Colonel Uriah Vaughan was born on November 29, 1813, on his father’s plantation near Murfreesboro, North Carolina. He apparently took on the title of Colonel himself, as no indication of military service could be found. Vaughan’s parents were John Vaughan and Sarah (Rogers) Vaughan, both from Hertford County, North Carolina. Vaughan did not receive extensive education during his early years, and with a restless spirit, at age 15 he left school against his father’s advice. Vaughan traveled to Murfreesboro, a commercial center within the region, where he made the acquaintance of William Rea, the proprietor of a large mercantile business. Vaughan gained experience while working as a clerk at Rea’s store for a few years. He then decided to go into business for himself, a venture which would prove successful.
On June 16, 1842, Vaughan married Sarah Amanda Jenkins. She was the daughter of Captain Henry Deberry Jenkins and wife Sarah A. Jenkins, both from Hertford County. Uriah and Sarah had eleven children together. Three of their children, Benjamin, Julia and William would not survive childhood. The other seven included Annie, Bettie, Alice, Cornelia (Nellie), Thomas, Rosa, Uriah, Jr. and Sarah Amanda. Vaughan’s daughters were educated at the college level in Murfreesboro, while his sons got their education from Randolph and Macon College in Virginia. Vaughan’s wife Sarah received her education at the “Banks School” in Murfreesboro, which would later become the Chowan Baptist Female Institute.
Annie married George L. Arps of Norfolk, Virginia. She died in 1880 and the couple had one son, Frederick. Bettie married ex-Judge David A. Barnes of Northampton County, North Carolina, in 1872. Barnes died in Murfreesboro in 1892, and was survived by his wife Annie and their four children Bessie, David Collin, Sarah A. and Annie R. Alice married Dr. R.H. Stancell of Northampton County, and they had no children. Cornelia (called Nellie) married lawyer, politician, businessman and author, Benjamin Brodie (B.B.) Winborne of Hertford County on December 23, 1879. The couple had four children, Stanley, B.B., Jr. and Uriah and Micajah who both died in childhood. Thomas married Miss Mary Elizabeth Brown of Baltimore, and they had no children. On February 3, 1903, Rosa married Robert W. Winborne (B.B., Sr.’s brother), a lawyer practicing in Roanoke, Virginia. Robert died in June 1907, having no children with Rosa, but leaving two children, Roger and Robert W., Jr. by a previous marriage. Uriah, Jr., married Miss Fannie Early Brown of Lynchburg, Virginia and they had two children, Mary and Sara. Sarah Amanda married Thomas W. Hawkins from Littleton, North Carolina. The couple had four children, Rosa, Vaughan, Sarah and Thomas, and later moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.
On January 19, 1890, Colonel Uriah Vaughan died. By all accounts, he was the wealthiest man in his county, was respected by those who knew him and also a lifelong member of the Methodist Church. Vaughan left a will and his sons Thomas and Uriah and son-in-law B.B. Winborne were named as the executors. Vaughan’s other son-in-law, David A. Barnes, was also named as an executor, but he “declined to qualify.” Vaughan’s wife Sarah died on January 15, 1901.
Vaughan’s two sons became merchants in Murfreesboro and eventually married sisters, Mary Elizabeth Brown and Fannie Early Brown (as previously mentioned). The two sisters were the daughters of James Leftwich Brown and his wife Mary Virginia Early of Lynchburg, who had many other daughters as well. Mr. Brown was born on January 25, 1815, the son of Daniel Brown and his wife Mary Leftwich, and grandson of Henry Brown and his wife Alice Beard of Bedford County, Virginia. James L. Brown was married to Miss Early on September 30, 1847. Miss Early was born on October 1, 1822, and died on July 18, 1864. Her husband died on August 12, 1872. This family had connections to some of the most prominent families in “Old Virginia,” the Wills, Hancocks, Mooreusaus and the Jacksons.
Mary Virginia Early was the daughter of Reverend John Early and his wife Elizabeth Browne Rivers. Mr. Early was born in Bedford County on January 1, 1786, and married Elizabeth on November 4, 1822. At the age of sixty-nine, Mr. Early was elected as Bishop to the Methodist Episcopal Church of the United States and successfully served in that position for nearly nineteen years. He died a greatly respected man in Lynchburg on November 5, 1873.
Family tradition indicates that Bishop Early was a descendant of John Early, the Bishop of Worcester and later of Salisbury, England, during the seventeenth century. The elder Bishop Early was also the author of the popular work “Microcosmography, or a Piece of the World Discovered,” a popular treatise discussing customs of that time period. It proved so successful that there were eight editions published during the author’s lifetime.
Bishop Early’s wife, Elizabeth Browne Rives, of Bedford was born April 4, 1804, and died on May 16, 1857. She was related to Colonel Henry Browne who was one of the councilors of Governor Berkeley of Virginia. She was also the cousin of Honorable William Cabell Rives, of Nelson County, Virginia, who was a soldier, lawyer legislator, congressman, U.S. senator and author. Many in the Rives family were notable in Virginia. Mrs. Early was the cousin of Henry Rives Pollard, the editor and proprietor of the newspaper Southern Opinion, published in Richmond, Virginia, from 1867-1868. She was also the cousin of Edward Albert Pollard, a well-known journalist and author from Lynchburg.
SOURCE: “Family Sketches by Benj. B. Winborne…., compiled by David Powell, 2002,” Joyner Library, North Carolina Collection, North Carolina Reference, CS 71 B17 2002.