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The Commonwealth of Onslow; a history

Date: 1960 | Identifier: F262.O5 B7
The Commonwealth of Onslow; a history. New Bern, N.C. : O. G. Dunn, [c1960] v, 434 p. illus., ports., maps, coat of arms. 24 cm. more...
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THE COMMONWEALTH
OF ONSLOW
A History

























THE COMMONWEALTH
OF ONSLOW

A History

By
JOSEPH PARSONS BROWN

The Owen G. Dunn Company
New Bern, N. C.



COPYRIGHT 1960

JOSEPH PARSONS BROWN

JACKSONVILLE, N. C.

SECOND PRINTING 1971

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA





Dedicated

to the memory of my Mother

Mary Alice Cox Brown

of the fifth generation in the

line of the first

Charles Cox

who came to Onslow in

1740

and of my Father

Joseph Marion Brown

of the ninth generation in

the line of the first

John Browne

who came to America in

1661





CONTENTS

Page
Geography of the County1
Settlement and Formation of the County3
The Courthouse and the Courts15
John Starkey and the Colonial Period21
The Revolution and Its Leadership25
Washington's Visit41
From the Revolution to the War of 181247
Edward B. Dudley49
Developments to the Civil War53
The People59
The County Goes to War67
The War Comes to Onslow79
Civil War Leadership83
Reconstruction97
Onslow Gazette101
The Farmers Organization in Politics105
Daniel Lindsay Russell113
Cyrus Thompson119
Hill E. King127
Rodolph Duffy129
Frank Thompson131
The Press in Onslow133
John W. Shackelford139
Dr. James Lloyd Nicholson141
Public Education Since 1840145
Walter M. Thompson171
World War I173
Prosperity and Panic177
World War II181
Modern Onslow Begins to Shape Up193
Farm Life and Living211
Public Services215
Home Demonstration Work217
The Onslow County Board of Health219
Onslow Education is Big Business223
Public Library Service in the County225
Contemporary Onslow227
The Church in the County231
The Richlands of New River Chapel233
The Church of England239
Free Will Baptist240
The Primitive Baptist245
The Baptist Renaissance255
The Methodist Church271
The Christian Church285
The Presbyterian Church293
The Lutheran Church295





CONTENTS—Continued
Page
The Pentecostal Holiness Church296
Infant of Prague Parish297
Jacksonville Hebrew Congregation299
Other Churches301
The Baptist Churches of Colored People303
The Primitive Baptist Church308
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church309
APPENDICES
A Geological Paper on the Onslow Area313
The Calf Pasture of the Conference319
The Hammock Philanthropy327
The White Oak River329
The Legend of Queens Creek Methodist Church335
Evolution of the County Seat Town339
Progressive Communities343
Jacksonville343
Swansboro346
Richlands352
Catharine Lake354
Verona-Dixon-Folkstone355
Holly Ridge Missile Test356
Georgetown356
Piney Green—Belgrade358
Hubert—Sneads Ferry359
Kellum Station360
PERSONALITIES
Madam William Cray361
James Battle Avirette362
James G. Scott363
Dr. Julian V. Hofmann364
Isham B. Hudson365
Colonel George Gillette367
Hon. Alex H. Koonce—Fitzhugh Lee Morris368
Lucile Browning369
Edward W. Summersill369
Nere E. Day370
Elijah M. Koonce371
John R. Gurganus372
Women Graduates—Henderson for Congress373
Business as Usual374
The Old North State376
Roster of Settlers Who Took Up Land Grants377
Onslow Regiments of Militia387
Onslow Soldiers in the Revolution392
Onslow Soldiers in the War of 1812395
Onslow Soldiers in the Confederate Army398
Political Parties and Public Questions418
Onslow Representation in the Assembly424
Members General Assembly425
The Onslow County Bar, Physicians, Surgeons, Specialists430





FOREWORD

This book could properly be entitled “Onslow's part in the history of North Carolina.” It consists of studies made from time to time on various subjects and makes no attempt at being a chronological history of the County. They have, however, been arranged for publication in as nearly that order as possible.

In addition to history, there are appendices. They contain papers too valuable to be lost, of articles, letters and accumulated facts which the writer believes should be preserved. The history is authentic, the appendices are as they were originally written. Taken as a whole, the book represents what could be collected up to this time.

If this study inspires students to a wider knowledge of the County's history, or some more scholarly treatment of the subjects at hand, it will have attained its purpose.

—THE AUTHOR





INTRODUCTION

To write and publish a book is no small matter—that is, any kind of book. But to do the essential research, to select the salient portions and to discard the less certain and non-essential items, and then to author an entire book of history—well, that is a much greater matter—a matter more full of meaning and responsibility than is the task and art of just putting out a book of fiction or expository prose.

This work, now being offered to the public of Onslow County, by J. Parsons Brown, was much in his mind and a large volume of research material was already collected, when I first became closely acquainted with his interest and work more than twenty years ago. Since then, at times, and over the last five years, at frequent instances, I have had discussions with Mr. Brown about his work and his hope of ultimate publication. I have also, at several such times, gone over portions of the written text and have discussed with Mr. Brown the arrangement and presentations of certain divisions of his subject-matter.

Therefore, I am a qualified witness to the vast work and pains Mr. Brown has invested in his effort to present to you the story of Onslow County. Having spent a good part of my own adult life in abstracting the land title records of the county and knowing those records to be only one of the sources from which the materials of this book have been gathered, I can assure the readers that a love for such work and a desire to render a needed service are the greatest compensation the author can ever gain for his labor.

Mr. Brown will be the last person to claim perfection for his work. There is no fixed or determined outline for county histories and there are few productions in this field that could serve as a guide line for depicting the story of Onslow—one of the oldest and most singular of the North Carolina Sisterhood of counties. But the vast changes that have come about here within the past twenty years, while not rendering the task easier, have pointed up the need for preserving the traditions of the Old County lest they be lost in the hustle and bustle of this new age. When the New Order of this generation is integrated and crystallized into the New County, possibly improved facilities and extended exploration will enable someone to write another and more modern history of Onslow County. Mr. Brown, if then living, or his living spirit if then departed be his person, will be the first to acclaim such production and allow all its merits of research and text.

I am privileged in this way to introduce this work; and I commend it to careful examination and study of all Onslow's many sons and daughters of this and all coming generations.

NERE E. DAY

Jacksonville, N. C.

August 22, 1960.






[Illustration:

Sir Robert Walpole, Prime Minister of Britain, confers with Sir Arthur Onslow, Speaker of the House of Commons
]





HISTORY

GEOGRAPHY OF THE COUNTY

Onslow County lies along the seashore in the southeastern section of the state of North Carolina, extending from thirty miles north of Wilmington to twenty miles south of New Bern. Its northerly boundary is White Oak River; its southeastern border is the Atlantic Ocean.

New River, from its head to its mouth, is wholly within the county and is a beautiful stream which falls about seventy-five feet downhill in a distance of about fifty miles. The Inland Waterway Canal parallels the Atlantic Ocean for a distance of fifty miles. The river and sounds of Onslow Bay make up some of the best fishing grounds on the Atlantic seaboard. The pocosins are noted for good hunting in season. Its beaches are developing into resort areas easily reached by an ever increasing population. Hard surfaced highways make every point within the county easily accessible.

Onslow County is a bell shaped area of about fifty miles in every direction and includes about 483,800 acres of land and water. Of this total the Federal government holds title to about 85,200 acres. The North Carolina Forestry Foundation owns within the county something like 50,000 acres, which included with all other forest areas, amounts to approximately 288,350 acres of productive forest area. Other lands of no present commercial value cover about 30,233 acres. The urban coverage amounts to about 12,500 acres in the county, leaving about 60,000 acres on which to produce crops each year.

Of the main crops, the following figures are approximate: all purpose corn, 26,500 acres; tobacco, 7,000 acres (1956), 5,001 acres (1957); peanuts, 1,200 acres; soybeans for oil, 5,057 acres; white potatoes for sale, 102 acres; sweet potatoes for sale, 361 acres. Improved pasturage for livestock and poultry amounts to 6,500 acres. The number of dairy animals came to 800 in 1956, the beef cattle 1681 in 1957. Hens and pullets in egg production 43,000. (Exact figures may be obtained from the Agriculture Agent for any given item for any given period of time.) About 11,000 people are engaged in the farming operation each year. Corn and tobacco acreages are being cut each year. Beef cattle are gradually being increased.

In 1958 there were 563 fishing boats licensed in Onslow County. They were manned, on an average, by a crew of two persons.





Onslow County oyster production has grown tremendously since 1945, when 24,000 pounds of oyster meat was taken. In 1958, 207,624 pounds was sold commercially. This does not include those taken for home consumption. The take for 1958 also included 27,945 pounds of clams.

NOTE: Bibliographic information furnished the writer by Don Halsey, County Agricultural Agent, and from Mr. C. G. Holland, Fisheries Commissioner, Department of Conservation and Development, Morehead City, North Carolina.





SETTLEMENT AND FORMATION OF THE COUNTY
Settlement

The first white men to make homes in what is now Onslow County were William Brown, Henry Warren and Thomas Worsley, who in 1706 came here and settled on New River. Brown's papers were dated March 2, 1705/6. Those of Warren, March 7, 1705/6, stated that his boundary “touched Captain Brown's line.” Besides the land taken up by Worsley on Town Creek he, two years later in 1708, crossed the river and entered another tract on Duck Creek.

Their homes they located on an old field which had once been the site of an Indian town. Brown and his associates called the point “Ye Olde Towne Point,” and the little creek nearby they named “Ye Olde Towne Creek.” (Note: many years later Old Towne Point became the site of the county seat town of Johnston. The town was destroyed by a storm in 1752.)

Brown, Warren and Worsley were Englishmen. For six years these three families remained alone in the Onslow wilderness, but in 1713 a Frenchman, John Nasaugue, passed them by and paddled his lone canoe several miles on up the stream to a point beyond where Jacksonville now is. His new home was located on the North West Branch of New River.

The settler, coming up New River, was confronted by three large streams which came together off what we now know as Paradise Point. Toward the right a branch came in which he called, “The North East Branch of New River.” The one coming from the opposite side of the river he named, “The South West Branch of New River,” while the middle stream straight ahead and bearing left he named, “The North West Branch of New River.” The names of the first two have remained, but the North West Branch later became identified as part of New River proper.

During the next eighteen years 35 other families took up land in Onslow. First along the White Oak, down along the coast through Queens Creek, Bear Inlet, Duck Creek and up New River to Stones Creek they came, passing Old Towne Point, and on up the river toward “the Rich Lands.”

In Switzerland and in England were numbers of Protestant refugees who had fled Germany on account of religious persecution. What to do with these thrifty but homeless people soon became a problem in those countries.

Among the Nobles who gave thought to the solution of the problem was Baron Christopher De Graffenreidt of Switzerland. He organized a company to finance the settlement of a colony of





them on lands, situated between the Neuse and White Oak Rivers, which he had secured from the Lords Proprietors. Two boatloads landed at New Bern during the year 1709-1710.

The price for land on the Wee Toc (White Oak) River was one pound sterling for each 100 acres, and was rented to the settlers at 6 pence per hundred acres annually.

When De Graffenreidt brought his colonists to New Berne he planned to settle all of them on the Neuse and White Oak rivers and had made arrangements to furnish each family with live-stock (especially hogs and sheep) and supplies until such time as they became self-supporting. In addition, quit rents were payable to the proprietors annually.

By 1713 the choice sites on De Graffenreidt's lands had largely been taken. There being no roads, the rivers were used both for travel and transportation, and so the settler who had no water front on his farm found himself at a disadvantage.

To get homes on the water the new settlers pushed on across the Wee Toc into “Onslow.” Here no payments would have to be made, quit rents could be avoided for some time, while choice lands and water fronts could still be had.

Most attractive was the offering of rich lands which could be had for the taking. Here they could worship God as they pleased, had the liberty to act on their own initiative, and an opportunity to pursue their plans and purposes in whatever way to them seemed best, without let or hindrance. Many welcomed the opportunity to come to the new lands of Onslow.

The company organized to finance the colony, however, failed to supply the settlers’ needs as they had agreed, and De Graffenreidt was forced to manage as best he could. To make matters worse, about this time the Tuscarora Indians went on the warpath and murdered many of the settlers. The Indians were finally defeated and De Graffenreidt went back home, but the hardy settlers stayed on, cleared land and built homes.

Settlers also came into Onslow from Wilmington and the North East Cape Fear and made homes in the southern and western portion of the county, so Onslow was an overflow settlement from two directions. No one took up large acreage of land or brought a large company of settlers at any one time.

The colonists soon became used to the life of the Carolina wilderness and, judging by letters they wrote back home, were happy and would not have traded their new homes for the old. They often mentioned the freedom from oppression and the ease in getting a living here, especially in the growing of livestock.

“Onslow” Formed into a County

For many years the date of the formation of Onslow into a county has been under question. Historians generally agree





upon 1734 as the correct date, and most listings of the formation of the One Hundred Counties have shown that as the accepted date for Onslow.

To learn the facts of the case as to Onslow, a search was made through the journals of the Assembly and the Minutes of the County Court under whom the Precinct operated; the result being that not only has the correct date been ascertained, but the peculiar circumstances surrounding the action has been brought to light.

The first Governor sent over by the King following his purchase of the Carolina Colonies was George Burrington. Soon after assuming his duties, the Governor and Council received a petition from the citizens of White Oak, New River and Topsail asking the formation of a new Precinct, and pointing out the difficulty for the citizens in getting to the courts in Carteret and New Hanover.

The future Precinct of Onslow contained some notable persons and the reception by the Governor seems to have been favorable from the first.

On November 23, 1731, the Governor and Council, at a meeting held at Edenton, acted upon the petition and named the Justices to carry on the administration of the new unit.

From a photostatic copy of the original Order in Council showing the erection and naming of Onslow Precinct taken from the Governor's office files by the State Department of Archives and History November 18, 1954, a true transcription taken from Colonial Records, Volume III, pages 256 and 257, is as follows:

North Carolina—SS

At a Council held at the Council Chamber in Edenton the 23'd day of November Anno Domini 1731

Present

His Excellency George Burrington Esq. &c

The Honorable Joseph JenourEsquires, Members of His Majesty's Council
Edmd Porter
Robert Halton
John Lovick
Edmond Gale

Upon petition of the inhabitants of White Oak, New River and Topsail, along the sea-shore praying to have a new Precinct erected from New Topsail to Batrams Point on the East side of White Oak River and this Board thereon taking into consideration the great hardship and expences the inhabitants within the limits above mention'd are at in going to Carteret Precinct Court His Excellency, by and with the advice and consent of his Majesty's





Council doth make the following bounds into a Precinct Viz. Beginning at Bogue Inlet from Batrams Point on Bogue Sound including or taking it two miles on the North East side of White Oak River for the East and North East bounds and from New Topsail Inlet including all the lands on the Creeks and Branches that run into New River to be the South and West bounds of the Said Precinct is hereby called and distinguished by the name of Onslow Precinct, and that a Commission issue for the same with such privileges as other Precincts have or enjoy, and it is further ordered that the said Precinct shall be and continue according to the above bounds until there shall be a further division of other Precincts and Counties.

Ordered that a Commission of the Peace issue for Onslow Precinct Directed to James Tunis, Edward Marshburn, Joseph Montford, James Murry, James Taylor, Lazarus Thomas, Thomas Johnston, Capt. Francis Brice, Christopher Dudley, Nicholas Hunter, Abraham Mitchell, Rich'd Nickson and John Frederick constituting and appointing them Justices of the Peace for and within the said Precinct, which Court is to sit on the First Tuesday in January, April, July and October yearly.

By Order

* * * *

Governor Burrington thought well of the new Precinct and in answer to his critics gave reasons for his action in the matter. He said, “Some time after I came to this country with His Majesty's Commission the people inhabiting on White Oak River and Onslow River and parts adjacent presented a petition to me and the Council, praying they might be erected into and made a new Precinct. The reason the petitioners set forth appeared so fair and just that what they desired was granted Viz. They were made a new Precinct by the name of Onslow, which Precinct contains a square of above fifty miles and will soon be (in all likelihood) one of the most considerable in the Province.”

The Assembly at Edenton July 3, 1733, however, refused to seat the representatives from Onslow and Bladen without further consideration, and on July 7, 1733, named a Committee headed by Captain William Downing to study the case and report its finding to the Assembly. Captain Downing's Committee set up a number of reasons against admission and so reported.

Some of the reasons set forth in the Report were:

“The Constitution of 1698 provided that as the country shall encrease the Representatives shall also proportionally encrease if the Commons so desires.”

“We are of the opinion that a method of enlarging the number of Assembly men by order of Governor and Council is not agreeable to the





Constitution, that the Representatives of the people are the proper judges what encrease is necessary, nor ought any encrease be made without their assent.”

“Nor do we find that any power is given to the Governor and Council of this Province by Royal Commission, to act in such affairs without the Assembly.”

“Upon the whole we humbly propose it to the House as our opinion that the Members returned for the new Precincts be not admitted, the Assembly not having been consulted in, or agreed to such an encrease.”

The Committee also suggested a conference with the Governor and Council concerning the subject matter of the New Precincts, but the Governor would have none of it.

The argument for and against became bitter. Strange to say, the fight against was being led by two of the Governor's own Council, Nathaniel Rice and John Baptista Ashe, who spoke disparagingly of the new Precincts.

Several new Precincts had already been formed by the Governor and Council by which process membership in the Assembly had increased at a rapid rate, thus giving the Governor an overpowering influence in the Assembly, which prided itself as representing the people and protecting them against encroachment upon their rights by royal prerogative.

On November 11, 1734, a Bill was ordered brought in “To Confirm and Establish the new Precincts which had been considered in the last Assembly.”*4 The Bill appeared on the floor and was read the first time, passed and sent to the upper House.*5 Having passed a second reading, the Act was read and passed on its Third Reading on February 13, 1734/5 and sent to the Upper House for concurrence.*6

Upon the Third passage by the Council the Bill finally became Law February 19, 1734/5 and was ordered engrossed.*7

Justices were named March 23, 1734/5.

What changes, if any, took place back home in the Precinct are not plain. Since early days the Court had held its session in the “Court-house on New River,” but the Session held in July, 1735, met in the house of Christian Heidleburg. No reason is given as to why no further use was made of the old Courthouse, but action was taken to erect a new one. Whether the change of regime had any bearing on this we do not know.

Text of the major portion of the Act of Confirmation is as follows:

[note][note][note][note][note]



Laws of North Carolina 1734/5

Chapter VIII

“ An Act to Confirm and Establish the Precincts of Onslow (and Bladen) and for appointing them distinct Parishes.

“ That a Precinct be erected at New River by the name of Onslow Precinct and that the said Precinct be bounded to the Northward by the White Oak River from the mouth to the head thereof; and to the Southward by a Creek that comes out of the Sound, and comes across New River Road, called the Bay Swamp or Beasleys Creek.

“ That the Justices of the aforesaid Precinct shall have full power and authority to appoint a place for a Church, Court-house and Prison and to tax all taxable persons in the said Precinct for raising a sum of money sufficient to defray the charges of the above buildings pursuant to an Act entitled “An Act for Settling Precinct Courts and Courthouses.”

“ Article VIII And whereas there hath been several Courts held in the Precinct of Onslow by a Commission from the Governor, George Burrington, Esq. Therefore be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all proceedings of that Court (Saving the Right of Appeal) are hereby declared good and valid.”*8

The Assembly recognized in Article VIII of the new Law that a County Court was in operation in Onslow and confirmed its action.

The first book of “Minutes” of the earliest Onslow Courts has been “Lost.” The first volume in existence which may be seen is in the Department of Archives and History in Raleigh, bearing on its face page the inscription, “Onslow Court Minutes from January 1, 1733/4,” and is a continued story brought forward from previous chapters.

Inasmuch as the Act of Confirmation did not become Law until February 19, 1734/5, this Book contains eighteen months of the old Precinct Court Proceedings. No notation appears as to where one ends and the other begins. The boundaries of the County as delineated in the two Acts varies but little (not more than three miles at any point). In the former, the “Northern Border” extended to two miles East of White Oak River, giving control to Onslow of both banks of the River for use of Ferries (or bridges), while the later Act made the river “from its mouth to the head thereof” the boundary, which was a natural one.

[note][note]



Of the original Justices appointed in 1731, four of the five outstanding leaders on the first Commission were retained on the second Board in 1735. These were Edward Marshburn, Christopher Dudley, Nicholas Hunter and Abram Mitchell. One of the leaders, Thomas Johnston, failed of reappointment. Notable new members appointed were John Starkey and Christopher Heidleburg. Nine members were dropped and eight new ones appointed. Reasons for failure to reappointment were not always political.

The Assembly did not claim to be forming a new Precinct, but to confirm and establish the Precinct of Onslow as it already existed, and it specifically acted to validate the work done before the present action. The Assembly having thus asserted its authority, the Onslow Representatives were then seated.

The Court which met at Heidleburg's home planned a new Courthouse to be located on North East, but it seems that the plans were changed at least once. John Williams, one of the County's leading citizens, contracted to build it but for some reason “declined his bargain,” and a second contract was let to Joseph and Stephen Howard, who completed the house ready for use in 1737. The new Courthouse was in use only seven years, and in April, 1744, “The Court being met at ye place where ye Courthouse formerly stood and finding ye house by some malishus and evil disposed person was burnt, adjourned to ye house of John Taylor.” Whether the man who “burnt” the Courthouse was “malishus” because he belonged to another political faction, we do not know; and whether the First Minute Book perished in the Courthouse fire or was destroyed by design is a question which will probably remain unanswered.

The argument between the Governor and Assembly having been settled temporarily, Onslow had really become the “present seat of enthusiasm in the Province,” and the Governor spoke of the Precinct as a land of “promise.” New families began coming in and for several years afterward the number averaged about ten families per year.

After 1765 the annual influx almost doubled until 1775, the beginning of the Revolution, when all immigration ceased. None came between 1775 and 1780. However, although the war had not yet ended, the year 1780 saw 58 new arrivals, and the next year almost as many. Other high years were 1785 with 57 families, and 1793 with 48 new entrants.*9

Familiar Names

Checking over the list, one might be surprised to see so many of those early names which are still to be found with us today. Such names as: Ambrose, Aman, Avery, Alphin, Andrews,

[note]



Brown, Bell, Bachelor, Barber, Brinson, Brock, Basden, Burns, Burton, Bryan, Bowen, Bender, Crawford, Clark, Cooper, Cox, Conway, Chase, Costin, Croome, Cowell, Dudley, Davis, Dixon, Edens, Frank, Farnel, Fonville, Grant, Gurganus, Gould, Griffin, Hawkins, Hemby, Hunter, Harker, Harrison, Howard, Hill, Henderson, Humphrey, Hewitt, Higgins, Hadnot, Huffman, Horne, Handcock, Innett, Jones, Johnson, James, Jarman, King, Kellum, Lewis, Littleton, Lee, Mitchell, Moore, Mills, Morton, Marshburn, Murray, Melton, Miller, Marshall, Mumford, Morris, Murrill, Rhodes, Ramsey, Sanderson, Sutton, Scott, Simpson, Sanders, Simmons, Shepard, Smith, Shaw, Spicer, Screws, Taylor, Trott, Venters, Ward, Williams, Waters, Wood and Yopp, are a few of the early names found in the record who are still with us today.

Community and Place Names

“White Oak” is the oldest name in the County, the Indian name for the river being “Wee Toc”, which means White Oak. Bear Banks was then Bare Banks and the creek took the same name. There were five Mill Creeks in the County. Alexander Nicola, a Frenchman, settled down near the Sound. The creek which ran nearby was called at first “The Frenchman's Creek,” now French's Creek. The Old Town Creek was so called because on its banks was the site of an abandoned Indian Town. Queen Creek was named in honor of the Queen back in England. Stones Creek and Bay was named for Captain William Stone, the County's earliest surveyor. New River was “New” to settlers both from New Bern and Wilmington. King's Creek honored the King.

Wallace's Creek, Browns Creek, Starkeys Creek, Grants Creek, Harry's (Harris) Creek, Hopes, (Hope Dexter) Creek, Batchelor's Delight, Moores Creek, Ashes Creek, Hadnots Point, Patrick Branch, Mitchell Swamp, Francks Pond, Spicer's Bay, Chadwick Bay, Sneads Ferry, each took its name from persons owning land or living nearby.

Other places got their names from physical characteristics such as South West, North East, Great Creek, Scales Creek, Topsail Sound, Blue Creek, Mill Swamp, Gravelly Run, Flat Swamp, Muddy Creek, Stump Sound, Alum Spring, Jumping (Run) River, Dewdrop Branch, Rocky Run, Haws Run, Haw Branch and Horse Neck Swamp.

Names that lead us to know why they were so called are: Turkey Creek, Blue Creek, Poplar Branch, Half Moon, Hickory Branch, Gum Branch, Cypress Creek, White House Creek, Plum Branch, Scales Creek, Troublesome Run, Trapps Creek, Buck Branch, Wolf Swamp, Back Swamp, Indian Spring, Black Creek, Shaking





Creek, Howling Pond, Hominy Swamp, Sandy Run and Holly Shelter.

Two Mile, Five Mile, Seven Mile, Nine Mile, and Ten Mile are each named from their approximate distance from the ancient “Rich Lands Chapel.”

Incidentally

“Old Chapel” Creek runs into White Oak near Grants Creek, indicating that an early church stood there. Benjamin Screws was the first man to settle on The Nine Mile in 1767. Two years later John Lester took up land at the Blazed Pine. School House Branch shows that an early school stood there. Grants Creek was named for Alexander Grant, who settled there in 1736.

Catherine Lake was early known as “The Crane Ponds near Alum Spring.” Later it was “Ashe's Pond.”

The site of the Chapel was called “Chapel Hill.”

Cowhorn Swamp near Richlands should be Cohan's Swamp.

Courthouse Bay was the site of the first Courthouse.

Old Town Point later became Johnston, the county seat town. The town was destroyed by a storm in 1752 after which it again took the name of Old Town Point.

About 1827, Woodhouse Rhodes willed to his son, Durhant Hatch Rhodes, a Negro boy named “Seven.”

Sir Arthur Onslow

Onslow County was named for Arthur Onslow, for more than 33 years Speaker of the British House of Commons. During that time Sir Arthur won fame as a champion of democracy at a time when that idea of government had not yet become popular, a fact which bespeaks his progressive and liberal characteristics as a statesman.

By ingenuity and tact he not only maintained his position, but gained prestige and respect for himself as time went on.

Most popular man in Britain at that time was Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister as such. Walpole had stepped into British political activities and made a name for himself by stabilizing Britain's economy during a recession following the inflationary period known in English history as “The South Sea Bubble.” Almost everyone had invested money in a promotional lottery designed to finance new lands, mines, etc., in the South Seas. When the people realized that the lottery would never pay off, panic seized the country and a depression such as the nation had not known before followed, causing much loss and suffering among those who had invested heavily.

The Prime Minister took advantage of his popularity and power to bring about certain reforms which he believed necessary.





Among these was the transferral of Parliamentary power from the House of Lords to the House of Commons which was, democratically speaking, making still further progress from the time when the King relinquished many of his traditional rights to the Lords in Parliament.

Besides being a disciple of Walpole, Onslow was popular in his own right. Having entered Parliament at the age of 29, he remained in that body for 41 years, 33 of which he was speaker of the House of Commons. This is a longer time than any other person has occupied this important post.

Onslow came of a distinguished family in Britain. The first of the line was Richard Onslow, first of the family to become Speaker. He lived from 1528 to 1571 and made a solid reputation for himself in the second Parliament of Elizabeth.

Another Richard distinguished himself as a staunch supporter of Cromwell and the protestant Commonwealth. He commanded his own regiment of Roundheads during the English Civil War and narrowly escaped prosecution upon the restoration of Charles II. Soldier and parliamentarian, he never became Speaker.

The third Richard Onslow (1654-1717) was Speaker of the Commons 1708-1710 in the third parliament of Queen Anne. One year before his death he was elevated to the Peerage and moved over to the House of Lords.

Onslows have distinguished themselves before and since Sir Arthur's time. “The family can boast an admiral, a Lieutenant-General, a musician and composer of international fame, as well as earls, lords, barons, knights, and in later years, diplomats in numbers which become confusing as we attempt to count them. In very truth, Onslow is a grand old name (“Eddy”).”

Sir Arthur Onslow worked hand in hand with Walpole, the Prime Minister. They seem to have made a wonderful team.

Onslow was a democrat in a very liberal sense for a statesman of his time. A man of unblemished integrity and much ability, the third member of his family to become speaker of the House, “His knowledge of the constitution equalled his attachment to it.”

“He was an inflexible champion against encroachment by the Lords upon the rights of the Commons.”

A further study of him cannot be made in this book, but living down on White Oak River in the new county was a man even more democratic than Arthur Onslow. So powerful was he that the Governor afterward said of him that he swayed the members of the Colonial Assembly as he willed, and that they follow him like chickens. He was John Starkey of Onslow County. The public life of Arthur Onslow had made an impression in far off





America. One can almost imagine plain John Starkey in 1731 insisting that the new county then being erected, and in which he himself lived, be named for the democratic nobleman Arthur Onslow.

Two hundred and sixteen years later the people of Onslow unveiled in their Courthouse a print of Sir Arthur Onslow, for whom the county was named and who was Speaker of the British House of Commons. The picture, published in London in 1803 from an original painting by Hogarth and Sir James Thornhill, was dedicated to Earl Onslow. It represents the House of Commons in the administration of Sir Robert Walpole, the central figure in which is the Right Honorable Sir Arthur Onslow.

The painting was given by Lady Halifax, wife of Lord Halifax, British Ambassador to the United States. Lady Halifax, before her marriage, was a member of the Onslow family and is a direct descendant of Arthur Onslow. A request was made to Dr. Christopher Crittenden, Director of the State Department of Archives and History by the County Historian for cooperation in securing a picture of Arthur Onslow. Dr. Crittenden took the matter up with the Department of State in Washington and was referred to the British Embassy. The big surprise came in the form of a letter from Lady Halifax saying that she was greatly interested in this matter and that she took great pleasure in presenting the print of the distinguished member of her family. The Presentation and Acceptance program took place Monday, March 3, 1947, at 2:30 P.M. during a session of Superior Court presided over by Judge Henry L. Stevens of Warsaw. After appropriate remarks, Judge Stevens turned the session over to Parsons Brown, County Historian, who acted as Master of Ceremonies. The presentation was made by Mr. H. H. Eddy on behalf of the Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. Judge Stevens accepted for the people of the County in a happy and appropriate speech, and ordered that the proceedings of the day be entered upon the Court Minutes by the Clerk as a permanent record for future reference.

Judge Stevens said he hoped the picture would hang upon the walls for coming generations to look upon and admire and be proud of its antiquity.

“Arthur Onslow's life is evidence of the evolution of Democracy,” he said. Brief speeches of acceptance and appreciation were made by Community leadership including:

The Reverend Carl B. Craig for the Ministers

Billy Arthur for Press and Radio

Albert Ellis for American Legion and Kiwanis Club

Charlie C. Clark for Farmers of the County





Mayor Raymond Askew for the Town and Chamber of Commerce

Mrs. Annie Price for Daughters of the Confederacy

Miss Marguerite Henderson for Farm Women of the County

Mrs. W. L. Ketchum for the Woman's Club

Mrs. Lillian Russell Ray for the Daughters of the American Revolution

Mrs. R. H. Merrill of Swansboro

John D. Warlick for the Onslow County Bar.

Bibliography—Chapter I

“Land Grants to 1800” Onslow County Records, Register of Deeds Office. Jacksonville, North Carolina

De Graffenreidt's Account of His Colonies.

Saunders: “The Colonial Records of North Carolina.”

[note][note][note][note][note][note][note][note][note][note]



THE COURTHOUSE AND THE COURTS
On Courthouse Bay

The formation of the Precinct of Onslow and the naming of the Justices of the County Court necessitated the erection of a Courthouse. At that time the settlements extended only along the sound and on White Oak and New Rivers.

The site selected, which was also intended to contain stocks and whipping post, was located on Courthouse Bay.

The Minutes of the first Precinct Courts have been lost, but we know that the Court met there because the minutes of one of the sessions which met in 1734 says, “The Court met in the Courthouse on New River.”

Tradition says this Courthouse was made of logs hurriedly constructed and used only for a short time.

On North East

For some reason, the court met in the house of Christian Heidleburg for its July, 1735, session. Here plans were made for the building of a new Courthouse and here was empowered the levying a tax for the purpose.

John Williams, one of the County's leading citizens, was designated to do the work.

The description of the house, which was to be located “at any place between the Joseph Howard house and Russell's line where he shall see the conveniency of a good spring facing the lower side of the North East Branch of New River” was as follows:

“Framework 30 feet long and 18 feet wide to be weather boarded with feather edged plank, covered with shingles two feet long and laid on workman like, the house to be built workman like. A prison 16 feet long and 12 feet wide, the sills of the prison to be 8×10 inches, the sleepers to be laid 4 inches apart and the floor to be laid with white oak plank 2 inches thick, the sides to be studded with studs 4 inches square, and placed 4 inches apart with a partition in the middle and weather boarded with good clapboards, laid overhead with joists 4 inches apart, the loft laid with inch plank. The house to be covered with shingles, after the same form of the courthouse; and to make a pair of stocks and a whipping post.”

But Williams “declined his bargain” and the contract was let to Joseph and Stephen Howard, who built the house. Some difference between the Howards and the court was settled by arbitration.

The following indicates that the house was in use for only seven years “at a court begun and held for Onslow County at





ye place where ye court was formerly held for said county on ye first Tuesday in April, 1744, present his Majesties Justice John Starkey, Sam Foyle, Ab'm Mitchell and Richard Fields, Gentlemen. The Court being met at ye place where ye court house formerly stood and finding ye house by some malishus and evil disposed person was burnt, they were pleased to adjourn ye court to ye house of John Taylor.”

The County Builds a County Seat Town at Old Town Point

As before stated, the courthouse on North East was burned and the problem of reconstruction now presented itself.

The population of the county now consisted of about two hundred families scattered over most of the county. Many of them were men and women of prominence, owning slaves and farms with large cleared acreage. Shipping with New England and the West Indies was carried on by a few of the planters. A mail passed through Onslow between New Bern and Wilmington, but no “town” had yet developed and planters still looked to New Bern or Wilmington, not only for trade, but for social and educational advantages.

To remedy this it was proposed to lay off a town, build a courthouse and hold court there. A “gaol”, stocks and whipping post were also to be built. Here could be developed a center of trade and culture among our own people, and so the decision was made. A town was laid off and inducements offered to attract new inhabitants to it.

The location of the new county town, which was to be called “Johnston” in honor of Governor Gabriel Johnston, was to be on a bluff now called “Old Town Point” and “Old Town Creek,” and was connected with the opposite shore by a ferry.

An Act was passed by the Assembly and ratified by Mr. Hope Dexter, who owned the land, in 1741. The Town was to be laid out by a Commission composed of Samuel Johnston, John Starkey, Jonathan Tremain, Samuel James and James Foyle, the last named also to act as Treasurer. The Town was to be laid off in lots and streets and the lots were to be assigned to prospective inhabitants by vote of the Commission, the receipts to be paid to Mr. Dexter on the 25th of March each year.

Each person receiving a lot agreed to build within two years a substantial frame house of at least 16 × 24 feet. Failure to do so forfeited his title to the land. He was also obligated to enclose the lot with a good fence and keep it clear of shrubbery and weeds.

The Courthouse was to be erected upon a public square and the town was to contain 100 acres to be laid off into lots of one-half acre each, and Mr. Dexter could reserve any lots for himself as he chose.





This town, however, was doomed to destruction for in 1752 a hurricane and tidal wave overflowed Charleston, South Carolina, and followed the coast northward until it reached the Courthouse town, where it blew away the Courthouse and carried much of it, and many of the records in it, entirely across New River, there two miles wide, but some fell in the river.

Tradition says the storm took with it across the river a little boy, age about 4 years, and he was, when found, so frightened that when asked his name he could only reply, “Hadnot,” so the place was named Hadnot Point. The boy was named Charles Hadnot and was adopted by the County.

Almost every building in the town, including the residence of Thomas Black, the clerk, was destroyed, the County lost many of its records and the town was abandoned.

At Wantlands Ferry

When a new Courthouse was being planned in 1754-5 to replace the one destroyed by the storm, the population had extended so far toward the upper portion of the County that the old town of Johnston was no longer considered a suitable location, and the present site, then known as Wantlands Ferry, was selected.

A bill for the erection of a Courthouse at Wantland's Ferry was enacted in 1755 and the County took over operation of the ferry immediately. The town remained Wantlands Ferry. In January, 1756, Wantland gave the County one acre of land convenient to the river and spring for the Courthouse site.

John Starkey, Stephen Lee and Carey Godbee were appointed to see the land laid off and to contract with workmen to construct the buildings. The contract was let to William Gibson and the building was to have sash and glass for the windows, to be painted, and the prison was to be made strong. However, five years later the “gaol” was deemed insufficient and Solomon Grant was employed to build a new one, which he did.

Courts were held in the new Courthouse first in July, 1757.

Roads were laid out to connect with all portions of the County.

Wantland kept an Inn there until his death in 1760. His widow, Mrs. Mary Wantland, continued the business.

A bill for the laying off of a town at the ferry, to be named Onslow Courthouse, was passed in 1785, and was so called until 1842, when the name was changed to Jacksonville in honor of General Andrew Jackson.

The Fifth Courthouse

In 1787, about six years after the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, it was decided that the old Wantland Courthouse was old, dilapidated and unfit for further use, so the young free





county built a new one. One day when the county sees fit to publish the “Minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions” we will know the details and cost, as well as many other things of our history now buried in the files of Archives and History in Raleigh. This building seems to have been put into use about 1801 and to have lasted through the next 85 years. It was torn down in 1885 to make way for a new 3 story building made of brick and considered the last word in the way of Courthouses in that day.

Much to the dismay of the County Commissioners, it was discovered that the box-like structure was made of defective materials and poorly put together. So at the end of a short 20 years it was necessary to rebuild and this time it was determined to erect a modern building handsome in appearance.

The Courthouse

In March, 1904, the old Court House was declared to be too small, unsafe, not suitable and was condemned by the Grand Jury and the Judge as utterly insufficient for the transaction of the public business of the County.

The Commissioners declared a larger and more commodious Court House to be a public necessity, and so bonds to the amount of $24,000 were issued for the construction of a new building which was, when completed, considered a very modern and up-to-date structure. This Court House was in use until 1948 when it was rebuilt into the one now standing.

The Present Courthouse Dedicated

The handsome, new Courthouse, the eighth, constructed at a cost of more than $250,000.00, was dedicated April 4, 1949, with colorful ceremony. Present and presiding was His Honor Judge Henry L. Stevens of Warsaw. Judge Henry A. Grady of New Bern was invited and sat alongside Judge Stevens on the dais.

Present and taking part in the proceedings was His Excellency, Governor W. Kerr Scott, Speaker of the House Honorable Kerr Craige Ramsey, The Onslow County Bar, Major General Franklin A. Hart Commanding Second Division, Camp Lejeune, Congressman Barden of the Third District, John D. Larkins and State Senator D. L. Ward of New Bern, each contributing a “word” to the historic occasion.

The Onslow County Bar sponsored the dedication, took part and carried out the program in a fine way. The Commissioners responsible for constructing the new building were introduced, etc.

To Billy Arthur, Editor and Publisher, goes credit for publishing two very creditable Special Editions of The News and





Views, one before the event giving something of the history of Courts and Courthouses in Onslow County to date, and another edition afterward entitled “Courthouse Dedication” (speeches, etc.) printed in full.

The Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions

The County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions was something like our county court, having also the administrative duties of our County Commissioners, the probationary powers of the Clerk of the Court and the recording duties of the Register of Deeds.

Prior to 1738 the court was referred to as the “Precinct Court.” That year the Precincts were converted into “counties” and in the court act it is referred to as “County Court.” The title “Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions” was first legally bestowed by the court act of 1760.

The Court was made up of the Justices of the Peace of the County. The Justices sat separately at any time or place, and heard minor cases whose decisions could be appealed to the regular meetings which met at the Courthouse four times yearly. Jointly they composed the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions.

The Court's activities included: Trial of minor cases limited generally to fines of 20 to 40 pounds, heard all civil actions at common law, had exclusive jurisdiction over the crimes of slaves, appointed and controlled administrators, executors and guardians, and acted as the governing body of the county.

Later it appointed the Board of Superintendents of Common Schools, created in 1839.

The Court was abolished in 1868 and the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions passed away, but the minutes it kept make up a detailed history of the county and its people. In Onslow these minutes are complete since 1734.

Typical activities in a day's session might include: Settlement of a dispute as to the value of 2 barrels of turpentine and a quantity of pitch; providing for the laying out of a new road from Joseph Howard's house on North East to the Chapel Spring; a ferry to be placed at Joseph Howard's and the naming of Charles Cox overseer on the King's road from the Ferry to New River; Edward Wingfield marrying the widow of Joseph Mumford required to give bond for protection of property belonging to the children of the said Joseph Mumford; the registering of an ear-mark for stock for an individual owner; Mary Pope swears a bastard child to John Cooper, who is required to give bond that he not only will pay Mary $18.00 per year but will see that the child may not become a public charge; a homeless child is apprenticed to John Williams with the proviso that the child be





taught to read the Bible and write a legible hand; John Williams permitted to build a grist mill on the South West; Mrs. Ann Morgan to furnish dinner for the Court; William Collins up for bastardy, “left this Government”; Ishmael Taylor allowed to keep a tavern and prices provided for the liquors which he sells; standard of weights and measures brought from Boston by John Starkey and paid for by the County Court; a magazine ordered kept, 30 pounds of powder, 200 pounds of swan shot or bullets and 40 dozen gun flints purchased and placed in charge of James Foyle; William Hedge, County Clerk, impeached for non-attendance upon his duties, but acquitted of charges of charging exhorbitant fees; two more grist mills; two more bastardy cases; ferry established from the new town of Johnston to Whitehouse Point.

The Court, more than any other agency, mirrored the life of the people of Onslow and put its actions down in black and white where all may read.

Bibliography—Chapter II

Onslow Court Minutes, Volume II, Page 39

Pleas and Quarter Sessions in State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, N. C.

Crittenden and Lacy: General Introduction to the Historical Records of North Carolina, Page 54.





JOHN STARKEY AND THE COLONIAL PERIOD

John Starkey was Onslow's first citizen in more ways than one. When the County was confirmed in 1735 she sent Starkey as her first representative to the General Assembly and kept him there continuously for 31 years until his death in 1765.

Just where he lived is not certain, however, the Starkey burial ground is on “The Bluff” about 4 miles above Swansboro on the Onslow side of White Oak River. So he may have lived there. The markers were destroyed during the Civil War (Morris).

It is said that every specie of manufacture was carried on at his place, so much so that his farm was as nearly self supporting as could possibly be.

So highly esteemed was he by the people that he was appointed executor for most people who died near him, and guardian for large numbers of orphans. Included among these were Samuel Johnston (afterwards Governor) and his sister Hannah (who later married James Iredell), children of Samuel Johnston, Surveyor General of North Carolina, the elder Samuel being brother of Governor Gabriel Johnston. They became shining lights in society and in the political life of the State.

To Starkey belongs the honor of introducing the first bill for free schools in North Carolina in 1749. That the bill failed of passage indicates how far ahead of his colleagues he was, for not until 75 years later did North Carolina really establish a system of free schools.

In the legislative halls he was active in all its deliberations, served on every important committee, was on commissions for public buildings in Wilmington and New Bern, and for the construction of forts at the mouth of Cape Fear and at Bear Inlet.

In his own county he supervised the letting of contracts for more than one of Onslow's early courthouses, was Colonel of the Militia, served in the Justices court from the time it met in Howard's house on the North East branch of New River in 1735 until 1756, when he, with Stephen Lee and Carey Godbee, was appointed to see the land laid off which is the site of the present Courthouse at Jacksonville, then known as Wantlands Ferry. The County's financing was almost solely entrusted to his management. Payments were made by him whether it be for the construction of the prison or the bringing from Boston of a standard of weights and measures, each County then being required to keep a set.

In 1750 he became Treasurer of the Southern District of North Carolina. “This together with his inflexible defense of the Assembly against the encroachment upon its powers, by the Kings’





officers, and by his commanding personality, he became the most powerful figure in the province of North Carolina.”

The Lords Proprietors held the lands of the State in fee by a grant direct from the King and by its terms were the Sovereign power in the government, appointing the Governor and also the Council, or upper house of the Assembly. To strengthen their power these lands were not sold to the settlers but granted to them upon the payment of “quit rent” thus giving the Proprietors all the privileges of landlords as well as Sovereigns. They and their governors looked upon the whole governing system as machinery to oversee and administer the details of governing those lands so as to be profitable to the owners.

The people, on the other hand, considered themselves as still citizens of the British Commonwealth with all rights guaranteed under the Great Charter and Bill of Rights, and so refused to be treated as tenants only. They elected Assemblymen who maintained their rights and added to them whenever possible. For many years the quarrel turned on whether the quit rents would be paid in the products of the farm or in cash. When paid in produce, the price to be allowed, and whether the royal agent would call at the farm to collect them were bones of contention. When a new Governor came in one of his first acts would be to order the quit rent paid in cash, and immediately a storm of protest would arise. Too, the Governor and Assembly were each jealous of their rights and each determined to maintain them. As an example of how assidious the Governor and Council were in upholding the King's prerogative, a communication from the House to the Council used the salutation, “Gentlemen of His Majesties Council” instead of the usual, “May it please your Honors,” causing quite a commotion in the Council. The message had been sent by Mr. Starkey and Mr. Hill. Council asked whether a mistake had been made, and upon being assured that the House considered the different style of address both reasonable and proper, at once referred the question to the Governor, who thereupon dissolved the Assembly. The House never returned to the former style of address, however, but generally used the words, “Gentlemen of His Majesties Council.”

It seems an agreement had been reached between some of the Northern members and Governor Dobbs to establish a seat of Government on Tower Hill near Kinston, on a farm the Governor had purchased for the purpose. Also, the King had agreed to reimburse the colonies for expense incurred in the French and Indian War. One item of 50,000 pounds was to be divided between Virginia, North and South Carolina. It was expected North Carolina's share would be about 15,000 pounds, of which only about 7,789 pounds ever materialized.





The most virile leader of the Assembly was John Starkey, and it was probably he who engineered a meeting held in Edgecombe between the two Treasurers and two or three leading members of the Assembly to lay plans to prevent this, then large sum, falling into the hands of the Governor. These leaders prepared a bill which provided that the specie be lodged with the Treasurer, to be paid out by an Agent appointed by the Committee of Correspondence, who were in turn named by the Assembly.

As the Governor was very anxious to have the new Capital City situated on his land at Tower Hill, Mr. Starkey determined that the capital location Bill and the specie control Bills go hand in hand, which the Governor said was “Mr. Starkey's price without which he would oppose it,” but the Council failed to act on the bills, which “greatly inflamed the leaders of the Assembly.”

The Assembly proposed to pay the agent only 150 pounds per annum for two years, the balance to be used to establish a free school in each county. The Governor would not agree, but proposed that the money be deposited in the Bank of England to pay fees due the Mother Country, to build forts, etc. He asked the Lords to decide who should control the funds, but himself used part of the money from time to time in fitting out troops in New York and elsewhere, and so the quarrel continued.

On January 22, 1759, Starkey was on the Committee of Correspondence to employ an agent in England to represent the State in the matters before the King, Lords or Boards of Trade, and on several other Committees, and was almost invariably chosen moderator when the House assembled as a committee of the whole. He introduced the Bill to provide a semi-monthly mail from Suffolk in Virginia to Brunswick and Charles Town, South Carolina. The contract was let to James Davis, the public printer at New Bern. The route passed through Onslow from Warburton's (White Oak School) via Sneads Ferry toward Wilmington.

That Starkey won many precedents from the King is easily seen, so much so that Governor Dobbs said of him, “He was the most designing man in the whole province; that he was a professed Republican, in every instance, taking from His Majestie's prerogative, encroaching upon the right of Council and adding to the power of the Assembly, to make himself popular. That getting into the Assembly, he continued to make himself popular by opposing all taxes that did not turn out to his profit, and by attempting to gain power to the Assembly at the expense of His Majestie's rights; and that finally, he made himself strong enough to induce the Assembly to appoint him one of the Treasurers of the Province without any limitations as to term of office, a circumstance that greatly increased his power; which he hesitated





not to use against the Crown. Being the Treasurer, he had charge of the payment of the Allowances to the members for their attendance, which he could advance or delay as to him seemed best, so that all unstable, impecuneous members, who wanted a supply followed him like chickens, and he swayed the House against the most sensible members of it.”

The Governor thought Starkey should be called Treasurer for the Crown, but Starkey called himself “Treasurer for the Public.” Also, the Governor says, “He was a man of good fortune (well-to-do) and integrity, much liked and esteemed by the people, having won their confidence by his capacity and diligence.” The Governor said a great part of his popularity was due to “Wearing Shoe-Strings, a plain coat, having a bald head, while other men of like station in life wore Silver Shoe-buckles, braided coats and a big wig.” When he said Colonel Starkey had a bald head, Governor Dobbs, being an Irishman, doubtless meant that he wore his own hair—that is to say, he did not wear one of the big wigs in style in that day.

That Starkey did not keep up with the styles of the day, the Governor mentioned along with the fact that he was an avowed Republican, and held them both to his discredit, but the people of the colony had a different view of the matter. Onslow elected him to the Assembly, and the Assembly confided in and honored him with the highest offices within its gift.

That the idea of democracy continued to develop in North Carolina from the time of the Lords Proprietors down to 1765 we know, and John Starkey was perhaps its most faithful exponent.

He was as democratic as Jefferson or Macon were later, and at a time when democracy was generally looked upon as an unworkable theory of government.

He died in 1765.

Bibliography

Letter of Fitzhugh Lee Morris to the writer

Journals of The General Assembly

Biographical History of North Carolina by Charles L. Van Noppen

Colonial Records of North Carolina

Colonel R. M. Sanders in the Colonial Records





THE REVOLUTION AND ITS LEADERSHIP
Setting Up the State

By 1774 dissatisfaction with the British policies had reached such a state that leaders of the people determined to voice a protest to the British King. To prevent any expression, the Governor refused to call any session at all. At a meeting between John Harvey, Samuel Johnston, Willie Jones and Edward Buncombe it was agreed to call a convention to meet at New Berne August 25, 1774. John Harvey himself issued the call and was chosen moderator, an honor for Onslow for, although he lived in Perquimans, he represented Onslow along with William Gray and Benjamin Harvey. Resolutions were passed declaring it wrong to tax the people without their consent or to send any man out of his country for trial, threatened a boycott against England unless wrongs were righted, elected delegates to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia and appointed a Committee of Safety, which practically took over the entire government.

The Second Provincial Congress met April 1775. Onslow's members were Edward Starkey, Henry Rhodes and William Cray.

John Harvey having died, the Third Convention was called by Samuel Johnston, who was named moderator. Isaac Guion. Henry Rhodes, Edward Starkey, John Spicer and John King represented Onslow.

At this Convention the Committee of Safety was superseded by the Provincial Council who took over the Executive duties of government. It was to consist of two members from each District, and a Member-at-Large from the entire state, 13 in all. Johnston was chosen Member-at-Large, and thus became, for all practical purposes, the Executive head of the state. The Fourth Provincial Congress met at Halifax, where George Mitchell, Benjamin Doty, John Spicer, John King and John Norman sat for Onslow. Here a resolution declaring for complete independance from England was passed April 12, 1776. North Carolina thus took a more drastic step than any state had thus far done.

The Fifth Congress at Halifax, November, 1776, framed a constitution. John Spicer, Thomas Johnston, Benjamin Doty and Henry Rhodes represented Onslow. John Spicer took a leading part in the activities and helped frame the Bill of Rights in the constitution. Edward Starkey was named on the first Council of State; also on the three succeeding ones. William Cray was on the Council in 1777, and both Starkey and Cray were on the Council of 1778. Spicer was elected first in 1785.

When the adoption of the Constitution of the United States was to be considered, the Convention met in Hillsboro July 21,





1788, and chose Governor Samuel Johnston as president. After much debate, wherein William R. Davie, James Iredell and Archibald McLain advocated adoption at once, and Willie Jones, Thomas Person and others proposed to withhold ratification until a Bill of Rights had been added, a majority of the convention voted against ratification and therefore the Constitution was rejected.

Edward Starkey, Robert Snead, Daniel Yates, Thomas Johnston and John Spicer, Jr., delegates from Onslow, all voted against ratification in 1788.

In 1789 when the Constitution was again up for consideration, the whole state had become convinced that North Carolina should enter the Union; most of the objections had been removed from the constitution, and so ratification became a mere formality. Robert Snead, Daniel Yates, George Mitchell and Edward Ward represented Onslow and all voted for ratification. All this caused North Carolina to be the last state but one to enter the Union, and too late to take part in the election of Washington as first president.

In the Field

“The smoothness with which the Tories were put down at Moores Creek Bridge and elsewhere demonstrated the efficiency of the new government and the genius of its military leaders.”

The officers of the Onslow Militia that year (1775) were William Cray, Colonel; Henry Rhodes, Lieutenant Colonel; Thomas Johnston and James Howard, Majors. Colonel Rhodes was to collect and pay for all firearms in the county.

In 1776 a company of militia was raised in Onslow with officers as follows: Ephrain Battle, Captain; James Foy, Lieutenant, and William Shaw, Ensign. An independent company was raised between New River and Deep Inlet with John King, Captain; but for some reason its organization did not last long. John Lambert was a second Lieutenant in the 1st Regiment, Continental line. The 1st and 2nd Regiments were in the South Carolina campaign.

The next year these and other troops set out for Washington's army. Onslow had soldiers in both the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, 1777, and with General Robert Howe at Savannah.

To help supply Washington's army, the following supplies were ordered raised in Onslow: “35 hats, 143 yds. linen, 70 yds. heavy cotton or wool, 70 pairs shoes and 70 pairs stockings.” The 2nd Regiment took an important part in the storming of Stony Point on the Hudson, by General Wayne.

North Carolina lost many in the surrender of General Lincoln at Charleston. These prisoners were held by the British at





Charleston and received only the bare necessities of life. After receiving the permission of General Patterson, the British Commander, to do so, “The Adventure” was fitted out at Beaufort and put under command of Colonel John Spicer of Onslow, and sailed for Charleston laden with tobacco, clothing and other supplies for the Americans held there as prisoners. In spite of permission by the British officer, the Adventure was seized near Charleston by the British ship of war, “Commorant,” her cargo confiscated and her crew imprisoned. North Carolina, through the United States Congress, protested to the British Admiralty, claiming compensation, but the matter was referred by them to the English government, and thus a settlement was deferred indefinitely.

Major Craig, the British commander at Wilmington, marched his men to Burgaw where he built, at Rutherford's Mill, a fortification from which to operate toward New Bern. General Lillington, with about 600 men from Craven, Dobbs, Jones and Onslow Counties was stationed at the Rich Lands (Catherine Lake). His army was short of both ammunition and horses. General Lillington called upon the Duplin troops for aid. “However, before opposition could be made, Major Craig's troops penetrated into Onslow and secured in that fertile section needed supplies. But when the people collected, finding that warm work was to be expected they returned to their stronghold.” This was in June, 1781. General Lillington's letter asking for aid follows:

Rich Lands, 28 June 1781, 10 A.M.

Sir:

“The enemy are advancing this morning from Rutherford's Mill with about 800 Tories and Regulars. You will please to march forward immediately with all the Horse and Foot you can muster. Not a moment is to be lost. We shall rendezvous at Hines where I hope to have a large force this evening. Everything will depend on your quick dispatch.”

“I am Sir, Your Humble Servant,

ALEXANDER LILLINGTON, “B.G.”

“To Major Molton, Duplin County”

On July 2 Colonel William Caswell wrote Governor Burke that he found the British in Onslow reaping wheat and collecting all the cattle they could, and saying that Colonel George Mitchell of Onslow was posted against them.





On July 16 Colonel Kenan wrote Governor Burke, “Onslow is threatened by the British and ask aid.” General Lillington called upon all men that can be raised in Duplin County to march to the Rich Lands Chapel in Onslow saying, “The people there may have to give up in order to save their property if help does not come, but that will be the last step.”

Also, on July 24 General Lillington to Governor Burke said, “They (the British) have been as far as the Rich Lands of New River and plundered some few of the inhabitants, but their stay was short owing to the spirit of the people who they found were collecting very fast. They retreated to Rutherford's Mill at this time.” Also in a letter from the Trent, General Lillington complained that this District was being neglected, saying that citizens were being expelled from their homes, their farms ravaged, and their negroes being carried off by the British.

However, Craig reached New Bern August 19, 1781, having recruited many Tories in the counties through which he passed. The latter part of the same month, while at New Bern, Major Craig heard that General Wayne was at Halifax. He therefore recrossed the Trent and marched his army through the Rich Lands and back to Wilmington, followed by Colonel Mitchell's small force.

In the latter part of that year another company of 100 men was ordered raised. They were stationed at Swansboro. John King raised a company of 40 horses for the protection of the salt works on Topsail Sound, also another company on New River with Amos Love, Captain.

Major Craig expected to raise another army after Cornwallis surrendered, but soon realized that British rule in America was ended, and when General Rutherford reached Wilmington he found Craig had sailed away.

It is difficult to tell just who the Onslow soldiers were because the state was divided into six military districts and with the exception of the Militia all officers were appointed by the district. Onslow was in the Wilmington District and had soldiers in the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 10th regiments. The militia were organized by counties and commanded by native officers.

“When the Whigs were successful, the Tories were discouraged and lay low, but when the British had the advantage they became bolder and either formed into companies and fought for the British, or flocked to the British army.”

Onslow was remarkably free from Tories, but there were some who were virile and active.

In 1782 the treaty of peace was signed, and by 1783 all the North Carolina soldiers had returned home.

The war was over.





NOTE
The Royal Oak

The Royal Oak stood on the county line between Richlands and Comfort. It is said that on the return march a British soldier had hidden himself in the thick top of an oak tree from which he could spy on the Americans as they passed by. However, some of Colonel Mitchell's men spied the Royalist in the tree top. He was ordered down and without much ado was summarily hanged on the same oak tree which was thereafter known as the Royal Oak. The tree stood where the Onslow-Jones line crosses the Richlands-Comfort road. The decayed stump was removed when the roadway was widened sometime about 1916.

Leadership

The leadership in Onslow just prior to and during the Revolution was able and efficient. Fortunate it was for the people of Onslow that this was so, for not only civil matters claimed their attention, but the British invaded the county several times and wrought destruction of crops and livestock and carried off slaves whenever possible.

Six of the most outstanding men have been selected here, but other patriots almost equally aggressive and effective lived in the county and took part in the conflict.

John Starkey's direction of colonial affairs of the county had been wise, efficient and progressive. Younger men like Cray, Rhodes, Spicer, Mitchell and Edward Starkey had learned in that school and followed its methods.

A reading of the minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, though its members were active participants in the events leading up to the Revolution when not in session, shows not a single reference to the fact that the storm of war was roaring loudly overhead.

No mention of war or military matters is made in the minutes, no change in procedure took place. So informally did the change from Royal authority to a government of the people take place that the minutes make note of it only as follows:

April 10, 1776, Present: “His Majesty's Justices”

James Howard

Robert Snead

Seth Ward

October 1, 1776, “Entered by order of the Committee.”

January 1, 1777,

State of North Carolina, Onslow County

Justices Present:

William Cray

John Brinson





Benajah Doty

James Howard

Seth Ward

Thomas Johnson

Richard Jarrott

Stephen Williams

Jacob C. Craft

Reuben Grant

“Qualified by taking the oath prescribed by the Congress.”

Thus we see the evolution of the County Court from the authority of the King to that of the people of the state and county, which only recently had burgeoned out into a free American State.

Onslow, like other counties of the state, had its militia organization, from two to four companies being enrolled most of the time. Drills were held quarterly, generally at the same time as the County Court sessions.

Some of these officers were good military men for their day and kept their companies in good form, and the men well trained. Through the sturdy cooperation of these wise leaders the county not only guarded well its own territory but sent men and supplies to the Continental Line. The story unfolds itself in the sketches of our individual leaders which follow:

William Cray

Onslow was fortunate in having a great leader to take Starkey's place in the person of William Cray. He lived on his farm located at the intersection of Duck Creek and New River, and was for twenty years prominent in County and State affairs, until his death in 1778.

(In legal papers which he wrote, he referred to himself as a merchant, Old Records Book C; Page 278.)

In those days the county was governed by the Justices, who were appointed by the General Assembly. They occupied something of the same position as the County Commissioners do now. The Justices might employ as many, or as few, men as necessary to carry on the machinery of the County government, and in Cray's time in Onslow it took only one. For several years he held the offices of Clerk, Register, Colonel of Militia, Treasurer and Coroner, and thus was the head of the entire County System.

The deepening of New River was then, as now, an important question before the people, and in 1761 the Assembly devised a scheme by which the money could be raised without making an appropriation, as would now be done.

The United States government did not then exist and the State





had complete authority in such matters. The amount of 1200 pounds was to be raised by lottery, and William Cray, Richard Ward and Henry Rhodes were the Trustees in charge. The plans were to sell one thousand tickets at thirty shillings each at the courthouse door, and prizes were offered for those drawing the lucky numbers. This method of raising money was looked upon by many as gambling, and when the Board of Trade in London heard about it they objected to Governor Dobbs and decreed that, “he not consent to a like law in the future,” but the benefits, if any, in this case had already been had.

In 1764 Cray was elected to the Assembly for the first time, and continued as our representative each year but one, until 1775, when the form of government changed. He grew with the service, soon became active and had a large part in the proceedings of the Assembly.

(An interesting bill introduced by him allowed Jane Wilton 19 pounds to repay the damage done her by a storm.)

In 1770 and 1771 the State was stirred by the demands of the Regulators, an organization for the purpose of bringing about a more just levy and collection of taxes, and to abolish overcharges made by officials of the counties concerned.

Officials generally ignored these demands and the Regulators in some cases resorted to violence. To put down what he termed “rebellion”, Governor Tryon marched through the territory on a “grand parade”.

Onslow was called upon to furnish a company and Colonel Cray was ordered to march his men to Colonel William Bryan's in Johnston County, there to unite with Tryon's forces. Cray's report showed his company consisted of: 1 Colonel, 1 Captain, 1 Lieutenant, 1 Ensign, 1 Adjutant, 1 Clerk, 2 Sergeants, 1 Drummer, 42 privates, 2 Servants, 6 horses and 1 cart.

Governor Tryon was very courteous to his officers and each day a new field officer was put in command. Colonel Cray served as Field Officer on May 9, June 10 and June 15. Each day a new pass word was given and one day the countersign was “Onslow.”

During the battle the Onslow troops were to form on the left of the second line, and in case of flank attack they, with the Carteret troops, were to form an angle to cover the attack.

The Regulators were severely beaten at Alamance in Orange County. On May 16th Governor Tryon announced a “glorious victory over the obstinate and infatuous rebels.” The dead were buried and a thanksgiving service held.

After the battle Colonel Cray was appointed to sell the captured horses and turn the money over to the public treasurer.

Colonel Cray, like most other citizens of North Carolina, bitterly opposed the Stamp Act and other oppressions in practice





from 1765 to the outbreak of the Revolution, but the ideas of independence of the mother country had not then entered the minds of the colonists, and this explains the loyalty of Cray and others at Alamance, who later actively opposed the British. The matter of upholding the civil government became another question when that government undertook, through armed force, to impose arbitrary measures which limited too much the liberties of the people.

A new Governor, Josiah Martin, took the reins of government and many people hoped for an improvement in governmental relations, but instead, the new Governor failed the people even more miserably than had the former.

The happenings of the time caused much excitement among the people, and when news came of the battle of Lexington, everyone knew the blow had fallen. The news was carried by messenger from Boston, through Rhode Island, New York and states further south until it reached New Bern. Thence it was sent in haste to Onslow, where it was received by William Cray, for the Committee of Safety, on Sunday morning, 10 o'clock, May 7, 1775. The dispatch was rushed on to the New Hanover Committee accompanied by the following letter:

Onslow County, May 7, 1775

Gentlemen:

About an hour past, I received the enclosed papers. Disperse with them to your adjoining counties.

Keeping a copy of James Lockwood's letter. Pray write what to do. We are:

William Cray

Seth Ward

Joseph French

Edward Ward

Robert Snead

Enclosed is the last Gazette for Brunswick.

To the Wilmington and Brunswick committees.

For Cornelius Harnet, Colonel John Ashe or any of the committee for Wilmington.

Received and forwarded by William Cray, New River, May 7, 1775.

* * * *

After Governor Martin took refuge on the British ship of war “Cruiser”, and attack was expected upon the town of Wilmington and Minute Men from the adjoining counties were called to their aid in fortifying the city. Colonel Cray and his company marched, promptly, but the expected attack did not come.





Onslow's part in the battle of Moore's Creek Bridge was to send Colonel Cray and his company of Minute Men to prevent the passage of the Tories through Duplin County.

The victory discouraged the Tories and encouraged the Whigs all over North Carolina.

Some incidents which show the energy and ability of Colonel Cray in his efforts to apprehend British suspects is shown in a letter of Edward Howard written to Governor Caswell in 1777, in which he complains that he had been ordered by Colonel Cray to leave the Province. He goes on to state his predicament and offers to take the oath of allegiance; also Cray reported the capture of eleven deserters taken in Onslow, five of whom were hanged, which so aroused the ire of the British that Major Craig threatened retaliation.

In a letter to Governor Caswell dated November 1, 1777, William Cray, Jr., says he has captured and returned the following deserters to the Colonel commanding the 6th Battalion: William Renn, William Hall, William Howard, Starret Burns, William Morton, Edward Hammonds, Martin Hammonds, Nehemiah Higgins, Henry Williamson, James Ward and Yabrie Waters.

After the adoption of the Constitution in 1776, each county was allowed one Senator in the upper house of the General Assembly, and Colonel Cray was elected to that office for Onslow. During his first term, Senator Cray was elected to the Council. The Councilors of State were chosen for their special ability out from among members of the General Assembly, a distinct honor. The next year he was elected President of the Council at its session at Kinston in August, also at New Bern in November. He held this position until November 29, 1778, when he died. He was buried at his plantation on Duck Creek. He contributed a great share in establishing the new state.

Note: When the United States Government took over land for the Marine Base in 1942, Colonel Cray's body was, like many others, removed to a new cemetery at Montford Point road near Jacksonville, where it rests today. The county should erect a fitting monument in his honor so that citizens might more fully appreciate his service in the setting up of the new state.

Henry Rhodes

Colonel Henry Rhodes began his public career as almost all public citizens did in the early life of the county, by being appointed a Justice of the Peace, which office was then a much more important one than it is generally considered to be now, because the county government was then principally in their hands.

Prior to the Revolution, the counties maintained an organization of militia which met in their respective communities at





stated times, and all of which came together at the courthouse four times annually at the opening of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. Each local unit was in charge of a captain or other subordinate officer, while the general muster at the courthouse was in command of a Colonel.

In 1773, while Cray was at his peak in the Legislative halls, Rhodes was Sheriff of Onslow and held at the same time most other county offices.

Prior to 1775, the Legislature consisted of an upper house called the Council, and a lower house of Commons. Colonel Rhodes was elected to the House of Commons first in 1775, the last session before the Provincial Congress. He was a delegate to the Second Provincial Congress which met at New Bern, April, 1775; also at the Congress at Hillsboro in August, 1775.

By this time Governor Martin had fled the state and had taken refuge on a British ship in the Cape Fear, and at Hillsboro a provisional government was set up.

When the Congress was not in session authority was vested in a Committee of Safety. The state was divided into six military districts, each having its own military organization. Each county was apportioned one or more companies, each company had its own officers.

Onslow was in the Wilmington District, and Rhodes was a member of the Provincial Council of the Wilmington District.

During the Second Provincial Congress a resolution of approval of the action of the Delegates at Philadelphia was passed, and Rhodes supported it. In the Congress at Hillsboro he was on several committees, and that same year was commissioned to buy all the ammunition in Onslow. The total bought that year amounted to 121:9 shillings.

When the fourth Provincial Congress met at Halifax in April, 1776, the States Delegation in Congress was empowered to concur with Delegates from other Colonies in declaring independence and in the Congress in November, 1776, also at Halifax, presided over by Richard Caswell, the Constitution was adopted. Onslow Delegates were John Spicer, Thomas Johnston, Benjamin Doty, Edward Starkey and Henry Rhodes.

The Constitution went into operation at once. It provided a Senator and a representative for each county. Colonel Cray, the first Senator under the Constitution having died in 1778, Rhodes was elected to take his place.

The necessity for a medium of exchange caused the State to issue much paper money. The first issue was in 1778, the second in 1779, and the third in 1790. The designing and printing of these bills was entrusted to a committee headed by Senator Rhodes.





Note: In the effort of the State to send aid to South Carolina and Georgia against the British, his son Woodhouse was among those drafted into Service. Domestic reasons would not admit of the absence from home of both Colonel Rhodes and his son, and Colonel Rhodes promptly offered his resignation as Superintendent of Printing, but his service was too valuable to be dispensed with and the Assembly exempted his son in order that the father might continue his work on the currency issue.

He favored and worked for the bill to confiscate property of persons who were inimical to the welfare of the new state, was active in conduct of the proceedings of the House, was mentioned for the Council, but instead was made Treasurer of the Wilmington District.

Just when he died we do not know, but mention is made of a settlement of his estate in 1788. He lived at and is buried in an unmarked grave at Rhodes’ Point on New River. Of his immediate family he in his will mentions his wife, Elizabeth, his sons Woodhouse and Henry, and daughters Sarah Ward, Elizabeth Fonville, Alice, Mary and Henrietta.

He was a useful man, and in his later years devoted every energy he possessed to the prosecution of the war and the setting up of an independent government in the State.

John Spicer

John Spicer lived on Spicers Bay in the extreme southern end of the County, and like most others of Onslow's early leaders, had some experience in military affairs in the militia of the county, and also like most of them, had been one of the Justices.

His first experience as a lawmaker came in 1773 when he served a term in the Colonial Assembly along with William Cray. In August, 1777, at Hillsboro, he with others represented Onslow in the Third Provincial Congress. When two regiments were ordered for the Continental Line Colonel Spicer aided in recruiting these troops and himself became Paymaster in the 2nd Regiment and made the South Carolina campaign along with his regiment. He was a delegate to the 4th Provincial Congress which met at Halifax in April, 1776. His next important legislative assignment was in the 5th Provincial Congress at Halifax, where a new constitution was to be drafted. A historian has rated him one of the ablest members of that body. He was on the committee to prepare a Bill of Rights for the constitution, which was considered essential in State papers of that day, and for lack of which North Carolina may have withheld her approval of the Constitution of the U. S. in 1788.

In 1777 he reenlisted in the Continental line but later in the year was elected to the Senate.





To relieve the suffering of the Americans who were held prisoners at Charleston, a ship was fitted out and a cargo of 36 hogsheads of tobacco, clothing and supplies under command of Colonel Spicer sailed from Beaufort on June 8, 1781. Upon his return he was again elected to the Senate. In 1785 he became a member of the Council of State, an exceptional honor in those days. He died during March of 1789 and his will was probated in April following.

Spicer was a man of many honors besides his legislative and military career, having been on the court of the Admiralty for Brunswick in 1783 and being on a commission to construct a public building in Wilmington at the time of his death.

He was a busy and useful man and deserves to be remembered so long as the government, which he so ably helped to build, shall stand. He is buried in the family cemetery at Spicers Landing.

The story is told that Cornelius Harnett, while spending some time at the home of Colonel Spicer, ill and in much pain, was captured by a detachment of British soldiers. The Wilmington patriot was compelled to walk until he sank exhausted by the roadside. He was then thrown across his horse like a sack of meal. After reaching Wilmington, upon intercession of some of his Loyalist friends, Harnett was released. He however died of his injuries. (Waddell History of New Hanover County, Page 185.)

Edward Starkey

Edward Starkey was the second member of the family to achieve prominence in the public service of Onslow. Just what relation he was to John Starkey, the Colonial Treasurer, we do not know.

The family lived on White Oak River, the Starkey burying ground being at the Bluff about four miles above Swansboro indicates that place as the original home site. Later the family lived near the intersection of Starkey Creek and White Oak River, the home known as the “Yellow House” stood not far from where White Oak consolidated school now stands.

Edward Starkey entered the Colonial Assembly for one Session in 1775, a most turbulent period, for in that year Committees of Correspondence were appointed to keep in touch with other colonies. This marked the beginning of colonial cooperation.

He took part in the Provincial Congress at New Bern in April, 1775, when delegates were elected to the Continental Congress, and at Hillsboro when the Provincial Council was set up, was on the Committee on Claims, and with others, was appointed to purchase rigging, anchors and equipment for galleys built in Virginia





for the State of North Carolina. With the new constitution which he had helped to form went into effect, he was on the first Council of State. That same year, 1777, a French vessel was captured by the British fleet, but becoming lost at sea the Prize Master returned the ship to her owner, who, his provisions being low, put into White Oak Inlet, now Swansboro, and put his vessel in the hands of Starkey, occasioning the writing of two letters by him which are preserved in the records.

Starkey was again elected to the Commons in 1778 and 1779; also reelected to the Council and in 1783 became Speaker of the House of Commons.

Almost from the first, Starkey occupied an influential position among his contemporaries. His ready wisdom and understanding of questions before the Assembly seemed to enable him to master the situation in every circumstance and soon he held the complete confidence of his contemporaries.

Starkey was deeply interested in education, was one of the Trustees of the James Innes Academy in New Hanover. To promote education in his own county, he in 1783 proposed the following resolution: “Whereas the establishing of public schools at convenient places for the education of youth will be attended with great advantage to inhabitants of their state, etc.” It was proposed that two schools be established in the county, one at Rich Lands with Edward Starkey, James Howard, Fred Harget, Lewis Williams, William Shackelford, and Daniel Yates as trustees, and one at Swansboro, with George Mitchell, Reuben Grant, William Nelms and Joseph Lillibridge, trustees. Also in his will he made ample provision for the education and training of one of his nieces “in a manner suitable to her station in life.”

In 1784 he was on the Commission of Navigation for Bogue Inlet. He remained in the House of Commons until 1787.

Edward Starkey was a religious man. He said in his will that times were so profane that he considered it incumbent upon him “to make a public confession of my sincere and unfeigned belief in the merits of the Holy and Blessed Jesus, hoping and trusting, through Him alone, to receive remission and forgiveness for the manifold sins and wickedness of which I have been guilty.”

Then in the next paragraph he directed that demands against him be paid “especially orphans for whom I have been executor,” and closed the instrument with these words: “Desiring all my relations, friends and acquaintances to pray for the peace and quiet of my soul.”

The will, written in 1781, shows he owned part of the land formerly owned by Treasurer John Starkey, and also that he himself left no descendants. The date of probate is illegible and the date of his death is uncertain, probably about 1788 or 1789.





George Mitchell

Colonel George Mitchell, according to Mr. Morris, was a son of Abram Mitchell, Onslow planter, and wife Kesiah Hunter of Hunter's Creek section of Carteret. Mr. Morris also says that Colonel Mitchell grew up in the home of Emanuel Jones at Mt. Pleasant near Swansboro, and himself lived near Montford's Mill, 3 miles east of Piney Green on what is now Camp Lejeune military reservation.

Prior to the Revolution Captain Mitchell had been active in the militia service and in 1776 commanded a company of foot soldiers in the 6th Regiment of the Continental Line under Colonel Alexander Lillington, and at one time through some dissatisfaction caused by the failure of the soldiers to get pay as promptly as to them seemed proper, Captain Mitchell advanced 135 pounds with which to finance the company until proper arrangements could be made, thus demonstrating his patriotism in a very substantial way.

He held the following positions of honor in the County:

1778 Elected to the House of Commons from Onslow.

1780 Representative in the Assembly and Major of Militia.

1781 Colonel in Militia—Active against British.

1783 Trustee of Academy at Swansboro.

1784 Commissioner of Navigation for Bogue Inlet.

1786 Senator from Onslow.

1787 Reelected to the Senate. Resigned as Colonel of the Militia.

Colonel Mitchell was a fighter, knew the swamps and sounds of Onslow and was always ready with his little company for a skirmish with the British or to put down Tories and prevent their activities in the county. When Craig marched to New Bern and back, it was Colonel Mitchell who followed and harassed them in every way possible. His love for the American cause, his patriotism and capacity for service, was demonstrated time and again.

The tradition of The Royal Oak is supposed to have originated from this campaign.

Samuel Johnston

(Johnston spent only his youth in Onslow.)

Samuel Johnston was born in Dundee, Scotland, December 15, 1733, came to North Carolina in 1736 with his parents who settled in Onslow County.

His father, also named Samuel, was a brother of Governor Gabriel Johnston and Surveyor General of the Province. The elder Samuel soon died and Samuel, with his sister Hannah grew up in the home of John Starkey and received invaluable training there. She later married James Iredell, perhaps the leading





Jurist of that day in the colony. Samuel finished his education in Edenton and New England.

In 1754 he located in Edenton, where he became Clerk of the Chowan County Court. In 1765 he bought a plantation which he named “Hayes,” for Sir Walter Raleigh's estate in England.

He represented Chowan in the Assembly from 1761 to 1765, was in the Provincial Congress in 1774, 1775 and 1776 presiding over the Congress at Halifax, and receiving the thanks of the house couched in the highest terms. The resolution read:

“Resolved that the thanks of this House be given to Honorable Samuel Johnston, Esq., for his able, faithful and assiduous discharge of the high and important duty of President of this Congress having in that, as in all other stations, proven himself the firm and liberal patron of liberty, and a wise and zealous friend and asserter of the rights of mankind.” May 14, 1776.

Johnston was, however, fearful of what the new experiment would bring as the result of placing the ballot in untrained hands. Speaking of the new constitution he said, “There is one thing I cannot bear. The inhabitants are impowered to elect the Justices in their respective Counties, who have to be Judges, of the County Court.”

He also said: “I am in great pain for the honor of the Province. A set of men without reading, experience or principle to govern them.”

Johnston was the leader of the conservatives in the state and in close association with James Iredell and William Hooper. Led by these men a large group of the better educated people in Eastern North Carolina favored only the most conservative measures and wanted the new government patterned as nearly like that of Great Britain as possible. This attitude cost him the election and he was defeated for reelection to the Provincial Congress. Although not a member of the convention, Johnston's advice was sought on many important questions. He, however, maintained an attitude of aloofness and sometimes criticized severely the acts of the dominant party. When the constitution was completed he was not enthusiastic about it, but said, “Ours will probably do as well as that adopted by any other colony.” Johnston was fighting for a principle of government he believed to be safe and against one that he believed to be radical.

He was in 1777 elected Treasurer of the Northern district of the state, but declined to serve. The honor of office alone did not attract him.

Johnston was too valuable a man to be allowed to remain idle and in 1780 the state sent him as a delegate to the Continental Congress at Philadelphia. There his great resourcefulness was recognized and when the New Confederation went into operation





he was chosen its first President, an honor which he declined. There Johnston, with others, began to designate Washington as the Leader of the Conservatives.

In North Carolina, Johnston, always the leader of the Conservatives, was in 1787 elected Governor of the state, causing jubilation in the Federalist camp. It was expected that Johnston's election as Governor would aid in ratification of the constitution of the United States, then up for consideration by the state, as he was one of its strong supporters, and when the convention convened he was named moderator. William R. Davie led a brilliant fight for its adoption, but the convention reserved its decision until a Bill of Rights should be adopted. The next year it was adopted and North Carolina came into the United States.

Upon the adoption of the constitution, Governor Johnston and Benjamin Hawkins were selected the first United States Senators.

At that time Senators were elected for a period of but two years, and the fear of the central government caused the Legislature to expect its members in Congress to be governed in all matters by the wishes of the Assembly who considered itself as the direct representative of the people.

Johnston felt that, being on the scene of action, questions raised should be left to the better judgment of the members themselves. To add to the discontent with Federalist policies, Washington had issued a proclamation of neutrality in the French Revolution, thus displeasing a great many Federalists.

In the election which followed, Johnston was defeated for the Senate by Governor Alexander Martin.

In 1800 Mr. Johnston was appointed Judge of The Superior Court of Chowan County, where he served until November of 1803.

He died in Edenton in 1816 (aged 83) and is buried there.

In reviewing some of his work he himself said, “I was a mere instrument in the business under the direction of the people among whom I have long resided, who have on all occasions placed the greatest confidence in me, to whose favorable opinion I owe everything I possess and to whom I am bound by gratitude (that most powerful and invincible tie on every honest mind) to render every service they can demand of me in defense of whatever they esteem their just rights at the risk of my life and property.”

Johnston stood by his convictions at all times without fear of popular opinion or of what the result might mean to him politically. Truly, he was, as a contemporary said of him, “As honest and true as he was able and obstinate.”





WASHINGTON'S VISIT

As every school boy knows, February 22 is the birthday of George Washington. All of us have heard him spoken of as “The Father of His Country,” because of the important part he had in the winning of independence and in the setting up of the new nation.

Washington believed in the United States of America although there were only 13 small states in the country at the time. He, however, was solicitous for the welfare of the young nation. He knew that Britain owned Canada on the north, Spain owned Florida on the south, and France owned all of the Louisiana Territory west of the Mississippi River. So deeply interested was he that he often prayed for the nation's welfare and protection. Most deeply, he was interested that its people become good citizens.

To see for himself the resources and possibilities of the new nation, Washington traveled through the 13 states stopping all along the road at public “ordinarys,” as inns were called in those days, where he met and talked with local citizens. From them he learned what they expected of the new government and to what extent they supported its policies. It was on one of these tours that the first President passed through Onslow County, and in which he made three stops. Wherever he went the people thronged to greet him, flags were flown, bells rung and receptions were given in his honor. Through Virginia into North Carolina in his chariot of State, drawn by four horses, he came, passing through Halifax, Tarboro and New Bern.

The Presidential Party reached Onslow April 22, 1791, entering the county from Shines (Old Comfort) through what is now Richlands (but then not even a house) on to Chapel Run, where he found a store, a chapel and an ordinary (inn).

For some reason he did not stop at the inn but went on over to Averitts, where he took breakfast. Passing Catherine Lake the party crossed South West and proceeded to Foys on Hicks Run, where the party had lunch. The afternoon ride took them to Sage's Ordinary just on this side of the Pender County line (then New Hanover) where lodging was engaged for the night.

According to his custom, Washington kept a diary and his comment, though not very complimentary to our section of the state, is interesting.

After a few brilliant days at New Bern Washington began again his journey southward. From his own account under date of Friday, April 22, 1791, we read: “Friday 22, under an escort of horse and many of the principal Gentlemen of New Berne I recommenced my journey, dined at a place called Trenton, which





is the head of navigation of the Trent River, which is crossed at this place on a bridge—and lodged at one Shines 10 M. Further, both indifferent houses.”

“Saturday 23: Breakfast at one Everetts 12 M.—Bated at a Mr. Foy's 12 M. farther and lodged at one Sages’ 20 M. bey'd it, all indifferent houses.”

The house of Shines mentioned by Washington is at present known as “Old Comfort.”

Again, tradition says that Washington intended to stop at the Rich Lands, which was then located on the North shore of Chapel Run, but because of the infestation of fleas there, moved on beyond to Mr. Averitt's, who lived where the Kessler home now stands.

After reaching Wilmington on Sunday, April 24, Washington wrote: “The whole road from New Berne to Wilmington (except in a few places of small extent) passes through the most barren country I ever beheld; especially in parts nearest the latter which is no other than a bed of white sand. In places however before we come to these, if the idea of poverty could be separated from the sand, the appearance of it are agreeable, resembling a lawn well covered with evergreens, and a good verdure below from a broom of course grass which having sprung since the burning of the woods had a neat and handsome look, especially as there are parts entirely open, and others with ponds of water which contributed not a little to the beauty of the scene.”

At the time of Washington's visit the settlers lived not on the roads as people do now, but along the banks of the streams and sounds, the road being little more than paths through the woods, and we are not surprised at his conclusions concerning the territory. Onslow's most highly developed section at that time was Swansboro and lower New River, although by its fertility the upper section had already become known as “The Rich Lands.”

NOTE:

A story is told of an incident which occurred at a dinner given by the people of Wilmington in honor of their distinguished guest.

As already mentioned, Washington considered the flat sand ridge between New Bern and Wilmington as a “most barren country” and owing to the flatness of the land he wondered about the quality of the drinking water. Turning to the inn keeper, Lawrence Dorsey, the President inquired what sort of water was used and if it was good.

To which Dorsey replied he “really didn't know—that he never drank it.”

The record does not show what Dorsey drank instead of water.

—Waddell: History of New Hanover County, Page 211.





OTWAY BURNS AND HIS SNAPDRAGON

Although England had recognized the United States as an independent nation following the Revolution, she regarded America as owing her independence more to circumstance than to powerful armies, so she treated our ships and our representatives with something like contempt.

American ships were searched on the merest pretense and American seamen impressed. Indians were incited to unrest and the American flag insulted. To avenge these wrongs the United States went to war with Great Britain in 1812.

The most spectacular campaigns were carried on on the high seas and peculiar among these were the privateers fitted out to prey on British commerce.

The most famous of these was commanded by Captain Otway Burns, who was born and reared in Onslow County.

Captain Burns’ grandfather came to Onslow from Glasgow, Scotland, and settled on Queens Creek three miles by water from Swansboro. “His choice of lands near the sea afterwards profoundly affected the life of his grandson,” said Chief Justice Walter Clark.

Francis Burns had one son, Otway, father of Captain Otway Burns who was born in 1775 and must have remembered hearing wonderful tales about British warfare in America when he was only a lad. Otway was reared on the Burns plantation, which overlooks Bogue Sound in front and Queens Creek on the left. There the great white beach stands like mountains of snow and the old Atlantic is music to ears attuned to catch it.

At Swansboro sailors with boats from up and down the coast and as far away as the West Indies and South America told tales of the sea which fascinated the boy, as they had Sir Walter Raleigh long years before. From them he “learned the arts and duties of a sailor, learned the strength and endurance which must be put into vessels which ply the storms of the ocean, learned and resolved to see and experience them for himself.”

He grew into manhood and in 1809 married Miss Grant, daughter of Reuben Grant, planter, merchant, legislator and prominent citizen of Onslow. In 1819 his only son, Owen, was born.

After marriage he determined to remove to Beaufort, which he did, but soon became Commander of a coaster plying between New Bern and points as far north as Portland, Maine.

He was on one of these trips when he heard that the United States had, on June 18, 1812, declared war on England. His friends urged him to remodel his ship into a privateer at once, but he considered her too slow so he sailed to New York and





found a fast schooner, noted for its speed, which could be bought for $8,000. Closing the deal, he at once took the “Levere,” as she was called, to Beaufort and had her fitted out for war. The name was changed to “Snap Dragon.”

“Burns’ experience as the Commander of a Coaster admirably fitted him for the charge of a Privateer,” says Dr. Battle. “He had a frame of herculean strength and tireless endurance, a mind active and acute, a courage which knew not shrinking, a nerve which grew more steady in fiercest danger, a temper quick but never unsettling judgment, and an iron will which compelled obedience.”

The Snap Dragon was a Baltimore Clipper of 147 tons carrying 5 twelve pounders, 50 muskets and 4 blunderbusses. Her speed was such as to enable her to escape from many a trap cunningly laid. Sometimes we find her searching for British commerce on the coast of South America, again we see her up near Greenland, still on a British trail.

On her first voyage the Snap Dragon swept the West Indies and the Caribbean sea with the result that two barks, five brigs and three schooners, 250 prisoners and prizes valued at $1,000,000.00 were taken. A storm nearly wrecked the ship, which was saved only by the skill of Captain Burns. After some repairs at Maracaibo, he returned to Beaufort.

The second voyage led to Newfoundland, where he captured several prizes, but Captain Burns says he lost many of them because he was “cursed with a miserable set of Prize-Masters whose incompetence, drunkenness or disobedience caused the recapture of many prizes.” Captain Burns had his fun as well. One day one old fellow came on board, and being invited into the cabin said, “This does not look like one of our English vessels, but we do not care, so she does not trouble us.” Burns stayed with them all day and caught 500 or 600 fish.

Another time up near Greenland he saw an iceberg with a pond of rainwater upon it. The water being pure, the crew took on 40 casks. After paying expenses the men on this cruise received each $3,000 for his share.

The third voyage left Beaufort January, 1814. On March 3rd he met an English ship of 22 guns. A fight ensued in which the Briton rammed the Snap Dragon, breaking all the top mast and crippling her so that repairs were necessary at once. Thomas Green, William Barnes, John Hart and a negro named Charles Nurse were killed in the encounter. The cruise lasted four months and ended at New Bern.

Captain Burns was attacked by a more dangerous and subtle enemy, and when the Snap Dragon sailed on her fourth voyage





she left her master on the shore suffering with rheumatism. Lieutenant De Cokely had long been Burns’ right-hand man and he was put in charge of the ship, but the genius of Burns was not there to save, and on June 29, 1814, she was carried to Halifax, a prize of the British Man-of-War “Leopard.” De Cokely was killed on the deck. The Snap Dragon was carried to England and her crew to Dartmoor prison.

This ends the story of the Snap Dragon. Such a man and such a ship brings to mind tales from the old Norse Vikings in ages long ago.

When we would condemn methods of warfare as conducted by privateers, we remember they were legitimate in those days and that they were the only recourse for weak nations when attacked by the strong, and that without the privateers the United States would probably have lost the war of 1812.

After the war Captain Burns returned to his ship building. One of the swiftest and best of his manufacture he named “Snap Dragon” in honor of the old warhorse he had loved so much.

His first wife having died, he in 1814 married Miss Jane Hall of Beaufort. For her he built a handsome home where he lived 23 years.

That his services were appreciated we know, for he was elected to the Legislature twelve years; seven years in the House of Commons and five in the Senate. As one would naturally suppose, in politics he followed that other sturdy old fighter Andrew Jackson. He viewed all matters of debate from a statewide standpoint. His fairness rose above sectional differences. The contest between the East and West was then on in full blast. The East, through an out-of-date system of representation, had control of the law making body and of course wished to keep it. The convention of 1835 was called to remedy this evil and although his home counties opposed the change, Burns favored it. He would sacrifice his popularity rather than his opinion. The vote in Carteret was 32 for and 352 against the amendments, while Onslow voted 97 for and 357 against.

After 1834 Burns was not a candidate for re-election. But his enlightened position was appreciated by the West so much that when Yancey County was formed, her county seat was named in his honor. Captain Burns received from President Jackson the appointment as life boat keeper at Portsmouth, North Carolina, where he and his third wife, who was Miss Jane Smith of Smyrna, made their home. For many years they lived quietly, but when his third wife died he soon followed, and on October 25, 1850, he passed away.





He was buried at Beaufort and a monument bearing one of the guns of the old Snap Dragon marks his grave.

As long as Onslow and the State can produce such defenders and such wise legislators as Otway Burns, we need not fear.

The war ended in 1815.





FROM THE REVOLUTION TO THE WAR OF 1812

William Cray died in 1778 while the Revolution was still in progress, and the decade following the war also saw the death of Rhodes (1788), Spicer (1789), Edward Starkey (1789) and George Mitchell (1791).

New leaders in county affairs during the interval between the close of the Revolution and the beginning of the War of 1812 included Thomas Johnson, Daniel and David Yates, Reuben Grant, John Spicer, Jr., Christopher Dudley, Joseph S. Cray, Zachariah Barrow, Nathaniel Loomus, Jesse Williams, William Russell, George W. Mitchell, George Ward, Stephen Williams, John Fulwood, William French, Benjamin Farnell, Edward Williams, John E. Spicer, Lemuel Doty, Edward Ward, Sr., William Jones and Edward B. Dudley.

Of these, Thomas Johnston was the oldest in point of service and one of the ablest. Joseph Scott Cray was a son of William Cray; John Spicer, Jr. was probably a son of John Spicer of the Revolution. New names coming up during the period were Grant, Dudley and Ward. Of these, Edward B. Dudley later became Governor, General Edward Ward, Jr. represented the county in the state senate, first in 1811, the year in which Dudley entered the House of Commons. General Ward's father, Colonel Ward, has long been prominent in county affairs and had also represented Onslow in the Commons.

The General, more than any other individual, dominated the county's activities during the quarter century previous to his death in 1834. Probably all of these men were Justices of the Peace and members of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Session, and together with their families formed the elite of the society then developing in Onslow, and which continued to develop up to the Civil War. All were large planters and slave holders and their homes scattered throughout the county marked the old plantation at its peak. A quotation from the will of Christopher Dudley says: “Sometime in the year 1837 I gave to my son, Edward B., the plantation on which I reside and other lands, one hundred of my negroes to be selected by families, etc.”

Slaves were the unit of measure of the planter's wealth in those days.

If to this social and economic background of that day a man could also add an active participation in the lawmaking activities of the State, his position was permanently and very satisfactorily fixed.






[Illustration:

Swansboro from the Air
]





EDWARD B. DUDLEY
(1789-1855)

Edward B. Dudley, first governor elected by the people of North Carolina, was a member of a family long identified with the public life of the Eastern Seaboard from the Isle of Wight County, Virginia, where they lived in 1704 to 1728, when the first Christopher took up land on the west side of White Oak River while that area was yet a part of Carteret County. Three years later when Onslow became a county, the first Dudley was included on the first Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for the new county, in 1731. In Onslow that record continued and grew even better.

Dudleys were outstanding wherever they lived and were always in the forefront in public service, were land hungry and astute businessmen. They utilized the advantage of the free land available to them at that time and improved every circumstance that came their way.

Edward had the attainments of wealth, education and training in public affairs early in life, and we shall see how well he took advantage of his opportunity.

Edward B. Dudley was born two miles above Jacksonville on his father's plantation on the Half Moon Road. His official biography says he was educated at the local academy, but we have no record of an academy, as such, in this area at that time.

In the Military

Mr. Dudley had an outstanding military record in the militia of this district. He is listed as a second major in the Onslow Regiment of Militia in 1809 at the age of 20. This regiment, along with others, was directed to the protection of the Port of Wilmington.

In 1814 he was named Colonel of the Regiment, which later consolidated with those of New Hanover, Brunswick, Duplin and Jones counties into the Third Brigade, when the Onslow man became Brigadier General of the Sixth Division commanded by Major General William Blount.

During the war the eastern North Carolina coast was under constant blockade by the British and though no land attack had been made, the proximity of the enemy caused a tenseness and concern which is reflected in letters written by Major Dudley to the Adjutant General regarding munitions promised, but not yet delivered, to the Onslow forces, and pointing up that a force of 100 men proposed for Swansboro lacked supplies and a commissary, and asking for information and instructions.





It was signed “your humble Serv't.”

“Edward B. Dudley”

“O.C.R.M.”

Onslow County Regiment of Militia

In the Assembly

General Dudley had been Onslow's representative in the General Assembly since 1811, when he was 22. Being in the military service in 1814, it became necessary for him to secure a furlough in time for the opening of the Assembly. The furlough, however, was delayed, causing a delay in the seating of the Onslow representative until November 21st of that year.

In Congress

By 1816 the General had become a citizen of New Hanover County and was elected to represent the Borough of Wilmington in the Assembly for the terms of 1816 and 1817.

In the meantime, upon the death of Honorable Gabriel Holmes in 1829, Mr. Dudley was elected to the Congress of the United States from that district. For some reason he did not like Washington and at the next term refused to stand for reelection; in 1834 and 1835 he served as the last Borough representative in the Assembly, the cities, as such, not being represented after the convention of 1835.

President, Wilmington-Weldon Railroad

On March 14, 1836, twenty-one men met at the residence of Mr. Dudley at Wilmington and organized what later became the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. A historian has said that more money was subscribed there that day than the total value of all the taxable property of the city of Wilmington. The largest subscription, that of Mr. Dudley, was $25,000. He was elected president of the new line. Two years later the line had reached Faison Depot 64 miles away.

Elected Governor

Almost concurrently with his election as President of the Railroad Company came his election as Governor of North Carolina.

Under the constitution of 1835 the Governors were to be elected by the people, instead of by the Legislature, as had formerly been done, and although the state was largely Democratic, the popularity of the Whig platform of “state aid for internal improvements,” and of the Whig candidate, who made his appeal principally on that line, Mr. Dudley was elected Governor by about 4000 majority. His majority, however, for the second





term reached nearly 15,000. To him belongs the honor of being the first Governor elected by all of the people. Onslow voted against him the first time, but he carried the county in 1838, that being the only time the Whigs carried Onslow County.

Acting on his pre-election promise, upon becoming Governor, Dudley advocated state aid for railroads, turnpikes, canals and rivers and navigation companies, and himself organized and became the first President of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. The State invested all told $900,000.00 in that road, which, when finished in 1840, was probably the longest railroad in the world.

Other important recommendations by Governor Dudley to the Legislature were: A Homestead Exemption Law, the cutting of an inlet at Nags Head, building of an insane asylum, a penitentiary, and the establishing of a system of Common Schools.

Mr. Dudley had long been honored as the state's first citizen, and in 1847, when Daniel Webster visited the state he was, while in Wilmington, entertained in the Dudley home. Mr. Webster expressed his keen delight and appreciation of the hospitality so graciously extended by his host.

The home is still standing and is one of the showplaces of Wilmington.

Married Life

Mr. Dudley was married two times, first to Miss Eliza E. Haywood, eldest daughter of William Haywood, Esq., Cashier of the State Bank, Raleigh, in 1815. (Raleigh Register Nov. 24, 1815).

Mr. Dudley was married a second time, September 8, 1845, in Wilmington, to Mrs. Jane Cowan, who survived him. His children were by his first wife. (F. L. Morris).

Death

Governor Dudley died in Wilmington on October 30, 1855. The newspaper, in draped columns, announced the sad news to the public and named the place of burial as Oakdale Cemetery.

The Mayor called a meeting of citizens at Commissioner's Hall, where resolutions of respect were adopted in his honor. At the time, business was suspended, bells were tolled, and flags were flown at half-mast.

In “Chronicles of the Cape Fear River,” by James Sprunt, pages 229-231, appears a great oration delivered by Colonel Robert H. Cowan of Wilmington, which should be sought out and read by students of the attainments of Mr. Dudley and his contribution to the civic improvements of the State of North Carolina.





A Record of Permanent Value

Onslow County rates him as a great citizen and is proud that it could supply just what the State needed most at the time—a Governor who had the capacity to make internal improvements of permanent value, at a time when the State needed them more than it needed anything else.





DEVELOPMENTS TO THE CIVIL WAR
The First Hundred Years of Life in Onslow

The first public improvement desired by the early settlers was public roads. At almost every session of the County Court petitions were presented asking for a new public road, generally only a few miles in length, leading to a ferry, a mill or a church.

The settlers knew that they themselves would have to build and maintain these roads, the laws providing that a man work on the roads so many days in each year. All they asked was permission to build the road and overseers to supervise the work.

Another important public utility was the ferry across the streams which were too deep to be forded by wagons and cattle. The Court allowed some enterprising citizen to build and operate a ferry and set the fees which he might charge for his service.

Grist mills were built, where sufficient water power could be generated, generally by the constructing of a dam across the creeks and rivers. Here corn and wheat were ground into bread. The miller took “toll” and the proportion which he might take was regulated by law. These were our first manufacturing establishments. Later, sawmills were added, when enough power could be had. Usually a carpenter shop was operated nearby and the blacksmith was an honored citizen in the community. For the farmer he built cart wheels, ox yokes, plows, hoes, blades, scythes and almost every tool to be found on the farm. In fact, he repaired everything from a gun or pistol to a log carriage. Picturesque mill-ponds beside the mill were pleasant places to spend an idle hour.

The settler's first thought upon arrival was the building of a house in which to live. The first houses were built of logs, as was also the first courthouse. The location of the house depended upon finding a spring nearby from which to get drinking water. Every courthouse built in the county, including the site of the present one, were located where the “conveniency” of a good spring could be had.

Land had to be cleared, but in the meantime, food was necessary—so the men resorted to the age old occupations of fishing and hunting, with good success. To these were added the gathering of turpentine. The turpentine still vied with the grist mills for first place in the lives of the people. Trade was carried on by water and every planter had his dock where boats could load and unload.

Livestock included hogs, cattle, horses and sheep. Letters written by the settlers commented upon the ease in getting a living here, especially in the growing of livestock; and pointed





out that hogs needed only to be fed enough to keep them gentle. The fields were fenced while cattle roamed the woods and devoured whatever they cared to eat. The people learned from necessity to do many things for themselves, such as curing meats of every kind, storing potatoes and vegetables, and the making of sauerkraut from both cabbage and collards. A carry-over from that day to this is the curing of the well-known Onslow County Hams, still practiced by Onslow County farmers and enjoyed by many people over a wide area.

The making of wines and whiskey was an early occupation for many, and was known to be the underlying reason for most of the trouble between the Whites and Indians. The appeals made by some of the Indian Chiefs to the authorities to prevent the sale of intoxicating liquors to the red men must even yet bring shame to the descendant of the paleface, who prized his trade in whiskey more than he valued the life of his neighbors or peace in his community.

The earlier houses were made of logs and chinked with mud or clay exactly as some of our tobacco barns were. The chimneys were made of sticks penned into proper shape and covered inside and out with clay. The roof was generally made of boards, rived by hand. At first nails were unknown and the boards were held in place by long poles fastened at each end with a wooden peg.

Inside one of the early colonial homes could be seen a fireplace sometimes four feet tall and five or six feet wide, and on the hearth strange baking pans on long legs, to be set over the coals, and having a lid on which more coals were heaped when baking so as to bake evenly through and through. Pots or kettles were suspended over the fire from a hook. Frying pan handles were often two feet in length. The furniture was very simple—the beds were made fast to the walls like a shelf. Stools and benches were made by splitting a log open and putting in peg-legs, leaving the flat side up to sit upon. The hinges and latches on the doors were made of wood, the latch could be raised from the outside by a string run through the door. The windows were of wood and hinged same as the doors.

Drinking water was supplied from wells and springs and was drunk from gourds. Some of these wells are still in use. They were dug deep down into the earth and furnished water sweet and refreshing. Being deep, they were not affected by the extremes of the seasons and so seemed warm in winter and cool in summer.

When the farmer wished a new collar for his mule or ox he went into the woods and got a vine and wrapped it with moss, skins and other things, tied them all securely with rawhide strings, and the new collar was ready for use. The only lights





were candles made of tallow, molded at home, or the blazing logs in the fireplace. Even kerosene lamps were unknown. There were no matches and fires were carefully covered for use in the morning. Fires were sometimes started by striking a flint.

Little food could be brought over from England, but hunters supplied game from the forest and fish and shrimp and oysters from the river and sounds.

Soon the farmer grew his own corn, pork and garden vegetables. About once each year the man of the family journeyed to Wilmington or New Bern for supplies, and to market whatever he had to sell. Later, clothing was made from cotton and wool grown on the farm and spun and woven by the women. Almost every family had its spinning wheel and loom, and enough cloth was made to supply the planter's family and the slaves on the farm.

When the men were not busy on the farm they worked in the forest gathering turpentine for sale, which was the “money crop.” Turpentine products were hauled to landings on the river and inlets and shipped by boat to Wilmington.

Sports and Recreation

A look at the sporting and recreational activities of the people of the ante-bellum period together with places and events of interest to them brings a charming picture—a charm which has almost passed away in this day of rush and confusion.

These activities were limtied to no class, but were enjoyed by all from the wealthy planter to the humblest slave. Most of the pleasures of these rural people could be had without money and without price, depending for their success only upon the initiative and aggressiveness of the participants. Most popular was the square dance enjoyed by everybody. Sometimes invitations were written, but usually none was required. If the season happened to be Yuletide, holly and mistletoe festooned the walls and ceilings.

Country picnics, held at church, school, or other public places were attended by hundreds of people, who usually spread dinner on the ground.

Court days were held at the county seat four times each year. On this day the justices from over the county met at the courthouse in a Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions to try any cases which came before it. Besides justices, lawyers and other notables present, horse traders, hawkers of all kinds of wares, remedies, fakers and fortune tellers came to the county seat and stayed throughout the week if court lasted that long. Men and women of all shades of character, drunk and sober, took the week off and enjoyed themselves. Politicians and soapbox orators





raved until the close of the week, when the natives returned to their homes and the politicians, horse-traders and medicine salesmen moved on to the next county seat for a repeat performance.

Musters were usually held at the county seat at the same time as County Court. Companies of militia, each under a Captain, met for general muster. The whole county was under command of a Colonel. The day usually ended with a grand parade.

Shooting matches were held, usually at the crossroads store. Here “chances” were taken at so much per shot, for chickens—with a turkey as the grand prize. The marksman with the most bullseyes to his credit won the turkey.

Quilting parties were held, the lady of the home inviting neighboring women over to help get out a quilt. While the ladies gossiped of rumors and fashions, a brand new bed quilt was completed in an afternoon which would ordinarily have consumed more than a week of time.

Young people enjoyed candy pullings. Some person familiar with the art cooked the candy, made from sugar or syrup flavored to perfection. When all was ready, with buttered fingers, each couple began to pull. When the candy became hard and brittle it could be broken into short sticks ready for serving.

At pea-shellings the neighbors came over after supper and assisted in shelling the seed peanuts. They were very pleasant occasions for the young people. In the fall when the corn had been broken and hauled from the field preparations were begun for the corn shucking. The corn was laid in piles on the ground where men and boys began the task of tearing the shucks from the ear. Hidden among the ears of corn was an occasional pint of spirits, while the first man finding a red ear of corn kissed the prettiest girl to be found at the party. The corn shucking usually ended with a square dance.

Log rollings were had back in the days when the lands were being cleared from the forest. Dozens of men came and with “hand spikes” carried great logs to the “log-heap” where they were burned. Fires often burned for weeks. A great supper was spread by the planter and those who indulged their taste for liquors mostly went home happy.

The same method prevailed in the barn notching, railsplitting, woodcutting, housemoving, etc.

A spirit of neighborliness and fun shucked the corn, rolled the logs into a heap, notched the farmer's barn, split rails for his fences, cut wood with which to cure his tobacco or moved his house to another location.

It was this spirit of pulling together in the doing of great tasks which has made America great, and that spirit has been at its best in Onslow.





Hunting and fishing also have always been at their best in Onslow. Pocosins and swamps abound with deer, bear, fox, squirrel, coon, opossum, rabbit, skunk, etc., while rivers and sounds abound in fish, oysters, clams and shrimp.

During the winter season the waters were covered with wild ducks and geese, and forests and fields with wild turkey and quail. Any man, rich or poor, could enjoy hunting and fishing to his heart's content in Onslow. Only recently have laws for the conservation of wild life been enacted and the preservation of this immense source of pleasure and profit begun.

There have been no cities in Onslow. Often the crossroads store supplied most of the country's needs. A trip once or twice a year to Wilmington or New Bern was usually made from the farm to carry produce such as cotton or pork, or later to Kinston or Greenville to sell tobacco. The crossroads store was an institution in the life of early Onslow. Here people from the whole community gathered on Saturdays or holidays. Here came the candidate for political office; here elections were held and momentous questions decided.

Schools were generally operated for a few months before and after the busy season on the farm. Planters employed a teacher while neighbors were allowed to patronize the school for a small fee. Usually school was kept in a small house wherever one could be had. This accounts for the term, “old field school.”

Fortunately there was nearly always one or two academies in the county where more advanced study could be taken following the course at the old field school.

Dramatic plays and debates were nearly always given at commencement time and “speeches” were recited several times during the school year. The institution highest in the esteem of the people was the church. Usually built of logs, or later of frame, these chapels consisted of a single large room. Church service was had once each month. A revival was held once each year and great interest and enthusiasm worked up. Besides its religious significance the church was also the social center of the community.

The years 1800 to 1840 were a period of religious upheaval and reclassification of church groups. Many of the most progressive church groups were reorganized or took on new life in the state and county during those years.

The innate ability of a people to enjoy themselves, even though occupied in earning a living, is a distinguishing mark of their civilization. The people of the Old South probably have led the world in this respect.






[Illustration:

Samuel Johnston
]


[Illustration:

Hannah Johnston Iredell
]


[Illustration:

Edward B. Dudley
]


[Illustration:

Otway Burns
]





THE PEOPLE

In Onslow there were only a few of the larger planter group, but while their number was small, they ruled the county with a firm hand and exercised a power far beyond that which their number would justify. Illustrating this, although a minority, so strict was their control of the electorate that when a convention was proposed in 1835 to remedy notorious political wrong of long standing in the State, “For convention” polled only 31 votes in the county. The issue was whether the slave-holding East would continue to control the State, although the West had long surpassed it in population.

When the amendment correcting the evil was being considered, following action by the convention, Onslow voted against it by nearly 4 to 1.

The same element carried the county for a convention to consider secession by 631 to 98.

Although it was necessary to ratify the constitution of 1868 in order for the State to return to the Union, Onslow rejected it 724 to 417. When the Suffrage Amendment was being considered in 1900, the county voted for the amendment 1531 to 171.

Onslow County has veered from the Democratic Party only twice since 1835. In 1928 the figures were for Alfred E. Smith, Democrat, 1072; Herbert Hoover, Republican, 1253.

Our best account of the plantation system by an eye witness is “The Old Plantation” by Averit, who was reared on what is now the Venters farm three miles below Richlands on the Jacksonville highway. Most plantations were not so pretentious however. The plantation workers were organized into groups with a foreman, who was usually a member of the group.

The Slave

Slavery, the greatest blight on the pages of American history, began in 1619 when negroes from Africa were first sold to the Colonists at Jamestown, Virginia. Slavery was profitable. As time went on it became more so. First, in the clearing of the new lands and bringing them into cultivation. Later, the slave produced good money for his master working in the turpentine forest. With the invention of the cotton gin the growing of cotton opened up a great new and profitable field for slave labor.

The ever broadening acres and the ever increasing number of slaves in the South built up a landed aristocracy, the like of which could be found nowhere else. (It was from this planter class that the lawyer, doctors and professional men who made up the General Assembly came.) Needless to say, legislative enactments





were designed to protect the system. These laws became known as “codes.” Under the codes all the liberties allowed the negro gradually disappeared.

New laws were made from time to time, or old ones changed, as experience proved the need. Not only were the laws made more stringent, but Patrols were appointed to range the woods and plantations to enforce their edicts.

While the letter of the Slave Code was strict, in private practice the negro had many liberties. According to the code, the slave might not intermarry or cohabit with a free negro, but many free negroes not only married slaves, but bought the liberty of the slave from the master who owned them. Some even petitioned the General Assembly to grant them freedom. Also, the slave might not leave the plantation of his master, but the colored man often made errands to the mill, store or elsewhere for his master, or even for himself, with the master's team and wagon.

Legally, he might not carry a gun, but one of the highest pleasures the negro had was when, with dog and gun, he went “coon hunting” in the swamps and low grounds of the community, or “possum hunting” down among the “simmon trees.”

The law said no master might teach a slave to read and write, but many slaves not only wrote splendidly and read the Bible for themselves, but in some cases acted as teachers for the white children as well as for those of his own race.

Another restriction was that no slave might preach the Gospel or hold prayer meeting, but many slaves belonged to and attended the same church as the master. Almost every old church Record Book had its list of colored members, and when freedom came this membership was the nucleus around which their first congregations were built. In Onslow one colored church dates back to 1869.

Despite his legal impediments, the lot of the slave, aside from the fact of bondage, was not a bad one. A majority of the white masters were benevolently inclined toward the black man, and it was generally known that the slave, from his position of social security and well-being, looked with disdain upon both the free negro and the “poor white trash.”

From an impartial examination of much information that has come down to us, both written and from the testimony of those who lived at the time, these facts seem to stand out:

As a whole, the master provided better for the physical wants of the slave than the free negro could provide for himself, but on the other hand, to use an argument quoted by Bassett, “The essence of the misery of slavery in the South and elsewhere was not physical suffering, however frequently or infrequently that





may have occurred, but the mental and spiritual wretchedness that follows a loss of liberty.”

In 1790, 32 percent of the whole population were slaves. By 1830 the percent had increased to 40%.

During the three decades before 1860 the latter figure remained almost unchanged, the percentage in 1860 being 39.5.

The increase between 1790 and 1860 seems to indicate that their numbers were augmented by sources other than native increase, probably by importation, although this trade was forbidden.

POPULATION SCHEDULE IN ONSLOW 1790-1860
Census YearTotalWhiteFree ColoredSlaves
179053873555841748
1830781445691013144
1860885651951623499

The unchanged proportions of white and black between 1830 and 1860 seems to indicate that little trade in slaves was carried on during that period.

We do know, however, that during these years slave-drivers roamed the country from Maryland and Virginia southward purchasing as many negroes as possible for the cotton plantations of Alabama, Mississippi and Texas. That these rustlers “worked” Onslow we know from a descriptive contemporary account of a camp on New River.

Probably the caravan was following the seaboard from the North through New Bern and Wilmington, as very few sales or purchases are indicated for Onslow County at any time after 1830.

Yeoman and Poor White

Not all white people in the county, prior to 1860, were wealthy or owned negroes, and not all white people failing to own negroes were poor white trash. There was a class of well-to-do white people even in the East before the war who were industrious, efficient and progressive, who owned their own land, but no slaves. These people worked hard and were independent. From them have come the great so-called middle class of society. Honest, sturdy and dependable, these people are today some of our best citizens. Outstanding among Presidents from this class were Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson.

Another group living in Carolina at that time was the “Poor Whites.” This class lived in huts or any convenient place which





they could secure. To get a living they hunted, fished, hired out by the day, worked in the turpentine woods, made axe handles, tubs, washboards, chairs, baskets and barrels, all by hand. (Some of these articles were excellent hand work.)

Some of the Poor Whites tended turpentine woods and kept fires away from the boxes for the planter, who paid them a pittance for their service. Others stilled mean liquor, got into brawls, were vicious and often got into trouble. From these has come that class of our people today who never seem to be able to make a living, who will work only when driven by necessity, have little respect for the law and are often resentful toward those in better circumstances than themselves.

Indentured Servant

In colonial days a form of servitude was represented by a few persons in North Carolina and Onslow County by Indentured Servants. This class was made up of people who could not pay their debts or other expenses, and to secure payment bound themselves to a master who paid for them the required sum. Some of these, perhaps, were men who pledged themselves for a limited time to secure payment of debt and to avoid going to jail.

The Apprentice

The apprentice was usually a child without home or opportunity who was bound to a master by the court, who accepted responsibility for the upbringing of the child. Included always was the schooling of the child to enable the reading of the Bible, writing and figures.

Freedom came for the apprentice upon reaching the age of maturity. While a certain form of servitude for the ward is implied in the contract between the court and the master, the master had obligations in the matter also, and had to furnish bond to guarantee their fulfillment.

The apprenticeship was generally looked upon as a benevolent act by the master toward his ward, and few complaints are read in the records for abuse of its provisions.

Wards usually grew into good citizens.

The Free Negro

The free negro in North Carolina had the most unenviable position of any class of people living within the State. He was literally despised and rejected by men of all classes and colors.

The Plantation owner regarded him as an object of contempt and distrust, but most of all feared the influence of the free negro upon the slaves of the plantation.

The slave, from his position of security and economic safety,





regarded the free negro, with his poverty and need, as an inferior person, scarcely worthy of consideration.

The attitude of the poor whites was more practical and realistic. To them, the free black man was “a nigger” to be hated (not individually) because of the competition he offered in the getting of jobs, (in which the free negro could generally underbid), houses, lands, etc. The elements of chance and expediency of the moment were deep in the warp and filling of both classes and caused a mutual distrust between them. The dislike of the Poor Whites for the Free Negro was deep seated and continued to increase in intensity as economic competition grew fiercer.

In colonial and early years of the Republic, the Free Negro seems to have been treated very well. He could vote in the general election prior to 1835.

Immediately following the Revolution, with its high sounding terms of “all men created equal,” etc., a great many men voluntarily freed their slaves. Laws in the neighboring states of Virginia and South Carolina being much more severe toward free colored people than those of this state, numbers of them came over into North Carolina to live. Thus the number of free negroes in North Carolina increased at an astonishingly rapid rate. Like all poverty ridden populations, the free negro was not always scrupulous or dependable. What he would do was uncertain. Driven by necessity or expediency, he could be likened unto a motor without a governor. This uncertainty caused the planter to fear what he might do, or try to do, and to attempt to curb his activities by legal action.

From the setting up of the constitution slavery had been a public bone of contention. In the northern states it had ceased to be profitable, while in the South the slave was the unit by which a planter's wealth was estimated. In such a setup the free negro did not fit in well.

Agitation and outside interference with what the planter regarded as his own private affairs caused resentment, and for the protection of the slavery system, laws were passed which to us seem wholly unreasonable, cruel and uncalled for.

The free negro's troubles were multiplied if he was a black man. (Many of them were not black.) The black man in America was presumed to be a slave, and while he enjoyed some privileges, he had few rights, and was constantly being called upon to prove his freedom or his right to be free. As early as 1723 a freed slave leaving the state might not return after 90 days absence under penalty of being sold again into slavery.

In 1741 the Free Negro was refused permission to intermarry with white persons and of those already married, the marriage





was annulled. Slaves could be freed for “Meritorious Service” only, and the merit was to be adjudged in open court.

In 1799 seducing a slave to run away was made a felony, and in 1785 Free Negroes were required to register with the authorities. He was given a cloth badge to be worn on the left arm as an identification.

In 1795 numbers of free negroes were reported to be going about the country committing thefts and alarming the inhabitants. To curb these activities laws were passed allowing the Justices to call out the militia. Captives unable to make bond were sold.

In 1812 no slave could be given his freedom unless bond could be furnished guaranteeing that he would not become a public charge. In 1830 the bond was increased to $1,000.00. Notice of intended manumission was required to be posted in three public places in the country over a given period of time.

The year 1821 saw a furor of excitement in the counties of Onslow, Jones, Carteret, and Duplin caused by the report that a band of the “most daring runaways who, well armed and equipped, had long defied civil authority and in open day had ravaged farms, burnt houses and had ravished a number of females,” were hiding out in the White Oak Pocosin.

Two companies of militia were called out and sent on a “negro hunt” with orders to put down the insurrection and restore order. The one battle of the occasion came about as two detachments of the searchers, each thinking the other to be the desperadoes, fired on each other “with no little slaughter on both sides” wrote the Fayetteville Observer. After 26 days the soldiers returned to their homes.

In 1831 the enactment of the Code almost wiped out the few rights which the free negro still retained.

Some restrictions included within the laws enacted that year were: The Free Negro might not peddle his wares outside the county in which he lived; he might not own spiritous liquors, gamble, dance or own firearms; he might not associate with slaves after sundown on Sunday.

If a ship came into port having on board free persons of color, it was quarantined to prevent communication, and Free Negroes might not visit the ship. The climax to the “code” provided that no Free Negro might preach the gospel.

By 1851 the Free Negro's position had become so strained that 51 of them made a dramatic appeal to The General Assembly to secure for them from the United States Government lands in the West to which they might go, but the resolution was tabled and no action in the matter was ever taken.

The number of free negroes in Onslow never exceeded 200





persons, ranging all the way from mendicants and poverty stricken families, to owners of real estate and slave owners who managed and lived very well.

The first census in 1790 listed two free negroes owning slaves in Onslow—“Jemboy” with 6 and “Virgil Dry” who listed 7.

Free Negroes owning slaves in the county in 1830 were listed as follows:

Caesar Loomus2 slaves
Benjamin Jarman5 slaves
Rose Winislow3 slaves
Luke White5 slaves
Samson Lawrence7 slaves

The census of 1860 showed seven free persons of color who owned real estate, and 24 owning personal property.

There were 84 free colored persons in Onslow in 1790. Forty years later, in 1830, their number had reached 101 and in 1860 the census showed a total of 162, seven of whom owned their own homes.

Occupations

Free Negro tradesmen in Onslow in 1860 were classified as follows:

Baker1
Carpenters4
Coopers3
Engineer1
Farm hands15
Farmers9
Fishermen2
Masons3
Seamstress1
Servants13
Spinners4
Wash woman1
Miscellaneous1

The Humphrey-Walser Bill

The situation in which the Free Negro found himself in 1859 can only be described as desperate.

The first bill introduced in the House and the third introduced in the Senate that year provided “That two years shall be allowed . . . to all free persons of color who are now in this state, to remove out of the same; and all those who shall return to be arrested and sold as provided in this act” . . .





“Be it further enacted, that the Governor of the state do issue his proclamation, commanding all free persons of color who are now in the state, to remove from the same before the 1st day of January, 1860” . . .

The Bill was introduced in the Senate by Senator Lott W. Humphrey of Onslow and Representative Henry Walser of Davidson County and bore their names.

Humphrey had received a petition from his constituents describing the evils of the free negro population and urging that the Assembly give serious attention to this problem.

The whole state was unanimous in its desire to have something done about the problem of the Free Negro, but the severity of the Humphrey Bill caused many newspapers and members of the Assembly to pause and reflect. Amendments were suggested and finally consideration of the bill was postponed indefinitely.

With the election of Lincoln, the storm burst over the heads of the people and the Free Negro problem deepened into a much darker picture—war between the North and South.

Bibliography

“Slavery in North Carolina”—John Spencer Bassett. Johns Hopkins University Press.

“The Free Negro in North Carolina”—Franklin

Bureau of the Census, Letter to the Writer, March 9, 1944





THE COUNTY GOES TO WAR

Following Lincoln's call for volunteers to be used against the Southern States, North Carolina seceded from the Union May 20, 1861. In July, the first great battle was fought at Bull Run in Northern Virginia, resulting in an overwhelming victory for the Confederates.

In Onslow, as elsewhere in the South, excitement was high and passions were at white heat.

Musters, as the countrywide meetings of the militia were called, were utilized as recruiting days. Interest was especially high now, speeches were made and volunteers called for.

Wartime Musters were memorable days in Onslow County. On that day the young men of the county volunteered for duty at once. Their names were recorded on the Minutes, signed by Sheriff W. D. Humphrey. A. J. Murrell, Chairman, certified at the bottom of the list: I certify that the above named persons are volunteers and gone to war. This September 3, 1861.

A. J. MURRELL, Chairman.

It had been hoped by Mr. Lincoln that all southern opposition would be put down in 90 days and the war ended.

The southerners, too, believed the war would be ended in 90 days, but they anticipated a much different ending from that envisioned by Mr. Lincoln. Events proved how wrong each of them were.

The County Court lost no time in backing to the limits its volunteer soldiers. Bonds for $10,000.00 were ordered sold and a military tax levied.

Volunteers were offered a bonus of $150.00 and given $5.00 in pocket change. Volunteers brought whatever guns they had, one being listed as having a pistol and Bowie knife.

Court Personnel

The Court itself consisted of the following Justices:

A. J. Murrell, E. W. Montford, O. B. Sanders, John P. Cox, J. W. Hardison, Harvey Cox, E. W. Fonville, J. H. Foy, L. Haskins, Joseph Ennett, J. M. Scott, B. R. Henderson, Lewis Jenkins, H. H. Sandlin, B. B. Barry, Owen Huggins, John Shepard, Elisha Walton, J. M. Wooten, Stratton Burton, David E. Sandlin, David Marshall, Leander Moore, Thomas B. Holland and Z. M. Coston.

Finance Committee

A Committee composed of A. J. Murrell, Sheriff, Owen Huggins, J. H. Foy, E. W. Fonville and E. W. Montford were empowered





to borrow money as needed up to $3,000.00 from banks or individuals.

Public Welfare

The following persons were named a committee to look after families of soldiers absent from home:

Stump Sound: Hill E. King, Jarrot Gornto and John Whitehurst.

Lower South West: H. H. Sandlin, John Shepard and Burrell E. Dixon.

Upper South West: Stephen Dixon, Henry Jarman and B. H. Bryan.

Lower Richlands: Jonathan W. Thompson, E. Murrell, Jr. and Christopher Stevens.

Upper Richlands: Harvey Cox, Uzza Mills and Abner Ervin.

Half Moon: David E. Sandlin, E. W. Montford and Robert White.

White Oak: John A. Coston, Green Hatchell and B. R. Henderson.

Wolf Pit: George Ward, Benjamin Pollard and H. B. Handcock.

North West: B. C. Smith, Thomas Henderson and T. Haskins.

Swansboro: Daniel A. Hargett, Thomas B. Holland and D. A. Humphrey.

Harvey Cox was directed to purchase and store food to be distributed to the families of soldiers. A. J. Murrell was appointed to distribute it as necessity demanded. An appeal was made to the authorities at Raleigh for assistance, and they responded generously. Christopher Stephens went to the capitol for the money. His security, $20,000.00, was made by John P. Cox and A. J. Murrell.

Cotton cards were supplied the dependent families, as all cotton was carded, spun and woven by hand.

(A peculiar happening occurred when the Sheriff of Carteret County was forced to take the oath of office before the Onslow County Court, because the enemy had overrun his county.)

By March 1864 provisions and food were so scarce that an appeal was made to Colonel Peter Mallett, Commandant of Conscripts in North Carolina, that “He will in view of the deficiency of provisions in the county grant as many details for this year, or until the crop is secured to farmers as in his judgment will be compatible with the interest of the service, or such condition as will secure the greatest production of grain for the benefits of the families of soldiers who are away in the army.”

In December of that year another loan of $30,000.00 was floated with which to purchase provisions for the needy.

The energetic way in which the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions used its powers to provide for the families of the soldiers is worthy of commendation.





As before stated, its authority was both administrative and judicial, and the Court's efforts to maintain the morale of the fighters should be better known to the citizens of the county today.

Onslow Military Records—Introduction

The purpose of the following military records is that the itinerary of any individual soldier from Onslow may be traced throughout the war by following the movement of the company to which he belonged. Some regiments containing a few Onslow men have not been included. The records of these men can be traced through “Clark's North Carolina Regiment Histories,” to which goes credit for the record of the Onslow companies in the following pages.

Companies E and G—Third Regiment

In less than a month after Lincoln's call for seventy-five thousand volunteers and before North Carolina had seceded from the Union, volunteers by companies had been pouring in and were being received by Governor Ellis. These troops were organized into regiments as fast as possible.

One of the earliest of them, The Third, was organized at Garysburg in May, 1861. Two companies in this regiment, Companies E and G, were from Onslow and fought through the entire war.

Company E was recruited early in 1861 with Marquis L. F. Redd, Captain. He, however, soon resigned and was succeeded by W. T. Ennett, who distinguished himself and was later promoted to Major.

About the same time Company G was organized with Edwin H. Rhodes, Captain. He was killed while leading his men in the battle of Sharpsburg.

These companies being both in the 3rd Regiment, the story of one is practically that of the other, and so are sketched together.

At Acquia Creek, Virginia, the 3rd Regiment was attached to Anderson Brigade July, 1861, but were soon ordered to Goldsboro to meet an expected attack of Burnside coming up from New Bern. They remained in the state until June, 1862, when they were again ordered to Virginia. Shortly after the battle of Seven Pines they did a little picket duty and lost a few men.

Their first battle was Ellison's Mill, where they made the attack. They had a small part in the battle of Mechanicsville, and underwent a grilling fire, although not engaged, at Gaines Mill. At Malvern Hill the 3rd made the main attack and advanced





nearer the Union lines than any other troops. At Cramptons Gap they did wonderful execution without loss to themselves, being protected by a hill.

The next afternoon, September 16, 1862, began the battle of Sharpsburg. The Confederates advanced through an open field surrounding a farm house, sleeping on their arms in the orchard that night. At 7:30 next moring they renewed the attack. The battle wavered back and forth until the Confederate ammunition gave out. The men lay down on the ground but the Federals did not advance. When a new supply was received they again moved forward. Both sides claimed the victory, but Lee withdrew into Virginia. The Confederate loss was great. The Federals lost even more. For 22 hours the men went without water. The Brigade Commander, General Anderson, was fatally wounded, Captain Edwin H. Rhodes of Company G was killed, Solomon Gornto succeeding him as Captain. The Regiment won the praise of General Hill for its gallantry during the battle.

After the battle of Sharpsburg, Captain Ennett of Company E was promoted to Major.

The winter of 1862-3 was spent near Fredericksburg on picket duty.

At Chancellorsville, the Regiment was in the second line, but became mixed with the first line. They, however, captured much artillery.

General Lee now again marched his army into Maryland, and while passing the old battlefield of Sharpsburg a memorial service was held over the graves of their comrades who had fallen there the year before. After a burial service had been read by Chaplain Patterson, Captain J. J. Metts, who was now Captain of Company G, and his men were detailed to fire a military salute over the graves of the dead, a distinguished honor for the Onslow Company. The occasion was attended by both the first and third regiment. It was a solemn service. Tears stole down the cheeks of many stalwart men.

The Third took part in the battle of Winchester in June, 1863, and on the second day at Gettysburg lost about three-fourths of its entire number.

Returning to Virginia they wintered on the Rapidan in 1863-64, much of the time in zero weather.

At Spottsylvania almost the entire Regiment was captured, the remnant was then consolidated with the First Regiment.

Again they moved northward to within sight of the dome of the Capitol in Washington, then retired down the Valley of Virginia, skirmishing continuously, once capturing Sheridan's Headquarters, all his artillery and 1500 men at Cedar Creek.

On December 20, 1864, at Petersburg, they entrenched themselves





and fought there until March, 1865, and then fought a retreat to Amelia Courthouse and to Farmville.

At Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865, the day of Lee's surrender, in an attack the Regiment drove the enemy more than a mile, captured a battery and several pieces of artillery. During the last three days from April 6 to 9th, the entire Regiment was under command of Major Ennett of Onslow (Company E).

The North Carolina Regiments had an understanding with the Governor that all promotions be by recommendation or appointment of the commanding officer of the Regiment. In the spring of 1862, while near Goldsboro, a vacancy of Second Lieutenant occurred in Company G. Orders came from headquarters for an election to fill the vacancy. Colonel Mears, knowing the spirit of the men, passed the order on down to Lieutenant Colonel De Rossett who, on going down to the Onslow Company and finding Lieutenant Quince in charge, gave the orders to him to be carried out.

Standing behind the Captain's tent, Colonel DeRossett overheard the nomination and election which took place about as follows:

Lieutenant Quince, “. . . Sergeant, make the men fall in with arms.” This was done quickly and addressing the men he read the order and remarked, “Men, there are two candidates for the office,” naming them, “and there is but one of them worth a D—M, and I nominate him. All who are in favor of electing Sergeant . . . come to a shoulder. Company shoulder arms.” Then turning to the Orderly Sergeant remarked, “Sergeant, take charge of the company and dismiss them.”

Inside of an hour Colonel Quince reported the election duly held in accordance with Order Number —.

Company B—24th Regiment

The 14th Volunteers was organized at Weldon on July 18, 1861, and included Company B from Onslow under command of Captain George T. Duffy.

They were at once marched to the Kanawha Valley in Western Virginia to reinforce General John B. Floyd's army against the Union General Rosecrans.

Back to Richmond and to Murphreysboro, where they were reorganized into the 24th Regiment. In the reorganization, Dr. Charles Duffy became Assistant Surgeon.

The newly formed Regiment reached Virginia in time for the Seven Days Battle on June 26-July 2; at White Oak Swamp, at Malvern Hill, Drewry's Bluff, City Point and north of Petersburg they fought until McClellan's army was forced back and Lee decided to carry the war into the North.





The first night in Maryland, Captain Duffy with a detachment was sent to attack an enemy picket at Monocacy Bridge. Crossing the canal an attack was made in which Captain Duffy was severely wounded, and he and several of the men taken prisoners.

Lieutenant William T. Ellis now became Captain of Company B.

At Sharpsburg they dislodged a part of the Federal force from behind a stone fence in such good style that General Stewart, who was watching them, said, “Every soldier in that command was worthy to be made a commander.” Next day General Lee withdrew into Virginia via Martinsburg, where a great battle was fought.

The 24th, along with a South Carolina and Georgia Division, was posted behind a stone wall on Marye's Heights. These became a center of attack by the Federals, but was so ably defended that Burnside lost 12,000 men while Lee lost 5,000. However, the 24th lost heavily.

Shortly afterward the Regiment was sent into Eastern North Carolina to protect the Wilmington-Weldon Railroad. They marched to Weldon, Goldsboro, Wilmington, Kenansville, Kinston, Wyse Fork, Gum Swamp, driving the enemy as far as Deep Gully ten miles below New Bern.

By June 10th they were at Blackwater, Virginia. Several of them were in swimming when the Federals approached, but the boys dressed in time to save themselves. One day they ate breakfast at General Ransome's home, on the march to Drewry's Bluff, June 16, had a skirmish, also at Bottoms Bridge, July 4, 1863.

Scouting in Eastern North Carolina again, they went from Petersburg to Weldon, Tarboro, Hamilton, Washington, Williamston, Weldon, Tarboro, Goldsboro, Kinston, Petersburg, Virginia, then back to Weldon in the order named. Next they marched to Suffolk to drive out some negro cavalry then in possession of the town. Some of the negroes took refuge in the houses in the city and were burned up in them. The rest escaped. By March 12, 1864, they were again at Weldon.

By the latter part of 1863 Eastern North Carolina was suffering from raids of the Federals stationed in Plymouth, Washington and New Bern. General Pickett was put in command in the hope that he could recapture New Bern. After his failure to do this General Hoke was put in command. In conjunction with Captain Cooke and the Albemarle he made a combined land and water attack on the Federal garrison at Plymouth. The battle began about sunset April 24, 1864. Passing to the right through some woods near the town, Hoke's men passed through the town, capturing every fortification. About midnight there came a lull in the fighting. Company B occupied the extreme





right of Ransome's Brigade and aided in the capture of Ft. Worth. It was a brilliant victory. Ransome's attack was seldom equaled in the entire war. Hoke was promoted to Major General.

The Federals now withdrew from Washington, and Hoke's men at once marched against New Bern.

General Butler now threatened Richmond and Hoke's army was hurried away to help defend that city.

At Drewry's Bluff they assisted in the bottling up of Butler. Grant now marched into Petersburg, and for the Confederates life in the trenches began.

For nine months, in battle almost every day, often the two lines were less than 100 yards apart on only part rations with the sight of the dead and dying all about them. Their lot was a hard one, yet they fought on until almost none were left.

At “The Crater” they took part in the repelling of Burnside negro soldiers, and remained there until the stench of dead in the crater became almost unbearable.

On March 24th, they rallied and captured more than a mile of the enemy's line, but the next day whole companies were surrounded by overpowering numbers and captured a few at a time until all were gone.

Most of them were taken to prisons at Point Lookout, Maryland, or Johnston's Island, New York.

Company A—35th Regiment

Company A, 35th Regiment, was mustered in at Jacksonville, September 6, 1861, and moved at once to Camp Mangum, Raleigh, where we find them in November without arms, with Claude Barry, Captain. They numbered 136 men. They were, with other companies, organized into the 35th Regiment.

They received their initiation when Burnside attacked New Bern in March, 1862, but for want of leadership and lack of support were routed and retreated to Kinston.

At Kinston the Regiment was reorganized, S. B. Taylor becoming Captain of Company A, and soon began the long march to the battlefields of Virginia. They took part in the battle of Seven Pines and Malvern Hill in July, at Loudon Heights in August, shelled Harpers Ferry in September, were at Sharpsburg in September, and in the thick of the battle at Fredericksburg in December, 1862.

After the battle an offering was made for the suffering inhabitants of the stricken city.

The first half of 1863 was spent in Eastern North Carolina, first at Kenansville, then to Goldsboro, Kinston, Cove Creek, returning to Virginia in June.





About this time Captain S. B. Taylor was promoted to Major and Lieutenant H. W. Humphrey became Captain.

The 35th Regiment assisted in driving the Federals out of Suffolk and lost more men at Plymouth than any other regiment. Here two Onslow men especially distinguished themselves.

Major Taylor, while leading his men against one of the Federal Forts, was wounded in the left leg. The fort was taken and the name changed from Fort Comfort to Fort Jones in honor of Colonel Jones of the 35th.

Cavanaugh's Feat

Corporal W. N. Rose, who was a courier in General Ransom's army, in his account in Clark's Regimental History, from which most of this is taken, says, “It was now night and I had delivered a message from Captain Lane in charge of the skirmishers to General Ransom, with regard to the force of the enemy at the Creek, when Lieutenant Applewhite of Texas, acting as aide to General Ransom, was standing by and asked permission to take this man (myself) and go to the Creek and ascertain if the bridge had been burned. Ransom at first objected but finally yielded and Applewhite and myself set out, but did not go far before we met General Dearing of our cavalry and one other man who joined us and we four soon stood on the bank of the Creek.

The bridge had been burned and a small boat was on the opposite side. Dearing asked who could swim the creek and get the boat, and no sooner said than the man we did not know was across the creek and had the boat. The enemy, as we soon learned, was about forty paces from us behind breastworks. The man that swam the creek, we have learned since the war, was William Cavanaugh from Onslow County. It was a brave deed, and we mention it simply to show the material that composed the Southern army then around Plymouth, and no doubt there were hundreds of equally brave spirits in that unequal contest, some of whom fell that night and next morning in the storming of this strong citadel.”

This and other brave deeds enabled General Hoke to drive the Federals out of Plymouth. Here, April 19, 1864, Ransom's Brigade captured an army larger than its own number.

The Onslow company assisted in the bottling up of Butler at Drewry's Bluff, stood the brunt of the attack, but with severe loss at Bermuda Hundreds, where Colonel Jones of the 35th Regiment was killed after being wounded three times, resulting in the selection of Lieutenant Colonel Johnston to command the Regiment and the promotion of Major Simon B. Taylor to be Lieutenant Colonel, June 13, 1864.





The Onslow company was in the trenches at the left of the salient at “The Crater” July 30, 1864, and repelled several attacks there. Here Lieutenant Taylor received a slight wound in the head.

In the siege of Petersburg, the Onslow Company lived more than eight months in the ground, walked in wet ditches, ate cold rations and slept in dirt covered pits. The picket posts were reached by crawling in wet ditches with no shelter against rain or sun. Food was brought to the front in bags, carried on the shoulder, from a mile in the rear. At Fort Steadman the regiment lost heavily, half of its number being captured.

April 1, 1865, was a dark day for these brave men. Colonel Taylor was wounded for the third time and captured, a minnie ball fracturing the bones of his right arm. So many were captured, killed or wounded that eight days later at the surrender at Appomattox, only eighty men out of the entire Regiment were surrendered.

The 35th was ruled by moral force. It is said that none of its officers were ever put down, no privates were ever punished and no more honorable record was made by any Regiment on either side during the war.

Companies B and H—41st Regiment

The 41st Regiment, 3rd Cavalry, contained two companies of Onslow County soldiers.

Company B organized in 1861 with E. W. Ward, Captain. They assumed the name “Gatling's Dragoons” and had a full strength of 139 men. On November 30, 1863, Bryant Southerland became Captain.

After the capture of New Bern, the duty of Company B was to picket the streams of Onslow County, but had skirmishes with the Federals at New Bern and Washington.

Company H, Humphrey Troops was organized in 1862 with J. W. Moore, Captain, and numbered 99 men.

The 41st Regiment to which these companies belonged were natives of Eastern North Carolina and knew its roads, swamps, fords, etc. To them was assigned the duty of protecting the coast all the way from the James to the Cape Fear. They were constantly gathering supplies, protecting villages against forays, garrisoning forts and guarding crossroads, fords, etc.

A great portion of the Eastern coast of North Carolina fell into northern hands early in the war and the task of watching them to prevent their further intrusion inland was a gigantic one. The nature of the operation demanded speedy work and familiarity with the country. Often one Company, or even a squad, found itself far separated from their comrades without





orders and with only their own initiative to depend upon. This method of warfare made good soldiers, but left little time for written records—and to our loss, little is known of their activities.

With the Federal cordon tightening its grip about the throat of the Confederacy, the 41st was on April 22, 1864, ordered to Virginia to try to stay their advance as much as possible. August 25th that year was fought the battle of Reams Station, in which our companies were actively engaged.

The last winter of the war was spent around Richmond and Petersburg, most of the time with Hampton.

In retaliation for alleged cruelty to Federals confined in southern prisons, three Onslow men from North Carolina, along with others who were imprisoned at Fort Delaware, were transferred to Morris Island where they were placed immediately in front of Battery Wagner and if a missile fell short by so much as a second, it struck death and destruction in our ranks. Included among these were First Lieutenant T. B. Henderson of Onslow, Company H, 41st Regiment, and Second Lieutenant A. J. Gurganus, J. E. King and L. J. Henderson from Onslow, all belonging to the Third Regiment.

Company K—61st Regiment

Company K of the 61st Regiment was a mixed company containing many soldiers from Jones County, and had an enlisted strength of 106. The officers were, in the order named:

Captain F. D. Koonce, Thomas G. Henson and S. W. Noble.

1st Lieutenant: H. Clay Koonce and J. A. Galloway.

2nd Lieutenant: Samuel Gooch, Calhoun Haskins and S. E. Koonce.

The casualty list included: died 24, discharged 6, killed 1, prisoner 19 and wounded 15, leaving an active strength at the surrender of only 42 men.

The Regiment was organized at Camp Lamb, Wilmington, August 1862, and attached to Clingman's Brigade. On September 14, 1862, they began a march which took them in the order named to Goldsboro, Tarboro, Plymouth, Spring Green, Tarboro, Greenville and Kinston.

On December 11, 1862, the Federals under General Foster set out from New Bern to destroy the railroad bridge at Goldsboro, which they did after overpowering the small Confederate force at Kinston and White Hall. The Onslow Company was in the engagements both at Southwest and at Neuse River Bridge, but were so far outnumbered that their resistance seemed feeble. From Goldsboro to Wilmington, Charleston and Savannah, back





to Sullivans Island, to Charleston, to Wilmington, Petersburg, Drewry's Bluff, Bermuda Hundreds, Cold Harbor, the retreat soon brought them again to South West where they again fought a losing battle, as was also the one which followed at Bentonville.

The Regiment was paroled near High Point on May 2, 1865. While long marches and overwhelming numbers seemed to be the lot of this Regiment, their valor was proven even in defeat and death from exhaustion and disease of more than one-fourth their entire number.









THE WAR COMES TO ONSLOW
The Invasion by Land

The war began in April, 1861. In March, 1862, a Federal expedition captured New Bern, and Fort Macon was taken in April of the same year.

From these points raiding parties were sent into the surrounding counties to gather supplies and do what damage they could.

To combat them, independent companies were organized. Later these companies, sometimes known as “Partisan Rangers,” “Dragoons,” etc., being merged into regiments.

Company F, of the 41st Regiment, raised in Burke County and commanded by Captain Perkins, met one of these raiding parties at Big North East Bridge, 6 miles below Jacksonville toward Swansboro, killing 1 captain and 5 privates, and routing the others.

About the beginning of 1863 a detachment of New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania troops raided Swansboro, but did little damage.

On January 21, 1863, General G. W. Smith reported Union cavalry and artillery about 3 miles from Jacksonville, and at the same time General Whiting estimated 1,000 Federal cavalry and 6 pieces of artillery at Jacksonville.

The next day they withdrew to the White Oak River. There they were joined by 3 Confederate deserters. In this raid they had captured 3 prisoners, 3 wagons and 6 mules.

The road from Richlands toward Comfort in Jones County was completely blocked by trees felled by the Confederates.

In January, General Whiting marched his Confederate troops through Onslow on their way to attack the Union barracks at Newport.

In March, 1864, an expedition under Colonel Jourdon of Vermont, headed by the United States gunboat “Britainica,” Lieutenant Muse commanding, was ordered to Swansboro for the purpose of capturing contraband goods. An all night attempt was made to land, but being prevented by a violent storm, another attempt was made on the following day, but the Confederate musketry fire was too strong, they being forced to return to their vessel.

On the same trip, one of the Union vessels entered Bear Inlet and burned a boat containing a cargo of salt and leather, and captured and carried off 43 negroes.

About a month later, April 30, 1864, Colonel Jourdon with his Vermont troops again attacked Swansboro, from Newport this time, with better success, capturing a Lieutenant, 11 privates.





2 Homeguards with their arms, and carrying off 2 citizens, destroying 3 or 4 boats and 225 barrels of fish, which were salted and ready for shipment to the Confederates at Kinston.

In July, 1864, Captain George T. Duffy of the Invalids Corps, was assigned to command the Port at White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, by the Adjutant General under orders from the Secretary of War at Richmond.

This is about the extent to which the enemy were actually on Onslow County soil.

The Battle of New River

In the fall of 1862 the coast of the Carolinas was being watched closely by the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron under Rear Admiral S. P. Lee. Local operations were under command of Commander H. K. Davenport. As pointed out above, Federal vessels would sail into small harbors and inlets and carry off slaves, burn stores, warehouses and supplies, and do other damage.

The expedition against Jacksonville was carried out by the United States Steamer “Ellis,” under the command of Lieutenant W. B. Cushing, who later distinguished himself at Plymouth when he blew up the Confederate iron clad steamer “Albemarle.”

According to Lieutenant Cushing's report, his agenda was about as follows: Entered New River early in the morning of November 23, 1862, with the purpose to sweep the river of any vessel to be found there, capture the town of Jacksonville, take the Wilmington mail and destroy any salt-works to be found.

“It was planned to surprise the enemy going up, and to fight my way out coming back.” The Lieutenant reports that he sighted a vessel loaded with cotton and turpentine which had been fired by her owners to prevent capture by the Federals. He also says that he reached Jacksonville about 1 P.M., raided the Courthouse and Post Office, captured 25 stands of arms and much important mail. In addition, he says he confiscated negroes belonging to the Confederate Postmaster, and left Jacksonville at 2:30 P.M. the same day. Passing the site of the burning vessel of the forenoon, the Lieutenant says he fired his guns to quiet some rifle fire, which he did effectively.

Learning that the Ellis could not clear the mouth of the river in the darkness it was decided to anchor for the night. The Lieutenant, accompanied by five volunteers, remained with the vessel, but dispatched a schooner with the crew and as many supplies as could be taken out beyond the bar.

With the coming of the dawn, the Confederates under Lieutenants Adams and Newkirk, opened fire from their positions on the shore, disabling the engine of the Ellis, which had to be





abandoned. Lieutenant Cushing escaped in a light boat, reaching the schooner several hours later.

The Lieutenant reported to his superior, Commander Davenport, who dispatched the report with his approvel to Rear Admiral S. P. Lee, who expressed his admiration for the heroic feat.

In an additional report made from the U. S. S. Hetzel on November 29, off New Bern, Lieutenant Cushing says the mail taken at Jacksonville was lost with the steamer. From it he learned that Longstreet's men were in the State, that Eastern North Carolina expected to be given up; also that bitterness was widespread among the people on account of the Conscript Laws of the Confederacy and the lack of clothing and shoes. Salt was reported $20.00 per pound and sole leather $7.00 per pound.

Brigadier General W. H. C. Whiting, Confederate States Army, Commanding Defenses of the Cape Fear River, in reporting to Major General Gustavus W. Smith at Richmond Headquarters:

Wilmington, N. C., November 28, 1862

General: I have the pleasure of reporting that Captain Newkirk of the cavalry, and Captain Adams, with a section of a field battery have destroyed a steam gun boat of the enemy on New River. Her crew escaped. Her armament, ammunition, small arms and many articles of value will be saved. The enemy attempted to fire her, but being of iron, little damage was done.

Great credit is due Captains Newkirk and Adams and their officers and men.

Very respectfully,

W. H. C. WHITING,

Brigadier General, Commanding

Mr. Nansa Covil of Marines, N. C., related to the writer in 1922 how piers were extended to the sunken vessel and the cargo transported by colored labor from ship to shore.

“The whole project required about three weeks,” he said.

An inventory of the cargo would be interesting.









CIVIL WAR LEADERSHIP
Captain Claude Barry

Claude Barry lived at Gum Branch. The house has been burned. Son of Bryan Buckner Barry and Mary Murrill. Married Celestia Rosser Crossland, June 26, 1860. In his young days went to California in the Gold Rush. Later returned to Onslow, where he lived at the outbreak of the war. A daughter lives in Texas.

Claude Barry entered the service 6 September, 1861, in Onslow County, age 36. Elected Captain of what later became Company A, 35th North Carolina Regiment, Infantry Confederate States Army, on the day of his enlistment. He immediately took his company to Camp Mangum, Raleigh, where we find them in November of that year still without arms. They numbered 136 men. The Company took part in the disastrous campaign around New Bern where they were routed. A month later, Barry died, whether from wounds or disease could not be determined by this writer.

Dr. Charles Duffy, Jr.

When Company B of the 24th was organized, Dr. Charles Duffy, Jr. became First Sergeant and within 10 months had become Surgeon of the regiment. He enlisted 6 May, 1861 and was appointed Assistant Surgeon 5 February, 1862. The last military record on file is dated December, 1863.

The first of the Duffys to come to Onslow was Dr. James Edward Stringer Duffy, who came to Swansboro from Kingstown, Ireland. Dr. James immediately began the practice of his profession throughout the area.

The story is told that the young and handsome physician, while attending a patient one day, was seated at the dining table busily engaged in rolling pills, as doctors did in those days. Being unaware of the doctor's presence, a certain young lady also came over to visit the sick. After some attention to her makeup, etc. she was introduced to the doctor. Immediately upon the leavetaking, the young lady is said to have told her hostess that she had “Seen her man in the well” only that day. As soon as she saw him she said to herself,, “That's him. That's my man in the well.” Sure enough, the young lady, who was Miss Clarissa Noble Handcock, and young Dr. James Edward Stringer Duffy, were married April 10, 1828. They became the parents of Captain George T. Duffy.

Six years after the arrival of Dr. Duffy at Swansboro, a brother Charles, also a physician, arrived in Onslow. Doctor Charles





purchased land near Catherine Lake and also practiced medicine there. The doctor married Miss Nancy Howse, probably a daughter of Buckner Howse and Rosamond Everett, who were married in 1800. They became parents of Surgeon Charles Duffy and Honorable Rodolph Duffy, Attorney at Law.

Three years following the coming of Doctor Charles, the father, also named Charles, arrived in America from Ireland, bringing his family, except the wife and mother, who died before leaving Ireland. (Her maiden name was Stringer.) The elder Charles made his home in New Bern. His children, besides James and Charles above, were Thomas and Walter, both physicians, Frank and Richard, both druggists, Samuel, Annie and one other daughter.

The Duffys have distinguished themselves in medicine, and have had a prominent place in public life since coming to Carolina.

Surgeon Duffy following the war also removed to New Bern, where he married Miss Sophia Moore of that city.

Captain George T. Duffy

Captain George T. Duffy was a son of Dr. James E. S. Duffy. Born March 22, 1837, and reared in Swansboro. Educated at the Swansboro Academy. Married Miss Agnes Moore of Swansboro.

Their children were: Walter, who lived in Virginia and married there; Charles, who sailed around Cape Horn to Oregon where he settled, married, lived and died; Susan, married Mr. Gus Pittman of Swansboro; George, Jr., married Miss Wolfington and made their home in New Bern.

For some years the future Captain, upon his graduation from the academy, taught school and merchandised in Swansboro, where he lived at the outbreak of the war.

His military record was furnished by Major General Edward F. Witsell, of the Adjutant General's Office in Washington, in a letter dated 26 February, 1948: “The records show that George T. Duffy, Captain, Company B, North Carolina Infantry, Confederate States Army, entered the service 6 May, 1861.”

Captain Duffy's Company of Onslow soldiers was included in the organization of the 14th Volunteers at Weldon, July 18, 1861. They were sent at once to reinforce General John B. Floyd in Western Virginia against General Rosecrans. Later the Volunteers were at Murphreesboro, becoming a part of the 24th North Carolina Regiment, returned to Virginia, where they took part in the battles at White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Drewry's Bluff and others, in which General McClellan was driven back, allowing Lee to carry the war to the North.





The first night in Maryland, Captain Duffy with a detachment was sent to attack an enemy picket at Monocacy Bridge. There the Captain was severely wounded, and he and several of his men taken prisoners. Lieutenant William T. Ellis now became Captain of the Onslow Company.

In June, 1864, he is shown as “Put on the retired list,” only to be followed a month later by this notation, “Assigned to command the Port of White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, by the Adjutant General under orders from the Secretary of War at Richmond.” The record shows him paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina, May 1, 1865, with the remark “supernumerary officer and not assigned to duty.”

Returning to Swansboro at the end of the war, he remained a few years until he accepted the management of The Neuse and Trent Transportation Company, with office in New Bern, to which he removed with his family, remaining until his death.

Sergeant Lawrence E. Duffy

Lawrence E. Duffy was at Metropolitan College, New York City, preparing for entrance to West Point when he heard of John Brown's insurrection. That was in 1859. He had received his appointment to West Point through Hon. Thomas L. Clingman, Representative in Congress from the ___ District at the time. There were a number of the students there who were Southerners and often arguments and tempers reached the boiling point and sometimes personal encounters ensued. The high feelings engendered among people, both North and South, made the approach of war evident to any serious observer, and most southern boys left the school and returned to their homes.

Mr. Duffy helped to organize a White Horse Company, which later was consolidated with Company B, 24th North Carolina Regiment. He won the rank of Ordinance Sergeant by competitive examination. Later he was transferred to Company I to fill a vacancy there.

The 24th took part in many fiercely fought battles of the war, including Antietam, Fredericksburg, the siege of Petersburg, Seven Days around Richmond, Seven Pines, Drury's Bluff and Plymouth. As late as March 27, 1865, thirteen days before Lee's surrender, they took part in the capture of Fort Steadman in the Union lines at Petersburg by Hanson's Brigade, the only point where the Union lines were broken, and while the gain was only temporary, its capture by the Southerners was a feat of bravery and courage.

While in the field Sergeant Duffy was called to the Staff of General Matt Ransome. The next fighting done by Ransome's Brigade was done at Five Forks April 1, 1865. Here Mr. Duffy





was captured, being sent first to the old Capitol in Washington, then to Johnson's Island on Lake Erie.

The outstanding feature of the imprisonment was the kindness of the Commandant, Colonel Hill, a one-armed soldier in charge of the Post.

Mr. Duffy was there when Lincoln's assassination was announced. No demonstration was allowed. The thoughtfulness of Colonel Hill extended beyond the discharge of his prisoners, who were discharged a few at a time, in order to provide food, as far as available to the men who were enroute to their homes. Most of them had no money and were hundreds of miles from home, so the Colonel's provisions must have filled a very real need.

Lawrence was one of ten children of Charles and Nancy Howse Duffy. His grandfather, also named Charles, a distinguished surgeon born in Ireland, spent the last five years of his life in New Bern, where he is buried.

Lawrence married first Miss Kate Pearsall Herring of Kenansville, and then Miss Alice Cox of Onslow. There were several children by each marriage.

Dr. William T. Ennett

Dr. Ennett appears also in Miss Bloodworth's splendid History of Pender County, as he removed to that county and married following the war between the states. Miss Bloodworth says: “Major Ennett was a physician and highly accomplished, married Sarah McIntire and settled in Burgaw, where he practiced his profession and reared his family of three daughters.”

The Records show that William T. Ennett, 1st Lieutenant, Company E, 3rd North Carolina Infantry, Confederate States Army, was mustered into service 16 May, 1861, age 23 years. He was promoted to Captain of the Company 12 December, 1861, and to Major of the Regiment 3 October, 1863. Captured 12 May, 1864. Exchanged 10 August, 1864. Shown as imprisoned at Belle Plain, Virginia, Ft. Delaware, Delaware, and at Hilton Head, South Carolina. Surrendered by General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, 9 April, 1865. (Official War Dept. Record.)

The Regiment began the fight at Ellyson's Mill, was at Malvern Hill where it led the main attack, and advanced further than any other troops, and also at Crampton's Gap, where their loss was light, being well protected from enemy shells by a hill.

Following the battle of Sharpsburg, September 16, 1862, Captain Ennett was promoted to Major of the Regiment.

During the last three days of the war, from April 6 to April 9, 1865, the entire regiment was under the command of Major





Ennett of Onslow. On the day of Lee's surrender Ennett's Regiment drove the enemy more than a mile and captured a battery and several pieces of artillery.

At this writing have not determined where Major Ennett resided in Onslow, but presume that he lived in Stump Sound Township, as have most members of that family up to the present time.

Captain Solomon Gornto (1831- )

Solomon Gornto entered the Confederate service May 16, 1861, about a month after firing on Sumter. Company G, to which he belonged, was the first company, but one, which contained Onslow soldiers. When the Company was organized, Mr. Gornto became 1st Lieutenant. He was then 30 years old.

The 3rd North Carolina Regiment, which included Company B, went at once to Virginia, returned to Goldsboro for nearly a year and then marched back to Virginia, where they were engaged in battles at Ellyson's Mill and Mechanicsville, and were under heavy fire though not engaged at Gaines Mill.

They made the main attack at Malvern Hill and a glorious record for themselves. On September 16, 1862, came the battle of Sharpsburg, where Captain Edward H. Rhodes of Company G was killed. Mr. Gornto then succeeded to that rank. The Company went on until Appomattox but individual officer records are not clear.

After the war Captain Gornto returned to his home, located a few miles south of Piney Green. He married Mariah Ward, sister of Rev. Benjamin Ward, in January, 1864. There were three children, none of whom survived. Mr. Gornto then adopted a nephew and a niece, Solomon and Nannie Hewitt, who lived to ripe old age but never married.

Mr. Gornto operated a large farm, was a carpenter and builder by occupation, was known for his integrity and many fine personal characteristics.

When the Federal Government took over lands for use of the Marine Base, the Gornto-Hewitt farm was included and the home destroyed.

Captain Henry W. Humphrey (1837-1917)

The official record says that Henry W. Humphrey was enrolled September 6, 1861, which is the date of the organization of Company A, later to become a part of the 35th, the North Carolina Regiment. At the organization Humphrey was made 1st Sergeant, age 24. He became 2nd Lieutenant April 7, 1862, 1st Lieutenant April 21, 1862, and Captain June 15, 1863. The Company muster roll for January and February, 1865, shows him





“Absent—home on wounded furlough.” No later record found.

Just when Captain Humphrey was wounded is not of record, but one of his soldiers has told of an occasion when the Captain, while sitting in his tent, had a narrow escape from a minnie ball passing through the rim of his hat. On another day, while in combat, a ball passed through the hem of his coat.

Mr. Humphrey married Mary __________. He lived about one-half mile north of Richlands on his plantation. The house is still standing, now owned by Mr. G. F. Huffman, I think. Following the war Captain Humphrey gave his time mostly to his farming. Always in search of improved tools with which to save labor and cost, he made many experiments in seed selection and gave much study to scientific methods in farming, as a result of which his farm produced more per acre than other farms about him, and he set the pace for other farmers living nearby.

In the fields of war, business, agriculture and citizenship, Humphrey rated “a good soldier,” and during his eighty years contributed much to the history of Onslow County. He is buried in the Koonce cemetery, Richlands, N. C. Died 1917. Age 80.

Captain Lott W. Humphrey

Lott W. Humphrey was born near Richlands in 1830. His father, William Humphrey, was a wealthy planter and the family was aristocratic and prominent in the county, both socially and politically.

Lott Humphrey was elected to the House of Commons, first in 1854 at the age of 24, where he served two terms followed by two terms in the Senate.

During these years he read law under the famous jurist, Justice Richmond Pearson of Richmond Hill, Yadkin County, and was admitted to the bar in 1857 while a member of the House.

In both House and Senate he succeeded Edward W. Fonville.

One of the earliest advocates of a convention to consider secession, Humphrey at once busied himself in recruiting volunteers and organizing them into units to be sent to training camps. He, himself, entered the service as a Lieutenant in 1861.

The next year another company, known as “Humphrey Troop,” were organized, and consolidated with others in the 31st Regiment, Cavalry.

The Federals early in the war had made inroads into Eastern North Carolina and it became necessary to post guards from the James to the Cape Fear to protect the coast and prevent raids by the Federals into the surrounding country. To this duty the 41st Regiment was assigned. As these men were scattered over a wide area and in small detachments, few reports were made and little is known of their activities. Up and down the streams,





rivers and sounds, over hidden roads and bypaths, they kept vigil day and night, skirmishing often, little real fighting went on, but the Federals knew they were there and respected them.

During 1863 Humphrey resigned from the military service and became Solicitor in the county court.

During the latter part of the war, because of the danger of residing near the coast, Humphrey maintained his family at different places, finally locating them at Goldsboro in 1865, ironically, just in time to see the coming of the Yankees to that town, and the end of the war.

Humphrey never returned to Onslow, but continued to reside in the Wayne Capital, and later in 1872 represented that county in the State Senate. He was in 1874 named by Governor Brogden to the Presidency of the Atlantic and North Carolina Railway Company for a period of three years.

Back during the Civil War, at the organization of the 41st Regiment, Humphrey was elected Colonel of the Regiment. For some reason Governor Vance ignored this election and secured the appointment of another man instead. This Humphrey never forgot, nor forgave. Years afterward, in 1873, when Vance and Morrison were candidates for the United States Senate, and when the balloting had reached a deadlock, Humphrey retaliated by engineering the opposition toward the support of Morrison, causing the defeat of Vance. This, in turn, brought resentment from friends of Vance, and Humphrey soon found himself excluded from party councils. This probably was the cause of his going over to the Republicans, which he did soon afterward.

In those days negroes held the balance of power, not only in the Republican Party, but in the Congressional District as well. In 1886 the Democratic Congressional nominee was Furnifold M. Simmons of Jones County, son-in-law of Lott Humphrey. As long as negroes stood together they could win an election. So Simmons’ chance of election hung upon whether the negroes and Republicans could agree upon a single candidate to oppose him. To Humphrey goes the credit that a feud among the negroes split the party that year and two candidates appeared: James E. O'Hara, a mulatto, (who it is said “conferred with negroes through the back door while receiving white mulattoes through the front door”) and Israel Abbott, a black man. The split, as might be expected, gave Simmons his first election to the 50th Congress.

Humphrey died February 12, 1891, and is buried at Goldsboro.

Captain Francis D. Koonce (1837-1911)

When the war between the states began in 1861 Francis D. Koonce was a young attorney practicing in Richlands.





Educated at Richlands Academy, Randolph-Macon College and the University of North Carolina, he had studied law under that venerable “Father of Lawyers” Judge Richmond Pearson of Statesville, North Carolina, and was admitted to the Bar in 1858 at the age of 24.

At 26 he had been named Democratic Presidential Elector in the Campaign of 1860, which culminated in the election of Abraham Lincoln. His group favored remaining in the Union. In April 1862, Mr. Koonce set about raising a company to help guard the area east of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. Officers of the Company elected were: Francis D. Koonce, Captain; H. Clay Koonce, 1st Lieutenant and Samuel Gouch, 2nd Lieutenant.

The Company, which included men from Onslow and Jones Counties became Company K and was, along with other companies, organized as the 61st North Carolina Regiment at Camp Lamb, Wilmington, North Carolina, in August, 1862. During the first winter Company K took part in the battles of Kinston and White Hall, but the odds were too great and the Confederates lost heavily both at South West and at Neuse River Bridge.

The name of Captain Koonce was dropped from the rolls February 3, 1863, for reason unknown to us now.

Returning to his law practice, we hear nothing further until 1878, when we see him named as candidate for Congress on the “Greenback” ticket. (The Greenback Party favored the increase of currency by the printing of paper money and could be considered the forerunner of the Populist Party.) Later in the campaign Koonce withdrew from the contest, which resulted in the defeat of the Democratic Candidate Alfred M. Waddell by Daniel Russell, Republican. (The Democrats never forgave him that.)

Eight years later, in the campaign which culminated in the election of Honorable Charles W. McClammy of Scotts Hill to the Congress, Koonce ran as an independent.

Sometime about the year 1888 Mr. Koonce received from President Benjamin Harrison the appointment of United States Commissioner. Duties of the office included the taking of evidence in cases of crime against the Federal Statutes, and where probable cause was found, the binding over defendants to Federal Court for trial. Again in 1892, an unsuccessful candidate for Congress, this time endorsed by the Populist Party, he was defeated by Honorable B. F. Grady of Duplin County, Democrat.

Francis D. Koonce was an independent thinker who opposed disunion but went along with his state into the Confederacy. Just when he began drifting away from his Democratic colleagues is unknown to this writer, but his appearance on the Greenback





ticket in 1878 indicates his dissatisfaction with Democratic policies in Washington and his withdrawal from the campaign resulting in the election of Daniel L. Russell, Republican, emphasizes the fact. Eight years later he was still “independent” but in 1888 his appointment as United States Commissioner by President Benjamin Harrison, a Republican, evidently came in appreciation for his service in splitting the Democratic party or as an active Republican. That he was still considered more or less independent, however, is indicated when he received the endorsement of the Populists in his campaign for Congress in 1892.

That his sympathy lay with the farmers we know because of his great fight in the farmers Alliance and third party campaigns during the eighties and nineties. Whether on the popular side of an issue made little difference to him and he espoused whatever cause he chose with a zeal which could not be mistaken by friend or enemy.

The College of Nashville, Tennesseee, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws in 1903 while he was serving as Mayor of Richlands, his native town.

He had in 1857 married Hannah Rebecca Rhodes, daughter of Henry Rhodes and wife Zilphia Franck at Shines “Old Comfort” in Jones County. Sons were Honorable A. H. Koonce, private secretary to Congressman Fowler, 1897, Mr. H. B. Koonce, and one daughter, Mrs. Zannie Creagh Hatch, who in 1958 celebrated her 93rd birthday. She resides in the old home beside the Methodist Church in Richlands.

Captain Marquis LaFayette Redd (1824-1871)

Marquis L. F. Redd, Captain, Company E, 3rd North Carolina Infantry.

In the early days of the war Redd, who had previously served as Sheriff of the County, raised a company of recruits which subsequently became Company E, North Carolina Southern Troops.

Whether Mark saw action on the field is doubtful because soon after the war began he and a number of his men were detailed to make salt, a very scarce commodity at that time in the Confederate States. Having lived by the Stump Sound all his life, Mark knew the how and the why of salt-making. Barges were filled with salt water, and then were poled by hand back to the mainland to be emptied in large but shallow pans made of iron, under which fires were kept burning day and night to evaporate the water. This method of obtaining this most necessary commodity was slow and laborious, but the only one available to the Southerners for the duration of the war.





Captain Redd descended from a long line of Scottish ancestry, the family having come from Scotland to Virginia four or five generations earlier. His father was Sigmund Redd, who married Susan Andrews of Trenton, in Jones County. Sigmund Redd built his home on a ridge overlooking the sparkling waters of Stump Sound and the blue expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, and there reared a family of ten children, of which Mark was the oldest son, and next to Sarah, the eldest of all. It must have been a jolly family, for even in their old age they retained a lot of humor and love of fun. Susan said she, “Never took more trouble to heart than she could kick off with her heels.” They were noted for their jet black hair and black eyes, were all good citizens and esteemed over a wide territory in which they were known.

In such a home Mark grew up. School facilities at that time were poor, but he seems to have gotten some good training somewhere.

His father owned large acreage and several servants. For sport boys of that day and station hunted, rowed, fished and square-danced. Although Mark weighed over 200 pounds, he is said to have excelled most persons of his acquaintance in the grace and ease, as well as the greater variety of steps with which he could make the hours go by. For work there was, besides the general farm supervision, the making of turpentine, fishing on the beach, where crews of men manned huge surf boats to row out into the ocean and surround with nets the schools of mullets that ran close to the shore on their journeys to the warmer waters for the winter. These were salted away in barrels and kegs for winter use, or sold to traders who carried them to inland markets.

Mark was elected Sheriff of the County in 1854. During his term it became his painful duty to execute a man convicted of a most heinous crime. He was hanged on the Courthouse Square in Jacksonville.

Mr. Redd was married on October 8, 1946, to Emily Ann Sidbury, daughter of William and Rebecca Burnett Sidbury. Their only child, Susan Rebecca Redd, married Hill E. King.

Captain Bryant Southerland

Where Mr. Southerland lived prior to his marriage to Amanda Ervin is unknown to this writer. Miss Ervin was the daughter of the late Abner Ervin and sister to the later John A. Ervin. After marriage, the Southerlands lived in Richlands, where they resided at the outbreak of the Civil War.

War Department records show that he entered the service December 28, 1861, age 30. Promoted to 1st Lieutenant May 15, 1862, and to Captain about April, 1864. Clark's Regimental History says he succeeded Captain E. W. Ward on November





30, 1863, which is probably correct, as no exact date is mentioned in the official record.

The duty of the 41st Regiment, of which Company B was a part, was to patrol the area in Eastern North Carolina. Being always on the move, little record was kept.

In April, 1864, the 41st was ordered to report to General Lee around Richmond. Soon after at Hanover Court House, Virginia, Captain Southerland was captured. An inspection report dated January, 1865, shows him “a prisoner of war Jacksonville, North Carolina.” No later record has been found.

However, if he survived the war his wife or her family never knew it. He never came back. One daughter survived him. She is reported to have married a Middleton and resided in Goldsboro.

Colonel Simon B. Taylor, Company A, 35th Regiment

(This paper appeared first in the News and Views of Jacksonville, N. C.

Deep down in the heart of every true Southerner “Lee's Immortals” are still marching—tramping with steady tread through the corridors of time.

The Southern soldier devoted to a conviction for which each of them would die, captained by a leader at once so superb as to be matchless when measured by any standard, has been, and will remain through all time, emblematic of the courage of conviction which allows that a people be overpowered but never conquered.

Then came Appomattox, the Gethsemane of the Confederacy, when all was lost save honor.

Overpowered by sheer weight of numbers and resources, the Southerner returned to his home and began the rebuilding of a civilization which is destined to produce a commonwealth of enterprise and achievement the like of which has heretofore been unknown.

We are the children of those brave men of the South and proud of our Sires. This year on Lee's Birthday, January 19th, we point to one of the “Immortals” and claim him as our own.

Colonel Simon B. Taylor's record in the war between the states was exceptional and was probably unsurpassed by that of any other soldier on either side during that terrible conflict.

He entered the war as a private in time to take part in the battles around New Bern in 1862, and in the reorganization of the regiment at Kinston became the Captain of Company A, 35th Regiment. He took part in the battles of Seven Pines, Malvern Hill, Sharpsburg and Fredericksburg. During the first half of 1863 Captain Taylor's men were ordered back to Eastern North Carolina but returned to Virginia in June when he was promoted





to Major of the Regiment, being succeeded as Captain by Henry W. Humphrey.

At Plymouth, Major Taylor distinguished himself. He is said to have been the first Confederate to mount the parapet when the first fort was taken from the Federal works. It was here that he received his first wound, being shot through the leg.

At Bermuda Hundreds, Colonel Jones of the 35th was killed. He was much beloved by his men, and when Fort Comfort was captured at Plymouth the men had it rechristened “Fort Jones” in his honor. Colonel Jones was succeeded by Colonel Johnston and Major Taylor became a Lieutenant-Colonel succeeding Colonel Johnston.

At the Crater July 30, 1864, Colonel Taylor received a slight wound in the head, but remained with his men. For eight months in the trenches around Petersburg they underwent all the horrors of war until the dark first day of April, 1865, when the Regiment lost nearly half its number. Here Colonel Taylor was wounded for the third time, being shot through the arm, then captured and taken to a Federal field hospital. There the doctor prepared to amputate the wounded limb, but Colonel Taylor refused to allow the operation to be made. From then on, no attention was given to him at all until he made an appeal to the Camp Inspector, who ordered the wound treated, thus probably saving his life. Colonel Taylor often afterward expressed the wish to know the Inspector's name because he felt this to have been an act of surpassing kindness from a generous enemy.

Colonel Taylor knew both Generals Lee and Jackson personally, and in an interview long after the war said, “Many times I saw them and shook hands with them during the war. Everybody loved them. Long lines of people used to wait to speak to them after battle, or church services. They should be kindly remembered and honored.”

Colonel Taylor was born in Lenoir County in 1834. He served an apprenticeship with a merchant in Kinston and received as his two years pay a suit of clothes and $50.00 in money. The year following the war he married Miss Sallie Murrill of Onslow, and after her death married her sister Nannie—both ladies according to the best traditions of the Old South.

Colonel Taylor made his home at Catherine Lake, where for 65 years he engaged in merchandising, manufacturing of naval stores, and in agricultural pursuits, doing a large time supply business, as such often aiding men when they needed it badly, especially during the hard times following the war.

He held several County Offices including that of County Treasurer, before that office was abolished in Onslow, Commissioner, Justice of the Peace, etc. . . .





Colonel Taylor lived to a ripe old age and maintained an interest in current events as long as he lived, was active in local politics, and followed progress and invention in minute detail. He was especially enthusiastic over the great feat of Colonel Lindbergh in crossing the Atlantic in 1927 and shortly before his death predicted that the next war would be in the air.

As long as he lived Colonel Taylor loved and attended the reunion of the Old Confederate Soldiers.

He was a Mason and a member of the Christian Church, being for many years one of the Trustees of Atlantic Christian College. He died in 1929 and is buried at Catherine Lake. His place in our history is secure.

Captain Edward W. Ward

Edward W. Ward, Captain, Company B, 41st State Troops, Confederate States Army, entered the service December 28, 1861, at Jacksonville, also shown as Swansboro, North Carolina, age 24 years. He tendered his resignation October 26, 1863, on account of physical disability, which was accepted to date November 30, 1863.

To Captain Ward goes the credit for the organization of Company B, to which he was named Captain at the organization. It numbered 130 men.

After the capture of New Bern Company B's duty was to patrol the roads and streams of Eastern North Carolina as a guard against further intrusion by the Federals. They ranged as far north as New Bern and Washington, North Carolina.

After Captain ward had been succeeded by Captain Southerland, the company took part in the campaign around Richmond. After the capture of Captain Southerland at Hanover Court House, it does not appear what became of Company B. Perhaps they were scattered among the other companies where they fought on till the close of the war.

In the census of 1860 “E. Ward” was a practicing physician, post office Piney Green. After the war he resided at his plantation “Cedar Point” near the mouth of New River. In 1880, although still practicing medicine, he was also well known as a farmer and merchant.

Bibliography

Mrs. Effie Harrell: Letter to this writer.

Official Records War Department, Washington, D. C.

Unsigned article in the New Bernian, March 20, 1927, Page 2.

Name of History.

Staff-writer History of North Carolina. Volume 6, page 149.

North Carolina Manual 1913.

Josephus Daniels Tar Heel Editor, page 499.

John R. Shaw: letter to this writer.






[Illustration:

Col. Simon B. Taylor, C.S.A.
]


[Illustration:

Lt. William B. Cushing, U.S.N.
]


[Illustration:

Daniel L. Russell
]


[Illustration:

John W. Shackleford
]





RECONSTRUCTION

While the eastern counties were in control of the Union forces, several efforts were made by Union sympathizers to organize a Union government for the invaded territory. Among those active in this were Charles Henry Foster, a native of Maine, and Marble Nash Taylor, a Methodist Minister who had been with the Confederates at Hatteras but turned traitor and did what he could to spy on them.

At a so-called Convention at Hatteras November 18, 1861, Taylor received a letter from one J. W. Bailey in Lima, New York, which illustrates how baseless was the authority under which they acted. The letter reads as follows:

Lima, New York

November 15, 1861

Dear Sir:

I address you this line to request you to represent the Union Men of Onslow County, North Carolina, in State Convention to organize a Provincial Government, having once been a resident of the County and knowing something of the feeling there existing.

I am respectfully,

J. W. BAILEY

Rev. M. N. Taylor

The voting was only in Hyde County, and the United States would not allow them representation in Congress.

Taylor afterwards became a newspaper correspondent and Foster commanded a company of Negro soldiers, but was dismissed by Butler.

The Legislature which met immediately following the war was “Corrupt beyond Measure.” The state was plundered and debt created, the proceeds from which the state received little or no benefit.

Governor Holden, appointed by President Johnston, was looked upon as representing the power of the Carpetbagger in the state.

In 1870 the Democrats regained control of the Assembly and immediately a movement was begun to impeach the governor . . . one Negro member voting against the Governor, who was thus “Bitten by his own dog”, as a prominent Democrat declared at the time.

A board of managers was appointed to conduct the trial, and among the six members of this Board was James G. Scott, who was Representative from Onslow.

The Governor was charged with high crimes against the state,





found guilty and forbidden ever to hold office again in North Carolina.

Onslow, however, fared much better during Reconstruction than our neighboring county of Jones, where the Sheriff was removed by General Canby, a northern man, and a majority of the County Commissioners were negroes. There Colonel J. H. Nethercutt, Sheriff and the county's foremost citizen, was murdered while sitting by his own fireside.

In Onslow, the Democrats retained control throughout the entire period and thus most of the horrors of reconstruction were happily averted.

The surrender of Lee and Johnson brought the end of the war. A period of reconstruction then began. If the kindly hand of Lincoln could have prevailed, most of its horrors might have been avoided.

The President, however, was assassinated by a Southern sympathizer, although neither sponsored, supported nor approved by the Southern people. The events which followed increased the bitterness between the North and the South, and Congress then took charge. Many of its leaders had long hated the South and now saw a grand opportunity to vent some of their wrath upon the Southern people. That the South was prostrate and had surrendered in full faith made no difference to them.

Reconstruction plans included the adoption of a new constitution by each state, and the North Carolina convention met in 1868 for the purpose of framing the new instrument. It was adopted by a majority of such voters as could vote.

The war settled several things, among which was:

1. No state might again leave the Union; that Federal power superceded State power wherever the two seemed to clash.

2. Slavery was abolished and the former slave given the franchise.

The colored man was at a loss to know what to do with his new power. Carpetbaggers sprang up everywhere ready to advise him, who together with scalawags and renegade southern whites got control of the situation and the poor negroes soon became tools in their hands.

The situation went from bad to worse, many lives were lost and much racial hatred engendered. Secret societies, working under cover, sprang up overnight and began a systematic cleanup of the situation, and while their method cannot be justified, the results were soon apparent, and for the better.

The freeing of the slaves hit the landed aristocracy everywhere. Many a planter found himself “land poor” leaving his broad acres with no one to tend them. A system worked out





later allowed the former slave to rent lands from his former Master and pay rent from the proceeds of the crop.

Another vital blow to the Planters’ prestige was the destruction of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions.

Under the new setup the County was to be governed by County Commissioners, whose power was considerably curtailed.

The Justices found themselves shorn of all duties or privileges except the trial of minor cases, the performance of marriage rites, etc.

Among the last of the Onslow Court's official acts was the adoption of a proposal to sell the old site of the County Home at Catherine Lake and to purchase and erect a new one.

The violence of the reconstruction period with its fierce social upheaval made its mark deep in the lives of the people, not only of Onslow, but throughout the South. The Reconstruction policy has borne its full fruitage throughout the years. The scar will long remain.

Bibliography

Hamilton: Reconstruction in North Carolina.


[Illustration:

Marquis L. F. Redd
]









ONSLOW GAZETTE

The post office at Onslow Court House, Onslow County, North Carolina, was established April 1, 1814. Eden Bell was the first postmaster. The name of the post office was changed to Jacksonville August 20, 1873, with Rufus K. Pelletier as postmaster.

Richlands, Onslow County, was established June 8, 1826, with John A. Avirett as first postmaster.

Swansborough, Onslow County, North Carolina, was established April 1, 1799, with A. Carmalt as first postmaster. The name of the office was changed to Swansboro April 16, 1811. The office was discontinued October 31, 1845. William P. Ferrand postmaster. The office was reestablished February 5, 1846, and Charles H. Barnum was appointed postmaster.

Records of the Post Office Department in the National Archives show that a post office was established at Marines, Onslow County, on August 31, 1885, with Wiley N. Marine appointed as the only postmaster. It was discontinued on December 27, 1886.

A post office was established at Pollard, Onslow County, on October 21, 1885. Its name was changed to Marines on April 2, 1890. The Post Office Department has informed us that this office was discontinued on September 30, 1941. Names of the postmasters and dates of their appointment were:

Edward S. SmithOctober 21, 1885
Lewis MarineJuly 1, 1897
Edward B. SmithJune 12, 1914
Frank A. SmithJune 14, 1928

The Postoffice at Marines was closed when the United States Government took over the area for the Marine Base.

According to records of the Post Office Department now in our custody, a post office was established at Comfort on April 27, 1847, with E. S. F. Giles appointed as postmaster. It was discontinued on June 9, 1851; reestablished on April 23, 1852; discontinued on December 6, 1866; and reestablished on August 1, 1873.

An early mail route including Comfort was No. 2828, from Strickland's Depot (via Kenansville, Hallsville, Richlands, Market Place, and Comfort) to Trenton, let for the period 1847-51, to Joseph Allen of Trenton, North Carolina, 57 miles and back, once a week, for $379 per annum.

Onslow Post Masters

1883Onslow CourthouseJohn Connor
1833RichlandsJohn Avirette
1833ComfortJacob Giles





1833TrentonE. S. F. Giles
1835Onslow CourthouseG. C. Marvin
1845RichlandsJohn Avirette
1835ComfortB. Shine
1839TrentonFrances DuVal
1839Onslow CourthouseH. Grant
1839RichlandsWilliam H. Murrill

Gazetteer, United States of America, by Haskel and Smith, published New York, 1845, pp. 567, 496 and 646 gives the following information concerning Onslow County:

Richlands, post office in Onslow County, N. C. It contains a Methodist Church, one store and eight inhabitants.

Onslow Courthouse, post village in Onslow County, N. C.; Situated on the East side of New River. It contains a court house and a few dwellings.

Swansborough, post village in Onslow County, N. C. Situated on the West side of the estuary of Whittock (White Oak) River, opposite to Bogue Inlet and contains about 50 inhabitants.

Post offices in 1854 as given in John Hayward's Gazeteer of the United States of America: Angola, Catharine Lake, Foys Store, Palo Alto, Piney Green, Richlands, Sneads Ferry, Stump Sound and Swansborough.

Onslow in 1860

Let us take a look at Onslow in 1860. The population numbered, according to the United States Census, 8,856 persons.

There were nine churches, viz: 4 Methodist: Swansboro Tabernacle, Queens Creek and Richlands. 5 Baptist: North East, Palo Alto, South West, Wards Mill, Yopps and Stump Sound.

Two Lawyers: James G. Scott and F. D. Koonce.

Nine Doctors: Cador G. Cox, Richlands; George N. Everett, Golden Place; Charles Duffy, Sr., Catharine Lake; Charles Duffy, Jr., Catharine Lake; John W. Hill, Piney Green; W. J. Montford, Jacksonville; Elisha Porter, Jacksonville; Richard W. Ward, Jacksonville, and Edward W. Ward, Piney Green.

Seven Ministers: J. D. Buie, John F. Mattocks, John W. Burns, John C. Hewitt, Ben J. Pollard, Job Smith and Asa Sidbury.

Ten Post Offices: Onslow Courthouse, Catharine Lake, Golden Place, Gum Branch, Palo Alto, Piney Green, Richlands, Swansboro and Wards Mill.





There were 14 Post Offices in Onslow in 1862:

Amans StoreWolf Pitt
Catharine LakeHaw Branch
Golden PlaceOnslow Courthouse
Gum BranchPalestine
Piney GreenPalo Alto
Sneads FerryRichlands
SwansboroStones Bay

Again, let us take a look at the County 20 years later. There were:

Fourteen Post Offices: Amans Store, Catharine Lake, Duck Creek, Jacksonville, Palo Alto, Peanut, Richlands, Silver Dale, Sneads Ferry, Stump Sound, Swansboro, Tar Landing and Wards Mill.

Seven Lawyers: T. E. Gilman, Jacksonville; F. D. Koonce, Richlands; R. W. Nixon, Jacksonville; E. B. Sanders, Swansboro; James G. Scott, Jacksonville and Frank Thompson, Richlands.

Seven Doctors: C. Duffy, Catharine Lake; M. C. Hoyt, Jacksonville; Doctor McLendon, Sneads Ferry; W. J. Montford, Wards Mill; J. L. Nicholson, Richlands; Cyrus Thompson, Jacksonville and Doctor Wooten, Catharine Lake.

Four Schools (evidently Prep Schools or Academies): Catharine Lake Academy, H. C. Bowen, Master; Piney Green, E. Hyman, Master; Richlands Academy, F. Thompson, Master, and Swansboro Academy with Claude Frazel, Master.

Two acres of tobacco produced 730 pounds and 6,658 acres of cotton produced 2,841 bales.

Merchants: George W. Smith, Silverdale; T. Arthur, Wards Mill; G. W. Blake, Jacksonville; J. F. Boggs, Catharine Lake; M. V. D. Everett, Peanut; A. F. Farnell, Wards Mill; J. O. Foy, Richlands; M. T. Foy, Amans Store; J. O. Frazel, Wards Mill; Thomas Gilman, Wards Mill; Gurganus and Gurganus, General Merchandise and Liquor Store, Jacksonville; B. F. Hall, Tar Landing; Hall and Pearsall, Tar Landing; E. B. Hargett, Silverdale; Hargett and Shackelford, Richlands; James Hartsfield, Catharine Lake; M. C. Hoyt, Jacksonville; A. C. Huggins, Jacksonville; D. E. Humphrey, Jacksonville; E. M. Mattocks, Swansboro; E. W. Murrill, Gum Branch; Z. A. Pittman, Swansboro; Provow and Wilkins, Sneads Ferry; Sabiston Brothers, Palo Alto; N. S. Shepard, Palo Alto; George Simmons, Catharine Lake; George Smith, Silverdale; Steed and Mills, Richlands; S. B. Taylor, Catharine Lake; E. W. Ward, Duck Creek; Williams and Connelly, Sneads Ferry; L. O. Wood Liquor Store, Jacksonville; B. W. Jenkins, Sneads Ferry; J. P. Jones, Wards Mill;





H. E. King, Peanut; Henry Koonce, Richlands; T. S. Littleton, Swansboro and W. N. Marine General Merchandise and Liquor Store, Sneads Ferry.

Bibliography

General Services Administration, National Archives and Records Service, Washington 25, D. C.

Haskell and Smith, New York 1845 Gazetteer, United States of America.





THE FARMERS ORGANIZATIONS IN POLITICS

The end of the Civil War brought freedom to the slaves, the result being that farm labor was at a premium. In the demoralized condition of the State at the time, planters were unable to hire such labor as was available. On the other hand, the former slaves were unable to support their families on the wages offered them. Of course, cash rental for land was out of the question. To meet these needs a share crop system was worked out by which the planter furnished the land and equipment while the tenant did the labor of cultivating and housing the crops.

The tenant, even then, required subsistence while he grew the crop. In answer to this the crop-lien system came into being. Under its provisions the “time merchant” agreed to “run” the farmer until he could sell the crops and pay for supplies used during the year.

As times grew harder, the crop-lien class increased until it included small farmers who owned their own homes, and included white as well as colored tenants. As financial conditions grew more stringent, more and more people became dependent upon the time payment plan.

Cotton, which was the cash crop in North Carolina, dropped in price from $1.00 per pound at the close of the Civil War, until in 1895 when it reached a low of less than 5 cents per pound. Tobacco was little better. During the same years in the agricultural West, corn sold for 15 cents and wheat at 30 cents per bushel.

As a result of the hard times farmers found themselves geting deeper in debt, unable to pay off crop-liens, and many were forced to mortgage their real estate. With continued price decline came the prospect of losing even their farms and homes. Moreover, men saw themselves and their families descending the social and financial scale and were powerless to stop.

The governments, National and State, could or would do nothing to relieve the situation.

Strange as it may seem when the farmer looked around him, everybody else seemed to be prospering very well.

After studying the problem, farm leaders placed the blame about as follows: on the time merchant and the banks, who often acted together, they placed the blame for time prices and high rate of interest. The railroads were blamed for exhorbitant freight rates which often discriminated against them in favor of industry. They believed that the tariff favored industry at the expense of the farmer, that the agriculturist was the victim of an unjust system of taxation even in state and local levies. They





also believed that the great Trusts controlled a monopoly on everything the farmer bought or sold.

The farmer argued also that the Government was in league with his enemies because it failed to protect him or to attempt any regulation of the evils of which he complained. To support and confirm this contention, he charged that the Government actually aided the enemy by its failure to make available an adequate supply of currency. Leaders of farm thought believed that their only hope lay in the organization of the farmers themselves for concerted action in the problems with which they were confronted. Their opportunity came with the coming of “The Grange,” which appeared first about 1873. In two years its membership in North Carolina numbered 10,000. In 1876 it began “The Greenback Party,” which polled in the national election a million votes.

The Silver Purchasing Act of that year and the reissue of Greenback largely attained the object for which the Greenback Party had fought, and it soon began to decline. (Hicks: The Populist Revolt.)

About 1875 the Farmers Alliance appeared first in Texas. It cooperated with the Greenbacks and almost went down with them, but under the magnetic influence of C. W. McCune, their number grew and multiplied. Organized first in North Carolina in 1887 under the leadership of Colonel L. L. Polk, Editor of the Progressive Farmer, the Alliance wielded a powerful influence in the State. In 1891 it claimed a membership of 10,000 in North Carolina alone.

Presidents of the State Organization included S. B. Alexander, Elias Carr and Marion Butler. Upon the accession of Butler to the Presidency of the National Alliance, Cyrus Thompson of Onslow was elected State President. The names of Major W. A. Graham and Harry Skinner, believed to be the author of the Sub-Treasury Plan, were also prominent in its affairs.

Carolina leadership rated splendidly among other such farm leaders as C. W. McCune of Texas, Milton George of Illinois, Ben Tillman of South Carolina, Tom Watson in Georgia, Allen in Nebraska, Donnelly in Minnesota, Weaver in Iowa, Field in Virgina, and Jerry Simpson in Kansas, all of whom were able, aggressive leaders and in dead earnest.

The Alliance adopted a program of National legislation which it believed would, if enacted, remedy the ills it complained of.

The program included the instituting of:

(1) National Sub-Treasuries made up of storage and offices for agricultural products against the contents of which currency could be issued, thus decentralizing and making more elastic the currency. They contended the Government could issue money against any wealth it possessed and was not therefore dependent upon





gold, silver, and bonds as a base for currency. Harry Skinner of North Carolina was author of the plan.

(2) Second only to the Sub Treasury Act would be a provision for the free and unlimited coinage of silver.

(3) National Banks would be abolished, and

(4) Dealings in futures in Agricultural Products prohibited.

On the State Program were such important items as:

(a) The establishing of a State Agricultural and Mechanical College.

(b) The establishing of a Railroad Commission for the control of rail freights and tariffs.

(c) The 6% Interest Law.

(d) A Secret Ballot.

(e) The Practice of Economy in State Government.

(f) Encouragement of Education, Agriculture and Manufacturing.

In the meantime, the demand for the organization of a new political party had become strong in the West, while in the South, for fear of giving the negro voters the balance of power, the organized farmer favored cooperation with the old political party which best subscribed to principles advocated by the farmer.

By 1892, however, the North Carolina Alliance had become convinced that neither of the old parties offered much hope of reform and they, too, decided on separate political action. A convention was held in Raleigh in August with 72 counties being represented. A ticket headed by W. P. Exum was named. Elias Carr opposed the move and not only remained with the Democrats but was nominated by them as their candidate for Governor. The Republicans, of course, were pleased at this turn of events for they saw in the division of the Democrats a chance to win the election.

Daniel L. Russell, leader of the Republicans, even proposed that that party dispense with nominating a slate that year, but advocated instead the endorsing of the Populist ticket. The Republicans, however, named a ticket headed by D. M. Furchees, candidate for Governor.

The Populists polled 44,723 votes and captured 3 seats in the Assembly. This gave them the balance of power in State politics in North Carolina.

The Republicans saw that the Populist movement was virile and its leadership the most aggressive in the political life of the State. At that time Russell and other Republican leaders certainly would not have been averse to a line-up of Republicans and Populists if by so doing they could win over the Democrats. On the other hand, while some progress had been made in the past by cooperating with the Democrats, a good many steps deemed necessary had not been taken, and relief from grievances complained





of had been slow in coming, so in 1894 a “fusion” was arranged between the two minority parties. The coalition swept the State electing a majority of the General Assembly, seven congressmen and both United States Senators.

In 1896 the Populists supported the National Democratic candidates but could not come to terms with the State Organization, so the “Fusion” with the State Republicans continued, although Bryan, the Democratic Candidate for President, carried the State.

The Fusionists elected Daniel L. Russell, Republican, Governor, and Cyrus Thompson, Populist, Secretary of State. James M. Mewborn, a Populist, was named Commissioner of Agriculture.

By 1898 the Democrats regained the majority in the Assembly and fusion politics in North Carolina was on the way out.

The question now arises as to what had the farmers gained by their entrance into politics? How much of their program had been actually enacted into law?

Populist Claim of Attainment

Some of their most important legislative claims included:

(a) Strengthening of the Department of Agriculture.

(b) The establishing of a College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts separate from the University of North Carolina, and a school for the Deaf and Dumb.

(c) The setting up of a Railroad Commission to regulate the tariffs charged by the railways and to see that the roads paid their share of the taxes.

(d) The establishing of a Woman's College at Greensboro for the education of young women. (Thanks to Charles D. McIver.)

(e) Increased apportionment for Public Schools.

(f) Legal rate of interest set at 6%.

(g) Provided that County Commissioners, heretofore elected by the magistrates, be elected by popular vote.

(h) A normal school for Negro teachers and an Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes were established in spite of the fact that the “Negro Question” hung like a pall over everything which the Republican Party did or was suspected of doing, and to a lesser degree upon the Populists also when they fused with the Republicans.

The National Congress failed to take much action in assisting the Farmers, but the natural course of things seemed to favor them.

The next few years saw new mines of gold come into production, causing some inflation and prosperity. The war with Spain created a demand for trade and added to the inflationary process already under way.





The enactment of the above program, together with the rise of prices bringing more satisfactory living conditions, and above all, the coming of the White Supremacy Campaign of 1898-1900 caused the Populists to forego partisan politics in favor of a return to the old political parties—but to which old political party would they go?

The Populists in the fusion with the Republicans had made a bad bargain for themselves, and during the whole era of the Farmers movement the Democrats had not ceased to call names and put the blame for evils of fusion upon the Republicans and held the Populists as accessories to the fact.

The White Supremacy Campaign swept across the State from the mountains to the sea. In its wake former political alliances melted away and most of the Populists returned to the Democrats. from whom they had come. Not all of them, however, for some of the Populist leaders who had suffered most by the epithets and name calling by the Democrats never returned but went to the Republicans instead. Butler and Thompson were outstanding examples of these latter. Russell had been a Republican since the close of the Civil War.

What was Onslow's part in all of this?

First, the County was thoroughly organized by the farmers, being ably and skillfully led. Taking a cue from the National and State farm organizations which had such virile newspapers and periodicals as The National Economist, The Progressive Farmer, and The Caucasian, the organized farmers of the County promoted a Party organ in The Onslow Blade, edited and published by Hill E. King at his home at Folkstone, a sketch of which paper will be found in another chapter. No copies of the Blade are available now but its importance in politics at the time is indicated when it is known that to offset its influence the Democrats felt it necessary to establish a newspaper in Jacksonville, which they did.

A feature of the Alliance too often overlooked was its concern for the social and recreational activities of the farm people. Picnics and conventions were held at which time lecturers made speeches advocating reforms and explaining what had been done or was trying to be done, and its possible effect upon the lives of the people. So aroused were they that women and children from far and near came, and great dinners were spread while men came to take part in the discussions and learn how to make their plans effective.

Onslow's contribution to the State organization included Dr. Cyrus Thompson who was for a time State Lecturer, Vice President and President of the State Alliance. So important were his addresses considered that they were sometimes printed in pamphlet





form for distribution throughout the State. Copies can be seen of one or more of these booklets in the State Library at Raleigh today.

Hill E. King, besides his newspaper effort at home, became chief clerk to the Senate during the Legislative sessions of 1895 and 1897.

A careful check of the papers named above shows a number of happenings in Onslow too long and too detailed for inclusion here.

Incidentally, the Peoples Party was scientifically organized in Onslow. Besides Dr. Thompson with his State wide vision and King with his Blade, the Chairman who presided at Party conventions and who did the party field work was William M. Barbee of Richlands. Militant and aggressive, he was the engineer who put party plans into operation in the most effective way.

Last of the big four was Francis D. Koonce, Richlands lawyer and candidate for Judge of the Sixth Judicial District. F. D. Shaw, W. W. Russell, J. W. Fountain, A. F. Farnell and G. W. Ward were prominent in the party workings.

The Onslow Hustings were lively in those days. Opponents of the Populists were Rodolph Duffy, Democratic Chairman, Frank Thompson, (brother of Dr. Cyrus) Lawyer and Representative in the Assembly, and Elijah M. Koonce. Joint “speakings” were arranged and debates held, in which “neither side asked or gave quarter and no holds were barred.”

Illustrative of the manner of the campaigning carried on in Eastern North Carolina in those days we quote from Josephus Daniels in his book, “Editor in Politics,” page 299, in which he tells of an engagement in which he was to speak for the Democrats at Chincapin in Duplin County and what occurred there. “Quote”:

“The morning I arrived in Duplin there came a message from the Populist Chairman asking for a division of time with Dr. Cyrus Thompson. It was accepted and the program was that I was to speak first and then Dr. Thompson. When I arrived there were about fifty or seventy-five Democrats present, and perhaps twenty-five or thirty Populists. There were very few Republicans in Duplin except Negroes and there was not many of them present. A few were on the outskirts. Thompson was there and a few of the faithful, but about time I finished speaking and Thompson was about to speak, after a brass band number, two or three hundred Populists rode up shouting and took possession of the meeting. They hadn't come to hear me, but they gave Thompson such a reception as that section had never seen before, nor since, I suppose. I had made my long speech to the Democrats and a few Populists. The Populists had arranged a spectacular demonstration. All carried corn-stalks and waved them, and when Thompson got up to speak, they gave him such an ovation as might have been staged in a National Democratic Convention. From the beginning of his speech he never made a threat





or told a story that they didn't all rise up and cheer. It was terrible. Our small body of Democrats, faithful and true did the best they could for me but they were outnumbered six to one. The Populists had been drilled and it looked more like a crusade than a campaign on their part. I always had great respect for Cyrus Thompson's speaking ability after that day.”

Those days are gone, but the bitterness engendered during those campaigns remained as long as the participants lived, and even today one speaks diffidently in mentioning any of the personalities concerned for fear of stirring up old prejudices which should remain undisturbed.

One thought should remain regardless of details and opinions: The trend toward peonage, serfdom and decline of the American Farmer during the 80's and 90's was definitely halted in the United States by the spontaneous organization af the Farmers themselves, under their own leadership and the impression made by them at that time changed American History—for the better.









DANIEL LINDSAY RUSSELL

Daniel L. Russell was elected Governor of North Carolina in the fusion election of 1896.

Next to W. W. Holden, he probably holds the unenviable record of being the most unloved individual ever to have occupied that office.

Brilliant and erratic, he had a long record in public life before coming to that important post.

Onslow's interest in him comes from the fact that his was one of the oldest families in the County, while his grandfather, with whom he grew up, was one of the wealthiest as well as the most honored of ante-bellum Onslow's citizens.

Russell was born in Brunswick County August 7, 1845. While very young his parents died and the boy came to the home of his grandparents on White Oak, where he grew up in the artistocratic tradition of the Old South. The plantation with its many servants, with his every wish gratified, with education, affluence and all that went with it probably made its impression upon him and influenced his reactions throughout his long public career.

A story is told that while attending a nearby school, a servant was sent with a warm lunch for the boy each day. Observing he was the only one being so pampered, he refused to eat the food and ordered the servant back home saying that “if the other boys could eat cold lunch so could he.”

Russell early entered Bingham School in Orange County, considered one of the best Prep Schools in the State at that time, following which he entered the University of North Carolina. The coming of the Civil War, however, ended his college career.

Entering the war as a Lieutenant in the Confederate Army, little can be said of his military record. In 1864 he was elected to the House of Commons from Brunswick County while yet only 20 years of age, serving two years. At the end of that time he was admitted to the Bar and began the practice of his profession in Wilmington.

At the end of the war Russell accepted defeat and protested his loyalty to the Union, which was a turning point in his career. In 1868, while yet only 23 years of age, he was elected Judge of the Circuit Court of the 4th Judicial District, a position which he held for 6 years. In 1876 he was again in the House of Commons from Brunswick. That same year he attended the Republican National Convention in Cincinnati, which nominated Hayes and Wheeler, and was himself named a Presidential Elector on the ticket that Fall.

In 1878, taking the advantages of a split in the Democratic ranks caused by a fight between Colonel A. M. Waddell and Ex-Lieutenant





Governor Charles M. Steadman, candidates for Congress on the Democratic ticket, Russell by a ruse, entered a ticket in the contest as a Republican only 10 days before the election and won a majority of the ballots cast. He was not a candidate for reelection in 1880.

In 1892 we hear him suggesting that the Republican party put out no candidates that year, but endorse those nominated by the Populist Party. Not so well known is the fact that both old Parties courted the Populists in the hope of winning them over, knowing that the Populists held the balance of power in the State at the time. Russell, wise old politician that he was, saw the making of a defeat for the Democrats even then had his advice been followed, but the Republicans selected a slate of their own, thus postponing that defeat for another term.

The Populists were not satisfied with the cooperation that they had had from the Democrats and, “would be ready to talk with the Republicans by another election” he said, and again Russell's surmise was correct. At the Republican Convention in 1896 he was a candidate for Governor. He was opposed by Oliver Dockery, who was supposed to have a majority of the convention, but by a combination with the forces of Judge Boyd, Russell was nominated by a fraction of a vote, while the Dockery forces cried “Fraud!”

A fusion was arranged between the Republicans and Populists and certain candidates were endorsed in each camp. The strength of the Populists and the weakness of “Cleveland and five cent cotton” carried the election for the fusionists and a change of administration was immediately at hand.

As Russell entered upon his duties as Governor there was fear and dread in the hearts of many people. The Governor had made himself odious to the best people of the State when back as Circuit Judge he had ruled that under the 15th Amendment a Negro had a legal right to buy a ticket and enter a theater reserved for white people. They never forgave him that. What he would do as Governor of the State remained to be seen.

The details of Russell's action while Governor must be left to the historian, but a review of his public life appeared in the News and Observer the morning after his death May 15, 1908. So comprehensive and so wisely was the editorial worded that most of its statements now seem to be considered Judgment of History.

Since Reconstruction days had passed away, little trouble had been caused by the negro in politics until the resumption of Republican rule in 1896.

Russell had always before contended that the negro was basically unfit to hold public office, that “he stole all the week and





prayed it off on Sunday,” but upon becoming a candidate for Governor, when he needed every negro vote he could get, he is said to have declared that “the negro should have his oats and fodder.”

At another time he declared he “had been nursed by a Negro Mammy and stood for the Negro,” but the sudden about-face fooled few of the Negroes, most of whom did not trust him.

A convention of Negroes held in Raleigh endorsed Guthrie, the Populist candidate, but as always, the Negro vote was corraled and voted enmasse for the Republican candidate when election day came.

Whether animated by his desire to aid the Negro (which is doubtful) or by a desire for vengeance against his political enemies, Governor Russell asked the enactment of an act which would allow the Governor to appoint an additional alderman for each one elected by the people in each town in the State.

In this way enough of his own men could be named by the Governor to control any city whenever he so desired.

In the East where the vote was close, this action threw control of the cities into hands of Negro Aldermen, Justices of the Peace and School Committeemen.

At that time the Negro was ignorant and easily influenced by bad white and Negro leadership. The result was a rule of corruption and race prejudice unequaled since Reconstruction days.

Matters grew worse and culminated in a race riot in Wilmington. The trouble ended with the assumption of power by community action, driving the Radicals from power and their leaders from the city. Threats were even made against the life of the Governor himself should he attempt to return to the city.

Peace in the city was soon restored under Democratic rule, and peace loving Negroes returned to their homes from which they had fled. White women again walked the streets in safety and order was resumed in the life of the community.

Little wonder that “his administration was always under fire” or that there “was always discord to contend with.”

The Democrats contended that organized corruption, misrule and bloodshed were represented in the person of Daniel L. Russell. In the election of 1898 the Democrats regained control of the Assembly and the Governor's influence with the law making body declined. His political sun went into eclipse with the White Supremacy campaign of 1900 and Russell returned to the practice of law.

The part Russell played in the noted South Dakota Bond Case has been argued pro and con between Democrats and Republicans since that case was begun in 1901. The carpetbag Legislature of 1866 under the pretense of raising funds with which to





repair the railroads of the State had issued bonds which when sold brought only 25 cents to 60 cents on the dollar. Later these bonds, then owned by various brokers throughout the nation and Cuba, were from time to time presented for collection. To settle the troublesome question, the State in 1879 arranged with most of its creditors to pay off the indebtedness at something like 25 cents on the dollar.

One of the owners of bonds (amounting to approximately $250,000) Simon Shafer and Brother of New York, thinking that as the State improved economically the worth of the bonds would increase, refused to settle at the time. About 25 years later a number of the bonds were presented by the owners to the State of South Dakota apparently with the understanding that South Dakota would bring suit against North Carolina to test their validity and compel payment. This was done and the Supreme Court decided in favor of South Dakota. Final disposition of the bonds and what rate of discount, if any, was made is not important here, but the part played by Mr. Russell is of interest.

Facts which should be known about these bonds are:

The bonds were issued by a discredited Assembly made up of Carpet Baggers, scalawags and ignorant men, many of whom fattened at the expense of the State while North Carolina was prostrate from war and over-run by Federal Armies.

These bonds were sold at whatever was offered (usually about one-fourth of the face value) not one cent of which benefit ever accrued to the State of North Carolina.

Demands for payment had been made while Russell was Governor, upon which demand the Governor promised to “look into it.” The Assembly refused payment. While this matter was still unsettled, Russell, together with Marion Butler, W. N. Coler Co. and R. F. Pettigrew were advertising in New York papers for other southern bonds which they said could be collected.

The evidence seems to be that Russell not only did nothing to protect the State in the bond action but succeeded in delaying action in the matter until his term of office was concluded when he, in collusion with those parties named above, sought to speculate upon the misfortune of his native State and compel payment of the repudiated securities.

Perhaps no question of the legality of his actions in the matter can be raised here, but one fact that though North Carolina had honored him by election to the office of Governor of the State he was soon found in the camp of the enemy and in the service of a State subservient to the special interest as was South Dakota at that time, places the Governor in a very unfavorable light to say the least.





Adjectives used in describing the actions of Governor Russell depended upon who was using them. His friends said he came of a good family of aristocratic traditions (see footntes), one of the youngest men ever entrusted with public office. (Legislature at 20 and Judge at 22.) That he was uncompromising, an able lawyer, shrewd politician, impulsive and warm hearted.

His enemies blamed him with all the evils and corruption which occurred during his administration. They gave him credit for none of the good and said that organized corruption, misrule and bloodshed were represented in his person, that his administration was always under fire and for good reason—his own misdeeds. That he was prejudiced, arrogant and vindictive.

He, himself, said, “There is retribution in history,” and he meant it. Another has said that he “had a memory for wrongs and a joy in paying them off.” Whatever his motives were during the Governorship old retribution finally struck like a cyclone and carried him and his political machine into oblivion.

His last years were spent in his law office in Wilmington and on his plantation in Brunswick County.

His remains were interred in the family burial ground at Hickory Hill on the White Oak River in Onslow County May 15, 1908.






[Illustration:

Cyrus Thompson
]


[Illustration:

Hill E. King
]


[Illustration:

Thomas A. McIntyre
]


[Illustration:

Mrs. McIntyre
]





CYRUS THOMPSON

The most versatile character Onslow has produced since John Starkey was Cyrus Thompson, farmer, teacher, physician, politician, statesman, humorist and philosopher, in every facet of which he was more than successful. He lived in a day when to take a stand meant a fight to maintain it, and no one enjoyed a fight more than he when he believed his cause a just one and for the public good.

Cyrus Thompson was born in Upper Richlands as that territory around the head of New River was called at that time.

Dr. James M. Parrott, in a memorial address delivered before the Medical Society of North Carolina, gave something of his family background and of the community in which he lived when he said:

“During the years immediately preceding the Civil War, as it was before, and has been since, there was the remarkable community in Onslow County. Its soil was fertile, so much so that the little Post Office from which the weekly mail was distributed was called Richlands by common consent.”

“The climate in this section, as it is in all Eastern North Carolina, is almost ideal. Its winters are tempered by the Gulf Stream which flows scarcely fifty miles away, the temperature of its summers are moderated and its humidity lowered by ocean breezes.

“It was a beautiful section. Lazy, enticing waters, balm for tired nerves, flow slowly to the sea bearing in their bosoms all kind of fish natural to the Eastern counties. Its lordly pines, giant oaks, rugged cypress and great cedars interspersed with dogwood and a multitude of other flowering shrubs graced with yellow jasmines were a feast to the eye of man. The liquid notes of the wood thrush, the clarion call of the cardinal, the whistle of the quail set in tune with the call of the crow, the mourning of the dove, the call of the lark, accompanied by the music of the mocking bird, made the woods ring with melodies of nature's symphony. Palms, rose-bowered homes and the old-time flowers was a setting beautiful to behold.

“They were high and holy standards of life there and high ideals to live up to.

“The neighborhood was peopled with a great people. To the extreme East lived the Averetts, an outstanding Carolina family. In this household was born the distinguished Episcopal clergyman, James Battle Averett. In those days there came from Ireland a recent graduate of classical and medical department of the University of Dublin a young man named Duffy, Dr. Charles Duffy, Sr. He was the father of Dr. Charles Duffy, Jr. and Dr.





Frank Duffy, both of whom received—and they deserved them—highest honors of this Society. Into this household was born a great lawyer, the Hon. Rodolph Duffy. To the extreme west there lived the Browns. This was a very strong family intellectually, morally and physically. Almost in the center there lived a man named Frank Thompson, Sr. He was a man of rare learning and culture. He married Miss Leah Brown. She was of the Brown family to which I have referred. She was a typical Southern lady of unusual charm and brilliancy. To this union there was born a number of children, all of whom were outstanding; notably, Frank Thompson, Jr., who obtained a great reputation throughout the State as a lawyer of unusual forensic power. In the early days of 1855 there was born the most distinguished son which Onslow has ever produced; they called him Cyrus—Cyrus Thompson. His father, being a man of unusual learning and great mentality, and his mother of like mental attainments, had their children educated especially in classics and music.

“The best of private schools were provided in this neighborhood. During strategic times private tutors were employed in the Thompson home.

“Following his studies at the local academy Cyrus attended Randolph Macon College, finishing there with the class of 1876, going directly to the University of Virginia Medical School. After a year he transferred to the School of Medicine of the University of Tulane in Louisiana where he graduated in 1878.

Here let me quote Dr. L. B. McBrayer, who said: “These were only the preparation of Dr. Thompson for the wonderful education that was to follow. Dr. Thompson continued to be a student so long as he lived. A student of literature, a student of men, a student of the times in which he lived, a student of medicine.” Four years later in 1882 he married Miss Florence Kent of Richmond, Virginia. The marriage proved a very congenial one.

Returning to Onslow, Dr. Thompson began his practice around Richlands. At first he traveled on horseback and carried his supplies in his saddle bags. He has said that his practice was divided into four periods: his horseback days, his buggy practice, his Ford travels and his Chevrolet rounds. Like the “Old Practitioner” he made his rounds and nothing stopped him, but unlike him, Dr. Thompson was progressive and to the last kept abreast of the phenomenal progress of his profession.

He loved his people and they loved him and had implicit confidence in his skill and judgment.

Coming from the old Planter group, the Thompson family had long been interested in politics. Some members of the family were in the Assembly in the 1830's and Franklin Thompson, father





of Cyrus, appeared as a conservative from Onslow during the Reconstruction Legislature in 1868.

Cyrus was elected to the Assembly in 1883 as a Democrat. Two years later he represented his district in the Senate again on the Democratic ticket, with honor to himself and to his party.

“Nothing interests me more than human governments and the varying civilizations founded upon them,” he said. Dr. Thompson was named County Commissioner first in 1889, serving for five years, was County Health Officer several terms and medical Examiner during the First World War, and when the North Carolina Medical Corps was formed, the Onslow physician was named a member by the Surgeon General of the United States.

During the 80's and 90's the farm population all over the Nation was grumbling at their lack of recognition by the National and State governments.

The Greenback Party had just passed out of existence and the Farmers Alliance was already active in Texas and Illinois but had not yet reached North Carolina. Thompson's rounds among his patients in Onslow had brought him face to face with the poverty and degradation brought to the rural area by the starvation prices of farm products then prevailing. Prices continued to decline and financial conditions among farmers to become more desperate. As time went on, many times must the doctor have thought over the farmers’ financial problem, along with that of his physical condition, and must have known that his chance of getting pay for his services was slim through no fault of the patient, but of the financial system under which he lived.

Thompson, like other farm leaders, agreed that any action to be taken by the farmers depended upon organizing them into a cohesive organization with power to make their influence felt.

The Farmers Alliance came to North Carolina in 1887, thoroughly non-partisan and with no thought of any political amalgamation then or later. “The purpose of the Alliance is to educate the agricultural classes in the science of economical government in a strictly non-partisan spirit.” “Because all individual or National evils originate in ignorance, and because the evils we complain of are political, fastened upon us by political action, the remedy must be based upon political wisdom, in a strictly non-partisan spirit,” he said. “It (the Alliance) endeavors to teach, but in no other way does it interfere with our political notions,” said Cyrus Thompson, “and on that platform the Alliance invites men of all parties, or no party as candidates for membership.”

From that time on, the history of the Alliance in North Carolina is the story of Dr. Thompson's public life. So active did he





become that most of his time was taken by the Alliance and the best thought of which he was capable, he gladly contributed to it.

It is said that Doctor Thompson was the only speaker on the Fusion ticket who would meet such Democratic giants as Glenn or Aycock, both of whom were brilliant debaters, both later becoming Governor of the State.

Josephus Daniels said of him: “I always thought he was better than Butler. Butler had no eloquence, Butler had much of insinuation and invective, but Thompson had eloquence and vehemence, he was tremendously interesting in his side-lights and stories, and he had an originality and a quaintness that were attractive. He didn't talk like anybody else even in private conversation, and on the stump he had an original way, and my, how he could enthuse the Populists.” (Daniels: Editor in Politics, Page 298.)

The growth of the Alliance in North Carolina was phenomenal. In five years the membership reached 10,000 persons.

Much of the time the Onslow man was occupied as State Lecturer and as such spoke from one end of the State to the other. When Butler became President of the National Alliance Thompson became President of the State Organization, when the Alliance decided upon a separate party he led it and headed up the Populist ticket as candidate for Governor, and when the Populists fused with the Republicans he was nominated and elected Secretary of State on the fusion ticket.

He made many enemies among those who were formerly associated with him in politics, but he gave small heed to that, going along as he saw fit or as occasion required.

The Populists found little sympathy in the Republican Party and the stench of the negro was strong in the Republican camp. Moreover, the Republicans intended to assimilate the Populists with the single purpose of beating the Democrats, and when power was once secured through cooperation, the Republican Party proceeded upon a policy which brought condemnation upon both parties to the fusion.

When the Alliance's day of usefulness had passed and its membership began returning to the Democratic Party from which most of them had come, its leaders hesitated, because during the entire era of the Farmers’ Revolt they had suffered most from the name-calling by the Democrats and had absorbed much of the blame for the evils of fusionism.

Men of the South who went to the Populists were considered traitors to civilization and Dr. Thompson was no exception. He had been rotten-egged and burned in effigy on the public square in Jacksonville; also, it was found out when the ballots were being counted that through the machinations of crooked election





officials in Jacksonville that his name was printed on a portion of the ballots as “Dr. Cyrus Thompson” while on another portion it appeared simply as “Cyrus Thompson.” This lack of uniformity was of course pounced upon by his enemies as an excuse to rob him of votes where the ballots were most numerous. Many like obstructions were met with from time to time but the Populists fought like crusaders and Thompson was never on the defensive. He was always the aggressor carrying the fight to the enemy. The cause for which he fought was dear to his heart and to return to the Democrats was to him now out of the question. Thompson therefore remained with the Republicans and was again a candidate for Secretary of State in 1900 when Aycock and his white supremacy campaign swept the State thus ending an era in the history of the State and of political parties in North Carolina.

All of the old issues were dead but old prejudices engendered during the past three decades lived on to mar old associations as long as the participants lived.

With the decline of the Populists, Thompson retired from active politics. However, his name has been entered at different times upon the Republican ticket and he was one of the Presidential Electors to vote for Herbert Hoover in 1928, the only time save one, that Onslow ever went Republican.

The Doctor's interest was broader than political parties. He served on the Selective Draft under President Wilson and later in an address before the Medical Society of North Carolina at Pinehurst we hear him say: “Although I may not on election day cast my ballot with the majority of you, yet have I no sort of hesitation in saying that the President of these free States (Wilson) has a vision of World Righteousness and Peace, of the fine art of National Living, such as never before animated the head of a great and purposeful people. So as a genuine American I am righteously proud of him, in his righteous purpose to teach righteousness to the Nations. . . . Wilson, embodiment of the American Spirit, a savor of life unto life, a vessel of honor meet for the Master's service.” That was Cyrus Thompson speaking from the heart, with no political motive.

When the days of politics were over Dr. Thompson returned to his medical practice. Unhurried he went about the business of healing. To medical therapeutics he added a philosophy of mind, often creating an atmosphere in the sick room which caused the patient to respond immediately and to change his perspective completely, leaving him well on the road to recovery.

With his return to the practice of medicine at Jacksonville in 1904, Dr. Thompson became a Fellow of the Medical Society of the State of North Carolina and continued in good standing until





the date of his death. Dr. Thompson was elected by the society a member of the State Board of Health in 1913 in which he also retained membership until his death. In this capacity he did much service along the program of the Board in preventive medicine.

At its session at Pinehurst in 1918 the Onslow physician was elevated to the presidency of the organization.

On behalf of Governor Bickett he waged a battle for legislation requiring that a label be placed on each bottle of patent or proprietary medicine showing the ingredients it contained. At a hearing conducted in the Senate Chamber in Raleigh the proprietary medicine manufacturers were represented by a prominent attorney from New York. Dr. Thompson conducted his case with what Dr. L. B. McBrayer called “One of the ablest arguments I ever listened to,” and the opposing attorney to remark at the close of the hearing, “I have never before taken such a drubbing in my life.” Another example of the power of oratory and logic as applied by the “Knight of Onslow.”

“Dr. Cy,” as his friends called him, had a fine sense of humor. Wherever he was, in the company of the simple, or of the great, he knew and spoke their language and to it added a variety which was the spice of life. His “jokes” fitted the occasion whether in a great speech before a learned society or in a small group of friends on the streets of Jacksonville. He purposely used them in the sick room as a tonic and many a hysterical patient laughed at his puns, in spite of himself, and felt better for having done so. His speeches and his observations were replete with sayings which are being repeated yet, and some of which were extremely original.

The last public service by Dr. Thompson was as a member of the Aycock Commission appointed by the Governor to erect a statue of the Educational Governor in Statuary Hall, Washington, D. C. In spite of their political differences the two were fast friends in life, and the Doctor delighted in thus honoring his old-time friend.

Dr. Thompson was intensely religious. His speeches, always sparkling with original epigrams, were enriched by quotations from Holy Writ and his applications were sometimes marvelously relevant to the subject at hand. He read the New Testament in its original Greek and enjoyed it; he probably being the only other layman in the county since Mr. L. G. Woodward to do so.

Of the race of man he once said, “A glorious thing it is, and honorable therefore to be a man . . . A man full of Divine purpose in living; and the rearing of right-minded and right-hearted men and women is today, and always, man's chief business,





humanity's severest task and sublimest duty. His is the highest fulfillment of our highest purpose.”

Of his profession he said, “I love to think of the doctor as the most self-sacrificing, the most serviceable, therefore the most intelligent man in the community—full of reasonableness, public spirit and sweet charity.”

Of himself he said: “I am a simple-minded piney woods philosopher, come out of the lowlands by the sea, where we sometimes think we feel the hand and hear the voice of God.”






[Illustration:

Courthouse built in 1904
]


[Illustration:

United States Armory, Home of Headquarters Section and Mortar Platoon, Combat Support Co., 1st Brig., 119th Inf., N.C.N.G., Jacksonville.
]





HILL E. KING
(1847-1929)

That Hill E. King of Folkstone was chosen Publicity Agent. Lecturer and Organizer of the Farmers Alliance, and that he was selected to promote the principles for which the Populist Party fought, bespeak the ability of the man. King himself was a farmer and suffered along with them, but he had ideas of what should be done about it, and was ready to put them into action. He knew the power of the press. There was no paper published between New Bern and Wilmington and so conceived the idea of setting up a newspaper to serve the Populist principles and promote discussion among the farmers of Onslow County. The new periodical was known as The Onslow Blade, with the caption, “The Blade cuts both ways” indicating that it would oppose either old party, if necessary to promote the principles for which it stood.

The two old parties listened with disdain to the complaints of the farmers, and their demands for reform and recognition went unheeded.

When nothing else would avail them relief, the Alliance decided upon the organization of a third political party which became known as The Populist Party. To the dismay of both old parties, it was soon discovered by the politicians that the Populists held the balance of power and could therefore fuse with either party, thereby assuring that party success at the polls.

At a Democratic caucus held in Jacksonville, Mr. King and several others declared their intention of supporting the new party because its principles were “Right.” Here it is said the Democrats offered him their support as candidate to Congress from this District conditioned that he remain within the ranks of the party. This Mr. King refused, preferring to follow the path of duty as he saw it.

Mr. King had always been a Democrat, having represented Onslow two terms in the Assembly, 1885 and 1887, had been appointed Door-Keeper to The House in 1889, both under Democratic rule. Later, under the Populist-Fusion regime, he became Trustee of State A. and M. College, Member of the Board of Agriculture, Chief Clerk to the Senate in 1895 and 1897, following which the Onslow man became Chief Clerk to the North Carolina Experiment Station. He then moved the family to Raleigh, where he resided until his death in 1929.

For many years Mr. King had served the community and County well.

Entering the Confederate Army at age 17, he served the last 18 months of the war as a soldier of 67th Company, Third North





Carolina Regiment, being wounded at Bentonville, last battle of the war, fought after the surrender of General Lee. He was discharged soon after, was barefooted and on crutches, about 250 miles from home. How he reached Kinston is not known now, but upon reaching Richlands, Mr. Kit Stephens gave him food and had a negro to take him home in a cart to the Golden Place, now Folkstone, about five miles from home. He went the rest of the way on foot.

For many years Mr. King served as Justice of the Peace. Unlike most Magistrates, he settled most cases out of court, without compensation to himself, wrote deeds and wills for his neighbors, and did other duties relative to the office.

In his early days King was full of mischief and fond of dancing, according to a member of the family, but in early middle age became converted to the Baptist Church. He later was instrumental in establishing Providence Baptist Church, giving thirty days labor toward its construction.

In those days money was hard to get, and often it was necessary to make a trip to Wilmington to take fish and oysters to market—about a three day trip. With only three months formal education his wife, who was Susan Rebecca, daughter of Marquis L. F. Redd, became his tutor and the positions attained by him, and listed above, emphasize the unlimited will power he possessed.

Another incident which illustrated his devotion to the public welfare was when the railroad from Wilmington was being promoted. Mr. King visited land owners along the right-of-way persuading them to donate the land on which to build the road. He was also instrumental in securing the charter for the building of the line, advancing the fifty dollars necessary fee, later upon the organization of the company the money being refunded.

Hill Ennett King was a man of strong will, unlimited vigor and above all, possessed ability and integrity of a high order, which he hesitated not to use for the benefit of his fellow citizens among whom he lived.

Bibliography

N. C. Manual 1913.

Corbitt: Hill E. King.





HONORABLE RODOLPH DUFFY
(1855-1924)

Coming from a family distinguished in medicine as few families in the State have been, Rodolph Duffy emerged as a more than successful farmer, lawyer, politician, legislator and prosecuting attorney.

Quick of wit with ready repartee, dynamic in action, intensely partisan in whatever position he took, Mr. Duffy was an able prosecutor, being well trained under such brilliant instructors as Professor L. G. Woodward, Dr. Joseph H. Foy, Elder Sylvester Hassell and at Davidson College. Following completion of his education, Mr. Duffy read law under Honorable C. C. Clark of New Bern, and was admitted to the Bar in 1881.

Mr. Duffy's Legislative experience came while the Republican-Populist coalition was in control in 1895 and 1897. There he maintained the defense of the Democratic Party and its policy as he had done on the stump in Onslow and other Eastern Counties. He lived to see his effort vindicated in the White Supremacy Campaign of 1898 and the victory of 1900.

Nominated as the Democratic candidate for Solicitor of the 6th Judicial District, first in 1898, he was elected and reelected in 1902 and 1906. “He was an honored member of the North Carolina Bar Association.”

Following his retirement from the Solicitorship, Mr. Duffy continued the practice of Law, taking leadership in the promotion of whatever was offered for the upbuilding of this area, such as special tax for schools, bonds for road improvement, etc. In his advocacy he took to the forum and met with the citizens of the local communities in the small one-room schoolhouses, then located throughout the county. This he did as a citizen, not for remuneration, but in a very effective manner.

He, himself, said that he had been considered a radical because of his violent opposition to the policies of the Time Merchants, who without pity or principle often demanded their last pound of flesh of unfortunate farmers who could not pay debts due by them. Others, however, knew that Mr. Duffy's very fine sense of justice prompted him and his observation and action on this and other matters as well, and respected him the more for it.

Mr. Duffy married Miss Annie Lee Taylor, daughter of Colonel Simon B. Taylor in June, 1898.





He was a useful man in his community, his County and his State.

Bibliography

Information given the writer by his Widow, Mrs. Annie Taylor Duffy.

Honorable G. V. Cooper: “Rodolph Duffy, an appreciation,” in the Greensboro Daily News, Sunday, November 9, 1924, Page 20.





FRANK THOMPSON
(1856-1922)

Frank Thompson was a native Onslowian, son of Franklin Thompson, Sr., and his wife Leah Brown. He was educated at the old Richlands Academy and at Randolph-Macon College, where he graduated in 1880.

As other student lawyers often did in that day, Franklin studied law under private tutors: Judges Dick and Dillard, and was admitted to the Bar in 1882. He was married in 1883 to Miss Nora Hargett. They, with two daughters, composed a congenial family.

Upon Thompson's admission to the Bar he began the practice of law, which practice was to last 40 years until his death in 1922. For the first two years he added teaching to the practice of law. As his practice grew, Mr. Thompson opened an office in Jacksonville and moved his family there in 1889. He built a commodious residence on the corner of Old Bridge and Ann Streets, now the property of the Baptist Church, but still standing.

Frank Thompson was a seasoned lawyer and politician during the onslaught of the Populists on the measures and policies of the two old parties. He, together with Rodolph Duffy, retained leadership of the Democrats in Onslow, where the Populist leadership was aggressive and virile. It should be said here that the Democrats retained control in Onslow largely through the efforts of these two peerless leaders.

Thompson was elected to the Assembly first in 1899, also in 1901.

“He represented the Seventh Senatorial District in the Assembly of 1915, and did initiate, among other important legislation, the bill, finally enacted, which established the Legislative Reference Library, which said library has become a valued and permanent institution of the State.”

During his long practice Mr. Thompson specialized, as it were, largely in litigation pertaining to land titles. He knew personally most of the land titles in his County, and being a great student, was easily a peer in this field of law—it being universally recognized among his associates that no better land title lawyer practiced before the Courts of Eastern North Carolina.

In the depth of his thinking, in his understanding of the law





and its application, and in the logic of his presentation before a jury, he was unsurpassed.

Bibliography

I. M. Bailey in Reports: North Carolina Bar Association Volume 1923, Page 108. (Thanks to Mr. Nere E. Day.)





THE PRESS IN ONSLOW

Born back in the days of The Third Party and the Red Shirts, the Press of Onslow owed its beginning to the violence and tempers of the political campaigns of the 1890's.

Men wanted only a machine with which to secure more votes, and so Mr. King set up his Blade down at Peanut (as Folkstone was called at that time) as the organ of the Populist party in the County.

In order to strike back, the Democrats started a newspaper they called The Times in the town of Jacksonville. They employed Arthur Whiteley to operate it. For about four years each attempted to cover its rival with villification and vituperation and charges and counter-charges were hurled at each other, so much so that that campaign became one not-to-be-forgotten in the amount of sarcasm and mud employed by either party.

The Onslow Blade

“Peanut Hill King,” as the Democrats called him, was, next to Dr. Cyrus Thompson, the most influential leader in the Populist party in Onslow County. In 1893 he began printing the Onslow Blade, which carried at its masthead the slogan: “The Blade cuts both ways,” evidently aiming at both Democrats and Republicans.

During the years just preceding this time, the Populist party had grown amazingly in the state. Through the influence of the farmer's organizations, Elias Carr, a leading farmer, man of business, and former president of the Farmers Alliance, had in 1892 been nominated and elected governor of North Carolina.

The Populist party was the outgrowth of a political move made by the farmers throughout the nation and while it never actually carried Onslow, it gave the old parties such a jolt as to amount almost to a knock-out.

Dr. Cyrus Thompson, later Secretary of State, was one of the great political leaders, not only in Onslow but in the State as well. He was his party's nominee for governor in 1896.

While no paper had ever before been published in Onslow, King determined to raise his party's banner and carry the county in one grand sweep to victory for the Populist party. No copy of the Blade is known to be in existence now, but the rebuttal offered by Whiteley gives some indication of its contents.

King himself, it is said, grew to manhood unlettered and unlearned. He married Miss Everett, who immediately began teaching her husband to read and write. Working in the turpentine woods by day, he studied by night.





Energetic and “glib” of tongue, he rose to leadership among the politicians of the county.

Like Thompson, King had previously been elected to the House of Representatives from Onslow on the Democratic ticket. Both were active in the Farmers Alliance and in the Populist party.

Incidentally, the Peoples Party was scientifically organized in Onslow. Besides Dr. Thompson, whose vision and activities were statewide, the party had also its publicist in King with his Blade. Chairman and field worker, who presided at party conventions, was William M. Barbee of Richlands, who, militant and aggressive, was the engineer who put plans into operation in the most effective way. Another of the big four was Francis D. Koonce, Richlands lawyer and candidate for Judge of the Sixth Judicial District. F. D. Shaw, J. W. Fountain and A. F. Farnell were prominent in the party workings.

Economical conditions, popularity of its leaders and methods pursued made for a very formidable organization in Onslow, and its effectiveness was proven by the results obtained at the polls.

The last report we have of the Blade was in 1897. King moved to Raleigh where he accepted a political appointment, went into the real estate business and made some money. He never came back to Onslow. The old home at Peanut was burned. The life of the Blade was about four years.

The Times

The Jacksonville Times also lived just four years and one month. Its first issue appeared October 10, 1894. The Democrats realized that if they would retain their hold on the county's affairs some steps must be taken to stem the tide of Populism. The Republicans had never offered any serious competition in the county, the Negro vote being light, but the Peoples party was in dead earnest and were constantly gaining new ground. That the county remained Democratic is largely due to the efforts of Arthur Whiteley and his Jacksonville Times.

Whiteley, probably a native of Pennsylvania, married a Mount Olive girl and came to Jacksonville. Besides his fight on the Populists (the Republicans he considered beneath his notice), he fought the “long term” Democrats within his own party. For several years a “court house ring” had held office in the county and a rising tide of young candidates were demanding that they make way for younger and more virile men as county officials. Those who wished to be retained in office Whiteley called “Office Doodlers” and their followers he named “Long Termers.”

The younger men, probably led by John W. Burton, were known as “Short Termers.” Burton—as he said, “rode the tide,” and was elected Clerk of the Court that year. A quotation from





Whiteley illustrates his stand in the matter. “When the despairing wail of an office doodler ‘I am a Democrat’ is used to entrench himself in power for life, the principles of Democracy are mocked and blasphemed. Go to the primaries and repudiate the political buzzards and democracy will prosper as never before.”

Of the Republicans he said: “Those White Men who vote with the Negroes and then wish to associate with decent white people must be possessed of a Harveyized steel gall. A man is known by the company he keeps.”

“The Democratic party,” he quoted, “Was never licked with one licking; never killed with one death, and was never buried with one funeral. It has been known to kick the lid off its coffin and score.”

The Times appears peculiar when compared to a modern newspaper. There were advertisements, plenty of them, on the front page. “Scott's Emulsion,” “Cardui,” “Timothy Hay” and “Vote for the Short Term Candidates.” Luke Avery sold coffins. Beautiful figures were the result of wearing “R & G Corsets,” sold by Marine Bros. “Ayer's Pills” were good for what ails you, the Atlantic Coast Line time table, and “Dr. King's New Discovery for Consumption.” Whiskey was quoted, not by the pint, but by the gallon and by the barrel.

A special school tax election was voted on throughout the county, but if the school had any friends they were too timid to go to the polls and vote. Hon. Frank Thompson was at that time county attorney, a “Long Termer,” and a candidate for the House of Representatives. Whiteley attacked Thompson's candidacy, calling him “The Worst pill in the box.” Thompson's resentment led to a physical attack upon Whiteley in his office using an umbrella as a weapon. The editor retaliated with a printer's rule, which he buried deeply in the attorney's shoulder. Such was the rancor and feeling engendered by politics in those good old days.

Rodolph Duffy, chairman of the Democratic party, was the peacemaker within the party. He both wrote and spoke to that end. To his credit, it may be said, he suceeded very well. William M. Barbee was the Populist chairman and presided over both the county and the Sixth Judicial District conventions. Joint speakings were arranged and the notices bore the names of both Duffy and Barbee.

County improvements, for which Whiteley contended, were a steamboat, to freight fresh fish and oysters on New River, and a railroad through Richlands to join the Coast Line at Kinston.

An amusing contrast is shown in what the Populist party claimed to have achieved during its regime and Whiteley's statement





of what had actually been done. The two were published in parallel columns.

The market “carefully corrected” in November, 1895, was as follows: Cotton 7¾, bacon 6½, corn .50, chickens 12 to 25¢ each, eggs, 12, beef, gross, .02, lard .09, yams .40. Flour was offered at $5.00 per barrel and coffee 10¢ per pound.

The jail was without an occupant.

The New River Herald

The New River Herald was begun in 1899 with Edgar Penny as editor; the next year E. M. Koonce was its editor. No copy of the Herald is available. Penny came to Jacksonville from Cary. Democratic.

The Courier

Fred C. Henderson, school principal and postmaster at his home in Belgrade published The Courier for a short time in 1901.

The Messenger

In 1902, Lionel Giles began publication of The Messenger at Jacksonville. Giles’ paper lasted about three years. No copies are known to be extant.

Enterprise

J. B. and A. C. Dawson, brothers, of Tar Landing purchased the Messenger and its equipment and in 1906 changed the name to The Enterprise. Under the various titles The Enterprise, The Weekly Enterprise, and The Jacksonville Enterprise, the paper continued until 1914, the last three years under the management of Marvin M. Capps. No copies are known to exist. The life of the Enterprise was about eight years.

The Onslow Progress

Nere E. Day began publication of The Onslow Progress in 1912. For three years Mr. Day edited the paper and then employed E. I. Wood in that capacity. With proper public support the Progress would have become a splendid county paper. Much the best the county had had. A complete file of the Progress is said to be on file with the Historical Commission in Raleigh. No copies could be found in Jacksonville. These papers are extremely valuable because they were printed from 1915 through the first World War into 1922. The life of the Progress was 10 years. (If the Commission had files of the Progress they could not be located in 1947.)





The New River News

Next was a short lived paper, The New River News, edited by O. F. Crowson, 1926-1928. No copies can be had now.

The Onslow County Record

About 1928 the Wells-Oswals Publishing Company of Wallace, N. C., assumed the editing and printing of The News and changed the name to The Onslow County Record, entered at the Post Office on March 31, 1928. Local news was gathered and sent in to the printers by correspondents in Jacksonville, Richlands and a few rural communities. From this, the publishers made up the paper. The tax list and other official advertising was carried. The Record, being the only paper bearing an Onslow County dateline.

Jacksonville correspondents who carried the title of “Editor” included Miss Lois Petteway and Mrs. Lily Blake. Parsons Brown also “Edited” the paper for about 18 months. All of these before September, 1938.

Miss Marjorie Usher became the first full-time editor of the Record in September of 1938. During this time the paper continued to be made up and printed in Wallace without requiring the presence of “The Editor” at all. The public remained indifferent toward the paper and gave it little support. However, the loyalty of Mrs. W. S. Ervin, Richlands correspondent of the Record, should be noted. Year in and year out, Mrs. Ervin wrote personals and news items from Richlands until the Richlands page became almost the feature item in each weekly issue.

One or two special issues were printed, the best of which was issued on the occasion of the dedication of the Sneads Ferry bridge across New River, August 16, 1939. The Record, dated August 10th, had a 14-page illustrated edition, being a very creditable one.

R. B. Page, Wilmington publisher, purchased the Onslow County Record March 1, 1941, and changed the name to The Jacksonville Record. Sam Ragan acted as editor for a short time. N. G. Gooding became editor in July of 1941.

Upon Page's acquisition of the Record an improvement in the paper was immediately apparent. A more artistic arrangement of headlines and news layout, more advertising, more illustrations and larger paper, 8 to 12 pages, well written, made the weekly Record one of the best of the small county papers.

The News and Views

The Onslow County News and Views made its initial appearance on Friday, September 23, 1938. For some time there had been a demand by the Kiwanis Club and other public spirited





citizens for a paper controlled by local influence; a paper which would feature Onslow news and happenings on its front page and boost the county, its resources and possibilities at all times.

The News and Views was begun in answer to that demand. J. P. Brown was editor and manager. In an early issue he said: “It is axiomatic that if Onslow is ever to achieve anything in the way of internal improvements, public service, it must have an official mouthpiece, an organ through which we may tell the world and each other what we are doing and thinking about.” The paper intended, he said, “to present whatever is of interest or benefit to Onslow people in a pungent, scintillating homefolksy sort of way.”

The public response was gratifying. The Woman's Clubs of Jacksonville and Richlands each sold a page of advertising for the first issue, which carried 422 column inches of display advertising. Of a booster edition of the paper printed June 2, 1939, five hundred copies were distributed by the club to organizations in northern cities, some as far away as Boston.

A glance through the files shows some “big” news breaks, pictures of many local and state persons of prominence and places of interest. From time to time a series of articles based on original research in the history and tradition of Onslow County appeared. An aggressive editorial policy was maintained from the first.

Billy Arthur, columnist of New Bern and Charlotte, purchased The News and Views on April 1, 1940. Under the new management a printing plant was set up in Jacksonville, and once again, after a lapse of many years, a local paper was printed and published in Onslow. The Record was purchased and merged with the News and Views which became a semi-weekly, later being published six days a week.

Under Billy's editorship, “breezy and readable” describes its style and make-up. The News and Views was a most interesting and readable county paper.

J. B. Robinson purchased the News and Views November 1, 1953, and the name was changed to The Daily News on November 23 the same year.

The News is a very creditable small town paper published six days a week which carries leased wire services, gives national and world news, and sports, besides good local coverage. Advertising patronage has been gratifying and the News appears to be a firmly established institution in the life of the town and surrounding area.





JOHN W. SHACKELFORD

John Williams Shackelford was born at Richlands on November 16, 1844, son of Doctor John Shackelford and India Humphrey. His mother died soon after his birth and he grew up in the home of his Grandfather Colonel Williams Humphrey, who was a man of large fortune and much force of character.

His education, auspiciously begun, was rudely interrupted by the outbreak of the war between the states. Though only 17 years of age, Shackelford enlisted as a private in Company H, 3rd Regiment, but was later elected a Lieutenant in the 35th Regiment. His war service was terminated by his capture near Greenville and imprisonment at Cape Lookout.

Upon his return home he, in August 1865, married Miss Katherine Wallace of Richlands. There were no children.

Mr. Shackelford engaged in agricultural pursuits and other business, held various minor offices in the county until 1872 when he was elected to the House of Representatives. Remaining in the House until 1878 he was then elected to the Senate from the 9th Senatorial District which was then composed of the counties of Onslow, Jones and Carteret.

In the contest for the nomination of a candidate for Congress from the 3rd Congressional District, the nominating convention was in 1880 held in Fayetteville and Senator Shackelford was chosen to preside. After several ballots and upon failure to nominate either of the leading candidates, Shackelford's name was entered as a dark horse. He immediately received the nomination and was elected by a majority over both the Republican and Greenback candidates.

In Congress he was assigned to the Committee on Private Land Claims and had seemingly started out on a brilliant career, but ill health brought him down to an untimely end and he died January 18, 1883.

As usual when a member dies, his remains were accompanied home by a delegation from Congress, who reached Kinston by rail and made the long journey to Richlands on buggies over mud roads and in a downpour of rain, despite which a great concourse of people gathered for the service which was held in the Methodist church, then standing about where M. B. Steed & Son's store now is. Interment was made in the Wallace burying ground just to the rear of what is now “The Old Baptist Church.”

John W. Shackelford was a man who made friends readily, and from his friends rich and poor, he reserved neither time nor money but extended to them a generous hand.





The last incident of his life illustrates his desire to be helpful to those about him: A woman in desolate circumstances had recently appealed to him for aid and in his last moments the goodness of his heart lingered upon his lips, “That poor woman's home must be saved; I must help her,” were his last spoken words and were characteristic of John W. Shackelford, the man.

Bibliography

From photostatic copies of eulogies upon the life of Honorable John W. Shackelford taken from the Congressional Record and supplied to me by Honorable Charles L. Abernethy, Representative in Congress, 3rd District, North Carolina, Washington, D. C. 1934.





DR. JAMES LLOYD NICHOLSON
(1852-1918)

When Dr. Cador G. Cox, who had long been the only physician around Richlands, died back in the 1870's, he left a large area of Onslow, Jones and Duplin counties without a doctor, and no medical assistance was available even in emergencies. In that area farm homes were far apart, there were no highways and communications were limited to the speed of the horse and buggy and the rough dirt roads over which they traveled.

To this large and vacant practice Dr. James L. Nicholson came in 1877, remaining in the constant service of his people for over 40 years.

“The new Doctor” was born near Warsaw in Duplin County, son of the Reverend J. L. Nicholson of the Methodist Church and Lucy Jane Pearsall, his wife. The minister died six months before his son was born. Later his mother remarried, to David John Middleton, who accepted the boy as his own and did for him all that a natural father could have done.

Of what childhood and youth educational training he received, and of the pre-med work done by the future doctor we now know little, but he received his degree at University College of Medicine in New York, where he graduated in 1875.

Dr. Nicholson was married three times, first to Miss Emma Carlton of Duplin County, second to Miss Sadie Barry and then to Miss Eda Sandlin, both of Onslow County.

Honors came to the Doctor other than the good name he earned in the practice of medicine in his home community: A member of the State Medical Society for 38 years, elected to the State Board of Health for 8 years (1897-1905), six years of which time he was on the Board of Medical Examiners. (It was before this Board that young physicians-to-be came for the final test, and for license to begin the practice of medicine.)

It was, however, in a wider field of science in which the Doctor would distinguish himself: The scientific experiment in myiasis and hookworm control, eradication and treatment, which project he directed about the beginning of the century in Onslow County and Eastern North Carolina.

Dr. Nicholson's work in the field of combating hookworm in Eastern North Carolina was an indirect result of a report made by Dr. Charles W. Stiles of the United States Public Health Service before the Medical Society at Hot Springs, North Carolina in 1903, and it would appear that Dr. Stiles, having called attention to the prevalence of the disease in North Carolina, led to a survey to be made by Dr. W. S. Rankin with the cooperation of Dr. Nicholson.





These gentlemen spent much of the time during 1903-04 in the actual work under the auspices of the State Board of Health.

Wherever they went they found flies without screens, fly infested foods and unsanitary conditions generally prevailing. There were open privies, or no privies, as a result of which hookworms spread over the surface of the ground to be picked up by barefoot children and others after every rain.

Being able to show the public the prevalence of the disease, people began to think and to realize the seriousness of the condition at hand. Medical science had now found the remedy, and the Doctors set out to educate the public to its acceptance. Literature furnished by the State Board of Health explained the cause and effect of the disease and clinics were held, especially around Richlands, but also in other communities as well. Records were kept and case histories made.

That the campaign was a success we know now. The public response had been far beyond earlier expectation, pointing up the good work done by the Doctor and his staff.

The territory covered included Onslow, Jones and parts of Duplin, but the fame of the work being done by the Onslow physician spread to New Hanover, and a call was received by Dr. Nicholson from the profession in that county to “come over and help us,” which he somehow found time to do.

Dr. Edward J. Wood called that a Red Letter Day in that county and named Dr. Nicholson “The Apostle of Hope for the people,” for the splendid information and inspiration he gave them.

Said Dr. Wood: “Probably few of you know how he became the apostle of this new discovery and how he blazed a trail through Onslow and adjoining counties carrying the blessed news of thymol. From lethargy and retarded development the youth of that section have sprung up into new life and renewed hope. It will mean the reclamation of a pure strain of Anglo Saxon, far advanced though they were in a degeneracy which owed its origin largely to this soil-infesting parasite.”

The depth to which some of our people had descended, both in health and poverty caused by the infestation of hookworm can scarcely be realized now, but the eradication of hookworms and malarial mosquitoes has been the primary essential in the progress of health and sanitation made in Eastern North Carolina in the past half century.

The Doctor was a man full of good works. He conducted experiments in scientific methods of farming and seed selection on his own farm, he advocated and promoted the building of better roads, promoted a move for an improved school program in Richlands.





The effort resulted in the establishing first of a Graded School and two years later of the first High School in Onslow County at Richlands, and the Doctor was one of the chief sponsors of the program.

He superintended the Sunday School of his church for many years and promoted the church in every possible way. In contrast to his good friend, Dr. Cyrus Thompson, Dr. Nicholson was modest to a degree, soft spoken, a deep thinker, of ripe judgment, generally arriving at right conclusions, a man of strong convictions and purpose.

When asked why he did not go to a larger city where the remuneration would be greater and the labor less demanding, he replied: “I would not leave my people for any city on earth.” Truly they were his people and he, like his Master, “came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.”

Dr. Cyrus Thompson, who attended him in his last months, said: “I grieved as I had seen him gradually going and could see from time to time that much of him was already gone. But for him, an upright man, there was no moaning at the bar when he put out to sea.” “He had, since our early manhood, been my most intimate associate, and had lived and labored among my own people.”

The residents of Onslow are a healthier and happier people because he lived and worked among them.

Bibliography

From Memorial addresses delivered before the Medical Society of North Carolina by Dr. Cyrus Thompson, Dr. Edward J. Wood, Wilmington, Dr. Benjamin K. Hays, Dr. H. H. Dodson, Greensboro, Dr. L. B. McBrayer and others, copies of which were so generously furnished me by William N. Hilliard, Executive Assistant for Public Relations, Medical Society of the State of North Carolina. Edited by J. P. Brown.






[Illustration:

Leonard G. Woodward
]


[Illustration:

Walter M. Thompson
]


[Illustration:

John R. Gurganus
]


[Illustration:

Isham B. Hudson
]





PUBLIC EDUCATION SINCE 1840
Old Field Schools and Academies

Prior to 1841 there were no free schools in North Carolina, the only schools available to children of the State were “old field schools.” In most cases the planter employed a teacher to instruct his own children and paid all expenses, providing also the building for its operation.

In many cases classes were held in an outhouse on the plantation, such as a vacant tenant house, hence the name “Old Field School.” In some places the school operated in a nearby “Chapel” as churches were usually called in those days. Sometimes several planters cooperated in maintaining the school, each paying his share of the expense attached. To other children of the community this became a subscription school, which they were usually allowed to attend upon payment of five cents per day. In this way primary educational advantages were had by most people able and willing to pay for its service.

Most of the time Academies were in operation in one or two places in the county where pupils completing the course offered in the old field school could continue their studies in preparation for college entrance. These academies were open to students, not only to the community around, but also from surrounding counties. Tuition fees were required and sometimes board and room could be had for a nominal sum, either at the school or in nearby homes. In Onslow, academies were maintained most of the time at Swansboro and the Rich Lands Chapel, and sometimes at Piney Green and Catharine Lake.

Charters were granted for “Onslow Academy in Onslow County” in 1791 and for “Swansboro Academy” in 1810. Tradition in Onslow is that other preparatory schools were operated. As early as 1749, John Starkey of Onslow had introduced a bill in the Assembly providing for the establishing of free schools. The bill failed of passage, but to Starkey goes the honor of having introduced the first bill for public free schools in North Carolina.

Following the French and Indian War, North Carolina received from England the sum of 7,789 pounds in repayment for money spent by the state in the war. The Assembly, led by Treasurer John Starkey, proposed to use most of this money in setting up one or more free schools in each county. The governor, however, had other plans for the use of the money and so the schools were postponed indefinitely. Again Starkey gets the honor for having sponsored a free school for the children of North Carolina.





The Literary Fund

By 1825 the Government of the United States had accumulated a surplus of money in the Treasury and the Congress decided to divide it among the states of the Union for such use as they saw fit.

North Carolina's part of this money amounted to nearly a million and a half dollars, most of which was earmarked for use in setting up free public schools throughout the state. In 1839, at the urging of Governor Edward B. Dudley, a plan to begin operation of the schools was worked out.

Each county would have five or ten “Superintendents of Common Schools” named by the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, whose duty it was to hold an election as to whether the county would adopt the system, providing at the same time for the raising by taxation of one dollar for each two dollars furnished by the state.

It was also the duty of the Board of Superintendents to divide the county into districts, appoint committees, employ teachers, and provide a suitable house for the school.

At first Onslow was divided into 23 districts. A few houses were built, but most of the schools met in one house this year and another next year, wherever one could be secured.

The securing of teachers was probably the greatest problem confronting the communities at any time, due to lack of school facilities, few qualified persons were available for the work. Salaries generally ranged to 25 dollars for women teachers and 30 dollars for men. In 1850 Edward B. Dudley was chairman of County Superintendents.

The Schools in Operation

No reports are available before 1853, but the report for that year shows:

Number of districts, 23; schools taught during the year, 16; whole number of children, 1707; children enrolled in 13 districts, 439; school term average, 3 3/5 months. Salaries averaged 22 dollars per month.

Five years later the enrollment had increased to 1827. There were 16 men teachers and 2 women teachers and the length of term had gone up to 4 4/5 months. The county raised by taxation that year $755.12. E. W. Fonville was chairman.

The common schools operated at such time as was considered convenient for work on the farms. A short term before the busy season on the farm with another term following that period was the usual procedure.

The teachers taught several schools during a twelve-month





period, sometimes as many as three, it being so arranged that terms ran consecutively.

An old box of reports in the Department of Archives and History at Raleigh show the following persons as teachers in the county during the years 1858-1860.

Jesse Lanier taught one month in District 23, was paid $36.00. His voucher was signed by J. D. Williams, Nathan Sylvester and Harvey Cox. Lanier also taught three months in District 22 for which he received $100.00.

Andrew J. P. Giddings taught spelling, geography, grammar and reading in District 4 three months for $75.00.

Mary F. Etheridge taught 5 months at $25.00 per month in District 13, voucher signed by Green Hatchell, B. R. Hudson and L. H. Huffman.

Buckner H. Strange, 1 month, $30.00, signed by John P. Cox and Christopher Stevens. Jacob Giles taught three months in District 10, was paid $75.00, voucher signed by Durant Cox, Charles Cox and William Heath.

Other teachers mentioned included Nancy E. Freeman, Zedoc M. Coston, James R. Hurst, Susan Thompson, Stratton Burton, Jonas Jones, Caleb Harriot, C. S. Hurst, G. H. Morton, W. T. Bannerman, Carilla Cox, Hosea Marshburn, Lot Gregory, Simon P. Frederick, Joseph Montfort, Brice W. Trott, C. S. Hewitt, John C. Hewitt, John C. Rochelle, Daniel McDonald, John P. Oats and Erasmus H. Coston. Each of these, at different times, were actively engaged where houses could be obtained. Dates are often blotted, faded or left out. A teacher sometimes taught a half-term, the latter half being completed by another person.

The Richlands Academy

While the Common and Old Field Schools were in operation in other parts of the County during the 65 year period from 1850 to the opening of the New Century, the Richlands Academy, under the principalship fo Mr. L. G. Woodward, was the center of higher education and college preparatory work done by most of the youth of Onslow County and adjoining territory. The school, under the sponsorship of Randolph (Macon) College, gave instructions of a high order and was so recognized, not only by the citizens of the area, but by the institutions of higher learning in the state as well. The organization of the Academy was an important step in education in Onslow County.

Richlands Academy was founded in 1848. Prior to the establishment of the Academy, Bryant Shines Koonce taught an Old Field School there. Note: Koonce built the first residence in what is now Richlands and operated the first store here. The Academy stood nearby the church. He died while returning from





New York by boat to Wilmington, where he went to purchase a stock of goods. An ardent prohibitionist, he refused the doctor's prescription of whiskey on his deathbed.

Reverend E. L. Perkins was on the Richlands Methodist circuit in 1847 and 1848. In a clipping from the Richmond Christian Advocate he tells the story of the organization in detail. “The citizens of Richlands in Onslow County assembled at Richlands Chapel on the 17th day of April, 1848. Mr. Williams Humphrey was called to the chair and Mr. Harvey Cox was appointed Secretary.

After prayer had been offered to the throne of Grace, the Reverend E. L. Perkins explained the subject of the meeting.

The Reverend William Closs addressed the meeting on the advantage of establishing such an institution at the present time. The Reverend E. L. Perkins addressed the meeting on education in general and also the peculiar advantages accrued to every community in which there was a classical school established. The meeting was addressed by B. S. Koonce and others.”

A Resolution: “That it is expedient to erect in this neighborhood an Academy preparatory to Randolph College” was passed and a committee of five persons, viz: Williams Humphrey, Harvey Cox, E. L. Perkins, B. S. Koonce, and John A. Averette was appointed to continue organizational work. “Mr. Lott Mills presented the Building Committee with a beautiful shaded lot of ground worth $100.00 and $350.00 was subscribed.

The organization being completed, the committee soon got busy in the construction of a building. The building which housed the famous Academy could not, by any stretch of imagination, have been credited with adding prestige to the school conducted there. It consisted of a straight building, divided into two rooms, to which a music room was added later. The Academy, being sponsored by Randolph Macon, the College recommended a candidate for Principal. The trustees accepted the recommendation and Professor L. G. Woodward of Port Royal, Pennsylvania, became the first principal.

L. G. Woodward

Leonard Groninger Woodward was born June 8, 1815, in Juniata County, (about 40 miles northwest of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), son of William and Elizabeth (Groninger) Woodward.

(Note: His grandfather, one of the pioneers in western Pennsylvania, was once captured by a tribe of Indians and detained for two years. He finally escaped and returned home.)

After coming to Onslow he married Sarah, daughter of Joseph Brock and wife, Barbara Franck. Mr. Woodward took his Master's Degree at Dickinson College, Carlysle, Pennsylvania, in





1846, and taught two years in Virginia before coming to Onslow. A few years later he was offered a professorship of Mathematics in his Alma Mater but chose to remain in Onslow.

The Academy opened under very auspicious circumstances. Mr. Woodward was assisted by Mr. Romulus A. Whitaker of Jones County. The Academy was continued until closed during the Civil War for lack of students; most of the boys having enlisted in the Confederate Army.

Mr. Woodward, a northern man in a southern community with a wife of southern lineage, maintained a position of neutrality during the conflict leading up to the Civil War. He owned slaves, which he probably received through his wife's inheritance. When the war was ended, Mr. Woodward resumed his teaching. Students again entered the old Academy and most planters for miles around sent their sons to him for instruction preparatory to entering college and university. From the old Academy at Richlands, not only Randolph Macon but the University of North Carolina and Trinity College (now Duke University) enrolled students, and the Master received letters from Presidents of these institutions commending the excellence of his preparatory work.

Rhom A. Whitaker and his brothers Tom and Fred, famous trio of doctors, of Kinston; W. H. Rhodes, widely known North Carolina teacher; Dr. Cyrus Thompson, physician, later Secretary of State and Presidential Elector; Frank Thompson, lawyer; R. D. Thompson, Richlands business men; John W. Shackelford, later Representative in Congress; F. D. Koonce, lawyer; Dr. Cador G. Cox, E. L. Franck, Fred Hargett, W. M. Barbee, John W. Mills, W. M. Thompson and H. B. Koonce were only a few of the pupils sent out from the Academy by Mr. Woodward.

The curriculum, besides the usual branches, included Latin and Greek. “Thoroughness” was the watchword in all of them.

The office of County Superintendent was instituted in 1881 and Woodward was selected as first superintendent. His reputation as an educator had spread over the state. The office did not then require his full time, and he continued his teaching as well. At the close of his one year term he was re-elected but died on December 13, 1881.

For more than thirty years he had taught in the Richlands Academy. A list of his students would run into hundreds. The influence of the Academy made Richlands the educational center of Onslow and Jones counties.

In a Commencement oration delivered by Mr. Woodward on July 14, 1859, printed in a pamphlet by the New Bern Progress, he paid tribute to the common schools of the state in these words: “Were I asked to declare the preserving charm of our beloved





nation; I would lead the Inquirer . . . to the common schools of the County. There the minds that rule the land are fashioned.”

Other teachers taught in the Academy prior to its closing in 1904, some of whom became prominent later in life, and in other states. A partial list follows: Anthony Rhodes, Mrs. Sallie Wallace, W. A. Welborn, recommended by University of North Carolina; Wade H. Kornegay, later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Arkansas; S. J. Veach, Mr. Lenny, Mr. Crocker, W. M. Thompson, later County Superintendent; and A. G. Walton, later Postmaster at Jacksonville. Mr. Walton was the last of the list. He finished the work there in 1904. The Old Academy was torn down and the new Graded School took its place. This, the first graded school established by special vote of the people in Onslow County, and the First High School which soon followed, were the direct outgrowth of the work done by the Richlands Academy.

After the War

During the Reconstruction Period, public schools were disbanded. The state lay in dust and defeat and totally at the mercy of a Congress whose activating energy was hatred of the Southern white people. Soon all government, law and social life became demoralized. Moreover, a swarm of vultures came from far and near and seated themselves at the State's Capital, ready to strike at any visible sign of life left in the old body.

These plunderers, made up of northern Carpetbaggers in collusion with southern Scalawags, repudiated the state's public debt, thus causing the financial collapse of all private and public enterprise, banks, colleges, and, of course, the Common Schools. Most of the Literary Fund, on which the antebellum school system had operated, was gone.

During the years 1865 to 1868, people were even allowed to move into the school houses in order to keep them from rotting down.

Under the law, as worked out by the convention of 1868, the County Commissioners took over the duties of a Board of Education. They elected a County Examiner, who received $2.00 per day while actually employed in the performance of his duties. It was his duty to examine teachers and issue certificates. In Onslow the first Examiner named by the Commissioners was James G. Scott, who served until 1870, when he was succeeded by Edward B. Sanders.

The only resources open to the schools now were returns from taxation. A poll tax of $2.00 authorized in 1866-7 was the main dependence of the schools and among reports due from County Chairmen was the current number of polls listed in the county. In Onslow the total numbered 730 white and 292 colored.





The population of the county in 1870 included 5,173 white persons and 2,396 Negroes, a total of 7,569. Of those above 21 years of age, 1,217 whites and 938 Negroes were illiterate. Whites who could not read and write numbered 23 percent, colored 29 percent.

There were 2,059 white children and 907 colored children, a total of 2,966 children awaiting all the provisions of a workable system of schools.

Against this deplorable condition stood an uncollected poll tax of about $2,000.00 and about $750.00 expected from state sources. An inventory for the year, of teacher personnel available, showed: 13 white men teachers, 2 white women teachers, and 2 colored men teachers, a total of 19. There were 19 school houses, 17 schools operated in private homes, and 2 academies. Up to this time the only public schools known to have been operated for colored children in Onslow had been those reported in 1869 by J. W. Hood as operated on New River. Hood was a Negro carpetbagger “of rather unsavory reputation” who had served on the constitutional convention of 1868. He represented the American Missionary Society and reported to S. S. Ashly as follows: “Three schools on New River and one on Trent.” Even then, due to the disorganization of the school forces and slowness of the schools in getting under way, money began to accumulate in the treasury. The year 1874 was a year when the county spent $3,172.00 on white schools and $280.00 on colored schools. R. W. Nixon was Chairman.

In 1877 there were 38 white school districts and 18 colored; of these, 24 white schools with an enrollment of 702 and 12 colored schools with an enrollment of 370, a total enrollment of 1,072, operated during the year. E. W. Ward, of Duck Creek, was County Examiner. He collected two dollars for his services that year.

Beginning Again

The Legislature of 1885 provides for a Board of Education separate and apart from the County Commissioners. The earliest minute book in Onslow now extant, begins July 6, 1885. At that time Frank Thompson was the Superintendent. He gave only part time to the work and received pay only for the time actually spent in the performance of his duties. For this he received $2.50 per day.

There were 37 white schools in the county; 22 of them frame and 5 built of logs. Ten districts had no building but taught wherever a place could be secured for the purpose. The frame buildings were heated by stoves but the five log houses were heated by fireplaces only. Among the colored of the nineteen





districts, only ten had houses of any kind. Three of the ten were log houses and one had a fireplace.

There were 2,392 children on the white census, but only 1,197, or half, of them attend school anywhere during the year. The length of a term at that time was only eight weeks and one day to the year. The white teacher received $22.85 per month salary while the colored teacher received $20.22 for the same period.

The teachers took an examination before the County Superintendent once each year. These he graded into first, second and third grades and classified them by sex and color as follows:

1886
(White)(Colored)
MaleFemaleMaleFemaleTotal
1st Grade33006
2nd Grade1354022
3rd Grade04329
Total16127237

The amount of money paid into the treasury from all sources amounted in that year to $4,905.11. Of this amount there was spent for all purposes $3,086.05, leaving a balance on hand at the end of the year of $1,819.06.

Superintendent Frank Thompson reported there were no schools in the county supported wholly or partly by local taxation and following a request that he suggest steps promoting of the interest of the school, wrote: “We need a Teacher's Institute and there ought to be some way devised by which those children whose parents are unable to buy books could have suitable books provided for them.”

During the years since 1877, the State had established several Normal Schools, all of which were doing good work among prospective teachers, but it was felt that something must be done to reach those teachers already employed in the schools. Edwin A. Alderman and Charles D. McIver conceived the idea of taking the training to the teacher and so the inception of Teacher's Institutes.

The Legislature of 1889 selected McIver and Alderman as State Institute Conductors to canvass the State. They came in personal contact with the teachers. Teachers, they said, were poor but improving. Poor schoolhouses, overcrowding, lack of uniformity of textbooks, lack of interest, constant changing of teachers, poverty of the people, low prices, etc., were some of the conditions noted. They suggested improvements and established training schools. The institutes were a success from the beginning.





Onslow was one of the first to pledge support to the movement and the same year appropriated $100.00 for one white and one colored institute.

The first Institute held in the county was in the summer of 1890. Thirty-six white and twelve colored teachers enrolled in these training schools. The next year forty-six white and thirteen colored teachers were listed. There were only forty-four white schools in the county that year, showing that the teachers themselves realized their condition and were anxious to improve. Dr. McIver, himself, conducted the one held in Onslow in 1891, and the Board appropriated $60.00 to pay his expenses. These Institutes continued to be held, either in the County, or in cooperation with another county, for a number of years.

In 1891 Superintendent Thompson reported, concerning books adopted for use by the children:

“The State-list books are kept for sale in the county by B. F. Hall and Company, Tar Landing, and by Ward and Murrill, Jacksonville, but are not sold at list price to pupils.” (P. 155, Old Minute Book.) The next year he says in answer to the same question: “Nearly So,” but the next year a keener competitaion resulted in furnishing them to pupils at the legal margin of profit. Besides those named above, Marine Brothers and E. S. Smith at Marines maintained a supply on hand at list price. It should be understood that prior to that time school books were adopted, not by the state as at present, but by counties, and had long been the subject of much speculation in price.

At the beginning of the school year, 1892, Elijah M. Koonce, who had been a teacher in the county schools, became Superintendent. It was his administration that brought book sales prices down to list prices. Institutes were continued. In the year 1893, forty-five white teachers and sixteen colored teachers were examined and certified.

In 1895 the office of County Superintendent was abolished and its duties placed in the hands of the Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners.

Two years later, 1899, the Legislature provided for the election of a County Superintendent who was required to be a practical teacher and to have had at the time of his election at least two years experience in teaching or public school work.

The work consisted mainly of holding examinations for teachers and an occasional Teachers’ Institute. (Knight.)

A. W. Cooper, who had also been a teacher in the county, became County Supervisor in 1897. During his administration the State Superintendent's office began a pressure on the county to bring about certain improvements in the schools. One of the reforms which was being promoted by the Raleigh Office was





the equalizing of the length of terms in the townships of the county. Another improvement being asked for was the grading of the schools so as to secure a uniformity of effort in the school work. To get such reports as they needed, and to get effort on the part of county officials, the Superintendent's report was made by the “Question and Answer” method. These questions were asked over and over year after year, and were so worded that being unable to answer them affirmatively soon became embarrassing to the Superintendent whether he favored the proposed action or not. Such questions as those quoted below had a definite purpose in the asking. Were institutes held in the county for teachers of both races? Number in attendance upon each? Have the Committees carried out the law in regard to making the schools of equal length of term?

Answer: No.

If not, why not?

Answer: “Because some teachers will work for so much less than others. In 3/5 of the districts they did so. It looks like they can't understand it.”

Have you graded the schools in the Township?

Answer: No; owing to the size of the county, the sparseness of settlers and the geographical boundaries, dangerous creeks, etc., it was impractical. A good many of the districts are so large already that some of the children can't attend on account of the distance they have to travel. I think the grading system works well when the county is densely settled. “A. W. Cooper, Supervisor.” (Page 310, Old Minute Book.)

Two years later Superintendent Cooper reported that the Committee had made the schools of equal length: “As nearly as possible,” and that he had not graded the schools of the townships because of the size of the territory, etc., but was “working in that direction.” (Page 359, Old Minute Book.) In this way Onslow was slowly but surely being dragged out of her lethargy in educational matters.

A rustle in the educational breeze of the county became slightly perceptible when, in 1901, the Jacksonville School District, the Odd Fellows Lodge, and the County Board of Education, each paying one third of the cost, cooperated in securing a site and erecting a new school building in the town of Jacksonville.

The salary scale was filed in the county that year as follows:

White per monthColored per month
1st Grade$30.00$20.00
2nd Grade20.0017.50
3rd Grade15.0012.50

There were fifty-three white and twenty colored school districts reported in the county in 1901.





Libraries

More significant than even some of the school men realized was the enactment by the Legislature of 1901 of a law which provided as a nucleus around which rural schools might build a library; that when the community had raised $10.00 or more, the county and state would each supplement the sum with a like amount with which to purchase a library for the school. These libraries contained about fifty to a hundred well-chosen volumes each, and probably did more to encourage reading in the rural communities than any one step in the history of the schools.

This act made it possible for any school to obtain a small well selected library for an original investment of $10.00. Supplemental libraries could be added on the same terms.

Thirty-five white and one Negro school availed themselves of the opportunity to secure a library and some supplemental libraries were had. The library report for whites showed 3,803 volumes and for colored, 66 volumes.

Within a few months after passage of the act an application was received for a library from Jarman-Town School, Richlands, and during the year 1902, that school became the site of the first public library in the county with Miss Dora Jarman first librarian. Almost immediately following came applications for libraries from Adams Schoolhouse, South West, Queens Creek and Belgrade, with F. D. Shaw, G. J. Scott, S. A. Starling and F. C. Henderson, librarians. Other schools later took advantage of state and county aid in buying books for community libraries.

The Equalization Fund

Beginning in 1899 the State Legislature began making appropriations to a fund for equalizing the school terms throughout the state. This money enabled those unable to operate for that length of time to maintain a four month school in each district. Governor Aycock and his lieutenants began an education program such as the state had never known. A meeting of school men was called to meet in his office February 13, 1902, and an address to the people of the state known as “A Declaration Against Illiteracy” was formulated. “A campaign committee for the promotion of Public Education in North Carolina,” set out to arouse public opinion and translate it into action. The committee wrote articles for the press, to the ministers, etc., held rallies, open air meetings, and set aside a day as North Carolina Day. The most prominent speakers everywhere were engaged to speak and throughout North Carolina “Education” was on everyone's tongue.

The Equalizing Fund was increased from year to year, but aid was extended only to those districts which applied for it.





Onslow, in 1902, applied for and received $321.19 of this fund. The amount was small, but a beginning had been made which continued to grow. A policy which continued until the state assumed the entire operation of the schools in 1933.

In 1902 there were two districts in the county, Richlands and White Oak, which were allowed special permission to pay $35.00 per month each for teachers’ salaries. In 1903 the amount allotted to each township was as follows:

Richlands$1,677.00
Jacksonville1,135.00
Stump Sound1,318.00
Swansboro1,059.00
White Oak981.00
A total of$6,170.00

This was only $1,265.00 more than the allotment made for school purposes in 1885, eighteen years before. There were no local-tax districts in the county.

Thompson Elected

Walter M. Thompson was elected County Superintendent in July, 1903. Thompson's administration did not mark the beginning of an era in Onslow; that era had already begun, but Thompson was its greatest exponent in Onslow County. He had been educated at Trinity College (now Duke University) and had been engaged in teaching in the county prior to becoming Superintendent. He was in sympathy with the new methods just then being employed by the educational forces of the state. He brought to the task an enthusiasm which was contagious. Moreover, Thompson had ideas of his own concerning improvements which ought to be made in the management of schools of the county.

These rules may not seem so important to us now, but the need for them gives us some idea of the disorganized condition and lack of uniformity in practice prior to that time. They were intended to aid in bringing order out of the chaos.

1. Schools are to open promptly at 8:45 and continue six hours exclusive of recesses. There shall be a morning and an afternoon recess not to exceed fifteen minutes each and a noon recess not to exceed sixty minutes each day.

2. Teachers are required to attend meetings of the Teachers’ Association and all meetings called by the Superintendent. The Superintendent may withhold approval of vouchers of those teachers who fail to attend such meetings without valid excuse.





3. Teachers are required to be in the building fifteen minutes before opening of school each day. At least one teacher must remain in school at recesses and in the afternoon until the building is safely closed and the children are sent home.

4. Pupils doing damage to the buildings or equipment are required to pay for same or they will be expelled from school.

5. The teacher shall spend at least two days of the week prior to the opening of school in visiting the parents in their home explaining the rules and regulations of the school, special attention being paid to those parents of negligent children. The teacher shall receive $1.00 per day for the time spent in such work.

6. A teacher, who by personal effort, obtains an increase of 50% in attendance of those between the ages of 16 and 21 shall receive a 19% increase in salary and those teachers obtaining a 25% increase of attendance of the same age, shall receive a 5% increase in salary.

7. A reduction of 10% may be made in the salary of a teacher experiencing a 50% decline in attendance of those between the ages of 16 and 21, unless the Superintendent is satisfied that the result came about through no fault of the teacher.

8. Teachers are required to report at the end of the first month the names of absentees with the cause of their absences.

9. All schools are required to start on the date of opening as set by the County Board of Education, and continue, except through Christmas week, to the date of closing.

10. The date set for opening this year (1904) is November 7th. (Page 455, Old Minute Book.)

Richlands Votes a Special Tax

During the last twenty years of the 19th Century, most of the larger cities and towns in the state had voted a local tax to supplement the school funds, but not until near the close of the century did the rural districts begin levying taxes to lengthen terms and increase teachers’ salaries. The educational campaign begun by Governor Aycock and the school men of the state in 1900 had aroused an interest in schools and a wave of enthusiasm swept over the state. It reached Onslow in 1904 and in a decade spread over practically the entire county.

At its September (1904) session the County Board of Education received a petition signed by forty-nine of the free holders of a proposed special tax district at Richlands which reached approximately three miles in every direction from the town itself, asking for an election to ascertain the will of the people in a proposal to levy a special tax of thirty cents on the $100.00 property valuation and ninety cents on the poll for the purpose





of financing a graded school in the district. The election was held November 5, 1904, and the vote showed ninety-nine for the special tax and forty-five against. An appropriation was made by the Board for the erection of a new building and a new movement in education was under way in Onslow.

Note: The county also purchased the site of the Richlands Female Academy, an institution which had been established by Miss Hattie Blanchard, a native of Wisconsin, sometime about 1875. Miss Blanchard was assisted in the work by her sisters, Miss Myra Blanchard and Mrs. J. M. Miller. The site of the building was near the site of the old Baptist Church and was in operation about ten years. The terms of the sale provided that the proceeds of said sale all be donated to the Public School in Richlands, North Carolina, for the advancement and promotion of Female Education in connection with the said school, October 2, 1905. For several years the above mentioned sum was carried as a fund separate and apart from the tax returns. Mr. Miller was a lumberman and lived in the old Hardy Hotel building, now owned and occupied by Victor Venters. A primary school for boys was sometimes operated along with the Female Academy.

Two months after receipt of the Richlands petition, a similar one was received from Swansboro with 37 signatures, but the vote there evidently was against the special tax. However, another vote there on the same question was had five years later which showed a vote of twenty-one in favor of the school. The adverse vote in Swansboro seems to have been the only setback suffered by the friends of education in the several elections which followed.

On May 6, 1905, Jacksonville voted a special tax supplement by thirty-four to twenty votes.

Others

Other petitions were received and approved by the Board of Education as follows: (Note: The names as given here are not always exactly as we know them. The districts were known at that time simply by numbers.)

1905—July: Williams Store (Sneads Ferry) signed by thirty voters.

1906—Oct.: Harris Creek

1907—January: South West

1907—October: Belgrade

1908—April: Marines

1909—May: Stump Sound

1909—Swansboro: Another District

1910—January: Meadow View

1910—April: Heritage





1910—July: Verona

1911—January: Turkey Creek

1911—April: Silverdale

1911—April: Deppe

1911—April: Belgrade, additional territory

1912—Swansboro: Another District

1912—October: North East, Kellum

The First High School in the County

Richlands, which was the first to vote a graded school in the county, was also the first in the county to establish a high school. The Legislature of 1907 authorized the establishment of rural high schools and made an appropriation for their maintenance and in the month of July of that year we read:

“The Board ordered ‘That with the consent of the State Board of Education a first class Public High School be established at Richlands, N. C.’ and that seven hundred and fifty ($750.00) dollars be appropriated out of the contingent fund for the erection of a suitable building.” (P. 498, Old Minute Book.) In the spring of 1911 the school graduated one from the tenth grade, and the next year (1912) three pupils finished the full eleven grades required to complete a standard high school course.

In October, 1907, the Superintendent was first employed for full time at a salary of $75.00 per month.

In 1910 one log school building was still in use by the colored people. There were six college graduates teaching in the schools of the county that year.

Note: On July 3, 1911, we read: “The Board is in receipt of a telegram from Superintendent Walter M. Thompson in Baltimore saying that his wife is dead in a hospital there. It was ordered that D. F. Howard (member of the Board) meet Mr. Thompson on his return and accompany him home as a mark of respect.”

In 1912 there were seventy-three school houses in the county; fifty-four for white and nineteen for Negroes. Forty-two of the fifty-four contained only one room while among the colored people only three buildings contained more than one room.

During the year four white and four colored school houses were built, costing a total of $5,765.00.

Of the teachers ten white and two colored were college graduates.

A six month term in every school in the state was required under an act passed in 1913 while Locke Craig was governor.

Since 1905 the school districts had vied with each other in voting special taxes to supplement the state and county funds. Every year saw new districts join the rank of the progressives.





As could be expected, these special tax districts found themselves in position of advantage in hiring teachers, as they were able to pay more than the state schedule and terms were longer. Being more desirable from the teachers’ standpoint, teaching positions in them were more sought after by the better qualified teachers, etc.

While encouraging and promoting the special tax districts Superintendent Thompson never lost sight of the equal right of every child to a good education. He preached it from the rostrum and in private conversation, and the minutes of the Board of Education are replete with his expression of anxiety for the child whose opportunity was limited because his local school was not on par with the the rest of the county.

Pointing out the impossibility of setting up a standard for schools in the county, while the piecemeal method of taxation persisted, Thompson suggested the adoption of a flat rate throughout the county for the support of schools and thus, by so doing, permit the operation of all schools on an equal basis. He argued that such a plan would insure a standard school with a qualified teacher for those children where no special tax had been voted.

The proposal, however, was not quite acceptable to the Board and the plan never materialized.

Incidentally, it should be said here that the Board of Education supported remarkably well his leadership and policies generally during his long term of office.

The constructive efforts of such members as David F. Howard of Richlands, and Hosea Brown of Jacksonville deserve special attention.

The Board of Education, in order to secure the service of a home demonstration agent in the county agreed to assume the payment of $450.00 per year as part of that officer's salary and upon learning that the lady's car was badly in need of repair, also appropriated $220.00 difference to be paid to secure a new one.

During the summer of 1920 a Summer School for Teachers was held at Jacksonville, continuing for six weeks. The county's part of the expense of conducting the school amounted to $390.00. One-half of the actual expenses incurred by the teachers, who agreed to teach in Onslow, was paid by the county.

To the county superintendent's pressing duties were added that of County Welfare Officer and Mr. Thompson assumed that duty along with the others. Salaries for the Superintendent was set at $2,000.00 per annum and that of the Welfare Officer at $500.00.

Total salaries paid to teachers in 1920 were as follows:





Elementary Teachers$49,282.00
High School7,377.00
Colored10, ?

The grand total spent in the operation of schools amounted to $150,208.00. Superintendent Thompson's report the year ending June 30, 1921, included the following:

WhiteColored
Value rural school property$129,925.00$8,184.00
No. rural school houses4919
No. class rooms10030
Brick houses10
Frame houses4910
Log houses00
Teacherages10
Houses built during the year30
Total cost houses mentioned$ 13,600.000
Districts having no houses21
No. one-teacher schools177
No. two-teacher schools249
No. three-teacher schools31
No. four or more teacher schools52
Average term in days126108
Libraries512
Local tax districts250
Census for the year3,8141,971

Difficulties

Something of the difficulties confronting the school boards of the county in 1926 can be learned by quoting from the Superintendent's report to the Board. “At present the schools have different lengths of terms, some six, some seven, and others eight months; some of the schools having a full corps of teachers, while others are trying to give elementary instruction to all seven grades, with perhaps only one teacher. Still others with two teachers are trying to carry the first to the seventh grades inclusive, and in addition to this, undertaking to give high school instruction. It may be seen, therefore, very clearly that some children are required, in order to secure a promotion from one grade to another, to accomplish the same work in six months that others are required to do in eight months, which is a practical impossibility.”

“The State has declared eight months as the minimum term in which the work of a grade can be done and until the school term can be equalized, it is impossible to give every child an equal opportunity or advantage.”





“With these conditions confronting the Board it has been ascertained that there are twenty-four local tax districts already in the county whose rates range from fifteen to forty cents and that the greater part of all property values of the county are embraced within these districts.

“The remaining part of the county is the undeveloped part, which is sparsely populated, so that if they should vote a tax upon themselves, the value being small, the tax thus raised would be insufficient to provide opportunities equal to those in other parts of the county,” said Mr. Thompson.

Therefore he urged the adoption of a uniform tax rate throughout the county. However, the resolution favorable to such action written on a fly leaf at the time, was crossed out. “No other business coming before the Board upon motion of F.B.P., the meeting was adjourned.”

Those schools not already in the special tax districts were pauper schools, from both an educational and financial standpoint and the Board was content for them to remain so.

The next two years was to see the culmination of a quarter-century of planning and persistence. A contract was let for the construction of a modern brick structure at Richlands, costing $29,937.00, followed by another at Jacksonville which cost $28,167.00.

The First Trucks

Thompson's proposal to purchase trucks to transport high school pupils from the rural districts to the central high schools was rejected at first by the Board of County Commissioners until it was shown that trucks could be operated at lower cost than separate schools could be maintained under the former method. The opposition was led by A. W. Cooper, a former Superintendent of Schools, who was then serving on the Board of County Commissioners. Although yielding to overwhelming figures, Cooper never accepted them as his own but allowed passage of the resolution because he realized that public sentiment was against him.”

The first purchase of trucks (they were not called buses in those days) was authorized in 1925. The order called for thirteen Ford trucks.

Thompson's County-Wide Plan

On October 19, 1925, a mass meeting of committeemen, teachers and friends of education met with the Board of County Commissioners and of Education in their joint session.

Plans evolved at the meeting included the setting up of a central High School in each township for pupils of that district who





would, upon completion of the elementary grades, be transported to the Central High School four years for graduation. The primary local schools thus became feeders for the township high schools. This was Thompson's version of the modern consolidated school, and a very wise one, as it averted the necessity of discarding small buildings of use throughout the county.

Location of the high schools were decided upon and the school forces of the county began their forward march which has continued to this day. Besides those already in operation at Richlands and Jacksonville, plans called for schools at Dixon for Stump Sound Township, at Tabernacle for White Oak, and at Swansboro for Swansboro township. The locations selected at that time have remained until today.

The only opposition of importance was to the locating of the building at Dixon which was opposed by patrons at Marines, Sneads Ferry, and elsewhere, who felt that the building should be at Sneads Ferry, but State Officials favored locating the school near a surfaced highway and so the original plans were retained.

No changes were made in the schools for the colored “because very few own their own homes and are a transitory people (therefore) no permanent plan is possible for them at this time.”

Although some small districts continued to ask for special tax elections the Central High Schools soon overshadowed everything else and patrons of small schools began asking to be consolidated with the high schools and progressively this has been done. Co-ordination and teamwork has brought about a new idea in education in Onslow and it works.

New Building

The new plan necessitated the initiation of a new building program. To the $29,937.00 already spent at Richlands, $26,000.00 for additional classrooms was added.

The Dixon School was designed to cost $29,000.00 and the White Oak School $30,000.00. For some reason plans for the Swansboro School were delayed, but finally materialized as will be shown later.

The adoption of the County-wide plan was the culmination of years of planning and the greatest step yet taken in modernizing the County school system. The central high schools were centers around which a complete unit was planned. Each school also included an elementary department for nearby pupils and received from distant communities only grades above the seventh. This partial action was necessary as a first step to full consolidation, first because public sentiment would not permit destruction of the little old school buildings scattered throughout the county. Lack of transportation for pupils and finally lack of funds necessary





for a sudden changeover into complete consolidation. Soon some of the smaller schools asked to be transferred to the high school, always being encouraged in so doing by the Superintendent. As time has gone by, the small one and two teacher school has disappeared, the last one being abandoned in 1953.

While the schools had grown and improved with the years, the engineer had grown old with the burden of bringing them up, and so on April 14, 1927, Mr. Thompson was elected Superintendent Emeritus and a younger man took over in his stead.

Five complete educational units in the county, one for each township in the county, was his aim and while the ideal was not reached during his incumbency, he could see its realization from the heights. The plot and stage setting was the work of his hands. What Joyner was to North Carolina education, Thompson was to education in Onslow. Nothing better can be said.

The first important item on the agenda when H. Lee Thomas assumed the superintendency was the construction of a central high school for Swansboro township. The friends of education in that area all wanted a high school, but few of them could agree upon a location for it. Swansboro, being the only town in the township, naturally expected it would be located there. Moreover, Mr. Blair of the Raleigh office recommended that the building be constructed at that place. He not only pointed out a number of advantages to be had there, but cited the natural beauty of the setting along the waterfront as perfect for the purpose. Bear Creek and Duck Creek also wanted the school located near the center of the territory which was, according to them, somewhere near Bear Creek. They were determined and put up a strong fight.

The Board of Education, in its effort to please everybody, wavered from one to the other. Apparently deciding with the state representative, after a hearing from the opposing team, they decided in favor of Bear Creek. The town of Swansboro then asked to be excluded from the new district. It preferred the old school to a new one located down on Bear Creek. Eventually the State Office “put its foot down” and named Swansboro as the site of the new building, where it was erected and where it remains.

The contract was let May 20, 1929, to Strickland Brothers of Zebulon to cost approximately $45,000.00. The school tax rate that year (1928) was eighty-three cents, with a poll tax levy of $1.50.

Mr. Thomas exhibited no characteristic of leadership and when the next election came up, J. G. Allen of Manning, South Carolina, was elected to succeed him.

Mr. Allen had notions, but no idea of how to get along with the





public, and his secretary, Miss Douglas Hand, who was probably the most efficient person ever to do secretarial work in the county up to that time, had even less. Farmers traveled twenty miles to the Superintendent's office on business only to shuffle out after a three minute conference, often with little or no consideration given to their problem. Teachers fared little better.

When the Board of Education realized the need of leadership on the part of the Superintendent, it began looking around for a suitable man for the place. The members of the Board could do little themselves because they came together only one day in the month and were dependent upon the Superintendent for their information and the need for a man with vision was plainly evident.

To give some idea of the extent of the program then under way in the schools, these figures are taken from the budget for the fiscal year 1929-30:

Current Expenses$112,889.28
Capital Outlay$ 64,309.30
Debt Service$ 19,761.00
Total$169,959.58

To expedite the business sessions of the Board it was decided to hold at each meeting an open session, followed by an executive session. After every one had been heard doors were closed and the business transacted.

Mr. Allen advised that employment of teachers holding Elementary B Certificates be reduced by 40% throughout the county and that not more than 10% of the white teachers be allowed to hold a certificate as low as Elementary B.

This arbitrary action caused much dissatisfaction among the older teachers of the county, many of whom had splendid records as teachers and on whom the system had grown to its present importance.

While the State talked about plans for increased salaries and retirement for the aged, these old standbys were turned out to graze. The 10% were put on a salary of $45.00 per month.

Allen probably took the step because of pressure from the Raleigh office, but in many cases grave injustice was done and in Onslow it added to the unpopularity of the Superintendent. No one seemed to think of a retirement fund for teachers based upon years of experience and work done.

For some time the County Welfare officer was mainly interested in effectuating the Compulsory Attendance Laws and operated under the County Superintendent. Mrs. W. T. Cox of Catherine Lake first acted in this capacity followed by Miss Leah





Thompson, whose death in September, 1929, occasioned the adoption of resolutions by the Board in her honor. Mrs. Hilda G. Kite of Fayetteville filled the unexpired term.

Mrs. Kite was re-elected July 1, 1930, but a month later the Welfare Office was put upon an eight month basis and the salary fixed at $750.00 per annum. Mrs. J. N. Sanders entered upon this service August 4, 1930.

Probably for the first time in the county's history the Superintendent refused to O. K. the contract made by the trustees of the Swansboro School with a prospective principal for the school. After a hearing in the matter the Board upheld the Superintendent.

Fire destroyed the Jacksonville School building during the spring of 1930 and a contract was let for another to cost $39,145.50 with an additional $5,700.00 allowed for the installation of plumbing and heating. The site was moved from the south side of College Street to its present location on New Bridge and Warlick Streets.

The Board of Education and County Superintendent joined in asking the Onslow representative in the Assembly of 1931 to remove all special tax enactments for school supplements and to levy instead a general county tax of twenty cents on the hundred dollars property evaluation.

This last act would have gladdened the heart of Mr. Thompson, whose death had occurred a few months before, because the completion of the five central schools and a uniform tax for schools throughout the county had been his goal for many years. The program he had worked out years before.

When a Superintendent of Public Instruction was to be elected in 1931, eleven candidates’ names were filed with the Board. Standing in favor with the Board was B. B. C. Kessler with two votes, A. H. Hatsell with two, and John W. Hargett with one vote. After many days and 155 ballots, Mr. Kessler was named County Superintendent by a three-two vote, May 11, 1931. Even then, at a meeting of the Board held a week later, some of the members tried to rescind their action and passed a resolution demanding that Kessler refuse to accept the appointment or resign from the office; Kessler did neither, but entered upon his duties at the beginning of the fiscal year July 1, 1931, and nothing more was done about it.

Mr. Kessler was perhaps the ablest school man yet connected with the Onslow system, but factional politics had gotten into the operation of the schools. The office had become a political football, bandied about by whatever faction happened to be in the ascendancy at the time, and Kessler's political setup was unfortunate from the first.





The office of Welfare was again consolidated with the Superintendent of Education in 1931 and the salary fixed at $1.00 per year and 6¢ per mile.

The Nation was then in the middle of a financial depression and the national government was spending money for public improvements as rapidly as possible in order to stimulate employment among the people. Many people were in need, and jobs could not be found.

The Georgetown School

Included among projects sponsored by Onslow was that of a County-wide high school building for Negroes. Up to this time, little had been done for the education of Negroes beyond the mere operation of schools throughout the county. The county had not yet adopted a policy of pupil transportation for Negroes and when the Georgetown Parent-Teachers Association in 1931 offered to present to the county a ton truck to be used in transporting high school students from distant places in the county, the board agreed to accept the truck so that license plates could be had at state rates, but refused to pay for the gas and oil used in the vehicle even though school trucks had already been in operation in the county a number of years. Upon completion of the Georgetown School, however, buses operated from throughout the County.

Also, colored citizens had solicited and contributed brick and other material while, with the County acting as sponsor, federal funds were used in the construction of the building, the cost being around $30,000.00. It is the only colored high school in Onslow and draws its patronage from throughout the county.

1942
WhiteColoredTotal
No. children 6-213,8492,0205,869
Enrollment Elementary School2,6541,1943,848
Enrollment High School9392141,153
Length term in days160160160
Vocation Teachers606
Elementary Teachers6834102
High School Teachers30535
Total Value Bldgs. & Equip.$465,366$48,000$513,366
No. Buildings141630
Average value each$ 33,240$ 3,000
No. Buses in Use38341

Total Disbursements All Purposes $278,486.98





Two other projects were the erection of a gymnasium at Richlands and at Jacksonville. The Richlands school already had obtained a home for its principal some years before.

The 1933 election resulted in the selection of Mr. A. H. Hatsell of Belgrade as Superintendent. Mr. Hatsell was Principal of White Oak School at the time of his selection and is a native of Onslow County.

The State Takes Over

A drastic change in school affairs took place in 1933 when the State assumed the operation of all schools in the State. This step was taken in view of the fact that the nation was then in the midst of a financial depression, as a result of which the county was unable to collect the taxes and so could not pay the teachers.

Briefly, the act provided for the abolition of all local tax levies, the cost of the operation being assumed by the State. Physical equipment, such as buildings, buses, etc., however, were still to be furnished by the county. In this way every child in the state was provided an eight months school term and the state guaranteed the operation. Much dissatisfaction was caused by the drastic cut in salaries that year, but this appears to have been necessary if the schools were to operate at all.

Total current expense for the year 1933-34 for the whole state amounted to $18,296,363.78, a decline of more than five and three-quarter million dollars in a single twelve-month period.

In the general slashing of expense of State which followed, as usual its educational system suffered first and most. (Here it should be said that no other state employees received cuts in salary comparable to that of the teachers, and some of those higher up actually received an increase in salary.) Some teachers accepted script in lieu of cash and continued the work.

The total result of the change in operation begun in 1933, however, proved beneficial to the state as a whole. Many children under the new setup attended school eight months for the first time, and throughout the state terms were made equal. After a year or two legislative appropriations were increased beginning at sixteen million dollars in 1933-34 and reaching twenty-seven million in 1940-1941, this providing increased salaries for teachers and other employees for the extension of the system to include a twelfth grade, and later a ninth month was added to the length of term throughout the state.

Since 1937 basal elementary books have been furnished free of cost to the students but most of the high school pupils of the state still are renting all of their books.





Onslow Grows Up

Since 1942 the pupil enrollment had grown by leaps and bounds while little preparation had been made to house the overflow. Some officials had even entertained the idea that the rush would soon be over.

Tax valuation had remained low in spite of the natural increase which had taken place, and few officials realized the extent of the problem which now presented itself for solution.

In the meantime, prices of building material and real estate had gone sky high. It seemed as if the bear had outgrown his master and was no longer manageable.

When the new Board took over April 4, 1951, the schools of the county were literally “bursting at the seams.” The influx of new pupils arriving annually had far exceeded any plans the Board of Education may have had. The imagination of the County Commissioners could not conceive of the steps necessary to put the County in position to furnish modern educational facilities to such vast and increasing numbers of pupils without disturbing “the tax rate” which had long been sacred in the politics of Onslow County. In fact, an effort was made to lower it in face of the overwhelming needs of the schools. It seemed that at last the irresistible force had met the immovable object right here in Onslow County with the education of its thousands of children at stake.

Classrooms and more classrooms was the crying need. School cafeterias had been cut up into classrooms, teachers were trying to keep school under stairways, in old out-buildings, garages, etc., while no plans were in sight and no money available with which to make any more space. The Board was aware that if by any chance the buildings could be secured, thousands of dollars more would be necessary to equip them for use. Then, too, the demand for physical education buildings (gyms) in the larger schools had become almost constant. There were in the county only two old gyms, one of which had already been condemned as unsafe for use.

In preparation for some move to be made, a panel of educators composed of Dr. W. A. Stumpf of Duke University, Dr. Leo Jenkins of East Carolina College, William P. Duff, Engineer for the State Board of Education, and Mr. O. P. Johnson, Superintendent of Schools, Duplin County, was asked to make a survey showing the needs of the schools at the time.

The first proposal was the issuance of County bonds in the amount of $1,100,000. The issue was approved by the voters on May 31, 1952. The bonds were sold for $1,108,542.

The Federal Government provided funds to assist in schooling what was known as “Federally Connected” children, whose parents





were employed in the Federal service. This fund increased from year to year and the increasing number of children enrolled added very substantially to operating cost and capital outlay funds. The increase in taxable property valuations multiplied time and again, especially at Jacksonville, Swansboro and Dixon Schools, thus bringing in additional funds.

(Note: Lack of space prevents the recital of many important happenings which should be recorded here. For detailed account see “Minutes of the Board” in the office of the Superintendent of Schools, Jacksonville, N. C.)

Following are some of the major projects promoted by the Board to April, 1955, together with additional classrooms, storage, etc., and the construction of gymnasiums at all High Schools now, tend to the most adequate school operation in the history of the County:

1952Clayde A. Erwin Elementary School
1953Georgetown High School
1953Silverdale Elementary School
1954Swansboro High School
1955Northwoods Elementary School

Major additions have been made at Jacksonville High, Georgetown, Dixon, Thompson Elementary, Richlands, White Oak and Swansboro Elementary. Modern gymnasiums have been constructed at Jacksonville, Georgetown, Richlands, Dixon, White Oak and Swansboro. Multi-purpose rooms have been completed at Woodson Elementary, Northwoods, Silverdale and Clyde A. Erwin.

Onslow school population continues to grow, however, and Superintendent Hudson has estimated that it will be necessary to construct a new 12 classroom building each year if the County is to care adequately for its children.





WALTER M. THOMPSON

Walter M. Thompson was a great educator, a teacher who understood and loved youth. He knew the educational processes and could detect a good teacher on sight.

Moreover, he lived in a period in the State's history in which he “fitted in.” It came natural for him to administer the State's program in Onslow—the great program of the illustrious Aycock and the educational forces which were making themselves heard in the State at the time.

Son of Jonathan W. Thompson and Levicie Brown, he was born during the Civil War (1862) and grew up during Reconstruction, and the financial depression which followed. Educated at Trinity College, he began teaching at the old Richlands Academy. How many years he taught there we do not know.

In 1884 he married Miss Minnie Cox, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Cador Cox of Richlands.

In 1902 he was the successful candidate and was elected to represent the county in the General Assembly, where he served only one term, and in 1904, became County Superintendent of Schools. In this capacity he served the County continuously for 23 years.

In 1927 his health began to fail, which made necessary his retirement, at which time he became Superintendent Emeritus.

In 1890, he connected himself with the Methodist Church. He was the teacher of the Bible Class in the Methodist Sunday School at Jacksonville, serving the church in this capacity until ill health caused his retirement. He was faithful in the church, a student of the Bible and religious thoughts. During his illness, whenever his pastor or his close friends visited him, he frequently gave expression to his interest and beliefs in the great truths of God.

He was a member of the Masonic fraternity—a member of LaFayette Lodge #83 at Jacksonville, a member of the Chapter, the Council and The Knights of Templar, he was a Shriner and one of the charter members of Sudan Temple in New Bern, North Carolina. He loved Masonry and his Masonic brethren. They esteemed him and honored him with many offices in the lodges of which he was a member.

Mr. Thompson, upon the death of his first wife, in 1913 married Mrs. Beatrice Dixon and the tribute he paid to her in his will many years later is beautiful and impressive. He died in 1930.

In 1954 the great elementary school on College Street in Jacksonville was, upon the suggestion of Mr. Parsons Brown, Chairman





of the Board of Education, named in honor of Mr. Thompson. On April 15, 1954, an oil portrait of him presented by his daughter, Mrs. Agnes Humphrey, was dedicated in his honor. The address was made by Honorable E. W. Summersill. In attendance were teachers who had formerly taught under Mr. Thompson. The Thompson School is a fitting monument by a grateful people to a great man.





WORLD WAR I

The First World War began in Europe in 1914.

For several years prior to this time a struggle had been going on between England, France, Germany, and to a lesser degree Russia and Austria also, for possession of undeveloped territory in Africa, Asia and the Islands of the Pacific.

To tell the story in detail would be impractical here, but owing to their geographical location and to the aggressive colonial policies, England and France rapidly gained supremacy, especially in Africa and the Mediterranean area. This led Germany to the belief that much of the advantage held by these nations had been gained at her expense.

In preparation for the struggle the nations of Europe began aligning themselves into balance-of-power groups. This, however, made little change in the course of events and Germany soon believed that she not only was losing her “Place in the Sun,” but had little share in the colonial possessions of the world anywhere.

Claiming self defense, Germany began the building of a vast military machine, whose might was intended to conquer any who might oppose her. As time went on the German Government became more powerful and assumed an arrogant attitude toward other nations and became aggressive and difficult to deal with. The German people were taught to regard themselves as superior to other races, and as such, destined to become master of the world.

The need for living space in Germany was becoming acute also, while much territory lay around her occupied by what she considered inferior peoples whose governments were less powerful than her own.

Such was the “set-up” in June, 1914, when the Crown Prince of Austria was assassinated while on a visit to the Serbian city of Sarajevo.

Immediately ultimatums and demands passed between the governments of Europe. Alliances already made, by which one nation pledged aid to its ally, soon involved all Europe in war. The boom of guns and the tread of marching feet soon shook all Europe to its foundation.

As the war progressed, a blockade of Germany was declared by the Allies. Germany, whose navy was no match for the British fleets, retaliated by opening a campaign of unrestricted submarine warfare against England and France.





The United States Becomes Involved

President Woodrow Wilson had all along protested the sinking of neutral ships with consequent loss of life. In spite of these warnings, the United States received a note in which Germany announced that on February 1, 1917, she would stop all commerce with England, France and Italy with every available weapon and without further notice, within certain prescribed zones designated by her. She condescended to allow one steamer per week to visit England, provided it bore the proper markings which she had named, and entered and returned on specified days. All other American ships found in this zone would be torpedoed, she said. This was a virtual declaration of war by Germany.

President Wilson, who had exhausted every effort to remain neutral and had protested lawless acts by any of the belligerents during the war, now saw that we must fight or remain out of the war under very humiliating circumstances. This was, of course, unthinkable.

The President, on April 2, 1917, went before the Congress and asked for a declaration of war on Germany. Two days later Congress completed its action and a state of war was declared.

In May, 1917, an Act of Congress provided for the raising of an army by conscription. Under its provisions all male persons between the ages of 21 and 30 years were required to register and be numbered in the order of registration. From this list inductees would later be taken.

Which registrant would be called first was determined by drawings held at Washington City. The States were for administrative purposes subdivided into districts. North Carolina was divided into an Eastern and a Western District with Onslow, of course, in the Eastern. District Headquarters were at Goldsboro.

Local Boards, whose duty it was to activate the program of the War Department locally, were made up of individuals familiar with local conditions and persons; men who were known to be capable, reputable and representative citizens who would be the best judges of the equities of law in its application to their neighbors.

To the Local Board the prospective draftee went to register. From it he received all instructions prior to the date of his entrainment for military camp.

June 5, 1917, will be remembered as the first Registration Day. On that date the names of all male persons between the ages of 21 and 30 were to be recorded in order of their registration. On that date 1,193 of Onslow's young men registered for whatever the future might bring.





For those who had reached the age of 21 years since June 5, 1917, another registration was called for June 5, 1918, and still another on August 25th the same year. In these two last registrations 138 were added to the list of Onslow eligibles.

The rapidity with which the men were being called to the colors can be realized when we learn that nineteen days later a fourth registration was called for. Under the latest call ages of men had been lowered to 18, and included those up to 45 years of age. This call added to those available for selection to military service 1,587 additional names.

The grand total for Onslow in the four registrations numbered 2,918 men. Of these only 420 were accepted at camp. 540 persons received military deferment because of dependency.

From the Recapitulation sheet in the office of the Adjutant General in Raleigh we have the following facts concerning Onslow County men enlisted or inducted in the various branches of the service, viz:

ARMY
WhiteColoredTotal
Enlisted or inducted262131393
Killed in action33
Wounded15318
Died of wounds22
Died of disease4610
Died of disease domestic224
Deserters112
Dishonorable discharge11
Total290143433
Army Officers—5.
NAVY
Enlisted and inducted66
Officers2
Total6868
MARINES
Enlisted and inducted22
GRAND TOTAL ALL SERVICES503

Killed in action:

Pvt. William L. Morton, Hubert, N. C., October 5, 1918.

Pvt. William C. Meadows, Hubert, N. C., September 29, 1918.

Pvt. Leslie Foy, Verona, N. C., September 29, 1918.





Fatally wounded:

Pvt. Dolphus C. Cooper, Jacksonville, N. C., died July 27, 1918.

Cpl. Elmer J. Higgins, Jacksonville, N. C., missing October 2, 1918, died October 5, 1918, in field hospital at Antruche.

All those who lost their lives in the war from Onslow were attached to the Infantry.

Bibliography

Records in the Office of the Adjutant General, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Thanks to Miss Betsy Lane.





PROSPERITY AND PANIC
Emergency Relief in Onslow

There are always those who are on the verge of need, but during the period 1930-35 millions of others were out of work due to the closing of the mills and factories throughout the country. Every great city had bread lines and business was at a standstill. “The country was in the midst of a depression, and public confidence was at a low ebb.” “Throughout the nation there was fear, and hunger was almost as widespread.” No one seemed to know what to do, and conditions seemed to grow worse without any relief in sight. Farm marketing had reached such a low ebb that there was no organized market for anything. Fine tobacco sold for ten cents per pound, and lower grades were passed over without a bid. The cotton and corn markets had disappeared altogether.

All hope of financial survival passed when the banks, large and small, began to fail, and one after another went into bankruptcy.

Such was the condition of the country when Franklin D. Roosevelt came to the presidency in 1933. Immediately upon taking the oath of office, he ordered every bank in the country closed for examination. Only those found to be operating on a safe basis were allowed to reopen. To prevent hoarding, all the gold in the country was called in.

There were two banks in Onslow: Jacksonville and Richlands. The Jacksonville bank closed only long enough for examination, was found solvent and reopened for business. The Richlands bank had already closed its doors, but the liquidation of the bank's assets paid the depositors in full.

To assist in the rehabilitation of the people, a number of Federal agencies were initiated, in only two of which we are interested here.

Among the earliest steps taken to relieve unemployment the Civilian Conservation Corps came into being March 31, 1933, which the President called “An essential step in the emergency.” The work of the CCC included reforestation, fire prevention, flood control and soil erosion, and the control of plant pests and disease. One of the camps, “Camp Hoffman,” was located near Belgrade in Hoffman Forest. The forest contains 83,000 acres and is owned by the North Carolina Forestry Foundation, is used as a testing laboratory for students of Forestry at State College, Raleigh. The camps were operated military style and only young, single men were selected to do the work.

The Federal Emergency Relief Administration was set up two





months later in North Carolina, known as the “North Carolina Emergency Relief Administration.” Its duty was in the fields of employment on public works, agricultural aid and direct relief. For the farmers everything necessary to the making of a crop was furnished, including fertilizer, seeds, mules and even the subsistence of the farmer while he made and marketed the crop. Flour and meat, when available, was distributed to the workers cooperating, while clothing was furnished to school children where urgently needed.

The State was divided, for administrative purposes, into Districts. Onslow was in Districts 25-26, which included Carteret, Craven, Jones and Pamlico Counties. The Administration office was at New Bern.

Without giving all personnel connected with the work in the District, Mr. Marion A. Cowell became Rural Rehabilitation Supervisor. Assisting in Onslow was Mrs. Sallie Lee Venters, Senior Case Worker; Mrs. Sallie Saunders, Junior Case Worker, and Mrs. Olethea Teague, Clerical. K. D. Pittman became Works Assignment Clerk, D. D. Justice and L. H. Millis, Farm Foremen, and Mrs. I. W. Starling, Homemaker.

Without attempting to list all possible operations in which the E. R. A. was authorized to cooperate, the following projects were completed in Onslow during its operation, with cost shown in round numbers, amounting to a total expenditure of $89,974.10. We list the following projects:

Drainage in Towns$ 157.
Folkstone2,255.
Deppe Road Repair5,599.
Walton Road Repairs4,425.
Dixon-Sneads Ferry4,647.
Oyster planting2,939.
Swansboro shells on street2,372.
Sanitary privies at schools2,745.
Jacksonville Garage and Gym2,964.
Painting the above1,734.
Drainage engineering in county508.
Turkey Creek Drainage1,854.
Richlands gymnasium5,300.
Queens Creek Bridge2,539.
Sewer, City Reservoir2,299.
School lunches county199.
Sneads Ferry sewing room5,745.
Bedding oysters6,496.
Canning food1,334.
Farm and garden supervisors729.
Repair public buildings490.





E.R.A. Warehouse at Jacksonville2,816.
Administrative5,724.
Jail repairs153.
Records188.
Janitor177.
Survey fishermen89.
Swansboro streets391.
Richlands drainage56.
Richlands drainage1,027.
Drainage engineer368.
Relief nursing66.
Home-Makers962.
School repairs3,233.
Swansboro Ice House1,020.
Clerical (three items)1,370.
Total reported in Onslow County$89,974.

For the period April 1934 to March 1935. The population of Onslow (1930) was 15,289. Of these 1,035 persons received relief in some form during 1935.

The County's population was divided into 3,045 families. Of these 208 received relief in 1935.

Per capita expenditure for relief $2.02 against a State average of $3.13. This represented for each client $3.49 against a State average of $3.10.

Liquidation of the E.R.A. began December, 1935. Mrs. Thomas H. O'Berry's report, from which this information is taken, was published September 1, 1936.

Note: Besides the above projects, the story of the Bethany Baptist Church should be included here. The story can be found in the section, “The Church in the County,” under The Missionary Baptist Church.






[Illustration:

Front row (l. to r.) Miss Leah Franck, Mrs. Sandlin, J. Parsons Brown, Mrs. Kate Hurst, Mrs. T. B. Koonce, Mrs. May F.
Koonce, Mrs. Richard Sylvester. Back row: Nere E. Day, Mrs. Sallie Franck, Mrs. Leone Winstead, Mrs. N. E. Day, H. M.
Loy, I. J. Kellum, and J. Rhem Taylor. Part of the corps of teachers who had taught under the supervision of Walter M.
Thompson (April 15, 1954).

]





WORLD WAR II

In spite of President Wilson's plea to make the world safe for democracy, governments in Europe following the first World War bore little resemblance to democracy as we know it. True, Germany at Weimar in 1919 formulated a constitution, set up a republic and elected a President, but the republic was destined to be short lived. Meanwhile over in Italy, Fascist bands, headed by Benito Mussolini, overthrew the constitutional government and set up a dictatorship where democracy and civil liberty were destroyed, and war and brute force glorified in their stead. Taking a cue from Mussolini in Italy, Hitler in Germany, with his National Socialists in 1933 destroyed the republic, suppressed all civil liberty and began a persecution of minorities which culminated in cruelty beyond anything yet known to man. Disregarding all treaties, Hitler raised a vast war machine and resumed the bullying tactics of the old German Empire against its weaker neighbors. As time passed, Germany grew bolder and started active warfare by marching on to Poland. As in World War I, this attack upon a nation brought in allies on both sides, and the world was soon in the midst of another world war.

The President, from experience previously gained in World War I, made little pretense of neutrality and took a number of steps leading to preparedness for war. In close contact with Winston Churchill, Premier of Britain, plans were made to keep open the sea lanes between America and Britain at all costs. A lend-lease program implemented the delivery of vast quantities of war supplies to the nations at war with Germany.

A number of American ships had been sunk by the Nazis and on October 27, 1941, the President informed Congress that Germany had started a war on the United States. Japan, bound by agreement to the German and Italian Axis, on the morning of December 7, 1941, attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Of course, Congress declared war on Japan, and the war assumed world wide proportions for this nation on two fronts.

Registration and induction methods similar to those used in the first war were used in the second, but instead of entraining for camp, Onslow men were sent by bus directly to Ft. Bragg for induction.






[Illustration:

Onslow County, Showing Township Boundaries
]


[Illustration:

Onslow County, Showing Camp Lejeune and Hofmann Forest.
]





Onslow's Part

Onslow County Local Board consisted of W. D. Collins, S. William Shaw, Cleveland C. Hines, A. T. Redd, Sr., Charles E. Warn, W. Lee Humphrey, Edward B. Smith and A. M. Frazelle.

Physicians included Drs. J. P. Corbett, W. T. Turlington, John P. Henderson, Sr., George E. Gurganus, H. W. Stevens and Ludlow R. Turner.

The Registrants Advisory Board included I. J. Kellum, Timmons Jones and J. J. Cole. The Appeal Board included John D. Warlick and G. W. Phillips.

The total number of registrants in the five registrations up to 45 years of age counted 4,473. The over-age registrants (45-65) numbered 1,478.

When quotas for the counties were calculated, credit was allowed for all those in service, which showed National Guard 1, Army, Navy and Marine 136, leaving a net quota of 95.

While numbers called, etc., are not plain, in Onslow the total rate of rejections 1940-1945 averaged 48.9 of those called.

The white rejectees numbered 39.8% or approximately 4 out of every 10 examined.

The colored rate reached 59.9%, or about 6 out of each ten up for examination.

Besides rejections, deferment was allowed when necessary. Agricultural deferments in Onslow numbered 366, or 11.3%. Hardship in the home deferments totaled 10 persons. There were no conscientious objectors in Onslow.

Of these figures the total number of rejections is a sad commentary on the health and welfare of the county's young men. Onslow rated 61 among the counties of North Carolina. There were 60 counties having a better percentage rating than Onslow and 39 counties having a lower percentage of acceptance than this county.

Figures on inservice acceptances 1941-1946 showed:

Inductees (drafted)1336
Enlistees (volunteers)194
Non Registrants (in service)284
Total1814

During the war the National Guard was taken into active service leaving the State without a militia to serve as home guard. The Assembly passed an Act providing for the organizing of Home Guard. This was done by the Governor on February 24, 1941. The Home Guard service expired July 15, 1947.





Camp Davis

Camp Davis Anti-Aircraft Training Center constructed in 1940-41 cost in the neighborhod of $40,000,000 to construct the camp and related installations exclusive of the training program carried on there. It consisted of more than 3000 buildings, a large electric power plant, a central heating plant for the 2000 bed hospital, a large sewage disposal plant, water purification plant, etc. Approximately 50,000 acres of surrounding lands were utilized in the training and practice there. The reservation extended from the Atlantic and included several miles of artillery firing range.

In November, 1940, a call was sent out for help. Tradesmen, mechanics, carpenters, electricians, everyone who could, or thought he could hold a job moved on to the pine barrens of Holly Ridge to “get a job.” Wages were high, higher than most people of Eastern North Carolina had ever known. Men used to making two and one-half dollars a day with a hammer and saw began to work at “eight dollars for eight hours” with time and a half for overtime.

The call was not, however, confined to Onslow County but reached out a hundred miles in every direction. Special trucks began daily runs from Greenville, Wallace, Goldsboro and elsewhere to Camp Davis and return, bearing hundreds of men bent on the constructing of a modern military camp overnight. Cabins and camps began to rise in the wiregrass and soon numbered hundreds. Among the men there soon appeared a sprinkling of women and the town of Holly Ridge began to take shape. Holly Ridge proper, which was before this time a single store with a Post Office, soon took on mushroom proportions and included among its business houses hotels, shoeshops, drygoods stores, a bank and many other classes of business too numerous to list here.

Camp Davis was named in honor of the late Major General Richmond Pearson Davis, whose distinguished military career covered another period of the nation's history.

The Camp was under command of Colonel Adam E. Potts, CAC. The first troops arrived there in April, 1941.

Camp Lejeune

Camp Lejeune, largest all purpose Marine Base in the country, is located on both sides of beautiful New River in Onslow County, and is also the county's largest industry. It represents an investment by the Government of upward of $300,000,000.00 since 1941. With an annual payroll of $65,000,000.00 the area covered by the Base includes 85,000 acres of land and 26,000 acres of water. There are approximately 150 miles of paved road, 100





miles sidewalk, 150 miles electric lines and 175 miles telephone lines. To give some idea of the number of buildings, or square feet of floor space, or utility of the various units is impossible here. Needless to say, recreation facilities are available exceeding those to be found in cities of upwards of a hundred thousand population.

Construction was begun in 1940 and the 1st Marine Division occupied Tent Camp in the fall of 1941.

From the land it had been necessary to remove from their homes upward of 720 farm families at a cost of about $1,500,000.00, many of whom left the county for residence elsewhere and some of whom became Onslow's own type of “Displaced Persons.”

Camp Lejeune covers some of the most historic portions of the County including the site of the first settlement at “ye olde Towne Pointe,” made in 1705/6, the site of the first Courthouse on Courthouse Bay when the County was formed in 1731, the Battle of New River when “The Ellis,” a Federal gunboat after a raid on Jacksonville, was on its return shot through by Confederate artillery posted on the bluff nearby, allowing only the escape by Cushing and his men by schooner to the fleet posted outside.

Near the site of the early settlement at Town Point stood the county seat town of Johnston, containing 100 acres on which was constructed a courthouse, jail, stocks and whipping post, most of which was destroyed by a hurricane in 1752 which carried most of it into the river. The beginning of the tradition that Charles Hadnot, a four year old boy, was carried across the river in a pegged log hut and retrieved on Hadnot Point, badly frightened but unharmed. The boy was adopted by the County.

Later Town Point was the center of the McIntyre estate of 2600 acres, on which he built Onslow Hall, where he spent much time while constructing the present railroad from Wilmington to Jacksonville.

Of these, and several other points of historic interest, nine have been marked by the Camp in cooperation with the County Historical Society (1959).

A spur line railroad was built in record time of 60 days connecting the Marine Base with Jacksonville in 1941. Later a line was laid which joined Camp Lejeune with the air facility at Cherry Point.

The reservation was named in honor of Lieutenant General Commandant John A. LeJeune, a veteran of 40 years service in the Marine Corps. General LeJeune led the Second Division of Marines and soldiers to undying glory in France, starting with the Soissons campaign and including St. Mihiel, Mont Blanc





Ridge, Champagne, and the Meuse-Argonne. He remained in command during the Division's march on the Rhine, and until it was withdrawn from the Army of Occupation in August, 1919. The shooting accuracy of his Marines caused General John J. Pershing to remark that “the deadliest weapon in the world is the United States Marine and his rifle.”

Many notable visitors have from time to time visited Camp Lejeune, including in the early months of construction a visit by Secretary of the Navy Knox, July 16, 1941, and on December 18, 1944. President Franklin D. Roosevelt inspected the camp, being the only time since George Washington that a President of the United States has visited Onslow County.

Camp Lejeune is designed for beauty as well as utility. The grounds have been landscaped, graded and planted, the buildings conform to the master design which includes the waters of the river, creeks, sounds and ocean front. Together they make up a vision of unsurpassed beauty.

Plans for man's worship of his Creator have not been forgotten. There are Chaplains—Protestant, Catholic and Jewish—with houses of worship specially provided in the Protestant Chapel with a seating capacity of , and the Catholic Chapel seating approximately . Smaller units meet elsewhere as arranged from time to time. Also, there are chapels at Midway. Tarawa I and II, and at Camp Geiger convenient to the area.

Camp Lejeune is almost sufficient unto itself.

World War II Honor Roll for Onslow County

Killed in ActionHoward Horne
Norwood E. BrinsonJohn A. Ingram
John W. Burton, Jr.Jacob Morton
Jerry M. ChadwickPreston D. Phillips
William L. CrewsJames E. Rhodes
William F. ErvinCalvin W. Willis
Homer G. HoldenHarold E. Yopp
Claude J. Huffman
Leston P. MeadowsDied of Wounds
Ray C. ParkerCyrus H. Hadnot
Ray L. Ramsey, Sr.John M. Sandlin
Samuel WilliamsRowland Pierce
Noland D. Yeomans
Lloyd FoxDied Non-Battle
Cecil M. GurganusRaymond W. Barlow
Julian R. HargettWinfred G. Cobb
C. N. Henderson, Jr.Olliver W. Humphrey
Charles W. HendersonBarney O. Kellum





Pete ThomasDeath cause undetermined
George J. BasdenMarvin E. Lancaster
Eugene W. CowellFred J. Stevens
Carl N. JonesJoe M. Sutton
Adolphus S. KellyMissing None

Navy Casualty List

William Henry Berry, StM/3c, Navy

Capt. Richard J. Huerth, Marines

Wallace Berk Marshburn, AMM/1c, Navy

Charles E. Mason, Pvt., Marines

William R. McClary, Cpl., Marines

Percy Meadows, S/2c, Navy

William Gerard Nicholson, CMoMM/1c, Navy

Mack Pennawell, S/1c, Navy

Luther Williams Provow, AMM/1c, Navy

Isaac D. Smith, Cpl., Marines

John F. Suggs, Cpl., Marines





The Dispossessed Persons of Onslow

In all the highly emotional chain of events which happened in Onslow during the selection of sites for Camp Davis and Camp Lejeune, and in the excitement of war and casualties, there remains the picture of the dispossessed persons of Onslow—people who occupied the lands on which it was proposed to build the military installation.

The order to evacuate came to them as a paralyzing shock, leaving them stunned and hopeless and without money with which to move.

These people had never known any other homes but these. For generations the same families had owned and cultivated the same lands. Most of them had never been away from home for more than a day or two at a time, if at all. Moreover, they were ordered to leave the area within a given time, which seemed to them impossible.

These Dispossessed Persons were faced with an immediate problem of:

1. where to go?

2. how to buy a place, if one could be found, not having sufficient funds with which to purchase another farm, even if such lands could be found. What could they hope for?

These questions remained unanswered.

These hopeless people would have been even more desperate had they known that the average time which would elapse between the condemning of the land and the receipt of the check in payment for the property would be about two years.

The problem could not be solved in short order because in their case the Federal red tape was long drawn out.

Actual figures are not available here, but Mr. E. B. Smith, who was active in much of the proceedings at the time, estimates the population who lived in the affected area to have numbered approximately 720 families, or about 2400 persons. The total land acreage he remembers as about 8,500 acres which was appraised at an average value of approximately $12.00 per acre.

Of course, there was much dissatisfaction, first with the fact of the dispossession, but most with the price offered. Several groups appealed to the Federal Court sitting in New Bern, where an average increase of about 12% was allowed. At first the appropriation for purchase of the lands amounted to 1.5 million dollars, but the exact amount spent, if known, would probably exceed that figure.

In any case, the man who lost his lands to the military suffered because of the increased prices he was forced to pay for





other land to replace his own. In some cases the time of resettlement took from two to five years, most of which time was a total loss to the individual concerned.

A number of these good citizens were lost to the county permanently, sufficient land for them not being available. An estimated 10% settled in the adjoining counties of Pender and Duplin, some as far away as Brunswick County.

The tragedy of the event that transpired at the time has been largely lost in the boom of war and inflation, but the impression upon the lives of the victims of the drama, and the heartbreak of those who lost their homes cannot be erased and will remain with the participants as long as they live.

Kellumtown

A large element of those who found themselves dispossessed of their homes were about a hundred families of Negroes, who, far from being confused, took steps to remedy the situation.

On the highway a few miles below Piney Green was a “cow pasture” of about a hundred acres owned by Mr. William Kellum. These people as a group selected William Chadwick as spokesman to see Mr. Kellum for terms of purchase, etc. It was found that the government had allowed for the old property just enough to pay for the land—but what to do for houses.

Anyway, the deal was closed and along through the middle of the site, on a ridge, a street was laid out. Huts began to rise here and there, mostly with dirt floors and some with brush shelters. There was not enough cleared land for gardens and the tobacco acreage which they had been allowed to bring with them from off the base land.

Next to shelter was the need for drainage. “There was no well drained and not enough half-drained land for gardens, and the few acres of tobacco allotment which we had transferred from the old location,” said Chadwick. A visit was made to the office of the Negro Farm Agent at New Bern. “The road man wrote down something on a piece of paper for me. I went to the place in New Bern where he said to go and the Negro County Agent sent me to Mr. Harper, the Soil Conservation man. Mr. Harper and another man with him came right on out.”

According to Mr. Jake T. Harper, the Conservationist working with the Lower Neuse Soil Conservation District, the situation was bad. No field drainage was possible because of no outlet for the water from the field ditches. The main swamp, which was not a wide one, would have to have a ditch through it, drainage was possible, and blasting was the only logical way to do it.

Arrangement was made to get the dynamite, and the ditch surveyed by Harper was blown. Small field ditches were opened





into the new outlet. Everybody shared the cost and the benefit. The cost of the ditch was $840.00 for three thousand pounds of dynamite. Nothing else was bought. The labor to set the charge was all freely given from among the men of the prospective village.

The land was divided into plots from one to seventeen acres according to the needs of each.

An acre of ground was picked for the school. The building was erected and the teacher furnished by the regular school system. Some 45 children were enrolled. (The school was the last one-room school in the county, the students there being transferred to the modern plant at Silverdale upon completion of that building in 1954.

Several of the men have jobs at the Marine Base or elsewhere. Some are tenants on land nearby. Houses now are well built and neatly painted. Whenever there is a job to be done which involves much labor, the word goes out and plenty of volunteer help is on hand to get it done in short order. “There was nothing but water, woods and rattlesnakes when we came here, and it was not unusual to kill from four to seven rattlesnakes in a single day,” says Chadwick.

The church is held in highest esteem here and the membership includes all the village of church-going age.

Kellumtown citizens are proud of their village and it is worthy of their pride.

Within Kellumtown live a hundred or more Negro families who in 1941 represented some of the war's displaced persons on this side of the Atlantic. The job of relocating these DPs of Onslow County posed the same problems that still remain for millions abroad today. The manner in which the Kellumtown Negroes went about their relocation might serve as an example of conservation of soil, of water and of human resources and as an example of good leadership and perseverance.

Bibliography: The major portion of this article appeared in the News and Observer in its issue of May 2, 1948, Section IV, Page 3.

Establishing A Health Department
Building a County Hospital

With the coming of the Base, with the influx of population it was necessary to set up an administration for the control and prevention of disease. To meet this need the Onslow-Pender Health District was set up under the direction of Dr. H. W. Stevens, who made his headquarters in Jacksonville, beginning in December, 1940.

Other offices were opened at Atkinson, Burgaw and Richlands,





and clinics were held from time to time at Midway Park, Holly Ridge and the F H A Trailer Park on Camp Lejeune.

From a small staff Dr. Stevens, with the aid of the American Red Cross, Federal Government (Children's Bureau), Camp Lejeune and Camp Davis officials, supervised and staffed with nurses seven different offices throughout the Pender and Onslow District. During the construction of Camp Davis and Camp Lejeune his offices were the focal point for the required immunizations protecting the more than 200,000 construction workers in Onslow and Pender counties.

The sanitation staff of the department was greatly enlarged to care for the rapidly increasing population, and the food handling establishments increased from seven in 1940 to one hundred and seventy-two in 1943.

The results of the work done by the personnel of the Health District has proven that malaria can be controlled and prevented. Onslow and Pender counties were among the first to receive the use of the new insecticide D.D.T. This work continues in conjunction with the malaria control units.

Dr. Stevens also took an active lead in county and city affairs, including the Onslow County Hospital—this project being opened in April, 1943. Since that time much material aid has come from his department in supporting the Onslow County Hospital.

Three years later the County purchased the hospital and equipment from the Federal Works Agency for the sum of $45,000. This was considered a very good investment, as the original cost is known to have been much more.

Dr. Stevens resigned his work here in 1944 to accept appointment as Director of the County and City of Wilson Health Department.

While here he had a part in, or was connected with, almost every activity or organization interested in civic life or public welfare, was a member of the Baptist Church, a good citizen and a useful man in the community.

In 1951 it was decided to modernize the whole unit and the County voted $250,000.00 with which to finance its part of the cost. The 6.15 acre site was retained and the present modern well equipped 75 bed hospital was completed. Onslow citizens are proud of their new hospital.









MODERN ONSLOW BEGINS TO SHAPE UP
The Form of County Government Changed

Prior to 1868 County affairs were administered by the County Court composed of the Justice from throughout the County. The Court tried all cases to come before it and controlled every activity of County affairs.

Under the constitution and laws of 1868 all this was changed. It was provided that a Commission of five persons, to be known as County Commissioners, be charged with control of the County Government. Other county officers included a Sheriff, Treasurer, Register of Deeds, Clerk of Court and Coroner.

The first Board of Commissioners included Christopher Stevens, W. H. Barker, Jasper Ethridge, Bryan Hatsell and D. A. Hargett.

The Slate of County Officers included: Elijah Murrill, Sheriff; Simon B. Taylor, Treasurer; L. W. Hargett, Register of Deeds; and A. C. Huggins, Clerk of the Court.

The Commissioners also acted as a Board of Education, naming James G. Scott as County Examiner.

Townships Laid Out

As soon as bonds of County officers were made and accepted it was the duty of the Commissioners to divide the County into Townships and delineate boundaries for them. Townships were, for voting purposes, subdivided into Precincts.

The Minutes of January 6, 1869, read as follows:

Office of County Commissioners

State of North Carolina

Onslow County

January 6, 1869

At a meeting of the Board of County Commissioners, the day above mentioned, at the residence of Jasper Ethridge: Present Jasper Ethridge, Chairman; Christopher Stevens, D. A. Hargett and Bryan Hatsell.

The Commissioners proceeded to divide the County into Townships according to the following metes and bounds, to wit:

STUMP SOUND TOWNSHIP

Beginning at the mouth of New River and running up the river to the mouth of South West, thence up same (South West) to the main public road leading from Jacksonville to Wilmington, known as Holly Shelter road, thence along said road westwardly





to the Onslow and New Hanover county line, thence southwardly along said line to the sound, or ocean and along the beach or ocean easterly to the beginning.

The election for municipal officers shall be held at a place called “Worm Ridge” located about 4 miles from “The Golden Place,” it being the same where Benjamin Simmons now resides, and known here-to-fore as the Groves or Cooper place.

JACKSONVILLE TOWNSHIP

Beginning at the mouth of the Great North East running up the same North Westwardly to Bachelors Delight, thence down Bachelors Delight to the river, thence across the river to the mouth of Gravelly Run to the head thereof, thence a straight line crossing the main at or near the seven-mile post to the head of Box Branch, thence down the said branch to the South West, thence across the South West to the mouth of Panther Branch, thence up the same along and with the old district line between upper South West and Lower Richlands District to the County line, then down the New Hanover and Onslow county line to Stump Sound Township, thence along said line to the South West prong of New River, thence down the said South West to the mouth thereof at New River, thence across New River to the mouth of the Great North East, the place of beginning.

The place of public meeting or for election of municipal officers to be held at Jacksonville.

RICHLANDS TOWNSHIP

Beginning at the mouth of Bachelors Delight running up the same to the Percoson to the Jones County line, thence along the same to the Duplin County line, thence along the same to the New Hanover County line, thence along the same to the Jacksonville Township line and down the same to New River at the mouth of Gravelly Run, thence across the river to the mouth of Bachelors Delight the place of beginning.

The place of public meeting for the election of municipal officers held at Richlands Chapel, or village.

SWANSBORO TOWNSHIP

Beginning at the mouth of New River, thence eastwardly along the beach or seashore to Bogue Inlet, thence to the mouth of White Oak River, thence up the river to the mouth of Mill Creek, or Boiling Spring Branch, thence up the same to the head, or where it intersects with the original line dividing Swansboro and White Oak Districts, thence along the same to the Percoson





head of Wallace's Creek and down same to New River, and down said New River to the mouth thereof the place of beginning.

The place of public meeting for election of municipal officers to be held at “Linwood” at or near Queens Creek.

WHITE OAK TOWNSHIP

Beginning at the mouth of the Great North East running up same to the Percoson thence with the Percoson to the head of White Oak River, thence down the same to the mouth of Mill Creek or Boiling Spring Branch, thence up the same with the line of Swansboro Township across the New River, and up the river to the mouth of the Great North East prong thereof, the place of beginning.

The place of public meeting for the election of municipal officers to be held at Mr. William Melville's about two miles from the fork of the road where Calvin D. Morton now resides and immediately upon the road leading to the said Calvin D. Morton.

Other items included provision for dividing the County into school districts, of which there were 23, and the appointment of Committees for each.

It was the duty of the School Committee to ascertain and report:

(a) The number of children, white and black, male and female

(b) Number of school houses “now standing”

(c) Number of houses required to be erected

(d) Number of schools in operation.

The number of deaf, dumb, blind and insane, both white and colored was also determined.

Vestry Day was observed by making a provision for 72 persons and the County Tax Rate included:

.20 cents on the Hundred Dollars for the poor

.05 cents on the Hundred Dollars for schools

.06¾ cents on the Hundred Dollars for County Expense

.90 cents on each poll

Jurors received $1.50 per day while on duty.

The Poor House

The Poor House at Alum Spring being beyond repair, it was decided on November 7, 1871, to purchase a site at the intersection of the old Richlands-Jacksonville and Catharine Lake Road. Christopher Stevens and James Bryan were named to make the purchase, the price agreed being $2.00 per acre. Stevens contracted to build the house and Anthony Rhodes was named “Keeper.” This about completed the reorganization of the County government under the Constitution of 1868.





The County Home

In October, 1924, the County decided to build a new County Home for its poor and voted $25,000 for the purpose.

L. L. Mallard of Kinston, architect, was selected to prepare plans and specifications. The Home was located at the intersection of the Richlands and Wilmington Highways. The construction work was done by U. A. Underwood of Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Dividing Lines

About 1906 a dispute over the line between Onslow and Pender was settled by a survey in which J. I. Heritage, cooperating with a surveyor from Pender located the correct boundary between the two counties. The same method was used in like cases with Duplin and Jones Counties since that time.

The Coming of the Railroads

A Railroad Company known as the East Carolina Railway Company was organized in 1887 at New Bern with C. E. Foy, President.

The purpose of the company was to construct a line to Jacksonville in Onslow County.

Seven years later the company was absorbed by The Wilmington, New Bern and Norfolk Rail Road Company.

During its short lifetime, however, it appears to have constructed the 37 miles between New Bern and Jacksonville.

Another Company known as The Wilmington and East Carolina Rail Road Company with Daniel L. Russell, President, was organized in Wilmington in 1895. Just what this company actually did is not clear, but evidently it, too, was absorbed by the Wilmington, New Bern and Norfolk Rail Road Company, which was also organized in Wilmington, in the same year.

The Wilmington, New Bern and Norfolk lived only 2 years. The only rails laid by this company, according to Emory Houston, reached the city limits of Wilmington toward Jacksonville when a receivership was declared.

The receivership was taken over by the Wilmington and New Bern Railway Company, whose president was Thomas G. McIntyre, a New York financier who was destined to make quite an impression upon Onslow County.

Not only did McIntyre build the Rail Road to Jacksonville, but he purchased the Old Town Point Plantation and constructed “Onslow Hall” as a club house where he spent much time and entertained lavishly. The plantation was operated scientifically. Blooded horses, cattle, hogs and poultry were produced and annual fairs held to exhibit the products of the farm.





The public was invited and visitors from throughout Onslow and other counties came to enjoy the show. A feature of the program was the fine horse racing on a track built for the purpose. Nights were resplendent with balls held at the great House. Electricity was not available, but brilliant burning barrels of tar were placed along the roads from Verona at regular intervals to guide the guests to the point of interest. During its hey-dey the plantation is said to have counted 28 miles of graded roads and employed dozens of servants and operators.

An honored member of the staff of “operators” during “The Gay Nineties” at The Hall is still living here at Jacksonville and remembers many of the incidents and events connected with the noted personalities who gathered there.

Emory Houston was 88 years of age last March. He was born near Richlands in 1867 and has lived in Onslow County all of his life.

Times were hard on the farm in those days and Emory had only three weeks of school. He says however he reached “Baker” in the Blue Back spelling book during that time. At the age of 21 he married Frances James of Stones Bay, born the same year as himself.

He purchased a farm of 80 acres in that community for $200.00; with farming and fishing the family lived very well. He remembers producing five bales of cotton one year, for which he received from 10¢ to 15¢ per pound.

Then came Town Point with its glamour and its cash. The wages were “so much” including a house and garden free of rent. Soon he was promoted to “The House,” where he became personal attendant to the great man himself. Emory and Frances have been married 67 years. They now live at Bell Fork. They have been members of Sandy Run Missionary Baptist Church for more than fifty years. His prayers each night are very personal talks with The Master and the burden of these prayers has always been that God would show him the way to go for another day. In this kind of faith Emory and Frances have each reached the ripe old age of 88 and are still together, heading for the century mark.

Under a New Bern date line of November, 1887, the County was asked to subscribe $60,000 stock in a road to run from Wilmington to New Bern. The plan proposed that construction of the line begin both at New Bern and Wilmington and proceed toward Onslow.

The contract provided that for each mile of railroad laid within the County the Company would receive the sum of $2,000.00, funds to be derived from the sale of bonds which would be floated by the County if the proposal was approved by popular vote. The New Bern branch reached Hawk Side about 1893-4.





The vote being favorable to the issuance of the bonds it was expected that work would begin at once on the construction of the line, when to the dismay of citizens of the county, it was learned that Russell did not intend to bring the Wilmington line to Jacksonville at all, but intended to cross the river at “Nomans-friend” several miles below the County seat. The connection here is not clear because the New Bern line was about completed to Jacksonville. For a while it looked as though the whole plan might fall through. Russell wrote a letter to the County Commissioners saying that he proposed to connect the Railroad with deep water, and besides Jacksonville was 15 miles further and would cost the County a total of $90,000 instead of the $60,000 originally asked for. The mixup seems to have been an effort on the part of Russell to get more money out of the County. No record is available as to why the plans were changed to bring the road to Jacksonville, and it appears that although approved by popular vote no money at all was paid to the Railroad until 1896.

A suit begun by the Company to compel payment by the County, filed in Lenoir County, was compromised by the County paying $40,000 instead of $60,000, and surrendering its stock in the road.

The County issued bonds covering the amount bearing interest at 6%, but at the end of 10 years refunded the balance with bonds bearing only 4% interest. The whole issue was paid off in 1936. The Railroad is said to have paid tax enough to retire the bonds in full.

If one wonders why so many companies were organized with the avowed purpose of constructing a rail line from Wilmington to New Bern, all within a short space of time but with so little accomplished by each, we need to know that the companies of themselves owned little capital but were organized with the hope that the counties through which the proposed line passed would vote bonds to supply the capital.

The exception seems to have been the East Carolina Railway Company organized in 1887 at New Bern with C. E. Foy, President. This Company constructed the 37 miles from New Bern to Jacksonville.

C. E. Foy of New Bern and Daniel L. Russell of Wilmington were the chief competitors; however, their lines were absorbed by the Wilmington, New Bern and Norfolk Railroad. It, too, was sold under foreclosure July, 1897. The new company was the Wilmington and New Bern Railway Company whose President was Thomas G. McIntyre, who gets the credit of completing the line from Wilmington to Jacksonville.

McIntyre sold the Wilmington and New Bern Railroad to the Wilmington and Weldon December 1, 1897. The Wilmington





and Weldon was in turn merged with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company of Virginia on May 2, 1900. The Coast Line was then the third largest railway system in the State.

It is understood that Mr. McIntyre was a very wealthy man from New York. He entertained many of his northern friends on his estate near Verona. After selling his railroad he returned to New York and engaged in some water front activities until his death. Another report is that he made other investments in South America, in which he lost heavily.

The Dover and South Bound Railroad

Sometime about 1900 the Goldsboro Lumber Company built the Dover and Southbound Railroad, first as a timber road, but for about 25 years passenger, freight and mail service was maintained between Dover, Comfort and Richlands. Later the service was discontinued and the road was taken up.

Other timber roads from New Bern and Kinston were built into the County and removed, but no public service was ever offered by them.

A movement to secure a rail line from Lillington to Swansboro was begun in 1917 and a vote by townships was had along the proposed line. In every case the vote was favorable to the proposal, but for some reason the road was never built, probably because of the entrance of the United States into the first World War.

Commercial Waterways in Onslow County

The Inland Waterway runs from Norfolk to Florida, passing through North Carolina via Elizabeth City, New Bern and Wilmington. This important watercourse traverses the entire coast of Onslow. The canal enables shipping to pass safely on its way, free from the perils of Cape Hatteras and other danger spots along the outer coast.

Commercial watercourses in Onslow include, besides the canal, a turning basin at Swansboro and a deepened channel in New River from the Inland Waterway to Jacksonville.

The first improvement of New River was provided for in 1761, when an Act allowed the raising of two thousand pounds for the deepening of the river. One thousand tickets were sold at the Courthouse door. Persons holding lucky numbers drew prizes, and three prominent citizens supervised the lottery. The results are not clear now, but the question was then, as now, the need of a good commercial waterway available to the people of the County.

Nothing else appears to have been done for three quarters of a century until 1836, when the Rivers and Harbors Act of July,





1836, appropriated $5,000.00 for removing oyster rock shoals in the river by dredging. Two years later $20,000.00 was appropriated, and a year later $25,000.00, but for what the money was expended is not known here.

A definite program was set up for New River in 1882, when it was proposed to secure a hundred and fifty foot channel from the upper portion of the river to its mouth, with a depth of five feet at low water, the cost of which was estimated at $40,000.00. Four years later the channel was said to have been at low water “4 feet, narrow and circuitous.” Tar Landing, 8 miles above Jacksonville was the practical head of navigation, though rafting and logging could be carried on for some distance above that point.

The Rivers and Harbors Act of August 30, 1935, and January 20, 1938, provided for a channel 90 feet wide, 10 feet deep. The dredging of the channel to Jacksonville was completed in 1939, and the channel to the inlet in 1940.

The Inland Waterway along the coast from Norfolk to Florida is a great highway of trade and travel, North and South. Barges loaded with commerce, handsome yachts and small craft ply its course daily. Completed through Onslow in 1931, the channel is 90 feet wide and 12 feet deep at mean low water and was, when dredged, a link in the Beaufort-Cape Fear project.

Note: Full credit is gratefully given for all information contained in this paper, and the author wishes to express thanks to the Corps of Engineers. War Department, Colonel B. C. Snow, District Engineer, Wilmington, North Carolina, for data furnished in a communication dated March 21, 1947.

The Development of Light and Power in the County

Prior to 1925 the towns of Jacksonville and Richlands each had a small locally operated electric plant which served a few business houses and lighted the uptown street corners. In that year the Neuse River Electric Company acquired the Jacksonville plant. It served 112 customers.

The Neuse River Company owned distributing systems at Bridgeton, Trenton, Oriental, Vandemere, Bayboro and Pollocksville. The 22,000 volt line was extended to Jacksonville in 1927. The Neuse Company was taken over by the Carolina Gas and Electric Company until 1929, when these properties were acquired by the Tide Water Power Company of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Something of the business acumen of the officials of the Tidewater Company, and its capacity to act in an emergency is shown when we note its growth previous to and during the years from 1938 to 1944. The Company was first ordered to provide power for the construction of a new army camp to be located across





from Holly Ridge. This required a 11,000 volt line. Twelve miles of the line was built in nine days. To meet the critical need all available manpower from the entire company was used on the job. When the camp was completed it required a 110,000 volt line. The line was later extended to the Jacksonville and Camp Lejeune area. The Tidewater rebuilt the 22,000 volt line to New Bern and boosted its power to 33,000 volts in 1943.

As an example of the growth of the Jacksonville area, it is interesting to note that in 1938 the company had a peak load of 150 horsepower in the area. In 1944 this peak had jumped to 8,500 horsepower, and at times even higher.

As a result of this and other activities, the company was awarded the United States Army and Navy awards for meritorious service during the war years. The Tidewater in 1947 served slightly more than 2,000 customers in Onslow County through an interconnected system of 130.6 miles of transmission lines. That same year John Covington, Jr., present manager, was assigned to the Jacksonville office.

The Tidewater Power Company was merged with the Carolina Power and Light Company in 1952.

The Finer Carolina Program

The Finer Carolina Program was initiated in 1952 in an effort by the company to develop the communities it served. Realizing that the company prospers in direct proportion to the development of the communities and adjacent areas reached by their lines, and “to help the citizens to build a prosperous community that is beautiful, complete with modern services, and full of activities for play and recreation.”

A contest is put on each year in which prizes are given for the community attaining the best rating in its class; also project prizes are offered to groups, clubs and other organizations.

The Finer Carolina Program adds up to the finest thing for boosting Eastern North Carolina ever offered in the area.

A first prize for communities was won by Swansboro in the year 1955.

The slogan suggested is “Let's make our town Carolina's Finest.”

How the Farmer Got Lights and Power for His Home

Electric lights and power for use on the farms of the state had long been the dream of farm leaders and progressive farmers throughout North Carolina.

During Governor Bickett's term so many inquiries were received from prospective users of electricity wanting counsel and advice that the Governor in 1917 proposed a law whereby





$5,000.00 was appropirated to employ competent advisors whose service would be available to those who would produce their own power. Sometimes the problem would be whether to harness the creeks and streams on the farms, or to buy individual farm power plants. (The REA had not been thought of at that time.)

The University of North Carolina, in collaboration with the State Highway Commission, cooperated wherever possible by furnishing free advice and at the same time publishing articles to educate the ruralist to the uses and benefits of electricity.

In 1934 Governor Ehringhaus appointed a committee composed of 13 rural leaders to study the problem of bringing electricity to rural areas. The Commission decided to make a surveyfrom which a practical approach to the matter could be determined. Finance was provided by Mrs. Thomas O'Berry, Administrator of the North Carolina Emergency Relief Administration, from Federal funds allowed for the purpose.

Dr. David S. Weaver, Head of the Department of Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State College, was selected as Director of the project. Incidentally, it should be said here that Dr. Weaver has been the prime mover in the rural electrification movement in North Carolina since the first survey was made, and continues to lead rural people into the obtaining and use of electrical conveniences on the farm.

The survey showed the vast interest of the people in the matter. The committee planned as a follow-up, a campaign to stimulate thought and promote action by the General Assembly, the results being the enactment of a law creating the North Carolina Rural Electrification Authority. It was the duty of this body to (a) promote and encourage the use of electric energy in rural areas, (b) assist communities in organizing Electric Membership Corporations, (c) negotiate with power companies, or with the Federal Government and “do all other things which may be necessary to aid the rural communities of North Carolina to secure electric energy.

PresidentRoosevelt, in January, 1935, included Rural Electrification among his Emergency Relief measures, and in April the Congress made available 100 million dollars to initiate and carry on the work of generating and distributing electricity in rural areas. The REA was created by the President May 11, 1935.

It took nearly two years, however, for the State and National Associations to get their plans coordinated. After early in the year 1937 rapid progress was made.

The North Carolina Act of May, 1935, provided for a State Electrical Authority, also provided that in cases wherein public power companies could not or would not furnish the energy needed,





interested individuals may form a Membership Corporation for the purpose of securing a loan with which to construct and operate lines where needed. By June, 1939, all preliminary and ground work for the organization of the Jones-Onslow Electric Membership Corporation had been completed and application was made to the State Authority for a charter.

Trustees for the Corporation included: E. B. Smith, Marines; T. M. Rawls, Verona; Albert M. Venters, Jacksonville; E. M. Philyaw, Comfort; B. C. Gray, Trenton; H. Manley Mallard, Trenton; W. Guy Hargett, Richlands; A. B. Ervin, Richlands and J. L. Sasser, Kinston.

The Jones-Onslow application was approved by State R.E.A. on July 22, 1939, and funds to the amount of 284,000.00 announced from Washington, as allotted to its use on September, 1939. First President of the Jones-Onslow Corporation was E. B. Smith of Marines. Horace P. Cotton was named Superintendent and L. E. Wooten, permanent engineer. The office was located first at Richlands and later removed to Jacksonville, where it remains.

The day is fast approaching when every farm and home will be electrified and life in the County will be given another boost toward perfection.

Telephones in the County

The earliest telephone service to operate in Onslow County seems to have been inaugurated when permission was granted the Home Telephone and Telegraph Company to erect poles and wires to operate telephones throughout the County in 1906. Little information is known concerning the extent of operation, the number of phones, or even the ownership. It is believed that the stockholders were local citizens and the chief promoter was Dr. Ernest L. Cox, a local physician, residing in Jacksonville.

In a few years the local interest was purchased by the Southern Appalachian Telephone Company of Asheville, North Carolina, which was, in turn, acquired by the Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1934. At that time the company had exchanges at Jacksonville, Richlands and Swansboro. The Richlands exchange had 33 telephones, the Swansboro exchange had 15 telephones and the exchange at Jacksonville had 173 telephones all operating on magnetos.

In 1936 the Carolina converted the Richlands and Swansboro exchanges to dial and in 1937 the Jacksonville exchange was converted to dial.

In 1941 Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Company established a dial exchange at Holly Ridge which was serving 599 telephones at the end of that year.





In 1952 the fifth telephone exchange in Onslow County was established when Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Company constructed a dial exchange at Sneads Ferry, which was serving 51 telephones in that area at the end of the year.

Today at the end of June, 1957, Onslow County is served by these five telephone exchanges: Jacksonville with 5,123 telephones, Richlands with 297 telephones, Swansboro with 268 telephones, Holly Ridge with 38 telephones and Sneads Ferry with 86 telephones. A total for the County of 5,812.

The Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Company maintains in this area a modern up-to-date telephone system which furnishes to its patrons service comparable to the best to be had anywhere.

Camp Lejeune has its own telephone exchanges which are operated by authorities at the Base. Excellent service is furnished, including local service to Jacksonville.

At the beginning of 1960 telephones in the County number 8,200 according to an estimate by Mr. Dan Clark, Manager in this area, Jacksonville, North Carolina.

(Thanks to the Carolina Telephone and Telegraph Company, and to Mr. John Reed, Supervisor of Information and Advertising, who in a communication to the writer dated Tarboro, North Carolina, June 11, 1957, furnishes most of the facts noted since 1934.)

Highway Progress in the County

With the advent of the automobile in the County, public sentiment began demanding improvement in public roads.

Around the beginning of the century the Commissioners were besieged with requests for the laying out and constructing of short line roads to connect with the towns and schools of the County, not only, but with routes leading to the markets of the State.

Probably the first special tax voted for road improvement was a $10,000.00 bond issue voted by Richlands Township in 1914. This money was to be spent in the purchase of road machinery. At the time, mules were used as motive power for graders, scoops, etc., and stumps were removed from the widened road beds with a stump-puller. No State system was in vogue at the time, but a good beginning had been made in the County.

The County had contracted the “Good-Roads” fever, which grew in intensity as time went on. To Mr. Rodolph Duffy goes much credit for his public advocacy of this first bond issue, which he did at his own expense in each community in the Township.

When the Board met on the first day of July, 1918, it learned that the sum of $6,700.00 was available from the State to the County for use in making preliminary surveys for labor, materials,





etc., for improving its highways. The offer was contingent upon the County putting up about one-tenth of that sum. The Board accepted eagerly its share of the expense.

Probably no County in the State realized more forcibly the need of good roads than did Onslow, with its vast distances through mud and sand. Public opinion literally compounded in favor of the new road movement. So enthusiastic had Onslow become by 1919 that the County offered to appropriate $250,000.00 to be matched by the State and County funds, and appointed Dr. Cyrus Thompson to accompany the delegation to Raleigh to make the offer and to urge early and favorable action by the State.

The Board asked that the first link of the State System be constructed in Onslow to extend from Tuckahoe on the Jones County line to Swansboro, of course passing through Richlands and Jacksonville.

In order to build and repair County roads and bridges into an acceptable condition, “Road and Bridge Bonds” to the amount of $50,000.00 were issued in 1920. Three outlets were prepared for offer to the State: one north from Richlands toward Comfort, one northwest from Richlands by Jarmantown and one by Waltons Crossroads toward Burgaw.

In 1923 the County's Representative in the General Assembly secured favorable action on a bill allowing the County to vote $300,000.00 with which to further the good roads program, and by October the first $100,000 was made available.

So anxious was the Board for the construction of Highway Number 24 to begin, and the Highway Commission being temporarily out of funds, causing delay, the Board tendered a loan of $400,000.00 or as much as was needed to get the work started at once. A. W. Cooper, one of the Commissioners, objected strongly to the proposal and had his vote so recorded.

For some reason the Commissioners expected the road to be routed by Fountains and Catharine Lake, while the State Board proposed the routing by Beulaville and Richlands. So strongly did the County Board feel in the matter that it instructed its attorney, E. W. Summersill, to secure an injunction against the State and employed Judge L. R. Varser of Lumberton to assist him. Thomas B. Henderson, one of the Commissioners, opposed this action and asked that his vote be so recorded.

The case was withdrawn two years later and a resolution passed advising that in the future the locating of all roads would be left to the discretion of the State Highway Commission.

These Highway Rules were adopted by the State Highway Commission:





(1) No trailer wheels less than 3 inches in diameter to be used on the Highways

(2) No trailer to carry more than 1,000 pounds on 3 inch tires and 350 pounds allowed for each additional inch of tire diameter

(3) Only one trailer allowed to each vehicle

Onslow is crossed by two trunk lines traversing the County roughly from north to south, and from east to west. The first of these is United States Highway Number 17 leading from New York to Florida. In North Carolina this line connects with the cities of Wilmington, New Bern, Edenton and Elizabeth City.

From south #17 enters Onslow at the Pender County line, passing through Holly Ridge, Folkstone, Dixon, Verona and Jacksonville, and crosses White Oak River at Belgrade, a distance of 40 miles. This, being the most important route in the county, was built first. The hard surfacing was completed to Jacksonville by Christmas 1924. The northern half of the line was completed in August (1925). Constant improvement has resulted from widening, resurfacing and other work done from time to time.

North Carolina Highway Number 24 leads from Beaufort and Swansboro in the east, to Fayetteville in the west. Work was begun at the county line near Beulaville in the early part of 1930, and reached Jacksonville before the end of the year. The lower end of the line, however, took much longer.

At first plans were to route the new road by way of Pumpkin Center to Piney Green, and work was actually begun on that road, but the hardsurfacing was begun at Swansboro and completed to Piney Green. It was then decided to cross North East at the present site and money was allocated to build the bridge and the route was finished to Jacksonville in 1934. Since that time lateral roads have become a network leading to every area in the County. For a long number of years the Burgaw highway remained uncompleted but was finally finished in 1949.

A great step forward in construction and maintenance of public roads was made in 1931 when by legislative enactment the State assumed all responsibility for all road work done in the State. What this step meant to the progress of the road program in the State can be surmised when it is known that poorer counties had little road machinery and the county line was the boundary beyond which county road crews could not go. No long range program could be instituted because of financial limitations and lack of trained personnel to carry on the work. These restrictions largely disappeared when the State assumed operation. Since that time the number of miles of roads improved in





North Carolina has multiplied many times and Onslow under the new program has fared well.

When W. Kerr Scott was a candidate for Governor in 1948 he promised if elected to secure much legislation which would benefit the rural areas of the State. Scott was, at that time, fighting the old Democratic machine and many jibes were made at the supposed impracticability or even the impossibility of effectuating such a plan as that being suggested by the candidate for Governor.

When the votes were counted, however, Mr. Scott had been nominated. With the coming of the new year and his inauguration as Governor, and with the convening of the General Assembly the Governor in his message to the Assembly asked that body for action to bring about what he termed “Go Forward” program for the whole state.

Staid members of the Assembly were generally hostile to the Go Forward program, but among the Acts finally secured by the Governor, and other progressives associated with him, was the calling of an election to determine whether the State would, in addition to the usual appropriation made for such purposes, issue $200 million dollars in bonds for the improvement of secondary roads and $25 million dollars for the expansion of schools. The program was approved by large majorities.

The vote in Onslow June 4, 1949, was as follows:

For Road Bonds1928
Against306
For School Aid Bonds1921
Against283

Both issues carried in every Precinct in the County.

The new road program featured “Farm to Market Roads” as well as the standard primary system already being promoted. Old country roads were graded and “black-topped,” thus providing year round service from the rural homes to the highway system then in use.

It should be pointed out that the construction of these secondary roads eliminating the mud and dust, ease of transportation to schools, markets, etc., from the farmer's door marks an advance in good living for rural people second only in importance to the rural electrification program.

Since the completion of this program the State Highway and Public Works Commission has emphasized work along four lines principally as follows: “Rebuilding, Remodeling, Resurfacing and Relocating,” all of which is directed toward improvement and the making of good roads better.





A summary sheet furnished by the Commission shows the present setup of road work in Onslow under five classifications (as of January 1, 1957) as follows:

142.2miles paved Rural State Highways
6.1miles paved Municipal State Highways
207.6miles Paved Rural County Roads
7.0miles Paved Municipal County Roads
223.4miles of unpaved Rural County (Dirt) Roads
Total mileage all roads in the County—1,886.3.

County Historian Named

The first official Historian named for the County was Dr. Cyrus Thompson, who himself had great knowledge of and part in the making of the history of his day and section. He, however, took no active interest in the preservation of that history.

Upon the decease of Dr. Thompson in 1938, the County Board of Education named J. Parsons Brown, then of Richlands, as his successor.

Historical Society Organized

The Onslow Historical Society was organized at the old Methodist Church on Mill Avenue, September 24, 1954. To Mrs. Lillian Russell Ray should go the credit for calling the first meeting and the securing of Dr. D. L. Corbitt of the Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, as advisor in the matter of organization, etc. Mrs. Ray was named first President of the organization.

“The purpose of a Historical Society,” said Dr. Corbitt, “is to produce a history,” and it is hoped that the Society in cooperation with the Historian will not long delay doing just that.

The most historical spot in Jacksonville is the Wantland Spring site, until recently the home of Mrs. Eliza Morton, now deceased. It is located at the east end of the bridge crossing New River on Old Bridge Street.

The spring, which enabled the locating of the Courthouse here in 1755, is still running. The Society has recently secured the purchase of this historic site through the cooperation of the County Commissioners, who donated the initial payment of $1,000.00 at a meeting held July 24, 1957. It is the purpose of the Society to restore the old Morton Home as a temporary headquarters. The lot faces New River the full extent of the short block extending from Old Bridge Street to New Bridge Street, and is potentially a center of culture for the area. It is hoped to erect on the property a modern fireproof structure to house items of historic significance, to contain a collection of materials on the history and genealogy of the County, and to furnish a





home for the Society. The possibilities for future development seem limited only to the amount of interest taken by the people of the Town and County in their own achievements and culture.

Bibliography

Rural Electrification in North Carolina—Deutsch

The Electrification of Rural North Carolina in the University of North Carolina News Letter of February 27, 1947—Weaver

Thanks to Mr. James M. Grainger, Principal Engineer, North Carolina Rural Electrification Authority, Raleigh, North Carolina

Information furnished by the State Highway and Public Works Commission

Minutes: Board of County Commissioners, Registers Office, Jacksonville, N. C.

State Highway and Public Works Commission, Raleigh, N. C.

Two communications, the first dated December 20, 1944, to the writer. Thanks to Mr. W. Vance Baise, State Highway Engineer; the second dated June 26, 1957, also to the writer, thanks to Mr. James S. Burch, Engineer of Statistics and Planning.






[Illustration:

The Richlands Academy.
]


[Illustration:

Adams Schoolhouse and Community Building.
]





FARM LIFE AND LIVING

For more than two centuries the people of Onslow obtained their living from the soil and waters of the county.

Upon reaching this new land the settler bent every energy to building for himself a house, following which he cleared the forest so as to plant food crops. His cleared acreage being small, he fenced it and kept the livestock out. In this way the swamps and pocosins served as a range from which stock could subsist for most of the year. During the early years homes were built along the waterways for two reasons: first, the waterways were used for highways of travel, and second, fish and other seafoods along with wild game supplied meat for the settler's table.

Soon the chipping of long leaf pine for turpentine and resin brought in good money until in Onslow, naval stores became the “money crop.” Tar Landing got its name because from that point the products of the forest were shipped to Wilmington and elsewhere, and it is said that during many years Swansboro led all ports along the coast in shipping of naval stores.

The small percentage of cleared lands as compared to forest explains why Onslow always opposed the stock law long after most of the State had adopted it. The Statewide Stock Law, however, included the County in its provisions, opening the way for the making of pastures and the growing of better livestock.

From 1870 to 1900 lumbering superseded turpentine as the most important industry in the county. By 1900 timber was largely gone from the county and farmers looked for a new source of income. Up to this time little tobacco had been grown but about the year 1900 Mr. Isaac N. Henderson of Hubert, and Dr. J. L. Nicholson of Richlands began experimenting in a small way in its growth. Mr. Henderson planted two acres, which he hauled to the market in Durham. Soon, however, warehouses appeared in Kinston and the tobacco market had its beginning in Eastern North Carolina. Dr. Nicholson's experiment at Richlands included several of his neighbors. Expert curers were secured from the older belt and Richlands soon exceeded all other areas in the production of the golden leaf.

The story is told that a Richlands farmer, learning that tobacco seed could be had at Farmville, in Pitt County. Never having seen tobacco seed, his problem was getting them transported from that place to Richlands. So as to be sure, he hitched a pair of mules to the wagon and headed for Pitt County. To his surprise the seller measured the seed out to him in a thimble, two measures of which he assured the Onslow man would be ample for his needs. Tobacco growing multiplied in Onslow until





it surpassed all other crops in value and has become the money crop. Now the number of acres available on each farm determines the value of the farm.

As time passed by farming became a science and a system was worked out whereby County Agricultural agents were employed to advise with and furnish to farmers the “know-how” of land preparation, fertilizing and production of farm crops. Agriculture classes in school for farm boys who, through experiment and practice, learn the facts necessary to successful farm operation, have grown a generation of farmers who have in turn brought a revolution in farming which together with improved machinery and modern fertilizers have made the former production records look insignificant.

Prior to the Roosevelt Administration the National Government had taken little interest in the farmer's welfare or progress. Price declines and starvation prices received little attention from Washington. The President recommended legislation for providing credit for production of crops and price supports for maintaining prices. For the first time the farmer had the ear of the powers-that-be in Washington.

This, together with the coming to the farms of electric lights and power, and the hard surfacing of farm to market roads, good cars and trucks, tractors, telephones, television and refrigeration have had the effect of revolutionizing farm life and living in Onslow County.

Neil M. Smith

Neil M. Smith came to the County in the spring of 1928, a remarkable man with a program. For nine years he taught, fought, preached and organized, made many enemies and more friends.

No phase of farm life in Onslow but felt the impact of his dynamic personality, and most of them were organized and working when he left here in 1937.

To the soil building program he added 4-H clubs having a membership of 116 in 1930, led farmers of the county in purchasing six pure bred bulls, by which 110 calves were sired the first year.

Under a program of winter cover crops 5,000 acres were planted in 1931, the same year 162 calves were sired, and a record kept of 913 milk cows in the county.

Experiments with other farm crops were made and 22 carloads of stock and 7,009 pounds of poultry were sold cooperatively.

A new venture in buying and selling was begun with the organization in March of 1930 of the Onslow Mutual Exchange.





Nine groups, total 75 persons, subscribed for stock in the new enterprise, which did business during its first eight months amounting to $18,072.34.

The Exchange buys from the farmer and it buys for him. It handles such difficult items as hogs, poultry serum-virus, fertilizer, feeds, soda, rye, oats, barley, rape, Austrian winter peas, vetch, insecticides, bee supplies, tankage, potato plants, etc., etc.

For the first time in history the farmers took a day off to drive over the county and see outstanding work done by others in the county. The caravan of farmers and their wives usually reached Catharine's Lake in time for a picnic spread on the Lake yard. This in spite of the financial depression which was rapidly getting worse throughout the nation.

About this time the Production Credit Association was organized, through which members obtained production loans on which to grow a crop. Business the first year amounted to $26,699.75.

1933 marked the depth of the depression, but the Mutual Exchange did a $50,000 business that year. For those farmers who lacked credit with which to buy needed supplies, a national seed loan organization was set up. Behind each and all of these activities in the county Smith was the motivating spirit.

When the crop control program was inaugurated, the County Agent put it over in Onslow.

Forest fire control started in 1935, a debt adjustment committee acted as intermediary between persons unable to pay debts and their creditors. Advice was given to 54 clients during 1935.

A Civilian Conservation Corps Camp was opened in Hofmann Forest for unemployed youths. The Farm Bureau Federation reached Onslow and the Onslow Mutual Exchange consolidated with the Farmers Cooperative Exchange, an organization covering a number of states, offering the Onslow organization a much wider possibility of services.

Smith considered the organization of the Exchange, its success and growth through a period of financial disaster, as the outstanding project of his administration. He was succeeded by Mr. Hugh Overstreet in 1937.

Onslow County Extension Agents

County Agricultural Agents
J. C. Parker1909-1912John D. Brandon1925-1928
W. B. Murrill (part time)1913-1914Neil M. Smith1928-1937
Hugh Overstreet1937-1944
J. B. Cox (part time)1913-1914Charlie C. Clark1945-1952
Grover Dickey1917-1918J. G. Allgood1952-1956
D. L. Latham1919-1922Donald A. Halsey1957-





County Home Economic Agents
Ava Myatt1918-Margaret Henderson Pierce1946-1947
Janie McFadyn1919-1920
Margaret Martin1920-1922Miss Furches1947-1948
Dana Thompson1922-Edith H. Arthur1948-1950
Kate Alexander1922-Miss Butler1950-1951
Hattie Mae Morrisy1923-Miss Johnson1951-1952
Sallie Brooks1929-1935Carolyn Small1952-1956
Helen Carlton1936-1937Jean Hood1956-1957
Frances Dunn1937-1939Jean Trogden1957-1960
Ruth B. Rhyne1939-1942Olivia Edmunson1960-
Laura Beaty1942-1945





AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE

By DONALD H. HALSEY

The Public Services closest to the people, with the exception of the public school system in Onslow County, are the Agricultural Extension Service, the Public Health Service and the Public Library.

It is the purpose of this chapter to make plain just how these services are administered so as to reach the people.

The Agricultural Extension Service in Onslow County is personified largely by the “County Agent” and the “County Home Agent.” The Extension services are housed in the Agriculture Building on the corner of Warlick and College Streets.

To understand the term “Extension,” the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, by Congress, provided for the setting up at each Land-Grant College a service “to diffuse among the people useful and practical information on subjects relating to Agriculture and Home Economics, and to encourage the application of the same.” These workers have been very aptly called the “Field Faculty,” of State College in North Carolina.

Extension—An Out-of-School System of Education

The work of the agricultural extension service is strictly in the field of education. The mission is education, but not through the traditional classroom approach. Extension is responsible for carrying technical, economic, and social information which has a bearing on farming and homemaking to the people of the State, and assisting them in adapting and using this information to improve their farming and homemaking. The teaching is done on the farms, in the homes, and in the communities by demonstrations, farm and home visits, bulletins, leaflets, radio, television, news articles, etc., with the help of voluntary local leaders. Results cannot be measured in terms of academic achievements but by improvements made by the people themselves through the use of the information and assistance made available to them through the extension service.

It should be pointed out that the State Organization is headed by a Director, and a Home Demonstration Agent, and assistants. Then there is the District Supervisor, Subject matter Specialist, County Farm Agent and assistants, County Home Agent and assistants, including clerical workers. These last two are the local Demonstration Agents.





Program Based on Needs of People

The Extension program includes work with adult men and women and also boys and girls. The major phases might be described as (1) work with adult farmers on all problems of production and marketing, (2) work with adult women through home demonstration work on problems of homemaking and family life, (3) work with rural youth through 4-H Clubs, (4) work with selected families on farm and home development, and (5) work with non-farm and urban people on foods and nutrition, clothing, consumer education, policy, and other applicable subjects.

The Farm and Home Agents have unlimited resources of knowledge and research available to them through bulletins showing the results of tests made at experiment stations on both the National and State.

Laboratory tests are available for special services, such as plant or animal diseases, soil and fertilizer tests, etc.

The scope of the work being done in Onslow can be seen from the following tabulation:

ACTIVITIES REPORTED FOR 1959 IN ONSLOW
Farm & Home Visits Made2,977
Office & Telephone Calls received11,230
Radio & Television Programs given330
Bulletins Distributed16,035
No. Adult Meetings Held424
Attendance12,031
No. Youth Meetings Held487
Attendance29,036

ORGANIZATION:
No. Home Demonstration Clubs17
No. Members of Home Demon. Clubs300
No. 4-H Clubs20
No. 4-H Club Members1,600

The County Farm Agent in Onslow is Donald H. Halsey, and the County Home Agent is Miss Olivia Edminton. They appear to be doing a wonderful job.

(Thanks to Mr. Donald H. Halsey.)





HOME DEMONSTRATION WORK

By SARA ASBELL, Home Economics Agent

Home Demonstration work is a great adult educational program. People are helped where they are and with what they have. It is out of school education of the finest type. Our programs cover all phases of home economics: Foods and Nutrition, Clothing, Food Conservation, Marketing, Housing, Home Management, House Furnishings, Family Relations, Home Beautifying. Our program is flexible, constantly changing as people change and as they grow and develop. Also, a part of home demonstration are the extra curricular programs: music, recreation, good reading, citizenship, health and safety. Today's home demonstration program takes into account that today's homemaker and her family face increasingly complex adjustments to the world around them. Fast changing living patterns, family roles and family relationships in the home and community are broadening the number and scope of problems confronting the family. For this reason adult services to meet the problems are a growing demand and fill an important wide-spread need.

Most women participating in home demonstration programs are trying to learn to live and work congenially with others; to better use time, money and energy to reach family goals; to choose food and clothing, home furnishings, household equipment and other essentials to attain a satisfying way of life; to keep the household running smoothly; to provide a comfortable, convenient and attractive home; to understand the relation of nutritious foods, suitable clothing and adequate housing to the health and well being of each family member.

Stressed in family living programs this year are educational services in planning and managing family resources, in good health, human relations, safety and in consumer information on foods, clothing and equipment.

Onslow County has 17 organized Home Demonstration Clubs with 337 members. The following are names of Clubs and Presidents: Hominy Swamp—Mrs. Everitte Barbee, Taylortown—Mrs. G. H. Sanderson, Bell Oak—Mrs. Jean Parsons, Deppe—Mrs. Marie Adones, Grants Creek—Mrs. R. S. Provost, Southwest—Mrs. Clifton Tallman, Sandhill—Mrs. Fred Hunter, White Oak—Mrs. Linwood Mallard, Silverdale—Mrs. Joseph Riggs, Harris Creek—Mrs. Charles Williams, Sneads Ferry—Mrs. Paul Merritt, Haws Run—Mrs. E. R. Ferrell, Morris Landing—Mrs. Fred Hardison, Piney Green—Mrs. L. G. Aman, Meadowview—Mrs. Emory Greer, Meadow Branch—Mrs. Etta Mae Trott, Hubert—Mrs. Dunnie Frazier.





In addition to these 17 Clubs, the Nine Mile Sewing Club has been organized and there are 20 members.

Home Demonstration Clubs are organized in natural communities and hold monthly meetings in the homes, at the schools, in club rooms or community houses. Home Economic Agents meet with the clubs six times or less a year. Club Leaders are responsible for club meetings six times or more a year.

Each Club has home economics project leaders, 4-H leaders and committee chairmen.

County project leaders are: Foods and Nutrition—Mrs. Johnny Meadows, Home Gardens—Mrs. Joseph Riggs, Home poultry—Mrs. Emory Greer, Home Diary—Mrs. Perry Brown, Food Conservation—Mrs. L. L. King, Housing and Home Furnishings—Mrs. Grayson Fountain, Home Management—Mrs. J. H. Gillette, Family Life—Mrs. W. O. Taylor, Home Beautification—Mrs. John Hall, Clothing—Mrs. James Justice, Arts & Crafts—Mrs. Horace Mazingo, Community Service—Mrs. J. E. Whaley, Health & Safety—Mrs. Royden Caulk, Education—Mrs. Alice Horne, Citizenship—Mrs. Grayson Fountain, International Relations—Mrs. Rachel Taylor, Music—Mrs. A. D. Dalton, Publicity—Mrs. Grayson Fountain, Recreation—Mrs. Nemmie Whaley, Loan Fund—Mrs. Lemmie Taylor, Markets—Mrs. Alma Shepard, 4-H Club Leader—Mrs. Royden Caulk.

Onslow County Home Demonstration Club Council officers are: President—Mrs. Grayson Fountain, Vice President—Mrs. L. L. King, Secretary—Mrs. L. G. Aman, Treasurer—Mrs. Royden Caulk.

Onslow County is a member of the 20th District Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs.

Some other events that the Home Economics Extension Staff are responsible for are:

1. Onslow County Fair Exhibits.

2. Onslow County Dairy Princess Contest

3. Craft Workshop in Manteo each year during summer

Many civic organizations have called upon the Home Economic Agents to give demonstrations for their programs which we are always happy to do.





THE ONSLOW COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH, ITS STAFF AND
THEIR ACTIVITIES DURING THE YEAR 1959

The Board of Health with its exofficio and members at large for the year 1959 include: Dr. Charles B. Johnson, Chairman; Mr. J. H. Justice, Chairman Onslow County Board of Commissioners; Mr. I. B. Hudson, Superintendent Onslow County Schools; Mr. A. J. Lewis, Mayor City of Jacksonville; Mrs. Twiggs Randall, Dr. W. T. Turlington and Mr. Albert Rachide, Pharmacist; Dr. Eleanor H. Williams, Director; Nurses: Mrs. Julia Woodbury, R.N., Mrs. Jean Greer, R.N., Mrs. Anna Huffman, R.N., and Mrs. Raye Faulkner, R.N.; Sanitarians: Mr. J. H. Moore, Senior Sanitarian, Mr. Richard Koonce, Junior Sanitarian; Clerks: Mrs. Naomi Cardwell, Stenographer-Clerk, Mrs. Mildred Nelson, Clerk; United States Public Health Representative: Mr. William Casto, District Epidemiologist.

Public Health is the practice of preventive medicine and hygiene. This means working towards the prevention of acute illnesses and epidemics, and, also, as far as possible to prevent chronic illness or disability. When chronic illness does occur, we try to prevent physical and emotional complications which may arise, and affect not only the patient but the family group as well. Public Health works constantly to promote good sanitation both in the homes and in public places, to prevent accidents whether by mechanical agents, firearms, fires, and especially as far as young children are concerned, with poisons.

To accomplish this we must not only give the proper “shots”, and make the proper inspections, but also educate the citizens of Onslow County in generally better ways of life. This means the continuing education of our staff through courses, seminars, and workshops, and the cooperation of professional and civic groups in the County.

Major Areas of Education

1. Poison Control Center. This center was established at the Onslow Memorial Hospital two years ago. There is a library of books, and the National Clearing House for Poison Control of the U. S. Public Health Service, Bethesda, Maryland, supplies the Center with an active file on all commercial products. A Public Health Nurse does the “follow-up” visits, when indicated, to instruct the family in the handling of poisons.

2. The sanitarians attended seminars, district meetings, and workshops throughout the year.

3. A dentist from the Division of Oral Hygiene of the State Board of Health visited the schools, giving lectures, screening the children, and treating as many as possible.





4. Pre-school clinics were held which involved conferences with the mother, and distribution of health education material. Where indicated a nurse visits in the home.

5. Teacher-nurse-physician screening was done in the schools. All first grade children in the Jacksonville Township schools were screened by the Health Director.

6. Maternal and child health conferences were held, with the distribution of educational health material. Home visits were made where indicated.

7. Tuberculin “patch testing” was carried out in several of the schools.

8. A hookworm survey was carried out in all the schools.

9. Two mobile x-ray units were stationed here for four weeks for a tuberculosis survey. A total of 5,015 people were x-rayed, and 8 active new cases were found.

Communicable Disease Control

The control of communicable disease is carried out by “shots” of the vaccines, and drugs, available in the Health Department. It is furthered by education in personal hygiene and sanitation. In some cases a disease is tracked to its source, and then either eliminated or controlled. A team of U. S. Public Health consultants from the State Board of Health is available for epidemiological investigations, and assisted us last year with the polio cases, and also with our one typhoid case. The nurses go into the homes where there is a communicable disease, and instruct the family in isolation care of the patient, and terminal disinfection. We treat venereal disease cases, and their contacts.

North Carolina statutes require all children to be immunized against diphtheria, whooping-cough, tetanus, and polio before they enter school.

We examine all foodhandlers for chronic, or acute, disease before they are given a permit to work.

School Health

One of the aims of Public Health is to bring children up to the first year of school in good health, and also to better the health of children already in school who have defects. Many of the children are not seen by us until the pre-school clinics. At these clinics the child's health is discussed with the parents, and recommendations are made in regard to any defects found, so that these may be corrected before the child enters school.

Pre-school clinics are not held in the Jacksonville Township schools because there is such a marked population shift. Instead, at the start of the school year, all first grade pupils are screened by the Health Director, and where defects are found the nurse





contacts the family. Teachers also screen their pupils, and refer them to the nurse, who in turn refers them to a physician. Financial aid, where needed, is supplied by State contributed “School Health Funds”, the Crippled Children's Section of the State Board of Health, the Onslow County Chapter of the Easter Seal Society and National Foundation for Poliomyelitis, and the local United Funds.

Some Facts

(September 1959—June 1960)
PUBLIC SCHOOL ENROLLMENT14,329
1. Number of children referred for care4,895
REFERRALS, AND MEDICAL OR DENTAL CARE
1.Total referrals4,895
2.General health841
3.Behavior problems23
4.Eyes1,015
5.Ears181
6.Teeth2,170
7.Tonsils357
8.Orthopedics77
9.Other309
10.Children secured care by physicians2,973
11.Children secured care by dentists1,164
12.Children secured care by State dentist315
13.Hookworm treatments given759

Crippled Children

The first Friday of every month a “Clinic for Crippled Children and Adults” is held at the Health Department, under the joint sponsorship of the United Funds, and the Crippled Children's Section of the State Board of Health. Specialists from the Orthopedic Division of the Department of Surgery, North Carolina Memorial Hospital, Chapel Hill, attend these clinics.

1.Onslow County Crippled Children on Active File378
2.Onslow County Children Attending Clinic317
No. of Visits. (Some go to other clinics)
3.New Cases Admitted in 1959106
4.Nursing Visits to Crippled Children196
(Tabulation of adult patients is not made. The overall attendance averages 65 a month.)

Maternal and Infant Health Studies can be classified as follows:

1. Statistics for Maternal Health





2. Maternal Supervision by Health Department

3. Infant Supervision

4. Child Health Supervision

Immunization: Immunization for communicable diseases, such as diphtheria, typhoid, polio, tetanus, rabies, measles, scarlet fever, food poisoning, meningitis and malaria.

Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis tests made, 1,380. Number films taken, 1,630. Active cases in the sanatoria, 28, cases under supervision in homes, 125, active, 1, arrested, 124.

Venereal diseases detected and treated (old and new) 524. A nursing service is rendered in some cases such as cerebral palsy, mental health, cancer, heart and kidney diseases or attacks.

Milk Control

There are three plant producer dairies in Onslow County which sell milk to pasteurization plants in other counties. A total of ten visits was made to these dairies. “Spot” samples of milk are picked up from trucks delivering milk from outside pasteurization plants, and taken to laboratories in New Hanover and Craven Counties for examination. Two hundred and six (206) were picked up.

Estimated Daily Sale of Milk in Onslow County
a.Market milk317,806 gallons
b.Cream12,181 gallons
c.Buttermilk44,521 gallons
d.Chocolate milk185,967 gallons

U. S. Public Health Rating for Onslow County (Latest rating May 13, 1959)
a.Raw milk sold to plants92.8%
b.Pasteurization plants95.8%
c.Pasteurized milk94.8%
d.Enforcement methods92.5%

During 1959 the following establishments were inspected by the Board: Abattoirs, 1; Foodhandling, 14; Drug stores and drink stands, restaurants and cafes, 96; Institutions, Public (inspected, not rated) Boarding homes, 3, Jails, 1; Institutions, Public or Private (inspected and rated), Hospitals, 1, Rest homes and nursing homes, 1; Lodging places, Hotels, 1, Tourist Courts, 6; Meat Markets, 100; School Lunchrooms, 32.

Note: Information may be had from Dr. R. H. Williams, Director of Public Health, whenever desired.





ONSLOW EDUCATION IS BIG BUSINESS

(By I. B. HUDSON)

Onslow County schools, with an expenditure of $2,214,187.23 for the school year 1958-59, may well be classified as “big business.” Of this expenditure the State of North Carolina provided $1,356,700.99, while expenditures from County funds amounted to $857,486.24.

Included in the county share mentioned above was the sum of $345,177.31 of funds supplied from Federal sources under Public Law 874 and Public Law 815. A further division of federally derived funds will give $315,221.80 for Current Expense and $29,955.51 for Capital Outlay. This would leave a net figure of $512,308.93 from county-supplied funds.

The budget for 1959-60 will run considerably in excess of the funds received for the previous year. This will result from increased personnel, increased salaries and the receipt of $750,000.00 from Federal funds for Capital Outlay and Current Expense.

Expenditures from all sources for the year 1959-60 will be around the three-million-dollar mark. The Onslow High School, a 25-classroom facility now under construction on Henderson Drive, is contracted at $446,732.76. Classrooms should be ready for occupancy by January 1, 1961. On this project the Federal government is supplying $374,655.00, leaving a balance to be paid by the county in the sum of $72,077.76.

On April 21, 1960, the County Board of Education was given a reservation of Federal funds amounting to $244,125.00. These funds will be used in constructing a 12-room elementary school for the Negro race in the Bell Fork area. The school board already owns a 25-acre school site which was acquired at a price of $21,600.00.

The present insurable value of school buildings and apparatus for the entire county is $5,592,100.00.

One hundred and seven state owned school buses transport daily more than 7,000 students. The daily mileage of the buses is 3,500 miles. Practically all buses are driven by students, mostly boys, but there are quite a number of girl drivers. There are a few adult drivers also.

The average daily membership of pupils in 1959-60 is 10,996. The average daily membership for all schools ten years ago was 5,845. The schools had at that time 184 teachers. Today the number of teachers is 374, which is 190 more than served the schools ten years ago.

Ten years ago school buildings and apparatus were valued at





$785,182.00. The school property has increased more than seven fold within the decade (712%) and now stands at $5,592,100.00.

On July 1, 1951, Isham B. Hudson became County Superintendent of Schools, succeeding B. B. C. Kessler, who had served as County Superintendent for the four preceding years. A renaissance in education has taken place during the nine years of the present incumbent. Capital Outlay expenditures from Federal, State, and County funds have amounted to $3,934,420. Major improvements have been made as follows:

150 New Classrooms

7 New Libraries

3 Old Libraries completely remodeled

6 New Gymnasiums

2 New Auditoriums

3 New Band Rooms

5 New Vocational Agriculture Shops

5 New Home Economics Rooms

1 New Industrial Arts Room

2 Remodeled Industrial Arts Rooms

2 New Boiler Rooms at old buildings

2 New Lunchrooms at schools not previously having a lunchroom

2 Residences for Principals

2 Residences for Vocational Agriculture Teachers

4 Additional Stalls at County Garage

1 Maintenance Building

197 Completed Units

Expenditures from all sources in 1950-51 were $621,064.90 of which the State supplied $489,064.90 and the County $131,300.09. Expenditures increased for 1958-59 over nine years ago by 356 percent to $2,214,187.23. County expenditures went up from $131,300.09 to $512,308.93 (or 390 per cent.)

Three years ago a five per cent salary supplement above the State salary schedule was put into effect. Onslow's present salary schedule is the seventh highest of all of the State's one hundred county units, and ranks 16th in the seventy-four city units. This is an achievement of which the Board of Education is very proud.





PUBLIC LIBRARY SERVICE IN ONSLOW COUNTY

By MISS ADELAIDE MCLARTY

The Public Library Service had its beginnings under the auspices of the Richlands Woman's Club and its first library was located in Richlands. The Library doors were opened to the public on August, 1936. Mrs. Irene Koonce Brown was its Librarian and served in this capacity until February, 1960. Particularly active in the furtherance of this service were Mrs. Hugh Ragsdale, Mrs. Lewis Sylvester, Mrs. Victor Venters, Mrs. Benjamin Brock and Mrs. C. W. Sutton. Today, Mrs. Lewis Sylvester serves on the Onslow County Library Board and Mrs. Victor Venters served as the first Chairman of National Library Week for Onslow County in 1957. Those serving on the present Onslow County Library Board are: Mr. Hubert G. Hargett, Chairman, Jacksonville, Mr. James E. Jenkins, Treasurer, Jacksonville, Mrs. W. E. Brown, Jacksonville, Mrs. William E. Mattox, White Oak, Mrs. Lewis Sylvester, Richlands, and Maj. U. S. M.C. Ret. William H. Kay, Swansboro.

1937, the library was closed because space could not be found but was reopened the following year having expanded from a book collection of 160 to 820 volumes.

Considerable expansion of library service began in 1940. It was then that books were placed in outlying regions around Richlands. In this year, the Onslow County Board of Commissioners contributed for the first time to the financial support of the Library. The Board contributed $300.00. In 1943, the Board of Commissioners raised this to $600.00, the City of Richlands $150.00 and in 1944, the City of Jacksonville contributed $600.00. In 1960, Onslow County contributed $9,942.00, the City of Jacksonville $3,000, the City of Richlands $800.00 and the City of Swansboro $250.00.

In 1949, the Main Library was moved from Richlands to Jacksonville. Since this time, it has been located in a number of places over the city. Among its locations have been Pine Lodge and the County Courthouse. It is at present located in the County Building on Mill Avenue. In 1960, it boasts 33,269 volumes with a circulation for the period 1959-1960 of 89,803 books.

Of greater pride is the work the library is doing and the services it offers the citizens of Onslow County. Among the services offered today are: Reference Service by telephone, Film Service, Inter-Library Loan Service, Bookmobile Service to the County lines, County-wide Summer Reading Program for the children and a Great Books Discussion Group for adults sponsored jointly





by the Onslow County Public Library and the Central Library of Camp Lejeune. Both libraries cooperate with each other. In the Spring of 1960, these libraries sponsored a “World of Books” Book Fair, the first of its kind in Eastern North Carolina.

The Library Staff includes: Miss Adelaide McLarty, Librarian, Mrs. Iola Powell and Mrs. Syble Heath of Jacksonville, Mrs. Adeline Humphrey of Richlands and Mrs. Louise Passingham of Swansboro. Mrs. Annie Mae Ruffin of Jacksonville serves as janitor.

The Library is becoming known throughout coastal Carolina for its Library displays in connection with various civic activities. For the past three years, library displays have been included as a part of the annual Flower Show sponsored by the Onslow County Garden Club Council and the annual Art Show sponsored by the Jacksonville Recreation Department.





CONTEMPORARY ONSLOW

Onslow County ranks second among the 100 counties in the State in per capita income, with a projected 1960 figure of $2,318.00, Governor Hodges said in a speech before the Greater Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce January 15, 1960.

Prior to 1940, twenty years ago, no one dreamed the magic change which has occurred since that time would or could take place in Onslow County. At that time people were living well, crime was practically unknown and most of the time the jail was without an occupant. People produced to a great extent their own subsistence, and lived with it. Farm lands were the source of whatever wealth or lack of it there existed in the County at the time. Some cash had flashed through the area as virgin timber had been cut and carried away, leaving thousands of acres of drying tops and ruined undergrowth of which forest fires soon destroyed what remained.

A citizen having ten or twenty thousand dollars in property and cash was considered well-to-do. Ordinary labor could be had for one dollar per day. The per capita income in money was low.

Then came the military bases with their construction and spiraling wages. An influx of people, all seeming to converge on Onslow County, moved in. Property values soared. Old times and old values were gone forever. The population of the county in 1940, according to the United States Census, numbered 17,939. The town of Jacksonville counted 873 persons.

Today the County has a tax valuation of $63,000,000.00 and an estimated earned income of $75,000,000.00. 97% of all residences, both rural and urban, have electric lights and power, 8,200 telephones are in operation covering every section of the County, and 40% of the highways are hard surfaced (1958). This includes the so called “Scott Roads” leading from the farmer's door to markets throughout the world.

“From a business and industrial standpoint you are ideally situated between two of the fastest growing ports on the South Atlantic coast—Morehead City and Wilmington,” said the Governor. The climate is ideal the year round, snows and freezes being practically unknown. Labor can work out of doors approximately 300 days per year.

The only sad note in the whole grand symphony is the fact that Onslow County smoke-cured hams and New River Oysters are disappearing from the markets, the first owing to the fact that farmers market their pigs on foot and keep their meat in a deep freeze, while the latter is due to the admission of salt laden water into the rivers and sounds of the county, making the water less productive of this fine food.





Where once it was necessary to buy supplies at the country store or to make annual trips to New Bern or Wilmington to carry produce and to purchase the family necessities, it is now possible to buy all of one's needs in the nearby towns in the County, where may be found well equipped department stores and shopping centers, sales agencies for all leading makes of cars and trucks, as well as appliances, furniture, medical supplies and farm equipment.

Onslow has its own 75 bed hospital together with a Health Department, expertly manned and equipped for any emergency, according to modern medical practices. The Marine Base has a 2500 patient hospital fully equipped at all times.

Onslow is served by two great banking systems with eight branches scattered throughout the area. These financial institutions have ample capital and surplus for safe and dependable operation, insured against loss to depositors at all times.

The county offers advantages to industry through a mild climate, not only, but good transportation is available in any direction, also through an untapped supply of labor off the farms and Marine wives who would welcome a chance to do some constructive work as well as men who, having completed their military service, would seek employment in civilian lines.

Forest Products

A great share of Onslow's resources comes through the cutting and sale of young pine timber for pulpwood. This stock is hauled to points of shipment, either on rail lines or to ports on the River from which it is carried by freight to great paper mills at Plymouth, North Carolina, and elsewhere. There the logs are dissolved in chemicals, dried and processed into rolls of paper for wrapping or converted into packing cases for use in the shipping of furniture, mattresses, drygoods and a thousand other items of commerce in everyday use. The cutting of gum and poplar for the making of plywood and furniture is also important. The estimated value of the pulpwood industry in Onslow County is $914,130.00 annually, lumber $400,000.00 and other forest products (poles, ties, etc.) $20,000.00, a total of $1,334,130.00. Onslow ranks second among the 100 counties of the State in pulpwood production.

Products of the Farm

Agriculture in the County, despite the fact that Camp Lejeune covers 85,000 acres and Hofmann Forest another 50,000, is still a resource of which we can be proud. Crops grown include tobacco, cotton, peanuts, corn, wheat, oats, soybeans, white potatoes,





yams, lespedeza, hay, sorghum, cucumbers, tomatoes and watermelon total value approximating $5,373,515.00.

Livestock, while not up to its capacity, brings an annual return of about $1,563,600.00. These consist of hogs, beef cattle, other cattle, milk, broilers and hens.

Agriculture, as always, has a great uncounted reserve, produced for home consumption, such as garden vegetables, fruits, corn, meat, potatoes and watermelons grown and consumed by the farmers themselves, of which no record is made and no account taken.

Fish and other seafood produced in 1958 for sale include oysters, 28,118 bushels, with 150 oyster-bottoms leased by the State to operators in the County, also 27,945 pounds of clam meat. 563 boats using commercial fishing equipment were licensed in Onslow that year. The catch included, in inland waters, trout, croakers, flounders, spots and jumping mullets. The ocean catch includes blues, mackerel, trout, sea bass, sea mullets and others.

According to a report of the North Carolina Division of Commercial Fisheries for 1959 the following seafoods were taken in Onslow:

Shrimp (Lbs.)Fish (Lbs.)Oysters (Bu.)Clams (Bu.)Hara Crabs (Lbs.)
Sneads Ferry31,800392,30017,65563083,670
Swansboro1,70057,9802,1301296,500
Hubert23,3504,561
Holly Ridge1,5004,5003,772
Totals35,000478,13028,11875990,170

Sports and Recreation

The County is rich in sports and recreation, being situated on Onslow Bay where sports-fishing is at its best, where party boats are available for outside fishing from Swansboro, Sneads Ferry and in smaller numbers from the sounds and inlets up and down the coast. Also available in inland waters is the catching of shrimp, clams and oysters as well as good hook-and-line fishing in both salt and fresh water.

Boating is a growing sport on inland waters.

Hunting offers good recreation in season, in Hofmann Forest and in the swamps and pocosins where deer, bear and many furbearing animals are available.

For the studiously inclined the area offers the opportunity to study geology, forestry, soils and marine deposits, the whole section having been formerly covered by the Atlantic Ocean.

The County and surrounding territory is underlain by marine formations of different ages, the New and White Oak Rivers being valleys cut at a time when the sea-level was higher than at





present. All provide a valuable study to those interested along these lines.

A visit to Belgrade is suggested, where thousands of tons of this shell-rock-mineral composition is mined and processed ready for use in surfacing of roads and the making of concrete blocks, foundations, etc.

Onslow County ranks seventh in per capita income and tenth in population among the 100 counties of the State, according to reports from the Department of Tax Research, and the preliminary report of the United States Census for 1960.

Tax Research showed that Onslow County citizens in 1958, (the latest completed), earned an average of $1,671.

Onslow is exceeded in population by nine other counties in the State as follows: Mecklenburg, Guilford, Forsyth, Wake, Cumberland, Buncombe, Gaston, Durham and Robeson.

Onslow population count in 1960 showed 83,494.

Governor Burrington, British Royal Governor in 1734, said: “Onslow is the present seat of inthusiasm in the Province.” The same seems to be holding true in the County in 1960.

Growth and progress seems to be the underlying feature of every activity operating in Onslow County today.

Good schools and churches are available to all citizens of the county, the educational facilities of which will soon be enhanced by the establishing in the county of a Junior College if plans now being promoted are carried out.

Onslow is a land of opportunity for the farmer, the doctor, the investor, the promoter, the industrialist, the sportsman or for the man whose wish is simply to retire from the activities with which he has been so long associated, and take it easy for awhile.





The Church In The County

  • “Elect from every nation
  • Yet one o'er all the earth”

INTRODUCTORY: There will be some repetition in the first few paragraphs of this paper. This is made necessary in order to bring together in one place the varied and interesting history of New River chapel. Some points stand out: The early beginning of this congregation as compared with other churches in the State; the continuous and unbroken record, though at times passing from one denomination to another of very differing doctrines and practices. While other changes were not always so violent, yet all of these events passed without a complete break in the record of the church, which record has been continuous for 230 years now (1960).

One other fact should be pointed out; the number of churches which have from time to time branched out, or had their antecedents here.

Where could be found another congregation which can claim as legitimate offspring—eleven active, working churches within its own outreach?

Every church member in Onslow should become familiar with this outstanding record.

What is told here represents what I have been able to learn as to how and when a certain religious faith moved into this area, from whence it came, and something of those who brought it here. The facts are given as accurately as they could be had by me, but no statement is guaranteed if it pertains to doctrine, belief or any subject which is open to argument.

While I promise to respect your opinion, I refuse to argue with you on any of the points presented here.

—THE AUTHOR.









THE RICH LANDS OF NEW RIVER CHAPEL

The beginning of organized religion in South Eastern North Carolina. The story of how a simple free chapel in the wilderness of Onslow County, far from any church or minister grew and multiplied until it became the mother of eleven active working congregations, scattered over a wide area.

There were no churches nearer to Onslow in 1731 than Cape Fear, nor were there ministers available other than those at Cape Fear, Edenton, or Bath.

Fortunately, a free chapel had been constructed at the Rich Lands, and its location with reference to New Bern and Wilmington made it of strategic importance.

Onslow was connected with those points by the Post Road, which passed through Onslow from Suffolk to Charleston, but at that time this road was little more than a bridle path.

A few of the ministers visited New River from time to time and each of them gave it favorable comment, but each mentioned the difficulty in getting there, and the distance necessary to travel. The first six or eight years only ministers of the Established Church came to New River.

Onslow was an enthusiastic and progressive community and each denomination observed the advantage to be had there and planned accordingly.

The Baptist church was first organized in North Carolina by Paul Palmer, who could be rated Father of that church in the state. Palmer began his work up near the Virginia line and planted his first church there in 1727. He went about throughout eastern North Carolina and organized church after church, reaching New River (Union Chapel) probably between 1735 and 1740. He was a great preacher and the Baptist owe to him much of the strength and stability as well as the aggressive zeal in spreading the gospel which has characterized that church since that time.

The General or Free Will Baptist

The church, located on Chapel Hill, in Onslow, attracted the attention of the great revivalist and was picked by him as the site of one of his early churches. Nearby on the same ground was a store, an inn, and a blacksmith shop.

Many years later when Washington's Southern Tour was being projected, he sent Major Jackson along the intended route to make arrangements for the great man's entertainment. The Rich Lands Inn was selected by the Major, but for some reason, the President preferred to stop at Averittes, where he breakfasted on Saturday, April 2, 1791. (Tradition says that when





Washington reached the inn he found it infested with fleas. He therefore refused to stay for even the feeding of his horses.)

Unfortunately the exact date that Palmer came to New River is not known, but we know that it followed soon after his visit to New England in 1730, and therefore a reasonable assumption would place Palmer's “gathering” of a church here about 1735 or 1740.

Whether New River or New Bern should be in third place, we are not sure; the date for New Bern, we are sure, is 1740. Dr. Paschal, great Baptist historian, says, “New River was one of the earliest Baptist churches, as well as one of the most active to be established in this region.”

The Separates

Prior to 1756 the Baptist at New River had been general or Free Will Baptist. About that time there arose among the Baptists of North Carolina a group of Christians known as “Separates.” The Separates were led by Shubal Stearns, one of the great preachers of all time. They were an evangelistic body who accepted no creed but the Bible and crusaded with an ardor which a Baptist historian says has been unsurpassed since the Saviour ascended to Heaven. They almost took over Baptist churches in North Carolina and South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. Stearns and the Separates gathered the remnant of Paul Palmer's old congregation at New River and soon a thriving church was in full sway.

The Separates originated at Sandy Creek and spread from there. “They preached regeneration, made converts and established churches from the Potomac and the Chesapeake to beyond the Savannah and united these churches in one great association, The Sandy Creek.” (Paschal: History of North Carolina Baptist P272.) “They believed God often gave evident token of His will; that such indication of the divine pleasure, partaking of the nature of inspiration were above, though not contrary to reason.” (Ibid P 273.)

When the Sandy Creek Association, third oldest Baptist Association in America, began in 1758 New River was a Charter member.

With the coming of the Separates the church attained its greatness, making great progress in missions as well as itself becoming one of the great religious centers of the State.

Following the reorganization, Ezekiel Hunter, who was ordained about this time, accepted the pastorate and retained it until his death in 1773. He was a member for Onslow of the General Assembly and made his influence felt for morality during his stay in the Assembly where he wielded much influence.





The Church of New River showed great missionary zeal. An important event occurred when Charles Markland left New River and moved to South West in Lenoir County about 1760. There he made 15 converts, gathering them into a congregation which in October of 1762 was constituted a church by a presbytery sent from Sandy Creek.

Thus South West, our present Christian Church was organized as a Separate Baptist Church, making the first congregation to be nurtured by ministers from the New River Church. (Paschal: History of North Carolina Baptist P. 316.)

In 1762 Hunter made a journey to Lockwood's Folly where he reinspired the church there, baptized some new members and made that church a branch of New River. Two other churches, Livingston Creek in Brunswick, and White Swamp in Bladen, were organized by Mr. Hunter, and became branches of New River Church. He preached the Gospel throughout the counties of Duplin, Jones, Carteret and New Hanover. Besides the three named above White Oak in Jones, Newport River in Carteret, and Muddy Creek in Duplin were points mothered by the New River Chapel and its ministers.

Strange as it may seem today, the Separates soon found themselves swamped in a fog of conservatism and in a few years their very name had all but disappeared from the annals of current history.

The Primitive Baptist

Following the decline of the Separates, for some years the church operated as a United Baptist Church, which included members of all shades of opinion, Free Will, Separate, and Primitive.

Ezekiel Hunter was succeeded by Robert Nixon, who in turn was followed by Moses Barfield, 1795, both of whom were designated as United Baptist, Silas Carter, who began in 1808, and Benjamin Johnston, who followed in 1817, were Regular Baptist ministers.

Opposed to all other elements was the Calvinist among the Baptist who condemned all missionary activities, taught predestination and required an experience of Grace for membership. These people, known as Primitive Baptist, had since the coming of the Reverend John Gano to the state in 1755, been making unprecedented progress in taking over and renovating the congregations according to their own idea of doctrine and procedure.

According to Dodd, the method of reorganization was about as follows: “The first act was to disband the organization which had previously existed. Then all who desired to become a part of the new organization were required to stand an examination





which was conducted by approved Particular Baptist Ministers who were present for that purpose. In the test the applicant was asked to tell the time when and the place where he had had an experience of grace. Many applicants failed to qualify.”

Whether this procedure or part of it happened at New River is not known now, but Parham Pucket, strong Primitive Baptist minister, began his pastorate of the New River Church in 1827 and continued for 16 years.

New River had since 1788 been part of the Kehukee Association, but not until 1827 did the church come under the ministry of a Primitive pastor.

In some Association minutes, Puckett is mentioned as “Ringleader of Anti-mission discord.” Under his ministry, the membership of the church declined to 14 persons.

Evolution of the Name

At first the Chapel was called the Rich Lands of New River Chapel, and variously Rich Land Chapel or New River Chapel. In 1808 it was known as Chapel Run. In 1843 as Richlands Chapel. In 1851 it became Union Chapel which it has remained for 108 years.

Missionary Baptist

After 1851, The Missionary Baptist maintained ministers there. In that year Nathan Askew preached, succeeded in 1864 by J. B. Faison, in 1865 by J. E. King, 1866 by J. N. Stallings, in 1870 by G. S. Best, and during 1875 and 1876 by E. A. Best. J. R. Oliver of Tar Landing and A. B. Alderman of Jacksonville closed the Baptist Ministry there in 1880 and the church was left off the Baptist roll in 1881.

Disciples of Christ

In 1875 Cyrus Brown of Tuckahoe, at his own expense, employed Dr. Joseph H. Foy, noted teacher and preacher of the Disciples of Christ, to hold a revival there, and two years later Joshua L. Burns, Disciple State Evangelist, on December 2, 1877, organized the Disciples into a church with 43 members, known since that time as Union Chapel Christian Church. This was the end of the old mixed up congregation with its confusion and factionism. The Primitive element went to the South West Onslow Primitive Baptist Church. The Missioners a little later organized Emma's Chapel Church which developed into the present Richlands Baptist Church, and still later a remnant met and organized the Catherine Lake Baptist Church.

First Elders of the Christian congregation were Colonel Simon





B. Taylor and William Cox. First Deacons were George Simmons and Mr. Padrick. Follow-up ministers have given it permanence. Services continue on a fulltime basis.

The Methodist

New River also had its Methodist history. Joseph Pilmour visited here in 1772. Particulars of his visit are unknown but there seem to have been Methodist here since that time. The Ballards are mentioned as the first Methodist in Onslow County.

The most active of the early Methodist leaders was Bishop Francis Asbury.

Sometime after the Revolution, probably about 1813, the Methodist Church at Chapel was rebuilt near its present location at what is now Richlands. It was a log house, being known as “Oak Grove.” Later a frame building was erected containing galleries for the slaves. The present handsome structure was built in 1939.

The eleven churches sponsored by or coming out of the Rich Lands of New River Chapel include:

ChurchMinisterDate
1.South West LenoirMarkland1760
2.Lockwoods FollyHunter1762
3.Livingstone's CreekHunter1765
4.White SwampHunter1765
5.White OakHunter1765-1770
6.Muddy CreekNixon1785
7.Newport RiverNixon1788
8.Richlands Methodist1813
9.Union Chapel DiscipleBurns1877
10.Richlands BaptistBest?1880
11.Catharine Lake BaptistMeeks1890






[Illustration:

Richlands of New River Chapel now
Union Chapel since 1730

]


[Illustration:

Sandy Run Baptist Church 1864, Old-
est Colored Church in the County.

]


[Illustration:

South West Primitive Baptist
Church, 1796

]


[Illustration:

Historic home now occupied by Mr.
and Mrs. Victor Venters, Richlands.

]





THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND
Episcopal

In Colonial times the Church of England was also the State Church in the Colonies.

Dr. Thomas Bray, an English clergyman of the Established Church then preaching in Maryland, conceived the idea of organizing the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, in England to promote the work of the Church in America. This he did in 1698 and a charter was issued for it in 1701. It provided for the appointment of vestries and the levying of a tax to support the ministry, erect churches, etc. Under its provisions parishes were laid out and churches provided for. Onslow was in the St. John Parish.

At first there were no organizations, no local congregations and no meeting houses. Planters here and there, realizing the need for houses of worship and following the custom of landlords in Europe, sometimes erected Chapels or free churches where services could be held whenever a minister came through. The Law provided that when a Parish Priest could be found to locate on the field—his salary be paid by a tax levied for the purpose upon the inhabitants of the Parish.

In Onslow

Outstanding in its day was the Rich Lands of the New River Chapel, which was located about 2½ miles south of the present Richlands on Chapel Run. Who first built the chapel is not known now, but it attracted ministers from both the Cape Fear and the Albemarle areas.

Soon after the organization of the county, Dr. Richard Marsden from the St. James Parish at Cape Fear made several visits into Onslow where he preached, as did Reverend John LaPierre, also from Cape Fear, who represented the inhabitants as “Above 100 families of poor people, but desirous of having the Holy Gospel set up among them.” Reverend James Moir, also from Cape Fear, visited the county between 1742 and 1747. From Bath town, May 1761, Reverend Alexander Stewart, the missionary of St. Thomas, told the society at London, “Last winter I went as far southerly as New River, 80 miles from home in Onslow County, the present seat of enthusiasm in the Province, where having preached twice, the few remaining Episcopals there were, they said, very thankful to have the word preached to them again.”

Years later, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, there were still no established churches in Onslow.





There were several reasons why the Church of England made little progress in Carolina. The first was that the appropriations made by the government were inadequate to support an effective program, which crippled the effort at its inception. Another reason, probably most potent of all, many people belonged to churches of different persuasion and so could not reconcile themselves to support a State Church of whose teachings they did not approve, while the church of their choice was dependent solely upon its own resources. So little progress was made.

There is one Episcopal Church in the County today.

St. Anne's Episcopal Church

The St. Anne's Episcopal Church began with a little group of persons who got together at the Onslow Theatre, where they continued to meet for about three years. In 1943 a church building was completed on land donated for the purpose by Mrs. Annie Price, and the first service was held on Easter Day of that year with the Reverend Walter R. Noe, Priest in Charge. Later the Reverend Webster R. Horstman did an outstanding work with the church. The present pastor is the Reverend A. E. Livesay. A new and handsome structure is now (1958) under construction in the Northwoods section of the city. The membership now numbers 275.

FREE WILL BAPTIST

There seems to have been Baptist in North Carolina since the first settlements, though not formally organized. Most often the English Clergy referred to them as “Dissenters.” They, with the Quakers, were referred to as Dissenters because they refused to accept the teachings of the established Church and because they opposed the levying of taxes to support its ministry.

When the county was organized in 1731, the New River Church was already a center of activity and was so recognized by the Governor and rectors of the Established Church, one of whom declared that the area was then, “The present seat of enthusiasm in the Province.”

Paul Palmer, great evangelist, native of Maryland, who was baptized in Delaware and ordained in Connecticut, who had organized the first Baptist Church in Maryland, came to North Carolina and organized the first Baptist Church in the state at Chowan in 1727, and the second at Camden-Shiloh in 1729. Palmer was an evangelist who baptized his converts and set up a church organization, after which he moved on to another field.

The church, located on Chapel Hill in Onslow, also attracted the attention of the great Baptist revivalist and was picked by





him as the site of one of his early churches. Nearby on the same ground was a store, an inn and a blacksmith shop.

New River has been placed third or fourth on the agenda of Paul Palmer. First church organized by him was in 1727, second in 1729. Whether New River or New Bern should be in third place we are not sure. The New Bern date we know should be 1740. Dr. Paschal says “New River was one of the earliest Baptist churches, as well as one of the most active to be established in this region.”

When the Sandy Creek Separate Baptist, third oldest Association in America was formed in 1758, New River was a charter member. New River was fourth in line of organization of the Separates, being in order; Sandy Creek, Abbots Creek, Little River and New River. That New River was the earliest, most powerful, as well as most influential church south of the Neuse River seems beyond question. The Separates lasted 20 years.

After the coming of the great Separate leaders, Phillip Mulkey and Shubal Stearns, the church attained its greatness, making great progress in missions as well as itself becoming one of the great religious centers of the State.

Following the reorganization, Ezekiel Hunter, who was ordained about this time, accepted the pastorate and retained it until his death in 1773. He was a member for Onslow of the General Assembly and made his influence felt for morality during his stay in the Assembly, where he wielded much influence. Following the death of Hunter, he was succeeded as pastor by Robert Nixon, a remarkably pious and zealous minister of Christ. At first he was a Separate, but later joined the Kehukee Association. He preached at a number of mission points from Columbus County to Jones and Carteret Counties.

Another influential character at New River before 1760 was Charles Markland, who ministered there, but removed to the south west of Lenoir County church at that time. There he became a close friend of Governor Caswell. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War he joined the American Army. Later he was a member of the Board of Trustees that organized Dobbs Academy at Kinston in the year 1785. The last account of his preaching was at South West (Lenoir) in 1772.

At the New River Chapel, Robert Nixon was succeeded by Moses Barfield, assisted by John Wilkins, United Baptist, as minister.

It was about this time that Benjamin Rhodes, a native of New River, moved to Mill Creek in Johnston County, who when he would have transferred his membership to his new home learned he could not, under the New River constitution, be allowed to transfer, so he remained faithful to the old chapel.





The next two pastors were Silas Carter and Ben Johnson, Regular Baptist, followed by Parham Puckett, Primitive Baptist, one of the strongest preachers the church has had. To him can be credited the fact that the newly arrived missionary Baptist could make little impression at New River in spite of the preaching of some able and conscientious ministers.

One of the most damaging rifts the Baptists have had, came in 1847 when it was learned that a number of ministers, as well as laymen, were also members of the Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges, to which many of the older ministers were opposed. The conference at Hoods Swamp, Wayne County, passed a resolution in which they declared themselves “Separate from all societies of the day.” Three years later it was proposed to expunge the resolution from the record. The proposal, however, failed, and in 1853 the resolution was reaffirmed. The Conference divided and some ministers as well as laymen left the Conference and went to the Union Baptist; however, the Union Baptist weakened and soon disappeared from the State. (Dodd pp. 55-59.) Five of the Union ministers and many of the members went to the Disciples of Christ. A notable example was the Reverend Samuel W. Summerell, who for many years was well known among rural Disciples in Eastern North Carolina (Ware; A History of North Carolina Disciples), and the Reverend C. W. Howard of Kinston.

An old Gazette for 1860 shows no Free Will Baptist churches in Onslow County at that time, neither does it show any for 1880; however, there probably were Free Will churches in the rural area of Onslow and Jones counties between 1890 and 1920, but no record of them can be found here now. The Free Wills were, during these years, infiltrated by the Holiness. These churches were known as Free Will-Holiness.

Folkstone Free Will Baptist Church

Folkstone Free Will Baptist Church is the oldest church of the denomination in Onslow County. The first church there was organized in the fall of 1909, in an old school building located near the Pearson home, now known as the Dick Everette home.

Of the nine charter members, six women and three men, four are living today (1959) as listed by Mrs. Sunny A. Heath Hansley. They are Mrs. Marinda Parker, Mr. Lawrence Parker, Mrs Essie Parker and Mrs. Eliza Rhodes. Five have since gone to their reward: Miss Nellie King, Mr. Walter Midgett, Mrs. Sudie Ketchum, Mr. Beauregard Rhodes and Mrs. Lucy Yopp.

The minister leading in the organization was the Reverend J. N. Edwards of Goldsboro, who, being licensed but not ordained,





made it necessary to get an ordained minister to baptize the nine new members. The Reverend J. W. Alford of Morehead City came and administered the ordinance. The Reverend Edwards pastored the church for seventeen years. Mr. Walter Midgett was first Deacon and Miss Nellie King the first clerk.

Ministers who have served the Church at different times include: besides Reverend Edwards, R. C. Kennedy, Reddin Proctor, L. J. Potter, Solomon Duff, Lloyd Vernon, G. W. Kennedy and L. L. Parker.

During its short history the church at Folkstone has given to the Gospel Ministry, four men: David W. Hansley, son of Mr. and Mrs. D. C. Hansley, ordained in 1932, organizer, pastor and builder of the church at Jacksonville, has had to do with the organization of the church at Verona, and of Mt. Olive Junior College at Mt. Olive, North Carolina. He is now Pastor of the First Free Will Baptist Church at Kinston, North Carolina.

A brother, the Reverend C. B. Hansley, son of Mr. and Mrs. D. C. Hansley, was ordained from the Folkstone Church. He did considerable work in the Pee Dee Association near Whiteville and is now pastor of the church at New Port, North Carolina.

The Reverend O. B. Everett was ordained from the Folkstone Church. He organized the church in Wilmington.

Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Parker were charter members at the beginning. Today the church is being pastored by their son, the Reverend L. L. Parker, who grew up in and was ordained in the Folkstone Church.

Great credit to the church at Folkstone has been the life and work of Mrs. Sunny A. Hansley. The date and building of the first church building is not available now, but Mrs. Hansley in 1938 gave the lot for a new building (the present one). It was begun in 1947. The Reverends David W. and C. B. Hansley are her sons, and the Reverends O. B. Everette and A. B. Chandler are her sons-in-law. She has a sister, Mrs. Batton, who with Mrs. Hansley was active in the establishing of the Free Will Baptist Church in Wilmington.

The church at Folkstone has had a useful and constructive part in the spreading of the Gospel in Onslow and surrounding counties. Its growth has been steady.

The membership today (1957) is 213. The Reverend L. L. Parker is the minister. The Sunday School numbers 160, with Malcolm Duff as the Superintendent.

Jacksonville

The original Free Will Baptist now have a modern and up-to-date church plant in the City of Jacksonville, located on College





Street. The Reverend D. Lee Whaley has been the pastor since 1949.

From an idea of John K. Rhodes and wife back in 1942, the church has grown to its present proportions and a membership of 241.

A five week revival was held by the Reverend Rashie Kennedy of Beulaville, after which the Reverend David C. Hansley was located as pastor. The church was organized September 15, 1943.

An old store building on Railroad Street was used for ten months following the organization. Mr. Rhodes then purchased a spacious lot on College Street, the site of the present building. A tent was erected on the lot for temporary use, and with the help of Mr. Hansley a building was begun in 1945. Mr. Hansley worked almost constantly with hammer and saw, by himself in the daytime and with volunteer helpers at night and after hours. After a struggle, the house was enclosed. During the preaching of Mr. Hansley at Jacksonville a young man, A. B. Chandler of Broadhead, Kentucky, came forward and expressed a desire to enter the ministry. He was ordained at the Folkstone Church and now lives at Ahoskie, North Carolina. The pastor received a call to the pastorate at Ayden, North Carolina, and accepted in 1949.

The Reverend Whaley then assumed the pastorate.

Much credit should go to the Womans Auxiliary since its inception in 1945. Its work has been of immeasurable importance to the church in all its activities since that time.

The Sunday School (1959) numbers an enrollment of about 260. The Superintendent is Carl Johnson.

In Onslow County

In recent years the Free Will Baptist in Onslow have made rapid gains.

There are eight churches or Mission Points, including Folkstone, Sneads Ferry, Jacksonville, Verona, Community, Calvary, Mt. Zion and Emanuel, with an approximate membership of 600 persons.

Active ministers who have been ordained or licensed to preach are Lloyd Vernon, Richlands; J. T. Forrest, Dixon; D. Lee Whaley, Jacksonville; O. B. Everett, Holly Ridge; Willie Justice, Jacksonville; Lemmie Taylor, Richlands and Herbert Bryan, Richlands.

Mr. Whaley in 1957 closed his pastorate at the Jacksonville Church in preparation for his new work at Anchorage, Alaska, where he is presently located conducting a mission for his church. Reverend Cutlar is the present pastor at Jacksonville.





The State Convention

According to the latest report the Free Will Baptist State Convention is composed of 11 conferences or associations, 415 churches or mission points with a ministry of 125 ministers and licenciates, and a membership of 45,000. The Educational Unit for the State is Mt. Olive Junior College, Mt. Olive, N. C.

THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST

The Primitive Baptist are of the Calvinistic order, anti-mission, anti-Sunday School, oppose Bible Societies, State Conventions, or Theological Seminaries and are perhaps of all Baptist the most orthodox. “Called of God,” “Saved by Grace,” “Door of Experience,” and “Predestination” are terms with very distinct meanings in the Primitive Church. Any member will tell you that the Primitive is the oldest order of religious associations in the United States, the only correct one, and based upon the teachings of the Bible only.

To become a member of the Church one is required not only to have had an experience of Grace, but to recite the time when and the place where the experience took place. Even then the prospective member may be sent back for further study. After acceptance by the Church, the member may be excluded upon conviction of disorder or serious misbehavior. The local congregation is the highest and final authority on all questions to come before the Church.

The defection among the Free Wills to the Particulars began when some of the regular ministers began to preach the Calvinistic doctrine to their congregations soon after 1750, largely effectuated through the efforts of the Reverend Robert Williams. He was a native of Northampton County but moved to Welch Neck in South Carolina, where he became endoctrinated in the teaching of the Charleston Association. He then returned to Kehukee and began preaching. In his zeal he called upon the Philadelphia Association for help. The Association sent the Reverend John Gano, one of the most eminent ministers of his day, to Carolina. (Later Gano became a Chaplain in Washington's Army.) According to Dodd, the first act of the Particulars in taking over a church was to disband the regular organization, after which an examination of the individual members was made as to their conversion, experience and practices. Those selected formed the new Primitive Baptist Church.

With the exception of New River Chapel, which organization had gone through several evolutions as to its doctrinal consistency, all other Baptist churches in the county prior to the Civil War were of the Primitive faith.





North East Primitive Baptist Church

The North East Primitive Baptist Church is located about 3 miles east of Pumpkin Center.

No records are available now as to the institution of North East Primitive Baptist Church, but Bishop Asbury, the great Methodist divine on his way from Swansbury to the Rich Lands, made the following entry in his diary January 28, 1791: “We rode 16 miles to an old Chapel on the way to the Rich Lands—I spoke a little and administered the Sacrament, after which I rode, cold and hungry, 16 miles more to brother C. Ballard's, (Richlands Chapel).”

The good Bishop seems not to have remembered to set down the name of the “Old Chapel” where he “Preached a little,” but judging the route and distance traveled at that time, “The Old Chapel” could only have been old North East Church, which was “old” in 1791. It, like a great many other churches, began as a free chapel and evidently was free to any denomination in 1791.

One old Clerks Book 1863-1890 gives nothing important. Membership about 40.

South West

Tradition says that the Church was at first located on Plum Point at the intersection of the South West and New River. Just when the church was moved to its present location is not known. The present building is the second to be built on the same yard.

In the Preamble of the old Decorum adopted November 6, 1796, which date probably marks the institution of the church at its present location, we read:

“We, the baptized Church of Christ on New River, South West, hath unanimously agreed among ourselves to hold conference 4 times in every year or oftener, if necessary, to rectify disorders and for the better carrying on our Christian religion in the world and in performance of the same, we pray Almighty God to be with us.” “So we make this Decorum by which we desire to be guided.” Etc. . . .

In Minutes of the ordination of Edward W. Cox, years later, the Church was spoken of as “The Predestinarian Baptist Church at South West, New River.” However, the Church officials usually spoke of the Church as the “Baptist Church of Christ” when speaking of the institution.

These Quarterly sessions of the Church nearly always follow the order set by the old Decorum. The meeting always opens with praise and prayer by a prominent Elder, who is usually





chosen Moderator. Then the State of the Church is inquired into. If no trouble between members or misbehaviour of individuals is reported, “All is well.” If, on the other hand, a dispute remains to be settled between members, or if a member is conducting himself other than in accordance with the required practice of the Church, “All is not well” until the matter has been adjusted or the member disciplined.

On one occasion two women brought their dispute to the church and both were excluded from membership. At one time the Moderator himself was taken to task for having indulged too freely in intoxicants. After having admitted his error and asked forgiveness of the Church for his mistake, all was forgiven and forgotten.

Visiting brethren were formally invited to sit and worship with the conference and absentee members were required to give a legitimate reason for their absence. The Conference then opened the “Door of Experience” for the reception of new members, at which time anyone wishing to become a member was permitted to tell the time when, and the place where, he or she had had an experience of Grace, showing that he had been convicted of sin and had found relief in the power and willingness of God to forgive sin.

In 1890 three persons declared their disbelief on foot-washing and were promptly excluded by a majority vote of the congregation.

A business of the Church period was followed by greetings received from other churches which came sometime by letter, or at the hand of messengers. Fraternal Delegates were appointed in return, after which dismissal was in order.

The membership in 1850 included 21 men, 31 women, 7 colored men and 14 colored women.

Slaves were allowed to take membership, but permission of the Master was required. In 1851 we read: “Mr. Holt: Sir, You can receive Be'y to the church if you are supposed to do so. Her owners are willing to it. May 23, 1851. R. P. Parker.”

The conferences continued throughout the Civil War, but no reference to the struggle, or inference is made during or following the conflict. In 1877, however, we find where inquiry was to be made as to the intention of the colored members formerly in attendance at the services. No reply is recorded.

While most denominations differed and divided over questions arising before the Civil War, the “Old Baptist” maintained their fraternity, and immediately following the war fraternal delegates appeared in the annual sessions North and South.

The Conference programs were usually noted for their dignity and reverence; however, on one occasion one old brother stated





that he considered himself to be not right in his mind, so requested that his name be removed from the church list. No action was taken at the time, but a letter of dismissal was given him the next year.

In 1878 Joseph Ennett, aged member, presented a cup and plate to the church as an emblem of his love for it, and Aaron Davis, Elder presiding, accepted the token in loving remembrance of the aged brother.

Stones Bay

Stones Bay Primitive Baptist Church originally stood on Stones Bay on the South side of New River. The records have been lost but we know the church was standing in 1796, Bishop Asbury having preached there that year, according to his diary. When the Church first enrolled with the Primitive order, we do not know. When the site was taken over by the Government in 1941 its membership numbered about 30. Following its removal, a new building was constructed just west of Verona, where it continues under the name of “Bay Church.”

Wards Will

The Baptist Church afterwards known as Wards Will was organized in the home of Bryant Hatsell about 1832. Two years later General Edward Ward proposed to give the land and money with which to build a church home for the young congregation. The offer was accepted and the place was named Wards Will Church. For some years Wards Will was used by all denominations for sacred services, and was used also as a school and community building.

Years later the church was relocated about a mile from Marines Post Office where it remained until the coming of the Marine Base.

Wards Will passed out of existence in 1941.

Stump Sound

Stump Sound Primitive Baptist Church is located East of Holly Ridge, just off the Holly Ridge-Tar Landing Road. The Church contains but a single room. The large cemetery extends along two sides of the grounds. Sand ridges, pine forest and wire grass complete the picture.

From an old book in the hands of Mr. Council Davis, (in 1950) we learn that the Church was constituted in 1835, although we know that the White Oak Association was organized there in 1833. This can probably be accounted for if we remember that the congregation may have been a branch of some other church





at that time. At first it was known as “Justices Meeting House on Stump Sound.” The original roll included 18 members, viz. Stephen Coston, Charles Hardison, John Howard, Lewis Jenkins, James Anders, John Whitehurst, William Hollis, Benjamin Jenkins, Auza Jenkins, Elenor Jenkins, Margaret Mason, Nancy Howard, Nancy Coston, Sarah Jenkins, Gatsey Ottaway, Mary Eden and Ann Jenkins.

Jere W. Yopp was Clerk. Elder Samuel Holt was elected moderator.

The church grew slowly, receiving some white and a few colored members until 1894, when through some dissension a split in the congregation weakened it badly. Today it is said that the membership roll contains names of female members only. The last male member was the Clerk of the Church, but for some reason he failed to measure up to the standard set, and so was voted out by the congregation.

The membership numbers 17.

Yopps Meeting House

The Yopps Primitive Baptist Church was instituted August 8, 1835. The list of Charter members included John Wilkins, Uz Wood, Elijah Hobbs, Elza Hardison, Benjamin Russell, George Y. Gerard, Daniel McDaniel, Edward Hobbs, David Hansley, James Redd, Asa Sidbury, Jere W. Yopp, Kincey Redd, Charlotte Jarvis, Millie Hardison, Mary McDaniel, Lovie Hansley, Lear Jenkins, Levinia Wilkins, Jackey Stephens, Sarah Piner, Mary Wood, Crecey Sidbury, Druzella Redd, Sarah Yopp, Nancey Russell, Ann Stephens, Margaret Stephens, Elizabeth McGowan, Jemima Cragg, Fannie Taylor, Elizabeth Curtis and Mary Meeks. Thirty-three Charter members.

The Articles of Faith, the Covenant and Rules of Decorum are copies from an earlier book but the Minutes begin on page 15. The first date shown is July 2, 1892, continuing through 1940. Another Minute book begins with 1941 and is still in use (1950). Both are in the hands of Mrs. Eunice Jarvis, Fulchers Landing. The membership now numbers 14.

Palo Alto

Palo Alto church is mentioned in 1860, but nothing is known of it now.

The White Oak Association

The White Oak Primitive Baptist Association in which Onslow churches appear was organized at Stump Sound in 1833. South West, Yopps (Sneads Ferry) and Stump Sound (Holly Ridge), were at first the only churches in Onslow on the Association





roll. Others came in later. In a Minute book of the White Oak Association of 1842 we find the following: “We as an Association declare a non-fellowship as to Masonry, Missionary, Bible and Tract Societies, Campbellism, State Conventions, Theological Seminaries and all other new institutions that have the appearance of a speculation on the Gospel.” “We know but two societies Civil and Religious.” This shows something of the restrictions imposed on the members of the Church in that day.

The White Oak now contains seventeen churches, with a membership of approximately 500.

Elders who have been prominent in church affairs since its organization include Asa Sidbury, Josiah Smith, Parham Puckett, Samuel Holt, Lewis J. Puckett, D. J. Mott, Edward W. Cox, Aaron Davis, Benjamin J. Pollard, N. H. Willey, Jabez Smith, Jabez Weeks, John Gornto, John F. Brown, Job Smith, John C. Hewitt, James Cavanaugh, Spicer Padgett, Riley Jones, B. H. Wooten, Isaac Jones, Billy Brown, C. C. Brown, Edward F. Pollard, R. P. Bachelor, R. W. Gurganus, L. L. Yopp, L. E. Bryan, W. A. Walton and Eddie Humphrey.

The Covenant

The Covenant adopted at Yopps Meetinghouse at its organization August 8, 1835:

“Forasmuch as Almighty God has been pleased to call us, whose names are underneath subscribed, out of darkness into His marvelous light, and all of us have been Baptized upon a confession of our faith in Christ Jesus and have given up ourselves to the Lord and to one another in a Gospel Church-way to be governed and guided by a proper discipline, agreeable to the Word of God. We do therefore in the name of the Lord Jesus and by his assistance covenant and agree to keep up the discipline of the Church that we are members of, in the most brotherly affection toward each other, while we endeavor punctually to observe the following rules: In brotherly love to pray for each other, to watch over one another, and if need be in the most tender and affectionate manner to reprove one another, that is, if we discover anything amiss in a brother or sister, to go and tell him or her of their faults, according to the direction given by our Lord in the 18th Chapter of Saint Matthew's Gospel; and not to be whispering and backbiting.

“We also agree, with God's assistance, to pray in our own families, attend our Church meetings, to observe the Lord's Day, to keep it Holy, and not to absent ourselves from Communion or the Lord's Supper without giving satisfaction at the next conference, or first in power.

“To be ready to communicate to the defraying of church expense and for the support of the ministry.

“Not irregular to depart from the fellowship of the Church, nor to remove to distant churches without a regular dismission.

“These things we do covenant and agree to observe, and keep sacred in the name of, and by the assistance of the Holy Trinity, Amen.





Articles of Faith

ARTICLE I

We believe in the Being of God, as Almighty Eternal, Unchangeable, of infinite wisdom, for Justice, Holiness, Goodness, Mercy and Truth, and that God has revealed Himself in His word under the Character of Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

ARTICLE II

We believe that God, before the foundation of the world, for a purpose of His own glory did elect a certain number of men and angels to Eternal Life, and that this election is particular, eternal and unconditional on the creatures part.

ARTICLE III

We also believe that it is utterly out of the power of men, as fallen creatures, to keep the Law of God perfectly, repent of their sins truly, or believe in Christ except they be drawn by the Holy Spirit.

ARTICLE IV

We believe that in God's own appointed time and way, by means which he has ordained, that the Elect shall be called, justified, pardoned and sanctified, and that it is impossible they shall refuse the call, but that they shall be made willing by Divine Grace to receive the offer of mercy.

ARTICLE V

We believe that justification in the sight of God is only by imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, received and applied by faith alone.

ARTICLE VI

We believe in like manner, that God's Elect shall not only be called and justified, but that they shall be converted, born again, and changed by effectual working of God's Holy Spirit.

ARTICLE VII

We believe that such as are converted, Justified and called by His Grace, shall persevere in holiness and never fall finally away.

ARTICLE VIII

We believe it to be a duty, incumbent upon all of God's people, to walk righteously in all good works, not in the old covenant way of seeking life and the favor of the Lord by it, but only as a duty from a principle of love.

ARTICLE IX

We believe Baptism and the Lord's Supper are Gospel ordinances, both belonging to the converted, or true believers, and that persons who were sprinkled or dipped while in unbelief were not regular baptized according to God's Word, and that such ought to be baptized after they are savingly converted into the faith of Christ.

ARTICLE X

We believe the regular Church ought to be governed by one discipline.





ARTICLE XI

We believe in the resurrection of the dead, both the just and the unjust, and a General Judgment.

ARTICLE XII

We believe that no minister has a right to the administration of the Ordinances, only such as are regular called and come under position of hands by the Presbytery.

ARTICLE XIII

Lastly, we do believe that for the mutual comfort, union and satisfaction of the several churches of the aforesaid faith and order that we ought to meet in an association way, wherein each church ought to represent the case by their Delegates and attend as often as is necessary to advise with the several churches in conference, and the decision of matters in such an association not to be imposing on or in any way binding on the churches without their consent, but only to set and act as an advisory council.

Elder Aaron Davis

Outstanding among ministers of his church in his day was Elder Aaron Davis. He lived during the period of the county history when much religious change was in the making, when political tempers were at the boiling point culminating in the Civil War, and for twenty years following that event. During all the religious and political upheaval he clung to the old faith as he knew it, and proved himself a pillar of strength for his people and his time. He was born, labored and died in Onslow County. His contribution deserves better treatment than is possible at this late day.

Back about the year 1800 two brothers, Matthew and Aaron Davis came to Onslow from their homes near the intersection of the Lenoir, Duplin and Jones County lines for the purpose of tending cattle and turpentine. They had rented large acreage of land on what is now Nine and Ten Mile creeks and along the Onslow, Duplin and Pender County lines from Elder Edward W. Cox who lived at or near Catharine Lake.

Sometime after arrival Matthew married Palmette Screws, whose family already lived there. Her ancestor Benjamin Screws had taken up land on Nine Mile Creek in the year 1767, thus becoming the first settler to receive a land grant from the King for land in that part of Onslow County. Descendants of Matthew and Palmetta are living in that community today.

Aaron, who made his home near what is now Blakes Cross-roads, met and married Rebecca Marshburn of near Cypress Creek, just over the Duplin line. There were 11 children: Aaron, Jr., Sam, Tom, Jessie, Uzzia, Rebecca, Mary, Nannie, Annie, Mittie and Rittie. What became of them or their families is not, for the purpose of this paper, important. The first son, Aaron, Jr., is the object of our interest. He lived to be a man





of influence and a preacher of distinction in his denomination in North Carolina.

What lands he, himself, owned or attained does not enter here, but the great amount of time he gave to his work, the miles he traveled on horseback and on foot, and the earnest zeal he expended must have made an indelible impression on the thousands of persons who heard him in his day.

He was born March 30, 1812; what schooling, if any, is not known now, the time or experience of conversion, or even the place is not known, but is presumed to have been either at Cypress Creek or South West Church. The old record that we have reaches back only to February 4, 1837, when Edward W. Cox was licensed to preach by “The Predestinarian Baptist Church at South West, of New River,” and to May 5, 1838, when the licenciate was fully approved as a Minister of the Gospel. The fact that Aaron is not mentioned at South West until 1850 when he was already deeply interested and active in the work indicates that he may have been a member at Cypress Creek.

Note: The old Cypress Creek Church, however, according to Mr. John Alonza Hewitt, who was for fifty years active in the denomination, was successor to much older churches. One, “Old Meadow” church, stood over the line in Duplin County, while the other, which stood not far from where old Springfield School recently stood, was known as “Black Pond.” These congregations both being led by Elder Aaron Davis, were united into one church. (The date of the coalition is not known by this writer.)

The following list of elections or appointments are indicative of the busy life Elder Davis led from 1850 until his death in 1888, thirty-eight years later.

1850—Messenger to the Kehukee Association at Lawrence, Edgecombe County.

1851—Messenger from this Association to the Kehukee at Peach Tree in Franklin County.

1852—With N. H. Wiley and Josiah Smith to the Association at Conoho, Martin County.

1853—To Flat Swamp, Pitt County. Other places in the years 1857, 1858, 1859 and 1861. At the Falls of the Tar River (Rocky Mount) in 1866.

The year following at Cross Roads in Edgecomb County, the Onslow Elder preached the Convention Sermon on Sunday, a place always reserved for the Association's most effective speaker. It is estimated that ten thousand persons heard at each of these points.





There are only two pastorates that he held which we are certain about—South West chosen in 1856 and North East after 1863. Of course, he held meetings and preached all those years but the old records cannot be found now. Unlike modern preachers, his time was spent almost solely in one locality; only when delegated to other associations as a fraternal delegate representing his own did he leave this area for another. How many persons he pledged in marriage or baptism, or how many times he was called on for comfort in time of sorrow during his 38 years of active ministry, the record does not show.

Elder Davis was married first to Polly Cooper of South West and three children were born to them. His first wife having died, he then married Charlotte Howard, daughter of Ben Howard of North East, by whom he also had three children.

He died in 1888 and is buried at old South West Church.

Bib: Minutes, South West Primitive Baptist Church.

Information furnished by Mr. John Alonza Hewitt to the Author in personal conversation.





THE BAPTIST RENAISSANCE

The great revival in progress in Kentucky at the end of the century (1790) soon spread across other states, reaching North Carolina around 1800, moving like a tidal wave across the state. Great camp meetings were held in Guilford, Orange, Chatham, Rowan, Cumberland, and other counties, being attended by thousands, finally reaching the Kehukee area. For some time there had been some discontent with the restrictive doctrines being preached in the Association of Carolina, so when the logical and heartwarming words of the missioners reached the ears of the ministers and laymen of the Kehukee Association they responded as if in answer to a Call.

Strange things happened during these meetings, which sometimes left the convert shaken and penitent, but “The direct good which came out of it more than counterbalanced any incidental evils,” says Dr. Richard Furman. Lemuel Burkitt, one of the leaders in Carolina, hearing of the great revival in Kentucky, determined to go and see for himself. “There his soul caught the seraphic flame.” To the Association at Great Swamp in 1801 Burkitt recounted what he had seen in Kentucky. “The flame caught from there, too, and spread as delegates returned to their home churches telling the good news with emotion and gladness.” Sometimes converts cried out for mercy and glorified God in such a manner as staid old Kehukee had not seen before. “The methods used in that revival cannot be reconciled with the Statement of Principles on which churches were admitted to the Kehukee Association.” Ministers of the Primitive Order protested but the movement was already beyond control.

The great Leader appeared in the person of Elder Martin L. Ross who, at the Association meeting at Conoho Log Chapel in Martin County in October, 1803, introduced a query as follows: “Is not the Kehukee Association with all her numerous and respectable friends, called on in Providence, in some way to step forward in support of that missionary spirit which the great God is so wonderfully reviving amongst the different denominations of good men in various parts of the world?”

The query was a call to carry the Gospel to the heathen in all the world, and the Association a year later voted to support the missionary cause and named a committee to confer with like minded persons in the Portsmouth and Neuse Associations.

A number of churches withdrew and formed the Chowan Association in 1805. These churches now felt themselves free to take any forward step their people might desire. They were missionary in spirit and henceforth their ministry would be





an educated ministry. This new outlook had come about as a result of the Great Revival and was indeed a renaissance in Baptist thinking. A missionary society was formed at Cashie Meetinghouse in Bertie County which grew in twenty-five years into the Baptist State Convention. Their progress has been marvelous, and today, as the Southern Baptist Convention, they outnumber any other Protestant church in America.

In Onslow

The Missionary Baptist made some inroads into the church at the Union Chapel between 1844 and 1864 in the Union Association. The great anti-Missions leader there was Parham Puckett, who fought for the old faith and delayed, if not prevented, the complete loss of the Chapel by the Calvinists until after the Civil War. After 1851 the Rich Lands Chapel became known as Union Chapel, but missionary influence there remained perfunctory until after the war.

About 1877 the Disciples of Christ took over the old Church, and the missionaries a little later constructed a new building at Emma's Chapel and at Catharine Lake.

The earliest Missionary Baptist congregations in Onslow (other than the services held at Union Chapel, which were discontinued) were Piney Grove, 1869, Enon Chapel, 1872, and Grants Creek, 1874, each of which is known to be much older than the dates show. It seems churches were instituted only after the congregation had become self-supporting. Dates given are the dates of organization as shown in the Association minutes.

Eleven churches were enrolled by the Missionary Baptists in Onslow by 1900.

There is now in Onslow County a total of 20 Baptist Churches, having a membership of 4,319, giving annual gifts amounting in 1958 to $331,957.21, and owning property in the amount of $1,235,358.21.

Piney Grove Baptist Church

In 1869 fourteen people met in an old schoolhouse on practically the same site as the present grounds and organized a church which, according to the minutes of the Association, is the oldest continuing Baptist Church in the County at Piney Grove, three and one-half miles west of Swansboro on the Belgrade Road. These fourteen persons included: John Holland, Missouri Holland, Edward Morton, Marinda Morton, Edward Jones, John Stanley, Mary Stanley, Furn Guthrie, Laura Guthrie, Jim Phillips and Mrs. Phillips, W. P. Watson, Kittie Watson and Riley Jones.





It soon became apparent that a larger building was necessary so plans were laid to build one to replace the little old schoolhouse. Sills and timber were hewn by hand, the framing was cut at Holland's Water Mill and pegged together with wooden pegs. The house was completed and dedicated in October 1871. The over-all size of the new church was 30′ × 40′.

One acre of land was deeded by Mr. and Mrs. W. P. Watson. The first pastor was the Reverend Benjamin Ward. First Deacons were John Holland, Edward Jones and W. E. Morton.

About a year later a Sunday School (July 1, 1872) was organized with Captain Riney Foster as Superintendent, succeeded by Abdell Humphrey. In 1928 a B.Y.P.U. was initiated by the Reverend J. D. Howell for the training of young people. The youth work, however, did not make progress and for some time ceased to exist. It was reorganized in 1940 by Mr. Julian Morton.

An event of special significance happened in the summer of 1936 when the Governors of both Carolinas appealed to the churches to band themselves together and pray for rain. At Piney Grove scores of men met twice daily for eight days in prayer. The result of the meeting brought not only a consciousness of their utter dependence upon God, but also some deep soul searching. Many realized that they had neglected their own spiritual lives and their church. The men worked while they prayed, repairing and painting the church, but the great event happened at the end of the week. God heard the prayers of His people and sent the wonderful, life-giving rain. No preacher was present at any of these meetings but they were led by such men as J. P. Odom, Herbert Odom, V. N. Canady, Khune Jones and Tim Bright. This should remind us that God is willing when men are ready to pay the price.

In the early 1940's a new building was begun and completed in 1949. The dedication sermon was preached by Dr. M. A. Huggins, State Secretary of the Baptist Convention.

In 1951 a parsonage was begun and completed at a cost of about $15,000.00.

Two other happenings which point up the constructive work being done by Piney Grove Church are, (1) Between the years 1952 and 1953 seven young men dedicated their lives to the Christian ministry from this church. These are A. D. Godwin, Gerald Riggs, Eldridge Vinson, Paul S. Odom, Arthur E. Lippert, Warren Peper and Tucker R. Littleton. Some are in college preparing themselves, while others are serving churches throughout the United States. One of these, Paul S. Odom, is the present pastor of old Piney Grove Church. Soon after his





call in 1957 a new educational plant was built. It was dedicated on December 22, 1957.

Total gifts for the year 1958 exceeded $10,000.00.

The property is rated at $50,000.00.

Bib: Reverend Paul S. Odom: Minutes and History of Piney Grove Baptist Church





Enon Chapel

By Mrs. S. A. Starling and Mrs. John N. Starling

Enon Baptist Church was organized August 16, 1872, and was composed of sixteen members. Twenty members were listed in the old church record book as follows: (Males) W. J. Montfort, E. W. Ward, Solomon Gillett, John Eilkens, L. O. Fonville, (Females) Ann T. Hurst, H. I. Ward, Lou E. Ward, M. C. Ward, Mollie C. Ward, Susan A. Thompson, Sarah A. Gillett, Miranda Melton, Holland Melton, E. Littleton, Rachel Fonville, Mollie Fonville, Rena Freeman, Carolin Brown and Abbie Montfort.

One of the organizing members, Mrs. Abbie Montfort, wife of Dr. William J. Montfort, gave the church the name of Enon. The first location was at “Cow Head” between Brown Sound and Piney Green. Later in 1898 it was called Enon Chapel when a new building was erected one mile below Piney Green at Ward's Mill. The church was moved in 1942 to the present location at Piney Green, when Camp Lejeune acquired the territory.

Elder B. J. Covington was called as Pastor on October 5, 1872. The next Pastor was Mr. Croom in 1874. L. O. Fonville, clerk. 1876, “W. B. Knight was unanimously called to the Pastoral care of the church.” In 1877 W. B. Knight was still Pastor. March, 1878, mention in old record is made of “services by our Pastor, Brother Sandlin; April 12, 1879 “Services by our Pastor Brother Utley.” January 25, 1881, the record shows that Brother Alderman was Pastor. At this meeting T. J. Leary was called. He presumably served until the “Fall of 1883” when Mr. C. S. Cashwell became Pastor and served until October, 1886, at which time, upon resigning, he recommended that T. J. Baker be called. Mr. Baker accepted the call and was Pastor until September, 1888. Mr. Ben Ward then became Pastor for one year, followed by A. T. Howe—who accepted the work in March, 1890, and resigned in July, 1891. Mr. James Dobson filled the remainder of that year, whereupon in November, 1891, Mr. Ben Ward was again called and served until the fall of 1893, followed then by J. W. Nobles, who was Pastor until 1897, at which time B. H. Matthews assumed the work, being followed by Charles Paul, who resigned in 1902, was succeeded by a young Mr. Hobbs, who remained a very short while, followed by Reverend Edwards. It was just prior to this time, about 1900, that Reverend Isaac Newton Henderson of Hubert, North Carolina, served as Interim Pastor and he rendered services to





the church from time to time. Mr. E. C. Andrews was called in December, 1904, remaining with the church for four years, followed by W. O. Biggs, he, in turn, by Mr. F. A. Clarke, then Mr. Lambe succeeded in turn by J. E. Copeland in January, 1914, till the close of 1916. Mr. C. H. Cashwell in 1917 was followed by Mr. Pridgen, probably in 1918. During Mr. Pridgen's pastorate there was a change in the grouping of the churches. Enon Chapel, Bear, Creek, Marines and Salem formed a new field to which Reverend I. E. Belch was called, followed by the Reverends James Brown and Dixie Blackman.

In 1925 Reverend D. B. Tritt was called to the Swansboro field and at that time Enon Chapel was again grouped with those churches as formerly and was served by Mr. Tritt until the close of 1929. Mr. W. O. Andrews then accepted the work but served only a short while, and Mr. M. L. Mintz from below Wilmington, was called in May of 1930. He served a period of seven years, until 1937. Reverend A. L. Benton served as Pastor for seven years, 1937-1944. It was during his pastorate, the second Sunday in July, 1942, that the first service was held at the new church at Piney Green. Mr. S. A. Starling of Hubert, North Carolina, served as Church Clerk at that time. Mr. Starling served as a Deacon for fifty years and devoted his life to his church. Among others who served as Deacons for many years were Major L. O. Fonville, Dr. W. J. Montfort, Mr. Ralph Bender and Mr. Asa Smith. In June, 1947, Reverend E. D. Williamson from Shelby, North Carolina, was called to the Swansboro field and served ably until 1950. Other Deacons ordained during Reverend Williamson's pastorate were John N. Starling, Paul Wynn, Raymond Wethington and J. Leroy Henderson, who all served efficiently.

Reverend D. E. Couch from Hickory, North Carolina, served during the remainder of 1950. We then had several visiting ministers during the first three months of 1951. Since then our present pastor, Reverend Paul Merritts of Sneads Ferry, accepted the pastorate May 19, 1951. A native of Pennsylvania and a graduate of the Pennsylvania Bible Institute, he attended Campbell College and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisiana. He was Pastor at Holly Ridge for ten years and did missionary work in Brunswick County, North Carolina. Reverend Merritt is the only pastor since 1872 to have served the church on a full time basis. Dudson Baggett, our present Superintendent, and Borden Farnell, Sr., long time Sunday School teacher were ordained Deacons during this period.

The church was remodeled in the spring of 1954 with Mrs. John N. Starling serving as building chairman. The interior of the church was remodeled, new pews, altar furniture and





gas heat were installed. Prior to that a new steeple was added to the church. Recently a new addition of two Sunday School rooms and two restrooms have been completed. The Deacons serving at this time are J. Leroy Henderson, Chairman, Paul Wynn, John N. Starling, L. Borden Farnell, Sr., and Dudson Baggett.

In 1958 the church had a membership of 145, and a church budget of $2500.00.

Grants Creek

What later became Grants Creek Baptist Church, at first known as Capernium Baptist Church, began in 1864 with services held occasionally in an old log building standing on what was known as the Allen Jones farm, about five miles from the present location. Later, for some reason, the old building was abandoned and the Church moved to a schoolhouse which stood near the home of B. M. Riggs. The Association minutes show 1874 as the date of its organization.

In 1900 the present building was erected. The church since that time has been known as the Grants Creek Baptist Church. The church membership now exceeds 190. The Sunday School has more than 150 enrolled. The Minister is the Reverend T. W. Siler and the Sunday School Superintendent is George B. Riggs. The Church contributions approximate $4,000 per year. Miss Ethel Riggs is the Clerk. Grants Creek is one of the oldest missionary Baptist Churches in Onslow County.

Tar Landing

Tar Landing Baptist Church, located about four miles from Jacksonville, on the Richlands Highway 24, was organized about 1870 or 1875 in a little red schoolhouse which stood across the road from its present location. Other denominations also preached there. Two known charter members were Jerry Aman and Thomas Jarman. The church was then called “Rose Hill” Baptist Church.

A building was erected in 1900 and the name changed to Tar Landing Baptist Church. The land for the present building was donated by W. F. Langley and wife Hattie Langley, to D. N. Page, Joseph Cole and William Wilson, Trustees. After a period of inactivity the Reverend M. E. Eubanks reorganized the membership and perfected an organization which today includes full time services, a thriving Sunday School and a Young Peoples’ Missionary organization. In the early years the Tar Landing Church acted as sponsor for the Jacksonville First Baptist Church.





In 1953, following a collision in which a motorist left the highway and crashed his car into the building, killing himself and a passenger, and doing much damage, the old building was sold and a small but elegant new church was constructed. The membership now (1958) numbers 120 persons. The Reverend Anthony Gurganus, who is a product of the local church, educated at Wake Forest College, is the Pastor. He was ordained here.

The Sunday School enrollment is approximately 160, with 6 teachers.

The Superintendent is Mr. Edward Cole.

(From notes made by the Reverend Victor L. Andrews.)

The Richlands Baptist Church

Formerly known as Emma's Chapel, was an offspring of the former members at Union Chapel old Baptist Church, and members living over a wide area who came together in the yard of Starkey Cox and organized themselves into a church in 1880.

At first the congregation called themselves Emma's Chapel in honor of the first Mrs. Dr. James L. Nicholson of Richlands, who was one of the active promoters. Other members on the charter list included Starkey Cox, his wife and his son Ned Cox, Franklin D. Shaw and wife, Mrs. Lizzie Jarman, Mrs. Martha J. Barbee, Fountain Williams and wife of Tuckahoe, Mrs. Lott Mills, and John Marshburn and wife of Catharine Lake.

Not quite clear seems the appearance of a building in 1882, but few facts remain about this structure.

In 1844 Emma's Chapel and 19 other churches were organized into the Atlantic Association.

For many years the old church stood on Wilmington Street where the old cemetery remains, but in 1913 a new site was purchased and the building completed in 1915. Cement blocks of which the church was constructed were made on the grounds by members of the church.

The old building was sold to the Free Will Baptist Church, who held services there for a short time but finally sold the land into private hands and turned the building into a residence.

In April of 1923 the present building was dedicated by Dr. B. W. Spilman, and he is credited with renaming the church “The Richlands Baptist Church.”

Early members remembered by memorials in the present sanctuary are Mrs. Emma Carlton Nicholson, Mrs. Susan Jarman Koonce, Mr. O. B. Cox and Mrs. Martha J. Barbee.

The membership now numbers more than 240, and total gifts





in 1958 reached $12,420.00. The Sunday School Superintendent is Mr. Everett Barbee.

(Thanks to Reverend D. M. Clemmons, present pastor.)

Salem-Sneads Ferry

About 1880 John Olliver began preaching in the homes and groves around Sneads Ferry. Charter members were: John Congleton, Christian Williams, Rena Rouse, James King, Belle Redd, Henrietta Canady, Sarah Williams, Elizabeth McLendon, Ann Moore, Mary E. Hansley, D. R. Canady and Burgess Williams.

Burgess Williams donated a lot about 1885 and a building was constructed which was used until about 1925, when the present building was erected on land purchased from E. T. Capps. Trustees included A. M. Grant, Dr. L. D. Bryan, E. P. Millis and Joseph Batts.* Mrs. Maggie King is Clerk.

The Sunday School numbers 259.

Mr. H. U. Justice is Superintendent.

Church membership now totals 192 and gifts in 1958 showed $8,000.00.

[note]Catharine Lake

Catharine Lake Missionary Baptist Church was organized May 21, 1890, with eighteen charter members. These included John P. Cox, J. N. Kennedy, John Marshburn, Charles Brown, Caroline Cox, Nancy C. Duffy, Alvania Barber, Annie Marshburn, Sue Brown, Peannie Murrill, Julia Marshburn, Lizzie A. Marshburn, Lillie D. Marshburn, Sallie Padrick, India Marshburn, Virginia Kennedy, Callie Cox, and Jane Barber. Ministers in charge were the Reverends Meeks and Carlton. The Reverend Howard was the first Pastor.

In November, Dr. Charles Duffy and wife Nancy A. Duffy presented a lot, and a building was begun at once. The Church was admitted to The Great Eastern Association, which met at Rileys Creek in the fall of that same year.

The Sunday School was organized in 1929. The enrollment now (1958) numbers 51. The Church Membership now numbers 45. The Minister is Reverend W. B. Rowe. The Superintendent of the Sunday School is Mrs. Dalton Parker.

(From notes made by Reverend Victor L. Andrews.)

Jacksonville First Baptist Church

Organized in 1890, the charter members consisted of Thomas J. Jarman, J. H. Foy, Mrs. Nancy M. Jarman, Mrs. Lee Henderson,





Mrs. L. A. Moore, Miss Henrietta Jarman and N. Mason. The Reverend A. T. Howell was mainly responsible for the organization, which was sponsored by the Tar Landing Church. O. T. Meeks was clerk. D. N. Page and R. P. Hinton were leaders and workers in the new church.

The first building was erected on what is now the vacant lot opposite the church, in 1891.

Of the present plant the smaller of the brick structures was erected in 1930 after which the old building was torn down and rebuilt on the site of the present Bethany Baptist Church in the Nine Mile Community, all under the oversight of Reverend Victor L. Andrews, the Pastor of First Church. The cost of the new building in Jacksonville was approximately $9,000.00.

In 1945 the present sanctuary was planned and the construction began January, 1950. The rebuilding of the old church on another location is told in another page.

Outstanding in the history of the church was the pastorate of the Reverend Victory L. Andrews, for which he deserves wide commendation. During the years 1928-1936 inclusive, he preached, not only at the First Baptist Church, but at a number of mission points elsewhere in the county as well.

Additional purchases of property and buildings have been added from time to time.

Dr. M. R. Brown is the present pastor. The church has a membership estimated to be about 850 persons, with a property valuation exceeding $200,000.00. Gifts reported for the year 1958 amounted to $38,150. The Sunday School enrolls a total of 453. Mr. Wade Higgins is Superintendent. All departments of the church are fully organized and at work, including Brotherhood work, Royal Ambassadors, Womens Missionary Society, Training Union and Recreational facilities.

(From notes furnished by Reverend Burgess, and from minutes of the Wilmington Association, 1958.)

Swansboro Baptist Church

The Swansboro Baptist Church was organized in 1896 but it is known that there were Baptists there much earlier.

For many years prior to 1878 an old Free Church stood near the east end of the present Elementary School. Only the cemetery is left now. In that year the old building, being badly in need of repair, was blown down. The old church, which contained a balcony, was a home for all faiths. Noted ministers of all denominations preached there. Rivalry as to who could produce the “biggest guns” and make the most impression on the community included both Baptist and Methodist. Whether





this is the structure in which Bishop Asbury found so little interest in 1785 (?) is not surely known, but could very well have been the same one.

It is said that some great revivals were held there; Baptist, Cashwell; Methodist, Kendall and Moore and maybe others.

At the organization in 1896 charter members included Amelia Barnum Russell, Rosa Montford, Virginia Heady, Francis Dennis, Rebecca Moore, Narcissa Bell, Captain Reiney Foster, Mrs. Foster, Mary Willis, Sabra Willis, Armesia Hill and Mr. Tyre Moore.

At first there was no sanctuary, the meetings being held in the old schoolhouse. Johnson Olive and Isaac Henderson were the great leaders who conducted services. Other early consecrated workers in the church were Abby Smith, Martin Heady, J. E. and Frances Watson, Martin and Callie Bloodgood, Herbert Piner and Rita Littleton.

In 1897 the young church bought a lot on the corner of Main and Water Streets on which was erected a two story building, the Masonic Lodge cooperating, and using the upper story for their meeting place. About 1930 the lodge sold out to the church. At first there were no pews except planks laid across short logs; the women picked cotton, made and sold ice cream and made hand quilts to earn money with which to furnish the church. The first pastor was Ben Ward.

Later a Womans Missionary Union was formed with Amelia Barnum Russell, first president. Still later Mrs. R. W. Freeman became president. Outstanding also in leadership for fifty years has been Mrs. Julia B. Pittman.

In 1957 a beautiful and commodious building was erected on the present location donated by Mr. Clyde Sabiston of Jacksonville, who was at the time engaged in the development of the West Swansboro area.

The new church was dedicated December, 1957. The membership is now around 400, the membership being ably led by the Reverend Laurie J. Atkinson.

The value of the property is approximately $170,000.00. Total gifts for all purposes in 1958 were $21,688.00, the budget alone being $18,500.00.

(Thanks to Mrs. Daisy R. Moore.)

Kellum Baptist Church

Kellum Baptist Church was organized in 1902 in an old schoolhouse a short distance west of the present site.

The eight charter members included Mrs. Lyddia Kellum, William Ramsey, Mr. and Mrs. John Bloodworth, Mr. and Mrs. Holland and Mr. and Mrs. Bryant Kellum.





A building was completed in 1904. William Ramsey and John Bloodworth were the first Deacons.

The pastor who organized the church was the Baptist pastor in Swansboro that year, but the name is not available to this writer.

A new building was constructed in 1946 which is in use at the present time.

An interesting incident happened while the church was holding services in the schoolhouse. Someone objected to the use of the schoolhouse for a revival and so the revival was moved to the freight platform at the Coastline Railroad Station, where a number of converts were added to the church, resulting in the erection of a building. The Reverend Johnson Oliver was pastor during the erection of the church.

The church now (1958) has a membership of 285, gifts for the year $11,029.92. The total property valuation is recorded at $33,000.00.

The Reverend Lee Gregory is the Pastor.

(From information given by Mrs. Lucy Morton, Church Clerk.)

Atlantic Baptist Church
(Marines Post Office)

Atlantic-Marines Missionary Baptist Church is the second church caused to go out of existence by the coming of the Marine Base; the other being the Wards Will Primitive Baptist Church. Three other churches—Enons Chapel, Missionary Baptist, Stones Bay Primitive Baptist and Washington Chapel Colored Baptist Church were removed and new buildings erected, at their present locations.

Atlantic Baptist Church was organized in 1897. I. H. Marshall gave the site in 1898. Though small, the church was active and aggressive, and had a good Sunday School.

The life of the Church was about 45 years.

Bethany Baptist Church
(Nine Mile)

Bethany Baptist Church was organized in 1934 by the Reverend Victor L. Andrews. For some time prior to this Mr. Andrews, Pastor of the Jacksonville Church, had preached in the Nine Mile Schoolhouse, which stood nearby. The account of the construction of this church will be found elsewhere in this work. The Church Membership is now (1958) 147. The Sunday School enrollment numbers 231. The pastor is the Reverend L. L. King. The Sunday School Superintendent is Mr. Lloyd Williams. The story of the construction is as follows:





A permanent improvement which can be credited to ERA work in Onslow County was in the moving and reconstructing of the old building of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville to a new location where it became Bethany Baptist Church.

The Reverend Victor L. Andrews was Pastor of the Church in Jacksonville at the time and to him is due credit for engineering the job and organizing the congregation at Bethany. For some time he had been preaching in the old schoolhouse which stood nearby. The church in Jacksonville stood in front of and opposite to the present First Baptist Church. The old building was composed of good timbers and was about 30% smaller after being rebuilt, but remarkably little new lumber was required to rebuild it.

At the beginning of the project a few of those most skilled were named carpenters, the others did whatever they could and the work progressed rapidly, when it is considered that only three days per week was allowed on public work, the other three being used on the farms which the ERA clients were required to tend growing food, for themselves and families. For three days public work the worker was paid sixty cents per day. This writer supervised the work and Mr. Andrews kept us supplied with nails and supplies needed, most of which were contributed by the merchants of Jacksonville. Truck owners of Jacksonville moved the lumber to its new location without charge. The window sections were moved whole and replaced as nearly as possible in the same way as before.

Everything went well until the roof was to be applied. There was no money with which to buy roofing, as none had been included in the project. There were great cypress trees in nearby swamps if the owners would allow them to be cut, and if there were any of those employed on the project who could bolt, rive and draw shingles. Finally Tom Swinson was selected for the job and picked two or three helpers to do the work. The result was that several thousand shingles, ample for the need, were made. The problem then became how to get them transported about three miles to the site of the building. There was no money for that either. This phase of the problem was solved by allowing one man a day's pay for half a day's work with the use of his old car which had been transformed into a pick-up truck, so the shingles were at last placed on the site where needed. Efficiency had no place on that job, but initiative was necessary at every turn. However, the Church was eventually completed and on the Day of Dedication a large crowd was present. The Speaker, the Honorable James A. Powers of Kinston, Solicitor of the District Superior Courts, spoke on “The





Evils in the Use of Alcohol.” Mr. Andrews of course presided, and a great dinner was spread on the grounds and a happy occasion went off nicely.

The church is still standing as a witness to the initiative of the builders, to the ERA who paid the men, and as a reminder of God's effort to build the men and women of a community into better citizens and to the saving of his people throughout the years.

Bibliography: This I saw and had a part in at the time.

— J. P. Brown

Bethlehem

Bethlehem Baptist Church is located on the Jacksonville-Gum Branch Road and was organized in 1920 by Reverend M. E. Eubank, with a membership of 30 to 40 persons. The land was purchased from T. W. and Mollie Hancock. It was deeded to W. B. Marshburn, L. C. Marshburn and J. D. Greer, Trustees, November 5, 1920.

The present 1958 membership numbers 179. The Pastor is the Reverend Junie S. Barnes.

The church has contributed one minister, the Reverend Donald Howard. Gifts made by the church in 1958 totaled $4,816.75.

The Bible School Superintendent is Mr. J. D. Avery.

(Thanks to Mr. E. W. Greer, Church Clerk, Jacksonville, Route 1.)

Bethel Chapel

Bethel Chapel Baptist Church was organized in 1955, being sponsored by the Bethlehem Church. The membership in 1958 numbered 32.

Miss Carolyn Ramsey is Church Clerk.

Franklin Brown is Sunday School Superintendent.

(Thanks to Miss Ramsey, Route 1, Jacksonville, N. C.)

Bear Creek Baptist Church

This church was organized by Mr. Johnson Olive in 1898 on land owned by Mr. Jim Phillips. At first some meetings were held in a Brush Harbor, but a small frame building was erected, the exact date of which is not available now.

Known charter members include Mr. and Mrs. Furman Guthrie, Mrs. Irene Burns, Mr. and Mrs. Van Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Phillips, Mrs. Hepsey Moseley, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Foreman, Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Reed, Miss Rhoda Phillips, Mrs. Martha Guthrie Burns, B. A. Guthrie, Mrs. Sarah Jones, Guthrie Jones, Mr. and Mrs. D. W. Peebles, and Mr. Matthews.





1958 reports show a membership of 106, property worth $8,000.00, and gifts amounting to $3,958.00.

Bibliography: Thanks to Mrs. Freshwater and Mrs. Reed in personal interviews.

Bib: Paschal History of North Carolina Baptists, pp. 541-547.

Minutes: Atlantic Baptist Association, Seventy-fifth Annual Session October 30, 1958.

Minutes: The Wilmington Baptist Association, Fifty-eighth Annual Session October 21, 1958. Statistical Tables

Statistical Table 1958

ChurchFoundedMembersTotal GiftsProperty Value
Piney Grove1869212$ 10,461.44$ 50,000.00
Enon Chapel18721455,338.982,500.00
Grants Creek18741933,894.0017,000.00
Tar Landing18761656,448.0025,000.00
Richlands188024412,813.0040,000.00
Salem18781928,000.0065,000.00
Providence18881787,300.0040,000.00
Catharine Lake189045875.003,000.00
Jacksonville189095338,150.00207,000.00
Swansboro189638921,688.00170,000.00
Bear Creek18981044,400.008,000.00
Kellum190428511,029.9233,000.00
Bethlehem19202514,896.7320,000.00
Bethany193479840.003,000.00
Harris Creek19481735,795.0030,000.00
Calvary1948187845.51
Midville195536536,321.0049,781.00
New River195523917,342.0050,000.00
Brookwood195727721,111.0074,620.00
Bethel195532845.51
20 Churches Total4,317$331,957.21$1,235,358.21

Bib: Minutes Wilmington and Atlantic Baptist Association 1958

Paschal History North Carolina Baptist pp. 541-547









THE METHODIST CHURCH

John and Charles Wesley were students in Oxford University, England. They saw and felt the need of more consecration and deeper spiritual insight in the lives of the members of the established church.

To bring this about they, in 1729, began organizing societies or classes—sometimes called “Holy Clubs.” These clubs, intended to be largely devotional, soon became evangelistic and began preaching the Gospel. So enthusiastically did they carry on that the movement spread throughout England and reached America as early as 1760.

The first of the pioneer preachers was Joseph Pilmour, an Englishman who was converted under the preaching of John Wesley. He began organizing classes in the Southern States, reaching North Carolina in 1772.

He traveled from Norfolk via New Bern to Wilmington, thus passing through Onslow County on his way. The exact places at which he spoke are not known, but there seems to have been Methodist in Onslow since the time of his visit.

He joined the itinerary in 1765. Coming to America in 1769 he stayed until 1774, when he returned to his own country. Following the Revolution he again came to America. Joining the Protestant Episcopal Church, he held pastorates in Philadelphia and New York. The degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him by the University of Pennsylvania. He was one of the really great preachers of his time. His southern tour was made before the Revolution while connected with the Methodist Society in January, 1773.

The first Methodist Societies in North Carolina were organized in Warren and Halifax counties in 1776. Preachers who had been working in Virginia and who were responsible for the clubs in North Carolina were George Whitefield, Deverough Jarrott and Robert Williams. They counted 683 members, which one year later had grown to 930.

Other preachers who followed were Dromgool Poythress, — Tatum, John King, John Dickens, Lee Roy Cole and Edward Pride. In 1800 Francis Poythress was the state's first presiding Elder and his territory extended from the Cape Fear to the Virginia line. In 1790 there were four circuits—Camden, Bertie, Roanoke and New River. After the formation of the Church in 1784, the first annual Conference was held in the home of Green Hill near Louisburg on April 20, 1785.

The New River circuit was formed in 1785 and included Onslow,





Craven, Carteret and Jones counties, and Reverend Lee Roy Cole, a native of Virginia, was appointed to the charge.

The next year New River was combined with New Bern and Wilmington.

In 1777 Mr. Cole had attended a conference held at Deer Creek, Maryland, as representative of the churches in North Carolina. At one time he was suspended from his pulpit for reasons unknown to us, but his good name was retrieved when the next year the Conference invited him to return to his church and soon afterward promoted him to the eldership of the New Bern, New River and Wilmington circuit.

Other godly men who preached in this circuit include Wiley and William Beaufort, William Ormond and Thomas Easter. It is a matter of sincere regret that so little is known of these, the founders of Methodism in Onslow County.

The New River circuit was short lived. After only seven years the area, which was much too large for one minister, was divided into two. One part, called Goshen, included Onslow, and the other was known as the Trent. The Trent included churches in Jones and Lenoir counties. The same year, 1792, William Ormond of Kinston held pastorate in New River.

He might well have been called one of God's noblemen when we consider the accomplishments of his short lifetime. He was born near Kinston, North Carolina, in 1769, was converted at 18 years of age and was in Conference first in 1791, being only 23 years of age when on the Goshen charge. A historian says he was no ordinary man. Advancing rapidly, he held pastorates at Washington, Georgia; at Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia.

While in Norfolk yellow fever broke out and friends urged him to leave the place but he said, “I might as well die of fever as any other affliction, and there is as direct a passage from Norfolk to Heaven as from any other part of the globe.” He died in 1803, aged 34. At his death he left a legacy to the Conference, and another to build Ormond's Chapel, which stands between Kinston and Snow Hill in Lenoir County.

In his short lifetime he distinguished himself in his Master's service, and the Methodists are still reaping good from seeds sown by him.

The most active of the early Methodist leaders was Bishop Frances Ashbury. He was a native of England who consecrated his life to the winning of converts to the new order. He came to America in 1771 and traveled back and forth from New England to Georgia, reaching North Carolina first in 1780 and coming to Swansboro first in 1785.





Asbury's Journal

1785Wednesday April 6, 1785
Preached at Swansbury in sight of the sea Here are a wicked people indeed; nevertheless a few have joined society.
1785Saturday and Sunday December 24 and 25 (Christmas)
We held Quarterly meeting at Swansbury, many people—little religion.
1791Thursday January 27
I had many to hear at Swansbury—the people were attentive—O that God may bless his Word to them. I returned to Brother T.-s a mile out of town, but the people found where I was and came out. Jan. 28 we rode 16 miles to an old chapel (North East) on the way to Richlands. I spoke a little and administered the sacrament after which I rode cold and hungry 16 miles more to Brother C. Ballards. (New River Chapel)
1796December 20
“At the Richlands but amongst spiritually poor people. I had about 30 hearers and here are a few precious souls.” The next day preached at Stones Bay. (Lot Ballard lived near New River Chapel. He is mentioned as the first Methodist in the County.)
1799February 17
Preached at Richlands Chapel. “Cold. Slaves not permitted to come into house.”
1801February 28
Came to Lot Ballard's at the Richlands of New River. Preached from Luke 19-10 Serious but unaffected congregation. Joseph and Mary Ballard gone to rest. (Ballards were Methodist before Ashbury came to Onslow.) 18 years a Methodist, also John Perry, a backslider from the Baptist.” Regenerated by Methodist, “became a preacher and deacon, died on way to appointment. Neither were slaveholders—Hail happy souls.”
1802January 24
“It was not at all agreeable to me to see nearly 100 slaves standing outside and peeping in at the door, whilst the house was half empty. They were not worthy to come in because they were black! Farewell, farewell to that house forever!”
1803Feb. 17
Arrived at Chapel too late for service. “I conclude I shall have no more appointments between Wilmington and New Bern.
There is a description of people we must not preach to. The people of Onslow seem to resemble the ancient Jews—they please not God and are contrary to all men. Farewell, farewell. Oh unhappy people.”
1804Feb. 16
Lodged with Lot Ballard—no services.
1805Jan. 21
Stopped at Ballard's.
1806Dec. 21
At Ballards “Lot lives in Jerusalum.”
1807Jan. 29
Preached at Ballards





1809Jan. 27
At Richlands “Stopped with Gains Rowe—God is worshipped in their house. Oh what a change in here. Poor Africans once oppressed have now great privileges allowed them.
1813Jan. 30
“Preached and ordained Lot Ballard” (probably grandson of original Lot Ballard. Mr. Ashbury's legs had given out; he conducted the ordination as well as preaching services on his knees.)
1815Jan. 22
At Lot Ballard's

Bishop Ashbury had long been in ill health brought on by exposure, etc. He died March 16, 1816. He had been the means of implanting the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States on a permanent basis.

Prior to the Revolution the Methodists operated as societies within the mother Church of England, but the war changed its status and in 1784 at Baltimore it was organized as the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Sometime after the Revolution, probably about 1813, the Methodist Church at Chapel was rebuilt near its present location at Richlands. It was a log house at first, being known as Oak Grove. Later a frame building was erected containing galleries for the slaves. The present handsome building was erected in 1939.

Two other congregations of the Methodists in the county, those at Tabernacle and Queens Creek, have early records.

The Methodist Church in the state is divided into the “North Carolina Conference” and the “Western North Carolina Conference,” each presided over by a Bishop, who is the ranking officer in his Conference. The Conference convenes in annual sessions.

The churches of the state are divided for administrative purposes into districts, each presided over by a Presiding Elder, or Superintendent. Onslow is in the Wilmington District. Each District is subdivided into Charges, each in charge of a pastor.

In Onslow, the Methodist Church now (1958) has a membership of 2,828 persons covering the county's area grouped in twelve churches as follows: Carols Chapel, Oak Grove, Queens Creek, Belgrade, Richlands, Gum Branch, Haw Branch, Jacksonville, Midway, Tabernacle, Swansboro and Verona, with a total property valuation of approximately $1,500,000. Organization dates in most cases are approximate, owing to lack of records available.





Richlands Methodist Church

Richlands Methodist Church had its beginning in the old New River Chapel where at one time congregations of both Methodist and Baptist met in the same building on different Sundays.

Just who organized the church is not known now. The Bishop Ashbury visited the community 12 times, one of which visits may have been to the new log building at Oak Grove, to which the congregation had removed by 1813.

Little of historic value is known of the intervening period, but in 1848 the minister, Reverend E. L. Perkins, who was on the circuit that year, took an active part in the organization of the Richlands Academy. The meeting was held in the old Richlands Chapel.

Mr. Perkins addressed the meeting on the advantages of education in general and pointed up the advantages accuring to every community in which a classical school was established. The long and useful record of the Academy proved the wisdom of the action taken at the time.

That the contribution of the church to the community life throughout the years is not known to us now is a tragic fact.

Several buildings have succeeded each other, all on practically the same site, the present one having been completed in 1939.

In 1958 the membership had reached a total of 361 and the property valuation an estimated value of $18,500.00.

Swansboro Methodist Church

Swansboro Methodist history began with a visit there in 1785 by Bishop Ashbury. He preached there three times in two years. Swansboro, like many other places in the county, had a free church where several denominations preached from time to time. This old building stood near where the Elementary School now stands, the cemetery of which remains as its only remaining vestige since 1878 when it was blown down during a storm. It had a balcony and was used as a school.

Prior to the Civil War, and until 1880, an Academy had been operated at the corner of Church and Elm Streets. In that year Claude Frazel was reported “Master” in what was probably its last session. For years the old building stood abandoned and unused. Time picked off its timbers one at a time until the final crash put an end to its existence about the year 1889.

Soon after the Methodists began negotiations to secure part or all of the property for a church. In spite of some question of title, the lot was secured and a building erected some time about 1890.

The old site had been considered as “belonging to the children





of Swansboro” and anybody's right of conveyance was questioned. The conclusion seems to have been that the Methodists secured part of the lot on a 99 year lease. The old M. E. Church still (1958) stands on the corner.

The Northern Methodists built a church here about the same time the M. E. Church was built. Mr. Graham of the Marshalburg Academy came here and organized and looked after the building of the church. Their pastor was a Mr. Burnette.

A Mr. Matthews from the western part of the State, together with his wife, set up a school here about 1903. About 1907 Matthews sold out to the Unitarians, who also purchased the Northern Methodist building adjoining the Matthews property, then added a brick building about 1927. Three years later the Unitarians sold out to the Methodist Episcopal Church and left.

For several years the old church on the corner of Church and Elm Streets stood vacant and unused, but later was sold and used for a warehouse.

In the plant formerly used as a school and church, together with some rearranging and remodeling, the Methodists in Swansboro now have a very adequate and spacious building with a total property valuation of about $35,000.00

The membership (1958) numbers 329 persons.

Tabernacle and Queens Creek Methodist Churches

The deed for the land on which Tabernacle Methodist Church stands was deeded to Trustees by Thomas A. Bell, dated August 26, 1829. The Trustees, which seem to be the same as those named for Queens Creek, includes John G. Lloyd, John Freeman, Ebenezer Burnap, Mitchell Barlow and James Wade. These men all lived in the area now covered by the two churches.

The personnel of the Trustees was changed slightly four years later when John Morton on December 20, 1833, deeded land at Queens Creek on which to build a church. The Trustees at that time included James Coston, James Provost, Daniel Rogers, Erasmus Coston, Robert W. Coston, Jonathan Ketchum, John Freeman and Mitchell Barbour. Freeman and Barbour are on both lists.

From very reliable tradition, however, it is known that both churches had been “going concerns” much longer than that.

Tradition also says that Lorenzo Dow preached here in 1804; also, that Erasmus Hill, early preacher of Methodism, conducted a service under improvised tabernacles, one of which was located about where White Oak School now stands, between the years 1794 and 1810.

1806 has been named as the year when a great revival swept over this area. That date has been accepted as the likely one





by both Reverend H. Leroy Harris, pastor on this charge in 1838, when he wrote “A Sketch of Tabernacle Church,” and Mr. Fitzhugh Lee Morris, native of White Oak, historian, and an authority on the history of this section. Their conclusion seems logical.

Erasmus Hill married a local girl, daughter of the widow of Josiah Holt, which occasioned the Bishop's caustic comment that he was afraid that Erasmus Hill will desert the Gospel for a rich wife. He may very well have met her during the revival held at the Brush Harbor. That he was a man of much ability, we know.

Tabernacle Methodist Church

At Tabernacle, according to tradition handed down from “Bill” Jones through his son John Starkey Jones, “Hill could be heard singing late at night as he passed the Jones home at Yellow House on his return from holding services. Jones spent the winters at the Yellow House, home of his mother-in-law, and the summers at his Swansboro home at Mt. Pleasant Plantation, between the years 1794 and 1810, which places the beginning of the church between those dates.” (Morris)

As to the name: It seems that the temporary brush shelter used at first, having been spoken of as “The Tabernacle,” the term was carried over to the permanent structure.

The present building seems to have been erected about 1860. Mr. David W. Sanders, a large slave holder in the community, though himself not a member, donated $500 on condition that quarters be provided in which his slaves could worship. The gallery built at that time for the slaves was removed when the building was remodeled, probably about 1897.

The first pastor, too early to date, is believed to have been Elijah Grinade, followed by Roberson about 1810 and Erasmus Hill (who seems not to have deserted the Gospel after all) about 1815.

The Reverend Dougan Johnson (1856-1861) married Miss Thompson of Richlands, daughter of Frank Thompson and wife Leah Brown. The Reverend George Hardison married Miss Mary Elizabeth Coston, a local resident of near Deppe. The Reverend F. B. McCall married Miss Ella Bell of Hubert. The Reverend Robert L. Warlick of Burke County married Miss Dora Coston, daughter of John D. Coston and sister of Mrs. George Hardison. The Reverend John Mattocks was a native of Onslow. The Reverend Bowie is said to have been a skilled horse trainer. The Reverend Stephenson was said to be “too big” for the place, having a wife, two children, a nurse and a pair of mules; seems to have driven around in a two seated phaeton and enjoyed





hearty meals with his parishioners. He soon left for an up-state point on account of his health. The Reverend Perkins assisted in organizing the old Richlands Academy in 1848.

M. H. Moore came here in 1879, wrote “The Calf Pasture of the Conference.” (See below.)

Another donor who should be mentioned here is Mr. David S. Aman, “Patriot, soldier, Christian,” who took membership at Tabernacle soon after coming here in 1866. Many improvements were suggested from time to time by him and generally followed by the query, “Will you let me give it?” There being no objection, Mr. Aman proceeded to have the work done. In his will, dated 1926, an additional gratuity of $500 “was made to the church, the interest of which goes into the current expense account. Contributions made by him during his lifetime are thus continued indefinitely though he is gone.

Mr. R. J. Aman in 1921 contributed a $500 donation to Onslow Circuit, of which Tabernacle was a part. Most of the money was lost through the failure of a Wilmington bank.

Tabernacle in 1958 had 191 members and property probably worth $10,000.

Bibliography: Letter from Mr. F. L. Morris to Mrs. C. M. Ward dated July 19, 1948.

H. Leroy Harris “A Sketch of Tabernacle Church.”

Queens Creek Methodist Church

The earliest historical information we have on Queens Creek is the Brush Harbor revivals calculated to have covered the area about 1806. Lorenzo Dow may have preached here in 1804. Bishop Asbury preached in Swansboro two trips in 1785 and one in 1791, after which he seems to have discontinued his work there, as no further mention is made of that place. Mr. Asbury kept a diary which he called his “Journal.” The only mention he makes of preaching at other points nearby, the good Bishop says that on 28 January, 1791 “We rode 16 miles from Swansboro to an old chapel (North East) on the way to the Rich Lands. I spoke a little and administered the sacrament, after which I rode, cold and hungry, 16 miles more to Brother C. Ballard's.” (The Rich Lands.)

The truth of the matter seems to be that under the fine lay leadership of the men named on the two committees named above, plus the preaching of ordained ministers when they were available, Methodism was planted on a permanent basis in Eastern Onslow, and full credit should be given them by the membership of today. They were the salt of the earth, both as church men and as Christian citizens.





Following the Brush Harbor services a log chapel was constructed probably about 1809 or 1810. The first frame structure is believed to have been built about 1816 on land donated by Jonathan Ketchum. The present structure was built about 1880. Other improvements have been made from time to time, and the property is now estimated to be worth approximately $12,000.

Queens Creek now (1958) has a membership of 154 persons.

Trinity Methodist Church
Jacksonville, North Carolina

The first house for Christian worship in Jacksonville, North Carolina, was provided in 1851, when the Lafayette Lodge Number 83, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons purchased a two story frame building. The Masons utilized the upper story as a lodge room and on the lower floor they provided a free church open to all Christians for worship of God.

While it is impossible accurately to ascertain the exact date of the founding of the Methodist Church body in the Town of Jacksonville, it is reasonable to assume that there was a group of Methodists worshipping together prior to the War Between the States. The earliest recorded reference to the Jacksonville Church is found in the Methodist Episcopal Advocate, published in Raleigh, North Carolina, February, 1866. During these years the group of Methodists and also the Baptists conducted their services of worship on the lower floor of the Masonic Lodge building.

During the last years of the nineteenth century, there were many attempts to erect a church building for the worship of Methodists in Jacksonville. In August 1893, Mr. and Mrs. David S. Aman gave a lot to the Methodist Church with the provision that if a church building were not erected within two years the property would revert to the donors. This attempt to build a church was not successful. However, during the summer of 1894, while in a revival campaign under the leadership of the Reverend G. W. Starling, pastor, a lot was procured from the Onslow Land and Improvement Company, located on Mill Avenue and Third Street and a Board of Trustees of the Jacksonville Methodist Church was elected. These Trustees, George W. Taylor, Charles Gerock, and Frank Thompson, with the assistance of the pastor, succeeded in raising the sum of five hundred and twenty dollars ($520.00), which with the one hundred and fifty dollars ($150.00) secured from the Board of Church Extension was sufficient for the erection of a suitable house of worship. The corner stone for the church was laid November 15, 1894, on the present site of the church and officially named the Trinity Methodist Church.





Throughout the years the church building has been improved and remodeled to accommodate the growth of the church and to provide better facilities for the church's program. Most significant of these improvements were: the erection of the church school annex at the rear of the church in 1912, the erection of a two story brick building to replace the first annex in 1930, and the complete remodeling of the church edifice in 1940. The first church school annex was erected during the pastorate of the Reverend P. D. Woodall in 1912. This building consisted of a two room frame building conforming in architecture with the main church building. This annex and the church were utilized until 1930, when they having proven totally inadequate, the Reverend L. A. Watts led the church to erect the present church school building. This brick building consists of two floors. The lower floor is divided into three rooms, a hall and one rest room; the upper floor provides kitchen and dining facilities, and an additional rest room. The dining room can be divided by folding doors for class room space. During 1939, while the Reverend H. L. Davis was pastor, a movement was launched to renovate the church edifice, but nothing concrete was accomplished. Then in 1940 a reconstruction of the church was begun and through the strenuous efforts of the Reverend I. T. Poole the church was completely renovated and reopened for worship in June 1941. The newly constructed brick building is an English Chapel type church built along Romanesque lines. The church and church school buildings have been furnished during the years 1941 to 1944.

The earliest available records reveal that the Jacksonville Methodists were originally served by the pastor of the Onslow Circuit of the Wilmington District, which circuit consisted of practically all of the Methodist groups within the bounds of Onslow County. At the 1896 session of the North Carolina Annual Conference, Jacksonville was taken from the Onslow Circuit and Richlands was taken from the Duplin Circuit to form a new charge known as the Jacksonville-Richlands Charge. The Jacksonville-Richlands Charge was divided in 1912-1913. During these two years, Jacksonville, Dixon, Sneads Ferry, and Folkstone constituted the Jacksonville Charge. This arrangement proving impracticable, Jacksonville and Richlands were reunited at the 1913 session of the Annual Conference and remained as a unit until the Charge was divided in the Fall of 1941. This division created the Jacksonville Charge, which consisted of Jacksonville and Verona.

In 1957 a new and handsome building was completed on the present site. The new building is one of the most beautiful





and modern church plants in the city. The membership numbers eleven hundred persons and in 1959 closed a budget of $37,000.00.

Reverend T. R. Jenkins is Pastor.

Bibliography: Bulletin issued by the church dated November 12, 1944. Minutes of North Carolina Conference, 1958.

Carroll Chapel Methodist Church
Sneads Ferry, North Carolina

The Sneads Ferry Methodist Church originally stood about a half mile further down toward Peru in the Pine thicket and was organized about 1902 by the Reverend Mr. Jessie Marlowe, who held a revival there with much success.

Mr. Bob Moore gave the land but many years later, in 1948, the building was moved to its present location, since which time additions have been made, including a fellowship hall approximately 60′ × 70′ which was completed within about six months, beginning May 1st, 1958.

As nearly as can be remembered at this late day, the charter membership included Robert and Ella Moore, Sam Lewis, Laura Lewis, David Lewis, Daisy Lewis, Minnie Lewis, John Moore, Mamie Moore, Guy Moore, Sadie Moore, Lillie Moore, Priscilla Lewis, Julia Midgette, Cornelia Midgette, Annie Edens, Sadie Guthrie, Ed and Mrs. Lewis, Murray Guthrie and Fleeta his wife, Lizzie Sykes, Annie Shepard, Pearl Grant, B. L. Midgette and Mr. W. B. Davis and his wife, Mrs. Maggie Davis, who furnished this information from memory.

The membership numbers 150, with property value estimated at $15,000.00. Three young men have gone out to the ministry from this church as follows:

Bobby Jenkins, Holiness

P. D. Jenkins, Free Will Baptist

W. R. King, Methodist

Haw Branch Methodist Church

For many years services were held on Haw Branch in a schoolhouse, according to Mrs. E. L. Frazelle of Raleigh, who grew up in the community. Usually the ministers stopped on the way from Kenansville to Richlands and preached at night. She names much older members than have before been mentioned, Jonathan W. Thompson and Frank Thompson. She describes the first building (1898) and says it had an arrangement for colored members. It had a door on each end and a low partition between the races, but all the seats fronted toward the pulpit, which was beside the front door. After the colored people had their own church, the seats and pulpit were reversed and





under the leadership of Reverend Mr. Kendall, the back entrance being closed, the pulpit and altar were placed there. “This, of course, deprived us of the privilege of seeing who was entering without looking around.” Speaking of the services, she says: “So on his way Saturday to Richlands he stopped topreach, our only sermon of the month. We guessed at the time of his arrival as best we could and congregated for the service when he finally arrived.”

“Richlands had Sunday night services and all pedestrians who had lanterns turned out, eager for the message. We were delighted when Haw Branch was placed on Richlands-Jacksonville and Gum Branch circuit with parsonage at Richlands. Then we had services Sunday and Sunday night. It was then the dead old church began showing signs of life.” She names as stewards E. L. Frazelle, W. L. Williams and Mr. Basden.

Between 1896 and 1898 a church building was erected by R. D. Thompson and Bill Rouse, builder and carpenter for the Methodist Church at Haw Branch, on land given by Ned Howard.

The charter membership list is not available at this date, but has been named for me by Mr Hiram Williams, who remembers the event, and whose father W. L. Williams, was one of the trustees, as the families of Basil Basden, Ned Howard, Bob Thompson, Frank Howard, Jessie Williams and possibly others.

The old frame building was in use seventeen to twenty years when the congregation moved to the present location and sold the old site to James K. Carter, February 6, 1915.

Trustees who signed the deed to Carter were R. D. Frazzelle, A. H. Ervin, L. W. Hargett, W. L. Williams, D. F. Howard and W. B. Hargett.

Carter used the building as a residence but several years later fire razed it to the ground and nothing remains to mark the spot.

Haw Branch in 1958 reported a membership list of 79 persons, and property including the parsonage worth about $35,000.00.

Thanks to Mr. Hiram Williams of Haw Branch and Mrs. E. L. Frazelle of 110 E. Lane Street, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Oak Grove Methodist Church

Oak Grove Methodist met for three or four years in the old East Bear Creek School house during the early 1920's.

In 1926 the property of the Unitarian church became available and a committee named, composed of D. W. Russell, C. R. Webb and I. E. Rogers to consider the value and advisability of purchase by the Methodists.

The Unitarians held the land from Mr. D. J. Sanders only so





long as it was used as a church, so the building was sold to the Methodists and the land returned to the Sanders estate, the heirs of which deeded the land to the Methodist Church.

An Advisory Commission was named to renovate and remodel the property, including E. I. Riggs, W. W. Russell, Sr., W. D. Sanders, J. F. Kellum, James Reed, Frank McCausley and W. E. Winberry.

Service was begun in the sanctuary that year. Extensive repairs and additions were made in 1955-1957.

The Sunday School was organized back in the schoolhouse days about 1922 or 1923, with Mrs. Pauline Mattocks Sanders, Superintendent.

The church now has a membership of 134 persons. (1958)

(Thanks to Mrs. William A. Sherratt)

Belgrade Methodist Church

The building at Belgrade Methodist Church cornerstone bears the date of 1918, when the church was dedicated, but for a year or two before that date the congregation had met under the ministry of the Reverend Thomas Lee in an old schoolhouse.

The Belgrade Church came out of the Tabernacle Mother Church.

In 1958 the church had a membership of 165.

Gum Branch Methodist Church

For many years different denominations preached in the old schoolhouse prior to 1910, when J. W. Burton and wife deeded to H. E. Grimsley, J. B. Murrill and G. R. Venters land for the purpose of building a church.

It seems to have been understood at the time that the new building would also serve as a public building for overflow crowds from the school, for a lodge hall, and farmers organization meetings as well as becoming a free church in which all denominations might hold services.

Materials were donated by citizens of the community—timber, brick, roofing, etc.

At first different denominations preached in the new building also, but soon the Methodists were in the ascendancy and other denominations faded out of the picture.

Upon investigation as to title in 1927, no deed to the property could be found, nor was it recorded in Jacksonville, so a new deed was made, this time to the Methodist Episcopal Church. The instrument was signed by the two remaining of the first trustees, (Grimsly was dead) as well as by Mr. and Mrs. Burton. New Trustees for the Methodist Episcopal were G. R. Venters, J. B. Murrill and Mrs. Effie Harrell.





The date 8 June, 1927, J. B. Murrill(Seal)
G. R. Venters(Seal)
Surviving Trustees
J. W. Burton(Seal)
Martha Burton(Seal)

Book 150, Page 537.

The membership in 1958 numbered 38 persons.

The Sunday School enrolls about 65 members with Mr. Albert Venters as Superintendent.

Bibliography: Information from Mr. Albert Venters and Mrs. Effie Harrell Register of Deeds Office, Book 150, Page 537, Onslow Registry, Jacksonville, N. C.

Midway Methodist Church

Midway Methodist Church was organized in 1891 with 20 members, their location being over in the village of Stella on the Carteret side of White Oak. The site was given by Mrs. Mollie Barker.

Sometime about 1903 Lebanon Church, which stood about four miles from Swansboro, was abandoned and some time later the building was allowed to be moved piece by piece, to the Stella location.

There improvements and remodeling were added to the church to make it serviceable.

About 1926 it was discovered that no deed existed to the church property, which made it unacceptable to Methodist order and so a new site was decided upon, this time about a half mile from Stella on the Onslow side of White Oak River. By this time the membership numbered 74 persons.

The site this time was deeded to the church by Mrs. Mollie A. Mattocks. Trustees on the cornerstone are named as C. M. Coston, Rudolph Pelletier and George D. Mattocks.

The membership now numbers 1953, the Sunday Schools enrolls ___, with Mr. Hosea Parker as Superintendent.

Thanks to Mrs. Dixie Mattocks, Church Treasurer, and Mr. Gerald Pelletier.

Verona Methodist Church

For several years services were held in the old schoolhouse by the Methodist minister at Jacksonville. There were two members there at the time, these were Mrs. Annie Humphrey and Mrs. L. M. Rawls. Others came but carried their membership at Jacksonville prior to the erection of the new church at Verona in 1937. The church has a membership of 45 and a Sunday School enrollment of 60, with Mr. L. W. Thomas as Superintendent.

(Thanks to Mrs. T. M. Rawls.)





THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
The Disciples of Christ in Onslow County

In order that we may understand something of the history of that body of Christians known as Disciples of Christ in this area I would like to point out something of their rise and growth, of how they spread out over the eastern Counties of the State, reaching first our neighboring county of Jones, and finally taking root in Onslow County, having reached Jacksonville in 1952.

For two hundred years prior to 1825 Denominations among the Protestants multiplied in number, so making less effective the efforts of each. Then, too, there were man-made Disciplines, creeds and catachisms which were either more or less than the Bible and thereby erroneous, or just the same as the Bible and therefore unnecessary.

Much time and energy was taken in the propagation of peculiar doctrines which should have gone to combat the common evils. As a solution to the problem, Alexander Campbell of Virginia proposed a union of all the churches with the New Testament as its only “Rule of Faith and Practice.” He proposed to restore Christianity to its original simplicity, discarding all ritual which had accumulated since Apostolic times.

About the same time Barton W. Stone, who went to Kentucky from Dr. Caldwell's “Log College” near Greensboro and took part in the Great Revival as a Presbyterian minister, became dissatisfied with the confusion and conflicting theories in religon and he, too, strangely enough, came to practically the same conclusions and took the same stand as Campbell. The followers of Campbell and Stone merged into a single body forming a new organization to be known as “Disciples of Christ,” the members of which would be Christians only.

The strength of their plea was its simplicity and with “The Bible Only” as a motto, the Disciples grew by leaps and bounds. The restoration of primitive beliefs and practices in the church has long since become an ideal toward which all Protestant churches can work.

In the Middle Atlantic States the Disciple movement usually arose within the Presbyterian Church, as it did also in Kentucky and Ohio. In North Carolina, however, the Disciple revolt grew within the Baptist Church.

The Baptist churches in North Carolina have split up time and again, and Onslow has had an important part in what has made history during the years. First of all, the Baptists were generally divided into Calvinist, called Primitives, and Arminians, called “Free Wills,” even when meeting in the same





building. Sometimes one denomination was in the ascendancy and sometimes the other, but Baptists who came to North Carolina were called General Baptist and organized themselves into the Kehukee Association containing both Primitives and Free Wills.

North Carolina

About 1756, there arose among the Baptists of North Carolina a group of Christians calling themselves “Separates.” The Separates were led by Shubel Stearns, one of the great preachers of all time. They were an evangelistic body who accepted no creed but the Bible observed the Lords Supper each Lords Day and crusaded with an ardor which a Baptist Historian says has been unsurpassed since the Saviour ascended to Heaven. They almost took over Baptist churches in North and South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. Stearns and the Separates gathered the remnant of Paul Palmer's old congregation at New River and soon a thriving church was in full sway. So free were they from the trappings of church disciplines, rituals, articles of Faith and other man-made regulations that a noted author has called them “Campbellites ahead of their time. If these spiritual revivalists of ancient precedents among the Baptist had called themselves “Christians” or “Disciples of Christ” instead of “Separates” Thomas and Alexander Campbell would have found their work well advanced, and Barton W. Stone would have found his conclusions ready-made for his acceptance.

Opposed to these Separates, however, was the Calvinistic element among the Baptist who condemned all missionary activities, all Sunday School work taught predestination and required an experience of Grace for membership.

Strange as it may seem today, the Separates soon found themselves swamped in a fog of conservatism and in a few years their very name had all but disappeared from the annals of current history.

But while the Separates as such seemed headed for oblivion, there were always individuals who stood up like the tree before the storm and preached what was then counted radical doctrine, the growth and promotion of which produced at first “Christian Baptist,” and then “Christians Only.”

The first meeting of what we know as Disciples of Christ among the Baptist met at Little Sister Church (the Mother Church of the present Gordon Street Church of Christ in Kinston) February 23, 1831. They were led by such men as General William Clark and Jeremiah Leggett, Abraham Congleton and John P. Dunn. Needless to say, when the Neuse Association





met at Ft. Barnwell in 1833 these radical preachers were excluded from membership. General Clark also resigned from pastorate of his churches, which churches immediately recalled him. He agreed to resume his work upon one condition, that the church renounce human authority of every description whatever, in matters of religion. Copies were sent to the other nearby churches, several of which adopted them. Much the same thing was going on among the Free Will Baptist and it is said that at Wheat Swamp in 1843 “the volcano bursted” among them.

Leaders in both movements now felt that a statewide meeting should be held of those who favored the Bible as the only rule. The meeting was called and met at Hookerton Green County May 2, 1845, where the two wings of Disciple thought were welded into a single cohesive Union Meeting of Disciples of Christ. “The Disciples” now counted 26 preachers, 30 churches and 1859 members in North Carolina.

There were no Onslow Churches represented in the Hookerton meeting, but Pleasant Hill, Jones County, which had since 1837 called itself “Christian Baptist” was on the original roll.

These preachers went out to carry the new gospel throughout Carolina. They preached in the old chapels, schoolhouses and abandoned store buildings, wherever they could get shelter, to present the Plea.

When a meeting began nobody knew how long it would last. Sometimes interest mounted as time went on for a month, but at the end of the time a church had been planted, Elders and Deacons named, and provision made for once-a-month preaching. This accounts for the fact that the total membership of a new church was sometimes reported as baptised that same year.

John P. Dunn and Dr. John T. Walsh were the great leaders in North Carolina. The Conference sent fraternal delegates to other Denominational Associations and promoted unity in every way possible. By the close of the Civil War the Union Baptist had also merged with the Disciples.

Atlantic Christian College is the Educational Institution of the Disciples of Christ in North Carolina.

Their Annual Conference is now known as the North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention. It continues from time to time in adjourned sessions of the Board, and employs a full time Secretary.

Richlands Christian Church

The first Christian Church in Onslow was known as “Christian Prospect” and was built on the lands of Jere Jarman. It stood





near the intersection of Routes 24 and 258 about two miles west of Richlands, not far from what is now known as Jarmans Fork. Jere Jarman and William Basden were the active leaders. A little later a building to be used as both schoolhouse and church, known as Brown's schoolhouse, was erected about two miles northwest of Christian Prospect on lands owned by Zacheus Brown.

In 1882 H. C. Bowen, who also operated a school at Catharine Lake, led these congregations to cooperate in the erection of a frame building on the site of the present location in Richlands.

William Basden was the active leader in its erection and himself gave all the lumber and two bales of cotton that the building might be completed. The house was dedicated in 1884, with Bowen as its first pastor, William Basden and W. H. Banks were named Elders, W. C. Jarman, C. C. Basden, Deacons, and Isaac Brown, L. E. Duffy, W. H. Banks and John A. Huffman, Trustees.

In 1910 under the leadership of John W. Tyndall, a new and larger building was erected. A campaign to raise material and labor was put on and work on the new building begun.

“The first day there were twenty five or thirty at work and the number increased until there were over 100 men working at one time. The women served dinner and the men worked. One day the men worked until ten o'clock at night. On the eighth day it was dedicated by the pastor.

At one time in 1918 Percy G. Cross held a revival meeting there which lasted four weeks with 65 additions, the free will offering during the meeting amounted to $428.00.

The Church has been evangelistic; Dennis Davis, one of the ablest preachers in Eastern North Carolina following the Civil War, received part of his training at H. C. Bowen's School at Catharine Lake.

Three brothers, Joseph A., John T. and Guy Saunders, Andrew Askew and Clement Cox all dedicated themselves to the ministry, and Abijah Jarman to the Young Mens’ Christian Association work, while Tyndall was pastor.

Later, Cecil A. Jarman began training for the ministry. He was educated at Atlantic Christian College, Emory and Yale Universities, later became Pastor of the First Christian Church, Wilson, North Carolina, and was elected President of Atlantic Christian College. This is an exceptional record and is probably unsurpassed by other churches in the area.

In 1934 a new and modern brick veneered plant was begun. The new building was dedicated August 30, 1936, by Dr. Cecil A. Jarman, a native and member of the old church there.





The Richlands Christian Church now has a membership of 250 and a budget of $11,600. Sunday School numbers 125. Mr. Harvey Barbee is Superintendent.

(Thanks to Mr. Brisson, the present Pastor.)

Union Chapel Christian Church

Back to old New River Chapel.

In 1877 the congregation there consisted of 13 males and 54 females. Four years later the church was dropped from the Baptist roll and the old organization ceased to exist.

In 1875 Cyrus Brown of Tuckahoe, at his own expense, employed Dr. Joseph H. Foy, noted teacher and preacher of the Disciples of Christ, to hold a revival there, and two years later Joshua L. Burns, Disciple State Evangelist, on December 2, 1877, organized the Disciples into a church with 43 members, known since that time as Union Chapel Christian Church. This was the end of the old mixed up congregation with its confusion and factionism. The Primitive element went to the South West Onslow Primitive Baptist Church, the missioners a little later organized Emma's Chapel Church, which developed into the present Richlands Baptist Church and still later a remnant met and organized the Catharine Lake Baptist Church.

First elders of the Christian congregation were Colonel Simon B. Taylor and William Cox; first deacons George Simmons and Mr. Padrick.

Follow-up ministries have given it permanence. Services continue on a full time basis.

Early able preachers included Virgil A. Wilson, H. C. Bowen and Dennis W. Davis.

The long history of the old church has been told in a brochure by Dr. Charles C. Ware, Archivist of the Discipliana Library, Atlantic Christian College, Wilson, North Carolina. In it he delineates the efforts of the Church of England, Free Will or General Baptist, Separate Baptist, Methodist, Primitive Baptist, Missionary Baptist and finally, the Christians, all of whom sent able ministers to proclaim the good news, but their lack of agreement prevented any permanent progress but served only to enshrine the old Chapel with an aura of history almost unequalled among American churches.

Application has been made to the Historic Sites Superintendent for the placing of a marker noting the location of the old Chapel, which promises to preserve some of the history of the days when churches were far apart in doctrine as well as in country miles.

Since 1730 when New River was the only chapel between





New Bern and the Cape Fear, one and sometimes two denominations have continued to hold services at the Chapel.

First the Episcopals ceased their effort there when the Baptist became too strong for them to cope with, only to be followed by the Methodist demanding a share of the time, which they did until 1813 when they began preaching at Oak Grove, site of the present Richlands Methodist Church.

Union Chapel Christian Church has 65 members and seems to be doing a great work in the community. The Sunday School has an enrollment of 102, with Mr. Elwood Jarman as Superintendent.

The First Christian Church
Jacksonville, N. C.

First Christian held its first meeting in the old State Theatre, February 24, 1952, with the Reverend Charles W. Riggs, State Evangelist, doing the preaching. The Reverend Charles C. Ware, State Secretary, was present and spoke words of encouragement.

Work preliminary to this beginning had consisted in the collecting of names of former members of the church there residing in the Jacksonville area, and the proposing by Mr. Brown to the State Board that it assign a minister to the area for a period of three months, at the end of which time no further assistance would be asked unless the outlook for the establishing of a church seemed favorable.

At the end of the term the minister was reassigned for another quarter.

At the fourth Session a church with a full corps of officers was instituted, and at the fifth meeting the Church Sunday Bible School was organized, including a Superintendent, officers and teachers, all of which steps were taken by the congregation on its own initiative.

First officers of the church included: J. P. Brown and B. H. Bostic, Elders; Wayne C. Brady, W. L. Sawyer, J. Herbert Leary and Garland Richardson, Deacons. J. Parsons Brown was named Clerk.

Trustees were named as follows: J. P. Brown, Harold W. Koonce and L. B. Fordham.

B. H. Bostic became first Superintendent of Bible School. First additions to the church by primary obedience were Mr. and Mrs. Henry T. Jarman and Billy J. Beisner a Marine.

Following several months of meetings at the armory, a property on New Bern Road was purchased, a pastor secured, and the new church was on its way.





The securing of funds was a cooperative venture on the part of local members and State and National Missionary Societies. Thanks should be given to the Reverend E. B. Quick, minister at Richlands, who assisted and advised with the local group at every opportunity and in every way possible.

As of July, 1958, the membership numbered 138 persons, the Sunday School enrolled 208 members. Egbert T. Rouse is present Superintendent. The budget in 1958 reached $10,119.68.

Two ministerial students, Allen Rhodes and Marshall Parvin, have gone out from this church.

The property, including the preacher's house, is considered to be worth at least forty thousand dollars today, but already there is talk of the need of a new, larger and more adequate grounds site and a building adequate to meet the needs of a growing congregation with an unlimited outlook into the future.









THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

For many years the only church in Jacksonville was an old lodge and church building which stood between Court Street and the railroad on the North side of New Bridge Street. Any denomination could preach there with permission. It was called the old Free Church.

It was in this building that the Presbyterians began holding services occasionally prior to 1910. Reverend S. H. Isler of Goldsboro generally did the preaching.

Later another combination building-school-lodge was erected on the triangle at College and Third Streets and Mill Avenue, and the Presbyterian Church was organized there April 4, 1911.

Reverend J. S. Crowley, pastor of Emanuel Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, and Mr. A. J. Howell, one of the elders there who was a candidate for the ministry at the time, completed the organization. The following members in good standing were enrolled: Dr. and Mrs. R. W. Ward, Misses Annie and Myrtle Cole, Mrs. H. M. Loy, Mrs. E. I. Wood, Mrs. L. Shepard and Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Cole. Upon examination Reverend Mr. Crowell pronounced and declared the organization to be the First Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville.

Mr. H. M. Loy, who was a member in good standing of the Methodist Church, offered himself as a candidate for membership. Mr. Loy and Mr. Cyrus Cole were named elders, and Messrs. E. I. Wood and J. J. Cole, deacons. Then for one year under the ministry of Reverend Mr. Wood, services were held once a month in the Methodist Church.

The building committee was composed of R. W. Ward, Chairman, H. M. Loy, D. H. Cole, Joe Bell, J. J. Cole, Mrs. M. F. Fletcher, Mrs. Cyrus Thompson, Mrs. R. W. Ward and Mrs. E. I. Wood. The church was built in 1915 or 1916. Other additions from time to time brought the property value up to about $40,000.

Other ministers included:

Reverend J. R. Phipps1917-1922
Reverend Edgar Woods1922-1923
Reverend W. M. Currie1923-1928
1928-1942
Reverend Frank L. Goodman1942-1952
Reverend Carl B. Craig1952-1954
Reverend John S. Steele1954-1957

Under the ministry of Mr. Steele a new church was built on Johnson Boulevard. The new church was occupied January 19,





1958, and is one of the most handsome, new and modern edifices in the city.

The membership in 1958 passed the three hundred mark and gifts for the year totaled $27,000.

Besides the church in Jacksonville, the Presbyterians have a self supporting church at King Chapel and one at Antioch.

Of especial significance has been the work done by the ladies from the time they first met while the house was under construction, seated in front of the building on piles of lumber, boxes, boards, etc., until the present time. The ladies have carried a great share of the total program.

The present pastor is Reverend W. M. Schotanus.





THE LUTHERAN CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOUR

By B. A. Barringer

The Lutheran Church, located on Lejeune Boulevard, is the result of our adult Bible class, begun in the home of Mr. and Mrs. B. A. Barringer, 107 Koonce Circle. The class was organized the fourth Sunday of October, 1952, and continued in this home until May of the following year. Arrangements were then made to expand the work to include Sunday School classes for the children and worship services for the entire group. The American Legion building in downtown Jacksonville was secured.

The Reverend John Y. Yoder, Jr., a seminary student at that time, was sent by the church authorities to conduct services for the summer months of 1953.

The Reverend Glenn Barger, at that time a U. S. Navy Chaplain stationed at Camp Lejeune, assumed responsibility for the work and things continued in the same way until the arrival of Reverend T. C. Plexico, who assumed his duties as pastor the first Sunday of November, 1953.

A parsonage and six acres of ground for a Church site were bought in the fall of 1953 at a total cost of $37,500.00. In August of 1958 a new educational plant was completed, costing around $75,000.00 counting equipment.

The congregation served scores of Lutheran Christians who served in the varied military organizations stationed at Camp Lejeune. The membership of the congregation is transient in character, but permanent residents are being added to the roll from time to time. Membership continues around 300 at all times. The annual budget of the congregation is some $15,000.00 per year.





THE PENTECOSTAL HOLINESS CHURCH

The Churches of The Pentecostal Holiness are making much headway in Onslow. According to the Minute Book of the North Carolina Conference and the latest information available there are five churches in the county, viz:

NameDateM'shipS.S.ValueMinister
Jacksonville195257103$28,000M. D. McPherson
Verona19472610015,000Harold Turpin
Hood Memorial1927225510,000R. N. Hood
Sneads Ferry195220352,500Furnie Walton
Swansboro1952203512,000Durwood Peletier





SHORT HISTORY OF THE INFANT OF PRAGUE PARISH

Prior to 1941 Catholic Mass was said occasionally in Jacksonville on the St. Peters Train Chapel or by one of the priests from St. Paul's Church in New Bern, North Carolina. Father Howard Lane was one of the first priests to preach in Jacksonville. In 1941 Father William O'Byrne was appointed first resident pastor by Bishop McGuiness. A two story house was bought on Railroad Street, the downstairs served as a Chapel and office, while the upstairs became the living quarters of Father O'Byrne. Father O'Byrne was warmly received by the people of Jacksonville and the Military Personnel. He was exceptionally popular as a speaker and civic worker.

The small parish began to take shape and a lot was purchased at the corner of Mildred Avenue and Chaney Avenue. Father O'Byrne contracted ill health and Father Charles McLaughlin became the next pastor of the new parish. Father McLaughlin interested Mr. Dwight Phillips, a non-catholic, in helping him secure a better site for the church. Father McLaughlin was transferred to Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and Father Vincent Mahoney, who had served as Assistant pastor under Father O'Byrne became the third pastor in Jacksonville.

Mass these years was offered at the house on Railroad Street, the U.S.O. Building on Tallman Street, and Midway Park. Father Mahoney converted the Copa Cabana Night Club into a Mission Chapel. The parish had its struggles, however under Father Mahoney's management it soon became out of debt. Upon his application as a Chaplain in the United States Navy, Father Ambrose Rohrbacher became the pastor in 1950. He zealously worked for a school. His first endeavor was a kindergarten being conducted by the Spanish Sisters, Daughters of Jesus, in 1952. The following year in September of 1953 Sister Mary Grace and three other Sisters of Mercy from Merion, Pa., opened the Infant of Prague Parochial School. With the coming of the Marines in great numbers because of the Korean conflict the school grew in great numbers, this also caused Father Rohrbacher to extend the church building, build a convent and buy additional property.

In 1957 the present pastor Lawrence C. Newman assumed his duties on January 24th. His first task was to reduce the heavy debt and at the same time build an additional school as the enrollment had increased to 650 children. It became necessary to add a cry room for parents with babies which would seat 150 people onto the church. The Warn Home was purchased





and moved to the church property on Mildred Avenue which is now used as the church rectory. In January of 1960 Mr. and Mrs. Dwight Phillips assigned two and one half acres of ground adjacent to the City Hall to the Infant of Prague Church.

At the present time there are five Masses said each Sunday in the church and additional Masses are offered at Holly Ridge, Camp Knox Trailer Park, Tarawa Terrace and Midway Park. The Rectory is presently staffed by Father Lawrence C. Newman, Father Robert MacMillan and Father Charles Mulholland. The school is in the capable hands of Sister Mary Teresa and five Sisters of Mercy and 6 Lay Teachers. The annual budget of the church and school is presently set at $125,000.00. The permanent parishioners are looking forward to the day when the Parochial System of Education is completely established and a new church which will face the Circle Drive Motor Court on Highway 17.

(Thanks to Father Newman.)





JACKSONVILLE HEBREW CONGREGATION B'NAI MORDECAI

“Kingdoms arise and Kingdoms pass away, But Israel endureth forever”

Jacksonville Hebrew Congregation B'Nai Mordecai began under the sponsorship of the North Carolina Association of Jewish Men and Women. In 1953 Rabbi Harold Friedman, the first traveling Rabbi, began a circuit composed of ten communities in North Carolina in which he would conduct services and one of which would be Jacksonville.

History

At a meeting held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Leder, August 5, 1954, Rabbi Harold A. Friedman explained the functions of the Circuit Riding Rabbi program sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Jewish Men. Those present unanimously endorsed the program and voted to be a Conservative Congregation. On June 17th, 1955, the State of North Carolina granted a Certificate of Incorporation to the Jacksonville Hebrew Congregation B'nai Mordecai, Inc.

Charter members were as follows: Milton Adler, Mr. and Mrs. T. Feldstein, Sam Fleishman, Will Fleishman, Mr. and Mrs. Lester Gould, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kalet, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Katzin, Dr. and Mrs. M. Katzin, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Leder, and the Margolis Family.

Also Mr. and Mrs. Izzy Messenger, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Peck, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Popkin, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Schwartz, Mr. and Mrs. Julius Segerman, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Suls, Mr. and Mrs. Morris Trachtenberg, and Mr. and Mrs. Martin Turem.

At the first election of officers, December 8, 1954, the following officers and Board of Trustees were elected: Jack Peck—President, Maurice Margolis—Vice President, Leonard Suls—Treasurer, and Jerry Popkin—Secretary.

Board of Trustees: Morris Trachtenberg, Sam Leder, Ike Margolis, Lester Gould, Harold Sherman, and Leon Margolis.

Meeting places and Sunday school locations were many. In the beginning, services were conducted in the rooms above Jack Peck's bakery. Later they were held in rooms above Leder Dept. Store. And after that, in the Katzin Building. At a meeting February 10, 1955, it was decided to build a suitable structure for use as a place of worship, Sunday school, a social hall and kitchen. Mr. Jerry Popkin donated a portion of his lot located on Wardolo and Warlick Streets.





At a Hadassah installation dinner of Mrs. Leonard Suls as president, May 25, 1955, Mr. I. D. Blumenthal, President of the North Carolina Association of Jewish Men spurred on the building fund campaign by agreeing to match all money which had already been contributed to it, which amounted to $1,300.00.

The firm of Leavitt Associates, Norfolk, Virginia was employed to draw the plans for the building. Ground was broken September 18, 1956.

As early as 1955 money was being collected for the purpose of building a synagogue, and on September 18, 1956 Maurice Margolis turned the first spadeful of earth, with appropriate ceremony attended by the Mayor of the city and other notables.

Previous to that time members of the Jewish faith in Jacksonville had to travel to Wilmington for worship observance of their high and holy days.

The membership has grown from 20 families in the beginning to 32 families at the present time.

In the absence of a Rabbi, Mr. Phillip Katzin conducts services and instructs in language and ritual.

Note: The first Jewish family to come to Jacksonville was the Margolis, who came in January 1912 and opened up business on Court Street.

In 1917 the firm purchased the George Hurst store at 634 Court Street and is still located there.

Wolf Adler came in 1933 and purchased the R. P. Hinton building. Mrs. Adler and the children came in 1938, also Mrs. Jennie Shapiro came in 1938 and opened “Jean's Five and Ten” store.

Since 1941 the Jewish community has grown rapidly.





OTHER CHURCHES

Other churches, recently established, which should be mentioned with their locations include:

Bible Baptist (conservative), 114 Roosevelt Road, Jacksonville, N. C.

Christian Tabernacle (Independent Holiness), Old Bridge Extension, Jacksonville, N. C.

Church of Christ, 111 Roosevelt Road, Jacksonville, N. C.

Four Square Gospel, Marine Blvd., North, Jacksonville, N. C.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Elizabeth Road, Jacksonville, N. C.

Jehovah's Witnesses, Hiway 17 & Old Bridge St., Jacksonville, N. C.

Church of the Nazarene, 11 New Bridge Street, Jacksonville, N. C.

Church of God, Hiway 17, South, Jacksonville, N. C.

Swansboro Evangelistic Chapel, Swansboro, N. C.

River-Side Chapel, Free Will Holiness, Richlands, N. C.

Emanuel Church, Free Will Holiness, Richlands, N. C.

Howards Chapel, Richlands, N. C.

Basdens Chapel, Free Will Holiness, Haw Branch, Richlands, N. C.

Four Square Gospel Church, Marine B'lv'd

Church of Christ (colored), Bellfork, Jacksonville, N. C.

St. Mildred Catholic Church, Swansboro, N. C.

Topsail Beach Chapel, Topsail Beach, N. C.

St. Peters by the Sea (Episcopal), Swansboro, N. C.

Mt. Sinai Church, 315 Ford St., Jacksonville, N. C.









THE BAPTIST CHURCHES OF COLORED PEOPLE
Sandy Run Baptist Church

Sa