Martin County, NCGenWeb

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Docton Warren Bagley (1801-1878)

Docton Warren Bagley commands a high rank among Martin County notables of the nineteenth century. While the Hassell, Biggs and other families held prominent places in the field of religion, Mr. Bagley distinguished himself as a Southern patriot, educator and business man.

Complete information about the old patriot is unavailable, since the records of his marriage and those of his parents with other valuable information were lost in the Martin County courthouse fire in 1885. However, the record of the family dates back more than 200 years to Perquimans County, where a Wiliam Bagley deeded land to Josiah Biggs in April, 1748. The first reference to the Bagleys in Martin County is found in a land deed issued by Edward Warren to William Bagley in 1778. The records indicate that William Bagely (who had a brother named John) married Sarah Warren and that Docton Warren Bagley was their son, born in Williamston in 1891. There was a sister named Saba, who married and moved to Mississippi.

William Bagley, father of Docton W. Bagley, was killed by lightening on Christmas Day in the early 1800s. He had stopped with his young son under a tree during a severe electrical storm. Apparently reared under trying financial circumstances, young Bagley cared for his mother until her death years later. His formal schooling was limited, but he was a self-made and self-educated man. He entered the mercantile business when a young man, operating a large establishment in Williamston on property now occupied by the post office on Main Street. On November 8, 1856, a group of prominent Martin County citizens met a the Martin County courthouse to form the Roanoke Steamboat Company, D.W. Bagley was named president on the very same day. Docton W. Bagley managed boat lines, handled mail contracts, supervised timberland operations, promoted education and maintained an interest in his town, county and fellowman, but above all he was a true patriot of the South. He was a confirmed snuff-sniffer and had a great habit of snapping his silk snuff handkerchief, especially when displeased.

Mr. Bagley married Elizabeth Gray. William Bagley, their oldest child and the only son was born at Williamston in 1824. During the Civil War he did code work and was a member of the Confederate Secret Service.  He died in 1875, about three years before the death of his father. There were four daughters, as follows: Marietta, who married Henry Short of Martin County; Clementia, who married John S. Cheeck of Warren County; Margaret, who married Dr. Levi Smith Yates of Martin County; and Helen, who married Capt. L.L. Clements of Hamilton in Martin County.

After a lengthy illness, Docton Warren Bagley died at his home here in Williamston on February 27, 1878. He was buried on his property just off South Watts Street near the railroad. A number of years later, his remains were moved to a cemetery in Camden County by his relatives.


Source: McCallum, James, H. Martin County During the Civil War; Including a Roster of Troops from Martin County. Williamston, N.C.: Publication sponsored by Martin County Historical Society, printed by Enterprise Pub, 1971.


Dennis Worthington (1843 – ?)

Was born October 6th, 1843, in Murfreesboro, Hertford county. Educated in North Carolina and Maryland.

Went into the war at first in 8th Regiment N. C. Troops, and afterwards assigned to the charge of signal and mounted scouts on the peninsula below Richmond. Was wounded there and captured May 6th, 1864, and held as hostage until March, 1865, and surrendered at Warrenton, N. C., after the fall of Appomattox.

Read law under Hon. J. J. Yates, and Martin, BakElr and Hinton, of Norfolk, Va., and received license to practice in the courts of Virginia in 1869. Now located at Williamston and practicing his profession under the law firm of Moore & Worthington.

Married Miss Julia. daughter of Col. S. J. Wheeler, of Bertie county, November 17th, 1871. Been Solicitor and Judge of the Inferior Court; was a member of the Legislature of 1881, at which session he was chairman of Committee on the Appointment of Justices of the Peace. He serves on committees: Judiciary, Fish Interests, and Enrolled Bills. He is Speaker pro tem. of the House of Representatives, chairman of the Joint Committee to Redistrict the State, chairman of Committee on Rules, chairman of Committee on Military Affairs, and member of The Code Committee. Mr. Worthington has taken a very prominent stand in this General Assembly, and is a leading and influential member. – Legislative Biographical Sketch Book, 1883.

Source: Dowd, Jerome. Sketches of Prominent Living North Carolinians. Raleigh, N.C.: Edwards & Broughton, printers and binders, 1888.  <>


Bio: Asa Biggs (1811-1878)

Asa Biggs Judge Asa Biggs was born in Williamston in the county of Martin on the 4th day of February, 1811. His father was the Rev. Joseph Biggs, of the Primitive Baptist Church, and his mother was Chloe Biggs, whose maiden name was Daniel. He received his license to practice law in the County Court in 1831. He was from the beginning of his career a Democrat, differing from other members of his family. His first public service was at the age of twenty-four in the Convention of 1835. He was a member of the House of Commons in 1840 and again in 1842, and hte State Senate in 184. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1845 and was again a candidate in 1847, but suffered defeat. The Legislature of 1854 elected him to the United States Senate where he served until 1858, when President Buchanan appointed him to fill the United States District Judgeship for North Carolina made vacant by the death of Judge Potter, which position he held until the civil war.

In 1851 Governor Reid appointed Judge Biggs with Hons. B.F. Moore and R.M. Saunders to revise and compile the Statues of North Carolina, the result of which was the “Revised Code” of 1854. He resigned from the Convention of 1861 to accept the Confederate District Judgeship. After the war terminated he did not again enter public life. In 1870 he formed a partnership for the practice of law with Hon. W.H. Smith. He had large business interests in Norfolk, Virginia, where he later removed and died there on March 6, 1878. In religion he was a Primitive Baptist. Judge Biggs believed that any State had the right, when sufficient cause existed, to withdraw from the Union by the same method which it entered, and by such a proceeding the citizens were absolved from further allegience to the United States. He advocated the plan of constructing a railroad from Beaufort to the mountains at the expense of the State. Asa Biggs is buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk, Virginia.

Source: McCormick, John Gilchrist, and Kemp P. Battle. Personnel of the Convention of 1861. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University Press, 1900.


Charles Urbin Rogers – 1929 Yearbook

In the 1929 yearbook of North Carolina State University, the profile pages for the class of 1929 includes this information about Martin County resident Charles Urbin Rogers (1907-1988).  Charles was the son of Javin and Effie (Green) Rogers. (See the family in the 1910, 1920 & 1930 census)