Currituck Co., N.C. Houses

 

Governor Thomas Jordan Jarvis Home

Located on U.S. Highway 158 at Jarvisburg.  Thomas Jordan Jarvis, Governor of North Carolina, was born here January 18, 1836.  His ancestors were among the earliest settlers in the Albemarle and he was a direct descendant of the Thomas Jarvis who was Deputy-Governor of the Albemarle in 1691.  The Governor's Mansion in Raleigh was designed and partly constructed during his term of office as Governor.  A historical marker is in front of this home.

Addendum by Roy E. Sawyer, Jr.--
     This house is the Rev. Banister Hardy Jarvis House.  He was the father of Thomas J. Jarvis.  The construction of the house pre-dates 1836.
     Nicholas D. Newbern tore this house down in 1966 and used the site for his new home.  When the house was demolished, two periods of construction were evident; thus the house had apparently been enlarged.  It is likely that the house was originally two bays across the front and was doubled in size with the addition of two more bays.  Huguenot front doors typically opened into separate rooms.  The stairwell was to the rear and enclosed from the south room, which was a sitting room.  A corner cabinet was removed and was placed in the new Newbern home.  George and Clara Jarvis operated a "house of call" here - drummers and travelers could find a hearty meal and a room for the night.  The George N. Jarvis Store stood directly north of the house.
     Banister Hardy Jarvis (25 Dec 1806 - 20 May 1878) was the son of Thomas Banister Jarvis and likely Mary Woodhouse.  Banister Jarvis was mentioned as a grandson in the will of Hadley Woodhouse in 1815, therefore it is assumed that his mother was Mary, daughter of Hadley Woodhouse.  Banister H. Jarvis married Elizabeth Dailey (1813 - 13 Jul 1856), daughter of Enoch Dailey, of Camden Co.  Their oldest son, the Honorable Thomas Jordan Jarvis (18 Jan 1836 - 17 Jun 1915) was born in this house.  Between 1855 and 1860 he received his bachelor's and master's degrees at Randolph-Macon College.  He enlisted in the 17th NC Regiment on 16 May 1861 and saw action on Roanoke Island, Kinston, Wilmington, and Charleston, SC  On 16 May 1864 his right arm was wounded and he lost the permanent use of it at the Battle of Drewry's Bluff, in Virginia.  After the war, he was paroled in May, 1865, in Norfolk, Va.  After the war he taught school briefly at Jarvisburg (it was Poplar Branch until the post office was opened in 1872) and in Elizabeth City.  In 1867 he formed a partnership with William Happer (who married his sister, Bettie) of Tyrrell Co, and they opened a mercantile business at Gum Neck.  He obtained his law license in 1867, and in 1868 won a seat in the legislature representing Tyrrell Co.  In 1870 he played a key role in defeating the Republicans in the state elections, and in 1874 he married Miss Mary Woodson at the First Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Va.  In 1876 he was elected lieutenant governor of North Carolina, and in 1879 he became governor when Governor Z. B. Vance moved to the US Senate.  In 1880 he was re-elected governor.  On 26 Sep 1881 he attended the funeral of President Garfield in Cleveland, Ohio.  In Oct, 1881, he spoke at the Atlanta Exposition.  In 1881 he began construction of the current Governor's Mansion in Raleigh.  In Sep 1883 he was the main speaker at the Boston Exposition.  After leaving office as governor, on 13 Jun 1885, Gov. and Mrs. Jarvis departed from Newport News, Va. for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where President
Cleveland had appointed him minister.  In 1892 he became permanent chairman of the State Democratic Convention.  In April, 1894, Senator Vance died and Governor Jarvis was appointed to fill his seat in the US Senate.  In 1896 he attended the Chicago Democratic National Convention.  In 1904 he refused an offer as dean of the Trinity College (later Duke University) law school.  In 1907 Governor Jarvis and William Ragsdale secured passage of legislation establishing the East Carolina Teacher's Training School in Greenville (now East Carolina University).  At nine o'clock in the evening of 17 Jun 1915, Governor Jarvis passed away at home in Greenville, NC.  He was buried in Greenville's Cherry Hill Cemetery, and a street in Greenville bears the Jarvis name as does Jarvis Memorial Methodist Church.  He and Mrs. Jarvis did not have any children, and she was active in the Daughters of the Confederacy, and was the author of the novel, "The Way It All Ended".
     George N. Jarvis (1838 - 1910) was the second son of Rev. Banister H. and Elizabeth Dailey Jarvis.  He married Clara Chaplain, and she was the last of the Jarvis family to occupy the house when she died 1927.  Their daughter, Florence, had died in 1896, and their son, Raymond P. Jarvis, married Lula Capps, and his whereabouts was never known by local people.  Clara Jarvis
operated a private school which was located behind the house.
     Margaret Dailey Jarvis (1841 - 1902), the oldest daughter of Rev. Banister H. and Elizabeth Dailey Jarvis, was married to Andrew Jackson Forbes.  They had nine children - a daughter, Ann Elizabeth Forbes, married Charles Morgan, and they resided on Boush Street in Norfolk, and he was a steamboat captain on the Norfolk-Chuckatuck run.  A son, Charles Hobday Forbes owned the Palace Barber Shop in Norfolk.  Another son, Myron Edson Forbes (1880 - 1962) was a vice president of Oliver Farm Equipment in Moline, Illinois, senior Auditor and Plant Manager for Deere & Company in Syracuse, NY, and Canada, and vice president, treasurer, and president of the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, in Buffalo, NY.  In his later years, Myron Forbes was
manager of the Walbridge Building in downtown Buffalo, NY.
     Ann Caroline Jarvis (1844 - 1916) was the middle daughter of Rev. Banister H. and Elizabeth Dailey Jarvis.  She married Joshua Harrison, who was accused of the murder of his father, the murder of a colored boy, the drowning of a colored woman, and the kidnapping and murder of Kenneth Beasley.  He was represented by his brother-in-law, Governor Jarvis, and his colleague, Governor Charles B. Aycock, at the kidnapping-murder trial held in Elizabeth City, but he was convicted.  He committed suicide at the Gladstone Hotel in Norfolk rather than serve time in prison.
     Elizabeth (Bettie) Jarvis (1845 - 1899) was the youngest daughter of Rev. Banister H. and Elizabeth Dailey Jarvis.  She married first William H. Happer, partner of her brother in a mercantile business at Gum Neck.  Happer had previously operated a hotel at Nags Head.  She married second to Joel B. Brickhouse.  She never had any children.
     Nicholas C. and Mae Dutcher Newbern acquired the Jarvis farm .  Dennis Wright and his family lived there for a while.  The Newbern heirs still own the property.

 

This photo and information are from the project "Old Homes in Currituck County to 1860" originally compiled June 1960 by Alma O. Roberts and Alice Flora of the Currituck County Historical Society.   We are indebted to Barbara B. Snowden, president of the Currituck County Historical Society for permission to reproduce this collection on the internet, and also to Gerri Andrews and Diane Ferebee of the Currituck County Public Library who provided digital copies of the photos.  No part of this document may be used for any commercial purposes; however, please feel free to copy any of this material for your own personal use and family research.  Images are for personal use only, not for redistribution.

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2005 Marty Holland