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had a tan yard, and was a leather and harness merchant. Col.

James Denny, as executor of the will, had charge of the sale.

The sale lasted for four days, not consecutively, but in different

weeks. Crowds were present from all the surrounding country ;

but all did not come to buy. It was a great social gathering. We

can now see, in our imagination, the masses of people milling

around, greeting old friends and meeting new ones ; little groups

gathered here and there, talking politics, and on other topics

of the times; other groups were trading horses or swapping

knives; others were gathered about the refreshment stands eat-

ing and drinking.
In the early times the county court was composed of three or

five magistrates selected by all the magistrates of the county.

This county court met four times per year and really trans-

acted all the county business. The Tuesdays of these quarterly

courts were big days at the county court house. Immense crowds

gathered. It was like a holiday in all the county. It was a day

to meet and greet old friends, to transact business, to trade horses

and everything else. A little later the county had two superior

courts per year, with a presiding judge from a distance ; and

214 History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People

the Tuesdays of these courts became the big days. Men would

bring their whole families in wagons to hear the judge deliver

the charge to the jury ; and after that the crowds would spend

the remainder of the day milling around, talking the news, gos-

siping and trading.
Shortly after the Revolutionary War the State Assembly

passed an act for the organization of the militia in each county,

and this was maintained until the beginning of the War Between

the States. At first there were eight companies in the Guilford

regiment. The companies would meet twice per year in their

own localities to drill, and once per year the entire regiment

would meet at the county court house for general muster. These

were great days in the county. The officers were dressed in their

regimental uniforms, with plumes in their hats. The drums and

fifes helped to entertain the large crowds that came to see and

hear. The first general muster held in Greensboro was in

1810. South Ashe Street runs through the old muster grounds.

Before 1810 the muster ground was at Martinsville.
We have seen the minute book which runs from 1804 to 1854,

and it makes interesting reading. The officers present in 1804

were Colonel Asa Brasher, First Major Samuel McLean, Second

Major Robert Burney, and the Captains were William Denny,

James Dunning, Samuel Fulton, Hubert Peeples, Tilmon Clark,

Robert Bell, William Armfield and John Graham. The officers

were constantly changing, and this accounts for so many colo-

nels, majors and captains in the county before the War Between

the States.
Most of the men in Buffalo owned slaves, but there were no

large slave owners in the congregation. In 1800 a slave was

worth from three to four hundred dollars, and this was about

the price of one hundred acres of land. The slaves of this com-

munity were well fed and clothed and cared for, and appeared to

be contented. Many belonged to and attended the church with

their masters, but sat in a different section of the building.
John C. Rankin, Sr., had four sons, and when the eldest was

old enough to be sent off to school, Mr. Rankin said to his slave,

Odds and Ends 215

"Ben, if you will work liard and help me to educate my boys,

when the youngest is through school I will set you free." Ben

was a blacksmith, and was hired out for cash wages, and took

great interest in his work and in the boys. The boys were edu-

cated, two became ministers and two became physicians. Mr.

Eankin gave Ben his freedom, but he still lived with his old

master, and those boys cared for Ben in his old age.
In many cases there were strong attachments between the

slaves and their masters. Even after the War Between the

States when the slaves were set free, many remained with their

old masters. Joe remained with his master, David Wharton,

until his death, thirty years after his emancipation.
In 1820 the first temperance society was organized in Guil-

ford County. It came about in this way : Jesse Rankin and a

slave boy attended a corn shucking in the neighborhood. Nearly

all the men got drunk that night and acted ugly and crazy. The

next day these two boys were discussing the disgraceful scenes

of the night before and the evils of strong drink ; and they agreed

and struck hands that they would forever abstain from strong

drink and would work for the cause of temperance. In later

life Jesse Rankin said this was the first definite stand taken by

anyone in the county. At that time nearly every farmer had a

distillery ; but from this time one farmer after another began

to tear down their still houses. Some went so far as to knock

the heads out of the barrels and empty their whiskey out on the


Those of us who now turn the switch and flood our rooms

with electric light know nothing of the dim lights our ancestors

had to read and study by. Oil lamps were introduced in this

section in 1840. Before that tallow candles were used; and

before that simply strings dipped in grease or pine knots were

used. When the lamps were first introduced many of the people

were afraid they would explode and would not use them. The

writer studied his Latin and Greek by the tallow candle.

216 History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People

Near the year 1800 there was a severe drouth in this country.

The exact year is not on record. Dr. Caldwell announced at

Buffalo that on the next Sabbath he would make a special

prayer for rain, and he asked the people to be thinking about

it and to be prepared to unite heartily in this prayer. Henry G.,

who lived eleven miles from the church, was not a Christian, but

he and several of his neighbors rode horseback to Buffalo that

day, largely out of curiosity. The prayer was made, and at the

close of the service a small cloud was seen forming in the west.

Before Henry G. and his neighbors reached home a heavy rain

came and they were soaking wet. He still claimed he did not

believe in prayer for rain, but said the next time Dr. Caldwell

was going to pray for rain he would not be caught far from his


There were certain unusual things which happened in nature

that should be remembered. They made a profound impression

and the people talked about them for years and dated events

from these happenings.

During the night of November 11th, 1833, the greatest

meteoric shower on record took place. The shooting meteors

appeared to be as numerous as the stars in the heavens. The

earth and the heavens were made bright with their light. You

could even see to read by their light. Vast multitudes thought

the real stars were falling and that the Judgment Day was being

ushered in.
The first Saturday of February, 1835, was the coldest day

ever experienced by that generation. No thermometers were then

in use, and we do not know just how cold it was, but the expe-

riences of that day were handed down from parents to their

children and grandchildren, and it was always referred to as

"the cold Saturday."

The summer of 1845 was the driest ever experienced in this

section. There was no rain from March until August. The

Odds and Ends 217

crops were almost a complete failure. Horses and all other farm

animals died by the hundred of starvation, and the people had

but little food. There were no railroads in that day so food

could be shipped from one section to another.

The winter of 1856-1857 was the coldest ever experienced in

this section. And in January of that winter the biggest snow

storm of which we have any record fell. It was so cold no one

could stay out of the house more than a few minutes at a time

without freezing stiff. The snow drifted more than twenty feet

deep in low places. "The Times," an old Greensboro paper, says

the snow was six feet deep in the streets. The ice on the creeks

and rivers was so thick that people drove their four-horse wagons

across on it without any fear of breaking through. The expe-

riences of that winter were often narrated to the writer by his

This eclipse of the sun took place August 7, 1869, and was

almost total. The writer was then a small boy. The chickens

went to roost, the cattle came trotting from the pastures, the

dogs howled, and all the animals seemed excited. Some of the

people living in the country did not know that the eclipse was

going to take place and they were greatly excited and frightened.

The earthquake at Charleston, S. C, took place about nine

o'clock p.m., August 31, 1886, and this section of the country

was badly shaken and some buildings were damaged. Every one

was more or less frightened. Those who did not know what was

taking place were more frightened than those who knew. Many

amusing stories were told of the queer things some people did,

and some of the things that happened then are still the subject

of interesting conversation.

The moving of the county seat from Martinsville to its new

location in the center of the county in 1808 and the starting of

218 History of Buffalo Preshyteriaii Church and Her People

a new town was an important event in the history of Buffalo.

The town was named Greensboro in honor of General Nathanael

Greene. Until the First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro was

organized in 1824, all the lawyers and merchants, in fact, most

of the inhabitants of the village, while they all were not actually

members, still they held to Buffalo as their church home. The

village was only two miles from the church. Greensboro has

grown to be a city and extended its bounds and the church is

now within the city limits.
The building of the old Richmond-Danville Eailroad in

1863-64 was another important event. The railroad is within

three hundred yards of the church, and for several years the

novelty and noise of the passing trains would greatly disturb

the worship. With the modern engines the noise has been greatly

reduced and the novelty is no more, so the trains now pass with-

out notice.
Another important event was the building of the White Oak

Denim IMills within a half mile of the church in 1902. This

brought several thousand people to our very door, and greatly

increased our opportunities for service. A goodly number of

our members find employment with this company. The Cone

family, who built these mills, while of a different religious faith,

have always shown great interest in Buffalo Church, and their

burying ground adjoins Buffalo Cemetery.



Judge Spencer B. Adams

W. F. Alberty

L. G. Albright

Miss Minnie Albright

Adger G. Alexander

Charles B. Alexander

Mrs. J. W. Alexander

Miss Eosa Alexander

Rev. Harrison Eay Anderson, D.D.,

D. Boss Archer

Mrs. Lena Archer

Mrs. John E. Armfield
E. H. Armfield
E. E. Arrowsmith, Pennsylvania
J. E. Arrowsmith, Ohio
George Carl Aydelott, Illinois
W. A. Aydelotte
Mrs. Nellie Ingram (C. H.) Baker,


Eev. W. M. Baker
George W. Baity
Mrs. Thomas Bangle
Miss Carlotta Barnes
H. A. Barnes
James N. Barnes
Miss Annie M. Bason
Mrs. P. H. Beeson
Mrs. J. M. Bernhardt
Luther J. Blackwood
Miss Mary Blake
Mrs. Sallie Efland Boggs
Willis Booth
Mrs. William Paisley Bouton, Ten-

John T. Brittain

Mrs. J. L. Brockman

Eobert Brown

Mrs. Edwina Hilton Bryant
L. J. Butler
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Byuum
Harry, Jr., and Bobby Bynum
Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Byrd
A. S. Caldwell, Jr.
Mrs. Mittie Donnell (E. E.) Cald-

Eev. W. L. Caldwell, D.D., Ten-

Mrs. Edwin Carothers, South Caro-

H. L. Cartledge

Miss Bobbie Blair Clack, Texas
Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Clapp
Bynum E. Clapp
E. L. Clapp
E. L. Clark
Dean Edward Lamar Cloyd
John H. Coble
W. C. Coble
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Eev. J. H. Coley
Bernard M. Cone
Mrs. Ceasar Cone
A. Wayland Cooke
Mrs. H. P. Copenhaver, Virginia
Bruce Gotten, Maryland
Mrs. Thomas Crabtree
Mrs. J. W. Crews
Eev. William C. Gumming
C. D. Cunningham
J. H. Cunningham
Mrs. C. L. Dallas
Gov. Charles S. Deneen, Illinois
G. W. Denny


220 History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People

Mrs. J. T. Denny

Miss Lottie Denny, New Jersey
W. E. Denny
Department Church History, Penn-


Eev. F. Marion Dick
John L. Dick, Nebraska
Mrs. John McClintock Dick, Texas
Miss Pearl Dick
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Miss Nellie Doak
Miss Nora Dodson
James F. Doggett
L. W. Doggett, District of Colum-

D. L. Donnell

George Emsley Donnell
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Harry S. Donnell
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E. A. Dunn

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Mrs. Charles C. Erwin
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Eev. C. M. Gibbs

Eev. J. S. Gibbs
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Goodspeed's Book Shop, Massa-


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Subscribers Who Made this Publication Possible


J. L. Jones
Mrs. J. Sterling Jones
I. J. Jordan
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Mrs. Herman Kellam
Nosco Kellam
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E. E. King, Jr.
T>. A. Kirkpatriek
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Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Price

222 History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People

Rev. W. E. Pritchett, South Caro-

Miss Swannie Pugh
A. E. Eankin
Claude W. Eankin
E. C. Eankin
Mrs. Emma Eankin
Eev. E. P. Eankin, California
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Dr. W. S. Eankin
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C. P. Robertson
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L. H. Sellers
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Miss Alma Sikes
L. E. Sikes
Rev. William Marion Sikes, D.D.,

Ben A. Simpson

Alexander T. Sloan
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H. B. Smith

Harry E. Smith

Eev. James Power Smith, Jr.

L. R. (Duck) Smith
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R. H. Souther
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Mrs. James Sprunt, Virginia
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Thomas H. Tate
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John Tippett
R. D. Tucker
Union Theological Seminary Li-

brary, Virginia

Charles L. VanNoppen
C. M. Vanstory, Jr.
Mrs. Ralph S. Wall
Mrs. C. L. Walters
Joe W. Walters
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H. G. Waters
Vance Way
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J. A. Webster

Subscribers Who Made this Publication Possible


Mrs. J. S. Welborn
Eev. John M, Wells, D.D,, South

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Miss Catherine Wharton

Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Wharton

C. L. D. Wharton, Arkansas
C. E. Wharton
Don Wharton, New York
D. B. Wharton
John H. Wharton, Texas

Miss Lavinia Eankin Wharton

E. H. Wharton

Eobert L. Wharton

Wallace C. Wharton

W. G. Wharton

William L. Wharton

William L. Wharton, Jr.

J. Harvey White

James Westley White

Eev. W. McC. White, D.D.
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Dr. W. T. Whitsett

T. M. Wilcox

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Dr. Phillip F. Williams, Pennsyl-


Eev. E. Murphy Williams

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James E. A. Wilson

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Subscribers not otherwise indicated are from North Carolina.


Abbott, James C 69
Abbott, Jesse T 69
Alamance Battle 180
Alamance Church
49, 97, 139, 141, 210
Albright, Daniel 56
Albright, Daniel E 99,129,135
Albright, Jacob 56, 97, 164
Albright, Lonnie G 137
Alcorn, John 86
Alexander, Eev. J. C.
Alexander, Mrs. J. C 142
Alexander, J. Will 136
Allison, David 40
Anderson, John, Sr 123
Andersen, Rev. John 32, 151
Anderson, John 189
Anderson, William, Sr 32
Anderson, William, Jr 32, 95
Archer, James .39, 189
Archer, Mrs. Lena M. . 84
Armfield, Rita H 77, 137
Aydelotte, Benjamin 51
Aydelotte, Leven Denny 68
Baker, James 57
Bangle, Mrs. Sarah J 82
Barnes, Miss Carlotta 147
Barnes, Henry A. . .76, 100, 137, 176
Barr, Rev. David 153
Barr, James, Sr 22
Beals, Thomas 22
Bell, Senator John 36
Bell, Robert 36, 190
Bell, Samuel 36, 124, 190
Bethel Church 157, 210
Black, George 23

Blackwood, Luther J 78, 138

Blake, Miss Mary E 83
Blair, John 23
Blair, Thomas 185, 190

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