Biographical Sketches of some Old Orange County People
Transcribed by Adele M Greene and Larry Noah
The source of my information is "Orange County - 1752-1952"
edited by Hugh Lefler and Paul Wager, published in 1953. This information is
copied with permission.
THOMAS WINGATE ANDREWS (1882-1937) Educator. Born Orange
county. Graduate U.N.C., 1908; doctor of education (1933). High Point College.
Superintendent Orange County Schools, 1908-11; of Reidsville City Schools,
1911-17; Salisbury, 1917-24; High Point, 1924-37. Expanded school plants and
built up progressive units. Vigorously opposed retrenchment imposed by 1933
general assembly on schools of state. Member N.C. Textbook Commission; president
N.C. Education Association.
GEORGE EDMUND BADGER (1795-1866)
Secretary of Navy, Senator. Born New Bern. Attended Yale. Studied law;
admitted to bar 1814. Member N.C. House of Commons; judge superior court;
Secretary of Navy in cabinets of President William H. Harrison and John Tyler;
U.S. Senator 1846-53; member Convention of 1861. Practiced law for a time in
KEMP PLUMMER BATTLE (1831-1919) Educator. Born
Franklin county. Graduate U.N.C., 1849. Tutor in mathematics, 1850-54. Practiced
law Raleigh, 1854-76. Member Convention of 1861. President Chatham Railway
Company, 1861-65. State Treasurer, 1865-68. President State Agricultural
Society, 1867-70. Took lead in reorganizing University, 1875; president U.N.C.,
1876-91. Alumni professor of history, 1891-1919. Author of two-volume History
of the University of North Carolina.
WILLIAM HORN BATTLE (1802-1879) Lawyer. Born Edgecombe county. Graduate U.N.C., 1820.
Practiced law in Louisburg, 1825-39; in Raleigh, 1839-43, when he moved to
Chapel Hill. Appointed professor of law at U.N.C. 1845 (beginning of law school)
and served until University closed in 1871. Reporter to supreme court, 1834-40;
judge superior court, 1840-48; judge supreme court, 1848-68. Served on
commission with Nash and Iredell to revise public laws of state; 1872 appointed
as sole reviser of statutes and in 1873 "Battle's Revisal" appeared.
RICHARD BENNEHAN (1747-1825) Planter, Merchant. Lived in Stagville,
now Durham county. In partnership with William Johnston operated Little River
Store, Snow Hill, in Orange county from 1769 to at least as late as 1788.
Trustee U.N.C., 1799-1804; early donor to university, giving 32 volumes to
library (some of which are still there) and "apparatus" for instruction.
JESSE BENTON ( ? -1790) Lawyer. Moved to Orange county from
Granville. Opponent of Regulators. Practiced law in Hillsboro. Speculated in
western lands. Representative from Orange county in general assembly of 1781.
Owned Eno plantation, Orange county, and over a thousand acres elsewhere in the
state. Active briefly against Tories during Revolution. Father of Thomas Hart
THOMAS HART BENTON (1782-1858) Senator. Born near
Efland, Orange county. Attended U.N.C., 1799. Moved to Tennessee and served in
general assembly. U.S. senator from Missouri, 1821-51; member of congress,
1853-55. Author, newspaper editor.
HARRIET MOREHEAD BERRY (1877-1940) Leader in Good Roads Movement. Born Hillsboro; graduate
Woman's College, U.N.C.; student U.N.C., 1905. Writer for Greensboro Daily
News, editor Cherokee Scout. Secretary State Drainage Association,
the American Association of State Highway Officials, and the Legislative Council
of Women. Her leading work was done as secretary of the North Carolina Good
Roads Association, a position she held for fifteen years. She was chiefly
instrumental in securing the passage of the first $50,000,000 highway bond issue
and was co-author of the bill establishing the North Carolina highway system
passed in 1921. For some sixteen years Miss Berry was with the N.C. Geological
and Economic Survey and during World War I, while acting as director, was called
into consultation by President Wilson. During the final ten years of her public
life she was superintendent of the State Credit Union.
JOHN BERRY (1798-1870) Builder, Architect. Born Hillsboro. Received training under
Samuel Hancock, brick mason. First native brick mason of sufficient skill to
attempt an entire building of brick. Built Orange county courthouse (1846);
Baptist and Methodist churches in Hillsboro and perhaps also the Episcopal and
Presbyterian churches; Smith Hall (Playmakers Theatre), Chapel Hill; St. Luke's
Church, Salisbury; a number of houses; and a courthouse at Yanceyville, now
destroyed. He also worked in Wake Forest and Oxford.
ROBERT BINGHAM (1838-1927) Educator. Born Hillsboro, son of William James Bingham.
Graduate U.N.C., 1857. Joined father and brother as junior partner in the
Bingham School with which he continued the remainder of hi life. Served as
captain during Civil War. Became headmaster of Bingham School, 1873. Said to
have built the first school gymnasium in South.
WILLIAM BINGHAM(1754-1826) Educator. Born Northern Ireland. Graduate University of
Glasgow. Settled in Wilmington, 1789, as a teacher. In 1793 moved to Pittsboro
and established his own school. Taught Latin and Greek and U.N.C. for a short
time after 1801, but soon returned to his own school which he relocated, first
in Hillsboro and later at Mount Repose, eleven miles northwest.
WILLIAM BINGHAM (1835-1873) Educator. Born Hillsboro. Educated at Bingham
School. Graduate U.N.C., 1856. Joined his father, William J. Bingham, as partner
in operating Bingham School. Wrote and published a number of textbooks. Was
physically unable to serve in Civil War, but operated his school as a military
WILLIAM JAMES BINGHAM (1802-1866) Educator. Born
Chapel Hill. Studied at Bingham School and taught for several years at
Williamsboro, Granville county, before entering U.N.C. from which he was
graduated, 1825. Headed Bingham School, 1826-1866. Interested in anti-slavery
and colonization movements and opposed secession until South was invaded after
which he support Confederacy.
THOMAS BURKE (c.1747-1783)
Governor. Born Ireland. Settled in Virginia, 1764, and practiced medicine.
Studied law. Moved to Hillsboro in 1771. Delegate to conventions at New Bern and
Hillsboro, 1775, and Halifax, 1776; member House of Commons, 1777; Continental
Congress, 1776-81; governor, 1781-1782. Died at his home, "Tyaquin", near
JOHN BUTLER ( ? -1786) Revolutionary Leader.
Lived in Hawfields. Sheriff in 1770 at time Regulator disturbances. Colonel of
Orange county militia and later brigadier general for Hillsboro District during
Revolution. Led troops at Battles of Camden and Guilford Court House. Member of
general assembly at various times between 1777 and 1786. Councilor of State.
JOSEPH CALDWELL (1773-1835) First University President. Born
New Jersey. Graduate Princeton, 1791. Taught in small local school; accepted
tutorship at Princeton, 1795; became professor of mathematics and Presiding
Professor at U.N.C., 1796. In 1804 he was chosen first president of the
University and elected a trustee, a post which he held thirty-one years until
his death. He resigned as president in 1812, but continued to hold the chair of
mathematics. At his successor's resignation in 1816 he again became president
and remained in office until his death. In 1831 he was authorized to build an
observatory, the first college building of its kind in the United States.
Caldwell County was named for him when it was formed in 1841.
BENNEHAN CAMERON (1854-1925) Planter, Railroad Official. Born Stagville (now
Durham county). Graduate Virginia Military Institute. Managed large agricultural
interest. President N. C. State Fair Association. Director N. C. Railroad and
promoter of other railroads. Influenced consolidation of small lines into
Seaboard Air Line system. State Guard officer.
DUNCAN CAMERON(1777-1853) Lawyer, Banker. Born Mecklenburg county, Va. Studied law.
Moved to N.C. and admitted to bar 1798. Located first at Martinsville, seat of
Guilford county, but soon moved to Hillsboro. Served s number of terms in both
houses of general assembly. Judge of superior court. In 1829 became president of
State Bank of N.C., a position he held for twenty years. Chairman of committee
to build present state capitol and to build Christ Church, Raleigh.
PAUL CARRINGTON CAMERON (1808-1891) Planter. Born Stagville (now
Durham county). Attended U.N.C., 1824-1825, graduate Washington College (now
Trinity), Hartford, Conn. Managed large agricultural interests. President
agricultural society. Director Raleigh and Gaston and other railroads. State
senator. U.N.C. trustee for twenty-six years. Born Maryland. Moved to N.C.,
1746. Clerk of Court, Orange County, 1752-1754; admitted to bar and began
practice in Hillsboro, 1754. Commanded part of Tryon's forces at Battle of
Alamance, 1771. Served in Revolutionary Army. Member Continental Congress,
1774-1776. Delegate to and president of state constitutional convention, 1776.
First governor of N.C. after statehood, serving 1776-1780, 1785-1788. Member
state convention adopting Federal constitution. Buried family cemetery, Kinston.
THOMAS CHILD (fl. 1747-1766) Colonial Official. Son of
Richard Child of Lavenham, Suffolk, England. Doctor of Medicine. Attorney
general of N. C., 1747-1755, 1759-1766. As attorney, agent, commissioner, and
auditor for the Earl of Granville, one of the Lords Proprietor, he was guilty of
corruption and extortion both from Granville and his tenants. The county seat of
Orange county was incorporated in 1759 as Childsburg in his honor; changed to
Hillsborough in 1766.
WILLIAM CHURTON ( ? - d. 1767) Surveyor,
Mapmaker. In October, 1749, Churton was one of four men appointed from North
Carolina and Virginia to establish a portion of the boundary between the two
colonies. He surveyed large areas of land for the Moravians in the Piedmont and
in 1753 Bishop Spangenberg reported some land surveyed by him west of the
mountains in North Carolina was believed to be the first actual survey made
there. Between 1754 and 1762 Churton represented Orange county in the General
Assembly and also served as Register of Deeds. Grants of land to Churton totaled
between 11,000 and 12,000 acres and both the towns of Hillsboro and Salisbury
were established on land which he originally owned. For nearly 20 years Churton
was surveyor for the Earl of Granville and during more than 10 years of that
time he worked on a map of North Carolina. It was nearly finished at the time of
his death and in 1766 the Assembly appropriated 1155 Proc. to Churton to enable
him to have his map "of the inhabited part of this Province" published in
England. Churton died in December of the following year, however, and the map
was left in the care of Governor Tyron. Of Churton's map Tyron said, "I am
inclined to believe there is not so perfect a draft of so extensive an interior
country in any other colony in America." Tyron turned Churton's map over to
Captain John Collet to be finished. It was published in London in May, 1770.
FRANCIS CORBIN (fl. 1744-1760, d. c. 1766 or 1767)Colonial
Official. Believed to have come to N. C. from London in November, 1744.
Served as agent for Earl of Granville during the surveying of his lands. Member
of governor's council, 1751-1760. In 1758 built the Cupola House, Edenton. One
of early victims of Regulator attacks. Moravian Bishop Spangenburg called him "a
walking encyclopedia concerning North Carolina affairs." For a time the seat of
Orange county was called Corbinton in his honor.
MOSES ASHLEY CURTIS (1808-1872) Scientist, Clergyman. Native of Massachusetts. Rector of St.
Matthew's Church, 1841-1847, 1856-1872. Head of Episcopal School for Boys,
Raleigh, 1837-1839. Made scientific study of fungi, shrubs, woody vines, and
other plants. Discovered and named number of new plants. First to understand and
describe process by which Venus Fly Trap "eats" insects.
JAMES BUCHANAN DUKE (1856-1925) Manufacturer. Born in Orange county near present
site of Durham. At an early age began work with his brothers and father in
manufacturing smoking tobacco on his father's farm. Business expanded into a
wooden factory in Durham early in the 1870's. Headed firm of W. Duke and Sons.
Travelled as salesman. Expanded business. Formed American Tobacco Company and
became its president. Established Duke Endowments; provided funds for Duke and
other universities and colleges and for hospitals.
WASHINGTON DUKE(1820-1905) Manufacturer. Born Orange county. Served in Confederate Army
and Navy. Began manufacturing smoking tobacco on his farm soon after Civil War.
Business expanded largely through interest and efforts of his sons. Contributed
freely to Trinity College when it was moved to Durham at his behest.
DAVID FANNING (1756?-1825) Loyalist Leader. Born in Johnston county
(now Wake). About 1772 lived at Hawfields, Orange county, and later moved to S.
C. During Revolution commanded Loyalist forces in N. C., conducting raids to
burn homes, plunder the countryside, and murder any who attempted to stop him.
After the war lived for a time in St. Augustine, Fla., but in 1784 moved to
EDMUND FANNING (1737-1818) Colonial Official. Born
Long Island, New York. Graduate Yale, 1757. Moved to N. C. 1761, and located at
Hillsboro to practice law. Represented Orange county in assemblies of 1762,
1766, 1767, and 1768; borough of Hillsboro in 1770 and 1771. Register of deeds,
1763-1768. Also judge of superior court and colonel of militia. Object of anger
and hatred of Regulators. Returned to New York, 1771. Commanded Tories during
Revolution. After war became a general in the British Army. Died in London.
WILLIAM FEW (1748-1828) Senator. Born near Baltimore. Moved
with parents to Orange county, 1758. Member Continental Congress from Georgia,
1780-1782 and 1785-1788. Original trustee for establishing University of
Georgia, U. S. Senator. Moved to N. Y., 1799, and held various state offices.
SAMUEL MALLETTE GATTIS (1863-1931) Lawyer. Born Orange
county. Graduate U. N. C., 1884. School principal, 1884-1887. Clerk Orange
county superior court, 1888-1894. Practiced law in Hillsboro. Member general
assembly for several terms and speaker of House in 1903.
JOHN WASHINGTON GRAHAM (1839-1928) Lawyer. Born in Hillsboro. Graduate U.
N. C., 1857. Major in Confederate Army. Teacher, 1858-60; began practice of law
in 1860. Member constitutional convention of 1868. Served a number of terms in
WILLIAM ALEXANDER GRAHAM (1804-1875) Governor,
Secretary of Navy. Born Lincoln county. Graduate U. N. C., 1824. Began
practice of law in Hillsboro, 1825. Member general assembly (speaker of House
for two terms). United States Senator. Governor, 1845-1849. Secretary of Navy
under Fillmore (1850-1853). Whig nominee for vice president, 1852. Confederate
WILLIAM MERCER GREEN (1798-1889) Bishop. Born
Wilmington. Graduate U. N. C., 1818. Rector St. Matthew's Church, 1825-1837.
Professor U. N C, 1838-1849. Elected first Bishop of Mississippi, 1849. Active
in establishing University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., and its chancellor from
GEORGE EMRICK HARRIS (1827-1911) Congressman. Born
Orange county. Moved to Tennessee and thence to Mississippi. Lieutenant colonel
in Confederate Army. Member Congress, 1870-1873. Lieutenant governor of Miss.
HENRI HARRISSE (c. 1829-1910) Bibliographer. Born in France.
Came to Charleston, S. C., as a youth. Studied law. Instructor in French, U. N.
C., 1853-1857. Removed to Chicago and finally to New York to practice law. About
1865 began work as bibliographer in library of Samuel L. M. Barlow. Author of a
number of outstanding bibliographical works.
THOMAS HART(1730-1808) Merchant, Land Speculator. Born in Virginia; moved to Orange
county about 1757. Justice of the peace and sheriff of Orange county. Lieutenant
colonel of militia; fought against Regulators. Had an interest in a store in
Hillsboro and owned Hart's Mill, two miles from town. Member general assembly.
Commissary officer for troops during Revolution. Moving spirit in establishing
Transylvania Land Co. Operated a number of stores; moved to Kentucky.
FRANCIS LISTER HAWKS (1798-1866) Clergyman, Historian. Born New Bern.
Graduate U. N. C., 1815. Studied law under William Gaston and practiced briefly.
Took up study of theology and ordained (Episcopalian) 1827. Served churches in
Conn., Penna., and N. Y. Three times declined election as Bishop. In 1846 became
professor of history, U. N. C. Three years later returned to Louisiana where he
had earlier been first president of University of La. Wrote widely in field of
church history, general history, and biography. Author of two-volume History
of North Carolina, published 1857-1858.
DENNIS HEARTT (1783-1870) Newspaper Editor. Born in Conn. Served apprenticeship in New
Haven, 1798-1802. Moved to Philadelphia and began publishing his own paper. Was
one of the invited guests of Robert Fulton on the trial trip of the Clermont.
Moved to Hillsboro and on February 20, 1820, began to publish The
Hillsborough Recorder which he continued for nearly half a century. It came
to be the best known paper in central N. C. Sold his paper in 1869.
RICHARD HENDERSON (1735-1885) Judge, Land Speculator. Born in Va.
Living in Hillsboro in 1769 when appointed judge of superior court by Gov.
Tryon. Was driven from the bench in 1770 by Regulators. One of the backers of
the ill-fated State of Transylvania. Member N.C. council of state and of House
JAMES HOGG (1729-1805) Merchant. Born in
Scotland. Arrived in Wilmington, 1774, and settled in Fayetteville as a
merchant. Served on committee of safety during Revolution and on one occasion
travelled to Connecticut on public business. Moved to Orange county after the
Revolution. One of first trustees of U.N.C. and early benefactor. Member
Transylvania Land Co.
WILLIAM WOOD HOLDEN (1818-1892) Journalist, Governor. Born Orange county.
Apprenticed to Dennis Heartt and worked on Hillsboro Recorder for six years. Went to Raleigh.
During the Civil War became leader in peace movement. Made provisional governor by Pres.
Johnson, May 1865; elected 1868. Postmaster in Raleigh, 1873-1881.
EDWIN MICHAEL HOLT (1807-1884) Manufacturer. Born Orange (now
Alamance) county. Operated small farm and store. In 1837 began operation of
cotton factory on Great Alamance creek. Began dyeing operations in 1853 and wove
first colored cotton goods in South. Supported N.C. Railroad. Greatly expanded
his cotton manufacturing before his retirement in 1866.
MICHAEL HOLT (1723-1799) Revolutionary Character. Born in Va. Moved to Orange county
about 1740. Captain of county militia against Regulators. In 1776 answered Gov.
Martin's call for Loyalist support, but after reaching Cross Creek in route to
Brunswick returned home. Arrested at home and imprisoned in Philadelphia.
Released and returned to Orange county. Aided American cause by donating
THOMAS MICHAEL HOLT (1831-1896) Governor. Born
Orange (now Alamance) county on site of Battle of Alamance. Student U.N.C.,
1849-1850. Cotton Manufacturer. President N.C. Railroad. Frequent member of
general assembly. Lieutenant governor, 1889-1891; governor 1891-1893.
WILLIAM HOOPER (1742-1790) Signer Declaration of Independence. Born
Boston, Mass. Graduate Harvard. Moved to Wilmington, 1767, and practiced law.
Member Continental Congress. Signer of Declaration of Independence.
Revolutionary leader. Moved to Hillsboro, 1781, where he died.
GEORGE MOSES HORTON (1797-1883) Negro Poet. Born of pure African parentage
on the plantation of William Horton, Northampton county. Remained in slavery
until the end of the Civil War. When he was about six his master moved to a new
farm in Chatham county, ten miles from Chapel Hill. About 1815 he began to
peddle fruit and farm products in Chapel Hill and came to the attention of
students and teachers in the University. His ability at rhyming and composing
was such that his friends in Chapel Hill started teaching him. Horton soon was
composing love poems for the students who paid him small sums for them. In 1829
his first book of poems, The Hope of Liberty, was published in Raleigh by
Joseph Gales. Contributions to a number of periodicals followed and in 1845 his
Poetical Works were printed in Hillsboro. In 1865 Naked Genius was
published in Raleigh. Toward the end of the war Horton became attached to the
Union Army and afterwards went with Captain Will H.S. Banks to Philadelphia
where he spent the remainder of his life.
REDNAP HOWELL ( ? -1787)Regulator. Probably a native of New Jersey. Schoolmaster, first in lower
Orange (now Chatham) county, but by 1768 had moved to that part of the county
which is now Randolph. Leader of Regulators. Drew up statement of grievances
presented to Gov. Tryon. Wrote ballads popular at the time concerning complaints
of Regulators and he may have been the author of the pamphlet A Fan for
Fanning and a Touchstone to Tryon. Active in Hillsboro riot, 1770. Fought at
Alamance, 1771, and afterwards took refuge in Maryland. Died in N.J.
FORDYCE MITCHELL HUBBARD (1809-1888) Professor. Born Massachusetts.
Rector Christ Church, New Bern, 1842-47. In charge of Episcopal School near
Raleigh, 1847-49. Professor of Latin Language and Literature, U. N. C.,
1849-1868. Author of life of Davie, a number of textbooks, and articles in
magazines. Died in Raleigh.
ROSWELL HUNTINGTON (1763-1836) Silversmith, Engraver. Born Norwich, Conn.
Revolutionary soldier. Moved to Hillsboro about 1786. In 1789 was one of nine members of the Orange County Horse
employed to guard the removal of state funds from Hillsboro to Fayetteville. In
1793 he engraved the brass plate deposited in the cornerstone of Old East
building at U. N. C. Moved to Alabama, 1833.
HERMON (HERMAN, HARMON) HUSBAND (1724-1795) Regulator. Born probably in Cecil county, Md., of
Quaker parentage. Settled at Corbinton (now Hillsboro) in 1755. Engaged
extensively in local land speculation. Leader of Regulators. In April, 1768, he
converted unorganized mob into oath-bound organization (Regulators). He took no
part in violence, but was arrested after an outbreak. Represented Orange county
in general assembly, 1769, 1770-1771. Left field at Battle of Alamance before
fighting started. Fled to Maryland and later lived in Pennsylvania where he was
active in the Whiskey Rebellion.
WILLIAM JOHNSTON (fl. 1769-d.c.1791) Merchant, Land Speculator. Born in Scotland, settled in
Hillsboro about 1767 or 1768. In 1769 joined Richard Bennehan in operating
Little River Store. Owned farm, mill, and other property in Orange county. One
of members of Louisa Company, 1774, to develop western territory. Treasurer of
Transylvania Company. Represented Orange county in provincial congresses of
April and November, 1776.
PRIDE JONES (1815-1889) Physician. Born Hillsboro. Graduate U. N. C., 1834.
Clerk of superior court; member general
assembly, 1858, 1872; captain Orange Guards, later Lieutenant colonel, in Civil
GEORGE LAWS (1801-1881) County Official. In early life
a carpenter. Deputy sheriff, 1829. Clerk of court for more than thirty years.
JOHN LAW (1824-1913) County Official. Register of deeds for
Orange county for more than sixty years.
BRAXTON BYNUM LLOYD (1886-1947) Physician. Born Chapel Hill. Student U. N. C., graduate of
the University medical school in Raleigh, 1906. Engaged in general practice in
Carrboro, 1912-1947. Widely loved as typical family doctor. Mayor of Carrboro,
THOMAS F. LLOYD (1736-1792) Colonial Official.
Born in Pennsylvania. Came to N. C. about 1758 and settled about three miles
west of the site of Chapel Hill. Between 1760 and 1770 he was coroner, justice
of the peace, chairman of the county court, member of the vestry of the parish,
and an officer of the militia; from 1761 to 1768 he represented the county in
the general assembly. In 1768 he was appointed major general by Gov. Tyron.
LEMUEL LYNCH (1803-1893) Silversmith, Jeweler. Born Back
Creek, Orange county. Apprenticed to William Huntington. In 1828 opened his own
shop in Greensboro and in 1832 in Concord. Began work in Hillsboro in 1834 where
he remained the rest of his life. Appointed justice of the peace, 1841.
PRIESTLY HINTON MANGUM (1795-1850) Lawyer. Born Orange county.
Graduate U. N. C., 1815. Tutor at University following graduation. Practiced law
in Hillsboro. Representative in general assembly, 1832. County solicitor.
Brother of Willie P. Mangum.
WILLIE PERSON MANGUM (1792-1861)
Senator. Born Orange county. Graduate U. N. C., 1815. Admitted to bar, 1817.
Represented Orange county in general assembly, 1818-1819. Member congress,
1823-1826; senator, 1831-1836, 1840-1853. President pro tempore of senate
1842-1845. Received eleven electoral votes for president in 1836.
WILLIAM JOSEPH MARTIN (1830-1896) Military Officer, Professor.
Born Richmond, Va. Educated University of Va. Elected to chair of chemistry, U.
N. C., 1858. In 1861 raised a company of volunteers in Orange county which
became Co. G, 28th Regt. Martin afterwards became colonel of 11th Regt. After
the war returned to Chapel Hill for two years. Went to Davidson college in 1870.
Became acting president of college in 1887. Declined nomination as president,
but was made vice president.
ALEXANDER MEBANE (1744-1795) Congressman. Born Hawfields. Delegate to Provincial Congress, 1776. Justice
of peace and sheriff of Orange county. Auditor Hillsboro district, 1783-1784.
Member Hillsboro and Fayetteville conventions, 1789; of general assembly,
1787-1792; and of congress, 1793-1795.
JAMES MEBANE (1774-1857) Legislator. Born Orange county. Student, U. N. C., 1795. First president
Dialectic Society. Member general assembly,
1798,1801-1803,1808-1811,1821-1823,and 1828; speaker of house, 1821.
GEORGE MICKLEJOHN (c 1717-c 1817) Clergyman. Born probably in
Scotland. Said to have been educated at Cambridge, to have served as a chaplain
under Frederick the Great, and to have been with the Duke of Cumberland at the
Battle of Culloden. The title page of a sermon by Micklejohn published in New
Bern in 1768 indicates that he held the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology.
March 12, 1766, licensed by Bishop of London for work in North Carolina. He went
first to Rowan county, but shortly afterwards became rector of St. Matthew's
Hillsboro. Opposed Regulators. Inclined at first, during Revolution, to be
Loyalist. Captured at Moore's Creek but paroled. Took oath of loyalty at Halifax
convention. Moved to Granville county. In 1790 was president of first Episcopal
convention in N. C. In early 1800's removed to Virginia.
ELISHA MITCHELL (1793-1857) Professor, Explorer. Born Connecticut. Graduate
Yale, 1813. In 1817 appointed to chair of mathematics, U. N. C., and to
chemistry in 1825. Conducted botanical and geological expeditions throughout the
state. Made many scientific studies and explorations of N. C., particularly in
the mountains. Measured highest peaks. Killed on Mount Mitchell, named for him.
WILLIAM MONTGOMERY (1789-1844) Physician, Congressman. Born
Guilford county. Studied medicine and practiced in Albrights, Orange county.
Represented the county in state senate 1824-1827,1829-1834. Member congress,
STEPHEN MOORE (c 1740-1800) Revolutionary Leader.
Born New York City. Served in French and Indian War (1758-1760). From 1765 to
1775 he lived at West Point, which he owned. Shortly before Revolution bought
land in Caswell (now Person) county and built "Mt. Tirzah," his home. Appointed
lieutenant colonel of Hillsboro district. In 1781 stationed in Hillsboro by Gov.
Burke as deputy quartermaster general.
ARCHIBALD DeBOW MURPHEY (1777-1832) Jurist. Born Caswell county. Graduate U. N. C., 1799. Began
practice of law in 1802. Member state senate from Orange county, 1812-1818.
Strong advocate of internal improvements, canals, roads, schools. Judge superior
FRANCIS NASH (c. 1742-1777) Revolutionary
Officer. Born Virginia. Moved to Hillsboro about 1763. Justice of the peace
and clerk of county court. Represented Orange county in general assembly,
1764-1765, and Hillsboro in 1773-1775. One of victims of abuse by Regulators.
Captain and later colonel of militia. At Battle of Alamance. Member of
provincial congress, April and August, 1775. Appointed lieutenant colonel of
First Regiment, Continental Line, September, 1775; brigadier general, February,
1777. Fatally wounded at Battle of Germantown, October 4, 1777.
FRANCIS NASH (1855-1932) Lawyer. Born Robeson county. Grew up and educated in
Hillsboro. Began practice of law in Tarboro, 1877, where he became mayor in 1881
and served as county judge from 1881 to 1885. Returned to Hillsboro to practice
law and served as mayor, 1908-1912; county attorney, 1910-1915; state senator,
1915. Assistant attorney and clerk of N. C. supreme court. Author of a number of
historical and biographical works.
FREDERICK NASH (1781-1858) Chief Justice. Born Tryon's Palace, New Bern, which his father occupied
while governor. Graduate Princeton, 1799. Admitted to bar, 1801. Move to
Hillsboro, 1807. Represented Orange county in general assembly, 1814-1817, and
Hillsboro in 1828-1829; speaker in 1814. Judge of superior court,
1818-1826,1836-1844. Succeeded Gaston on supreme court, 1844, and continued
until his death. Chief Justice after 1852.
JOHN WALL NORWOOD (1802-1885) Lawyer. Born Hillsboro. Graduate U. N. C., 1824. Practiced
law in Hillsboro. Member general assembly for Orange county, 1858; of state
senate, 1872. Advocated and practiced scientific farming.
WILLIAM NORWOOD (1766-1842) Lawyer, Judge. Born probably in Scotland.
Represented Hillsboro in general assembly, 1806-1807; was practicing law in
Hillsboro as early as 1818; judge superior court, 1820-1836. Early benefactor of
University and later contributed towards completion of South Building.
DENISON OLMSTED (1791-1859) Professor. Born Connecticut. Graduate
Yale, 1813. Professor of chemistry, U. N. C., 1817-1825. Undertook geological
survey of N. C. for the general assembly. Strong advocate of teacher training
and improvement of common schools.
HENRY PATILLO (1726-1801)
Clergyman. Born in Scotland. Settled in Virginia; clerked in a store and
taught school. In 1751 began to study with view to ordination in Presbyterian
church. Ordained and preached in Va. Moved to Hawfields, 1765. Chaplain to
provincial congress in Hillsboro in August and September, 1775. In 1780 removed
to Granville county.
CHARLES PHILLIPS (1822-1889) Professor.
Born Harlem, N. Y. Graduate U. N. C., 1841. Tutor, 1844-1854; professor of
engineering, 1854-1860; of mathematics, 1861-1868, and 1875-1879. Professor at
Davidson College, 1869-1875. Author of textbooks and other works.
JAMES PHILLIPS (1792-1867) Professor. Born England. Settled in Harlem, N.
Y., as a teacher in 1818. In 1826 he became professor of mathematics and natural
philosophy, U. N. C., where he remained for forty years. Licensed by the Orange
Presbytery, 1833, and preached more or less regularly until about 1863.
SAMUEL FIELD PHILLIPS (1824-1903) Lawyer. Born Harlem, N. Y.
Graduate U. N. C., 1841. assistant professor of law, 1854-1856; represented
Orange county in general assembly, 1852-1854, 1864-1865 (speaker of house,
1865); member constitutional convention of 1865; state auditor; U. S. solicitor
SOLOMON POOL (1832-1901) University
President. Born Elizabeth City. Graduate U. N. C., 1853. Tutor and
professor, 1853-1868. President U. N. C., 1868-1874. Methodist minister.
NATHANIEL ROCHESTER (1752-1831) Merchant, County Official. Born
Virginia. Educated at school conducted by the Rev. Henry Patillo. Settled in
Hillsboro, 1773, and joined Thomas Hart in operating a store. Delegate to
provincial congresses in 1775 and 1776. Lieutenant colonel of an Orange county
regiment of militia. Member general assembly, 1777. Clerk of court, 1777-1782.
Left N. C. in 1782. Founder of Rochester, N. Y.
THOMAS RUFFIN, Sr. (1787-1870) Chief Justice. Born Virginia. Educated Warrenton, N. C.,
academy. Graduate Princeton, 1805. Studied law. Settled in Hillsboro, 1809.
Represented Hillsboro in general assembly, 1813, 1815, 1816. Judge of superior
court. Justice of supreme court, 1829-1833; chief justice, 1833-1852. Retired
1852, but served again as justice, 1858-1860. Delegate to secession convention.
THOMAS RUFFIN, Jr. (1824-1889) Lawyer. Born Hillsboro.
Graduate U. N. C., 1844. Licensed to practice law. In Civil War, lieutenant
colonel, 13th regiment. Justice of the state supreme court, 1881-1885.
JAMES STRUDWICK SMITH (1790-1859) Physician, Congressman. Born near
Hillsboro. Graduate Hillsboro Academy and Jefferson Medical College,
Philadelphia, 1818. Practiced medicine near Hillsboro at first and later near
Chapel Hill. Member of congress 1817-1821; general assembly 1821-1822; and
delegate to state constitutional convention in 1835.
CORNELIA PHILLIPS SPENCER (1825-1908) Writer. Born in Harlem, N. Y., daughter of Prof.
James Phillips. Moved to Chapel Hill as a child where she lived until 1894 when
she went to Cambridge, Mass., to live with her daughter. Mrs. Spencer gave long
years of service to North Carolina in many fields - political, religious,
educational, and literary. Her letters and personal pleas were largely
responsible for the re-opening of the University in 1875 at the end of the
carpetbag regime. She was the author of a popular school history of North
Carolina and her Last Ninety Days of the War in North Carolina has long
been regarded as a vivid and strong account of the end of the Civil War in the
state. Mrs. Spencer wrote frequently for magazines and newspapers and was the
author of a number of songs and hymns.
RICHARD STANFORD (1767-1816)
Congressman. Born near Vienna, Maryland. Educated locally. Moved to
Hawfields, Orange county, about 1793 and established an academy. Elected as a
Democrat to the Fifth and to the nine succeeding Congresses, serving from 1797
until his death nearly twenty years later. In Congress he advocated economy and
opposed the Alien and Sedition Laws; during the difficult times preceding the
War of 1812, he spoke strongly against war. Stanford was a close personal friend
of Nathaniel Macon, John Randolph of Roanoke, and William Gaston. He was a firm
supporter of Thomas Jefferson.
WILLIAM FRANKLIN STROWD (1832-1911)
Congressman. Born near Chapel Hill. Attended Bingham School and Graham
Institute. Moved to Chatham county in 1861. Served as private in Civil War.
Served as a Populist in congress, 1895-1899. Resumed agricultural pursuits.
EDMUND STRUDWICK (1802-1879) Physician. Born Orange county.
Educated Bingham School. Graduate U. of Penna., 1824. Began practice of medicine
in Hillsboro, 1826. First president (1849) N. C. State Medical Society. Gained
reputation as a surgeon and operated in Raleigh, Wilmington, Charlotte, and
WILLIAM FRANCIS STRUDWICK ( ? -1812) Congressman.
Born "Stag Park," New Hanover county. Limited education. Engaged in agriculture.
Delegate from Orange county to state convention of 1789; member state senate
from Orange county, 1792, 1797. Member congress, 1796-1797; of general assembly,
1801-1803. Died at his home, Hawfields.
DAVID LOWRIE SWAIN
(1801-1868) Governor, University President. Born Buncombe county.
Attended Newton Academy and U. N. C. Licensed to practice law, 1822. Member
general assembly; judge superior court. Governor, 1832-1835. President U. N. C.,
1835-1867. Improved and enlarged University.
ABSOLOM TATOM (TATUM)
(1742-1802) Congressman. Native North Carolinian. Sergeant in militia,
1763. Lieutenant in 1st N. C. Continental Regt., 1775, promoted captain, 1776.
Assistant quartermaster and keeper of arsenal, Hillsboro, 1778. Major, N. C.
Light Horse, 1779. District auditor for Hillsboro, 1781. Private secretary to
Gov. Burke. Delegate from Hillsboro to constitutional convention, 1788. Member
congress, 1795-1796; general assembly, 1797-1802, from Hillsboro.
CHARLES COURTENEY TEW (1824-1862) Confederate Officer. Born South
Carolina. First graduate of the Citadel; superintendent of the arsenal,
Columbia, S. C. Moved to Hillsboro several years before the Civil War. Formed
Hillsboro Military Academy. Colonel, 2nd N. C. Regt.; killed Sept. 17, 1862, at
JAMES THACKSTON (fl. 1770-1781; d. after1790)
Revolutionary Leader. Opponent of Regulators. Colonel Orange county
troops at Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge, February 27, 1776. Lieutenant colonel,
4th N. C. Regt., Continental Line, April 15, 1776 to January 1, 1781, when he
retire. Presumably moved to Cumberland county which he represented in the
general assembly in 1787. Living there at time of 1790 census.
JOSIAH TURNER, JR. (1821-1901) Lawyer, Confederate Congressman. Born
Hillsboro. Student U. N. C., 1842-1843. Licensed to practice law, 1845. Member
general assembly, 1852, 1854, 1856, 1860, 1868. Captain, Confederate Army;
wounded and forced to retire. Confederate congressman, 1864. Publisher Raleigh
Sentinel. Elected to congress, 1865, but denied seat.
FRANCIS PRESTON VENABLE (1856-1934) Chemist, University President. Born
Virginia. Graduate U. of Va., 1879. Professor U. N. C., 1880-1900; president,
1900-1914. Outstanding chemist who "made the natural sciences as respectable and
respected as the humanities, law, medicine, and theology."
ALFRED MOORE WADDELL (1834-1912) Congressman. Born Hillsboro. Graduate U. N. C.,
1853. Admitted to bar, 1855, and began practice in Wilmington. Newspaper editor;
lieutenant colonel in Civil War. Member congress, 1871-1879. Mayor of
HUGH WADDELL (1799-1879) Lawyer. Born
Orange County Graduate U.N.C., 1818. Represented Orange county in general
assembly, 1828; state senator, 1836, 1844-1846; lieutenant governor, 1836.
JAMES WATSON ( ? -1770) County Official. Pioneer settler of Orange
county. In 1752 was one of the commissioners to establish the boundaries of the
county. Vestryman of the Parish of St. Matthew. The site selected for a
courthouse in 1754 was on property owned by Watson and in 1759 he was one of the
commissioners appointed to establish the town of Childsburg. During the French
and Indian War he assisted in raising supplies for the Indian allies of North
Carolina. At the time of the Regulator violence Watson sided with Tryon and
reported to him on the disturbance at the September, 1770, session of Orange
court. He was Clerk of Court for several years.