WASHINGTON AND THE PAMLICO
WASHINGTON AND THE PAMLICO
Washington and the Pamlico
URSULA FOGLEMAN LOY
PAULINE MARION WORTHY
Pride in the Past--Faith in the Future--The Original Washington--Bicentennial
Washington North Carolina
Seal of Washington, N. C.]
Washington-Beaufort County Bicentennial Commission1976
Library of Congress Catalog Number 75-39183
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BY EDWARDS & BROUGHTON CO., RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
Acting on instructions from the Washington-Beaufort County Bicentennial Commission with Roland Modlin, Chairman, the History Committee, under the Chairmanship of John Morgan, began in 1974 a history of the Washington area. The committee decided to use articles which spoke more graphically of their periods than those written today as the chronological base for the history, and to enlist the aid of a number of people in researching and writing in the areas in which they were interested. The result is a collection of articles, both old and new, which supplements the earlier work, Beaufort County: Two Centuries of its History by Colonel Wingate Reed, and brings to print much data heretofore not published. Hundreds of people have been interviewed. Records, letters, ledgers and scrapbooks have been brought from attics and used. Old newspapers have been collected and consulted. Much had to be omitted but the committee hopes that further volumes of Beaufort County history will follow. Quantities of material are now available and more is constantly accumulating, which has not been touched in this volume. This material is in the files at the George H. and Laura E. Brown Library where the data used for this book is stored.
The collection and preparation of this effort has been, in large part, a community project. It is impossible to note the names of all those who have contributed, either material, pictures, advice or labor, but the help of a few must be acknowledged: Raymond M. Taylor, Marshal of the Supreme Court and Librarian of the Supreme Court Library, State of North Carolina; Lee Wallace, Jr., Historian with National Parks Services; Shirley Dunston Glover who typed and proof-read; Ethel Jensen, typist; Betsy Blount Swanner, typist and Betty Jean Brinson, typist.
The Bicentennial History Committee is composed of John Morgan, Chairman; Ysobel Dupree Litchfield, Louis May, Jill High, Daisy B. Parham, Dee Congleton, Pauline Worthy, Ursula F. Loy and Norfleet Daniel Hodges.
|In the Beginning—Herbert Paschal||1|
|They Fought for Freedom—Pauline M. Worthy||6|
|The Town Develops—Pauline M. Worthy||8|
|Beaufort County's Contribution to a Notable Era—Congressman Lindsay C. Warren||15|
|By-Gone Days—Lucy Wheelock Warren Myers||33|
|The Civil War Era||37|
|Part 1: Washington During the Civil War—Charles F. Warren||37|
|Part 2: Beaufort County Soldiers—J. J. B.||45|
|Part 3: When the Yankees Set Fire to the Town of Washington—Charles F. McIntire||49|
|Part 4: Recollections of the Civil War—Annie Blackwell Sparrow||51|
|The Closing Years of the Nineteenth Century—Pauline M. Worthy||65|
|Early Customs of Washington||73|
|Part 1: Early Customs—Rena H. Davenport||73|
|Part 2: Edmund Remembers Christmas—Edmund H. Harding||84|
|Early Twentieth Century in Washington||89|
|Part 1: Recollections of Washington—James Ellison||89|
|Part 2: Goerch Remembers—Carl Goerch||104|
|Reminiscences—by Pattie Baugham McMullan, recorded by Mary McIlhenny Toler||108|
|World War I||117|
|Part 1: War Chronology for Beaufort County||117|
|Part 2: Beaufort County Casualties in WWI||119|
|Part 3: Battery B—Captain Wiley Croom Rodman||120|
|Part 4: Jim Baugham||123|
|Part 5: First to Return||125|
|Part 6: Special Courier||125|
|Part 1: Overview||127|
|Part 2: The Great Depression—Lonnie Squires||128|
|Part 3: The Works Progress Administration||129|
|Part 4: Lonnie Remembers: The Old Swimming Hole—Lonnie Squires||132|
|Part 5: The Bug House—Elizabeth Yert Sterling and Mary Shelburne McLaurin||133|
|Part 6: Jack Swanner Remembers Web's||135|
|Part 7: Poetry—Taylor Koonce||136|
|Part 8: The Tulip Festival—Isabel Carter Worthy||137|
|Part 9: Showboat—Pauline M. Worthy||140|
|Part 10: No Business Like Show Business—C. A. Turnage||142|
|World War II||144|
|Part 1: Chronology—Ann Kimberly Glover and Julia Jones||145|
|Part 2: General Hudnell||218|
|Part 3: Admiral McIlhenny||219|
|Part 4: Washington Shipyard in World War II||220|
|Shipping—Ysobel Dupree Litchfield||225|
|Part 1: Schools, Public and Private—Joe Kornegay||248|
|Part 2: Beaufort County Schools||260|
|Part 3: Beaufort County Schools, an Historical Perspective—Ethel Matthews||261|
|Part 4: Trinity School, Chocowinity—Lucretia Hughes||263|
|Part 5: Washington Collegiate Institute||264|
|Part 6: Mother of Mercy and St. Agnes||265|
|Part 7: Pungo Christian Academy||268|
|Part 8: Pamlico Community School||268|
|Part 9: Terra Ceia Christian School||269|
|Part 10: Pantego, School with a Soul—Norfleet Hodges||270|
|Part 11: Beaufort County Technical Institute—Norfleet D. Hodges||272|
|Part 1: Beaufort County Church—Jill High||276|
|Part 2: Churches of Washington—Jill High||297|
|Part 1: North Carolina's First Library—Pauline M. Worthy||307|
|Part 2: History of the Brown Library||309|
|Part 3: The Brown Bequest—Pauline M. Worthy||311|
|Part 4: B. H. M. Regional Library—Barbara King Walker||314|
|Part 5: I. B. Turner Library—Nora Foster Dowdy||320|
|Fires and Fire Fighters—Margaret Fitzgerald Winfield||322|
|Part 1: The Story of Beaufort County's Lumber Industry—Louis G. May||329|
|Part 2: History of the Town of Belhaven—Carolyn Lloyd||352|
|Part 3: Pinetown—Dee Congleton||355|
|Part 1: Tobacco||356|
|Part 2: Farm Services in Beaufort County||359|
|The Media in Washington and Beaufort County||364|
|Part 1: Newspapers in Washington—Marjorie Wallace||364|
|Part 2: Washington Daily News||368|
|Part 3: Newspapers Published in Washington, North Carolina||368|
|Part 4: WRRF-WITN||369|
|Part 5: WEEW||369|
|Part 6: Twenty Years at WITN-TV—Dick Paul||370|
|Part 1: Of Doctors and Hospitals||373|
|Part 2: Bill Blount and the Building of the Hospital||374|
|Part 3: Doctors and Hospitals of Yesterday Recalled||375|
|Part 4: Dr. J. C. Tayloe, First Chief of Staff—Ashley Futrell||382|
|Part 5: Dr. Lewis H. Swindell||383|
|Part 6: Tideland Mental Health Center||384|
|Firsts—Pauline M. Worthy||387|
|Part 1: William Kennedy—John Baxton Flowers III||401|
|Part 2: Edward Stanly||402|
|Part 3: Henry Selby Clark—W. A. Blount Stewart||402|
|Part 4: Richard Spaight Donnell—W. A. Blount Stewart||403|
|Part 5: W. A. B. Branch—W. A. Blount Stewart||404|
|Part 6: John Humphrey Small-W. A. Blount Stewart||405|
|Part 7: Hallett Sidney Ward, Sr.—John A. Wilkinson||406|
|Part 8: Lindsay Warren||409|
|Part 9: Herbert C. Bonner—W. A. Blount Stewart||411|
|The Judiciary—Norfleet Daniel Hodges||414|
|Part 1: Supreme Court||414|
|Part 2: Superior Court||421|
|Other Office Holders||424|
|Women Who Served—Pauline Worthy||431|
|Part 1: Louise Lane||458|
|Part 2: Ann Tyndall||466|
|Early Black Families of Influence—Patsy Harper Mallison||472|
|Names on the Land|
|Part 1: Names—Pauline Worthy||479|
|Part 2: Aurora—Ysobel Dupree Litchfield||488|
|Part 3: Chocowinity||493|
|Part 1: Restoration of Historic Bath||494|
|Part 2: Restoration of St. Thomas Church||499|
|—Ships That Pass in the Night——Edmund H. Harding||506|
|Since World War II—John I. Morgan and Bill Abeyounis||510|
|Urban Renewal—William I. Cochran, Jr.||514|
|The Clock Ticks On—Raymond Taylor||519|
|Article of Incorporation of Washington||524|
|Laws Pertaining to Washington—Passed by N. C. Legislature||527|
|Civil War Fortifications—Fred Mallison||545|
|World War II Casualties—Ann Kimberly Glover||551|
IN THE BEGINNING
In 1663 North Carolina was granted to eight of the political friends of the recently restored King of England, Charles II. These men, known as the Lords Proprietors of Carolina, promoted the settlement of this state. Settlers from Virginia began to push into the Albemarle region of eastern Carolina. As this area became inhabited some of the more adventurous settlers pushed southward and by the 1690's settlers had begun to appear on the Pamlico River. In 1696 the county of Bath was established and in 1705 the present Beaufort County was established as Pampticough precinct.
Into the present area of Beaufort County came settlers moving up the Pamlico River and settling on the banks of this stream and its tributaries. By 1706 a town of about twelve houses and a public library had been established at Bath. In 1711 the Tuscarora Indian war brought death and destruction to the settlements along the Pamlico. Only the Lionel Reading plantation six miles below the present Washington on the south side of the river managed to survive. A garrison of troops was established there and for two or three years it marked the most westerly outpost of white settlement and the point from which expeditions against the Indians set out into the interior. With the defeat of the Indians about 1714 settlers once more began to push up the Pamlico and in 1726 a portion of the land on which Washington now stands was included in a grant of 337 acres made by the Lords Proprietors to Christopher Dudley. In the following year Dudley transferred his title to the land to Edward Salter who in turn conveyed it to one
John Worley. Worley established a plantation on the old land grant but in 1729 he sold it to Thomas Bonner who established his home at Bonner Hill one mile north of the present Washington. At his death his son, James Bonner, inherited the site of Washington, established his residence there and it became known as Pea Town.
James Bonner soon came to realize the strategic location of his plantation for it was located at the head of navigation on the Pamlico. Beyond his plantation site it was impossible for ocean-going ships to go, as the twisting Tar filled with sand bars and snags baffled all efforts to navigate her waters. The Bonner plantation appears to have gradually increased in importance and several homes were established about the plantation. This scattered settlement appears on old maps as Bonner or Forks of the Tar.
By 1771 Bonner had decided to establish a town here, for in that year he petitioned the Colonial assembly for permission to establish a township. By 1776 James Bonner, now a Colonel in the Revolutionary militia, had completed his plans for establishing a town. He laid the town off in sixty lots with appropriate streets and sold the lots by lottery. The first town commissioners who were chosen by the lot purchasers, were Henry Bonner, Robert Salter, John Cowper and Joseph Blount. To these men in 1776, Colonel Bonner conveyed full title to the streets and to lot No. 21 which was to be for public use and to lot No. 50 as a site for a church building.
The first known reference to Washington in which the present name of the town appears, is to be found in the journal of the Council of Safety which was meeting at Halifax on October 21, 1776. The reference reads: —Resolved that Captain John Forster, commander of the armed brig, the general Washington, now lying at Washington, do proceed with all possible dispatch to Ocracock Bar and there protect the trading vessels.— It is on the basis of this brief entry that the town of Washington lays claim to being the first town named for General George Washington.
Born in the Revolution, Washington became a center of privateer activity. Such leading merchants as Richard Blackledge and John Gray Blount would fit out armed ships to cruise the Atlantic and prey on the shipping of Great Britain. The records contain numerous mention of the prizes taken by privateers arriving in Washington. In 1780 Benjamin Hawkins brought five hundred muskets to Washington from St. Eustatius where he had purchased them for the use of the Continental troops. From Washington and
its vicinity came many officers and men who served valiantly and well in the struggle for independence.
In 1783 the Southern Post road which had gone from Edenton through Bath to New Bern was changed so that it now went through Washington to avoid the wide ferry crossing at Bath. Along this new route in 1783 came Johann Schoysf who was making a tour of the newly created nation and in his journal he notes that Washington has —perhaps 30 houses.— The trade of Washington he declared to be —trifling— and notes that most of the produce was carried out by New England shippers. —The chief occupation,— he says, —is the building of small ships and vessels, which are put together entirely of pine timber and sold very cheap, but they rot easily.—
In 1782 Washington was incorporated as a town by the Assembly at Hillsboro and in 1784 by act of the Assembly certain lands laid off by Thomas Respass, John Gladden and Hadrianus Van Norden, all of whom have streets named for them, were added to the town of Washington. Union Alley is the dividing line between these lands and the old Bonner property.
In 1785 on the motion of Nathan Keais, John Gray Blount, and Richard Blackledge, the county seat was transferred from Bath to Washington and a courthouse, jail, pillory and stocks were ordered erected.
During the Confederation period of the 1780's, Washington's warehouses, which during the —Revolution had been filled with pork for the Continental forces, were filled with public tobacco which had been collected for taxes.
In 1787 William Attmore, a native of Philadelphia, visited Washington. He arrived by ship on muster day when the militia of the county gathered to drill. He found the town filled with people and many disorders and some fighting kept the authorities busy. By this time Washington had grown to about sixty families. The lots upon the river were laid out with one hundred feet front to each lot and the houses were built of wood some of which, Attmore reported, were large and convenient. To Attmore's horror there were no fire buckets in the town.
By this time Washington was developing as an important trading center. Several large wharves had been erected and sometimes as many as twenty sailing vessels could be seen lying in the harbor. From Washington a brisk trade was conducted with the upriver settlements as far as Tarboro. The goods were carried chiefly on large flats and scows which drew little water. Some of these
flat-bottomed scows carried seventy or eighty hogsheads of tobacco.
The chief exports from Washington were tar, pitch, turpentine, rosin, Indian corn, boards, scantling, staves, shingles, furs, tobacco, port, lard, tallow, beeswax, myrtlewax and peas. The trade was chiefly with the West Indies and with the other states.
To the industrial life of Washington in 1787 had been added a rum distillery and Attmore remarks that —this is not likely to render the place more healthy.—
During this period George Horn's Tavern served as the popular gathering place for the townsmen and here the visitor could receive lodging and board for about six shillings paper money per day. Here on some cold night seated about the fire in the tavern's public room could be found such leading townsmen as Thomas and Richard Blackledge, John Gray Blount, Nathan Keais, a recent settler from Rhode Island, Doctor Loomis, Colonel William Kennedy, whose home two miles above Washington was a social center, Captain John Wallace, seafarer, Mr. Arnett, the lawyer, and others of the Bonner, Whipple, Nuttle and Leland clans as well as the Grimes, father and son, and Mr. Shoemaker and the well-traveled and talkative Captain Eldredge.
Within the parlors of the homes along Water and Main streets and on the sprawling river plantations, a lucky young bachelor like William Attmore, under the sponsorship of the prominent Blackledges, could obtain a cup of tea and an interesting conversation with the young ladies of the community. There were the prim and proper Miss Grimes, the two pretty Misses Eastwoods, young Miss Sally Salter who could ride well and discuss religion until the wee hours, as well as the interesting Miss Lucy Harvey, who was to marry John Gray Blount.
Perhaps a disappointment to the Washingtonians was the failure of President Washington to visit his namesake during his southern tour in 1791. There were two possible routes from Petersburg to Charleston. One was by Edenton which went through Washington and was an estimated five hundred and four miles, one by Halifax which was an estimated four hundred and sixty miles. Washington chose the shorter Halifax route and came no closer to Washington than Greenville which he called —a trifling little place.—
Throughout the 1790's and 1800's Washington continued to grow and the great Blount firm composed of the three brothers, John Gray, Thomas and William conducted a thriving business. In 1790 Congress made Washington a port, and a customs house
was established in Washington about the end of the —War of 1812 with the arrival of the Fowle family from New England. Under the leadership of the enterprising S. R. Fowle, a great new mercantile house was established which continued to grow and prosper for many years.
Thus, by 1800, the pattern of Washington's business and social life had been set and for the next sixty years the wharves of Washington teemed with the river trade that was her very life blood.
THEY FOUGHT FOR FREEDOM
In 1775 Beaufort Coutny was represented at the Congress which met in Hillsboro by Roger Ormond, Thomas Respess and William Salter. This Congress appointed the following officers to command the Beaufort County Regiment in the —Revolutionary War: James Bonner, Colonel; Thomas Bonner, Lieutenant Colonel; Roger Ormond, 1st Major, and William Brown, 2nd Major.
One hundred and twenty-five men and boys from Beaufort County walked from a starting point in Bath to New Bern to join the Revolutionary forces. Unfortunately their names have been forgotten. —Twas ever thus! Since Time began foot soldiers have been slugging it out in the mud to win the victories and suffer the defeats, while the names of their officers have gone down in history.
This, however, does not detract from the luster of the officers— names. The local Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has located the names and most of the graves of eight Beaufort County men who served as officers in the —War for Independence.
Colonel James Bonner's grave in the corner of the Churchyard of St. Peter's Episcopal Church is a conspicuous local landmark. No birth or death dates are on his stone. The fact that he was the Founder of Washington is noted. Next to Colonel Bonner's grave is that of Elizabeth Bonner thought by some to be his wife. However, both of Colonel Bonner's wives were named —Mary.— The wife of his son, James Bonner, Jr. was named Elizabeth.
Nathan Keais, a native of Rhode Island, who was a member of Washington's first Board of Commissioners is also buried in St. Peter's Churchyard. He was a Captain in the Second Regiment of the Continental Army.
In Trinity Cemetery approximately three miles from Washington, is the grave of Israel Harding, who was a Sergeant in the 10th North Carolina Militia.
Several miles from Washington, in the family burying ground at —Bellefont— is the grave of Reading Blount, who was born February 22, 1757, and died October 13, 1807, a Major in the Continental Army. Blount served for eighty-two months. He was cited for bravery at the Battle of Guilford Court House and again at the Battle of Eutaw Springs.
Colonel John Eborn is buried in the family plot at the edge of Machapungo Creek. This is located on the John Winfield plantation at Yeatesville. Eborn was born in 1742, died in 1796. He served under George Washington in the campaigns around New York and was with Washington during the winter at Valley Forge.
Colonel John Patton and his regiment distinguished themselves at the Battle of Kings Mountain. Patton is said to have been buried near Hill's Point. His grave has not been located.
Charles Crawford was a Captain in the Continental Line. He is buried on the south side of the river on a farm formerly owned by W. J. Whitley, now the property of Texas Gulf.
Simon Alderson (probably the grandson of Simon Alderson the first, who was one of the Incorporators of Bath), was the Captain of a Troop of Horse, and has gone down in history as —a daring Cavalryman.—
Caleb Foreman, a Lieutenant in the 8th Regiment rests in the Old Snoad Burying Ground.
The grave of Lieutenant Richard Respess, who also fought with the 8th Regiment, has not been located.
The only Naval officer on record is John Bonner, who was born on September 15, 1746 and died on December 6, 1788. He is buried in St. Peter's Churchyard.
THE TOWN DEVELOPS
In 1775 James Bonner laid Washington off in half acre lots. Streets extended from Harvey Street to Union Alley and as far back as Third Street. The two blocks on Water Street between Harvey and Market were the first to be developed. The original streets were Water, Main (originally called First), Second and Third. These ran parallel to the river. Running northward were Market and Bonner.
The sixty lots were numbered and sold by lottery. Each lottery ticket cost five British pounds, approximately twenty-five dollars. There were no dollars at that time.
It was specified that each person buying a lot must, within two years after the close of the war with England, build on his lot one good habitable stone, brick, or frame house not less than sixteen feet square, and that it should have either a brick or stone chimney.
Later, lots not sold by lottery went on sale for twice the original price and the first bought was lot 15. The purchaser was George Horn, a shoemaker. The deed was recorded on December 23, 1776 and was signed by James Bonner in the presence of John Fullin and Henry Lewcas.
During this period when the —Revolutionary War was on, Washington was serving as a storage place for supplies for the Continental Army. A report to Congress on September 22, 1777 recorded the fact that four hundred and thirty barrels of pork and fifteen barrels of beef were stored at Port Washington in North Carolina.
The same year John Gray Blount was sent on a special mission to the West Indies to get supplies for the Army, primarily gun powder.
On his return in 1778 he married Lucy Harvey and built the sixth house in town. This house on the southwest corner of Main and Market streets was occupied by Blount descendents until progress demanded its demolition in 1923 nearly a century and a half later.
In 1782 Washington took out its incorporation papers. Two years later a part of the farm of Thomas Respess was annexed and soon thereafter some property belonging to John Gladden and Hadrianus Van Norden. Union Alley was the dividing line between Bonner's Old Part and the new lots in Respess town. It was decided that in order to keep the streets in repair residents must be taxed one shilling on every hundred pounds of property, the equivalent of twenty-five cents on five hundred dollars.
By 1785 this town had so outgrown Bath that the citizens petitioned the General Assembly to move the county seat. The Assembly, meeting in New Bern, passed an act to that effect and authorized the erection of a courthouse, a prison, a pillory and stocks. No crime or disorder was to be tolerated in this infant village.
The Courthouse was built prior to 1800 but the exact date is not on record. The act of the Assembly moving the county seat specified that the dimensions of the courthouse should be not less than forty by twenty-five feet. It also authorized Court to be held in the schoolhouse until the courthouse was completed.
Tradition says that a Mr. Bowen superintended the building of the courthouse and that the bricks were made in his brickyard. Wouldn't he be astonished to know that nearly two centuries later this building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places? (A list of sites and structures significant in American history.)
New Bern, now the thriving seat of North Carolina government, was amused at the pretensions of the village growing in a pea patch on the banks of the Pamlico. A few jokes were cracked along this line and this amusement was reflected in the first map of Washington which was drawn for John Gray Blount by a Frenchman named Pasteur. Using as background a military cape belonging to an officer in the British Army, Mr. Pasteur drew a plot of the town. An artist as well as a draftsman, the map maker drew in one corner a town in the clouds, painted in the center of a pea
pod. This perpetuated the nickname —Pea Town— which the Assemblymen at New Bern had bestowed upon New Bern's audacious little rival on the Pamlico.
The first Federal Census was taken in 1790 and population figures for Beaufort County were listed in 1791 as follows: free white males over sixteen years of age, nine hundred fifty one; free white males under sixteen years of age, nine hundred twenty six; free white females, one thousand eight hundred thirty four; slaves, one thousand six hundred twenty two; all other free persons, one hundred thirty nine; total population, five thousand four hundred fifty two.
How many of these people were actually living in Washington is not known but it is known that in 1787 there were at least sixty families within the city limits. Names prominent among them were Bonner, Blount, Keais, Blackledge, Moules and Ormond.
By 1790 the town had attained sufficient status as a port to have Congress, then meeting in New York, establish a customs house and a post office, the first post office in the United States for a Washington.
Prior to this time Richard Blackledge had been serving unofficially as postmaster but there had been no regular mail service. Outgoing letters were taken to Mulberry Tavern to be entrusted to passing travelers and incoming letters were left at the Tavern to be called for. On June 2, 1790, William Groves was appointed as Washington's first official postmaster and a small post office was set up on the corner of Main Street and Union Alley.
By 1791 a fire department had been organized with a small handpumped engine plus volunteers willing to form a bucket brigade.
Although the population was small, it held a number of different religious persuasions. All worshipped together in the Free Church on lot 50 until 1800.
There had been a bridge of sorts across the Pamlico since 1799, but in 1812 a charter was drawn up for a more substantial one. Stock was sold at twenty five dollars per share and profits were divided among stockholders. Toll rates were: five cents per person, fifty cents for a four-wheeled vehicle. Lumber and shingles were charged for by the square foot, and any commodity sold by the bushel was one and one-half cent per bushel.
In 1812, also, a pair of brothers from New England, Josiah and Luke Fowle, arrived in Washington where in time they would
leave the Fowle imprint on the community. Soon they were joined by a younger brother, Sam, and in 1818 the Fowle brothers established a shipbuilding business on Castle Island.
As early as 1796 the Custom House had reported one hundred and thirty vessels entering Port Washington. These, however, were boats built elsewhere. Now in the 1820's and 30's Washington began to build her own vessels. The lumber came from the surrounding forests and the logs were cut with a ripsaw.
Tannyhill and Lavendar built the first sawmill and in 1831 built the Edmund McNair especially for towing rafts of logs to their own mill. Later this mill was bought by Benjamin Hanks, who as time went on owned eight canal boats which carried lumber from Washington to Norfolk and Baltimore.
Turpentine distilleries developed. These were built across the river because of the danger of fire. Turpentine was exported as well as tar, pitch, pork, grain and bacon. The port products were brought down the Tar River on flats poled by slaves.
As the population increased and there was more coming and going by both water and stagecoach, there was increased demand for hotel services. Mr. Wiswall built a large frame structure with a ballroom on the corner of Main and Respess (where N.C.N.B. now stands). Here President James Monroe was entertained when he came South in 1819 on his tour of coastal defenses.
When General Lafayette came from France on his nostalgic visit to the United States in 1825, he visited Washington and was a guest at the Lafayette Hotel.
It is probable that Lafayette came by stagecoach. Wiswall ran four-horse stagecoaches to both New Bern and Plymouth. The Plymouth road was the main road leading out of Washington as it connected with coaches going to Norfolk and Baltimore.
These coaches were drawn by four horses which were changed half way between destinations. The driver and the footman rode on a high seat up front, while the passengers rode inside. A coach could accommodate nine. The driver always came into town with a flourish, blowing his horn loudly.
Mail was also carried by stagecoach. Postage on a letter to New York or Boston was twenty-five cents.
By 1830 the population had doubled; according to this census, there were now ten thousand, nine hundred and forty-eight people in Beaufort County.
What were all these people doing in addition to giving birth, going to church, burying relatives and trying to make a living?
Certainly everything was not rosy. The County built a poorhouse in 1827 to care for the aged and the indigent. However, by and large, the area was prospering.
There were numerous craftsmen to provide both necessities and luxuries. When Benjamin Pyle died in 1813 and his things were sold at public auction his goods and chattels included watch and clockmaking tools and a variety of jewelry, such as earrings, finger rings and watches. In addition there was much flat silver such as lady's tea and dining spoons and sugar tongs.
What of the furniture in Washington homes? Edward Long was making venetian blinds in 1823 as well as doing other cabinet work. Augustine Fair, a cabinet maker with a shop opposite the bridge, advertised in 1838 that he had plenty of mahogany on hand and was prepared to execute all work in his line of business.
The men gathered to discuss politics, and the fact that a Temperance Society was deemed necessary is suggestive.
What of sports and entertainment?
John Prime, a Washington gunmaker, advertised in the New Bern Spectator that he could make both double and single barreled guns in the best styles and that all his repairs were done in the neatest manner. So we can assume that hunting was a major sport. The James Sprunt Historical Publications say that in 1787 Rodman's Quarters was a favorite hunting ground and that Washington men would often gather there, divide into groups and go into the woods to track deer.
For ladies there were tea parties, but not with tea and sandwiches. The English High Tea was the fashion with a real supper served and men invited. For mixed groups there was square dancing.
Also there were cultural organizations such as The Literary and Scientific Circle. There was a dramatic society which put on amateur theatricals. Mrs. Phinney advertised in the American Recorder (July 16, 1819) that she would instruct young ladies in drawing, painting, gilding and embroidery. A French dancing master was giving dancing lessons in Selby's Hotel and Mrs. Cooke was teaching music.
And so life moved along as life does in all times and places until 1843 when the yellow fever epidemic struck.
Mosquitoes were the carriers. They brought it from the West Indies in a cargo assigned to Lewis LeRoy, a prominent merchant. Unhappily Mr. LeRoy himself was one of the first victims. People
died like flies, as many as seven being buried in a single day.
Doctors were hard put to manage. Dr. Norcom, Dr. Freeman, Dr. Shadrack Allen and Dr. Telfair were the physicians in town at that time.
In 1846 there was a smallpox scare but this did not develop into an epidemic since the patient was isolated.
There were no chronometers for measuring time. Ships used —dead reckoning— which was a lead line and an hourglass. Knots were tied in the line to measure so many feet of water. At the end of the line was a piece of lead containing a hole filled with soap. As this was put into the water the hourglass turned. When the lead touched bottom the line was drawn in and if sand was on the soap it could be estimated how many feet of water the ship was in. By the hourglass the time taken to reach bottom was estimated. A hard way to reckon longitude! Yet many successful voyages were made by —dead reckoning,— voyages to Point Petre, Guadaloupe, St. Kitts and Turks Island in the West Indies and to northern ports such as New York or Boston.
Naval stores were the principal exports. However, corn was the principal crop in the county, and between forty and fifty barrels were sometimes shipped in a single year.
Cotton was a secondary crop. Not too much was raised in Beaufort County except by Bryan Grimes whose output was about fifty bales a season.
Occasionally these returning ships brought hats or dresses for affluent ladies. There were no fashion plates or papers to indicate changes in fashion, but if a lady got a new dress she usually, with great generosity, let her friends copy it. Mrs. Sarah Quinn and Mrs. Elizabeth Orkney were the leading milliners, creating many fancy bonnets. Dresses could not be bought ready-made. Home sewing was a way of life for all women. Every garment worn by every member of the family and by every servant had to be cut and stitched at home. Short close-fitting waists and full straight skirts held out with hoops were the fashion in 1850.
Conversation and letter writing were the favorite avocations of both men and women. Since telephones were not available, servants carried notes from the east end to the west end of town, from mother to daughter, or from sister to sister, detailing the news of their particular neighborhoods.
There was plenty to talk about in 1845 when Henry S. Clark, candidate for Congress challenged Henry Dimock to a duel.
Dimock was editor of The North State Whig which, Clark claimed, had printed lies about him. Shots were fired but neither was wounded and friends patched things up between them.
The assumption is that Beaufort County had outlawed duels because both the Henry S. Clark-Henry Dimock affair and the William Kennedy-Fenner B. Satterthwaite duel were fought outside the county. Both were anti-climactic. Satterthwaite put three holes through Kennedy's hat. Kennedy put four bullets in Satterthwaite's leg and five in his coat tails before a recess was called and the matter settled by arbitration.
Punctuated only by such occasional excitement, time rolled peacefully on until the nation was plunged into war. By the time Federal troops invaded Washington the town extended from the gate at —Elmwood— on Washington Street to the Bradford residence just beyond where the Baptist Church now stands. The northern limits were at Fifth. There were two main thoroughfares which were lined with giant elm trees with here and there an occasional cedar or sycamore. Streets were packed hard with crushed oyster shells. Planks along the sidewalks made walking possible in muddy weather. The population stood at three thousand, of whom few or none dreamed of the horror ahead.
BEAUFORT COUNTY'S CONTRIBUTION TO A
NOTABLE ERA OF NORTH CAROLINA HISTORY
(Selections from a series of articles)
CONGRESSMAN LINDSAY C. WARREN
Printed in the Congressional Record
April 29, 1930
(Used with Mr. Warren's permission)
The county of Beaufort has always played a commanding role in the history of the Commonwealth. There have been periods when its leaders rose to great heights and left their indelible impress.
Settled exclusively by the English, its trials and tribulations as an important section of the colony go hand in hand with the rebellion against colonial rule and the unconquerable desire for independence. Undaunted by the Indian massacres of the early days, which almost took her last man, the county rose nobly to the cause of the Revolution, sending more than her quota of fighting men, and furnishing from her great estates even the family plate brought from England. Two of her great public leaders stood out in these times—Col. James Bonner and John Gray Blount. The former commanded the Beaufort County Militia and was preeminent as a man and as a soldier. The latter as a boy from a distinguished family, seeking adventure, had accompanied Daniel Boone as a chain bearer in his pilgrimage to Kentucky, and during the administration of Thomas Jefferson was to become one of the largest individual landowners in America.
It was these two men who molded the sentiment and policy of the county in that early day. For the next 40 years, beginning with the accession of Jefferson, the sons of these men as well as other prominent figures came on the scene, and Beaufort County sat high in the councils of the State.
The purpose of these articles is to portray, historically correct, I trust, some of the happenings of that great era in North Carolina from 1845 to 1875 and to bring forth again those men who became dominant actors and who either lived in Beaufort County at the time or who were closely identified with it. Certainly no period in our history could be more interesting. They were the halcyon days before the war, and then the dregs and despair that followed it. Beaufort County shared in its pleasures, drank deep in its sorrows, and contributed greatly in its reconstruction.
For 40 years before the War between the States, Washington was a pleasure-loving but ambitious community. It was a port of no small repute. Out over the bar of Ocracoke Inlet to the West Indies, and northern points, when the fleet of Fowle ships carrying lumber and returning with merchandise, fruits, and molasses. Commerce teemed in the harbor and the docks were a busy scene. It was a day of large plantations, high living, fast horses, hard drinking, and political strife. The first day of court was always a gala affair, and set aside for political discussion. Any orator could get a crowd. The social reputation of the community was widely known. The people were hospitable to their hurt, and entertained lavishly. The slaves did the work. But withal, there was culture and refinement in the homes, and many of them were centers of attraction for learned people.
An outstanding event in its social life had been in 1819, when the town was visited by President James Monroe and his Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun. It was occasion for great celebration, the distinguished guests being met a few miles from town by a cavalcade of 100 citizens. Cannon boomed out the presidential salute. They were escorted to the courthouse lawn where the President spoke to thousands. That night, a dance, graced by ladies and gentlemen in resplendent dress, culminated the entertainment, Mr. Monroe taking part in the festivities and making himself most agreeable.
The town was included in the itineraries of many of the prominent men of the day, who came here to consult the great leaders and enjoy the social life. In the summer of 1836, Washington was visited by one of her native sons in the person of The Hon.
Churchill C. Cambreleng. He was born here but moved to New York City at the age of 16, and subsequently engaged there in the mercantile business. He was elected to Congress as a Tammany Democrat and served for 18 years. At the time of his visit to Washington he was chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, enjoyed the friendship and confidence of Jackson, and had always been a tower of strength to him in his fight on the bank. Mr. Cambreleng spoke at Washington advocating the election of his close friend, Mr. Van Buren, but Beaufort County voted heavily against his candidate in the election. Two years later he was defeated for Congress and Van Buren thereupon appointed him as minister to Russia, where he served with great distinction. Judge Stephen C. Bragaw is one of his relatives and bears the name of his brother.
A discussion of the men and measures of the age beginning in 1845 necessarily must be woven around the legal fraternity. At that time politics was an exalted profession and the bar, on account of their educational qualifications, were looked to by the people as leaders of thought and exponents of issues. For years the bar of Washington has been without a superior in the legal history of the State. The statement is made advisedly, but with knowledge of the groups that practiced there in each decade. Certainly this was true in the early fifties, when Edward Stanly, Thomas Sparrow, Edward J. Warren, William B. Rodman, Fenner B. Satterthwaite, Richard S. Donnell, and David M. Carter took their seats at the counsel tables in the same courthouse at Washington that stands today. Of this bar only William B. Rodman was born in Beaufort County. Aside from being a good place to live, there was considerable litigation in the county, and men like Stanly and Donnell forsook their native Craven and moved there.
In 1846 there came to Washington from the hills of his native Vermont a young man 20 years of age from a long line of Massachusetts ancestry. He had just graduated with distinction from Dartmouth College, founded by his maternal ancestor, Doctor Wheelock. His name was Edward Jenner Warren. The rigors of the cold northern climate had affected him and he was moved to seek a milder temperature. He was a part of that migration of young men from New England that came south in the early forties. All were graduates of Tufts, Dartmouth, Yale, or Harvard, and they settled in Elizabeth City, Washington, and in Wilmington, N. C., and in Charleston, S. C. The South was still in the
prime of her importance in the life of the Nation, and these young men, some as lawyers, some as physicians, and others as schoolteachers, came seeking their opportunity and marrying into the older families. President Coolidge once told the writer that he became greatly interested in the southward trek of these able young men from his section during that period and used it as his subject when addressing the New England Society of Charleston when he was vice-president.
Edward J. Warren came as a schoolteacher, finding time in his spare moments to read law, and was admitted to the bar in 1848. He shortly married Deborah Virginia Bonner, daughter of Col. Richard Bonner, a member of the council of state, long influential and powerful in affairs and the largest planter and wealthiest man in Beaufort County.
His contemporaries at the bar were: Edward Stanly, born in New Bern, and a graduate of Norwich University, possessed with all the force as well as logic that is generally given an able man. In his younger days he was hot-headed and ill-tempered and promptly met on the dueling ground a member of the House from Alabama over an imaginary insult, but which resulted in no harm to either. But in his latter days Mr. Stanly grew calmer.
Thomas Sparrow, likewise born in New Bern, had graduated with great distinction at Princeton, being the valedictorian of his class and receiving from that great institution both his A.B. and master's degrees. He read law under Judge Gaston, and moved to Washington and formed a partnership with Stanly. He was a profound student, and a forceful debator and orator. His appealing personality gathered men around him.
Richard S. Donnell was also born in New Bern. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina and of Yale, and was a grandson of Gov. Richard Dobbs Speight. He was a man of commanding appearance, quick and decisive in his actions, and thorough in the preparation of his cases. He was a clear thinker and went to the heart of every problem.
William Blount Rodman, a grandson of John Gray Blount, was born in Washington, and educated at the university. He was small of stature and rather rotund. He was a fluent speaker, possessing a concise and analytical mind and knew the history of his State such as few men did. Later as a writer of legal history he had few superiors.
David M. Carter was nearly 6 feet tall and of large frame. He was born in Hyde County and attended the university. He
had red hair and blue eyes, and at times an ungovernable temper. When in a rage, his countenance was ugly beyond description. He was a good hater. To his friends he was as true as steel. He detested his enemies. He was as brave as a lion. He was a powerful, ruthless advocate who brooked no opposition. After the war he formed a partnership with Mr. Warren.
Fenner B. Satterthwaite lived just over the line in Pitt County, but practiced in Washington regularly and moved there after the war. He had a natural gift for the law. He rarely cracked a book, but depended on his commanding appearance and striking personality, his knowledge of the people, and his ability to speak. And quite successful was he.
Such was the bar of Washington in 1850. There was not a case brought in Beaufort County that these men were not pitted against each other, and at every courthouse in the eastern country where they appeared, one or more of them would arise and address his fellow citizens on the issues of the day. Warren, Stanly, Sparrow, Donnell, Satterthwaite, and Carter were Whigs, while Rodman carried the Democratic banner alone. Beaufort was a Whig county. In the earlier days it had stood by General Jackson, but it had annihilated Van Buren, Polk, Cass, Pierce, and Buchanan. Its members of the legislature had been Whigs, and the county always loyally supported Morehead and Graham.
In 1853, after five years at the bar and at the age of 27, Mr. Warren rose to great heights in his profession in the case of the State against the Rev. George Washington Carrawan, a Baptist minister of great influence, from Hyde County, owning large tracts of land and a number of slaves. He had killed a schoolteacher from Perquimans County named Lassiter, and though Carrawan's slave had aided his master in disposing of the body, his evidence was incompetent and the case was built up solely on circumstances. It was removed to Beaufort County and Messrs. Warren and Carter appeared with the solicitor, Mr. Stevenson, of New Bern, while Messrs. Rodman, Satterthwaite, Donnell, and James W. Bryan defended. Mr. Stevenson placed Mr. Warren in charge of the case, and he accordingly made the last argument to the jury. Judge Bailey presided. It will go down as one of the great criminal trials of America, consuming eight days and becoming famous on account of the arguments and the immediate happenings after the verdict.
When the jury brought in a verdict of murder in the first degree (Carrawan had turned to his wife after Mr. Warren concluded his
speech and said, —That speech hangs me—), the prisoner, arising to be sentenced, calmly took a pistol from his pocket, aimed it deliberately at Mr. Warren, and fired. He was attired in the conventional broadcloth of the day, with heavy cardboard in the lapels of his coat. A large gold chain was thrown across his chest, holding a locket hanging just over his heart. The bullet struck the locket, caromed to his lapel, cutting out the cardboard, and, falling to the floor, left him uninjured. The shock knocked him down, but he was quickly on his feet, and in time to see Carrawan draw another pistol and kill himself in the court room. The speeches made by Messrs. Rodman and Warren in that case, outstanding for legal argument and oratorical ability, are published in a work well known to lawyers as Classics of the Bar. The complete history of the trial was written at the time by Mr. Sparrow, who did not appear. There is a copy in the Supreme Court Library, and the few that are still preserved are much sought after.
It was during this period that events began to shape themselves that unerringly pointed to secession. The eighth congressional district at that time was composed of the counties of Beaufort, Craven, Lenoir, Pitt, Greene, Tyrrell, Hyde, Washington, Carteret, Wayne, and Jones. For years it had been overwhelmingly Whig, and its leaders were standing squarely with Webster and Clay. The district was so pro-Union that the opposition to the dominant party was negligible. Mr. Stanly had served three terms in Congress with great ability, but in 1842 had been defeated for reelection. He returned home and was immediately sent to the House of Commons from Beaufort County for four terms, was speaker in 1846, and the next year was the attorney general of the State.
In 1848 he was again elected to Congress and served until 1853, Mr. Donnell, at the age of 26, having voluntarily retired after serving one term, and insisting that Mr. Stanly take the Whig nomination. The district had been taking no chance that anyone who subscribed to the South Carolina doctrine should represent it. But with the increased activity of Beecher, Garrison, and Mrs. Stowe in the North, the seeds of disunion were germinating even in conservative and Union-loving North Carolina; and the Democrats, taking advantage of the mistakes of the Fillmore administration, set about to seize the Whig stronghold, the eighth district. Mr. Stanly had previously announced his retirement at the expiration of his term but yielded to the importunities of his party and again became the candidate.
Months before the election the Democrats nominated Thomas Ruffin, of Wayne. Mr. Sparrow, as chairman of the district Whig committee, became the manager of his law partner's campaign and lost no time in launching it.
It was a great campaign. Sparrow, Warren, Carter, and Donnell took the stump for Stanly, all denouncing secession and breathing devotion to the Union. But Ruffin was elected and the Whig power in the district was at last broken. Beaufort County went for Stanly. Mr. Ruffin remained in Congress and went out when the State seceded. He was killed in one of the battles in northern Virginia. In 1853 Mr. Stanly moved to California, where he practiced law. His party having passed off the scene of action, he allied himself with the rising new Republican Party and was their unsuccessful candidate for Governor of California in 1857. North Carolina was to hear no more of him until five years later.
After serving as Representative from Beaufort in 1858, Thomas Sparrow moved to Arcola, Ill., where, on account of his ability, a wide field of activity had been promised him, but with the war clouds gathering and feeling then the inevitability of the approaching conflict, he sorrowfully turned toward home within a year. But the lovers of the Union were not yet giving up. By this time Mr. Rodman was openly advocating secession, was writing prolifically, and making powerful speeches. Carter, Warren, Donnell, and Sparrow were making themselves heard, and wherever one spoke he was greeted with large crowds. Mr. Satterthwaite, living then in Pitt County, was quiet, but his near neighbor, Bryan Grimes, was using his great influence for dissolution. In the winter of 1861 the question of a convention was submitted to the voters of the State. The cotton states had gone out. On every stump in Beaufort County the question was argued. The people were at fever heat, but they were urged to vote down the call. Beaufort County did. And the State did. North Carolina was still in the Union.
But events were happening fast. Lincoln had made his call for troops. Virginia had seceded, and the war was already on. The next election on a convention was held. This time they were all together, all favoring it, and Beaufort County giving it a large majority along with the rest of the State. At the same time Edward J. Warren and William J. Ellison were elected as the county'sdelegates. Mr. Ellison was a Whig and strong Union man, and exerted tremendous influence in the county.
The personnel of the secession convention has been paid due
tribute by the historians and writers. Certainly there has never been a greater or abler body of men gathered together in the history of the State, for in the crises North Carolina sent her best. Pitt County sent Bryan Grimes and Fenner B. Satterthwaite, Mr. Grimes reproaching his friend and neighbor, Mr. Satterthwaite, a few days before the convention assembled, because he did not seem to have the same ardor that he did. Martin County sent Asa Biggs, then a United States judge, and one of the State's ablest men. Hyde sent Edward L. Mann. Washington sent William S. Pettigrew. Northampton sent her able judge, David A. Barnes, and John M. Moody. On the vote for president of the convention, Messrs. Warren, Ellison, and Satterthwaite voted for Gov. William A. Graham, who was defeated by the venerable Weldon N. Edwards. Mr. Grimes voted for Edwards. After a few preliminary roll calls as to its form, the ordinance of secession was unanimously passed, the 115 members signing the enrolled parchment. North Carolina had gone out of the Union and then quickly ratified the constitution of the Confederate States.
For the duration of the war, at least, the old antagonists at the bar and in politics made their peace. Mr. Sparrow raised a volunteer company in Beaufort County. While stationed at Portsmouth, awaiting transportation to northern Virginia, he was ordered to take his company to assist in the defense of Fort Hatteras. He was surrendered there with the garrison, and was in a northern prison for six months until exchanged. He was then called to Fort Fisher and was made a major. When that last great fort of the Confederacy fell, he was at home on sick leave. In a small canoe he paddled alone 20 miles down Pamlico River, and never surrendered or took the oath of allegiance.
On May 16, 1861, Mr. Carter was commissioned as captain of Company E, Fourth North Carolina Regiment, and went quickly to the front. At the Battle of Seven Pines, May 31, 1862, his regiment suffered severely, and he himself received wounds that were feared fatal at the time. It was weeks before he sufficiently recovered to report for duty, and was then assigned as judge of Jackson's corps and made lieutenant colonel. Later he was presiding judge of the Third Army Corps (A. P. Hill's). He remained in the army until he was called home by his election to the legislature.
Mr. Rodman also raised a volunteer company of heavy artillery, which saw service in several sections. Later he was made president of a military court which held sessions in different parts of the
South. Mr. Satterthwaite was not in the army, but gave three sons to the cause. Mr. Donnell was in the legislature during the period of the war and was elected to the convention upon the death of Mr. Ellison and also to the convention of 1865.
Immediately after signing the ordinance of secession Mr. Warren was unanimously elected as captain of a cavalry company organized by his friends in the east. A similar company had been organized in another section, and it was decided to only commission one of them. Governor Clark appointed the other man, Mr. Warren always feeling that the governor had been actuated in his decision because they were political opponents. Later, when the entire convention tendered their services to the Confederacy, Mr. Warren was rejected on account of his physical condition. A brother who had remained in New England served in a Massachusetts regiment, while one who came South served in a Georgia Regiment. They faced at Chickamauga, and the southerner was killed.
The brilliant career of Bryan Grimes, who was inseparably connected with the life of Beaufort County, needs no elaboration in these articles.PART 2
Edward J. Warren and William J. Ellison played important roles in the convention of 1861 and from the beginning were continuously pointing out the value of eastern Carolina to the future of the Confederacy, condemning the half-hearted efforts for its defense by the Davis government, and urging State action. Both of them actively participated in all of the proceedings and impressed the membership with their ability and courage. . .
Mr. Warren was elected as senator from Beaufort in 1862, 1864, and 1865. In the convention of 1865-66 Messrs. Warren and Donnell were again the delegates from the county; so they served in the dual capacity as members of the convention and as members of the legislature. He was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee during all of his terms in the senate and Mr. Donnell served in the same capacity in the house until he was elected speaker. Certainly no county in those strenuous times occupied a more powerful position in the legislative history of the State than Beaufort.
For the time being a new era began in North Carolina when on September 8, 1862, Zebulon B. Vance took the oath of office as governor, and a star of the first magnitude started its ascendency.
During the progress of the war Governor Graham, Mr. Warren,
Richard S. Donnell, Col. David M. Carter, and many others, were at times caustic critics of the Richmond government, and many of the war measures proposed both in the Confederate congress and in the legislature. They insisted upon a —vigorous constitutional war policy,— but protested throughout, both in speeches and resolutions, —against any settlement of the struggle which does not secure the entire independence of the Confederate States of America.—
On March 20, 1862, a week after the capture of New Bern by the Federals, the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment entered Washington, accompanied by a fleet of gunboats. At this time the town had been completely evacuated by the Confederates and no resistance was offered. The regimental band accompanied by several companies marched from the dock to the courthouse and raised the American flag. A banner alleged to have been placed there by citizens was stretched across Main Street, bearing the inscription, —The Union and the Constitution.— The Federal commander reported to the War Department that he had found Union sentiments among a few individuals. A garrison, consisting of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, was brought in and made permanent. A large fleet of gunboats was anchored in the river off the town. The occupation was continuous until the spring of 1864.
When Federal occupation came, there were not over 700 people who remained in Washington, all of them being old people who were non-combatants, and a few children. The feeling was prevalent that the section was being handed over to the tender mercies of the invaders, and that the Richmond government was stripping North Carolina of her manpower for service in Virginia. The county had always loved the Union, but when the step to leave it was taken, bickerings ceased, and a united front was presented.
On March 30, 1863, the Confederates, under Gen. D. H. Hill, began the siege for the relief of the town. Unfortunately, he had no gunboats, and as a result the Union garrison was constantly relieved. The besieging force consisted of the brigades of Daniel and Pettigrew on the south side of Pamlico River, and the brigade of Garnett, of Pickett's division, upon the north side. The force under General Hill numbered about 9,000. The Confederates seized the forts below the town and held in check a large fleet of Union gunboats attempting to pass them. The Federal garrison in the town at the beginning of the siege numbered 1,500, which was increased to 2,000 when the transports ran the blockade.
The Federals marched overland from New Bern with a force
of 8,000 under General Spinola, but were met by Pettigrew at Blounts Creek and driven back. Fearing to make a land assault with its consequent loss of life, the Confederates daily engaged the Union gunboats and forts, and Washington was again riddled with shells. On April 15 a large part of the Confederate forces were called to Virginia, and the siege was abandoned. Washington was to remain under Federal occupation for another year.
The brilliant feat of General Hoke in capturing Plymouth on April 20, 1864, caused General Harland, the Union commander at Washington, to receive an order to evacuate the town. On April 30 the last Federal troops, after firing the different portions of the town, embarked. The last dastardly act was setting the bridge on fire. The town was now desolate and ruined.
It is baseless calumny lodged both during and after the war that there was disloyalty on the part of the citizens of Washington to the Confederate government. It is a slander that is unworthy of denial, and though 65 years have elapsed, history is recorded truths, and there is documentary evidence to give the lie to every false charge.
The hoisting of the banner across Main Street welcoming the invading Federals can be dismissed as an act of a very few cowed and whipped citizens who felt that their government (Confederate) had deserted them. The fact that the banner was even raised by local people is not admitted, for immediately afterwards no one would take the responsibility for it.
On March 30, 1862, with the Federals in undisputed control of the town, six well-known and prominent citizens, all old men, were the guests at dinner of Captain Murray, of the U. S. gunboat Commodore Hull, lying in the stream off Washington. Every one of them had either sons or near relatives in the Confederate Army. It was a convivial affair. They pulled off a drunk that evidently required some time for recuperation. Captain Murray proposed a toast:
—Here's to the reconstruction of the Federal Union, a plantation in Georgia with 100 —niggers,— and a summer residence in North Carolina.—
The Washingtonians drank to it with great zest, their liquor at that time having taken the proper effect. It is reported that the captain ordered them oared ashore and safely put to bed. This was a shocking and horrible act of disloyalty.
On April 3, Isaiah Respess, the mayor of Washington, was arrested by a raiding party and sent to Richmond by General
Holmes, the Confederate commander, then at Greenville. Mr. Respess was an old man, long past the combatant stage. Faced by a court-martial, with seven charges presented against him, hundreds of miles from home, he successfully combatted them and was acquitted. Even then he was held and told that he could not return to eastern Carolina. He was accused of furnishing information to the enemy, or at least fraternizing with them. His arrest, contrary to the civil laws of North Carolina, and with a wanton disregard of his rights, caused an outbreak of widespread indignation. On May 1, Judge Badger, of Wake, arose in the convention and presented lengthy resolutions calling upon Governor Clark to make immediate inquiry and with a demand for his release. Messrs. Badger, Warren, and Graham made powerful speeches. After a debate of three days, the proceedings were terminated with a wire from President Jefferson Davis announcing the release of Mr. Respess. After the war Mr. Respess was a senator from Beaufort County.
During the first week of May, 1862, Edward Stanly left his California home and was received at the White House by Abraham Lincoln. He was depressed and blue, for his home state, which he loved passionately, had been invaded, and both the place of his birth and that of his long residence were in possession of a conquering army. But he had a dream that his very presence there could bring peace out of destruction, and he painted to Mr. Lincoln a glowing picture.
Were not Washington and New Bern, now held by the Union forces, former Whig strongholds? Had not their public men, even until the very last, suffered villification on account of their intense love for the Union? Was not this whole war brought on because the people had turned from their old and trusted leaders? What, then, would be easier, now that they were abandoned by the Confederacy, than to go down and wean and coax them back, and take them by the hand as erring brothers? And who, he argued with Lincoln, could better do this than Mr. Stanly himself?
It was no lust for office or for power that inspired Edward Stanly. Love for his old home, and for the Union, pervaded his being. He knew also that there was suffering in North Carolina, and he thought he could alleviate it. Mr. Lincoln was impressed. He felt that if he could drive a wedge into North Carolina that the war would quickly end. Just as he did not consult Congress when he made war neither would he consult that body now, and on May 26, 1862, he commissioned Edward Stanly as Provisional
Governor of North Carolina, with the rank of brigadier general.
Governor Stanly lost no time. He arrived shortly in New Bern, and spent a month conferring with General Burnside. He unfolded his plan. Idealism was to prevail. The military should play second fiddle, and there should be a minimum of restraint. In all of their acts they should play the part of the gentleman. They should fraternize freely with the citizens. No one should be called a rebel. The people should be told that they were simply misled, that the Union was ready to receive them with open arms and restore their property, including their slaves. This program had not been in effect three days before it clashed with the views of the Union general, and in ten days Stanly was complaining to Lincoln of the excesses of the Federal troops.
He then moved on to Washington, and set up his headquarters in the building occupied by the branch bank of Cape Fear. Mr. Stanly was a persistent, tenacious, and determined man. He forcibly presented his ideas and arguments to all he came in contact with, and there is no denying the fact that he made inroads on the morale of the comparatively few people remaining in Washington. He was received kindly in the town which was formerly the scene of his many triumphs, and his presence no doubt softened the occupation. He wrote letters to many of his old Whig friends in the convention and legislature, including Graham, Badger, and Warren; but they sent him word that his mission was futile.
Governor Stanly carried on a lengthy correspondence with Lincoln. He constantly protested the thwarting and overruling of his policies by the Army, was always mentioning the excesses of the troops, and complaining of their entire lack of cooperation with him. Soon Stevens and Sumner, on the floor of Congress, were interrogating the President as to —this man Stanly who is assuming to usurp the powers of the military.—
The provisional governor had accomplished nothing. Each day his disillusionment grew. On March 2, 1863, he resigned, no doubt upon the suggestion of Lincoln. He returned to California, entering into a large law practice, and was eminently successful. He died in 1872, at the age of 62, and was buried there. Edward Stanly was a great lawyer, and a wise statesman. He never lost his love and deep affection for the people of his native State. At least one of the votes for the acquittal of Andrew Johnson is accredited to his influence.
The banner incident, the social party of several old men on a Union gunboat, the arrest of Mayor Respess, and the visit of
Stanly, were all magnified, and mutterings were abroad that Washington was disloyal to the Confederacy. The truth is that the town and county were bled white, both of men and property, and the people displayed great stoicism and bore their sufferings heroically.
Parts 3, 4, and 5, have been summarized.
The war was now over, and William W. Holden was the provisional governor. North Carolina was to drink the bitter dregs for years to come.
While no interest was taken, there was no objection to the call for a convention in 1865. Its personnel was selected solely by white votes, and many able figures were members. It was composed largely of men who were former Whigs, and it was imbued with a spirit of cooperation, and a desire to set the house in order again. Judge Edwin G. Reade, a former Senator in the Confederate Congress, was its president. Judge Warren and Mr. Donnell, as members from Beaufort, rendered able service.
The legislature met the latter part of November, Governor Holden having submitted his cause to the voters, and being defeated by Jonathan Worth. On November 29, General U. S. Grant visited the senate chamber of North Carolina, and was introduced to the body by Judge Warren.
Little did they dream at that time that lust for office would cause General Grant to adopt a policy a few years later that placed North Carolina and other Southern States under an iron heel that no conqueror had ever before been guilty of.
The legislature immediately went about to set up a stable government under the Constitution. But Congress had decreed that the —conquered Province— must have a new constitution, and General Canby, the military commander, initiated the enrollment of the Negroes for their first suffrage. Another great convention was held in Raleigh, this time composed of the Conservatives and Democrats. They denounced the determination for a Constitutional Convention and banded themselves to oppose it. Judge Warren wrote Governor Vance, and Judge Fowle, who had resigned, that his attendance would be incompatible for judicial propriety, but that he was in complete sympathy with their movement.
The election was held, and as expected, the call for the convention carried. William B. Rodman and William Stilley were elected as members from Beaufort. (Mr. Rodman had now joined
the Republican party.) Such a conglomeration of constitution makers had never before been gathered. Carpetbaggers, Negroes, illiterate whites with deep-seated prejudices, and about fifteen upper-class men made up the assemblage. In the latter class, besides Mr. Rodman, were Plato Durham, of Cleveland, John W. Graham, and E. M. Holt, of Orange, the last three having no influence, but making memorable fights on all controverted questions. There was a dearth of lawyers in the body. It is paying no compliment to William Blount Rodman to say that he towered above everyone there. He would have been a distinguished leader in any convention or legislative body, where his legal ability and forensic powers would have been in demand. When the convention organized he must have shuddered at the colossal task confronting him, for he had fully determined to battle every question and save the State, if possible, from those who were ready to despoil her. As a former Confederate soldier, with his disabilities still unremoved, and as a former well-known Democrat, he was looked upon with suspicion by the Negroes and carpetbag element. That section of the convention immediately set up as their leader the notorious but able Albion W. Tourgee.
Mr. Rodman was immediately appointed as one of the committee of seventeen to report on the best mode of proceeding to frame the constitution and civil government. He was then made chairman of the committee on the judicial department, and it was here he best served North Carolina.
The constitution of 1868, the organic law of the State today, conceived and born in prejudice and strife, and prepared by a convention, the overwhelming majority of which was hostile to North Carolina, has, notwithstanding its conception, stood the test. It is rather singular to note that Mr. Rodman, who wrote more sections of the constitution than any other man in the convention was not permitted to vote to ratify it. (Because former Confederates were not allowed to vote.)
The spring of 1870 rolled around, and the State was so shocked at the program of pillage and plunder inaugurated by the carpetbag legislature that it was literally on fire. On June 4 there assembled in the Beaufort County courthouse one of the largest and greatest political conventions held in the East. It was composed of old-line Whigs, Democrats, and many Republicans who were already leaving that party. It was called the —Conservative Democratic convention,— and a full county ticket was quickly and unanimously nominated. It proposed for the Senate Judge Edward J.
Warren and for the House Maj. Thomas Sparrow. Enthusiasm was abundant, for regardless of past differences, the delegates were now united for a single purpose.
The legislature of redemption met in November, 1870. For another time the chairmanships of the judiciary committee in both senate and house went to Beaufort County. The Conservatives or Democrats had a wide majority in each body, and they immediately set about to undo what the despoilers had been doing for the last two years. They elected Thomas J. Jarvis, then of Tyrrell, and later to become governor, as speaker of the house.
On December 15, 1870, Maj. Thomas Sparrow, of Beaufort, appeared at the bar of the Senate and impeached Gov. W. W. Holden, in the name of all the people of the State. By reason of his commanding influence and legal ability Sparrow had been chosen chairman of the board of managers.
The trial proper of Governor Holden, with Chief Justice Pearson presiding, began on January 23, 1871. He was arraigned on eight articles for high crimes and misdemeanors, based on a gross usurpation of the duties of his office, the encouragement of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and a general overriding of the constitutional rights of the citizens of the State. On March 22, 1871, Holden was convicted on six of the eight articles of impeachment.
The outstanding session of the General Assembly of North Carolina in the entire history of the State was that of 1870-71, when, under the leadership of brave and courageous men, the State was rescued from despotism and her bow once more pointed to ideals that Carolinians revere.
Judge Warren returned home upon the adjournment of the legislature a hopeless invalid, his body racked with muscular rheumatism, and the wheel chair he had been forced to take in Raleigh now became permanent. But his courage did not abate, and daily he was rolled to his office and the courthouse, and the firm of Warren, Carter & Myers had a law practice requiring the time of all of them.
In 1872 Colonel Carter received the Democratic nomination for Congress from the first district, to oppose the incumbent, Clinton L. Cobb, of Elizabeth City. While dominant in a courthouse and in the legislature, he was handicapped by not knowing how to make a political speech. He and his friends made a thorough canvass of the district, but he was defeated. In the early part of July, 1876, two men rode into Washington in the same carriage,
followed by a cheering throng on horseback and foot. They repaired to a grove to address the multitude. One was Zebulon B. Vance, the greatest of all war governors of the Confederacy, and for the time denied his seat in the United States Senate by the reconstruction acts. This former Whig leader and friend of the Union was now the Democratic nominee for Governor of North Carolina. The other was Judge Thomas Settle of the Supreme Court, an antebellum Democrat and now the Republican nominee.
It was a brilliant debate and issues were discussed, each side receiving equal applause from their partisans. It was the last political act of Judge Warren. He struggled out of his rolling chair and introduced Vance, at the same time paying tribute to Settle, who had been active in 1866 in making him a superior court judge. In the election, Beaufort County gave Vance 137 majority, the first time in the history of the county that it had ever given its popular approval to a Democratic candidate for governor. Three months later Tilden got a small majority, that also being the first instance where a Democratic candidate for President had ever carried it.
On December 10, 1876, Judge Edward J. Warren died. Physical suffering had made his last years ones of torture. He was only 50 years of age but he was considered an old man. Of stern exterior, with sharp likes and dislikes, he was not a popular man as the term is generally understood. But the people believed in him and delighted to do him honor.
Upon the death of Judge Warren, his law partner, Colonel David M. Carter, moved to Raleigh, where he at once took the position his wealth, character, and capacity commanded. He became director of the Raleigh National Bank and Home Insurance Co., member of the executive committee of the Trustees of the University, the chairman of the Commission to build the Governor's Mansion, and chairman of the board of the State's prison.
Col. Carter had been wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines and left on the battlefield for dead. His Negro slave, Jim, who had accompanied him to war, found him and carried him on his back to a place of safety where he nursed the Colonel back to life.
One of the most notable trials in the Beaufort County courthouse was Jim'strial some years after the war when Col. Carter defended him so brilliantly. In a recent election Jim had voted the Democratic ticket, and had ostracized himself with the colored population. He was finally attacked on Main Street by several of them with the result that Jim wielded his knife with great dexterity and stabbed one to death. So he was to be tried for murder, and
his former master, a ferocious old lion, sat by his side. For weeks before the trial the whole county had become either pro or anti Jim Carter, and the case had assumed a political aspect in that the Democrats were for acquittal and the Republicans for conviction. Over 200 Democrats sat in that courthouse with pistols in their pockets.
When Jim was acquitted the whole town celebrated.
Col. Carter died in January 1879 at the age of 49. His was another stormy life filled with combat.
Richard S. Donnell, Edward Stanly, Edward J. Warren, Fenner B. Satterthwaite, David M. Carter and Thomas Sparrow were now all dead, and the last of the illustrious ante and post bellum bar had passed off the scene except William B. Rodman who lived until 1893. Most of them had seen the beginning of new faces coming on in their stead, for with 1870 and extending through the eighties, a procession of able, brilliant, and capable men began to constitute the Bar of Washington for another era. James E. Shepherd, George H. Brown, George Sparrow, Charles F. Warren, John H. Small, William B. Rodman, and Enoch S. Simmons made up this array and took high rank in the profession.
Mr. Warren closes with this statement:
—Actuated by county pride, and with a deep appreciation of their works, these pen pictures of her sons are presented as Beaufort County's contribution to a notable era of North Carolina history.—
LUCY WHEELOCK WARREN MYERS
(MRS. RODMAN MYERS)
Feb. 20, 1850-Apr. 27, 1937
(The following article was written many years ago by Mrs. Rodman Myers, daughter of Edward Jenner Warren and mother of Mrs. Marcia Myers Knott. These are pre-Civil War Memories.)
Of the early days of Washington I know very little, I have heard Miss Patsy Blount say that when her father, Mr. John Gray Blount, came here to settle he found already a flourishing though scattered settlement. The members of this settlement belonged mostly to the Bonner family.
These were prosperous people, living in comfortable style in large hiproofed houses, located within sight of one another, mostly outside of the present limits of the town, on the low hills surrounding it.
One residence, however, and that I suppose of the most influential and prominent member of the family, was located on the bank of the Pamlico River, facing it on what is now Water Street. This was the home of Col. James Bonner. Later this house passed out of the possession of the family and was occupied as a tavern and known as the —old Mulberry Tavern.— It took its name from the double row of Otaheite mulberry trees standing on each side of the walk leading from the gate to the entrance. This building stood, I think until after the War between the States, and then was burned down when a warehouse next door was destroyed by fire which was said to have been set for the purpose of getting insurance
on the warehouse. The Mulberry Tavern was a two-story house, with double piazza across the front, making both the upper and lower piazzas. I remember going to this house when a small child with my mother to have some dresses made. It was then occupied by a Mrs. Pugh Whitecar, whose daughter married a northern man, a Mr. Hamilton, who built the house now occupied by Mrs. Wynne on Main Street in front of the Mulberry Tavern lot.
The house in which I now live stands in —Bonner's Old Part— of the town, on a part of the Col. James Bonner farm. I have heard that a fence ran about on the line of Bonner Street and that when Col. Bonner would be at home on a furlough from the Continental Army he would have a half-witted negro servant keep watch, sitting on this fence, for any suspicious looking parties who might possibly be British or Tories. If the negro saw any signs of danger he would gobble like a turkey, which was the signal agreed upon, and the Colonel would retreat to a place of safety.
My earliest personal recollections of the town is of its beautifully shaded streets; the English elms, which in that day were used almost exclusively for shade trees, here formed a perfect arch the whole length of the streets. I have been told that persons who visited the town before the war preserved that picture as their foremost recollection of it.
Another characteristic was its closely fenced yards. All back yards had high close board fences which shut out all view of gardens, kitchens and out-houses; of which there were necessarily many (the smokehouses very important ones) on each lot. Each family kept many servants—cooks, house servants, laundresses, stable and lot boys, most of whom lived on the lots. These fences had closely barred gates with locks and chains, and were usually locked at 9 o'clock at night, after which time negroes were not allowed on the streets without a written permit from their owners. These permits they were required to show to the watchmen who were called the patrol. The negroes had a derisive song about this, beginning —Run, nigger, run, or the patroller catch you!— Even if it were necessary to send a servant for a doctor in haste at night, he dared not venture on the streets without this permit.
Some of my most vivid recollections have to do with the water traffic, both on the upper and lower rivers, and at sea. In fact, in the early days, water communication was the principal way of keeping in touch with the outside world, except by stagecoach for the passengers, and by large canvas-covered wagons for the
inland freight traffic. In my childhood a great event of the day was the passing through of the stagecoach from New Bern to Plymouth and the reverse trip. These stagecoaches were almost as large and heavy and as gaily painted as the circus bandwagon of today. The driver felt his importance and took great delight in blowing at the foot of the bridge a large horn to herald the approach of the stage. He would come into town at a dashing gait and cracking his whip over the four, or sometimes six, horses required to draw the heavy vehicle.
In those days, too, there was only one small steamboat plying on the upper river, but great quantities of products from the rich counties of Pitt, Edgecombe and Nash were freighted down on flatboats consigned to middlemen here, called commission merchants, to be shipped away on seagoing vessels. Those merchants found this business very lucrative, and were among the wealthiest and most prominent men of the town. Among them I recall Mr. B. F. Havens, Mr. W. A. Willard, Mr. S. R. Fowle, Mr. G. H. Brown, and Mr. John Myers. The flatboats brought a very important part of the trade of the town. These boats were propelled by manpower, they were poled along by negroes who walked along a plank footway along the side of the boat. As they walked, they chanted a most peculiar mournful song. These flatboats came down the river piled high with bales of cotton, barrels of tar, pitch and turpentine, bags of corn, sides of bacon and stacks of brick, staves and shingles. The making of barrels was an important industry here, and the town was dotted with noisy cooper shops. These barrels were used by the large distilleries located here.
The commission merchants, many of them, owned large seagoing sailing vessels—two and three vessels each which traded along the coast northward to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston, and southward to the West Indies. All the ice we had in those days was natural ice, brought from Maine in these sailing vessels. I well remember how interesting it was to watch the stevedores unloading the great blocks of ice and storing them away in the two big ice houses owned by Mr. B. F. Havens and Mr. John Myers. Then, still more interesting, was the coming of vessels from the West Indies with sugar, molasses, oranges, tamarinds, limes and a treat of sticks of sugar cane for the children—with also an occasional monkey or parrot for sale.
Foreign sailors, who came on these vessels, were one of the bug-a-bears of the little children in my day. They were a drunken, noisy crowd, swaggering about the streets, making things very disagreeable
while they were in port. Many of them were Portuguese, who looked very outlandish with their long hair and the big gold-hooped earrings they wore.
The block on which Mr. Jonathon Havens— oil mill stands was closely built up with stores kept by merchants who did a large business. On the side of Mr. Havens— mill (the lot and the buildings on it belonged at the time to Mr. Macon Bonner), Mr. Louis Labarbe carried on a business. Mr. Labarbe came here a small orphan boy whose parents had been murdered by the blacks in a negro insurrection in the French West India Island of Martinique. He and a little negro, or mulatto, boy managed to elude the frenzied blacks and made their way to a ship from this town which was lying in harbor. The captain treated them kindly and brought them with him. Mr. Lewis LeRoy (who married Miss Palmer, a granddaughter of Sir Robert Palmer) took charge of little Labarbe, raised him in his family, and Mr. Labarbe grew up to marry Miss Peggy LeRoy, daughter of his benefactor. The little negro was sold and bought by my great-grandfather, —Parson— Bowen, and became a trusted and valued servant in his family. My grandmother (Elizabeth Bonner, nee Bowen) always spoke of him as —good old Uncle Phil.—
Other refugees from these insurrected islands found their way here and had much influence upon the social life and manners in Washington. One of them, a Mr. Chapeau, a very accomplished gentleman, taught here the French language and dancing—especially the stately minuet—for which the young ladies had a skirt especially made, opened on the sides so that in one of the figures they could catch up the skirt with the tips of the fingers and hold it out at arm's length. Mr. Chapeau married a Miss Singletary, sister of the Rev. Mr. Singletary, a clergyman of the Episcopal church. After order was restored in the French West India Islands, Mr. Chapeau went to France and recovered a portion of his estates. We own some silver which belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Chapeau—marked with their initial —C,— which was bequeathed to Miss Patsy Blount by her life-long friend, Mrs. Chapeau.
THE CIVIL WAR ERA
The following article by Charles F. Warren, father of the Honorable Lindsay C. Warren, was published in The Confederate Reveille in 1898. It is used here by permission of the Pamlico Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy.PART 1
WASHINGTON DURING THE —CIVIL WAR
On March 14th, 1862, New Berne was captured by the Federal forces under General Burnside. The cannonade could be distinctly heard at Washington. Just before the battle at New Berne the bridge over Pamlico River at Washington was partially destroyed by incendiary fire, at night, to prevent the Confederates from uniting with the command of General Branch defending New Berne. Upon the fall of New Berne the town of Washington was evacuated by the Confederate forces, which included a Georgia regiment, commanded by Colonel McMillan. All that part of Eastern North Carolina adjacent to Pamlico and Albemarle sounds and the rivers emptying into them passed under Federal control, and remained until the capture of Plymouth by the Confederates under General Hoke, a period of two years. The limits of Federal occupation, however, were closely confined to the sounds and navigable streams and to the garrisoned towns upon them.THE ENTRANCE OF FEDERALS
On March 20th, 1862, the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment, Colonel Stevenson, was sent from New Berne to Washington on the transport Guide, accompanied by the gunboats, Delaware, Louisiana and Commodore Barney. This expedition was stopped the next morning six miles below the town by the blockade which
the Confederates had placed across the river at Hill's Point. This blockade consisted of rows of piling driven into the bed of the river and sawed off about three feet below the surface of the water. The gunboat, Delaware, with two companies, passed the blockade and landed at the wharves of the town. The transport and other gunboats remained at the blockade. At this time Washington had been entirely evacuated by the Confederates, and no resistance was encountered. The two companies, preceded by the regimental band, marched from the wharf to the courthouse and hoisted the Stars and Stripes. The band played national airs and the men cheered. They then marched through the principal streets to the gunboat, and the fleet returned to New Berne. These were the first Federal soldiers to enter the town. The Colonel in his report states that he saw some evidences of Union sentiment among the citizens of the town. It was probably confined to a few individuals. Soon after the return of the expedition to New Berne a permanent garrison, consisting of cavalry, infantry and artillery occupied the town and held it until the spring of 1864. Gunboats were anchored in the river in front of the town. After the occupation of the town there were a number of affairs between outposts, including a spirited action at Tranter'sCreek on June 5th, 1862, between the Forty-fourth North Carolina, Colonel George B. Singeltary and eight companies of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, Lieutenant-Colonel F. A. Osborn, one company of the Third New York Cavalry, Captain Jocknick, and two pieces of Marine Artillery, Lieutenant Avery.
The gunboat, Picket, Captain Nicoll, went up the river shelling the woods between the river and the Greenville road. She was too far distant from the scene of action at Hardison's Mill, upon Tranter's Creek, to take part in it. Colonel Singeltary was killed and several wounded on the part of the Confederates. Unfortunately there are no official Confederate reports of this action published in the War Records. The Federals lost 4 killed and 11 wounded, three of them mortally. From all accounts the Federals returned to Washington much demoralized. After the death of Colonel Singeltary, fearing a landing of troops in the rear from the gunboat, the Confederates also retreated.THE SEPTEMBER ATTACK
About 4 o'clock on the morning of September 6th, 1862, a Confederate force, consisting of infantry, cavalry and a battery of artillery, under the command of General J. G. Martin, attacked
the town. The Federal garrison then consisted of five companies of the Third New York Cavalry, Colonel Mix, two companies (G and H) of the Third New York Artillery, two companies of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, and two companies of the First North Carolina (Union). Two gunboats, the Picket, Captain Nicoll, and the Louisiana, Captain Renshaw, were anchored in front of the town. The Picket was just above the bridge, near the blockade, and the Louisiana just below the bridge, opposite the Havens— warehouse. The Federal garrison, including the crews of the two gunboats, numbered about 1,000 men. The Confederates had about the same number of men. There are no official Confederate reports of the engagement published in the War Records, and their strength, composition and losses are not given. The battery of artillery was the Adams battery, raised in Beaufort County. Among the cavalry was the company commanded by Captain Rufus S. Tucker raised in Wake and Johnston counties and recruited in Pitt County. There were detachments from the Seventeenth North Carolina and other infantry regiments. A number of citizens, who had moved away when the town was occupied by the Federals, accompanied the attacking force and acted as guides. The Confederates surprised the outer line of pickets, killing and wounding them, and, dashing into the town, surprised a company of artillery, in barracks at the Academy, capturing four brass 6-pounders and some prisoners. These guns had been captured from A. C. Latham's battery by the Federals at New Berne. The Confederate infantry approached the town through the Grist field and entered at the west end. The cavalry and artillery entered by the Greenville road. Just before the cavalry turned into Bridge Street from the Greenville road, Captain Booth, commanding the cavalry, was shot by one of the Federal pickets and was dangerously wounded. The command of the cavalry then devolved upon Captain Tucker. The attack was made with great spirit before daylight. There was considerable fog in the early morning which, together with the darkness, made it difficult to distinguish friend from foe. At the time of the attack there were some field works and blockhouses, but the formidable chain of forts and intrenchments around the town were constructed later in the war. The Federals were surprised, but still were not unprepared. As the Confederates entered the town from the west, four companies of cavalry and a battery of artillery from the garrison had formed and were marching from town at the east end for Plymouth to co-operate with the Federal gunboats upon Roanoke River in attacking Hamilton.
This column was just emerging from the town as the firing began at the west end. The column counter-marched at a gallop, and one company charged up Main Street, encountering some squads of Confederate cavalry near Market Street, driving them back upon the infantry, which by this time had advanced to Bridge Street. The Federal cavalry were then repulsed with loss. Two companies of Federal cavalry charged up Second and Third streets, but were driven back by the Confederates. Upon Second Street the Confederates planted a piece of artillery in front of the Methodist church and opened fire upon a Federal gun at the intersection of Second and Respess streets. The elms were in full leaf and the street between the two guns was filled with branches shot from the trees. On Main Street squads of Confederate cavalry and infantry advanced as far east as Market Street. Just after the fight opened the Picket blew up, killing her captain and nineteen of the crew and wounding six others. The cause of the explosion was not clearly ascertained, but was probably due to carelessness or accident in opening the magazine when her men were ordered to quarters. The wreck still lies in the river near the blockade. When Burnside's expedition entered Hatteras Inlet he had his headquarters upon this gunboat Picket. Colonel Potter, the commandant of the post, planted at the intersection of Main and Bridge streets a 12-pounder, supported by his entire infantry force, and opened fire upon the Confederates between Main and Second streets and around the Academy. The firing in this part of the town was very sharp and continued nearly three hours, the combatants approaching within fifty or sixty yards of each other and firing across lots from behind houses and fences. A number of men were here killed and wounded upon both sides and two sets of gunners were shot down at the Federal gun. Both sides held on with great tenacity. The Federal infantry were driven back to the warehouses upon the wharves under the cover of the guns of the Louisiana, but still kept up a hot fire. The Louisiana then turned her guns upon the town and threw shot and shell through that part from the Havens— residence westward. Few houses in the line of her fire escaped and after the fight that part of the town presented a shattered and wrecked appearance. What is now the Satchwell residence was completely riddled. At times the fire of the gunboat was silenced by the fire of the Confederate infantry. Cavalry fighting in the meantime was going on in the outskirts and different streets of the town, extending as far east as Market Street. The Federal cavalry made a dash down Bridge
Street and a hand to hand fight occurred in front of the James W. Redding and the DeMille residences. Several men were killed and wounded at this point and the Federal squadron was driven back with loss. Mrs. John Redding, in the front room of her house, was wounded. The marks of this fight are still to be seen upon the porch in front of the house. Failing to surprise the garrison by reason of the detachment for Plymouth being already formed and upon the march, and unable to silence the fire of the gunboat, the Confederates withdrew, carrying with them the four captured guns. It was a well contested action and creditable to the gallantry of both sides. The Federals lost twenty-seven killed, fifty-three wounded and four missing, according to their report. They claimed to have found twelve dead and twelve wounded Confederates upon the streets and to have captured twenty prisoners. The Confederates carried off a part of their dead and wounded. It is probable that the loss on each side was about equal. William O. Respess was severely wounded upon the porch of the Carraway residence, on the west side of Bridge Street, between Main and Second streets, while firing upon the Federal gunners serving the gun at the foot of Bridge Street.THE SIEGE
The Confederate forces under General D. H. Hill began the siege of the town on March 30th, 1863. The object of General Hill's movement in Eastern North Carolina was to collect supplies of corn, meat and forage for the Confederate armies and to capture the town of Washington and its garrison. Unfortunately, the Confederates had no gunboats or ironclads, as at Plymouth the next year, to effectually close and command the river. This was the weak point in the investment of the town and permitted the passage at night of vessels and transports carrying ammunition, commissary stores and reinforcements to the garrison. The besieging force consisted of the brigades of Daniel and Pettigrew on the south side of Pamlico River, and the brigade of Garnett of Pickett's division on the north side. There were a number of batteries of artillery and some cavalry. In all the force under General Hill engaged in the siege numbered about 9,000 men. The Confederates seized Hill's Point, occupied the old fort constructed by them at the beginning of the war and held in check the large fleet of Federal gunboats and transports endeavoring to force the passage of the river and relieve the garrison of the town. Rodman's Quarter was also seized by the Confederates and a battery of Whitworth
guns placed in position. The brigades of Daniel and Pettigrew, extending from Chocowinity Crossroads to Blount's Creek, covered the rear of the forts and prevented the relief of the garrison by the Federal forces at New Berne. The Federal garrison consisted of eight companies each of the Twenty-seventh and Forty-fourth Massachusetts, two companies of the First North Carolina (Union), one company of the Third New York cavalry and one company of the Third New York Artillery. The gunboats, Louisiana, Commodore Hull, Eagle and Ceres were in front of the town. The garrison, at the beginning of the siege, numbered about fifteen hundred men. On the night of April 13th, the transport Escort ran the batteries with the Fifth Rhode Island, raising the strength of the garrison to about two thousand men. The fortifications around the town were well constructed and were of great strength. A deep moat, for the most part filled with water, ran along the front of the works. The woods had been felled around the town for a half mile or more in front of the fortifications to allow the play of the guns and to render attack difficult. During the progress of the siege the Federals continued at night to strengthen their works. A fort was constructed inside the town at the foot of the bridge to command the river road and the streets of the town. The fort was levelled after the war. They built forts upon the river front, above the bridge, and upon the Castle Island, situated in the river opposite the town. The Confederates did not attempt to assault the works, hoping to reduce the town by siege. The fleet of gunboats below Hill's Point daily engaged the Confederate batteries without effect. Fearing to land and to attempt the capture of the fort by assault on account of their strength, the transports with the troops returned to New Berne. The Federals marched overland from New Berne under the command of General Spinola. The forces of Spinola, numbering over eight thousand men, were met by General Pettigrew on April 9th, at Ruff's Mill, upon Blount's Creek, and were driven back. The Confederates constructed a battery in the swamp at the foot of the Old Ferry road, just opposite the town, and opened fire upon the gunboats, but were unable to hold the position. Every day during the continuance of the siege the Confederate batteries engaged the Federal forts and gunboats. Many shots and shells fell in the town especially from the battery of Whitworth guns at Rodman's Quarter. Some of the citizens constructed bombproofs upon their lots, and when the firing became hot would seek their protection. Unable to effectually blockade the river, and in consequence of orders to
dispatch a large part of the besieging force to reinforce the army of Northern Virginia, the Confederates, on April 15th, raised the siege of the town. The capture of the town by assault would not have justified the sacrifice of life required. To judge the severity of the artillery fire, the Commodore Hull was hit in the first four days of the siege by ninety-eight shots from the battery of Whitworth guns. An act of great gallantry was performed by the Federal commander, General Foster. After the reinforcement of the garrison by the Fifth Rhode Island. General Foster, at daylight, on April 15th, ran the Confederate batteries in the steamer Escort. The steamer was hit forty times and the pilot at the wheel was killed by a rifle shot. The losses on both sides during the siege were small. The brigades of Garnett, Daniel and Pettigrew were soon transferred to the Army of Northern Virginia. They formed a part of Lee's army in the invasion of Pennsylvania and sustained great losses at Gettysburg.THE BURNING OF THE TOWN
The Confederates under General Hoke, on April 20th, 1864, captured the town of Plymouth with its garrison of nearly three thousand men. It was a brilliant operation and reflected great credit upon General Hoke and his command. The ram Albemarle soon after the surrender of Plymouth was sunk by Lieutenant Cushing with a torpedo. Had it not been for this misfortune, it is highly probable that Washington and New Berne would have shared the fate of Plymouth and all Eastern North Carolina been restored to the Confederacy. Immediately upon the fall of Plymouth General Harland, in command at Washington, was ordered to evacuate the town. On April 30th, the last Federal troops, after firing different portions of the town, embarked. For the three preceding days the town was given up to sack and pillage. The plundering was not confined to the public stores and supplies, but was general and indiscriminate. General I. N. Palmer, who is still pleasantly remembered by the citizens of Eastern North Carolina for his kindness and consideration as well as for his soldierly qualities, at that time commanded the District of North Carolina. He was an honorable foe. In the general orders issued after the evacuation, he thus characterizes these outrages: —It is also well known that the army vandals did not even respect the charitable institutions, but bursting open the doors of the Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges, pillaged them both and hawked about the streets the regalia and jewels.
—It is well known, too, that both public and private stores were entered and plundered, and that devastation and destruction ruled the hour.
—The commanding general had until this time believed it impossible that any troops in his command could have committed so disgraceful an act as this, which now blackens the fair fame of the Army of North Carolina. He finds, however, that he was sadly mistaken, and that the ranks are disgraced by men who are not soldiers, but thieves and scoundrels, dead to all sense of honor and humanity, for whom no punishment can be too severe.—
A board of investigation, presided over by Colonel James W. Savage, Twelfth New York Cavalry, among other things, reported as follows: —At about 11 p.m. on 26th of April, 1864, Brigadier-General Harland, in command at Washington, N. C., received orders to evacuate that place, and in pursuance of his instructions the post was finally abandoned about 4 p.m. on the 30th. The intended evacuation seems to have become known, or to have been generally suspected, on Wednesday the 27th of April. During the afternoon of that day there appear to have been instances of theft, and before morning of Thursday pillaging commenced, at first in the Quartermaster's store of the First North Carolina (Union) Volunteers, which during the day became general. Government stores, sutlers— establishments, dwelling houses, private shops and stables, suffered alike. Gangs of men patrolled the city, breaking into houses and wantonly destroying such goods as they could not carry away. The occupants and owners were insulted and defied in their feeble endeavors to protect their property. The influence and authority of officers, though sufficient to restrain these excesses when they were personally present, was forgotten or set at naught as soon as they were out of sight, and the sack was checked only by the lack of material to pillage, and ceased only with the final abandonment of the town. It is claimed, and may be true, that some portion of these outrages arose from a general impression that large amount of stores and property would, upon the abandonment of the place, either be destroyed or left to fall into the hands of the enemy, but this is probably not seriously regarded by any one as a justification, or even palliation, of the utterly lawless and wanton character of the plundering.—
The fire broke out at 10 o'clock in the morning of April 30th, as the last Federal troops were embarking. It burned from the river through to the northern limits of the town, extending from Van Norden nearly to Respess streets, and spreading both to the east
and west as the flames advanced. The bridge was fired and destroyed and the fire extended to that portion of the town. Quite one third of the town was consumed. Other fires were kindled, but extinguished by the citizens. No military necessity required the burning of the town. It was not necessary to cover the evacuation or to aid the escape of the garrison. No hostile force was then investing the town. The Confederates took possession in a few days and an accidental fire broke out and the flames, fanned by a high wind, consumed a large part of the town east of Market Street. After this baptism of fire the town was desolate and ruined. There were scarcely five hundred inhabitants remaining of what had been an enterprising and prosperous town of thirty-five hundred three years before. Many of its citizens left before the Federal occupation and sought refuge in the interior towns of the State and elsewhere. They remained where the chances of war carried them, as their property and homes were destroyed. The entire colored population departed at the evacuation. The streets were deserted and the stores and most of the private residences were unoccupied. No work or business of any kind went on in the town. The work of restoration has been slow. For many years the chimneys stood to mark the path of the conflagration, and, even now, after the lapse of a third of a century, the waste places have not all been built up. No town gave more freely of its men and means, and no town suffered more for the cause of the Confederacy.PART 2
BEAUFORT COUNTY SOLDIERS, 1861-1865
(The Confederate Reveille, 1898)
When Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, within three days after the fall of Sumter called on Governor Ellis for the regiments of North Carolina troops to take part in a war against the Southern States that had left the Union, the Governor promptly refused, and by proclamation convened the General Assembly of the State to prepare for the crisis confronting her. At his request, the Assembly called for twenty thousand volunteers. Beaufort County responded enthusiastically, and before the end of January, 1862, eleven companies enlisted for periods ranging from twelve months to the close of the —Civil War. Five of these companies were artillery, viz.:
1. The Washington Grays.
2. Kennedy Artillery.
3. McMillan Artillery.
4. Rodman's Heavy Artillery.
Five were infantry companies, viz.:
1. Jeff Davis Rifles.
2. Southern Guards.
3. Pamlico Rifles.
4. Confederate Guards.
5. Beaufort Ploughboys.
The Star Boys was a cavalry company.
The Grays organized in April, 1861; elected Thomas Sparrow, Captain; and on the 25th of that month, through the Honorable W. B. Rodman, offered its services to Governor Ellis. The Governor commissioned it, May 6, and asked to have the company increased to one hundred twelve men.
The unit was ordered on May 10 to report at Ocracoke Inlet to E. Morris, North Carolina Engineers; left Washington, May 20, and was stationed at Portsmouth, N. C., until August, when Colonel W. T. Martin (Seventh Regiment, North Carolina Volunteers) requested it to join his forces at Hatteras. It surrendered with that fort, August 29, 1861, and the men were imprisoned, first on Governor's Island, New York Harbor; second in Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, until February, 1862.
Samuel Lanier, of this company, died in Fort Warren and was brought home and buried near Bath. After its exchange the company was reorganized. Captain Sparrow was promoted Major of the Tenth Regiment North Carolina State Troops; First Lieutenant William Shaw became Captain; and the Grays was attached to the Tenth Regiment as Company K. Its subsequent service was chiefly on the Cape Fear River, below Wilmington. The Tenth was one of the regiments not brigaded.
The Kennedy Artillery was raised by Charles P. Jones, a Methodist minister, in April, 1861, and was first stationed about three miles north of Washington, N. C. Z. F. Adams was commissioned its second Captain, April 21st, 1862, and it was afterwards known as Adams— Battery. The Battery was Company D., Fifth Battalion, Light Artillery. It was stationed at Fort Fisher, taking part in both battles at the fort, and made prisoner in January, 1865, at that place.
Captain W. H. Tripp, of the McMillan Artillery, was commissioned October 1, 1861. His company was drilled at Chocowinity by Lieutenants Bonner and Hardenburg. From there it was ordered to Fort Hill, on Pamlico River.
Rodman's Heavy Artillery was named for its first Captain, W. B. Rodman, who received his commission October 21, 1861. Captain Rodman was promoted Major, and John E. Leggett became Captain, March 13, 1862. It was first stationed at Swan Point, on Pamlico River.
Captain C. C. Whitehurst was commissioned January 23, 1862. His company was stationed at Fort Hill, Pamlico River.
These three companies were ordered to reinforce New Berne, in March, 1862, but, on reaching Kinston, found the Confederates retreating. The McMillan Artillery and Rodman's Artillery went into camp at Falling Creek, near Goldsboro; and Whitehurst's Artillery remained at Kinston. In April, 1862, they were ordered to the Cape Fear River—McMillan and Whitehurst to Fort Fisher, Rodman's to Fort St. Phillips.
When the Fortieth Regiment was formed, at President Davis— suggestion, these companies were ordered to Bald Head, and became Company B., Company C., and Company I., Fortieth Regiment. From Bald Head they were ordered to Georgia to reinforce General Hardee; and then, back to Bald Head, which was evacuated in 1865. They were in the battles of Fort Anderson, Town's Creek, Jackson's Mills and Bentonville; and surrendered with General Joseph E. Johnson, April 26, 1865, at Greensboro.INFANTRY
The Jeff Davis Rifles was enlisted in 1861, the commissions of its officers bearing date May 16, 1861. In 1862, its Captain, John R. Carmer, resigned and Archibald Craige was promoted Captain. Eight of its privates were transferred to the Confederate States Navy. It joined the Third Regiment, North Carolina State Troops, at Garysburg, as Company I. This regiment, Gaston Mears, Colonel, was first attached to Ripley's Brigade, Jackson's Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
The Southern Guards, D. M. Carter, Captain, enlisted May, 1861, and was commissioned May 16. The changes in the company were many. It had five Captains:
(1). D. M. Carter, wounded and promoted Colonel; (2). D. G. Latham, killed; (3). T. M. Allen, wounded twice; (4). J. H. Carter;
(5). C. K. Gallagher. The company went into camp at Washington, N. C., in the spring of 1861.
Pamlico Rifles was raised by W. T. Marsh, whose commission bore the date May 10, 1861. The officers and privates were principally from Richland Township, and the company's first camp was on South Creek. Its Captain, W. T. Marsh, was killed.
Southern Guards and Pamlico Rifles joined at Garysburg the Fourth Regiment, G. B. Anderson, Colonel, the Guards being Company E., the Rifles, Company I.
The Fourth was ordered to Virginia and became a part of Anderson's Brigade, Early's Division, A. N. V.
The Confederate Guards enlisted for twelve months, with James Swindell, Captain. It drilled at Chocowinity; was a part of Seventh Regiment, North Carolina Volunteers. It went to Garysburg in 1861; garrisoned Beaufort, North Carolina, and, when the town was evacuated, went to Suffolk, Virginia. When its time expired it disbanded. Twenty-one of its privates joined the Cavalry Company commanded by Captain Fred Harding (Company K., Forty-first Regiment). These did noble service in W. H. F. Lee's Division, Hampton's Corp, A. N. V. The remainder joined other companies.
Beaufort Ploughboys received its commission November 6, 1861. The company contained a full complement of commissioned and noncommissioned officers and men. Henry Harding was Captain nearly a year, when he was promoted Major of the regiment (61st), and William Stevenson became Captain. The Company was Company B., Sixty-first Regiment, North Carolina State Troops, at one time in Clingman's Brigade. Company B. was in the Battle at New Berne, after which it was ordered to Fort Fisher; then into South Carolina, and in 1864 to Virginia, being in engagements at Petersburg, Cold Harbor, and Drury's Bluff. It was at Bentonville, and surrendered in North Carolina.
The Star Boys belonged to the Second North Carolina Cavalry (Company G., Nineteenth Regiment). It was stationed at Kittrell, where its First Lieutenant, Samuel Whitehurst, died. Its Captain, Louis E. Satterthwaite, was commissioned April 30, 1861, and on his resignation William M. Owens assumed command. Four of its privates were transferred to the Confederate States Navy. It was first in W. H. F. Lee's Brigade, Stuart Division, A. N. V.
Four of Beaufort County's infantry companies and the Star Boys served in the Army of Northern Virginia. From Seven Pines
to Appomattox, Beaufort County soldiers fought in every great battle—Seven Pines, Ellyson's Mills, Cold Harbor, Malvern Hill, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Chancellorsville, Brandy Station, Upperville, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Ream's Station, Petersburg. The Southern Guards lost heavily at Seven Pines: Captain D. M. Carter was wounded and First Lieutenant Perry, killed; at Sharpsburg its Captain, D. G. Latham, was killed. Captain W. T. Marsh, Pamlico Rifles, fell at Sharpsburg.
The artillery was engaged in no less important duty, protecting Cape Fear River, which remained open to blockade-runners after other Southern rivers were closed.
More than a regiment of soldiers entered the Southern army from Beaufort County, most of them in her own companies, but some in other companies, noticeably in the Branch Artillery, Craven County.
The only available death roll gives one hundred seventy men. Of these, seventy either were killed or died of wounds; two died at Elmira; one at Fort Delaware; one at Fort Warren; one at Fort Pulaski; the others during their periods of service.
—On fame's eternal camping ground Their silent tents are spread.—
There, with those who have since joined the —Bivouac of the Dead,— they await in peace the Archangel's Reveille.
J. J. B.PART 3
WHEN THE YANKEES SET FIRE
TO THE TOWN OF WASHINGTON
CHARLES F. MCINTIRE
(In a history of the 44th Massachusetts Infantry, Charles F. McIntire, Company G, gives the following description of Washington upon the first entrance of this company into the town on the Pamlico River during the strenuous days of the War Between the States.
The Federal troops left New Bern on Thursday, October 30, 1862, and had been ordered to Tarboro by way of Washington.)
—Disembarking about noon at Washington we marched through the principal streets, wide and shaded with fine elms, to an open cornfield on the east side of the town, where we stacked arms and encamped to await the arrival of forces coming by land.
This town, the capital of Beaufort County, is about 40 miles from the sound. We found it to be very neat and pretty. Its streets ran at right angles and were bounded by many old-fashioned, pleasant houses with fine gardens of ornamental shrubs and trees. One house was approached by a romantic arbored walk over three hundred feet in length, of red cedars, the branches of which were so closely interlaced as to scarcely admit the rays of the sun. The place was garrisoned by a small number of Union soldiers, supported by gunboats which were anchored in the river.
—Quite a number of buildings bore evidence of the recent Rebel raid, being marred by shot and shell, and at certain distances from the streets were now barricaded by chevaux-de-frise to guard against a sudden dash of cavalry.
—On April 30, 1864, the Yankees, on the eve of their evacuation, kindled the first fire at Havens— wharf, by order of Captain Renshaw, of the gunboat, Louisiana, anchored there. This was to destroy the naval stores, cotton, etc., to prevent falling into hands of the Confederates. The fire rapidly spread north across Main Street down Van Norden Street, consuming everything to Fifth—the last street in the town. It destroyed all of Main Street east to S. R. Fowle's store on the south side of the Bank of Washington and on the north side it burned the length of Gladden and Respess streets.
—The bridge was fired at the same time, this fire consuming all on the south side of Main Street, west, to Washington Street. Every house on Bridge Street went down, except the DeMille home (J. K. Hoyt) and the old Academy, now the site of the city school.
—Beyond was the home of Mrs. Winnie Balance. She, fleeing for safety, forgot something very much desired, so she ran back for it. The fire rushed so madly in the brief space that when she attempted to cross the street she was enveloped by the flames from both sides—thus she died.
—Furiously the fire raged from Bridge Street down Second, sweeping everything in its path to Respess Street. Strange to say, here it skipped the homes of Mrs. Redding (Mrs. Baugham) and Mrs. Kate Blount; crossed Union Alley, and burned every house on the south side of the street, not one on the north side. Chimneys were all that was left of pretty homes where only defenseless, though brave, women and children had lived. In this awful conflagration the Methodist, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian
and colored Methodist churches were reduced to ashes.
—When the Yankees first came, the Presbyterians took from their church records the Bible, the cushion on which it rested and carried them to S. R. Fowle's home, corner Main and Respess streets, where the communion service always was kept. Mr. Fowle was the senior elder. Nothing was saved from the other churches. People were powerless with fire burning in every direction, and the terrible explosion of bombs on all sides.
—To the east of town, near Ft. McKibbon, were the Yankee barracks, which were fired at the same time by Quartermaster Wheeler. No houses were near these barracks, so the fire did not spread.
—The second fire was May 9, the same year. It originated—how, was never known—on the Wiswall property at the rear of what is now Early's barbershop. From here it burned both sides of Market Street to Second, leaving only the old belltower and the courthouse. Skipping Mr. E. S. Hoyt's home, where is now the federal building, it swept everything before it on East Second Street to the home of Mr. Fenner Satterthwaite, corner Second and Harvey, which was next to the last house. At the same time it was raging on East Main Street. Every building from Market Street to the home of Mr. T. H. Myers, corner Main and Harvey, on the south side, and to the old Hyatt home (Mr. J. G. Bragaw, Jr.—s on the north side) went down. Among these was the Episcopal church, then facing Main Street. By the strenuous efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Eli Hoyt, aided by a few brave boys in gray and a faithful old colored man named Abram Allen, the chancel furnishings were saved. They were kept in the Myers warehouse until placed in the present church.
—The Missionary Baptist church (on Market Street) was the only one left standing.—PART 4
RECOLLECTIONS OF THE —CIVIL WAR
ANNIE BLACKWELL SPARROW
(Mrs. R. H. Lewis)
Annie Blackwell Sparrow was the daughter of Major Thomas Sparrow of the Washington Grays.
This hitherto unpublished article is used with the permission of Major Sparrow's great-grandchildren, Miss Mary Payne of Chattanooga, Tennessee and T. S. Payne of Washington.
I have been asked to write my experiences during the war between the states, and I do so, not to keep up a spirit of bitterness, but that those of our kin and country, who come after us may know something of what was endured by those who waited at home while their fathers, brothers, and other male kin fought for constitutional liberty. The young, those who have grown up in the South since the war, can never know the whole truth, can never understand as we do who passed through the terrible ordeal of a civil war. But it is our duty to leave behind us a record of such things as may make them feel something of what was done by and suffered by the southern men, women and children in a just and holy cause.
When trouble began at Sumter our family lived in a western state, having gone there from the eastern part of North Carolina to make a home, impelled by reasons not necessary to mention here, but principally family affection, our grandparents having settled there years before. My father was in North Carolina settling up his business before joining us. He wrote my mother that there would probably be war between the North and South and that he could not leave the south at such a time. Although opposed to secession, if it could be honorably avoided, he should, in case of trouble cast in his lot with his home and people. She could come south if she wished, in which case she might suffer many trials and privations, or she could remain with her family in the west where she would at least have care and comfort. My mother answered that she preferred to come south at the first opportunity, which she accordingly did — reaching North Carolina in April 1861. I just can remember what an uncomfortable and exciting journey it was. The cars were filled with angry and loud talking men. We heard much that was disagreeable to our southern ears with an occasional warm expression of a difference of opinion from one of our own people. At last my mother with her small children arrived in our southern home and from that time until the end of the glorious struggle she was a fine, staunch, brave, and loyal woman.
My father was deeply grieved at the turn of affairs and during the indignant excitement of the time, he made a speech at a public
meeting in the courthouse counseling our people to moderation and peace. But when Mr. Lincoln called for troops from North Carolina and other southern states, to fight against our own, he did not hesitate, but rejoiced when North Carolina left the union; raised a company of the best element of his town and county and was made captain. My mother made no objection but gave willingly her dearest and best to fight for truth and right. No words can describe the enthusiasm of our women. They made no complaint but went to work cheerfully to fit out their loved ones for war. They cut up their silk dresses to make flags for the companies as later they gave their carpets for blankets for the soldiers and sat on bare floors themselves. They knitted socks to send to the men who were often barefooted.
But when the day came for the soldiers to leave, what heartaches, what tears and misgivings. With proud hearts our boys marched to the boat that was to take them to Portsmouth, an island between Pamlico Sound and the ocean and then commanding the inlet called Ocracoke. A beautiful flag had just been presented by our loyal women given with smiles, tears and loving hearts. Miss Clara Hoyt presented the flag. Other ladies dressed to represent the seceding states: Misses Mittie Hancock (Mrs. Jordan), Martha Fowle (Mrs. Wiswall), Bettie Hoyt, M. A. Gallagher (Mrs. Sheffries), Jennie McDonald, Sarah Williams, Fannie Treadwell, Julia Stevenson, Helen Shaw, Martha Hawks, and Mary Perry (Mrs. Col. Wharton).
There were several companies at Portsmouth and there was a boat that plied three times a week between the island and neighboring towns; it was a not unhappy life. We could visit our fathers and brothers and friends, and many boxes of home cooking were sent out by every boat.
What a happy visit my sisters and I had to our dear father at that time. A vessel laden with fruit bound for New York from the West Indies was captured just then and we had a whole bunch of bananas sent to us by the men. There was a fort on Beacon Island, just across from Portsmouth and there they had received a new 8 inch Columbiach (cannon) which my father's men had named for me and I had the great pride and pleasure of firing it one day and wishing as I saw the ball fall in the water that it might destroy the whole Yankee nation. I was but a child and knew nothing of the deadly work before us. From Portsmouth we went to New Berne to visit an aunt.
One day my uncle came in and with blanched face and quivering
lip called my aunt aside and after a consultation my aunt came out of the room with tear swollen eyes and told us that Hatteras had been captured by the Yankees and that they might now come up to New Berne or Washington. My mother thought we had best go home. A line of stagecoaches was then running between New Berne and Washington and the following morning my sister and I were sent home in the care of friends going over. We were most pleasurably excited to find sitting opposite us in the stage, one of my father's men. Every southern soldier was a hero to us then (I thank God I've never felt any other way) and we were glad to see this one and plied him with questions about our father. He answered them all with a gloomy embarrassment that we were too young and too eager to understand.
But first, as we were crossing the bridge over the Pamlico River, a friend told us as gently as she could that Hatteras had surrendered to the enemy and that my father and his company were there and had been sent to a northern prison, they having gone over at a call from the commandant for help. I can never forget the horror of that moment nor the meeting with my mother and older brother and younger children. Our mother bore up bravely and we received much kindness. There were many aching hearts besides our own in our little town and all throughout the lands.
Hatteras having fallen, many of our people thought that the Yankees would pass on in their gunboats and come through the Pamlico Sound and Pamlico River up to our little town and take possession. Friends flocked to our stricken home to offer help to our mother. After a consultation, it was thought that we should all leave town and stay until we found out what the enemy intended. Kind friends about four miles from town opened their hearts and homes to us and we spent several weeks with them receiving much kindness. Finding at last that the enemy's fleet was coming up the river, we returned to our home town.
Then and there my mother's high courage and indomitable spirit and energy showed themselves. Deprived of the head of the family, the breadwinner, with scant means and a family to feed, I often wondered how my mother ever managed to take care of us. At long intervals we received letters from my father, then in Fort Warren, Boston Harbor. Letters from his men to their families at home, told of his loving care of them and his constant thought of their comfort, and their friends in gratitude for this did what they could for my father's family.
Colonel Dimock was then in command in Fort Warren and my father wrote of him as a gentleman, kind and considerate. There was an interesting lot of prisoners in the fort at that time, Marshal Kane of Baltimore, the mayor of Baltimore, and a great many of the Maryland legislature. Mason and Slidell, our representatives, captured while on their way to England, were carried there while my father was there and there were a great many North Carolinians. My father had repeated opportunities to be exchanged but refused to leave his men and stayed until they were all sent home or could go with him. We have letters now from businessmen in New York, former clients of his, to whom he wrote for clothes and other comforts for his men. News from his prison became very meager as they had been, after a short while, restricted to eight lines in their letters home. But my father had an ingenious mind and we received various communications from him which were not read by the commandant. On one occasion my mother answered a knock at our door and found a returned prisoner who handed her a book which my father had been allowed to send to her through him. We children were filled with a tearful expectancy, hanging on mother's words, while she with the high spirit that marked her course through all those weary years, said, with a merry twinkle in her eyes, —Children, here's a book from your father. The ruling passion is strong in death — books and pudding stones.— My father would always buy books and he was also very fond of collecting minerals which my mother called his —pudding stones.— On examining the book, we found the fly leaf pasted at the edges in such a way as excited our suspicion. Upon opening the leaf we found a most cheerful and interesting letter from our father. On another occasion an exchanged soldier brought my mother several little pincushions made of pasteboard and whipped together. There was nothing to indicate that the cushions were more than they seemed, but we felt that there was a message hidden within them. Upon ripping them open we found letters in each one.
About that time my mother had a sore trial to fall upon her. My oldest brother was then fifteen, a high-spirited lad who felt that he was shirking his duty while staying at home when so many youths of his own age were going off to fight for their country. With a burdened heart my mother yielded a reluctant consent to his urgent entreaties, and gave the last she had to our holy cause. I shall never forget the day my brother left with his battery for Fort Fisher. They marched through town, flags flying, men bright
and brave and wild with enthusiasm. My brother was sitting on one of the guns, looking so young and so ignorant of all he was afterward to undergo. We watched them from our porch, proud of the brave and willing spirit that sent them to do their duty, but with tear-dimmed eyes for the vacant places by the firesides, and the uncertainty of their coming back to fill them.
In February 1862 my dear father was exchanged and oh, what a joyful homecoming. He was not only our best loved but he was our patriot and hero, and no words can express our love and pride in him. Having little to do, our men in Fort Warren resorted to every device in their power to pass away their time. They made many ingenious articles. My father brought to each of us a ring made of gutta-percha buttons with sets shaped like diamonds, crosses and crescents cut from gold dollars. Then there was a bookmark for each, worked on cardboard with colors worsted with our names, the year and Fort Warren on it. Securing a stout wooden box, my father employed a good deal of the latter part of his time in making that box, while apparently only a receptacle for clothes, really a place to carry home with him contraband articles. Stout pieces were nailed on top and sides, apparently solid but really all hollowed out on the underside, and filled with needles, pins, hairpins, silk, cotton, buttons, tape, shoestrings etc., procured and sent to him, I don't remember how, by friends in New York and Boston. These things were most acceptable to my mother, as by this time, all such things were very scarce in our land. A lady in Boston had sent him a fruit cake at Christmas and he had saved more than half of it to bring home. It was a treat to us, who were troubled to get even meat and bread, and was especially enjoyed by the children.
I cannot leave the prison days without mentioning one incident connected with my father's company. After being captured at Hatteras, they were carried to Fort Columbus, Governors Island, New York Harbor, and after a few days they were sent to Fort Warren in a vessel carrying coal. Before leaving Fort Columbus two of my father's men went to him and told him that they had conceived a plan of escape, and he gave them letters to friends of his in New York and Baltimore, asking that they be given money and assisted in any way possible. Accordingly, after leaving Fort Columbus, the men managed to secrete themselves in the hold of the vessel, among the coal. When the vessel landed at Fort Warren, and their names were called, friends answered for them so their absence was not discovered. The vessel went
back to New York and at night our men crawled gladly out from their uncomfortable position, presented my father's letters, were assisted and after varied experiences, worked their way within our lines. One of the men is still living but the other one died many years ago.
After their return, my father's company was reorganized and sent to the Cape Fear where they assisted in building the forts on that river, being for some time at Fort French. A short time after that, my father was promoted to Major of the 10th Regiment of Artillery, and for some time, had charge of the city garrison at Wilmington, remaining at his post there during the yellow fever epidemic.
After the fall of New Berne, our town was evacuated by the Confederate forces including a Georgia regiment. On March 20, 1862, the 24th Mass. Regiment on a transport Guide, and two gunboats were sent to Washington from New Berne. This expedition was stopped by a blockade which had been erected in the river a few miles below the town by our forces. One gunboat, however, with two companies, succeeded in passing the blockade and landed at our town. I had been sent to a neighboring town to school, soon after the return of my father from prison, and was not at home at this time, but my mother was still there with her younger children. Consternation spread among our people when the dreaded enemy was at last in our midst, and we all expected little less than a general massacre. However, —even the devil is not as black as he is painted,— and some of us still live to tell the tale of life in a town garrisoned by the enemy. At this time, however, the Yankees only spent a short time, and after marching through the principal streets, flaunting their colors, they all returned to New Berne. Soon after this, a permanent garrison occupied the town and held it until the spring of 1864. The gunboats were anchored in the river in front of the town, and our people were most uncomfortable and unhappily situated. Burning with love for the southern cause, our people were obliged to be most particular in giving expression to their patriotic feelings. Ladies and girls went out very little as the rude stares of the soldiers and the often unpleasant remarks were very hard to bear as we must. Singing southern songs in private parlors was prohibited, and on one occasion, an officer called to tell my mother that if her daughters sang any more southern songs in their parlor, they would be arrested and put in jail. Considering it of all glorious things, the most glorious to suffer for our cause, I was anxious to
repeat the offense, but my mother firmly forbade it.
No letters could be sent or received except through military headquarters, and were of course, opened and read. But we were fortunate—my father being a lawyer had clients and friends in the country around the town, and they brought us letters in various ways. Of course they were all stopped, questioned, and searched as they came through the outposts. But they managed to elude the vigilance of the guards, and brought us letters hid in the bottom of a basket of eggs, and in their shoes, tacked inside their bonnets, and one colored man brought us a letter from my father tied inside his cravat. This last named affair brought us into trouble as it was reported and distorted, we supposed by our cook. A report went to headquarters that my father had written that he would slip in the town that night and spend several days with his family, hidden, of course, by them. The next day, a squad of soldiers commanded by a traitor, a low fellow to whom and to whose family my parents had often given charity before the war, came to our home and searched it thoroughly, and most impudently and offensively, being very rude to my mother. The man in charge said to the soldiers as they entered, —If you find that d________ rebel, shoot him on sight,— and before this the wife and children had been kind to him.
Across the street from us, on the corner, was a small house occupied after the town was garrisoned by a class of women whom I blush to name. They sat on the porch day and night, and always some soldiers were with them. So offensive was the proximity that we kept the windows closed next to them and passed the street by another way. But at sight of any of us in the yard or garden they would sing loudly, —Hang Capt. S____ on a sour apple tree.— My mother went on one occasion to headquarters to ask permission to spend a day outside the town with country friends, having received notice from my father that he would be near the town on that day. But the general in command had been informed that my mother was sending and receiving letters to and from friends outside the lines, not only for herself but for many others, and he could not find out how. So her request was refused in such a rude and insulting manner that she returned to her home, burning with indignation and outraged pride. Among other things the general told her that she was a —rebel mail bag.— We children were very proud of this and considered it a grand title.
The report that my father would come in to see his family
was not so improbable a thing as it seemed, for on several occasions our men outside did elude the guards and get inside the town, and on one occasion a Yankee sentinel was killed by one who slipped in at night.
About four o'clock on the morning of September 6, 1862, a Confederate Company commanded by Gen. J. G. Martin attacked the town. There was then a garrison of ten companies and there were two gunboats in the river. Our men surprised the pickets and dashed into the town, captured four guns and some prisoners. For three hours the fight waged fiercely and our men gained some advantage. Imagine our fright and our hopes when we were awakened by the noise of the fight, not knowing at first what it was. Peering through the closed shutters, early dawn as it was, we could at last distinguish dashing past, the grey uniform we loved so well. How madly our hearts beat and how earnestly we prayed. A Yankee gun was planted on our corner just a half block away, our men and another gun firing upon it. Our hopes were high, but our men labored under a great disadvantage. At one time they met four companies of cavalry and a battery all ready on their way to march to Plymouth. This with the shot and shell from the gunboats decided the day, and our brave men withdrew after a hotly contested fight. The gunboats threw many shots into the town and afterwards into the woods beyond. Our part of the town was badly injured. As the shells went whizzing over our roof, my mother assembled us all in a room downstairs. With her weeping children around her, she besought God to protect us. We were on our knees when a shell went crashing through the roof of our house and we clung together in speechless terror. But not our mother. Perfectly cool, calm, and quiet she showed not one sign of fear for herself. She thought only of her children and invalid sister. The next day, or rather that day, was a terrible time. We kept our shutters tightly closed for outside the streets swarmed with angry men, and the army's most offensive and threatening remarks were made for our ears. All day the soldiers were picking bullets from the planks of our house where they were imbedded during the firing. It was said by the Yankees that our women fired upon the Yankee soldiers from the windows on the morning of the fight. It was utterly untrue, but notwithstanding, squads of soldiers (rude) were sent throughout the town to search for firearms. My brother had left his gun with which he hunted as a boy, and fearing that its presence in the house might be construed to our discomfort, my mother carried it upstairs to the garret,
ripped off a plank from the floor and hid the gun there. Soon afterward our house was filled with rough men. Nothing was sacred to them. Bureau drawers and trunks were all opened and thrown on the floor. Everything was ransacked and then with sneers and jeers left us to restore as best we could, order in our disheveled home, for wrecked it was. The shell had so torn and shattered the roof that a hard rain demonstrated the fact that we could no longer live there in comfort. Representing this at headquarters we were allowed to move to another house in another part of the town. During the September fight, several of our men were killed; they claimed to have found twelve wounded and to have taken twenty prisoners. I never knew the truth, for we were not allowed to visit or to nurse our poor men, glad as we would have been to have spent our whole time with them, and to have given them of our best, poor and small as that was. One poor old woman who pled curiosity as her excuse, did get into the hospital, and stayed there and nursed them faithfully and lovingly, though pretending that she regarded them in the light of enemies. Her bones now rest in the cemetery near those of the men she cared for and under the shadow of the monument —To Our Confederate Dead.—
Some months after the siege, my mother received through what we called her underground mail, a letter from my brother stating that he would be in the vicinity of the town on a certain day and would wait her coming at a farmhouse three miles in the country, hoping she could obtain permission to spend the day out of town. A pass was secured for her and one of my sisters who was under twelve years of age by a friendly acquaintance who had some influence at headquarters. Going to one of our merchants who was not far from us, my mother bought a pair of boots, socks, underclothes, coffee, sugar and several other articles, all of which we conveyed to our house surreptitiously and at different times. To none of her children but the little girl who was going with her did she tell any of her plans. Early on the morning of the day they were to start, she took my sister into her room, locked the door and there proceeded to dress herself and daughter with the articles she wished to carry out. Hoopskirts were then worn and without them her plan would not have been feasible. The boots she hung, one on each side, inside the hoopskirt, and the other articles were so securely and ingeniously arranged under their clothing that after she was through, there was nothing unusual in the appearance of either of them. Thus burdened, they passed safely through the sentinel and walked three miles without any
accident. My brother was awaiting them and after they had dined with kind friends, my mother proposed a walk in the woods on the pretence of a private and uninterrupted talk. When in a pine thicket, my mother and sister began to untie and display their treasures to the delighted eyes of the half-clothed, half-starved soldier boy. They were hidden in the woods. The next morning my brother gathered his stores together and returned to the army. To the honor of the little girl in this story, be it said that she did not breathe one word of the contraband goods to any human soul until after we had left our home and were outside of the Yankee lines.
On the 30th of March 1863, Gen. D. H. Hill gathered in all, about 9,000 men around there and began a siege. He was trying, not only to capture the town and garrison, but collect supplies for our hungry armies. Our men were all around the town and had temporary forts on the other side of the river opposite the town. Our forts held in check for a while the gunboats and transports that were trying to get up to the relief of the garrison. These gunboats daily engaged our batteries. Our men guarded the roads leading from the town to New Berne so that no help could come to the garrison from that point. The Yankee gunboats threw shells across the town, hoping to hit our troops on the land side. And our own batteries across the river, in firing at the gunboats at the wharves, sometimes sent the balls too far, and they fell in the town, damaging houses, but there was no one killed.
At the beginning of the siege, Gen. Hill had asked the commandant of the garrison that the women and children be allowed to leave the town, but this was refused. So dangerous was the firing from the gunboats, and from our own forts, that the people who had cellars and basements lived in them during the whole siege, inviting as many as they could accommodate to share their security. We had no cellar, but a kind neighbor who had quite a large one, offered us a place in his. The firing began at dawn and ended at sunset, so we felt secure at night. As we could, the ladies of the two families cooked enough to last during the day, and as early as possible, we repaired to our underground retreat, where with rugs, chairs, books, and sewing, and dolls for the children, we managed to while away the days. Loving the southern cause with all our hearts, it was trying to remain inactive, afraid to say one word of what we felt, thinking of, loving and praying for, our brave men who were so near to us and yet so utterly separated from us. One morning very early as my mother was
dressing hastily in order to get down into the cellar, a ball came crashing through the front of the house, on into the bedroom, through the headboard of the bed where my little brother was lying about two or three years old, then fell into the back yard. Covered with splinters, plaster and dust, the little fellow raised up and cried out, —Oh, mamma, I'ze struck.— The ball came from a battery of Whitworth guns directly across the river, and we afterwards learned that my father, who had obtained leave to come down and see if he could learn anything of his family, was at that fort and was directing the firing of that very gun at that very time. After the siege was over my mother buried the ball in the back yard, dug it up after the war was over and we returned to our homes, and it now is in the possession of the boy who was struck. It has served as a plaything for his son, and namesake of the soldier who sent it speeding towards his son.
Being unable to blockade the river successfully, and having also received orders to send a part of the besieging forces to help the army of Northern Virginia, Gen. Hill raised the siege on the 15th of April, 1863 and our hearts were almost broken by our disappointment. Our artillery did good work. One of the gunboats was hit during the first four days of the siege by ninety-eight shots from the battery of Whitworth guns. Another steamer was hit forty times. After quiet was restored, we all came out of our holes in the ground and settled again sadder than ever in our homes. The men of the garrison were very much incensed by this attack and we soon began to feel the effects of their anger. A proclamation was issued to the effect that every Southerner over twelve years of age must take the oath of allegiance to the United States Government or leave the town within ten days. The order was sent to every Southern home, and sent consternation and dismay to all hearts. Many of our people could not go away. All they had was in our little town, and they had no means and nowhere to go when they left their homes. Those who stayed took the oath with the mental reservation that they did not mean it, that an oath under such compulsory circumstances was not binding, and they all disregarded it at the very first opportunity. Friends came to my mother urging her to submit to what they considered the inevitable, representing to her that she was more comfortable where she was and safer than as a refugee with six children to look after, and her husband and oldest son in the army and unable to help her. But she said that nothing would induce her to say that she would be loyal to the United States, and that she would
not give help to her own people. So we prepared to leave our home with no idea where we would go or what would become of us. Just before the ten days expired, soldiers, officers, I think, were sent around to the different homes to ask the result of the order for exile, and my mother expressed in most emphatic terms her determination. Every night after it was dark, my mother and her children had been engaged in carrying to the neighbors who were going to stay in town such things as we most valued and could carry ourselves. My parents had never owned but three slaves and the only one remaining to us was a poor crippled girl about my own age whom my mother had raised with her own children and who had no kin or friends but us. No Negroes were allowed to go with their owners, and it was well for us that this was the case as our poor servant would have been a great burden. My mother left her provisions to this girl and left her in the care of some Negroes who lived near us. We heard that she went to New Berne soon after we left her, and did not live long, missing, no doubt, the comforts to which she had been accustomed. On the morning of the day on which we were to leave our home, an ambulance wagon was driven to our door to carry us out of town, and a squad of soldiers came with it. We were allowed to take two trunks of clothing and two feather beds, the latter tied up in quilts. Poor Jane, the Negro girl we were leaving, clung to my mother's skirts in distress, and when obliged to let go, fell on the floor of the hall with cries of despair. We children were all crying, but there were no tears in my mother's eyes. They were bright and flashing with indignation which nothing but the thought of her children enabled her to suppress. The soldiers stood around the porch jeering and laughing in evident enjoyment of the scene. As we went out, they went in and nothing of what we left in our home did we ever see again. It was the same case at all the homes of all the other refugees. The Yankees shipped north all they wanted and what they did not care for was given to Negroes of the town. The ambulance carried us a mile from town, and there, with many other families of loyal friends, we were left to fare as best we could. We were in the large yard of a farmhouse, and it was a pitiful sight to see a family here and there all over the lawn sitting on their trunks and wondering what would become of them. The situation soon became known through the surrounding country, and farmers who could, came, or sent, for the refugees, and during the day all found shelter. A generous friend whose house was already filled, gave us a warm welcome, hospitality and
kind sympathy. But we were still far away from my father, and my mother was anxious to get within the Confederate lines so that she might communicate with him. Accordingly, she expressed with deep gratitude for the kindness of our hosts, a desire to reach Tranter's Creek, where were our nearest picket lines. Mr. G. could furnish only a cart to carry our trunks and bed, and so we all walked the seven miles to the creek, the younger children occasionally being given a rest on the loaded cart when very weary. Oh, with what joyful hearts did we see the grey coats of our beloved soldiers, all heroes to us. God bless the living and dead. But we were still separated as the bridge over the creek had been burned and the black cypress water rolled between us. The soldiers were eager to help us, and soon procured canoes and transported us onto what seemed a happy land. I remember sitting on a log and recounting to the interested men, some of them almost as young as I was, our experiences while living among the enemy. Col. Ferebec and his regiment were encamped near the creek, and hearing of our condition, he came to offer to my mother every service in his power. She asked him to send word to Col. L., an old friend of my father's, that we were there and homeless, which he immediately did. Soon after Col. L.—s carriage and a wagon for our baggage arrived and we were most warmly welcomed by the kind friends who could not do enough for us. Two of the children broke out with measles, and we were obliged to trespass on their hospitality for about two weeks. None of us can ever forget their unvarying kindness, and warm friendships formed beetween the young people, which have lasted until the present day, when grey hairs are worn by those who were children then. My father was then stationed at Wilmington, and as soon as possible, he procured a leave of absence and came to Col. L. to make some arrangements for a home for us.
THE CLOSING YEARS OF THE
(N. Henry Moore was a highly respected citizen who served his town and county well. Born in Norfolk in 1886, he came to Washington when he was an infant and spent his entire life here. In 1915 at the age of twenty-seven he became postmaster, serving six years during the Wilson and Harding administrations.
In 1929 he became clerk of the Beaufort County Superior Court where he served until his death.
Mr. Moore had an unusual hobby. As another man might have collected coins or stamps or fishing tackle, Henry Moore collected facts until his death in 1949. In 1971 his wife and son, N. Henry Moore, Jr., made a copy of his scrapbook and gave it to the George H. & Laura E. Brown Library where it has proved of inestimable value to those who worked on this Bicentennial book. The following article is composed of facts in the Moore Scrapbook which have been arranged chronologically with comments.—ed.)
The tragic Reconstruction period ended when Federal troops were withdrawn from the South in 1877. Since the end of the war between the states the town commissioners had been appointed by the Federal government.
It was during this period that on April 10, 1871, the Board of Commissioners met and ordered that the remains of the late Colonel James Bonner be removed from the street to the Episcopal burying grounds or to some other suitable place. The tomb can now be seen in the corner of the Episcopal churchyard.
The founder of our town had been buried in the middle of what is now Bonner Street between Main and Water. When it became
necessary to open Bonner to Water Street this grave was moved to the corner of St. Peters Churchyard.
The Jamesville and Washington Railroad and Lumber Company had been incorporated in 1869 for the purpose of holding and developing land in Beaufort and Martin counties. This organization bought 39,680 acres of timberland extending from about five miles north of Washington to approximately five miles east of Jamesville. This was considered the finest timberland in the South. As this was a Yankee enterprise headed by an Englishman, citizens of this town showed little interest in this project until 1877 when the J. & W. Co. asked the commissioners for permission to enter the town of Washington to haul its lumber to where they could get water transportation. It was granted a right of way through Washington Street. This was the town's first railroad, a narrow gauge with steel rails 4 ft. 8— in. apart. There were two woodburning engines, eighteen flat cars for hauling lumber and one small passenger coach.
With the town government back in the hands of its own citizens the Commissioners in 1880 decided that they must borrow $600.00 to try to get things going. The Bank of Washington, organized by James E. Hoyt in the fifties, had folded during the war. Since there was now no bank the money was kept in the safe of S. R. Fowle and Son.
In 1881, concerned about health problems in town, the commissioners ordered that one gallon of water be taken from the principal town pump and sent to the state medical station at Raleigh for analysis.
On May 8th, 1883, an election was held to determine if Washington should establish a graded school. At this election two hundred sixty-four voted for the graded school and thirteen voted against the measure. Two hundred sixty-four votes not being a majority of the five hundred thirty-five qualified voters, the measure was voted down.
The town hall used before the war had stood on the lot next to the Presbyterian Church on Gladden Street. Since this had been burned the commissioners felt that building a city hall was a matter of first priority. It was decided to borrow the money and ask the county's permission to use the lot next to the county jail. Additional land was to be purchased from Mrs. E. Martin.
On January 15, 1884, a building committee was appointed consisting of three commissioners, i.e. J. D. Myers, E. M. Short and
J. S. Howard plus Edmund S. Hoyt, Dr. William A. Blount and George W. Richardson. This committee was empowered to employ a competent architect to build a brick building.
The question was: Where was the money coming from? They applied to Mrs. Kate Respess, probably the only person in town who had any ready cash. One thousand dollars was borrowed from Mrs. Respess with the specification that it was to be used for construction only.
On March 3rd, 1884, the Board of County Commissioners agreed that the Town of Washington, North Carolina, be permitted to erect a building of brick on the property of the county, formerly occupied by the engine and truck house adjoining the county jail and the land of Mrs. E. Martin. The town was granted the right to occupy the said land as long as the building should be occupied for use of the said town. On June 2nd, 1884, the clerk was authorized to borrow another one thousand dollars for use in building the town hall. August 11th, 1884, authority was given to borrow still another one thousand dollars. So it appears that the city hall cost a total of thirty-five hundred dollars.
The addition now used by the Municipal Electric and Water Department and the city clerk was built in recent years.
There was no Marshall Plan to aid in the rehabilitation of a defeated South, and how the South in general and Washington in particular came back after the devastation of the Civil War, is no less than a miracle; but come back it did and if improvement was slow it was certainly steady as the records so carefully collected and recorded by Mr. Moore indicate.
On April 5, 1885, the County Commissioners permitted the town authorities to pull down the wall surrounding the county jail and to use the vacant lot between the jail and the town hall and to enclose the lot, and plant shrubbery.
In 1885 the Southern Telephone Co. was granted permission to erect poles and place wires thereon along the streets and operate a telephone system for a period of ten years. Phone rates were fixed at $15.00 per year for residents and $30.00 per year for business houses.
This was quite a forward step as telephones had been invented less than ten years before and their use was not yet general.
In 1886 the river froze over.
The minutes of a meeting held in the courthouse in 1887 show that E. T. Stewart offered to keep in order the town clock,
the fire engine, act as engineer of the steam fire engine and do police duty for $25 per month. This offer was quickly accepted by the town.
(Note: In later years Mr. Stewart served several terms as mayor. This was the grandfather of Mayor Thomas Stewart for whom Stewart Parkway is named.)
The town was growing so steadily that by 1888 it boasted three hotels, the Riverview, the Spencer House and the DeMille Boarding House. None, however, were on the grand scale of the Lafayette Hotel which had been the headquarters of the officers of the Union Army during the occupation, and which had been a war casualty. The Lafayette, on the northeast corner of Main and Market, had a forty foot dining room with ballroom above, and had extended from Main to Second counting all its out-buildings such as stables and servant quarters.
In 1889 thirty-year-old John H. Small, then in the early stages of his career as a “mover and shaker” in the community became the first man in Washington to be called “mayor.”
There had been no mayor of criminal authority in town until 1846 when by a new charter of the town, an intendant of the police was provided for. He had all the duties of a mayor and was paid $200 a year. The title of Intendant of police was changed to mayor in 1889 and John H. Small was the first to be legally entitled to be called Mayor of Washington.
In 1890 a second railroad came to town.
On April 7, 1890, the city commissioners ordered an election to be held the first Monday in May, submitting an issue to the voters on issuing bonds to the amount of ten thousand dollars for the purchase of terminal property for a branch of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, which is now known as the Atlantic Coast Line.
The depot, now to be used as a civic and art center, was not built immediately. Construction began in 1903 and the building was completed in 1904.
(Note: It is said that the chief engineer, Richard Neal, who lived in Washington while he was in charge of the construction of this railroad, fell in love with Washington's pretty girls, those —belles of the Gay Nineties.— When the railroad was completed there was a big celebration at which Mr. Neal invited Isabel Perry Blount to drive in the last connecting spike.
The drive was symbolic and the silver spike used is now in the
possession of Isabel Blount's grandson, John Keais Hoyt, the third.)
Captain William Ellsworth, conductor, and Captain Ed Leens, engineer, brought the first Atlantic Coast Line train into Washington on May 18, 1892. Captain Ellsworth, long a familiar figure on the streets of Washington, served this railroad as conductor for nearly forty-four years. Mr. Leens ran the train for 28 years.
The railroad built a —Wye— so the trains might be turned around and backed into town. Teenage boys often amused themselves by walking to the —Wye— where Captain Ellsworth would let them board the train and ride into town.
In 1890 the city fathers decided that if the town was to expand naturally something had to be done about all the cemeteries. There were seven of them, two of these were Negro burying grounds on Fifth Street at the corner of Respess, across the street from each other. The others were located at the corner of Fifth and Market, corner of Third and Bonner behind the present Masonic Lodge, on Market Street midway between Second and Third streets, and the Episcopal and Presbyterian churchyards.
So several acres of the Ellison farm outside of town on what is now Market Street extension was purchased and on April 7, 1890 the name —Oakdale— was officially adopted as the name for the new cemetery.
(Note: It became illegal for anybody to be buried inside the city limits. Gossip says that one prominent family was so incensed over this prohibition which would prevent Mama being buried beside Papa in the Episcopal churchyard that they decided to forego the usual funeral and to bury Mama in secret at night.)
E. F. Holmes came to visit in 1890. Later he wrote: —I was at Washington a short time ago. I found the place much changed but greatly improved. It will soon be quite a commercial city. It is constantly growing. . . . Washington has now quite a city air, fine streets and sidewalks, five churches and many fine residences.—
There was some discussion at the commissioners meeting in 1893 about whether or not saloons were to be allowed in town but no action was taken. Saloons continued to flourish but it was not until 1903 that they were legalized by a vote of the electorate. The board fixed the license at five hundred dollars. Funds collected by sale of license were used for school purposes.
In March 1893 the Kugler-Walling Mill had a terrible fire and
the commissioners voted to reimburse the thoughtful citizen who spent six dollars for whiskey to distribute to exhausted members of the fire department.
In 1895 Washington, for the second time, defeated an election to establish a public school. Not until 1897, after John Small had made a personal door to door canvass, did citizens vote for levying a special tax for a graded school.
Notwithstanding the school bond defeat, 1895 was a banner year for progress. Heretofore the town had been lighted by kerosene lamps attached to cedar posts. These were tended night and morning by an appointed —Lamplighter.— Now on August 5, 1895, the city commissioners contracted with Campen and Leach for sixty electric are lights, to light the town for a period of five years, and on September 2, 1895, a franchise was granted a local company to operate a telephone exchange.
On March 2, 1896, the Washington Telephone Company and W. T. Thomas Telephone Company ran a line from Bayboro to Washington via Aurora and were granted permission to run a wire down Main Street from Bridge to Market Street.
The Washington and Hyde County Telephone Company was granted permission to enter the town also.
In 1897 the town decided to build its own electric light plant. On August 12, 1897, the city commissioners resolved that bonds be issued for the purpose. The plant was built on Third Street opposite the gas plant. The building was a one-story brick structure equipped with two small dynamos and two steam engines. Only one engine and one dynamo were used at the time. One was held in reserve. When the plant was first built, current was furnished mainly for lighting at night. Some years later when current was furnished twenty-four hours a day, the load became so heavy that the plant was enlarged. Electricity was then put to so many uses that it was necessary to build an entirely new plant. This plant was located about two miles out on Third Street.
Later in the year, on December 9, 1897, the city commissioners passed an ordinance granting A. M. Dumay and J. P. Jackson the exclusive privilege for thirty years of erecting and operating a gas plant.
A gas plant had been built in Washington prior to the Civil War, and one of the same storage tanks and the same brick building was used but enlarged.
The gas plant built in 1859 by James E. Hoyt and Samuel Merrill had made gas from lightwood. The Yankees had destroyed this
plant in 1862. Now the new company made gas from oil.
Also in 1897 the city commissioners entered into an agreement with the Virginia Brick Paving Company to pave Main Street with brick from Market to Gladden. For many years the three principal streets had been surfaced with oyster shells. Until the shells became pulverized this was rough going for horses and buggies but when the shells were crushed they made a hard surface. Now Main was paved with brick not laid on any base, but laid on the ground after the street had been packed with a heavy roller. This was such good pavement that it lasted a quarter of a century.
Bicycles became popular in the nineties and bicycle riders began to agitate for smoother streets.
1899 was a cruelly cold year. On February 14, 1899 it was three degrees at 7 a.m. That summer there was a bad hurricane.
By 1900 Windmill Creek (now called Jack's Creek) had been bridged and it was no longer necessary to go around by the Brick Kiln Road to get to the area now known as Washington Park.
The census takers of 1900 gave the town a population of 4,842 of whom 2,292 were white and 2,550 were black. All seemed well as Washington entered the twentieth century.
Then on Sept. 13, 1900 a disaster struck which changed the face of Washington. Fire broke out in the Brabble Eating Saloon on Water Street. It was impossible to get it under control and it burned from Water up Market to Main on both sides of the street.
Let John Bragaw who remembered vividly the day of the 1900 fire tell the story in his column, —Now and Then.— He wrote:
There were two happenings which will make us recall forever the 13th day of September in 1900. Dr. Charles M. Payne, pastor of the Presbyterian church, was one of the men most beloved of all those in Washington. It would be safe to say that he and the Reverend Nathaniel Harding held the two highest places in the affection of the community. And at or about seven o'clock on the morning just mentioned the soul of Dr. Payne took its flight. I remember the awe and sorrow with which the word was passed along. —Doctor Payne is dead!—
Then just six hours later tragedy struck. Fire broke out at one o'clock in the J. S. Farren oyster cannery building on Water Street. Some say it was in Brabble's Eating Saloon. There was no stopping the spread of the flames, and by night all that part of Water Street, the market house, and both sides of Market Street
up to Main Street were in ruins. Every merchant along there—E. K. Willis, D. R. Willis, M. J. Wright, Ott Rumley, Spencer Brothers—I can't think of others now—they were all burned out. Most of them lost everything they had in their stores.
As Bob Satterthwaite said, —That fire was worth a million dollars to Washington.— It did not look so that night, the next day, nor for weeks afterwards. Some never recovered, financially, from their losses but for the town as a whole, it was a blessing in disguise. Much of the burned area consisted of one-story wooden buildings, many of them little more than shacks. The sidewalks were of planks and as Bob said, —as you'd step on one plank it would go down and the other would pop up, and it was only by the mercy of Providence that more broken legs did not occur than the occasional one.— After the fire brick buildings were put up, and the wooden sidewalks did not come back. The armory, then located at the foot of Market Street, was burned also and when the building was replaced it became known as the market.
EARLY CUSTOMS OF WASHINGTON
RENA HARDING DAVENPORT
It is not often that a family is privileged to live in a town as long as mine has lived in Washington, and customs, traditions and facts about the town have been passed down to me and my children, who are the seventh generation to make Washington their home.
Most of what I shall tell you was told to me by my father, Edmund H. Harding. The time varies from before my father was born in 1890 until the time I was born in 1916.
My great-great-great-grandfather, John Gray Blount, built the sixth house in the town and my great-great-grandfather, James E. Hoyt, organized the Bank of Washington in 1850, and was its first president. My great-great-great-grandfather, Capt. Nathan Keais, was one of the incorporators of the town in 1782.
Now that I have told you who I am, I will tell you about some of the early facts and customs of the town, its traditions and its ways of life.
Washington was always known as a hospitable town and there were always parties, dinations and big suppers when the bishop, the judge, or some famous soldier or person came to town.
The festive board set for guests could not have been surpassed by the very rich, few of whom lived in Washington, but the folks of Washington lived and ate like royalty.
A typical dination, as the big dinners were called, would include a six weeks old suckling pig, roasted with a red apple in its
mouth, a roast turkey on one end of the table and a boiled turkey with a large bowl of egg dressing at the other.
There was always a smoked or corned ham and a fresh ham. In season scalloped oysters were served. In the winter there was a big dish of macaroni. It was poor taste to have macaroni in the summer.
For dessert there were coconut, lemon and orange puddings (now called pies), vanilla blancmange and chocolate mange. The vanilla was served with grape preserves while the chocolate was served with grated coconut and crushed pineapple. Syllabub topped off the meal.
Coffee was never served at dinner in the middle of the day; only —poor bockerers— drank coffee at any time other than breakfast and supper.
About three o'clock everything was taken off the table and underneath the white damask cloth was a turkey red, checked cloth; and nuts and raisins were brought in which were eaten while the conversation often lasted until dark over a glass of scuppernong wine.
Fried chicken was never served in winter; they only had —spring chickens— in the Spring.
For wedding suppers a great feast was prepared. Not many folks in Washington had a table that would seat more than ten; so, if fifty people were invited to the —wedding supper— it meant there must be five settings, and the table replenished each time.
Great protocol was observed to see that people were fed according to their prominence. At the first table were always the bride and groom, the mothers and fathers of the bride and the groom, the preacher and his wife, and the family doctor and his wife. Then came the bridal party and the others, and finally the children.
All the neighbors helped with the parties as they do today, but there were plenty of servants to help. A good cook received $1.50 a week and her meals, the house girls and nurses received $1.25 a week. All were allowed to —tote— which meant they could carry home enough food to feed their families. The servants came before seven in the morning and were lucky to get away at night before nine.
People bought milk from anyone who happened to have a cow. One had to go for it and take a pitcher to bring it home in. When the first dairy was started, a pitcher was left at the front door with a milk ticket in it. Later, milk was delivered in pint and quart tin cans. Henry N. Blount who ran Sans Souci Dairy (father of Mrs. Hugh Anderson and brother of Mrs. T. Harvey Myers)
brought the first glass milk bottle to town.
Ice was brought to Washington in sailing vessels from the North where it was cut from frozen ponds in winter and stored in warehouses covered with sawdust and sold in summer. After we had an ice manufacturing plant, it did not run in winter, for who wanted ice when the weather was cold? The price of ice was ten pounds for five cents and few refrigerators in town held over ten pounds.
Some housewives, to supplement their income, would send their cooks around with a ten quart covered bucket of big hominy all cooked and hot. It sold for five cents a quart.
If the family cook was sick or for some reason did not come, the wife would not go in the kitchen to cook; for the kitchen was most likely off from the house and about the dirtiest place anyone could imagine. Ladies seldom went in their kitchens. Meals for the family were ordered from Jones Hotel. Jones Hotel was a Negro hotel run by the Jones family where John Havens Moss now lives. The Joneses were good folks and they delivered good hot meals to your house for fifty cents each.
Fish carts started their rounds every morning except Sunday at five o'clock yelling —Fresh Fish.— A bunch of butter fish was ten cents, and you could buy two and a half pounds of round steak delivered to your door by 7:00 a.m. for twenty-five cents. The ice wagons did not roll until eight o'clock, and the bread wagon from the bakery shop passed by at 3:00 p.m. with hot bread at five cents a loaf.WATER AND LIGHT AND HEATING
Before the War Between the States, James E. Hoyt and S. W. Merriam built a gas plant and most of the better homes in town were lighted by gas; the others used kerosene. There was a gas street light on all the important corners.
With the coming of the war, the gas plant was closed and Washington did not have a gas plant again until 1899 when the old gas plant was put in operation again.
The streets were lighted by kerosene and a Mr. Wynne with a hunchback son drove around each morning to put out the lights and trim the wicks; and each evening at dusk he lighted them again.
Daddy said it took fourteen kerosene lamps to light the rectory, and it was a big job to fill them all each morning, trim the wicks and wash the chimneys. These lamps were kept on a shelf in the butler's pantry, and it was not unusual to taste kerosene in the food.
When there was a reception or a party, folks borrowed standing brass lamps with crepe paper shades. Mrs. Tom Myers had one, my great-grandmother, Mrs. Kate L. Blount, Mrs. J. F. Randolph and Mrs. W. B. Morton also owned one. They were very handsome.
The water supply of the town came from a series of pumps that were mounted on bricked-in wells. Everybody took their buckets several times a day for water. There was the Wallace pump at the corner of Second and Harvey, the —Piscopal— pump on Main Street across from Lalla Bragaw's, the Courthouse Pump, the Academy Pump, the Lockyer Pump and several others.
Some of the richer folks in town had cisterns and used rain water. Mrs. Mary McDonald who lived on East Main Street had old Joe Jones, her carriage driver, turn the cistern wheel to force water in a gutter pipe through a hole in the weatherboarding to fill the bathtub. Mrs. McDonald had the first bathtub ever in Washington.
One day a man staggered in to Mr. Mallison's store and told Mr. Mallison he knew how to put down pumps. He had caught a ride on a sailboat from New York to Washington. His name was Dimmy Gautier, a Frenchman. He had graduated from Princeton at the head of his class and studied medicine but drink got him and he came to Washington as a bum. He married here, put down hundreds of pumps all over town and left descendents who have made good citizens.BUSINESS CUSTOMS
Business houses in Washington in the long ago had long hours. The grocery stores and the butcher shops all opened at 5:00 a.m. The dry goods and clothing stores opened at 7:00 a.m., and closed at 9:00 p.m. During July and August the dry goods stores did close at 7:00 p.m. There was never a holiday except on Sunday. Drugstores stayed open until 11:00 p.m., but on Saturday night everything kept open until midnight.
Being a seaport town, there were always many boats in the harbor at Washington. The seamen and boatmen had to have their liquor and when prohibition came in 1908, these barrooms were in operation: A. J. Mitchell, Scot Bros., Bergeron Bros., John Mayo, O. B. Wynn, Smith Paul, Lockyer's Bar and Bill Bar in front of Hotel Louise.
A —short— was a small drink of locally made whiskey, and sold for five cents. A —long— was a larger drink and sold for ten cents.
Bergeron Brothers had a Government Distillery on the River Road next to where Louise Hawes lives (and Steve Corson was the Government Tax Collector).
The colored recreation center was run by Big Fat Soph who weighed over three hundred pounds. She lived at the corner of Bridge and Fourth streets.
Washington was always known as a shopping center. No —lady— in town would wear a —ready-made— dress or a —store-boughtened— hat. Silks, satins and cashmeres were brought to town by the bolt.
There were certain rich and important women in town who would not go into a store. Their carriages were driven up to the store door and the clerks brought out the merchandise to show them. The rich Short family was great on this practice. It was known as the carriage trade.
Very few of the Negroes after they had been freed knew how to sew. Mrs. Caroline Wineberg had a store where Wm. Bragaw & Co. is now located and made calico dresses to sell to these women. The dresses sold for $1.25 or $1.50 each, and calico was selling for four and five cents a yard.PARADES AND SOCIAL EVENTS
Washington was always great on having a parade, but the greatest of all were torchlight parades to celebrate some great political victory or to honor some celebrity.
Barrels of tar lined Main Street from the bridge to St. Peter's Church, and the marchers carried sticks on which was nailed a tin can filled with rags and kerosene and lighted.
Miss Mollie Vines— was the social center of Washington. She made taffy candy in three flavors—vanilla, strawberry and molasses. At the rear of the store was her ice cream parlor. This was partitioned off in small cubicles by bed sheets and the ice cream, mostly lemon custard, was sold in saucers at five and ten cents a saucer. If a fellow bought a girl a ten-cent saucer everybody in town knew he was in love. Cousin Sarah Tripp was her assistant. She never married either.
Mr. Charlie McKeel, owner of McKeel's Pharmacy, brought the first soda fountain to Washington. It was a small thing of gray marble and Miss Polly Ann Ellison said he was just selling sweetened wind.
One of the greatest socials of the town was the dancing of the German. The Halcyon Club organized by Mr. Jonathan Havens and Mr. John H. Small in 1885 was the town's most exclusive club.
A man and his lady would arrive at the dance hall on foot, but each had a slipper bag in which their dancing shoes were carried. No one would dance in shoes in which they walked on the street. No man ever appeared on the street in evening clothes, even the hottest night in summer, without a topcoat. It was considered vulgar. No man in town had a tuxedo until after 1920.
Before the couple went to their respective dressing rooms upon arrival at the dance they stopped and spoke to all the chaperones. The chaperones were invited by the club and consisted of the most dignified, cultured and aristocratic ladies of the town.
The German was a lovely dance and everybody had to keep their minds on dancing. The music was furnished by an Italian Band secured from Norfolk or Richmond consisting of violin, flute and harp. First there was the Grand March with your partner. The leader must always have a new figure. Then came the waltz. In the first half of the evening the men asked the ladies to dance. After intermission the ladies asked the men who had —led them out— to dance. It was called —returning the lead.— For a girl not to remember to return a man's lead was an insult. When the German was over, no couple left without saying goodnight to the chaperones. After the dance there were late suppers all over town, often lasting until 4:00 a.m. Some of these parties were quite formal and others were quite gay. There never was such food.TRANSPORTATION
In the early days of Washington most everybody walked. A few had carriages and horses and many of the young ladies had saddle horses. The Shorts and McDonalds had pairs of horses hitched to their carriages. Mr. C. M. Brown had an old black horse named Pet and his carriage was painted tan. Everybody in town knew when Preacher Harding's old Josephine came puffing down the street. Josephine was wind broken. Fannie, the Bright's old horse, dragged one foot and —Miss Lizzie— Bryan always led the Prohibition Parade with her little pony named Joe.
Some did not have enough room on their lots for a stable so they boarded their horses. There were many livery stables in town—Harvey Carrow, George Hill, Howard Winfield, Tom Howard, J. E. Winslow, Joe Chauncey and Ben Susman. In 1900 the price for boarding a horse and having him delivered to your house whenever you wanted him was $15.00 a month. By 1917 when
the automobile was taking over, the price had gone up to $30.00 a month.
The two outstanding rigs in town were owned by Miss Pattie Baugham (Mrs. Harry McMullan) and Miss Bessie Short. Miss Baugham's was a yellow straw trap with yellow wheels, while the Shorts— outfit was a very high vehicle and known in town as the Nearer My God to Thee.
If anyone had a pony or a cow it was tied in the front yard to eat the grass. All the yards grew up in weeds which were cut once a year. The John Fowles did have a lawn that Jacob Grimes kept cropped with a sickle. Daddy brought the first power lawn mower to Washington in 1935 to cut the grass at Sunnyside.
The town was full of drays. A drayman was a man, white or colored, with an old horse and cart who paid the town $1.00 a year for a license to operate. The fee charged to carry a load or a bundle was 10 cents. There were dozens of transfers in town. These were horse-drawn surreys driven by white men and the fare for a ride anywhere in town was 35 cents. They met every train and every boat.
It was a great evening pastime for the man of the house to get the daily paper. The News and Observer came in on the Atlantic Coast Line train at 8:00 p.m. It was usually late but it gave the man of the house a good excuse to go downtown. It was a great event when a small boy was allowed to stay up and go to the post office with his papa.WEDDING CUSTOMS
Church weddings were much more of a show than today. At St. Peter's there was always a flower covered wedding bell hanging from the crystal chandelier, and a floral rope was draped to the four corners of the chancel.
At Bess Hatton's wedding (Bessie Conoley Bonner's mother) the bridesmaids carried parasols covered with pond lilies out of Bagatelle Pond, now Macswoods. At Mag Hoyt's wedding (Margaret Studdert's mother), Mrs. Annie Short, the dame of honor, drove the bridesmaids out of the vestry room down the center aisle to meet the bride using a harness of rose-colored ribbons. When they reached the front door, they shed the harness and trotted back up the aisle with the bride. When Hannah Laughinghouse was married to Carl Richardson an arch was built all the way up the center aisle. and covered with flowers. Martha
Tripp was married the day before Thanksgiving and the church was decorated with fruit, pumpkins, corn stalks and collards.
Mary Hoyt had no money to buy flowers for her wedding; but fortunately snowballs were in bloom, so the church was decorated with great armfuls of snowballs. The bridesmaids carried field daisies and the flower girls carried buttercups. At Marjorie Hoyt's wedding (Mrs. Clay Carter, III) there was such a crowd that Aunt Belle, the bride's mother, could not get in the front door so the ushers brought her in through the Vestry room.
One wedding in the Presbyterian Church that attracted a lot of attention was that of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Moss (John Havens Moss— father and mother). Cousin Bonner had for her bridesmaids the five wise and five foolish virgins. Mr. Moss had made a lover's knot (nearly sawed one finger off doing it) where the lighted candles carried by the bridesmaids were to be put. On the way up the aisle Miss Fannie Bryan's and Miss Annie Jarvis— lights went out, and they were nicknamed the —Foolish Virgins.—HEALTH AND SICKNESS
When sickness occurred everybody helped with the nursing. Members of one's church or lodge would come and sit with the sick all night. The family nursed in the daytime. Refreshments were always served at midnight. If someone was very ill signs were placed in front of the houses —Sickness — Quiet Please— and sawdust was put over the oyster shell streets to keep down the noise from the buggies and carts.
The first trained nurse ever to come to Washington was Miss Violet Meredith. She came here to nurse Mrs. John B. Respess who had typhoid fever. People who had typhoid fever always died, but Mrs. Respess got well.
Everybody in town was scared to death when word got out that somebody had smallpox. The patient was removed at once to the Pest House, a wooden shack where Dan Smith's Packing House now is. There the patient stayed until he got well or died. Only the doctor went in and carried food.
On the first black beacon down the river below the Norfolk Southern Bridge there was a frightening yellow flag where all but local boats had to stop and anchor until the doctor who was Superintendent of Health went out in a rowboat to see that there was no smallpox or typhoid fever on board.
Funerals were a very special thing in the early days of Washington. Friends of the family always —shrouded— the dead. The only thing the undertaker did was to sell the coffin and rent you the hearse and the pallbearer wagon, which was really a surrey with four seats. The body was always laid out on a bed and the sheet must not have a seam as this was an ill omen. The cost of the coffins was not high. Many coffins sold for $25.00 and as late as 1915 the highest price casket sold in Washington was $75.00.
When the funeral was in a church six pallbearers carried the coffin up the aisle and placed it on saw benches at the front of the church. All the women in the family of the deceased wore long black veils that reached the floor and the widow always had black crepe on hers. As an expression of grief, the blinds of the room where the person died were tied from the outside with black crepe and left there until the weather caused it to rot and fall off, and then the period of mourning was over.
At a Grist funeral (my folks) there was much crying and carrying on and at least two of the ladies would faint and have to be carried out.
Miss Marcia Rodman had a greenhouse and grew sago palms. These she sold for $1.00 for two, tied with a piece of purple ribbon. It was a mad rush to see who could send the palms. It was the greatest tribute one could pay the dead. Miss Mary Smallwood was Washington's first florist. She sold a sheaf of wheat tied with purple ribbon for $1.00. She never sold but one sheaf for a funeral and the question was always asked —who sent the wheat?—
Flowers were sent to the residence of the deceased in great profusion from the flower gardens of friends. These flowers were sewn on a piece of cardboard about 8 — 10 inches and just before the funeral hour, two specially invited friends would tack these pieces on the wooden coffin. The undertaker did furnish the two tack hammers and the tacks.
In very hot weather disinfectant was put under the casket. It was always put in soup plates. Daddy says he never did like soup in those days.
Mrs. Joseph F. Tayloe (Lalla Clark) had the first white casket ever in Washington. She died in childbirth.
The funeral notice was a very special thing. A colored man in
his Sunday clothes was given a notice of the funeral on white paper interlaced with black ribbon and placed on a silver waiter. He took this to the homes of those invited to the funeral. Sylvester Dibble, Andrew Brown and Dave Price were always used for this job.NEIGHBORHOOD FUSSES
Neighborhood fusses were the order of the day. One of the greatest causes of friction was when some woman hired another woman's washwoman or cook. A woman was perfectly welcome to another lady's husband but not so with her cook. Sometimes neighbors who did not speak to each other sang in the same church choir.GARDEN HOUSES
The toilet facilities of a house were always placed in the back of the garden and hence called the Garden House. The size of these buildings depended on the size of the family. Some were nicely built and painted and some were even plastered. The one my father tells me about was built before the War Between the States by a Mr. Hanks who owned the house where Mrs. Robin Hood lives now—the house where my father was born. It was an eight-holer, four for grown folks, two for children and on the other side of a partition were two holes for the servants. A box of newspapers and a keg of lime were regular equipment. Several men or several women would visit the facility at the same time, but never in mixed company. Bishop Watson brought the first roll of toilet tissue that my father ever saw.SCHOOLS
Before the War Between the States, the Academy was a private school at the corner of Bridge and Second streets. During the Yankee occupation of Washington the Academy was used by the Yankees as headquarters and it was many years after the war that it was used as a school.
Washington people sent their children to Miss Weller at Sans Souci, the Thomas H. Blount home (where Beaufort County Hospital is now located), to Mrs. Dimmock, Mrs. DeMille and Miss Mary Moules. Years later the town was full of private schools, as late as 1900. Miss Bettie Robinson taught in the Masonic Lodge and other private teachers were Miss Sarah Russell, Miss Annie Quinn, Miss Sallie Havens, Miss Kate Carroway and Miss Hattie Griffin.
About 1895 Mr. W. C. Mallison, Mr. J. G. Bragaw and Mr. W. Z. Morton founded a free school and paid the teacher out of their own pockets. This little free school was on East Third Street between Bonner and Harvey. These men, however, sent their children to the private schools.
Efforts to establish a public free school for the town were always defeated by Judge Brown who had no children to send to school. There was no Negro school in Washington until 1896. It took a long time after the War Between the States for feeling to die down. Some people in town sympathized with the North; many of these fought with the Yankees and still more made money out of the Yankees. A Southern man who fought on the side of the North was called a Buffalo and a loyal Rebel never spoke to one of these for many a year. Miss Polly Ann Ellison would not go to church as long as Mr. Isaac Harrison rang the bell. He was a Buffalo. Nor would she eat any of Mr. Buck's pork sausage; he, too, was a Buffalo. Aunt Bet Hoyt would not go to church when the United States flag was displayed in St. Peter's during —World War I. She died a loyal Rebel and her casket was draped in a Confederate flag.RECREATION
In summer, moonlight excursions on the R. L. Myers were popular. Churches used this means for making money. The old boat could carry about fifty people and the tickets for adults were 50c and children 25c. Ice cream was served at 5c and 10c a saucer and cake at 5c a slice.
The boat went down the river about three miles and turned around. Old man Carty, the engineer, was so bow-legged he had to be raised out of the engine room with a rope.
Once a year Babbitt's Soap Magic Lantern Show came to town advertising Babbitt's Soap and would show in the middle of Main Street.
The first carnival ever to show in Washington used the whole of Main Street. The Knights of Pythias sponsored it. This was in 1901 and the show was the Hatch Adams Carnival.
Lawn parties were often held as benefits. The Mortons— yard (now the First Baptist Church) and Elmwood at the west end of Main Street were used. Japanese lanterns and homemade lanterns made out of shoe boxes with lighted candles were used. When the candles burned out it was time to go home but many couples remained after the lights were out.
CHRISTMAS CUSTOMS IN WASHINGTON
Christmas in Washington was always jovial. All the stores in town remained open until ten o'clock from December 1st until Christmas. Mr. Scott Frizzle's Store was a great institution. All the things for Santa Claus came from either Scott Frizzell's Store or Willie Buckman's. Stores which sold fruit and candy had tables on the sidewalks. Mr. Archbell always ordered celery, parsnips and cranberries by the barrel for the Christmas trade. These luxuries were never available in everyday grocery stores.
Christmas parties and dances always came after Christmas.
Decorations at St. Peter's Church at Christmas were famous all over eastern Carolina. Church women met in the old Telfair kitchen in the Mortons— yard and worked for a week to make the decorations. Everybody in the church who had a farm or a horse and wagon sent a load of evergreens. Hundreds of wreaths were made and yards and yards of roping. Stringing long pine needles was the most tedious of the jobs.
Each Christmas John Kooners rode about town in a horse and buggy dressed in grotesque costumes and wearing masks. They sang and blew horns. Any house that gave them a drink would have good luck in the new year. They always rode Christmas afternoon.
The Christmas trees were mostly dressed with homemade ornaments and candles in little holders were put on the tree, but seldom lighted because of the danger of fire.
Big family dinner parties were held all over town.
My father borrowed Mr. Floyd Berry's dray to take us caroling on Christmas Eve night.
Christmas is a great time at our house, and my father is very fussy about his Christmas tree. It must be the biggest one we can find and decorated with all the ornaments it will hold.PART 2
(Edmund Harding (1890-1970) in his time wore many hats. He was secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, Supervisor of the Washington Tobacco Market, District Governor of Rotary, St. Peter's organist and so on ad infinitum. Nationally known as a humorist and after dinner speaker, Edmund loved everybody, and everybody loved Edmund. The governor of the state commissioned him to be North Carolina's Ambassador of Good Will.
In spite of the fact that he had a heavy speaking schedule, making approximately one hundred sixty speeches a year in every
state in the Union he never refused a request from his hometown. He was heavily involved in many civic projects and more often than not he initiated the project.
Edmund was responsible for having the town decorated for Christmas. He had a hard time selling the idea to the city fathers who thought the project expensive and unnecessary. Eventually he and Mr. Ernest Meredith, superintendent of the light plant, got something worked out and together they designed the first garlands and stars which went up over Main Street. None since has ever been so graceful. Local merchants were so enthusiastic that they ran a full page advertisement in the newspaper thanking both Edmund and Mr. Meredith.—ed.)
Let Edmund himself tell us some of his memories of Christmases past in Washington. In an article written a number of years ago he said:
—I have been interested in doing something at Christmas since that Christmas afternoon when I was seven years old when Sam Forbes and Leon Durant took me to ride in a buggy with all three of us dressed as John Kooners. The John Kooner custom came to us from the slaves who on Christmas Day would dress in grotesque costumes and either ride or walk around town asking for a handout.
—As a small boy, one of the jobs I secured was to hand evergreens to the ladies making decorations for St. Peter's Episcopal Church at Christmas time. Every member of the church who had a horse and wagon sent a wagonload of evergreens and the women met to make wreaths and ropes for the church. There were big canton-flannel banners on the church walls with Christmas texts such as —Unto Us a Child Is Born.— The letters were of various colors of velvet and at the bottom was green fringe made by stringing long leaf pine needles. The Star of Bethlehem, ten feet across and placed to the front of the church, was always made by Miss Betty Hoyt, and Henry Rumley always sent the biggest load of evergreens.
—I remember the Christmas Sunday School party—always a highlight of the season. This was usually held in the courthouse or Town Hall. One year Santa Claus was to come from the tall chimney made of candy boxes to look like brick, and just before he got out the chimney fell forward on the floor, nearly scaring all the children to death. The fruit was put into bags made of mosquito netting drawn with a string.
—From the time I was 16 until the Christmas I was 50 years old, I rang the church bell for Christmas. The Christmas peal, as it is
called in bell ringing, is to turn the bell over and over again to give the Christmas peal.
—Another Christmas must, for me, when sixteen years of age, was to gather little cedars about four feet high and decorate them for all the old ladies in town more than eighty years of age.
—The Rodman children always gave a big Christmas party in the Armory. The Rodmans owned the Armory and they invited all the kids in town. It was always a big event. This was the Hon. William B. Rodman, now judge of Supreme Court, and his brothers and sisters.
—And then came a change—electricity came to Washington. Trees were always decorated with small lighted candles which were always catching fire.
—The first outdoor Christmas tree in Washington was the handiwork of —Miss Katie— and me on the Bragaw yard on East Main Street. It was a holly tree and Ed Cooper, one of the most outstanding Black citizens that ever lived in Washington, made the ornaments and stars out of tin. A local electrician made the lights that had to be painted in days before colored bulbs.
—I think our little group was the first to go Christmas caroling. We sang carols for the shut-ins, the aged and the hospital. Mr. Floyd Berry furnished the horse and dray from his business firm and old Luther was the driver.—
[The first prize ever offered for house decoration was won by the Edmund Hardings, for a tin Santa Claus coming out the chimney top. It was made by Edgar Martin and painted by George Taylor. Carl Goerch won the second prize with silhouettes at each window of Christmas scenes. . .
A Community Christmas tree on the courthouse lawn was his next project.] Of that first municipal Christmas tree Edmund says: —It was erected in front of the jailhouse and all the choirs in town came to sing. We were not as familiar with the words of Christmas hymns as we are now, so we had to have books. I remember John B. Sparrow brought the Presbyterian hymnals. There was a wire fastened from the back of E. W. Ayers store on Main Street, to the top of the lightning rod on the Town Clock. Before the tree was lighted the choir was to sing —Silent Night,— and a lighted star on that wire was to travel across from Ayers store to the Town Clock. We forgot there would be no lights to see the hymnals. Zoph Potts could always meet any situation, and I remember he sang, —Ump de dum dum de dum de afar——I've forgotten what it is but it's something about a Star.—
There was always Christmas entertainment at the Beaufort County Home, and we practiced weeks getting ready, directed by Miss Bettie Farrow, God rest her soul. I've sung and recited out there many a time, never dreaming that I'd wind up as an entertainer.
The Halcyon Club Dance club was organized in Washington in 1885, and it always gave the children of Washington a dance at Christmas time. It was always a great dance and all the little girls usually received a new party dress for Christmas.
Many, many years ago Scott Frizzle's store was headquarters for Santa Claus. All stores having Christmas confections put tables and counters out on the sidewalks and M. T. Archbell, who was the only one who handled real fancy groceries, always put in an order for parsnips and celery. Christmas was the only time oranges were carried in stock.
To bring business to Washington at Christmas time the Washington parade was started by J. K. Hoyt, J. F. Buckman, S. B. Etheridge, Heber Winfield, Jess Harrington and Frank Bowers. I was asked to take charge of the feature; and the night the Christmas lights were turned on, all the rolling stock engaged in business in and around Washington rolled down Main Street in review before the mayor. After the parade hundreds of dollars worth of prizes were given away. Many times the parade, under the old parade marshal, himself, Frazier McDevett, reached the length of two miles or more.
One year Washington had a Santa Claus band. Twenty Santa Claus suits were purchased, and the band, under the direction of Jake Jacobson, went from store to store to play Christmas music. The stores started staying open nights then on December 1 and stayed open until 1 a.m. on Christmas morning for late shoppers.
One year we had a painted window contest. Jesse Allen Giles was quite the artist and every window not in use to show merchandise had a Christmas scene painted on it. Stowe's won the first prize.
Another year a big community sing was staged with the balcony of the post office being used as the choir loft with the people out on the street.
When my first grandson, Rusty Hodges, was seven years old, his grandpop gave him a Christmas theatre party. His birthday is December 21. We rented the theatre and had Christmas shorts and cartoons and invited everyone in town, both white and black. His father was a clown usher and Mrs. John H. Bonner was old
Mother Goose. There were other nursery rhyme characters to act as hosts.
—and since I am telling this Christmas story, I then got into the Christmas card game. Since 1936 the card list has grown to 3,000 to say thank you to my friends who are so nice and have done so much for me and mine. The personal Christmas cards have featured everything from Miss Katie's house to the Roman Forum and Pirate Teach at Bath.
THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY IN WASHINGTON
[James Ellison, a prominent citizen of this community, wrote his recollections of his hometown in 1967. These were published in the Washington Daily News and are used here because they are such a splendid source of firsthand information by one who has lived through the period described, and is still living, his memory vivid and his mind keen.
Mr. Ellison was born on June 26, 1886 and has lived in Washington all of his life with the exception of winters spent in Florida since his retirement.—ed.]RECOLLECTIONS OF WASHINGTON
Between 1895 and 1900 Washington began growing, became thrifty and prosperous and quite a distributing center, and was one of the nicest towns in North Carolina in which to live.
In 1898 we became involved in a war with Spain to free Cuba from its tyrannical domination. It lasted only a short while, however the effect was inflationary, and business of all kinds in Washington increased, especially the sawmill business.
Farmers and businessmen were prosperous, business began booming and there were many wealthy and prominent families.
Pamlico River, Pamlico Sound and its tributaries were filled with sailboats of all sizes, bringing farm products and seafood to Washington and returning with merchandise of all kinds from the many wholesale and retail stores here.
Sailboats crossing Pamlico Sound and the mouth of Pamlico River were always at the mercy of storms, wind and rain. Pamlico Sound was known as the roughest inland body of water on
the east coast. Navigation by such sailboats, some quite small, was very hazardous, and the captain and crew lived a hard life, constantly exposed to danger and extreme hardships, with scant rations. Their drinking water was usually kept in an old keg, very hot in summer and often frozen in the winter. They were unable to figure the length of time required for a trip, because they were dependent upon the weather, wind and tide. When approaching landing rocks they had only long poles to assist in slowing and maneuvering without damaging other boats lying and tied at the wharfs. Often they were compelled to tie to other boats, and wait until they unloaded and reloaded.
Later gas boats replaced many sailboats and were extensively used, also steamboats.
The old Dominion Steamship Company, with John Myers Sons, agents, operated very fine steamboats (for their time). The Hatteras ran a regular schedule from Washington to Belhaven, stopping at Aurora, South Creek, Makleyville and Bayside, connecting at Belhaven with the Norfolk-Southern Railroad and bringing freight from Norfolk and other places. Capt. Dave Hill was captain and Herbert Bonner Sr., was mate.
A larger steamer, the Ocracoke, ran from Elizabeth City to New Bern and Washington, with Captain Eugene Willis. Also the R. L. Myers with Captain Parvin made daily trips up the Tar River to Greenville and intermediate landings. This was operated with a large stern, revolving paddle wheel and had a flat bottom, also the steamer Shiloh with regular trips to Tarboro and intermediate points and landings. The Old Dominion operated from a large warehouse, over the water, where the Pamlico Fertilizer Co.—s warehouse is now located, at Main and Gladden. It necessarily had a large cat population to partly subdue the larger population of wharf rats, which were so very destructive. The town's first railroad was a log road from Jamesville (called the Jolting Wiggler) with its tracks down Washington Street to the depot at the river. Captain Littler was the agent. His wife, a French lady, spoke very broken English. She operated a millinery store. Then the Atlantic Coast Line (with Captain Ellsworth as conductor and Ed Leens as engineer) began operation around 1895, with a daily schedule to Parmele and return. Trains from Kinston, Greenville, Rocky Mount, Plymouth, Weldon and Tarboro met at this junction and exchanged passengers and mail. These trains would stop frequently along their routes to fill the tanks on their engines with water and their tender with wood.
Later the Norfolk-Southern Railroad took over the log road (which was narrow gauged) from Pinetown to Washington, and owned and operated by Surry Parker, who ran a sawmill at Pinetown. The Norfolk-Southern was operating a standard gauge road from Norfolk to Belhaven. They widened the road to standard gauge and extended their operation to Washington. Later they further extended it to Greenville, Farmville, Wilson and on to Raleigh. This was around 1900. This now gave the town excellent rail passenger and freight facilities to all points north as well as through eastern North Carolina. This meant a tremendous increase in passenger travel as well as freight, which in turn boosted and greatly increased the wholesale distributing business.
Also around 1895 we had two large three mast sailing vessels or schooners owned and operated by S. R. Fowle & Sons, which made regular trips to the West Indies and Cuba, bringing back large hogsheads of delicious West India molasses, which they sold and shipped through eastern North Carolina. They also brought fruits and other commodities and occasionally a few monkeys and parrots. One was named the Cora whose captain was David Gaskill. This was the larger, finer and best equipped, with three masts. The other one was also a large fine three master. It was an exciting occasion when they arrived.
From 1890 to 1920 Washington became a large distributing center. Merchandise was received by sailing vessels and barges in addition to railroads. We had ten large wholesale grocery establishments, one wholesale fruit and produce concern, one wholesale hardware and one wholesale dry goods business. They all covered a large territory, some of them having five or six salesmen. This was before the day of paved roads and automobile trucks. Shipments were made only by boat and railroad. Until 1907, 1908 or 1909 the salesmen travelled by horse and buggy and (or) train. The deflation or recession of 1920, following inflation because of the first world war, plus the advent of paved roads and trucks vitally effected the wholesale business.SAWMILLS
Beaufort and Hyde counties were filled with virgin timber, principally pine, and Washington was the seat of the big sawmill industry. However, there were also large sawmills at Belhaven, Makleyville, South Creek, Bath, and Bayside.
It was customary for the loggers to saw the large pine trees with hand saws (a strong man on either end), haul them out
of the woods down to the water's edge, with a —carry log— and oxen, occasionally with mules or horses, and make what was called —rafts,— tying the logs together with spikes and chains. Sometimes such rafts would consist of several hundred large logs, floated and pulled to the mills by steam tugboats and gas boats, and impounded, in what was called a log pound. After the logs were sawed the lumber would be loaded, in the hole and on the decks of large cargo barges, and pulled by tugboats through Chesapeake Bay to Baltimore, Philadelphia and other northern cities.
Washington had five or more very large sawmills.SEAFOOD
Another large industry here at this time was the fish and seafood business. We had four or five large fish houses, which owned stoutly built seafaring boats, which would bring the fish from Pamlico Sound, usually at night, lift them out of the hole with fall and tackle, dumping them on a concrete floor, then separated by size and kind, and packed in heavy pine boxes (made for the purpose), with crushed ice, and loaded in refrigerator cars in the early morning (they worked all night, every night) and shipped by express in many directions. We also had an oyster canning factory located between the Maola Ice Cream plant and Evans Seafood place on Water Street. They would buy whole boat loads of oysters, but generally the larger and better quality were sold at the city dock. It was the custom for people to drive down to the city dock, purchase towbags full to take home and many would take trays of vinegar with pepper and buy a peck or two. The dock was filled with young colored boys, who would open and serve them to you on a fish box. The oyster canning factory was owned by Baltimore people. It had a terrible sounding whistle, which blew early every morning, waking their employees and telling them it was time to come to work. It not only awoke their employees, but most everyone else.SHIPYARD
Next to the oyster factory at the foot of Bonner Street was Chauncey's Ways, for taking out and repairing boats of all sizes. They would pull the boats out of the water with what was called a —turnstile— using a large heavy rope, with a mule going around and around. This was owned and operated by William Chauncey. Most older people will remember him; his home was on the corner of Bonner and Fourth Street.
Next to the shipyard was a large iron foundry, owned and operated by Ed Stewart, grandfather of our former mayor, Thomas Stewart.FARMING AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES
Farming was by far the largest business in the county, principally cotton, corn, beans and later tobacco. However, around the Aurora section on the south side of the river, also in the Pantego section, in the Tranters Creek section and in other parts of the county, the big money crop was Irish potatoes, which were raised in abundance and marketed beginning in the early part of June. Many buyers representing large produce houses and dealers in Pittsburgh, New York, Philadelphia, Norfolk and other cities would come to Washington and bid very spiritedly against each other, and make up cars for shipment. The farmers would bring them to the Atlantic Coast Line dock (with shed) in all sizes, quantities, and in every conceivable conveyance, including sailboats, gas boats, large flats, long bodied carts and wagons. This was before the day of automobile trucks. They were all packed in slatted barrels, with towbagging top. In the height of the season thirty, forty or fifty cars would be shipped, sometimes more, every day, making whole trains of potatoes only, using ventilated cars. A brush and lampblack was used to write the name and address of the buyer or the consignee on top of the barrels. This was an exciting period for Washington and Beaufort County.
Then in the fall the tobacco market would open and the warehouses would be filled with the golden weed, and sold at auction to the buyers representing the different tobacco companies and other tobacco dealers.
Jonathan Havens operated one of the largest cotton gins here. Located near the river or on the river. He was equipped to unload from the hole of sailboats (and other boats) by lowering a pipe and by compressed air could unload in a jiffy, gin and bale it quickly. He also operated a feed and grist mill, making high quality meal, mixed feed and flour.OTHER INDUSTRIES
In other industries, during this period, were several large fertilizer factories. They were the Phillips Fertilizer Co., The Virginia-Carolina Chemical Co., Bragaw Fertilizer Co., and the Pamlico
Chemical Co., managed and organized by John F. Cowell from Bayboro, Pamlico County. The first two have been out of business for a number of years but the Pamlico Chemical Co., was continued upon the death of John Cowell, by his son, Charles, and under his able management the business has grown and expanded.
A shirt factory, employing quite a large number of people, was located on North Market Street, and owned and operated by M. A. Smith. Upon his retirement the plant was moved to Sixth Street and owned and operated by Fred Moore.
Hackney Brothers from Wilson established a buggy manufacturing plant here. It was located at the corner of Hackney Avenue and Third Street and managed by George Hackney, Jr. and his brother, James Hackney. They had a very large output and covered a large territory. After this business was discontinued James H. Hackney started the manufacture of truck bodies, in a small way, but has since grown to tremendous proportions.BANKS
We had several strong banks, which were all locally owned. It was considered somewhat of an honor to be a stockholder. However, every stockholder sustained a double risk, because in case of failure he would stand to lose not only what the stock had cost him, but was assessed a like amount in addition. The Bank of Washington was the oldest. Seth Bridgman was president and was succeeded by John Havens. The First National Bank, with James L. Fowle president and A. M. Dumay, cashier. The Savings and Trust Co. with Beverly Moss president and J. B. Sparrow, cashier. A few years later the Beaufort County Building and Loan Association was organized, their office being located in the Bank of Washington building with J. B. Ross as secretary. The Home Building & Loan was organized just a little later, with offices in the Savings & Trust building. J. B. Sparrow was secretary. These associations, in helping people build and own their own homes, could be rated as Beaufort County's most valuable asset.NEWSPAPERS
We had two unusually good papers for a town of this size, the daily paper called The Evening Messenger was owned and edited by John Arthur, Sr., and his son John Arthur, Jr. (John Arthur, Jr., was the father of Frederick Arthur), also a weekly
paper The Washington Progress owned and edited by W. K. Jacobson and after his death by Carl Goerch.HOTELS
The town was also proud of its hotel facilities. Around 1895 we had the Nicholson Hotel located on Main Street where the Charles Store now operates. The Ricks Hotel on Gladden Street across from the Atlantic Coastline passenger station which was then located where the Blount-Midyette building is today. The Pamlico Inn located next to Mallison's Hardware store, and several boarding houses. Later M. T. Archbell built the Louise Hotel and just across the alley was the Key's Hotel.
The hotels in those days had good large buses, with a long seat on either side, drawn by a double team of horses. There was a step on the rear, on which the hotel porter stood. He wore a clean white coat. The porters were chosen for their personality, diplomacy and impressive line of talk. They would meet every passenger train, and make every effort to get as many drummers or travelling salesmen as possible. For instance, one would holler out —Louise Hotel.— Another would exclaim equally as loud —Key's Hotel.— Each would try to outfox the other in an effort to get more in his bus than his competitor.TRAVELLING SALESMEN
Travelling salesmen had a hard life. Before automobiles came, they travelled long distances, over large areas, visiting customers in villages and country supply stores, over terrible muddy roads in winter and sandy roads in summer. Frequently they would be away for a week, leavng Monday morning and returning Friday afternoon. Often in the summer they would sit in their buggies with mosquito netting wrapped over them. Mosquitoes were terrible, especially in the low swampy sections. In winter they nearly froze, and often carried heated bricks in the foot of their buggies and used heavy buggy robes and heavy woolen gloves.HORSES AND BUGGIES
Another flourishing business in our town at the turn of the century was the livery stable business with the sale and exchange of horses and mules.
We had a good size buggy and carriage factory, owned and operated by Ed Long (who was Julian Davenport's uncle). He
built unusually fine buggies and carriages, employing twenty to twenty-five people and had a reputation for excellent, careful workmanship. His plant was located on the corner of Second and Market streets across from our present post office.SERVICES
The town was lighted with kerosene oil lamps on every corner, and the city would have a man go around with a stepladder on his shoulder to clean and light the lamps. Later we had gas lights and a man would ride a horse around to light them.
The first telephones were hung on the wall. Usually one had to ring several times before he could get the central office to answer. There were so few that had this luxury, in fact so few phones, for a long while we would ask to speak to Mrs. John Jones or Bill Smith's residence. There were no numbers.
We had excellent volunteer fire companies. The fire chief and firemen were paid nothing. They made many sacrifices, experienced hardships and frequently risked their lives. We had a steamer company and a hook and ladder company. The steamer was first operated by Ed Stewart and subsequently by Ed Pilley. We also had a colored volunteer fire company, organized by one of the town's most prominent colored men, Sylvester Dibbles.
We had no water or sewage. The town installed wells with round concrete tops and a large handled pump at five or six (maybe more) locations for drinking water. There were also several covered wells, for use in case of fires, by the fire companies. Most people had hand pumps, usually on their back porches. Some of the larger and better homes installed cisterns under their back porches. However, it was difficult to keep bugs, wiggle tails and frogs out, and it was a big job to clean them.
There were a few who had wells in their back lots which were used for drinking water for themselves and horses, and for keeping milk cool in summer. Many people had stables for horses on their lots, also barns for their carriages and buggies and a room for hay and feed.MERCHANTS
The town boasted of many substantial and reliable merchants. The following will be remembered by many elderly citizens: S. R. Fowle & Son, J. F. Buckman & Sons, J. K. Hoyt, Seth Bridgman, Fred Rowe, Spencer Brothers, Knight & Cooper, A. W. Thomas, H. B. Clark, A. S. Kelley, H. Susman Furniture Co., Suskin &
Berry, E. W. Ayers, Scott Frizzele, M. T. Archbell, C. M. Little, E. K. Willis, Bowers Brothers, Dave Willis, A. J. Cox, J. F. McCluer, W. D. Buckman, Southern Furniture Co.>, Phillips Furniture Co., Jack Cherry, Tom Lewis, Mrs. Wineberg, Miss Mollie Vines and many others.
Few were conscious of taxes of any kind. City and county were very, very small. No tax on stocks of merchandise. No income tax, federal or state.
A minimum of bookkeeping and (or) records were kept by stores or professional men. If they had money in the bank at the end of the year, they felt they had lost nothing, and were doing all right.
When the automobile came, some merchants installed gasoline pumps in front of their stores on the edge of the sidewalks. Tanks were filled by rotary hand pumps. Mr. B. Kear operated the first gas station.
Some of the well-known wholesale concerns were: Southern Distributing Company, E. Peterson Company, E. R. Mixon & Company, C. T. Cordon, H. M. Jenkins, W. R. Roberson, E. E. Phillips, Pippin & Woolard, James Ellison & Company, Ellison Brothers Company, Fulford Hardware Company, and others.
Many things regularly sold in those days, by local merchants, but unknown today were: R. & G. corsets, embroidery and lace (special counters), long hat pins, fancy garters, high button shoes, shoe buttoners, high standing collars, bow ties, derby hats, suspenders, sleeve holders, stick pins, straight razors, mustache cups, shaving brushes, shaving mugs, lamps and lamp chimneys, wicks and burners, hall racks, hall lamps (raised and lowered by chains), bowls and pitchers, and other bedroom requirements. Also, feather beds, washboards, Mother Hubbards, Dukes Mixture, calomel and quinine, asafoetida, castor oil and turpentine were household remedies. Ladies hats were made to order by milliners: Misses Penny and Jane Myers, Mrs. Littler, Mrs. Bell; also Hoyt's, Ayers, Buckman's, Bowers, Kelly and others.PRICES
Flour sold for around four dollars for a one hundred ninety-six pound barrel (or less). It was not packed in small bags or cartons as of today; however, grocery stoes would weigh out any amount for a customer. Sugar came in two hundred pound barrels only, and was weighed out, and sold for six to ten cents per pound; dry salt meat for six to ten cents per pound; pure lard came in fifty pound tins and tierces of around three hundred pounds; butter
was packed in thirty and sixty pound tubs and sold for twenty to thirty cents per pound. Few if any foods were packaged, all were sold in bulk and weighed.
Cakes and crackers were packed loose in wood boxes only and the price was very cheap. Stick candy was very much in demand. It was packed in two and one half pound thin paper boxes (two hundred pounds to a wooden barrel) and sold for ten cents per pound, or a cent a stick. Penny candies of all kinds, especially different flavored suckers on a stick were very popular. Candy kisses, especially Miller's violet kisses, were popular and in demand. Fancy grocery stores carried large pickles in vinegar and in wooden barrels. They sold for one cent each.
Many grocery stores would send a man around every morning to call on their customers and take the housewife's order and make delivery by noon.
There were several ice wagons, drawn by horses or mules going all over town, especially the residential section. They would have a loud gong and could be heard for a block away, so you could be out front with a dish pan and buy ten pounds for five cents, or twenty-five pounds for ten cents. If you bought more than ten pounds the ice man would take it inside and place it in your refrigerator. Children would follow the wagon for a block or more to get a small piece of ice.
The milk man, driving his milk wagon, would deliver your regular order of milk on your front porch early every morning, price ten to fifteen cents per quart; buttermilk and clabber five cents per quart.
Fish were sold from door to door from regular fish carts pushed by hand. He had no bell, but would holler in a loud voice —fresh fish.— The housewife would hear him and go out to his cart with a pan. All kinds of fish were very plentiful and very cheap.
Farmers living not too far from town, would drive in town with their cart or wagon (often with their wives and/or children) with all kinds of fresh vegetables, fruits, watermelons and cantaloupes, in season. Watermelons would sell for five, ten and fifteen cents each according to size. Peaches and apples were sold by the peck.
Women in the country and in town did a lot of preserving and canning fruit and vegetables, especially fruit, and were indeed proud of their accomplishments. They would sweet-pickle press peaches and were they delicious. They would preserve soft open peaches, also pears.
Meat markets had large ice refrigerators, but the temperature never was very low and when the ice melted and got low, they would often lose their meat. The market stalls were not screened and flies were in abundance.
Help of all kinds, including household servants was plentiful. A good many families had three servants, a cook, a nurse for the children and a man servant. They would take pride in their horses, harness, buggies or carriages and kept the horses well groomed and harness and buggies shiny and clean.
Wages were very, very low, especially compared to today's prices. Cooks, nurses and household servants received an average of two dollars to three dollars per week and men from three dollars to four dollars per week, and quite frequently less. But everything they had to buy was comparatively cheap.DOCTORS
We were fortunate in having excellent doctors. Frequently, the doctor's children and grandchildren would follow in the profession. The Tayloe family was an example. Dr. David Tayloe, Sr. was a fine family and country doctor. His son, by the same name, was one of the finest doctors and surgeons in all East Carolina. He had three sons who became excellent doctors, each specializing in different lines, and one of their sons, by the same name, viz. Dr. David Tayloe, Jr., is an outstanding pediatrician today.
And the Nicholson family were excellent doctors. Doctor Sam and his brother, Dr. Plum, were general practitioners for many, many years. Dr. Sam's son, Jack, followed in his footsteps, and was recognized also as an excellent surgeon; also the Rodman family. Dr. John Rodman was an excellent doctor, and was succeeded and followed by his son, Dr. Clark Rodman, who is outstanding in his profession. Then Dr. William A. Blount was a beloved family doctor and his son, Dr. John Gray Blount, was considered a very excellent doctor and he was followed and succeeded by his grandson of the exact same name, who carries on the family tradition and fine reputation. Other outstanding physicians included Dr. Ed Brown, and Dr. L. H. Swindell. We also had two very good black doctors: Dr. Lloyd and Dr. Beebe, who administered so well and so charitably to the black people.
The doctors in those days had a mighty hard life. They travelled both far and near, with their horse and buggy, by day and by night, over unkept, narrow, muddy roads, never failing to answer
a call, and very often without hope or expectation of recompense. Their country patients would frequently give them a ham or a chicken or two, and maybe fresh meat at hog killing time.LAWYERS
We also had a very outstanding bar, which consisted of as fine lawyers as any place in the entire state of North Carolina. I cannot resist mentioning a few of them by name. Many of our older citizens will well remember them. Judge George Brown, Col. W. B. Rodman, Judge Sheppard, Judge Stephen Bragaw, Charles F. Warren, Angus McLean, Enoch Simmons, Hallet Ward, Mr. Scott, John H. Small, Clay Carter, Harry McMullan, John Mayo and others. When they would be pitted against each other in an important case, the fur would fly.CHURCHES
The town and its citizens around the turn of the century were justifiably proud of its churches. Most families took an active interest and pride in the denomination of their choice. Most all churches were filled on Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings. Sunday school was at four o'clock in the afternoons in the main body of the church. There were no picture shows, or golf courses or automobiles to absorb their attention. It was the custom and habit for practically all grown people to attend church services on Sunday, and children their respective Sunday schools. It was not only customary but they felt it was an obligation. This also applied to the farmers and country people. They usually attended the nearest church to them, by buggy, wagons, and (or) carts. We might be safe in assuming there were actually more devout Christians in those days than today.
The churches were also the center of social life; seeing, meeting and talking with friends. There were few diversions.
Washington had very pretty and impressive churches. The Methodist church frame building was high from the ground, with wide high steps going up to the main rotunda. The bell and tall belfry was in the corner of the churchyard close to Second Street. The conference sent many fine preachers to the church here, including Dr. Nash and many others. The present church was built in 1899, by Mr. Hartge, a highly skilled architect and builder. He also built our two story brick market house.
The Presbyterian church was built in 1823, restored and renovated in 1954. Its lovely but simple architecture closely resembles
the style architecture used in many Presbyterian churches throughout the country. It had such outstanding preachers as Dr. Payne, Dr. Henry Searight and Dr. Lawson.
The Episcopal church with its beautiful stained glass memorial windows, has always been considered as one of the finest and prettiest churches in the East Carolina diocese and second in size, next to St. James in Wilmington. The Right Rev. Nathaniel Harding served the church as minister for over forty-five years, and was greatly beloved, not only by his congregation but by members of all churches. He was succeeded by the Rev. Stephen Gardner who served for over thirty years.
The Christian church was one of the younger and smaller churches, but has experienced an amazing growth since 1920.
The First Baptist Church was located on Market Street, across the street from the post office. It was a very nice frame building, Since that time it also has had phenomenal growth. It was burned and a new large fine church was built on the corner of Main and Harvey streets.
We also had many fine colored churches in that period. One of the largest and most outstanding was the Beebe Memorial Methodist Church. It was founded by Bishop Beebe, who was not only a fine preacher, but a leader of his race, and was greatly beloved by everyone.
There were other churches but space prohibits descriptive comments. For many years prior to 1900 it was customary, upon the death of a member of a family, to send a waiter, with black ribbon around to all homes all over town, announcing the death. It was taken by a highly respected colored man, dressed in a black suit, with a white shirt and standing collar, and with either a derby or a high silk hat. It was also customary for women to show added respect by going in mourning, wearing long black dresses, for thirty to sixty days or longer, and while they were in mourning they would refrain from all social activities. The men of the family would wear black crepe arm bands.SCHOOLS
During this period our schools could hardly be rated much better than fair. The first public school was built by the town around 1890. This was the MacNair School. A two story frame building, with not over six rooms, was located where the Christian church now stands. I believe they had six teachers, including the principal, who also taught. The first principal was Mr. Walter Seaton Dunston
(Ralph Hodges, Sr.—s uncle). A small tuition fee was charged, and each pupil bought their own books from a private downtown store, operated by a Mr. Crumpler. Also other supplies, such as slates, tablets, pencils, pens and ink. But we had several real good private schools. The largest was in the old Academy building, corner of Bridge and Second streets. They had two large rooms, one upstairs and one down. Miss Betty Robinson taught downstairs and Miss Mame Blount upstairs. Also Miss Annie Quinn ran a private school in the Mason lodge building, corner of Third and Bonner streets.RECREATION
We had a very good and well equipped theatre on the second floor of the Brown building and owned by C. M. Brown, father of the late Mrs. Charlotte Kugler. We had excellent stock companies to play one week stands mostly during the winter months; also many local talent plays and an annual talent minstrel show. The end men were Sam Forbes and Zoph Potts, Sr. They played to packed houses with a repeat performance. We also had excellent colored minstrel shows which would come to town once or twice every year with an exciting street parade and a very fine band. These shows were held in large tents which they would bring themselves.
We also had large, nationally known circuses to visit the town once a year. They came in the fall months, after the crops were harvested. We had Barnum and Bailey's circus, probably the largest in the country, on one occasion, and it rained in torrents. They were unable to parade or even put up their tents. They made every effort, however the mud was deep and heavy. The cages became stuck and not even the elephants could move them. Finally with many large circus horses pulling and elephants pushing, they managed to reload on flat cars and leave. They never returned.
But we had the John Robinson circus to come every year for a number of years. This was considered the third largest in the country, with three rings, wonderful trapeze and high wire acts, a big menagerie, many beautiful horses and exciting bareback riding, funny clown, lion and tiger acts. A second show and many sideshows ran together with a night performance. But probably the most exciting thing was the big street parade, sometimes nearly a mile long; with several colorful bandwagons; a hundred or more fine horses all dressed up with fancy plumes in their bridles, beautiful ponies; twenty-five or more clowns and a calliope or steam organ
bringing up the rear. Hundreds of children with their parents would get up before day to watch them unload. Every family in the county that could possibly come would be here. Sidewalks all through the business section were filled from the curb to the buildings with men, women and children. It was truly the biggest day of the year.OCRACOKE
During the summer months the Old Dominion Steamers, Hatteras and Ocracoke, as well as several sailboats made regular trips to Ocracoke, usually leaving about seven o'clock Saturday nights and arriving at Ocracoke early Sunday morning. They were loaded with vacationers and passengers from Washington, Greenville, Rocky Mount, Williamston, Kinston and other places.
Ocracoke Island in those days was very much more interesting, exciting and pleasurable than today. It had three very good hotels and many boarding houses, which served excellent homecooked food, especially freshly caught seafood, including large bedded oysters, scallops, shrimp and all kinds of fish. Their oyster and clam fritters were simply out of this world, also their hushpuppies.
People would inhale the fresh salt air and feel a sense of freedom soon after arrival. They would fish and swim in the daytime and square dance every night. To say they all, including children, enjoyed it, and —a big time was had by all— is putting it mildly.
The island was crude and undeveloped, the natives were friendly and would go out of their way for everyone to have a good time. They had a brogue peculiar to the coast and the sea, which the visitors loved, but could rarely imitate or impersonate.COUNTY OFFICERS
In our county offices, Sheriff Robert Hodges was our much beloved, honored and respected sheriff for many years. He was extremely friendly, lenient, soft-spoken and charitable. He was succeeded by sheriffs Windley, Ricks and Rumley and others.
Gilbert Rumley, father of ex-sheriff William Rumley, was Register of Deeds and was also greatly beloved by everyone. Mr. Mayo, from South Creek, was Clerk of the Court, followed by George Paul and others.
We had no funeral homes. Wilse Farrow conducted funerals and sold coffins (frequently homemade) in the small brick building on Second Street now occupied by Attorney William Mayo. The two
largest funerals held in that period, were Sheriff Hodges— and the Rev. N. Harding's. The processions, all buggies and carriages, were over a mile in length.
Most of the events and happenings in Washington between the years of 1895 to 1920 have been enumerated and described. Also, many have been omitted. It will give this generation some little insight into what life and living in Washington during this period was like, and to the older generation will bring to mind memories of the past.PART 2
James L. Mayo bought the Washington Gazette in 1909 and changed its name to The Washington Daily News. In 1913 in a trade journal Mr. Mayo saw an advertisement saying, —Wanted: a job as reporter.— The boy who advertised was from Poughkeepsie, New York and his name was Carl Goerch. Mr. Mayo sent for him and gave him a job on the paper.
So many fine men and women have made contributions to Washington through the years that it is difficult to pinpoint specific individuals after the passage of years. But Carl Goerch stands out because as a journalist he put Washington, N. C. on the national map.
At the age of twenty-two Carl came to Washington where he lived for twenty years before moving on to Raleigh. The author of six books about North Carolina, as owner and editor of The State Magazine, as a well-known radio broadcaster, he was designated by the North Carolina General Assembly as Mr. North Carolina.
Before he died in 1974 at the age of 83 Mr. Goerch jotted down his impressions of Washington when he first arrived in 1913.
—I first came to Washington in May, 1913. . . The first glimpse I had of the town was as the Norfolk-Southern train swung out onto the bridge across the Pamlico River. It was a pretty sight, and I knew at once that I would like living in this part of the country. . . The Daily News office was located on Water Street right near where the Coca-Cola Bottling Company plant is now located, second floor, I believe. . . I succeeded in getting a room at Mrs. W. A. Blount's boarding house on East Second Street. Cost of the room, with three meals a day, was five dollars per week. . . The only paved street in town was Main Street, from the Coast Line tracks down to Market Street. J. K. Hoyt's
store was at the corner of Main and Respass. The post office was in Hugh Paul's building on West Main Street. The First Baptist Church was a small frame building on North Market Street, where Bennett's is now located. Both high school and grammar school were in the building on West Second Street.
—Washington at that time had the reputation of having more pretty girls in it than any town of its size in the state. . . Among the leading businessmen were Captain George Leach, A. M. Dumay, E. W. Ayers, Charlie Flynn, Beverly and Frank Moss, J. K. Hoyt, George Spencer, Carl Richardson, Worthy and Etheridge, John Sparrow and Jim Buckman. There were, of course, many others, but space doesn't permit mentioning all of them. . . Edmund Harding's father was rector of St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Steve Gardner did not get here until about 1918 or 1919. I have forgotten exactly which date it was, but he will probably write a piece for the paper, correcting it, so it does not make much difference. . . Dr. N. C. Newbold, now head of education for Negroes in North Carolina, was superintendent of the city schools. . . Bowers and Lewis had a store located in the building where the Keys Hotel now is. . . —Miss Lizzie— Windley was chief clerk in Captain Clark's store, and John D. Calais was in charge of the men's department in the same store. . . . Among the popular young ladies in town were Mae Blount, Evelyn Jones, Olivia Jordan, Sally and Elizabeth Carrow, Sybilla Griffin, Elsie Wright, and once again I will have to plead limitation of space, because it is impossible to name them all. . . . The town went all out for Chautauquas in those days, and if you did not buy at least one ticket, you were not a public-spirited citizen. As I recall, we usually lost money every year. . . Lee Davenport ran a drugstore at the corner of Main and Market streets. . . S. R. Clary was local agent for the Coast Line, and T. Harvey Myers served in the same capacity for the Norfolk-Southern. . . Good heavens: I have almost forgotten to mention some of the other old-timers—Jonathan Havens, Jesse Warren, old Dr. Dave and Dr. Josh Tayloe, John H. Small, Frank Bryan and Ed Stewart and W. K. Jacobson. . . There were no paved roads, and if you wanted to go to Greenville, you went by train. . . . Surry Parker, of Pinetown, was one of the first owners of an automobile in this section, and he used to drive between Pinetown and Washington at a furious rate of speed. . . George Hackney was head of the Washington Buggy Company. . . Dr. John Blount, in addition to his medical activities, ran a drugstore.
. . . There were three banks: First National, Bank of Washington and Savings and Trust Company. . . . Washington had a baseball team in a semi-professional league. The field was located in Washington Park. There were only three or four houses in the Park at that time. Reg. Fulford's mother was the champion rooter in town.
—It was a great old town in those days, just like it is today, and I think the outstanding thing about it then and today is the friendliness of its people.—
Carl Goerch and Edmund Harding became close friends. They made a wonderful team as both were full of ideas.
They put on a hilarious publicity campaign, which received attention all over the country, to get Washington, D. C. to change its name because it was such an inconvenience to residents of Washington, N. C. to have the mail continually going astray.
Carl Goerch was a great traveler. He visited fifty-two countries before he died but he never changed his mind about the sentiments expressed in the songs he and Edmund composed in their youth.I
- George Washington, good old George
- Led his troops at Valley Forge
- Choppd down his daddy's cherry tree
- Chased the British clear across the sea.
- He was our first president
- Idolized where ere he went
- And when he died so great was his fame
- That numerous towns adopted his name
- There's a Washington in Alabama
- There's a Washington in Tennessee
- There's another one—
- In Oregon,
- But none of them suit me,
- There's a Washington in Minnesota
- In Maine and Delaware, BUT—
- After all is said and done,
- There is really only one
- Washington in Carolina—Down on the Pamlico
- GOERCH AND HARDING
- An expert swimmer was Billy McGee
- Swam the Atlantic and Baltic Sea
- Bathed in France, Italy and Greece
- But nowhere could Billy find peace;
- So he swam at last to his native land
- Waded ashore and raised his hand
- —And what did he say?—
- I'd rather wash-wash-wash in Washington
- Than to bathe in ancient Rome
- Oh my gosh-gosh-gosh how I've been stung
- Since last I left my home,
- I'd rather splash on the banks of the Pamlico
- Than to swim to Peru or Mexico,
- I'd rather wash-wash-wash in Washington,
- WASHINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA.
- GOERCH AND HARDING
MEMORIES OF PATTIE BAUGHAM McMULLAN
(Recorded By MARY MCILHENNY TOLER)
—A fascinating book could be written about Washington and her people in the early 1900's,— Mrs. Harry McMullan said in an interview with Mary Bell McIlhenny Toler in 1951. Mrs. Toler, who has been Woman's Editor of the Washington Daily News since 1948 says, —In considering local residents to ask about the social life of Washington in the early part of the twentieth century I do not think I could have found a more charming person than I did in Mrs. McMullan, the former Pattie Baugham, a lovely belle of Washington in her girlhood, and at that time (1951) the still lovely wife of Harry McMullan, Attorney General of North Carolina.—
Time flew by as Mrs. Pattie and I sat in her comfortable living room in Washington Park while she talked of the gay experiences of her youth. —What shall we talk about?— she asked. —Any and everything— was my quick reply and we very nearly did.
* * *
—Washington is not so pretty and picturseque in 1951 as it was in early 1900. Then it was a lovely, quaint small town. Huge elm shade trees on nearly every street formed a green canopy over the narrow streets and broad sidewalks. In those days the pedestrian was given the consideration. The stately old trees have been sacrificed for the march of progress. Motorists speed down the wide paved streets while pedestrians struggle along on narrowed sidewalks. And in summertime, the cool of the shade of the old trees is but a memory.
—Up until 1900 the Pamlico River was Washington's —Main— Street. Up the river came all the good things of life, or so Washington youngsters thought. Delicious foods and fresh fruits came straight from the West Indies. As many as four or more ships made weekly arrivals, and as many cleared the port. Old-timers can remember when the waterfront from old Kugler's mill to the Atlantic Coast Line dock was lined with seafaring vessels.
—Naval intelligence was the most important item in the daily paper. With the head —Navy Intelligence,— it listed the daily arrivals and departures of vessels. A large number of vessels carried on trade between Washington, North Carolina, and the West Indies.
—I remember Capt. Monroe and Capt. Gaskill; my home was at the corner of Respass and Second streets, three doors away from the home of Capt. Monroe. Whenever we chanced to meet he always greeted me with —Daughter, what do you want me to bring you from the West Indies?— And my answer was always the same, —A parrot that will talk, or a canary that will sing.— He always did—as soon as one of my cherished pets would pass away, another bird would be forthcoming.
—Not many families in those days were without a parrot, a canary or love birds. The cage would stay on the porch, and parrots were allowed to roam the garden, always returning to the cage at night.
—All the children in town, white and colored, looked forward to the arrival of the ships, this being the only means of fresh fruits. Tables were bountifully spread. Molasses was the main item, together with oranges, coconuts, pineapples, Bermuda onions, and whole bunches of bananas—the ships were ladened.
—Many carried exchange cargo of expensive silks, laces, scarves, novelties and other costly items. Also included was Jamaica rum, bay rum which was used as a skin lotion, and Florida water used as any toilet water of today. The fragrance of tropical blossoms was a heavenly scent.
—The ships docked at Fowle's wharf back of the J. B. Fowle building. The warehouse is built of stones brought from the West Indies as ballast. The incoming vessels brought in a lighter cargo than they took away, the export being lumber, tar, pitch and turpentine. Large, strong West Indies Negroes served as deckhands. I clearly remember the bright bandanas they wore and the large golden rings which hung from their ears.
—This was the day of days for Washington's girls and boys! In unloading the molasses hogsheads, the movement caused a
foam, making it necessary to knock the bung from the hole. The escaping golden brown foam was eagerly caught in little tin buckets by children from all over town. Mr. Fowle was very kind to all the youngsters, both white and colored. That night molasses taffy pullings would take place all over town. By adding a little butter and vinegar to the molasses, and cream of tartar to make it brittle, the delicious taffy would melt in your mouth.
—Memorable events of the years 1895-1900, were the Sunday school picnics held by each church in the summer. Flats were rented and fences erected around the edge for safety of the children. Benches were arranged crosswise the length of the flat. This was towed to the —Public Landing— by Mr. Walling's tugboat. Each family would take a basket of delicious picnic foods—fried chicken, baked ham, homemade pickles, chicken salad, slices of country ham, deviled eggs, beaten biscuits, and every variety of homemade cakes imaginable.
—Each church had its own day, the custom being to invite children of other Sunday schools. The one stipulation was to furnish food for your invited guests.
—The duty of the men of the church was to concoct huge wooden tubs of lemonade. Dozens upon dozens of lemons, pounds of sugar, and cakes of ice went into the drink.
—Late in the evening the flats returned to Washington, loaded with happy, tired children, simply dead from overeating and drinking gallons of lemonade.
—In the early 1900's before the day of house delivery, children ran most of the short errands. The storekeepers always had a friendly pat or word, a humorous remark or maybe a stick of penny candy or sucker. Through the years, and as many stores as I have visited, I'll never forget the kindness extended children in those early days of my youth. I would like to pay special tribute to the merchants of those unforgettable days. They were the kindest, most considerate and patient mortals I have ever known.
—Miss Mollie Vines, Mrs. Wineberg, and Mr. Scott Frizzle were the delight of all the children in town. Miss Mollie sold ice cream, coconut and chocolate squares and taffy candy, all of which she made herself. Also penny pickles were her specialty. Mrs. Wineberg sold penny candy. Their stores were located across from the courthouse on Market Street. Between the two stores was Ed Long's carriage shop.
—Scott Frizzle (Pauline Berry McLean's grandfather) was also
a great friend and dearly beloved by all the children of the town. His store stood where the present Bank of Washington stands. Mr. Frizzle sold not only candy, but toys, books and hundreds of other objects.
—In his basement were perfectly harmless yellow back books known as —dime novels.— These he would not sell to children. Members of the older generation will also remember Mr. Frizzle's pet monkey named —Tom.—
—I well remember the five cent dolls with china heads, feet and hands, and the bodies stuffed with sawdust. These he had in various ages, lady-dolls, baby-dolls and gentlemen-dolls sporting black mustaches.
—Starting at the corner of Main and Market (where Corner View Barber Shop stands) was the mercantile establishment of Mr. Ab Thomas (Thomas Stewart's grandfather). It was well known as he carried the finest of merchandise, satin, silks and laces.
—Over Mr. Thomas— store was Brown's Opera House where plays were presented, both local and plays by stock companies.
—Next came Mr. Dave Bogart's store which was filled with the most wonderful books for adults and children. It was heaven to get in there with the most beautiful china that could be bought. (This was Frank Rollins— grandfather.)
—Across the street where Welch's was located was the lovely old home of the Martins, grandmother of Mrs. Charlotte Kugler.
—Later on, in the basement of this home (on the Market Street side), was the barber shop of Sylvester Dibbles. Sylvester was known to everyone, and highly respected. A colored gentleman who plied his trade as a barber, and was pressed into duty for weddings and social functions. He was valet to the bridegroom and butlered at large social events. But Sylvester will be best remembered by some of the older Washingtonians for his service at the time of deaths. In his Prince Albert coat with pinstripe trousers, white shirt and tie, always wearing a tall black silk beaver hat, Sylvester would call at each home of friends of the family. He carried a silver tray on which was placed the notice of the death, time and place of the funeral services.
—The handwriting of those notices was the most beautiful, flowing Spencerian I have ever seen; in the upper right hand corner a ribbon was run through slits in the paper. The two-inch black grosgrain ribbon was used for an elderly person; and always for children a white ribbon was used. A delicate spray of lily-of-the-valley,
narcissi, or a rosebud was pinned at the top, or any dainty flower that the local garden afforded.
—Sylvester's approach was always dignified. After a single knock, if a servant answered she was given the tray to show to the head of the family. I will always remember the moment of quiet dignity and no conversation on the part of Sylvester or the person who received the tray.
—Other than his barber shop and faithful service on all occasions, Sylvester Dibbles was captain of the —Salamander Fire Company,— a colored organization. He held a high station with the white and colored people alike.
—In memory I can walk down Main Street and still see the business establishments that lined the street. There was the old Nicholson Hotel, well known to early travelers; the old Cape Fear Bank building (Turnage Theatre site) which was a handsome stone building with a porch supported by stately columns. Beyond the bank building was Brad Morton's furniture store, the best furniture company in this section. (This was Bee Morton's grandfather.)
—The Adams House, another hostelry, was located about this point. W. C. Mallison and Sons Hardware Company, McCluers, Dr. Snell's Dental Parlor and Scott Frizzle, all extended to the corner of Main and Respess streets.
—Across the corner was J. K. Hoyt, which at that time was Washington's leading fashion center. —Miss Pennie— Myers— hats at Hoyt's were the heart's desire of every girl in Washington.
—After Hoyts came the Bank of Washington, then Major Archbell's and Joe Tayloe's, well known for groceries.
—After passing Dave Carter's was the home of —Miss Mag— Call with its plank sidewalk. This was at the Phillips-Wright location and was a quaint little place like its owner. Mrs. W. H. Call, known better to her many friends as —Miss Mag,— was a person one could never forget. She was on call to arrange weddings, funerals and all other functions whether social or civic. And her plays! She not only directed but wrote the script and composed all the music including the words. Rehearsals were held night after night until the lines were perfect.
—Perhaps Miss Mag's most outstanding virtue was her ardent love for the Confederacy. She organized the —Children of the Confederacy— in 1897 with a membership of eighty-eight children. Her winter costume was a regular uniform, a Confederate grey cape and a —pill box hat.— On the tenth of May members of the Children of the Confederacy marched to McNair Street (then known as
Old Field) where a large memorial service was held around the Confederate monument. The monument stood on the location now occupied by the Norfolk Southern Railroad station, and was later moved to Oakdale cemetery where Confederate memorial exercises are held today.
—The cannonball monument at the Market Street entrance to the cemetery was erected by the Children of the Confederacy. The cannonballs were actually fired by the Yankees during the —Civil War. They were collected around 1900 and placed in a mound at the cemetery entrance.
—One can not think of Miss Mag without remembering her pet pug dogs. Never have I seen dogs so well trained or more like human beings. The dogs— names were —Ruby Rhinestone— and —Truby— and were as well-known as anyone in town. Miss Mag had an oil painting of these two pugs, draped in red velvet and placed on an easel in her living room. The dogs had their individual seats in the room which they mounted when entering. —Ruby Rhinestone— and —Truby— were taken out for a daily airing in a baby carriage purchased especially for them. They were covered with a baby spread and behaved perfectly. On windy days the fringed parasol on the carriage was tilted to keep Ruby Rhinestone and Truby from becoming chilled.
—On the other side of Main Street at the corner of Main and Respess was the lovely home of the Fowles, a beautiful brick home with a wrought iron railing front and back. The gardens extended to the Pamlico River at the back and were lovely with numerous flowers and stately old magnolia trees. Also at this point were the Fowle stores and warehouses.
—On the Jowdy Radio Company location was the Howard Wiswall store, which burned, and I remember so well how we used to love to play in the ruins of the old cellar. James E. Clark had the big dry goods concern next door.
—Where the Hotel Louise stood was one of Washington's oldest shops, selling millinery to the ladies of the town. This hat shop was owned by Mrs. Ann Bell, who also lived there with her family. The property extended back to the river. (Mrs. Bell was Mary Bell Toler's grandmother.)
—Blount's Drugstore, McKeel Richardson Hardware, the Gardner home and the home of Miss Lida Rodman and its garden carry us back to Main and Market. Where Wachovia now stands Spencer Bros., known as the Racket Store, was located.
—One of my happiest childhood memories is of wading in the
gutters where the waters from the town pumps overflowed. The best known and most widely used of these pumps which supplied the town with water was that at the courthouse. This was located on Second Street near the corner of Main. The pump at the corner of Second and Harvey streets (in front of Mrs. Morgan's home) served the east end of town. Another city pump was at the corner of Second and Bridge, where the high school building was. This was for the convenience of the west end of town and was known as the Academy pump. The fourth pump on Main Street was known as the Episcopal pump. This was located halfway between Bonner and Harvey. The sidewalks were wide and elm shaded. The pumps were between the street and sidewalk and spilled the overflow into a small gutter. These gutters made the most wonderful wading ponds for the town children. The elm trees made a lovely green arch and at that time paving consisted of ground oyster shells, whose whiteness formed a lovely contrast to the greenery overhead. This pump water was excellent and supplied water to those people preferring it to the water in their cisterns.
—Speaking of water, one of the interesting sources of water for Washington in the old days was Cow Head Springs. This spring was between two and three miles from town. You went out Market Street and turned left (at what is now Spring Road). (The spring is on the property of Fred Mallison.) The water was considered very healthy. Colored men would bring this spring water into town in barrels and sell it. It was a custom on Sunday afternoon to ride out in the horse and buggy with demijohns and take home a week's supply of spring water. This was supposed to be an excellent tonic as it contained a brown precipitate which we were told was iron water and was always shaken up before drinking to be sure you got your iron. Legend said that a visitor to town, once taken to Cow Head Springs to drink that water, would always return. Consequently young men made a habit of taking popular visiting girls to drink at Cow Head Springs. It was a lovely Sunday afternoon ride.
—About the most outstanding, thrilling and memorable occasions of my young ladyhood were the Halcyon Club dances. This dance club was most exclusive and one of the oldest of its kind in the state, being organized in 1885. One —black ball— cast against a person would keep him from becoming a club member. The first officers of the Halcyon Club were: J. H. Small, president; Col. W. B. Rodman, Sr., secretary, and leaders were D. P. Blount and William Bragaw. Later Jonathan Havens served as president,
and some of the early organizers, other than those mentioned, were L. M. Blakely, J. K. Hoyt, Churchill Perkins, W. H. Smallwood, S. F. Telfair, John B. Fowle, F. Bryan Satterthwaite, C. C. Calais, E. S. Hoyt.
—There were normally six dances a year. The affairs were always strictly formal card dances. Your escort filled out your card for the evening. Intricate German figures were featured and during a grand march attractive favors were always given. A gentleman never danced with a young lady without keeping a handkerchief in his hand to keep from soiling his partner's evening gown.
—It was a custom of the club that children were never forgotten. The children were favored with a dance earlier in the evening. Their dance dresses were as well planned as were their big sisters—.
—In the earlier days of the Halcyon Club, an Italian string orchestra would come to Washington to play for the dance. After the dance was over any young man wishing to do something especially nice for his ladylove would hire the orchestra to sit on her lawn and serenade her. The orchestra would visit around town for several hours as hired. Different young ladies about town took turns in providing sumptuous intermission suppers when these dances took place. The rules of the club were very strict. If whiskey was even detected on a gentleman's breath he was asked by officers of the club to leave the ballroom.
—These were the days when Ocracoke was in its heyday as a vacation spot. On Saturday nights, during the summer, a big boat left for Ocracoke loaded with vacationists. The local band was composed of prominent men around the city. A few of them were: Zoph Potts, Sr., Sam Forbes, Carmer Cordon, E. W. Ayers, J. F. Buckman, Sr., George Morton, George Buckman, Ed Stewart, and Charlie Forbes (who was a well-known composer, having some of his compositions played by Sousa), and other local men. The band would parade and play all the way down Main Street, followed by a crowd of friends going down to the boat to wish those leaving —bon voyage.— Both white and colored joined in the procession.
—If you were taking the trip you usually went down to the boat in late afternoon to arrange your hammock, deck chairs and folding chairs. It was an overnight trip, and groups of friends would make the vacation trip together. Gay band music was played as the boat sailed from port, amid cheers and farewell messages. Early in
the morning the boat docked at the pier in front of Hotel Pamlico at Ocracoke. This was a large square building with verandas entirely around the first and second floors, overlooking Pamlico Sound. Atop the hotel was a cupola.
—There was a lovely ballroom in the hotel, and each night an orchestra would furnish music. In the dining hall colored waiters in white coats and white gloves served the tables with delectable seafoods.
—Each afternoon small boats would carry hotel guests over to —Pointer Beach,— the favorite spot for surf bathing. And oh, those bathing suits, quite different from the 1951 swimsuits.
—Ocracoke was visited by people from all over the state. This hotel later burned to the ground. To spend one's vacation on Ocracoke Island was pure joy especially for courting couples on moonlight nights.
—Those were the days!—
WORLD WAR I
WORLD WAR I CHRONOLOGY FOR BEAUFORT COUNTY
Washington and Beaufort County were far from idle during the length of time that the United States was engaged in warfare against her enemies. In order that the people of the county might have a definite idea of the work accomplished in the county the Daily News compiled a chronology of events.1917
March 17—Red Cross Auxiliary organized in Washington. Miss Marcia Myers, Chairman; Miss Elizabeth Mallison, Secretary; Miss Virginia Bonner, Treasurer.
April 3—Two companies of Home Guards organized: W. C. Rodman, Major; W. W. Baugham, Adjutant; S. M. Pollard, Captain Co. A.; Frank H. Bryan, Captain Co. B.
April 8—Washington Detachment of Naval Militia leaves for Norfolk. Given big send-off by local citizens.
April 9—Doctors of Beaufort County organize themselves into Auxiliary Medical Defense Committee: Dr. S. T. Nicholson, President; Dr. H. W. Carter, Secretary.
April 11—Local Negroes meet at courthouse and pledge loyalty to government.
April 12—Home Guard Company organized at Bath: Rev. J. C. Crosson elected Captain.
April 13—Home Guard Company organized at Edwards. Another also formed at Blounts Creek.
April 13—Negroes of Pantego meet and pledge their loyalty.
April 14—Loyal Food Club organized in county.
May 4—A. G. O'Neal, W. F. Bonner, Henry Morgan,
Horace Cowell, John Cotton Tayloe, C. L. Midcap, Jamie Williams, Fred Moore leave for Fort Oglethorpe; first from this section.
June 5—Registration day. 2556 registered in Beaufort County.
June 13—W. C. Rodman receives order from B. S. Royster, Adjutant General, to organize battery of field artillery.
June 16—Beaufort County goes over the top in Liberty Loan Campaign.
June 19—Jim Baugham leaves for France.
June 26—Mayor Stewart, Harry McMullan and Dr. John Blount appointed local exemption board.
July 16—Washington contributes to purchase of two ambulances.
July 19—First drawing in draft. 258 was first number drawn.
July 23—Fred G. T. Hill walks 20 miles to join Battery.
July 26—Appointment of Soldiers Business Aid Committee: Lindsay C. Warren, chairman.
August 2—Physical examinations of drafted men begins.
August 28—Big picnic at Washington Park for the Battery.
September 2—Red Cross busy making comfort bags.
September 7—First men leave here in answer to the draft.
September 15—Battery B leaves for camp.
October 2—Beaufort County Council of Defense organized: J. D. Grimes, Chairman; Carl Goerch, Secretary.
October 27—Red Cross organized at Aurora.
October 29—Second Liberty Loan Campaign ends. County's quota was $320,000. Went over top by $30,000. Beverly Moss, Chairman.
November 13—Reserve Militia organized in Washington. Z. M. Potts elected Captain.
November 19—Washington goes over the top in Y. M. C. A. campaign. J. G. Bragaw, Jr., Chairman.
November 22—Questionnaires received for registrants.
November 27—Silk flag sent by people of county to Battery B.
December 5—Hubert O. Ellis died at Camp Jackson.
December 19—Red Cross campaign for 100 members is successful.
December 22—E. R. Mixon elected Chairman of W. S. S. Campaign in county.1918
January 26—W. G. Privette appointed County Food Administrator.
February 12—Colored people organize Red Cross. Willie Edwards, Chairman.
March 11—Local businessmen subscribe to uniforms for Reserve Militia.
May 4—Over the top in the Third Liberty Loan. Quota was $175,000. We raised $216,000.
May 21—Belhaven makes up Red Cross quota in one day's time.
May 28—Battery B sails for France.
June 1—County goes over the top in Red Cross campaign.
June 18—Reserve Militia secures uniforms.
June 21—Red Cross members work in potato fields, digging potatoes, and sell spuds for $403.
July 2—Aviator James Baugham killed in action.
July 8—Daily News receives letter from Colonel Fries commending paper's work in W. S. S. Campaign.
August 26—Jewish relief campaign. B. L. Susman, Chairman. Over the top.
September 1—Walter Goddard killed in France.
September 23—Letter from Captain Wiley C. Rodman telling of activities of Battery B at the front.
October 11—Daily News wins prize for writing best editorial on Liberty bonds. 636 papers competed.
October 21—Over the top in the Liberty Loan campaign. B. G. Moss, Chairman.
November 7—Washington has big prayer meeting over —fake— armistice.
November 9—Captain Horace Cowell killed in action.
November 15—United War Work Campaign a success. J. G. Bragaw, Chairman.1919
March 20—Battery B landed at Newport News from France on transport St. Theresa.
March 29—Beaufort County welcomes Battery with big celebration in Washington.PART 2
BEAUFORT COUNTY CASUALTIES IN WORLD WAR I
|Horace Cowell||Howard Jackson||Allen Cuthrell|
|James Baugham||Robert Gattis||Joseph Brooks|
|Edward Doughty||David Boyd||William B. Ebron|
|Roy Hooten||James Carter||David Swain|
|Robert Respess||John Judkins||Arthur Little|
|Hubert Ellis||Alston Gray||Johnnie Johnston|
|Walter Goddard||David Tetterton||Stephen Johnston|
|Thaxton Gibbs||Gilbert Bonner||Solomon Tuten|
|Julius Tetterton||Alfred G. Davis|
CAPT. WILEY C. RODMAN
(Written for The History of the 113th Field Artillery, 1920. Used with the permission of Charlotte Rodman Andrew and W. C. Rodman, Jr.)
This battery was organized at Washington, N. C., during the month of June, 1917, and was composed largely of boys under twenty-one from the counties of Beaufort, Washington, Pitt, Pamlico, and Hyde, with a few from other counties and some from other states. The organization was accepted by the government as of July 20th, and was formally mustered into the service on the 25th day of July, 1917.
It remained in Washington, N. C., from that time until its departure for Camp Sevier, S. C., in September, and during its stay in Washington was quartered in a building on Market Street, known as the Armory.
During its stay in Washington the organization was given primary instruction in infantry drill, partially uniformed by the government and entirely inoculated for all the ills that flesh is supposed to be heir to.
It was the recipient of many favors and gifts from the city and county, the citizens individually and the local societies for aiding the soldiers which had already sprung into existence and activity. Among the gifts was a Victrola, a pet coon and a battery flag which was carried by it throughout the war, and has been returned by it to the city of Washington as a gift.
Early in September the battery received its first pay from —Uncle Sam,— squared up the many debts which had accumulated during July and August, to the great satisfaction of all concerned, and shortly thereafter departed for a long and tedious sojourn, but notwithstanding a happy one, in the State of South Carolina.
The officers of the battery at this time were: Wiley C. Rodman, Captain; Enoch S. Simmons, First Lieutenant; William E. Baugham, First Lieutenant; George S. Dixon and Robert H. Lawrence, Second Lieutenants.
Up to the time of the departure from Washington for Camp Sevier there had been two hundred ten men recruited for the battery, and of these there were one hundred seventy-eight actually carried to the camp—the remainder having been discharged for various reasons. At Camp Sevier the battery was consolidated with the other batteries comprising the regiment and as a battery did the work assigned to it during the stay there. With the regiment it departed for overseas service and arrived in England at Liverpool on the 7th day of June, 1918. It arrived at Le Havre, France, on the 13th of June, and from there proceeded to Coetquidan, France, where it underwent the hardest kind of training until the twenty-third of August.
At this camp it was equipped for the first time with the French 75's and two Hotchkiss machine guns.
The battery arrived at Toul on the 26th of August and was immediately marched to the regimental echelon in the —Foret de la Reine.— It took part in the St. Mihiel offensive, having three men wounded at Thiacourt, and from there marched with the regiment to its position for the Argonne offensive.
In this latter, in front of Montfaucon, it had two men killed and several wounded and gassed.
The battery took part in all the battles in which the regiment was engaged, and in front of Montfaucon it, with Battery A, was nearer to the German lines than any other batteries in the brigade of which it formed a part. After withdrawing from the Argonne it was sent with the regiment to the Meuse Plains, and while occupying positions in this sector, it was for thirteen days stationed at a little abandoned French village called Avilliers. This position was nearer to the German lines than the position of any other battery in the brigade, and during this period it was constantly under observation from hostile airplanes and was subjected to daily shelling by the enemy without being allowed to return the fire. It was the most dangerous position occupied by the battery during the entire war, and while no one was killed there the escapes were more than fortunate.
On the night that orders had been given to retire, the infantry got out first and for three hours this battery was the front line of the army at this place. The Germans in some way got wind
of this and just as the battery was withdrawing subjected the position to the heaviest shelling which it underwent during the war.
The signing of the Armistice found the battery in position on the heights above the Meuse Plains and here it remained until the 7th of December, when it took up the march with the regiment for Luxemburg and the shore of the Moselle River. The battery proceeded with the regiment on its various marches and returned with it to Le Mans, France, and thence to America and was mustered out at Camp Jackson, South Carolina, on the 28th of March, 1919.
The members of the battery who were originally from Beaufort and surrounding counties proceeded to Washington, N. C., as an organization and there received from the assembled citizens of the entire surrounding country the greatest —welcome home reception— that Washington had ever witnessed. The Victory Arch erected by the citizens stands today as a beautiful tribute to commemorate the battles in which the battery participated and as a monument to the fallen heroes from the county of Beaufort.
Of the original 178 men who had departed with the battery only 110 returned to enjoy the celebration, as some had given up their lives, some had been transferred to other organizations and many had been discharged for various reasons.
The battery had from time to time been supplied with replacements from different sections of the state, United States and the world at large, and generally it might well have been called a cosmopolitan organization.
Too much credit cannot be given to these replacements, so called, and some of the best men in the battery were thus secured.
The officers who served with the battery during its period of service were as follows:
Captains: Rodman and McLendon.
Lieutenants: Simmons, Baugham, Dixon, Lawrence, Meares, Harrison, Ashcraft, Moore, Covington, Beaman, Roberts, Wood, Taylor, Boswell, Crenshaw, Adler, McKinnon, Hand, Hedden, Suplee.
First Sergeants: Gardner, Loris W.; Hand, LeRoy C.; Blount, Wm. A. Jr.; Latham, Jesse H.
Battery Clerks: Ausbon, Clarence S.; Ramsey, Claude S.; and Goldsmith, Clarence D.
The following deaths occured:
Pvt. George H. Frady—Killed in action near Montfaucon.
Corp. Glenn S. Cowgill—Killed in action near Montfaucon.
Pvt. Julius L. Tetterton—Killed in action in the Woevre.
Pvt. Robert H. Gattis—Died from pneumonia, Le Mans.
The battery had fifty horses killed by shellfire.
During the time that the battery was engaged in action with the enemy the following officers served with it: Captain Wiley C. Rodman; First Lieutenant Charles H. Wood; Second Lieutenant William C. Adler and Second Lieutenant Ernest M. Hedden.
The battery was joined a few days before the signing of the Armistice by Lieutenant Irwin Suplee.PART 4
The monument to the Lafayette Escadrille and the Lafayette Flying Corps is in the forest of St. Cloud, a park eight miles outside of Paris. This Memorial Arch was dedicated in the summer of 1928. At that time Mrs. W. P. Baugham accepted an invitation to be the guest of the French government because high on the side of this beautiful memorial is inscribed the name of her son, James Henry Baugham, who lost his life in the service of France during the First World War.
The names of three North Carolinians are on the Monument at St. Cloud: Kiffin Rockwell of Asheville who was killed over Verdun in September 1916; James McConnell who was killed in France in March 1917 and James Henry Baugham who was fatally wounded on July 1, 1918, and died the next day.
Rockwell and McConnell were in that small group of fifteen American pilots who formed what was called the Lafayette Escadrille. An escadrille is a squadron, a single unit in the French Air Force. Officially the original Lafayette Escadrille was known as Spa 124 since the pilots were flying Spads. When Jim Baugham went to France he was posted to Spa 157 and then transferred to Spa 98 when he became a member of the Lafayette Flying Corps.
The United States had not yet entered —World War I when Jim, fired to fever heat over accounts of the feats of aviators in France, left State College and enrolled in one of America's first flying schools. The airplane as a machine and aviation as a science were both in their infancy. Nevertheless these embryo aviators managed to learn a good deal about flying.
On April 6, 1917, the United States entered the war. Jim tried to get into the U. S. Air Force but was turned down because he was too young. He was just seventeen, having been born on January 12, 1900.
It was not easy to enlist in the French aviation service, but Jim Baugham managed to do it and sailed for France in June 1917 to become the youngest pilot who ever flew with the Lafayette Flying Corps.
Two hundred and nine American boys fought under the French tricolor and sixty-seven of them lost their lives. In gratitude the French government named the American fliers in honor of the French general Lafayette, who had served America during the —Revolutionary War.
James Norman Hall (author of Mutiny on the Bounty), writing in his history of The Lafayette Flying Corps, says of Jim (page 115), —He was a fine type of Southerner; keen, alert and full of courage. He came from old American stock, the kind that loves danger for its own sake and fights to the last ditch.—
Daring and courageous, Jim did not know the meaning of fear. After a spectacular feat during which he downed his first German plane, France gave him the Croix de Guerre for bravery in action. Later a Palm, a separate recognition of valor, was added to the Croix de Guerre.
For a remarkable adventure during which he made a forced landing in No-Man's Land between the French and German lines and then miraculously excaped, he won the Medaille Militaire which is awarded only for acts of supreme heroism, or to generals for feats of supreme strategy.
In March, 1918, Jim was transferred from the Vosges sector to the Champagne country where he joined a combat unit for reconnoitering enemy territory.
On July 1, 1918, the French War Office announced to the world increasing air activity along the western front. Rumors reached Washington that Jim Baugham had been captured and was a prisoner of war. But Jim had not been captured. The History of the Lafayette Flying Corps reads:
—On July 1, 1918, exactly one year after his arrival in France, he made his last flight. It was at 4:30 in the afternoon. Flying over the Forest of Villers-Cotterets, he attacked, single-handed, three Germans, and during a very fierce point-blank combat received two grievous wounds. Faint from loss of blood and pain he managed to reach the French lines, but he was beyond human aid and died on July 2.—
After his death, James Henry Baugham was awarded the Harmon Trophy, a token of recognition given only to those who have won international fame in aviation.
FIRST TO RETURN
Sergeant Frazier T. McDevett was the first man to come home from —World War I. Frazier was met at the train by a brass band and a huge crowd. In an open car he rode with his father and Mayor Sterling at the head of a parade in his honor. His native town had been waiting for months to know whether he would live or die.
McDevett was terribly wounded in the famous battle of September 27, which broke the Hindenburg Line. After being hospitalized in Paris, in London and later in New York, he returned home to a hero's welcome.
After serving with General Pershing on the Mexican border as a member of the National Guard, McDevett joined the Regular Army and went overseas early in 1917. He was demobilized in 1919.PART 6
Young Sam Blount, aged nineteen, left Chapel Hill in March 1918 and joined the Army. His was war service with a difference. He joined the Second Division of Engineers and was sent immediately to France where he spent the entire war on a motorcycle carrying dispatches from various headquarters to and from the artillery at the front.
It was difficult and dangerous. When the war was nearly over Sam crashed one night near Neuf Chateau, breaking both arms and several ribs. After his hospitalization he was given a choice of going to Germany with the Army of Occupation or to Paris for duty at the Peace Conference. By this time the war had ended and Woodrow Wilson was making plans to go to Paris for that historic conference. Sam elected to go with the company that chose Paris.
Woodrow Wilson arrived in Paris on December 13, 1918, to receive the greatest reception in history. Two hundred men had been selected from Medal of Honor winners to be the Honor Guard for the President. From Sam's motorcycle corps sixteen boys were picked to drive cars for the Presidential party and seven were chosen to serve as Special Couriers attached to the President. Sam was one of the seven. His job was to deliver mail in person to General Pershing, to Clemenceau, to Lloyd George, and other bigwigs. He remembers especially taking notes to King George V of England
and King Victor Emanuel of Italy. One day he witnessed the attempted assassination of Clemenceau.
Through his personal contact with General Pershing he received permission to return to the States after six months in Paris. It took thirty-eight days on an oil tanker to get here but he made it, and he has been here ever since.
—World War I was a watershed in history. Although it was not realized until long afterward, that shot at Sarajevo was really heard around the world. After —World War I life was never the same again.
Attitudes, manners and customs of the Victorian Age had, to a great extent, lingered on through the early years of the twentieth century. The war changed all that. Girls who had never worked outside the home, except in such a ladylike occupation as school teaching, were lured outside during the man power shortage of the war and took all kind of jobs. Moreover, they bobbed their hair, shortened their skirts and began to smoke cigarettes in public.
Men came home from France, where they had been introduced to all sorts of things they had never heard of before, and Prohibition was the spur that launched a drinking binge.
Automobiles changed the country's way of existence. Beautiful old trees which lined the streets of Washington were cut down to widen the streets of the old town so two cars could pass each other.
Washingtonians suddenly discovered that their country was a World Power. Its attitudes changed and its old customs withered away along with those of the rest of the nation. A period of inflation followed —World War I and the nation, released from the tensions and anxiety of war, went on a pleasure binge. Spending was high, wide and handsome.
The Wall Street crash of 1929 plunged the country into a depression so severe that it cannot be imagined today. Great economic distress engulfed the country and by the early thirties Beaufort County was caught up in a worldwide situation which has gone down in history as The Great Depression.
THE GREAT DEPRESSION
October 29, 1929, Black Tuesday, is a date in American history that will never be forgotten. This was the day when more shares of stock were dumped on the market and more money was lost than any other day in the history of stock exchanges. It was the end of rugged individualism and the beginning of a certain form of socialist government.
There is a phrase in stock market terminology known as —discounting the future.— It means the stock has been bid up and is selling very high because it should pay off in the future. Many stocks were at a very high price when the crash came. Fred Allen, radio genius, said the investing public had not discounted the future, it had discounted the —HEREAFTER.— Will Rogers said when Yankees lost their money in the stock market they either jumped out of windows or blew their brains out with a gun, and they did. A Southerner, however, in some cases, could calmly lie down beside the depression and go to sleep.
The great depression was no joke; it was grim reality day in and day out. Banks closed all over America. Millions of people were out of work. There was no financial assistance from federal or state governments. Anyone who had employment was fortunate indeed.
Washington, North Carolina, had three banks. Two closed. The Bank of Washington stood alone to serve the financial needs of our little community. In 1929, Mr. Jesse B. Ross was elected president of this institution although he had been in charge of its operations for many years. Mr. Ross had his bank ready to meet the demands of these terrible times. It was in excellent liquid position. However, each and every day there was a possibility of a run on the bank which could have ruined it. On several occasions Mr. Ross and one or the other of his directors would ride all night to the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, Virginia and bring money back just in time for the next day's operations. Day after day it was touch and go.
Edmund Buckman described the situation on Main Street very well. He said you could take a loaded shotgun and fire it in the front door of every business establishment in town and never hit a
customer. In other words, all customers had disappeared. One merchant gave up altogether and played cards in the back of his store. One day during a hot bridge game the front door opened and the merchant said very softly to the other three bridge players, —Now, boys, be very quiet and maybe the customer will go away.— This same card playing character would never keep his books posted to date. In fact they were several years in arrears. One of his friends said he actually had the best bookkeeping system in the world, for he didn't know the depression was ON until it was OVER.
When Franklin Roosevelt became President in March 1933 every bank in America was closed. That is every bank except one. The bank in Hyde County did not get the word and stayed open the entire banking holiday.
But life had to go on and the young people had a good time. The Christmas dances were held in an unheated tobacco warehouse in Greenville, North Carolina. If it was twenty degrees outside it was not over ten degrees in the warehouse. The boys and girls danced in their overcoats. They enjoyed themselves and no one thought about overthrowing the government.
Values were quite different during the nineteen thirties than today. People stayed at home more. They went to church more often. They listened to the radio. Eddie Cantor went off the air every Sunday night with the song —Try a Little Tenderness.— The lyrics, in part, went like this: —She may be weary, Women do grow weary, wearing the same shabby dress. So when she's weary, try a little tenderness.—
Americans in all walks of life dug in and sweated it out. They so clearly demonstrated why they were the greatest nation on earth. They had the intelligence, the fortitude and the determination to support their government regardless of present hardships and bleak conditions.
In one sense, the Great Depression of the nineteen thirties may have been one of America's finest hours.PART 3
THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION
When Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated as President of the United States on March 4, 1933, Mr. Hoover's depression was at its lowest ebb. Millions of people were unemployed. Thousands were on the verge of starvation. Every town and city in
the nation had bread lines and soup kitchens which were taxing local welfare facilities beyond the breaking point. When F.D.R. took over the reins of government he announced a New Deal and began immediate steps to try to reduce the national emergency by creating such agencies as the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the National Youth Administration (NYA), the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the National Recovery Act (NRA) and numerous others. These were known to everyone as alphabetical agencies, as they were always designated by initials. Beaufort County participated in them all.
Perhaps the most useful and productive of the New Deal agencies was the WPA. This agency was created in 1935 and was designed to provide employment for skilled and unskilled workers and for white collar workers as well. The federal government provided funds for public works projects and all money was designated to be used for work of permanent benefit to the country. The variety of projects undertaken, and in most cases carried through successfully, was astounding.
In Washington the WPA built the Armory and the Recreation Center as well as the annex to the courthouse now called the Agriculture Building. The Old Ford School was built by WPA workers and other schools in the county were repaired. Dilapidated structures in use at the county home for the indigent were torn down and clean new dormitories built.
Rural electrification was high on the agenda as well as the construction of telephone lines throughout the countryside.
Road construction and repair crews were provided and many farm to market roads were improved. Ditching crews cleaned out Broad Creek and other creeks in need of such improvement. Land owners in the county gave permission for wooded land to be cut by WPA workers. It was delivered to those who could not afford to buy fuel.
Sewing rooms, manned by women workers and supervised by Miss Lizzie Windley, were set up to make garments for the needy from materials furnished by the government.
Instruction in crafts, under the direction of Miss Lyda Wilkinson, gave opportunity to produce many needed articles such as quilts for the indigent and small woven things to be sold for pin money.
Lunchrooms were set up in schools to feed children who came to school without breakfast or who would go home to no supper.
Homemakers were trained to go into poverty stricken homes where illness was a problem of both finances and ignorance. Matrons were paid to clean the toilet facilities in schools where janitors could not cope.
A bookmobile was brought into the county in order that bookmobile service might be demonstrated to book hungry readers who had no place to go and nothing interesting to do. The demonstration was so successful that at its end Beaufort, Hyde and Martin counties pooled their resources to buy it at a cost of one hundred dollars. Today a bookmobile costs twenty-two thousand dollars.
Because schools and libraries could not afford to buy new books, the WPA taught workers to repair old ones in order that they might be put back into circulation. Library workers were paid where libraries were either understaffed or not staffed at all. The Brown Library owes a particular debt of gratitude to the WPA for the fine service of Mrs. Una T. Jones who served for so long under this sponsorship.
This WPA district covered twenty counties and had headquarters in Williamston. It was necessary to appoint as supervisors of the many projects persons not on relief rolls. Lee A. Wallace was overall director for this district.
Mrs. I. P. Hodges was director of all women's activities. Mrs. Daisy Stancill directed the lunchroom project and Miss Elizabeth Flynn directed library activities.
Mrs. Harriet Brown Harris was head of adult education. This program was designed to give work to unemployed or retired teachers. Illiterates were sought out and classes organized to teach them. There were also kindergarten classes.
A clerical force did a mammoth job in the courthouse under the direction of C. C. Duke. They re-indexed all the old Beaufort County records from 1696 to 1917.
WPA activities were seemingly unlimited. They ran the gamut from planting oysters in the sound to teaching midwifery so well that Kathleen Bragg, who took care of all medical needs at Ocracoke during a critical period, was presented an award by the North Carolina Medical Association.
Beaufort County was vastly benefited by the work of the WPA. While the many and varied projects were all —cussed— by those who did not need them, they were a God-given lifeline to those who did. The WPA not only put buying power into the hands of the needy, it taught skills and it put money into circulation,
eventually helping everyone. It continued until —World War II raised the employment level to a point where it was no longer needed to sustain the economy.
Information for this article furnished by Mrs. Olivia Hodges, Mrs. Daisy Stancill, Mrs. Betty Ellis Thompson and others.PART 4
In spite of the fact that their parents were strapped for money during the Depression years, and many people would have gone hungry if it had not been for the WPA and the Welfare Department which worked around the clock, Washington was still a good place for young people to grow up. There was water to swim and fish in. There was the Bug House which kept hands and minds on the qui vive; and there was —Webs,— a recreation center par excellence.LONNIE SQUIRES REMEMBERS
THE OLD SWIMMING HOLE
In the nineteen twenties and thirties all small town boys had a swimming hole and Washington boys were no exception. The west end youngsters used the Washington and Vandermere drawbridge. It was a railroad bridge crossing the Tar River just west of the old Eureka Mill site. The water was about twenty feet deep which assured coolness and a good current. The drawbridge afforded diving at any height.
A hot summer day would find some forty or fifty boys at this spot. Now it is possible that the more sophisticated boys had seen a bathing suit in a Sears & Roebuck catalog, but certainly none had ever worn a bathing suit. At the old swimming hole it was nature in the raw.
Several times a day passenger trains would come over this bridge bringing the people from the Aurora section to Washington. One of the nude swimmers got the idea that the passengers should be greeted, for after all, they were coming to our town.
Shortly thereafter when passenger trains came by all naked boys would dive in the water head first and come up in the opposite direction. Now this gave the dear lady passengers a near stroke and it was duly reported to the railroad officials. Unfortunately, railroad officials have no sense of humor whatsoever. In a fit of rage they commandeered the entire Washington police force and
both cops raced to the scene of the crime as fast as their flat feet would carry them. They caught the boys in the act. The youths were in the water and their clothes were on the drawbridge. Soon all boys were dressed and marched down West Second Street where they were lodged in the city jail.
Now throwing these boys in jail was like throwing Bro— Rabbit in the brier patch. The youngsters went wild—screaming, hollering, a free-for-all fight—they nearly broke up the jail. Businessmen came running from all directions. A very prominent man came by the jail and thought the screams were —for real.— In a rage he stormed in to the station and shouted —Let those boys out—let them out—I will sign every one of their bonds.— And while he meant well, he broke up the party.
Every time this writer goes over the county bridge he slyly looks westward and tips his hat to the old swimming hole. How fortunate to grow up in a small town even if the local Keystone Cops do give you a going over every now and then.PART 5
THE BUG HOUSE
(Largest amateur Field Museum in the Nation)
ELIZABETH YERT STERLING
MARY SHELBURNE MCLAURIN
The Bug House Laboratory, sponsor of the Washington Field Museum, was started in 1923 by four boys collecting, studying and mounting specimens of insects, reptiles, and mammals in a tent located in the back yard of a member. A young girl looking at the collections one day remarked that it looked like a bug house to her. The boys thought this a fine name and adopted it for their organization.
The Bug House Laboratory grew in membership, and between thirty and forty people, both boys and girls, were at one time either associate, junior, or full members. Young people in Washington, thirsty for more knowledge and with the determination of an inspired group, worked together to build and improve their museum. George Ross, one of the original four, was a human dynamo and kept things moving forward. Dr. B. B. Brandt,
science teacher in the high school, was an inspiration and helped with scientific problems too difficult for the boys and girls to handle.
Since the name Bug House was not a proper name for a museum, the group decided to use the name Washington Field Museum, to be sponsored by the Bug House Laboratory. The museum was accepted as a member of the American Association of Museums, and grew to be the largest amateur museum in the United States.
The museum moved from a tent to an old kitchen, then to an abandoned wooden structure and finally to spaces located over the city hall. When WPA help became available, the city suggested the Bug House erect a building to house their museum on city property located on Jack's Creek. Money had to be raised. Members sold tags on Tag Day. A model of the proposed building was built with names of people who donated to this cause printed on the logs and roof. Special field trips were held to collect frogs to sell to Duke University for use in laboratory work. Frog legs were shipped to the House Restaurant in Washington, D. C. whenever enough were collected. A musical called —The Dixie Blackbirds— was sponsored, which proved profitable. Enough money was finally raised; and the building, a log structure, was built with WPA assistance.
It was a gigantic task to set up the new exhibits and organize the museum in an interesting and attractive manner. Parents came forward and extended help needed. There was no generation gap here; everyone worked to achieve the desired effect. Fish ponds were built, brick walks laid in the park, cages for animals built and trees planted. The grand opening was in November 1934. City dignitaries were invited and a banquet was held in the hall of the new building.
The museum grew in fame. It began to receive state publicity and then its fame spread to the national press. A pamphlet called —The Reporter— was published quarterly, giving the public information on the activities of the museum, the donations received, and news in general. Thousands of people came to visit the museum and enjoy the surrounding park. Cages held various native animals and birds, including a pair of Great Horned Owls, who were destined to become famous. The first known hatching of a baby Horned Owl occurred in the park and the Associated Press spread the news. The museum held the honor of having, at one time, the largest collection of living reptiles in our state, numbering four hundred twelve specimens. This remarkable collection was
largely due to the efforts of Churchill Bragaw, an expert reptile collector.
When Washington celebrated the Tulip Festival, Bug House boys and girls bordered the creek with huge candles made of glass jars, set on posts. These were lighted at night, making the park a fairyland to be enjoyed by all. A unique windmill was erected on rocks in the center of the creek, carrying out the Dutch theme. The original name of Jack's Creek had been Windmill Creek.
When —World War II began, the men of the organization were called to arms and the museum had to close its doors. During the war the city took the building for a recreation center and moved the entire contents of the museum into a room in the Armory close by. After the war, the Bug House Laboratory gave to the City of Washington the entire contents of the museum to be used to the best advantage of the public. As it happened, no use was made of this material, so lovingly and painstakingly collected and classified. The city disposed of everything and turned the Bug House into the city recreation center.
The remainder of the log structure now stands decaying, lean-tos attached, parts cut off for the passage of a street, the park cut in half. Soon the entire building will be disposed of and the Bug House will be only a memory. This unique building that once stood proud in the center of a lovely park, visited by thousands, enjoyed by all, known nationally as the largest amateur museum in the United States, is now past history.PART 6
JACK SWANNER REMEMBERS WEB'S
If a Washingtonian is of an age that his memory of the Great Depression and the recession that followed is painless because he lacks a comparison, he is also a product of the Shoreview generation. Added to all the other blessings of growing up on the Pamlico was this wholly unique institution—this training school for adulthood.
In 1932 or 1933 Webster Alligood left the South Market Street grocery business of Alligood and Killingsworth and opened on East Main Street, where the Norfolk Southern trestle crosses Jack's Creek, a sandwich shop. But the fare, memorable though it was, was only part of what he served up to those pre-war teenage appetites.
Then in his forties, it is hard now to understand how Web so
coolly managed the successive crop of youngsters that each year were —admitted,— usually around their high school sophomore year. A benevolent, witty, caring, loving sort of an authoritarian, he simply presided over the establishment in such a way that his unspoken rule of behavior seemed better to observe than to challenge.
There was another discipline. There were always those who were a year or two older, who, when things seemed they might get out of hand, somehow became visible (even if home for a weekend from college) and order again prevailed.
But one was never aware that he was behaving. He was totally enjoying the five cent jukebox, the fifteen cent hamburger, the Sunday afternoon Gay Guts— concerts, his date, or his opportunity to show off any new clothes he or his family might somehow have afforded. It was a bountiful pursuit of happiness for which parents were as bountifully thankful. It was a time when —keep off the grass— meant stay off the lawn. Sheer enjoyment needed no stimulants. Its wholesomeness remains untarnished through all the later years of hindsight.
Those who shared it, however little they may realize it, were touched by the remarkable gift of a truly uncommon man, Webster Alligood.PART 7
Taylor Koonce, who was a member of the —Shoreview— generation, penned this tribute to —Web's.—
- —His place stood by the river
- but no one said —Shoreview—
- His name was Webster Alligood
- Web's was the only one we knew.
- There was a jukebox in the corner
- A song cost a nickel then.
- We felt our young hearts beating
- By that nickelodeon.
- A couch secured the middle
- Where we could sit and joke;
- And a bar across the west wall
- Where the strongest drink was coke.
- Web spread magic in his kitchen
- Where he made his great creations,
- His burgers were a special treat
- As were his roast pork combinations.
- The place had ample parking
- Out in back around the creek
- Where we could go, hold hands
- And sit there, cheek to cheek.
- When we would all behave
- Web would bless us with his smile.
- But just act rowdy
- And he could scorch you from a mile.—
THE TULIP FESTIVAL
ISABEL CARTER WORTHY
Every action has its reaction; both man and nature compensate. So it was that a Washington emerging from the luxury-starved years of the Great Depression sought to make up for what it thought it had missed by staging a giant extravaganza: a two day celebration of life known as the Tulip Festival. Looking back on it now, we can see that because of the five-year span it covered, 1937-1941, it served as a dual purpose binge; a joyful farewell to hard times and a final fling before the sobering clout of —World War II.
The Tulip Festival was the inspiration of Mrs. Olive Rumley, who from her desk at the Washington Daily News, one day noticed a truckload of spring flowers for sale at the curb. The color, aroma and form of the masses of blossoms spoke to her senses and an idea bloomed. She knew about that group of Dutchmen who had attempted to form a colony in eastern Beaufort County a number of years before. Difficulties had forced most of these early settlers back home, but at least two families had remained: the George Hoogendorn family had settled in Bath and the Henrik Van Dorp family had settled in a community fifteen miles east
of Washington. They planned to raise vegetables, but a bulb salesman persuaded Mr. Van Dorp that the rich moist soil of Terra Ceia (Heavenly Land) would be ideal for growing the flowers of his homeland. In 1926, therefore, a modest crop of twelve thousand tulips and daffodils was planted. Success followed, and by 1939 the Van Dorps, Hoogendorns, and others who had joined them had more than two hundred acres under cultivation.
Mrs. Rumley's idea was for a folk festival in the spring to salute both the Dutch colonists of the area and the flowers with which they had beautified their new home. The Washington Chamber of Commerce, the Beaufort County Schools, the Washington City Schools, the Washington Park Garden Club, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Lions Club, the Rotary Club, all the book clubs in town and many other groups cooperated to make the first annual Tulip Festival on April 6 and 7, 1937, a total community endeavor.
From the very beginning, Lee (Togo) Wynne made things go. He served as general chairman each year the festival was held, with Mrs. Rumley always at his right hand as chairman of women's activities. The format was established with the first festival in 1937 and remained basically the same each year with features added from time to time. It was a two day event scheduled for the peak bloom of the tulips in April. Practically every householder in Washington planted tulips and prayed for blooms at the proper time. The opening day exercises featured speeches by the mayor and other dignitaries, folk songs sung by the Dutchmen of Terra Ceia, dressed in their native costumes, band concerts, boat races, a pet parade, a baby parade and the grand parade where pretty girls from each community in the county displayed their beautiful costumes as they rolled along on elaborately decorated floats each of which was sponsored by some business firm or community group. The 1941 festival had as its theme —The Spirit of 1776— and many floats carried out this theme.
The town was dressed to the hilt for this affair. From the oldest to the youngest almost everyone in town wore a Dutch costume. Feminine dress consisted of starched white bonnets and aprons worn over billowing flowered skirts while men and boys wore ballooning trousers with colorful vests. Hundreds of pairs of wooden shoes were ordered from The Netherlands and many blistered feet were the result.
The courthouse lawn was transformed into a flower mart with costumed Dutch ladies selling their colorful wares. Other spots of
color were provided by vendors of the red wax-covered Gouda or Edam cheeses, not then readily available in grocery stores. Windmills graced the corner of Market and Main streets as well as on the east bank of Jack's Creek (Windmill Creek). Downtown store windows were decorated with Dutch scenes painted by Jesse Giles, local artist. Flags of the United States and the Netherlands were in profusion, the latter having been made by women in the sewing room of the WPA. The WPA sewing room also made, under the sponsorship of the PTA, costumes for school children who could not afford to furnish their own. These costumes were laundered and saved from year to year with new ones added as needed. Other decorations were large painted cut-out figures of Dutch boys and girls which were made by the young people in the NYA.
The final event of the festival was always a dance honoring the tulip queens. To be queen of the Tulip Festival was more important then and there than to be crowned —Miss Universe.— Tay Fowle (Mrs. Sam Tim Carter), Edna Baugham (Mrs. Alex Bonner), Helen Mishoe (Mrs. Cam Rodman) and Florence Jean Ross (Mrs. Sam Riddle of Long Beach, California) reigned in successive years as hostess queens.
Festival queens were chosen for beauty and poise from the county entries. In 1937 Parthenia Boyd of Bath was the choice. In 1938 it was Dorothy Williams of Aurora. In 1939 it was Marie Hardie of Aurora and in 1940 Ersell Taylor of Chocowinity was chosen. Then in 1941 Aurora won for the third time with Mattie Potter.
One year rain took the starch but not the spirit out of the parade. As the girls— costumes grew limp and the crepe paper colors on the floats all ran together to make new and surprising colors, the queens continued to smile and wave while spectators and paraders took things in high good humor.
In addition to the official events on the schedule, all of Washington put out the welcome mat to the many dignitaries, guests and sightseers who attended the festival. In 1938 Governor Clyde R. Hoey was guest of honor, and in 1941, Governor J. M. Broughton. Council of state members and other government officials attended each of the festivals and were entertained both by official and private parties. Year by year the crowds grew, and in 1940 it was reported that the traffic was so heavy that it took two hours to drive the 20 miles from Greenville to Washington. Continuous streams of traffic moved to Terra Ceia to view the tulip fields.
If truth is composed of facts and the way our memories perceive these facts, then the Tulip Festival was much more than a Chamber of Commerce-type promotion of long ago. Instead, it was a savory blend of all the elements of childhood. I remember the color of the flowers and the costumes and the sounds of Dutch songs, choral groups and many high school bands.
I remember the pageantry of kings and queens, flags and pennants and the fantasy of Little Boy Blue, Snow White and Little Bo Peep on the floats. I remember the fun of Lions and Rotarians all in costumes, sweeping the streets to music. I remember hearing Edmund Harding and Carl Goerch broadcasting the events on radio; and then the peak of excitement when the prizes were presented for the best float, the smartest pet, the prettiest baby and the fastest boat.
Then there were the Coast Guard cutters open to the public, the planes flying overhead, the holiday from school, and, of course, the people—the thirty thousand estimated in attendance in 1940.
All these I remember, and these I wish I remembered: Miss Liv Carmalt celebrating her ninetieth birthday in complete Dutch costume; Mayor Ralph Hodges in his elaborate burgomaster's costume; James Hackney III winning the baby contest, dressed like his grandfather, on a float entitled —His Honor, the Mayor—; Josh Tayloe representing his kindergarten dressed as —Uncle Sam,— Betty Bonner Britt and Ada Ellen Hoell being selected as princesses of the baby parade; Ardis Messick driving her billy goat and winning the award in the pet parade, with Joe Whitehead and his ducks, and Beth Paul on her pony coming in as runners-up.
—World War II brought an end to the Tulip Festival and after the war the tradition was never revived. For five successive springs, though, it brought Beaufort County people closer together as they cooperated in putting on a spectacle of color and excitement that was a true celebration of spring.PART 9
The Showboat which was the prototype from which the idea of the fabulously successful musical of that name was fashioned was built in Washington, N. C. in 1913 and gave its premiere performance here on February 19, 1914.
About every five years it came back to Washington where it had been built in the old Farrow Shipyard at the foot of Bonner
Street. By 1913 this shipyard was owned and operated by Mr. Bill Chauncey.
In 1912 a showman, James Adams from Michigan, came to Washington and commissioned Chauncey to build a substantial floating theatre. And substantial it was. The timbers in the hull were sixteen inches square and the planking four inches thick. It was 128 feet long and thirty-four feet wide. It was towed by a fifty foot tug.
Christened —The James Adams Floating Theatre,— it was always referred to simply as —The Showboat.— Probably few of the people who flocked to the performances on board ever knew it had an official name.
It always came at night, a huge vessel lighted from stem to stern moving majestically up the river. A thrilling sight!
There was no live theatre and no TV to absorb the universal hunger for drama so when the Showboat came —A good time was had by all.—
The shows presented in the well equipped theatre, which had 522 seats on the main floor and others in the balcony, were done by well trained actors and most of them were delightful comedies which kept the audiences laughing.
The boat was kept immaculately clean. There were accommodations for 32 persons traveling with it, many of them professional actors. Charlie and Beulah Hunter usually had the leads.
By the time the Showboat made its last trip to Washington in the late thirties, there were only three showboats left in existence. One operating on the Mississippi, another on the Ohio, and this one plying the waters along the Atlantic coast. The Saturday Evening Post called showboats the most unique theatrical enterprises in America.
It was THIS Showboat on which Edna Ferber spent four days in 1925 to get information and atmosphere for her famous novel, Showboat.
Beaufort Countians were inclined to resent the fact that Miss Ferber laid the scene of her book on the Mississippi when she did her research on the Pamlico River. She even used Beaufort County names for some of her characters and quoted verbatim the inscription on the grave of Mistress Margaret Palmer in St. Thomas Church at Bath.
The James Adams Floating Theatre had many ups and downs through the years. On one trip to Williamston it struck a log in the Roanoke River and sank, but it was raised and the shows went on.
Another time it had a similar accident in the Dismal Swamp Canal. But the show went on! Finally the old craft which had given so much pleasure to so many people was burned in the Savannah River in 1941 not long before Pearl Harbor.
PAULINE WORTHYPART 10
Between the two World Wars the most popular type of entertainment in the country was going to the movies. In the following paper C. A. Turnage recalls Washington's movie theaters.NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS
In the early nineteen hundreds Washingtonians saw their first moving picture, —The Great Train Robbery.— It was shown as part of a carnival in a tent pitched at the corner of Main and Telfair streets.
Not long after that Mr. Sugarman began to show crude one reel pictures (the only kind then available) in a little place near where Renn Taft is located.
The first real —moving pictures— were shown in Brown's Opera House, which was over Brown's Drugstore on the corner of Main and Market, where the Corner View Barber Shop is now.
Road shows came to Brown's Opera House several times a season. These, plus home talent plays and the offerings at Chautauqua, an annual summer highlight, were the only dramatic offerings in town before the introduction of —the movies.— Live shows at the opera house were available only to those who had the price. Movies made dramatic entertainment available for everyone who could afford the ten cent admission fee. Even as the price rose from twenty-five cents to fifty cents and on up and up, moving pictures played a tremendous part in the recreational life of small towns where entertainment outside the home was severely limited.
In 1913 C. A. Turnage came to Washington, and thereafter, Turnage and moving pictures became synonymous terms. In a letter to John Bragaw, Mr. Turnage once recorded the history of movies in this town.
He wrote: —When I came to Washington, N. C. in 1913, Harley Sparrow was operating the Lyric Theatre in the building now occupied by the Charles Store. N. E. Saleeby operated a fruit store, and I a shoe store in the same building. I was told that the first theatre was over the present Corner View Barber Shop.
—In 1913 the New Theatre was completed on the second floor of
the H. E. Hodges building. One half of the first floor of this building was occupied by the Lewis Company, and one half by J. D. Calais. The New Theatre was operated by a stock company made up of the following: R. E. Hodges, Jay M. Hodges, J. L. Capehart, Sam Etheridge and Tom Blow. In 1914 I purchased Sam Etheridge's interest. In 1915 or 1916 Caleb Bell and Ike Morris opened the Belmo Theatre. It ran about one year.
—In 1920 Norwood Simmons and Pat Whitaker opened the Strand Theatre.
—In 1921 I purchased the Strand Theatre, and bought out my partners— interest in the New Theatre. The New Theatre was the leading theatre in Washington, N. C. from the day it opened in 1913 until 1930.
—In 1929 I secured a long lease from Mr. Hodges on the store formerly occupied by J. D. Calais and the lot behind the Lewis store, and there I built one of the most modern theatres in eastern North Carolina, The Turnage Theatre. The Turnage opened on February 28, 1930, and the first picture shown was Lord Byrum of Broadway.
—In 1937 I leased the Strand Theatre across the street and erected a modern theatre named for my wife —The Reita—.—
One thing that ">Mr. Turnage found especially convenient was a unique —pulley— system that he rigged high above Main Street. It was hand propelled and could carry across the street from one theatre to another whatever film was needed.
—WORLD WAR II
The years of —World War II brought out unsuspected strengths in the people of Beaufort County. Faced with a frightening national crisis, as well as real or potential personal losses, the population was forced to unite to form a strong local front. Scrap metal and rubber drives, war bond campaigns, and rationing programs became integral parts of community life. USO and Red Cross Centers flourished as community meeting places. Men and women functioned as air raid wardens, civilian defense workers, and airplane spotters. And facing the ultimate threat of war fought on the home front head-on, citizens organized emergency road repair and electrical units, decontamination squads, and emergency medical forces.
The following is an attempt to document this unique period in Beaufort County history. Using the Washington Daily News files as source material, a chronology of local events during World War Two has been compiled at the George H. and Laura E. Brown Library in Washington, North Carolina. Headlines, dates, and concise summaries of front page articles (in many cases merely the lead paragraphs) have been gathered from the period covering December 1941 through September, 1945. However, because of the limited amount of space available here, the entire chronology cannot be reproduced. What follows is intended to be a representative sampling of the material. Important people and events are covered, although not in as much detail as in the complete chronology.
At approximately 7:55 on the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese fighter-bombers and submarines launched a surprise attack upon a United States Naval installation located at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Occurring as it did during American-Japanese
peace negotiations, the attack shocked and stunned the American public. The United States Government regarded the attack as an overt act of war against the nation. On December 8, 1941, America declared war upon Japan. For the people of Beaufort County, the war had begun.
ANN KIMBERLY GLOVER
10-Dec.-41 Large Group in Hawaii Sector
Three Beaufort County young men, Edward S. Chauncey, Bryan G. Dixon, and Howard D. Hodges, are members of the crew of the battleship West Virginia which was reported the victim of a Japanese attack in Pearl Harbor last Sunday.
11-Dec.-41 Aircraft Warning Stations Active
Indicating that Washington's aircraft warning observation posts, as well as other observatories in the section, had been put on twenty-four hour activity for the duration of the emergency, District Chief Frank Millar, Jr., today issued a call for volunteers to help the county chiefs conduct their stations.
12-Dec.-41 Defense Council Will Be Formed
Mayor Ralph H. Hodges stated today that plans were being made to organize a local defense council in Washington for the duration of the emergency.
12-Dec.-41 Rodman Makes Impressive Talk
An impressive plea to the civilian populace to keep cool and calm in the present conflict and to prevent their emotions from besting them, was uttered last night at the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club by William B. Rodman, Jr., of the city.
Speaking briefly following the after dinner period, Mr. Rodman told his hearers that the community may be called upon to make many sacrifices—that it may lose some of its young men—and that he believed the club as a whole could perform a splendid service. He stated his belief that the club could form a strong community nucleus and as a unit put its shoulders collectively
to the wheel—which it may be called upon to turn, in the days to come.
16-Dec.-41 Beaufort County Man is Wounded in Hawaii Attack
Word of the first casualty of the war so far as Beaufort County is concerned, was revealed today with the announcement that Archie R. Gurkin, of Pinetown, who is attached to the Eleventh Quartermaster regiment at Fort Armstrong, Honolulu, had been wounded, presumably in the Japanese raid of Sunday before last.
18-Dec.-41 Army to Induct Fifteen from County
Washington's first Selective Service quota since the outbreak of the war includes fifteen men from the Number One Board.
20-Dec.-41 Weather Reports Will Be Limited
Mrs. Mary E. Gallagher, displayman, stated today that all wind and weather forecasts for ocean, coastal, and marine areas have been discontinued during the emergency except small craft, storm, or hurricane warnings or advisories thereof.
22-Dec.-41 USO Seeks X-Mas Dinners for Army
The United Service Organization took steps today to see that all members of the Engineers Battalion which recently took headquarters at the armory, be invited into Washington homes for Christmas dinner. A committee, headed by the Reverend Hugh Powel, is interested in obtaining the names of families who would like to entertain the soldiers.
27-Dec.-41 Air Raid Wardens to Hold Meeting
Air Raid Warden, Frank Millar, stated today that rapid progress was being made toward setting up air raid warning systems throughout Beaufort County. There will be a meeting of the wardens at Millar's Tidewater power office, Sunday afternoon at 2:30. Senior wardens are as follows: E. T. Buckman, A. C. Cutler, Thad Hodges, James McKeel, Harold Yert, and Richard Dunston.
30-Dec.-41 Receives Word from Soldier Son
Mr. and Mrs. A. S. Cratch, of Edward, received a letter from their son, Phillip A. Cratch, stationed at Schofield Barracks, Honolulu, that he is well and suffered no injuries during the attack of December 7.
31-Dec.-41 Red Cross Campaign Headed by Roberson
Members of the Red Cross and other leaders in the drive to
secure the county defense quota of $7,500 last night selected W. R. Roberson as chairman of the Beaufort County War Funds Campaign.
1-Jan.-42 Farm Leaders to Discuss Drives on Monday Night
Agricultural council workers and members of the Board of Agriculture in Beaufort County will meet at the Agriculture Building Monday night at 7:30 to discuss the scrap iron campaign in the county and measures to be taken for repairing farm machinery.
3-Jan.-42 Tire Rationing Board to Meet
William Carter, chairman of the Beaufort County National Defense Council and representatives of both of Beaufort County's tire rationing boards, C. Morgan Williams for Board Number One and Hiram C. Jones of Aurora for Board Number Two, met with delegates from twenty-one southeastern North Carolina counties at Windsor yesterday to discuss the tire rationing system for the county and for the state.
5-Jan.-42 Want Volunteers for Auxiliary
Volunteers are needed for the local auxiliary fire department which will function in time of possible air raids, it was announced today.
5-Jan.-42 Bed Cloth for Weed Provided
Congressman Herbert C. Bonner stated that he had received word from the Office of Production Management that arrangements had been made for the delivery of tobacco cloth promptly and for the handling of the problem that has arisen from a shortage of the material in the section.
5-Jan.-42 Vehicle Owners Urged to Record Number on Tires
Sheriff William Rumley and Chief of Police Wallace joined today in issuing a request that all owners of motor vehicles in the county and city record the serial number of the tires of these machines. They warned that the tire rationing program to be effective throughout the nation may cause the loss or theft of some of the tires in the county.
5-Jan.-42 Ladies of Church to Aid in Drive
The women of Zion Episcopal Church, noted for their skill in quilt making, have consented to sponsor a Red Cross quilt-piecing project in their community.
Mayor Ralph H. Hodges announced today that Chief of Police H. D. Wallace had been appointed air raid warden of the district. Mayor Hodges stated that the civilian defense headquarters of the state had suggested such an appointment as communication from that office was available twenty-four hours a day. The chief is to issue the signals of air raids.
7-Jan.-42 Army Recreation Center to Open
Today at ten o'clock Washington's USO Army Recreation Center will open for the use of any man in the armed service of the United States. The Center, located on West Main Street a short distance from the county bridge and adjoining the Buoy Yard, will be open for the use of men in the Army, Navy, or Marines.
9-Jan.-42 Air Observation Force Is Active
George Phillips, chief of the Washington air observation post, located on the extension of North Market Street, stated today that over eighty residents of the county had volunteered to serve post duty at the observation quarters.
13-Jan.-42 Paper Campaigns Now Emphasized
Mayor Ralph Hodges urged that the organizations seeking to secure waste paper throughout the country redouble their efforts and that people who are solicited do their part toward saving old papers and contributing.
14-Jan.-42 Urge Purchase of Dance Tickets
Members of the Spinsters— Club who are sponsoring the Red Cross Benefit Dance to be held Friday night from nine until one o'clock at the Firemen's Hall on North Market Street, today urged all Washington and Beaufort County residents to purchase tickets and help meet the Red Cross Emergency Fund quota for this county.
14-Jan.-42 Defense Courses Given Students
Washington High School has set out to prepare the school students for some phase of the defense program. Some of the courses which have been emphasized are: an advanced mathematics course, a Red Cross first aid course, training for those who do not plan to attend college after graduating from high school, a safety education course, and a home nursing course for senior girls.
15-Jan.-42 Auxiliary Police Group Will Meet
Chief of Police H. D. Wallace, air raid warden for this section, stated today that he is holding meetings tonight and tomorrow night for members of the auxiliary police department. Identification cards will be issued, they will be informed of their duties, and they will be assigned to various sections to act in case of a raid.
16-Jan.-42 County Does Part in Metal Drive
Red Cross flags have been posted on school grounds or near some place of business throughout the county. Every piece of scrap metal of any kind except galvanized material should be disposed of by selling it to one of Beaufort County's two licensed junk dealers or by piling it around one of the posted Red Cross flags. The scrap iron will be used for the defense and the money obtained through its sale will be added to the treasury of the Red Cross.
17-Jan.-42 Doll Show for the Red Cross
An announcement was made today that a doll show will be held here February 6 with all proceeds going to the Red Cross Emergency Fund.
19-Jan.-42 Air Raid Drills Prove Success
Scout officials reported today that the air raid first aid practice yesterday afternoon (in Washington Park) was successful in every way.
20-Jan.-42 Beaufort Youth Is U-Boat Victim
M. U. Hodges, well-known resident of the Old Ford section, received official notification from the Standard Oil Company that his son Vernon, member of the crew of the ill-fated tanker, Allan Jackson, torpedoed and sunk off the North Carolina coast Sunday morning, was missing and believed to be lost.
20-Jan.-42 Hears from Son
Mrs. H. T. Whitley, of this city, has received word from her son, Jack, who participated in the Pearl Harbor attack. The letter was mailed from this country. He described various details of the attack and told his mother he was sending a younger brother a piece of a destroyed Japanese dive bomber which was shot down.
21-Jan.-42 Mrs. Godley Is Airplane Spotter
Mrs. L. W. Godley of Bath goes on duty Thursday as an airplane spotter at the observation post in Bath. She volunteered in
the absence of her husband who was called on for the responsibility. She is the first woman in the county to offer her services for this duty.
24-Jan.-42 Farmers Urged to Assist With Scrap Iron Drive
Farmers were urged today by W. L. McGahey, county agent, to make arrangements for the delivery of all scrap iron to one of the community centers designated by the Red Cross flags.
30-Jan.-42 Signal for Air Raid Announced
Chief of Police H. D. Wallace, air raid warden for the district, stated today that air raid and all clear signals had been arranged for the city. Wallace stated that the raid signal consisted of the two-minute long blasts which are to be broken to correspond to regular marine distress signals. The all-clear signal will be a continuous blast of a solid minute.
2-Feb.-42 Tire Rationing Board Concludes Month of Work
Beaufort County tire rationing boards rounded out the first month of their rationing services today. Eighty-nine tires and seventy-seven tubes were distributed.
3-Feb.-42 Draft Plans in Country Revealed
Selective Service boards stated today that tentative plans had been prepared for the handling of the third draft registration in Beaufort County for young men between the ages of twenty and forty-five except those who registered in either of the two preceding draft registrations.
4-Feb.-42 Victory Gardens Planned in County
Farmers in several areas of the county are forming organizations to meet any defense requirements. The first program to be undertaken will be the victory garden, and much interest has been shown by farmers participating in the agricultural program.
7-Feb.-42 Wool Received
Mrs. D. E. Ford, Red Cross production chairman, today announced that five hundred pounds of wool to knit Army and Navy sweaters had been received and asked those who wished to make garments to come to her home for material and to bring knitting needles.
10-Feb.-42 Tolling for Peace
At a meeting of the local Ministerial Association yesterday, it was decided that the church bells of the town will ring for one
minute each day at twelve o'clock noon, calling people to pause in silent prayer for peace throughout the bounds of this war-torn world and for Divine guidance in the cause of righteousness.
12-Feb.-42 Scouts Forming Emergency Corps
Boy Scout officials in Beaufort County sent out the plea today for all boys twelve years of age in Washington and Beaufort County to join a scout troop at once. All boys over fourteen years of age will have a place in the Emergency Service Corps.
18-Feb.-42 Huge Red Cross Sum Turned Over to Treasurer
The final total for the Red Cross Fund Drive is $10,319.24.
19-Feb.-42 Major Hudnell Named to Staff
Major William T. Hudnell, Jr., of Washington, N. C., has been named to the staff of Colonel William E. Kepner, commanding officer of the First Air Support Command, as material officer. Major Hudnell is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William I. Hudnell formerly of Washington.
19-Feb.-42 Teacher Shortage Being Felt Here
There is becoming a very definite trend towards a shortage of high school teachers, and the Washington City Administrative Unit is no exception. The City Administrative Unit has lost three instructors and may lose two more because of the draft as well as volunteer service.
24-Feb.-42 Seven Pass Naval Physical Exam
Naval officials stated today that seven men from this area passed the preliminary exams for service in the Navy. Among them were: J. D. Beacham, Washington; Harry E. Wilson of Greenville; George L. Pugh of Greenville; Clifton H. Woolard and Carl B. Jones.
25-Feb.-42 Committeemen to Meet Farm Group
W. L. McGahey, county agent, announced that all Beaufort County farmers are being notified of meetings with Agricultural Adjustment Administration committeemen concerning the planting of peanuts and soybeans to be used in the manufacturing of essential war materials.
28-Feb.-42 Moore Appointed License Agent for Explosives
N. Henry Moore, clerk of the Superior Court of Beaufort County has been appointed License Agent for explosives.
28-Feb.-42 Officers Seen Riding on Bikes
Members of the local police force were observed patrolling their posts today on bicycles, indicating that the law enforcing agents too, had taken up the fad that has swamped the nation since the announcement of rubber shortage and the rationing of tires.
2-Mar.-42 Bill by Bonner Given Approval
Congressman Herbert C. Bonner, a member of the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee announced today that the committee has reported favorably a bill which he sponsored providing war risk insurance for fishermen and fishing craft.
6-Mar.-42 Light-Dousing Urged by Mayor
City authorities have already taken steps toward meeting a recent appeal made by the regional Office of Civilian Defense for the elimination of lights that cannot be blacked out at a moment's notice, Mayor Hodges stated today. Such lights could be hazards if they are not eliminated.
9-Mar.-42 Defense Board Plans Make Improvements
Members of the Beaufort County Civilian Defense Board laid plans for improving the area's defense capacity. Representatives from Aurora, Belhaven, Washington, and Bath have decided to obtain a new warning system and purchase more equipment.
11-Mar.-42 Bonner Claims Gurkin's Spirit Typical of Army
Congressman Herbert C. Bonner made the following remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives Monday:
—Yesterday there appeared in The Sunday Star, a picture of a splendid North Carolinian who typifies the young manhood of today who are now defending our nation. The picture is of Private Archie R. Gurkin, of Pinetown, son of one of North Carolina's outstanding families. He was the first casualty at Pearl Harbor. Though shot through the chest and back, Gurkin has recovered and returned to duty, thanks to good medical attention.
—The spirit demonstrated by this North Carolinian, who was born and reared near my home town of Washington, North Carolina, is the same spirit that will win this war, and I say Godspeed to him and others engaged in this mission.—
16-Mar.-42 School Building Model Planes
The industrial arts department of the high school began this morning the construction of two hundred or more model airplanes
for the Army. The school is one of the ten so designated in the state. All types of planes will be built and will be used for target practice by the air corps.
19-Mar.-42 Defense Group to Be Organized
The initial step in the formation of a civilian defense organization in Belhaven was taken at an enthusiastic and well attended meeting in the town hall last night.
19-Mar.-42 Beekeepers Place in War Effort Subject of Meet
Defense-important beekeepers of North Carolina will give thorough study to new demands thrust upon them when they meet here tomorrow for their annual consolidated meeting.
23-Mar.-42 Officers School
W. A. Blount, Jr., captain of the Washington Home Guard unit stated today that all non-commissioned officers of the unit had been instructed to meet at the Elk Lodge tonight at eight o'clock for an informal meeting. The school will be conducted at the same time for the next few weeks.
27-Mar.-42 Price Increases
Local filling stations and oil dealers this morning announced a price increase in gasoline, fuel oil, and kerosene. Gasoline will increase by one-half of a cent per gallon, fuel by four-tenths of a cent per gallon, and kerosene by four-tenths of a cent per gallon.
28-Mar.-42 Farmers to Plant Peanuts for Oil
To insure an adequate supply of seed peanuts to be planted for oil this season, W. L. McGahey, county agent, stated today that a carload of the runner type peanuts has been ordered and will be made available to farmers upon certification that the seed will be used solely for the purpose of planting 1942 peanut acreage.
28-Mar.-42 Women Volunteers
George Phillips, plane observation warden, today issued the first call for women volunteers to serve at the observation post in Washington.
1-Apr.-42 Draftees to Get Questionnaires
In order to determine the status of registrants of the third selective service in the county, B. C. Homes, chairman of Selective
Service Board Number Two, has ordered the distribution of occupational questionnaires to all the men in his service.
1-Apr.-42 Farmers Discuss Planting Plans
At a meeting held at the request of the State Agricultural Extension Board last night, Beaufort County representatives were appointed to inform the public of the special need for soybean and peanut oil as a vital part of the all-out defense effort (in light of the cut-off of vegetable oils from the Pacific war area).
7-Apr.-42 Aurora Residents Get Demonstration in Use Gas Masks
Over one hundred residents of Aurora, all of whom are members of the four Red Cross first aid classes being conducted there, received a practical demonstration of the hazards of various poisonous gases in the Aurora high school gym last night.
10-Apr.-42 Victory Gardens Being Planted
In order to strengthen county food productivity, leaders in civilian defense and other drives are urging that all available land be planted with food producing crops.
11-Apr.-42 Men Classified for Best Jobs
The approximately nineteen hundred men in Beaufort County who registered for the Selective Service on February 16 will soon be receiving their special Occupational Questionnaire forms. These forms are a special survey being conducted by the U. S. Employment Service and the Selective Service System to classify each man into the job or kind of work he is best suited to do.
11-Apr.-42 Real Gas Will Be Used Tuesday
A selected group of approximately one hundred city police, regular firemen, Red Cross first aid instructors, and civilian defense workers are scheduled to undergo a test next Tuesday evening in which real tear gas instead of harmless gases will be demonstrated.
13-Apr.-42 Purse Strings of City Revealed
Washington's growing wartime significance as a leading trade center is shown in a recent survey prepared by research experts of Sales Management magazine. It shows a steady increase in retail and wholesale sales in Beaufort County with Washington representing 70.7 percent of the county.
16-Apr.-42 Large Group Draftees Leaves Friday Morning
The largest contingent of young men from Beaufort County since the outbreak of war will board buses in Washington on Friday morning en route to Fort Bragg for induction into the military service.
18-Apr.-42 Rejections Made in Draft Group
Nineteen of the men who left with the large contingent of selections from this city and county returned to their homes last night following rejection at Fort Bragg.
22-Apr.-42 Registration Is Set for County
All men between forty-four and sixty-five years are required to be present for the fourth registration of the Selective Service board Monday.
24-Apr.-42 Registration for Sugar Allotment for County Set
Beaufort County's thousands will have their first taste of war rationing on food products during the next two weeks when consumer, wholesale, and retail dealers will be called upon to register for the sugar rationing program.
25-Apr.-42 Use of Quinine Is Restricted
Because of the great demand for quinine in the armed forces, all cold remedies containing the drug will pass off the market unless a substitute can be found.
27-Apr.-42 Tire Allotment for May Small
Beaufort County's two tire rationing boards announced today that the May allotment for the county is even lower than for the preceding months (10 tires).
27-Apr.-42 House Cleaners in Salvage Drive
Mayor Ralph Hodges, in urging all housecleaners to save any materials that might be useful to the defense effort, stated that while this material was waste to housewives, it was usable —salvage— to the defense effort and would go far into the flow of industry that will ultimately gain victory for the country.
28-Apr.-42 Tire Shortage More Apparent
After three months of rationing the evidence of the shortage of rubber is becoming more apparent on the highways and in equipment which has been placed under rubber restriction. Passenger cars have slowed from a speed of sixty to seventy miles per hour
to thirty to forty miles per hour to save wear on the tires, and many travelling salesmen are taking buses and trains.
28-Apr.-42 Youthful Sailor Thanks Hostess for Kindness
About two months ago, a young merchant marine sailor, Johnny Riggs, native of New York State, who had been on leave of absence and was returning to his post, stopped in Washington for a brief stay and was attracted to the USO Center on Main Street. Mrs. D. E. Ford, who was at the center, became interested in the young man, about twenty-one, and invited him to the Ford home to check on bus schedules, and to give him supper, an invitation which was gladly and speedily accepted. Due to limited time the hostess served a duplicate of the family dinner, the main dish of which was steaming hot corned beef hash, a dish which proved to be a favorite of her guest.
Before leaving cards were exchanged and Mrs. Ford several weeks ago wrote Mr. Riggs wishing him the best of luck and this morning received a reply. The youthful guest, judging from his communication, carried the memory of his short visit in Washington and the delicious repast with him throughout a perilous voyage. Following is a copy of a letter which had been censored:
Dear Mrs. Ford,
I got your card today, was glad to hear from you. I am sorry I haven't written before now, but I have been to Hawaii and on the way back we were torpedoed off the North Carolina coast and I just got in port, so that is the reason I haven't written before now. Yes, I still remember that good corned beef hash, and I wish I had some now. I have been through a lot since I saw you all. On my ship there were twenty-two saved out of one hundred four, but we sank the sub and we will do the same next time. I must close, my address is on the back. Wish me luck.
A hash lover, JOHNNY RIGGS
29-Apr.-42 Plans Made for War Bond Week, May 4-9
The first step in planning for the War Bond Week campaign, which will be observed throughout the county May 4-9, was taken at the committee meeting yesterday in the Chamber of Commerce, when a setup was devised for contacting each resident of the county to ascertain how much of his or her income will be loaned to the government by buying savings bonds.
30-Apr.-42 Edwards to Lead USO Drive Here
Dr. Z. L. Edwards has been appointed to lead the USO War Fund Campaign for Beaufort County this year in reaching its quota of $1,980.
5-May-42 Sugar Rationing Registering Fast (city)
6-May-42 Registering for Sugar Is Slow (county)
8-May-42 Three Gallons Gas Weekly Says Leon Henderson
Price Administrator Leon Henderson stated today that motorists on the eastern seaboard will be issued between two and three gallons of gas per week under a government rationing program.
9-May-42 Gas Situation Shown Drivers
City and county employees will not, as has been popularly believed, receive an —X— (unlimited) gasoline rationing card.
11-May-42 Registration for Gas Cards Starts Tuesday
City and county car owners will register for gas rationing tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday in preparation for the beginning of the eastern seaboard rationing program on May 15.
13-May-42 First Aid Class Passed by Five Hundred Seventy-Five
Beaufort County has five hundred seventy-five First Aiders, but it is believed that at least one thousand are needed for a city the size of Washington, alone.
16-May-42 Gas Hiding is Very Dangerous
Mayor Ralph H. Hodges has issued a warning against the hoarding of gasoline in reaction to the gasoline rationing program. If residents continue violating the laws, the mayor has stated that punitive action will have to be taken against them.
20-May-42 Observation Post Moving to Bank
Aircraft observers for the city area will move their observation point to the top of the Bank of Washington because of its increased convenience to all watchers.
20-May-42 Farmers Urged Collect Metal
The United States government is urging all farmers to turn over all scrap metal to war industries for the production of guns, planes, tanks, ships, heavy trucks, etc.
20-May-42 Aurora Has Ball for Navy Relief
Aurora is holding a naval relief dance tonight, featuring a former star drummer in Tommy Dorsey's band and a former big time magician.
26-May-42 Gurganus Named Chapter Chairman
Harry S. Gurganus was unanimously elected chairman of the Beaufort County Chapter of Red Cross in a meeting held yesterday afternoon.
26-May-42 Firms Will Sell Stamps and Bonds
Beginning July 1, in a plan called —Retailers for Victory,— all mercantile establishments will temporarily suspend regular trade, and for the following fifteen minutes sell only War Savings Stamps and Bonds.
1-June-42 Beaufort Exceeds Bonds, Stamps Quota by Great Margin
Chairman J. B. Ross of the War Bonds and Stamps Sales in Beaufort County today revealed that with two points still to be heard from, Beaufort County has exceeded a quota of $21,000 with a $54,000 turn in so far.
8-June-42 Motorists to Get Four Gallons Gas Weekly Under New Program
East Coast motorists will get an average basic ration of nearly four gallons of gas a week under the regular coupon book system starting next month, Joel Dean, Office of Price Administration administrator said today.
10-June-42 Barbecue Feast, Dance Planned for Navy Relief
Plans were rapidly maturing today for the gala barbecue feast at Pantego Thursday and the big square dance at the Firemen's Hall on Friday night, officials in the naval relief drive stated today.
11-June-42 Plain Talks With Men in Service
Information in a letter received at the American Red Cross headquarters indicates that the Red Cross, in cooperation with the Mutual Broadcasting System and the Australian Broadcasting Commission has originated a daily series of programs in which American troops in Australia are allowed to speak to their families in the United States. Recordings are made of the talks and sent
to the Red Cross Chapter in the soldier's hometown with instructions to deliver it to his family.
At the present there are several from Washington in Australia, among them being Lieutenant Virgil Lindsey, of the air corps, who recently talked with his family from Australia; Lieutenant —Wooky— Nunnelee, a nurse with American forces in Australia; and Robert Mann, who enlisted with American forces in Australia.
13-June-42 Belhaven Youth Service Casualty
Beaufort County's known toll of dead or missing in the present war rose to five today with the receipt this morning of a message from the Navy Department to Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Brooks, of Belhaven, that their son, Leon Murl, had been lost in action.
13-June-42 Rubber Drive Begins Monday
In step with every other city and county in the United States, Washington and Beaufort County Monday will begin the accumulation of old rubber as requested by the government.
Beaufort County's list of hero casualties of the present war rose to a possible six this week with the information from the Navy Department listing Dupree Edwards, of Blounts Creek, as missing in action May 8.
23-May-42 Negro Contingent Leaves for Army
A vast crowd of colored residents were on hand at the post office this morning to see the largest contigent of colored men to leave the county for the Army since Pearl Harbor board buses for Fort Bragg.
24-June-42 Hopes of Glider Base in County Are Shattered
Hopes that were built around repeated reports in recent weeks that this county might be designated as the site of a large Marine glider base were shattered yesterday in an official announcement from Washington, D. C. that Edenton had been selected as the base.
24-June-42 Bruton Reported Among Missing
In Casualty List Number Five released by the Navy Department yesterday is included one dead and sixteen missing whose next of kin are residents of eastern North Carolina.
Among the group missing is Harold Glenn Bruton, whose wife is Mrs. Vera Pearl Bruton, of Chocowinity.
27-June-42 Ladies Chosen As Plane Spotters
George Phillips, chief of the aircraft observatory, announced today that ninety-six ladies of the city had qualified as aircraft spotters for the aircraft warning system.
29-June-42 Registration of Youths Tuesday
Registration of the nation's manpower will be completed tomorrow when youngsters from eighteen to twenty years old are listed by the Selective Service.
3-July-42 Chapter to Make Medical Dressings
H. S. Gurganus, chairman of the Beaufort County Chapter of the American Red Cross, announced today that the local chapter had been called on to prepare two hundred thousand dressings for the Army.
7-July-42 Owners of Trucks Can Get Retreads
Truck owners needing tires today were urged to apply to the rationing board for retreaded tires, if their use is possible, as the supply of new truck tires is far from enough to meet demands.
8-July-42 Registration for Gasoline July 9-11
Registration by all car owners for gas rationing will take place July 9-11, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, at all high schools in the county. The registration is for the rationing program which goes into effect throughout the East Coast states on July 22.
14-July-42 Rubber Drive Is Big Success Here
E. P. Rhodes, chairman of the scrap rubber drive in Beaufort County, announced today that three hundred ninety thousand pounds of scrap rubber had been collected in this county. This amount is far above the quota set forth in the national program launched by President Roosevelt.
18-July-42 New Sugar Rules Are Disclosed
The Beaufort County Rationing Board announced today that several new rules on sugar rationing regulations had been made. They indicated that Stamp Number Seven is good for a bonus of two pounds of sugar from today to August 22. Stamp Number Five is good for two pounds of sugar until July 25 and Stamp Number Six will be good for two pounds of sugar from July 26 to August 22. One of the new rules permits institutional users (hospitals, restaurants, hotels, drugstores) and like users of sugar,
seventy-five per cent of their original base and industrial users eighty per cent of their original base for the rationing period of September and October.
21-July-42 Housewives Help in Scrap Drive
Housewives were told today that an average of one thousand pounds per household of iron and steel parts which are unusable in their present form could be used in the community's Scrap Salvage Campaign. An example of one use of old metal in the homes would be the accumulation of enough of the stuff to make several bombs for Berlin.
22-July-42 Strict Rationing of Gas to Begin
Starting today all persons will be allowed only four gallons of gasoline a week on the basic —A— cards and a few will receive extra rationing gas for business operations.
25-July-42 First Military Plane at Field
The first military plane to touch down at this city's new airport landed there yesterday afternoon about 2:30 during the height of a heavy rainstorm. The plane, a Navy S-N-J scout ship, was piloted by Lieutenant Commander David Nichol Logan, of Anacostia, Virginia, enroute to Cherry Point.
25-July-42 County Schools Will Open Early This Year
Frank A. Edmonson, superintendent of Beaufort County schools, announced today that the Board of Education was calling for county schools to open between August 13 and 20. The war effort is one reason for the early opening. Since the old school buses cannot be replaced, their use during the harsh winter will be impossible.
30-July-42 Post Office Has V Stationery
The post office here now has a quantity of —V mail— stationery for residents of the county with relatives or friends overseas.
31-July-42 County Gets Six Cars in August
Beaufort County has been allotted a quota of six new passenger automobiles for the month of August. The state's automobile ration quota for August is three hundred nine. Beaufort County is one of the forty-nine counties to be allotted automobiles.
1-Aug.-42 Legion to Begin Record Canvas
The American Legion, working in cooperation with a group of
nationally known musical artists, has mapped a campaign for a nationwide canvas for old victrola records as a means of providing a steady supply of new records for America's fighting men.
6-Aug.-42 Air Corps Arm Bands Are Ready
The Army Air Corps, Ground Observation section, has announced that all observers on the observation posts who have completed a total of twenty-five hours on watch are entitled to one of the Air Corps arm bands, and that they should make application through their chief observer for one of these bands.
11-Aug.-42 Supplemental Gas Must Last User
Rationing and board officials indicated today that they had completely exhausted their —E— and —R— supplemental gasoline rationing cards and would have no more until next week. The above named coupons are for non-highway users. Also, it was noted that a second supply of fuel will not be available until the end of a three month period.
11-Aug.-42 J. Boyd Flynn Directs Rescue of Two Sailors
Editor's Note: Word received here today indicated that Ensign John Boyd Flynn had become one of Washington's first heroes of the second world war. Flynn, son of the late Charles A. Flynn and Mrs. Flynn, is well-known and popular in this city. Following is a news story telling how he commanded a whaleboat in a severe windstorm and rough sea to rescue two men who were forced overboard.
An entire whaleboat crew of a destroyer escort vessel plying the Atlantic has been commended as a result of the thrilling rescue of two men in heavy seas.
The rescued, James Tierney of Beverly, Massachusetts, and Neil Harte, of Fall River, Massachusetts had fallen from their ship's deck as a heavy sea and severe windstorm came up. Both were being driven to sea and darkness was settling over the scene.
In spite of the fast running sea and the heavy blow, the whaleboat from the destroyer, then forming a convoy, put over the side and with Ensign J. B. Flynn of Washington, North Carolina, in charge, and Edward A. Lancaster, coxswain, of Orlando, Florida, at the helm, the canopied boat alternately rose and fell in the troughs of the swelling waves.
By dint of excellent maneuvering, however, the boat finally got to leeward of Harte and picked him up. Tierney, meantime, was being swept farther to sea. Bringing his boat around Ensign Flynn
maneuvered to the leeward of the Beverly boy and rescued him. Both were exhausted.
15-Aug.-42 Credit Group to Issue War Bonds in Five Counties
According to E. L. Greene, Secretary, the Washington Production Credit Association has recently qualified as an issuing agent for war bonds.
1-Sept.-42 Tire and Tube Quota Announced
Beaufort County during the month of September will be allotted seven new passenger car tires, no grade eleven tires but thirty-four recapped tires, and twenty-six tubes. For trucks seventy-one new tires have been allotted along with seventy-eight recaps and seventy-eight tubes.
2-Sept.-42 Police Force Is Ready for Action
The Washington Police Department now possesses a small arsenal of shooting weapons, Chief H. D. Wallace stated today. Several types and makes of shotguns, pistols, and rifles, a submachine gun, and a riot gun will be useful to the department in performing any duty that might fall their lot during the entirety of the war.
3-Sept.-42 Barrington Youth Killed in Action
Lloyd Thaddeus Barrington of the United States Navy has been added to Beaufort County's ever increasing list of heroes killed in action. Barrington, about twenty years old, was employed at the Western Union here prior to enlisting in the Navy two years ago. He was the son of Mrs. Margaret Barrington and the late James Barrington.
3-Sept.-42 Emergency Medical Center to Be Set Up in City
At its regular monthly meeting last night, the Beaufort County Medical Society voted that an order for $500 of equipment be purchased to equip an emergency medical center here. The Board of Commissioners had given $250 and the City of Washington had given $250.
5-Sept.-42 Salvation Army Holds Meeting for Servicemen
The Salvation Army Services will be dedicated to the men in uniform. A very special invitation is given to the United States Army boys, who are in Washington, over the weekend, to attend these meetings.
7-Sept.-42 War Bond Quota for Month Set
The United States Treasury Department today set the September War Bond quota for the state at $9,750,000. In connection with the announcement, the department set $59,300 as Beaufort County's quota for the month.
7-Sept.-42 Frazier Woolard on Destroyer Blue
Frazier T. Woolard, son of Mrs. F. T. Woolard, is reported to have been a member of the crew of the U. S. Destroyer Blue which was reported destroyed in the Pacific last week by Japanese action. It is assumed that he was among the many survivors as his family has received no information to the contrary from the United States War Department.
8-Sept.-42 Tire Situation Handicaps Mail in This Section
No relief is in sight for the mail situation, in this area, which has been greatly impeded by the lack of tires for the Star Route, Postmaster S. R. Fowle, Jr., disclosed in a statement today. Since the morning of September 2, the Star Route, which is under contract to P. E. Calloway, has been unable to operate due to lack of vitally needed tires.
10-Sept.-42 Mail Is Resumed
Postmaster S. R. Fowle, Jr., announced today that operations of the Star Route, temporarily discontinued September 2, would be resumed tonight at 7:30. Tires have been awarded P. E. Calloway, operator of the Star Route, and now he is able to effectively deliver mail to territories covered by his contract.
14-Sept.-42 Farmers Urged to Sow Legumes
Farmers are urged by W. L. McGahey, county agent, to plant winter legumes such as Austrian winter peas, vetch, and crimson clover this fall to grow a portion of their nitrogen for next year's crop. Fertilizer material such as nitrate of soda and sulphate of ammonia used as side and top dresser by farmers, will more than likely be scarce or not available for next year's crop.
15-Sept.-42 —Victory Pig— Movement Begins
Victory Pig clubs are being organized in the county with farmers becoming members who pledge to designate at least one pig as a Victory Pig. This pig is to be sold later and the proceeds invested in War Bonds and stamps.
19-Sept.-42 Blackout Test Nearly Perfect
Within two minutes after the sirens sounded the air raid warnings at 9:25 last night the entire city was darker than the moonlit night itself. Forty-five minutes later, when the minute long blast of the four sirens indicated that all was clear, the lights seemed to flash on as if one hand conducted them all.
21-Sept.-42 Books Must Be Given to Board
The Beaufort County rationing board announced today that persons having supplemental gas rationing books must return those books to the rationing board for new ones.
25-Sept.-42 Rodman Leaves Race for Senate
John C. Rodman, prominent Washington attorney and Democratic candidate for the State Senate from the Second District, announced today that he had been compelled to withdraw as a nominee for that office. The local attorney, who was unopposed in the primary, has enlisted in the United States Navy.
30-Sept.-42 Blackout Best Ever Held Here
Washington's third blackout, which came as part of the statewide test, was even more successful than the two previous drills, according to reports.
2-Oct.-42 New Quarters of USO Open October 3
The Beaufort County USO headquarters, now located over Roebuck's Fruit Market on Main and Market streets and formerly located on West Main Street, will officially reopen tomorrow evening to servicemen, after having been closed for several weeks while repairs were being made and the new rooms refinished.
3-Oct.-42 Victory Show Is Set for Reita
R. P. MacKenzie, chairman of the Scrap Campaign for Washington, announced this morning that C. A. Turnage had offered a Victory Show on the evening of October 13 to all those who will bring in one hundred pounds of scrap any date before the show. The show will be at 11 p.m.
5-Oct.-42 Dressing Room Re-Opened Today
The Red Cross surgical dressing room, which has been closed for several days due to the lack of materials, re-opened this morning. A large quantity of materials has been received and the quota for October has been set at sixteen thousand two hundred.
6-Oct.-42 Rubber Boots, Shoes Rationed
Yesterday marked the first day that consumers could apply to the local rationing board for certificates to purchase rubber boots. Because of the rubber shortage all sales of rubber boots for men were frozen.
8-Oct.-42 New Contingent Selectees Called
Early Friday morning, October 16, the largest group of white men ever assembled from this county for military service, will gather at the post office where they will board buses for Fort Bragg.
9-Oct.-42 Tire Quota for October Given
Rationing officials indicated that the quota for October is as follows: passenger cars, seven new tires and twenty-three tubes, fifty-one retreads; trucks, seventy-four new tires and sixty-four tubes with seventy-one retreads.
13-Oct.-42 Business Blackout Is Called in Scrap Drive
Thursday from nine until one o'clock has been designated as a business blackout for scrap metal collection. Business establishments and employees will donate these hours to giving a careful survey of all places of business in quest of articles that will help swell the scrap pile.
13-Oct.-42 Large Contingent Colored Draftees
A large contingent of colored selectees from Washington and Beaufort County will leave here early Wednesday morning, October 21, for induction into the United States Army.
15-Oct.-42 Scrap Blackout Is Huge Success
Around one hundred tons of scrap has been placed on the courthouse lawn as a result of the business blackout. The pile continues to increase in size.
15-Oct.-42 Merit Award Is Given Webster
Webster's Junk Yard has been awarded the War Production Board's Merit Award for shipping one hundred eighty-six tons of scrap metal.
16-Oct.-42 With the Men in Service
In releasing its casualty list Number Fourteen today, the Navy Department announced that John Wahab, Jr., Mess Attendant
Second Class, United States Coast Guard, is missing in action. He is the son of Mrs. Rosa Wahab of Belhaven.
21-Oct.-42 Registration of Trucks October 22
Farmers owning trucks and persons engaged in hauling produce to and from the various farms in this county must obtain —certificates of war necessity.— These certificates must be carried on all trucks after November 1. No gasoline, tires, or repair parts can be obtained without it.
22-Oct.-42 Many Rationing Books Are Void
The Beaufort County Rationing Board announced today that all —C— ration books for gasoline issued on July 22 were void after today and added that some —B— books were also void after this date.
23-Oct.-42 Servicemen's Day First Baptist
Servicemen's Day will be observed at First Baptist Church Sunday. At this time the honor roll of boys from the church in service will be read and a plaque with their names and a service flag dedicated will be recognized. The pastor, J. R. Everett, will preach from the subject —The Marks of a Good Soldier.—
27-Oct.-42 X-Mas Gifts to Men in Service Must Be Mailed
Residents of the county who have sons and boyfriends overseas and who desire to make their Christmas enjoyable with gifts had better get the packages in the mail by Saturday—the last day on which Christmas parcels and cards can be mailed with the certainty that they will arrive at their destination by December 25.
27-Oct.-42 Our Boys with the Colors
PFC Jarl E. Bowers of 1001 N. Market Street is a successful candidate for admission to the Antiaircraft Artillery Officer Candidate School at Camp Davis.
28-Oct.-42 Idle Tire Plan Is Working Here
The Idle Tire Purchase Plan, put into effect October 15 by the Office of Price Administration, provides a way by which passenger car owners with more than five tires per car may sell their excess casings before mileage rationing begins on November 22. Gasoline rations will be denied to those with more than five tires for each passenger automobile.
29-Oct.-42 Farmers to Buy Wheat for Stock
W. L. McGahey, county agent, stated today that arrangements have been made for farmers to buy wheat for feeding to livestock and poultry from the Commodity Credit Corporation through the county Agricultural Adjustment Administration office. This arrangement was made possible to supplement the shortage of corn.
31-Oct.-42 Tire Tube Quota for Month Given
Beaufort County has been awarded nine of the one thousand three hundred seventy grade tires for passenger automobiles. The county will receive thirty-eight of the state's five thousand one hundred seventy-seven new truck tires.
2-Nov.-42 Old Ford Youth in Crew of Wasp
It was learned today that Joseph Rodgers, son of Mrs. J. M. Rodgers, of Old Ford, was a member of the crew of the American aircraft carrier Wasp, which was destroyed in the Solomons area by the Japanese forces September 15. Young Rodgers was saved after being afloat for three hours and is resting at home at present.
6-Nov.-42 Elections Board Indicates Vote Light in County
The lightest vote in years in Beaufort County was cast in Tuesday's elections according to the official figures released by the Board of Elections today. Only one thousand three hundred thirty-nine ballots were cast by the eligible voters of Beaufort County and is compared to the usual figure which is around four thousand. The light vote is attributed to several factors: the large number that have left the county to be inducted into the military service, the fact that it was an off-year election, and the little interest in politics due to the war picture throughout the world.
10-Nov.-42 Nearly $500 Is Given for Scrap
R. P. MacKenzie, chairman of the Beaufort County Scrap Drive, today announced that $495 had been realized from the pile placed upon the courthouse lawn, and that the entire amount would be divided among the Red Cross, Salvation Army, USO, and Boy and Girl Scout organizations. Mr. MacKenzie also made known that over one million pounds had been assembled in Beaufort County.
16-Nov.-42 Coffee Will Be Rationed Soon
Starting November 29, the United States, the world's greatest coffee drinking country, will ration its coffee so that no one will
receive more than a pound of the beverage once every five weeks. The reason for the rationing of this item is the fact that ships which usually carry coffee are carrying war materials and have no room for the luxury.
18-Nov.-42 Holiday Lighting Eliminated Here
Washington will celebrate the holiday season this year without the decorative street lights and outside home decorative lighting, according to an announcement today by Dan Smith, Superintendent of the Light and Water Department. Smith says that the step was taken in cooperation with a plea from the War Production Board that such measures be taken.
1-Dec.-42 Soldiers Receive Gifts Here Today
Today two Army trucks and a special Red Cross truck under the supervision of R. B. Beach, Red Cross Field Director, arrived in the city from Cherry Point to collect various items of furniture, games, and reading matter, to be placed in the day and hospital day rooms at the Marine Base.
8-Dec.-42 Savings Quota Set at $62,925
Mrs. Hallett S. Ward, Beaufort County Chairman of Women at War Work, today announced that the county's December quota for the sale of War Bonds has been set at $62,925.
9-Dec.-42 Kit Bags to Be Made for Soldier
Mrs. Sam Mallison, Production Chairman of the Beaufort County Chapter of the American Red Cross, announced today that the local chapter had accepted a quota of one hundred fifteen essential items to be used in kit bags for departing servicemen.
10-Dec.-42 Four Thousand Register at ABC Stores
Approximately four thousand persons registered Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in the three Beaufort County Alcoholic Beverage Control stores for sales permits under the rationing plan which is now in effect. A coupon book holder may purchase one quart per week until the end of January and thereafter the ration will drop to a pint per week.
14-Dec.-42 Is There Room?
Have you room in your home for a serviceman for Christmas? Perhaps your son is on the other side of the world and you would welcome the opportunity to entertain the son of someone
else. Or maybe you do not have a boy in service but want to lend a hand in this great conflict. If so, telephone the Reverend Hugh Powel, Chairman of Recreation of the USO.
15-Dec.-42 Fine Response to Appeal for Britons
Generous evidence of the warm hospitality for which this city is noted, was evidenced again yesterday when following an appeal of the USO to residents to take into their homes at Christmastime a group of British sailors, no less than twenty-six were made, with the householders eager to entertain either one or two of the lads from far away but closely allied land.
19-Dec.-42 Fenner T. Paul New Defense Head
An announcement received here late yesterday afternoon revealed that Governor Broughton yesterday appointed Fenner T. Paul, of this city, as Beaufort County Defense Chairman. Mr. Paul succeeds Charles F. Cowell, who in turn succeeded William Carter.
22-Dec.-42 Dealers Must Turn in Coupons
All —B— and —C— coupons in dealers— possession as of 12:01 a.m. Monday, December 21, must be delivered to suppliers by hand or registered mail or exchanged for gasoline by 12:01 Wednesday, December 23, the local rationing board was notified today.
1-Dec.-42 New Observation Post Chocowinity
Following the example of many communities throughout the United States, and realizing the need and importance of such an installation, residents of Chocowinity have erected an airplane observation post in that community.
31-Dec.-42 Beaufort County Allotted Nine Cars for January
The quota of new passenger automobiles for rationing in North Carolina in January has been set at seven hundred fifty-nine. Of that total, nine new automobiles have been allotted to this county.
5-Jan.-43 Gasoline —Scare— Is Merely Rumor
Local and sectional filling stations did a rushing business late yesterday evening following a false widespread report that all gasoline rationing coupons would be frozen at 12:00 today.
12-Jan.-43 Vital War Foods Highly Necessary
Z. T. Koonce, Food Service Administration Supervisor for Beaufort
County, believes that farmers can greatly aid war production by increasing production of vital war foods.
13-Jan.-43 Plan Observer Film at Bath
On Sunday, January 17, at 3:30 p.m., in the auditorium of the Bath High School will be shown a moving picture explaining the operation of the vast network of observation posts which are located throughout the entire Atlantic seaboard and which are being manned twenty-four hours a day by some seven hundred thousand volunteer civilian observers.
13-Jan.-43 County Can Save Steel for Two Thousand Eight Hundred Twenty-Two Machine Guns
Beaufort County housewives can save enough steel for two thousand eight hundred twenty-two machine guns simply by replacing one can of fruits or vegetables a week during the coming year with fresh or home-packed produce, a leading food distributor estimated.
14-Jan.-43 Miss Cox Gets WAAC's Commission
Miss Geraldine Cox, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Cox, has just graduated from Officers Training School of the WAAC in Des Moines, Iowa, and was commissioned second lieutenant.
15-Jan.-43 Miss Harding Joins WAVE'S
Miss Grace Harding, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Harding, left this morning for Smith College where she will receive a four month probationary training course before being assigned to active WAVE duty.
16-Jan.-43 Pleasure Driving Rule Has Teeth
In a statement today by a member of the local War Price and Rationing Board, it was revealed that the board is charged with the responsibility of revoking the gasoline rations of motorists driving in violation of the recent measures adopted by the Office of Price Administration for the prevention of pleasure driving.
27-Jan.-43 Victory Book Campaign Starts Here Tomorrow
The 1943 Victory Book Campaign in Washington and Beaufort County is being held beginning January 28 through February 8, and is being sponsored by the American Red Cross, the American Library Association, and the USO. The Victory Book Campaign is designed to collect reading matter from civilians for the benefit of men in the armed forces.
27-Jan.-43 Two Local Ladies in SPAR's
Miss Sophia Credle and Miss Zada Braddy have enlisted in the SPARS, Women's Auxiliary to the U.S. Coast Guard.
28-Jan.-43 Latest Ruling by Office of Price Administration Office
Regular hostesses and chaperones may use gasoline to attend the weekly dances at Fort Bragg, Camp Butner, and other camps in the state, but young women going to dances may not.
8-Feb.-43 Merchants Urged to Attend Meeting
The announcement has been made of a district meeting that will inform retail grocers about point rationing.
13-Feb.-43 Development of Local Airport is Seen
Further development of the local airport by the Navy as an outlying training field for the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point has been proposed, it was learned today from the office of Representative Herbert C. Bonner in Washington, and the matter will be taken up in the next week or two by the Civil Aeronautics Administration board.
13-Feb.-43 Beaufort Farm Families Win Merit Certificates
Twenty-six families in Beaufort County who are cooperating with the Farm Security Administration have earned 1942 Merit Award Certificates from the Federal Government for the patriotic production of foods needed in the war effort, according to Zachary T. Koonce, County Supervisor, and Miss Mildred A. Horton, Home Supervisor of the County FSA office.
16-Feb.-43 Prices of Peanuts Will Be Supported Uniform Levels
Peanut growers of Beaufort County who increase production of peanuts this year in response to the government's appeal for more vegetable oil crops are assured of the same support prices for oil peanuts as are paid for edible nuts, according to Henry H. Hill, chairman of the County United States Department of Agriculture War Board.
17-Feb.-43 Some Farm Machinery Is No Longer Rationed
Purchase certificates may be issued to farmers by county rationing committees for certain types of equipment provided these items can be found for sale by dealers, distributors, or mail order houses, as no quotas have been established for these items, according
to Henry H. Hill, Chairman of the County United States Department of Agriculture War Board.
18-Feb.-43 Registration Plan for City Given in Detail
The point rationing system to buy canned or bottled fruits, vegetables, soups and juices, frozen fruits and vegetables, and dried fruits will be introduced to all persons, both old and young, in Beaufort County with a six-day registration, February 22 to 27 inclusive.
16-Feb.-43 High School Has Doubled Quota in War Bond Drive
The Washington High School students will end two weeks of championing the sale of war bonds and stamps today, with a net gain of over $1,000.
20-Feb.-43 Beaufort Car Owners Are Congratulated, Assistance
Car owners in Beaufort County were congratulated today by C. Morgan Williams, chairman of the local War Price and Rationing Board, for their part in helping the East Coast save thirty thousand barrels of gasoline a day through the ban on non-essential driving.
26-Feb.-43 Blackout in County Is Most Successful Yet
Although not fully familiar with the new signals and regulations, Washington had its first blackout under the Army plan Thursday night, and according to Mayor R. H. Hodges, commander and chairman of the Civilian Defense in Beaufort County; Thad Hodges, chief air raid warden; and H. D. Wallace, chief warning officer, almost perfect coordination between civilian operators and local residents combined to make it the most successful ever held.
27-Feb.-43 Records Impressions as Airplane Spotter
Mrs. Guy Small, a member of the staff of the local airplane observation post, derives much pleasure in standing a three-hour daylight trick once each eleven days, so much so, in fact, that she has put her impressions into words.
Today she takes readers on a tour of duty in an article entitled, —Daytime at the Post.—
Those who have never acted as Army plane spotters in our town do not realize the delight, suspense, and charm connected with the experience at the post. We watchers cannot understand why more do not volunteer for the job—three hours at a stretch every
eleven days. Let us relate one day's experience and you can see how much pleasure goes with this real, honest-to-goodness responsibility.
We arrive at our post just a few minutes before the actual time designated to relieve our predecessors who have been faithful for three hours. If it is a noon hour, which happens to be mine, I often take sandwiches with me to the post, a thermos bottle of hot coffee or cocoa. We don our head shawls, draw on our badge over the left sleeve—the embroidered —band— which proclaims us official plane spotters. Then we say —good-bye— to the earnest quitters, and prepare for watch duty.
The air all round the post is cool, sweet, and pure—how lovely to breathe it in from all sides. The sun shines down so delightfully warm on a day like today. We can see the water at the east, and south and the north. It has dark clouds above it; and as clouds are reflected in the water, so the cloud reflection is a satiny gray. Gulls are wheeling in all directions. Is that a plane? No, more gulls. We can pick out the gulls from the planes, because the birds dip and turn and do not go as swiftly, as business-like, as the planes. The plane forges straight ahead as a die; the gulls wheel, drop, rise, and skim—they have no special place to go. It must be such fun to be a gull or drive a plane we think.
Over towards the southwest, there looks like an old, white medieval castle, a monastery with columns on all sides. On closer inspection there seems to be a moat in front—what a day for the imagination! We have to admit, however, it is the Standard Oil Plant—but how pretty it all looks—not a bit sordid way across the beautiful Pamlico stretch of water.
The railroad bridge up the Tar River is first closed at the draw. Then it opens in answer to a shrill whistle from an impatient tugboat that wants to go through. Then the draw closes again for a train to pass by. Way over at the extreme south, we see several trains passing, looking so tiny—like toy trains. (I remember as a little girl I thought the trains across Dorchester Bay were little trains—not regular size, diminished in bulk because of the great distance.)
Way down towards the southeast we can see the stretch of river with —Hill's Point— clearly visible on the horizon.
Now we look towards the north—no river here but roof and
tree tops. It is such fun trying to dig out the landmarks—the rounded silver mosque-like dome of the Baptist Church; the likewise silver top (like a gigantic mushroom) of the water tower; the lovely stately post office with its glorious flag always floating so quietly and so valiantly in the breeze. From our vantage ground we can pick out the high school all red; the Presbyterian Church with its little white tower; and then wonder what that little building is nestling in the trees? It is all so intriguing like a picture puzzle on a big scale.
We look to the north—to the south—we scan the sky overhead. Listen—again that peculiar metallic sound—can we pick up the plane? There it is to the east coming towards the post. We can detect the two motors as the sun shines on the wings. This time, because we had practiced half an hour ago, we report our plane clearly, quietly with deep conviction; as we call the Army post—this time we have done it well. All is quiet again—we walk towards the south—again we feel that delightful breeze right from the river—how good it smells. The gulls seem to be flying in off the river, as if bad weather might be on the way. A dark cloud is floating high up in the heavens above the post. Just as to say, —every cloud has a silver lining,— so our cloud there has such a beautiful, bright, silver lining, for the sun is just underneath it on the other side. No more planes. We look at our watch—our three hours are up—the next watch at the post appears. Our work is over. It has been a wonderful three hours out-of-doors and we have helped—we have done our little bit—to keep unbroken that continuous chain of —plane spotters— on the Eastern front.
1-Mar.-43 Total of Fifteen Thousand Eighty-Three Register in Unit
A total of fifteen thousand eighty-three persons registered for War Ration Book Number Two in the Washington City Administrative Unit last week, it was officially reported today by E. S. Johnson, City Unit Superintendent, who was in charge.
19-Mar.-43 Seven Beaufort Young Folk Placed in Essential Work
War production training projects of the National Youth Administration, War Manpower Commission, in North Carolina placed seven youths from Beaufort County in employment in industries holding essential war contracts during the first six months of the current fiscal year.
23-Mar.-43 Assistance of Farmers Asked
Farmers and livestock butchers of Beaufort County requested to lend their assistance in stopping —Black Market— operations in livestock and meats.
24-Mar.-43 Here's a Story of Group Beaufort Farm Families
Here's a story of what a group of Beaufort County farm families have done this past year after the government's call for help in the war effort for increased food production was passed on to them. The facts themselves are noteworthy of praise in the accomplishments made. They are even more forceful when it is known that just a few years ago these same families came out of the depression of 1932 so scarred and wounded financially that it was next to impossible for them to obtain adequate credit through regular channels and they had to call on the government for this help. Financial help—yes and even more. They actually needed help in planning their farm and home operations.
To put it briefly, they had begun to lose confidence in themselves and were about ready to throw in the sponge and call it quits.
But let's look what happened this past year on these three hundred five farms. They increased their milk cows from three hundred fifty-seven to four hundred twenty-eight and now have one and four tenths milk cows per farm. Milk produced totalled two hundred two thousand, one hundred thirteen gallons. Heifers for future milkers were increased from seventy-one to two hundred eighty-six.
Poultry flourishes in Beaufort County and these families had thirty-five thousand, nine hundred fourteen hens that produced two hundred twelve thousand, five hundred three dozen eggs. They also raised sixty-nine thousand, five hundred eighty-four baby chicks. This made an average per farm of one hundred seventeen and seven tenths hens, six hundred ninety-six dozen eggs, and two hundred twenty-eight baby chicks raised, or enough surplus to feed four thousand, three hundred eighty-nine soldiers all the eggs needed for one year.
Hogs were produced at the rate of eleven and one tenth per farm, making a total of three thousand, three hundred ninety-seven hogs that would feed four thousand, two hundred forty-seven soldiers all the pork and lard they needed for a year above the needs of the families.
Garden and truck crops, including Irish potatoes, one of the
Army's standbys, were substantially increased. Fruits and berries, canned fruits and vegetables, peanuts and soybeans for oil, crops and other food items came into the picture with varying amounts of increase.
In all these three hundred five families sold over $90,000 worth of livestock and livestock products during 1942 that went into channels of trade. This was in addition to their crop sales. For 1943 their plans show that this figure is to reach $129,228.
This story came from the summary of the records of Farm Security Administration borrowers in Beaufort County.
29-Mar.-43 Employment Service Here Needs One Hundred Men
One of the most critical material shortages in the South today is that of lumber and pulpwood. These materials occupy a place of importance to the war effort along with steel, iron, munitions and guns. Shipments of vital materials to the war zones are being delayed daily due to the lack of wood and paper containers. The United States Employment Service office in Washington announced this morning the urgent need for one hundred woodcutters, truck drivers, truck helpers, and saw filers in this industry.
1-Apr.-43 Community Committeemen to Aid County Farmers
In order to assure farmers adequate gas with which to carry on essential farming operations and to relieve some of the burden on the local gas board, community Agricultural Adjustment Administration committeemen will fill out applications for supplemental gas for farmers.
3-Apr.-43 Plane Spotters for Coming Week
Small's Book Store in this city rates one hundred percent with reference to its plane spotters. The store has a regular staff of four people and each has served sufficiently long to be entitled to wear the official arm band.
7-Apr.-43 Students Buy Over $2,000 in Bonds and Stamps
The student body and faculty of the Washington High School, which has manifested a great willingness and desire to contribute to and participate in all phases of war work, has also attained a splendid record in the purchase of War Savings Stamps and Bonds with a total of $2,075.10 for the month of March.
10-Apr.-43 Community Sing Is Big Success
The Red Cross War Fund mass meeting and community sing held
last night in the auditorium of the John Small School was an outstanding success and netted the County War Fund Drive an additional $1,287.75. Total contributions for the drive have reached $15,475.79.
10-Apr.-43 War Loan Drive Quota $500,000
Plans are being completed today for Beaufort County's participation in Uncle Sam's great Second War Loan Drive which will officially open Monday. The government is seeking $13,000,000 and of this vast amount the county's quota is $500,000.
19-Apr.-43 Private Gowers Dies of Wounds
Henry Gowers, of near Pantego, received official notification Friday of the death of his son, Private Hilton Gowers, who was serving —somewhere— in North Africa with the United States Army. Private Gowers was seriously wounded in action on February 22.
20-Apr.-43 Farmers Get Fuel for Oil Burners
Farmers of the First Congressional District who have petitioned Representative Herbert C. Bonner to —clear up— the problem of fuel oil allotments for oil burners to be used in curing tobacco, were assured today of an ample supply provided the burners were purchased and installed prior to December 19, 1942.
27-Apr.-43 Merit Certificate Is Received by John Small School
The John Small School today received a certificate of merit from the United States Treasury and from the State Administrative War Saving Staff offices in acknowledgement of the school's outstanding record of having contributed $14,000 to the —Schools at War— Jeep Campaign. The local institution entered the campaign on April 1 and set a goal of $800. At the close of the campaign nineteen days later the remarkable sum of $14,000 had been raised by the school, a sum which represents the purchasing power of thirteen jeeps with which to arm American forces.
1-May-43 Camporee for Beaufort Scouts Next Weekend
Because of gas and tire restrictions, the big Camporee usually held each year by the East Carolina Council of Boy Scouts of America will not be held this year.
3-May-43 War Bond Total Is Near $600,000
J. B. Ross, President of the Bank of Washington and Beaufort County Chairman of the Second War Loan drive, announced today that a total of $590,000 worth of bonds had been sold during the
month of April, considerably exceeding the quota which was set at $500,000.
6-May-43 —Cotton Week—
—Cotton Week— will be observed by Washington merchants from May 17 to 22. The theme of the week will be —Cotton Fights on Every Front.— Emphasis will be placed on the importance of raw cotton production to the nation's war effort, as well as its many versatile roles on the home front.
14-May-43 Ceiling on Potatoes
The Chairman of the local War Price and Rationing Board was given definite instructions today from the State Office of Price Administration in Raleigh to the effect that the ceiling price on white potatoes is seven cents per pound. Persons who violate this regulation will be penalized.
14-May-43 Post Office to Distribute Cards
It was announced today that blank applications for Ration Book Number Three will be distributed by local postmen.
24-May-43 Reverend Everett Is Army Chaplain
Members of the congregation of First Baptist Church were deeply moved at the eleven o'clock service Sunday morning when their beloved pastor, the Reverend J. R. Everett, who for almost thirteen years has filled the pulpit of the church, announced that he had been commissioned as an Army chaplain.
27-May-43 Group of Forty-Two to Fort Bragg Today
A group of forty-two white men from the county left this morning for Fort Bragg for physical examination prior to possible induction into the armed forces.
12-June-43 Permits Required Potato Shippers
Ralph M. Woodside, Deputy Order Administrator of the War Food Administration, announced today that permits for shipment of potatoes in carlots and in trucks will be necessary. No potatoes will be shipped without a permit. The action is to enable the armed forces to obtain essential supplies and to provide for more equitable distribution of military purchases among producing areas and individual growers and shippers.
16-June-43 Surprise Test Is Success Here
Coming as a complete surprise to officials as well as residents,
Washington last night held its third blackout under the recently inaugurated Army rulings. The first warning was heard at 9:30 and the all-clear signal was given thirty minutes later.
23-June-43 Sailors Mix It at Bus Station
Considerable commotion and confusion was occasioned yesterday afternoon at the local bus station shortly after four o'clock. A group of sailors aboard a bus which had stopped here for transfer of its passengers engaged in a round of warfare among themselves with casualties ranging from cut heads and black eyes to bruised faces.
9-July-43 Service Folk to Be Honored Sunday
The sixty-eight men and one woman who are serving in the armed forces from First Christian Church of the city will be honored Sunday morning at the regular services.
21-July-43 Guard Plunges Into Training
Company Three, First Infantry, North Carolina State Guard, Washington's own first line of defense, arrived at the State Guard Encampment Area Sunday afternoon at three p.m. and immediately established itself in preassigned quarters.
28-July-43 Thirty Leave for Fort Bragg
A group of thirty Beaufort County men left this morning by bus for Fort Bragg for physical examination and possible induction into the armed services.
2-Aug.-43 Victory Gardeners Urged to Plant Fall Gardens
People in Beaufort County, both town and rural, have done a wonderful job this year with victory gardens. Each and everyone that has a victory garden is to be congratulated. It is hoped that everyone will plan to plant a fall victory garden.
4-Aug.-43 J. B. Ross Is Made Permanent Finance Chairman
J. B. Ross has been appointed permanent County Chairman of the War Finance Committee for the sale of —E,— —F,— and —G— bonds and other local activities.
9-Aug.-43 Molly Pitcher Day Successful
Molly Pitcher Day, observed in Washington and Beaufort County Saturday, was very successful with slightly less than $3,000 worth of War Savings Stamps and Bonds sold by Minute Maids.
10-Aug.-43 Nineteen Men to Fort Bragg
One of the smallest groups of men from Beaufort County yet ordered to Fort Bragg for physical examination and possible induction into the armed services left by bus this morning.
31-Aug.-43 Phelps Lost Life Strafing Enemy
—When I have to go that's the way I want it—I want to go out gloriously. . . .—
Thus wrote Lieutenant H. A. (Brother) Phelps, of this city, in one of his letters home before he was called upon to make the supreme sacrifice in aerial battle in the Southwest Pacific, August 7.
That was the way he would have wanted it and after many anguished days and nights, during which his loved ones waited to learn the details of his passing, there has come a sympathetic and moving letter from one of his flying mates. Youthlike, however, he neglected many details, but in his closing paragraph he does reveal the manner in which Brother gave his life. Simply, he said: —His death this morning was in the line of duty. His ship went down into the water near the boat he was strafing.—
In his last letter to his mother he thanked her for a pen which he probably never received. It was a boyish letter, couched in obviously cautious terms in order to spare her worry for his safety.
2-Sept.-43 Long Blackout Entire Success
Civilian Defense Officials were high in their praise today for the cooperation in making last night's blackout the most successful ever to be conducted. They stated that, despite the long period over which the blackout lasted, residents, as though by one accord, observed all rules and manifested perfect understanding of signals.
14-Sept.-43 War Rationing Guide for Week
(Note: The Raleigh District Office of Price Administration compiles this thumbnail ration guide from official sources weekly for The Daily News as a public service.)
Blue Stamps —R,— —S,— and —T— are good until September 20.
Blue Stamps —U,— —V,— and —W— are good until October 20.
—A— book coupons Number Six good for three gallons each and must last until November 22 in North Carolina.
(For meat products, canned fish, most edible oils and cheeses) Red Stamps —S,— —Y,— and —Z— good through October 31
Number Eighteen in War Ration Book One good for one pair until October 31.
Stamp Number Fourteen, good for five pounds, is good through October 31.
Stamp Number Fifteen and Sixteen in War Ration Book One now are valid through October 31. Housewives may apply at local board for supplementary sugar rations for home canning, if essential.
Loose stamps (except accompanying mail orders and the one-point red stamps used for change) are worthless.
24-Sept.-43 Twenty-Five Leave for Fort Bragg Today
Twenty-five Beaufort County men left by bus this morning for Fort Bragg where they will undergo physical examination prior to possible induction into the armed forces.
29-Sept.-43 Youngsters Sell $100,000 Bonds
The bond selling contest conducted by the Washington High School and the John Small School came to a close at eleven o'clock Tuesday morning and both schools made outstanding marks in the sale of bonds and stamps. The high school had set its goal at $50,000 in bonds and stamps and the total pledge during the drive totalled $52,537.50. The John Small School, vying closely for first place, had a total pledge of $41,221.05.
29-Sept.-43 $30,000 in Bonds Sold at Belhaven
When the show that went to Belhaven last night was finished, the Washington Caravan staged a bond sale that sold over $30,000 in bonds.
30-Sept.-43 Andy Noe Is War Prisoner
The Reverend and Mrs. A. C. D. Noe of Bath have recently been notified by the War Department that their son, Technical Sergeant Alexander B. Noe, is a prisoner of war of the German government.
2-Oct.-43 Blounts Creek Soldier Decorated in Pacific
The Navy and Marine Corps Medal has been awarded to Corporal John A. Cutler, United States Marine Corps, for preventing great property damage and probable loss of life in a Marine Corps ammunition area at Noumea, New Caledonia.
Corporal Cutler, son of Mr. and Mrs. John B. Cutler, of Route One, Blounts Creek, North Carolina was a member of a fire fighting detail which went to the scene after a fire had broken out in a bundle of ammunition. After he had pushed the burning ammunition away from a supply of shells he joined with other members of the detail in extinguishing serious grass fires.
5-Oct.-43 Observer Post Work Restricted
Telegrams were sent from the Norfolk Fighter Wing last night to all chief observers not only in Beaufort County, but throughout the entire Ground Observer system notifying them that twenty-four hour continuous observation and reporting of planes should cease immediately. However, the Army Air Force does not wish to disband the organization of observers. They request that these loyal workers stand ready for instant reactivation of the post.
6-Oct.-43 Apply Now for Gasoline Ration
Applications for renewal of Basic Mileage Ration A or D may be secured from authorized Tire Inspection Station, or from the War Price and Rationing Board. The present expiration of the —A— Book is November 8.
12-Oct.-43 Kit Bags for Overseas Men
The Beaufort County Chapter of the American Red Cross is cooperating with other chapters throughout the United States in making and filling kit bags to be given to men in the armed services who are embarking for service overseas. Each bag contains such necessary items as toothpaste, shaving necessities, shoe laces, polishing cloths, Bibles, small books, miniature games, and other items.
13-Oct.-43 Forty-Eight Men Report at Fort Bragg
Forty-eight Beaufort County young men left yesterday for Fort Bragg where they underwent physical examinations prior to possible induction into the armed forces.
26-Oct.-43 President Awards Posthumous Medal
The President of the United States has awarded the Silver Star
Medal, posthumously, to William Jay Jones, fireman first class, United States Navy, of Belhaven, it was announced today.
Jones was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Radford Jones, of Main Street, Belhaven. He entered the Navy on September 16, 1941.
1-Nov.-43 James O. Hassell Dies of Wounds
—The Secretary of War desires I tender his deep sympathy. . . .— Thus ran a fateful telegram from the Adjutant General Ulio to Mr. and Mrs. Ed S. Hassell, of this city, early this morning, informing them of the death of their son, James, who died of wounds received in Italy September 22.
Young Hassell, who would have observed his twenty-first birthday this month, was a veteran of the Battle of Sicily and apparently was among the van of American troops which landed on the Italian mainland. Beyond extending condolences and stating that a letter would follow, the telegram contained no details.
11-Nov.-43 Colored Citizens Give Generously War Fund Drive
A total of $1,889.11 was reported by Dr. Haywood Dowdy, Chairman of the War Fund drive among the Colored. This amount represents the combined efforts of the Colored people of the City of Washington and Beaufort County as a whole.
24-Nov.-43 War Prisoners
The first contingent of Italian prisoners of war ever to be employed in Washington, began work as common laborers Monday morning at the Moss Planing Mill and this morning a second group arrived to work at the Roanoke Lumber Company here.
The group of war prisoners, who are encamped at Windsor and range in ages from thirty-five to lads of seventeen, were captured in the North African and Sicilian campaigns and speak no English, their only means of communication being by sign language.
Accompanying the group, which is comprised of fifteen men to each group, for the first day's work, was an interpreter who explained their duties, hours of employment, and otherwise translated the wishes of their employers. Two guards are on constant duty with each contingent and the war prisoners are permitted ten hours leave daily, leaving the Windsor Camp at seven o'clock in the morning and returning in time to report to officers in charge that evening at six o'clock.
The men, it was said by local employers, are of a happy and a genial disposition.
1-Dec.-43 Letter from Sergeant Smith Compliments Red Cross Workers
Mrs. E. P. Rhodes, executive secretary of the Beaufort County Chapter of the American Red Cross has received a letter from Staff Sergeant J. B. Smith, who is stationed in England with the United States Army. In his letter Sergeant Smith pays high tribute to the work being done by Red Cross workers and their willingness with which they perform their duties during this time of international crisis.
2-Dec.-43 Sixty-Three in November Unit
A group of sixty-three Beaufort County men reported to Fort Bragg Monday morning for examination and possible induction into the armed forces.
7-Dec.-43 Group Leaves for Fort Bragg
Beaufort County's second group of fathers, which totalled fifty-two, left this morning for Fort Bragg for examination and possible induction into the armed services.
8-Dec.-43 Beaufort Youth Dies in Action
The announcement was made today that Alonzo Paul Cutler, of Blounts Creek, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Cutler, was killed in action in the Italian theater of the war on November 6.
9-Dec.-43 Recruiting for Office Workers to Begin Here
The War Department Army Service Forces, with the cooperation of the Fourth United States Civil Service Region, has launched a direct recruiting program to secure vitally needed stenographers, typists, and clerks. The salaries for these positions ran from $1,752 to $1,971 per year, including overtime.
10-Dec.-43 Test Drill Is Most Successful
The latest in a series of blackouts which encompassed the South Atlantic coast from Wilmington to Elizabeth City, held last night beginning at 9:30, found this city, as usual, cooperating to a hundred percent extent in seeing that Washington was cloaked in total darkness.
1-Feb.-44 Hoell Made Chairman for Red Cross Drive
Herbert Hoell, prominent local automobile dealer, well-known
throughout the county, will be general chairman of the annual Red Cross War Fund drive which will start in Beaufort County on March 1.
9-Feb.-44 Legion to Help Veterans to Get Muster Out Pay
Forms are being prepared by Beaufort County Post Number Fifteen, the American Legion, for use by veterans of —World War II discharged honorably since December 6, 1941, in making applications for mustering out pay.
12-Feb.-44 One Hundred Nine Men Depart for Induction Center
Beaufort County's ranks of young men, many of them fathers, were further reduced today when one hundred nine departed for Fort Bragg for physical examinations preparatory to induction into the armed forces.
17-Feb.-44 County Goes Over $805,000 Quota in Fourth War Loan Drive
—Over the top of Beaufort County's $805,000 Fourth Bond Quota, and then some,— announced Harry Gurganus, bond chairman, today when releasing facts concerning the drive concluded February 15.
8-Mar.-44 Store Survey Is Begun Today by Rationing Board
The —Emergency Price Check— campaign will go forward this week here in Beaufort County. The goal of this campaign is to reach all stores handling food items at retail in the county, and determine the extent of their compliance with price regulations.
21-Apr.-44 Sergeant Snell Gets High Army Honor
Staff Sergeant Williard E. Snell, twenty-five, of Washington, North Carolina, has received one of the highest honors given to members of the Army Ground Forces—the Expert Infantryman's Badge. The badge is probably the most difficult for a soldier to earn. It demands that he be a first class fighting man, in top physical condition and skilled in every phase of ground fighting and close combat.
21-Apr.-44 Van Dorp Says 1945 Victory, Tulip Year
Henry Van Dorp is neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but Henry Van Dorp of Terra Ceia is selling no tulip bulbs this year. As he harvests his crop of loveliness and puts in a more mundane crop of corn and beans where the tulips were blooming, he is carefully storing all his bulbs.
—Next year,— says the Hollander, —will be victory year and a tulip year.—
25-Apr.-44 MacKenzie Asks Support of Recruiting Campaign to Retain Company Three
An appeal to the citizens of the city and county to interest themselves in a recruiting campaign to prevent the removal of the Third Company of State Guard from Washington was made today by Mayor R. P. MacKenzie. The mayor stressed the fact that the State Guard Company is one of the most vital of local organizations, explaining that it was created solely for the purpose of home protection in the event of an emergency.
2-May-44 Washington to Know When D-Day Arrives
When D-Day comes all of Washington will know about it, even if it begins at three o'clock in the morning, Mayor R. P. MacKenzie announced today.
The city's chief executive announced that he has issued instructions to the Police Department to sound the city's sirens and fire whistle for ten minutes the second they get official word that the second front has been opened in Western Europe.
In this connection, The Daily News has made arrangements for the news to be flashed over its Associated Press teletype machines and is completing arrangements for publication of an extra edition carrying the preliminary details of the final blow to crush Hitler.
—I think that when the invasion comes, every citizen in Washington should know about it and we're going to do all that we possibly can to inform them,— Mayor MacKenzie said.
He said that he understood that all of the city's ministers are planning to have —open church— at their churches beginning immediately and continuing until after the invasion. Prayer services will be held daily.
9-May-44 Sirens Will Not Sound for D-Day
There will be no sounding of sirens and blowing of whistles in Washington on D-Day, it was decided today. It had been announced that Washington would be informed of the beginning of the invasion by this method but many complaints resulted in abandonment of the plans.
15-May-44 Six Hundred Twenty-One Applicants Seek Two Hundred Seventy-Nine Tires
Eligibility for Grade One tires is not a guarantee that such
tires are available, since a recent flood of applications by newly-eligible drivers far exceeds the Beaufort County ration board's quota of two hundred seventy-nine, C. Morgan Williams, Chairman of the Beaufort County War Price and Rationing Board said today.
19-May-44 Aurora Flier Awarded DFC
Captain John S. Litchfield of Aurora, Squadron Commander in the top scoring fighter group in the Mediterranean theater of operations, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
19-May-44 Eighteen Thousand Fifty-Five Pounds of Paper Taken
Reporting that eighteen thousand fifty-five pounds of paper had been collected during Thursday's waste paper collection, Chairman Bryan Grimes today expressed his appreciation to the Boy Scouts and other workers and to the general public for their cooperation.
19-May-44 Renewal Forms to Be Mailed Soon
Renewal application forms for fuel oil for the 1944-45 heating season will be mailed to consumers in the next few days, the Local War Price and Rationing Board announced today.
2-June-44 Willie Gray Wall Killed in Action
Willie Gray Wall, son of J. G. and Lossie Wall of Chocowinity was killed in action in Italy on May 12, his family has been notified by the War Department.
6-June-44 D-Day Arrival Finds Most of City Asleep
Arrival of D-Day found most of Washington asleep this morning but by seven o'clock the news had been spread around and all but a comparatively few late risers were either reading the extra edition of The Daily News or listening to their radio.
Official notification was given The Daily News and radio station WRRF around four a.m. and within a short time work on the special edition was begun and Uncle Nat Royster began broadcasting.
Through the cooperation of the Police Department, the Associated Press teletypes at The Daily News were switched on almost immediately after the telephoned announcement from Raleigh and were clicking out the history-making story.
The Daily News went to press at seven a.m. and within a few minutes carrier boys were on the streets in most sections selling their paper.
The city's churches opened during the morning and will remain open for special prayer services.
The story was a scoop for this newspaper over the morning papers which circulated in this community and the extra edition carried all of the reported developments from 3:32 a.m. to seven a.m.
8-June-44 Lieutenant Richard L. Mann Is Killed in Action
Mrs. Mary Thomas Cherry has received a telegram from the War Department that her son, Lieutenant Richard L. Mann, has been killed in action over Europe.
14-June-44 Fifty-One Accepted for Service in Navy
Fifty-one Beaufort County young men became members of Uncle Sam's Navy today as they departed for Raleigh for assignment to naval training stations.
21-June-44 Employers Get Ceiling Forms
Employers have been receiving applications for the establishment of Employment Ceilings for the past few days, and these are expected to be completed and returned prior to July 1, stated P. B. Pollock, Area Director of the War Manpower Commission for the Northeastern Area, today.
21-June-44 Pinetown Soldier Cited for Heroism
With the Fifth Army, Italy, June 21—A fifth Army combat engineer on the Anzio section of Fifth Army's front, Corporal James L. Hardison, Route 1, Pinetown, North Carolina, recently drove his bulldozer through German shellfire to extinguish a flaming British gasoline dump.
Sighting the flames shooting skyward in the gasoline dump, Hardison voluntarily drove across a shelled field to within a few feet of the fire. Slamming his huge bulldozer against the flames for thirty minutes, Hardison extinguished the fire.
He received a special citation from the Fifth Army British unit for heroism. He was credited with saving huge stores of gasoline supplies, and protecting the lives of nearby soldiers from the explosion.
Hardison has driven his bulldozer through four Mediterranean invasions, landing on D-Day in Africa, Sicily, Salerno and Anzio. He regularly drives his bulldozer along front line roads, clearing roadbeds and rebuilding knocked out bridges. On the Fifth Army
front his combat engineer regiment has fought as infantrymen, making combat patrols into German lines.
24-June-44 Hilton R. Chauncey Is Killed in Action
Mr. and Mrs. Rob R. Chauncey of 115 East Main Street were informed by telegram today that their son, Private Hilton R. Chauncey, has been killed in action in Italy.
24-June-44 Captain Litchfield Is Nazi Prisoner
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson Litchfield of Aurora, received a wire today from the office of the Adjutant General in the War Department that their son, Captain Thompson Litchfield, Jr., who was reported missing in action on May 20, is a prisoner of war in Germany.
24-June-44 Pick-Up Stations for Service Men
Those little shelters by the bridge at Main Street and by the Knotty Pine Inn are pick-up stations for service men. They offer the service men seeking rides shelter from the sun and rain and posters on the stations call the attention of the motorists as to their purpose. The stations, familiar to Western Carolina, are the first to be erected in this area and were sponsored by the Elks Club.
27-June-44 Use Irish Potatoes for Livestock Feed
Surplus Irish potatoes are being utilized here to help relieve the shortage of livestock feed, according to Hillman Moody, State Supervisor of the War Food Administration's Office of Distribution.
29-June-44 War Prisoner Captured Here
Rudolph Wahlich, twenty-seven, German war prisoner who has been working at the Moss Planing Mill, made an unsuccessful attempt to escape yesterday afternoon.
He was captured near the buoy yard at Bridge and Main streets after having swum from the mill where he entered the water.
Police reported that Wahlich had been gone for more than an hour before his absence was noticed by officers at the mill.
Army officers joined with city police, the sheriff's force and State Highway Patrol in searching the docks along the river.
At the police station following his capture Wahlich, who can speak some English, said, —I was just taking a swim.—
20-July-44 Thirty Selectees to Fort Bragg
Thirty selectees from Boards One and Two of Beaufort County
left this morning for Fort Bragg for their pre-induction physical examinations.
25-July-44 Twenty-Seven Are Sent for Induction
Twenty-seven Beaufort County young men left this morning for induction into the armed services. These men have already passed their physical examinations and are to be replacements in the various branches.
26-July-44 First Vessel Launched at Pamlico Shipyards
Pamlico Shipyard's first completed fishing trawler slid into the waters of the Pamlico River late Tuesday afternoon after being christened in an informal ceremony at the shipyard.
The new sixty-foot vessel was christened the Gale by Miss Jane Griffen, secretary to the Pamlico Shipyard, following an informal talk by Congressman Bonner of Washington.
Congressman Bonner, who was introduced to the workmen and a few visitors, praised the men for their splendid work and impressed on them the importance of their jobs—the value of fishing boats in the food battle of the war.
29-July-44 Worth E. Baker Gets Air Medal
Flight Officer Worth E. Baker has been awarded the Air Medal, in recognition of meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flights in the European theater of operations during the recent invasion. Baker is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Guy W. Baker, 414 East Second Street, Washington, North Carolina.
4-Aug.-44 Lieutenant E. T. Harris Killed in Action
Word was received this morning from the War Department of the death of Lieutenant Edgar T. Harris, Jr., twenty-four, of Washington, who had previously been reported missing in action in France. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Harris, Sr.
5-Aug.-44 Belhaven Soldier Killed in Action
Corporal Tch. Five Jack H. Noble, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Noble, of Belhaven, was killed in action July 10 on Saipan, according to a message received Thursday from the War Department.
7-Aug.-44 Navy Enlistments Here Increasing
An increase in the number of enlistments in the Navy from this recruiting area has been the result of the recent announcement that a temporary increased quota for seventeen-year-old young men
has been given the New Bern station, Harry Gatton, petty officer in charge of this district, said today.
9-Aug.-44 Aurora Soldier Killed in Action
Private Floyd B. Peede, twenty-five, of Aurora, was killed in action June 6 while participating in the invasion of France, according to a message received by his wife from the War Department. Private Peede is the son of Mr. and Mrs. O. J. Peede.
Absentee ballots to be voted in the November 7 general election are being mailed out from the office of the Beaufort County Board of Elections to the men and women in the armed service who are overseas and who made application for ballots in the May primary. After those overseas have been served, ballots will be mailed to those in this county.
11-Aug.-44 Forty-four Thousand Surgical Dressings Needed from Beaufort County
Washington and Beaufort County must produce forty-four thousand surgical dressings by the end of August, Mrs. Mary Rhodes, executive secretary of the American Red Cross, said this morning in an appeal for more aid in this work.
14-Aug.-44 Office of Price Administration to Survey Local Stores
During the week of August 14 through 19, the retail grocery stores in Beaufort County will be visited by Merchant's Aids through the local War Price and Rationing Board. These Merchant's Aids are composed of men and women who volunteer their services to help the retailers —keep prices down— here on the Home Front.
23-Aug.-44 Washington Boy Gets Soldier's Medal for Saving Crew Members
An Eighth Air Force Bomber Station, England—Staff Sergeant Eugene C. Watkins, nineteen, of Washington, North Carolina, has been awarded the Soldier's Medal for his heroic action when the B-24 Liberator bomber in which he was flying as ball turret gunner, crashed and caught fire at this Eighth Air Force Heavy bombardment base.
Sergeant Watkins, who also holds the Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster for —meritorious achievement— during bombing
attacks on Nazi military and industrial installations, completely disregarded his own safety and helped one crew member to escape from the waist window of the plane, which was partially blocked.
Once outside the plane, he turned to another crew member, whose clothing was on fire, threw him to the ground and rolled him over several times to extinguish the flames.
He then turned back to the blazing aircraft and, without the slightest hesitation, proceeded to the nose of the bomber where the navigator was trying frantically to free himself of his entangling parachute which had accidentally opened to trap him in the aircraft. After cutting the navigator free, Sergeant Watkins led him to a safe place away from the still blazing bomber.
The son of Mr. and Mrs. F. O. Watkins of 121 McNair Street, Washington, the Army Air Force gunner was a student at Washington High School before entering the armed forces in April, 1943.
24-Aug.-44 Sergeant Nunnelee Given Cluster
An Eighth Air Force Bomb Station, England—An Oak Leaf Cluster to his Air Medal has been awarded to Technical Sergeant James S. Nunnelee, twenty-three, son of Mrs. Ellen P. Nunnelee, West Main Street, Washington, North Carolina, for —meritorious achievement— while participating in several bombing attacks on German military and industrial targets. He is the radio operator and a gunner on an Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress in the heavy bombardment group.
26-Aug.-44 Local Soldiers, Members of Famous Thirtieth Division, Fight at Saint Lo
Washington soldiers, members of the Thirtieth Infantry Division——Old Hickory— of —World War I fame, shared in the glory of the capture of Saint Lo, hardest American clash with the Germans in the battle for France, according to press dispatches.
Men in the —Old Hickory——many of them sons and nephews of soldiers who fought in the same units in the last war and were the first to break through the Hindenburg line—met and knocked out the oncoming tanks with bazooka guns and never yielded a single one of their hard-won acres.
26-Aug.-44 Local Soldier and Buddy Demonstrate Versatility at Play Writing in Pacific
With the Fifth Air Force somewhere in the Southwest Pacific—If you like to sit around and speculate what will happen to the United States when the servicemen return, cross Master Sergeant
Goddard Light, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Master Sergeant John F. Butler, Washington, North Carolina, off your worry list. They have demonstrated enough versatility to fit themselves for any situation and for their efforts have recently been promoted.
Though their pre-service backgrounds are wide apart, they have been tentmates, collaborators and inseparable friends for more than two years with the Fifth Bomber Command in the Southwest Pacific.
Shortly after landing in Australia they set to work writing a play, —Army and Navy Daze,— which scored a big hit when presented by Yanks in Melbourne Town Hall in honor of Lady Dougans, wife of the King's representative to Victoria. Proceeds were given to charity.
New Guinea was the scene of their next triumph. Bombs have their own thrill, true, but a need was felt for a different sort of entertainment. Light and Butler filled the gap with —Hellzapapuan,— a show that the —Guinea Pigs— still remember as one of the best seen this side of San Francisco.
John Butler is the son of Mr. and Mrs. R. F. Butler of 514 East Main Street of Washington, North Carolina.
2-Sept.-44 Sergeant Russell Elks Killed in Action
Word was received Friday by W. F. Elks, of the Old Ford Section, of the death of his son, Sergeant Russell Elks, on August 10, in action. He had been with American Troops in France.
16-Sept.-44 German Equipment Put on Display
A scene of much interest in Washington is the display of German war equipment in the windows of the Cherry Furniture Company on West Main Street.
The articles were largely sent to Washington by Major Wiley C. Rodman, of this city, who is with the One Hundred Thirteenth Field Artillery. They were taken from dead Germans on the Normandy battle front.
In addition to the articles sent by Major Rodman, there are others, including a German naval flag, sent home by Lieutenant Rodney Latham, Jr.
The articles on display include a shelter tent, mess equipment, first aid kit, trench shovel, pack, gas mask, rifle, bayonet, shoulder insignias, cartridge belt and many other items.
25-Sept.-44 Wounds Fatal to Sergeant Morgan
Mrs. George F. Morgan received word from the War Department
Sunday stating that her husband, Sergeant George F. Morgan, died from wounds in France on August 4. Sergeant Morgan was the son of Mrs. Belle Morgan and the late George Morgan of this city.
26-Sept.-44 County Airman on Shortwave
Staff Sergeant Sam J. Williams, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. D. Williams, of Washington, Route 2, near Williamston, sent a message over the German shortwave radio recently, according to a number of messages his parents received from various shortwave listening posts.
Sergeant Williams, who was a tail gunner on a big bomber flying from a base in England, was shot down about two months ago. After being reported missing for several weeks the War Department informed the family that he was a prisoner of war in Germany.
According to the broadcast, the sergeant was well.
26-Sept.-44 Local Soldier Writes from Guam
Sergeant Gordon S. Lynch, son of Mr. and Mrs. M. B. Lynch, of Washington, writes of his experiences on Guam, in letters to his parents and his sister, Mrs. John Wynne, Jr.
Things were not so well to start but now that he has a cot to sleep on it seems to be all right, he writes. His letters in part are:
—There is very little to say about the invasion, the only thing I can say is if you saw the picture of the invasion you have seen everything that I could tell you about it. It was not quite as bad though when I came ashore.
—As for having a nice place to live, I am down on the beach, and the water puts me to sleep each night. When I first came ashore I had to sleep on the ground but I now have a cot to sleep on and it is very hard for me to get up mornings. I do not know what I would do if I was back home in my bed.
—You read something about sleeping in a foxhole. When I first landed we slept in a foxhole. There were three men to each hole and while one was on guard the other two slept. It was very nice until it rained, and it rained every day and night when we first arrived here in the rainy season. It is not so bad now because we only get a little rain every other day.
—You asked me if I went in with the Marines. I did not go in with them. I went in D-Day plus three. When I reached shore everything was quiet except a few snipers which they soon
found. If you saw the invasion in the show you know what I mean. In one of my mother's letters she asked me if I got hurt. I did not. With the will of God I have been through one invasion without even a scratch.
—When I first arrived we picked out a spot where we could put the rations and then the work began. I have worked hard back home but never like I did here. This went on for quite a few days while the infantry pushed their way inland. There was no sleep to be had while we were just on this side of a hill from the front lines. I was so busy with the rations I did not have time to think of Japs until I would hear their snipers fire but after a few days not even that bothered us.
—Some of the natives were very interesting to talk to and you will find quite a number are highly educated and are one hundred per cent American. They had been under the Japs for two and a half years but each one said we're only looking for the day the American soldiers would invade the shores of Guam.—
28-Sept.-44 Leland F. Brooks of Bath, Wounded
Technical Sergeant Five Leland F. Brooks, of Bath, was wounded in action in France September 7, according to a telegram received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. B. A. Brooks of Bath. He was sent overseas in April of this year and was with General Patton's armoured division. His outfit is known as —The Ghost Patrol.—
3-Oct.-44 Bath Soldier Dies of Wounds
Mr. and Mrs. B. A. Brooks of Bath, who received notice from the War Department Saturday, September 23, that their son, T-5 Leland F. Brooks, was seriously wounded in action in France September 7, received further notice from the government Saturday, September 30, that he died from the wounds September 11.
13-Oct.-44 Governor Urged to Revoke Order to State Guard
Citing the acute shortage and urgent need for labor in the harvesting of crops, crowded tobacco warehouses and other problems, Congressman Herbert C. Bonner yesterday urged Governor Melville G. Broughton to revoke his order directing members of the State Guard to report to Fort Bragg this week for a ten-day camp.
21-Oct.-44 War Prisoners to be Available
County Agent W. L. McGahey stated today that there will be in the near future a limited amount of Prisoners-of-War labor available for general farm work in Beaufort County.
30-Oct.-44 Private First Class Carl Kelly Gurganus Killed
Mr. and Mrs. Otway Gurganus of Route Two, Washington, have been notified by the War Department that their son, Private First Class Carl Kelly Gurganus, was killed in action on September 28 on the island of Palau.
2-Nov.-44 Route One Sailor Reported Missing
Mr. and Mrs. Dan Leggett, of Route One, Washington, received a message from the Navy Department Wednesday informing them that their son, Clarence J. Leggett, M. M. 1-C, is missing in action. The telegram came the day after the Leggetts had received a notice of commendation for the missing sailor.
3-Nov.-44 Sergeant Wiley Hawkins Reported Missing
Mr. and Mrs. H. T. Hawkins, of Route One, Washington, were notified Thursday that their son, Technical Sergeant Wiley R. Hawkins, twenty-one, has been missing in action over Italy since October 16.
7-Nov.-44 Red Cross Can Now Communicate in Philippines
A telegram released today by Mrs. E. P. Rhodes, the executive secretary of the Beaufort County Chapter of the American Red Cross carries an important announcement concerning Red Cross communications to the Philippines.
The telegram reads as follows:
—Red Cross now prepared to expedite communications to Philippines. One Red Cross message on Form 1616, will be accepted from any person in this country to any prisoner of war or United States civilian internee. We cannot guarantee delivery but messages will be handled by Army Postal Service.—
11-Nov.-44 Technical Sergeant James Nunnelee Awarded DFC for Part in Bombing Attack
The Distinguished Flying Cross has recently been awarded to Technical Sergeant James S. Nunnelee, Washington, North Carolina, for —extraordinary achievement . . . courage, coolness, and
skill— while participating in numerous bombing attacks on military and industrial targets in Germany and enemy installations in the path of the advancing Allied armies in Western Europe.
19-Dec.-44 Fourteen Leave Today for Armed Forces
Fourteen more Beaufort County men will not be able to enjoy Christmas at home this year. They are the men sent to Fort Bragg this morning by Local Board Number One for induction into the United States armed forces.
4-Jan.-45 General Mark Clark Writes to Mother of Local Soldier
—What one does speaks much louder than what one has to say,— is probably an overused quotation but those eastern Carolina folks who had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Mark Clark, wife of —our— illustrious general who has written history for himself and the Allies in the Mediterranean theater of war, termed her a charming and gracious lady because of the —THINGS— she did during her short stay here in the Original Washington.
One of these —THINGS— had to do with her turning away from a long line of John Small auditorium hearers whom she received on the stage there after making a splendid talk when visiting here to open the United War Fund Drive. She turned aside to speak with a troubled local mother, Mrs. Taylor Harris, whose son was with General Clark's Army and from whom she had not heard in months.
Mrs. Clark, excusing herself from the receiving line, stepped to the edge of the platform and after being introduced to Mrs. Harris asked that she come up on the stage.
While talking with her, Mrs. Clark took down the name of Mrs. Harris— son, listing his address in detail. She told her interviewer she always tried to follow up all requests and that she would write General Clark immediately asking that he find out how the young man was getting along and where he was.
Very soon after this interview Mrs. Harris heard from her son, believe it or not. Mrs. Harris received a letter from General Clark himself.
We think she should frame the communication and keep it as a recommendation of the humaneness of the great General.
Mrs. Clark visited here in the early fall, being entertained at a luncheon given in the auditorium of the Parish House of Saint Peter's Episcopal Church, the event being sponsored by members of the Business and Professional Woman's Club. She
made a splendid talk there following the luncheon and spoke again in the afternoon at the John Small School.
Folks from all over eastern North Carolina who came to this city to hear Mrs. Clark and Dr. Yang, noted Chinese educator, who accompanied her to this city, and spoke at the school following the address she made, realized how understanding and humane the General must be, for his wife unconsciously announced the calibre of the man when relating certain stories having to do with his —living— outside military circles.
General Clark's letter to Mrs. Harris, a V-Mail communication, follows:
December 5, 1944
Dear Mrs. Harris:
Mrs. Clark has written to me, saying that she had met you and that you were greatly worried concerning your son, Private James T. Harris. His unit is no longer with the Fifth Army. However, I have inquired of him. His commanding officer informs me that he is in excellent health and is doing a fine job with his battery. I am informed that he has been writing home regularly, so you no doubt have heard from him before now. I am happy that it is possible to give you such a good report concerning him.
With best wishes, I am
MARK W. CLARK
Lieutenant General, United States Army Commanding
5-Jan.-45 Airman Tells of War Travels
Leaving his country eighteen months ago, landing in Casablanca in North Africa, then going on to Italy, landing at Salerno three days after the invasion started, dive-bombing and strafing the enemy there, then on to China for further bombing and strafing, then back to his home for a short leave covers in a few words a year and a half of adventure on the part of Major Sam Tim Nicholson Carter, son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Clay Carter of this city, as he sketched it last night at the meeting of the Rotary Club.
9-Jan.-45 Lieutenant James M. Fowle Carries on Fighting Career of Family
—Like father, like son,— said many local residents when they heard that First Lieutenant James M. Fowle had been recommended to receive the Distinguished Service Cross, the Nation's
second award for valor, for many here know of the illustrious record possessed by Captain Daniel Gould Fowle, United States Army retired, father of the young flier.
Lieutenant Fowle shot down four Messerschmit 109's in one day over Germany and France on December 23, having previously brought down his first enemy plane, a Messerschmit 109 in November and a Focke Wulf 190 in December.
Lieutenant Fowle's parents, Captain and Mrs. Daniel Fowle reside here at the home of Miss Betty Harvey at the corner of Van Norden and West Main streets.
12-Jan.-45 Forty-Five Selectees to Fort Bragg
Forty-five Beaufort County young men left this morning for pre-induction examinations at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
15-Jan.-45 Captain Edwards Prisoner of Germans
Two postcards with but little writing received here Sunday morning brought great joy to Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Edwards, North Market Street residents, who recognized the handwriting of their boy, Captain Ernest L. Edwards, reported missing in action in Germany during early December by the War Department. The cards, written December 6 and 13, announced that Captain Edwards was getting along okay as a German prisoner of war.
16-Jan.-45 Bonner Named on Un-American Activities Group
Congressman Herbert C. Bonner, of Washington, representative from the First Congressional District of North Carolina, has been named a member of the committee to investigate un-American activities, it was announced in the Nation's capital recently.
30-Jan.-45 Farmers Are Urged to Eliminate Unnecessary Travel by Trucks
The Office of Defense Transportation has made a very careful survey regarding the critical shortage of trucks and gasoline, Henry H. Hill, chairman of the Beaufort County Agricultural Adjustment Administration Committee, announced today. This survey revealed that —unless all unnecessary travel by farm trucks is eliminated there will not be sufficient gasoline to take care of the critical needs,— he declared.
1-Feb.-45 Aurora Sailor Presumed Dead
Mr. and Mrs. Grady Stevens of Aurora, received a message this week from the Navy Department informing them that their
son, William Grady Stevens, Jr., Aviation Metalsmith First Class, who previously had been reported missing in action, was presumed dead after a —careful review of all the facts available.—
2-Feb.-45 Private First Class Lester Hill Wounded in Saar
While fighting in the Saar River sector in Germany with his Infantry company, Private First Class Lester C. Hill, twenty-one, of Blounts Creek, North Carolina, suffered a fractured knee when he was hit by an enemy rifle bullet. He is now recovering at the United States Army General Hospital in England. He holds the Purple Heart for a shrapnel wound he received earlier while fighting in Germany early in December. Private Hill is the son of Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Hill of near Blounts Creek.
6-Feb.-45 Jones to Head Colored Drive
Fred A. Jones, Jr., Negro County Agent, has been named to head the 1945 Red Cross War Fund Drive among the colored residents of Beaufort County.
7-Feb.-45 New Warehouse Will Not Start
Washington will not have a new tobacco warehouse this year recording to Wayland Sermons, owner of Sermons Warehouse, who had planned to build. Mr. Sermons said this morning that he had made an investigation of the possibilities, consulting state officials of the War Production Board, and was told that it would be impossible to obtain materials for a new building at the present.
7-Feb.-45 Colonel Hudnell Started Successful Plane Repair Service in Philippines
An article of interest to many local residents appeared recently in New York papers and told of the outstanding work being done by a unit of the Air Service command of the Far Eastern Air Force, of which Colonel William T. Hudnell, is the commanding officer. Colonel Hudnell is the son of Mrs. W. R. Hudnell and the late Mr. Hudnell, of Washington, North Carolina.
The article is as follows:
—Advance Headquarters Leyte, Philippine Islands, January 12—A successful experiment in making major repairs to battle-damaged planes immediately behind the front lines, frequently under bombing attacks, has been carried out for the past six weeks by the Air Service Command of the Far Eastern Air Forces. It is a system which has already proved its value in the Leyte campaign and will undoubtedly be duplicated farther north, where
Lieutenant General George C. Kenney's bombers and fighters are slashing Japanese positions on Luzon.
—The experiment has enabled many ships to return to active service which under the previous arrangement would not have been available for a considerable length of time and it has sent back into the air several which otherwise would have been completely junked.
—The successful test of the plan was made here by the Fifty-Ninth Service Group, under the command of Colonel William T. Hudnell, former Southwest Pacific fighter pilot. It is now headed by Colonel Troup Miller, former deputy chief of staff to General Kenney.
—Known as the Fourth Echelon of the Service Command, the group formerly operated at Townsville, in northern Australia, effecting heavy repairs to planes damaged in the New Guinea fighting and flown to the rear for overhaul.
—The process was an expensive one as far as planes were concerned for many ships holed by antiaircraft or crippled in dogfights were unable to make the long flight back to Australia and had to be discarded. With the opening of the Leyte campaign when American troops smashed into the Philippines it was proposed by Colonel Hudnell to move his outfit behind the active front.
—Minor repairs had previously been made by advanced echelons of the Special Service Command but what Colonel Hudnell proposed was to set up a machine shop capable of making the most extensive repairs, rebuilding planes right on the Talcoban air strip, the first air base on Leyte secured by the First Cavalry Division the day after the landing on October 20. The proposal was accepted by General Kenney and on November 27 five weeks after the initial beachhead had been won, the Service Group was in operation in the Philippines.
—Appropriately enough, it was planes which enabled Colonel Hudnell to establish his advanced repair base, for the only available transportation was a fleet of C-47's of the Troop Carrier Wing of the Fifth Air Force. Seven of these were packed with five thousand pounds each of necessary equipment and flown up from Australia. In their capacious fuselages were packed five hundred pounds of sheet-metal stock, a tractor, a compressor, five hundred pounds of tools, a one hundred ten-volt generator and two thousand two hundred pounds of food for the mechanics.
The fifty men making up the outfit also carried twenty pounds of tools each.
—The machine shop was set up on the edge of the Talcoban air strip, which at that time was constantly subject to Japanese sneak air raids, and the men immediately went to work with a bulldozer, fishing out of the shallow waters of Leyte Gulf, fringing the strip with the wrecks of American planes which had crashed or were shot down in the earlier days of the campaign.
—On some of these planes they built new wing tips, on others they replaced entire fuselages torn to ribbons by antiaircraft fire. On some occasions they tore planes to pieces, building new ships by combining parts of old ones. One of their biggest jobs was the complete building of a Liberator bomber which had come back from a long-range attack on Japanese positions with one of the crew dead, the others wounded and the plane just able to stay in the air. They made a new plane out of it in seven days. A number of P-61 night fighters flying over the Philippines today and C-47's bringing in troops and supplies are there only because they were completely rebuilt by mechanics of the Fifty-Ninth Service Group.—
13-Feb.-45 Sixty-Nine Sent for Pre-Induction Physical Exams
Sixty-nine men were sent from Beaufort County draft boards this morning for pre-induction physical examinations at Fort Bragg.
14-Feb.-45 Thomas A. Bateman Prisoner of War
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Bateman, of Route 2, Washington, received a telegram from the War Department advising them that their son, Staff Sergeant Thomas A. Bateman, who was reported missing on a bombing mission over Hungary on December 11, was a prisoner of war of the German government. Sergeant Bateman was a radio operator and waist gunner on a B-24 bomber.
19-Feb.-45 Lieutenant Colonel Crawford, Who Was Killed in Philippines, Recently Decorated
The name of Lieutenant Colonel William R. Crawford, United States Army, General Staff (Infantry) Parachutist, has been added to the illustrious roll of the nation's heroes. Colonel Crawford died in action in the battle for Manila on February 8. On Friday, February 16, the War Department notified his wife, the former Mary Shelburne of this city. Mrs. Crawford has been making her home here with her parents during the war.
Colonel Crawford was decorated recently for meritorious action during the siege for Leyte.
23-Feb.-45 Bath Sailor Missing Since Sinking of USS Houston Writes Brother
A Bath sailor, who has been reported missing since the sinking of the USS Houston in the Java Sea on February 27, 1942, is a prisoner of the Japanese, his brother learned today when he received a card from him.
The sailor is W. E. Tetterton, fireman first class, of the United States Navy. His brother, C. C. Tetterton, of Bath, received a Japanese Imperial Army official card and he reported his health good and that he was —working for pay.—
28-Feb.-45 Sergeant W. E. Snell Killed in Action
Mrs. Carl M. Snell, of 118 West Third Street, was notified Monday by the War Department that her son, Staff Sergeant Williard E. Snell, was killed in action on Luzon Island in the Philippines on February 4.
8-Mar-45 Canned Milk Supply to Be Sent to County
Congressman Herbert C. Bonner informed The Daily News this morning that he has been advised by War Food Administration officials that additional supplies of canned milk are being rushed to Beaufort County to relieve the acute shortage now prevailing.
10-Mar.-45 Daily News Found in Trench in Italy
On a battlefield somewhere in Italy a copy of the Washington Daily News was picked up by Private First Class Henry L. Hodges who saw the paper being blown about by the wind. He wrote Mrs. Hodges asking that she find out which one of the Cratch boys was serving in Italy as the first part of the address had been torn away.
—I can see that the last name is Cratch,— Private Hodges stated in the letter written to Mrs. Hodges, the former Miss Katherine Harding.
A check of the mailing list in the News office this morning showed that the paper had been mailed to Private Murray D. Cratch, who was with the One Hundred Thirty-Fifth Infantry.
12-Mar.-45 Mother of Route Three Airman Receives Award for Son Who Is War Prisoner
Mrs. Alice Williams, Route Three, Washington, received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three Oak
Leaf clusters for her son, Staff Sergeant Sam J. Williams, a prisoner of war.
13-Mar.-45 Gasoline Violators in County Punished
Violators of gasoline regulations were recently summoned before the Gasoline Hearing Panel of the Local War Price and Rationing Board and two were punished for alleged violations.
14-Mar.-45 Thirty-Eight Leave for Physical Exams
Thirty-eight men were sent to Fort Bragg this morning by Local Board Number One for pre-induction physical examinations.
14-Mar.-45 Canned Milk Supply Is Reported Critical
Beaufort and several adjoining counties are still having a serious shortage of canned milk, according to Dr. D. E. Ford, Beaufort-Hyde County health officer. In spite of the fact that relief had been promised, there is only a meager supply of milk in the city today and there is no definite information as to when the supplies will be replenished. A check of the stores of Washington, Dr. Ford said, revealed that only a few cases were available and that this is being sold only to families with small babies.
15-Mar.-45 Fourteen Leave Today for Induction
Fourteen men left today for Fort Bragg for induction into the armed forces. The group was sent by Local Board Number Two.
16-Mar.-45 Fifty-Three Today for Physical Exams
Fifty-three inductees were sent to Fort Bragg this morning by Local Board Number Two for pre-induction physical examinations.
17-Mar.-45 —Check Your Tire Week— Starts Monday
Local tire dealers and filling stations of Washington and Beaufort County are joining with the nation next week in observation of —Check Your Tire Week— in an effort to help motorists get the greatest possible wear out of their present tires for never has car tire conservation been more necessary than now.
20-Mar.-45 Captain Clark Rodman Escapes After Being Taken Prisoner
Captain Clark Rodman, of Washington, who was reported missing in action Saturday by the War Department, is safe, according to letters received this morning by his mother, Mrs. Olzie C. Rodman and his brother, Archie.
Captain Rodman wrote that he was in an Army hospital in Paris, resting after escaping from Germans who had taken him a prisoner.
The young medical officer wrote his brother of his experiences but only related a portion of it because of censorship rules.
The letters were received at the local post office at seven o'clock this morning and created a mild riot because Archie, who is a rural carrier, happened to be on hand and it was only a few minutes before his mother got the good news.
21-Mar.-45 Former Local Man Dies of Wounds
Mrs. A. Jason Civils, who for the past few months has been residing in Portsmouth, Virginia, received word yesterday from the War Department advising her of the death of her husband, Corporal A. Jason Civils, who died of wounds in Germany March 6. Corporal Civils was a native of Washington, and the son of Mr. A. N. Civils, East Seventh Street, and a member of the First Christian Church.
23-Mar.-45 Belhaven Soldier Killed in Luzon
Mrs. James C. Russ, of Belhaven, received a message from the War Department Tuesday, March 20, informing her that her husband, Sergeant James C. Russ, was killed in action on Luzon, in the Philippines, on February 13. Mrs. Russ and baby are now living at Belhaven.
26-Mar.-45 Selectees Leave to Begin Service
Twenty-six men left here this morning for Fort Bragg for induction into the armed services.
28-Mar.-45 Chocowinity Soldier Prisoner of Germans
Staff Sergeant David E. Chandler, who was reported missing in action on January 9 in France, is a prisoner of war of the German government, according to a message received by his wife who resides at Chocowinity.
31-Mar.-45 E. C. Spain, Jr. Seriously Wounded
Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Spain, of Chocowinity, were notified by the War Department Friday that their son, E. C. Spain, Jr., was seriously wounded in action in France on March 15.
31-Mar.-45 Clarence Jarvis Killed in Action
Private Clarence Alexander Jarvis, of Aurora, was killed in action overseas on February 28, the War Department notified his
wife on March 15. Private Jarvis is the son of Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Jarvis, of Aurora.
5-Apr.-45 Red Cross War Fund Goal Passed
Beaufort County has passed its goal in the 1945 Red Cross War Fund drive, it was announced today by C. O. H. Jordan, drive chairman. The county has collected $24,731.37, passing the $22,000 quota set for the community, by a wide margin.
6-Apr.-45 One Hundred Four Selectees Sent for Exams
Two of the largest contingents of selectees in recent months were sent to Fort Bragg Thursday and this morning for pre-induction examinations. Board Two sent seventy-two Thursday while thirty-two were sent from Board One this morning.
9-Apr.-45 Johnnie Guthrie Killed in Action
Mrs. Minnie E. Guthrie, of Ransomville, has received word from the Navy Department that her son, Johnnie D. Guthrie, Gunner's Mate First Class, has been killed in action. Guthrie was about twenty-five years old and had been serving aboard a destroyer in the Pacific. He was a brother of J. D. Guthrie of Washington.
21-Apr.-45 Ashley G. Toler Killed in Action
Word was received Friday of the death of Ashley Glenn Toler, Chief Gunner's Mate, United States Navy, by his parents at Chocowinity. Toler had been on duty in the Pacific for more than two years.
21-Apr.-45 State Guard Seeks Recruits
This city stands in danger of losing its State Guard Company unless the present drive for recruits is successful. Officers of the company pointed out that a large number of the men had been called into the armed service and others have dropped out, depleting the ranks to a dangerous low. An urgent plea has been made for men not subject to the draft.
24-Apr.-45 Fred M. Mallison Seriously Wounded
Staff Sergeant Fred M. Mallison, son of Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Mallison, of Washington, was seriously wounded in action on April 8, according to a telegram received Monday from the War Department by his parents.
1-May-45 Joseph Woolard Dies in Germany
Technical Sergeant Joseph E. Woolard, son of Mr. and Mrs.
Claude E. Woolard, of Route One, Washington, was killed in action in Germany on April 14, his parents were informed last week by the War Department.
1-May-45 Private First Class Ermon Garris Wounded in Italy
Mrs. Ermon Garris received a message from the War Department yesterday stating that her husband, Private First Class Ermon Garris, had been wounded in action in Italy on April 16. At the time he was wounded he was with the Thirty-fourth (Red Bull) Infantry Division.
2-May-45 James Brinson Killed in Italy
Private First Class James W. Brinson, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Brinson of Water Street, was killed in action in Italy on April 17, his parents were notified this morning by the War Department. He had been sent to Italy with General Mark Clark's Fifth Army.
2-May-45 Private First Class R. T. Warren of Washington, received a telegram from the War Department this morning informing her that her son, Private First Class R. T. Warren, Jr., had been seriously wounded in action in Germany for the third time.
3-May-45 Recreation Items to Be Collected
A Tar Heel Camp and Hospital Council appeal for checkers and checkerboards, cribbage boards, dominoes, poker cards, pinochle cards, books, etc. has been received here by local council chairman, Mrs. Graham Ramsey, and Beaufort County residents are asked to contribute them without delay. The items are urgently needed for servicemen and will have to be collected right away. Members of the Business and Professional Woman's Club are sponsoring the project.
4-May-45 Four Thousand Three Hundred Ninety-One Pounds Clothing Donated
Washington's residents responded generously to the recent clothing collection, donating four thousand three hundred ninety-one pounds of used garments to be used for needy persons of warstricken countries.
5-May-45 Lieutenant Selby Jones Flying Over Tokyo
Lieutenant Selby Jones, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Selby Jones, of Washington, was a member of the first P-51 Mustang fighter outfit to fly over Tokyo, according to a letter received by his parents.
The fighter pilot said the Japs —always run— when they see the Mustangs coming.
7-May-45 Ninety-Five Selectees to Fort Bragg
Another large contingent of Beaufort County boys left Saturday, May 5, for Fort Bragg for their pre-induction examinations. Board One sent twenty-five and Board Two sent seventy.
A Victory In Europe edition of The Daily News was printed symbolizing the Nazi surrender and the end of the war in Europe.
9-May-45 Memorial Service at Rotary Meeting
A special memorial service for Beaufort County men who gave their lives in this war will be held at the regular weekly meeting of the Washington Rotary Club Thursday evening.
11-May-45 Henry C. Harding Is Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross
Flight Officer Henry C. Harding, recently awarded the Air Medal, has in addition, within the past few weeks, been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Both decorations reward outstanding ability and performance as a transport pilot on the hazardous India-China run over the difficult and dangerous Himalaya Mountains.
16-May-45 Killed in Action
Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Windley, of Pinetown, Route One, received a message recently that their son, Private James G. Windley, twenty-seven, was killed in action in Germany on March 24, 1945. He was serving with General Patton's Third Army when killed.
19-May-45 Sergeant Alexander Noe Freed in Germany
The Reverend and Mrs. A. C. D. Noe of Bath, have been notified through the Red Cross, that their son Technical Sergeant Alexander B. (Andy) Noe, who has been a prisoner of war in Germany for the past twenty-one months, has been liberated and is on his way home.
22-May-45 Corporal Sidney Godley Receives Discharge
Beaufort County's first soldier to be reported discharged under the Army's point system is Corporal Sidney Godley, son of Mrs. Annie Godley, of West Third Street. Corporal Godley received
his honorable discharge, having a total of one hundred twenty points.
24-May-45 Local Draft Board Gets Instructions
B. C. Homes, chairman of the Beaufort County Draft Board Two, said this morning that Board Two had received instructions from state headquarters on the new ruling for inductees over thirty years of age.
Mr. Homes said that inductees for Board Two over thirty years of age who have been notified to appear for induction would be notified not to appear until further notice unless they are —farm-jumpers or leaving a necessary industry without permission of their draft boards.—
24-May-45 Slaughter Must Register Now
All farmers wishing to slaughter cattle, calves, sheep, lamb, or swine must register with the local War Price and Rationing Board before June 1, it was announced today.
28-May-45 Three Washington Airmen Among Group Cited by General Doolittle
Among the one hundred eighty-five thousand men and women of the Eighth Air Force congratulated after V-E Day by Lieutenant General James H. Doolittle, their commander, were Major John D. Gorham, Jr., 603 West Main Street; Captain Harvey C. Elliott, 113 West Tenth Street; and Sergeant Samuel R. Fowle, III, 718 West Main Street, Washington, North Carolina.
30-May-45 Private First Class Merril Alligood Hurt on Okinawa
Mrs. Merril J. Alligood has been notified that her husband, Private First Class Merril Alligood, United States Marine Corps, was wounded in action on Okinawa on May 19. Private First Class Alligood said, in a letter to his wife that he was getting along nicely. Private Alligood is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Alligood, Route Two.
2-June-45 Wounded Need Cookies, Flowers
Beaufort County rural women and girls have been called upon to render an outstanding service to the wounded boys at Camp Lejeune on Father's Day, June 17, announces Miss Violet Alexander, Home Demonstration Agent. The Tar Heel Council of the American Red Cross has asked that three thousand six hundred cookies and enough flowers for every ward in the hospital be
donated. The cookies and flowers will be collected at the Curb Market on Saturday, June 16.
2-June-45 Sergeant Neil Ross Being Returned to United States
Mrs. Zelota T. Ross received the following telegram a few days ago in regard to her son, Neil, who was a prisoner of war in Germany for eighteen months:
The Chief of Staff of the Army directs me to inform you that your son, Staff Sergeant Ralph N. Ross is being returned to the United States within the near future. He will be given an opportunity to communicate with you upon arrival.
5-June-45 Captain Litchfield Returns Home
Captain Tom Litchfield, Jr., of the American Air Force, arrived at his home in Aurora last Friday night after being liberated from a German prison camp by the victorious Allied forces.
13-June-45 Private First Class George Gardner Wounded on Okinawa
Private First Class George Gardner, of the United States Marine Corps, son of Mrs. Coley Tankard, was wounded on Okinawa recently, according to a letter received by his mother Tuesday. Private Gardner, who is with the Sixth Marines, stated he was not seriously wounded and was in a hospital.
13-June-45 Federal Stamps for Autos on Sale
Federal stamps for automobiles are now on sale at the Washington post office, Postmaster Sam Fowle announced today. The stamps must be purchased and put on automobiles by July 1.
14-June-45 Automobile Sellers Must Be Registered
All sellers in the Motor Vehicle Business who wish to sell used automobiles, used commercial motor vehicles, and used motorcycles at warranty prices must call at the local War Price and Rationing Board for an application from 694-2163 titled —Application for Dealer's Authorization,— within the next week.
18-June-45 Labor Situation on Farms Serious
County Agent W. L. McGahey announced today that the farm labor situation in Beaufort County will probably be serious again this year, and called on the general public to help out with the farm work when the need arises. Farm people themselves are working harder and longer hours than ever before; however, in
spite of this, town and city people again will be needed if war crop demands are met. The needs of the armed forces have made it necessary that farmers maintain their high rate of production, which last year established a record. Farmers of the county have planned their crops with the expectance that emergency help will be available, especially at harvest time. Food is important in the prosecution of the war and the production and harvesting of crops is an essential war job. If you can spare the time don't forget your services are needed and will be paid for on the farm this year.
21-June-45 People Won't Starve but Must Change Eating Habits, Local Merchants Say
—People aren't going to starve, but they must change some of their eating habits,— said one grocery store dealer when interviewed today on the local food situation. The food shortage is becoming acute, but observing the ceiling price and doing away with the black market will make what food there is go farther, it was pointed out.
Some food dealers say that they are selling more than they did before the war and others say they notice a considerable drop, especially in foods that are plentiful. For example, one merchant said that he sold more cigarettes since the shortage began than ever before. He is allotted approximately twenty-five cartons a week, and sells them almost as soon as he gets them.
The shortage of soap and soap powder is being felt by everyone. A local merchant said that he sold, in normal times, between one hundred and one hundred fifty cases of soap powder and his allotment for this week was only one package. Canned milk allotments have dropped about ninety-five per cent.
Some merchants report that butter allotments have increased over the amount that they received six months ago, although seventy-five per cent less butter is available now. Canned fruits and vegetables are practically off the market, some dealers say, especially okra and tomatoes.
One of the most acute shortages of all is that of meats. In some communities housewives are forced to stand in line for hours, finally to obtain only a small amount of meat. So far the attempts of the Office of Price Administration have not made any more meat available to the public. Local markets are getting about one-sixth as much meat as they did in peace time.
Some blame the shortages of food on the lack of transportation in this section of the state, and others say that it is —just the
war in general.— Each citizen is urged to buy only what he needs and to conserve as much food as possible.
22-June-45 Magazines Will Be Sent to Hospitals
According to Mrs. James A. Hackney, Sr., chairman of the county unit of the Tar Heel Camp and Hospital Council, magazines are to be sent each month to the wounded and sick soldiers undergoing treatment in the nearby government hospitals.
28-June-45 Twenty-Two Men Sent to Fort Bragg
Twenty-two Beaufort County men were sent to Fort Bragg this morning for induction into the armed forces.
29-June-45 Pantego Marine Dies on Okinawa
Private John J. Bishop, twenty, of the United States Marine Corps, died of wounds suffered in action on Okinawa Island, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest H. Bishop, of Pantego, were notified recently by the Navy Department. Private Bishop was with the Sixth Marine Division.
29-June-45 Winifred Hudson Killed in Action
Private First Class Winifred Hudson, twenty, son of Mrs. E. P. Hudson and the late Mr. Hudson of Old Ford, was killed in action on Okinawa May 25, according to a telegram the family received last Sunday. Private Hudson took part in the invasion of Okinawa as a member of an infantry unit.
30-June-45 Beaufort War Bond Sales Quarter Million Over Quota
Beaufort County's war bond sales in the Seventh War Loan Drive went past the overall quota. The total sales to date are well over one million dollars, the county's quota being $793,000.
30-June-45 Captain Heber Winfield, Jr. Holds Silver Star and Purple Heart Medals
Captain Heber G. Winfield, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Heber G. Winfield of Washington, North Carolina, has been awarded the Silver Star medal for gallantry in action against the enemy. He also has the Purple Heart medal for wounds received on April 9 near Hanover, Germany. Captain Winfield commands Company —A— of the Seven Hundred Seventy-first Tank Destroyer Battalion and has directed its operations in the United States, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany.
2-July-45 Thirty-Four Leave Today for Fort Bragg
Thirty-four Beaufort County men left this morning for Fort Bragg for pre-induction physical examination.
3-July-45 Three Hundred Forty-Eight Veterans Get Assistance
Assistance to veterans was emphasized in a report of its monthly activities issued by the Beaufort County Chapter of the American Red Cross today.
—Though our Home Service Department has so far been called upon to help three hundred forty-eight veterans,— Mrs. Lonnie Squires, chairman, and Mrs. W. B. Harding, co-chairman said, —we expect an increasing number each month. A staff of trained workers are ready to help local men and women when they are discharged.—
5-July-45 Swimming Trunks Needed at USO
A swimming party is being planned for Sunday afternoon at the USO. A number of swimming trunks are needed for the visiting servicemen and an appeal is being sent out for them.
6-July-45 Sugar Shortage Acute in Local Stores and Wholesale Houses
In this community recently the sugar shortage has become acute. Two weeks ago local merchants were fairly well supplied but now there is little sugar or none to be had.
One grocery store received a shipment of one thousand two hundred pounds of sugar this morning and every pound was sold within four hours.
Some merchants say that they had no sugar for two weeks and before that time their allotment was the same as in normal times. In some cases, grocers say their allotment was reduced before the acute shortage began.
A local druggist reports that he has sold approximately fifty thousand saccharin tablets this week and his supply is completely exhausted. Saccharin is being widely used by housewives as a sugar substitute, although its taste is somewhat dissimilar to that of sugar.
Sugar allotments for canning have been made to applicants but several report that their fruit is going to waste because of the lack of sugar.
Not only are retail merchants short of sugar, but also wholesalers. One firm reports that they ordered two carloads from a
refinery about two months ago and have not been able to get any yet.
The cause of this acute sugar shortage has not been determined. It can be traced back to the refinery, and perhaps even farther. Local folks are hoping that it will be relieved soon.
19-July-45 Meat Shortage Here Is Getting Serious
A serious situation is in the making in Beaufort County unless some relief is given in the meat shortage.
Butcher shops are getting only a small portion of the people's needs, being able to get a necessary supply.
Most seriously affected are the laboring classes who need meat in their daily diets to keep them going. Many have been reported unable to get any meat at all in four or five weeks.
The situation became so serious at the mill of the Eureka Lumber Company this week that an appeal was made to the War Production Board in Raleigh. Frank W. Cox, president of the company, said that the War Production Board had promised relief for the mill workers but first an estimate had to be made as to how much would be needed and a dealer selected to handle the goods for the workers.
Restaurants are also faring hard with some serving only one meal daily and the others having limited menus with fish as the main meat dish.
It was pointed out that fish are rather plentiful but that the scarcity of lard is causing many to refrain from buying it as they do not have sufficient fats in which to fry it.
26-July-45 Forty-Seven Men Leave for Induction
Forty-seven men from Beaufort County left this morning for Fort Bragg to be inducted into the Armed Services. They have already passed their physical examinations and will be assigned to various branches of the service.
30-July-45 Mayhew Woolard Dies in Germany
Corporal Mayhew Woolard, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Claude Woolard, of Route One, Washington, died on July 3 in Germany, his parents were notified last week by the War Department. Corporal Woolard served with the Seventh Army in England, France, Belgium, and Germany.
13-Aug.-45 Aurora Soldier Gets Bronze Star
For helping to knock out two Japanese positions and killing
fifteen enemy soldiers during the battle for Baguio, summer capital of the Philippines, in northern Luzon, Private First Class Archie D. White of Aurora has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
14-Aug.-45 Two War Veterans on Police Force
Two ex-servicemen of —World War II are now members of the Washington police force. They are Phillip Paul and J. R. Tripp, who were both honorably discharged from the Army on the point system.
14-Aug.-45 Firemen Celebrate Early in Morning
Washington's volunteer fire department did things up right this morning when word came through that the Japanese had surrendered.
The fire bell started ringing between two and three o'clock and then the firemen started making rounds in the fire trucks. After making no less than a half-dozen trips through sections of the city, with the bells and sirens going at full blast, they finally tired out but by that time they had the entire city awakened and informed of the surrender news.
At noon today they had apparently realized they had celebrated enough as none could be found in the usual haunts in the city.
15-Aug.-45 Washington Residents Join Victory Celebration
A tide of joy swept over —Little Washington— Tuesday night and within a few minutes after President Truman made the momentous announcement that the war with Japan was over the celebration started.
In just a short time a victory parade started in the city with the fire department leading the way. Not only did they get out their three trucks but they hauled out the old —smoker— and fired it up. They finally worked up enough steam for the whistle but it was making only a weak —peep— as the parade ended.
Many thought the firemen had worked up the town early Tuesday morning when the first announcement was made by the Tokyo radio that the Japanese were quitting. They paraded through the streets with their sirens screaming and bells ringing. Their enthusiastic mood continued; however, when the official announcement came through they were right in front of the parade Tuesday night.
Hundreds of persons, many of whom had been hoarding up their —precious— gasoline coupons, joined in the victory parade.
There was a constant roar of automobile horns, shouts, and joyful screams as they paraded through the city.
One well-known city resident, who gathered his —grand-babies— up in his auto, supplied them with paper horns, was later seen tooting on a dilapidated bugle on one of the street corners.
Another was dragging a dishpan behind his car as a means of adding to the din of the occasion.
Police reported everything quiet with only a minor skirmish or two that amounted to nothing.
Several hundred others quit the parade early and went to the circus showing on Fifth Street Extension.
Washington returned to normal today with the streets practically empty as businesses were closed. Stores will reopen tomorrow (Thursday) and will observe another holiday when President Truman officially proclaims V-J Day.
Mayor R. P. MacKenzie issued a proclamation today setting aside the two holidays and urged that places that sell beer and wine also close in observance of the two holidays.
15-Aug.-45 Mayor's Proclamation
The war with the Japanese has been brought to a close with the announcement Tuesday night by President Harry S. Truman that the enemy has accepted our surrender demands. No date has been set for V-J Day but the President announced that this will come later.
Our businesses are at a standstill today and we are beginning our celebration. As we celebrate let us renew our efforts toward making this a better world in which to live and pray for a just and lasting peace.
Now, therefore, I, R. P. MacKenzie, Mayor of Washington, do proclaim today, Wednesday, August 15, 1945, and the day the President officially proclaims as V-J Day as holidays and urge that all places of business be closed on these days in honor of our gallant fighting men and women.
R. P. MACKENZIE, Mayor of Washington
25-Aug.-45 USO Dance Tonight for Members Only
Tonight's USO Victory Dance at the USO Social Hall will be a closed affair with only the members and servicemen and discharged veterans admitted. Sunday's Open House at the USO Center will be open to the public.
7-Sept.-45 War Fund Will Have to Continue
Belief was expressed here by James M. Silverthorne, chairman of the Beaufort County Community War Chest and War Fund, that the work of the National War Fund will have to continue for at least one year after V-J Day.
12-Sept.-45 Bath Sailor Freed from Japs
William Ellodious Tetterton, Fireman Second Class, United States Navy, of Bath, North Carolina, is reported as among the survivors of the cruiser Houston liberated from the Japanese in Thailand. Tetterton is reported safe in Calcutta, India.
19-Sept.-45 Red Cross Home Services Ready
With the end of the war the armed forces are ready for the greatest demobilization in history. The American Red Cross stands by to assist Beaufort County's returning veterans in securing the government benefits to which they are entitled, and to help them with the many problems they face in their return to civilian life, W. D. Welch, Jr., chairman of the Beaufort County Chapter, said today.
27-Sept.-45 Missing Airman Presumed Dead
Sergeant John H. Moore, son of Mr. and Mrs. T. L. Moore, of Bath who has been missing in action since April 9, 1944, has been presumed dead by the War Department.
The above is not a complete chronology of the home front during —World War II, but is an effort to present a representative view of the humdrum life of rationing, self-denial, intense effort and patriotism experienced by all those of town and county. This was broken by news, both sad and happy, from the men at the front. Many heroes— names are missing. If all had been included an entire volume would have been needed. We are sorry that any name had to be ommitted.
The information was compiled from only the front page of the local newspaper, Washington Daily News, for the period from December 7, 1941 to September 1945 when peace returned.
General William Thomas Hudnell, son of W. T. Hudnell, Sr. and Minnie Latham Hudnell, was born in Aurora on November 28, 1908.
Since his retirement after thirty five years in the United States Army Air Force, General Hudnell lives today in San Antonio, Texas. His parents moved to Washington when Bill was a small boy and he grew up here, graduating at Washington High School in 1926. After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he enlisted in the Air Corps, receiving his first commission and his pilot wings in 1933.
In 1937 he married Virginia Keusink. By this time he had already been selected for a Regular Army Air Corps commission and had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
From July 1943 until the end of —World War I he remained in the operational theatre of the southwest Pacific where he was Chief of Staff for materiel for the Fifth Air Force. His activities in the Pacific won for Colonel Hudnell the Legion of Merit Medal for —exceptionally meritorious conduct.— He was also awarded the Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal for combat missions and during the same period awarded an Air Medal for destruction of enemy aircraft over Cebu Island, Philippine Islands. Here his plane was destroyed in aerial combat.
In 1946 the Colonel was appointed Wing Commander of the 56th Fighter Wing at Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan. In 1952 he was promoted to Brigadier General after a period of service as Assistance for Logistics in the Office of Chief of Staff for Materiel at United States Air Force headquarters. In 1954 he became Vice Commander of the Far East Logister Force at Tachikawa Air Force Base in Japan and was appointed Commander of the Air Materiel Force in the Pacific Area the following year. He was promoted to Major General in 1957 and moved to Hawaii where he remained at Wheeler Air Force Base until June 1958. He served at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio until 1960 when he assumed Command of the San Antonio Air Materiel Area at Kelly Air Force Base in Texas.
In recognition of his services in improving their logistics structures, General Hudnell has been awarded decorations by Korea, China, Japan and Thailand.PART 3
Rear Admiral Harry H. McIlhenny, son of William Whiting McIlhenny and his wife, Lena Bell, is another son of whom Washington is proud.
Harry McIlhenny was born in Washington and after finishing Washington High School received an appointment to Annapolis. Here he graduated with the Class of 1927.
When the Japanese made their surprise attack on December 7, 1941, Lieutenant McIlhenny, United States Navy, was at Pearl Harbor. For his distinguished career during —World War II he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, and the Legion of Merit.
A letter from the Secretary of the Navy says that the Navy Cross was awarded for —extraordinary heroism and intrepid devotion to duty as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Reid in action with an enemy submarine off Nazan Bay in August 1942.—
The Silver Star was awarded for —conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity— in protecting his convoy when a group of destroyers, which he was commanding, was attacked by ten enemy torpedo bombers. This was in New Guinea in 1943.
In the Okinawa area Captain McIlhenny was Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Charles S. Sperry. In 1945 he was awarded the Legion of Merit —for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States.—
After the war Captain McIlhenny was sent to Brazil as Senior Naval Adviser to the Brazilian Naval War College. For his services there Brazil conferred upon him the Order of Naval Merit.
This distinguished son of Washington was Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. Worcester until he retired as a Rear Admiral in 1957.PART 4
THE WASHINGTON SHIPYARD IN WORLD WAR II
It was almost a miracle how the United States went into action after Pearl Harbor and prepared itself in record time for all out war. There was a sense of urgency in the air. Every village and town was involved in some way in producing men or material, often both, for the war effort.
It had been a number of years since Washington had been in the business of shipbuilding. But now a Washington Shipyard sprang into action in the area of North Shores. It employed six hundred seventy-five men in ten hour shifts for seven days a week and sent an average of one barge a week down the ways.
There were eight ways at the Washington Shipyard and one
launching way. On Wednesday, May 19, 1943, the Gahagen Construction Company, which held a two million dollar contract with the Maritime Commission, sent the first of thirty barges down the way into the Pamlico River.
These barges were designed to carry crude oil along the inland waterways thus releasing regular oil tankers for shipping fuel to troops overseas. They carried the oil along inland waterways to avoid the submarine hazards off the coast of North Carolina.
Built from Douglas fir shipped from the West Coast because local timber was found to have too high a moisture content, these barges were one hundred seventy feet long and thirty-four feet wide with a ten and a half foot draft. Each had a capacity of six thousand barrels of oil, equal to approximately twenty-five tank cars.
YSOBEL DUPREE LITCHFIELD
Early colonists of North Carolina settled on sounds, rivers and creeks to enable them to import necessities and export the results of their labors. But due to the shifting sands of the outer banks, passages were treacherous and constantly changing and commerce to and from the settlements was limited to local trade and small ships from longer established New England traders. Thus, the colony grew slowly as there were no ports for heavy shipping, and, without ports, there were few towns and little commerce.
In a letter to the Lords Proprietors written Nov. 23, 1720, Mr. Joseph Boone and Mr. John Barnwell, agents for South Carolina, discussed North Carolina: —. . . Tho— there is a great quantity of good Land there and the Country very healthy, yet its situation renders it for ever uncapable of being a place of any consequence, for there lies a vast sound of 60 miles over between it and ye sea which break into the same thro— a chain of sand banks with barrs so shifting and shallow that sloops of five feet water runs great risqs, and it sometimes happens that they have 8 or 10 feet water the next storm may alter it so, and perhaps in the very chanell rise an island of sand as is really dreadful and surprising. This renders the place uncapable of a Trade to Great Britain and what is carried on is by small sloops from New England who brings them cloathing and Iron wear and exports Pork and Corn of late they made about 6000 barrells of pitch and tarre which the New England sloops carry first to New England and then to Great Britain. . . .1[note]
As early as 1699, Charles II issued —orders and instructions— to the Lords Proprietors relating to trade and navigation with the Carolinas. John Dunstan Esq. was appointed by the Lords Proprietors —to be naval officer of that part of our Province of Carolina that lyes North and East of Cape Fear—2 on June 3, 1723, and he is assumed to be the first customs officer of this area. His duties were to record ships entering and leaving his jurisdiction and to collect fees, record country of vessel, check lading and record information concerning seamen aboard.
A letter from Sir Richard Everard, Edenton, dated May 3, 1728, to the Lords of Trade and Plantations in England, complained of laws enacted by the crown that were —detrimental and destructive to the trade of this Province.—3 The regulations on pitch and tar, the main exports of the colony, were such that there was no trade to depend on except beef and pork —driven alive to Virginia and the Virginians brought in neither molasses, sugar, nor rum, the Chief Support of this Province.—4
—Chief productions of the Province during Gov. Dobbs— administration (1754-1764) were naval stores of all kinds, lumber of all kinds, pork, beef, hides, deerskins and furs, bees and myrtle wax, rice, Indian corn, cotton and indigo. The cultivation of tobacco increased so much that in 1756 warehouses were established for its inspection before being exported from the Province by sea.—5 One of these warehouses was located at Bath Town in Beaufort County.
Gov. Dobbs wrote the Board of Trade on Feb. 8, 1755 asking that —Acts of Navigation or other restraining acts be repealed with proper restrictions so as to enlarge the Trade of the Colonies—6 with England. He suggested that there be a Revenue Officer stationed at —Oracock Inlet to examine all ships and take a Manifest of their Cargoes upon both that came over that Bar, for the Sound within is so large with many numerous Navigable Creeks on each side in Albemarle Sound, Pamticoe and Neuse Rivers that they may discharge great parts of their Cargoes Spirits Wine etc. and all prohibited goods before they come to the discharging Ports and by landing them they Swear only to the remainder of their Cargoe.—7 (This was one of the uses for small boats called —lighters— which assisted the larger vessels by carrying a part of the cargo over the shoals.) Also, in 1755, a bill was passed in the Colony granting his Majesty a duty upon tonnage of ships and other vessels coming into the Province. In 1758 Gov. Dobbs was ordered to —lay an Embargo upon the[note][note][note][note][note][note]
shipping of this Province . . . until further orders.—8 This order was a result of England's troubles with France.
By 1763 only two hundred ninety-six ships (mostly small), tonnage eleven thousand, eight hundred sixty-two pounds, and about fifteen hundred seafaring men, were recorded for approximately a 10-year period. The proportion of the several ports were as follows:
Not above fifty of these vessels were owned in the Province and the tonnage above is estimated to be about one-third short of real burden of the vessels, being taken from registers in which it was usual not to insert above two-thirds true tonnage.9
With limited commerce and development of ports, shipbuilding had not yet become an important addition to the economy of the Province. Gov. Tryon reported to the Board of Trade on Jan. 30, 1767: —The shipbuilding is not considerable, the largest built vessel not exceeding two hundred tons burden.—10
Ocracoke Inlet was closer to Bath County but since there was no city or town in Bath County or on the Pamlico River where shipping could concentrate and business be conveniently transacted the Albemarle area continued to dominate any commercial trade. The town of Bath was finally established in 1704 on Old Town Creek, now Bath Creek, off the Pamlico River, which developed into a commercial center.
Prior to 1716, the coast was divided into two districts for the collection of customs, the district of Currituck and that of Roanoke. Later, the increase in population to the south and decrease in water at Currituck and Roanoke Inlets made the establishment of other Ports of Entry a necessity. By order of the Lords Proprietors, —Bath Town in the County of Bath— was made a Port of Entry on August 1, 1716, —being the most proper place within the said Province for ships to take in Masts, Pitch, Tar Turpentine and other Naval Stores for the use of His Majesties Fleet,— and where may be purchased —such merchandizes and Comodities, as are of the Growth, Production and Manufactory of His Majestie's Kingdom of Great Britain . . . also considering what great Tracts of Land[note][note][note]
lye contiguous to the said Bath Town which may afford great quantities of Naval Stores.—11
—Port Bath, which during the proprietary period had comprehended both Neuse and Pamlico Rivers, after about 1730 included only the latter. Its officials were in the town of Bath. Though of some consequence during the early part of the 18th century when it included the Neuse River, it had so declined by 1750 that it was of small importance. It was often urged, especially by Governors Burrington and Dobbs that a port of entry be established at Ocracoke (because all shipping to or from Albemarle or Pamlico sound passed there), and that ports of New Bern, Bath and Edenton be abolished.—12
An act to facilitate the navigation and regulating pilotage for several ports of the state including Port Bath in 1783: —Whereas the commerce of this state has been greatly injured by the imposition, extortion, insufficiency and negligence of pilots and for want of staking out the channels . . . Nathan Keais, Thomas Alderson, Richard Blackledge, John Bonner and John Gray Blount— were appointed Commissioners for Port Bath (Col. C. Wingate Reed in Beaufort County also named Honorable Robert Palmer, Esq., Thomas Respess, Wyriot Ormond and Peter Blinn, Esqrs. as Commissioners later.) . . . —to contract with proper persons to examine situation of the swash and keep channels leading from Occacock bar to Washington, sufficiently staked out.—13 This act also prescribed taxes to be collected at Port Bath: 50-100 tons, 20 shillings; above 100 tons, 30 shillings. The act also regulated examination, certification and pay of pilots, methods and pay for those collecting taxes, expense of setting up beacons and staking channels and penalty for pulling down, and, —no master or persons belonging to any vessels trading to this State shall cast or throw overboard into any channel or rivers within this State, any stones or other ballast, oysters or oyster shells.— William Brown was named as Naval Officer for Port Bath in 1777 and in 1784 Nathan Keais was named as Collector for Port Bath.
On November 30, 1771, James Bonner first presented the —Petition of Sundry of the Inhabitants of the Counties of Beaufort and Pitt, for altering the Dividing Lines between said Counties, and praying a Town may be Erected at the head of Pamlico, on the plantation of Major James Bonner and William Boyd, a Minor.—14 It wasn't until Apr. 29, 1782 that a bill was finally passed erecting a town at the —Forks of the Tar River— on the lands[note][note][note][note]
of Col. James Bonner. Early references to —Washington— as a port were in the Journal of the Council of Safety, Sept. 27, 1776: —the brig George Washington now lying at Washington . . . proceed with all possible speed to Ocracoke Bar—; in July 25, 1781, in a letter from James Coor of New Bern to Gov. Burke: —Mr. John Jones of this town, merchant, is gone to Washington on Tar River where some prizes are lately arrived. . . .—15 Again, in 1784, in an act to set pilot fees —Washington— is mentioned. Also, that same year, an act to —Establish in the Townes of Edenton, Washington, New Bern and Wilmington, Courts for speedy decisions of Mercantile Transactions with Foreigners and Transcient Persons and Maritime Affairs—16 was passed. In 1788 a Jonathan Loomis Esq. was appointed Judge for Marine Court in Town of Washington.
Due to location on the Pamlico and —Forks of the Tar River,— advantageous navigation and maritime laws and regulations, and availability of naval stores and food products to export, Washington developed and grew as a center of trade. In 1790 Congress declared Washington a Port of Entry and a Customs House was established about the end of the —War of 1812. Thomas Harvey Blount, son of John Gray Blount, was a Collector of Port of Washington in 1819-1920.
According to Miss Lida T. Rodman, during the Revolution —vessels brought supplies for the American Army up the Pamlico River to Washington, from whence they were transported to Suffolk via Edenton and on to the troops. This caused Lord Germaine to complain to the British Board of Trade that the contemptible port of Ocracoke should be closed. To safeguard this important point, the Caswell, under Capt. Willis Williams, was dispatched by the state authorities and the port remained open.—17 And, during the Revolution, —Hazards of Pamlico Sound became a blessing for fast sailing, light draft ships which could slip through English men-of-war to trade with New England and the West Indies. A schooner, owned by Capt. William Shaw, ventured to the Windward Islands during this period.—18
As the population moved inland and small settlements grew up the Tar and Pungo rivers and along South Creek, Durham's Creek, Blount's Creek and others, farm produce and other products were freighted down river and creek on flatboats consigned to commission merchants in Washington, to be shipped to other states and abroad on sea-going vessels; drygoods and other products were carried back. Thomas and John Gray Blount established[note][note][note][note]
warehouses on Shell Castle Island, off Ocracoke. Their heavy draft vessels (see Appendix 1) discharged cargo from Europe and other ports here and loaded naval stores and food products for export. The office of Collector at the Port of Ocracoke was held at various times by Mr. Sylvester Brown, Col. Joshua Tayloe, Mr. Thomas Harvey Blount and Mr. Jasper Blount.19
Shipbuilding became one of Beaufort County's most important industries. Thomas Harding of Bath Town was the first shipbuilder of record in the county, also William Powell of Bath. Henry Tuley and Benjamin Russell of Pungo Sound and John Winfield of Hyde County were also early shipbuilders for Beaufort County shipowners.
The first shipyard in Washington, located on Water Street at the end of Bonner Street, was owned by William Farrow and later, by his son, Joseph Farrow. John Myers— shipyard was located on Water Street at the foot of Harvey Street. Abner P. Neal also built ships as did Hull Anderson, a free Negro, who in 1830 bought land on what is now the West Main Street site of the home of Judge William B. Rodman, Jr. On December 4, 1794, Jonathan and Daniel Marsh commissioned John Winfield of Hyde County to build a Brig and on Dec. 8, 1815, Josiah C. Fowle contracted with Jonathan Havens to build a vessel. William L. Lavender was referred to as —master builder— in ship papers. The Steamer, Wilson was built by the firm of Havens Wiswall and Havens in 1855. Abner P. Neal, Benjamin Hanks and R. L. Myers and Son built ships as did A. W. Styron at the old Farrow shipyard on Water Street. There were certainly others but no record has been made available of their activities.
Ship owners and commission merchants were instrumental in the continued growth of Beaufort County. Trade on the east coast of the United States, the West Indies, Barbados, and other Atlantic ports gave the citizens a ready market for their products. Many of the ship owners were also commission merchants but records are conflicting. John Gray Blount and Thomas Blount, John Wallace, Jonathan and Daniel G. Marsh, Josiah and Samuel R. Fowle, John Myers and R. L. Myers, John Tyler, Jonathan Havens, George H. Brown, Eli Hoyt, Benjamin Hanks, Mr. Monroe, Mr. Windley, W. B. Morton, George Darden, A. W. Styron, Lawrence Clark, Benjamin F. Havens, Joseph Potts, William Shaw, D. R. Brooks, William Farrow, Mr. Tannahill, Mr. Saunders, Lewis LeRoy, Charles Moules, William H. Willard, George A. Phillips, Fenner Rhodes, Henry Ellison, Hadrius Van Noorden, Henry Ross,[note]
Richard Grist, Welcome Hoell and George Nicholson were among those owning vessels; many were also commission merchants.
Jonathan and Daniel Gould Marsh of Rhode Island were among the early merchants and ship owners of Bath and Washington. The first Marsh deed in Beaufort County records was dated January 18, 1793 (Deed Book 6, Page 528) and referred to —Jonathan Marsh, Hyde County, Mariner.— In 1797 Jonathan and Daniel G. Marsh bought lot number 26, located at the corner of Carteret and Water streets, in Bath —bounded on south by large house where said Jonathan Marsh now lives . . . said lot has warehouse upon it, Turpentine distillery of said Marsh's and the old wharf.— This property is located across Water Street from the location of the —Marsh Wharf— on Hoyle's 1807 Map of Bath. Jonathan Marsh married Ann Bonner and purchased what is now known as the Palmer-Marsh House. He lived and died in Bath. Jonathan and Daniel Marsh are thought to have built the Telfair house in Washington in the late 1790's. In September, 1795, they purchased the west half of lot number 55, Bonner's Old Part, from John Gray Blount. Samuel R. Fowle married Martha, and after her death, Anna, daughters of Daniel G. Marsh, (a brother, David W. Marsh, is mentioned little in records and never married) thus uniting two prominent shipping families. A complete listing of Marsh ships is not now available. (See Appendix 2)
Josiah Fowle and later, his brothers, Samuel R. Fowle and James L. Fowle, operated their shipping firm on Castle Island below the bridge in Washington and later erected a building which stands today. For over 100 years this firm contributed to the business, culture and social life of the county, owning many ships (See Appendix 3) with trade to Boston, New York, West Indies, South America and other countries.
John Myers, and sons, T. H. B. Myers and Joseph D. Myers, began in 1825, operated extensively to northern points and the West Indies, and later, had lucrative river trade to Greenville and Tarboro. Prior to the —Civil War, the Myers Commission House and Boat Line also operated a marine railway and built several steamboats, tugs, schooners and barges. In 1872 the firm leased and sold to the Old Dominion Steamship Co. (See Appendix 4)
Many vessels, when returning home, had to load stones and dirt for ballast when their cargo was not felt to be heavy enough for smooth sailing. Many of the old homes and old business
houses, many walls, and most of the old basements in Beaufort County are constructed of this stone. And, the dirt from northern ports and foreign countries was used to fill in the wharves and docks.
The Register of Deeds office, Beaufort County Courthouse contains —Instruments of Protest— to officials in Bath concerning storms and piracy at sea. October 30, 1749, a protest was made by William Downs, Master, Philip Galaway, Carpenter, and George May, Mariner, of the schooner Dolphin sailing from Boston to Bath and then to London. The complaint stated that —storms, winds and seas— caused the ship to be driven on the shoals of Ocracoke Bar and, finally, on shore on Ocracoke Island, and were responsible for all damages to the ship. (Deed Book 3, Page 24)
Another, dated July 6, 1748, is made in Bath by Samuel Wakely, Mate, Jonathan Hodgkins and David Tory, Mariners, belonging to the sloop Sarah. These men stated that May 24, 1748, while at anchor in Lyn Haven Bay, the sloop was taken by a Spanish Privateer Schooner. The protest gives details of the capture and their rescue by —Ezekiah Farrow, Richard Barber, George Scarborough, Jacob Farrow, Francis Lawson, William Scarborough, James W. (obliterated), Joshua Wall and Francis Pub, inhabitants of North Carolina.— (Deed Book 3, Page 25)
Also, January 10, 1749, Joseph Wadley, Master, and Samuel Holyoak, Mariner, of the Brigantine Two Friends, protested. They stated that November 24, 1749, they sailed from Boston, —met with a very hard gale of wind and shipped very much water,— and —wind, weather and seas— caused damage to their cargo. (Deed Book 3, Pages 25 and 26)
Among the old, established Beaufort County shipping firms, losses were numerous, heavy in both life and money. Capt. Thomas Smith wrecked his ship on the rocks off Bermuda in December, 1796. Four married men of Washington were on board and were lost. Josiah C. Fowle, age 31, and bride, Mary Carr, age 22, of Tarboro, were returning from St. Thomas, W. I., aboard the schooner Henrietta, Capt. Blair, from their wedding trip about the 25th of September, 1822 and were never heard of again. The C. A. Johnson commanded by Capt. Jack Harris and owned by Samuel R. Fowle, was wrecked at Hatteras while making a return trip from New York. Capt. George Darden and his son, James, were lost off Hatteras when their ship went down with all aboard in August, 1839. The Brig Edward Tillet was lost
when it hit rocks leaving a South American port. A complete file of the Friends, also a Fowle ship, which was stranded on the beach one mile south of Chickamacamico Banks, 26 miles north of Hatteras Light on June 15, 1855, is in the manuscript collection at Brown Library, Washington. The Governor Morehead, a Myers ship, was taken to Tarboro and burned rather than have it fall into Union hands during the —Civil War. The Cotton Plant, also belonging to the Myers firm, was taken by the Union Forces, put back in service after the war and finally burned at Tarboro about 1880. The Annie, owned by the Old Dominion Steamship Co., was sunk in the Tar River in 1895. The schooner, Mary Jane, owned by Benjamin F. Havens, was wrecked about 1843.
Steamboat traffic brought with it an increase in river traffic since perishable goods could be shipped more rapidly and thus prevent spoilage. On May 26, 1836, the following appeared in The Star, Raleigh: —A steamboat, from Washington, with freight and passengers, arrived at Tarboro on the 13th instant. It was the first appearance of a steamboat there, and she was received with salutes of cannon, and every other demonstration of joy.—20
After the —Civil War, due to losses incurred, many shipping firms closed. According to Mr. T. H. B. Myers in 1884, —Prior to 1860 exports were mainly of naval stores, corn and cut lumber and after the war cotton and rice took the place of corn and cut lumber and shingles took the place of naval stores.— Trade soon flourished again and Beaufort County prospered.
In 1872 the Myers firm leased and sold to the Old Dominion Steamship Co. (See Appendix 5) who operated steamboats between Washington, Norfolk, Va. and New York, and between Washington and Ocracoke. Mr. T. H. B. Myers continued the agency after the death of his brothers and, at his death, his son, T. Harvey Myers, took over as agent. The Old Dominion Steamship Company bought the property on Main Street in Washington where the old Pamlico Chemical Co. stands.
The Clyde Steamship Company of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Norfolk, operated and had its wharves behind Harris Hardware, now part of Stewart Parkway in Washington. (See Appendix 5) Capt. George H. Brown was for many years agent for this line.
In 1891 the Norfolk and Southern Railroad took over steam propeller vessels of the Albemarle and Pantego Railroad, owned previously by John L. Roper Lumber Company. Belhaven became a major port as water traffic declined out of Elizabeth City. In the early 1900's Norfolk and Southern Railroad became the[note]
leading water carrier on sounds and rivers of eastern North Carolina. Old Dominion Steamship Company sold several of its steamers to Norfolk and Southern in 1905 and they were used on former Old Dominion Line runs until Norfolk and Southern replaced water routes to most of these points.
With the coming of hard surface roads and automobiles, and railroads into the area, water commerce became unprofitable and finally ceased as impractical. An era had come to an end but many old-timers can look out on the Pamlico, Tar and Pungo, and remember, and those younger can imagine, the sails fluttering in the breeze, the puffs of smoke from the steamers and the churning foam of the stern and side-wheelers, and recall the glory of the shipping days of Beaufort County. And, many can think with pride of their salty sea captain ancestors!Appendix 1
Owned by John Gray and Thomas Blount (some in partnership with John Wallace and others). Located Shell Castle Island near Ocracoke.
Brigantine TULEY—built at Slades Creek, taken in 1799 by French privateers. Capt. John Smith and Capt. William Gorham, Masters.
Brig YOUNG—bought in 1782, 70 tons.
Brigantine RICHARD—Capt. John Denisen, Master.
Brigantine RUSSELL—Built by Benjamin Russell on Pungo Sound. Taken in 1797 by French privateers and condemned at island of Guadaloupe.
GREAMPAS—taken in 1799 by French privateers.
Brigantine ANN—Cox Coart, Master
BEAVER—used for lightering. Capt. William Gorham, Capt. Valentine Wade, Capt. John Pinkham, Masters.
Brig POLLY—John Smith, Supercargo
Schooner REGULATOR—Capt. J. W. G. Prescott, Capt. Ryan, Masters.
THE TARBORO PACKET—Capt. Nathan Keais, Capt. Knox, Masters.
Brig JOHN—Capt. John Cooper, Capt. William McDaniel, Masters.
SALLY—Capt. William McDaniel, Capt. Hammond, Masters.
Brigantine BELL—Capt. John Smith, Master.
Schooner FELICITY—Anthony Davis, Master and Purser.
Sloop ANN—Capt. Andrew Arthur, Master
Schooner POLLY—Lost at sea with Capt. Brown, Master; Capt. Freeman, Capt. Brown, Masters.
Ship CAROLINE—owned with Henry Montfort of Warren Co. Capt. Montfort Stokes, Master.
Other Blount Captain: James Webster.Appendix 2
Owned by Jonathan and Daniel Gould Marsh.
Schooner MATILDA—Owned by Jonathan and Daniel G. Marsh and Fenner Rhodes. Peletiah Wescott, Master. Sailed for Liverpool England, Oct. 7, 1801. Benj. Atkinson of Penny Hill requested one-half space in ship to send to Antigua with turpentine, Nov. 29, 1801.
Brig DORCAS—Built by John Winfield, Hyde Co. Traded to Liverpool, England in 1796, Capt. Brattell, Master. Sept., 1797, Nathaniel Mitchell, Master. Bill, Oct. 10, 1797, signed “John lace, Shell Castle,” charges for supplies, “Literage Beaver load over swash, swash pilotage, 7 hands heaving Brig off shoal.”
LUCY—Capt. Erek Barton, Master—Sailed to St. Vincents, 1799.
Other Marsh Captains—Capt. Gilbert Chase, Capt. Midgett.Appendix 3
Josiah C. Fowle started the firm on Castle Island. Samuel R. Fowle in firm by June 14, 1819.
OCEAN WAVE—Sold by R. L. Myers to Fowle, May 26, 1857. Captured by Union Forces as entered Hatteras Inlet from West Indies shortly after Civil War declared.
Schooner CORA — 104 tons. Built at Farrow shipyard and launched Sept. 28, 1880. Traded to West Indies. Sold.
1886—Capt. David Gaskill, Master. Crew: B. Gaskill, age 30; Ephraim Williams, age 21; Franklin W. O'Neal, age 26; John Gaskill, age 21; John W. O'Neal, age 23.
April 20, 1894—William C. Thomas, Master. Crew: Henry Wahab, age 23, mate; Robert B. B. Shaw, age 17, cook;
Robert Hamery, age 25, seaman; Robert Tolson, age 21, seaman; Henry Patrick, age 21, seaman.
Nov. 15, 1894—W. C. Thomas, Master. Crew: W. D. Gaskill, age 25, mate; B. D. Gaskill, age 23, cook; Wm. H. Williams, age 21, seaman; Roland Tolson, age 22, seaman; Robert A. Rue, age 31, seaman.
March 2, 1895—W. C. Thomas, Master. Crew: W. D. Gaskill, age 24, mate; Wm. T. Rue, age 38, seaman; J. E. Moran, age 24, seaman; N. Guidley, age 20, seaman.
March 12, 1896—W. C. Thomas, Master. Crew: W. D. Gaskill, age 26; T. L. Williams, age 30; J. L. Gaskill, age 20; Geo. W. O'Neal, age 26; H. J. Williams, age 18.
Dec. 5, 1896—W. C. Thomas, Master. Crew: Franklin W. O'Neal, age 35, mate; Ephraim Williams, age 32, cook; Wm. M. Gaskill, age 25, seaman; Jordan Williams, age 18, seaman.
March 18, 1897—W. C. Thomas, Master. Crew: J. L. Gaskill, age 21; H. J. Williams, age 19; James H. Garrish, age 26; Amasa Fulcher, age 21; Uriah Garrish, age 22.
Oct. 20, 1897—W. C. Thomas, Master. Crew: J. L. Gaskill, age 21; D. G. Williams, age 22; Amasa Fulcher, age 25; Uriah Garrish, age 22; James H. Garrish, age 20.
Feb. 5, 1898—W. C. Thomas, Master. Crew: J. L. Gaskill, age 22, mate; B. G. O'Neal, age 19, cook; W. W. Garrish, age 23, seaman; Richard O'Neal, age 21, seaman; George Gaskill, age 26, seaman.
Schooner GREENVILLE—Built 1835, Hyde Co., N.C., 137 tons. (Will. L. Lavender called “Master builder” in ships’ papers.) Owned by Samuel R. Fowle, Wash., N.C. and Samuel L. Mitchell and Edward Nielson of N. Y., N.Y. and later by Samuel R. Fowle, Wash. and Samuel L. Mitchell, E. Taylor and N. B. Bleeker, N. Y., N.Y. David R. Brooks, Master and Capt. George Darden, Master. Lost.
WILLIAM AND MARY—James Gray, Master, July 24, 1819—Lost.
HENRIETTA—Lost at sea. Josiah C. Fowle, age 31 and Mary Carr of Tarboro, age 22, his bride, when returning from St. Thomas, W. I., aboard, Capt. Blair, Master, about Sept. 25, 1822. Also, Capt. John Clark, Master.
JAMES G. STACY—Mentioned in Fowle papers, March, 1833. Abandoned at sea.
PAMLICO—Mentioned 1843, Capt. Fulford, Master. West Indies. Lost.
MELVILLE—Rebuilt as MECKLINBURG. Mentioned 1843.
MARTHA M. FOWLE—Mentioned Mar. 28, 1842 through Nov. 16, 1842, Washington to New York. Lost.
Brig HELEN—Josiah C. Fowle sold to Richard Grist for $3300 Feb. 13, 1819. Abraham Russell, Master. Built Hyde Co., 1818, 82 ft. long, 217 tons.
Schooner FRIENDS—E. H. Putman, Master, Jan., 1855. 149 tons. Ships papers, May 17, 1855, E. H. Putnam, Master. W. H. Tichenor, Mate. Same date Capt. James Longman took over as Master. Stranded on beach 1 mi. south Chickamacamico Banks, 26 mi. north of Hatteras Light, June 15, 1855. Capt. James Longman, Master; W. H. Tichenor, Mate; Geo. Ryder and William Adams, seamen. Sailed from Ocracoke Tuesday, June 12, 1855, laden with naval stores and cotton bound for New York. Strong winds, vessel leaking fast, two feet water in hold, pumps working continuously. Threw over deck load, “thought best to run vessel on beach for preservation of life and limb.”
Schooner RANGER—Leased to Reuben Freeman for trip to Martinique, Jan. 1, 1818.
C. A. JOHNSON—Capt. Jack Harris, Master. Wrecked on beach at Hatteras.
Brig PHOENIX—Capt. James G. Sheffield, Master, May 11, 1815, when in Ocracoke preparing for trip to Antigua. All Spanish crew. (Ship's papers say “of Boston.”) Sold.
Brig ADELINE—Mentioned May, 1843. Sold
SOUTHERNER—E. H. Putnam, Master, Dec. 11, 1854. Sold.
NETTIE R. WILLING—Sold.
CAROLINA—3 masted vessel, built in Bath. Sunk in collision in Chesapeake Bay.
Schooner PATTY HOLLAND—Capt. Jones, Master. Mentioned in Fowle papers Mar. 29, 1820. Also letter from Arthur Bailey at Ocracoke on board Jan. 4, 1821.
Brig EDWARD TILLETT—Mentioned 1843. Lost when hit rocks leaving a South American port.
Brig LIVERPOOL—William Wallace, Master.
NELLIE POTTER—Built after 1865, abandoned at sea.
ELIZABETH—Lighter. Taken in Civil War.
Schooner DOVE—Abijah Adams, Master; Joseph Miller, Mate. Bound for Curacao and back to Wash., March, 1816.
Brig MARGARET—Owned by Josiah C. Fowle and James G. Sheffield. James G. Sheffield, Master, Oct. 28, 1816. Built at South Creek, Craven Co., N.C., 1810, 106 tons, 71 ft.
Schooner MARCELLUS—Capt. A. Adams, Master; James Fowle, Supercargo, Dec. 18, 1817.Appendix 4
John Myers and Sons was located on Waterfront in Washington between Bonner and Harvey streets at foot of Harvey Street. Ships sailed to northern ponits and West Indies and, before Civil War, operated ship railway, and built steamboats, tugs, schooners and barges. In 1872 they leased and sold to Old Dominion Steamship Co. This was an extensive operation but little information is available.
R. L. MYERS—River Steamer, Capt. Parvin.
AMIDAS—Steamer built for river traffic, 1849. Carried no freight, used to tow flats tri-weekly to Tarboro.
GOV. MOREHEAD—1853—Made trips to Greenville. Taken to Tarboro and burned rather than fall into Union hands during Civil War.
COTTON PLANT—1860—Flatboat, stern wheel, to Tarboro in opposition to GOV. MOREHEAD. Ran until Civil War when engaged in transporting troops until fall of Roanoke Island. In engagements at Hatteras and Playmouth. Captured by Federals, loaded with cotton and sent to Norfolk where taken as prize. Sold by U. S. Government and brought back to Washington in 1866. Finally burned at Tarboro (1880?).
EDGECOMBE—Still in operation in 1878 when owned by Capt. A. W. Styron and Lawrence Clark.
LUCY—Built in Washington, 1856. Sold to Isaac L. Farrow. Capt. Erek Bartons, Master.
Steamer WILSON—Built by Havens, Wiswall and Havens in 1855
and ran to Greenville. In 1859 bought by Myers and sold off line.Appendix 5
OLD DOMINION STEAMSHIP COMPANY
The Myers firm sold and leased to Old Dominion Line in 1872. Mr. T. H. B. Myers remained agent and later, his son, T. Harvey Myers, continued. These steamships ran between Washington, New Bern, Ocracoke, Norfolk and New York. Norfolk and Southern Railroad absorbed the operations of the Old Dominion Line.
OLIVE—Steamer, later sold to Albemarle Steam Navigation Co. and rebuilt as HERTFORD.
PAMLICO—Capt. Bateman, Master. Semi-weekly run to Norfolk, 1884.
ANNIE—Built 1861, 185 tons, ex. H. J. DEVENNY, and sunk in Tar River in 1895.
EAGLET—Built 1884, 386 tons. Sold to Clyde Line in 1891.
NEWBERNE—Built Chester, Pa., 1875. Operated between New Bern, Norfolk and Washington. Semi-weekly runs to Norfolk, 1884. Sold 1906 and rebuilt as barge.
VESPER—Built 1871, 331 tons. Sold to Clyde Line in 1891.
NEUSE—Built Delaware, 1890, 720 tons, passenger. Operated between New Bern, Elizabeth City, and later, Belhaven.
ALBEMARLE II—Built Delaware, 1891, 509 tons, passenger. Service between New Bern, Washington, and Norfolk. Sold to Norfolk and Southern RR in 1905.
HATTERAS II—Built New York, 1896, 276 tons, passenger. Ran to points along intercoastal waters. Herbert C. Bonner, as young boy, accompanied his father, “Capt. Mac” (Capt. Herbert Macon Bonner), Master.
R. L. MYERS—Built Washington, N.C. for Old Dominion Line, Tar River service to Greenville. Sold to Norfolk and Southern RR in 1905, dismantled May, 1908.
TAR RIVER—Built Washington, N.C., 1896 for service on Tar and Pamlico rivers. Hull became Norfolk and Southern RR barge in 1905.
From John L. Roper Lumber Co.:
HAVEN BELLE—Passenger steamer, built Pa., 1885, 119 tons, iron construction. Service from Belhaven to Bayboro, Aurora and Washington.
NORMAN L. WAGNER—Passenger steamer.
GEORGE W. ROPER—Built Norfolk, 1880, 40 tons. Later rebuilt as PAMLICO.
RANGER—Steam barge, built Delaware, 1883, 85 tons. Burned and lost Apr. 28, 1896.Appendix 6
Wharves located on Water Street behind Harris Hardware. Later built warehouse and dock where old Pamlico Chemical located. (Little information has been made available on this operation.)
Capt. George H. Brown, Agent.
JOHN S. IDE
GEORGE H. STOUT
EAGLET—Built 1884, 386 tons. Purchased from Old Dominion Line in 1891.
VESPER—Built 1871, 331 tons. Purchased from Old Dominion Line in 1891.
(One source wrote that A. W. Styron built several steamers at the old Farrow shipyard on Water Street and operated in connection with Clyde Line.)Appendix 7
EASTERN CAROLINA DISPATCH CO.
GREENVILLE—Riverboat (same as Clyde Line?).
EDGECOMBE—Riverboat (same as Clyde Line?).
MARJORIE—Named for Mr. A. W. Styron's daughter, Mrs. R. R. Handy, which she christened when a little girl.
AMIDAS—Sternwheeler built for river traffic between Washington, Greenville and Tarboro. (same as Myers?).
(Sources included only above information. Is confusion here.)Appendix 8
OTHER BEAUFORT COUNTY SHIP OWNERS
Benjamin Hanks—Said to have owned 8 canal boats carrying lumber from Washington to Norfolk and Baltimore.
Abner P. Neal—(and Elijah Pegatt) owned Schooner MARY JANE, built Carteret Co., 1838, 81 tons, Edward C. Guthrie, Master. Papers surrendered Washington, N.C., Nov. 22, 1843, vessel wrecked.
Jonathan Havens—Owned Schooner ALPHA, March 5, 1827, John W. Fisher, Master. Built Washington, N. C., 1826, 75 feet long, 136 tons.
Benjamin F. Havens—Owned Schooner MARY JANE, Leman D. Crabtree, Master. Havens, Wiswall and Havens built WILSON in 1855, ran to Greenville. Bought by Myers in 1859 and sold off line.
Tannahill and Saunders—Owned Steamboat EDMUND D. McNAIR which ran Tar River in 1835. Was a sidewheeler built at Myers shipyard.
John Tyler—Owned ANACONDA, built Washington, N.C., 1838, 63 tons, P. Cornell, Master Carpenter, John A. Gray, Master, Sept. 26, 1839; Jacob Williams, Master, Jan. 16, 1840; Joseph Stewart, Master, Apr. 20, 1841; John S. Gaskill, Master, Sept. 15, 1841; Jacob Williams, Master, Apr. 4, 1842; Samuel M. Pugh, Master, Sept. 28, 1842; James Longman, Master, July 10, 1843; Mr. Fulford, Master, 1843.
(In John Tyler correspondence, dated 1856, in Warren Collection, Brown Library, he referred to following ships: WIDE WORLD; RIO; E. J. RUDDUM; PATHFINDER; FANNY, Henry Ellison, Master; DEBORAH; MARCY.)
William Farrow—Owned PARAGON, David Gaskill, Master. Trade to Barbadoes and West Indies. Also, Capt. Green, Master. Owned ANNIE FARROW.
Henry Ellison—Owner of Schooner CHARLOTTE.
Hadrianus Van Nordon—Owner of Brig LYDIA, John Jackson, Master.
Henry Ross—Owner of Schooner ROYAL CAPTAIN, Capt. Thomas Nemmo, Master.
George Nicholson—Owned Ship ANN, Capt. Douglas Richmond, Master.
Mr. Monroe, and later, William Shaw—Schooner W. S. WEDMORE.
Joseph Potts—MARY LOUISE.
D. R. Brooks—Schooner IDA. In 1860 court ordered Brooks estate to give to I. R. Selby and R. Lupton.
Richard Grist—Bought the Brig HELEN from Josiah C. Fowle,
Feb. 13, 1819. Built Hyde Co., 1818, 217 tons, 86 feet. (Adrian H. Von Hokkelin, N. Y., N.Y., sold this ship to Welcome Hoell, Aug. 3, 1819, Abraham Russell, Master.)
Welcome Hoell—Brig HELEN (above).
Oscar F. Adams—Owner and Master of Schooner ALLEN GRIST, 1852. Built Beaufort Co., 1845, 59 feet long, 46 tons. (Deed Book 28, Page 456).
Bryan Tripp Bonner—LOVE D. COBB, VIRGINIA DARE.
C. A. Litchfield and T. A. Litchfield—Owned two-masted Schooner, COBB (Capt. Neriah Berry) which hauled freight in early 1920's, was later sunk in Pamlico County. Also, owned freight boat, DEPENDENCE, Capt. Neriah Berry, and Tug, LOLA.Appendix 9
Ships Bound for or In Port of Washington
(Some of this information provided by Lee Wallace.)
H. H. TALLMAN, Capt. Young, Master, 1849
GRIS, James Brooks, Master, 1853
Schooner ST. ANN, John Joseph Cremony, owner, 1806
Brig POLLEARY, Capt. William Williams
J. M. TAYLOR, 1859, 1860
Schooner BETSY, Capt. Ashley
GEORGE HENRY, 1859
Schooner ALBERT, John Mason, Master
Schooner, MARINAH N., 1861
Schooner, BEELINE, Capt. Crosby, 1819
Sloop, BILLY, Samuel Lewis, Master, 1796
Schooner, NANCY, Mr. Francis, Mr. John West and Flahanen and Wilcox, Phila., owners; Eli Bailey, Master, 1801
E.S. WILLETS, 1853
Schooner PLANET, Capt. Gaskill, Master, 1846
Schooner CLAUDIA AND MARY, Capt. Meekins, Master, 1846
Schooner ONSLOW, Capt. Davis, Master, and Capt. Spencer, Master, 1846
Schooner SARAH, Capt. Longman, Master, 1846
Schooner SWALLOW, Capt. Roberson, Master, 1846
Schooner CHARLESTON, Capt. Forbes, Master, 1846
Schooner MELVILLE, Capt. Allen, Master, 1846
Schooner PACTOLUS, Capt. Simmons, Master, 1846
Schooner TWO BROTHERS, Capt. Richardson, Master, 1846
Schooner THOMAS AND NANCY, Capt. Allen, Master, 1846
Schooner ISAAC TOWNSEND, Capt. Worth, Master, 1843
Schooner DANIEL BAKER, Capt. J. Baker, Master, 1843
Schooner COMET, Capt. Ireland, Master, 1843
Schooner HOPE W. GANBY, Capt. Ganby, Master, 1843
Schooner A. B. COOLY, Capt. Camp, Master, 1843
Schooner WASHINGTON, Capt. Dixon, Master, 1843
Schooner LYON, Capt. Leming, Master, 1843
Schooner PEGGY, Capt. Francis Midgett, Master
Sloop PATTY, Capt. William Worth, Master
Sloop FANNY, Capt. Miles, Master
ANNIE WAHAB, Capt. Wahab, owner
Brig WILLIAM, Capt. Brown, owner
Brig LA ISABEL, Francis Rosa, Master (Did this become the PHOENIX owned by the Fowles?)
Schooner E. ANN, 1853
Steamer, SOUTHERN ARGUS, between Washington and Norfolk, 1860
Schooner FRIENDSHIP, Capt. Watson, Master, 1843
Schooner MYERS, Capt. Fowler, Master, 1843
Schooner MARY AND ELIZABETH, Capt. Watson, Master, 1843
Sloop JANE AND RACHEL, 1843
Schooner, SILAS CRANE, 1843, Capt. Johnson, Master
Schooner MARY ANN HARDING, 1843
Schooner SMITH, 1843, Capt. Wheeler, Master
Schooner JAS. OTIS, 1843, Capt. Elmo, Master
Steamer EMPIRE, 1860, Capt. Phillips, Master
Steamer POST BOY, 1860, Capt. Osgood, Master
Schooner CHAS. ROBERTS, 1860, Capt. Fowler, Master
Iron Steamer LOPEZ, 1860, Capt. Jno. Phillips, Master
Schooner HOWARD, 1866, Capt. G. H. Brown, Master
Schooner SARAH, 1866, Capt. Dennis, Master
Schooner M. E. PARMELE, 1866, Capt. Gaskill, Master
Schooner MARY, June, 1848, from New Orleans
Schooner MANTEO of Washington, N. C., Capt. Abbot. Destroyed by fire near Cape Henry, July 1846. Was regular trader between Washington, N. C. and Boston.
Schooner CONQUEST, 1827-1829, Capt. Farrow, Capt. Jackson
Schooner HENRY BATEMAN, 1827-1829, Capt. Jones
Schooner JOHN DOYLE, 1827-1829, Capt. Brooks
Schooner JOHN MYERS, 1827-1829, Capt. Roberson
Schooner JOHN G. B., 1831-1833, Capt. Tilman Farrow
Schooner W. A. BLOUNT, 1831-1833, Capt. Farrow
Schooner MARY LOUISA, 1860
Schooner SUNNY SOUTH, 1860
Schooner ELVIRA, Capt. Geo. Williams, Master. From New York, castaway on beach, Chicamocomak, Aug. 11, 1817.Appendix 10
Ship Captains’ Names Included in Fowle Journals and Ledgers
|Dec. 3, 1827-Nov. 24, 1829:|
|Capt. Wm. Austin||Capt. John Hopkins|
|Capt. Alexander Allen||Capt. Martin Hendy|
|Capt. Midgett||Capt. W. B. Morton|
|Capt. Brown||Capt. MacMahone|
|Capt. F. Brooks||Capt. Jno Marsh|
|Capt. Moses Brown||Capt. I. Robinson|
|Capt. George Darden||Capt. R. Schank|
|Capt. Z. Doughty||Capt. John Tyler|
|Capt. Hezikiah Farrow||Capt. Bartemus Williams|
|Capt. Isaac Farrow||Capt. Richard Wilson|
|Capt. John Gallagher|
|Aug. 18, 1831-Mar. 30, 1833:|
|Capt. George Dixon||Capt. Benj. Jones|
|Capt. Hez Farrow||Capt. W. B. Morton|
|Capt. Hobbs||Capt. Thos. Smith|
|Capt. Fla. Jorden||Capt. Evans|
|Capt. Nichols||Capt. J. J. Hearne|
|Capt. Watson||Capt. Womble|
|Nov. 6, 1843-Oct. 22, 1847:|
|Capt. Brown||Capt. Midgett|
|Capt. (Binune?)||Capt. Paul B. Mallison|
|Capt. W. Cook||Capt. Paul|
|Capt. Cox||Capt. Slade|
|Capt. Hearne||Capt. Williams|
|Capt. Jones||Capt. Watson|
|Capt. Evans||Capt. J. D. Watson|
Ship Names Included in Fowle Journals and Ledgers
Dec. 3, 1827-Nov. 24, 1829:
Schooner, A. P. NEAL
Schooner, CONQUEST, Capt. Farrow, Capt. Jackson
Schooner, HENRY BATEMAN, Capt. Jones
Schooner, JOHN DOYLE, Capt. Brooks
Schooner, JOHN MYERS, Capt. Roberson
Schooner, SARAH ANNA
Aug. 18, 1831-Mar. 30, 1833:
Brig MARGARET AND POLLY
Schooner JOHN G. B., Tilman Farrow
Schooner W. A. BLOUNT, Capt. Farrow
Schooner SALLY ANN
Schooner HENRY BATEMAN
Schooner AM. COASTER, Geo. Dixon
Schooner BENJAMIN HARRISON
Schooner ELIZABETH ANN
Schooner ROUGH AND READY
Schooner RIO GRANDE
Schooner INDEPENDENCEOther Names Relating to Shipping Included in
Fowle Journals and Ledgers
Dec. 3, 1827-Nov. 24, 1829:
John Thomas—ship carpenter
|John Brown, sailor||William Gorden, sailor|
|Thomas Collins, sailor||Wm. Smith, seaman|
|Thomas Daniels, mate||Samuel Sturdivant, seaman|
|Thomas Gorden, black sailor||Wm. Snowden, sailor|
Chamber of Commerce, “Washington, North Carolina,” 1910.
Crittendon, Charles Christopher, The Commerce of North Carolina, 1763-1789. Yale University Press, 1936.
Deed Books, Office Register of Deeds, Beaufort County, Washington, N. C. Book 3, pp. 24, 25, 26; Book 28, p. 456.
Fowle Papers, Brown Library, Washington, N. C.
McRae Papers, including information on the Marsh, Wiswall and Fowle families of Washington, N. C., Brown Library, Washington, N. C.
National Archives, Washington, D. C.
“North State Whig,” Washington, N. C., August 12, 1846.
Overcash, Steve, “Blount Merchants” from The John Gray Blount Papers, Alice Barnwell Keith, Editor.
Prince, Richard E., Norfolk and Southern Railway Old Dominion Line and Connections. R. E. Prince, Millard, Nebraska, 1972.
Reed, Col. C. Wingate, Beaufort County, Two Centuries of Its History. C. Wingate Reed, 1962.
“Republican, The,” Washington, N. C., December 21, 1843.
Rodman, Lida Tunstall, “Historical Beaufort County.”
Saunders and Clark (Editors), Colonial Records of North Carolina.
Stewart, W. A. Blount, “Blount Ships”
Stewart, W. A. Blount, “Shipping in Beaufort County and Ocracoke.”
Wallace, Lee, papers on Shipping, Brown Library, Washington, N. C.
Warren Papers, Stallings Collection, Brown Library, Washington, N. C.
Washington Daily News, August 17, 1951, “River Boat Traffic Once Big Business.”
Washington Gazette, February 28, 1884, “Interview with T. H. B. Myers”
Washington Progress, February 18, 1932, “Mrs. Lucy Wheelock Myers Tells About Old Town.”
SCHOOLS—PRIVATE & PUBLIC
(used by permission of Mrs. Joe Kornegay)
No written records show that any school existed in Washington before the Revolutionary War. As the war closed in 1783, and a school was running prior to 1785, it is possible that the school was in operation during the Revolution. The school building stood on a public lot in the town of Washington. This site was lot twenty-one, and was given by Colonel James Bonner and his wife, Mary. Court was held in the school building after the courthouse was moved from Bath to Washington before the courthouse was erected.
The next school was in the eastern end of town and was called —The Little Red School House,— assuming the name from its brilliant color. It was on Main Street, near the present Episcopal Church. It is believed this school was built before 1800. Eventually this building was moved to Market Street and was burned during a —Civil War bombardment.
The next school building was the —Old Academy Building.— It stood on the corner of Bridge and Second streets for nearly one hundred years; a building in which some of Washington's most prominent citizens were educated. Its site was the scene of blood shed during the —Civil War, and it furnished shelter for the enemy. Yet it survived the evacuation which destroyed the town.
There is no record of the donor of the land on which the Academy was situated, but it was given for the definite purpose of building a school. There were chinquapin trees on the school ground, and legend has it that the school boys were very fond of these nuts. Huckleberries grew beside a small stream which ran back of the building, and this was a favorite spot for the girls.
This school was chartered by the North Carolina Assembly in 1808. A charter at that time was merely permissive. It did not help to pay any indebtedness and was easily obtainable on private request backed by sufficient enterprise to carry through the scheme. The legislation did permit a lottery for raising a limited sum to defray the cost of the building, but at the same time made the incorporators personally responsible to the drawers of the prizes. In most cases school property was exempt from taxation and sometimes the teachers and students were freed from military service. The first trustees were: William Kennedy, William Ross, John Gray Blount, Walter Hanrahan, Frederick Grist and Slade Pearce. In 1809, four additional ones were added. These were: John Kennedy, Isaac Woodard, Isaac Smith, and James Williams. Whenever a vacancy occurred on the board, the remaining trustees elected another so they had a perpetual succession.
The trustees raised the necessary money by lotteries—nearly $5,000.00. The salary of the teachers was to be obtained from the tuition fees charged the pupils. Mr. Howard was the first teacher to use the Academy. He came in 1811 and stayed three years. Next came Mr. Hitchcock. He was a good teacher then, but today would be considered too strict. Children didn't attend the Academy until age 10 or 12. Younger children were taught at home or attended a small primary school. Perhaps the best known and favorite was the one conducted by Miss Sarah Reid on Second Street across from where the Methodist Church now stands. She taught from the early 1830's up into the 1850's.
A Mr. Chappeau, a French gentleman and scholar, from the West Indies came here in 1815, and taught French and dancing for about five years, but not at the Academy. He afterwards married here.
At the Academy were a Mr. and Mrs. Sanford, then Mr. George Freeman.
In 1827, Mr. Weatherly, a Presbyterian minister, took charge of the Academy.
In 1829, several families employed Miss Nancy Richmond from Massachusetts to teach a select school. Her school was on the DeMille property on the corner of Second and Bridge streets where the DeMille house later stood. Later she taught in a small building on the site of the Atlantic Coastline depot. She did much for the education of Washington during her time.
During the 1830's Miss Mary B. McCotta had a successful school as did Dr. Stokes from Greenville.
The books used during these years were the choices of the different
teachers. Stress was laid on spelling and the —blue back— speller was very popular. Arithmetic, geography, reading and grammar were taught extensively. Algebra, Latin, Greek and geometry were taught to some extent.
Girls did not receive the same attention in higher studies that boys did, as it was considered unnecessary. Discipline was strictly enforced, pupils being whipped for missing lessons, girls as well as boys, except girls were whipped in the hand.
The appearance of the rooms would have formed a striking contrast to a modern schoolroom. Few rooms had desks. Pupils sat on benches and wrote on boards placed along the sides of the rooms. Some schools had blackboards, others nothing on the walls. There was always a stove in each room. The teacher sat at a desk in the front of the room, always used a pointer, and kept a bundle of switches close at hand. School started the first Monday in October and continued to the last Friday in June, with one week off for Christmas. The day's work was divided into two sessions—9:00 to 12:00 and 2:00 to 5:00.
After about 25 years the Academy building became very dilapidated and unfit for school so teachers had to look elsewhere for a place to teach.
In 1832 Mr. Mayhew opened a school in a little red house on Market Street between Fourth and Fifth. Later he taught in the Masonic Lodge in one large room.
Mr. William Walker, assisted by a Mr. Carr, taught here about 1835, in a house on the corner of Second and Gladden, then in the Masonic Lodge and finally in the little brick building now being used by Billy Mayo as a law office. He was a very good mathematician. Both gentlemen were surveyors and taught during the winter.
Two ladies who taught here before the —Civil War and were noted as especially good teachers were Mrs. Dimmock and Mrs. Sarah Nadal. Mrs. Dimmock's school was across from the jail and Mrs. Nadal's in the Masonic Lodge for a time, then in a house on Respess Street between Second and Main. Her school was for small children.
Families who could afford to and who lived too far from a school employed a governess to teach at home. Such a school was the one on the Thomas H. Blount farm known as —Sans Souci——the area where the Beaufort County Hospital, doctors— offices and drugstores are now located. The small school house near the old colonial home was built about 1842, and used until it was destroyed
by fire during the —Civil War. This was a very high-class school limited to about 20 young ladies. Mrs. Wm. DeMille, grandmother of Cecil B. DeMille, was educated at this school. A few of the governesses were Mrs. A. M. Weller, Mrs. O'Neil, Mrs. Penrose and Miss McCaully. Mrs. Weller died while living there. She choked on a piece of bone and was buried in the family cemetery. Also buried in the family cemetery was the Rev. E. Geer, an Episcopal minister, who also taught school at the close of the —Civil War.
Another school of this type was that taught for three years in the home of Mr. Ellison in the western end of town. This was also an exclusive school and admitted only about 20 girls, just enough to pay the teacher's salary. Some of the teachers here were Mrs. Hannah Hare, Miss L. Richardson, Miss Parker, Miss Annie Ellison and Mrs. Filman.
In the meantime about 1842, the Academy was repaired and fitted once again for a school. Among the trustees at this time were Messrs. John Myers, James Hoyt, S. R. Fowle, Joseph Potts, and D. H. Havens. They employed Mr. Hathaway as principal and Mr. Hale as his assistant. Teachers who used the Academy paid no rent and stayed as long as they wished if they gave satisfaction. Following Mr. Hathaway was Mr. William Bogart. Then came Mr. Samuel H. Wiley and his younger brother. These were nephews of Calvin H. Wiley, one of the great educational leaders of North Carolina. Both were graduates of the University of North Carolina. Mr. A. M. C. Jones succeeded Mr. Wiley, and a Mr. Robins was there for half a session.
Other teachers prior to the —Civil War were Mr. Joseph Blount, at the Masonic Lodge in 1846; Miss Betty Patterson, on Second Street past the Methodist Church in 1856; Mrs. George Durand, on Second Street between Bonner and Harvey in 1858; Mrs. George Dickson, on the corner of Second and Harvey streets and also on Main Street opposite present Scott's Store in 1855; Miss Sidney Long, on Market Street opposite the town hall in 1855; Mr. O'Daniels on Market Street in 1858; Mr. Lewellyn, an Englishman, in 1857; Mr. John Beckwith, afterwards elected Bishop of Georgia, in the Masonic Lodge in 1855; and Miss Louise Worthington on Gladden Street opposite the Presbyterian Church in 1856.
Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Calvin H. Wiley, later the first State Superintendent of Common (or Public) Schools, a law was passed in 1838 by the General Assembly of North Carolina
requesting each county to levy a tax for a public school. The law did not compel the counties to accept the schools, but left it to their discretion, advising them however to do so. The act further empowered the free white electors of each school district to choose by ballot three men as a —school committee— to serve for one year. A small tax was to be levied in each county for the one-half support of these schools and the other half support was to come from the Literary Fund (State). Anyone between the age of five and twenty-one could attend these schools. The school committee was to secure a building and select the teachers, also to take a census of the schools. In 1846, every county in North Carolina had adopted the system. Beaufort County voted 1,042 for public schools and 50 against.
Beaufort County was laid off into 27 districts, with Washington being in District No. 15. The first school committee consisted of Eli Hoyt, Benjamin Runyon and Thomas H. Blount.
The first —free school— as it was always known was started about 1840 on Third Street between Bonner and Harvey streets. The school term was only three months because of the small amount of money available. Three teachers were employed at all times. Attendance was not good at this school as most parents thought it too much like charity to send their children to a free school, but it remained in existence until the —Civil War when it collapsed.
Within the limits of Washington there were only two schools conducted during the War between the States. One was carried on by Mrs. Hanks, assisted by Miss Annie Bogart, on Water Street. The other was kept by Miss Elizabeth Robinson on the corner of Second and Respess streets. After the war was over, the South was in destitute circumstances, with all her wealth gone and great numbers of her energetic citizens lost. Those who had never done much work before started out as laborers to restore the South to her old standard. Some of the women began to teach school as a means of livelihood.
It was at least two years after the close of the war before anything like order was restored. But children had to learn to read and write and Miss Mary Moules kept a little school in the Presbyterian manse. She was a fine teacher and carried her pupils into some higher branches of study. Later on she moved her school to Water Street where she continued to teach for at least 15 years.
Another teacher of eminence who taught soon after the war was the Rev. Edwin Geer, the Episcopal Rector. He came to Washington about 1850 and assumed charge of the Church. Just prior to the
war he taught a private school on East Main Street. When the war closed he was employed to teach at the Academy. A highly intellectual man he filled the position to the satisfaction of all. Still another teacher was Captain Henry Price who taught in the Masonic Lodge and also in the Courthouse in 1867.
Soon after the war the public school question again came to the front. The old building on Third Street had been abandoned at the beginning of the war and was not used again until the Negroes began to teach there many years later. A school for Negroes did not exist prior to the —Civil War. The public school for white children wandered about from place to place, occupying any sort of house which could be had for the least amount of money and generally the house which was unfit for anything else. A new committee had been appointed—Mr. William Z. Morton, Mr. G. H. Brown, Sr., and Mr. A. W. Thomas. The entire burden of running the school was cheerfully assumed by the chairman, Mr. William Z. Morton. He employed the best teachers in town and personally guaranteed their salaries. Among the teachers during this period were Miss Jennie Jackson, Mrs. Annie Foreman, Mrs. Hare, Miss Sarah Robinson and Miss Bettie Robinson.
Many people were still prejudiced against free schooling so private schools continued to thrive. Mr. A. Hamlin, a northerner who came here with the Federal troops and married here, taught in the Masonic Lodge and in a little green house on the spot where the Atlantic Coast Line depot now is. Miss Bettie Robinson also went to the Masonic Lodge where she taught for many years.
Mrs. William DeMill (grandmother of Cecil Blount DeMille—the —e— was added to the name later) also kept a school in the —DeMill— house on the corner of Second and Bridge streets. She taught there from the close of the war for about 25 years and was regarded as an excellent teacher.
Mr. Jimmy Swindell and Mrs. Sax Swindell, his wife, taught in a house on the J. L. Fowle lot just after the war. They always had between 50 and 75 attending.
Dr. Ross in the —70s taught successfully at the Academy, but only for a short time. He was succeeded in 1873 by Mr. Lovejoy, son of the noted teacher in Raleigh and was in turn succeeded by Mr. Carney Bryan. In 1877 Mr. Frank Young assumed charge of the Academy, but after one year opened a private school on Main Street. Professor Hartgrave taught music at the Masonic Lodge in 1874. A Mr. Foy attempted to teach in the Academy about this time, but the boys were so bad he only stayed three
days. In 1880 Mr. J. H. Cordon, a lawyer, while waiting to be admitted to the Bar, earned his living by teaching. He married Miss Mattie Telfair of Washington and afterwards became a prominent Methodist minister.
Mr. John H. Small taught for a while in 1881. He later was responsible for the first public school in town which lasted more than four months. He canvassed property owners for contributions and secured funds to operate a —free— school for 8 months for a 2-year period. He was later elected chairman of the Board of Trustees and today is remembered as doing more than any other one person for public schools in Washington. He was later an honored Congressman.
A Mr. Gazelle taught here for a year and was succeeded by Mr. Bagley from 1882 to 1885. The next person to assume charge of the Academy was Mr. Charles Hill, a graduate of the University of N. C., who was waiting to enter the practice of law. He was drowned at Ocracoke, however, and was buried in St. Peters Churchyard. Dr. Sterling Ruffin, also a graduate of U. N. C. taught here in 1888. He later became a prominent physician in Washington, D. C.
Some ladies who taught here were Mrs. Margaret Call, Miss Hattie Griffin and Miss Maggie Sparrow. All were good teachers, and Mrs. Call in particular seemed to sympathize with those unable to pay tuition and taught 10 or 12 each year free. Miss Griffin taught a very popular and successful school in the Masonic Lodge.
In 1873 the County Board of Education appropriated $595.11 for the use of the white school and $411.68 for the use of the Negro school. In 1875 a census of children showed 720 white and 600 Negro. In 1878 the first record of school attendance was made, and out of nearly 300 white children of school age, less than 100 attended the public school, many attending no school at all. Out of less than 400 Negro children of school age, over 350 attended public school.
In 1888 Mr. Thomas McNair, a wealthy man and an owner of property in the eastern end of town, died. It was his will that a large piece of property on Academy Street should, on certain conditions, be dedicated to some church. It was first offered to the Presbyterian Church which refused to accept it. It was next offered to St. Peter's Episcopal Church which agreed to accept it with conditions. The Church had no immediate use for this property and Mr. Morton, chairman of the school committee, seeing that it would make a fine school site, leased the land for
15 years for the purpose of building a school. There was a big hullabaloo because many people objected to a building being placed on the lot because it would prevent Telfair Street from extending over to Main Street. After a while, however, with his characteristic energy, Mr. Morton carried his point against all opposition. By holding the county money for two years, by the sale of a piece of school property, and by public subscriptions, which were very liberal, the school committee was enabled to build the schoolhouse. Later it became known as the McNair Building in honor of the donor of the property.
Mr. W. Z. Morton has been called the father of the public schools in Washington. While he did not start the first public school he was its main supporter for those years when it seemed doomed to failure. He was not a highly educated man himself, but he liked to see others improved by his efforts. Death cut short his works in 1897 without allowing him to see the crowning success of what his efforts helped to bring, the new Graded School building.
The public school system was in full swing in 1890 and the first principal was elected. The Rev. Mr. Fetter had previously taught in the Academy. Tuition charges were to be made for the first four months of the school term while the last four were to be free. Mr. Fetter was succeeded by Mr. Dunstan and Mr. Bowman. The McNair building originally contained two large rooms, one on each floor. Later each was divided into two parts. In 1899 two other large rooms were added to meet increasing demands.
In 1896 the Academy was obtained for a public school, partly because more room was needed and partly because people complained about sending their children from the extreme western end of town to the extreme eastern. Both schools were controlled by the same School Board and were under the direction of one principal.
Mr. Harry Howell came here in 1895 and assumed his duties as principal. Mr. Howell was a very able man, and he left his mark on the school system. The first full term of the graded school was taught in 1897 under his administration.
In 1897, also, the town voted on the question of local taxation to support the schools, and on obtaining a school committee of nine, three of whom were to be black, to be chosen by black members of the town commissioners. The vote for both was carried by a large majority, but some enemies of the school system, through some technical point of law, had the Supreme Court to declare the tax act null and void. This misfortune cut off most of the means
for supporting the school that term and it was then that Mr. John H. Small personally canvassed the town and secured funds to operate an entirely free school for two years.
The Public School Committee chosen by the Board of Aldermen now had charge of the black schools as well as the white since it had black members. In 1899 another election on taxation for schools was held and carried by a large majority. The revenues for the 1900-1901 session were $8,834.80—quite an increase from 1873 when it was only $1,006.79.
About 1900 talk began about the need for an up-to-date brick school building. In 1903 bonds for $25,000.00 were voted by an overwhelming majority, but it was soon found that more money would be needed for the kind of building desired, so the trustees waited for two more years and then submitted another bond issue.
In 1902 Washington started the first book rental system in North Carolina and in 1903 a compulsory attendance law was passed, the first in North Carolina also. This was ten years before a weak compulsory attendance law was passed in Raleigh.
The first year of the —modern era— found Mr. Harry Howell as Superintendent and the following white teachers: Mrs. Lucy Myers, Julia Burgess, Sarah Minor, Berta Bright and Annie B. Jarvis. The teachers were paid $25.00 per month and the superintendent $75.00. Mr. Louis R. Randolph was principal of the Black school. Of 651 school aged white children, 384 were enrolled in the public school with 67 per cent attendance. Of 820 Negroes, 390 enrolled with 54 per cent attendance. The actual cost of this school was 54c per month per child enrolled. Mr. Howell recommended that the 1— to 2 hour lunch period be abolished and that classes run through to 2:30. Children could either bring lunches or wait until after school to eat.
An event soon took place which hastened the effort to complete the new brick school. Early in the morning of February 7, 1905, the McNair Building caught fire and along with the library and all school possessions was completely destroyed. The Dawson property was purchased to enlarge the Academy property and all the children were transferred to this building. Some classes could only attend half a day as there were not enough rooms for all. Some pupils went in the morning and some in the afternoons.
The additional $7,000.00 needed to complete the building was voted on in 1905. The new building was located on the old Academy site and additional land was bought on each side to increase the grounds. In the autumn of 1906, the new building
was opened — a school building then second to none in North Carolina.
The new building was used for the first time on the evening of Friday, June 15, 1906, with temporary seating and lighting, for the graduation exercises. Diplomas were awarded by School Committee Chairman John H. Small to the following graduates: Florence Winfield Bright, George Thomas Hardy, Jr., Emily Diana Harris (Mrs. Lindsay Warren), Charlotte Martin Mayo, Lou Nona Milholland, Robert Andrew Mitchell, and Ralph Adolphus Phillips.
Some of the teachers for the years 1903-1908 in the public school were: White—Mrs. Lucy Myers, Miss Julia Burgess, Miss Annie Jarvis, Miss Lizzie Mallison, Miss Bessie MacLean, Miss Ella Mallison, Miss Ruth Battle, Miss Etta Cordon, Miss Cornelia Ferrell, Miss Sudie Harding, Miss Katie Moore, Miss Marcia Myers, Miss Pattie Archbell, Miss Alice Daniel, Miss Elizabeth Harding, Miss Evelyn Royall, Mrs. Wm. Bright, Miss Lillian Campbell, Miss Minnie Morrison, Miss Edna Thompson, Miss Ida Tomlinson, Miss Susie Saunders, Miss Emma Carter, Miss Helen Kugler, Miss Sarah Martin, Miss Elizabeth Boase (Music), Mrs. Katie Bonner, Miss Estelle Davis, Miss Annie Payne, Miss Florence Winfield, Miss Bertha Burke; Mr. Harry Howell was still Superintendent (he stayed 13 years) and the principals for those years were: R. L. Thomason, Arch Turner Allen, Clinton Everett and H. H. McLean. Mr. Louis Randolph was principal of the Black school and some of the teachers were Miss Josie Beebe (later Mrs. Saunders), Miss Elizabeth Jones, Mrs. Lavinia Ward (later Mrs. Hudson), C. E. Askew, Miss Dolie Keyes, and Thomas Taylor.
By 1913, 873 of 942 white children were in school (90 per cent attendance) and 551 of 1,184 Black children were in school (47 per cent attendance). The staff of teachers had increased and teacher's pay had risen to $45.00-65.00 a month. The superintendent's pay had reached $175.00. Also there was a kindergarten of 66 pupils as part of public schools.
In 1922 a local school bond election for $300,000.00 passed and the John H. Small School for whites and the P. S. Jones School for blacks were built, being completed in 1924.
The P. S. Jones School was named for an outstanding black leader in the community who for a number of years served as its principal. It now went forward under his guidance.
John Small School bore the name of the man who had been
both pioneer and wheelhorse in the fight for education for Washington's children. This school opened in 1924 with Washington's first, and, to date, only lady principal in charge, Miss Minnie Lou Kelly. Miss Kelly had come to Washington to teach in 1911. She served most efficiently as principal at John Small until health forced her to resign in 1931.
Depression came in 1929 and schools began early to feel the financial pinch. The school term was reduced to eight months. Some schools in the state dropped to six months.
Influential citizens grew concerned about schools. North Carolina had worked hard to gain a reputation for an outstanding educational system, and Washington was recognized as among the best in the state.
No one was more concerned about this continually deteriorating situation than Angus Dhu McLean, an outstanding lawyer in this town. So Beaufort County sent A. D. McLean to the State Legislature.
Mr. McLean became one of the most influential members of the N. C. General Assembly. Here he worked tirelessly in both House and Senate for a sound financial school system with a minimum term of eight months.
In 1933 the Legislature passed a School Machinery Act to provide for the administration and operation of a uniform system of public schools throughout the state to be supported by the state and to be operated for a period of not less than eight months. And A. D. McLean gained a state-wide reputation as the father of eight-months state-supported schools.
The State School Commission created by the General Assembly's School Machinery Act required all elementary schools which were feeders to high schools to be under the same supervision. As a result the Washington Administrative Unit was enlarged to include all of the territory in Washington Township and a part of Long Acre to include the school districts of Piney Grove, Little and Magnolia.
Although still struggling along with an eight months school, now with state support, Washington inaugurated a twelve-grade system for the —33-—34 term. Not until 1942 did it work its way back to nine months as in 1942 a twenty cent supplemental city tax was voted.
The Old Ford School had been built during the Depression with WPA funds and this school was now included in the city system. By this time, —33-34, there were eighty-seven teachers with
a school enrollment of 3,300. Less than a quarter of this number went on to college.
1933-34 was a notable year for another reason. It saw the addition of two able women to the Board of School Trustees. These were Mrs. Victor Shelburne and Mrs. Richard Bagby.
Progress continued normally with the usual ups and downs until long planning produced a new high school which opened in 1952.
In 1960 the John Cotton Tayloe Elementary School was built and in 1966 Eastern Elementary.
In 1968 integration was achieved without major incident.
During the first year of public schools in Washington the sum of $3,346.04 was spent, leaving an unexpended balance of $97.76.
The total amount spent during the 1974-75 school year was $3,396,257 not including transportation, lunchroom or construction funds, nor Revenue Sharing money. From three thousand to three million is worth remarking!
The enrollment for the year just past, 1974-75, was 3,859 students. The total number of teachers was 203 with an average salary of $10,500.
About forty per cent of the graduates of W. H. S. today attend college.
Since inaugurating the graded Public School System School Superintendents have been:
1908-1913—N. C. Newbold
1913-1918—C. M. Campbell
1918-1923—Frank L. Ashley
1923-1926—H. C. Miller
1926-1932—H. M. Roland
1932-1946—E. S. Johnson
1946-1965—Edwin A. West
1968- —Jasper Lewis
[This information compiled by Joe T. Kornegay, assistant superintende