THE HOMES OF OLD WARRENTON-CONTINUED
THE HOME OF MRS. PETER ARRINGTON
The handsome home of Mrs. Kate Arrington stands on the ground where was located the residence of Captain W. H. Bobbitt, which was an old place when he moved there, about 1850.
Elsewhere I have written of Captain Bobbitt and his wife. Their children were two daughters and three sons, William, Plummer and James, all tall, muscular, fine looking men, with a high grade of intelligence. All three were Confederate soldiers, none better in Lee's army than Plummer and James. They did not live in the town many years after the close of the war. William died some years ago, Plummer lives in Memphis, and James in Asheville. The oldest daughter, Laura, was a woman of fine character, and accomplishments. She married Dr. B. A. Cheek, and they moved to Marion at the same time her parents did. The younger daughter, Delia, also married and lives in Western Carolina.
Mrs. Pendleton bought this home from Captain Bobbitt in 1868, and she and her daughter, Helen, afterwards Mrs. J. D. Whitaker, of Raleigh, made it her home until 1873. When on a visit to relatives in Warrenton in the Spring of 1872, Arthur S. Pendleton met Mrs. Jones, a most attractive woman, and their marriage took place in the following January.
Mr. Pendleton's first marriage, with a lady from Virginia, was of short duration, she dying early, leaving one child, Blanche, now Mrs. Cates of Thomasville, North Carolina.
Mr. Pendleton was an unusually handsome man, very intelligent and very attractive in manners and conversation. He was also an excellent business man. He was vice-president of Hook Smelting Co. in Philadelphia, that dealt in supplies necessary for the equipment of railroad trains. He was most successful in this enterprise and the firm highly prized his services and judgment. Mr. Pendleton was barely beyond middle age when he died in Warrenton after months of ill health. He was born and reared in Portsmouth, Virginia, where his father had settled, his ancestors had settled in New England on coming from England. They were people of distinction, both the New England branch of the family and the one that came to Virginia. It was unusual that one should have ancestors connected with the leading universities of New England, but such was the fact in the family of Mr. Pendleton. Another distinction was that an early grandfather was among the founders of Princeton. Equally as great an honor came to the ancestry of Mrs. Pendleton. The land on which Princeton was first built was given by her grandmother Hatfield.
There were three children of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Pendleton, Arthur, Kate and Milo. Arthur became a graduated physician from the medical schools of Philadelphia. He did fine work in the World War and was afterward made a surgeon in the U. S. Army. He is now serving in the Philippines. He married Eliza, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Busbee, of Raleigh. They have two children.
Milo married Janet Hawkins, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marmaduke Hawkins of Ridgeway, N. C. He located in Warrenton as a pharmacist. He and his wife died very young, leaving one little daughter, Katherine, now the adopted child of her aunt, Mrs. Kate Arrington. Kate, the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Pendleton, married Peter Arrington, the son of Mr. and Mrs. S. P. Arrington, who was born in Petersburg, Virginia and spent most of his early years there. After his marriage he lived in New York, becoming a very useful and successful manager of the British Division of the American Tobacco Company. He was much beloved by his family and friends. Since his death Mrs. Arrington has come to make her home in her birthplace, and has made the old place one of the handsomest and most attractive homes in this section of the State. As hostess she lends an air of attractiveness and grace quite equal to the beauties and surroundings of the home.
During the World War Mrs. Arrington gave unstintingly her time, her means, her sympathy and intelligent cooperation to the Red Cross work in her native county. In the Warren Record there was an article expressing high praise for the wonderful work under the Red Cross organization of the old county, in which credit and much praise was given to Mrs. Arrington and her assistants, she being chairman. I take much pleasure in rendering honor to whom honor is due, and insert the extracts from the Record:
Warren was given five thousand to raise. The County did not raise any thing in the drive last year and hence Warren was given a somewhat larger amount than would seem fair by comparison with the amounts given other Chapters, which last year did their portion. Nothing daunted, however, the organization was outlined here on May 8th, and perfected in a working body in every township in Warren by the 20th.
The County organization was the most successful big business proposition, conducted entirely without any compensation, ever in the County and to Mrs. Arrington and her assistants hats are off for an admirably conceived organization and a brilliantly, gloriously executed campaign with its successful culmination of near nine thousand for the work of Mercy.
As County Chairman of the drive much credit goes to Mrs. Kate P. Arrington to whose initiative, untiring ability and personality the success in the County is largely due.
Due to the efforts of such workers eleven townships went "over the top" with contributions from a penny- to ten one hundred dollar men. The campaign of solicitation has closed, but the mercy its results will shed under the Red Cross will go on thru Time.
The household is composed of herself, her mother and Katherine, her adopted daughter and niece. Mrs. Pendleton was one of the four attractive daughters of James Clark of Pitt County, a planter on a very extensive scale. He died during the Confederate war, his wife, a Miss Lanier, cousin of the southern poet, Sidney Lanier, having died a few years earlier. As a child only six years of age, she came nearly every year with the family to get the benefit of the fine climate of the hill country of Warren County. When old enough she was sent as a day pupil to The Collegiate Institute; later on she was entered as a boarding pupil, and completed her education there. For quite sixty years her interest and affection for the people of the town has caused her to take a prominent part in the social and civic life of the community. In her church (the Baptist) life she has been most active and useful, giving most freely of her means, her time and deep spiritual interest. Her influence has been far reaching, and will live on after her life has become a hallowed memory. She is now nearing her eighty-seventh birthday, and through her unselfish life and her unfailing faith, the shadows that are lengthening have no terrors for her.
THE HOME OF MISS SUSAN LEWIS
Upon this spot seventy years ago stood one of the oldest houses in Warrenton, a small, sloping roofed cottage, occupied by Mrs. Fowler and her two children, Sallie and Lee. Earlier than that it was the home of the Burroughs family. Some of the children of that family were James, William, John, Letitia who married Captain W. H. Bobbitt, and Judith, who married Mr. Schloss. The members of the family were remarkable in the community for their tall handsome figures, dignified bearings and easy manners.
A more recent owner and occupant of this place was one well known to all the older people of the town, Miss Susan Lewis, familiarly called "Aunt Sue" by many. She came to Warrenton to reside after the war. She was then past middle life, having been born in 1799 in Norfolk, Virginia. Her mother was a Miss Dozier, who with her father died in one of the yellow fever epidemics that visited Norfolk.
She was left an orphan at the age of two years, and a relative took charge of her until she was twelve years old. At that early age she began to make her own living. At that day there were only two avenues open for a woman to earn a living, by teaching or domestic service. She chose the latter. Of course in the South it was to exercise a supervision over the slaves. She soon became useful in spinning, weaving, housekeeping and nursing the sick. Her lines seemed to have fallen in pleasant places, as she always spoke most affectionately and feelingly of the ladies who had given her this training, and made a real home for the homeless girl. When she became a matured girl she taught in neighborhood schools in Halifax, Warren and Franklin counties.
By her industry and thrift she saved as much as three thousand dollars, a part of which she invested in this humble home. The remainder was invested for her, by the stewards of the Methodist Church in Warrenton. She was a devoted member of that church, and it was one of her chief sources of pride that she had contributed (for her) a considerable sum to Randolph-Macon College for the training of young ministers. Although time had brought many changes in the discipline of her church, yet she strictly adhered to the Book of Discipline left by Mr. Wesley. She was devoted to her church, but not narrow, for she often came to communion at the Episcopal Church. As age and blindness increased, the members of her church advised her to sell her home and utilize the proceeds for her living expenses, promising that if she outlived the money, they would provide for her. She then went to live in the second story of the south wing of the Miss Hawkins' home, and they were as kind to her as if they were her daughters. She lived there until too feeble to go up the long flight of steps, and too blind to live alone. She was then boarded at Dr. Simon Green's, where she died in January, 1S93, at the advanced age of ninety-five.
One rarely meets a person of Miss Susan's poor early opportunities who possessed so many fine characteristics, she was full of noble impulses, truly loyal, and deeply grateful for all the many kindnesses of the community in which she lived. She was of a quick, irascible temper from which her pupils suffered in her early life, as did the servants that attended her in her late life.
She was very variable in her spiritual uplift and depression. As she became more and more feeble she often passed weeks in bed, especially in the winter season. On one of my visits I found her in bed, but she was in an uplifted frame of mind and spirit that day. She was eager to speak of her gratitude for all the kindness of the people of the town. I ventured to say it was what should be done for her, as she had tried to do her duty in life, and had kept her lamp burning as evidence of her faith. She would let me go no further, but jumped out of bed, exclaiming, "Didn't that gal put out my lamp this morning? I told her to be sure to put it out," referring to her kerosene lamp on the mantel.
Her birthday was on the 15th of March, and so sure was she that she would be remembered on these anniversaries by a large number of people in town, that she would put on one of her best dresses, fix her wig and cap very carefully, place a table in the middle of the floor, convenient to place the gifts on, and with a fresh handkerchief in her hand, sit ready and convenient to receive her friends. She was never disappointed, for they came laden down with gifts of all kinds of useful things for her housekeeping, including fuel and lights, from a can of oil to a load of wood, and many nice articles for her personal comfort. Miss Susan had many warm friends who would invite her to pass weeks, and even months in their homes. Among them was Col. Green, of Esmeralda, some ten or twelve miles from Warrenton. On one occasion she had planned to go on a visit to the Green family, not knowing that a gentleman who had come from a distance to make this visit was to return with the Colonel's daughter in the carriage. When he saw the old lady sitting in the carriage, knowing that his opportunity of having a long drive with Miss Green, when he intended to talk over a matter very near his heart, was gone, his disgust knew no bounds. A friend of the family, who was a great joker, was standing by, and said, "You need not mind her, for she is as deaf as a post." When they reached Esmeralda, and the old lady was assisted out, she turned to the suitor and said, "I may be very nearly blind, but I have very keen hearing."
In connection with matrimony Miss Susan used to say that she never gave up all hopes of marrying until she was seventy-five. She used to give an interesting account of "the night the stars fell" in November, 1833. She was in the home of Mrs. Thorne, Halifax County, looking after the family in the absence of the lady of the house. Of course the children of the family and the servants were panic stricken; she said they spent most of that night in prayer.
This home was afterwards bought by a very respectable and much liked colored man, Archie Johnson, who with his family resided there for some years, making great changes in the house. His wife, Ella, was the daughter of "Aunt" Katherine Edwards, who was the wife of "Jim" Edwards, one of the best known, and most polite, accommodating and genteel colored men that ever lived in Warrenton. In that civilization the saloons played an important part. "Jim" Edwards was one of the most skillful bartenders in that entire section; was known and liked by hundreds of white men of the highest rank throughout Eastern Carolina. He dressed elegantly (the word is used advisedly) always in a black suit, with a velvet vest and immaculate linen.
He was owned by Mr. Edwards of Halifax County and came to Warrenton with Dr. Brownlow and his grandchildren, the Edwards children. Jim died at this place, his white friends showing him every respect by attending his funeral services and sending flowers.
Archie and family moved to Emporia, Virginia, to live.
The present owner of the property is Edward Rooker of this county, who with his family make it their home. Mr. Rooker has been very successful in the tobacco business in the town, and is the one of the firm of Walter Boyd & Co. Mrs. Rooker is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Weldon of Warren County, who reside with their children, Mr. and Mrs. Rooker.
Mrs. Rooker is a woman of very distinguished personal appearance, with a very dignified, agreeable manner. She is connected with the Red Cross, and during the World War did very efficient work. She and her husband have three children.
Adjoining the home of Miss Susan Lewis on the south was an old brick blacksmith shop of two stories and owned by Albert Egerton ; it had been handed down that the great racer, Boston, was usually shod in that shop. In 1884, when the depot, for the convenience of the public, was located more centrally, it was placed on that site. It was allowed to stand there for some thirty years, then it was moved to the northern edge of the town.
On the south of the old blacksmith shop there was a small four room cottage occupied by a German family named Angerman. He was employed by William H. Bobbitt as an expert trimmer in his shop. Mr. and Mrs. Angerman had two children; William, who was a distinguished member of the old Thespian Club, a handsome young man, of excellent habits and principles, and the daughter, "Sissy," a schoolmate of mine, 'and a very nice girl.
Adjoining Mr. Angerman's cottage on the south was the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Haithcock, this has been the home of this family for quite sixty years. Mr. Haithcock was employed for almost as long a time at the shoe-shop of J. R. Johnson. He was as regular as a clock in going to and fro to his work, and always on the same side of the street. It is related of him, however, that the day his son, Charlie, was born, some fifteen years after the birth of the last son, so great was the event that he lost his equilibrium and went to his work on the other side of the street, the east side. Mrs. Haithcock has only died in the past two years, living many years after the death of her good husband. She lived a very long and useful life, being much beloved in her family and much liked and respected in the community. There were three children, Mary Elizabeth, Joe and Charlie. Charlie has married and built a very comfortable home on the site of his father's house. Joe has been dead for some years, "Mollie Bet," the widow of J. J. Loughlin, makes her home with her brother.
All the older people recall the accident that befell "Johnny" Fisher, when his leg was cut off by the Warrenton Railroad. For some years he was able to get around on his crutches, but when his health failed and tubercular trouble set in he was taken to the home of his aunt, Mrs. Haithcock, and tenderly nursed there until his release from suffering came. His parents had died years before.
THE OLD METHODIST PARSONAGE
Adjoining the home of Mrs. Haithcock on the south was the home of the resident minister of the Methodist Church during his pastorate of from one to four years, as determined by the conference. I recall some of them: Mr. Adams, Junius P. Moore, Mr. Wheeler, Mr. Willis and Mr. Griffith. After the church built the new parsonage on the corner of Ridgeway and Front streets, the old parsonage was bought by J. J. Loughlin in which he and his family lived until his death. Mr. Loughlin's first wife was Miss Lucy Johnson, the second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Johnson. There were four children of this marriage. His second marriage was with Miss Mollie Haithcock, of this marriage there were no children.
Mr. Loughlin was an Irishman by birth, a man of attractive manners, very amiable and much liked in the community by every one. He was a lieutenant in the 30th North Carolina Regiment, an excellent soldier in camp and field, and always very proud of his commission. In the old Thespian Company in Warrenton he was an actor of tragedy; in after years he was always very accommodating about assisting in any amateur performance that was gotten up in the town.
Mr. Loughlin was taken prisoner during the War Between the States, and confined at Johnson's Island. There his fondness and talent for the theatrical boards stood him and his companions in misfortune in good stead. This will be interesting to Mr. Loughlin's friends in the old town. We find in the Century Magazine for March, 1891, an article entitled "Plain Living at Johnson's Island," by a Confederate officer, (Captain H. Carpenter) in which the author says:
The only antidote to the terrible ennui of prison life was occupation, and very few were without some kind. A first class minstrel band, known as the Rebellionians gave three entertainments from time to time to crowded houses. Ali the popular airs of the day were conscripted and the words rewritten to express our peculiar views of the situation. The dramatic element had its innings, and I think that Peeler's "Battle of Gettysburg" had the unprecedented run of three weeks, with one performance a week. These performances took place in the afternoon, for, as before stated, the guards had very pronounced views as to our being absent from quarters after retreat.
Among the fifteen members composing the company of The Rebellionians, Lieutenant J. J. Loughlin, of North Carolina, appears and also as one of the chief actors in "The Black Prince," which we copy here:
Among the fifteen members composing the company of The Rebel Ionians, representing practically every state of the Confederacy, Lieutenant J. J. Loughlin of North Carolina appeared as 'one of the chief actors in "The Black Prince," which is of sufficient interest, as showing the taste and style of theatrical performances of that day, to copy here:
THE HIGHLY COLORED EXTRAVAGAIJZA OF "THE BLACK PRINCE"
With the Blogianized Plot and an Original Score written expressly for
Dramatis Personae Julias Snow-a type of his class- Sherwin
Ginger-an adventurer of varied experience Palmer
Possum-a philosopher of the Epicurean school Otey
Bugaboo-the great king of Dahomey Loughlin
Jak-kas-his prime minister Youngblood
Prince Tchad-rightful heir to crown of Dahomey Maher
Lill-Wrte-Prince of Dahomey Dooley
Royal messengers, gods, etc.
THE OLD BENJAMIN E. COOK PLACE
On the south of the old Methodist Parsonage is a house, known in my childhood as the first home of Mr. Benjamin Cook, the old clerk of the Court. In after years he built the home on the corner diagonally opposite, where now stands the New Hotel. After Mr. Cook had changed his residence, this house was the home of Mr. and Mrs. McGee of Petersburg. Mr. McGee was in charge of the Male Academy, 1853-56. In the past five years I met Mrs. McGee in Richmond. She was then far beyond ninety, and yet her mind and memory were so good that she recalled her life in Warrenton, and mentioned the names of the old merchants and citizens. During the war it was occupied by Booker Jones and family, from Newport News, Va. It was at one time the home of Mr. Herr, a German, who taught music at The Female College. In 1871 it was the home of Charles A. Cook and his family, when he came to town to practice law. It is now the home of Mrs. Laura Daniel and her sisters, Miss Estelle Davis and Mrs. Whit Williams, (Miss Lucy Davis). Mrs. Daniel is the oldest daughter of Archibald Davis and his wife, Charlotte Harris. There were two sons and five daughters-. The oldest brother has been connected with the Government in Washington for some years. Oscar has made a splendid success in the American Tobacco Company. He lives in New York. These are fine men and most devoted brothers of the sisters remaining in Warrenton. Mrs. Daniel's son, Archie, has made a gratifying success in railroad service.
Montgomery, Lizzie Wilson; Sketches of old Warrenton, North Carolina; traditions and reminiscences of the town and people who made it, Raleigh, Edwards & Broughton printing company, 1924.