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The History of Stanley, North Carolina Back ] Next ]
The 1700's ] Early 1800 ] [ 1850 to 1900 ] Early 1900 ] 1950 and After ]

1850 to 1900

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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.

Migration 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.

However, 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.

The 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 Margaret Rankin.)

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In the 1860's a railroad depot was built and named Brevard's Station in recognition of the Brevard family who owned a large portion of the surrounding land.





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