The Landmark, Statesville North Carolina
Newspaper articles contributed by Twylla Teer and abstracted by Elsie Arcuri.
Some of these articles were almost impossible to read. PLEASE view microfilm before accepting it as fact.
ult. = last month
inst. = present month.
Periods intentionally omitted after abbreviations, initials, etc.
Jan 2, 1885
A Christmas Tragedy in Alexander
On Christmas day Burt Rector, who lived alone with a son in Miller’s township, Alexander county, went off and got a jug of whiskey, and that night his neighbors discovered his dwelling in flames. The first son on the scene got there just as it was falling in, and for some time it was supposed that Rector had perished in the fire, but presently he was found behind the chimney, having crawled out of the fire, and lived long enough to tell where his whiskey was hid. Death ensued in about two hours. The unhappy man had lain down in front of the fire-place, and his clothing catching fire fired the building. His son was from home at the time of the time.
Feb 20, 1885
At the residence of J Q Alexander, February 17th, Mr Isham Misenheimer and Miss Matilda Steele, all of Alexander, W W Teague, Sr, JP officiating
Items from Alexander
Correspondence of The Landmark
Snow about six inches.
Taylorsville is building up so fast the saw mills here can’t furnish the lumber. We need more and better ones. Smith, Kerley, & Co proprietors of the Taylorsville Saw Mill Company, have gone into winter quarters.
The agents for the Atlantic, Tennessee & Ohio Railroad Company say that they have all the cross ties under contract excepting four or five miles this side of Statesville, and we think your citizens ought to help us some as you have not done much for us yet.
Several more weddings to come off next week.
Feb 27, 1885
Suddenly of apoplexy, in Hickory, [Catawba Co] on the 18th, Mr A M Peeler, formerly of Rowan.
In Little River township, Alexander county, on the 6th, Mrs Julius Price.
Letter from Taylorsville
Correspondence of The Landmark
Have no news much to write you this week. The colored part of our population had a little war among themselves last Sunday night but not much damage was done. The only loss the town sustained was Lewis Lippard, our barber. He seemed to take the most active part in the battle, and Monday he concluded there was a better place somewhere else to run a barber shop and he left short notice. The sheriff was looking after him the last account I had of him. He says he has an office ready for him in the county jail.
“Aleck” is still ahead. I saw a man from Little River township the other day and he said as he came to town he saw two or three women out in the snow rabbit hunting.
Mr Aaron Barnes of that township, is one of the stoutest old men in the county. He was in town the other day and said he walked from home here in two hours. He is 70 years old and has two horses standing in the stable and prefers to walk. He lives a distance of 8 miles from town.
Taylorsville NC, Feb 24 1885
April 24, 1885
Letter from Alexander
Correspondence of The Landmark
Died at his home near Taylorsville, April 17th 1885, Caleb Isenhour, age 60 years.
The steam saw mill and other machinery of Smith & Co, at this place had been stopped for a week or two for repairs, but started again yesterday, and Z F Brown, on of the hands in the furniture department got his left hand caught in the surface planer and lost the end of a finger or two.
Business is getting dull. The merchants have nothing to do but play marbles and keep one another company.
The pride and boast of Alexander county, Pres Daniels, the Sugar Loaf horse trader, was recently in Charlotte, and the police put him in the cooler. One of his professional brethren got him out, sweating that he was too good a trader to be thus deprived of his personal liberty. Pres bowed himself out of the clutches of the law with thanks to the police for having enabled him to preserve his record unbroken, saying that he had never been in any place yet without having gotten into the calaboose and it certainly would have been a mortification to him to have broken the record at the cradle of liberty.
Our town election will come off the 1st Monday in May. So far I hear of only two candidates for mayor-one a merchant and the other a saw mill man-and the probability of a mail contractor coming in the race; not the contractor between Statesville and our place but one that won’t take so near all his time. Will give you a report of the election when it comes off.
Alexander county has not got many aspirants for revenue appointments yet, but I suppose will have a full number out soon.
May 1, 1885
The Raleigh News and Observer, of April 24, says: Under an old law ex-Confederate soldiers who while in the service of the State lost both eyes or hands, etc, are allowed $120 per annum pension. There are some 25 pensioners on this roll. Yesterday another name was added to it. It was that of J N Goforth, of Alexander county, of the Fourth regiment, N.C.T. who lost both hands. A warrant was yesterday sent him.
Mr Stephen L Howell died of pneumonia, at his residence in Statesville last Sunday morning at 7 o’clock, aged 75 years. Mr Howell was a native of Davie county and in early life merchandised at Mocksville. He married in Taylorsville and moved to that place before the war, moving from there, here, ten or twelve years ago. His wife and two daughters-Mrs W A Eliason, of this place, and Mrs T J Dula, of Wilkesboro-survive him. He was an excellent and worthy man.
Mr J B Greene will sell a valuable lot in Taylorsville on Tuesday of June court.
May 8, 1885
TAYLORSVILLE AND ALECK
Their Resources and Advantages
Their Enterprise and Progress
April 27 1885
To the Editor of The Landmark:
I will try to give your readers a short sketch of Alexander county and of its capital, Taylorsville. I feel that such information as I hope to give will serve to arrest and attract the attention of the different railroad companies, so much so at least that some of them will take hold of our extension of the Charlotte, Columbia & Augusta Railroad, which we have already graded and furnished the cross ties for, from Statesville, a distance of 20 miles and the county of Wilkes has now on hands the sum of $27,500 cash and a further subscription of $25,000 to aid in extending it 20 miles further and tapping that fertile valley of Yadkin River. I hope that it may also impart to manufacturers, capitalists and others, a fair idea of the attractions presented and the advantages offered by the section of country of which I write; that it may induce a greater and more intensely progressive spirit at home, and show to those away from here what we are doing and intend to do in the future.
The location of Alexander county is such that it possesses all the advantages of agreeable climate, of variety and production of soil. Its rich mineral resources, abundant and unfailing water power, are well known, and we hope the day is not far distant when we will have railroad facilities and we have every reason to believe that our road will be ironed and equipped in a short time, as an article published in the Charlotte Observer of a week or two ago and republished in a number of other papers-stated that the Charlotte, Columbia & Augusta Railroad Company intended finishing up our road right away and the grading would be commenced on the Wilkesboro extension at once. Our people anxiously await the fulfillment of the above and promise to give the railroad company and their employees the biggest time they have had in along while.
I will next call attention to our mineral interests which we are all proud of as we have a number of gems of the first varieties found nowhere else in the world. Among them is the “Hiddenite,” defined as being a new variety of the spodumene. It was first found by a young man by the name of Lackey, and shown to your townsman, Mr J A D Stephenson. Afterwards the eye of Prof Wm E Hidden was attracted by it, and he came down here and purchased a tract of poor land from J Washington Warren, five miles east of Taylorsville, for $1500, when if it had not been for the mineral, it would have sold for $500. Shortly after purchasing , mining for the valuable gem was commenced – and so far as we can ascertain this gem is now ranked above the diamond. Pro Hidden’s display at the New Orleans Exposition of Alexander county minerals, Hiddenite, monazite, quartz crystal and various gems, is attracting more attention than anything else. Alexander county has lately surpassed all other known localities in excellent polish, – , color and solidity observed on some crystals of monazite and rutile found during the past winter by Mr W Henry Lackey, a mineral collector of Alexander county. Our mineral discoveries are surely getting to have a world-wide fame.
The fruit interests, I was about to overlook. Apples reach their prime here. The finest apples grown are raised in this county. Peaches and other fruits do very well. From the fruit interest, both dried and green, quite a large amount of money is turned to our county every year.
Taylorsville, the capital of “Little Aleck,” as she is sometimes called, is situated 20 miles west of Statesville and 10 miles south of the Brushy mountain range, being one of the healthiest places in the State. It is not a very large place as yet, but it is not finished, as we used to hear before we had a prospect of a railroad. You can hear the sound of the hammer and saw on all sides now – putting up new buildings and repairing old ones and dwelling and store houses are in demand. Any one wanting to invest some capital could find no better place than to put it in a building here. Lots can be bought on very reasonable terms and prices are low enough. The population is about 300 at present, and we have every reason to believe it will be more than 500 before another year.
Taylorsville has a very good school, in charge of one of the finest scholars in the State, Prof H T Burke, but he is in need of a better building and another teacher.
The churches of Taylorsville are three in number: Presbyterian, with Rev W B Tidball as pastor; Methodist, with Rev J T Abernethy pastor (and right here I would state that the Methodist parsonage ought to be changed from its present location at York Institute to Taylorsville; it would be much better for the pastor and the people); Baptists, with Rev J B Marsh pastor. The Baptists also own a very good college building that they ought to repair and start a school in or let some one else have for school purposes. It is a brick building, two stories high and in a beautiful location just west of town.
The hotel accommodations are ample for the present.
The manufacturing interests which exist here at present consist of a cotton mill, owned and operated by Alspaugh Bros; saw mill and building conducted by J Smith & Co just outside of town. With a forty horse-power engine they are doing very well, getting all the work they can do at present. There is also another steam saw mill three miles east of Taylorville, owned by Adams Bros. The furniture manufactory of Messrs Miller & Brown is doing very well, I think. J L Davis & Sons, millwrights, are building a flouring mill for W B Matheson at the old Bogle mill place just one mile south of town. The flouring mills of R Watts and E Bell and Co, on Little River, two and a half miles west of Taylorsville, are good mills and doing well. Blacksmith and wood shop by Marcus Cline.
Having in as fair and impartial manner as possible attempted a faithful portrayal of the advantage Alexander county and Taylorsville offer for the capitalist seeking investment, the manufacturer desirous of a suitable place for the exercise of his calling & just here I will state that we are in great need of a tobacco factory at Taylorsville. Alexander county produces a large quantity of the finest tobacco grown in western North Carolina, with not a factory in the county.
Our mercantile interests are in the hands of the following named firms and persons:
R P Matheson & Son, general merchandise.
G W Flowers, general merchandise
A C McIntosh, postoffice and general merchandise
Wm D Deal, general merchandise
E L Hedrick, sewing machines and general merchandise
R B Steele, groceries and barber shop
W T Nelson, jewelry, crockery and drugs
I will give below a list of our lawyers and doctors:
Lawyers – R Z Linney, E B Jones and A C McIntosh Jr, with Jno L Gaultney in the country.
Doctors – H McD. Little, C J Carson, J J Rivers and R B Killian; C W Lowe, dentist
Any person wishing any further information about either Taylorsville or Alexander county will address E L Hedrick, Taylorsville, N C and it will be furnished.
May 22, 1885
Mr Elisha Chapman, of Alexander county, is 77 years old, never took a dose of medicine in his life and can read his LANDMARK without the aid of glasses.
In the Presbyterian church at Taylorsville, on the morning of the 19th, by Rev W B Tidball, Mr Lee Davis and Miss Ella, daughter of J P Matheson Esq. All of Alexander.
At the residence of the bride’s mother, near Taylorsville, on the morning of the 20th, by Rev L Parks Gwaltney, Mr H Jay Burke and Miss Vic. Harrington. All of Alexander.
In Taylorsville on the 10th inst of intussusception of the bowels, Jacob Erasmus, infant son of Mr Jas T and Mrs Anna Hedrick, aged 1 year and 22 days.
In Taylorsville township, Alexander county, on the 2th inst, Corbin Goble Sr, aged 74 years.
June 5, 1885
D T Pritchard Esq, has ben appointed postmaster at Elk Shoal, Alexander county.
Taylorsville Court, Alexander Crops, etc
Mr Brady, of THE LANDMARK, failed once to attend a term of Alexander court, and they threatened to call him out. He has not failed since. He was on hand this week, and got in his customary good work. Aleck swears by THE LANDMARK and THE LANDMARK swears by Aleck. Year by year the paper increases its circulation among that excellent people. The people at court reported that wheat would turn out over half a crop. Winter oats is a failure. Corn looks well and a greater number of tobacco plants have been set out this spring than ever before. Taylorsville shows signs of improvement and the county generally is on the upgrade. Sneed says there is not a man in it who cannot preach, make peg shoes or sing by note.
In Alexander county on the 27th of May, by Rev J B Pool, Mr L B Henrliz, of Marion, Va, and Miss L E Wilbar.
Aug 14, 1885
Tobacco Growing in Aleck-School News-Camp-Meeting, etc.
Correspondence of The Landmark
Our county is fast becoming a tobacco-growing county and I think the sooner our people take to raising the weed for a surplus or money crop the better. What other product of the farm could any of our farmers load up and carry to market with two horses and sell for $400 or $500? There is nothing, I am satisfied. Our county has as fine tobacco lands as any county in the State, and our farmers can do no better than to give this crop more attention. I am glad to see so much planted this year, and it is looking very fine. I hope the farmers will succeed in caring and preparing it for market and next year try and plant double the amount.
Our county and more especially the citizens of Taylorsville would like to have a tobacco factory started here. It would do a great deal to encourage the raising of tobacco, for our farmers than could have a market nearer home. I hope some one reading this will consider well and come and see our people before starting a factory anywhere else, or that some one already in the manufacture and wanting to change for a better place would come here. Our people would lend some assistance, I am satisfied to the right party. We have a fair prospect of a railroad, newspaper and several other enterprises being here at an early day and with it we would like to see a tobacco factory.
The college building has just had a new roof and some other repairs and Prof H T Burke and A C McIntosh Jr, will open the Taylorsville High School there September 1st. Prof Burke is now absent teaching in Iredell teacher’s institute and looking after the interests of his school. I hope he will succeed in getting a number of Iredell boys and young men to come here to school. They can find no healthier or cheaper place. Mr McIntosh is at Blowing Rock for a few days. I think he is look after the female department of the school. Several other young persons from Taylorsville are spending a few weeks at Blowing Rock and several more are thinking seriously about going and may go before this is published.
Camp-meeting at Rocky Springs camp-ground, Alexander county, embraces next Sunday, commencing Friday night before.
Taylorsville NC, Aug 10 1885
Aug 21, 1885
The Rocky Springs Camp Meeting
The annual camp-meeting at the widely known Rocky Springs campground, in Alexander county, embraced last Sunday. The ministers present during the meeting were Presiding Elder Willis and Revs J H Gordon, P F W Stamey, J N Somers, J T Abernethy and W T Nelson. The meeting was well attended, good order prevailed and much interest was manifested. The crowd was very large Sunday. The presiding elder and Rev Messrs Gordon and Stamey preached that day. A glorious rain fell for about an hour and a half during the morning exercises. There were many penitents during the meeting and 35 or 40 conversions. The attendance continued good to the close, Tuesday night, and when Mr Willis pronounced the benediction at midnight the arbor was nearly full.
Sep 11, 1885
Human Remains on a River Bank
While Mr Abel Bowman of Alexander county, was digging a foundation for a ferry on the Alexander side of the Catawba river at Oxford ford, about two weeks ago, he uncovered three human skulls and probably the skeletons belonging to them-we are not clear in our understanding about the skeletons. They appeared to have been buried at different times, as one was found on the top of the others. It is “old woman’s talk” in the neighborhood that long years ago a band of highwaymen made headquarters at this ford and robbed and even murdered tradesmen passing to and from the South. Some think that these are the bones of some of the murdered tradesman, but the more probable theory is that they are remains of Indians.
Letter from Alexander
Correspondence of The Landmark
County commissioners met: present, E M Stevenson, W R Sloan and W W Teague
E M Stevenson Esq, the newly elected commissioners, was elected chairman. The new tax books were turned over to the sheriff and are now in his hands for collection. So everyone had better look around and hunt him up some change as he intends to collect and try and get our finances in a better shape. There was not much other business of importance transacted.
The election of E M Stevenson as chairman was not more than was expected as his is the only member of the board living in the town and is well fitted for the position.
Taylorsville NC, Sept 7 1884
Wittenberg township, Alexander county beats New Castle, Wilkes, just one.
It has 18 brandy distilleries in full blast to New Castle’s 17.
Oct 2, 1885
Rev Mr Stamey has been holding a series of meetings at McKendree and Rocky Mount churches. 48 members were received at McKendree, and about 30 at Rocky Mount. At the last named church the pastor was assisted by Rev Davis Brown and Rev Mr Abernethy, of Alexander county.
In Taylorsville township, Alexander county on the night of September 29, Mrs Esther Dowell, wife of Peyton Dowell aged about 73 years. [age unreadable – 1880 census gives Esther’s age as 68 ]
Oct 9, 1885
Our last lot of apples comes from an excellent Alexandrian, a LANDMARK subscriber-G J Allen Esq, of the York Institute neighborhood. They were fine ones and he has our thanks.
The distillery of Mr J R Mayberry, of Gwaltney’s township, Alexander county was destroyed by fire on the morning of the 26th of September. The fire is believed to have been of incendiary origin.
Oct 16, 1885
Aleck Leading in Beans and Bean Vines
Correspondence of The Landmark
“Aleck” has come to the front again. Mr A J Steele of Little River township, grew a bean vine 32 feet long and it had on it 200 grown beans. It was just the common bean, in a corn field, but it got on a grape vine at the edge of the field. Who can beat that for length and beans?
Taylorsville NC October 2 1885.
The most perfect specimen of a twin apple ever seen here is sent down by Mr M W Murdock, of Sharpe’s township, Alexander county. It grew right on top of Rocky Face mountain where grows some of the finest fruit in the world.
Oct 23, 1885
Brandy Distillery Burned in Aleck
Correspondence of The Landmark
The brand distillery of Z P Deal being in Sugar Loaf township, Alexander county was burned, together with a number of July apple pomace, also singlings, about ten gallons of brandy on Friday last the 16th. The roof of the house had caught in the morning but the fire was extinguished, but while all were gone for dinner it caught again and the house was destroyed before they got back. It was quite a loss to Mr Deal as he had a large quantity of apple pomace in the distillery. He had not been operating for some time until a day or two before he got burned out.
Taylorsville NC Oct 19 1885
Death of Mr W C Linney Sr
Mr R Z Linney of Taylorsville while at court here, Wednesday received a message informing him of the death of his father, Mr W C Linney Sr and left at once in response to the summon. Mr Linney died Tuesday at his home in Gwaltney’s township, Alexander county, aged 66 years. He had been a man of fine estate and was prominent throughout this section in his younger days. He had been in feeble health for a long time past. He died on the place where he was born. He was a man of fine sense, a kind and honorable man, and enjoyed the confidence and regard of all who knew him.