The Muse Rabbit Hole – Looking For a Fry

“Going Down The Rabbit Hole” is a slang term used by genealogy researchers when they find themselves bogged down researching something completely different from their original set goal. I recently purchased a copy of the Moore County Genealogical Society Archived Newsletters on CD and sat down to “skim” through them to find any mention of my Fry family. Somehow, I ended up reading article after article about the Muse family from Carthage, one of the distinguished families of Moore County whose name is still plentiful in our area today. There are numerous interesting articles and stories regarding this family, too many for me to cover in this one article, but if you are a MUSE, GLASCOCK family researcher, there is plenty to send you down a rabbit hole, as well. As a side note, I did find information about the Frys marrying the Muses so it wasn’t totally a wasted excursion. The information in this article is taken from the book The Methodists of Carthage 1837-1987 by Emma Phillips Paschal and Marshall R. Old, along with newspaper articles, and Ancestry details.

James B. Muse, married Elizabeth “Betsy” Glascock, daughter of Dr. George Glascock about 1806 near the Cross Hill section of Moore County where the Muses and Dr. Glascock had moved during colonial times from their homes in Virginia. Dr. George Glascock was a cousin to George Washington. In 1787, Dr. Glascock was killed at his home in the Cross Hill section of Carthage by a servant of Philip Alston – the same servant who, reportedly, killed Alston himself [a separate story worth reading]. James and Betsy Muse died two days apart in 1864 having been married about 60 years.

One of James and Betsy’s seven children was George Glascock Muse, born on the 28th of February 1816, name-sake of his grandfather, Dr. George Glascock. George Glascock Muse was always proud of his kinship to George Washington through his grandfather, and was said to have some resemblance to our first President. George first married Jane Campbell, a native of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, and there were 12 children born to this marriage. Following his first wife’s death, at the age of 78, he secondly married Miss Frances “Fannie” Fry, who was age 34 [I found a Fry].

The death of George Muse at the age of 93 on June 15, 1909, was recorded in the Carthage Blade and the following article from the book The Methodists of Carthage was printed: On the 15th day of June, 1909, there passed from this life one of the most striking characters and one of the most remarkable men of our time, Mr. George Glasscock Muse. His entire life from babyhood to hoary age was spent near Carthage among a quiet, industrious, frugal, farmer people. He inherited from his sturdy ancestors a strong and splendid physique, a sound constitution, and that rare and inestimable gift, good common sense. Outdoor exercise, manual labor, and temperate habits had developed and preserved his physical powers to a wonderful degree. They had never been impaired by an intemperate habit for in his youth he never did apply hot and rebellious liquors in his blood and no vice had ever been able to hold sway over his inflexible character. He had therefore by reason of strength passed the fourscore years and ten. He was a man of strong convictions and decided opinions. He was bold and frank. As a neighbor he was obliging, and as a friend he was loyal and true. He was from an early period in life a devout member of the Carthage Methodist Church. “Weary with the march of life” this venerable man has passed away.

Mr. Muse is buried at the Carthage Methodist Church along with his first wife, the mother of his 12 children, Jane Campbell Muse.

All About Moore County Folks

Reprinted from September 1985 MCGS Newsletter:
[Note: The Carthage Blade was a newspaper published in Carthage, NC, Moore County. Digital volumes available on line for the years 1887-1907.]
THE CARTHAGE BLADE, March 29, 1905
Reminiscences of “W” of going to school to Rev. Angus McNeill in Carthage:
” •• • I remember a fine looking young man, William H. Wiley, at school. I was a boy – he a grown man. I never saw or heard any more of him, but one day a short time after the bloody battle of 7 pines, our regiment, during the Seven Days fight, marched over the battle ground and I saw a piece of board at the head of a grave, inscribed “Lt. William H. Wiley, 5th Ala. Reg •• • ”


MOORE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETING Thurs 4 Apr 1878 (reprinted from MCGS May 1987 newsletter):
John C Buie allowed $100 for keeping John Buie.
Malcolm Kelly released from paying .75 tax on land in Bensalem Twnsp.
Released from paying double tax for 1877: A S Kelly (under age), Aaron Cole, D Hall.
J W Morrison released from double tax on poll for 1877.
K Ray released from paying $1.53 tax for 1877.
Samuel Barrett released from paying $18.37 tax for 1874-listed twice.
William Murchison, pauper allowed $3 per month for support.
B L Johnson allowed $3 per month for J Davis, pauper.
Ads: M M Fry Exc. of Lockhart Fry against Archie Ray adm of Kenneth Black.
John Shaw and John Jackson adms of W M Parson.

Misc. Church News from MCGS Newsletters

ABSTRACTS from “The Carthaginian”, published at Carthage, NC. (reprinted from November 1986 MCGS newsletter):
In West End, NC, the CULDEE Presbyterian Church celebrated its 100th anniversary with a big Homecoming program on Sep 21. An article by Woodrow Wilhoit in the Southern Pines PILOT of Sep 25th 1985 described the historic occasion. He described a petition signed on the 7th of April 1886 at Lumber Bridge presented to the Fayetteville Presbytery asking for a church to be organized. The list given in his article shows a preponderance of Scottish names and may be of interest to our readers. Some were M D McCrummen, D P McDonald, Margaret Vuncannon, W S Bailey, M L Morris, J L McKeithen, and several Blues, Wickers, McKenzies, McNeills and Pattersons.


A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY, CHRONICLES AND RECORDS OF MINERAL SPRINGS CHURCH (originally transcribed and indexed by Marie Smith Gordon; reprinted from September 1988 MCGS Newsletter):  Mineral Springs Presbyterian Church is today known as Jackson Springs (North Carolina) Presbyterian Church. The Founding Elders and early members lived along Drowning Creek which separates Moore County from Montgomery and Richmond Counties. They were descendants of a group of Scots who chose to side with the British in the American Revolution. In about 1813 the Scots near Mineral Springs started holding church services there during the summer months. In 1819 the Rev John Paterson organized the church and ordained the following Elders: Duncan Patterson, Kenneth Clark, Malcolm McCrummen and Hugh McDonald. The minutes of the church record trials for drunkeness, slander and several other offenses that would not draw much attention today. Scots taking the most room in the index are Bailey, Black, Brown, Campbell, Clark, Curry, Dawkins, Graham, McCaskill, McDonald, McFarland, McInnis, McKay, Monroe, Patterson, Ray, Robeson and Stewart. These are descendants of people mentioned in the Rev Caruthers book – “Wade, Culp and Captain Bogan came down into this country to avenge the Piney Bottom Massacre. They tortured Piper Patterson who lived in Richmond County opposite the old Kenneth Clark’s houseplace; and forced him to give up the names of all he knew to be engaged in that crime. It is said that the Piper named Kenneth Clarks’s sons and Alexander McLeod and possibly Daniel McMillian as being implicated in Piney Bottom. Captain Bogan’s men crossed over the creek and killed Alexander McLeod, Daniel McMillian and John Clark. Kenneth Clark was at that time a very old man, but he and his women folks were ordered to bury the corpses by the next day.”  [Note: Mrs. Gordon published A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY, CHRONICLES AND RECORDS OF MINERAL SPRINGS CHURCH in 1988 in soft cover.  It was 116 pages in length and available for purchase from her. It is now available to read on-line.  Just Google the above title.]


Misc. Marriage/Death Records from MCGS Newsletters

EARLY MARRIAGE RECORDS – CUMBERLAND COUNTY – 1834-50 (Originally transcribed and submitted by Florence Hardy from Cypress Presbyterian Church located on Harnett/Moore line; reprinted from November 1986 newsletter):
John Ferguson married Catharine Priest – 23 Jan 1834.
Neill Shaw married Flora Cameron – 27 Feb 1834.
Daniel McIntosh of Buffalow Ch married Margaret Shaw – 29 Mar 1834.
Allen Cameron married Catharine McLean – 30 Sep 1834.
James Jackson married Jennet McGoigor – 15 Oct 1834.
A F (J) L Cameron married Isabella McFayden of Cumberland Co Longstreet Ch – 7 May 1835 by Rev E McNair.
William Cameron married Margaret Cameron (John’s dau) by Daniel McCormick.
– 12 Mar 1835
William Keith married Sara J (I) Matthews by Rev A McCollum.
Arch McCollum married Mary McLeo – no date.
Peter Munroe married Mary Cameron – no date.
Samuel Cameron married Catharine Blue – no date.
Daniel Johnson married Anabella Cameron – no date.
Neill Graham of Union (church) married Catharine McGrigor – no date.

Peter Munroe married Isabella Jane Cameron – no date.
A A McKeithen married Catharine McLeod 20 Dec 1950 by Rev. McAlister

Joseph Bynum married Mary Ann Stuart  22 Jan 1950 by A J Cameron, Esquire.

L E Johnson married Amanda Worthy – no date.


Marriage Record, Moore County (reprinted from March 1988 MCGS newsletter):
This is a narrow, rather small book, which contains the earliest marriages (other than those found in the back of the Will Book A) recorded in Moore County. In the back of this book is a list of marriages which are labeled, “Unofficially Recorded”. These marriages, on five pages, are as follows:
Page I-Gideon A Thompson and Nicey P Oates married 5 Sep 1843. Wm John Kelly and Lovedy McKeithan married 4 Oct 1843. Isaac H Rowan and Sarah McIver were married 16 Nov 1843. D R Shaw and Lovedy Jane Blue were married 26 Feb 1846. Dani~ McDonald and Mary J McNeill married 24 Dec 1846. A A McKeithan and Catherine McLeod married 20 Dec 1849. Joseph H M Bynum and Mary Ann Stewart married 22 Jan 1850. Daniel Turner and Lydia Blue were married 28 Oct 1847.
Page 2-Alex McNeill and Julia Rowan were married 1 Sep 1842. Daniel McKeithan and Lovedy Black married 17 Dec 1846. Daniel B Black and Ann McNeill were married 24 Mar 1842. Lemuel Slone and Catharine Campbell married 10 ___ 1842. Patrick Munroe and C Margaret McNeill married 21 Nov 1842. Patrick A McKeithan and Margaret Black married 20 Jan 1842 Neill Currie and Jennet Leach were married 3 Oct 1844. Dougald McDougald and Elizabeth Jane McNeill were married 21 Oct 1844. John A McKeithan and C C Smith were married 16 Apr 1846.
Page 3-Archibald Ray and Ann C Blue were married 4 Mar 1847. Patrick M Blue and Sarah E McNeill married 26 Dec 1844.
Page 4-Alexander Leach and Christian Blue lawfully joined 5 Mar 1812. Whose age is 27, 15 May-!812. Whose age is 19, 20 Dec 1812. Duncan Johnston records his marriage with Margaret McNeill agreeable to law being consumated 30 Aug 1792. Malcolm McNeill and Catherine McDonald were married the 31st of Aug 1792.
Page 5-Alexander J Monroe and Christian M Johnson, daughter of Alexander Johnson were married 21 Jan 1836. John M Gaster and Mary Margaret Morris married 14 Dec 1854 A A McKeithan and Catherine McLeod married 20 Dec 1849.

State Archives, Raleigh, NC
“Moore County Misc. Records, 1823-1828”, CR 068.928.4 “Marriage Licenses, 1823-1828” Needham Bryant and Margaret Black, 2 Jan 1843. Alexander Campbell and Flora McDonald, 25 Feb 1821. James ~ and Florah Black, 12 Dec 1822.
Submitted by Eloise Knight

Reprinted from March 1989 MCGS Newsletter:

Moore County Marriages, 1851-1867, continued from July 1988 ••• 15 Aug 1852 – Daniel Riddle & Catherine Kelly; John McNeill, JP 22 Aug 1852 – Daniel 0 Warner & Mary Jane Willis. John Shaw, JP 28 -Sep 1852 – Benjamin D Black & Mary Elizabeth Ann Savage. John McNeill, JP 23 Sep 1852 – Mathew H Godfrey: & Mary Cimbre?. J R Sloan, JP

20 Oct 1852 – Henry J Thomas & Sarah Ann Elizabeth Agnes Eleaner Wicker. Wm R Berryman, JP 13 Oct 1852 – William 0 Harrington & Eliza Frances Patterson. John R McIntosh, JP 17 Sep 1852 – William Wicker & Margaret Parrish. Abel Kelly, JP 9 Sep[1852]- John McIver & Nancy Blackmon. Thomas Rillins, JP 16 Dec 1852 – Pleasant P Terry(?) & Otelia A Alston. John Shaw, JP 8 May 1852 – Elisha R Harrington & Elizabeth Alston.
19 Aug 1852
19 Dec 1852
R W Goldston, JP – Alexander M!.!.1.. & (wifels name not given). In 1860 census it is “Fannie”. J Bean, JP – Noah Auman & Martha Golahorn(?).
25 Nov 1852 – Andrew K Wicker & 28 Oct 1852 – William Kennedy &
George W Cagle, Esq Sarah A McLennan. T Rollins, JP Susannah Teaque 6 Dec 1852
George Cagle, Esq – William Brown & Priscila Thomas. Absolam Kelly, JP – Pleasant Smith & Mary Fry. J Bean, JP

Andrew K. Wicker and Sarah A. McLennan 25 Nov 1852 T. Rollins, JP; Jackson Crabtree/Emily Fry 2 Jan 1853, Jesse Bean, JP; Lockhart Fry/Margaret E. Fry 15 Jan 1853 Jesse Bean, JP



The Carthaginian, published at Carthage, Submitted by Eloise Wicker Knight
Thurs, 28 Feb 1878 (reprinted from May 1987 MCGS Newsletter):
Deaths; 1) Sophia B Arnett of diptheria, 25 Sep 1877. 7 yrs, 9 days, 8 mos.
2) Mrs Elizabeth Ann McKenzie, 26 Jan 1878. 24 yrs, 10 mos, 4 days. Leaves 2 small children, Nellie 4 and Charlie 2. Buried Union Church.

Originally submitted by James Vann Comer (reprited from January 1989 MCGS Newsletter) Wed.10 August 1881 — Cherry Cox died today with dropsy. Thurs. 11 August 1881 — Cherry Cox was buried at Bethlehem. She was a member of that Church.

Tues. 29 Nov. 1881 — Mrs. Cassie McIntosh was buried at Bensalem today. She died Sunday Night [Nov 27th] with consumption.

Legal Abstracts from MCGS Archived Newsletters

The current Moore County Genealogical Society has been reviewing some of its archived newsletters. The following legal abstracts were originally compiled by charter member, Eloise W. Knight, Pinehurst, NC.

Moore County Court Minutes November 1823 (reprinted from June 1984 newsletter):

Committee appointed to settle with William McAulay, guardian of Elizah Carmichael. Committee appointed to take examination of Nancy Wicker wife of Anderson for deed of land to John Gunter (95 acres). John Thomas appointed guardian to Penelope, Benjamin V. and Isabella Thomas in place of John Gunter. Nancy Shephard vs. William Oliver and Benjamin Tyson, Jr.  Benjamin Person vs. Heirs of Kindred Birckhead Dr . Kinneth B. McIver appointed guardian to infant heirs of Kindred Birckhead, dec’d to defend those six suits. 1) Benj . Person vs. Heirs of Kindred Birckhead. 2) Same vs. same. 3) Fredrick Siler vs. same. 4) John Siler vs. same. 5) Joseph Johnson vs. same 6) Eleazor Birckhead vs. same.  Archibald Gillis, Jr. to Archibald Gillis, Sr. by oath of Archibald Blue. Tobias Fry to Hugh Moore by oath of Benjamin Person. William Dickerson to Duncan McIver, acknowledged. Daniel McNeill as Sheriff to William Weldon by oath of Druray Bobbitt. Samuel Barby to John Hicks by oath of William Campbell. Bill of sale from William T. England to Antony Graham, acknowledged. Daniel McNeill as Sheriff to Jacob Gaster, acknowledged. Jacob Gaster to Hector McNeill, acknowledged. Bill of sale from George and Florah Campbell to William T. England by oath of Duncan Murchison. George A. Muse to John B. Kelly, acknowledged.  Neill McLeod to John B 0 Kelly, acknowledged. Thomas P. Muse to John B. Kelly, acknowledged. Angus McAulay to John McDonald by oath of Murdoch Martin. John Thomas to PriscillaThomas by oath of John Gunter. Jesse Bean to Susanah Bean, acknowledged. Alexander C. Curry to Hugh Moore by oath of Benjamin Parson. Jesse Bean to Daniel Caddell, acknowledged. James S. Muse and Jesse F. Muse to Isaac Smith by oath of Benjamin Parson. Willam Barrett to Tobias Fry, acknowledged. Miller Sexton, Absolom Sexton, Allin Sexton, Lunsfield Sexton, Clarcey Sexton, Gilford Carpenter, Marthy Carpenter, Matthew Oliver and Elizabeth Oliver to William Weldon by oath of Moses Oliver. Clary Sexton to William Weldon by oath of William Campbell.

Moore County Court Minutes August 1823 (reprinted from November 1984 newsletter):
Ordered that an orphan child named Susan Stone now of the age of seven years be bound to John Deaton who shall give said Susan Stone one year school, and when free, a good suit of “cloath”.  Ordered that Elias Burkhead be exempted from paying a poll tax on account of his being a cripple.  Ordered that Malcolm Buie be appointed guardian to Charles Johnson and Alexander Johnson with Alexander Cameron and William Wadsworth, Securities.  Ordered that Samuel Johnson be appointed guardian to Fanny Johnson with Alexander Cameron and Angus McDonald, Securities.
State of NC, Moore Co.: This day came Archibald McBryde into open Court (it being a Court of records) and maketh that he has long been acquainted with John McLennan and with William McLennan, dec’ d late of the U. S. Army and who is said to have died at Sachetts Harbour and that he believes that said William McLennan was never married and that said John McLennan is a brother and one of the heirs at law of this said brother William McLennan, dec’ d. Sworn and Subscribed in open court this the 21st August 1823.
Ordered that James Muse (little) be exempt from paying a poll tax on account of his infirmities. Ordered that Nehemiah Burkhead be appointed guardian to Belany and John Burkhead. Ordered that Malcolm Blue, Esq. be appointed guardian to Jane., Caleb(?), Maryan, Charles, John, Isabel and Alexander Campbell. Ordered that William Campbell be appointed guardian to Mary, Daniel, John, Malcolm, (or Nancy, Alexander, Florah, Duncan, Catharine and Archibald McFarland. Ordered that Kinneth McCaskill be appointed guardian to Nancy, Roderick and Malcolm D. Mathewson.
DEEDS (reprinted from September 1984 newsletter): Thomas Thompson to Archibald Dalrymple, by oath of Duncan McIver. Malcolm Shaw to Archibald McGilvery, acknowledged. Samuel and Sarah Campbell to Charles Gilchrist, by oath of William T. England. William Crawford to David Reed, by oath of Drurary Bobbitt, Sr. Absolum Sexton to David Reed, by oath of Stephen Beryman. Archibald Campbell to William Spoon, oath of Murdoch McAulay. James Autray to Norman Mathewson, by oath of Murdoch McKenzie. Thomas Ritter to John Rouse, by oath of Miles Rouse. Bradly Garner to John Maness, by oath of Bradly Garner, Sr. Henry Craven and John B. Kelly to Alexander C. Curry, by oath of Hugh Moore.


Moore County Court Minutes dated November 1823 (reprinted from May 1986 newsletter):

Administration of estate of John Campbell. dec’d granted to Elizabeth Campbell.
Committee appointed to settle with William McAulay as administrator of Gracy l?) Carmical.
Administrators of the estate of James Hicks, dec’~ to the use of William Crump vs. Owen Dowd. Committee appointed to settle with the surviving administrator of estate of Adam Finch. dec’d last will and testament of James Ramsey. dec’d duly proved in open court.
Administrations on the estate of James Ramsey granted to Atlas Jones, Esq.
Executors of William Martin. dec’d vs. Thomas M. Reed Others.
Committee appointed to settle with Ann Graham and John McLeod. administrators of the estate of Daniel Graham. Dec’d.


Reprinted from the November 1985 newsletter:

Written in 1794 in Moore Co. N.C. with the usual first paragraph about committing his soul to the Lord from whence it came then- “Principally and first of all to my well-beloved wife Hannah Sheffield the plantation whereupon I now do live with the buildings and orchards and improvements thereon with 100 acres of land during her widowhood with all my stock and cattle. I leave and bequeath to my son Mark Sheffield one shilling sterling.
I leave and bequeath to my son John [nothing written here]
I leave and bequeath to my son Adam 100 ac land lying on Rattle Snake branch. I leave and bequeath to my son Isham the land and plantation whereon he now lives containing 100 acres.  I leave and bequeath to my son Averitt Sheffield land and the plantation whereon I do not live to enjoy after his mother’s decease containing 100 acres. I leave and bequeath to my daughter Sarah Dennis one shilling sterling [same one shilling to daughters Lucretia Dun, Rebecca Autry, Hannah Autry, Elizabeth Autry],and to my youngest daughter Lydia and Milly Sheffield I leave and bequeath one shilling sterling each.
My goods and chattels and stock etc. I leave for the support of my beloved Wife Hannah Sheffield during her life-time I then to dispose of the same as she may think proper. I renounce all wills and legacies made by me formerly and acknowledge this to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof.  Signed by John Sheffield (his mark)
E:xecutors: wife Hannah Sheffield and Averi tt  Smith
Could be Isham Sheffield, Windsor Pearce (or Pierce)

Proved by court February 1796


Moore County Court Minutes November 1823 (reprinted from May 1986 newsletter):
Administration of estate of John Campbell. dec’d granted to Elizabeth Campbell.
Committee appointed to settle with William McAulay as administrator of Gracy l?) Carmical.
Administrators of the estate of James Hicks, dec’d to the use of William Crump vs. Owen Dowd. Committee appointed to settle with the surviving administrator of estate of Adam Finch. dec’d last will and testament of James Ramsey. dec’d duly proved in open court.
Administrations on the estate of James Ramsey granted to Atlas Jones, Esq.
Executors of William Martin. dec’d vs. Thomas M. Reed Others.
Committee appointed to settle with Ann Graham and John McLeod. administrators of the estate of Daniel Graham. Dec’d.


Banjo or Mandolin?

Years after someone dies under tragic circumstances, the stories become more and more interesting, sometimes blurring the line between truth and legend. Such is the story of the death of Merrill Cox Fry. Even with newspaper articles, court testimony, and family legend, controversy remains concerning what happened one fateful, hot, July night in 1940.

Since there were numerous Merrill Fry’s in Moore County during this time frame, a little family genealogy will help place the relatives of  this Merrill Cox Fry.  Also known as Locker Fry, Merrill was born 1854, and was living near Thomas’s Crossroads at the time of his death. His father was Lockhart Fry, born 1818, also a prolific name, who spelled his surname without an “e”. His mother was Margaret Elizabeth Frye, with an ”e”. As was quite common back then, Lockhart and Margaret were second cousins.

In 1878, the Carthaginian Newspaper announced Merrill’s marriage to Lucinda Williams. Following his wife’s death in 1935 from malaria, Merrill began suffering from the effects of old age and increased senility. For the next few years he shared a two-room house with his son, Epps, his wife, and their three children.

On July 14, 1940, at 2:45 a.m. Merrill Cox Fry was pronounced dead at Pinehurst Hospital at the age of 87 from a “cerebral concussion, fracture of face, and shock due to fist fight”. Front page headline from The Pilot Newspaper July 19, 1940, declared: EPPS FRY HELD IN BRUTAL DEATH OF FATHER.

Epps Fry news

Merrill’s son, Epps, was arrested and ordered held without bond in the death of his 87-year-old father who had been brutally beaten in the face. According to trial evidence, the two men had not been on friendly terms for several years, and while Epps Fry and his family occupied one end of the building and the father the other, they had little to do with each other. Saturday night, according to the testimony, the elder Fry awakened about 8:30 and went to the door of his son’s room to inquire why so much noise was being made and the trouble started from that.

Epps Fry was charged with first-degree murder, but entered a plea of not guilty. At his trial he testified that his father slashed him first, he pushed his father, and that the aged man fell against a trunk. The sheriff said it was the bloodiest place he had ever seen. The trial attracted a lot of interest in and around Moore County in 1940, but it took barely an hour for the jury to convict Fry of second-degree murder of his father. “Thirty years in prison at hard labor, this being the maximum sentence for the offense,” Judge Felix E. Alley declared, going on to say it was “one of the most brutal I ever heard of”.

Well, there you have it – or do you? After discussing this story with a couple of Merrill’s grandchildren (my aunt and uncle), they first had to tell me how musically talented all the Frys were, how they could pick any stringed instrument they picked up, and what quality instruments they played. After laying all this groundwork, they finally got to the family legends of that night’s events. One version was that a neighbor boy calling at the home had been asked by Epps to play his harp which agitated the elder Fry. Both seemed to agree that Epps was making music late that night and his (senile) Daddy kept hollering for him to stop. When he wouldn’t stop, the two men got into it and Epps hit his Daddy in the head with a banjo. I thought I finally had the real story!  They both agreed that Epps likely did hit his daddy with a musical instrument. But when my aunt, with a down-east brogue, said it was a banjo, and my uncle snapped back in his Boston accent that it was a mandolin, I thought there was going to be another headline in The Pilot – BROTHER AND SISTER FIGHT ERUPTS OVER BANJO AND MANDOLIN.  When the accents finally stopped flying, the musical instrument mystery had still not been settled, but I did have a few more details to add to add to the legend.

The Pilot newspaper wrote of the elder Fry: “he had the reputation of being a peaceable citizen and a favorite with members of the family connection” – and that’s the legend we all need to leave.

Submitted by Ann Bruce

Fighting Fires With Horses

Submitted by Ann Bruce.

Using airplanes to fight the California fires has brought back memories of a time when my great uncle, Martin Wicker, was a “teamster” and used a horse-drawn wagon to fight fires for the town of Pinehurst. Born in Moore County on October 27, 1879 to John A. Wicker and Margaret McKenzie Wicker, he married Anna Maude Kelly in 1908.  In the 1910 census he was an engineer at the Power House in Pinehurst, which will soon become a brewery. By 1920 he was the Pinehurst fire chief.

Wicker Piinehurst Fire ChiefThis old picture of Martin was recently featured in The Pilot newspaper with the caption:



In the spring of 1899, an electric fire alarm system with 15 boxes was completed in Pinehurst.  The Power House was equipped with a pressure hydrant system, hose wagon, and huge pump.  Shown in the photo is Chief Wicker with a fire extinguisher and a hose cart, both horse-drawn.  The equipment was kept in the basement of the department store.

Martin Wicker died in 1963 and is buried at Culdee Presbyterian Church at West End.