Earliest known photograph - View toward Piver's Island   
Courtesy Jack Dudley's Beaufort - An Album of Memories

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North Carolina's Five Oldest Towns

In Colonial Carolina, a town was established by legislative action—permission from the Lords Proprietors and approved by the General Assembly for a township to be laid out and named. 

"Incorporations of towns had to be approved by the royal council and that was only done seven times in the colonial era." (Ansley Herring Wegner, NC Office of Archives and History) New Bern and Beaufort were incorporated on the same dayNovember 23, 1723.
1705 BATH
March 2, 1705, David Perkins received a patent from Governor Thomas Cary for 160 acres on Old Town Creek adjoining the land of William Barrow. Six days later, a portion of this grant was incorporated by the General Assembly as the township of Bath. (Herbert R. Paschal Jr. and Colonial Records)

Craven House, London, September 1709—"Sign''d a Warrant for Christoph de Graffenried for 10,000 Acres of land in North Carolina Agreed that Mr Luis Michel have a Warrant for 3500 Acres of land in North Carolina to him and his heirs he paying for the same according to the rate the Swiss Cantons purchased their Land in that part of the Province aforesaid." The settlement was made in 1710 and laid out by surveyor John Lawson.  (Colonial Records)

In November 1712, the Assembly passed "an Act to Promote ye building a Court House & house to hold ye Assembly in, at ye fork of Queen Anne's Creek...in Chowan Precinct…" Among other things, this act empowered Nathaniel Chevin and Thomas Peterson to lay out and sell one-half acre lots to such person "as shall be willing to build at the afsd fork of Queen Anne's Creek." Shortly after the death of Governor Charles Eden in 1722, "ye towne on Queen Anne's creek" was renamed in his honor. (Charles L. Paul)

Prior to the fall of 1713, permission had been obtained from the Lords Proprietors to lay out a town by the name of Beaufort. On October 2, 1713, Robert Turner had Richard Graves, Deputy Surveyor, lay out the town. A plat was made of the town and recorded in the office of the secretary of the colony. Streets were named; allotments were provided for a church, town-house, and market place; lots were offered for sale. (Charles L. Paul and Colonial Records)

In 1733, William Gray surveyed "the intended town." From 1734 to 1736, the town was called "New Liverpool." During 1736, "Newton" began to replace "New Liverpool." On "Monday the 25th of Febry 1739/40–Recd from the upper House the bill for an Act for erecting the Village of Newton in New Hanover County into a Town & Township by the Name of Wilmington." (Alan Watson and Colonial Records)

Roberson-Pool House circa 1883

Roberson-Pool House before restoration
The house at 211 Turner Street was built between 1880 and 1885. Since the western side of the 200 block belonged to the Roberson family, except for the Jacob Gibble House on lot 103 (217 Turner Street), and only one deed of sale has been found (for the southern portion of lot 93), it stands to reason that Joseph Pigott Roberson, the carpenter, built the house, the lot perhaps willed to Joseph and his sister Cinderella Pigott Roberson Pool. Nephew Russell Manson was head of household in 1930. Therefore, the home was owned by descendants of the Roberson family for at least fifty years, the lot for about 80 years. 


Malachi Bell Roberson, son of Joseph Roberson and Sarah Bell, was born January 1, 1802 in North Carolina, and died February 14, 1855. On January 20, 1827 Malachi married Sarah Ann Pigott (c.18001878), daughter of Jechonias Pigott (17741856) and Cinderella Chadwick (17821818). This was Sarah Ann Pigott’s second marriage; her first was to Elijah Bell in 1818.


Jean Bruyere Kell 1909-2004

James Davis House circa 1817
201 Ann Street
During the Great Depression, Jean Bruyere Kell and husband Copeland lived in an old cottage at 207 Orange Street and kept a cow at the Noe's barn yard near the corner of Orange and Broad Streets. At the time, Jean worked for Miss Nannie Geffroy at St. Paul's School and often sat on the front porch of 201 Ann Street, where Miss Nannie often kept her green parrot. The parrot called her "Ms. Kell."

Owens-Bedford House
The first home Jean Kell purchased in Beaufort was the Owens-Bedford House at 113 Live Oak Street. 

In 1965, Jean and Copeland Kell purchased the Belcher Fuller House from Laura Esther Thomas; the purchase price was $100. The Kells owned the house until 1985; they lived in the William Borden House next door while Jean operated an antique shop in the Belcher Fuller House. Jean later lived at 314 Moore Street, where she invited people to stop by and have books "autographed at her home - The Little White House with Blue Shutters."

Jean Marie Bruyere Kell's obituary, in Carteret County News, October 6, 2004, reveals much about her life, accomplishments and contributions to the town she loved.


Jean Bruyere Kell, 95, antiquarian, historical researcher, preservationist, author and mother to not only her own children, but to many others who found their way to her heart, died Monday at Britthaven of Newport. Her funeral will be at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Beaufort, with the Rev. Thomas D. Bowers officiating.

Born in 1909 in Glen Ridge, N.J., Mrs. Kell was the daughter of the late Walter Reeve
Bruyere and the late Edith Owen Bruyere. It was as the young wife of Copeland Kell that she began her long-lived love of Beaufort, St. Paul's Episcopal Church and Carteret County. She was one of the early leaders of the Beaufort Historical Association, serving for many years as the chairman of the Antiques Show, an important part of the annual Old Homes Tour. She was also instrumental in the formation of the Carteret County Historical Society, the Friends of Fort Macon and the Carteret County Antiques Club. She served seven years as director of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce. She was a charter member of DAR, Morehead City.

An avid researcher, Mrs. Kell's books included Historic Beaufort, a Pictoral Profile, and
Love, Goodwill and Affection, which was made into a musical with lyrics and score by Laurence Stith. She was editor of Carteret County During the American Revolution and Carteret County During the Civil War. Well into her 90s, she had begun plans for Carteret County During World Wars I and II. Children's books included The Pocket Dolly (which was nationally published), When the Pirates Came to Beaufort and When the British Came to Beaufort.
Jean Kell's 1980 photo of
the Belcher Fuller House
when it was her antique shop

Fascinated by English history and antiques, Mrs. Kell and her husband made yearly trips to Britain, especially enjoying the city of Dartmouth in Devon and making many friends there. On her returns to Beaufort, she would serve tea in her antique shop and display her latest acquisitions. During recent years, Mrs. Kell focused her energy on creating dolls and pillows, eagerly collected by friends and visitors to the area. On pleasant evenings, she could often be found sitting on her favorite bench along the Beaufort waterfront, greeting those who strolled by. In 2002, she gloried in leading the Beaufort 4th of July Parade as Lady Liberty.

Mrs. Kell received many awards and commendations. She was appointed chairman of the
Carteret County Bicentennial Commission in 1992, was designated town historian for the Town of Beaufort and in 1980 was given an Award of Merit by the North Carolina Preservation Society. In 2001, she received the Willie Parker Peace History Award by the North Carolina Society of Historians. In 2003, Mrs. Kell was recognized as a distinguished citizen and received the Kathryn Cloud Award from the Beaufort Historical Commission. In an open forum, she spoke movingly of her love of Beaufort and of her hopes that the beauty of the town with its many historic structures would continue to be valued and protected.

She is survived by a daughter, Rosalie; a son, Dugald; 18 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. Mrs. Kell was preceded in death by her husband, Copeland, and five children.

Now-rare Books: 
Rare 1946 book
  • The Pocket Dolly Book (1946) 
  • Beaufort, North Carolina in Color 
  • Historic Beaufort, a Pictoral Profile
  • The Old Port Town Beaufort, North Carolina 1980  
  • Love, Goodwill and Affection - A novel based on facts found in deeds and court records of the 1730s. This is a story of Janie and other people that really lived in Beaufort.
  • North Carolina's Coastal Carteret County During the American Revolution 1975 - Edited by Jean Kell, who wrote 6 or the 11 chapters.
  • Carteret County During the Civil War (editor)
  • When the Pirates Came to Beaufort (1982) - The story of the 1747 pirate invasion.
  • When the British Came to Beaufort (1992) - The story of the British landing in 1782.
Who's Who:
  • Who's Who in Writers, Editors & Poets. United States & Canada. Third edition, 1989-1990. Edited by Curt Johnson. Highland Park, IL: December Press, 1989.
  • Who's Who in Writers, Editors & Poets. United States & Canada. Fourth edition, 1992-1993. Edited by Curt Johnson. Highland Park, IL: December Press, 1992.    

Below is text from the book cover of Carteret County during the Civil War, edited by Jean Bruyere Kell, published 1999. This short biography was written by Copeland Kell (1905-1995), a portion of his unpublished biography of wife Jean:

Jean Bruyere Kell, antiquarian and historical researcher, is the author of numerous books and articles. She holds cards for the research rooms, not only in Archives of Raleigh, but also the new Public Records office, Kew Gardens, London. She has worked in the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England.

Her first historical effort was about an old bog iron foundry in Allaire, New Jersey. After the acquisition of her first home in Beaufort, 113 Live Oak Street, and weeks of research, she found the original deed in 1729 to Willie Owen, a tailor, and Thomas Bedford, a carpenter. Hence the Owens-Bedford House, 1730. It was this research of the wills, deeds and court records that provided the basic and story for her very successful musical play, "Love, goodwill and Affection," with lyrics and music by Laurence Stith.

While serving as Chairman of the Carteret County Bicentennial Commission, Mrs. Kell edited and did the layout for "Carteret County During the American Revolution." She also wrote six of the ten chapters. This book has been widely praised and is full of documented information. This includes the day by day reports, found in the governor's letters in the archives, telling of the British landing in Beaufort, NC in April 1782 after the battle of Yorktown. This piece of history has been lost with the passing of time.

Then came "Historic Beaufort," a street by street tour with architectural discussion. This book subsequently appeared in soft cover and is still in demand.

Also, Mrs. Kell wrote four children's books. The first was the "Pocket Dolly Book," which had national distribution and sold 35,000 copies.

Mrs. Kell is a member of both National and State Preservation Societies and has been actively supporting the Beaufort Historical Association for many years. Her efforts won for her the Award of Merit in 1980 by the North Carolina Preservation Society. She is a charter member of the local chapter of the D.A.R. and was director of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce for seven years.

She has been written up in both the "Who's Who of American Women in 1979" and the World Who's Who of Women 1980."

The purpose of her other books on Carteret County and Beaufort has been to preserve the history and capture the unique beauty of the homes as they were at the time of publication. This book was conceived after many years of personal research as well as the research of other Carteret County historians in an attempt to further preserve the history of the place that she loves so well and has for so long. This is what she wants to share with everyone.   -Copeland Kell

Early Beaufort Public Schools

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

BEAUFORT GRADED SCHOOL was built in 1916 on the NE corner 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
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.

Shepard House circa 1770

209 Front Street
Plaqued "Sloo House circa 1768" - it 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.

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.
    ...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."

In "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.

Beaufort Established 1713

This is the only known copy of the 1713 town plat.
It was scanned and sent to Mary Warshaw from
the Office of Archives and History in Raleigh.
Click to enlarge.
In Colonial Carolina, a town was established when permission had been obtained from the Lords Proprietors and approved by the General Assembly. 

Established in 1713, Beaufort is North Carolina's 4th oldest town behind 1705 Bath, 1710 New Bern, and 1712 Edenton.
▪ ▪ ▪
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, and on October 2, 1713, Robert Turner had Deputy Surveyor Richard Graves 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.

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"Permission for, the date of, 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
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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.