Mrs. Charles Powell 804 Park Avenue Goldsboro, North Carolina
Personal Address Label]
THE GOLDSBORO HERALD
by J. M. HOLLOWELL
THE GOLDSBORO HERALD
J. M. HOLLOWELL — A Character Sketch
By Harry Hollingsworth
J. M. HOLLOWELL
Back in 1909, the late J. M. Hollowell wrote a series of articles of a historical nature, which were published in the Goldsboro Weekly Record. Following Mr. Hollowell's death June 18, 1912, his scrapbooks became the property of his nephew, J. M. Manly, esteemed citizen of Goldsboro.
Through the courtesy of Mr. Manly these articles, together with a few articles by J. H. W. Bonitz, have appeared in The Goldsboro Herald during the past few months. It has been the purpose of the Editor of The Herald to give the articles just as written by Mr. Hollowell.
Believing that these articles published in handy booklet form would be of interest to many people, the publisher of The Herald held the articles in type, just as they appeared in The Herald, and is, herewith offering them in handy form so that they may be preserved easily by those who prize these valuable historical sketches.
The character sketch of Mr. Hollowell was written by Harry Hollingsworth, a reporter on The Herald.
The booklets are not being sold, but with each year's subscription to The Goldsboro Herald a copy of the booklet is being given until the limited supply is exhausted.
June 26, 1939.
EUGENE L. ROBERTS,
Publisher The Goldsboro Herald.
“. . and we have never heard him speak an unkind word against any one, but was always a kind friend and a good neighbor,” said the late Col. Joe Robinson of James Monroe Hollowell at the time of his death in 1912 in the editorial column of the Goldsboro Daily Argus
And that phrase expresses the outlook on life that J. M. Hollowell had during his entire 72 years; a philosophy that not every one has: a philosophy that one cannot create, but a philosophy that one is endowed with by his Creator.
What his fellowmen thought of him is best expressed by a poem written by a J. R. Jones of Mount Olive, and which was printed June 13, 1898. The scrapbook in which the poem was pasted does not indicate in what newspaper it appeared.
The poem is entitled WHO. It follows:
- “Who makes the earth reverberate with gladness
- At the advent of joyful spring time.
- Pouring forth its songs of glee
- In every spire and clime?
- Jim Hollowell!
- “Who clothes the earth with her mantle of green.
- And brings us the sweetly singing birds
- That turn our sorrows to joys
- With their sweet and melodious chords?
- Jim Hollowell!
- “Who tunes all nature to a song of praise
- With a holy reverence for Providence,
- Filling all enquiring humanity
- With sweetest rhythmical cadence?
- Jim Hollowell!
- “Who turns the political prow to sea.
- And ventures to picture its lore
- With the keenest political eye
- That e'er scanned its face before?
- Jim Hollowell!
- “Who planned a victory for Dewey,
- And ordered him stop to dine;
- While all the world gazed on in awe
- At his great coolness—sublime?
- Jim Hollowell!
- “Who's inspiring Sampson and Schley
- To the victories they must gain,
- By annihilating Cerver's fleet
- And freeing Cuba from Spain?
- Jim Hollowell!
- “Who sent the gallant Hobson
- To sink the Merrimac;
- Who really is doing all those things
- And running the whole thing in fact?
- Jim Hollowell!”
Judging from the number of clippings of poems in a scrap book in the possession of J. H. Manly, of Goldsboro, Mr. Hollowell's first love was writing poetry of all types, but his favorite subject was spring. Col. Joe Robinson said of his writing ability: “He was a writer of
recognized force and ability, and a poet of original thought and local application, whose lines were full of humor and always amused and captivated those who read them.”
At one time Mr. Hollowell wrote a series of articles under the name of “Uncle Jeems,” in which he showed his originality and ableness at writing on a variety of topics and subjects.
In his articles his subjects covered a field as varied as his poems did — huckleberries, spring. intimate talks with children, temptations of human beings, and just every day thoughts. From the valuable collection of J. H. Manly it appears that one could name most any subject, and Mr. Hollowell could write a poem or article concerning it.
Correlating closely with his interest in writing, Mr. Hollowell and his brother, W. G. Hollowell, published the GOLDSBORO BULLETIN, a weekly newspaper, back in 1884. For several years he was closely connected with the publication, but Mr. Hollowell severed his connection with the paper when his brother turned Republican, according to J. M. Hollowell's nephew, J. H. Manly.
This act of Mr. Hollowell's probably showed a strong trait of his character—that of not having any connections with anyone who did not think and believe as he did.
Mr. Hollowell filled many offices of trust. For many years he was agent for the Richmond & Danville Railroad in Goldsboro. According to Mr. Manly the R. & D. is the present Southern Railway. A report of the condition of the National Bank of Goldsboro on December 1, 1898, appearing in a clipping in the scrapbook was signed by J. M. Hollowell, cashier, showing that he broadened his scope of activities to that of a banker.
Not only was Mr. Hollowell active in public affairs, but he was also active in the church. A devout Christian he was for 30 years clerk of the First Baptist Church of Goldsboro.
Continuing his public activities almost till the time of his death, he served in the State Legislature from 1903 till 1907, and was a member of the Goldsboro Board of Aldermen for many years, representing the fifth ward. The office of assistant Register of Deeds he administered with as much care and thoughtfulness as he did any of his many offices. For a number of years he was city clerk of Goldsboro.
But the most outstanding contribution he gave to his State and the South, which he loved so much, was his service in the Civil War. He entered the Confederate Army as a volunteer, and was a member of Company F, 10th N. C. Artillery.
J. H. Manly, who probably remembers him better than any one else in Goldsboro, says that he was very quiet, but full of dry wit. “He never laughed, but just chuckled. In many ways he reminds one of Bernard Shaw.”
Quoting again from Col. Joe Robinson's editorial at the death of Mr. Hollowell: “Mr. Hollowell was a quiet, peaceable, law-abiding citizen. . . He was good natured, always cheerful, kind-hearted and ever ready to sacrifice his time and energy to accommodate a friend or to lend a helping hand to those in need of his services.”
Records in an old Bible that was given to R. A. Manly, Goldsboro, by Mrs. J. M. Hollowell, nee Martha J. Outlaw, shortly before her death on October 19, 1921, show that Mr. Hollowell married Miss Outlaw on August 4, 1861. There were no children from the marriage.
Born March 8, 1840, in old Everettesville, four miles south of Goldsboro, Mr. Hollowell died June 18, 1912, at his home on East Holly street in Goldsboro. He was 72 years, three months, and 10 days old.
Some Early Recollections of Wayne County
But More Particularly of Goldsboro
I wish, as a preface to what I have written, to say it is not in any wise a history of Wayne county. (One ought to be written, but it should be done by one manifestly more competent than I am.)
I have merely tried to relate some of my early or boyhood recollections of people I knew, of incidents that came under my observation or that I heard from older people. The reader will find it rambling and not closely connected.
When I began writing I had no notes prepared, but have written mostly from memory and when I thought of names or incidents, I wrote them in just where I was at, regardless of whether they dovetailed with preceding or succeeding pages. I was afraid if I failed to write of them while they were on my mind, I might not think of them again.
I have thought (I may be wrong) that it might be interesting to the old citizens to read of these old times, that it might bring to their memory names and incidents long forgotten, and to the younger generation I thought it would to many of them be news.
The younger generation will learn how Goldsboro started, and how it has grown, (slowly to be sure), but constantly, from a stopping place in the wild woods for a railroad train, to its present city proportions, and its trials, troubles and tribulations; how its people have always been a brave and courageous set, peaceable and law abiding.
These reminiscences will cover a period of about sixty years. I go back of this for a few incidents mentioned, but in such cases have tried to give my authority for them. The bulk of what I have written is entirely from memory, and I do not claim absolute accuracy as to dates of certain incidents and participants therein, but think I have not gone far wrong. Of course, over such a long period, one's memory is not always fresh, and, writing from memory, it is possible and probable I may have in some instances got things mixed up a little. Some of the facts I have taken from the old records of the city through the kindness of Capt. D. J. Broadhurst City Clerk, who allowed me access to them.
Away back in the late forties and fifties there was quite a little village at Everettsville, six miles south of Goldsboro, on the A. C. L. railroad. My recollection is that there was a dozen or more families there and it was a tony place. I expect it contained as much wealth as any village of its size in North Carolina in those days. Among those who resided there, I can recollect the following families: G. W. Collier, John Everett, D. B. Everett, Wm. Carraway, John Becton, Wm. Hollowell, Curtis Hooks,, J. C. Slocumb, and John West. All men of wealth, they had a flourishing school, but along about ’59 or ’60, they began to break up and move away, and there is nothing there now to remind one of the place except the deep sand.
And about the same time Everettsville was flourishing, there was quite a large mercantile business carried on at White Hall. These were about the only two places in the county, outside of the county seat, that were of much prominence. Mt. Olive, and Nahunta, (now Fremont), each had a small store or two, but did not do much business. Just before the war, A. J. Finlayson run a turpentine distillery and store at Scottsville, three miles north of Goldsboro, and Willoughby Gardner had a store and distillery at Saulston. Council Best, Jack Coley, G. W. Collier, W. K. Lane, John and David Everett were probably the largest farmers and were considered the wealthiest men in the county.
Having no records to refer to, I
cannot go back of 1848 in giving the names of Wayne Legislators, but I think I can name them from that date to the breaking out of the war, but cannot give the years in which each served. They were C. H. Brogden, John V. Sherard, John Exum, Wm. Thompson, Lewis Whitfield, W. T. Dortch, Etheldred Sauls, E. A. Thompson, W. K. Lane and M. K. Crawford. I think John Exum was elected Senator in ’48 and ’50, and that he died before taking his seat, in 1850, and Wm. Thompson was elected in his place. The elections used to be held the first Thursday in August and no registration was necessary. No primaries nor county conventions were held. On the 4th of July there was always a big gathering at the county seat, and candidates declared themselves. It was a free-to-all race, and any one could run who wished to. Ollin Coor was the first Sheriff I have any recollection of and continued until 1858, having held the place fourteen years. He was defeated in 1858 and again in 1860 by W. A. Thompson. The county was largely Democratic.
My earliest recollection of Goldsboro begins about the Spring of 1849. I attended school that Spring in Goldsboro. The school house, a one-room building, stood near the rear part of what is now the Elks’ club house. The teacher was John Robinson, father of Judge W. S. O'B. and Col. Jos. E. Robinson. He had about fifty pupils. Among them was four grown men; they were James T. Hamilton, D. H. Bridgers, DeWitt and Gabriel Sherard. All four have died, and of the forty pupils, there is, so far as I know of, only four now living; they are Mrs. Maria Frazier, daughter of Mr. Robinson, the teacher, Mrs. Nancy Barnes, Capt. H. H. Coor and myself.
There was another school running at the same time in the old Academy that stood about where St. Paul church now stands, taught by a gentleman named Atwaters.
My recollection is that there was only one building on the block on which the Arlington Hotel stands; that was a small dwelling which is still standing on Chestnut street, in the rear of the Arlington. Near the entrance to the Opera House was a small building used by the late Dr. John W. Davis as an office, and a the late Capt. S. D. Phillips occupied a small building as a tailor shop. W. B. Edmundson, Rufus Edmundson and John A. Green, (all dead), did a mercantile business in a house that stood where the Kennon stands. This building about 1851 was enlarged and became the famous Griswold Hotel. It was owned and run by the late James Griswold (colled Judge) and after his death was continued as a hotel by his widow Mrs. Susan A. Griswold until about 1867. On West Centre street, on the block from the Goldsboro Drug Co. to Witherington's corner, stood the Borden Hotel, run by Mrs. Maria Borden, mother of our esteemed citizen E. B. Borden, Sr. This house stood back from the street probably 50 or 60 feet in a grove of large elms; opposite this hotel, was the railroad platform for the getting on and off of passengers from the cars. The Wilmington & Weldon railroad was the only one here at that time. The iron was what was known as strap iron, being about three inches wide, and a half inch thick. Cross ties were laid as now; then long timbers were laid across the ties and this strap iron pinned to this timber. The speed of the trains were rather slow. My impression is it took about twelve hours to run from Wilmington to Weldon, a distance of 162 miles.
Besides those already named, I do not recall but two other buildings on the Kennon block. One was on Walnut street, a dwelling called (I don't know why) the “Hermitage;” the other, a dwelling that stood where the Baptist parsonage now stands, and at the time of which I write was occupied by the late John N. Andrews.
About where Winslow's Book Store is was a wood building in which the late R. J. Gregory and John B. Griswold did business. During the spring of ’49 Wm. Robinson erected a building about where Granger's jewelry store stands. This building was first occupied by J. P. Sanford as the Wayne Hotel. On the square opposite the City Hall, about where J. W. Isler's store stands, Exum Perkins run a bar, and close by Silas Webb (Boss) had a shoe shop. The wood and water station for the railroad was beside the track, immediately opposite the
city hall. The warehouse was opposite the store of W. R. Thompson.
W. B. Edmundson run a turpentine distillery that stood at or near the present residence of Rev. S. H. Isler. Where the Court House now stands was then a chinquapin grove.
East and West Centre and John and James street were opened and these only from about Spruce to Ash. John street from Ash to Boundary was nothing but an ordinary country road known as the Stantonsburg road. If I remember right, there was a saddle and harness shop in a small building that stood where Dr. Cobb's office is. All that territory lying between William street and the big ditch from Boundary to Ash street, was cleared and in cultivation. I have seen old man Wright Langston, who owned the property, ploughing in that field. In coming to school, I used to get through his bars at about the intersection of Daisy and Boundary street, come diagonally across by the residence of Judge Robinson and climb the fence about where S. W. Draper lives, where I would strike the Stantonsburg road, or what is now John street. There was, I remember, a branch that ran in front of Larry Bass’ store and after a big rain I have seen water there two feet deep. When the city was excavating there to lay sewerage, I saw signs of old shavings and trash that was put to fill in. Back of the St. Paul parsonage and the residence of L. D. Giddens was a branch in which the boys used to fish. I have heard that it was pretty good for red fins.
I doubt if there was over fifty or sixty families here at that date. The house owned by Mrs. Hutton, near the ice factory, was built that spring. It was built by John Edmundson, (called Bull Head John), grandfather of E. L. and F. B. Edmundson.
That portion of the city north of Ash street was woods. Where the Knitting Mill stands was a two-story dwelling, occupied by John Britt, an engineer on the W. & W. railroad, and there was another dwelling on the lots that the late Mrs. Richardson owned, and where the stock pen of the Southern railway stands was a dwelling occupied by John Taylor. About where the old freight depot of the Norfolk & Southern now stands was a dwelling owned by Ira Langston, when the depot was to be built in 1857. This building was removed to John street, just north of the stemmery, and is still standing. There was a building or two, perhaps a small storehouse and small dwelling, that stood upon the site where stood the “Great Eastern” that was so long an eve-sore to the citizens of the city. The Stantonsburg road that came into town down John street until it reached Larry Bass’ corner, then turned and ran as Ash street is and crossed the railroad where Ash street does, then deflected to the left, passing through that square diagonally, entering at or near the Bennett's stables and striking James street near the Episcopal church. There was a small building that stood in Wright Langston's field, just where H. Weil & Bros. erected two dwellings a few years ago on John street, adjoining the residence of the late Mrs. Margaret Robinson. This house afterwards was known as the Mike Wood building. At the time I first knew this house in 1849 it appeared to be an old one. No one lived in it. and in passing it I occasionally threw a missle through a window. There was only three or four unbroken glass in the windows and I thought there was no use in these few remaining there. From the looks of it I would not be surprised if that was the oldest house in the place at that time.
I have heard that Mrs. G. L. Kirby was the first white female child born in Goldsboro, and that the late W. H. Borden was the first white male child born here.
John Street, just south of the tobacco stemmery, (the street at that time, as I have stated, being the Stantonsburg road), was so low, wet and miry that it had to be laid down on poles, cordorary fashion; and where Boundary street crosses the big ditch was a pond where I have seen nets set and old man Major I. Pate (now dead), in his canoe fishing them. Mr. Pate said, though, that he cought more d—moccasins than fish.
John Edwards and Grif Brocket (both dead) built the first two houses on Boundary street, between the railroad and the big ditch.
About 1856, J. J. Baker and Jack Langston started a foundry just in the rear of the store now occupied
by Giles Hinson. The melting of iron and the moulding of plow and other castings was a curiosity in Goldsboro, and on their moulding days large crowds would gather to see how the work was done.
Among those living here at that time I now recall J. A. Green, J. K. Green, W. B. and Rufus Edmundson, James Griswold, Silas Webb, Exum Perkins, R. J. Gregory, John W. Davis, S. D. Phillips, Wm. Robinson, Ira Langston, John Britt, J. J. Bradbury, J. W. Andrews, Bryan Pennington, John Robinson, and W. B. Fields.
I have heard that among the first residences built here was one by Dr. Samuel A. Andrews, on the corner where Epstein's store is. Afterwards the house was occupied by the late W. S. G. Andrews, and about 1867 it was remodeled and run as the “Gregory” Hotel.
Concerning the old county seat, “Waynesboro,” I cannot give much information. My recollections of the place are not very distinct. I can remember going there three or four times only; and I was very small. I remember that the court house was a wood building on brick pillows perhaps eight feet high. The jail, also wood, stood in the rear. There were several stores on the street in front of the court house. There was a saw mill and turpentine distillery on the bank of the river. Richard Washington was one of the merchants, and I think a man named Stevenson was another. C. J. Nelson had a buggy and carriage factory. There was a church that stood on the east side of where O'Berry's tram road runs. In 1849 Rev. Ira P. Wyche held a revival in that church that was the biggest meeting ever known in this section up to that time. Wm. Wellons kept a hotel, and Chappell Churchill also kept one. I don't suppose the place ever contained more than 400 or 500 inhabitants. I can remember only a few of the people who lived there. Among them was Richard Washington, John Wright, C. J. Nelson, F. L. Castex, Wm. Wellons, Chappell Churchill, Ira Langston, Richard Grant, Daniel Cogdell, J. H. Powell, J. H. Everett, Henry Toler and W. R. Hooks. The town was subject to overflows in freshets. I have heard that J. E. Kennedy, who lived on the Asylum hill, took a canoe at the foot of the hill on one occasion during a freshet and paddled to the court house steps. After it was decided to remove the court house to Goldsboro, people began gradually to move out to Goldsboro, and by the time the new court house was completed, the old capital was nearly a thing of the past.
The first court held in Goldsboro was, I think, in August, 1851.
There was another little cross roads village in them days that I had nearly overlooked. It was Milton, two miles south of Dudley. There was a store or two and a turpentine distillery, and considerable business was done there. Milton was noted chiefly for whiskey and fighting. It was a dull day in Milton when Deb Casey and Jim Benton could not get up a fight or two. I got this bit of the history of the place from Capt. Jack Collier, and I have no doubt it is correct, for the chief of police is supposed to know something about what takes place in his town.
Referring to Waynesboro again: There used to be a small cemetery close by the church. I don't know whether the bodies buried there were ever removed or not. If they were not, it seems to me that Major Grant's brick yard must be getting very close to it.
In the county campaign of 1848, the question of removing the county seat was sprung. Nearly all the people on the south side of Neuse river favored Waynesboro, while those living on the north side were in favor of Goldsboro. The north siders won out and preparation was made to build a court house. The brick for this building were made near the intersection of Pine and George streets.
My impression is that about 1850 the first newspaper was started by Wm. Robinson and was called the Goldsboro Patriot. It was Democratic in politics. Not a great while after another paper, the Goldsboro Telegraph, was started by George V. Strong and J. B. Whitaker and was Whig in politics. I think Mr. Robinson sold out the Patriot after a while to Maj. W. B. Gulick, who conducted it under the name of the Republican, and Strong & Whitaker sold the Telegraph to Anthony Separk.
There was a stage line from New Bern to Raleigh, and Waynesboro and afterwards Goldsboro was the
Half-Way House. It took from ten to twelve hours to make the trip to New Bern and nearly the same time to Raleigh. The route from New Bern came in through Webbtown, and to Raleigh it went out crossing the Little river bridge that stood about midway between the Southern railway bridge and the Asylum bridge, the road skirting the Asylum farm on the river side. There is plain sign of this old road around the farm now. Joseph E. Kennedy lived on the Asylum hill and to my childish imagination, it was quite a mountain.
Augustus King and Wm. Sampson were two of the stage drivers. I think I have heard that the stage fare was 12 1-2 cents per mile.
I occasionally came to town with my father in those days on Saturday and I saw a good many of the most prominent men of the county who would come in on Saturday to get their mail. Among them I remember John W. Sasser, Daniel Gurley, G. W. Collier, W. K. Lane, Aaron F. Moses, Council Best, Lewis Sasser, Rufus Cox, Theophilus Best, Thomas and Joshua Uzzell, Wm. Carraway, David McKinne, John Becton, Wait Thompson, Richard Hinson, (court crier); Ollin Coor, (sheriff); Guard Thompson (coroner); Willoughby Gardner, John Exum, Wm. Hooks, Benj. Aycock, Bright Thompson, Needham Worrell, Aaron Parks, Giles Smith, Wm. Rouse, Wm. Hollowell, Lewis Cogdell, N. B. Stevens, Dred Sauls, Jack Coley, Wm. Lewis, John V. Sherard, Curtis Hooks, C. H. Brogden, Everett Smith, Zadee and George Thompson, W. D. Cobb, Ransome Rose, John Cameron, Brian Pate, Lazarus Pearson, Joseph Ingram, James Handley, Hardy and Thos. Yelverton, Rigdon Dees, Erastus Ham, Sam Smith, Thomas and Wm. Pearson, P. L. Peacock, Ollin Sasser, ________ Barnes, Wm. B. Smith (Black Bill), Joseph Edwards, Kitchen Smith, W. H. Ward, J. F. Kornegay, J. T. and J. E. Kennedy, Silas Webb, Shade Pate, Owen Peel, John and David Everett, Drew Barnes, Simeon Hooks, Godfrey Stancil, Lewis Whitfield, Edmund Coor, and John and Jesse Hollowell.
The first meeting of the Board of Town Commissioners of which I find any record was held the 8th day of June, 1847, at the store of John A. Green & Co. There was present J. A. Green, Wm. B. Edmundson, Silas Webb and S. D. Phillips. Wm. B. Edmundson was chosen Intendant of Police. This office, I presume, was the same as Mayor now is. Another meeting was held on the 29th, at which the tax levy for the year was made. It was thirty cents on each one hundred dollars of real estate and seventy-five cents on each poll.
At a meeting held Sept. 9th, Lemuel H. Whitfield tendered his resignation as a commissioner, he having removed from town. James Griswold was elected to succeed Mr. Whitfield.
At a meeting held Nov. 17th, W. F. Brown and John Pike were given leave to retail liquor in the town upon the payment to the town treasurer the sum of $2 each.
At an election held on the first Saturday in February, 1848, S. D. Philips, Silas Webb, J. A. Green, Wm. Robinson and John V. Williams were elected Commissioners for the ensuing year. A meeting was held on Feb. 7th, at which the newly elected members qualified and elected Wm. F. Brown constable, Dr. John W. Davis, treasurer, and J. A. Green, clerk.
At the next meeting D. R. Kennedy and A. J. Finlayson were recommended to the county court for retail liquor licenses. Finlayson afterwards became a Methodist preacher. The tax rate for that year was thirty cents on real estate and ninety cents on each poll.
An election under an amended charter was held on the first Saturday in December, 1850, when J. B. Griswold, W. T. Dortch, Thomas Ruffin, J. W. Ezzell, and Fred I. Cox were elected Commissioners and J. B. Griswold made Intendant of Police.
Up to this date, all the meetings of the Board had been held at the store of J. A. Green & Co. They now began holding them at the office of the County Court Clerk. The tax rate was raised this year to forty cents on real estate and one dollar and a quarter on the poll.
At a meeting held on Sept. 12, 1851, J. J. Foulks, J. W. Ezzell and R. W. Hamlet were appointed patrols for the town, to continue in office until Nov. 30th, and the orders was that they should patrol the town at least once a week and that
their pay should be one dollar each per week. James W. Doyal was recommended for liquor license.
At the election held Dec. 1, 1851, F. L. Bond, Rufus Edmundson, S. D. Phillips, Jesse Pipkin and J. B. Griswold were elected.
Contract was ordered made with Ira Langston for cutting out the street known as Boundary street, from the railroad east. Jno. A. Green was ordered to find out the number of white male residents of Goldsboro between the ages of 18 and 45 years and divide them into companies of three to act as patrols for the town, each company to serve one week until all had served around. A captain was appointed for each squad.
On January 29 Mr. Green reported that there were seventy five white males in town between 18 and 45 years of age and gave the names as follows:
Matthew Albritton, W. S. G. Andrews, C. H. Brogden, W. R. Bridgers, J. S. Bradbury, W. E. Bryant, H. R. Cheek, F. I. Cox, Wm. Crumpler, G. A. Dudley, J. W. Davis, C. F. Dewey, J. W. Doyal, J. R. Dukes, W. T. Dortch, J. W. Ezzell, J. J. Foulks, R. J. Gregory, R. W. Hamlet, Josiah Howell, J. J. Hooks, Thos. Hargrave, Hymrick Johnson, D. H. Musgrave, R. E. Williams, C. J. Nelson, James McFarland, D. A. Powell, James Privett, Joseph Roberts, Thos. Ruffin, Wm. Sampson, N. B. Stanley, G. V. Strong, Bryant Thompson, John Taylor, J. B. Whitaker, Thos. Waters, Robt. Wright, Wm. Robinson, Noah Turnage, E. A. Thompson, Jas. Brown, John Randolph, E. B. Borden, Jas. High, W. G. Carter, D. G. Lougee, N. S. Richardson, Matt Radford, Alfred Boyett, R. Hines. — Mitchell, — Seymour, Henry Strouse, Blount King, David Miller, Lenoir Pate, Wm. Talbert, Jas. McPherson, Matt Everett, Jno. Scarboro, Jno. Taylor, Jr., — Scott, Thos. Marshall. Wyatt Turnage, Thos. Persons, W. H. Jones, Jas. Surmons, W. F. Brown, Joe E. Neal, Kedar Raiford, Alex Keaton, James King.
It was ordered that Patrol Companies be formed as follows:
W. S. G. Andrew, Captain—J. R. Dukes and Wyatt Turnage.
W. R. Bridgers, Captain—Thos. Hargrave and N. B. Stanley.
W. T. Dortch. Captain—N. S. Richardson and Robt. Wright.
J. J. Foulks, Captain—Thos. Persons and D. H. Musgrave.
J. J. Hooks, Captain—Blount King and D. G. Lougee.
C. J. Nelson, Captain—Peter Epps and Thos. Marshall.
Thos. Ruffin, Captain—R. W. Hamlet and Jno. Person.
G. V. Strong, Captain—D. A. Powell and H. R. Cheek.
J. B. Whitaker, Captain—J. J. Bradbury and J. W. Ezzell.
E. A. Thompson, Captain—W. H. Jones and Jno. Taylor, Jr.
E. B. Borden, Captain—F. I. Cox and Thos. Waters.
C. H. Brogden, Captain—W. E. Bogart and J. McFarland.
J. W. Doyal, Captain—Noah Turnage, G. A. Dudley.
Josiah Howell, Captain—W. F. Brown and Wm. Sampson.
Henry Strouse, Captain—Jos. Roberts and J. E. Neal.
J. W. Davis, Captain—W. G. Carter and Alfred Boyett.
C. F. Dewey, Captain—Thos. Ruffin and James Privett.
M. Albritton, Captain—Lenoir Pate and John Scarboro.
Jno. Taylor, Sr., Captain— — Seymour and Matt Everett.
R. J. Gregory, Captain—Hymrick Johnson and R. C. Mitchell.
The Captains, if they failed to serve, were fined one dollar, and the privates fifty cents for like failure.
At the election held in Dec. 1852, the following Commissioners were elected: E. A. Thompson, S. D. Phillips, D. A. Powell, W. S. Bonner and C. J. Nelson, and they took the oath of office before W B. Edmundson and Dr. S. A. Andrews, Justices of the Peace.
At a meeting of the Commissioners held Dec. 28th, it was ordered by them that the citizens of the town be requested to meet at the courthouse on the next Tuesday evening to advise with the commissioners upon the best plan for patrolling the town the ensuing year.
At the meeting of the commissioners held January 4th, 1853, Col. Nelson was authorized to lay off the grave yard purchased from W. B. Edmundson and to leave alleys eight feet wide and to return a plot of the same to the Board of the work done. This graveyard mentioned here is the old part of Willow Dale Cemetery.
An order was passed at a meeting
held on Feb. 8th, 1853, authorizing Ollin C. Sasser to take up a collection for paying a patrol for the town.
The real estate and poll tax for 1853 was: On property listed $555.27; double tax on property unlisted $107.42.
On August 24th the town clerk was ordered to advertise to sell about ten cords of pine wood at Griswold and Cobb's store on the following Saturday at 4 o'clock; terms made known on day of sale. At the next meeting, held Sept. 15th, it was ordered that twenty eight dollars for wood sold by the town to D. A. Powell be turned into the town treasury. This shows that pine wood brought pretty good prices here over fifty years ago.
At the election held in Dec. 1853, J. B. Whitaker, W. T. Dortch, Rufus Edmundson, J. B. Griswold and J. H. Powell were elected Commissioners.
At a meeting held Jan. 7th, 1854, the town quarantined against Duplin County, as the small pox was reported as prevailing near White Hall, and the people of Wayne County were recommended to submit themselves as speedily as possible to vaccination.
On Feb. 3rd, 1854, the North Carolina Railroad Company was granted a right of way to construct their track on West Centre street. At this meeting O. C. Sasser, Richard Woodard and Tobias Snipes were employed as patrols for the town from that date until Dec. 10th following. Among the taxes laid that year I find one of five dollars on each “Shuffle Board.” Some older resident will have to give the answer as to what kind of a “contraption” this was, if we are to get any light on the subject. I confess it's a new one on me. The valuation of real estate returned this year was $135,667, tax $542.86; 86 white and 86 black polls, $215.00; with $21,600 real estate not listed.
The first ordinance against hogs running at large on the streets was passed Oct. 13th, 1854.
On Nov. 7th, W. C. Bryan, a surveyor, was employed to mark out George street and all cross streets from James to George and the town constable ordered to drive down lightwood posts at the corner of each street.
At the election held Dec. 2nd, 1854, J. B. Whitaker, J. B. Griswold, B. H. Stammore, S. D. Phillips, and J J. Bradbury were elected commissioners; Luke Huggins appointed to patrol the town, with two assistants. Dec. 26th: At this meeting an invitation was read signed by H. L. Robords, Wm. Murphy, John I. Shaver, J. M. Coffin, A. M. Nesbitt, Arch S. Brown, James E. Kerr, C. S. Brown, A. M. Buiss and Wm. Overman, citizens of Rowan county to the Intendant and Commissioners of Goldsboro to attend a railroad celebration to be given at Salisbury on Jan. 4, 1855, the North Carolina Railroad being completed to that town.
The valuation of real estate reported for this year was $290,950. This was an increase of over 100 per cent in the last year. White polls 81; black polls 150.
At the December election J. B. Griswold, J. B. Whitaker. Josiah Fields, H. R. Nixon and J. J. Bradbury were elected Commissioners.
May 10th, 1856, right of way was granted the Atlantic & North Carolina Railroad to construct their road on East Centre street, from Boundary street and that sufficient space be granted them on West Centre street to erect their warehouse, also the right of way across Beach street.
The real estate as returned by the accessors April 13th for the year 1857 was $267,275 and unlisted $13,627. The commissioners elected for this year was J. B. Whitaker, J. B. Griswold, Nathan Adams, J. C. Borden and J. A. Washington. J. K. Green was elected clerk and treasurer, and Arthur Stansell, constable. The Board ordered that a horse rack be put up on East Centre street.
Sometime during this summer there occurred a difficulty that came near being a very serious affair. There was some business case between Dr. John W. Davis and Falk Odenheimer, a Jew merchant, and the trial was being held in the office of Richard Washington and during the trial Windal T. Robinson, a nephew of Dr. Davis, struck Odenheimer on the head with a spade, or shovel, breaking his skull, and in the fracas Charley Spaght, a step-son of Odenheimer shot Dr. Davis seriously. There was great
excitement among the citizens. Davis was a great favorite and the cry soon started to hang Odenheimer and he had to be carried to jail for safety, and even then it was threatened by Davis’ friends to take him from jail and hang him, and I was told not long ago by Wm. Bonitz that he was confident that but for the interference of T. T. Hollowell, Odenheimer would have been hung, Mr. Bonitz said that Mr. Hollowell had to use considerable force to stop the mob, who were bent on vengeance. Nearly every Jew in town left, because it was not safe for them to remain, the feeling against them was so strong. Odenheimer was critically hurt but did recover. Davis also recovered and the feeling against the Jews gradually died out and those who had run off returned. A very laughable story concerning this case was told on N. B. Stanley, who was constable. At the trial he had a black pony that was partially blind, and he was hitched close to the back door of the office in which the trial was being held and when Spaght fired the first shot at Davis, Stanley ran out at the back door, and as he ran by the pony kicked him, and at that moment Spaght fired the second shot and Stanley mistook the kick for a pistol ball and he hollered loudly for some one to get a doctor, that he was shot.
In those days, at every court there was a dozen or more tobacco peddlers, in long, covered wagons, who plied their trade on the court yard and at night they would drive to the corner of John and Ash streets. There was a pine thicket at that point and all these wagons would camp there, tying their horses to the feed box attached to the hind part of their wagons. They would cook their grub over the camp fire and after supper would play cards, fiddle and pick the banjo, and some of the finest music I ever heard from these two instruments I have heard on that corner. W. T. Blackwell (Buck), who later became known the world over as the owner of the “Durham Bull” brand of smoking tobacco, used to be one of these tobacco peddlers. But an ordinance of the town passed Nov. 7th, 1857, provided that no wagoner should encamp inside the corporation and the wagoners then made their camping ground on the roadside near Jumping Run, on the Hooks’ bridge road.
At the December election held this year there was twenty-one candidates voted for, but J. B. Whitaker, J. B. Griswold, S. D. Phillips, Hosea Williams and J H. Powell were elected. Blount King was appointed town Sergeant. They had changed the name from patrol. The Sergeant was required to ring the courthouse bell every night at 9 o'clock.
At a meeting of the Commissioners held Feb. 13th, a motion was made to put liquor license at $100, but was tabled. Mr. J. H. Powell then moved that only two places be licensed. The vote stood: Ayes, Williams and Powell; noes, Phillips and Griswold. The mayor in giving casting vote. voted No. An anonymous communication was presented purporting to be from the ladies of the town against recommendations for license. The same was read and Mr. Powell moved that it be spread on the minutes, but the motion did not receive a second.
Valuation for real estate for 1858, $293,375.
The Board appropriated four dollars to buy powder to fire a national salute on July 4th.
The county court granted the town permission to use the county jail as a guard house.
The pay of the Intendant of Police (Mayor) for the past year was forty-five dollars, and that of Clerk thirty dollars.
Isham R. Dyer, B. F. Arrington, J. B. Whitaker, G. V. Strong and Kedar Raiford were elected as Commissioners for 1859, Mr. Dyer elected Intendant of Police.
The Citizen Patrol that had been in vogue for several years, was abandoned by the new regime, and A. H. Humphrey was given the position of Town Patrol and to keep the streets in order, he to furnish the labor and tools at the price of six hundred and fifty dollars. It is supposed that Mr. Humphrey soon discovered he had made a bad bargain, as he resigned after a few days.
A place was selected and bids asked for for erecting a market house.
In the assessment of real estate this year I notice that the lot on
which the Kennon now stands, on which, at that time was the Griswold Hotel, a building of 76 rooms was valued at $12,500. There were only 316 lots in the town.
Tax for this year was fifty cents on real estate and one dollar and fifty cents on each poll.
The charter of the town was amended by the Legislature this year and the corporate limits extended three hundred feet beyond Elm, William, Boundary and George street for 1860.
J. B. Whitaker, Sam J. Lucas, D. C. Carrington, J. G. Parker and I. R. Dyer were elected Commissioners. The price of retail liquor license was fixed at one hundred dollars. S. J. Lucas and D. C. Carrington were appointed to enquire as to the cost of hooks, ladders and other instruments necessary to fight fire, and the Intendant was authorized to sink several wells in the town for supplying water for fire purposes.
Fifteen dollars was appropriated to pay for three kegs powder with which to celebrate the Fourth of July, 1860: and one hundred dollars to defray expenses of a Military Ball on the 11th inst., in compliment to the officers of the Military Convention. Who in Goldsboro now remembers that ball?
Goldsboro's first Fair was held this fall. It was not very successful, in fact none it has ever held has been, but there was cause for the failure of the one held this year. It was Presidential election year, and to the far-seeing the election of Abraham Lincoln seemed a certainty, and it was believed that war would follow. The people were paying more attention to the war outlook than to county fairs.
For 1861 J. B. Whitaker, I. R. Dyer, J. F. Divine, Nathan Adams and David C. Carrington were elected. At the meeting held Dec. 7th, 1860, the Commissioners borrowed from the bank five hundred dollars. This is the first account that I have found of the town borrowing any money during the nearly twenty years of its life. Nathan Adams resigned at the first meeting and was elected town constable, and John Wright was elected as a commissioner in place of Mr. Adams.
Since beginning the writing of this and ruminating on the past, many other names of old citizens of the town and county occur to me, namely: Martin Sauls. James Hooks. Henry Martin, John G. and Doll Barnes, Anderson Deans, Morris Howell, J. A. Howell, C. G. and Needham Perkins, A. J. Finlayson, Probate Scott, Sam Pate, Henry Bell Gardner, Dick Newsome, Wm. Rose, Fred I. Cox. Jethro and Joseph Murphy, John Toler, Alba and Ashly Whitley. Joseph Hatch, C. F. R. Kornegay, John A. Kornegay, W. F. Pollock, Wait Martin, J. R. Parker, John and Joel Loftin, Robert Peel, W. A. Williams. D. L. Burbank, Charles Parmalee, J. J. Baker, Thomas R. Smith, T. A. Granger, Wiley and Wm. Crumpler, Benj. Strickland, Raiford Hooks, Haywood Ham, James and Thos. Edwards, Adams Langston, Hardy and W. G. Summerlin. F. I. Castex. Dickinson Dail, John Hill, J. J. Ivey, M. K. Crawford, F. C. Patrick, Redding Richardson, Ransom Garriss, Edwin Game, W. H. Andrews, Wm. and Nathan Edgerton, J. E. Whitfield, Exum Howell, Bennett Combs. Daniel Lancaster. C. J. McCullen, Sebron Wolfe, James McDuffie, Simon Herring, Jesse Bizzell, Uriah Langston, Joseph Smith, J. P. Jordan, Needham Smith. T. M. Rodgers, Nathan Boyett, Ben Futrell, Richard Manly. John Cox, Hiram Grantham.
All of these former citizens of the town and county have passed away and it is only occasionally that we meet one of that day still in the flesh. Once in a while we run up with an old boy like Tom Kennedy, Bill Parker, Allen Smith, Tom Cox and war Bill Howell. Bill claims to be over a hundred, but I am incined to the opinion that he is fudging by eight or ten years.
Col. Nelson always claimed the honor of giving Goldsboro its name. He said the civil engineer who surveyed the old Wilmington and Raleigh railroad, (Raleigh afterwards changed to Weldon), was named Goldsborough, and used to board with him in Waynesboro, and that after this place was located as a depot he used to speak of it as my depot, and Col. Nelson got to calling it Goldsboro, and from that it finally took the name. The change and abbreviation in spelling it came about many years afterwards.
One of the queer characters that used to live in Goldsboro for eight or ten years before the war was John Wiggs, called “Doctor” from the fact for quite a while he worked for Dr. Andrews, sweeping his office. hitching his horse, etc. Dock was no doubt weak in the upper story and without any education. It was but natural he should be a very ignorant fellow. He was always around grumbling about not having anything to do, and never anxious to do a job when it was tendered him. On one occasion he was around the store of Borden & Bridgers, on the corner where the express office is, while on the corner where the Arlington stands was a small building in which Everett Joyner ran a bar. There was a pile of three or four hundred brick lying at Borden and Bridgers’ corner, and they told Dock they wanted those brick piled up over at Joyner's corner and that they would give him fifty cents to do the job; that they had no wheelbarrow and that he would have to tote them. Dock pitched into his job, first going over to Joyner's and getting a drink on credit. promising to pay as soon as he got the brick across: and before getting through the job, he had managed to get two more drinks from Joyner upon the same terms. In the course of two or three hours he had the brick all piled up on Joyner's corner and went to Borden and Bridgers for his fifty cents. They told him they had changed their minds about letting the brick remain at the opposite corner and that they wanted him to tote them back and put them in their original position; that they would allow him the same price for bringing them back. About this time it began to dawn upon Dock what was up; that they had no other object in moving the brick but to make him earn something. He swore he would never carry those brick back; that they should not make fun of him that way; and he stuck out for several days before he would do the job and then only after Joyner promised to give him a drink when he was done.
Dock was in my company during the war, dying in Wilmington in ’64. He made a good soldier.
One of my earliest acquaintances in Goldsboro was a negro. This was about 1848. He continued to live in Goldsboro until his death, some fifteen or twenty years ago. This was Bill Burnett. He was at one time worth considerable property. He followed the barber business. His skin was black, it is true, but I believe that Bill Burnett was as honest and upright in his dealings as any man, white or black. I never heard in all his long life one word against his character. He was always polite to the white people. He was for many years the only barber in the town. Everyone liked and respected him. He was an oldtime free negro. He had the right of suffrage before 1835. I don't know whether he ever exercised it or not, but after the war, when the right to vote came to him again, he never registered nor voted. He told me not long before his death that he had no desire to vote; that it would do him no good, and that he believed the enfranchisement of the colored people of the South immediately upon their emancipation was the most unwise thing that could have been done for them. He had a brother, Micajah Burnett. who was raised here, but some time about 1850 he became implicated some way with some white men in stealing and running off and selling slaves. and he skipped to New York and never came back.
I remember, away back in the fifties, reading an advertisement that used to appear in the Goldsboro papers. It was by Wm. S. Bonner, who was a merchant here then. Mr. Bonner died several years before the war, but his widow, Mrs. Patience Bonner, continued to live here until her death only a few years ago. I am not sure I can give correctly the verse in his advertisement, but it was something like this:
Wm. S. Bonner keeps near the corner
West Centre and Chestnut Street, Where he sells cheap his goods
Both to wear and to eat.
The first big mass meeting and political speaking I ever attended was in 1852 during the Presidential campaign. Franklin Pierce, of New Hampshire, and Wm. R. King, of Alabama, were the Democratic candidates for President and Vice-President; and General Winfield Scott (I don't remember what state
Scott was from) and Wm. A. Graham, of North Carolina, were the Whig candidates for the same office. This mass meeting was held in a grove where the opera house and the Elks Club House now stands, and the speaking was from a platform built there. Except as to one, I am not sure as to who the speakers were, but there were several. I remember well that Romulus M. Saunders was one, and I am of the opinion that Burton Craig, of Rowan, and Warren Winslow. of Cumberland, were the others. Pierce had been an officer in the Mexican war. and had on one occasion, upon the eve of a battle, either from sickness or a wound, I don't recollect which, fainted and fell from his horse. The Whig papers charged the fainting to cowardice, and I remember some poetry that I saw in a Whig newspaper. I can't recall now but four lines of it, which ran thus:
“’Tis said that while in Mexico,
When leading on his force,
He took a sudden fainting fit
And tumbled off his horse.”
And I recall reading in a Democratic paper the following lines about Scott:
Cooney, Cooney Scott,
Come listen to my song,
You've played the fuss and feathers game
A little bit too long.”
Franklin Pierce was inaugurated the 4th of March, 1853, just fifty-six years to Taft's inauguration March 4th. 1909, and as long as has been these fifty-six years, I can name more of Pierce's cabinet than I can of Roosevelt's:
W. L. Marcy, of New York, was Secretary of State.
Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, Secretary of War.
J. C. Dobbin, of North Carolina, Secretary of the Navy.
James Guthrie, of Kentucky, Secretary of the Treasury.
R. A. McClelland, of Michigan, Secretary of Interior.
Caleb Cushing, of Massachusetts. Attorney General.
Pierce succeeded the Fillmore administration. Under this J. B. Whitaker had been postmaster at Goldsboro. Pierce appointed John Taylor, who held the office until Schofield's army occupied the place on March 21st, 1865, when for a while we did without mail, and “cussed” Yankees—and most of the people were diligent in the work.
The W. & W. Railroad was completed to Goldsboro in 1836. I think I am right in this date. It was given me by Col. Nelson. When the road had reached a point about half way from Goldsboro to the river bridge, there was a big celebration given in Old Waynesboro. A military company came from Wilmington, bringing a cannon with them. Gov. Dudley came down from Raleigh. He came through the country by private conveyance and spent the night before the celebration at the home of John W. Sasser's, whose residence was near Pearson's bridge. The governor drove in next morning and was met a mile or two from town by the military company and a large party of men on horses, who escorted him into town, where he addressed the big crowd gathered.
The first Sunday School ever run in Wayne County, so Col. Nelson told me, was started by him in old Waynesboro in 1841.
About 1851 or 52 there was a little war in Wayne County. There was some difficulty between Lewis Cogdell, a wealthy farmer, who lived in what is now Grantham township, and three or four families in the same neighborhood, named Holloman's. The trouble grew until they laid seige to Cogdell's home and kept him confined to his house, notifying him they would shoot him on sight. I have heard they threw up breastworks close by Cogdell's home. Sheriff Ollin Coor was sent for to arrest the Holloman's and raise the seige. He summoned a posse and went over there, but when he attempted to arrest them, they fired on his posse and killed two horses on which some of the posse were mounted. The sheriff had to beat a retreat and return for reinforcements. After getting them, he went back to the seat of war, but he carried a small piece of artillery this time and the trouble was settled.
Col. Tom Kennedy of the Fork and Daniel Hood, of Grantham township, used to be the famous fox hunters of the county, and Jack Coley was always ready to bet on his fine game cocks.
Those were good old times. Every
body lived at home and boarded at the same place and they had good eating to beat the band, and for that they had good drinking, too; homemade brandy—apple and peach—and honey to go with it. and it was found on nearly every man's sideboard, saint and sinner.
I used to hear a joke that it was said old man William Rouse told on old man Hillary Boyette, who was deaf as a post, but loved his dram, and knew good liquor by sight. Mr. Rouse's sideboard stood in the hallway and was the first thing one saw when entering the door. Mr. Rouse, like most everyone else, kept a glass decanter filled with brandy sitting thereon. One very cold morning Hillary went over to Rouse's to borrow an iron wedge for mauling. He knocked at the door and Rouse went to the door, threw it open and says: “Good morning, Hilliary!” who promptly replied: “It's mighty cold, durned if I don't believe I will.” And walking up to the sideboard he proceeded to put himself outside of a glassfull.
In looking over what I have written, I find, to use the language of old women in knitting, that I have dropped a good many stitches and it is necessary to go back and pick them up, so as to not let any part of my story get too far ahead. Hence I must drop my old town records for a while and go back to the beginning, when the real town took its rightful position as the county capital.
Tuesday of court was always a big day. Great crowds would come to town. Nearly everybody rode horseback: very few had buggies. The resident lawyers were W. T. Dortch, G. V. Strong, J. H. Everitt, J. W. Lancaster, E. A. Thompson and Thomas Ruffin.
Soon after Goldsboro became the county seat, (August, 1850), the population began increasing pretty lively and for the next five or six years its growth was right fast.
I can now, after half a century, recall at least one hundred people living in Goldsboro, some of them young men, but most of them had families. Of course $ do not remember half, but I can name the following: Richard Washington, John Wright, C. J. Nelson, Mrs. E. A. churchill, Daniel Cogdell, Mrs. Crawford, A. H. Keaton, J. H. Powell, J. H. Everett, Mrs. Wellons, W. H. Toler, Jos. Waltering, J. S. Baker, Jas. Knight, Jno. Crone, J. J. Baker, D. L. Burbank, Chas. Parmalee, W. A. Williams, Arthur Stancil, James Darby, Wm. Puryear, N. B. Stanley, T. M. Rodgers, Ed. Pitman, W. R. Bridgers, I. R. Dyer, Mrs. Alford, Mrs. Caxtex, Bennett Webb, Sol. Hoover, O. C. Sasser, W. H. Woodard, W. L. Edwards, F. I. Cox. Mr. Jenkins, G. A. Dudley, N. B. Cobb, J. W. Ezzell, J. W. Lancaster, B. D. Ford, Jno. Scarboro, H C. Premport, F. Odenheimer, Henry Strouse, Thos. Waters, J. D.Waters, A. J. Riggs, E. Joyner, Mr. Crosby, J. J. Foulks, Grif Brocket, Jno. Edwards, J. H. Griffin, D. C. Carrington, J. H. Brent, E. A. Thompson, B. H. Stammire, N. S. Richardson, Chas. Goddard, W. S. Bonner, M. D. Craton, A. B. Vaughan, osiah Howell, E. B. Wood, B. C. Wood, Nathan Adams, W. H. Moore, Wm. Privett, J. C. Privett, J. F. Divine, W. S. Royal, W H. Wilson, Henry Sharbor, Hosea Williams. Hope Bain, Wm. Boyart, M. Albritton, Louis Hummel, Henry Oettinger, James Long, L. M. Huggins, J. H. Philyaw, E. H. Goelet, W. Seymour, W. F. Brown, Dock Musgrave, J. J. Lawrence, Oliver Smith, W. R. Hooks, J. G. Parker, C. A. W. Barham, H. W. Adams, Mrs. Ballard, Henry Sugg, Mrs. Isler, W. G. Summerlin, Henry King, Wm. Cox, Wm. Bonitz, James Long, Lemon Lynch, Kinchin Smith, A. B. Vaughan, Richard Woodard, Tobias Snipes, W. A. Smith, Tilman Gardner, Kedar Raiford and A. J. Riggs.
I can remember where a good many of them lived. W. T. Dortch lived on the corner next to the Catholic church; Richard Washington at the Dr. Jones residence; J. H. Powell corner East Centre and Pine; Wm. Privett on East Centre, Royall residence; C. J. Nelson where F. B. Edmundson lives; R. H. Atkinson at Dr. Spicer residence; J. J. Baker head of Pine street, east, J. B. Whitaker at J. E. Peterson's house; G. V. Strong at Maj. Grant's house; Jas. Knight whre Dr. Robinson's residence stands; Winchen Smith at Isler's house, in front of court house; J. C. Slocumb in house now Emergency Hospital; Wm. Robinson next to the residence of Mrs. W. H. Smith; Lemon Lynch
where Miss Eliza Robinson now lives; Mrs. Clarissa Alford where Asher Edwards’ residence now is; John Everett where Thos. Holmes lives; D. C. Carrington where J. W. Edwards lives; J. G. Parker on corner, now vacant, near post-office; J. C. Borden where Geo. Southerland lives; F. Odenheimer where Mrs. Finlayson lives; Hope Bain where W. P. Granger lives; Nathan Adams on corner near ice factory; Dr. Cogdell and Mrs. Churchill just north of ice factory: J. F. Divine opposite Norfolk & Southern depot; Everett Joyner on corner now owned by Geo. W. Brown; E. B. Borden where he now resides, but the house was burned; W. D. Cobb had built a four-office building on corner where Yelverton Hardware store is; E. A. Thompson where L. D. Gulley lives; Mrs. Castex corner John and Pine.
I recall the following business houses: Dibble Bros. at Waynesboro, agricultural implements; J. H. Glass, portrait painter; Wm. Bogart, contractor and builder; D. G. Lougee, jeweler; C. J. Nelson, dry goods and carriage making; J. W. Ezzell, sash, doors and blinds; J. E. Neal, mattress maker; Wm. Puryear, carpenter; Wm. Armstrong and B. C. Wood, shoemakers; Wm. Privett & Sons, groceries; S. D. Phillips, tailor; B. D. Ford, marble works; W. R. Bridgers, bar and coolerific depot; Bradley & Hart, hardware; Henry King and W. Seymour, jewelers; S. B. and J. A. Evans, druggists; Vaughan & Moore, druggists; Griswold & Cobb, dry goods and groceries; Edmundson & Borden, dry goods; Henry Strouse, dry goods; Andrews & Washington, dry goods and groceries; Whitaker & Lawrence, stationers; W. S. Bonner, dry goods and groceries; James Griswold and Mrs. M. A. Borden, hotels; Mrs. M. E. Castex, millinery; W. F. Brown, bakery; Parmalee & Bull, hardware; D. L. Burbank, grist mill; James Darby, spirits turpentine barrel maker; E. P. Wood, saddles and harness. In Mr. Wood's advertisement I remember a verse as follows:
If you wish to save a dollar,
From crupper even to the collar,
’Twill be to your interest, one & all,
At E. B. Woood's to make a call.
If I am not mistaken, the Baptist, Presbyterian and Episcopal churches were built between 1854 and 1857. The Methodist church (now the Primitive Baptist) must have been built directly after the court house was built. In those days there was no such facilities for getting an education as there is now, particularly in the country. There was a free school taught from two to three months each winter, and in some neighborhoods, occasionally a paid school was run for a few months in the year, but the school districts was large and the children often had to walk from two to four miles to attend school. The old Blue Back Speller was used, and I believe now it was better than the present system.
At a meeting held January 3rd, 1860 the following petition from the Goldsboro Rifles was presented:
To the Commissioners of the Town of Goldsboro: The undersigned officers and members of the Goldsboro Rifles represent to your honorable body that they have at considerable personal expense and with a sacrifice of much toil and trouble organized a volunteer company for the security and protection of the lives and property of the citizens of the town. They also represent that they were furnished with arms by the Governor of the State, but no ammunition that to insure efficiency they have been compelled to purchase a quantity of cartridges at an expense of $35.00.
They also represent that in their opinion this expense should be divided equally among the citizens of the place, as it was for the common good that they were purchased; that the company should be relieved by the Commissioners and an appropriation made from the funds of the town to pay for the cartridges. We have left them in charge of the Intendant of Police and we propose that they be left in his safe keeping, only to be used in cases of emergency, at his discretion.
(Signed) M. D. Craton, Captain
S. M. Hunt, Lieut.
W. S. G. Andrews, Lieut.
S. D. Phillips, Lieut.
J. A. Washington, Sergt.
A. J. Roggs, Sergt.
J. W. Gulick.
Upon the presentation and reading of this petition, the Commissioners ordered that the sum of $35
be ppropriated to pay for the cartridges purchased by the Goldsboro Rifles and now in the care and keeping of the Indendant of Police.
To the young reader it perhaps begins to look a little war-like and to the old reader it brings back to memory a feeling of sadness.
On the 13th of April, 1861, the town was full of country people who with the citizens of the town kept close to the telegraph office for news of the firing that was going on upon Fort Sumter at Charleston, S. C., but at sunset no news of its surrender had been received. The result came sometime after nightfall. There was no telegraph line then to New Bern. When the train for that place left on Saturday the 13th at 3 o'clock p. m., the fort was still holding out. That was the latest from there.
The people of New Bern could not wait until Monday to hear further from Charleston. There being no train on the A. & N. C. R. R. on Sunday, they besought the president, Col. J. D. Whitford, to send an extra engine and coach to Goldsboro, which he did, and it came loaded with the most prominent men of New Bern.
On Monday morning, Gov. Ellis wired Capt. Craton to proceed with his company (the Goldsboro Rifles) to Fort Macon and take possession of that fortification. But Capt. Josiah Pender, of Beaufort, N. C., anticipated the Governor's desire, and on Sunday, April 14th, with a detachment of men from Beaufort went over to the fort and took possession, there being only one man, Sgt. Alexander, in charge of the place.
But Capt. Craton began to collect his men. Some of them lived several miles in the country, and by 3 o'clock, when the New Bern train left, he had them aboard.
During the forenoon J. B. Whitaker called for volunteers for another company and before train time the company was formed with J. B. Whitaker as Captain and T. T. Hollowell and Bright Tompson as Lieutenants, and, I think, with some sixty odd privates, they also went down on the same train with the Goldsboro Rifles.
Bless you, those were exciting times. The people were stirred as I never saw them before, nor since. That day I saw the first tears of the war, as the wives, parents, sisters, brothers and friends stood at the train to bid the soldier boys goodbye; but alas, the tears that day were but the beginning of the floods of tears that followed in the next four years.
I, of course, forty-eight years after, cannot recall the names of all who left Goldsboro on that memorable 15th of April, but at this late day I can call the names of over fifty, and believing it would be interesting reading to the younger generation, I will give the names as they now occur to me, viz:
M. D. Craton, J. B Whitaker, S. M. Hunt, S. D. Phillips, W. S. G. Andrews, J. F. Devine, J. A. Washington, J. B. Baker, Bob McIntire, L. D. Giddens, H. H. Coor, H. C. Premport, W. S. Royall, R. B. Potts, J D. Howard, R. J. Gooding, F. M. Harrison, J. G. Parker, N. L. Whitley, W. A. Thompson, Crocket Moore, B. F. Hooks, B. B. Reeves, Nathan Parker, Ballard Sasser, Thad Pitman, Ashe Knight, Henry Parker, Wiley Wright, Sandy Murdock, T. T. Hollowell, J. W. Gulick, Mike Wood, Bright Thompson, J. P. Cobb, Geo. J. Moore, E. S. Parker, R. P. Howell, J. B. Robinson, Joe Sauls, Alex Tumbro, James Bryan, Fritz Hummel, J. T. Kennedy, A. J. Farrell, Boaz Sasser, Tobias Snipes, Mike Heineman, W. F. Kornegay, Wm. Webb, Furney Harrell, Henry Procton and J. M. Hollowell.
That Monday, the 15th day of April, 1861, was the stirringest (if I may so express it) day that I ever saw in Goldsboro, and I have seen some right stirring times here.
I remember the day when a small size riot occurred in front of the old Borden Hotel in ’65, when Bryan Cox was shot and killed and Jim Jones desperately wounded. Both were negroes. I don't suppose it ever has been known to a certainty who fired the shot that killed Cox. The late J. D. Winslow told me on one occasion that he believed that the late A. J. Galloway and himself were the only two men who saw the shot fired, and upon my asking him who fired it he replied: I shall never tell, and I don't believe Mr. Galloway ever will; and so far as I know either one ever did.
Another stirring time in Goldsboro
was in 1871, when E. R. Stanley. Republican president of the “Mullet” road, gave a Fourth of July outing to four thousand negroes, bringing them to Goldsboro. Forty-eight car loads were brought here that day, hundreds of them drunk; and when the police undertook to make an arrest, they were set upon by this negro mob and forced to seek safety in the Griswold Hotel, and when the mob attempted to break into the hotel to get the police, they were met by a few determined men inside and Gaston Atkinson, one of the mob, was shot dead in the hotel piaza. There has never been much doubt who fired that shot. It was generally agreed that it was fired by Joshua Scott, who was bar-keeper at the Griswold Hotel. —. B. Parker received a severe blow on the head during the rucus.
J. B. Whitaker, having entered the military service, on May 23rd resigned as Intendant of Police and J. J. Baker was elected in his place, and P. A. Wiley was elected Clerk and Treasurer, J. K. Green, who had held these offices, having died.
During the summer of ’61 the old town hall, market and guard house was built in the centre of Ash street between East Centre and John. This old building stood there for near forty years. I think it was torn down about 1900.
J. J. Baker, Jno. Wright, Jno. Everitt, D. C. Carrington and J. W. Davis were elected Commissioners for 1862. E. B. Borden, Kedar Raiford and W. C. Blount were appointed to assess the value of real estate for 1862.
For 1863, J. B. Whitaker, S. D. Phillips, T. T. Hollowell, Samuel J. Lucas and John Crone were elected Commissioners. Matthew Albritton was elected Clerk and T. T. Hollowell town Constable.
Goldsboro has always been a town of slow growth. It has never had what might be called a boom, and yet I don't remember a time when there was not some building going on.
The first female college opened was about 1853 or ’54. It was in the old Borden Hotel building and the president was Rev. J. H. Brent. My recollection is that this school was run in that building for two or three years and that the brick college, now the centre graded school building, was erected about ’56 or ’57, and I think that its first president was Rev. S. M. Frost. He ran it until some time during the war. The latter years of the war the building was used as a Confederate hospital.
The N. C. R. R., (now the Southern), was not intended at its charter to run into Goldsboro, but was to connect with boats on the Neuse river at old Waynesboro, and a track was run down to the river. It curved to the right just after crossing Little river bridge, about where Weil's brick yard is and ran across the field now owned by Maj. Grant, coming to the river near O'Berry's log boom, and a warehouse was built on the river bank. I don't know whether any business was ever done between the railroad and steamboats or not. The warehouse got burned in April, ’61. The first steamboat I ever saw was tied up to the banks at Waynesboro. This must have been about ’49 or ’50. It was some years before the court house was removed. The boat line was owned or operated by the Dibbles, who were northern men.
The first steam saw mill ever operated in Wayne was owned and run by T. C. Garrison, of Petersburg, Va., and was located at Bolton Hill, on the A. C. L. road, about four miles north of Goldsboro. This information I got from the late Col. C. J. Nelson, and if I remember rightly, it was about 1836, while the Wilmington & Weldon railroad (now the A. C. L.) was being built. A good deal of the lumber that was used in those days for building was sawed by what was called whip saws. I never saw but one of them at work. It was located just where the residence of Mr. L. D. Gulley now stands. Two benches were erected seven or eight feet high and the log was placed on these benches. How they managed to get the log up there. I am not going to tell, for I don't know. At the time I saw this one being worked, the log was already in position. A large saw like an ordinary cross-cut saw, with handles in each end, the handles going through the round loop at the end of the saw, so that the man at the handles could use an end in each hand; then one man mounted the log and stood on it,
while the other man stood on the ground and the sawing was done by pulling the saw up and down. It was a slow process. I doubt if two men could saw one hundred feet a day. We had water mills that sawed lumber, the saws being run by the up-and-down movement. This was slow work, too. There used to be one of these mills owned by Wm. Rouse, in Stoney Creek township, across Stoney Creek, about one mile from Thompson's Chapel. I used to go there to get grinding done; carried a bag of corn containing two bushels thrown across the back of a horse. I used to ride up to the mill house and the old negro (Ned Rouse) would start his saw in a sixteen foot log, then come take my bag of corn off my horse, carry it into the grinding room, measure it with a half bushel, take out the toll, raise the gate and start the rocks to running, step down to the meal chest, feel of the meal to see if it was being ground fine enough, then go out to his saw, take a chew of tobacco leisurely and be in ample time to throw his saw out by the time it had cut through the sixteen foot line. To think of this rate and then go down to the Enterprise Lumber Co.’s mili and see how quick a band saw will cut the same line is astonishing.
There used to be a bar room on West Centre street, about where the Messenger building (Commercial Hotel) now stands. This bar was run by Thomas Walters, and another bar was run by Wm. Privett, at almost where J. W. Isler now does business. While there were others, these two did the most of the country business, and it was a mighty dull Saturday in Goldsboro if there was not one or more fights at one or both of these places. Pistols were not used, but the fist, walking sticks and the pocket knife was very much in evidence.
I recollect seeing a fellow in one of these “rucusses” who was stabbed in the hip. I don't think it was more than an inch deep and only the width of the knife blade, but it bled right freely and the poor fellow was scared almost to death. Dr. J. W. Davis was fixing to dress his wound and the cut man was groaning and praying loud enough to be heard a hundred feet. He was making so much complaint over such a small wound that Dr. Davis became disgusted, and upon the poor fellow bellowing out, “Dr. Davis, for God's sake do something for me, I am going to die,” the doctor replied: “D—m it, if you are, cross your thumbs and die like a man!” But he did not stop his loud groanings until his wound was dressed and Davis told him to go home.
The young men of that day were as fond of fun and sport as they are today. There was no baseball nor football games as we have now; but horse racing was a great favorite and there are some of those men still living who thoroughly enjoyed the races.
The race track used to be a straight piece of road between Goldsboro and Old Waynesboro, just outside of what is now the southeastern edge of Little Washington, and many a race has been pulled off there. Dick Hamlet used to be the rider. I have not seen Hamlet in over fifty years, but he was living in Alamance county not many years ago.
Away back around the fifties there was military officers all over the county, a captain in each voting precinct, and they were required to meet at the voting place in their precinct at stated period for drill. It was amusing to attend one of these drills. Some of the men had guns, while many had nothing but walking sticks, and some were without shoes, as the drills were generally held in the summer. And on the day that the county candidates spoke at each precinct there was most always a good turn out, for they knew there would be treating by the candidates.
There were traveling bars then who went all over the county from one speaking place to another with drinkables, and the candidates were liberal in dispensing the stuff. I can remember well how old Sheriff Ollin Coor would have a bushel tub made full of lemonade and then pour in about two quarts of whiskey. This was called punch. The old sheriff knew some would want the straight liquor and so would set up at the same time a quantity of whiskey. He would then call out: “Everybody come up and get Coor punch and blunt-tail moccasin!” And it didn't take a second call to
get the crowd. The candidates would buy cider by the barrel and have it free to everybody; but a barrel of cider could be bought for two dollars. Whiskey sold then at ten cents a quart and yet at such prices I have heard Sheriff Thompson say that his campaign cost him over seven hundred dollars. Suppose candidates now had to treat like they did then with whiskey at present prices? There is not an office in the county that a man could afford to be a candidate for. But the county canvass in those days were interesting to me. I enjoyed hearing the speaking. One of the most hardfought and exciting campaigns I ever remember in Wayne was between the late W. T. Dortch and Ervin A. Thompson, and was, I think, in 1856. Both were candidates for the House of Commons. I don't remember who the other candidate was, but whoever he was, his election was conceded from the start, and the fight was on between Dortch and Thompson. Both were young men just in their prime and both strong debaters. Early in the canvass there very naturally arose some little feeling between them. They never came to blows during the canvass, but it was without doubt a hot old time in Wayne that year. Thompson was elected, but I don't think his majority was over a half dozen votes. Thompson was the best extempore speaker that I ever heard. He was red-headed and freckled, and as ugly as you often find, but on the stump he was a live wire.
Our courts were always attended by strong members of the bar from other counties. I remember W. H. and John N. Washington and Geo. L. Stevenson from New Bern; Samuel J. Person, Eli W. Hall and W. A. Wright from Wilmington; W. B. Wright, from Fayetteville; and H. W. Husted, from Raleigh; but I think that W. T. Dortch and Geo. V. Strong did the bulk of the practice, and when a suitor got both of them on his side, he felt pretty sure of his case.
We mentioned in our closing lines last week that our friend Geo. E. Taylor was a sort of leader of the town gang, and Ash Knight, John Baker, Wiley Wright, Thad. Pitman, Windal Robinson and Dick Nelson was generally on hand and ready for the mischief.
I used to get mad enough to fight but was afraid to do so. I was not so much afraid of getting licked as I was of the police. I thought a policeman was the next biggest man to the devil, and that for a barefoot country boy to have a rucus in town and be arrested by the police and carried before the mayor, meant that he would be convicted of a misdemeanor, burglary, arson, rioting and rebellion.
If we country boys could have ever caught the town boys out in the country where we would have had no fear of the police, they would have fared bad.
At the breaking out of the war, April, 1861, I don't think Goldsboro contained more than twelve or fifteen hundred inhabitants. And I think I knew nearly every one, certainly all of the men, and where they lived, and the business or work they were engaged in. Some time ago, thinking over them, I began to count them, writing down their names as they would occur to me, to enable me to do so more accurately. As stated above, I knew their residences. I took the town by streets and I am sure I have not missed the names of many white men who were twenty-one years and upwards in April, 1861. I made up a list of two hundred and twenty-five names, and there are in the list many names that I had not thought of in ten or twenty years.
Believing a list of these names, which I have arranged in alphabetical order, would be interesting reading, to a great number of the Record readers, I give the names as follows:
W. S. G. Andrews, Chas. Angel, E. W. Adams, J. A. Aiverett, Richa Atkinson, Nathan Adams, Mathew Albritton.
J. J. Baker, H. W. Burwell, J. J. Bradbury, J. A. Bonitz, Thos. Ballard, Hope Bain, J. C. Borden, E. B. Borden, Grif Brockett, R. G. Best, Wm. Burnum, C. A. W. Barham, J. Henry Baker, W. R. Bridgers, Wm. Bonitz, W. C. Blount, Virginues Ballard, Wm. Boyett, Jas. D. Bryan, John Bryan, J. S. Baker, Isaac Burnum, W. E. Bayard.
M. D. Craton, Daniel Cogdell, W. W. Crawford, Charles Carroll, Wm. Cox, John Cameron, N. B. Cobb, D. C. Carrington, John Crone, J. H.
Crawford, D. Creech, Cicero Coor, Isaac Cotton.
Albert Day, W. E. Davis, J. F. Devine, Jonah Davis, I. R. Dyer, S. H. Denmark, W. N. Drumgool, R. B. Davis, J. W. Davis, W. T. Dortch, C. F. Dewey, J. W. Danner.
Rufus Edmundson, J. W. Ezzell, John Everett, W. L. Edwards, W. B. Edmundson, J. H. Everett, John Edwards, J. A. Evans.
W. H. Finlayson, W. B. Fields, Alvoh Fairfield, J. J. Foulks, S. Milton Frost, S. D. Fairfield, W. T. Faircloth, Wm Faircloth, W. H. Freeman. Mathew Faircloth.
R. J. Gregory, Collier Griswold, T. A. Granger, L. D. Giddens, Chas. Goddard, Lewis Guriey J. B. Griswold, G. C. Garris, J. W. Gulick, R. J. Goodwin, Needham Guriey
S. M. Hunt, Fritz Hummell, B. R. Hood, Josiah Howell, H. S. Hazell, F. F. Harrell, F. M. Harrison, Erastus Ham, R. W. Henry, J. B. Henry, J. M. Hollowell, J. T. Hamilton, Ezekial Ham, R. P. Howell, Lewis Hummell, Sam Holt, Warberton Hill, John Hollister, H. Clay Hazell, R. H. Harrison, J. D. Howard, J. W. Ham, Mike Heiniman, Henry Howell, Solomon Hoover, G. W. Hislop, Asa Head.
J. P. Jordan, Major Johns, Everett Joyner, G. C. Jones, W. H. Jones, R. M. Johnson.
W. F. Kornegay, Blount King, J. T. Kennedy, J. T. Kemn, C. E. Glengee, A. H. Keaton, W. S. Keaton, G. W. Keese, Jas Knight, Jas King.
Thomas Losing, A. H. Langston, Jas Long, J. S. Lucas Wm. Lemons, John Lowry, Wm. Langston, B. J. Langston, Grif Long, Lemon Lynch, J. J. Lawrence, J. E. Langston.
W. H. Moore, J. S. Moore, A. B. Massey, Alex Murdock, W. G. Morisey, Robt. McIntire, George Morrow, G. J. Moore, Smithson Moore, D. D. Monroe, Aaron Moses, D. H. Miller, Joseph Murphrey.
W. A. Nichols, C. J. Nelson, C. E. Nelson.
Wm. Privett, J. C. Privett. H. C. Premperst, Chas. Parmalere, J. G. Parker, J. R. Powell, Henry Proctor, R. B. Potts, J. H. Privett, B. M. Privett, E. S. Parker, N. D. Parmalere, Pino Powell, Willis Pipkin, Ed Pitman, J. H. Powell.
N. M. Ray, Wm. Robinson, John Randolph, S. C. Robertson, A. J. Riggs, Thos. Ruffin, Phillip Riley, Kedar Raiford, Hardy Robinson, W. S. Robertson, A. M. Rockwell, W. S. Royall, D. S. Ryan.
Wm. Sampson, G. V. Strong, Green Solomon, B. F. Stanton, John Snipes, Josiah Sauls, John Scarboro, Arthur Stancell, J. C. Slocumb, W. G. Summerlin, Tobias Snipes, J. G. Smith, N. B. Stanly, Solomon Satterwhite.
J. R. Tumber, John Taylor, J. W. Tadlock, E. A. Thompson, Wm. Taylor, A. D. Tumblor.
Thos. Waters, J. B. Whitaker, J. A. Wilson, J. A. Washington, P. A. Wiley, James Wills, Bennett Webb, J. H. Wiggs, J. N. Wood, W. H. Wilson, Richard Washington, W. H. Woodard, John Wright, Mike Wood, Wm. Webb, Wm. Vaughn.
The above represents two hundred and twenty-five names that forty-eight years ago were residents of Goldsboro and who had reached twenty-one years of age. Of this entire list, I can only name fifteen whom I know are living. There may be perhaps three or four others living that I have not been able to trace up. There are only seven living in Goldsboro, viz: E. B. Borden, J. A. Washington, Devereaux Creech, L. D. Giddens, W. W. Crawford. R. P. Howell, and J. M. Hollowell. Col. J. T. Kennedy is living in Grantham township. This would make only eight of the two hundred and twenty-five living in Wayne county.
J. F. Devine, Wm. Bonitz, and James King live in Wilmington; J. H. Crawford in Raleigh; E. S. Parker in Graham; John Randolph in Greene county; Josiah Sauls in Chicago; and R. G. Best in LaGrange.
This shows how fast a population dies out—less than 10 per cent now living and by April, 1911, which will round out a half century. it is doubtful if a solitary one of the two hundred and twenty-five will be alive.
Wayne county furnished at least two thousand soldiers for the Confederate army; some claim as high as twenty-five hundred. Its list of killed and wounded was large, and it is doubtful if there is a county in the state that in proportion to the number of soldiers furnished, has as small a number on the pension rolls; and at this time there is not an old veteran in the Old Soldiers’
Home at Raleigh who went into service from Wayne.
But few places fared worse during the war than Goldsboro. It escaped until near the close. Schofield's army from New Bern captured the place on the 21st of March, 1865. He had about 35,000 men, and in the next few days Sherman's and Terry's army reached here. So within a radius of five or six miles of Goldsboro there was encamped about 110,000 Federal soldiers, with their usual following of “Bummers,” and remained here for a little more than two weeks. When they left there was scarcely a yard fence left standing in the town, or a panel in the country in the territory occupied by them while here.
When the three armies combined left here to follow Johnston's army, they left a regiment or two here. While the army was encamped here the county was scoured from one end to the other by foragers, who took all the horses, cattle, hogs, sheep, chickens, bacon, lard, corn, and fodder, in fact everything they could lay hands on, the women, children and old men being left entirely destitute of subsistence. So thorough was their work of devastation that hundreds of the people, some of them the best people in the county, had to draw rations from the government or starve. I know of cases where women and children walked fifteen miles and back home and toted the rations they had drawn. Some of the Provote Marshal with which the town was afflicted were very rough in their treatment of our citizens. Many of them were hauled up before this officer and heavily fined on most trivial offences, at least one being sent to jail. About the worst of these officers was a scoundrel named Capt. Glaves, of the Freedmans Bureau, who employed a native negro, Grant Sasser, as an officer to make arrest of white men. I remember the first election held here after the negroes were given the right to vote. The negroes were corralled in Little Washington by J. E. O'Hara, a West India negro, and formed in two lines and marched to the Court House. I was standing on the piaza of the old Griswold Hotel, when they turned down Walnut Street, and as the last of the line passed where I was standing, the head of the column was turning into the court house square near where Col. I. F. Dortch's office stands.. The election lasted for three days and the votes were sent to Gen. Canby's headquarters at Charleston, S. C., to be counted. At the first election held after the adoption of the Canby Constitution, one negro, Green Simmons, was elected on the Board of County Commissioners. Negroes were appointed on the police force of the town. A Yankee, J. H. Place, who came here with the army, was elected mayor. The finances of the town and county both got into bad shape, county orders getting down as low as forty cents on the dollar.
Goldsboro was garrisoned from March 1865, until early in 1869, a good deal of the time by negro troops, a full regiment of ten companies being kept here the last year of the garrisoning. I have known men and their wives to be halted on the street by soldiers while returning from church on Sunday night and made to give their names and place of residence. This was reconstruction by a republican administration. I said darn them then, and have never changed my mind to this day.
It is a great wonder with such provocations there was not more trouble between the races than there was, the negroes were encouraged in their disposition to be insolent and insulting by a few white men who had run away from here during the war and gone north, but who returned after the place was occupied by federal troops.
The Union League was formed and officered in some instances by white men (scallawag) and almost all the negroes were members of the League, and this was one of the menaces that gave rise to and made necessary the “Ku Klux Klan,” this organization much as it has been abused and the members hunted down; cast into prison, and hung up by the thumbs, proved the salvation of the south during the reconstruction period.
And the true condition of affairs as shown in Thos. Dixon's play, “The Clansman,” is what raises the rage of the men who so loudly abuse Dixon and his play—it's the truth that hurts.
Following the close of the war a
great horde of adventurers (carpet baggers) squatted in the south most of them after office and spoils. Wayne County got its share of them. I don't know as those who came to this county were any better or any worse than those who infested other places. They were not all bad, but they lacked a blamed sight of being all good.
A few of these fellows rented farms and engaged in cotton farming. They were going to learn the ignorant and lazy Southerner how to farm.
I remember one of these smart alexs, Dick Vanderburg, who rented the Phil Sasser place now owned by Mr. E. B. Borden. Dick was one of these Yankess who had a whine and drawling voice. He used to come to the A. & N. C. R. R. warehouse to get hay and corn. He would tell me how he was going to farm and going to show the Southerners how to farm.
My recollection is it took just two crops to put Dick out of business, and he went back north a poorer if not a wiser man. J. K. Miller, another northern man, tried to learn us things about farming. He experimented on the fine Collier plantation across Neuse River. He held out longer than Vandenburg, but the same result followed.
It was not many of them who came South to engage in farming, they were mostly politicians, and lots of them got office. The Constitutional Convention that gave us the Canby Constitution was largely composed of these men, together with a number of negroes. A pretty set to make a Constitution for North Carolina. David Herton, of Ohio, was elected to Congress from this district. Gen. J. C. Abbott (I don't recollect from what state) was elected United States Senator.
Goldsboro at the close of the war was a wooden town. I recall only about one dozen brick buildings here, this including the Court House and jail. Now, there is over two hundred. Speaking of the jail brings to mind a job performed by the late W. Hop Smith and myself. The new Constitution adopted in 1868 provided for the election of township officers, including magistrates and the number to be elected. Two were given each township, and in townships in which were incorporated towns an extra one was allowed for each 500 inhabitants. An election was to be held for these offices in the summer of 1869 and the question arose about how many Goldsboro township was entitled to. This could not be ascertained unless the number of inhabitans of the town was known. The Board of Aldermen employed Hop and myself to take the census, and when we got through and counted up it showed 1,983 lacking seventeen of enough to give us four magistrates. We were disappointed for we were anxious to get four magistrates, but we had stretched out figures as far as we could. We were in the office of the Register of Deeds doing our figuring when Dave Ezzell, who was jailer, came in from carrying dinner to his prisoners, and some one present asked Dave how many prisoners he had and replied twenty-four. I at once turned to Hop and said, if a person is in jail in Goldsboro he sure is an inhabitant of the town and these 24 persons must be added to the other 1,983 making 2,007 or enough to entitle us to four magistrates for the town, and there were four nominated for the town.
Seeing that ever polite old colored man Isaac Hodges, a few days ago, put me to thinking about the old Griswold Hotel before the war. It was run under the name of Mrs. Susan A. Griswold & Co., old man Dick Gregory being the Company. He had been more or less a rheumatic ever since I first knew him. I remember seeing him shuffling around old squire Bill Bridgers, John R. Powell and George Griswold, clerks, and Isaac Hughes and Allen and Peter and Simon and Ned and Randal and Dock, as porters.
In those days the W. & W. R. R. relayed engines here, and there was always three or four engineers laying off between trips and equally as many from the N. C. R. R. Nearly all were Northern men and full of fun, and they would gather around the hotel at night and crack jokes, and anyone who could listen and not laugh was a poor judge of a joke.
I recall the names of a good many of them now. In the W. & W. was Geo. Tarlton, Ike Farley, John Urquahart, Wilbur Trast, Gus Tarlton;
Petteway, John Hollister, Bill Paul Geo. T. Curtis and James Knight. On the N. C. R. R. was Tom Swan, Will Swan, Corneal Davis, Sr., Corneal Davis, Jr., Chas. Carroll, Dick Furnell, Chas. Parmenter, Tom Hudson, Jack Bissett, and John Earle. On the A. & N. C. was Ed Clayton, Asa Blanchard, and Angus Lietch.
None of the engines were numbered like they are now; all bore names. On the W. & W. I remember the Express, President, Director, Wilmington, Gov. Bragg, Farmer, Merchant, Polk, Guilford, Brunswick, and soon after the war came the Bridgers, Kidder, Dickinson, Wright, Potter and Ellis.
On the N. C. R. R. was the Cyclops, Astron, Midas, Helios, Pactolus, Neuse, Rowan, Guilford, Watauga and Ajax.
On the A. & N. C. was the Bragg, Fisher, Stanly and Whitford.
On the W. & W. were the following conductors: Dolly Browning, Joe Howell, John Ivey, Bob Lee, Bill Smith, Dick Fulghum and Archy Aldermen.
On the N. C. R. R. Kleuge, Hislop, Thomas, Summer, Kirkland, Bradbury, Hazell, Davidson and Allen were pulling the bell cord, and Hancock, Jones, Richardson, Parrot and Lane on the A. & N. C.
The engines were beauties—wide brass bands around the boilers, cylinders encased in brass—and they were kept neat and clean.
The ticket and telegraph offices were under the old railroad shed. The telegraphing was by the old paper system. The first operator that I remember was Tom Oates; the next a young man named (I think) McCombor. Dave Ryan was operator at the beginning of the war. I was learning under Ryan at the time, but my patriotism got the upper hand and I volunteered, but I was sorry before the war ended that was not an operator.
After the female college was built, the old Borden Hotel was reopened by Col. Baker, who conducted it a year or two and sold it to T. A. Granger.
About 1855 or ’56 Jesse Pipkin ran a steam saw mill on the bank of the river at old Waynesboro. I remember the boiler exploded, killing several, among them the proprietor, Mr. Pipkin.
In 1860 Lawrnece and Blount started the first daily paper here and it was named the “Rough Notes.” It was a small affair, being four pages and about 10×12 inches. It did not live long. Blount went to the war. After the war Lawrence became wealthy as manufacturer of the one-time famous medicine “Rosadalis.”
J. G. Parker and Thos. Loring printed a paper here for several years called the “Tribune.” I have a copy of the Tribune now, printed in 1862.
Wm. Bonitz started an envelope factory here in 1862 and did quite a lucrative business. After the war, Mr. Bonitz went into the hotel business. He built the Arlington, but sold out about twenty years ago and removed to Wilmington and engaged in the hotel business and is still following it successfully. He has always been an energetic man and a good citizen.
His brother J. A. Bonitz came here about 1860. In ’66 or ’67 he revived the old “Rough Notes,” soon afterwards changing the name to the “Messenger.” For a long time he had an up-hill business, but by energy and perseverance, he succeeded. The paper reached a large circulation and was of great influence in Eastern North Carolina. He removed the paper to Wilmington and run it as a daily until his death. While living in Goldsboro he built the Messenger Opera House and the Messenger printing house, this being the building recently known as the Commercial Hotel. He was for years chairman of the County Democratic Executive Committee. He was one of the principal promoters of the Goldsboro Graded School and was chairman of the board of trustees of the school as long as he resided in Goldsboro.
During the latter part of the war there was a fellow around here named Andrew Wilson. He was said to be a deserter from the Yankee army. Some thought he was a spy. After the Yankees came he did considerable piloting of them around. While the army lay around Goldsboro Frank Coley, son of Jack Coley, prowled around the outskirts with a company of cavalry and did a good deal of damage to the Yankees. He would intercept foraging parties of Yankees who
Piney Wilson, Simon Gay, Bill were robbing and pillaging in the country. There was many a Yankee who started on the raid who, on account of the vigilance of Coley, never returned. I don't know whether Coley ever had any trouble with Wilson or not, but at any rate, Wilson determined on killing Coley and after Coley returned from the war Wilson went out to Coley's father's one night and prepared to shoot Coley next morning. About light next morning Joe Peacock, a white man working for Mr. Coley, started out to feed the stock and was shot down by Wilson, who thought it was young Coley. Wilson then put out for Goldsboro, where he knew or expected he would be protected by the Yankees. A crowd of ex-Confederates in the neighborhood got together in an hour, all mounted, and, headed by a brave and determined leader, followed Wilson. They were pursuing him so closely that at a point this side of Greenleaf he left the county road and took down the railroad. The pursuers came in by way of the Carolina Rice Mills, turned down Boundary street towards the railroad, and when they reached a point a little north of Giles Hinson's store, Wilson was seen on the track about where the Norfolk and Southern track crosses the A. C. L. track. They opened fire on him. At the first fire he made a run for the store in which Mr. Geo. W. Brown now does business and fell dead on the steps as he attempted to go in the door, to the surprise of everybody. Peacock, after a long and lingering time of it, recovered. The Yankees sent out a squad of cavalry to arrest these men, but I don't think any of them were ever arrested.
In writing these reminiscences I feel that I want to pay a deserved tribute to the old time colored people, the old slaves who were faithful and true; the old darkeys who when the war came and their masters enlisted and went to the front, with no white people at home, except a few old men and the women and children continued to labor to raise something to feed his mistress and the children, and yet I do not recall now of a crime against the whites being committed in the county; they knew that the success of the Confederate arms meant a continuation of slavery for them and still with this knowledge before them they proved true and faithful, and theirs is a creditable record.
It is only since their emancipation and a new set grown up that hell has broke loose among the negroes. And I now write of one of the blackest and most devilish crimes ever committed anywhere.
About ten miles west of Goldsboro is a section known as the Neuse River Island, it is the river low lands, subject to overflow and sickly, and very few white people have ever lived on them. In 1878 James Worley, a poor but respectable and industrious white man lived in this section with his family, a wife and three small children. One morning persons passing found Worley and his wife both killed. He had been called to the door and killed with an axe, and a crime committed upon his wife and then she was killed. The 3 children found in the house unhurt, the oldest child being less than six years of age, had witnessed the killing and spent the night all alone. An inquest and investigation began and after several days evidence came up that caused the arrest of Noah Cherry, Bob Thompson, Harris Atkinson and Jerry Cox. They were put on trial and Jerry Cox turned state evidence. Thompson, Cherry and Atkinson were convicted and Sheriff D. A. Grantham hung them all three at the same time. Cox, who turned states evidence was afterwards arrested in Halifax County, I believe, and put in jail and he set fire to the building and was burned to death. Old Noah Cherry (and I expect the other two) were buried just south of the residence of Leslie Weil and A. A. Joseph's and near Mr. Traylor's house. A negro grave yard was started there just after the war, the land at one time belonged to Judge Robinson. Some of the negroes used to say old Noah could often be seen over there at times.
A friend reminded me a few days ago of an incident that I had entirely forgotten. It occurred in 1860 under the old car shed. Blount King and James T. Hamilton were about to engage in a fight. John R.
Smith was engaged to Hamilton's sister and quite naturally he went between King and Hamilton to keep them apart. Just as he stepped in, Hamilton attempted to draw his pistol and in some way the weapon went off, the ball striking Mr. Smith in the instep. He cried out he was shot and a number of us who were looking on took John up and carried him to the office of Dr. Davis, he complained that he was bleeding to death and could feel the hot blood in his boot. John's boot was pulled off and out dropped the ball, but there was not a sign of blood anywhere. The only sign on his foot was a dark bruised spot where the ball struck.
At August Court 1851 (the first term held in Goldsboro) Mr. W. B. Edmondson had just discontinued his turpentine distillery which stood near where is now the residence of Rev. S. H. Isler, and there was a big open well on the lot uncovered. On Monday morning of Court, Black Bill Smith, Elijah Cotton, Alfred Ham and Benj. Ellis all came to town together and tied their horses to trees not far from the open well.
After tieing them Black Bill turned to the other three and said: “Boys, we will all be drunk tonight when we start home, and if you are not careful some of you will fall in that well.” They did not get together when they started home. So just after dark old man Cotton started for his horse, forgetting all about the well and he walked headlong into it, the water being six or eight feet deep, but mischievous boys of the town had thrown old logs and stumps in the well and by clinging to them there was not much danger of drowning. Old man Cotton said that he had succeeded in getting a log under each arm so as to keep afloat when ker-chug went the water and he had company by someone else falling in, and as the new comer struck the water he sang out, “In the well by God.”
Cotton recognized the voice and said, “Is that you Black Bill?” Bill replied yes and asked, “Is that you Elijah?” who promptly replied, “Yes, can you give me a chaw of tobacco?”
Together they set up a yelling which after awhile was heard by an old negro Ennis Lane who was passing and who after learning their situation started off for an axe to cut a pole to put in so they could climb out on it. Smith said old Ennis was gone so long after the axe that he came to the conclusion he had to go to old Waynesboro after it, but he finally came and cutting down a sappling dropped one end in the well and they succeeded in getting out.
On Boundary street opposite the residence where J. M. Grantham used to live stands an old two story frame building that used to stand on James street near the corner of James and Boundary. It was built pretty soon after Goldsboro came into existence and was called the Battle house, and sixty years ago it was said to be haunted, that when not occupied it was no unusual thing for a light to be seen in the upstairs windows on the south end. I heard old aunt Chelly Langston say that on one or more occasions she was with parties who went there to investigate the strange light but they could never discover any haunts. And it was finally decided that the lights only appeared on nights when room number fifteen in the Borden Hotel was occupied and it was supposed to be the reflection of light from room fifteen that shone in the window of the Battle house.
I read in the New York World some days ago, that there remained only fourteen log school houses in New York.
I would be glad to know how many there are yet in N. C. I hardly think there are many.
I doubt not that some of the brainiest men this country has ever produced received their early education in log school houses. These houses had what was known as dirt chimneys, and a door in each side, that had to stand open to give light, for none of them had a window. The fire place would easily burn four foot wood and in cold weather rousing fires were kept going. At the back end a log was sawed out and a plank with hinges was attached to the log above the crack. This plank would be let down to keep the wind out, but raised to give light to the pupils when doing their writing lessons. The desk was a wide dressed plank arranged just
under the crack so that the light from the opening would shine on the desk. The pens were all made of goose quills, and an applicant for teacher who did not own a pen knife and know how to make a quill pen stood very poor show of getting a school. He must not only be able to make a pen, but also how to repair one.
In those days there were but few churches in the county (I mean the rural district) and these had preaching only a month. I remember Salem, Ebenezer, Fork Chapel, Stoney Creek, Smith's Chapel, Hood Swamp. Falling Creek, Indian Springs, Pleasant Grove, Thompson's Chapel, Hill's School House, Providence and Nahunta.
There were but few educated ministers. Most all were poor hard working men, who toiled on their farms and preached on Sunday's, often walking several miles to fill an appointment.
They were consecrated men going abiut doing the Master's work without money and without price.
These Godly men did a great work—the Lord blessed their labors—and the effect of their work performed so many years ago is visible today.
Among those that I now recall was John Smith, Thos. Moores, Shade Pate, Morris Howell, Council Scott, Wm. Vernon, Ransom Rose, Curtis Hooks, Elisha Holland, Dickinson [illegible text] [illegible text] H. Miller and J. R. Parker.
D. F. McKinne and Richard Rayner were cattle dealers. They used to buy up nearly all the fat cattle in the county and ship or drive them to Wilmington.
I am very sure there is but one fence standing in Goldsboro that was here at the beginning of the war. The Yankees destroyed nearly all of them, what few they left have rotted. The fence I speak of is the iron one around the Pridgen property next to the Catholic church.
The late W. T. Dortch had it put up I think in 1859. I know I was clerk under J. G. Parker in the A. & N. C. office the latter part of ’59 and the early part of ’60, and while I was there I attended to the unloading of the fence.
Only a year or two ago there were several panels of a wood fence standing at old Everettsville that I was told was built by D. B. Everett in 1858 and when I saw it last the pickets appeared to be sound.
Two of the greatest fishermen that I remember in my young days was old uncle Josiah Gardner, grandfather of Elder J. W. Gardner. He lived about one mile and a half from Rouse's mill, near Thompson's Chapel, and when the weather was good there were very few days that he could not be seen wending his way to the pond with his big roach gourd and poles. By the way what has become of that breed of gourds? I never see any of them now.
The old man was a little palsied and he trembled in his hands just enough to attract the fish to his bait. The other fisherman referred to was Kinchen Best who did his fishing in Wm. Sherrard's two ponds.
Old man Isaac Wise was a noted squirrel hunter. He always had from three to five dogs. He wore long hair and beard and I used to imagine he favored Daniel Boone.
There lived in Goldsboro for many years an odd character. This was Dock Holland. No one who ever met him will forget him. His education was limited and with him like it is with the rest of us who are in the same condition, it proved a drawback.
He had a careless unconcerned air about him that was refreshing. He was full of quaint sayings, had apt illustrations and he had plenty of good hard horse sense, ready wit, and cheek to beat the band.
Dock was always a Republican, but took great delight in cussing them. He said it was a sacred duty he felt called upon to perform, to curse the party and vote the ticket. He said he could think of only one thing that he had more disgust for than he did for a carpet bagger, and that was a Yankee school marm who came down south to teach a negro school.
He never let an opportunity pass to play a prank on some one—he just took a delight in it.
One of his near neighbors was Richard Brown, who was a great smoker and always had his short stem pipe along.
One summer evening about dark Dick took his water bucket and went across the street to Dock's to
get a bucket of cool water as Dock's well was a very good one.
Passing on through the yard to the pump he filled his bucket and started back. As he came through the front yard Dock was on the piaza steps pulling off his shoes He asked Dick to sit down and talk awhile. Dick set the bucket on one of the steps and sat down, and taking his pipe out filled it leisurely, and struck a match to light it, when by the light of the match he saw Dock just finish washing his feet in his bucket of water. Dick asked Dock what he meant by washing his feet in his water bucket, when Dock replied, “Hell fire Dick, is that your bucket? Why I am sorry. If I had known it was yours I would not have washed but one foot in it.”
Speaking of eating in those days, why a boy of this day would think he had struck the happy land of Canaan if he could sit down to an old fashioned reaping dinner. No threshers then, the wheat was cut with scythes toted by men to the wheat bed, which was something like a circus ring and the grain trodden out by horses; and the dinner! Well, to begin with, there were one or more pigs barbecued, and they were barbecued right, kept on the coals for eight or ten hours and basted with red pepper and vinegar; then a big wash pot, holding two bushels was put on the pot rack, (no cook stoves in those days) and ten or a dozen fat spring chickens cleaned, then the pastry was made, the only thing put in the flour was salt and hog fat; no Horsefords bread preparation about this; the pastry dough was kneaded by hand for nearly an hour; the sides of the pot plastered with this pastry, then a layer of chicken put in the bottom, butter and pepper to suit; then a layer of pastry and so on, until the pot was full; then a mansard roof made of the pastry, covered the top of the pot and a skylight cut in the roof for the seasoning to bubble out, cooked slowly for about three hours, and you had chicken stew worth eating, and as a desert you had old time pound cake—and last, but bless you, by no means least, came Huckleberry pie.
The country did not away back in the early days of which I write, have many stores. A great deal of trade was done with the peddlers. These men carried a small stock of dry goods and notions about the country in wagons, and did a thrifty business. Among the first of these of which I have any recollection was Alex Strouse, father of Gus and Morris Strouse, who merchandised in Goldsboro from 1869 to 1890. Alex came to Wayne county about 1846, and for about three years he boarded at my father's, near Thompson's Chapel, and kept his goods there. He would fill his wagon on Monday morning and start out through the country peddling, generally returning on the next Saturday evening to replenish his stock. He left here about 1849, but before leaving he brought his brother Henry and installed him in the business. He also kept his goods at my father's. He quit peddling about 1851 and began the dry goods business in Goldsboro. After him, came Henry Oettinger, who also boarded and kept his goods at my father's. He gave up the business about 1855 and he and Morris Frankford started business in Goldsboro in a building that stood just where H. Weil & Bros. stores now stand. Frankfort did not I've long after beginning business in Goldsboro, but Mr. Oettinger continued the business, I think, until the breaking out of the war. I believe that the late Herman Weil was working with him when he volunteered in the Confederate Army. Old man Joseph B. Berger, father of N. B. Berger of Pikeville, was another peddler for quite awhile, and he was the only one I ever knew who quit the business and settled down to farming. Mr. Berger made a good soldier during the war. After it was over, he came to Goldsboro and lived here until his death several years ago.
In those days such a thing as meal being brought here from Petersburg or Richmond was unknown. Wayne county raised its own grub. Now two-thirds of the meal consumed in Wayne county is store meal. I don't know how many water mills there are now in the county, but I am sure not half as many as there were sixty years ago. Wm. Rouse had two, Kitchen Smith, one; Wm. Sherard, two; Wm. Ward, one; P. L. Peacock, one; Robt. Peele,
one; Elijah Bizzell, one; J. R. Parker, one; N. B. Stevens, one; Richard Raynor, one; Raiford Hooks, one; Wm. Exum, one; Samuel Perkins, one; besides several others that I do not recall. This was a wheat raising county, there being very few farmers who did not raise sufficient wheat for their family use.
The first cook stove I ever saw was in 1850. My father bought one and it was the only one in that neighborhood and was quite a curiosity, and nearly all the housewives close by came to see how it did its work, and I am sorry to say they went away with poor opinions of cook stoves. It would bake all right on the top but would not bake at the bottom. You had to turn the biscuit over to cook the bottom. My mother tried it for a few weeks and gave up in despair. It was taken down and stored away for two or three years, until they began to come more in use and people learned how to manage them, when it was brought out and installed again and did splendid work. The use of the damper with new beginners was an attachment they did not know how to manipulate. We had no store plows those days. The plow were all home-made by blacksmiths, and the stocks were made at home. The first store plow I ever saw was about 1850. The plow lines were made at home and the cotton of which they were made was carded and spun by hand at home on the old fashion spinning wheel. I doubt not but that one of those wheels now at work would be a great curiosity. I doubt if there is a child in Goldsboro Graded school today that ever saw one in use. Nearly all the clothing, both cotton and wool, was spun and woven at home; and we had some right pretty clothes, too. Writing of this recalls an incident in which I figured rather more prominently than I cared to. My mother wove a nice piece of cloth out of which I was to have a Sunday suit of clothes. Getting it ready, she sent me with it to Goldsboro to get old Capt. Philips to cut it for me. I was just about nine years old and at that time claw hammer coats and tight leg pants, worn with straps, under the shoes was the great fad for grown men. My mother intended for Capt. Philips to cut the suit such as boys of my age wore, the coat being what was known as a “Robin,” but on the way to Goldsboro, or rather as I came into town, I saw a stylish dressed young man, with his claw hammer coat, etc., and right then and there I determined to have such a suit, so I went to Capt. Philips and told him what I wanted. He very properly remonstrated with me; told me it was unsuited and that he knew my mother would be displeased, but I persisted and finally he cut the suit as I wanted it, and when I got home and my mother undid them and saw the way they were cut, it is useless to say there was a mad woman. She was going to whip me, but my father said no; that was not the way to punish me, but to make them and make me wear them. The news about my new suit soon spread over the neighborhood and everybody got to laughing about the way I would look with them on, they made the thing appear so ridiculous that I became thoroughly disgusted before the time came to wear them, and when the time did come, it required my father to stand by with a switch in his hand before I would even consent to put them on. There was a big meeting at Hood Swamp church that Sunday, and they forced me to go there that day with that suit on. I never suffered as much mortfication one day in my life, and I don't remember ever wearing the suit again; but I would give most anything if I only had that little old suit of clothes now to look at. There used to be some pretty bad boys around Goldsboro then, and they had mighty little use or respect for a boy from the country. You let a little country dressed, freckled face, barefooted, one gallus boy come to town and they were on to him at once. They would knock off his hat, throw dirt on him, spin tops at his barefeet. I tell you the country boy had a hard time. A year or two ago, speaking of my experience along this line. Judge Robinson came up and after listening awhile he let in and told some of his experiences with this same gang when he was a barefooted boy living in the country on Tara Farm and I found our experiences were very much alike. My old and highly esteemed friend
Geo. E. Taylor, I used to think in them days, was one of the worst boys I ever saw. He was sort of a leader of the town gang.
Before the war people raised hogs and hominy, and instead of farmers buying meat as they nearly all do now, almost every one had meat to sell, and not only meat, but corn and fodder.
Truck farming was unknown around here, and I never saw a cultivated strawberry until about 1870. Davis and Cloud, from Philadelphia, I think, rented land on Jumping Run and planted about thirty or forty acres in berries; then others went into the business and it has always paid. The sections around Mount Olive began it about twenty years ago, and the place has been improving fast ever since, and the town today owes its prosperity and growth to the fact that it went into the trucking business and went out of the whiskey business. I have yet to see where whiskey has ever helped any place or any people except those engaged in it. Goldsboro would have been far better off if it had gone out of the business twenty five years ago. This place has never grown as rapid as it ought to, taking into consideration its geographical location and being a railroad center. The railroads have never given it the benefits it was entitled to by reason of its location. Col. L. W. Humphrey, while president of the A. & N. C. R. R. in the seventies, was the only railroad manager who seemed to recognize what the town was entitled to in the way of reduced rates. I remember when he hauled cotton from here to Norfolk for one dollar per bale while the A. C. L. and R. & D. railroads were charging one dollar and seventy-five cents, and gave a corresponding decrease in rates on merchandise coming from Northern markets here.
My esteemed friend D. E. McKinne, of Princeton, sent me a a memorandum regarding the Cox family of the south side. He is better posted about them than I am so I write it as he gave it to me, which is as follows:
He says John Cox, who was great grandfather to Julius and Marshall Cox and George Parker, was a very large and fleshy man and his wife a large woman. The family numbered fourteen and only one of them weighed less than two hundred pounds. And six of them, three men and three women weighed over two thousand pounds. One of the sons Wm. Cox was the largest man that ever lived in Wayne County except the late James F. Jones, brother of Dr. Jones, who himself is no baby.
Writing last week of the old Griswold Hotel has caused me to think of another man who while having nothing to do with the hotel, was in my opinion almost a part of it.
I allude to old man Barna Daniel and his gray mule and cider wagon. He began peddling cider here before the war and continued during that time. But it was after the war that I remember him best. He bought an old ambulance which he used to haul in. He drove a gray mule and always had a certain place under two elms that stood in front of the hotel for his stand, and during cider season, it had to be very bad weather if nine o'clock in the morning did not find him on hand. He would stand there all day puffing his short stem pipe.
He paid for a fine farm this way.
Parna was an uneducated man, but he was a good citizen, a Christian gentleman and was universally respected.
After the fall of New Bern in March 1862 Goldsboro filled up with refugees, many of them remaining here until the close of the war and some are still here. Among the families that came I remember the following:
J. D. Whitford, W. G. Hall, W. C. McMackin, W. C. Whitford, Israel Disoway, C. S. Primrose, J. B. Hughes, Mrs. Tolson, Mrs. Hunt, J. W. O'Neal, Mrs. Bryan, Sam Hunter, Nat Gaskill, S. R. Stret and W. H. Harvey. In the summer and fall of ’65 several of the old merchants resumed business and some new ones opened up. I remember A Day, A. H. Keaton, J. H. Privett, Lovett Louis, S. R. Street, W. H. Hunnicutt, R. D. Holt, Washington and Powell, H. Weil & Bros., W. S. Keaton and some few northern men. Among them I remember Grant and Turtellott, Lord and Palmer, Bones & Son and Campbell & Co.
1865 was the best crop year I ever saw; it looked like all crops grew
without any trouble, and in many places where the army and the stock had been fed, corn came up and people would chop it out to a stand, and many a barrel was raised that way. It was a splendid year for fruit and lots of families in the county managed to subsist upon provisions bought with the fruit sold. There was several hundred soldiers stationed here and the farmers found ready sale among them for their spare fruits.
Prices of provisions were high; sugar was 25 cents per pound, flour twelve to fifteen dollars per bbl., coffee 25 to 40 cents, and kerosene oil 75 cents per gallon, but when a person could get anything to do wages were very good.
In December 1862 Gen. Foster, of the Federal army, left New Bern with an army of more than 15,000 men for the capture of Goldsboro. They came via White Hall.
There was some firing between them and our forces, who met them at the railroad beyond Neuse River (A. C. L.) bridge. They drove our forces back and burned the bridge. Our loss was 20 killed and 107 wounded.
After burning the bridge they suddenly fell back, retreating towards New Bern and during this time several thousand more troops arrived at Goldsboro, but no effort was made to follow them or to intercept them at Kinston, which could easily have been done, as there was ample transportation to have put the troops in Kinston during the night.
About two years ago an ex-Federal soldier from Massachusetts was in Goldsboro and expressed a desire to go out to the scene of the engagement, having belong to Foster's Command. I rode out with him, and I asked him why they left so sudden, and his reply was: We were entirely out of ammunition. Said they did not have a round to the man, and said they expected nothing else but capture. He said if 2,500 men had been thrown ahead of them at Kinston, they could have captured the whole 15,000 Federals.
No other attempt was made to take Goldsboro until March 1865, when Schofield and Sherman came The railroad, and the covered bridge and were both burned then by our forces, and my recollection is that is was two or three years before the county or covered bridge was rebuilt. A ferry was run during the time, and when the water was low some crossed by fording.
I remember a joke that it was said that N. B. Stevens told on old man Fred Grantham. Both are dead, and the county had no better citizens. Mr. Grantham was fond of his dram and sometimes would take too much; during the time the bridge was down he came in his cart to town one day, and took a little too much, and in going home in fording the river he missed the track and got in deep water and he and his horse came near being drowned. The old man thought it was time to ask the Lord for help and in his prayer he promised if rescued he never would drink any more, but he was thoughtful enough to make a sort of reservation to his promise by adding, except for snake bites.
Sometime after this Mr. Stevens was passing Mr. Grantham's and saw him ahead of him in the road going into each jam of the fence running his foot among the weeds. Stevens rode up and says, “Fred, what in the world are you doing.” He replied, “Needham, when I was in the river I promised the Lord never to drink any more, except for snake bites, and I am looking for a small snake to bite me.”
Some one asked him how deep, the water was when he came so near drowning. He replied, “It was waist deep and deeper too.”
Wayne County has always had a large Quaker population, and take them as a whole, no better class of citizens can be found. There is the Perkin's, Pike's, Edgertons, Moore's, Jinnett's, Overman's, Kennedy's, Pearson's, Cox's, Massey's, Granthams’, and one branch of the Hollowell's and others that I do not now recall.
I regret that I did not write these reminiscenses a few years sooner, while Everett Smith was living, so that I might have had the benefit of his memory, for he was doubtless the best posted man on ante Bellum times in Wayne County, and took a great delight in telling about them. For an old man who had been away for a long time his memory about the county was wonderful.
He had for years lived in South Dakota, and during his last visit here, four or five years ago, and during which visit he fell on sleep. I spent many a pleasant afternoon sitting on the old Mayor's office piaza on Walnut street and listening to him tell of his early recollections of the county.
Goldsboro has had several what might be termed big fires, but I doubt if it has ever had one of that class that was not a benefit to it. In almost every case, better and more commodious buildings have followed. The last big one was in the fall of 1884. It began about where H. & M. L. Lee did business on Walnut street, burning both sides to West Center South on that street to Weil Bros. alley, and north to Dixon's Novelty store. The loss was between eighty-five and one hundred thousand dollars.
Adjusters from the different fire insurance companies were here in a few days looking after the interest of their companies. A half dozen of these fellows were in the office of the Humphrey house a night or two after reaching here, being engaged in writing back the cause of the fire and on finishing each read the report he had made to his company, some of them covering a page or two. After awhile one of them, a sandy headed Irishman, read his report (and it struck me he had explained as fully as any of them) which was as follows:
Small boy, cigarette, high wind, and no water.
If there had been a supply of water this fire could have been extinguished before the loss exceeded one thousand dollars.
The city owned our present fire engines, but for water depended upon cisterns dug in the ground, and yet with this experience it was seven years before water works were put in, and when a year or two after the fire an effort was made for water works, it was opposed. Up to the installation of sewerage the town had never issued any bonds, these being issued in 1898.
After the war Goldsboro was slow to establish manufacturies of any kind. Weil Bros. started a brick yard pretty soon and are running it yet.
The first effort in the way of a planing mill was begun about 1880 by R. M. Johnson. This was a very small affair and was on the corner of James and Chestnut street where Sasser & Gurley keep. This was followed a year or two later by the Enterprise Lumber Company on the corner where the ice factory stands.
Early in the eighties Joseph Strauss and J. J. Street, from Orangeburg, S. C., came here and erected a rice mill, the same that is now run by the Carolina Rice Mill Co. They soon added a lumber and dry kiln plant.
Dewey Bros. Machine Shops, Oil Mills, Agricultural Works, Furniture Factory, Ice Factory, and Mattress Factory soon followed. Grant's Brick Yard anti dated all these enterprises except Weil's Brick Yard, and water works by private ownership a few years later, these two plants being purchased by the City in 1902.
The first tobacco warehouse was built in 1895. We have three now.
Out postoffice has almost been run on wheels. It was first opened, after the war, just north of the ice factory; then moved to a building near Weil's store; then to a building where Miller's gallery stands; then to the room where Hill's drug store is; then to the room now Cohen's beef market; then to the Arlington Hotel; then to the Faircloth building; then to its present commodious quarters, owned by the United States Government, and where it is likely to remain.
From 1871 to 1909, we were without any passenger shed, and there were interested property owners who insisted, every time a move was made for a shed, that Goldsboro had as convenient a passenger station as could be found anywhere. Well, it is true there was no complaint for lack of room, nor height of roof, but in rainy weather it would leak. But, then, passengers could lounge around in stores and prviate residences while waiting for trains, and if they were within a square of the ticket office and not entirely deaf, there was no occasion (up to a few years ago) for them to get left.
Everybody twenty years old will remember hearing Silah Herring out on the track hollow, “Railroad!” Silas was a pretty full-blooded African. I am satisfied there was no
flaw in his pedigree. His mouth, when open, reminded one of the Cumberland Gap, and his voice would drive any megaphone out of business. He always heralded the coming of the trains by yelling “Railroad!” He was always on hand for a job to carry a grip for you, and to drum for negro boarding houses. He tackled Judge Hoke (who is not a blond) on his first visit here. Silas thought he was a light-skin colored man, and was about to start with him to Capp's colored boarding house. Silas went to Charlotte once on a three days’ excursion. Said he carried his rations for three days. This was three 5-cent watermelons.
There is, so far as I know, only one case in this county where a father and son were both in the Confederate army and are both living; but Col. J. T. Kennedy and his son, Dr. J. B. Kennedy were both in the Confederate army and are both living, the Colonel being eighty-four, and while he is partially paralyzed, his mind is as bright and he is as fond of a joke as ever he was. I was out in the country to see him about two weeks ago and he laughed heartily after telling me about a turkey red suit of clothes his mother made for him when a boy. He loves to talk about his fox-hunting days before the war.
There are certain family names in Wayne county that to mention one of them you locate them at once in a certain section of the county, but that the great body of people of that name are in a certain portion of the county. For instance, if one mentions the Aycock's, or Barnes’, old residents naturally think of the Fremont section; if of Martin's, Loftin's, Barfield's, Hatch's or Kornegay's one thinks of the Mount Olive section; if of the Uzzells, Casey's, or Ivey's, you think of New Hope; if Parks’, Gardner's, or Britt's you think of Saulston; if of Pate's, Lancaster's, or Combs’, you look to Stoney Creek; if Edgerton's, Pike's, or Holland's, then to Great Swamp; if Howell's, Rose's, or Sasser's, to the Fork section; if Grantham's, Cogdell's, or Cox's, then to Grantham's township; but when the Smith's and Jones’ are mentioned, you are balked.
There has been great changes in the rural districts in the country. Whole scopes of country that twenty to thirty years ago were in woods, is now under cultivation. Take the road from Salem to the County Home, from Goldsboro to old Nahunta Church; from old Saulston Cross Roads to Patetown and the old Slough Mill, the land has very largely been cleared, and the same is true in nearly every part of the county. It shows progress in its march removes many an old landmark. I was noticing only a few days ago that an old big oak near S. W. Isler's residence had been taken down. It had stood the storms of centuries, perhaps, but it was in the way and had to go. I remember the big sycamores that stood at Summerlin's and the National Bank corners. These were planted by J. W. Ezzell, nearly sixty years ago. Like old people, they were in the way of progress and removal became necessary. And the filling up of the old Centennial well—that was not so old, but it had done a power of good in its time.
Our first cotton factory was built about 1900 or 1901, by a Northern man named Jacocks. It was not a large one and he stocked it with old out-of-date machinery and the thing proved a failure. He went busted and returned home.
Writing a week or two ago of fishermen in the county, I neglected to mention a few others of Goldsboro of a later date than Gardner and Best. These were Dick Harrison, Richard Brown, John Edwards, Joe Sauls, Sam Draper and Larry Bass. The three last named are still living. Old man Harrison preferred to do most of his fishing on Sunday, always insisting that fish bit better on Sunday than any other day.
Goldsboro has had two dreadful railroad accidents, that of the killing of Chas. E. Nelson in 1875, and Miss Rosenthal, in 1887.
Berry Parks and Bob Hooks are the principal fox hunters in the county now, and when they get to bragging with each other about their hounds and the foxes caught, they can tell a heap bigger lie than Tom Kennedy or Daniel Hood could have ever got off, even with Bill Rose and Joe Ingram to have aided them.
Dropping in a few days ago to see my old friend L. D. Giddens, who was ailing somewhat, and talking of old times, he said the old stage road from New Bern used to pass through his lot. That there were evidences on the lowed end of the lot of the old road having run there, and said he had been told that the drivers used to water their horses from the walled well that stands in his front yard.
As long ago as I can remember, I used to hear of old lady Polly Ellis, an aged, wrinkled white woman who lived in the Webbtown section. Some people said she was a witch, but I guess she knew very little about witchcraft Some one asked her once if she really was a witch, and her reply was that in her young days, when she was pretty, she was pretty, she could bewitch the young men and make them love her.
Speaking of Webbtown, I was over in that part of the city a few days ago and had the pleasure of talking awhile with my esteemed friend and fellow citizen Devereaux Creech. He is 78 years old and is one of the seven men who were living in Goldsboro in April, 1861, and still living here. He has been a merchant all his life and has been one-armed ever since I have known him (over fifty years), but with one hand he can weigh and wrap up ten cents worth of snuff as quick as most men could do it with both hands. Webbtown was named for the late Silas Webb, known as “Boss,” who settled over there away back in the early fifties, and lived there until the completion of the A. & N. C. R. R., then removed to Morehead City and afterwards represented Carteret County in the Legislature. There was only about a half dozen families over there then, but of late years, since it was taken in the corporate limits, it has grown rapidly and is now quite a village of itself and constitutes the Fourth Ward of the city. There is one peculiarity about the Webbtown voter; as a rule they all vote one way.
They are slow to make up their minds,
But made up, they go it blind.
They are almost solidly Democratic and we used to call it the Tammany Organization, and Bill Sugg used to be known and respected as the John Kelly of the wigwam, but for the past few years Bill, who is getting along in years, has not been so active in politics as he once was, but he is still an active member of one of the military companies. I remember during 1900, just before Aycock was nominated for Governor, of writing some verses on Webbtown and Bill Sugg, which ran something like this:
- Webbtown whoops for Aycock
- ’Til it's give its throat a strain,
- But gargled well with virgin dip
- And is whooping fresh again;
- And it's going to keep on whooping
- ’Till he gets the right of way—
- Then go to voting and never stop
- Until night of election day.
- Webbtown claims him as her son,
- And Webbtown's always right:
- It can always be depended on
- In a hard political fight.
- For clear-cut, straight majorities,
- Old Webbtown beats the best;
- Let the Chairman press the button
- And Bill Sugg will do the rest.
Mr. W. D. Creech seems to be the Grand Sachem over there of late years and he makes a good one, judging from the way the voters still stick together. Webbtown is settled almost exclusively by laboring men, nearly all the employees of the Wayne Agricultural Works, the Goldsboro Oil Mills, the Enterprise Lumber Co., and the Goldsboro Furniture Factory residing there. There are four or five stores over there and two white churches. Any man who is “looking trouble” can always get accommodated when he reaches Webbtown and attempts the “bully” act.
I have had occasion the past week to go over the entire territory of the city and the outskirts beyond the city limits. There are certain section that are building up right fast, notably in Park Heights quarter, and in West Goldsboro, or Borden's bottom, in the neighborhood of the new union depot. There is, too, considerable improvement being made to property in West Little Washington just outside the corporation. Edmundsontown, Bellevue, and Greenleaf all seem to be moving along, Mr. J. C. Bardin having
just recently put in a grist mill at the latter place.
If Goldsboro and her suburban territory ever fills up, it ought to have a population of fifty thousand. Who knows but the voting for bonds on the 14th may set the ball rolling.
I was interested very much in reading the letter of Mr. Bill Bonitz in the last week's issue of the Record. Mr. Bonitz has a fresh memory of the stirring times from 61 to ’65. The younger generation never will know the suffering and hardships borne by the soldiers in the field, and the women and children at home during that four years, nor the terrible devastation and heart-rending desolation that met the eyes of the paroled soldier when he returned. Pen nor tongue cannot describe it. It had to be seen and felt to be realized, and the humiliation and oppression that followed during the period of so-called reconstruction are so revolting to memory as to bring shudderings of horror to the stoutest heart when avenues of thought compel us to was under Republican rule, and review them in restrospection. This with a knowledge and recollection of all these things, Mr. Taft says the South ought to vote the Republican ticket.
I do not recall my having written anything of our graded school, that is getting old enough now to be written about. It was started in ’79 or ’80, I am not sure which. The first principal was Prof. E. P. Moses, who I believe is at the head of the graded schools in Raleigh now. I think there was five or six teachers and perhaps three hundred or three hundred and fifty pupils. Among the first teachers I recall how was Mrs. Humphrey, Mrs. Craton, Misses Mary Carroll and Olivia Millard. It was one among the first graded schools started in the state and has always ranked high. Dr. Curry gave it very high endorsement. The people of Goldsboro and the township have always taken much interest in the school. Soon after it was started, there was some trouble one year about the tax levy, and there was no tax paid that year for the school. The chairman of the board of trustees, the late Julius A. Bonitz, together with a few others who had always been workers for the school, made a canvas of the town and took subscriptions enough to keep the school going that session. Mrs. M. O. Humphrey is the only teacher who has been with the school from its first day to the present. Among the principals it has had were Professors Moses, Alderman, Howell, Joyner, the two Foust's, Brooks, and Woltz. The number of pupils have about trebled. Long may it live and prosper, for it has been the means of an education to scores of poor children who without it would probably never had much.
What a change fifty years has wrought! Of course, it is only we old people who can see and realize it. I am confident there were, if any, less than a half dozen daily papers in the State. The first I remember was the Wilmington Journal, by Fulton & Price. I am not sure it was running as a daily in ’59. I know it was in ’61. The Weekly Journal, by Fulton & Price; the N. C. Standard, by W. W. Holden; Fayetteville Observer, by E. J. Hale; and the Charlotte Democrat, (I think it was called), by W. J. Yates, were the most prominent papers in the State, the Standard wielding great influence and did more to bring on secession than any other paper in the State.
In those days country people had to come many miles to the towns on Saturday to get their mail. There were very few country post-offices and these few had mails only once a week. The rural districts were but thinly settled. Some wealthy farmers would own two or three thousand acres of land, and the only persons living on all of these acres would be the family of the owner and his slaves. The latter lived in cabins built in a group not far from the “Big House.” The death of a prominent person, or a crime might occur in one portion of the county and not be known for a week in another portion of the county.
If one will compare these conditions with those of to-day, with telephone lines throughout the country, with rural delivery daily in every section, and wireless telegraphy at sea, the changes seem marvelous, and add to this the great increase in educational facilities, it seems like we would have an exceedingly intelligent, moral, happy and contented population;
but such is not the case. Our court dockets are filled with cases for crimes and divorces and only this week I have seen young men who have just reached their majority, turned away from the registration books because they were unable to read and write, when for the past eight years they have had school facilities and been urged to prepare themselves for exercising the right of suffrage.
There is some excuse why we find middle-aged and old men who can neither read nor write, because in the long ago it was difficult for a poor boy to get even an old-field education, and I know whereof I speak; but with the advantages of today, there is no reasonable excuse that can be offered, and the young man who becomes of age now and is shut off from the ballot box has no one to blame but himself. I know of some young men who would not even avail themselves of the chance of registering under the Grandfather clause while they could do so.
Writing last week of old man Dick Harrison, the Sunday fisherman, a friend has just told me of a joke that was played on the old man one Sunday while fishing. Some young fellows who were seeking fun, found out Dick's favorite fishing hole, which was in Little river on the opposite side from Goldsboro, not far from the Smithfield railroad bridge. On Sunday morning they reached the spot ahead of Dick, and one of them climbed up an overhanging tree where he usually sat to fish, taking up the tree with him a rock weighing four or five pounds, while the others secreted themselves in the bushes nearby, waiting for the fun. It was not long before Dick arrived and soon was drowning a worm, but for some reason the fish didn't bite, which irritated him to the extent that he began using language that you will not find in the Sunday School lessons of today, in fact he was just literally making the air smell brimstonish with his profanity. At this juncture the man playing Zacheus dropped his rock in the river just about where Dick's cork with a mosquito hawk sitting on it lay still upon the water. The rock struck the water with a loud “ker chug.” Dick's pole dropped from his hand he leaped into the water, striking about ten feet from the bank, and he crossed the river quicker than a gasoline launch could have done, and when he scaled the banks on the side towards home, he was in a run and he pulled for town in a bee line. Paying no heed to broomsedges, briar patches, or drain ditches, he came at a rate that would have left Miss Claytor's “White Streamer” far in the rear. His gait, if it had been along the railroad track, would have made the telegraph poles look like a picket fence. Dick, in telling about it afterwards, said the only reason he did not come faster was because he could not fly. The distance covered was a long mile. He said he had no watch, but he thought he crossed the home base in about 2:18; that at any rate he ran so fast that the wind dried his clothing by time he reached home. But the scare did not last long; the joke was too good for the perpetrators to keep and Dick got on to it. The call of the river was too strong for him and he soon resumed his favorite avocation.
I was asked a few days since which was the oldest house now standing in Goldsboro. This was rather a stunner, and I had to ask for time to “think back” awhile. Now, there has been a good many buildings in Goldsboro that were erected no doubt many years before those I shall mention, but they have been torn down or destroyed by fire. After ruminating over the matter, as the late Bill Arp was wont to say, I conclude that this aged distinction would lie between four houses that I shall mention. One of them is a small house on Walnut street, just below the residence of Fred C. Overman, the building, just sixty years ago, 1849, stood on the hill where the residence of Stephen W. Isler now stands, and had no appearance then of being a new house. Another is a small building on Chestnut street, just in the rear of the Arlington Hotel. This was there at the same date, 1849, and looked to be a newer house that the first mentioned, or it may have had a more recent coat of paint. This house at that time belonged, if I mistake not, to the late G. A. Powell, (Gus.) Another is the old double-story building that now stands on Boundary
street, near the corner of James, and belongs to S. W. Isler. It originally stood on James street. This is the building about which I wrote some weeks ago, known as the Battle house, and away back in the fifties reputed to be haunted. The other is a building that stood on John street, between Beech and Boundary, owned by J. B. Bradford. This building originally stood upon or very near the spot on which the old freight depot of the A. & N. C. R. R. stands. The depot was built in the summer of 1857, and the house referred to was removed to its present site some time, (I don't know how long) before the beginning of work on that freight depot. It belonged to Mrs. Milly Langston, who, I think, was one of Waynesboro's first settlers and oldest citizens when it was the flourishing capital of Wayne county.
There is, or was, another building that I have just thought of. I am not sure it still stands; if so, it probably belongs to Dock Smith or Jno. R. Handley. It used to stand in a grove near where the brick store occupied by James Handley now stands, corner Pine and James streets, and was known as the Coor house. Calvin Coor, who was once sheriff of the county, lived in and may have erected it. Just before the war it was occupied by Rev. W. C. Hunter, who was the Episcopal preacher here at that time. The road to Waynesboro ran close by the house. It looked to be an old house the first time I ever saw it, which is more than sixty years ago; and it is possible that it may be older than either of the four I have named, but, as stated, I am not sure it is still standing and occupied as a residence. And in those that are standing I will venture the assertion that the framing is sounder right now and will last longer from now than any wood building that has been erected in Goldsboro in twenty years, and I venture to assert further, that if examined, every sill in these buildings was hewed with a broad-axe; that none of them were sawed, nor the sleepers, and I doubt if the studding was. And I would not be surprised if old man Reuben Thompson did the hewing, for he was following that trade when I first knew him, more than sixty years ago. He lived in Goldsboro.
The first military company I ever saw was in the Spring of 1858 at the big celebration held at New Bern in honor of the completion of the “Mullet” road. There was probably a half dozen companies there. Among them I remember the Hornets’ Nest Rifles from Charlotte. It was a big affair. The N. S. R. R. ran a train through from Charlotte loaded full, consisting of eight or ten coaches, and the W. & W. R. R. did the same from Wilmington. New Bern was a small town then and could not begin to furnish accommodations to the thousands who were there. The railroad authorities had the coaches opened and hundreds slept in the cars. The bridge across Trent river was the longest bridge I had ever seen.
The summer of 1853 was the dryest ever seen in this section. There did not fall enough rain from the 15th of May to the 4th of July to wet a person. It looked like a famine was coming. Prayer meetings were held to pray for rain, and on the 4th of July it came. It was a trash-lifter—a regular young flood; and after all, very good crops were harvested that fall. I remember a joke that was told on Rev. Shade Pate at one of these rain prayer meetings. It was held at old Nahunta church. Quite a crowd of the faithful had met and were sitting around in the grove discussing the drouth. Finally, one old brother said: “Well, brethren, we have met to pray for rain and I move that we go inside the church and begin;” and he called on Bro. Pate to open the meeting. Old man Shade rose up, cast his eyes around at the sky and said: “All right, brethren, we will go in and begin if you say so, but I will tell you right now it ain't gwine to rain until the wind shifts.”
And this reminds me of another story I used to hear on another Shade Pate who lived near where Greenleaf now is. I don't know what kin the two Shade's were, but presume they were some kin. There are five hundred Pate's in Wayne county, all good citizens, and I think they are all related. But to my story. It was away back in the late thirties, just after the W. & W. R. R. had been run past here. The trains ran very slow, but, using
hand brakes only, it took quite a distance to stop them. Old man Pate, with his horse hitched to the cart, started to cross the track at a woods path opposite Greenleaf, and when the cart wheels struck the iron the horse balked and refused to pull across. This left the horse standing right across the track. Pate looked towards town and saw the train coming. He tried the horse again, but the animal refused to move. He dropped his bridle, took off his old hat, took his bandana from the crown and started meeting the train, waving handkerchief and hat and yelling: “Stop that thing! Can't you stop that hell-fired thing?”
In writing about the election in 1848 in the county upon the question of removing the court house from Waynesboro to Goldsboro, which appeared in my article several weeks ago. I did not know then that the question had ever been submitted to the people before the time of which I wrote, but have since learned that it was voted upon in 1845 and defeated. Through the courtesy of my friend James M. Powell, I have been shown the official returns of that election. The paper on which the returns are written is a little yellow, but the writing is as plain as the day when written. The ink has not faded any in all these sixty-four years. The election was held on August 1st, 1845. Candidates for Congress from this district were voted for any candidates for Superior and County Court Clerks and Removal or No Removal. The Democratic candidate for Congress was James C. Dobbin, who was afterwards Secretary of the Navy in Pierce's Cabinet. A man named Haughton was the Whig candidate. W. K. Lane and Lemuel H. Whitfield were the candidates for Superior Court Clerk. John A. Green was the candidate for County Court Clerk. Benj. Aycock, while not running, received scattering votes. The following is the vote cast: Dobbin, 900; Haughton, 205; Lane, 652; Whitfield, 456; Green, 927; Aycock, 39; Removal, 117; No Removal 930. The voting districts were as follows: Waynesboro, Fork River, Boswells, Davis, Saulston, New Hope, Indian Springs, Buck Swamp, Cross Roads, and Black Creek. Of these districts only Fork, Saulston, New Hope and Indian Springs are now under their old names. Davis's was the section now known as Eureka. Buck Swamp was on the south side, in the Cogdell section. Cross Roads was at the Dr. Kirkpatrick place near Cox's bridge. Black Creek has since been cut off to form a part of Wilson county. I have not been able with any certainty to locate Boswell district. I wrote to my old friend W. R. Parker, at Raleigh, and he gives it as his opinion that it was part of the territory cut off with Black Creek, but my own opinion is that it covered the section running from Pikeville to the Johnston line, taking in what is now Buck Swamp, Great Swamp and Nahunta or Fremont. It will be seen that removal was unpopular, being beaten nearly eight to one, yet three years later, in 1848, it was carried, but I do not know by what majority. Goldsboro had been incorporated only a year when removal was first voted for. It was not out of its swaddling clothes, and had not had time to stretch itself and show its possibilities. But it took only three years to show its geographical advantage over old Waynesboro. It was a mile from the river bank and not subject to overflow as Waynesboro often did, had better water, and a railroad running through it, and the N. C. R. R. had already been chartered and the papers of that date were full of the project for a railroad from the seacoast to the mountains, or, to use the language of that day, a road from Beaufort to the Tennessee line. All this had a tendency to help Goldsboro, and it began to fill up with a class of good citizens, and from then until now Goldsboro has had a gradual but steady growth. It has always been a healthy place and never has had an epidemic. We sometimes have a few cases of small pox, diptheria and like diseasse, but they are soon over with.
There is a great many cities that are proud and boastful of their location for one reason or another. New Orleans and Memphis for being on the Mississippi River; Louisville for being on the Ohio; Richmond for being on the James; Baltimore on Chesepeake Bay; Wilmington on the Cape Fear, and so on. Now, Goldsboro lies within one
mile of both the Neuse and Little rivers, and it is not ashamed of either stream, but we are not basing the progress we have made upon the fact that we are near these streams, for if the place had to depend upon them for its transportation facilities and its fish, it would be rather a lame and uncertain dependence. So we are not foolishly proud of either stream. But outsiders must not infer from what I have written that the people of Goldsboro are opposed to waterways, navigation, and water transportation; and there is one stream that all our citizens are proud of—it is the “Big Ditch.” This popular stream has its starting point somewhere near the enterprising village of Greenleaf and runs from north to south through the entire length of the city. In its course through it is fed by the springs from Edmundsontown and the factory hills. After passing Park Avenue, the overflow from “Lake Weil” finds an outlet and adds its volume of water to the Big Ditch, while the water sheds of the eastern portion of the city contribute largely to its current in its slow winding flow to the Neuse, into which it empties one mile below the southwestern suburbs of the city.
With a liberal expenditure of money the Big Ditch could be made navigable for nearly its entire length through the city. I mean, of course, for small craft. The Cruiser North Carolina could hardly ascend it, as at times, in case of drouth, its water runs low; but for light draught canoes it would be navigable nearly all the time. I have always felt a great pride in our Big Ditch, and this feeling caused me some years ago to write some verses commemorative of the Big Ditch, which I will reproduce here:
- Some cities boast largely on what they have got,
- And smile in derision on town that have not
- So many fine buildings, and men that are rich,
- Goldsboro is not boasting, though it has the Big Ditch.
- Its banks are not covered with hickory and oak,
- But a bountiful growth of jimson and poke;
- On its slow-flowing waters swim the gander and drake
- And the weeks that spring up form the home of the snake.
- Four times it is spanned in its course through the town;
- You can cross at each place when the bridge is not down;
- Try which place you may, the near or the further,
- You will wish before you cross you had gone to the other.
- The children think the bathing as nice as can be
- Like the River of Life, its waters are free;
- ’Tis a favorite resort for the kids of the town,
- But, unfortunately, the water is too shallow to drown.
- And after a bath and the children get back,
- They are washed with Sapolio, to tell white from black;
- The complaints of a mother are not very mild,
- Who washes a dozen children to find her own child.
- And after a rain and its bank overflows,
- And the water recedes, it don't smell like a rose;
- But still it has a charm to beguile and bewitch,
- Goldsboro is not boasting, but is proud of the ditch.
I have read with interest my old friend Bill Bonitz's letter in last week's Record. He writes interestingly of that time. I did not witness the passing of the delegates to the Charleston Convention, and am glad he has given his recollection of what took place; but I will have to refresh his memory a little about two things he mentions. He says if the old registers of the Griswold and Borden hotels could be found, etc. He should have said Griswold and Baker hotels. Mrs. Borden had quit the hotel business several years before. Col. Baker was then running the house and sold out in the winter of ’60 to T. A. Granger; the other is that J. B. Whitaker did not organize his company until the 15th day of April, immediately upon the fall of Fort Sumpter. I was among those who joined the company that day and left a 3 o'clock
p. m. for Fort Macon.
I remember well when Moses, of South Carolina, came to Goldsboro and made his secession speech. There was other speeches on that day—one by young Schenck, who, after the war, became Judge Schenck, and was promoter of the Guilford Battle Ground Association.
Benj. F. Butler, in the Charleston Convention, voted one hundred and fifty-seven times for Jefferson Davis for President, and was one of the most prominent Democrats in Massachusetts, and had not developed then that hatred for the South that became such a ruling passion with him a year or two later, when he was in command at New Orleans, and issued his notorious order No. 28 in regard to the ladies of that place. And yet, as infamous as that order was, there arose in Goldsboro some years afterwards an apologist for Butler in an editorial that appeared in the “Goldsboro News,” the following being an extract from said editorial:
. . . . “Aye, and from our first hearing of Ben's adventures with the ladies of New Orleans, we tied to him right away. . . . And those who would reproach General Butler for his course in New Orleans knows but little of what belongs to either a soldier or a gentleman.”
Butler lived a long time after the war and was a member of Congress, and I believe he was elected Governor of Massachusetts one term; but he was most cordially hated in the South, and his infamy and the name “Beast Butler” followed him to the grave.
I hope Mr. Bonitz will give us more of his war-time recollections of Goldsboro. He was cognizant of much more that took place here during that four years than I was, for I spent only a few weeks here from April 15th, 1861, to January, 1865, when I was sent from Smithville to Goldsboro, on account of ill health, and was assigned to duty as clerk in Gen. L. S. Baker's office. I am sure there were many things that came under the eye of Mr. Bonitz that would be interesting to read. And there are others who could write along the line that I have followed in a way that all would enjoy reading, and I would be glad for some old citizen of the town or county to take it up.
I have about run out of material, and will very soon close, as I doubt whether events of a much later date than I have written of would be of much interest to many. Most people do not enjoy reading of things of a recent date that they are familiar with like they do of something that took place before their day and recollection.
When I began these reminiscences, I thought there might be twelve or fifteen columns of them. I expected to tell about all I could remember of the “old times” in that space, but I have stretched them out until more than twenty-five columns have been printed. And having exceeded so far what I first expected would be the length of them, the question has occurred to me if I was not in the position of a witness in court that I have heard of. He was put on the stand and gave his testimony. When through, the Solicitor asked him if he had told all he knew about the case then on trial, and the witness replied: “Yes, and a good deal more.”
I don't think I have done this, and think now if they were to write over agian I could enlarge upon almost everything I have written. In mentioning the names of the old citizens of the county which appeared in the early part of this writing, I could now give scores and scores of names that I have since thought of. I could name a few (but not many) more names of people who were living in Goldsboro at the beginning of the war; could give the street and residences of more of the citizens of the town than I did give; could give the names of more country churches and country preachers, and more of the political campaigns in the county; but perhaps I have given enough of all these. I have made a start along the line upon which I have written. I have tried to put the ball in motion. There are a few older men, both in the city and county, than I am, who, if they could be prevailed up, could write for publication their early recollections that I know well would be interesting reading, and thousands of our citizens would hail with delight such publication. A few years more and we old fellows will have “crossed over” and there will be no
one to tell of the old-time people—who they were, their mode of living, and the good or evil they did.
It is what is done and written about by one generation that becomes history for the next and following generations. I know full well that what I have written has not been as interestingly told as it could have been done by an abler pen. I don't know that it has been read or proved of interest to very many persons; but quite a number of people have thanked me for it and said they had enjoyed it very much, and I am glad to know that they have. This knowledge repays me (and it is all I get) for the time I have spent in the work. I had the time—more of that than anything else.
A history of Wayne County from its formation to the present, ought to be written; and I should be very glad to see the effort undertaken by some one who was fully competent for the work; one who has the time and patience for the research of old records necessary to make the early part authentic and old enough to write knowingly by personal knowledge and experience of the last fifty or sixty years. Such a book, well written, should be used by every public school in Wayne County, that the rising generation might know something of the history of the grand old county that they live in. A correct map of the county, drawn by a competent civil engineer, showing the lines of each township and the rivers and streams, pictures of public buildings, court house, jail, the different high schools and other public school buildings, might also find a place in it.
I believe that the County Commissioners might very properly make a liberal appropriation to—wards the expense of such a work, and it is probable that hundreds of our people would buy copies of it, which would go to increase the county appropriation.
This week will close my reminiscences, at least for the present. I may from time to time, as I find occasion, and some old time something comes to my mind, write more.
THE ENDBILL HOOGAN’ MULE
By J. M. Hollowell
- Bill Hoogen owned a gray mule
- Just twenty-one years old.
- Bill swore the mule was gentle
- And worth his weight in gold.
- Bill harnessed up that gray mule
- To come to town one day—
- Jack Collier's train was passing,
- And the gray mule ran away.
- The mule came tearing down the pike
- Like calvary in the war,
- And at a sudden curve he met
- A great big touring car.
- He struck the car square in front
- And busted every tire,
- The car went up clear out of sight
- I don't know how much higher.
- The broken fragments of that car
- For minutes kept coming down,
- But Hoogans and his gray mule
- Came jogging along to town.
- A courting pair were in the car,
- Filled with joy and mirth;
- They hardly ever knew just how
- They left old mother earth.
- The one who will find the lovers
- Can earn a right good pile;
- Hoogans keeps contending, though.
- They'll come down after awhile.
COMING OF THE YANKEES
(By J. M. HOLLOWELL)
Since I stopped writing of my early recollections of Goldsboro, I have been asked by some of the young folks why I did not tell more about the Yankee army coming to Goldsboro in 1865, and what they did, etc. And I have promised some of them to write a little along that line.
General Braxton Bragg was in command of the Confederate forces in this department. Goldsboro was the objective point of three federal forces, to-wit: General Sherman, on his famous march from Atlanta, was headed for this place, coming via Fayetteville; General Terry, from Wilmington, who was following pretty closely the line of the A. C. L. railway (then the old Wilmington and Weldon railroad), and General Schofield's army advancing from New Bern.
Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's army was in Sherman's front, slowly retreating. Terry's force was not very large, hence no great anxiety was felt on his account. The greatest immediate menace to the town appeared to be Schofield's forces from New Bern, hence Bragg threw the major part of his forces in front of Schofield below Kinston. This was about the middle of March. There were several days skirmishing near Southwest creek between Bragg and Schofield, Bragg capturing a thousand prisoners, but being largely outnumbered he gradually fell back, Schofield closely following him.
On Sunday, March 19, the battle of Bentonville was fought by Johnston and Sherman. All day at intervals the cannonading could be heard. The result of that battle hurried up the retreat of Bragg, otherwise he would have been prevented by Sherman from making a junction with Johnston. Bragg's army began evacuating the place on Tuesday morning, the 21st, and his rear guard passed out as Schofield's advance guard came in, there being some firing between them, though I don't think there were any casualties. Bragg fell back across Little River via Hooks’ bridge and halted near Walters.
The first I saw of Schofield's men was about three o'clock in the evening. They came marching in Boundary street, west, following the direction Bragg had gone. The Yankees had come in via Webbtown, and were all over town, the larger part being halted near Jumping Run. At the time of which I write nearly all the land now owned by J M. Grantham and the land where Bellevue is was in piney woods, and by dark all the space I have mentioned, including along where Griffin's mill stands, was ablaze with camp fires, as well as all the vacant lots in the northern section of town, and the tearing down of fences, barns, stables and outhouses could be seen and heard in every direction.
The building I occupied was near the corner of George and Boundary streets. When the first ones marched by two or three of the men opened the gate and came up on the piazza. They were partly drunk and asked for whiskey. They were told there was none there. By this time a mounted officer rode up hurriedly, and dismounting, ran into the piazza and ordered the men away, kicking one of them as he went out. The officer then asked if a guard was desired, and being answered in the affirmative, he immediately placed a guard at the gate. Pretty soon an officer came and said that Colonel Classen, of the One Hundred and Thirty-second New York regiment, wanted to occupy two rooms and the kitchen of the premises. Well, it is hardly necessary to say they occupied them; and I will do them the justice of saying that I never met a more gentlemanly behaved set of men than Colonel Classen and his staff.
On Thursday, the 23d, Sherman's army reached this place. I never
knew when Terry got here, nor do I know whether his army as a whole ever entered the town, or remained over in the Genoa section, but there was within a circle of five or six miles around Goldsboro, more than 100,000 Federal soldiers and Federal “bummers,” because they bummed under the protection of the Stars and Stripes. They pilaged the country for miles around; took what they wanted and destroyed what they did not want. Corn and fodder, meat and lard, hogs, cattle, chickens, geese, ducks, horses, buggies, wagons, everything was taken. They would go to a farm house, take the man's horses, hitch them to his wagon, load the last piece of meat or the last barrel of corn and drive off, and the owner, if he was wise, said nothing. I have seen these foraging gangs come in with beeves and hogs they had shot down, split in half undressed, strung across horses’ backs. Out at Dr. Goelet's place, near Walters, they took the doctor's carriage—a very fine old vehicle—and loaded his bacon into it and drove it to town.
These pilagings were mostly within a few miles of this place; they were dubious about going ten or fifteen miles off unless in heavy forces. There were scouting parties of Confederates who occasionally ran up with them, and when they did it was bad luck for the Yankees, and many a one went off who never returned. It was bushwhacking, in all the name implies. In some instances where a vehicle could not be brought off, they would take an axe and destroy it by chopping the spokes. All kinds of deviltry that a cool, shrewd, ingenious Yankee could invent was resorted to.
I heard of an old woman and several small children, from whom they took everything except a little meal and a jug of sorghum, and not content, they took quids of tobacco from their mouths and dropped in the jug. Just across the lattice bridge, it was said, they killed several hundred horses and mules which they had taken from the people.
In town, whenever the officers wanted quarters, they would simply go and tell the family the number of rooms they wanted; if there was room enough left for the family, all right, if not, they just had to double up and make out the best they could. While here Sherman occupied part of Mr. Richard Washington's house, Schoffield part of Mr. E. B. Borden's, Howard part of Mr. W. T. Dortch's, Blair part of Mrs. H. M. Dewey's, Slocumb part of Mrs. Alford's, Cox part of Mr. John Everett's and Logan part of Mr. J. C. Slocumb's.
All the stores were taken by the settlers and stocks opened up. The army was paid off while here, and the sutlers did a lively business. New clothing was issued to the troops, and wagon loads of old clothing were left in their camps and given away to the negroes, and for three or four years after the war you could see the negro men dressed up in blue—some with cavalry, some with artillery, and others with infantry stripes. I doubt if there was a half-dozen yard fences left standing in Goldsboro, unless where there was a guard.
A great many negroes from the country came to town and were fed by the army. There were but few men here, nearly all in the army. Those who were here were on their good behavior. Rations were issued by the army to a good many white people, some of them as good people as there was in the county. These people were forced by absolute necessity to ask for this help, as the army and “bummers” had stripped them of everything.
The great bulk of the negroes recognized freedom on sight, and availed themselves of their rights at once. Occasionally an old man or woman did not leave their late masters, and appeared willing to remain, but their owners had nothing for them to do, and still less to
support them on. There was, of course, some insolence shown by the negroes toward the white people, but not as much as might have been expected upon so great a changed condition, coupled with the bad advice given them by the Yankee soldiers.
As a whole I don't know but what we had little to complain of in the negroes’ behavior.
Next week I will tell of the doings of some of the soldiers and “bummers,” and the retribution that overtook them.WAR-TIME REMINISCENCES
By J. M. Hollowell
In writing last week of the depredations of the Yankee army, I stated that they were often run up with by scouting parties of Confederates.
A gentleman, as honorable and responsible as there is in the county and who was a member of one of these scouting parties, told me a short time since of an outrage, committed only a few miles from Goldsboro, that if I had ever heard of before, I had forgotten it.
He said that a white Yankee sergeant with six negro soldiers, went to the home of unprotected women and committed a crime; they were caught on the premises by Frank Coley and a squad of his men; the negroes were promptly shot dead in the yard, and the white sergeant, who begged piteously for his worthless life, was strung up by his heels to a tree, and his throat cut from ear to ear. This gentleman was not in Coley's squad but came upon the scene soon after this merited punishment had been administered to the white sergeant and his colored chums in crime.
This gentleman also told me about a gang of horse thieves who operated around here and in the eastern counties below here. It was a well organized gang, the head or leader was a Yankee named Tanner, he had relay stations for every twenty-five or thirty miles, at which some of the gang was always on hand. This gang was not composed entirely of Yankees, but a mean Southern man or two in each section, was taken into it. The line of stations or relays extended from eastern North Carolina through the mountains in Tennessee; their mode of operations was in this way: One or more horses would be stolen tonight around Goldsboro, early in the night. The men who stole them would carry them at once to the first station and deliver them there to the runners at that station, who would carry them to the next station, this being continued until their final destination was reached. The parties who stole them would return during the night and be on hand to tender their services to the losers of the stock, to help hunt for it, thus throwing off suspicion.
This stealing of horses was carried on for quite a while, but after so long, the leader and the route was discovered. Tanner found a burial place in a marl hole in Wayne county. It was pretty well known by a good many people who the undertaker was that officiated at Tanner's burial, and he was suspected by the Federal officers, and I believe was arrested at one time, but did not stay arrested, but made himself scarce around here until Andrew Johnson issued his amnesty proclamation. This undertaker afterwards lived for many years in Goldsboro, and died here fifteen or twenty years ago.
After the burial of Tanner, the horse stealing ceased. There are doubtless a few men in Wayne county today (I shall not call their names) who managed the moving of many a mule from the government stables of the Yankees during the summer and fall of 1865. These men ran them off and made sale of them with the consent of the officials in charge they sharing in the profit, the lost stock being reported on the property roll as stolen by the Rebels and Freedmen.
Some of the Yankee quartermasters and commissaries did not mind making such reports to cover up their stealings. I struck up with one
who was frank enough to admit it.
His office was up at the Atlantic depot and I heard he was in need of a clerk and having had some experience in quartermasters’ and commissary work, I went to see him about getting a job. I went in and told him I had heard he wanted a clerk, and that I was looking for work. He said, “Yes, I want an affidevit clerk.” This was a new one to me, and I replied: “I have had some little experience in the work of the quartermaster and commissary department, but did not know whether I would understand affidavit work; that I did not know what kind of work it was.” The Captain burst out in a big laugh, and says, “Look here my friend. don't you know what affidavit clerk means?” I acknowledged my ignorance. He then asked me if I had never heard of them among our officers, and I told him I had not.
He then very kindly proceeded to enlighten me. Says he: “Suppose I should receive a cargo of commissary stores for issue to the troops, and I should sell a portion of the stores to outsiders for cash, and pocket the money; when I went to make my report to the department at the end of the month I would be short the quantity I had sold, would I not?” I replied it looked that way to me. Then says he, “This is where the work of an affidavit clerk comes in. I want him to make and sign an affidavit that he of his knowledge knew that when the cargo of stores was received that the quantity had been checked short and was never received.” Then turning to me says. “Young man, you know what the position is, do you want it?”
I replied, “No, sir, I do not.”
“Very well,” he replied, “I have no other vacancy in my office.” As I started to leave the office I turned to him and says, “Captain, do you expect to find a clerk?” and he replied, “Of course I do; no trouble to have a man detailed from the ranks to fill this position.” There may have been such proceedings among the officers of our army, but if there was it never came under my observation. I certainly never heard of affidavit clerks before this Yankee Captain offered me such a position.
In writing of war times, I occasionally think of something laughable, for, serious as the business was and the suffering and privations and starvation, too, attending it, the soldiers saw a good deal of fun, and enjoyed it, and were ready at all times to give or take a joke.
In the latter part of the war, they were always ready to take anything they could get in the way of something to eat or drink.
I remember an incident in Wilmington in the winter of ’63 and ’64. My company was doing provost duty there, our quarters being the old “Pilot House” on Water street. At that time there was a good many vessels running the blockade from Nassau to Wilmington. Hardly a week passed that one or more vessels did not come in. On this particular occasion there was a large blockade runner tied up to the wharf about opposite Oldham's mill, three or four blocks from our quarters. The provost guard route was under our quarters. One Sunday night, Lieut. Fort of a South Carolina regiment, was officer of the guard and I was sergeant of the guard. About eleven o'clock we received a request to go to the blockade runner at once, as there was trouble aboard. The lieutenant and myself took a couple of lines of soldiers and double-quicked to the vessel. We found the captain, a fat, big-bellied Dutchman, standing on the wharf, so scared that he could scarcely speak. Some of his crew were on a drunk and had run him off his ship, and he had sent for us to restore order and protect him.
We arrested three or four of the drunken fellows and sent them to the guard house and put a sentinel aboard. After everything was quieted down and the captain had recoved from his scare, he was profuse in his thanks, and insisted on the lieutenant and myself going in his cabin
and taking a cup of coffee. As Fort nor myself had neither one tasted coffee in two years we promptly accepted the invitation and went in. He produced a bottle of French brandy that he said was eight years old and told us to help ourselves. (Whoever knew a soldier to refuse?) We filled the glasses as full as we could and drank it. After a while we took a cup of good strong coffee with loaf sugar to sweeten it. It was fine sure. We then returned to the guard room, where Fort took off his coat and sword, lay down on a bunk and was soon asleep. As sergeant of the guard, I had something to do besides going to sleep. I soon discovered that Fort was drunk, and if I had not had to keep stirring in the bitter cold air, I would have been in the same fix.
About four o'clock I began to want some more—coffee, and I began to concoct a plan to get it. I had been a soldier long enough to know the power of gold lace on your sleeves. I pulled off my coat, put on Lieut. Fort's coat and sword and put out for the ship. I found the captain walking the deck. As soon as he saw me, he came to the gang plank and invited me to come aboard. I asked him if there had been any further trouble, and if there was any other assistance I could render, etc., he calling me Lieutenant all the while. Fort and I were about the same size and looked a little alike, except I was the best looking. Finally he put out his bottle again and his coffee, and I took another pull at his—coffee and went back to the guard room and changed my coat and sword. Fort was still asleep. In about two hours he awoke, got up, put on his coat and sword and left the room. When he came back, he sat down and was still for probably ten minutes, looking straight at the fire, then turning to me he said: “Sergeant, have I left the room from the time we came back from the ship until I left a half hour ago?” I told him he had not. “Well,” says he, “I don't understand it.” I asked what was the matter, and he says: “I have just been up to the ship to see how things were getting along and the Captain spoke of the visit I had made when I had changed sentinels. (I had changed sentinels when I went), and I knew I had not been back before, and I could not understand it. I believe that old Dutchman is drunk and thinks I have been back there before.” I replied that it was quite likely.
Some days afterwards, Fort and I were on the street and the Dutch Captain passed and saluted. After he got by, Fort says: “I reckon the old fellow has got sober at last. The idea of the old fellow thinking I went aboard his vessel when I was asleep in the guard room.”
I could not keep it any longer, and told him how I had used his coat and sword to get another cup of coffee. He laughed heartily and said: “I expect I was drunker than the Dutch Captain.”
That was the best coffee that I have ever drank, and I have drank coffee at the French market in New Orleans. And that was good French brandy, too, and I am satisfied that I had never drank any genuine French brandy before that night and have never drunk any since. That brandy was all right. It was strong enough to stand alone and it reached the spot when you drank it.
My company was stationed quite awhile on Bald Head Island, opposite Southport. We had in our company an old fellow from Westchester county, Penn., named J. Miller Hampson. While on Bald Head, the old fellow got in very poor health—had no appetite for such rations as we were getting.
Hampson remarked one day that he wished he could get a squirrel; that he thought he could eat it. One of the company, John L. Pate, heard him and told him he would try to get him one. Pate went off up the island to the government stables, where there were hundreds of rats, some of them almost as big as squirrels.
He soon caught one of the big fellows and dressed it nicely and went back to camp and going to Hampson's tent, said:
“Uncle Miller, I heard you say you wanted a squirrel and I have brought you this one.”
Hampson asked him the price. Pate told him he was welcome to it; that he was always willing to do anything he could for a sick soldier. Hampson thanked him for his kindness and went off to the cook tent to cook it.
Some hours afterwards Pate saw Hampson sitting by his tent, smoking, and said: “Uncle Miller, did you enjoy your squirrel?” He replied: “Yes, John. I boiled it first and made me some soup; then I fried it, and it was good. I relished it more than anything I have ate in a long time and I am so thankful to you for your kindness.”
The joke was too good for Pate to keep and it was not long before the men were teasing Hampson; but he took it good humoredly.THE OLD VETERAN'S PICNIC.
The Thomas Ruffin Camp of Confederate Veterans, held their annual picnic at Ham's springs on Thursday, August 12. By 8 o'clock the people began coming in, some walking, others in buggies, wagons and autos., and by noon there was probably 2,000 people on the grounds. Upwards of one hundred old veterans were present, and a right lively old set they were. They ranged in age from 61 to 94 years, there being one man, Levi Carter, of New Hope township, who has passed his 94th year, and looks as if he might round out his one hundred years.
The annual election of officers was held, and the following officers elected: T. W. Slocumb, Commander; A. J. Brown, Lieutenant-Commander; W. G. Hollowell, Major; Dr. J. B. Kennedy, Surgeon; Rev. Jacob Hill, Chaplain; R. P. Howell, Quartermaster and A. B. Hollowell, Adjutant.
The Daughters of the Confederacy of the Thomas Ruffin Camp who were present, then presented thirty crosses of honor to those of the old veterans who had not heretofore received them.
Col. Jos. E. Robinson was present, and being called upon, delivered a most eloquent and patriotic address. Upon its completion, a vote of thanks and three cheers were given Col. Robinson, and the thanks of the camp were also voted Mr. Haywood D. Ham for the liberality and untiring efforts he had shown in making the picnic a success.
Dinner was then announced, and it is needless to say that the long tables were covered with the best, that the best people in the world, (Wayne county people) could provide, including “cue.” It was a most enjoyable occasion.
Some six or eight deaths of members since last years meetings were reported. And appropriate resolutions expressive of the sorrow felt by the members of the camp at the death of Dr. W. H. H. Cobb, were passed and ordered spread upon the records of the camp.—J. M. H.
For a number of years after the war the Government ran the Freedmen's Bureau throughout the South. The officers looked after the interests of the brethren in black, and some of them assumed to exercise a good deal of provost marshal authority.
Some of these officers were very nice men, and discharged their duties in a quiet and peaceable way, without any friction with the citizens. But occasionally an egotistical and tyrannical ass was found among them. I remember one of this kind who was stationed here for quite a while, named Capt. R. O. Glavis. This man, in his own estimation, was a much bigger man than U. S. Grant ever was. He was a fractious arbitrary son-of-a-gun.
On one occasion there had been some trouble between a negro and Bill Hughes, who lived on the south side of Neuse river. Glavis had Hughes arrested and fined him fifty
dollars, and in default of immediate payment, he put Hughes in jail. The late C. F. R. Kornegay was in town that day, and he went to W. G. Hollowell and proposed that they go to Glavis and stand Hughes’ security until the following Saturday (one week) to give him a chance to get up the amount of the fine. Glavis consented, and turned Hughes out.
During the week there came a big freshet, so that there was no passing from the south side, and consequently when Saturday came, Hughes did not put in an appearance. Glavis sent one of his deputies, a negro named Grant Sasser, to Hollowell's office, at the court house, with instructions to arrest and bring him before him. Sasser went to “Bill” and told him his business. He was told to go on back and tell Glavis that he would be there in a few minutes. Sasser replied his orders were to carry him. Bill says:
“Grant, one thing is certain; I am not going to be carried there by you. You can go along; I will follow.”
Arriving at Glavis’ office, he turned to Bill and says: “Your friend Hughes has not come and paid his fine.”
Bill told him that it probably was on account of being unable to cross the river. Glavis says: “Well, the hundred dollars must be paid at once.” Bill says: “The fine was only fifty dollars.” Glavis replied: “The fine was fifty, and I charged fifty more to turn him out.” Bill told him that was an outrage, and he would not pay the hundred dollars. Glavis says: “Unless you do I will send you to jail.” Bill told him he could do as he liked, but he would not pay it, and in a few minutes Bill was marched off on his crutches to jail.
In an hour the news had spread over town that Capt. Glavis had put Bill Hollowell in jail, and excitement ran high. Threats of breaking down the jail were made, and of lynching Glavis, but better judgment prevailed. Glavis was gone to by friends and told what the feeling was, and that it would be wise to turn Bill out, which he did, after he had been confined a few hours.
On Monday Hughes, who had heard that Bill had been put in jail, hurried to Goldsboro. He went to Bill and told him he should have been in on Saturday but for the high water, but says: “I have only been able to raise forty-five dollars.” Bill says: “Well, let's go and see Glavis.” When they reached his office, Bill says: “Well, Captain, here is Hughes, and his reason for not being here on Saturday was just as I told you. He is now ready to pay his fine. He does not understand that he owes but fifty dollars and if you will remit the extra fifty he will pay it.” Glavis replied that he could not do that, as he had sent in his report to headquarters, reporting the amount at one hundred dollars; but says: “Let Hughes give his note for fifty dollars, and I will send it to headquarters and recommend that it be remitted, and my deputy over there (pointing to old man Ack Holland) will attend to you.” Bill, knowing that a note for fifty dollars by Hughes was worthless, accepted the proposition, and, going into Holland's office, asked for pen and paper to write the note. After writing it, he told Hughes to sign it, which he did; and delivered it to Holland. Bill then turned to Hughes and says: “Let's go.” Bidding Holland good-bye, they departed.
Just as they were leaving the building, Hughes said to Bill: “I have not paid that forty-five dollars yet.” Bill replied: “Never mind about forty-five dollars: they have your note for fifty dollars, and the wisest thing for you to do is to vacate Goldsboro in the quickest possible time,” which advice Hughes promptly heeded.
I don't know whether the failure to pay the forty-five dollars ever came to Glavis’ mind or not, but I am pretty sure the note given by Hughes was never paid.
By J. M. Hollowell
After being paroled at Fort Macon on April 26th, 1862, I remained at Morehead City until July 9th. The reason for it was that my wife was boarding at Morehead when New Bern was taken, and could not get back to Goldsboro. She witnessed the bombardment, sitting with a large spy glass on the upper porch of the building in which W. L. Arendell now keeps boarding house.
When the remainder of my company were put aboard the steamer for Fort Caswell. I was promised by General Parke, that in a day or two he would give us a pass through his lines via New Bern. When I went for the pass he refused it, saying he had no recollection of promising it. I went to Beaufort once a week for several weeks, begging him for it but he invariably refused. I think his idea was that by constantly refusing I would become discouraged and he could prevail on me to take the oath of allegiance, several of the paroled men having already done so.
In the meantime Edward Stanley, of California, but who several years before had represented the Beaufort district in Congress, had been appointed Military Governor of North Carolina, with headquarters at New Bern. Despairing of getting a pass from General Parke, I wrote to Governor Stanley, laying my case before him; he sent the pass, and I came out via Swansboro. I expected when I reached there to be able to get conveyance either to Kinston or Warsaw, but upon reaching there I found I would have to wait five days, and while it seemed good to be inside the Confederate lines again, I did not want to spend five days in Swansboro. So I hired a boatman to take us to Sneed's Ferry via Brown's Sound. This was the route that Col. Pool said two trips over it would give one the blind staggers on account of being so crooked. We left Swansboro on Thursday morning at sunrise. The boatman said he would put us to Sneed's Ferry that night, whereas we had to go ashore to a farm house and spend the night, reaching the Ferry at one o'clock on Friday. We were then forty miles from Wilmington and with no means of reaching there except an ordinary farm wagon, drawn by two mules. We left there at two o'clock, spending the night on the way, and reached Wilmington at two o'clock on Saturday, just one hour after the train had left for Goldsboro. We left Wilmington at three o'clock Sunday morning, arriving at Goldsboro at seven, just ninety-six hours coming from Morehead. Can make the trip now in two and a half hours.
The last week in August our company was exchanged, and on the thirty-first we entered service again, going to Wilmington. We camped at Green's mill, one mile out from the city. About the middle of September yellow fever broke out in the city, and soon became epidemic, and we moved camp to Wrightsville sound. The day we broke camp I went into the city three times on business and on the three trips I met 8 yellow fever corpses being carried to the cemetery. I got the impression on my mind that day that for a place no larger than Wilmington the death rate was pretty large, and I have never had much desire to live there.
I will have to tell one trick I worked on Captain Andrews. After being at Wrightsville a few weeks, the men got out of tobacco, and any one who was ever in the army knows that when tobacco gives out there is something doing among the men. They came to me insisting that I should get some. (I had been keeping it for sale). I went to Capt. Andrews and explained the situation, and asked him to let me take his horse and go to Wilmington, eight miles after some. He told me I was crazy to ask such a thing with the fever like it was. Finding he would not grant the request, I then asked him to let me go to our old camp at Green's Mill and get
Mr. Bridgers, an old man who lived hard by, to go into town and get it for me. The Captain finally agreed to this, so I went to Mr. Bridgers, but he had gone into town I waited until about five o'clock and he did not return. I mounted the horse, rode to the edge of town, tied him and went up to Market street, bought a fifty pound box of tobacco, took it on my shoulder, went back, mounted my horse and put off for camp. I knew the Captain would ask me after Bridgers’ health and I concluded I better see him before I went back, so I rode by his house and told him what I had done and made things straight with him, and carried the tobacco to the men. In a few weeks it was out again and I asked the Captain to let me go after more tobacco. He says “sergeant, if you will promise to do just as you did before you can go.” I promised and it is needless to say I carried out my promise to the letter. I never did let the Captain know that I had been in the fever stricken city, for he would have given me severe punishment if he had known it.
It was a wonder I did not get the fever. The day we broke camp to go to Wrightsville we had two men, Jessie and William Robinson (brothers) sick in camp with high fever that we supposed was billious. I helped them into an ambulance and drove them to the hospital in Wilmington. It turned out that both these men had yellow fever. In one of my trips into Wilmington that day I saw the city carts hauling dirt from the gas works, putting a cart load at each street corner as disinfectants. I took a lot of that dirt and put in my pockets and rubbed a lot of it in my hair. I had it on me so strong that when I got to camp the men complained of me, said I smelt like the gas works. Whether this helped me to escape the fever I cannot say, I only know I did not have it and did not feel but little fear of the disease.WAR-TIME REMINISCENCES
By J. M. Hollowell
Rummaging among some old papers a short time ago, I came across three pages of writing that I did on April 25, 1862, more than forty-seven years ago. It is a record of the bombardment of Fort Macon on that day. The Sergeant-Major of the Post was taken sick two days before the fight and Adjutant R. E. Walker had me detailed to fill his place.
When the fight began Col. Moses J. White, the commandant, directed me to keep an hourly record of it from the best information I could get from observation and from the officers and men as they were relieved, the Colonel giving me considerable information himself.
The following is the record as taken down hourly:
Friday, April 21, 1862.
5:30 o'clock A. M. — Roll call as usual. No appearance of anything unusual.
6:00 o'clock A. M.—Yankees commenced firing on the fort from their batteries up the beach, throwing shell and rifle shot. We immediately returned the fire from the mortars on the lower parapet by Capt. Pool, and the seige pieces on upper parapet by Capts. Manney and Blount, and from the 10-inch Columbia's on Capt. Guion's battery. Shot and shell falling in and around the Fort in great numbers.
7:00 o'clock—Firing still going on by the batteries up the beach, (appears to be three batteries). We are returning fire from Blount battery, the 10-inch Columbia's on upper parapet and the seige pieces and mortars on lower parapet; great many shot and shell falling and bursting in the fort; several guns on Lieut. Cogdell's battery disabled.
8:00 o'clock A. M.—Yankees still firing from batteries up the beach; four steamers have just come up near the car and are now firing on us. Capt. Pool has left battery on lower parapet, facing up the beach,
and is firing on steamers from the 8 and 10-inch Columbia's on sea front, lower parapet, while Capt. Guion has turned the 10-inch Columbia's and rifle cannon on his battery to bear on the steamers and he and Poole are pouring it to them warmly, while Blount's battery and Manney's seige pieces are keeping those up the beach sufficiently amused. Blount's men have just been relieved by a detachment from Co. F, Lieut. Cogdell. There is an incessant roar of artillery; shells bursting over and in the fort, nearly covering some of the gunners with dirt.
9:00 A. M.—Firing still continues very fast on both sides; most of the shot from the steamers pass over the fort, our greatest danger being from the batteries up the beach. It is thought we have dismounted one of their guns; Pool and Guion still shooting the steamers; Blount's and Manney's batteries firing up the beach.
10:00 A. M.—Firing on both sides, but not so briskly; about 10:30 the steamers drew off; it is thought we have damaged them: Pool and Guion batteries not firing now; a great many shells bursting in fort; some pieces going through windows, wounding some of the men; several men have been wounded at the guns; one seige piece disabled.
11:00 A. M. — Both sides still firing, the Yankees only from up the beach, we firing from Blount's and Manney's batteries.
12:00 M. — Both sides still firing. Capt. Guion has his 10-inch Columbia's to bear upon them, and this with Blount's and Manney's batteries seem to be giving a warm time up the beach; steamers still lay off out of range.
1:00 P. M. — Firing very rapid on both sides; steamers don't seem inclined to come close again; our firing from Blount's, Manney's and Guion's batteries; doors to several rooms broken in and the walls in several places are badly battered by the shot and shells that are falling at the rate of three or four a minute.
2:00 P. M. — Yankee batteries still firing; Manney's and Blount's batteries returning the fire.
3:00 P. M. — Firing from up the beach is very brisk just now, and is doing us considerable damage to the walls; we are still returning their fire.
4:00 P. M. — Firing still going on by both sides, though slightly slower; we firing only from Manney's battery; most of their shells burst inside the fort; they seem to be feeling for our magazines, and the walls of ours on beach side is considerably cracked. About 4:30 Capts. Guion and Pool were sent up the beach with a white flag, firing ceased on both sides.
5:00 P. M. — All quiet; no firing going on; Guion and Pool have not returned; two boats with white flags came over from Beaufort and were met in mid channel by Adjutant R. E. Walker, with similar flag.
6:00 P. M. — Everything still quiet everybody has had a chance to look around the Fort inside and out and get some idea of the damage done. Capts. Guion and Pool have not yet returned; four men on horses have just rode from up the beach down to the Eliason House, where Guion and Pool are; at 4:12 they returned and report a cessation of hostilities for the present agreed to.
This is as far as the record goes.
At about sunset Col. White, with Capts. Pool and Guion went in a sail boat to meet Gen. Parke on the flagship near Shackelford Banks. They did not return until about two o'clock, and then would not give any information about what had been done. It was rather an uneasy night for us. We had learned that they had gotten ready a sixteen-gun battery at Shackleford which they would open on us next day. This would have put us in a cross fire between their two batteries. Every gun on the upper parapet facing the inlet was disabled; the 10-Columbia at the northeast angle was dismounted
and the iron carriage destroyed, while several other guns in different places were dismounted, one magazine badly cracked. Taken altogether, we were in bad shape to continue the fight. My recollection is there were six men killed and some fifteen wounded.
At 8:00 o'clock next morning we were ordered to fall in with arms, when Col. White informed us that he had surrendered the fort and that we would be paroled and sent home. This news was received joyously. We were then marched to the parade ground where we stacked arms and the Yankees marched in. Our flag was soon replaced by the Stars and Stripes. When they went up, the blockading fleet steamed in and anchored in the harbor. We had about 400 men, at least half of them belonging in Cartaret and Craven counties. These were paroled and boats took them to Morehead and Beaufort. The others were paroled and taken on board a man of war and delivered at Fort Caswell, at the mouth of the Cape Fear river. My company had one man. B. Combs, killed, and another, J. D. Langston. lost a leg.
I was glad to read friend Bonitz’ letter last week. It was a strong corroboration of my letter the week before in regard to the Dutch Captain and the French brandy. I know I can prove by him that it was good I accept the invitation to attend on the 10th of June, 1912, and taste that brandy again, but in the language of the Governor of South Carolina to the Governor of North Carolina, it will be a long time between drinks, and for fear I may not live until then to attend, I think it would be a safer (and to me) a more satisfactory plan for him to send me one bottle now. He can send by express. Jones will pay the freight.EARLY HISTORY OF GOLDSBORO
(By J. H. W. BONITZ)
Wilmington. N. C., Aug. 19, 1909.
Editors Record:—You do not hear on the streets of Goldsboro now-a-days the once familiar saying, “Run ‘nigger,’ run, or the patrol will catch you!” But this expression was a common one in Goldsboro for about a generation.
In ye olden days, it was the mayor's duty to appoint a number of citizens every day to patrol the town at night and see if all the colored people were at home, and if one was found away from home without a pass, the patrol would give him a good whipping and let him go.
I expect some of the colored people of Goldsboro could give some rich experiences along this line if they would.
The man who was elected captain of the patrol furnished supper for the party. One night, when I was captain, while we were at supper, (in the house now occupied by Mr. Powell), we heard a loud outcry, which came from the old Fair grounds. Going there, we found on a fence, in the rear of Mr. Pipkin's house, a negro man belonging to Mr. W. K. Lane. He was holding a rooster in his hands, and a coachwhip snake, which had wrapped itself about the negro's leg and the fence, was holding him and whipping him. He had stolen the rooster from Mr. Pipkin and while he was getting over the fence, the snake caught him. We killed the snake, but while the man had already had a whipping from his snakeship, it was our duty to whip him, too. So we put in one in good shape and then let him go home; but the snake had already fixed him, for a short while afterwards white swelling set in and the man's leg had to be amputated.
As Goldsboro was always a leader, so was she in the emigration movement. It was in the Fall of 1865 that Mr. William Atkinson came
to me about starting an Emigration Society in Goldsboro and wanted me to go to Europe and bring emigrants to Goldsboro to take the place of negroes on the farms. I did my best to convince him that the green emigrants would not do for the South, as those people never had seen any cotton or corn grow; that they would do for the West, but not for the South.
However, against my pleadings, in January, 1866, Mr. Atkinson went to Bremen, and as bad luck came to him, he fell into the hands of a Swiss emigration agent who carried him to the mountains of the Swiss. I think it was about February when they arrived in Goldsboro. There were about five hundred of these Swiss emigrants, which were divided among the different farmers.
The scheme was a complete failure, as I had told the promoters. As long as the rabbits, squirrels and buzzards lasted, (they thought the buzzards were turkeys) they stayed, but about the first of June there was only one Swiss left, and he was a blacksmith. He remained and died near Goldsboro only a few years ago.
Lieut. Gov. Curtis H. Brogden always stopped with me when in Goldsboro, so when Gov. T. R. Caldwell died, in 1874, I received a telegram from Raleigh to notify Mr. Brogden of his death and tell him to go to Raleigh at once. As Mr. Brogden was then with his sister, Nancy, I drove out there, and as I was going up to the house, someone hailed me, and as I looked in the direction of the voice, who should I see but the Governor of the State of North Carolina (by virtue his office as Lieut.-Gov.) sitting on a log, with nothing on but a homespun shirt and a pair of pants—no shoes and no hat.
In the death of Dr. W. H. H. Cobb, Goldsboro, yea North Carolina, loses one of its noblest men, as also that of his life-long friend, Dr. Swindell, who followed so soon after him. With the passing of Dr. Cobb, the last of the old physicians have crossed the River. We recall among them Dr. Craton, Evans, Dewey, Moore, Wm. Robinson, Daniel Cogdell, Goelett, Finlayson, Davis, Miller, Kirby, Hill, James Hughes (who was in Goldsboro from 1862 to 1868), Jones and Spicer. There were two more whose names I cannot recall just now. Among this list are the names of some of the ablest physicians the State has ever known.EARLY HISTORY OF GOLDSBORO
By J. H. W. Bonitz
Wilmington, N. C., Aug. 27.
Editors Record: Since my last letter, one more of Goldsboro's landmarks is gone. With the death of Capt. John F. Divine, another one of her old citizens who resided there in ye olden days, has passed to his eternal reward.
Mr. Editor, I just wonder if there are any of the old citizens left who enjoyed the grand ball and supper Messrs. Biggs & Divine gave in honor of the opening of their machine shop in 1859, afterwards and to the present known as the Great Eastern. It was indeed a swell affair.
Captain Divine was beloved by all men working under him. And nowhere could you find a better set of railroad men than the old conductors and engineers of the W. & W. Railroad. Among them I recall Capt. James Knight, Mr. Crone, Jack Langston, Jimmie Long, Capt. Browning, Fillyaw, Howell, Morrison, James Borden, Capt. Henry Hazell, J. C. Slocumb, John Hessinger, Dick Casey, Steve Merritt, John Neimeyer, who ran over Miss Rosenthal; Winfield Taylor, Guilford Horne and Tom Lawther.
Of the old men now living, I can only recall Capt. John Berry, the old road-master; Capt. Farmer McMillan, Louis Wacsmuth, Capt. Lynch, and Paymaster Lynch. Yes, there is my old friend, Capt. Boon, who, with Jim Knight, Jr., were the merrymakers for all, and their greatest delight was playing jokes. During the great snow storm that
tied up all railroad travel in Goldsboro for two days, Capt. Boon and Jim Knight went to every bar in town and put assafoetida on the stoves and in the hot water which was used for making hot drinks. The odor the assafoetida produced was something awful, and you can imagine the number of hot drinks that were spoiled.
While we are talking about the old W. & W. R. R., I had a talk with my old friend, Col. W. B. Fort, of Pikeville, and told him that I thought the old stockholders of the W. & W. R. R. should show gratitude to Mr. William T. Walters, who had it in his power to freeze out all the stockholders of the old W. & W. R. R., as he bought the state's interest.
I was present when Mr. M. Walters, Mr. Newcomber and Mr. R. R. Bridgers came from Raleigh, and Mr. Geo. Howard, of Tarboro, introduced Mr. Sharpe of Sharpsboro to Mr. Walters. Mr. Sharpe asked Mr. Walters if he intended to freeze all the small stockholders out. Mr. Walters replied:
“No, but I do want all your goodwill and support, and we will give you the best railroad in the South, in time.”
There would be no better place to have a nice fountain than at the new union depot, in honor of Mr. William Walters.
It was Sunday, the fifth day of September, 1869, after the great fire in Goldsboro, when the Messenger was burned out, that Capt. Smith brought me a personal letter from Gov. Wm. W. Holden, expressing his sympathy for Brother Julius A. Bonitz's loss, and asking that I let him know if he (the Governor) could be of any help to him (Julius). As Julius and the Governor were not on terms of personal friendship. I wrote to him that if he had a small hand press in the Standard office, brother could use it. By the next train there came the press, and the paper was printed under the old sweet gum tree.
Well, well, my dear friend Jim! Did I ever think that I got some of the same good old French brandy! I came to Wilmington before Christmas, 1863, and got acquainted with the German captain, and I bought one case (12 bottles) of French brandy. After using ten bottles, I took two bottles and put them under lock and key, with instructions that they were not to be opened until until the tenth day of June, 1912. They were then to be opened in the presence of my old friends, who are welcome to make use of it, and I hope to have the pleasure of your company to tell me if it is the same. I am a total abstainer from all liquors, but on that day I shall taste some of that brandy, and I shall fix an old-fashioned Presbyterian punch with some of it, and as the minister and my best man and lady are still enjoying life, I hope to have them all present on that day, and till then.
This is a view of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad Station which used to stand on Center street in front of where the F. W. Woolworth store is now located. The station was burned about 1886-87.]