Early Beaufort Public Schools

The 1913 Sanborn Map showed a "Public School" on the west side of Turner 
 Street, across from the new Courthouse. This school can be seen on the postcard below.

BEAUFORT GRADED SCHOOL was built in 1916 on the west side of Courthouse Square.
Courthouse and Graded School
  Graded School on Courthouse Square
  1925 Graded School - High School Freshman Class
 In this 1925 photograph of the basketball team, houses/buildings 
on Cedar Street can be seen in the background.

By 1926/27, the school needed more classrooms. The graded school building 
was purchased by the county and became the Courthouse Annex.
 Courthouse and Annex

The large late-nineteenth century schoolhouse at the Washburn Seminary 
 on Cedar Street was replaced in 1926 with the beloved Queen Street School which served as the principal public school for blacks until integration during the 1960s.

In 1927 a  new  BEAUFORT GRADED SCHOOL, first grade through high school, 
was built on the north side of Mulberry Street, at corner of Live Oak.

After 18 years -  in 1945, the 1927 Mulberry Street Graded School burned. 

The Gothic Revival entrance with arched door surround, Gothic paneled pilasters, and low-relief quatrefoils were saved and reused in building the c.1945 Town Hall at 215 Pollock Street.


In 1946, a new BEAUFORT GRADED SCHOOL was built at the Mulberry Street location.
It later became Beaufort High School, then Beaufort Elementary School.

Contemporary photograph of Beaufort Elementary School

Beaufort Elementary School
From 2004 Survey and Research Report 

by the Beaufort Historical Preservation Commission

The school was originally constructed in 1927 
as the Beaufort Graded School. The building burned in 1945, 
but was rebuilt in 1946 on the same site.

On August 7, 1926 plans for the Beaufort Graded School for white children were adopted by the Board of Trustees. The school was designed by Architect J.M. Kennedy and cost $129,000. The building included 20 classrooms and an auditorium that seated 1,400 people. The structure was 2 stories high with a wing extending to the rear of the building. The new school opened its doors on September 15, 1927 with a celebration that included over 1,000 people demonstrating the overwhelming and ongoing community support for the facility.

In December of 1935 the Beaufort High School Gym was added to the school complex. As noted above, the project was completed under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) program, at a cost of $18,000.

On Sunday, February 4, 1945 the Beaufort Graded School burned from an un-determined cause that even today is thought to be suspicious in nature. The only remaining element of the school is the decorative fa├žade, which was saved and now forms the entrance of Beaufort’s Town Hall on Pollock Street.

According to the February 15, 1945 edition of The Beaufort News, Chairman Raymond Ball and members of the Board of School Trustees of Beaufort Township “asked T.G. Leary, principal to make a rough sketch of a suitable building and work with architect B.H. Stevens and County School Superintendent, J.G. Allen. Mr. Leary’s plans envisioned a two-story building similar in design to the one which burned yet large enough to meet current school needs.”

The plans included a forty-room building with rest rooms, principal’s office, teacher’s rest rooms, and storage space. To save expenses, the building was to be void of monumental and ornate decoration. The cost of the new building was $250,000.

According to the May 31, 1945 issue of The Beaufort News, “The Beaufort Township graded school building soon to be erected on the site of the brick and wood building destroyed by fire last February will be noteworthy for its fire proof rated construction and its superb architectural proportions. Its scholastic efficiency achieved at remarkably low cost and its innovations in line with modern methods of education, which will include a manual training shop, a cafeteria, visual education, commercial and agricultural departments.

Overall size of the new building will be only slightly larger than that of the old but architectural genius has utilized available space, with an efficiency which will produce a building functionality larger than that of the old by nearly twenty-five per cent.

The building will be devoid of monumental and ornate gee-gaws, the County Board of Education in agreement with the architect, B. H. Stephens, that fancy work which would run cost of the building up without adding to its scholastic value can well be dispensed with in a building combining both in excellent proportion and color.

The building will be of brick similar in color and texture to the brick of the old and trimmed in stone of whiter finish than that in the old. Translucent glass brick, steel concrete with use of wood held to a minimum partly because of its fire hazard qualities, its high cost and War Production Board disapproval, will be other structural elements.

The school will have a front 42 feet longer than the old building. The wings will be slightly shorter, partly compensating for the increased length. This, with an improved arrangement of rooms and stairways, will provide additional capacity without greatly increasing the actual ground area.

The auditorium and stage will extend about 35 feet deeper. The auditorium is an independent building but so connected with the building that a person will be unable torealize the separation due to a spacious lobby. On the first floor a passage from the second floor of the school building to the balcony of the auditorium which is placed straight across the rear of the auditorium and so arranged that a full view of the stage is afforded from each of the building’s 240 seats. Pitched to ensure clear stage vision, the ground floor will contain 754 seats. The stage will be 18 feet deep. The ceiling will be 22 feet from the floor at the stage wall.

These features were made possible by the architect whose plans call for placing the new building eight feet east of the site of the old. This location was selected also to provide a better foundation and to present the building with a more prominent approach. The end of the building will be visible the length of Live Oak Street.”

The article further reveals that “the building was to be the epitome of building economy even to include use of as much salvage material from the old building as possible without affecting the permanence and appearance of the new building.”

The school is probably best known for its remarkable accomplishments in basketball. Its “Seadogs” achieved a 91-game winning streak and maintained a win-loss record of 368-75 in the 1950s and 1960s. According to experts, this winning record will most likely stand permanently in North Carolina sports history. The Seadogs were the “winningest” boys’ basketball team in the History of North Carolina. The team was the only Class 1-A school in North Carolina to garner three consecutive state championships.

The record included a State Class A Consolation Championship in 1953-1954, a State Class A Championship in 1954-1955, and State Class A Championships in 1958-1959, 1959-1960, and 1960-1961 game seasons, resulting in perfect 27-0, 24-0, 25-0 records, respectively. The Seadogs also won State Class AA 3rd Place in 1963-1965, and State Class AA District Runners-Up in 1964-1965.

The coach of these outstanding teams was Thomas McQuaid, who has recently been recommended for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame by numerous former students and players. Perhaps the most prominent supporter of Coach McQuaid’s nomination is none other than the renowned University of North Carolina Basketball Coach, Dean Smith. Coach McQuaid’s selection for the Hall of Fame is pending.

When approached about the secret of his accomplishment with the Seadogs, Coach McQuaid attributed the team’s success to their years in grammar school (Beaufort Elementary School) and its basketball program for 9-12-year olds, which also had three undefeated seasons. The coach explained that community and parental involvement, support, and interest were also integral to the players’ drive to succeed.

Apart from its achievements in athletics, the school can also point to unique academic accomplishments. For example, the Class of 1956 was remarkable because more than a third of its members maintained a 90% average for all four years of high school.

The school was also very progressive in the classroom implementing methods not unlike those in the famous Montessori Schools popular between 1907 and the 1930’s that promoted freedom and spontaneity. In this regard Beaufort Graded School had the only known canine to attend the fourth grade and be officially promoted to the fifth. (Attachment E.) “Brownie” Chappell attended the fourth grade class of Miss Lessie Arrington with his student owner during the 1937-38 school year. At the end of the year Brownie was promoted with the other students to the fifth grade. Although Brownie attended the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades with his master for a few days at the beginning of each year, he always returned to “Miss Lessie’s” fourth grade class for the remainder of the year and did so until his death.12[12] Both “Miss Lessie” and Brownie are legendary figures in the history of Beaufort Graded School.

Probably Beaufort’s most famous citizen, Michael J. Smith, attended Beaufort Graded School. Cdr. Smith was a Navy pilot and astronaut, who tragically lost his life in the Challenger explosion on January 28, 1986. A football player, named the “Best Blocker” on the 1962-63 team, Mike was known to stop in the middle of practice when an airplane flew over the field. His coach remembers that Mike would watch it until it was out of sight. This was likely the place that helped to inspire his love of aviation that eventually led him to become a Naval aviator, test pilot, and astronaut.

The school produced several outstanding athletes in addition to its remarkable basketball players. One of the most noteworthy is George Brooks, Jr., Class of 1934, who became a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.

Yet another distinguished athlete was quarterback Butch Hassell, named to the honorable mention list of the 13th annual All-America high school football team—the highest honor ever afforded a county prep football player. He later became an All Atlantic Coast Conference player at Wake Forest University.

For all of the reasons outlined above, the Beaufort Graded School was, and is today, a source of great pride for the community and treasured by those who attended it, taught in it, supported it, and administered its educational programs. The community is dedicated to the preservation of the school and its designation as a local landmark.


Earliest known photograph - View toward Piver's Island   
Courtesy Jack Dudley's Beaufort - An Album of Memories
Compiled since 2006, this site contains over 200 posts - histories of Beaufort families, places and events, as well as old maps and photographs - posted over the years in no particular order. 

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Shepard House circa 1770

Contemporary photo - 209 Front Street
Currently plaqued "Sloo House circa 1768" - Should be "Shepard House circa 1770."
The original house was much smaller.
1997 Survey: House has lost all of its exterior 18th-century characteristics.
     In September 1768, two deeds were registered for Old Town Lot 28, one from Beaufort Commissioners to Nathaniel Sloo, the other deed from Sloo to Solomon Shepard's bride-to-be Jane Miles. As noted in the 1777 sale to William Fisher, Jane and Solomon Shepard had improved the lot with a house. (Lt. Col. Solomon Shepard was listed as one of the Field Officers of the Minute Men during the Revolution.)
     Before 1773, Solomon Shepard's brother Jacob Shepard and wife Sarah Lewis* moved into the house, perhaps with his brother Solomon's family.

     Solomon Shepard (1728‒1780) was the son of David Shepard and Sarah Jarratt. David Shepard (c.1700‒1774) first purchased land in Carteret County in 1723; he lived on Bogue Sound and the mouth of Goose Creek (later Shepard's Point).
     Capt. Charles Manly Biddle (1745–1821) wrote of the year 1778 and the house of Jacob Shepard and wife Sarah Lewis, "Here it was I first became acquainted with Miss Hannah Shepard, who I afterwards married. Mr. Jacob Shepard
[1733–1773], the father of Miss Shepard, had been a respectable merchant of Newbern, and removed here on account of his health. Taking a voyage to Philadelphia, he was seized soon after with the smallpox and died in a few days [June 16, 1773]. His widow, finding this a very healthy place, concluded to reside here."
     Charles Biddle and Hannah Shepard (1758–1825) married November 25, 1778. During their 1½ years in Beaufort during the Revolution, Biddle became a leader and helped build a town fort. The couple lived in "a small house belonging to an uncle of Mrs. Biddle, being the first house as you entered from the eastward." 

     209 Front Street was home for decades to the Sanders family. 
Cotton-broker David Sanders had a cotton gin on Front Street.
Click to enlarge

Miss Lottie Sanders on front
 porch - Click to enlarge
Beaufort News 3 Dec 1942
     Born in Onslow County in 1844 to Eli Walter Sanders and Belinda Ajax Eason, in 1865 David Simmons Sanders married Emily Frances Sabiston, daughter of William Sabiston and Susan Jane Furlow (113 Moore). David's paternal grandmother, Mary Ann Burns, wife of John Sanders, was the sister of privateer Otway Burns. David and Emily's daughter Charlotte Vance Sanders (1879–1951) was the last Sanders in the home. "Miss Lottie" was superintendent of Ann Street Methodist children's church school in 1941; in 1950, the Lottie Sanders Building named in honor of her years of service.

     The home was later owned by Evelyn Marie Chadwick (1911–1986), widow of Harvey Ward Smith (1908–1976), who was well known in the menhaden fishing industry. Evelyn Marie Chadwick was born in Beaufort to Richard Whitehurst Chadwick and Maude Hunter Quick. In the 1980s, Mrs. Smith donated land on Front Street for a new maritime museum; opened in 1985, the museum displays many artifacts collected by Mr. Smith. In 1982, Mrs. Smith donated the old Paul Motor Company across from the museum; this was converted for boat building and later named the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center. Harvey Ward Smith has an inscription "Grand Master of Masons of North Carolina 1960" on his gravestone in St. Paul's Episcopal Church Cemetery.

In Carteret County during the American Revolution 1765-1785
Jean Bruyere Kell wrote of Solomon Shepard:

    The first record of activity growing out of these new concerns of the people of the County details the election of delegates to the First Provincial Congress, held in New Bern on August 25, 1774. William Thompson and Solomon Shepard, of Carteret County, took part in passing the resolutions of the Congress. When they returned to Carteret they brought word of the congressional resolves that after January 1st, 1775, no British or East India goods, except medicines, would be imported into the Colony, that the people would not purchase such articles, and that unless American grievances were redressed before the first of October, 1775, the people of North Carolina would cease exportation of tobacco, tar, pitch, turpentine and similar goods.
    ...The Second Provincial Congress, held in New Bern on April 3rd, was also attended by William Thompson and Solomon Shepard.
    ...When the Third Provincial Congress was called at Hillsborough August 20, 1775, there were five men representing Carteret County: John Easton, William Thompson, Brice Williams, Solomon Shepard and Enoch Ward.
    ...The Assembly appointed field officers for the companies of 50 men to be called minute men. The officers appointed for the company to be raised in Carteret County were William Thompson, Col.; Solomon Shepard, Lt. Col.; Thomas Chadwick, First Major; and Malachi Bell, Second Major.
    ...Carteret County was represented by William Thompson, Solomon Shepard and John Blackhouse when the Fourth Provincial Congress met at Halifax on April 23, 1776.
    ...During the Congress, a letter from the Committee of Beaufort in Carteret County was referred to a committee whose members were John Campbell, William Thompson, James Coor, Matthew Locke, Thomas Person, John Spicer and Solomon Shepard.
    ...The Fifth Provincial Congress met in Halifax on November 12, 1776. Those sent from Carteret County were Solomon Shepard, Brice Williams, John Easton, William Borden, and Thomas Chadwick. During the session, which was not adjourned until December 23rd, the Declaration of Rights (Bill of Rights) was adopted (on December 15th) and on December 17th the North Carolina State Constitution. 

*The Old Burying Ground tour guide brochure inaccurately reads: Sarah Gibbs (d.1792) & Jacob Shepard (d.1773) – Sarah was married to Jacob Shepard, a seaman. Jacob’s ship went to sea, but never returned. He was presumed to be dead. Later, Sarah married Nathaniel Gibbs and had a child with him. After an absence of several years, the shipwrecked Jacob Shepard unexpectedly returned to Beaufort to find his wife married to another man. The two men agreed that Sarah would remain with Gibbs as long as she lived, but must spend eternity at the side of Jacob Shepard.
  THE FACTS on Sarah Lewis, Jacob Shepard and Nathaniel Gibbs:

Click to enlarge images
Before 1753, Sarah Lewis (c.1740‒1792) married Jacob Shepard (1733‒1773). After Jacob Shepard's death from smallpox in 1773, widow Sarah married Nathaniel Gibbs (who first married Mary Whitehurst). After Sarah's death, Gibbs married Alice Easton in 1795. Gibbs died in 1806 and was buried in Washington, Beaufort County. Of Jacob and Sarah’s children, their daughter Hannah met and married Capt. Charles Biddle when he sailed into Beaufort during the Revolution and helped build a small fort.

The "Russell House"

The "Russell House" once stood on the south side of the Josiah Bell House, 
now the front lawn of the "Beaufort Restoration."

"Memories of Beaufort in the Nineties," Thomas Carrow wrote, "'Uncle' George Russell, who had previously run a farm on New Bern Road, came to town some time about 1890, possibly a little earlier, and set up a store and boarding house that later expanded into the 'Russell House.' The genius of that house was 'Miss Helen,' the wife of George Russell. Of all the men and women I have known in the South or the North, I can recall not a single one who was more industrious than 'Aunt' Helen Russell."

    George Allen Russell (1853‒1919)
was born at Russell’s Creek to John Lott Russell and Catherine Oglesby. Interestingly, George's 4th great-grandfather, Richard Rustull (abt1669‒1761), was the 2nd owner of the town of Beaufort, who purchased the town acreage from Robert Turner in 1720 for £150. The name Rustull evolved to Russell with George's grandfather, John Lott Russell (1769‒1860), who married Hannah Jones in 1794.
    About 1881, George Russell married Helen J. Chadwick (1862‒1945), a 3rd great-granddaughter of Samuel Chadwick, who received a whaling license in 1725, the license signed by Richard Rustull.

   Russell House was first noted on the 1898 Sanborn Map of Beaufort. On the 1900 and 1910 Beaufort censuses, George Russell was listed as “hotel proprietor” or "keeper of boarding house".
    In 1901, George and Helen Russell's, Mary Lela Russell (1881‒1941) married Charles Walter Thomas Sr., son of Thomas Murray Thomas and Laura Pelletier. By 1930, Charles and Lela owned what is known today as the Josiah Bell House, purchased in 1964 by the Beaufort Historical Association as part of the "Beaufort Restoration."

    In the 1940s, the Everett family also operated a boarding house in what was previously know as "The Russell House.”
    During the Beaufort Historical Association’s plans for the "Beaufort Restoration" in 1964, the Russell/Everett House was removed, as was the Avery house, which stood just north of the Josiah Bell House.

Laid out and named October 2, 1713

This is the only known copy of the 1713 town plat.
It was scanned and sent to Mary Warshaw from
the State Historic Preservation Office. Click to enlarge.
The township of Beaufort was laid out and named October 2, 1713. After obtaining permission from the Lords Proprietors, Robert Turner, then owner of the 780-acre land patent, hired deputy surveyor Richard Graves to lay out a 100-acre town, with 106 lots for sale. 

The following documentation of the establishment of the township of Beaufort is included in historian Charles L. Paul’s Colonial Beaufort: The History of a North Carolina Town. Images have been added.   
▪ ▪ ▪
      “The Indians who inhabited the Core Sound area before the white settlers arrived were of the Coree tribe. Little is definitely known about the tribe. It may be assumed that they were once a rather numerous group, but by the time of the arrival of settlers into their area, their number had been reduced by inter-tribal conflicts to the extent that John Lawson, surveyor-general of North Carolina, described them as having only twenty-five fighting men during the first decade of the eighteenth century.

      “Before white settlers entered their area, the Coree had two villages. One of these was located on the north side of the Straits of Core Sound which separates Harker's Island from the mainland, a location not more than seven miles east of the present site of Beaufort nor more than eight miles north of Cape Lookout. The other village was located on the west side of Newport River, but the exact spot cannot be given.

Hondius-Mercator Map - 1609-1610  
Cwareuuock, as noted on 17th century maps, indicated "land of" the Cwar Indians. Cwar evolved to Coree. In 1701, Lawson referred to the tribe as Coranine with two villages, Coranine and Raruta.
      “Farnifold Green obtained the first patent for land in the Core Sound area. The patent was granted December 20, 1707, and although Green did not live in the Core Sound area, other settlers were soon making their homes there. In 1708 John Nelson was granted a patent for 260 acres 'in Core Sound on the north side of North River,' and, from that time on, was closely connected with that immediate area.

    "Francis and John Shackelford moved into the area from Essex County, Virginia, sometime after 1705. Francis became active in the affairs of the Core Sound area by 1708, as did John by 1709. Both of these men received numerous patents before 1713 but settled on the west side of North River about four miles northeast of the present site of Beaufort. Other names connected with the Core Sound settlement prior to 1713 were John Fulford, Robert Turner, James Keith, William Bartram, Peter Worden (also spelled Wordin), Thomas Blanton, Thomas Lepper, Thomas Sparrow, Lewis Johnson, Richard Graves, Christopher Dawson, Enoch Ward, Thomas Cary, and Thomas Kailoe. Some of these, notably Cary and Lepper, lived elsewhere and were only speculating in land. Fulford, Ward, and Turner, though, were definitely Core Sound residents during that period.

“Indications are that the Core Sound settlement had some importance before 1713. A notation on Christoph von Graffenried’s map of 1710 described Core Sound as being populated almost entirely by Englishmen who furnished seafood of all kinds to the settlers. In 1712 Captain Edward Adlard owned a sloop named the ‘Core Sound Merchant,’ which indicated trade in the area before that date. A third indication of the importance of the Core Sound settlement before 1713 is that in 1712 in the midst of the Tuscarora War, the General Assembly ordered a garrison stationed at Core Sound. The purpose of the garrison, so Governor Thomas Pollock declared in 1713, was ‘to guard the people there from some few of the Core Indians that lurk thereabout....’

     “As soon as settlers moved into the Core Sound area, the port potential of the future site of Beaufort was recognized. December 20, 1707, Farnifold Green obtained a patent for the south end of the peninsula that extends between North River and Newport River. One month later, January 21, 1708, Peter Worden, then of Pamlico River, secured a patent for 640 acres on the west side of North River, part of which was included in Green’s patent. By October of that year, Worden recognized Green’s ownership, and on October 30, 1708, he cleared Green’s title by giving him a deed for ‘one certain Messuage or tenement of Land situate lying and being on the South side of North River, near to the Point of Land called Newport Town, with all its rights and privileges....’ In seeking to acquire the land, evidently the two men had its port potential in mind since Topsail Inlet, now known as Beaufort Inlet, penetrated the barrier of the Outer Banks just two miles south. The site was named Newport Town and the name of the river that flows by it on its west side was changed from Core River to Newport River. 

The 1711 Death of John Lawson     
Drawing was possibly created by  Christoph Von Graffenried
      “Possibly the Tuscarora War of 1711-1713 delayed the establishment of a town within Topsail Inlet. Within seven months after the power of the Tuscarora Indians had been broken in March, 1713, a town was laid out on the southwest corner of the tract of land which Farnifold Green had obtained in 1707. In the meantime, Green had sold the land to Robert Turner, a merchant of Craven Precinct. 

      “Sometime prior to the fall of 1713, permission had been obtained from the Lords Proprietors to lay out a town by the name of Beaufort at this site, and on October 2, 1713, Robert Turner had Deputy Surveyor Richard Graves lay out the town. A plat was made of the town by Graves and recorded in the office of the secretary of the colony. Streets were named; allotments were provided for a church, a town-house, and a market place; and lots were offered for sale. On that date, October 2, 1713, Beaufort came into existence. Though minor alterations were made throughout the Colonial period, the main characteristics of the plan of the town never changed.

Henry Somerset    
2nd Duke of Beaufort
      "The name Beaufort came from Henry [Somerset, the 2nd] Duke of Beaufort, one of the Lords Proprietors, who in 1713 was Palatine of Carolina, the chief position among the Proprietors. Turner Street obtained its name from Robert Turner, the father of the town. Moore Street was probably named for Colonel James Moore, who seven months before had brought an end to the Indian war. Pollock Street was named for Thomas Pollock, acting Governor of the colony from 1712 to 1714. Both Queen and Ann Streets were named in honor of the then reigning monarch of England, while Orange Street honored the memory of William III of Orange who had preceded Queen Anne on the English throne. Craven Street was named in honor of William Lord Craven, another of the Lords Proprietors.

     “Though the town of Beaufort was laid out in 1713 with the permission of the Lords Proprietors, it was not officially incorporated by the Colonial government until ten years later. In the meantime, on October 19, 1720, Robert Turner had sold the 780 acres, which included the town lands, to Richard Rustull for 150 pounds sterling and had moved to the Pamlico River area, which might indicate that his investment was not yielding satisfactory returns. 

      “Numerous lots were sold in Beaufort immediately after it was laid out, but few of the purchasers made their homes in the town. As late as 1765 it was described as a town of not more than twelve houses. About 1765, however, settlement became more substantial, and in the next few years efforts were made to give Beaufort more of the atmosphere of a well-ordered town.
     "Permission for, the date of [October 2, 1713], and the men and circumstances connected with the laying out of the town are mentioned in deeds for lots issued for the years before Carteret became a precinct in 1722, before the town was incorporated in 1723."  

In a deed from Robert Turner (owner of town from 1713 to 1720), Turner included in a deed of sale for Lot 4, sold for 20 shillings...“by a platt taken & made by Richd Graves dept. surveyor, which platt being recorded in ye survey offices, do represent ye form & shape off a certain off lands lying & being in Core Sound layed out by ye sd survayer ye 2d day off October 1713 & by ye permission off ye lords proprietors intended for a township by ye name off Beaufort.” 
Carteret Deed Book D, page 91
Charles L. Paul earned his Assoc. of Arts degree at Chowan College, Bachelor of Arts degree at Carson-Newman College, Master of Divinity degree at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a graduate assistantship as well as Masters of Arts Degree at East Carolina University. He was a professor of history at Chowan University for 39 years.

Descendants of Samuel Thomas

1790 Carteret County Census
Samuel Thomas (25 July 1771-11 Jun 1839) and Mary (1773-1861) married about 1792. Samuel was noted in 1790 census in Carteret County, North Carolina, perhaps in Beaufort. Children were born in Beaufort. Mary and Samuel were parents of five known children: 
    • Nancy Thomas (1799-1864) 
    • Marcus Cicero Thomas (1801-1853) married Elizabeth King Duncan in 1825  
    • Robert S. Thomas (1806-1857) married Nancy Fulford, then Hannah Bell 
    • Eliza Thomas (1814-1886) married George Walker
    • Thomas Thomas (1816-1898) married Martha Dudley Murray
    Captain Thomas
    Martha Dudley Murray
    Capt. Thomas Thomas married Martha Dudley Murray on August 3, 1841 (bondsman James W. Hunt, witness David Rumley). In 1858, Thomas purchased 301 Front Street, where he and Martha reared their family - there until his death and last occupied by granddaughter Laura Esther Thomas.

    Martha Dudley Murray was daughter of Thomas Murray (1795-1868) and Nancy Roberson Bell (1799-1884), married in 1815. Thomas Murray was born in Carteret County, the only child of Bartholomew Murray and Martha Dudley. Nancy Roberson Bell was the daughter of Elijah Bell (1765-1809) and Mary Gibbons (1780-1857). The Bell family descended from Andrew Bell (1670-1725), who acquired land in 1708, in what would become Carteret County.

    It is believed that Martha and Thomas had 16 children; only 5 lived—Isabella, Charles, Samuel, Thomas Murray and William Alonzo:
    • Isabella Thomas (29 May 1842-27 Jan 1932) married Benjamin Midgett about 1886.
    • Charles Thomas (21 Nov 1843-10 Apr1871) was a merchant and died at 27.  
    • Samuel T. Thomas (16 Dec 1845-18 Mar 1932) married Elizabeth Bell. (According to P.W. Fisher, Samuel was the last Confederate soldier remaining in Carteret County at the time of his death.) His wife Elizabeth was daughter of Gideon Cummings Bell and Eliza A. Pigott. 
    • Thomas Murray Thomas (30 Jul 1848-3 May 1940) married Laura Pelletier. His family was noted in the house at 301 on the 1940 census. Died at 91. Wife Laura was a great granddaughter of Jerome Pelletier, a French Huguenot naval officer, born in France about 1740, who stayed in Carteret County after the Revolutionary War.
           Children: Charles W., Mary Adeline, Jerry Pelletier, Thomas Murray, Samuel Hughes, Leonidas Elijah, Laura Esther and Phillip Novel Thomas.
           ·    Laura Esther Thomas (28 Feb 1890-3 Nov 1986) never married; she died at 96 in a nursing home in Morehead City. It appears that Laura lived at 301 Front Street from at least 1940, until she went into the nursing home.  In February 1962, Miss Laura Thomas was one of a dozen citizens who attended an early Beaufort Historical Association planning meeting; the BHA officially founded January 25, 1960. Also of note, from about 1930 until his death in 1958, Laura's brother, Charles Walter Thomas Sr. (1878-1958), owned the Josiah Bell House circa 1825, at 138 Turner. 
    •  William Alonzo Thomas (3 May 1850-18 Nov 1915) married Rosetta Howland Manney (1852-1889) in 1874; they had five children: Julia Manney, Martha Dudley, Rosebell, Thomas and Samuel Alonzo. Rosetta was daughter of Dr. James Lente Manney and Julia Ann Fulford. Alonzo’s second marriage was to Nannie Fletcher Davis; they had one son Alonzo Fletcher Thomas (1894-1959) and lived in the Jacob Henry House, which the younger Alonzo left to the John Jones family when he died in 1959. (In 1907, Alonzo and Samuel Alonzo were temporary workers at the Federal Biological Lab on Piver's Island. Alonzo Jr.? worked in the administration office from 1920-52.) When Capt. Thomas died in 1898, his property was divided among his surviving children and grandchildren; this included many property transactions, re-allotting quarter shares or giving lifetime use and/or reverting back to siblings.
    Gray's 1880 Map - Capt. Thomas Thomas House at Front & Orange 
    and Capt. Thomas' waterfront wharf a block east.
         In her book The Story of the Methodists in the Port of Beaufort, Amy Muse wrote of Miss Laura Thomas' treasured sacrament ticket for the third quarter of 1843, issued to her great-grandmother "Miss Mary" Thomas, signed by John T. Brame.
          Laura Esther Thomas (1890-1986) was the daughter of Thomas Murray Thomas (1848-1940) and Laura Pelletier (1853-1944) married February 21, 1877.  

    Thomas Involvement in 1885 School

          In 1885 a Committee of Citizens leased lots 136, 144, and 152 on the northwest side of the Court House Square which had been “reserved for an Academy by an Act of the General Assembly in 1816.” They agreed to pay an annual rental of $6.00 and were to erect upon it a school building for white children, the building to cost not less than $1,000.00. The following were on the Committee: Thomas Thomas, B. L. Jones, W. F. Dill, William Sabiston, J. B. Davis, N. W. Taylor, S. M. Buckman, S. J. Moore, Sarch A. Davis, J. B. Jones, J. C. Davis, W. B. Duncan, B. J. Bell, T. D. Noe, N. L. Carrow, M. R. Geffroy, F. Borden Mace, J. D. Davis, W. S. Chadwick, R. W. Bell, James R. Bell, and R. W. Bell, Sr.
          This school was built facing Market Street, now Turner, and for fifteen years was operated as the Beaufort High School. In 1900, the Methodists leased the land for ten years with the privilege of renewing for fifty years and operated it as a Methodist school. The Methodists never exercised their privilege of renewing their lease for fifty years. Instead in 1907, after operating the school for only seven years, the Church sold a strip of land on Broad Street, back of the A.M.E. Zion Church to the town for $1,250.00 “also that certain school house building now standing on the public Court House Square in the said town of Beaufort and commonly called the Beaufort High School Building.” The trustees signing the deed were T. M. Thomas, C. P. Dey, T. W. Lindsay, H. C. Jones, C. L. Duncan, B. J. Jones, Charles L. Abernathy, and W. L. Arrington. (Muse) 
    This photo was taken about 1912 on Ann Street, just around the corner from the Thomas house. Note the "ribboned" goat hooked up to the interestingly-designed cart. Nancy McKee Smith’s mother, Louise Gordon Thomas, born in Beaufort in 1906, was about 8 years old. Nancy’s mother went to St. Paul’s School until 1918. The small boys are Louise's twin brothers - Thomas Thomas and Edward Gordon Thomas - born in 1910. The Thomas Thomas (1883-1937) family lived in the second block of Front Street, referred to in a letter from Nancy's mother as “…a wide road made of oyster shell between the house and the wharves.” Thomas was the eldest son of William Alonzo Thomas and his first wife, Rosetta Howland Manney

    The Thomas family plot is in the Old Burying Ground on the north side of the Methodist Church. Other family members were buried in Ocean View Cemetery.

    At the beginning of the 20th century, Piver's Island became site of the fisheries laboratory. On May 12, 1900, President Theodore Roosevelt signed an act authorizing the establishment a U.S. Fish Commission Laboratory at Beaufort. Funds were appropriated, but no provision was made for the purchase of land. Through the efforts of Joseph Austin Holmes and Henry Van Peters Wilson, five universities and private donors raised $400, the amount needed to purchase 3-acre Piver's Island. Private donors were Samuel Thomas, Alonzo and Nancy Thomas, Thomas Murray and Laura Thomas, and Benjamin J. and Isabella Thomas Midyette.  

    1902 Article: Washburn Seminary, Beaufort, NC

    By Principal D.B. Rowlee 
    Included in The American Missionary in 1902
    At age 56, during his 7th year in Beaufort, 

    Burdett Dalton Rowlee died in 1903.

    Should one traveling by the coast line desire to see this eastern section of North Carolina, he has only to leave his train on reaching Goldsboro, secure a ticket over the Atlantic and North Carolina Railroad to Morehead City, where a launch is waiting to bring to bring him to Beaufort, one of the oldest towns along the coast. Here he will find a quiet, healthy place, where he can secure relief from tired nerves or business cares. Fish, oysters and clams will be among the articles of food set before him to tempt his appetite. If it be the right season of the year, and he be so inclined, he can venture out with gun or fishing-rod and bring back with him, as a result of his expedition, at least a good appetite.

    He will find a town of about twenty-five hundred inhabitants (about equally divided between the two races) that draws its sustenance mostly from the water. The stores supply the need of the people in the immediate surroundings and also wholesale to the stores along the sound.

    In the days of long ago the town was begun on this peninsula that cuts out into the sea. Some say that it was started by the notorious Captain Kidd. The education interests of the children are now well provided for by the schools which have been established for the races. Here the Freedman's Bureau early started a school that later passed under the care of the American Missionary Association. Since its founding it has seen days of prosperity and adversity. The past few years it has been moving forward, gaining the confidence and receiving the support of the people. While many of them are very poor, they are willing to make sacrifices to keep their children in school.

    Washburn Seminary on Cedar Street (1902 photograph)
    The burning if the school-building several years since led to the erection of the present one. This is two stories and contains seven rooms and a chapel. The cupola supports a staff from which, on pleasant days, flies a 12-foot flag that may be seen for miles around both from land and sea. Besides the school-building is the shop where the boys are taught carpentry, and on an adjoining lot is the Congregational church. The home for the teachers is a very comfortable two-story building, situated in a very pleasant part of the town, about three blocks from the school.

    The literary work of the school is divided into four departments, primary, intermediate, grammar and normal, with courses of study as near like those in Northern schools as circumstances will permit.

    In the sewing department the girls have to begin by learning to hold the needle, wear a thimble and make straight seams. They then pass on from this, step by step, until in the higher grades they cut, baste and fit garments. All work below the normal is done by hand, the sewing-machine not being used until they reach that department. They take great delight in this work and are anxious for the sewing hour to come. Learning to sew has to them, also, a money value. They not only do their own sewing, but are able to secure work from others. On visiting at a home, one of the girls was found cutting and making a dress for a little sister. The mother acknowledged that she could not do it, but rejoiced that the girls were learning that which make them such helps in the home. Other mothers have told how much help has come to them through this department.

    The Shop on Cedar Street (1902 photograph)
    For the boys, the shop is one of the important departments of the school. They are here taught the use of tools, to make drawings and then to work from them. The whole aim is to makes of them self-reliant men and women, able to go out and help themselves and others.

    The graduates of the school are making records for themselves. One has charge of the carpentry department of the school, some are teaching, one is in business with his father, and two are working in Yale College and attending night-school. Some of the older pupils are now in Shaw University, and one who was graduated from Livingston College is now in the public schools.

    The amount of school-money is so limited that in the small towns and in the country districts the length of the school year is only a few months. Notwithstanding Governor Aycock's assurance that there should be no school for white or colored where there was not a four-months' term, there have been schools with only two to three months' session. With so short a time given to school the progress must of necessity be slow, many even forgetting before another term opens what they learned the last. At present there is a movement on foot to consolidate the smaller districts and improve the system generally.

    The passage of a law requiring an educational qualification as an essential to exercising the elective franchise has inspired some with a desire to obtain the necessary education. On the other hand, there are those who, if they give it any thought, receive no inspiration that leads them to try to rise to meet the requirements.

    Numbers of the pupils take advantage of fair days and right tides to go clamming and oystering to earn money to pay tuition, buy a pair of shoes or needed clothing. It goes without saying that this retards their progress. One old grandmother goes down on the shore, gathers oysters from the rocks, opens and sells them to pay her grand-daughter's tuition. The location of the town is such as to make life too easy to develop one's energies. Many who can go down to the water and get their dinner of fish, oysters or clams are not disposed to worry much about where tomorrow's dinner is to be obtained. Again, they are not thrown into the way to brush against the world's moving throng.

    The town is well supplied with churches—perhaps too many—to look after the spiritual needs of the people. All the work of the school is done with the one aim of developing Christian character. We feel that if we fail in this the great object of the school has not been accomplished. The desire is to send out young men and young women with the purpose to do something, who can, under the Spirit, meet temptations, overcome them, and train others to stand against them. The Thursday evening prayer-meetings have been the means of developing the spiritual nature in many of the pupils.