Said my grandmother:
And Johnnie [Aldridge], he called me, and I was working to the hospital. And he called me and told me, at least he called the hospital and wanted to speak to me: “Well, if you want to see your daddy – you said you ain’t never seen him before – come down here. He’s down here now. So, don’t let him know I told you.” [Laughs.] So, I went down – I said, well, I’m gon go down there and see Silas Cox ‘bout selling the lots where Grandma Mag’s house was on. So, I got off. So, I got Mr. Fisher to take me down there. I said, “Mm, I wanna see that man.”
My grandmother inherited two lots in Dudley from Sarah Henderson Jacobs Silver, her great-aunt and foster mother. (Because she had been informally adopted by Sarah and her husband Jesse Jacobs, my grandmother used the surname Jacobs until adulthood, when she reverted to Henderson.)
Mama had the lot where the house was, where Grandma Mag lived. Had that house built for her. The house they was staying in was up by the railroad, was just about to fall down. Somewhere down up there by where the Congregational Church is. And she built that house down there next to Babe Winn. I don’t think it was but one room. The porch, one room, and a little shed kitchen, a little, small, like a closet almost, and had the stove in it. Then had a stove in the room where she was, one of them round-bellied stoves where you take the top off and put wood in it. I remember that. And Sis Winn, her name was Annie, and she had a daughter, and she named her Annie after her. So they called the mother Sis, and they called the daughter Annie. And they were living in the house right next to her, Grandma Mag’s house. As I can remember. And after Grandma Mag died, the old preacher stayed in there and burnt it up.
I posted a query to my cousins:
Can someone tell me if the Dudley VFD was at its present location in the 1960s? I’m trying to figure out where two lots were on a 1967 plat. The plat mentions NC Secondary Road 1120 (which seems to run east-west), Simmons Street (abandoned) and Walnut Street (abandoned). James Newkirk and William Newkirk owned land on either side of where the fire station was on 1120. Thank you!
Dudley Volunteer Fire Department is now on Highway 117 Alternate, south of its intersection with O’Berry Road. A Google search revealed that O’Berry was formerly known as Secondary Road 1120, so I now know that the fire department has moved around the corner. My father recalled that his mother’s lots were just west of the intersection, behind Silas Cox’s feed silos.
Other than Road 1120/O’Berry Road at (4), there’s not much of anything that matches the plat. However, with the clue about the (1) feed or fertilizer silos, I’ve identified (2) as the approximate location of Grandma Mag’s house and the lots. (3) is Highway 117 Alternate.
My grandmother finally sold her lots in the late 1960s, ending more than 90 years of land ownership in Dudley by my line of Hendersons.
Interviews of Hattie Henderson Ricks by Lisa Y. Henderson; all rights reserved.