1906 Industrial Issue - LaGrange Township  

Contributed by Allen Barwick


Moseley Hall is a fine agricultural township. It contains a greater population and more taxable property than any other in the county, save Kinston Township alone. For Moseley Hall, the tax-books show a return of 363 polls-214 whites and 149 Negroes. The township contains 28,179 acres, and 151 town lots which are in the town of LaGrange.

The township as a whole is composed of good farming land; but in the buckleberry section, it is exceedingly productive. This section is for the most part reclaimed swamp land.

It was opened up about 1825 by John and Hardy Sutton, and most of the land is still in the Sutton family. It constitutes a large part of the township and produces cotton and corn in abundance, tobacco, etc. It is excellent fruit and strawberry land; as good as can be found anywhere. Land sells for twelve, fifteen or twenty dollars an acre.

Before Col. WILLIAM D. MOSELEY went to Florida, he lived in this township near the present town of LaGrange. He went to Florida in 1839.

In October 1844, he was elected senator for the territorial council for the middle district of Florida. On March 3, 1845, Florida was admitted as a State in the Union, and on May 26th of that year, he was elected the first governor of the State by a large majority.

After retirement from the gubernatorial chair, in 1849, he moved to Palatka, Fla., where he lived in retirement until his death, in 1863.

His remains lie buried in West View Cemetery, Palatka, beneath a simple shaft of marble overhung by old moss-draped oaks and covered with rare flowers and tropical shrubs.

The most populous community in Moseley Hall Township is the flourishing town of LaGrange. This town returns for taxation 151 building lots, 82 owned by whites and 69 by Negroes. The town has good tobacco and cotton markets, and two prosperous woodworking enterprises. It has two banking institutions, the newly established bank of LaGrange and the ROUSE Banking Company, which is of long standing. There are also a number of first-class businesses houses. The town is a good market for country produce and its position on the A. & N. C. makes it an excellent shipping point. It is backed up by a fertile country and its bond to grow in the future.

The town maintains an excellent graded school in the building formerly used as the Kinsey Seminary. Soon it is the purpose of the school authorities to erect a $7,500 brick graded school building, and the same has already been provided for. The principal of the school is PROF. J. P. JOYNER, brother of State Sup. J. Y. JOYNER, and the teachers are MISSES LULA WHITFIELD, H. FRANCIS SUTTON, ADA E. TAYLOR, NANCY BEST, and VIRGINIA STANTON. The school is a growing one, and one in which the citizens take pride.

The Pastors of the LaGrange churches are Methodist Episcopal Church, South, REV. H. E. TRIPP; Methodist Protestant, REV. J. F. DOZIER; Missionary Baptist, REV. T. H. KING; Christian, REV. D. H. PEETREE; Presbyterian, REV. F. D. VICHE; Holiness, REV. A. H. BUTLER; Primitive Baptist, ELDER T. B. LANCASTER.

There are three Physicians living in LaGrange, and their practice extends over Lenoir and the adjoining counties. The town is good cotton and tobacco market, and one containing quite a number of pretty homes.


The Hotel Harper, the only hotel of LaGrange, is quite a credit to the place. It is a commodious two-story brick building, located twenty steps from the depot and has telephone connection with Kinston, Goldsboro and more distant points. It is as good a two-dollar-a-day house as one usually finds.

Mr. Harper has conducted the hotel since November 1903, and during this time, it has received a liberal and constantly growing patronage. The food is of the best the market affords, well cooked and in variety, and the rooms are well furnished, large and ventilated. Mrs. Harper, who is a refined lady and excellent house keeper, looks carefully after the culinary and domestic part of the work.

Besides his hotel business, Mr. Harper carries on a general merchandise store in partnership with his brother-in-law, MR. J. W. FIELDS. Mr. Harper is a Steward in Methodist Church, and is actively interested in all the public improvements of his community. He is now, and has been for a number of years agent and correspondent of the Free Press at LaGrange.


One of the most prominent and substantial young business men of the county is GEORGE B. W. HADLEY, of LaGrange. Mr. Hadley's parents were DR. J. M. HADLEY and LIZZIE E., Daughter of WILLIAM KIRKPATRICK, of Orange County. Dr. Hadley was a noted physician of LaGrange, where he was a prominent member and steward of the Methodist Church, being a representative at nearly all the annual and general Conferences up to the time of his death. During the Civil War, he was Surgeon in charge of the hospital in Raleigh and later in Lee's army of Northern Virginia.

GEORGE B. W. HADLEY received his education in Western Maryland College, at Westminster, Maryland, graduating from that institution in 1891. After he left school he taught at the LaGrange Collegiate Institute for one year, one year in Enfield and two years at Lafayette Military Institute, at Fayetteville, as professor of mathematics. He is a member of Lenoir Lodge A. F. and A. M., at LaGrange and is a Master Mason. He is a steward in the LaGrange Methodist Church and has been for several years. He is superintendent of the Methodist Sunday school of his town, and is a leader in all that makes for the progress and betterment of his community.

Mr. Haley possesses a beautiful home and considerable property in LaGrange, and two farms, one in Wayne and the other in Lenoir, with a combined acreage of 1,000 acres. Most of his land is under cultivation, and on it, he produces principally tobacco, corn and some cotton. He is a director in the ROUSE Banking Company, a commissioner of records, and a member of the Board of Aldermen of La Grange.

On October 15, 1902, Mr. Hadley married Miss CLARA B., daughter of ALFRED and JAMES F. FORBES, of Greenville. The children are GEORGE and ROSE ELIZABETH.


Dr. Hodges was born in Falling Creek Township, near LaGrange, on February 14th, 1862. His parents are English descent, and his father and grandfather were large planters.

After attending the LaGrange Collegiate Institute, Dr. Hodges took a collegiate education at the University of North Carolina. Later he studied medicine under Dr. J. D. SPICER, of Goldsboro. Then he went to Bellevue Hospital College in New York City, from which institution he was graduated in March 1883.

Returning to his native State, Dr. Hodges began the practice of the profession in Mt. Olive, N.C., where he soon attained success. But in the fall of 1883, he decided to remove to LaGrange, where he now resides and carries on a flourishing practice.

Dr. Hodges is a member of the State Medical Society, and is one of LaGrange's most prominent men of affairs. He is well prepared for a successful career in his chose profession, which is opening up to him. Out a few miles from LaGrange, Dr. Hodges owns a farm of 160 acres, and a cotton gin.

He is a Mason and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.


Dr. SMITHWICK was born in Bertie County, N. C., and August 19, 1870. His ancestors were of English, Dutch and Scotch descent, and prominent among the families of Bertie County. His father was a farmer, and during the civil war, was on General Lee's staff, and as such was with Lee at Appomattox.

Dr. SMITHWICK was educated at Plymouth High School, Trinity College, the University of North Carolina, and took his degree in medicine from the University of Maryland in 1895. He began his practice at Aurora, Beaufort County, N. C., where he built up a large practice. In 1898, he moved to LaGrange where he has a good practice and enjoys the confidence and esteem of the people. He has been for several terms a member of the board of aldermen of LaGrange, and is now mayor of the town.

Dr. SMITHWICK has written a number of papers which have appeared in various medical journals. He has also published a pamphlet on "Ornithology of North Carolina," a subject he has always been interested in.

Dr. SMITHWICK married Miss SALLIE THOMPSON of Aurora. The children to bless their home are INEZ, RUTH and NORMAN.


John FIELDS, Jr., is one of the substantial farmers of Moseley Hall Township. He has at FIELDS' station a beautiful site for a home and until recently occupied a neat and comfortable cottage, which together with its handsome furnishings was destroyed by fire.

Mr. FIELDS has a fine farm of 340 acres of cleared land, and produces cotton, corn, tobacco and home supplies in abundance. His wife takes great interest in her flowers, and domestic affairs, and makes the home one of the most comfortable to be found anywhere.

A few years ago Mr. FIELDS won a free ticket to the St. Louis exposition, presented by Davis and Gregory, tobacco warehousemen at Richmond, Va., for the largest number of pounds of tobacco on their floor at the opening sale for the season.

Mr. FIELDS has been farming for twenty years, and for six years served as deputy collector of internal revenue. He takes an interest in public education and has served as a school committeeman for his district.

Mr. FIELDS married Miss Bettie, daughter of CAPT. W. J. AND EMILY POPE (nee Edwards). The children are Miss LILLIAN, who is attending Peace Institute at Raleigh, BERNICE, who attends the Grifton Graded School and WHEELER MARTIN, who is attending the LaGrange Graded School.


The ROUSE Banking Company is one of Lenoir County's strongest financial institutions. The officers of the institution are: N. J. ROUSE, president, GEORGE B. W. HADLEY, vice-president; Thomas R. ROUSE, cashier; and Miss CHARLOTTE WOOTEN, bookkeeper; and the board of directors is composed of the following gentlemen who are of large experience, and who have shown capacity to manage important interests: R. B. KINSEY, C. P. BARROW, F. R. HODGES, K. E. SUTTON, GEORGE B. W. HADLEY, JOHN WILLIS SUTTON, N. E. GRADY, T. R. ROUSE, DR. J. C. GREEN, AND N. J. ROUSE.

Mr. N. J. ROUSE, the bank's president, is also president of the Citizens Bank, of Kinston, and the Kinston Cotton Mills, is general counsel and general manager of the North State Mutual Life Insurance Company, and a director in the Chesterfield Manufacturing Company, of Petersburg, Virginia, and of the Underwriters Insurance Company, of Greensboro, and is now serving his second term of two years as mayor of the city of Kinston, and is also engaged in the active practice of the law. His extensive practice as a lawyer, which has for years brought to his consideration many difficult and important matters, and his large and successful experience in the business world inspire confidence and assure the public of capable and faithful management.

Mr. GEORGE B. W. HADLEY, the vice-president, stands among the front of the younger business men of eastern Carolina, to whose enthusiasm, energy and business grasp may be attributed very much of the business impulse that is now manifesting itself. He is the son of Dr. J. M. HADLEY, deceased, and has rapidly grown into that popularity with the citizenship of the county which was until his death so universally enjoyed by his lamented father.

Mr. Thomas R. ROUSE, the cashier, enjoys the entire confidence of LaGrange and the county surrounding; the large clientage of the bank is a tribute to his fidelity to his trust, to his unfailing courtesy, and to his excellent business methods.

Beginning in January, 1900, as cashier of the private banking institution of ROUSE Brothers, in LaGrange, Mr. ROUSE developed such capacity that he was with one accord, selected by the directors as cashier of the corporation of ROUSE Banking Company, upon the organization of that institution in April, 1905, as successor to the private banking business of ROUSE Brothers. The absolute confidence of the community in the integrity and fidelity of the cashier is a better guaranty, and gives more assurance of safety to depositors, than do the strong burglar proof vaults and burglary insurance policies which the institutions always carries.

MISS CHARLOTTE WOOTEN, bookkeeper, is a daughter of MR. SHADE I. WOOTEN, deceased; she has exhibited much aptness for her work, and is performing the duties of the position with entire acceptability.

This banking institution has contributed much to the recent enlargement of the business of LaGrange, and it will continue to be a chief factor in the growth of LaGrange and in the advancement of the prosperity of both the town and surrounding country.

1906 Industrial Issue