Friday, January 19, 2018

Justice Chevrolet Company (Yanceyville, North Carolina)

Justice Chevrolet Company (Yanceyville, NC)

Clyde Caviness Cole (1903-1969) came to Yanceyville, North Carolina, May 28, 1928, to open a Chevrolet dealership. The grand opening of Justice Chevrolet was held June 5 and 6, 1928, in the "old Tom Lea" building on the Square. Mr. Cole secured the first Chevrolet franchise ever granted to Caswell County. Whether he was the sole owner is not known, but it is believed that he had one or more investors (possibly T. E. Steed).

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In January 1932, the Tom Lea Building burned, damaging the A. H. Motz Building and threatening the entire east end of the Square. Lost were Lea's Garage (Justice Chevrolet), Richardson's Barber Shop, and Swicegood Funeral Home. Lea apparently leased the building to Justice Chevrolet and began rebuilding immediately. The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, NC), January 7, 1932.



Justice Chevrolet Company reopened, having been closed since the fire of January 1932. The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, NC), May 11, 1933.

In 1936, Justice Chevrolet occupied a new building constructed by T. E. Steed. Where this new building was located is not known. Nor is it known when the name of the dealership was changed to Cole Chevrolet. The Caswell Messenger (Yanceyville, NC), June 4, 1936.

In 1947 Clyde Cole constructed a new Chevrolet dealership building on Hooper Street in Yanceyville (now Cole Street). This new structure was 75' by 136' and totaled 12,775 square feet including the mezzanine. Construction was brick and steel, with no posts to hinder work flow. This building was demolished a few years back.

January 19, 2018


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Caswell County Courthouse Clock Restoration

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Those familiar with the clock restoration project report that a critical part needed to make the clock operational was being used as a door stop in the next-door home of Zeke and Sallie Anderson (The Clerk's House).

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Yanceyville United Methodist Church

Yanceyville United Methodist Church (Yanceyville, North Carolina)

1. The original church lot, where the cemetery is located, was deeded to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church September 20, 1841. A solid brick church building was constructed, which later was stuccoed over.

2. In 1910, under the leadership of Reverend J. E. Blaylock, a modest frame church was erected on Main Street Extension, not far from where the parsonage was located in 1998.

3. The 1910 building was used for four years, when the congregation became dissatisfied with it. In 1915, under the pastorship of Reverend S. F. Nicks, the old original church was remodeled, and the congregation moved back.

4. During the pastorate of Reverend I. T. Poole a log church hut was built to house temporarily part of the Sunday School.

5. On April 18, 1941, the congregation voted to purchase the John O. Gunn lot on West Main Street. The lot purchased had been part of the Johnston estate, which was divided and sold at public auction in July 1940. The final service in the old church was an Easter sunrise service April 25, 1943. The new church was formally opened Sunday, May 2, 1943, with Reverend J. V. Early presiding.

Memorial windows dedicated in 1943: Thomas Oldham Jones, Cora Harrison Slade, Carrie Virginia Slade, Mary Elizabeth Graves, John F. Flintoff and Mary M. Flintoff, Dorabelle Graves Tucker, Hattie Smith Gunn, Bettie Slade Anderson, Lloyd Johnson, and R. Bruce Hatchett.
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Greensboro Daily News (Greensboro, North Carolina), 29 June 1818, Saturday, Page 2:

The Durham district conference will convene in the Yanceyville Methodist church, July 2-4. The conference will open Tuesday night, with a sermon. Dinner will be served on the church grounds.
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The Bee (Danville, Virginia), 27 October 1955, Thursday, Page 20:

Yanceyville, N.C. -- The Yanceyville Methodist Church will observe its Centennial here Sunday morning, it was announced today. The speaker will be the Rev. J. V. Early, former pastor who is now pastor of the First Methodist Church in Smithfield. Homecoming will be observed in conjunction with the centennial, and written invitations have been sent to former pastors and members outside the county. Those living within the county have been invited to attend but will not be sent written invitations, it was announced. Records are somewhat vague, but it would appear that steps were taken to organize the church some time during 1841, and it is definitely known that the church had been established in 1852.
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The Bee (Danville, Virginia), 27 October 1955, Thursday, Page 24:

Observance Planned By Methodist Church In Yanceyville, N.C.

Yanceyville, N.C. -- Commemorating Week of Prayer and Self-Denial, a service of meditation and sacred songs will be given at Yanceyville Methodist Church tomorrow evening at 7:30 o'clock.

The service was written and will be led by Mrs Arthur Smith, assisted by a vested choir of 20 voices. Responses will be in the form of solos, duets and the full choir will sing humns that point the theme of "Faith, Hope, Love and Prayer." The central theme "The Altar of the Heart," will e dramatized by the choir.

Members of the choir are: Mrs. Bob White Wilson, Mrs. Edwith Harrington, Mrs. Zeke Anderson, Mrs. W. C. Jackson, Mrs. D. A. Clark, Mrs. Fred Stuck, Mrs. Ralph Aldridge, Miss Ellen Hahn, and Miss Rosalee McMullen, sopranos; Mrs. Lee Price, Mrs. J. D. Gwynn Jr., Miss Bettie Watlington, Miss Alice McDonald and Miss Bettie Anderson, altos; Arthur Smith and Bill Murphy, tenors, William Gunn and W. E. Niven, baritones, and Baron Neal and Emmett Brandon, basses.

The service is open to the public.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Descendants of Samuel and Elizabeth Watkins

Descendants of Samuel and Elizabeth Watkins

As I take a stroll through the Milton Cemetery and read the familiar names -- Watkins, Lewis,Irvine, Stamps, Richmond, Hunt, and Donoho, I feel I am "home" even though I have never lived in Milton. All of these names are intertwined in childhood memories of maternal ancestors I have known personally or through conversation and reference.

My great-great-grandparents, Samuel Watkins and Elizabeth Frances Stamps, daughter of Anna Beaufort (nee Ragland) Lewis and Thomas Stamps, married and moved from Halifax County, Va. to Milton about 1836. There he was a tobacco farmer and merchant. A member of the Presbyterian Church, he was a man of spotless "integrity" to quote his obituary.

Samuel and Elizabeth left five children: Henry Thomas who married Anne Bullock and moved to Granville County leaving a heritage of many descendants in the Henderson area; Warner Meriwether, who married Kate Walker, parenting Emily Watkins Donoho, a life long resident of Milton, and four other children: Charles, who married Virginia Ober and eventually moved to Richmond, Va., was engaged in business with his brother, Warner, in Milton as a merchant and dealer in leaf tobacco; Anna Stamps, who married Eustace Hunt, a member of the Milton Blues which became a part of the 13th N.C. Regiment, remained a resident of Milton for her lifetime; and John Lewis, my great-grandfather, who married Claudia Alcesta (nee Williams) Benbury Fox, daughter of John Gordon Williams and Sarah Mason Lee Wiggins of Easton, N.C.

John Watkins, born in 1839, attended Hampden-Sydney College in Va. and the University of Va., studying medicine. He was a member of the Milton Blues and left with them in 1861 when they became a part of Co. C of the 13th N.C. Regiment of Volunteers. An unverified family story is that he was interning in N.Y. when war was declared and rushed out, leaving a partially used cadaver, and headed South. He served as assistant surgeon and after a year was transferred to the Signal Corps in the same capacity. When mustered out at the War's end, each man received $1.12 1/2 as his last pay. Unable to split a quarter, he and another flipped for that. He lost, but the silver dollar is in the Confederate Museum in Richmond. Another family legend is that John saw so much suffering during the war he did not wish to pursue medicine so became a druggist in New Bern, N.C. and later a buyer on the Durham, N.C. tobacco market, finally returning to Milton to be in charge of Milton Roller Mills.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Milton Roller Mill History




Milton Roller Mill

For decades, Caswell County millers converted grain to flour and meal by grinding it between rotating stones. This technology was replaced by the roller mill, which crushed the grain between rollers. The old Milton roller mill stood on Country Line Creek. Beside it was the high trestle bridge over the stream. The open-ended building to the left was used to store coal. Photograph courtesy Jean B. Scott.
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When the mill in the photograph was built is not known. However, as of 2017 the remains of the foundation were still visible. The stone foundation walls were there, with at least three door openings and some smaller openings. One portion of the wall is seven-feet thick. The last mill to operate on this site was powered with a turbine, not a water wheel. The turbine is still there buried under the creek bank. Stone dam pillars were visible on each side of the creek. These pillars supported a wood and rock dam. The Atlantic and Danville Railway had a spur line to the mill.

Based upon the following newspaper accounts, it is possible that the original mill burned in 1906, was replaced, and that the replacement structure burned in 1944. When the original mill was built is not known, but the second article below suggest the foundation dates from the 1790s.

1906

"The Milton Roller Mills near Milton and owned by W. B. Lewis of this city were totally destroyed by fire at 9:30 o'clock the lurid glare being visible from this city. The loss is estimated at $25,000. The mills were the largest in this section and had a capacity of 100 barrels a day and were very largely patronized. The equipment was of the latest approved type. Some insurance was carried."

And, although the item was published in 1926, it appeared in a section of the newspaper called: "The Bee 20 Years Ago Said:" Thus, this would have been 1906.

Source: The Bee (Danville, Virginia), 17 March 1926, Wednesday, Page 3.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ferries at Milton, North Carolina

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Milton Ferries
The following is from: Motley, Charles B. Milton, North Carolina: Sidelights of History (1976):
"Several ferries operated across Dan River in the Milton area including Staton's Ferry which operated across the river about where the dual bridge is being constructed.
"Pictured on buggy on ferry is Robert Fleming. Picture made July 21, 1903. Staton's Ferry was purchased by a stock company in 1906. Dr. J. A. Hurdle was a stockholder and served as President. A single lane toll bridge was erected by this group to replace the ferry.

"It later was determined that approaches to the bridge should be changed which would require additional capital. E. B. Foote (father of J. B. Foote of Milton) purchased substantial stock and served as President of the Milton Bridge Company.

"This toll bridge operated until the 1930's when it was purchased by the State of North Carolina for a nominal amount.

"The State of North Carolina erected another single lane bridge about 1940-41. This bridge was moved from a Virginia location and is being used today (1976).

"Just north of this bridge the State is erecting the first dual lane bridge across Dan River at Milton. This bridge is scheduled for completion July 1, 1976."

Abraham Pope: Milton Cabinetmaker

Milton Intelligencer (Milton, NC),
6 Apr 1819, Tue, p. 4
Abraham Pope: Milton Cabinetmaker

The population of Milton, North Carolina prompted the North Carolina General Assembly to expand the town boundaries in 1818, and Milton also became part of a north-south road system that facilitated the movement of people and goods between Virginia and North Carolina. People on the move required accommodation, and in 1818 Union Tavern, a newly constructed and substantial brick building on Milton's Main Street, began offering the traveling public a place to rest and dine. Soon the town became a magnet to men engaged in business and commerce, attracting additional merchants, tradesmen, artisans, and mechanics to relocate in Caswell County, including fancy-chair maker Isaac Hutchins and cabinetmakers Abraham Pope and John Day Jr., initially, and Thomas Day, eventually.

Hutchins, who arrived in 1819, announced that his establishment, the first of its kind in Milton, could produce as well as repair elegant chairs, sets of chairs, and settees, could embellish them with paint, and could also provide fancy, ornamental, and sign painting. That same year Pope, an emigrant from Taunton, England, opened his shop on Main Street, promising to supply (and ship) an elegant and stylish assortment of mahogany furniture such as sideboards, secretaries, bookcases, bureaus, dining tables, breakfast tables, bedsteads, drop-leaf tables, and washstands.

In 1818 twenty-two-year-old Pope became a naturalized citizen. In 1822, for reasons unknown, Pope sold off the contents of his shop, including twenty-eight mahogany furniture pieces, along with raw material and personal household goods. The timing and scope raise the possibility that Pope had incurred substantial debt during the economic depression brought by the panic of 1819. The fate of Issac Hutchins remains a mystery, as he disappears from existing records.

Source: Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color, Patricia Phillips Marshall and Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll (2010) at 12-13 (and related footnotes).
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North Carolina State Archives
Title: Ad for Cabinet Business of Abraham Pope, Milton, N. C.
Years: 1819 (1998)
Creator: Milton Advertiser, Alan Westmoreland
Call Number: N.98.10.31
MARS Id: 4.1.16.1580 (Folder)
Quantity: 1 Item(s)
Scope/Contents: Photograph from a newspaper shows an advertisement for the Cabinet Business of Abraham Pope at Milton, Caswell County, North Carolina. Photo taken from the Milton Advertiser [newspaper], 14 April 1819.
Subjects: Business; Furniture; Industry and Trade; Furniture Making; Mahogany
Personal Names: Pope, Abraham
Corporate Names: Abraham Pope Cabinet Business
Geographical Names: Milton
Source/Donor: Milton Advertiser [newspaper]