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Historical Sketch Of Martin County
W ^ ^ ?"? ?"? r,
A bstract of Reports of J. R. Lanier and William Slade of Williamston
Taken from the census of 1880
and based on the reports of J. R.
Lanier, and William Slade, the fol
lowing historical sketch offers
pertinent facts about Martin
County as they were found sixty -
three years ago:
Population: 13,140; white, 6,681;
Area: 482 square miles; wood
land, 175,116 acres.
Tilled lands: 56,377 acres. Area
planted in cotton, 13,444 acres; in
corn, 24,209 acres; in wheat, 940
acres; in oats, 1,447 acres.
Cotton production: 6,383 bales;
average cotton product per acre,
0.47 bale, 678 pounds seed-cotton,
or 226 pounds cotton lint.
Martin county is bordered on
the north by the very tortuous
course of the Roanoke river, the
tributary waters of which for the
most part drain it northward into
that river. The larger part of its
territory belongs to the region of
level piny uplands, having a gray
sandy loam soil. The higher ridge
Hectic Year For
Now that marketing time is at
hand, Martin farmers look back
on the tobacco growing season as
a hectic one. Starting off with
good prospects, dry weather set
in and uncertainty increased. The
season as a whole has been an
unfavorable one, but despite that
there is some good quality tobac
co in the county.
land, near the south bank of the,
Roanoke river, has a soil lighter
and more sandy, and is character
ized by a considerable mixture of
long-leaf pine, and the average|
proportion of oaks and short-leaf
pine, etc. Along the Roanoke and
some of its tributaries there are
extensive bottoms or alluvial
lands, and about the head streams
of its tributaries considerable
tracts of swamp land.
The agriculture of the county
corresponds in its main features
to that of Edgecombe and the ad
jacent counties, but its soils are!
less productive, and its agricul
ture is less advanced, partly be- ?
cause of its large and profitable I
lumber industry in the great cy-1
press swamps of the Roanoke.
Marl is abundant, and is used to
a moderate extent. Of the county
area, 18.28 per cent is tilled land,
of which 23.67 per cent is culti
vated in cotton.
Abstract of the reports of J.
R. Lanier and William Slade. of
Our uplands are much better
suited to cotton culture than the
bottoms or lowlands, as we have
barely season enough to grow
cotton to perfection. We cannot
get an early start on the bottom
lands in the spring.
The common designation of the
chief soil is piny wood levels,
three-fourths or more of the coun
ty being of this kind, extending
all through this end msny of the
adjoining counties. Its timber is
mostly long-leef or pitch pine,
short-leaf pine, oak, and dogwood.
The average thickness of the sur
face sail is from 6 to 20 inches,
when it changes Into the subsoil,
which is mostly of a pale red or
yellowish color. "Hie chief crops
are cotton, com, wheat, oats and
sweet potatoes, and the soil, when
well fertilized, is well adapted to
all. The proportion of cotton
planted is about one-fourth or
three-sevenths of this soil. It at
tains a height of from 2 1-2 to 3
'Possum and 'Taters Part of Elaborate
Menu for Stag Party Here Long Years Ago
Appearing right next to an ad
vertisement citing Worthington's I
Family Remedy for colic, the fol-1
lowing account taken from the
columns of a 1903 issue of The J
Enterprise tells about a "straight-;
out stag party" given by tobac
conists here with 'possum and 'ti
ters constituting the main support
in an elaborate menu:
"Last Friday evening Messrs.
Allen, Cothran, Monk and Jef
fress, the clever tobacco men, gave
their friends quite a treat at the
'ranch,' as the Hassell House An
nex is popularly called, where a
sumptuous feast was spread.
"The guests of these popular
gentlemen didn't fail to do jus
tice to the good things put before
"The long hall was turned into
a dining room, and a table was
laid the whole length of it.
"It was an enjoyable occasion,
everyone present had a good time
and ate to their heart's content.
The following gentlemen were
present: C. E. Allen, J. F. Coth
ran, J. Y. Monk and C. A. Jef
frees, hosts; J. R. Robertson, K.
B Crawford, J. S. Cook, D. W.
Morris, P. S. Upton, J. G. Staton,
Wheeler Martin, W. M. York, W.
M. Sitterson, J. T. Ragan, J. D.
Leggett, W. A. Jones, W. T. Mead
ows, J. D. Laughinghouse, J. H.
Page, W T Crawford, P. M. Pitt
man, of Kinston; A. E. Whitmore
and Clayton Moore.
"Messrs. J. D. Leggett and W.
M. York carried off the prize as
champion 'possum eaters.
"The menu: Oysters?half-shell,
fried and stewed; olives, pickles
and celery; 'possum, 'taters and
gravy; crackers, biscuits, corn
bread, coffee and wines, liquors,
beers and cigars."
I feet, at which it ia moat ]
ive. It incline* to run to
when planted late on cold, rich
bottom land, and in wet seasons,
the beat remedy for which ia kai
nit Freah land produce* la a
food season from 1.000 to MOO
pound* of seed-cotton per acre,
1.429 pounds making a bale of
tint. After two years' cultivation
the product ranges from 000 to
800 pound* per acre, the same
number of pounds being required
for a bale. Carrot and hogweeda
are moat troublesome. Consider
able damage is done in place* by
whas or gullies on the slope*.
Cotton shipments are made by
staemboat to Norfolk, Baltimore
and New York, at the rates of 91
to Norfolk, $130 to Baltimore, and
$2 to New York.
J Ups And Downs of
Little explanation was ottered,
but apparently tobacco farmers
had their upa and downa in this''
county as far back as 1903 accord
ing to an item appearing under
the Williams Township corre
spondence taken from an old is
sue ot the Enterprise under date
of November IS, 1903:
"Last year the farmers were
singing the "Sweet By and By.'
This year they are singing, "Show
Pity, O Lord, forgive me, HI nev
er plant any more tobacco as long
as I live.'"
AMERICA'S MISS TEXACO
We are at Mar and despite the faet that many of us are slow to real
ize it, many of the items and produets we use will be rationed until
the end of this struggle. This is true with gasoline but we'll con
tinue to sell our quota and give our customers the best service of
which we are capable. Never before was it more important to pur
chase the best gasoline and motor oils on the American market.
In this case the best costs no more. Buy Texaco gas and motor oils.
Farmers Sell Your Tobacco and
Peanuts In WILLIAMSTON
HARRISON OIL CO.