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William Perry Lunsford (1901-1980) owned and operated this country store and filling (gas) station for many years in the Leasburg, N.C. community. The store was called "Four Points" as it sat at the crossroads of Highways 119 and 158. After years of running the store, Perry Lunsford acquired the nickname "Four Points." Perry and Hattie Belle Lunsford lived in the back of the store until they moved across the highway to a house that would accommodate their growing family. The house and the store were on Morton property passed down to Hattie Belle Morton Lunsford (1906-1990), from her father James Monroe Morton (1850-1924), his father Vincent Lea Morton, and his father Elijah Morton who was a son of Meshack Morton.
Fortunately, Latham Mark Phelps, a grandson of Perry and Hattie Lunsford, has done considerable research on the "Four Points" property and the family that owned it. With his permission, set forth below are excerpts from his narrative The Morton Family in Caswell County:
In 1869, Vincent Morton was deeded by his father Elijah Morton 500 acres of land with the condition that he continue to support and maintain Elijah. Vincent was the only living son, and it was common practice to deed over the family lands before one's death and to be cared for by the family after that. At the time of this deed Vincent Morton and his wife Isabella were expecting the 10th of their 14 children.
Elijah Morton to Vincent L. Morton
January 21st, 1869
Caswell County, North Carolina
State of North Carolina Caswell County
This Indenture made and _______this the 21st day of January 1869. Witnesseth that for and in consideration the natural love and affection which Elijah Morton bears his Son Vincent L. Morton and for and in consideration of a bond executed and delivered by said Vincent L. Morton to support and maintain the said Elijah Morton and for other good causes and considerations the said Elijah Morton hath given granted bargained Sold & delivered to the said Vincent L. Morton his heirs and assigns the tract of land whereon he the said Elijah Morton now lives containing five hundred 500 acres more or less adjoining the lands of John S., Wm. Peterson, William______and others to have and to hold the Said tract of land to the only proper use & behoof of the said Vincent L. Morton his heirs and assigns forever.
Elijah Morton *Seal*
Wm. Paylor Jr.
Elijah's wife Mary Lea Morton, had died in 1861, and the Civil War had taken it's toll on Caswell County's property owner's and their families. Many sons, fathers, and brothers never returned to the homes and fields of Caswell, putting yet another hardship on the widows and families left without the head of the family to provide for their needs and help raise the children. By this time the Scalawags and Carpetbaggers from the North were firmly in control of local politics and were ready to reap the victor's spoils wherever they could. The Confederate soldiers who did manage to return home found it hard to be under the heel of the Union Army and their appointed officials, The Union League that were now controlling Caswell County.
Vincent Morton's wife was Isabella Frances Oliver, and her family was heavily involved in the clandestine resistance to the Union Army's being there along with their northern sympathizers. Two of Isabella's cousins, John G. Lea and James T. (Tom) Oliver, were intimately involved in the now infamous murder of Senator John "Chicken" Stephens in the Caswell County Courthouse in 1870. John G. Lea and Tom Oliver were both Confederate veterans and had no love for the Union. John G. Lea organized and became the head of the Ku Klux Klan in Caswell County, and Tom Oliver actually delivered the killing blows to John "Chicken" Stephens. This was an unsolved murder for 65 years until the sealed confession as well as account of the murder, written by John G. Lea and opened after his death when he was in his 90's.
The next deed in the property trail of Meshack Morton involves Meshack's purchase of a tract of land from Jonathan Law in 1794. The following is a transcription (breaks added to aid readability):
Jonathan Law Land Deed to Meshack Morton
July 1784 Deed Book E Page 79
Caswell County North Carolina
This Indenture made this 2_ Day of July 1784 between Jonathan Law of the County of Caswell and State of North Carolina of the one part and Meshag Morton of the County and State afore said of the other part. Witnesseth that the said Jonathan Law for and in cosideration of the sum of Sixty one pounds Current money of Virginia to him in hand paid by the said Meshag Morton at or before the Delivery and Sealing of these presents Whereof the said Jonathan Law Acknowledged Granted Bargained and Sold Alinated _____ Release and Confirm and by these presents Doth from himself and his Heirs and assigns Grant bargain and Sell Alianate ____ and Confirm Unto the said Meshag Morton his Heirs and Assigns forever a Certain Tract or Parcel of land Situate Lying and being in the County of Caswell and State afore said and on the Waters of the Redy fork and bounded as follows.
Viz: Beginning a Red Oak Corner at William Richmond's on Matthew Richmond's Line and Running thence with his line South thirty nine chains to a White Oak, then West twelve chains to a Stake, then South to a Stake, then West thirty eight chains to a Post Oak, then North sixteen Chains to a Pine, then West twenty six chains to a Pine, then North twenty three chains to a Pine, then East with William Richmond's Line to the first Station, containing Three Hundred and Twenty Acres of Land which said tract of land unto the said Meshag Morton.
The said Jonathan Law do warrant and forever defend against the Claim or Claims of Me, my Heirs or any other person pretending Right of Title thereunto. With the Reversion and Reversions, Remainder and Remainders and also all Rights Title Claim Interest and Demand of Me the Said Jonathan Law of in and to the Said premises above mentioned with Appurtenances unto the Said Meshag Morton his Heirs and Assigns forever and the Said Jonathan Law for himself and his Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns doth Covenant and Grant to the Said Meshag Morton his Heirs and Assigns forever by the presents that the Said Jonathan Law and his Heirs all and every other person or persons Whatsoever. And his or their Heirs anything having or Claiming in the said premises above mentioned or any part thereof by from and unto. Shall Warrant and Defend the Said parcel and premises above mentioned with the Appurtenances there unto the Said Meshag Morton his Heirs and Assigns forever by these presents in Witness Whereof the Said Jonathan Jonathan Law has hereunto set his hand and Seal the day and year above Written.
Jonathan Law *Seal
Signed Sealed and Delivered
in the presence of :
Thomas Wiley ---Jurat
Transcribed By: Latham Mark Phelps – November 16, 2003
The foregoing deed has some relevant facts revealed within. Thomas Wiley a witness to this deed would later be sold the 448 acres of land from the Robert Kimbrough deed to benefit the Orphans of Meshack. This is the first record of Meshack being a neighbor of the Richmond family of Caswell County. Even today the Morton and Richmond descendants live within a mile of one another. I have known the Richmond family since my childhood as they were friends and neighbors of my grandparents William Perry Lunsford and Hattie Belle Morton. My grandfather Perry Lunsford owned and ran a country store and gas station for many years in the Leasburg, N.C. community. The store was called "Four Points" as it sat at the crossroads of Hwy.119 and Hwy.158. After years of running the store "Four Points" became my grandfather's nickname. They lived in the back of the store until they moved across the road to a house for their growing family. This house and the store was on Morton property passed down to my grandmother Hattie Belle Morton, from her father James Monroe Morton, his father Vincent Lea Morton, his father Elijah Morton who was a son of Meshack.
The Richmond family of today, namely the family of Spencer Tribue "Cack" Richmond, lives just up the road from the Morton property. My Aunt Pat Lunsford Cobb and her husband C.D. Cobb own the former Morton farm today. My other Aunt Linda Lunsford Kirby and her husband Jonah Kirby live on a parcel of land, which was once part of the Morton lands very near where the old Morton home place used to stand. My Uncle Dennis Morton Lunsford owns the last parcel of the Morton property. The Morton home place was a large home with at least 14 rooms. Family history says that there is a slave cemetery between my Aunt Linda's house and where the Morton house stood. This is highly likely as both Vincent Lea Morton and more so his father Elijah Morton were documented slaveholders. Union United Methodist Church established 1820 is located between the Morton and Richmond property, and it is said that the first person buried in the church cemetery was a Morton slave.
My mother Reba Jean Lunsford Phelps was buried in this very cemetery on January 16th, 2005, beside her parents Perry and Hattie on one side and the beloved " Cousin" Annie Trollinger on the other side. My aunt and uncle Linda and Jonah Kirby gave this plot to my mother as a gift years ago which made my mother very happy to know she would have her final rest at "Home".