African-American Generations Gaston-Lincoln 1865
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AFRICAN-AMERICAN GENERATIONS GASTON-LINCOLN 1865-1910 COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY
RUDOLPH YOUNG AND OTHERS
Book Two of Four
TABLE OF CONTENTS
OUR AFRICAN PAST
MOORE'S CHAPEL A.M.E ZION CHURCH AND
The Church Building
Bishop Thomas Lomax
OTHER REPORTS AND PAPERS OF THE FREEDOM'S BUREAU
SOUTHERN IRON WORKS
CENTER BAPTIST CHURCH
NEW TOWN OF GASTONIA
Descriptive Roll of Company A-K, 40th Regiment, US Colored Infantry 26 Lincoln and Gaston County Names
THE FREEDMEN SCHOOL
JOE SMITH AND VAN HOYLE
BUSINESS AND RESIDENTS OF GASTONIA AT THE END OF THE POSTBELLUM PERIOD 31 LINCOLN ACADEMY
THE PINEY GROVE SCHOOL
SPRINGFIELD MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH
LINK'S CHAPEL CHURCH
JOHN NELSON GARDIN, SR.
The Descendents of John Wesley Pope
MRS. H. L. HINDRIX
MARRIAGE, FAMILY, AND RELATIONSHIPS
HIRAM RHOADES REVELS AND ELIAS BARNETT REVELS
EDWARDS CHAPEL BAPTIST CHURCH
Moore's Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church By: Rudolph Young
The Land The land where the Moore's Chapel A.M.E . Zion Church now stands originally belonged to A.G. Wiswall of Lower Newton, Massachusetts. Mr. Wiswall came to Lincolnton in 1860 and engaged in the paper business. In 1869 Mr. Wiswall's health began to decline, and he sold the land to Richard and Adelene Pickenpack, a black couple from Charlotte for one hundred and ninety dollars ($190.00). The Pickenpack's were interested in the success of the A.M.E. Zion Church in Lincolnton, and they sold the land to the trustees for sixty ($60.00) dollars. Part of the land was held in trust for the Freedman School in Lincolnton. Judge David Scheck and his wife Sally donated some land in 1878 which was used for a campground. This land later became a cemetery. The Church Building The first church was built in 1870 under the leadership of Elder F.B. Moore. It was a large church and some of the wood was salvaged from old buildings already on the property. The church was built by the members of the church. One of the builders was Caleb Lander who was a master carpenter. The church debt was paid off by 1878 by Reverend Theodore Blackmen. Reverend Blackmen also added a second story to the church before Bishop Hood and Lomax brought the General Conference to Lincolnton in 1879. At the beginning of 1880, the church seated five hundred (500) people on the first floor and had a meeting hall and classrooms on the second floor. The church provided a Sunday School library which was one of the largest in the state conference. The library also served as the pastor's study. In 1885 the church was repaired, and in 1892 it was remodeled. In 1898 the church was rebuilt under the leadership of Reverend S.D. Watkins. In 1951 it was rebuilt as a brick structure under the leadership of Reverend Carson. 2
The Parsonage The first parsonage was built in 1881. Before this time the pastor lived in the home of Ephrim and Louisa Hoke. In 1886 Dr. Morris added two extra rooms and sealed four rooms. The trustees added a reception area in January 1887 along with new furniture. Improved transportation later lessened the need for a parsonage, and the parsonage became a rental property for the church. Early Benefactors Bishop John Jamison Moore was a benefactor of the church. He will be discussed in a separate section. Richard and Adelene Pickenpack were a Black couple from Mecklenburg County who worked for a Dr. Cureton in Charlotte's Fourth Ward in 1869. Richard and his wife were both 65 years old. Their children were Napolean, Columbus, Richard and Mary. They were friends of Elder F.B. Moore. When the church property came up for sale, the church did not have the selling price. Elder F.B. Moore asked Richard Pickenpack to purchase the land. He purchased the land for one hundred ninety ($190.00) dollars. When the church raised sixty ($60.00) dollars, the Pickenpacks sold the land to the church for that price in 1870. David Schenck gave money to the church as early as 1868 when he was a lawyer. In 1878 he and his wife gave a plot to the church for a token price of one ($1.00) dollar. The deed reads "given in respect of the A.M.E. Zion Church in America." Elizabeth Schenck McDaniel was the wife of Reverend Daniel G. McDaniel and the first known missionary to Blacks in Lincoln County. She was also a benefactor of Moore's Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church and the employer of Charles McDaniel of McDaniel Springs, who was a founder of the church. Elizabeth's family made donations to the church for almost seventy (70) years. Bishop Thomas Lomax Bishop Thomas Lomax was a supporter of the church. He founded Lomax Lodge #29 in 1885 in Lincolnton and established his family in Iron Station while he lived in Charlotte. 3
Pastors The first pastor was Francis B. Moore who organized the church into the A.M.E. Zion Connection in 1868. Elder Moore came to Lincolnton shortly after several churches were organized in and around Charlotte. Elder Moore was married to Jane Moore. They had four (4) children. Elder Moore was on the trustee Board of the Freedmen School, which was operated by the church before a public school system was set up. Elder Moore was designated Elder-in-charge, an assistant to Bishop Moore. He left Lincolnton in 1871. He is mentioned by Bishop Walls as founder of a church in California in 1891. Elder Moore had to deal with all the social and political problems that followed the Civil War. He led a campaign to rid the church of the members of a secret organization called the "Red Strings". Between 1871 and 1876 there was not an official pastor. During this time, Bishop Moore took an active role in the affairs of the church. Moore's Chapel became the Mother Church of the Western half of the Central North Carolina Conference. Bishop Moore presided from Lincolnton and Bishop Hood presided from Fayetteville. Under Bishop Moore's leadership, Moore's Chapel became a great church. Theodore F.H. Blackmen was pastor from 1876 until 1880. He was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina, in 1852. He attended the Freedmen School there and later graduated from St. Augustine College in Raleigh. Reverend Blackmen was ordained a deacon in Lincolnton in 1871 and was sent to Columbus County. He was appointed to Lincolnton by Bishop Moore. Bishop Moore left in 1877. After Reverend Blackmen left Lincolnton in 1880, Moore's Chapel was pastored by Reverend Sulley Herndon. Reverend Herndon was born in Texas in 1850 to Amanda and Jefferson Herndon who were founders of Moore's Chapel. Reverend Herndon became an Elder, and he and his wife Josephine founded Herndon Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Lincolnton, North Carolina, in 1896. In 1881 Ephriam L. Campbell was appointed as pastor of Moore's Chapel. He led the church until May 1885 when there was an uprising in the conference. Reverend Campbell had to be assigned to the Charlotte District.
In May of 1885, Reverend George Lincoln Blackwell was assigned to complete the term of Reverend Campbell. Reverend Blackwell was born in Hendersonville in 1861. He was a student at the time of his appointment. He had not received an appointment before because of his studies, and he had fallen into financial hardship. His father died just before he arrived. He was one of eleven children. Reverend Blackwell had a great deal of difficulty at first because of his lack of experience as a pastor, but with great sacrifices and hard work, he became a very good pastor. He initiated the Sunday School Celebration Day, completed the repair campaign which was started by Reverend Campbell, and joined the Charlotte District with Reverend Campbell in November of 1885. Later he was appointed manager of the A.M.E. Zion Publishing House, and eventually was elected as Bishop. In 1886 Dr. Robert Russell Morris was appointed pastor. Dr. Morris immediately became pre-occupied with the Sunday School. The Sunday School had one hundred and ninety (190) members and an average attendance of one hundred fifty (150). The library contained required volumes of materials, and the Sunday School supplemented the public school system in as much as the Sunday School taught the 3 R's as well as religious courses. Dr. Morris was hard working man. When his appointment expired, he remained in Lincolnton long enough to complete the parsonage. He left Lincolnton in 1887. In 1888 he was appointed superintendent of all the A.M.E. Zion Sunday Schools in America. The Sunday School at Moore's Chapel became the model for other A.M.E. Zion Schools. Dr. Morris was born in Nova Scotia, Canada. He would have been the first A.M.E. Zion Missionary to Africa if he had not been assigned to Haiti. He founded a church in Canada that was taken over by the British Episcopal Church and a church in Bermuda. He was sent to a pastoral position at Moore's Chapel at his own request. He wanted to study ways to standardize the A.M.E. Zion Sunday Schools. He was sent to a pastoral position at Moore's Chapel at his own request. He wanted to study ways to standardize the A.M.E. Zion Sunday Schools. 5
In 1887 A.F. Goslin was appointed to Moore's Chapel. Reverend Goslin came from the Wadesboro area. Upon his arrival, he became ill and remained bedridden for more than a month. During that time Reverend David Baker of the Presbyterian Church conducted services for him. He also received assistance from the Baptist Church. It was under Reverend A.F. Goslin that the Moore's Chapel Academy was established. The school opened in January of 1890 and closed in 1893. It opened with thirty (30) students from Lincoln and adjacent counties. The trustees used the land they received from Judge Schenck as an inducement for the district to locate the school in Lincolnton. Hickory was the original proposed site of the school. The first teacher was Mrs. J.L. Hendrix who was a graduate of Barber Scotia College. The beginning of 1890 brought Reverend P.J. Holmes as pastor. Reverend Holmes is most noted for the Emancipation Day Celebration. The celebration was held on January 1, 1890, this was the first of these celebrations. The original Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. In 1890 a parade of fifty (50) mounted men and two hundred (200) pedestrians left the Lodge Hall and proceeded downtown. The parade was led by the Cornet Star Band. Upon returning to the Lodge Hall, the crowd was found to be too large to meet inside. The celebration then moved to Moore's Chapel. The crowd was entertained by a choir of twenty-seven (27) voices. Reverend Holmes conducted the prayer, and essays were read by Mrs. Hannah McDaniel and Mrs. Mary E. Thompson. Their subjects are not known. The speaker was Reverend I.D. Davis. Reverend Davis gave an outline of the history of Blacks in America from 1619 to 1890. Mr. L.T. Milton read the Emancipation Proclamation. By 1891 Alfred L. Newby was appointed as pastor. He was considered to be one of Livingstone College's brightest sons. He did not possess the spiritual leadership of those before him or his peers, according to layman L.C. Reinhardt, which was probably due to his young age and inexperience. 6
Elder Marable stayed in Lincolnton to tutor the young Reverend Newby. Later Reverend Newby became a great pastor and leader in the expansion of the A.M.E. Zion Church. William Johnson was appointed as pastor in 1893. Reverend Johnson was born in Iron Station. He and his brothers were political activists. As early as 1869, they petitioned the Republican Party to get Blacks elected to public office in Lincoln County. Reverend Johnson was the Residing Elder of the newly formed Lincolnton District. He had resided in Mocksville before this appointment. In 1895 Reverend William Johnson hosted the first Sunday School Convention of the district which was organized by Reverend B.F. Martin. Reverend Martin served as the convention's first chairman. During the convention, a high school committee was formed. The members of this committee were the Reverends Herndon, Reid, Sloan, Robertson, McCoy and Chambers. Lay persons on this committee were the Messrs, Pharr, Roseman and Connor. The children of Moore's Chapel presented a program at this convention. The children wore uniforms of blue and white. The convention was delighted with the performance. Reverend Sidney D. Watkins was appointed in 1897. He was known for his "Mother Hen" type leadership. Reverend Watkins was very interested in the young people in the church. He loved the church and had a great deal of pride for the Black race. He had a modest beginning as a pastor. The Sunday School was his main interest. He was a trouble shooter in the conference. He had barely completed his first quarter at Moore's Chapel when he was sent to Rutherfordton. Reverend Johnson was the temporary pastor at Moore's Chapel .. Reverend Watkins returned as pastor to Moore's Chapel before the Annual conference of 1898. He increased the church membership to two hundred (200) members. Reverend S.D. Watkins believed in using the resources of the community to build a church. He used Professor Todd and Mary E. Princeton, two public school teachers, as two of the thirteen Sunday School teachers.
During July of that year, a major project, the rebuilding of the church was completed. Reverend Watkins was sent to Statesville after the annual conference. The church protested and he was sent back, bu he was also appointed to the A.M.E. Shelby Zion Church. He organized the Leaders Council at Moore's Chapel. His credo was "give the young a chance". Reverend Watkins was appointed Presiding Elder to replace Reverend E.L. Campbell. Reverend Hilliard Black of St. Stephens A.M.E. Zion Church of Gastonia was appointed to pastor Moore's Chapel in 1903. He is believed to have pastored both churches at the same time. In 1908 Reverend William J. Walls was appointed as pastor. Reverend Walls was a "Boy Wonder". He started preaching in a cave near Asheville at the age of eleven. He came to Lincolnton after graduating from Livingstone College. His pastorate marked the end of an era in the history of the Moore's Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church. The period from 1910 to the present time is not included in the expansion era of the A.M.E Zion Church. Moore's Chapel continues to be a great church, but it does not dominate the religious life of the Black Community as it once did. Bishop Thomas Lomax was born in Cumberland County in 1832. He was the grandson of a Revolutionary War veteran who arrived with Marquis de Lafayette. Bishop Lomax became Bishop in 1876. In 1905 he established the Lomax family in Iron Station. In 1885 he established the Lomax Lodge #29 in Lincolnton and was a member of the first Board of Livingston College. He was also the founder of the Lomax Hannon College in Greenville, Alabama. The Lomax family is mostly associated with Links Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Iron Station. However, he is also a historical figure at Moore's Chapel because Lomax Lodge was composed mostly of the Men's Club of Moore's Chapel Church. It was also Bishop Lomax, along with Bishop Hood who was responsible for bringing the annual conference of 1879 to Lincolnton. He was also a benefactor of Moore's Chapel. 8
Bishop John Jamison Moore was born in Berkley County, West Virginia, of slave parents about the year 1818. His mother was born free, but at the age of fifteen was kidnapped in Maryland and sold into slavery in West Virginia. She later married a slave who was the Bishop was the youngest. They were recaptured and the four oldest children were sold in South Carolina. A second attempt to gain freedom was successful, and the Bishop's parents along with the two youngest children , after much hardship and suffering, reached Bedford County, Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania a friendly farmer gave them employment and the two boys, William and John, were bound out for a term to the farmer's son who was also a farmer. Learning of the pursuit of their former owner, the Bishop's parents had to leave the settlement, but the Bishop remained secure on the farm. He was taught to read and write by his employer and also acquired a knowledge of farming. The last part of his apprenticeship was served to a brother-in-law of this former master, who exacted six months over the proper time and did not furnish him with the schooling, clothes, or cash as required by the agreement at the expiration of the term. After leaving, he worked for six months for a farmer in the settlement for seven ($7.00) dollars per month. After saving fifteen ($15.00) dollars, he walked one hundred six (106) miles to Harrisburg in only two days. In 1833 he became spiritually inspired and experienced a change of heart. Upon leaving Harrisburg, he returned to his old home in the mountains where he remained for some time after having obtained employment as a porter in a store. In 1835 he received his license to preach and joined the Philadelphia Conference in 1839. He became one of the great pioneering circuit riders of his denomination, serving Pennsylvania and Ohio. He became a school teacher and a Latin and Greek scholar. He became very well known. Bishop Moore was an early pioneer in the West. He was caught in Indian raids and was wrecked at sea more than once. He established a church in California and opened the first school for Blacks in the state. 9
In 1868 he came back East for the general conference. At this conference he was elected Bishop and was sent to Lincolnton where he was to preside over the Western half of the Central North Carolina Conference. He arrived in Lincolnton in 1869. In 1870 he moved his wife, whom he had married in Pennsylvania, to Lincolnton along with his mother who was one hundred ten (110) years old. The Moore's lived near Joshua Ramseur who was a trustee of the church. Bishop Moore became very popular in Lincolnton. He became a trustee and a teacher at the Freedmen School which was established by the church. He preached and lectured to the Blacks and Whites. He was a political leader during Reconstruction, and he was one of the original trustees of Livingstone College, which was organized by the A.M.E. Zion Church. He left Lincolnton in 1879 and moved to Salisbury. Early Members Hannah Herndon was born in 1778. She was the aunt of Jefferson and Noah Herndon. Hannah lived with Noah. She was a mother of the church as well as the community. She died in 1871 at the age of ninety-three (93). Jefferson Herndon was born in 1820. He married Amanda in 1845. Due to unrest, Amanda was sent to Texas in 1850 where she had her second child. After the Civil War, they became members of Moore's Chapel. Noah was the brother of Jefferson. His wife was also called Amanda. They had a son Sulley. Reverend Sulley Herndon was born in Texas around 1850. When he came to Lincolnton, he joined Moore's Chapel, and by 1880 he was preaching. He became an Elder and founded Herndon Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Georgetown Community in 1896. Meriah Elisebeth Guion Harris was a pioneer teacher in 1879 and became the first matron of Livingston College. She was also the first secretary of the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society of the A.M.E. Zion Church in America.
Meriah was born in Lincolnton, North Carolina, to a slave family. Their owners were merchants. Freedom came to the family before Emancipation. Meriah received her education in the Freedmen School in Lincolnton, the Peabody School in Charlotte, and Atlanta University, from which she graduated in 1879. She returned to Lincolnton in time for the annual conference of that year and was the lay delegate from Moore's Chapel. When the conference organized the Zion Wesley Institute, Meriah became one of the first four teachers. She married Reverend Harris who became the school's first President. The school was first opened in Concord and later moved to Salisbury. Caleb Lander, who was a master carpenter, was born in 1814 to Sally Lander. Caleb was trained in the making of carriages and graduated to houses. After the Emancipation he went to work for the railroad. Caleb married Laura Lander and fathered three children: Tench, born in 1866; Will, born 1867 and Isadora, born in 1860. Caleb was the head carpenter when a new A.M.E. Zion Church was built in 1879. He also made the pews for the church. A few of the original pews are in the church at the present time. Tench Lander was born to Sally Lander and was the brother of Caleb. Tench was born in Lincoln County. He was also trained in the carriage business, worked for the railroad and married to Lizzie. Charles McDaniel was a missionary among Blacks and Indians in this area. Charles was born a slave of the Schenck family. At the age of 12, he became the servant of Reverend Daniel G. McDaniel. Charles learned about the Bible and became part of the McDaniel's' efforts to carry the Word of God to Blacks and Indians. Reverend McDaniel was a Methodist minister. Charles wanted to be a minister, but after a Black minister named Nat Turner led a slave rebellion, the North Carolina Legislature barred Blacks from preaching in the state of North Carolina.
Charles continued his missionary work until the death of Reverend McDaniel. Charles and his family wee pioneer Methodists in the country. He lived and worked at McDaniel Springs. They were prominent members of the Moore's Chapel A.M.E Zion Church. Important Facts 1. The camp meeting was held the first week in August 2. The Western North Carolina Conference was held at Moore's Chapel on November 25, 1879. 3. Ishmael Roberts was born free and was a brick mason after the Emancipation. He was a well-to-do farmer and one of the first Blacks to buy a lot in Freedmon. He was a member of the Moore's Chapel A.M.E. Zion Chapel. 4. Reverend C.A. Baker was the founder of the first and only Black Presbyterian Church in Lincoln County. He and his church worked well with Moore's Chapel. For a short period of time, he lived in Danville, Virginia, after leaving Lincolnton. He is an ancestor of Mrs. George Massey. 5. St. Lukes was a White Episcopal Church which retained a Black membership many years after all the other white churches expelled their Black membership. 6. Hannah Ruls McDaniel was the wife of Charles McDaniel. She was raised in the family of David Bailey, an Irishman. Hannah was part Irish. Her mother came from Virginia. 7. Harry and Hattie Herndon were the grandchildren of Isiah Swan, one of the early members. 8. The grandchildren of Jeff and Amanda Herndon were: Ed - 1875, Moriah 1879, Sulley - 1880, Manda - 1882, Tom - 1885, Mawd - 1889. 9. Melinda Herndon was born in Mississippi in 1860. Daffney Herndon was born in Mississippi, but the date of her birth is not known. They were the sister and cousin, respectfully, of Reverend Sulley Herndon. Their mother was Katie, an older sister of Jeff. She was sent to Mississippi and lived for a short time in Alabama. 12
10.Jacob Magness was born in 1805. He was not believed to have been born in Lincoln County. His wife was Amy. Some of their children were Dilery, France, Henry, and Adam, as Jacob was called, was one of the original trustees. 11.Bettie McBee was the adopted daughter of Noah Herndon. 12.Butler Herndon was the older son of Jeff. There is some uncertainty about where he was born. Butler became a respected member of the Black community until late in life when he had many run-ins with the law and became known as a "Hell Raiser". 13.Joshua Ramseur was born in 1810. He was married to Lizzie. His children were Robert, Henry, Frank, Sally, Joshua, Minnie, Mannie and George. Joshua was one of the original trustees of Moore's Chapel and close friend of Bishop Moore. 14.Fannie Milleton was the wife of Pete Milleton, and they were founders of the African Baptist Church. 15.Marshal Ramseur was an original trustee; he was born 1840 and married to Delphine. 16.James Landers was a carriage maker and was married to Caroline. 17.Alfred Sade was a blacksmith who operated a shop during Schenck. 18.Channy Reinhardt and Mattie McBee were servants of Judge Schenck. 19.Robert Ramseur married Bessie Killian in 1897 at Moore's Chapel with Reverend Watkins, the pastor officiating. 20.Henry B. Pralow was born in South Carolina. He came to North Carolina after the Civil War and opened a shoe-making business. He could have been a minister. The records are not very specific, but he was very active in church affairs. He was a member of Moore's Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church. Outrages The Freedmen Bureau made a monthly crime report about the arrest made in a district. It was called the "Arrest Report". They, the agents, also kept a report called "Outrages by Whites against Blacks" and "Outrages by Blacks against Whites". 13
The "Outrages" reports contained crimes incidents ranging from murder, rape and robbery to refusing to pay wages and carrying a gun. These outrages varied across the state. Most of the "Outrages" were by whites against Blacks. Most of the "Outrages" reported from the Lincolnton office were of a minor nature as compared with the murders and lynching of places like New Bern, Elizabeth City, Duplin Co. and other places. Lynching's did take place in Gaston-Lincoln during this period, but they were not reported by the Bureau. Ephriam Johnson Ephriam Johnson went to work for Dr. Joe Graham in 1868 in Gaston County. While Dr. Graham was away, Ephriam fired a gun on the property. When Dr. Graham returned, he made a complaint to the agent of the Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees and Abandoned Lands, Mr. William Bernie, in Lincolnton. In his complaint Dr. Graham stated that Ephriam Johnston fired a gun, distressing his wife and family and that he wanted Ephriam punished. He also reminded Mr. Bernie of the standing military order banning the practice of carrying guns. Mr. Bernie wrote Ephriam a letter and threatened to take action if he did not obey the law. A letter was also sent to Dr. Graham asking him to report any violation by Ephriam Johnson. Fred Johnson Fred Johnson, who was Black, loaned a cow to Henry Dellinger. Henry Dellinger conspired with Tom Armstrong to keep Johnson's cow by giving it to Armstrong who took the cow to his house. When Johnson went to Dellinger for his cow at the agreed time. Dellinger claimed that he owned the cow and had loaned it to Armstrong. Fred made a complaint to the Bureau and Dellinger and Armstrong were ordered to return the cow to Johnson.
Joe Lowrance Joe Lowrance made a complaint against J. Rayfield. In his complaint Lowrance stated that Rayfield took a US Musket from him. After an investigation it was determined that a couple of years ago, when Col. Palmer came through Lincolnton, he loaned a musket to Peter Bess who, in 1868 loaned it to Joe Lowrance. While Palmer was in Lincolnton, he had appointed several men as "special" police; these men had the authority to take charge of any government property. The Bureau was unaware of this at the time of the complaint. When Rayfield, one of those special police, heard that Lowrance was seen carrying the musket about at night, he took the musket. Rayfield was allowed to keep the musket along with other property of the US Government. The US government took charge of all former Confederate property, such as guns, horses, etc. Other Reports and Papers of Freedmen's Bureau September 1868 H.C. Vogel, State Superintendent of Education, will visit Freedmen School: Train Schedule: Danville, Virginia to Greensboro, North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina to Charlotte, North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina to Lincolnton, North Carolina Lincolnton, North Carolina to Danville, Virginia George Dirion
June 6 1868 Morganton, NC
To: H. Norton From: Lewis Bryans, Vincent Micheal, John Connor, N. Bryan Dear Sir: We, the undersign Freedmen, respectfully petition for aid to help us to build a school house for the Freedmen at this place, upon the information of agent William Bernie of Lincolnton. That the Bureau would help us build a school house. There is no Black school in this county. Rutherfordton, NC
Southern Iron Works After the Civil War, Wilkes and Luce came to Lincoln County and leased some iron works to manufacture iron for the railroads of the Northeast. They produced a superior product but could not complete with the hot blast furnaces of the North because the Northern furnaces were closer to the market. By 1870 Wilkes and Luce were bankrupt and were more than forty thousand dollars ($40,000) in debt. The Southern Iron Works was a foreign corporation, registered in the state of New York, and a manufacturer of iron in Lincoln County.
September 23, 1868 Southern Iron Works 54 Wall Street New York, New York Mr. Edward Wilkes of Iron Station, NC, former superintendent of the North Carolina Rail Road, and H.C. Luce of New York, former treasurer of the Cleveland and Toledo Rail Road Company and most recently connected with the Union Car Wheel Company of New Jersey, beg to inform their friends that they have formed a partnership for the manufacture of iron in North Carolina.
Their works consist of three blast furnaces, Reboboth, Vesusvius and Stonewall, with bloomeries situated on W.C. and R. Rail Road in Lincoln County, North Carolina, which is 30 miles northwest of Charlotte.
Two of these furnaces have made a cold blast iron that is celebrated for its strength for the last 30 miles northwest of Charlotte. In Emmons Geological Survey of North Carolina, the ore beds around Lincoln County are described as having unusually fine grains and flecks, readily may be crushed in the band. The ore is readily reduced to size for fire and fluxes to act upon it. The veins of ore in Lincoln County have been worked for long periods, and they have been and still are celebrated for the good quality of iron. The iron has been famous for its toughness and great strength and facility which it is made into blooms. During the late war, the iron was used for gun metal for cannons made at Richmond. In the manufacture of car wheels, this ore can be gives a very deep chill, thus producing a tough plate which is free from pin holes in the casting and does not shrink. The saving of wheels from chill cracking makes this iron a great saving for the manufacturer. For malleable castings this iron cannot be excelled, and it is believed to be a superior iron for steel. Lincoln County ore is a mixture of magnetic and red hematite with a trace of manganese. Our facilities for shipping to New York and other ports are unsurpassed. We solicit your business and hope that our iron gives perfect satisfaction. Wilkes and Luce Note: The iron manufacturers of the North eventually took the Northeastern market. This occurred not because they made a better product, but because they were closer to the market. A letter dated June 15, 1868 from William Bernie to Raleigh Sir: I have the honor to state that Mr. Edward Wilkes, living in Iron Station, seven miles from this place (Lincolnton) made application at this office (Freedmen Bureau) today for 40 or 50 men to cut wood for him for a period of twelve months. He will pay 35 cents for every cord cut and corded up and will furnish each man rations at market prices, or will pay $10.00 per month, plus rations to anyone who will cut at least 40 cords a month, and will pay 35 cents a cord for any amount over 40 cords. Payment will be promptly.
William Bernie, agent for the Freedmen's Bureau, made the contracts on behalf of the freedmen who cut the wood. Many of them came from Catawba County.
Thomas Schenck Thomas Schenck was the founder of the Schenck family in Cleveland, Lincoln, and Gaston county. This family is not related to the John Schenck family of Lincoln and Mecklenburg county of Will Schenck. Thomas Schenck, born 1813, and his wife Delphia, born 1823, had several children. Among their children were Nathaniel (Nathan) and Wesley Schenck. Nathaniel (Nathan) was married to Ellen, who was 8 years older Wesley Schenck married Margrette Hilman in 1870. She was most likely an Indian. Some of their children were Charles Thomas, James N., whose name was probably James Wesley Nathaniel Schenck, Henry F., William G., and Georgia. In 1880 when Thomas and Delphia were very old, Delphia lived with Wesley and Thomas lived with Nathaniel (Nathan), their children. At one point, Wesley Schenck went to Oklahoma. There was a group of Black people who went to Oklahoma from Cleveland County between 1880 and 1910. The most famous of these was Cicero Homesley who became rich after oil was found on his farm there. Wesley Schenck died around 1930. Schenck, the son of Wesley Schenck, was born there. Wesley Schenck died around 1930. The family settled in Rutherford County after their return and later moved back into Cleveland County. Around 1852 the family moved to Lincoln County to the area which was called Stumptown. There are also members of this family found in Stanley in Gaston County.
Enloe Mr. Sherman Thomas Enloe was a mortician and owner of Enloe Funeral Home in Shelby. He was a native of Gaston County, the son of Logan and Laura Knox Enloe. Logan and Laura were married in 1887. The minister was the great Efriam L. Campbell of the A.M.E. Zion Church. The matriarch of the family was Elsie Ford Know Stinson, one of Gastonia's midwives. Elsie was born around 1844 to Mary, a slave of James Ford, near Kershaw, South Carolina. Mary became known as Mary A. Jenkins in later years. After Emancipation, Elsie stayed on the plantation. When she was growing up, she slept in the room with Mrs. Ford and ate at the table with the white people. Elsie's father was a white man called Gardner, so she looked white. Elsie eventually married Lewis Knox. They lived some distance away from the Ford Plantation. During Reconstruction, making a living was hard in certain parts of South Carolina. Flour was $10.00 per 100 pounds. They heard that flour was half that much in North Carolina, so they moved to Gaston County in 1875 and settled in the area of Pleasant Ridge. The Enloe's farmed on the McArvin place. Eventually they were able to build a house on Lincoln Street in Gastonia. Lewis died in 1891, Elsie married Green Stinson, the son of Robert and Winnie Stinson. When Elsie became 101 years old, she had out-lived two husbands. Her last husband died in 1929. She had also out-lived four or five children. Laura Know Enloe was the only child living then. Sherwood Thomas Enloe and William Lowry were Elsie's grandsons. William was the son of William Lowry who was the son of Jefferson Lowry.
Herndon Charlotte Herndon was originally the slave of Martin Phiffer of Lincolnton. He mortgaged her and five other slaves and defaulted on the loan. Charlotte was sold at public auction. Charlotte was born around 1800. She never knew when she was born. Records show that she could have been born between 1802 and 1807. Charlotte became a slave of David Ramseur of Lincoln County at a public auction to Thomas N. Herndon. She was 40 years old, so stated in 1842 on a Deed of Trust, when Thomas N. Herndon sold her to Lawson Henderson. After Emancipation, she lived with her son, Jefferson Herndon in Lincolnton. She was one of the co-founders of the Black Methodist congregation in Lincolnton in 1865. She died in 1870. Jefferson Herndon was born in 1860 to Charlotte and Jujartha who were slaves of Thomas N. Herndon. During slavery, Jefferson entered into a slave union with another slave called Amanda. In 1849 there was slave unrest in this area. Slaves were accused of burning barns and crops. During this time many slaves were sold further South. Jefferson and Amanda were first sold in Western Louisiana where Butler Herndon was born and then they were moved to Texas where their second son, Sulley, was born. After Emancipation, the family headed back to North Carolina. The late Hugh Herndon stated that they spent some time in Oklahoma. They arrived in Lincolnton in 1866 to be united with Charlotte who was widowed; Charlotte's sister, Hannah, who was nearly 90 years old; Noah, the brother of Jefferson; and his wife, Amanda. There was a Dafny Herndon, but no one knows her origins. Sulley Herndon married Josephine Ward of Lincolnton and had several children. Sulley pastored mostly in the Lincoln District of the A.M.E. Zion Church which also includes churches in Gaston County.
In 1896 he and his wife established Herndon Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church near Lincolnton. Reverend Herndon brought Thomas and Moton Reinhardt into the ministry. Reverend Sulley Herndon died in 1921. His funeral was held at Herndon Chapel. Reverend R.T. Hunter preached. Reverend Hunter as from Montgomery, Alabama and was the current pastor of Moore's Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Lincolnton. Butler Herndon was the personality opposite of Reverend Herndon. The court records of Lincolnton show that Butler Herndon had "run-ins" with the law as early as 1869. Butler's first wife was Barbara Cline. She was the daughter of Commandore Cline who was the nominal slave of John Cline. John Cline owned a battery in Lincolnton. Commandore, for the most part, ran the shop. Some of the children were George Herndon of Lincolnton, who helped start public housing; Charles, who lived in Richmond, Virginia; William, who lived in Williamsburg, Virginia; Maude Reid, who lived in Belmont, a co-founder of Reid High School; and Amanda Froneberger who lived in Gastonia. Virgil Ramseur Virgil Ramseur was a slave of Jacob Ramseur of Lincolnton; so was his wife, Rosetta After Emancipation, Virgil settled in Dallas where he got caught up in Reconstruction politics in 1868. Virgil was a Democrat while most Blacks were Republicans. The members of the Black community around Dallas felt that Virgil was a "sell-out" and stormed his house. Virgil emerged from his house with a shot gun which ended the riot. Virgil moved back to Lincolnton after that. One of his descendents, Adda Ikard Derr said that Virgil Ramseur established the Biddleville Seminary in Charlotte.
C.R. Harris Maria Elizabeth Guion attended the Freedmen School in Lincolnton, and she went on to attend the Peabody School in Charlotte where Cicero Harris was the principal. Maria and Cicero eventually married after she graduated for Atlanta University in 1879. Reverend Harris was the son of Jacob Harris, a wealthy free person of color in the Cape Fear Valley. Jacob was able to send Cicero and his brother, Robert, to Ohio to be educated. After the Civil War, Cicero and Robert returned to Fayetteville and operated a Freedmen School which eventually became Fayetteville State University. Cicero became a minister in the A.M.E. Zion Church. The church sent him to Charlotte where he became principal of the Peabody School. Reverend Harris also brought Charles W. Chesnut, who had been helping in his father's store, from Fayetteville. Chesnut became a famous writer in later years. While he was at Peabody, he became Maria's favorite teacher and encouraged her to go on to college. Reverend Harris was sent to pastor a church in Concord just before the Western North Carolina Conference of 1879 at Lincolnton. The conference established Livingstone College (Zion Wesley Institute) in Concord which was later moved to Salisbury. The Abernathy's Ollie Abernathy was the daughter of an unnamed African who was brought to East Lincoln to work in the iron industry around 1790. Ollie was born around 1799. She was allowed to enter a "relationship" with a slave of the Forney family called Levi. They had several children. One of their children was Elizabeth, who was born around 1814.
Elizabeth eventually entered into a "relationship" with a slave called Cicero, who later called himself Cicero Murrell. Their son, Theodore, never took his father's name. Theodore (Dora) Abernathy was born in 1855. He married Julia Cherry. Dora and Julia are the parents of Zettie Abernathy Friday, who is a well-known preacher in the Stanley/High Shoals area. Till Elliotte
Till Elliotte was the last person who was publicly hanged in Lincoln County. He was charged with the rape of a white woman. The Elliottes came from Cleveland County to Lincoln County just after the Civil War. There were two brothers, Zimri, who was called Jimmy or James, and Richard, who was called Dick. The deed books of Lincoln County indicate that James and Dick purchased land from Andrew Link in 1870. They started the Mr. Vernon Community in Iron Station. Till's parents were Zimri and Louisa. Till was born in 1879. His sister and brothers were Hannah, John, and Eli. The Elliottes changed their name to Magness. Scott Graham Abraham Scoot Graham does not seem to have been born in Lincoln County. He could have come from Orange County where the Graham family had a place also. He married Mary Forney, the daughter of Green and Patience Forney in 1868. They lived near the Jonas Derr place. Scott Graham was the school teacher at the school on the Jonas Derr place for Black children. He was also appointed to the school committee by the county commissioners for the public schools in 1880. He taught himself to read and write from his master's old newspapers, as related by his wife's family. He was one of the early educators of Black children in eastern Lincoln County. 23
Johnson-McClee The Johnsons of Chester County, South Carolina, are descended from Cynthia Johnson, who was born around 1805. Cynthia had a daughter named Caroline Johnson, who was born around 1832. Caroline's children were Henry, Ellen, Catherine, Charlotte, Lewis, Curtis and William. Before the end of Reconstruction, Charlotte Johnson McClee came to the newly formed town of Gastonia. She was a mid-wife. Charlotte McClee lived to be over 100 years old. She was one of the economic refugees from Chester County, South Carolina. Center Baptist Church Center Baptist Church was founded in 1876 on the Beck Mathaise farm on the Lowell-Bethesda Road; Reverend Abe Reid served as the first minister. For a time the congregation met in a brush arbor until a frame building was constructed (a brick building replaced the frame structure in 1959). The church is currently located on New Hope Road. New Town of Gastonia Americans tend to measure success by things that can be owned. If we use that standard, African Americans in the early history of Gastonia can be termed successful. Gastonia was established in 1877, the last year of Reconstruction. African-Americans for the most part had been free for 12 years. They had required land, built churches, etc. When the town of Gastonia was incorporated, a Black community developed. Prince Holland established the first business, a blacksmith shop. The Home Missionary of nearby Pleasant Ridge A.M.E. Zion Church operated a restaurant and craftsmen such as James Hoffman came to offer their skills. Mr. Hoffman was a brick and stone mason. African Americans from the area began to buy lots in the new town and other Black businesses within the Black community began to surface. African Americans seemed to have a bright future in Gastonia.
As the turn of the century passed, it became clear that Gastonia was becoming an economic power in this area, especially in textiles. In 1905 one could say that the success that Blacks had enjoyed since 1877 came to a halt. In that year the Black community lost 10 buildings lots. At that time the numbers dropped from 85 to 75. This could be best explained by pressure of white real estate interest. From 1906 onward, Black progress was much slower. Before Gastonia was founded, James R. Hoffman was a young man who got a job on the railroad to help lay track across Gaston County and through a place which would be Gastonia. He was one of the first citizens of the town. James was a stone cutter, stone mason and brick mason. He constructed the early stone work in the town, especially Grove Park. James was married twice. He and his second wife, Nancy, had several children: Chester, Braddy L., Mildred, Lona, Catherine, Fannie, Lawrence, Teuney and Nettie. James was co-founder of St. Paul's Baptist Church.
Civil War Descriptive Roll of Company A-K, 40th Regiment, US Colored Infantry Lincoln and Gaston County Names Abstracted by: Carolyn Corpening Collins Rowe of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, District of Columbia, Washington.
Daniel Baxter, 24 years old, 5-'4 tall, with brown eyes and black hair, was from Lincoln County. He was a farmer until enlisting on April 29, 1865, in Greenville, Tennessee, by Captain Thornton. Daniel enlisted for three years. During his enlistment he served in Company K and was promoted to Corporal on July 1, 1865. James Causter, 18 years old, 5'-2.5 tall, with brown eyes and black hair, was from Lincoln County. He was a farmer until enlisting on April 29, 1865, in Greenville, Tennessee, by Sgt. Gamble. Charles enlisted for three years. During his enlistment he served in Company K. Charles Harshaw, 25 years old, 5'-5 tall, with brown eyes and black hair, was from Lincoln County. He was a farmer until enlisting on April 3, 1865, Knoxville, Tennessee, by Sgt. Gamble. Charles enlisted for three years. During his enlistment he served in Company F. James Henry, 18 years old, 5'-11 tall, with brown eyes and black hair, was from Lincoln County. He was a laborer until enlisting on May 1, 1865, in Greenville, Tennessee, by Major Wade. James enlisted for three years. During his enlistment he served in Company K. Isaac Parks, 18 years old, 5'-6 tall, with brown eyes and black hair, was from Lincoln County. He was a farmer until enlisting on April 26, 1865, in Greenville, Tennessee, by Lt. Lads. Isaac enlisted for three years. During his enlistment he served in Company G.
Ralph Straben, 21 years old, 5'-5.5 tall, with brown eyes and black hair, was from Gaston County. He was a farmer until enlisting on April 28, 1865, in Knoxville, Tennessee, by Sgt. Gamble. Ralph enlisted for three years. During his enlistment he served in Company F. He deserted at Greenville, Tennessee, on May 20, 1865. Daniel Dickens, 20 years old, 5'-5.5 tall, with brown eyes and black hair, was from Gaston County. He was a farmer until enlisting on May 1, 1865, in Greenville Tennessee, by Sgt. Gamble. Daniel enlisted for three years. During his enlistment he served in Company A. Marcus Freeman, 19 years old, 5'-11" tall, with brown eyes and black hair, was from Gaston County. He was a farmer until enlisting on May 1, 1865, in Greenville, Tennessee, by Col. Lister. Marcus enlisted for three years. During his enlistment he served in Company D. John Hunt, 18 years old, 5'6" tall, with brown eyes and black hair, was from Gaston County. He was a farmer until enlisting on April 7, 1865, in Knoxville, Tennessee, by Sgt. Gamble. John enlisted for three years. During his enlistment he served in Company F. Cass Stone, 18 years old, 5'7" tall, with brown eyes and black hair, was from Gaston County. He was a farmer until enlisting on May1, 1865, in Greenville, Tennessee, by Major Wade. Cass enlisted for three years. During his enlistment he served in Company A.
The Freedmen School Lincolnton and Lincoln County The Freedmen School in Lincolnton, North Carolina, was founded by the Society of Friends of Philadelphia, PA. 27
The building was framed construction. It had glass window panes, wood floors, fireplaces and desks rather than benches. The students used slate tablets. The first teacher was Nathan Hill who listed in the City Directory of 1867. We do not know much about a Nathan Hill, except he was a political activist during the period of Reconstruction. He was appointed to the board to oversee elections in 1868. Letters of the Freedmen's Bureau suggest that he might have been involved in the Union League; at any rate, he was removed as teacher of the Freedmen School. In 1867 the Freedmen School had 130 students; many were adults. A deed of the A.M.E. Zion Church shows that the deed for Freedmen school was held in trust by the church. One of the trustees for the school was Marshall Ramseur. Eventually, the Freedmen school was taken into the public school system. From: H.C. Struater Lincolnton, NC Teacher at the Freedmen School To: H.C. Vogel Department of Education State of North Carolina Raleigh, NC Dear Sir: I have the honor to enclose here an estimate for material required to make the school house repairs to make this place comfortable and request funds be granted to purchase same. The Freedmen are willing to do the labor, but they are unable to give the money. This school is the best constructed school in this area of the state. Col. Johnson visited this school when he was last in Lincolnton. Respectfully H.C. Struater
Joe Smith and Van Hoyle For some days past, the negro population of Tucker's Grove, Ironton township, have been on the move. The trouble is over the neighborhood school. The history is as follows: About one and a half years ago, a dusky son of Ham, Van Hoyle by name, moved into the above mentioned locality. Van soon impressed his identity on the hearts and minds of the neighborhood darkies by taking a prominent part in church and school affairs and by "assisting" in the political campaign of 1894. The services of Van were soon esteemed of such importance that he was put on the school board of District No. 5, colored. It soon became apparent that Hoyle considered himself far superior to the native colored population. This became especially manifest when the time for hiring a teacher came around. Then, too, it was that Van encountered his first opponent. It seems that the committee had some trouble over the selection of a teacher, one Joe Smith, taking active part in opposition to Van's candidate. This enraged Van, and he forthwith began to make life unpleasant for Smith by working up a sentiment to put Smith off the board. Van, it seems had most of supporters among the white people of the neighborhood, while the colored people aided with Smith. Nothing daunted, Van gets up a petition asking the board of County Commissioners to remove the said Joe Smith in order to enable him to manipulate matters in such a manner as to get the teacher of his choice. Two of the committee favored the hiring of one "Prof" Diggs, and to this Van swore he would never consent. Then Van goes before one of the Fusion Justices, D.H. Parker, and swears to charges against Smith. The matter came up for the consideration of the County Commissioners at their November meeting. The Commissioners desired to leave Smith in office and Van went home sorrowing and hopeless, protesting that his superior knowledge was not duly appreciated by the five Democratic Commissioners of Lincoln County. It appears that the efficient Commissioners of Ironton influenced the Board of Commissioners, knowing the political turn the matter had taken, to almost ignore the whole thing. We publish underneath an exact copy of the petition filed with the Board of Commissioners by Hoyle, together with the swore charges of Hoyle before one D.H. Parker, a Justice of the Peace, in whose handwriting the affidavit is made.
In addition to the above, we learn that "Prof." Diggs will teach the Tucker's Grove School this winter, and that he says that if all those white men who signed the petition asking for the removal of Joe Smith and claiming to be citizens of the colored School District No. 5 will send him their children, he will guarantee to make better and more intelligent citizens of them than the signers appear to be. We learn also that Joe Smith, who is a tenant on Maj. Graham's farm, has buried the hatchet and has asked his white neighbors who worked so faithfully in Van Hoyle's behalf to come around and help him shuck his corn. Joe says that he never slights any of his colored race at times like these, and, as the signers of the petition have claimed to be colored, he thinks he is in duty bound to invite them to this important event. It is said, too, that Joe and his crowd are done with Fusion and will vote the Democratic ticket after this. In order to let the public know what the charges made against Joe Smith really were, and also in order to illustrate the very careful and intelligent work of the late North Carolina Legislature in the matter of appointing Justices, we append the petition and affidavit before mentioned. November 4, 1895 Affidavit (Copy) State of North Carolina
Van Hoyle appears before me a Justice of the Peace in and for said county and disposes and swears that he cannot carry on a school in District No. 5 on the account of Joseph Smith on the committee as he is contentions and as nearly all of the colored people in and around Tucker's Grove are connected with Joe Smith and they are all mad at me because he got Foster put out on account of Foster and Diggs taken our School money illegally and he, Joe Smith, work against me for spite and I consider him, Joe Smith, incompetent as he neither read nor write and we have tried time and again to organize but could not do anything on account of Joe Smith and we cannot take the senses of the children he Joe Smith has pursession of the school blanks can't fill them nor don't give them up there is at least one third of the children cut off in the Division and I am not willing to pay over $25.00 per month to any teacher!" D.H. Parker (JP)
Petition (Copy) We the undersigned citizens of District No. 5 Col. Race Petition the Honorable Board of County Commissioners to Removal of Joe Smith as School Committee of said District on the charge of incompetency he not being able to read or write we recommend Junior McClaine for School Committee in the place of Joseph Smith. Signed: J.A. Sigmon* [White]; W.H. Sigman [White]; Jas. H. Ballard [White]; M.L. Sigman [White]; M.H. Cartere [White]; U.M. Parker [White]; W.H. Black [White]; S.C Parker [White]; M. Bynum [White]; A.L. Ballard [White]; Jas. Farwell [White]; B.E. Ballard [White]; W.I. Parker[White]; D.R. Barnett [White]; G.W. Pool [White]; Kelly Smith [Col.]; Wm. O. Henkle [White]; L.A. Abernathy [White and County Examiner]; Van Hoyle [Col.].
We append to the above name the words white and colored in order to let the public know the complexion of the signers.
Businesses and Residents of Gastonia at the End of the Postbellum Period Johnson W. Woods, 40, owned a restaurant. His wife was Sadie. Children: Robert, Oliver, Mamie, Cornell, and Margrette. James R. Hoffman, 54, was a stone cutter. His wife was Nancy J. Hoffman. Children Chester, Brady L., Mildred, Lona, Catherine, Fannie, Lewrence, and Twerney. William Roberts was a house carpenter. Isaac Crawford was a farmer. Melvin Froneberger has been married less than a year. He was an insurance agent for the Afro-American Insurance Co. He and his wife, Amanda Herndon Froneberger, had no children at that time, but Melvin's sisters and brothers lived with them. They were Ida, Maomie, James and Rufus.
John Worthey and his family came up from South Carolina and farmed for Craig T. Wilson. Will Pharr was a car inspector for the railroad. He was from South Carolina, and his parents were from Arkansas. Jesse Linbarger, (wife , Eliza), 52, uncle of Jesse Armstrong, 18; they were farmers. Hilliard Blake, 47, married three times. His children were Maude and Sampler. His current wife in 1910 was Amelia. Maude Blake was a teacher at seminary. Herbert Ervin, 30, was a doctor in private practice. George Heatherton owned his own cleaners. He came to Gastonia in 1909. Ephriam L. Campbell, 70, was also a minister. His second wife was Jane. They were married for 23 years. Children were James H., Gugena and Gertrude. James H. Nelson, 34, and his wife, Eliza; they were from South Carolina William Holland owned a barber shop. His wife was Millie. George Foster, 31, South Carolina, experienced driver. His wife, Florence, 31, ran a furniture store. Children were Ovella and Adkin. Richard L. Houston, A.M.E. Zion, minister (1910). His family included Netty R., his wife and their children, Roosevelt, Thornton and Elsie. Nancy Adams, 1833, celebrated her 115th birthday in 1948. King Mountain. Joe McMackins was a well known bootlegger, 1904. Paul Barrons served four months in jail for stealing a chicken from Mrs. Catherine Bolick, 1904.
John Wilson stood trial for a shooting at Springfold Church. The star witness was Bill Rankin, a noted well digger. Wilson was acquitted, 1904. 1904: Blacks owned 76 town lots. 1903: they owned 85 town lots. Tax costs $17,500 down from $18,500. Reverend I.W. Jackson of Second Baptist Church used a razor to keep church. He went to court, 1904. George Foster drove an Express Wagon, 1905. In 1910 Mary Pickenpack, 35, lived in Gastonia with her 13 year old son. She was the sister of Richard Pickenpack, Jr. Lucy M. Gardner cooked for private families. The William H. Brooks family, wife Jane was from South Carolina. Joe A. Rollins, 37, came from South Carolina with his wife, Sarah L., and their children: Jew, Andrew, and Cecilia. Andrew was born in 1903. Lincoln Academy Lincoln Academy was founded in 1888 as a school for Black girls by Emily Pruden, a missionary from New England who had earlier established nearby (a school for white girls). The school (which began in a log house) was located near the foot of Crowder's Mountain. African-Americans in the area were attracted to the school, and it soon outgrew the small structure. Miss Pruden helped build a dormitory for the female students, some of whom were coming from a long distance to attend the school. The school would later admit Black males. From 1890-1910, Lillian S. Cathcart served as principal of the school, and during that time room, board, laundry, and tuition cost $4.50 per month, with the students being able to work to defray some of the costs. In 1922 Reverend Walter Ricks became the school's first Black director. In 1925 the Lincoln Academy High School won state accreditation. 33
The school continued to grow, both in size and academic reputation, attracting students from across the country. The school grounds also became an internationally known conference center, hosting the meetings of a number of African-American institutions as well as the Congregational Christian Church ( a supporter of the school). In 1955 the school relocated to Bessemer City and became Lincoln High School. Following integration the facility became a junior high school. The Piney Grove School The Piney Grove School, which was actually the origin of the Mauney School, was founded in 1874 on a creek 1 1/2 miles from present-day Bessemer City. There was no Bessemer City at that time. There was only a post office in a store near Gamble's Mill. The area was called Old Wooten. A church had been erected in the area, and it followed that a school would be built. The school was organized in a log cabin, the church and school was on the place of Hill Ramseur. The principal of the school was Angelene Wellmen, the wife of John Wellmen, who lived in Cleveland County. The school eventually moved into the church where it remained for many years. Adults attended the school as well as children. They had only the Blue Back Speller and song books. They wrote on slates. There were no grades, but there were different classes. The school was eventually moved out of the church to a location behind the Ramseur Grist Mill on land that was provided by the Kiser family. Because of some disagreement among the Kisers, the school had to move. This time, Wesley C. Mauney, Washington Gamble, Pink Crawford, and Tom Hamrick built a log school house with glass windows, rather than the usual wooden shutters. Also there was an agreement that if the school closed, the land went back to the original owner to avoid future problems.
This school was located up the mill branch about a quarter of a mile from the old mill. This school had an iron heater instead of a fire place and a sand box around the stove to prevent fires. The first teacher at this location was a Mr. Kennedy from Gastonia. He was said to be strict teacher. In 1899 the school was closed and moved to the farm of Wesley Mauney. The Propsts The Propsts of West Lincoln were a Catawba County family. They were descended from Lucy Propst and Mingo Wilfong. Mingo died before Emancipation. Lucy was born around 1820. The Propst were farmers. Their children were Aaron; 1846, Frank; 1848, Lee, 1850, Belle; 1852, Maggie; 1854 and Lizzie; 1860. By 1880, Lucy was about 60 years old. She was employed by David Shuford of Catawba County. Frank Propst married Catherine Anthony in 1871. Catherine was the daughter of Frank and Clara Anthony of Catawba County. The couple lived in Jacob Forks township in Catawba County before they moved to West Lincoln. Their children were Laura Kate, Jasper, Callie, Oscar, Augustus and Monroe. They were connected with the community that came to be known as El Bethel. Jasper Propst married first in Lincoln County, and later he married Lula Shuford in 1918 in Catawba County. Lula was the daughter of George and Ella Shuford. Augusta married Bessie Schenck in 1903. Bessie was the daughter of Monroe and Cynthia Schenck. Oscar Propst married. Family members say that Callie never married; however, Henrietta Propst, when she married in 1835, listed her father as George Angel and mother as Callie Propst. During the 1880's, Frank and Catherine Propst lived in the West Lincoln area. They were co-founders of Elbethel Methodist Church.
Springfield Memorial Baptist Church Church History: Brooks In 1863 twelve persons organized the Galilee Baptist Church. The membership was originally a part of the Brunington Baptist Church (now First Baptist) which was a white organization. There were only twenty-five members, thirteen white and twelve Blacks. The church was located between Stanley and Mount Holly. The congregation split. One segment of the congregation remained as Brunington Baptist Church. Meanwhile others organized the Hickory Grove Baptist Church. The twelve Black members organized the Galilee Baptist Church located on the Hickory Grove Road around 1867. The members elected Reverend Tom Barnwell as the first pastor of the church. Reverend Barnwell was from Mecklenburg County and married Ann Hudson in 1865. Several years later the building was destroyed by fire. The members decided to search for a new location to rebuild the church. September 18, 1874: Rufus and Susan Friday had a desire to do something for their fellowman. They gave ground for a new church which was also used for a school. During the pastorate of Reverend Burton, a log structure was built. The church was named after Reverend Burton's hometown of Springfield, West Virginia. The pastors serving after Reverend Burton were Reverends George Washington, Alexander Ellis who ws the first moderator of the Ebenezer Association; Reverend Lee; Reverend Blair Ransom, who was the first local pastor, as he was from River Bend township; and Blair Ramseur who was former Confederate soldier. In 1898 Reverend Miles Beam replaced Reverend Ransom. The members had a desire for better facilities during the pastorate of Reverend Beam and rebuilt the church over a period of time. Reverend Parson and Reverend Neely served in the early 1900's.
In 1907 Reverend R.D. Harris of Charlotte, North Carolina, succeeded Reverend Neely and resigned after six months. His successor, Reverend Sam Jones, served the remainder of the year. In 1908 Reverend R.D. Harris accepted the church pastorate again and served for twenty-one years. Under his leadership, the church progressed spiritually, financially and physically. The members wanted to glorify God by providing better facilities. After an enormous amount of work and sacrifices, the church was completed. Declining health didn't permit Reverend Harris to serve the new church, and in 1929 he passed on to his reward. Reverend C.F. Gingles of Dallas, North Carolina, became the new pastor and served faithfully for 16 years. At that time, Reverend Gingles also pastored Mt. Vernon in Iron Station. Under his leadership the Usher Board was organized by Mrs. Mary V. Gingles and Mrs. Estelle B. Froneberger. Reverend Gingles passed in 1945. In 1945 Reverend J.W. Harriston was called to serve as pastor. The BTU was among some of his organizational accomplishments. In 1949 Reverend Harriston was succeeded by Reverend CW Thomas of Thomasville, North Carolina. Many members were added to the church in addition to five Sunday School rooms, a kitchen, and a dining area. The Thomas Choir was organized by Mrs. Charlotte Gaston during his pastorate. He served the church until his death in 1961. In 1961 Reverend JF Wingate, Sr., from Iron Station, North Carolina, accepted the call from the church. Within four years, 75 members were added to the church. Purchases consisted of carpet, new hymn books, a typewriter, a projector, and a mimeograph machine. Under his leadership a Memorial Day was founded between Springfield and Mt. Pleasant Church for the upkeep of the cemetery. In September 1964 the Wingate Glee Tone Chorus was organized.
Link's Chapel Church Link's Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church was established in 1874. Founded in 1874 in the home of William and Susan Link, as an independent Methodist church, the first church was erected 1876. The church was originally located southeast of Iron Station Post Office, just off Hwy. 27. It had a cemetery. In 1885 the church was taken into the A.M.E. Zion church. In 1899 the congregation moved to a new church near Hwy. 73 on land purchased from Wilson Watts with the agreement that the old cemetery would serve the new church. By 1945, a new cemetery was started at the new location. Link's Chapel was the Link's Chapel circuit which included Poplar Springs. John Nelson Gardin, Sr. Gardner > Gardiner > Gardin1 - Mountain Island2 (Mount Holly) North Carolina > Haywood County, North Carolina [Beaver Dam Township west of Canton, North Carolina] > Mountain Island (Mount Holly) North Carolina > Spencer Mountains, Dallas, North Carolina Township) by Randy Thomason
John Nelson Gardin, Sr., was born on March 18, 1841, in North Carolina. It is possible that his birth was near Mountain Island (Mount Holly), North Carolina. According to his Baptismal Record in the Belmont Abbey Archives in Belmont, North Carolina, his parents were Peter Gardin and Jane Brookfield Gardin. Shortly after the Civil War (1866), the state of North Carolina enacted legislation for construction of the rail line from Salisbury, North Carolina to Western North Carolina and onward to the North Carolina/Tennessee line. John Nelson Gardin, Sr. was hired as a laborer on the North Carolina Western Railroad. The railroad reached Haywood County, North Carolina, in 1869. He met and later, on December 23. 1969, married Lucinda "Lucy" (Smathers) Ratcliff of Haywood County, North Carolina. John Nelson Gardin left his job with the railroad to be a farmer. 38
He and Lucy purchased 100 acres of land on Harminay Creek and Gardin Creek on the Pigeon River in the Beaver Dam section of Haywood County, North Carolina. They farmed and raised corn. Fourteen children were born to John Nelson Gardin and Lucy Gardin: 1) Robert L. Gardin, born in 1871. Married Kansas Robinson, Robert and Hattie Robinson of Haywood County, North Carolina. In 1906 in Gaston County, at Spencer Mountain, North Carolina, Robert and Kansas, who were Baptist by religion, were converted to Catholicism. They sold two acres of land to Abbott Leo Haid of Belmont Abbey College to start a church at Spencer Mountain. This was the first church and school for Catholics at Spencer Mountain [The site is just to the left of the entrance to the Long Creek Waste Treatment Plant off Stowe Road (Old Spencer Mountain Road) of the Dallas Township]. The site of the waste treatment plant was where Robert and Kansas farm was located.
This Gardin family spelled their name four different ways in various documents. Not proven - still being researched. It is believed that since John Nelson Gardin was 53 years old when he and Lucy moved from Haywood County, NC, to the Riverbend section of NC. They would have known where they were headed and had relatives in the area. The area had plenty of other Gardin families (since 1825). They moved beside other Gardin families at Riverbend, NC. 2
2) Asberry "Berry" Gardin, born in 1873. Married first- Francis Froneberger of Stanley, North Carolina. They were married in Riverbend Township on January 15, 1896, by Reverend B. Ranson of Springfield. They had 11 children. Married second-Sarah Froneberger of Stanley, North Carolina. They were married by Reverend R.D. Harris of Springfield Church and the First Baptist Church of Dallas. Sarah and Frances were cousins. Berry and Sarah were married on April 16, 1914. Berry and Sarah had 13 children. Berry Gardin had a total of 24 children. His home set at the foot of Spencer Mountain. 3) Rufus Gardin, born in 1875. 4) John Nelson Gardin, born in 1877. Married first-Mattie Tate of Riverbend Section (old Hwy 27) of Mount Holly. They were married on September 16, 1896 at Riverbend. Married third-Odessa Lewis on December 18, 1933, at Mount Holly, North Carolina. John Nelson Gardin, Jr., lived on old Hwy 27 in Mount Holly, North Carolina. He had 17 children and lived to be 100 years old. He is buried at West Creek Memorial Park at the end of Gardiner Road beside the old Providence Baptist Church on old Hwy 27. 5) Mattie Gardin-Holly, born in 1879. This is my wife's grandmother 6) Edward Gardin, born in 1883. 7) Thomas Gardin, born in 1885. 8) Ella Gardin, born in 1887. 9) James Gardin, born in 1889. 10) Gussie Gardin-Pickenpack, born 1891. She married Richard Pickenpack. 11) Fred V. Gardin, born in 1894. 12) Allen Osco Gardin, born in 1896. 13) Eunice Gardin-Rankin, born in 1900. 14) Mary Gardin-Odom, born in 1881. Married Thomas Odom of Lowell, North Carolina. Around 1895, John Nelson Gardin, Sr., and his wife Lucy sold their land in Haywood County, North Carolina, and moved to Riverbend section (Mountain Island) of Mount Holly off of the present day Gardiner Road to the rear of West Creek Memorial Park (rear of Providence Baptist Church). They
lived there until 1900; at that time they moved to Spencer Mountain, North Carolina, and bought land from Ben Rhyne between Little Long Creek, Big Long Creek, and South Fork River. John Nelson Gardin, Sr., died in 1910 and is buried in the old family burial grounds at the site of the first Catholic church at Spencer Mountain. His wife, Lucy, died in 1949 and is buried at the site of the New Catholic Church (St. Helena) at Spencer Mountain. Black Confederates The Descendents of John Wesley Pope John Pope and His Family Before the War
John Pope was descended from Susan Pope who was a free person of color in Lincolnton. There is no record of Susan having a husband. She was apprenticed as a seamstress in 1813 when she was 14 years old and over the years had four children: Nancy, William, Susan and John. John Pope was born to Nancy and a slave called Steve, a.k.a. Stephen Sherrill. John's siblings were Woods, Lisse, Carly, Henry, and Adolphus. John Pope and a cousin moved to East Lincoln and worked for several families in the area, including the Lowe family. The Lowe family owned slaves. John Pope and His Family After the War In 1865 John Pope went back to East Lincoln where he engaged in farming. In 1869 he married Nancy Morris who was the daughter of Ned Morris and Mariah Killian, John's mother. Nancy married Isaac Slade and moved to Catawba County. His brother, Woods, married Margrette Lowe, the daughter of Ned and Elizebeth Lowe.
John acquired additional siblings when his mother married Isaac Slade; Isaac had children by a previous marriage. John's many siblings included Bert Slade who married Annie Smith Rozzelle Slade, Roxanna Slade, Sarah Slade who married John Dixon of Cleveland County, Carly Slade, Scott Slade who married Lizzie Mull, John Slade who married Laura Bynum, Charlie Slade who married Onne Rhodes of Dallas, Barbara Slade who married Sam Webber of Waco, Woods whom we have already mentioned, Henry Pope who married Julia Derr, Adolphus Pope who married Minerva Carpenter, Mary Pope who married Miles Goodson, and Lisse Cross who married William Thomas. Mrs. H.L. Hindrix Lavinia Forney Hendrix was the daughter of Peter Forney who co-founded Vestibule A.M.E. Zion Church and the Compact School. Lavinia attended the Compact School, and she was able to graduate from Socia Seminary (Barber Scotia College). In 1890 the Statesville District of the A.M.E Zion Church established Moores Academy at Lincolnton. Lavinia became the school principal. She married Reverend H.L. Hendrix of Asheville. Moore's Academy closed in 1895. Lavinia taught school in Cleveland County. She lived in Grove for a while before she followed her husband to his pastorship. Marriage, Family and Relationships The Armstrong family of Gaston County is one of several families by that name. This family is identified as descended from Dinah, a slave of William Armstrong and Ned, who was a slave of the Gingles family. Dinah was born around 1810. She had several children. One of her children was
Toney Armstrong who was born around 1840. Toney was "married" during slavery. He married Elmina Wells in 1892. Both of them were about 50 years old. Elmina was the daughter of Fred Sloan and Jennie Wells. Granville Armstrong, the brother of Toney, was about 10 years older. During and after slavery, he was married to Rhoda Armstrong. In 1885 at age 45, he married Catherine Lawrence who was from York, South Carolina. J.W. Armstrong was the son of Granville and Rhoda. J.W. married Mary Falls, the daughter of Walker Falls, in 1885. Another family called Armstrong was descended from Pete Armstrong, also a slave of William Armstrong. Pete was born sometime between 1810 and 1850. He never knew his age or his parents. After Emancipation, he and his wife Louisa settled down to farming near Dallas. Their children were Andrew, Jacob, Lew, Sarah, Nancy and John. Edward Armstrong could have been the brother of Toney. We do no know for sure. He was a farmer. He and his wife, Manerva, were the parents of William, Adaline, Esther, Leroy, Toney, John and others. William Armstrong had a mullato slave called Abram who was born around 1790 and was an old man by 1860. Old Abe, as he was called, had two "wives". His last wife was a slave called Jennie. They had a son called Abram who was called Young Abe. Hiram Rhoades Revels and Elias Barnett Revels 1) A native of North Carolina, born in 1822 of free parentage, Hiram Rhoades Revels was the first person of Black ancestry to serve in Congress.
2) Apprenticed to his brother Elias Revels, a merchant and barber, Revels resided in Lincolnton from 1838 to 1845. During this period he operated a barber shop in a small building behind the Motz Hotel, facing the south Court Square. 3) Leaving Lincolnton to further his formal education, Revels attended schools in Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. Ordained as a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal church, he carried on religious and educational work among Blacks in several midwestern states and served as pastor of a church in Baltimore. Following the Civil War, Revels settled in Natchez, Mississippi, where he began his political career as an alderman. 4) After election to the Mississippi state senate in 1869, the legislature elected him to the U.S. Senate to complete the unexpired term of Jefferson Davis, former president of the Confederacy. On February 25, 1870, Revels was seated in the U.S. Senate, becoming the first person of Black ancestry in either House of Congress. He served until the end of the short term, March 3, 1871. 5) At the completion of his term in Congress, Revels returned to Mississippi where he was named president of Alcon College, Mississippi's first college for Blacks. Following retirement from Alcorn in 1882, he served as a leader in the affairs of the M.E. Church. He died on January 16, 1901 while attending a conference in Aberdeen, Mississippi.
Edwards Chapel Baptist Church
Edwards Chapel Baptist Church was originated with worship service held under a "Brush-Arbor" in the early 1900's. The late Dr. Edwards donated the land on which a building was erected. This was used as a school and as a church. One who remembers best is Brother Guy Tipps who as small boy helped his father haul the first lumber to build the church.
In 1907 Reverend Cater, coming down from Hickory, North Carolina, each Sunday would bring other ministers with him. The founder of Edwards Chapel was Reverend Cleveland Thompson. In 1971-1977 the church was remodeled and a building fund was started under the leadership of Reverend Harvey Lee Spears and Reverend John H. Tillman from 1978 until 1985. The Reverend C.N. Davis served as pastor. Presently, the Reverend Micheal Hill is pastor of Edwards Chapel. Under his leadership, we finished the new sanctuary and began having service.