Contributed by Allen Barwick|
FALLING CREEK TOWNSHIP
Falling Creek township takes its name from a watercourse called Falling Creek that flows through its midst and furnishes waterpower for various mills. The township has twenty more Negro polls than white polls, there being 96 of the latter and 76 of the former. The whites though are the landowners, 19,978 acres being listed by white citizens. And 376 acres by Negroes.
The township is one of the wealthiest ones in the county, standing high in its valuations on the tax books. There is some valuable timber such as pine, oak, cypress and gum in the township, and probably a thousand acres of swampland.
There are about 50 miles of public roadway in the township; thus, all of its parts are accessible. The land is sandy with a clay subsoil and marl deposit. It is very productive, capable of improvement to a high degree and as valuable as any in the county. Some tracts are worth $100 an acre, but the average price is somewhere between $15 and $20.
The churches include the Trinity Methodist, which has an attendance of about 25. The minister in charge is Rev. W. A. FORBES, as he is also of the Beulah Methodist Church. A Union Sunday School enrolling fifteen members is held in this Church.
The superintendent of the school is Mr. J. W. DALY. The Church is also used by a Holiness congregation.
There are three white and three colored schools in the township. The attendance at the colored schools is about 50 each.
Miss KATE JACKSON teaches Wood's school, where there is an attendance of about 25. Miss ZULIME WOOTEN teaches Daly's school, which enrolls about 45 pupils. Farm Valley School has bout 25 pupils, and Miss BEATRICE RAYNOR is the teacher.
M. H. WOOTEN
Mr. M. H. WOOTEN was born in Columbus County, near the Bladen County line, April 1, 1852. The parents of Mr. Wooten were JOHN COUNCIL and EMILINE MARY WOOTEN. His grandparents were RICHARD and ELIZA WOOTEN. His grandfather served several terms in the State legislature as representative from Columbus County.
M. H. WOOTEN'S father was a revenue officer and tax collector in the confederate service; was a considerable land owner; and held numerous offices in Lenoir, including that of judge of inferior court, clerk of the Superior Court and member of the board of county commissioners.
The subject of this sketch was educated at Davidson College; and after graduating, he taught school for several years at and near Kinston and LaGrange. He was a member of the board of county commissioners at the time the county iron bridge was built. This piece of work cost $11,000 with an additional $1,000, which was paid to JOHN C. WASHINGTON for a mile of roadway leading from the bridge to Kinston. With Mr. WOOTEN on the board were L. HARVEY, chairman, HENRY WEST and Q. W. WHITFIELD. He was also a member of the first board of education the county ever had. The other members of the board were Dr. H. D. HARPER, Sr., D. C. MURCHISON, and the Superintendent of public instruction was Capt. E. V. BYRD.
Mr. WOOTEN owns about 200 acres of land, 170 of which are under cultivation. He and his wife live in as nice a country home as one could desire. In addition to the crops usually raised in this section, Mr. WOOTEN raised considerable wheat and oats, and the like, and maintains a nice poultry yard.
Mr. WOOTEN married Miss CORNELIA INES, daughter of THOMAS J., and MATTHEW ELIZABETH KENNEDY. Her father was one of the most prominent men of the county. The children are Mrs. ETHEL G. COLLINS, Mrs. BERNICE HINES, A. H. WOOTEN, Misses INEZ and EMILY KENNEDY and little Miss SOLAS, the bright pet of the home fireside, who loves her kittens, dolls, and bantam chickens.
WILLIAM LAFAYETTE KENNEDY
WILLIAM LAFAYETTE KENNEDY was born in Lenoir County, North Carolina, Nov. 18, 1845. His father was THOMAS JEFFERSON KENNEDY, born and raised in Lenoir County.
His mother was MARTHA ALLEN KENNEDY, of Greene County. His paternal grandfather was JESSE CROOM KENNEDY, and his grandmother ELIZABETH HARDEE KENNEDY, both of Lenoir County. His maternal grandfather was WILLIAM ALLEN, his grandmother, PERSIS WESTBROOK ALLEN, both of Greene County.
THOMAS JEFFERSON KENNEDY had five sons, JESSE CROOM KENNEDY, WILLIAM LAFAYETTE KENNEDY, CORNELIUS KENNEDY, ALPHEUS THEODORE KENNEDY, and SIDNEY GUSTAVUS KENNEDY, all of whom lived to maturity, except CORNELIUS, who was accidentally killed when seven years old. He had two daughters, MARY ANN KENNEDY, now Mrs. W. D. RAYNOR and CORNELLA INEZ KENNEDY, now Mrs. M. H. WOOTEN.
WILLIAM LAFAYETTE KENNEDY, the subject of this sketch, joined the Confederate States Army when sixteen years old in the spring of 1862, after the fall of New Bern, served three years and surrendered April 26, 1865, with Gen. JOSEPH E. JOHNSON'S army at Greensboro. He came home and went to work on his father's farm "Cedar Dell," where he now lives in one of the handsomest country homes in the state, which he remodeled and enlarged. The house was originally built in 1832, by Mrs. ISAAC CROOM, a sister of the late JUDGE PEARSON.
He has been a successful farmer and is now one of the largest landowners in the county. He gives his personal attention to his farms. But has other interests, and investments. He is one of the largest stockholders and a director in both of the banks in Kinston. He owns the Coahoma Mills, (formerly "Cobb Mills"), which he has recently rebuilt on brick walls, making the best water mill in the county. While he is strictly a businessman, he finds time to indulge in his favorite sport, fishing. He has almost a national reputation as a successful angler, having fished from the Gulf of Mexico up along the Atlantic coast and from Mexico to the Gulf of Alaska on the Pacific. He has fished for the leaping Tuna at Catalina Island, and for the "Silver King" (Tarpon) in the waters of Florida, as well as for the beautiful little speckled trout in the rapid streams of the Blue Ridge and Rocky mountains. He never tires of the sport, and indulges himself in a costly outfit of fine fishing tackle. He has always taken an active interest in politics and good government, but has never sought or held office.
He married a daughter of PICKNEY COATESWORTH HARDEE, one of the most prominent men of Lenoir County. They have no children.
Such is the name of the beautiful residence of Captain and Mrs. W. L. KENNEDY, in Falling Creek Township. The home is a reminder of antebellum days. The house is patterned after some old aristocratic Phila. home on Westminster Avenue, apparently. Its furnishings throughout display the taste of cultured people. The house girl, the old Auntie cook, the chambermaid and "his man" were all there. The latter was in charge of the stock and things in general. He had been with the head of the house for thirty- two years and asks to be allowed to remain with him until one or the other is overtaken by death.
The Berkshire pigs rolling in fat, produced by peanut feasting, the flock of mammoth turkeys, of choice Kentucky breed, the covey of haughty pea-fowls, the herd of 50 sleek fat Jerseys, the long row of stables, suggesting a number of horses and mules, neat and commodious outbuildings on the terraced green give evidence of the smiling plenty that is enjoyed by Capt. KENNEDY and his attractive, refined and traveled wife.
JAMES W. DALY
JAMES W. DALY was born in this county, Moseley Hall Township on May 4, 1846. His parents were WILLIAM and JULIA DALY. His grandparents were named DENNIS, JOHN and SUSAN ELIZABETH DALY.
Mr. DALY'S education was received from the schools near his home and in Orange County. At the beginning of the war, he entered the navy and went to Fort Fisher, where he was in active service about a year. After this, he returned to the old farm where he was remained ever since. He is now building a new house in Kinston where he and his wife and children will reside, letting his farm out to tenants.
Mr. DALY owns a good farm of about 475 acres, with about one half under cultivation. He has been school committeeman several terms and is a member of the Holiness Church, of which Rev. C. B. STRICKLAND is pastor. Mr. DALY is superintendent of the Sunday school.
Mr. Daly married Miss ELIZA, daughter of WALTER AND ELIZABETH KENNEDY. Her father was a farmer, a civil engineer, and at one time County Surveyor. The children were WILLIE F., deceased, who held a position on the Progressive Farmer; ALBERT, JOHN E., and JAMES, also deceased, HATTIE and SUSIE both attending the Atlantic Christian College, at Wilson.
Miss HATTIE has made a special study of art, and has decided natural talent for the work. At the early age of twelve, she took premiums on her pictures at the New Bern fair. Besides her other studies Miss SUSIE pays especial attention to Music.
P. C. HARDEE
PICKNEY COATESWORTH HARDEE was born September 8, 1801, and died February 3, 1873. He was a native of Lenoir County, and passed his life in Kinston. He was regarded as one of the most influential and trustworthy of citizens. In early manhood, he embraced the Whig party, and was as ardent admirer through life of HENRY CLAY. He was elected to the Legislature by a large majority, and served his county with honor and ability. He was twice married, his first wife was Miss ELIZABETH JONES, a lady of wealth and education, and after her death, he was married to Mrs. WILLIAM C. JONES - nee Miss PERSIS PARROTT. There was born of this union two daughters. She was a lady of superior mental endowments, and of a strong magnetic personality. She was one of the few, who had the divine gift of sympathy, and who always had time to be pleasant. Having an abundance of this world's goods, she never forgot the helpless and the needy, and was prompt at all seasons in extending hospitality. It was characteristic of this most estimable lady to have a smile, and a word of cheer for every child.
At the opening of the very first Sunday school, she was there to assist, to encourage, and energize. The writer, then a little boy, was in her class, and he remembers her with love and gratitude. She has been dead a half-century, but her memory is still green and fragrant to the motherless boy, who ever found a warm welcome in her hospitable home.
Mrs. HARDEE'S death was deeply lamented by a large circle of acquaintances. Being in the zenith of womanhood, her departure was felt as a personal loss to her many friends, and to the community - a public bereavement. The death of his beloved wife left him to be both father and mother to his two interesting children. He addressed himself at once to their proper care and culture. After having them highly educated, he took them on a traveling tour, and visited the mountains, springs Niagara Falls, Canada, and returned home by the way of the Hudson River and Washington City. He has but one child living. Mrs. W. L. KENNEDY, who combines with a strong intellect, and amiability composed and engaging.
"SQUIRE HARDEE," as he was familiarly spoken of, had in a preeminent degree the talent of sagacity. He clearly foresaw the ultimate ending of the Civil War, and when Fort Sumter was fired upon, he declared it was the death-knell of slavery.
When the war was over, and it ended as he predicted, the county finances were in a deplorable condition. He was asked to take charge and overlook and direct, and today the safe financial basis of the county, is largely due to his clear and steady hand. Being a man of large means, well educated and of irreproachable character, his influence was sought for, his advice being considered as the best and safest to be guided by. Deeply religious, he was a strict member of the Baptist Church, and contributed liberally to every worthy purpose. In fact, at one time he subscribed one-half of the pastor's salary and furnished a good home for the preacher to live in.
No hungry mouth went unfilled at his gate.
Of all the goodly men that have ever been born in Lenoir, not one stood superior in intellect and integrity to PINCKNEY COATESWORTH HARDEE. He was a typical North Carolinian; he served his day and generation faithfully, and died owing no man a penny. Such a man should be remembered, for he lived a life well rounded, and sleeps the sleep of the just.