Saturday, April 21, 2018

Richmond-Harding Golden Wedding Anniversary (Milton, NC, 1909)

Their Golden Wedding Celebrated

Milton, N.C., Jan. 20 [1909] -- Rev. E. H. Harding, the Presbyterian pastor at this place, and his beloved wife, Mrs. Mary Richmond Harding, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary here today. Their son, Dr. Richmond Harding, of Davidson College, and his daughter, Miss Mary R. Harding, Mrs. W. J. Montgomery, of Concord, and Dr. Henry Harding Dodson, of Greensboro, were among the relatives who came to honor the auspicious day with them. Many good gifts were sent by friends.

The three churches under Dr. Harding's pastoral care, Red House, Gilead, and Milton, sent a generous offering in gold, which was presented at the door of the manse this morning by a sweet little girl, Amelia Lankford, on a silver waiter filled with fresh violets, white carnations and maiden hair ferns, with a card expressing their loving loyalty and devotion, and in grateful recognition of his faithfulness and love to them.

Dr. Harding, at seventy years of age, continues to preach the gospel with great spiritual power, pathos and beauty. All denominations delight to hear and honor him.

News and Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), 21 January 1909.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Milton, North Carolina, Boundaries Expanded 1818

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Laws of North Carolina 1818

Chapter XCIX

An Act for the government of the town of Milton, to extend the boundaries thereof, and for other purposes.

I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That James Rainey, James Holder, Philip I. Inge, Solomon Graves, William Irvine, Washington Jeffreys, John P. Harrison, Thomas McGehee and John Rogers, or a majority of them, be, and they are hereby appointed commissioners to lay off and establish, adjoining the town of Milton, such number of lots or quantity of ground, and to lay out and establish such streets and alleys on the same, as they may deem the public interest shall require; and when the said commissioners, shall have so laid out the said lots, streets and alleys, and establish the boundary aforesaid, they shall make or cause to be made, two fair and full copies of the plan of the said town of Milton, including the town heretofore incorporated by an act the General Assembly of this State, passed in the year one thousand, seven hundred and ninety six, and that part of the said town authorized to be laid out by this act, in which plan shall be represented, the several lots of the town with their numbers, the streets and alleys of the same, with the names of the said streets; one of which said copies, as soon as the same shall be completed, shall be deposited in the office of the clerk of the county court of Caswell, and registered by the register of the county of Caswell, and the other copy deposited with the commissioners of police herein after mentioned, and by them recorded in a book to be kept for the purpose of entering all proceedings of the said commissioners.

II. And be it further enacted, That the boundary laid off by the said commissioners shall be considered the limits of the said town of Milton and all lands lying in the same is hereby declared to be included in the corporation established by this act.

III. And be it further enacted, That on the first day of March next, the qualified voters in the said town of Milton, shall convene at some suitable place within the said town and shall elect eight persons to be commissioners of police for one year next ensuing, which said commissioners and their successors shall be, and are hereby declared to be a body politic and corporate, by the name of the commissioners of police for the town of Milton, and as such shall have perpetual succession and a common seal, shall sue and be sued, and by such name shall have power from time to time, and at all times hereafter to make such rules, regulations and bye-laws, as they or a majority of them shall think necessary, for the suppression of vice and immorality, and for the good government of the said town which are not repugnant to the laws of this State. They shall have power to appoint a town constable, superintendant of the streets of the town, and a superintendant of the public buildings of the town, and to establish and regulate the fees of the said offices, as they may think necessary; and the said commissioners and those hereafter to be appointed, shall before they enter upon the duties of their appointment take and subscribe before some justice of the peace of the county of Caswell, the following oath, (to wit,) I A B do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the nature of the case may be.) that I will well and truly perform the duties of commissioner of police of the town of Milton, so long as I shall continue to serve in the said appointment, to the best of my knowledge and ability, so help me God.

History of Milton, North Carolina

In 1826, the Reverend James M. Douglas, the Presbyterian minister, summarized the town's short history:

 "The ground on which the town of Milton now stands was covered with woods until about the year 1790. The first house was built by Mr. Daniel S. Farley, on the site of the present Milton Hotel. In 1796, a town, to be called Milton, a contraction of Mill-town, was laid out by Mr. Asa Thomas, and an act of the Legislature was obtained for the disposal of the lots. In 1819, when there were thirteen houses only, the act of incorporation was amended, and the town enlarged. For a time, flushed on by the madness of speculation, it increased rapidly. . . ."

Source: National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Milton Historic District, 27 August 1973.

Laws of North Carolina, 1796

At a General Assembly, begun and held at the city of Raleigh, on the twenty-first Day of November, in the Year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and ninety six, and in the Twenty-first Year of thee Independence of the said State; Being the first Session of the said Assembly.

An Act to establish a town and inspection of tobacco and flour in Caswell county, near the mouth of Country line creek, on the land of Asa Thomas.

I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, That Archibald Murphey, William Rainey, Thomas Jeffrey, Archibald Samuel and James Sanders, be, and they are hereby appointed Commissioners to lay off thirty acres of land of the aforesaid Asa Thomas, at or near his, the said Thomas' mill, into half acre lots, in such manner as they shall think most convenient for the same; and that as soon as said tract or parcel of land shall be laid off into lots, it shall be and the same is hereby established a town and shall be called and known by the name of Milton.

II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said Commissioners shall, as soon as convenient after laying off said town, proceed to sell the lots at public auction, giving twenty days notice of the time of said sale, and execute deeds of sale to the purchaser or purchasers for the same, in the name of the Commissioners; and the said Commissioners shall, and they are hereby declared to have full power and authority to form such rules, regulations and restrictions relative to the said town, as may from time to time be deemed expedient and necessary, not inconsistent with the constitution.

III. And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said Commissioners, or a majority of them, shall, and they are hereby declared to have full power and authority to act as such; and in case of resignation or refusal of the aforesaid Commissioners, that then and in that case it shall and may be lawful for the other said Commissioners , to nominate and appoint some other person or persons to full such vacancy, who shall have equal power and authority with the other said Commissioners appointed by this act.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Asa Thomas Deed/Indenture 8 July 1797 (Milton, NC)

Asa Thomas Deed/Indenture  8 July 1797

Asa Thomas Indenture  8 July 1797

Asa Thomas of Caswell County to the Commissioners empowered to lay out the Town of Milton, for $5, land adjacent to Milton, three lots containing four springs for free use of water to inhabitants of Milton forever and to be reserved as the Town Common; lot #1 of 53 square chains and one spring; lot #2 of one acre and two springs; lot #3 of 1.75 acres [presumably with one spring]. 8 July 1797. Witnesses: James Rainey, L. Lea, Robert Wilson.

Source: Kendall, Katharine Kerr. Caswell County North Carolina Deed Books 1777-1817 Abstracts. Easley (South Carolina): Southern Historical Press, Inc., 1989, p. 179.

[Paragraphs breaks added]

Asa Thomas Indenture 8 July 1797


This Indenture made the Eighth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand and seven hundred and ninety seven and in the twenty second year of our Independence between Asa Thomas of the County of Caswell and State of North Carolina of the one part and Thomas Jeffreys, Archibald Murphey, William Rainey, Archibald Samuel and James Saunders, Commissioners appointed by an act of our General Assembly for the purposes of laying out, building and carrying on the town of Milton near the mouth of Country line creek, all of the County of Caswell & state aforesaid of the other part.

Witnesseth that the said Asa Thomas for and in consideration of the sum of five dollars to him paid by the said Commissioners the receipt whereof he the said Asa Thomas doth hereby acknowledge.

That he given and granted bargained and sold and by this agreement doth give and grant bargain and sell, allieve in fee assess release and confirm unto the said commissioners and their successors for ever three certain lots or parcels of land situate lying and being in the Countyy aforesaid adjoining the Town of Milton it being three separate lots including four several springs, conveyed to the said Commissioners for the free and uninterrupted use of water to the inhabitants of the Town of Milton and by the said Commissioners to be reserved a Town common for that special purpose for ever and bounded as follows to wit,

Spring Lot No. 1 beginning at the North East corner of the Lot No. 21 and running thence north 7 1/2 degrees east thirty three yards to a stake, thence North 82 1/2 degrees west twenty two yards to a stake, then north 7 1/2 __ degrees East fifty seven yards one foot eight inches to a stake, then South eighty two 1/2 degrees East 66 yards 2 foot 8 inches to a stake west corner of Lot No. 27 then South 7 1/2 degrees west ten yards to a stake, then north west corner of lot No. 26, thence north 82 1/2 degrees west thirty four yards two feet four inches to a stake the South 7 1/2 degrees west sixty nine yards one foot eight inches to __ the north west corner of lot No. 22 thence north.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Nissen Wagon Dealers in Caswell County, North Carolina

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The Nissen Wagon Works of John Philip Nissen, located in Forsyth County, North Carolina, was one of the largest wagon makers in the south during the nineteenth century. By 1850 Nissen was producing 65 wagons annually, far more than his competitors. The good years that followed found Nissen tripling the amount of capital invested in his business as he purchased steam-powered and horse-powered machinery to double his production capacity.

John Philip Nissen managed the business until after the Civil War, when two of his sons, George E. and William M., began to operate the firm under the name George E. Nissen Wagon Works. At the peak of production, this company produced about ten thousand wagons a year. John Israel Nissen, another son of J. P. Nissen, also established a wagon factory, which he later sold to his brother, Christian Francis (Frank).

The separate Nissen wagon factories were consolidated in 1910 and continued to operate under the Nissen name until 1925 when it was sold for nearly $1 million.

Source: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. [Online at NCPedia].

Counterfeit Bank of the State of North Carolina Note April 1844

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Counterfeit bank note taken from prisoner in Stokes County, North Carolina, 1846.


"This Bill found in the possession of Larkin Ray a Prisoner brought before us Beverly Jones & HR Lehman two of the Justices of the Peace of Stokes County NC on the 10th of January 1846 at Bethania. HR Lehman."

In 1846, Bethania was in Stokes County, North Carolina. However, as a result of the creation of Forsyth County in 1849 (carved from Stokes County), Bethania now is in Forsyth County.

The Bank of the State of North Carolina Promises to Pay Four Dollars on demand to the bearer at Milton Raleigh 1 Apr 1844.

From the Greg Cheek Collection
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Wednesday, April 11, 2018



Drummer House (Leasburg, NC)
In the mid 1800s, Jews who had recently emigrated from eastern Europe got a foothold in business by peddling in North Carolina and other southern states. With little capital themselves, immigrant peddlers often catered to poor whites and blacks whose access to store credit was limited; some peddlers managed to accumulate enough cash to start their own permanent stores.

Although stereotyped as shady dealers, in reality peddlers were vulnerable travelers who could be easy crime targets.

Determining the precise number of peddlers who sold their wares in North Carolina at any given time is difficult. What is clear, however, is that this ancient form of selling remained an important part of the state's commerce into the twentieth century, when more sophisticated traveling salesmen replaced peddlers and improved transportation made getting to the store easier for consumers.

Source: Jones, Lu Ann. "Peddlers." NCPedia, 2006.