HOMES OF OLD WARRENTON-CONTINUED
THE HOME OF PHIL NORWOOD
Across the street from the Spruill Place was a very pretty cottage built by Philip Norwood about 1852. He was a native of Granville County, and a brother of Nat Norwood. He was a very handsome man, quite an exquisite in dress, most careful of his personal appearance. He was a successful merchant in Warrenton, keeping the very highest grade of goods, silks, trimmings, etc. He married Miss Rebecca Turner, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Turner. They had one daughter, Ellen Key. The year following the close of the war this family moved to Petersburg, where Mr. Norwood engaged in merchandising, until the progressive minds turned to Texas, as the most promising part of our Southland, and he moved to Texarkana, with his family. There he made a great success, and died leaving quite a fortune.
The next occupant of this home was Captain John McDowell, who married Miss Martha Washington, the niece and namesake of Mrs. William Eaton, Sr. The McDowell family made this place their home until after the death of Mrs. McDowell in 1890.
This place has been for quite a number of years the home of Mrs. Kate Macon, the widow of Hal Macon, and the oldest daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas. She is a lovely woman, gentle and sweet by nature, a devoted wife and mother. Mr. Macon died at this place a few years back. They had quite a number of children. Two of the daughters are married; two of the sons live in Warrenton. Alex has been long employed in one of the Warrenton banks. Mrs. Macon's mother, Mrs. Thomas, makes her home with her most of the year.
"THE FOLLY SPRING"
About a quarter of a mile west of Mrs. Hal Macon's home is an interesting place. It is quite a hundred years old, and looks now as it did when I recall it sixty years ago. Miss Mordecai tells us in her History o f Hastings that a romantic lover selected it as the home for his future bride. Here he built the quaint little cottage, with the sloping roof from the cone to the edge of the porch, on the crest of the hill. It was surrounded by fine oak trees. He made steps in the sloping hill to a fine bold spring which he enclosed in a square granite basin. Around the spring were large yew trees, on which the young people of the town had carved their initials for generations. From this spring flowed a hold stream, running through the yard and back of the garden to a large ledge of flat rock, covering quite a space, and over this rock flowed the clear water. This was the favorite play place for the children of the town during my childhood and since. It was used as a rendezvous for boys and girls, also for older young people in the romantic stage. It was a great place for picnics and Fourth of July dinners. The story of this ardent lover lent to this spot a halo of romance that has survived for a century. This infatuated lover was some years the senior of the young lady upon whom he had set his heart. It was known by all her friends that she had no purpose to become his bride; however, she led him on to hope she would, and thus cruelly deceived the lovesick swain. After realizing that his was only a slighted love, he lived out his days in retirement at this place, naming it The Folly.
THE SHERIFF JONES PLACE
Across the grove, north, from the Phil Norwood Macon Place was the home of Sheriff Jones, now occupied by the family of Peter Allen. I do not think that he built this house, but he lived there more than thirty years, and he and his family were closely associated with it. I remember the house as being of only two rooms on the first floor, and two on the second, with the stairs running up from the very entrance of the hall, and the kitchen out in the yard. In later years there was added a large and comfortable bed-room for Mrs. Jones on the first floor.
Mr. Jones kept very late and irregular hours. His man Matt knew that he must not disturb him till quite late in the forenoon. One day there appeared a man wishing to get a license to sell lightning rods in the county. It was rather early when he first came to the Sheriff's door, and Matt put him off with some excuse. After an hour or two he came again and was so insistent that the faithful Matt saw there was nothing to do but to wake up the Sheriff and tell him the demands of the lightning rod man, although he knew there would be an outbreak. As soon as he roused him up, and told him the cause, the Sheriff rushed to the window, threw it up with great force, thrust out his head and exclaimed: "You cloud-confusing scoundrel, get away from here, and let a man sleep!" The man got away, and told it down town. As Mr. Jones was very little domestic and spent most of his time at his office in the courthouse, I have made a short sketch of him in connection with the officers of the Court.
Mrs. Jones was a Miss Wright of Norfolk, Va., a very lovely woman. Her beautiful Christian spirit was reflected in her placid face. Her manner was all kindness and sympathy. There was no lady in Warrenton more revered, more heartily liked than she was. She was a pious, most devoted member of the Episcopal Church, most regular in her attendance on all the services. She was a good wife and devoted mother. There were five children, Stephen, Robert, William Baskerville, familiarly and affectionately known in the town as "Buck," Mary Alice, and Pattie. Stephen married Miss Alice Whitmore of Petersburg and made his home there, till later he resided in New York, and died there. He left two daughters and one son. Robert married Miss Sue Branch of Raleigh. They had a splendid son who died just as he reached manhood, a grief that shadowed their life till the end. Pattie died very young. Mary Alice was a very handsome woman, quite like her father in his early life. She was the highest type of Southern womanhood, very timid and unassuming, but strong and unflinching when called to stand for duty. She was beyond parallel in her home as daughter and sister. She was a member of Emmanuel Church, and sang in the choir; her consistent life was after the example of her devoted mother.
When Peter Allen moved from his country home he bought the home of Sheriff Jones, and he and his family resided there until his death, his widow and his daughters and Mrs. Allen's two sisters continue t:i make it their home. Mrs. Allen was Miss Nellie Brown of Louisburg. At the time of their marriage Mr. Allen was living near Memphis, Tennessee, where they continued to live for a year or two after their marriage. Their oldest son, Frank, was born in Tennessee. They had three sons. Claude, a very promising boy who died just as he reached manhood. Frank and his family live in Warrenton. He married Miss Loulie Macon. George married Miss Mary Burwell, and lives in New York City, where he has held a very responsible position in the American Tobacco Company from early manhood.
Peter Allen was a most exemplary man, much liked and respected by the people of the town and county, for he was well known by both. He was a very consistent member of the Methodist Church, and one of the best Confederate soldiers that warren County sent to the war. The interest and memories of those days never faded from his mind.
THE HOME OF MR. SHAW
More than thirty years ago this house was built by Mr. Shaw, from Virginia. He and Mrs. Shaw did not live there very long. It was then purchased by Dr. Walters, who settled in the town some twenty years ago, and married Miss Lallah Thomas. They have one child, who is now at Converse College. The mother of Mrs. Walters passes a part of the year with her.
The Rectory of Emmanuel Church has been written of in connection with the history of the church.
THE RESIDENCE OF HUGH J. WHITE
On the south of the property of Miss Lucy Hawkins, this home was built more than thirty years ago by Hugh White. Mr. White and his wife, Miss Florence Young, of Blackstone, Virginia, with their two sons, Edmund and Hugh and their only daughter, Helen, resided there until the health of Mr. White failed. The parents then went to live with the daughter, who had married Dr. Holt, and made their home in Wise, near Norlina, where Mr. White died. Hugh White was a very strikingly handsome young man, of high order of intelligence, of the best business qualifications and fine personal principles. He was one of Warrenton's finest citizens. Until he suffered the stroke of paralysis that undermined his health, he was very robust, and had indefatigable energy.
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.