Top | A History Of Cherryville | The Development of the Area | Commercial Development | Cherryville Churches | Cherryville Schools | Industrial Growth | City Government | Cherryville World War I Soldiers | Acknowledgments | Special Thanks
Records which tell something about the early history of the Cherryville area, are not found in one place. Anson Co. courthouse has on record deeds and land grants for the years from 1750 to 1762. Mecklenburg Co, formed from a part of Anson in 1762, has filed in her courthouse deeds and grants of land conveyances during the period from 1762-1768. The deeds and grants for the Cherryville area's land ownership changes from 1768 - 1779, the years Tryon Co. was in existence, are on file at the Lincoln Co. courthouse. Filed also in the Lincoln courthouse are deeds and grants for land conveyances which were recorded for the area from 1779-1846. Deeds for sales of land in the Cherryville Township after 1846 are on file in Gaston County's courthouse.
Indian Creek, which perhaps for more than 1,000 years has contributed her waters to those of the South fork of the Catawba River, flows eastward for several miles approximately two miles from Cherryville's northeast corporate boundary.
During the last half of the eighteenth and early years of the nineteenth centuries, this old creek and the area through which it runs was a part of the Catawba Frontier. The small frontier settlement which began along this eastbound stretch of the creek was the beginning of the small village which was first called White Pine. The name of the small, picturesque hamlet was later changed to Cherryville. During a period of a little more than two hundred years, it has developed into a thriving, beautiful little city. Geographically, Cherryville is located in the largest part of Gaston County's "Panhandle" section. located on a plateau, nine miles west of Lincolnton, the city's business area is almost 1,000 feet above sea level, the highest point on the Seaboard's railway line which runs from Charlotte to Rutherfordton. To the northwest can be seen, on a clear day, the South Mountains, a southern range of the Blue Ridge. Beyond this southern range can be seen the taller peaks of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains. To the south, and within a distance of approximately twenty miles is Crowder's Mountain, named for one of the Catawba Frontier's early settlers.
Slightly southeast of Crowder's Mountain, Kings Mountain rises high above the normal terrain of the area. It was there that, on October 7, 1780, a battle was won by a relatively small force of pioneer frontiersmen who were willing to die if necessary, to defend their right to form their own government, and to live as free men. Only a very few of that small determined force had been trained as soldiers. Very few military uniforms were worn by the men who moved stealthily among the trees around the base of the knoll which Brittain's Colonel Ferguson and his troops had selected as a defense post. The battle, won that day by a group of patriotic pioneers, most of whom were untrained for warfare, has been regarded by many historians as the American victory which reversed the probability of a total victory for England in her war with the American colonists.
The waters of the Catawba River, approximately thirty miles east of Cherryville, flow southward after accepting the stream of her south fork branch. This tributary of the Catawba runs approximately nine miles to the east of Cherryville. A few miles south of Lincolnton the waters of Indian Creek merge with those of the South Fork. To the west of Cherryville is Muddy Fork Creek which empties into Buffalo Creek, a few miles farther west. Approximately seven miles west of Buffalo, and just beyond Shelby, is the Second Broad River. Directly north of Cherryville, and within two hundred yards of the city's corporate line, is Lick Fork Creek. It flows eastward into Indian Creek.
The migration of Scotch-Irish, German, Swiss, Dutch and French immigrants to the Catawba Frontier began around 1750, some coming during the 1740's. At the time this migration began, the area west of the Catawba River was a wilderness. Only a few white men had ventured to come west of the South Fork River. The few who dared to brave the dangers of a pathless forest land were trappers and hunters It was a land, beautiful in its primitive state; and it was a land which filled with awe the white man who found himself a stranger to its solitude. It was a region with fertile soil for farming, wild game for hunting, fish filled streams for fishing and an abundance of timber and wood for erecting a cabin, providing heat, and, for cooking. If the pioneer was awed by the silence of its forests and frightened by its existing dangers, he found comfort in knowing there were available resources for building a home and providing food for his family.
The late Joe R. Nixon vividly described the valleys west of the Catawba and South Fork rivers in his historical paper, The German Settlers in Lincoln County and Western North Carolina. He wrote: "Prior to the year 1750 the valleys of the South Fork and Catawba rivers were a primal wild. These fertile stretches with vitalizing air and invigorating mineral water, were the habitat of red man and wild animal. Here the Indian arrow and tomahawk contended with the sharp tooth and lacerating foot of fierce animal." (Author's note: The paper referred to earlier was-written by the late Mr. Nixon in 1910. It was first published in 1912 by The James Sprunt Historical Publications, Vol. 11, No. 2, published at the University of N. C., Chapel Hill, under the directions of the N. C. Historical Society, Editors, J. G. De Roulhac Hamilton, and Henry McGilbert Wagstaff. The paper won the Colonial Dames prize in 1910 for historical papers. Mr. Nixon's paper was published the second time in 1915 by The Eagle Publishing Company, Cherryville North Carolina.)
Valentine Mauney purchased, Nov. 23, 1762, from Moses Moore, 370 acres of land. The tract of land he bought is described by the deed as, "370 acres situate and being in County of Anson on the north side of Indian Creek, being a south branch of south fork of the Catawba River beginning at a live oak on the creek corner to land of Joseph Cloud, deceased, and running thence with his line...(170 acres-whereof was granted and conveyed by Jeremiah Potts unto Moses Moore by deeds...of record, and 200 acres thereof was granted unto Moses Moore by patent bearing date of April 10, 1761..." (This deed is recorded in Mecklenburg County, Book 1, P. 579). The signature of Moses Moore was witnessed by Thomas Robinson and Francis Beaty.
Thomas Black, on November 23, 1762 (the same date on which Valentine Mauney purchased the 370 acres described above) bought a 280-acre tract of land from Moses Moore. This tract is described by the deed as: "...280 acres...Situate and lying...on south side of Indian Creek and joining Valentine Mauney's land and land of Joseph Cloud, deceased, beginning at a post the lower corner of creek...etc..."This deed was witnessed by Francis Beaty and Hugh Beaty. It is recorded in Mecklenburg County, Book 1, pp. 576-578.
According to Bonnie Mauney Summers (Mrs. F. R.), in her history, Three Mauney Families, (first page of her book's section regarding Valentine Mauney), Valentine Mauney's home was on Indian Creek to the north of present highway between Cherryville and Lincolnton, just west of Crouse and near Antioch Methodist Church. Mrs. Summers completed her book after a lengthy program of research.
The deed Moses Moore signed, conveying the 370-acre tract of land to Valentime Mauney, includes in the description of the parcel the information that 170 acres of it had been acquired by Moore from Jeremiah Potts, who had bought it from John Moore, deceased. A deed, dated November 25, 1760 and on file in Anson County, Book 6, p.146,, shows-that Moses Moore had conveyed to him by Jeremiah Potts 170 acres on the north side of Indian Creek, a south branch of the South Fork of the Catawba River, which he (Potts) had bought from John Moore, deceased, who was killed by the Indians. The deed also describes the 170-acre tract as running with line of land of Joseph Cloud, deceased. There can be no doubt that 170 of Valentine Mauney's 370 acres was the parcel described earlier. Moses Moore had in 1761, received 200 acres of the tract by a grant.
According to descendants of Thomas Black, and to histories of the Cherryville area which have been written previously, the valley through which Indian Creek flows, slightly northeast of Cherryville, was also the site of his Catawba Frontier home. His home was evidently near that of Valentine Mauney. Both homes probably were built of heavy logs.
It is obvious from records on file that Moses Moore preceded Thomas Black and Valentine Mayney to the Indian Creek area; however, the families of Black and Mauney were the two that remained here and contributed so much to the Cherryville area's beginning. Thomas Black left his first home on Indian Creek after living there several years and moved to what is now Cleveland County. He acquired land and built his second home on the Second Broad River It was there he died in March, 1779. Valentine Mauney remained on Indian Creek until his death in 1805. Some of the older residents of Crouse and the Antioch Methodist Church area say they have heard through past years that the land on which the Antioch church was built and that on which the cemetery is located was owned at one time by Valentine Mauney and that he had given the land for the church and cemetery. -He was buried in 1805 in the Antioch cemetery. From its location, a part of the Indian Creek valley where he lived can be seen.
Ephraim, the son of pioneer Thomas Black, remained at his father's Indian Creek homeplace. Ephraim had two sons, Stephen and Thomas, who, according to older members of the Black family', found homesites on the Old Post Road. This old road has become famous to present residents of Cherryville and to others who have lived in this area in past decades. It came into present-day Cherryville from Spartanburg, SC., and here it crossed the Charlotte-Morganton Road. The Post Road passed through town going east. It ran by the Blakely Place, on which the stage coach relay station was located. The road approaching the stagecoach station from Lincolnton, and meeting the Old Post Road, went to the north of Cherryville, intersecting the Charlotte-Morganton Road above the town. The old stagecoach station house still stands about one- quarter mile east of the Shoal Bridge Road. (The information regarding the Blakely Place, the stagecoach station and the roads inter- - - secting there was obtained from Dr. A Melton "Bud" Black. He is a descendant of Thomas Black. Dr. Black was born in the old stage coach station house. It was remodeled a good many years ago and then used for years as a residence.)
The Old Post Road entered the small village of White-Pine approximately one hundred yards west of the present intersection of South Elm Street and the Old Post Road. (An extension going directly eastward to present Mountain Street was made years after 1850). After entering the village, the road crossed the strip of land which, years later, would become Elm Street. The point at which it crossed this strip was approximately where Edwin Rudisill's residence is now located, (405-South Elm Street). It went from that point toward the rear of the present Presbyterian church and from there, it passed just north of the D. P. McLurd property (now the city's community building parking lot). It continued by Michael Carpenter's store to the old depot which was located-near the point where the railroad crosses North Pink Street. The road crossed the railroad there and ran slightly northeast. Some present Cherryville residents can remember seeing traces of the old roadbed near the rear of the E. V. Moss residence, near the rear of the present Presbyterian church and just east of present Oak Street and into the present community building's parking lot space, now covered with asphalt pavement.
The Town's Board of Aldermen met March 5, 1895. Members were: Mayor, J. M. Rhodes; Commissioners: S. S. Mauney, E. M. Berry, and C. P. Stroup. S. S. Mauney was Secretary and Treasurer. "Order of business: 1. It was ordered that the Old Public (Post) Road, running from William Brown's house to M. Carpenter's store be discontinued. 2. Ordered that the Marshal (then, J. B. Houser)) go to work on streets at once and put them in good condition putting in trunks where needed." Thus was closed, in a meeting which probably lasted less than one hour, a segment of the Old Post Road which had been in use for more than a hundred years before March of 1895. The several mile strip of the old road, carrying traffic on toward Muddy Fork Creek and the Washington School section of Cleveland County has never been closed.
Top | A History Of Cherryville | The Development of the Area | Commercial Development | Cherryville Churches | Cherryville Schools | Industrial Growth | City Government | Cherryville World War I Soldiers | Acknowledgments | Special Thanks
The area around Cherryville began to develop after several pioneer families had settled along Indian Creek. The small frontier settlement which had begun along the creek began to spread southward and westward, including the acreage which later became White Pine, then Cherryville; and, in the mid-1800's became the large land-space of the Cherryville Township. Names, which have been familiar in this section of present Gaston County for two hundred years, began to appear in the records of those early days. The Cherryville Township begins at the Lincoln County boundary north of Cherryville and runs to the Ramseur Mill Road at Sunnyside, south of Cherryville. It runs east from the Cleveland County line near Muddy Fork Creek to the Lincoln County line which is less than two miles west of Crouse. The township includes a large part of the Beaver Dam section of Gaston County and goes to Pasour Mountain. It includes the "Panhandle" section of Gaston County as it does the Tryon School, Concord United Methodist Church and the site on which the Smyrna Methodist Church once stood.
John Teeter Beam had come to the area by way of Charleston in 1767, and had contracted with Christy Eaker to work seven years for payment of his passage to America. (According to a history, Sketch of the Life of John Teeter Beam and His Fifteen Children, written by A. R. Beam, and printed in 1898 by C.P. Roberts, Printer of Shelby, N. C.) Beam's work so pleased Eaker that he accepted six years of work for the amount owed to him by Beam. There are now living in the Cherryville Township many descendants of John Teeter Beam. Past generations of the family have made a very significant contribution to this area and to Lincoln and Cleveland counties Names which appear in early records also include: Horse (Huss), Baker, Houser, Whitesides, Homesley, Stroup, Wise, Sullivan, Roberts, Eaker, Carpenter, Brown, Anthony, Havner(Heafner), Reynolds, and Cyzer (Kiser). These names began to appear on deeds for land conveyances in the area. Those recorded during the years from 1779 to 1846 are recorded in Lincoln County. The land was good for farming and was desirable for that purpose. The Homesley family had come to this section of present Gaston .County before 1790. The Marriage Bonds of Tryon and Lincoln Counties, by Curtis Bynum, page 19, shows that Ephraim Black married Doshey Hamsley (Homesley) December 21, 1790. Joshua Roberts signed the marriage bond. He lived several miles slightly northeast of present-day Cherryville. Doshey Homesley was a daughter of Stephen Homesley, who settled in what is now southeast Cherryville. His home was just east of present South Pink Street. It was near, or, on the spot of the Miss Texas Homesley home. Stephen settled there around 1790. Many of his descendants live now in south Cherryville. Amos, a son of Stephen, later built his home near the John Steve Stroup home. Amos became a Justice of the Peace and was often called Squire Homesley. (The information about Stephen Homesley was received from James Homesley and Miss Sallie Stroup.)
The records of Lincoln County show that in 1802, and 1812, Benjamin Homesley sold land to Ephraim Black.
Stephen Black, a son of Ephraim Black, was born August 2, 1800. He married Elizabeth Brown in 1821. Soon after their marriage, Stephen and Elizabeth built their home on the Old Post Road. Their house was located very near the present intersection of East First Street and Depot Street. These two streets did not exist at that time. It was forty years later that railway bed was completed near the rear of their house, and present Depot Street and First Street were not opened until a number of years after the rails were laid to a point several hundred yards west of their home.
Elizabeth Brown Black, wife of Stephen, has been named by early historians of the Cherryville community as the person who was responsible for the name of White Pine being changed to Cherryville. The name change was made in 1865. Mrs. Mollie McNeely, a granddaughter of Stephen and Elizabeth Black, remembered that her grandmother had told her that she and Stephen began , transplanting small cherry trees from the back of their house to corners of the rail fence which ran along the Old Post Road. When the trees began to bloom, others-who-lived along the road began to set cherry trees along the fence. There were many trees growing and blooming in season along the fence when, in 1862, the railroad reached the small town of White Pine. After the road, bordered with the trees was called the Cherry Lane. Mrs. McNeely was eleven years old when her grandmother died.
She recalled Elizabeth telling that she and a civil engineer, who had supervised the construction of the railroad bed and the first depot built here, suggested that the name of White Pine be changed to Cherryville. The new name was given the town in 1865, three years after the railroad reached the town.
The new name adopted in 1865 for the town, had in it the suggestion of the freshness, the beauty and atmosphere of a typical springtime in a quiet and peaceful country side town. It hinted of barefoot boys, invigorating swimming holes and long, shaded, tree-lined dirt roads. The name "Cherryville" with its imagination stimulating sound, has caused the town to become rather well known throughout the South and the Southeast.
Prior to 1852, this farming community of the North Carolina Piedmont Belt began to use the home and store of Benaja Black as a principal community center. Benaja Black was a son of Stephen and Elizabeth Black. He was an industrious man. In addition to cultivating a large farm, he operated a cabinet and coffin shop, a store in which bonded whiskey was sold; and he often used his limited knowledge of medicine to help people who were sick and did not have access to a doctor. He extracted teeth when asked to do so. Mrs. Voneva Black Allran, Mrs. Ruth Black Anthony, Mrs. Vera Black Hoyle, his granddaughters, now living in Cherryville, have the forceps he used to extract teeth.
It was in Benaja Black's home the first post office of White Pine was established in 1854. Mr. Joseph Kendall Waitt, a retired civil engineer and living in Raleigh in 1958, had worked for the Seaboard Railway Company before he retired. This author, while serving as the mayor of Cherryville, had written to Mr. Waitt regarding the early years of the railroad's service to White Pine. When the railroad first reached White Pine in 1862, this was its terminus and remained the "end of the line" until after the end of the Civil War. The railroad at that time was The Wilmington, Charlotte & Rutherford Railroad Company. It later became the Carolina Central Railway Co. and later merged with the Seaboard Railway Co. Mrs. Ruth Black Anthony has a stock certificate which was issued to her grandfather, Benaja Black, in payment to him by the Wilmington, Charlotte & Rutherford Rail Road Co., for work done by Mr.Black's slaves in building the railroad bed into White Pine.
During Mr. Waitt's research, he wrote to the U. S. Post Office Department in Washington. His letter requested information regarding the date the White Pine Post Office was established. The P. O. Department referred his letter to the General Service Administration, National Archives and Records Service, Washington, D. C. The answer to Mr. Waitt's letter was written January 14, 1959. It was signed by Meyer H.Fishbein, for the Chief Archivist, Industrial Records Division. It is given below:
Dear Mr. Waitt:
Your letter of January 2, 1959, forwarded to the National Archives and Records Service by the Post Office Department, requested information about the post office at White Pine, N. C.
Records of the Post Office Department in the National Archives show that a post office was established at White Pine, Gaston County, on September 9, 1854. It was discontinued on March 7, 1859, and re-established on May 22, 1860.
The name of the office was changed to Cherryville on November 2, 1865. Names of postmasters and dates of their appointment were:
Benjamin Black --------- September 9, 1854
Similar information about this office after 1929 may be found among records retained-by the Post Office Department, Bureau of Operation, Postmasters Division, Washington 25, D. C.
Meyer H. Fishbein
Mr. Fishbein's letter did not list appointments after 1929. However, it is known that J. B. Houser was followed by Dorsey Upton. Mr. Upton was followed by John Mosteller. After Mr. Mosteller served, Alfonso Beam served for some time as acting postmaster. Mr. Beam served until March 28, 1952, at-which time Raleigh J. Putnam was appointed. He served until 1972. Ben Holland was appointed in 1972 and is still serving..
The location of the White Pine post office was changed each time the postmaster was changed. It was moved to the store of Jacob M. Rudisill in 1860. When the name of the post office was changed in 1865 to Cherryville, it was moved to the Henry Summit store which was located in the present "up-town" section of Cherryville. It remained there until it was moved in 1868 to ' the store building of John W. Quinn. This store building was on the north side of the rail road, near the present intersection of First Street and Mountain Street. In 1875, it was either moved back to the Henry Summit store building on the south side of the railroad, or into a building on the northwest corner of North Mountain Street and West First Street. Mr. Summit had constructed this building about that time. His son- in-law, Wm. J. McGinnis, ran a store in it in 1880, and later years. It is possible Mr. Summit served as postmaster in that building until Wm. J. McGinnis was appointed postmaster in 1880.
While Marcus M. Huss was postmaster, and while Jonas L. Stroup served in that capacity, the post office was on present Main Street. L. H. J. Houser, who was postmaster from 1893 to 1897, moved the post office to his store building on the northeast corner of E. First Street and North Mountain Street. John J. George had the post office on Main Street while he served. Thomas E. Summer had the office in his store on the south side of East Main Street. It was later moved to the front part of the M. L. Rudisill Building. The post office was, several years later, moved to the Masonic Building on West Main Street. In the late 1950's it moved into a new building at the intersection of North Mulberry Street and East First Street, and is presently in that building.
Henry Summit, who came to Cherryville in 1852, and opened his general store near the intersection of the Old Post Road and the Morganton Road, was living in Lincoln County in 1850. The U.S. Census of 1850 shows that he was a storekeeper in Lincoln County. His store was the first large merchandise establishment of the "uptown" section of the village of White Pine. Coffee, sugar, salt and other staple foods were brought to him along the Old Post Road. After his store was opened, it became a place at which farmers and others living in the area would come to buy the few commodities needed by them. This was particularly a convenient meeting place for a number of years after the White Pine post office was moved into it in 1865. Mr. Summit's store, as did the home and store of Mr. Benaja Black, became one of the landmarks of the northwestern part of Gaston County.
It was at the Summit store that community residents and travelers along the Post Road met, as they had done for years at Mr. Black's store, on Saturdays or weekday nights. There, the occasional traveler learned something of a small southern community and the residents of the community heard the news of the outside world. There was much to discuss in the years during which the events leading to a civil war were taking place. Many men were making decisions which would, within a very few years, bring death to some of them, the loss of sons, brothers or fathers, to others; and would bring to all of them substantial economic loss.
Summit's store must have been an interesting place, perhaps a store which would be considered now, a hundred years later, old-fashioned a "country store" literal sense. Summit was a good business man. He acquired a great amount of land. A great part of the land on which the town of Cherryville developed was owned at one time by him and several members of the Black family. Mr. Summit gave land for the first buildings of the St. John's Lutheran Church and the Methodist (Northern) church. Mr. Joseph Black gave land for the First Baptist Church and for a part of the City Memorial Cemetery; and Mr. Black sold for a low price the land on which the Cherryville High School is now located.
The White Pine post office was so named because a large White Pine tree grew in front of Benaja Black's home. Mrs. Elsie Black Deaton, a granddaughter of Benaja Black, used lumber from the tree, when it was cut down a number of years ago, to build a beautiful table for use in her home. Mrs. Deaton, now a resident of Hickory, still uses the table. She has said it is not for sale at any price. The large White Pine tree remained in front of the home of Benaja Black until a number of years after his death in 1917. He was born in 1827. His son, Benaja, Jr., moved into the home of his father. The house was remodeled several times. Benaja Black, Jr.'s daughter, Mrs. Vera Hoyle, now lives in the house.
The discontinuance of the White Pine post office in March 1859, resulted in the mail for the White Pine area being handled through the post office in Lincolnton. The following letter was written March 25, 1859, to the postmaster at White Pine:
Lincolnton, N.C.Mar. 25, 1859
I have read notice from the P. O. Department that the post office at White Pine had been discontinued and that the P.O. property in your hands was, to be delivered to me (key, etc.) this being the near office to you. Will you bring them down? Do not enclose the key in a letter. When you deliver them I will receipt you.
The White Pine post office re-opened May 22, 1860, with Jacob Rudisill as postmaster. It was five years later the name of the post office was changed to Cherryville.
Top | A History Of Cherryville | The Development of the Area | Commercial Development | Cherryville Churches | Cherryville Schools | Industrial Growth | City Government | Cherryville World War I Soldiers | Acknowledgments | Special Thanks
Henry Summit arrived in White Pine ten years before the railroad reached the village. After he came, several other stores began to open near present Main Street; and a little later, several small stores opened on the north side of the rail Rudisill & Aderholdt opened a store near present Main Street. John C. Dellinger ran a store. North Mountain Street was opened soon after S. S. Mauney began operating his store. The street which later became Main Street was called alternately Main Street and Depot Street. The street was not officially named Main Street until the Town Council, meeting on July 8, 1914, took action to change the name; however, more people were already calling it Main Street than were referring to it as Depot Street. Dr. A. Howell had listed his business address, a number of years earlier, as East Main Street. According to a story in the Eagle a number of years ago which had been written by David P. Dellinger, the first newspaper published in Cherryville was run by Professor Sylvanus Erwin. The name of the paper was not given by Mr. Dellinger. It was published 1883-1885. This paper was followed by The Visitor. Mr. Dellinger did not give the name of the publisher. It was a five column newspaper of foreign print. It lasted for only several months. Following The Visitor was The Cherryville Observer. It was standard size paper and was published weekly. It was established in 1902 with David P. Dellinger as owner and editor.
According to Mr. Dellinger, the printing equipment was located in the second story of the Peter C. Beam building which stood a short distance west of the southwest corner of present First Street and North Mountain Street. Mr. Dellinger said Mrs. Ava Dellinger Rudisill was given the first copy of the first issue of the Observer. The paper was sold later to Dr. H. Frank Glenn and Mr. R. L. Simmons. They moved it to Gastonia. It became the first daily paper to be published there. The Baptist followed The Observer. This paper was published as a religious paper in the interest of the Kings Mountain Baptist Association. Published first by a syndicate at Charlotte, it was purchased later by several men of Shelby and Kings Mountain. It was these men who bought the printing equipment which was later used in printing The Cherryville News, and then after that, in printing The Eagle,
D. F. Putnam was the editor of The Baptist. He was assisted by Reverend R. F. Tredway. Mr. L.F.McBrayer was the paper's business manager. The Baptist was not profitable and was sold to John M. Magness, who began to publish The Cherryville Eagle in 1905. Mr. Magness moved his new paper to the north side of present East Main Street, then Depot Street. After operating at that location for a short time, he moved into the back part of the new M. L. Rudisill building. The west side of the building is now the office of the Heman R. Hall Insurance Co., run now (l976) by Mrs. Heman Hall. Her husband was a grandson of Mr. Rudisill, builder of the building. Entrance to the printing office was a back door which opened into the alley running behind the present Houser Drug Co.
After the death in 1908 of Mr. Magness the paper operated for several weeks with the assistance David P. Dellinger. T.B. Leonhardt, administrator of the estate of Mr. Magness, the paper was sold by court order to the Honorable L. H. J.. Houser. Mr. Houser had served in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1899 to 1901. He had, through many years prior to 1908, served the Cherryville community in many ways. He taught one of Cherryville's early schools. He was a man possessing the qualities of leadership. He was interested in all matters concerning Cherryville and Gaston County. He was an active member of St. John's Lutheran Church and his life was an example of the integrity required of men whose lives are of great influence. He was one of Cherryville's out standing citizens. It is not surprising that under his management, the Eagle became a successful newspaper. Before his death, Mr. Houser installed a large cylinder press, a linotype machine and other modern equipment, and he increased the size of the paper to a standard size for newspapers.
Since the death of Mr. Houser, the Eagle has been operated and managed by his son, Mr. Fred K. Houser, who received his training as a "printer's devil" while working for the Eagle. With the help of his wife, Mrs. Creola Houser, he has charted successfully the paper necessary through several business and is still publishing one of North Carolina's best and most widely distributed weekly newspapers. Through the years, the eagle has retained the interesting characteristics of a home-town paper. The present editor has followed the practice, as his father did, of using the pages of the Eagle to promote the community and the better causes of its people.
During the years from 1852 until 1920, much was happening to push the small town toward the status of a small city. Ten years after the railroad reached Cherryville, a bill to incorporate the town was introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly. This was introduced by a Mr. Gullick. It was referred to the committee on counties and towns and was then introduced in the Lower House as H.B.. 280. It was introduced in the Senate as S.B. 407. The Senate received the bill on January 25, 1872. After the third reading by the Senate on February 2, 1872, it was ratified and was then sent to the Secretary of State, (Chapter 85, page 129, of the Private Laws of North Carolina enacted by the General Assembly during Session of 1871 -72)
From: Journal of the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina at its Session of 1871-72.
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS
page 184 - By Mr. Gullick: A bill to incorporate --the town of Cherryville, in Gaston County. Read and referred to committee on counties, town, etc.
age 269 - H. B. to incorporate the town of Cherryville, in Gaston County, was taken up and passed second and third readings and ordered engrossed.
From: Journal of the Senate of the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina at its Session of 1871 - 1872.
page 296 - The following named bills were introduced, read and passed first time, and were referred or otherwise disposed of as follows:
H.B. 280, a bill to be entitled an corporate the town of Cherryville, county of Gaston. To committee on pages 308 - 309: Senate Chamber, Jan. 25, act to in the corporations:
1872. From the Committee on Corporations: A bill to be entitled an act to incorporate the town of Cherryville, in the county of Gaston, with recommendation that they do pass.
pages 366 - 367: Bills upon second reading were acted on as follows, under a suspension of the rule
S.B. 407, H.B. 280, a bill to be entitled an act to incorporate the town of Cherryville, in the county of Gaston. Read and passed second and third times.
page 392: The following bills and resolutions, reported as correctly enrolled by Committee on Enrolled Bills, were duly ratified and transmitted to the office of the Secretary of State: 1871-82--Chapter 85 Chapter LXXXVAn act to incorporate the town of Cherryville, in the county of Gaston.
Section 1. The General Assembly of North Carolina do induct that the town of Cherryville, in the county of Gaston, is hereby incorporated into a body polite and corporate by the name and style of the Commissioners of the town of Cherryville.
Section 2. That the corporate limits of said town shall be as follows, to-wit: Beginning at a stake one-half mile south of the railroad dept, running thence west one-half mile, thence north one mile, thence east one mile, thence south one mile, thence to the beginning.
Section 3. That the corporate powers of said town shall be vested in five commissioners and one mayor, to be elected by the qualified voters of the town.
Section 4. That the officers herein named shall have all the powers and immunitics and be subject to all the restrictions and liabilities as are commemorated in chapter one hundred on eleven of the revised code, except that county commissioners shall be substituted for the county court named in that chapter.
Section 5. That this act shall be in force from and after its ratification
Ratified the 2nd day of February, A.D. 1872
The early settlers of this area were a people of mixed beliefs about religious doctrines - Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, and Baptists. There were churches near present-day Cherryville very early in the nineteenth century. The cornerstone of Antioch Methodist Church, located three miles east of Cherryville, shows the date of 1805 as that of its organization. The land on which the church was built and its cemetery was begun, was given by Valentine Mauney. The fact that he was the first person buried there (in 1805) seems to corroborate the date of the church's organization. An article, written a number of years ago, by Thomas Royster, and published in The Gastonia Gazette, gives the origin date of the Concord Methodist Church as 1808. Mr. Royster lived a long time after retiring. He lived near the Concord church for a great part of his lifetime. The Long Creek Presbyterian Church, located approximately eight miles south of Cherryville, was organized about 1770. The Beaver Dam Lutheran Church was organized about 1790. This church, no longer standing, was approximately six miles southeast of Cherryville.
There was a Baptist congregation near present day Dallas in the early 1770's. The Smyrna Methodist Episcopal Church was organized about 1860. The congregation's first building was burned later by Ku-Klux-Klansmen. Stated in the exact words of the writer's great-grandmother, Jane Mauney Huffstetler, as she wrote them in her family Bible: "On the night of June 24, 1869 Smyrna M. E. Church was set on fire by a band of disguised Ku Klux, and totally destroyed." Smyrna was organized by Methodists who remained in the Methodist Episcopal Church when the national church was divided prior to the Civil War.The new branch of Methodism, formed in 1848, was the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Smyrna was referred to as a Northern Methodist church. It was located a short distance from the Concord Methodist Church, five miles south of Cherryville.
Families living in the Cherryville community during the early years of its existence had access to the to houses of worship. It seems an accepted fact that the early settlers of present Gaston County were accustomed to loading their families in their wagons on "preaching days" and driving 12 to 15 miles to attend services.
The earliest church congregations organized in Cherryville were those of St. John's Lutheran Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church. Both congregations were formed in 1881. Henry Summit was a charter member of the St. John's Lutheran Church. He gave a tract of land to the congregation on which to construct a building. The church's first building was a frame structure. The congregation's second building was made possible in 1902 by David Mauney, who gave through his will, $1,500 to the church. The second building was of brick. The location of the present building, the church's third, is on West Church Street. The location has not changed since the first building was constructed. The church's organization took place in a granary building owned by Henry Summit. It stood near the intersection of present East Main Street and Oak St. The Reverend M. L. Little, then pastor of the St. Mark's Lutheran Church, was the organizer. The officers were: Elders, Jacob Beam, David Mauney, and F. C. Sipe; Secretary, M. L. Rudisill; Treasurer, Henry Summit; Trustees, David Mauney, F. C. Sipe, and M. L. Rudisill.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was also organized in the Henry Summit granary building. Mr. Summit, although a Lutheran himself, donated a building lot for this congregation. The lot was on the northeast corner of West Church Street and North Mulberry Street. The deed for the land named C. S. Speight, F. W. Bradley, L. C. Huffstetler, W. O. Harrelson, and J. H. Wooley as trustees. F.W. Bradley was later the pastor of the Smyrna Church. The Reverend W. T. Ford organized the congregation. He was a brother of S. M. Ford, who was one of Cherryville's early Marshals. Henry Summit and his wife, Amanda, signed the deed for the church's land in November, 1882. The building was constructed in 1883. The building was used until 1901. By that time, a majority of its members had moved their membership to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was organized in 1883. This congregation's first and second buildings were on North Mountain Street. The third building is on North Pink Street. It was completed in 1973. Fairview Baptist Church was organized in 1884. It is located on South Mountain Street, near the Rudisill Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, which was organized in 1896. The First Baptist Church was organized in 1893. It has had three buildings since that date all located on East First Street. The First Presbyterian Church was formed, also, in 1893. This congregation has three buildings all on West Academy Street. The Christenberry Wesleyan Church, organized in 1907, was first located on North Dixie Street. This congregation's second building is located on the n.w. corner of North Elm and West Second streets. The Free Saints Chapel, originated in 1920, is on Self Street, in West Cherryville. The Second Baptist Church was organized in 1940, and is located on Houser Street.
The Church of the Nazarene, located on S. Jacob Street, was organized in 1950. Missionary Methodist Church is located on West Ballard Street. The date of organization is not known. Other churches, which are now (1976) in Cherryville, and of which organization dates are not known by the author, are: Four Square Gospel Church, Delview Rd.; The Church of God, located on E. Main Street; Faith Baptist Church, on N. Elm St., and Calvary Baptist Church, on E. Academy Street.
Early residents of Cherryville and the Cherryville Township have by their support of their churches and all religious or worthy causes, a fundamental and simple faith. They have differed, perhaps, in creeds but their basic belief in the guidance of their community and individual lives cannot be doubted. This may not be true of all! but it is of majority of her people.
During the days when Cherryville was called White Pine and through the years which have followed, the community has been interested in its schools. Long before a special school district was established for the Cherryville Township, schools were being taught in the area. One of the earliest of these was a short distance northeast of the present Dora Mills. A short time later (before 1875), classes were held in a small log building near the end of present Black Street, in East Cherryville. (Mrs. Mary (Molly) McNeely recalled her mother telling her of these schools. Mrs. McNeely was born in 1871.) A number of family heads paid qualified men or women to tutor their children privately during those early years.
After the township's special school district was formed, S. S. Mauney, then a young man who had just passed his 31st birthday, taught a school in the Henry Summit granary building. He never lost an interest in the community's schools. His family inherited that same interest. D. R. Mauney, Jr., a grandson, was the chairman of the Cherryville Schools Board of Education. He served in this capacity for many years during which the town's schools made great progress.
S. S. Mauney was followed as a teacher by J. M. Roberts, L. H. J. Houser, Mrs. W. A. Farris, James C. Elliott, a Mr. Royster, W. C. Hicks, David P. Dellinger, Miss Mildred McGinnis, and Lee Beam. There were several years during which two or more schools were held simultaneously. Store buildings and church buildings were used as places for classes. There was, in 1883, a very short period of time during which Cherryville did not have a school. This fact was recorded by Cherryville's correspondent for The Gastonia Gazette in the paper's issue of August 24, 1883.
The town's first public school building was constructed on land donated by W. R. Carroll, and M. L. Dellinger. It was a rectangular frame building with two floors and a front bell tower. The building was located in and across what is now West Academy Street (then called College Street for a short time), three blocks west of South Mountain Street. The building had to be enlarged later. It was called the "Academy" and was used until a brick building was constructed in 1915, on E. First Street. Principals, then called superintendents, who were in charge of the school while it was in the wood-framed building, were: John George (1892-1899); W.T.R. Bell (1899-1900); a Mr. Woodward (1900- 1911); J. Y. Ervin (1901-1903); S. P. Wilson (1903-1908); J. W. Strassell (19081911); H. S. Mosely (1911-19131; and Joe R. Nixon served in the old building from 1913 to 1915. After the school was moved to the brick building on East First Street, Mr. Nixon continued as superintendent until the Spring of l918. He later returned to Cherryville as the school's superintendent. During the years from 1918 until Mr. Nixon's return in 1923 J. D. Rankin, and A. C. Warlick were in charge of the school. In 1931, Mr. Nixon accepted the position of Superintendent of the Lincoln County Schools. Hunter Huss served as the superintendent of the Cherryville Schools from 1931 to 1937. He then became Gaston County's Superintendent of Education. He was followed in Cherryville by Galen J. Bennett. Following Mr. Bennett, in the order named, were: Foster W. Starnes, Fenton L. Larson, W. H. Brown, Jasper Lewis. After the Gaston County Schools were consolidated in 1968, the office of superintendent was abolished. Since then, the elementary, junior high school, and senior high school have been under the supervision of principals. The Senior High School principals have been: Sherril Cranford, L. Berge Beam, Charles Williamson, I. Ben Goforth, Ben Carter, and Gary Henry. The Junior High School principals have been: John D. Kilby and Perry Brown. Elementary school principals have been: John Beach, Erskine Carson, and Mrs. Wilma Selley. At present (1976) there are only the East Elementary School and the South Elementary School, the Senior High School, and Junior High School being operated. Mrs. Selley is Principal of the East Elementary School, and I. Ben Goforth, who requested a change from the High school, to an elementary school, is Principal of the South Elementary School.
The Cherryville High School's first graduating class was that of 1911. The names of the first to receive diplomas were: Pantha Harrelson, Elsie Roberts, Caldwell Howell, William W. Black, Lewis Mauney and Rex Eaker.
Some of those who taught in the old academy were: Mrs. John Rudisill, Miss Pearl Harrelson, David P. Dellinger, Mrs. Dora McDowell, W. J. Allran, Sr., Mrs. D. R. Mauney, Sr., Mrs. George S. Falls, Mrs. C. A. Rudisill, Mrs. Nell Summer Dellinger, and Miss Pruden, who later became Mrs. Joe R. Nixon.
During the detailed research done regarding Cherryville's and the Cherryville Township's history, it was learned that a number of schools were in existence in the township in the 1870's and 1880's. It was possible to read from the records on file in the Archives in Raleigh, the names of some of these schools. One of these appears to be Ramseur's School for colored, enrolled pupils, 58; another report shows an enrollment of 44. This report does not show the name of the school. Signatures of the school committee were: M. L. Carpenter, L. M. Kiser, and John Kiser. This was evidently a school for white children. The names of other schools found, and which could be read were: Black School, Hickory Grove School, Froneberger School, Dellinger's Schoolhouse, Rock Hill Schoolhouse, Eaker's Schoolhouse, Calvin Rudisill, Beaver Dam, R. A White's School, Lander Chapel, Hovis School, Hog Hill School, and Pine Hill(?) School.
Former historians, including this writer (not necessarily a scholar of history), have referred to Cherryvillle as a town of above-average notoriety because of the prevalence of liquor stores, excessive public drunkenness and street fighting. The research done for this paper indicates very factually that the Cherryville community could have been an area in which all residents were not Saints, and it could not have made claim to existing as a town without its quota of human imperfections. It had some rough individuals with hair-trigger tempers who would often fight at the "drop of a hat." However, the research seems to repudiate the oft-repeated-and many- times written assertions that the town, or the township, was, a whiskey flowing paradise for drunks or heavy drinkers.
A Gaston County report of liquor licenses issued in 1878 is on file in the State Archives in Raleigh. According to the report, licenses were granted to
Cherryville's first large industry came in 1891. Prior to that time (back for 50 years), the community depended on farming, saw milling, leather tanning, cotton ginning, cabinet and coffin making, blacksmithing, shoe and harness manufacturing, and general merchandising for its business life. In 1891, the Cherryville Manufacturing Co. was organized. The Gaston Manufacturing Company was formed in 1896. The company built its first plant in 1897. Its second mill was built about 1905 the Vivian Manufacturing Co., 1900; The Howell Manufacturing Co., in 1907; The Gaston Knitting Mills, in 1917; The Rhyne Houser manufacturing Company, in 1919; The Josephine Knitting Mills, in 1922; The Carlton Yarn Mills, in 1922, Blackwelder Textiles, in 1942; Prue Textile Mills, in 1946; Bucknit company, in 1947; Sweetree Mills, in 1956; Meade Knitting Company, in 1964; Contract Sewing Compnay, in 1966; Riverside Athletic Goods, Inc., in 1969.
Several of these companies were sold and moved from town; several of them discontinued operations. The Vivian Mfg. Co. became Nu-way Mills and is now (1976) closed. The Gaston Mfg Co. was later sold to the Dover Mills of Shelby. It has operated here since then as The Dora Yarn Mills. The Melville Mfg. Co. later became The Wildan Mfg. Co.. and still later was sold to Burlington Industries, as was the Rhyne House Mfg. Co. The Cherryville Mfg. Co. was closed a number of years ago and is now used for cotton storage by .Mauney Cotton Co.
Before 1900, the Stroup Roller Mill, Cotton Gin and Lumber Mill was operated here for years. It was in the old Roller Mill building that Cherryville's Masonic Lodge was organized. Dixie Lumber Company, Kendrick Feed Company, Model Ginning Company, Cherryville Foundry Works, Cherryville Concrete Company, The Kendrick Brick Co., and Knittronic Knitting Mills, Inc., Blackwelder's Machine Co., and several others.
One of the nation's largest motor freight carriers of today, began operating here in 1933 as Beam Trucking Company. C. G. Beam, the owner, later bought Mauney Transfer Co., D. F. Beam, brother of C. G., joined the company It was incorporated in 1937. It began as a s all company but now has annual gross revenues in excess of $100,000,000. It is Cherryville's largest employing firm. D. F. Beam retired in 1968, but C. G. Beam is still active with the company, serving as Chairman of its Board and its chief Executive Officer.
<Top | A History Of Cherryville | The Development of the Area | Commercial Development | Cherryville Churches | Cherryville Schools | Industrial Growth | City Government | Cherryville World War I Soldiers | Acknowledgments | Special Thanks
Until 1965, the city operated under an aldermanic type of government, with a mayor and four aldermen. The city's charter was amended in that year and since then he operated with a city manager. Presently the city officials are; Mayor, Wm. O. Upchurch, Jr.; Aldermen: J. Ralph Beam, Sr., Robert H. Ballard, William M. Edwards, and John E. McGinnis; City Manager, John H. Swindall; City Clerk, Stella J. Ballard (Mrs. Howard); City Attorney, Wm. J. Allran, Jr.; Chief of Police, Wm. H. Hovis as mayor were:
The city presently (1976) has an active Chamber of Commerce. It was organized in 1955. The city is served by two good banks -- Cherryville National Bank, and Carolina First and by the Cherryville Savings and Natlonal Bank; Loan Associtaion, and by First Federal Savings and Loan Association.
Cherryville's World War I Soldiers (Names furnished by Cherryville American Legion.)
Some of these men did not come back; some came home after being wounded or gassed, and some came home to live as crippled and handicapped men. Cherryville is proud of each of them and they are honored by all who understand something of the price they paid for the defense of freedom.
This is true of all the young men who fought in World War II, and in the Korean Conflict. These, too, have earned their city's respect and gratitude. Perhaps the spirit displayed by the veterans of these wars is akin to the spirit of the many men who have worked so hard during two centuries to make Cherryville a great little city.