The North Carolina
The People of Sneedsborough
Much has been written about Sneedsborough, but we still know so little. Many of those writings are suppositions rather than factual.
In this article I plan to tell you what we know about some of the people who established and settled Sneedsborough. Many became prominent citizens of the county, state, and nation.
Sneedsborough, the second town to be established in
Sneedsborugh was the dream of Richard Edgeworth, who arrived in the Pee Dee area in the 1780s.With funds from his father, he purchased 512 acres in
In 1794 Edgeworth again visited
William Johnson carried out Edgeworth’s plan for the town of
William Johnson owned a large cotton gin and a three-story mill located at the end of the canal. The structure stood for years after the town had died. It was finally washed away in a flood.
Archibald D. Murphy, a lawyer from Hillsborough, believed a great inland port should arise on the
Murphy was the first and greatest leader in
John J. McRae was born in Sneedsborough in 1815. He was governor of
John Grady clerked in the town’s general store. He later served as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly. He was an ancestor of the well-known editor of the Atlanta Constitution, Henry W. Grady.
Charles Harris, chairman of the faculty of the
Charles’ brother Robert is also buried at Sneedsborough, and he, too, died at age 33. Other marked graves include William Johnson, town founder, and John Hinson,
The Anson County Historical Society maintains the cemetery using the income derived from a gift to the society from the Johnson family descendants.
William Little, famous cabinet maker and head of the now prominent Little family of Anson, settled in Sneedsborough around 1800. He built his home and shop there in 1802. In 1815 he built a home on Jones Creek, about five miles south of Wadesboro. He is buried in what is known as the William Little Cemetery, about 100 yards east of his home. The Anson County Historical Society owns and maintains the cemetery as well. William Little was my great-great-grandfather.
Samuel Knox, another noted cabinet maker, owned the most famous landmark in Sneedsborough—the Knox Inn. Said to be three stories high with 15 rooms and a bar in its brick basement (after examining the site, I question the brick basement), the
Other notables that bought lots and/or lived in Sneedsborough were John McLester, Joseph Pickett, John J. Cabrol, Thomas Stegall, Jerome Lee, John Ingram, William Henry, Alexander McLeod, Archibald McLeod, Robert Troy, William Terry, Malcolm Campall, James Wade, John Taylor, John Nicholson, Willis Godwin, Ephraim Davidson, and Herbert Pearson.
(Information for this article was compiled from records in the files of the Anson Historical Society or from my private collection. —J.D)
John Jennings Dunlap, III is President of the Anson County Historical Society