Cabarrus County Public Library’s Roots Roundtable genealogy group recently discussed
ways in which to research American immigrant ancestors. One of the most helpful
ways is to find your ancestor in all possible U. S. records before researching
their native homeland. What records should you look for? This post will focus
on passenger lists and ship manifests as the first in a series identifying records
that are particular to non-citizen residents, that is, those who came to live
in the US but were not yet, or did not become, US citizens. Future posts will
include: alien registrations of noncitizen
immigrant community records, military service records, and naturalization/citizenship records.
Collections of passenger records and
indexes break down into three general time periods: pre-1820, 1820 to 1891, and
after 1891. There was no official system of immigrant passenger registration
until 1820, so available records prior to that period are irregular. During the
colonial era, more immigrants arrived in Philadelphia than New York City. Most
came as indentured servants, convicts, or slaves. It’s
extremely difficult to trace first generation African slave ancestors and it is
rare to find ship manifests that enumerated slave cargo. Almost all
available records prior to 1820 have been transcribed and are in the book
series Passenger and Immigration Lists Index by Richard J.
Wolfe and P. William Filby, and Ancestry.com’s collection
and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s, based off the Wolfe and Filby series.
After 1820, arrival
ports maintained customs lists with the names of ship and master; port of
embarkation; arrival date and port; and name, age, occupation and nationality
of each passenger. These records exist for the major ports of New York, Boston,
Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Orleans, as well as other minor ports, and can
be found through the National Archives, Ancestry.com, and FamilySearch.org.
From 1855 to 1890, Castle Garden was
America's first official immigration center, created in collaboration between
New York State and New York City. Known today as
Castle Clinton National Monument, its free website, www.castlegarden.org offers
access to a database of information on 11 million immigrants from 1820 through 1892, the
year Ellis Island opened.
In the early 1890s, the new U.S. Office
of Immigration standardized passenger manifests. These manifests may provide a
treasure trove of identifying information, such as: previous residence, marital
status, prior visits to the United States, final US destination, names of
relatives, and literacy status.
To mark the federal government's control of immigration affairs, Ellis Island opened
in Upper New York Bay as the main entry point to the U. S. From 1892-1954 it was the gateway for 12 million
immigrants. The peak year for immigration
at Ellis Island was 1907, with 1,004,756 immigrants. The website www.libertyellisfoundation.org
offers a complete history including a passenger and ship search.
Consistent border crossing records from Canada and
Mexico weren’t kept by the United States until 1895, or by Canada until 1908. Most
records available to search can be found at Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.
entered the United States through over three hundred official ports of entry. There
were many factors in considering a port of destination, including: job
opportunities in or near the destination city, access to the best route to a
further destination, the price of passage, and which ship sailed at the most
convenient time. Identifying the port of arrival can offer clues about an
ancestor's motivation in coming to America.
In addition to offering free in-house access
to Ancestry.com, the Cabarrus County Public Library offers the following resources to
assist you in your research:
Top: “The Departure,” Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper,
January 12, 1856, p. 77. Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3c32543/
Center: Gates of Castle
Garden immigrant depot in New York City, undated. National
Bottom: Ellis Island in
Island Immigration Museum.
Day recognizes those who died while serving in the armed forces of the United
States. 2017 also marks the one hundredth anniversary of the U. S. entrance into World War I. This
Memorial Day we pay tribute to all military casualties, but make special
recognition of the first of forty-two Cabarrus County
WWI casualties, Corporal Everett
McAllister of Mount Pleasant, and Private Holly Love “Robert” Goodman of Concord, who both gave
their lives in France
on July 15, 1918.
the war in Europe was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz
Ferdinand of Austria in June of 1914, the United States had a policy of
non-intervention until Congress declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917. After the passage of
the Selective Service Act, 2.8 million men were drafted. Everett McAllister,
the son of Robert Lee McAllister and Martha Jane Misenheimer McAllister, left
on December 4, 1917.
Robert Goodman, the son of William J. P. Goodman and Ida Rosetta Cress Goodman,
left on April 6, 1918.
serving in France, staying connected to family and friends was crucial for
morale. Although correspondence from Robert is unknown, the Concord Tribune
last letter to his mother. Everett
was most concerned about those he knew from home. He asked about his brother
Ben, also a soldier, and other friends in service:
do you know if Brown Phillips is over here or not, I was sure I saw him driving
an ambulance last night, going too fast for me to stop him. I hope I will soon
begin to get the Concord
paper and then I can find out more about our boys from around home…”
soldiers looked for Everett,
too. On August 6, 1918,
Corp. Voight M. Barnhardt wrote to his mother:
Everett McAllister last March and talked with him for a couple of hours. He is
the only one of the boys I have seen here except Ray Cook and I have not seen
him since last year.”
spring of 1918, the German Army launched a major offensive in France in the hope of achieving a
quick victory before the full weight of American Forces were brought to the
line. The Germans gained considerable ground but failed to achieve a
decisive advantage at any point on the front.
Early in July, it was
apparent that the Germans were preparing another major assault. An attack south
and east from the Chateau Thierry, only 50 miles from Paris, would threaten the city of Rheims and give the
Germans control along the Marne river. The
attack called the Champagne-Marne offensive, began July 15. The U. S.
forces made a significant contribution to the struggle. It was there that the 3rd Division, including Robert’s 38th Infantry
Regiment and Everett’s
Co. C, 6th US Engineers, gained the nickname, "Rock of the Marne."
Robert died on the battlefront and Everett
died as the result of injuries sustained after being electrocuted while running
Cabarrus soldier, Frank
Cress, wrote on August 14,
“I wish I could tell you
about the part I played in the big drive, but it would take a book. All I can
say, a fellow is lucky who came out alive. Several of my friends were killed
and many that I knew, but we kept the Dutchman on the run. I am glad I can say
I was in the battle. One cannot imagine what it is until he has seen.”
Frank continued, “I came
very near to Everett McAllister the other week. Was so near that I found out
where he was, but could not go to see him right then, and it was my last
Private Holly Love
“Robert” Goodman is buried in Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in Picardy,
France, and has a memorial headstone at St. John’s Evangelical
Cemetery in Concord.
McAllister is interred in Arlington
National Cemetery, Virginia.
Find out more about Cabarrus County
armed service members through the many books and resources of the Cabarrus
County Library, including e-resource Library Editions of www.Ancestry.com,
www.Fold3.com, and www.newspapers.com.
Top: Members of Y. M. C. A. serving hot chocolate to troops of Company C, 6th
Engineers, 3rd Division. Near St. Eugene, France,
July 2, 1918. National
Center: Portrait of
Everett McAllister, Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society, Mount Pleasant, NC.
Bottom: Service records of
Everett McAllister and Holly Love Goodman, www.Fold3.com.
(N.C.) War Records Collection Committee. A
History of Cabarrus County in the Wars. Concord, N.C.:
“Corp. Voight M. Barnhardt,” The Concord Daily Tribune, August 26, 1918, p. 4, Newspapers.com.
“Frank Cress,” The Concord
Daily Tribune, October 3, 1918,
p. 2, Newspapers.com.
“In Memorial: Corporal Everett McAllister,” The Concord Daily Tribune, August 26, 1918, p. 1, Newspapers.com.
Livesey, Anthony. Great Battles of World War I. New York:
Kidd, Harry B. "Photographs of the 3rd Infantry Division in France During World War I." National Archives, https://text-message.blogs.archives.gov/2012/08/01/photographs-of-the-3rd-infantry-division-in-france-during-world-war-i/
Marshall, R. Jackson. Memories of World War I:
North Carolina Doughboys on the Western Front. Raleigh:
Division of Archives and History, N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources, 1998.
Did you know there was once a
stocked fish pond near downtown Concord where young people liked to hang out
and local residents caught carp for dinner? One can imagine family and friends
enjoying themselves at this late nineteenth century watering hole relaxing
under the nearby shade trees with their fishing poles. The problem? Authorities
determined the pond posed a potential health hazard.
Local business proprietor,
Joel Reed, owned the questionable spot known as the Reed Fish Pond. Although
Reed was a druggist by trade (Reed Drug Store sat on the current location of
the Cabarrus County Courthouse on South
Union Street), he had many farming and business
interests. The pond’s location, not far behind his Union Street home, was part
of his small gold mining operation near the intersection of Church Street and
North Depot Street (now Cabarrus Avenue). According to local historians,
Eugenia Lore, Joel Reed was not related to the John Reed family who were the
first to find gold in Cabarrus County in 1799
and established Reed Gold Mine.
Joel Reed’s mine
operated only sporadically, but proved profitable; however, reported “attacks of fever” raised concerns in the
community. In 1898, Concord mayor, James L. Crowell,
county physician, Dr. J. S. Lafferty, and the State Board of Health, all
recommended closure of the Reed Fish Pond. The Concord Town Commissioners
ordered it drained “for the preservation of the health of our people.”
Another possible threat was that the pond likely contained
poisoned fish. The mine business included an ore crushing mill that extracted
gold from processed amalgam. The extraction process typically involved the use
of the toxic element, mercury. Ingestion-related mercury poisoning in humans is
most commonly caused by the consumption of contaminated fish. Symptoms may
include neurological and sensory problems, muscle weakness, and skin
Despite some community
resistance, authorities had the fish moved to another pond. One fish was
thought to weigh twelve pounds and bullfrogs were reportedly the size of five
The Cabarrus County Library
has many resources to aid in your research of local history, including historic
maps and the Newspapers.com North Carolina Collection. For more information call 704-920-2061.
Map: Gray’s New Map of Concord, Cabarrus
County, North Carolina, 1882. Cabarrus County Library, Lore Local History
Photo: The Joel Reed home, called “The Seven Gables,” is shown next to the
Hotel Concord on Union Street North in January 1929. The home was built in 1833
by C. N. Price. Joel Reed purchased it in the late 1860s and his family lived
there until it was torn down in June, 1931. From Open the Gate and Roam Cabarrus with
McKinnon Lore and Eugenia White Lore, 1971, p. 111.
“Mercury Poisoning,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_poisoning
Untitled notice, The Concord Register (Concord,
NC), May 8, 1885, 3.
“The Joel Reed Mine,” The Concord
Times (Concord, NC), January 4, 1889, 2.
Untitled notice, The Standard (Concord,
NC), April 12, 1889, 3.
“Remarkable Gold Yield,” The Concord
Times (Concord, NC), March 7, 1890, 3.
“The Reed Pond,” Daily Concord
Standard (Concord, NC), March 10, 1898, 1.
“Reid Pond Turned Loose,” Daily Concord Standard (Concord,
NC), March 14, 1898, 1.
“Death of Mr. Joel Reed,” The Concord Times (Concord,
NC), March 22, 1900, 3.
The following is part two of
the Boxwood Manor story. Boxwood Manor was the Cabarrus antebellum plantation
home of Robert Simonton Young. Here we will follow the Civil War service of
Young and his son, John Phifer Young, the youngest Confederate captain to die in
the war, in part told from a first-hand account of their slave Dan Young. For
part one of the Boxwood Manor story click here.
Robert Simonton Young became the owner of what would be
known as the Boxwood Manor plantation about 1842. He was of Scots-Irish descent
and came from a prominent Cabarrus
County planter family.
28, 1843, he married Louisa Esther Phifer. Louisa was the
granddaughter of Patriot militia officer Martin Phifer. Sadly, she died on July 9, 1845 at Boxwood
Manor, shortly after the birth of their son, John Phifer Young.
Robert then married Sarah Virginia Burton and had five more
children: Alfred Burton Young, Joseph H. Young, Sally White Young, Louise
Virginia Young, and Robert Simonton Young, Jr. Sarah was the granddaughter of
Robert Burton, a colonel in the Patriot army and a member of the Continental
Robert Simonton Young became one of the most prosperous and
progressive planters in the region. For many years he was a ruling elder in the
congregation of Poplar Tent Presbyterian church. He was a Democrat, and as
tensions rose in the late 1850s, became a secessionist.
When the war broke out,
Robert’s oldest son, John Phifer Young, was a sixteen year old student
at a military school in Charlotte. John’s stepmother, Sarah Young, wrote John
and urged him to come home to Boxwood Manor and wait for the return of his
father who was on a business trip at another of his plantations in Texas.
Forty-year-old Robert quickly returned to North Carolina
from Texas and organized Company B of the Seventh Regiment of North Carolina in
Cabarrus County. His official date of service began on May 16, 1861. His son, John, was a made drillmaster and appointed 2nd Lieutenant on the same date.
Robert was promoted to Major in June 27, 1861. Company B remained in Cabarrus until ordered to Camp Mason,
near Graham, Alamance
County on July 25. It was
mustered into service at Camp
Mason on August 21, 1861.
Robert was separated from John when he transferred to the regimental
“Field and Staff.” He was among those who were captured on September 15, 1862 at Frederick during Robert E. Lee's Maryland
Campaign. After being held prisoner at Fort Delaware, Robert was exchanged on November 10, 1862. An
extended illness caused him to resign his post on January 6, 1863 and return home for one year.
Meanwhile, his son, John
Phifer Young, was captured near Richmond,
Virginia on June 28, 1862. John was held at Fort
Columbus, New York Harbor, and at Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, until he
transferred to Fort Monroe, Virginia on July 31, 1862. He ended up at Aiken’s Landing, James River, Virginia
on August 5, 1862
as part of a prisoner exchange. John was then promoted to First Lieutenant on January 31, 1863, and then
to Captain on March 11, 1863.
In June of 1917, Dan Young, a former slave of Robert
Simonton Young, spoke with a reporter from the Charlotte Observer about
his experience with the Young family during the Civil War. Dan grew up on the
Boxwood Manor plantation as a playmate and personal slave of John Phifer Young.
He spent the duration of the war on the battlefront as a servant to three
members of the family. Dan said that he thought he was about eighteen years old
when the war broke out. He was first assigned to attend John.
On Sunday morning, May 3, 1863, the entire
Confederate line converged on Chancellorsville, Virginia. Company B of the
Seventh Regiment advanced forward through the woods under heavy fire to capture
the Federal breastworks on the hill. Union forces pushed them back, causing the
loss of about one-third of the command. The Confederate line was eventually
able to take the hill, but not without the critical injury of Confederate
general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson
and the death of seventeen year old John Phifer Young. John would be the
youngest Confederate captain to die in the war.
When the firing ended at
Chancellorsville, Dan Young recounted how he crept out onto the battlefield to
retrieve John’s body and carry him to a place of safety. Dan found a few old
boards to craft a make-shift coffin and gave John a temporary burial. According
to Dan, he then traveled to Richmond
to find a proper casket. When he arrived at the train station with the casket
for the return trip, he was informed that the train was reserved for Mrs.
Stonewall Jackson, who was traveling to the bedside of her wounded husband (Jackson would die on May
10). Dan said he asked if he could meet Mrs. Jackson. His request was granted
when she learned he was bringing a casket to receive a fallen soldier. Dan went
on his way and was then able to return to Concord
with the body of John Phifer Young.
After John’s father, Robert
Simonton Young, recovered from his illness at home, he returned to the
Confederate line and served on the staff of General Robert Hoke’s brigade. Dan
Young accompanied Robert as his personal slave and cook.
Hoke’s brigade fought in a series of trench warfare battles
around Petersburg, Virginia from June 9, 1864,
to March 25, 1865. Major Young was mortally wounded by a sharpshooter on
July 9, 1864, and
died the next day. Dan said he had Young’s wife, Sarah, summoned with a
telegram. As she traveled toward Petersburg,
the railroad lines between Richmond
and Weldon were under heavy enemy fire. Permission was not given to travel
beyond Weldon. Sarah boarded a car on a train loaded with corn and waited. In
the meantime, Dan traveled into the Weldon station at the helm of a train
carrying Robert’s body from Petersburg.
He had persuaded the company to allow him to engineer the train if he would
also carry other wounded and dead on the hazardous trip through the shelling of
enemy fire. At first Sarah thought Dan had abandoned Robert in Petersburg but soon found
out the truth.
After the funeral of Major Young, Dan returned for a third
time to the battlefront as the personal slave of another son of the Youngs,
sixteen year old Alfred Burton Young. Albert served as a courier on General
Hoke’s staff until surrender at Greensboro
near the close of the war. Albert survived and went on to become a farmer,
chairman of the board of the North Carolina State Penitentiary, and chairman of
the Cabarrus County Democratic Executive Committee.
Sarah Burton Young, lived at
Boxwood Manor for a time after the war before moving to Charlotte. In 1897 she sold the house and
nearly 2,000 acres of surrounding land to P. M. Morris, a Concord merchant and realtor. Robert Simonton
Young and John Phifer Young are buried side by side in the Poplar Tent
Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Concord.
Dan Young married Adline, a
maid from the Young household. They had a family and moved to Texas where he was a farmer. The reporter
for the Charlotte Observer in 1917 described him as seventy-one or more,
“He is tall and erect and not the least bit infirm. He appears to be rather
prosperous, for he was neatly attired, wearing a Prince Albert coat and the traditional Texas tan felt sombrero.
His hair and mustache and wee tuft of beard are perfectly white, giving his
mulatto features a somewhat distinguished appearance.” Dan died in 1930 and is
buried in Hanover,
Milam County, Texas.
For more information on the
Civil War service of Cabarrus Confederate soldiers, see the encyclopedic series
North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865, as well as many other collected sources in the Lore Local History Room of the Concord Library. Books available for checkout on
the slave experience during the Civil war include: The Fire of
Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slave’s Civil War, by David S. Cecelski; The Slaves’
War: The Civil War in the Worlds of Former Slaves, by Andrew Ward; and The Civil War
Chronicle: The Only Day-By-Day Portrait of America’s Tragic Conflict As Told By
Soldiers, Journalists, Politicians, Farmers , Nurses, Slaves, and Other Eyewitnesses, by J. Matthew Gallman.
Photos (top to
Battle of Chancellorsville,” by Kurz and
Allison, 1889. Depicts the wounding of Confederate Lt. Gen. Stonewall
Jackson on May 2, 1863. Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/91482103/.
2. “Boxwood Manor,” c. 1980, Peter R. Kaplan, The Historic
Architecture of Cabarrus County, North Carolina, (Concord, NC: Historic
Cabarrus, Inc.), 2004.
3. “John Phifer Young,” Oil on canvas portrait. Photo by Susan
Grills, Historic Cabarrus Association.
4. “City Point, Va, An African-American Army Cook at Work,”
Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/cwp2003000544/PP/.
Jordan, Weymouth T., Jr. ed., North Carolina Troops
1861-1865: A Roster, (Raleigh: Office of Archives and History), 1973.
B.Young Dead,” The Concord Daily Tribune (Concord, NC), May 5, 1908, 1. www.newspapers.com.
Death of Dr. Robert S. Young,” The Concord Daily Tribune (Concord, NC),
June 18, 1913, 1. www.newspapers.com.
Service for Dr. R. S. Young 11:30 Tomorrow,” The Charlotte News (Charlotte,
NC), June 19, 1913, 3. www.newspapers.com.
“Brave Colored Veteran Visitor,” The Charlotte Observer
(Charlotte, NC), June 15, 1917, 8. www.newspapers.com.
www.findagrave.com, memorials #23873866, # 26499257, and # 126920492.
Cabarrus’ Antebellum Home “Boxwood Manor”
This is part one of a two-part history of the Cabarrus antebellum
plantation home called “Boxwood Manor” and its nineteenth century owners, the Robert
Simonton Young family.
A recent library patron requested information about an old
brick home he came across while working on the property of Victory Industrial Park,
the site of the former Philip Morris cigarette plant. A 1992 Cabarrus County
map identified the home as the “Philip Morris Guest House.” The patron said it
appeared to be historic, but is currently boarded up and in a deteriorating
The home is “Boxwood Manor,”
originally built by Marcus D. Means about 1820 and sold to Robert Simonton
Young, a prominent farmer, about 1842.
The two-story residence with high fluted
columns and pediment porch got its name from the many mid-nineteenth century English
boxwoods planted in geometrical designs in the surrounding yard. Boxwood Manor
is the oldest surviving example of brick construction in the Cabarrus County
and one of only a few remaining brick houses that predates the Civil War. The
oldest portions of the house are in in a brick pattern called Flemish bond; it
alternates headers and stretchers on each course. Exterior end chimneys
originally furnished fireplaces for each of the rooms. Interior Federal style
details included six-panel doors with flat panels, and thinly molded chair
rails over flat wainscots.
Robert Simonton Young favored
the Greek Revival design that was popular among wealthy North Carolina planter families. He removed
the Federal style mantels and the staircase that rose from the broad center
hall when he expanded and remodeled the house shortly before the Civil War. He
had builders add a set of Grecian mantels from the Asher Benjamin pattern book The
Architect, or Practical House Carpenter (1830). Young is also thought to
have added the pair of rear wings to the house: a two-story ell and a one-story
kitchen. The main staircase, consisting of a molded and curved balustrade, was
moved to the two-story wing adjacent to the original house.
Young and his son, John
Phifer Young, both fought with the Confederate army. Neither survived the Civil
War. Young’s widow, Sarah Burton Young, occupied the house for a period before
moving to Charlotte.
In 1897 she sold the house and nearly 2,000 acres of surrounding land to P. M.
Morris, a Concord
merchant and realtor. Morris’s son and grandson, W. L. Morris and W. L. Morris,
Jr., ran the farm as a dairy and as a sharecropping enterprise with over two
hundred farmers under contract. W. L. Morris expanded and remodeled the house
to its current form during the early years of the twentieth century, adding the
imposing pediment portico supported by the fluted Doric columns that dominate
the front elevation. Morris also remodeled the façade openings, applied
classically-inspired trim, including a dentil molding, under the eaves of the
entire structure, and erected a one-story sunroom along the southern elevation.
Only one significant outbuilding still stands behind the residence: a
double-pen, chinked log structure said to have served as a smokehouse. All other
buildings, including former slave quarters, barns, and the dairy, no
In 1978, W. L. Morris, Jr.
sold the property and Boxwood Manor to Phillip Morris, USA , who used it as a company
guest house. Altria, Philip Morris’ Richmond, Virginia-based parent company,
closed its Concord cigarette plant in 2009 and sold the property to Victory
Industrial Park, LLC in 2014.
According to a representative
of the Concord Historic Preservation Commission, there are no current or
planned preservation efforts for Boxwood Manor, nor is it listed on the
National Register of Historic Places.
Part two of the Boxwood
Manor story will follow the Civil War service of Robert Simonton Young and his
son, John Phifer Young, the youngest Confederate captain to die in the war.
Included will be a first-hand account told by their slave, Dan Young.
To learn more about
County homes and
architecture see The Historic Architecture of Cabarrus County, North
Carolina, by Peter R. Kaplan and Open the Gate and Roam Cabarrus With Us, by Adelaide
and Eugenia Lore.
Photos (top to bottom):
- Facade of Boxwood Manor wth boxwood planting in foreground, c. 1980: Peter R. Kaplan, The Historic Architecture of Cabarrus
County, North Carolina, (Concord, NC: Historic Cabarrus, Inc.), 2004
- Boxwood Manor's Flemish Bond brick pattern: Denise Steward McLain
- Boxwood Manor Dairy Bottle: http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/nc-milk-bottle-boxwood-manor-dairy-138541837
- The remains of the Boxwood Manor smokehouse: Denise Steward McLain
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the surprise
military strike on the U. S. Naval Station Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii
on Sunday morning, December
7, 1941. The attack killed 2,403 American non-combatants and
injured 1,178 others. The next day, Congress passed a formal declaration of war
and officially brought the U.
S. into World War II. Before the end of the
week, the citizens of Cabarrus
County rose to the
challenge and embraced a call to action.
By Tuesday, December 9, the Cabarrus unit of the North
Carolina State Guards were notified to stand ready for immediate action. All
members were ordered to meet that evening at the Armory for instruction in
preparation for immediate service. Similar orders went out to all guardsmen in
100 companies across the state that supported the North Carolina State Guard.
All units were to lay in supplies for mobilization within two hours after the
given order. Although all ranks of the State Guard were filled, an expected
expansion would take men from citizen defense Home Guard units.
At the same time, Ray C. Hoofer, Chairman of the American
Legion Defense Committee for Cabarrus
County, authorized an
expansion of the Concord Home Guard. He called for able bodied men between the
ages of 18 and 45 to volunteer to report to the Concord Armory the night of
Wednesday, December 10. There they would interview for preliminary military
training. Newly recruited volunteers numbered 111, to add to the 81 already in
Other efforts were made in Cabarrus County
to prepare for support of the national defense. An order came through to Mayor
W. A. Wilkenson to ground all non-commercial aircraft at the Concord Airport.
Chief of the Concord Fire Department, John L. Miller, traveled to Raleigh for a meeting with
other state fire chiefs and Governor Broughton, and Police Chief B. F. Widenhouse and his
officers stood on standby.
Mayor Wilkenson organized a Committee on Civil Protections
to work in coordination with a state central committee. Of concern were the
dangers of aerial warfare which might threaten a 300-mile strip along the
Atlantic seaboard, called the seacoast
“danger zone.” Committee members were responsible for enforcing protocol
for air raids, fire protection, defense, public works, and civilian control.
The Cabarrus County chapter of the American Red Cross, the
largest in the state with 11,931 members, was asked to participate in a national
campaign to raise $50,000,000 for relief of distressed civilians who might be
affected by the war. It met on December 12 at Memorial Hall to ready it’s
disaster committees and discuss expansion of training courses, including Home
Nursing and First Aid. The chapter agreed upon a goal of $10,000 for the
By the end of the first week after the Pearl
Harbor attack, Cabarrus
County responded with a
multi-tiered readiness program in the event of a wartime emergency and its
citizens rallied in support. Such home front preparedness during World War II was a significant part of
the war effort.
The Cabarrus County Library
Lore Local History Room’s collection of World War II era issues of The
Concord Tribune are
available on microfilm. Other World War II sources related to Cabarrus County
include: Fold3 Library Edition digital collection, A History ofCabarrus County in the Wars, Cabarrus CountyHome Front During World War II, and Kannapolis Men at War: A Record of the PartTowel City Men Played During the First Two Years of World War II.
“Cabarrus Girds For Emergency,” The Concord Tribune, December 9, 1941, 1.
“Home Guard Unit is Expanded as Cabarrus County Girds for the National
Emergency,” The Concord Tribune, December 9, 1941, 1.
“Red Cross Will Join Drive,” The Concord Tribune, December 9, 1941, 3.
“Red Cross Plan County Meeting,” The Concord Tribune, December 11, 1941,
“Guard Will Meet Again Tonight,” The Concord Tribune, December 11, 1941,
“Civil Defense Group is Named for Concord,” The Concord Tribune,
December 14, 1941, 1.
“Red Cross to Raise $10,000,” The Concord Tribune, December 14, 1941, 1.
The American South has some of the oldest known
foodways in the country. Recipes passed down from one generation to the next are
cherished keepsakes and an important part of the cultural heritage. Several major themes appeared cookbooks
beginning in the 1830s and 1840s and continued after the Civil War: economy and
frugality, management and organization, and a preoccupation with baking, sweets
When Concord resident Maria Massey
Barringer still found every cookbook to be “deficient in economy,” she
determined to make one of her own. Barringer’s 1867 cookbook, DixieCookery; or How I Managed My Table for Twelve Years. A Practical Cook-Book forSouthern Housekeepers, intended to
offer “the best method of enriching the larder, as well as of insuring
success.” Additionally, she wanted to correct what she viewed as the northern
misconception that southern women were “entirely destitute of practical
knowledge of household affairs.”
Many of the English dishes, such as boiled cabbage and
plum pudding, she credits as being inspired by an English friend, while others,
such as “ochra” soup and sweet potato pie, were distinctively southern. The earliest written reference to the traditional southern
Christmas dessert, Ambrosia, first appeared in Maria's cook book. Her recipes
are still published today.
Barringer demonstrated both frugality and some
indulgence in hundreds of her early post-war year recipes. Common game was made
into fried squirrel, stewed rabbit, or pigeon pie. There was never an animal part to be wasted in
such delicacies as boiled pigs feet, cured beef tongue, or cooked tripe. But
her breads, pastries, puddings and cakes are rich with the sweetness of sugar
Barringer didn’t shrink away from controversy. Confederate
Cake, Clay Cake, and Jackson and Davis Jumbles left no doubt of her southern
loyalty. Those not concerned about temperance could treat themselves to a
variety of beers, cordials, or a brandy sauce.
Maria Massey Barringer was born to an old-line Philadelphia
Quaker family in 1827. As a child she moved with
her parents, George V. Massey and Adeline McKesson Massey, to North Carolina.
She was educated at Dickson School in Asheville, North Carolina and married Judge
Victor Clay Barringer of Concord, Cabarrus County, on May 27, 1852. Victor was
brother to Confederate general, Rufus Clay Barringer.
Maria and Victor Barringer are perhaps most famously known for accommodating
Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, and his cabinet in their home on North
Union Street on April 18, 1865. Davis and his contingent were moving south to
evade capture by Union forces. According to a letter attributed to Maria, she
wrote to her sister proof of her gracious southern hospitality:
“I had a few minutes with Ellen, the cook, who told me she had
just taken from the oven a large loaf of rolls and one of our largest hams and
these supplemented by poultry and a tipsy cake pudding and fruits with cream
furnished the simple dinner, ready in a half-hour after their arrival.
Mr. Davis and the other gentlemen were good enough to declare they had
"never tasted ham like that" which as it was of my husband's own
raising and curing he much enjoyed - but I suggested their ride had doubtlessly
furnished an appetite which heightened its flavor.”
If you wish to test the recipes of Maria Massy
Barringer, the Cabarrus County Library’s Lore Local History Room has a copy of Dixie Cookery; or How I
Managed My Table for Twelve Years. A Practical Cook-Book for Southern Housekeepers. Other Cabarrus heritage cookbooks include: Housewife's Aid: Tested Recipes Cook Book, compiled by The Thursday Sewing Club of Concord (1935); The Daily Independent Cook Book of 1939, compiled from recipes of Kannapolis homemakers; Preserving Our Heritage: Recipes Compiled by
Cabarrus County NC Extension Homemakers (1992); and Morrison Morsels and Memories, by Alice Marie Morrison.
For more information call: 704-920-2061.
Maria Massey Barringer’s Recipe for Ambrosia:
Grate the white part of the cocoanut, sweeten
with a little sugar, and place in a glass bowl in alternate layers with pulped
oranges, having a layer of cocoanut on top. Serve in ice-cream plates or
In this 1940s photograph, members of the United Daughters of
the Confederacy are gathered next to the German field artillery gun at the side
entrance of Concord’s Memorial Hall. Included is preservationist Ruth Coltrane
Cannon (seated front row, right), the wife of longtime Cannon Mills head
Charles A. Cannon. Photo courtesy of Michael Eury, from the archives of
Historic Cabarrus Association, Inc.’s United Daughters of the Confederacy
November 11, 2016 at 10:15 am, the City of Concord
will hold a Veterans Day ceremony to honor our nation's service members and to
celebrate the return of a 1907 German field gun to Downtown Concord. The field
gun, or cannon, is returning after a hiatus since the 1980s. The cannon was a
long-time landmark in Concord’s
historic district and has a lengthy and storied history.
In October of 1919, Mrs.
A. G. Odell, Regent of the Cabarrus Black Boys’ Chapter of the Daughters of the
American Revolution, received a letter from Major Edouard Dupont, of the French
High Commission. He wrote to unofficially inform her that a German
77-millimeter field artillery gun had been assigned to the Cabarrus Black Boys
Chapter for presentation to the City of Concord.
He stated that the gun was in Brooklyn,
New York and would be ready for
shipment in three or four weeks. Charlotte
were also assigned similar trophies of the war.
What arrived was a
77-millimemeter field artillery gun, manufactured in 1907 by Krupp in Essen, Germany.
It had a range of about three miles and could fire eight shells per minute. The
gun belonged to a Prussian field artillery regiment that was captured by the 38th
African Division of the French Army on Yser Field, Belgium in 1915. The capture
occurred during a counter attack to Germany’s first gas assault of World War I.
The barrel of the gun is engraved with the coat of arms of Germany and a German Eagle with
Imperial Crown. Near the breech is the Imperial Crown with initials of former
Kaiser showing that the gun belonged to a Prussian regiment.
The Concord Tribune
reported that on November
25, 1919, the City of Concord Board of Commissioners meeting
minutes authorized paying the necessary expense in placing the gun in the
courthouse yard and requested the county commissioners pay part of the said
Locals may best remember the cannon displayed outside of Memorial
Hall. Memorial Hall was a community center, museum, and library
located at North Union Street
and Holly Lane
(now Killarney Avenue NE).
The cannon first “guarded” the side entrance of Memorial Hall and generations
of kids loved to play on it. In 1962, the Concord Board of Aldermen approved a
request from the 3rd Battle Group 120 Infantry to display the German field cannon on the lawn of the National Guard Armory, which was then located
on Church Street. The cannon later returned for display on the front lawn of
Memorial Hall. Records show that once a new library was built in 1976 and
Memorial Hall demolished, the cannon was moved to the Church Street armory.
The next stop in the cannon’s journey was at the 1454th
Transportation Company headquarters at Highway 49 and Old Charlotte Road when
it was built in the 1980s. It remained outside of this facility until the City
discussed relocating and restoring the cannon with the North Carolina National
Guard in 2013. The City of Concord
began storing the deteriorated field gun indoors while a direction was established
to the hard work of the city of Concord, local historian and former Concord
city councilman Jim Ramseur, and other interested parties, the refurbished
cannon has been returned to a place of prominence in downtown Concord in a
newly constructed gazebo on North Union Street in front of Central United
Methodist Church’s parking lot, the former location of Memorial Hall.
Cabarrus County Library's Lore Local History Room provides
many resources for historical research, such as the Newspapers.com
Library Edition North Carolina Collection. Click here to check out our new
library catalog page. For more information call
Above right: This cover from the July 1977 issue of Progress Magazine, published by The Concord Telephone Company, depicts the WWI cannon on the front lawn of Memorial Hall in October 1976. Photo by the Lawson Bonds Studio.
“Fascinating Place: Concord’s
Memorial Hall Filled With Cherished Mementos,” The Daily Independent
Magazine, The Daily Independent (Kannapolis,
March 24, 1968,
The Cabarrus County Public Library was pleased to host
the first meeting of the Roots Roundtable on Saturday, October 1. This group of
genealogy enthusiasts shared ideas and took part in a lively conversation that
included information on upcoming genealogy events, a demonstration of the
website www.cyndislist.com, genealogy related book reviews, and a discussion of
research strategies for combating brick wall challenges. Many thanks to the Concord
Friends of the Library for providing coffee and refreshments.
Roots Roundtable is a free program open to all
genealogy researchers, no matter your level of proficiency or geographic area
of interest. The staff-led program discussion is guided by the interests of the
participants. Interactive participation is encouraged, as it is an opportunity
to get feedback from others who may have learned from their own family history
The next Roots Roundtable is scheduled for Saturday,
December 3 at 10:30 a.m. at the Concord Library. Attendees of the first meeting
expressed interest in learning more about DNA testing and how to understand the
results, so we plan to explore the topic further in this session.
For more information, please call 704-920-2061.
hundreds of years, the hard working people of Cabarrus County have used wills
to protect assets, provide for family members, and determine the distribution
of their property after their death. Whether a humble farmer or large property
owner, a person’s will can be a valuable genealogical source for providing great
insight into their life, and revealing who and what was important to him or
her. In addition to land and machinery, simple household items, such as kitchen
utensils, furniture, and even clothing, were often included. Originally, a will
disposed of land and buildings while a testament bequeathed personal and
moveable possessions, thus the document title, “This is my Last Will and Testament…”
According to former North Carolina archivist, Thornton W.
Mitchell, legislation approved by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1777
provided that each county court of pleas and quarter sessions should probate
wills and ordered them recorded in proper books to be kept for that purpose. The
court clerk was also directed to keep all original wills in his office among
the records of the county. Pleas and quarter sessions served as the civil,
administrative, and judicial arm of Cabarrus County government until 1868.
On the night of February 15, 1875, the Cabarrus County
courthouse was destroyed by fire. Citizens of Concord assisted county officers
in saving county records and papers. Two days later, the Charlotte Observer reported that the courthouse was “consumed, and
with it many of the records in the office of the Clerk of Court. The papers in
the Sheriff’s office were saved, as were those also, we believe, in that of the
Register of Deeds.”
Apparently, many of the original handwritten wills were burned, with only a few
for testators with surnames beginning with the letters H, M. W, and Y
surviving. These and a few others were subsequently transcribed.
Luckily, there are the pleas and quarter sessions
minutes. Prior to 1830, the probates were recorded in the minutes. For the
period 1830-1842, wills were copied verbatim into the court minutes. Cabarrus
County did not begin to maintain separate record books for wills until 1843. The Cabarrus County Library’s Lore Local History Room maintains
print copies of the Cabarrus County pleas and quarter sessions from 1793 to
- Minutes of Cabarrus County Court of
Pleas and Quarter Sessions, January 1793 - April 18, 1797.
- Cabarrus County, North Carolina, Court Minutes: Court of
Pleas and Quarter Sessions, April 17, 1797 - April 17, 1805.
- Cabarrus County, North Carolina Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions,
July 15, 1805 - April 23, 1817: Minutes Abstracted with Deed and Will Book Notations.
- Cabarrus County, North Carolina Court of Pleas and Quarter
Sessions, October 16, 1821 - April 21, 1828: Minutes Abstract.
- Cabarrus County Court of Pleas and
Quarter Sessions, October, 1821 - April, 1846.
- Cabarrus County, North Carolina Minutes of the
Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1846-1853, 1853-1858, Vols. 4 and 5.
All of the above, as well as Cabarrus County Index to
Wills, 1794-1970 and Cabarrus County
Record of Wills 1794-1919, are also available on microfilm. Some early
wills that predate 1792, when Cabarrus County was still part of Mecklenburg
County, are available in the book, Early
wills of Cabarrus County. Additionally, library patrons have free
access to North Carolina,
Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998
using the Cabarrus County Library’s Ancestry.com Library Edition. For more
information call: 704-920-2061.
filing with the probate authority to contest a will.
Codicil: a legal change or
supplement made by the testator to a will.
Executor: person who carries out the
provisions of the will.
Legatees or devisees: people to whom
the property is bequeathed.
Probate: a legal process in which
the will is authenticated. Upon probate, the will is entered in the record
books and the executor is authorized to carry out the testator’s wishes.
Testator or devisor: the maker of
To die intestate: having no will.
To die testate: having made and left
a valid will.
Image: Reading of
the Will, by David Wilkie, 1821. Public domain. http://www.wikiart.org/en/david-wilkie/reading-the-will-1821
Thornton W. “Cabarrus County Will Abstracts, 1830-1842,” Rowan County Register, August 1987, Vo. 2, No. 3.
in Concord – The Court house Destroyed,” Charlotte
Observer (Charlotte, NC), February 17, 1875, p1.