Miscellaneous Newspaper Articles
for Hyde Co., NC


Tom E. SPENCER, for the past year manager of the Belhaven Pilot and the Hyde County Herald, has returned to his old job as City editor of the Washington, N.C. Daily News.  Mr. SPENCER is a native of Engelhard, Hyde County, and got his start in journalism on the Hyde County Herald where he worked for several years before going to Washington.  Mr. SPENCER was with the Daily News for several years until a year ago when he resigned to take over the active management of the Belhaven Pilot.  He is an experienced newspaperman and one of the most likeable and loyal fellows imaginable.  He is a Rotarian and a member of the Methodist church.  He is married to the former Miss Elsie ROPER of Engelhard.  Mr. SPENCER succeeds Joe RICKARD, JR. who resigned recently to return to school at the University of West Virginia and to do part-time work on the Morganton, W. Va. daily paper.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, January 12, 1951; pg. 1)


Richard J. QUIDLEY, JR., a resident of Belhaven for many years, was born April 16, 1878 in Beaufort County.  He has bought us his favorite poem. [Not included in the newspaper article.]  Mr. QUIDLEY's father, Richard J. QUIDLEY, SR. was born April 5, 1840 at Hatteras, N.C. and died on January 10, 1916.  Amanda Wright QUIDLEY, the mother of Mr. QUIDLEY, was born October 7, 1843 in Beaufort County and died November 15, 1923.  Mr. QUIDLEY was married in Belhaven November 9, 1902 to Janie Sermons QUIDLEY of Hyde County.  Born to this union were seven children, two of which died.  He has eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, February 9, 1951; pg. 2)


Odd and incomplete descriptions sufficed in old deeds in Eastern North Carolina 150 years and more ago.  One of the oldest deeds in the records of Hyde County concerns the purchase of 25 acres in New Currituck by Nimrod MEEKINS from John PHYSICK for 25 pounds, ten shillings December 31, 1799.  It is described as "beginning at a water oak in Joshua SILVERTHORNE's paster near the path that goeth Rewbin REWs."  Book M, Page 139.  Land values were a long time building up on Hatteras Banks.  That part below New Inlet was in Hyde County in those days, and January 8th, 1830 Jeremiah and Rebekah MEEKINS sold to James MEEKINS 42 acres of land for $50, located in Chicamicomick, "beginning at late Thos. DOUGLISS North line."  Witnessed by Benj. D. PUGH.  Book V, Page 216.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, March 2, 1951; pg. 8)


Captain George L. CUTHRELL, formerly of Lake Landing, North Carolina, has recently been assigned to Fort Hood, Texas.  Captain CUTHRELL is a veteran of five years service.  He spent 30 months in the European Theatre of Operations and saw action in the Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes and Rhineland campaigns.  He was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic and meritorious service.  Formerly employed as a farmer and builder, he is the son of G.C. CUTHRELL of Middletown, North Carolina.  The Captain's wife, Mrs. Edna D. CUTHRELL, is currently residing at 203 Hillcrest Drive, Greenville, North Carolina.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, April 6, 1951; pg. 5)


Miss Betty BRANTLY, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank BRANTLY of Norfolk, became the bride of Alfred Milton MASON, son of Mr. & Mrs. Jones S. MASON of Swan Quarter, Sunday, April 15 at 2 p.m. in Temple Baptist Church in Norfolk.  Rev. Fred A. BOBBITT officiated at the double ring ceremony.  The immediate families and a few friends of the bride and groom were present.  Upon their return from the honeymoon, they will make their home in Norfolk.  Mrs. MASON is a graduate of Maury High School in Norfolk.  She is now employed by the Norfolk City School Board.  Mr. MASON is a graduate of Swan Quarter High School and served with the Army in World War II.  He is now employed by the Norfolk City Water Works.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, April 27, 1951; pg. 8)

(The Coastland Times - Friday, May 4, 1951; pg. 4)


    Daniel Bradford (Brad) PAYNE of Wanchese is a man who knows a good deal more about drums than most people do and more about the particular drum that he used as a drum "beater" for the Old Christmas celebration at Rodanthe for the last 30 or more years than any man alive.
    This drum figured in a story in this paper some weeks ago.  It was used by the Rodanthe schoolchildren in presenting the Old Christmas scene of the "Drama of Dare" pageant.  Mr. PAYNE took the trouble to come into the office last Friday to enable us to "put the record straight" about the ancient drum.  In clearing up the record, Mr. PAYNE told us a good deal about the very interesting history of the drum, and, incidentally, of his own family which date in Dare County from well before Revolutionary War times.
    The Dare County PAYNE's, Brad says, are all descended from three brothers from England who were shipwrecked on the beach near the present location of Rodanthe.  Two of the brothers settled at Rodanthe, the other went over into Hyde County.
    A part of our school festival story Brad PAYNE is quick to deny is that the drum could have washed ashore in the year 1812.  It has been in the uninterrupted possession of his family for at least 250 years, of that he is sure.  Besides, Brad points out, if it had been awash in the sea, the salt water would have ruined it.
    Here's the record of the drum in the PAYNE family as far back as brad has certain knowledge of it.  John PAYNE, the great-great-grandfather of Brad, was born sometime prior to Revolutionary War times; the dates of his birth and death have been lost from the family records.  From his great-grandfather Brad knows that John PAYNE owned the drum.  How long it had been in the family before John PAYNE's day is unknown.
    John bequeathed the drum to his son, Edward PAYNE who lived from 1796 to 1882.  Brad's grandfather, William (1826-1900) did not inherit the drum but instead Edward (always called Neddy) passed the drum on to William's son, Benjamin S. PAYNE, when Ben was a lad of 12 years old.  Benjamin was born on March 5, 1855 and died on September 25, 1929.  Before he died, he gave the drum to his son, Brad.
    In the days before the Revolution, there was a company of militia on the Lower Banks at Kinnekeet; when the company drilled this very drum was used with a fife to provide the militia's martial music.
    If you ask Bradford PAYNE today about the value of the drum he is inclined to think the matter of little importance.  Money doesn't enter into the matter much with Brad.  The drum has been in the PAYNE family so long that it is, for them, a priceless heirloom.
    When Brad gives up his annual trips to Rodanthe to "beat" for the Old Christmas festival, he says he is going to leave it in the care of one of his brothers or their children.  In that way he can be sure that the drum will remain in the PAYNE family as long as there are any PAYNE's to care for it.  In a few weeks Brad will celebrate his 77th birthday; he was born on July 13, 1874.  His living brothers and sisters are Folger and Dameron M. PAYNE of Wanchese, Zion S. PAYNE of South Norfolk, Mrs. Mary D. TILLETT, Miss Elva PAYNE and Mrs. Evilina M. GALLOP, all of Wanchese.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, June 1, 1951; pg. 1 & 5)


The only marriage license issued this month in Hyde County was to Richard H. McKINNEY of Fairfield and Miss Eudora PATRICK of Columbia.  The wedding took place Sunday at the Fairfield Christian Church, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. C.D. PRESLEY, pastor.  The bride is a daughter of Fred PATRICK.  The bridegroom is a son of Mr. & Mrs. Edward J. McKINNEY.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, June 15, 1951; pg. 4)


(The Coastland Times - Friday, July 27, 1951; pg. 8)


A daughter, born Sunday to Mr. & Mrs. Earl PITTMAN of Scranton, weight 9 pounds 5 1/2 ounces.  She is the couple's fifth child.  Before her marriage, Mrs. PITTMAN was Miss Annie L. WILLIAMS.  Mr. PITTMAN is a commercial fisherman.  The baby was born at Pungo District hospital in Belhaven.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, September 14, 1951; pg. 3)


Mr. & Mrs. Wade SWINDELL of Swan Quarter are parents of a son, born Sept. 10 at Pungo District Hospital in Belhaven.  The baby, the couple's first child, weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces.  Mrs. SWINDELL formerly was Miss Eleanor Ruth WEBSTER.  Mr. SWINDELL farms.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, September 14, 1951; pg. 3)


Mr. & Mrs. H.C. CUTRELL of Fairfield have announce the marriage of their daughter, Miss Jean Elizabeth CUTRELL, to Robert W. JONES, JR., son of Mr. & Mrs. R.W. JONES, SR. of Fairfield.  The wedding took place Sept. 5 in the Baptist Church in Belhaven where a double-ring ceremony was performed by the pastor, Rev. J.T. BYRUM, in the presence of the immediate family.  Miss Noel Faye PINNER of Belhaven played the wedding music.  After a wedding trip, the couple will live in Greenville where Mr. JONES is employed by the state highway department.  The bride, who was graduated from Fairfield High School, was a student nurse in Columbia Hospital before her marriage.  Mr. JONES attended Elon College after graduation from Fairfield High School.  Later he was graduated from Coyne Electrical School in Chicago.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, September 14, 1951; pg. 4)


Mr. & Mrs. Julian HARRIS were agreeable surprised last Sunday when Mrs. HARRIS' family arrived at their home for a family reunion.  Among those present were: Mrs. H.B. FULFORD; Mrs. P.C. WORTHINGTON; Mr. & Mrs. Charley Gray SMITH; Mr. & Mrs. Raymond WORTHINGTON and children Stewart Jr., Steve, Ronald and Glenn of Ayden; Mr. & Mrs. J.H. McLAWHORN and children Claudia Gray, Conrad, Sandra, Phyllis and Carl Wesley; Mr. & Mrs. Joseph WORTHINGTON and children Ardie and J.W. of Winterville; and Mrs. Arthur Lee MILLS of Raleigh.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, September 14, 1951; pg. 4)


With 16 prospective consumers signed up to buy electric power from the Pamlico Power and Light Co., the next step is to secure right-of-way for poles.  Work already has started on that.  When the needed space has been secured, the prospective consumers will see to having it cleared.  Meantime, some of them are making arrangements to have their homes wired for lights and appliances.  Those who have signed an agreement to buy power and have met the requirement to put up $25 on future light bills are Mrs. Emma O'NEAL, Adolph FRANCIS, Alfred PUGH, Warren PAYNE, Mrs. Addie GIBBS, Mrs. Clydia MIDGETT, Dennis GIBBS, Ernest BREWER, G.T. EVERETT, Leonard PUGH, Carl PUGH, Joe PUGH, Edward MASON, John W. KREWSON, Ralph WILLIS and Leonard and A.G. JOLLY.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, September 14, 1951; pg. 7)

(The Coastland Times - Friday, August 21, 1951; pg. 1)


On the occasion of his third birthday, Billy GIBBS was honored at a party given by his parents, Mr. & Mrs. Edward Lee GIBBS of Swan Quarter.  Colored paper hats were given to the guests as favors.  Those present were: Gilbert TUNNELL, JR., Tom and John PRUDEN, Van CARTER, Linda CUTRELL, Betsy Lee and Marvin Ray WORRELL, Linwood SMITH and Russell LUPTON.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, September 21, 1951; pg. 4)


Mrs. J.M. TAYLOR of Norfolk announces the marriage of her mother, Mrs. S.W. WESTON to Swan Quarter, to Mr. Claude M. GRANT of Rich Square, at the Wanchese Methodist parsonage with Rev. C.W. GUTHRIE officiating.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, September 21, 1951; pg. 4)


Invitations went out Wednesday from Providence Methodist Church in Swan Quarter to an annual homecoming to be held Sept. 30.  All former pastors and members were sent invitations.  It will be at this time that an electric organ, recently given by the Jones brothers and sister in Norfolk, former residents of Swan Quarter, will be dedicated in memory of their parents.  The four members of the family are expected to attend.  This will be done at the morning service at which the Rev. A.B. BERRY, JR., pastor of the Charles City, Va. Methodist Church and a former resident of Swan Quarter, will be the preacher.  In the afternoon a service will start with a song service at 2:30 when Mrs. Harold LUPTON of Belhaven will play the organ.  Col. John D. LANGSTON is to preside.  The preacher at the morning service turned from engineering to the ministry after he was well established with Virginia Electric and Power Co. in Norfolk.  [Lengthy article]  (The Coastland Times - Friday, September 21, 1951; pg. 5)


Mrs. Harvey CARAWAN of Rose Bay and her mother, Mrs. Jessie COX of Bath, were honored at a surprise birthday dinner given Sunday at the latter's home.  Two decorated birthday cakes graced the lace covered table.  About 50 relatives and friends were present.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, September 28, 1951; pg. 4)


Engelhard - Miss Carolyn Louise MARSHALL of Spartanburg, S.C., daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Fred Joseph BUCHHEIT of Atlanta, Ga., became the bride of Jack Lumsden BARBER of Lake Landing and Ramey Air Force Base, Puerto Rico. on Sept. 7 at Engelhard, former homer of the bride and bridegroom.  Rev. J.C. HARMON officiated at the Engelhard Methodist Church.  They bride and bridegroom entered together unattended.  They have now returned after a short wedding trip.  Mrs. BARBER is residing at 608 Otis Blvd., Spartanburg, S.C. until she joins her husband in Puerto Rico in November.  Mrs. BARBER attended Atlanta schools and was graduated from Engelhard High School, Spartanburg Junior College and Cecil's Business College.  She is now employed as secretary to John C. MOONEYHAM.  The bride is a granddaughter of Mr. & Mrs. B.C. MARSHALL of Engelhard.  Mr. BARBER, son of Mr. & Mrs. H.D. CUTHRELL of Lake Landing, graduated from Engelhard High School and immediately entered service.  Only members of the immediate families attended the wedding.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, September 28, 1951; pg. 6)


    Miss Margaret SILVERTHORN of Lexington, Ky., John SILVERTHORN, JR. of Florida and Asby SILVERTHORN of Norfolk visited their mother, Mrs. John SILVERTHORN, who is ill in her home near here during the week.
    On Saturday afternoon, Judy CAHOON celebrated her 10th birthday with a party given at the home of her aunt, Mrs. Perry SPENCER.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, September 28, 1951; pg. 6)


One of the highlights of Sunday's homecoming at Providence Methodist Church in Swan Quarter will be the dedication of an electric organ given to the congregation as a memorial to the late Charles A, and Nancy J. JONES.  The organ, a Hammond, is a gift of the couple's sons and daughter who were reared in Swan Quarter and now live in Norfolk, Va.  They are Sam G. JONES, Leslie E. JONES, Mrs. Clyde Jones RUTTER and Dr. Vance JONES.  The pastor, Rev. D.M. LEWIS, will make the presentation.  The Methodist ritual for such an occasion will be used with a responsive reading in which the congregation will take part.  The morning sermon will be delivered by Rev. A.B. BERRY of Virginia, formerly of Swan Quarter.  After a basket lunch organ music will be provided by Mrs. J. Harold LUPTON of Belhaven.  In the afternoon the principal speaker will be Rev. J.C. CHAFFIN of Winfall who was pastor of Providence Church about six years ago.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, September 28, 1951; pg. 7)


A son born Tuesday to Mr. & Mrs. Allen WILLIAMS of Engelhard was their second boy and fourth child.  The bay was born at a hospital in Columbia.  Mrs. WILLIAMS formerly was Miss Alma LEWIS.  Mr. WILLIAMS is a farmer.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, October 5, 1951; pg. 1)


Lake Landing - Mr. & Mrs. Willie GIBBS of Lake Landing are parents of a daughter born Sept. 30 at Pungo District Hospital in Belhaven.  The baby is their fourth but first daughter.  Mrs. GIBBS who before her marriage was Miss Evon DOUGLAS, is a daughter of Mr. & Mrs. S.S. DOUGLAS of Lake Landing.  Mr. GIBBS farms.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, October 5, 1951; pg. 5)


    Born to Mr. & Mrs. K.B. JENNINGS of Durham, a daughter, Lucinda, on Oct. 3.  Mrs. JENNINGS was the former Christine COX of Engelhard.
    Born to Mr. & Mrs. M.M. PENNINGTON, a daughter, in September.  Mrs. PENNINGTON was Lucene SWINDELL of Englehard and lives in Greensboro.
    Born to Mr. & Mrs. Aubrey HARRIS of Charlotte, twin boys on Oct. 1.  Their names are Patrick and Michael.  Mr. HARRIS is a former Engelhard resident.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, October 12, 1951; pg. 3)


Funeral services were held Saturday at the residence for Mrs. Sarah Jane SPENCER, wife of Oswald SPENCER.  She died Wednesday night of last week in a hospital in Columbia after an illness of several weeks in connection with which she underwent surgery.  She had been in the hospital 14 days before her death but had also been there previously.  The rites were conducted by the Rev. F.R. LILLEY of Washington, pastor of the Christian church, and the Rev. Walter ARMSTRONG of Engelhard.  Music was furnished by the choir.  Mrs. SPENCER, who had lived in Engelhard ever since her marriage, is survived by her husband; two daughters: Mrs. Mertice MIDYETTE and Mrs. Nina ENGLISH; two granddaughters: Lloyd MIDYETTE and Tootsie SPENCER; her mother, Mrs. Lizzie GIBBS of Engelhard; three brothers: Fred and Leland GIBBS of Engelhard and Sam GIBBS of Gum Neck.  Mrs. SPENCER was a member of the Christian church and was active in the Ladies Aid.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, October 12, 1951; pg. 4)


On Sunday, Sept. 30, Mrs. C.E. PAYNE and Mrs. U.G. WISE held open house honoring their mother, Mrs. Bettie NIXON, on her 79th birthday. Mrs. D.L. MEEKINS greeted the guests as they arrived and helped "Aunt Betty" open and display the many gifts which she received from friends during the afternoon.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, October 12, 1951; pg. 4)


Reuben Marshall CARAWAN, 48, resident of Washington and native of Hyde County, was killed Thursday night of last week when he was struck by an automobile driven by Leonard B. "Stalk" PRICE, 32, of Washington.  PRICE is held in the Washington jail without bond on charges of manslaughter and driving while drunk.  Mr. CARAWAN was on his way to prayer meeting, Bible in hand, when the accident occurred.  He was walking on the shoulder of the road on Charlotte Street between Ninth and the intersection of Highway 264.  Although the accident had no eyewitness, Mr. CARAWAN is believed to have been dragged 45 feet.  His body dropped on the shoulder of the road.  When neighbors reached him he was dead.  Officers said that Price, a mechanic, drove to the intersection, turned around and came back to the scene of the accident.  Mr. CARAWAN, who has been employed by the state highway department since 1926, is survived by his wife, Mrs. Thelma Norfleet CARAWAN, formerly of Winsteadville; three daughters: Mrs. R.L. WALKER, Miss Molly CARAWAN and Miss Elaine CARAWAN, of Washington; two brothers: Byron C. CARAWAN of Swan Quarter and Hertford C. CARAWAN of Raleigh; a sister, Mrs. John HOPKINS of Hobucken.  Funeral services were held at the residence Saturday afternoon by the Rev. M.E. TURNER with highway department workers as active pallbearers.  Burial was in Oakdale Cemetery.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, October 12, 1951; pg. 4)


SCRANTON - William Benjamin CARAWAN, 22, was committed Tuesday to the state hospital in Raleigh for treatment.  He was taken there that day by Sheriff C.J. CAHOON who was accompanied by the young man's brother, Ralph CARAWAN, Rep. Russell A. SWINDELL and Court Clerk, Melvin SWINDELL.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, October 12, 1951; pg. 6)


Retired Surveyor-Farmer of Fairfield Succumbs on Visit to Hyde County Home -- FAIRFIELD - Joseph S. MANN, retired surveyor and farmer, died suddenly Monday at his home here due to a heart attack. His brother, Dr. T.A. MANN of Lake Landing, and the superintendent of his farm were with him. Mr. MANN, a native of Fairfield, had been in ill health some time. As his wife is dietician at Tayloe Hospital in Washington, he had been staying there in recent months, but had gone to his home in Fairfield to spend a few days. A son of the late Dr. and Mrs. Joseph MANN, he was reared and attended school in Fairfield. He married Miss Rebecca SPENCER of Engelhard. A surveyor by profession, Mr. MANN worked for the government CCC Camp at New Holland and later on the government project now operating there. When he retired he moved back to his farm at Fairfield. He was a member of the Methodist church. He is survived by his wife; a son, J.D. MANN, and a daughter [not named]; two brothers: Dr. J.E. MANN of Middletown and Dr. Thomas A. MANN of Lake Landing; a sister, Mrs. Carlos O'NEAL of Fairfield.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, November 23, 1951; pg. 1)


LAKE LANDING - Funeral rite were held Sunday for the 63-day old child of Mr. and Mrs. Ervin SHELTON, colored.  The baby died early that day at Pungo District Hospital in Belhaven where it had been in an incubator since its premature birth.  The bay, who weighed 2 pounds 8 ounces at birth, had gained to 3 pounds 8 1/2 ounces.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, November 23, 1951; pg. 1)


Miss Irene McKINNEY, daughter of Mrs. Junious Thomas McKINNEY of Salisbury and the late Mr. McKINNEY, became the bride of Harvey Calvin HINSON, son of Mr. and Mrs. William David HINSON of Rowan Mills, in a ceremony at 3:30 o'clock November 3 at Saint Mark's Lutheran Church in Salisbury. The Rev. J.A. SEABOCH performed the double-ring ceremony in a setting of palms, ferns and white gladioli in altar vases and floor baskets. Prior to the ceremony Mrs. Earl McKINNEY, organist, played "My Heart at Thy Sweet Voice", "I Love Thee", "The Sweetest Story Ever Told", "Liebestraum", "To a Wild Rose" and the traditional Wagner and Mendelssohn wedding marches. Miss McKINNEY and Mr. HINSON entered the church together.  Earl McKINNEY, brother of the bride, and Dickie AYERS, nephew of the groom served as ushers. Mrs. Richard MANN, sister of the bride, wore a black suit with a corsage of red carnations. After a southern wedding trip the couple will occupy their new home at Rowan Mills. Mrs. HINSON graduated from Engelhard High School and is employed by Cannon Mills of Kannapolis. Mr. HINSON attended China Grove High School and operates the concession stand for Rowan Mills. He served in the Navy during the war.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, November 23, 1951; pg. 3)

by John I. Watson

    Observe the marshes and the creeks and the land long since idled by the ravages of salt and continued wet.  Look upon the skeletons of old vessels rotted on the banks of the Fur.  See how the village hovers against the creek?  Listen, you of Engelhard, to the ancients tell of grander days and blush not for your heritage.
    During the brief period when Oliver CROMWELL was the Lord Protector of England, 1653-1658, certain men of wealth and high political station found themselves in bad favor at court.  Some were executed and some were imprisoned and some were banished.  Among those banished was a gentleman by the name of SPENCER.  He was shipped under sealed orders to Virginia.  Virginia, at the time, included practically all of England's holdings in the New World.
    The ship apparently headed into Fur Creek.  SPENCER landed with his retinue at Persimmon Tree Point near Engelhard.  Obviously his wife died during the voyage, for she was buried at Persimmon Tree Point which is anything other than an ideal burying ground.  His intention was to return at a more convenient time and remove her grave to higher land.  He drew a map of the site, but when he returned a storm had so altered the shoreline that he was never able to find his original line of approach as indicated on the map.  However, one gentleman, living still, saw when he was a youngster an ancient coffin washed out of the marsh in another storm.  The salt had preserved it.

First Settler

    SPENCER settled in the area now known as Engelhard.  And because the map is obscured, presumably, among the valued papers of some of the descendants of that SPENCER, his first name is not available.  Nevertheless, there are those here who have seen it and can vouch for his having arrived during Cromwell's time and that will date the settling of Engelhard and vicinity back to the five-year period between 1653 and 1658.
    Although there are years and even generations which cannot be accounted for authentically, much can be inferred.  This SPENCER was a man of considerable wealth, for he and his sons possessed and cleared and cultivated the land running from the Pamlico Sound to the Mattamuskeet Lake between Poppin and Middleton.  That is known because the old ones hereabouts remember when it was still mostly SPENCER land.  And Bessie WATSON, when a young lady, talked with an aged Negro who had been in the SPENCER family.  He was at the time a hundred and fifteen years old.  She asked why the SPENCER's had not let any old mansions since they were said to be rich.  He replied that his masters had spent their money clearing new lands.

Early Graves Unmarked

    The cemeteries give up practically no clue to the early settlers here.  Most of the graves were either unmarked or the stones have fallen and sunk beneath the soil.  The earliest grave marker in the area belonged to a SPENCER who was born in 1765.  It is a beautiful full-length white marble slab and is located in the pasture near the present home of Reginald McKINNEY.  The inscription is as follows:

In Memory of Peleage SPENCER
who departed this life May 9, 1810, aged 46 years, 3 months, and 13 days
Esteemed for his agreeable manner and social virtues, he fulfilled the duties of a good man and a virtuous citizen. 

Kind reader stop and silent be
For thou must die as well as me.
Dissolved in dark and silent dust
Prepare for death for die thou must.
Life is uncertain, death is sure,
Sin gave the wound, Christ is the cure.

    But Benjamin SPENCER lived earlier than that.  He lived more than two hundred years ago.  His home is still in an excellent state of repair and is the present home of Ralph ROPER.  It is a tall old structure of the early American pattern.  The interior is impressive with its yard high wainscoting of hardwood, ornately carved heavy mantels and high ceiling plastered walls.  Unique enough is the banister on the three-flight stairs; it is of solid mahogany.  The home presents an atmosphere of permanency and doubtless was built of materials no longer to be found.

"A House Divided"

    Benjamin's brother, Samuel, has his home on Lazy Lane.  It had all the features of Benjamin's with the exception of the mahogany rail.  That is was considerably larger may be surmised by inspecting the two portions remaining today.  The house had a pink and a blue room to which guests were assigned as the occasion required.  The old home was willed eventually to a couple of grand nephews who refused to buy or sell to one another.  They sawed it in two parts and moved them.  Today, Reginald McKINNEY lives in one half and Benny GIBBS in the other.  Between the two houses is an elm tree having a girth of about twelve feet.  It had its origin as a buggy whip.  One of the SPENCER guests had cut a branch from an elm tree to encourage his horse.  When he left he stuck his whip in the mud and forgot about it.  The whip rooted and has been an old tree as long as anyone can remember.

The Yankees Come

Samuel SPENCER was a successful farmer.  He had acquired local fame for his wealth prior to the Civil War.  During the war he was an old, old man.  He is said to have buried his gold and retired to his death bed.  The Yankees heard of his treasure and dispatched a company of cavalry intent on getting their hands upon it.  They found Samuel dying.  He refused to divulge his secret.  They wrought havoc with his house and furniture and further desecrated their own souls by taking his shroud, which had already been laid out for him, is as uncouth manner as anyone possibly could.  Two officers with fixed bayonets mounted their horses and suspended the shroud between them from their bayonets and rode through the fields belonging to Samuel.  The corn was high and the slaves could not see the horsemen; they saw only the shroud soaring through the field and thought it was the spirit of Samuel after them.  They fled, naturally.

"Jack" Married Five Times

    One of them was the Negro who lived to be a hundred and fifteen.  His name was Uncle Jack SPENCER and for many years after the war, when he was a free household servant, he always ascertained whether guests were of the North or South before he would answer the door.  Incidentally, Uncle Jack married five times, the fifth being after he had achieved the status of centenarian.  His marriages were all to young women and only one of them was what we consider as legal and sanctified.  The bride and groom laid a broom on the floor and stepped across it together, probably on their way to bed, and their nuptials were complete.
    Elizabeth SPENCER, one of Samuel's sisters, possessed an enviable amount of property for the period.  A fellow by the name of Arnold GRAY migrated from New England and married her.  They lived in a two-room house whose timbers went into the construction of the Israel WATSON house on the same site.  Arnold GRAY was an abolitionist of local renown.  He imported his New England ale and divided his time between sipping that and inspiring Elizabeth's slaves to treat himself and the other members of his household as fellow citizens instead of masters and owners.  His liberal attitude resulted in Elizabeth's slaves becoming unmanageable and gaining fame for their unprecedented sassiness.

Saunderson's Sported Coaches

    The SAUNDERSON's arrived.  Today the name is frequently spelled with no "u".  Benjamin and Ivey SAUNDERSON settled on opposite banks of the Fur.  They were rich and sported coaches and fine horses with their coaches and servants garbed in special livery.  They cultivated vast tracts of land and married into the SPENCER family and lived in splendor.  One of the SAUNDERSONs, whose name was also Benjamin, though probably of a later generation, married Rebecca WISE of Craven County and they were the grandparents of General Benjamin SIMMONS, late of Fairfield, and of Isabella GIBBS of Middleton, who became the wife of United States Senator F.M. SIMMONS.  Benjamin and Rebecca SAUNDERSON lived on the Swamp Road in a house built by Samuel SPENCER which stood near the present home of the SELBY's.  In spite of the wealth of the SAUNDERSON's they built no enduring homes at Engelhard.
    The NEAL's were here and so were the HARRIS'.  These two families were united by marriage at an early date.   Because one of the HARRIS men was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, just about all of the NEAL's and HARRIS' might become Daughters of the American Revolution.  The ROSE family was here.  Jeptha ROSE was perhaps the first, or one of the first.  He built the house popularly known as the Captain Sam SPENCER place.  The COX family had arrived also.  They built a good-sized old two-story house which stood in the lot before the Post Office.  Some of the oldest people now may remember when it was destroyed by a hurricane.

Widow Kept Coffin Ready

    In the house currently occupied by Merle GIBBS, a widow also named GIBBS, lived nearly two centuries ago.  She anticipated death catching her unawares.  In order to prevent too much confusion when she would arrive at the inevitable hour she had built or bought herself a coffin which she kept upstairs and used for a container for her Sunday clothes.  That was a classic old home before it was remodeled.  It had, perhaps, more colonial architecture than any of the aforementioned houses.  There were the dormer windows running across the front, for instance.  The house later became known as the John BURRUS place.  He was well fixed too.  His brother in Fairfield owned a hundred slaves.  John sent his daughter to Salem College.  She later married "Gentleman" George CREDLE who had attended college in New York.  John was also the uncle and guardian of Israel WATSON until he left to attend Randolph Macon College just prior to the Civil War.
    The house, which is the present home of the Roman PATRICK's, was formerly the home of Sally Kale (or Cale) SPENCER.  She sent her son to Princeton University where he graduated.  The road turning to Fairfield and the road leading to Lake Landing form a fork which he since been referred to as the Sally Kale Fork.

The Gibbs Families

    The name of GIBBS began to appear.  One source was that of Washington GIBBS.  He came to America with two other gentlemen of wealth.  The three of them held land grants from the King himself.  All three had their lands adjacent to lakes.  One of the others was the PETTIGREW who settled on Lake Phelps.  Washington settled in the Dark Woods area on Mattamuskeet.  He was a prolific father and the name spread rapidly.  He drove a fancy carriage with excellent horses and loved a bit of wine and indulged somewhat in music.
    Another alleged source of the GIBBS name is connected with that of the pirate TEACH.  One elderly lady who was herself a GIBBS said TEACH happened to be hiding from the Royal Navy in Fur Creek during the latter days of his career, and because the crew were aware of the precariousness of their position dissension arose aboard.  Some of the men deserted.  One of them was named GIBBS.  This might be true as easily, indeed, as it might be false.  But not so many years ago one of BLACKBEARD's log books resided in the possession of one of Engelhard's citizens.  It was later given to a museum.  It is said that among the names mentioned in that log were GIBBS and MANN.  And where so many by the name of GIBBS or SPENCER are to be found in an area so small, it is not unreasonable to assume that their numbers could have stemmed from several sources.
    There was the name TULEY.  And there were other names, but many who were here moved away and were replaced by others.  No effort is being made to eulogize any family.  Only those who have kept records are remembered.  History and family trees seem important to most hereabouts only after they have been neglected so long that no possible way of digging up the past is left open.

Agriculture Important

Engelhard had its birth in agriculture.  The captains came after the plantations could load their vessels with cotton and grain.  There were no deep harbors where the ships could be loaded directly, but smaller boats hauled the produce from the wharves in Engelhard out to the larger vessels lying at anchor.  The vessels hauled the farm products to New Bern or Norfolk.  There they would reload with necessities as well as luxuries for the return trip.  Luxuries because the village of Engelhard was no mean little homespun outfit; it had a degree of class and culture and a worldliness which gave its citizens a confidence in themselves so that they were able to stand toe-to-tow with the best in the land and when they threw their shoulders back and walked like they were someone, they WERE someone. 

Preachers But No Churches

    There were no churches.  An occasional evangelist would pass through and deliver himself of his opinion concerning the woes of this world and the joys of the next.  The most famous of those ministers was Washington CARAWAN.  He is said to have been the most eloquent speaker ever to visit this area.  His home was, it seems, near Swan Quarter.  He made several missions here and preached under trees or just anywhere he could rake up an audience, and that was not hard for Wash to do.  he was not the kind of minister who talks about the beauties of heaven.  Instead he admonished sinners to change from their ways of evil lest they wind up in hell.  And then he would proceed to make clear the awfulness of hell.  He was able of paint a vivid picture.  Uncle Jack SPENCER heard Wash preach several times and when he was asked if he got the "spirit and shouted" he replied, "Who in this world ever felt like shouting when they were staring right smack into the middle of hell?"
    Fur Creek stopped at the rear of the present Methodist Church.  it was too narrow and shallow there even for the navigation of a skiff.  But further out it became deep enough for limited commerce in shallow bottom boats.  The merchants came as the village grew and built their shops as near the creek as they could get them.  Many of them had rear doors through which they could step into a boat.  And since it was only by water that they got their goods, they could have it hauled by skiff and pass it through the rear door.  It was also common to buy oysters through the store.  Montier HALL sold fish along with other wares.  James PICARDE, Anson GIBBS and T. Marion DAVIS also had stores at Engelhard as early as 1870.  At least one of them displayed a sign on the front of his shop which read "Fish and Whiskey".
    The citizenry were well behaved with the occasional exception that some fine citizen would get a dram too much for the wetting of his palate.  There was nothing immoral in that.  The sign "Fish and Whiskey" meant nothing.  Nearly all the merchants sold whiskey, and almost every man drank it, and those who drank it were divided into several categories, all of whom had fun in the beginning.  One of the local men of prominence and well beloved of his neighbors, drank but once a year.  He worked hard and was a highly moral man.  But every season as soon as he "got his corn in" he would buy a barrel of whiskey and go on a binge that would put most moderns to shame.  He would set do with a will and drink more and more each day and have more fun than anyone.  Some of his antics caused his family much embarrassment and they frequently hauled him up to the attic and locked him in.  At such times he amused himself by throwing valued old furniture out of the third floor attic window.  Sometimes he had the upper hand and locked his family in the attic and rampaged through the first and second floors until his passion for breaking-up-housekeeping was sated.  Once he strayed from his home and decided upon a nap on a public plot of land.  His hired man was sent to take him home.  On the way home he rallied briefly, while lying across the hired man's shoulder, and bit the faithful servant's ear off.  But the gentleman sobered as soon as his barrel was dry, and drank no more until the next season when he "got his corn in".  He was a favorite in the village and the old folks shook their heads prophetically and said, "He's a good boy.  It's a pity he drinks."

No Bustles

    And Jasper SPENCER was a good man, but he was a puritan.  He lived on the far end of Lazy Lane.  He ran his household with an iron hand, made his wife go to bed whenever he did, and kept one eye open at all times.  That part about the eye is not a figure of speech; he did it.  And he never missed anything when everyone wished he would.  He had two handsome daughters who were in the social strata that required everyone to be in vogue at all times.  But Jasper was violently opposed to bustles.  He emphasized that no bustle would ever be attached to a member of his family.  His daughter feared him as much as any mortal could far a mortal.  They acquiesced, sort of.  They refrained from wearing bustles around their father but they had bustles; they kept them down the lane carefully concealed in water bushes.  When they went out they would don them, and when they came home they would un-don them and leave them in the bushes until the next time.
    But, as we said, Jasper kept one eye peeled.  One Sunday the two worthy daughters were headed for church.  Jasper did not always go, but he did on this occasion.  And he was terribly jarred when he saw his daughters, who were not aware he was following, disappear into the bushes at the side of the lane and reappear a few moments afterwards greatly exaggerated.  They made the church and entered.  No sooner had they seated themselves than Jasper appeared with fury on his face.  The girls arose and departed for they knew their father was the type of man who would go to any extreme to satisfy his mind that his daughters did not have on bustles.
    When Jasper was dying he kept the same eye opened for five days.  He was not left alone for a minute.  He had the best attention.  But it upset the young lady who was with him on the fifth day when he called his wife loudly, the first utterance to escape him during his sickness, and closed the open eye and opened the one which had been closed for so long and was dead.  He had been old and set in his way, and his way had been peculiar, but his children were all on the level.

Post-War Depression

    After the Civil War the wealth of the land was gone, except in the few instances where individuals had grown wealthy through commerce with the Yankees.  But the boys who had gone away to fight for the type of existence they had been accustomed to returned to a shape of things that was hardly similar to what they left.  A few of the slaves refused their freedom in the broadest sense of the word.  They remained as personal or household servants.  The great landholders were ruined.  They could not possibly hire the labor to cultivate their great farms.  The war had bled them of the wealth necessary for such an undertaking.  They could not themselves do the work.  They had not been reared at the task.  It was a physical impossibility to create a farmer from the men who had been separated from their own land by their overseers.  The great farms began to dwindle as a chunk was sold here and there in order to live.  It did not require very long for the big farms and plantations to vanish.
    But the intellects were only impaired.  They were not destroyed.  They might have been warped and even become diseased in some instances, but that sort of thing is not destroyed from without.  Engelhard did not go to pot altogether.  Men went to work as best they could and earned their bread.  And when they relaxed, they relaxed as well as the Yankees or anyone could relax.  In 1870, if not earlier, a reading circle was operating in the area.  The members exchanged the works of Dickens, Scott and Thackeray among other of the classics, in addition to the style setter of the period, Harpers Bazaar, and a regular subscription to one of the foremost New York newspapers.  Some of the members were Mrs. Marcus SWINDELL, Mrs. John MANN, the Rev. Theodore Pickett BONNER, who was a graduate of both the University of North Carolina and Trinity College, Dr. and Mrs. Edward CLARK (Dr. CLARK was known as the best surgeon east of the Wilmington-Weldon Railroad), Dr. Charlie MANN who furnished the light reading, and Israel and Margaret WATSON.


    Festivals and tournaments were the mode.  Good horsemanship was a definite mark of distinction.  Young men vied with one another for the honor of crowning their lady friend the queen of the festivals.  It was not always easy.  Such stunts as riding past a stationary goose and wrapping a whip around his neck secure enough to pick him off and haul him away required skill and determination, not to mention the lack of humane tendencies.  When the competitor won he was supposed to address his girl in a polished manner, preferably with a touch of poetry.  The girl likewise was required to reply to "Sir Knight, etc....."  Tom C. MANN won the prize once and approached his selection from among the ladies and cut the ordeal short by saying, "Will you have this crown?  I've worked damned hard to get it."  The lady addressed bowed her head and accepted.
    The minutes of one of the meetings of The Farmer's Alliance recently unearthed here after 65 years rest among old papers of little worth, indicates that a hundred bushels of oysters were on hand for the assemblage.  Everyone was urged to bring his own bowl and spoon, but for those who should forget theirs or for unexpected arrivals, an additional sixty tin pans and spoons were purchased.  Col. Wilkes LUCAS made an impressive speech, none the less so because his son Dave, aged six years, leaped to the platform and interrupted with: "All I want in this creation is a pretty little wife and a big plantation.  All I want to make me happy is two little boys to call me Pappy."
    Col. LUCAS was state senator at the age of 26.  After that he served several terms in the state legislature.  He was the county's most eloquent speaker in his day.  In those days Engelhard furnished its share and more of the county's legislators, Col. LUCAS, Israel WATSON, Monroe CLAYTON, Claude DAVIS, George DAVIS, all served several terms.

Town Given Name

    The post office was commissioned in 1870.  Several men were asked to decide upon a name for the village other than Fur Creek.  The committee selected many names only to find them already listed in the Post Office Directory.  Just as they had despaired of their task, Israel WATSON laid eye upon the name of the editor of the Wilmington newspaper to which he subscribed.  It was a Major Engelhard.  He suggested the name.  It was not listed and the committee decided upon that name.
    Engelhard had the seafood.  It had the farm products and the two sources of food kept many a man here who would have gone elsewhere for his livelihood.  No man ever starved in Engelhard or even went hungry unless he was helpless and too ornery to accept friendly help.  The oysters have never been surpassed, and rarely equaled, for flavor and size.  And the blessed women here can cook them better and better in more ways than most folks otherwise dream about.
    The champion of the oyster beds was Kit SPENCER.  He was also a veteran of the Civil War and always was a figure commanding respect.  His beds were in a choice location both for convenience and for the quantity and quality produced.  But, at the end of his time, a channel was dug through the middle of it and it was ruined.

Towns in Competition

    There was a time when Engelhard and Middletown were vying for the trade in this area.  Both villages were similar in size and make-up.  Both were on small creeks but Engelhard was more of a natural center for the farm market.  And when FUERESTEEN set up his oyster factory at Engelhard, it drew enough extra trade to settle the question.  He brought into being for the first time two mails a day.  His boats, the Pompano and the Red Snapper, supplied contact with the outside world.  It also gave an additional payroll to the village and drew in extra residents.  The merchants enjoyed the extra transactions from the wage earners.  And Anson GIBBS added to this temporary boom with the additional employment provided by his cotton gin and brick kilns.

First Town Church

    The village, at the turn of the century, was progressing.  The churchmen of Engelhard had built a church.  They had not done so merely for the sake of having a church in their midst, but because the open barrooms of Engelhard were rarely closed and drunkenness excelled.  It was impossible to get rid of that element as long as whisky was sold in the majority of the stores.  The only way to do it would be to get a church.  They purchased an old building from Fairfield and rebuilt it here.  It created a disturbance both among the whiskey dealers and the old traditional church at Amity.  The merchants could no longer sell the booze because a law was in effect prohibiting the sale thereof within a stipulated distance of a house of worship.  The loss in attendance hurt Amity but they came to understand.
    In 1919 a bank was established at Engelhard with W.M. HOOKER the first cashier.  In 1923 a new brick high school was built, as well as a new brick Methodist church.  They were the two first brick buildings in the village.  The new bank replacing the burned old one, was the third.

The Road Helps

    In 1927 the new road between Stumpy Point and Engelhard was opened.  The R.L. GIBBS Company began operating at Engelhard in 1932.  That has not only been a boon to the village's employment and payroll, but to the surrounding counties as well.  It has given the farmer a steady and dependable market for his produce and a means of getting his fertilizers and various farm necessities delivered when and where he needs them at minimum expense.  The Pamlico Ice and Light Company moved the village ahead fifty years in 1935.  In the same year the Mattamuskeet theater was built by Metrah and Kate MAKELEY.  And people not only changed their hairdos and style of dress but began to walk and talk in a citified way.
    Engelhard has arrived.  It is here to stay and those who live here, for the most part, are here to stay.  Fur Creek is the backbone of the village and has seen much.  Its importance has diminished, however, for in the old days it was the transportation.  Now its commerce is trucked on all-weather highways and its travelers ride the bus, established in 1933.  The importance of the Creek is further diminished by electrification.
    The homes are steadily installing interior plumbing and bathrooms and the glory that was once ten privies on the creek between the Methodist church and the big bridge is gone forever.  This generation must grow up without that romantic vision to inspire them to greater things.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, November 23, 1951; pgs. 5 & 8)


SWAN QUARTER - Mr. & Mrs. Kenneth SPENCER are parents of a son born Nov. 17 at Pungo District Hospital in Belhaven.  The baby, who weighed 8 pounds 12 ounces, is the couple's second child and second son.  He has been named Chester Nils.  Before her marriage Mrs. SPENCER was Miss Rhoda JARVIS.  Mr. SPENCER is employed at the Esso Station here.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, November 23, 1951; pg. 7)


FAIRFIELD - William A. FERRELL of Durham, a war veteran, died of a heart attack suffered Nov. 22 when he was hunting near Fairfield.  His son, with him when he had the attack, managed to get him to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Rosie ARMSTRONG of Fairfield where Mr. FERRELL died.  Born Nov. 15, 1905, he was a son of Mrs. W.A. FERRELL, SR. of Durham.  His father is dead.  Mr. FERRELL, a retired barber, is survived by a wife and several children.  No inquest was deemed necessary.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, November 30, 1951; pg. 6)

(The Coastland Times - Friday, November 30, 1951; pg. 6)


ENGELHARD - Dr. H.J. LIVERMAN, who is associated with the hospital in Columbia, has established an office in Engelhard in the Harvey Farrow building and has moved to the community.  The structure has been remodeled to provide a waiting room, an examining room, an office and a drug room.  Because there is no pharmacist in Engelhard, Dr. LIVERMAN will dispense drugs.  Dr. LIVERMAN, a graduate of the University of Louisville, interned at a navy hospital in Portsmouth, Va.  Upon his release from the navy last June he has been on the staff of the Columbia hospital where he still goes each Monday and Friday morning.  Dr. LIVERMAN, who is a bachelor, is living at the Engelhard hotel.  Miss Polly ALEXANDER of Columbia is his office attendant.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, December 7, 1951; pg. 5)


J.L. BLAKE, who farms near Fairfield, lost his left hand Monday as the result of an accident.  he got his hand caught in a corn picker which mangled it so much that the member had to be amputated.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, December 7, 1951; pg. 8)


Pfc. Evans E. CUTRELL, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leslie CUTRELL of Fairfield, finished his medical course at the University of Denver in Colorado on Dec. 1.  He is to spend a furlough with his family in Fairfield.  [A photo accompanied this article but was too dark to scan.]  (The Coastland Times - Friday, December 14, 1951; pg. 5)


MIDDLETOWN - Preston GIBBS of Middletown was notified Sunday that his son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. James Thomas GIBBS, were drowned Saturday night near Fort Meyers, Fla.
    The body of Mrs. GIBBS, the former Miss Hazel GOODMAN of Edenton, was found Sunday near the boat in which the couple had started from their home on Monday Island to go to a fish house.
    Late Tuesday the Coast Guard was still searching for Mr. GIBBS' body.  It is believed that their speed boat was caught in a storm and that in trying to save his wife Mr. GIBBS, who was a good swimmer, perished.
    The body of Mrs. GIBBS was brought to Edenton Tuesday and funeral services were to be held there Thursday.  If Mr. GIBBS' body is recovered, he also will be buried at Edenton beside his wife.
    James Thomas GIBBS, born in Hyde County in 1912, was a son of Preston GIBBS and the late Mrs. Angie GIBBS.  He attended school in Hyde County and during World War II served in the army.  He took part in three invasions in Africa, Italy and Normandy.
    In recent years he had lived in Florida where he was supervisor of an estate on Monday Island.  He and his wife visited Hyde and Beaufort counties last summer and planned to return next summer.  Their Christmas gifts to the elder Mr. GIBBS had been received and the latter had a letter Thursday of last week from his son saying that although he would like to be in North Carolina for Christmas he was happy in Florida.
    Mrs. GIBBS is survived by her parents, a sister and two brothers.  The couple had no children.  Their small dog went out in the boat with them and was also lost.
    When word was received at Edenton of the tragedy, efforts were made to phone Fort Meyers but it was some time before connections could be made, as wires were down due to a storm.  Hyde County relatives talked to the sheriff at Fort Meyers who furnished most of the information known here.
    James Thomas GIBBS was a nephew of Mrs. Walton O'NEAL of Belhaven, who is a sister of Preston GIBBS.  The young man also was related to Carlos GIBBS and to Mrs. M.L. WINDLEY of Belhaven through his mother.  (The Coastland Times - Friday, December 21, 1951; pg. 7)


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