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This prominent country store in the Ridgeville Community of Caswell County (southeast corner), North Carolina, was owned and operated by Daniel E. Wilkinson (1851-1931). In addition to the usual wares expected in a country store, Wilkinson also operated a pharmacy (filling prescriptions under a doctor's supervision) and was an agent for the the Geo. E. Nissen Wagon Company of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In one year Wilkinson sold over one-hundred wagons.The following is from The Heritage of Caswell County, North Carolina, Jeannine D. Whitlow, Editor (1985) at 589-590 (Article #809 "Daniel E. Wilkinson Story" by Edith Wilkinson Wilson):
Daniel E. Wilkinson, known as "Dan," came from Orange County to Ridgeville, (Pea Ridge at that time), Caswell County, N.C. to clerk in a store "The Grange." He later owned the store and other businesses. People came from great distances to shop at the village of Ridgeville. The businesses consisted of a general store which housed a post office, drug store, piece goods, shoes, groceries, and other items. There was also a gas station, a men's clothing store, millinery . . ., farm equipment including the Geo. E. Nissen Wagon, blacksmith shop, saw mill and grist mill. Mr. Wilkinson went to New York periodically to buy merchandise. Dr. Bedford E. Love from Roxboro roomed over the millinery, taking his meals with the Wilkinsons and working with S. C. [Samuel Claire] Wilkinson dispensing drugs to receive credit towards his education. Dr. Harvey Robinson practiced medicine in the community and his prescriptions were filled at Ridgeville Drug Store.
Mr. Wilkinson was postmaster of Ridgeville Post Office for fifty-one years having served eight years as assistant postmaster of Pea Ridge Post Office and Ridgeville Post Office. "Uncle Sam" expressed the opinion that in actual tenure of service Mr. Wilkinson has a record which stands out uniquely in the Postal Service of the United States. He was the oldest postmaster in the U.S. at the time of his death both in point of service and age. His son, Samuel Clair Wilkinson, was sworn in as postmaster at the death of Daniel E. Wilkinson in 1931. He [Samuel Clair Wilkinson] served until his death in 1948, with his daughter, Elizabeth M. Wilkinson, serving as assistant post mistress during his illness and until the post office was closed in 1948. S. C. [Samuel Claire] Wilkinson also owned and operated the store after his father's death.
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Daniel E. Wilkinson was a son of Samuel McCracken Wilkinson (1820-1898) and Elizabeth Moss Cox (1827-1905). On 1 December 1875 he married Eliza Mebane Hughes (1851-1933), and the couple (see photograph to left) produced four children: Harvey Ernest Wilkinson (1877-1968); Samuel Clair Wilkinson (1881-1948); Cornelia Moss Wilkinson (1883-1963); and Eva Myrtle Wilkinson (1888-1977). Samuel Clair Wilkinson worked at the store with his father and continued the business after Daniel E. Wilkinson died in 1931. On 15 November 1905, Samuel Clair Wilkinson married Margaret Frances Cooper (1881-1924), with seven children resulting. Click here for a photograph of Samuel Clair Wilkinson and Margaret Frances Cooper Wilkinson.
For more on this family go to the Caswell County Family Tree.