MESIC NC HISTORY
Pamlico County, NC - Emma A. Whealton, 1882-1981

MESIC, N.C. By: Emma A. Whealton
1882-1981

This community is on the Bay River scattered between Big Vandemere
and Gales Creeks, on highway 304 east of Bayboro, Pamlico Co., NC. We
know it was settled before the Revolutionary War because a Land Grant
was given by the Lords Proprietors to Francis Jones. The Bay Creek
Christian Church now stands on a portion of this land.
There is evidence that Indians had lived in the area. Stone tools
and arrowheads were found when cleared land was plowed, and large
speaking settlers were a hardy bunch from
England, Ireland, Wales, Holland, etc. They were farmers, carpenters,
sailors, fishermen and woodsmen. They had to know how to do everything
to survive here. Fish, oysters and crabs were plentiful. Pine trees
provided timber, shingles, tar, pitch, turpentine, etc. Forests had to
be cleared for homes and farms (there are still one or two houses
standing in which wooden pegs were used instead of nails). They had to
raise their own crops and stock (cattle, hogs, chickens and sheep).  
Hides from the cattle were tanned for shoes. Wool from sheep and cotton
had to be spun and woven into cloth for clothes or knit into socks and hose.
Those were busy times but everyone worked together. After the
trees were felled all of the men would come together for a "log
rolling" gathering and piling logs all afternoon. The men would also
come together for house or barn raisings. The women worked equally as
hard preparing meals. Some of the specialties were oyster soup and
sweet tater pies which were served with bread and coffee. Later the
women might have a quilting party while the children played games or
had a spelling bee. Fishing was fun but it also supplied needed food
and the farmers would often fish at night. The boys were always glad
when dad would say, ;Hurry and do your chores and we'll go fishing!
There might be others with them and the boys would get in some swimming too.
This community was known as Bay Creek" until about 1872 when
Pamlico County was formed and the first Post Office was established.  
It was given the name of the first Postmaster, MESSICK, for my
grandfather, Shadrack Riggs Messick. The name was later changed to the
simpler spelling, MESIC, which it remains to this day.
In the dim past, possibly early 1800 a small building was
erected in the center of the community for public meetings, preaching,
teaching, etc. It was just a plain building but it lasted through many
years. This building was near Bennet Creek Bridge, directly in front
of the home of George Whealton, who donated the land.
Our folks were interested in education but they needed the
children to help with the farming so school was held in the hot months
after the crops were laid by waiting for harvest time and in the
winter. Before my time, I remember hearing the names of Mr. Mozingo,
Mr. Skinner (from reports his name fit) and Mr. Chalcedony Lewis. The
boys had to bring wood into the schoolroom for heating, there was a
long iron stove. It is said that one day the boys may have felt angry
at the teacher. They carried light wood knots in and said, burn
old Dony out! From all reports he must have regretted that speech for
Mr. Lewis had him stand on the red-hot stove, bare-footed. I heard this
so many times it must be true.
Mr. Barney Mayo was among the boys carrying the wood.
Teachers of that time had supreme authority in the schoolroom. It
seems they need more authority today. Children were sent to school to
learn lessons needed in future life not for baby-sitting and
entertainment. Another teacher before my time was Mr. Ephraim Riggs.
He was a good teacher but no one wanted him to date their daughter. It
was reported that he beat a young man unmercifully on some trumped up
excuse  but  all in all he was a fine man.
The teacher that I remember were Miss Ann Whealton (whom I know as
Mrs. Madison Meekins (she taught my mother, Kitty Messick Allen
Gasking), Miss Myrtle Taylor, W. E. Wilson (who went from here to
Grantsboro, Stonewall and to employment as head book keeper in business
establishments), Johnny Carey, his sister, Florence Carey, James
Winfield, R. C. Holton (he taught for many years but his first school
was at Mesic and I was one of his pupils in about 1894) and Mr. Fred
Tuton (probably the last teacher I had in this dear little school, his
home is in the Aurora area).
The old building was used for the Primary Department in 1915 its
final year, with Mrs. Nannie Potter Jones as the teacher. Another
building about the same size was near Bear Creek Bridge. This was a
church and school for the black folks. Both groups built a larger
church building in the early 1890.
Mr. and Mrs. Nat Wright did much to build up schools in our area.
They taught together several years, 23 or more here and he was the
first principal of Hobucken High in 1925. Miss Daisy Rawls, Mrs.
Nancy Noble, Mrs. Celia Perry, Mrs. Betty M. Twiford, Sam Jones, Miss
Daisy Riggs Basnight, Mrs. Rosa Carawan Hill, Miss Mimie Salter. These
and some others taught in the new school building. Sam Jones and B. R.
Lever were two other principals.
From the early times, school offered entertainment, which has been
much missed since community schools are no more. In the early days,
Friday P. M. was always special. There might be debates, recitation or
spelling matches (I think it was Miss Ann Whealton who introduced the
spelling match) with proud parents there to rejoice at the achievements
of their children. Spelling matches really encouraged children to study
their dictionary and Blue Back Spellers. This entertainment furnished
by the school was all the small community had. The Commencements,
Christmas pageants and other programs put on by the school have been
sorely missed. I also miss the pleasure of having children with friends
run into the house at noon and grab a bite of dinner, bringing with
them fun and giggles!
LOIS EMALINE ALLEN WHEALTON

Emma was born Sep. 21, 1882 in Vandemere, Pamlico Co., NC to
Benjamine Franklin Allen and Kitty Ann Messick Allen. She died April
16, 1981 in Alliance, Pamlico County, NC.
Her father Benjamine had qualified as a ship pilot and was to
begin these duties in the spring of 1884 on a sea going ship which
plied between New Bern and Elizabeth City, NC. Prior to this while
piloting a very un-seaworthy ship between NC and Baltimore, MD he came
down with pneumonia. He died Jan. 8, 1884. Kitty and her two children
lived with her father, Shadrack Riggs Messick until she remarried,
David Gaskins. Emma brother Isaac was accidentally shot and died
in 1891. He was only 12.
Emma went to schools in Mesic, Vandemere, and New Bern. Then
between 1898 and 1901 she attended The Newport News Female Seminary in
Newport News, VA. She worked as a secretary for a mill supply company
in Charlotte, NC until Oct. 12, 1908 when she married Zebulon Vance
Whealton and moved back to Mesic. She worked on the farm with her
husband, took care of their home, raised four children, taught Sunday
School at Bay Creek Christian Church, played piano for services, wrote
a weekly news column and Bible lesson for the Sun Journal, and wrote
poetry and other articles such as the one above. She lived the
remainder of her life in Pamlico Co. most of it in Mesic and was loved
and respected by all who knew her.


Submitted by Donita Hamilton, Emma Whealton granddaughter, for her
children, and grandchildren. With the permission of Alma W. Carawan,
only living daughter. Sept. 2004.

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This file was contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by
Donita Hamilton - dahamilton@surfnetnc.com
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Mesic Family History