1850 to 1900
1850 to 1860 - Coming of the Railroad
Many changes came about during the period of 1850 to 1860. A plank road was built over the old
Rozzell's Ferry Road and a toll bridge was constructed where the old Rozzell's ferry operated. These
changes were sure to have made travel to and from markets more expedient.
to the west continued; the Oregon Trail having opened just a few years
prior. Many families were split apart, some never to see each other again.
newcomers to the Gaston County/Stanley Creek area were arriving continuously,
increasing the population Though the area where the town of Stanley now
lies was, in 1850, still for the most part, unpopulated.
building of Chryst's Church (Christ's Lutheran Church), sometime after 1843,
brought people through the area. The Tuckaseege Road ran past the church
from the ford on the Catawba River up toward Magnolia Grove Plantation where it
intersected with Beatty's Ford Road. As this was a well traveled road for
that period of time it probably brought many people through the area who perhaps
had visions of locating in the prime area.
In 1855 plans were
put into effect for a railroad to extend from Wilmington to Charlotte to
Rutherfordton, a distance of 272 miles. This would be the first east to
west railroad through the interior of North Carolina. The railroad was
anxiously anticipated by people who lived in the outlying areas around Stanley
Creek for it would greatly benefit them in trips to the markets in Fayetteville,
Camden, Columbia and Charleston, SC, as well as connecting them to the East
Coast of North Carolina The company was incorporated on 14 November 1855
as The Wilmington, Charlotte and Rutherford Railroad Company.
On the fifteenth of October in the year 1858 John Cloninger transferred by deed a
little more than two acres of land to Milton A. Smith, Joseph Abernathy and Alex
R. Rutledge of the School Committee of District No. Twenty Seven, west of
Dutchman's Creek. The parcel of land was situated on the waters of
Stanley's Creek and joined that of Sidney Rankin and Richard Rankin. It
was shortly after this time that John Cloninger and his family moved west.
(This probably was the beginning of the Rankin School which was located behind
the home of Richard Rankin, now "Willowside," the home of Frank B. and
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