Friday, December 28, 2007

NC Odyssey Project: Sampson County

Today I went to Sampson County to do some genealogy research. My mom's mother, a McLamb before marriage, grew up in the town of Newton Grove. I've been to Sampson County numerous times since I started working on my family tree, and it always feels like a historical "home" whenever I drive through the county! The picture on the left is a plowed cotton field along Hwy 421. There are lots of farms in Sampson County. The picture on the right is for Spivey's Corner, home of the National Hollerin' Contest.

The county's most famous resident was William Rufus King, who was a US Representative from North Carolina, a Senator from Alabama, and the 13th Vice President of the United States! He was born in Sampson County, graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1803, and practiced law for a bit in Clinton. He had a long career in Congress, and was elected VP under Franklin Pierce. He was in failing health by that time, though, and was inaugurated in Cuba, where he's gone for health reasons. He eventually returned to his Alabama home, where he died, and was buried in Selma, Alabama, where I grew up.

I enjoyed working in the J.C.Holliday Library in Clinton this afternoon, in the North Carolina Local History Room.

Sampson County is the second largest in the state in terms of square mileage behing Robeson County. One of its most unique town names is Turkey. While driving through the county heading northwest toward home, I passed the Coharie Tribal Center on Hwy 421. I wished I stopped and taken a picture.


Anonymous said...

I wish you had spent a little more time in Sampson County. You really should come back and visit the Sampson County History Museum, 313 Lisbon Street (near the Library). There are eight buildings, including 3 cabins built around he 1700s.

Lesley said...

Thanks for the tip! I'll put the History Museum on my to-do list for a return trip to Sampson County, since I have some ancestors from that area!