DAVENPORT, Snowden – (d. 1890)

At his home on Long Ridge of pneumonia, Monday, March 17, 1890, Mr. Snowden DAVENPORT, age 65 years.  The deceased leaves a wife and three children to mourn his loss.  From his earliest days Mr. DAVENPORT has been a member of the Baptist church and has lived the life of a devoted Christian and we are sure our loss is his eternal gain.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 21 March 1890, pg 3. Available online at digitalnc.org.

HOWELL, Julius L. – (d. 1890)

IN MEMORIAM –  We today find it our solemn duty to chronicle the death of another of Washington county’s most beloved and prosperous citizens.  In making his way from earth to heaven, the guardian angel that had been watching by the bedside of our dear friend for several weeks, thought proper to take with him the spirit of Mr. Julius L. HOWELL, on the 28th of March, leaving his lifeless body surrounded by kind and loving friends.

The deceased leaves a wife and one child and a host of friends to mourn his untimely departure, but we find sweet relief in knowing that, though he has been taken from us, yet, our loss is his eternal gain.  We mingle our sorrows with those of his many friends, and to his bereaved family we extend our most heartfelt sympathies.  As a husband, he was kind, loving and true; as a father he was affectionate and forgiving; as a friend (ah, who knows better what the word friend here means than the writer) he was kind, generous and as true to those he called friends, as steel.  We have only known the deceased fro six years, but in that time, though short it may seem, he has proved to be to us a friend, and had he been nearer to us, we could not have taken the sad news of his death more at heart. In his death we may truly say we lose one of our staunchest friend. He has not only been such a valuable friend to us personally but no firmer friend could the Beacon boast than “X.Y.Z,” which was none other than this noble man of whom we write, he was ever found ready to help make the paper an honor to his county, for which we will ever remember him kindly.

The deceased was 44 years of age, had long been a member of the Methodist Protestant Church, to which he was devoted and the rules of which he love as only Christians can.

Mr. HOWELL was last year elected to the office of Mayor of Creswell, which office he has filled with credit: he was also a member of the Board of Education of the county and he always seemed to take much interest in the educational advancement of our people.  His every effort in public as well as private life seemed to be for the betterment of his fellow man.

This good man from us is gone forever, his lifeless remains have been laid within the tomb and covered by the cold sod, there to remain until the Great Day, all that is left of this noble character is memory.  His earthly career has ended, his suffering are all over and he is now with the angels in that high home prepared for the righteous.  And, as Christ came and “hath abolished death,” we will think of him in the inspired language and say: “He is not death but sleepeth.”

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 4 April 1890, pg 3. Available online at digitalnc.org.

CLIFTON, Jessie – (d. 1890)

A Child Drowned

obituary for Jesse CLIFTON, the little six-year-old son of Capt. Thomas CLIFTON, keeper of the Roanoke Light.



Roanoke Beacon newspaper – May 9, 1890. Available at digitalnc.org.


PADGETT, Ellen – (d. 1890)

The grim angel of death has again visited us, filling our hearts with sadness and bearing to her eternal rest one of our dear friends, Mrs. Ellen PADGETT,  who died on Wednesday, May 18th after a few hours illness.  The deceased was a sister of Mr. W.F. MORRIS of this place, and leaves two children, besides a number of other relatives and friends to mourn their loss, but we mourn not as those who have no hope, for we feel that our loss is her eternal gain.

Mrs. PADGETT was for many years a resident of this county, but removed with her daughter’s family to Beaufort county, near here, where the last four months of her life was spent.  She was a faithful member of the Freewill Baptist Church for several years, and was honored and esteemed by all who knew her throughout her long and useful life, and of her it could not be said that she was other than a faithful servant, as her life seemed one long struggle to do her duty and aid and comfort the suffering ones around her.

The funeral services were conducted by Mr. H.S. GURGANOUS at her residence, after which her remains were laid by the side of her husband in the graveyard of her old home.  We extend to her sorrowing relatives our heartfelt sympathy.  Weep not friends, but remember though it is indeed hard to consign those we love to the tomb, that our blessed Saviour doeth all things well, and let us pray to be worthy to meet our loved ones in that home prepared for the final faithful, where no storm cloud of sorrow can disturb our perfect peace, or most of tears dim our vision; let us pray that we may be among those thrice blessed ones of whom it is said “They shall walk with Him, in white, for they are worthy.”

With the best of wishes for the success of the Beacon I will close with the promise to write again ere long. — Wild Rose

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 6 June 1890, pg 2. Available online at digitalnc.org.

More WCGS Back Issues Added

Just an update to let everyone know that I’ve added more back issues of WCGS Newsletter to the website. You’ll now find more than 65 issues spanning 1990-2007 on the WCGS News page. The newsletters contain a wealth of data about the county – from cemetery transcriptions, family stories, obituaries, land records, bible records, and more.

I’ve also added several issues of WCGS Journal that you can find here.

I’ve got more to add, so will let you know next time I make another update. Enjoy!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by .

Plymouth & Washington County Book Is Released

I am a huge fan of the Images of America book series; I even collect them and have a Pinterest map to track the locations of the books I own. So, imagine my delight to see a new one dedicated to Plymouth!


The book is written by Willie Drye. Drye is a journalist and blogger who lives in Plymouth and collected numerous pictures to help tell the historical story of the area. I can’t wait to add this book to my collection! You can learn more about the book on the Arcadia Press website.

For Those 90 Years Young

What a great concept! The Tyrrell County Genealogical and Historical Society is planning an event this summer to honor all citizens and natives of the county, aged 90 and older.  The society is seeking to interview such individuals and develop a publication.  Cathy Roberts, the TCGHS President, shared the following to post on the Washington County NCGenWeb site:

In 2011, Ray McClees came before the Tyrrell County Genealogical and Historical Society and told us about an idea he had, named the November Group.  His idea was that this group would be composed of TyrrellCounty citizens who were at least 90 years old.  McClees felt that the Society or other volunteers could interview the Group members, and that the Society could publish the interviews in one of their publications.  McClees also wished there to be a yearly reception to honor the Group members, and he urged the Society to vote to take the November Group on as a project.  

The Society members agreed, and plans were put in motion to start doing interviews.  Then Mother Nature interfered with a hurricane, and all planning for the interviews and reception kept getting pushed back and back and back.  This year though, things will finally get started.  The Society is planning on holding the first November Group reception, and it is hoped that this will be the first of many.  It will be held in place of our meeting on July 27, 2014, at a place yet-to-be-determined. 

The Society is asking people to send us the names, birth dates and contact information of TyrrellCounty natives and residents who will be 90 this year, or who are already over 90.  If you know of someone who meets the criteria, then please send that information to us at P. O. Box 686, Columbia, NC, 27925, or you can e-mail it to us at tyrrellcogenealogy@gmail.com 

The Society is also looking for volunteers to help with the planning of the reception, and you do not need to be a member of the Society in order to help out, but it would be helpful if you came to our meetings so you could discuss plans with our reception committee members.  If you wish to volunteer, please contact us either by mail or e-mail. We’re all looking forward to July, and the opportunity to honor our older citizens.

If you know anyone who is eligible, please contact the society as per the information in the notice above.  Washington County was formed from Tyrell so there is bound to be some overlap.  Be sure to give it some thought. 

Description of Creswell Follow-up (1889)

Excerpt from the “Our Creswell Letter” column:

We notice an article in your last issue copied from the Washington Gazette, in which the writer in his description of Creswell, seems to give Mr. Alfred ALEXANDER of our town credit for being the prime mover in the building of our Academy.  Now, while Mr. ALEXANDER has done his part in the matter, many others have done equally as well, and if any one man deserves special mention in connection with the organization and building of said academy, it is our worthy President of the Board of Trustees, Mr. D. SPRUILL, ex-Sheriff.

But for his efforts and untiring zeal, we would have had no Academy built yet.  He is on hand promptly at each weekly meeting of the stock holders, and takes an active part in all measures pertaining to the school.  We cannot say as much for Mr. ALEXANDER.  He came promptly until he took unto himself a “better half.”  Since then he has been present at the meetings only once or twice, but we presume he is excusable as he has lived the life of a batchelor for 48 years, until very recently, and of course can’t leave his bride long enough to attend to Academies. We fear that our President would also be found lacking at some of our meetings were he to follow Mr. ALEXANDER’s example – in taking a “better half.”

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 26 July 1889.  Available online at digitalnc.org.

Creswell (1889)

One of the most progressive little towns in North Carolina is Creswell, in Washington county.  A few years ago it was a growing forest, and now the hustle of business and the hum of machinery give the pretty little burg much the air of a city.  Situated on the Scuppernong river, at the head of navigation, just five miles from the picturesque lake Scuppernong, its site could not have been better chosen for beauty or commercial advantage.  There are now eight merchantile [sic] establishments, a large steam saw and grist mill, a handsome Missionary Baptist church, and several other churches in prospect.  The streets are broad, and regularly laid off, and every part of the town presents the air of neatness, order and thrift.  The town is backed up by a fertile country and well to do men.  

Along with the idea of business and of making an honest living, turning every dollar to account, the intellectual men, and among them Mr. Alfred ALEXANDER, who is a brother to Mr. David ALEXANDER, the distinguished representative from Tyrell, is a leading spirit, have united their energies and have built one of the handsomest and best equipped academies in East Carolina, and are determined to have the best teachers to be found, a man trained for the profession who does not make teaching a stepping stone to something else, is desired.  There are now five handsome residences growing up, and several more under construction.  Four steamers a week touch at Creswell’s wharf, and the business will likely demand more transportation ere long.  The outlook for no young town is better, more bright and substantial, and we bid the place Godspeed.  - Washington Gazette. 

Editorial note: This article has a follow-up article here.

Source: Roanoke Beacon, 19 July 1889.  Available online at digitalnc.org.

New Book: It’s In the Genes

We are pleased to share the news that Washington County area family history & genealogy researcher Terri Fagan Mitchell has published a new book! “It’s In The Genes: The Cymera Rosella Moore Story” documents the life story of Terri’s grandmother.  You can order the book online, or use this order form.



It’s always nice to see researchers publish their stories. Many congratulations to Terri on her accomplishment!