The Museum
Contact Us
Stanley History
Photo Galleries
Recent History
Order the Books
Topic Index
Site Index
Related Links

1850 to 1900

Up Civil War Years 1850 to 1900 Late 19th Century

Latter Part of the 19th Century

It has been noted that in the late nineteenth century many inventions were produced to make life less complicated for people, as well as make drastic changes in life as it had previously been known. In addition to the telephone the American people invented the light bulb, the refrigerator, the electric streetcar, barbed wire, the typewriter, the skyscraper and the horseless carriage (automobile).


In 1880 another reorganization of the railroad switched the control of the railroad to Seaboard Airline Railway. The railroad remained uncompleted until 1887 when at that time it finally reached Rutherfordton. A final merger occurred in 1900 and the railway became known as Seaboard Air Line Railway.

Trips to Seashore

The Mt. Holly News of July 14, 1892, ran an advertisement about a "Grand Excursion" to the seashore on the Seaboard Airline Railway. It stated that the train would depart from Rutherfordton at 6:30 AM and would arrive in Wilmington at 7:00 PM on July 27, 1892 and the return trip would be on the 29th. Two special coaches were provided for the ladies and their escorts. The fare from Mt. Holly, round trip, was $2.50.

The Stock Laws

Up until the late 1800's people built fences around their homes and gardens and the stock animals were allowed to roam freely, intermingling with all the neighbors' stock. However, in 1880 there was discussion about not having to build fences at every house to keep animals out, but rather people with livestock would fence them in and the people who had no livestock need not build fences.

Legal Stills

Also in the early 1880's licensed distilleries in Gaston County outnumbered churches 40 to 1. Several Stanley Creek and Village of Brevard Station people were listed on the 1880 Federal Census as having the occupation of distiller.


In 1880 Brevard Station had two doctors, one Dr. William M. Reedy and the other was Dr. Thomas F. Costner.

By 1883 Dr. Costner had left town to practice elsewhere and Dr. William Reedy's brother, Howard, had joined him in Brevard Station to practice medicine. On 22 April 1885 Dr. Howard Reedy married Sarah Florence Rutledge, the daughter of William Gilkey and Susan Jane Rutledge. Later in June of 1883 Dr. Salon Peterson of the University of Virginia had located here.

In the Gastonia Gazette of 27 June 1884 it was reported that Dr. William H. Wilson, having returned from Louisville, Kentucky Medical College, "was now located in Stanley Creek and was associated with Dr. J. M. Templeton of Dallas, NC in the practice of medicine and surgery."

First Magistrate

Brevard Station was one of seven incorporate townships within Gaston County in the year 1883. On March 30th of that year the Gastonia Gazette reported that a magistrate for each town in the county was appointed by the Legislature. Magistrate for the town of Brevard's Station was Mr. Charles L. Gattis.

Businesses In The New Town

In 1883 Brevard Station had four mercantile businesses. One run by Mr. Thomas F. Wilkinson; another by Mr. Henry M. Summerow; one run by Benjamin F. Carpenter and another run by Mrs. Adeline S. McLurd (Sister to Henry M. Summerow) and James W. McLurd."

Two wagon shops were located here in 1883. William C. Sherrill managed one and the other was owned by Charles J. Peterson.

A sawmill in town around 1883 was run by August Farley.

Also in the Gastonia Gazette of 25 April 1884, Mr. John B. Richards advertised that he had rented a Sawmill from a firm in Pleasant Ridge, NC, and would do all kinds of sawing "cheaply and as well as can be done."

New School

The beginning of the year 1883 also brought to Brevard's Station Village a new school. Known as "Brevard High School" - it was managed by Professor J. F. Brower as principal and his wife as assistant principal as well as music instructor. Professor Brower was a graduate of Trinity College (now Duke University) and known as a fine scholar.

Advertisements were made in the newspapers for scholars to locate in the town of Brevard Station to attend this new academy. It was noted that room and board could be had from several families in the town at $8.00 per month.

By April of that year the new school was deemed a success with about 45 students and more still coming. Professor Brower had gained the respect of the people of Brevard's Station, as a teacher and a gentleman. Mrs. Brower, the music teacher, had 8 to 10 students.

Growing Town

The Federal Census for the year 1890 shows population that year for the town of Stanley Creek was 300.

In 1891 hundreds of North Carolina people joined the land rush to Oklahoma.

On 17 April 1891 the Stanley Creek Cotton Mill was organized and began operations.

Cold Winter

In the year 1893, January in this area was bitterly cold. Cotton factories on the Catawba River had to shut down because of 4 1/2 inch thick ice on the river.

6 January 1898 - The Gazette - "Telephone construction forces under Mr. Gene Starnes began work in Dallas yesterday on the extension to Stanley Creek. Their first work is setting up the posts."

Mr. Robert B. Babington who married a Stanley lady, Miss Hattie McLurd, was a telegraph agent with the Seaboard Railroad in Mt. Holly, NC. His interest in the telegraph and electricity inspired in him the desire to build a telephone, which he did, in the town of Mt. Holly in the years 1895 and 1896. Thus began his career with the telephone company which lasted many years. He is, perhaps, best remembered for his philanthropic interest in establishing the Orthaepedic Hospital for Crippled Children in Gastonia during the height of the polio epidemic.

Brevard Station Becomes Stanley Creek

In 1869 the postal authorities in Washington City requested that the Brevard Station Post Office name be changed because there was already another town in the state called Brevard. Therefore on 15 July 1869 the Post Office name was changed to Stanley Creek, which had been the name of the actual post office managed by Valentine Derr on the waters of Stanley Creek. The Postmaster of the Stanley Creek Post Office in the unincorporated village of Brevard Station in 1869 was Walter C. Withers.

Because of the conflict in the mailing address and the name of the community, which had been incorporated in 1879, town officials proposed changing the town's name to the Post Office name. Therefore in 1893 an amendment was made to change the name of Brevard's Station to Stanley Creek.

At that same time additional land was incorporated into the town limits. The boundaries began at James A. Morris' tan-yard on the North end of town on to John "Buck" Smith's property, west of his house which was somewhere near the location of the W. G. Hawley house. As the line crossed the Railroad track it went by Reece Broome's blacksmith shop near the tracks. , The line then went past J. W. McLurd's line and on to John P. Abernethy's land, then crossing the Railroad again north of the James A. Morris property.

Up Civil War Years 1850 to 1900 Late 19th Century

The Museum ] Contact Us ] Stanley History ] Photo Galleries ] Citizens ] Recollections ] Schools ] Churches ] Community ] Recent History ] Order the Books ] Topic Index ] Site Index ] Search ] Acknowledgments ] Related Links ] Guestbook ]










Back Home Up