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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -- George Orwell

"Let no man pull you low enough to hate him." -- Martin Luther King Jr

"Whatever begins in anger, ends in sorrow and shame.”

Friday, December 19, 2014

Reuben Brown and His House Whiteville North Carolina

Photo by Mike Hollingsworth - Luminaries
Photo by Mike Hollingsworth
It was an enjoyable, lovely and warm December 5, 2014 Friday afternoon that Layton Dowless and I arrived at the Reuben Brown House located on the corner of East Columbus and S. Franklin streets diagonally across the intersection form the Presbyterian Westminister Church building in Whiteville, North Carolina.

We came with a mission armed with white paper sacks, bags of sand, small candles and a mission to construct luminaries and place them along the sidewalks located in front and to the side of the house. There was to be a walk to and a tour of the historic home shortly after illuminating the guiding lights.

Reuben Brown and His House:

Reuben Harvey Brown (b. 1821 – d. 1870) was from Randolph County North Carolina and according to the research by Layton Dowless, he enlisted on November 1, 1862 for the Confederate cause in Company B, 52nd Regiment, N.C. State Troops.

After the war about the year of 1869, Mr. Brown and family moved to Columbus County, Whiteville, NC becoming the second schoolmaster of Columbus Academy – a subscription school. Many families during this time were “home schooling” and had been doing it for many years. Columbus Academy was the first to centrally locate and offer courses to the public for a fee. From an announcement in The Wilmington Journal, January 20, 1871:


Columbus Academy.
This academy is now complete. It is a large and commodious building. Pleasantly located within a mile of Whiteville. Its position for health is good, and will compare favorably with any portion of the state.
The Second Session of this institution will commence on the 11th day of July next, under the care and management of Mr. A. L. Butner, a gentleman who is not only amply endowed with all the requisite qualifications for a teacher, but who has had, in addition to this, many years experience in teaching.
Terms of tuition per session, viz:
Spelling, Reading, and Writing................................................................$8.00
Arithmetic, English Grammar, History Geography
and Philosophy....................................................................................10.00
Chemistry, Algebra, Geometry, and Surveying........................................12.00
Latin, Greek, and French..........................................................................15.00
Students can obtain board in the neighborhood at convenient distances from the academy, at from $6 to $7 per month.
By order of the Board
June 25, 1852 --- 12-6t THOS. M. SMITH, Sec'y
The Wilmington Journal, Jan. 20, 1871

Patience Teal Brown; Reuben Brown Photo by Mike Hollingsworth - Luminaries
Photo of photo hanging in house by Mike Hollingsworth
Mr. A. L. Butner as appears above is Albert Israel Butner, 1821 – 1914 and was generally known as “Professor”. He was the first schoolmaster of the subscription school known as Columbus Academy.

Reuben Brown moved to Whiteville in 1869 and took over the schoolmaster job but he was not the first as many have thought and the school was not the Whiteville Academy as has been reported for many years.

Reuben married Patience Teal Brown (1831 – 1903) and brought her and their nine children to Whiteville. They purchased and inhabited a four room cottage (Reuben Brown House) that same year. The boys, in all likelihood, slept outdoors during the summer and in the barn during cold weather. Mr. Brown served as the schoolmaster from 1869 through 1870 dying in 1870 from a gunshot wound. As the story goes, the family felt that they had been experiencing a prowler in the hen house and one night after hearing a commotion Mr. Brown retrieved his gun and went outside to investigate. One of his sons, probably outdoors for the night, also armed himself and went to investigate. After seeing something move the son fired, inadvertently wounding his father. Mr. Brown died of the wound a day or so later. His wife, Patience Teal Brown went on to become a solid citizen of Columbus County, Whiteville, North Carolina and she and children lived in the cottage for many years. Mrs. brown held large tracts of land and sold some to the county in 1883 to be used to create County Home. Then in 1945 the area was used to house 250 German prisoners of war to be repatriated in Wilmington. Today the site is where the Legion Field Ballpark is located. One son, Joseph Addison “Joe” Brown began what would become the largest strawberry market in the world known as The North Carolina Sunny South Colony.

The Reuben Brown House, Whiteville, NC
Photo by Mike Hollingsworh
Reading from the brochure, that is distributed when touring the old home, I find that the “Reuben Brown House is a late Federal-style country cottage built circa 1849 (sic) on farmland west of Whiteville, near the present-day Columbus County Law Enforcement Center on highway 74/76 Business. The house is typical of construction of the period, using lumber from a saw mill on Pine Log Road which began operation around 1820. The house has two large main rooms joined by a connecting door. Both rooms have fireplaces and the front doors that probably opened out into a fairly wide and deep porch. At least one of the house's two small rooms was likely used
The Reuben Brown House, Whiteville, NC
Photo by Mike Hollingsworth
as a larder or a storeroom. The covered entrance way was probably used for hanging brooms and mops and for out-of-the-weather storage for pails, butter churns, and other kitchen and domestic tools. The two large fireplaces would have been used by the family for cooking and heating. The boys of the family probably slept outdoors in the summer and in a barn loft in winter... . The house is now owned by The Reuben Brown House Preservation Society, Inc., formerly the CFAC, a non-profit organization encouraging artistic, historical, literary and other cultural events in Columbus County. The house and grounds are the setting for an annual Colonial Heritage Day, a living history event. Activities include Revolutionary War re-enactors encampment, colonial crafts, music, cooking and other period demonstrations.”

Reuben Brown House, 128 East Columbus Street, Whiteville, NC 28472.

Reuben Brown House Photo by Mike Hollingsworth

Reuben Brown Gravemarker Chadbourn, NC Photo by Mike Hollingsworth

Patience Brown Gravemarker Chadbourn, NC Photo by Mike Hollingsworth
Layton Dowless Chadbourn, NC Cemetery

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"Papa Q" Shares Meals and Much, Much More

If you are ever in Whiteville, Lake Waccamaw, or Bolton, North Carolina then the following article from the News and Reporter explains when you would want to buy a cold dip of Ice cream from "Papa Q". My Grand kids always look forward to stopping his truck as it passes by because the treats are soooooo good!  

We had no idea that he was up to so much good in the community! We will stop him more often now that we know - Hope you will too!

Ice Cream Man Shares Meals

Ice Cream Man Shares Meals

Monday, December 8, 2014

Court to review Confederate flag on license plates

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is taking on a free speech case over a proposed license plate in Texas that would feature the Confederate battle flag. The case involves the government's ability to choose among the political messages it allows drivers to display on state-issued license plates. The justices said Friday they will review a…

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Disinterring and Re-interring the Bodies of Our Dead

Confederate Cemetery, Historical Oakwood Cemetery,
Raleigh, NC (Photo by Mike Hollingsworth)
Historical Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh, NC had its origin during the occupation of Raleigh by General Sherman’s Union troops.  It was initially a Confederate Cemetery founded after the Civil War in 1866 by the Ladies Memorial Association of Wake County.  Prior to that, Confederate soldiers were buried at Raleigh’s Rock Quarry Cemetery, later renamed Raleigh National Cemetery, alongside Union casualties. After General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Raleigh started to become flooded with wounded Union troops. As more and more of them died, larger burial facilities were needed. The Federal Army wanted Rock Quarry Cemetery all to themselves, for a National Cemetery for Union dead.

In 1867, when the Ladies Memorial Association of Wake County was formed, their mission was to "protect and care for the graves of our Confederate soldiers." The reason that it was the "Ladies Memorial Association" was that men were banned by the Federal government from meeting in large groups. The ladies acquired a piece of property from Henry Mordecai and began to clean and level the property. Their goal was to move the Confederates interred at the Rock Quarry Cemetery, and others buried in the surrounding area, to the new Confederate cemetery. There were an estimated 500 Confederates interred at the Rock Quarry Cemetery.

On February 22, 1867, the group received a letter from the Federal commander in Raleigh. All Confederates had to be moved from Rock Quarry Cemetery immediately to make room for a National Cemetery. The Ladies Memorial Association set about work. Volunteers disinterred the Confederate graves and began moving them to the new cemetery. Their progress was too slow for the Federal government, and in March 1867, the Federal commandant issued a letter, stating that if the Confederate dead were not moved by the given date (in three days), "their remains would be placed in the public road." Can you BELIEVE that?! 

Soooooo, by the end of March, the ladies and their volunteers had finished the work.

Source:  A Story Behind Every Stone By Charles Purser

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The 2014 Christmas Parade, Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina

The 2014 Christmas Parade, Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina.  A small town USA where "Happy Holiday" has not replaced "Merry Christmas".  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Reality folks!

If anyone believes that Michael Brown, when confronting Officer Wilson, acted any differently than those vicious rioting thugs last night then you are ignoring reality. The video in the store with him shoving the owner around and stealing cigars shows the same type of thuggish behavior and attitude as those smashing the windows, throwing rocks and stealing whiskey and more in Ferguson last night. Those thugs were not roistering about an injustice. To the thugs, it was about selfish evil, looting for their own individual gain. Reality folks!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Flagging at Rose Greenhow Memorial Day
By Mike Hollingsworth

Flags lined behind Greenhow's grave
Compatriot Layton Dowless was contacted with a petition that he attend the Rose O’Neal Greenhouse Memorial Service at the Wilmington Oakdale Cemetery scheduled at 2pm, 27th September of this year one hundred and fifty years after her tragic drowning. An additional request was to bring his flags and line the road and trail to her marker with them. Layton agreed and he later asked if I would like to tag along and help. I leaped at the opportunity since I had planned to go to anyway.
Mike Hollingsworth by Greenhow's gravestone

Early that morning, Layton came to my house and we left from there for the drive to Oakdale Cemetery. His pickup truck was loaded with flags, poles, sledge hammer and a heavy hole punch made from a Ford Model-A axle. When I examined the load, I knew we had a long and probably exhausting day, but we were energized and honored to have been asked to be part of Rose’s Memorial and especially at her actual burial spot.

Layton had borrowed some of the flag ensembles and the Axle from a friend and said that the friend had told him that the latter was a hand-down from his ancestors and if he lost it he best not even come back. I know he must have been joking, but we guarded that Axle as if our life depended on it. In any event, with assistance from a couple of Compatriots, we got all the flags planted – all seventy-five plus.

The cemetery road leading to Rose Greenhow's grave
When we finished, we were tired, but satisfied and happy with the results. It was after the noon hour and time for some sandwiches that we had packed in our coolers. Just as we were settling down to a “tailgating lunch” a stranger drove up, exited his car and approached. This stranger introduced himself and promptly became a friend.
Layton and Cody enjoying their sandwich

You see, he said he had noticed us hard at work placing the flags and that he wanted to offer us some foot-long subway sandwiches. Needlessly to say we accepted his offer rather quickly! Our new found friend turned out to be Mr. Cody Knotts, a movie producer from Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Mr. Knotts’ film America's Cleopatra: Rose Greenhow is scheduled for 2016. I’m looking forward to seeing the film. You want to learn more see me or Layton.

It was a big day and Layton and I enjoyed it vastly. It should be mentioned that in respect there were two speakers at the memorial, Mrs. Kelly Atkins Hinson and the Key Note Speaker Dr. Chris Fonvielle, Jr. Both were accomplished, but as Dr. Fonvielle said, “How can I follow Mrs. Hinson’s excellent and entertaining presentation”. We believe that Kelly, impersonating Mrs. Greenhow, had been extraordinary superb as always.

Rose Greenhow
From the Memorial Service Program: THE LATE MRS. ROSE O’NEAL GREENHOW - WILMINGTON, N.C. OCT. 1, 1864 We have recorded (in part) the following letter, detailing the last rite of respect to the lady whose name is above written: “On Saturday morning, October 1, a dispatch was received in Wilmington by Mrs. De Prossoi, President of the Soldiers’ Aid Society, stating that the body of Mrs. greenhow had been recovered from the sea at Fort Fisher, and would be sent to town for internment. The ill-fated lady -- passenger in the steamer “Condor” which got aground in attempting to run in at New Inlet -- was drowned in trying to reach the shore in a small boat, which swamped the ‘rips’. A hundred houses were open to receive the lady, but a meeting of the Soldiers’ Aid Society being hastily convened, it was judged proper to have the funeral obsequies as public as possible, to which end the chapel attached to Hospital No. 4 was beautifully arranged, by order of the surgeon in charge, Dr. Micks, and here it was proposed the corpse should lie in state...”. “...At the last day, when the martyrs who have with their blood sealed their devotion to liberty shall stand together firm witnesses that truth is stronger than death, foremost among the shining throng, coequal with the Rolands and Joan d’Arcs of history will appear the Confederate heroine, 
R o s e A. G r e e n h o w.

Layton placing his Rose on Rose's grave
Beginning our trip, when I got in Layton’s Pickup truck this morning, I noticed a single rose flower lying on top of the dashboard. He said, “I brought my own rose - going to put it on her grave”. Throughout the day and by the closing of the ceremony that rose of his was fading and appearing a little wilted. I thought he probably would throw it away but not Layton. He asked me to get a picture of him laying his rose on Mrs. Greenhow’s grave. He did it with caring respect. I sure Rose approved!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


EMBATTLED REBEL: JEFFERSON DAVIS AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF By James M. McPherson Penguin Press, $32.98, 301 pages, illustrated James McPherson of Princeton University may be America's most distinguished Civil War historian. His "Battle Cry of Freedom," published in 1988, not only won its author a Pulitzer Prize but remains the best single-volume history of the war.…