John D. Bridgers M.D.

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Edie's Family

Chapter 8, Charles Jefferson and Sarah (Hamrick) Hamrick


Charles Jefferson was the C. J. Hamrick of C. J. Hamrick and Sons. 

Born in 1833, Charles Jefferson was the son of James Young Hamrick.  He and his wife, Sarah, were Edie's paternal great grandparents. 

Edie and her siblings always spoke of "Grandpa Charles" as if he was personally remembered.  Well remembered he may have been, but not personally, for he died in 1918, the year of Edie's birth.

His wife, Sarah  --  also a Hamrick  --   was Charles Jefferson's second cousin and together these great grandparents represent two of those twenty-odd lines by which Edie can trace her heritage back to George and Nancy Hamrick of Germantown, Pennsylvania. 

 "Grandpa Charles" served for over 3 years in Company D of 55th North Carolina Infantry of the Army of the Confederacy.

At one point, he was assigned to the rifle "firing" squad for the execution of a man named McSwaim who had deserted his unit in order to return home and put in the crops for his wife and children  --  not that uncommon during the Civil War.

"Grandpa Charles" was eventually excused from this duty because it turned out that McSwaim was his cousin  --  a descendent of David McSwaim, husband of Judith Hamrick and one of the Scottish immigrants sailing with George and Nancy Hamrick aboard the Lowther.

Probably, most of those from Cleveland County with whom "Grandpa Charles" served were his cousins.

When the war ended, Charles J. Hamrick returned to Boiling Springs. 

He moved his family from his father's homestead on Gold Road to a stylish new Victorian he built in the middle of Boiling Springs.

In a pamphlet published for Shelby's sesquicentennial anniversary, there is a picture of Charles Jefferson and Sarah Hamrick standing on the porch of their house with their eight sons and daughters plus various other members of their family.

For Edie and those of her generation this house would be known as "Cousin Solon's" house for it would pass from "Grandpa Charles" to his daughter, Catherine, and her husband, Solon A. Green  --  a member of the Green family collateral line.

Charles Jefferson was obviously an enterprising man starting a cotton gin and acquiring some 300 acres of farmland. 

In addition to these activities, in 1875 he founded  -- along with his son-in-law, Solon Green, and his son, Elijah Bly Hamrick,  --  a general merchandise store named "C.J. Hamrick and Sons.""

This store would pass down through his family  --  first to Elijah Bly, then to Elijah Bly's youngest son, Clifford, and now to Clifford's son, Clifford Jr.

It is said to be the oldest business in Cleveland County that is still operating under the proprietorship of its founding family.

Coincidentally, my own cousins, David and Jack Whichard, owned and managed The Daily Reflector  --  the newspaper my grandfather started just after the Civil War  --  about which the same claim was made as to its longevity in the Pitt County business community and continuity of ownership.

It seems singular to me that this would have been true for my children on both sides of their family at opposite ends of the state.

Charles Jefferson Hamrick frequently went barefoot in his store.

One day a traveling shoe salesman, having laid out his line, was apparently much disturbed when an unshod old man came over and began handling his wares.

Not knowing who he was dealing with, the vendor told "Grandpa Charles" not to handle the merchandise at which point "Grandpa Charles" promptly invited him to leave his premises and to never return.

Though a good story I've always found this incident contrary to what I've heard elsewhere which was, to wit, that salesmen actually looked forward to calling at C.J. Hamrick and Sons because they were always treated well.

Next chapter    Chapter 9, Elijah Bly and Galena (Green) Hamrick

Previous chapter    Chapter 7, Henry and Lucy (Reaves) Green

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John D. Bridgers M.D. by Carl Bridgers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Copyright ©