Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fratricide (continued)

The parishioners of Rocky Mount Baptist Church thought that Pete might have received a ticket to Paradise that morning, but he returned home in a despondent mood. 

Meanwhile Jesse was in a rage. Jerusalem Primitive Baptist Church did not have services that morning. Jesse dragged his father over to the churchyard screaming that since the church did not have a cemetery, he would start one with the body of his brother. He demanded that his father choose a place for Pete’s grave. The old man refused and, finally having got Jesse somewhat under control, returned home

Returning home from church Pete stabled his horse and sat on the porch. Jesse was upstairs and ran down the stairs with his pistol screaming. His mother grabbed him and tried to stop him, but he shoved her out of the way. Pete heard the commotion and started into the house. Jesse shot him three times and the bullets slammed him to the floor. He was dead before he hit the floor.

Mr. Edwards, unable to face the insanity of one son and the murder of the other, ran away blindly. Mrs. Edwards screamed in anguish and cradled the body of her murdered son while Jesse stood behind her holding the gun that had killed his brother. Pete’s blood pooled on the porch, dripped through the cracks between the boards and stained the big rock used as a step. It was said that the stains could never be removed from either the porch, the rock or the doorway. Finally the boards were replaced and the rock taken away.

With a return of sanity and overwhelmed by his act, Jesse went to a neighbor’s house and asked him to take him to the sheriff in Anson county. 

The elders of Jerusalem Primitive Baptist Church the next day laid off lines running east to west for a grave that would begin the new cemetery. Cyrus Field “Pete” Edwards was buried with his head to the west so that on Resurrection Day he would face the dawn. 

The judge sentenced Jesse to prison rather than hanging because he probably suspected Jesse’s insanity. His parents, having lost one son, began a campaign to get this son pardoned.

The first one to see Pete’s ghost was the painter. He was hired to paint and get the house ready for Jesse’s return and was staying with the Edwards until he finished. He was awakened the first night by footsteps coming up the stairs. The door creaked open and the drawers on the dresser that Pete used began opening and closing. When the same thing happened the second night, the painter made other arrangements.

Mrs. Edwards died 25 May 1913 shortly after Jesse returned home. His father, who was in failing health, moved in with another relative leaving Jesse alone in the house.

The murder that he had committed began to eat away at Jesse’s soul. He could not rid himself of the awful act and was unable to sleep. He could not get the bloodstains off the doorway.

He began hearing Pete’s ghost. He “felt” it leave the cemetery, walk onto the porch and open and close the front door. He could hear steps on the stairs and footsteps moving around the house. In desperation, Jesse asked his nephew, Wilson Edwards, to come and live with him. But the extra person in the house did not stop the ghost. Wilson heard the footsteps crossing the porch and when he grabbed the knob he felt it turn in his hand.

Finally Jesse and Wilson nailed the door shut and piled furniture against it, leaving them with only a window to enter and leave the house. The ghost still stalked.

In a final move Jesse decided to leave. He joined his brother, Wilson’s father, in operating a feed store in Oakboro. On the weekends he returned to the family place where the ghost still stalked.

After seven years of torment, Jesse came down with pneumonia. He was critically ill and in delirium mumbled that his brother was playing the fiddle from a faraway place. Before he died he said he would rather be a dog sleeping on the doorstep than to be his brother’s murderer. Jesse died 30 April 1917 at the age of 46.

Jesse was buried next to Pete in the Jerusalem cemetery. As the burial detail was shoveling dirt into the grave, they realized Jesse was facing the wrong way. They debated digging the coffin up, but one of them said, “No. Just leave it that way. Pete will have an even chance since Jesse ain’t got no pistol now. They can come out fightin’ face to face when they rise at Judgment.”
Source: The Marshville Home News; Thursday, February 27, 1992. “A Ghost Story The Evil Men Do” by Lee Little.

Monday, December 30, 2013


There were once two brothers who just could not get along with each other. The oldest brother was born 23 June 1872 and his mother and father named him Jesse Samuel. The youngest brother was born 29 July 1875 and was named Cyrus Field. There were also two other sons and two daughters in the family. All of them were able to play together, but those two just couldn’t seem to like each other. Their father, John T Edwards, was a wealthy planter whose farm stretched over rolling hills and creek bottoms where Union, Stanly, and Anson counties NC came together. Because they were looked on with trepidation by the community, they never married and lived with their mother and father in the family home.

Jesse was shorter than his brother by 6 inches and was always scowling and looking out of half-hooded eyes over a beaked nose. Pete was a handsome fellow – tall, fun-loving, an accomplished fiddle player and ladies’ man who loved to dance. However, underneath all of his beauty and likeablity, he was a mean man.

The two brothers were the talk of the community with their knock-down, drag-out fights which became more and more violent. The neighbors wagged their heads and remarked that they would end up killing each other.

Both carried guns. Jesse was quick to fire in Pete’s direction, just for fun. One morning Pete was late for breakfast; Jesse slammed open his door and fired several rounds just above Pete’s head into the headboard of the bed. Another time Pete was in the yard talking to a neighbor when Jesse put up an upstairs window and began firing several shots around Pete’s feet. Not to be outdone, Pete fired back breaking several window panes while Jesse jumped out of the way to avoid getting hit.

The Edwards boys had such a bad reputation that, when Jerusalem Primitive Baptist Church burned, a committee set out to call on them as prime suspects. Word got to the committee that an ambush was awaiting them in a cotton field and that the Edwards boys had new Winchesters.

Jesse’s moods grew progressively darker and even Pete began to avoid him. But in the end, Jesse’s behavior turned on Pete. Jesse got word that Pete was involved with a female that Jesse had marked as his property. On the third Sunday morning of August in 1910, while Pete saddled his horse to go to church, Jesse rushed back to the house in in a maddened state.

The congregation at Rocky Mount Baptist Church must have been astonished to see Pete attending services. They were even more astonished when Pete walked down the aisle after the service to ask the preacher to pray for his soul.
…….to be continued

Friday, December 27, 2013

Eliza Ann Hill

Eliza Ann Hill was the daughter of Julius Hill and his first wife Mary Hudson. She was born about 1827 and died 11 August 1904. Not a lot is known about Eliza. She married James M Wilkerson and had two children. The first child, James M Wilkerson, Jr., died at birth. The second child – Mary Caroline Wilkerson – was born 6 Oct 1847, married Atlas Dugin Deese, and died 6 Nov 1930 in Tyson, Stanly Co NC.

Eliza was mentioned in several deeds between James M Wilkerson and others. Besides that her slate is blank.

Here is a copy of her will:




Transcription: Eliza A Wilkerson Last Will & Testament

North Carolina, Stanly County

I Eliza A Wilkerson of the aforesaid county and state being of sound mind, but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existence do make and declare this my last will and testament.

First. My executor hereinafter named shall give my body a decent burial and place nice marble grave stones to mark my resting place to the wishes of my friends and relatives and pay all funeral expenses together with all my just debts out of the first moneys which may come into his hands belonging to my estate.

Second. I give and devise to my beloved daughter, Mary Caroline Deese during her natural life then to her heirs all my real and personal property.

Third. I hereby constitute and appoint my trusty friend, Adolphus A. Thompson my lawful executor to all intents and purposes to execute this my last will and testament, according to the true intent and meaning of the same, and every part and clause thereof, hereby revoking and declaring utterly void all other wills and testaments by me heretofore made.

In witness whereof, I the said Eliza A Wilkerson do hereunto set my hand and seal, this 15th day July 1904 A. D.


                                                 Eliza A. Wilkerson (Seal)

                                                       Mark     X

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Eliza A. Wilkerson to be her last will and testament in the presence of us, who at her request and in her presence do subscribe our names as witnesses thereto.

    W. F. Crump
    A. A. Thompson

The State of North Carolina
Stanly County.                                       In the Superior Court

I, R. A. Crowell, Clerk of the Superior Court, in and for the aforesaid State and County, do hereby certify that the attached is a true copy of the last will and testament of Eliza A. Wilkerson as on file and recorded in this office.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed the seal of said Court, at office in Albemarle, this the 27th day of August A. D. 1904.
                                                  Clerk of Superior Court, Stanly County


"North Carolina, Probate Records, 1735-1970," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1941-20079-20197-23?cc=1867501&wc=10923415 : accessed 27 Dec 2013), Stanly > Wills, 1868-1907, Vol. 2 > image 266 of 359.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas


Tombstone Tuesday–Ellen Elizabeth Curlee

ellen elizabeth curlee ts

Ellen Elizabeth Allen 26 Nov 1854-18 Mar 1938

Ellen Elizabeth Curlee was the daughter of James F Curlee and Margaret Efird. She was born in Anson County North Carolina in 1854. At the age of 20 years, she married William Henry Allen in 1874, and in the 1880 Federal Census was living in Wadesboro, Anson, North Carolina with her mother Margaret Curlee and her brother and sister.



1880 Federal Census: North Carolina, Anson, Wadesboro

House # 254, Family #254 Curlee, Margaret 44 year old white female
                                        “   , Millard F 20 year old white male, son
                                        “   , Mary M 16 year old white female, daughter
                                   Allen, Henry 26 year old white male, son-in-law
                                     “   , Elisabeth 23 year old white female, daughter
                                     “   , Addie M 5 year old white female, granddaughter
                                     “   , Thomas 2 year old white male, grandson
                                     “   , Robert 1 year old white male, grandson
                                  Allen, Faiton 20 year old mulatto male, servant
                                     “  , John 24 year old black male, servant

In the 1910 census she is living in Stanly County North Carolina where she lived until her death in 1938.


North Carolina Death Certificate

Stanly County, Center Township
Mrs. W. H. Allen (Ellen)
Residence: home of son Clyde Allen Norwood NC
Date of Death: 3-17-1938
Female White Widow
Wife of William H Allen
Date of birth: Nov 26 1854
84 years 3 months 21 days
House Worker
Birthplace: Anson
Father: James Curlee born in NC
Mother: Margaret Efird born in Stanly Co
Informant: Mrs. Clyde Allen
Norwood NC
Burial: Norwood 3-18-1938
Undertaker: Morton Furniture Co Norwood NC
Cause of Death: Cardiovascular Renal Disease
Myocardial Failure

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hill Kills Burgess

An Early Morning Tragedy in Union County
J. W. Hill Shoot and Instantly Kills A. M. Burgess. Hill Claims that Burgess Had Assaulted His Wife-Both Men Live Just Over the Line in Union County-Hill Gave Himself Up and Now is in Jail in Monroe
Monday morning about 9 o’clock Mr. J. W. Hill, who lives just across the line in Union county, shot and instantly killed A.M. Burgess. Immediately after the killing Hill took his wife and two children in a buggy and went to Monroe and gave himself up. The Monroe correspondent of the Charlotte Observer gives Hill’s version of the tragedy as follows:
“A. M. Burgess was shot and instantly killed this morning in New Salem township, this county, by J. W. Hill, following the accusation by Mrs. Hill that Burgess had criminally assaulted her.
“Hill drove immediately to Monroe with his wife and two small children and in the absence of the sheriff surrendered to Policeman T. B. Laney, who swore out a Warrant before Squire M. L. Flow, the latter committing him to jail without bail for trial.
“The tragedy occurred about nine o’clock in New Salem, where both men have resided for sometime. According to Hill’s story Burgess and his wife drove by his (Hill’s) house in a buggy. Not a word was passed. Burgess reached for his pistol, but Hill was quicker with his shotgun and fired first, killing Burgess instantly. Hill brought the gun with which the deed was done to Monroe with him when he came to surrender, and also a number of loaded shells.
“Mrs. Hill told her husband this morning that Burgess had assaulted her and threatened to kill both her and Hill if she told Hill of it. She states further that it is not the first time Burgess had attempted the crime, but she was afraid to tell her husband for fear Burgess would carry out his threat. When Burgess attacked her again she resolved to defy the threat and inform her husband and did so. Hill had started in quest of Burgess when he drove by the house. Hill is 30 years old and the couple have two small children. Burgess is 40 and leaves a wife and six children. Both are farmers. Hill talks freely of the tragedy and does not seem uneasy as to the outcome. He will be given a preliminary hearing July 9th.”
Our Home, of Tuesday, gives the story of the affair as related by the wife of the dead man as follows:
“Hill and Burgess had not been on friendly terms for some time. Early yesterday morning Burgess and his wife were in a buggy on their way to Stanly county and were passing Hill’s house. Hill saw them coming and ran to the house for his shotgun. As he approached the buggy from the rear Burgess begged him not to shoot. Seeing that he intended to shoot he asked his wife to get out. Just as she had left the buggy Hill fired at close range, the load entering Burgess’ head from the rear and passing out at his forehead, crushing his head to pieces. We understand that this is the story as related by the wife of Burgess who, it is said, was the only witness.”
"Hill, who is the son of Mr. J.P. Hill, one of the best citizens of Burnsville township, has always stood well in his community. He moved from this county to Union several years ago.
Burgess came from Stanly county and had the reputation of a bad man."
Source: The Messenger and Intelligencer, Wadesboro, N. C., Thursday, July 5, 1906.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Miss Mollie Revisited

Mary Jane Polk Hill 1882-1956 obit
Miss Mollie’s obituary
Mrs. Mary Jane Hill
Marshville – Mrs. Mary Jane Polk Hill, 74, died at her home here at 2:20 p.m. Sunday after a three week’s illness.
She was the daughter of the late James and Mary Mullis Rushing. She was born in Union County on March 23, 1882, and had made her home in the Marshville community all her life.
Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. L. W. Oxendine of Marshville; six sons, Floyd and Judge Polk of Marshville, Grady, Leo and Boyce Polk of Winter Haven, Fla. and Johnny B Polk with the U. S. Air Force in Guam; 16 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren; four sisters, including Mrs. Rena Huggins of Charlotte; a brother; two stepdaughters including Mrs. L D. Phifer of Charlotte; five stepsons.
Funeral services will be held at Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church at 3 p.m. today, conducted by Elder C. M. Mills. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Source: Charlotte Observer 26 Nov 1956 p7A

North Carolina Marriage Collection, 1741-2004
1900 Long Jas M      Mary J Rushing   Book 6 p 88    White

I haven’t found a marriage record for Miss Mollie and Henry Wilson Polk yet, but she is listed as his wife in the 1910 Union County, Marshville census. The oldest child in that census is 10 years old, so she may have been the child of James M Long.
There is much more digging to find the rest of Miss Mollie’s story. So maybe you will hear about her at a later date.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Miss Mollie

Miss Mollie was the second wife of my grandfather, Mallie Devotion Hill. I have looked high and low to find out anything about her, but all I knew was her name – Mollie Polk. There seemed to be no such person in any search I made.
I remember her as a tiny, frail lady who smiled and gave lots of hugs. She made my grandfather’s life comfortable and happy for a while. His first wife, Sophronia Mae Curlee, died in 1935, and he raised all his children alone. My father, Lonnie Clinton Hill Sr, told stories of how all the older children worked on the farm and did many outside chores while he, being the baby of the family, took care of the house and cooked the meals. In fact, when he and my mother, Clara Geneva Wilson, married, he taught her how to cook. She was the baby of her family and she was babied so didn’t know the first thing about keeping house.
Meanwhile, I was assisting someone in Charlotte NC in obtaining obituaries from the Richland County Public LIbrary in Columbia SC. We talked back and forth and found we had some ancestors in common. Finally yesterday she said she wanted to take a break from the obituaries and start getting ready for Christmas. On a whim, since my father’s family is from Anson, Stanly and Union counties, I asked her if she would look for Miss Mollie. To my amazement, she found her!! (Thanks, Jean!)  With just the information I gave her, she called the Charlotte NC library and told the librarian who she was looking for – Mollie Polk. The librarian was able to find an obituary and a death certificate for – Mary Jane Polk. So my Miss Mollie is Mary Jane.
Armed with the information she sent me, I was able to find Miss Mollie. Here is one of the records.
imageNorth Carolina Board of Health
Certificate of Death

 Filed Dec 5, 1956
Place of Death: Union Co – Marshville
Died at home on Rt 2
Name of Deceased: Mary Jane Hill   Date of death: Nov 25 1956
Female, white, widowed, Date of birth: 23 March 1882 Age at death: 74y8m2d
Occupation: Domestic   Birthplace: Union County NC
Father’s Name: James Rushing    Mother’s Name: Mary Mullis Name of Husband: MD Hill
Informant: Judge Polk, Marshville NC
Immediate cause of death: Acute Lymphatic Leukemia
Interval between onset and death: 3 months
Treated by M D: 1/24/56 – 11/25/56
C T Poole? M D  Marshville NC 11/27/56
Burial 11/26/56 Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church Union Co. NC
Date received by local reg. 12/3/56 BJP
Funeral Director: McEwen Funeral Home Monroe NC

Miss Mollie was married three times – my grandfather was her third husband. Her first husband was James M Long and her second was Henry Wilson Polk.
More to come on Miss Mollie in a later post.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Edmund Lily Hill Estate

North Carolina Estate Files: 1663-1979
Union County
Edmund L Hill (1957)
State of North Carolina
County of Union
Estate of Edmund L Hill                       Thomas and Griffin, Atts., Box 157, Marshville, N.C.
                                                      C P and W H Hill, Adms.

Value of Real Estate                                 $15 300.00
Value of Personal Property                          14 313.32
Value of Stocks and Bonds                            3 324.00
Insurance to Estate                                 __________
Advancement to Children and others          __________
Total Gross Value                                   $ 32 917.32
Deductions                                                2 803.42
Total Value Liable to Tax                           30 133.90
Names of Beneficiaries and Interest

Name Relationship Gross Value of Interest Specific Exemption Net Value of Interest Tax
Ella T Hill Widow 3722.07 10000.00 None
Cora Hill Daughter 3301.48 2 000.00 1301.48 13.01
Ruth H Presslar     “ 3301.48 2000.00 1301.48 13.01
C P Hill Son 3301.48 2000.00 1301.48 13.01
Myrtle H Carpenter Daughter 3301.48 2000.00 1301.48 13.01
Blanche H Taylor     3301.48 2000.00 1301.48 13.01
W H Hill Son 3301.48 2000.00 1301.48 13.01
M K Hill    “ 3301.48 2000.00 1301.48 13.01
Clara H Prather Daughter 3301.47 2000.00 1301.47 13.01
Total Tax 104.08
State of North Carolina
Department of Revenue
Raleigh   May 20, 1958
Received of C P and W H Hill, Adms, the sum of One Hundred and Four and 08/100 Dollars ($104.08) in payment of the inheritance tax on the estate of Edmund L Hill.
James S Leur, Commissioner
Clerk of Superior Court              Raleigh, N C   May 20, 1958
Union County
Monroe, N C
Dear Sir: The above is a condensed copy of the report filed by C P and W H Hill, Adms. of the estate of Edmund L Hill, who died a resident of Union County on the 19th day of March 1957.
This you will record in the Book of Records Inheritance Tax for Union County. The fee is $3.00.
James S Leur
Department of Revenue

Friday, December 6, 2013

Elizabeth Ann Curlee


Elizabeth Ann Curlee, 29 Nov 1846-5 Feb 1935, was the daughter of Enoch Millard Curlee, 1815-5 May 1866, and Lucy Eudy, Oct 1819-1900. She was born in Anson County, North Carolina.

In the 1850 Federal Census she is living in Burnsville, Anson County, North Carolina, with her father Enoch, her mother, Lucy, and her brothers John, William, and Davidson.


1850 Federal Census: North Carolina, Anson, Burnsville

House #747, Family #747
Enoch Curlee, 34 year old male, farmer, value of real estate 400, born in North Carolina
Lucy Curlee, 29 year old female, born in North Carolina
John Curlee, 8 year old male, born in North Carolina
William Curlee, 7 year old male, born in North Carolina
Davidson Curlee, 6 year old male, born in North Carolina
Elizabeth Curlee, 4 year old female, born in North Carolina


In the 1870 Federal Census, she is unmarried and living with her mother Lucy and Frank Ramsay, 15 years old, and John A Thomas, 21 years old, both of whom were workers on the farm.


1870 Federal Census: North Carolina, Anson, Burnsville

House #142, Family #133
Curlee, Lucy 59 year old white female, housekeeper, value of real estate 160, value of personal estate 150 born in North Carolina
Curlee, Elizabeth 23 year old white female, no occupation, born in North Carolina
Ramsay, Frank 15 year old white male, work on farm, born in North Carolina
Thomas, John A 21 year old white male, work on farm, born in North Carolina

John A(shley) Thomas later becomes her husband. In 1880 she is still living in Burnsville with her husband and family and is next door to her brother Davidson and his wife Adeline.


1880 Federal Census: North Carolina, Anson, Burnsville

House #19, Family #19
Thomas, John A 30 year old white male, married, farmer, born in North Carolina, parents born in North Carolina
Thomas, Elizabeth 32 year old white female, married, keeping house, born in North Carolina, parents born in North Carolina
Thomas, James H 9 year old white male, born in North Carolina, parents born in North Carolina
Thomas, Enoch M 7 year old white male, born in North Carolina, parents born in North Carolina
Thomas, Joseph A 5 year old white male, born in North Carolina, parents born in North Carolina
Thomas, Samuel P 3 year old white male, born in North Carolina, parents born in North Carolina
Thomas, Jonah L 9 month old white male, born in North Carolina, parents born in North Carolina

In the years until her death, she lived in Burnsville. She died 5 Feb 1935 and was buried at Rocky Mount Baptist Church, Polkton, Anson, North Carolina. Her memorial can be seen on Find A Grave along with a photograph of her tombstone and her obituary.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

William Curlee


William Curlee
1755 Bertie County NC – 1818 Anson County NC
son of William Curlee & Mary Richardson
married 1772 Dorcas Roberts b.1751 Barnwell County SC

1790 Federal Census: North Carolina, Anson

imageWilliam Curlee   

Free White Persons - Males - Under 16    3
Free White Persons – Males – 16 and over    1
Free White Persons – Female    4
Number of Household Members    8

1810 Federal Census: North Carolina, Anson


Wm. Curlee

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25    1
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over    1
Free White Persons – Females – 16-25    1
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over    1
Number of Household Members over 25    1
Number of Household Members    4

Children of William Curlee & Dorcas Roberts:

John Curlee           1774 Anson County NC – 17 Jan 1847 Anson County NC
Obediah Curlee       1775 Anson County NC – 1835 Union County NC
Earven Curlee         1784 Anson County NC – 7 Nov 1854 Anson County NC
Jesse Pinky Curlee   1788 Anson County NC – 16 Dec 1854 Anson County NC


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Henry Wilson Hill

Henry Wilson Hill
11 Oct 1837-9 Jul 1917
Son of Julius Hill & Margaret Harward
Enlisted in Company A, 4th Cavalry Regiment North Carolina at the age of 24 - 10 May 1862
Married 1st Eunice Ann Lowder 28 Sep 1865
Married 2nd Alice Glovenia Edwards 11 Sep 1878
Died in Stanly County NC
Buried Philadelphia Baptist Church nr Stanfield NC

1850 Federal Census: North Carolina, Anson, Meltonsville