SUDDEN DEATH OF CAPT. S.C. RANKIN
A Great Shock to the Community
Fayetteville Observer, (Fayetteville, NC) Thursday, January 19, 1899; Issue 822; col H
Shared December 25, 2011 by Myrtle Bridges
Our people were shocked Monday evening to learn that Capt. S.C. Rankin, (Picture) one of our leading and most highly
esteemed citizens, had suddenly fallen dead in the streets as he was on his way from his store to his home. Sudden and sharp
as the fall of the lightning bolt out of a clear sky came the tidings. He had been at his place of business all day, going
actively about his accustomed duties, and so far as we have been able to learn in the enjoyment of his accustomed measure of
health. Yet as he was walking home alone about nightfall, within two or three hundred yards of his own house, he fell suddenly
upon the sidewalk and in a few moments breathed his last. Some one saw him fall and, summoning help, ran quickly to his assistance.
He was carried into the house of Mr. Kinlaw, and physicians and the members of his family were hastily summoned, but he was already
beyond the reach of human help, for "his spirit had returned to the God who gave it."
Samuel C. Rankin was born in Guilford County, N.C., September 18th, 1831, and was therefore in the 68th year of his age. He
was born at the old homestead, which was granted by royal patent to an ante-Revolutionary ancestor, and is still owned and occupied
by the Rankin family. He was of Scotch Irish lineage and was possessed of the sturdy strength and uprightness of character that have
been so conspicuous a mark of the Scotch-Irish whether in the Old Country or the New.
In the year 1862 he entered the Confederate army, enlisting as 1st Lieutenant in one of the companies of the 45th N.C. infantry,
and was soon thereafter promoted to the rank of Captain. At the battle of Gettysburg he was severely (and it was thought at the time
mortally) wounded, and in that condition he fell into the hands of the Federals, and for three years was a prisoner at Johnson's Island.
In the early seventies he was sent as a representative of his native county to the Legislature of this State, and, thereafter at
the request of friends, he came to Fayetteville in the year 1872 to take charge of Donaldson Academy. Three years thereafter this famous
Academy was merged into or succeeded by the Graded School, and Captain Rankin gave up his work as teacher and entered into business
relations with his nephew, Mr. A.E. Rankin, and has so continued actively engaged until yesterday. Capt. Rankin was a devout and earnest
Christian. He was by conviction, as well as by descent, a Presbyterian, and had served for nearly 20 years as a Ruling Elder in the
Fayetteville Church. Of clear and well-balanced judgment, active, alert and fearless, he was a wise and judicious counselor, an intelligent
Presbyter, a zealous and faithful disciple of the meek and lowly Jesus, "whose he was, and whom he served."
In his church and in his community he will be sorely missed. His steadfast fidelity to truth, his devotion to high principles of
business and of personal life, his uprightness of character and conduct, his unobtrusive piety, and his love for all that was "pure
and lovely and of good report," gave him unsought, an honored and conspicuous place in our community.
Surely "the memory of the just is blessed," and while we keenly lament his loss, we shall hold him ever in gracious and grateful
Capt. Rankin leaves a widow (who was Miss Eliza Prior) and three sons, Messrs. Lacy, Charles and Henry Rankin.
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