient ones. These little one-teacher schools scattered all over the country, are, for the most part, not worth their upkeep. It is beyond reason to expect valuable results from a school whose sole administrative department consists of one teacher, who, on account of the pitifully small salary offered, is usually a raw recruit with a mere high school education, or even less. With seven grades to look after, each of which has several classes, what attention do you imagine can be given by such a teacher to the individual pupil in a school of 50? Does it call for a vivid imagination to see what lifeless, listless institutions these are? It is beyond comprehension how in 1917-18 a county of the comparatively high standing of Halifax could allow thirty or three-fourths of the 41 white country schools to have only one teacher each—thirty schools which represent incompetence in most details of educational importance. What Halifax needs is to abolish her one-teacher schools and establish in their place a few consolidated schools of genuine worth. Fifteen schools of this sort with several teachers each, modern equipment, and transportation facilities for the pupils would give Halifax the best educational system in the state. These districts should be supplemented by at least five standard high schools which could furnish the pupils of the county with sufficient education to enable them to enter any college or university.

Thanks to the untiring efforts of our wide-awake county superintendent, Prof. A. E. Akers, Halifax has made considerable progress in recent years towards consolidation. During 1917-18 four little schools were absorbed by consolidated schools and more recently eleven trucks have been put into operation to carry children back and forth from

the schools. Since then other districts have been consolidated. The visible result of these elections, the last of which was held in November, 1918, is that we now have two 5-room schools, one with 4 rooms, eight with 3 rooms, seven with 2 rooms, and fourteen with 1 room, as against 37 one-room, 6 two-room, and 2 three-room schools, in 1916. Twenty-five standard class rooms have been provided with proper floor and cubic space, all well lighted, and equipped with good blackboards, single steel standard desks, and standard heating and ventilating systems. All the larger schools have convertible assembly rooms.


During the scholastic year 1917-18, Halifax stood fourth from the bottom in white rural school attendance on enrollment, with a percentage of only 52.9, only a little more than half the enrollment being present each day! This does not include a large number of children of school age who were not even enrolled. Is it not startling? In a state which has a compulsory school law where does the fault lie in our low percentage of school enrollment and attendance? It is clear that this law was not being enforced in 1916 and that the parents of the children and the public officials charged to enforce the law have been at fault.

What Absences Mean

In this brief treatment it is impossible to discuss this topic fully. We can merely suggest and leave the reader to think it over.

1. The child that is allowed to be absent from school when he could possibly be there is establishing a bad habit from which he will suffer all his life long.

2. The constant absentee nearly always gets out of gear with the school, falls behind in his classes, loses interest and then drops out to repeat the same thing next year.

3. Absentees retard the progress of the class. This means that those who attend regularly lose because of the absence of others. For this reason every parent interested in his child's welfare should do what he can to encourage regular attendance on the part of his neighbor's children.

4. Absentees greatly increase the taxpayers burden, and become a tremendous financial loss to the child himself.

It is up to the parents to improve this condition, and help their children, themselves, and their county.

Consolidation is already having a telling effect in Halifax. In 1915-16 only 69.5 per cent of the school population was enrolled and only 47 per cent of these were in average daily attendance. In December, 1919, 81.9 per cent was enrolled, and 71.5 per cent of these were in average daily attendance. The best argument for consolidation and

transportation is the 71.5 per cent attendance in 1919 over the 47 per cent in 1915-16.


Without the vitalizing touch of a properly qualified teacher, houses, grounds, and schoolrooms are dead, soulless mechanisms. The real teacher breathes life and spirit into the school. Better schools are impossible without these inspired, capable teachers, and these teachers are impossible without more pay. Country teachers in are paid mere pittances. Halifax stood 8th in the state in salaries paid white teachers in 1917-18, with an average of $440.92. Comparatively speaking, this salary is good, but still it is pitifully small when the services rendered are considered. By the way, New Hanover, which leads the state in this particular, pays her white teachers less than the average paid common school teachers in the . Efficient teachers cannot be obtained or held with such salaries. It is human nature and a fundamental principle of economics that the best teachers go to the best salaries—or quit teaching to enter more lucrative employment, as two-thirds of them did in last year. Let us get the best teachers and hold them by increasing their salaries.

Better Prepared Teachers

While the number of our teachers has been increased 46.2 per cent, there has been a decrease of 8 per cent in the number having 4 years experience. This shows a discouraging decrease in the quality of our teachers. Proper training and experience are the things which count most in the teaching profession. Here again increased salaries suggest a way out. These salaries have increased 98.9 per cent in 9 years, but living costs have increased far beyond the salary increases. Teachers are actually getting less than nine years ago, the purchasing power of the dollar considered. In 1919-20 rural Halifax is employing 65 teachers for her white schools. Sixteen of these are normal graduates and ten are graduates from A and B colleges. Twenty are graduates of high schools and have attended summer schools. Fifty-six hold state certificates and nine hold second-grade and provisional certificates.

Is there any class of people with equal preparation anywhere that receives the same pay as these 65 white teachers? The county superintendent is fighting against odds trying to hold these teachers. He says that securing teachers for the year 1919-20 was the hardest fight of his life. Is it not the people's business to provide adequate school funds?

Need of a County Bond Issue

Only 9 counties stood ahead of us in total taxable wealth in 1917, yet 43 counties had more money than Halifax invested in rural school property in 1918. In amount spent on buildings and supplies

for the year 1917-18 we stood 8th. We stood 56th in local school tax rate, county and special, in 1917-18 with $5.12 on the $1,000.

The county needs more money to consolidate the little schools, to operate an effective school system, to make the schools more attractive, to prevent illiteracy, and to obtain the best teachers. There is an act to permit counties, townships, and certain school districts to issue bonds with which to build school houses. In the cities and towns of Halifax county this is being done; why cannot our county rural districts have a like privilege? Cities can issue and are issuing bonds to build school houses. The county must do it with increasing frequency. With enough money the country school will not be handicapped and its very soul can be expressed. Our county is blessed with a remarkably wide-awake, progressive, and far-seeing county superintendent. Let the people back him up with both moral and financial support and let Halifax have what her superintendent wants, the best county school system in .

Negro Schools in Halifax

(Extract from speech made at National Rural Consolidation Conference, Cedar Falls, Iowa.)

“We have two distinct school systems in with no apologies. The law provides that there shall be equal length terms, uniform compulsory attendance, and that though taught in separate schools ‘there shall be no discrimination in favor or prejudice of either race.’ You will note that these schools are run for the same length term but in different buildings. In most places the law is followed very well. In Halifax county we employ a Jeanes supervisor, who has charge of all manual training work, domestic science classes and health organizations. There have been as many school rooms erected for the colored people since 1915 as for the white race. These buildings are not cheapened any, except we do not use storm sheeting and paper. As to light, pitch of ceiling and size of the rooms, they are standard.

“In 1918-1919 the negro population 6 to 21 years for the county was 6,942. We enrolled 5,334 and there were present every day 2,653. These children attended 67 schools ranging from one room to five rooms. There were 59 one-room schools and 7 with two and more rooms.

“The highest salary paid a negro teacher is $90.00, the lowest $45.00. The average is greater than was paid white teachers in 1915-1916. The systems for the races are entirely separate, but the work of the superintendent is about as heavy for one race as for the other. The colored supervisor has charge of the teacher training work, but the superintendent attends the teachers’ meetings and joins in the discussions.

“A long story can be told of the interest and efforts of the Negro race in Halifax county. There are fourteen communities in which the

colored patronage has raised $500.00 among themselves and asked for aid from the Julius Rosenwald Fund. They have not been turned down.

“Mr. George Eastman, Rochester, N. Y., is paying one-half the cost of a beautiful five-room building for the negroes near a farm he owns in the county and 70% of the cost of the furniture that goes in it. Our negro problems are interesting and they are very responsive. They realize the need for education and are willing to do their part.

“Theodore Roosevelt was right when he said: ‘This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all to live in.’

“Again in the language of Edwin Markham:

  • “We all are blind unless we see
  • That, in the human plan,
  • Nothing is worth the making if
  • It does not make the man.
  • Why build these cities glorious
  • If man unbuilded goes?
  • In vain we build the world unless
  • The builder also grows.”

—A. E. Akers, county superintendent of schools.

1908-091917-189-Year Gains Percent
Raised by local tax$23,590$42,42979.8
Spent for teachers and supervision$21,670$43,503100.7
Spent for buildings and supplies$2,165$13,62466.4
Spent on administration$1,168$3,901149.2
Total school population9,00910,14312.5
Total school enrollment6,1207,30119
Per cent of enrollment67725
Average daily attendance3,0473,58217.5
Per cent average daily attendance33.835.31.5
Average annual salaries, white$236.81$471.0598.9
Total value of school property, white$13,310$45,050238.4
Total value of school property, col.$9,470$20,300114.3
Number of rural white schools494117.*
Number of local tax districts418350
Number having two or more white teachers511120
Per cent having two or more white teachers102717

Total number of white teachers547946.2
Number having 4 years’ experience261254.*
Number having college diplomas11282.*
Number white school houses (rural)42457.1
Number having patent desks33356
Number new white schools2
Cost of new white schools$6,000
NOTE:—Asterisk (*) means decrease.

Rank of Halifax in School Matters

The figures at the left indicate the number of counties that make a better showing.

in per capita expenditures for schools in 1917-18 Per capita investment in automobiles $18.09.$3.38
9thin total taxable wealth in 1917$19,030,046
83din per capita rural wealth, 1910$205
State average $322; Iowa, $3,386; U. S. $994.
49thin investment in rural school property, 1918$65,350
Buncombe first with investment of $343,805.
8thin amount spent on buildings and supplies, 1918$14,370.81
Buncombe first with $56,632.34.
8thin salaries paid white teachers, 1917-18$440.92
State average $323; U. S. average $606; New Hanover first with $580.36.
72din local tax districts, 1917-18, per cent16.3
Out of 110 districts, white and colored, only 18 levied a special tax.
71stin total revenue from local rural district taxes, 1917-18$3,440.41
Apportionment from equalizing fund, 1917-18 $4,995.10.
96thin rural white schools having two or more teachers, 1915-16, per cent20
In 1917-18, 73 per cent of rural schools had only one teacher, 26.9 per cent having two or more teachers, and we ranked 91st in the state. In 1917-18 out of 41 rural white schools 30 had only one teacher. In 1920 there are only 14 one-room schools, 7 two-room, 8 three-room, 1 four-room, and 2 five-room schools.
96thin school attendance on enrollment, 1917-18, per cent52.9
State average 68.8 per cent. In December, 1919, 81.9 per cent were enrolled and the attendance on enrollment was 71.5 per cent.

95thin average expenditures per high school pupil enrolled, 1915-16$8.37
State average $25.92.
Average expenditures per rural pupil enrolled, 1917-18, $9.38.
56thin local school tax rate per $1,000 of taxable property, 1917-18$5.12
Scotland $7.44; state average $5.10.

Sources of Information—Reports of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction; 1918 Report of State Tax Commission; 1910 Census; Rural Social Science Files, University of North Carolina.


White Schools in Halifax County, N.C. 1915 1920
Inserted by courtesy of Superintendent A. E. Akers.]



At the close of this discussion will be found a table worked out of the 1910 census and other authoritative sources of information. Concerning some items in the table we have been able to obtain very recent figures and as far as possible these have been used. This table shows (1) certain fundamental facts about Halifax set over against similar facts about other counties and the state at large; and (2) how the county stands when compared with itself over a term of years, usually five or ten.

The reader is asked to study carefully this and similar tables closing other chapters in this bulletin.

Halifax Predominantly Agricultural

In our discussion of Halifax and her problems it must be remembered that our county is a great agricultural county—predominantly so. There were only two counties in the state that produced greater farm wealth in 1910 than Halifax. The grand total covered both crop and livestock products and amounted to $3,766,186. These figures are highly gratifying. We note that fifty-nine per cent of this total wealth was produced by non-food crops, such as cotton, tobacco, etc.

But the vital question is, how much of this farm wealth do the farmers retain? It is foolish and pitiful to produce great wealth and then let it slip through our fingers and go to enrich the western farmers who produce the bulk of the food and feed that our farm animals and our farm folks consume year by year.

What our farmers do is this: they create cotton and tobacco wealth and then spend it to buy the actual necessities of life. Experiments made by the government have proven that the man who raises food and feed crops along with his cotton and tobacco is invariably in a much better condition than his neighbor who raises cotton and tobacco and buys food and feed. The government, by its experiments, has also proved that hay, forage, corn, pork and beef can be produced in the South today more cheaply than in the West. Thus, if the farmer raises his own home necessities, he is saved from the exorbitant profits of the middlemen and adds to his own bank account.

Many farmers contend that it is more profitable to raise cotton and tobacco and buy feed for their animals and food for their homes. We think most of them will agree with us that it is cheaper to produce these supplies than to buy them at the stores at present prices.

We are not oblivious of the fact that great profit has been realized by the farmers from raising cotton and tobacco during the last three or four years, and we do not by any means urge the neglect of these two big money crops, but we wish to emphasize the wisdom of greater attention to food and feed crops and to livestock.

Food Crops and Farm Wealth

The total farm wealth of Halifax county in 1910 amounted to $7,737,161. Twenty-one counties of the state had greater farm wealth. The farm wealth produced in 1910 amounted to $3,766,000. This means that every two years the farmers produce nearly as much wealth as they have been able to accumulate in 152 years!

Halifax's crop-yielding power per acre in 1910 was $18.63. Here we are below the state average, which was $20.18 in 1914. The average for the in 1914 was $16.34. However, our crop-yielding power is substantially good. Only 28 counties made a better showing in 1910. Our crop-yielding power was $4.67 per acre above the average of in 1914; $5.44 above that of ; $7.53 above that of , and $7.84 above that of . These states all engage in medium or large-scale agriculture, producing small values per acre but great totals per worker; they all use improved farm machinery extensively, thus lowering the labor cost and widening the margin of profits. Hence they accumulate farm wealth faster than we do or can even with the present high prices of cotton and tobacco.

In the annual production of farm wealth per inhabitant, we were a little above the average for the state at large in 1910, namely $100 against the state average of $85, and $126 for the French farmers. Thirty-one counties had a better record than Halifax in this particular. High prices for farm products in 1919 ran the average up to $830 per farm worker for .

We occupy a middle ground with respect to other counties in the matter of food and feed production per inhabitant, ranking 50th in this particular. Our production of food and feed in 1910 was $45 per inhabitant. Our need was for $84 per person per year. Thus we have a deficit of $39 per person, or a total deficit of two and a quarter million dollars. Or such was the deficit before the present inflated prices. Today the needs and deficits are far greater than the pre-war figures.

That our food and feed crops constituted only 41 per cent of our total crop values is not a matter of pride. Our rank in 1910 was 71st, which means that seventy counties have higher food and feed crop ratios. Alleghany stood first in this particular, with 89 per cent, while the state average was 47 per cent, or 6 per cent above that of Halifax. We emphasize again the fact that food production means farm

wealth accumulation. Alleghany is the richest county in the state in per capita country wealth, and it is first in the ratio of its food and feed crops to total crop values.

Non-Food Crops

The value of the non-food crops produced in 1910 was $2,050,782. Two non-food crops, cotton and tobacco, produced wealth to the amount of more than 7 million dollars in 1919. By non-food crops is meant crops that do not serve as food for man or beast. The two main non-food crops produced in Halifax are cotton and tobacco. Of the total crop of the county the non-food crops produced 59 per cent. The state average of non-food crops is 53 per cent.


In cotton production our rank is high. In 1918, while the war was in full swing, we produced 37,140 bales of cotton and only four counties in the state produced more. In 1919, after the war, our production fell to 27,862 bales with seven counties producing more than Halifax. The 1919 cotton crop sold for around 5 million dollars, not counting the seed.


Halifax has come, in the last few years, to be a great tobacco-producing county. In 1919 we produced 4,101,680 pounds, and only 27 counties produced more. Our increase from 1909 to 1919 was 344 per cent. This means that more wealth has come into the hands of the farmers, and that they are in a better condition to support good roads, good schools, better teachers for the rural schools, and to take part to a greater degree in all kinds of civic improvement in Halifax. The day is not far distant when Halifax will rank with the two or three best tobacco counties in the state. The great increase in the production of the last few years indicates this clearly.

Cultivated Land and Idle Land

Fifty-seven per cent of the land in Halifax is idle, that is, it is cut-over or wilderness land not in use for farm purposes. This leaves only 43 per cent of our total land area under cultivation. Our rank in this particular is high, however, there being only 14 counties of the state with a greater per cent of their land under cultivation. But the fact that over half of our land is not under cultivation, but is in idle wilderness, shows that our land is not being used to the best advantage and that we have not reached the limit of our ability to sustain population. There is room for a large increase in our farm population. In 1910 we had 184,938 acres under cultivation and 247,702 acres of idle wildnerness. Reserving 50,000 acres for wood-lot purposes

and allowing 75 acres to each family, there is room for 2,640 new farm families in the county. We need this increase in farm population for we need to put into action the invested millions now lying idle in our wilderness acres.

Ranks High in Number of Farms

We should be proud of our standing in the number of farms in the county. According to the last census we had 4,295 farms and this number was surpassed by only 8 counties in the state. The average number of cultivated acres per farm was 43.1. The size of cultivated farms was larger in only 13 counties. There were 2,641 farms over 50 acres in size, both cultivated and uncultivated acres considered.

We see here that our farms are too small. The farmers farm on too small a scale. We shall never become the well-to-do, independent farm people that we should be until we farm on a larger scale. We need to put capital, brains, energy, and business skill into our farming system just as our cotton mill men and railroad owners do into their business.

Livestock Status: Farms Too Lightly Stocked

Only 12 counties of the state suffered a greater loss in poultry production than did Halifax from 1900 to 1910, the decrease being 20.5 per cent. Eighty-seven counties either increased in poultry or had a smaller decrease in fowls during this period. We ranked 26th in the number of fowls on hand. Doubtless the present high prices of poultry and eggs have greatly stimulated the interest of our farmers in these profitable side lines. Every farmer in Halifax would be wise to stock his farm with good poultry.

In 1910 the state average of hogs per one thousand acres was 39. The average for the same year was 66, and that of Iowa 263. We find that we stand above the state average, having 47 to every one thousand acres. However, our rank was 27th, which means that 26 counties had more hogs per 1,000 acres. With a meat deficit of 2,444,000 pounds yearly we should be wise to pay more attention to meat production.

Our decrease in swine during the period from 1900 to 1910 was 3 per cent. There were 69 counties of the state that experienced decreases in swine during this period and only 28 counties showed an increase. Thirty-two counties made greater gains or experienced smaller decreases than Halifax. The value of home-raised meats is known to every one and this subject need not be enlarged upon here. But with the present exorbitant prices of pork, let us hope that we shall have a tremendous increase in pork production. Prevailing prices certainly afford a sufficient stimulus.

In our standing in the number of cattle per one thousand acres there is no ground for boasting. We find we are below the state average. The state average in the census year 1910 was 23 per 1,000 acres, while our number was 21 per 1,000 acres. The average was 61. Fifty-two counties showed a better record than Halifax. Our increase in cattle in the last census period was only 5 per cent. Sixty-seven counties made a greater increase. The state average increase was 12 per cent.

Our sheep loss of 50 per cent from 1900 to 1910 is astonishingly high. Fifty-two counties suffered a smaller loss than we and therefore made a better showing. Our loss was 1,233 sheep. In 1860 Halifax had 4,351 sheep while in 1910 she had only 1,202.

Our farmers ought to bear in mind that whether we consider the state or the , we invariably find that high per capita country wealth goes hand in hand with an abundance of domestic animals and a substantial production of food and feed crops, and that low per capita wealth is always found where farm animals and homeraised necessities are lacking. In 1910 we were 77 per cent below the level of even a lightly-stocked farm area, which means one animal unit for every 5 acres. Fifty-two counties outranked us in this respect.

Horse Power

We find that Halifax ranks comparatively low in horse power on the farms, 67 counties being ahead of us in this particular. With one work-animal for an average of 28.82 acres in 1910 we fell below the state average, which was one work-animal for an average of 25.85 acres. The average for the was 19.81 acres for each work-animal.

Farm Implements

In farm implements per acre our standing was low at the 1910 census period. Our investment per acre at that time was only $1.91, and 63 counties of the state stood ahead of us. The state average was $2.10. Of course if the figures for the present year were available they would show that we have a higher rank, due to our use of Fordson tractors, trucks, and other modern farm machinery on the farms of Halifax.

The Evil of Farm Tenancy

Everyone should be aware of the evils of farm tenancy, and the farmers of Halifax should take this matter in hand and try to improve our standing in this respect. The history of farming clearly shows that no community ever reaches the highest stage of agricultural development and achievement until the farms are operated mainly by the owners. The average tenant is such because economic conditions prevent him from buying land, or he is lacking either in industry, thrift

or sagacity. Since he moves frequently he has little interest in soil building or soil preservation, and hence makes little or no preparation in fall for his next crop. Living on the crop-lien, supply-merchant plan, he is forced to devote his attention to ready-money crops to the neglect of food and feed stuffs and livestock. Then, also, not being in one place for any great length of time, the tenant has no inclination to beautify his home and premises, and his interest in helping to maintain good schools, churches, roads, and law and order in his community is naturally at a very low ebb. An abiding interest in community life cannot exist among people who are constantly moving about. In 1910 almost two-thirds, 64.2 per cent, of our farmers were tenants. Eighty-eight counties had smaller per cents of tenants than we. The state average was 42.3 per cent. However, during the census period 1900 to 1910 we had a one per cent decrease in tenants, indicating that a few of our landless farmers came into possession of farms. During this period 49 counties increased in farm tenancy and 47 counties decreased. In 1910 the white tenants of Halifax numbered 601, while the negro tenants numbered 2,158. Our landless, homeless tenants and their families numbered about 13,800 souls. Of these 766 tenants were croppers, and 1,927 were cash or standing rent tenants. Tenants, for the most part, raise cotton and tobacco and neglect the all-important food and feed crops. We do not mean to shower this unfortunate class with unqualified condemnation; they need the encouragement and the unselfish co-operation of fortunate land owners. The tenants need to buy and maintain their own farms and devote their entire energies to the betterment of their farms and country communities. But many of them, seemingly, find this an unsurmountable task.

Helping Tenants to Buy Farms

The average tenant finds himself unable to pay for a farm when he wishes to buy one and locate himself permanently. There are always land owners in every community who have surplus cash as well as idle land, and they should give aid to the deserving home-seeker. They can lend him the money with which to purchase a farm, and frequently they do so.

There is a great amount of land in owned by well-to-do absentee landlords living in towns or in other counties or states, who are holding their lands out of productive use for higher prices. In such cases where the owners will not sell at reasonable prices, a little legislation may help matters wonderfully. A higher tax on land not under cultivation by owners would be a step in the right direction. This tax could be so graduated that the more land the absentee landlord owns the higher rate he must pay, as in , and some of the Canadian provinces. Such legislation would render unprofitable large holdings not operated by the owners, and thus force

the land on the market for those who will develop neglected areas into productive farms and substantial homes.

Facts About Farm Conditions and Practices

Rank indicates counties that make a better showing.

22din total farm wealth, 1910$,737,161
45thin farm wealth increase, 1900-10, per cent128.2
83din per capita country wealth, 1910$205
For the state at large it was $322.
In Alleghany it was $560.
73din negro farm owners, per cent of all negro farmers26
State average 33 per cent; negro farm owners in Halifax 742; white farm owners in Halifax are 55 per cent of all white farmers; in N. C. 65.5 per cent.
19thin tax value of farm land, compared with census value, in 1910, per cent54
State average 38 per cent.
53din white farm mortgages in 1910, per cent19
State average for whites, 17 per cent.
44thin negro farm mortgages, per cent27
State average for negroes 26 per cent. For both races 18.5 per cent in .
14thin per cent of total land area under cultivation42.8
State average 29 per cent. Land under cultivation 184,938 acres. Idle wilderness acres 247,742 or 57.2 per cent of the total area. Reserving 50,000 acres for wood-lot uses and allowing 75 acres to each family there is room for 2,640 new farm families in Halifax county.
9thin number of farms4,295
Average cultivated acres per farm 43.1. Size of cultivated farms larger in 13 counties; 2,641 farms are less than 50 acres in size, and 1,641 farms are over 50 acres in size, both cultivated and uncultivated acres considered.
88thin poultry decrease, 1900-10, per cent20.5
Rank in number of fowls on hand 26th.
27thin hogs per 1,000 acres47
State average 39; U. S. average 66; Iowa 263.
68thin cattle increase, 1900-10, per cent5
Caldwell county increased 62 per cent. State average increase 12 per cent. In 1860 Halifax had 11,697 cattle; in 1910, 8,468.

53din cattle per 1,000 acres21
State average 23; U. S. average 61.
33din swine decrease, 1900-10, per cent3
69 counties decreased; 28 counties increased. In 1860 Halifax had 36,279 hogs; in 1910, 19,467.
53din sheep losses, 1900-10, per cent50
Total number lost 1,233. In 1860 Halifax had 4,351 sheep; in 1910, 1,202.
69thin horse power; one work animal for an average of, acres28.82
State average, 25.85 acres; U. S. average 19.81 acres.
64thin investment in farm implements, per acre$1.91
State average $2.10; U. S. average $2.52.
89thin farm tenancy, per cent64.2
State average 42.3 per cent. Decrease in Halifax, 1900-10, was 1 per cent; 49 counties increased in farm tenancy; 47 counties decreased. White tenants in Halifax number 601; negro tenants 2,158. The landless, homeless tenants and their families number 13,800 souls; 766 tenants are croppers; 1,927 are cash or standing rent tenants. Tenants raise cotton and neglect food and feed crops.
28thin tobacco production, 1919, pounds4,101,680
Ten-year increase, 1909-19, was 344 per cent.
The 1919 tobacco crop sold for about $2,200,000.
8thin cotton production, 1919, number of bales ginned, up to April, 192027,862
This cotton crop sold for 5 million dollars.
5thin cotton production, 1918, number of bales ginned up to April, 191937,140
88thin non-food crops produced, cotton, etc., 1910$2,050,782
The cotton and tobacco crops alone brought $7,200,000 in 1919. Cotton and other non-food crops produce annually 59 per cent of all the crop wealth. Food and feed crops make up 41 per cent of the total crop wealth. The state average of non-food crops is 53 per cent.
32din production of farm wealth per person, 1910$100
State average, $85; average of French farmers, $126. In 1919 it amounted to $245 per person for every man, woman, and child in Halifax.

3din annual farm wealth produced, 1910$3,766,186
This total covers both crop and livestock products. In 1919 it amounted to about $11,000,000. Every two years the farmers produce nearly as much wealth as the entire county has been able to accumulate in 152 years; 59 per cent of all farm wealth was produced by non-food crops. The need is for more food crops, better livestock, and more livestock industries.
29thin crop-yielding power per acre, 1910$18.63
State average $20.18 in 1914; U. S. average for 1914 was $16.34. Halifax compares well with Missouri, $13.06, and Minnesota, $13.19. In 1919 the crop-yielding power per acre amounted to about $55.
32din production of farm wealth per person, 1910$100
State average, $85; average of French farmers, $126. In 1919 it amounted to $245 per person for every man, woman, and child in Halifax.
50thin food and feed production, per person, 1910$45
Needed $84 per person per year; deficit $39 per person, on the basis of pre-war prices. It is twice this amount today if we have not increased our food and feed crops.
71stin food and feed crops; per cent of total crop value41
Alleghany 89 per cent; state average 47 per cent; Alleghany is the richest county in per capita country wealth in the state. Halifax ranks 83d in this particular. Food production means a maximum retention of cash derived from cotton and tobacco sales.
53din livestock levels, per cent of a lightly stocked farm area23
We are 77 per cent below the level of a lightly-stocked farm area. A lightly-stocked farm area means one animal unit for every 5 acres—a horse, a cow, 2 colts, 5 hogs, 7 sheep, 100 hens, etc.

Sources of Information—1910 Census; Farm Forecaster, May, 1920; Rural Social Science Files, University of North Carolina.



Our Two and a Quarter Million Dollar Shortage

We find that in Halifax county in 1910 there was a need for food and feed supplies amounting to the sum of $3,946,922, whereas we produced food and feed supplies amounting to only $1,715,079. In other words, the food consumed by man and beast in Halifax in 1910 amounted to $2,231,843 more than our farms produced. This was our bill for food supplies imported in the census year.

During the same period our money crops, most largely cotton and tobacco, sold for two million fifty thousand dollars. Deducting this amount from the shortage in food and feed production, we see that our cotton and tobacco crops failed to pay our bills for imported bread and meat by the sum of 181 thousand dollars. If our farmers did not raise more bread and meat last year than in 1910, and in all probability they did not, because tobacco has preoccupied our attention of late, our bill for imported breadstuffs must be around five million dollars, present prices considered.

The food bill above covers the standard staple food and feedstuffs, not dainties and luxuries. The figures are based on the thirteenth census report and the average annual consumption figures given out by the Federal Department of Agriculture.

The Shortage in Detail

This shortage in detail covers 2,444,868 pounds of meats; 1,699,304 pounds of butter; 308,355 fowls; 345,305 dozen eggs; 740,137 bushels of corn; 148,053 bushels of wheat and 10,277 tons of hay; and other products in considerable proportion, such as potatoes, are not even included. This enormous shortage in food and feed supplies means that Halifax county needs to wake up or she will lag helplessly behind in the retention and accumulation of farm wealth. We need an immense increase in the home production of food crops, beef, mutton, pork, milk and dairy products.

Why Our Farmers Fall Behind

Our farmers do not supply this two and a quarter million dollar market demand, because (1) of too much attention to cotton and tobacco and too little to food and feed products; (2) excessive farm tenancy under the supply-merchant, crop-lien, time-credit system; and

(3) the lack of ready cash markets for home-raised supplies. It is a deplorable truth that we have no ready cash market for home-raised food and feed crops, and this, to a great degree, causes many of our farmers to raise cotton and other money crops to the utter neglect of bread and meat products.

Too Little Home-Raised Supplies

Fifty-nine per cent of the total crop wealth produced in Halifax year by year is produced by cotton, tobacco and other non-food crops, and this ratio has been steadily increasing. We are giving increasing attention to cotton and tobacco and decreasing attention to grain crops, hay and forage, domestic animals and livestock products. We are not on a safe farming basis as long as we are dependent on other counties and states for the staple necessities of life.

According to the government statistics in the census year we needed 1,166,902 bushels of corn as food for man and beast, but we produced only 426,765 bushels, leaving a deficit of 740,137 bushels. Halifax ranks 29th in corn production. Only 11 bushels of corn per person were produced in 1910, while we needed 31 bushels per inhabitant per year.

Likewise we fell behind in wheat production. We needed 150,584 bushels, while only 2,515 were produced, thus leaving a deficit of 148,053 bushels. Sixty-five counties produced more wheat per inhabitant than Halifax in 1910. Four bushels per person were needed, while only six one-hundredths of a bushel per person was produced.

Our total crop of oats in the last census period amounted to 8,794 bushels, while 65 counties had a larger production. The loss in oats production between 1900-10 was 55 per cent. In 1860 Halifax produced 56,619 bushels of oats while the production in 1910 amounted to only 8,794 bushels.

Our hay and forage production likewise showed a striking deficit. Only 2,315 tons were produced when 12,592 tons were needed. However, we find in this particular there was an increase of 31 per cent from . We rank 53d in the production of this crop.

We find that 32 per cent of the farms bought feed supplies when they should have raised their own supplies. Forty-seven counties bought less feed than we.

Eighty-five counties produced more beef per person than Halifax. The state average was 34 pounds while ours was only 12. Such is the great need for the raising of more beef and cattle.

We show an appalling deficit in poultry and egg production. Seventy-six counties rank ahead of us in the former and eighty-nine counties outstripped us in the latter. Our poultry deficit in the census

year was 308,355 fowls and our egg shortage was 345,305 dozen. Let us remember that poultry and eggs are necessities that our town dwellers might produce in their back lots with a little attention and exertion.

In butter production we fell to a low rank. We needed 1,811,008 pounds and we produced only 111,664 pounds, showing a deficit of 1,699,304 pounds. We either bought this amount or failed to consume the minimum required to balance our food diet.

Why We Are Not Self-Feeding

In 1910 nearly two-thirds, or 64.2 per cent, of our farms were cultivated by tenants. And farm tenancy under the crop-lien system in the South means more cotton and tobacco and less attention to grains, hay and forage, fruits, vegetables, poultry and dairy products, and to beef, mutton, and pork production. In Halifax the annual consumption of these products amounts to nearly four million dollars, but our farms produce only one and three-quarter million dollars worth of them; so we sent out of the county, in truth, a king's ransom, amounting to more than two million dollars, for food and feed supplies that we might have raised at home, and by just so much did we decrease our power to accumulate wealth. This was in 1910. At present prices our need is for around 8 million dollars worth of food and feed supplies and our deficit is around 5 million dollars.

But this immediate discussion is to show why we are not a self-feeding county, so let us look at this problem.

I have already said that the reasons why our county fails to be a self-feeding farm area are, the excessive farm tenancy, too much attention to money crops, and the lack of ready cash markets for home-raised supplies.

The crop-lien, supply-merchant, time-credit system, under which tenants do business, makes it imperative for them to grow a ready-money crop, such as cotton or tobacco. There is always a cash market for these crops, but to get the best prices for food and feedstuffs a farmer must hold them until the supply is largely used up. This the farm tenant cannot do. The supply-merchant is waiting for his money, and his bill covers large profits and high interest rates on the debt.

So long as these conditions prevail the farm tenant will continue to neglect food and feed crops for cotton and tobacco, for which there is a ready-cash market. Now, while the demands for bread and meat crops are great and the prices astoundingly high, is the opportune time for tenants to redouble their efforts to produce more and save more until they become able to buy farms of their own on which to settle down into stable, substantial citizenship. When a man can sit down

under his own vine and fig tree and look out over his own fields as the lord of all he surveys, then, and only then, can he be his own boss and pitch crops of his own choice, to say nothing of the added joy he derives from putting his feet under his own table and saying grace over the bounties grown on his own soil.

Poor Market Facilities

The farmer raises cotton and tobacco instead of food and feed crops, because there is a ready market and ready cash for them. He need not seek the market, the market seeks him. He can sell them at any time for ready money and he can establish credit upon them before they are even planted. Not so with bread and meat products. The farmer must peddle his vegetables, fruits, butter and eggs, meat and poultry, from door to door. Often when he cannot sell to any one he will leave his perishable products with the merchant to dispose of at any price obtainable, as it would be a complete loss to take them back home. Effective local markets lower the cost of living by bringing producers and consumers into direct dealings with one another. At present producers and consumers are not organized in ways advantageous to both. They are as far apart as though they lived on different planets. The producers and consumers of Halifax certainly suffer from the Iron Law of Trade, which says: Keep producers and consumers as far apart as possible; pass economic commodities from one to the other through as many hands as possible; charge consumers as much as possible and pay producers as little as possible. As long as this law is in full operation in Halifax county everybody will suffer. It can be broken down only by union and co-operation. Where there is disunion and collision both producers and consumers are punished. The producer gets too little for his products, the consumer gets too little for his money, while the middle man gets the lion's share of the wealth the farmers produce, and the lion's share of the consumer's dollar.

Doubling Our Farm Wealth

But leaving the town consumers out of consideration, our farmers can and ought to produce the supplies they need from year to year to feed their own families and farm animals. If the farmers could or would stop spending such enormous amounts each year for these things the farm wealth of Halifax would be doubled in the next few years.

It is far from our purpose to advocate that farmers stop raising cotton and tobacco, for they cannot afford to do this. But we do strongly advocate that they raise cotton and tobacco on a bread-and-meat basis. We have tried to get rich buying food and feed stuffs with cotton and tobacco money long enough to know that it cannot be done. No policy of this sort can ever make us as wealthy as the Middle

Western farmers who raise their own bread and meat. The only certain way to increase our farm wealth is to have our pantries, barns, and smoke-houses filled with home-raised supplies, no matter what else we produce on our farms.

The Acid Test of Success

The local market problem created by the demand for breadstuffs at high prices and the failure of the nearby farmers to supply this demand is a perplexing problem in every city of .

The law of markets is greed for gain. It is the tooth-and-claw struggle for price and profits. This primary law of human nature organizes a world-wide market for cotton and tobacco; and at the same time and for the same reason it denies producers and consumers of breadstuffs, living side by side in the same county, an even chance and opportunity for direct dealing with mutual advantage.

The Solution of the Problem

The local market problem is difficult of solution. Greed safely counts upon the dull unconcern of both producers and consumers. Finally the consumers wake up to the fact that the cost of living is a national problem. Farmers discover that the prices of food products to consumers have gone up enormously, but that their own farm profits are no more than they were fifteen years ago. The simple fact is that producers and consumers are too far apart and the cost of marketing too great.

The solution lies in getting producers and consumers together, the principle of action lies in co-operation, and success is achieved when farmers get more for their products and consumers get more for their money. If the farmers do not get more and at the same time if the consumers do not pay less, then the problem is not solved, no matter how elaborate or expensive the market plan or the market house.

Co-operation Necessary

Producers alone cannot solve the market problem. Success calls for the direct co-operation of consumers; and in big scale marketing, it invariably calls for and depends upon the credit accommodation of the banks. If consumers are unconcerned and unorganized, or if banks and transportation companies are neglectful or hostile, the farmers’ chance of success is reduced to zero. Success lies in collusion not in collision, in co-operation not in contest.

a Model

has taken a long step forward in solving her market problems; and one of the many things she does with the help of her boards of trade is to maintain free telephone market information exchanges

in charge of officials whose business it is to give reliable and disinterested market news to farmers and city dwellers, and to bring producers and consumers together in direct dealings.

What the Banks Can Do

banks are refusing loans to supply-merchants who do a croplien business protected by cotton acreage alone. They have a half-and-half system. They stipulate a minimum acreage, usually half of the farm, which must be devoted to food production, and farmers are required to raise a specified amount on this acreage. The banks are doing this to force the supply-merchant to force the farmer to raise a sufficiency of bread and meat on every farm. It is sound sense and safe business policy, they say, to keep in the 217 million dollars that have been leaving the state year by year heretofore to pay bills for imported food supplies.

This policy insures a food-producing farm civilization, and this means prosperity. It also means a bigger, safer, better business for supply merchants and bankers.

This same system could be put in operation in this state, especially in our cotton and tobacco counties where conditions are similar to those in Texas. We have proved to the world that we cannot accumulate country wealth under our one-crop or money-crop system of farming. We stay poor while the West grows rich. The bankers can do more to solve this problem in a single year than all the farm demonstrators can do in a lifetime.

The larger towns of Halifax must get ready with market arrangements, conveniences, and facilities for doing a larger business in home-raised food and feed supplies.

The Farmers’ End of the Problem

On the other hand, the farmers must not only produce food and feed supplies for farm consumption but they must raise enough to feed the towns of the county as well. They must know more about the market conditions and demands. All of them should not bring their products to town at one time. In Halifax there is no large city, and naturally the markets are small ones. What they offer for sale in competition with the big wide world must look as good and taste as good as imported food products. They must produce meat, butter, eggs, fruits, vegetables, grain and hay in steady and reliable quantities; and stand ready to supply market demands just as the western markets do upon short notice.

FOOD AND FEED NEEDS AND DEFICITS (Based on the 1910 Census)
1. Food and Feed:
Needed—37,646 people @ $84$3,424,388
6,881 work animals @ $39.39271,042
3,227 dairy cows @ $18.5569,860
1,469 other cattle @ $8.0946,274
1,222 sheep @ $1.792,187
19,906 swine @ $6.69133,171
Total food and feed needed$3,946,922
2. Produced:
Food and feed crops$1,416,685
Dairy products33,537
Poultry products92,439
Honey and wax540
Animals sold and slaughtered171,878
Total food and feed produced$1,715,079
Shortage in home-raised food and feed2,231,843
Cotton and tobacco crop values were2,050,782
Deficit in dollars181,061
3. Distribution of Food and Feed Shortage:
(1) Meat needed for 37,646 people @ 152 lbs., pounds5,722,192
produced 192 calves @ 150 lbs.28,800
1,226 cattle @ 350 lbs.429,100
181,035 poultry @ 3.5 lbs.633,623
10,929 hogs @ 200 lbs.2,185,800
Total home meat produced, lbs.3,277,323
Deficit, lbs.2,444,869
(2) Butter needed for 37,646 people @ 48 lbs.1,811,008
deficit, lbs.1,699,344
(3) Fowls needed for 37,646 people @ 13489,390
deficit, fowls308,355
(4) Eggs needed for 37,646 people @ 17½ dozen558,635
deficit, dozen345,305

(5) Corn needed for 37,646 people @ 31 bu.1,166,902
deficit, bushels740,137
(6) Wheat needed for 37,646 people @ 4 bu.150,584
deficit, bushels148,069
(7) Hay needed for 6,881 work animals @ 10 lbs., tons12,592
deficit, tons10,277

29thin corn production, total crop, bushels, 1910426,765
Robeson ranked first with 1,142,060 bushels. In 1860 Halifax produced 797,001 bushels of corn.
82din corn produced per inhabitant in 1910, bushels11
Needed per person, 31 bushels per year. Deficit per person, 20 bushels; total deficit, 740,137 bushels. State average 15 bushels per person in 1910.
66thin wheath production per inhabitant, in 1910, bushels.06
Needed, 4 bushels per person per year; deficit per person, 3.94 bushels; total deficit, 483,250 bushels; only 15 counties in 1910 raised wheat surpluses. Loss in wheat production, 1900-10, was 67 per cent. Halifax produced 36,165 bushels in 1860; in 1910 only 2,515 bushels.
66thin oats production, total crop, in 1910, bushels8,794
The oats raised amounted to only one-fifth of a pint per work animal per day. The loss in oats production, 1900-10, was 55 per cent. In 1860 Halifax produced 56,619 bushels of oats.
53din hay and forage production, total crop, in 1910, tons2,315
Ten-years’ increase, 1900-10, was 31 per cent.
48thin per cent of farms buying farm feed32
1,392 farms bought feed, averaging $52.60 per farm.
86thin beef production per inhabitant, in 1910, pounds12
State average, 33.8 pounds.
79thin pork production per inhabitant, in 1910, pounds58.7
State average 93.3 pounds.
77thin poultry production per inhabitant, in 1910, fowls4.84
Needed 13 per person per year; total deficit 308,355.

81stin increase in farm sales of dairy products, 1910, per cent45
Total sales in 1910 were $9,279. State increase was 146 per cent. Halifax produced 3 pounds of butter per person. The average amount needed is 48 pounds per person; deficit, 45 pounds per person.
96thin livestock products per inhabitant, in 1910$8
Alleghany, $65; state average $17. Per capita crop production was $92 in Halifax. Total farm wealth produced was $100 per inhabitant.
84thin bill for imported food and feed supplies$2,231,843
In 4 years it equals the farm wealth accumulated in 152 years. Every 4 years the farmers produce as much wealth as they have been able to accumulate in 152 years.
47thin Boys Corn Club enrollment, 1915; boys reporting13
Average per acre yield, 44.9 bushels or over three times the average for the county at large. At this rate the grown-ups might have produced enough corn for home use and 718,145 bushels to sell abroad. Instead they bought 740,137 bushels in 1910.

Sources of Information—1860 and 1910 Census volumes; Department of Agriculture Reports; Rural Social Science Files, University of North Carolina; Farm Forecaster, May, 1920.

HALIFAX IN 1860 and 1909
Crops and Livestock18601909
Corn, bushels797,000426,765
Hay, tons6,2542,315
Wheat, bushels36,1652,515
Oats, bushels56,6198,794
Peas and beans, bushels43,9145,176
Sorghum, gallons6233,664
Sweet potatoes, bushels122,425122,454
Irish potatoes, bushels16,0126,835
Cotton, bales8,35623,412
Tobacco, pounds845,200924,435
Wool, pounds8,8941,000
Butter, pounds49,813111,664
Honey, pounds14,1554,473

Dairy cattle3,4093,227
Other cattle8,2885,241

HALIFAX IN 1909 AND 1919
Corn, bushels426,765666,000
Hay, tons2,31553,253
Wheat, bushels2,51517,150
Oats, bushels8,7949,622
Soy beans, bushels6,103
Cow peas5,13112,064
Peanuts, bushels674,087526,284
Sorghum, gallons3,66425,039
Sweet potatoes, bushels122,45482,584
Irish potatoes, bushels6,83518,810
Cotton, bales23,41227,862
Tobacco, pounds924,4354,101,680



Halifax county has a great many things to be proud of. Besides being one of the oldest counties in the state, it is one of the most prosperous. It is as rich in history as it is in future prospects, and its people are justly proud of the high position it occupies in the state.

There are five towns of considerable importance, namely, Enfield, Halifax, Roanoke Rapids, Scotland Neck, and Weldon, and these deserve special mention in this discussion.

Roanoke Rapids

Probably no town in the state has had the rapid development of Roanoke Rapids. Beginning in 1895, with scarcely a home, this town now boasts of some seven thousand inhabitants. The increase since the census of 1910 is around 300 per cent. Situated on the Roanoke river, at a point where this stream develops its maximum power, the town is an ideal manufacturing site. The Seaboard Air Line Railway, together with the improved roads branching out to every part of the county, furnish wonderful transportation facilities, by means of which raw materials can be shipped to and manufactured products shipped from the town with the greatest possible ease. Here mills have sprung up from year to year which, through capable management, have come to be among the most modern and prosperous mills of the state. They are the pride of our county. Roanoke Rapids, as well as the entire county, owes a large debt of gratitude to the far-reaching and beneficial activities of these mills. Through their efforts and the capable co-operation of Dr. T. W. M. Long, a free public hospital has been erected at Roanoke Rapids. It is equipped and conducted in a manner that is so modern and so thoroughly efficient that it is a source of pride to the county and the state at large. In this, and many other instances, the work of the managers of these mills is evident.

Roanoke Rapids is a town of wide-awake, industrial leaders and people. It is already evident that it is to become one of the leading manufacturing towns of our state.


A consistent, conservative, and steadily-growing town is Weldon. It lacks the impulsive, rapid impetus that is manifested by Roanoke Rapids, but nevertheless it is a town that is bound to make its mark. Situated on the Roanoke river, at the junction of the Atlantic Coast Line and

Seaboard Air Line Railways, its accessibility is ideal. Weldon, all through our history, has been the center of the financial and commercial activities of the county. Its manufacturing concerns are old and thoroughly established, and they are steadily increasing in size and capacity. A glance at our chapter on industries will bring out this fact.

The people of Weldon are enterprising and successful, and their untiring and progressive activities have done much for the advancement and general welfare of Halifax.


Enfield is the oldest town in the county, and was for several years the seat of Edgecombe county when it included Halifax. Enfield was also, for a number of years, the site of the district court of the counties of Edgecombe, Granville, Bertie, and Northampton. The Bank of Enfield, situated in this town, is the most prosperous bank in the county, and there are several other concerns that make Enfield a town of importance. Chief among these are the recently constructed tobacco warehouses which have done so much to increase our steadily-growing production, and to divert the sale of tobacco which was hitherto conducted in neighboring counties.


Halifax has the distinction of having been at different times the seat of government of the province, and afterwards of the new state. It also has the higher distinction of being the birthplace of the State Constitution, and the place where the famous Independence Resolutions were passed April 12, 1776. A glance at the first chapter on “The Historical Background” of the county will show just how great a role Halifax played in the history of our state and the nation. It is a role of which we may feel justly proud. Halifax is still a producer of great men and great deeds.

Scotland Neck

Scotland Neck is the center of the peanut industry of this section and is one of the largest markets in the world for that product. It lacks the very important advantage of transportation facilities, being reached only by the Weldon-Kinston branch of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Given adequate transportation facilities, however, there is no doubt that it would fast become the most important town of our county. The business men of the town are wide-awake; and it is from this town that the most important statesmen from our well-represented county have sprung.

Other Towns

Besides the above-mentioned towns, there are Hobgood, Tillery, Rosemary, Palmyra, Hollister, a town fast approaching importance as


Roanoke Rapids Hospital Built and Operated by the Mills of Roanoke Rapids and Rosemary

a lumber center, Ringwood, and Littleton, a town of much importance, situated partly in Halifax and partly in Warren County.


Halifax has made great strides in educational growth in recent years. Besides the very important item of consolidation, a discussion of which appears elsewhere, there have been several new city schools erected, which afford model examples of what such institutions should be. There are such schools to be found at Enfield, Scotland Neck, Rosemary, and Weldon. At Roanoke Rapids, plans are already drawn up for a high school that will rank with the best in the state. The cut of this building appears in this booklet, and Roanoke Rapids is to be highly commended for taking the lead in this undertaking.

But our progress is not confined to our city schools alone. In 1918 only eight counties in the entire state stood ahead of us in expenditures for buildings and supplies in rural schools. That year the expenditure amounted to $14,370.81.

Halifax also stood eighth in salaries paid white teachers, the average being $440,92. In this instance, we stood $117 ahead of the state average. Although we are near the top in this respect in , the author feels hesitant in placing these low figures in the list of things to be proud of. A glance at them will show the reason.


We stand thirteenth in the state in size, with an area of 432,640 acres, while only seven counties in the state lead us in population, according to the 1910 census, Halifax having 37,646 inhabitants. The density of rural population was 55.7 per square mile, an item in which only 7 counties made a better showing.


Halifax is predominantly an agricultural county, and the following statistics bring out facts about our farm wealth of which we may be justly proud.

According to the 1910 census we stood 22d in total farm wealth, the amount being $7,737,161. In spite of the fact that 21 counties are ahead of us in this respect, only two counties produced a greater total of farm wealth. Our production of crop and livestock values amounted to $3,766,186. This year, with inflated prices, we hesitate to say what our production of farm wealth will be. Two crops alone, cotton and tobacco, produced wealth to the value of 7 million dollars in 1919.

In 1917 Halifax stood 9th in total taxable wealth, having on her tax books $19,030,046. The increase from 1907 to 1917 was 76 per cent. The revaluation act will show our wealth to be around three times the total of 1917.

The state income taxes paid in 1917 amounted to $2,234, in which instance only 11 counties stood ahead of Halifax.

In the Third Liberty Loan Halifax stood 19th in the state, with 3.78 per cent of the population subscribing. This was ahead of the state average, which was 3.4 per cent.

Halifax stood 19th in tax value of farm land, compared with census value in 1910, the per cent being 54, or 16 per cent above the average of the state.

During the decade from 1900 to 1910, the increase in the value of our domestic animals was 144 per cent, in which instance we stood 14th in the state. There must be no let-up in this important necessity. We need more and better livestock.


Our farmers form the backbone of our community life, and have made our civilization strong and stable. The number of farms in the county was 4,295 in 1910, and only eight counties had more.

Although only 42.8 per cent of the total land area of the county is under cultivation, only thirteen counties have larger percentages. There is plenty of room for new farmers in Halifax.

In cotton production in 1919 Halifax ranked 8th in the state, the number of bales ginned up to April, 1920, being 27,862.

In tobacco production Halifax has made great strides, ranking 28th in the state, with 4,101,640 pounds in 1919. This product will continue to increase in importance in the years to come, and will mean another great source of wealth for our county.

The People

A previous chapter treats the rank of Halifax people in important particulars when compared with the other counties of the state. The people of Halifax have a just right to be proud. Her sons of note have been numerous in her past history, and today she has men of distinction in the state and the nation. Practically all of our people are native born. Very few foreigners are to be found within our borders. Consequently our social and political life is stable. Radicalism, I. W. W.-sm, Bolshevism, strikes and riots are unknown. Our farmers, townspeople, and mill workers are happy, prosperous and contented, although constantly active in bettering their conditions.


The public school system of Halifax county is one of the best in the state. The nine years’ growth in rural schools from 1908 to 1917, treated in another part of this bulletin, is sufficient evidence of this fact. The real educational growth of the county began with the labors

of Dr. A. S. Harrison, as county superintendent. Since then the schools have been growing steadily, both in numbers and capacity for service, until today every white child in the county has the privilege of attending school six months in the year. Prof. A. E. Akers took up the work so capably begun by Dr. Harrison, and through his tireless efforts great progress has been made toward the educational advancement of the county. These men paved the way for the present wideawake board of education, and we are greatly indebted to them for the present efficiency of our school system.

Important Personages

It is impossible to give here a complete list of all those who have been the builders of our county, and prominent in its history, but there are a few predominant facts which deserve mention.

“Halifax has furnished more governers, five; more attorneys-general, six; more members of Congress, fifteen; more brigadier-generals, six, than any other county in the state. In addition, it has furnished two judges of the Supreme Court of , one of whom, Hon. Walter Clark, is still in office; one ambassador to , William R. Davie; and one member of the President's Cabinet, John Branch; six councillors of state; and five judges of the Superior Court.”—Allen's History of Halifax County.

We, the people of Halifax county, have every reason to be proud of our heritage, and our present possessions and advantages, but we should not let complacency blind us to our deficiencies. Let us examine our faults courageously, locate the causes clearly, and then proceed in no uncertain manner to make our civilization wholesome, prosperous, and happy, in every detail of community life.

The figures at the left margin indicate the number of counties making a better showing.
13thin size, in , acres432,640
8thin population, 191037,646
8thin amount spent on rural school buildings and supplies in 1918$14,370.81
8thin salaries paid white teachers, 1917-18$440.92
State average, $323. New Hanover first, with $580.36.
8thin density of rural population, 1910, per sq. mile55.7
9thin state support, surplus contributed in 1918$26,895
This sum represents what Halifax paid into the state treasury more than she drew out of it in state pensions and school funds. 33 counties drew state bounties instead.

22din total farm wealth, 1910$7,737,161
3din annual farm wealth produced, 1910$3,766,186
9thin total taxable wealth, 1917$19,030,046
12thin state income taxes paid in 1917$2,234
19thin Third Liberty Loan subscription. Per cent of population subscribing3.78
State average, 3.4 per cent.
19thin tax value of farm lands, compared with census value, per cent, 191054
State average, 38 per cent.
14thin increase in value of domestic animals, 1900-1910, per cent144
9thin number of farms4,295
14thin per cent of total land area under cultivation42.8
State average, 29 per cent.
8thin cotton production, 1919. Number of bales ginned up to April, 192027,862
28thin tobacco production, 1919, pounds4,101,680
10thin marriage rate per 1,000 population, 15 years old and over, 191413.5
9thin female workers in mills, 1915902



The many reasons that we have to be proud of Halifax have been pointed out and discussed in the preceding chapter. In this chapter it is my purpose to gather up and present the vital defects in the economic and social life of the county, and further to try to interpret these defects and needs and to show the way out, and, so far as I am able, to forecast a broader and better community life for Halifax.

Our rank in some important details of business and life may be a source of surprise to some. In many respects Halifax ranks with the leading counties of the state, and also in many instances she is among those that fall to the bottom of the list. If she ranked among the first few in every item, then this little bulletin would be useless, for its purpose is to show our imperfections and faults, as well as our virtues.

We have conditions in our county that are thwarting our development, retarding our progress, and hindering the people of our county from making their life as efficient, prosperous, and wholesome as all of us would like it to be. All our problems, then, are not solved; nor can they be solved without the co-operation of our business men and bankers, our farmers, teachers and religious leaders. It will require the federated efforts of all these to blot out our delinquencies and to reach high levels in every particular.

It is an easy matter to show the instances in which Halifax county ranks low, but to tell just how such problems may be improved and solved is a much more difficult task. Whenever our rank is found to be low in any item, there we have a problem. It is hoped that the people of Halifax will earnestly study the figures at the close of the various chapters and see for themselves what things need our immediate, unselfish, and combined effort.

There is at the end of this chapter a table of items which present themselves as unsolved problems in Halifax county. The following discussion is based upon these facts.

1. An Ill-Balanced Farm System

The 1910 census shows that we have a per capita country wealth in farm properties in Halifax amounting to only $205. This is, as can readily be seen, a small amount and our rank is very low. There are 82 counties in the state with a larger per capita country wealth.

In Alleghany county it was $560, in the $994, and in Iowa $3,386. It is much higher in Halifax today, but also it is proportionately higher in the state and nation.

Obviously, our farmers are poor. The average farmer has not the money with which to buy improved farm implements for more extensive agriculture and thereby to lower the cost of production while greatly increasing the volume of farm products. Lack of ready cash capital in our country regions is a cardinal deficiency. In order to have good roads, good schools, good churches, and fine farms, we must have money—far more money than we have had in our rural territories. What is the reason for this very low per capita country wealth? Our rank in total farm wealth produced year by year is high, but what becomes of all this enormous wealth? In the census year 1910 we sent out of the county more than $2,000,000 for imported food and feed supplies which could have been produced by our farmers at home. This drain on our money resources makes us all just so much the poorer year by year—landlords, merchants, bankers, and farmers alike. This fact suggests a solution. For sixty years we have been enslaved by cotton and tobacco production and neglectful of food crops and livestock. Each year our farmers produce great wealth and immediately send it away to pay for the necessities of life which they themselves could produce far more cheaply. It is a crime against common sense. There are no soils and seasons anywhere in the better suited to food and feed production and livestock farming. It is not impossible to produce the staple bread and meat supplies we need for home consumption. In 1910 the wheat crop was only one-seventeenth of a bushel per inhabitant, while four bushels per person per year are needed. In 1860 we produced 36,000 bushels, which was exactly enough for our population at that time. Every farmer should reserve two acres or so each year to raise enough wheat for his own family, if no more. Flour at $20.00 a barrel today suggests the wisdom of a return to the policy of our forefathers.

2. Farm Tenancy

Over sixty-four per cent of the farmers of Halifax are tenants. Of these 766 were croppers and 1,927 were cash or standing rent tenants. The landless, homeless, white tenants and their families of Halifax in 1910 numbered three thousand souls. The economic and social evils of tenancy have been discussed in a previous chapter.

3. Few Local Tax Districts

Seventy-one counties stood ahead of Halifax in 1918 in the per cent of school districts levying local taxes. According to the last report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in the state, 1917-1918, out of the 110 districts, white and colored, only eighteen levied a special

tax. Our country school districts must not be slow to tax themselves for the support of good rural schools. There should be a greater number of rural districts levying a special school tax. In Dare county every school district is a local tax district. Seventy counties reaped larger revenues from school district taxes for country schools than Halifax. The amount thus raised totaled only $3,440 at that time.

4. Poor School Attendance

Our rank in per cent of school attendance on enrollment is deplorable. Only one county in the whole state made a poorer showing in 1915-16. Our rank in this particular was 99th. These figures should stir the interest of everyone who has at heart the efficiency and wel fare of the schools in the county, and should prompt those directly concerned to improve the school attendance. When a prominent, progressive, and wide-awake county like Halifax is next to the bottom in any matter connected with schools—the most important institutions of any county—it is time for our people to insist on a strict enforcement of the compulsory school attendance law. Our average in 1915-16 was 53.9 per cent, and in 1917-18 it was 53 per cent. From the tables of the State Superintendent for 1917-18 we find that there were 4,359 children of school age who were not even enrolled in school. This poor showing in school attendance is not wholly ascribable to the colored children, for in examining the figures in the above report it was seen that our white population contributed its full part in pulling down the average.

There is another particular in which our schools lag behind, namely, in the number and ratio of weak little one-teacher schools Thirty of our 41 white country schools were schools of this sort. Or so it was in 1918, when the last published report was given to the public by the State School Superintendent. Since that time several consolidations have been made in our country schools, and these schools are among the best in the state, we are proud to say.

In 1915-16 only 20 per cent of our rural white schools had two or more teachers, and our rank was 96th in the state. In 1917-18, 73 per cent of our rural white schools had only one teacher, while only 11, or 27 per cent of these schools, had two or more, and in this particular we ranked 91st in the state.

The one-teacher school is a listless, lifeless affair and the fewer there are in any county the better. We sincerely hope that the people of Halifax will rally to the wisdom of the consolidation plans that are being developed by our fine superintendent.

5. Illiteracy

In 1910 8.6 per cent of our native whites, ten years old and over, were illiterate. They could neither read nor write. They are what we call sheer illiterates. In this particular our rank is 20th in the

state, meaning that only 19 counties made a better showing. Thus we see that illiteracy is not one of our greatest problems. But illiteracy is an insistent problem, and though we find ourselves among the first twenty counties in the state in the matter of literacy, we may well make mention of this fact in this chapter. Near-illiterates are even more numerous than sheer-illiterates in this and all other counties of the state, though little attention is given them. Moonlight schools and country churches have a wonderful opportunity here, because 94 per cent of our illiterates are in the country and 85 per cent of them are 20 years old and over.

Our native white illiterate voters were 10.2 per cent of the total white voters. That is, one out of every ten white men in the county 21 years of age and over could neither read his ballot nor write his name. However, only seventeen counties of the state had a smaller per cent in the census year. This class, also, if ever reached and served, must be reached and served through the country schools and churches. The churches can be a mighty agency for reducing illiteracy in the South. These people have passed the age where they can be reached by public schools. They must be reached by other means, or live and die in sheer ignorance of the big, wide world in which they live. Approaching this suspicious and superstitious class calls for real diplomacy. Work in their behalf calls for deft, delicate, sympathetic approaches and plans. They do not like to be reminded of their shortcomings.

Halifax ranks fairly well in church membership. Sixty-one per cent of our people ten years old and over were on the rolls of our churches in 1916; forty-eight counties had a greater per cent of church membership. However, the fact that 11,680 of our people in 1916 belonged to no church whatsoever calls for some sane thinking by our churches of every name and faith.

6. Elbow Room

Fifty-seven per cent of the acres in Halifax county are idle; that is, they are not in use for farm purposes. There were 247,700 idle acres in the county in 1910. We need to bring into productive use this enormous area of waste land. Here is room for 2,640 new farm families, allowing them 75 acres each and retaining 50,000 acres for wood-lot uses. An increase of fifty per cent in farm population and a safely-balanced farm system by small home-owning farmers would mean better schools, better roads, greater prosperity, better business for the trade centers and more social life and liveliness.

7. Livestock A Solution

We can hardly bring these 247,700 idle acres into productive use by planting them in crops. Why not let livestock solve the problem?

We have a climate admirably suited to livestock. We have wonderful opportunities in Halifax to develop livestock farming and livestock industries, butter factories, condenseries and the like. Our soils are well adapted to grasses and grains. They are fertile and well drained. We need some one who is thoroughly familiar with dairying to organize the farmers into a co-operative creamery company or companies such as they have in Catawba and other counties. This company could collect and market milk, butter, eggs, meat and even vegetables as do similar organizations elsewhere. These products could be delivered daily in nearby towns and cities where there is an organized market.

The farms in Halifax are too lightly stocked. We do not have enough animals per thousand acres and what animals we have are, as a rule, not of the best quality. Especially is this true of our swine and cattle. The 1910 census shows that we are 77 per cent below the level of even a lightly-stocked farm area; that, in other words, our livestock ought to be quadrupled in number. Our shortage in livestock appears in detail elsewhere in this bulletin. We must grow up a generation of livestock lovers and make improved farm animals the basis of farm prosperity. They will fertilize our soils and feed our families, leaving cotton and tobacco to furnish ready cash for our pocket books and bank accounts. It takes time to bring about changes in farming in any county, but there is no need for delay in making a beginning of the right sort. The world is clamoring for food supplies at high prices, and Halifax has a great chance to furnish her share of it with profit. Prices are high and profits are well assured. The philosophy laid down by Henry Grady years ago should be followed in Halifax today. He said: “When every farmer in the South shall eat bread from his own fields and meat from his own pantries and, disturbed by no creditor and enslaved by no debt, shall amid his teeming orchards and vineyards and dairies and barns pitch his own crops in his own wisdom and grow them in independence; making cotton and tobacco clean surplus crops and selling these in his own time, and in his chosen market, and not at a master's bidding—getting his pay in cash and not in a receipted mortgage that discharges his debt, but does not restore his freedom—then and not until then shall be the breaking of the fullness of our day!”

Co-operative Solution of Halifax Problems

None of the problems that present themselves can be solved by the farmers alone. The larger interests of the farmers, bankers, merchants and teachers lie in co-operation, and not in contest. When each class is working with all its might and main for its own selfish ends the benefit derived by the people as a whole will be less than if they were unselfish servants of the common good.

Farmers, merchants, bankers, transporters, and manufacturers are closely knit into an intricate whole of business interdependence. They are all members of one body and when one suffers they all suffer together.

The farmer alone is not likely to bridge the gulf between producers and consumers of farm products. He cannot solve the problems of rural credit or rural markets alone. He must have the help of the bankers, the supply-merchants, and the transportation companies.

City civilization is dependent upon farm production. The business of the whole country is determined largely by farm conditions. Market prices in the great city exchanges change as news of good or bad conditions come in from the different farm regions of the world. Last year the farmers of the added to the wealth of the world over 25 billion dollars’ worth of newly-made farm wealth. Poor crops and poor conditions in the fall mean sad times for all classes of people alike. It is upon the farmers’ fields and forests that we depend primarily for the three great necessities of every-day life—food, clothing and shelter. The farmers supply the raw materials of these and thereby furnish for manufacturers, transporters, bankers and merchants their business, their business opportunities, and the bulk of their fortunes. The farmer is the mainspring of the industry of the nation. Over half of the railway business of the country consists of transporting supplies to farmers and the products of the farm to the markets of the world.

Cities are dependent upon the country for population, the renewal of population, for business and business genius, for civic and social conscience and for spiritual guidance. The great majority of men in authority in our city churches were born and bred in the country; and the same is almost as true of our successful, influential men of affairs, the merchants, bankers, manufacturers, and professional men. Five-sixths of the college professors and six-sevenths of the ministers of all denominations were born and reared in the country. On the other hand, the country depends on the cities for market advantages and credit facilities. They are highly mutually dependent. Then it is fundamental for Halifax county as well as for the nation that the countryside be efficient and prosperous, satisfying and wholesome.

Mutual Prosperity

Everyone knows that a town or city cannot safely grow prosperous and its people cannot live content and happy if the countryside is neglected, deprived and distressed. In the end town and city progress is commensurate with the prosperity of the country regions roundabout. Many towns and cities of the nation have come to realize this and are doing their utmost to promote efficiency and prosperity in their surrounding trade territories. They are aware that their welfare depends largely upon the welfare of the nearby countryside; that the better

the condition of the farmers in their trade territories, the richer the cities and towns will be. The city dwellers must help the farmers solve the problems of markets for home-raised food and feed supplies. The farmers will raise such supplies in abundance only when they can convert them into instant, ready cash at a fair price and profit; and not otherwise.

The evils of the supply-merchant, time-credit system of farming have already been noted in another chapter, and it is fully recognized that under this system the tenants and small farmers are powerless. They have not raised food supplies sufficient for home consumption, for the simple reason that they have not cared to do it or have not been allowed to do it. They failed of doing it in Halifax in 1910 by two million two hundred thousand dollars. This is the amount that the farmers themselves sent out of the county in cash for farm supplies. This exodus of money from our county left our traders, tenants, landowners and bankers just so much poorer. If this gigantic sum could be retained in Halifax by a bread-and-meat system of farming the total wealth of the county would be doubled in a few years, and we should go forward with remarkable strides. It can be done.

The bankers of Halifax can do more in a single year to promote a bread-and-meat, live-at-home system of farming in Halifax than our gospel of diversified agriculture is likely to do in a lifetime. The Texas bankers have solved the problem. They saw the folly of allowing 217 millions of dollars to leave the state annually for food and feed supplies that could be produced at home. Accordingly, they boldly adopted the policy of refusing loans to supply-merchants on crop-liens protected by cotton acreage alone. Before they will discount a crop-lien paper it must embody a detailed written agreement by the farmer to plant a certain part of his acreage, usually a half, in specified food and feed crops. And now the state is richer by 217 million dollars or more a year, because the bankers have stepped forward and taken this fundamental step in wealth retention. What they did is simply this: they forced the supply-merchant to force the farmers to become self-feeding. And self-feeding farmers are self-financing, and a self-financing agriculture spells prosperity for farmers, merchants, and bankers alike.

The Future of Halifax County

To the best of our limited ability we have endeavored to spy out the fundamental deficiencies of life and business in our home county, and now we indulge ourselves in visions of its future, when hindering causes have disappeared and constructive ideals and policies are freely employed to lift the level of Halifax.

First, a foundational ideal is home and farm ownership by farmers; a civilization based on the home-owning, home-loving, home-defending instinct. It means better rural conditions—better roads, better schools,

better supported churches, better homes, more home comforts and conveniences, greater attention to sanitation and health, more of law and order, and better community life in general. We look forward to the day when every farmer in Halifax can stand on his own doorstep and survey his own domain, sit by his own fireside, eat his own bread and meat, work his own stock, and use his own machinery on his own land.

The rural schools are the life of the rural community. During the last two years Halifax has accomplished wonderful things in rural school progress. The consolidated schools at Roseneath and Dawson are examples of it. We long to see the time when we shall have twelve or fourteen large, well-equipped consolidated rural schools, where country children can have advantages equal to those of city children; when every country child can be carried to school in a comfortable, closed-in conveyance, like those now in use in some school districts of the county. At present there are eleven Ford and Oldsmobile trucks used for carrying children to school in Halifax. There are few counties in the state with a larger number than this. These trucks have been bought in the last few years. Such transportation facilities mean better attendance and less sickness caused by exposure in tramping through the mud in bad weather. With such progress already made, we think of the future with buoyant hope. We wish to see Halifax on the map as the county that leads all the rest in educational accomplishments.

To create the very best living conditions in Halifax county is the task of all good citizens. Many have already set themselves to this task, and it is the hope of the writers of this little booklet that others will catch the vision, develop the spirit of hearty co-operation, and fall in line to make our county the foremost county in the state or nation.

That she may continue to lead where she now leads and that she may become a leader where she now lags is the hope and prayer of the authors of this little county bulletin.

WHERE WE LAG Rank indicates the number of counties that make a better showing.
83din per capita country wealth, 1910$205
State average $322; U. S. $996; Iowa $3,386.
73din negro farm owners in 1910, per cent of all negro farmers26
State average 33 per cent.
53din white farm mortgages in 1910, per cent19
State average for whites 17 per cent.
71stin death rate per thousand population, 191714.7
66thin wheat production per inhabitant in 1910, bushels0.06
Needed four bushels per person per year. Deficit per person 3.94. Total deficit 148,053 bushels.

82din corn produced per inhabitant in 1910, bushels11
Needed per person 31 bushels per year for man and beast. Deficit per person 20 bushels.
66thin oats production, total crop in 1910, bushels8,794
86thin beef production per inhabitant in 1910, pounds12
State average 33.8 pounds.
71stin pork production per inhabitant in 1910, pounds58.7
State average 93.3 pounds.
77thin poultry production per inhabitant in 1910, fowls4.84
Needed 13 per person per year. Total deficit 308,355.
81stin increase in farm sales of dairy products in 1910, per cent45
Halifax produced three pounds of butter per person. The average amount needed is 48 pounds per person. Deficit 45 pounds per person.
96thin livestock products per inhabitant in 1910$8.00
State average $17.
84thin bill for imported food and feed supplies in 1910$2,200,000
72din local school tax districts, 1917-1918, per cent16.3
Out of 110 districts, white and colored, only eighteen levied a special tax.
71stin total revenue from country school district taxes, 1917-1918$3,440.41
96thin rural schools having two or more teachers, 1915-1916, per cent20
In 1917-18, 73 per cent of the rural schools had only one teacher; 26.9 per cent had two or more teachers, and we ranked 91st in the state. Out of 41 rural white schools 30 were one-teacher schools in 1918.
99thin school attendance on enrollment, 1915-1916, per cent53.9
State average 68.8 per cent. The average in 1917-1918 was 53 per cent. 4,359 children of school age were not even enrolled in school.


The business men of the county who have made this booklet possible by their advertisements have shown themselves to be wide-awake and vitally interested in the county and its welfare. They are doing all they can to make our county even better than it is, and they deserve your patronage. We recommend them to you. Patronize them.

Planters & Commercial Bank

This bank has paid to stockholders over $10,000.00 in dividends, and has paid to depositors over $10,000.00 interest on Savings Accounts

We handle both checking and Savings Accounts and allow 4% Interest In Savings Department

We appreciate your banking business, and will make every effort to handle your business in a satisfactory manner

Planters & Commercial Bank

“The Home For Savings”

Scotland Neck, N. C.

Claude Kitchin, President O. J. Moore, Cashier


When Friend Ford needs a repair part, be sure that you get the Genuine Ford Part. There are lots of “imitation” or “bogus” parts offered the public. These spurious parts are handled mostly by hardware stores and unscrupulous garages. Look for the word Ford in script stamped on every piece of Genuine Ford Repair Material. Ask your repair man if he does not recommend Genuine Ford Parts.

If your Ford Motor needs overhauling, give us a trial. We have a high priced Burning-in Machine and can make your old Motor run like new. Our mechanics are Ford graduates.


Ford the Universal Car


Authorized Dealers

Ford Cars - Ford Parts - Fordson Tractors




Everything to Build a House

Millwork, Dressed Lumber and Mouldings. Flooring, Ceiling, Siding, Shingles and Laths



Good Material and High Grade Workmanship


Fair Dealing With Our Customers




Increase in Sales 1919 over 1912$161,886.95
Total Sales for Eight Years$688,610.41





Atlantic Coast Realty Co.

It Has Been Our Pleasure to serve many of the good people of HALIFAX COUNTY in the sale of their lands.

Our sales in this County in 1919 amounted to $573,207.17. We believe this is evidence of superior service backed by the confidence of the people.

We Want Every Man in Halifax County to know and use our Modern Auction Methods.

Write us Today to Petersburg, Va., or get in touch with our Local Contract Representatives.

Atlantic Coast Realty Co.



Local Contract Representatives



S. A. DUNN, President NORFLEET SMITH, Manager

Roanoke Fibre Board Company OF ROANOKE RAPIDS, N. C.

Manufacturers of Container Board, Fibre Board and Chip.

A. F. CARYFORD, President C. A. LAMBIE, Sec.-Treas.

F. M. BROWN, Manager

Roanoke Fibre Board Company

The Automotive Company


Hudson Super Six

Standard Eight


Essex Motor Cars

Parts and Accessories

Telephone - - - 307

The Automotive Company

Weldon, N. C.



General Merchants




Insurance Loans Real Estate

National Loan and Insurance Co.



Real Estate Bought and Sold on Commission Short and Long Term Loans Negotiated

General Insurance Agents and Brokers

National Loan and Insurance Co.

J. O. Applewhite, President J. C. Gold, Vice-President


(Incorporated April 20, 1920)

Authorized Capital$50,000.00
Subscribed Capital$14,400.00

Building now under way, will be open for business October 1, 1920. Four per cent paid on time deposits. Any and all business entrusted in our care will be highly appreciated


J. O. Applewhite J. B. Bass

J. C. Gold C. W. Gregory

John H. Pope E. P. Applewhite

G. C. Howell D. H. Martin

J. E. Parks




Hardware and Farming Implements Buyers of Cotton and Peanuts

Tillery, N. C.






There Is A Reason

Sometime people do things and cannot explain why, but this should never happen for every one should have a good logical reason for his or her acts. All of our customers have reason sufficient for trading at our up-to-date SANITARY GROCERY STORE, equipped with COLD STORAGE MARKET. We carry everything to be found in a first class fancy Grocery, and in an up-to-date market, so there is no very good reason why we should not get the patronage. A trial is sufficient to convince you.

Allsbrook & Kitchin

Scotland Neck, N. C.

The Only Office Outfitters in Halifax County We Feature G-F Allsteel Fire Proof Safe-Cabinets Filing Devices and Desks Wilson-Jones Loose-Leaf Forms and Devices Dennison's Tags and Specialties Cutler Desks, and many other Guarantee Lines.

Herald Publishing Company, Inc., Roanoke Rapids, N. C.

“If it's Used in an Office We Can Supply It”.


Clothiers Hatters Haberdashers


The only exclusive Men's and Boys’ store in Halifax County.

“The Kuppenheimer House of Roanoke Rapids.”



For Thirty Years the Leading Drug and Jewelry Store in Halifax County

We Solicit Your Patronage


ESTABLISHED - - - - - 1898

IVEY WATSON, President W. R. GARNETT, Cashier

DR. A. S. HARRISON, V.-Pres. H. C. DURHAM, Asst. Cashier



Capital Stock$10,000.00


4% Interest Paid in Savings Department


W. T. CLEMENT, Prop.


Sell your tobacco with a man of experience and with one who knows how to get you the highest prices


We Appreciate Your Business, Large or Small When in Weldon Give Us a Trial

Agents for Chase and Sanborn's Teas and Coffees

The Paragon Grocery Co.

Weldon, N. C.

221 - - - Telephones - - - 222


Agents for Cortright Metol Shingles


Everything in Furniture

Dixie Furniture Company

Scotland Neck, N. C.

Cash if You Have It - Credit if You Want It



Manufacturers of Fancy Ginghams and Flannels


A plant and village of the most modern construction and the very best sanitary condition.

Free medical services.

A school system of the highest standard.

High wages.

Our policy is to contribute as much as we can to the welfare of the community and to the advancement and progress of Halifax County.



J. A. MOORE, Pres. T. C. WILLIAMS, V-Pres. A. L. TAYLOR, Sec.

Insurance of All Kinds

We represent some of the largest and oldest companies, giving you the most liberal policies and 100 per cent PROTECTION

Insurance Department

Citizens Bank & Trust Company

Rosemary, N. C.

Phone 187. Scotland Neck, N. C.


We represent the largest and best companies for Life, Fire, Tornado, Live Stock, Casualty, Auto, Hail and Wind Storm Insurance. Service is our Motto. Try Us.


C. S. Alexander, Manager

Phone 187. Scotland Neck, N. C.

We solicit your contracts for Plumbing and Heating. We guarantee our work and our material is the best that can be had. Call on us.



Family Outfitters

A Complete Line of Dry Goods, Notions, Shoes, Mens’, Ladies’ and Boys’ Ready-to-Wear

Heavy and Fancy Groceries

Telephone 507








AGENTS FOR Tiffin and Blocks’ Candies


PHONE - - - - - 558

Jewelry and Jeweler's Supplies of all Kinds



Watches, Clocks and Jewelry Repaired





We Sell Automobiles of Class and Distinction



Bring Your Car to Us for Repair

L. J. Moore & Company

Weldon, N. C.

The Store of Quality and Service

Fancy Groceries

We Lead the Leaders

General Merchandise and Farmers Supplies



Peanut and Cotton Buyers


Established 1892

Capital and Surplus - - $65,000.00

We Invite Your Account 4% paid in Savings Department

W. E. DANIEL, Pres. W. R. SMITH, Vice-Pres. L. C. DRAPER, Cashier

M. Hoffman & Brother

Fertilizer and Cotton Brokers

Scotland Neck, N. C.

The Weldon Livestock Co.

Dealers in Horses and Mules

Sales and Exchange

Weldon, N. C.

The Braswell Furniture Co.

Rosemary, N. C.

Your Patronage Highly Appreciated and Satisfaction Guaranteed

With Every Purchase

N. L. STEADMAN, Pres. F. H. GREGORY, Cashier


Capital and Surplus$30,000

Halifax, N. C.


A growing store with a growing reputation for carrying Distinctive Ready-to-wear for women.

Roanoke Rapids, N. C.


This is a store of power—a store of courtesy—a store of completeness—a store of reliability—but, above all, it is a store of service.

People who appreciate the value of economizing without the sacrifice of quality find that we best fill their requirements.



The Leader Weldon's Best Store




We carry a full supply of the well-known wagons, the Hackney and the Chase City, at Rich Square, N. C., and a quantity of Oxford and Knight Buggies at Weldon, N. C. Each of these makes is noted for its comfort and durability.

We also carry a full line of horses and mules at both Weldon and Rich Square during the winter and spring seasons.

Thanks for past favors.


Rich Square : : : : : Weldon

Roanoke Pharmacy Co.

The Rexall Store

Prescriptions, Drugs, and Toilet Requisites.

Paints, Oils and Varnishes.

Kodaks and Supplies.

Samoset and Norris Chocolates.

Symphony Lawn and other fine stationery.

Conklin and Parker Pens.

We cordially invite you to our store


The University of North Carolina

Maximum Service to the People of the State

Regular Instruction for students in Accounting, Foreign Trade, Banking, Transportation, Political Economy, Business Law, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Highway Engineering, Soil Investigation, Journalism, Social Science, Government, Education, Music, and all subjects embraced in the College of Liberal Arts, the Schools of Applied Science, Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, Commerce, and the Graduate School.

Special Instruction for teachers and those preparing to teach in subjects offered by the School of Education and the Summer School.

Military Instruction under the direction of the Faculty and the United States War Department for students in a regular Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

General Instruction for the public through the following departments of the Bureau of Extension: (1) General Information; (2) Lectures and Study Centers; (3) Home Study Courses; (4) Debate and Declamation; (5) County Economic and Social Surveys; (6) Municipal Reference; (7) Educational Information and Assistance; (8) Women's Club Activities; (9) Home Comforts and Conveniences.

Write to the University when you need help.

For further information, address

The President of the University

Chapel Hill, N. C.


Largest Manufacturer of Cotton Damask in the United States.

Situated in one of the best Towns of North Carolina.

Living conditions in the Community excelled nowhere.

S. F. PATTERSON, Pres. & Gen. Mgr. W. L. LONG, Vice-Pres.

E. W. LEHMAN, Sec.-Treas.


Offers to you safety and service.

We solicit your patronage and pay 4 per cent on time deposits.






Service Motor Trucks,

Sayers Six Automobile,

Case Tractors.



Largest Capitalized and Only National Banking Institution in Halifax County

Member Federal Reserve System

We invite the patronage of those who prefer the additional safety offered by a strong banking institution conservatively managed.

H. F. BONNEY, President and Cashier M. NELSON, Vice-President

J. M. MOHORN, Assistant Cashier



A good bank in a good town

Bank With Us







The Quality Store


Cotton Flannels and Outing Cloths

Situated in one of the most progressive towns of North Carolina.

It offers unexcelled living conditions to its employees.

Schools, Churches, Hospital and Housing Facilities unexcelled in any industrial community in the South.

W. S. PARKER, President W. L. LONG, Vice-President

S. F. PATTERSON, Treas. & Gen. Mgr. J. M. JACKSON, Sec.



Manufacturers of Kraft Paper from North Carolina Pine

DR. JOB TAYLOR, Pres. & Gen. Mgr. L. M. WILLIAMS, V.-Pres.

S. J. BOUNDS, Treasurer



Real Estate


Scotland Neck, N. C.

Visit Us When You Can

At Other Times

Bank by Mail

The number of those who are using our banking-by-mail service is constantly increasing.

Of course, some make use of this service to a greater extent than others. It has proved especially helpful to those who find it inconvenient to visit us during the business day.

We have developed this special service to a point where both deposits and withdrawals can be made with equal facility.

Come in and ask, or write us, about our banking-by-mail service.

Rosemary Banking & Trust Company.

Rosemary, North Carolina

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