Contributed by Allen Barwick|
Vance Township was named in honor of our illustrious statesman, Zebulon B. Vance.
The township covers an area of 18,585 acres; and the tax books show 152 polls, 89 of who are white and 94 colored. The land, however, is for the most part owned by the whites, which are credited with 18,280 acres, while the Negroes own only 305 acres. Land sells from twenty to twenty-five dollars and up. Wages for farm labor are from twelve to fifteen dollars a month. The township contains some valuable timber, such as pine and sweet gum.
There are two churches in the township: Airy Grove Christian Church enrolls about sixty members and is served by Rev. Sam Sumrell. George Rouse is superintendent of the Sunday School which has about 85 pupils. Rev. B. W. Wash is the pastor of Lousin Swamp Free Will Baptist Church, which has about 50 members.
The township has three white and two colored schools. Miss Sallie Parrott is the teacher of the Fairfield school, which enrolls 56 pupils. Miss Melissa May teaches the school at White's schoolhouse, which has 60 pupils, and Miss Rosa Taylor teaches at Airy Grove, where there are 40 pupils. There are about 80 enrolled in the colored schools.
Fairfield schoolhouse is a fair sample of what has been done by the present board of education in the way of school buildings. The building is unassuming yet attractive even in its simplicity, is painted white inside and out, and may be made to seat 150 people. The walls are decorated with appropriate mottoes, pretty prints of birds, animals etc., a map of the world, and on the wall in the rear of the teacher's desk is a large and attractive panel of pansies, done in oil. The teacher's desk is placed on a rostrum of liberal dimensions. The building has eight windows and a transom over the door. There is a neat stove in the room, and, all in all, it is an attractive and comfortable building.
The school committee consists of W. A. Mewborne, A. C. White and Lemuel Taylor.
The public roadways include the LaGrange and Grifton road, nine miles; the Snow Hill and Kinston road, seven miles; the Hookerton and Kinston road, six miles.
CAPT. W. W. CARRAWAY
"The Gentleman From Lenoir," was born on the old family estate in Vance Township, April 15, 1838. He died at Monticello, which is the name of his late fine old county home, on May 28, 1903. His father was S. B. CARRAWAY, and his mother was Miss Harriet Whitfield, a daughter of Rev. Louis Whitfield, a noted minister of the gospel in the earlier days.
Captain CARRAWAY was educated at the University of Virginia, while attending school there, the war broke out and he enlisted as a private in Co. E, Third North Carolina Calvary. He was later elected Captain of the company.
After the war, Captain CARRAWAY engaged in farming and general merchandising, continuing in this until 1879, when he accepted a position as staff correspondent on the Raleigh News and Observer. He remained with the paper until 1886 and was then appointed post office inspector, and for four years, he traveled twenty-seven states in the interest of that department.
In 1898 Captain CARRAWAY was honored by the people of his party with the nomination for the legislature of the State, and he made one of hose brilliant canvasses for whit supremacy that are today historical facts for the Democratic party and was elected by a majority of over 300 votes. So well did he look after the interests of Lenoir County that in 1900 he was again nominated and elected by a majority of 996 votes.
Captain CARRAWAY has been married twice; his first wife was Miss Alice B. Hilliard, of Nash County. The children to this union were Harriet, Rebecca, Mary Lizzie and Alice William. His second wife was Miss Mary B. Hilliard, his first wife's sister. To this union were born Peter Hines, Sidney Bonner, Gertrude Hilliard, Elias Carr, Samuel Ashe, Gordon Bennett, Bruce Hilliard, and W. W. CARRAWAY, Jr.
Captain Caraway's home is one of Lenoir County's natural beauty spots. It recalls to one memory of those old homes on the banks of the Hudson. The old colonial dwelling nestles in a grove of majestic oaks, whose broad branches have played with the winds for more than a century. Among the oaks are clusters of cedars, with picturesque dells between, and in a corner the graveyard sacred to the memory of the departed members of the family.
Inside the old home are relics of the hunt, and curiosities of many kinds from various parts of the country.
J. H. MEWBORNE
Mr. J. Hyman MEWBORNE was born in Vance Township, at Mewborne's Cross Roads, Sept. 19, 1870. His parents were James M. and Eliza A MEWBORNE. For twenty years his father, James M. MEWBORNE has been a magistrate. He has served as a member of the inferior court of the county, as State Senator, as State Commissioner of Agriculture, and as Superintendent of the State Penitentiary. Now he is at home on his farm.
J. Hyman MEWBORNE attended the schools of the neighborhood. Prof Kinsey's school at Kinston, and graduated from Guilford College. Since returning home from college, Mr. MEWBORNE carried on an extensive business in farming and merchandizing. He now cultivates about 300 acres of land, and usually carries a $3,000 stock in his general merchandise store. The store is very conveniently located for travelers between Kinston and Snow Hill and Hookerton. He has one of the best cotton gins in the county. It has a capacity of 25 bales a day. This last year he had ginned 750 bales during the season up to November.
Mr. MEWBORNE is a member of the Christian Church at Kinston. He married Miss Essie, daughter of John A. and Nancy Simms of Concord, Cabarus County, N.C.