Kammerer relates an article from 1882 written by Jesse L. Smith (1813-1885) of the people and farms of Beaver Dam Township (now Bell Arthur Township). Jesse L. Smith was a farmer and Pitt County Commissioner, who married three times and had 20 children. According to Smith, in 1826 there were 38 white families in Beaver Dam Township, 24 of which lived in log houses and cabins, 12 in small buildings and only two, Archibald Adams and Benjamin Briley, lived in two-story plastered houses. Smith talks about courting and early amusements and games like “Cotton Picking” and “Selling the Thimble.” Smith relates that in 1882 there were 114 families, 84 white and 60 black, living in Beaver Dam Township, plus several good stores and steam sawmills. Cotton and wheat were the big agricultural products at the time.