Malcom McGregor, born in
Scotland in 1792, immigrated to America and settled in North Carolina's
Sandhills region, which had long been a center of Scottish settlement. When
he actually settled in what was then Cumberland County (now Hoke), is not
definitely known. He married Mary, a daughter of Gilbert Carmichael, a
Highland Scots immigrant;
Carmichael had come to North Carolina in 1773 and settled in Cumberland
County, was for many years an elder in the Longstreet Presbyterian Church,
and founded the Galatia Presbyterian Church in Cumberland County. Gilbert
Carmichael was a large landowner, and tradition relates that he deeded his
daughter Mary, and her husband Malcom McGregor, land on Puppy Creek where
they built their home. The deeds of Cumberland County are incomplete, and
there is no transfer recorded to support the deed of gift to the McGregors;
however, a great niece of Mary Carmichael McGregor related the story to her.
Mrs. L. Herman Koonce of Raeford, North Carolina, and added that the house
was two years in the building, and was completed in 1821, and that the first
McGregor child, Gilbert Carmichael McGregor, was born in the house on
January 8, 1824. The house was located on Puppy Creek where it crosses the
Turnpike Road from Fayetteville to Robeson County, a prime business
location. The 1850 census indicates that McGregor was a wealthy landowner,
owning 9,798 acres of land. He also owned 18 slaves.
When the rich cotton lands of Texas were opened up after the Mexican War,
McGregor moved his family into the Lone Star state On September 6, 1855,
Malcom McGregor deeded to DuguId A. Lamont of New Hanover County, NC and
Malcom Lamont of Cumberland County, two tracts of land on Puppy Creek The
1,990 acres were sold for $6,079. In 1859 McGregor sold the balance of his
land holdings in Cumberland to the Lamonts. The McGregors settled in Austin
County, Texas, and became one of the best known families in that state, and
were among the prominent nembers of the medical profession. Gilbert
Carmichael McGregor studied medicine at the Edenborough Medical School in
Cumberland County, as did several of his brothers, all of whom later moved
with their father to Texas.
Malcom C. Lamont, who bought the McGregor place, was born in 1823 in
Scotland. The 1860 Cumberland County census indicates that he was a
turpentine still operator with real estate valued at $11,000 and personal
property valued at $12,000. He and his wife, Mary, lived at the McGregor
house on Puppy Creek, and he used his 8 slaves to farm his land, which
produced the same commodities as the l1cGregor plantation had in 1850. The
Lamont family lived in the house until 1911 when they sold it to J. W.
Johnson, a lumber man, who timbered the property. Paul Johnson, a grandson
of J. W. Johnson, inherited the property and now resides there (in 1976).